The American Pinball hiring spree continues with today’s announcement that artist Jack E. Haeger has joined the parent company Aimtron Corporation/American Pinball as the new Art Director.
American Pinball’s new Art Director, Jack E. Haeger
Like other recent American Pinball joiners Dennis Nordman and Zofia Ryan, Jack has a long history in the coin-op business, but he will also be familiar to home computer fans as one of the early proponents of Commodore’s Amiga as that company’s Art & Graphics Director.
It was in 1985 at the launch of the Amiga 1000 that he assisted Andy Warhol as the pop-art artist used ProPaint to digitise and paint over an image of pop-star Debbie Harry.
Jack Haeger with Andy Warhol and Debbie Harry
Soon after that, but before he got involved with Williams’ arcade video games, Jack worked with the pinball division to develop concepts for upcoming titles.
He told Pinball News about how two such games, Pirate Island and Hey, Bartender! Jack said, “I developed those two concepts back in 1986 – just before I got deep into the video game production for NARC with the amazing Eugene Jarvis. Steve Kordek had a wide-body whitewood pin he wanted to release and was looking for some new game concepts. The challenge was to develop a title and theme that would fit into the existing 13 light display already built into the playfield. My first concept was Pirate Island (the space between the two words occupied the middle light).
Jack’s Pirate Island concept
“Steve liked the idea but I had also heard from sales that there was potential for more of a street/bar piece, so, again – 13 letters: Hey, Bartender!, complete with a glowing bubble mug of beer on top of the backbox was my alternative suggestion. The game wasn’t re-skinned after all but the exercise got me even more inspired for the entertainment potential of the silver ball.“
Jack’s Hey, Bartender! concept
The Hey, Bartender! concept game
One of Jack’s game concepts which did make it into production, albeit with another manufacturer, was World Tour which ultimately became Alvin G’s Al’s Garage Band Goes On A World Tour.
Jack said, “I