Big Buck Revolution

A Recreation of Dance Dance Revolution Bryce Roth (ber72), Jude Javillo (jij8), Ronin Sharma (rrs234) ECE 5725 | May 21, 2021 | Thursday Lab

Project Objective

We recreated the video game Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) using the Raspberry Pi. DDR is a rhythm game where the player uses their feet to press on four pressure pads when prompted by the game screen. The player earns points by pressing the appropriate pad in rhythm with the song. We will create a dance platform that inputs pressure pad presses to the Raspberry Pi and outputs colors using displays LEDs on the top and bottom of the platform. The Raspberry Pi processes user input presses, determine the player’s score, and displays a game window to prompt the user to press the pressure pads, display the score, and navigate menus. The software of the game was programmed in Python using Pygame.

Project Goals

  • Create a fully functional rhythm game as an embedded system
  • Add a multiplayer mode to stimulate friendly competition
  • Allow players to create their own levels and store their top scores
  • Incorporate popular songs and other media elements to improve user experience

Design and Testing


We thoroughly describe our hardware and software design methodologies and implementations on their respective pages (Hardware Design, Software Design). We had problems with the timing aspect of the game. We were able to use the level editor to solve this problem. Also, some of the button pads moved as the player pressed down on them. We fixed this issue by duct taping the tops of them.

Hardware Testing

We performed the follwing tests for the hardware:

  • Using a multimeter to test connectivity between one end of a signal wire and its respective contact
  • Using a multimeter to test connectivity between all four ground contacts
  • Using a multimeter to test connectivity between the ground contacts and the other end of the ground wire
  • Using a multimeter to test connectivity between a signal wire and the ground wire when a button is pressed
  • Detecting GPIO inputs using the button presses
  • Setting LED colors using GPIO outputs

Software Testing

We performed the majority of the software testing without using the physical dance pad. We used the Raspberry Pi and mapped its onboard buttons to the pressure pad inputs. This made testing easier and faster.

First, we tested if we had implemented software-side debouncing correctly. We experimented with pressing buttons sequentially at different rates and varied which buttons we pressed. We also varied how long we held the button down to ensure only one input press was detected for longer presses.

Next, we verified the screen transitions. We tried navigating through every possible screen pattern and verified that we could also go backwards (ex: from the song select screen back to the main menu screen). We wanted to make sure that all the data was passed correctly between screens.

Next, we tested the functionality of individual screens. We started with the select screen and verified that we could select every song and that the correct song played during the game. Then we tested both difficulties and made sure the correct background was displayed during the game. We spent the majority of the time testing the actual gameplay. We tried different input combinations and verified that the statistics (score, multiplier, etc.) incremented correctly. We did this for all songs, which allowed us to test our embedded system with differen JSONs. We also tested both single and multiplayer modes. For multiplayer mode, we tested that the winner was displayed correctly based on each player's score. For the level editor, we tried creating JSONs with a few arrows, many arrows, all arrows having the same direction, and all arrows having different directions. Again, we tried creating levels for each of the possible songs. Lastly, we tested the leaderboard update process. We ensured that a new score lower than all scores, a new score higher than all scores, and a new score in the middle of the previous scores could all be added to the leaderboard.

Finally, we tested the software using the physical dance pad by just playing the game. We tested all songs and all features in the same way that we described above.

Final Deliverable

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Photo Slideshow

Current Image: Main Menu

Conclusions and Future Work

We developed a fully functional rhythm game. It supports single player and multiplayer modes. It also has a level editor.
Future Work

  • Create a second dance pad so that players can play the game simultaneously
  • Make the dance pad compatible with other rhythm games
  • Program notes to have longer durations

Bill of Materials

Part Cost
4'x8'x½” birch plywood $48.86
2’x4’x⅛” hardboard (MDF) $5.23
½”x¾”x10’ air conditioning foam $1.98
50’ 18-2 gauge thermostat wire $11.69
14 gauge 25’ red wire $6.17
14 gauge 25’ black wire $6.17
Construction adhesive $7.98
Spray adhesive $7.98
2’x4’x¼” MDF $7.98
Gorilla duct tape Had beforehand
Aluminum foil Had beforehand
25’ LED strip (30 LED per meter) Had beforehand
Raspberry Pi Lab component
Electrical Wires Lab component


All of our code is located in this Github Repository.

Songs Used

Do it Again - Steve Aoki

Down with the Sickness - Disturbed

S.O.M.P. - Skratch'N Snyf

You Spin Me Round - Dead Or Alive


  • Led assembly of dance pad
  • Wired buttons and LEDs to dance pad
  • Tested all hardware
  • Designed jsons for the levels
  • Assisted with software development
  • Created MVC pattern outline
  • Helped debug main menu, done controller screen
  • Prototyped dance pad on breadboard
  • Assisted with dance pad assembly
  • Started implementation for single player, multiplayer, and level editor modes
  • Implemented select screen, difficulty screen, and done controller screen
  • Tested software using a Raspberry Pi
  • Created website template and worked on the home, about, and software design pages