Announcing the 2008 CA Extreme Speaker Series
A great series of speakers is planned for this year! Celebrity game designers, expert players, artisans, historians, and technical genius will be on hand Saturday for your entertainment and enlightenment. You can even become part of the show by joining in the Trivia Contest.
Here is a list of the titles and presenters, more detailed descriptions are below.ARCADE TIPS AND TRICKS PANELMark Alpiger, Mark Robichek, Jonathan Koolpe, and Jason SpindlerPINBALL DESIGN 102
- A glimpse at how games evolve during the design cycleTed Estes and Steve RitchiePINBALL MAINTENANCE 101Chris Kuntz of T Minus OneARCADE TRIVIA CONTESTJonathan Koolpe and Chris KuntzTHE STORY BEHIND THE MAJORETTES CANVASDan FontesHELLACOPTERS CUSTOM PINBALLWade Krause and Dirty DonnyTHE VISIBLE PIN AND THE SCIENCE OF PINBALL PROJECTMichael SchiessMAJOR PINBALL AND ARCADE MACHINE CUSTOMIZATIONSJack GordeanDONKEY KONG IIJeff KulczyckiHOW TO WORK ON THE SAME PROJECT FOR 11 YEARS AND NOT LET THE HATERS GET YOU DOWN
(or MAME: 11 years later still pissing people off)Aaron GilesREINVENTING THE CLASSICS - BRINGING THE OLD SCHOOL EXPERIENCE TO MODERN PLATFORMSMike Mika
Studio Head, Backbone EntertainmentTILT: THE BATTLE TO SAVE PINBALL
(Film and Discussion)Greg MaleticHOW TO PLAY PINBALLRick Stetta, Jim BelsitoDetailed descriptionsARCADE TIPS AND TRICKS PANELMark Alpiger, Mark Robichek, Jonathan Koolpe, and Jason Spindler
The always popular video arcade tips and tricks panel returns with some intriguing new offerings. Join Mark Alpiger (from “King of Kong”), Mark Robichek (from “Chasing Ghosts”), Jonathan Koolpe (CA Extreme organizer), and Jason Spindler for an always lively discussion on how to play classic arcade games. Secrets will be revealed and strategies unveiled on how to improve your scores on such classic games as I, Robot, Pengo, Food Fight, Journey, and Crazy Climber. Even if you haven’t played these particular games before, you may just want to give them a try after you hear from our panel of experts! PINBALL DESIGN 102
- A glimpse at how games evolve during the design cycleTed Estes and Steve Ritchie
They brought you hits like Black Knight, High Speed, Twilight Zone, Star Trek - The Next Generation, and No Fear. Now you can find out about the process of bringing games like these from concept to final design reality.PINBALL MAINTENANCE 101Chris Kuntz of T Minus One
Just start collecting pinballs? Thinking about it? Maybe you'd just like to know the basics on how they work, and how to keep them working. Chris Kuntz, an expert repair technician, will be sharing his experience, teaching the basics, and fielding questions. Come learn from one of the true masters of the trade!ARCADE TRIVIA CONTESTJonathan Koolpe and Chris Kuntz
The CA Extreme Arcade Trivia Contest returns for another exciting round! Think you know it all when it comes to video and pinball arcade games? Test your knowledge and pit your mind skills in a true battle of wits against fellow arcade enthusiasts in another rousing round of arcade trivia competition. Participants will compete based on their arcade and pinball knowledge of games spanning over 5 decades, from Gottlieb to Atari to Williams to Capcom and more. Join the fun by forming teams of 3 with your fellow arcade hounds and see how you stack up against your peers!
If interested, please see http://www.caextreme.org/forum/index.php?topic=67.0
and let Jonathan (jkoolpe) know. This is also a good place to form up a team or let your free agency be known. Participation is limited, so sign up early. If spots are available, you can sign up at the show, but registering in advance is best. There is an entry fee of $5/person to cover the cost of trophies.THE STORY BEHIND THE MAJORETTES CANVASDan Fontes
Dan Fontes grew up in the Bay Area and first got hooked on pinball during summer vacations to the Russian River in the 1960's. The giant mural on the wall of Berkeley's Silverball Garden pinball arcade caught his eye, and has lead to his series of fantastic pinball art creations. Dan painted the famous mural on the floor at For Amusement Only, and through the 90's his interest in pinball and the images he was first drawn to in childhood grew.
When Michael Schiess opened the Lucky Juju Pinball Art Gallery and suggested a Pacific Pinball Exposition, Dan decided to make another special creation. The iconic "Majorettes" backglass captured Dan's interest as a great example of the times, capturing the feelings of a happy, innocent time. Working in the cramped quarters of the basement/hull of his houseboat, the creation came to be three feet at a time. The interest the work generated has lead to a series of large canvas backglass recreations by Dan and Ed Cassell. The process moved into the NBAM warehouse. An almost meditative process evolved in the chilly warehouse, and the series is still growing.HELLACOPTERS CUSTOM PINBALLWade Krause and Dirty Donny
I have been around art all of my life. My memories of my grandmother Mary Krause of Clovis still make an impression on me. She was employed by Disney studios and worked on most of the Disney classics: Fantasia, Snow White, Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi. As a local artist, she began making prints and watercolors from her photographs. She introduced me to print making and photography at the young age of 8. My current studio/shop sits behind her vacant house. Instead of the litho and intaglio printing processes that my grandmother preferred, I have chosen screen-printing as my medium.
As a collector of antique arcade games and pinballs, I became aware and concerned early on about the importance of nice looking backglasses, the attraction art on these machines. Up until the introduction of video games with their flashy monitor displays, backglasses were the thing that made a player drop their money into a machine in exchange for a few moments of escape. Arcade art has always been colorful, exciting, and fascinating. Many of the depictions offer some sort of escape, taking players to another imaginary world for a brief period of time. I was constantly lured by this artform and found myself drawing and designing pinball games as a child. I began collecting games 20 years ago and I have owned well over 150 machines, as many as 80 at a time. I've taught myself how to fix them and also figured out how to make the backglasses in the early 90's and more recently, plastics and playfields.
The quality of my work has earned me the licensing rights from the D. Gottlieb Company for plastics and playfields (the actual playing surface of pinball machines). I am the first person ever to create a reproduction vintage playfield for Gottlieb machines.
The Hellacopters game was a collaboration with noted low-brow artist Dirty Donny. Donny and I met several years ago because of a toy project we worked on called Circus Punks (carnival knock-down dolls). We both had a love for pinball, became friends and decided to build a game together. Donny did all the art and I did the printing building and game modifications. The playfield is new wood, hand painted by Donny.
I also have worked with Michael Scheiss of the Lucky Ju Ju to produce the world's first completely trasparent pinball, the Visible Pinball, based on Gottlieb's Surf Champ, as part of my artist series of games. This is part of a larger pinball science exhibit currently being developed.
O.O.E. (Only One Earth) is my latest artist game with reknowned artist William T. Wiley. This game is currently on display at Electric Works gallery in S.F. and it will be featured at the Smithsonian Art Museum next year. The game also used the talents of Jim Dietrich from Novato's Pinball Revival. For this machine I made playfields, backglasses, plastics and wedge head cabinets (from scratch).
I have many more ideas for refurbishing machines and look forward to sharing these in the future.THE VISIBLE PIN AND THE SCIENCE OF PINBALL PROJECTMichael Schiess
Michael Schiess is the man behind Lucky JuJu Pinball and the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, CA. Michael is the curator, and opens his doors weekend nights for play on their 35+ restored vintage pinball games. He has a `mini JuJu` (a 1947 aluminum travel trailer) outfitted with pinball machines, which he takes on the road to shows and fairs in Northern California. Lucky JuJu is also a showcase for local artists, over 40 art shows have been held there, with art displayed among the pinball machines.
Michael's museum quest for education led him to make a clear EM pinball machine out of Plexiglass to show how it works `under the hood`. The “Visible Pinball” premiered at the Pacific Pinball Exposition last year, for which Michael is partially responsible. Michael will be talking about the Vis Pin and the science of pinball project.MAJOR PINBALL AND ARCADE MACHINE CUSTOMIZATIONSJack Gordean
Jack Gordean has collected hundreds of games and arcade items in the past two decades. Some are popular games, some are a bit different. Some of them are preserved just as is, like the "Vibratin' Bear Chair" from Disneyland. Others were not quite what Jack wanted them to be, so he set out to make them become what he envisioned.
Jack has made a lot of custom artwork to re-theme games, and will be sharing the thought process that goes into these creations. His modified gun game "Broken Bolt Rodeo" appeared at CA Extreme, and this year features his latest re-work of a pinball cabinet: "Back Woods Winner". (You can't miss it - look for the tall green thing!) Jack also modified Captain Fantastic and Wizard pinballs, feeling that the actual Captain Fantastic pinball machine should LOOK like the one featured on the backglass! He even made a version of the Captain's giant elevator boots so you can get the full experience while playing the machine!DONKEY KONG IIJeff Kulczycki
Have you every thought about designing your own video game levels? Now you can learn how. Join Jeff Kulczycki as he discusses what went into designing the new levels for Donkey Kong II. Topics include Sprite Palettes, Hardware Constraints, Z-pattern, and Gameplay. Also learn some tricks and tips that you can use to design your own levels.HOW TO WORK ON THE SAME PROJECT FOR 11 YEARS AND NOT LET THE HATERS GET YOU DOWN
(or MAME: 11 years later still pissing people off)Aaron Giles
The MAME project has been going strong for 11-1/2 years now, and has endured its share of ups and downs. Like any project that has been around for this long, it has its share of fans and detractors. Aaron Giles, an 11-year veteran and current coordinator for the project, will talk about what it is that keeps him motivated and positive in an environment that thrives on backbiting, flaming, and entitlement.REINVENTING THE CLASSICS - BRINGING THE OLD SCHOOL EXPERIENCE TO MODERN PLATFORMSMike Mika
Studio Head, Backbone Entertainment
The new wave of gaming platforms that take advantage of digital distribution are the perfect place to bring classic gaming to an audience who never got to play the real thing in the arcades. But this process goes far beyond simply emulating or porting over the original game. Today's gamers expect more and Backbone Entertainment delivers by reinventing classic gameplay with high-resolution art and smart design choices to keep the experience intact while providing the complexity required in the new market. Backbone's studio head, Mike Mika will give an overview of how the company approached reinventing old games for new platforms, including Puzzle Fighter, Street Fighter, Commando, 1942 and Gauntlet.
Mike Mika is the studio manager of Backbone Entertainment, one of the leaders in downloadable game development and THE leader in reinventing classic games on modern platforms. A self-taught assembly language programmer of the "old school" (he brags that he still remembers all the registers of the C64's 6502 processor), Mike designed and coded several games at Backbone. He was also instrumental in the development of Backbone's original property, Death, Jr., and served as creative director on that title and many others before assuming the role of studio head. Under Mike's lead Backbone has produced a slew of projects for XBLA and PSN, including Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 and the complete collection of SEGA classics. Mike brings an insightful view to gaming: he's a programmer, but also talented at art and graphic design. His degree is in creative writing from Wayne State University, and in addition to hobby-level programming on the Atari 2600, his extracurricular activities include script writing.
TILT: THE BATTLE TO SAVE PINBALL
(Film and Discussion)Greg Maletic
This film tells the story of the extraordinary Pinball 2000(tm) machines built by Williams in an effort to save not just the company, but the product that had defined coin-operated entertainment for eighty years. Greg will be on-hand to discuss the film after its showing and to answer any questions.HOW TO PLAY PINBALLRick Stetta, Jim Belsito
Learn the tricks and techniques - straight from the wizards themselves. These masters of the silver ball have won notable pinball competitions, watch and be amazed!