(Topic ID: 246337)

Metroid Pinball


By TheArrrrrcade

18 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 165 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 days ago by Twilight1
  • Topic is favorited by 48 Pinsiders

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    There are 165 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    32
    #1 18 days ago

    Some of you have already played it at Pintastic or watched the build on Twitch (https://twitch.tv/thearrrrrcade) but I'm finally getting around to documenting the 3 years between this:

    20160912_230731 (resized).jpg

    and this:

    IMG_20190615_114528 (resized).jpg

    #2 18 days ago

    It started at Pintastic 2015. I had always had a desire to build a custom game one day so I attended the homebrew panel. At this point I thought "one day" was years in the future. I got a chance to talk to Hugh Spahr of Open Pinball Project for a bit about his custom games and that really started to get me thinking about it more seriously.

    Fast forward to Pintastic 2016 and Automated Services has a spot in the flea market selling all their old playfields. I picked up a nasty looking, half populated Jurassic Park to scavenge for parts

    20160709_124345 (resized).jpg
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    This thing was covered in filth but the playfield actually cleaned up nicely in the end

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    #3 18 days ago

    I enjoy lurking on twitch and was happy to see Steve Ritchie and Tim Sexton checking it out this weekend on twitter! I hope to play it one day!

    #4 18 days ago

    Now I had some used parts to work with, along with some new parts (new flipper mechs were purchased since they affected the feel of the game the most) It was time to build a "cabinet."

    20161007_181917 (resized).jpg

    I made this cabinet in an afternoon (maybe a weekend?) I wanted easy access to all the mechs and something easy to pull the playfield in and out of. At this point I already had decided to use a screen in portrait mode.

    Then I had to set up the controller boards and power supplies

    20161010_222347 (resized).jpg

    I decided on Fast Pinball over PROC, mostly because it supported serial LEDs on the main controller board. If I knew what I know now I probably would not have weighted that feature so heavily. At this point I was using a Raspberry Pi 3 without any problems.

    20161011_215813 (resized).jpg

    Got the TV mounted to the back, booted it up, and checked Pinside to make sure the wi-fi was working (oh, it has and will have some cool network features)

    #5 18 days ago
    Quoted from evanc:

    I enjoy lurking on twitch and was happy to see Steve Ritchie and Tim Sexton checking it out this weekend on twitter! I hope to play it one day!

    Thanks! There's actually a video of that on Facebook that I was just made aware of. I'll try to grab it.

    #6 18 days ago

    Time to build a lower third!

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    I streamed almost the entire build process. You can see my old streaming rig in this picture. Man, that thing was enormous.

    20161030_195837 (resized).jpg

    Drilling out the holes I started to realize the plywood I was using was junk. If you are just starting out building a game do not use the garbage that Home Depot or Lowes sells. Pay the extra 20 bucks for some cabinet grade baltic birch from a good lumber yard. I got mine from Boulter Plywood in Medford, MA.

    IMG_20170115_112536 (resized).jpg

    We have a bottom third! Now we can start flipping!

    #7 18 days ago

    Also started to do some test layouts. The full width orbit didn't make it. The reverse raptor pit was in there for a long time. More on that later.

    I used the graph paper so I would have an easy time figuring out where things were positioned when it came time to model it in CAD.

    20161030_211931 (resized).jpg

    #8 18 days ago

    How did you attach that graph paper?

    #9 18 days ago

    Great walk through so far! Thanks for the tips along the way!

    Any advice on constructing orbits? Mine look similar to yours but I had a hard time getting them secured into the pf without the ball potentially clipping the rivets I used to connect the rail to the brackets.

    #10 18 days ago

    Following. Love watching these projects.

    #11 18 days ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    How did you attach that graph paper?

    Spray on adhesive. Use 3M Super 77 or another liquidy kind. I used something else that went on stringy and it definitely affected the play. Flatten it with a squeegee as you attach. I printed the paper at Staples using the cheapest option. Another paper type might work better.

    Quoted from etlandfill:

    Any advice on constructing orbits? Mine look similar to yours but I had a hard time getting them secured into the pf without the ball potentially clipping the rivets I used to connect the rail to the brackets.

    When you attach the rivets make sure you drill the holes close to the bottom or top. The rivets should be attached so the flatter, dome shaped side faces the ball. So, the riveter should be on the ball side. I definitely had your problem on the prototype. The whitewood rails came out really good.

    #12 18 days ago

    At this point I just started adding a few random parts. I just picked a random spot on the playfield and said "pop bumpers!" After adding one part I would play the game and see how it affected the ball. Then think about what I could place in the spots it would ricochet into.

    IMG_20170124_151616 (resized).jpg

    The wiring was starting to build up. I borrowed a technique a friend told me about that he learned from a guy who builds airplanes. Use double sided velcro strips to hold your harness together while you're building it. That way you can more easily make changes. It's really annoying to unclip a bunch of zip ties.

    IMG_20170207_114845 (resized).jpg

    At this point I was using 2 Fast Pinball node boards. If you are not familiar, these are where you wire in switches and coils. They talk to the main controller board which talks to the computer so your software can react to and control everything on your playfield. I used a Fast I/O 1616 and a Fast I/O 3208 which gave me 48 switches and 24 coils. I even still had room to mount them flat.

    I also tried making a plastic. It came out terribly but at least it prevented stuck balls. That's just a piece of paper underneath.

    IMG_20170216_155451 (resized).jpg

    Under this part of the playfield is the raptor pit from Jurassic Park. It faces upwards aimed at the pops. The ball would roll down the rubber and fall in or you could dunk it in on the skillshot. I really liked how this plays, but it wasn't without issues...

    #13 18 days ago

    A spinner, drop target, and captive ball get added, more targets and it's starting to look like a game. Added some sweet art. If you plan on spilling a beer on your playfield you should probably make sure it's not a dark beer. This was a porter. Oh, and since I was streaming at the time there's a clip of it happening: https://www.twitch.tv/thearrrrrcade/clip/AverageBetterBobaKlappa

    IMG_20170304_142849 (resized).jpg

    Also added the mini loop on the right center. The ball got stuck up there every 15 seconds so I tried to think of something different to put up there. This version used a poorly positioned rollover button to register the loop.

    #14 18 days ago

    Now that I was feeling like street level was looking good, I decided that it was time to add some Nordmanite ramps. Then I added the cross rail from Jurassic Park. This picture gives you a good overview of the current state and also a good view of the problem with the raptor pit. It's big and in the way.

    IMG_20170706_115410 (resized).jpg

    Play spot the differences between this and the whitewood! So many mistakes with this design. I'm not sure what I was thinking...

    IMG_20170706_115419 (resized).jpg

    There's Jurassic Park in the background. That playfield was an invaluable tool for what size playfield holes should be. But not for the playfield depth. Apparently modern ones are not 46"

    IMG_20170706_115423 (resized).jpg

    Electrical tape is great for creating temporary barriers and patching holes.

    IMG_20170706_115433 (resized).jpg

    #15 18 days ago

    Dig this.

    I really like the "cannon/kick back" launcher in the middle there. Definitely is going to capture that morph ball feel. Shouldnt it launch into a nice looping ball guide or something to simulate this a little better? Something smooth and satisfying.

    Subscribed!

    #16 18 days ago
    Quoted from Chitownpinball:

    I really like the "cannon/kick back" launcher in the middle there. Definitely is going to capture that morph ball feel. Shouldnt it launch into a nice looping ball guide or something to simulate this a little better? Something smooth and satisfying.

    I did too, but the mech just wasn't fitting. I'm still working through documenting the entire build process. Stay tuned to see how I kept a bit of that feel and improved the flow.

    #17 18 days ago
    Quoted from TheArrrrrcade:

    I did too, but the mech just wasn't fitting. I'm still working through documenting the entire build process. Stay tuned to see how I kept a bit of that feel and improved the flow.

    Oh this is already done...gotcha. I wondered why we saw the final product first....staying tuned!

    #18 18 days ago

    Nice work! I've spent way too much time with mine already. I think I should have gone this route.

    #19 17 days ago
    Quoted from ThatOneDude:

    Nice work! I've spent way too much time with mine already. I think I should have gone this route

    I'm 3 years in and it's still not done!

    #20 17 days ago

    Excellent job! I enjoyed your video on twitch and will attentivelly read and follow your topic.

    #21 17 days ago

    I've been following your twitter feed for sometime watching this. Nice to have it all in one place.

    #22 17 days ago
    Quoted from TheArrrrrcade:

    I'm 3 years in and it's still not done!

    At least it's flipping! I ended up designing my own OPP inspired controllers and getting sidetracked by 6 other projects on top of that. But, come to think of it, I'm about 3 years in as well.

    #23 17 days ago

    Then one day I was browsing Pinside and saw a cabinet come up for sale locally

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    This game contains dinosaur DNA! I also got the playfield which had its wiring harness cut in order to build a WhiteStar test fixture. I tried to keep it intact for a long time but eventually started selling off parts to recoup costs and taking parts for Metroid. (Before you ask, snagger is sold and the egg is in rough shape )

    IMG_20170618_105416 (resized).jpg

    #24 17 days ago

    I'll just scrape off the decals... OH CRAP DIRECT PRINT

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    No one will ever know

    IMG_20170806_105706 (resized).jpg

    Hours of sanding later...

    IMG_20170806_180837 (resized).jpg

    #25 17 days ago

    Nice work!

    #26 17 days ago

    Time to modify the backbox to fit the screen.

    IMG_20170820_202420 (resized).jpg

    A showcase cabinet won't work for this so I modified it to have a flat front

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    Test fit the "translight"

    IMG_20170831_121408 (resized).jpg

    Need to put the speakers somewhere so I built a box for the top. This was a mistake. It's too tall.

    IMG_20170820_191518 (resized).jpg

    Putting it all together...

    IMG_20170831_174519 (resized).jpg

    #27 17 days ago

    Spray on some paint and I have a cabinet!

    IMG_20170811_142831_033 (resized).jpg
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    #28 17 days ago

    Time to do some cabinet assembly and wiring. Fun fact: The mispainted Fireball EM on the left was across from Metroid at Pintastic.

    IMG_20170902_181509 (resized).jpg

    Audio and power

    IMG_20170926_202302 (resized).jpg

    Looking good

    IMG_20170926_202312 (resized).jpg

    #29 17 days ago

    An audio test. The speakers may make it too tall, but the audio quality is amazing!

    #30 17 days ago

    Had to de-case the TV for the cabinet

    IMG_20170819_122351 (resized).jpg

    #31 17 days ago

    Planning out the backbox wiring

    IMG_20170927_172847 (resized).jpg

    Something like this! (Spoiler alert, I have to change it later)

    IMG_20171015_112534 (resized).jpg

    #32 17 days ago

    I did add a tilt bob and wired it up. Maybe someday I'll write code to acknowledge its existence!

    IMG_20171004_195559_620 (resized).jpg

    #33 17 days ago

    With the new cabinet working

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    It's time to say goodbye to an old friend

    IMG_20171017_175316 (resized).jpg

    #34 17 days ago

    This thing is awesome good job

    #35 17 days ago

    So awesome!!!

    #36 17 days ago

    Time to deal with this problem. It blocks the left orbit. I didn't want to get rid of it because I loved how it shot the ball right into the pops. What could be a similar mech that takes up less space?

    IMG_20171018_154637 (resized).jpg

    A well aimed slingshot should do the trick! It's not as accurate but it's more fun! Not to mention I can add yet another shot aimed towards the pops behind it. That's a one way gate to prevent the ball from falling into the new path. It also gives a better shot to the left orbit, but it's still slightly difficult to hit. Only now it's fun difficult, not "I hate you" difficult.

    That yellow electrical tape covers up the foam core patch that fills in the giant hole I needed to install the raptor pit mech. It caused a slightly annoying ball hang up occasionally, but it's a prototype.

    IMG_20180308_103030 (resized).jpg

    #37 16 days ago

    Im thrilled to see this thread!

    After Pintastic, word spread fast, and your game has hit casual discussion here in Florida with Glowing Reviews!

    Congrats on your perseverance and talent!

    #38 16 days ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    After Pintastic, word spread fast, and your game has hit casual discussion here in Florida with Glowing Reviews!

    Thank you! I was expecting more criticism, but all I really got was that it was too dark and there are no rules. Both "easy" fixes. The biggest surprise was how much kids liked the theme.

    #39 16 days ago

    I always loved the infinity mirrors on old games like Xenon and Space Invaders. I thought I should do that but with a modern twist. An infinity mirror works by having a normal mirror in the back, lights in the middle, and a one way mirror on the front. So how do I do this?

    For the back mirror, I chose mirrored plexi. I don't want glass back there to break. So I cut a couple of strips out of this...

    IMG_20171119_104153 (resized).jpg

    I created some brackets to hold it in place...

    IMG_20171119_181501 (resized).jpg

    Apply highly reflective, energy efficient, mirrored window tint to the translight...

    IMG_20171124_100626 (resized).jpg

    And it's ready to add lights! Also coded a backglass image. No more text debugger on the screen!

    IMG_20171129_191032_416 (resized).jpg

    #40 16 days ago

    Around this time I built a vented box to protect the power supplies. It was too big and got in the way of raising the playfield. A waste of a day. Into the garbage it goes.

    IMG_20171119_185840 (resized).jpg

    #41 16 days ago

    Let's start by adding lights to the pop bumpers...

    IMG_20180129_211340 (resized).jpg

    And here's a video of them in action!

    #42 16 days ago

    Dave and I interviewed Mark at Pintastic. Hear it here:

    https://www.breaker.audio/the-classic-pinball-podcast

    #43 16 days ago

    I don't have any pictures of building the backbox light strips. They were these: https://www.adafruit.com/product/1460?length=1

    I stripped them from their casing and (at this point) velcroed them inside the backbox.

    In total, 100 individually addressable RGB LEDs arranged 50 per side in a T shape so I can do some 3Dish lighting effects. This effect tries to mimic rain.

    Also started attract mode! Fake color DMD added.

    IMG_20180313_180416 (resized).jpg

    #44 16 days ago

    Got a rotisserie because it was becoming difficult to work on the playfield otherwise.

    IMG_20180321_184230 (resized).jpg

    I was sick of hitting the side ramp all the time. I actually had to reglue it a couple of times from the abuse. And I wanted a scoop.

    IMG_20180326_194655_057 (resized).jpg

    Add a scoop next to the back ramp. This scoop has an open back (currently blocked with foam core)

    Add standups in front of the side ramp. These had an added bonus of bouncing the ball into the upper slingshot and vice versa.

    IMG_20180327_010941 (resized).jpg

    #45 16 days ago

    You know what sucked? This area:

    IMG_20180411_183100 (resized).jpg

    That target is just positioned wrong. Let's back that up. A piece of dowel and some more yellow electrical tape plug up the hole. Suddenly you can hit the captive ball and occasionally the orbit. Most often the space between the ramp and the captive ball. Something had to go there. The correct answer was the ramp, but I tried something else first...

    IMG_20180412_115421 (resized).jpg

    #46 16 days ago

    I planned on inline drops, so time to add a couple more. These all have the drop coil on them so I can move each up and down at will.

    IMG_20180416_183856 (resized).jpg

    Easy!

    IMG_20180417_005410 (resized).jpg

    It's starting to feel more complete, but I have more plans...

    IMG_20180418_085144 (resized).jpg

    #47 16 days ago

    Player friendly flipper gap

    IMG_20171121_195915 (resized).jpg

    #48 16 days ago

    Here's a video flyover of the game at this point in time

    #49 16 days ago

    If your upper flipper keeps sending the ball somewhere you don't want then CLEARLY the best course of action is to put a big red target in that spot instead of moving the ramp there (I'm an idiot.) Also added an upkicker behind the drop targets. I want an upper playfield!

    IMG_20180425_175145 (resized).jpg

    Those parts are installed. Next I needed to replace the orbit rail so I bent a strip of aluminum, attached some brackets, then it's a nice smooth orbit. This picture was before it was cut to size.

    IMG_20180426_173727 (resized).jpg

    #50 16 days ago

    Congratulations Mark on winning the Pintastic Best In Play for Best Custom!

    George and I interview Mark and the other 8 Pintastic 2019 Best in Play winners.
    Some great insight is given on each of the 9 winners as well as how they approached
    and made their games stand out to garner the Best In Play Blue Ribbon.

    https://www.breaker.audio/the-classic-pinball-podcast
    IMG_20190628_193026 (resized).jpgimage (resized).png

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