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Classic Games (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High 133

siobHan writes "The PAPA World Pinball Championships recently concluded in Scott, PA (near Pittsburgh), as covered on Slashdot already. The organizers recorded full 1080p/60 HD video of the playfield during the final games, and have uploaded the entirety of the crucial deciding game, with commentary (direct link to just the video). The winner of this game received $10,000 for his skillful play."
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What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High

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  • Re:Monitor (Score:2, Informative)

    by General Wesc ( 59919 ) <> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @07:53PM (#33406194) Homepage Journal
    clive and mplayer to the rescue.
  • by 0100010001010011 ( 652467 ) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @08:34PM (#33406340)

    Tilt: The battle to save pinball is a great documentary to watch.

  • by Pojut ( 1027544 ) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @08:42PM (#33406376) Homepage

    There were two:

    The arcade at Dixie Landings in Walt Disney World. They had an entire wall that was nothing but pinball least 20-30 in a row. The second was at a place in Gaithersburg, MD that shut down about 12 years or so ago, called Sportland America. They too had an entire wall of just pinball machines, although they had closer to 40 or 50 of them.

    Such good times. I miss pinball machines :(

  • by British ( 51765 ) <> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:39PM (#33406552) Homepage Journal

    If you are in the twin cities area, go to the MN State fair. There's a room with nothing but pins. This is a welcome change from the increasing numbers of shooting gallery & ticket redemption machines invading the fair.

  • What it looks like (Score:3, Informative)

    by bug_hunter ( 32923 ) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:47PM (#33406586)

    What it looks like is unfortunately amazingly boring. Most of the game is the player holding the flipper up so the ball stops, releasing, then making a good shot.
    The shots take skill, and there's always the trick of using the right amount of tilt etc, but I find it near unwatchable.

  • Re:Pinball Fantasies (Score:4, Informative)

    by carlzum ( 832868 ) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:50PM (#33406604)
    It's hard to reproduce pinball in a video game, but Pinball Hall of Fame: The Williams Collection on the Wii comes really close. The Wiimote and nun-chuck are perfect for the flippers and nudging the table, and the physics are lifelike.
  • by S-100 ( 1295224 ) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:19PM (#33406936)
    Gottlieb electromechanical (EM) machines were #1 from the beginning of the flipper period (Humpty Dumpty - 1948), but lagged in features and complexity around the early 70's. But the latter EMs of that decade were unmatched - with classics like El Dorado. But once the games transitioned to solid state(SS) in the latter part of the 70's, Gottlieb never found their way back, and faded slowly from the scene until Barb Wire - their last pinball machine. Until the EM/SS transition, Gottlieb games had a well-deserved reputation for quality of components and reliability. This was all lost in the SS transition with the horrible System 1 platform, designed by Rockwell of all places. And even though they did bring up quality by the 90's it was too late for Gottlieb by then and they faded into obscurity.
  • Re:tilt/bump (Score:2, Informative)

    by sirrunsalot ( 1575073 ) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:36PM (#33406992)
    I think it tolerates a bit of a nudge before it shows TILT. The mechanism is usually a plumb bob that hits a metal ring and completes a circuit if it's hit too hard. When the guy waits for a while, the synopsis says he's waiting for the tilt sensor to come to a rest. The finesse to hit it that hard and not trip the sensor is probably why it refers to it as "$10,000 for his skillful play."
  • by Majik Sheff ( 930627 ) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @12:04AM (#33407074) Journal

    You're dead on with that. The spider chips on those cursed System 1 boards made the damn game boards into toxic cheese graters as soon as they failed.

    Good riddance to them, the aftermarket replacements are much better products. Now if something could be done about the flawed ramp designs and their "smart switches".

    The one thing I do like about Gottliebs from the solid state era is their choice of connector for the interconnects. The rest of the industry's choice of the 0.168 and 0.1 tension pins will plague us for all of eternity.

  • Re:Pinball Fantasies (Score:3, Informative)

    by mccalli ( 323026 ) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @02:01AM (#33407344) Homepage
    Wasn't Pinball Fantasies but its predecessor, Pinball Dreams that got me into pinball. That and a table at university - Fire! [] by Williams. Just about a couple of decades then go by without me playing, and then Pinball Dreams comes out on the iPhone. I liked playing so much that I bought a real table, Gottlieb's Surf'n'Safari [], for the home.

    It's a massive hit - my wife likes it, my kids like it, I like's great. Pinball Dreams is where it started for me though - the Nightmare [] table is massively playable and the music great.

  • by NJRoadfan ( 1254248 ) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:24AM (#33407512)
    Then there is Star Trek: The Next Generation. Machine was rushed and pretty buggy. Most of the machines you listed were from the WMS era so they were based on shared Williams platforms. Twilight Zone was excellent, sadly it never got the DCS sound system. It was supposed to be the first to have it but.... the game was rushed out the door.
  • by DZign ( 200479 ) <> on Sunday August 29, 2010 @08:02AM (#33408194) Homepage

    Check the pinball 101 pages on [] that should teach you most you have to know when buying your first pinball machine..

  • Re:Pinball Fantasies (Score:3, Informative)

    by Waccoon ( 1186667 ) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @09:21AM (#33408420)

    As an Easter Egg in Pinball Fantasies, the developers gave some technical info about the game code on the table score boards. If I remember correctly, the ball physics are updated 200 times per second, rather than at the monitor refresh rate.

    I did a RAM Scan of the Amiga version, and there's a full-sized 2-color bitmap for the physics. It's rather strange, and appears quite sophisticated. Any line only 1 pixel in width was for the table angle, and 2 or more pixels was a border. Different cross hatching patterns defined the steepness.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...