Ever since Panic announced Playdate I've been dying to get my hands on it.
As a game developer the tiny form factor and quirky crank fills my head with ideas that I would love to try out. The only thing overriding those thoughts is how cool it would be to actually build something like Playdate. I've always been into electronics projects, I built an entire arcade cabinet from scratch while at university and loved every second of it.
With this project I want to explore, whether software or hardware, all the tools, techniques and processes that you have to go through to get a product like Playdate into someones hands. CheapDate will be as similar to Playdates confirmed specs as possible.
This project is 100% unofficial and in no way associated with Panic, Playdate or Teenage Engineering.
This was the initial breadboard prototype for CheapDate.
At it's heart is a Teensy 3.1 (really love what those guys are doing over there) running my test program, which is a simple racing game called Crank Shaft.
I'm using a FFC breakout to hook up the screen, I had a go at soldering a .5mm pitch FFC connector myself and lets just say I need some practice!
There's a rotary encoder for the crank and a couple of tactile buttons for the face buttons. The small chip on the breadboard is a 3.3v to 5v charge boost I had lying around, the screen wants a 5v supply and I want this to run of batteries in the end.