Let's build a pinball machine!¶
Yeah, pinball is still a thing. (We're talking "real" pinball machines, the physical mechanical really heavy boxes of blinking lights you find in bars and cool kids' basements. And like most things these days, there's a crazy group of geeks who build their own, show them off, and live their dreams! Whether you're looking for a fun project you can do in your garage, you have an old machine you'd like to update, or you want to quit your boring day job and start a pinball company, you'll want to talk to us!
I want to learn!¶
If you found yourself on this site and your head is exploding, there are a few places to start.
First, here's a video of the four of us from FAST Pinball explaining what we do from the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show in June 2022.
We also have tons of documentation about our stuff. For example, here's our guide to wiring the lower third of your pinball playfield.
Or check out this HUGE series from our friend Steve of The Pinball Room who's spent more than a year building and recording videos as part of his How to Make a Pinball Machine series.
(There are many more links to building pinball machines on our videos page)
I want to build a new homebrew pinball machine from scratch¶
If you want to build your own pinball machine, that's called "homebrew" pinball. Some people literally build everything from scratch (the cabinet, the art, the mechanics), while other people buy components and assemble them themselves. If you want to build your own pinball machine from scratch, you'll need a control system (such as the FAST Pinball Modern Platform) and you'll need some software to run your machine (such as the free and open source Mission Pinball Framework.)
Check out our Docs to learn more. If you buy a FAST Pinball modern controller, you can join our Slack community where over 100 pinball makers from around the world hang out, chat, and exchange pinball building tips.
I want to update the code on an existing pinball machine¶
You may have heard of the various "enhancement" kits that are starting to be released for classic Bally/Williams pinball machines. (For example, FunHouse 2.0 "Rudy's Nightmare" from Pedretti Gaming)
The FAST Pinball Retro Platform controllers are drop-in replacements for existing Bally/Williams System 11, WPC-89, and WPC-95 pinball machines. They allow you (or your customers) to run the original classic game code (fully licensed, runs off our board) while also using the FAST Retro controller to modernize the interface to the classic hardware. Whether you want to write a new game just for yourself, or take a conversion kit into production, the FAST Retro Platform is for you!
I make mods¶
Pinball lovers love mods! Building truly interactive and novel mods has been difficult historically since it's hard to "know" what the machine is doing at any moment. (Workaround including sniffing the lamp matrix, driver outputs, audio bus, or display bus.) But since the FAST Retro platform emulates the original pinball hardware, it has full access to the inner workings and state of the machine.
All FAST Retro Platform controllers have expansion bus connectors. The FAST controller emits live in-game events and states via the expansion bus which you can then intelligently consume in your mod, add-on, topper, or bling kit.
I have an old machine I want to "retheme" to a new one¶
This is awesome! If you have an old machine where you want to strip it down to bare bones and rebuild it from scratch, you will most likely modernize the electronics by building the new machine around the FAST Modern Platform.
If you're retheming a Bally/Williams System 11, WPC-89, or WPC-95 machine, then you can use a FAST Retro Controller
I am a pinball manufacturer¶
Making pinball is hard! FAST Pinball can do more than provide a modern, protected, cost-effective hardware platform for your machine. We can also provide integrated software support (with commercial support for the Mission Pinball Framework), as well as support for host PC selection and OS hardening.
We can also help you during your design phase! (Actually, we'd prefer it!) You focus on your operations and building the pinball machine of your dreams. We'll do your electrical and platform engineering (including preparing for UL, FCC, and CE certifications if you want) and ensure you end up with a design that's safe, efficient, and manufacturable.
I have an idea for a pinball machine¶
You have the idea. We know how to get it made. We should talk!