TO THE FIRST EVER STERN PINBALL NEWSLETTER
STERN AND PLD UNITE TO MAKE MONOPOLY PINBALL
The best-selling board game in history is now the
hottest pinball machine on the boardwalk.
The MONOPOLY pinball game is Stern Pinball's first collaboration
with Pat Lawlor Design. Pat Lawlor, designer of The Addams Family
Twilight Zone and several other of the most successful pinball
machines of all-time, along with his team of Mechanical Engineer
Krutsch and Software Engineers Louis Zoziarz and Greg Dunlap,
together a pinball machine worth its weight in $$$. Featuring
Parking, Electric Company, and Break the Bank ramp shots, a
game board in the center of the playfield, and the voice of
making all sales final, MONOPOLY pinball is classic and modern
all wrapped up into one.
In this, the first Stern Pinball Newsletter, we have interviewed
Pat Lawlor on MONOPOLY pinball and a few other things as well.
hear what he had to say.
STERN NEWS: Pat, what led you to become a pinball designer?
PAT LAWLOR: I had been working in the coin-op business since
when I was hired by a group that was part of Bally to do video
That lasted until the industry's video collapse in 1984. In
1986, I met
one of Williams' premier software designers, Larry DeMar, and
we built a
prototype for what was to become Banzai Run. Larry sold the
Williams and I began my career as a pinball designer at that
SN: What do you feel are some of the key elements that go into
making a great pinball machine?
PL: Great coin-op games by definition are those which collect
most money for their operators. Everything we do is designed
the player's experience so that he is willing to spend as much
possible with the game. The game MUST be challenging, but not
intimidating. It must also be accessible so that a great deal
need not be spent learning its basic elements. Once those elements
learned, however, the game must have enough depth to earn for
operator for an extended period. All of this is a balancing
act that is
carried out with the goal of a fun game that hopefully translates
strong collecting career for the piece.
SN: Having been the designer of such classic hits as The Addams
FamilyAE and Twilight ZoneAE, how would you characterize the
pinball? Is this a continuation of your past work, or is MONOPOLY
pinball something new altogether?
PL: Everything that is done in Pinball is a continuation of
games that have come before. The game (Pinball) has been in
form, more or less, for 50+ years. I have been lucky enough
to work with
and learn from some of the pinball greats. People like Steve
Steve Ritchie, Larry DeMar, and others. So yes, MONOPOLY pinball
continuation of mine and other peoples work.
SN: Could you tell us a little bit about your newest game,
PL: It isn't often that a game designer has the opportunity
a variation on a classic theme. MONOPOLY pinball allowed us
to do a
three-dimensional representation of the items contained in the
board game. Railroads, the utilities, rolling the dice, and
concept of passing GO are all included in our pinball machine.
challenge in the design of the game was to keep the game simple
for a casual player, yet deep enough for the dedicated street
think we have accomplished that to a large degree. The shots
are such that just shooting the ball around the playfield will
various fun things. But to be really good at the game a player
back again and again. This translates to strong earnings for
operator. It was an honor to design for the MONOPOLY license
and we hope
players have as much fun playing as we did making the game.
SN: Thank you Pat for taking the time to speak with us and much
success with MONOPOLY pinball and any other future projects
you have in
PL: Well thank you for this opportunity to speak with you and
everyone in the pinball community.
TIPS AND TRICKS #1
THE BUBBLE LEVEL IS BACK!
From the MONOPOLY pinball onward, you will notice that there
level located on the lower right side of each playfield. This
allows for accurate pitch adjustment of the playfield. And without
proper playfield pitch, the game can either play too fast or
The bubble level will, therefore, help you maximize revenue
your pinball machine challenging and fun for a longer period
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
ball is wild!"
MONOPOLY AND MR. MONOPOLY are trademarks of Hasbro, Inc.