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Open Source Games Entertainment Hardware

Multimorphic Teases Open Source Multi-Game Pinball 40

Posted by timothy
from the for-my-cousin-randy's-basement dept.
New submitter ghops spotted Engadget's coverage of an interesting gaming machine at SXSW, writing: "Multimorphic shows off the P3, an innovative multi-game pinball platform. With a 27" 'touchscreen' LCD in the lower playfield and modular shot layouts comprising the upper playfield, the P3 delivers a 'one machine, many games' system where the physical pinball can interact with graphics on the screen as it rolls towards traditional, physical objects (ramps, loops, targets, etc) on the upper playfield. The system will ship with two games, one designed by famed pinball designer Dennis Norman, and it's an open platform allowing anybody to develop their own shot layouts and/or software. Because of its ball tracking technology, it can even play itself!"
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Multimorphic Teases Open Source Multi-Game Pinball

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  • That sounds fun.

  • ZOMG pinball.

    ZOMG touchsreen.

    ZOMG programmable.

    ZOMG PINBALL

    *nerdgasm*

    • by doccus (2020662)

      ZOMG pinball.

      ZOMG touchsreen.

      ZOMG programmable.

      ZOMG PINBALL

      *nerdgasm*

      Very Funny, and yup, Very True!. Thing is, the only people who would be interested haven't got 15 grand for a pinball table,and either already collect old machines, or have built one of those visual pinball tables, which are pretty damn hard to beat, especially with a good playfield monitor.. Also, EVERY pinball project has gone bust from lack of wider appeal.. leading me back to the original quote ! ;-)

      • Yeah, the fine print does rather spoil things. That and my partner's likely reaction to me blowing 15 grand on something like this...

        Ah well, fun while it lasted. Still need to find a really good pinball game for my Android tablet, though.

  • by virb67 (1771270) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @03:15AM (#43129493)
    The video screen is cool, but the actual pinball looks pretty boring. They probably should've less time on the video screen and more time on how to make a kickass pinball game.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      exactly what I was thinking, its a boring pinball game with a lame video game attached in the middle

      yay

    • I think you'll be surprised by the end result. Gerry has been into pinball for years and has owned many of the best pinball machines, so I'm sure he'll end up making it a fun game. He has been thinking about this platform for 15 years, so I believe it'll surprise a lot of people.

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday March 10, 2013 @03:24AM (#43129511)

    According to the article, "targeted at the home user" for $9,500 to $10,000 unit... Yes, I can see this thing really taking off!

    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      means it's built like crap and has limited appeal

    • by mianne (965568)

      Not to mention for a couple bucks, one can download one of several Android or iOS pinball apps with multiple layouts, excellent sound and graphics, and spot-on physics. A couple seconds to load a different table vs. loading a new ROM & replacing the upper play field for this system.

      If you gotta have an actual full sized pinball in your game room, you can probably find the machine you dumped countless quarters into during your misspent youth for sale online, probably for around $2K in decent condition.

  • by emag (4640)

    Sounds sort of like Jr. Pac-Man [wikipedia.org], except in reverse, along with "touch". I think I'll reserve judgement for now...

    • Sounds sort of like Jr. Pac-Man [wikipedia.org], except in reverse, along with "touch". I think I'll reserve judgement for now...

      I think you meant "Baby Pac Man". Found this from your link...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_Pac-Man#Pinball_mode [wikipedia.org]

      • Baby Pac Man seemed cool at first:"Hey, a video game/pinball hybrid game!"

        Problem is there is no reward for playing pinball well, but if you play pinball bad, they take away power pills.

        It is a penalty system, not a reward system. It made you feel bad if you didn't have perfect pinball play, and if you had perfect pinball play you didn't get any noticeable reward. This makes a person go,"Hey, I'd be better of playing the original Pac Man where I won't get screwed with less than 4 power pills." Then t
      • by emag (4640)

        This is what happens when I try to multitask. You're right, I was thinking Baby Pac Man...

        • This is what happens when I try to multitask. You're right, I was thinking Baby Pac Man...

          Heh, for shame, doc, please calmly wait right there for the /. police...

          I only wish that that was the worst mistake I've made here. :-) I usually blame it on my secretary not showing up for the past few months, and if she doesn't show up by next week, I'll show her! (By not paying her anymore!)

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:36AM (#43130729)

    I played this at expo last year and it felt like a little to much was put on to the screen part also the lack of scores / displays on the head seemed out of place.

    Layout did not seem as good as other games.

    • I played this at the Pacific Pinball expo this last year. I 100% agree that the too much focus was put on the under-ball display. In fact, during one of the games, I couldn't even see the ball due to all the explosion animations happening around the ball that I lost a ball. It was much too distracting. The rest of the play-field was just boring as well, symmetric and didn't invoke any reason or story to even play the game.
  • That would be neat to use with this. I don't know about physical parts. That might be hard? Maybe you can do it like Lego does?

  • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Sunday March 10, 2013 @10:39PM (#43134867) Journal

    I love pinball. Some day, when I grow up (if this is a thing that will ever occur), I will dedicate a large room in my house to nothing but pinball and perhaps a pool table. I like pinball games because they are tend to be visceral and real, and not at all related to modern video games, and that they're self-paced: I can hold a ball and plan a shot for as long as I want, at least until the machine resets after a half-minute or so of inactivity.

    But I don't like many incarnations of modern pinball: Anything with a video display that I have to divert my attention to in order to score detracts (or distracts) from the physics of just getting the shots right.

    The more I have to take my eye off of the ball to understand the progress of the game, the more the game tends to suck. I don't want to hit fictitious targets on a display; I want to hit targets that are mechanically interactive with the ball. Bumpers, pop-ups, magnets, traps, ramps, that sort of thing.

    If there are cues that enable better scoring with different targets, then those should be plain so that they can be seen at a glance (such as playfield lamps) instead of on a twitchy-feeling, ever-changing video display with zero mechanical interaction.

    I really don't want video eyecandy, at all: I just want physics, scoring, and cues. The big orange dot-matrix LED scoreboard display on seeming every pinball game released in the past twenty years is a nuisance that I never even see unless I'm waiting for the next ball to drop. (I'll check my score when the game ends, thanks, and I'll stuff my first quarter(s) in based on how the playfield looks, not based on how fancy the signage is.)

    Otherwise, I might as well fire up the PS3 or 360, which I also enjoy, but not enough that I'd be willing to dedicate a room of my house toward gaming with one (or several). So when I grow up, I'm not getting one of these machines described in TFA.

    (On the other hand: If there were a video-based pinball with a good basic mechanical layout and a way to bounce the ball around with non-distracting video targets (grids of electromagnets making linear motors of arbitrary orientation?) and predictable fake physics, I might be fully sold on the concept. But nobody seems to be doing that.)

  • I suppose they're fun if you're a deaf, dumb and blind kid though
    • by DZign (200479)

      they're fun because the ball is wild :)
      videogames are predictable, pinball machines always have some random element no matter how skillful you are

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