Category Archives: Articles

Update on available time for project building

I have just finished work on our custom pinball machine “America’s Most Haunted” which has entered production and started shipping. You can read more about it here. I’ll also make a large, in-depth article about it on this site once I get a chance.

I’ve been working non-stop on this game, The Ben Heck Show, and other commissioned work since mid 2012. It’s time for a break.

I’m going to be limiting my non-show commission work to 8 billable hours per week for the foreseeable future. This includes single-handed controllers, prototype work for companies and individuals, basically anything outside of our show. If you’d like to contact me about a project you may do so at benjamin.heckendorn@gmail.com. Keep in mind that this time allotment will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The automatic Paypal links for the single handed controllers will be coming down during this time as well. If you’re still in need of a controller, please contact me via email. I will probably spin the production of those back up in time for the holidays. I know there’s a great need for them, but there is also a great need, personally, for my sanity.

Other news:

  • I had the wrong file linked to Episode 80 of the podcast – sorry about that! You can find the corrected version here.
  • We are still doing our best to release a podcast once a month, time permitting.
  • You can of course keep really up to date with what we’re up to on The Ben Heck Show, follow me on Twitter, or visit my YouTube channel using the links on the right side of this page.
  • We’ll be at Maker Faire San Mateo next weekend filming an episode of our show – stop and say hi and we might give you a t-shirt!
  • I will be attending the Northwest Pinball Show in Tacoma this June. Ask me anything you’d like about our new pinball machine!
  • Good chance I’ll also attend California Extreme and there might be an America’s Most Haunted machine there as well. More info as it becomes available.

 

A Study in the Use of “Irony”

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day  -Could be ironic if we established he had been playing the lottery his entire life, and never won until now
It’s a black fly in your Chardonnay  -Gross, but not ironic. Would be ironic if you were drinking a grasshopper, or mead
It’s a death row pardon two minutes too late  -Unfortunate, not ironic
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you thinkIt’s like rain on your wedding day  -Unfortunate, not ironic
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid - Ironic!
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take -Need to know nature of advice and consequence of not taking it  to judge irony
Who would’ve thought… it figures

Mr. Play It Safe was afraid to fly
He packed his suitcase and kissed his kids goodbye
He waited his whole damn life to take that flight
And as the plane crashed down he thought
“Well isn’t this nice…” -Sort of ironic, more of a coincidence
And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought… it figures

Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
When you think everything’s okay and everything’s going right
And life has a funny way of helping you out when
You think everything’s gone wrong and everything blows up
In your face

A traffic jam when you’re already late  -Unfortunate, not ironic
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break   -Unfortunate, not ironic. Would be ironic if you worked at Phillip Morris.
It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife -Ironic!
It’s meeting the man of my dreams
And then meeting his beautiful wife  -Unfortunate, not ironic
And isn’t it ironic…don’t you think
A little too ironic…and, yeah, I really do think…

It’s like rain on your wedding day
It’s a free ride when you’ve already paid
It’s the good advice that you just didn’t take
Who would’ve thought… it figures

Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you
Life has a funny, funny way of helping you out
Helping you out

 

printrbotGO

printrbotGO and a Companion Cube. Click for larger version

I just can’t stop building portable 3D printers! Check out my new printrbotGO – an all new design in collaboration with printrbot.com

The goal here was to create an interesting, functional, sturdy design and then have it be available pre-built or as a kit. This is the first prototype and will be demonstrated at World Maker Faire New York weekend of September 28th – 30th.

Specs:

  • Printrboard electronics, steppers, pulleys, extruders and hot ends (all existing commodity parts from one source)
  • Print size 200mm x 185mm x 150mm. Not sure why I lost that 15mm on the Y axis, will probably have that at 200 as well in the future.
  • Runs off a wall wart power brick or internal Li-Polymer batteries. We estimate 2 hours print time in PLA.
  • Folds up to a size of 19″ x 14.5″ x 5.5″ – can fit in a plane’s overhead bin.
  • Much smaller “deployed” footprint than my previous models.

For lots of build photos and more details, click below!

 

Continue reading

After half a decade, a new site layout!

After 5 years of having the same theme, I’ve finally updated my site. I’m still putting in functionality, but here are some key new features:

  • Services section. The end goal is to have CNC and laser work be available to clients over the internet. So if you’ve got a project idea, we can help! I’m working on a very detailed tutorial to help you make the best files possible.
  • Store. Common items such as Controller Monitors and accessibility mods can be found here. Also possibly kits in the future.
  • Very comprehensive “Downloads” section. Free access to almost all of my classic designs and projects, right up to things as recent as “Lost” pinball.
  • Live Shop Cam via Ustream. If we’re broadcasting, you’ll see it on the homepage.

And as usual, the forums are available as well. Have fun and I hope to add even more features soon!

 

The Future of Videogames Part 5, 2009 Edition

It’s that time of year again! Time to listen to me ramble on about what I think will happen in the gaming industry. For this installment I mostly concentrate on new consoles since I feel this generation is already getting old, well the 360 and Wii at least. Other topics covered are the death of music games without a country savior, 3D games and the Microsoft Natal.

Here it is, enjoy!