I'm reposting jpop's "lebowski effect" post here, in light of us waiting for this magic girl video. I swear he must not remember what he writes 2 minutes after he wrote it.
Big Lebowski at Pinball Expo
Well those that were there or read the forums know this game. It kinda’ destroyed all the other new game energy coming out from the vendor hall. The big Lebowski pinball from Holland. I was able to spend some time at Pinball Expo this year. Not a whole lot but enough to talk to a lot of people, see the new crop of boutique games and to feel the effect.
So I coined a new term…..The Lebowski Effect – “The outcome of showing a new game concept, exactly and early on, it’s it’s entirety to the masses to create surprise, comradery and extreme happiness”
The Dutch Pinball guys who will soon be overtaking the pinball world in Europe and beyond, brought the TBL proto to Terry’s Pinball Life event on the Expo Friday. I stood here (exactly in the photo) watching as they rolled out a rug (I have not seen the movie yet) and then proceeded to watch them setup the game, plug it in and walk away. For sure it was the most popular attraction at the event next to the food, and the beer fridge. The game had ball hangers, you had to hake it and the code crashed and rebooted. But no one cared.
As I designer I talk to many people about pinball, likes, dislikes and the future. TBL definitely captured the players, as the game was well made, 80’s simple, nicely appointed with features, looked nice, worked and had basic code and dots. I did not see the bowling effect on this particular game. The dots from a new display are unlike anything in pinball today and they have seemed to preempt the new Stern color display we hear rumored but delayed. So what about the game really made folks notice?
What mesmerized them?
Certainly it is hard to pin 1 thing on this game. Was it because it was just new and shiny? The vulgar language, the cultish nature the art, the display, White Russians, the old time feel, the bowling mech…what is the X factor? Why did no one talk about anything else really?
For me, and the point of all this, was to remind and reinforce that we used to create The Lebowski Effect when we would take a new game from WMS to a test location. It was a Ninja type of thing and we would stand and babysit the “early” games to make sure they worked and made money. The “Effect” we would read on RGP as folks would find the games and then do a writeup. We could not serve booze as the DP guys did in their suite preview though.
But a very powerful reminder that in the age today of so many game choices the small builders need to get here sooner and build up from there. Letting people into the process is great, but the Lebowski Effect is the goal. And the game better be solid before you show it. Jpop
It's posts like this that set us all up to be repeatedly let down.