(Topic ID: 164849)

DIY Ice Cold Beer type game


By winteriscoming

2 years ago



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    #1 2 years ago

    Currently planned as an open-source project with the potential for those with a large enough CNC machine (i.e me ) to sell cabinet parts as a flat kit and then you source the other parts yourself.

    Currently planned standards:
    Main Control Device: Raspberry Pi 3 (Pi Zero may end up working fine)
    Controls sticks - Digital
    Switch input - HID standard USB keyboard input (IPAC, hack a keyboard, anything else as long as it reads as keystrokes over USB)
    Addressable RGB LED standard - the kind with 3 wires - has to work with FadeCandy PCB
    RGB LED controller - FadeCandy
    Display - LCD via HDMI
    Motors - Continuous Servos

    Below here is the original post:
    -----------------------------------------
    There was a WTB thread where some members have expressed interest in coming up with a DIY alternative to ICB.

    I, too, am interested, and I've got a CNC machine big enough to cut all the parts.

    What I'd love to do is make one where the goals are dynamic, so you aren't always aiming for the same holes each playthrough. My idea is that the playfield would be visually segmented into "levels" so goal 1 would always be in level 1. Maybe each hole has a 2 colored light. One color (green?) means that's your goal, another color (red?) means to avoid it.

    I can come up with all sorts of ways to drive this game like a Raspberry Pi, Arduino, etc, but I'm having a hard time coming up with a telescoping rod. If haven't seen the insides of an actual ICB, but I read they're driven by belts. I'd rather use threaded rods and stepper motors, and analogue joysticks to be able to control speed of each side.

    I don't know how far I am from attempting any of this, but would love to collaborate with others to come up with something fun.

    Edit:
    The current idea is to forego analogue control in favor of easier to implement digital switches for the controls. Also, we're likely to use a pulley setup as a threaded rod setup would be too slow.

    #2 2 years ago

    The numbered holes light up, but if you could change which holes light up each time through it would make the game much more challenging. I would leave all the "out holes" black. Also, the numbered holes are the smallest and the out holes are different sizes (but all bigger). It wouldnt be very tough to hit the large holes as targets.

    In addition to traditional icb rules, I think a "horse" or "pig" style game would be fun for head to head play. First player makes a shot, second player has to match. You could use the letters ICB!

    #3 2 years ago

    If you need any reference pics, just let me know. I have the I.c.e. version.

    #4 2 years ago

    I'd also love to build not of these games, although I don't have the programming skill to attempt it. My skills are in building the cabinets and mechanical parts. If you have a cnc then that's really going to help your build.

    I'm going to follow this thread, and would be interested in buying a kit with all the specialized parts you make and a working pcb to control it.

    I just got a PocketChip from Kickstarter, it's a $9 computer that runs a Linux Debian build. 1ghz processor, 512ram, 4gb storage, Bluetooth and wifi built in. It might have enough to run a project like this.

    #6 2 years ago

    Someone linked to that in the WTB thread that started this. It does look cool.

    My goal isn't really to make a salable product, but I'm not against producing parts on my CNC if others wanted a kit.

    Quoted from gutz:

    The numbered holes light up, but if you could change which holes light up each time through it would make the game much more challenging. I would leave all the "out holes" black. Also, the numbered holes are the smallest and the out holes are different sizes (but all bigger). It wouldnt be very tough to hit the large holes as targets.
    In addition to traditional icb rules, I think a "horse" or "pig" style game would be fun for head to head play. First player makes a shot, second player has to match. You could use the letters ICB!

    Great ideas! I especially like the "HORSE" idea!

    I hadn't thought about the goal holes being smaller. Maybe there could be a smattering of small dynamic goal holes in each level with larger obstacle holes that wouldn't ever be goals.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    If you need any reference pics, just let me know. I have the I.c.e. version.

    Thanks! Can I get a closeup pic of the rod? Does it telescope from both sides?

    I've played one a couple times. I "think" I can envision how it all works, and how it would need to be set up to do what I'm wanting.

    It's mainly the telescoping rod that has me stumped. Anyone know of an off the shelf usable part for that? Maybe somehow combine 2 antennas?

    #8 2 years ago

    And just to put it out there, I'm arguing for stepper motor/threaded rod movement since I've got experience with this type of linear motion from building a couple CNC machines. I think steppers with analogue controls will give smoother movement and more control over the ball. I think there will be less to wear out and suitable steppers and couplers can be had for pretty cheap.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    Thanks! Can I get a closeup pic of the rod? Does it telescope from both sides?
    I've played one a couple times. I "think" I can envision how it all works, and how it would need to be set up to do what I'm wanting.
    It's mainly the telescoping rod that has me stumped. Anyone know of an off the shelf usable part for that? Maybe somehow combine 2 antennas?

    Think of it like a really tiny curtain rod.... Small piece slides into bigger piece. I can get a pic if you need it, but yes similar to an antenna with two pieces

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from ralphwiggum:

    Think of it like a really tiny curtain rod.... Small piece slides into bigger piece. I can get a pic if you need it, but yes similar to an antenna with two pieces

    Oh, I see. There's a pretty good pic in that custom thread dudah linked to. It could probably be done with some stock metal tubes from McMaster Carr. Thanks!

    #11 2 years ago

    Cool idea.

    #12 2 years ago

    I like the idea of a flatpack kit. CNC the cab and playfield, buy the parts on your own or have a prepopulated kit. Perhaps a template for designing your own artwork. Assemble, play. An Arduino and some servo controllers could easily handle the job.

    A bartop/cabaret version would also be cool considering you don't need such a huge footprint.

    #13 2 years ago

    Brass Rods at a hobby store are progressive diameters....Im pretty sure finding 2 rods wont be too hard....

    #14 2 years ago

    Definitely watching this thread.

    It'd be great to have the CAD designs, components list, and software all open source (maybe a GitHub repository?) so that anyone that wanted to make one could get past those bigger hurdles quickly and then spend the majority of their effort on their custom theming and special game rules.

    From the other thread, my idea was to make an X-Men themed ICB:

    Quoted from XXVII:

    For a while, I was kicking around an idea to make an ICB cabinet with an X-Men theme. I'd want to have a DMD mounted in the top of the cabinet for additional immersion, and reuse the DMD animations from the Stern game and maybe the the Zen Pinball FX2 X-Men titles to fill it. My idea was to have the X-Men face a bunch of villains represented by each of the holes (plenty of DMD animations from the pins, and audio from the X-Men cartoons to make that happen) with Magneto at the top hole, and then maybe have some additional modes, like you spontaneously need to get a ball into a specific hole in a certain time limit for a bonus or Magneto randomly screws with the bar or whatever.

    With modern tech, you could easily bling it out with RGB LEDs, edge lighting, etc. to make it really flashy. I think it would be cool if the game recorded the inputs from the joysticks on successful runs to holes, then have the game "play itself" by replaying those recordings to the motors when the cabinet is running in its attract mode.

    #15 2 years ago

    ICB is great as is, but I'd love to see other gameplay modes. Thinking along those lines, like HORSE brilliantly mentioned above, what are some ideas?

    I think a POOL (not sure if that's a good name for it) mode could work where you call the shot you're going to make by using the control panel to select the hole (push up and the next hole lights and the hole you leave lit is the determined target). Either you call your own shot or your opponent does, and maybe you can only choose holes within certain determined levels and have to advance to another level as you progress.

    There could be a LIGHT 'EM UP mode where all holes are dark and they light up when you get the ball in them. If you put the ball in a lit hole, it goes dark. This could be a fun mode for solo play and could take a long time to complete if you didn't limit attempts by penalizing entering a lit hole.

    A more extravagant/complicated setup would be to have RGB lights in each hole and do something like a DARTS mode where different colored holes are worth different points.

    #16 2 years ago

    Another crazy idea: what if the playfield was a clear acrylic and there was an LCD behind it? The theme could then be dynamically driven...

    Switches and wires would need to be tactfully placed so there's not a spaghetti mess of wires in front of the LCD, but the LCD could be used in place of all game related controlled lights.

    #17 2 years ago

    I was thinking the outlines of the holes could be illuminated as rings rather than a bulb in the back of the hole. On the Taito machine, the holes, especially Hole 1 is kind of hard to see lit up because the bulb is behind the hole and far enough back to allow the ball to pass between it and the playfield. It's a little confusing for new, tall players at first because they have no idea what their goal is supposed to be.

    I'd like to see every hole, not just the targets, lightable as rings with RGB LEDs. That would give you the opportunity to do things like animate a path across the playfield to the next goal, for instance. With my X-Men example, you could easily make Wolverine claw slices across the playfield, or draw an X across the whole thing, etc.

    The way it could be done is to press the LED against a ring (tube, really) made of thick white, slightly translucent plastic. The plastic ring would act as a diffuser to spread the LED light throughout itself.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    Another crazy idea: what if the playfield was a clear acrylic and there was an LCD behind it? The theme could then be dynamically driven...
    Switches and wires would need to be tactfully placed so there's not a spaghetti mess of wires in front of the LCD, but the LCD could be used in place of all game related controlled lights.

    Would certainly look cool, but there are a couple issues. The first is that the parallax between the playfield and the LCD would probably be so great that players wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a random hole and the goal hole. The second issue is related to the way the Taito cabinet senses successful scores and how it routes the ball back to the bottom. I'll post some photos later, but to do a translucent back would require some mechanical redesign of all of this akin to what Le Chuck did for Space Base.

    #19 2 years ago

    You can find the operator's manual on KLOV: http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=10592

    I've attached the important diagrams regarding the mechanics of the ball system below.

    Here's the description of the Theory of Operation. I imagine this will be a helpful guideline when programming, especially for those that have never played the real unit, or don't have ready access to one.

    The game objective is to move the ball up the playfield using the motorized bar and roll it into the illuminated target hole. There are ten numbered target holes amongst many trap holes. The target is advanced as the player successfully reaches the illuminated hole. The star on the score board is illuminated when the player finishes the tenth hole.

    The start button flashes after the game is coined. When the START button is pushed the bar descends, opening the gate, and releasing the ball. The bar then rises to the "Start" position on the playfield. During this time the joysticks are disabled.

    The bonus for the target appears on the scoreboard. The bonus begins decrementing when a joystick is moved or after 10 seconds if no action is taken. A "heart beat" sound is heard during countdown followed by a "straight-line" sound if the bonus reaches the minimum. When the target is reached the remaining bonus points are added to the player's score. The countdown rate is adjustable via the dip switch.

    Should the joysticks be inactive for a while the bar will automatically begin stepping upward. The stepping rate is adjustable via the dip switch.

    After playing through the first frame (all 10 target holes) the scoreboard start is lit and play continues at HOLE 1. Game difficulty is increased by shortening the time from the last joystick command and the onset of automatic bar stepping. The difficulty increases with each frame.

    If the ball is not at the gate (BALL GATE SWITCH open) when the game starts the search program will be initiated. The bar will sweep the playfield and the ERRANT BALL SOLENOID will be pulsed. The search ends when the ball closes the ball gate switch. The search program will terminate and the "OUT OF ORDER" message will be issued if the ball is not found.

    When the ball falls below the bar (usually by bouncing out of a trap hole on its way down) it is funneled to a hole at the bottom of the playfield. Upon entering the hole the ball activates the ERRANT BALL SWITCH and comes to rest over the ERRANT BALL SOLENOID. The solenoid then kicks the ball up to the gate closing the BALL GATE SWITCH.

    Each target hole is monitored by a switch. These switches are part of a scanned switch matrix including the tilt/slam, coin, start, ball gate, errant ball, ticket vend, hopper cycle, hopper empty, and free play switches. Each switch must be closed for at least 20ms to be recognized. When a switch is replaced it must be adjusted to meet this requirement.

    Manual-Playfield-Front_(resized).jpg

    Manual-Playfield-Back_(resized).jpg

    Manual-Playfield-Pulleys_(resized).jpg

    #20 2 years ago

    You can't really make it out in the operators manual diagrams, but behind the playfield is a large, vacuum-formed single piece of plastic that routes the ball from a hole to the bottom, serves at the mount points for the bulbs and switches to detect valid holes, and pathway at the bottom for a vertical upkick from the errant ball hole to the return gate.

    Without changing the existing design, this is what would prevent the ability to use an LCD panel behind the playfield. Le Chuck obviated the need for this complex routing system in Space Base by embedding magnetic sensors into the playfield wood: http://vid479.photobucket.com/albums/rr155/vonjett/Space%20Base/MagSwitchTest_zps0e87d90c.mp4

    s-l1600_(resized).jpg

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    You can't really make it out in the operators manual diagrams, but behind the playfield is a large, vacuum-formed single piece of plastic that routes the ball from a hole to the bottom, serves at the mount points for the bulbs and switches to detect valid holes, and pathway at the bottom for a vertical upkick from the errant ball hole to the return gate.
    Without changing the existing design, this is what would prevent the ability to use an LCD panel behind the playfield. Le Chuck obviated the need for this complex routing system in Space Base by embedding magnetic sensors into the playfield wood: http://vid479.photobucket.com/albums/rr155/vonjett/Space%20Base/MagSwitchTest_zps0e87d90c.mp4

    I didn't know it worked that way. Yeah I was thinking each hole would have a dedicated switch/sensor directly in the hole. Wiring and switches could be masked from the front of the acrylic with thick black lines or something. Another alternative could be some kind of edge mounted optical sensors, maybe x and y sensors so that any time x and y are both triggered you'd know the closest hole that was entered.

    #22 2 years ago

    It's funny so many people are thinking about these at the same time. We were playing a buddies ICB and we were all contemplating how you could make like replaceable boards with different hole patterns or programmable holes that could move.

    I'll be watching this thread closer now.

    #23 2 years ago

    This is a really cool thread. We actually have a mini version of ice cold beer in the works. Will be table top about 20" tall. Smaller ball but same game play idea. Ability to change game play is in our code. Small lcd at the top to store scores and animations. Has been a really challenging but fun project so far. Hoping to have it ready in a few months for production code and all

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinballBulbs:

    This is a really cool thread. We actually have a mini version of ice cold beer in the works. Will be table top about 20" tall. Smaller ball but same game play idea. Ability to change game play is in our code. Small lcd at the top to store scores and animations. Has been a really challenging but fun project so far. Hoping to have it ready in a few months for production code and all

    That sounds really promising. Is that intended to be a one-off project or a sellable product? Could you give us some guidance on how you've achieved the telescoping rod?

    #25 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    ICB is great as is, but I'd love to see other gameplay modes. Thinking along those lines, like HORSE brilliantly mentioned above, what are some ideas?

    This doesn't require a new gameplay mode, rather serves as a supplement to the existing one, but what I think would keep the challenge alive for as long as possible is a timed tracker for each hole. When you own ICB, it doesn't take too long before you "master" the game in that you can put the ball into any hole you want. I usually beat the game whenever I play it, but with its simple programming, the Taito cabinet doesn't recognize skillful playing beyond a bigger bonus when you put the ball into the right hole really quickly. For the first three holes, I can sink the ball before the round beginning music stops playing.

    It would be great for the game to not only acknowledge skillful playing, but to keep track of it, so people can be competitive on multiple dimensions of the game. Maybe "ACE" is the only one at the party that has sunk the ball into Hole 10, but "KEV" has the undefeated lowest time getting the ball into Hole 7. Now, instead of only one person having a recognized accomplishment to beat, at least two people do.

    The pressure to speed run provides an incentive to take risks that's not there in the normal game. Like I said, you can quickly "master" the game in that you can beat it, but there's no good reason to not take your time. The bonus is generous enough that you're still going to reach 4,000 points after Hole 9 to gain an extra ball. Time tracking would compel more advanced players to make dangerous moves like driving the ball vertically through the lower holes on Hole 10 rather than carefully and slowly attacking it from the left or right side. That keeps the game as an adrenaline rush rather than something you can get comfortable with.

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    you can put the ball into any hole you want.

    sounds like a winning night in my book.

    #27 2 years ago

    For some additional reference, I've taken photos of my cabinet. This set is for the control panel.

    1_(resized).jpg
    2_(resized).jpg

    The control panel is held on with clamps on the left and right undersides, like some video arcade cabinets.

    3_(resized).jpg

    The joysticks use two leaf switches each and their restrictor gate only allows vertical movement.

    4_(resized).jpg

    The glass is slotted in place, and lifts out from the bottom.

    5_(resized).jpg

    #28 2 years ago

    6_(resized).jpg

    As you can see on the exposed playfield, there are guide rods on both sides for the bar mechanism to ride.

    7_(resized).jpg

    Below the bar is the release mechanism for the ball. It has an arm sticking out of it (I'm pressing it down in the second photo) that is moved by the bar as it lowers to the bottom, the ball behind the mechanism is compelled to roll forward because of gravity, so when the bar moves to the bottom it automatically loads itself for the next round. There is a hole at the very bottom of the playfield, this is to capture the ball if it happens to fall below the bar. Sometimes a ball will go into a hole and then fall out of the front of a lower hole.

    8_(resized).jpg

    Next is a close-up of the piece connecting the bar to the pulley system. The attachment piece is hinged to allow it to rotate as necessary. The post on the bar prevents the ball from rolling off the side of the bar. It's positioned just so, so that you will always be able to see the ball without it getting blocked by the screened graphic on the playfield glass.

    #29 2 years ago

    Here is the back of the cabinet.

    9_(resized).jpg

    This is the vacuum formed back piece with everything connected.

    10_(resized).jpg

    The hole lightbulbs and the hole sensors (switches) are mounted directly to the plastic.

    11_(resized).jpg

    This is the "errant ball" recovery pathway. When the ball falls below the bar and goes into the hole at the very bottom of the playfield, a vertical upkick solenoid will launch the ball up the loop so that the ball returns to the release mechanism above.

    12_(resized).jpg

    Here is a close-up of the motor, gear assembly, and bottom of one of the pulleys. I don't know anything about mechanical engineering or associated costs, but I think it would be beneficial to us if we could eliminate the use of the gears and attach our motors or servos (or steppers?) directly to the pulleys. The gears would be difficult to accurately fabricate (likely couldn't 3D print) if there isn't an off-the-shelf solution for them, and they are noisy. Not quite as bad as the clock in TZ, but still noticeable if you're not in a loud room.

    13_(resized).jpg

    At the top and bottom of each pulley is a limit switch. When the carriage attached to the bar rides the pulley to the top or bottom, it will hit one of these switches, letting the game know not to attempt traveling any farther in that direction.

    #30 2 years ago

    That's a multi-player products gear motor. Still might be order-able ( by using the spec number) but they used to have at least a 10 motor minimum. But that was very many years ago . You should check with Steve Young and see if he knows if they ( multi-products) can or will still build them.

    However, there are plenty of small 12 volt sealed gear motor options from China. And they are typically between $10 and $15. You just need to know the RPMs (usually embosed in the gear case)

    #31 2 years ago

    I wouldn't use gears/belts anyway if I go with stepper motors and threaded rod. An alternative would be a rack and pinion setup, in which case parts are not speciaized and readily available from sources like McMaster Carr.

    At any rate, I'd go with generic parts over a specialized setup.

    #32 2 years ago

    Definitely. The more off-the-shelf, the better for everyone.

    As a side note, the ICE version of ICB plays a lot smoother than the Taito version. You can tell they went without a gear assembly on the unit.

    I found the manual to the ICE version here: http://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthread.php?t=332822

    You can see that ICE managed to simplify the system significantly:

    ice1_(resized).jpg
    ice2_(resized).jpg
    ice3_(resized).jpg
    ice4_(resized).jpg

    Edit: Todd Tuckey shows the inside of the ICE version of the cabinet in this video:

    #33 2 years ago

    The challenge, as far as I can figure, if I want a detectable switch and RGB light on each hole is going to be accommodating for a very high number of switches and lights. If there were 100 holes, that would be 100 switches and 300 controlled lights. I could use dedicated sub devices that communicate back to a master controller, but there are potentially going to be a lot of things to control.

    So let's say it's the following:
    100 hole switches
    300 hole lights
    4 limit switches for the steppers
    2 stepper motors
    1 errant ball detector switch
    1 VUK for errant ball return
    2 analogue joysticks
    1 start button

    Allowing for the extra gameplay modes is what makes it so complex. If it just kept to ICB type rules, then there would just be like 10 or so holes with switches and lighting while the rest remain dark and only 1 trough switch is needed to tell that a ball fell through a hole that wasn't a target hole.

    #34 2 years ago

    Another mode idea: CHASE MODE

    The light moves from target to target (maybe in a path from one to the other or random, though would ideally be unpredictable so you can't camp out at a hole and wait for it to light) and stays lit for brief period of time. The goal is to get the ball into the lit hole. Maybe a timer needs to be incorporated into it, again, so you can't just camp out at a hole. Maybe it starts off being more valuable and decreases each time it moves to a new hole within the same turn, all the way down to a minimal point value.

    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    The challenge, as far as I can figure, if I want a detectable switch and RGB light on each hole is going to be accommodating for a very high number of switches and lights. If there were 100 holes, that would be 100 switches and 300 controlled lights. I could use dedicated sub devices that communicate back to a master controller, but there are potentially going to be a lot of things to control.
    So let's say it's the following:
    100 hole switches
    300 hole lights
    4 limit switches for the steppers
    2 stepper motors
    1 errant ball detector switch
    1 VUK for errant ball return
    2 analogue joysticks
    1 start button
    Allowing for the extra gameplay modes is what makes it so complex. If it just kept to ICB type rules, then there would just be like 10 or so holes with switches and lighting while the rest remain dark and only 1 trough switch is needed to tell that a ball fell through a hole that wasn't a target hole.

    Perhaps switches on every hole is overkill. A handful to a dozen additional switches could be added to a number of the other holes, and that could be enough to give the player the impression that literally any hole could be a goal if the game wanted it to be. An I-PAC from Ultimarc would have between 32 and 56 inputs available, depending on which model you chose. 10 of those inputs would be needed for joysticks, start button, limit switches, and errant ball recovery, but the rest are free for holes.
    https://www.ultimarc.com/ipac.html

    I would still want to put an RGB LED at every hole in my game. I don't think this should be too great of a problem for a Raspberry Pi or the like. Rather than wiring each LED back to the Pi, you could use individually addressable string LED lights like this:

    HTB1lvDxJXXXXXXpXFXXq6xXFXXXH_(resized).jpg

    Each string has 50 RGB LEDs, so you would only need two bundles to light every hole. That's not saying anything about the power requirements though. I don't know anything about that.

    #36 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    Another mode idea: CHASE MODE
    The light moves from target to target (maybe in a path from one to the other or random, though would ideally be unpredictable so you can't camp out at a hole and wait for it to light) and stays lit for brief period of time. The goal is to get the ball into the lit hole. Maybe a timer needs to be incorporated into it, again, so you can't just camp out at a hole. Maybe it starts off being more valuable and decreases each time it moves to a new hole within the same turn, all the way down to a minimal point value.

    That's a great idea. It's a little disorienting in ICB to try to lower the ball safely after going too high with it. It would be interesting to make that kind of maneuvering a regular part of the game.

    #37 2 years ago

    You don't necessarily have to make every hole a target. Many holes are to make others harder to reach. Just adding some more, and mixing up the order would be a huge (insert Donald Trump voice) improvement over the original.

    A combined hole optic (ball switch) and lamp driver (RGB) could be easily used as a serial chain to simplify production of numerous holes.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    Perhaps switches on every hole is overkill. A handful to a dozen additional switches could be added to a number of the other holes, and that could be enough to give the player the impression that literally any hole could be a goal if the game wanted it to be.

    The downside would be that you could potentially memorize which holes go to a single switch and whenever hole X is lit, you'd know you could enter hole Y and get credit. That would also limit game modes like HORSE. The game would have no idea exactly which hole you entered, so it wouldn't know which one to light as the target for the next player.

    Quoted from XXVII:

    I would still want to put an RGB LED at every hole in my game. I don't think this should be too great of a problem for a Raspberry Pi or the like. Rather than wiring each LED back to the Pi, you could use individually addressable string LED lights like this:

    I didn't know individually addressable string lights existed. That's awesome, and they're pretty cheap! That's what I was thinking would be the most complex part.

    Switches could be spread out over a few dedicated input devices, such as a cheap microcontroller with a high number of inputs. For example, the PIC16F884 has 35 IO pins, so could either be 35 discrete switches or turned into some kind of 10x10 switch matrix. It would just take 1 if going with a switch matrix (more complex programming and wiring with diodes), and 3 if going with discrete switches (easier to wire and program). One can be had for about $2, with only a few dollars in other components needed to run them, and they can communicate back to the master board via I2C. The logic would be as simple as assigning a number to each pin on each device, 1 to 100. When a switch is triggered, it sends the message back to the master that switch X was triggered. It doesn't even have to be "fast" like you'd want in a pinball machine. This type of game is generally only sensing 1 switch at a time with a relatively long time between switch hits, so I don't think the amount of time to address the lights and get switch hits back to the master would be an issue.

    I'd probably prefer that the master be a Raspberry Pi running Python just because I'm pretty comfortable in Python and it would be relatively easy for people to pop the memory card into their computer and alter code. Plus it can easily drive an LCD for scoring and animations, or drive a DMD-like RGB LED matrix over USB by way of a separate device.

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from CactusJack:

    You don't necessarily have to make every hole a target. Many holes are to make others harder to reach. Just adding some more, and mixing up the order would be a huge (insert Donald Trump voice) improvement over the original.
    A combined hole optic (ball switch) and lamp driver (RGB) could be easily used as a serial chain to simplify production of numerous holes.

    For some additional game modes, I'd potentially want any hole to be usable, though.

    For example, in a HORSE scenario, would it still be fun if only the same holes were viable targets every time? I guess missing a target and hitting a black hole would be comparable to missing the basket... I haven't played HORSE since I was a kid... so can't remember the rules off hand.

    I suppose for the sake of simplicity there could be something like 30 viable targets with RGB lit holes, and all others are dark and generically sensed as a miss. So if in standard game mode your goal is to hit 10 consecutively more difficult shots, perhaps if the playfield is segmented into 10 levels, each level could have 3 dedictated holes, and the potential of 1 of the 3 holes lit to tell you that's the goal. That makes it a little less dynamic... maybe 50 viable holes with 5 in each level could be done. That would just be one string of 50 addressable LED lights and a couple switch slave PCBs.

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    The downside would be that you could potentially memorize which holes go to a single switch and whenever hole X is lit, you'd know you could enter hole Y and get credit. That would also limit game modes like HORSE. The game would have no idea exactly which hole you entered, so it wouldn't know which one to light as the target for the next player.

    I may not have clearly explained what I meant. I meant to say that you use 10 inputs for joysticks, start button, limit switches, and errant ball recovery, then 10 more inputs for sensors for standard holes 1-10, then whatever inputs are left over go only to specific other holes outside of standard holes 1-10. If hole X is lit for the goal, there is no situation where getting the ball in hole Y will ever count as a false positive for hole X. Hole X's sensor only counts for hole X. And hole Y will never be lit as the goal, but the typical player won't know that it won't ever be.

    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    I'd probably prefer that the master be a Raspberry Pi running Python just because I'm pretty comfortable in Python and it would be relatively easy for people to pop the memory card into their computer and alter code. Plus it can easily drive an LCD for scoring and animations, or drive a DMD-like RGB LED matrix over USB by way of a separate device.

    I agree. I've done a little Python scripting in the past, and I'd like to take advantage of Raspberry Pi's power for audio, potentially video, etc. and easy updating.

    #41 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    That's a great idea. It's a little disorienting in ICB to try to lower the ball safely after going too high with it. It would be interesting to make that kind of maneuvering a regular part of the game.

    I wonder how viable it would be to come up with a means of automatically getting the ball to the top for a top to bottom game mode... That could potentially complicate things because you wouldn't want it to rely on easily riding the rod to the top or that would mean the player could easy get the ball to the top when playing the normal mode. Maybe one of the stopper posts on the end of the rod could be servo controlled. so that it can move out of the way for this operation.

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from winteriscoming:

    I wonder how viable it would be to come up with a means of automatically getting the ball to the top for a top to bottom game mode... That could potentially complicate things because you wouldn't want it to rely on easily riding the rod to the top or that would mean the player could easy get the ball to the top when playing the normal mode. Maybe one of the stopper posts on the end of the rod could be servo controlled. so that it can move out of the way for this operation.

    I think the alternative is to let the player do the work for you. The game could have a general idea of how high the bar is up the playfield by keeping track of the number of milliseconds up commands have been sent to each motor (and subtracting for downward movement, obviously) and averaging between the left and right sides.

    When the player gets the ball up the playfield a certain amount, say 60%, trigger the special mode where they need to go down in the time limit for a bonus, or extra ball, or whatever. It would be more of a surprise that way, which can be good or bad depending on your taste.

    #43 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    I think the alternative is to let the player do the work for you. The game could have a general idea of how high the bar is up the playfield by keeping track of the number of milliseconds up commands have been sent to each motor (and subtracting for downward movement, obviously) and averaging between the left and right sides.
    When the player gets the ball up the playfield a certain amount, say 60%, trigger the special mode where they need to go down in the time limit for a bonus, or extra ball, or whatever. It would be more of a surprise that way, which can be good or bad depending on your taste.

    Hmm... or if tracking the rod in the code ends up being too difficult the mode could be such that goal 1 is to get the rod to the top without going in any holes (triggering both top limit switches) and once that happens, goal 2 is enter X hole near the bottom.

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    That sounds really promising. Is that intended to be a one-off project or a sellable product? Could you give us some guidance on how you've achieved the telescoping rod?

    Hey! It'll be a sellable product. Maybe weight around 12-15lbs. I got something else with similar power draw I made and is on a rechargable battery so our goal is to use that same setup in this to make it battery operated even that's rechargable

    #45 2 years ago

    Other mode ideas:

    RANDOM CONTROLS:
    Same basic rules as standard play, but controls randomly change such that either up/down are swapped and maybe mix in that left stick controls right side, etc. Perhaps there's a timer (with audio callouts) and once it counts down, the controls change up mid-game. You'd have to carefully figure out the controls and try to adjust to them.

    STICKY MODE:
    Same basic rules as standard play, but the left or right side randomly stick for a short period during gameplay. Maybe there's a callout when it happens, so you know to try to accommodate with the side that isn't stuck.

    #46 2 years ago

    I'm very interested in a kit. I sold my Zeke's Peak to buy an ICB and the motors on the ICB are LOUD AS HELL. As far as I can tell, it's pretty difficult to find replacements. I rebuilt one of the ZP motors, but it was a pain.

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from callmesteam:

    I'm very interested in a kit. I sold my Zeke's Peak to buy an ICB and the motors on the ICB are LOUD AS HELL. As far as I can tell, it's pretty difficult to find replacements. I rebuilt one of the ZP motors, but it was a pain.

    Earlier today, Riptor in another thread linked to brand new, redesigned motors for ICB with enclosed gear assemblies that supposedly run quieter:

    #48 2 years ago
    Quoted from PinballBulbs:

    Hey! It'll be a sellable product. Maybe weight around 12-15lbs. I got something else with similar power draw I made and is on a rechargable battery so our goal is to use that same setup in this to make it battery operated even that's rechargable

    That sounds great. Any idea yet on price range for one of these units?

    Did you have to fabricate the two rods yourself for your games or were you able to make use of off-the-shelf components to assemble the telescoping rod? OLDPINGUY mentioned potentially using brass rods sold at hobby stores of slightly different diameters. Is this the method you used or were you able to find a different source?

    #49 2 years ago
    Quoted from XXVII:

    Earlier today, Riptor in another thread linked to brand new, redesigned motors for ICB with enclosed gear assemblies that supposedly run quieter:

    I love you.

    #50 2 years ago

    If you can figure out a program, I'll be doing a build. I rediscovered ICB a few months back. It really has come up a lot since then.

    As for a build, I'd want to have different routes, so a user could select easy (green), medium (blue), hard (red), plus a random mode (color changing). Having a practice mode where a user can select any hole would allow for users to challenge friends or simply try to beat their own high scores. Obviosly that would require adding high scores for each hole. That really sounds about perfect for me-keep it simple. Oh...and call it "The Next Round" as in, you lose, you but the next round of drinks.

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