Heh, sorry. I'm really not even reading Pinside now, just needed a break, for a lot of reasons. I'm not even playing much pinball these days, been really enjoying Street Fighter V. And you know me and not being able to leave things alone, I'm in the middle of customizing my 3rd fight stick already. I unwind from stress and creative blocks for work by doing these projects, if it's not pinball it's something else I'm involved in.
Decided to check in tonight though, been visiting a little bit the past couple days, wanted to read about Ghostbusters impressions. I have a couple good friends getting Premiums, curious to play it myself.
So don't think I've died!
Here's the reality though, as far as me not wanting to leave people hanging. Because I'm not trying to vanish on you. But real talk, the game is in Wales. I see video of it all the time, but I'm in no position to tell you anything about it really. The parts I know I'm not allowed to even talk about. Fox has to approve things. I don't know that we'll be able to show anything until this game is done. Like it's normally done. At some point I'm sure Andrew will sort it out one way or another and let people know.
That's a situation where I don't want to be a spokesperson, you need to get things from Andrew. I know the US side, the Wales side, where the actual game lives, is outside my domain. So really, I'm saying that I can't be open like I'd like to be, and it's best that I just not comment much anymore on the game.
I talk with the US Alien team basically 7 days a week. We have such a great team. I want to tell you that working with them is a pleasure.
So here's what I can tell you:
The programmers are great. Brian really cares about the big picture and inner workings of the game. He's working on a lot of low level improvements that will give us much more expressive use of graphics and lighting for instance. Which we intend to take advantage of.
Joe is really steering the ship when it comes to the rules now, and he's doing a great job. Everyone has input, in the US and Wales, and he (and Brian) really filter the ideas in a serious way. Which is great, I post crazy rule ideas late at night all the time, and thankfully their filter is really good. But beyond respecting everyone else's thoughts, I'm seeing the rules start to crystalize into something with a big picture structure with his touch, he has good ideas, and they're measured and thought through into that big picture. He wants things to be fun to do, and fun to score.
This is a mode based game. With real modes, not just shoot all the blue arrows, now shoot all the red arrows, now shoot all the green arrows, or whatever. Every mode has it's own feel, with broader strategies about collecting things and incentives to actually try and finish the modes. It feels like that 90s style mode play, married to modern thoughts on pinball rules, and of course we have LCD screens and RGB lights etc. Plus 4 flippers, with dedicated shots for all of them.
Not to mention at least 6 multiballs I think. There's a lot to do outside of modes, and the game isn't about crazy stacking. The modes for Alien play differently than the modes for Aliens. There will be a lot of ways to play it.
But basically the goal is to immerse you in the movies. One mode we're working on right now is based around a set of callouts, we really wanted to get the whole speech in there, and let the rhythms of that direct the flow of the rules. It's going to get people hype when they play it. I love that so much.
And that was David Thiel's idea. Just one of the many excellent ways he attends to the details. You want to know why some games sound amazing and some get old? Because the good games not only have good sounds, balanced and clear etc, but they also programmed them smartly. He's always conscious of the flow of the sounds in the game, and how to keep the listener entertained and informed. Make sure sounds don't repeat weirdly, and there are easter egg callouts, etc.
And that's just his sound design side, he's also a great composer, the original songs he's doing for the game are awesome. They feel like Alien songs in spirit, intense and eerie, but they're better to play pinball to.
And all the sounds are being synched to the animations, so everything will feel like it works together. Kelly is doing the most grimey edits and animations for this. It's like high resolution clips from the films have been sucked inside the world of MU/TH/UR. Where everything is is a little analog and dirty. And then spit back out into HD, with our HUD rendered around it with the vital info.
That I can speak about, and I think it's all going great. 8 modes, 2 mini wizard modes, 4 big multiballs, and the wizard mode, plus all the out of mode things to do and collect. All I can say is there is legit, solid progress on the code and animation and sounds towards all of that.
I'm going to sign back off. I'll try and not let 2 months go by before I look again.
Anything else, you gotta ask Andrew.