(Topic ID: 78314)

Pat Lawlor joins JJP


By Kevin_LHeureux

5 years ago



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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by CaptainNavidad
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    There are 327 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 7.
    #201 5 years ago
    Quoted from Kevin_LHeureux:

    Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a Lawlor fan and the Stern are games we definitely my least favorite of his titles. That being said I am excited to see what kind of innovative design Pat can come up with now that he will not be so limited by time and budget as he was at Stern.

    I was hoping for the same thing... but he may not have the unlimited resources at JJP that folks imagine either...

    Now that financial problems have forced JJP to take on a partner/investor, the VERY next thing that is seen is a cost-cutting move to change clear coated cabinets to (admittedly nice, but certainly cheaper) decals?? Suggesting this was for "greater serviceability" is insulting so lets just be honest, they were trimming cost.... It happens.

    MOST of my all-time favorite titles have been PL designs.... I'm hoping he can regain his lost mojo as well.

    #202 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    I was hoping for the same thing... but he may not have the unlimited resources at JJP that folks imagine either...
    Now that financial problems have forced JJP to take on a partner/investor, the VERY next thing that is seen is a cost-cutting move to change clear coated cabinets to (admittedly nice, but certainly cheaper) decals?? Suggesting this was for "greater serviceability" is insulting so lets just be honest, they were trimming cost.... It happens.
    MOST of my all-time favorite titles have been PL designs.... I'm hoping he can regain his lost mojo as well.

    I guess we will just have to wait and see. It's all conjecture at this point. Here's hoping that Pat and JJP knock if out of the park.

    1 month later
    #203 5 years ago
    Quoted from Melicon:

    I believe there was a recent time where Pat said something along the lines of pinball being dead. This leads me to think that the passion is no longer there.

    Actually, I was just listening to the TOPcast interview with Pat Lawlor (#64, part 3) in which he explains that what he actually said was that if manufacturers continued to exclusively cater to the pinball community rather that trying to draw in new players then pinball would most likely die out in 5 years. As he explained, this is very different to saying that pinball is dead.

    I highly recommend that everyone go back and listen to this interview which Clay did back in 2010, it's fascinating to hear Pat's ideas in the light of what has happened since (i.e. his being hired by JJP).

    #204 5 years ago

    And even when he said pinball is dead, who cares.

    And what happened with ressurection? Still an option too, especially around easter.

    #205 5 years ago

    I made a note of a few things that Pat said in that interview back in 2010 which may give us some idea about the direction he could take in designing his new machine.

    Here's a summary:

    - The template for the rules of a pinball machine (i.e. that you have several modes which need to be completed before you arrive at a wizard mode) has not changed since The Addams Family in 1992. TAF represents the limit of what is understandable for the new player and all games after it (starting with The Twilight Zone) were too complex to draw in new players (they "drove off the cliff", as he puts it).

    - There are two directions in which pinball can go:
    1. Cater to the enthusiast market - which will keep pinball alive for a while.
    2. Revive the product on location by getting pinball to earn again.

    - To get pinball to earn again you need to attract new customers, this can be attempted in two ways :
    1. Make games simpler, more like they were in the 1980s - Pat doesn't think this is the right approach.
    2. Be willing to take a risk and do something different, put some element of technological advancement in the games, "a miniature version of Pinball 2000 or video in a game." (He also said that there are other ways to do the Pinball 2000 trick that don't violate the patent.)

    - Theme is more important now than in the past, people won't give the game a chance if they don't like the theme.

    - He would like to put the rotating lights which were in Wizard Blocks in a game someday.

    - At the end of the interview, when Clay says that he would like to see another Lawlor game made, Pat responds: "Me too, that would be fun...I think we need to shake up what the games do first but, who knows, maybe we'll give it another shot here."

    #206 5 years ago

    i think that premise is deeply flawed. it assumes there is an "on location" customer base to be had. does ANYONE here carry quarters around with them? of course not. even if we did -- we have an arcade in our pocket in the form of a smart phone. we have an arcade at home in the form of various consoles. we have our PCs / iMacs / laptops for browser games. it's not a problem with pinball. random, unsolicited location gaming is dead and over. a few dregs may be left maybe, but it's not ever coming back in that format. leagues and home use are the future of pinball if it's to survive, and i think both need to be aggressively courted and farmed and nurtured by the pinball manufacturers if they're smart.

    #207 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    i think that premise is deeply flawed. it assumes there is an "on location" customer base to be had. does ANYONE here carry quarters around with them? of course not. even if we did -- we have an arcade in our pocket in the form of a smart phone. we have an arcade at home in the form of various consoles. we have our PCs / iMacs / laptops for browser games. it's not a problem with pinball. random, unsolicited location gaming is dead and over. a few dregs may be left maybe, but it's not ever coming back in that format. leagues and home use are the future of pinball if it's to survive, and i think both need to be aggressively courted and farmed and nurtured by the pinball manufacturers if they're smart.

    As you pointed out - the quarters aren't the problem. That smart phone you note could also be a form of payment via a wireless transaction to any vending machine.

    What kills pinball on location is what killed it 20 years ago when it was passed over for video games. It takes too much time and therefore too much money to perform upkeep on the games. If you had an arcade full of them, then maybe.........maybe it would pay to have a guy fixing them. Having one or two games at various locations - why would any Op bother when he can put in one of any other options that make way more money and require way less upkeep. Stacker or the latest Stern? Cost to operate vs profit.........Operator will go with Stacker every time.

    #209 5 years ago
    Quoted from Hobbypinball:

    As you pointed out - the quarters aren't the problem. That smart phone you note could also be a form of payment via a wireless transaction to any vending machine.
    What kills pinball on location is what killed it 20 years ago when it was passed over for video games. It takes too much time and therefore too much money to perform upkeep on the games. If you had an arcade full of them, then maybe.........maybe it would pay to have a guy fixing them. Having one or two games at various locations - why would any Op bother when he can put in one of any other options that make way more money and require way less upkeep. Stacker or the latest Stern? Cost to operate vs profit.........Operator will go with Stacker every time.

    That's actually a very good thing then. You know what happens when operators like that route pinball machines? Better no machines at all than dirty, broken, neglected junk that paints the game in a bad light. Honestly I think if more people chose to route pins it would do us and this hobby absolutely no good. For the scumbag money grabbers out there, praise redemption!

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    #210 5 years ago

    look - trying to separate random passers-by from their buck in exchange for brightly flashing lights is not gonna work in this world anymore, regardless of theme or ruleset. pinball's future, if it's to have one, is going to have to be more aggressively community / social -- leagues, tournaments, and peoples' basements, or establishments like barcades primarily dedicated to the game. and it's going to have to tie in to the online world and the social networking outlets too.

    the model of operators turning a profit by standing up a game or two in the corners of a bowling alley or bar is as outdated a concept as a pay phone.

    #211 5 years ago

    For some reason this thread really kept my brain awake last night. I've tried to think of every activity from say the 60's-70's (outside of the home) compared to today to see where pinball is going:

    bowling - people still bowl (a lot)
    boating - people still do that
    snowmobiling - lots still do that
    motorcycles / cycling - still lots of that
    disco - became dance clubs
    bars - people still drink
    sports - people still play sports, still go to sporting events
    read books - people still read books, but on a kindle now
    TV - still a huge industry, comcast / ATT fighting it out, roku, hulu
    Movies - drive-ins may have slowly died off, but theaters are still making money even though a lot of it has moved to DVD's watched on home theaters
    Camping - maybe not quite as much, but there are still plenty of campgrounds

    Rollerskating - probably one of the few things that has died off, but I don't think it's lack of interest (I would kill to go rollerskating today), insurance premiums skyrocketed towards the end of the 80's. I'd hate to know what insurance costs are for the few rinks that are around today.

    I tried to think what would keep pinball alive. I kept thinking about boring activities that continues to thrive. Stacker: has a prize. Slot machines: Has payouts, perhaps a prize like a car sitting on a group of slot machines. I'm not saying make it about gambling, not after all that roger sharpe did to disprove it as a gambling device. I really think there needs to be a prize involved. Let's assume Stern builds 4,000 pro machines. Let's say half of those go to operators. Every operator tosses in an extra $2, they get into a tournament pool. Every game takes the top player on their machine (Stern would have to have some sort of login system, maybe bluetooth with a phone), and those players go to a Stern version of pinburgh, held in Chicago. All 2,000 players compete in a giant bracket system until there is only one winner. That winner wins a NIB Stern, only one winner for life (to keep it fair and let someone else win next round). I think there's lots of people that would love to own a pinball that can't afford one, but if they practice enough maybe they can win one. Shows like Starcade sure got kids excited and wanting to be on that show.

    #212 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    i think that premise is deeply flawed. it assumes there is an "on location" customer base to be had. does ANYONE here carry quarters around with them? of course not. even if we did -- we have an arcade in our pocket in the form of a smart phone. we have an arcade at home in the form of various consoles. we have our PCs / iMacs / laptops for browser games. it's not a problem with pinball. random, unsolicited location gaming is dead and over. a few dregs may be left maybe, but it's not ever coming back in that format. leagues and home use are the future of pinball if it's to survive, and i think both need to be aggressively courted and farmed and nurtured by the pinball manufacturers if they're smart.

    The collectors of today grew up playing games on location. If games on location go a way what makes you think there will be new collectors to replace the old men of today.

    #213 5 years ago
    Quoted from ek77:

    The collectors of today grew up playing games on location. If games on location go a way what makes you think there will be new collectors to replace the old men of today.

    This is a definite. My kids will not build an arcade in their basement.

    I'm in a pinball league and I do think there is room for growth there, but competitive pinball will not carry the whole thing, but it can only help.

    Barcades are a nostalgia thing, not unlike "Cafe 80s" from Back to the Future Part 2, we're almost at the year of 2015, but I don't see them keeping everything afloat either.

    So, basically, we're screwed but have got a good 10-20 years left while our generation is active. Enjoy it while we've got it.

    #214 5 years ago
    Quoted from ek77:

    The collectors of today grew up playing games on location. If games on location go a way what makes you think there will be new collectors to replace the old men of today.

    like it or not, location pinball like we grew up with is never going to be a profitable endeavor ever again. the world has permanently changed in about four or five different ways that have killed that angle.

    IF pinball is to survive another generation it's going to have to find another way to reach people and hold their interest.

    #215 5 years ago

    Never going to be profitable again? People like me are routing games and doing just fine financially. Actually the money has allowed me to buy mods to further the longevity of the machines: cliffy protectors, plastic protectors, new switching power supplies, super bands, LCD displays, LEDs to replace incandescent lamps, etc. Pinball is still quite profitable, but I think it mainly depends on location and the mindset of whoever steps foot inside the door of the establishment.

    #216 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    like it or not, location pinball like we grew up with is never going to be a profitable endeavor ever again. the world has permanently changed in about four or five different ways that have killed that angle.
    IF pinball is to survive another generation it's going to have to find another way to reach people and hold their interest.

    Then kiss pinball good buy

    #217 5 years ago

    Back on topic.

    JJP Pat Lawlor pin will be either the next in the disaster series (EarthShaker, WWind) or the next in the head series (FH, RS) or a haunted house theme.

    -1
    #218 5 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Back on topic.
    JJP Pat Lawlor pin will be either the next in the disaster series (EarthShaker, WWind) or the next in the head series (FH, RS) or a haunted house theme.

    Think license theme

    #219 5 years ago

    thought they said this is NOT a license theme.

    #220 5 years ago
    Quoted from wcbrandes:

    thought they said this is NOT a license theme.

    They did.

    --Luke

    #221 5 years ago

    My vote is a disaster theme, make the playfield feel like Mother Nature is tearing it apart.

    #222 5 years ago

    Global Warming: the pinball!

    I like natural disasters (even man made too). Tsunami could be cool (too soon) or volcanoes!!!

    #223 5 years ago

    Pat working with JPP is apparently old news (as this thread started 2 months ago), but it's news to me! And I'm happy to hear it!

    However, it's highly doubtful I'll ever prepay for a game, so I'll have to play his latest creation at a show or another collectors home.

    #224 5 years ago

    There's too much pessimism in here with people saying that Pinball will die off after our generation, and that our kids won't play it.

    If YOUR kids don't play it, then you have failed to get them interested in it. If you waited until they were a teenager to try, that's too late.

    My two year old son will grow up with Pinball in his life. And that means bringing his friends into at a young age.

    We all have to do our part.

    #225 5 years ago

    'The game will be an original idea enabling Pat and his Team to imagine and to create. If you are a true pinball enthusiast you are going to love this pinball machine,' said JJP Founder Jack Guarnieri."

    That takes all the thing similar to what Pat has done in the past as a no go.

    November 8, 2013

    Greetings Pinball Fans,

    With the fast approaching Holidays we are working extra hard to get every game out the door we can. So far we have built over 500 LE's, and the factory continues to increase speed as the months roll by. We continue to receive extremely positive feedback from customers who have received their games.

    That was six months ago game three is still quite a way off.

    #226 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    like it or not, location pinball like we grew up with is never going to be a profitable endeavor ever again. the world has permanently changed in about four or five different ways that have killed that angle.
    IF pinball is to survive another generation it's going to have to find another way to reach people and hold their interest.

    Location games doing great here

    #227 5 years ago
    Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

    There's too much pessimism in here with people saying that Pinball will die off after our generation, and that our kids won't play it.
    If YOUR kids don't play it, then you have failed to get them interested in it. If you waited until they were a teenager to try, that's too late.
    My two year old son will grow up with Pinball in his life. And that means bringing his friends into at a young age.
    We all have to do our part.

    I agree with what you are saying, however, as much as I've tried with my kids and their friends, cousins, etc…..it's not happening. It started off as a novelty and them playing a bit but faded away quickly.

    There are too many other things for these kids to occupy their time that they like to do. Xbox and Playstation is what them and their friends play amongst other crap. And the online social thing won't involve pinball imo. The one pin they might still play is NBA fast break because they understand the scoring, and that's rarely now.

    Believe me, I've tried to do my part and keep trying but nobody is having it. I can't force them!

    Long term, I think pinball is in big trouble. Now if I had a golden tee I might get some interest!

    #228 5 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I agree with what you are saying, however, as much as I've tried with my kids and their friends, cousins, etc…..it's not happening. It started off as a novelty and them playing a bit but faded away quickly.
    There are too many other things for these kids to occupy their time that they like to do. Xbox and Playstation is what them and their friends play amongst other crap. And the online social thing won't involve pinball imo. The one pin they might still play is NBA Fast Break because they understand the scoring, and that's rarely now.
    Believe me, I've tried to do my part and keep trying but nobody is having it. I can't force them!
    Long term, I think pinball is in big trouble. Now if I had a golden tee I might get some interest!

    Agreed.

    Pinball will die with this generation....

    It may survive with SUPER limited boutique manufacturing, but not mainstream....

    No sense burying NIBs underground yet, I still think it's got a good decade or so left....

    #229 5 years ago

    My 19 year old plays and repairs them. He will be working support at the upcoming Ann Arbor VFW pinball showcase as well.

    #230 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Agreed.
    Pinball will die with this generation....
    It may survive with SUPER limited boutique manufacturing, but not mainstream....
    No sense burying NIBs underground yet, I still think it's got a good decade or so left....

    Pinball is not dying out with this generation. The recent bump in sales and companies producing them has shown that. The Expo's and festivals are doing very well. I saw a lot of kids at TPF. Apps like Pinball Arcade get the younger generation interested in the real thing.

    I'm optimistic. It will remain niche, but it's not dying out my any means.

    #231 5 years ago

    expos and festivals and tournaments are booming and that's awesome. The Pinball Arcade has also made tons of new fans and re-hooked a lot of people who'd sort of forgotten about pinball.

    personally, TPA was my gateway drug. I loved pinball growing up in the 80s and 90s, and sort of vaguely always wanted a STTNG of my own, but it wasn't until I got re-hooked with TPA (and later discovered of Pinside) that I began seriously to consider owning my own pins.

    Pinball definitely would have remained semi-forgotten by me if TPA didn't exist. if the only pins I ever ran into were those out in the wild, then around here it means I probably would have encountered maybe one neglected and likely broken pin every couple years or so. that's not going to maintain any kind of fanbase in any generation -- next, current, or whatever.

    #232 5 years ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    This is a definite. My kids will not build an arcade in their basement.

    No, they'll build a gameroom, or man-cave, or study, or smoking lounge, or whatever it's called in their generation. They'll fill it with expensive and interesting machines, everything from the latest holo-projector and PS10, along with some of those "classic" pins from the 2010s. Remember when people listened to Metallica? They might even add a couple of those "really old machines with no ICs in them" because they have more tactile feedback and better physics than the pinball app on their applephone12...

    #233 5 years ago

    If my kids buy back their youth 30 years from now, it will be filled with redemption games.

    #234 5 years ago

    Pinball is adapting. Many Locations around here closed down 10 or 15 years ago but recently weve had new green shoots pop up in their place. In hip cities across the us there is appetite for pinball and a generation of pinheads that were little kids in the bally williams heyday rediscovering what may be old hat to you.

    #235 5 years ago

    It's not mainstream, but it won't die either.

    #236 5 years ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    If my kids buy back their youth 30 years from now, it will be filled with redemption games.

    I'm imagining middle aged dudes in 2035 hanging out in a basement getting drunk and dumping gold tokens into machines that go "ping" and spit out three tickets at a time. woooooO!

    #237 5 years ago

    Pinball won't totally die in 20-30 years but it will be even less of a niche hobby then it is now. I'd compare it to how things like old '45 jukeboxes, 50's collectible automobiles, wooden slots, EM pinball machines, etc. are collected today. They're still around and there are still collectors of them both young and old (mostly old) but there isn't much innovation or new parts available for these older machines compared to how the pinball market is booming today.

    #238 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    I'm imagining middle aged dudes in 2035 hanging out in a basement getting drunk and dumping gold tokens into machines that go "ping" and spit out three tickets at a time. woooooO!

    Ha while that does sound lame lots of people have slot machines and pachinko (sp) machines that I don't see any real point in.

    #239 5 years ago

    Yeah I have a pachinko but it's not nearly as fun as pinball. Redemption is lame-o but a good business concept.

    I know JJP has mentioned some redemption style options in their machines. Wonder if Pat will be introducing that into the new machine like with Safecracker

    #240 5 years ago
    Quoted from genex:

    I know JJP has mentioned some redemption style options in their machines. Safecracker

    I've seen Sterns with ticket mechs on them. Why not make them to add on if it's gonna help the business.

    #241 5 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    I've seen Sterns with ticket mechs on them.

    Most pinballs from the DMD era on have Tickets in their software. Doesn't really help. Redemption players want to do one thing and get a ticket. Not have to work for it.

    Ticket companies make them too, that can be bolted on the side. Same story. Hasn't really gone over well with pinball.

    LTG : )™

    #242 5 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Most pinballs from the DMD era on have Tickets in their software.

    Gotcha...I've only seen one on 1 machine my whole life so I assumed they weren't the hot ticket.

    #243 5 years ago

    Tron pro with a ticket dispenser almost bankrupted Gameworks in Schaumburg when Zach Sharpe cleaned out the entire redemption counter with one credit.

    #244 5 years ago

    once you add the ticket reward to the game, it becomes about the tickets, and not the game itself. the people who want tickets will find the "task" of slapping the ball around to get their tickets a waste of time compared to the machines that will spit out a handful of tickets and only take 5 seconds to "play".

    #245 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    once you add the ticket reward to the game, it becomes about the tickets, and not the game itself. the people who want tickets will find the "task" of slapping the ball around to get their tickets a waste of time compared to the machines that will spit out a handful of tickets and only take 5 seconds to "play".

    True. There's no way some non pinball playing asshole or kids could ever play a pinball machine and then end up liking it.

    #246 5 years ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    Tron pro with a ticket dispenser almost bankrupted Gameworks in Schaumburg when Zach Sharpe cleaned out the entire redemption counter with one credit.

    All the tickets in the dispenser got him what, a $5 stuffed animal?

    #247 5 years ago
    Quoted from FrankJ:

    All the tickets in the dispenser got him what, a $5 stuffed animal?

    Haha man those "prizes" are so damn budget now. I guess they always were it just seems worse now.

    #248 5 years ago

    TTTR (ticket tac toe reproduction)?

    #249 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    TPA was my gateway drug. I loved pinball growing up in the 80s and 90s, and sort of vaguely always wanted a STTNG of my own, but it wasn't until I got re-hooked with TPA (and later discovered of Pinside) that I began seriously to consider owning my own pins.

    Ditto. Same experience. I even bought a STTNG too

    #250 5 years ago

    Ticket Tac Toe stack 3 in a row.

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