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(Topic ID: 266636)

Pinball Poker? Poker Time? Undecided poker themed homebrew...


By zacaj

6 months ago



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  • 177 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 hours ago by zacaj
  • Topic is favorited by 27 Pinsiders

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    There are 177 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
    #151 22 days ago

    After more playtesting, I decided that it was too hard to catch the ball. With a game where not hitting the wrong things can be as important as hitting the right things, players need to be able to get some control. Even I was having trouble with this, and would often have the ball roll off the end of the flipper while trying to catch it, which I think is partly due to how steep my flippers are (at rest), and thus how shallow they are when raised.

    When I originally designed the game I tried to copy the layout of my Alien Star, but I messed up somehow, and part of that was that I put in my flippers too steep. A while ago I picked up a spare gottlieb inlane guide, so I stuck this in my printer and took a scan:20201003153334_001.jpg

    measuring that picture, I got an angle of 119 degrees (probably 120 in reality since that's a nice number...), while my layout was 126 degrees (fun fact, williams inlane guides are 125, so I somehow mistakenly made williams inlanes...). So I made a new inlane guide with a 120 degree angle:https://cad.onshape.com/documents/cf8933508c54fdc1d2e1cbec/w/8de46f8a59b2e2a9657a1015/e/ce2603cfd473c1490421177c

    Installing it on the playfield made it look way more dramatic than it was, with the giant gap between it and the slingshot:
    pasted_image (resized).png

    But the actual difference in the flippers was pretty reasonable: pasted_image (resized).png

    So I went ahead and adjusted the left side as well, and moved the slingshot down to compensatepasted_image (resized).png

    You can see from the old lines and holes how much stuff moved... I'm ending up with a lot of holes in my playfield! When I try to make the plastic for this, I'm going to have to be careful to note which holes are 'current' so I don't use the wrong ones when reassembling.

    #152 21 days ago

    Heh, this is so evil
    ezgif-7-d515d192c4d2.gif
    Any poker experts know better terms for any of this?

    1 week later
    #153 14 days ago

    Installed a tilt bob, which had to go on the right side due to how I'd routed the wiring, etc. Even in this position I'm still going to need to trim the rod some to keep it from catching on stuff. Plus I need to earplug it! pasted_image (resized).png

    With that installed, I realized I still had no way to kill power to the flippers, so I installed some relays too. Now the tilt works properly in game, and the flippers also aren't energized when there isn't an active game. pasted_image (resized).png

    While opening the game to check on something, I noticed I had four pinballs piled in the front left corner of my cabinet. Occasionally, balls hit by the right outlane saver will airball over the lower left flipper/guide and fall down in there, and rather than grasping around for them I just grab another ball

    So I set up an airball catcher, made from scrap lexan and attached to the existing ball guide

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    In order to get the height right, I also had to put the glass back in, which was a problem since I didn't have any siderails. I dug a pair of stern side rails (from replacing with lollipop rails) out of my spare parts, and they seem to fit the williams cabinet fine. Eventually I'd like to get proper williams rails on there, but I need to get the secondary holes for the extra flipper buttons, so that's been on the backburner. Since the stern rails are narrower, they fit above the buttons fine.

    My lockdown bar is also still covered in rust, so I grabbed one from my whirlwind for now, and for the first time actually had the game assembled with glass+lockdown bar. It's surprising how much of a difference this makes. The game feels much more like a 'real' game. A lot of the noise gets quieted down, which also makes the gameplay feel smoother. A big improvement, although I still need to get a coin door skin somewhere...
    pasted_image (resized).png

    With the mechanisms quieted by the glass however, it becomes much more obvious that I don't have any sound effects! I think this is going to be a big focus soon; I need to start finding (or recording) sound effects and callouts for everything. I'm not really sure how I want it to sound either. Most card themed pinball machines are EMs, and the solid state ones fall into that weird early 80s state where the only sound effects that could be generated were laser blasts and explosions (Eight Ball Deluxe always stood out to me for this). By the time sound designers were free to use any sound effects they wanted, poker themes weren't really popular. I think the only two games that'd fit that category are High Roller Casino and World Poker Tour. For better or worse, the sounds on those have never really stood out to me, to the point where I can't actually remember what they sound like to use as a reference. For a while I was tempted to stick a chime box in this game and call it done, but I'd like to try to get some actual sound effects in.

    For now, I think I'm going to try to make all the sound effects be related to actual poker. Chips clinking, cards being shuffled, etc. Not a ton to work with but maybe it'll be enough. Not sure how that'll feel as a pinball game either though....

    #154 14 days ago

    Very cool to see it in a cab with glass on! Liking the sound effect ideas as well. Going to have some background/ music tracks at all?

    #155 14 days ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    Very cool to see it in a cab with glass on! Liking the sound effect ideas as well. Going to have some background/ music tracks at all?

    That'd be nice, but again, I have no idea what sort of music would fit. With sound effects I can at least find random sounds and stick them in, but for music I feel like you really want something custom for the game, and I can't really write music... So that's on the very bottom of the priority list. Maybe I'll just steal Flash's background sound?

    #156 14 days ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Eventually I'd like to get proper williams rails on there, but I need to get the secondary holes for the extra flipper buttons, so that's been on the backburner. Since the stern rails are narrower, they fit above the buttons fine.

    For what it's worth, the cabinet is the right style that you could use the newer (WPC) Williams rails, which are also narrow and wouldn't need extra holes. They also have a more precise bevel on the inner edge than on WMS's older rails, which (to me at least) makes them more comfortable.

    #157 14 days ago
    Quoted from Gornkleschnitzer:

    For what it's worth, the cabinet is the right style that you could use the newer (WPC) Williams rails, which are also narrow and wouldn't need extra holes. They also have a more precise bevel on the inner edge than on WMS's older rails, which (to me at least) makes them more comfortable.

    Yeah, I'll have to assess my options if it gets to that. I still have the original side rails, they're just rusty. I'm going to be bringing the lockdown bar to a friend who used to polish+clean metal professionally to see if he can save it, but if not I'm going to try to paint it, and in that case I'll probably paint the original rails too, and then drill second holes into them. I want to have the rails matching the lockdown bar however it all ends up. But if I can't use the original rails, I'll have to see how the pricing on the two hole rails compares to the WPC ones

    #158 13 days ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    That'd be nice, but again, I have no idea what sort of music would fit. With sound effects I can at least find random sounds and stick them in, but for music I feel like you really want something custom for the game, and I can't really write music... So that's on the very bottom of the priority list. Maybe I'll just steal Flash's background sound?

    I hear ya, guess it depends on what kind of a ‘vibe’ you wanna go with.. I think it could go a lot of ways

    I’m curious about the rails— do stern lollipop rails fit on a wpc cab? Anyone know?

    #159 13 days ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    I hear ya, guess it depends on what kind of a ‘vibe’ you wanna go with.. I think it could go a lot of ways
    I’m curious about the rails— do stern lollipop rails fit on a wpc cab? Anyone know?

    I'd assume they would, since the normal rails were the right length. But not with two buttons...

    #160 13 days ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I'd assume they would, since the normal rails were the right length. But not with two buttons...

    Ohhhhhh the 2 buttons right that’s a good point

    #161 12 days ago

    Coded another multiball. Previously I had four ways to get a multiball (getting a straight, flush, or full house, or completing a certain number of hands), but they all started the same multiball (which I've decided eventually will be the 'straight' multiball). So I need to add three more multiballs. I started with the 'number of hands' multiball, since that's probably going to be the one most commonly reached. I wanted to make it a bit more 'flail' friendly, since if you're managing to get a specific hand (and thus get that multiball), you're probably a more controlled player. For this one, I've made it so hitting any drop target builds your jackpot value, and then you can collect it by shooting the left orbit. The left orbit is a repeatable shot, since it feeds the right flipper, so for an extra challenge, I leave the jackpot lit after you collect it, until you hit any other targets, so if you're lucky you can potentially get 2-3 jackpots in a row. In practice that's really hard to do though, since there are standups on both sides of the orbit shot, and the feed to the right flipper is really fast. I also realized I didn't have any special stuff using the spinner yet, and the spinner is also a repeatable shot, so I made the spinner also light for a small percentage of the jackpot value. Even a good rip of the spinner won't be worth as much as the left orbit is, since it's an easier shot, but now you also have the fun potential of looping both shots at once, or choosing to go for the lower value, easier shot instead. With that, I also added a spin counter, so you could see what sort of value you're getting. pasted_image (resized).png

    Still two more multiballs to code. I'm thinking one will be upper flipper focused, using the target and shot only hittable from each upper flipper, but that will have to wait until I get the magnet sorted out to feed the upper right flipper.

    #162 5 days ago

    Installed a secondary power switchpasted_image (resized).png

    Located a bit farther back than normal, this one only controls high voltage, so you can quickly reach under and flip it off if anything goes wrong and risks damaging components, etc.

    Also ordered a door, so once that arrives I can finally mount the drawer that holds the boards and clean up/finalize some of the wiring in this area

    #163 4 days ago

    Game is getting increasingly hard to play due to the lack of a screen, so I decided it was time to bite the bullet and try installing the plastic sheet, which means I need to strip the whole playfield. Took it out of the cab for the first time in a whilepasted_image (resized).png

    In some places, I'm glad that past-me thought ahead and installed connectorspasted_image (resized).png
    In other places, like the wires going to the trough mechs, I wasn't that smart, so I ended up cutting the wires, and I'll install a connector later. A few mechs I left hanging, since I didn't think to put connectors on them, and now they're wired in such a way that I can't easily add them.

    Tear down went pretty quick and painless. There's not that much on top of the playfield, and all the drops have connectors so they're quick to remove.pasted_image (resized).png
    The biggest pain was all the standups. They didn't get connectors either since they're so scattered, and some of them barely fit through the playfield. In a few cases I actually assembled them through the playfield to begin with, so I needed to disassemble the target again to get it out.

    The paper has held up pretty well to being played on over and over.
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    When I first installed it I worried that the ball would rip it up when I started flipping but there's no tears at all, even in high traffic places.

    I moved all the playfield components to a spare sheet of cardboard to keep track of them:pasted_image (resized).png
    I wasn't very consistent about screws, posts, etc when assembling, and in some cases I even had to do stuff like grinding down plastic posts to make them shorter, so you really can't mix and match anything, and keeping it all straight like this is really important.

    Taking off the paper reveals about what I'd expected: a ton of trapped sawdust everywhere. It's been messing with the ball and getting it stuck in places it seemingly shouldn't
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    It also reveals something I hadn't anticipated; the wood around every screw is slightly ripped up and standing above the playfieldpasted_image (resized).png
    I'm not sure if this is just normal, or if it's caused by me screwing everything in without drilling pilot holes. Luckily these sanded down easily without affecting the finish of the wood at allpasted_image (resized).png

    With the playfield all torn down, next I'll need to start cutting the plastic

    #164 3 days ago

    Using my flatbed scanner, I scanned the whole playfield in, since this is probably my only chance to access it completely flat pasted_image (resized).png

    I'm hoping that I can stitch these together and use them to update my CAD drawing to match the hand-changes I made when assembling, though I've heard mixed results about how accurate this can be...
    pasted_image (resized).png

    Then I put down my sheet of plastic, which I think is 1/32 lexan, and started marking holes for posts.pasted_image (resized).png

    pasted_image (resized).png

    The main worry with this plastic is whether it'll bubble and expand, separating from the wood, which I've seen happen when trying to make playfield protectors. This is a bit thicker though, and lexan, not PET-G; I'm hoping one of those two factors will fix that issue. To test it, the best thing I could come up with is just to heat it up for a long period of time, so I set it up with a bunch of incandescent lamps pointing right at it, for lack of any better options
    pasted_image (resized).png

    I'll leave this on all day, and see if the plastic rises up anywhere. If not, I'll proceed with cutting the rest of the holes+slots, and reassemble the game for further testing. Not sure if I'll also cut the hole for the screen at this point, or play it some with the protector first before going 'all in' and cutting a 10" hole in the playfield.

    #165 3 days ago

    So the slam tilt guys also put out the call for names for your game. I was running through options, but maybe a bit better understanding of the rules would help. Are you going for a certain style of poker, say texas hold em? Or simply going for best hands? Anyways, following your progress is very interesting bud!

    #166 3 days ago
    Quoted from DudeRegular:

    So the slam tilt guys also put out the call for names for your game. I was running through options, but maybe a bit better understanding of the rules would help. Are you going for a certain style of poker, say texas hold em? Or simply going for best hands? Anyways, following your progress is very interesting bud!

    I've considered eventually allowing you to choose your poker style, but currently I'm just doing 7 card stud. Not sure why I chose that over hold-em, but they'd probably play very similar. Basically the rules are currently "play poker, win hands. get certain hands (straight, etc) or win enough hands, get a multiball". Very generic

    #167 2 days ago

    Have you thought of theming it? Maybe after what I consider one of the greatest poker movies ever? Rounders?

    Rounders Pinball
    Grind
    Short Stacks & Long Odds (or some combination of these words)
    The Nuts

    #168 1 day ago

    No noticeable change in the plastic after sitting all day with the lights on it, so time to dig in. I started by just making all the holes for posts, guides, etc.pasted_image (resized).png
    I've gotten pretty good at making clean holes, at least for smaller sizes, but for some reason they never seem to center well. Some I went to a bigger size, others I manually elongated by running the drill against one edge. pasted_image (resized).png
    Luckily, with a new blade, making the slots and other straight lines isn't too big an issue. I score each side 3-5 times, then use a hammer to punch it out, and I get pretty clean lines (as long as I get the corners right)
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png

    Bigger holes cause issues. Once you get to about half an inch (or even 3/8 sometimes) the bits start to chew up the plastic. Depending on how bad it is I can sometimes clean it up with a blade but it's never perfect. I wish I had a better way to do these, but no method I tried (drill, forstner bit, spade bit, etc) was perfect. It'll be fine for a whitewood, but I think I'll definitely need to get a better one of these machine cut at some point if it all works out.

    pasted_image (resized).png

    I'm finally at a point where I have most stuff cut out, enough to reassemble and playtest the game to see how everything works. I've skipped some of the guides, the drop target banks (since they're removed right now anyway), etc.

    #169 1 day ago

    Do you have an automatic center punch to make a dimple in the plastic before drilling?

    #170 1 day ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Do you have an automatic center punch to make a dimple in the plastic before drilling?

    Automatic? No. I have a hammer and a large wood screw whose point I gently tap to make an indent. Then I drill a small hole, then I drill a bigger hole. I think one of those two drilling steps is drifting slightly or something

    #171 1 day ago

    My recommendation is to get what they call a step bit, this is an example: https://www.acehardware.com/departments/tools/power-tool-accessories/drill-bits/2005049

    It's useful for enlarging a small hole in a sheet of plastic. I own a step bit for, believe it or not, making larger round holes in scale models. It makes it a LOT easier to keep the hole centered as you make it larger, and it's unlikely to crack the sheet at the hole (I was making holes in the hull of a $200 model kit, I wanted to make sure I didn't crack that hull in the process). They make them from largest hole is 1/2" to largest hole is over 1". You don't even have to use the full size of the step bit, just to the desired size step on it.

    #172 1 day ago

    I’m still nervous for you on lexan binding.. I was going to go the same route after asking about to with the pinball amigos and had drilled a bunch of holes (same result as you with centering issues, not sure why ..) when they ran into binding issues and has to free float it. I decided to do the same — honestly it’s not much different visually and stays in place fine. But if you still go for it I hope it doesn’t cause you problems.. it’s one of those things that’s all in .. fixing it after the fact is a pain lol. I did find that larger holes were good with a router or for circles very slowly drilled with a Forstner at the correct size (1 pass).

    #173 1 day ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    I’m still nervous for you on lexan binding.. I was going to go the same route after asking about it with the pinball amigos and had drilled a bunch of holes (same result as you with centering issues, not sure why ..) when they ran into binding issues and had to free float it on their latest build. I decided to do the same — honestly it’s not much different visually and stays in place fine. But if you still go for it I hope it doesn’t cause you problems.. it’s one of those things that’s all in .. fixing it after the fact is a pain lol. I did find that larger holes were good with a router or for circles very slowly drilled with a Forstner at the correct size (1 pass).

    #174 1 day ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    I’m still nervous for you on lexan binding.. I was going to go the same route after asking about to with the pinball amigos and had drilled a bunch of holes (same result as you with centering issues, not sure why ..) when they ran into binding issues and has to free float it. I decided to do the same — honestly it’s not much different visually and stays in place fine. But if you still go for it I hope it doesn’t cause you problems.. it’s one of those things that’s all in .. fixing it after the fact is a pain lol. I did find that larger holes were good with a router or for circles very slowly drilled with a Forstner at the correct size (1 pass).

    I wish I could figure out what causes the binding issues. I've seen them before when I've tried to make protectors sometimes, and it was really obvious and quick to happen. Meanwhile I've talked to other people who say they've done this with no issues.

    My forstner bits always seem to have problems once they start to cut through in one place, they'll get caught on the flat area inside the edges since they don't have any more to scrape, and start ripping and flexing the plastic

    #175 1 day ago

    Do you have the lexan clamped down on a piece of scrap wood so the lexan can't walk around?

    #176 13 hours ago
    Quoted from slochar:

    Do you have the lexan clamped down on a piece of scrap wood so the lexan can't walk around?

    I was going to ask this as well. I know what you’re talking about with the bits ripping as I had that happen a few times both with spade and forstener. Most of the time with it clamped well over scrap wood though and barely any pressure I’d get clean cuts.

    #177 5 hours ago
    Quoted from Mbecker:

    I was going to ask this as well. I know what you’re talking about with the bits ripping as I had that happen a few times both with spade and forstener. Most of the time with it clamped well over scrap wood though and barely any pressure I’d get clean cuts.

    I've just been holding it by hand to the scrap wood, or using another price of scrap pre drilled on top. Didn't think that a clamp would make that much difference

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