Map-muh-mah, map out the Playfield in MPF

I was hoping to map our play-field components in Mission Pinball Framework over the weekend. First, I needed to make it through a good chunk of the MPF tutorial. I managed to have a particularly repetitive MUSE song stuck in my head all the while. Can you guess which one?

Map a Trough, or Not?

I was grinding through the MPF tutorial quite quickly, that is until I arrived at the configuration of the trough/drain. I am not so familiar with actual Pinball hardware. It turns out there are many different ways that Pinball tables capture and dispense balls during gameplay. The likely “drop-in” solution for the Combat game we’ve chosen for this project appears to be one of the “classic” types. Thus, it may not support some of the more modern Pinball modes (for instance, we’re hoping to have multi-ball).

Update 3/11/17: We’ve since decided on a modern trough containing mechanical switches. We plan to roll with a 2 ball configuration. This should allow us to achieve a very simple multi-ball mode. We will “capture” a ball in one of the two kicker positions on the play-field. The player will then manually file another ball.

Initial Switch map in MPFI was forced to switch gears if I wanted to continue making progress. I figured I would map the switches on our play-field. Using what I’ve learned so far from the tutorial, I was able to come up with an initial switch map. You can see the output from the MPF Monitor tool on the left.

I’m quite happy with the progress so far. The next steps will be adding a switch for the start button (which escaped me since it’s not on the play-field itself) and then proceeding to map the lights. We’ll have a better idea of where we’re at hardware-wise later in the week and can then start looking at a map of the trough/drain devices.

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