Quoted from ForceFlow:
What's the story behind this aquisition?
Any more photos or gameplay footage? I think the most I've seen of this game are some low-res photos and video.
Well, the story behind Wizard Blocks isn't really all that complicated. It is worth noting that the Wizard Blocks that I have is not one of the six original whitewoods that WMS had in their possession when they shut down pinball.
The process goes something like this:
1) Start out with a rough sketch of the playfield. The dimensions aren't exact at this point, just testing to see if the shots worked and what the rough insert layout looked like.
2) Start documenting the cable run and switch matrix ordering to get an idea of what your wire lengths will be and what the logical order of the cable run will be. Repeat for lamp matrices.
3) Do a really cheap test layout on MDF to get the shot layout correct and really test how the entire playfield kit fits into the P2K cabinet and make sure the hardware components on the playfield clear and line up.
4) I then started designing the entire Wizard Blocks playfield using playfield scans of the existing whitewood and effectively tracing the result into CAD. The result after several iterations is a playfield that is identical to the original in geometry.
5) I then fit the CAD playfield to the P2K side rails and playfield skid rails to test fit them into the cabinet and straighten the CNCed board out.
6) Inserts were a bit of a trick. I was presented with multiple options. I could try to source inserts from Marco or Bay Area or PPS, but inserts in low runs are very expensive, and many of the inserts (lightning bolt and pill inserts used for the X) were either insanely expensive or unavailable. So, I went ahead and used the same CAD file I made to have inserts laser cut at a thickness slightly greater than the lip of the playfield insert route. This resulted in inserts that fit exactly into their respective holes and could be sanded level to the playfield. Overall this playfield has over 100 inserts.
Ball guides and other weldments were either custom made or sourced from similar games from online parts suppliers. This was a trick, but having a spot welder handy has really been a saving grace.
7) The current playfield uses bayonet style sockets for ALL lamps which makes wiring a nightmare. I have since then redesigned the electronics to use under playfield lamp boards to clean up the wiring and make things neater overall.
The current iteration uses no original software from Pinball 2000. The original software, in fact, was never burnt to any ROM chips but must be run off of a standard P2K FLASH development board that WMS had used internally. This is basically the same thing but uses flash chips rather than ROM chips. The software in this version is powered by Unity3D so we can do all of the 3D rendering in real time. The parallel port interface has been scrapped by introducing a small custom parallel interface board that sits between the game PC and the driver board and communicates over USB.
9) The next step was to get the spinning flashers working. Those were one of the most wicked things I'd ever seen on a game. So I went to visit a friend who has a tiny "maker space" in his basement to whip something up!
All in all, I managed to get the whitewood flipping by Christmas which was a great gift! So there's a bit of history