(Topic ID: 233477)

Does Dwight have a good track record of 'finishing' code?


By Whysnow

3 months ago



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#51 3 months ago

Dwight's games are better at launch, because he has no problem cutting and pasting. He grabs stuff that works, and flings together acceptable launch code. Actually, more than acceptable. A Dwight game will come out of the gate better than most. And it will get quick bug fixes... and then it will languish. It doesn't matter if the customers thinks it's done, it's done. Once the sales taper off, the game won't get that completion we like.

So, that is a strike against Dwight's games. But really, that is a strike against all games. When you buy them, you get what you get. Sometimes there is a surprise, but others, it remains the game you paid for. When I owned GOT, I knew that. The code was at an acceptable level for me. But that is also back when NIB games were around a thousand dollars lower priced.

I considered Munsters, but Dwight was one of the strikes against it. And I'm usually a Pro buyer anyway. So if it becomes great, I can just buy it later.

#52 3 months ago
Quoted from JustLikeMe:

No, he doesn't. In September 2017 he posted the following on the Tilt Forums re GB code:
'I want to be clear. I consider the game to be finished. I think that the game is fun and interesting as is. But there is always room for improvement.'
So it's complete, but there are two inserts that don't relate to anything in the code - including the final wizard mode?
Don't see myself buying another game coded by him for this reason alone. I have faith in Lyman, none in Dwight.

This actually makes me really mad. I don’t know how you can say it’s complete without god mode and unused insert and wacky multiplier scoring. Especially after stern promised over and over summer 18 a big code drop.

I will definitely wait on buying anymore of his games until long after release.

So many killer used titles on the market at great prices in the meantime.

#53 3 months ago
Quoted from soren:

Yes, you can damn right expect Stern to follow up their products with software updates. At least for bug fixes and adjustments to what is already in there. A 6K dollar product that they deliberately release with early software and let people believe will be supported. Oh, yes we can

Have you played WOF?

#54 3 months ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

GOT and SW appear to be in good shape, especially Star Wars. GB code support though has been terrible, the worst in years by Stern in my opinion. Stern keeps saying its been of of their best selling games and yet look at where the code is. The game is one of Stern's most loaded games to date but what's the point of adding multiple interactive features if they are not coded properly?
There's no way in hell I'm going to drop $6k-$9k on a new Munsters when Ghostbusters code still isn't finished. It just doesn't feel right. Dwight seems like a great guy, his rulesets are unique but I don't think Stern is giving him enough time and / or resources to properly finish his games.
October 2017, Stern's first Stern of the Union address.
[quoted image]
January 2019, 15 months later!
[quoted image]

well, we just got our code update for kiss, so ghostbusters is coming

#55 3 months ago

All of this has been mentioned already, but got and especially SW could very much use that final update. At this point I don't care who does it, but I think most of us agree it would be great.

I have nothing to add about GB, ours is still on location and earning ok. I generally never play it anymore and if it was a home game I'd have dumped it awhile ago just based on the current code.

#56 3 months ago
Quoted from doublestack:

All of this has been mentioned already, but got and especially SW could very much use that final update. At this point I don't care who does it, but I think most of us agree it would be great.
I have nothing to add about GB, ours is still on location and earning ok. I generally never play it anymore and if it was a home game I'd have dumped it awhile ago just based on the current code.

This is pretty much where I am. My GB does decent on route, but hasn't earned 100% gross yet. Since I keep track of ROI % and it's color coded if I sold before it gets to 100% it would bug me. If they drop a KISS or Aerosmith sized update I bet it would start earning really well again as players dive in again to see what's new. Without that it will just hum along and I might just sell it when it gets to 100%.

#57 3 months ago
Quoted from extraballingtmc:

So many killer used titles on the market at great prices in the meantime.

Can you please point me in the direction of the good prices?

Last I recall, I was reading about $4700 BSD’s with insert wear, $4k SWE1’s, and $7500 TAF’s with PF stickers and flipper button wear.

#58 3 months ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

Can you please point me in the direction of the good prices?
Last I recall, I was reading about $4700 BSD’s with insert wear, $4k SWE1’s, and $7500 TAF’s with PF stickers and flipper button wear.

Get off Pinside for good prices. Go play in a local league and talk to people. Build a local network and deals will pop up. Sometimes even Facebook will have decent prices. More and more pins for sale on Facebook, which is hit and miss.

#59 3 months ago

Not sure how Stern software department is organized but my software experience has included organizations that have a development group and also a separate sustaining group. The sustaining group works on software that's already been released, updates/service packs, not necessarily new functionality though. That's for versioned software that is a continuing product, meaning version 1 release this year, version 2 release next year with new functionality etc. Customers have to be on subscription to receive/pay for the new versions. In the pinball world, a specific machine's software is a one-off so maybe having a sustaining staff does not make sense for a pin manufacturer. A subscription model may not make sense either for a pin manufacturer, so what's left to fund a sustaining effort after initial software release? I have been thinking about that other option, wonder what suggestions others here have, to fund the ongoing software effort after initial release.

#60 3 months ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

Can you please point me in the direction of the good prices?
Last I recall, I was reading about $4700 BSD’s with insert wear, $4k SWE1’s, and $7500 TAF’s with PF stickers and flipper button wear.

Good prices are only on the new stuff that is flooding the market. All the older pins keep going up and up.

#61 3 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Several people at CES reported getting to the wizard mode already. Now it's early code I'm sure, but that might worry me some for home use if there aren't going to be substantial code updates.

I thought someone on the stream said the code was 0.90. If so, that worries me because there didn’t seem to be a lot there.

#62 3 months ago

Dwight is supposed to be on Dead Flip’s live stream tonight.... we can ask him about code on Munsters and others I would think.

#63 3 months ago
Quoted from jfh:

I thought someone on the stream said the code was 0.90. If so, that worries me because there didn’t seem to be a lot there.

That was certainly my impression. It seems like a very superficial ruleset. OK for a few plays on location, yawn inducing at home.

#64 3 months ago
Quoted from Budman:

Dwight is supposed to be on Dead Flip’s live stream tonight.... we can ask him about code on Munsters and others I would think.

Prob they will ignore the hard questions instead of confronting them.

I'm totally spoiled by my IMDN Premium which has inspired code. I don't want to take a step down to Dwight land on Munsters.

#65 3 months ago

Just look at the pf inserts above flippers. Looks a little light, kind of like AC/DC where it was still super fun but no proper modes.

#66 3 months ago
Quoted from yuriijos:

GOT is certainly not finished IMO. There are times I’m playing the game and there is complete silence going on. Unless it’s Lyman, I wouldn’t buy another game coded by Dwight. Do your job buddy and finish what you started.

I definitely wouldn't say he didn't do his job, but I agree with the rest of the sentiment...it just sucks to contrast Lyman games, that constantly evolve and fill in gaps, against GOT, which I enjoy a lot, but has obvious room for improvement.

I wish they'd put a passionate junior engineer on the game to bring it to the next level. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll have at least a little surprise for us when the final season of the show airs!

#67 3 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

What specifically do you view unfinished in the SW code?

Incorrect instructions for modes is my biggest issue with the game. Changing some text would go a long way. The Hoth planet MB is especially confusing with incorrect text and poor shot identification.

Missing call outs. Not a huge deal but it seems strange that a lot of high scores achieved have a callout and some are just left out.

Heirarchy of call outs and what is shown on the screen. When you blow up the Death Star, you shouldn’t hear and see “TIE fighter jackpot.”

I would also like the Death Star to have a louder sound when it explodes. Unless you have the game cranked WAY up, you’re going to hear the mech over the sound.

#68 3 months ago

I’m sure Dwight does what his employer tells him to do. Possibly other programmers spend time outside of work hours to work on code.

#69 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

nobody is up in arms.
This is an honest question based on his past 3 games. Are GOT and SW really "finished"
Is GB really getting more polish?
When I look at Stern and the perpetual issues with delayed, buggy, and sometimes very basic code on release, Lonnie used to be the common denominator but seems they have given him a bigger team to support him and we are finally seeing more polish on his games and more can now be deemed "finished".
With Dwight I see him as 3 for 3 on modern era games that are not yet "finished"
It is a reasonable question.

It better not be finished. I don't play it much but my wife plays every day and she get to. We came we saw..... and We're ready to believe you ....which is not coded in the game.

This is the Sole reason I wouldn't buy a NIB Munsters, which I love by the way. Will buy one in 3 years on the used market as that's probably how long it will take to get finished.

#70 3 months ago
Quoted from jfh:

I thought someone on the stream said the code was 0.90. If so, that worries me because there didn’t seem to be a lot there.

it's just a number. Maybe it should mean something, but it doesn't. Ghostbusters, is at 1.13 and missing, among other things, the final wizard mode. So, you need to ignore the number and see what the game is missing or what it has depending on how you like to look at things.

#71 3 months ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

it's just a number. Maybe it should mean something, but it doesn't. Ghostbusters, is at 1.13 and missing, among other things, the final wizard mode. So, you need to ignore the number and see what the game is missing or what it has depending on how you like to look at things.

Yes, it’s just a number. But with the recent Stern emphasis on being more transparent with code updates it’s been fairly clear that 1.00 now means the code is essentially feature complete so v 0.90 should indicate the code is pretty far along.

#72 3 months ago
Quoted from 3pinballs:

It better not be finished. I don't play it much but my wife plays every day and she get to. We came we saw..... and We're ready to believe you ....which is not coded in the game.

We're Ready to Believe You is in the game, it's just really lackluster at this point. Are You A God is not yet in the game.

17
#73 3 months ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

it's just a number.

Early on I decided to not number Houdini releases that way, since people look at .9 and say, "oh it is 90% done". I just label releases based on the build date.
I've been asked how do I know it is 'finished', and my general take is, it will be finished either when I run out of ideas or I get sick and tired of working on it. Having said that, the release that included the final wizard mode marked the completion of the major things planned, but that milestone certainly did not represent me being done, but that it has the major components and features intended. The last release was a lot of bugs fixes and feature adds where I now feel the game is living up to the vision I had for it and has no major flaws (well one bug cropped up that I want to address). However, that does not mean that I won't do more.

Although I am currently knee deep in Oktoberfest, I continue to add ideas and thoughts to my Houdini list. Now that I have one at home, I see things I'm just not totally happy with it, maybe something that did not work as I had envisioned, or maybe something that is just off, and I will also get new ideas on how to give things more pizzaz or even ideas for new rules. And while many of these things will likely make it into the game, that does not mean that I consider the current iteration has being incomplete, although I am sure plenty of you would find things that you feel make it otherwise.

As far as what else is this thread, I find it much of it amusing since most of the people here have no clue as to what is involved, what is happening, the challenges that exist, what the developers goals were, etc. I love when you can read two posts back to back, that state the exact opposite things about a game, and both believing they are right and the developer is wrong, since they did not do what you think should be done. The word 'polish' has become some catch-all used when someone feels the game is not compete in their mind or just does not do what they thing it should. The reality is you can take any machine ever made, and if you want, you can find something you can say is 'incomplete' or 'needs more polish', ultimately that is the eye of the beholder. Sure, sometimes a game is clearly missing things, but that is far more often the exception than the rule, despite what reading pinside might make you think. I am sure there are plenty of times the developers would like to do a little more on some of their machines, tweak a few things, add a few things, but the reality is, none of that is really going to change what matters. If you don't like the way the game shoots, if you don't like the rules, than more 'polish' is not going to change that. Some games you are going to like and some you are not. Some rules you will find fun and challenging, and some won't be your cup of tea. If some missing light show or sound call is ruining the game for you, I suspect there more to it than that. The great thing is there are so many machines to choose from, that you will certainly find ones you like (or you need a new hobby).

For all you guys who think you know what a polished game looks like, I encourage you to try. There are now great resources and technology out there to let you do your own machine, so, rather then spending time on here dissing designers and developers, go try it for yourself. Maybe you will create the next great game or more likely you won't even get one close to being finished, let alone giving it 'polish'. But what is likely, is that you will gain a new appreciation for what designers and developers do, and why a thread with this title and some of this content, is insulting to those who work their assess off to bring these machines to life.

#74 3 months ago

I've been hoping to eventually buy a Ghostbusters. I enjoy the theme, playfield, and artwork. If the code were on par I'd have probably purchase it instead of Metallica.

-43
#75 3 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Early on I decided to not number Houdini releases that way, since people look at .9 and say, "oh it is 90% done". I just label releases based on the build date.
I've been asked how do I know it is 'finished', and my general take is, it will be finished either when I run out of ideas or I get sick and tired of working on it. Having said that, the release that included the final wizard mode marked the completion of the major things planned, but that milestone certainly did not represent me being done, but that it has the major components and features intended. The last release was a lot of bugs fixes and feature adds where I now feel the game is living up to the vision I had for it and has no major flaws (well one bug cropped up that I want to address). However, that does not mean that I won't do more.
Although I am currently knee deep in Oktoberfest, I continue to add ideas and thoughts to my Houdini list. Now that I have one at home, I see things I'm just not totally happy with it, maybe something that did not work as I had envisioned, or maybe something that is just off, and I will also get new ideas on how to give things more pizzaz or even ideas for new rules. And while many of these things will likely make it into the game, that does not mean that I consider the current iteration has being incomplete, although I am sure plenty of you would find things that you feel make it otherwise.
As far as what else is this thread, I find it much of it amusing since most of the people here have no clue as to what is involved, what is happening, the challenges that exist, what the developers goals were, etc. I love when you can read two posts back to back, that state the exact opposite things about a game, and both believing they are right and the developer is wrong, since they did not do what you think should be done. The word 'polish' has become some catch-all used when someone feels the game is not compete in their mind or just does not do what they thing it should. The reality is you can take any machine ever made, and if you want, you can find something you can say is 'incomplete' or 'needs more polish', ultimately that is the eye of the beholder. Sure, sometimes a game is clearly missing things, but that is far more often the exception than the rule, despite what reading pinside might make you think. I am sure there are plenty of times the developers would like to do a little more on some of their machines, tweak a few things, add a few things, but the reality is, none of that is really going to change what matters. If you don't like the way the game shoots, if you don't like the reels more 'polish' is not going to change that. Some games you are going to like and some you are not. Some rules you will find fun and challenging, and some won't be your cup of tea. If some missing light show or sound call is ruining the game for you, I suspect there more to it than that. The great thing is there are so many machines to choose from, that you will certainly find ones you like (or you need a new hobby).
For all you guys who think you know what a polished game looks like, I encourage you to try. There are now great resources and technology out there to let you do your own machine, so, rather then spending time on here dissing designers and developers, go try it for yourself. Maybe you will create the next great game or more likely you won't even get one close to being finished, let alone giving it 'polish'. But what is likely, is that you will gain a new appreciation for what designers and developers do, and why a thread with this title and some of this content, is insulting to those who work their assess off to bring these machines to life.

wham (resized).JPG
#76 3 months ago

I will not go negative on this thread. I'm sure that there are more things on "completing" the Ghostbusters code than anyone here knows about.

However, I am getting a NIB GB Prem in May. I learned that Stern is making the last of GB and will supposedly shut down the line on those machines soon. I would hope that getting the code done "soon" would correspond to the end of the line for the machines. I have waited on my purchase instead of being an early adopter two years ago and taking that risk.

I would expect no more updates beyond the final version (whenever it is released) as Stern needs to go forward with all the machines released after GB.

But, as a consumer (Pinball Machine = product, toy, call it what you will), I would like to see as much functionality coded for the machine. I would expect that in a Router, a Microwave, a Sewing Machine, or anything else I buy.

#77 3 months ago

I think the biggest advantage Lyman has is he's a top competitive player. He sees potential "polish" that other coders just can't.

#78 3 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Several people at CES reported getting to the wizard mode already. Now it's early code I'm sure, but that might worry me some for home use if there aren't going to be substantial code updates.

I'm listening to the SWL Podcast, and Dwight explained that this is a more 90's style ruleset...simpler and more "feature" based than mode based...he said when you get to a wizard mode, that's "Level 1" - if you get it again it's "Level 2" ...so, don't think of the Wizard mode you'll never see like Valinor...sounds like it'll be more like Monster Bash where it's attainable for good players, but with something different each time you get to it. He also said Ball Save is off by default. So - this is meant to be more of an Iron Man/Tron kick-your-butt & play again game...so setting it up tough and steep will probably alleviate any "problem" if someone finds the game too easy.

#79 3 months ago

The question is a bit antagonistic...what if you phrased it: Does Dwight have a track record of finishing code?

See? Much better

#80 3 months ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I'm listening to the SWL Podcast, and Dwight explained that this is a more 90's style ruleset...simpler and more "feature" based than mode based...he said when you get to a wizard mode, that's "Level 1" - if you get it again it's "Level 2" ...so, don't think of the Wizard mode you'll never see like Valinor...sounds like it'll be more like Monster Bash where it's attainable for good players, but with something different each time you get to it. He also said Ball Save is off by default. So - this is meant to be more of an Iron Man/Tron kick-your-butt & play again game...so setting it up tough and steep will probably alleviate any "problem" if someone finds the game too easy.

It looks a lot more shallow and simplistic than Monster Bash, from what we've seen so far.

#81 3 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

It looks a lot more shallow and simplistic than Monster Bash, from what we've seen so far.

In some ways maybe, in other ways it may have more depth. Again, not necessarily a bad thing. We'll know when we actually play it.

#82 3 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Early on I decided to not number Houdini releases that way, since people look at .9 and say, "oh it is 90% done". I just label releases based on the build date.
I've been asked how do I know it is 'finished', and my general take is, it will be finished either when I run out of ideas or I get sick and tired of working on it. Having said that, the release that included the final wizard mode marked the completion of the major things planned, but that milestone certainly did not represent me being done, but that it has the major components and features intended. The last release was a lot of bugs fixes and feature adds where I now feel the game is living up to the vision I had for it and has no major flaws (well one bug cropped up that I want to address). However, that does not mean that I won't do more.
Although I am currently knee deep in Oktoberfest, I continue to add ideas and thoughts to my Houdini list. Now that I have one at home, I see things I'm just not totally happy with it, maybe something that did not work as I had envisioned, or maybe something that is just off, and I will also get new ideas on how to give things more pizzaz or even ideas for new rules. And while many of these things will likely make it into the game, that does not mean that I consider the current iteration has being incomplete, although I am sure plenty of you would find things that you feel make it otherwise.
As far as what else is this thread, I find it much of it amusing since most of the people here have no clue as to what is involved, what is happening, the challenges that exist, what the developers goals were, etc. I love when you can read two posts back to back, that state the exact opposite things about a game, and both believing they are right and the developer is wrong, since they did not do what you think should be done. The word 'polish' has become some catch-all used when someone feels the game is not compete in their mind or just does not do what they thing it should. The reality is you can take any machine ever made, and if you want, you can find something you can say is 'incomplete' or 'needs more polish', ultimately that is the eye of the beholder. Sure, sometimes a game is clearly missing things, but that is far more often the exception than the rule, despite what reading pinside might make you think. I am sure there are plenty of times the developers would like to do a little more on some of their machines, tweak a few things, add a few things, but the reality is, none of that is really going to change what matters. If you don't like the way the game shoots, if you don't like the rules, than more 'polish' is not going to change that. Some games you are going to like and some you are not. Some rules you will find fun and challenging, and some won't be your cup of tea. If some missing light show or sound call is ruining the game for you, I suspect there more to it than that. The great thing is there are so many machines to choose from, that you will certainly find ones you like (or you need a new hobby).
For all you guys who think you know what a polished game looks like, I encourage you to try. There are now great resources and technology out there to let you do your own machine, so, rather then spending time on here dissing designers and developers, go try it for yourself. Maybe you will create the next great game or more likely you won't even get one close to being finished, let alone giving it 'polish'. But what is likely, is that you will gain a new appreciation for what designers and developers do, and why a thread with this title and some of this content, is insulting to those who work their assess off to bring these machines to life.

I guess us bumpkins couldn’t possibly understand the struggle.

But most of us know that when a nib pin is sold and some of the inserts don’t do anything, well, that’s just odd.

Or bugs in a pin that go unfinished, sometimes for over a year or forever while the lament sets in on our purchase, well, what do we know.

I’m just teasing you, but you need to understand we do KNOW deep rules and just plain polish when we play that.

We, as a hobby are very passionate about our collections and no one wants to feel strung along, regardless of how tough programming can be.

#83 3 months ago

Now you are never going to get into the American Pinball Army either.

#84 3 months ago
Quoted from jbovenzi:

However, I am getting a NIB GB Prem in May. I learned that Stern is making the last of GB and will supposedly shut down the line on those machines soon. I would hope that getting the code done "soon" would correspond to the end of the line for the machines. I have waited on my purchase instead of being an early adopter two years ago and taking that risk.

I purchased my GB Prem last March, so it's almost been a year. I read up on all the rules and played it several times trying different things before I bought. The code isn't "The Tits" (yeah, I stole that), but it's really good. It's different and diverse. Yes, you can light 6x playfield on the skill shot, but it's risky and you aren't always going to do it. But then you have to survive the standups and get into a mode or something else where the 6x matters. Or there's the 60M from the video mode...great, skill shot that and put off everything else. 60M on this game is nothing. And there's no "Are You a God Mode". How many people have gotten there anyway? You could tell me it's there, how would I know!!

Not trying to say it doesn't need "polish", as I'm definitely looking forward to the inevitable, if late, update. But as is, I still love it. I think if we were asked for something on every game ever made that we would change or add, all of us could come up with something.

#85 3 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

For all you guys who think you know what a polished game looks like, I encourage you to try. There are now great resources and technology out there to let you do your own machine, so, rather then spending time on here dissing designers and developers, go try it for yourself. Maybe you will create the next great game or more likely you won't even get one close to being finished, let alone giving it 'polish'. But what is likely, is that you will gain a new appreciation for what designers and developers do, and why a thread with this title and some of this content, is insulting to those who work their assess off to bring these machines to life.

I have nothing but respect for the designers and coders, I am sure they put in tons of time and have lots of passion for their products. On the flipside as a consumer, buying a product for several thousand dollars, and knowing there are bugs in it that you hit consistently, and waiting years for those to be fixed (if ever) isn't something that should be okay because it is pinball and the guys doing it had a ton of passion along the way.

And while I personally have never written code for a pin I have lots of experience dealing with customers using products I have created. While "try and do it yourselves" has gone through my mind while listening to them complain about something, it isn't what I would say to people who pay the bills.

29
#86 3 months ago
Quoted from T-800:

I just hope the programmers don't tune into this forum too much, and if they do, I hope they have thick skin, as a lot of the topics and comments have to be really demotivating.

Thick skin? After 20 years, it's pretty much platinum armor.

14
#87 3 months ago
Quoted from underlord:

I’m just teasing you, but you need to understand we do KNOW deep rules and just plain polish when we play that.
We, as a hobby are very passionate about our collections and no one wants to feel strung along, regardless of how tough programming can be.

I get you are teasing. I just think guys get way too focused on little things that don't really matter and let that stand in the way of enjoying a game or worse, let it get in the way of others enjoying it. I agree games should be complete and if a company says there is more to come, then they need to deliver on that. No game should leave an owner feeling it is incomplete. But getting hung up on insert that does not get used in game play or that the light shows are not wow enough, just seems to go a little too far. There is little doubt that Stern left some games feeling incomplete and certainly seems they have tried to correct that, but seems some of this stuff is beyond that, and again, a thread with a title this this is inappropriate, imho.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion on a game and if they want to say they think it needs more 'polish' that is their right to say so, but seems some guys take that too far and turn into something else, and that is what I object to. Just too much nitpicking at time, its pinball for crying out loud, some of these guys need to step back and just enjoy wonderful renaissance we are enjoying. Time is a constrained resource. Designers. developers, artist, animators, composers, etc. due as much as they can to make the best game they can with the time and other resources provided, and within the constraints that are given to them. Seems some guys here lose sight of that, when they look for some thing to pick at. I guess that is why most people in the industry don't spend time here. I was a collector before I was started working in this industry two years ago. I like to try to bring some of what goes on besides the scenes here since I know I enjoyed that. I also like getting feedback and idea, plenty of Houdini owners can point to things they suggested that made it into the game, but there are certainly times when I get why so many don't spend time here.

Quoted from jgentry:

Now you are never going to get into the American Pinball Army either.

Hilton has not liked Houdini or AP from day one (and guessing me either for that matter). He seems to seek out opportunities to criticize us. I get that he does not like Houdini, he finds the shots are too tight and challenging, and seems to have never had a good game on it. He is certainly entitled to that opinion, but seems he looks to find reasons to rip on it to somehow justify his feeling about it. That is also his right, but I don't get why he has that need and what void he is trying to fill.

As many of you know I listen to feedback, whether positive or negative, sometimes I agree with it and will take action and sometimes I don't, but I will certainly listen. Some people people love Houdini and some don't, pretty much like every game. There are many folks on Pinside or who I know outside of it, who's opinions I respect, and that has not changed based on whether they like Houdini or not. However, some folks like to be bombastic and over the top, just to get attention or maybe they believe that their opinions are so great, that they need to be shared at every opportunity, and that all of the rest of us would be lesser for not having heard them, when in reality it is the opposite. These are folks whose opinions carry zero weight with me, whether about Houdini or anything else.

It is always easier to tear things down, then to build them -- which is also the case when doing a playfield swap .

Quoted from paul_8788:

I have nothing but respect for the designers and coders, I am sure they put in tons of time and have lots of passion for their products. On the flipside as a consumer, buying a product for several thousand dollars, and knowing there are bugs in it that you hit consistently, and waiting years for those to be fixed (if ever) isn't something that should be okay because it is pinball and the guys doing it had a ton of passion along the way.
And while I personally have never written code for a pin I have lots of experience dealing with customers using products I have created. While "try and do it yourselves" has gone through my mind while listening to them complain about something, it isn't what I would say to people who pay the bills.

I agree, bugs that are hit consistently and cause issue need to be fixed and I don't think Dwight or anyone else does not want to fix those. I have not met anyone in the industry who does not take pride in what they do, and want it to be as good as it can be (given the constraints, resources, etc.)

My point was there is great opportunity for folks to make their own games and doing so will give you far greater insight into what is involved and what goes on and will give them a new appreciation for what is in front of them. Talk to any custom game builder and they will tell you how it was far more difficult and involved then they had imagined. And I can tell you from personal experience going from custom to commercial, takes it up another notch.

#88 3 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

I get you are teasing. I just think guys get way too focused on little things that don't really matter and let that stand in the way of enjoying a game or worse, let it get in the way of others enjoying it. I agree games should be complete and if a company says there is more to come, then they need to deliver on that. No game should leave an owner feeling it is incomplete. But getting hung up on insert that does not get used in game play or that the light shows are not wow enough, just seems to go a little too far. There is little doubt that Stern left some games feeling incomplete and certainly seems they have tried to correct that, but seems some of this stuff is beyond that, and again, a thread with a title this this is inappropriate, imho.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on a game and if they want to say they think it needs more 'polish' that is their right to say so, but seems some guys take that too far and turn into something else, and that is what I object to. Just too much nitpicking at time, its pinball for crying out loud, some of these guys need to step back and just enjoy wonderful renaissance we are enjoying. Time is a constrained resource. Designers. developers, artist, animators, composers, etc. due as much as they can to make the best game they can with the time and other resources provided, and within the constraints that are given to them. Seems some guys here lose sight of that, when they look for some thing to pick at. I guess that is why most people in the industry don't spend time here. I was a collector before I was started working in this industry two years ago. I like to try to bring some of what goes on besides the scenes here since I know I enjoyed that. I also like getting feedback and idea, plenty of Houdini owners can point to things they suggested that made it into the game, but there are certainly times when I get why so many don't spend time here.

Hilton has not liked Houdini or AP from day one (and guessing me either for that matter). He seems to seek out opportunities to criticize us. I get that he does not like Houdini, he finds the shots are too tight and challenging, and seems to have never had a good game on it. He is certainly entitled to that opinion, but seems he looks to find reasons to rip on it to somehow justify his feeling about it. That is also his right, but I don't get why he has that need and what void he is trying to fill.
As many of you know I listen to feedback, whether positive or negative, sometimes I agree with it and will take action and sometimes I don't, but I will certainly listen. Some people people love Houdini and some don't, pretty much like every game. There are many folks on Pinside or who I know outside of it, who's opinions I respect, and that has not changed based on whether they like Houdini or not. However, some folks like to be bombastic and over the top, just to get attention or maybe they believe that their opinions are so great, that they need to be shared at every opportunity, and that all of the rest of us would be lesser for not having heard them, when in reality it is the opposite. These are folks whose opinions carry zero weight with me, whether about Houdini or anything else.
It is always easier to tear things down, then to build them -- which is also the case when doing a playfield swap .

I agree, bugs that are hit consistently and cause issue need to be fixed and I don't think Dwight or anyone else does not want to fix those. I have not met anyone in the industry who does not take pride in what they do, and want it to be as good as it can be (given the constraints, resources, etc.)
My point was there is great opportunity for folks to make their own games and doing so will give you far greater insight into what is involved and what goes on and will give them a new appreciation for what is in front of them. Talk to any custom game builder and they will tell you how it was far more difficult and involved then they had imagined. And I can tell you from personal experience going from custom to commercial, takes it up another notch.

Lots of manufacturers don’t spend time here probably due to the constant criticism.. I’m on board with you on that.

But it’s here that you can get honest feedback mixed with the internet noise. It’s easier to hang out with yes men than critics, short term. Long term you’ll be better for hanging with folks who are as smart as yourself, players who obsess, and folks passionate about details...there are plenty here.

I deal with folks upset at our dealership a lot. I don’t have to, as I’m the SHOP foreman of the techs, not directly involved with customers at the desk. I’ve found that over the years the customers have taught me as much about the industry as the engineers, with a grand perspective on both.

Funny how Stern still creeps here but yet disregards directly the impact.

Jack used to post here too, but has since stopped.

I find it’s their loss in the end.

-14
#89 3 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

I get you are teasing. I just think guys get way too focused on little things that don't really matter and let that stand in the way of enjoying a game or worse, let it get in the way of others enjoying it. I agree games should be complete and if a company says there is more to come, then they need to deliver on that. No game should leave an owner feeling it is incomplete. But getting hung up on insert that does not get used in game play or that the light shows are not wow enough, just seems to go a little too far. There is little doubt that Stern left some games feeling incomplete and certainly seems they have tried to correct that, but seems some of this stuff is beyond that, and again, a thread with a title this this is inappropriate, imho.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion on a game and if they want to say they think it needs more 'polish' that is their right to say so, but seems some guys take that too far and turn into something else, and that is what I object to. Just too much nitpicking at time, its pinball for crying out loud, some of these guys need to step back and just enjoy wonderful renaissance we are enjoying. Time is a constrained resource. Designers. developers, artist, animators, composers, etc. due as much as they can to make the best game they can with the time and other resources provided, and within the constraints that are given to them. Seems some guys here lose sight of that, when they look for some thing to pick at. I guess that is why most people in the industry don't spend time here. I was a collector before I was started working in this industry two years ago. I like to try to bring some of what goes on besides the scenes here since I know I enjoyed that. I also like getting feedback and idea, plenty of Houdini owners can point to things they suggested that made it into the game, but there are certainly times when I get why so many don't spend time here.

Hilton has not liked Houdini or AP from day one (and guessing me either for that matter). He seems to seek out opportunities to criticize us. I get that he does not like Houdini, he finds the shots are too tight and challenging, and seems to have never had a good game on it. He is certainly entitled to that opinion, but seems he looks to find reasons to rip on it to somehow justify his feeling about it. That is also his right, but I don't get why he has that need and what void he is trying to fill.
As many of you know I listen to feedback, whether positive or negative, sometimes I agree with it and will take action and sometimes I don't, but I will certainly listen. Some people people love Houdini and some don't, pretty much like every game. There are many folks on Pinside or who I know outside of it, who's opinions I respect, and that has not changed based on whether they like Houdini or not. However, some folks like to be bombastic and over the top, just to get attention or maybe they believe that their opinions are so great, that they need to be shared at every opportunity, and that all of the rest of us would be lesser for not having heard them, when in reality it is the opposite. These are folks whose opinions carry zero weight with me, whether about Houdini or anything else.
It is always easier to tear things down, then to build them -- which is also the case when doing a playfield swap .

I agree, bugs that are hit consistently and cause issue need to be fixed and I don't think Dwight or anyone else does not want to fix those. I have not met anyone in the industry who does not take pride in what they do, and want it to be as good as it can be (given the constraints, resources, etc.)
My point was there is great opportunity for folks to make their own games and doing so will give you far greater insight into what is involved and what goes on and will give them a new appreciation for what is in front of them. Talk to any custom game builder and they will tell you how it was far more difficult and involved then they had imagined. And I can tell you from personal experience going from custom to commercial, takes it up another notch.

You are not paying much attention... if anything i have gone out of my way to not comment on Houdini out of respect for you specifically. I have largely avoided discussing my feeling on the game in order to ensure my opinions did not offend any of your team. When the prices on the secondary market began to tank i discussed that but by then the fate of the game was set in motion... the sales and secondary market has spoken loudervthan anyone.

For you, a game programmer, to come on here and defend people putting out unfinished games or crap that never had a whitewood even and claming it should be acceptable and an unused insert is no big deal is just sad. Our goal and expectations as passionate pinheads spending often large anounts of money should be for well designed and code complete games that are polished out the door from day one and then get additional polish after that. You got cut slack for your first production game, but i would not assume the community at whole will give you the same slack for game number two. Esp if you are on here talking smack about the community that potentially buys your games and rightfully expects them to be completed and polished. You really also are not going to help sales if you provide the expectations that you think it is acceptable for your games to not be finished and possbly missing features when you call them done.

19
#90 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

You are not paying much attention...

BF0AC95E-64E9-47B2-AF18-0B1F20C2DA19 (resized).jpeg
#91 3 months ago

I really hope these games are soon massaged to completion, and everybody gets a happy ending!

These games all seem fine to me but what do I know.

16
#92 3 months ago
Quoted from underlord:

But it’s here that you can get honest feedback mixed with the internet noise.

That is why I am still here to listen to honest constructive feedback, good and bad, it is that noise and the misplaced cynicism, that I am commenting about. I will say that if people want their opinions and feedback listened to, then starting a thread with the original title of this one is the wrong way to go about it. But I guess people like to use a title that will get attention.

At no time have I said it is okay for games to be incomplete or missing features. I said that just because an insert is not used by a game rule, does not mean the game is incomplete, just that developer took the rules in a different direction then planned (which is often a good thing) and it was not needed as intended, but given the uproar over it, and how some find that to be totally unacceptable, I guess all developers will find some use for every insert, even if it adds little to nothing to game play.

My comments on polish was around that becoming a term that is used anytime someone has something they don't feel is the way they think it should be in a game, when in reality if you want you can find something in every game that you believe could be 'better' or more polished. I can't speak for everyone, but anyone I know in the industry, is trying to make every game the best it can be, they all take great pride in their work, and sometimes there are people here who forget that or don't get it, and can be real jerks.

I also find the double standard interesting. It is okay to criticize companies and the people who work there, but, god forbid someone from the industry comments back or disagrees, and it becomes "how dare you say something or disagree with the people who buy games".

While my skin may not be Platinum armored yet like Keefer's, it is pretty thick.

10
#93 3 months ago

The worst mistake stern ever made was letting keefer go. His post stern career has left us with tons of updates and finished games.

#94 3 months ago
Quoted from underlord:

Lots of manufacturers don’t spend time here probably due to the constant criticism.. I’m on board with you on that.
But it’s here that you can get honest feedback mixed with the internet noise. It’s easier to hang out with yes men than critics, short term. Long term you’ll be better for hanging with folks who are as smart as yourself, players who obsess, and folks passionate about details...there are plenty here.
I deal with folks upset at our dealership a lot. I don’t have to, as I’m the SHOP foreman of the techs, not directly involved with customers at the desk. I’ve found that over the years the customers have taught me as much about the industry as the engineers, with a grand perspective on both.

It seems I'm always taking the "wrong" side on discussions like this. As a buyer of new games, I want perfection just like everyone else. However, I think a lot of us on Pinside often forget that pinball is our hobby, but to the manufacturers it's a business...their livelihood and that of their employees. I'm sure they listen to feedback from distributors, designated bug reports and ideas submitted thru their established channels. They also listen to sales figures and profitability reports.

I think what speaks volumes to them is the sales response to the current business model. Putting out a beautiful piece of eye-candy with X% software completion on a schedule designed to keep the line moving and allow for there to always be the "next game" in the production pipeline. The product will sell, and the consumers of pinball machines have accepted the fact that software updates will occur.

What we're talking about is how many updates does it take. From my limited exposure to the pinball industry (but as a business owner), it sure looks like it's driven by sales goals. A game that is selling well with "adequate" code can wait. One that is floundering but saveable, may get multiple updates. One that is deemed a "swing-and-a-miss" may get none and be left for dead. Better to get another one in development than waste resources. I think we can all point to an example of each of those scenarios.

Endless threads about we think should or shouldn't be done are fun. But I doubt they have much of an effect on anyone with decision-making authority. This is all just my $.02, so take it for what it is....killing time until the Munsters stream!!

#95 3 months ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I'm listening to the SWL Podcast, and Dwight explained that this is a more 90's style ruleset...simpler and more "feature" based than mode based...he said when you get to a wizard mode, that's "Level 1" - if you get it again it's "Level 2" ...

Good info thanks. I was actually just thinking the other day a throwback rules game would be kind of cool.

-16
#96 3 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

I also find the double standard interesting. It is okay to criticize companies and the people who work there, but, god forbid someone from the industry comments back or disagrees, and it becomes "how dare you say something or disagree with the people who buy games".

there is a big difference between disagreeing and treating your customers poorly or talking smack about them (publicly or privately behind their back) all while making excuses for a game that lacks polish. You try and down play the pinball communities understanding of what it takes to code and what expectations we can rightfully have by making it sound like we are all complete morons and dont even understand the difference between a personal "want" for a game and a game with scoring bugs, songs that cut out mid play, wizard modes with inserts that sit uncoded, and even the simple reality that often business dictates that a game did not sell well enough or there is no incentive to finish code as it was intended so coders just leave the game unfinished.

I hope you can step back and realize how ludicrous it is to have any insert on a playfield not coded into a game. If the coder has decided to go a different way then the obvious answer is that the company needs to figure out their cycle time better and ensure they actually have the basic code framework fully mapped BEFORE they release the damn game and before they build out 1000 blank playfields.

You really are not coming off well as a representative of AP and it comes off as talkin gdown to all us dummies you are so kindly gracing with your presence. It really sounds like we all need to have clear expectations that any game you put out with AP could possibly change directions post production and inserts could go uncoded, a feature not used, and gameplay goes a different direction.

Sorry but to most of us, if a game comes out with an insert... it damn well better have some code associated with it, or we are going to rightfully see the game as unfinished (or in your case I guess just the cop out that things went in a different direction).

Good luck on Oktoberfest. You are fighting an uphill battle with the theme already. It will be interesting to see if you really do that the constructive feedback the community has given about your code. I think it could be a great game (I like the layout and think the them could be fun), but it will firmly reside on how well the code gets "polished" that decides the fate of your sophomore attempt.

#97 3 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Sorry but to most of us, if a game comes out with an insert... it damn well better have some code associated with it, or we are going to rightfully see the game as unfinished (or in your case I guess just the cop out that things went in a different direction).

I dont believe this is true it all. The vast majority of pinball owners couldn't tell you if they have a game that has an uncoded insert. Even fewer could tell you what each insert is for and when it comes on.

#98 3 months ago

Option A. Shallow code

Option B. Deep code

I don’t get why anyone would root for Option A in a HUO pin

The deeper the better. Thank you Keefer and Lyman

And the rest of the coders that work their asses off to make the big bucks

#99 3 months ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I'm listening to the SWL Podcast, and Dwight explained that this is a more 90's style ruleset...simpler and more "feature" based than mode based...he said when you get to a wizard mode, that's "Level 1" - if you get it again it's "Level 2" ...so, don't think of the Wizard mode you'll never see like Valinor...sounds like it'll be more like Monster Bash where it's attainable for good players, but with something different each time you get to it. He also said Ball Save is off by default. So - this is meant to be more of an Iron Man/Tron kick-your-butt & play again game...so setting it up tough and steep will probably alleviate any "problem" if someone finds the game too easy.

This sounds very TAF like, and that sounds cool to me!

13
#100 3 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Option A. Shallow code
Option B. Deep code
I don’t get why anyone would root for Option A in a HUO pin

Because sometimes it can feel more like:

Option A. Long slog to feel any kind of accomplishment

Option B. Fun game without a huge time commitment

I respect Keefer hugely, but his style of games don't appeal to me for instance, I'd just look at them and then walk over to something more basic because I didn't feel like trying for that epic 45 minute to an hour game.

The truth is that simple games can still have depth and fun if there are multiple was to approach them and enjoy them. I'm less worried about shallow vs depth than I am about multiple ways to play vs linear. I would never own a GB for instance, I strongly dislike the mode ladder system and hearing Who Brought The Dog over and over. Same reason why Capcom's Airborne is annoying, you have to play it the same way every time.

TNA is a good modern example of a simple game with return value, but a lot of the classic 90s BW hold their value for the same reason.

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