ASCII by Jason Scott

Jason Scott's Weblog

TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball —

I can’t exactly remember the first time Greg Maletic and I traded e-mails, but I do remember what it was about: an in-progress documentary he was doing on the story of Pinball 2000.

If you missed the whole Pinball 2000 thing, the short form is this: faced with lagging sales and a stagnation in the industry, Williams (the video game and pinball people) went for broke and came up with a video-pinball hybrid called Pinball 2000 that would allow interchangeable playing fields, tons of mini games, and a very entertaining experience that would distinguish this “new generation” of pinball games.

Greg owned one of these machines, and at some point he started to wonder about what the story was behind this machine and how things panned out. He started working on a documentary and a couple years later, he had a rough cut, which he was kind enough to send me to evaluate. I loved it, scoped out his phone number, and then yammered at him for well over an hour. Since then, I’ve been keeping track of the production and helping him when I could. For example, I got him in touch with the Vintage Computer Festival, where he was able to show his rough cut for people and get valuable feedback. He’s been polishing this thing for over a year and a half, tweaking music, edits, and putting together bonus footage. He’s had a handful more test screenings and has been interviewed a bunch of times about it.

And now, I just got the word that he’s taking pre-orders for it.

He’s selling “basic” and “complete’ DVD versions, although anyone who reads my weblog couldn’t possibly settle for the “basic” version. It’s got hours of bonus features, lots of extras, and is just $30. It has an interview with Steve Kordek, for example. Who’s he? Oh, just the guy who invented pinball flippers.

It’s that kind of effort and detail that shows in this project, and Maletic’s amazing graphics arts skills (which you can see clearly in the website) bring it all together really well. I strongly recommend doing a pre-order of the guy’s work and getting into that first burst of sales, rewarding someone who didn’t settle for throwing out a sub-par product into the world. We need more guys like that.

Check it out.

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One Comment

  1. Krisjohn says:

    Thanks! Pre-ordered. Now I’m off to read the other half-dozen posts you made last night…