Pinball is great. Futurama is great. Home-built projects are great. Combine all three and you get a really cool result!
Building my own pinball machine is one of those “long term” projects I’d like to undertake, but never seem to get around to. It would take a tremendous amount of system-level design to create the layout, the custom components, the software, the graphics, and last but not least, the fun gameplay.
That’s why, when I find someone else who’s done or doing such a project, I take lots of interest. A pinball enthusiast named Evan is working on just such a project. He is using Futurama, the unfortunately defunct space-based cartoon that Fox cancelled in their infinite wisdom.
He took an old machine and hacked the existing circuitry to play the game he wanted. Obviously, this will limit the customizability, but allows the game to be up-and-running much faster than doing it from scratch. In the small movie clip on the page, I can see what appears to be an LCD screen in the upper center of the playfield — I’d like to know more about that. Perhaps it’s a sort of lower-budget Pinball2000 effect. I’m guessing that is plays the Futurama episodes since the software has not (yet?) been customized to support interactive graphics on an LCD like that.
I’m looking forward to more information, construction details, and of course, photos of the machine and the build process, which are said to be coming. Judging by the high level of finish currently on the machine (love that Slurm can!) I’m sure that it’ll only get better. For now, I think that Evan has the only Futurama pinball machine in the world – that’s something we’d all like to learn more about!