(Topic ID: 44678)

GHOSTBUSTERS Custom Pinball - How It Works

By Betelgeuse

6 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 55 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Betelgeuse
  • Topic is favorited by 22 Pinsiders


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#1 6 years ago

By popular request! I have finally got around to putting together a video of how the MP3 Trigger V2 was used in Ghostbusters to integrate the music, sounds and quotes into the game. I have had a lot of questions on how this was done and it's a bit difficult to explain through text, so I hope this helps. I have tried to cover everything, but I am sure there will be some details I missed, so please ask if you have questions. The game is still in a constant state of flux, so please excuse the crudeness of some of my work. This is a 2 parter...

Part 1

Part 2


#5 6 years ago

Thanks! I hope this is what everyone wanted to see.

#7 6 years ago

Thanks schmoo! I checked out your Angry Birds, very cool! What's the next project you are working on? Doing this retheme was so much work I'm not sure if I ever want to do it again, but I'm glad I did it once!

#13 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballShawn:

That is fricken awesome man! Thanks for posting this!

Thanks Shawn! I was hoping you would see this as I know it was something you were interested in doing.

Quoted from CaptainNeo:

Was hoping to be able to use the existing switch and have it go through a voltage reducer or something and trigger the game and the sound from the same switch.

I know this idea has been thrown around, but I haven't seen it done yet.

#16 6 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

I too am probably going to go down the cherry switch route as much as possible as they can be bought for under 50 cents (compared to $6-$9 for a leaf switch, which can of course get VERY expensive).

The Cherry micro switches are great because the actuators are insulated from the circuit. You don't even have to worry about shorting something. Still, depending on the actuator and bracket, these can get a little pricey as well. Fortunately I was able to get a big handful of assorted ones from John Dayhuff at the Ohio show that year for $1 ea. I also was able to track down those leaf switches on clearance for around $0.50 ea!

#19 6 years ago

*bump* for the afternoon crowd.

#28 6 years ago

I really appreciate the comments guys and girls. You make it all worth while. I'm thinking we will see a surge of custom games and things will be developed and improved to make it even easier to build your dream machine.

#31 6 years ago

Thanks for helping promote the game 'down under', swinks! Yes, I've noticed.

#36 6 years ago
Quoted from BadBrick:

Was it as much work as I think it must have been to position and adjust all those extra switches under the playfield? After you got everything working initially has it required much maintenance to keep it all working smoothly?

It really wasn't TOO bad installing the switches. The rollovers were pretty quick and easy. Once the switches were installed it was easy to play around with the sounds and move them around. I have to say the system has been very reliable. I really haven't had to make many adjustments over thousands of plays. As for the power strip, I just have it plugged into the service outlet. I'm sure this could be tapped into the cabinet switch as well.

#40 6 years ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

are you guys trying to keep the era of the pin with the era of the movie? I'm just curious if this was a conscious decision or something that just happened because of the cost of the donor pin.

Not exactly. I did get the game before deciding the theme, though. The theme was chosen in part because I had a lot of really good ideas on how the Flash Gordon playfield layout would work for Ghostbusters like the upper playfield being the top of the building, the inline drop target Slimer lane and the big blank space for the Ecto toy. Though, when I was looking for a game I did want to avoid anything with an alphanumeric or dmd display as it would require a lot more know-how and work to re-theme the display content. I was exclusively looking for an early solid state title that just had generic scoring. Fortunately most of my theme ideas were 80's movies.


#43 6 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Very nice explanation of things. Too bad you couldn't tie into the original switches. How catastrophic would a splice have been? It's just sending signal voltage right?

You can't mix the two. I accidentally shorted a trigger switch to a game switch at one point and it immediately blew the game fuse. Fortunately no damage to the MP3 Trigger.

Quoted from desertT1:

For the playfield, it's vinyl IIRC. How do you protect it? Is wax sufficient, do you have to do it more often because you have less material providing the color before you go down to the base color? Once it's down can it be cleared, or does that do something goofy?

The top layer of the playfield is mylar, so it's pretty bulletproof. The vinyl layer with the art printed on it is underneath that. Before diamondplating, lots of games just had large sheets of mylar covering the playfield. I know people have successfully clearcoated over an overlay before, but it shouldn't be necessary and it could be problematic.

I've been cleaning the playfield like any other playfield, a small amount of Novus 2 and a coat or two of carnuba paste wax. It still looks as good as new. I haven't really had to do much cleaning though as it's basically a fully shopped game.


#52 6 years ago
Quoted from RyanClaytor:

I'd like to say publicly, after a few private conversations with Brian regarding the MP3 trigger and his Ghostbusters re-theme, he's gotta be one of the friendliest fellows around. Very generous with his time and experience, as is evident from these videos.

You are a class act, Ryan. It's been a pleasure working with you. I know you have what it takes to do a great art package, so I hope this helps complete your vision!

Quoted from navajas:

Can't remember if you discussed this in your last thread, and if you did just say so and I can dig it up, but why did you choose Flash Gordon?

Actually, I mentioned it in this thread. FG just sort of fell in my lap before I knew what theme I was going with. It was a perfect because it had generic scoring displays and was a highly regarded, if difficult game. It was also cheap as dirt and the playfield was completely blown out. The theme was finalized in part based on the playfield layout.

Quoted from navajas:

Is it ever frustrating to have put all that work in the game when you drain three balls in 45 seconds?

It's not too frustrating for me, but it does kind of suck when somebody else is checking out the game and keep losing their balls before they see what everything does. Otherwise, it's a great 'one more game!' machine.


1 year later
#55 4 years ago

Thanks! The game is still running strong. I just had it out at the Ohio Pinball Show this past weekend.

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