Friday, May 11, 2018

Solidworks importing into Unreal engine

FINALLY!! This is what I've been waiting for.  Being able to do all my modeling in solidworks, then converting to Unreal so that not only can anyone open it, but it can be used as a VR envoirnment.

Going to see what this is capable of

Friday, April 13, 2018

READY PLAYER ONE inspired me, so started modeling again

So first off, google street view has officially updated, it now shows the PILOT gas station:

I'm glad I snagged a 360 of galaxy world before it got switched over.  So today I decided to start tracing the top down 2d map (I grabbed the scale legion too).  I then imported that into solidworks, extruded up 14 feet (the doorways are usually 7 feet, and it looks like there's a height of a full doorway above).  I'm figuring there's probably a good 4 feet of wall on the flat roof leaving 10 feet of actual ceiling.

What I think I might do is print the building on paper, and sketch the layout of the inside before I start haphazardly modeling.

As far as the building assembly, I think I need to separate it into chunks:

1. building floor + walls (so I can easily model the interior without a roof getting in the way)

2. The various heights of the floor

3. All the half walls throughout

4. Objects (desks, games, etc)

5. Ceiling

6. Assemble everything on some sort of terrain (parking lot, grass, basic roads of north avenue and Gary), possibly the street lights and the white castle

Monday, January 15, 2018


For some reason I binged on redemption videos on youtube this past weekend.  I have a slight desire to find a coin pusher game.  I think it would be a neat thing to have in an arcade when guests are over.  Put prizes inside and make them want to earn them.
Anyway I occasionally I search outside my pinball world on ebay.  I found this local item in skokie, a pop-a-ball redemption game.  I definitely remember this in a few spots in galaxy world.  I remember it's attract mode would be to randomly pop the balls as you walked by.

Friday, January 12, 2018


So I recently found new free software that makes photogrammetry quick and easy (zephyr), but results are still very rough (even experts using tripods).  I mean photogrammetry looks pretty decent when it's texture mapped, but when you turn that off and just look at the raw wireform it looks rough and blobby.

At this point my best bet is to just bite the bullet and continue modeling from scratch based on the top view google map, and all the 3d views from google earth (to get the shapes and heights correct).  I've also messed around with lighting inside solidworks, as well as walkthrough mode so theoretically I could do some renderings once I have everything modeled.  Also in the last 6 months, there has been a solidworks to VR plugin.  So rather than trying to learn unity or unreal engine I should be able to translate directly to VR:

One thing I need to start thinking about are what games to put in it (and this will be partially from memory, and making decisions about what to include over the span of 20-30 years since I can't possibly include everything).

In the sunlit area (where the blocked off laser tag ended up towards the end), I know I want to include:
* air powered fuzzy guy target game (no idea the official name of this, haven't been able to find photos yet)
* Skeeball
* water skiing coin pushers (can't find this either).  I remember it had the slot where you could point where the quarter landed.
* rad mobile
* virtua racing
* arm wrestling
* Tekken

In the pinball area I know I need to include bk2k and T2.  I remember playing banzai run there, however this was always kept in the upper level

The fighting game list needs to include:
Street fighter Turbo (on giant screen)
Street fighter the movie
Mortal Kombat
Time Killers
Killer instinct

Other mentions:
Super hang on (riding version)
Revolution X
Horse video gambling game
Capcom bowling

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Photos inside galaxy world

So I had a comment on one of my posts that wanted to see the photos of the inside.  It appears that Mike hasn't kept his domain up, so I'm going to post those photos here.  I've also found a few additional photos searching through google images (mostly of the connecting bowling alley).  Mike also sent me video footage of a walk through around 2013, but I don't want to post that since his kid is in it and I don't want to post it without his permission.  The footage will eventually help me model the interior space.  Anyway enjoy!

Monday, March 13, 2017

long time no post

Haven't given up on this project yet, just have so many projects going on right now within the pinball community to really focus on this (plus a sick wife and hurt dog aren't helping either).  Middle of last week while driving my wife to the doctor in Winfield, we got off at north avenue.  Sure enough we drive right by the now PILOT gas station.  It was painful to see quite frankly because until you see something in person, a part of you thinks that maybe it really didn't get torn down and it still exists.  I was picturing a much bigger parking lot, but honestly it's a tiny gas station considering the land they had to work with.
On a sidenote, there is a brunswick bowling center near my house that has been abandoned almost as long as galaxy world has.  I'm amazed this hasn't been torn down too.  The decor is almost identical to the one in carol stream.  I suppose if I needed some textures, or reference heights I could visit this site, though it is gated off so I'm not sure if I want to trespass on the property.

Monday, September 19, 2016

google map is full 3d, even carol stream!

I only got 4 views before.  Now if you hold down control and move the mouse to the side, you'll see that the map spins in full 3d.
Fotuntately, the map still hasn't been updated to show the PILOT truck stop:,+IL/@41.9049051,-88.1238139,198a,20y,150.56h,53.67t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x880fab3c98e013fd:0x79a000a44e180585!8m2!3d41.9125286!4d-88.1347927

So I'm going to be capturing as many views as I can 360 around before it's gone.  I then have 2 options:
1. Use photogrammetry to auto create the 3d geometry shell.  Looks like agisoft is free trial, and a lot of 3d printer users have noted this is a good program if you're willing to let your CPU chunk for a day or two.
2.  I can still trace the top view, extrude, and modify geometry along the way.  I'm also going to use the reference photos I've been given by Mike before the building got torn down for fine detail and texturing.

Ideally, I'd also like to capture some of the surroundings (at the very least, the white castle and the hotel next door).  Stay tuned for 3d renderings from solidworks.

On a sidenote, yesterday I looked into 3d engines.  Unreal 4 engine still looks to be the best option, and I also found a program that can convert solidworks directly to fbx files that the unreal engine can import.  Looks like it's free for 30 days, or $150 if I want to buy it.  If I can get a good shell of the building, I can slowly start piecing it together.  Also since it's a free engine, anyone can download the map and walk around.  I hadn't considered this engine a year ago because my PC was lacking.  I'm now on an i5 2.7ghz with a GT 730 video card.  Not top of the line by any means, but certainly meets the minimum requirements of the engine.