Why Druadic really left


PN co-founder
Jun 9, 2003
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Flying Trapeze 1934
There are a lot of reasons Will/Druadic has left the VP scene. He was offered a job outside of the US, and also has joined a team of gamers/programmers, to create a massive add-on to some sort of RPG. But also, he simply got tired or devoting all his energies to redrawing every playfield he uses, and developing any number of innovations, and getting very little if any kind of feedback or recognition.

He realizes that flipperless tables aren’t the most popular segment of VP. But download numbers prove that there must be a lot of folks who enjoy his work. But just as with PacDude and his VPM work, which is among the best in that area, people take what he offered, and seldom had words of encouragement or thanks in return. After a while, let’s say 52 or so releases, that can start to get old.

But another reason he left is that Redswal began churning out flipperless tables that simply look awful, and play even worse. Redswal, who seems to be invisible, or at least unreachable, uses whatever image he finds, without cleaning up or redrawing the playfield, or even straightening it if needed. But worse than that, Redswal has repeatedly “borrowed” pieces of code out of any number of Will’s older tables, and adapted them for use in his inferior recreations. I also doubt if Redswal did any testing of his tables before releasing them, because the few I tried had horrible playability.

Combine all these factors, and it’s easy to see why Will is now working on a non-VP project, one that could last for two years. But I have sitting on my HD, three word puzzles Will created, which I can tell you are fun and challenging. I’d really like to share them with you, but at least for now, Will has said no. I think I could change his mind, if only a few folks would show an interest in them, and not just for selfish reasons. If Will knew that his work really was appreciated, and he received some sort of feedback about his five latest releases, maybe he would allow me to release his word puzzles. Those five new releases are Flip It, Face2Face, Bonanza, Hi-Lo, and Hit The Goal.

His new word puzzles, Word Darts, 4Somes, and Letter Stairs, are really masterpieces, and even include editors, so you can create your our puzzles, which are auto-saved to the User folder of the Visual Pinball directory. My next three post will give you the inside scoop of each of these innovative games.

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I found this thread after I posted on 'why... feedback', so here I am again. I downloaded and played Druadic's 'Hi-Lo' last night, and I am amazed at the quality of game he was able to get out of that errr.... playfield? he started with. It seems from what I've been reading on this and other sites that VP people sometimes seem to 'feed off of each other' (egotrip) much like musicians do.
I never heard a musician ever say to another 'Nice song' after a concert, but I have heard plenty of songs made of bits and pieces of other people's music. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

In the musical world, the true innovators are routinely slammed or ignored in public, but in private, the other musicians are 'picking his songs apart' to see how he played it. Maybe this explains this other person's actions. After all, the best way to learn how to do something quickly is to 'analyze the works of the master', as it were.

Ken Lyons
Again, welcome to the wonderful world of Flipperless, Ken. I think you're comments are very insightful, and sad, in a way. I wonder if musicians, as well as table authors, might not produce even better work if they received more positive feedback, especially from their peers.

I'n sure, ilke you said, that a lot of folks see it as ego when someone seeks feedback for their work, but that usually isn't the case. At least for me, and I'm far from being in Druadic's class, while it's nice to hear that people like my tables, what I'd really appreciate would be honest comments not only on what I did right, but how I can improve my work.

And that doesn't come about very often. I mostly recreate bagatelle, and also usually enhance them a bit, so they're more fun to play. Within the past few day, another author, Bob, released a more realistic version of one of the bagatelle I have done, His version was done independent of mine and Nissananimal's, and the two versions don't have a lot in common, other than both being very good games, I think.

But Bob's comment on why he feels more realistic recreations are best has made me consider releasing both basic, realistic, and enhanced versions in the future. I think since Bob and I think of each other as friends instead of competitors, we can trade opinions and viewpoints without playing one-upsmanship.

As you can see, I love talking Flipperless. But again, thanks for your comments, and I will send them to Will.

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I think Eddie Van Halen said it best (or was it Sammy Hagar?) about music..

Everybody steals from each other, but what really sucks is when the player doesn't acknowledge it.

VP from what I've been reading seems to be indeed a very competitive occupation, everyone tries to outdo everyone else. Now, frankly, many musicians are like that too. It is wisely written that in the human brain creativity lives right next door to depression and obsession. Musicians as well as computer types often display these traits. It's part of being creative, look at Van Gogh, for example. The first thing other musicians seems to do when someone outplays them is 'cue the trash talk', and you can always tell how much they got burned internally by how loud and nasty they are, and how much time they take to complain. It also says a lot about how insecure somebody is too - some fall apart if they see something much better than they themselves are doing. Me, I learn from
it, study it, and move on.

I think druadic makes some fine games, but there are some games that just speak more to me personally because they are pictures of 'real games'. For instance, one of my favorites is Bally's Airway, and I can't remember who did this one, but the playfield picture has been rather crudely sectioned to fit the screen - two of the target airplanes on the playfield have been cut in half. This really sucks, but the game is still cool to me not just because I like the game, but because you can see the 'wear of years' in the top. Druadic's Cloverleaf is the perfect expression of what I dig - a really good original untouched playfield that made me say 'Wooooo...'. And the game is fiendishly difficult too, just the way i like 'em.

I would LOVE to have my Sportsman 'VP', but I would really like it just the way it is - if you saw it, you would see why. It's like a worn Fender guitar's neck - every nick and scratch tells a story. There are others, like 'Hi-Lo' where I just went 'Whoa baby' when i saw the errr... playfield? and when I saw the job druadic did on the VP game itself, it was like the game turned back time. The new game is beautiful!

It is possible to over restore something so it looks too good. It's like music, sometimes it's not what you do play, but what you don't.

However, druadic's taste in games to VP is impeccable - I have never ever even seen some of these! Where does he get the pictures? And his
game action is cool too. The only beef i have sometimes is some games (like Silver Streak) has 'too strong of a plunger spring' - it's either all on for spring power or all off, and you can't 'finesse' it, you can only wait for the ball to stop bouncing.

FYI - All in all, maybe druadic didn't get props is because of simple jealousy on the part of others. There are others who made cool games too - I played a Jigsaw that was too cool, and a Rockola 1937 World Series thet blew me away because of the sounds, not the visuals.

If you want props, then you you don't make flipperless games :) most people want the newer pinball tables with Roms, then you have the fans of the later EM's, then there's a few people that like old pinballs, then there's a couple of flipperless fans and then there's Tiltjlp that likes bagatelles. It's just the way that it is...
So true Bob, I don't think any of us make tables simply for pats on the back. You'd better make tables that you like, because you want to see them come alive, because few of us ever get much feedback, good or bad. But I don't really think it's jealousy, I think it's more a matter of not wanting to sound like a cheerleader, if you like someone's work or seeming overly critical if you don't.

But I think Ken makes some good points, and maybe I'll try to make sure that when I think something is really fantasic, that the author knows how I feel.

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it is always good to tell the author personally, because if others read it, they may get mad.

Many musicians just play to suit themselves, and they feel happy if others like what they played. It's something they 'have to' do, some people climb mountains, others go real fast in cars.

I have a question - I have my own VP design in my head that I would like to turn into a VP game, and then a 'real' game. Where do I start? I was one of the original hackers when hacking was cool - I actually did start out with a Timex ZX-81 and 4K of memory, and I still have the flat fingertips (from the keyless keyboard) and solder burns to prove it. I used to write in assembler, so VP language can't be too hard. Is there any good books to read to help me learn?

VP language is pretty much Visual Basic, so that would be where to start if you want to go that route. Or simply study the scripts of VP tables that you like playing, and eventually you'll notice come common commands, and notice how variables work. And just as not all tables are as good as others, some authors are more advanced than others.

And as for coding help once you get started, just ask and someone other than me will help you. Trust me, you wouldn't want my help. But even before coding work on your layout, because playability and fluid game flow are the most important elements, at least in my opinion.

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I think you're right, I have a game in my head that requires some finesse to play, you have to 'work at it' to get a high score.

I am reading your group's tutorials and those on shivasite, I'm trying to learn as much as I can. I started out with basic (like everybody else in the day) so I am already seeing some similarities, like you said.

It sounds like you're headed in the right direction, the best tables are the ones that challenge players. If I can help you out, let me know, as long as it doesn't concern coding.

Try looking for some table templates, they have all of the basic programing done for you. I like Bendigo's table templates the best for simple tables. You can then adjust them to your table by adding and subtracting. All of my tables start with someone else doing the dirty work for me :) If you can't find them, post here or PM me at VPForums and I'll find you his site by doing a search at VPForums.
Right Bob, there are loads of starter tables to build from, I think Begigo's are at shivaSite, along with lots of sound files and graphics too. Right here we have template kits by Druadic and some guy called tiltjlp. And BJ has a zip file with five very basic demo tables, each showing How To do one thing. In fact it's called BJ's How To Series.

My starter kit has both standard and widebody templates for making either bagatelle or flipperless, and come with one of each object needed for a bagatelle, and the script is fully commented. And every other of these starter tables are fully commented, which anyone but the biggest dummy, such as me, can use without a hitch.

His new word puzzles, Word Darts, 4Somes, and Letter Stairs, are really masterpieces, and even include editors, so you can create your our puzzles, which are auto-saved to the User folder of the Visual Pinball directory. My next three post will give you the inside scoop of each of these innovative games.



Do you still have these? I'd like to look at them and maybe release these for VP9. I know I have them in Florida, but wondered if you still might have these. Thanks.

If I redo these in VP9, I'll use EM reels for the letters. Also some nice backdrops. Would love to open these up once again and see what I can do.

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No Will, sad to say I don't have them. I still p,lay Face To Face, which is in our download section.
No Will, sad to say I don't have them. I still p,lay Face To Face, which is in our download section.


No sweat; I can get them when I go down to Florida this year ;)

I have TONS of unfinished VP WIP on a CD down there. I'll have to check them all out since I remember "Atomz" like it was yesterday. That game has 100 levels and it is a BLAST to play, using a "magnet" to THROW the ball across the playfield at specific times when a flashing square comes on. It's a real skill game but all in real time AND TIMED. You miss a shot on any particular level and you GO BACK A LEVEL.

If I'm correct I also had Western Supply's "Shells" payout game almost complete on that disc too.

Can't wait to see what all you find. Maybe I'll luck out and you'll find a few of my old things too.
um...can I also have Atom2? sounds cool? I like anything that has levels. being a retired gameMaster (like dungeonmaster except most of my worlds had few actual dungeons; long story) and missing and being sent back sounds frustrating as hell, just like some of my custom um...'areas' that had my players lost for hours!
Thanks guys, but I have to get to Florida first ;)

More than likely John I zipped up A LOT of your old stuff. Who knows what's on that disk.

As for Atomz, I had I think five levels to finish and it was done. I hope that's true and can release it someday.

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