Date: 8th-10th June, 2018
Location: Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402, USA

Saturday at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Centre has always been the busiest of the three show days, and the crowd outside the main hall at opening time certainly suggested this year would be no different.

Awaiting the opening of the doors
Awaiting the opening of the doors

The doors were actually opened early to help clear the area, but queues for the registration desk soon built.

The queue for show registration
The queue for show registration
Show guides, Skill Shot zines, postcards and stickers at the registration desk
Show guides, Skill Shot zines, postcards and stickers at the registration desk

There was a new stand in the lobby on Saturday, replacing the Comics4Kids table.

Face painting was available for the kids on Saturday
Face painting was available for the kids on Saturday
Benny's Spaceship Adventure in Lego by Renegade Bricks.
Benny’s Spaceship Adventure in Lego by Renegade Bricks
The notice board was filling up with games and parts wanted or for sale
The noticeboard was filling up with games and parts wanted or for sale

Inside the hall, the Seattle Pinball Museum stand was hosting the four Jersey Jack Pinball machines; The Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit, Dialed In! and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Jersey Jack Pinball games on the Seattle Pinball Museum stand
Jersey Jack Pinball games on the Seattle Pinball Museum stand
Red Floor Arcade had their Multi-Arcade Builder games for sale
Red Floor Arcade had their Multi-Arcade Builder games for sale
Pinball Bulbs had arrived and set up their stand
Pinball Bulbs had arrived and set up their stand
At the back of the hall, the Holodeck VR zone was getting busy
At the back of the hall, the Holodeck VR zone was getting busy
Hercules was in constant demand too
Hercules was in constant demand too
There was a display of cocktail video games in the central area, but they weren't drawing a crowd early on Saturday
There was a display of cocktail video games in the central area, but they weren’t drawing a crowd early on Saturday
No such problem with the pinballs though
No such problem with the pinballs though
DMD pinballs were very popular
DMD pinballs were very popular
More modern pinballs getting constant use
More modern pinballs getting constant use

With so many games and so much play, the game medics were kept busy.

The central repair zone
The central repair zone
Things were also busy at the Marco Specialties parts stand
Things were also busy at the Marco Specialties parts stand
Flyers for the latest Stern games and a selection of pinball consumables
Flyers for the latest Stern games and a selection of pinball consumables

The first of the day’s seminars begins at 12:30pm and we will be back shortly to report on that.  Also, don’t forget you can watch the seminars live at the show website thanks to GeekGamer.TV.

The seminars area
The seminars area

First up today at 12:30 were Victor Tan, David Shoemaker and Dave Okert who were talking about the Williams WPC pinball control system.

Dave Okert, Victor Tan and David Shoemaker
Dave Okert, Victor Tan and David Shoemaker

The trio started with a warning about working on a live game due to the high voltages present both in the backbox and in the cabinet.  They spoke about the HV interlock switches present on some versions of the WPC system, but not all.

Victor then described the different WPC versions, starting with the alphanumeric original system, through WPC with a dot matrix display, the version which uses the two different Fliptronic boards, WPC with the DCS sound system, WPC-S and finally WPC-95.

Victor continued by talking about the cable looms which run from between the backbox and the cabinet – four of them for power, lamps, switches and solenoids – before turning to the different switches used, both mechanical and optical, and their uses within the machine.

David Shoemaker and Dave Okert returned at 2pm to talk about general illumination problems with the WPC system.

Dave Okert and David Shoemaker
Dave Okert and David Shoemaker

The general illumination system is notoriously problematic and often results in burned connectors and header pins on the power driver board, so David and Dave described the steps they take to fix existing problems and bulletproof boards so they don’t get burned in future.

They examined the various connectors and pins used, and explained how to make your own higher-rated replacement power cable to run from a game’s transformer into the backbox for cases where the original cabling has been burned or stressed.

Finally, David talked about his methods for curing game resets caused by low-voltage from a game’s 5V power supply.

At 3:30pm, Greg Freres gave his seminar looking back at his forty years in the art business.

Greg Freres
Greg Freres

Greg spoke about how important first impressions are and what his first impressions were of pinball.  He was introduced to pinball through playing pitch and bat baseball coin-op games.

He then talked about the people who created pinball artwork before he joined the industry, the techniques they used and those who inspired him in later year.  He cited Roy Parker’s backglass artwork for the game Daisy May as inspiration for his backglass on Whoa Nellie!  Big Juicy Melons, but also listed many other contemporary pop culture elements as influences on his later work.

Saturday’s penultimate seminar was for would-be or new collectors and consisted of a panel of seven experienced pinball buyers and owners.

The ‘Getting into Pinball’ seminar

This was a Q&A-based session where questions from the audience included, how to appease your spouse when buying yet another game, where to find pinball repair information (Pinside, PinRepair, PinWiki) and how much you should rely on those sources.

Victor Tan, Ray Acevedo, Sandi LiSanti, Armand LiSanti and Brian Cady
Victor Tan, Ray Acevedo, Sandi LiSanti, Armand LiSanti and Brian Cady
Sandi, Armand, Brian, Dan Halligan and Patti Okert
Sandi, Armand, Brian, Dan O’Halligan and Patti Okert

Further questions asked if there was a practical limit on the number of machines you could own (there’s always room for one more), and if the panel members have any machines they would never sell.  That last question earned a mixed response, with some being totally wed to a certain machine, while others had a lesser commitment to any machine in their collection.

To wrap up the 2018 seminar series, Dwight Sullivan and Corey Stup hosted a Family Feud Without The Family game show a 8pm.

Dwight Sullivan
Dwight Sullivan
Corey Stup
Corey Stup

Dwight is a long-time software designer and programmer, starting at Williams Pinball in 1989 where he worked on games such as Terminator 2, High Speed 2 and Star Trek: The Next Generation.  In 1999 after Williams’ pinball division closed he joined Stern Pinball where he stayed until 2008.  After a period at WMS Gaming, he returned to Stern in 2014 since when he had lead the software design of title such as Game of Thrones and Star Wars.

Corey has worked at Stern since 2015, working with Dwight and designing/programming software for the company’s many pinball titles.

They played the Family Feud game using topics such as popular pinballs from the ’90s, the first video game you played, popular ’80s video games and the pinball game with the best toy. Dwight was the quizmaster while Corey operated the scoreboard in this special gamer-themed version of the classic TV quiz.

Playing Family Feud Without The Family
Playing Family Feud Without The Family

After the quiz, Dwight took questions from the audience about the amount of time taken to design a new game, the possibiity of Stern Pinball releasing an unlicensed theme, and the process for developing the software for a new game.

Meanwhile in the main hall the tournaments were in full flow.

Plaques for the tournament winners
Plaques for the tournament winners

The women’s tournament ran late into the night, while the match play tournament’s qualifying rounds continued throughout Saturday, with the play-offs on Sunday.

Players in the match play tournament
Players in the match play tournament

At 10pm the draw for the daily prize took place at the show desk.  Saturday’s prize was a Flash Gordon pinball.

Saturday's daily prize was Flash Gordon
Saturday’s daily prize was Flash Gordon
The crowd waits for the winning ticket to be drawn
The crowd waits for the winning ticket to be drawn
The winning ticket is selected
The winning ticket is selected
But oh no, a dinosaur attacks and tries to steal the ticket
But oh no, a dinosaur attacks and tries to steal the ticket
Fortunately the ticket is saved and the lucky winner steps forward to claim their prize
Fortunately the ticket is saved and the lucky winner steps forward to claim their prize
Dinosaurs might be found roaming the show floor at any time
Dinosaurs might be found roaming the show floor at any time

That’s nearly all from the second day of the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show, but don’t forget you can check out our reports from Thursday and Friday at the main NWPAS page.

You can also take a look at our exclusive Twenty-Five Minute Tour video which shows you all around the show, from the registration desk through the hall and back, taking in all the games and vendors.  You can see it here or on our YouTube channel.

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