Ideas for future challenges

I think the first challenge should definitely be proposed by @devoh, in honor of having the idea for this subcategory!

But here are some of my ideas - vote on one or many. And add your own poll with your ideas!

Which topics would be good beginner challenges?
  • Write any animation that has a variable pause before repeating.
  • Make a pattern that breathes (your interpretation)
  • Use random() to blink a random LED a random color a random number of times
  • Come up with a code snippet that zooms in and out of each of 3 patterns (an easy, intermediate, and hard)
  • What’s the most chaotic pattern you can cook up?
  • Make something MoirĂ©
  • Make a binary clock
  • Posterize a rainbow into N colors
  • Monitors can display the color brown. Can our LEDs? Use UI controls to actually make brown (best on APA102)
  • Make a function that can be added to any pattern that transforms rainbow output into a 2-color output
  • Make a function that turns any other pattern “kaleidoscopic” (your interpretation)
  • Make a pattern that emulates a musical jingle or riff, and see if others can “Name that tune”
  • Make a single particle that travels the length of the strip. Can you do it smoothly? Can it decelerate? Can you have 3 of them at a time? Can they meander? Can many of them accumulate like snow?
  • The Wizard needs more xorcery. Use Xor somehow.

0 voters

1 Like

I only refined @zranger1 and @Scruffynerf idea into a more generalized thing. They get all the credit :slight_smile:

@jeff I love your ideas but only voted for the ones that I thought would make a good first assignment.

a couple extra ideas…
Make every third pixel a different unique color that fades to black over 3 seconds.
Make a cylon effect but make it do a rainbow. (Basic cylon effect is already in the pattern examples)
Make a pixel/ball bounce
Make two pixels bounce
Make n pixels bounce where (NUM_BALLS < NUM_PIXELS / 10 )
Make them change color on each bounce.
make the force of gravity increase slightly on each dropped pixel.


This has been really fun so far, one day in, and now that it’s clear the more advanced folks want to golf things (see how small they can make a solution), this is no longer just a Tutorial series, it’s taken on new levels. Thank you @devoh for proposing it. I think this will have a nice run.
And we have many people who are salivating waiting for their new PB v3…

1 Like

How about make a sound reactive pattern that switches style/effect when certain thresholds are met(bass/treble etc).


Sound reactivity will be covered in March or April, trying to not require a sensor board for people to get involved at first. The minimal requirements of a PB and a 8x8 matrix (and the first handful at least will just need a 1d strand of pixels) to avoid too large a barrier to get started.

Plus once you understand a pile of basic techniques, understanding how sound reactivity can be used with them makes WAY more sense. There is plenty of sound code out there now, if you want to play with it.

1 Like

Have you considered providing a short video of the “target pattern” linked from the assignment page so there’s a visual example of what they are working toward?

I’m looking forward to receiving my V3 and getting started on these assignments… So so I’m trying not to read any of the solutions yet! I :joy:


Visual example is a good idea, if possible. I’m trying to leave most of these flexible enough that you haven’t needed one.