Date: 3 February, 2013

Having built a reputation for inventiveness and irreverence with his Spooky Pinball podcasts, Charlie Emery has decided branch out in a new direction to design and manufacture his own pinball machines.

Charlie Emery
Charlie Emery

Charlie announced his intention on the latest Spooky Pinball podcast, and said he would be working with Ben Heck, Dennis Nordman, and many others to make his games under the Spooky Pinball LLC brand.

The first of these games is to be an original zombie theme, but different to the Ben Heck's Zombie Adventureland currently being developed by John Popadiuk and Ben Heck. Charlie says his game will be a more modern look at zombies compared to BHZA's retro '50s/'60s style.

Charlie also said his game will not feature an LCD and will be much more focused on classic pinball design, with sexy women and plenty of earthy humour in a completely different style of artwork package.

Another difference is how Spooky Pinball will not be taking pre-orders or trying to raise start-up funding. Instead, Charlie will fund the initial development and manufacture himself. He will make the machines in small batches of 25 which will be sold with a 50% deposit taken at the time of order, and shipping taking place within 60 days.

Pinball News asked Charlie why he decided to enter the increasingly crowded world of pinball making. He told us, "First and foremost, we've got incredible friends and support from people in the right places. Ben Heck, Dennis, Terry at Pinball Life, Michael at Flipper Fidelity, and a cast of locals that could build a rocket to Mars if the world would let them (and we might). Art, metal fab, plastics, cabinets & playfields, programming... it's all there. We'll be doing all our own printing as well."

With the right people with the right skills, what, we wondered, will make Spooky Pinball's machines different from those produced by all the other companies now in the pinball manufacturing business? Charlie explained, "What we're going to offer are games at a great price that the average pinball guy can manage. They will look incredible, have plenty to do on the playfield, and have a fresh take on art and style that hasn't been seen in pinball before. Kind of a mix of early '80s originality with '90s game play... but we have no guides we have to follow. We won't reinvent pinball, we're just going to make games that are meant to be played by men that will act like teenagers every chance they get."

He continued, "We have no intentions of competing on a Stern or Jersey Jack level for sales numbers. We're going to build quality games and keep our small town roots firmly in place. There are no pre-sales, no kickstarter pages... we'll build them out of our own pocket, and when you order a game, you'll have it in a timely fashion. That's it... We're going to do our best to streamline the entire process, and show a small company can produce games as well as anyone ever has."

As always, Pinball News will keep you fully informed of all the latest developments with Spooky Pinball's exciting new move into pinball manufacturing.

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