August 24th-27th 2012 :: Theme: Evolution

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by quill18 - 48 Hour Compo Entry

"It is ancient Earth, and in a pond filled with primordial ooze things have just come to life..."

PINBOLOGY attempts to faithfully mimic the components, mechanics, and physics of old electro-mechanical pinball machines while incorporating zones, combos, and special actions themed around evolution.

This game was made entirely before a livestream audience of 200-500 people. While I created all the art and program code myself, they provided invaluable moral support and inspiration, and I want to thank everyone who watched. I can't wait for LD #25!!!


INSTRUCTIONS (See in-game help for more information)

Flippers: Left/Right Arrows or CTRL
Plunger: Down Arrow or Space
Tilt: Up Arrow, Shift, or X (Careful, tilt too much and you'll lose a life!)



Extinction Event: Turn on the three lights at the top of the table to enable a mega-bonus in the gutter lanes.

Mutagenic Compound: Careful, hitting the purple drop target will activating the spinning disc!

Geographical Isolation: Climb the ramp to enter an area loaded with bonus points!

Breeding Ground: Exiting Geographical Isolation opens the gate to the Breeding Ground ball lock.

Survival of the Fittest: Lock three balls in the Breeding Ground to initiate a MULTI-BALL! (Each ball with have a color that diverges from the parent. The last ball standing locks in its color and becomes your new species!)

DNA: Hit the three DNA drop targets to cause a double-helix to appear on the board. Collect it for a huge bonus!


FIXED: People reported a bug with with the flipper hitboxes. They have been adjusted slightly, which should hopefully eliminate the issue of the ball passing through them.

Downloads and Links




coreyvacate says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:46am

Very interesting concept here! As a childhood pinball addict, would definitely like to see this expanded.

quill18 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:54am

To everyone reading the comments: I've left a cheat in the game. Push "A" to activate a multi-ball!

Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:04am

Thanks Quill, for that amazing game.
I watched the most part of your livestream and I went to bed at 4 A.M. yesterday to see the finishing of the game. It was so epic... I really had a lot of stress when you added the rotating wheel at the end !
It's really nice and entertaining.

1hotmofo says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 2:58pm

How do i play it??

quill18 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:23pm

@1hotmofo What do you mean? It's just straightforward pinball. Try to keep the ball in play. You should get a help popup with the keys immediately when you start your first game. There's also a "?" icon that, if clicked on, will give you the help popup.

If that's not working, let me know ( Meanwhile, the arrow keys are your best bet (left/right for flippers, down for the plunger, up for tilt).

If you're trying to play the web version, then you'll need to have the Unity 3d plugin installed -- but your browser should prompt you for that.

juaxix says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:28pm

A pinball is always fun, but i dont know what it has to do with evolution xDD

Spaceoff says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:31pm

Well. It's a pretty sturdy and standard pinball game.
I was on the stream a fair while and saw a lot of in dev, was fun to watch while eating etc., but I was too busy with my own entry to really try it before now.

Anyway I don't know if its my bad luck or not but I had some bad experiences. First of all, a few times the ball went *through* the flipper, and woop, that ball gone. Which was something of an annoyance.

And, another weird thing happened, defying all probability: - the ball balanced perfectly here, and physically stopped.

Dakota says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 3:31pm

Nice I love pinball.

The only grip I have (a small one) is that the ball felt a little heavy. Other that that it was really fun.

quill18 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 4:25pm

@Scaceoff The ball balancing somewhere is something that can happen to plenty of pinball machines in real life too (though it's slightly more likely here due to meshes not being perfectly round). Hit the Tilt key to get the ball back into play if that happen (Up Arrow, Shift, or X).

Datw says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 5:34pm

Not innovative, but nice and well done anyway.

quill18 says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 6:30pm

Another elite trick for all you people reading comments: The flippers at the bottom are the exact size required to *just* snag the ball between them if you trigger both flippers exactly right. If you can do that and combine it with a perfectly timed Tilt, you can salvage an otherwise lost ball.

SpectreNectar says ...
Aug 27, 2012 @ 9:03pm

Yay gotta love pinball games :D
I had a hard time nailing the DNA but I did it. Just didn't know I also had to collect the helix lol ^^
I really throughoutly enjoyed this. Great great game. If you don't believe me see for yourself:

Thomas Bowker says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 1:43pm

A pinball game! Awesome! It's quite hard.

gzhukov says ...
Aug 28, 2012 @ 8:22pm

great game quill
i watched your live stream!
it was hard but really fun!
amazing what you can do in 48 hours!

lockeslylcrit says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 12:41am

Played the game and enjoyed it, though the ball speed seems a little too fast to me. Maybe it's because I haven't played much pinball games.
Also, as an Anthropology major, I have a pet peeve about people using "Survival of the Fittest" in the context of evolution. The term was coined by Herbert Spenser to describe human society rather than Darwin's evolution model.

All in all, a good game.

nddrylliog says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 2:50pm

Got to 38400 :D Very addictive, art could use some love but otherwise, impressed!

imef says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 2:51pm

Very fun to play!

quill18 says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 4:36pm

@nddrylliog That's a really good score considering the current game balance. I think the points needs to be about doubled (or the extra lives threshold halved) to be closer to being appropriate for casual gameplay.

RARoadkill says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 4:42pm

I really enjoyed this. Great pinball game

dekart says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:22pm

Looks nice. Probably some background art with dinosaurs will make it even more evolution-themed :)

7Soul says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 6:28pm

Pretty good and smooth gameplay. The problem to me is that the ball is too fast and the gravity seems to be too strong. With some extra polish this could be a lot better.

quill18 says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 8:08pm

@7Soul The gravity is 9.81 m/s^2, the table is tilted at a standard 6.5 degrees, and the ball is perfectly to scale at 27 mm.

I think the issue with the perceived speed of the ball has to do with the fact that the middle of the board is pretty empty, so there's a lot of opportunity for the ball to build up speed. Otherwise it should be an accurate physical simulation of real pinball.

Maxium says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 9:44pm

Haven't played pinball in the longest time, great throwback :)

BMacIntosh says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:35pm

Goodness, I stink at pinball. It's a nice, solid game, though - I like the attention to detail in staying as close to real pinball as possible.

The red alert texts were very distracting and tended to lead to death when they coincided with me needing to hit the ball.

kato9 says ...
Aug 30, 2012 @ 11:52pm

REALLY good pinball game for 48 hrs - although it feels a bit fast to me - therefor it's pretty hard. Use of the theme feels a little shallow here, but overall really impressive work!

CapGrip says ...
Aug 31, 2012 @ 12:58am

Very good pinball game.

Fadobo says ...
Sep 1, 2012 @ 6:41pm

Cool pinball game! Awesome idea to connect it to evolution. Pinball machines really work for everything :). (Score 27550 btw).

zx81 says ...
Sep 6, 2012 @ 9:35am

I liked the idea, and the graphics were nicely done. The music is nice. Finally I loved the whole idea- soo innovative! :)
Great game!

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