Pinball Labs is an amazing new pinball simulator, editor and API with highly realistic physics and visuals. Pinball Labs is being built with Unreal Engine 4 for PC, virtual reality headsets and virtual pinball cabinets.
We love gaming. And the gaming industry began with pinball. Like any great game, it's fun to play, easy to learn but hard to master. That's why pinball continues to evolve and thrill new audiences, from the 1930s to today!
In recent years, the marriage of traditional pinball and modern technology has inspired two great pinball communities: "virtual" and "homebrew".
Virtual pinball enthusiasts are gamers who design, share and play pinball games, simulated on the computer.
Homebrew pinball enthusiasts are builders who use modern advancements in 3D printing, laser cutting and electronics to build their own real, fully-functioning, pinball machines.
We aim to cater to both gamers and builders with Pinball Labs.
- Highly accurate pinball simulation and gameplay
- Built-in editor: Design and share your own tables!
- Plugable API for connectivity and expansion
- Designed for PC, VR headsets and Virtual Cabinets
- Unparalleled physics and visuals
- Built using Unreal Engine 4
- Tons of user settings, saved per table
Pinball Labs includes a host of virtual assets like pop-bumpers, slings, lights, spinners, drop-targets, plungers, etc., Pinball Labs' editor will allow anyone to easily design and play their own virtual pinball machines with drag and drop simplicity.
Stationary elements such ramps, rubbers, habitrails, plastics and mini-playfields will be laid out using splines in the editor. Users will be able to not only adjust the visual appearance of each element but their physical properties as well, such as how "bouncy" or "slick" a surface is.
Pinball Labs supports three display modes:
- "Desktop" for normal PC monitors and TVs.
- "VR" for virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
- "Cab" for multi-monitor virtual pinball cabinets.
Last but not least, our API supports connectivity of virtual pinball to real world hardware or emulators. Enthusiasts with virtual pinball cabinets will have the power to to hook up real world buttons, lights, solenoids and other physical feedback devices directly to Pinball Labs' simulation. Real world pin-builders can use Pinball Labs as a testing environment for research and development: Game play and controller logic can be troubleshot inexpensively in the virtual realm, before committing resources to expensive parts, labor and materials.
The plugable API library provides complete scriptable access to:
- All virtual pinball devices and displays - every lamp, switch, coil, flasher, LED and DMD
- Real-time physics simulation - for plunger and cabinet nudging controls
- A wide assortment of real world hardware devices - such as buttons, solenoids, flashers, LEDs and DMDs
- Cameras and the projection matrix - for headtracking plugins using IR or Kinect
- A Pinball Controller abstraction - for connecting emulators or pinball development frameworks
- Environmental lighting controls
Give our "proof of concept" demo a try! It's especially fun with the Oculus Rift DK2 virtual reality headset!
* Unreal Engine 4 royalties are 5% after the initial $3,000 earned each quarter.
** With hopefully a little left over for caffeine and pizza.
What's Left to Do
- Editor UI
- Finalizing API and scripting
- More playfield parts and components
- More physics refinements
- UE4 engine modifications: multiple-monitor, view matrix
- Online leaderboards
- Performace tuning
- Polish, polish and more polish!
These features we would love to include in Pinball Labs but require additional funding.
- Device Workshop*
- Mac and Linux support
- Multiplayer support with voice chat
- Stereoscopic support for 3D TVs and monitors
- Additional scripting language support
- Eye tracking support for virtual pinball cabs
*Design your own virtual pinball devices built from 3D models, virtual solenoids, motors, springs, switches and lights!
Most of all, we want Pinball Labs to be a lot of fun! Join us on our adventure to write the next chapter of Pinball's time-honored, storied gaming tradition, by making our Kickstarter a reality. Make a pledge today and spread the word about Pinball Labs!
Risks and challenges
Like most software projects the biggest challenge for this project is the development timeline. There will be several beta and demo releases as the project progresses. We hope to have a revised playable VR demo to coincide with the major VR hardware launches happening sometime Q1 of 2016. The fully polished retail version should be completed by Q4 of 2016.
Months of development work and research has already gone into Pinball Labs including playable demos. Each major feature has gone through research, design and proof of concept.
Every effort will be made to keep backers in the loop with timely updates of project status and any unforeseen issues.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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