FAST Friends Newsletter: June 2022
Hello FAST Friends! This month's entire newsletter is about our FAST Pinball community presence at the Northwest Pinball & Arcade show earlier this month.
We had an awesome time at the show this year! The photo above is just a portion of our 70-foot long booth with 16 pinball machines showcasing much of the cool things we've been building! Our booth was PACKED for the entire show! We had machines playing the classic original code running on our FAST Retro Platform controllers. We showed machines with new code running on classic machines, we had a Haggis Fathom Revisited, shown for the first time in public, which is built on our FAST Modern Platform. And we had a bunch of homebrew, custom, and rethemed machines built and created by members of the FAST Pinball community.
It was such a great show, and so fun to see everyone in person again after having no shows for the past few years. There was a buzz in the air around everything happening in the FAST community, and it was fulfilling to be able to show off the results of some of our work.
Also thanks to Ale, Amy, Anthony, Brendan, Brian C., Jack, Jacob, Jeremy, Mike, and Steve for their volunteering, help, and general merriment over the weekend! Our talk from the show is now on YouTube
The four of us (from left: Eli, Aaron, Dave, & Brian) from FAST Pinball gave a talk at the NWPAS show on Saturday. We talked about what we've been up to and what our plans are for the future of pinball, and the many paths and options you have to get started building and making pinball.
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This is the web version of an edition of our FAST Friends newsletter, our monthly-ish email newsletter sharing the latest in the FAST Pinball world and from our extended family of pinball makers and builders.
FAST Retro Platform: Classic Machine Emulation
Our NWPAS booth has three machines running the FAST Retro Platform. These machines were completely original, running the classic emulated original ROMs on original hardware (except for our new Retro controllers replacing the original MPUs). A FunHouse machine had our WPC-89 controller in it, Medieval Madness was running our WPC-95 controller, and Cyclone had our System 11 controller.
People played these games non-stop, and often asked why they were in our booth. We told them to look at the boards in the backbox where they could see the FAST Retro Platform controller instead of the original MPU. We confirmed that our emulation is solid, and that from a player's perspective, you can't tell of the machine is running an original MPU or our new emulated version.
FAST Retro Platform: Conversion Kits
We also showed off three different conversion kits for three classic machines at the show. FunHouse Rudy's Nightmare, from Pedretti Gaming; The Forgotten Tales, an expansion for Tales of the Arabian Nights, from Mirco Playfields; and No Good Gofers: Battle for the Green, from Cardona Game Designs.
All three of these machines are "conversion" kits which include a FAST Retro Controller, new displays and speakers, and other components to upgrade the machine to a completely new game while also allowing the original classic ROM to be played. They were played almost nonstop for three days straight!
Fathom Revisited (Haggis Pinball)
We were excited to have a Fathom Revisited in our booth, from Haggis Pinball. This was the first Fathom Revisited to be unveiled in public, and the first chance the public got to play it. It's an absolutely beautiful machine, extremely bright, shiny, and with lots of chrome!
There were a line of people waiting to play Fathom for the entire show, and it was played non-stop. The machine held up well, with the biggest issue being one of the rubbers wearing out from so much use!
Fathom Revisited is built on the FAST Pinball Modern Platform (and it runs the Mission Pinball Framework), and it was awesome to see how fast the new Neuron controller-based system is. We're excited for more of these machines to get into the world in the next few months.
The biggest part of our booth was our homebrew section, featuring several rethemed and scratch-built machines from FAST community members:
Mike Becker brought his Fight Club machine which he's been working on for about 4 years. (Follow along in his Pinside thread.) The toys & mechs in this machine are phenomenal, as are the light shows! Steve (below) did a 9-min YouTube interview with Mike talking about how he built fight club.
Steve Kondris brought his Led Zeppelin project which he's been documenting on YouTube for the past year or so. This machine has one of my favorite mechs: the stairway to heaven escalator which has magnets in the treads to carry the balls to the upper playfield! Space (Baby Pac-Man)
Another fun machine was from Brendan, a high-school student who showed off a Baby Pac-Man retheme he's been working on for a few years. It was fun to play and worked well the whole weekend!
Mass Effect 2
Anthony van Winkle created the Mass Effect 2 pinball machine on a Stern Game of Thrones playfield using the FAST Modern Platform. See masseffectpinball.com for details.
Swords of Vengeance
Another creation from Anthony van Winkle, Swords of Vengeance is a conversion kit for Swords of Fury, picking up the story 20 years later. Follow the action in this Pinside thread.
Anthony van Winkle created Harley Quinn on a Whitewater playfield, leveraging the FAST Retro Platform.
Brian's Any Machine
(Classic Bally Series)
The latest creation from Brian Cox is a cabinet with interchangeable playfields which plays several classic Bally games, but with modern FAST hardware and all-new game code. Brian brought KISS, Flash Gordon, and Star Trek to the show, though he 14(!) total different games developed for this platform. Read more about his games here.
DR Game Systems
Anchoring the left end of our booth were Steve, Rick, and Dan from DR Game Systems. These guys are friends of many of us in the FAST Community, and they offer printing, CNC, cabinet making, and related services. (They printed all the banners and signage for our booth.)
They showed off some cabinets (for video games and pinball machines) that they completely scratch-built, including the cutting, assembling, painting, decal printing, etc. They are popular in the homebrew community for cabinets and prints needed for custom pinball machines. Find them online at drgamesystems.com.
We have merch!
If you somehow haven't spent all your money on building pinball machines, you can blow what's remaining on various shirts and drinkware at the FAST Pinball merch site, merch.fastpinball.com. FAST Starter Bundles are back in stock!
The FAST starter kit bundles have been out of stock for the past few months as we've waited to get more FAST Nano Controllers back in stock. We received our latest batch yesterday, and are happy to announce that you can once again purchase these bundles and take the first steps to building your own pinball machine.
Every FAST Pinball customer receives an invitation to our Slack group, where you can join over 100 other community members who are all crazy enough to build their own pinball machines!
Documentation Feedback? Requests? Confused?
Hi! I'm Brian, and I'm responsible for the documentation at FAST Pinball. If you have any feedback, requests, corrections, ideas, or any other thoughts about this documentation, please let me know! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
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