— QUICK HITS —
Jersey Jack Pinball Reveals Guns N’ Roses
Jersey Jack Pinball released their newest creation last week – Guns N’ Roses!! The pinball community got tons of awesome looks and insights and perspectives into this incredible machine throughout the week – lets check them out!
Monday started with a video from Jersey Jack Pinball and Slash that confirmed the game is Guns N’ Roses:
Not long after, we saw the teaser video from Jersey Jack Pinball:
Later we saw the GUNS N’ ROSES DEEP DIVE from This Week in Pinball released:
And we got to see the amazing video from Straight Down the Middle:
And The Super Awesome Pinball Show released an interview with designer Eric Meunier (more on that below):
Buffalo Pinball announced they’d be hosting the reveal stream on Wednesday:
Jersey Jack shared incredible photos from Pinball Photos:
On Tuesday, Jersey Jack Pinball released a gameplay video where Director of Software Keith Johnson shows us how to collect band members and start a song:
Slash visited Jersey Jack Pinball on Tuesday to help promote the machine:
On Wednesday, Kevin Manne with Buffalo Pinball was joined by Eric Meunier to show the first unboxing video – can you imagine unboxing a new pinball machine where you didn’t know what the game looks like??
The Final Round Pinball Podcast released an interview with Director of Software Keith Johnson (more on that below):
What the Flip of The Pinball Network released a reveal stream:
Buffalo Pinball hosted a reveal stream on YouTube with special guests Keith Johnson and Joe Katz:
Other Coverage and Notes
Throughout the week, Jersey Jack showed games on the assembly line! Games are shipping right now, so contact your favorite distributor!!
The game was also covered on many non-pinball websites, including:
- NME: Guns N’ Roses launch their own ‘Not In This Lifetime’ pinball machine
- UCR: Guns N’ Roses launch their own ‘Not In This Lifetime’ pinball machine
- Chicago Tribune: Why Guns N’ Roses’ Slash is in Elk Grove Village, playing pinball
- WGN: Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash on the death of Eddie Van Halen, band’s latest pinball release
Congrats to all of the team at Jersey Jack Pinball for this incredible reveal of an amazing looking pinball machine!
Last Week’s Poll Results
The Super Awesome Pinball Show: Interview with Eric Meunier
The Super Awesome Pinball Show interviewed Guns N’ Roses Designer Eric Meunier last week!! Here are just a few highlights:
On the reveal of Guns N’ Roses:
I’ve been working on it since April of 2018 – I think [that] was my first whitewood drawing. It has been done for a long time. The problem is that we moved our entire company from New Jersey to Illinois. So getting manufacturing set up and running, and all parts sent here, and training new people and hiring new people is an extremely involved operation. So now that we have games in boxes ready to ship, we were comfortable unveiling the game to everyone. It has been a long time coming but I am excited to share it with the world.
On working with Slash:
I feel pretty confidence in saying this, I don’t think there has ever been a licensor this involved and this passionate about the game. At least nobody that I’ve ever worked with…it is hard to imagine anybody being as involved as Slash was in this game. I mean, literally every day him and I would talk and I would show him the current progress.
On how JJP got this license:
The license was brought to us because Slash is a friend of Jack Guarnieri. Back in the days before everyone and their brother was selling pinball machines online, Jack was one of the first people who ever did that, he started pinball sales dot com. He had a long rolodex full of clients, and Slash was one of those clients. So they became friends because he sold Slash most of his games. About seven years ago – maybe it was nine years ago – Slash approached Jack and said “I really want to do a pinball machine with you guys and because you are the best and you are going to represent Guns N’ Roses in the best possible way, and Slash really wanted to make a new game and wanted to be involved in the design process. So we had a license agreement and it was based around the Not In This Lifetime Concert Tour, and I was given the game as my next design after Pirates.
On if JJP is moving away from wide bodies – if it will be standard bodies from here forward or if wide bodies are still an option:
[Doing standard bodies] is not a mandate by any means. It is just – wide body games are bigger. You’re using an extra 15% more “stuff”. The wood itself is 15% bigger. The cabinet is 15% bigger. So all that stuff adds up, and then you have to fill it with stuff too. But if there is a request from the designer, it is not off the table by any means…[As a] company, we need to have a bill of material, and if we can get a wide body in in the bill of material, there is no reason it can’t happen.
On his approach on to mechanisms on GNR vs POTC, and if he had to “simplify” any mechs:
I tried to be more open with everyone about what I was doing to make sure there were no surprises. Make sure everyone was on the same page…wasn’t trying to design in a box…all the [mechs] were looked at and reviewed by upper management…there were some things that were modified. I had other ideas for certain mechs, bigger things, more more more more more. But at the end of the day we are a business that needs to make money and pay our employees and there is so much room you have in the bill of material.
Eric also talks about which threads he looks at on Pinside, talks about having thick skin, talks about Pirates of the Caribbean code, talks about following up Pirates of the Caribbean, talks about the Fan Cam that is in the game and how it makes you look like you’re on the Jumbotron at the concert, talks more about working with Slash and developing the game with Slash, talks about the different band members in the game, talk about getting Live and Let Die into the game (Slash just called Paul McCartney to work it out, nbd), talks about the involvement of Slash and the rest of the GNR members on the original music and his direction with them, talks about the bluetooth features, goes into a super deep dive into the rules of the game, talks about how he approached the design process for the game, talks about working in a standard body vs. a wide body, talks about the artwork in the game and working with the artists, talks about the explicit content, talks about the light show and the importance of the light show in this game and the Hotrails he created, talks about details with the wizard mode, and much more.
Final Round Pinball Podcast: Interview with Keith Johnson
The Final Round Pinball Podcast were joined last week with Jersey Jack Pinball’s Director of Software, Keith Johnson!! Here are just a few highlights:
Risk vs Reward in Guns N’ Roses:
Each song has its own set of goals. And every so often you complete the set of goals and light up the scoop to [choose] to keep the mode going or not…every time you keep going you get another ball and you get a jackpot multiplier. So there is a lot of incentive for you to keep going and going and going. But at some point you get a huge jackpot and you’re like “do I really want to keep the song going because I have all these points at risk?” And if you’re down to one ball – yeah you get to add a ball [if you continue and don’t cash out], but [then think] if I lose it right away, then where am I, I have to make 10 shots before I can cash out again. So there is a lot of risk/reward in this game. And it is going to take players a while to fully grasp all the concepts I think. But once you do you’ll realize there is a lot of strategy there, certainly more so than meets the eye.
On initially wanting the game simpler and how the code evolved:
I actually wanted the game a lot simpler than how it wound up which I’m sure is a little stunning to hear. I was originally just pushing for qualifying the band members, getting into the songs, songs are where you want to be and that is where you’ll spend all your time. We did that to a large extent, but Joe [Katz] and Eric [Meunier] in particular said “I just don’t know if there is enough to do…”. So they threw out the ideas like doing all the Booster [multiballs] which are now in the game. And I reluctantly created what turned out to be a really great idea and added a lot to the game…we added a couple other things too, the Slash Solo thing was not in there originally…the Tour thing – that I don’t know we had scheduled an end for but now there is an end for completing all cities. So the four albums and the Slash Solo and the Tour Multiball all combine to get to the end of the game.
On the high score pics/selfies:
We tend to use the camera for high score pictures. In this game, we have it set up to look like Slash is taking a selfie with you. So the game takes a picture, then it super imposes Slash to make it look like you’re behind him, he’s taking a picture and you’re there with Slash. It is a pretty cool thing that people will get a big kick out of when they see it.
Keith also talks about the two main stages of the game – going after band members and playing songs, talks about working with GNR, talks about what casual players should experience in the game and coding for the casual player, on the challenge of doing all the different light shows, that the factory move and COVID and delays were a blessing in disguise because it gave them a chance to get more into the game, that it will ship with 1.0 code, talks about the possibility of Co-op mode, talks about the Bluetooth and WiFi in the game, talks about how to score in the game, and much more.
Dead Flip: Heavy Metal Reveal Stream
How is a reveal stream this far down in the stories!!?? What a time to be in pinball with so much happening!!
Jack Danger of Dead Flip hosted the reveal stream of Heavy Metal Pinball last week from Stern Pinball! He was joined by Jody Dankberg (Licensing) Waison Cheng (Programmer), and later Gary Stern (Gary Stern) – check it out!!
LoserKid Pinball Podcast: Interview with Zombie Yeti
The LoserKid Pinball Podcast were joined recently by Jeremy Packer, AKA Zombie Yeti!! Here are just a couple highlights:
On making “concessions” when the schedule is tight:
You bring up Primus, talk about a short schedule, I had I think five weeks, maybe six…to do that entire cabinet, backglass, and playfield. And this goes with Avengers too – I always say I can make concessions on the cabinets. I really can’t make too many concessions on the backglass because that is what is going to draw someone over from the other side of the room. But I absolutely refuse and will not make concessions on the playfield. That is the place that people are going to staring at hopefully for years and years. And so that is the place where you gotta put focus. And by the way, I shouldn’t take credit for that [philosophy], I gotta give that credit to Greg Freres for instilling that in me from the early days.
On possibly trouble having certain colors available on Avengers:
I’ve heard – and I don’t know the validity of this – I’ve heard that some of the colors for trim have been diminished based on the type of materials being used, and I don’t know the full story there…I know we had limitations on Avengers where there were certain colors that were knocked out of the running, we couldn’t have them. And maybe it had to do with COVID, I don’t know.
Jeremy also talks about my dad’s mustache (yes, seriously), TMNT art, the Avengers timeline, the influence of comics on his work, that he turned down the Star Wars Comic Edition, talks about leaks and his frustrations with leaks, talks about the video game he’d like to do pinball art for, his games being release back to back, and much more.
Flip N Out Pinball Reveals Elvira Topper
Distributor Flip N Out Pinball revealed Stern Pinball’s new Elvira topper last week – check it out!!
Flyland Designs: New Art Blades for Monster Bash and Attack from Mars
Artist Brian Allen is now offering brand new officially licensed Art Blades for both Attack from Mars and Monster Bash – check them out!!
From Brian Allen:
These officially-licensed Monster Bash and Attack From Mars decals feature my hand-drawn artwork and are designed to be easily applied to the inner-sides of your pinball machine.
My Art Blades are high-quality vinyl decals that are applied to the interior cabinet sides, just above the playfield.
All of the artwork was hand-drawn by me, artist Brian Allen. Ships directly from the artist.
- Officially licensed from Williams/Bally, and comes with a genuine Hologram sticker to prove authenticity.
- Printed on thick Matte White Opaque Air Egress/Perm, high-quality vinyl.
- The Air-Egress vinyl adhesive we use makes for easy and forgiving installation, even if you have never installed them before.
- Printed with vibrant, fade-resistant colors.
- Laminated with a scratch-resistant protective coating that will keep them looking like new for up to 10 years
- The textured, matte laminate will also minimize the number of reflections from the Playfield lights.
- Fits all Williams Monster Bash and Attack From Mars pinball machines.
- Set of two pre-cut decals (one for each side).
Virtual Pinball Expo Starts This Wednesday
The Virtual Pinball Expo will start on Wednesday evening and runs through Saturday – stay tuned to soon find out the schedule of events!!
Other Quick Hits:
- Happy birthday Jack Guarnieri, Zach Sharpe, Dennis Kriesel, Chuck Websta, Fred Richardson, Winston the Pinball Cat, Neil Shelton, Kim Martinez, and Orin Day!!
- Stern of the Union!
- Ridiculous History Podcast: The US Waged War on Pinball for Decades
- Article: How pinball made us better RPG developers — and vice versa
Team Pinball: The Mafia
Circus Maximus: Kingpin, Python’s Pinball Circus
Homepin: Thunderbirds, Chinese Zombies
Suncoast Pinball: Cosmic Carnival
Great Lakes Pinball: Exposé
Haggis Pinball: Wraith, Celts
Pinball Brothers: Queen?, Barry Oursler’s Original Theme?, Playboy?
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!