CIRCE'S ANIMAL HOUSE:
Date: 10th September, 2012
This year's UK Pinball Party brought the unveiling of two whitewood models of Heighway Pinball's Circe's Animal House and a new flyer showing how the company plans to market their products.
At midday on Saturday, two whitewoods were presented to an audience who assembled in the show hotel's lobby. In addition to the two whitewood, several members of the Heighway Pinball team were also in attendance and introduced to the crowd.
The two covered whitewood machines were wheeled into the lobby.
Each showed something different, and they would be revealed after a brief introduction from Martin Ayub and Andrew Heighway.
After recounting why he started the company and what motivated him to want to build pinball machines, Andrew together with game designer Dave Sanders removed the covers and revealed the two whitewoods.
The two cabinets were showcasing the two different versions of the game expected to be produced. On the right is the playfield we showed you in our previous Circe's Animal House article while the backglass features the Jackass characters also featured in that article.
The cabinet on the left was demonstrating a new type of display which will be an option in place of the in-playfield LCD and offers a host of new possibilities.
Instead of a regular playfield glass, the playfield is covered by a glass sandwich, with tempered glass top and bottom covering a transparent LCD panel between. This allows full colour animations to appear inside the playfield glass, which means they can be positioned anywhere over the playfield. Scores can be placed over the apron, explosions over pop bumpers, arrows can appear indicating shots or targets to hit, and playfield art can animate without compromising the playfield design.
Additionally, the playfield glass sandwich can be touch-sensitive, allowing keyboards to be displayed for user names and records, status displays to pop-up on demand, and the possibility of interactive rules presentations, as well as providing easy access to the more mundane operator menus.
At present, there are just two downsides to the LCD playfield glass - the fact it's not totally transparent in the clear areas, producing a fine mesh effect, and how the playfield is effectively the LCD panel's backlight, which in turn demands much more light on the playfield in order to see the LCD panel's output.
To this end, the base cabinet and game packages will be sold separately. The cabinet contains illuminated transparent side panels, so new artwork can be easily installed. This artwork will come as part of the game kit, along with the new playfield, a translite and game software.
Once the whitewoods had been revealed and their features explained, guests were invited to come up and see the transparent LCD panel for themselves, as well as flip the populated whitewood with the in-playfield LCD panel window.
Andrew, Dave and Brian from Heighway Pinball will be speaking at Pinball Expo next month, and Pinball News will be there to bring you a recording of their talk so you can hear what they had to say for yourself.
© Pinball News 2012