TOPIC opens up a pinball machine to learn it’s secrets.
They wanted to learn ALL OF THE SECRETS. They opened it up ALL THE WAY.
Casual players tend to experience pinball as a frenzied series of events that inevitably culminate in a ball breezing past a set of flippers, down a drain, and back to its home beneath the glowing playfield. Without an expert touch, the game can feel almost happenstance, the ball zigging and zagging at the mercy of small movements from flippers and sinking and rising surfaces. In reality, though, pinball is anything but random. You just have to open a machine to learn its secrets.
The average game is designed to last three minutes, a length of time established back when bars and arcades had to turn a profit off the machines. (Today, most of Jersey Jack’s machines are privately owned.) Designers can tweak the layout of a playfield to be more or less challenging by doing things like widening an outlane (the lanes at the far side of the playfield that lead to the drain), or adding a bumper closer to the drain. And game owners can fine-tune software to determine the power behind an electrical jolt to the flipper, which can also impact game play.