In December, Fantasy Flight Games released one of the best miniature game expansions that I have ever seen. The Corellian Conflict allows up to six Star Wars Armada players to battle for control of the Corellian sector, Han Solo's home system. Over the course of several campaign turns, the players build and destroy bases and outposts throughout the sector. In order to track who controls what planet, the designers gave you a folded map and a whole bunch of stickers.
Since we have multiple people at the local game store that want to play, I thought it would be frustrating at best to use stickers. Along came my idea to make a smart map that loads map data from the web and then changes LED colors to convey information. The map will be mounted at the store very soon.
On the left is a close up from the front of the map where you can see the Neopixels I used for the colors. I'll be adding some 3D-printed items to diffuse the light a little better. The right photo shows the control button, the display, and the ESP8266. The ESP8266 is the brain of the whole thing. The button is used to switch between games that are displayed. It is also used to refresh the data with a long press. If there are no button presses for 30 minutes, it starts rotating through all the maps every 15 seconds.
Each Neopixel is soldered to the next. To help me when it came time for programming, I labelled every Neopixel from behind. The photo on the right shows the whole 25-LED strip. Painters tape was great for holding everything in place.
ESP8266 Thing from Spark Fun ($15.95, https://www.sparkfun.com/products/13231)
OLED yellow/blue display ($9.99, https://www.amazon.com/Diymall-Yellow-Serial-Arduino-Display/dp/B00O2LLT30/)
Neopixel RGBW strip ($17.95, https://www.adafruit.com/products/2832)
Micro USB wall charger ($12.90, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009STIJWA/)
1000 uF capacitor
560 and 10K Ohm resistors
22 AWG bulk wire
Hobby exacto knife
3D printed plastic disc, 15mm across
Computer (for programming and uploading to the ESP8266)
Laminate and dry-mount map on foam core (unknown price because Fed Ex did it for free after they botched the first attempt)
Cutting with the exacto knife
I estimate that I spent a total of 20 hours on this project. The bulk of that was on cutting the holes and soldering the Neopixels, probably about 8 hours.