Prototyping for Play: Make a game with a rotary phone!

This project appeared in the Prototyping for Play video course published through O'Reilly Media, as part of segment 8 titled:

Mastering the Rotary Phone

This project demonstrates creating a digital game using the game engine software Stencyl and custom hardware controller while requiring no coding skills. The game involves a western armadillo attempting to best you in a shootout! You, being the fastest gun in the west, attempt to shoot its bullets right out of the air by dialing on a repurposed rotary phone in the direction the bullets are drifting. The hardware uses a HID (human interface device) emulator and the software simply takes keyboard input, in this case provided by the telephone.

Software: Stencyl to build the source, Flash to play the built game

The Stencyl project source file and build flash game can be downloaded here: dial-game-and-source.zip

It has two files. The first, Dial-1.0.stencyl is the game source. The second, Dial-1.0-Flash.swf is the completed game built as a flash file.

To open the source, from Stencyl go to File -> Import Game... and select the Dial-1.0.stencyl file. You should now be able to edit and build the game.

Players: 1

Technical: A rotary phone dismantled, will all wiring disconnected from the internal terminal box. The only wiring required is to connect two pairs of wires from the rotary, one indicating when dialing begins and ends, the other indicating every time the rotary passes a number as it dials. Between this two circuits, which can be thought of as buttons, you can read the keyboard presses they send to find what number the player has dialed.




EZ-Key Setup

  1. Download and install the software Processing 3.
  2. Open Processing, open the Tools menu, and select Install "processing-java". Follow the instructions.
  3. Close processing.
  4. Download the EZ-Key Dial Remap processing project zip file, and uncompress it. You must leave the resulting folder named as it is.
  5. Follow the EZ-Key powering instructions at this link.
  6. Follow the EZ-Key pairing instructions at this link and connect to your computer. (Click here for additional help with pairing if you are using Windows)
  7. Open the EZ-Key_dial_remap folder you uncompressed, and double-click to open the EZ-Key_dial_remap.pde file. Processing should open with the project displayed.
  8. Make sure your EZ-Key is connected to your computer (powered and paired), and hit the circled triangle, or open the Sketch menu and select Run.
  9. The new key inputs are now saved to your EZ-Key!

Note: If you are having connection issues with your EZ-Key and using batteries, make sure your power source is fresh!