The LED matrix works...
thanks to the amazing firmware developer. This was the entire reason to build prototype badges - to get hardware into the hands of the firmware dev quickly. This is more or less finalized hardware (with the exception of different buttons, and swapping out the SOIC led driver for a QFN), so development can continue up until DEFCON.
This is not a 'technological' hack by any means. A few people have already built ESP8266-based game machines, and the 16x9 LED matrix chip I'm using can be found in an Adafruit product. As far as the tech goes, there's nothing new here.
This is a social hack. Or marketing, if you want to be a little more accurate. I need to build a badge that people want. I need to make people want these badges first, so I need marketing materials:
That's only $200 for five hundred of these stickers. The art is taken directly from the illustrator crap I came up with, with the webpage and twitter handle of this whole endeavor added on the side.
I'll be distributing a few packs of these stickers to people who I know will redistribute them. I'll be saving a stockpile to add into the packaging for each individual badge.