Hidden Links


Where the pods came from

First off these pods, are called the Telsa II. Most of these pods were created for Dave & Busters, about 250 units. The game requires a “Tech PC” to host the game choose locations, and do other miscellaneous setup. Dave & Busters decided that this wasn't part of their business strategy and wanted to deal with game that didn't require so much employee attention. Thus these pods were auctioned off.

We only know the locations of 180 of these pods. A few went to Australia never to be heard from again. There were other that went into the basement of enthusiast, and the rest went to small businesses that carried on the gaming boutique business model; SimPlayground being one of these places.



why have this blog

So Virtual Worlds Entertainment LLC, opened up stores in 1990 featuring realistic cockpits for players to sit in and play a game. They had two games MechWarrior and later another one called Red Planet. The cockpit is interesting because every button has a function, and every display provides some kind of useful information. There is a rich history about the MechWarrior game, intellectual property (IP) battles, the passage of IP ownership over the years; that information can be found somewhere else.

This blog will cover my battles upgrading these Tesla II cockpits to play other games. In the end of the month I hope to have a working prototype of an open source board that I can sell; because I’m still a poor college student.

This blog is a journal and does not serve as documentation for the project. Details like full schematics, GERBER files will be be available only after I have have some way to sell these boards; because I’m still a poor college student.


How I got involved

My friends took me to a MechWarrior gaming center, called SimPlayground.  Below you will find a QR code for SimPlayground. My friends, the owner and I started to talking about his setup. The owner, Mike, mentioned how he wanted to add voice communications in the pods. He went over some of the pros and cons of using a USB number pad. I talked to Mike about what he would have to do if he wanted to disassemble the keypad, and hack circuit board inside. I knew this because I used a similar process for the Ski Free interface.

Some how we started talking about the other boards on the pods, and the inability to play other games. Two days talking back and forth exchanging ideas, we eventually decided to work together to make this thing happen. He pays for the parts, the boards, I get to blog and sell these boards, when they’re made. It becomes Creative Common Licensed.  I get to help out my fellow gamer, contribute something to the Open Source community, and maybe make money off these boards. If I were to work on my UAV idea it would cost at least $500, all out of pocket, and I would only be re-doing somthing that already been invented (So there's no market).

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