About a year ago i started work on a life long ambition of mine: to build a fully featured pinball control system for early bally and stern games with the goal in being able to produce a board set and software framework for other like minded people to modify and create new games from old playfields. I also wanted to be able to create new rules and sounds for a game i made back in the college days some 25 years ago.
I developed a double board set and had some protos made. 1 controller board and 1 driver board, that are designed to work together, and replace all other bally boards except the power section on the old power driver board.
I wanted to create a board set that would work together and include additional options on the boards so that people could add extra features to games should they wish, but also be a direct plug in to the games original wiring. The main features of the board set are:
- Control Original Segment Displays, or use low cost serial Led displays
- Control Original Switch Matrix
- Control Original 16 Drivers plus Solenoid expanders
- Control Original 64 non-matrixed lamps
- Additional 16 mosfet drivers for flashers, motors, magnets etc
- Additional RGB Lamp Control for extra lamps
- Large SD card sound/music storage capabilities
- Multiple Channel Sound with background music
- Sound line out for connection to external amps/audio setups
The hardware is one side of the project, but the software framework is the other. I have been working on creating a pinball library framework which people can use to get their own project off the game in conjunction with this hardware. The framework is made up classes for all the major pinball items, so lamps, switches, drivers, displays and sounds. The game itself then has various other files including feature modes and base modes to make the game playable. I have based my design concepts on the work of other more complex pinball frameworks, such as pyprocgame. This is the framework that i use for my rewrites of Indiana Jones and Whirlwind (see my other blog posts). Without the ideas from this software i wouldn't be here.
The framework is all written using the arduino code language and C++. I am making sure that you can still use the standard arduino ide to modify the files to create your own game from. The framework is very modular and i'm pretty happy with it so far.
Here an example videos of the attract mode with all 64 lamp being controlled along with the displays
Here's a vid of me explaining some of the rules that i am recreating using my framework and api and showing them working on the game
Here's an earlier video of some game play, before i got the 2nd channel (background music/sound) working
Please get in touch if you are interested in creating your own game from an Early Bally or Stern game and would purchase my board set.