Quoted from Ferret:
I can't speak for Art Director Aurich, but I think it's obvious that you can't optimize the playfield art (and related items like plastics) for playing in bright light AND playing in the dark.
Just to be fully honest about all of this, the answer is really neither, because when I did the playfield I didn't really have any clue what the final assembled game would even look like. There was no whitewood, no production-ish ramps, no test game with lights to see how the GI worked, or anything like that. There's art I could have skipped spending time on, because in the end it got covered up by plastics I didn't know would be there. Not gonna beat that horse anymore, but you see what I'm getting at.
The design is obviously intentionally dark, it's always just a question of balance.
If I had a chance to do things over knowing what I know now I'd brighten things up some (ha, if I knew what I know now back then a lot would change), but I think the real issues are the fact that so much of the GI is hidden behind metal and places where it can't shine, there probably ought to be a couple spots, and there are no flashers.
Flashers don't help with GI of course, but if for instance there were a couple of flashers strobing on the xeno as the tongue came out I think you could use an effect like that to justify the game being a little darker at times.
Personal preference is king, but I think modding in lights is perfectly reasonable. I'm not a fan of the Pinstadium effect, but if you dig it and it lets you see everything and enjoy it more, I say go for it.