At this past weekend’s Arcade Expo 2.0 in Banning, CA, brothers Keith and Randy Elwin demonstrated the whitewood of their independent project, Archer pinball. The term ‘whitewood’ is used to indicate a pinball table in an ‘alpha’ or ‘beta’ state (as we would call it in the video game world) and judging by the reviews of those who had a chance to try the game out at the show, feedback has been positive.
Before getting into the game, it is worth noting that Keith Elwin is a name well-known in pinball circles – according to the IFPA, he is currently ranked 3rd in the world among pinball players by their tracking. Him and Randy released a video in 2009 called Pinball 101, which is to teach players how the game works and how to improve your game. So when it comes to their first pinball project, they know what they are getting into.
The Archer pinball game has been in development through most of 2015, with this past weekend marking the first public appearance of the table. Based on the mature animated comedy series which airs on the FX network, this table looks to integrate plenty of themes and content from the popular show. It uses a color LCD screen where various Archer clips can be seen but beyond that the designers are looking to innovate in other ways – ways that have long been needed to make pinball more interesting than just reliance on popular licenses. That includes the creation of a new kind of multi-region “shooting range” target; an interesting loop control system (including see-saw loops, check it out below); twists on how the multiball modes work; rotating LED beacon lights; video game modes; a shatz target and more. Here is a shot map to give you an idea of how the layout works:
At the moment it is important to note that this is an independent project and no announcement has been made about mass production. The designers are not asking for pre-order money or making promises about having obtained a license for the eventual production (like with the Predator pinball fiasco). If such a thing happens, that will certainly entail a licensing process that can always require changes to the game. Such changes would only occur with the video/audio/playfield art content and not the layout or the innovations however. What will ultimately be telling is whether or not one of the big manufacturing houses become interested in the title to produce it – we will just have to wait and see.
Archer Pinball in Action
Loops & the Shooting Range:
Because this looks so cool, it is better to share – the LED beacon light.
And here is the game in action as seen at Arcade Expo 2.0 by Pinballnews:
What are your thoughts on this project?