Sunday, June 9, 2013

Marathon - The non-Bungie version.

Had a marathon session with the pin yesterday - and got a ton of work done.
Still isn't fully playable, but it's getting there!

1) A Lady Smith splicer model. Had to undergo massive surgery and lost her hips and legs.
The full model was just to large to fit anywhere appropriately. 
The whole upper level is now more or less complete, including the splicer figure and switches, cable routing etc.

It took quite a while to get it right, and unfortunately I didn't come up with a good solution to make it easily serviceable, so at the moment I would have to desolder a couple of wires to remove the upper floor. Not optimal, but I hope it won't be necessary to do full service that often. In case it becomes a nuisance I'll look into creating a better solution.

2) Back panel lights. Unsoldered at the moment, unsure if +12V or +5V will be ideal.
I've installed a few overhead lights for the back of the playfield, will probably need a few more but I'll start with these. They are regular flashers that I intended to run at a lower voltage to (hopefully) spread light over a large area without being overly bright - or burning out to fast.

All lights on the playfield is now installed, still not soldered thou, and it took me a good 45 minutes to replace and insert all light bulbs. In some places I've used LED's and my thumbs curse the stupid designer who made them shorter than regular bulbs as they are really hard to seat properly.

The EVE-hypo is installed and connected as well. It came a little higher up than originally planned, but the headroom is needed to allow balls to pass under it. I might be able to lower it later on thou.

I finalized the switches for the two VUK's - which were a real pair of troublemakers. There was hardly no room to operate in and the brackets had to be custom made. I ended up bending a piece of plastic and cutting it into shape. Works like a charm! As for their endurance, I'll just have to see. I did try to "break" it manually, but they seem to be holding up to any abuse.

I started work on the flashers as well and at the moment only two gameplay flashers are installed, mid-field red and blue. Took a little fiddling and drilling of new holes etc, but nothing major.

3) Left side. EVE-hypo and blue flasher.
The flasher is raised to stand above the elevated ramp that goes next to it.  

4) Right side. The red flasher is fixed to the playfield plastic, and must be removed as a whole when servicing. It's possible to separate them entirely as well.

Mr Bubbles is 99% completed now, only two solder points remain on the motor.  Most cables are hidden from view when playing, so it's looking pretty neat. As I wrote previously, I decided not to allow horizontal movement/turning at this state as it would take a little more time than I can afford at the moment. His eyes, arm and motor is of course still there. 

5) Mr Bubbles - up front and menacing. A big centerpiece and is looking really good in context.  

6) Behind Mr B. I shrink-wrapped the cables and routed them along the backside of his leg.
Discrete and almost invisible from a players point of view.

7) In context. The playfield plastic around his legs that looks black is translucent and will be
lit from the underside with pulsing "waves" of light. That's the plan, at least. 

I'm having trouble deciding which position is best for the "evil" little sister, but I'm leaning towards the left side of the vent. The downside with the left side is that the right side is somewhat underpopulated at the moment. Having her on the right side looks pretty good too, but there's too little space for a natural stance, making it look a little crammed in there.

I'll probably let her stand to the left for now.

8) Left position. Looking good, but somewhat
blocks the red effect-light for the VUK.
9) Right position. Also pretty nice and brings balance to the playfield.
Doesn't look as integrated as the left, thou.

The "good" little sister has gotten her space at the end of the EVE-hypo, near the left outlane. That space needed a little decoration and this was spot on. The only downside would be the lack of proper lighting at that spot. I'll need to investigate this as soon as the lights are up and running, but worst case scenario is that I'll either cut holes in the playfield plastic for light to shine through or simply point a spotlight at her location.
10) The "good" sister with the plastic bracket that holds her in place. 

The current state of the machine. Missing a few details in this picture, such as the little sisters, vent and the VUK, but as a whole it's really starting to take shape now. 

11) Near finished! Can't wait to put some coins in it! 


  1. that looks so fantastic. how far along in software rules are you? or just concentrating on the playfield right now?

  2. Thanks, man!

    The machine is still unplugged and the motherboard is in a box, so I'm just concentrating on the hardware at the moment. But most (if not all?) rules are written as text and just needs to be converted into code. The game system I've designed should allow me to throw in features on demand, so I could for instance run a game without rules (as it is now) and add new features/rules until complete. The biggest hurdle I guess will be balancing and (quite possibly) bughunting. :)

    I have grand plans for the software, but I guess I'll just have to see how much time it takes to implement things - don't want to spend yet another year creating the pin! :D