long time lurker here, but first time ever posting. My brother and I have finally decided to embark on the project of making our own pinball machine. We have a couple machines that we upkeep and also repair when needed so we are aware that this will be a significant undertaking but since I am a very hands on builder and my brother is extremely tech savvy we figure this would be a great project for both of us. I personally think this build log will be a fun way to keep track of the build, our thoughts, or be a good place to ask for help when we need it (because we WILL need help eventually probably)
We always knew we wanted to make a game eventually but it was never a priority, but when we went to the recent show out in PA we found a donor cabinet and pretty much agreed that instead of buying another machine to take home we would finally start our own. We also pretty quickly agreed on the theme of scooby doo and bought the cabinet.
So I started the tear down since there was some water damage on the cabinet base.
My brother said he wants a pretty stout shaker motor in this thing possibly. so. couldn't ignore the old water damaged particle board (or whatever it was). Proceeded to tear out the old material to find that the machine looks like it had grooves to hold it in, like the 4 cabinet panels were built around the base which makes sense but makes replacing the piece kind of hard. while deciding what to do I started the arduous process of getting the old graphics off and fixing up the dents and dings in the cabinet.
finally decided that I was just going to cut the bottom lip out and then glue and screw a new base in that was more solid and substantial. so got a sheet of premium plywood and cut out a new base for the machine. At the same time we thought it would be cool if we can different color legs and metal parts on the outside to match the theme, why not right? were going full custom anyways. So we spray painted the parts we bought at the show just to start to figure out what colors would work better.
After FINALLY getting all the old graphics and adhesive off, i body worked the entire cabinet. tried to make it as clean as i possibly could, basically treated this like a cars panel doing filler primer, body filler, spot filling and my god... the sanding... so much sanding.
so we were ready for color. or the base color. we had an idea of what we wanted but neither of us are graphic designers so. we were kinda winging it like the rest of this project. first we tried a florescent green which looked horrible, then we tried a blue that we thought might look good but that sucked too,we finally found something that reminded us of the mystery machine Rustolium Vintage Teal. this was the color difference between the two
so teal worked great for what we wanted. next hurdle would be to make our own backbox since our donor didn't have one. so used more of the same plywood sheet to make our own backbox. i based the design on the measurements from my brothers Adams Family machinebought a new lock and took some finagling but i got it work eventually. glued and screwed the backbox all together and then did some body filling then also gave it a coat of paint
we also got new buttons and side rails, and then painted the bolt heads orange just to see if it looked cool and we dug it.
so next challenge. Cabinet art. So like I said earlier Graphic design is not really my Forte, but downloaded GIMP and gave it my best shot. we found some art and character designs that we really liked and started going through some designs. My brother thought maybe it should just be a silhouette of the gang running and i wanted to have like a Simpsons pinball party style thing where all the villain's are in the background with the gang in the foreground none of them looked very good or fun ( just too busy). I had the idea to make the cabinet just semi look like the mystery machine. cleaned up all the characters and we agreed we liked this one the best. i even included my little brothers idea of the running silhouette on the front as an accent. to everyone we stole the images from online we are sorry... and thank you lol.
next we went to a print shop and got the designs printed out. kind of a nail biter seeing whether or not my measurements were correct but man im so thrilled with how this turned out.my little brother was just holding in the shooter so we could see if we wanted it purple too or if we were going to leave it black
we didnt do a perfect job of decal application but man. We still love how this is turning out. for now im working on making the graphics for the backbox now and also we sent out all of the metal parts to get actually powder coated. so for now we are in a waiting game until we get those parts back for progress on the cabinet.
i know there is a LOOOOONG road ahead of us but man, as a start i think this will be fun.
as for the actual game design we have a lot of Ideas, but nothing solidified. that's all still in talks as far as balancing fun with challenging. we have enough plywood left to make a blank table to start prototyping ideas and shots but for now we are gathering ideas and discussing what we want. maybe an upper playfield? maybe some cool Scooby Doo based toys? maybe a bash target? not sure. as far as the story of the game we think it should Obviously be Scooby and the gang unmasking villains. we wanted to do the Scooby Doo Where Are you villains but voice lines with laugh tracks sound dated and its actually a slow delivery. we think the What's New Scooby Doo from the early 2000s is more fun as far as colors, line delivery and music goes at least for the feeling of the game we are trying to go for. plus we can play faster music to accompany game modes.
Thank you for reading! well update once we get parts back from the powder coater and when we have a more solidified table idea.