(Topic ID: 263250)

Favorite Pinball Designer?

By PinMonk

1 year ago


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  • 73 posts
  • 46 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by RandyW
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    Topic poll

    “Favorite Pinball Designer? (Pick only one)”

    • Joe Balcer 6 votes
      3%
    • John Borg 10 votes
      4%
    • Scott Danesi 9 votes
      4%
    • Brian Eddy 9 votes
      4%
    • Keith Elwin 51 votes
      23%
    • Charlie Emery 1 vote
    • George Gomez 14 votes
      6%
    • Ben Heck 1 vote
    • Pat Lawlor 55 votes
      24%
    • Eric Meunier 10 votes
      4%
    • Dennis Nordman 9 votes
      4%
    • Steve Ritchie 44 votes
      20%
    • John Trudeau 6 votes
      3%

    (225 votes)

    There are 73 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 1 year ago

    It's been quite a while since this has been sussed out, and there's new blood in the mix now. Who is your favorite pinball designer? These are listed in alphabetical order. Let's see who's boss in 2020!

    Once you vote for a designer here, vote for all your favorite pinball coders in this thread:
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/favorite-pinball-coder#post-5504491

    #2 1 year ago

    Interesting that in the early running Gomez has no love.

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Interesting that in the early running Gomez has no love.

    Think that's pretty obvious before anyone even voted.

    #4 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Think that's pretty obvious before anyone even voted.

    He did design some great games (LotR, Monster Bash), but except for Deadpool, those were all a long time ago, so maybe that's why. Or maybe the ratio of dud to hit (very high for him) has done him in.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    He did design some great games (LotR, Monster Bash, Attack from Mars),...

    He did?

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    He did design some great games (LotR, Monster Bash, Attack from Mars), but except for Deadpool, those were all a long time ago, so maybe that's why. Or maybe the ratio of dud to hit (very high for him) has done him in.

    Gomez did Revenge, not Attack from Mars.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from SKWilson:

    Gomez did Revenge, not Attack from Mars.

    Yeah, brain fart. Of course AfM was Brian Eddy. RfM was nothing to write home about, so Gomez lack of love is looking more obvious now...

    #8 1 year ago

    My brain wants to pick Elwin or Lawlor, but my heart says Danesi!

    #9 1 year ago

    No love for Mark Ritchie?

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from moto_cat:

    No love for Mark Ritchie?

    That's why I said feel free to post about your favorite if they're not on the list...I did it from memory and was sure to miss some people might want, but I got most of the majors.

    #11 1 year ago

    No love for the guys from the golden age of pinball? How about Ed Krynski or Jim Patla (just to name a few). The designers back then had to crank out game after game with hard-wired code (no opportunity to endlessly tweak and update), keep the assembly line fed and keep the quarters dropping. Not an easy task.

    Don't misunderstand me, I like the new games too! Just a different take on the poll.

    #12 1 year ago

    Steve Ritchie
    Pat Lawler

    #13 1 year ago

    Keith Elwin.

    #14 1 year ago

    You voted that in the poll above, right? Just want to make sure people realize there's a poll at the top...

    #15 1 year ago

    I'll vote Ritchie on his track record alone. There are games from the others I would consider some of my all-time favorites, but all of Steve's Williams games are incredible to me, and AC/DC, Star Trek, and Sword of Rage are quite good as well.

    #16 1 year ago

    Gomez- batmann 66, Deadpool, monster bash

    #17 1 year ago

    More evidence that I have to finish my write up on how to do a great poll.

    Step1: eliminate assumptions.

    -mof

    10
    #18 1 year ago

    Harry Williams

    #19 1 year ago

    Balcer, Oktoberfest and WOZ are amazing.

    #20 1 year ago

    Write in vote for Oursler (accounting for five of my eleven games).

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from PokerJake:

    Balcer, Oktoberfest and WOZ are amazing.

    Also TH, Houdini, TSPP, frickin Baywatch

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from JeffZee:

    Write in vote for Oursler (accounting for five of my eleven games).

    Same I love Barry Oursler games.

    Pat would be my number 2

    #24 1 year ago

    I have to agree.... It's pretty crazy that Oursler doesn't even make the vote. That guy is CRIMINALLY under appreciated and his games are almost always mentioned when people talk bang-for-the-buck pins.

    You'd be hard pressed to find a designer that did more during Williams SS/DMD heyday. That dude was a machine...cranked out 2 to 3 machine designs a year....and almost all of them are pretty good., including a few that were groundbreaking or at least important to the history of pinball.

    Of the 12 machines I own (or did), 5 of those were his designs. One thing you can say is that a lot of his designs are "different" and don't rely on a "signature feel". I think that's a good thing.

    Gorgar, Solar Fire, Space Shuttle, Comet, Bad Cats, Pinbot, Cyclone, Dr Who, BSD, Dirty Harry, Jack Bot, Junk Yard.... Anyone?

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    You voted that in the poll above, right? Just want to make sure people realize there's a poll at the top...

    Yes I put it in the poll as well.

    #26 1 year ago

    What about Mike Homepin?

    #27 1 year ago

    Greg Kmiec is not on this list.
    I know he's more of an old school guy, and while I wouldn't list him as my personal favorite I do like a lot of his games.

    He designed a lot of really good selling and good looking pins too. Breakshot is one of my favorites ever, but I like Bow & Arrow and I do want to get a Harlem Globetrotters. He also did Wizard and Bobby Orr.

    Anyway... He's not my favorite.
    My favorite happens to be a real scum bag. So I rather not talk about him. The reason I picked him though is because his layouts are unique and fun, and also I think he was one of the best at integration of the theme.
    I think Steve Ritchie is amazing, but sometimes his theme integration is really subpar. You could slap any theme on some of his pins and it wouldn't change anything but the artwork. Don't get me wrong there are games of his where he nails the theme. BKSOR I think he nailed it with an amazing toy.

    And I think Pat Lawlor is the balance between the two of them. Amazing and unique layouts with nice flow, and just amazing theme integration. Although Lawlor does seem to have a particular style that he prefers and so there can be some similarities between his pins.

    Regardless. I hope to own both a Creech and a GB and a Dredd along with some of the other 80s era gottliebs. Also I want to get a Caribbean Cruise.

    Going forward though... I think it might be Keith Elwin for the win. As if he keeps up his track record he could be one of thee best ever.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmack750:

    I have to agree.... It's pretty crazy that Oursler doesn't even make the vote. That guy is CRIMINALLY under appreciated and his games are almost always mentioned when people talk bang-for-the-buck pins.
    You'd be hard pressed to find a designer that did more during Williams SS/DMD heyday. That dude was a machine...cranked out 2 to 3 machine designs a year....and almost all of them are pretty good., including a few that were groundbreaking or at least important to the history of pinball.
    Of the 12 machines I own (or did), 5 of those were his designs. One thing you can say is that a lot of his designs are "different" and don't rely on a "signature feel". I think that's a good thing.
    Gorgar, Solar Fire, Space Shuttle, Comet, Bad Cats, Pinbot, Cyclone, Dr Who, BSD, Dirty Harry, Jack Bot, Junk Yard.... Anyone?

    I was thinking of mentioning him too. But, you beat me to the punch. Also, he kind of helped revive pinball a bit with Space Shuttle. So while not as influential as Ritchie or Lawlor, I think he has his place in pinball history for Gorgar being the first talking pin, and with space shuttle kind of influencing modern ss design by having a toy on the playfield.
    Space Shuttle I think just has amazing rules and super fun to shoot. Yes, simple rules. But, I like simple rules.

    #29 1 year ago

    I have to go with Steve Ritchie...decades worth of amazing speed, flow, and adrenaline. But I have to say...Keith Elwin, after only two games, is nipping right at his heels. It's crazy to think that he came out of the gate with these two machines. If he's already hanging with the best designers ever, can you imagine what a few more years experience is going to bring? The future is bright, for sure.

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from moto_cat:

    No love for Mark Ritchie?

    Indiana Jones is the greatest!

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Diospinball:

    I was thinking of mentioning him too. But, you beat me to the punch. Also, he kind of helped revive pinball a bit with Space Shuttle. So while not as influential as Ritchie or Lawlor, I think he has his place in pinball history for Gorgar being the first talking pin, and with space shuttle kind of influencing modern ss design by having a toy on the playfield.
    Space Shuttle I think just has amazing rules and super fun to shoot. Yes, simple rules. But, I like simple rules.

    Agreed. While perhaps not the best ever, Oursler should be on the list.

    BSD is one purely evil motherfucker to flip...in a good way!

    #32 1 year ago

    So after two days, Keith Elwin and Pat Lawlor are tied for first with 30 votes each, with Steve Ritchie bringing up third place. Everyone has votes except Charlie Emery.

    I'm actually surprised Borg hasn't had more love. I knew he wouldn't be first, but I thought he'd have more votes...

    #33 1 year ago

    Lawlor!
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/what-are-your-top-5-pat-lawlor-games
    After 2 years of extensive hands on research I have come to the following conclusion:
    1. Lawlor
    2. Ritchie
    3. Elwin
    4. Danesi
    5. Eddy.

    If any of you designers are lurking in this thread. Thank you for making our lives just a little bit better!

    #34 1 year ago

    I love pretty well all of them. But Lawlor is by far my fave.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from JeffZee:

    Write in vote for Oursler (accounting for five of my eleven games).

    Ditto for Oursler. I didn't realize until well into collecting that many of my favorites (Gorgar, Comet, Space Station, Dr. Who) were designed by the same guy.

    #36 1 year ago

    I doubt it'd change the results, but the designer list is pretty suspect.... No Oursler, JPop, Mark Ritchie? No Kaminkow? But somehow, everyone who has ever designed a game for Spooky makes the cut? I love those guys, but come on! Don't you have to have a body of work for this to be legit? Ben Heck has designed 1 produced machine, they made 150 of them, and almost no one has ever had a chance to play it. Really?

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmack750:

    I doubt it'd change the results, but the designer list is pretty suspect.... No Oursler, JPop, Mark Ritchie? No Kaminkow? But somehow, everyone who has ever designed a game for Spooky makes the cut? I love those guys, but come on! Don't you have to have a body of work for this to be legit? Ben Heck has designed 1 produced machine, they made 150 of them, and almost no one has ever had a chance to play it. Really?

    And no Python Angelou(spelled wrong???). I 'm not saying he was the best, but he did help create and had a lot of great concepts for pinball machines.

    And really none of the old designers as well. Lots of quality EM games or early solid states that are just a blast to play. So even somebody like Ed Krynski. Not saying he's my favorite. But, I love Sinbad, and I know a lot of people like that game a lot, and Genie is also really popular.

    #38 1 year ago

    Lawlor. I do have 3 of his great pins.

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmack750:

    I have to agree.... It's pretty crazy that Oursler doesn't even make the vote. That guy is CRIMINALLY under appreciated and his games are almost always mentioned when people talk bang-for-the-buck pins.

    He should be on the list for Space Shuttle and Pinbot alone, both revolutionary games.

    #40 1 year ago

    Very bad poll not including J-Pop. 3 top 20 games

    #41 1 year ago

    And really... Why limit the list. Its about favorite. Have them all. The more the merrier. Might get more people on pinside to vote in it, as it opens up the options. My favorite designer is not the one I think is best. I think Ritchie and Lawlor are hands down the best of all time.
    But, they're not my favorite.

    #42 1 year ago

    I'm a Lawlor/Elwin guy but I could also say whichever designer is putting out a game with Lyman Sheats code. He can make a boring layout great if you are patient with his updates.

    #43 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmack750:

    I doubt it'd change the results, but the designer list is pretty suspect.... No Oursler, JPop, Mark Ritchie? No Kaminkow? But somehow, everyone who has ever designed a game for Spooky makes the cut? I love those guys, but come on! Don't you have to have a body of work for this to be legit? Ben Heck has designed 1 produced machine, they made 150 of them, and almost no one has ever had a chance to play it. Really?

    Oursler pre-2000
    JPop pre-2000, except for Magic Girl unfinished game and unreleased deeproot work
    Mark Ritchie pre-2000
    Kaminkow...I don't think he's designed anything recently, has he?

    I was trying to list designers with recent work released. Maybe I should have said "whose new releases do you look forward to most" or something...

    #44 1 year ago

    Pat

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Oursler pre-2000
    JPop pre-2000, except for Magic Girl unfinished game and unreleased deeproot work
    Mark Ritchie pre-2000
    Kaminkow...I don't think he's designed anything recently, has he?
    I was trying to list designers with recent work released. Maybe I should have said "whose new releases do you look forward to most" or something...

    Recent works. Then you could take John T off the list. Sure GB just had a major code update. But, I don't think he'll be involved in pinball ever again. Don't know which company would ever want to hire him.

    #46 1 year ago

    I'm going with Oursler, but Mark Ritchie and George Christian also designed some of my favorite machines of all time.

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from Diospinball:

    Recent works. Then you could take John T off the list. Sure GB just had a major code update. But, I don't think he'll be involved in pinball ever again. Don't know which company would ever want to hire him.

    Trudeau's there because of WWE/Mustang/Ghostbusters and the way the question is framed currently. If it were reframed to whose releases do you look forward to, it wouldn't be there.

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Oursler pre-2000
    JPop pre-2000, except for Magic Girl unfinished game and unreleased deeproot work
    Mark Ritchie pre-2000
    Kaminkow...I don't think he's designed anything recently, has he?
    I was trying to list designers with recent work released. Maybe I should have said "whose new releases do you look forward to most" or something...

    Ok.... At least that clarifies what you are getting at. But I do think that drastically changes the poll, since if designers who haven't released machines AFTER 2000 don't count, you'd have to throw out machines made BEFORE 2000 from consideration for designers who do make the cut. When you approach it like that.... Very different results.

    #49 1 year ago

    Overall, I’m a Ritchie fan. Especially when you look at the body of work over the years.

    #50 1 year ago

    Barry freakin' Oursler.

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