(Topic ID: 356464)

Portal Pinball

By snowy_owl

12 days ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 45 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by snowy_owl
  • Topic is favorited by 15 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    IMG_20240524_150447890_HDR (resized).jpg
    IMG_20240524_153339480 (resized).jpg
    D8359E4F-DDC0-4A3D-B224-B125E0EEDFBC (resized).jpeg
    159500B7-F579-42C9-8B76-F646C1D543D2 (resized).jpeg
    pasted_image (resized).png
    IMG_20240517_183748627[1] (resized).jpg
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png
    pasted_image (resized).png
    rough portal flow (resized).png
    popup_subway (resized).png
    f360_blank_pf (resized).png
    IMG_20240514_165338385[1] (resized).jpg
    portal_vpx (resized).png
    portal_turrets (resized).png
    IMG_20240514_161023772 (resized).jpg
    20
    #1 12 days ago

    It has been several years since I built my first pinball machine, which was a re-theme of a Baby Pac-man playfield. I'm now a junior in high school, and am nearing the stage where my workshop I am building will be finished enough to work in. This will mean that I'm finally at the point where this game will be possible to build.
    While I have had the rough design and the theme of Portal in my head and "on paper" for quite a while, this project physically is still in its early stages. However, now that I have finally began to get parts in, I thought I would begin this thread.

    I have my power supplies ready to go as well as some wire, with more on the way. Hopefully by my next paycheck I will be able to buy my initial FAST Pinball boards. I'm working on getting a blank lower third cut for prototyping, and then will digitize the placement of all holes. I am also looking for an empty donor cabinet, which has proven to be more difficult than I had anticipated. If worst comes to worst, I suppose I can cut my own. I did make my own cabinet for my first homebrew, which worked out well enough, but it is a headache I would rather skip this time around.
    IMG_20240514_165338385[1] (resized).jpgIMG_20240514_165338385[1] (resized).jpg
    f360_blank_pf (resized).pngf360_blank_pf (resized).png

    The main mechanic of the game is the portals - several pre-staged balls around the playfield that can be released out of their respective "portals" whenever other portal shots are hit. Nearly every shot will have a "trap door" mechanism, in order to dynamically divert balls into the subway system that will refill the ejected ball. These mechanisms will be able to be controlled by the player, as if you are placing portals. Here is the mechanism I designed for the trap doors. Very simple, but I think it will work.
    popup_subway (resized).pngpopup_subway (resized).png
    IMG_20240201_170443177 (resized).jpgIMG_20240201_170443177 (resized).jpg
    IMG_20240201_173255355 (resized).jpgIMG_20240201_173255355 (resized).jpg
    IMG_20240201_173337623 (resized).jpgIMG_20240201_173337623 (resized).jpg

    While I was brainstorming this game, I thought that it would be super cool to have a moving GLaDOS model in the game, almost to act as the heckler of the game (such as characters like Rudy, The Black Knight, etc.) I am somewhat familiar with both Fusion360 and Rhino, but I am nowhere near an expert. I searched the internet to see if anything like this already existed, and came across this project: https://www.instructables.com/A-fully-3D-printable-GlaDOS-Robotic-ceiling-arm-la/
    This looked great, but it had one small problem: it was way to large to fit in a pinball machine. Using the public files from the website, I created scaled-down versions of the parts and modified them, allowing them still to fit mini servos inside in order to move the model. It is still in the prototype stage, but so far the movement has been working on the servos I've tested.


    IMG_20240514_160352889 (resized).jpgIMG_20240514_160352889 (resized).jpg

    I have several other mechs that I plan on adding to the game, but they are on paper and still need to be prototyped and tested. Excuse the poorly executed drawings, keep in mind that they are rough sketches and I am not an engineer

    One of the first mechs I designed is the chamber lock door mechanism, which will be able to open or close depending on game conditions.IMG_20240514_160931480 (resized).jpgIMG_20240514_160931480 (resized).jpg
    chamber_lock_portal (resized).pngchamber_lock_portal (resized).png

    I'm also going to have an elevator mech which can be hit as the "final shot" of each test chamber. The plan is to have the doors open, revealing a magnet inside. Once the ball is shot onto the magnet, the assembly will be able to sink beneath the playfield, and eject the ball from a subway. When the elevator is down the ball can be shot over it in order to hit the shot behind the elevator.
    IMG_20240514_160942213 (resized).jpgIMG_20240514_160942213 (resized).jpg
    portal_elevator (resized).pngportal_elevator (resized).png

    One of my favorite parts of Portal 2 were the Aerial Faith Plates that kicked the player high into the air and across the test chambers. I thought the concept of these could be well utilized in a pinball machine, so I tried to make a pinball compatible version. My idea is to put one of these in the outlane as a sort of unique kickback mechanism, possibly to kick the ball up onto a ramp/wireform, although I suspect there could be some issues with consistency. Either way, I definitely want to integrate some version of these mechanisms into the game.
    IMG_20240514_160947275 (resized).jpgIMG_20240514_160947275 (resized).jpg
    afp_portal (resized).pngafp_portal (resized).png

    I also wanted to integrate the iconic turrets found in many of the test chambers in Portal and Portal 2. I originally designed an, in my opinion, overcomplicated and debatably impractical mech for having little turret models that could be knocked over into the playfield. However, I later discovered flyaway targets, which as far as I know, are only on a few older games. I think these should totally be used in newer machines, and though Stern Venom came close with the doppleganger targets, it was not quite the same. After failing to find any flyaway target assemblies for sale, I decided to design my own version of them, which will hopefully work better for my purposes anyway, allowing the game to completely control if the target is up or down.
    IMG_20240514_161023772 (resized).jpgIMG_20240514_161023772 (resized).jpg
    portal_turrets (resized).pngportal_turrets (resized).png

    I've got a few other ideas as well, but they are even rougher than these, so I won't talk about them until they are better developed (or scrapped).
    I have a layout that I like in vpx, but who knows how it will translate to real life, so I only plan on using it as a guideline, not a rigid reference.
    portal_vpx (resized).pngportal_vpx (resized).png

    Hopefully more updates will be coming soon! The goal is to get some playable (i.e. flipping) version of this game to expo. I'm hoping to meet a lot of people from the industry there, and ideally make connections for a future career in the industry! There is not a thing I'd rather do than make pinball for a living!
    Although I am somewhat slowed by time and money, I am incredibly excited to finally be able to get this plan off the runway! I think the Portal theme lends itself excellently to pinball!
    Of course if you feel so inclined, feel free to give me any feedback, questions, suggestions, or critiques!

    #2 12 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    It has been several years since I built my first pinball machine, which was a re-theme of a Baby Pac-man playfield. I'm now a junior in high school, and am nearing the stage where my workshop I am building will be finished enough to work in.


    #3 12 days ago

    Rock on! Portal is such a great theme.

    Love the elevator integration.

    #4 12 days ago

    Following!

    #5 12 days ago

    When designing mechs, don't forget that you can also use motors, servos, and actuators--not just solenoids.

    Also keep in mind--coils are not usually intended to be held at full power for a length of time. If you need to hold something, either use a coil with a secondary winding (ie, flipper coil), a relay coil with a latch release, or just use something other than a coil to drive the mechanism.

    #6 12 days ago

    Portal is amazing. Are you aware of TX Sector, which used the staged ball method to give the appearance of “transporting” the ball? Amazing game

    #7 12 days ago

    Nice! Looking forward to seeing the progress on this.

    #8 12 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    Of course if you feel so inclined, feel free to give me any feedback, questions, suggestions, or critiques!

    The cake is a lie.

    #9 12 days ago

    Following, good luck! See you in the fast slack

    #10 12 days ago

    Great theme choice. Keep up the good work.

    #11 12 days ago

    Just saying, you have a real knack for hand drafting isometric perspective. Imagine what you could do with grid paper vs line paper j/k

    Good luck on the build

    #12 12 days ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    The cake is a lie

    I’m making a note here: huge success

    #13 12 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    One of my favorite parts of Portal 2 were the Aerial Faith Plates that kicked the player high into the air and across the test chambers. I thought the concept of these could be well utilized in a pinball machine, so I tried to make a pinball compatible version. My idea is to put one of these in the outlane as a sort of unique kickback mechanism, possibly to kick the ball up onto a ramp/wireform, although I suspect there could be some issues with consistency. Either way, I definitely want to integrate some version of these mechanisms into the game

    Houdini's trunk shot was about 3/4 the length of the playfield and very consistent. I'd look at that.

    It's quite different than what you've laid out, but making 10 or 12 portals around and in the playfield then letting the player connect portals as they see fit (portals open mechanically and light when they are accessible) could make a really wild customizable game. You'd have to stage balls to make the illusion of ball in, ball instantly out the other portal work, but if it can be managed I think it would feel like magic to play.

    #14 11 days ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Houdini's trunk shot was about 3/4 the length of the playfield and very consistent. I'd look at that.
    It's quite different than what you've laid out, but making 10 or 12 portals around and in the playfield then letting the player connect portals as they see fit (portals open mechanically and light when they are accessible) could make a really wild customizable game. You'd have to stage balls to make the illusion of ball in, ball instantly out the other portal work, but if it can be managed I think it would feel like magic to play.

    Take a look at games that have used similar concepts and see how they integrated it. Usually a ton of R&D went into those mechs that can help you avoid headaches before they happen!

    Right off the bat I think of:
    TX Sector, as mentioned above
    Spectrum also had a feature like that and those balls came RIPPING through. Always made me drain and pissed me off,

    Halloween/Spooky also used served up sneaky inlane balls. I think they used servos? Really cool feature regardless of opinions towards the game itself.

    Those are a few you should look at, very excited to see how your Portal build comes along!
    Don’t forget to add a few more zeros to the Aerial Faith Plates maximum weight to account for the pinball’s generous… ness…

    #15 11 days ago

    Really cool idea! best of luck!

    #16 11 days ago

    snowy_owl I am waiting on my cnc guy to cut some more blanks but I'll send you a blank stern whitewood for free. Glad to see someone in high school working on something like this!

    #17 11 days ago
    Quoted from Octomodz:

    snowy_owl I am waiting on my cnc guy to cut some more blanks but I'll send you a blank stern whitewood for free. Glad to see someone in high school working on something like this!

    That would be awesome, thanks so much! Hit me up whenever it works, and we can figure something out!

    Quoted from PinMonk:

    It's quite different than what you've laid out, but making 10 or 12 portals around and in the playfield then letting the player connect portals as they see fit (portals open mechanically and light when they are accessible) could make a really wild customizable game. You'd have to stage balls to make the illusion of ball in, ball instantly out the other portal work, but if it can be managed I think it would feel like magic to play.

    What you've said here is actually not far from what I plan to do. Currently, I have 9 portals in the game. What I had planned to do was have all shootable portals lead to a ball-sorting area that would kick the ball back out through wherever the second portal was placed. This way, each shot can both accept and eject balls, but I don't have to make one mechanism do both, if that makes sense. I made this rough diagram to try and show my thinking here. I don't know if this is the most efficient or "right" way to do it, but it is the method that has seemed the easiest to me so far.
    Green arrows are the balls shot into the portals, red arrows are the pre-staged balls.

    rough portal flow (resized).pngrough portal flow (resized).png
    #18 11 days ago

    I wish you the best on your endevor! Great theme integration!

    #19 11 days ago

    This is great stuff. I am especially impressed with your ability to sketch your concepts before you get into the CAD work.

    Following.

    #20 11 days ago

    Very good start to a great theme. Keep up the good work.

    #21 11 days ago

    Holy crap, what an awesome idea. I rediscovered the Portal series myself not too long ago and couldn't help but have a few similar ideas run through my head.

    The existing faith plate design may need some revision to work properly as a kickback, though. It doesn't appear to be calibrated for something of the ball's...generous-ness. You should add a few zeros to the maximum weight.

    #22 11 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    I have a layout that I like in vpx, but who knows how it will translate to real life, so I only plan on using it as a guideline, not a rigid reference.

    Is your VPX version playable? I'd love to see how your layout feels at this point. You have some amazing concepts, I look forward to seeing it come to life.

    #23 11 days ago

    I never realized how much we needed a Portal pinball game until now. The theme is perfect for pinball, it's got a huge following, the story writes itself, the music is iconic, there could be so many mechanical ideas in play - American Pinball, stop doing these unlicensed themes and get on this! A home run theme.

    #24 11 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    I originally designed an, in my opinion, overcomplicated and debatably impractical mech for having little turret models that could be knocked over into the playfield.

    Have you thought about incorporating a collapsible giraffe mechanism?

    To activate it, you could have a motor with a lopsided wheel that pushes and releases the compression mechanism.
    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    #25 11 days ago

    Superb, owl!

    We will be watching with great interest (and a little envy, no doubt)

    Best of luck. You're nailing it!

    #26 11 days ago

    Will there be a companion cube, and will I have to destroy it?

    #27 11 days ago

    Looks fantastic! Maybe look to Pinball Magic's levitating ball illusion for the elevator toy?

    #28 11 days ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Will there be a companion cube, and will I have to destroy it?

    You could use a vari-target as a mech to destroy it--then attach a cube toy to the top of the target. The only downside is the amount of real estate vari-target mechs use on a playfield.

    #29 11 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    One of my favorite parts of Portal 2 were the Aerial Faith Plates that kicked the player high into the air and across the test chambers. I thought the concept of these could be well utilized in a pinball machine, so I tried to make a pinball compatible version. My idea is to put one of these in the outlane as a sort of unique kickback mechanism, possibly to kick the ball up onto a ramp/wireform, although I suspect there could be some issues with consistency. Either way, I definitely want to integrate some version of these mechanisms into the game.

    Take a look at the kicking mechs on Aerosmith and Houdini--they both kick the ball into the air and into the trunk on each game fairly reliably.

    #30 11 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    You could use a vari-target as a mech to destroy it--then attach a cube toy to the top of the target. The only downside is the amount of real estate vari-target mechs use on a playfield.

    also modern flippers are so strong, the target basically always goes all the way back...and if you weaken them, then your ramps are limited

    #31 11 days ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    also modern flippers are so strong, the target basically always goes all the way back...and if you weaken them, then your ramps are limited

    Maybe add a retention spring to increase resistance?

    [edit]: Hah, that's exactly what stern did to their implementation of a vari-target on RBON

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png

    pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    #32 11 days ago

    Hey snowy_owl put your location in your profile. You may discover that there is a maker community or pinball helpers near you!
    .................David Marston

    #33 10 days ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    Hey snowy_owl put your location in your profile. You may discover that there is a maker community or pinball helpers near you!
    .................David Marston

    Thanks for the suggestion! I've always chosen to leave my location blank for privacy reasons, but maybe I will change that. I live in Northwest Washington, so I know that there is definitely a community for this stuff. In fact, FAST Pinball itself is located in Gig Harbor, which is relatively nearby.

    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Will there be a companion cube, and will I have to destroy it?

    I absolutely want to have a companion cube(s?) in the game, but I am still not 100% on how I will do it. ForceFlow may be onto something with that vari target idea.

    #34 10 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    my location blank for privacy reasons,

    Translation: He has the portal technology & can be anywhere.

    #35 10 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    I absolutely want to have a companion cube(s?) in the game, but I am still not 100% on how I will do it. ForceFlow may be onto something with that vari target idea.

    Another idea: the gopher ramp mechs on NGG (or maybe just a gottlieb stargate ramp mech with a target below the ramp entrance, since you probably wouldn't need the ramps to bounce up and down to simulate talking).

    Since you have so many ramps, you could have the ramp entrances pop up and show companion cubes, and then you can't use the ramps until you "destroy" the companion cubes.

    #36 10 days ago

    TOTAN Lamp Spinner, but a companion cube on top.

    Or it might be interesting to put a turret on it. And if can tell which way it's pointing, so you get less points for shooting in that direction (of fire). And spinning it makes it dizzy for a while and disables it

    #37 9 days ago

    Wow, here to follow your work.
    I love the theme and all your ideas are very nice !

    #38 9 days ago

    Cannot wait to see where this goes ! Such a great theme.

    Zen made portal pinball that was decent. But this will be epic as a real machine.

    #39 9 days ago

    Following! I love the portal games!

    #40 9 days ago

    All the ideas people have been mentioning here are great!
    While I was in class today, I sketched another mech I'm going to include in the game. This one is supposed to be like the excursion funnels from Portal 2, where players can float through the peaceful, asbestos ridden stream of light in order to complete tests!
    My plan is to basically put this assembly behind the backboard of the playfield, where a magnet attached a moving belt will make the ball "float" across the backboard (similar to what was done in Kiss Premium/LE).
    I will put some sort of acrylic tube with lights around where that ball will travel, and try to make it look as true to the game as I can manage.
    Hoping I will be able to update with more significant progress soon. I'm itching to get building!

    IMG_20240517_183748627[1] (resized).jpgIMG_20240517_183748627[1] (resized).jpgpasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
    #41 8 days ago
    Quoted from snowy_owl:

    All the ideas people have been mentioning here are great!
    While I was in class today, I sketched another mech I'm going to include in the game. This one is supposed to be like the excursion funnels from Portal 2, where players can float through the peaceful, asbestos ridden stream of light in order to complete tests!
    My plan is to basically put this assembly behind the backboard of the playfield, where a magnet attached a moving belt will make the ball "float" across the backboard (similar to what was done in Kiss Premium/LE).
    I will put some sort of acrylic tube with lights around where that ball will travel, and try to make it look as true to the game as I can manage.
    Hoping I will be able to update with more significant progress soon. I'm itching to get building!
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    Be sure to look at the dancing alien mech in the homebrew spaceballs game...that had a somewhat similar custom belt driven mech along the backboard.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spaceballs-the-pin/page/11#post-3565250

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/spaceballs-the-pin/page/13#post-3807770

    #42 8 days ago

    Or look at something like the mist multiball mech from BSD

    #43 8 days ago

    I made 2 scoops that hold 1 extra ball each for version 1 of my homebrew. I think a pair of these would be awesome in portal. If you shoot 1 scoop the ball can come instantly out of another, and then vice versa. You’re welcome to them if you want to use em in portal. I’ve stripped off the coils, springs and plungers, but those are easy enough to get.

    If how they work doesn’t make sense from the pics I can explain further.

    159500B7-F579-42C9-8B76-F646C1D543D2 (resized).jpeg159500B7-F579-42C9-8B76-F646C1D543D2 (resized).jpegD8359E4F-DDC0-4A3D-B224-B125E0EEDFBC (resized).jpegD8359E4F-DDC0-4A3D-B224-B125E0EEDFBC (resized).jpeg
    #44 2 days ago

    Got a blank playfield cut from a local guy, he was incredibly helpful, friendly, and generous with this project. Also got some wire in. Next step will be to mount some hardware on this playfield.
    IMG_20240524_153339480 (resized).jpgIMG_20240524_153339480 (resized).jpg
    IMG_20240524_150447890_HDR (resized).jpgIMG_20240524_150447890_HDR (resized).jpg

    #45 2 days ago

    Also got more of the GLaDOS mech working.
    Body Test:


    Head Test:

    Reply

    Wanna join the discussion? Please sign in to reply to this topic.

    Hey there! Welcome to Pinside!

    Donate to Pinside

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run without any 3rd-party banners or ads, thanks to the support from our visitors? Please consider a donation to Pinside and get anext to your username to show for it! Or better yet, subscribe to Pinside+!


    This page was printed from https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/portal-pinball-2 and we tried optimising it for printing. Some page elements may have been deliberately hidden.

    Scan the QR code on the left to jump to the URL this document was printed from.