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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsOld CompetitionsCommonplace BookLovecraftian Pinball
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Author Topic: Lovecraftian Pinball  (Read 5417 times)
TooMuchSpareTime
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« on: November 02, 2008, 09:01:48 PM »

I'll try to incorporate a number of the Commonplace Book suggestions (and of course Cthulhu) into this Lovecraft-themed pinball machine I'm making in Flash. I've probably played fewer pinball machines than I could count on one hand (virtual pinball machines included) so any suggestions from pinball veterans would be appreciated.

However, I intend to take advantage of this being made in Flash rather than in reality, so I can add some strange hyperdimensional twists to the machine. Wink

Not going to make anything too complicated, though. :3
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Dacke
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« Reply #1 on: November 02, 2008, 09:14:06 PM »

Nice!

Please make it like Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball should have been! Grin
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isaac
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« Reply #2 on: November 02, 2008, 09:20:09 PM »

Haha, should be fun!

The ball should totally launch from Shub-Niggurath, the Goat with a Thousand Young, with the kinda noise one would expect when an Elder God gives birth to a ball bearing.
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deadeye
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« Reply #3 on: November 02, 2008, 10:01:31 PM »

My advice: make a beginning, middle, and end to your game.  To the uninitiated pinball might just seem like you're randomly hitting a ball around, but there are always goals to accomplish.  Hitting a certain series of targets to unlock new features, locking balls for multiball, etc.  And even though pinball is a rather abstract game, there's still a story attached to any good pinball game.

Please make it like Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball should have been! Grin

I actually though Sonic Spinball was an awesome game.  It took elements from pinball and platform games and combined them in a way that worked well for the video game medium.  The actual pinball physics could have used a little work though Undecided
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Seth
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« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2008, 10:03:42 PM »

please have the ball go insane if the player is not careful
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2008, 11:15:02 PM »

please have the ball go insane if the player is not careful

This.

Deadeye has it spot on. Pinball needs purpose, goals, and reason. And, in more game-y terms, an Early, Mid, and Late game. Build the entire table around an even tighter theme than "Lovecraft" - like a specific story, or monster. Feature cameos from other, unrelated aspects in their own sections of the table.

Early game would just be hitting pretty lights and ramps, making sounds and earning small points - nice goals for newbies.

From this point you should be able to "unlock" (either through skills or buttons) further parts of the table, allowing score multipliers, extra balls in play, other effects (it is going to be digital, after all- you can futz with the traditional formula a little) and etc.

As for the late game, I reccomend a big focal point. Have Ryleh buried under the back right of the table, and once "x" Special bumpers have been hit, get Cthulhlu burst out of said city. Get devoured by The Big Guy for points! Or have Yuggoth sink into the Centre Table, and try ramp-ing into it. Something like that. Something to really aim for. Hmm... man, I've gotta learn me how to make a pinball table!


My 7 Year Old Self, Designer of outlandish Pinball Tables, would also like to request those ramps made out of wire going around the table. They're boss. Oh, and one of those Big LED Screens up the back, which can further explain what you're doing, and play little animations. They're great too.
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undertech
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« Reply #6 on: November 03, 2008, 06:52:58 AM »

Can't forget the cheesy cabinet art!
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deadeye
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« Reply #7 on: November 03, 2008, 07:07:25 AM »

Oh, and one of those Big LED Screens up the back, which can further explain what you're doing, and play little animations. They're great too.

Hell yeah.  That's Golden Age pinball right there, when Williams and Bally were king.
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mildmojo
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« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2008, 09:56:02 AM »

This project requires a little research.  Do you have an arcade or a bowling alley in the neighborhood?  It's getting harder and harder to find machines since the pinball industry basically shut down when all but one small manufacturer exited.

Skim some pinball rule sheets for ideas.  That'll give you more familiarity with pinball conventions, too.  I used to play a lot of Junkyard, Addams Family, Medieval Madness, Attack from Mars, and Star Wars Episode I.  All of those had progressive gameplay, sometimes with an overall goal. 

Attack from Mars and Episode I were later Pinball 2000 games.  They had a much-shortened gamefield and a reflected video screen at the back of the table.  They could project different goals over the upper targets and ramps to reflect the current "stage" you were playing.  In Mars's Robo-Lincoln segment, for example, I think hitting one of the upper targets caused Robo Abraham Lincoln to take a swing at the martian he was fighting.

Some of the coolest games were the ones with special playfield gimmicks.  Addams Family had Thing's hand emerge from a box to pick the ball up and lock it.  Haunted House had a lower "cellar" area sunk beneath a piece of glass in the center of the main table.  Medieval madness had really great ramp action, a castle with working drawbridge and portcullis to break down.  Hurricane had a big wheel in the middle that would spin during a hurricane, throwing the ball around.  Waterworld let you lock balls on the oil tanker from the film, and you'd "sink the Deez" for multiball, overturning the ship and spilling all the locked balls into play.

I'm looking forward to this; I miss pinball.

PS: Don't forget the multiball.
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Dacke
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« Reply #9 on: November 03, 2008, 11:10:07 AM »

If you can't find any pinball games where you live I recommend trying Microsoft Pinball Arcade. The game contains seven recreated pinball tables from Gottlieb, including Haunted House.

Quote from: Gamespot
If you're eager to learn pinball, Microsoft Pinball Arcade is a great history lesson, as well as a good way to learn table navigation and scoring techniques.
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captainbinky
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« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2008, 12:28:41 PM »

My favourite ever pinball games are definitely Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies. I prefer these 2D pinball games to the more realistic 3D versions you get nowadays as I like their cleanness and simplicity. I also think there is a justified gap between computer pinball games and actual pinball games since to me the biggest draw of playing on a physical pinball cabinet is how aggressive you get playing them which a simulated game is never going to capture.

Also, Digital Illusions' games had phenomenal soundtracks which was half of the draw.  Smiley
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TooMuchSpareTime
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« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2008, 04:20:36 PM »

Thanks everyone! Gentleman

But jeez, creating pinball physics in Flash from scratch is hard.  Lips Sealed
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isaac
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« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2008, 04:44:44 PM »

But jeez, creating pinball physics in Flash from scratch is hard.  Lips Sealed

Do you need to build the physics from scratch? Box2dFlash isn't perfect, but it'll do a pinball table just fine.
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Hideous
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« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2008, 11:10:05 PM »

Unfortunately, Mr. TMST only has Flash MX, as far as I know :D
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Zaratustra
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« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 07:25:29 AM »

Flash CS3 has a 30-day trial period.
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increpare
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« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2008, 07:40:36 AM »

Flash CS3 has a 30-day trial period.
:D  no excuses then!  :D
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Hajo
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« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2008, 08:01:17 AM »

Make the balls scream in horror if they head for the orcus, and have all kind of evil transformations and corruptions for the balls if they hit various elements of the flipper.
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2008, 10:01:51 AM »

Eh, I'm using Flex SDK and SVG files for graphics and I'm having no trouble, though my game requires little animation. Still, a static pinball table wouldn't be that hard to manage all in code, I think. The biggest hurdle would simply be learning actionscript 3.
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Zaratustra
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« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2008, 08:23:26 AM »

Needs non-euclidian ramps and hazards.
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mildmojo
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« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2008, 10:45:27 AM »

Eh, I'm using Flex SDK and SVG files for graphics and I'm having no trouble

Can Flex render SVGs, or are you just using SVGs for the original art and pre-rendering them to a raster format?
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