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(Topic ID: 158887)

Holy Pinball BATMAN!!!


By Drano

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 125 posts
  • 43 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Drano
  • Topic is favorited by 54 Pinsiders

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There are 125 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
#51 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

We are definitely having a bomb feature. The plan is to modify a newton ball to look like the bomb and apply a hard black finish to it.

If you don't want to make your own black ball I think you can buy them from Matt at back alley creations.

#52 4 years ago
Quoted from docquest:

If you don't want to make your own black ball I think you can buy them from Matt at back alley creations.

I actually want to add the small round turret on top of the newton ball and have some twisted wire for a small fuse. A standard black ball won't be too much help. I'm looking at the newton ball that has a post attached to it with a 2nd ball trapped behind it.

I spoke to Matt about a year ago to see if he'd mock one up for me. He was originally really into it but it never happened. I'm having a local guy do it now.

#53 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

For anyone keeping score, Monkeybug is the other (obviously more shy) half of this dynamic duo
Maybe we can get him to talk a bit more about his experience with the FAST hardware and Mission Pinball Framework so far.

The introduction

I am the other half of this project and doing the programming, audio, and (some) electrical. I have a technical background in software development so this is a natural fit.

Like many here, I had a dream of making a custom pinball. The stars aligned when meeting few other local pinheads and the seed was sown. There are a few other ongoing projects but this is the only one worth reporting right now.

The Hardware

When researching for hardware, I checked out all possible avenues. I looked at the obvious choice of P-Roc, considered something like FreeWPC and talked to talented engineers who were making other custom hardware solutions. In the end I had a lot of discussions with Aaron from FAST pinball and decided their offerings were the best fit. I saw a few advantages in what I wanted to do with their product that wasn't offered by the the others. While FAST is still an ever evolving company and things are still being worked out, Aaron and Dave have been a joy to work with. Very helpful, supportive and have shown an amazing industrial strength product that is ready for prime time. I was one of the early adopters and had a chance to play around with a prototype board which was a great experience. Aaron and Dave are still working on newer offerings like servo motor controllers and RGB displays and it seems the sky is the limit for their hardware offerings in the future. You can check out there official website at http://fastpinball.com but its better to check out their social media for cutting edge items like twitter (https://twitter.com/fastpinball) and Facebook. If you really want to geek out there are a few twitch broadcasts building hardware and realtime Q&A (https://www.twitch.tv/fastpinball).

The Software

Since the hardware side was determined, I had to consider the software. Do I write my own software or do I look for an established solution and/or framework? In the end, I thought Mission Pinball had the most promise and started playing around with when they where at version 0.9. Having a long tenure in software design I have seen the common issue of people trying to re-invent the wheel. Either they fail or sometimes fail to leverage what is in front of them. With an open source solution, I was free to examine and even assist in contributing to the software framework. Over the past year I have had the experience in working with many of the core developers on the Mission Pinball Framework. They are an extremely talented bunch and have been extremely helpful with my questions and comments. Gabe has given me a lot of information on electrical aspects of EM machines and Brian has been amazing at discussing the finer details of the platform and has never failed to correct/address an issue within days. His passion is phenomenal. There is a still a lot more features that can be added to MPF but it is an amazing and ever evolving framework that will be killer when it hits its next milestone. You can check out the details and forums at https://missionpinball.com. They are always looking for people to add to their group. If you ever thought of writing your own framework (and have no serious aversions to Python) check them out, they are a great and welcoming bunch regardless of your skill level.

The Summary

As for the project, Drano has come up with some great rules. We are trying hard to keep that 60s theme while keeping the game fun. This means no wizard modes but having ball times longer than 20 seconds, like many EM machines.

I will now slink back into the shadows and get back to work on the FAST/MPF solution driving this project while Drano does his magic on the gameplay.

#54 4 years ago

Sending out huge thanks to DOCQUEST for sharing the files hes ripped for his own project with us. That'll save a ton of time!

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As monkeybug works away on setting up the programming, I've started to take apart my machine and strip away all of the EM guts.
One thing that we discussed last night was the use of the playfield window. Up until now the plan has been to keep the roulette mechanism as-is and just re-purpose it as the "Penguin's Perilous Parasol" and have it give out random awards. However, once I got the mech removed and was faced with a clear open window, the obvious option of using a screen instead cropped up.

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Monkeybug and I were talking about replicating the spinning umbrella digitally while also being able to bring in some actual video content from the series during key points in the game. So, imagine Cesar Romero laughing at you on screen as you collect his henchmen... or, the middle screen turns into a bat signal during multiball... or we see bursts of Bam! Kapow! etc. on screen as we hit fully lit pop bumpers!

I know it's not exactly vintage... but it is pretty cool.
We'll have to think on this a bit more, but we are both warming up to the idea.

#55 4 years ago

Glad to help with the audio files.

I think the video display instead of the mechanical wheel would be really cool. I know you wanted it to look like it was an authentic EM designed with a batman theme from the 70's. However putting the video screen in there will give you lots of cool options. You could still have a digital version of the mechanical wheel to keep the vintage feel when it spins but then supplement it with extra video snippets when it's not being spun. The bat logo spinning for example would look great there.

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#56 4 years ago

If you're set on using a screen, at least use an old black and white tube so it stays vintage.

#57 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

If you're set on using a screen, at least use an old black and white tube so it stays vintage.

Batman was in color since it's premier in 1966. It always opened the show with this splash screen.

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#58 4 years ago

An older color tube would definitely be cool, though, so long as the graphics were legit (flash/computer graphics would be kinda "off", I think). It'd be cool to turn the machine on and see the tube fade in.

#59 4 years ago

Playfield is completely stripped.
Ready for sanding!!

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#60 4 years ago

OMG OMG OMG!!! do the old school rounded corner 4:3 color video screen insert PlaaEEEEEZE?

#61 4 years ago
Quoted from weaselfest:

OMG OMG OMG!!! do the old school rounded corner 4:3 color video screen insert PlaaEEEEEZE?

Yeah... It's looking like we may go that way
Not sure about the vintage CRT though... maybe we'll just apply some old school filters.

#62 4 years ago

very cool, watching

#63 4 years ago

oh yeah, assuming you will figure out a way to mask and filter a LCD screen for this.
Hybrid all the way.
thanks again for taking the time to share your progress.

#64 4 years ago

I had a little more fun last night.
I'm usually trying to put artwork back onto a playfield. Last night I got to do the opposite

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1 week later
#65 4 years ago

Just a couple of screen grabs.

I scanned in the entire playfield so I've been tracing it all in CAD. This will allow me to throw it onto the CNC and easily make the modifications I'm planning. It's also a lot easier to repeat for Monkeybug once we get his ready. For now mine will be the guinea pig.
I have a WPC layout to the right for reference since we're adding a modern trough into this hybrid to accommodate the multi-ball.

Screenshot_2016-06-09_14.40.20_(resized).png

With the scan and CAD outline, I'll also be able to start to plan the artwork a lot better.
I just wanted to play around so I started tinkering a bit in Photoshop.
I tried to keep that same BATMAN logo from the original comp I did ages ago, but wanted it to encapsulate the "henchman" inserts.
I think I may pop these inserts and re-route them on the CNC to be a bit more circular to match the round window. I also want to create some space for our key arch-villain inserts too.

The vari-target slot to the left seems to be a great spot for a "Ka-Pow" graphic and I'm toying with the idea of making the bat signal image a lot more prominent... especially if we end up going with the LCD for the window instead of the roulette wheel.

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#66 4 years ago

That's cool!

#67 4 years ago

Definitely flowing this one! Great idea and good luck Drano!

#68 4 years ago

Did you scan the playfield or have it done?

Looks awesome!

#69 4 years ago
Quoted from MrBellMan:

Did you scan the playfield or have it done?
Looks awesome!

I have an old HP 4600 series windowpane scanner that comes in really handy for playfield work. I did it in about a dozen scans and used a great stitching software to assemble.

#70 4 years ago

This is bad ass. Love the ambition you're bringing to it.

#71 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

Just a couple of screen grabs.
I scanned in the entire playfield so I've been tracing it all in CAD. This will allow me to throw it onto the CNC and easily make the modifications I'm planning. It's also a lot easier to repeat for Monkeybug once we get his ready. For now mine will be the guinea pig.
I have a WPC layout to the right for reference since we're adding a modern trough into this hybrid to accommodate the multi-ball.

With the scan and CAD outline, I'll also be able to start to plan the artwork a lot better.
I just wanted to play around so I started tinkering a bit in Photoshop.
I tried to keep that same BATMAN logo from the original comp I did ages ago, but wanted it to encapsulate the "henchman" inserts.
I think I may pop these inserts and re-route them on the CNC to be a bit more circular to match the round window. I also want to create some space for our key arch-villain inserts too.
The vari-target slot to the left seems to be a great spot for a "Ka-Pow" graphic and I'm toying with the idea of making the bat signal image a lot more prominent... especially if we end up going with the LCD for the window instead of the roulette wheel.

Awesome.
For the henchmen text, I may be wrong but I don't think you usually see the "pts" abbreviation, nor "points", just the number.
For example, the Royal Flush playfield: http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2035&picno=18526

#72 4 years ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

Awesome.
For the henchmen text, I may be wrong but I don't think you usually see the "pts" abbreviation, nor "points", just the number.
For example, the Royal Flush playfield: http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2035&picno=18526

Yup, good call.
These were just fast mockups so I haven't really spent time looking at it too closely. Another convention is to use ADV. instead of ADVANCE

#73 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

I think we're going to avoid putting any 3D toys on the game though.

Good for you. Cheesy toys are for the DMD crowd, & don't Belong on an EM, even if it's a hybrid.

2 weeks later
#74 4 years ago

(off-topic) For those who like slots (I loved it)!

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#75 4 years ago

Just got back from Atlantic City. The 1966 Batman slot machine was awesome. I hope Stern puts out a Batman66VE someday.

1 week later
#76 4 years ago

POW! I mean.... BUMP!

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#77 4 years ago
Quoted from Jimmyd044:

Just got back from Atlantic City. The 1966 Batman slot machine was awesome. I hope Stern puts out a Batman66VE someday.

No pics!?

1 week later
#78 4 years ago

We are still working behind the scenes on putting the bits and pieces together. Things have slowed down since the summer has come to Canada. We are all now enjoying the two months of the year when our lakes are not covered in ice and we are getting more than 12 hours of continuous sunlight.

Stay tuned. Same PinTime, Same PinChannel.

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#79 4 years ago
Quoted from monkeybug:

We are still working behind the scenes on putting the bits and pieces together. Things have slowed down since the summer has come to Canada. We are all now enjoying the two months of the year when our lakes are not covered in ice and we are getting more than 12 hours of continuous sunlight.
Stay tuned. Same PinTime, Same PinChannel.

Just returned from a week in Victoria, BC. Perfect weather, too nice to be indoors messing with a pin .
Carry on..

1 month later
#80 4 years ago

I feel bad that we haven't posted much all Summer.
This is my busy season at work and of course prime vacation time. But still juggling several pinball projects in between.

Monkeybug and I have made some key decisions on the mechanics of the game. Things like how we plan to handle the EM score reels (this will now be a 2 player game) and how to handle things like the batcave mech I wanted so badly.

I've spent some time off and on working on some CAD of the playfield so that the physical alterations could be performed easily on both of our examples via CNC. While doing that I started laying the groundwork for the artwork as I played with some of the physical properties of where stuff is going.

Below is a photoshop mashup of some found. I've used it to begin the artwork composition but this is just a rough cut and paste. Once I'm happy with how the artwork and physical components are marrying up, I'll use this image as an underlay and hand-draw on top of it. Then that drawing will get scanned and inked digitally into a vector file we can use to colour and print.

BATMAN_test_crop_colour_(resized).jpg

In typical EM fashion, I'm trying to avoid too much artwork inside the inserts, but rather using them around the art to indicate if a feature is lit or not. So our 4 key villains will be represented on the playfield and their respective inserts will be lit up if they are "captured"; which will increase the player's bonus X.

I'm sure many more elements will change and I have to add a lot more text for a few features and select a proper colour pallet, but you can see how it's coming together.

3 weeks later
#81 4 years ago

It's been 3 weeks since the last post and in that time Stern has announced a Batman 66 re-theme too. Everyone is getting in on the action!

Here is small collage of various back glass art that Drano is whipping up while I sort out some of the technical details.

HPB_TriGlass (resized).jpg

#82 4 years ago

Wonder if there will be some similarities...

#83 4 years ago
Quoted from TKDalumni:

Wonder if there will be some similarities...

I think that's unavoidable. With such a strong license that has so many hallmarks to it, the stern pin and the two retheme fan projects can't help but have things in common. We are all drawing from the same material.

We're pretty confident that this one will be able to stand apart simply due to the more retro feel we are going for. Sure, it'll run on modern hardware and may still have an LCD where the roulette wheel usd to be, but the vast majority should still feel vintage and in keeping with the era of the license. We'll just be able to do cooler stuff than they were able to 50 years ago. Better sounds, light shows, rules etc...

#84 4 years ago

Much more respect here for the homebrew guys... what they do is hard and a lot more created than what stern did.
Don't get me wrong; I'm glad sterns there churing out media for the masses. But the respect for one off machines is much higher in my book.

#85 4 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

Much more respect here for the homebrew guys... what they do is hard and a lot more created than what stern did.
Don't get me wrong; I'm glad sterns there churing out media for the masses. But the respect for one off machines is much higher in my book.

Thanks! It's a bit of work for sure.
we're aiming for a "two-off" machine which should present it's own challenges

#86 4 years ago

Good to see you are still proceeding with your Batman, cool theme and sure you will create a very cool retro pinball. Watching this thread for sure.

#87 4 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

Good to see you are still proceeding with your Batman, cool theme and sure you will create a very cool retro pinball. Watching this thread for sure.

For sure. The goal was always to make our own new machine first. The theme was secondary and we just needed one that both Monkeybug and myself loved. The recent (and mostly expected) announcement by Stern doesn't change either of these things.
I'm honestly more excited to make a homebrew throwback design (a la WNBJM) than playing a super new Stern. That being said, I can't imagine I won't love their game too; just based on how much I love the theme alone.

In other news, I think we've settled on a backglass design that looks sharp.
After playing around with several ideas, I landed on this one. It's based on a custom poster by Martin Ansin that was sold in very limited numbers by Mondo. I think it captures the feel of the 66 series beautifully.
I've swapped the villains for the classic cityscape and done a bit of photoshop layering. This isn't final art, just a mock-up for layout. I'm going to get this re-drawn and cleaned up. The idea will be to create a multi-layered glass/backbox; sort of like Scared Stiff.
The city will be a couple of inches back... bat signal will light up during gameplay and the "Holy Pinball" burst may also pop out.

Hope you guys like it

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#88 4 years ago

very cool translite concept

could the scoring be located in the orange / pink curves so Batman logo is clearer ??? and maybe the H on Holy needs to be squared up a little.

love the idea of multilayered

#89 4 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

very cool translite concept
could the scoring be located in the orange / pink curves so Batman logo is clearer ??? and maybe the H on Holy needs to be squared up a little.
love the idea of multilayered

I raised the scoring because I didn't want to cut off the iconic batmobile and it was cutting into too much of the artwork. The logo is large and recognizable enough that we can afford to cut into it a little.

The "Holy Pinball" was looking too flat so I tried to distort it a little. It didn't have the desired effect though. My plan is to have that text look like the "kapow" or "thwack" that usually appear in battle scenes.... but those need to be custom drawn so I'll do then when I do the retrace of this mockup.

#90 4 years ago

agree, the batmobile needs to be there and maybe brought in front of the A.

Could the Holy Pinball be on the layered effect to add depth and action with your city scene.

looks great, you guys should be proud

wild idea what about the light to the bat logo and bat logo from the search light at the very back behind the city scene that is on a motor and rotates side to side, or up and down a little.

#91 4 years ago

Awesome work Drano! That translite looks fantastic. I really like the idea of the multilayered look to the art. If you want to add a little motion to it you could put some of the layer parts on bouncy springs (like the customers behind the translite on Diner) . As you move the machine around a bit while playing they bounce a round a little. Might look cool on the bat signal or the holy pinball graphic.

#92 4 years ago

Thanks. I was thinking of trying that spring idea for the "Holy Pinball" piece for sure.
Just a bit silly... like the series

#93 4 years ago

Love the effort on this project, great stuff Drano !

2 months later
#94 3 years ago

Hey guys!
Long overdue for an update.

Obviously the Stern Batman announcement hasn't really shaken our resolve much. To be honest I'm not a huge fan of what I've seen so far, but I was probably never going to be a buyer anyway.

Since our project was always meant to be a lot more 'vintage', Monkeybug and I are still totally stoked to continue to brew our own version of this classic theme.

As always, there are multiple projects in the hopper so I've done my best to push this one along. We missed Expo this year but we are determined that this will be in Chicago next October.

Here are a few pics showing where we're at so far. After the backbox art was mostly settled, I started doing some CAD layouts in behind the art to place all the lamps, displays etc. After that was done I moved over to the CNC and cut some panels. AT the same time I added in the 'fins' to help alter the shape of the backbox. This weekend I'll be assembling that and my partner in crime can hopefully start programming the score reels. We're also investigating getting a chime box to play the batman theme. Need to find 4 units (2 per game to play 4 notes).

Screenshot 2016-09-23 11.12.28 (resized).png

IMG-20161123-WA0002 (resized).jpg

Lastly, one of my artist friends has started to lend a hand on the artwork. His first task was to come up with a stencil plan for the cabinet.
Here's a shot of his work in progress. The dynamic duo are still way too detailed, but he's slowly converting everything over to a 3 or 4 color stencil. The batmobile already looks great! I'm sure the constraint of only using 3 or 4 colors is causing him some grief, but I have faith!

IMG-20161122-WA0009 (resized).jpg

#95 3 years ago

That artwork is fantastic! If your going for an authentic EM look that artwork nails it! Nice work Drano

#96 3 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

That artwork is fantastic! If your going for an authentic EM look that artwork nails it! Nice work Drano

Actually it's fan-tas-tic

#97 3 years ago

Here's another iteration.
It still needs some tweaking/simplification, but it's coming along nicely!

IMG-20161124-WA0028 (resized).jpg

#98 3 years ago

Are you planning to screen it or decal?

Good job as usual Drano!

#99 3 years ago
Quoted from Redketchup:

Are you planning to screen it or decal?
Good job as usual Drano!

Thanks.
I'll make stencils and spray it. Decals are not very 'vintage'

#100 3 years ago

looking great and glad you are moving along in doing your version

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