In December of 2017, Kaydee and I added our first pinball machine to our collection of 37 arcade games, and we were hooked pretty quickly. Since then our pin collection has grown to 11, including a restoration of what probably should have been a parts machine Blackout. We are pretty good at fixing monitors and power supplies and the other things that go wrong on arcade machines, and were initially a bit intimated by the prospects of keeping pinball machines running, but once we got over that and jumped in head first -- we got over the initial unfounded worries and its just been growing.
Once we knew we could get a dead and neglected machine up and running -- of course we started thinking of making our own. Doesn't everybody?
In March of 2018, we traded some monitor repair work for a Phoenix project. This game was in bad shape:
* No backbox - we had the light board, looking at the displays, we'd be lucky if one of them was in working order
* Incomplete boardset
* Harness had been cut off of the playfield
* Cabinet was warped such that the plunger could not be used
* Warped plastics
Restoring this machine would have likely cost many times what a Phoenix would cost on the open market -- and it really wasn't one we'd pick if we were out to add to our collection. So we chose a different path that would cost many times what a Phoenix would cost on the open market -- a total retheme with new software, hardware, and artwork!
Kaydee loved the movie "The Black Hole" as a kid and came up with that idea almost immediately, and we ran with it!
We went with the P3Roc boards from metamorphic and the Mission Pinball framework for software.
Where we are now:
As we await some final powdercoated pieces (which we expect today) and our translite (which USPS said we'd have 3 days go), we are ready to put the machine back together to start in-game playtesting of the "0.71 pre-alpha" version of our code. The code as it currently exists is a fully playable game with a reasonably coherent ruleset and 7 modes. I'll talk more about this in subsequent posts to this thread.
We will be on our 0.8 alpha code by Saturday, February 23rd, when we host the Phoenix Belles and Chimes February event in our home arcade (Outpost Kodelia), which will feature a side tournament on our new machine! As a side note -- after the tournament, we'll keep the doors (to our home) open for an open arcade party -- any fellow collectors and enthusiasts are welcome to attend. PM me for details.
We will use data we collect from that for our next iteration, the plan is to have the machine at Starfighters (our local retro arcade) in April for a weekend, then our final 1.0 version of the code ready for May and the Zapcon show in Mesa, AZ.
I've included some of our "what we started with" photos here, and will be adding much more detail to this thread later today and over the weekend. Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing much more information about the game, typically on our Outpost Kodelia facebook page, but I will keep things updated here as well.