Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Days of future past...

In the essence of 'two steps forward, one step back' I've spent most of the day figuring out why all of a sudden some switches stopped working while playing a game but working flawlessly in the diagnostics menu.

Turns out I did a little sloppy coding that overrode the later functions...Whoops.
All fixed now thou! 

I've also replaced the switch in the center VUK to one that should be more robust. The downside is that it can only detect if a ball is entering the VUK, not if there's a ball in the VUK. This shouldn't be a problem if the VUK functions normally and if it doesn't - the ball search will eject the ball anyway.

While working continuously on the machine it's somehow second nature, but being away from the hardware a while really gives you respect for the amount of wiring and work that has gone into the machine. When time comes to do hardware maintenance it's really a case of inventing the wheel once again. And this is despite all my attempts to keep everything neat and organized / documented.

Just a reminder of what it looks like under the hood...
1) Oh, the joy of troubleshooting this... I still don't know why the magnet works now and why it didn't a while ago. I just close my eyes and pray that it works every time I've tinkered with the playfield.

...which is somewhat forgotten when the hood is closed.

2) Players view. Somewhat. At this point, with the glass and all - it really does look commercially made!
The translite is, obviously, not a very tight fit but I intend to put some small edges around to prevent light from leaking out. It's also missing the metal side protectors at this point.

It's a beaut', ain't it! ;) 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Darkness, be gone!

I added a couple of lights and a spotlight to the global illumination of the board.
The upper left corner was very dark but is now nicely lit. I'll probably need to put a light shining between the flippers as well, since that area is really dark if the room lights are turned off, for instance. I want the machine to be able to play in complete darkness and fully light up the playfield on its own!

I also need to fix a better switch solution for the center VUK. It's not very reliable at the moment, I'm afraid.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Glass house and rocks!

Hi guys!

I've been extremely busy since the tour with promotion and work with the band, but I have at least put the glass on now and re-seated a cable to the plasmid saucer. This also (miraculously) fixed the magnet that I deemed to be broken a couple of posts ago(!). Weird!

Anyway - to try to make up for my lack of updates, I'm posting not one, but two videos of the playfield. One idle playfield overview and one where my girlfriend plays a game. The software is running in debug mode, so the lights flicker a bit (due to low refresh rate) and there are not many game rules in play so the game seem more sluggish than it is.

I've also concluded that I must shrink the gap in the right outlane...that thing is ball hungry.

Monday, May 5, 2014

I'm back!

I'm back from touring Europe! \m/

Now I'll just need to structure things up and start digging through the remaining points on the machine!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A little slow on the updates...

Things have been slow lately and will become even slower - I'm going on tour with my band.
During April we'll be around in Europe so there will be very little time and thoughts going to the pinball machine. Planning the tour and dealing with various venues all over the world, along with rehearsing with a new band member, has taken most of my time this year (and a good portion last year as well).

But when I'm back, I intend to finish the machine up fast! Time to wrap it up! :)

Meanwhile, you can all help me decide on a position for my new crawler splicer figure...

1) This way...?

2) Or like this?

3) Maybe even this. But then the right area looks crowded.
4) It's also possible to have it like this. Perhaps even just the upper body.

I purchased the figure to add some detail to the left area of the board, but which position do you think looks the best?

Oh, and by the way - this is how the package looked upon arrival. *thumbs up* 

5) The postal office needs Anger Management in their lives!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bling for the rings!

Found these on eBay and had to get them.
No keys belonging to my BioShock machine should come without its own bling! 

1) BioShock keyrings. I was just wondering what to put on the keys when these showed up on eBay!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thank you for the tango, Irrational Games!

I'm sad to read that Irrational Games are closing down their business as we know it. Without them there would have been no BioShock and most definitely no BioShock pinball.

"Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I’ve ever had. While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience."

This is by no means a death sentence for the studio as it is reshaping its core. Hopefully they'll keep making awesome games, as I'm sure they'll do!

You can read more about it here:

This does not affect my pinball machine, in case you're worried!