— This Week’s Top 5 Stories —
1. Pinball Profile: Interview with Jerry Thompson
Our friends at Pinball Profile recently interviewed Jerry Thompson, sound designer at Stern Pinball! Here are just a couple highlights:
On Stern and the future of pinball:
Jerry Thompson: George [Gomez] is putting together the future of pinball. Keith Elwin, Raymond Davidson. I mean you have the guys that made the games we love [working at Stern], the 90s and 80s Williams/Bally, and then the new guys that are going to take over eventually. I am just thrilled to be a part of it.
On the Beatles and working with a licensor:
Jerry Thompson: Somebody will say you should have done this [theme] or why didn’t you do this. You work with a licensor…and they have what they want, all the licensors get final approval on their product. So Joe [Kaminkow] had Chris Franchi do [The Beatles] art before the game was even pitched and he took it to them and said “I want to make a Beatles pinball game, here is what it will look like” so they were like “ok, we’re interested, write us a check” which he did. They said no Beatles in it, you can’t have any speaking from the Beatles. So Joe told me that and I said “but it would make such a better game” and he said “I know, why don’t you pull some clips, do what you think it should be, and I’ll pitch it to them that way, and say this is what we think it should be and it will be a better game and maybe we can change their minds”…and once a year John Lennon’s widow and George’s widow and Paul and Ringo get together to talk about licensing stuff. And they had the game in the room and they liked it and they were like “ok, here is what you can use…we will give you what we have that you can use”…that is why you see the images you see in the game, that is why you hear what you hear in the game…there is a lot to licensing that you can’t control, you get what you get with some things, luckily the Beatles worked out…I’m proud of that game.
He also talks about his voice work on several different games, how he got into the pinball industry, talks about pinball shows and his work in organizing them, working with people at Stern, watching all the episodes for games that he works on, his work on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, working with Adam West on Batman ’66 and how great he was, working on Beatles, and much more.
Last Week’s Poll Results
2. American Pinball: Hot Wheels Code Update
Last week our friends at American Pinball released a large code update for Hot Wheels! Here are some of the new features:
NEW — added adjustments for “Boost Scoring Tach Advance” and “Boost Scoring Ready Memory” (under Settings > Game Features).
NEW — added adjustment for “Loop Multiball Super Jackpot Timer” (under Settings > Game Features).
NEW — added adjustment for “General Illumination Brightness” (under Settings > Standard). This allows playfield inserts and GI brightness to be adjusted separately.
NEW — added several new pricing plans, improve token handling.
NEW — added on-screen messaging at power-up if there is a problem communicating with the P-ROC controller.
NEW — added support for incremental code updates in the future.
NEW — added new display and lighting effects when advancing Gears when Redline ends.
NEW — changed presentation for Tilt Warning and Tilt.
NEW — added new display effect for Advance Bonus X.
NEW — added new display effect when adding fuel during Battles (B-A-T-T-L-E targets).
NEW — completing all B-A-T-T-L-E targets during a Battle now adds a significant extra amount of fuel.
NEW — fuel consumption during Battles will be paused if there is no game activity for several seconds.
NEW — Skill Shot now briefly flashes the Tach level reached from revving the engine with the left flipper.
NEW — added knocker effect when awarding a credit.
NEW — added new music track for Legend Multiball.
NEW — added new music track when entering initials for a high score / champ record.
3. JJP Podcast: Interview with Jim Patla
Last week our friends at the Jersey Jack Pinball Podcast interviewed Jim Patla, their new Chief Operating Officer! Here is just one interesting tidbit:
On making Centaur:
Jim Patla: At the time I was doing Centaur, there were only 40 switches allowed [in the game]…and the two colors – it was actually three colors [with the red], bringing a game in on budget was something that we were really encouraged to do. Back when we were doing silk screening, every screen was x amount of dollars. So by having only three screens on the game I had more money to spend on the mechanisms…so I was able to spend the money and make the game I wanted to make.
He also talks about his history in pinball, his role at Jersey Jack Pinball as Chief Operating Officer, his time at American Pinball and moving to Jersey Jack Pinball, the team at JJP, bringing JJP from New Jersey to Chicago, and much more.
4. Pinball Magazine: Dutch Pinball Looking to Expand
According to the most recent Pinball Magazine newsletter, Dutch Pinball is planning to hire additional help and move into a bigger facility in order to build The Big Lebowski pinball machines more quickly:
Pinball Magazine: “Dutch Pinball is also hiring as they are looking to expand. It was only a year ago the company moved into a new facility at an industrial park in Roermond, which I was able to visit last month. As it turns out, the current location is already too small, and owner Barry Driessen is looking at larger facilities. One of the potential sites is seven times the size of the current factory. More room is needed to hire more employees to speed up the building process of The Big Lebowski. Barry hopes to be able to move to a larger facility before the end of the year. In the meantime, The Big Lebowski production continues during the summer holiday, although some of the current employees will take some time off.”
5. RUMOR: Stern’s Next Cornerstone Title is a Marvel Theme
The rumor mill has been heating up in the last week regarding what Stern’s next cornerstone title may be, and it is time to share what we’ve been hearing at This Week in Pinball. In one of Stern’s best kept secrets, we are hearing the next cornerstone game will be one that has not been on anyone’s list of rumored titles and will be a MARVEL theme.
The other rumors we’ve heard surrounding this title is that it is possibly based on the Marvel Comic Books (as opposed to the movies) and possibly a Keith Elwin design.
For reference, here are the Marvel movies based on this article on TechRadar:
- Iron Man (2008)
- The Incredible Hulk (2008)
- Iron Man 2 (2010)
- Thor (2011)
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
- Marvel’s The Avengers (2012)
- Iron Man 3 (2013)
- Thor: The Dark World (2013)
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
- Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
- Ant-Man (2015)
- Captain America: Civil War (2016)
- Doctor Strange (2016)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
- Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
- Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
- Black Panther (2018)
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
- Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
- Captain Marvel (2019)
- Avengers: Endgame (2019)
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
- Black Widow (November 6, 2020)
- The Eternals (February 12, 2021)
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (May 7, 2021)
- Untitled third Spider-Man movie (December 17, 2021)
- Thor: Love and Thunder (February 11, 2022)
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (March 25, 2022)
- Black Panther 2 (May 6, 2022)
- Captain Marvel 2 (July 8, 2022)
- Untitled Marvel movie (likely Ant-Man 3, October 7, 2022)
- Blade (TBD)
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (TBD)
- Untitled Fantastic Four film (TBD)
Let the speculation begin!!
NOTE: There are several games that are rumored to be in the pipeline at Stern which you can view below in the Upcoming Games and Rumors section. The Rumors portion is only available to those awesome people that support TWIP with a small monthly donation of $5. THANK YOU to all of you that support this site and keep it going!!
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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: Alien?, 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!