(Topic ID: 169344)

Who Designed Aztec?


By wizard_mode

3 years ago



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  • 21 posts
  • 6 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by o-din
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#1 3 years ago

Hi all,
Aztec is a fun EM. With so many produced I am surprised I cannot find any info on who designed the game? It has a wide flipper gap similar to JD and GB. Was John Trudeau involved?
Just curious if anyone has an info out there.
Thanks,
Tim

#2 3 years ago

Trudeau wasn't designing games back then. Was probably one of the house guys like Chris Otis or Steve Kordek.

I never noticed the flipper gap being particularly large on that game, seems standard to me.

It's also way more fun than most Trudeau games.

#3 3 years ago

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#4 3 years ago

I have a JD sitting next to an Aztec. Very similar flipper gap. Maybe if I remember tonight I will measure and post here...

#5 3 years ago
Quoted from wizard_mode:

I have a JD sitting next to an Aztec. Very similar flipper gap. Maybe if I remember tonight I will measure and post here...

That's the wrong game to compare it to.

Do you have any other late 1970s Williams EM multiplayers you can compare it to?

Regadless, Trudeau doesn't have an exclusive patent on wide flipper gaps, and he wasn't working for Williams back then. Check out a Gottlieb Knockout sometime!

#6 3 years ago

Kind of hard not to compare them when they are sitting next to each other and the flippers look exactly the same. No other 70s EM machines I have played have similar flippers. Not saying they dont exist, but it is uncommon to see the long bats with a wide gap...

#7 3 years ago

I can't really say GB has a wide flipper gap, but most newer games have very narrow gaps. I think JD also designed by Trudeau has a little wider gap than the usual of today.

Although not listed on IPDB, Aztec looks like a Norm Clark, but could have been Kordek.

#8 3 years ago

I just asked John, it was not him. Still curious though...

#9 3 years ago

The reason I say it looks like a Norm Clark is compare the layout to one of his earlier designs, Pit Stop. One of our house favorites.

http://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=1806&picno=1752

#10 3 years ago

Aztec was released after IPDB shows Norm Clark made his last game and before Chris Otis made his first game for Williams. It could very well be Otis because Clark had stopped using this basic playfield layout in the 60s and Otis working with Harry Williams used a very similar design on Rancho which came out the next year. It really could have been any of them or a collaboration of one or more designers. The truth is out there somewhere...

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Aztec was released after IPDB shows Norm Clark made his last game and before Chris Otis made his first game for Williams. It could very well be Otis because Clark had stopped using this basic playfield layout in the 60s and Otis working with Harry Williams used a very similar design on Rancho which came out the next year. It really could have been any of them or a collaboration of one or more designers. The truth is out there somewhere...

Definitely some similarities between Pit Stop and Aztec! I have a few leads outside of pinside and I am going to try to close this one out for my own curiosity's sake. I will post whatever I find out (if anything!)here...
Thanks!

#12 3 years ago

Cool. Either way that left lane back to the top is a nice feature. And on Pit Stop and especially Jolly Roger with those short flippers is a very hard shot to achieve. Not so difficult to rip the spinner and get back up there on the later designs.

#13 3 years ago

This layout seems similar to Space Mission to me.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

Cool. Either way that left lane back to the top is a nice feature. And on Pit Stop and especially Jolly Roger with those short flippers is a very hard shot to achieve. Not so difficult to rip the spinner and get back up there on the later designs.

Aztec spinner isn't too hard, and the right lane shot is pretty easy... I think the difficulty is gaining and keeping control - those DC slings and pops really fling the ball around. I just grabbed one of these and it's a good game.

#15 3 years ago

Keep in mind, just cause a game looks like a game don't mean any particular designer had anything to do with it.

They were churning out these games by the month, it wasn't like today when you get 2 new titles if you are lucky. And there's only so many places to put a pop bumper, spinner, and drop target bank.

Not that I ever really cared, but suddenly I am desperate to know who designed Aztec! There really isn't much to that one but it's fun ripping the spinner - I've gotten over 60 spins (!) on the one at PAPA.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Keep in mind, just cause a game looks like a game don't mean any particular designer had anything to do with it.

No doubt about that. Compare the layout of Magic Clock designed by Harry Mabs in 1960 to Kismet designed by Steve Kordek in 1961. I think they all worked together and shared ideas back in the day and if a layout was good, no reason it couldn't be re used or re purposed.

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#17 3 years ago

The thing that allures me about Aztec though is just that the information is not available. Seems like a gap in our history book that needs to be filled. Of course I agree that a specific game designer cannot be assumed by the way a game looks. I know the information is out there!

#18 3 years ago

Wow those are practically identical.

I think this starts to change in the late 1970s when the new generation of designers came in. More of a hallmark style - and more competition for sales and royalties - by the designers.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Wow those are practically identical.

Indeed. Who's to say Steve Kordek didn't have something to do with the original design although it was credited to Mabs. Either way that Magic Clock I own is a top player so it's no wonder they used that layout again.

#20 3 years ago

Yeah, the major difference I see between Pit Stop/Space Mission and Aztec is the flipper return area. But, the similarity in the upper parts of the playfield is uncanny to say the least. Almost like someone grabbed "the template", moved some stuff around, schlapped new paint on it and called it a day!

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from wizard_mode:

Almost like someone grabbed "the template", moved some stuff around, schlapped new paint on it and called it a day!

That's why I mentiond Norm Clark, as I think he was the Williams pioneer of that left lane back to the top and the right horseshoe lane. Jolly Roger is another great playing Clark game and that left lane is very tight on that one. We play it all the time and is very addictive. Lucky to hit that left lane once during a game as you almost have to hit it on the fly.

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