Author Topic: Opinions needed for Advanced Tagger System  (Read 2544 times)


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Opinions needed for Advanced Tagger System
« on: January 20, 2015, 07:35:03 AM »
Hi all

I am almost graduated as an Industrial Designer, and have around 6 months with lots of free time ahead of me. So, time to plan and build a cool Laser Tag system!

Throughout the years I have walked around with this idea in my head, but I'm not sure how expensive/advanced I want to make it yet.... there are so many cool things to do!

The system I have in mind will be pretty advanced, and I might decide to do something commercial with it in the end (but it's mainly a nice project to learn from) to earn my investment back and have a job/company of my own.

Player module
The player module is a small box with a display that a player carries on a vest/harnas/band... and the core of the whole system.

Within this box:
- advanced xBee or similar Meshed RF device that is connected to the game-controller through other players (xbee meshing) or xbee's throughout the field in medic boxes or ammo boxes (giving it a very long range)
- simple low cost RF device that connects with a very simple short range wireless link to the taggers or grenades/radiation zones
- powerful battery
- some buttons for control

Connected to the box
- traditional sensor domes on headband / shoulder
- vibration motors for hit feedback on the headband - it should really HURT/annoy when getting hit

The player module keeps the health, scores and stats of a player and is always connected to the system. It can be activated from a distance by the referee through wireless with the meshed xbee (19 euro)
It receives hits from the sensor domes and hits from grenades/radiation zones through the low cost RF transceiver (10 euro)
It receives health / respawn from referee/medic box/respawn point through wireless RF or from sensor domes (IR)

The guns have a great variety of range / accuracy / effectiveness (even fixed field guns) and can be chosen by players or earned/upgraded.
A gun needs to 'pair' with a player before it is activated, by pressing the pair button at both the gun and the player-box. The wireless link is then set up and they exchange a temporary unique token for identification. Each gun has at least a simple circuit with audio (or something mechanical for sound), a trigger and an IR led to shoot IR bullets.
Some guns might have infinite ammo and low damage, others are bolt action, others can reload by exchangeable ammo magazines or a simple button, or receive their ammo through an ammo box on the field by IR. Guns have a separate IR dome that can receive damage. It does not damage the player, but jams or destroys the gun (for a short period maybe) so that you are discouraged to just stick your gun out and spray. The IR dome can also receive new ammo for some guns.
A gun can be unpaired again as well (depending on game) so that it can be exchanged with other players or be left for the lucky finder when you die.
A gun can also be unpaired automatically after a period of non-use or when losing connection with a player, so that it can just be dropped without having to unpair.
A player can have more than 1 gun 'paired' at the same time. Small sidearms are possible with this, or shooting with a fieldgun (fixed to something) and then continuing with your own gun.

If a player dies or gets a low health, a medic box could be used to revive the player. This is easiest with an IR led that sends a health pulse on short range. This box can be carried by a medic player (who gets a low level gun) or may be positioned somewhere at the field where players can revive themselves.
I'm thinking of also enabled wireless (low cost RF) medic posts, so that a player needs to run to a certain area where health can be received within distance.

Bombs and special damagers
Another cool thing I hope to create is RF grenades: a simple circuit that sends a simple grenade RF pulse - killing/damaging all players too close to the grenade. Boobytraps can be made like this as well, with either IR damage or RF damage (landmines) and such.
You could also create 'radiation zones', that when approached to close, start damaging players. I think some interesting game scenario's can be made with this when playing on larger fields (like a nuclear plant that you can only be in for a few minutes before you die).
You give the grenade/bomb/boobytrap your own ID by 'pairing' it with your player ID just before or while you set/detonate it. You press the 'pair' button and 'arm/pair' button, and it will shoot out your player ID when fired. (even after you die)

Live scoring and statistics
Because of the XBee network it becomes possible to live track the players - live scoring, death counts, etc. I am thinking about hit-feedback as well, but am not sure how much fun this adds - and it requires the playerbox to communicate to the gun during action.
I am thinking of making a game-box which receives the XBee data, but also houses a simple web server to save all this data and display the stats on an iPad  (I am very familiar with PHP/MySQL/Javascript). The game box hosts the game with a few buttons, and a browser (iPad) can be used to see live statistics from the server (raspberry pi or something similar).

So, it is a lot of work I am sure, but I think that the combination of different wireless guns and live scoring makes it very interesting. Things like VIP/zombie mode/etc are all possible, because the players each have their own module.
I also think that having RF grenades and booby traps is a good realistic addition to the game, and can be very low cost (RF module is around 3 euro) around 15 euro for each grenade/boobytrap.

One problem: since I live in the Netherlands the anti-gun laws strictly forbids anything that looks like a real gun. Even an orange front end is not enough, it can not remotely resemble anything that looks like a gun or be used to intimidate someone...

so, any thoughts? tips?
« Last Edit: January 20, 2015, 07:43:44 AM by EdwinMeijne »