Developer Interview: Mile High Pinball
We talk to the developers of Mile High Pinball and ask them how they revolutionized the pinball genre.
1.) When did you come up with the idea for Mile High Pinball? What did you feel was lacking in standard pinball games?
Actually, the concept of Mile High Pinball came from San Francisco office's Executive Producer, Ed Annunziata. He pitched the idea, and I thought it was absolutely the perfect game for the N-Gage. We wanted to use our love of pinball games (real and video versions alike) and add something totally new, the idea of a single ball, a ridiculously long pinball tower, and a link to the rest of the world of players via the N-Gage Arena.
2.) What led you to ultimately choose the N-Gage to host the game? Why not the PSP or the DS?
Well, we were working at Nokia, so I guess it made a bit of sense for us to support our own device! But seriously, when you look the N-Gage and see that vertical screen, and think of a mile long pinball board, it all just falls into place. Add to that the fact that the N-Gage allowed us to make pinball into a community game where players can race up the tower, and view each other's progress, as well as trade their customized pinballs... it just works.
[For the record, Modojo didn't know who it would be interviewing and assumed it would be a developer who could have very well supported the DS or PSP. We know that Nokia would want to support its own platform! We promise!]
3.) I recall being told of special unlockable N-gage themed boards in this game. What are they? Also, what are some of this game's other secrets?
Yes, there are five hidden boards that pay homage to other favorite N-Gage games. They are based on Pathway to Glory, One, Glimmerati, Ashen and, of course, Snakes. When you defeat the enemies on each of these boards, you unlock cool new ball skins that you can use on any new ball you create. You see, there are 35 ball skins in the game, but when you start out, you only have access to 14 of them! By playing the game, and accomplishing a number of secret goals, you can unlock some of the other skins. We've got a ton of hidden stuff in the game that we don't want to spoil for all the MHP fans out there. But I will tell you that when players climb to the top of the Mile High tower, and defeat the final boss, they then get access to the MHP Extreme Tower.
4.) The special N-Gage boards, do they feature music from the games?
Unfortunately, no. But you know, that's a great idea for Mile High 2!
5.) Can you explain what players can do with this game and the N-Gage ?Arena?
No problem! Players start off playing the game offline, with a new, customized ball they've created, named, and stored on their N-Gage. Whenever they want, a player can decide "Hey I wanna show off my pinball to the world!" To do that, they simply log onto N-Gage Arena and convert their pinball into an "Arena Ball". Now, everyone else playing Mile High on N-Gage Arena can view that ball using the built-in Tower Rankings feature, and see where that pinball is in the Tower. Once a ball is an Arena Ball, it can also be traded via N-Gage Arena. This is a great way to get your hands on a skin that you missed! Also, the owner can even convert an Arena Ball to a "Team ball", then add their friends to the team, so they can share the ball to race up the MHP tower cooperatively. This will be a great help to those players who get stuck on those tough sections of the tower.
?In addition, players can go to MileHighPinball.com and view the entire Mile High Pinball tower. Here, they can view all the stats and skins for every ball on the Tower. They'll see where other players are, and if they sort by their friends list, will be able to see where their friends are. Think of the trash talking opportunities!
?Wow, I almost forgot. Players can also build new boards with the Board Editor in the game, and then use the N-Gage Arena to upload and download those custom MHP boards. And we're working on a feature for the MileHighPinball.com site that will allow the user to view each uploaded board that has been posted... so, you can window shop online, jot down the names of the boards you want, and then use N-Gage Arena to download and play the boards you'd like to try.
6.) How many different pinballs are there?
Like I mentioned earlier, there are 35 unique ball skins, with all kinds of colors and textures, from shiny silver and gold, to striped, and even a few that look like planets.
7.) If we really placed every single board on top of the other, would ?they really stretch for a mile? If not, then why the name Mile High Pinball? Is that a suggestive title meant to sound tongue in cheek?
Absolutely, the MHP tower stretches a mile high. And don't forget that each ball is tracked with tons of statistics beyond its altitude (in feet), such as points scored, bucks collected, mileage (how much the ball has rolled around the tower in every direction), secret medallions collected, secret rooms visited.
Fantastic! Robomo thanks you for your time, and looks forward to joining the Mile High Pinball Club!