(Topic ID: 9645)

Everything about pinball has progressed over the years.....except the art work


By thedarkknight77

9 years ago



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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Aurich
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    There are 87 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 9 years ago

    I love many new pinball titles from a playability & DMD perspective, but I just do not like the art work? Am I the only one in this boat? The Photoshopped crap imagery just doesn't look good on a pinball...........With the exception of cartoon titles like Simpsons & Family Guy. Even the "3D" Tron back glass sucked compared to games like Phantom, Paragon, Centaur, Sea Witch, Lost World, TZ, CV, MB, SS.......I could go on and on. I wish they would go back to the older style of the 70's-90's, where you actually pay a real artist to come up with something creative.

    #2 9 years ago

    Nothing produced over the last 10-15yrs compares to the artwork of the 70's and 80's especially the old gottliebs. The artwork on them is just that Truely Artwork not the photoshopped crap or really bad pics of TV idols staring at you.....hard to get pumped to play a machine with Hasselhoff smilin' at ya!!!!

    #3 9 years ago

    I would say artwork regressed. Paul Feris did the artwork for Phantom, I also really love what he did on hook as it is a beautiful game. The sideart on twister is his as well and looks pretty sweet, but the pf's really go down hill after Batman Forever.

    #4 9 years ago

    hard to get pumped to play a machine with Hasselhoff smilin' at ya!!!!

    I picture women running down the beach to save me.

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    #5 9 years ago

    Today's artwork is photoshopped crap, no doubt. No imagination whatsoever. Some 70's and 80's art was very good, but later B/W titles like FT and MM were equally stunning.

    #6 9 years ago
    Quoted from mystic:

    I picture women running down the beach to save me.

    You sir have must possess one hell of an imagination, Me, I picture myself running from the pic of the Hoff!!!!

    #7 9 years ago

    Agreed.I think the Bally/Williams 90's stuff is good,but the 70's stuff is iconic.I always chuckle when a new Stern comes out and somebody sez it looks great.I'm like compared to what?The game before it...certainly not the classic 70's,80's, 90's stuff.Fireball or WoF.....come on now,really?Scott

    #8 9 years ago

    I agree. photoshop is not art.

    #9 9 years ago

    Video games are no different. Mario is art (making limited pixels look good), now everything is texture mapped polygons. Once in a while (crash bandicoot), you get at least a descent character development

    #10 9 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Video games are no different. Mario is art (making limited pixels look good), now everything is texture mapped polygons. Once in a while (crash bandicoot), you get at least a descent character development

    Download "Braid", this will blow your mind away. I still agree with you though. Castlevania 10 (PS1) will always be #1 for me. Now that I mention it, Castlevania would be an awesome pinball game for Stern to go after.

    #11 9 years ago

    You cannot beat hand drawn mirrored backglass.........so yes, the backglasses are not in the same league now.

    #12 9 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    I love many new pinball titles from a playability & DMD perspective, but I just do not like the art work? Am I the only one in this boat? The Photoshopped crap imagery just doesn't look good on a pinball...........With the exception of cartoon titles like Simpsons & Family Guy. Even the "3D" Tron back glass sucked compared to games like Phantom, Paragon, Centaur, Sea Witch, Lost World, TZ, CV, MB, SS.......I could go on and on. I wish they would go back to the older style of the 70's-90's, where you actually pay a real artist to come up with something creative.

    I totally agree, especially with the titles you have listed. This is one of the reasons I prefer 90's B/W titles over newer Sterns. Outside of the cartoon themes, Stern has done a poor job with the artwork. They would never do anything as cool as the artwork on Devils Dare, Gorgar, Xenon or a Haunted house which I think holds up to art from any era. For me a pin is more than a game, it is or should be a work of art. BTW, MB ,SS and EATPM are the three most beautiful games(IMHO) of all time, which drew me into those titles, with their artwork alone. I think Stern underestimates the value of quality art, which I'm hoping JJP doesn't make that mistake.

    #13 9 years ago

    Think of what kinda of pins are coming out now. Most are licensed themes and the originality of doing something that hasn't been done before is limited. They are trying to meet the criteria of what makes that license popular, movie scenes, cramming every character from a series on the backglass, etc.

    #14 9 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    I love many new pinball titles from a playability & DMD perspective, but I just do not like the art work? Am I the only one in this boat? The Photoshopped crap imagery just doesn't look good on a pinball...........With the exception of cartoon titles like Simpsons & Family Guy. Even the "3D" Tron back glass sucked compared to games like Phantom, Paragon, Centaur, Sea Witch, Lost World, TZ, CV, MB, SS.......I could go on and on. I wish they would go back to the older style of the 70's-90's, where you actually pay a real artist to come up with something creative.

    I completely agree. It really is the most criticized part of new pins for the most part, on a consistent basis. I'd sure like to see a big improvement in this area.

    #15 9 years ago

    You are 100% right!!

    #16 9 years ago

    In somewhat defense of photoshop, pinball art has always reflected the pop culture and method of its time, and photoshopped art is no exception. We are in the age of photoshop.

    Pop culture is mass-produced, meaning it is very cost-conscious (seeks to shave pennies per unit which translates to thousands/millions in mass production).

    Every age calls its pop art "art", while subsequent ages are considered "junk". I have an art book from 1971 that has a chapter which calls into question all the pop art of that era and whether it truly is art. Likely written by middle age and older folks, it talks about how WW2 art, art deco, etc. are all so much better than the art of the 60s, which included the streamlined/outer space look, pointy people and so on. Movements many nowadays consider "classic" and "retro".

    The problem with using old techniques on new games is you will get a new game that looks 30+ years old. Incidentally, that is my biggest argument against the DMD. It doesn't matter at all that it's "functional". I don't play pinball because it's "functional", but to be entertained. The geriatric DMD makes brand new games look dated the moment they're turned on. Really, a massive part of the artist's roll should be rolled into "animator" with the emphasis on what appears on a big beautiful LCD. My opinion only of course.

    1 year later
    #17 7 years ago

    I have a Devils dare ! Find a picture of mine, or another one and you will see what he means and he is right on !!

    #18 7 years ago

    It's 100% cost and time driven imo. Every game is licensed and licenses are more protected now than ever. To redraw existing characters and items you have to get the asset holders approval and the likeness approval (ie the actor). This is expensive and time consuming so it's a hell of a lot easier to use stock photos that are already released and approved for promo work by the studio and the actors (ie tron backglass = dvd cover) and just have the permission to cut it up slap it on a pinball machine.

    #19 7 years ago

    I think the licensed games are really the issue. When was the last time we've seen a non-license game? It's probably been at least 10 years....only Stern I can think of is High Roller. Artwork on that one isn't bad at all. Be great so see someone have the balls to be creative and come out with a new unlicensed game today.

    #20 7 years ago

    Custom artwork is super expensive (I am an artist I would know ) so companies are almost always going to go for what saves money. I know JPOP will come up with some amazing artwork for his pin, but that doesn't matter a whole lot in the scheme of the future of pinball. If STERN saw a huge return from using custom artwork I am sure they would go for it, but I am not sure it is going to make that big of a difference whether ops or home owners buy a machine or not. Sure it will matter for some, but not most. Gameplay is king. I think code is more of an issue than artwork.

    *EDIT* and just a note, I would freaking love for games to go back to the great artwork of the 70's-90's. Metallica is the only machine that has really appealed to my artistic side in many years.

    #21 7 years ago

    actually I guess the MM remake counts...and see how well that one is selling?

    #22 7 years ago

    MET!

    #23 7 years ago

    I agree. Even with SS machines which are technologically advanced I still feel like it's similar to, I dunno, having photos of people in comics or a classic car with added fins, trims and glow lights.

    Just doesn't seem to fit.

    I think photoshopped or even modern esque art would fit only on a pin with lcd screens and made from something other than wood.

    Love most EM's and Bally art. Superb.

    #24 7 years ago

    the main reason for all the photoshop is that nearly all machines now are licensed themes, which means two things: 1) tons of art already exists for that property, reducing the need to create original art, and 2) creating original art is much more difficult because it must be approved by the owner of the property you're licensing. those two combined with the extra cost involved result in significant disincentive to do so.

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from resipsa:

    I think the licensed games are really the issue.

    Amazes me we have not seen some unlicensed games pop up once and a while. There are plenty of non-licensed games at the top of the list (MM, AFM, TOTAN, FT, WH2O, CV, TOM, CC, FH). I can understand that if you are putting a game in a movie theatre, then theme is key to get people to play it, but given the size of the collector market, would love for them to try a non-licensed theme that has great art, great play, great sound. With the money saved on the license there is a little more that can go to art and programming. I am willing to bet that plenty of the folks here would be willing to give a non-licensed theme the same chance as a licensed one -- maybe I'm wrong, but I'd like to think so.

    #26 7 years ago

    The only licensed theme pin in my line up is Doctor Who and it has drawn art. Photoshopped pins don't do it for me. Have passed three times on a LOTR. I like the game play, but the art package just kills it for me.
    We need more original art/themes back in the hobby dammit! We have been saying this for years and Stern has ignored us. Now when a 16+ year old pin with an original theme and art gets remade, the pinworld goes nuts. Maybe Stern will figure it out.

    Edit I forgot about my WOZLE (cuz it ain't here yet), but still, has a good art package

    #28 7 years ago
    Quoted from jonnyo:

    In somewhat defense of photoshop, pinball art has always reflected the pop culture and method of its time, and photoshopped art is no exception. We are in the age of photoshop.
    Pop culture is mass-produced, meaning it is very cost-conscious (seeks to shave pennies per unit which translates to thousands/millions in mass production).

    Yep. Raven is reflective of its time. Stern photoshop jobs are too.
    I'm sure Metallica will look much better 20 years from now than any of the other Stern titles IMO, which will probably age as well as the photo Gottlieb SS machines from the late 80s.

    #29 7 years ago

    On another note it's not just necessarily the main artwork that detracts. The first thing the missus said when Metallica was released and I showed her a picture of original artwork?

    "That's a Stern right? They all look the same."

    Layout, sometimes too much junk and even with different icons, even inserts seeming identical across machines.

    Not Stern bashing btw, just the nature of the modern beast of pinball. Also despite this she LOVED playing Avengers

    Ps. Not all hand drawn art is viewed greatly *cough my pin cough*

    #30 7 years ago

    Among recent pins - or prototypes, two of them are way better than the current production: Nemo and Wrath of Olympus. Nemo - I saw it "live" last week end - is the most beautiful pin I have ever seen. WoZ is far from bad either. I don't like MET artwork but it is a step in the right direction.

    So I would not say current pins are uglier than before. Remember that you are citing the best of the best from the 80's and 70's. There were very ugly ones from the same period... Remember Raven or LAH

    #31 7 years ago
    Quoted from rosh:

    Amazes me we have not seen some unlicensed games pop up once and a while. There are plenty of non-licensed games at the top of the list (MM, AFM, TOTAN, FT, WH2O, CV, TOM, CC, FH). I can understand that if you are putting a game in a movie theatre, then theme is key to get people to play it, but given the size of the collector market, would love for them to try a non-licensed theme that has great art, great play, great sound. With the money saved on the license there is a little more that can go to art and programming. I am willing to bet that plenty of the folks here would be willing to give a non-licensed theme the same chance as a licensed one -- maybe I'm wrong, but I'd like to think so.

    We're in the era where Stern/JJP need hype and sales before the game comes out and has a chance to be played - so they need strong, iconic licenses to get people talking and buying. See how fast Metallica LE sold out? Would it have sold out if it was a non-licensed "Gary Stern & The Headbanging Metalballs"? Who's trying to hunt down "Al G's Garage Band"? No one...but "Guns 'n Roses"? Very desirable. Sure, some licenses in the past have made us scratch our heads -but Stern and JJP are only doing things that are iconic...things that resonate. Marvel properties, iconic rock bands, iconic fantasy and sci-fi ...people love these themes. We're not in the era of movie-for-the-sake-of-movie (Shadow, Congo, etc) or random TV shows (24, CSI, WOF) ...so on that level, at least the licenses are better because they mean something to people.

    #32 7 years ago

    Of course licensed themes can work both ways. I am sure there are at ton of folks who won't even consider a game, no matter how great the play might be, if they have a dislike for the theme. But I guess from Stern's perspective, if they can get a ton of folks to buy based on theme, without having even seen the game, then I guess having the right licensed theme almost guarantees some level of profit, even if the game totally stinks.

    I guess era's move quickly, since 24, CSI and WOF were not that long ago, I'm guessing less the five or six years.

    Agree it is at least nice that we are not seeing a ton of games based on second rate movies.

    Regardless, would love to see them at least try it (unlicensed theme) once ever few years. Lets see some real creativity from designers. I bet some of them would like that chance.

    #33 7 years ago

    Look what CFTBL did... This is what the licensed pins should be doing. If the actor likenesses are the issue, don't use them. The machine has some of the best art in pinball.

    Incidentally I've never been a fan of the playfield art on MM. Too much text and inserts, almost no characters.

    Jurassic Park has awesome art but it does use likenesses. If Stern could do it in the 90s as DE why can't they do it now?

    #34 7 years ago

    I definitely agree to a certain degree.

    While I don't hate all of the present day art, most of it is forgettable and sometimes even off-putting to me. With that said, there is an "art" to making even these newer photoshopped pins look good, or at least tasteful. For example, the new ST art isn't my favorite, but it is much more aesthetically pleasing than it could be if they really didn't care about the art at all.

    And, I must say, I'm not even a fan of Metallica as a band (except for a phase in high school) really anymore, but the artwork on the MET makes me actually want to play it when I thought I would have no interest in the theme originally. But I would say that is the only newer pin that I really enjoy the artwork on.

    #35 7 years ago

    Often times the license holder gives you a disc of approved art, and you just have to work with it.

    So all you see on the machine is the "movie poster art" because that is what is allowed.

    Metallica was a refreshing change, but they came equipped with their own artist - that does not happen too often (unless Maiden comes with Riggs in tow....).

    #36 7 years ago
    Quoted from dung:

    I would say artwork regressed. Paul Feris did the artwork for Phantom, I also really love what he did on hook as it is a beautiful game. The sideart on Twister is his as well and looks pretty sweet, but the pf's really go down hill after Batman Forever.

    Yes I agree. New pinballs in the last 10 years have been a license. I was so glad to see what Metallica did with their game. When I look at my STTNG and see hand drawn art on the playfield, it makes me happy. The ultimate license, Star Trek, still found a way to have art on it (and a cheesy translight).

    #37 7 years ago

    Not all "art work" was great back then

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    #38 7 years ago
    Quoted from rosh:

    I am sure there are at ton of folks who won't even consider a game, no matter how great the play might be, if they have a dislike for the theme.

    I'm one of them. No names,but loath some themes.

    #39 7 years ago
    Quoted from chalkup8:

    I'm one of them. No names,but loath some themes.

    Even original games are "themes". How many people hate Fish Tales & Roadshow because they're "redneck themes"? Original is no guarantee that it will please everyone.

    #40 7 years ago

    In terms of licensed themes, I would take modern Stern photoshop art over DataEast hand drawn crap (JP, TFTC, LAH, etc). I avoided DE pretty much because their art was horrible.

    #41 7 years ago

    I enjoyed the old school art as much as the next guy, but it's not possible now. And I'm fine with that. You don't play the art. You also don't play the display.

    A good music themed game (AC/DC) turned up loud is a way better attract mode than any art or fancy display. People can hear a game from much farther away than they can see one.

    #42 7 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    I enjoyed the old school art as much as the next guy, but it's not possible now.

    Except that's utter nonsense. Stern just doesn't give a f---, that's all. I hoped that after all the positive response Metallica's art got that they would pay attention. They hired Greg Freres, who did some of my favorite pins of all time (he's no small part of the reason I own Scared Stiff and Elvira and the Party Monsters) and I got hopeful. Then I saw Star Trek and ... I mean, it's not terrible or anything. But it's pretty seriously uninspired, and the cheesy bevel control panel at the bottom is kinda awful.

    Maybe next time, I'll try and stay positive. At least nothing can look worse than the LOTR playfield right? Right?

    #43 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    . They hired Greg Freres, who did some of my favorite pins of all time (he's no small part of the reason I own Scared Stiff and Elvira and the Party Monsters)

    Yep, me too!!!!! the artwork is as important as any feature on those pins.

    #44 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Except that's utter nonsense. Stern just doesn't give a f---, that's all. I hoped that after all the positive response Metallica's art got that they would pay attention. They hired Greg Freres, who did some of my favorite pins of all time (he's no small part of the reason I own Scared Stiff and Elvira and the Party Monsters) and I got hopeful. Then I saw Star Trek and ... I mean, it's not terrible or anything. But it's pretty seriously uninspired, and the cheesy bevel control panel at the bottom is kinda awful.
    Maybe next time, I'll try and stay positive. At least nothing can look worse than the LOTR playfield right? Right?

    Why does LOTR look so bad to you? It's one of Stern's better playfields. I've even had professional artists as jaded as you and I come over - they look at LOTR and say "what a beautiful game". Wanna see shitty - look at a 24!!!

    #45 7 years ago

    Except for JJP, nothing has really progressed, not just the artwork. 20 years ago, Ford made an Escort. If Ford were to make an Escort today with LED head and tail lamps with nothing else different, that would be a great comparison to pinball.

    #46 7 years ago

    I honestly think that great art on pins stopped after 1983 or so. Even the B/W titles of the 90's are hit and miss. CFTBL, TOM, IJ, and some others are exceptions.

    There was a Medusa at Expo this year, and it was just a beautiful pin to look at. Jpop's games were very well done...

    #47 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Why does LOTR look so bad to you? It's one of Stern's better playfields. I've even had professional artists as jaded as you and I come over - they look at LOTR and say "what a beautiful game". Wanna see shitty - look at a 24!!!

    The print quality. Blurry, smeared, washed out or crushed color dots the size of lentils. It's not the design so much as the quality. The printing on a box of Count Chocula just trumps the effort they put into that. It's like someone with a 20 year old inkjet offered to do it for cheap and Gary gave him a high five. I just can't not see it when I look at that pin! :p

    #48 7 years ago

    the art on a game is a part of what made me fall in love with the game as a kid. it was the 70's and pinball was every where. the king of pinball was gottlieb. wow! the games were so wonderful to look at and to play. bally,williams and Chicago coin games were around also and all had some great titles with great art but gottlieb was the king. to this day I enjoy staring at the old games and marveling at them almost as much as playing them. some people will travel half way around the world just to see fine art. I prefer to admire a wedge head,i could spend hours just standing in front of a game. bathed in the warm glow of its light admiring its beauty. volley is my mona lisa.

    #49 7 years ago
    Quoted from Methos:

    I honestly think that great art on pins stopped after 1983 or so.

    Seriously? I mentioned these two already, but EATPM is one of my favorites of all time, against any era. 1989. And Scared Stiff is awesome. Great art with a super unique multi-layered 3D translite? 1996. Pinball art definitely didn't die in 1984.

    #50 7 years ago

    This is the biggest problem, for me, with Stern... The art work on a lot of the Stern machine is so bad. I just couldn't spend that kind of money on a game that looks like crap... Give me Bally/Williams all day long. Need the eye candy. I like Dirty Donny's art and have thought seriously about buying a Metallica.

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