(Topic ID: 175257)

Are we officially in the "LCD Generation" of pinball?


By iamabearsfan

2 years ago



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  • 32 posts
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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by o-din
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    #1 2 years ago

    When we look back on pinball generations, has JJP started it already? I know we talk about woodrails, then several small iterations of DMD's. But right about the same time the LCD came out, very advanced computer hardware also came out. In my mind it has changed the market. We are now seeing stacked modes and graphics that are unprecedented. Not to mention build quality that rivals the best of the Williams era. WoZ was clearly the first in this generation. It has now stood the test of time and likely will be a staple in a ton of home collections. It is also making a lot of $ out on routes.

    I see Stern following this track as well very soon.

    Thoughts?

    #2 2 years ago

    I don't know. Does it come down to what Stern does with Aerosmith?

    #3 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballomatic:

    I don't know. Does it come down to what Stern does with Aerosmith?

    I've realized that the LCD is evolving. Especially since I have had sometime to play TH now. Ironically it is for the bystanders more so than the player. Although with these complex rulesets, it is awesome to have a large graphical display of where you are on that journey. You don't have to have a series of lights showing you that. You can pause a ball and get your bearings and move on. I think we are in the infancy of where we can go. I can't wait for PF level cameras that show you those views. Really thought TH was going to have that. Especially for licensed themes, the LCD really helps bring the content forward.

    Lastly, and probably the biggest reason I like the LCD is for maintenance. The interface that JJP put together for testing, pricing, and game setup is nothing short of awesome. Now that wheel has been built. Later games will all benefit from this. I am sure Stern will adopt the same type of thing. And yes, I hope Aerosmith finally jumps on board. The train has left the station. Time to run and catch it!

    -2
    #4 2 years ago

    Regretfully

    #5 2 years ago

    I remember sitting in the audience at the now infamous George Gomez seminar in 1999 at Expo when he talked about his and Pat Lawlor's idea for Pinball 2000 versus what John Pop. was doing with a video monitor which he likened to Baby Pac Man, the hybrid video pinball game. He discussed at length how he thought that making the monitor (for lack of a better term) "interactive" was much more the way to go. I have my doubts about using a monitor in the way that JJP does although I must say that one result is that Hobbit is gorgeous (to be fair I have a Smaug Gold Hobbit). Seeing Batman 66 makes me think that we are indeed heading down that path but GB is a fun DMD game too.

    #6 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballomatic:

    I remember sitting in the audience at the now infamous George Gomez seminar in 1999 at Expo when he talked about his and Pat Lawlor's idea for Pinball 2000 versus what John Pop. was doing with a video monitor which he likened to Baby Pac Man, the hybrid video pinball game. He discussed at length how he thought that making the monitor (for lack of a better term) "interactive" was much more the way to go. I have my doubts about using a monitor in the way that JJP does although I must say that one result is that Hobbit is gorgeous (to be fair I have a Smaug Gold Hobbit). Seeing Batman 66 makes me think that we are indeed heading down that path but GB is a fun DMD game too.

    When I played GB, I started to think what the possibilities could have been on a JJP hardware platform. Let me be clear though, GB is great. I think it is well designed and plays well. Looks good to. One weird thing about LCD's is how they look when they are off. I often wondered if you could have a "Sleep" mode with the JJP pins. In other words have the PC on, but with simply the attract on the LCD playing, nothing else. Otherwise unless the machine is on, you see this ugly black screen. That is one advantage over the DMD.

    The other thing I was wondering is if anyone could retro classic DMD titles to the LCD. For example, TZ would be awesome with this. Or the Williams version of IJ would be awesome too. Maybe that is a pipe dream though because of the licensing and work.

    #7 2 years ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    When we look back on pinball generations, has JJP started it already? I know we talk about woodrails, then several small iterations of DMD's. But right about the same time the LCD came out, very advanced computer hardware also came out. In my mind it has changed the market. We are now seeing stacked modes and graphics that are unprecedented. Not to mention build quality that rivals the best of the Williams era. WoZ was clearly the first in this generation. It has now stood the test of time and likely will be a staple in a ton of home collections. It is also making a lot of $ out on routes.
    I see Stern following this track as well very soon.
    Thoughts?

    Not really this has been out called pinball 2000. For its time advanced pc. Runs on a pc setup.

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    When I played GB, I started to think what the possibilities could have been on a JJP hardware platform. Let me be clear though, GB is great. I think it is well designed and plays well. Looks good to. One weird thing about LCD's is how they look when they are off. I often wondered if you could have a "Sleep" mode with the JJP pins. In other words have the PC on, but with simply the attract on the LCD playing, nothing else. Otherwise unless the machine is on, you see this ugly black screen. That is one advantage over the DMD.
    The other thing I was wondering is if anyone could retro classic DMD titles to the LCD. For example, TZ would be awesome with this. Or the Williams version of IJ would be awesome too. Maybe that is a pipe dream though because of the licensing and work.

    You could just leave your pins on all the time. That would get rid of that pesky black screen. Some games on route never get turned off.

    #9 2 years ago
    Quoted from Brtlkat:

    Not really this has been out called pinball 2000. For its time advanced pc. Runs on a pc setup.

    I just wonder if it can be called a generation, when it didn't stand the test of time. If the Pinball 2000 platform was viable, it would have been continued. I think it was great innovation, but in practice seemed limited. Maybe if someone would have really embraced it later, it could have stuck. But point taken thought on Pinball 2000 as far as the computer is concerned.

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballomatic:

    Seeing Batman 66 makes me think that we are indeed heading down that path but GB is a fun DMD game too.

    Stern really didn't want to go down that path...they were dragged down it kicking and screaming.

    JJP, Heighway, Multimorphic, and ColorDMD were the ones pushing the idea of integrating better display technologies with a pinball machine. Stern is playing "catch-up".

    #11 2 years ago

    I'm afraid "we" are not the LCD generation....maybe you. I'm more the old "Flipper" generation. I like the LCD though - a lot can be done with it. In a few years we will probably see an LCD screen on every machine. I'd love to see a band themed pin with an LCD.

    -6
    #12 2 years ago

    Sounds like the OP should take up collecting video games.

    #13 2 years ago

    Yes, I agree we are seeing a transition to the next pinball "era".

    I'm sure there were die-hards bemoaning the new technology at every transition.

    #14 2 years ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    Sounds like the OP should take up collecting video games.

    Is it a crime to like both?

    #15 2 years ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    One weird thing about LCD's is how they look when they are off...unless the machine is on, you see this ugly black screen.

    I for one am not a fan of the large LCD that JJP uses. It is very functional, but it just looks odd to me. Call me a traditionalist, but I much rather the screen size used by Dutch Pinball. It's closer to the standard DMD size and aspect ratio. And the OP is right, these larger scale LCD's do look shite when powered off.

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mfsrc791:

    Is it a crime to like both?

    Naturally not. But each has its place and each is DIFFERENT - that is the entire point. Seems the OP would rather mix the two and that is taking away from what pinball offers in my opinion.

    How about we add some mechanical action to a video game? Would that be OK?

    #17 2 years ago

    You new guys with your fancy flippers, What happened to the good old days when you just had to plunge a ball? You just had to go and change pinball for the better.

    #18 2 years ago
    Quoted from Homepin:

    How about we add some mechanical action to a video game? Would that be OK?

    You mean like a controller, or a VR set, or motion controls? Or do you mean like DDR or Time Crisis? Or perhaps you meant something more like a flight stick, or steering wheel with force feedback? There was also Boktai which required the game's cartridge to get readings on its solar panel, and the Kirby's Tilt N Tumble which you played by tilting the level in the cartridge. Of course you may have meant Steel Battalion's Mech controller too.

    steelbat (resized).jpg

    #19 2 years ago

    You can call it whatever you want, but nothing's really changed. For all the hype, pleading, disappointments, and finally joy, it's really just...a DMD with colors. Hard for me to get too excited about a color screen, which my phone has had for 10 years. Batman 66 is still gonna be pretty much the same thing as GOT.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    You can call it whatever you want, but nothing's really changed. For all the hype, pleading, disappointments, and finally joy, it's really just...a DMD with colors. Hard for me to get too excited about a color screen, which my phone has had for 10 years. Batman 66 is still gonna be pretty much the same thing as GOT.

    I have to disagree. A good portion of the licensed themes out there are from films or musicians. Both of which have a ton of HD video which these LCD's have and will continue to take advantage of. It is a major differentiator. Personally I think that is why they do so well on location as well. It also allows a crazy amount of information to be communicated to both the player and the observer. Also the tech for that matter. It is how one uses the LCD that will be the game changer. My prediction is all pinballs will have LCD's down the road. Just a matter of time. The question now will be how will it be used. I think that is why some manufacturers are staying away from the LCD. It has to be filled with content that takes time and effort to do correctly.

    -1
    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    Both of which have a ton of HD video which these LCD's have and will continue to take advantage of.

    I actually think this is a negative, not a positive. DMD dots are an art form like 8 or 16 bit gaming. By the time people realize this, it will be gone for the flash and glitz of HD images.

    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    It also allows a crazy amount of information to be communicated to both the player and the observer.

    The games still have to be accessible for the newbs so they can't get crazy complicated. Players already complain today about a lack of info coming from the playfield inserts. I'm not seeing how the LCD's gonna solve that because any time you look away from the playfield you're putting the ball in danger.

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    I actually think this is a negative, not a positive. DMD dots are an art form like 8 or 16 bit gaming. By the time people realize this, it will be gone for the flash and glitz of HD images.

    The games still have to be accessible for the newbs so they can't get crazy complicated. Players already complain today about a lack of info coming from the playfield inserts. I'm not seeing how the LCD's gonna solve that because any time you look away from the playfield you're putting the ball in danger.

    I like how JJP allows you to catch your breath between balls and see the overall status via the LCD. To me that is difficult to do anymore with the amount of modes available. To your point there is a balance between how much to put on the LCD vs. the playfield. Again, we are in the infancy of all of this. As each machine comes out, best practices will rise up and become the norm. Should be fun to watch (and play!)

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from dmbjunky:

    any time you look away from the playfield you're putting the ball in danger.

    Catch the ball with your flipper and then look up at your progress.

    #24 2 years ago

    I love the LCD display on JJP games. WOZ is fantastic in how you can track your quest. I think that's how pinball should be. It just allows another level of depth in the gameplay. The issue I see is that stern is more about quantity of titles (themes) vs the overall quality (code) which lends me to believe they won't be a strong player in the LCD game. Keith takes the time at JJP to code a deep game that takes advantage of the LCD and makes a masterpiece of fun. If Stern lets Lyman's creativity loose on a game with an LCD and finish it we probably will start to see some better games from Stern but in the current environment of pump and dump I don't see it happening.

    #25 2 years ago

    If pinball survives another 20-39 years, we will say that JJP and Heighway started the LCD and Stern followed soon after. Otherwise, not much has changed under the glass.

    #26 2 years ago

    I think it would be neat if the machine, when shut down, slid some back glass over the screen so when it's off it still has an attractive BG area. Also, another cool idea would be to have the screen be able to be programmed like a DMD screen as an option. If a player wanted it to look more traditional press a button, part of the back glass that covers the screen when it's off comes down and the screen is reduced to a standard DMD size. Best of both worlds! Boom! Mic drop.

    #27 2 years ago
    Quoted from iamabearsfan:

    My prediction is all pinballs will have LCD's down the road.

    That's not a prediction, that's already a known fact.

    Personally, I'm not a fan of the JJP monster displays but i like what DP is doing. Also I like to keep a 80s/90s vibe in my gamerooom which does work borderline with the LCDs in DMD form factor but JJPs don't really fit in. I do realize this is not a generally valid point against big LCDs, though.

    #28 2 years ago

    Yes but the minions pinball will be old skool.
    I love dmd.

    #29 2 years ago
    Quoted from someoneelse:

    That's not a prediction, that's already a known fact.
    Personally, I'm not a fan of the JJP monster displays but i like what DP is doing. Also I like to keep a 80s/90s vibe in my gamerooom which does work borderline with the LCDs in DMD form factor but JJPs don't really fit in. I do realize this is not a generally valid point against big LCDs, though.

    I didn't know all of the manufacturers have that on their roadmap. Didn't DP do a larger DMD display? I haven't seen anything from Stern yet other than rumors.

    Anyway, if that is the case, then we are in the next generation. Personally I am glad. I think it enhances the game experience a ton. With that said, I will always have some 90's titles in my collection. I love those games (i.e. TZ, CV, MM, etc...) But I am a geek at heart. I love the innovation engine. Especially with pinball. Excited to see what comes in the next generation of machines. Should be fun to watch!

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from someoneelse:

    That's not a prediction, that's already a known fact.
    Personally, I'm not a fan of the JJP monster displays but i like what DP is doing. Also I like to keep a 80s/90s vibe in my gamerooom which does work borderline with the LCDs in DMD form factor but JJPs don't really fit in. I do realize this is not a generally valid point against big LCDs, though.

    It is a valid point. I made a similar comment in post #15 above, but it seems we might be in the minority.

    For me, it's just odd to see to see a TV in the back box. The JJP's just remind me of one of those visual/virtual pinball machines. I haven't had the privilege to play one yet, and I'm sure they are great and the large screen add functionality. They just look odd, that's all. I'd love to try one if one ever gets sited nearby (doubtful though, sadly pinball is dead and buried here on the Sunshine Coast).

    #31 2 years ago

    Something to ponder:

    Who actually appreciates seeing a completely black empty backbox when the games are turned off?
    No different than watching bezels in old 1980s video arcade games.

    330 (resized).jpg

    CharlandSpirit (resized).jpg
    (This is the one and ONLY time this many Spirits were lined up in a row since they were in the GTB factory)

    #32 2 years ago

    With all those multicolored bulbs people stuff in their machines and all the psychedelic neon powder coat jobs, it seems more like the LSD generation of pinball to me.

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