Let's see, six years in a few sentences... Zynga bought Spooky Cool Labs. We built Hit it Rich! social casino which has done phenomenally well. We launched all sorts of additional games. Some big hits, some misses. I've been to Disney World and Land too many times. I've bought a bunch of games and sold a few. Life is good. Hope all is well for you too. The plans are nearly complete for the physical chuck's arcade building. Hopefully I'll post again sooner.
Well, I'll try to sum everything up. I spent a year working on an iPhone game - Shrouded Aspect. I have a new job at the CTO for a very cool game studio SPOOKY COOL LABS. I bought and sold too many machines to mention. I did update the pinball page (sorry I was too lazy to add translites for every game. Maybe later.) I have a NIB Tron machine coming this week. I've been so busy with work I haven't had much time for side projects. I did win a Stern Pinball contest for my gameroom IRONMAN PARTY Overall life is very good! Hopefully it won't take another year to update the site again. Peace.
In my last update I purchased a NIB World Poker Tour and now it’s gone ;-) I also recently traded my Family Guy pin, sold my Twilight Zone, and traded my Defender Vid. Now for the new stuff, I bought a home use only Pirates of the Caribbean. I picked up a High Speed II – Getaway and a really nice Terminator 3 pin. I also picked up a Jungle Queen, my first EM game. I think that brings everything up to date.
NUCORE is going very well if I’m not being interviewed about it I’m usually giving a seminar at some show. I took some time after Nucore to write a iPhone game –
SLIDE! I’ve also joined forces with another iPhone developer and we’re working on a killer game. Hopefully it will be out sometime this summer.
First they announce Tron 2.0 - YES! Then I actually get a Disc of
Tron Arcade game - YES! Life is good. I need to update the games
section. I have a new pin that's not on here (World Poker Tour) and
NUCORE was released and I'm very pleased with the results and lack
of any issues. I'll be hosting a seminar at the
PINBALL EXPO. Please stop by and say hi. Just a quick
update. As always check the BIGGUYSPINBALL
site for Nucore news.
Thereís a good reason I havenít updated my personal site in eons, Iíve really been busy doing other things. The arcade hasnít changed at all. I did recently fix an issue with my cybersled game. One of the seats would reset and I traced it down to a bad board (probably dead caps.) Luckily I have 9 replacement cpu cages so it was an easy swap. Weíre getting ready to release NUCORE. Iíve spent most of the last year working on it. It will be nice to have spare time again. Iíve done a number of interviews with magazines and web sites in the last year about Nucore. One of the more interesting interviews will be released as a podcast shortly (THE SILVERBALL PODCAST .) If anyone has an Atari 720 Degrees arcade skateboard game for sale let me know. I would really like to add one to the collection. Hopefully it wonít be another year for an update.
I finally got a chance to play the holy grail of Pinball 2000 owners, Wizard Blocks. First, while the game is quite playable the software is obviously not finished. There are a number of placeholder graphics and it seems like the game mechanic aren’t fully tweaked. Now the playfield… Pat Lawlor is the undeniable master playfield designer. There are so many cool things that the playfield does. I was really quite surprised at how cool it was. Two of the ramps lift to expose shots under the ramps. It has a cool Newton ball. The flipper placement made for some great shots. IMHO it would have been the first pinball 2000 machine that really felt like a pinball machine (shot wise.) I think Williams would have hit the ball out of the park if they had released that machine.
Spiderman is still a blast! What a fun pinball machine. I also got to play the new Indiana Jones pinball machine. I really think it’s geared towards non-pinheads which could be a really good thing. It’s very easy to figure out what’s going which will hopefully attract new players. That’s all for now.
Iíve been pretty busy. I created an official site for the Pinball 2000 Emulation project (Nucore) BIGGUYSPINBALL.COM. I bought a Guns-n-Roses pinball machine then sold it 4 weeks later (long story.) I sold four other machines (Monopoly, The Simpsons Pinball Party, Baby PacMan, and Ripleyís Believe it or Not.) I bought a Star Wars Episode One machine and converted it into a Nucore system compete with a pimped sound system. I also just picked up a Stern Spiderman. What a great game. Itís very fast and has a deep rule set. Pinball at the Zoo was a blast. Everyone loved the Nucore system. Of course you can read all about that and more at the Big Guyís site.
Jumped a few more major hurdles in the pinball 2000 emulation project. Iíve been doing a lot of hardware and storage compatibility testing lately. Intel based pcís are wonderful for the consumer. They are a nightmare for developers who need to tie into the hardware. Okay, Iím done bitching.
Iíve had interest in my Baby Pacman and Monopoly. Some guy from Nigeria was willing to pay me twice what it was worth with a fully certified cashier's check.
Do you think I should take the deal? Lawl.
The Pinball 2000 project has really progressed. We have the machine running just about full speed in software. My test machine is an Acer 4400 AMDX2 which is pretty slow by todayís standards. Don and I both hooked up oscilloscopes to our parallel ports and verified that the emulation was strobing at the exact speed of the original hardware. Even though we are really close to 100% emulation speed we will have to move a few things to custom hardware. FPGAís (field programmable gate array) are wonderful things. The video demonstrating the emulation is HERE.
I rebuilt my main Vidiot board on my Baby Pacman and that was enough desoldering to make me actually buy a desoldering station. That machine is 100% and I will probably sell it the spring at PATZ. My Monopoly machine is on the sale block too. Stern has all sorts of new pins coming out soon and Iím full at the moment. Time to make room.
So much has happened since the last update. I think I have two of
the AUX driver boards left. I will probably just hang on to them as
spares in case someone has a problem. I’m glad to say we have
had no returns or failures. I bought Marvin’s Ripley’s
Believe it or Not machine. MARVIN'S
is a really cool museum/arcade in Farmington Hills, MI. So it was
even cooler that the machine came from him. I was also lucky enough
to pick up a Simpsons Pinball Party machine that was in great shape.
I tore both machines completely apart, cleaned them up, and put them
back together. The Simpsons looks like new and Ripley’s looks
great. The Pinball 2000 project is progressing nicely. We will be
able to run a pin2k machine without a prism board. We will need to
make a new board which will be much simpler and very cost effective.
We are in the process of deciding what should be done in software
and what should be done in hardware. The less we do in hardware the
cheaper the solution. Great things are coming soon.
I picked up a Baby Pac-Man machine and have been working on it.
It's very interesting MORE. I also bought
an iPhone. Yeah I know I'm a PC guy but the iPhone is an incredible
piece of technology. I finally added Family Guy, Revenge from Mars,
Megatouch Radion, and the Baby Pac-Man machines to their appropriate
sections. I will also be picking up a Ripley's Believe it or Not pin
soon. More to come soon.
I have been slowly restoring a Tron machine as parts become available.
Phoenixarcade.com is now shipping the two plastics above and below
the control panel. I ordered and installed the set and WOW! if you
own a Tron machine and those plastics are faded at all buy them now.
I forgot how cool the original machine looked. While I was working
on my Tron machine I decided to install a working blacklight in my
Battlezone machine. I had never removed the upper fluorescent assembly
and therefore had never cleaned the top on the glass. I used three
paper towels to remove what had to be the darkest dust I had ever
seen. It was probably thirty years of dust :p Huge difference on that
machine too. I forgot how cool that backdrop looked when lit properly.
The A-16100 boards have been selling really well. We won't get rich
off of them but we did break even =D It's cool to create something
from scratch and get paid for doing so. Especially since it's only
After a week of testing the boards operated perfectly and the pre-orders shipped today. I will add a page showing the details of it soon. Overall it was a great first project and I already have something much bigger up my sleeve *grin*. The Megatouch arrived and is really pretty cool. My wife loves it so mission accomplished. I enjoy a lot of the games on it as well. I took the machine completely apart; you know I have to do that to everything. I cleaned every part really well. Years of being in a bar had coated almost everything in film of visible cigarette tar. I also added a Pioneer 4" 2-way high-end car stereo speaker in place of the junk speaker that came with it. Its sounds great now. Something that amazed me is how much of the inner workings of the machine are very common pc parts. There is really only one board that is proprietary, the board that holds the security dongle. I may start a project with this thing in the future ;-)
Funhouse was always one of my favorite games and I never thought I would sell mine when I bought it. I just did. It's still an awesome game but my taste in pinball has really changed and I love pins with deeper rules and more to accomplish. I also have very limited space to keep games so I need to choose them wisely. The guy (pun intended) who purchased it will give it a good home. The first AUX driver boards are in and I am testing them. Once I know they are rock solid we will start shipping. My wife loves puzzles and card games so I decided to pick up a Megatouch Radion 2006.5. It should be here early next week. The question is will I like it?
The design of the Williams AUX driver board (A-16100) is finished
and it is going to print today. Hopefully we will have the boards
in a month and product shortly thereafter. I had an idea for a Spider-Man
freeplay card last night so I made one. You can find it in the download
section. So is someone going to kill Sylar? If not, how will it resolve?
Post your guess in the forum section ;-)
Stern Pinball has released pictures of the new Spiderman pinball
machine and it looks very cool. Steve Ritchie is one of the all-time
pinball designer greats and a great guy. I can’t wait to play
it, hopefully there will be one in the area soon. As for the movie…
suck :p Tobey McGuire is far too emo in this one and the story is
way too scattered. At least MJ sings a couple of times >.> I
went to a new local “Texas” steakhouse this weekend and
to my surprise there was a game room with a Medieval Madness. The
machine was in ok shape. Good to see pins in public places. I think
we have a great plan in place for the Pinball 2000 project. It’s
still too early to release any details but things are looking good.
Here is a PICTURE
of my Toshiba laptop connected to my SWE1 monitor. It shows a pc can
be connected to the internal arcade monitor with no hardware modifications,
Lastly, who is Lot without a good tanking SWORD
I announced a few weeks ago that I was assembling a group of geeks to figure out a way to run a Pinball 2000 machine without a prism card. This is in the real early stages but looks extremely promising so far. At some point in time I will create a page for this project. All is fairly quiet in the arcade aside from my nightly games of Family Guy. I did get a new board for my Defender game and it's working again. I have no idea why I have this game. It's the only arcade game that STILL kicks my ass every time. I have just never gotten the hang of controlling a ship using up/down and a reverse button.
I guess I officially became old over the weekend. That’s what
my family kept telling me. I created a download section for the art
files HERE. I also created a set of cabinet
graphics for Stewie's pinball machine (Family Guy.) Here are pictures
of them installed in my machine ONE
The Twilight Zone machine is back together and looks great. I had
one problem to troubleshoot. The game played fine until a mode started.
When the mode would start the entire switch matrix would die. After
a few hours of troubleshooting I saw that two transistor tabs were
touching on the 8 driver board. Once I separated the transistors everything
was fine. Speaking of 8 driver (aux driver) boards, Don and I are
going to reproduce them. We are in the process of designing the boards
and should have product in a month or so.
The snow is finally gone but not forgotten. I decided it was time
to install the new Twilight Zone Decals on my cabinet. I spent a few
hours Sunday outside sanding the cabinet (got a sunburn), fixing the
backbox, and cleaning the cabinet parts. If all goes well I should
have it back together by the weekend. Pinball at the Zoo starts Friday
and I'm looking forward to seeing the local pinheads. Hopefully there
will be a few parts I need so I can buy myself a birthday present
Five straight days of snow in April :p I went to Traverse City over
the weekend and they have a real arcade at the mall. They didn't have
a single pin but they did have a Sega Ferrari F355 Challenge simulator.
It has to be the most accurate simulation of driving a car ever released
for consumers. I won't ever own one because the thing is huge and
I couldn't get it into my house without taking out a wall. Grindhouse...
Planet Terror rocked, the coming attractions rocked, and Deathproof
sucked. Tarantino failed on this one unfortunately.
Yesterday afternoon I was outside enjoying the 70 degree weather
and this morning I wake up to SNOW!?!? UGH! Thanks to a couple of
my content editors (Brad and Ian) I have fixed the HOU (Happiest Owner
*in the* Universe) typos on the pinball page and a positioning error
in Firefox. Back to finding my snowshoes so I can go out to lunch...
Did I mention it's APRIL?