Tag Archives: midwest gaming classic

Single Board Computer Workshop at Midwest Gaming Classic 2020

I’m doing a “build your own single board computer” workshop at the Midwest Gaming Classic 2020 in downtown Milwaukee this April.

The design is based on the classic Z80 (which they still manufacture believe it or not) and is quite small, only 3 x 3″. It has an expansion port, build-in OLED screen, Atmel MCU as screen driver/USB serial port converter and an SD card adapter for loading BIN, HEX and saving files or doing RAM dumps.

This workshop is meant to teach how memory addressing works and you also get to take home the sweet computer you build! Basic soldering skills will be helpful and there’s also a decent amount of surface mount (fairly large parts to make it do-able) so tips and tricks on how to work with that are also part of the experience.

Sign up using the links below! (limited to 25 spots)


Here are the YouTube videos I’ve made discussing the design process. Once the design has been verified it will be posted to my Github if you can’t make it to the workshop but want to order your own copy of the PCB.




Midwest Gaming Classic 2012

It’s almost that time of year again – time for the Midwest Gaming Classic!

Aside from classic gaming they also have lots and lots of Pinball! Enjoy homebrew games from Team Heck and Spooky Pinball such as:

1) Lost – hopefully with the final playfield installed!

2) Godzilla – now with sound!

3) Bill Paxton Pinball – with an improved shooter lane and a Start button that actually adds players the right way.

Hope to see you there!

Ben Heck Show Episode 13 – Portable Work Bench

Yes, the new bench is there, under all that stuff. Great for a home “work station”, as opposed to a play station.

A popular “character” from past episodes gets its own build in today’s episode of The Ben Heck Show. http://www.element-14.com/tbhs

Yes, it’s the new and improved Portable Work Bench! Follow along as we build a new one, complete with awesome wood stain, and find the designs to try your own on element14.com.

Also, don’t forget to register for the Midwest Gaming Classic! CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE REGISTRATION PAGE. Be one of the first people to play my new “Lost” pinball prototype and of course, try to beat the high score on Paxton which has yet to be surpassed from last year!

Come to the Midwest Gaming Classic this weekend in Milwaukee!

Where else can you walk by a car and see this in the passenger seat?

Now while I know a lot of you are going to PAX East, I would like to extend a warm welcome to anyone in the Midwest to come to the 2010 Midwest Gaming Classic.

It is being held at the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield Hotel which is on the west-ish side of Milwaukee, right off the interstate. And within range of the MKE airport shuttle. Sweet.

There is all sorts of cool stuff to do including my favorite – loads of free pinball. And arcades too. You can buy all sorts of videogame stuff, hang out with other enthusiasts oh and course… play Bill Paxton Pinball. We’re going to log scores (if you wish) and have a “Best of 4” playoff at the end of each day (via the 4 player mode). Winners will appear on this website and… I dunno… get a signed copy of Possumus Woman or something.

Benheck.com has an entire room this year so be sure to come on down and check us out. Saturday we’re doing a live podcast, then on Sunday I’ve got a panel to discuss the creation of my pinball.

See you all there!

Don’t forget the Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee

Hello internet, Ben here with another plug for the Midwest Gaming Classic. (MGC)

If you like videogames, and you live even remotely close to Milwaukee, WI (home of all the best beers) you owe it to yourself to visit the 2010 Midwest Gaming Classic! It’s become quite a large event, rivaling the size of game conventions you’d find elsewhere (well, maybe not Dragon*Con).

Best of all, at least in the context of this website, you can visit the Benheck.com Experience room of MGC to meet me, podcast co-host Jason “Jones” Jones, and many of our forum members. Highlights include:

  • On-spot mods and repairs of whatever you bring in.
  • 3D printing demonstration, thanks to Chris Kraft.
  • Separate panel by myself discussing pinball and probably lots of off-topic BS.
  • Hands-on demonstrations of forum member’s projects
  • BILL PAXTON PINBALL. Free to play, with high-score save and 4 player competition mode!

So if you haven’t already, check out their site here! We’ll see you there!

Hold Flipper for Status Update 3

The finest in American engineering and pinball amusements.

Been kind of slow lately (could the recession be catching up to me?) so I’ve made a lot of progress on Bill Paxton Pinball. Features now include:

  • Up to 4 players per game – Modes are shared between players so it’s a race to see who can activate the big point bonus first.
  • High score save – Saved in the unused top half of EEPROM so it’s there forever, unless specifically wiped or of course beaten.
  • Animation – Using a separate program from the main kernel, Windows bitmaps are pre-loaded off SD onto the EEPROM for faster access during play.
  • Non-buggy sound playback – Sounds can interrupt each other without chance of lockup, thanks to a system of flags that properly closes any playing file before opening a new one.

In some sad news, there will come a point where updates on BPP come to a stop as the unit nears completion and I’ll want to keep its final look a secret until the reveal. This will probably happen when I put the main artwork on the playfield. However the goal still is to have this done in time for the Midwest Gaming Classic 2010 in Milwaukee Wisconsin, so it’s playable at our booth.

Again, this is being done as a personal “fun” project and is not for resale, however if you’d like your own custom pinball made I would be willing to discuss ideas. I may create a “kit” of the circuitry when it’s all said and done.

More info and video after the break!

Continue reading Hold Flipper for Status Update 3