Inspired by a business partner who loves pinball and wanted to build machines, back in 2010 I began exploring how to build a pinball machine. I wanted to buy an off-the-shelf kit, but back then nothing existed. So I began developing my own.
Now, 13 years later, I have developed my own pinball controllers, power drivers, LED's and software. I have completed two custom pinball builds, "Modern Firepower" and "The Black Knight Rises", which both use original playfields but for which everything else is custom. I'm currently building my third custom machine, Centaureon, based around a Centaur playfield, and designing a fourth machine that will use my first ever custom playfield.
My software, Chameleon Pinball Engine (CPE), works like a pinball construction kit, allowing you to drag-and-drop solenoids, switches, and lights onto a playfield, set parameters for each, and link features together through switch grouping and modes. Essentially, instead of writing code to program a pinball machine, CPE allows you to simply configure one, as I've written the code for you. This does mean that I have to write the functionality ahead of time so it can be used in configuration, and I continue to develop CPE to add new features. Additionally, I added features designed to make wiring pinball machines much easier, like I/O mapping in software, so you don't have to worry about tracking where wires run during the build.
Recently I've begun buying pinball machines, not just for fun but also for research - I'm learning about gameplay features that are inspiring me to make CPE even better.