Pinball Map Open Thread


Huh, never heard about before. Thanks for the pointer!


It’s a good site! He just launched this newest version a few months ago.


We added a Japan Pinball Map! Currently listing 37 locations and 213 machines.

The data is administered by CYC and CDS.


Heh, I’ve always been curious to see what machines operators in Japan would be drawn towards, as the country’s always been a low-priority market for pinball manufacturers. I’m not surprised at all that it leans toward the Gottlieb Super Mario ones and any company’s Star Wars. Those are definitely IPs that are big in Japan. (Not as much Street Fighter II as I had expected, but I guess that makes sense considering fighting games in Japan tend to be right on the cutting edge, with whatever’s popular being whatever is newest.)


Hi friends! I’m using the Pinball Map in a web browser and was intrigued by the “Link to this search result” button. Unfortunately, it appears that when linking to the search result, the location filter is cleared. I was on the Portland Pinball Map looking for all instances of Pin-Bot, and when I clicked “Link to this search result” it zoomed out and showed me all the Pin-Bots in the US (apparently there are no Pin-Bots on location in Japan :wink: ). Doesn’t seem to be an issue when linking to a specific location (like, I selected “Baby Doll Pizza” from the Location drop-down and was able to link to that just fine), just when machine IDs are involved. It’d be awesome to be able to share a quick URL when someone asks, “Where are all the Pin-Bots in this dang town?” or something.


That looks like a fresh bug. Must have been created when we added the regionless stuff. If it worked as intended, it should indeed be showing only Portland.

Thanks for finding that and telling us!


Whoa. Awesome bug! Global game search.

While Japan has no Pinbots, they do have several TAF, including in Toyko, Osaka and Sundai.


It’s actually possible to do a bug-free global game search. If you’re on the new regionless map you can leave the Near field empty.


We fixed that bug, and some others.


We started a Pinball Map podcast! Mappin’ Around with Scott & Ryan. We’ve been talking about doing this for years, and now we’ve gone done it. We’ll put out one episode a month.


Episode 1 - The Plunge

Pinball Map is a mappin’ site for finding public pinball machines. It’s pretty popular, and we’ve been working on it for 10 years. In this inaugural episode of Mappin’ Around with Scott & Ryan, we introduce ourselves and the map, lay out the technical specs of the site, and discuss recent and forthcoming updates. Then we dip in with esteemed location player, Danny B, to see what he has to say. We also choose the Username of the Month, and quiz Scott about last month’s map usage statistics. We round out the episode by telling you what’s coming up.

We aim to have future episodes be a little shorter. And we’ll interview someone in each episode. And we’ll have regular segments, though we’ll rotate some of them. It’ll probably take us a couple episodes to really find our groove (I have no radio/podcast experience, but Scott does!). So, let us know if you have feedback or anything. We hope you enjoy it! It’s been fun making it.

It might still be propagating to some of the podcast directories/apps, in case you don’t see it.


We started a Pinball Map Patreon!

A more detailed explanation can be found on the patreon page, but here’s the gist:

The app is free and the site is completely ad-free and tracking-free. We have always striven to keep our costs minimal. We currently deploy to Heroku, and we’ve held on to their cheapest tiers by by the seat of our pants. But we are getting too popular, and we can’t do that any longer! We are planning to migrate to AWS, so we can get a beefier server. Plus, with Google Maps API’s new pricing, we are coasting on some monthly credits that are about to run out soon.

In the past year we added a paypal donate link, and the donations from those helped squeeze us by.

We think that Patreon will be a nice service to help us defray our increasing site costs! If you use pinball map and want to directly support the site, then you are the bomb and we love you.

(we just launched this a moment ago - and the “benefits” section doesn’t show up until people start pledging… kinda strange how they do it like that)


We just dropped a new episode of our Pinball Map podcast, Mappin’ Around w/ Scott & Ryan. This one is called Swap Stories. Give it a listen! Let us know what you think.

In this episode we got:

  • Two new Pinball Map t-shirts!

  • We started a Patreon!

  • We dip in with Danny B.

  • We talk map tech, telling you how we keep the site in the black (in terms of memory).

  • Map stats.

  • We interview Beth about the full Pinball Map app rewrite she’s working on.

  • We discuss about an intriguing topic: what is a public location, I mean really?

  • And finally, we give a quick Pinball Map tip.


We made TWO new Pinball Map shirts!

One is two-sided, with a simple logo on the front, and ye ol’ shirt graphic on the back. It’s on black (sorry, @genex I got vetoed on making non-dark colors).

The second is a 9-color Portland Pinball Map throwback graphic. Drew Marshall made us this graphic back when we first started the site. It’s a really great graphic, and we thought it would look cool on a shirt! You don’t have to be from Portland to wear it! It’s on navy blue (the roads use the negative space of the shirt - pretty cool).

Both shirts are HQ screenprints, on All Style brand shirts, and come in S - XXL unisex. $20, free shipping.

Pinball Map Store.


I just wanted to share that I enjoyed the first two episodes of the podcast. It’s a fun sorta “Inside Baseball” view into the website, and when you layer on the technology stack talk and the stats on the site it’s right up my alley of things that I’m personally interested in. I’m excited about Regionless and look forward to the new mobile apps when they’re released.


Awesome - thank you for the feedback! Yeah, we prefer to get relatively technical with some topics, but we know that won’t be interesting to some people, so it’s great to hear that you like it. And thank you for your patreon support!


Just listened to the podcasts. Loved the tech stuff the most. Not sure if my Android app is faster but sometimes when I open it it crashes immediately a couple times before it will open. If there are crash logs that you’re interested in let me know and I’ll send them if I can.

Is there a way to organize locations by date last updated? I would know where to go check if I could see that info. I noticed one comment near me is from 2014.


Got some extra time and started listening to the podcast. I must say that I’ve seen people press the coin return button on arcade games in general a lot, but I didn’t realize that was a local thing. That being said, it’s not specific to pinball, or even arcade games: Back when pay phones were still common, I’d see people go up to them and check the coin return hole, and I’d see them do so a lot. Them pressing the coin return button is a close relative of that, I’d say.

I think the reason that’s so common is because people putting in the wrong amount of change is common, and enough people find coins in this way that it’s worth trying. I’d say it goes hand in hand with when people go to places like the Family Arcade or Chaparral Lanes and push the start button on all of the pinball machines, hoping to play something for free because many people either get a replay game without knowing it (and honestly, this is one of the most obtuse things in pinball for an outsider) or they have too many credits in the game because, well they put in the wrong amount of change. There are also a lot of games out there that just plain eat your quarters, or it’s out of service and the person walking up doesn’t realize it.

I’m actually more surprised this is not as common elsewhere. They’re basically just searching for free money.

As for the start button, it’s located away from the rest of the action, which is why so many people never notice it. Their attention is entirely on the playfield, the flipper buttons, and whatever else is in their field of vision, of which the start button is not. I understand why it had to be placed there during the EM era and perhaps the early solid state era, but I don’t see why, say, that button on the bottom center you’d see on stuff like Star Trek couldn’t also double as a start-game button when a game isn’t in progress.


I can’t tell if you’re suggesting that we said this is mostly a local thing that doesn’t occur elsewhere. If so… we didn’t say that. But maybe you’re saying that you’ve observed it here and not elsewhere?

But yeah! That start button just isn’t in the best spot. Pinball manufacturers could do well to spend a day observing people at an arcade. I agree that that “bottom center” button could double as a start-game button.

Thanks for listening!


It already does on Spike 2-era Sterns for the most part!


That was fast! See people, if you complain about something on a podcast or on a message board, the bigwigs will listen and heed your advice and the world will be a better place. :grinning:


It’s more fun to start a game with the action button - I like to wind up dramatically (and then lightly tap it, don’t worry!) to get pumped up when practicing!