(Topic ID: 193314)

Pinball and technological advances

By rammstein99

2 years ago

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  • 17 posts
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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by solarvalue
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    #1 2 years ago

    Remember visiting the page of one of the smaller manufacturers and they had made a promo video where it was mentioned in passing that it is remarkable how little key components of gameplay have changed in the past 30+ years: the style of gameplay, the lock-3-balls-in-a-row-and-you-get-multiball aspect, the familiar spot targets/drop targets/bumpers/ramps/flipper configuration etc. Technology in general has modernized considerably but the tech used in making these machines has changed comparatively little (although of course, this doesn’t make the hobby any less enjoyable), even though there have been some notable developments e.g. high resolution screens/lighting and more.

    Had a few ideas and was curious to know the opinions of the forum; please bear in mind the caveat here that I’m much less familiar with the technological side of pinball than many of you so if these ideas are ridiculous please be easy on me

    For instance, consider the standard rollover target. Of course the rollover target combined with the coding aspects indicates to the machine where the ball is on the playfield and whether the ball has completed an orbit or ramp completely. If you take a standard optical computer mouse (not an old trackball mouse), and you flip it over, there will be the optical/laser indicating movement of the mouse as you move it across the mousepad. Tech exists wherein anything that ‘breaks’ the beam will be detected. Would it be possible (practically, and financially) to implement this kind of tech on a pinball playfield…? For example, a rollover target in an inlane or orbit shot- the ball would break the beam negating the need for a rollover. Is that possible.

    Going a step further, given that various aspects of scoring and gameplay are based on detection of where the ball is on the playfield at any given time, there have been advances in motion detection technology. What if this were implemented somehow in the game, perhaps rollovers and possibly other mechs would not have to be present?
    Thoughts on if any of this is doable?

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    TNA has inline target ball locks, a light show that follows that ball as it is coming out of the scoop and off the pop bumper, and other features that might not be found in other pins. An old school pin with new and innovative features.
    I think part of the joy of pinball is how tactile and old school it is. The new trend is obviously the displays, both in the back box and on the playfield, throwing balls into the ball lock (ala Aerosmith, and soon-to-be Houdini). I think the industry, in general, is trying to push out more innovative features.
    Having screens is not a winner for me yet, because, let's be honest, when you're playing a game, how much time do you really have to look at the displays? But that's where the industry seems to be moving as of now.

    Definitely. The high res screens can be used to produce some amazing video modes though, and no doubt will.

    #15 2 years ago

    Another idea would be a smaller than average pinball itself, instead of the silver balls used interchangeably in pins there could be used pinballs that are smaller in diameter by a slight margin. Not like the mini playfield in Family Guy, or basically like a marble size (which makes the game feel more like a toy than a game), but slightly smaller than the average silver pinball.

    The advantage in this would be since the ball is smaller in diameter, ramps could be narrower and take up less space on the playfield. The approach could free up playfield space making for more room for additional targets and ball action.

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