More Arduino goodness
Built out a breadboard with the Snowball prototype this evening:
Still the same functionality (thank goodness; these things are never guaranteed when hacking electronics!) but now much nicer looking and less fragile. My next step is to get to know the tools used by BatchPCB and get a simple PCB for the circuits printed, so I can solder everything up and make it more permanent and suitable for placement into a housing of some kind.
The big wildcard in my mind is whether or not I'll bother taking the Arduino core circuits and placing them on the PCB direct, or just globbing a dev board into the device somehow and calling it good. The breakout board for the LCD is already fairly bulky, and I really don't relish the thought of doing all the tiny soldering work needed to run an Arduino on an integrated PCB with the rest of the game hardware, so I'll probably just stuff the entire dev board into the box and be happy with it.
I also have to figure out how I'll handle wiring for the buttons themselves, but that shouldn't be more complicated than a couple of loose leads run from the switches to the PCB. I just don't want to end up with a giant blob of wiring inside the box that's overly sensitive to getting knocked or bumped... the whole idea behind building an electronic device is that it should withstand a bit of wear and tear.
But, hey... it's my first serious electronic device, so I'll take what I can get I suppose :-)