Designing events

As someone with absolutely no experience in pinball design, a lot the design work for the rules is simply trial and error. Often the quickest way to determine if a rule or event works is by simply doing it and throwing a ball into play. However this produces some interesting later stage design challenges that often push you to be a bit more creative.

One thing I noticed early on after building the “Battleship” event was that I felt this obligation to use the drop targets for all “Destruction” events. I wanted that comfortable consistency. However, I quickly noticed that this made the game very boring and one dimensional. It rapidly became Zone of the Drop Targets.

Every time I approach the table now, I have to constantly reset my brain out of this line of thinking to really start doing anything interesting with the table. I’m actually quite happy with the PF in this respect, as Rollergames was never really an event based game. The high level goal was basically just to grab multiball and rack up jackpots. This prevents me from walking in with any pre-conceived┬ánotions of how the table should play. Obviously I still have to follow some of the table’s design as a matter of course; Mutliball locks on the right through the ramp, etc.

Currently here’s a rough idea of what events I’m planning on using in the game. Right now this is more of a mental sketch for my own benefit, but you may or may not find it interesting.

  • Battleship event. Drop the shield with the inner loop, then drop all three targets. Group of 3
  • Find Taper. Shoot the outer orbits to “search” a container. Dropping into the bumpers destroys the container. Taper is randomly placed in one of 8 containers. Destroying taper fails event
  • Train event. Stop the train by shooting the ramp loop. Group of 4?
  • Mummyhead event. Shoot the marked target. Missing resets the bank and moves the target. Group of 5
  • Clod event. Drop all 3 targets without landing in the pit. Pit fails event and grabs ball, then auto-shoots outer ramp orbit. Group of 3.
  • Raptor event. Shoot pop bumpers to do damage. 3 hits per raptor, group of 5

Once all events are cycled through, I may loop back through existing events at a higher difficulty, or add a repeatable “final” event. Not sure how deep I want to make the table at this point, but I imagine not many will get that far given it’s current hated for people.

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