The Pinball Arcade, and Bringing The Twilight Zone To Life (Interview)
Since its release over the past few months on both mobile platforms and consoles, The Pinball Arcade has become a popular release with both pinball fans and newcomers alike, as the development team at Farsight Studios has managed to perfectly recreate some of the more popular tables out there for digital play, including Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and most recently, Funhouse and Bride of Pin-bot, which are coming to Xbox Live and PlayStation Network next month.
Now the team has posed a new challenge for its fans – bringing The Twilight Zone, one of the most popular licensed tables ever made, to the collection. They’re fronting the development costs, but have opened up a Kickstarter program to help fund enough money to pay for licenses. So far so good – the Kickstarter is sitting over $36,000, $19,000 short of its goal, with 20-something days to go.
To get an idea of what the table is all about, we caught up with Farsight community rep Bobby King…
GameZone: First off, why do you guys think that The Twilight Zone deserves to be immortalized as a Pinball Arcade table? Tell us what's so appealing to those who have never played it before.
Bobby King: Oh, Twilight Zone is worthy! Our goal is to include as many of the all-time greatest tables as possible. You'd have a difficult time finding any best ever pinball list without TZ in the top 10. On ipdb.org, it's currently listed as number one!
Pat Lawlor really brought Rod Serling and the Twilight Zone to life. The guys at Bally made a great interactive experience. The rule set is extremely deep and complex. Unique features like the rocket kicker, magnet flippers and the ceramic Power Ball are classics.
GZ: Now, you're fronting the development bill, the Kickstarter is merely to raise money for the license costs. Are you dealing with a number of parties, or just those who own The Twilight Zone rights? What about the pinball maker?
BK: CBS owns the IP of the Twilight Zone. It's relatively expensive, but they are now able to include Rod Serling as well as other images and sounds from the show. Paying for the rights to the table (Bally table rights are owned by WMS) and music used on the table is separate - which is why this table is rather expensive for us to include in the Pinball Arcade.
GZ: Are you pleased with the progress that Kickstarter is doing? You're already halfway over your goal.
BK: We are very pleased at the support!!! We're currently on pace to reach our goal. In fact, Star Trek TNG is also a CBS property and we've promised to do that table as well if the money donated gets over double our goal.
So if you love TNG, and I know you do, Robert; help us spread the word to Star Trek fans. The pace of donations has slowed a bit since we launched the campaign. But with a little push, we might be able to get the money needed for both tables in one campaign - and how great would that be!
GZ: You offer a number of substantial goals, including a pinball party for those who raise over $10 K. Would you guys love to throw some pinball parties? Would you ever consider a tour?
BK: We will be hosting several tournaments at pinball events over the next year, so you could say that we have a mini-tour planned. If anyone donates ten grand, we will LOVE to bring the party!
GZ: Tell us about this "virtual Twilight Zone ball" you're offering for $25. Is it the logo imprinted on the ball or...?
BK: It hasn't been finalized yet, but you can probably expect the famous TZ spiral to be in the design.
GZ: Can you see your team doing this for future tables, like the aforementioned Star Trek: The Next Generation and maybe even The Addams Family?
BK: As I mentioned, TNG is promised if we hit double the goal - so yeah. And if we're that successful, we have definite plans to figure out just how much TAF would cost for the many licenses needed (Paramount, Addams Foundation, actors, and music) and do a Kickstarter to see just how much people want it.
GZ: Finally, any word on the June table releases yet? Give us a hint!
BK: Not ready to announce yet, but the June tables will be brought to you by the letter G.
Thanks, Bobby! You guys can donate to the Kickstarter by going to the Kickstarter Page
Also, be sure to check out The Pinball Arcade now on PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, PS Vita and mobile platforms. Coming soon to 3DS and Wii U, as well!