(Topic ID: 77386)

Hobbit Update

By B9

6 years ago

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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by GravitaR
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#48 6 years ago

I overlaid the CAD blueprint over the whitewood shot, makes it a little easier to see how some things fit together.


#55 6 years ago

Did a quick and dirty mask job on the blueprint, just to take out some of the visual noise, I find this one easier to process.


#123 6 years ago

The low scores strike me as a design decision. Inflated scores take more digits, and thus more space on the multitasking display.

I couldn't care less, i don't compare scores between different games, it's all relative. I guess I do like that Hobbit can break a million though.

1 month later
#249 6 years ago

It's bad enough to buy a game without having played it, and only seen pictures. Now people are buying games before they even see what they look like. I hope it's effing bad ass, just tromps all over WOZ and makes everyone sit up and say DAAMMMMNN. But maybe it won't be your thing. Who the hell knows?

Stupid pre-order model, it's terrible for the hobby. I hope Jack taking financial backing will end that practice.

#258 6 years ago

Can we seriously not turn this thread into politics? Love or hate Obama it has jack all to do with pinball or The Hobbit.

#269 6 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I'll take that bet. What do you want to wager?

My bet in the Metallica thread was $50, loser donates to Pinside in the other's name. That worked out well, because the loser lost money, and Pinside won either way.

Of course chessiv is a classy dude, and put up his $50 too, so Pinside got $100 out of the entertainment.

1 month later
#556 6 years ago
Quoted from DarkWizard:

Looks like more info on this one... can anyone clean it up or extrapolate? I see some Smaugage

Just not enough detail to work with, on top of which the jpeg compression isn't helping. I laid it over the blueprint, it's blurry, but it does give you a sense of how things are shifting a bit as they work with the whitewood.


#577 6 years ago

Can you JJP fans just enjoy your games without constantly taking shots at Stern and people who buy them? You're really getting irritating. You really have no high ground here, your code took forever to get finished, and people who ordered the game 3 years ago still don't have it. So climb down off your high horses and stop being so smug. Your attitude is half the reason these ridiculous us vs them arguments always derail threads.

Keefer is great, he also coded a bunch of games from the company you can't seem to mention without grimacing, that kept pinball alive so Jack could even start his company. Let it go already.

#590 6 years ago

For the record IMHO it's equally pointless to try and belittle WOZ while talking about your Stern, be it Star Trek or otherwise. It's all pinball, stop choosing sides like you're a bunch of kids arguing about PS4 v Xbox. Lots of us would love to own both. Because we like pinball, not brands and companies.

#600 6 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I wouldn't be calling JJP a Ferrari. Far from it. It's more like GM fighting with Ford at this point. Or one might be a lexus, but neither are anywhere close to Ferrari status.

Given the electrical problems lets go with Jaguar.

#632 6 years ago

I had a really nice time playing nimblepin's WOZ last night, the 3.0 code is great, very cool game. I still don't think I want one, but it's definitely fun and different, and I would like to play it some more.

One complaint though, I found the 'heat wave' effect of the color changing inserts somewhat off putting, not sure why they made it do that. I hope Hobbit doesn't have the same issue. Star Trek certainly doesn't, so it's not a technical limitation of using those lights in inserts or anything. I'm guessing they did it on purpose?

#635 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Can you try to explain the effect? Heat wave isn't registering.

So when the lights are doing their full on fruitloop rainbow mode, just dancing through the whole spectrum over and over, they kind of "shimmer", it's like you're looking through high heat, they kind of wiggle up and down. The whole playfield almost seems to be undulating, it's a weird optical illusion.

I wondered if it was the invisiglass, if it is it's not just from one little angle, you can see it easily moving around and from normal playing angles. And it only happens when they do the full RGB spectrum changes, you can't see it during any other lighting modes.

I saw it the other night on Robert Winter's LE too, so it's definitely not just one machine (and the other people in the room see it too, not just me). They were both LEs with invisiglass though.

Anyways, I didn't really care for the effect, it was kinda of unpleasant. Not a big deal, just sort of off putting, and I'd prefer to not have it. Star Trek does nothing of the sort, but I've never seen it with invisiglass to be fair.

#637 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I have Invisiglass on my STLE and it definitely doesn't do what you are referring to.

Yeah, I kind of didn't think it was the glass, you'd think if it was capable of that kind of distortion you'd see all kind of other stuff acting weird. I think it's just how JJP did the RGB LEDs, maybe the SMDs are staggered a little or something so they shift as the colors change. I dunno if it's on purpose or a side effect of something else. Either way I hope it's not on Hobbit.

Also, to be clear, it's not a big deal, you mostly only notice it during attract mode. But when the witch flips all the lights on it is kind of annoying.

#640 6 years ago
Quoted from clg:

Just checked and it is not the invisiglass, I had always assumed it was. It happens in attract mode when the lights do their rainbow shifting thing. I suspect less colour shifting on Hobbit given the theme but I can see why they did it on WOZ.

Like I said, not a huge deal, it wouldn't stop me from buying a WOZ if I wanted one. I just don't really care for the effect. Thanks for checking though.

And yes, I doubt Hobbit is gonna have crazy rainbow cycle effects, not exactly in keeping with the theme. Star Trek shifts through the spectrum, but more slowly from one color to the next, not the same frantic rainbow look.

#641 6 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Seriously…..throw down a six pack, loosen up and it will all look the same

Actually I suspect if I stared at it too long while drunk it would make me a little woozy.

#671 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

I do not understand this statement as I always thought that JJP has access to all assets of all three movies.

Presumably you want to actually see the game you're going to buy before it ships right? Tough to do if the playfield and cabinet contains NDA'd assets.

#697 6 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

I'm an adult and do not need to hear reference to the fact that I'm playing pinball, nice shot or you lost you're ball, who cares.

I care. This is what I'm hoping Karl Urban brings to Star Trek, frankly using just movie samples is weak if you ask me.

#703 6 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

It's too bad though that some of these guys are so greedy. I know very few people want to "work for free", but you'd think some of these actors are the right age/generation that they'd think it would be "cool" to be immortalized in a pinball machine....

They've already been immortalized on the screen of a movie, I hardly think most people care about their voice coming out of some commercial arcade machine. I know it seems super cool to us, but it's just a game you stick quarters in that you hardly even see any more to most people. It's a gig, you show up for it, you get paid the going rate for a star of your caliber, that's just normal shit. It's not greed, it's what actors get paid now.

Remember, game voice work back in the STTNG days was a rare and weird thing. How many games, of any kind, had actors like that? Now a days it's super common, the games that utilize people have budgets the size of movies, and the rates have gone up. No one here is saying "hey, you bought your BBB for $4500, that's what you should sell it to me for", no reason to not give other people the same due.

#759 6 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Oftentimes the actors demand royalties even to use their voices from the movie or TV show. Hence the lack of female Simpsons characters in TSPP.

That's not how I understood it, was simply only enough money for so many voice actors on TSPP, and you got a ton of characters with the talent they did use, since they're multi-voice. Go for Marge and Lisa and you don't get that same bang for your buck.

1 week later
#976 6 years ago
Quoted from DarkWizard:

I'm still holding onto hope that they made this part before they decided to change it for the second movie.

lol, there is zero hope that it won't match the 2nd film version. Absolutely none. This is the way of licensed games.

3 weeks later
#1156 6 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

JJP mixing up their designers is a good thing, there will be more variety in their games.

I hope they mix up their coders too. Much love to Keefer, one of the best, but his games have a particular style and flavor, and it would be nice to see variety there too. I'd say the same thing if Lyman was coding every Stern too, though I know some people would love that.

#1211 6 years ago
Quoted from lordloss:

Ted is software and joe was layout design, right? Who was in charge of smaug design?

No idea who's in charge, but Matt from Back Alley confirmed he's doing the sculpt.

3 weeks later
#1337 6 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Just as a head's-up... If you think you know how this game is going to play, I promise you you do not!

I know I criticized the art, but one thing I'm not at all worried about is the rules.

#1354 6 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

The next big question on my mind is what are the toys going to be like for this game?

The next big question? That was your first big question!

#1368 6 years ago

Photoshop is just a tool, when people complain about it they're just using the name as a shorthand for a particular kind of cut and paste style.

I actually haven't looked at a bare WOZ playfield image in a while, it's interesting to go back and examine it knowing what the final product looks like:


3 months later
#1523 6 years ago

I have to admit, I'm not a fan of those sculpts. They're just too lumpy for my tastes. They look like craft fair magnets someone sculpted for Eugene's Saturday Market. Cute, and maybe fun to buy for your friend's kid who likes the Hobbit, but not the level of professional work I expect for the price of this machine.

It's not really a make or break for me, they pop up, you hit them, they go away. So okay. And hell probably able to be modded if you really care, or fully replaced even. But they are disappointing. Like the playfield it's just a "what could have been" kind of deal, but I'll wait to see it all in context.

Here's the thing: and I don't mean to bag on Matt who seems like a hard working and really solid guy. The work on WOZ and now these sculpts, they don't really fill me with confidence about Smaug. And there's really no forgiving that one. If the quality is only up the the standards of what is shown here, and that's what Jack is okay with, I'm concerned. It's gotta be bad ass. Period point blank. You can't eff up the dragon.

So I'll wait until it's revealed, but that really is make or break. For what this game costs I won't settle for something that disappoints me every time I see it. So here's hoping Matt shows some spark that these toys haven't revealed yet.

#1556 6 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

do we know who did the TWD models?

Yes. Gregory Nicotero. He's an old school zombie special effects master, and a director on TWD even. Stern really chose an excellent person to do the work.

The guy was brought up by Tom Savini and George A. Romero, you really can't ask for much of a better pedigree than that when it comes to special effects and zombies.

#1561 6 years ago

I don't think it's necessary to be overly negative, but I also don't think it helps to pretend to like something. Just be honest about what you think in a constructive way. I'm not feeling these. They don't look good to me, maybe that doesn't matter to you, it does to me.

#1650 6 years ago
Quoted from BackAlleyMatt:

On another note Smaug is looking really amazing. I am super proud of him and all the detail he has in the face. I really feel very confident that when everyone sees him they will be happy.

Looking forward to it. I'm not a big fan of the figures, they don't match my vision in my head of what they would be, but as I said they're not deal breakers, and I appreciate your explanation. If you nail Smaug I'll be the first person to admit it.

I know you're talented and work hard, and we vaguely met last year at Expo, when you were working your booth. You seem like a solid guy. I hope you don't take my honest opinions personally, but my experience with the playfield reveal was that speaking up got results. I wouldn't want to hide what I really think, because it might improve the end product (playfield fixes really helped it).

Sculpting faces is a specialized skill, not an easy thing.

#1695 6 years ago
Quoted from jsrfo:

Moving on to the current debate, how anyone can compare 1960's-ish lit bumper caps, dimestore toys and action figures on the playfield to what JJP has been doing? (Deep breath, waiting for the Pinside barrage of Fanboy remarks)

Can we please, please, just stop trotting out this tired argument?

There's really no reason why this has to be a Stern vs JJP fest. It's dumb. We all love pinball, this isn't like choosing your favorite baseball team. There's no need for blind loyalty.

Stern hired a professional to sculpt some great looking custom toys for TWD. There are no dimestore toys and action figures on the playfield. Gregory Nicotero is an industry vet, very talented, with an extensive career, and he did some beautiful work for the game.

So just stop, it's not even true.

Here's my perspective: When the Hobbit playfield was revealed there were some disappointed reactions. I was amongst them. But I didn't just whine, I tried to be constructive. I was told, just like now, "license, deal with it". But you know what? Somehow changes were made and the studio approved them, and the playfield looks better now.

I can't remember if it was Keith or Alex (guessing Alex) but someone from JJP came in and said something along the lines of "you're our customers, of course we listen to you".

So what I took away from all of that was speak up. If something could be better then say so. Because JJP might listen and then we all win.

So I'm not bashing Matt. I'm not bashing JJP. And I'm utterly uninterested in uninformed attempts to bash Stern. I just want pinball to be great.

1 week later
#1826 5 years ago

So the slingshot axes really are flat plastic?

#1835 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

Perhaps they will add decals to make it more dimensional looking?

Maybe they're just placeholders, I really hope so. Because they look awful. Frankly I'd trade pop bumper barrels for proper 3D molded axes, that's what's right in front of you.

#1870 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinchroma:

He actually provides genuine feedback because design is a core competency of his and he ALWAYS provides constructive criticism with points to be addressed. Not just "This sucks and that sucks". But makes realistic suggestions on how to fix them and as you can plainly see those criticisms were consumed and actioned where appropriate and feasible.

Said it before, say it again, JJP listening to the feedback and responding in actionable ways is a big plus.

The axes just look weird to me, because here we have a playfield full of molded 3D stuff, and the flat plastic just contrasts bizarrely.

I love the idea, I have the boogie men mod on my Scared Stiff that does that same thing, and if you've been lucky enough to play a DE King Kong (very cool game with a gorgeous mirrored backglass) they used plastic to do the sling animation too, but it was flat, running parallel to the sling plastics, and looked like it belonged there.

#1944 5 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

Now that Dutch Pinball has come out with some incredible looking artwork on a game with a licensed theme it will be harder for pinheads to accept the excuse that JJP was constrained by the license when they did the Hobbit artwork.

The lesson here is you gotta be careful when you choose your theme. Some licenses are going to handcuff you and restrict your creative freedom. Unfortunately Hobbit was one of those, and we've already gone through what that meant. No point in beating that horse any further.

Luckily JJP was able to work around some of it, but TBL to me is what pinball art should look like. And that's a purely personal thing, but seeing that hand drawn stuff just tickles the right spots for me. And I wish Hobbit could have had it.

So it goes. We haven't even seen Hobbit populated with an attract mode running, I don't think it's entirely fair to even start comparing things.

And as much as I'm super impressed with TBL, the code is a giant mystery. Hobbit has Keefer, and he's about as far from a mystery as you can get, unless you mean "how the hell does he keep creating these incredibly complicated rule sets?"

#1965 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

The difference is one is an ancient out of date asset that has minimal "value" in today's market (TBL) and the other is HOT now (Hobbit). Guess which one allows you to do pretty much whatever you want.

And? Who cares. Pick a better theme then. I'm tired of the excuses. No one put a gun to Jack's head and said "make a Hobbit pin". I love The Hobbit, but let's face it, the movies pale next to LOTR. The world would have gone on without a pin based on it, plastered with PR stills from the film and actor's faces.

As a theme for a pin it's a great idea! As a movie product it's okay. If they licensed the book instead, and did original art for it? Like Rankin Bass style? Or watercolor. Or whatever, but not photoshopped heads. Yeah, it won't have a big movie billboard on it. Tell me people wouldn't buy and play that still.

Whatever, I'm sure that wasn't an option, it's just an example, and it's too late now, I look forward to the completed project still. But companies, are you listening? F this studio promo PR photoshop shit. If your theme will require it, then stop, and pick another one. If you must do licenses, be imaginative, pick ones that will give you freedom to make something incredible. We'll buy it. Find partners who think the right way. Stern did it with Metallica, and it turned into IMHO one of the best games they've ever made.

#1997 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

While your post has merit consider this point: where would JJP have obtained his movie footage from the LCD screen had they licensed the books and not the movie?

I love hand drawn art, but we have to be reasonable in prioritizing what we want. Do we want HD movie clips or dots. I prefer LCD to DMD.

I'll be honest here, I have zero interest in watching movie clips on my pinball. This is the thing I fear most about everyone going LCD (Stern is going to also) that they're going to just show movie clips and scores. That would incredibly lame.

So JJP not having movie clips? That's a bonus, not a problem. And that doesn't mean that I expect them to create Rankin Bass style animations instead. That's just a different way to create the same issue (and crazy expensive and time consuming to boot). Don't treat the LCD like a movie screen, it's still a score display and a secondary information source. You can do cool shit on it! There are lots of ways to tackle UI and animation.

#2091 5 years ago

I'm just saying, Playmatic's Flash Dragon did this (with polaroids) back in 1986, so it's not like it's actually a new idea.


#2112 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Factory pumping out way more then those numbers the past two months on woz so the hope is it continues with hobbit

Quoted from dannunz:

I have a feeling the hobbit will go much smoother than woz. I'm looking forward to Expo!

I'm pulling for JJP on this one. Would love to see them put the WOZ issues in the rear view mirror and become a truly viable company, where they just make games and people buy them and the drama recedes to the same level as Stern, where people bitch and things break, but it's all just normal pinball.

I'm looking forward to TBL the most at Expo, but if there's a full Hobbit reveal I'm definitely pumped to see the full thing.

#2135 5 years ago
Quoted from iamabearsfan:

I have to laugh.....this is how out of it I have been at times in my life. I have seen this "TBL" acronym floating around. Didn't know what it was. Then I heard it was The Big Lebowski. Sounds like it will be a cool pin. Here is the rub, I have never even seen the movie!

Right now TBL is the new pin to beat for me. Hobbit could end up the better game for sure, but in terms of what's been teased and revealed so far? TBL is my winner. Stoked to see it in person.

1 month later
#2234 5 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Interesting to see though, here it is for those of you who missed, it's up on YouTube....

Thanks for posting that.

Such a shame that it has to be so literal. JP is obviously working with what he can and doing the best job he can, given the limitations, but it produces such a more boring end result. I've seen the movie. I own the first two Blu-Rays, I can watch them whenever I want. The studio was stupid to limit the creativity. Blending pinballs into the scenes was great. Fine, not the ring, it's "sacred", fair enough, but the first shot of the pinball knocking down goblins was hilarious.

1 week later
#2268 5 years ago
Quoted from Jam_Burglar:

I was about to say that I hope this round doesn't contain all the bitching, but then I thought, . . . wait a second, JJP seems to be responding to it by making positive changes . . . hmmmm.

Heh, I'll say this, when I saw that being (constructively!) critical brought about positive change I definitely kept it up. I have some idea of what to expect with the changes, but I'm looking forward to the actual reveal of any updates just as much as anyone else.

#2273 5 years ago
Quoted from jazc4:

Aurich, I liked the red armor you did in your SE mock up. Would be curious to see it in that red with red buttons.

I haven't seen the Smaug armor in person, they just had a bare cab with the art out at Expo (which looked great). Metallic (just had to catch myself writing Metallica!) powdercoat is really tough to photograph, so I'd withhold judgement until you see it in person personally.

I don't think the red I mocked up would work with this cabinet, I did that one with different art.

#2308 5 years ago

I dunno, I kinda want a full report on the Japanese butt slapping machines now.

#2404 5 years ago

I need some time to digest it all, but I just wanted to say this up front:

New playfield art is SO much better. JP did a kickass job fixing the empty, moody, dark and boring art. This is what it needed. Color and vibrancy and scale and impact.

Well done. And credit due to Jack and team for listening to feedback and responding, the product is better for it.

#2482 5 years ago
Quoted from BackAlleyMatt:

I am sure we will be having a meeting with Jack and crew through out this week and after Iappa to make final of whats all what and what was suggested. So at the moment to my knowledge this is a possibility.

A dark wash on the gold to bring out the details in the lines and crevices would probably be a big help. Back in my Warhammer mini painting days that's what we'd do, a chestnut wash over gold for instance, let it settle in the low areas. Otherwise you lose too much definition to the metallic color.

Glad to hear the teeth are still coming. It's like the Metallica snake, it looks like a turtle when it's defanged, you gotta have the teeth!

#2571 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Casuals don't use the extra flipper buttons on purpose.

lol, casuals. I think you were a breath away from just writing muggles.

You should make the lockdown bar button double as the Start button if the game hasn't started, just finding Start is hard for muggles casuals.

#2730 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

We're more into fun than flow.

I'm soooooo bored with the constant "flow" refrain. I have Star Trek, not a hater of fan layouts or Ritchie games, but for all that is good in pinball let's please not have every game be all about ramps that return to a flipper as fast as possible.

There are some great games with zero ramps and lots of drop targets.

#2927 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinchroma:

Elements of the game made it all the way to Peter Jackson for approval. (Or denial as ideas the case)

Yeah, Jackson was a little bitch, sorry to say. Too protective of his precious to let some dirty pinball people have a little fun. That concept video of the pinball bowling down the goblins was hilarious.

#2932 5 years ago

The original Hobbit animated film is still the canonical version for me. My kids still listen to the vinyl (ripped to MP3) version of it, the story and music are great.

#2941 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

So why did LOTR's production go so smoothly? There was never a ball going thru a ring or hitting the Balrog, yet, they're in the game. The DMD shows a ball going into the tower when you get the Tower Skill Shot. They were also given access to all 3 movies before they were released, and got Frodo and Gimli for custom voices.

Yeah, good question. Maybe no one asked Jackson last time. Or maybe he's got grumpier in his old age. Definitely funny that Balrog was allowed to be bashable but You Must Not Touch The Dragon™.

#3084 5 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

I know most guys will disagree with that but I'm done with 90's B/W's and really any of the older pins. I tried again to enjoy some older stuff and it just felt slow and dated next to STLE and TWDLE

I just like pinball.

I have 3 Sterns, 3 Bally/Williams, and 2 EMs. I enjoy them all. They all play differently, and give me difference experiences, and match different moods. Do I still put the most games on my Metallica? Yup, still love that game, no question. But it's nice to slow down and take the EM challenge too. They're not easy!

One thing that's great about the 70s Gottliebs is they're drop target heaven. Drops are just damn fun, they're satisfying to hit like nothing else. The Hobbit brings that back. Stern has been treating drops like some crazy expensive thing that you gotta pony up the serious cash to get. I miss them being a standard feature.

I want to see what Keith does with them all!

#3112 5 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

Can you pass your weed?

Hey, puff and pass, quit bogarting!

Edit: Dang new Smaug pics appeard since I had this tab open. Back on topic, let's stop talking about other games, there's new shit here.

IMHO the new gold Smaug looks great. Waaaaaay better. All gold was just too much, lost all the detail, looked weird.

#3155 5 years ago

$200 for a limited sculpt isn't out of line frankly. This isn't some Chinese mass produced toy. And it's entirely optional to buy it, so if you don't like the price, skip it!

2 weeks later
#3301 5 years ago

New playfield is a big improvement on the whole vibe of the game, looks good installed.

1 week later
#3538 5 years ago

I'm not in on Hobbit, and I haven't seen the gold powder coat in person.

But the glossy Smaug cabinet at Expo looked bad ass. That would be the one I'd have if I was buying.

2 weeks later
#3688 5 years ago
Quoted from mummite:

What's the deal with the Bag end shot now? I don't get it is there any switch in there or is it just an opening to the pops?

There's an opto in there, but other than that I have no clue.

#3746 5 years ago

Thanks for the videos. JP is doing a great job on the motion graphics. My only real concern is it's a bit ADHD right now. Boom boom boom boom, things switching, a scroll appears, starts to unroll, and then is replaced by an orc, and then immediately by Gandalf, just really fast and hyper. Curious to see how that ends up working out in practice.

2 weeks later
#4129 5 years ago

I give JJP a lot of credit for making changes. I certainly wasn't the only person voicing complaints, but I definitely feel like my voice was heard.

I think at this point we need to give them a chance to present a final vision. We all know that code makes or breaks a game, and Keefer is on the case.

Means there isn't much to talk about for now, it's "done" but not out, so I'm sure the void will get filled with something. Some hints at the modes might not hurt, JUST SAYING JACK AND KEEFER.

#4132 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I agree, I am sure that JJP has a final that is better than what we have seen so far. They know that PF improvements will directly impact more sells - so they will give it their best shot. I really doubt that what we have seen lately is the final ...

Oh I bet it is. I'm not expecting any more changes, that's not what I meant.

I'm just saying, wait until you can actually play it, or at least see a proper gameplay video like if Bowen and PAPA can do one or something. Actual modes, a sense of progression, how does the game actually play.

I don't think there's going to be some kind of surprise reveal, but they should get a chance to show a more final product before you judge it further is all I'm saying.

#4158 5 years ago
Quoted from DevilsTuner:

So this one?
If so dear God thank you lol. that other one that was baby blue looked like poo!

Yes, that one. The first rev was met with criticism and JJP responded with that, which is a huge improvement IMHO. Win for everyone.

#4195 5 years ago

Nice, teeth and pillars are looking sharp, definite improvements!

Did JJP say the eyes were going to light up, or am I making that up? It looks like maybe that idea was scrapped if so, those eyes don't look like they're able to be lit.

#4200 5 years ago
Quoted from JerseyJen:

Eyes will light up in production games

Awesome, glad to hear that feature isn't being lost. Will the eyes look different that what's posted? Like are the LEDs visible or behind something painted like those eyes?

#4241 5 years ago
Quoted from John_in_NC:

It's a shame the very cool pops got ruined by shoehorning in the book. Could have been so much nicer. I really thought three bobbing barrels would have a VERY nice touch. I guess Jack took all the crap he could take and drew a line. I don't blame him, you have to call it at some point or it'll never get built. I really hope the character barrels are made available after production. I'm sure someone can create an extender harness to move the book.

I'm confused, aren't the two barrels that were always there still there? I haven't noticed a pic without them. There just isn't a third one closest to Bag End. ?

#4258 5 years ago

I hate the "Hobbit is the heaviest game ever!" thing, but has anyone actually looked at the bottom of the playfield? It's not cheaped out. Whether or not it was wise to spend the BOM on all those actuated drop targets or not remains to be seen. This isn't a cheaped out game.

#4283 5 years ago
Quoted from DougPiranha:

I trouble having understanding what you or saying unless read twice

I read it four times and I still don't have any idea what it says.

#4285 5 years ago
Quoted from GravitaR:

I see nothing they type unless someone quotes it. Stop quoting the trolls!

If you ignore someone even their quotes are obscured, what are you talking about? It's one of the brilliant features of Pinside.

#4324 5 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNavidad:

the more modes, the better!

I disagree with that actually, I'm waiting to see what 35 actually means before being down on it though.

#4336 5 years ago
Quoted from Euchrid:

I don't get what's not to agree with "more modes is better."

More is definitely not always better. It might sound nice in theory, who doesn't want more gameplay? But in practice it's definitely not true.

If I had one complaint about Keefer's games it would be that they can be somewhat overwhelming, in the sense that there's so many things to do, and so much to grind through, that you can decide to walk past the machine because you're just not up for such an epic attempt.

I know a lot of LOTR and TSPP owners who absolutely love their games, don't want to sell them, will tell you how awesome they are, and yet ... they don't actually play them. Because they know that if they step to it they're in for a seriously long and involved game.

Now we don't know how these modes work yet. But Star Trek's 18 are a lesson in how more of the same isn't all that. You need variety, not just numbers.

I'm not down on Hobbit specifically, we don't have even the barest insight into the rules and what that grid means. I'm just saying that in general there gets to be a point where "more modes" doesn't always equal a better game.

2 weeks later
#4455 5 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Hope not, haven't seen any teeth in Smaug yet.

There's a whole thread on it, Smaug has teeth.

1 week later
#4554 5 years ago
Quoted from fuko:

Says someone who has never made anything, ever

Nonsense. He has made lots and lots of trolls in JJP threads! You guys just keep engaging so he'll keep doing it until you figure it out.

2 weeks later
#4844 5 years ago

Good lord, just drop it, why are we even discussing Star Trek in here? Take it to one of the many Star Trek threads.

#4868 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

That is all well and good, but why are you so pissed off about the hobbit?

Who cares? The guy manned up and moved on, let it go already.

Hopefully we get some actual news in this thread today with TPF, no need to add to the noise before that.

#4922 5 years ago

MMr at Expo were leveled like shit too. Felt like 4°, you could see like an inch of thread on the front leg levelers. Rick said something to me about all the people complaining and I just don't get why no one took the 5 minutes tops to go over there and level them properly.

If your game can't take a couple days of play at normal pitch then you have no business trying to sell it, come on.

All I know is if I was selling a game I'd damn well make sure it was leveled and pitched perfectly, with testing, before the show floor opened.

#4943 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

They were set at 6 1/2 when set up. And level.
No idea if someone changed them or they settled into the rug.
I was there. I wish you would have said something so I could have checked them.
LTG : )

When they were 6 ½ were the front leg levelers all the way down, or close to it? Because there was a huge amount of thread showing when I saw them. This was Saturday evening.

And I talked to Rick right there, he knew people weren't happy with the slope. That's all I can say though.

I'm not trying to sidetrack onto MMr, just seems like shallow prototype games are a general trend at shows, for whatever reason.

#4945 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

I'm sorry. I thought you meant TPF. Rick wasn't at TPF.
LTG : )
Disclaimer : sorry for this in hobbit thread.

Oh, yeah, no, this was Chicago Expo 2014.

Thanks for making sure the games were leveled at TPF though! Even though I wasn't there I know people appreciated it.

2 weeks later
#5301 5 years ago

You know what I've realized bugs me about this machine? It's the symmetrical metal ramps all centered at the top. Every time I see the game my brain connects them like the ball is going to just shoot up one and back down the other, and it creates this illusion that there's less to shoot at than there really is.

I think it's part of the reason the game feels kind of empty. That, combined with the popups that are invisible until they're in action gives this impression that there's just nothing to really shoot at. It's not really true, but it *looks* like it when you just glance at the game.

I shot the game at Expo, but it was set to one ball and I drained quickly and just walked away. Wasn't really compelled to play it more at the time.

I'm pretty curious to get another chance with all the changes and some real code. No question the playfield redesign is a vast improvement over the original, it looks 200% better than it did at Expo.

#5303 5 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I do not agree with anyone that thinks this is going to be a "slow" game. Remember this is a wide body!

Full Throttle is a fast game too, maybe we're entering an era where widebodies will lose their "slow" reputation.

#5348 5 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

The shot from the kickback for a one timer to the upper right flipper that MikeS mentioned sounds pretty cool. I haven't seen another game pull that off before.

I dunno, sounds like the kickback to warp ramp shot on Star Trek, not all that amazing.

I'm sure Keith will do an awesome job, he always does, but it's a little silly that we're sitting here trying to figure out how he's going to justify a flipper, isn't it?

#5396 5 years ago
Quoted from taylor34:

Uh, shouldn't this be already done? The game was supposed to be shipping in December but got held back due to minor playfield changes, but callouts have nothing to do with that...these should have been recorded months ago. Seems very bizarre to have callout recording auditions 5 months after the game was supposed to initially ship.

Agreed. This is not the sign of a project that's remotely on schedule. So it goes, not throwing stones, just saying that it's not really reassuring to hear that we're this far in the game and they're just now looking for voice actors.

#5401 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I can understand why people are raising a bit of hell about it being late, but here is my take on it: If they had finished the pin and are just waiting for parts or like causes for the delay I would be disappointed too, but they seem to be adding improvements to the game, getting actors for call outs (which I will be very appreciative of), and things like that. So if they are continuing to add value to the hobbit then I will wait. Within reason of course. Not sure where it the breaking point for me is yet. I would be surprised if it takes to the end of summer and after that I would give it the ole WTF? ...

I'm honestly not trying to throw stones here. I'm involved in a pin now too, I don't want to pretend it's easy, there's a ton of work ahead.

I just wish these companies would be a little more forthcoming with their communication. One thing I really love about working with Andrew Heighway is he's a straight shooter. His Alien thread was all I want from people. He said sorry we're late, here's what we're working on, here's when we hope to update again. And everyone was happy to just be told the truth.

I don't really care that Hobbit is late, if they need more time it's better to give it to them. But it feels like a weird limbo to me. No one really knows what's going on. And if you've already sent in money that doesn't feel particularly fair. If the Pat Lawlor game is late it's different, we haven't been shown anything or paid for anything. We have no high ground on that. But when you're a pre-order "investor" it only seems right to have some sense of the progress is all.

#5403 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I do agree that transparent communication about the true state of the project would be great. I think Jack likes giving surprises on the features - and perhaps I am giving him the benefit of the doubt with that reason. Perhaps it is better to just let people know what is going on? They can put it in a favorable light - like we are continuing to improve the pin into what we feel best represents our company and to make the pin as fun as we can. Not something like, excuse a, excuse b - we're trying...
One thing is for sure, after the expo they did a ton to get it back to a favorable status - what if they had gone with that version???? /shudder

You don't have to give anything away. Again, look at Andrew's Alien update. No art. No specifics. But he did give you an idea of what was going on, we we're working on, and you got a sense for where you stood with it all.

#5412 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

You can call it a cheap shot, and maybe you'd be right. But, just sayin'. You're now a member of another company calling out other companies, and speaking from personal experience, you may want to tread lightly. Or not. Up to you. Just some friendly advice. Your words will contain extra and/or possibly unintended weight, and may be in a good way or a bad way.

You're right, it is a cheap shot. If you're going to quote something please have the courtesy to link it, so that the context can be seen. I presume that's Pinball News from the color, but I have no idea what the rest of it says.

Secondly, this isn't about hitting a schedule. As I clearly said, it doesn't matter that Hobbit is late, it's obvious that it's a better game for not being out in December. What I don't like is the big silences. From any company. You're reinventing ticket pinball, great, that's fine. If it's something that makes JJP a more viable company I don't think anyone would begrudge you making that a priority. You can't make Hobbits if you're not making money.

Seriously, no sarcasm, that's great. I want JJP to thrive.

I just wish that companies, and I mean all companies, would just say what's up if they're going to take pre-order money. JJP yes, but also Zidware, Dutch Pinball, Rick, Spooky, and Heighway too. For obvious reasons Kevin's not on that list, and is sadly the worst case scenario that silences bring to mind now.

Here's what I respect about what Andrew did. He said an Alien update was coming. On the appointed date when everyone was hoping to see art he said "sorry, we can't show anything". Instead, he explained what was currently happening (didn't announce my involvement then), and what was planned. Nothing secret. Nothing the licensor would have issues with. Just an update.

I'd love to see Jack do that too. A little regular update would do wonders for people's confidence. Hey, you don't have dates you're comfortable sharing, that's fine. Don't be more specific than you feel comfortable with. Just share a little status report.

Hell, I wish Stern would do that with their code situation. This really is about everyone, not JJP.

Yes, I'm working on Alien. And I'd love for it to go smoothly. But who knows. If it's late because we needed more time to make it right I'd rather that happened than we put it out wrong. I'm not trying to set myself up to be a hypocrite. I'd just hope that we would keep everyone informed if we missed a deadline we made public.

Bottom line though is I don't speak for Heighway. I'm not an employee, I don't own a share of the company. So while I appreciate that you're trying to advise me, I'm still a member of this community first. Pinball isn't my career, it's still my hobby. I don't intend to muzzle myself. I'll accept any consequences that has.

#5413 5 years ago
Quoted from Sly_Old_Devil:

AND you have just done what Aurich was talking about (albeit retrospectively) in that you mentioned that you guys were/are working on Pindemption which explains a lot. I hadn't thought about that option at all until you just said it and it makes perfect business sense. If it was mentioned as part of an earlier JJP Hobbit update (when you were flat-Tac with Pindemption) then maybe there would be less "this code should be further on" posts.

That's all I'm saying. And it doesn't even have to be "hey, we stopped working on Hobbit to make ticket WOZ", that's a little negative sounding. I don't expect anyone to do crappy PR for themselves.

I guess I just see Jack posting here, I see Keefer posting here (and I enjoy your posts, wish you would feel more free to post more often) I know you guys are around. We see posts with mentions of things (like voice actor auditions) or the just referenced ticket stuff. Why not just be slightly more formal/serious about putting that out?

Recording some callouts isn't a big deal. Maybe you love to save it until the end. I think it just feels weird when news like that leaks out unofficially, combined with the silence (and yes, things are late, but again, that's not really the concern, just context) makes people worry more. "Wait, that's not done? What's going on?" As opposed to "cool, nice to see things are moving along". It's more perception than anything else.

Anyways, I'm really not trying to lecture JJP about how to do their PR. I'm saying that as a pinball enthusiast, and member of the community, I wish companies could be just a little more communicative, because I think it would lead to a lot more positive feelings here in general.

#5429 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Perceptions are reality, and it's worse on the internet.

Truth. Being straight forward and honest has served me well though over the long term. Occasionally gets me in trouble, no doubt, but I'm going to stick with it.

I'd rather be known as a straight shooter who's sometimes a little too blunt or opinionated than someone who is overly cautious.

If nothing else I would hope that people know by now that I mean what I say, and that I do my best to act in a manor that espouses what I preach. I'm not running a giant pinball company, just a guy doing hobby mods that turned into working on a pin. But anyone who's ever dealt with me should be able to say that I never left them hanging, that I communicated in a timely manner, and did my best to take care of any issues that arose.

It's because of that that I feel like I can say communicating isn't hard. No one is working so much they don't have time to send an email to the group or post an update. It's a choice to not do so. And it's just my personal feeling that if you want to work that way you shouldn't take pre-order money. Because once you do I feel like you owe those people more.

Thanks for the link. I have no problems with games being late. Hobbit or Full Throttle or anything else. Shit happens, and I'm realistic about it. Pinball is complicated, manufacturing is complicated, and marrying the two doesn't do either any favors in the easy department. Just let people know what's up, pinball folk are amazingly patient, they just want to be treated like adults who have skin in the game.

#5457 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

there will be ZERO discussion of Pat's game. No pre-order, no info, nothing until it's ready for production.

Awesome! That's the model that every shop should aspire towards IMHO. It's not easy in the beginning, if you can reach that stage it means you're maturing into a more stable and solid business hopefully.

1 week later
#5669 5 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Meh... I hate that excuse "he wants it done more than you do." Not just because it sounds so much like your excuses for Kevin, but because its not really true!
JJP has already been paid for TH.... if he ships it on time... uh... no big upside for him.
WAY more upside for the guy waiting.
In fact, one could make the argument that Jack actually benefits from the delay? Why? because he can keep cranking our WOZ's for new money orders. Before you call bullshit, recall the line jumping money for the WoZ pre-order crowd.

This makes no sense. You don't make money as a manufacturer waiting.

1 week later
#5986 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

Oh, come on and just say it...

I was making a crack about that video having a "coming 2014" deal, but then I actually loaded it and decided my comment was dumb.

#6001 5 years ago

Hey, if there's no backboard decal it's just a mod opportunity. That's the kind of thing the aftermarket excels at, hardly any kind of deal breaker.

#6066 5 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Christopher Lee kicks ass in general

Don't forget he recorded an album of heavy metal Christmas songs.

1 week later
#6138 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I prefer quality with a good communication plan. Is that an either/or too? I don't really expect JJP to communicate on Pinside, but would expect it on the Google groups. Isn't that what the group is for - a communication forum with their customers?

I'm a broken record at this point, but my take has always been if you want to be secretive and private about your progress that's fine, finance everything privately, and don't take pre-orders.

If you take public money you owe public answers.

I think we all know the rumors that surround Jack, and it's probably for the best that they're not a topic here, can't see anything useful coming out of discussing them. But if you're in a situation where people doubt your ability to even get the game onto the line it would be helpful to demonstrate progress if that's not actually the case.

I personally just assume the worst when there's silence, people who have bad news don't like to post updates. So if that's not the case then by all means dispel the speculation. "This part is late" is a lot better than "we don't actually have the cash to build these".

#6139 5 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

Unfortunately, Jack cannot share anything solely with the Google group, as it instantly appears here. As a result, there is no "private" sharing. So Jack usually just gives a short advance notice to the Google group when sharing news.

Oh well? Suck it up? Deal with it?

You're dealing with your customers. They need the information. If it appears other places that's life. Again, you don't want to share then don't take the money.

#6149 5 years ago
Quoted from MapleSyrup:

Seriously, I don't want to argue with anybody. Not making excuses for JJP, Jack or myself... But we really should try to be more positive in general. Otherwise... What's the point??

I agree. People are overly negative when it's not necessary. Like that thread about what if Kiss is a failure. What's the point? No one has even played it yet.

But I do think there's a difference between being negative and realistic. The positivity and "stop being so negative!" thing went on for longer than it should have with Skit-B and Jpop.

There's a lot of real money on the line here, I think it's fair for people to want to hear some updates and answers. It might not be the answers they're hoping to hear, but they should at least get some kind of response, don't you think?

I really liked the recent (and long overdue) Q&A response from Dutch Pinball. We need more of that!

#6156 5 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

Funny how despite Jack's record of failed deadlines and false claims "will be released with the third movie by contractual obligation" (and that's only one example...remember WoZ as well? First to pay get their games first?) people still say that.

Some people just really like it when Jack gets salty with people, they find it charming or something, I dunno. Maybe they feel like it's some authentic Jersey thing. I don't think it's a particularly effective business strategy myself, but it's his company.

#6205 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

It's a Stern right? So it won't be 9K

That includes the animatronic shark topper and the wave patterned upgraded armor.

2 weeks later
#6365 5 years ago

QR codes! You know, for the kids.

#6369 5 years ago
Quoted from eXidy:

Got a nice email today regarding the hobbit:
I hope you are well!
We are planning to begin shipping later this summer J
Coming soon, very exciting!
That’s awesome that you will get to see it at the show. My Dad will be there and the code is really coming along as well.
Thank you for your patience. It won’t be much longer now!
Have a nice weekend.
Best Regards,

I don't like to spread rumors, but FWIW the last one I heard was that they might start building in August. I cannot verify it, but it does match up with that email.

#6396 5 years ago

Are you going to archive them on YouTube or Vimeo or anything? Would love to check out what I wasn't able to see. Thanks for doing this!

#6398 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Yes, they will be available in the Past Broadcast section of the Twitch channel for a few days until Twitch deletes them. We have direct copies that will go up on our YouTube channel "BallIsWild" in a few days after we recover from the show. Everything we film will be up there. Thanks for watching Aurich!

Bad ass.

#6407 5 years ago

Great presentation by JJP, well done guys. I could use less cheap Pinside shots, but okay, some of it was earned. The game is better now for our input though.

#6432 5 years ago

I heard, but cannot verify, that when Thiel took Hobbit that Stern shut their door to him.

#6453 5 years ago

Sounds like that matches what I heard. Seems silly to me.

Regardless, really enjoyed your presentation at the NW pinball show, I watched the archive of the stream. Your enthusiasm was very clear, you obviously love what you do, and that's the best kind of job to have.

#6474 5 years ago

I'm looking forward to seeing it again. I'll be honest, at Expo it looked bad. Whole show floor thought so it seemed, everyone was down in it. Would love to see that take a 180°.

#6478 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I think the 180 cost them 9 months - but I would much rather have what I am seeing now from what was at 'Expo'

There's no sugar coating what they had at Expo. If you were there then you know, the whole floor thought it was disappointing. Sorry, it's just the truth. I talked to a ton of people there, people I knew, and people I didn't (lots of people saw my nametag and just introduced themselves, which was awesome, loved meeting you all). Everyone felt the same way. Obviously JJP heard it and went back to the drawing board. Good for them! But they needed to do it, or the game was in trouble.

#6541 5 years ago

Was hardly instantly, I had his words emailed to me this morning, that post is already old news.

It's silly. Jack playing the Pinside is the enemy card is so ridiculous and counterproductive.

#6546 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Sorry, but this won't happen.

I wish I could turn off the damn buy-in high scores on my Shadow.

#6556 5 years ago
Quoted from NimblePin:

I'm going to honor Aurich's timely contribution to JJP's SE by powder coating it a prismatic "Smaug scale red."
The stock SE armor in person just seemed a bit flat.

I like having you posting again! We need to play some pinball sir. Life has just been coming at me fast for a while now.

#6563 5 years ago

You don't need Jack's okay to post, so I don't even see the problem in the first place. Haven't we learned our lesson on what NDA-like secrecy does when mixed with pinball yet?

#6568 5 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

After watching the presentation by David Thiel starting at 7:22 below I'm considering getting back in on The Hobbit.

It was a great presentation. But at this point I'd just wait until they're shipping, and buy then. No reason to put up cash with all the uncertainty. We don't even have a real clue when the line might start. Hopefully soon! But if that's the case all the more reason waiting makes sense, why pay up front?

#6576 5 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Regullary I would wait but I have a chance to get a Smaug SE spot for $7500. If I wait I'll be looking at $9k or $8.5k for an LE.

Ah, hmm. That's a good deal. I think I personally would rather pay more later for the peace of mind, but that's a personal call.

Have you had a chance to play it yet? I've only played the version that was at Expo.

#6598 5 years ago
Quoted from ledge:

for me, the LE at least.... its got enough extras over the standard to make it worthwhile.

I don't really care about any of the LE features over the standard to be honest. But the price delta isn't a bad deal for what you get. It's $8000 for a standard, and $8500 for the LE, right? The invisiglass and shaker alone eat up a big chunk of that if you wanted to add them yourself. The standard should really be cheaper if you think about the other stuff, like the powdercoat, molded sculpts, etc.

Honestly if the standard was $7500 it would be way more attractive to me, but $8000 for a game is too much in general, and when it's the "stripped down" version it's even harder to justify.

2 weeks later
#7098 5 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

I was just wondering if it will be Stern's first game with a backbox LCD. I remember hearing that Stern recently hired a couple animation guys? Sounds like they are preparing to put an LCD in the backbox.

We don't know for sure. But from what I've heard, yes.

#7136 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Smaug talking looks pretty cool and the lighting effects are neat.

It's early still, but I hope they don't have him constantly repeating the same clips. Hearing repeated lines during multiball is gonna get old.

#7173 5 years ago

I'm willing to put a $1000 deposit towards a game. And the rest due at build time. The Spooky Model™. That's it. I don't care what the game, company, or theme is, I'm not doing more than that.

I almost caved on that with TBL, but pulled back from the edge when it was time to actually send in money. Never again.

Frankly there is a whole world of interesting pins from all kinds of eras out there that I will happily buy instead. If you want my NIB dollars that's the most I'm gonna "prepay".

#7201 5 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Just my opinion but it's not that hard to realize. WOZ has surpassed anything Stern has ever built and it's only JJP's first game.

I own 3 Stern games. I wouldn't trade a single one of them, even, for any flavor of WOZ. Limited, Ruby, whatever. In my eyes it hasn't surpassed Stern. It's a cool game, and different, and innovative. But as far as "THE GAME" goes? Not for me.

I wish JJP the best, truly. Do I want Alien to outsell anything anyone else has ever done? Sure! But it's a one-off for me. I'm not a Heighway employee, and my wish is for all of pinball to do well, as a fan and collector.

I haven't played The Hobbit since Expo. But I wouldn't trade any of my Sterns for it either. And I don't plan on buying one, too expensive.

Here's where I do get partisan: Heighway is making widebody games too. With an LCD screen. And full RGB lighting (more than Hobbit has if I understand things correctly). And they're nearly a good couple grand less than JJP is charging. I just can't justify the price Jack wants to charge. I feel the same way about TBL, and I think it's going to be awesome. But even though I could afford it if I wanted I just refuse to pay these $8k+ prices.

So for me if that's what it take to make the game you want? Hey, hope someone else is buying. Won't be me. I spent a little north of $7k for my METLE, and I hope to make that my all time highest expensive game.

#7230 5 years ago

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to turn this into a Heighway vs JJP discussion. My bad for even going there, let's let this thread be about Hobbit.

#7250 5 years ago

So now that the game is further along and people have been playing it more what's the consensus on the upper flipper? Some people expressed concern that there wasn't really a purpose for it, has that been changed in software so it's useful in general gameplay now?

1 week later
#7371 5 years ago
Quoted from smokedog:

Not while JJP has no sub $5K option, which are the majority of NIB sales*
*numbers pulled out of my butt, but I'm pretty confident about it.

Agreed. Stern owns the entry level. I think that Heighway is going to put a lot of pressure on Stern's Prem/LE side of things with their Standard pricing and the features, but nobody in the game can touch Stern's Pro price point right now, for better or for worse.

Of course that often means a "stripped down" experience, which is just going to become more so feeling as multiple companies are shipping games with RGB lighting, LCD screens, etc.

Maybe Game of Thrones will be the Stern response, so far the Spike games are the same old same old as far as the usual cutdown with taking out drop targets, old school DMDs, limited RGB options, etc.

#7377 5 years ago

Rob I just responded in another thread to you about this, so don't want to repeat myself too much, but the short version is Heighway Standard is priced like Stern Premium. But with Heighway you're getting full RGB lighting, high rez LCD screen, widebody if you care about that. Etc. More features.

We'll see what Stern does with Game of Thrones and LCD screen etc. Sure it's coming. But right now for the same money you can get standard LEDs and the old school dot DMD, or complete color changing lighting and full color high rez animations.

To me that's pressure on Stern's model. JJP Standards are priced like Heighway LEs, I agree that high end part isn't going to hurt Stern as much. And no one is competing with their Pros. But Heighway is at least playing in the Stern pricing sandbox now.

Personally I think this is what we all wanted to see. Real competition. Pressure to do more, be better. We all win, whichever game you buy.

#7440 5 years ago
Quoted from PW79:

Are PF's routed out before or after the ink/clear?
I never thought of that before but here I see some with holes & some without.

Before. That photo makes zero sense to me. Maybe it's some kind of test thing or wall art? No idea. You definitely don't print, clear, and then go "okay, time to route those holes!"

#7452 5 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Given all the speculations about PF being ruined by all the speculators in this thread...
Where are you getting these pictures?

Not exactly a secret: https://www.facebook.com/JerseyJackPinball

#7477 5 years ago
Quoted from Skypilot:

Forgot to mention, five minutes after Jack and I talked, Mike Pacak ran over Jacks foot with his personal scooter.

There are secret emails proving that Jody paid Mike to do that with a TWD topper!

#7487 5 years ago
Quoted from karl:

JJP is not alone in the delay apartment. There have been delays like this with both Heighway and Dutch Pinball also (I have games on order from both of them) I guess we read more about JJP delays because more people are eager for the games to hit the market (I hope)

You gotta appreciate the Stern model. They ship the games half baked, so let's not give them too many claps, but still, so much less drama when they can just announce the game and it's there.

I've definitely learned from being inside the belly of the beast that it's so easy for small things to domino and delay you. You don't need money problems, or license drama, or really any "drama" at all. Someone takes longer to approve something than they said they would, you wait before moving on to the next part because of it, and suddenly things that weren't even related to that particular approval get pushed back.

I think JJP is under more pressure than Heighway or Dutch Pinball because the WOZ delays were something that people really wanted to see put behind them. But I definitely wouldn't throw stones, I'm totally working out of a glass house now too.

3 weeks later
#7817 5 years ago

Heighway just shipped the first customer Full Throttle. Being unboxed today.

It was on the show floor at Expo last year with Hobbit, both prototype games. Both totally playable, but not really done, and with a lot of tweaks in their futures.

My point isn't to say that Full Throttle "won". It wasn't a race really. Rather I'm saying look, there was the game, playable, and this is how long it took to ship it.

Now that I'm working on a game myself I'm really very sympathetic to how long this shit takes. You can think you know it, but when you're inside you just see how many crazy things can go wrong, and how many of them are totally out of your control, even if you're being careful, planning, and doing things the "right way".

I'm not big on cutting Jack slack, I think he's been less than truthful with people here, and constantly shits on this community. And who knows if he's been totally broke before this cash infusion. But there are good people working on this game. Passionate, long-time supporters of pinball, who do awesome work. I'm sure they'll come through.

#7819 5 years ago
Quoted from thewool:

I think the only difference here is one was a heavily licensend machine, one wasn't. Last week I got a glimpse of what HP are striving to achieve with Alien but licensing is still waiting in the wings so time will tell, I really hope it works out.

That's a legit point. Licensing is a struggle, no question. Alien has definitely been slowed down by it. But pinball in general is just a complicated endeavor, even once you've solved the licensing problems. Anyways, like I said, not trying to set the two up as a race with Hobbit losing, just saying that even after you've seen and played a pretty complete feeling game it can take a long time to get the real thing in your house.

I know that Keith and JP and David Thiel and everyone else have put in a ton of hard work, and they're pinball heroes, and I'm sure the end product will show it.

Quoted from thewool:

Also Jack doesn't need me to defend him but I think it's harsh to say he constantly shits on this community.

It's not harsh, it's a fact. He craps on Pinside constantly. In emails, in forum posts, in private conversations, at shows, in presentations up on stage that are video broadcasted worldwide. Over and over and over. Calls us "Wrongside", mocks us, whatever. It's childish and petty and I wish he'd knock it off, because it really hurts the JJP brand.

#7824 5 years ago

Okay, you guys can excuse Jack all you want. I'm tired of years of him doing nothing but shitting on the entire site and community, repeatedly, specifically, over and over. I take it personally. If you don't then good for you.

#7831 5 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

Aurich do you have a hobbit in order? Just asking.

Nope. And I'm unlikely to ever buy any JJP honestly, for one simple reason: they're too expensive. Someone just started that "what's your max?" thread about buying pinballs, and I said the most I've ever spent is $7200 (METLE), and I hope to never top that. I'd maybe consider it if I could get one for $7500 shipped, I could push my price point a little, but that's already stretching it, and I think the standards are at least $8k now right? And shipping on top of that? Not 100% sure.

So I'm just an observer. I hope it's a cool game.

Quoted from CaptainNavidad:

Are you honestly making an apples-to-apples comparison between FT and TH?

I was trying to make a polite point about how it takes a long time to get a game done, it's not just JJP. I think it would be rude to come into a Hobbit thread and try and compare it to a game from a company I'm doing work for, so I won't. But I will say they're both widebody pins, with LCD displays, RGB lighting, etc. Building them isn't really all that different. It took a while for Full Throttle. It's taking a while for Hobbit. It happens.

Quoted from Mike_J:

As a casual observer, I don't believe Jack shits on the entire site or community. He seems to have an issue with 5 or 6 people, who, in all fairness, are painfully annoying.

Again though, he doesn't call out those 6 people. He calls out "Wrongside" etc. He's been doing it for years. Since long before WOZ was finished. He comes here and does it. He does it on stage, just watch the Pacific Pinball Expo stream of JJP's presentation. I've heard him do it in person, standing right in front of me, in a conversation to someone else.

I'm beating a horse here, sorry, I don't mean to, but it's just frustrating. We're not all clones here. If McCune or whoever doesn't like JJP fine. He sure doesn't speak for me. Lots of potential customers here! I wish I was one frankly, but as I noted above, the games have just gotten too damn expensive for me to to justify.

Hobbit doesn't really seem like a game I want, but I've only played the prototype at Expo, I could totally change my mind. And Lawlor's game could be great. New pinballs are exciting. But not $8,500+ exciting. That's why I dropped out of TBL. I think that game is going to be incredible. I just couldn't stomach the price after I got over my initial buzz.

#7841 5 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

Why would you ever take your perception of anyone's treatment of the site and community personally? It's childish.

Because I'm an active member of said community. If that's childish to you okay then. I take it personally. I didn't care when Jack called me out on stage at Expo, it was funny, and I took it in the spirit he meant it. The Pinside thing has gone long past being a joke, and is just bitter and demeaning.

Quoted from RTS:

Why exactly did you come to a Hobbit Update thread and announce your game is now shipping?

Not my game. Wasn't involved in it, don't make any money from it, not an employee of the company in question. I'm working on Alien, and that's it. I guess I could benefit from Full Throttle sales in some way, but come on, there's a thread on the front page right now about the first one arriving, am I really telling anyone anything new? The point was it took up until today from last Expo to ship. That's a long time. Shit happens. Hobbit is in the same boat, but it's not a problem just JJP has.

But really, if people want to fight with me for trying to give Hobbit some slack for being late go ahead, I'm sure it will make this thread even better.

#7845 5 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

His game isn't shipping, nor does he have a game. I believe he is just doing some contract work on Alien as he has provided some really nice alternate translites for several games that came up a little short in the art department. I think it was a good move by heighway and really smart on their part.

I'm the creative director on Alien. I'm working on all of the game art, designing the animations along with a friend of mine, helping out with rules etc. I'm pretty actively involved in it. But you're right, I'm a contractor, I'm not a Heighway employee (I still work for Ars Technica) and I have zilch to do with Full Throttle. Never ever played one actually, though I saw the proto at Expo last year.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ The point is I'm not shit talking Hobbit, I'm trying to say that it's understandable how things take longer than you think they should. If anything the real fault is the lack of communication about it all.

Hell, if you want to take a game that I absolutely have no connection too I could say the same thing about TBL. They had 3 working prototypes to Hobbit's 1 at Expo. Still haven't shipped a single game. This is pinball.

#7846 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

So has it been 3 years from initial announcement to shipping for FT? I think so...

Actually it might be, the game has been in development for a while. But I'm just trying to count since both companies showed working prototypes at Expo as a similar launching point. Neither game was done, but you could flip them, see them, touch them, etc. They weren't Jpop fantasies.

#7867 5 years ago

Jesus f'n christ, you try and say something positive about The Hobbit and all people can do is turn it into a pissing contest. This doesn't have to be about my brand dick is better than your brand dick. I like all pinball. If JJP or Stern or anyone else makes a great game then it's a good thing. I'm super excited for Rob Zombie from Spooky too, can't wait to see the reveal.

Buy the Hobbit, I hope it ships soon, and that's it a great game. I hope it's so good that I'm sorry it's too expensive for me. I don't actually think that will be the case based on what I played at Expo, but I'd be happy to be wrong. JP did a killer job redoing the playfield, I told him so. Thiel is awesome. Keith is the man. Jack is an ass at times, and I don't like how he treats this forum, but I truly believe he wants to make great pinballs, and I do respect that.

But your game can be good with just that. If you don't want Full Throttle then don't buy it. I only brought it up to say it took this long to get to shipping, it's not just a JJP problem. It was supposed to be a "we're all in this together" comment, and of course people have to twist it.

Those photos aren't even from the final Full Throttle game. Might as well post the old Hobbit playfield while you're at it.

#7872 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Hmmm, now you know how Jack feels about this forum.

The difference is I'm not actually mad, and I'm not PMing 20 people and reporting all the posts I don't like to the mods.

There should be real Hobbit news in 4 days though right? Isn't the party on the 29th?

#7884 5 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

I like dick.


#7885 5 years ago
Quoted from pindome:

Full Throttle LE is over $9,000 US Dollars plus shipping.
I purchased Hobbit Smaug LE for $7,500 including shipping.

Where did you pull that $9k number from?

$7500 is a solid price, and with shipping? Awesome. I could hang with that. But that's seriously the upper limit of what I can justify spending on a freaking pinball. As much as I love the hobby there gets to be a point where it's too nuts. I make pretty decent money, but I'm not rolling in it. Upper middle class, not rich. And after a while it's just too crazy for me. I could buy it if I really wanted it, it's not outside my reach, but it's hard to justify.

#7893 5 years ago
Quoted from pindome:

I went on H.P.'s site and converted the discount price of 5,750 english pounds for a Full Throttle LE to US Dollars = $9,032

The U.S. price is quoted right on the site. And shipping is local, not overseas, from US distribution site. So same price as JJP or Stern to ship.

If we're gonna compare dicks you can't suddenly hand me a ruler with longer inches!

#7902 5 years ago
Quoted from pindome:

We should probably blame Aurich for the Hobbit being so late! If it wasn't for his so many great ideas Hobbit would be rolling down the line by now.

#7920 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

You guys were so busy arguing about dicks, you missed the most important thing in this thread.

A Bugatti is the ultimate dick enhancer, are you kidding?

The price on those Hobbit translites is very reasonable, anyone looking for a little piece of wall art or something should pick one up. Cheap enough that just having it without displaying it is even no big deal.

#7925 5 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Hold up there Sparky, that changed, and you probably know it did. The US price listing is new.

I don't regularly check Heighway's website, so I honestly couldn't say what's "new", but it was there over a month ago, I can tell you that, I saw it myself when I needed to look it up for a conversation here. As far as I'm aware there has always been a US price though, there was never a need to convert and import, US distribution has been part of the plan from the beginning.

Anyways, it's neither here nor there, it's obviously on the site now. Prices are available to everyone to see.

To bring this back to being on topic, my personal hope is that more competition means some actual price reductions. JJP just raised prices by $500, and that's just crazy to me. All Stern seems to have learned from JJP is they weren't charging enough. If there are more real players in the game there's going to be less of a collusion effect, and maybe, just maybe, the manufacturers will have to compete for our dollars a little more, and we'll get some benefit from it.

Or maybe people will go out of business, or the hobby will collapse! I'm hoping for cheaper prices instead, but I could be dreaming. But maybe if JJP wasn't in constant startup mode they could actually sell games at $7500 normally, instead of as some pre-order deal.

#7948 5 years ago

So sounds like the party was pretty much "check out all these Ruby Red WOZ games"? Anyone get any actual Hobbit news at the event?

#7977 5 years ago
Quoted from John-from-PA:

Played Hobbit once and WOZ twice. I actually wanted to leave with a WOZ, but the price wasn't right. I've been in with a preorder of WOZ since the early days - switched to Hobbit instead late in the game (kids love the Hobbit) - so JJP has had my payment for a long time.
Today was the first day I ever saw a JJP game in person - wow WOZ is aesthetically awesome and loaded with features and toys. I love the rich colors on the field art and the lights - really well done.

Are you disappointed with Hobbit? Seems kind of odd that you didn't play the game you ordered more, was it just mobbed with people?

#8035 5 years ago
Quoted from mnpinball:

Hear GoT has an upper pf with 2 full size flippers and an obvious dragon toy and no LCD. Just what I've been hearing from sources, no pics have leaked yet.

I can confirm the upper playfield and dragon part match my sources, I hadn't heard about the LCD. I guess we all just assumed. It would make sense if it was DMD since it seems like it's due before Jurassic World, and that's DMD. Never thought that release order made sense.

This is all relevant to this thread because I really do think GoT was positioned to try and take on Hobbit. From what I've heard they're trying to one up the dragon toy. But man, if it's another DMD game it's going to take some of the wind out of those sails.

And yes, you don't play the display, totally true. Game counts. But when you're spending this kind of cash, and have to make a decision, it's tough to pick the game with the old Lite Brite display over the one with high rez graphics.

#8046 5 years ago
Quoted from GravitaR:

Nice to see the off-topic forum is doing well.

Hey, if you have Hobbit news share it, we'd all love to hear it.

#8061 5 years ago
Quoted from cal50:

I like games that are more fun to play than look at.

I like games that are fun to play and fun to look at. That's the best way to get me to open my wallet, do both.

With the rate that JJP puts out games I don't think they can afford to think any other way.

#8066 5 years ago
Quoted from jiffy:

Anybody have any idea WHEN Hobbit finally ships?!?! Good grief, this game has been in development FOREVER. (And no, I'm not buying one.)

My serious guess, not trolling, just being realistic: early next year.

We have no idea what the software status is, but given what we know about the voice acting it's pretty obvious it's still being worked on in some capacity. So it's not just the playfield, or all the incredible amount of work JP is spending on the LCD screen (can't wait to see more, JP is talented and has a great touch with motion graphics). The software has been under construction too. No doubt because Keith is murdering it, I'm sure the code is going to be something we'll be talking about for a long time.

The game just took longer than planned, bottom line. It happens! No criticism from me, just how it seems to have gone.

Then whatever happened with the money. Let's just stick with the obvious fact: you don't take on investment capital if you're flush. Lot of talk about people owed money, from a lot of sources. I'm sure there was some level of truth there. Not gonna help you get parts.

So here they are. Game supposedly done(ish), they have the capital infusion in theory (has it happened already?) and they're waiting for parts.

Well that's a whole new journey, it ain't over yet. Parts are late. They don't fit because someone screwed up a measurement. The ball guides look like shit instead of chrome. The final part doesn't match the prototype.

This is especially true for newer companies. JJP and Heighway and Spooky and Dutch Pinball are all new. They don't have long standing relationships with suppliers like Stern.

Just getting all the parts right and set is work, let's put it that way. And it takes time. When something is wrong you don't get a new one the next day.

I just don't see given all that, and the historical realities of JJP, and the fact that they're still playing catchup on WOZ (40 I think I heard?) ... that sounds like people not getting games until next year. At least with the info we have now, which is pretty thin.

I know Alien and Hobbit are competitors in a way, but hopefully I can post as a fan of pinball, that I wish the game luck.

#8069 5 years ago
Quoted from PBFan:

I am in on the pre-order but only needed a $500 deposit with my distributor (that was 2 years ago).

Wait, are you getting it for $7500 with only $500 down?

#8081 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

In young companies especially, taking more investors can be about growth.

That's fine if you have a market to rapidly expand into. There is no huge market for pinball machines that cost $8000+, and likely never will be. Even if they can solve their production problems.

#8097 5 years ago
Quoted from Damonator:

I saw a buttload of WOZs being built in the factory pics from this past weekend...and they are still have 40 more orders to catch up. As most of the Pinside crowd have already bought their WOZ, that tells me there is plenty of new money out there to support $8k games.

Plenty meaning what though? It could be a couple hundred, and good for JJP, but that's not a big market still. It's just going to be a niche thing. Even if measured in the thousands.

#8102 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Is there a Hobbit update somewhere buried in this mess!?

Nope. Hence the mess, people are just shooting the shit, there is literally nothing new to discuss.

I think if people liked the movies better there would at least be discussion about cool scenes and dialogue that might make the game. Problem is the movies were sadly mediocre given what they could have been. I tuned in the other day, was on HBO and I just started watching it from the beginning (seen all three in the theater). I literally got bored half way through the barrel scene and changed the channel. Just so long and drawn out.

#8116 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

The movies have nothing to do with how good this pinball machine will be. The Shadow stunk, but it's an awesome machine.

Just means that while we're waiting no one really wants to talk about the films.

#8117 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

The Hobbit was my favorite book of the 4, but honestly, I can't seem to get up the motivation to watch that last movie.

The LOTR books are pretty dry. Hobbit is accessible and fun. The LOTR movies brought the dry books to life. The Hobbit movies took a breezy book and turned it into an epic slog.

The last Hobbit movie is basically this:

1) Kill Smaug!
2) Brood a lot
3) Battles!
4) Angst break
5) Battles!
6) Some things are sad
7) Bilbo goes home

#8119 5 years ago
Quoted from Asael:

Let's wait what the extended version will bring

Yes, because what was wrong with Hobbit films is they weren't long enough!

I'd rather see a version that trimmed all the fat and made a more compelling and fast moving story. The Rankin and Bass animated version was like 1/6th the length, and managed to hit all the important story notes.

#8132 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I blame digital projection. There's no cost penalty anymore for distributing long-ass films, so self-indulgent directors don't cut anything.

Good point, hadn't thought about that.

#8182 5 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Joe is a great pinball designer. I'm still surprised that he left JJP before The Hobbit was even finished / finalized. He did an incredible job with WOZ.

Everything I heard indicated it wasn't a friendly parting of the ways, so I doubt it was just a casual walking away from the project.

#8306 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

And try and figure out anything and everything else I could to keep this pin and theme relevant in the face of the GOT announcement.

What's funny is when they do their show talk, and get Thiel and Butch up there to chat they have plenty to say. In totally public settings, so none of it is secret. And yet, if you don't watch some nerdy Twitch stream or you're not lucky enough to be at a seminar you'd never know.

All you see on Pinside is JJP employees being grumpy. All you see on Facebook is people standing next to overpriced RR WOZes. Their strategy mystifies me.

Keith posts here! He's a legend that even the worst haters have to respect. I don't get why he's not at least chatting up the code a little, keep the fires stoked. He had a lot to say in the beginning about how he was going to show everyone how a mode based game was done, and then silence.

#8308 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Hey now, I'm pretty effin far from being grumpy.
LTG : )

This is true! But as you've pointed out, you're not technically an employee. If everyone from any company had your attitude we'd live in a land of eternal sunshine!

#8311 5 years ago

Sometimes there is something called the exception that proves the rule.

Lloyd is that exception.

You are a gem amongst pinball man. Any company that has you on their team is lucky.

#8331 5 years ago

Well I'll say this, I criticized the Hobbit's art when it came out. And JP really came through with upgrading it. Hats of to JJP for listening, going back, and getting it right. I think it made a huge difference.

I can't see Stern listening to the horrible (and well deserved) feedback on the GoT art and saying "you're right" and taking the time to redo it. There's no point in even breaking down the art problems, it would be a waste of time.

Two medieval themes, with dragons, there's just no way they're not going to be compared here. And Stern isn't coming out as the winner when it comes to presentation so far.

#8361 5 years ago
Quoted from RavenBlackthorn:

We went back to the drawing board to redesign The Hobbit so in that process we found a more artistic and suitable finish for the body armor of the LE and SE games. As always it took more to do it but it looks awesome! See photos below.

They changed the powder coating? (Edit: posted while I was typing. Hmm. Have to see in person to see what I think.)

Good update, love to see communication.

#8366 5 years ago

I wonder how it feels under your hands?

One big advantage to the hammered look is it gives all sorts of angles for the eye to pick up the metallic flakes, so it's probably going to look a lot more gold than the flat style.

And it's different. I give it a thumbs up after looking at it more.

#8390 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Not exactly...the standard version is missing a few items like the axe slings and a pop-bumper barrel. Check that matrix they had released.

The axe slings not being there is a feature, not something missing.

#8399 5 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

Aside from liking the hammered finish or not, what pisses me off about this is that we were forced to choose LE or SE in a limited time window, based solely on the machine's cosmetics. Now they have changed the cosmetics. I stuck with LE mainly because of the seaside bronze trim. Now I think the SE looks like a better combo with the new trim options.
Since they revisited a main aspect of the differentiation between models, do I get to reconsider which model I want? Doubt it.

That's fair. I think the new armor is interesting, but I agree, you were given a choice on something and it got changed, and that doesn't feel good. These long development cycles man, it's tough.

#8461 5 years ago
Quoted from TVP:

It is hard to believe that JJP seriously intended to release games back in December 2014 when they are just getting coils and magnets built now.

They never seriously intended to. I mean, not even throwing shade at Jack here, but let's be real, it was never, ever, going to happen. The playfield art changes were a nice excuse and all, but come one. Last we heard they hadn't even found the voice actors yet.

This game has a crapload of work put into it, and it's taken a long time to make. I think they should just be honest with people and say that. My feeling is that the hardcore JJP supporters (i.e. those who pre-ordered even after WOZ was a little rocky to get out the door, to be kind) would be totally cool with that.