This Week in Pinball was contacted by Wil from Holland about his most recent home-brew pinball – Aladdin! He does remakes from old machine titles, then designs a complete new machine layout and graphics, while using the original software. In this case it was the software from Tales of the Arabian Nights. He makes all the mechs himself and makes parts from existing ramps. Check out the pics of this cool creation and a Q&A with Wil!
Q&A with the Creator of Aladdin Pinball
please note: because of language difficulties, and with permission from Wil, some parts were re-written or clarified by TWIP
When did you come up with the idea to create an Aladdin pinball machine?
Wil: One year ago I started my third machine, Aladdin, after building Medieval Castle in 2015 and Star Wars in 2017.
How long did it take to plan and create the machine?
Wil: I started July 2019 Aladdin…I don’t like reskins, I want to design my own game. Nobody makes new machines with old software (more on that below), but it’s faster and fun to do. I even cut-out my playfields by hand, mostly everything is made by hand. The playfield designs takes me a few days to a week. We put a handmade drawing in the computer, and my wife makes smooth lines from it at my direction. Then she put the inserts where I want them. I print it out full scale on paper and can start to drill the playfield and she can start with the template in the computer for the graphics to design. We use textures, Clipart, movie shots, hand draw bits, 3d rendering and photoshop and last but not least a very fast computer. When ready, I start building with the metal parts and in the end we together go fast to the finish. All my homebrew machines are buildup from the ground. And the mechs are made myself and for the ramps I shop on the internet from different machines that fits my designs and use them.
You mentioned you used old machines to create a new layout and graphics, can you share more about that?
Wil: First I look at the events from the original machines and then I look what shots or things I can add or change without problems so I can use the original software and hardware. On Medieval Castle I added an extra playfield on the castle for the trolls and redesigned all the mechs because the original mechs are too big under the playfield. Mine are build for up the playfield so I can make five shots under the upper playfield. On Star Wars (Data East), I added a few shots. The up and down ramp under the Death Star that starts modes when down and multiball when up. So all my designs use other mechs that fit my desire.
For this one you said you used the TOTAN software – how does that work? Are the rules similar or the same to TOTAN then? Can you explain an overview of the rules of the game?
Wil: I always try to do something extra in my designs that the original version. For my version from TOTAN to Aladdin, I wanted the jets always accessible because I like jets. Second I don’t like the lucky shot in the harem in the original. So I placed it right near the Genie (sneak-in) that you can shoot for it for 2ball multiball, and shoot the jets to get a big jackpot value. And I always want as many shots I can fit on a playfield. I had to lower the playfield so I could fit the Genie lower under the glass. I reinvented the genie mech (there is a magnet in the genie) and made a hatch to get more space. Now I have space to make some extra shots. I also like more flippers, the upper left extra flipper is needed in my version for the sneak-in shot and extra ball and lock. AND LAST, I think the original is too easy to finish the wizard mode. In my version you have to battle to win, you can’t wait for the genie almost to win and try again or you will lose. All the machines are made together with my wife she does the graphics I do the rest. I tell her what I want, but sometimes she decides. All my machines are remakes from original versions with new designed playfield and graphics. So the rules are mostly similar with the original versions with a little twist here and there. My wife can program but it takes too much time from her.
Are there any plans to publicly stream the game play of Aladdin?
Wil: Well….I like that idea but nobody i know in the Netherlands can do this. Jack Danger was here last time at our DPO Expo. Maybe in the future.