How to make the live streaming Christmas Tree Game. // Project

This video is a follow up to my Christmas Tree live stream. It’s pretty easy project and you should be able to make it in a day once you have all the bits.


This project is pretty simple. I had a bunch of RGB addressable LED strips that would display a roaming Santa, there were ten Elves that could throw snowballs. Once Santa was hit he’d leave an Orange smear, but then re-spawn 5 seconds later.

For this project you’ll need an SBC, or it could be a laptop it doesn’t really matter. I used an UpBoard for this. A Teensy, some LED strips, and a power supply capable of delivering 5v at around 1A or more if you use more LEDs.

If you want to live stream to YouTube, then of course you’ll also need a YouTube partner account. I used the excellent OpenBroadcast software to stream, which can stream to many other online streaming services.

How does it work?

I created a website in the cloud… well actually I prefer sheep as they sorta look like a cloud anyway, and placed two PHP files there.

One was the main page called index.php and another called throw.php which would be called when someone clicked on one of the Elf buttons.

The throw php script would connect to my broadband router, which would redirect to an SBC on the local network and issue just one byte, which was whatever snowball someone had just thrown.

The SBC then redirected the TCP connection to the serial port of a Teensy connected by USB which has 5 WS2812 based LED light strips attached.