(Topic ID: 96260)

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons (Behind the melons)


By DennisNordman

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 88 posts
  • 52 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by awarner
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders

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There are 88 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
43
#1 5 years ago

Behind the melons are a couple of boobs named Greg and Dennis!

I’ve been reading through the recent WNBJM thread and realized that there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings concerning the game. I’d like to address these issues and answer any other questions people may have.
Greg Freres and I set out to build one custom game. We had no programmers, no sound designers, no mechanical engineers, and no hardware designers. We’re just a game designer and an artist with a passion for pinball who wanted to do something unique. We decided to retheme a Continental Café because I had one that needed work and had a broken backglass. We combined our interests in old fruit crate art with ‘50s pinup art (and farming!) and created a unique cabinet and art concept for the game. It was going to be a one-off work of pinball art.
Using the parts and rules from CC, I designed a completely new playfield. This is not just a “reskinning” of CC. We changed it from a 2 player to a one player, eliminated two “Gobble Holes” and moved everything around. The game now has a shot back to the top which most EMs of that era don’t have. It also has two shots back to the pop bumpers. It also now has return lanes to the flippers which EMs of the era didn’t have.
Kerry Imming saw our functioning whitewood and said he could build a solid state system to run the game. At that point we realized it would be feasible to build more games. We found 3 more Continental Café games to use as donors for 3 solid state games.
We built ONE EM version of the game. There are a few more EM versions built by fans that now exist. We built THREE solid state versions using Kerry’s hardware. The playfield is screened playfield wood with a hardcoat. We think the SS versions are much more fun to play. The rules are slightly deeper and there is great music by Speedy West in the game and also some unique sounds. The game plays much faster and snappier than the EM version. There is great pop bumper action and the flippers are powerful. This game is a perfect example of two classic pinball design guidelines; One, “The ball is wild” meaning lots of randomness in ball action. Two, “Easy to understand but difficult to master.” If you can score over 2000 on a three ball game, you’re doing good. The highest score we’ve seen is around 7500.
Here’s my analogy comparing WNBJM to modern games: Today’s pinball games are like formula one race cars, the top of the line, fastest, most highly developed cars in the world. There are very few drivers who can handle these kinds of cars. They all learned on much simpler, more basic cars, usually go karts. Experienced pinball players have grown up with simple pinball games and have learned to handle today’s more complex games. New and inexperienced players are intimidated by these games and don’t know what they are supposed to do. WNBJM is like the go kart. EVERYONE can have fun playing it because it is easy to understand. It’s just plain, simple fun. Its design “levels the playing field” for all skill levels of players. We think it will be a great bar game.

Dennis (and Greg)

#2 5 years ago

You guys are awesome! Thanks for doing this!

#3 5 years ago

What did you use for a score display on the SS version? Is the SS version also a single player?

#4 5 years ago

The SS version has EM score reels. A production version would have stepper motor reels. The SS version is single player. A production version would also have automatic ball serve. (no ball lift rod to push.)

#5 5 years ago

Played both versions @ Expo when Dennis first had them there, Great Fun! Hoping one of the major pinball companies puts the game on the factory assembly line.

#6 5 years ago

DAMNIT, NORDMAN!!

That felt good.

-1
#7 5 years ago

Where can I see some pics?

#8 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

We think it will be a great bar game.

So does this mean more are going to be produced for bars?

Also, I would like to give a bump for Kerry Imming. If it wasn't for him, half my games wouldn't be running as good as they are right now. Whenever I have a problem or need a fix, he gives me a nice quick schematic drawing of how things should work and where to look for problems.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from NextoPin:

Where can I see some pics?

Here ya' go.WNBJM lit pists 2.jpgIMG_0325.jpgWNBJM Half Page.jpg

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from jathomp22:

So does this mean more are going to be produced for bars?

We are still working out the details for a production run.

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

DAMNIT, NORDMAN!!

That felt good.

Didn't the Fans of Brian Kelly f/b page die due to lack of interest?

#12 5 years ago

That's a really pretty game Dennis. I never saw one before, thanks for sharing the pics! Will we see it at EXPO this year?

#13 5 years ago

I had the chance to play it at last year's MPE

truly a really nice and well put together package. great job gentlemen!

#14 5 years ago

Awesome! Thanks for the info!

Now if we could only get you to post some info in the "New Elvira" thread. Some of us are DYING to get more info on where that sits.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

Didn't the Fans of Brian Kelly f/b page die due to lack of interest?

That's cold, Dennis, real, real cold.

#16 5 years ago

If you do a production run do you expect it to appeal to collectors or, given what you said about “Easy to understand but difficult to master,” to operators and bar owners?

Paul - editor, pavlovpinball.com

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

We are still working out the details for a production run.

Awesome news Dennis! I would love to own one.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

We combined our interests in old fruit crate art with ‘50s pinup art (and farming!)

I have always been a fan of vintage pin-up art. I wonder if some of these awesome vintage crate labels were part of your inspiration. Some great stuff.

blushing_melons.jpg lantern-press-buxom-melons-crate-label.jpg imageMain_65_838.jpg
#19 5 years ago

I like your analogy Dennis, I recently picked up my first EM and was surprised at how much it gets played. Everyone in my house new the complete rules within a few minutes of playing it and no one was bored because it was simple. In fact, I think that is part of it's lure, they can be deceptively simple. I would love you see you and Greg team up and do a few more one off machines!!!

#20 5 years ago

I've never seen one of the real machines, but I've got one of the art boards set up as arcade decor, and love it. People will casually look at it, then look closer, then look at me weird for having it. I just smile and tell them how rare the machine is. This is the only pic that I can find with it easily visible. (Dinner in the arcade for New Years Eve, if anyone is wondering about the table of food.)

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#21 5 years ago

It's beautiful. Nice work.

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

We are still working out the details for a production run.

VERY exciting. Have drooled over this beautiful creation since I heard about it.

A++

#23 5 years ago

Is Stern still considering a Small Juicy Melons game for the Hispanic component of it's workforce?

That, I believe will be the real LE.

small-jucy-melons.jpg

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

Here’s my analogy comparing WNBJM to modern games: Today’s pinball games are like formula one race cars, the top of the line, fastest, most highly developed cars in the world. There are very few drivers who can handle these kinds of cars. They all learned on much simpler, more basic cars, usually go karts. Experienced pinball players have grown up with simple pinball games and have learned to handle today’s more complex games. New and inexperienced players are intimidated by these games and don’t know what they are supposed to do. WNBJM is like the go kart. EVERYONE can have fun playing it because it is easy to understand. It’s just plain, simple fun. Its design “levels the playing field” for all skill levels of players. We think it will be a great bar game.

Well said. I think 90s B/W games are still my favorites, but after I got my first EM, I needed to get more. I love them, and my friends are way more into them than I ever would have expected.

Whoa Nellie looks great, and I love the idea of a true playfield redesign!

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

We are still working out the details for a production run.

Is there any chance you can do a solid state kit? Building a Whoa Nellie is still on my list of future projects. If you guys could put something together for us playfield owners who have donor cabinets I'd be in. I've been hoping to find a Continental Café but haven't had any luck and would prefer new guts anyway.

#26 5 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Will we see it at EXPO this year?

Yes, there will be one at Expo this year.

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from Nelly:

Now if we could only get you to post some info in the "New Elvira" thread. Some of us are DYING to get more info on where that sits.

I wish I had more info to share, but I don't. We do appreciate all the interest and I will say it's not dead yet.

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from mfresh:

If you do a production run do you expect it to appeal to collectors or, given what you said about “Easy to understand but difficult to master,” to operators and bar owners?

We expect it to appeal to everyone.

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from AlexF:

I wonder if some of these awesome vintage crate labels were part of your inspiration. Some great stuff.

Oh yes, we've seen those and many others. Beautiful works of art.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from Don1:

I would love you see you and Greg team up and do a few more one off machines!!!

So would we!

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Is there any chance you can do a solid state kit?

We discussed it, but we don't want to be in the kit business.

#32 5 years ago

Who's Dennis Nordman? You think this newbie knows what he's talking about?

Seriously though, is there anything better than when the men themselves come in and tell it like it is?

Thanks for that Dennis and Happy 4th brothah!

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

We discussed it, but we don't want to be in the kit business.

Then how about making a "Whoa Nellie 2 Ginormous Freaking Melons" rethemed on Demolition Man? That game flows pretty good

#34 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Then how about making a "Whoa Nellie 2 Ginormous Freaking Melons" rethemed on Demolition Man? That game flows pretty good

Only if he promises to keep Wesley Snipes on the backglass.

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

Here’s my analogy comparing WNBJM to modern games: Today’s pinball games are like formula one race cars, the top of the line, fastest, most highly developed cars in the world. There are very few drivers who can handle these kinds of cars. They all learned on much simpler, more basic cars, usually go karts. Experienced pinball players have grown up with simple pinball games and have learned to handle today’s more complex games. New and inexperienced players are intimidated by these games and don’t know what they are supposed to do. WNBJM is like the go kart. EVERYONE can have fun playing it because it is easy to understand. It’s just plain, simple fun. Its design “levels the playing field” for all skill levels of players. We think it will be a great bar game.

Very well put. Words of wisdom that the pinball manufacturers should consider if they want to keep attracting new generations to pinball.

P.S. - Absolutely beautiful game, was lucky enough to see it in person at Pin-a-Go-Go.

#36 5 years ago

If these are produced, I am 100% in! I have been hoping to hear that news for almost 2 years. If produced, would it be offered with or without the fruit crates? Like a standard vs an LE?

#37 5 years ago

If it goes production, any chance it can go 4 players?

#38 5 years ago

Dennis, Whoa Nellie! Is truly a work of art. I just wish there was one around here I could play.

Please make the pinball world a happier place and team up with Greg again for Elvira 3. Then let Charlie & Spooky Pinball roll 'em out to the people.

Thanks in advance and have a great 4th of July!!

#39 5 years ago

I guess I could route this gal in a Wholefoods or something?

#40 5 years ago

You could route them in Tilted Kilt, Twin Peaks or Hooters. Any good Breastraunt would do.

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

Here’s my analogy comparing WNBJM to modern games: Today’s pinball games are like formula one race cars, the top of the line, fastest, most highly developed cars in the world. There are very few drivers who can handle these kinds of cars. They all learned on much simpler, more basic cars, usually go karts. Experienced pinball players have grown up with simple pinball games and have learned to handle today’s more complex games. New and inexperienced players are intimidated by these games and don’t know what they are supposed to do. WNBJM is like the go kart. EVERYONE can have fun playing it because it is easy to understand. It’s just plain, simple fun. Its design “levels the playing field” for all skill levels of players. We think it will be a great bar game.
Dennis (and Greg)

Awesome Dennis (and Greg)

There is a lot to be said for a game that is like this ... Simple ruleset, just hard to achieve.

Most System 11s fit this bill .... The one I instantly think of is Dr Dude which is a Dennis/Greg game as well.

Pretty simple. Hit 3 things a number of times then the ramp then the left hole. Anyone can figure that out.

But try and do it consistently ... Oh boy. What an addictive game.

Ironman follows the same principle and we know how popular that has become.

PS I hope you still have my name on your list for a BIG MELONS.

rd.

#42 5 years ago

I just love this game and it looks so cool.

#43 5 years ago

What about the rumors of WNBJMr ?

Do you think that it will hurt my investment in WNBJM?

#44 5 years ago

This game is awesome. I've had the chance to play the game and meet Greg and Dennis. I would love to see these produced. I would add one to the collection for sure.

#45 5 years ago

Hi Dennis,
Thanks for involving me in the early stages of development, it was fun talking with both you and Greg on the phone going over ideas for the game. My only wish after playing a version of it was that there would have been enough time for your game to have been shipped to me for deeper game play. It was an awesome idea to use a game that didn't have much going for it as far as game layout and convert it to something that had more to do. Please don't hesitate to call me again if you ever need me on another EM project, I'd love another crack at it.

Steve

(I've been tied up with funerals lately, I just saw this thread or I would have been in on it earlier. Now I'm off to visit my dad before it's too late)

#46 5 years ago

I want one. I really like every Nordman pin I've played.

#47 5 years ago

I'm the guy who needs a go cart for sure Dennis so I'm hoping this gets produced

#48 5 years ago

OK, I am ready. IMVE's are being shipped. MMR's are next. Let's get these rolling right after the MMR's at Stern. Didn't I hear that you guys already have an office or something at Stern? I am sitting here with my deposit waiting for the announcement.

#49 5 years ago

Dennis, I hope I am still on your wait list that you was putting together at the 2012 Pinball Expo.

#50 5 years ago

http://vimeo.com/38739652

Some more behind the scenes action.

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