I love this show! Must attend.
Just got our weekend passes, my son and I are psyched. Fingers crossed the Atari football machine will be there this year!
Quoted from nwpinball:
Correct. One of the major complaints about some of the pinball shows is games start getting pulled after the first day of the show and by the last day over half the games are gone or turned off. That also hurts attendance and vendor sales the last day of those shows. Our show is different in a few ways:
-We don't just have a freeplay area, all 400+ games are on freeplay all the hours the show is open.
-98%+ of the games on the floor are working. We do repair parties leading up to the show, we expect games to show up working well, and we have a great team of volunteer techs that keep games up and running the entire show. It breaks, in most cases we fix it.
-All the games on the floor when the show starts Friday at noon stay on the floor until we close Sunday at 3pm. If you can only attend the show one day, you are guaranteed to get the full experience and not find half the games gone or turned off. You can show up on Sunday and get to play all the games that were there on Friday and Saturday.
We think these are highlights of our show that make it a great experience for everyone that attends. We know for some individuals only attending one day that want to bring or buy a game, this may not be the ideal situation, but in the bigger picture this works the best for the vast majority of attendees. This is a volunteer, non-profit show that's audience is collectors, the world's top tournament players, families and the general public. We get tons of praise for this approach from attendees, the vendors (who have great sales on the final day because it's still heavily attended), and our speakers and guests from the pinball industry--it's part of why many consider this one of the best shows in the nation.
Fantastic show! I had a great time with my son. Thank you so much to the organizers and generous people/companies who donated their time and machines. Special thanks for the people who brought Atari Football, Basketball, Sub and any two-player simultaneous games!
Regarding game hogs, while most people were very polite, I experienced about a dozen instances of people hogging games, and one or two people playing a four player game. The people I politely asked not to play more than 1 game looked indignant, claimed they didn’t know, or “they wanted to experience the game” or some other entitled BS. Typical tragedy of the commons stuff.
Would it be possible to have the people handing out the wristbands say “1 game per player” to everyone and ask them to make sure their children and everyone in their party understood the policy? I’d also like to see prominent signage (I mean those 6 foot tall standing banners) scattered throughout, and cards on the backglass. With the right art it could be funny and really set the tone.
I would also like to see more vendors with pinball gear there. I came away with some ramps, thank you Starship Fantasy, but I wish I could have picked up some more pinball-related swag, esp. shirts for my favorite games.
On to the games:
I came expecting to hate Iron Maiden, but I really liked it. Super fun game. Stern keeps getting better with the LCD, but they have a long way to go to catch up to JJP’s quality. Their screen art used to look like bad ‘90s Flash animation, now it looks like bad ‘00s Flash animation. And WTF is the deal with not showing the score and the ball in play at all times? Lunacy.
I enjoyed playing more Houdini, that’s one I will be adding to my collection. I hope American ups their game on the animations next time, though. I found those to drag down an otherwise excellent game.
JJP Pirates was a lot of fun to play, but the lines were so long I didn’t get enough time to really dig in like I did with IMDN. The characters added a lot of depth and I feel like there is a ton to explore on that game. Looking forward to playing more of that one.
Regarding Thunderbirds I will limit my comments to the positive and say that the playfield was colorful, and I liked the way multiball started. I don’t know what they were aiming for, and I didn’t look at the innards or build quality. But as a player, if they were going for a Data East circa 1992 they got most of the way there. More than anything I was disappointed to see a Homepin rep attacking someone here for critiquing their game. Deeply unprofessional. That certainly didn’t win me over as a customer.
It was great to play an Orbitor 1 that seemed to be completely working!
There were also some fun hobby/early development machines there. I was most impressed with the potential of Proto. That’s definitely one to watch. I was frankly astonished at what was possible at the FAST Pinball lounge.
My son and I will definitely be back next year!
Quoted from Homepin:
To set the record straight
I take you completely at your word on this.
Quoted from Homepin:
Thunderbirds reflects the era in which the show was originally aired so that's possibly why it seemed the way it did to you? We are not out to compete with other offerings in the marketplace but are trying to be a little different.
My sincere congratulations on trying to be different. We need more of that in pinball. It is an impressive feat to get a commercial pinball machine built from scratch -- as we have seen in recent years. I hope you sell a bunch of them. I don't know the show and was a toddler when it aired, so I don't think I'm in your target market.
Quoted from Homepin:
But you are correct, I really should just not comment on public forums because you can never win no matter what you say.
As a creator myself, I know first hand how damn painful it is to have my work criticized, trolled and misrepresented.
But I think you must take action on public forums when you perceive that a misrepresentation is being made, and you must do it loudly, persistently, and firmly. Unfortunately, ample negative examples abound. I would call out American Pinball as having the most level-headed and engaged responses from all of the pinball manufacturers on Pinside.
Best wishes on this and future projects, and thank you for taking the time to reply. I also forgot to mention that I thought the plastic trees on Thunderbirds were super fun.
Quoted from RobF:
I don't think that's it. It's probably because Met was a bit hidden in the Marco area and surrounded by IMDNs. KISS was at the end of a row and was always cycling people. I think most have played plenty of Met and MM. KISS is a not as common and despite the lazy narrative, really is a fun game. The scores on Met didn't get over 70M. "Good" players would have blown past that. Conversely, somebody crushed my GC score on Kiss at 550M. That certainly was an above average player.
Speaking of scores, my GB's was reset back to default at the show. Since the audits and settings didn't change, I can only guess someone got the keys, opened it up and cleared them from the service menu. Very odd.
That makes sense too. Do you have the average play times for the machines? I'm curious what those were.
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