Hi, my name is John Hopper, and I am a retired guy with a fixed income, so money IS an object. I can do the cabinetry myself, and the electronics are all available locally. The art work can be locally sourced as well, since this is a one off and it can be painted.
In the late 70's, the electronic boards started coming onto the market. These were, and still primarily are for pub/bar use. They have several advantages as well as disadvantages, They are:
1.) (Advantage) They could be installed in a previously unused space in the facility and occupied much less prime real estate in the facility than did a pool table or even a pinball machine (They actually used more space than a pinball machine did WHEN IN USE due to the players standing 8’ from the board.
2.) (Disadvantage) They are mostly devoid of alluring and enticing graphics. (I say mostly, because very few of them have any graphics on the cabinetry.) The only real draw is when one is looking straight into the gullet…at the board, but this does virtually nothing to attract otherwise non-players to the machine.
3.) (Advantage) They keep score automatically.
4.) (Advantage) They can play multiple games.
5.) (Disadvantage) They are only capable of playing the games that are stored in the system. My design has this same disadvantage, but far more options.
6.) (Disadvantage) There are no bells, whistles, or lights that can serve to attract players.
7.) (Disadvantage) Even though the space exists, nobody has bothered to incorporate a vending function so players can purchase flights (fletchings), tips, or even dart bodies.
So, I want to change a lot of these drawbacks and even some of the basics of the game to make a dart system that is totally different than is currently available on the market.
Let’s start with the cabinetry of the unit.
1.) The side panels of the cabinet are made out of a Plexiglas type of material so graphics can be painted or applied to the inner surface (to protect the graphics) and externally lit in an attempt to entice patrons to play. My favorite to date is a Daisy Duke-ish sex bomb in the pose of throwing…and yes, I know that is sexist.
2.) I want to include vending functions into the inner, lower section of the cabinet to dispense flights, tips, and dart bodies (tips and flights will probably be most sales productive, and bodies may not be needed at all, and the space for this is there). THIS FUNCTION DOES NOT NECESSARILY NEED TO BE THERE FOR THE PROTOTYPE!
3.) I want to include all of the sights and sounds that have proven successful in the pinball world.
Moving on to the board and its’ systems is where a programmer (and a chip board designer is needed). I think this all can be done in DOS on an old computer, but I may well be mistaken.
1.) I want to remove the numbers from the outer board circumference and replace them with LED lights that are capable of displaying any set of two digits (actually only 1 through 20 are needed, but each trapezoidal area has to be able to display any of those numbers or number combinations…i.e. 1, or 10, or 20, etcetera, and are available locally).
2.) These LED groups will be covered with a protective sheet of clear acrylic sheeting.
3.) All of the currently programmed games are included in the new program along with others that are more regional in nature.
4.) After inserting money into the machine, the players:
a. Choose the game to play.
b. Choose standard play.
c. Choose rotational play where the numbers rotate around the board at one rpm to simulate a rotating board. (Note: the score is whatever the number is when the dart strikes, and one rpm means the numbers change every three seconds.)
d. Choose a random setting where the numbers change every three seconds to any other number, giving the player three seconds to find their number, throw the dart, and hit the number. A five second option could be made available.
e. If the design team has other suggestions, I’m open to hearing them.
5.) I want to display this at either/or the Las Vegas gaming exhibition or electronics exhibition, and the earliest realistic session to hit would be the 2019 fall meet.
6.) A non-use, non-disclosure form would have to be signed before showing potential buyers anything! That is a drawback in that we can’t let the machine sit out and ‘sell itself’.
If there are people that want to work on this in conjunction with me, that could be discussed as well as a simple contract for work performed.
Many thanks in advance for your help in this!