Wizard’s Arcade Update- Flipper Finesse Control Feature


WA Update July 2017- The Flipper Finesse Control Feature!

I am still looking for a Sharkey’s Shootout as the donor game for Wizard’s Arcade (WA). The game doesn’t need to be working since I will be running game from a PC. But, any SPI game that is from the 2000s will work. I really just need the cabinet and playfield parts! Las Vegas area a big plus!

The recent news from Heighway Pinball was bad news for me. I talked with Andrew at amusement expo last year and he seemed very open to considering my design. I even incorporated several of his standards into WA, such as the playfield LCD (Even though I will build WA with Stern parts). I felt that Heighway Pinball was my best prospect. (My main worry was how to include my 8-way joystick onto their “Lift-Top” top glass design) I’ll just motor-on and remove the playfield LCD. The playfield is ready to CNC rout and build!

Now, onto the Wizard’s Arcade Update,

Wizard’s Arcade is the great game that I never had the opportunity to design at Gottlieb/Sega/Stern. This is mainly because I haven’t had to deal with time deadlines and upper management. At Gottlieb, I had three months to take a design from concept to the assembly line. I have already put a year into WA. I also haven’t had to deal with egos and office politics and licensors that can damage or destroy an otherwise good game.

I haven’t talked about a new finesse feature, in fear of it being stolen, but I can finally talk about this awesome feature because I have applied for a patent (registration number- 62522656). This feature is “Patent Pending”.

This feature is the biggest breakthrough for the finesse player since the 3” flipper bat in 1968 by Williams.



The “Flipper Finesse Control Feature” allows all players to “Tap” and “Tip” without spending years learning how to perform these finesse skills. The easy part of a tap was always when to initiate it and the hard part was the ability to judge how long to press the button. This invention has the game automatically energize the flipper unit for the ideal amount of time. All that the player must to do is time “When to Tap”.

This feature uses second flipper button (Finesse Button) that will automatically give the flipper just enough power to make a “Tap”. And vice versa, if the flipper is already “Up” when the finesse button is pressed, then the flipper unit is turned off just long enough to perform a perfect “Tip” move.

When a tap is made, if the ball is on the flipper, the bat will only move up a few degrees, but if no ball is on the flipper bat, then the bat will go most of the way up (unpowered) in its normal arc before dropping back down to its rest position. This play can be useful when doing drop catches (as shown on video).

You will occasionally hear an annoying “Grinding” sound in the video. That was the autofocus on the video camera. In the video, I have repeated each finesse snippet three times so that you won’t have to keep rewinding the video.

Now, players of all skill levels will be able to add finesse moves to their gameplay without spending year of practice to learn those moves!

I will license this great feature for a low cost per game/kit to all pinball manufacturers and kit makers (The patent has claims for pinball machines, virtual pinball machines and kits that modify existing pinball machines). Ask your pinball company for “Finesse” editions to have this feature on your next new game!