Tuesday, February 18, 2014

More playfield real estate

No, I don't intend on designing this into my project, but it's a thought I wanted to jot down.  Most people's complaints about Stern is the re-using of layouts, and everyone's argument is always "well, there's only so many ways you can lay out a playfield".  To that I disagree, there is ALWAYS room for innovation.  If you've ever seen Zaccaria - Time machine, you know this is the pin where there's a bank of pop bumpers below the playfield (with a clear top) so that the ball can loop around, then that section of the playfield raises and suddenly you have pop bumpers accessible (Perhaps this is where John Popadiuk got his idea for Circus Voltaire?)
Anyway, I thought what if you took this idea a bit further and did a much bigger chunk, but instead of just raising vertically, you had 2 playfields that swung up on hinges on opposite sides?  That way you aren't limited to just a feature and a surface, you could literally have playfield chunks that swap out with anything on them (within small limitations).  Be it pop bumpers, drop targets, perhaps a bank of ramps that disappear out of the way, but re-align when they pop back up?  I have no idea how well you could get things to line up, but I know on my Williams Fire! it has ramps that lift up so you get a big horseshoe turn-around, and then when the ramp lowers it allows you access to a ball lock ramp.

Anyway, here's a quick 3d sketch of what I mean (click on the first photo, then hit the right arrow):

On a sidenote, I'm still in search of some decent maple plywood.  I was nearly convinced that marine grade plywood from menards would be ok (I think the coconut island project used that).  And maybe it would be ok, at least for a first crack, but I'd prefer some good wood.  I'm going to contact a couple local lumber places that carries higher end plywood sheets to see what pricing is like.

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