Vonnie D has announced a kickstarter seeking funding for a widebody pinball machine called Pinball Gremlins. Vonnie D is looking to incorporate video game-like modes and bosses that they player will fight against for score and to complete modes. The gremlins will also interact with the game to disable parts and affect play. Based on the announcement, they are pretty far along with a white wood and their own led design. If the kickstarter is funded, Barry Oursler has agreed to design modes for the game.
This past weekend was the first Southern Fried Gaming Expo in Atlanta, Ga. Based on the PAPA coverage and various posts, it was a big success. This interview of John Trudeau, who most recently designed Stern’s Mustang, was filmed there.
Richmond PInball League youtube channel! Mark it and watch it over and over!
Over at creditdotpinball.com, the owner of the site posted a complaint about the recently released Hobbit playfield art. In response to his article, he received an email from Doug Watson, an accomplished pinball artist with many games to his credit. The e-mail was so interesting that creditdotpinball got permission from Watson to publish the letter which you can find here. The email has a great story about Watson’s work on Attack from Mars and all the effort he went to in order to get exactly what he wanted.
I disagree with the e-mail to the extent that it seems to chastise current artists for using photoshop and not doing the hard work. I think that a person dedicated to art would like to be cut loose like Watson was and would likely do the necessary work to achieve a great result. I think the real problem is the insistence, likely with good reason, on using licensed themes.
Licensed themes lead to limited artwork filled with photoshopped images because the license holder insists on total control of the license. Marvel, or whatever company held the Iron Man license, would not allow target decals reading Iron Man because the two sets of targets were separated on the playfield and the license required that the words Iron Man not be separated. As a result, the machine shipped without Iron Man stickers. This level of control is an absolute constraint on artists and we will not see a return to great pinball art until there is an unlicensed machine produced or there is a license holder with a vision that allows for flexibility beyond the use of photoshopped images.
I was checking out funwithbonus.com today which is a great website by an excellent tournament pinball played named Steve Bowden. He recently featured a video of Steve Ritchie doing an hour long presentation at NWPAS about the creation of his Star Trek pinball machine for Stern.
When I looked at youtube, I saw that the poster had posted a number of other cool videos from NWPAS 2014, and some from previous years, which you can check out here.
VonnieD pinball is on its way. For now, the website is just a countdown timer. The twitter page has a playfield teaser. The most interesting news so far is that Gabriel Picolo, the artist behind 365 Days of Doodles, will do the art for VonnieD. Since I saw this notice, I have been following 365 Days of Doodles on Facebook. Picolo is very talented and it is exciting to think about what he can do on a pinball playfield.