Date: 21st &
22nd August, 2010
Report by Evert Brochez
The weekend of 21st & 22nd August 2010 was once again all pinball with the fourth installment of Bingovit's OpenGameRoomWeekend.
Being the second article for Pinball News about this unique Belgian pinball event I had quite a hard time to find the right words cause I felt like it wouldn't do the previous article justice to tell the same story again. So if you want to find out the so-called history about the OpenGameRoomWeekend have a look at the article from last year here on Pinball News.
So let's get this year's article started!
As an organiser you try to do every event better than the previous one, because you always learn and see things you want to improve. Being the organiser of both the Belgian Pinball Championship (sorry, only Belgian players can participate) and Bingovit's OpenGameRoomWeekend there are lots of things I can learn and improve with both events.
Things we learned last year was that Carl Jacobs with his little stand selling pinball and bingo parts was an instant hit and he needed to be back once again this year. We also liked the large setup we tried last year so we decided to take an even bigger piece of the workplace this year because we had a lot of materials to move as the event came nearer.
But time is an enemy you really want to have on your side which wasn't the case this year.
My dad is a carpenter and as it worked out we had a lot of work making and installing a lot of windows a few weeks before the event. This lead to us not having as much time as we would have liked, but we worked days till 11pm or later just to have a few days left before the OpenGameRoomWeekend.
In the end I think it paid off, though I wasn't completely ready when I wanted.
Another thing we wanted to change from the previous year was recognition. Every participant had to register himself and received a confirmation email with a personal badge he had to wear during the weekend. The advantage of this system is that it takes away a barrier to talk to people, plus the fact that you don't always know the real person behind a forum nickname.
As the organisers, we had to be a part of this so we ordered T-shirts with the Bingovit logo on them. Everyone who helped out during the weekend received a T-shirt so the organisers could be easily recognized in case of a technical failure or just to have a little chit-chat.
Just as last year, I'll describe the events leading up to the weekend which started this year on the wednesday - a day earlier than previously. I'll talk about the misfortunes we also had this time and there were quite a lot. Because we didn't have many problems the other years, they probably all waited to happen together at once. ;-)
Not a lot to say except that we cleaned out the workplace which was a mess due to our lack of time because we had to make the deadline for those windows.
In the morning I finished the shop job on the Sharkey's Shootout which was for my friend Luc Van Esch (remember the Zonderik). The game was completely working but once I got to cleaning the drop target bank I noticed a coil stop was missing and since it wasn't a regular one I had to contact Carl so he could bring one with him on Friday. So the Sharkey's couldn't be finished which was rather annoying.
After that we started cleaning out with the help of a friend of ours, André. After he left in the evening, my dad and I worked till around 12:30am or does that last half an hour counts as the start of Thursday? :-)
I must admit that after dinner I started to restore some bingos (we had 4 on the list to get ready). Another friend came before dinner and he helped me in getting the Hydro Thunder Deluxe games ready cause I don't have a lot of experience in repairing monitors. We bought these games especially for the OpenGameRoomWeekend and they're really awesome!
Finally we're going to make some progress in this thing!
In the morning we were all in a hurry to try and fix those darn Bally bingos which had been left. In the afternoon we started the final cleaning of the workplace and after that we had to hang up the covers to hide the machines and to create a better play environment. After a lot of people came over, our time flew by and it was already dinner time. Being behind schedule we wanted to make sure the covers were done so we only had to move the pinball collection on Friday.
You know what happens if you do things in a hurry right? Bad luck strikes! My dad put his leg in the wrong place and tore a vein from his leg open, so we had to stop hanging up the covers.
To make up some time I worked on a Malibu Beach bingo (the last EM bingo Bally ever made) till around midnight.
FRIDAY!!! (as Road Show would say), time to catch up the lost time.
Just like last year, Kris, Isabel and their son Thomas came to help us out with the preparations. So we started hanging up the last covers, getting the pins and bingos out of the gameroom and getting our fridge ready. Then we started cleaning the GameRoom.
Once we were finished with this, it was lunch time. We have a tradition of all of us going to Pizza Hut for the buffet. The advantage is we eat so much there that we don't need dinner after it. :)
After Pizza Hut I went to pick up our custom made T-shirts and polo shirts. Normally I would have got them on Monday but there was a printing error made - they didn't add the letters Bingovit in our logo (which you can see below) and of course that needed to be solved which took some time.
By the end of the evening, everything was more or less in place. I'll show some pictures from the build up in a minute.
Carl Jacobs from Cederman Gameparts arrived with the parts and he had doubled the number of parts he brought with him compared to last year.
When Carl left, Luc arrived to bring his Zonderik Beer, his Zonderik sausages, hot dogs, sauces and more!
After that we worked until around 2 o'clock in the morning to get the cleaning, adjusting and stuff like that done.
Here are some pictures I took on Friday.
By the end of Friday (2:30 in the morning) everything was in place and any final touches were left for Saturday.
The show begins, although luckily not just yet! We opened the doors at 1pm but I was cleaning, adjusting and checking the settings of the pinballs up until opening time with the help of Kris and Wim.
It was a lot of work because we also needed to hang up some instructional signs like "no smoking", "call the organisers in case of technical failure" and stuff like that.
I also managed to update the NBA, BBH and SM (with the new V2.5 code) but couldn't find the time to burn some EPROMs for the Sharkey's and Batman.
Luckily pictures tell more than words alone, so here are a few pictures with some added comments.
As you may have noticed, our GameRoom truly was the Stern showroom because we put all the other pinballs in the workplace.
Some people really took a liking to the sausages and even wanted two in one sandwich. After everyone had enjoyed a good hot dog, the Saturday at the OpenGameRoomWeekend ended soon afterward.
In the evening I was very proud to have fixed a boot problem with my two Gottliebs. :-) The problem was caused by a bad U11 on the CPU.
Okay, time to go to sleep and start again on Sunday!
After resetting the audits and updating the Batman and Sharkey's Shootout, it was time to open the doors to the public!
After placing his Ms Pac-Man ready for the public to play, André tried winning on the Hydro Thunder Deluxe against our weekend champion Thomas. I think Thomas only lost once in the many games he played.
This is the second year André serves us another really cool classic video game! Both video games were extremely popular and were really difficult to play because they were always busy.
There even was a mini pinball machine. For €0.50 you could flip a ball. If you shoot the ball into one of the three top holes, the game ends and you receive the ball.
And I'm going to conclude this once again rather large article (luckily filled with lots of pictures) with some pictures from my friend Kris Van Clapdorp.
If you're planning to make the trip next year, you can always check out our website for more information on www.bingovit.be.
On to the fifth edition!
Notice the little claw machine of which we had two during the weekend. Besides the pinball, bingos and videos, there also was a darts machine from Merlin.
And because I just wanted to add André Huijts's pictures too, the article goes on! :-)
I promise these are the last ones you'll see... at least from this year.