These are just the ramps that DIDN’T make it into the game! (I think I ended up making every ramp at least 3 times)
Wow it’s been a couple months since the last official Bill Paxton Pinball update! The playfield is complete, the code is less buggy and it will definitely be done in time for the 2010 Midwest Gaming Classic.
The full, final reveal of the machine on this site will likely be around March 17th. You can keep up with the progress by subscribing to my YouTube channel or Twitter feed. (Warning: Twitter feed also contains a lot of non-work-related ramblings, usually about beer, the weather or waiting in lines)
For a sneak peek at the vector drawing of the final board, hit the rest of the story after the bump. We’ll see you soon!
As many of you know I have been working on a Bill Paxton themed pinball machine for several years, and have made a lot of progress since last summer. A few months ago I was on the “Fat Man and Circuit Girl” show and suggested to Jeri Ellsworth that she attempt a machine of her own, since she loves pinball so much and could obviously handle it.
Cut to a few months later and not only is she working on one but making amazing progress as well! The theme is “As Seen on TV”, so I’m hoping when the ball drains it says “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
Some of her friends have started their own innovative pins as well. A bit of trash talk later and now it’s a race to see who can finish their machine first and “out toy” each other!
If you’d like to keep tabs on this epic battle and egg us both on, see below:
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.
I haven’t watched it yet, but I recall a) drinking from a Dan Aykroyd skull vodka bottle b) a lot of pinball stuff c) the PS3 laptop d) being too tired at the end of it all to do much drinking on State Street.
Work continues on Bill Paxton Pinball – the longest suffering Ben Heckendorn project of all time. The unit now has legs, a functioning input/output controller, tilt sensor, power supplies, fuses, front coin door panel, plunger assembly, start button, sound amplifier and some temporary targets.
A while back I decided to take some time off and now I’ve finally done it! I’ve spent most of the last few weeks working on a long-gestating “dream” project of mine, which is to build my own pinball machine from scratch. Since my time off is coming to a close, I thought I would my show progress from these last few weeks.
Shown above is the main cabinet that I built last week, as well as the illuminated backbox. As many of you know, the theme of the pinball machine is Bill Paxton – a fine American actor who has thrilled audiences with a variety of characters over the years.
Why Bill Paxton? Well it’s as good a theme as any – I guess I could have gone with a more obvious geek choice like Bruce Campbell but to be honest, Paxton’s more interesting and has made movies people have actually seen. In the end what this project is really about is building something very complicated from scratch, so the engineering is the real star.
I should make clear that this is a personal, non-commercial hobby project for myself, since it clearly contains artwork and sound from movies, it could never legally be resold. But considering how few projects I actually build and keep (this would be the 3rd, after the original VCSp and my Neo Geo Arcade) I deserve to make myself something cool every once in a while!
For some more pictures and info, click below. You can also see some making off stuff on my YouTube channel.
My current plan is to have this completed in time for demonstration at the 2010 Midwest Gaming Classic in Milwaukee, WI – let’s see how I do!
Just one more day to bid on this fine piece of American engineering! It’s a two of a kind item, and it can be yours! To place a bid that benefits Child’s Play charity, click here to submit a bid. (Auction ended, thanks!)
In other news I am taking off work until August 16th. If anyone wants work or projects they can contact me to discuss, but no work will be performed until then. I’m tired, I’ve built, what, 6 or 7 Xbox 360 laptops this year, usually I only do one! But don’t worry, when the time comes I’ll be rearin’ to go.
All is not lost, however! One way I am spending my free time is getting some serious work done on Bill Paxton Pinball. As you can see above the display is done and working… next is sound, which Chris Kraft and I have already started working on. Should be pretty cool, though I’ve still got a lot to learn before I get it all working – stay tuned!