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Dennis Nordman Joins American Pinball
American Pinball announced yesterday:
It is our great honor to announce Dennis Nordman as a new Senior Game Designer at American Pinball. Dennis will be assuming that role and will be able to mentor our young design staff. We are excited to have Dennis join our team and bring his design expertise to American Pinball. Dennis is no stranger to this profession, having designed many pinball games for Bally, Williams, Stern, Multimorphic, and Heighway Pinball. Dennis will also finish releasing in-progress games in the future that he’s been working on under contract with other manufacturers. Dennis is an asset during our new reboot of American Pinball. We look forward to his creative style on both licensed and non-licensed games. Game Designer Joe Balcer will remain with American Pinball as a Contract Game Designer.
Led Zeppelin Gameplay, Interviews
Last week we got to see some gameplay of both the Premium/LE model and the Pro model of Stern’s newest creation, Led Zeppelin!
Jack Danger of Dead Flip streamed gameplay of the Premium/LE model – you can check out the video below:
Straight Down the Middle shared a gameplay video of the Pro model, which you can check out below:
Steve Ritchie and Tim Sexton joined PinTech Live on MarcoTV – here are just a couple highlights:
On the Led Zeppelin license:
Steve: In 1968, my wife – my future wife then – we walked by a music store and saw the album cover of Crash Led Zeppelin, and it immediately caught our eye…I was in the Coast Guard when I met her and I got orders to go to Vietnam, so I ended up going to Vietnam. And my wife bought the record and continued to send me more in Vietnam until I had the first three albums…I played them, I loved the music, I had a guitar with me and I learned how to play some of their tunes…Led Zeppelin has had a huge influence over me.
On a redesign part way through:
Steve: There was a major redesign. In May I went crazy and I redesigned a lot of stuff, and it was for the betterment of the game. I cleaned up a lot of areas…I am not going to go into the details of that, but yeah it was a little catastrophic.
On licensing and the artwork:
Tim: There is always [input] from the licensor…typically there is a style that they want us to adhere to. Led Zeppelin’s products – if you look at any Led Zeppelin products, they have a very consistent style to them…that is something that they want, to maintain their image that way…that is always a part of the process.
Steve also talks about how long he’s wanted the Led Zeppelin license, Tim talks about how timeless the license is, they talk about how the music is perfect for a pinball machine, Steve talks about his design history and drawing on a drafting table vs. CAD and how much easier things are with CAD, they talk about working together, talk about building a game during COVID and the challenges of that, talk about working on Black Knight vs. working on Led Zeppelin, talk about how much fun it is to build pinball machines, Tim talks about the challenges of work on Black Knight as his first game and everything he learned during that process, Steve talks about working with software guys through the whole process, Tim talks about all the engineering that goes into a game, they talk about all the people that worked on the game, talk about needing to see the artwork and the game in person, they talk about working with licenses, talk about the new lighting system in the game, talk about trying to make the game a concert experience, talk about the electric magic device and the development of that, talk about prototyping, Steve talks about his work on Star Trek the Next Generation, the song list in Led Zeppelin, and much more.
Check out the full show below:
Stern New Code
Recently Stern released code updates for Stranger Things, Avengers: Infinity Quest, Iron Maiden, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Pabst Can Crusher, and Primus! Check out the details below:
Last Week’s Poll Results
Kaneda’s Pinball Podcast: Interview with Ben Heck
Last week Ben Heck joined Kaneda’s Pinball Podcast – here are just a few highlights:
Kaneda: How is your game coming along…have you found your artist yet?
Ben: I think I know who they’re going to use, yes…they have the first toy done, I think they’ve started on the next, I’m actually probably going to head down there in the next few weeks and talk with the mechanical designer on some stuff, so it is in progress, yes.
On the timing of his game coming out:
Ben: I could see it slipping into 2022…it took them a while to get the license nailed down and I know they’ve been working on the playfield and what not…
On the mechs
Ben: …I did the concepts for the mechs, although, we had to tweak a few of the things, because of our cabinet we can’t fit this much behind the backboard…so we’ll move it this far forward, but in order to do this, we have to make sure the shot is still smooth…that kind of stuff happens…
…my goal is to have be a mechanically satisfying game on the playfield…
On the coding of his game:
Ben: …I think they’re switching their main CPU core…but at some point I will need to be brought up to speed with their operating system because I am going to be coding my own game, because that was one of the things people liked most about America’s Most Haunted…
On the timeline at Chicago Gaming Company:
Kaneda: Are you next in the roster after what will most likely be Cactus Canyon or are you the game AFTER the next game?
Ben: I think I am the game after the game. It is another remake, and then I’m pretty sure…it is an original title, or – a license, not a remake, and then it is mine…
Kaneda: Are you happy with the theme and are you happy with the integration with the theme, do you think you’re going to get the right amount of assets to make this theme come to life?
Ben: Well the assets can be very limiting, there are some licenses where they will give you the whole thing, they will give you all the clips, the entire movie…then there are some licenses like this one, where I have to go through and watch the master…and then pick out a certain amount of time…
Ben also talks putting emphasis on the playfield vs. the screen, talks about that kids love pinball because it is something that is that is analog and something they’re not used to, and much more.
Jersey Jack Pinball Turns 10
Last week marked the 10 year anniversary of Jack Guarnieri announcing he was starting a pinball company! Check out this note on the JJP Facebook page:
The Jersey Jack Pinball Podcast also interviewed Jack Guarnieri to discuss the company’s journey. He talks about the original announcement of Jersey Jack Pinball, talks about announcing it on the Spooky Pinball Podcast, talks about working with his daughter Jersey Jen, talks about trying to adding new things into each pinball machine, talk about Brett and Leonard Abess, talks about the future of JJP, talks about making money vs. making great games, talks about the manufacturing move to Chicago, talks about JJP’s best days being ahead of them, and much more.
David Thiel Tease
Last week David Thiel shared that in 2021, four pinball machines from four different pinball manufacturers will feature his audio packages – check it out!
Multimorphic Announces P3 Software Development Kit 0.6
IFPA Announces World’s Greatest Pinball Player for 2020
Pinball Bazaar Officially Launches
The Pinball Bazaar recently launched! It is designed to bring pinball mods, enhancements, consumables and newer games to the UK market:
Stern Updates End User Licensing Agreement
Recently Stern updated their EULA. We will provide updates as we learn more about this.
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— Cool and Crazy Stuff —
Marc Silk TMNT Voice Actor
Robert Gagno Reaches Run for the Hills on New IMDN Code
Some Good Pool Shots, Revenge From Mars in the Background
May everyone’s 2021 be as great as this… pic.twitter.com/ziofCKvuiu— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) December 31, 2020
Meghan Trainor Buys Rockstar-Worthy Encino Mansion
Other Quick Hits:
- Happy birthday Steve Bedi, Raymond Davidson, Jessy Jay, David Dennis, and Stew McVicker!!
- Silverball Chronicles: Lawlor – Pinball’s Rollercoaster Tycoon!
- Article from The Pinball Chick: Introducing Table Types
- Article: How the COVID-19 relief bill could change the future of game livestreaming in the U.S.
Team Pinball: The Mafia
Circus Maximus: Kingpin, Python’s Pinball Circus
Homepin: Thunderbirds, Chinese Zombies
Suncoast Pinball: Cosmic Carnival
Great Lakes Pinball: Exposé
Dutch Pinball: Bride of Pinbot 2.0, Bride of Pinbot 3.0 (on hold), The Big Lebowski (production/legal issues)
Silver Castle Pinball: Timeshock
Phénix Pinball: Goblin Contest
Pinball Adventures: Punny Factory, Sushi-Mania, Ninja Mania, First Class, Canada Eh!