|THE WIZARD OF OZ:
Date: 28th October, 2011
Last week eleven members of the Jersey Jack Pinball team joined together in Wheeling, Illinois at the 27th Pinball Expo for a fireside chat question and answer session. One of the newest members of the team was also introduced at Pinball Expo - Drew Maniscalco.
You can read our report of the JJP fireside chat below, and also listen to our exclusive recording of the whole session.
At the meeting , Jack showed a new video of the whitewood game being flipped.
The video shows a magnet deflecting the ball as it passes by the right-most pop bumper and also shows how the left outlane has been changed and the standup targets are now in an arc rather than an 'S' shape. The number of targets has also been reduced by one from six to five.
A new device in the game has also been revealed. The etching of The Wizard for the Throne Room feature is expected to be illuminated at approriate times during the game.
Jack's company, Pinball Sales, has also posted a Photoshop mock-up of what the game might look like with the emerald green body armour and legs.
There is a plaque beneath the start button and an Emerald City backboard image, but this doesn't show the backbox topper which will be included with both the Emerald City Limited Edition and the regular versions of the game.
Finally, here's the Jersey Jack Pinball fireside chat section from our Pinball Expo report.
This first fireside chat of Pinball Expo 2011 brought together ten members of the Jersey Jack Pinball Team to answer questions from moderator Gary Flower and members of the audience.
Sitting in a long line on the stage were Mark Weyna, Chris Granner, Matt Riesterer, Dennis Nordman, Bryan Hansen, Jim Thornton, Joe Balcer, Jack Guarnieri, Keith Johnson & Greg Freres.
Sitting in the audience was an eleventh member of the team, Drew Maniscalco, who is VP of Business Development at Elaut USA and recently joined JJP.
Each member of the team stood up and gave a brief biography of their career in pinball so far, and how they came to be working at Jersey Jack Pinball.
Jack then explained why he started the company and what had happened since he made the announcement at the start of the year. He also revealed he had just taken on Ken Holland as the Production Manager at the new JJP factory in New Jersey.
Greg Freres spoke next about his work on The Wizard of Oz and said while the playfield art was currently a collection of elements in Photoshop, the layout was there and the final playfield artwork would be hand drawn.
Keith then spoke about developing both the game's operating system and the rules, sounds and display graphics for The Wizard of Oz. He stated that the 26-inch Wells-Gardner monitor used in the game runs at a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels and will be fed with a VGA signal from an off-the-shelf PC-based motherboard, which will connect to a custom-made driver board.
Roger Sharpe then spoke about the Wizard of Oz licence and how, when used on a slot machine, it appeals to the target demographic of 55-year-old women who shop at K-mart. But slot manufacturers and casinos are trying to appeal to a younger audience and bring in some male players, as demonstrated by the latest licensed slot from IGT - The Hangover.
Roger explained how The Wizard of Oz contained so many of the storyline elements needed in a pinball, from the timeless battle of good vs evil, to a group of engaging characters to the large number of set pieces and locations.
Speaking about the decision to make The Wizard of Oz a widebody game, Jack described how everyone came together at their first summit in January and when all the ideas for the game were presented, it became apparent that the only way to fit in everything would be to make it a widebody.
Joe spoke about the difference the relatively small increase in width and depth makes in allowing new shots and features to be included. Describing the game as a "...full-featured, mechanical, player-interaction, deep, pinball machine" and he said it turned out to be like "putting six pounds into a three pound bag". He also revealed it will be a five ball game (not including any captive balls).
Further questions from the audience and from Gary addressed the sources for replacement parts, what is shown on the monitor both during the game and when it it switched off, whether the game will have lots of flow or be a stop-and-go design?
Chris Granner said they will be auditioning voice artists to do impersonations of all the main characters in the movie for additional voice calls in the game and he will be taking themes from the original movie score to create his own soundtrack, much like he did in Indiana Jones for Williams.
Further questions asked how much extra pressure the team were under having so many regular updates on their progress made public, whether the game will have multiball, how many patents have been submitted, what the audio system will be like and why use VGA for the monitor?
© Pinball News 2011