Hawes Games & Gaming Archive by James T. Hawes, AA9DT


Amusement Games and
Gaming Links

Hosted by James T. Hawes, AA9DT

Tech writer for •Raw Thrills, •Williams, •United, •Bally,
•Midway, •WMS Gaming, •Face Place, •GL Technology, •Wiltelco,
•Play Mechanix, •Namco, & •Team Play. Technician for •Williams & •United


Cartoon of Elvis-like character
    playing a classic pinball machine. Elvis is perfect, because he's a natural for the 
    pinball stance. <i>Viva</i> Black Knight!

BOOKS

  • Pinball Books
    Order them from links supplied, or just admire the handsome photos.

COLLECTOR SITES, PINBALL

  • Jess Askey
    Jess collects classic electronic pinball machines and stories about them. He's also assembled a vast data base of pinball routines. He specializes in Williams' System 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11. Look for copies of my manuals on his site. I wrote most of the books for Systems 7, 8 and 9.
  • Ted Estes
    Ted is a former pinball game designer for Williams. I didn't meet him until we worked together at WMS Gaming. Today, Ted collects classic pinball machines.
  • Directory of pinball sites
    Nice compendium of Web information on pinball.
  • Hyperball owners' forum
    Database of Hyperball owners. One of my favorite pinballs, Hyperball played like a video game. Unfortunately 200 steel balls on the playfield rapidly wore the machine out. In 1982, the company actually hired us technicians to play Hyperball for an extra shift. By quitting time, we were blistered, and only a couple games still operated. Managers Dick Valosek and Herb Foss kept notes on the carnage. Overnight, another crew repaired the damage. At our next demolition derby, better parts took up the challenge.

COLLECTOR SITES, VIDEO

CONTACT THE AUTHOR

  • Contact the author
    For further information about this site, or about amusement games and gaming.

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DESIGNERS & PROGRAMMERS

  • Ted Estes
    Ted is a former pinball game designer for Williams. I didn't meet him until we worked together at WMS Gaming. Today, Ted collects classic pinball machines.
  • Greg Freres & Dennis Nordman
    I worked with Greg on the Truck Stop project. Recently Greg and ex-Midway cohort Dennis Nordman started WhizBang Pinball. The company reconceives and markets old electromechanical games as sales displays. The machines work, as they're completely restored mechanically. Yet Greg and Dennis have retrofitted the machines with new, color concept art and new playfields. Each machine is a small piece of hand-made craftsmanship. With help from Pat Lawlor, Mark Weyna and other pinball legends, the first games are now on display. The lithography and CAD/CAM machining are up-to-the minute. Yet underneath, the mechanics are classic. This method is strictly a one-off process. The first product run is four Whoa Nellie pinballs.
  • Eric Hujar
    Eric Hujar and Bill Gwiasda designed user interface and motor control programs for WMS Gaming. These programs brought WMS Gaming's first slot machine to life. Both gentlemen helped me to describe the system in our original slot machine manual. Today, the manual is a collectible, traded on eBay. Eric's page describes his robotics avocation. Lately, he's fabricated an ultrasound-guided, cybernetic lawnmower.
  • Eugene Jarvis
    An interview with Eugene, the co-designer of Defender, Stargate, Robotron, Blaster, and more recently, Cruisin' USA. I had the pleasure of contributing to manuals for Defender and Stargate. I wrote the Robotron and Blaster books.
  • Steve Kordek
    This Pinball Expo page includes Steve Kordek's personal story about his pre-Williams days at Genco. Steve died on February 19, 2012. His tenure in the pinball industry nearly covers pinball's entire history. He was there through the Great Depression, and left Williams after the demise of Pinball 2000 (1999). I first became acquainted with him in 1982, during Hyperball development and production. Hyperball was Steve Ritchie's manic machine that played at the speed of a video game. I worked on both the English and German manuals. Kordek, despite being in his 70's at the time Hyperball came out, could play a mean game. In terms of innovation, Kordek is a giant. He was the one who moved the flippers to the bottom of the playfield. That simple move made pinball a game of skill. Also see... More classic Kordek.
  • Tony Kraemer & Hot Tip
    This site claims that Hot Tip was the first solid-state pin. I remember Aztec as the first, but Williams didn't produce many of the System 3, Aztec machines. Hot Tip was probably the first electronic (computerized) machine that Williams produced in volume. It would have been a System-4 machine. Tony left Williams for a few years, and then returned. Pool Sharks was one of Tony's games from the later period. Tony is deceased.
  • Pat Lawlor Design
    I only had a nodding acquaintance with Pat. He joined Williams during the Bally Coin-op buyout in 1988. I wrote the first Bally pinball manual after the buyout (Truck Stop), but it was a Jim Patla game, not Pat's. My Williams contract ended a few months later. During this contract, I wrote a service bulletin for Pat's Banzai Run. My then-boss Fritz Runyon wrote the manual. (Unfortunately, Fritz died in 2007.) Pat also designed the top-selling pinball machine The Addams Family. These days, Pat sells game designs to Stern.
  •   Cover of my 1999 manual for Offroad Thunder, a Midway Home-San Diego game

    Above, my Offroad Thunder manual is a pre-release copy. This is one of the last hand-printed copies before the production version. Note the scars from separate staples through the front and back covers. The book was really too thick for manual stapling.

    • Midway Home
      This San Diego design studio resulted from Midway's purchase of the Texas game design company TradeWest. Midway Home (MH) didn't have its own writing staff. This shop is a real ace in the hole. I worked with MH on the original Offroad Thunder arcade project. The project consisted of two machines, typical for arcade releases of the time. One machine has a 27-inch color monitor. The other has a 39-inch color monitor. The manuals went together during development between mid-November and mid-December, 1999. Giovanni Gonzalez provided line drawings for the parts section. As often in tech writing, changes occurred daily. We didn't work over Thanksgiving, so the deadlines were particularly tight. By phone from Chicago, I interviewed MH subject matter experts. With my notes and data from our own engineers and art department, I drafted early copies of the two game manuals. At the beginning of December, I turned the 39-inch project over to Alex Ball. Alex developed that book through many subsequent hardware and software changes. As I recall, his book actually came out first. My 27-inch project went through some extra development. With much overtime, both books were ready (whew!) for production just before the December shutdown. That situation allowed Pat Cox to squeak out a few prototypes before the Waukegan plant shut down. Full-bore production began in the first quarter of 2000.
  • Barry Oursler Games
    A complete list of machines by the famous Oursler, creator of Solar Fire, Star Light and Space Shuttle.
  Cover of my 1988 manual for Truck Stop, first Bally game after Williams bought Bally
  • Jim Patla's Truck Stop
    After I returned to Williams in 1988, I wrote manuals for two legendary games: Williams' Narc video and Bally's Truck Stop pin. Jim Patla, the soft-spokenTruck Stop designer, was a pleasure to work with. Of course, the Pat McMahon backglass sports the de rigueur Bally girls. Also note the grinning taxi driver. He's none other than the late Joe Dillon, Williams' then vice president. Dillon had returned to Williams after the company bought Bally coin-op. Now, he was my boss once again. On the left, that's my Truck Stop manual, one of two for the game. Nina Clemente designed the cover. Norma Rodriguez contributed inside art to many of my projects, probably including this one.
  Cover of my 1986 manual for Wiltelco 5000 smart payphone
  • Pfutz's Pinball Page
    Bill Pfutzenreuter was one of the key programmers for Williams' Star Rider (Harry Cline was another.) Bill also programmed the Wiltelco 5000 phone. I composed books for both projects. (See the cover at left.) Pfutz was also my main subject matter expert for several other Williams manuals. We first worked together on Joust. As I remember, I prepared the first Joust literature in 1982. Thanks, Pfutz! I always enjoyed working with you, Bill. Great page.
  • Pinball Art
    All about the artists who provided that special, pinball ambience. See how pinball changed over the decades. Lots of Williams and Bally guys that I remember well. Photos and bios.
  • Python Anghelo's artwork for Pin*Bot
    What a ace team that Pin*Bot group was: •Python Anghelo, Art; •Joe Joos Jr., Mechanics; •Fritz Runyon, Manual; •Chris Granner, Music & Sound; •Bill Pfutzenreuter, Software. I'm pleased that I was at Williams for Pin*Bot. I was writing manuals for the Wiltelco 5000 phone at the time. Actually, the phone was a Pin*Bot sibling. Bill Pfutzenreuter wrote the original phone software, too.
  • Mark Ritchie's Big Guns
    A playfield closeup of classic Big Guns: The machine with the towering backbox. A brilliant, 1987 machine by a splendid team: Mark Ritchie, Python Anghelo, George Petro and Chris Granner. I directed the AMOA show video on the game. Manual by Fritz Runyon. Today, Mark parks his hat at Raw Thrills.
  • Steve Ritchie's F-14 Tomcat
    Photos and statistics about the famous game, including design team names.
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HISTORY

MAGAZINES

  • Play Meter
    Number-one trade industry magazine about coin-op amusement games. Back in 1982, I published my first magazine article here.
  • RePlay
    A monthly magazine on coin-operated amusement games. Published on the West Coast. In 1990 or so, my article on Williams' new pinball factory appeared here. The factory is gone. RePlay is still going strong.
  • Star Tech Journal
    The magazine for coin-op technicians. In the Eighties, Star Tech published a few of my game servicing stories.
  • Vending Times
    A monthly magazine on coin-operated amusement games. Published on The latest on the shows, the games, the personalities and the machines. A fine magazine that picked up my Williams factory process engineering article.

MANUFACTURERS & DEVELOPERS

  • Bright Group USA
    At various times during my relationship with Williams, Marty Glazman was my boss. In those days, he ran the marketing and sales department. I fondly remember planning AMOA presentations for him and our team. AMOA speeches, displays and AV shows became my Halloween activity through the late Eighties. A few years ago, I touched base with Marty again. This time, he was Wells Gardner's executive VP. Today, Marty is President and General Manager at Bright Group USA. Bright Group is a manufacturer of electromechanical products. The company's main office is in Sydney, Australia. Bright Group USA operates an office in Las Vegas, NV.
  • Cashbox Games
    Ken Fedesna's Chicagoland game design outfit. Ken is another of my former bosses at Williams, Bally and Midway. In fact, he became the general manager of the whole shebang, Mr. Games himself. The very idea of Cashbox Games, Fedesna at the helm, sets off the imagination. I can't wait to see what comes out of the Cashbox!
  • Coin Controls
    Possibly the most important human-machine interface on any coin-op machine is the coin mechanism. We in the industry lovingly call it the “coin mech.” When you need a replacement mech, who ya gonna call? A good choice: Coin Controls.
  • Coin Mechs Inc.
    No coin-op device can function without a coin mechanism. Coin Mechs Inc. (CMI) manufactures some of the best coin mechs.
  • GTech Holdings
    GTech manufactures slot machines. During my tenure at WMS Gaming, Jim Breindel was our marketing manager. Today, he's GTech's retail business manager.
  • Happ Controls
    Happ supplies the pinball, video and gaming industry with parts such as buttons and joysticks. After Midway quit the coin-op video business, Happ bought Midway's parts and service divisions.
  • Innovative Gaming Corp. of America
    IGCA produces gambling machines based on the Linux operating system. WMS Gaming veterans recall Jerry Flynn, premier account executive for our outfit in the 1990s. Today, Jerry is IGCA's vice president of sales and marketing.
  • Incredible Technologies
    The great Chicago triad, Williams, Bally and Gottleib have left arcade game manufacturing. Today, Incredible Technologies carries the torch. IT has a local Chicagoland office in Rolling Meadows. Some of my Williams and Midway buddies now work for IT. Keep those fabulous arcade video games coming, guys!
  • Leading Edge Design
    Larry DeMar's design house in Wheeling, IL. You may remember Larry as one of the designers of Defender, Stargate and Robotron. He also created much of Williams' Pinbol/PERC macro language that operates Williams pinball machines. Today, Larry and his associates design gaming equipment for IGT.
  • Strategic Management Solutions (SMS)
    When I started at WMS Gaming, Rick Currie was our President. Nowadays, Mr. Currie is a consultant for SMS. There he specializes in transaction technology & strategic solutions.
  • Midway Amusement Games
    Midway designed and published video games for home consoles. The company left the coin-op video game business in 2001. That year, Happ Controls purchased the assets of Midway's former arcade division.
Logo for Midway 
              Amusement Games, LLC
    Midway's offices remained where I once worked, on Roscoe and California in Chicago. Since the company no longer manufactured games, the factory was gone. In 2009, the company declared bankruptcy. Warner Brothers bought its assets. Ironically the Warner purchase included the remnant of Atari that Midway had bought from Warner in 1996.
  • NEP Electronics
    NEP manufactures and acquires parts for pinball and video games for sale to game manufacturers.
Logo for NEP 
              Electronics
  • Play Mechanix
    George Petro's game design outfit. Back in 1984, George worked for me. By night, he programmed games. After college, George returned to Williams and then Midway and became a famous designer. He was one of the programmers behind Narc, Williams' first game on the Texas Instruments 34010 microprocessor.
Logo for 
              Play Mechanix
    I've had the pleasure of writing manuals for George's games Narc and Invasion. More recently, I wrote the manual for CoinUp, the tournament game feature. In a 2006 merger, Play Mechanix became a subsidiary of Raw Thrills.
  • Sigma Game
    This isn't exactly Sigma Game's web site. This page describes the resolution of a lawsuit between WMS Gaming and Sigma. The story also quotes Sigma President and CEO Jim Jackson. It's a small world! For a short time at WMS Gaming, I worked for Jackson. Also see: Sigma Game. Sigma is now V3 Gaming. This page concerns Multimedia Games' 2005 buyout of Sigma.
  • Shuffle Master
    Jim Jackson update: He's one of the Shuffle Master vice presidents. Shuffle Master makes excellent gaming tables.
    • Raw Thrills
      Eugene Jarvis' design house in Skokie, IL. You may remember Eugene as one of the designers of Williams' Defender, Stargate and Robotron. Or maybe you know him as the wizard behind Midway's Cruisin' USA. Today, Eugene's company carries on the tradition with new, world-class video designs.
    Logo for 
              Raw Thrills
    • RightHand Technologies
      Mark Loffredo's Chicago hardware design house. Mark designed the electronics for Narc and many more classics. In California, you can visit the San Andreas Fault. Here in Chicagoland, you can visit the speeding, bleeding, leading edge. It runs right through RightHand Technologies.
    Logo for RightHand 
             Technologies
    • Stern Pinball
      Like Elvis, Bally, Gottleib and Williams have left the building. If you want a new pinball machine, Stern is your exclusive choice. Fortunately, the games are splendid. See them at this year's Pinball Expo in Rosemont, Illinois. Many of my former Williams cohorts design and build games for Stern.
    • Wells-Gardner Electronics
      Most Williams video games of the classic period contain a monitor by one of these manufacturers: Wells-Gardner, Electrohome or Hantarex. WMS Gaming video gaming devices use Kristel or Wells-Gardner monitors. During the classic period, Wells occupied a Kildare Street plant near Fullerton and Pulaski. From Williams' point of view, Kildare was the ideal spot. A mere, two-mile scooter ride would speed us to Wells' doorstep. Today, Wells resides at more spacious quarters in McCook Illinois.
    • Wico
      Wico has been a leader in the replacement parts business for many years. Wico also supplied the OEM joystick for Williams' MakeTrax game.
    • Williams Electronics
      Until 1999, Williams manufactured pinball games. While I worked at Williams, we built games downstairs, at 3401 North California Avenue, Chicago, IL 60618. Later, manufacturing shifted to a new facility in Waukegan, Illinois. Today, the California Avenue plant is gone, replaced by offices. Waukegan is home to the WMS Gaming slot machine factory.
    • WMS Gaming
      WMS Gaming is the descendant of arcade greats Williams, Bally, United and Midway. Today, WMS Gaming designs and manufactures gaming devices such as slot machines and video gaming devices. The former Williams plant on California Avenue has become office space. The former Williams and Midway manufacturing facility in Waukegan now turns out hit slot machines. As tech pubs manager at WMS Gaming, I wrote the company's first slot manual. That machine's weathered a lawsuit from IGT.
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    MICROPROCESSOR SYSTEMS

    • 6800-09 Tech Details
      All about the Motorola microprocessors that were the brains of Williams' pinball and video classics. You'll find a 6808 in most System 7 pins. In videos like Defender, look for the 6809. The 6809 was also the sound board microprocessor. Williams also used CMOS 6809s in its coin-operated pay phones.

    MUSEUMS & SHOWS

    • AMOA Show
      The AMOA show is the biggest annual amusement game show.
    • Pinball Expo
      Annual, international collectors' show held in Rosemont, near Chicago. The show includes games from the Thirties to the present. Designers autograph memorabilia. Partake in seminars, a plant tour and a themed banquet.
    • Pinball Hall of Fame
      Las Vegas site of a gigantic pinball museum. Machines by every manufacturer. And you can play all of them!

    PARTS & SERVICE

    PHOTOS



    REUNION FOR EMPLOYEES (Midway, Bally, Williams, Atari, etc.)

    • Midway Reunion (including Williams, Bally, Atari, United, Wiltelco, WMS Gaming, etc. Remember when we were Seeburg? Show up and tell us the story!) Midway is gone. The memory lives on. Were you an employee of this great company of many names? Join us! Here are the details for our next reunion...
       Date: Friday, December 1, 2017
    Time: Anytime after 6 p.m.—until whenever
    Location: Shelby Campbell's Almost Famous Restaurant
    1000 Busse Road
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
    (That's just south of Landmeier, near the Holiday Inn.)
    (847) 956-1170
    Dress: Casual (Hey, it's Midway!)
    Be there, or be a square pinball.

    TECHNICAL PUBLICATIONS

    TECHNICAL SERVICE GUYS

    • Tom Cahill & Barnacle Bobs
      If you ever called Midway or Williams for service, you probably talked with Tom Cahill. He also taught service seminars all over the world. Today, Tom and his wife Claudia run Barnacle Bobs resort in Antioch, IL. I don't know if the resort has any pinball machines. If it does, the machines probably work like new. I understand that the resort is quite a place. The fishermen love it. If you're ever near Antioch, pay a visit. You'll enjoy the scenic waters of nearby Lake Marie. Tom will even rent you a boat.


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    Copyright © 2004 by James T. Hawes. All rights reserved.

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