PINBALL DESIGNER LAWLOR ON THE KINETICS OF THE SILVER BALL


funhouse.jpgSpeaking of lost arts, GameSetWatch has a great interview with pinball designer Pat Lawlor (Funhouse, The Addams Family) that veers comfortably wildly around all topics of the modern pinball industry, but is at its best when discussing just how pin-boards are designed — a topic closely related to videogame design but so tactile at its core that it slightly boggles my mind:

1.12.2009

Brandon Boyer

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There are obviously many aspects involved in kinetics. Every designer has differing goals for the “feel” of the game. Usually these goals are a result of the kinds of games the designers like
personally.

Things to consider are, in no particular order:

1) Middle shots are easier for beginners.
2) How to mix stop and go shots with nice return flow shots.
3) How fast is the overall game? Very fast games are very difficult for beginners.
4) When a shot is missed, what happens to the ball? Is it a bad, clunky thing? Does the ball come back in my face?
5) Are these shots just “there,” or do they represent something from the theme?

Hit the link for more on the inescapable draw of wolloping Funhouse’s ‘Rudy’ head, and why pinball has “not adequately adapted to the 21st century.”

GameSetInterview: ‘Rudy’s Father Speaks – The Pat Lawlor Interview’ [GameSetWatch]

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