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CREATION INFORMATION
CREATED MAY.24.2009
UPDATED JUL.22.2009
CREDITS
TEXT WRITTEN BY
MARTIN NIELSEN
ADDAMS FAMILY PINBALL
NO BALLS LEFT... GAME OVER...
DEVELOPER Digital Eclipse
PUBLISHER GT Interactive
GAME TYPE Pinball
PLAYERS N/A
MULTIPLAYER TYPE N/A
ROM SIZE N/A
COMPLETENESS N/A

Around July 1998, Digital Eclipse' webpage revealed they they were working on a pinball game for the Nintendo 64, a system that oddly didn't receive a single pinball during its lifespan, and we of course know, as this is a part of the unreleased section of the site, that Digital Eclipse' pinball game didn't see a release either.

Another pinball game in the works was Paladium by the small Danish/Swedish development team Progressive Media. It was shown to Titus at ECTS back in 1999, who choose not to sign a deal to publish Paladium on the N64. Paladium was later ported to the Gameboy Advance, but Progressive Media once again failed to find a publisher and the project was put to rest. However Progressive Media is today a successful developer of cellphone game, but have recently also developed both a GBA and NDS game for the Danish market, both titles were published by KREA Media.

Erh so anyway, back to Digital Eclipse and their Addams Family Pinball game, which would be based on one of the best selling pinball games of all time, selling over 20.000 units. Besides obviously being a pinball game, Addams Family Pinball supposedly also was to feature a bunch of old arcade classics, like Joust, Defender, Stargate and Robotron. Here's what Digital Eclipse wrote on their website:

Addams Family Pinball (Nintendo 64, Windows 95) -- IN DEVELOPMENT

  • Accurate, motion-captured physics.
  • Emulation of the table's control CPU for fully authentic reproduction of game rules and response.
  • Highly-detailed 3D rendering of table features and artwork.
  • Addam's Family and Addam's Family Gold modes.
  • Supplementary multimedia material on the Addam's Family Pinball phenomenon.
The game was planned both for PC and N64, and supposedly also a PSX version. The PC and N64 version were supposed to launch around christmas 1998, and with an unconfirmed Playstation release during 1999. But the game didn't get released on any of the formats.

Jeff Vavasour, one of the programmers of Addams Family Pinball, wrote on his personal website; It was an ambitious project for the time. Williams Electronics' immensely popular Addams Family Pinball table had sold nearly 30,000 units. A home version was virtually demanded. In our rendition, our talented Art Director, Boyd Burggrabe, had disassembled a real-live Addams Family Pinball table piece by piece and measured even the smallest screw.

A detailed 90,000 polygon 3D model was built with the intentions of scaling it down for use in the various target platforms. The physics engine was equally ambitious... a full 3D engine simulating the elastic and friction properties of the materials in the table, and recognising both linear and angular momentum in the balls. Thus balls could do all the hops and oddities that are a consequence of spinning, slipping, etc.

A motion capture system was rigged which tracked the ball behaviour in a real pinball table. The parameters of the physics engine were tweaked to mimic the motion captured behaviour as closely as possible. For the table logic, the original 6809 code was run in our well-established emulation technology, running both the original ROMs as well as the limited edition Addams Family Gold version of the game. I contributed the emulation technology and lead the team on the physics simulation. Jonah Beckford, a senior student from UBC Engineering Physics contributed to the physics engine development.

Frank Linseisen, a then Research Associate in the Dept. of Physics at UBC, designed and built the motion capture system. (Frank also later helped out on Rampage for the Game Boy Advance by providing some sound processing tools.)

Unfortunately, in mid-progress, the viability of this product was reconsidered and ultimately abandoned by the publisher. In late 1999, Williams got out of pinball all together.

When asked about the final state of the game and the possibility of seeing a screenshot or such from the game, Jeff had the following to say; Screenshots do not exist. The game never existed in an assembled state. There was a 3D model of the table, there was a physics engine and there was the emulation of the electronics. It got as far as the electronics and physics being tied together, and the physics operated in a representation of the table's geometry, but the physics was never merged with the real table art.

The thumbnail on my site is as close as it got, though that was the Windows engine. (If complete, it would've been a full-screen 3D representation, not a desktop thing. That was just a programming test bed.)

As mentioned earlier, only a few pinball games were ever in the works for the N64 and neither of them ever saw the light of day. This game being a digital version of a highly popular pinball board, it would've been cool to at least see what it looked like, but as said - no images from the game exists.

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