Familiar to most, this is a re-creation of the popular The Price is Right staple, ‘Plinko’.
Come on down!!
While the final build appears simple, much thought went into the design: the spacing of pegs, the size of the puck, etc. As this game is highly gravity-dependent, the slope is important – finding the right balance with the surface friction is key.
The structure is a combination of 2x6s, 2x4s, 2x3s, plywood, and 10mm MDF.
The playing surface is a printed layer, backed by 3mm hardboard. The ‘pegs’ are simply LEDs, poked through the playing surface and glued into place.
The 6mm clear acrylic keeps the puck from accidentally bouncing off the playing surface. An opaque piece of acrylic is used at the bottom for the prize boxes – this diffuses the LEDs, as well as hides the sensors.
For mobility, wheels are underneath this contraption.
Because this is used in a hockey environment, the game’s theme has a hockey angle – yellow boards, red lines. And of course: this isn’t a disk, it’s a puck!
Three Arduinos are behind this game show greatness: one for the large LEDs on the left and right sides, one for the LEDs on the face, and one for the prize box LEDs with sensors on the bottom. The Arduinos are connected to each other for communication.
There are two different LEDs in use, and both types are independently addressable with full colour. However, The 12mm LEDs on the playing surface (and in the prize boxes) require 5V, while the 30mm LEDs on the sides need 12V. An ATX (PC) power supply is mounted on the back of the unit to accommodate.
At the bottom, vibration sensors are used to determine which prize has been won. When the puck hits the sensor in the prize box, it blinks the corresponding lights.
Here’s a video of it in use: