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PinDevCon: The Pinball Makers Conference

The inaugural PinDevCon was held from June 2-4, 2023, as part of the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show in Tacoma, Wash. A gathering of pinball makers, we had 14 talks in the PinDevCon theater (adjacent from the FAST Pinball booth and Homebrew Zone) dedicated to the art, craft, and psychology of designing, building, and making pinball machines. PinDevCon 2023 was sponsored by FAST Pinball, Planetary Pinball, and CoinTaker.

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What is PinDevCon?

Our goal with PinDevCon is to get everyone who's interested in building, making, and creating things in pinball all in one place. June is beautiful in the Pacific Northwest, and the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show is a great place to meet up. (And they were supportive of our efforts which is why this show is awesome for homebrewers.) In addition to the maker talks in the PinDevCon theater, we had an evening meetup where we gathered to meet, mingle, and play each others' machines.

Look for another PinDevCon next year! Our first year was a huge success, and we'll be back next year with more talks, more makers, and more fun.

Help us plan future PinDevCon events!

If you'd like to help out with PinDevCon 2024, or have ideas for talks (whether for a talk you want to give or a topic you'd like to see), please fill out our feedback & ideas survey

Videos from PinDevCon 2023

We had 14 separate talks at PinDevCon 2023. Here are the videos of those talks. They are also available as a YouTube playlist.

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    Hardware hacking your pinball machine with FAST Pinball

    FAST Pinball's Dave Beecher demonstrates how a FAST Pinball WPC-89 Retro Controller can be used to take control of a White Water pinball machine, including drivers, switches, lamps, GI, and how you can play hidden sounds.

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    Swords of Vengeance: Music and Audio

    In this talk, Swords of Vengeance pinball creator Anthony van Winkle interviews the game's composer Amie Waters. They discuss how the art integrates with the music, and what it's like composing music for pinball. (And how not only is it different than composing music for everyday listening, it's also different than other video game music.)

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    Modern Pinball Machine Wiring

    This talk discusses the elements of wiring a modern pinball machine, specifically one built on FAST Pinball's modern platform. In this video, FAST Pinball CTO Dave Beecher (the guy who designs the hardware) and Brian Madden (the guy who writes the docs) walk you through the step-by-step pinball wiring guides.

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    The business of "2.0" pinball conversion projects

    FAST Pinball's Aaron Davis explains the how the business of the pinball conversion kit "2.0" projects work. This talk is for people who are interested in writing new software for existing Williams / Bally pinball machines who want to know details about how they can commercially release their games.

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    Mission Pinball Framework (MPF) - How it works under the hood

    This talk is for people who want to understand how MPF works under the hood, at least in terms of how the Python package is structured and what the various files and modules are. The talk is from Brian Madden, the original creator of the MPF project back in 2014.

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    The making of "The Haunted Cruise" AR pinball machine

    Homebrew pinball maker Lin shares the design of his third homebrew machine, The Haunted Cruise. Lin built his own hardware and wrote his own software, and built a Pinball 2000-style AR pinball machine completely from scratch. In this talk, he walks through the early early phases of how he got going with his design, including his design/build process and why you should make your own wiring loom!

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    Sean Irby

    Sean Irby created Eight Ball Beyond.

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    Mike Becker

    Mike Becker is the creator of the Fight Club pinball machine.

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    Spencer Holmes

    Spencer Holmes created the Futurama pinball machine.

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    Joel Kaiser

    Joel Kaiser is the creator of the Boys Night Out homebrew machine.

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    Anthony van Winkle

    Anthony van Winkle is the creator of the Swords of Vengeance pinball machine as well as Mass Effect 2.

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    Lin has created three homebrew pinball machines, including The Haunted Cruise and Frozen.

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    Brian Cox

    Brian Cox has created eight pinball machines, including Tattoo Mystique and The Harlem Globetrotters.

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    Jack Bridges

    Jack Bridges building The Muppet Show pinball machine.