(Topic ID: 206864)

Williams People


By o-din

11 months ago



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  • 112 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by o-din
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    There are 112 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    #51 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Who's that guy with his hands in his pockets?

    Who are the rest of the family in background?

    #52 11 months ago
    Quoted from pacmanretro:

    Who are the rest of the family in background?

    You're gonna have to help me out on this one. Although the lady looks familiar, I live in Ca.

    #53 11 months ago
    Quoted from jfre81:

    Eugene Jarvis. Did pinball code but is best known as a video game designer (Defender, Robotron: 2084)

    I ran into Eugene Jarvis in Chicago last year with my boys. Nicest guy you could ever meet. I was totally geeked, he prob thought I was some stalker. Fortunately my wife snapped a quick iPhone pic of us. From what it seems they were all like that. Just an amazingly fun down to earth bunch of guys who loved games.

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    #54 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    You're gonna have to help me out on this one. Although the lady looks familiar, I live in Ca.

    Probably not recognizable people, honestly.
    I believe, That is Steve Kordek's family.

    #55 11 months ago
    Quoted from pacmanretro:

    Probably not recognizable people, honestly.
    I believe, That is Steve Kordek's family.

    Same event....I'm in this pic somewhere

    Kordek-StarWorldsgroup (resized).jpg

    #56 11 months ago

    Louis J. Nicastro. The money man. Note I did not say Stephen J. or Neil D. Nicastro.

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    #57 11 months ago

    That's some fancy building they have there, not to mention the car.

    #58 11 months ago

    The brick building is the old pinball plant (shown on the covers of the mid '60's to mid '70's part catalogs) that has had all the shipping & receiving docks/doors removed and filled in as the plant is now filled with slot machine design studios.
    The car is BallyKid's.

    #59 11 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    The car is BallyKid's.

    I guess it was only inevitable he would find his way to Williams.

    #60 11 months ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Louis J. Nicastro. The money man. Note I did not say Stephen J. or Neil D. Nicastro.

    Why does Neil hate Pinball?

    #61 11 months ago
    Quoted from Kneissl:

    Why does Neil hate Pinball?

    I'm guessing he was just no good at it and got his ass kicked by a girl.

    #62 11 months ago

    A lot of great things can be said about the people at William's, but my other hobby is being a musician, so I value a pinball machine with a good soundtrack.

    DE might have had their fancy stereo capable sound board, but in my opinion, Williams (and later, by association, Bally) had the finest soundtracks on their games.

    My favorites:

    Chris Granner with Taxi, Whirlwind, White Water, and Pinbot.
    Dan Forden with Mousin' Around, the ever atmospheric BoP, and Medieval Madness
    Brian Schmidt with the legendary BK2K, Swords of Fury, and Banzai Run.

    System 11 games and WPC games that don't have the DCS soundboard are particularly my favorite, as they all use the delightful Yamaha YM2151 chip that hits me right in the nostalgia bones. That sound card, also being used in the Sega Genesis hits me right in the childhood. These guys were not only incredible musicians, but also crazy good sound programmers, as that chip had to have been pushed to it's breaking point with games like White Water, and it's stackable soundtrack.

    #63 11 months ago

    I'm taking nothing away from any of the other great pinball companies. There are a handful that each at certain times was tops in the industry.

    From Rock-ola with it's amazing early games, to Gottlieb, the gold standard in the early EM days that continued to make a well built product till the very end, Bally, with huge sales in the thirties, becoming the king of bingo games, then going full steam ahead in the 70s to pretty much rule the early SS era, to Stern from the late 70s on to become for a while the only survivor. And a lot of credit for what companies like JJP and Spooky are doing now.

    But you gotta hand it to Williams pinball from where they started out to where they finished and all the many people that were involved.

    #64 11 months ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    My god the history and combined talent. I realize I’m just a young’n and all....but is there even the slightest chance in hell of Williams in its different current form returning to pinball?? I mean cmon, the money might be there for a return. Sure would be nice to see Williams name plate (proudly made in Chicago Illinois) on a new pin again. I kno, I’m dreaming. Can’t a guy dream?

    If we all kept buying new Williams pinball machines, Williams would still be around today! We are lucky enough to still have many different ex employees of Williams still around today and in different pinball manufacturing companies.

    #65 11 months ago

    I blame Pinball2K. RFM made money on location, but it must have been a pricy venture to create. Most players I knew thought it was a novelty at best and were waiting for their next real pinball machines to come out.

    As the song said "video killed the pinball star"

    #66 11 months ago

    The gimmick is neat and all, it just seems like something was taken away by adding the video the way they did. Super expensive gamble way beyond [the gamble of] just making a good pin game.

    #67 11 months ago

    Like I said, when I played it I said "neat, now when do we get another real pinball machine". Then came South Park, but that's a whole nuther story...

    #68 11 months ago

    While some of these fine people we still hear and see, has there been any interviews, or effort to reach some of the
    older people, not in the industry anymore?

    Memories and photos waiting to be shared?

    #69 11 months ago

    Here's a picture of Harry Williams from the old days.

    harry_williams_8904 (resized).jpg

    #70 11 months ago

    And the fact they are owned by Scientific Games.

    #71 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    I blame Pinball2K. RFM made money on location, but it must have been a pricy venture to create. Most players I knew thought it was a novelty at best and were waiting for their next real pinball machines to come out.
    As the song said "video killed the pinball star"

    It wasn't a game that killed pinball--sales were still reasonably strong. It was a particular fellow in charge at the time (Neil Nicastro) who shut down the pinball division and destroyed it to prevent anyone else from picking up the pieces.

    Who knows, maybe if it wasn't for him, it might have been both stern and williams chugging along and keeping the pinball torch alive during the lean years.

    #72 11 months ago

    Nobody gave a shit about SWE1.

    And as far that anti pinball dude, let him hang from the tree of wo, and may god have mercy on his soul.

    #73 11 months ago

    Mike Stroll
    Ken Fedesna
    Python Anghelo
    Bill Pfutzenreuter
    Pat McMahon (came from Bally)
    Dennis Nordman
    Greg Freres (came from Bally)
    Linda Deal

    #74 11 months ago

    I think pin2000 was more for arcade enthusiasts than pinheads. It was Williams attempt to bring in cross over traffic from arcades and home consoles to pinball. If the tech had existed in 1982, it might’ve worked. Of course it didn’t work out. But I think it was a noble try. I like rfm myself, swe1 was a loser tho imho.

    #75 11 months ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    If the tech had existed in 1982, it might’ve worked.

    It worked fine, and they were still selling this machine when they shut it down. I love my RFM too. I can't agree with the folks that say it's too much video and not enough pinball. To me, it's another pinball toy...just a visual enhancement, and still all pinball at the core. My coworker and friend just bought one recently - he feels it is the greatest machine on the planet. In his words "How can anyone NOT love this game?"

    #76 11 months ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    I think pin2000 was more for arcade enthusiasts than pinheads. It was Williams attempt to bring in cross over traffic from arcades and home consoles to pinball. If the tech had existed in 1982, it might’ve worked. Of course it didn’t work out. But I think it was a noble try. I like rfm myself, swe1 was a loser tho imho.

    A bunch of different hybrid games were experimented with over the years prior to pin2000:

    Chicago Coin, Supper Flipper, 1975: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=2432
    Atari, Video Pinball, 1978: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=6292
    Gottlieb Caveman, 1982: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=475
    Bally Baby Pacman, 1982: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=125
    Williams Varkon, 1982: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=2721
    Bally Granny & the Gators, 1984: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=1083
    Mr Game, Motor Show, 1989: http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=3631

    #77 11 months ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    It worked fine, and they were still selling this machine when they shut it down. I love my RFM too. I can't agree with the folks that say it's too much video and not enough pinball. To me, it's another pinball toy...just a visual enhancement, and still all pinball at the core. My coworker and friend just bought one recently - he feels it is the greatest machine on the planet. In his words "How can anyone NOT love this game?"

    I meant the attempt to drive arcade people to pins. The pin worked perfectly. The strategy to convert arcade people did not.

    #78 11 months ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    It worked fine, and they were still selling this machine when they shut it down.

    If they had spent a little more time finishing code on games like Cactus Canyon instead of trying to turn pinball into a video game, I think the world would be a better place now.

    #79 11 months ago

    IIRC Bally/Midway lost the Namco Pac-Man license because they didn't have permission to make and sell Baby Pac-Man or the various Pac spinoffs.

    Quoted from o-din:

    If they had spent a little more time finishing code on games like Cactus Canyon instead of trying to turn pinball into a video game, I think the world would be a better place now.

    Unfortunately the environment of the world in 1998 did not support this. Arcade was dead, WMS corporate had already turned against pinball and wanted to make slot machines anyway. The silver ball was heading SDTM for the drain and nothing, not Pin2K, anything was going to save pinball as it had been. I wish as much as anyone it had been different. I did not stop playing pinball regularly because I lost interest, but because I lost access for the most part.

    #80 11 months ago
    Quoted from jfre81:

    Unfortunately the environment of the world in 1998 did not support this.

    Well I had a pocket full of quarters that said differently. And the local arcades I visited were thriving with pinball business. But we were either stuck playing stupid video pinball and incomplete CC, or the 100s of other machines we had already played over and over. Just as well, I moved back to the beach and went surfing and let the rest of the world figure it out.

    #81 11 months ago
    Quoted from chad:

    And the fact they are owned by Scientific Games.

    Yup. Scientific Games bought Bally Technologies a year after Williams. They both got absorbed completely and now only exist as a brand names.

    IMG_0129 (resized).JPG

    #82 11 months ago

    I found this nice vintage photo and article of Sam Stern several years before he actually took ownership of Williams.

    image-16 (resized).jpg

    #83 11 months ago
    Quoted from Phat_Jay:

    is there even the slightest chance in hell of Williams in its different current form returning to pinball?

    No, but most of the people that made it great are working at JJP and Stern.

    #84 11 months ago

    If pinball survived 1983, I feel like it could've survived 1998. But alas, those days are gone forever. I think we're all super longful of the William's days simply because they never jumped the shark. They ended their tenure on a high note of game design, and therefore we long for those days. Had they stayed in business, they could've cranked out turd after turd, and tarnished their reputation. We'd never really know, I guess.

    #85 11 months ago

    On thing I have noticed was the lack of Steve Ritchie games near the end. His last one was No Fear in 1995 I believe.

    #86 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    On thing I have noticed was the lack of Steve Ritchie games near the end. His last one was No Fear in 1995 I believe.

    He left and went back to Atari for a bit.

    Quoted from o-din:

    Well I had a pocket full of quarters that said differently.

    Unfortunately it was not enough quarters for WMS shareholders to be happy.

    #87 11 months ago
    Quoted from jfre81:

    He left and went back to Atari for a bit.

    OK that makes sense.

    Wonder if things would have been a little different if he had stuck around and j-pop had gone back to whatever it was he had been doing.

    #88 11 months ago

    John Youssi?

    #89 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    OK that makes sense.
    Wonder if things would have been a little different if he had stuck around and j-pop had gone back to whatever it was he had been doing.

    Steve and JPop actually overlapped somewhat at Bally/WMS. Think Theatre of Magic came out before No Fear. SR has said in interviews he saw the writing on the wall both at WMS and for pinball on the scale they were making.

    Williams/Midway fed both the arcade video game and pinball renaissance. Capcom and Street Fighter II kicked it off, but then came Mortal Kombat, made by Boon the former pinball programmer and callout voice. Then SR was essentially the voice of MK. Many other guys crossing over from one to the other to help make the arcade what it was in this era. When MKII came out it was THE big deal. Then for MK3 they were putting codes in pinballs like ToM. They made this symbiosis between their video and pinball that worked until the Internet and gaming/PC hardware advanced to where they could provide that video experience at home.

    Pinball is mainly a victim of its being costly to manufacture and maintain, such that an arcade cannot be profitable operating strictly or mostly pinball. The video games created the environment that allowed a pinball like TAF to sell 20K+ or for later ones like TZ or ST:TNG to exist at all as made.

    #90 11 months ago
    Quoted from Sinestro:

    Yup. Scientific Games bought Bally Technologies a year after Williams. They both got absorbed completely and now only exist as a brand names.

    A lot of people don't realize that Bally (the original Bally Manufacturing Corporation) bought Scientific Games in the mid-1980's. Of course they eventually spun it off as their cash flow issues needed addressing. Less than 25 years later, Scientific Games buys Bally.

    #91 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    He could have answered a lot of questions I'm sure. Like who was the mystery artist of the 60s? But now, we may never know.

    Very good point - but NO he could not. I know for sure because I told someone I know to ask him personally at an EXPO.
    Because that mystery artist designed my darling I'm very eager to hear that name.

    #92 11 months ago
    Quoted from dmarston:

    I'm surprised to see Bally employees or contractors (Paul Faris and 1960s mystery artist) being nominated. I think this list should be limited to those who "made Williams pinballs great" and would only apply to Bally-branded pinballs after 1989.
    But I'll add Joe Dillon to the list.
    .................David Marston

    You're wrong - the 'mystery artist' worked for Williams AND Bally in the 60ies.

    #93 11 months ago
    Quoted from Mardi-Gras-Man:

    Very good point - but NO he could not. I know for sure because I told someone I know to ask him personally at an EXPO.
    Because that mystery artist designed my darling I'm very eager to hear that name.

    Well that sort of gives me a sigh of relief as I was sure if anybody knew it would be him. And was frustrated that now it would be too late to ask.

    I have a few mystery artist games including Big Daddy which is gorgeous top to bottom. I can't think of anybody else that's still around that might know. It's pretty amazing with all the people in the industry over the years that this has somehow remained a secret and there is no documentation available. Maybe he just wanted to remain anonymous.

    Oh well, it doesn't really bother me that much beyond knowing the facts, but I'll just appreciate them for what they are, wonderful works of art.

    #94 11 months ago

    I think the same, dear O-Din.
    But still sometimes I think, these may be the last days right now when someone from these Ad-Posters-days still is alive. I even would set a reward for someone who could find out the name of 'the mystery artist'

    #95 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    That's some fancy building they have there, not to mention the car.

    an ugly 'german-angst-car' like they are called in the USA and it's true

    #96 11 months ago
    Quoted from Mardi-Gras-Man:

    I think the same, dear O-Din.
    But still sometimes I think, these may ne the last days right now when someone from these Ad-Posters-days still is alive. I even would set a reward for someone who could find out the name of 'the mystery artist'

    Well, if not Steve Kordek, who the mystery artist's work appeared on several machines, then who else? Maybe someone from Bally back in the day?

    I have to be honest as I think there may be more than one mystery artist, because the styles on some of the unnamed games vary so much.

    #97 11 months ago

    FYI Steve Ritchie and Eugene Jarvis will be at MGC in Milwaukee April 13-15

    #98 11 months ago

    Since Pinball-Artwork was done at Ad-Posters (for all 4 companies) maybe 'we' should rather search for more information 'there' I mean directly Ad-Posters. Does anyone know something about it?
    And one more - what about Gary Stern? He was around Williams being a boy and teenager, so 'maybe' he took some visits to Ad-Posters too?

    #99 11 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Well, if not Steve Kordek, who the mystery artist's work appeared on several machines, then who else? Maybe someone from Bally back in the day?
    I have to be honest as I think there may be more than one mystery artist, because the styles on some of the unnamed games vary so much.

    Me I also think a lot about this, I guess it were 2 artists. The man who did Mardi Gras surely did Bid Daddy, his last one was Safari I think. Blue Ribbon could have been done by another man.

    #100 11 months ago

    I had heard that possibly Louis Raynaud might have been at least one of the mystery artists but between pinside's list of games and IPDB's I can't tell which games he really did do or if Cristian Marche did them.

    Even some of the info that is documented is not always correct.

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