(Topic ID: 245245)

Poll: The Two Types of Pinball Fans


By Adipocere

5 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 54 posts
  • 39 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by Whysnow
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

You

Topic poll

“Which type of pinball fan are you?”

  • Pat Lawlor 92 votes
    56%
  • Steve Ritchie 72 votes
    44%

(164 votes)

Topic Gallery

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wrong (resized).jpg
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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 5 months ago

The recent Black Knight SOR and Wonka showdown has reminded me that I have a long-running theory that there are basically two types of pinball fans: Pat Lawlor fans and Steve Ritchie fans. Now a Pat Lawlor fan can like a Steve Ritchie pin and vice versa, but you can NEVER like them equally. Therefore, you can only be one or the other.

Some characteristics I note in the two (and only two) types of fans are as follows:

Pat Lawlor fans are drawn to the "world under glass" aspect of pinball. Great theme integration is important to these people. They crave new and innovative toys and mechs. Flow and speed are not as important to these fans; they like interesting shot geometry and choice instead. They tend to prefer games with deep code and extensive rule sets that can take a long time to dig into. Suicide pop bumpers and baffling mechanical issues are all just part of the experience.

Steve Ritchie fans hold speed and flow above all else. Mechs and toys are completely optional. Stop and go games are likely to put them in a coma. They prefer high energy soundtracks/ themes and own a lot of black t-shirts. These fans played Twilight Zone once back in the 90s and have never forgiven themselves for the loss of those two quarters. They prefer dodgeball to chess and this is reflected in their choice of pins.

Now remember: this is a binary choice between these two types. If you came here to say you are a George Gomez or J Pop or Dennis Nordman or Steve Kordek (who taught you how to use a computer, anyway?) fan, that is not applicable to this theory and you should probably just make your own poll. (Likewise, if you came here to say you are a John Trudeau person, you probably need to clear your browser cache out. Now.)

So everyone, which of the two exclusive types of pinball fans are you?

#2 5 months ago

I think when I was new to pinball, I was all over Steve Ritchie games. They're fast, mostly straightforward, and easy to understand. That said, the more I play and the better I've gotten, the more I appreciate Pat Lawlor's designs.

I kinda wish Steve Ritchie would make a game with JJP. I know he's capable of designing some really cool toys (and I'm firmly on the Black Knight is a cool toy side of the debate). It just doesn't seem like he gets much of a budget to do very much at Stern. I also kinda find his later games to be too overly similar to other games he's made, where as Pat's feel fresher.

#3 5 months ago
Quoted from Adipocere:

but you can NEVER like them equally.

I do.

I like games that are well designed, have cool features, and have personality. Steve & Pat's games usually accomplish this. I own Pat's Addams, Gofers, Road Show, and Family Guy....Steve's BK2K, STTNG, AC/DC. Used to also have Funhouse, Getaway, Spider-Man...I can play any of Steve or Pat's games and have a great time.

both.gif
#4 5 months ago

Not Voting herein, because i like both.

#5 5 months ago

well if it was a case that I could only buy pins from one of the 2 designers then SR but I like many PL games you should add an option for both and that will easily win the poll. PL will win this hands down due to the nature of most pinsiders.

-1
#6 5 months ago

I love games from both designers.

I just think Lawlor has still got it and with Ritchies new titles it doesn’t seem like he’s trying anymore. I know he is, they just done seem unique or interesting.

#7 5 months ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

well if it was a case that I could only buy pins from one of the 2 designers then SR but I like many PL games you should add an option for both and that will easily win the poll. PL will win this hands down due to the nature of most pinsiders.

That is EXACTLY what a Steve Ritchie fan would say!

#8 5 months ago
Quoted from Adipocere:

That is EXACTLY what a Steve Ritchie fan would say!

ur 1 smart fella.

#9 5 months ago

They are the two top selling designers. Would make sense that most people
Like both.

#10 5 months ago

Some of you are missing the point, or just not reading. I said you can obviously LIKE both, but you're always going to prefer one style over the other. I submit that you can not like both styles equally. Also this is not a vote of WHO IS BETTER? That is very subjective and has no place here! I am asking you all to dig deep within yourselves and be honest about where your preferences lie. Be brave! Choose a side!

And you John Trudeau people need to stop downvoting this topic. You are only drawing attention to yourselves.

#11 5 months ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I think when I was new to pinball, I was all over Steve Ritchie games. They're fast, mostly straightforward, and easy to understand. That said, the more I play and the better I've gotten, the more I appreciate Pat Lawlor's designs.
I kinda wish Steve Ritchie would make a game with JJP. I know he's capable of designing some really cool toys (and I'm firmly on the Black Knight is a cool toy side of the debate). It just doesn't seem like he gets much of a budget to do very much at Stern. I also kinda find his later games to be too overly similar to other games he's made, where as Pat's feel fresher.

High Speed was the first pinball game of my youth that I remember loving. I was just in awe of the ramps, the backglass art, the lights. Later on I played Whirlwind and then THAT was my favorite. Overall, I think playing the Lawlor classics in high school and college informed my decision the most. I wonder how much the nostalgia factor plays into which style a person must ultimately fall into?

#12 5 months ago

Steve has bought more innovation in to pinball than Pat
too many of Pats games are copies of his other games

#13 5 months ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

Steve has bought more innovation in to pinball than Pat
too many of Pats games are copies of his other games

So you are saying that you are a Steve Ritchie person?

Because this isn't a poll about which is better. It is about YOU.

#14 5 months ago

nope

wrong (resized).jpg

#15 5 months ago

Ummm...nice theory, but I'm not buying. A good playing pin is a good playing pin--doesn't matter who designed it.

#16 5 months ago

I like and dislike half of each of their games for incredibly minor reasons they seem to not even care about. There's at least one more axis here

-1
#17 5 months ago

I think the two types of games should be those that don’t care if a game is set up properly/maintained or those who like a game set up properly and maintained properly. Any game can be fun if set up correctly, just as a great game can suck when not properly set up and maintained.

#19 5 months ago

Both for me, but if I'm adhering to the OP's rules, then Pat.

I have DI, TAF, TZ, and a Wonka coming.

I also have an ACDC premium and a STLE from Richie.

#20 5 months ago
Quoted from Adipocere:

you're always going to prefer one style over the other. I submit that you can not like both styles equally.

I submit you are wrong. I like both styles equally.

#21 5 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Sorry pinside. Ritchie is over-rated.
Banzai Run...mic drop.

Oh yeah because that game is overrated or anything.

#22 5 months ago

PL drew me into the hobby for sure.

#23 5 months ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I submit you are wrong. I like both styles equally.

I kinda agree, its more a case that I need both. If it was all smooth flow and fast then like anything it would get boring but which would would you take if u could have only one? I'm going speed and flow.

#24 5 months ago
Quoted from FalconDriver:

PL drew me into the hobby for sure.

Yep. I don't know who did Hurricane but that and cyclone were the first ones in 1990 that started it all but Funhouse was that game that really hooked me, then AF. Oddly enough however the first pin where I really got into the theme and flow was Terminator 2. Really I don't care who designs it or codes it if its a fun pin I'm playing.

#25 5 months ago

I might have to rearrange since I have my Funhouse and BK2K side by side. I've owned both for over 15 years. Like both of them equity the same.

#26 5 months ago

Recent Stern hires are making it interesting. Might be a Brian Eddy fan soon. Newer people in the hobby may not realize how incredibly talented he is.

#27 5 months ago

Just dropping in to say I’m a Gomez fan, not gonna lie. I’m here to invalidate the thread and tell you I enjoy 90 degree clunky ramps

#28 5 months ago

Random thoughts:

* SR got started 10+ years before PL. He invented many things including the 3rd flipper upper ramp shot (makeable only by upper flipper). It's been re-used dozens of times since 1986 by various designers.
* PL's Whirlwind is a nice update 4 years later, and an improvement to the original and unique design of SR's High Speed. PL made a more exciting version of the 3rd flipper ramp shot. Both games have fantastic theme integration.
* If you must compare the two, it might be more interesting to make a case by era:
- 80s:
- 90s:
- modern-DMDs:
- modern-LCDs:

Frankly, I don't care which one you "think" you like better -- they are both Top-10 All Time designers. Pinball wouldn't be the same without either guy.
-mof

#29 5 months ago
Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

Just dropping in to say I’m a Gomez fan, not gonna lie

Why would you have to lie? hes made some great stuff. Heres the thing PL would never have made a BK3 style game and I'm not talking layout. Music and animations are Metal, darker theme with an edge and PL is more of Wonka type fella. From my observations we need both to satisfy the diverse demographic of pinheads. What I think is foolish and I've been guilty of it aswell which is why I now stay out of JJP pin threads or games where the theme is not my taste we get angry when a pin isn't our style. Wonka will never happen for me or WOZ or Mustang but if you dig it then cool. I'm flying high and babbling. Time to play some music.

#30 5 months ago

Both are my favorite with Gomez a close 3rd. Steve’s fast games with quick flipper returns for rapid play and high Adrenalin action gets my vote....today

#31 5 months ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

Why would you have to lie? hes made some great stuff. Heres the thing PL would never have made a BK3 style game and I'm not talking layout. Music and animations are Metal, darker theme with an edge and PL is more of Wonka type fella. From my observations we need both to satisfy the diverse demographic of pinheads. What I think is foolish and I've been guilty of it aswell which is why I now stay out of JJP pin threads or games where the theme is not my taste we get angry when a pin isn't our style. Wonka will never happen for me or WOZ or Mustang but if you dig it then cool. I'm flying high and babbling. Time to play some music.

The thing is, you recognize who you are, and even if it isn't the same as me, that makes you more assured than any of the people posting that they like them all equally. I think they are lying to themselves! It is okay to have a preference. Why does admitting this seem to scare people so much?

#32 5 months ago

Lawlor is the Pinball foundation that is required. Richie is the variety you need on top of it

#33 5 months ago
Quoted from PopBumperPete:

Steve has bought more innovation in to pinball than Pat
too many of Pats games are copies of his other games

It is for this very reason that it is a good thing that Steve Ritchie has never done any sequels to his previous games. A vote for Ritchie!

But seriously, this is not about which developer is better or worse. It is about YOU! The individual fan. Where do your own biases and preferences lie?

#34 5 months ago

Steve Ritchie is my hero!

#35 5 months ago

Two words... John Borg.

I love some Steve games. I love some Pat games. But man, Borg just seems to hit it. They aren’t the most innovative layouts, but I just love playing them.

#36 5 months ago

<--- Pat collector here.

#37 5 months ago

The poll would have been a lot more interesting if you actually allowed the third option...

"I'm equally a fan of good pins whether by Lawlor or Ritchie"

If there were more combined people in one or the other camps versus fans of both, the poll could have actually supported your theory.

Your pigeon-holing suggests you don't really believe your own theory, but just want to force it on everyone.

#38 5 months ago

Ritchie. All day, every day.

That being said, I love Lawlor, but the King gets my vote between the two.

#39 5 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

a lot more interesting

+1

I wish there was a tutorial on Pinside on how to:

1. Describe a hypothesis precisely
2. Design a poll (without leading the witnesses) to test the hypothesis.

We get to suffer through so many of these clumsy polls that don't really reveal anything (most) of the time...

-mof

#40 5 months ago

Another Gomez fan here.

Johnny Mnemonic
Corvette
Revenge from Mars
Monster Bash
Transformers

4 of 5 I own or have owned

#41 5 months ago
Quoted from mof:

I wish there was a tutorial on Pinside on how to:

Or maybe we could have poll moderators! No threads with polls go live until reviewed and edited if necessary to make the poll useful. Ha!

I was wondering about other ways to think of Ritchie / Lawlor pins.

If I can choose only one pin to own, either my favorite Ritchie or Lawlor, I'd take my favorite Ritchie.

But if I can have 10 pins all from one designer, either Ritchie or Lawlor, I'd choose Lawlor easily: way more diversity of design.

#42 5 months ago

What’s funny is Pat Lawlor made my favorite game (TZ) but in general I prefer Steve Ritchie games, so he got my vote.

#43 5 months ago

I would like to have a Steve Ritchie game in my collection, but I can‘t identify one I really want. Top 3 would be Rollergames, BK2000 or Firepower. Maybe AC/DC, but I don‘t like the theme. Pat Lawlor on the other hand...

#44 5 months ago

Fast and furious, non-stop action so SR.

-1
#45 5 months ago
Quoted from mof:

+1
I wish there was a tutorial on Pinside on how to:
1. Describe a hypothesis precisely
2. Design a poll (without leading the witnesses) to test the hypothesis.
We get to suffer through so many of these clumsy polls that don't really reveal anything (most) of the time...
-mof

"Suffer through". Ha!

Maybe we could instead put up a tutorial teaching people to actually READ the accompanying post instead of commenting. This is not a scientific post, its a pet theory for fun. The hope was that it might get people thinking a little about their own preferences and where they lie. If I put a third option, everyone would have chosen it so they could prove what a well-rounded special person of diverse tastes they are. That would be boring and pointless and accomplish nothing.

#46 5 months ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

The poll would have been a lot more interesting if you actually allowed the third option...
"I'm equally a fan of good pins whether by Lawlor or Ritchie"
If there were more combined people in one or the other camps versus fans of both, the poll could have actually supported your theory.
Your pigeon-holing suggests you don't really believe your own theory, but just want to force it on everyone.

Equal fan of both...doesn't mean I like all the titles they put out, but no way I could choose "either or" as my favorite.

#47 5 months ago

Honestly I don’t pay enough attention to designers. Maybe if I had a list of both of their games, then I could pick one as a clear choice.

#48 5 months ago
Quoted from Adipocere:

"Suffer through". Ha!
Maybe we could instead put up a tutorial teaching people to actually READ the accompanying post instead of commenting. This is not a scientific post, its a pet theory for fun. The hope was that it might get people thinking a little about their own preferences and where they lie. If I put a third option, everyone would have chosen it so they could prove what a well-rounded special person of diverse tastes they are. That would be boring and pointless and accomplish nothing.

I think your original post and poll were well thought out and also well written. You have to take most of these comments you see with a grain of salt. Unfortunately, this seems to be the typical hazing ritual on here. I swear with some of these guys if you were to give them a wheelbarrow full of money, they'd complain the bills are the wrong denomination.

Today I vote SR. If you asked me 15 years ago, I would have gone with Lawlor.

#49 5 months ago
Quoted from Luckydogg420:

Honestly I don’t pay enough attention to designers. Maybe if I had a list of both of their games, then I could pick one as a clear choice.

https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/steve-ritchie
https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/pat-lawlor

#50 5 months ago

I more prefer "shooters", like TZ, CFTBL.....I have "flow" games too like MeTLE and MB, but given a choice between a game that plays fast and furious until you lose the ball or a stop-and-go target practice game, I like the 2nd....if that makes sense.

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