GCD: The Game Control Device, an airsoft prop controller

Mil-sim Airsoft and the use of in game props and simulation devices

As Airsoft has become increasingly popular in the United States and around the world, the mil-sim style of play has steadily gained in popularity.  Mil-sim airsoft typically involves two or more opposing teams with simulated tactical and/or strategic objectives on the battlefield.  Mil-sim style games may involve anywhere from 30 to several hundred participants.

A mil-sim game is typically based around a scenario which establishes rules of play, objectives and how the game is won and lost.  Many of the larger mil-sim airsoft events have cadre’s who act as field referee’s to make sure  the scenario functions as designed and to mediate any disputes in real-time.

One of the challenges in managing a mil-sim scenario results from the real-time nature of the battle itself.  As the battle progresses, the teams will gain and lose ground, lose team members and possibly lose focus on the objectives due to the heat of battle during any given skirmish.   In the most professionally run events, the cadre’s are available to help the team leadership refocus their vision of the main objectives.  This type of game leadership and game control is typically only  found in large games such as those hosted at regional or national events.

Introduction to the Game Control Device

The Game Control Device (GCD) is a small device with a keypad and LCD screen that is programmed with multiple game scenarios.  The game combatants use the GCD during the game based upon the chosen game scenario.  The GCD device can be built into a briefcase, a box or some other type of enclosure that is appropriate for the field of play.

Features

  • Multiple game scenarios built in
  • No moving parts
  • Ability to control external devices
  • Keypad interface
  • 4 line, back-lit LCD display

Important Note

The following scenario descriptions use the words “ARM”, “DISARM” and “DETONATE” in the context of an airsoft game.  Under no circumstances is it intended for the GCD to be used in any manner other than a managed airsoft game or training scenario.  The GCD is an electronic toy used to make airsoft games more interesting.

Built in Scenarios

Countdown

This is a basic countdown style scenario where the GCD is configured to countdown a timer and “detonate” if the GCD is not disarmed.  The ARM team wins if the GCD goes into DETONATE mode.  The DISARM team wins if they disarm the GCD prior to it “detonating”.

  • There is 1 configuration setting with this scenario:
    • Countdown timer: HH:MM until the GCD goes into DETONATE mode
  • When the scenario is selected, the user is prompted to configure the countdown timer.
  • The user enters the countdown time on the keypad in HH:MM format
  • The user is then prompted to press the F key to start the game
  • When the countdown starts, the device will enter ARMED mode
  • To disarm the device, a combatant must press the D key before the countdown has completed.
  • Upon reaching the end of the countdown, the device will go into DETONATE mode.

Ranger Able

This is an Countdown style scenario with an ARM/DISARM flavor.  The ARM team wins if the GCD goes into DETONATE mode.  The DISARM team wins if the the GCD is DISARMed.

  • There are 3 configuration settings with this scenario:
    • ARM code: a 4 digit code
    • DISARM code: a 4 digit code
    • Countdown timer: HH:MM until the GCD goes into DETONATE mode
  • One team has the 4 digit ARM code and the other team has the 4 digit DISARM code.
  • The team with the ARM code must first obtain the CGD and then enter the ARM code.
  • Once the ARM code is entered, the GCD begins to countdown.
  • The team with the DISARM code must obtain access to the GCD and then enter the correct DISARM code.
  • If an incorrect DISARM code is entered, the device will go into a 1 minute INCORRECT TIMEOUT mode during which time, the combatant is locked out of entering a new DISARM code.
  • Once the DISARM code has been entered, the GCD is in the DISARM mode

Grid Iron

This scenario is a grid map game with a 2 digit code that must be obtained from each grid location and entered into the CGD to determine the grid location of the next code.   The team that successfully enters the second code and receives the resultant “secret” code and delivers the combined code to the game control official is the winner.

  • There are a dynamic number of configuration settings with this scenario:
    • Secret code: 4 digits (i.e. B1D3)
    • Up to 12 objectives, where each objective contains a 2 digit grid location and a 4 digit code
  • The game control will enter the number of objectives for the scenario.
  • Then, the game control will be prompted to configure each objective.
  • After all of the objectives are entered, the game control will be asked for a 4 digit “secret” code
  • During game play, the players will be shown the map grid location from which to obtain the code for the current objective.
    • When the code for an objective is obtained and correctly entered into the device, the device will then move to the next objective.
  • Once all of the objectives have been completed, the GCD will energize the “DETONATE” relay.  This relay is typically connected to a car horn to indicate that the game play is complete.
  • The GCD will then present the player with the “secret” code to take to the game control official.

Upcoming scenarios:

Missile Launch: Launch a water rocket!

Not sure what thes scenarios will be yet:

Able Teapot
Bravo
Bravo II

 

Controlling External Devices

The APC can control external devices via the 2 built in relays and the 2 5v TTL outputs. When connecting external devices to the APC, it is important to understand the limitations and acceptable uses of the APC control interfaces.

Limitations of the control interfaces:

  • Relays are limited to
    • 12v DC at maximum current of 2 amps
    • 120v AC at maximum current of 1 amp
  • 5v TTL outputs are very sensitive and should only be used to drive low current LED’s or TTL circuit inputs.
    • If you do not understand TTL level electronics, then don’t connect anything to these outputs.

The control interfaces are configured as follows:

  • Relay 1: Normally open.  Contact is made when the device is in ARM mode
  • Relay 2: Normally open.  Contact is made when the device is in DETONATE mode
  • Alarm output: Normally 0v referenced to ground.  Goes to 5v when the device is in ALARM mode
  • Notification output: Normally 0v referenced to ground.  Goes to 5v when the device is in NOTIFICATION mode

Hardware Versions

Hardware Version 1

APC-V1 can control up to 2 external devices via 2 built in dry-contact-closure relays.  Additionally, the APC-V1 has 2 5v TTL level outputs that can be used to control external circuits or drive LED’s.

Hardware Version 2

APC-V2 is a smaller device which is intended to primarly interact with the user via it’s 2-line LCD screen and 2 control buttons.

Hints and Tips

No H&T entries yet.

FAQ

No FAQ entries yet.

Current Version

Hardware Version 1

APC-V1 is currently at V0.2.3

Hardware Version 2

APC-V2 has not yet been released

 

Disclaimers

The Airsoft Prop Controller (APC) is an electronic toy intended to be used within the context of an airsoft game.  The APC should never be connected to any device or system which may cause damage or harm to property or people.  Always be careful when playing airsoft and use ballistic rated goggles.  :-)

Copyright

The software and firwmare which comprises the Airsoft Prop Controller is Copyright (c) 2009-2012, Henry Ranch LLC. All rights reserved. http://www.henryranch.net.  You may not copy or distribute the Airsoft Prop Controller software or firmware without a prior, written contract with HenryRanch LLC.

Airsoft Prop Controller license

The Airsoft Prop Controller and all of the software deployed within an Airsoft Prop Controller release is governed by the following license and is not licensed for use outside of an Airsoft Prop Controller device.

THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY HENRY RANCH LLC `AS IS’ AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED.  IN NO EVENT SHALL HENRY RANCH LLC OR ANY OF THE AUTHORS
BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY,
WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.

YOU AGREE TO INDEMNIFY, PROTECT AND SHIELD HENRYRANCH LLC FROM ALL LEGAL JUDGEMENTS, FEES, COSTS AND/OR ANY ASSOCIATED FEES THAT MAY RESULT OUT OF YOUR USE OF THIS SOFTWARE.  YOU AGREE THAT YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR USE OF THIS SOFTWARE AND SHALL FOREVER HOLD HENRYRANCH LLC HARMLESS IN ALL MATTERS.

ANY INSTALLATION OR USE OF THIS SOFTWARE MEANS THAT YOU ACCEPT AND AGREE TO ABIDE BY ALL OF THE TERMS OF THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT.

Warranty and Legal Disclaimer

THE FIRMWARE, SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE WHICH COMPRISES THE AIRSOFT PROP CONTROLLER IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE FIRMWARE, SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE FIRMWARE, SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE.

 

 

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