Pinball at Maker Festival

(Topic ID: 220760)

Pinball at Maker Festival


By jwilson

74 days ago



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  • 6 posts
  • 4 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 73 days ago by jabdoa
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    17
    #1 74 days ago

    I run a website called "Pinball Makers" ( http://pinballmakers.com/ ) that is for people who are interested in making their own pinball machines from scratch and has a ton of information on how to do it. I recently completed my own re-theme game:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/gottlieb-hot-rod-a-tribute-to-classic-em-pinball

    And I decided to bring it out to the Toronto Maker Festival that took place this weekend at the Toronto Reference Library, to help introduce pinball to a younger crowd interested in mechanical and electronic hobbies.

    I had a display showing P-ROC boards, a working demonstrator with lights, a 5-bank drop target, rollover, standup and a flipper on it to show how pinball works, and a laptop set up running my game so people could see the switch hits and a mockup of the display.

    The Booth

    A video of the laptop running the game software:

    It was in a darkened area called the "Glowatorium" with all the light-based exhibits, which was fine but I had to add some lights for my sign.

    Day one saw tons of people under 40 interested in playing pinball!

    IMG_6563 (resized).JPG

    Lots of young kids were lining up to play and even arguing about whose turn it was.

    IMG_6586 (resized).JPGIMG_6590 (resized).JPGIMG_6589 (resized).JPGIMG_6588 (resized).JPGIMG_6587 (resized).JPGIMG_6599 (resized).JPG

    Plus, the demonstration display I made out of spare parts I had lying around was very, very popular.

    This kid said "I could do this for hours."

    Drop Targets

    For two days the game was basically played non-stop.

    All ages

    I would suggest to any pinball people to bring games out to non-pinball events to see how normal people interact with them. Pretty much everyone had no idea how to start a game, figure out the flippers or ever look up at the backglass except when the game was over. I ended up disabling the ball save because it was only confusing people. Forget explaining how two player games worked!

    It was totally worthwhile to bring the game out and show people that pinball can be a fun hobby, especially if you're interested in the fixing and making side of things.

    At the end of the show as I was loading up my car, one of the volunteers came over and said he thought my display was amazing and that when I lifted the playfield one time, he saw one kid's whole world change as he was blown away by what he saw. I thought that was really great.

    It was an amazingly well-run show and had a lot of features that pinball shows could use, like free help to unload and load, volunteers to sit in your booth to give you a 30-minute break, and a free lunch.

    Here's some audits for the two 8-hour days. Keep in mind it was 95% young kids who tended to chimp the flippers, but a couple of them were surprisingly good!

    events:
    game_started: 534
    player:
    score:
    average: 7911.390243902442
    top:
    - 31520
    - 30240
    - 29980
    - 29740
    - 29560
    - 26350
    - 26115
    - 25205
    - 24950
    - 24905
    total: 615
    shots:
    center_rollover: 1121
    left_inlane: 210
    left_outlane: 309
    left_rollover: 904
    left_saucer: 365
    right_inlane: 357
    right_outlane: 285
    right_rollover: 723
    right_saucer: 292
    skill_shot_h: 328
    skill_shot_o: 491
    skill_shot_t: 332
    top_lane_h: 1746
    top_lane_o: 848
    top_lane_t: 543
    switches:
    cs_coin_1: 0
    cs_coin_2: 0
    cs_left_flipper: 18117
    cs_right_flipper: 18565
    cs_slam_tilt: 0
    cs_start: 635
    cs_tilt_bob: 0
    pfs_center_pop: 3353
    pfs_center_rollover: 1121
    pfs_drop_d: 261
    pfs_drop_o: 383
    pfs_drop_r: 1863
    pfs_left_eject: 356
    pfs_left_inlane: 210
    pfs_left_outlane: 309
    pfs_left_pop: 3630
    pfs_left_rollover: 904
    pfs_left_saucer: 1049
    pfs_left_side: 588
    pfs_left_sling: 1334
    pfs_left_upper: 1593
    pfs_right_eject: 289
    pfs_right_inlane: 357
    pfs_right_outlane: 285
    pfs_right_pop: 3134
    pfs_right_rollover: 723
    pfs_right_saucer: 740
    pfs_right_side: 796
    pfs_right_sling: 1104
    pfs_right_upper: 1142
    pfs_shooter_lane: 2868
    pfs_top_lane_h: 1746
    pfs_top_lane_o: 848
    pfs_top_lane_t: 543

    #2 74 days ago

    Impressive display

    There's maker faires all over the place--it would be interesting to see more people doing something pinball related for these events like this.

    https://makerfaire.com/map/

    #3 73 days ago

    Yeah, pinball is the ultimate maker project - electronics, programming, woodworking, engineering, mechanical, artwork, design, gaming, audio, video...

    Plus it's mostly kids who have never heard of pinball or seen one.

    #4 73 days ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    It was an amazingly well-run show and had a lot of features that pinball shows could use, like free help to unload and load, volunteers to sit in your booth to give you a 30-minute break, and a free lunch.

    The volunteer booth watchers is a cool idea. Did they have special shirts or anything identifying so that patrons knew they were just stand ins?

    Massive props to you for the interactive display and other signage. Very cool.

    #5 73 days ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    The volunteer booth watchers is a cool idea. Did they have special shirts or anything identifying so that patrons knew they were just stand ins?

    Yes, every volunteer was wearing a Maker Festival shirt. And they had tons of them, all teens or early 20s. Probably harder for a pinball show to get so many volunteers but definitely some good ideas to steal.

    Massive props to you for the interactive display and other signage. Very cool.

    Thanks! A few people were surprised I had nothing to sell. Just want more people to know pinball and maybe get into the hobby.

    #6 73 days ago

    Super cool Jeremy! I would like to build something similar for the annual CCC congress (35C3) in Leipzig, Germany. I will bother you later this year.

    Jan

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