The game "Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes" is one of our favorite games in virtual reality. We've made the first physical version of a virtual game.

What it does

The premise is simple: you're trapped in an elevator with a ticking time bomb. You know it can be defused, but the dizzying array of lights, wires and switches has you stumped. You can call your friends- and only they have the defuse manual. In a true test of teamwork, you can only communicate verbally. The timer is counting down- what are you waiting for?!

How we built it

The prop bomb is integrated directly into a suitcase, with a grid of six defusal modules hidden inside. Each module has interactive elements controlled by its own Arduino, and each module reports the status of its defusal to the main countdown timer. The main timer keeps track of game flow and strikeouts, and stops the timer when all modules have been defused.

Challenges we ran into

Making a modular design work right on the first try was pretty difficult- you always need to be thinking three steps ahead if you want things to come together.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

The final product is more polished than had expected.

What we learned

For a large distributed project like this, planning is key. Starting off with a thorough list of features, todos, and considerations ensures that surprises can be managed.

What's next for Keep Hacking and Nobody Explodes

Finding a way to get this through TSA!

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