Virtual arcade game

Emilia Pinball

Thanks to their high frame rates and realistic physics, virtual pinball games running on modern hardware are a long way from the early Amiga 2D titles that started the genre. You can even find entire arcades in virtual reality along with properly licensed recreations of dozens of actual pinball games from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. Developers have lovingly written code to emulate both the circuits of the solid state era and the CPUs of the digital era that replaced it, and players have even attached low latency switches and large screens to help play these emulations at their best. You can do something similar with Emilia Pinball, an open source pinball environment designed to be run on an embedded device with OpenGL acceleration.

Even without a specific device, the source to this game can be built and run on any ordinary Linux machine, and it performs blisteringly well. Left and right Shift keys act as the left and right buttons on the real thing, with Enter to launch your ball. These controls are also mapped to a mouse, which opens up the possibility of building a physical pinball controller from an old mouse. There's a clever nudge system for virtually knocking the table to shove the ball, and the physics of the ball's movement seem indistinguishable from the real thing. There's a selection of tables, and these have their own project repositories so you can easily fork them and modify them. They all feature open source and GNU-like names, and include graphics of Tux and other Linux tributes. It can't yet compete with similar projects on Windows, which can often run on Wine, but as an open source alternative with decent graphics and accurate physics, Emilia Pinball is a great foundation to build into your own project or onto which you can recreate your favorite table.

Project Website

The game runs on your Linux desktop but has also been designed to run on a "pincab" embedded system with a screen laid flat.

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