I have the CAD mostly ready, I just want a chance to run it by Dave before I post it, make sure he agrees with the labels I put on it, or see if he wants to add some.
In the meantime, I started writing a post in my red DMD thread about Alien using an LCD screen, and decided to skip posting it there. I didn't bother to edit it, so it might read a little funny for this thread where you know a lot of this already. But it was kinda fun to write, and it might contain new info, I honestly can't remember, so rather than delete it I'm posting here.
Warning for thin skinned people, I'm about to talk about Alien and my own opinions, and mentioning a product a competitor uses, could be construed as marketing or being an egomaniac, skip if you can't handle it:
Why Alien is a better game for having an LCD (or two)
One area I really feel like Alien is going to shine, if I can toot our own horn, in is the atmosphere of the films. Part of that is the killer sound work David Thiel is doing. He's really doing some nice work, and he gets all the details right. And part of that is what we can do with the LCD screen, and what our animator, Kelly, is cooking up.
What's scarier when you fail exploring the tunnels as Dallas in his mode: A cartoon red xeno popping up, a smeary blob of red movie clip, or full HD of the xeno revealed, hissing in a strobe light? It's fast and effective, we overlay things like animated text and icons over it, it's still paced like a DMD. You're not watching a movie, you're not watching raw movie clips, or long sequences. It's all hand edited, quick, to the point. But you can really see everything.
When the egg opens up because Kane touches it, it's just an amazing shot in the film. The four quadrants splitting and peeling back? Love it. Definitely part of the animations on the game, and wouldn't be the same as red dots. And again, it's quick, it's edited into a sequence, it's not a bunch of talking heads. But you can really see the egg, it's not a pixel cartoon.
It just makes things so much more immersive, I think. At the end of the queen's nest mode, where you're burning the eggs, the whole screen is just on fire. We're going to be synching the color screen in the playfield to the RGB GI, so they work together to project the mood and information. This isn't like colorizing an old game that started monochromatic, it's developing with color from the start, and it really opens up so many more possibilities with integration.
There's a multiball where the whole screen turns into the Aliens motion tracker. It's hopefully going to feel like you're using the prop from the film, Kelly is baking in some really nice analog effects. Alien's universe is dirty, and used, and analog. The screen is going to reflect that. We couldn't do subtle things like that without HD and color.
We can turn the screen black with green text for Mother, with CRT scanlines etc. We can show you your score, score/status for players 2-4, your ball number, extra balls, credit/freeplay at all times. Or go full screen animation for events like the start of a mode, where the ball is held in the saucer. We're doing the motion tracker from the first film too for the scene with Dallas in the tunnels, we're doing the interface from the sentry guns for their multiball, all yellow and black, it's cool to be able to change the whole screen UI to match the films. I think that's an extra step into the immersion of the theme while you play.
Part of the gameplay involves collecting weapons that you can use later with the launch button, ala Troll Bombs and the like. There are 5 weapons, it's more strategic and complicated than Troll Bombs because they're all different. An HD display makes it easy to display things like which weapon you have active clearly. The display isn't just window dressing, things like that change rules, they affect the gameplay.