Once Miller Coors greenlighted our idea, we had the daunting task of building an Internet-connected camera set, and then crafting a game like a theme park shooting gallery with what were basically heavily modified softball pitching machines that could be controlled from the Internet.
We decided to give each connected player 60 seconds of target practice. We settled on that number because we were using Ustream for live streaming and the delay could be pretty heavy sometimes. We wanted people to actually see the shots they had planned out. You would get three shots or 60 seconds, and you could pick all of your shots before it actually started firing.
The set encompassed almost 4,000 square feet. Since it was going to be on camera, we also needed a tall ceiling. None of us at the time really had much 3D design skill so we contracted a set designer to help us figure out what to build. We then hired a set construction company to help us hammer all those details out. It was essentially a 3-wall set because one side was open for cameras, lighting equipment, the launcher and everything else.
We used three Arduino Megas for pretty much everything on set. One acted as the sensor controller, connected to the actual targets. Each one of those targets had a vibration sensor behind it and all those vibration sensors were hooked into an Arduino with an Ethernet shield communicating with our server whenever a target got hit.
We were first going to custom-build a launcher so we could fire real apples, but then ended up using red street hockey balls instead. We realized as we were doing some camera tests, that the projectiles were just a blur so it doesn't really matter what they were. Also the project ran for two weeks, so we realized that if we were to shoot actual food, it would have been a nightmare in terms of cleaning everything.
After we settled on the hockey balls, we started to figure out that probably the best thing would be to just purchase something that was already built. We found the best pitching machine that we could buy that was also both the sturdiest and the simplest. On top of that, we also found a ball feeding mechanism and modified it using an Arduino so just it could be triggered by users on the Internet.