It’s a Long Way to the Top if You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll, but pinball isn’t quick either. We already know Who Made Who, but the payments for all those licenses negotiated before digital rights were built into the contracts won’t be Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap. So What Do You Do for Money, Honey? Hit up Kickstarter, of course, and Shoot to Thrill for the whole month’s campaign. Even so the final goal of $108,435 may be a real Ballbreaker to reach, and hopefully won’t be a Touch Too Much. Requesting that kind of take for a new table takes Big Balls, but if the campaign can complete its trek down the Highway to Hell to Jailbreak the AC/DC pinball from licensing purgatory, we’ll all be Thunderstruck. Just because the Kickstarter is Deep in the Hole on day 2 doesn’t mean it can’t pull out a win in the Nick of Time. There’s still plenty of time for the campaign to Ride On and Rock Your Heart Out, traveling The Razor’s Edge all the way come Hell or High Water, putting it Back in Black at the end.
Ok, that’s enough of that for now.
–Update– Canceled!? There’s no reason given for the campaign cancellation other than “canceled by the project creator”, so it doesn’t seem likely it’s a DRM issue with the music or images as some people have been (reasonably) speculating. More news as it comes available.
AC/DC is one of Stern’s more popular tables, designed by Steve Ritchie and loaded with plenty of official songs and iconic props. Unfortunately, unlike modern pinball tables, the original licensing didn’t include digital recreations, and AC/DC isn’t exactly cheap. All the official paperwork is done leaving only the money as the last hurdle to overcome, but getting all the rights to everything on the table is still a hair of $100k, and that’s just not practical by any stretch of the imagination. Therefore, it’s back to Kickstarter only a few months after Doctor Who wrapped up in February. It doesn’t seem likely Farsight would return to the well this quickly without a good reason, and in this case it’s because there’s just enough time to clear the funding and get AC/DC released as part of the first wave of tables for The Stern Pinball Arcade.
Stern Pinball Arcade is a new branch of the ongoing Pinball Arcade project, and it does just what it sounds like- recreates Stern’s pinball tables. The launch is off to a huge start, because even if AC/DC doesn’t fund it will still have the recent Star Trek (which is a really fun table beyond all reasonable expectations), Starship Troopers, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, with the brand-new Ghostbusters releasing later in the fall. You’ll notice that three of those tables are already available in the regular Pinball Arcade, but they’re being updated by using the original 3D CAD files to model the board and all its toys and mechanics. The code powering the board is no longer an emulated ROM but actually recompiled from the original source, freeing up resources for not only a new physics engine powering the ball interactions but also new lighting effects as well. It should also be a great advancement for Pinball Arcade, if these updates can hit the main game and the focus on Stern doesn’t detract its updates. Even so there’s plenty of good pinball on the way, and the future is looking A Whole Lot of Rosie.