How To Build A Life-sized Electronic Game


We’re very impressed with [Steve’s] Electronic Snowball Fight game. It consists of two life-sized players standing opposite of each other. Each can throw a snowball or duck, the object is to hit the other person and not get hit yourself. He’s utilized a lot of good building techniques that could be easily adapted to other types of game play.


For the outlines of the players, [Steve] took pictures of himself standing, ducking, and in a throwing motion. Each picture was used to generate an outline which was then stenciled onto some Masonite. He then drilled holes along the outline and pushed christmas lights into them. One string is used for each circuit.


A solid state relay board was built to take care of switching the strings of lights on and off. [Steve] housed this in a weather-proof utilities box and used extension chords to facilitate connecting the lights. The SSR is connected to the controller using CAT5 Ethernet cable. The controller is an Arduino in conjunction with a 595 port expander board to provide enough input/output pins for the game.


Two delightfully creative parts  of this project are the buttons and the scoreboard. The buttons are made to match the scale of the game. [Steve] picked up four used push-style lights, patched into their momentary push switches, and added LEDS for feedback. For the scoreboard he used reflective tape and LEDs with a foam bezel to create 7-segment displays.

Well planned, well executed, and an all-around great build! Don’t miss [Steve’s] step-by-step explanation video which we’ve embedded below.


9 thoughts on “How To Build A Life-sized Electronic Game

  1. Great idea, I am going to do something similar. Just about any game & watch style game could be easily replicated and modified slightly depending on the season you want this displayed (Christmas, Halloween, etc)

  2. that video should serve as a model for all diy overviews and presentations. it was detailed enough to be able to replicate the project yet concise enough that it wasnt overbearing.

    good job, seriously.

  3. Great Post!!! I am looking to build a scoreboard for my brothers backyard hockey rink. However, I can’t seem to figure out how you worked with the plastic for the Segments in your scoreboard. If you wouldn’t mind sending me the materials list you used for the actual segments, that would rock!

    Thanks in advance!

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