Nine-Shine-Line: The LED Timing Game

We bring you today’s slight throwback to a time before the Nexys 4 and Nexys 4 DDR. The Nexys 3 was (and still is) capable of a good many things, including bringing entertainment to many. In fact, Instructables user  (with Mark Brown) has a perfect project that uses it, the Nine-Shine-Line game. In their words, “[It] is a simple yet entertaining LED timing game that requires the player to stop a moving light on the middle LED. As the game progresses, the speed of the lights will increase throughout ten fun-filled levels. If at any point the light is stopped at an LED that isn’t the middle one, the game will reset back to the first level. Once the exhilarating tenth level is passed, all of the LEDs will light up to signify your magnificent timing abilities.”


To make this game, you’ll need a Nexys 3 board. You’ll also need a USB-to-micro cable, eight LEDs (of any color), a wooden board, a Big Dome Pushbutton, rubber feet (the go under the board to offset the button), eight resistors, and heat shrink. You’ll want to have some more equipment on hand — a soldering iron and solder, a drill, a drill bit, a hole saw, a hot glue gun, and insulated electrical wire. In terms of software, you need Xilinx’s ISE Design Suite.

Once you have accumulated all of your materials, it’s time to implement the VHDL modules included in the Instructable. These will run, the LEDs, levels, the seven-segment display, the clock divider, and the game itself. Then, create the external board and integrate the pushbutton. You’ll have to mess around with the top and bottom of the boards. Then it’s time to play!

The underside of the game board.

What a fun game and a fun project. It could also be adapted for later boards in the Nexys line. Either way, let us (and the creators) know what you think and what level you got to in the game!


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About Amber Mear

I was the Digilent blog editor, and now I'm a contributor. I love learning about wearables and writing about social issues in STEM. Outside of work, I can be found watching Netflix with my cat, working on an art project, or trying to find new, delicious local foods.

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