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Issue Date: Vol. 54, No. 8, August 2014, Posted On: 7/17/2014

Vonnie D Pinball Recruits Legendary Designer Barry Oursler, And Kickstarts Funding Campaign

Nick Montano
TAGS: pinball machine, coin-op game, Vonnie D Pinball, coin machine, classic arcade game, Pinball Gremlins, Barry Oursler pinball Kickstarter campaign, pinball crowdfunding, Von Davis, Wes Upchurch

coin-op, Vonnie D Pinball, pinball machine COLUMBIA, MO -- Startup Vonnie D Pinball LLC is reclaiming longtime game designer Barry Oursler to the company's development team. Oursler has agreed to work on Vonnie D's initial offering, Pinball Gremlins, according to the company's website.

A legend among coin-op aficionados, Oursler has designed more than 30 pinball machines during his 26 years at Williams, where he worked on Pin-Bot, Gorgar, Dr. Who, Space Shuttle and Popeye, among other notable titles. He left the pinball business in the late 1990s during the great shakeout of machine manufacturers, which left Stern Pinball Inc. the sole producer of flipper games until recently.

Separately, Vonnie D said it is hoping to raise about $100,000 to fund production for its new game through a Kickstarter campaign that runs until July 25. Its crowdfunding page includes a video and concept artwork for Gremlins. It has raised $35,000 so far. Money will be used to open a facility in Columbia, MO.

On June 27, Vonnie D revealed some details of its inaugural machine. According to the company's site, "Pinball Gremlins is a new original pinball machine game that features everything you like about pinball." The Gremlins creators reportedly will use industry-standard parts to create a playfield with multiple orbits and ramps, pop bumpers and slingshots, and will incorporate "new proprietary technology" intended to improve pinball play. And it will feature a full-color DMD display and LCD screens within a player's field of view.

Von Davis (pictured above) and Wes Upchurch are the principals of the pinball startup. They say Pinball Gremlins (let's hope they're not under the playfield) possesses a design advantage because it's not based on a licensed theme, which gives them "freedom to design the best possible game, without the traditional constraints manufacturers face when using licensed intellectual properties." The game will feature six main battle modes leading up to the Boss Gremlin wizard mode.

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