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Iron Maiden and Deadpool Rumor Roundup

Iron Maiden and Deadpool Rumor Roundup

Rumor [roo-mer], noun: a story or statement in general circulation without confirmation or certainty as to facts

 

Disclaimer section:  At This Week in Pinball, we try to just stick to the facts.  But hey, sometimes you have to speculate!  There have been many rumors regarding upcoming machines from Stern Pinball, specifically Iron Maiden and Deadpool.  Below is a rumor roundup – what we’ve been hearing from what we believe to be credible sources.  Is it all true?  Probably not.  That is why it is a RUMOR roundup!

 

Backstory Regarding Iron Maiden and John Trudeau

From what TWIP has been told, the initial plan was for Iron Maiden to be released at Expo 2017 with John Trudeau as the designer.  As you may already know, John Trudeau was arrested on August 25th, less than two months before Expo 2017.  (For the full story about Trudeau, click here.)  Trudeau and Stern parted ways, and it is our understanding that Trudeau’s Iron Maiden design was completely scrapped and redone.

 

Design Cycle

We have also been told that the design cycle for Stern was as follows:

 

  1. Iron Maiden
  2. Deadpool
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy

 

Just speculating here, but with Iron Maiden delayed, in order to keep the assembly line going they probably needed to bump up one of the other titles.  If this is true, it could help explain why Guardians of the Galaxy shipped with v0.65 beta code, when Stern’s documentation listed v0.72 as the code at “Initial Release”.  Why not go with Deadpool instead of Guardians if it was next?  Could be a number of reasons – maybe something critical (art or parts or something) was delayed on Deadpool.  You can ship a game with immature code, but you can’t ship it without artwork or if it is missing parts.  (Insert Magic Girl joke.)

 

IRON MAIDEN

Don’t know much about Iron Maiden?  They are an English heavy metal band that have released 38 albums and have played over 2,000 live shows.  According to Wikipedia, “Despite little radio or television support, Iron Maiden are considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, with The Sunday Times reporting in 2017 that the band have sold over 100 million copies of their albums worldwide.”  Not sure if you know any songs?  Here is a nine minute video on YouTube that plays snippets of a top 10 list of Iron Maiden songs.

What We’re Hearing about the pinball machine:

  • that Iron Maiden will be the next title released
  • that Keith Elwin is the designer
  • that Zombie Yeti is the artist
  • that it should ship with v1.0 code (!)
    • that Lyman Sheets is on code…and that Keith Elwin is on code?
      • Explanation: we first heard that Lyman was on code, but we also saw this post by Elwin on Tilt Forums which indicates Elwin himself is doing the rules.  Perhaps it is something where they’re working together on rules?
  • that it may have four flippers
  • that it may be based on the layout from Archer, a home-brew machine designed previously by Keith Elwin

 

Keep in mind, those are all unconfirmed rumors!  So when will Iron Maiden be revealed?  We’re not sure.  Texas Pinball Festival seems like a good choice, and TPF just announced in this post that George Gomez and Lyman Sheets would attending TPF and possibly doing a seminar.  The Amusement Expo in Las Vegas is next week, which is another possibility.

 

DEADPOOL

Deadpool is a movie starring Ryan Reynolds.  If you haven’t seen it, check out the trailer here.  But as we mention below, the pinball machine sounds like it will be based on the comic books, not the movie version.  To read about the Deadpool comic books, click here!

 

What We’re Hearing:

  • that Deadpool will be released this summer
    • Note: the movie Deadpool 2 has a release date of May 18th, 2018
  • that it is based on the comic book, not the movie
  • that the design looks George Gomez-ish
  • that Zombie Yeti is the artist
  • that there are two flippers
  • that it is a unique layout with a very unusual right ramp shot
  • that one of the orbits actually feeds the ball to a ramp
  • that there is a sword ramp with a ball lock mech

 

 

 

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Name the Game – Monthly Giveaway

Name the Game – Monthly Giveaway

Sponsored by PINBALL BULBS

Our BIGGEST giveaway yet – win a Free Ultimate LED kit (up to a $300 value) – check them out here!

Save 15% off Pinball Bulbs in January and February:  Visit Pinball Bulbs and enter promo code “ThisWeek15off” to save 15% off everything on the site!  It also helps support This Week in Pinball.  It’s the perfect time to get an LED light kit for your game, check them out here!

 

Identify the pinball machine pictured below for a chance to win a Free Ultimate LED kit (up to a $300 value)!

Photo courtesy of High End Pins

 

Last Week’s answer: Stern KISS

 

Email guesses to thisweekinpinball@gmail.com, correct answers in January and February are entered into the drawing for a Free Ultimate LED kit (up to a $300 value)!

 

December’s winner of Marco Specialties Swag is Will Oetting!

 

Past Winners:

November winner (Comet Pinball gift card): Craig Kroll
October winner (Titan Pinball gift card): J.M. Ratkos
September winner (Mezel Mods gift card): Steve Flake
August winner (Pinball Life gift card): Todd Baumeister
July winner (Pinball Life gift card): Dylan Bristowe

 

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Around the Playfield with Charlie Emery of Spooky Pinball

Around the Playfield with Charlie Emery of Spooky Pinball

 

 

Flyer

Charlie Emery runs Spooky Pinball.  To rent or buy a documentary about the Spooky Pinball story, click here.

 


Around the Playfield with Charlie Emery

 

The Start Button: How did you first get into pinball?

Playing as a kid in the late 70’s and completely got hooked in the solid state era.


The Plunge: What was the first pinball machine you bought?

Firepower II…. because it was available for sale and I couldn’t wait to own a game. Still have it.


The Skill Shot: What is your best pinball achievement or favorite pinball moment?

Achievement…  us building Spooky Pinball up with faith and hard work from friends and customers. Favorite pinball moment… winning an “A Division” 2 man team competition with my 12 year old son, Bug.


Good Shots, Bad Bounces: What is your favorite and least favorite pinball machine?

Favorite game… obvious answer is Alice Cooper but you’ll have to judge for yourself if I’m biased! Least favorite… the clunkiest E.M game I ever played I had fun on, so ??? It’s pinball. You either love it or you don’t.


The Wizard Mode: What is your dream theme you’d like to see made into a pinball machine?

Godzilla… classic TOHO style!


The Tilt: What is the dumbest mistake you’ve made in pinball (mishap moving a machine, messing up trying to fix a machine, etc.)?

In 20 plus years, hard to single one out. Had a game smash me in the ear once, and of course I’ve fried chips working with the game on like a rookie (even when I wasn’t!).


The High Score: Describe the pinball hobby in one word.

HARD!


Match – Next Game: Where do you see the pinball hobby in 5-10 years?

After watching it almost die a few years ago and being a small part of the resurgence now, I hope the growth continues as the next generation comes in. It’s time to celebrate the heroes that got us here, and embrace the new talent that will lead us forward. Pinball needs new rock stars!!! I think in 5 to 10 years, you’ll see that transition.

 

 

For past Around the Playfield guests, click here!

 

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TWIP – Iron Maiden/Deadpool Rumors (coming Thursday), First Look at Guardians of the Galaxy topper, Circus Maximus Manufacturing, More

TWIP – Iron Maiden/Deadpool Rumors (coming Thursday), First Look at Guardians of the Galaxy topper, Circus Maximus Manufacturing, More

Iron Maiden and Deadpool Rumor Roundup (coming Thursday)

Have you heard the rumors about Iron Maiden and Deadpool?  These titles are supposed to be coming up for Stern Pinball in 2018.  We’ve been sitting on a few rumors from different sources trying to get verification on some and rule out others.  On Thursday we’re going to do a full write up with information about the rumors surrounding the release of Iron Maiden and Deadpool by Stern Pinball.  It will have some good info, good rumors, and some good speculation!

 


Ben Heck Leaving Spooky Pinball

 

In sad news last week, Ben Heck and Spooky Pinball parted ways.  Ben was the designer/creator of Spooky Pinball’s America’s Most Haunted and has been with Spooky since their beginning over five years ago.  Ben had been working on a second game for Spooky Pinball which he had hoped to release in conjunction with him leaving The Ben Heck Show in June of 2018.  However, due to some licensing issues with the second game and other games being produced by Spooky, his second game was delayed which led to parting of the ways.

 

For the full story, see this interview with Ben Heck by This Week in Pinball.

 


Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Preview

 

In good news last week, Ben Heck shared a lot of new information about Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle during the interview with This Week in Pinball!

 

Read the full interview for the full preview, but here are some of the highlights:

 

  • “My big thing was I wanted people going through rooms – like there is a kitchen or there is a parlor.  Each room acts like a different mini mode and there is a map to it.  The orbit shot navigates you through the rooms…basically once you do four moves you get to the monster and then you fight it. Then you work to the next monster…there are nine monsters and you collect objects that have effects on them.  So the way you go through the castle will actually effect the mode when you get to the monster.”

 

  • “…you can just shoot the orbits, get to the monster, and break the legs off the bug or whatever and have fun.  But if you actually want to get the big points you need to traverse the castle a certain way and do things along the way to get the best advantage based on what monster you’re going after.”

 

The Display – You’re in the Parlor
Mini-Map
  • [regarding the image above] “…it is basically a mini-map.  There is an X that is like “you are here”, and I believe – well I haven’t done this part – if you hold for flipper info, you get a big map.  So you start at the bottom and you’re going up.  It’s like a grid, you can go left or right and every time you go left or right you’re going up in the grid.  You can’t go backwards.  You start out in the foyer and there is a big painting of what monster you’re going to go after.”

 

  • “So you select a monster and you can spend as much as you want in the foyer.  Then you make a right shot and you end up in the library.  And from the library you can go left or right – if you go right from the library you end up in the conservatory.  That is on the right hand edge so you can only go left, and then you’re in the torture room or the dungeon or whatever they call it.  Then one more orbit shot and you’re to the monster.  So you choose how you move through the castle and the castle is a big part of it.”

 

  • “…left orbit goes left and right orbit goes right.  Or you can shoot other stuff to stay in that room and do other stuff.  As you mentioned you saw in the clip where there is nine rooms.  You always start at the bottom which is the foyer, and you’re always working your way to the top which is the monster room.  So all the rooms in between – that is where you’re collecting items and doing other stuff.  But you’re always moving up.  And once you move up through a section of rooms you can’t go back.  Basically four orbit shots or four navigation shots will always get you to the monster.  But if you do it too quickly you’re not going to get as many points.   It is better to take your time and explore and collect things, like shotguns and axes and whatever.”

 

 

Then recently we saw the following teaser:

 

 

Looking forward to the full reveal at the Texas Pinball Festival March 16th-18th!

 


Stern Code Updates and First Look at Guardians of the Galaxy Topper

 

We had two significant code updates from Stern last week, along with the first video of the Guardians of the Galaxy topper in action!

 

 

  • Guardians of the Galaxy v0.87 was also released last week, and contains the Save Xandar wizard mode along with enhancements for both Groot and Orb multiballs – check out the full details here!

 

  • Finally, we saw the first video of the Guardians of the Galaxy topper!  Check out the pic below and check out the video here!

 


Manufacturing Plans for the Rumored Kingpin Remake

 

A few weeks ago we saw some more teasers on the possible Kingpin remake, the rumored upcoming pinball machine from Circus Maximus:

 

 

There has been some questions regarding the manufacturing plans from Circus Maximus on game #2 (which has become game #1), as to whether they plan to mass produce game #2 or just produce the one example for Texas Pinball Festival.

 

This Week in Pinball reached out to Circus Maximus and confirmed that their intentions are to build significantly more than just the one they are bringing to TPF.  Circus Maximus does have a 12,000+ square foot building which you can see in this post on their blog, though is not yet clear if they will be manufacturing the machines in house or partnering with an existing manufacturer.

 


Pirates of the Caribbean – Live on Twitch with the JJP Team

 

Last week, Jersey Jack Pinball did a live stream of their upcoming pinball machine, Pirates of the Caribbean!  The stream included several members of the JJP team:

 

  • Eric Meunier (designer)
  • Keith Johnson (software)
  • Joe Katz (software)

 

Check out the full stream here (starts at the 16:00 mark)!

 

Speaking of Pirates of the Caribbean, Zach and Greg from Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show (YouTube, TwitchFacebook) travelled up to northern Illinois to talk with Eric Meunier and Keith Johnson and will be releasing another episode of their Deluxe Review in the coming weeks.  These reviews are very in-depth and they released a teaser of the upcoming review last week:

 

 

 


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That includes their Mini Virtual Pinball Machine, which comes loaded with:

  • Pinball FX2
  • Pinball Arcade
  • Ikaruga and Proycyon (shooters)
  • Visual Pinball – MAME (ROMs added by user)
  • Customer front end so no computer or technical skills needed
  • Full online support fort your specific machine
  • Real Analog Nudge

 

Click here for more info and pricing, and watch the video below to check out more about this machine!

 

 


The Big Lebowski Update – Dutch Hopes to Begin Manufacturing in April/May

 

Dutch Pinball released a newsletter update last week on the state of The Big Lebowski Pinball Machine.  They said they hope to begin assembly in April/May – here is the full newsletter:

 

“Welcome to our regular update on the status of the production of The Big Lebowski™ Pinball.

 

Although things seem to take forever we finally see light at the end of the tunnel. Xytech has finished Engineering Sample (ES) number 4 of the pilot builds and it will be send out to us next week, just after Chinese New Year. The ES 3 is in The Netherlands for a few weeks now and besides some issues we are very happy with the overall quality.

 

We hoped to be in production already, but because of the immense complexity of building a pinball machine, things take longer. We know this game inside out, but for the Xytech team it is a complete new type of machine and it takes time for them to learn and understand pinball.

 

We expect game 4 will be 99.9% perfect and, if so, that’s the point when we are ready for starting ‘real’ production again in China. On February 26th the Chinese New Year will be over and Xytech will then start setting up the pinball production line in the factory.

 

Giving a specific time when production will start depends on lead-time of parts. Most parts will take only a few weeks, but some parts may take up to two months once ordered. This means that at this point we expect to begin assembly in April-May. In the meantime we won’t sit still of course, because we and Xytech can use this time to prepare everything for production and start with sub-assemblies with the parts that are already there.

 

We are working very hard to get you your TBLs and this is the only important thing right now for Dutch Pinball.

 

We will come with a new update after we have received and reviewed game number 4 from Xytech.”

 


What is the Hardest Shot in Pinball?

Jeff Parsons of the Pinball Players Podcast (Facebook, Podcast Garden) is conducting a vote this week to determine the hardest shot in pinball.  From Jeff: “I decided to change up how I do Top 5 lists on the Pinball Players Podcast and am going to put it out to the listeners to decide. The 5 most popular votes will make the list to be revealed on the next episode. Voting is open from Monday to Friday.”

 

Cast your vote here!

 


Supreme Pinball Machine

 

Photo courtesy of Supreme/Stern

The Supreme Pinball Machine that was announced recently is getting a lot of talk in the pinball community.  The unusual minimalist design, the expected high price on a Spiderman Home Edition re-skin, the Supreme company, and the huge amount of exposure for this machine have all contributed to the controversy.  This Week in Pinball wrote an article last week that covers:

 

  • What is Supreme?
  • What does Supreme sell?
  • Why a pinball machine?
  • Is this good or bad for pinball?
  • Features and Info about the machine
  • Price and availability speculation

 

Click here to read the full article!

 

Photo courtesy of Supreme/Stern

 


Victory Laps – End of Post Bonus

 

 


MATCH! – Next Game…What is Coming Up on This Week in Pinball

 

  • Around the Playfield with Charlie Emery coming tomorrow 🙂  Seriously this time!
  • More info coming on Iron Maiden and Deadpool on Thursday
  • We mentioned last week we’re working on a massive page/resource for competitive players and are hoping to release it within the next month…well right now our laptop speed is having a hard time keeping up the size of the page so we’re exactly 7.4% done with the page.  It is slow going but we’ll keep plugging along!!


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Confidential Information – TWIP Policy

We do NOT share any confidential or “off the record” information without permission from the source of the info.

 

Disclaimer

Any articles, interviews, or mentions of pinball manufacturers or pinball products is NOT an endorsement.

 

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

 


Upcoming Games and Rumors

Stern Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Aerosmith
  • AC/DC Vault Edition
  • Star Wars
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • AC/DC Luci Vault Edition

Announced/Confirmed

  • Elvira 3

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Iron Maiden? <-MOVED!
  • Deadpool?
  • The Munsters?
  • The Beatles?
  • Jurassic World?
  • Pulp Fiction?
  • New Ka-Pow Title?
  • Steve Ritchie Unlicensed?
  • Keith Elwin Game? <-MERGED!


Spooky Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International
  • Dominos (*contract game)
  • Jetsons (*contract game)
  • Total Nuclear Annihilation (*contract/house game)

Announced/Confirmed

  • Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle
  • Ben Heck’s game <-NEW!


American Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Houdini

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Oktoberfest?


Dutch Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Bride of Pinbot 2.0
  • Bride of Pinbot 3.0 (on hold)
  • The Big Lebowski (production issues)


Circus Maximus

  • The Pinball Circus Remake
  • Kingpin?

Jersey Jack Pinball

Most Recent Titles

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

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Toy Story?
  • Willy Wonka?
  • The Muppets?


Chicago Gaming/Planetary Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Medieval Madness Remake
  • Attack From Mars Remake

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Monster Bash Remake?
  • Cactus Canyon Remake?
  • Big Bang Bar Remake?
  • Theatre of Magic?


Heighway Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Full Throttle
  • Alien (shipping)

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Queen?


P3 (Multimorphic)

  • Lexy Lightspeed
  • Cannon Lagoon
  • Cosmic Cart Racing


Homepin

  • Thunderbirds (coming soon)


Phénix Pinball

  • Olympic Goblin


deeproot Pinball

  • Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland?
  • Alice in Wonderland?
  • Magic Girl?
  • Original Houdini design?

 

Silver Castle Pinball

  • Timeshock (coming soon)

 

 

**TWIP dreams of the day Harry Potter Pinball will be added to these rumors. Ms. Rowling, I’d be willing to regrow bones by drinking the dreadful tasting Skelegro if you approve this!


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Interview with Ben Heck: Leaving Spooky, Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Preview, What is Next for Ben Heck

Interview with Ben Heck: Leaving Spooky, Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Preview, What is Next for Ben Heck

 

This Week in Pinball: I was sad to see you were parting ways with Spooky since you’ve been with them since the beginning.  In reading your tweet and your post on Pinside it sounded like the main reason that you and Spooky parted ways was due to a delay on your second game after America’s Most Haunted?

 

Ben Heck: Yes, that’s correct.  Originally, it kind tied back to the show – The Ben Heck Show – I was kind of to the point where I wanted to stop doing that as well just because it was a ton of deadlines and creatively exhausting.  The show company had been acquired by another company and they’re like “…do you want to do one more season after the buyout?”  And I said sure, but it ended up being like 1.5 years.  So I was like “I could do a game in that time, like another pinball machine”.  It had been a couple years since I did America’s Most Haunted and I was super burned out after doing AMH.  For a while I was like “I hate pinball, I hate it”.  If you’re not absolutely furious and sick of the project you’re working on then you didn’t work on it hard enough.  I was definitely tired.  And then after a couple years I came around.  I had been helping Chuck with other things as well, like Rob Zombie.  We were writing new code and updating the boards and stuff like that.  I actually did a lot of the story boards for Rob Zombie as well.  And then I was like I should do another game and Chuck wanted me to do another game.  And I was ok with that because I could line it up with my show being over.  And then what happened was the license we were looking at – basically there were additional costs that – we were trying to figure the best way to make it work and it kind of got put in the back burner.  The Alice Cooper game has been delayed a couple times, I think that is pretty obvious because I think they announced it last summer or a year ago – TPF 2017 I think?  Yeah they did.  So they had that and then the Total Nuclear Annihilation kind of came out – well it didn’t come out the blue, but they were like hey, we’re going to build this too.  And that’s done really well for them.  But it basically – you have TNA and then you have Alice Cooper and then after that is Ben’s game.  My game just kept getting pushed back and then it was to the point where there was no way it would be done at the same time I leave the show and I didn’t want to have something still going.  I wanted – when the show was done, I wanted to be done.  Then I could move, I could change up everything.  And if I’m still trying to finish a game, that wouldn’t happen.  Basically when it got past the point of no return, when my game wouldn’t be done when the show was done, that was basically where I was like I think it is time.  There is a white wood, I guess they could turn it into something else, or who knows, maybe that license will come back around.

 

TWIP: And was the main reason for the delay due to licensing issues or was there more to it than that?

 

BH: I would say the delay was – I think if Alice Cooper could’ve been done sooner – I think initially Chuck wanted it to come out last fall.  And if that could’ve been done sooner, my game would’ve had a shot of coming out next summer which is what I wanted.  Everything just kind of pushed it back.  Basically just delayed.  I mean its tough when you’re a small company trying to get stuff done.

 

TWIP: I know you had mentioned in an interview on YouTube you’d be leaving the Ben Heck Show in June, and you mentioned on Pinside that was originally the time your second game was going to be released and that it wasn’t a coincidence, that was to have both done at the same time?

 

BH: Yeah, my plan going back to like October or November of 2016, was to do the one and a half year contract, and that should be enough time [to finish the game].  I should mention that during my final season of the show, I changed it up so I was only there three days a week – the show was full time for quite a while – I changed it up so every Thursday and Friday I was off and using that time to do the pinball.  In my estimation I think a year and a half would’ve been enough.  My idea was to have a white wood after about 6-8 months and spend like a year programming it so it would be pretty well programmed when it was released in 2018.  And my plan was the show is done, the game is done and being manufactured.  That would be a breaking point to move or do something different with my life, and get royalties as well.  And that’s not happening now.  Since that clean break point didn’t happen that’s why – here’s the thing, I live in Wisconsin and I’ve been thinking about moving south – we always joke and call Spooky “south”…But if the games not done, I’m stuck here.  I’d have to stay in this area and finish it.  My shows done and I’m stuck doing this game on the side.  I basically wanted everything to be a clean break.  I don’t really want to do pinball full time and I think I would’ve ended up doing it full time had that been the case.  Chuck probably would’ve been like “Nice, make the game full time!”

 

TWIP: And does Spooky have the rights to the whitewood that you designed?

 

BH: Yeah, they paid me a retainer so the whitewood is theirs.

 

TWIP: I know you had mentioned on your tweet that the design might be turned into something by them down the road.  Is the design something that can be turned into a different theme easily or was it very specific to the license?

 

BH: Yeah, why couldn’t it be?  There have been a lot of games that have been changed – Gladiators was Zelda, WWE was Hunger Games, it happens a lot.

 

TWIP: Can you share what the license was at this point?

 

BH: I’ll never tell (laughs).

 

TWIP: I know we’ve heard some rumors on Futurama…

 

BH: Futurama would make a good pinball.

 

TWIP: Could you see yourself ever going back and working with Spooky at all in the future?

 

BH: Oh yeah, sure.  Just not right now.  They’ve at least made one of my games!  I mean, I’m disappointed I couldn’t get something going.  My game – we kind of paused it last year, and I started working on Alice Cooper in July.  I basically switched over to doing that.  I did quite a bit of work on that, most of the story boards and a lot of the rules.  So there is some Ben DNA in that game.  But ultimately I’m not interested in monsters and things like that as much as Chuck is.  And all I know about Alice Cooper is that he was in Wayne’s World (laughs).  It wasn’t a license I could get into very much because I wasn’t familiar with it.  But hopefully the stuff we came up with makes for a cool game.

 

 

TWIP: You were working on the rules and the story board and the dialog for Alice Cooper.  How far along are the rules and the dialog for that?

 

BH: The rules are pretty much all the way – I mean the framework.  I think when you’re making a game, you have the rules in your mind but when you’re playing you’re like “oh we should add this rule or we could do this or this would be really cool”.  I guess we’ll see if they stick with it – I thought of it like Dragon’s Lair.  It is Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle, so I’m like “its a castle, so the castle should be part of it”.  My big thing was I wanted people going through rooms – like there is a kitchen or there is a parlor.  Each room acts like a different mini mode and there is a map to it.  The orbit shot navigates you through the rooms.  You’re basically always going forward.  The way you go through the mansion – basically once you do four moves you get to the monster and then you fight it. Then you work to the next monster.  It is pretty in depth – there are nine monsters and you collect objects that have effects on them.  So the way you go through the castle will actually effect the mode when you get to the monster.  The order you do it matters.  It is pretty in depth – I didn’t think the rules in Rob Zombie were super interesting, so I was like “you have to have better rules in this game Chuck”.  I was thinking if you give the player more ways to play the game it will make it more interesting and give it longevity.  So you can just shoot the orbits, get to the monster, and break the legs off the bug or whatever and have fun.  But if you actually want to get the big points you need to traverse the castle a certain way and do things along the way to get the best advantage based on what monster you’re going after.

 

 

TWIP: On the teaser, on the bottom middle of the LCD it looked like nine rooms with arrows – does that correspond to the room that you’re in?

 

BH: Yeah, it is basically a mini-map.  There is an X that is like “you are here”, and I believe – well I haven’t done this part – if you hold for flipper info, you get a big map.  So you start at the bottom and you’re going up.  It’s like a grid, you can go left or right and every time you go left or right you’re going up in the grid.  You can’t go backwards.  You start out in the foyer and there is a big painting of what monster you’re going to go after.  I’m so sick of games where you hit the flipper buttons to select sh*t – in this you hit a simple target, and that is what changes the painting.  I am just so sick of games where you stop dead and you’re sitting there like “select your city, select your song, select your house”.  So you select a monster and you can spend as much as you want in the foyer.  Then you make a right shot and you end up in the library.  And from the library you can go left or right – if you go right from the library you end up in the conservatory.  That is on the right hand edge so you can only go left, and then you’re in the torture room or the dungeon or whatever they call it.  Then one more orbit shot and you’re to the monster.  So you choose how you move through the castle and the castle is a big part of it.  The art is really cool and there are all these animated things in the background like bats and spiderwebs and bones.  The guy who did the cabinet art – I don’t know how much of that they’ve shown – the guy that did the cabinet though is also doing the elements for the screen animations and the rooms.

 

TWIP: I think the animations look really cool – kind of that comic book style look…

 

BH: Yeah, it is a very good looking game – it kind of reminds me of Big Bang Bar in a way, the aesthetic feel of the cabinet.  A lot of deep blacks with splashes of color.

 

TWIP: So as you go through the castle – lets say your in the foyer and you shoot the left orbit – that is like a door?

 

BH: Yeah – left orbit goes left and right orbit goes right.  Or you can shoot other stuff to stay in that room and do other stuff.  As you mentioned you saw in the clip where there is nine rooms.  You always start at the bottom which is the foyer, and you’re always working your way to the top which is the monster room.  So all the rooms in between – that is where you’re collecting items and doing other stuff.  But you’re always moving up.  And once you move up through a section of rooms you can’t go back.  Basically four orbit shots or four navigation shots will always get you to the monster.  But if you do it too quickly you’re not going to get as many points.   It is better to take your time and explore and collect things, like shotguns and axes and whatever.

 

TWIP: I love the idea of working your way through a castle.

 

BH: I am a big fan of video games, so I wanted it to have a bunch of videogameification.  The video game market is like astronomically, infinitesimally, I can’t even think of words to describe how much bigger it is that than the pinball industry.  It is like an elephant stepping on an ant.  So if you can get in some of those elements, that is good to cater to that market.

 

TWIP: Can you share if there is an upper or lower playfield in Alice Cooper?

 

BH: Ummm…I think you should wait for that surprise yourself.

 

TWIP: Ok, moving on to other topics…

 

BH: That was a good preview of Alice Cooper.  I don’t know if they’re going to have it in there because Alice Cooper hates it, but if you do really well he’ll say “You are worthy.”  I guess he hates the fact that everyone comes up and says that to him.

 

TWIP:  (laughing) Yeah I probably would too, that’s gotta get old at some point.

 

BH: (laughing) Yeah I think Chuck went to one of their – he does pinball tournaments for charity – and I think Chuck went to one and the first thing Alice Cooper said was “If y’all promise not to say I’m Not Worthy then I promise not to call you Pinball Wizards.”

 

TWIP: (laughing) That is good.

 

BH: That said – it would be fun if he did say that if you did really really well, so hopefully they put it in.  I think the script is supposed to be recorded pretty soon, I think they are trying to do it for Texas.

 

TWIP: I heard there were 47 pages.

 

BH: That’s not too bad.  I know Rob Zombie got pissed at how much we wrote for him and he only recorded like 2/3s of it but it worked out ok.  Americas Most Haunted had like 150 pages I want to say.

 

TWIP: I’d like to own an AMH someday.

 

BH: Well you’ll have to buy it used because there will NEVER be a Vault Edition (laughs).  I wish we were slimy and did a vault edition, that would put a really nice car in my driveway (laughs).

 

TWIP: Are you excited about Alice Cooper being revealed?

 

BH: No but I never get excited about anything.

 

TWIP: (laughs)

 

BH: I tell people that and they think its funny or awful but what can I say?  I just don’t have any emotion.  Actually, I was a little excited earlier today because I figured out how to do a subdomain on my Apache server.  That made me happy.

 

TWIP: Are you burned out on pinball right now?  I know you mentioned you got burned out on America’s Most Haunted…

 

BH: I was totally burned out on AMH.  If I like back divided what I made on that game after taxes, I probably should’ve just got a second job at a restaurant or something.

 

TWIP: But you made something great.

 

BH: It is the finest ghost related pinball machine ever made.

 

TWIP: Do you have plans to still do the Bible Adventures theme even though deeproot mentioned they are doing a similar theme?

 

BH: Ok, so that idea dates back a long long time.  We first started talking about that in like 2011, when we were doing our Lost game which we tore apart because it sucked @ss.  We were at lunch one day – this was before I did AMH…

 

TWIP: When you say “we”, who are you talking about?

 

BH: It was myself – Jason Jones who is sometimes on Pinside, Andrew who was a former employee at Spooky – anyway, we were joking about what would be the stupidest theme for a pinball.  Pretty quickly we came up with the Bible.  But it was one of those things – a lot of times if you’re in a creative environment you spend a lot of time talking things that aren’t what you’re working on, because you don’t want to talk about what you’re working on.  Like yesterday when we were filming the show – we were talking about the TV show Charmed for like two hours.  So ridiculous…anyway, in 2011, we were first prototyping what would become the PinHeck system we were joking about this Bible game.  And the more we joked about it and talked about it, we started to realize it would really make sense from a rules perspective.  Most people are familiar with it, they’ve heard it or they went to church as a kid.  And here’s the trick – everything is numbered.  There are 10 plagues, 40 years in the desert, 40 days on Noah’s Ark, 2 people in the Garden of Eden, 7 trips around Jericho, 7 dreams of Joseph.  Everything is numbered and it was like – this is perfect!  You don’t have to explain the rules – how many shots to start Exodus? 10 plagues,10 shots, Exodus multi-ball.  The more we talked about it, we were like – this is actually amazing.  So we talked about it in interviews and stuff and I guess people thought it was a joke.  People still think it is a joke but I’m dead serious.  So we discovered – around 2013 – John Popadiuk, you know how he was registering all those domains?  Like Pussycat Bowling and whatever.  There was creationpinball.com.  And I don’t know who found it but we realized it was Zidware and we were like son of a b*tch.  Because of course he had heard about it because I’d been talking about it to anyone and everyone.  And we’re like oh man is he going to try to do this?  And then as Robert from deeproot has mentioned, three years ago in 2015 he was in talks with Spooky to work on some things.  And that came up because we were spitballing ideas.  And he really liked it – but Chuck hates it – but Robert really liked that idea.  And I think even back then he wanted to call it Fire and Brimstone.  So I certainly knew he liked the idea, but I was a little surprised to hear he was going to design it himself.

 

TWIP: So were you bothered when you learned they were working on that theme?

 

BH: Of course I was.  It is like my dream theme, I know that sounds weird, but I really think it would make a great pinball machine.  I’ve been thinking about it for like 7 years now.  I guess this is kind of egotistical but I feel like I could do a pretty good job with it.  But we’ll see.  I used to be a graphic artist, then I became an engineer, so it isn’t my place to say a lawyer can’t design a game.  But I don’t know, I’ve just had it in my mind for quite a long time.  Actually one thing Chuck said or offered was – hey, why you don’t just make the game you’re working on an original theme?  Because at that point TNA was starting to sell really well.  But I was like Chuck you need to realize, we have some empirical data about original themes – they can work in pinball but they need about a year to gestate.  So you have to take them out there, take them to a bunch of shows, and then they’ll sell.  Even Dialed In!, it took quite a while for people to latch on to that even though it is a really cool game.  License is a short cut, I was like “I don’t think we have a year to grow this title”.  But yeah, you mentioned earlier that Futurama would be a really cool title.  I think people don’t necessarily think if a title lends itself to pinball or not.  Like Archer would be really good except that the license is out of date and Stern will never make it.  But again, that would be a perfect theme for pinball.

 

TWIP: What is your favorite part of pinball manufacturing?  Coding?  Designing the playfield?

 

BH: My favorite part is when it’s done.  Wait, that is a snarky answer.  Probably designing the playfield because that is kind of the fun part.  You kind of saw that with John Popadiuk – he loved designing plafields but then the really hard stuff, which is everything that comes after – he kind of skipped that part and therefore nothing got done.  It is kind of like you’re hanging out with your buddies and drinking beer and you come up with an idea for a movie or Bible Adventures, it is much more fun to talk about it or think about what could be in it than to actually do it.  Actually doing it is the really hard part.  I have a cool rotisserie at my shop and it is fun to get hot glue or pencils or screws or sticks – I have a shooting foam core rotisserie so I can actually play the game as I design it physically.  That part is pretty fun.  Then putting it in the computer, lining up everything, measuring everything and figuring out the angles, that sucks.  I wouldn’t say coding is the worst part.  The joke I told Chuck was I would program the machine for free but you have to pay me to troubleshoot it, that is the real b*tch.

 

TWIP: Have you been approached by any other manufacturers?

 

BH: I have not.  I honestly don’t think they would hire me.  Which is ok because most are located in Illinois and I’d never – to anyone reading this, I would never under any circumstances move to Illinois, so don’t even ask me.  I live in Wisconsin and Illinois is an awful and terrible place.  But it’s not as bad as Indiana.

 

TWIP: Hey now, come on, I’m in Indianapolis!

 

BH: Oh no, is that where you live?  Sorry about that.  Illinois is terrible.  It is like this flat boring state with nothing in it and ridiculous taxes.  At least New York and California are cool places to live with ridiculous taxes.  That’s why everyone in Illinois comes up to Wisconsin every weekend, because our state doesn’t suck.

 

TWIP: So am I right that you’re a filmmaker?

 

BH: Not really, but I’m trying to get back into it.  I used to do indie films for fun.

 

TWIP: Do you have plans for an upcoming film?

 

BH: Yes – myself and the guy that does the animations for Spooky, we’re putting something together.  It is supposed to shoot not too far in the future.  And it has nothing to do with pinball.  I don’t even think there is a pinball machine in the movie.

 

TWIP: What else is on the horizon for you after the Ben Heck Show and after Spooky Pinball?

 

BH: Honestly, right now that is kind of up in the air.  I mentioned the film thing.  We were talking about starting a production company where we could do all sorts of stuff including film.  I kind of want to get back into doing what I was doing before the show, which is to do more prototyping work for companies and people.  And there is a lot of stuff I’ve had to turn down because I haven’t had time to do it because of the show schedule.  So kind of that, reverting to pre-show stuff.  I’ve also been trying to cut back on conventions, I’m so burned out on conventions.  I could write a book about conventions.

 

TWIP: Ok – last question.  You are tremendously talented and a huge asset to the pinball community –

 

BH: – sometimes a huge ass!

 

TWIP: – Ok, I will add that in there – do you think we will see Ben Heck in the pinball industry in the future?

 

BH: Yeah, I mean, I just want to be free to do stuff and not worry so much about Spooky.  But there are definitely things I still want to do.  Parker – the guy who made the board set with me originally – we’re trying to make an even better board set that is even cheaper.  Like really cheap.  But for right now, my timeline just doesn’t really line up with what Spooky is doing.  And I guess we’ll see if – maybe if deeproot doesn’t make their Bible game, maybe I’ll need to make it.  I promise you, it will be awesome.  I was even designing the Red Sea mech last month.

 

 


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Supreme Pinball Machine: Features, Info, and is it Good or Bad for Pinball?

Supreme Pinball Machine: Features, Info, and is it Good or Bad for Pinball?

Last Sunday, a billion dollar streetwear brand called Supreme launched a trailer showing off their very own private label pinball machine, produced by Stern Pinball:

 

Spring/Summer 2018 Supreme®/Stern® Pinball Machine 📹 @kings0l0m0n

A post shared by Supreme (@supremenewyork) on

 

Photo courtesy of Supreme/Stern


WHAT IS SUPREME?

As mentioned above, Supreme is a billion dollar streetwear brand.  It was founded by James Jebbia in 1994.  They have worked on collaborations with brands like Nike, Air Jordan, Vans, Clarks, The North Face, Hanes, Playboy, Levi’s, Timberland, Louis Vuitton and more.  According to their “About” page on their website:

 

“In April 1994, Supreme opened its doors on Lafayette Street in downtown Manhattan and became the home of New York City skate culture.  At its core was the gang of rebellious young New York skaters and artists who became the store’s staff, crew and customers.

 

Supreme grew to be the embodiment of the downtown culture, playing an integral part in its constant regeneration.  Skaters, punks, hip-hop heads – the young counter culture at large – all gravitated towards Supreme.

 

While it grew into a downtown institution, Supreme established itself as a brand known for its quality, style and authenticity.

 

Over its twenty-two year history, Supreme has worked with some of our generation’s most groundbreaking designers, artists, photographers, and musicians – all who have helped continue to define its unique identity and attitude.”

 

 

WHAT DOES SUPREME SELL?

Supreme sells streetwear – casual clothing and such.  But they also sell other items with the Supreme logo and branding, including fire extinguishers, bolt cutters, harmonicas, nunchucks, crowbars, water pistols, motorbikes, axes, and…a brick.  Check out this list of “The 25 Weirdest Supreme Accessories Ever”.  Why are their products so popular?  Depends who you ask.  They’re items are worn and embraced by celebrities.  Their supply is typically WAY below the demand for their products.  They regularly release new products with huge hype and long lines.  Like them or hate them, their items are extremely popular.

 

 

WHY A PINBALL MACHINE?

Your guess is as good as mine, but part of the reason people buy the Supreme brand is that their items are limited releases.  This pinball machine will be an extremely limited production run.  Many fans of the Supreme brand enjoy purchasing and collecting rare items – and many pinball enthusiasts also enjoy collecting rare machines.  Will there be an overlap of a pinball enthusiast that wants rare machines and is also a fan of the Supreme brand?  Yes.

 

 

IS THIS GOOD OR BAD FOR PINBALL?

The exposure for pinball on this release has been unprecedented for pinball.  Supreme shared the news on Instagram to over 9 million followers.  At the time of writing this, the trailer video has been up for about two days, has almost 2 million views, over 14,000 comments, and over 450,000 likes.

 

On Sunday we witnessed the most exposure a new pinball machine has ever seen in a single day.

 

This is incredible exposure for this hobby.  How many people were introduced or reintroduced to the pinball hobby just based on this 45 second video?  Obviously that doesn’t mean that the people that viewed the video are suddenly pinball fans.  But that many people viewing pinball is definitely not a BAD thing for the hobby.  If you love pinball and want this hobby to grow, this type of exposure is great for pinball!

 

 

FEATURES AND INFO ABOUT SUPREME PINBALL

Shall we move on to the pinball machine itself now?  We’re going to run through some general info about the machine and some of the features.  This is different than our normal reviews as this machine really isn’t aimed at the pinball enthusiast.

Photo courtesy of Supreme/Stern


PLAYFIELD

The playfield layout is a re-skinned playfield from Spiderman The Pin (Home Edition).  Check out the the comparison below:

Spiderman Home Edition on the right

 


DISPLAY

The display is underwhelming but fits the color scheme – a red dot matrix display:


ARTWORK

Artwork is always subjective and this artwork in particular has been loved by some and hated by others as it is very unique and unusual for a pinball machine.  To a degree it is a lack of art – the entire cabinet is (almost) all white except for the small logo on the sides.  Not all machines should look like this, but put me in the camp that love this look for this machine.  There are only three colors used (red, white, and black), and they are used in a way that appears simple yet clean and modern.

Photo courtesy of Supreme/Stern


SOUND

While we don’t know for sure if the sound used in the video is the actual sound that will be used during gameplay, it sounds very retro and the sound effects were better than expected.


GAMEPLAY

We don’t have any gameplay footage of the Supreme pinball machine other than what we saw in the 45 second video.  We do, however, have some great gameplay video of Spiderman The Pin (Home Edition).  Check it out:

 

 

 

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

This Week in Pinball has been told this is “an extremely limited production run”.  According to this article on uncrate.com, it will be “limited to just 12 examples” though it isn’t clear if that is the total number of machines, or the allotment just for uncrate.com.  Expect the price to be high, perhaps VERY high.

 

Feedback, comments, thoughts?  Email thisweekinpinball@gmail.com.

 

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Name the Game – Monthly Giveaway

Name the Game – Monthly Giveaway

Sponsored by PINBALL BULBS

Our BIGGEST giveaway yet – win a Free Ultimate LED kit (up to a $300 value) – check them out here!

Save 15% off Pinball Bulbs in January and February:  Visit Pinball Bulbs and enter promo code “ThisWeek15off” to save 15% off everything on the site!  It also helps support This Week in Pinball.  It’s the perfect time to get an LED light kit for your game, check them out here!

 

Identify the pinball machine pictured below for a chance to win a Free Ultimate LED kit (up to a $300 value)!

Last Week’s answer: Scared Stiff

 

Email guesses to thisweekinpinball@gmail.com, correct answers in January and February are entered into the drawing for a Free Ultimate LED kit (up to a $300 value)!

 

December’s winner of Marco Specialties Swag is Will Oetting!

 

Past Winners:

November winner (Comet Pinball gift card): Craig Kroll
October winner (Titan Pinball gift card): J.M. Ratkos
September winner (Mezel Mods gift card): Steve Flake
August winner (Pinball Life gift card): Todd Baumeister
July winner (Pinball Life gift card): Dylan Bristowe

 

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