There are few recreational activities as whimsical as that of pinball. It’s a physical endurance battle between you and the machine. On the best tables, an array of electrical lights, stories, and modifiers was enough to keep you going for hours. One such table,The Twilight Zone, is widely considered to be one of the best physical pinball tables of all time.
The problem: when’s the last time you’ve ever been able to play a physical game of pinball? Unfortunately, the art of pinball is a dying one: tables are expensive to maintain, arcades are less profitable than ever before, and physical pinball tables are rarely built anymore.
Luckily, there is still a way to enjoy pinball in a way that is as close to the physical games as possible. That way is through FarSight studios, makers of Pinball Arcade, the universally accessible pinball emulation app that Gamezebo called “as real as pinball gets on iOS.” They’re making a Kickstarter in order to create a digital copy of The Twilight Zone, and they need your help to do it.
What FarSight goes through to create virtual pinball tables is nothing short of miraculous. They strip tables down to the bare wood background, model each individual part in three dimensions, and then arrange each piece in digital space. In addition, they run emulators that literally run off the original ROM of the physical machine’s computer chips. You literally cannot get any closer to playing a pinball table digitally.
“But if they’ve been doing this for years, why do they need our help to make this table?” you might ask. The answer lies within licensing. For each table FarSight makes in the digital space, they need to pay rights back to the owners of each of its featured properties. In this case, that means money to Midway (creators of the table), owners of the TV show, owners of the music, and rights to use actor voices and likenesses used on the table.
The Twilight Zone isn’t exactly a no-name property, which is why FarSight is looking for $55,000 to help fund their game. By funding out to pinball fans around the world, FarSight is looking to preserve one of the the best existing tables digitally before it goes extinct.
For $10, Kickstarter donators can get a virtual The Twilight Zone table on just about any platform that they like (except the Xbox 360, because Microsoft wouldn’t let them). Pinball aficionados can donate $100 for entry into a special pinball tournament, $500 to beta test and get early access, or even $10,000 to have FarSight fly to you and host a virtual pinball extravaganza for you and your friends.
At the moment, funding is at $3,256. Considering that they’ve only been up a couple hours, they’re already off to a great start. If you love pinball, or simply want to help preserve a dying form of entertainment, send a pledge and help them reach their goal!
Project Name: Pinball Arcade: The Twilight Zone
Platforms: iOS, Android, PC, Mac
Funds Needed: $55,000
Funding Acquired (as of this writing): $3,256
Days Left: 29
Kickstarter Picks is a series of features on Gamezebo that will profile Kickstarter projects in the world of video games. We’re doing this in the hopes of calling attention to interesting projects in need of funding, so please, if a game looks like something you’d want to play, don’t hesitate to lend it your support!