Brian Eddy is the designer of The Shadow, Attack From Mars and Medieval
He has also been involved in several other pinball games.
The following is a short interview with him made by myself on November 29 2001.
Which is your favourite pinball game of all time?
"That's too tough of a question. I like a lot games for different reasons
it depends on my mood. Some of my favorite games (that I didn't work on)
are: Elvira:Scared stiff, Black Knight 2000, Adams family, Gilligans island
(simple but fun), fish tales, White water, Pinbot, probably a lot more I
can't remember right now."
Which is your favourite pinball game of your own designs?
"Hmmmm...Probably AFM. I like the theme of AFM a bit better than MM
MM is a more interesting game to play and has a better playfield. I also
programmed a bunch of games. Indiana Jones and The Machine are my favorites
Which is your favourite Pat Lawlor pin?
"I don't actually like too many of Pat's games. Bonzai run, Funhouse,
Addams family are the only games I like. I think most of his recent games
are way to complicated for mass appeal. His best games were when he worked
with Larry Demar."
Do you have any pinball machines of your own?
"Yeah, I have about 12 now I think. I have all the games I programmed
designed. The only game I have that I didn't work on is Scared Stiff. I
would like to get a Fish tales someday..."
Are the AFM and MM playfields identical to your early scetches or
you have to exclude/change some parts due to production costs?
"AFM was the most different. It had one big feature that didn't make
the game. The saucer in the middle of the playfield was originally suppose
to move out and around the playfield. It started (rested) right where the
static one on the final game is. It had a telescopic arm that allow the
saucer to move out about 18 inches onto the playfield and a pivot that would
rotate it right & left. So it basically could "move" around the whole
playfield (hence the open playfield area in the final design). It also had a
target hanging down from the middle of the saucer that you could shoot from
any angle. We ran out of time to develop it and keep it cost effective.
It was also a reliability issue and to make it rock solid
would have required a lot of testing time. The Martians also started out
like the string push toys (you push the bottom of a platform and they
jiggle/collapse). When you would hit them they would fall to pieces. We
couldn't make it reliable (String would always break to soon) so we found
this really flexible plastic and made the jump up/down. Not quite as
effective but still a lot of fun to watch and very reliable. I'm sure there
are more things....
I was getting wiser by the time I did MM and most of the features made
into the game. I did want the Castle to "explode" more then it did but otherwise
it's pretty close from what I remember. I think I had 4 trolls at one
point also but the cost monster and space issues killed them. The whole
castle was tough to make work in Manufacturing because of the wide tolerance
of the molded plastic. I'm sure more things changed but it was pretty close
to what I envisioned.
The Shadow also changed quite a bit. It had along of things that we
afford or design in time. The trolls were a variation of a feature I
originally wanted on the Shadow."
Many thanks to Brian Eddy for answering my questions.