Around the Playfield with Tanio Klyce

Around the Playfield with Tanio Klyce
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Around the Playfield with Tanio Klyce
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Around the Playfield with Tanio Klyce
Published on
August 15, 2018
Updated on
August 15, 2018
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With Tanio Klyce


Tanio Klyce is a Senior Software Engineer at Stern Pinball, and is the lead software person on the new Stern Pinball machine Deadpool.

Around the Playfield

The Start Button: How did you first get into pinball?

In 1981, Black Knight was strategically placed in the movie theater lobby so that it was waiting for me when I finished watching the movie “Excalibur”. With my head filled with visions of medieval battle, glory, honor, and treachery, the Black Knight issued a challenge, and I accepted. The speed of the ball, the charging hooves, the angry robotic voice of my adversary immersed me in an experience that had me hooked. Prior to that I had played games like Evel Knievel that promised motorcycle stunts and cool outfits, but awarded me only a few bleeps and bloops, quickly followed by the inevitable humiliation of the drain. The Black Knight drew me in and kept me coming back for more. Through our many battles I developed basic flipper-button-to-eye coordination. After that training, other pins were fun for me because I had developed the skills required to keep the ball in play.

The Plunge: What was the first pinball machine you bought?


The Skill Shot: What is your best pinball achievement or favorite pinball moment?

My favorite pinball moment so far has been my defeat of the Sharpe brothers at the Stern KISS Pinball launch party. I was the hero of Logan Arcade that night.

Good Shots, Bad Bounces: What is your favorite and least favorite pinball machine?

Favorite: Firepower

Least favorite: A machine in a truck stop off the highway in central California that was in dire need of maintenance. The left flipper did not work, and most of the balls were stuck in a vertical up kicker. It took my quarters and rewarded me with disappointment.

The Wizard Mode: What is your dream theme you’d like to see made into a pinball machine?

“Minesweeper – The Movie – The Pinball Machine”

The Tilt: What is the dumbest mistake you’ve made in pinball (mishap moving a machine, messing up trying to fix a machine, etc.)?

My first attempt at PCB repair was a Williams System 11 CPU board. I should have practiced desoldering ICs on something else first.

The High Score: Describe the pinball hobby in one word.


Match – Next Game: Where do you see the pinball hobby in 5-10 years?

I see the pinball hobby, sport, and industry continue to grow and thrive.

One of the exciting challenges in the future will be developing zero gravity pinball for space travelers.