I can appreciate there are guys with their place in the decades of pinball history, like last week's Pinball Heroes interview with Roger Sharpe, but what about something for us new kids on the block, maybe somebody who helped influence the DMD era. An era that enticed a whole new generation of players into this seedy addiction!
George Gomez seemed to fit the bill.The Pinball Blog. So you're George Gomez, designer of Corvette, Batman (Stern) and several in between. What did your parents say when you said you wanted to be a pinball designer?
George Gomez. "What's a pinball?"
TPB. Lord of the Rings! It must be pleasing for you to see such a recent title so highly regarded among the ever-critical collector community.
GG. Uhm...Balrog Shmalrog.
TPB. Did you design NBA Fastbreak as a parts machine?
GG. You guys have no appreciation for true innovation.
TPB. It must have been exciting working on the new concept of Pinball2000, and then have it all taken away from you so quickly. Did you think you were experiencing the end of pinball right there and then? It must have then been a relief to be able to carry on your trade with Stern.
GG. "End of pinball"...not really, but I was kinda bummed, no doubt.
TPB. Playboy. Get to the mansion? Stay the night?
GG. Yep, got to the mansion...
TPB. Out of all the machines you've designed which is your favourite (and why)?
GG. I like Fastbreak, probably because you guys don’t.
TPB. They filmed some of the Batman movie near me in the UK. The lorry flipping over really happened - it wasn't CGI (no idea why I needed to share that)! How much time do you have to design a pinball for a movie tie-in when release dates must be strict? Do you get scripts, artist roughs or unedited scenes to work from?
GG. Yes, we get scripts, style guides and sometimes audio. The dev cycle is no different, license or not, there is never enough time.
TPB. Is there a machine you wish you'd had more time to work on?
GG. Pretty much all of them.
TPB. If machines from the 1960s (and before) can still be in people's games-rooms today, then you've got to think that even when we're old and grey, there'll be your machines in collections around the planet. Trouble is do you think your grand-kids or great grand kids will even know what pinball is?
GG. My 4 year old niece in Switzerland plays my pinball games, I think we'll be ok.
TPB. Finally, can you sum up pinball (or your involvement with it) in one word or sentence.
GG. Good times, great people, lots of work!
Many thanks to George Gomez, a man of few words, for taking the time to answer our questions. More pinball heroes coming soon, and remember you can drop us a line with who you'd like interviewed and I'll see if my mum has them in her phone book!
The Pinball Blog