How To Make A Board Game Using Arduino

In this Instructable, we’ll teach you how to create your own “Would you rather… ” board game using conductive paint, an Arduino microcontroller, and some electronics components. Players take turns moving along the game path as directed by an electronic dice roll. Along the way, they answer questions each time their piece lands on an illuminating “special” spot.

This design can be adapted to any other game you like!

The “Would you rather…” game in action:

Step 1: Ingredients

CuPro-Cote Conductive Paint:

Magnetic Paper:

Arduino Duemilanove USB Board:

USB Cable:

Polymer Lithium Ion Battery:


Basic LED (x3):
Surface Mount LED (x3):


Alligator Clips:

Resistors 330-680 ohm:

LilyPad Push Button:

Craft Materials:
Acrylic Paint (several colors), Paint Brushes, Blank Playing Cards, Stickers, Sharpie , Glue, Scissors

Items Not Yet Available:
Paper Computing Mainboard (in place of Arduino Duemilanove), Power Daughterboard, and Battery Board

Step 2: Design the Game

Draw a schematic (or two) which accounts for both the physical layout and interactivity of your game.
Just as with wires, your conductive paint traces cannot cross. All of the game piece (LED board) positive contacts should be on one side of the game path, while all of the negative contacts are on the other. This way, you can power the “special” spots in parallel.

Outline the game path (in pencil) on the magnetic paper.
Make sure that the width of the path is slightly less than the length of the game pieces. Sketch the conductive paths between game piece contacts and power.

Draw footprints and conductive traces for the Arduino-driven dice-roller.
Make sure to leave room on the game board for your Arduino mainboard, which will control a push-button dice-roller. Sketch the conductive paths between three LEDS, a switch, and the Arduino mainboard.

Step 3: Paint Conductive Path(s)

Prepare the conductive paint.
Thoroughly stir the conductive paint to ensure uniform distribution of copper particles. (If you don’t do this, your painted paths will not be very conductive.) Using a syringe, transfer a small amount of paint into a smaller container. This will prevent your entire supply of conductive paint from oxidizing. Be sure to reseal your main paint supply before continuing!
Arduino Board Game circuit
Paint over your sketched conductive paths with conductive paint.
Although it may be tempting to paint thin and tidy lines, your paths will conduct best if they are at least 1/2″ wide. (Note the increased path width in our pictures below.) Make sure that your conductive paths are distanced far enough from the game path – otherwise, the game pieces will light up on every spot instead of just on the “special” spots.

Test your conductive paths for continuity.
Let your paint dry completely. Then, use a multimeter to verify that you have continuity all along your conductive paths. If you’re finding breaks in continuity, reinforce your paths with another layer of conductive paint. For instructions on how to use a multimeter see:

[box color=”#985D00″ bg=”#FFF8CB” font=”verdana” fontsize=”14 ” radius=”20 ” border=”#985D12″ float=”right” head=”Major Components in Project” headbg=”#FFEB70″ headcolor=”#985D00″]Arduino Duemilanove USB Board

USB Cable

Polymer Lithium Ion Battery:[/box]

For more detail: How To Make A Board Game Using Arduino

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