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  • TWIP – deeproot Podcast Interview, Stern New Hires, JJP Live with Pirates, More

TWIP – deeproot Podcast Interview, Stern New Hires, JJP Live with Pirates, More

deeproot Podcast Interview with the Eclectic Gamers Podcast

deeproot Settles with Zombie Yeti

deeproot Opens the Zidware Claims

Last week, we got several news items regarding deeproot:

  • deeproot settled with Jeremy Packer (Zombie Yeti) for 11 (!) titles.  Not all of the titles will see the light of day, but that is a LOT of titles.  And it means that deeproot now has the rights to the art of Magic Girl, Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland, and Alice in Wonderland.

  • deeproot recorded a webinar discussing Goodwill Terms for Zidware Claimants which can be found here:

New Interview with deeproot

The Eclectic Gamers Podcast released an in-depth interview with Robert Mueller from deeproot Pinball.  Click here to listen to the full podcast.  Dennis from the Eclectic Gamers Podcast asked many great questions and as always, Robert gave many interesting answers and sound bites.

In case you missed them, This Week in Pinball released two previous interviews with deeproot Pinball which are referenced several times in the EGP interview with deeproot:

We highly recommend you listen to the full podcast, but here are a few interesting tidbits:

On Zidware customers:

“In summarizing the 35,000 foot view, we’ve been having to try to ride very fine lines.  We knew JPOP was going to be a challenge.  We knew we wanted to take care of all the Zidware customers even though many people out there, especially those who aren’t Zidware customers, may not have wanted that to happen because then they wouldn’t have anything to complain about anymore.  We know that some Zidware customers are not going to go through with relief for one reason or another.  In creating pinball on top of that, we’ve had to ride that fine line – we need to say enough to get Zidware customers to believe that we are going to follow through with our promises but not too much that gives away our trade secrets.  And there are a lot of those we’re trying to keep, more so than any other pinball manufacturers – all of them put together.”

On Licensing:

“…licenseing is extremely difficult…in going through the licensing process, we as deeproot need to present enough of a picture to show that we will be a major player and competitor but not enough to give away what we’re doing…we found out very quickly there is a lot of talking through licensors…”

On Assembly:

“…we’ve come up with what we think is a pretty amazing new take on manufacturing to be able to throttle output at any given time without laying off workers or firing people or hiring a bunch of people…quad assembly is still assembly, its just not done on an assembly line, it’s done more in an office type of nature with batch workflow…”

On Output Capability:

“…the market will dictate output…”

“…I could give you numbers but nobody would believe them.  The only thing people will believe is when they come to buy a deeproot machine and have it within two weeks of buying it…”

On Patents:

“…we have 25-30 patents in process…we want to get what we’re doing protected and locked down and unfortunately even seeing the general look of the cabinet will give away a lot of what we’re doing…”

On coding and rules:

“Let’s separate rule sets from actual programming because those are two very different areas.  In fact, the problem in pinball is that those two have been combined and I think it is a big disservice and that is why there are so many issues with incomplete code, delayed code and you have these crazy long development cycles where you’ve gone 9 months to years and years trying to get this insane code/ruleset out…I think this going to be hard for the other manufacturers to keep up with us when we let the public see what we’re doing…I think it will be a breath of fresh air…”

“…we have reached out – and I am not going to name names – but we would like top tournament players to be consultants, for two reasons.  First we want to make sure our tournament modes would be fun to play in tournaments…and we want people that know rules like their back of their hand to come in and tear apart ours and give us constructive feedback…”

“…while the code might not be open source, we will give users the opportunity to modify portions of the code as they see fit…”

On hardware:

“…they’re not going to be small zizzle games…they’re going to be fully functional pinball machines as people know them, it is going to look and act differently…we’ve redesigned the pinball machine from the ground up…if it is in a lineup of pinball machines from different eras it won’t look out of place…”

“…our warranties will be better than anyone else in the industry…”

“…we’re going to take a sledgehammer to a playfield – if it leaves a mark it does not ship.  Every playfield leaving our facility that is put into a game will have a sledgehammer taken to it…if it leaves a mark it does not ship…I’m done with dimples and the substandard that people have gotten used to…”

On pricing:

“…I think we will have a portfolio of machines at different price points…”

On why deeproot decided to get into pinball:

“…while deeproot is a conglomerate of many different enterprises, pinball is a huge passion of mine…”

On John Popadiuk:

“…he made a lot of stupid decisions and mistakes…his best work is in front of him…he is a fun, engaging guy to work with, he is extremely creative…”

On innovation:

“…have you ever seen Minority Report?  Where Tom Cruise is moving things around with his hands?…nothing is impossible…everything is on the table…”

Um…did he just say they’re going to hit the playfields with a sledgehammer??  And it won’t leave a mark???

Stern of the Union – New Hires

The Stern of the Union address was released last week – read the full update here.  There were several minor updates and one major update – Stern has hired three new members to their software team!  Here is the announcement from Stern:

“Stern is excited to announce several new members to our software team.  Tim Sexton, an avid competitive player (currently ranked 45th in the world), joins us with several years’ experience as a firmware engineer at IBM.  Rick Naegele also joins us, bringing nearly two decades’ worth of experience as a software engineer for publishers Midway Games and Electronic Arts.  Lastly, Brett Rubin brings over a decade of experience as a software engineer in the video game industry working in tools development, graphical user interface design, and workflow streamlining.  Tim, Rick, and Brett are beyond excited for this opportunity and will be working with the talented programming team to push more content and updates out for released and future titles.  Welcome to Stern, Tim, Rick, and Brett!”

This is big news because there are some in the pinball community that have been frustrated with the time it takes for new code to be released on Stern machines.  By adding these new talented members to their team, hopefully we’ll see more frequent code updates.  Congrats to the new hires and to Stern!

Pirates of the Caribbean – Live on Twitch this Wednesday with the JJP Team

Jersey Jack Pinball has announced that they will be doing a live stream of their upcoming pinball machine, Pirates of the Caribbean!  The stream will include several members of the JJP team, including:

  • Eric Meunier (designer)

  • Keith Johnson (software)

  • Joe Katz (software)

Here is the pinside post from Eric Meunier that shared this info:

“Interested in learning more about the gameplay of JJPotC? Join myself, Keith Johnson, Joe Katz, and one other employee from the Engineering team as we launch our first live stream! First episode is happening Wednesday, February 14th, at 3pm Central Standard Time. We will play a couple games of JJPotC and call out our shots and strategies as we do it, explaining rules, progress, and objectives. Join us on Twitch to ask any questions and hang out with the design team!

This will be the first stream and we will do more.

Hope to see you in the chat!”

Check it out this Wednesday at 4:00 PM EST to learn more about Pirates of the Caribbean!

The TWIPY Award Winners Photos

Congratulations again to all the TWIPY Award winners!  All of the trophies have been shipped and are now in their new homes.  Check it out!

Congrats again to the winners and to ALL OF YOU that put time in to create pinball content and help grow this great hobby!

Behind the Scenes at the TWIPYs

As you know, the TWIPY Awards Show was live on Twitch last month (you can watch it here if you missed it).  As with any live show, things don’t always go exactly as planned and there are always some last minute things that come up.  Here are a few that the TWIPY hosts, Zach and Greg from Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show, faced:

  • Greg and Zach did not have white shirts for a tuxedo, so right before the show they crafted black buttons by cutting out electrical tape to stick on the white buttons to mimic a tuxedo shirt. Greg’s daughter helped with the art project.

  • Zach prepped for the TWIPY Awards by typing out and printing a 6 page outline of the show. Greg prepped for the show by having a 6-pack of beer beside him, off camera to drink. No lie….

  • Twitch omitted around 8 minutes of sound from the replay video, thus also the YouTube video. There was no reason for the omission, so SDTM appealed the decision, and Twitch has now added the audio back in.

  • Greg and Zach truly had no clue as to the TWIPY winners.

If you’re wondering was it like when the young woman at FedEx found out I was shipping pinball awards…

This was posted to the TWIP Facebook Page, but in case you missed it, I had an interesting interaction while shipping the TWIPY trophies.  There were six or seven different boxes, all had the address and the name of the awards (which needed to be typed in by FedEx). The conversation with the young woman working the FedEx went something like this:

Her: “These are all going to different places?”

Me: “Yep.”

Her, looking at the first label: “Do you want me to put Spooky and “TNA” on the label or just Scott Danesi?”

Me: “Just Scott is fine.”

…next box…

Her: “Pin Stadium Lights?”

Me: “Yep.”

Her: “What are you shipping? Just curious…”

Me: “It’s nothing and it would sound crazy.”

Her: “Well now I really want to know!”

Me: “Um, pinball awards.”

Her: <staring>

Me: “Yeah.”

(now we are both starting to laugh a bit and it just got worse)

Her: “I didn’t know those were a thing, but that is cool.”

Me, thinking she was mildly interested: “It actually was pretty cool, they’re called the TWIPYs, and we had a live awards show and everything!”

Her: “Like with a bunch of high schoolers at an arcade?”

Me: “Um, no, it was an awards show online.”

Her: “Really.”

Me: “Yes…they’re very prestigious.”

…next box…

Me, checking the label: “Actually, it isn’t Jack Dagger, it is Jack Danger.”

Her, sarcastic: “Oh, sorry.”

Me: “He’s a pinball celebrity.”

Her: “mmmhhmmmm.”

…next box…

Her: “And this label says Stern, Aerosmith and Star Wars, are those names of the games?”

Me: “Yeah”

Her: “I played pinball once, I wasn’t very good. Well I should say I wasn’t very lucky, it was all luck. Who should I make this one out to?”

Me: “Zach Sharpe.”

Her: “And he made these machines?”

Me: “No. He’s…never mind. But he is the number one ranked pinball player in the world.”

Her, dumbfounded: “I didn’t know that was a thing. So he’s ranked number one? Since pinball is almost all luck, he must be REALLY lucky!”

Me: (thinking of how ironic it is that she is saying someone in the Sharpe family is “just lucky” to be an elite pinball player)

…next box…

Her: “Favorite podcast? There are podcasts about pinball???”

Me: “Yes, a lot of them.”

Her: (eyes wide in disbelief)

…next box…

Her: “And who is the big box going to?”

Me: “Jersey Jack Pinball.”

Her: “These boxes all have pinball trophies?”

Me: “Yep. The TWIPYs.”

Her, a little sarcastically: “Well we’ll make sure they’re VERY safe and everyone gets their prestigious awards.”

Me: “Thank you. And play more pinball!”

Roman Glass from Heighway Pinball

Heighway Pinball announced on this Facebook post that Roman Glass is now available as an upgrade on Alien Pinball:

“Roman Glass is now available an optional extra on Alien. Prices are as follows: £195, €220 and US$250. Roman Glass on the green Alien, standard glass on the blue Alien.”

Roman glass is an anti-glare glass similar to PDI glass and Invisiglass, and is called Roman glass for Roman Kunovic, the inventor of the anti-glare glass for pinball.

Pinball Bulbs – advertisement

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That includes their Mini Virtual Pinball Machine, which comes loaded with:

  • Pinball FX2

  • Pinball Arcade

  • Ikaruga and Proycyon (shooters)

  • Visual Pinball – MAME (ROMs added by user)

  • Customer front end so no computer or technical skills needed

  • Full online support fort your specific machine

  • Real Analog Nudge

Click here for more info and pricing, and watch the video below to check out more about this machine!

IFPA: Fort Wayne Pinball Wizard’s World Arcade hosts largest ever Indiana Women’s Pinball Tournament and the 2nd largest in the World for 2018

Pinball Wizard’s World Arcade in Fort Wayne, Indiana, hosted a women’s tournament last week that was the largest ever for Indiana and the 2nd largest in the world for 2018, according to this article on IFPA.  Congrats to Danielle Alexander on winning the tournament!  For the full results, click here.

Stern Pro Circuit Championships

Stern made an announcement regarding the Stern Pro Circuit Championships on this Facebook post:

“The Stern Pro Circuit Championships are coming to The Bottom Lounge1375 Lake Street, Chicago, IL on 3/24! Brought to you by PAPA, IFPA, Great American Pinball, Logan Arcade and Stern Pinball. The top 40 pinball players from around the globe will be there to compete for the title. The event will be hosted by Brian “Q” Quinn of Impractical Jokers with live stream commentary from Dead Flip’s Jack Danger and a post championship performance by Blood People. Be part of the coolest pinball tournament in the world. Limited amount of tickets available for only $25.

NYC Pinball Championship Updates

The NYC Pinball Championships released two significant updates this week.  The first was:

Due to extraordinary player response and registration for the upcoming New York City Pinball Championships (NYCPC), to be held in Manhattan May 18-20, Never Beef Productions (NBP) today announced a player cap of 140 people for the inaugural edition of New York’s premier pinball tournament. A cap of 140 registered players is being instituted immediately, with a waiting list to be established for players to claim vacated spots.

“We really want every professional pinball player on Earth to be able to participate in what’s shaping up to be a spectacular event, but due to the overwhelming response we have decided to cap this in our first year of the NYCPC,” said NBP Production Manager Austin Smith. “With about 50 spots left, we think the event will fill up soon,” Smith added.

Players can register and also book an event rate room at the Skyline Hotel through the NYCPC official website at WWW.NYCPINBALLCHAMPS.COM.

After carefully considering player and community feedback, the Never Beef Productions team is excited to announce the following changes to the women’s tournament at the NYC Pinball Championships. Women’s tournament qualifying will now be played on a dedicated game bank of four machines. Women’s finals will take place Saturday night at 9:30 pm on the same bank of games. Top 8 qualifiers will have a chance to battle it out for the chance to become the inaugural NYC Pinball Championships Women’s Division champion!

The change means short lines for players vying for the Women’s title, as well as guaranteed cash payouts for all finalists along with other prizes including a signed Jersey Jack Pinball playfield. The separate women’s bank reflects a general trend in pinball tournaments, including top events including Pittsburgh Pinball Open and It Never Drains in Southern California.

NBP is also proud to unveil the official NYCPC t-shirt design. This shirt is available at a discount for registering players, and will also be available on site. The shirt will be available on black or blue material, and will also be offered in women’s sizes. The shirt was designed by Brooklyn-based artist Justin Sanz, whose work appears in the collections of the Library of Congress, The New York Public Library, The Spencer Museum, and various private collections.

Then a day later, we got this update:

Just wanted to amend yesterday’s press release – we are now SOLD OUT and have created a waitlist after filling our last 50 spots in under 12 hours.

Victory Laps – End of Post Bonus

  • Jurassic World Pinball for Pinball FX3 coming February 20th, check out the trailer here!  Now if only a manufacturer of real pinball would make one…

  • Congrats to Spooky Pinball – Total Nuclear Annihilation is now their best selling pinball machine!  Check out their Facebook post about it here!

  • Speaking of Total Nuclear Annihilation, Bowen Kerins destroyed Reactor #9 – check out the video here!

  • Huge congrats to Chris Kooluris of the Kaneda Pinball Podcast for releasing his 200th episode!  Thanks for all the great pinball content Kaneda

  • ColorDMD released this picture on their Facebook page, indicating a 192×64 ColorDMD is coming in 2018!  This means that Frankenstein, BayWatch, Batman and Maverick can now be colored!

  • Did you see the new Supreme Pinball machine made by Stern?  Check out a video teaser here.  This Week in Pinball is researching this machine and will provide further updates (hopefully) on Thursday!


MATCH! – Next Game…What is Coming Up on This Week in Pinball

  • Around the Playfield with Charlie Emery coming tomorrow

  • Supreme Pinball info coming Thursday (hopefully)!

  • We’re working on a massive page/resource for competitive players and are hoping to release it within the next month – stay tuned!

Get alerts for new posts from This Week in Pinball – follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or sign up by email:

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We do NOT share any confidential or “off the record” information without permission from the source of the info.


Any articles, interviews, or mentions of pinball manufacturers or pinball products is NOT an endorsement.

Have a scoop or anonymous rumor?  Email us at [email protected]

Upcoming Games and Rumors

Stern Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Aerosmith

  • AC/DC Vault Edition

  • Star Wars

  • Guardians of the Galaxy

  • AC/DC Luci Vault Edition


  • Elvira 3

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Deadpool?

  • _______ VE?

  • The Munsters?

  • Iron Maiden?

  • The Beatles?

  • Jurassic World?

  • Pulp Fiction?

  • New Ka-Pow Title?

  • Steve Ritchie Unlicensed?

  • Keith Elwin Game?

Spooky Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International

  • Dominos (*contract game)

  • Jetsons (*contract game)

  • Total Nuclear Annihilation (*contract/house game)


  • Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle

  • Ben Heck’s game

American Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Houdini

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Oktoberfest?

Dutch Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Bride of Pinbot 2.0

  • Bride of Pinbot 3.0 (on hold)

  • The Big Lebowski (production issues)

Circus Maximus

  • The Pinball Circus Remake

  • Kingpin?

Jersey Jack Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Wizard of Oz

  • The Hobbit

  • Dialed In

  • Pirates of the Caribbean

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Toy Story?

  • Willy Wonka?

  • The Muppets?

Chicago Gaming/Planetary Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Medieval Madness Remake

  • Attack From Mars Remake

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Monster Bash Remake?

  • Cactus Canyon Remake?

  • Big Bang Bar Remake?

  • Theatre of Magic?

Heighway Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Full Throttle

  • Alien (shipping)

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Queen?

P3 (Multimorphic)

  • Lexy Lightspeed

  • Cannon Lagoon

  • Cosmic Cart Racing


  • Thunderbirds (coming soon)

Phénix Pinball

  • Olympic Goblin

deeproot Pinball

  • Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland?

  • Alice in Wonderland?

  • Magic Girl?

  • Original Houdini design?

Silver Castle Pinball

  • Timeshock (coming soon)

**TWIP dreams of the day Harry Potter Pinball will be added to these rumors. Ms. Rowling, I’d be willing to be a test subject for Fred and George’s puking pastilles if you approve this!

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