Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Game Brainstorming: Pinball

I have always loved playing pinball. I remember when Star Wars, Episode One came out, there was a pinball machine at our theater that had a holographic image in the back of the machine that was interactive based upon ball movement, and would show cut scenes.

I also remember as a child playing Pinball Quest on the NES. For me, the thing that made this game memorable was that it had different levels, and play progressed. It was more and more difficult to pass through each level.

If I were to design my ultimate pinball game, it would definitely have different levels. As you accumulate points, you could purchase or earn upgrades, such as bumpers that prevent your ball from leaving the table. There would be challenges, such as barricades you have to destroy by bumping into them over and over, enemy objects that shoot at your flippers and ball, vortexes that suck your ball in, bosses you have to destroy, dead ends, and wormholes that jump you from level to level. Eek this sounds like such a fun game to me!

I also would like to eventually turn it into a multiplayer game, where each player sits at their own computer, and the table is designed with two ends, kind of like an air hockey table. The physics could get...interesting, but the players could hit targets that destroy their opponent's flippers, and other targets that boost their own flipper defense. What do you think? Would you like to play a round or two of battle pinball against your gamer buddies?


  1. I believe many people, including my self, find games like the good old pinball way more fun if they had a proper story and a great design behind it. As soon as i read about your multiplayer pinball idea, i started picturing a game that is a mixture of Pinball and the good old multiplayer Pong game, totally redesigned with new graphics and a great story behind it. Love the idea that players can hit different targets on the 'pinball map' to destroy the opponents flippers or get boosts - I think this could be a great social game if deployed on social platforms like smartphones or as a Facebook App for instance. I'd like to see this one being developed.

  2. Just as you're hitting some nostalgia, this game might have the potential to hit alot of people with nostalgia. Most gamers remember stories about gamers being sucked into a cyber world and finishing some quests in able to escape or save someone valuable. How about a "Back to the Future" styled game where the protagonist is sucked into a Pinball world and has to flip his way out. Each level could represent differently themed Pinball Machines from the real world. Flippers and Pixelated art go great together, so think about that aswell.

  3. I know having live interactive games can be a bit difficult with mobile devices, since you have to deal with interruptions like phone calls and texts. It would suck to be playing someone and have the game paused because THEY were using their phone as a communication device! haha

  4. You so made me think of Tron!! (I made my own Tron costume a few years ago right before the new one was released. It even lit up!)
    I know one of the popular themes I've seen lately is that of a haunted...mansion or carnival or insane asylum...where you encounter secret doors. That would be one way to provide the story of moving from map to map. As would the idea of wormholes in space.
    I thought about replicating real-world, but I want to do my best to steer clear of copyright issues, as I would actually like to try to make some money off this!
    It could be that the art progresses as the user gets higher level. Maybe one of the upgrades they can purchase is graphics. Hrmm...consider me inspired! :)