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(Topic ID: 263526)

Steamboat Willie Homebrew


By bahbevans

7 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 47 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by LynnInDenver
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 7 months ago

    So I have been working on a thing. I have been afraid to share for various reasons:

    1) I have lots of ideas that burn away and never happen, but now it is working, so my confidence is higher.

    2) Internet people can be cruel.

    3) The property is still under copyright (but I would never sell it anyway.

    I wanted to build my own machine. The reason was simple. I wanted to say, "I built a pinball machine." I asked my wife what the theme of the machine should be. She said, "Harry Potter". While on a trip to Disney World, I came across a theater that played the life story of Walt Disney. I was inspired by the black and white drawings and Disney's ability to tell a story using limited time and resources. So I chose Steamboat Willie as my theme.

    The next quest to conquer was to determine if this was going to be a re-theme or a full-blown built-from-scratch machine. I first bought an EM game to re-theme because of the old-time feeling of the theme, but I soon realized that an EM re-theme would miss a very important element to the theme, music. That is when I realized I would have to build this thing from the ground up.

    Actually, not the ground up, I would build this from parts I already owned. The cabinet itself would be donated from a parted out Apollo. I chose the playfield layout based on the fact I only owned one bumper. I once played a home-version pinball machine at a friend's house that I remembered well that only had one bumper, it was call Circus. I loved that game when I was a kid because one, it was all I could play, and two I could always hit the spinner shot (which made me feel super cool). I even used some of the artwork elements from that home-style machine.

    More logistics for those of you that like that kind of thing, Used a 3/4 inch plywood and did a roughed out layout first. To make the playfield smooth, flat, and even, I used an epoxy table pour. The flippers, bumper, and rubberband kicker were set up like an EM machine and uses AC (which created a big EMI issue later). I used an Arduino Uno running Johnny-five to operate insert lights and other solenoids. I made the display using HTML5 and lots of javascript. The playfield was printed on vinyl and covered with mylar. I am sure I missing something, but that is all I can think of. Enjoy the pictures. It is functional, but still a ways from finished.

    It has a full video display and lots of music.
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    #2 7 months ago

    Nice!

    #3 7 months ago

    What a great looking Pin you created! Love it!

    We keep this Animated Wall hanging in the pin room!

    I hope I could ask you share a vid?

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    #4 7 months ago

    Witnessed and played this last night. Tremendous amount of effort put into this one. It made my head spin just how much work goes into these things. Super impressive home brew, and the theme is just brilliant.

    #5 7 months ago

    I agree, played it last night. I most super impressed with the animation tie-ins. Really really made the theme pop! Very immersive. I think if the flippers had just a little bit more juice this game would be spot on my kind of game. The layout was also a highlight and very interesting. Excellent work!!! You should be proud!

    #6 7 months ago

    Love the old EM look with the modern LCD screen !
    impressive!

    #7 7 months ago

    Great work!

    #8 7 months ago

    One word- “Inspirational”

    #9 7 months ago

    Ok , just noticed the black glove and light saber hilt... phreaking awesome....

    #10 7 months ago

    Great work!! Def need a video

    #11 7 months ago

    Great job. Can you (or someone at Louisville) post a video of it in action?

    #12 7 months ago

    I think it looks GREAT overall, but the apron and plastics art is a bit too busy, and detracts from the nice simplicity of the rest of the playfield.

    #13 7 months ago

    great job with a cool throw-back theme...a steam whistle noise or a ships bell on the match number would make for a nice end to a game..congrats

    #14 7 months ago
    Quoted from miracleman:

    I think it looks GREAT overall, but the apron and plastics art is a bit too busy, and detracts from the nice simplicity of the rest of the playfield.

    I know the plastics are busy. I threw them together for the show. I want to do better ones later on. Thanks for the suggestion though.

    #15 7 months ago
    Quoted from belairjoe:

    great job with a cool throw-back theme...a steam whistle noise or a ships bell on the match number would make for a nice end to a game..congrats

    The smoke stacks work, but not at the show (alarms).

    #16 7 months ago
    Quoted from Bublehead:

    Ok , just noticed the black glove and light saber hilt... phreaking awesome....

    There was some Luke Skywalker look alike at the show and helped me line up my camera. So cool.

    #17 7 months ago
    Quoted from kermit24:

    Great job. Can you (or someone at Louisville) post a video of it in action?

    Not sure how to post a video.

    #18 7 months ago
    Quoted from Joniano:

    I think if the flippers had just a little bit more juice this game would be spot on my kind of game.

    The machine can’t handle the plays. I burned out a couple of Mosfits yesterday. I brought a pocket full today and still have the let it rest for a while.

    #19 7 months ago
    Quoted from bahbevans:

    Not sure how to post a video.

    Take with phone and post to YouTube , then link it back to thread

    #20 7 months ago

    Excellent job with the build! Always cool to see something off the mainstream, and home-built. Wish you lots of fun with it and looking forward to see any future work.

    Following the thread.

    #21 7 months ago

    Love it ... beautifully done sir!

    #22 7 months ago

    Totally geeked out seeing this. Thank you for all your hard work and let me know if you want a better trans lite material for it.

    1 week later
    #23 7 months ago

    Here is the YouTube link from an interview I did about the machine.

    #24 7 months ago

    looks great!! , cant wait to have more time to watch the whole video

    #25 7 months ago

    Wow ! What a beautiful game and an excellent choice of theme. I really could see this going to the market, it’s appealing and unique.

    Great job OP, would love to put my (sanitized) fingers on this one !

    -1
    #26 7 months ago

    Beautiful!!!!

    This may be too close to the Sun, I can see a C&D in your future. Steamboat Willie is a highly protected asset. I wish you the best, but there is no fair use for a one off.

    Seriously tho, nice work

    #27 7 months ago

    Wow! JUST Amazing!

    #28 7 months ago
    Quoted from Jigs:

    Beautiful!!!!
    This may be too close to the Sun, I can see a C&D in your future. Steamboat Willie is a highly protected asset. I wish you the best, but there is no fair use for a one off.
    Seriously tho, nice work

    not sure what you mean by" no fair use of a one off" ?

    I bought a steam boat willie poster and video and use them in the pinball machine I made for my own use . please cease and desist??????

    #29 7 months ago

    WOW, great job, I love what you did!

    #30 7 months ago

    Awesome build. Wish I could get some time on it.

    #31 7 months ago
    Quoted from pinballjj:

    not sure what you mean by" no fair use of a one off" ?
    I bought a steam boat willie poster and video and use them in the pinball machine I made for my own use . please cease and desist??????

    I think he's referencing incidents in the past where day cares have been C&D'd for having hand-painted Disney characters on the walls, but the difference there is that those were still businesses, where a fair use defense is much less usable as a defense, and I think it also involved trademark. It's likely that you'll actually be safe because 1) you're not selling even a one-off 2) you're not putting it on location and asking people to put quarters into it.

    #32 7 months ago
    Quoted from pinballjj:

    not sure what you mean by" no fair use of a one off" ?
    I bought a steam boat willie poster and video and use them in the pinball machine I made for my own use . please cease and desist??????

    Please don't be offended. The machine is gorgeous, I love your work.

    I was just referring to how protective Disney is of this asset. http://copyright.nova.edu/mickey-public-domain/

    #33 7 months ago
    Quoted from Jigs:

    Beautiful!!!!
    This may be too close to the Sun, I can see a C&D in your future. Steamboat Willie is a highly protected asset. I wish you the best, but there is no fair use for a one off.
    Seriously tho, nice work

    From a legal standpoint how is this any different from someone painting a picture of Mickey Mouse on their kid's bedroom wall, or on a picture they'll hang in their house? If he isn't selling the machine (keeping it only for personal use) I can't see how Disney can have any problem with it. And I can't imagine Disney would have any legal ground on which to take action against him.

    And I'd like to add that I think this is a remarkable achievement. It's incredible.

    #34 7 months ago

    Not much to imagine.

    It's cut and paste art from protected assets to make an object that was not licensed to do so. And, It's being shown publicly.

    I too think it's a remarkable achievement and very beautiful to boot.

    #35 7 months ago

    Really glad I got to play this game and take the video of it!

    #36 7 months ago

    I'm thankful you overcame your initial doubt to post this. Phenomenal work! Thank you for sharing!

    #37 7 months ago
    Quoted from pbu:

    Really glad I got to play this game and take the video of it!

    Thanks again for having me on your show. Since the quarantine started, I have unwound the flippers a little to give them more kick and reworked my breadboard to put a few heatsinks on it.

    I have also started my new homebrew Homestarrunner and friends. It is a Flash retheme but with FMV screen and music.

    #38 7 months ago

    Excellent work, I love the theme! Congrats!

    #39 7 months ago

    Awesome looking homebrew. Very cool. Also, in about 4 years "Steamboat Willie" will enter the public domain, and then anyone and everyone can use anything from that short film anyway they want. Basically. Hopefully, you'll be able to take it to some more shows when they start having them again.

    #40 7 months ago

    Way cool! Love the throwback theme and execution. Spot on. You kept it looking old and classic but fresh. I do agree plastics and apron are a bit busy but still well done. I think you should copy the sepia tone with the musical elements used in the translite. Think that would look nice and balanced.

    #41 7 months ago

    Very impressive. I’d buy one in a heartbeat if this ever moved beyond a home build.

    #42 7 months ago

    Dude, you were totally robbed: when they gave the intro speech for "best in show" I thought for sure it was you, as it should have been! Taking a new R&M out of the box was crap compared to what you did. Yours was incredible effort and TRUE "out-of-the-box" thinking all around. Folks should note your "function over form" approach... at this stage that's really all that matters right? You learn and THEN make it better, THEN make it pretty... come to think of it, you're like the anti-Jpop ha ha. For what it was, I thought it worked really well. I'm honored that I got to help you out those few minutes on Sunday and can't wait to see how this evolves.

    Also, I'm *still* chuckling over your "eh, let it burn!" on the Road Kings.... sometimes you just gotta, right?

    I'll definitely be reaching out once I get my own homebrew idea off the ground (I know what to do, I just need to round up the parts).

    #43 7 months ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    Awesome looking homebrew. Very cool. Also, in about 4 years "Steamboat Willie" will enter the public domain, and then anyone and everyone can use anything from that short film anyway they want. Basically. Hopefully, you'll be able to take it to some more shows when they start having them again.

    Unless they get it extended again. Also, you'd have to pull the assets from an ORIGINAL print of the film, not any of the digit restorations that you'd probably be able to source today - they'd sue based on the restoration copyright date instead. Also, pretty sure the character of mickey mouse in general is trademarked.

    #44 7 months ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    Also, I'm *still* chuckling over your "eh, let it burn!" on the Road Kings...

    I meant to reach out to you to ask about those fuse breakers. Those were nice, and I can’t seem to find them on mouser or anywhere.

    Side note: your machine was the best in show. Down right beautiful.

    #45 7 months ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    Dude, you were totally robbed: when they gave the intro speech for "best in show" I thought for sure it was you, as it should have been!

    They didn’t have an award called “game my wife thought was cute”.

    #46 7 months ago
    Quoted from bahbevans:

    I meant to reach out to you to ask about those fuse breakers. Those were nice, and I can’t seem to find them on mouser or anywhere.

    They can be tricky to find. Here's a filter string that helps across common amp ratings:

    https://www.mouser.com/TE-Connectivity/Circuit-Protection/Circuit-Breakers-Accessories/Circuit-Breakers/_/N-axfui?P=1yzuletZ1z0x8giZ1z0x8haZ1z0x8ehZ1z0x87jZ1z0x8ggZ1z0x878Z1z0x8glZ1z0x8fvZ1yzs6iiZ1y95b0c

    That's one manufacturer that I know made some of mine, but probably not all as I built my assortment over a year or so. I don't know why there are redundant offerings for the same amperage, so double check the specs, but at a glance they look like what I have and should work. You need to solder a dead fuse across the terminals so you can clip them in.

    For what little they cost they're an absolute must; don't know how many fuses I've saved when chasing down various issues. Good piece of mind to install out of habit while you're working on a machine or new project too.

    #47 7 months ago

    Yeah, generally speaking, a one-off fan work isn't going to attract Disney's attention in that way. It's literally not worth it to them to smack one person down for a single machine, even on the trademark front, since there's no attempt to pass it off as an official work, and there's not money being made. Worst case, if the machine is offered for sale as a one-off, they may then take notice and pass along a cease and desist at that point (which would be basically, "strip it and sell it for parts").

    It isn't to say they aren't already aware of the machine's existence, but it's not at the level it's worth the lawyer's salary to draft anything up to send.

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