Pinball magazine looks back on Decenmber 2016 and brings some January news as well.
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Happy New Year and welcome to a new Pinball Magazine recap of what happened in the world of pinball manufacturing the past month, December 2016, as well as the first news from January 2017.
Stern Pinball
  • The Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 for PaperFlock to make a coffee table book on 30 years of Stern Pinball met its goal. A few days before the Kickstarter period would run out Guns ‘n Roses’ Slash was announced to write the foreword for the book. Who will write the rest of the book is still unknown. The book should be available by May 2017.
  • Stern released a code update for Ghostbusters: V1.12
  • Stern released a teaser video of Batman 66 gameplay. Great American Pinball followed by making several gameplay videos and posting these online as well.
  • In a live broadcast on Facebook December 30th, the Stern factory was toured with Batman 66 on the line.
  • Dead Flip broadcasted two hours of Batman 66 gameplay from the Stern factory, with designer George Gomez and programmer Lyman Sheats, on December 30th as well. That video is now available on Youtube.
  • Pinball Magazine published a free interview PDF with Batman 66 designer George Gomez on December 24th, see the image above. The interview can be downloaded from the Pinball Magazine website. The same publication also contains Pinball Magazine’s Pinball Flyer Archive for 2016.
  • At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas (January 5-8) Stern will be debuting their long-awaited Aerosmith game. Stern also officially announced the game January 4th with a press release, and photo and video on their Facebook-page. Reportedly Aerosmith was originally intended as Stern’s first game where an LCD would replace the dotmatrix display and would be presented at Pinball Expo 2016. However, the game was pushed back in favor of Batman 66. The delayed release allowed the software team to continue to work on the code for the game. As such the game is rumored to launch with very complete code, although that could just be wishful thinking. Aside from CES the game is also expected to be present at the EAG Expo tradeshow in London (January 17-19).
  • The period in which people could order the Collector’s Edition of Dialed In! ran out December 31st, 2016. The Limited Edition and Standard Edition of Dialed In! are still available.
  • Some new gameplay footage of Dialed In! was broadcasted on JJP’s Facebook page on December 20th.
  • In case you missed it: Pinball Magazine published a free downloadable PDF with an interview with pinball designer Pat Lawlor on his new Dialed In! game. Dialed In! is also featured in Pinball Magazine No. 4 where Jean-Paul de Win discusses his LCD animations.
  • On Spooky Pinball podcast #82 was revealed that JJP’s 4th game will be designed by Eric Meunier, who has been in the company since Wizard of Oz. Eric is a young designer and this will be his first game.
  • On the same podcast Spooky Pinball revealed they will be showing a new contracted game at Texas Pinball Festival 2017. Note this is not the game Ben Heck started working on last month.
Dutch Pinball
  • In their December newsletter Dutch Pinball informed their Big Lebowski customers about a production error on the second run of one of the main boards that go under the playfield of the game. The first run turns out to be fine. The board is manufactured inhouse by assembler ARA and they are investigating what went wrong. As a result Dutch Pinball have continued to build games, but halted shipping these as the board needs to be replaced first. Once the problem is fixed all games will be unpacked, have the new board installed, and will then ship after all.
  • Dutch Pinball also announced they are working on a new software update for The Big Lebowski that will see several new modes, rules, bug fixes and more.
  • Dutch Pinball also referred in their newsletter to their 17-page interview in Pinball Magazine No. 4.
  • American Pinball had announced in September to be delivering Zidware’s Magic Girl game before the end of 2016 to those who have a game on order. However, no games shipped during December and Januari 1st American Pinball came with the following statement on Facebook, “Happy New Years to everyone. We appreciate everyone's support & interest in the progress related to Magic Girl and how American Pinball is supporting Zidware with the manufacturing of the machines.

    As many of you have mentioned, due to some unexpected Zidware administrative & legal challenges, the company has been unable to ship the pinball machines as originally planned. However, things are looking up for 2017 as the company is making good progress and hopes to have an update for Magic Girl customers and the pinball community very soon. In the meantime, Happy Holiday to everyone. Stay tuned for more updates.”
  • January 3rd American Pinball posted on their Facebook-page an update on Houdini, stating the game has been redesigned from the ground up. The message was accompanied with the image above that shows a new logo for the game, as well as a slight change in the subtitle which is now Master of Mystery. Previously the word “of” was not part of the subtitle.
  • Just hours following this news the Texas Pinball Festival announced pinball designer Joe Balcer, who recently joined American Pinball as Manager of Operations, as a special guest. At the show American Pinball and Joe will present his completely redesigned Houdini for the first time. For more info on the Texas Pinball Festival, check out the interviews with the TPF organizing team in Pinball Magazine No. 4.
  • Heighway Pinball had mentioned to ship the first 20 Alien games the first half of December, but failed to do so due to rejected playfields, boardsets and other parts. Instead the company released teaser videos of some of the Find Jonesy and Ambush Multiball game modes, photos and a video of people actually working on the assembly of the games and just before Christmas revealed that the Queen’s Chamber at the top of the playfield will be replaced for a small LCD screen. The left ramp of the game has also been tweaked as the original design caused ball hang-ups and didn’t flow.
  • As mentioned above a free downloadable Christmas special was published December 24th including an interview with Batman 66 designer George Gomez.
  • Pinball Magazine shipped out 3 smaller batches of orders during December, following the first major batch of orders that went out November 29th.
  • As new postal rates are applicable per January 1st the Pinball Magazine webshop is currently under construction in order to apply the new rates and make the maintenance of the webshop easier. Ordering issues of Pinball Magazine is still possible, but as the listed postal rates are still for 2016 an additional postal fee may be applicable to match the 2017 rates. There’s a notification up on the welcome-page of the webshop. Once the new rates are implemented it will be mentioned there as well.
Upcoming pinball events January / February 2017
  • Consumer Electronics Show, Las Vegas (first showing of Stern’s Aerosmith), January 5-8
  • EAG Expo, London – United Kingdom, January 17-19
  • European Pinball Championship Series 2016/27 Final, Pinball Universe – Germany, February 11
That’s all for now. Keep flippin’!
Kind regards,
Jonathan Joosten
Pinball Magazine
Copyright © 2017 Pinball Magazine, All rights reserved.

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