Saturday, 30 May 2009

On Saturday, 30 May 2009 “The Pinball Blog” interviewed Greg Kmiec a long-time Bally game designer, who spilled this bit of trivia,


Pinball Heroes: Greg Kmiec

Pinball Heroes: Greg Kmiec


GK: Dave Christensen was the first pinball artist to put the name of the artist and designer on a Bally pinball game. The artist and designer had to communicate quite regularly about the different aspects of game features and scoring to be represented on the artwork. And Wizard! was quite a break from contemporary pinball artwork.

At the time of the development of Wizard!, I was moving residences. As anyone can tell you, moving residences before the internet was invented involved a lot of legwork and waiting for utilities to be disconnected at one place and reconnected at another. And as anyone in the industry can tell you, there were deadlines that had to be met (in Wizard!’s case, the artwork had to be approved by the stars on the back glass and also by the movie company.) Dave could not get in contact with me as I explained to him later that I was in between residences. That is when, in his infinite creativity, he labeled me as a gypsy running around without a home. That nickname never really meant anything to me or anyone else and it never really stuck with me.


Of course, industry insiders know that I always included a single red playfield post on every game I designed. Here is the story behind that: When I was first starting out in design, it was industry policy that a designer could not put his name on a game. That was to prevent another company from finding out who designed what game and hiring them away from their current company. That was archaic thinking. In fact, literally within hours of a new game being placed at a test location, everyone in the design industry knew who designed what game and what features were on it. Anyway, under this company-imposed anonymous design decree, I decided to set apart the games I designed. Bally was running two production lines at the time, a pinball line that used white playfield posts and a bingo line that used red playfield posts. I just installed one red post on my pinball games, usually in an inconspicuous spot on the playfield. I kept that secret for quite awhile. Then it became a Kmiec game tradition.




Wizard was released Sep 1974’








Created on 10-25-2016