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
Noah Fentz: So, you work with computers all day?
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 . 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)
Noah Fentz: lol...If only I had thought of that!
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?
Noah Fentz: Good choice!
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.
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
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
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
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
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! You're a Spiderman fan, I take it?
Noah Fentz: What was your favorite Spiderman film?
jpsalas: Good question . 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
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.
The information contained herein may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of VPForums.org.