Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Still no tango

Mini-me has still not arrived! 

And not much has been done on the machine.
I've gathered soundclips and started to outline where and when the various soundclips are to play - but nothing solid yet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A lot of stuff!

Just wanted to say that I'm about to be a father very soon! 
It will be awesome and I'm very much looking forward to it! 
Expected "delivery" is in one week but in reality could happen anytime now - or 4 weeks from now. Bought the baby bed today! :)

Man, the list of stuff to do on the machine just keeps growing. But I'm optimistic that I'll send the end of it. Some day! But as you can expect, I'll probably have to work in a slower pace than usual on my pinball machine - unless I change gear and push forward a little stronger.

I've kind of reached my goal before the baby arrives - to have an assembled and playable machine.
It is somewhat assembled and could be playable but I've decided to not do any more assembling of the playfield parts until the proper playfield is created, as it will just take a lot more time to disassemble the playfield first.

So here's a quick rundown on what's done and what's left:

Hardware - Cabinet is done, still need proper playfield "hinges".
Electronics - Some wiring is left to be done, but mostly I'm waiting for the playfield to be fixed.
Artwork - Cabinet and playfield art is done, awaits printing.
Playfield - Need to create a proper playfield. Inserts needs to be fixed and sanded.
Playfield parts - Ready for assembly, but there's no proper playfield to place them on yet.
Sound - Need to record/get sound samples to use.
Music - Will use the official soundtrack .
Video - DMD converter is written, so I can export any image file into a custom 16 color DMD format.
Rules - Most of the game rules are figured out, but not necessarily written down.
Programming - Core elements are there, actual gameplay is yet to be written.

I had a major setback in the DMD department where I returned my display because it didn't look quite alright. As you can see in several of the pictures the various modules were very unevenly lit, and the lines of the LED's were not as aligned as they can be. Due to, in my opinion, a highly disrespectful customer service returning the display only gave me half the money refunded and a big fat insult on top of that.

The major component that is left is obviously the actual playfield - where the routing of the wood is my worst enemy right now. I had an offer with CNC routing, but that would cost me almost 700$... Yikes! A little too much on the pricey side, if you ask me.

I'm quite confident I'll be able to pull out or find decent soundclips from the games, so that shouldn't be a problem. Neither will the programming be since I eat code for breakfast. ;)
Video shouldn't be too much of an hassle either since there's a lot of video material that can be used, it's simply a matter of DMD-fying the graphics. The converter already supports animated images for easy animation import/export.

The biggest struggle is trying to plan ahead.
Like Ben Heck said - when building a pinball machine you really must think several steps ahead, and in some cases "where will this part, that I will install in a couple of months, go"... I've done a few of those mistakes, like drilling holes where the flipperbuttons should be only to find out that I forgot to compensate for the side-guards size and position...

But HOPEFULLY I've managed to dodge most bullets - past, present and future such - and will end up with a truly epic game. The whole idea is to have a pinball machine that looks like it could be produced by real pinball makers in a real factory. At least, that's the plan!