I know, but thanks for saying it. I don't think "pinball is hard" is the right saying. Pinball takes time. Pinball is complicated. It's hard when you don't know what you're doing. It's hard to predict. But Heighway has a great team and a great factory. In the end that's what will matter when it comes to building everyone a rad game. And Alien will be game 2, all the lessons learned from doing Full Throttle means they're a little bit wiser now!
Quoted from frolic:
I can understand the thinking, but boy, when you think about it, how messed up the whole "pre-order pinball mania" was. All this money sucked up for games that may never see the light of day. Heighway is at Expo 2014 with a Full Throttle prototype, but that was yesterday's news already, so the arms race meant you had to announce something else.
Exactly. That's a dead on description.
The stuff with Jpop and Kevin really sucks. But their implosions really were rather small in the grand scheme of things. I'm hoping some sanity has returned with the bubble being pricked, not torn wide open. Maybe the hobby will be healthier for it. A real medieval bleeding. I know some of that blood was yours man, and that sucks. BTW I haven't forgotten about my PM to you.
Tell you what man, I love pinball in so many ways. The 1980 Bally games make my heart beat faster. Just seeing them makes me happy. They're just right, the art, the sounds, the rules, the gameplay: just a real raw simplicity that's still extra challenging to actually master, and keeps you coming back. I keep my games on 5 ball, and the games still fly by in a 4 player match. Especially on my Flash Gordon!
But I also love what modern tech is giving us. Andrew, I'm gonna just spit a little hype out here, I'm not giving anything away, just talking about what we *could* do with the tech your company is letting me play with!
(The following is just a hypothetical for the moment, making it up on the spot, the team can steal it if they want, but not saying it will be in the game.)
We have a playfield where every single light both on top of and below it is a fully addressable RGB light (plus if you upgrade or have the LE there's fiberoptic ramp lighting, same color changing abilities). There's a high rez LCD screen right in the middle of that.
We kill all the GI and the inserts and the LCD. Game goes dark.
A rumbling explosion builds on the sound system, and the LCD lights up with a fireball. The screen goes red. A "shockwave" of red travels outwards from the screen as the inserts and GI all bloom into red in sequence as it moves away from the center. The beacons start spinning. The flashers start going off, red of course.
Man, I dunno what Andrew is gonna do here, but the man says he's going to offer an optional game-activated smoke machine. If you have one it would let out a big puff of smoke, right as the screen animates.
The game is bathed in red, the inserts fade out and flashers go off, so just the red GI remains, keep the beacons going though, and then we ... who knows? Launch a 4 ball multiball. Light up all the major shot arrows red. Every time you hit one it goes orange (and all the flashers orange). Then yellow. Then you extinguish it. Put out all the shots to light the super jackpots.
I dunno, I'm making this up right now, and the rules are all covered by Bálint and team. Just an example for the kinds of thinking I hope we bring to the game. But I'm working with the game designers and programmers to figure out stuff like that. It's this enormously cool playground. I'm honestly just as excited about art directing the LCD screens and the lighting as I am about the cabinet/playfield art.
So my point is, I love Flash Gordon and Mystic, but I love the new level of immersive-ness we're going to be able to bring to a game that's begging to have the atmospheres of the films. It's awesome that at a fundamental level they're both just games to bat the ball around. And yet they're real generations apart.
Flash Gordon is balls out hard, a drain monster with wild balls even when you hit the shot you were trying to (#^¢%ing inline drops). You're just lighting up the spinners and multipliers, that's the whole game for the most part. It's super basic. But it's so damn fun.
Alien will have multiple modes and multiballs and outside of mode things, full screen animations, all this insane lighting (though they'll both have interactive backbox lighting!). Just a totally different experience.
I've got secrets about the lighting that I won't even share, you'll have to see it in person and hopefully the ideas work!
Sorry man. Sort of just piled on there a little bit.