Date: 16th - 18th March, 2018 Location: Embassy Suites, 7600 John Q Hammons Dr., Frisco,, TX 75034, USA Friday at the Texas Pinball Festival began with the set-up in the main hall and the start of the tournament qualifying sessions. To make sure everyone knew they were going the right way, the corridor from reception to the hall and registration desk was branded with TPF banners. The corridor to the hall At the end of the corridor was the registration desk where visitors collect their pre-purchased registration packs or by on-the-day entries. The registration desk Opposite the registration desk is the main entrance to the show hall. Tournament qualification was well under way with a large crowd eager to set their best game scores for others to chase. Tournament qualifying on Friday morning Main tournament qualifying The Drains Tournament Manager system was used to record scores and manage players Main tournament qualifying Classics qualifying Some of the many plaques and trophies to be won In the rest of the hall, the set-up of machines and stands was going well. Machines were still being delivered and unloaded. The show uses a staging system, where vans are unloaded into one of several staging areas so the loading dock can be freed-up as quickly as possible. Machines are then moved from the staging areas to their final position. Unloading one of the vans The staging areas Machines in one of the staging areas So, let’s take a look around the hall during the set-up period. Setting up some of the many free play machines Multimorphic have a good number of P3 machines to show Marco Specialties have twenty new-in-box Stern machines at the TPF, and another twenty over in California for Arcade Expo which is on the same weekend A few of Marco’s new Stern pinballs along with some classic older games from Fun CoinTaker have Houdini and Attack from Mars Remake, while a The Big Lebowski is also at the show The familiar sight of the DeLorean on the show floor Circus Maximus have their upcoming Kingpin game for guests to see and play Taking the wraps off We’ll have a full look later, but this game still needed the decals applying Kingpin game designer Mark Ritchie also stopped by to sign translites and see how the Circus Maximus team had built his game. James, Paul, Mark and Jimmy with the new Kingpin game American Pinball has four Houdini games at the show Chicago Gaming has six of their remakes – two Medieval Madness games and four Attack from Mars models Universal Billiards brought two of each model of Valley Dynamo’s All-Star Baseball pitch-and-bat game Jersey Jack Pinball have a selection of their four titles for visitors to play, including their new Pirates of the Caribbean Spooky Pinball have their new Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle game here, but won’t unveil the playfield until their seminar on Saturday In the meantime, here’s the cabinet artwork From the newest to the oldest, in the History of Pinball exhibit Will this concept Kosmic Khaos game ever be made? Find out later Some of the many free-play machines which can be played The show opened to the public at 5pm on Friday. A large crowd had built-up, eager to be one of the first to play the new games and snap up a great deal from the numerous vendors. The show is about to open Soon after, the first seminars of the 2018 show began. The first was the popular So You Think You Know Pinball prize quiz which was held in the hotel’s bar area and hosted by Pinball News Editor Martin Ayub and Pinball Magazine Editor Jonathan Joosten. Dozens of prizes donated by Stern Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, American Pinball, Spooky Pinball, Marco Specialties, ColorDMD, CoinTaker and Pinball News were up for grabs for those who correctly selected the correct answers to more than 50 questions. By a little before 7pm all the prizes had been awarded. At 7pm the first seminar started in the dedicated seminar room as Captain Jack and the Jersey Jack Crew Take You On A Pinball Voyage. Jack Guarnieri This seminar began with Jack Guarnieri introducing Butch Peel and Eric Meunier who talked about the company’s latest title, Pirates of the Caribbean. Jack, Butch and Eric Eric described how he designed the Pirates games, cutting a playfield on his own CNC router and making his own ramps. He shared pictures of the evolution of the game from the first whitewood playfield to the production-ready model, as well as the ship-in-a-bottle topper on the Collectors Edition game. Eric talks about his Pirates of the Caribbean design Jack praised Eric and the team behind Pirates, before describing how he acquired the licence for the game, saying he had wanted to get it for several years. https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-content/uploads/shows/tpf-2018/tpf-2018-jersey-jack-pinball.mp3 Download the audio of this seminar here At 8pm it was the turn of artist Christopher Franchi to take to the stage to talk about how he created the art packages for Stern Pinball’s Guardians of the Galaxy title. Christopher Franchi offering some signed artwork for the best audience question Christopher showed the sample piece depicting Groot and Rocket which he submitted to Marvel to convince them to allow him to draw the artwork for the Guardians game. Those elements later featured in the final game art, as he said they were too good to waste. He then showed his original concepts for the title which were rejected, before the final version was agreed upon. The whole process took approximately nine months, from those initial concepts to delivery of the final artwork. There are several ‘Easter eggs’ in that finished artwork which he illustrated, before showing his design for the game’s topper which is what Stern put into production. Asked how ‘locked-down’ Marvel’s style-guide was for Guardians, Christoper said once his initial art had been approved Marvel game him pretty much a free-rein to implement his own designs. https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-content/uploads/shows/tpf-2018/tpf-2018-christopher-franchi.mp3 Download the audio of this seminar here The final seminar of Friday saw Steve Ritchie Hold Court. In fact, Steve held a pinball confessional in which audience members were invited onto the stage to talk about their pinball sins and seek forgiveness. Father Steve Ritchie welcomes his congregation Using a confession box crafted from pinball boxes, each sinner made their confession and sought forgiveness from Father Steve. Matt Christiano confesses his pinball sins After confessional, Steve answered questions from the audience about his recent and past games, in particular about his experiences working on the Star Wars title with Lucasfilm, which was clearly a fractious time. https://www.pinballnews.com/site/wp-content/uploads/shows/tpf-2018/tpf-2018-steve-ritchie.mp3 Download the audio of this seminar here That concludes our look at the first day of Texas Pinball Festival 2018. You can check out all of Saturday’s events on another packed day at the show here in Frisco.