Workshops • Speakers • Pinlebrities • Exhibits • Sunday Pinball School

Visit Pin-U to learn about the history, legacy, art, science and 'how-to' of pinball.
Located in an adjacent building and included with the price of admission!

Saturday: Seminars & Autographs

How to Play Pinball Like the Pros

Ready to Play Better?

Answer must be yes or you wouldn't still be reading! Whether you are a beginner or can usually win a free game, this class will teach you some skills you need to PLAY BETTER! Learn beginning, intermediate and advanced pinball play techniques through video, slide and live demonstration from 3 local pros. A presentation like no other!

Jon Olkowski has run nearly 100 tournaments in the last decade for pinball shows, new game launches, local events and charitable fund raising. He founded the Bay Area Pinball Map, enjoys pinball & arcade history and currently hosts a league at the Pacific Pinball Museum.

Eric Wagensonner is a top 150 ranked Bay Area player with many IFPA wins under his belt. He is a physical player (nicknamed ‘Mr. T’ for his tilting abilities), an all-era generalist, and enjoys learning about and sharing rules knowledge. Eric loves to travel to pinball shows around the country.

Louise Wagensonner is originally from Wales and started playing competitive pinball in San Francisco in 2010 when then-boyfriend (now husband) Eric took her on a ‘secret date’ - which turned out to be the Stern's Avatar launch party, she’s been hooked ever since!


The Secret Life of Gambling Pinballs

A Fun Look at Little Known Secrets

An exploration of pinball games expressly designed for gambling and wagering. Paytables, one-balls and bingo games were very different from the common flipper game. What makes gambling games both unique, and illegal, will be explored as we also look at their beautiful artwork and innovative mechanical design …and the ingenious feature used to skirt the law.

John Osborne was born with a pinball in hand, designing his first game at age 6. His early interest fueled a lifetime passion, making a full size game as his senior Cal State Fresno engineering project for his degree. Taking these pinball engineering skills further, John became a veteran Gottlieb designer. He was the right man at the right time having a rare window in history to be able to create both conventional electro-mechanical games like Hit the Deck, but also bridge into the solid-state world with his innovative three level Haunted House pinball.


Walking the Walk- New Innovations Moving Pinball Forward

The Future of Pinball!

Gerry Stellenberg, founder of Multimorphic, Inc. and the innovative P3 Pinball Platform discusses pinball innovations and how they're shaping the future of the industry. Learn how new technology is used to create exciting new games, features like 4 way head-to-head simultaneous play, and more value for your money.

Gerry, a computer engineer from Austin, TX, shook up the pinball industry in 2009 with the release of his P-ROC board. This circuit board helped hundreds of pinball enthusiasts and new pinball manufacturers realize their dreams of creating new games. Gerry later founded Multimorphic to manufacture the innovative P3 Pinball Platform. With its state of the art features combined with the ability to swap physical playfield layouts in just seconds, the P3 represents a large leap forward …and its story is just beginning.


The Making of Deadpool Pinball

Directly From Stern Pinball in Chicago!

Tanio Klyce, Deadpool’s Lead Programmer, and Mike Vinikour, Stern’s Associate Game Developer, give you a peek behind the fourth wall of pinball software development. Their presentation looks at the collaborative effort between the playfield designer, programmers, artists, animators, writers, voice actors, sound designers, musicians, and the pool of passionate pinball players that contributed to shaping Deadpool Pinball into the game you play today.

Tanio Klyce began his career in pinball by teaming up on pinball customization collaborations with Dirty Donny and Wade Krause, including “Metallica” and “Beatniks: Koolsville”. With a solid background in video game software engineering for consoles and Linux, and a passion for pinball, Tanio joined Stern Pinball to work on Star Trek, Mustang, The Walking Dead, KISS, the SPIKE System, and Deadpool

Mike Vinikour has been in the arcade industry since 1993, starting at Williams/Bally/Midway and worked on the immortal Mortal Kombat series, and more. At Stern, for its last nine titles, Mike has ensured each Stern pinball game is “as good as it gets” by focusing on rule design, software testing and field test programs.


Donny Gillies Autograph Session

PINLEBRITY! Free autograph session

Bring your Metallica and Aerosmith Translites and aprons as well as any flyers you may have. I will have a solid range of my blacklight screened art prints available as well as my art book. I'm looking forward to a return to the bay to see you all!

Donny Gillies is a San Francisco artist and designer. Deemed to be one of the most influential artists to invade the pop culture scenes of the punk, rock 'n' roll and heavy metal underground, Dirty Donny has been spreading his art across all mediums for decades; ranging from skate decks to pinball machines, hot rods and album covers to name but a few.
Photo: Daniel Francis Haber


Sunday: Workshops

Sunday Pinball School
11am & 2pm

Small groups of about 6 - hands-on! • 2 times to choose from.

This is your chance to get "tutored" some basic and intermediate pinball skills in a small group setting. Classes fill up fast, so sign-up at the front desk (where you pay to get into the show). Otherwise, just show up 10 minutes before class OUTDOORS in front of the ENTRANCE DOOR and if room allows we'll squeeze you in.

Real Pinball Pros hand-picked from the community will show you how to PLAY BETTER! Some groups will be for beginners (no experience required) while others are for those who know their way around a flipper button. FREE classes with paid admission to the show, 13 and over please (unless your kid is on his/her way to being a Pinball Wizard). Read more about these small, fun, friendly classes here.


Meet Gottlieb Pinball Designer John Osborne

Casual Meet, Demo & Discuss

John reminiscences about Gottlieb as a designer of both electro-mechanical and solid-state games. He will share with you rare Gottlieb artifacts and prototype units, and give a hands on demonstration and discussion of the inner workings and design of a rare Gottlieb Add-A-Ball game.

We are honored to have John Osborne, (photo above) a veteran Gottlieb designer as one of our Special Guests this year. John has designed some interesting Gottlieb pinball machines, including some of the last Gottlieb electromechanical ones: Strange World, Hit The Deck, Neptune, Blue Note, and Rock Star. John is most famous for designing Haunted House, one of the most collectible Gottlieb solid state pinball machines.


Cabinet Decal Demonstration

Tips, Tricks and Techniques

Greg Ong will do a live demo on how to apply pinball cabinet decals. A must see if you want tips on how to avoid bubbles, creases, and corners that don’t match up for a clean and professional look. Don't miss this restoration workshop!

Greg Ong loves to play pinball, but his true passion and calling is breathing life into dead games. A service technician by profession and a Pinball Medic by passion, Greg has been an integral part of this show by not only keeping the games running, but is also on the Northern California Pinball Association's Board of Directors and a Golden State Pinball Festival Show organizer.


Solid State Pinball Troubleshooting

A Workshop for Everyone

Learn ways to troubleshoot problems in solid state pinball machines. This workshop will focus on how to better identify issues & making repairs faster, cheaper, and better. Feel free to ask questions.

Mike Harris has been repairing machines for about seven years, and is a part of the volunteer tech crew at the Pacific Pinball Museum. He is friendly and willing to answer questions you may have.

Guests and schedule subject to change without notice.
Website and contents ©2011-2019 Northern California Pinball Association.