There's one more Wizard Blocks

125
Topic is favorited by 125 Pinsiders.

By Compy

1 year ago


Stats

  • Started 1 year ago
  • 277 posts
  • 81 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 month ago by Wizboy

Find posts in this topic

Find posts in this topic match certain words or written by a specific Pinsider. Or both!


Topic Gallery

IMG_1227 (resized).JPG
IMG_1226 (resized).JPG
IMG_1225 (resized).JPG
IMG_1224 (resized).JPG
IMG_1221 (resized).JPG
IMG_1220 (resized).JPG
IMG_0655 (resized).JPG
image_uploaded_from_ios_1024 (resized).jpg
IMG_7957 (resized).JPG
IMG_0595 (resized).JPG


Games linked to topic

Link this topic to the game(s) discussed in it.



Topic index (key posts)

One post has been marked as key post in this topic:

Post #128 Playfield art photos Posted by Compy (6 months ago)


Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

There are 277 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
68
#1 1 year ago

Hey Pinsiders!

A few years ago I built a Demolition Man 2000 and posted about it here. Basically I had set out to do a rules upgrade for Demolition Man, but found that other people had already started on the same project. In the quest to do something a bit more original (or just ambitious), I set out to convert my Demolition Man into a Pinball 2000 concept. The whole thing went over well and I had decided to search for my next personal project.

I wanted to do one final Pinball 2000 game, and what better game to do than Wizard Blocks? It was the final game on the drawing board at Williams, so I figured I'd give it a whack. All I had to go off of were some videos and decent sized photos scattered about the internet. So I cobbled a CAD file using a mixture of photos and parts with known sizes. I used standard inserts in the CAD file and standard mech layouts. Since I had both P2K games to take measurements from, it was a pretty sure bet that I could at least get the game to fit into the cabinet. I used the lower playfield dimensions from Addams family as it had the same design. Mostly everything lined up perfectly on my first whitewood.

Moving on, I had to figure out how to get juice to the coils and other playfield mechanisms, so I needed a control system! Thankfully the P2K driver board is driven over a parallel port and the protocols are documented. At first, I decided to use a realtime linux kernel to handle writes to the parallel port on a standard PC, but this was a bit outdated and RTLinux wasn't exactly trivial to set up, so I designed a hardware controller board that has an arduino microprocessor on it that handles everything realtime on the driver board and allows me to control things from a PC over a standard USB cable.

Once I got the interface board working (it could light lamps, read switches and fire coils on its own), I started working on the basic PC program that would run the "game code". I settled on using Unity3D because it is a great platform, accepts all sorts of 3D model formats and is just easy to work with. I had previously written some .NET code that could patch into Unity3D for another pinball design client, so I decided to use that code to get things going. Before you knew it, we had pictures and sound along with the ability to react to switch events! This was just the first of a thousand steps to come in terms of programming. This just got the thing to "turn on".

Next was the task of wiring up all of the solenoids so we could at least test the geometry of the playfield. Pinball Life and Titan Pinball have been excellent at supplying parts for the build and they have super knowledgeable staff that helped suggest parts that would work better than others given the scenario.

What you see in this video is the general play testing on the game as it currently stands:

» YouTube video

=================================
There is a lot of work to come. Sorry for the camera angle and the GI flicker. The LEDs I am currently using really exaggerate the flicker that you actually see on the game, but I can modify the lamp matrix timing to tone it down. The camera angle was just a brain fart on my behalf. Future shots will be widescreen!

Next step is wiring in the RGB LED insert lamps and the switches. Then we'll progress to finishing up the mechanisms (up/down walls where the blocks sit, lifting ramp entrances, spinning flashers). Then its on to making wireforms and ramps!

For those coming to the Southern Fried Gameroom Expo in Atlanta in June, Wizard Blocks will be there in the free play area.

I guess I better get busy! I'd love any comments/feedback. Also, the state at which the game was left when WMS closed really didn't have a ton of the rules fleshed out. I've got a general guideline as far as what Pat has said previously about the game, but I'm always open to input from the community on rules ideas. There are some really creative things we can do with the blocks and the asymmetric layout!

More detailed updates with technical specifics is documented on my website at: http://86pixels.com/category/pinball/

Compy

h6r1k4xwl3zCDsKeSFC4YPurg6vedFlQmYm20pkKhH8_(resized).jpeg

IMG_0125_(resized).JPG

IMG_0104_(resized).JPG

wb_translite_(resized).png

#3 1 year ago

This project is a thing of beauty. That's some serious hard work, and the result is looking pretty great. Congrats man!

#5 1 year ago

U know the guy in Europe had made a full art cabinet and play field populated... He went into hiding when he didn't get help and stop letters from gene... Could save u some time to talk to him for some one off parts
Looking forward to seeing this

#6 1 year ago

Pin George was his name

#7 1 year ago

Thanks for the compliments and feedback guys! It really helps keep the motivation up! We've got about 4 months before the show, and in that time we've got some serious work to do, but I think we'll get the machine playable and mechanically complete by then. Not sure if we'll apply the playfield art for the show or not.

Quoted from lllvjr:

U know the guy in Europe had made a full art cabinet and play field populated... He went into hiding when he didn't get help and stop letters from gene... Could save u some time to talk to him for some one off parts
Looking forward to seeing this

I am aware of PinGeorge and I have spoken to him on several occasions. I can't use much of what he has considering he designed everything from scratch and I'm building a kit for the Pinball 2000 cabinet versus the widebody. His cabinet/playfield art were also unusable since his was also a widebody. I have playfield art already designed, however.

Not sure why Gene would've sent him letters unless he was intending to redistribute the game, which I have no intention of doing. If it ever got to that point, I'd be having a conversation with the team at PPS to make sure everything was vetted properly and licensed. One step at a time, though!

Todays agenda? RGB LED inserts!

#8 1 year ago

That sure is a great project! I hope you'll get a full game running well.
It does look great already, please keep us informed of your progress once in a while.

#9 1 year ago

Holy cow this is amazing. Can't wait to see it at SFGE!

#10 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Holy cow this is amazing. Can't wait to see it at SFGE!

Thanks! I can't wait to meet you at SFGE!

Quoted from sven:

That sure is a great project! I hope you'll get a full game running well.
It does look great already, please keep us informed of your progress once in a while.

I will be sure to update both the blog and pinside after every major milestone, so you should be well informed Anyone feel free to send along any questions as well.

#11 1 year ago
Quoted from Compy:

Thanks! I can't wait to meet you at SFGE!

Same here! Gonna be a blast!

#12 1 year ago
Quoted from Compy:

Thanks for the compliments and feedback guys! It really helps keep the motivation up! We've got about 4 months before the show, and in that time we've got some serious work to do, but I think we'll get the machine playable and mechanically complete by then. Not sure if we'll apply the playfield art for the show or not.

I am aware of PinGeorge and I have spoken to him on several occasions. I can't use much of what he has considering he designed everything from scratch and I'm building a kit for the Pinball 2000 cabinet versus the widebody. His cabinet/playfield art were also unusable since his was also a widebody. I have playfield art already designed, however.
Not sure why Gene would've sent him letters unless he was intending to redistribute the game, which I have no intention of doing. If it ever got to that point, I'd be having a conversation with the team at PPS to make sure everything was vetted properly and licensed. One step at a time, though!
Todays agenda? RGB LED inserts!

Gene never did much that was making sense with the license. George was just looking for help and answers..

I'm probably doing a booth at southern fried this year. Can't wait to come see your game

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Gene never did much that was making sense with the license. George was just looking for help and answers..
I'm probably doing a booth at southern fried this year. Can't wait to come see your game

I won't argue with you one bit on that point The games were in horrid condition (mold on the playfield) when they were rescued from Gene, so that should also let you know how motivated he was.

I hope you do a booth at SFGE! I would love to come and meet you and see what awesome new things you've come up with!

#14 1 year ago

This is awesome. Wizard blocks was great to play, and would love to play one that was more complete. It's sad that Williams had everything figured out with how to use the monitor to not hide the whole playfield on wizard blocks and playboy and then everything was shut down.

-c

#15 1 year ago
Quoted from CraigC:

This is awesome. Wizard blocks was great to play, and would love to play one that was more complete. It's sad that Williams had everything figured out with how to use the monitor to not hide the whole playfield on wizard blocks and playboy and then everything was shut down.
-c

Couldn't agree more, goodsir. The Pinball 2000 platform has been nothing short of a pleasure to work on and program for. Sure there's the added effort required for graphics, but its been great to service and iterate playfield designs with.

One cool thing about the Wizard Blocks design is that the entire playfield is lit compared to the others. They used light deflectors only to bring out certain smaller sections of the monitor (mostly above the pops, which I haven't installed yet).

Sure it sucks that WMS closed down their pinball division when they were really starting to figure things out, and I guess thats why I'm doing this... 90% for the nostalgia and seeing "what could've been" and probably 10% "just for the challenge and learning curve."

Thanks for the compliment

#16 1 year ago

This is really great! Very awesome.

One question. Is there a ruleset for Wizard Blocks that was completed by Williams in some sort of draft form? Or is the ruleset something that you're coming up with? Cool either way, I'm just not that familiar with the history of the game.

--Luek

#17 1 year ago
Quoted from HighNoon:

This is really great! Very awesome.
One question. Is there a ruleset for Wizard Blocks that was completed by Williams in some sort of draft form? Or is the ruleset something that you're coming up with? Cool either way, I'm just not that familiar with the history of the game.
--Luek

Luek,

Thanks for posting! So the design team had a rough outline of what the ruleset was supposed to be. In fact, it was outlined here: http://www.pinball2000.de/wb_story.html

I have no choice but to take the ruleset a bit further given that much of the story line hadn't been thought of yet. Basically, Pat says there are 5 wizards and 5 different challenges. Collecting a wizard block unlocks a wizard, and you complete the challenge that that wizard comes up with. There are other awards in the blocks that you can get directly, and you can also get "scatter awards" by spelling things with blocks that contain letters. Obviously we want to add more to the game, but it doesn't have to mean we add more wizards. We can add more modes to compliment the storyline. One such example is the GREED mode in TZ, its a fun mode that doesn't necessarily directly correlate to the storyline. I can confirm that WB also has a greed mode as part of the original design.

Much of what was on the drawing table has to be reverse engineered. One such is example is that we have the playfield art, but the original playfield art didn't have any insert labels. Some of the whitewoods had inserts labeled with a sharpie. So if Pat says we have 5 wizards, and we actually have 7 triangular inserts at the bottom of the playfield, we KNOW that those inserts aren't for the wizards. (They're for missile awards).

The ramp inserts were also for which block you could drop. For example, the left ramp has an insert labeled "Spinner". If you shoot the ramp while its lit, it drops a spinner block down onto the stack. Same thing with "Wizard" and "Lock Block" which drops down a block to lite the lock or spot a wizard.

I hope this helps provide a bit of insight to the thought process I'm taking.

#18 1 year ago

That is so awesome!! Using just blocks to interact with the game's story is analogous to using just two buttons to play the game. So you can make different shots to drop different types of blocks and shoot the blocks with the ball to break them and cause the corresponding effect?

#19 1 year ago
Quoted from Crash:

That is so awesome!! Using just blocks to interact with the game's story is analogous to using just two buttons to play the game. So you can make different shots to drop different types of blocks and shoot the blocks with the ball to break them and cause the corresponding effect?

Exactly! The blocks also provide a simpler play mechanic for someone who isn't exactly a pinball shooter as well since the initial impulse for players will be to hit and break apart the blocks.

The right ramp will also feed a wireform that travels along the path of the second level of blocks so you can actually knock out top level blocks.

#20 1 year ago

Absolutely awesome! I hope to check it out someday!

#21 1 year ago

How do you want to design/build the plastic ramps? And the beacon flashers?

The right kickout sound isn't correct! If you compare with the original prototype than you will hear and see that it is the popbumper sound

#22 1 year ago

really cool! looks amazing already!

#23 1 year ago

How in the world did you get the original music?? Do you have access to asset files used for the original design or do you have a dump of the game files post-build?

#24 1 year ago

This is just too cool

#25 1 year ago
Quoted from Ahoernchen:

How do you want to design/build the plastic ramps? And the beacon flashers?
The right kickout sound isn't correct! If you compare with the original prototype than you will hear and see that it is the popbumper sound

They're just placeholder sounds They will be correct in the final version. I already constructed a prototype of the rotating flashers using 3D printed shadow boxes and drilling into the top of the flasher dome for the lamp mount and supporting the motor from the bottom.

» YouTube video

I will be making the ramps and wireforms myself.

The music and sounds were recorded off of the existing game post-build.

#26 1 year ago
Quoted from Compy:

Luek,
Thanks for posting! So the design team had a rough outline of what the ruleset was supposed to be. In fact, it was outlined here: http://www.pinball2000.de/wb_story.html
I have no choice but to take the ruleset a bit further given that much of the story line hadn't been thought of yet. Basically, Pat says there are 5 wizards and 5 different challenges. Collecting a wizard block unlocks a wizard, and you complete the challenge that that wizard comes up with. There are other awards in the blocks that you can get directly, and you can also get "scatter awards" by spelling things with blocks that contain letters. Obviously we want to add more to the game, but it doesn't have to mean we add more wizards. We can add more modes to compliment the storyline. One such example is the GREED mode in TZ, its a fun mode that doesn't necessarily directly correlate to the storyline. I can confirm that WB also has a greed mode as part of the original design.
Much of what was on the drawing table has to be reverse engineered. One such is example is that we have the playfield art, but the original playfield art didn't have any insert labels. Some of the whitewoods had inserts labeled with a sharpie. So if Pat says we have 5 wizards, and we actually have 7 triangular inserts at the bottom of the playfield, we KNOW that those inserts aren't for the wizards. (They're for missile awards).
The ramp inserts were also for which block you could drop. For example, the left ramp has an insert labeled "Spinner". If you shoot the ramp while its lit, it drops a spinner block down onto the stack. Same thing with "Wizard" and "Lock Block" which drops down a block to lite the lock or spot a wizard.
I hope this helps provide a bit of insight to the thought process I'm taking.

Interesting...that sounds awesome. I hope I get to play it some day when you're finished.

--Luke

#27 1 year ago

How did you record the sounds and music separately? How did you even get access to the prototype game?

#29 1 year ago

Prototype game is in Cali private collection or was there more then one out there

#30 1 year ago

Love following this thread :).

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Prototype game is in Cali private collection or was there more then one out there

Just the one in Huntington Beach.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from Crash:

How did you record the sounds and music separately? How did you even get access to the prototype game?

A friend has access to the game and owns the prototype ROM files and a development flash PRISM card, using the service menu you can call each individual sound on demand.

Quoted from HighNoon:

Interesting...that sounds awesome. I hope I get to play it some day when you're finished.
--Luke

I hope to allow anyone who wants the opportunity to play this machine one day! I think it had the potential to be a great game in addition to the best P2K title out there just given the designer evolution on the platform.

#33 1 year ago

Hey Compy
That is really sweet! Nice, nice work. Really enjoyed the video. Interface board is genius.
I remember seeing proto Wizard Blocks at Gene C's place and day dreaming about what this could have been.
Look forward to updates. Wish you the best.
Wally

#34 1 year ago

Great, now look what you've done! You have re-ignited my fantasy of owning a Wizard Blocks someday;)

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from wallybgood:

Hey Compy
That is really sweet! Nice, nice work. Really enjoyed the video. Interface board is genius.
I remember seeing proto Wizard Blocks at Gene C's place and day dreaming about what this could have been.
Look forward to updates. Wish you the best.
Wally

Thanks for the kind words Wally! Your work on CC, MM and AFM is a huge inspiration to myself and many others! I really enjoyed going through the pictures of your MM build and listening to the recording of your expo presentation. The interface board just seemed like a logical way to deal with the real time needs of the machine and provide some added functionality with what the microcontroller could drive on its own. I'm hoping I don't regret this decision! Again, thanks for documenting so much about your own builds because it has been a tremendous asset.

Quoted from alveolus:

Great, now look what you've done! You have re-ignited my fantasy of owning a Wizard Blocks someday;)

D'oh! Its a great game. Its really that same wish that started me thinking about this entire project to begin with. I hope everyone could own one!

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from Compy:

A friend has access to the game and owns the prototype ROM files and a development flash PRISM card, using the service menu you can call each individual sound on demand.

I realize the ROM files are copyrighted and cannot be distributed, but I wonder how the assets (sprites, videos, music, sounds) are stored within those ROMs. Has anyone made attempts to rip this data directly from the ROMs? I imagine it can't be difficult, but some of this stuff may be encrypted. If you have the files maybe send me a PM and we can try to work together step-by-step? Without me having any kind of access to the ROMs.

#37 1 year ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Prototype game is in Cali private collection or was there more then one out there

more than one. I have documentation of 2 others out there.

Gene had them stashed away and they were sold after the 1 went west.

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

more than one. I have documentation of 2 others out there.
Gene had them stashed away and they were sold after the 1 went west.

Correct. There is one mechanically complete version that is in the cabinet. That is the one you've seen in the videos. There are about 5 other whitewoods that were in various stages with parts removed to go to later revision whitewoods.

#39 1 year ago

those 5 are in sad shape. Gene let water run on them and rusted the crap out of them. they look like shit, which is unfortunate.

#40 1 year ago

One of the versions I saw fired up and was flippable but not much else.
One looked largely complete formt he top side.

The most complete a seperate pf that was in fact pretty corroded on the underside but had all the mechs. He wanted 20k for all 3 (2 in cabs and 1 just pf) at the time. Wish I had the money! That was towards the end of things for him and woudl have been nice to save them before PPS took over.

#41 1 year ago

Yeah it really sucks about the ones Gene had... Thankfully now there is one good, mechanically complete original that is in great hands!

#42 1 year ago

awesome and REALLY looking forward to your game progressing!

Hope I get to see and play it someday.

#43 1 year ago

Can't wait to see this one day. Great work.

#44 1 year ago
Quoted from Compy:

Yeah it really sucks about the ones Gene had... Thankfully now there is one good, mechanically complete original that is in great hands!

Soon to be two when your done!!!!

#45 1 year ago

Really Great ,I wish you good luck in finishing this project.I would love to play it when complete!!!

#46 1 year ago

Mind blown! Keep up the fantastic work.

12
#47 1 year ago

Thanks for the comments and feedback so far! Very very helpful suggestions and encouragement from many.

We started wiring in RGB LEDs and testing the software that drives them. So far so good! Now to get the rest of the feature lamps and GI running with RGB LEDs.

Here's a sample shot of the longest run of LEDs, the huge X.
» YouTube video

Next up, its on to more assembly work!

#48 1 year ago

looking sweet!

#50 1 year ago

thread deserves a BUMP!

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 35.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 495.00
Cabinet - Armor And Blades
MI Pinball Refinery
From: $ 31.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lermods
$ 15.00
Various Other Swag
Double Danger Pinball
$ 16.00
$ 119.00
$ 53.50
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lermods
$ 119.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 48.00
Cabinet - Other
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 90.00
$ 24.99
Lighting - Led
Lee's Parts
$ 17.50
Playfield - Plastics
Bright Lights Pinball
From: $ 99.00
Lighting - Under Cabinet
Rock Custom Pinball
$ 85.00
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lermods
$ 69.99
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
Lighted Pinball Mods
$ 4.95
Apparel - Unisex
ULEKstore
$ 12.00
Various Other Swag
Double Danger Pinball
$ 10.00
Cabinet - Other
Pinbology
$ 22.00
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
ModFather Pinball Mods
$ 39.95
Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
ULEKstore
$ 21.00
$ 49.00
Lighting - Led
PinballToys
From: $ 50.00
Gameroom - Decorations
Pinball Art Prints
There are 277 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 6.

Reply

Wanna join the discussion? Sign up for a Pinside account, or log in if you already have an account.