Pinball Expo Dates: 10/18/2023 – 10/21/2023
This page was setup to provide coverage of Pinball Expo 2023! During the Expo, I’ll update this page with new content, likely starting around 1:30pm on Oct. 18th (Central)! That’s when we had the Giveaway for the AtGames Legends 4KP! The confirmed winner may be found here.
My goal with this page is to keep you updated on everything that’s going on at the show, making you feel like you are there right along with me. Of course, there will be a huge focus on the AtGames Legends 4KP and we’ll be diving right into that from booth number 527. There will be a lot of amazing people to meet at the show too! I know of a few that will be there, we’ll talk about that too.
Table of Contents
You can find all the details of Pinball Expo 2023 on this site. Important information such times, Event Info., Guest Speakers, Charities, etc.
About the Legends 4KP
On August 17th, exactly two months prior from the day I will arrive in Chicago, AtGames had sent the pre-production or Engineering Validation Test (EVT) model of the machine for me to check out and share with you. I was told it would be available to test for about a week, which turned into nearly a month-long mini-series. It was very exciting to be able to check out what AtGames has done and share the details. Since having to return the machine, I honestly miss it – a lot! The machine I received for that short time is nearly the same as the machine (technically speaking) from the one that will be shown at the Pinball Expo. However, there are some important differences.
On September 15th, AtGames and Zen Studios announced an exciting partnership! As part of this partnership, AtGames and Zen will be releasing their first cabinet based on the best-selling Pinball Table of all-time, The Addams Family. Of course, there are other differences between the floor model we’ll be checking out and the EVT, including:
- The Addams Family themed cabinet artwork – The evt model used one of the same artwork themes available for the Legends Pinball Micro. The Standard Edition (models at the show) will include The Addams Family themed Artwork (Zen’s artwork, not the 1992 cabinet artwork).
- The faux coin door has been dropped lower, lit LEDs and has a coin return – The evt model looked pretty much the same as that on the ALP HD. The new coin door will have light-up LEDs and a coin return. This was discussed in Part 1.
- Solenoids can be adjusted – With the evt model, I was unable to turn off the solenoids. From what I understand, this is now adjustable within the software (discussed in Part 2).
- The Addams Family Table – Zen’s table, The Addams Family, will be installed on the machines at Pinball Expo – from what I understand. It will also include the 14 Magic Pixel tables shown in Part 4.
- Builder’s Plate – The new cabinet will include a unique Builder’s Plate indicating the machine serial number, theme name, Legends ID and 2D barcode (discussed in Part 5).
- Themed Topper – The new cabinet will include The Addams Family themed topper (discussed in Part 5).
Those are the primary differences I’m expecting to see and will be sharing with you. However, there is one additional accessory that I was unable to check out at the time, the SSF kit. From what I understand, many of the machines available at Pinball Expo will include SSF (surround sound feedback) built-in. Unfortunately, it was too loud at the show to demonstrate this. However, I will be very soon!
Legends Pinball 4KP Giveaway
On Oct. 18th at 1:30PM (Central) we had a live stream for the Legends 4KP Giveaway! We have a CONFIRMED WINNER, please see the Winner’s Wall. Congratulations to ATM / @triphin, here was his winning comment:
If you want to watch the re-play of the live stream (it’s kind of funny), you can check it out here.
Below are some questions that you’ve asked in the video comments, I’ll do what I can to answer them:
- Q: Can you turn off the score pop-ups, ball trails, and animations? A: I spoke with Anna at AtGames about this, it is expected that this will be an option. It’s not currently in the version on the floor at Pinball Expo, but will be happening.
- Q: Does the machine feature the original version of the Adams Family without the enhancements? Zen has been releasing these classic tables with the ability to play the “original” or “enhanced” version. A: Spoke with Anna about this, and she indicated this will be an option on the 4KP as well.
- Q: Will Zen be bringing SSF to tables for everyone or will it be exclusive to the ALP? A: I’ll try to find an answer to this question.
- Q: How does the DMD look on the Addams Family? A: please see here.
- Q: Please show the right-side panel of the backbox. A: Will do, if I don’t get to it tomorrow I will after the show.
- Q: Why is the DMD on the Backglass and the DMD when scrolling through the tables? A: I’ll mention that to AtGames. I did notice some of the screen shots will show the DMD on the backglass when scrolling through the list of tables. I think this is just a minor artwork issue.
- Q: Why is the coin door off-center? A: This will change and will be centered.
- Q: Do the solenoids only fire when the flipper button is pressed or do they activate when hitting targets, bumpers and slingshots? A: currently, only when pressing the flippers. I’ll try to find out more information on this question and if there are other possibilities.
- Pinball Expo 2023: Behind the Scenes + Todd Tuckey channel TAKEOVER! [ Retro Ralph ]
- Pinball Expo 2023 News [ Bill’s Retro Gaming Show ]
Here you’ll find things I’ve seen, people I’ve met and video content that was created during the show. I’ll keep videos fairly short and focused. Keeping it fun and transparent, is always the goal! Not many people feel comfortable being on-camera (myself included), so please don’t expect any interviews unless they are ok with it. Content posted below will be respectful of each individual’s wishes.
All times local US Central
Tuesday (Oct. 17th)
- 08:55AM – The trip to Pinball Expo in Chicago starts today! Talk to you soon.
- 07:30 PM – I arrived at the hotel, had a great dinner with some friends of the channel. Getting ready for a busy day tomorrow!
Wednesday (Oct. 18th)
- 7:30 AM – Making sure all the equipment is good here at the hotel before packing up and heading to Pinball Expo ’23. All is a go!
- 08:45 AM – Should be headed towards the convention center around this time. Will update soonish.
- 01:30 PM – We’ll try to broadcast the giveaway live. Times are: 1:30PM CT / 2:30PM ET / 11:30AM PT and the broadcast will occur here. If you want to be notified once going live, you can subscribe and click the bell notification icon.
- Live-Stream of the Giveaway – Well, if I ever live stream in the future I’ll have learned a few things. It was hilarious that housekeep came in as we were about to determine the winner. If you want to watch it, you’ll find the stream here.
- Rest of the day Summary – After the stream ended, went back to the floor around 3pm. Took a lot of video from the machines and floor. The plan is to create a 4K video of it and upload from the hotel so you can get a better look at what the new machines look like. It was late getting back to the hotel, got to work editing right away. Around 11:30pm last night, we received confirmation for the winner of the Legends 4KP and updated the website. A community post was made this morning, didn’t want to wake everyone up with notifications at midnight.
- It was awesome meeting the Zen Team, Akos, Anna and Bence! I’ve watched their Pinball Bites for awhile, highly recommend you check out their channel!
- I also got to meet several AtGames folks, including: Liene, Dave, Richard, Matt and PK!
- My wife arrived late last night, can’t wait to introduce her to everyone and show her around!
Thursday (Oct. 19th)
- 10AM – Video of The Addams Family cabinet and Game Play below!
- Had a great time at the show today. My wife joined me and started out at the AtGames booth. Showed her the machines, how they look / play and she really enjoyed them. She loved The Addams Family artwork, cabinet design and the coin return. The only table that she hadn’t seen is the same that was new for me, The Addams Family. She played several games and enjoyed it but did mention the latency being an issue.
- There were a few questions from the video above, such as: does The Addams Family table appear in 4K and does the DMD take up the full display? To better answer this, I released a short video.
- From there, we went walking around and played a bunch of machines. There was a table she absolutely loved, it was an old Flintstone’s machine. Likely from the 70’s, it was huge. I’ve not seen anything quite like it. Of course, checked out many of the awesome Stern pinball machines. Such as Venom, Foo Fighters, Jurassic Park and many others. We don’t have the room nor the disposable income for those type of machines, maybe someday, after we get our kids through college. In the meantime, I’m quite happy with Virtual Pinball. But, I can definitely see the appeal of owning a physical machine.
- Had a great time talking and meeting people that have watched the channel. I wasn’t sure if anyone would know who I was, I typically hide behind the camera. It was exciting to talk to each and everyone of them, to hear their stories, learn what they like and want to see. It was a very special moment for me personally, I don’t get out much.
- I also had the honor to meet COOLTOY (Doug S.), we didn’t talk for long as he was recording and didn’t want to interrupt him. But he took time out to say hello and had a great chat. He’ll have some great content coming out, definitely check it out. Just noticed he released on on Labyrinth Pinball Barrels of Fun. That’s a table I haven’t had a chance to play, the line was incredibly long.
- As we were leaving for the evening, I noticed another awesome content creator that I’ve watched for years, Retro Ralph. I introduced myself and told him I was a big fan of his channel. He was familiar with mine, we’ve only had a few on-line conversations in video comments over the years. We had a nice chat and it was very cool to have a chance to meet him. He and Jeff had a great walk-through and live stream earlier today. If you want to see everything that’s going on at Pinball Expo ’23, you can see here for the full video. The day prior, I had the pleasure of meeting his buddy Jeff, very cool guy and enjoyed talking to him while we were setting up. I definitely recommend watching their live stream, while I focus mostly on AtGames and Zen Studios virtual pinball, Ralph and Jeff can provide much more detail on non-virtual pinball machines. I tend to focus on those things that I have experience with.
- Another one of the big highlights of my day was meeting Mezei Tibor Jr. and Sr.! These two perform much of the magic at Magic Pixels. Magic Pixels, of course, are the developer’s of many of the pinball tables on the Legends Pinball (HD and 4K). They developed the Zaccaria, TAITO, Natural History and Dr. Seuss tables that we all know and love. They also developed the new user interface (UI) being introduced on the Legends 4K series, CE4K. It was amazing to have the opportunity to meet and talk with them. Absolutely brilliant software engineers!
Friday (Oct. 20th)
- My goal for today is to get some of the questions from the Q&A section answered. I’m also hoping to have a great interview of sorts with Zen Studios.
- Had a great time talking with Ákos Györkei from Zen Studios, had some questions that I wanted to ask and it was best to hear it directly from the man himself. Hope you enjoy this quick TechTalk!
It was such a great time meeting everyone from Zen Studios and AtGames. I really appreciate Ákos for taking time out to allow having the interview above. There are a lot of exciting things coming and it was best to ask him directly and share this information with you.
I want to say thank you for all the fans of the channel! I had the honor of meeting many that recognized me or saw my nametag. Considering I most frequently hide behind the camera, it was amazing anyone knew who I was. I received a lot of very kind and humbling feedback that the guides have been helpful, both AtGames-related and otherwise. I hope to make this trip next year, it was 100% worth coming.
Later in the evening on Sat. I saw Crow ( Crow Continuum ), I’ve been a subscriber of his channel for quite a few years and we had a great chat. Super-nice guy, very knowledgeable and we talked about our experiences with AtGames, the 4KP, physical pinball machines and much more. If you’ve not already subscribed to Crow Continuum, you’ll be glad you did!
Saturday (Oct. 21st)
My wife and I went into downtown Chicago on Saturday. We had a great time checking out a few things while in the area. We started out at Millennium Park, the main attraction (Bean) was unfortunately under construction. But it was a beautiful park and lots of other things to check out. From there, we just went walking the streets and came across an unusual Mediaeval Torture Museum. We took the tour, it was very interesting and unusual.
At this point, we were ready for lunch and stopped by Giordano’s Pizza. We got a small pizza and split it and still had plenty left over. It was excellent, I’d highly recommend this for lunch. Just be prepared to spend at least an hour, perfection takes time. I think you can order ahead if you want, which is likely a good idea.
During lunch, we booked our next stop, the Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise aboard Chicago’s First Lady (Boat tour). The boat tour was about 90 min. long and was a nice relaxing tour of the architecture of Chicago. It was great getting the inside scoop of how/when some of these buildings came to be. It did get very cold/windy on the boat, if you do the same be sure to dress appropriately. We did, but still wound up going inside the boat a few times.
After the boat tour, we just continued walking, and walking and walking and have the blisters to prove it lol. It was such a great time exploring Chicago, there was much more that we’d like to check out in the future. But, for a one day visit in the city, we saw quite a bit.
Sunday (Oct. 22)
7:34AM – Time to pack up and head home. Spent some time this morning updating this page with more things that happened during the trip. I have lots of additional video from Pinball Expo 2023 but this is vacation time for my wife and I. I did want to release a few videos while here.
I’m now back home and watching a lot of coverage that I missed. One in particular is this excellent interview with Anna Lengel (from Zen) that I had the pleasure of meeting. You’ll want to check this out, courtesy of the Pinball News YouTube channel:
My wife and I had a great time at Pinball Expo 2023. We met so many awesome people, including the AtGames, Magic Pixel and of course, the Zen Teams. Everyone was awesome, it was truly a surreal experience for me personally. I don’t get out of the office much and meeting many that I have only talked to over e-mail or skype was amazing.
I was surprised that anyone recognized me at all as I typically hide behind the camera in my YouTube videos, rather than being in front of it. But, there were a number of fans from the channel that said hello, thanked me for the guides, shared their experiences and we had some great discussions. If you were one of them, thank you! My wife now thinks I’m a celebrity, we’ll just let her think that LOL.
So, what’s next in regards to the Legends 4KP? My plan is to keep everyone updated as significant progress is made. As mentioned in the initial video from the show, AtGames is sending one of the machines from the floor here. This will allow me to properly report on the SSF kit as well as updates for any Zen tables that they provide. They aren’t giving me this machine (or at least, I didn’t ask if they are), I consider it a loaner to help us all learn more about the development progress. I did pre-order a 4KP and the SSF.
As several have already reported, what was shown on the EVT model is what was shown at the Expo (with some obvious exterior changes and The Addams Family installed). The 14 Magic Pixel tables played very well, no complaints there or at least, I didn’t hear/have any. The big unknown for me going to Chicago was, how well does The Addams Family (TAF) play and a close-up look at the cabinet.
As reported, there is latency and optimizations to be made and AtGames+Zen was very open about that. It was an early build. It was better to show something than to show nothing (regarding TAF). I expect the experience to be much better by the time machines begin to ship. Keeping everyone updated is my personal goal, I’ll follow-through with that as long as I’m able to. Just like what was done with the evt model, I’ll share exactly what I see. I didn’t expect TAF to play perfectly this early in the game, the Zen+AtGames announcement was just made a month ago at the time of this writing. I was personally happy to see it running, even with issues.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey! I hope you found it informative and fun. I again want to thank AtGames for sponsoring the Legends 4KP Giveaway and a huge congratulations to Anthony R. from Fair Oaks Ranch, TX who won the machine. I have no doubt you’re going to love it!
All the Best,