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|Mini Pinball Kit|
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I've been to a reasonable amount of arcades throughout my life. I spent quite a few days slinging quarters into machines at Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum. Despite this, I never paid much attention to pinball games. I wasn't very good at them. A lot were more expensive to play than other video games. I never became interested or invested. Working alongside Pinhead Ben here, it's difficult to not be cured of that. With his passion for pinball, I've learned a lot about the games through osmosis. One thing I didn't realize, was how well thought out the themes, storylines, and gameplay were. I always thought you just hit a ball around, get points for hitting things, and that was it. With some nice artwork to make it enticing. Boy, was I underestimating the creativity that goes into these things.
Most pinball games have a theme; over the last 30 years or so, they are more commonly licensed themes such as a TV show, movie, or band. Within that theme, there is a sort of storyline or modes that you have to play through to get the chance to beat the game. Hitting different targets and getting to different lanes of the playfield gets you more points and unlocks missions that you can complete to work your way through to the next mode. Progressing to the next mode will frequently enable a new, interesting mechanism such as opening up a door or a monster appearing. Since beginning working with Ben, I've paid more attention to the games, figuring out exactly what I need to hit and when to make things happen and progress through the game. It really can be a game of skill, not just chance.
For our mini pinball kit, we don't have any themes in mind. Licensing is expensive, so we likely won't be able to support any themes that are properties of Warner Bros, Marvel, Disney, or even smaller outfits with more niche characters and titles, but that doesn't mean we can't get creative with our themes.
What theme would you want in YOUR pinball game? Can you come up with a storyline with corresponding mechs to keep it interesting? Do you have any questions about pinball game development?
Tell us in the comments below!