Date: May 8th - 10th, 2012
Report by Keith Nelson
Arriving at the pinball show on Saturday, 15 minutes before opening, there were already games being played and a long line of people waiting to get in.
As with previous years, Gary made many introductions to speakers, and gave his own talk on Friday. All of the show's seminars were webcast on UStream for free, along with live walk-throughs of the show and interviews by Mike Lorrain with speakers and other movers and shakers in the Northwest Pinball Scene.
After turning around from my hellos with Pingame, I'm greeted by JPop and Doug Watson, who are busy setting up their wares for sale.
Watson was selling signed prints of backglass art for $25 each. The interesting part about some of these prints is that they didn't have any lettering on them, and you get to see the full artwork. Sadly, they were printed on 8.5" x 11" paper, so I did not purchase one.
Friday night's grand prize $1 raffle was for T2, signed by Doug Watson himself.
Byron "The Voice of NWPAS" Raynz once again organizes and mans the raffle desk.
I hit the one of the gameroom floors and was greeted by a large number of pins and vids, just like every year. Surprisingly there were some amazing titles this year that haven't been available the last couple of years. TZ made an appearance, as well as two CVs, a ToM and a TOTAN.
Marco Specialties brought their copy of the AC/DC LE. Marco said they sold it on Friday, so they'll have to have Stern ship another one to the next show.
The reason you saw a blinding light in the previous picture is because they're actually displaying the playfield of the AC/DC LE to the audience on a monitor above the game.
Gene made it again this year with his stuff.
Among some of the other interesting games you could play was the Turbo Drive Coin-Op Slot Car.
Did I mention that after the show, Steve went to Dorky's arcade in Tacoma and fixed my Black Knight 2000? I owe him a beer!
I had a lot to do since I could only attend one day of the show this year, so I popped out of the seminar and said "Hi!" to Chris Walsh, one of the head organizers of the show.
SMAC collectors, Dave Okert, Gary Flower, Rich Lint, Steve Ritchie, Gary Stern, Doug Watson, John Popadiuk, Eugene Jarvis, Jack Guarnieri, Lindsey Rupertus, Rick Bartlett and Twin Galaxies all made appearances in the seminar hall.
This was the first time I had the opportunity to play Royal Rumble and I have to say, what a fun game! Thanks to Rod Olsen for bringing it.
In this hall, we found the new NW Pinball and Arcade Show Tournament. The NW Pinball Championships were not held at the show this year, due to a scheduling conflict with Todd's hosting of the Pinball World Championships.
Not pictured in this series of photographs are Tron, AC/DC and a couple of other games that were being used in the family fun tournaments held throughout the day by the Seattle Pinball Museum. Those family-fun tournaments were held in the other hall.
Next to the Phantom, and not pictured, was another rare title; Robocop. What a fun game! We didn't get a chance to play each other though because over the loudspeaker Byron Raynz announced the first fully public unveiling of The Wizard of Oz. Realize that at E3 it was by invite only! This was our chance to witness history. We scooted on over.
Jack said during his seminar that each game will come with a dollar bill acceptor, as well as a device that allows you to swipe credit cards.
Jack explained that instruction cards will no longer be necessary, as the instructions will be displayed on the screen, so here is a great place to put the game's serial number.
Apparently Doug had come up with some wonderfully detailed artwork with dinosaurs and lots of things with the black knight and horse overlooking all of it. Doug was proud and took it to Steve to show off and Steve said, "Doug, all I want is the Black Knight riding a black horse with lightning bolts." And that's what we got!
I heard a story that when Jersey Jack arrived on Friday, wheeling WoZ into the seminar room, he said "What is this place, the Stern room?" On Saturday, there were no Stern posters in the seminar room.
I unfortunately did not get any pictures of Eugene Jarvis actually talking because I was running the slide show for him. But, Eugene gave a great seminar! I know there was so much more for him to talk about because I saw all the pictures I didn't put up on the screen. I hope he comes back for a part two. Here he poses with Ritchie.
Unfortunately his seminar was plagued with technical problems, but he gave a heartfelt speech on what he has done and how he got there. One thing that really stuck with me is he says to never let the nay-sayers get you down - if you believe you can do something, do it and don't let anyone stop you.
Afterwards, he showed some of the videos and took a few questions, one of which was "Can I play it?" He said "Yes!", but another person complained that one of the pre-order people should be the first to play it. So Jack announced that anyone can come play the game, and immediately everyone rushed up front to get their turn flipping WoZ for the first time. Jack also handed out T-shirts and other items to the crowd.
In the seminar it was discussed that there is no video mode in the game because Jack and Keith say they're not trying to compete with video games. I kind of felt like that was a cop-out, so I went and asked Keith directly while everyone was standing around if he had ever made a video mode in any games he had worked on. He said, yes, he made the video mode on Elvis.
I then asked if they had considered doing something simple for a video mode such as rotating witches hats, a la rotating holy grails in IJ. He muttered something to the effect that they briefly considered it while giving me a dirty look and walked away. I guess there's no hope for any video mode fans while Keith is programming the games.
However, I have to say that the playfield reminded me of The Simpson's Pinball Party. It's not TSPP, but it has some of the feel of it.
At some point the game did reset, and Keith had to open the game up and reset it with a keyboard. It's not too surprising as this is a very very very early release of the table. Jack should be commended on taking such a risk. It is obvious that he loves sharing what he has done with everyone else.
I heard him mentioned numerous times that this new game isn't about him - it's about all the people who believed in him, and he really wants to give back. He also mentioned to me that there was over $2 million in development of this game.
That was it! That was pretty much my show.
I had a great time again this year seeing my friends and playing a few games I hadn't had the opportunity to play before. Looking forward to '13.
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© Pinball News 2012