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Interview: JPSalas


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#1 Noah Fentz

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:11 AM

Noah Fentz: Thank you, JP, for taking time out of your day for this interview. It's certainly a pleasure.

jpsalas: smile.gif

Noah Fentz: Could you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

jpsalas: I'm 50 years old. Married to a Norwegian lady, and we have a son (25 years old already). I work for the civil government in Oslo as a systems manager. I have about 60 servers and 450 users to take care of smile.gif

Noah Fentz: So, you work with computers all day?

jpsalas: Yes.

jpsalas: I have been doing that since 1984.

Noah Fentz: That's a lot of time in front of a computer, when you consider your VP time, as well.

jpsalas: I started working in Norsk data in 1984 (the ones who made the F16 simulators).

Noah Fentz: Wow, that's interesting!

Noah Fentz: In a typical week of designing, how many hours would you say you spend with VP?

jpsalas: About 4 hours a day, and a lot more in the weekends.

Noah Fentz: Now, I know from personal experience that sometimes a "significant other" can get unhappy with too much VP time. How does your wife handle all the time you spend on our great hobby?

jpsalas: Very nicely smile.gif. I bought her a new computer, I installed MSN, mIRC, e-mail, taught her to chat, and I have had no problem since (that 10 years ago) smile.gif

Noah Fentz: lol...If only I had thought of that!

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Noah Fentz: Now, you've mentioned to me that you never really played pinball...you mean NEVER?

jpsalas: Yes, I played when I was a kid, but I didn't play for 35 years, then I discovered VP, and I started playing from time to time, mostly in holidays.

Noah Fentz: What was the first pinball you recall playing?

jpsalas: I tried to find the ones I used to play, but I haven't found them. I remember they were mostly card themes and space themes, from the 60's. But it so long ago that I can't remember them.

Noah Fentz: How did you find Visual Pinball?

jpsalas: I guess it was through emulation, I have always been a fan of older games.

Noah Fentz: What other emulations do you enjoy?

jpsalas: Mostly the older games in MAME.

Noah Fentz: Your favorite being?

jpsalas: Galaga smile.gif

Noah Fentz: Good choice! smile.gif

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Noah Fentz: What made you want to get involved with authoring tables?

jpsalas: Mostly because I wasn't happy with how the tables looked at that time, but mostly it was a great excuse to learn Photoshop.

EDIT: Now that I think of it, I should like to add that what really pushed me to start making tables was not that I wasn't happy with the overall quality, since many tables were great (I used to play mostly Eala and Scapinos tables, I didn't like much vpm tables), but it was a discussion on the old vpforums about the table Taxi. I guess many of you remember that discussion. It went on for months and months, about who was going to make the table. I don't remember the people involved, but I remember racerxme made the script for it. It was then that I thought "why not try to make it myself?" "Can it be so hard?". I had a little experience in programming but I couldn't understand a thing about the script, I didn't know anything about photoshop and I hadn't a clue about VP. One month later I made Nemesis and a few months later I finished Taxi using racerxme script (since I still hadn't a clue about scripting a vpm table). That was 3 1/2 years ago.

JP

Noah Fentz: Was there an author at the time that inspired you?

jpsalas: Many! Eala, PD, Destruk, and many more. I guess Eala and Scapino were the ones I liked best.

Noah Fentz: How does the VP scene now compare to when you first got involved?

jpsalas: I see many new faces, and the scene seems much better now, the fights have stopped smile.gif

Noah Fentz: Is there anything you miss from the past days?

jpsalas: Not really.

Noah Fentz: Can you remind us of your first table release?

jpsalas: Nemesis? It was a miracle that it worked at all smile.gif

Noah Fentz: lol...is it available for download?

jpsalas: I think PO [may] still have it, I'm not sure.

Noah Fentz: I think that could be fun to check out wink.gif

Noah Fentz: Will you revisit it one day?

jpsalas: No, I think it is good to keep it like it is, just to remind me how I started.

Noah Fentz: What is your favorite table you've done?

jpsalas: AFM (Attack from Mars)

Noah Fentz: Least favorite?

jpsalas: I guess Panthera, the noise was annoying smile.gif

Noah Fentz: Heh...Of all your tables, which would you say was the most difficult or gave you the most trouble?

jpsalas: Elvira and the Party Monsters, with Highrise.

Noah Fentz: Why that one?

jpsalas: Too many reels, all them mixed with each other, all them fading. That wasn't easy to make.

----------------------------------

Noah Fentz: On the subject of team tables...the VP scene was spoiled with your teaming with GRONI as JPG PINs ... What inspired that partnership?

jpsalas: It was Groni who suggested to help me with some graphics.

Noah Fentz: Can you tell us a little about your experience as a partnership?

jpsalas: I'm mostly a loner, and I don't work well with others. I don't like to wait for the others to finish something and I don't like the others waiting for me to finish something.

Noah Fentz: Is that why the team has disbanded?

jpsalas: Yes, I told Groni that it was best like this. It was not his fault, he is excellent with graphics (much better than me!).

Noah Fentz: He seems to be doing well on his Shadow table, indeed! What's next for JP?

jpsalas: Just now I'm working on the Spiderman table, mostly as an exercise in programming.

Noah Fentz: So, it will be all script, no ROM...how true to the real table would you say it will be, as far as rules and scoring?

jpsalas: Yes, it will be a script only table. The rules will be similar but not the same, and I also added a new baddie: Carnage.

Noah Fentz: Awesome! smile.gif You're a Spiderman fan, I take it?

jpsalas: Yes!

Noah Fentz: What was your favorite Spiderman film?

jpsalas: Good question smile.gif. I guess the last one, mostly for the effects.

----------------------------------

Noah Fentz: Can you share with us what programs you prefer for designing tables?
jpsalas: I use only VP and Photoshop.

Noah Fentz: What about sound?

jpsalas: I use an old version of Sound Forge.

Noah Fentz: Do you see yourself making tables for a long time to come?

jpsalas: Yes. I have nearly given up a few times, but I guess I only need a break from time to time. it is a nice pastime.

Noah Fentz: May I ask what nearly deterred you from making more tables?

jpsalas: One was the ongoing fights in the forums between members. Another was the bugs in the VP editor. VP6 was a nightmare. VP8 was much better. VP9 looks fine for now.

Noah Fentz: Will you be abandonding VP8 altogether and updating all your works to VP9?

jpsalas: I don't think I'll update all my tables to VP9, that would take a lot of time. I chose a few tables and I updated them, the ones that are in beta now. The older tables play very well under VP8, I see no reason to update them. But my newer tables will be for VP9.

Noah Fentz: I'd like to see one more VP9 update..ST:TNG...any chance?

jpsalas: I can give it a shot, but the cannons may be a problem in VP9. I don't want to use reels, so I'll need to find a way to make them with walls.

----------------------------------

Noah Fentz: For aspiring authors, you set a great example of both workmanship and attitude. What would you like to say to these members as they learn their way around VP?

jpsalas: VP is a very flexible program and it can do nearly whatever you want, and that there are many tutorials and many tables to learn from.

Noah Fentz: We hope to see a tutorial or two from you soon, JP wink.gif

jpsalas: Yes, I'll see if I come up with something useful.

Noah Fentz: Thank you so much for allowing me the time. As always, it was truly a pleasure chatting with you.

jpsalas: Nice talking to you too.


For your convenience, JP's first table, Nemesis, is attached below. For more great originals, visit http://www.pinball-originals.com.



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#2 esoteric_rt

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:33 AM

Good interview and well timed with the recent beta tables, I guess he answers a lot of the questions we all were thinking...

Sounds like many good times to come! cool.gif

Thank you JP Salas!

#3 jpsalas

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:36 AM

Now that I think of it, I should like to add that what really pushed me to start making tables was not that I wasn't happy with the overall quality, since many tables were great (I used to play mostly Eala and Scapinos tables, I didn't like much vpm tables), but it was a discussion on the old vpforums about the table Taxi. I guess many of you remember that discussion. It went on for months and months, about who was going to make the table. I don't remember the people involved, but I remember racerxme made the script for it. It was then that I thought "why not try to make it myself?" "Can it be so hard?". I had a little experience in programming but I couldn't understand a thing about the script, I didn't know anything about photoshop and I hadn't a clue about VP. One month later I made Nemesis and a few months later I finished Taxi using racerxme script (since I still hadn't a clue about scripting a vpm table). That was 3 1/2 years ago.

JP

My Visual Pinball site, now hosted at my wife's domain :)
http://sofie40.no/jpsalas/


#4 TAB

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 10:08 AM

Thanks JP smile.gif for all.

#5 bolt

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:11 AM

Thanks for the interesting interview JPSalas and Noah Fentz.


Thanks for all the hard work an time you gave in VP.

Good to see you back JPSalas
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#6 gordon

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 01:57 PM

Nice Interview, thanks......

#7 EalaDubhSidhe

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:32 PM

Awwwwwwwww, shucks. smile.gif

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#8 neoblood

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:45 PM

A mentor returns...
A Pinball a day takes the boredom away

#9 The Loafer

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:51 PM

Good interview, nice read and great role-models but seriously, Spider-Man 3 is your favorite? wink.gif Nice to hear some insight on you jpsalas; your work is appreciated by all.

Edited by The Loafer, 24 May 2009 - 03:51 PM.


#10 d3xtro

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:55 PM

Nice interview.

Cheers,

drinks.gif

#11 k88dad

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 04:40 PM

Very informative. JP sees the beauty in pinball. When he gives you a compliment, it is well deserved.

Mmm, spidey senses tingling...
Whoops! Too much english.

#12 kingb33

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 05:44 PM

Good read, nice to see stuff like that and get some insight from the table authors. I agree w/ Noah a ST:TNG would be sweet smile.gif And my other fav Lord of the Rings smile.gif

Great to have you back JP. The scene is really heating up again, it's great!
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#13 Pinball Ken

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 07:09 PM

Cool interview!

PK cool.gif
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#14 astroone

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 08:39 PM

Great Interview Thank You Jpsalas just started using Vp for two months love the Attack From Mars table awesome work Thank You

#15 FDSystems

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:33 PM

Thanks to both for the hard work & all the entertainment we get through your tables,JP, & your forum, Noah.
From Brasil. Updated version of 1234fd



#16 faralos

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 09:11 PM

Wow, very insightful! (Although a big fan of Scapino's tables I have found a home for JP's wide table look! it is easier on my eyes). I loved the interview! Great questions too! Glad to have you back aboard, Cap'n! Hope you stay for many long (and productive!) years! Let me give you your proper salute love39.gif
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#17 slam23

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 03:33 PM

Hi Noah and JP,
Nice to hear from both of you. Sorry to hear that JPG-pins will be discontinued, but happy ofcourse that we can still look forward to some tables from both you and Groni. Very much obliged!
Greetz Slam23

Did you know that "playing pinball" is called "flipperen" in Dutch? Now you know and may your life be enriched by this arcane knowledge....

#18 Ike Savage

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Posted 26 May 2009 - 05:10 PM

very nice work, gentlemen.

i've always thought that these live IM interviews were more interesting than the 'canned questionnaire' interviews.

#19 Murdock123

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 09:28 AM

Great to know more about a great author...thanks Noah and JP for an interesting interview.

It is just amazing that a great hobby in creating and re-creating tables...can be so rewarding to the authors themselves and those that really appreciate the hard work and dedication that entertain so many walks of life...welcome back JP!
and thanks again Noah for our VP forums

Murdock703 yahoo.gif

Edited by Murdock123, 31 May 2009 - 09:40 AM.

Mad Matt Murdock

#20 TedB

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Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:59 PM

I like these interviews a lot. Also gives credit to the people that deserve it.
Also fun to see JP's favourite MAME game is Galaga. I've played it a lot in my youth and it is still a game I play once a while on MAME. Just like pinball a reaction game with some strategy.