(Topic ID: 330452)

Highest production cost games of the DMD era?

By Haymaker

1 year ago


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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by vikingerik
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    There are 124 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 1 year ago
    Quoted from FalconDriver:

    Imagine having just another ten years of that concept being made. Or whatever number years if it was to continue. Awful.

    I’m not so sure it would have been awful. RFM is a pretty sweet game these days with all the contributions from modders. Most notably Applejuice.

    Ten years for them to dial in the tech and perfect the code themselves could have turned out really interesting.

    And there’s also the Bally Williams would still be around making new pinballs thing.

    #102 1 year ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    Only one I have at the moment.
    [quoted image]

    The 'right' answer, for those not so familiar with engineering, is more than just raw parts. What makes the crane 'complex' isn't the mechs per se but the control and engineering tolerances that factor in. This would have been more difficult for a company like Data East Pinball in 1993* than Stern today. R2D2 doesn't need to worry about that, the movement is vertical and the weight is balanced. If he wobbles a bit, it makes no difference. But LAH was the first time anything like the crane had really been attempted in a pinball environment, and it wasn't going to be perfect. It needs to be strong for the long horizontal length and ball hanging off the end not to act as a pivot. More important are the control switches that tell the mech how and when to start and stop - if those fail for any reason, the motor may decide not to switch off and keep trying to push the crane past the start or end point. That's where the burnout risk would lie.

    (*One reason: in order to stay competitive with Williams, Data East had to beat them to the punch with a number of 'industry firsts' with fewer resources to spare. First 'solid state' flippers, first DMD, first sound board to replace the Yamaha synth. According to the IPDB, the first DMD was put on Checkpoint instead of Simpsons because if the new display had been rushed and failed to be reliable, management were concerned it would bankrupt the company.)

    #103 1 year ago

    Big Bang Bar.

    LTG : )

    #104 1 year ago
    Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

    the motor may decide not to switch off and keep trying to push the crane past the start or end point. That's where the burnout risk would lie.

    The motor setup is the same as Williams/Bally Addams Family "THING" Hand magnet assembly.
    As is the same as the motor on Que Ball Wizard. The motor is set up to oscillates back and forth.
    The hard part is to make sure the crane is at each limit end point when it tries to read the
    stop mini micro switches.

    #105 1 year ago
    Quoted from vec-tor:

    The motor setup is the same as Williams/Bally Addams Family "THING" Hand magnet assembly.
    As is the same as the motor on Que Ball Wizard. The motor is set up to oscillates back and forth.
    The hard part is to make sure the crane is at each limit end point when it tries to read the
    stop mini micro switches.

    Right, the individual parts aren't new but the level at which they're being asked to perform is. That small turning circle at the motor point becomes a giant arc at the end. CBW has the giant cue but it's decoration. The arc is that of the kicker coil, and it doesn't need to be quite so accurate as long as it still goes back and forth. Same with T2's cannon.

    -3
    #106 1 year ago
    Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

    The 'right' answer, for those not so familiar with engineering, is more than just raw parts. What makes the crane 'complex' isn't the mechs per se but the control and engineering tolerances that factor in. This would have been more difficult for a company like Data East Pinball in 1993* than Stern today. R2D2 doesn't need to worry about that, the movement is vertical and the weight is balanced. If he wobbles a bit, it makes no difference. But LAH was the first time anything like the crane had really been attempted in a pinball environment, and it wasn't going to be perfect. It needs to be strong for the long horizontal length and ball hanging off the end not to act as a pivot. More important are the control switches that tell the mech how and when to start and stop - if those fail for any reason, the motor may decide not to switch off and keep trying to push the crane past the start or end point. That's where the burnout risk would lie.
    (*One reason: in order to stay competitive with Williams, Data East had to beat them to the punch with a number of 'industry firsts' with fewer resources to spare. First 'solid state' flippers, first DMD, first sound board to replace the Yamaha synth. According to the IPDB, the first DMD was put on Checkpoint instead of Simpsons because if the new display had been rushed and failed to be reliable, management were concerned it would bankrupt the company.)

    1) I engineered fuel injection and turbocharger systems, I might know a little bit about engineering. I also build wiring harnesses and various pinball mechs from scratch, for fun.

    2) The post above is borderline embarrassing, just tell us you dislike Data East directly and I'd have more respect.

    The T-Rex mech in Jurassic Park which was released before LAH is far more complex than the crane. All the crane does is bang stop at one limit switch and reverse course to the other limit switch (which pretty much describes the T-Rex L/R animation when ball capture is not in play) at which point it simply releases the ball. The tolerances are of minor account because all the crane has to do is bang back and forth till it hits a switch. Crane too tall or too short? Loosen set screw on shaft to adjust. It's pinball, complication is bad for operators.

    There is no voodoo magic engineering here. 2 switches, 1 coil and a synchronous motor, it's practically caveman tech. The same door open/door closed motor and switch routine was used on Phantom of the Opera in 1990.

    I'll simply assume you have never laid hands on either physical pin or dislike for DE has clouded your judgement or both.

    Your argument is easily refuted by anyone who has serviced & repaired a LAH, SW or JP pin in any depth.

    Done.

    #107 1 year ago

    No offence intended; I was answering for the benefit of the non-engineers in the thread, citing company history that's easy to find (from Joe Keenan), and giving the example of the mathematical considerations and safety margins involved when designing such an object and the environment it has to work with, since we know an entire playfield is subject to tolerances and they all add up, and that any device is only as bullet-proof as its weakest part. That's going to be the microswitches here. (Safety margins are always heavily on my mind when I'm designing a whole playfield and all the interactions, I have to assume everything on it can flex and move.) The crane may operate on easy core principles and stock mechanics but the *application* of what it's doing and the 'wow' factor on the player is still quite ambitious for summer '93. At the same time over at Williams, European distros were able to get the Deadworld crane on Judge Dredd nerfed by citing its *potential* for failure (though the engineers knew damn well they just didn't like it).

    First pin I ever owned was a Data East Star Wars actually. Had it for several years before I moved to Wales. Still think it's the best SW pin ever.

    #108 1 year ago

    I would guess STTNG by far

    Here is an interesting recent article about the development side-thanks for Roger!

    https://www.thecompanion.app/2022/04/27/star-trek-tng-pinball/

    #109 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    I would guess STTNG by far
    Here is an interesting recent article about the development side-thanks for Roger!
    https://www.thecompanion.app/2022/04/27/star-trek-tng-pinball/

    Awesome article. I could totally believe STTNG is the most expensive ever

    10
    #110 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    arguing about who sent games from the factory at 50 cents a play first 42 years later. Maybe it was Black Knight...maybe it was Black Hole...regardless, we aren't gonna get the definitive answer from 42-year old flyers, memos to distributors, or stories from old men who were on the scene back then

    Apparently, I qualify as an "old man who was on the scene back then" and I will remind everyone that the game pricing was territory-dependent. Williams was the company that made the most noise about increasing play pricing, even back in the 1960s, but it amounts to "air cover" for the real argument where the sales rep for the distributor tries to convince the operator to try the higher pricing. In New England, where I operated pinball, the metro Boston locations went to higher prices before the routes in remote Northern NH and Maine. Similar arguments applied to per-play pricing on jukeboxes. That said, the distrib would pick a default pricing when placing the bulk order to the factory, and many operators wouldn't bother to ask for something different. For example, Rowe-Trimount Distributing placing their order to Gottlieb for the first run of Black Hole could have said, "give us 400 at 50-cent pricing and 10 at 25-cent pricing," where the 10 were pre-ordered by certain operators who insisted that their route's players would not spend 50 cents a game. The 400 would be for operators who didn't specify (which is why I said "default" above) or were ready to go for 50-cent pricing. In this thread, that would trigger people to say that Black Hole "shipped with 50-cent pricing" even though there are nuances.
    .................David Marston

    #111 1 year ago

    For me, it was being able to install the dollar bill accepter into the coindoor assembly.
    I was trying to get customers to put in dollar bills rather than quarters. Best bargains
    was three dollars or more.

    #112 1 year ago

    Listening to an old episode of Topcast where Clay was interviewing Jon Norris I noticed a couple interesting tidbits:

    1. According to Jon, Gottlieb's nail in the coffin was a huge investment in some sort of gambling kiosks that didn't pan out. Management seemed to big a big problem in the later years of the company

    2. They costed out "hundreds" of dollars of stuff from Waterworld. That game still has a lot of stuff in it, especially for a System 3 game. I'd be willing to say, at this point, Stargate was the most expensive Gottlieb at least.

    In another interview with John Osbourne he talked about how expensive Haunted House had to be, which I guess is no shocker. I wonder where it stacks up in the list, especially if you accounted for inflation over 13 years

    #113 1 year ago
    Quoted from Haymaker:

    Listening to an old episode of Topcast where Clay was interviewing Jon Norris I noticed a couple interesting tidbits:
    1. According to Jon, Gottlieb's nail in the coffin was a huge investment in some sort of gambling kiosks that didn't pan out. Management seemed to big a big problem in the later years of the company

    They invested before having deals locked down trying to follow William's. William's did their homework here and the groundwork was laid beforehand.

    There was something else about legislation and maybe zones of operation but my memory is fuzzy.

    #114 1 year ago

    HH must have easily been one of gotlieb’s most expensive BOM pins, especially if it was costed out by the pound, lol

    Quoted from Haymaker:

    Listening to an old episode of Topcast where Clay was interviewing Jon Norris I noticed a couple interesting tidbits:
    1. According to Jon, Gottlieb's nail in the coffin was a huge investment in some sort of gambling kiosks that didn't pan out. Management seemed to big a big problem in the later years of the company
    2. They costed out "hundreds" of dollars of stuff from Waterworld. That game still has a lot of stuff in it, especially for a System 3 game. I'd be willing to say, at this point, Stargate was the most expensive Gottlieb at least.
    In another interview with John Osbourne he talked about how expensive Haunted House had to be, which I guess is no shocker. I wonder where it stacks up in the list, especially if you accounted for inflation over 13 years

    #115 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    I would guess STTNG by far
    Here is an interesting recent article about the development side-thanks for Roger!
    https://www.thecompanion.app/2022/04/27/star-trek-tng-pinball/

    How did you see the article? Link goes to "page not found" message. Looks like a yearly subscription is required to access?

    #116 1 year ago
    Quoted from majorrager:

    How did you see the article? Link goes to "page not found" message. Looks like a yearly subscription is required to access?

    A pity, I was able to read it earlier.

    Had a really nice quote from Steve about how good it was to work with a partner who let them do their thing (after sorting some personnel out who were in the way). Said something like we don't know how to make TV shows, and you don't know how to make pinball, so let's each do what we're good at.

    Struck me as the opposite of the Bond license nonsense.

    #117 1 year ago

    It was a great read !

    1 week later
    #118 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinmister:

    I would guess STTNG by far
    Here is an interesting recent article about the development side-thanks for Roger!
    https://www.thecompanion.app/2022/04/27/star-trek-tng-pinball/

    https://www.thecompanion.app/star-trek-tng-pinball/
    Found the correct URL!

    #119 1 year ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Black Knight was the first game to ship default/minimum 50¢ to my understanding.
    I thought Gary Stern sent out that open letter to operators in 1979-80 with meteor imploring them to switch to 3-balls and 50 cents a game in order to survive?

    And WPT should be the first $0.75 game. It might as well have been Steve sending that letter out for WPT. I think he pushed hard for it.

    #120 1 year ago

    Well I discovered why Stargate was so expensive to develop: they shitcanned the prototype and started again from scratch. I'm hearing that with toys, the lift ramp and the lower playfield added, Gottlieb's conservative production run estimates would have costed the completed prototype at around $8000 per unit sale in 1994. Whether that's true or not I think they made the right call; it looks way more fun at first glance but scrutinise it and the flow looks goddamn awful.

    https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2847&picno=67322&zoom=1

    #121 1 year ago
    Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

    Well I discovered why Stargate was so expensive to develop: they shitcanned the prototype and started again from scratch. I'm hearing that with toys, the lift ramp and the lower playfield added, Gottlieb's conservative production run estimates would have costed the completed prototype at around $8000 per unit sale in 1994. Whether that's true or not I think they made the right call; it looks way more fun at first glance but scrutinise it and the flow looks goddamn awful.
    https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2847&picno=67322&zoom=1

    It sold not to long ago

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/for-sale-stargate-prototype-whitewood-game

    #122 1 year ago
    Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

    Well I discovered why Stargate was so expensive to develop: they shitcanned the prototype and started again from scratch. I'm hearing that with toys, the lift ramp and the lower playfield added, Gottlieb's conservative production run estimates would have costed the completed prototype at around $8000 per unit sale in 1994. Whether that's true or not I think they made the right call; it looks way more fun at first glance but scrutinise it and the flow looks goddamn awful.
    https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=2847&picno=67322&zoom=1

    Cool information Dave, thank you for sharing. 8k in 1994 holy crap! Thats over 16k today.

    #123 1 year ago

    STTNG does not surprise me. It’s packed. But I do wonder about WH2O. Obviously no licence fees or voice actors, but 6 plastic ramps, two wire forms and the boulder set. Each of the plastics needs an injection mould which is an upfront cost. Then there’s the subway, upper playfield and yeti mechanism. Very much a different type of build.

    #124 1 year ago

    Yeah, Whitewater would have big up-front costs but not so bad on per-unit costs. It needs a ton of plastic molds, but then not a ton of stuff to assemble, there's only two kickers besides the standard stuff (plunger/flippers/slingshots/bumpers), no diverters or drop targets or anything else that moves.

    There are 124 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 3.

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