(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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-11
#17201 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

when will you be able to share your thoughts that you were preparing us for? Are they complete? I look forward to reading.

sorry, not complete.
perhaps the following will help those who dont mind thinking a little.

here is something for you to ponder. a small part of the bigger picture. presented is a crude drawing of a hypothetical playfield. consider it an example of 'what could have been done differently'. compare with alien. see if you can find a particular design element that is missing from the current pf. i hope i didnt make it too obvious. ignore the purple one, thats just an extra shot off the back of the UR flipper.

its nothing mechanical. its not a software glitch. its a design choice. it is this missing element that impacts the games playbility, especially when it comes to accomplishing certain game objectives.

what is it that is lacking in the games current design?

how does that affect reaching certain objectives?

what game metrics indicate/confirm this is a problem?

what software adjustments have already been made to try and alleviate the problem?

are their existing geometry issues that [if uncorrected] only compound the problem?

did changes from Nordmans original concept improve or worsen the problem?

what can be done today [if anything] to 'fix' things?

thats a lot of questions to be discussed and answered [many unrelated to this image, so dont dwell on it too much]. Still, this never-to-be 'redesign' would have taken the pressure off all of them.

disclaimer1: software/sound truly top notch. if the game plays as it stands, i can see how owners might enjoy playing alien. but, when it comes to overall playability, its just not going to be as fun as it coulda/shoulda been due to design.

disclaimer2: all information required to determine, present, and answer most of the above questions can be found in this thread and by observing youtube videos of gameplay. anyone could have done it. dont make it out like im holding back a conclusion that nobody else could have reached. just a matter of time/effort to put it all together in a cause/effect analysis.

alienpfposted.jpg

#17202 1 year ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

pirates swapped transponder codes...it's on it's way to Somalia.

Were those pirates from the Caribbean by any chance?

19
#17203 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

sorry, not complete.
perhaps the following will help those who dont mind thinking a little.
here is something for you to ponder. a small part of the bigger picture. presented is a crude drawing of a hypothetical playfield. consider it an example of 'what could have been done differently'. compare with alien. see if you can find a particular design element that is missing from the current pf. i hope i didnt make it too obvious. ignore the purple one, thats just an extra shot off the back of the UR flipper.
its nothing mechanical. its not a software glitch. its a design choice. it is this missing element that impacts the games playbility, especially when it comes to accomplishing certain game objectives.
what is it that is lacking in the games current design?
how does that affect reaching certain objectives?
what game metrics indicate/confirm this is a problem?
what software adjustments have already been made to try and alleviate the problem?
are their existing geometry issues that [if uncorrected] only compound the problem?
did changes from Nordmans original concept improve or worsen the problem?
what can be done today [if anything] to 'fix' things?
thats a lot of questions to be discussed and answered [many unrelated to this image, so dont dwell on it too much]. Still, this never-to-be 'redesign' would have taken the pressure off all of them.
disclaimer1: software/sound truly top notch. if the game plays as it stands, i can see how owners might enjoy playing alien. but, when it comes to overall playability, its just not going to be as fun as it coulda/shoulda been due to design.
disclaimer2: all information required to determine, present, and answer most of the above questions can be found in this thread and by observing youtube videos of gameplay. anyone could have done it. dont make it out like im holding back a conclusion that nobody else could have reached. just a matter of time/effort to put it all together in a cause/effect analysis.

What the hell are you going on about.

#17204 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

you are quoting me from a post that was made before updated Houdini's appeared at expo.

Well, it's fixed so why are you still harping on it? I don't think it was the public display that prompted the fix - the guys working on it were aware it was dark and it was a prototype. The point of a prototype is to iterate changes.

Quoted from greenhornet:

do you want to argue the playfield doesn't have darkness issues and that players [of all abilities] arent going to have more trouble picking up a silver ball racing against a BLACK background vs an alternative color scheme?

I probably played about 100 games of TNA over two days and probably the only time I had any issue seeing the ball was during the reactor critical mode when the GI is bright red, which I don't really consider an issue and instead part of the game's inherent style - ie. it's more difficult during the critical mode as part of the challenge of the game itself. The balls were much more visible on the production games than the whitewood since the GI has been improved on those. Part of that whole iteration thing I mentioned above.

During regular play (white) and multiball (green) everything is perfectly visible. There is no need for spotlights or any additional lighting support at all, as everything is perfectly visible even in total darkness.

As to the art being "dark", sure - it's dark. But it's mostly abstract and secondary to the game play and every insert is perfectly legible, so I wonder what the problem is that prompted you to post a long-winded rebuke to my factual comments.

Quoted from greenhornet:

Matt Andrews being on record that he didn't believe this to be a good idea, but went ahead and did it anyway. this is one of the games biggest negatives. did you find his quote by the way?

I disagree. It's lighter around the flippers as Scott intended and works fine. The ball is perfectly visible at all times and I never had an issue tracking it even on the darker portions. Matt's assessment was fine but the final results show he was wrong. I say this having spent a substantial amount of time on the game personally.

Quoted from greenhornet:

his entire critique: "it's perfectly great".

I stand by my statement - the art was even better in person. None of the rules I was quoting have been broken. My only possible critique would be that the digital printing limitations means the colours aren't quite as vibrant and the lines aren't quite as sharp as old school screenprinting, but that's just the nature of the method and has nothing to do with the artwork itself.

Quoted from greenhornet:

is it a professional courtesy that the most qualified people to offer an opinion [professionals in the same field], dont critique/discuss another colleagues work?

Anyone who knows me I don't pull my punches, if I thought the artwork sucked I'd say so. It doesn't. Does it fit the modern "floating photoshop heads" or "riot of insanity illustration" methods that Stern and JJP follow? No. But it fits the theme perfectly. Which is pretty much what I said at the time. Why would I offer criticism of something I don't have any issues with? I think you're just looking for things to complain about.

#17205 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

sorry, not complete.
perhaps the following will help those who dont mind thinking a little.
here is something for you to ponder. a small part of the bigger picture. presented is a crude drawing of a hypothetical playfield. consider it an example of 'what could have been done differently'. compare with alien. see if you can find a particular design element that is missing from the current pf. i hope i didnt make it too obvious. ignore the purple one, thats just an extra shot off the back of the UR flipper.
its nothing mechanical. its not a software glitch. its a design choice. it is this missing element that impacts the games playbility, especially when it comes to accomplishing certain game objectives.
what is it that is lacking in the games current design?
how does that affect reaching certain objectives?
what game metrics indicate/confirm this is a problem?
what software adjustments have already been made to try and alleviate the problem?
are their existing geometry issues that [if uncorrected] only compound the problem?
did changes from Nordmans original concept improve or worsen the problem?
what can be done today [if anything] to 'fix' things?
thats a lot of questions to be discussed and answered [many unrelated to this image, so dont dwell on it too much]. Still, this never-to-be 'redesign' would have taken the pressure off all of them.
disclaimer1: software/sound truly top notch. if the game plays as it stands, i can see how owners might enjoy playing alien. but, when it comes to overall playability, its just not going to be as fun as it coulda/shoulda been due to design.
disclaimer2: all information required to determine, present, and answer most of the above questions can be found in this thread and by observing youtube videos of gameplay. anyone could have done it. dont make it out like im holding back a conclusion that nobody else could have reached. just a matter of time/effort to put it all together in a cause/effect analysis.

I actually think I know what you are referring to, and to be honest I kind of agree.

#17206 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

sorry, not complete.
perhaps the following will help those who dont mind thinking a little.
here is something for you to ponder. a small part of the bigger picture. presented is a crude drawing of a hypothetical playfield. consider it an example of 'what could have been done differently'. compare with alien. see if you can find a particular design element that is missing from the current pf. i hope i didnt make it too obvious. ignore the purple one, thats just an extra shot off the back of the UR flipper.
its nothing mechanical. its not a software glitch. its a design choice. it is this missing element that impacts the games playbility, especially when it comes to accomplishing certain game objectives.
what is it that is lacking in the games current design?
how does that affect reaching certain objectives?
what game metrics indicate/confirm this is a problem?
what software adjustments have already been made to try and alleviate the problem?
are their existing geometry issues that [if uncorrected] only compound the problem?
did changes from Nordmans original concept improve or worsen the problem?
what can be done today [if anything] to 'fix' things?
thats a lot of questions to be discussed and answered [many unrelated to this image, so dont dwell on it too much]. Still, this never-to-be 'redesign' would have taken the pressure off all of them.
disclaimer1: software/sound truly top notch. if the game plays as it stands, i can see how owners might enjoy playing alien. but, when it comes to overall playability, its just not going to be as fun as it coulda/shoulda been due to design.
disclaimer2: all information required to determine, present, and answer most of the above questions can be found in this thread and by observing youtube videos of gameplay. anyone could have done it. dont make it out like im holding back a conclusion that nobody else could have reached. just a matter of time/effort to put it all together in a cause/effect analysis.

Ha! I see it. When you put it like this it actually stands out like a beacon. OMG.

#17207 1 year ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Ha! I see it. When you put it like this it actually stands out like a beacon. OMG.

lol

#17208 1 year ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Ha! I see it. When you put it like this it actually stands out like a beacon. OMG.

Shine the beacon this way! I don't know what the hell is going on!

#17209 1 year ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Shine the beacon this way! I don't know what the hell is going on!

Neither does greenhornet.

16
#17211 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

sorry, not complete.
perhaps the following will help those who dont mind thinking a little.
here is something for you to ponder. a small part of the bigger picture. presented is a crude drawing of a hypothetical playfield. consider it an example of 'what could have been done differently'. compare with alien. see if you can find a particular design element that is missing from the current pf. i hope i didnt make it too obvious. ignore the purple one, thats just an extra shot off the back of the UR flipper.
its nothing mechanical. its not a software glitch. its a design choice. it is this missing element that impacts the games playbility, especially when it comes to accomplishing certain game objectives.
what is it that is lacking in the games current design?
how does that affect reaching certain objectives?
what game metrics indicate/confirm this is a problem?
what software adjustments have already been made to try and alleviate the problem?
are their existing geometry issues that [if uncorrected] only compound the problem?
did changes from Nordmans original concept improve or worsen the problem?
what can be done today [if anything] to 'fix' things?
thats a lot of questions to be discussed and answered [many unrelated to this image, so dont dwell on it too much]. Still, this never-to-be 'redesign' would have taken the pressure off all of them.
disclaimer1: software/sound truly top notch. if the game plays as it stands, i can see how owners might enjoy playing alien. but, when it comes to overall playability, its just not going to be as fun as it coulda/shoulda been due to design.
disclaimer2: all information required to determine, present, and answer most of the above questions can be found in this thread and by observing youtube videos of gameplay. anyone could have done it. dont make it out like im holding back a conclusion that nobody else could have reached. just a matter of time/effort to put it all together in a cause/effect analysis.

WOW. You really know how to connect the dots for the rest of us. Can you solve this one too?

DOTS (resized).png

#17212 1 year ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Shine the beacon this way! I don't know what the hell is going on!

I see dead people.

#17213 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

i hope i didnt make it too obvious.

You've done anything but.

10
#17214 1 year ago

Here is the OOCL ASIA sailing into port just now. The games are in this picture.

pasted_image (resized).png

Here is another screengrab from the webcam:

pasted_image (resized).png

#17215 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

You've done anything but.

I actually think greenhornet isn’t trolling and may have identified a missed opportunity. Nothing catastrophic or anything, I might be misinterpreting though and might not be picking up on the same thing as him. Not intending to add to the vagueness... I’ll share my take later today (just out right now). If I don’t report back within 24 hours, hold me accountable

#17216 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Here is the OOCL ASIA sailing into port just now. The games are in this picture.

Here is another screengrab from the webcam:

that's fantastic. even pictures to boot. I don't know what to say though b/c just spoke to CT and they said 21 have already been delivered via ship along with a few more that were flown in via fedex - apparently sent to the wrong place - which is inline with the chicago mishap. I'm not sure what to say about this ship though.....

Ultimately no games available for pickup yet but she believes b/w the 21 and the others flown in, tomorrow will likely be the day to pick up. I've already moved my day around to make it work. I'm hoping it does.

-2
#17217 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

probably just another misunderstanding

Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Here is the OOCL ASIA sailing into port just now.

looks like melissa may have been using the wrong vessel finder...

#17218 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

I actually think greenhornet isn’t trolling and may have identified a missed opportunity. Nothing catastrophic or anything, I might be misinterpreting though and might not be picking up on the same thing as him. Not intending to add to the vagueness... I’ll share my take later today (just out right now). If I don’t report back within 24 hours, hold me accountable

Here's my take on greenhornet's post about the gameplay design as promised. To preface, I could be totally wrong, and might have misinterpreted what he is referring to. Also, I don't think it is a gameplay flaw (In greenhornet's defense, he didn't either), but a potential missed opportunity, depending on opinion.

In short, I think he is referring to the inability for orbits to feed to the upper right flipper, which has a few effects:
1. In Alien, because the inner loop doesn't feed back on itself, you can't make a satisfying repeat a looping shot by hitting the shot successfully. Loops can incorporate some cool modes and scoring options.

2. The only way to make a shot from upper right flipper (intentionally - not counting the random dribble from the pops) is to consistently hit two previous shots successfully. If two separate, key shots are reliant on hitting two other shots (both) it makes these upper shots very rare. If the left orbit and inner loop fed back to the flipper, it would make the shots more balanced, and the upper right flipper an integral part of the gameplay.

3. Also the upper left inner loop and inner ramp shot are reliant on the upper right flipper. This is fine, but the ONLY way to get to an upper right flipper shot (aside from pops) is from the lower right flipper starting a chain of shots (making the lower left flipper completely unrelated to either the upper left or right flippers). Slightly changing the geometry, to allow the upper right flipper to be accessible from the lower left, would provide some more balance to flipper usage. THIS MEANS that all upper flipper shots are reliant on the right flipper, making the left flipper completely irrelevant to upper flipper shots.

Am I warm greenhornet? What do others think?

#17219 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

1. You can't make a satisfying repeat a looping shot by hitting the shot successfully. Loops can incorporate some cool modes and scoring options.

Repeatable loops are a blast, just look at the new POTC.

15
#17220 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

I think he is referring to the inability for orbits to feed to the upper right flipper, which has a few effects:
1. You can't make a satisfying repeat a looping shot

Well if that's it, couldn't he have said, like three weeks ago, "can't make a repeatable loop shot".
Good grief.

-1
#17221 1 year ago

The left and right orbits can be repeated...

IF you need an upper right flipper shot, then all you have to do is one shot...

Either left orbit or inner upper loop to pops for nudge to right upper
Or
Just shoot the dead end chest burster from ANY of the lower three flippers and then hit the upper shot. It is really not too tough once you play the game for a bit. Similar to any upper flipper shot, you have to set it up. Only difference is this is not an on the fly setup, but a rebound or nudge setup.

#17222 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

The left and right orbits can be repeated...
IF you need an upper right flipper shot, then all you have to do is one shot...
Either left orbit or inner upper loop to pops for nudge to right upper
Or
Just shoot the dead end chest burster from ANY of the lower three flippers and then hit the upper shot. It is really not too tough once you play the game for a bit. Similar to any upper flipper shot, you have to set it up. Only difference is this is not an on the fly setup, but a rebound or nudge setup.

I meant a looping shot from the upper right flipper, a la shadow loops in The Shadow or in No Fear. Can you really hit the Chest Burster from any of the lower 3 flippers? I didn't realize, the angles don't look that way, but I haven't had the fortune of playing yet.

#17223 1 year ago

Yes upper left is a tight shot but do-able, lower left is possible rolling, but very hard

-1
#17224 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

an you really hit the Chest Burster from any of the lower 3 flippers? I didn't realize, the angles don't look that way, but I haven't had the fortune of playing yet.

yes. Easiest is of course form lowers but hittable from all 3

#17225 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

yes. Easiest is of course form lowers but hittable from all 3

The chest burster? Are we talking about the same thing? I don’t see how it’s possible from the lower right.

-6
#17226 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

the ONLY way to get to an upper right flipper shot (aside from pops) is from the lower right flipper

you are omitting one additional feed to UR4.
it can also be fed from the lower left.
as ferret explains:

Quoted from Ferret:

There are two upper flippers.
The only way to feed the upper left flipper is to shoot the Vent 1 saucer, which ejects the ball so it drops past the upper left flipper. The upper right flipper can be fed by shooting the Chestburster lane from either the upper left flipper or (difficult but possible) the lower left flipper ... This lane will also be fed ~50% of the time when the ball exits the egg bumpers.

the entire crux of the issues facing overall gameplay lies right here.
extrapolate on this fact, paying close attention to its consequences.
refer to the questions posted earlier today and try to answer them.
ive given you a map, now you just need the compass.

Hilton, when i first mentioned i was going to share an issue, you tried to defend this game citing its terrific lower flipper play. you were way off.

Quoted from Whysnow:

Alien is quite possibly one of the best laid out playfields of all time and definitely of recent history. It has more shots, more combos, more unique combos, more use of flipper technique (roll pass, tap pass, dead pass, nudge pass, drop catch, tip pass, back hands, diversions, etc...),

it has nothing to do with the lower flippers.
in fact, if it will make you happy ill grade lower flipper play an 'A'.
it entirely revolves around upper flipper play, which is pretty close to an 'F'.

Quoted from Whysnow:

Just shoot the dead end chest burster from ANY of the lower three flippers

WOW, just wow. you've owned this game for six months and are going to tell me you can feed the CB lane from the lower right? that i cant wait to see. and i wouldn't mind watching video of your success rate of feeding UR4 from the lower left. i will admit, of all machines currently out there, yours was among the most forgiving when it came to this particular shot. still, pls dont make the shot sound easy. even ferret refers to it as "difficult, but possible".

Quoted from Whysnow:

IF you need an upper right flipper shot, then all you have to do is one shot...
Either left orbit or inner upper loop to pops for nudge to right upper

the feed through the pops is documented as an opportunity to feed UR4. your insistance that it is easy peasy, that it is one shot, is a bit convoluted. in order for the inner loop to feed itself, you have to have gotten to ball on UR4 in the first place, then after successfully shooting vent 3, you need to control a ball firing off of pops one inch from the lane entrance with a 'nudge'. and thats assuming the orbit diverter is closed to drop into the pops, which [i believe] is not always the case. from the outer orbit, almost the same thing. diverter must be such that it allows drop into pops [open orbit bypasses], then 'nudge' a ball firing off pops.

further, im sure these approaches to feed a flipper, are not the type rec players are hoping to find. wouldn't it have been better if the design actually provided for some reasonable feeds benefiting players of all skill levels?

Quoted from libtech:

Yes upper left is a tight shot but do-able, lower left is possible rolling, but very hard

people are finally starting to talk about gameplay.
very good observation on the need for a rolling ball off LL to hit the CB lane. that little momentum left to right helps masse the ball around UR4. from a dead stop - not a high percentage chance. more validation on the difficultly of the CB shot. from a pinball design standpoint, i dont believe we are looking for shots of 'doable' quality when simply attempting to feed an upper flipper.

now, what are the consequences when it comes to completing certain gameplay objectives given an inability/difficulty to feed this flipper?

13
#17227 1 year ago

I had to read war and peace to finally find out what greenhornet thinks about the upper right flipper feed.

776 (resized).png

12
#17228 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

you are omitting one additional feed to UR4.
it can also be fed from the lower left.
as ferret explains:

the entire crux of the issues facing overall gameplay lies right here.
extrapolate on this fact, paying close attention to its consequences.
refer to the questions posted earlier today and try to answer them.
ive given you a map, now you just need the compass.
Hilton, when i first mentioned i was going to share an issue, you tried to defend this game citing its terrific lower flipper play. you were way off.

it has nothing to do with the lower flippers.
in fact, if it will make you happy ill grade lower flipper play an 'A'.
it entirely revolves around upper flipper play, which is pretty close to an 'F'.

WOW, just wow. you've owned this game for six months and are going to tell me you can feed the CB lane from the lower right? that i cant wait to see. and i wouldn't mind watching video of your success rate of feeding UR4 from the lower left. i will admit, of all machines currently out there, yours was among the most forgiving when it came to this particular shot. still, pls dont make the shot sound easy. even ferret refers to it as "difficult, but possible".

the feed through the pops is documented as an opportunity to feed UR4. you instance that it is easy peasy, that it is one shot, is a bit convoluted. in order for the inner loop to feed itself, you have to have gotten to ball on UR4 in the first place, then after successfully shooting vent 3, you need to control a ball firing off of pops one inch from the lane entrance with a 'nudge'. and thats assuming the orbit diverter is closed to drop into the pops, which [i believe] is not always the case. from the outer orbit, almost the same thing. diverter must be such that it allows drop into pops [open orbit bypasses], then 'nudge' a ball firing off pops.
further, im sure these approaches to feed a flipper, are not the type rec players are hoping to find. wouldn't it have been better if the design actually provided for some reasonable feeds benefiting players of all skill levels?

people are finally starting to talk about gameplay.
very good observation on the need for a rolling ball off LL to hit the CB lane. that little momentum left to right helps masse the ball around UR4. from a dead stop - not a high percentage chance. more validation on the difficultly of the CB shot. from a pinball design standpoint, i dont believe we are looking for shots of 'doable' quality when simply attempting to feed an upper flipper.
now, what are the consequences when it comes to completing certain gameplay objectives given an inability/difficulty to feed this flipper?

That's it? That's your big gripe with this game and it took you THIS LONG just to spit that out? Unbelievable.

14
#17229 1 year ago

For anyone that does not want to waste time reading the past three months of green hornets novel...

Spolier alert...

He thinks the upper right flipper needs a better feed.

#17230 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

For anyone that does not want to waste time reading the past three months of green hornets novel...
Spolier alert...
He thinks the upper right flipper needs a better feed.

From looking at greenhornet's markup, I thought a specific thing he was suggesting was relocating the upper right flipper three inches right so as to catch balls from the right orbit. It looked like the only way to shoot past the new urf is to hold it in up position and shoot ball into the shooter lane.

#17231 1 year ago

Gotta say....I look forward to making the “ impossible” shot. Didn’t seem to discourage Tron owners when Gem is nearly impossible on a consistent basis.....BRING ON ALIEN!!!

#17232 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

or anyone that does not want to waste time reading the past three months of green hornets novel...

He thinks the upper right flipper needs a better feed.

#17233 1 year ago

Read (resized).jpg

-1
#17234 1 year ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

I look forward to making the “ impossible” shot. Didn’t seem to discourage Tron owners when Gem is nearly impossible on a consistent basis..

here we have consequence number one.
the first of several.

be my guest. love your impossible shot.
Chestbuster [CB] is no 'gem' shot, but do you really want a 'gem' shot type of shot among an ABCD gameplay feature that was intended to be attainable in order to advance in gameplay? where 3 of the 4 are super 'easy' and the 4th is a 'gem' shot? and further, the 'gem' shot had to be made in sequential order? no credit for hitting the CB before A or B, credit only if hit after A and B have been collected.

that ABCD feature in alien is called a LIFECYCLE,
and players are not completing it at the rate developers expected.
if you dont believe me, check audits.
first of many metrics to watch: Lifecycles completed/total games played.

and what does completing lifecycles award you/progress you toward? and if they are more difficult to complete than programmers originally intended? what are the next consequences?

28
#17235 1 year ago

Thumbs Down This Post if you think 100+ Aliens will ship by year end
Thumbs Up This Post if you don't think 100+ Aliens will ship by year end

This isn't a troll post, it to me is the easiest way to find out what others believe on this topic.

#17236 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

here we have consequence number one.
the first of several.
be my guest. love your impossible shot.
Chestbuster [CB] is no 'gem' shot, but do you really want a 'gem' shot type of shot among an ABCD gameplay feature that was intended to be attainable in order to advance in gameplay? where 3 of the 4 are super 'easy' and the 4th is a 'gem' shot? and further, the 'gem' shot had to be made in sequential order? no credit for hitting the CB before A or B, credit only if hit after A and B have been collected.
that ABCD feature in alien is called a LIFECYCLE,
and players are not completing it at the rate developers expected.
if you dont believe me, check audits.
first of many metrics to watch: Lifecycles completed/total games played.
and what does completing lifecycles award you/progress you toward? and if they are more difficult to complete than programmers originally intended? what are the next consequences?

Absolutely, I would agree, the layout is really good, I like it alot - but it should have been easier to feed the upper right flipper. Thats actually the only thing negitive I can think about this game. Actually if you look back at the origional design, they had the mag/post in the orbit which would drop the ball to the flipper, then they put the posts up above the lanes - which makes it go through the pops so say 50/50 it goes through the flipper/in front of the xeno.

The UL flipper can feed the cb shot as mentioned but its a hard shot for sure (plus you have to shoot mother first and drop it to the UL flipper.

Put the CB shot on easy (inductive switch only) so you have the option of shooting the orbit to compleate it, and dont bother going for jonesey when hes on the upper left ramp

But really its great to see a non fan stern 2 flipper layout, much more origional and fresh!

24
#17237 1 year ago

So greenhornet presents a fun thought experiment with his proposed alternate playfield layout. As he notes, the existing layout is simply a design choice. I'm having a hard time seeing his proposal as clearly "better" or "worse" than the existing design. Let's consider some of the potential repercussions of his proposed alterations...

The main advantage I see to GH's alternative would be allowing left orbit or left upper-loop (Vent 3) shots -- or even right orbit shots, given the controllable posts near the top lanes -- to be "definitively" fed to the UR flipper if the software wished. (I put "definitively" in quotes, because a weak shot could still just fall into the top lanes/bumpers, but let's assume it would loop around most of the time.) This could allow feeds to shoot the Hypersleep ramp, or repeated Vent 3 loops. Certainly, repeating a side loop shot like that, ala Shadow loops, is fun... in fact, there were specific rules designed for Alien around loop combos, back when we had the right orbit diverter and Chestburster magnet that allowed shots to be redirected to the UR flipper. Had the original diverter/magnet been retained, I think that would have offered the feeds you desire, while keeping the UR flipper in its current position.

Moving the UR flipper to the outer right orbit guide wall isn't without downsides. One that catches my eye is that I suspect placing the flipper there would cause some physical interference with the APC drop targets, from the flipper bat blocking the "A" target, and/or from the under-playfield mechanisms interacting. This could presumably be remedied by scooting the drop target bank down a bit... but then I suspect it would become difficult to deliberately shoot the "C" target from the LL flipper... in the current design, the "C" is a somewhat tight shot past the right slingshot's top post... nudging the drops closer to the bottom would make it that much harder.

I suspect the extra couple inches of distance would make shooting the Hypersleep ramp, a steep ramp, somewhat harder. Also, the Vent 2 shot in GH's diagram is completely blocked by the resting UR flipper... I'm guessing casual players would often not remember to hold the right flipper when trying for that shot, making that harder too. (I've heard many casual players complain about that with Stern Star Trek's Away Team shot, for example, or even TZ's Camera shot.)

In the current design, Chestburster -> {upper ramp or upper loop} is a fast, fun combo, that gets special treatment in the software: it's a "Chestburster Combo" that awards extra points and is how you hold various accumulating values across balls. I'd guess that saucer -> kickout -> shot, as in the proposal, wouldn't feel as exciting.

Finally, I think there's a little something to be said for just being unique. The vast majority of games with main playfield upper flippers have them on the orbit walls. This design is more memorable.

Though I haven't seen him around here lately, game designer ealadubhsidhe reads this thread on occasion... perhaps he'll comment sometime on his thinking on all this.

BTW: GH dug up something I wrote 8 months ago about the difficulty of the Chestburster shot. Since then I've obviously played the game lots more. There's no question that this is a harder shot than, say, an orbit or the Airlock. It's a tight lane. But I'd guess that I can make this shot from a trapped ball on the LL flipper about 1/3 of the time. (Sometime when I'm bored, I'll try it 100 times and record stats...) To me, the Chestburster shot from the LL flipper feels a lot like Shadow's Start Mode shot. Also: a few months ago (after my post that GH quoted) I reduced the power on the Vent 1 eject. The ball used to pop out of there very energetically, which made the UL flipper combo to the Chestburster lane difficult. Now the Vent 1 saucer just nudges the ball out gently, which makes the UL flipper combo to the Chestburster lane much more reasonable. (BTW, Vent 1 -> Chestburster is also a special combo, a "Host Combo".)

At any rate, certainly glad to see so many people with passionate feelings about the game. Looking forward to hearing more feedback as more games get delivered!

#17238 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

here we have consequence number one.
the first of several.
be my guest. love your impossible shot.
Chestbuster [CB] is no 'gem' shot, but do you really want a 'gem' shot type of shot among an ABCD gameplay feature that was intended to be attainable in order to advance in gameplay? where 3 of the 4 are super 'easy' and the 4th is a 'gem' shot? and further, the 'gem' shot had to be made in sequential order? no credit for hitting the CB before A or B, credit only if hit after A and B have been collected.
that ABCD feature in alien is called a LIFECYCLE,
and players are not completing it at the rate developers expected.
if you dont believe me, check audits.
first of many metrics to watch: Lifecycles completed/total games played.
and what does completing lifecycles award you/progress you toward? and if they are more difficult to complete than programmers originally intended? what are the next consequences?

wait... it gets better?

So you are not even mad about the upper R flipper feed? You are just mad that the chestburster shot is difficult so people are not progressing the life cycles in order to achieve 1 multiball out of the 7? multiballs available in the game. That is funny.

So 3 months of complaining about a massive flaw all comes down to 1 standup target which you think is too difficult to hit. Have you played a game on the machine at all? Like Joe says, it is a more difficult shot but totally makable. Many people dont shoot for it for 2 reasons > first there are easier points on the board and second, life cycles just progress naturally in the background while you are playing the game (so you only shoot for them when you decide to progress them). Other important thing is it appears your entire assessment is from watching streams online? If that is the case you have been watching games mostly on .94 code or earlier. The flaws in your entire drawn out argument intended to build suspense all turned out to be this!!!??? I am amazed your POV did not have any real substance after all this time.

#17239 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

here we have consequence number one.
the first of several.
be my guest. love your impossible shot.
Chestbuster [CB] is no 'gem' shot, but do you really want a 'gem' shot type of shot among an ABCD gameplay feature that was intended to be attainable in order to advance in gameplay? where 3 of the 4 are super 'easy' and the 4th is a 'gem' shot? and further, the 'gem' shot had to be made in sequential order? no credit for hitting the CB before A or B, credit only if hit after A and B have been collected.
that ABCD feature in alien is called a LIFECYCLE,
and players are not completing it at the rate developers expected.
if you dont believe me, check audits.
first of many metrics to watch: Lifecycles completed/total games played.
and what does completing lifecycles award you/progress you toward? and if they are more difficult to complete than programmers originally intended? what are the next consequences?

What is a ‘gem type of shot’? I get that gem is a shot in Tron, but what’s the meaning?

#17240 1 year ago

Day 2 of potential pick up. Could today be the day. I hope so!

In the meantime, I need to download the latest rulesheet. Is there one for the updated code (1.0)?

EDIT - not 1.0....

https://pinballsupernova.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/rules-early-rule-set-posted-by-rs-pinball-version-0-8/

#17241 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

What is a ‘gem type of shot’? I get that gem is a shot in Tron, but what’s the meaning?

he means it is a tight shot and more difficult to hit than the other available shots.

#17242 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

Day 2 of potential pick up. Could today be the day. I hope so!

I hope so too, for you and everyone waiting on a game in this batch. kneissl is waiting on his. (I'm waiting on his too, lol)

#17243 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I hope so too, for you and everyone waiting on a game in this batch. kneissl is waiting on his. (I'm waiting on his too, lol)

well I'm an 8 hour round trip time so earlier notification the better ; ) Funny how any other 8 hour drive I would be dreading but something about picking up a pinball makes it feel like you're not even driving at all!

#17245 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

well I'm an 8 hour round trip time so earlier notification the better ; ) Funny how any other 8 hour drive I would be dreading but something about picking up a pinball makes it feel like you're not even driving at all!

Well the good news is that the container was discharged this morning!

pasted_image (resized).png

#17246 1 year ago

ha - I was just about to post the same! Good news indeed.

#17247 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

ha - I was just about to post the same! Good news indeed. I'm assuming discharged means on it's way to final destination?

From what google tells me, it means the container was given to the trucking company that is delivering it to Cointaker. That is just based on what google says, I'm not a shipping expert.

#17248 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

From what google tells me, it means the container was given to the trucking company that is delivering it to Cointaker. That is just based on what google says, I'm not a shipping expert.

I just did the same thing and removed it from my post! Same understanding on my end. The city and Sunbury are very close (3hrs). Says discharged at 2am. I wonder if this thing is basically there by now. Good news indeed. Never tracked a pinball machine like this before but I also never bought an imported one!

-2
#17249 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

From looking at greenhornet's markup, I thought a specific thing he was suggesting was relocating the upper right flipper three inches right so as to catch balls from the right orbit. It looked like the only way to shoot past the new urf is to hold it in up position and shoot ball into the shooter lane.

In addition to moving ur flipper to the outlane wall, there is a new point of entry to the ul flipper. As pointed out by greenhornet, these are new shots. While these changes are really design choices, on the surface both seem to be improvements, and together make up a big one. I would like to see both of these changes designed or at least addressed by HP. Offsetting this optimism, is concern that changes make the balance of design not work. For instance, it seems you could no longer be able to hit CB target B and would need to relocate it. Secondly, opening a loop to ur flipper, access may be blocked by the ramp. If you need to adjust that ramp to fit in better, I feel it would impact all the ramps and require a complete redesign. Nobody wants that, but if feasible to implement the suggested adjustments, it would improve playability, enhance strategy and be more better.

#17250 1 year ago

Damn, I logged on and saw 40 something posts about Alien pinball and I thought someone got their Alien pin in from Melissa and Cointakers

I don't worry about how shots are going to feel in a game because I SUCK at pinball and I wear it like a badge of honor. I can't hit free throws either, but when I do get lucky enough to hit one it's the game winning shot in my mind if that helps.

On Alien news, I haven't heard nothing but can't wait to hear from other pinsiders when they get their pin, with hopefully some of them taking the time to take pictures and maybe a Youtube video or something to please the others.

I had a LE Alien on order, but I cancelled it and went standard because I didn't feel like waiting any further on the LE. Besides, the EL ramps taken off and the backglass just didn't justify my reason of sticking with the LE. Besides, Murphy's law usually kicks in with me and I don't think I'll have one by the weekend because I'm off with no plans, it will probably come in next week when I have a full week of work ahead of me. Don't get me started on the huge gouge marks I put on the inside of the SW Premium pin that happened when I tried to pull the playfield out in the process of putting mirror blades in. Yep, it came out at an angle and had to be forced out. Luckily the mirror blades covered the damage. New world problems, huh?

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