In a seminar at the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo in Atlanta today, Ryan White of Chicago Gaming confirmed that the company has been working on a remake of the popular Bally title, Cactus Canyon.

The original Cactus Canyon translite image
The original Cactus Canyon translite image

The Cactus Canyon remake will be Chicago Gaming fourth ‘remake’ title, following Medieval Madness, Attack from Mars and Monster Bash.

The plan until the start of the week was to bring the new Cactus Canyon to the show, but on Monday night the decision was taken not to reveal it in Atlanta after all due to outstanding approval from the licensor, Scientific Games, who own WMS Gaming.

Ryan began his seminar talking about the delays as a result of the pandemic coming from an eight-week closure of the factory which was followed by ongoing shortages of many parts along with staffing issues.

Ryan White at the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo 2021
Ryan White at the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo 2021

After talking about how each of the previous three remake models introduced new features such as HD animations, larger displays, interactive toppers, enhanced playfield toys and RGB lighting effects, Ryan described how Chicago Gaming take an original game and disassemble/reassemble it several times to understand how it was put together, using that knowledge in conjunction with original documentation.

He said they have over 850 playfields for Cactus Canyon remake already screen printed and clear coated, ready to start production. In a change from previous models, Cactus Canyon remake and any future remake titles will include a new operating system which integrates what was previously a separate remake-only diagnostic menu into the more-familiar Williams/Bally menu structure. Ryan said this rewriting of the operating system also allows Chicago Gaming to write new code for the games to add extra features or modify existing code to fix bugs.

Ryan listed the staff who have been working on the new and future titles, including Jim Thornton and Joe Schober who have recently joined the company. The team members are:

  • Doug Duba – President & Owner
  • Sean Wilson – Project Manager
  • Jim Thornton – Project Manager
  • Sam Zehr – Programmer
  • Joe Schober – Programmer
  • Butch Peel – Lead Service Engineer

Ryan said they are currently working on five new pinball projects, and they expect to release new titles far more rapidly than they have in the past. In addition, Medieval Madness remakes are expected to be back on the production line in early 2023, although this run won’t feature the new operating system.

Turning to the Cactus Canyon remake, Ryan said Chicago Gaming had worked with some of the original Bally/Williams design team to add additional features which will make it more like the game the original team wanted it to be. The code is now finished, he said. The playfield toys have been upgraded and some of the decal artwork has also been given a more complete look, Ryan said, although they never touch the original playfield artwork.

The new operating system allows the addition of software to incorporate a new mini-game using the new Cactus Canyon remake’s interactive topper. We understand this is going to be a shooting gallery design, although this hasn’t been confirmed yet.

There are expected to be three variants – Limited Edition, Standard Edition and Classic Edition. The Limited Edition will be the only one of the three versions to feature the new interactive topper game, but it hasn’t been agreed with the licensor how many Limited Edition models will be made, so dealers haven’t been told their allocation of these models and aren’t taking deposits yet.

The Cactus Canyon remake game is expected to be fully revealed within 4-6 weeks and we’ll have full details and pictures for you right here at Pinball News.

You can watch Ryan’s seminar at the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo right here or on our YouTube channel, and we’ll have a full report from the show shortly.