TWIP – Deadpool Premium/LE Stream, Spooky Talks Godzilla/Stern/TNA, Steve Ritchie Interview, George Gomez Interview, More

NOTE: This Week Only – Tuesday TWIP is Combined with Monday…

So you’ll find all the TWIP goodness below.  Why one day instead of two this week?  Well…we’ve got some BREAKING NEWS that will be sharing exactly at 9:00AM EST tomorrow!!  Stay tuned!

— This Week’s Top 5 Stories —

1. Steve Ritchie Interview on Special When Lit Pinball Podcast


The new(ish) Special When Lit Pinball Podcast (website, Facebook) is making quite a splash!  In their first 11 episodes they have already interviewed Dwight Sullivan, Terry from Pinball Life, and now – Steve Ritchie!  Below are just a few of the highlights from the wide ranging interview:

Special When Lit: Rumor has it, there is a story involved with High Speed and the idea behind High Speed – so I was wondering if you’d give us maybe a little bit of an insight…?

Steve Ritchie: …here is how it went. When I got back to California, I bought a use Porsche 928, and it was like the space machine of the era. It really was, the engine was balanced perfectly…it handled great, it made anybody a great driver. It had a big thick steering wheel, a jet pilot cockpit. It was just cool. I had it for about three months I guess. We decided to take that and go to San Jose [to get parts for a video game he was working on at the time]. So I’m on I-5 which is a brand new freeway at the time. Four lanes in each direction, hardly anyone on it. We leave at like 7 in the morning. There is no commuter traffic, because it is no where near cities or anything else…my partner said “Looks good if you want to do it”…it had new tires and everything else, so…I opened it up, and went 146 mph. But my partner had to tell me that because the speedometer only went up to 85. And all you could do was read the TAC and do the math, so it was 146 miles per hour exactly. So I got going – it was great. It handled perfect. Nothing bad happened. I passed some tomato trucks. There were some passenger cars, I slowed down to go by them. And then when there was nobody, I went again. We’re going over this hill…and a cop was coming towards us and I slow way down, like to 70 mph or so. And he goes up and over the hill on the other side. As soon as he was gone, I hit it again, bam – all the way to 146 mph for a good 15 minutes…I’m speeding along and then a Sheriff’s car comes, a red light on the top going like crazy. I see him, I slow down, he does a u-turn in the median and I know it is for me. I pull over on the side of the road in the gravel…

He says “I’ll tell you what just stay in your car”. So we did, we sat in the car. And a few minutes later this highway patrolman comes…he does this big slide in the gravel right next to us. He runs out and tries to pull me out of the window of the car. I say “wait officer, how about if I open the door?” He grabs me, throws me on the hood, puts handcuffs on me. He parks me on the passenger side of his car in the front seat with the handcuffs and seatbelt on. So I’m looking in the mirror, and before I know it there are like seven cop cars there. Then it became nine…they went through the whole car. They thought we stole something or we were hauling drugs or something…after they were done looking, the cop got back in the car and he said “Let me take the handcuffs off you. Want a cigarette?” “Yeah sure.” Gives me a cigarette. So we’re smoking and he’s talk to me – he goes “Why did you do that?” and I said “I’ve had the car for like three months and I just wanted to try it out. And you saw how traffic was, it wasn’t bad at all”…”So you just wanted to see how fast it would go?” “Yeah that’s all” “If court wasn’t in session right now, I’d have to take you to jail, but it is so I’ll take you to court. I’ll see if you can help you out. Were you running from me?” “No, you went over the hill…I didn’t know you were there, I just kept going” “Ok, I’ll help you in the court room.”

SWL: How is it working with Dwight?

Ritchie: It’s good. We’re friends.

SWL: Why did you grimace when you said that?

Ritchie: I didn’t grimace. We do argue sometimes, no doubt. But the results have been good, especially lately. We’re taking a break right now, we’ll go back.

SWL: We interviewed Dwight, and he said that you guys work so well together but at the end of a project, it is good to take a little break from each other…

Ritchie: I’m sure it is a relief for Dwight too right now [laughs]. You know, it got tense on Star Wars. I don’t hate the game – don’t get me wrong, there is a lot about it that is – one of the most authentic games we’ve ever made. There’s actual footage, you get the speech of everyone in the cast….it isn’t the game itself, it is just the vibes that came with it while we were making it. Dwight loaded it up, no question.

SWL: Tell us about a typical day for Steve Ritchie. I already know you play about a hundred games of pinball.

Ritchie: I’m not right now. There are phases. Right now I’m still in the phase where we have the game working but there is very little code. So I’m still busy modifying all models pretty much, and we’re getting to the point where – second whitewood, that sort of thing…

SWL: This is for the game you’re currently working on…

Ritchie: Yes…what I am currently working on puts me in my chair in front of my computer all day pretty much. What we do around here – I am not getting enough exercise, I’m just not. But if I’m not at my computer working I’m not advancing the game.

SWL: There are currently an influx in pinball manufacturers that have come into market over the last four, five, six years. In your opinion, what does a company have to do to be successful in today’s business for pinball

Ritchie: I’ll tell you what we say. Build the first one, it’s not so bad. Build 10, little more difficult. 100 is tough. And [then] you’re at the base of Mount Everest. If you have enough money and people to throw at it, things can go faster. I don’t want to mention names, but how often to these people actually make machines? I admire Charlie [at Spooky Pinball] – he has a system together and he’s actually making machines. More than our other competitors. Less than us, but more…I look at what has happened at Dutch Pinball and I feel bad for them, but they tried to farm it out to another company and no company that’s never built pinball before has any concept of all the effort it takes. All the money to be spent. To buy parts in huge quantities, it costs a lot of money.

SWL: It is fascinating to me because “pinball is hard” is something you hear over and over and over, and it is because it IS hard.

Ritchie: Not if you listen to Robert Mueller at deeproot. He says pinball’s not hard. I want to see what he’s got. And it’s like…one?…we’ll have four or five games, isn’t that what he says?

SWL: I think the goal is to have at least four games debuted when they officially launch the fifth day of deeproot which will be at Texas Pinball Festival in 2019. I believe that is what it is. I think speculation is that each designer will be at that show with their own game, but I don’t know that for certain. I’ve reached out to Robert on a couple of occasions, and they’re not really saying anything now until they make an appearance at Expo here in Chicago…

Ritchie: But they did say they’re going to have multiple games there [at TPF]…

SWL: Yes…multiple games that should be available to be – when they officially launch – be purchased within a couple weeks of ordering…

Ritchie: It will be interesting to see what happens…it is just interesting to see what happens.

SWL: What do you think about the staff they have compiled? …

Ritchie: Here is the way I feel about it. Each designer needs a long trail of people behind them to get a game done. And that is to get one done. That is interesting. Again, when you get to 100, you’re at the base of Mount Everest. Good luck, it is a tough thing to do. Endless cash could help. But it is going to take years. That is what is has taken every single pinball company that has ever existed. Years. Years to get it to happen.

Catch the full episode here!!


2. George Gomez Interview with Head2Head Pinball Podcast

The Head 2 Head Pinball podcast interviewed George Gomez on their podcast last week!  Gomez gave a bunch of information on both Deadpool and Stern Pinball – here are just a few highlights:

On when we’ll see the Premium/LE Stream:

We have a stream scheduled – another Jack Danger stream scheduled for I believe September 5th – either September 4th or 5th.

On the 4th wall:

I just saw the 4th wall Deadpool hook up today, and you guys are going to love it I think. He is hilarious, it looks amazing, he does funny stuff…when you haven’t have a good ball, he might have something to say, when you’ve done something great, you may get some backhanded compliments…it’s not a stretch to imagine when it is that you’re going to get interactions with him. At the same time, we don’t want to kill the joke so he’s not always going to be up there. It is an easy joke to kill, so – we can’t bring him up all the time, that gets old, so we have to walk that line.

On testing games:

So as we get close to shipping a game, every morning at 10:00 we have what we call “dailies”…for a couple of months, at 10:00 every day, the team meets around the game and plays the game together. Stuff goes on the white board and stuff goes into our bug tracking system…every detail gets talked about, like when a speech call happens, the timing of the choreography, the rules, the rule progression, the mechanics…every single thing in the game, the art, the presentation, the animations…all that stuff gets talked about in depth by the team as a whole.

On revealing incomplete games, specifically Guardians of the Galaxy:

In the case of Guardians, a lot of that stuff was outside of our control. What I mean by that is, that was a very difficult licensing scenario. And the thing I can’t really get into to explain that is that sometimes there are decisions that we as the development team do not have control of. If someone owns a property, and we’re licensing that property, and there isn’t clarity in terms of what the rules are, you can get yourself in big trouble and then you have to recover from that trouble. If we learned anything, it wasn’t that games shouldn’t ship incomplete, we knew that. What we learned was we need to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s before we set off down this path or things could blow up, because people on the other end don’t understand what you’re doing with the content and they absolutely won’t let you do something with it. That is the challenge of the new world that we live in, especially with the introduction of the LCD. The fact that there are many many many issues with licenses where – if I can replicate the content the way the content is produced for the medium for which it is designed – for example a film. The licensor may not want me to do that. There are many many different tentacles to that problem. The Screen Actors Guild, the actors themselves, approvals, it is really complex. It is a really complex business problem. It is not a development problem. Some of the flexibility we’ve had to – we’ve learned to be very flexible. If you look at the presentation on all our LCDs since we introduced that medium, you’ll see that there all very different. Some of that is not about being consistent to what the game is, but it is what can we do and what do we have to work with.

On the Home Edition model:

We consider the efforts you see from us in that direction – we consider them R&D meaning that it is a code we’re still trying to crack. Like we cracked the Pro/Premium/LE code back in ’09. We feel strongly that there is a market for that type of device and we’re going to continue to explore it. We’re exploring it now – you guys don’t know this – but we’re exploring it now. Everybody says “Oh, what a failure” – no, it wasn’t a failure, we intended to make a very small quantity of Spiderman [Home Edition]. We wanted the dealers to interact with it. We wanted to see how it sold. We wanted to understand who the buyer was. We wanted to understand what the white glove service issues are. We wanted to understand what the financing issues are. We wanted to understand the issue of it on a showroom floor, where you can still buy a $1500 Fish Tales or you can buy a brand new Deadpool, and here is this device, sort of in between them in price…we also wanted to push the envelope in terms of how do you make something that really approximates a consumer product. Because our current games that go into the home – they’re really commercial products…it is a double-edged sword. The good news is that their very rugged. The bad news is there not finished like your BMW because they didn’t come from there. In order to achieve that level of fit and finish in the rest of the consumer products that you interact with, we have to select it from materials, create more sophisticated processes, and in some cases it may even cost more money.

On Competition and Market:

I think we already against ourselves in the market because we have such a large portion of the market. We have close to 98% if not more of the world market of pinball. So what does that mean? It means that when we introduce a game it steps on our last game. We continue to make it over time but we are competing with ourselves. When we create a really broad market appeal game, we are competing with ourselves more than ever. Because then people aren’t making a decision based on “I’m an Iron Maiden fan or I’m not”…everybody’s got to have it. In those situations, we are most definitely competing with ourselves. The difference between us and Williams – Williams was a publicly held company with a huge HUGE war chest. I think one of the things they ran into was the notion that – at the end of the day, they weren’t a pinball company, they were a business. They’re thinking was when you’re in business, you spend $50 million and you expect $100 million return on that $50 million, then it doesn’t matter to you what the product was. At one point in time, the executive management running the company said, you know what, the issue is – this $30 million that we’re going to spend on the pinball division to make $10 million – we could probably spend that $30 million in the slot machine business and the return would be much greater than $10 million. So yes, I know you guys love your little pinball company, but the reality is that we’re a business and we’re in the business of growing. In our case, we don’t have anything else. We are a pinball company, we don’t have a slot machine company, we don’t have anything else. We want to be all things pinball. We think here we’re building a lifestyle brand and we’re expanding into many different areas, all related to pinball, whether it is tournaments, accessories, virtual, and all that stuff. But at the end of the day – our core business is to introduce Pro/Premium/LEs for three titles each year.

On Supreme Pinball and Private Label Business:

You’re going to see a lot more – what we call private label business. And that is companies that approach us and say “Hey we want this machine – it is essentially a walking talking advertisement for our brand. And it is pretty cool, so we want one.” Supreme is – their whole thing is, they have their fingers on the pulse of pop culture. They’re about being a brand. They approached us and said we think it would be really cool [to have a] Supreme Pinball. So we thought – you know, let’s jump at the opportunity. It is a different kind of exposure for us. It was a very small number of machines, like 100 machines or something. So clearly wasn’t about making bazillions of dollars. But it was about – that is a cool space, that is a different space that we currently operate in. It was interesting to me to watch the reaction from Pinside crowd. They didn’t get it…of course they didn’t get it.

On if we’ll see another George Gomez design again:

You’re going to see a heavily George Gomez influenced design very soon…early next year, you may see something that I influenced heavily.

Listen to the full interview here!


3. Deadpool Updates

Stern announced several updates for Deadpool last week!

New code

First, new code (v0.82) for Deadpool dropped which includes game enhancements and bug fixes – check out the details here.  It also deletes a setting in the Adjustment menu that asked about turning a Photo Shoot on or off…anyone know the story behind this?  If so, email us at thisweekinpinball@gmail.com!

4th Wall Teaser

Stern showed the first look at Deadpool breaking the Fourth Wall on their Facebook page!

Deadpool Pro Flyer

Stern also released the Deadpool Flyer for the Pro Model last week!

Premium/LE Stream – This Wednesday (9/5)!

As the interview with George Gomez says above, we’ll see the stream of Deadpool Premium/LE this week with Dead Flip!  Gomez had mentioned it would be either the 4th or the 5th.  Dead Flip confirmed via this tweet that it would indeed be the 5th.  Can’t wait to see the Disco ball and the up/down ramp in action!  Tune in here on Wednesday!


4. Spooky Pinball Podcast

Spooky released their 102nd Spooky Pinball Podcast episode over the weekend – check out the full episode here!  There was some notable news in the podcast, including the following two tidbits from Charlie:

On Stern and the Godzilla License:

Charlie: [after talking about a Pinside thread that asked if Stern was “evil”] “I don’t believe Stern is evil.  I believe there is one person there that would genuinely like to see us catch fire and fall into a pile of burning leaves.  I don’t think the entire company feels that way.  I still think they took Godzilla on purpose to slap us back for not getting TNA – or whatever the case is, I don’t care anymore.  Good luck to them.  I know who’s doing the game.  Here is one of those things that other podcasts would kill to know, I know who’s doing the game.  I hope he does a good job with it.  I genuinely do…it is what it is, it is gone.  We didn’t get the license that we wanted…but we got the license we needed.”

On Total Nuclear Annihilation Production:

Charlie: “It [the number of TNAs sold] is approaching 500.  Let’s make a major announcement regarding Total Nuclear Annihilation.  We sat down and had a meeting with Terry and some of our other vendors and everybody that is involved with Total Nuclear Annihilation.  We we’re talking 500 but we’re almost there already, so what we’re going to do – Spooky Pinball is in a situation right now where – we’ve got a lot of games to build. A LOT of games to build.  Like almost 18 months worth of games to build. And we’re picking up speed all the time, but the sales have been outpacing us.  These are good problems to have…when Total Nuclear Annihilation hits 550 units, we’re going to stop so we can finish building Alice Cooper in the time frame that I promised, which was 18 months for all the games.  So in essence, if you’ve been on the fence with Total Nuclear Annihilation…you might want to consider moving quickly.  There are about 50 games to go, maybe a couple more than that, but it is real close to 500 is where we’re at right now…So when Total Nuclear Annihilation hits 550, we’re going to stop for now.  I’m not saying we’re never go to build another Total Nuclear Annihilation, we promise to give a last call when that ever happens.  But I’m telling you, for probably the next year, we’re not going to take any more orders on Total Nuclear Annihilation once it hits 550…I’m not saying this is last call, I’m sure at some point we’re going to build some more…”

We’re also getting word that there are some crazy pics up of a “Spooky mobile” from a Benton Parade on Spooky’s Facebook page…


5. Pinball Media Releases

This has been a great week for pinball content!  We saw several excellent articles on Pinball News, a very interesting article right here on This Week in Pinball, and Pinball Magazine #5 has officially been released!  Check out the links below for more:

Dennis has been busy!  🙂

As mentioned above, soon we’ll have a more information regarding Pinball Magazine #5, so stay tuned!


— What Else is Happening in Pinball —

 

Thunderbirds Game Play

We have some video of Thunderbirds gameplay which was streamed at UK Pinfest – check out the videos on Twitch here (part 1) and here (part 2)!  Part 2 also includes Mike discussing Thunderbirds with some onlookers – that starts around the one hour mark.  Mike also did a seminar at UK Pinfest which you can find here.


Cayle George Talks Exploits on 150th Pinball Profile Episode

Cayle George joined Jeff Teolis on Pinball Profile last week!  Cayle is known for finding exploits on pinball machines, and he shared many of them on this hour long episode.  It is a very interesting listen, check it out here!

And a huge congrats to Jeff Teolis and Pinball Profile on their 150th episode, keep up the great work!!


Buffalo Pinball – Bro is Back!

Bro, Do You Even Pinball? is returning this Thursday for season 5!!  And the first week of the new season will feature Total Nuclear Annihilation from Spooky Pinball!  Tune in this Thursday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. Eastern on the Buffalo Pinball Twitch channel and check it out!!


New Code on Batman ’66

Stern announced new code for Batman ’66 last week!  The new code (v0.94) for Batman ’66 “includes a new King Tut mode, plus a new and exciting wizard mode!”  Check out all the details here.


Vancouver FlipOut Pinball Expo

The Vancouver FlipOut Pinball Expo takes place September 7th-9th.  They’ll have 100+ Pinball Machines, Vendors, Speakers, Tournaments, and more.  Check out their website here for more information!


Total Nuclear Annihilation Review – STDM

Our friends Zach and Greg from Straight Down the Middle: a Pinball Show released a review of Total Nuclear Annihilation, check it out!

,

 


Dutch Pinball Update

Dutch Pinball released the following last week:

“Here is an update of the conversation that took place between our attorney and ARA’s attorney.

The result of this first meeting is that there will be a second meeting to discuss more details about a possible solution for the situation. We find this promising.

We have indicated that despite our trust being damaged, we are open for a solution outside of the courtroom.

The attorneys have agreed that they will try to have contact within two or three weeks, so that they have time to discuss various solutions.

We will send an update as soon as we have more news.

All of our very best,

Barry and Jaap”

Not much, but an update.  We’ll see what happens.


August Winners and September Giveaways Coming Thursday

We’ll be announcing the August Giveaway Winners and the lineup of September Giveaways on Thursday!  As a reminder, there are TWO WAYS to enter:

1.    Consider making a monthly donation via the PayPal button below or Patreon, which you can find here.  You’ll automatically be entered each month you make a donation, and also get additional TWIPerks based on your giving level.  Your contribution will help support this website.

 

2.    Donate nothing, and send an email to thisweekinpinball@gmail.com to let us know you want to be entered, and include your name, address (including city and state), and email address, and you’ll be entered for that month.  You’ll just have to send the email every month to be included.

See official rules here.


Plug: TWIPERKS Reminder!

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— Cool and Crazy Stuff —

Intensity, and Dirty Harry

This video is awesome for a few reasons.  First, when asked if World Cup Soccer is her favorite pinball machine, this 10-year-old says no and picks…Dirty Harry!  Second, you have to love the intensity – she clearly wants the interviewer to go away and let her work on putting up a GC.


Unboxing a Deadpool: Speed Run!

Zach from Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show unboxed a Deadpool Pro as fast as he can while wearing…well, just watch it.

 


Wreck’n Ball Pin (Prototype Banzai Run) Sold last week

This one of one pinball machine sold on Pinside last week – check out the thread here!  For more pics of this machine, check out it’s listing on IPDB here.


Room for storytelling in pinball?


Identify the pinball machine pictured below for a chance to win a limited This Week in Pinball Lapel Pin!  Drawing will be held monthly!

Photo courtesy High End Pins

Last Week’s answer: Eight Ball Deluxe

Email guesses to thisweekinpinball@gmail.com, correct answers will be entered into the drawing for the limited TWIP Lapel Pin!


— Presented By —

This Week’s Mod of the Week is the Iron Maiden PinBall PowerBladez™ from PinGraffix!

“Up the Irons with these unbelievable Inner Art PinBlades for your Iron Maiden Pinball machine. You will be blown away by the detail, colors and they way they look on your Iron Maiden Pinball Machine by Stern. 

These PowerBladez will blow you away and send everyone else running for the hills..the ultimate mod for your Iron Maiden PinBall machine by Stern.”

Check it out!!


— To Those Who Make This Hobby Better —

Shoutout to Tournament Directors!!  A difficult and stressful and many times thankless job that helps grow this great hobby through competition.  Hug a Tournament Director today and thank them!!


— End of Post Bonus —


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Have a scoop or anonymous rumor?  Email us at thisweekinpinball@gmail.com


Stern Pinball

Most Recent Titles

Aerosmith   AC/DC Vault Edition  |  Star Wars  |  Guardians of the Galaxy  |  AC/DC Luci Vault Edition  |  Iron Maiden  |  Deadpool

Announced/Confirmed

Elvira 3

Rumors of Future Titles

The Munsters?  |  The Beatles?  |  Steve Ritchie Black Knight 3000?  |  Superman 1978?  |  Beetlejuice?  |  Godzilla?

Jersey Jack Pinball

Most Recent Titles

Wizard of Oz  |  The Hobbit  |  Dialed In  |  Pirates of the Caribbean

Rumors of Future Titles

Willy Wonka?  |  Toy Story?  |  Guns N’ Roses?

Chicago Gaming/Planetary Pinball

Most Recent Titles

Medieval Madness Remake  |  Attack From Mars Remake

Announced/Confirmed

Monster Bash Remake

Rumors of Future Titles

Cactus Canyon Remake?  |  Theatre of Magic?  |  Big Bang Bar Remake?

Spooky Pinball

Most Recent Titles

Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International  |  Dominos (*contract game)  |  Jetsons (*contract game)  |  Total Nuclear Annihilation (*contract/house game)  |  Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle

Rumors of Future Titles

Licensed Title  |  Scott Danesi Second Game

American Pinball

Most Recent Titles

Houdini

Rumors of Future Titles

Oktoberfest?

P3 (Multimorphic)

Most Recent Titles

Lexy Lightspeed  |  Cannon Lagoon  |  Cosmic Cart Racing

Team Pinball

Most Recent Titles

The Mafia

deeproot Pinball

Announced/Confirmed

Fire and Brimstone  |  Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland  |  Magic Girl  |  Alice in Wonderland  |  Dennis Nordman Unlicensed

Circus Maximus

Announced/Confirmed

The Pinball Circus Remake  |  Kingpin

Homepin

Most Recent Titles

Thunderbirds

Pinball Brothers

Rumors of Future Titles

Queen?  |  Barry Oursler’s Original Theme?  |  Playboy?

Dutch Pinball

Most Recent Titles

Bride of Pinbot 2.0  |  Bride of Pinbot 3.0 (on hold)  |  The Big Lebowski (production/legal issues)

Silver Castle Pinball

Announced/Confirmed

Timeshock

Phénix Pinball

Announced/Confirmed

Goblin Contest

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