Custom Pinball Engineer

By Pauven

August 03, 2023

This story got frontpaged on August 10, 2023

52 days ago

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.

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40 days ago

That sounds awesome sir. Glad to see these advances in the hobby. Do you have any pics of your machines?

39 days ago

Interested in seeing your machines and seeing the capabilities. When it comes to the code for modes,multiballs, etc, how is that done with CPE?

31 days ago

Awesome, totally love what you’re doing. Have been kicking around a few ideas for a pin myself. Anything you can recommend to help with it?

29 days ago

Nice...share updates.

26 days ago

Very interesting article. Please keep us updated as to your future advancements.

12 days ago

Is your goal to share CPE with the community over time? Could it be hooked to a virtual table for the curious? It sounds like a great no-code pinball dev environment.

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