Many, many thanks to Greg Dunlap  for putting this
transcript in readable order.

(note from Scott-To put this in WMS pin-perspective, this session
took place after the release of No Fear, but prior to Attack From Mars. 
Actually, Who?dunnit was just about to be released)



Here’s the transcript of the conversation with Steve Ritchie which took 
place on IRC September 13th, 1995. A wonderful time was had by all. 
In putting this together, I’ve eliminated all the extraneous garbage which 
naturally appears when on IRC, and re-arranged everything into a more 
normal and readable Q&A style. Some things have been moved around 
slightly, and grammar and spelling errors corrected a bit, but other than 
that the words are all as we spoke them. Special thanks to Louis Koziarz 
for typing for Steve and bringing us this event, and to Steve 
Baumgarten and Dave Grossman for supplying me with parts of the 
conversation I missed.

(Note from Scott-I've taken what Greg started a step or two further,
tightening things up a bit more)

MARTYC: OK, I'll start.  Steve, I nursed a Flash back to life recently. 
What are your reflections on designing that game? 

STEVE:  I was totally excitied. I left Atari very angry and scared, and 
thought about the figure-8 design on the plane, sitting next to my wife. 
We were both really worried about moving to Chicago from California 
and the fear motivated me to produce a design. 

SKYLORD: Steve now that pinball is getting a following what do you 
see for pinball in the next 5 years? IE Do you think we will ever make 
pinball tournaments big enough to be shown on ESPN and have major 
beer sponsoring prize money? 

STEVE: Actually, this is one of the worst times I have ever seen from a 
pinball manufacturer standpoint. Operators and distributors are 
disinterested in pinball at the present time. Overseas, where our largest 
market exists, funky gambling games have overshadowed pinball's 
earnings. Pinball cannot compete with gambling machines. Hopefully, 
much will change soon, but I fear that we have a bad year coming. 
While players don't feel the crunch of reduced sales, selling pinballs is 
what keeps pinball manufacturing alive. We are experiencing very small 
runs throughout the business. Video is still doing pretty well, but we 
also see a decrease in those earnings as well. Historically, this has meant 
that we have not reached the bottom of the pinball markets' decline. 
Certainly, it could change sooner. We have probably not innovated as 
much as we should have. Yet innovation adds to the cost and the high 
cost of pinball is certainly a factor in the reduced sales. We can be more 
optimistic, perhaps, after the AMOA show. 

SAINT: I have 7 of your games is that out of what 13 or 14??? On 
F-14 Tomcat when you made the whitewood was there originally going 
to be 2 pop bumpers on this game? Can it be reinstalled? 

STEVE: The game total is 15.  Yeah, there was a second pop bumper 
at one time. The other pop bumper was removed because the game just 
didn't play well. 

MARTYC: Steve, on Black Knight, were there any major design 
headaches associated with the upper playfield (ramps, etc)? And who's 
idea was it for the second playfield? 

STEVE: Everything about the design was a headache, except about 
placement of flippers, flipper return lanes, etc. The biggest problem was 
ball clearance under the upper playfield, and placement of components 
so that the ball never struck any of the components hanging below the 
playfield. It was also a bitch to get ball time down because once the ball 
went up to the upper playfield, it would not come down in the original 
design. I believe that many designers have had this idea (2nd playfield). 
I'm just a guy who executed it.  It was an obvious idea. Does that 
answer all of your question? 

MARTYC: Yes Thanks, Steve 

MIKE: My question is about No Fear. After playing my first few 
games, I realized that NF was quite physically exhausting to play since 
the ball was always flying around a loop or ramp and back to the 
flippers. Was that a conscious design decision on your part, to in some 
way simulate those extreme sports? 

STEVE: Most of my games are pretty rowdy. With a name like 
NO FEAR, it had to be a quick and somewhat dangerous game. At least 
it should feel like that. The game comes off like it is very violent and 
mean, but I think most people found it pretty forgiving. There are 
breaks in the game if you choose to take them. What is wrong with 
physical play? I think that when you're physically involved in the 
game, you enjoy it more and will remember it.

MIKE: I definitely remembered it :) 

STEVE: It is primarily a man's game, and physical expression is a way 
men communicate. 

MIKE: Thanks, Steve :)  

TFTH: When you start to design a new pin, do you start off with the 
intention of gearing it to a specific audience? (I.E. pros, beginners, 
teens, etc.) With the rules, outlane design, etc... 

STEVE: No.  The ultimate goal of any game designer is to reach as 
broad an audience as possible. I am a reasonably good player, and I 
make games to please myself first. If I didn't enjoy playing it, how could 
I believe in it? I always try to include things/features that address the 
beginner player, and never forget the high end players with features that 
please them too. 

TFTH: Because it does seem that No Fear, for example, is a lot easier 
than say, ST:TNG for a beginner. 

STEVE: Yes, I believe that's true, tfth. 

UNG: Hi Steve, I'll start with my first (and favorite) pin, 
HIGH SPEED.  Was there anything that you wanted to put in this game 
that got axed? 

STEVE: Not anything that I remember.  I think we put in a lot of new 
things as the whitewoods progressed. At one point, LED and I were so 
disgusted (after 3 months of work), that we decided to throw everything 
out and start over. It was one of the smartest moves we ever made. The 
game became much more refined and progressed further than other 
designs that I worked on in the time alotted. Does that answer your 
question Ung? 

UNG: It answers the question somewhat.  I guess I was referring to 
items you wanted to see but got removed for budget reasons (like the 
motorized Tiger Saw in Theatre of Magic). 

STEVE: There was no 'over-budget'.  The nickname around Williams 
for High Speed was 'High Cost'. It wasn't really that much more 
expensive than other games that were being developed at the time. 

UNG: How big a part did Larry play in the design of the game?  Does 
the original whitewood (before the throwout) still exist?  
Can I have it :-) 

STEVE: Larry was a 50% contributor.  Absolutely.  He did much 
more than the normal output and imaginative contribution than many 
others I have worked with. We had knock-down-drag-out fights and the 
game always won. At the end of the project, we weren't speaking to 
each other. We patched it up, and forgot about it and remain good 
friends today. Larry invented Jackpot (the feature), fantastic 
alpha-numeric display, antics and a hell of a lot of the rules. Larry was 
an excellent player, and still is. At one point, I think he lost touch with 
the average player, and I had to beg him, "Can I please win an extra ball 
on my own playfield?!?" He made extra ball easier, and the game turned 
out better than our wildest dreams. It was based on a true story.  I was 
actually chased by the cops at 146 mph in my 1979 Porsche 928. 

UNG: Is there anything about the game that you personally don't like? 

STEVE: Ummm...I wish the music had been digitally recorded.  I 
wanted it to be the first game with really good sounding music. 

MARTYC: Steve, stupid question. I've seen the name Mark Ritchie a 
lot as a pinball designer.. Who is he, and is there any relation, or just a 
strange coincidence? 

STEVE: Mark is my brother.  He is 8 years younger than I.  He's been 
in the business as a designer about 12 years. He presently works for 
Capcom pinball. 

MARTYC: Is there any sibling rivalry professionally? 

STEVE: There has been, at times.  We now make it a point to get along 
at all costs.  We are, after all, family.  We rode dirt-bikes together this 
past Sunday, and do this at least once a month. 

MARTYC: Thanks Steve. 

SAINT: Steve could you tell us about the Atari days?  And describe 
some of your GRUNT work that you had to do before getting your first 
shot at pinball design. 

STEVE: When I went to Atari to look for work, I was a starving guitar 
player in a rock band.  From the lobby of Atari, I could hear blasting 
rock and roll, provided in stereo throughout the factory.  Many beautiful 
ladies were running around and it sure as hell looked like fun to me. I 
started as a line worker, making harnesses for Pong.  There were only 
35 employees in the entire company. I did well as an electro-mechanical 
engineer, having electronic training in the Coast Guard, but no college 
degree. I had to build a universal test fixture for all Ataris at that time. I 
also designed and built a massive high-current burn-in system for 64 PC 
at a time (and that was HUGE).  They finally let me work in the 
engineering area. I got an offer to be the first employee in their pinball 
division (a new venture at the time). I worked in the prototype lab, 
building up playfields for Bob Johnessey, Marty Rosenthal and 
Gary Slater, a young college graduate who did Middle Earth. I was 
blown away by pinball and started a design of my own, which I worked 
on at home only. I asked my boss if I could bring it in, and he said 
No Way.  Pinball design is for college graduates only.  I worked on it 
for one year. I was super-pissed that my boss was such a dick. One day, 
I became frustrated as hell and went to see Nolan Bushnell. Nolan 
looked at my drawing, and asked if I did it all at home. I said yes.  I 
asked him if I could build it up and make it work. He said certainly. You 
can have the cubicle next to Gary Slater. Noone on earth was happier 
than me.  The game was Airborne Avenger. Eugene Jarvis programmed 
the game and we became good friends. 

SAINT: And a fine game it is... 

GDD: Steve, two questions. First, what is your favorite game you've 
ever designed and why? What made it special for you? 

STEVE: T2...I cant say T2 is probably...maybe STTNG... I really like 
Firepower. Ummmm... I like most of them....I can't make a choice on 
my favorite game.... I really have a great time while I am desinging so... 
No one game stands out as the best. I can certainly point out my 
unfavorite.... Rollergames. Rollergames was depressing in that the show 
went off the air before we even produced the game and the show was 
so bad!  Maybe it isn't apparent when you play the game, but all the 
wind went out of our sails toward the end of the project. It was the only 
project that didnt get us progressivly higher as the project moved 
forward. 

GDD: I would say it is also my least favorite of your games. Second, 
tell us a good story about the design process for Black Knight. Every 
game has a good story behind it. Like the being chased by cops story for 
High Speed. 

STEVE: Not every game has a good story behind it. BK was a pain in 
the ass requiring many whitewoods to prove out the multilevel design. 

GDD: Its my favorite of your playfields. 

STEVE: Stellar Wars was rushed into production. The first whitewood 
was garbage. The Theme was inspiring. I wanted to make a battle game, 
my favorite kind. 

REDBEARD: Did you do any other games for Atari? Also, if part of 
the reason sales are down is price, what is going to be done to keep 
costs down? Less toys?  Simpler games? 

STEVE: The Ataris were Airborne Avenger and Superman. 
Eugene Jarvis programmed both. The price of pinball is deifinitely a 
problem for the whole business. We at Williams are addressing the 
problem by reducing costs of labor and components by buying wisely, 
and re-organizing our production area. It does not necessarily mean less toys. 

GDD: You just addressed this question to a certain extent, but what do 
you think can be done to attract more players to pinball in this day and 
age in your opinion? 

STEVE: Oh brother...right now, I don't have the answer.  I am also 
avoiding the question by developing a non-pinball product. We can not 
survive if pinball remains this weak. It is probably time for me to find a 
new market, at least temporarily. 

GDD: OK, thats it for me. Thanks Steve. 

SAINT: Do you think that the new design teams of recent days are the 
future for the company or do you think you and Pat will suck it up and 
give them a run for it for a long time to come? Not that yer slackin 
much, just that they are hot out of the box so to speak. 

STEVE: I personally am ready to compete with any of these young 
whippersnappers. At the same time, I encourage and welcome their 
competitive advances. Certianly nothing can be better for pinball. 
Popadiuk looks hot, so does Brian Eddy. George Gomez is a strong 
designer.  But he's much younger than me.  :) Whoops, NOT much 
younger than me, I mean. I believe that right now, I should concentrate 
more on design and less on managing the teams. During No Fear, it was 
incredibly difficult to design the game and watch over other's designs. 
No Fear became a rushed project and probably suffered a little for it. 
My thoughts are that it takes about a year to make a truly excellent 
game. We just don't have that luxury right now. Would you like some 
advice on how to move a pinball downstairs? 

TFTH: Isn't the best way to put it on a mattress and spin it down the 
stairs (or something) ;) 

STEVE: YES YES YES tfth!!!! 

D6JVB: Louis told us to ask why you don't type yourself. :-) 

LOUIS: Steve isn't a great typist, and I can type faster than Steve can 
think. Just kidding. 

STEVE: Oh yeah, then there's the missing fingertip. On Labor Day 
1994, I lost my fingertip (left ring finger) in a weird dirt-bike accident. It 
went in the rear sprocket, and snipped it off.  It really hasn't affected my 
typing at all since I type with the index and second fingers of both hands 
anyway. I have become a better typist since I have been using 
AutoCAD, and doing managerial stuff in word processors. But I'm still 
not up to Louis' speed. 

D6JVB: You have a favorite game by any *other* designer? 

STEVE: John Trudeau: Hollywood Heat. Pat Lawlor: Earthshaker. 
Barry Oursler: Comet. Mark Ritchie: Indiana Jones. 
John Norris: Cue Ball Wizard. Greg Kmiec: Captain Fantastic. 
Jim Patla: Centaur. Brian Eddy: His new game (which shall remain nameless). 

(note from Scott-Steve is referring to Attack From Mars here)

Dennis Nordman: Elvira. Steve Kordek: Space Mission. 
John Popadiuk: Theatre of Magic. George Gomez: Johnny Mnemonic. 
Harry Williams: Flight 2000. Norm Clark: (George Isaseda) 8-Ball. 
Steve Kirk: Meteor. Joe Kaminkow: Time Machine. 

D3KARL: I'd like to ask a question that sort of ties in with my all time 
favorite game, ST:TNG.  All shots in ST:TNG have a distinct and good 
feeling to them (in particular the Picard combo).  I'm wondering... do 
you get this right during early design, or does it take weeks of 
experimenting with whitewoods before the right feeling is there?  Any 
stories about the design of ST:TNG? 

STEVE: What you're talking about is smoothness. Some smoothness 
always comes in the first pass, after this long designing games. It is 
always the one thing that must be there for me. In every game, 
refinements take place that improve the game and, when we get enough 
improvements to where it makes sense to build a new wood, we do. The 
original name for STTNG was Under Seige. We were going to get the 
license, the game was going to be a battleship game with both cannons 
on one side. STTNG was a much better (and much more liked by me) 
license and we pursued it with vigor.  We went to get the license, it was 
not offered.  Dwight and myself were the biggest Star Trek fans with 
the most knowledge on ST and a basic love for all ST lore. The first 
meeting with Paramount was a TOTAL disaster. Three women in 
charge of licensing were guarding the license with swords and shields.  
They really thought that we would make 'SPACE PIRATES FROM 
F***ING HELL' and depict Picard as a trigger-happy theiving rapist. 
We spent a good deal of time convincing them that we only wanted to 
portray the crew in the best light.  At lunch in the commissary, we got 
into a terrible argument in which I stopped speaking. Sitting 
DIRECTLY behind me was Patrick Stewart at another table. I 
never felt so awkward in my life.  We all knew that we had lost any 
hope of obtaining a license because I wanted to be able to do a 
Borg/Starfleet scenario.  The head licensing woman said No Way to any 
violence which I thought was super-hypocritical and unbelievably 
narrow-minded, considering that we would follow the Prime Directive 
and never instigate violence of any kind.  We all left Hollywood that day 
and Roger Sharpe had to salvage the meeting on the phone in the 
following days. They finally agreed to let us do ST properly.  From then 
on, it was pretty fun. We got to go on the bridge and all of the sets used 
in the show.  It was thrilling to watch a scene being filmed with Gates 
McFadden. I had one foot on the transporter while the filming was 
taking place. Dwight Sullivan, Greg Freres and I also got to meet and 
talk discuss with Dan Curry, Michael Okuda, Michael Westmore Sr/Jr, 
and others in the production crew. Our biggest concern was whether or 
not we would obtain the speech for each and every crew member. And 
Q too. They were always hesitant to concede that we would get 
anywhere in this quest. After many months of waiting, the crew finally 
agreed and we got everyone. Nothing was so important in producing 
this game. It was a great project! 

D3KARL: It is a great game! 

STEVE: Thanks, D3. 

MIKE: OK...I hope this comes across OK :) This ties in a bit with some 
previous questions. Are you finding it difficult to come up with new 
concepts or designs that are fresh, challenging to experts, yet also not so 
difficult that novices will be turned away quickly? For example, the six-
ball multiball has pretty much been done to death by now. That was a 
neat simple idea that novices surely loved, and was also not considered 
cheesy by experts (at least at first). How are you planning nowadays in 
terms of new fresh designs? 

STEVE: In answer to Mike's question, I'm not making pinball right 
now.  I believe that the pinball market is in such bad shape that I need to 
do other things.  Other markets, such as the countertop touch-screen 
games, and 8-lines are not suffering right now. I am not implying that I 
am doing one of these types of games. What I am doing is unique. I 
think pinball needs to go away for a while and become wanted again by 
operators and distributors. You guys (while we appreciate you very 
much) are special players, generally speaking, and certainly the 
backbone of pinball support in the field. I feel like I'm being a traitor, 
but I suspect that I will be able to earn more money through means 
other than pinball which will contribute to the ongoing quest for 
successful cost-effective pinball. In the meantime, we need to be as 
successful as possible in the coin-machine business so that we can 
continue pinball at another time. At least from me. I have to be honest. 
When I read what I have writen above, it sounds awful. But if there is 
no income for this company, there will be no pinball from this company 
in the future.  While I believe that this is a radical thought that not 
everyone shares, it is the truth for me. 

MIKE: With the recent advances in graphics technology being used in 
video games (most notably the Mortal Kombat and Virtua Fighter 
series) do you think it possible that a new breakthrough is on the 
horizon for pinball that could help it compete with the vids? 

STEVE: I'm not sure that the graphics capability has anything to do 
with whether or not a pinball machine is popular and makes money. It 
could _enhance_ the design, I suppose.  It will drive the cost of pinball 
up even higher I'm sure.  Which is not a good idea right now. One of 
the problems with pinball is also it's saving grace. People go to pinball to 
play a mechanical game. "Pinball is real, video is a picture." The less 
mechanical, however, a game is, the longer life it will have and fewer 
service calls necessary. 

MIKE: I certainly do understand your feelings about the pin market. I 
see similar situations in the local gamerooms - vids prominently 
displayed near the door, with the pins relegated to the back. While it's 
tough for me to understand cost arguments (MK3 machines cost how 
much??) ... 

STEVE: MK3 makes TRIPLE or QUADRUPLE what the best pins 
have been making for the last year.  Ops know this, why should they 
pay just as much for a pin?  This is what the ops are asking.

UNG: Well, most of my questions just got answered though I have one 
quickie. My biggest bitch on ST:TNG is the slingshots.  Was this purely 
by design, or was this a fight to keep ball-time down? 

STEVE: I needed to make the slingshots big in order to house the 
cannons within them.  That was as far back on the playfield as I could 
place them and still have good aiming. The slingshots were 
experimented with an awful lot.  This design was the best we could 
come up with, but I know it isn't great.  No excuse.  :) 

UNG: I guess I'm referring to the trapezoidal shape and their tendency 
to nearly shoot the ball into the outlanes.  If the outlane dividers were a 
*little* higher, it would have been a lot more fair. My opinion. Thanks 
Steve, nice talkin' to you. 

BADDGER: Do you have thoughts on the collecting of vintage games 
and how it may revive more interest in new games.

STEVE: I think it's nice that someone does. I like to play old games but 
I don't look to them for ideas because they are going to be old ideas on 
old games. I don't want to be influenced by the past very much, I'd 
rather look to the future. I do admire people who restore and collect 
games, and keep them in good operating condition.   

LOUIS: Subliminal message: Jack*Bot is really cool. Subliminal hint: 
you can cheat on bonus X. Subliminal trivia: Pinbot is naked under that 
metal.

GDD: Where CAN’T you cheat? :)

 STEVE: Good question, gdd. For those of you who don't know, Louis 
Koziarz (my typist) is a renowned programmer of Jack*Bot. 

TFTH: I've saved up a few questions. 1) What is the most interesting 
toy, gadget, (*thing*) you've ever tried on a pin--including possibly 
things that were scratched in the design process for whatever reason? 

STEVE: I don't know, that's a weird question.  If it was cool, I would 
have used it.  Ummmmm..... 

TFTH: Well, I meant something that *was* cool, but maybe too 
expensive, etc. 

STEVE: The accelerator on Getaway is cool, jump ramp on No Fear, 
second level, anything that was good I always used. Once I tried a 
drum-spinner like Indy 500, but not designed half as well. It shook the 
whole game as it sped up, like an unbalanced washing machine. It kind 
of flew apart or flung the ball 8 feet out of the cabinet. 

TFTH: OK, fair enough :)  2) What is the non-pin thing you're working 
on?  And to get 3) in fast-- do you get to choose your own licenses? 

STEVE: 2) "We are not at liberty to discuss future projects".  I cannot 
talk about games that I'm working on, we'll have to wait and see how it 
turns out. 

TFTH: Actually, I kind of expected that :(  

STEVE: 3) Yes, I get to choose them.  We obtain licenses as they 
become available. 

TFTH: Thanks, Steve--this is *great* :) 

REDBEARD: What do you consider the hardest pinballs to play 
(any manufacturer)? 

STEVE: Black Knight 2000 was a tough game to play, IF you couldn't 
get to the upper playfield. If you could, you could rape the game. I 
really don't remember any other games that I would consider tougher 
than any others, I guess. They're all tough for me. I'm only slightly 
better than an average player. Nearly everyone at Williams beats me 
regularly. I did beat Lyman Sheats once. I celebrated big-time, and I 
never let him forget it. 

DANGERD: Sorry to hear about your finger... must have been *some* 
"Flying W" you did in those gawdawful muddy hills you took me to. 
Anyway, looking forward to visiting in New Orleans (lunch is on me!)
 My Question is, maybe you could look around your office before 
AMOA and find plastic goodies or collectables for those of us who 
collect that sort of thing. Promo goodies or prototype stuff  (things that 
would fit in a suitcase!) That's all. Thanx! 

STEVE: I looped it on a cliff jump. It wasn't a flying W. I dropped 
straight down through the air and could not push the bike away from 
me, the bars were ripped from my hands when the bike and I landed. 
We slid down the face of the cliff together and I guess my hands were 
flailing around.  My finger had already been broken in June and I didn't 
know it, although it was healing kind of bent. I'll look around and see 
what I can find. Good to hear from you. 

ROB-R: When (or if) people tire of fighting games, do you think that 
the pinball side of things will get better, or will the video wizards come 
up with something better or different? 

STEVE: The last time there was a lull in the coin-op game biz, there 
were only two kinds of games (+ pinball). Everyone walked around 
asking about new games, the question always was: Is it a space game, or 
is it a maze game? Video died shortly after. Today, the question is: Is it 
a fighting game, or is it a driving game? I wonder what's going to 
happen next. History HAS repeated itself before, so I believe it will 
happen again. Whether or not the game is a fighting game or a driving 
game, I believe it will have little effect on pinball. Is that what we really 
want anyway? Do we want everyone to come to back to pinball because 
there's nothing else that's fun? Or because pinball is new and great 
again? While video and pinball are separate entities, there is a certain 
synchronicity in events that have taken place in the past. Video has been 
the last to go sour (at least temporarily) in the past. When people begin 
to tire of the video games that you speak of, I think it will signal that it 
will only be a short time before pinball becomes popular again. This is 
only my OPINION. You're asking me to guess, here it is. 

ROB-R: (and a follow-up...) Are we going to see more classic game re-
hashes during this lull, like Premier did in the eighties? 

STEVE: I certainly hope not. I have no way of knowing what other 
companies are going to do. I think that everyone that continues to work 
on pinball machines should look for new and exciting features that will 
bring regular players and new players back in droves. 

ROB-R: I just wanted to know if the Elvira we've been hearing about is 
the classic or a whole new (pin)ball game.

STEVE: I haven't heard anything about Elvira. 

(Note from Scott-These were most liklely early rumblings about Scared 
Stiff)

ROB-R: Nothing further, your honor 

GDD: Steve, do you still play rock and roll guitar, and if so, how would
 you like to come and sit in with my band for a song at our next show :) 

STEVE: With a short finger on the left hand, it wouldn't be too easy. I 
haven't been able to play good guitar since it happened. I am going 
to see a doctor about a prothesis and see how it works out. I am 
honored that you would ask me to jam. 

GDD: Sorry, forgot about your accident. Anytime you want, be glad to 
have you. 

STEVE: Speaking of tunes, I love to write music for my pins. I wrote a 
great deal of BK2K, the High Speed theme song, No Fear Jackpot 
Award (and High Score tune), and others that I can't remember. 

GDD: Speaking of music, who did the music for BK original. 
(Although there's only one little tune really.) 

STEVE: There was no music on BK, just background sounds. 

GDD: I guess you can't really call it music, yeah.

STEVE: The software guys wrote the tunes back then. 

GDD: Thanks Steve, its been a lot of fun. 

SMOKE: I'm wondering if there are any plans for a Mortal Kombat 
pinball machine? I think it would definitely be a popular one.  (Too bad 
something like this wasn't available at the release of MK3.) 

STEVE: It has been considered. I wonder if MK3 players would care 
about a pinball called Mortal Kombat 3. I wonder it pinball players 
would care to play a pinball designed after a videogame.  It's an 
interesting question. No Fear, for one day, was MK. 

POCKETS: Do you find it harder to design a sequel (ie: BK2K, HS2) 
than it was to design the original game? (And how did you decide on 
“LaGrange” for HS2?)  :) 

STEVE: For me, the making of sequels is not usually my idea.  It is 
others that suggest it would be a good idea. To make a sequel better 
than the first, seems to be impossible (for me, anyway). Making sequels 
is generally easier because you retain some of the original games, but 
then it's harder because you have to top what was done on the previous 
game. 

SMOKE: You did Bride of Pinbot didn't you? 

STEVE: No, I did not do bride of Pinbot. That was John Trudeau,
 with Python Anghelo and Brian Eddy. About “LaGrange”: “LaGrange
” is a great favorite "driving tune" that belongs in a collection of great 
"driving tunes" the way I see it. A tune has to rock, and contributes to 
the rush you get when travelling at sublight speeds. I regularly do 
140mph on my Honda ST1100.  I do it at night, on only the most 
uncrowded and modern expressways in Chicago. I can't think of any 
ride that I haven't gone at least 100mph for brief periods. I know this is 
sick, but I am addicted to adrenalin and need a shot every now and then. 
I never carry passengers when I do this. Nor do I speed in residential 
areas. But when everything is right, I will HAUL ASS. Also, driving tunes 
seem to sharpen my reflexes and make me concentrate on the job at hand.  
“LaGrange” is a great driving tune. 

LOUIS: That's about it.  We're going back to work now. Thanks to 
everyone who came out. If you want to say a quick message to Steve, 
type it NOW.

UNG: Thanks Steve!!! 

D3KARL: Thanks Steve!!! 

TFTH: Thanks for coming.

GDD: Thanks a lot Steve, we continue to look forward to your always 
excellent work! 

REDBEARD: Great conversation 

TFTH: Tell us real quick--does the secret video mode exist in ST:TNG? 

D3KARL: Definitely worth the sleep I'm losing over this. 

TFTH: I'm picturing a big auditorium with everyone giving a standing 
"O". :) 

LOUIS: Steve is going to type the next line himself 

STEVE: Thank you for the nice compliments. This was a lot of fun, 
and I would like to do it again sometime. You guys ask some good 
questions. I hope the answers were satisfactory. Good night. 

-- MattWalsh - 14 Jan 2002

Topic revision: r3 - 20 May 2002 - MattWalsh
 
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