Electronics For Cards and Board Games


LifeLinker is a device to be used in MTG games and other cards and board games, to make them more fun and easy to play. It will take the count of the player life or other counters, time and will serve as a dice also. It has three counters, that could be used as lives counter, loyalty counter from a Planeswalker, energy counter or any other purpose of the game. The timer will be useful for these games with time limit in each turn, to avoid the turns be too long. And the dice function could throw all these combinations: d4, 2d4, d6, 2d6, d8, 2d8, d10, d20, d30, d100, so it's suitable for any RPG or board game.

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The two LifeLinker designs
The two LifeLinker designs
The two LifeLinker designs
Green displays on
Timer and dice modes
Batteries in place
Printed circuit
Size comparison
Black box
Red box
With red display
I sell on Tindie

- Project in Hackaday -


All the operations are thru the rotative encoder so it has a push button function, so to start it you only have to push it. The 5 leds over the display will show in which mode you are.


The three first ones are three different counters, from -99 to 999. The fourth mode it's the timer and the fifth is the dice. To change the mode from any of the counters, you only have to push the encoder.


When you enter in the timer or dice mode there is first showed 'TIM' or 'DIC', sou you could pass over this mode simply pushing again the encoder. If you stay in this mode more time, the mode will set. Then to get out of this mode you must maintain pushed the encoder until 'OUT' is showed, then release the encoder and you will change to the next mode, it really is more easy as it seems. In the timer mode you could set the time by rotating the encoder up to 45min. Under 10 min the time will show as M:SS and over 10 minutes it will show MM.S, so 30:45 will show as 30.4. To start/stop the timer push the encoder, you could pause it whenever and restart it again. When it reaches to 0 the buzzer will beep 3 times. And pushing again the encoder the timer will recover the last value selected by rotating it (not the last value you paused). Also, you could set a timer and still use the other functions with this timer in background. In the other modes the decimal point of the last digit will be blinking showing there is an active timer.


At entering the dice the selected dice will show as d6, but you could change it going down to 2d4 or d4, and going up to 2d6, d8, 2d8, d10, d12, d20, d30 and d100. By pushing the encoder the randow will be showed between the values of the selected dice during a couple of seconds, and the buzzer will make an effect to ahow 'randomness'. If there is a 2dX dice selected it will do it two times consecutively and add the result values of the two dice throws. The code of the dice is in Github, so you could check it uses properly the random function of the STM8 microcontroller and seeds this function differently each time you select a dice.

Power Off:

To power off you only have to maintain the encoder pushed by 3 seconds, 'OFF' will show in the display and when you release the encoder it will switch off. To power it again you only to push the encoder. It is too easy to power on it inadvertedly when you transport or store it, so there is no mechanical switch, so to be sure it's not draining the battery in these cases, better remove one of the batteries.

In Development

Score counters

There are some other projects evolved from the LifeLinker that could be developed. First we need to have feedback from this one and see if it's necessary make adjustments. One improvement could be double display to see the points from both players at the same time. Also we could design other electronics for games like Bloodbowl or Aristeia.

Hexagon board game

One of our targets it's also develop our own electronic board game. It's design has already started and must be tested some technologies to see if it's feasible. I'll show some of the advances with the design while I develop it.

About Us

Development as Makers

The projects showed here are made with the production standpoint in mind, but with maker tools. All the processes and manufacturing are made to be as most industrializable as possible with the means available as makers. We have used 3D printers, laser cutter, SMD oven and our manual skills to make the first units, but the designs are defined to be escalable in higher quantities.

Game centered

The cards and boards games are our inspiration to develop useful products. They are designed to help in games, to be easy to use and to be fun. All the designs are original with inspirations in these games. The mechanics and gaming logic are also under our focus, so we could create based on them.

Future projects

The constant growing of board gaming is what brings a lot of opportunities for more designs to be made. We will adapt to new game mechanics and needs, always with the user in mind, to serve him with the right design. Also it's on the table to make our own board game, but time will decide.