In a nutshell: Christmas decorations come in all shapes and sizes — from simple to wild — but I bet you’ve never seen anything like it. Youtuber Sprite_tm recently demonstrated a tiny Christmas tree decoration modeled after the classic IBM PC. The device was 3D-printed and hand-painted, which for some would be good enough to earn a place on a tree. But the manufacturer went even further, filling it with hardware capable of playing Doom.
That’s right, this Christmas tree decoration can play Doom.
Sprite_tm came with an ESP32-C3 microcontroller and a modified Doom build for the Game Boy Advance. The chip, in particular, supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the latter of which allows you to wirelessly connect a compatible controller and actually play the game on a tiny 0.96-inch rectangular TFT screen. A pint-sized speaker connected to the GPIO ESP32-C3 controls audio playback.
As for the software, Sprite_tm relied heavily on GBADoom, although it had to change the way it handled music and redesign the input subsystem to make the Bluetooth controllers work correctly. As for the chassis, Sprite modified an existing model from Thingiverse and printed it in 3D in JLC, since his SLA printer recently died. Gray and black accents were added using model spray paint, and the natural color of the resin remained intact for the white parts.
As you can see, everything fits tightly into the case. The display is much larger than it should be, but only a small part of it is visible through the screen cutout; the rest remains hidden inside.
Full information about the build is available on the Sprite website, and you can download all the necessary files to create them yourself on GitHub.
Last year we described this tiny Christmas tree decoration for the Nintendo Switch, inspired by the 2018 electronic fireplace trinket. I also came across this superb TV decoration from a 90s commercial, full of fuel for nostalgia.