— This Week’s Top 5 Stories —
1. Star Wars “The Pin” Revealed
Last week at Comic Con, Stern Pinball revealed their newest creation, a Home Edition of Star Wars!
For those unfamiliar, the Home Editions are a model that are aimed at a different market than the “hardcore” pinball enthusiasts and collectors. It has a full sized playfield, but cabinets are smaller and lighter than typical Stern Pro Models, and there is no coin door. The display is also a smaller size. This allows Stern to price the machine below the Stern Pro Model. The MSRP is $4,499 with a minimum advertised price (MAP) at $3,999.
2. Countdown to Jurassic Park
For everyone that was expecting a cornerstone Stern game instead of the Home Edition, it is time to calm down and get hyped! (Editor’s Note: that oxymoron really makes no sense)
What do we know about this game, or what do we think we know at least? First, it is believed that it is a Keith Elwin design, it likely has at least one upper flipper, and has toys that change states. Based on the recent information we’ve been hearing, the game will be based on Jurassic Park, not Jurassic World. This was further supported by the Head2Head Pinball Podcast, which has a good track record of reporting correct information, sharing last week that it was Jurassic Park. Also worth noting, Keith Elwin changing his Facebook profile to a picture of his father playing the original Data East Jurassic Park.
When can we expect to see the game?? We’re hearing rumors that distributors will be shown the new machine on Tuesday this week. So when will it be revealed publicly? Stay tuned!!
3. Game of Thrones Code Update
Dwight Sullivan and Stern Pinball dropped a huge code update (v1.36) for Game of Thrones pinball last week! The new rules include:
- New House Abilities (Lannister, Baratheon)
- New House Choices (including Targaryen)
- New Action Button Abilities for different houses
- Castle Multiball Updates
- More speech callouts
Dead Flip streamed the new code last Monday with a walkthrough from Dwight – check it out here:
Ghostbusters Code Update
At the beginning of the stream, Dwight gave an update on the status of Ghostbusters code, sharing:
“The Ghostbusters update is coming. The Ghostbusters update is in the works. Top men are working on Ghostbusters, myself included. A little while ago we got a Ghostbusters and we took off the glass and we went through the game and we made a long list of stuff we’re working on. And even today I am very very excited about that update and it is going to come at some point in the future. The Game of Thrones update is large…the Ghostbusters update is even larger and that is why it is taking longer.”
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4. Pinball Profile Pintastic Podcast with Plethora of Pinball Personalities
Pinball Profile shared a Pintastic recap podcast last week that included a bunch of guests, including:
- Chuck Websta
- Mrs. Pin
- Willy Wonka actors (who played Mike Teavee, Veruca Salt, Charlie Bucket)
- Joe Balcer
- Ashley Ludwig
- Tim Sexton
- William Gill from Sydney, Australia
- Jersey Jack Guarnieri
- George Jasek & Dr. Dave from Classic Pinball Podcast
- Ron Hallett Sr. & Jr. (Slam Tilt Podcast)
- Stephanie Guida, Rip Tide Podcast
- “Dr. Pin” Christian Line
- Zac Aj
- Christopher Franchi
- Presley Franchi
- Joseph Lemire
- Steve Ritchie
- Josh & Mark Henderson
A few of the highlights from the podcast include:
The actor that played Mike TV: “I’ve played [Wonka] once, I’ve looked at videos of it on line, I’ve taken a look at the flowchart…it looks great…I understand that…JJP makes some of the best stuff….as someone who is a board game geek, but not necessarily a pinball geek, it looks awesome….playing the pinball machine is a narcissistic exercise for me, right? I sit there, I push the buttons, I’m trying to not let the balls go down. But it’s like Hey, that’s my voice!”
The actor that played Veruca Salt: “I have no skill in this at all…I so want one, it is great fun, it is totally addictive…it is fantastic…there is so much to look at…I want one now”
The actor that played Charlie Bucket: “I’m not very good – I’m watching some of these people that know what they’re doing and their incredible…it’s addicting for sure”
Joe Balcer on Oktoberfest: “If you can get a good whitewood playing, you kind of know that when you get real code and sound you get something special…we noticed at Expo that some shots just weren’t right, we were trying to push the game out before it was ready to go. Once you find you have to make these tweaks to make it better, you have to do that…we just have to be careful about unveiling a game if it is really not ready to ship. That is the ladder we’re climbing now. The next time we show a game the game will be shipping or ready to ship. We can’t have that lag time any more. The industry has shifted…”
Jack Guarnieri on Jersey Jack Pinball: “We’re going to show another brand new game this year at some point at the end of the year…it’s very exciting, it has taken a while, but the little acorn you put in the ground doesn’t turn into a big oak tree overnight, it takes time…we have over 1400 Willy Wonka games on order right now, and we will disclose shortly all the details of what the CE game is…we’re in a really good place right now and I just want to keep the momentum going…”
Steve Ritchie on Black Knight: “I think they felt my fatigue with working with licenses…with Black Knight we didn’t have to report to anybody really, we pretty much just let everybody create. We got together, and figured out exactly what we’re going to do, and we didn’t have a lot of outside opinion, everybody got to create. We picked the best of all the concepts that we wanted to, or thought about anyway, and they’re in the game. I think it was really good for everybody on the team. Like I saw a breakthrough in video artwork on the screen, no question. And it was because those guys were into it just as much as we were because they got to contribute to the theme. When you’re working with a license you’re working with stuff that people have already made and you have to be true to it. Black Knight we sort of let it roll…”
Ritchie on the Black Knight toy and topper: “The toy as a whole I think is fun as hell, it has four states and a lot of interaction, and our topper is even better, wait until you see that.”
5. Slap Save Pinball Podcast Southern Fried Gaming Expo Interviews
Our friends at the Slap Save Pinball Podcast interviewed several people at the Southern Fried Gaming Expo last week – here are just a few highlights!
Jon Weaver of Sun Coast Pinball talks style of Cosmic Carnival: “It is much more classic, we’re trying to get back for the roots of pinball. That is what I like, the 80s and 90s pinball. Now it is new, so we have new technology, we have full RGB LED boards, electronics, but the layout reminds you, or reminds me, of what I used to play when I was younger…the other thing is that we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. We wanted to put out a great fun pinball…we didn’t want to be edgy on our first one…we wanted to figure out how to produce a good fun pinball…once we have that down, we will figure out how to make some new stuff that no one has ever done…we’ve had a lot of ideas about that…we’ve got some great ideas of some things that have never been done, but we didn’t want to do that with #1, we just wanted to build something great.”
Jon also talks about his battle with cancer, and about fundraisers he does for melanoma research.
Josh Kugler of American Pinball: “This are rocking and rolling , we’re trying to finish up Oktoberfest from a code standpoint…anticipate another release in a month or so to finish up some stuff we’re working on now. But we’re really starting to shift our energy towards games #3 and #4…we have a couple different whitewoods we’re working on, a couple of different themes, and we’ll make a decision. We’re going to start shifting the creative team, the animators, the music, the programming, to the next game, so we’re going to finalize what game that is going to be…whichever one ends up being next, I think people are going to really like it, I think it is going to be a huge hit…I don’t anticipate it anytime soon. Our goal is to get to the point where we’re not showing a game until it is in production…”
Kugler on possibly doing a licensed title: “Absolutely. Don’t be surprised if game 4, game 5, game 3, game 6, any one of those…could a licensed theme. The problem with the licensed theme with a company like us, is that you lose control over your timeline with a licensed theme. You now have a business partner who has to approve the things you’re doing and work with those things and you’re working potentially with their timeline, not ours. So you need to get approvals of something, maybe it happens in a day, maybe in a week, maybe they’re not going to approve it. As we get to the point when we get on multiple games at a time, which we are starting to do now, that allows us to look at a licensed theme…we’re going to know we have something for the factory when we need it…”
This week we talk about Jurassic Park, “Jaws” Code Name, and everything on the upcoming release.
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— What Else You Need to Know Today —
Tune in Tonight to Check Out New Dialed In Code!
Monday night! Get your first look at NEW 1.70 code on @JJPinball’s Dialed In! Featuring direct capture of the sound and two displays, and JJP team members in chat. Live at 8 p.m. Eastern at https://t.co/7BR7FkGghc#pinball #twitch https://t.co/Sk9WbqFmaA— Buffalo Pinball (@buffalopinball) July 20, 2019
Team Pinball: The Mafia
Circus Maximus: Kingpin, Python’s Pinball Circus
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!