Quoted from heckheck:
Yes I know the design is set now. Trust of yours and Ted's talent IS the reason I'm still in. Being honest, it is the trust of your vision that is central here, as in it's current form, we can't see 1/10th of where you are going with the rules and software to make this game something really special. That you're passionate is a BIG plus. That you're very talented even BIGGER. In or out, I do truly look forward to playing the game.
The trouble with these early game views is that all you mostly get is a sense of the physical layout of the game. The playfield layout is important but only accounts for maybe 40% of the total game to me.
Sometimes you can get a sense of things you might not like. For instance when I saw the layout of Xmen I thought that Wolverine would cut off the left side of the playfield and on AC/DC I didn't like the way the cannon blocked the view of the right outlane. I don't see anything obvious like that in the Hobbit layout.
Pinball is essentially a target shooting game. Whenever a new game is revealed I like to count the number of shots available to each flipper. I count 16 to 17 shots from the left flipper and 18 to 19 shots from the right flipper (orbits, ramps, captive ball, targets and pop-ups). That's a lot of shots. Also, having drop targets and stand-up targets in the same location will cause the ball to react differently to the same shots.
I think a good playfield design is one that gives you plenty of things to shoot at and doesn't get in the way of the fun, like the examples above, or things like weak ramp shots that return STDM or a made shot to a scoop whose kick out drains 10% of the time. I think a good playfield design also has shot trajectories that feel smooth and make sense. Steve Ritchie is a master at this.
The rest is up to the software, sound and display guys to make the most of the available shots.
The best games also create a little world under glass that pulls you into the theme with its toys, art, models, etc...
From what's been shown so far, I would say the Hobbit has great potential. As you say, knowing that Keith and Ted are on the rules, David is on the sound and JP is on the animations leads me to believe the resulting game will be special.