(Topic ID: 7285)

Lawlor's incremental improvements on WW FH & TAF


By davewth

7 years ago



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  • 42 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by pinball_keefer
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#1 7 years ago

I love this trio of games and was wondering if anyone else sees them as reincarnations/impovements on each other? If you look at the playfield layouts off all three, WW and TAF are the same basically and WW and TAF are the mirror image of FH. Even the pop bumpers are in basically the same place.

Come to think of it, NGG reminds me alot of these three also...

#2 7 years ago

I dont see how TAF and FH are anything alike but maybe thats just me? FH pops are on the right side, TAF on the left. I see some similarities between FH and WW though. Lawlor is by far my favorite designer and each game is a bit of improvement on each other.

#3 7 years ago
Quoted from pintastic:

I dont see how TAF and FH are anything alike

I pretty much see them as mirror images of each other. The big ramp being on the left on funhouse and the right on taf. The upper flippers and pops also being reversed. Targets in the middle of the playfield accessed either off the lower flippers but primarily off the upper flipper but facing left on TAF but right on FH. No loop shot on TAF though.

Out of those three games, I think FH is the best.

#4 7 years ago

The one thing I don't like about funhouse, though, is that you can't shoot the ball up through the pop bumpers like you can on the other two. I forgot about the scoops he uses all the time, too..

#5 7 years ago

yes, I've always thought of ww as the poor man's addam's family. they are very similar

#6 7 years ago
Quoted from davewtf:

The one thing I don't like about Funhouse, though, is that you can't shoot the ball up through the pop bumpers like you can on the other two.

Yes you can, in fact it's the right Gangway shot. It's just a very difficult shot to make.

The shot through the bumpers is something Lawlor has done since the beginning; Banzai Run had a saucer that was hit through the pop bumpers, and Earthshaker had the zone 6 that was part of a loop that went through the pop bumpers.

#7 7 years ago

I love Lawlor pins! Shooting through the pop bumpers is my favorite shot on his pins, very satisfying to me. TZ is probably the most satisfying since the risk is quite high. Shooting through the bumpers on whirlwind and going for the 3 way combo is a lot of fun too.

#8 7 years ago

Not to mention that the pinball worlds second ever wizard mode, the Mega celler bonus of Whirlwind, was essentially dublicated as Super frenzy, Tour de mantion and Lost in the zone.

#9 7 years ago

Not to mention, that the buttom of his games, slings-lanes-flippers, should be exactly the same dimensions for all his games. Only not always three lanes on each side, and 7 lanes for widebody instead of 6. As far as I know, he believed he had fine tuned that to perfection.

#10 7 years ago

I always thought the shots (especially the top flipper) on NGG were an update on WW. Also if you look at the right hand side of RBION the shots are very similar to TZ and if you look at the left side it is very similar to TAF so it learns from the best. Nothing wrong with that!

#11 7 years ago
Quoted from Finrod:

Yes you can, in fact it's the right Gangway shot. It's just a very difficult shot to make.

yes, you're right. I used to play this thing back when it was new and i just played it again a few days ago and forgot about that. He yells "gangway" when you hit it, doesn't he?

Quoted from emo:

I always thought the shots (especially the top flipper) on NGG were an update on WW.

Good to know. I'm trying to decide if I want a WW, NGG or FH right now. I actually have a good lead on a nice WW and a HUO NGG but I like FH better than WW and haven't played NGG yet. Decisions, decisions...

#12 7 years ago

No, nothing wrong with that. I think Lawlor's personallity is and was to stick to what you know i working, apply minor modification, and let the game take its progression on the theme, rules and toys.

A respect of a belief that there is 100 ways to do it wrong.

Also, he's the one of all the pinball persona, that seems to have the biggest respect of making a product that first and foremost eats coins. Knowing how games are used in the market and the economy of the business. Gameplay and all things nice comes second. He has on numerous occations expressed regrets regarding TZ, which is just head shaking. Especially after all these years.

#13 7 years ago
Quoted from soren:

He has on numerous occations expressed regrets regarding TZ, which is just head shaking. Especially after all these years.

Interesting, can you elaborate? I think it's an amazing game but remember being told to avoid it as it was "too complicated".

#14 7 years ago
Quoted from emo:

Interesting, can you elaborate? I think it's an amazing game but remember being told to avoid it as it was "too complicated".

One regret Lawlor has about TZ is that the skill shot rocket puts the ball right into the pops, placing the ball in danger of draining. He also feels he made it too deep for the route market.

#15 7 years ago
Quoted from shock_me:

He also feels he made it too deep for the route market.

but on the other hand, that makes it ideal for home users! We win for once!

#16 7 years ago
Quoted from davewtf:

but on the other hand, that makes it ideal for home users! We win for once!

Bingo!

#17 7 years ago
Quoted from soren:

No, nothing wrong with that. I think Lawlor's personallity is and was to stick to what you know i working, apply minor modification, and let the game take its progression on the theme, rules and toys.

Machines were made to make money. If they made a winning idea or machine, the good designers built off of that for the next. No one was solely concerned with making something interesting – they weren’t painting mona lisa's, they were in a do or die industry and needed something that would hook you into to filling the coin box, and would get them signed back for another game. Lawlor did this, Ritchie did this, they all did, except Trudeau, but then his stuff turned out to be so hit and miss. Many of the great games were built in the image of another:

There would be TZ without TAF
There would be no MM without AFM
There would be no T2 without Firepower

For the most part if you didn’t have a “thing” or a signature type of machine, or you strayed from this, your success suffered.

#18 7 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

Lawlor did this, Ritchie did this, they all did, except Trudeau, but then his stuff turned out to be so hit and miss.

I can't say that I agree on this on a general level. Popaduik, for instance, had a signature thing with magnets grabbing the ball, but his tables are not that alike.

With Lawlor tables the heritage is that much more distinct. Whirlwind to Addams for instance. And then after adventures of Road Show and Safecracker, he went back to Whirlwind as the blueprint for Gofers.

#19 7 years ago
Quoted from shock_me:

One regret Lawlor has about TZ is that the skill shot rocket puts the ball right into the pops, placing the ball in danger of draining. He also feels he made it too deep for the route market.

Thanks, that reflects what I heard. Operators preferred game like TAF and T2 on site.

#20 7 years ago
Quoted from soren:

he went back to Whirlwind as the blueprint for Gofers.

i absolutely love WW and i have a HUO NGG i can get for fair market value. Would you say i'd enjoy this game? I've never played it and i'd have to invest an 8 hour round trip to play the thing.

#21 7 years ago

It was speculated that Lawlor would be the 'secret' name for JJP, but that didn't turn out. What happened to Lawlor? Is he still working for Stern but hasn't released anything for years?

#22 7 years ago

Last I heard he is still making redemption games. But that has been some time ago and the last thing that I saw he released was the monopoly redemption game. here is a link to his site but its not very current:

http://www.patlawlordesign.com/

#23 7 years ago
Quoted from Blakesell:

It was speculated that Lawlor would be the 'secret' name for JJP, but that didn't turn out. What happened to Lawlor? Is he still working for Stern but hasn't released anything for years?

What makes you say, that he isn't silently involved with the JJP operation? It's been speculated, yes, and why shouldn't it be so.

Didn't he leave the CSI machine before completion. Doesn't sound like a peaceful relation to Stern. And with Gomez and Richie on board, it's not likely he'll make a table for them again.

#24 7 years ago
Quoted from soren:

What makes you say, that he isn't silently involved with the JJP operation? It's been speculated, yes, and why shouldn't it be so.

I have only casually looked at the WoZ pictures, but nothing that I have seen screams PL. Doesn't mean that he couldn't be involved I guess.

#25 7 years ago

If you like Lawlor and haven't heard this yet, check it out. Good stuff.

Pat talks about his games on Clay's Topcast (3 parts):
http://www.pinrepair.com/topcast/showget.php?id=64
http://www.pinrepair.com/topcast/topcast_64p2.mp3
http://www.pinrepair.com/topcast/topcast_64p3.mp3

#26 7 years ago

Didn't know that Lawlor didn't get along with other developers, He did say something publicly about no pinball machines being made after 2012 which would probably get a rise out of his employer at the time.

I honestly don't know. I was wondering what he's been up to, because his machines are dyno-mite! I even liked CSI.

He could be with JJP for all I know, he doesn't HAVE to be doing WoZ to be in their company. We've been speculating on the 2nd and 3rd pin from them for quite a while. Dark Funhouse would be something else entirely, just a few minor tweaks and rudy could get really creepy.

saw[1].jpg

#27 7 years ago
Quoted from Blakesell:

He could be with JJP for all I know, he doesn't HAVE to be doing WoZ to be in their company.

True, I overlooked that. It would be great to see another one of pats designs.

#28 7 years ago
Quoted from ssathre:

It would be great to see another one of pats designs.

and he has alot of fanboys that would probably pony up the $$$ upfront based on his reputation.

#29 7 years ago

I do NOT see the resemblance between WW and anything Lawlor (or certainly not any good Lawlor pins).

I certainly see a lot of patterns in Lawlor pins - interesting PF layouts, really important shots that can only be made from the upper flipper (usually multiball jackpots), stuff on one side of the PF reaching down into the lower half of the PF. All of his machines (again,with the possible exception of some of the recent ones, which really weren't up to what I expected from him) have at least one unique gimmick; he doesn't rely on just having a machine that has a good feel to it.

Quoted from davewtf:

and he has alot of fanboys that would probably pony up the $$$ upfront based on his reputation.

Damn straight! A Pat Lawlor design manufactured by JJP? That's about the only time I could imagine myself preordering a machine.

#30 7 years ago
Quoted from DrAzzy:

I do NOT see the resemblance between WW and anything Lawlor (or certainly not any good Lawlor pins).

WW = Whirlwind

#31 7 years ago

Oh, I see. I was going off what the abbreviation link went to. What's the abbreviation for whirlwind? It seems much more deserving of an abbreviation than waterworld.

#32 7 years ago

There is a very close evolvement of his games earlier on, going back to Earthshaker in fact. I'm surprised it hasn't gotten mentioned yet, but ES resembles WW in almost every way.

Earthshaker: main ramp scores 1/2 miles, scores 50-100K per ball. Side ramp scores 3 miles. Extra ball at 2 different mileages, special when on-pf mileage indicator fills up. Ramps score 200K at 99 miles. Consecutive main ramps build up captive ball to quick multiball. In quick multiball, shoot side ramp for 1M (only one though - but 3rd one also awards extra ball). To light main lock, must complete all lit zones. Bonus x (including eb and special awards) based on locks lit. In 3-ball, shoot ramp to light jackpot, shoot side ramp to collect (only once). No jackpot? Shoot scoop for restart (this goes back to Banzai Run). Jackpot awards on speaker panel. Mystery award always available on scoop.

Whirlwind: main ramp scores 1/2 tolls, scores 50-100K per ball. Side ramp scores 3 tolls. Extra ball at 2 different tolls, special when on-pf toll indicator fills up. Ramps score 200K at 99 tolls. Consecutive main ramps build up drop target to quick multiball. In quick multiball, shoot side ramp for unlimited 1M. To light main lock, must complete all lit compass arrows. Bonus x (including eb and special awards) based on balls locked. In 3-ball, shoot side ramp for jackpot (million+). No jackpot? Shoot scoop for restart. Mystery awards on speaker panel. Complete all awards for cool bonus. Inlane or upper flipper ramp shot relights mystery award.

Funhouse: main ramp scores 75-150K per ball. Everything on pf advances towards multiball. Quick multiball is only a mystery award. In quick multiball, shoot upper flipper shot for unlimited 1M. In 3-ball, shoot upper flipper shot for jackpot (million +). Shoot ramp to relight jackpot. No jackpot? Shoot hallway for restart. Mystery awards above scoop. Complete all awards for cool bonus. Inlane or upper flipper shot relights mystery award.

I think you can kind of see where I'm going with all this. I could easily do the same with TAF, TZ, and NGG. Heck even Monopoly and RCT mostly. There are many similarities and evolvements as time goes on, not a bad thing, but very obviously related.

#33 7 years ago
Quoted from soren:

I can't say that I agree on this on a general level. Popaduik, for instance, had a signature thing with magnets grabbing the ball, but his tables are not that alike.
With Lawlor tables the heritage is that much more distinct. Whirlwind to Addams for instance. And then after adventures of Road Show and Safecracker, he went back to Whirlwind as the blueprint for Gofers.

jpop made only three pins, wpc-s and wpc-95, in the downward swing of pinball. They are all different, but he was never really part of any of the hay day eras. If he was making pins in the early 80s and early 90s, I doubt he would have been able to change his style as he did.

I often wonder if there is a reason he never worked with Stern, as his pins, in the wpc-s and higher era, were likely all in all more popular (in recent years) then anyone elses.

#34 7 years ago

Monopoly also has a lot of similarities to Addams family, but also a lot of differences. The center Bank Vault shot is very similar to the center ramp on Addams. Also, the jackpot shot is a cross playfield shot to a ramp like TAF.

#35 7 years ago

CSI was totally different................totally new playfield........different type of gameplay ...totally misunderstood............ sad!

#38 7 years ago
Quoted from shock_me:

One regret Lawlor has about TZ is that the skill shot rocket puts the ball right into the pops, placing the ball in danger of draining ...

Interesting. I have a sample TZ, so there are post holes on the bumper area. I wonder if Lawlor would recommend installing the posts. I kind of like that the skill shot sends the ball into the pops. It adds another layer of strategy. Sometimes, I will purposely avoid the skill shot for this very reason.

Quoted from Blakesell:

... just a few minor tweaks and rudy could get really creepy.

Can you imagine how scary and freaky a Saw pin with an LCD screen could be. That would be awesome!

#39 7 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Can you imagine how scary and freaky a Saw pin with an LCD screen could be. That would be awesome!

I would assume a lot of hurry-up's. Since that's basicly all the movie is for all six of them.

#40 7 years ago
Quoted from emo:

CSI was totally different................totally new playfield........different type of gameplay ...totally misunderstood............ sad!

Yes, I really like CSI.

I grew up with Bally/Williams stuff in the early 90s. When my friends and I got back into pinball and first played Sterns, we didn't like them. They felt very different.

CSI was the first Stern game that sort of "clicked" and ever since I've enjoyed both. We really like the game play and toys. But the audio is very meh. I don't watch the show so maybe that's why it doesn't do anything for me.

#41 7 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Interesting. I have a sample TZ, so there are post holes on the bumper area. I wonder if Lawlor would recommend installing the posts.

I'm told the band that would keep the ball from the left exit from the pop bumpers had a nasty tendency for balls to come into the pop bumpers from the top, bounce off it, and head SDTM. After seeing that behavior in the prototypes they decided that was worse than pop bumpers --> outlane.

#42 7 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

jpop made only three pins, wpc-s and wpc-95, in the downward swing of pinball. They are all different, but he was never really part of any of the hay day eras. If he was making pins in the early 80s and early 90s, I doubt he would have been able to change his style as he did.

I often wonder if there is a reason he never worked with Stern, as his pins, in the wpc-s and higher era, were likely all in all more popular (in recent years) then anyone elses.

I count 4 wpcs unless you're discounting one of them... WCS, TOM, TOTAN, CV.

Popularity in recent years, or in the modern collector market, doesn't mean the game was a commercial success. The first 3 did fairly well AFAIK, but CV was nothing less than a complete horror-show failure for Williams. That game was getting blown out for as little as 1700 when it was new. I can't imagine how much money Williams lost on that game. That game alone, from Gary's perspective, made him hesitant to work with JPop.

From my personal perspective, it was SWE1. That game had pretty much nothing on it, and what little it did have on it didn't even have any rules attached to it (staring at you, captive ball).

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