Merrill Dunes Laser Tag in 2019 and a bit of Merrill Dunes history!
In 2019, all of our laser guns will feature full size red dot scopes. The unit shown on the left illustrates this helpful feature.
The laser gun shown on the left was one of the first units we purchased in 2005. It will still be in use in 2019 but with the most recent operating system installed. Do you recognize the player? Add 14 years to his face and you will likely be able to pick him out in the Saskatoon area! He played at the Dunes in 2005!
Merrill Dunes has focused on game systems since its beginning in the summer of 1998. We introduced our BaseMasters game in 1999 and have built a steady stream of game equipment to go with the "gun" aspect of action tag ever since. Interestingly, the Call of Duty/Domination game was introduced in the fall of 2003. Likely there was no connection to the fact that the game is a duplication of BaseMasters, but we like people to realize that we did not copy Domination! We were there first!
The photo on the left shows an older BaseMaster pylon at Field 2 along with the newer pylon which has a grenade "take-over" feature and PA horn. The older pylon was removed shortly after the photo was taken.
From its initial introduction, a central processor kept track of which team controlled which base and for how long. The results were automatically compiled and a score for each team was shown on a readout. The PA system allowed the kiosk operator to keep teams updated on the score.
The Basemaster system has been a mainstay of Merrill Dunes for close to 20 years and any local with any paintball, airsoft, or lasertag experience has played Dunes Basemasters! The popularity of Domination has made it even easier for players to use the Dunes system.
The Field 2 Basemaster pylons were fitted with laser sensors such that the only way you could select a team colour light was by shooting the sensor with a live laser gun and then quickly hitting your team colour button. There was no cheating. If your gun had been knocked out and you were "dead", you were unable to change the team lights without returning to the reactivation zone, getting new lives, and making another try.
The second version of the Battlefield laser system, which we aquired in 2010, introduced a medic box that was used to reactivate the laser guns when they were "killed". It was a wonderful addition to the system and allowed dedicated medical boxes for each team.
Then, Battlefield modified the Medic box and it was made with the capacity to be set up as a Domination Box. Now, seemingly the same piece of hardware, with the addition of LED strips, could be set such that laser gun hits from three specific teams would turn the LEDs to a colour that represented the controlling team. And an internal timer would keep track of the length of time each team was in control of a single box. Thus, a new portable tool that allows another form of our "fixed pylon" Basemaster system.
The current Battlefield "Battle Box" is smaller and lighter than earlier versions but the 3rd generation of Battlefield equipment has perks that will provide many neat new game features. So, another tool in our "game design tool box"!
The Battle Box / Domination Box
The scrollers on this page display examples of the constant generation of innovative game equipment items. Some of these projects were flops but many have given Merrill Dunes the zing that has kept it fresh. And the ideas are likely popping up faster now than in earlier days!