I love to see interesting toys and mechanisms - the dino reaching down and eating the ball in Jurassic Park, the hammer 'hitting' the ball through the playfield into the coffin in Metallica, and of course the castle/drawbridge/portcullis in Medieval Madness. Brand new tables are impressive in a different way, but there's something more fun for me in watching tables manipulate/move the ball in unusual ways, which tends to happen more often in 90s tables (Metallica excluded!).
playing iron Maiden Thursday night at the club, the best thing said about the playfield was that it had metal ramps, bit sad really.
But on the other side lots of people were in love with the graphics on screen me included,
Stern don’t have the budgets Williams had or the volumes of sale, so they can’t afford to code properly ( I had twd over a year with **** code). They make nice cheaply made games for a small market and that’s great for us. Same format with shiny pickies for the masses and this years flavour. A handful will be seen as worthy on their merits and the rest will be fillers as has happened since the beginning of pins. And the sun rises
I don't agree with 'can’t afford to code properly' at all, that sounds like an easy cop out for Stern to use.....these are expensive things after all not cheap electronic gizmos.
Bally/Williams had huge sales on some games 1991-1993 but sales dropped after that with I'd say no loss of innovation or code quality, from 1994 onwards 7000 was max production and many games were under 3000.
But.....does anyone actually know the sales volumes Stern are currently getting?
If stern won’t Finnish code for a couple of years and yet they have coders
Won’t Finnish playfields coz they farm it out on price and allow cheap wood to be used,
Replace any toy ideas from their designer with a bit of Perspex with a sticker on it,
Get praised by the people who buy the machines ( that’s us idiots) because it’s pinball and we need to have a manufacturer
Make you pay 2k more for only some of the correct stuff
Charge a fortune for a topper
And then get 6.5k for it ( great profit )
Why the f**** would you change that business model ?
Stern ain’t gonna change coz they don’t need to, if sales figures go down maybe, but lots of people who are happy with all of the above and why not.
Interesting that cars are used as a comparison as they are even bigger money pits, with people happy to lose 20 - 30 k on a upper end new model after 2 years
And after all the above I was very tempted after playing Iron Maiden so go figure
Have a remote for the levellers to be uses by your opponent . A new element of skill! In the film Tilt the tech (obviously his name is Replay) fixes a radio controlled electro magnet to drag the ball into the saucer. The movie is terrible on many levels but that's a great idea . Magna Cheat
I have been toying as well with self leveling on a Mr Mrs Pacman coffee table I'm working on.
As it's going to be in the middle of the living room and ripe for abuse and movement I wanted a way to just plug in and play.
I'm mounting the playfield on a gimbal much like a ship's compass. Stepper motors then adjust the playfield as required and the pitch can be adjusted to speed up or slow down the game depending on kids or adults playing.
A home brew I'm only writing notes on at the moment will use the same system but the player will have to take control of the stepper motors to control the playfield to keep the ball in play whilst flipper power is dissabled.
Depending on the slant you could end up with a weird looking machine where the playfield is level to the room, but the cabinet is at a weird angle. That's assuming the playfield could self-adjust without fouling the cabinet sides too.
Agree with many comments on here, and disagree with many as well
USB to upgrade code has been a big innovation, but a blessing in disguise.
It means that bugs and code can be easily updated, however as a direct result of the fact it's so easy, code doesn't get polished as much before it's initial release.
If a code update meant that a set of ROMs needed to be burned, sent out via post to each machine and then swapped with the originals I can guarantee the code would be near complete on first release.
Just think of the number of older machines with obvious and detrimental bugs (Sopranos, FT & HS2 spring to mind immediately) which need a code update, but aren't readily available due to the hassle involved. Let alone the number of 'modified tournament ROMs' which have been written (DM & JY).
The current ease of updating allows for bugs to be found (by players) and fixed, but also allows half-ar$€d code to be released in the first place.
Use of magnets has been significantly more varied, and frequently used, than previously.
Other changes (for the better?) include the use of LEDs, carbon steel balls, titan/silicone rubbers, playfield protectors, plastic protectors, leg protectors, improved audits, the list geos on. There have been lots of small changes which have drastically improved the 'play experience'.
I also have no interest in playing against someone over WiFi. First of all - I just don't see the point. No two machines can ever be set up identically anyway. What would it achieve? Much preferable to play head to head against someone.
I also don't see the need/point in having 'toys' for the sake of it. Yes it was cool the first time I saw Things' hand come out and take the ball on TAF, or the T-Rex swallow the ball, but after a couple of times it gets irritating and hold up game play.
The depth and subtlety of rules has been the greatest leap forward, surely due to the computing power available in modern boards. IMdn can tell if a shot was made by the autoplunger or a flipper, which way the ball arrived at the spinner, etc. No more cheap Revs on HS2 because you used the autosave to replunge the ball, no more extra ball awarded in LotR, MM or AFm because a ball in MB arrived in the scoop from the pops. Modern games tend to hold the interest of players for longer due to the difficulty in achieving the Wizard Mode, which benefits both machines on location, as players will pay for another go to see the next mode, or homeowners who won't get bored with a machine and want to move it on after a week.
There's no need for Stern (or any other manufacturer) to try changing, or introduce radical new concepts, which not only will cost significant money, may not even be received positively. JJP added Bluetooth compatibility on DI which is always disabled for any comp, and usually off on site as well. On their PotC they had the rocking boat and the 3 spinning wheels, neither of which were great and have been either modified or removed for the latest release.
There isn't the money in the arcades like there was when there was rampant innovation. It's as simple as that. The innovation was driven by the arcade demand, and designed to grab transient attention for the arcade season until the machines collapsed from being played to dust, or until the coin drops levelled off.
I love the magic of a well designed game with interesting design that feels truly different - but I must admit I've spent the most hours chasing down Portal multiball on Tron.
There simply isn't the luxury anymore to take chances on new things, and create truly wild things.
But it's also 2018 and it's more realistic than ever for people to make their own one-off machines. Perhaps there's something to be gained from creating and selling 'pinball kits' - as in going the extra further steps from a P-ROC board, all the way to providing 'core' components with some plug-and-play expansion ability out of the box - just provide your own wood and metal ramps/wireframes!
I haven't really paid much attention to JJP Potc as it looks like you have to set a side a week just to navigate the character selection on it. But I was puzzled why the boat just constantly rocked. Surely that will irritate the crap out you while playing? So I assume they have changed it from what you are saying?
This is a great thread with many valid points being made.
I am in my 50's so came up through the EM era to now. I have looked at the last couple of sterns and just see a rehashed PF. Nothing new except some art ( very good in some cases) and a deeper rule set.
JJP seems to be doing better - I was excited to see the Pirates 3 ring spinning disks which has since been discontinued which was disappointing but at least they are trying. The great thing about JJP that most are wide body games which allows for innovation. ( Love my Paragon!)
I played a P3 Multimorhic early this year and it was totally different - I enjoyed the difference - my 10 year daughter thought it was fantastic as it combined video games with pinball but I also liked that it has an interchangeable top playfield so you can change the game. Very clever! Whether P3 will be there for the long term who knows.
Are we expecting too much from pinball? Having seen speech to multilevel, multiball to ramps, pinball has been through massive changes but we all want that next level of innovation in todays world which may not be possible or it makes games too expensive or not to everyones tastes. A very tricky situation.
Look at TNA - a fairly simple PF layout with great sound and rules. A lot of people like it , some don't. Innovation of a different kind.
I liked the pinball I saw somewhere on the net where a guy turned his playfield around and adjusted the level so his flippers were located under the head box and you played "up" the playfield to where you stand. Now thats innovative!