Building The Scoreboard Of Your Imagination

It might seem like electronic games and tabletop games are somewhat at odds. But there are always places where the lines are cleverly blurred as with this stat tracker beautifully constructed from a sandwich of circuit boards.

The nature of role playing games is one of deep imagination, putting yourself in the shoes of the player your are building though out a campaign. But of course the game board and pieces are there to keep track of all the data that your imagination just can’t. This can be done with a character card and some markers, a pad of paper, or a spreadsheet on your laptop. But to keep his mind in the world of Hyper Light Drifter, [Albert Phan] built this stat tracker that lives up to the aesthetic of the game.

The stackup of three PCBs does a brilliant job here, using cutouts on either end of the faceplate as a flexible tab that you press to actuate the surface mount button on the bottom PCB. The third PCB act as a spacer, not just for the six low-profile buttons, but also for the 40 LEDs that display status. That spacer has holes cut out for each light, providing isolation, with the FR4 substrate of the top plate acting as a diffuser.

It looks spectacular, it saves state between uses, and can be recharged via USB. But what’s that you say? You don’t play Hyper Light Drifter? Just respin the top PCB (and we suppose you’d need to tweak firmware as well) and you can swap it out for your game of choice.

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Mini Flickering Torch Effect Uses Neither Wires Nor Solder

Cross section of pillar model.

[ROBAGON] makes miniature, 3D-printable gaming terrain and features like these stone pillars with flickering torch. His model isn’t free to download (though it’s under $2 at the time of writing), but the part that impressed us was his clever way of using electric tea lights to create a flickering torch effect without needing any soldering or wiring whatsoever.

His solution was to make the base of the pillar large enough to fit an electric tea light, which uses a flickering LED to simulate a candle flame. The molded plastic “flame” is removed from the tea light and placed in the torch sconce, while the tea light itself goes into the base. A short segment of clear acrylic rod is used as a light pipe, running from the tea light’s LED to the base of the torch.

It’s a simple, effective, and economical solution that doesn’t require running or soldering a single wire and you can see it work in the brief video embedded below. Now all that’s missing for those Dungeons & Dragons sessions is this custom calculator.

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