LifeLinker is a device thinked to be used mainly in MTG games (Magic The Gathering) but useful for other cards or board games, to make them funnier and easier to play. It will take the count of the player life or other game counters, manage 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 is useful for these games with time limit in each turn, to avoid too long turns. And the dice function could throw all these combinations: d4, 2d4, d6, 2d6, d8, 2d8, d10, d20, d30, d100, so it’s suitable for almost any RPG or board game.

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 Blood Bowl or Aristeia.

Check the project on Hackaday:

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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.

  • Counters: 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.
  • Timer: When you enter in the timer or dice mode there is first showed ‘TIM’ or ‘DIC’, so 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.
  • Dice: When entering this mode, 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 show ‘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.

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