My review of Expo ... good show, better than most of the smaller pinball shows. Room for improvement with the organization and logistics, but nothing terrible to be upset about.
Dialed In - Very interesting for us for Pat L. to show pictures of the process he goes through for game design. Watch the rerun when it is available. Something that I didn't know is that Pat is director of new game designs (or similar title) at JJP. That'll be good for JJP to keep him on board long term to help direct and mentor the game designers while still giving them their freedoms. Keith is the code director (or similar title) for JJP. This was the best discussion/seminar that we saw at Expo.
Gomez - Very interesting to see how Stern goes through the game development process as well. Some differences from JJP, but generally the same. Pat seems more "hands on" for making the physical game model mock up, but Stern has a much bigger team to work through details and issues.
Deeproot - Not a interesting presentation. I thought it was a "classy" protest that no one applauded JPOP twice, while applauding others loudly. That was probably awkward, but made the point without outbursts or heckling from the crowd. His part of the talk just seemed to ramble on and could have been shortened in half with the same content. It should be interesting to see what Deeproot comes up with and hope it is good to give us pinheads even more options.
AP - The reveal was presented in a fun way. Interesting information was provided on their concept, game design, and eventual modes that will be developed. Should be a fun pin for locations ... jury is still out on if I would eventually want to own one. Their next 3 pins will be unlicensed and they don't plan to do a licensed pin anytime soon. After the presentation, their top people were friendly and walked around and talked with people. They approached us to talk instead of the other way around.
JJP - It was interesting, not a lot of prying questions from the crowd. I would have liked to at least see some teases of the next title coming. Jack has a great personality and is fun to just have a conversation with. He was walking around the show and talking with people quite a bit in the vendor hall. Eric was there most of time answering questions and talking with people playing JJPOTC - this is good to see happen.
Pinball Museum - Interesting insight on what they have to go through with Vegas and the zoning issues. Very costly effort and hope they do good at their future location.
Steve Richie - Like others have said ... would have been better if he teased on his next pin or something else
Stern-o-rama - Only Deadpool pins? This is where they should have brought more of their games for a party type of atmosphere like last year. A LOT of people were just getting their free beers and walking the halls to the other rooms. It was great that they did a mini-autograph session for Deadpool there with a lot of the Stern people that were involved - thank you for that!
We arrived at the end of the hall of fame inductee ceremony and it was good to see Gomez talking with Pat Lawlor and his wife socially. Since they are both directors of new game design at different companies (don't want to say competing companies to bring out the trolls), I'm glad to see that they can approach and talk to each other socially without "trying" to avoid each other. It's good to see that.
Free Play - Would have liked to see more of newer games here that we could play while the vendor halls were closed. Not much was there from the last couple of decades - maybe only 5-10 pins from the recent era. I know that is dependant on what people bring, but some of the newer games that owners brought were put in the Vendor Hall. More than half of the newer pins in the Pinstadium display were Berks. If those were in the free play area, it would have made a big difference. To counter that, it was good for Pinstadium to have the larger variety of pins in his booth to showcase his mods.
Vendor Hall - Lots of vendors, but the booth prices seemed to have excluded some of the smaller mod people that we would have liked to see. It was a great showing for the latest pins (which was one of the best parts of the show for us). Not super long lines, except at the AP booth and occasionally at JJPOTC pins. We bought lots of stuff and have our eye on a few more things that we saw there. The hours for Friday were too short for the content of what was in the hall for the show. I know vendors will disagree, but waiting for the hall to open made parking lot watching more interesting (just a joke for @gravitar)
Meet & Greet - always good to meet other pinsiders that are just as geeky about pinball as us. It just encourages us more and we all need more encouragement, right? A big "thank you" to JJ for organizing and buying the first round.
Pinball Life - We went on Thursday (instead of waiting most of the day for the vendor hall to open), had a real good time and purchased lots of discounted pinball items. Plenty of games to play and only had to wait for the player playing to finish their game to get a turn. Everyone followed the proper etiquette. Thank you very much to Terry and company for continuing to open up your place and organize/do this for us. It helps to make the trip worth it for us.
Just my opinions ...