About the project

Pinball Plaid Logo by Ethan Norgard

For four years, Flannel restored the 90’s music vibe and serenaded Bellingham, WA with some of the decade’s best songs. As of January 18th, 2017, Flannel is taking on yet another restoration mission: a complete rebuild and reimagining of the 1977 Pinball Game “Combat” by Zaccaria.

Is this really a “complete” rebuild?

Gameplay AreaOk, so we do have a bit of a head-start as Josiah owns the original gameplay area of the game. However, it’s a bare play area (currently without any of its sensors/bumpers/flippers, etc.) and means we will have to source those materials and fully expect to be getting our hands dirty.

What do you mean by “reimagining”?

While we do not plan to modify the gameplay area, we are planning to enhance the experience in other ways. Unsurprisingly, most of the customization will be at the audio level. As the original game is from 1977, the sounds leave a lot to be desired. We are going to write 4-5 songs inspired by the game theme and include fragments of those songs throughout the game. We also expect to release a 4-5 song EP of the music tracks once construction of the game is completed.

Wait, this sounds like a lot of work!

It is, although we’re going to make it a bit easier on ourselves by using the Mission Pinball Framework. Doing so means we can handle the game logic via code instead of circuits and potentially run the core system off a Raspberry Pi. We plan to largely match our ruleset to the original “Combat” gameplay and then extend our rules to include multi-ball/wizard modes. Using this Framework, it’s also possible to draw to an RGB display and/or dot matrix. We will certainly look into integrating at least one of these features to our project as it matures.

See the original “Combat” gameplay in action: