Name the Lyman game that sucks.
Wh—oh. Sorry, I fell asleep while you tried to think of one. Trick question. No such thing!
Stern has one of the best programmers in the business working for them. He's the reason ACDC sold the way it did, anyone who thinks it was the theme is delusional. The code made that game red hot, and everyone wanted it.
Look at TWD. Borg is one of my favorite modern pinball designers. But TWD didn't quite come together IMHO. Cost cutting, or license-mandated changes or something held it back. I think it's the barn/prison area that got cost cut, and that's why it has the weirdly scaled head behind it. Last minute change to cut a feature. (Purely theory, have no rumors or anything to validate it.)
Anyways, it's a game people didn't love immediately. Now Lyman has taken the code to the next level, and it's becoming a favorite of owners. Code. Code did that.
Game design, mechanicals, toys, sound, animation, music, all of that is important. But the games that stay classics are the ones with the best rules and experience.
Stern has one of the best in the biz. You can't say code is their weakness. Lack of communication, rushed code schedules, and secrecy are. Those affect the code. And that's why it takes so long.
It would be cool if these upcoming vault edition cum remakes of Stern games created more time for programming. If they could just catch up and not have to keep playing catchup then they'd have a lot more success.
They've added Dwight, but I heard they let Jack go. So same number of programmers if that's true.