TPF 2015 in my opinion was the best yet.
* Top of the list? The people! Lots of exhibitors, volunteers, and guests from nearly every state in the country. Met some old pals and made a few new ones.
* Second? The games! Huge selection with a high ratio in good working order... many of which were beautifully restored.
* The issue with the loudness of tournament area callouts was resolved this year. The DFW Pinball Club was located immediately adjacent to the tournament area and we had no issues at all. Well done.
* $10 chuck wagon ticket for each game brought = nice perk!
* Thursday early load-in time extended the festival for exhibitors and greatly eased the traffic jam for loading games on Friday. Recommended!
* Judging was pretty much spot-on this year. All of the games I thought should win, won. Only change I'd make would be to announce the winners in ascending order... 3rd, 2nd, 1st instead of the other way around. Makes it a bit more exciting that way.
Suggested tweaks for next year & other observations:
* One nitpick is the exclusivity of tournament games. I'm not a tournament player and the games in that area are off-limits throughout the festival. I understand the importance of hosting unique and interesting games to keep players on their toes... but if there isn't an opportunity for "everyone else" to give them a spin at some point in the festival, I'd kinda prefer the whole area not take center stage at the main welcome entrance (look but don't touch). Which leads to #2...
* Layout was rather convoluted. It was hard to explain to visitors where anything was. Lots of makeshift black walls and halls mixing vendors and exhibitors and games. I'd suggest clustering vendors closer together as well as games from similar eras. The "EM row" in the DFW Pinball Club was a great example of this: The bells and chimes weren't drowned out by lasers/digital FX/etc.
* A bit too many of the auction games were non-functional. Seems like these could have been pushed against a wall/out of the way to create more space for working ones.
* I recommend more cute/funny signage reminding people not to put their drinks on the games. I had to tell a few folks not to do that. Also perhaps a group buy option for pingulps... can never have enough of those.
* Use these. amazon.com link »
* Did someone really try to steal the Lebowski carpet and get themselves arrested? Did Dutch Pinball/Cointaker say they wouldn't return with Lebowski next year because of this stupidness?
* Even though I live in Dallas, I WILL STAY AT EMBASSY SUITES NEXT YEAR (I also said this last year and didn't do it... third time's the charm).
* Pinball people know how to have fun. Some like it loud and in your face. Others take a more Zen-like approach to it (I would fall in this category). But whatever your tempo, this has to be one of the coolest hobbies ever.
* VECTOR took a low profile this year because we have several games undergoing active restoration and our PR committee is currently retooling their materials. We plan to make a pretty big splash at TPF 2016 and introduce lots of folks to the Dallas Makerspace (which is now the largest of its kind in the country with over 700 active members). More to come...
* Finally, a thank you to Dennis who had brought some extra 15 amp fuses. He gave me two after I fixed a GI issue. I ended up buying his 4 Roses game, no haggle. Gotta love it when things work out that way.