(Topic ID: 172426)

ESCAPE! - A New Pinball Project


By jim5six

3 years ago



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  • 219 posts
  • 52 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by jim5six
  • Topic is favorited by 103 Pinsiders

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    There are 219 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 5.
    18
    #1 3 years ago

    After reading about all the terrific custom built Pinball machines I have decided to take the plunge and build my own machine, besides it may be the only way I can afford something new anymore . Along with my two fellow enthusiasts User: Sliderpoint and Max (not currently a member) we are embarking on this together. I will try my best to keep this thread updated with the machine progress and hope to be a contributing member to the homebrew pinball community!

    Max has a CNC machine and I was able to help him get it up and running to cut the playfield:
    First we make a circle to test for missing steps.
    CNC_Circle (resized).jpg
    I used Fusion 360 to do the design work and create the CAM file for cutting. I am starting with the lower third traditional "Italian layout" and will get that flipping to start.
    Whitewood_1 (resized).jpg
    LaunchDetail_1 (resized).jpg

    #2 3 years ago

    I am using an AnTek power supply:
    Power_Board (resized).jpg
    After doing some research I think the best option out there for what I want to do is P-Roc. So I am using the P-Roc system and a Raspberry Pi to drive it. We are developing the code using Mission Pinball Framework (MPF).
    RaspPi_proc (resized).jpg
    Lower_3rd (resized).jpg
    That's about as far as we are now. I am in the process of getting the wiring done so that I can start flipping and think about the shots I want to create. We are using a mix of real world testing and Visual Pinball to create the layout for the table.

    #3 3 years ago

    favorited.

    Looking forward to progress!

    What are some more details about the project, theme, vision?

    #4 3 years ago

    Good luck to you.

    #5 3 years ago

    As far as the theme and the name "ESCAPE!":
    This will be a game of survival. The object of the game will be to "save" the people (three balls, three lives) that are trapped in the House/Mansion/Trailer Park... Setting is not defined yet. We hope to create a eerie and tense game with the use of sound, lighting, art and physical attributes that work in tandem to overwhelm your senses to create exhilarating game play that both is scary and fun.

    Thanks for reading and thank you for any comments that are made along the path.
    -Jim

    #7 3 years ago

    You might want to bump up to a Raspberry pi3 especially if you are considering color assets.

    #8 3 years ago

    Yes, thanks i wasn't specific... I am using the Pi3
    -Jim

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    As far as the theme and the name "ESCAPE!":
    This will be a game of survival.

    Wheeeew. That's a relief!

    I thought it was going to be a tribute to that band of nutsacks, Journey......

    51PnrikrQSL (resized).jpg

    #10 3 years ago

    this should be fun to watch, I hope you plan to use ply for the final, I bet that particle board will become a little unforgiving while working on it

    cool theme name, lots of possibilities

    #11 3 years ago

    Yes, definately turning to ply soon. This was just proof of concept and testing for CNC machine and all that. I am currently searching/sourcing high ply count standard dimensional sheets in my area. Seems everything is metric at the big box stores nowadays.

    -Jim

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    . I am currently searching/sourcing high ply count standard dimensional sheets in my area. Seems everything is metric at the big box stores nowadays.

    The 17/32" lumbercore Maple 7-core used for pinball playfields is not manufactured for any other industry.

    No plywood wholesaler in the USA or Canada has it, nor can they order it.

    You would have to order 2 boxcars of it directly from American Plywood's mill.

    Bally used to sell blank playfields with the shooter lane and ball return already routed for $35, if you can still find one.

    Otherwise, your best bet might be to buy 5/8" Baltic Birch, and then use a CNC surfacing bit on the backside to bring it down to 17/32.

    Remember also that because the plys on Baltic Birch are thin, the face ply is not as forgiving as the maple Lumbercore when you sand the inserts flush.

    #13 3 years ago

    Ahh a horror title. Nice

    #14 3 years ago

    What OS are you using on the Pi3? Curious how you are going about that part of it. I tried, but it was too much for me.

    #15 3 years ago

    Sounds like fun! Favorited.

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    What OS are you using on the Pi3? Curious how you are going about that part of it. I tried, but it was too much for me.

    I am running linux. I haven't gotten it done yet but Python and MPF are installed, I have my "game" code done on the development PC (windows based) and just need to get it loaded to the Pi.

    -Jim

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    I am running linux. I haven't gotten it done yet but Python and MPF are installed, I have my "game" code done on the development PC (windows based) and just need to get it loaded to the Pi.
    -Jim

    My biggest frustration was to get the code updated. I didn't like trying to type it on the Pi, and doing the mount write thing was very tedious for somebody trying to also learn MPF. I ended up with a Kangaroo windows 10 machine. Was going to go Latte Panda, but then saw the Kangaroo and it has all of the features I wanted and more for not that much more $.

    The Pi3 didn't go to waste though. Pup RetroPie on it and am enjoying that from time to time.

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    My biggest frustration was to get the code updated.

    scp, svn or git should all work on the pi. I personally use scp, but I'm just shuffling images back and forth. For my main computer, I'm using git, routing through the pi's wireless. Mostly cause I'm lazy.

    OP: this sounds great! Posting to follow progress!

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    My biggest frustration was to get the code updated. I didn't like trying to type it on the Pi, and doing the mount write thing was very tedious for somebody trying to also learn MPF. I ended up with a Kangaroo windows 10 machine. Was going to go Latte Panda, but then saw the Kangaroo and it has all of the features I wanted and more for not that much more $.
    The Pi3 didn't go to waste though. Pup RetroPie on it and am enjoying that from time to time.

    I feel your pain. I looked at the kangaroo as well but just dont have the scratch right now. I figure I can start with the Pi and always upgrade later. The Pi has so many uses it was a slam dunk to pick one up. I too use git through wireless; guess i'm lazy also

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    guess i'm lazy also

    ...or do great minds think alike? Haha!

    To be (more) clear, I'm using an Intel NUC with networked pis for score/instruction card display. So I use git to update the NUC, and scp to update the pis. I too was impressed with how versatile the pis were... Great piece of hardware!

    #22 3 years ago

    man that's cool!. I listen to your podcast (so i know what you got going on), but now your telling me not only does your backglass change but your score cards and instructions change for each game as well... that's cool right there!

    #23 3 years ago

    Thank you for listening! Yes, the score and instruction cards changing were received very well by the playing public last month.

    If I can help in any way, let me know!

    #24 3 years ago

    nice start, will be following

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Bally used to sell blank playfields with the shooter lane and ball return already routed for $35, if you can still find one.

    This is the building where I work...
    2016-11-01 11.51.24 (resized).jpg
    Wish it was the same company it was 20 years ago; the one you speak of... Now it's just Gaming and not the good kind...

    -Jim

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Posting to follow progress!

    Me too. Looking forward to following along. Good luck!

    #27 3 years ago

    I've been working on mine for over a year and your farther along than I am heehee.

    Escape! sounds like your on a doomed space station and you need to run a bunch of modes to restore power/life support/etc long enough for you to get to the escape pod. Lots you can do with that theme... Look forward to seeing what you come up with!

    You have the same setup I do so far as well (PSU, boards, framework). I went with a NUC instead of the PI as I didn't want any hardware limitations when developing. I was going to move it to a smaller/cheaper CPU once I have it finallize. I have a recording studio and I really wanted to go nuts on the sounds so I didn't want any limitations starting out. Then I'll pull the NUC and it will be used to develop my next machine...

    --Kevin

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    Along with my two fellow enthusiasts User: Sliderpoint and Max (not currently a member) we are embarking on this together

    I see sliderpoint lives in washington (far stretch from nevada). I was honestly thinking just today, could a group of pinball enthusiasts (each with a talent) all collaborate on a project from a distance and get a pinball designed? Seems like every homebrew person struggles with at least 2-3 out of 4 aspects of design. It would be nice if experts can focus on each part of it. I can do mechanical, and a little bit of art, and can struggle through electrical, but I know almost nothing about programming.

    #29 3 years ago

    I have been friends with Sliderpoint for about 15 years. We started working together and instantly had common interests that fostered a great friendship. All three of us had worked together for 10 plus years in IT before Sliderpoint moved to Washington, but we still were coworkers up until last year. I think it will be interesting to see how well we can really collaborate across the distance but I think it will work out ok. Technology has made the world a much smaller place and even this site will help us to communicate and work together toward our common goal.

    We have very similar strengths among us. I went to school for art and was a graphic designer for 10 years prior to getting into IT where I have been for 15 years. I am very mechanical as well and have built cars and motorcycles in the past. Max is the electrical ace in the bunch although I feel I grasp the concept as well. Programming will definitely be the most challenging for us as well as we all have learned what we have needed to thus far as it relates to computer programming on the whole and this project will certainly stretch our knowledge and force us all to acquire new skills; but hey isn't that the point, take what you know and expand to the limits of what you think you can accomplish and have good friends to lean on for support when the road gets tough. What could be better?!

    -Jim

    #30 3 years ago

    P.S. It would be great to have the every Friday schedule that the Minion guys have but we all work with what we got, right.

    -Jim

    #31 3 years ago

    Sorry, a bit late to the party.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Wheeeew. That's a relief!
    I thought it was going to be a tribute to that band of nutsacks, Journey......

    Hey, don't stop believin! We may add a 'midnight train' to the machine, just for you! LOL.

    Yes, technology is a huge help in keeping us together. Skype is a great tool. The distance is itself a kind of validation of our build methods. There will be at least two if not three of these pins put together. I'll be assembling one up here in the NW myself as well and we'll see just how repeatable and precise our tooling works out. Obviously there will be some shipping costs for parts. I plan to try to replicate shots virtually as best I can before we build a 'final' part and ship it out. But I have full faith in Jim and Max for the precise building and testing of the layouts and components and will be kind of excited to see how it physically builds up in my shop versus the NV guys.

    Looking forward to this!
    -Mike

    #32 3 years ago

    Escape, by Rupert Holmes for the soundtrack? ...I can only hope.

    #33 3 years ago

    Look forward to following along guys, might have to make excuses to go visit Mike more often when things get rolling at his place

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Wheeeew. That's a relief!
    I thought it was going to be a tribute to that band of nutsacks, Journey......

    HEY! I wanted to make a Journey Pin for years. it would be awesome. I was hoping it was from the Escape album.

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from CaptainNeo:

    HEY! I wanted to make a Journey Pin for years.

    someone beat you to it
    http://pinballbuilders.com/?cat=2

    #36 3 years ago

    they had me until I saw superbands on the machine. Then I lost interest.

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from Sliderpoint:

    Hey, don't stop believin! We may add a 'midnight train' to the machine, just for you! LOL.

    That midnight train would certainly lead to nowhere if Journey was laying out the routes.

    "Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit".

    There is no such place as 'South Detroit'.

    South Detroit is ......Canada?

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from BorgDog:

    Look forward to following along guys, might have to make excuses to go visit Mike more often when things get rolling at his place

    I wanna tag along too don't know you guys but would love to meet ya and check this project out. I'm getting very close now to embarking on my own - I know I'm going to have a lot of questions!

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    This is the building where I work...

    Wish it was the same company it was 20 years ago; the one you speak of... Now it's just Gaming and not the good kind...
    -Jim

    Out of interest, has there been much discussion internally - in a non formal sense - over the increasingly huge gross margins that NIB pinball machines are for the moment commanding?

    It can't have gone unnoticed ..

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from rubberducks:

    Out of interest, has there been much discussion internally - in a non formal sense - over the increasingly huge gross margins that NIB pinball machines are for the moment commanding?
    It can't have gone unnoticed ..

    Unfortunately the company I work for feels several generations removed from the pinball industry... It wouldn't surprise me to find out that 80%+ of the current employee base has no idea of the history or that we ever made pinball machines. So, no there is no internal discussion about pinball here, even casually...
    -Jim

    #41 3 years ago

    Wonder whether CPR would sell plywood, they seem to have a supply now independent from Stern's supplier. Look here: http://www.classicplayfields.com/updates.html

    "We took in a major load of wood that will get us through the next five titles as mentioned above. It's really nice stuff. Two internal layers of hard maple, three layers of white ash covered with two .080" full face veneers of maritime hard rock maple. These face veneers are 25% thicker than what Stern uses on their machines and we pay for that good thick veneer on BOTH sides of the PF so it stays straight and true better than using one good grade and one lower grade."

    #42 3 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I was honestly thinking just today, could a group of pinball enthusiasts (each with a talent) all collaborate on a project from a distance and get a pinball designed?

    If you hang out on the pinball controllers forum, you probably could convince some of the guys there to help you out with your project.

    There's also the pindev slack channel.

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from jim5six:

    As far as the theme and the name "ESCAPE!":
    This will be a game of survival. The object of the game will be to "save" the people (three balls, three lives) that are trapped in the House/Mansion/Trailer Park... Setting is not defined yet. We hope to create a eerie and tense game with the use of sound, lighting, art and physical attributes that work in tandem to overwhelm your senses to create exhilarating game play that both is scary and fun.
    Thanks for reading and thank you for any comments that are made along the path.
    -Jim

    So, wait, not Escape from New York with Snake Plisskin? Because that would be pretty bad-ass.

    #44 3 years ago

    09b85a405e2df0a69084d18d3db7b9105494f197 (resized).jpg

    #45 3 years ago

    Thumbs up for games affiliated with Zaccaria.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    If you hang out on the pinball controllers forum, you probably could convince some of the guys there to help you out with your project

    not so much help.. Help means "I can't figure this out, help".. "Ok, so get this framework, get a basic running game, then go look at this example code to see how it could implement on your design". Believe me, I would love to do every aspect of what it takes to build a pinball machine (like ben heck), but even if you know what you're doing it can take years of working nights and weekends. If you're on a learning curve, your project will get really stale from grinding it out.

    I'm talking about sharing the workload, but you'd have to convince 2-3 other pinball enthusiasts also excited by the same theme (nothing drives a project more than something you're passionate about). I helped Hugh from OPP with all the artwork and voicework for sharpe shooter 3 because I felt it was payback for letting me beta test early OPP boards. Hugh is good at electronics / programming, but he might struggle with a layout from scratch (hence re-using the sharp shooter donor playfield).. And when I saw what he was planning for artwork, I had to jump in. Not to say I'm a great artist, but it turned out pretty good for homebrew.

    SS3_cabinet_art (resized).jpg

    sharpe_shooter3_playfield (resized).jpg

    #47 3 years ago

    What size playfield are you working towards? Standard-body 46-inch?

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from BorgDog:

    So, wait, not Escape from New York with Snake Plisskin? Because that would be pretty bad-ass.

    Hell yeah that's what I was thinking too.

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

    What size playfield are you working towards? Standard-body 46-inch?

    Yes, Standard width. Playfield 20.25 x 46.

    -Jim

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I'm talking about sharing the workload, but you'd have to convince 2-3 other pinball enthusiasts also excited by the same theme (nothing drives a project more than something you're passionate about). I helped Hugh from OPP with all the artwork and voicework for sharpe shooter 3 because I felt it was payback for letting me beta test early OPP boards. Hugh is good at electronics / programming, but he might struggle with a layout from scratch (hence re-using the sharp shooter donor playfield).. And when I saw what he was planning for artwork, I had to jump in. Not to say I'm a great artist, but it turned out pretty good for homebrew.
    ยป YouTube video

    Actually it can be done with the help of only 1-2 people and even from a great distance. Buffy was completely developed between me, my programmer Michael who lives in Boston and my artist John who is out of MO. Michael and I hadn't even meet in person until well over a year into our project (still havent met John in person). Now I know some think Buffy is only a SOF with some clearcoat, but it is probably one of the most ambitious retheme project out there and at this point is just as hard to replicate as a new build would be. At any rate, it was done by 3 guys that are over a thousand miles apart, and only in our free time. Its amazing what you can get accomplished with someone so far away, and even without meeting them in person.

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