Red Light Green Light

This is the classic “Red Light, Green Light” game where one person is a virtual stoplight and gives commands to the other players to either stop or go.

Rules of play

The player chosen as the current the stoplight says “Green Light!” and turns away from the other players. The other players move toward the stoplight player, from a distance set at the beginning of the game, and try to touch them. The stoplight player can at any time say “Red light!” and then turn around to face the other players. If the stop light player sees anyone still moving, they call them out and they are finished playing until a new game is started. The stoplight player repeats the red light, green light cycle. If one of the other players happens to touch the stop light player before they can turn around when saying “Red Light!”, then the current stoplight player moves to the beginning of the course and the other player becomes the stoplight. The game continues until only the the stoplight player remains.

In this remake of the game, we will use a micro:bit, its radio, and the accelerometer to enforce these rules!

Creating the stoplight

Let’s start with the code running on the stoplight’s micro:bit. Don’t use this code for the other players!

States

We define two states, or game conditions, called GREENLIGHT and REDLIGHT. A variable named state will store the current game state. When the stoplight player presses A, the game goes into “green light” mode. When they press B, the state goes into “red light” mode.

let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
GREENLIGHT = 1
REDLIGHT = 2

Communication

The radio group for all game players is set to 1. We will set the same group in the player’s code too. The game state is streamed in a ||basic:forever|| loop so that players continuously receive it.

let state = 0;
radio.setGroup(1)
basic.forever(function () {
    radio.sendNumber(state)
})

Red light, green light

Use the ||radio:on button pressed|| block to run code when button A and B are pressed. When A is pressed, the game goes into GREENLIGHT mode. When B is pressed, the game goes into REDLIGHT mode. We also use ||basic:show icon|| to display the current game state.

let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
input.onButtonPressed(Button.A, function () {
    state = GREENLIGHT
    basic.showIcon(IconNames.Yes)
})
input.onButtonPressed(Button.B, function () {
    state = REDLIGHT
    basic.showIcon(IconNames.No)
})
GREENLIGHT = 1
REDLIGHT = 2

Stoplight code

All together the stoplight code looks like this:

let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
input.onButtonPressed(Button.A, function () {
    state = GREENLIGHT
    basic.showIcon(IconNames.Yes)
})
input.onButtonPressed(Button.B, function () {
    state = REDLIGHT
    basic.showIcon(IconNames.No)
})
GREENLIGHT = 1
REDLIGHT = 2
radio.setGroup(1)
basic.forever(function () {
    radio.sendNumber(state)
})

Make sure to rename this program to stoplight or something similar so that you don’t confuse it with the player program!

Improve the game

  • Use ||music:ring tone|| to play a sound while the game is in GREENLIGHT mode.
  • Attach a servo and move the arm based on the game state.

The players

The code for the other players needs to listen for the stoplight’s state.

States

First, we again define the state constants GREENLIGHT, REDLIGHT, and set the radio group to 1. We also add a state variable that will store the state of the game.

let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
GREENLIGHT = 1
REDLIGHT = 2
radio.setGroup(1)

Communication

We use the ||radio:on received number|| block to store the stoplight state into the state variable.

let state = 0
radio.onReceivedNumber(function (receivedNumber) {
    state = receivedNumber
})

Display

In a ||basic:forever|| loop, we display different icons based on the game state. Use a ||logic:if|| and ||basic:show icon|| blocks to display the game state.

let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
basic.forever(function () {
    if (state == GREENLIGHT) {
        basic.showIcon(IconNames.Yes)
    } else if (state == REDLIGHT) {
        basic.showIcon(IconNames.No)
    }
})

Movement check

If the state is equal to REDLIGHT, we need to check that the player is not moving. This is where the accelerometer comes into play. The accelerometer measures forces applied to the micro:bit. If the player moves, it’s likely that the accelerometer will detect any small forces applied to the micro:bit. At all times, gravity is applied to the micro:bit, so the acceleration strength at rest is always near 1000 mg. If the acceleration strength is far from that value, say 1100 or 900, we can assume that the player is moving. To compute this we use the formula:

moving = | acc strength - 1000 | > 1000

Now that we know the math for it, we can turn this into code.

let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
let moving = false
if (state == REDLIGHT) {
    moving = Math.abs(input.acceleration(Dimension.Strength) - 1000) > 100
    if (moving) {
        game.gameOver()
    }
}

Player code

All together, the code for the players is:

let moving = false
let REDLIGHT = 0
let state = 0
let GREENLIGHT = 0
radio.onReceivedNumber(function (receivedNumber) {
    state = receivedNumber
})
GREENLIGHT = 1
REDLIGHT = 2
radio.setGroup(1)
basic.forever(function () {
    if (state == GREENLIGHT) {
        basic.showIcon(IconNames.Yes)
    } else if (state == REDLIGHT) {
        basic.showIcon(IconNames.No)
    }
    if (state == REDLIGHT) {
        moving = Math.abs(input.acceleration(Dimension.Strength) - 1000) > 100
        if (state == REDLIGHT && moving) {
            game.gameOver()
        }
    }
})

Make sure to rename this program to player or something like that so you don’t confuse it with the stoplight program!

Tuning

Does the movement check work? Try changing the 100 value to tune the detection sensitivity. Try 64 maybe.

Improve the game

  • Use ||music:ring tone|| to play a tone while in green mode.
  • Use the packet signal strength to detect that you’ve reached the stoplight.
radio