— What Else is Happening in Pinball —
Chris Granner Interview on Head2Head
The Head2Head Pinball Podcast interviewed Chris Granner on their most recent podcast! Some of the topics they covered included:
- Why The Simpson’s Pinball Party is great
- Dealing with the licensing and celebrities with Addams Family and Terminator 2
- Lord of the Rings sounds
- Connecting shots to sounds
The Munsters at Texas Pinball Festival
The Texas Pinball Festival officially announced that Butch Patrick (Eddie Munster) and Pat Priest (Marilyn Munster) will be appearing at TPF2019 – check it out!
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that this seems to indicate that a Munsters pinball machine will also be present at the Texas Pinball Festival!
Pinburgh Tickets Go On Sale February 23rd
ReplayFX updated their website recently and shared the Pinburgh tickets for 2019 would go on sale February 23rd at 12:00 PM EST:
Mark your calendars because these tickets sell out very quickly!
Todd Tuckey Responds to Book Drama
Previously on TWIP:
Back in June, it was announced that Todd Tuckey had signed a book deal to help write 10 books with Pinball Adventures. Pinball Adventures (the publisher) and Todd have since had a falling out, and are in the process of discontinuing their relationship. Last week Todd mentioned on Pinside he would not be involved in books 2-10. Pinball Adventures and Tuckey then posted their sides on Pinside – you can follow along with the drama here (if you’re into that sort of thing).
Last week, Todd Tuckey responded in detail to the accusations from publisher Andrew Macbain, which you can read here. You can also follow along with the Pinside thread here.
Cactus Canyon Continued
After our friends at Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show posted their Cactus Canyon Continued Review last week, Eric Priepke, the creator of Cactus Canyon Continued, shared some interested information on Pinside.
Note – for those that are unaware, Cactus Canyon was released in 1998 and was the last traditional pinball machine made by Bally Williams as they moved towards producing the Pinball 2000 games. Only 903 Cactus Canyon machines were produced, and the code was never fully completed. Cactus Canyon Continued was created by Eric Priepke on his own time, and was a robust code update for Cactus Canyon.
Eric is epthegeek on Pinside, and did a mini-interview of sorts on this Pinside post:
What was your background in coding going into the project?
I had a little exposure to programming before trying this thing but I was not ‘software developer’; classes in high school, some PHP stuff for various web experiments, and a lot of shell scripting. The most important bit is understanding the logic part – you can learn the language, whatever that may be, but if the logic stuff is hard for you to get your head around it’s a much steeper hill to climb.
How much time on average were you spending a week on CC?
I never really paid attention to the specific hours. I’d just work on it whenever I could. It’s a ton of time, but it was over a few years.
Was implementing existing game code into the project a big portion of your time? Did you complete the original ruleset and then add new modes/code or did you do it simultaneously?
Recreating what the game used to do was the first thing I did, to the best of my ability. If I couldn’t get the machine to behave at least like the original did as far as lighting, audio and display, then I wasn’t going to bother with the rest. Once I was happy with how that looked, then I started working on what I could do to finish things off and add things.
Any idea on how many CC have been converted to CCC?
No clue. Since people can set it up themselves, and there’s at least the one guy in germany selling his own version, I have no way to know.
Which mech was the hardest to code for?
I guess the train was the biggest problem. It runs on a string based slipper clutch sort of system. What I mean is, the movement of the train is driven by a loop of string with a spring for tension that wraps around a gear wheel. If the train gets stuck, the wheel just turns inside the string so it doesn’t damage the motor/gears. Depending on condition of the track/string the train can move at different speeds on different machines, which makes having the train end up at the far end of the track at (or near) the 30 second mark problematic. So when the machine starts, it moves the train forward at a set speed for a set time, then backwards to the ‘home’ switch and the code checks to see how many times the opto-wheel switch triggered to guage how far the train moved and adjust the speed accordingly. All of which is made more annoying by the fact that the train is entirely ornamental. It doesn’t “do” anything. There’s no switch at the far end for when the train arrives, it doesn’t know if the ball has passed through it. It’s just a moving decoration. Most of the rest of them are just a switch and a coil (bad guy, drop targets, etc).
What ideas did you try but ultimately got scrapped and why?
This far after the fact, I can’t really think of anything that I worked on more than just a “ooh, how about (thing)” that didn’t end up getting added. There probably were things, but I don’t remember what got left behind any more.
Did this satisfy any desire to make your own original titled game, and what advice would you give someone thinking of reworking a title using a P-ROC, like on a Pinbot, or DP’s Bride 2.0, or possibly a Roller Games?
No, it’s not like making an original game, so it’s a very different itch to scratch. If you are making an original game you’d have control over the playfield, and the inserts and how things are labelled. That is all stuff you just have to work with on an existing game. You can’t just use something labelled for one thing as something else and expect anybody to understand what’s going on. For the most part anyway.
The nice thing about using a P-ROC to interface with an existing game is that it’s reversible. You can get the board, hook things up, experiment, and if you’re not happy with the results, you can put it back to what it was. No harm, no foul. So I’d encourage anybody that thinks it sounds like a fun project to try to give it a shot. With the older games (pinbot/rollergames) there’s a little more involved if you want to use the original segment displays – but if you upgrade to a LCD display like BOP2 that’s not an issue.
You have to be prepared for the amount of work that it is. Especially if you’re working on it alone. That’s not how it’s done in the real pinball companies, but on a hobby project you’re the audio guy, the display guy, and the programmer. All of those things are hard and take a lot of time. If you really want to make something that is a fully polished dynamic game, you have to tackle all that stuff.
Oktoberfest Temporary Artwork
Last week at both Pincinnati and the Flip Out pinball show in Australia, we saw some different backglass artwork on Oktoberfest – you can view the (dark and blurry) images here.
Josh Kugler shared some more information regarding the new backglass on this Pinside post:
The machine being sent down under is one of the machine that was at expo. Nothing was changed on it, still has the same software, same everything. We have a few changes we are making to the playfield and art, and we will share those when they are ready.
We can’t use the current backglass, you all know why, so that is a temporary one.
— Cool and Crazy Stuff —
Custom Pinball Deck for Nintendo Switch
Black and White Addams Family Starting
After creating a black and white Twilight Zone, Great American Pinball has now started on a black and white Addams Family!
Jersey Jack Designer Eric Meunier Engagement Video
Did you know that the designer of Pirates of the Caribbean, Eric Meunier, has an engagement video that has been viewed over 650,000 times on YouTube? It was posted years ago, but, well, watch it and you’ll see why it’s been viewed so many times!
— End of Post Bonus —
- Happy birthday Ryan C!
- Jack Danger went back to LA to stream Jeffree Star’s home collection of pinball machines – check it out!
- LA Times Article: From the Archives: Pinball games banned in Los Angeles (**WARNING: GRAPHIC**)
- Pinball News Article: Fab Four Play London
- Article: Arcade enthusiasts and pinball wizards
- Article: Throwback Thursday: Sesame Street – Pinball Number Count
- Article: Channel Your Inner Pinball Wizard At “Pincinnati”
- Update on Stern’s Coffee Table Book maybe coming today?