As many who follow the portablizing community are aware, Ben Heck has announced that he is leaving Element 14’s The Ben Heck Show after many years of performing various mods for thousands of viewers to admire. Although the announcement wasn’t unexpected, it still left many people wondering what Element 14 would do to replace the star of the show. Shortly after the official announcement that Ben was leaving the show, Element 14 announced a contest dubbed “Hack Like Heck” with the goal of attracting new talent to star on the show. The basis was simple – build some sort of handheld video game device and make a 12 to 18 minute long video showing off the brainstorming, designing, and construction process of the build. To foster more interest in potential talent, Element 14 upped the ante by offering cash prizes for the top 10 winners with one of these winners being given an episode on the Ben Heck Show. Here on BitBuilt, we know a thing or three about handheld video games, as three members stepped up to take on the competition: painting queen Madmorda, Pokemon fanatic Nobble, and Pigylord ShockSlayer. Each of these competitors took very different approaches to their awesome builds, and the results were stunning to say the least. We’ll let their videos do most of the talking, but here’s a brief overview of each of them.
Nobble’s build was definitely one of a kind with it’s emphasis on having a working projector built into the handheld Raspberry Pi Gameboy. Based on a DMG Gameboy, his colorful creation dazzles the eyes and displays an impressive level of workmanship. Here’s his video where he goes in depth about the build and brainstorming (featuring Fibbef of course):
Madmorda took a path more suited to her artistic inclinations and did her best to recreate a Hoenn Pokedex with a Raspberry Pi as the processing unit. The build features her amazing painting skills, and the final product looks virtually 1:1 with a Hoenn Pokedex. Be sure to check out her video and give her project the love it deserves:
ShockSlayer also competed in the competition, but took a far more advanced approach to his build. We’ll be covering his build more extensively in a future article, but his build featured the first OMEGA trim, extensive use of WiiHUD, along dozens of other awesome things that make it undoubtedly the most feature packed portable of all time. In the meantime, enjoy his awesome video in which he gives a brief overview of all the efforts it took to get the Wii portablized as well as an inside look at the Waverider, his masterpiece of a portable.
To no one’s surprise, all three of these contestants placed in the top ten of the contest and brought home $500 in prize money each! ShockSlayer’s build netted the most votes in the entire contest, but Madmorda and Nobble weren’t too far behind with their efforts.
This contest was a lot of fun to follow and see all of the awesome builds everyone came up with, both inside and outside of BitBuilt. If you want to see what everyone else did, the Maker Video Page on Element 14 has everyone’s projects. A big thanks to everyone who ran the contest and for all of you who took the time to watch everyone’s videos and impact the result of the contest. Element 14 has hinted about future contests much like this one, and it will be exciting to see what people build next!