The project

Nautilus Final playfield

During the project I have always kept in mind making the pinball as simple as possible to avoid the customers having breakdowns or any problem. This is why I have used Williams/Bally mechanism, which are very reliable and easy to find common parts. Placing the screen in the middle of the playfield has many advantages, but it has a disadvantage, vibrations. In order to avoid it, the screen is attached to the playfield with three silentblock. The ramp and rails are made of steel and are cut by laser. I have made it in this way not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for it's durability. The way of building wireforms is different, I have used steel parts with open holes (3/4 of circumference) through which each rod passes.

Regarding the electronic system, it consists of four plates: power supply, amplifier, quetzal pinball controller (QPC) and an embedded PC. The QPC control the elements of pinball, when the QPC receives a request for activation of a coil, it checks if the coil has been activated, and if its timeout has not finished yet (about 25ms), it is not activated. In case it is activated, the QPC deactivates automatically in order to avoid problems in a bad programming. In this way, the player can invent his own rules without burning the coils. The QPC has a "reactive" that controls the main elements of the game, in which the response time is critical as are the flippers, slingshots and bumpers, of which this work is downloaded to the PC. Regarding the lighting, all lights are LEDs, which have been used for aesthetic, consumption, and durability reasons. As there is no problem in having the LED lights on for a long period of time, the QPC activates and deactivates them when the PC requires it. Moreover, it also controls the on and off of the screen and the 50v power supply, for instance when you open the pinball's door.

The PC runs an embedded operating system that runs the application of the pinball that is written in Java using lwjgl. The advantage is that Java is a cross platform, so it can be programmed from any computer. The only disadvantage would be the speed of execution, but using jwlgl that uses JNI, the access to the critical systems is done in native code (it allows game such as minecraft) and its running time is comparable to c++. The application code is available to the customers and they can modify the rules, images, music, ... or create his own rules from the beginning. The system has wi-fi connectivity to upload scores to online, download new versions of the application or different rules.

At artistic level, I have enjoyed the collaboration of Gustavo Díaz (known as Lord Hiryu) for the design of the playfield and the cabinet, and Rubén Lavado who designed the backglass, getting that the pinball has a great design.