I’m an Electrical Engineer who has developed a passion for pinball. This passion didn’t manifest until I was an adult though and the arcades were long since a thing of the past. These days, machines are hard to find, and those I have found are often in disrepair.
Instead, I’ve only been able to enjoy these machines in their digital form. While these are fun, a controller and a monitor is simply no substitute for the real thing. I fell instantly in love with Medieval Madness and it is by far my favorite table. When I learned that a remake was being done I was instantly interested. Then I saw the price tag. Around $8,000 for the lowest basic model. I simply can not justify spending that much on a single game. Looking at used games though from the same solid state era showed prices at $2k plus dollars. Madness, and clearly a niche market.
Being an Engineer, I figured I could maybe build my own, but I waffled on it for a long time. These games have far more than just electronics in them. The cabinet requires woodworking, and the playfield requires metalworking. Both things I don’t have the tools or knowledge of. Their hobbies on their own and trying to learn them on top of pinball as a hobby would just be too much. But the urge just never went away, so I started buying parts. At the time of this post, it has just been electronics, the things I know I can get working at least on a prototype level.
If I can get past the electronics, I’ll move onto getting a sheet of plywood cut down and set up with the very basics of a pinball machine. A pair of flippers, the ball trough, the shooter lane, and maybe a pair of slingshots. I can then play around with foam core to try and design an actual game. If I make it that far, well, then I’ll buy the remaining parts like targets, pop bumpers, rollover switches, scoops, etc. This is where some metalworking will come in with creating ramps.
If I make it past all that, which I admit is a major if, then I can worry about artwork. Like many, I have no artistic skills at all. I tried my hand at learning drawing before embarking on this project but after two years it just didn’t work out. The cabinet will become a necessity too, and I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.