Pinball machines are a dying breed, but Evolution Pinball VR: The Summoning aims to put you back in touch with the arcade classic with the help of virtual reality.
Now in its first Steam Greenlight campaign, The Summoning promises to deliver physics based pinball-playing goodness along with a retro charm that puts you at the helm of a magical pinball machine where you summon (and battle) an entity from another dimension. All that’s missing is a training montage.
Although the multidimensional being hasn’t been revealed yet, the team tells me they’re keeping with the retro vibe by channeling a character like Zoltan, the iconic fortune telling machine alla the ’80s classic flick Big (1988). Of course, the soundtrack will be keeping in kind so you can lock into the epic ’80s-style battle scene that’s starting to feel very much like the impossibly fantastical Crossfire commercial.
Evolution Pinball VR currently supports keyboard, Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamepads, but the developers have been experimenting with a prototype controller of their own design— essentially the front third of a Pinball table complete with flipper buttons hooked up to an Arduino plugged into a PC.
“When we first tried it the controller was good enough for us to reach for the plunger to launch the ball (the controller doesn’t have a plunger). We intend to take this to consumer shows for people to try. It really is great fun and as close to playing a real Pinball table as you can get,” says developer Tim Ness.
There are a number of plans for DIY pinball table peripherals out there, and also a few older model production devices like the Philips made ‘Virtual Pinball’ controller released in the mid ’90s, but nothing that the developers feel directly comfortable with committing to without some input from the community first. Ness maintains that however “adding in additional controller functionality should not be a problem.”