Quoted from benheck:
"Kevin Kulek built this in a cave! With a box of SCRAPS!"
A flipping Whitewood is no big deal. Few thousand Tops or less if old used parts. You don't even need an OS just wire secondary coil winding through end of stroke old school!
If a Whitewood was really that difficult you wouldn't see Frozen, Nightmare before Xmas or any of these other homebrews.
The most expensive part of a whitewood, for me, is:
1) x2+ Flipper assemblies
2) x2+ Jet assemblies
3) x1 Trough assembly
4) Driving hardware (P-roc in my case right now)
5) Hard to find parts like drop targets, kickers, poppers, troughs, ect... that fit in where I want to put them.
-A computer is cheap shit, just get a $40 Pentium 4 windows xp off of craigslist, and BOOM! You have a game brain. ALL my games use XP pro or home, it doesn't matter both are perfectly stable for running a simple pinball machine. Is this the best choice for a final product? naw... but for prototyping and development why the hell not? Set your code up right and it doesn't matter what OS or driver you're using. [Game Logic] <-> [Hardware]
-Posts are easy, $0.4 or something each when ordered in bulk? meh
-Targets can add up ($6 to $12 each depending or style) but still, meh.
-Sheet guides can be hand cut from a sheet of $20 metal from home depot or lowes
-Wood $20 or so from home depot or lowes
I built the Frozen whitewood in under $600 worth or raw parts/materials... 2 flippers, 1 jet, 10 targets, scrap metal for guides, 20ft of solid core grounding wire for the wire ramp, some switches, an old trough from Bally blackjack, $100 tv from best buy, old p4 3.2 computer I've had since 2003, ~$100 of various frozen toys (took some time to find the right ones), P-Roc I already had from Tail of the Dragon, etc. Programming and wireing time is another story.
Tail of the Dragon, similar story. less then $800 worth of raw parts (not counting computer or proc).
Fairyland Tales never really got too far, basic flipping using raw power like what Ben described, but no real code.
Haunted Cruise is a different beast all together. Many $Ks worth of parts, revisions, etc. But still under $7k total in raw parts used over it's lifetime.
I'm not saying all my games are OMGWTF Innovative! in design or toys, they don't really need to be as long as it's fun to shoot and the rules/gameplay is fun. Obviously JPop feels like he's doing something new, though I don't think any of us have seen it yet from the videos and images shown. Which again goes back to the "what's taking so long" question all you owners have. It's a very good question!