Ex-Williams Employee 1989 - 1999 IJ POA Inventor

By WillSmuz8999

June 03, 2020

35 days ago

My name is Ron Sommers and I was fortunate enough to be hired by Williams Electronic Games in 1989, just prior to their 90's boom in business. I was in charge of Purchasing and helped save the compnay a bunch of money on each game. I saved over $1 Million dollars in 1989. For that, I was given a BOP, which I later sold to Terry at Pinball Life. Prior to its design, I heard we were designing an Indiana Jines pinball machine. I had just seen the movie, and came up with the idea for what I called the Jehovah Stones. I have my original sketch on graph paper. It was in the same playfield location and had the same basic design as the one that made it into the game. I also had an idea to have the ball appear to look like it was going to fall off the mini playfield as it neared the player, but a coil would fire a wire form across the void. That would be the "Leap of Faith", and the ball would then be stored in the Holy Grail ball lock, for Holy Grail Multiball. That never mde it to the game, but a patent was issued for the flipper controlled mini playfield, later called the Path of Adventure. After the patent was applied for by the game designer and mechanical engineer, I caught wind of it, and was pissed. The patent was amended, and I was given my IJ prototype machine. Roger Sharp wanted to send mine to Lucas Films, but I had already chosen this one. 

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34 days ago
Wow. More Williams stories please.
34 days ago
Welcome! It's awesome when members of the creative teams responsible for our hobby join our forum.
32 days ago
So awesome to have your here! So interesting to hear about the design process.
31 days ago
Ron, It's time to come out of retirement and join the pinball renaissance. Thanks for sharing your story.
30 days ago
Indy Jones in my opinion is in the top 3 ever made. The theme intergration with all 3 movies along with art make it a keeper.
29 days ago
Great history on a great game, I just added IJ to my collection, absolutely love it.
27 days ago
26 days ago
Interesting read !
23 days ago
Welcome, thanks for sharing the stories!
21 days ago
Fantastic. But what kept you 3 1/2 years since joining PINSIDE to write your first story - you should write one each month at least :)
20 days ago
Thanks for sharing!
19 days ago
Great story! What efficiencies did you implement to help save $1 million?
19 days ago
Great story! Thanks for sharing!
13 days ago
deffo wanna here more stories :)
8 days ago
Thanks for sharing that, I find it very interesting to read about the behind the scenes aspects of pinball. Echoing the sentiments of most of the others who replied: would love to hear more stories.

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