VR pinball experiment (Part 1)

A little while ago I bought Pinball FX VR in the Oculus store. I quickly noticed that I missed the true pinball feeling and figured it couldn’t be difficult to make a “pinball controller”. Did some quick drawings and bought the cheapest “rumble pad” I could find.

A day later, the gamepad arrived!

First thing to do: de-assemble the gamepad:

Using some alligator clips and some small push buttons I checked if the game would pick up the controls. But before I could check I soon realized that Pinball FX VR requires an X-Box controller. When googling for a solution to this problem I found out I’m not the first person to have this pinball idea!
But “luckily” my counterpart ran into the exact same problem and had resorted to an X-box controller emulator! After I installed the emulator I verified the basic controls in-game and all seemed good! Went on Ebay to order some true 28mm arcade buttons.

When my arcade buttons arrived I created a small cabinet using the width of an actual pinball machine (approx 56cm):

I did some quick soldering so I could connect the most important buttons and the rumble motors.
First try

The test worked out well even though I didn’t notice any rumble feedback when playing the game.

I went on to solder wires to the remaining connections on the gamepad:

After re-assembling the cabinet I took a closer look at the emulator software and found out I could change some settings regarding force-feedback. Setting overall strength to 100% and lowering the “period” boosted the force feedback drastically.

Right now my cabinet looks like this as I need some extra buttons to accomodate the directional pad and remaining buttons that are used by the game before I can finish it:
Pinball cabinet

For the directional pad I bought an arcade joystick on Ebay. That way I might also use it in the future as a classic arcade controller.

To be continued…