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November 9th, 2004

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And now let's take a look at one of the exhibits in the Project Atrophy Museum. Here at PAM we archive and catalogue projects I've been working on for quite some time, only to put them into hiatus when I reach a stumbling block, or when I'm unsure as to what to do next, or when I just don't have time anymore for it (PAM exhibits only hobby projects, which sometimes must be on the lowest priority.) I realize some longtime readers of this fine journal will remember many of the exhibits in PAM, but I'm bored and I'm waiting for my goddamn World of Warcraft beta to finish installing (the install is taking longer than the download!) and I wanted to share Potentially Fun Things with the new people reading, so... in the Pinball Wing of PAM, I give you

Cloverleaf! The Pinball Roadtrip

Visual Pinball is a marvelous program for Windows that not only emulates actual pinball tables (in conjunction with the wonderful VPinMAME application) but also lets you build and code your own. The backend script is VBScript, the "modelling" done in the program is easy as pie, and all that remains is for you to come up with a good idea and build a pinball game around it.

Cloverleaf is themed around a family road trip down the highways of This Great Nation of Ours. The goal, of course, is to reach your destination by racking up mileage ("bonus points" in pinball terms) and visiting several destinations to activate exciting game modes such as "Fill-Er-Up Multiball" and "Tollbooth Millions." Along the way you'll have to fill up at gas stations, collect postcards to send home, and keep the kids happy too.

The current version of the game is Extremely Alpha. It's just about what'd be known as a "whiteboard" version in pinball terms, meaning the layout and most of the coding is in place so you can play it but many of the fancy decorations, lights, final game modes, bells, whistles, et cetera haven't been implemented. I'll eventually have full voice acting in the game (can't do it alone, any volunteers? I need family members and roadside characters such as The Truckers and stuff) and full orchestration if I can find some decent royalty-free music. (I like what I've got on the whiteboard, but it'll cost to actually use the high-quality samples.)

If you've got Visual Pinball installed and want a copy, let me know. I'll send one your way. I'll disable the currently-annoying voices, too.

Damn, my download's not done. I'll wait til next time to show you Abbie & Martha's Whizbang Gumball Machine which includes AI flippers (Martha's paws!) that bat the ball when it gets too close, and learn from their mistakes. Kinda like "Thing Flips" in the Addams Family table.

Damn I love pinball.

(5 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 9th, 2004 04:31 pm (UTC)
Argh! The VPinball forum won't let me download the install, and I DON'T KNOW WHY!


It looks so grood! I mean good. And great. Great and good.
[User Picture]
Date:November 9th, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC)
I love pinball too, and am now actually living in a town that has a) more than two tables, and b) tables that work. Even better is having an SO who actually wants to play with me, so it's PINBALL DEATHMATCH YAY in the back of the Blind Eye.

And on the subject, do you know what would be really cool? Have you ever read The Diamond Age? If not, basically they have these matter compilers that can make anything, given the appropriate instructions. And it would be great if you could have one of those, and tell it the instructions for the pinball game, and a couple of hours later have it spit out a full-size real pinball table all set up and ready to go.
Date:November 9th, 2004 05:08 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 9th, 2004 08:35 pm (UTC)


Pinball. Nectar of the Gods. In, umm...pinball form.

I post because I have a point, oddly. I was in Lansing this past weekend with my girlfriend, and she told me of a location known as "Pinball Pete's" which she was forbidden to go to because it was the hangout for the "dangerous people" in the town. So, naturally, with me there, we had to go. Place was pretty dead early on in our visit, but after an hour or so started to be packed. And pinball? The name wasn't ironic in any way. At least 12 machines, with all but one lined up against a wall that had been covered in shag carpet with a speaker blaring "Wango Tango" by the Nuge. New shit (Terminator 3, Attack From Mars, Lord of The Rings) and some older shit (Midevil Madness being a prime example). Nothing like Canobie or Cedar Point's ancient pinball selection, but still really, really cool and all really well maintained. None of the bumpers was inoperable and all the flippers were strong. There were things I saw that I never saw before (shit, you mean there's supposed to be a strobe when you get multiball in South Park? well, hot damn). Overall, I rated it 5 tits out of a possible 5.

and we still need to get up to Weirs Beach. sweet god, do we.
[User Picture]
Date:November 10th, 2004 03:12 pm (UTC)
I do a great redneck voice and an even better English accent, although I imagine the first would be more useful ;)

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