(Topic ID: 14222)

Pinball needs young designers


By jimjim66

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 24 posts
  • 20 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Drano
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    #1 7 years ago

    Pinball really needs younger designers. The old ones are great, and I would never disrespect them.

    Why can't they mentor and teach younger designers some of their skills? They were taught by experienced designers themselves, now would be a great time to see new blood as there seems to be a mini revival in pinball.

    Is there anybody under 50 that designs pins? When people debate the future of pinball, I think that this is one of the biggest problems.

    Happy to see JPop doing a design school. I just would like Stern or JJP get some apprentices and see something new. Maybe somehow get colleges to have a competition for designs, and hire from there.

    #2 7 years ago

    I'm sure JPop is well under 50.
    I wish he was designing some games for Jersey Jack in the future.

    agreed, pinball needs a younger generation of mainstream designers.

    #3 7 years ago
    Quoted from RawleyD:

    I'm sure JPop is well under 50.
    I wish he was designing some games for Jersey Jack in the future.
    agreed, pinball needs a younger generation of mainstream designers.

    Really doesn't count as you point out he is not working for a major manufacturer. Plus it kind of goes to my point as he was working at Williams at the age of 19. What he is doing now is because of his experience there, and I would love to see new young guns get the same opportunity him and Ritchie got .

    #4 7 years ago

    How old is Ben Heck?

    #5 7 years ago
    Quoted from rommy:

    How old is Ben Heck?

    He's relatively young. Born October 19, 1975.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Heck

    #6 7 years ago

    Just getting a young designer, on his or her own, will mean that they make all of the young designer mistakes.

    I think what you really want is a designer, young or old, who can think out of the box. But I think some of the “new” ideas these days: color DMD, LCD screens, lots of toys on the playfield are not the kind of out of the box thinking I like; or that are actually meaningful for pinball.

    I'd like to see a takeoff on pinball 2000 type platform. Make the machine longer and wider, so the shots are/can be more varied. That would be, in my opinion, something worth pursuing.

    Robert

    #7 7 years ago

    I'm 20, and depending on the cost of the JPop school, I'll be interested in doing that.

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from MrSanRamon:

    Just getting a young designer, on his or her own, will mean that they make all of the young designer mistakes.

    I think what you really want is a designer, young or old, who can think out of the box. But I think some of the “new” ideas these days: color DMD, LCD screens, lots of toys on the playfield are not the kind of out of the box thinking I like; or that are actually meaningful for pinball.

    I'd like to see a takeoff on pinball 2000 type platform. Make the machine longer and wider, so the shots are/can be more varied. That would be, in my opinion, something worth pursuing.

    Robert

    I am 25, have a bachelors in game design and working on a masters in cg. Sadly I wouldn't touch pinball with a 10 foot pole. Would it be cool to say I am a pinball designer, sure. On the other hand realistically speaking you would work for nothing. Your chances of having a job once you hit 40 are slim and right now you have two companies that make machines. Get let go from one and you need to find an entirely new career.

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    rommy said:How old is Ben Heck?
    He's relatively young. Born October 19, 1975.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Heck

    oh thanks for that, now I feel old!

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from RawleyD:

    I'm sure JPop is well under 50.

    Nope, I believe he is 50. Not that it really matters, but that's what a Google search yielded...

    #11 7 years ago
    Quoted from jimjim66:

    Why can't they mentor and teach younger designers some of their skills?

    You mean teach someone to do their jobs in a climate where pinball makers cut corners anyway they can?

    #12 7 years ago

    Only problem with passing on the knowledge is, what do you do with it? It's such a narrow field, yet the knowledge needs to live on. Perhaps each pinball designer can record videos of what they know on video and sell DVD's (every designer has their own style).

    #13 7 years ago

    so BH is 36 that is young right =-( 35 here please tell me it is young lol.

    I think it could use some young blood for fresh ideas.
    But they still need to gain exp from the older guys who have been doing this for 30+years.
    Nothing speaks louder than exp in anything!

    I do think however for themes and general advancement in pinball technology we absolutely need to mix the ages in a design team for versatility.

    again just truth as I see it
    just my opinion.

    #14 7 years ago

    I was just thinking the same thing the other day.

    #15 7 years ago

    the older wiser guys no more and are innovative,SR anyone?

    #16 7 years ago

    Seems that there are some young guys on the JJP website.

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    You mean teach someone to do their jobs in a climate where pinball makers cut corners anyway they can?

    I'm a school teacher, I live that scenario everyday, obviously in a different profession. We don't have a budget, expected better and better results, and the world is a much tougher place making my job that much harder. I love mentoring the new teachers as I see that as new responsibility that comes with experience.

    Quoted from scooter:

    the older wiser guys no more and are innovative,SR anyone?

    Nobody has made this statement. In fact, just the opposite. It would be nice for SR to teach the next group of designers so the torch can be passed. I just think now is the time to start as there as been an uptick in pinball with Stern and JJP hiring lately.

    I hope to play SR designed pins many, many years in the future.

    #18 7 years ago

    It comes down to prospects. Like a lot of pinball designers, I have a background in Industrial Design and I've been working in a creative role in a manufacturing-based industry for almost 15 years. Industrial designers can apply their talents within many different fields from automotive design to everyday consumer products and toys. One of the key things I looked for when I got out of school was a field that had a future. Pinball has not exactly been a business with great prospects for many years.

    Things may be turning around a bit, but sadly, unless a student was absolutely drawn to the pinball industry right from the start, it's doubtful they would end up there on purpose. Companies like Stern would do well to sponsor ID competitions and other grass roots intititives with local college design programs and offer students an introduction to pinball as a career.

    I'm 37 and actually toyed with this idea for years, I may even attend JPOPs "pinball school" if he gets it going, but with a family and a mortgage, the only way I'd get into designing pins would be as an entrepreneur/owner, not as an employee. Without mentors or support, this would be a very hard road to take. Also, mentoring is a big deal and involves a lot of investment. Not sure many of these older designers would be up for it when there are precious few jobs in the industry for them as it is.

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from jimjim66:

    RawleyD said:I'm sure JPop is well under 50.
    I wish he was designing some games for Jersey Jack in the future.
    agreed, pinball needs a younger generation of mainstream designers.
    Really doesn't count as you point out he is not working for a major manufacturer. Plus it kind of goes to my point as he was working at Williams at the age of 19. What he is doing now is because of his experience there, and I would love to see new young guns get the same opportunity him and Ritchie got .

    I'm sure you already know this (I'm only restating it to make a point), but John Popadiuk owns zidware - a company that is working on two pinball machines at the moment that are for sale to the public. One is called Magic Girl and the other is Zombie Adventure. Jersey Jack is a company that is currently working on one pinball machine called Wizard of Oz. Neither have ever demonstrated a working or shipped a pinball. Both have taken money for preorders. Both have had some level of videos demonstrating in progress ideas. Therefore, you cannot consider one a major manufacture and the other not. If anything, the advantage goes to Popadiuk who has two machines vs one announced and has designed many well known pinball machines in the past.

    #20 7 years ago

    its my understanding that these guys have other careers for the most part. They come back for a few years every once in a while, but still have another skill or career to fall back on when things get slow. A young designer would need the same kind of flexibility. There just isnt work to support more than 3-5 designers in this industry at a time. Back when Bally/Williams came out with 5-6 games a year there was more room for new guys, sadly not now.

    #21 7 years ago

    Again....these companies don't have the guts (or sense) to release a non-licenesed title. You think they're just gunna throw the juice to a young gun?

    #22 7 years ago

    I daydream about this subject at least once a week. My wife pretty much gave me the green light to go to JPop's school if the $$$ and time vested, was reasonable. I would love to contribute my skills to non-licensed themes but, even more than that- I would really love to give lesser cult movies/themes their day in the sun! Since pinball is now considered (to me) a subculture, why not cater to pleasing the few with some offbeat titles that the veterans wouldn't touch. I know it's not the smartest business decision, but if I had the scratch, know-how (and time) to build 10-20 machines to completion and they sold- well I'd be a happy camper for sure! Pinball to me is not about making tons of cash, it's about making a kick-ass pinball machine that is amazing to play.
    Again, this is all a daydream for me so don't put too much stock into it... Yet!
    If JPop's school does work out and a twilight freelance pin-career is feasible without eating ramen daily, then consider me your guy!

    #23 7 years ago
    Quoted from NimblePin:

    I daydream about this subject at least once a week. My wife pretty much gave me the green light to go to JPop's school if the $$$ and time vested, was reasonable.

    Well that's pretty exciting in and of itself. I would love to hear what you think of the classes if you do end up taking them. Sure sounds like a lot of fun to me!

    #24 7 years ago
    Quoted from NimblePin:

    I daydream about this subject at least once a week.

    +1
    I've been designing products for almost 15 years and, for the last 6, I have dreamt of developing a pin... even if only for myself or a few close friends.
    Someday...

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