Hi! I got my Blinks finally programmed, thanks again Mike Synnott & jbobrow.
As a beta-user, I’d like to give some feedback to my Blinks experience this far. For me, beta-phase is the right caption here, the product is not finished yet but apparently already has gotten a lot of nice features and ideas built in.
For me, the currently big two problems from a user perspective (I’m not planning in developing for Blinks, even though the Arudino IDE looks inviting and the code seems to be quite straight-forward) are: 1) the “button is constantly pressed” problem, which could be eased a little bit with packing material but still is not very good and 2) having to program 6 blinks to work with 6 blinks, so if I’d start programming or want to try out something quickly, it takes some time to get it programmed for one iteration. The “Blinks Programmer” is quite quick but it still takes time. Both things are currently under investigation, as far as I know, maybe, it’s also possible to send me some official remedy for the button problem once it is available, so the buttons really “click” or something.
Third problem, sometimes, I have to “fork” the blinks to get them going (=reset them with the fork so they start up). But that might also be related to 1). Also, the magnets seem to be a bit weak, but that’s a known problem, too.
What I like: The PDF manuals for the games look very nice and are easy to understand, the lights look very nice especially below the diffusor and being able to address the intensity and colour of each LED-triplet on its own gives for nice effects. Also, the form-factor is good, not too clunky, not to fidgety, just the right size.
For me, this is the thing to flash for a Blink as of now. 5 games in one project, nice variety. I would have also liked to have the DevDemo, I tried expanding it to 6 projects but got tons of error messages so I stopped doing that (will probably start a dedicated thread for that).
Nice, straight forward game, working well. I especially like the “preview-LED” that shows, which colour will come next. Here, the button problem is quite noticeable. A satisfying “click” would be much nicer than having to fiddle around to get the button pressed. Stronger magnets would probably also enhance the experience for that game, but it’s nice as it is.
What seems to be missing is a PDF for the “calculation sheet”.
I was quite impressed, that the Blinks can “detect” the order they are in. As soon as the game “detects” the form of the Blinks, the game starts. The animations here are again very nice, again, I have the button problem for “next round” and I’m not quite sure about the game mechanics. Is it a drinking game? Everyone hit needs to drink a shot? Also, not sure how to reset the game, it seems to go on forever.
From a technical point, I think this is the most advanced game. It’s a “minimal RPG” and here, also, the detection of the formation and the automatical setting of the colour when in place is very nice. As this doesn’t need the buttons, it’s also well to work with. Not sure why the pieces die that quickly but well, that’s life. Maybe it would be possible to have some sort of “Health Point display”, like having 6 HP or something like that and the ones gone would blink or something. Maybe display the HPs while the button of a piece is pressed? Besides that, I like that game a lot, probably my favorite as of now (next to the DevDemo).
Works also with 6 pieces (was too lazy to flash all 12), but probably not as well. Interesting game about learning “diversity”, simple similar to berry, nice to look at. Has also a certain “table top game” vibe to it and should be nice to play with kids. Not sure why, but I had to fork one Blink here to get all six going.
This one I don’t understand at all. I cannot get it to work or I don’t know how to start it, some sort of better manual for it would be nice.
What I would like to see is a slightly advanced version of the MultiGameHack. That means: Flash one Blink with MultiGameHack, connect it to all the other 11 pieces and it would send the games to the other pieces, without them being flashed, too. This would save a lot of time. I think, this is already in progress.
Also, when having 5 games per Blink instead of just one (for people with the dev-kit at least), this would of course give much more diversity for a 6 piece Blinks kit – 30 games on the go.
Keep up the good work!