So the big news is we scrapped “Lost” pinball. This was for a variety of reasons, the main being we spent so much time trying to cram things into it that we didn’t spend enough time making it play well. So it’s a beautiful game with boring loops and bad ball returns.
But, much like our independent film projects of the past, we took this as a learning experience of how NOT to build a pinball machine. Since then we’ve been working with John Popaduik who’s taught us a lot, and is even putting me in his Zombie game!
Our next pinball project is a custom game inspired by the 2011 Halloween episode of The Ben Heck Show… Ghost Squad! It started as a way to test our new system, but is developing into a game as well. Here’s why we picked this theme:
Easy-to-create assets. Like everyone else, our pinball is going video and our backbox is basically one big LCD. One issue with this is you need far more art assets than an old DMD game. With Ghost Squad we already have access to our characters and can easily film content in front of a green screen. Compare this to a hand-drawn game like “Tesla Vs Edison” where we’d have to create everything from scratch.
Unlicensed Theme: While Ghost Squad is obviously inspired by the 94,000 Ghost Hunting shows on cable, it’s an original theme which means we can build multiple copies and sell them.
Humor Potential: The theme is great for satire, we can’t really insult anyone with it, and since women love those kind of shows, it might even be The Pinball Machine Your Wife Likes Too. (holy grail of collectors)
We’re also trying to have more ball interaction toys than our previous efforts. Special features include:
Spooky Door. A plastic door than opens, closes, traps balls or can be bashed open. Has a VUK (vertical up-kicker) behind it for ball locks or flow interruption for mode start.
Hellavator. An elevator from Hell. Balls can enter from behind (“first floor”) or enter via a ramp shot (“second floor”) The Hellavator can change floors, release the ball and also lock it. The ball can also fall through into the Basement of Horrors.
Basement of Horrors: A tunnel under the playfield that leads from the Hellavator to the Basement Scoop. Balls can be blocks and collected in the basement.
Spirit Magnet: A moving magnet under the playfield, like in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Playfield art in that area will be a Spirit Board (Ouiji is copyrighted so we can’t call it that) so the ball “moves by itself” to answer questions from the dead!
Ball Jump: One shot is up a broken staircase to a balcony, and you have to actually jump the ball across a gap to get there. We’re working hard to make this shot around a 50/50 probability of success.
So keep on eye on this site, my YouTube page and of course the Ben Heck Show!
We still have some episodes openings in Season 2 for viewer suggested builds. If you have an idea you’d like to see us build – especially if it’s weird, unusual and useful – why not email us and let us know?
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!