Scott Danesi is the creator of Total Nuclear Annihilation.
The Start Button: How did you first get into pinball?
I was always fascinated with coin op machinery as a kid and I ended up building my own NES emulation arcade machine in the early 2000s. It was not until I started doing other arcade restorations that I found I could actually afford a pinball machine. I had bought my first game in 2008 and I have been hooked since. I sold almost all my arcade games and pinball took its place.
The Plunge: What was the first pinball machine you bought?
I bought a beat-up Williams High Speed in 2008 for $350. I was so new, I had no idea how to get the head pulled down until I got it home. Don’t tell anyone about that… oh, never mind…
The Skill Shot: What is your best pinball achievement or favorite pinball moment?
My best pinball achievement is watching Bowen Kerins play, and beat the crap out of, TNA at TPF 2018. That was unreal watching somebody dissect and complete the game the way he does in front of a huge crowd like that. I was sweating the whole time. The best part was his excitement at the end once he killed Reactor 9. He even ran up to me in the front row and gave me a hug. That was unreal. Oh, I also once beat Josh Sharpe at a dollar game on Tron. It was a fluke, but a legal victory, so I will take it!
Good Shots, Bad Bounces: What is your favorite and least favorite pinball machine?
My favorite pinball machine is probably between Dr Dude and High Speed. These are both amazingly designed machines each of their own genre. My least favorite is a game called Demolition Derby, it is a piece of junk. Poorly designed and made from mostly cardboard. But honestly, any pinball machine can be fun. Just imagine only having access to the machine that you like the least. You would play it and still have fun with your friends. There is no such thing as a “not fun” pinball machine as long as you are capable of not being a grouch. 😊
The Wizard Mode: What is your dream theme you’d like to see made into a pinball machine?
Nice try. No comment. 😊
The Tilt: What is the dumbest mistake you’ve made in pinball (mishap moving a machine, messing up trying to fix a machine, etc.)?
I have blown up many P-ROC boards hooking them up incorrectly because I thought I knew from memory what the pinouts were for the power connectors. Trust me everyone, just double check the spec sheets even if you are sure before applying power to your homebrew games. There is no shame in not having the pinouts memorized, but there is shame when you think you do, but don’t.
The High Score: Describe the pinball hobby in one word.
Match – Next Game: Where do you see the pinball hobby in 5-10 years?
Hopefully thriving with the next generation of kids getting into it. In order for this to happen, we need to make sure that new pinball keeps getting made, and sometimes with a theme that the younger generation can relate with.