LT Scoreboard is a full featured Lasertag competition manager and scoreboard. Automate a scoreboard, music, announcements and external devices according to pre-programmed tournament logistics.
There’s a lot of data and configuration required to produce an event with LT Scoreboard.
Your data resides in a Project folder, which contains the team names, team colors, scripts, and game plan for a single event or tournament. You can make copies of project folders for different events, and switch between them. LT Scoreboard launches and automatically loads the data in the Project folder specified in Preferences.
LT Scoreboard’s main window contains tabs with all of the current project’s data. Start with the Team Colors tab, and then fill out the Team info table. Then you can use the team list you’ve entered to quickly populate a Game Schedule.
You can give your project an overall event name which will appear on the upper right of the scoreboard. The event name is entered in the Game detail tab. You can choose a custom graphic for the event logo, which will appear at the upper left of the scoreboard. The event graphic is selected in the Data config. tab.
Scripts and events work together to automate scoreboard functions that can send automation commands, and play sounds at the right moments. Your project (i.e. tournament) consists of a sequence of games, and each game may have a unique scoreboard configuration. The scoreboard sequence is programmed with a script.
Each step in a script creates one scoreboard object, such as a countdown timer or a text message. Each step also has properties associated with it, allowing you to specify the colors and appearance of the scoreboard object.
Events allow you to send automation commands (i.e GPOs and MIDI), trigger sounds and synthetic speech, and control iTunes music playback. Every Script step is able to send an event message (i.e. trigger an event) at the beginning and end of its life. ...in other words it sends a “start message” when it executes, and an “end message” at the end of its countdown period (or when it is otherwise stopped).
The most important entry in any script is the game clock. There can be only one game clock in a script, naturally. The text of a game clock script step is generally something like “GAME ##GN IN PROGRESS,”
Click on a script item anywhere (except in the trigger column), and choose the “Edit properties” command in the popup menu that appears. In the script step's properties window, set the "Game clock" checkbox, and select a game type (such as “Domination”). Each script item is summarized in the Script tab. In that list, you select the trigger for each script item (see below), to control the timing of script execution.
LT Scoreboard is still in development, and not available for download.
Please contact Tod if you'd like to explore the possibilities of an LT Scoreboard automation system.
At game time, in script items where you see “#GN” it will be automatically replaced with the game number, so the scoreboard object will read “GAME #1 IN PROGRESS” for game number 1, and so on. There are a number of in-line variables like that, which are automatically replaced by the appropriate value at game time. See the help text on each tab for further info.
This scripting system allows you a huge range of visual and timing programmability. A script item’s Trigger column may contain one of three possible triggers: Manual, * (asterisk indicates auto-follow), and Completion. The first item in a script is generally set to “Manual” followed by a number of additional items, with “*” in the trigger column. If an item’s trigger is set to “Completion” then all countdown objects above that item will complete, and then the script will automatically advance.
All sound effects files should be placed in the Project folder’s Sounds folder. If you’re maintaining more than one Project folder, you can use an alias to a Master Project folder which contains only one copy of your sound effects. Then in every other project folder, change the Sounds folder to an alias that refers to the Master Sounds folder.
You’ll see that each event may trigger several things: first a GPO (a contact-closure type interface) and a MIDI output string (for automating lighting etc.) then a “sounder” sound effect, followed by synthetic speech, followed by a “tail” sound effect and an iTunes command. Most of the external devices are selected and configured in the Data config. tab.
iTunes automation is provided to allow you to trigger a different music track for each game and each between-game period. You’ll need to setup two playlists, named “Game” and “Intermission.” There are currently only three commands allowed in the iTunes column of the Events tab: play game, play intermission, and fade down. When the fade down command is sent, the track is stopped, and the next track in the playlist will play next.
You’ll have a game schedule programmed, but you also need to be able to deal with contingencies in the course of hosting an event. Look at the Game detail tab, and you’ll see a break-out of game schedule information. You can use the “Next game” fields, on the left, to manually enter changes to the game plan on the fly.
Immediately after you start a game, the fields on the right –the selected game schedule entry is copied over to the Next game fields. Any time during game play or after, you can change the “next up” teams or game script.
The Script tab can be used to view and edit script files, which are saved via the File menu>Save script file command, into a folder named “Scripts” in the Project folder. During play, the game script is loaded and each line is selected live as the sequence executes. In other words, you cannot view or edit other scripts during game play. You can change the currently selected script item, which may in rare cases be useful. But generally you will want a script to play out as programmed.
Also in emergencies, it is possible to pause game play and then resume play with programmed events. In other words, you must configure those events with your desired sound effects and spoken announcement.
In order to activate the Pause, Resume, End Game, and Cancel functions, you must press and hold the Command key on the keyboard when clicking on the button. That insures these functions are never triggered inadvertently. You may also choose to avoid actually pressing the all-important “Execute selected script item” button, and instead use the File menu>Execute selected script item command or its keyboard equivalent Command+N.
The game Cancel function does not send an event, and is only provided for convenience when testing.
The Leaderboard window and the Leaderboard graphic: Use the Window menu>Show leaderboard window to show the Leaderboard control window, which shows tournament totals, and allows you to show and hide the leaderboard graphic on the scoreboard. The leaderboard graphic can be shown and hidden automatically between games if desired.
Central to the system is a GPI/GPO device (such as Broadcast Tools' GPI-16 https://www.scmsinc.com/shop-item/item/gpi-16-plus-broadcast-tools-gpi-16-plus-interface/) to communicate node status during play. Up to four nodes can be connected, each having a Blue team and a Red team GPI input. GPI actions can also be simulated via the game control panel, so games may be driven by visual or voice calls from human referees at each node.
Scoreboard sequences are driven by Scripts.
A typical script:
- MANUAL trigger: “Start Next Game”
To begin a game sequence, this script step has to be triggered manually. It is a countdown timer that sends an event message “Countdown start” at the beginning of its life, which triggers the sounds and speech for a game start sequence.
2. Auto-follow: “GAME #GN #TEAM1A vs. #TEAM1B”
Note the asterisk in the trigger column. The asterisk means this script step will automatically follow whatever is above it. So when step #1 is triggered manually, this step will auto-follow.
This is a countdown timer with a duration of 19 seconds. We use the start message to set the kill penalty for this game: 30, which is a value in seconds that is added to the other team’s total time as a penalty on each kill.
The text of the timer contains three “escape phrases.” Each escape phrase, such as “#GN” starts with a hash mark, and is used to stand in for variables determined in game play. #GN is replaced by the game number. #TEAM1A is replaced with the A team’s name, and #TEAM1B is replaced with the B team’s name. So during play this will appear as “GAME #3 RedTeam vs. BlueTeam.”
Countdown timers are automatically removed from the scoreboard a couple of seconds after they complete. [Ziggy: I’ve removed the “Auto-start” and “Auto-close” checkboxes from the Script step properties window. Those behaviors are automated with object type. They can be brought back if there is some variation of scripting where that needs to be customizable.]
3. Completion: “GAME #GN IN PROGRESS”
This is the most important timer object in the script, because it is the game clock. In this step’s properties, the “game clock” checkbox is set, and a game type is selected. In this case, Domination. The duration is the countdown time length of the game (or the maximum possible time of play for open-ended games like attack-defend).
Note this script step also uses its start message to issue a “Show next up” command, which displays the next team up in the game schedule.
4. Auto-follow: “NODES GO HOT IN #SEC SECONDS”
This is a countdown timer that counts down the time at the beginning of play before the nodes go hot. Note its end message “Nodes go hot.” This is a countdown timer, so it will automatically disappear when completed.
5, 6 & 7: Three NODE objects.
You can name game nodes anything you like, but the convention is that the first node created is Alpha. GPI numbers 1 & 2 are linked to this node, so GPI #1 indicates the #1A or RED team owns the node, and a #2 indicates the #1B or BLUE team owns the node. The second node created is linked to GPI number 3 & 4, the third GPI number 5 & 6, and the fourth GPI number 7 & 8.
8 & 9: Team COUNTERS.
The total time, and kills etc. for each time is displayed on a counter for each team. The first team counter can have any text you like, and you usually include the #TEAM1A escape word so that the team name will appear. The second team counter created is for #TEAM1B. Up to four team play is possible, with the third team counter #TEAM2A, and the fourth #TEAM2B.
10: Completion: Nodes are hot.
This is a text object, with a duration of fifteen seconds. It will trigger when the countdown timer above it (step 4) completes. This object is necessary to have a scoreboard object announce “NODES ARE HOT” at about the same time as the “Nodes go hot” event fires at the completion of step 4.