"Frag Box" - Making an airsoft/paintball objective box / bomb defusal mission

Hey all!

I heard that this is where all the nerds on the internet are hanging out these days. I wanted to pitch my project to you guys and gals to determine feasibility and to identify what level of Arduino I’ll need to be using.

The goal of the project is to create an objective box for our local airsoft games. I want the box to be capable of running several game types:

-Bomb defusal
-Uses 4-line display
-Keypad utilized to…
-Set time
-Specify defuse code
-Enter defuse code to defuse device and stop timer
-Loud piezo buzzer to signify “explosion” of device when timer reaches 0:00:00

-Base control
-Uses both 7-segment displays (red/blue)
-“Reverse Chess Timer”
-Displays both start at 0:00:00 until either large 60mm button is pushed
-Once red button is pushed, the red timer starts counting and keeps counting until…
-The blue button is pushed, causing red timer to pause, and blue timer to count upwards
-First team to reach X minutes is declared winner
-Loud piezo buzzer to indicate end of game

-Hit the Box
-Housed inside another box altogether, I’d like to make several boxes with sound sensors inside them
-When struck by an airsoft BB, a light in the box would extinguish or light up
-This would be used as a target, basically. Probably no need to use an Arduino. Might be a really easy/cheap way to make this one!

-Open to ideas on more game types

So…how feasible would this be, and what level of Arduino should I be looking into? I’m comfortable with investing the time and effort into this if it’s going to be possible to accomplish. (I have minimal programming experience, save a C++ class I took in 2003!) The Arduino can operate a relay to sound off a loud buzzer, right?

Thanks in advance for any help you all are willing/capable of providing. If I finish this project, it’ll be a source of lots of fun for many people. I’ll probably make several.

Quite feasible. Neither of your modes requires any special hardware nor fancy code. Yes, an Arduino can operate a (very small) relay to sound a buzzer (but a transistor or a MOSFET would be my choice).

Great news!

The real question is....can one Arduino handle all of this, and potentially more modes, all with one Arduino?

Yes, the arduino can handle all of this with ease.

I have one suggestion for the bomb diffuse game. Give the user 3 attempts to get the code. After the first failed attempt, speed up the timer, second fail, speed it up again, third fail or when the timer runs out, detonate. (gives the user more pressure).

Yeah, sure. Especially if you use same functions in multiple modes. For example, if you use countdown in one mode, you can reuse that same function in another, just change the thing that happens once the time runs out.
Obviously when I say it could handle more modes I mean a few more, not dozens.
Atmega328 has 32KB of program memory. While that's peanuts compared to modern desktop computers and their HDDs, it's should be enough if you don't waste the resources.

For the defuse mission, I like the idea of giving teams multiple tries. Like, perhaps the bomb is in red team's base. The timer starts at 25 minutes. Three potential codes are guarded by the blue team. In 25 minutes, the red team has to obtain the codes from the blue team. They could get lucky and find the correct code right away, or they might decide to go for all three before even trying to input the first or second, knowing that the timer speeds up after an incorrect guess.

For the base control, I'd like to force players to press their team's button and hold it down for 5 whole seconds instead of just running past it and slapping it as they run by.

And then........................I'd like to make spawn counters. Separate boxes that have a set number and they count down every time a player spawns. While a team may be outnumbered 20 to 15, both teams still only have 20 respawns collectively. Once a team's counter reaches zero, they can no longer send respawned players into combat.

I know that this is all probably simple in the face of what many talented people have accomplished with Arduino's, but it's way above my head currently. I'll try to start simple and progress to the more complicated as I go.

And yes, I'd like to incorporate several "game mode" buttons or be able to select game type via key pad immediate after the device is powered on.

You will need to be able to read a button (button example is given to you under File -> Examples) or keypad (Keypad Library will help)

You will also need a password example. I made this a while back. Keypad + multi-password

And you will also need a timer example. This one is mine, but there are MANY others available with a simple google search. CountUpDownTimer

last you will need some kind of display like a 16x2 or a few 7 segment displays. All of which can be found in the Playground


What is the etiquette here for asking for programming help? Obviously everyone is busy, and I don't expect people to do all my programming for me, but I'll probably be asking quite a few questions. I don't want to overstay my welcome or be too much of a dependapotamus.

As long as you are perceived as making an honest attempt, incorporating suggestions and corrections given, replying to questions, etc. you’ll get guidance.
Alternative approach would be Gigs and Collaboration where you might find somebody to do it for you for pay.