(Topic ID: 316216)

Twilight Zone Non-Widebody Size

By truemagoo102

77 days ago


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  • 15 posts
  • 8 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 75 days ago by Gornkleschnitzer
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 77 days ago

Anyone ever thought about remaking a Twilight Zone in a standard playfield dimension? Eliminating the auto-plunge lane, taking the skill shot scoop and making it a "trap door" scoop having the skillshot plunge around the orbit if you over shoot? Or just eliminating the scoop altogether, as it's pretty unnecessary at one point. The dimensions seem like Lawlor was asked to do a standard game and then it was changed to a wide-body halfway through the production. Or maybe he always envisioned an autoplunge? (which if I think correctly, was the first game to do it)

#2 77 days ago

blasphemy!

New design, mechs, & smaller/faster....that thing would cook .

#3 77 days ago

Checkpoint had autoplunge before TZ, possibly others as well.

It would probably play mostly the same, lots of extraneous space on the sides to regain the couple inches in difference. I doubt the main center play area would need any redesign at all.

#4 77 days ago
Quoted from metallik:

Checkpoint had autoplunge before TZ, possibly others as well.
It would probably play mostly the same, lots of extraneous space on the sides to regain the couple inches in difference. I doubt the main center play area would need any redesign at all.

Wow total brain fart moment. Yep Data East games had auto-plunge and it was copyrighted, which is totally why Lawlor resigned his to be like that. I would imagine then Williams made an agreement with DE?

#5 76 days ago

Honestly, there's so much real estate in the middle of the playfield, you could most likely and easily condense the two ramps into one with a diverter of some sort, either automatically or user controlled(kinda like on The Shadow). That alone should give you almost two inches to bring in the sides. You could probably even shrink the mini playfield about 20% and not really lose any playability. That'd help with overall visibility on a narrower TZ playfield. The auto-plunge could easily be converted to something that is more over/under the main shooter lane rather than side by side, too.

Sometimes it's best to take off a little bit of a lot of things, rather than hack off big hunks of a couple things. You end up retaining more of the overall feel and flavor of the original source material.

#6 75 days ago
Quoted from Miguel351:

Honestly, there's so much real estate in the middle of the playfield, you could most likely and easily condense the two ramps into one with a diverter of some sort, either automatically or user controlled(kinda like on The Shadow). That alone should give you almost two inches to bring in the sides. You could probably even shrink the mini playfield about 20% and not really lose any playability. That'd help with overall visibility on a narrower TZ playfield. The auto-plunge could easily be converted to something that is more over/under the main shooter lane rather than side by side, too.
Sometimes it's best to take off a little bit of a lot of things, rather than hack off big hunks of a couple things. You end up retaining more of the overall feel and flavor of the original source material.

Eh I think a one ramp TZ would be blasphemy but I like the smaller mini playfield idea. Although it would probably be too easy with the smaller pf? Super intriguing. Someday I'd like to test the concept out- maybe pave the way for CGC to remake it or something (I believe they've stated they won't touch widebodies)

#7 75 days ago

I didn't state that too well... it'd still be two ramps, but one entrance. There'd be a diverter that would switch between which ramp the ball would be going to. Kinda like the opposite of TAF's plastic ramp where its two separate entrances that can lead to the same exit, this would be one entrance with two separate exits. Also like TAF, the diverter that sends the ball to the wireform right return on bear kicks could be used to send the ball to the right ramp/mini playfield wireform on the small-body TZ.

#8 75 days ago

Centaur had the first combination auto and manual plunger, many years before any other game. (Although a different mechanical design, with the lane that lifts and drops vertically.)

I would figure Lawlor always wanted both lanes separately, the manual plunger skill shot (with the ball disappearing with that "bloop" sound effect, to rematerialize in the twilight zone) and the ability to autoplunge for multiballs. I don't think there's any reason to assume it started narrow and expanded into a wide-body.

Yeah, you could probably reconfigure TZ into a standard width if you really wanted; ditch one left inlane, combine the plunger lanes, and make the gumball machine and bumper triangle and Hitchhiker lane narrower.

#9 75 days ago
Quoted from vikingerik:

I would figure Lawlor always wanted both lanes separately, the manual plunger skill shot (with the ball disappearing with that "bloop" sound effect, to rematerialize in the twilight zone) and the ability to autoplunge for multiballs.

Williams and DE had several bitter lawsuits over various issues, I dont see William's giving them a dime so they could have used Checkpoints auto plunge setup.

#10 75 days ago
Quoted from gdonovan:

Williams and DE had several bitter lawsuits over various issues, I dont see William's giving them a dime so they could have used Checkpoints auto plunge setup.

They have different mechs for auto-plunge, correct? If I remember correctly JP doesn't use a kickback coil like the others. Also I take back my initial brainfart on B/W auto plunges, a TON of games had them prior to TZ. (HS2, BSD, DM?)

#11 75 days ago

I think the geometry of TZ is simply too complex to be narrowed. One of the allures to the game is how long the playfield shots all feel--even the shots from the upper flippers. Truncate the width, and the camera and hitchhiker shots are going to feel way different, and the shot to the piano would be downright impossible to time.

#12 75 days ago
Quoted from truemagoo102:

They have different mechs for auto-plunge, correct? If I remember correctly JP doesn't use a kickback coil like the others. Also I take back my initial brainfart on B/W auto plunges, a TON of games had them prior to TZ. (HS2, BSD, DM?)

Checkpoint and Batman has what looks like a slingshot kicker head that the manual plunger strikes the backside of.

Jurassic Park, LAH and LW3 have no manual plunger so just a coil and return spring plunger setup like a VUK.

Stern Star Trek has a combo of the two- The manual plunger actually goes through the auto portion.
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#13 75 days ago

I have legitimately thought about building this game concept. Emulated software and custom plastics/PCBs, of course, so as not to destroy a "real" TZ to build it. Considering how much discussion there is floating around about it, I would definitely take the plunge if I had time and not as many other projects in the way.

My own thoughts:
- Don't shrink the central play area, but reshape the Powerfield so it's narrower but longer. Instead of the magnets next to each other, have a vertically staggered layout so you have to fight gradually to the top. Bumpers can be rearranged to take less horizontal space as well (using Pinbot's bumper layout as an example).
- Dual left inlanes can be combined into one, with the far left lane being triggered for regular roll-ins, but the inner lane being triggered off a left ramp shot. This would be handled either in the emulation layer or in hardware switch logic.
- Autoplunger lane only! Launch button could be a door handle (unlocked with the key of imagination), the longer you hold it in, the harder the ball is launched. When the game intends to auto-launch (detected by a software attempt to open the shooter lane diverter), the manual launch input is disabled. This may also open up the shooter lane all the way to the orbit as expected - unless the stock software considers an orbit shot to be a missed skill shot, in which case it could always just go up that way.
- I swear we could build a quieter and more reliable clock with modern servo technology.

#14 75 days ago
Quoted from Gornkleschnitzer:

I have legitimately thought about building this game concept. Emulated software and custom plastics/PCBs, of course, so as not to destroy a "real" TZ to build it. Considering how much discussion there is floating around about it, I would definitely take the plunge if I had time and not as many other projects in the way.
My own thoughts:
- Don't shrink the central play area, but reshape the Powerfield so it's narrower but longer. Instead of the magnets next to each other, have a vertically staggered layout so you have to fight gradually to the top. Bumpers can be rearranged to take less horizontal space as well (using Pinbot's bumper layout as an example).
- Dual left inlanes can be combined into one, with the far left lane being triggered for regular roll-ins, but the inner lane being triggered off a left ramp shot. This would be handled either in the emulation layer or in hardware switch logic.
- Autoplunger lane only! Launch button could be a door handle (unlocked with the key of imagination), the longer you hold it in, the harder the ball is launched. When the game intends to auto-launch (detected by a software attempt to open the shooter lane diverter), the manual launch input is disabled. This may also open up the shooter lane all the way to the orbit as expected - unless the stock software considers an orbit shot to be a missed skill shot, in which case it could always just go up that way.
- I swear we could build a quieter and more reliable clock with modern servo technology.

I love all of these ideas. Especially the left mini playfield idea- perhaps a longer clear upper playfield (so you can see the pops underneath) with multiple magnets (of course have art on top of those spots to disguise it)

#15 75 days ago
Quoted from truemagoo102:

perhaps a longer clear upper playfield

OooOOOoooh. Clear would be a very interesting look. Add some flashers/edgelighting and it would really ramp up the "raw energy" sci-fi theme of the Power concept. The stock Powerfield is a huge mess of wiring underneath, but I think its entire functionality could be nicely condensed onto a small PCB with just the magnet drivers, 500K/750K/1M lamps, and a single power/data harness connector, as long as it can still be shielded from being hit by the ball. That would leave a bunch of open space for any desired special effects or visual storytelling.

Edit: Also, modern LEDs can give the Powerfield proper GI lighting, instead of depending on that big chunky "street lamp" at the back.

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