Emulation of Pinball Tables with Visual Pinball

by frodo on August 17, 2011

Visual Pinball video

Before the video games appeared in local arcades and burger bars, we have been able to stroke up the excitement of the Pinball machines. Similar to the video games in the arcade, the Pinball machines where a fun way to consume time with friends while trying to beat each others highscores. Today’s machines are quite advanced with microchips, multiballs and large ramps but the early tables didn’t have most these elements as they where not electric operated. On these old tables, a player would flick balls up a ramp and on the play area where pockets where a ball would drop in and award you points. Electricity revolutionized Pinball in the 1930′s but even more when the machines added flippers. The first Pinball with flippers was the Humpty Dumpty table from 1947 by Gotlieb. A player now had the ability to be a larger part the gameplay of the table because it was possible keeping a ball in play with flippers. From then on tables later expanded with elements like ramps, multi balls, dot-matrix displays and digital sound effects. Unfortunately Pinball tables are not as popular or available as in the golden years, it can be a rare sight to find a playable table.

With Visual Pinball we can load many of the real Pinball machines which are emulated on PC. You can also try to make your own Pinball game with Visual Pinball, these are known as original tables where as re-creations are copies from real machines. The graphical user interface allows you to easily drop walls, flippers, targets and other Pinball elements onto the playfield. Regarding the technical side of things like a scoring system, this will need to be programmed. It can help to open other tables to use as examples and learn from those. You could also get help in VP forums.

One example of an original table is Irina Pinball. The table tries to capture the charm from the old machines while also mixing the recent features as we know today. This table is a tribute to the Russian ice skater, Irina Slutskaya. Most of music in game are tunes from famous classical music. To win a gold medal in this game you must beat the highscore which is the goal in the game. Try a friendly pinball table playable for all ages. Discover the inner Pinball wizard in you.

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