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© 1997-2006
Gareth Knight
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"Holopin" Pinball 2000

Developer: Williams
Year: 1993

Holopin Pinball 2000

The Holopin was the original inspiration for William's renowned Pinball 2000 series. Pinball 2000 was an unusual product as it used an actual computer monitor to display graphics while the user was playing a game. These graphics would be triggered by the position of the ball on the pinball table. In a 1999 interview in Pinball Player , George Gomez, co-creator, described the origins of the machine:

"We're in this garage and we're talking about Williams and we're talking about pinball and we're cutting wood and we're putting that thing together. We're doing monitor weight lifting. There's an old 80s monitor in there left over from when I used to try to develop 80s video games. That's the reason there's an Amiga hooked to it. In the 80s, there was a period in my life, in which I was trying to pinch game ideas. I had images loaded on it from that time. I was trying to fire it up today but the Amiga was as cantankerous today as it was when we were working on it in the garage.

We brought this thing into this conference room and everybody from engineering was there and everybody's got something to say about it. This is the shift in gears that sends us in this direction. John was a little upset. He's six months into a game and he's got a playfield, he's got video, he's got things happening. And eventually John comes around and one of the very first things that happens, once we get going on this project, is that John's team actually brings up the very first true interactive video image on a playfield that reacts to a pinball. "

Pinball Player Volume 19, Issue 7

In this article, Gomez describes the haphazard design of the original machine. The mockup, created by George Gomez and Pat Lawlor consisted of an undefined Amiga and 'No Good Gofers' whitewood. Fortunately, the machine attracted a great deal of attention at Williams, resulting in several spin-off designs, including the Star Wars Episode 1 pinball machine. A simulation of these boards can also be found in the Visual MAME emulation.

Relevant References
Pinball 2000 official site


Last Update: 14/8/2002


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