I'd much rather see higher scoring in the millions. I thought WOZ had low scoring for an old-time nastalgia feeling?
This might hold you over for a bit.....Nice clip about how Cumberbatch brought Smaug to life. If they have Smaug on the LCD during the game, talking to the player, that would be pretty fun.
Quoted from 6S3NC3:
90% of this thread is crap. I see the same ppl posting the same thing in every thread I read. Like they need people to give a crap about what they have to say. Some of you guys just waste to much time talking negitive crap. For F**k sake men, its pinball and its all good. WOZ is great im sure TH will be great. When im out and about and find a pin I play a game on it and walk away happy that I just played pinball. Some of you sound like a bunch of girls or spoiled brats. But then again its a public forum so voice away if you must. Back on topic please.
Can I give this infinity thumbs up? It can be torturous at times sifting though these threads filled with drivel. I'm amazed Keith even posts in this thread. Thank you so much for your updates
And as great it would be to have Ian McKellen doing custom callouts for TH, I'll be just as happy as long as THERE ARE callouts. I don't care who does them, as long as it sounds just like Gandalf & Bilbo. With the way the playfield is designed to be a fast flowing game, and all the crazy lights, toys & stuff going on the LCD screen....I just want someone calling out my shots so my head doesn't explode. I cannot wait for this pin
With all I've read about TH in the last week, it seems that everyone is obsessed with critiquing the playfield art. That's fine because some great suggestions have been made. But personally I find the playfield schematics much more interesting to look at.
I know certain things are missing on the new diagram. The kickback on the LT out lane is missing, as well as the two magnets at the top of the LT & RT loops. There's space on the playfield artwork for the magnets, so I'm sure they're still in the game. How else would the ball stop & drop into the pop bumper area and subway entrance.
Of course there are no parts shown that are related to Smaug. However I keep trying to figure out the ball lock mechanism. I feel the clue is the rail on the far lower LT side of the playfield, and this is where the locked balls will end up. This rail connects to nothing, but it is placed right above the kickback, so that when they're released, they'll be fired back into play.
I'm guessing that Smaug's tail will attach to this rail & the balls might roll down the tail to lock. I can see his body stretching over the upper LT playfield on a pile of gold (full of fiber optics to sparkle), which may be a tunnel over the LT ramp. The locking/diverting mechanism might be located in this tunnel. His left claw/wing would be integrated into the diverter controlling the U-ramp at the top center. His head would be over the main Smaug area, which might rotate back & forth like a cannon, letting him fire the balls back at the player.
The Smaug kill shot seems like it will fire up from the kickback to the upper RT flipper, then you'll have to hit the LT VUK, the bank of drop targets, or some variation of that. I'm sure it will require multiple tasks to make that happen. I hope so because it should be extremely difficult & satisfying when you finally do defeat him!
Am I right? Mostly likely not. Obviously there's still a ton that hasn't been revealed. But it's fun to speculate
Quoted from HighNoon:
Also, I think there is a diverter on the Bilbo ramp that gets the ball off the ramp and into the Smaug area. You can see the diverter in the latest schematic just to the left of the "Smaug" text. You can clearly see the diverter in the two whitewood videos that were previously posted (see the circled area in the attached picture). It isn't activated in those videos, but it's there.
Thanks for posting that, I didn't notice the ramp diverter when I first watched those videos. That could be the locking/diverting mech under the gold tunnel I suggested. I still say the balls are getting locked on that LT side rail that connects to nothing. I'll just have to stare at the schematic some more. haha
If that Orc carving is supposed to look like the Pale Orc from the films, then that's really an epic fail.
In other hobbit news.....new poster out today. Really like that image of Bilbo more than any of the other pics seen so far in the marketing materials. Hopefully this image of Bilbo will appear on the backglass, because he really looks badass Can't wait!
Quoted from PinballRulez:
» YouTube video
Watching that video makes me think how hard it had to be for JJP to design this game from the start, without having any knowledge or access to the 3rd film assets. That trailer has an action/war-like tone and it looks awesome. I think TH will be solid on it's initial release, but won't truly hit its stride until the 3rd film is incorporated into the game. Then TH is going to give WOZ & LOTR a serious challenge for the deepest code & the grandest scale. If it end ups feeling like the tone of that trailer, then it going to be awesome (for me at least)
Quoted from Hwawonyu:
Bet they do but just cant show them or discuss.
I remember them saying specifically at their Expo presentation that they had zero access to the 3rd film. They see it at the same time we see it at the theaters. Which is the same thing I heard Keith say on PapaTV, that the 3rd film would only be incorporated into the game via code, modes & movie clips. Just look at the playfield & cabinet art, it's all from the 1st two films. The first movie was slow, the second became more adventure & questlike, and the third looks like all out war. That's a huge range of tone to design & incorporate into a single pin. And it's for for a license that is still pending release at theaters.
Yeah I thought the custom video clips with pinballs integrated into the footage looked great! But I was really surprised that it went all the way to Peter Jackson & he ended up rejecting them. I didn't think such high up people would be involved in the process, I pictured a bunch of uninformed suits making these decisions. Jackson probably just didn't want an outside company tinkering with his "vision". Interesting to see though, here it is for those of you who missed, it's up on YouTube....
Quoted from Hwawonyu:
All the crap they make when a movie is released takes time. Companies have the info but have NDas to keep it under wraps. The Merch does not show up on opening day by magic.
I hear what you're saying. I get that they have to make all the merchandising like Legos & happy meal toys way in advance, so that near the films release, all that merch can hit the stores. But JJP is dealing with something completely different.
The studio has been editing the 3rd movie over the last year (so it's been a work in process), and at the same time JJP is trying to design the pin. It has to be incredibly frustrating from a design standpoint. The studio is NOT going to hand over a DVD copy of the movie to JJP before it hits theaters, especially with the issues of movie piracy these days. So I tend to believe them when they say that they haven't seen the 3rd movie or know what the assets are or how they will integrate them. This pin won't hit it's peak until they have incorporated everything into the code.
Quoted from John_I:
I hope you are right, but I am not confident that much can be done in one month without last minute changes to the playfield itself
And why are you so certain all the changes were made last minute? More likely answer is that features were held back at Expo because they were not ready, still being developed, or they simply did not want to reveal at that time. It probably had to do with code integration.
Quoted from John_I:
So why on earth would they not say that during the reveal? If this is true it would be an epic mistake considering how many people I know personally who cancelled their orders based on the reaction from Expo
If I believed everything I read on pinside, then there was an "epic" cancellation wave & half of all the pre-orders for TH cancelled after Expo. That's completely contrary to everything I've read & heard since then. I'm sure some people dropped out, but not the huge disaster described here in the past.
I believe the expo reveal was a bare bones prototype, and most of the unique, exciting features were held back for IAPPA. I don't think it's too far a stretch to believe that the playfield art, VUKs, metal ramps, background area may all look vastly different when revealed. I'm staying positive, as always.
I cannot say anything else that hasn't already been said. The changes look fantastic & I'm very thankful JJP listens to their customers. Once all the changes & the code is revealed, it's going to be something really special
Now please bring on the IAPPA video thread!
Quoted from BackAlleyMatt:
No room for the gates, the original "rock" as it was called was going to be part of the mountain. Meaning that it would not look like the lonely rock but rather a section of the mountain that turned revealing smaug. The rock and the interesting shape that it was had to look like that to clear the ramps, opto's, gold piles, wires and everything else around it. It did not look so out of place had the rest of the mountain taken over that corner as planned. But with all those things to clear there was no room to make the gates design on it without making smaug smaller. Currently the back of him is the piles of gold going up the sides and the back of his head/ body. Kinda hard to explain but once a video get's posted it should make sense.
So it seems that they changed from a lonely mountain in the back to the pillars instead. That's a great change, as it makes the area around Smaug look like its inside the treasure room. Are you planning on changing the look or layout of the pillars (by integrating them with the LCD book somehow?) Thanks for the info Matt
After looking at the pillar pictures again, I really hope they paint them to give that same "marbled-green" color effect like they appear in the movie. That would look really nice. There's even little small piles of gold already sculpted onto them. Nice touch & great attention to detail. Cant wait to see Smaug with a tongue, teeth & lit yellow eyes
Quoted from Goronic:
I think the lighting in the eyes should be orange or red
Quick question on the eye lighting - is that going to be the whole eye (or just the iris?)
Smaug's iris is always yellow in the movie, I don't see how they could make it any other color than that. The eyes will probably be colored yellow on the actual model, then be backlit by a small white LED? My guess at least.
Quoted from pinball_keefer:
It will be. It's an actual VGA output device (yes the game uses 2 video outs).
So will instruction for the various modes be displayed here during gameplay? (among other things) If so that's a great idea, right in the line of sight as opposed to looking up at the backglass LCD. I'm sure you have multiple ideas up your sleeve.
Quoted from Goronic:
Seems more orange (fire) than yellow to me. (1:45 in), but yellow I guess is fine too.
» YouTube video
I guess it is more orange than yellow, but that's practically the same I'm just happy they're going to be lit
I can imagine all the playfield lights blacked out, then the eyes light.....a rumbling growl.......BAM! Flasher/light explosion & Smaug's awake
Quoted from ls1chris:
im kinda thinking those pillars are actually the dwarves smelter in the mountain. i think with that and the gold smaug it ties in nice from the movie. it will be interesting to see how the lcd ties in with smaug,and the smelter during gameplay. battle in the refinery mode?
That's not what I see. I see pillars & columns from the treasure room that aren't completed or painted green yet. And the fact Jack reffered to it as a "column" in his press release. So not a smelter. Or a toilet.
Quoted from RealityCheck:
I have one account. Do you think this is a computer-generated opinion? What difference does it make how long I've been a member. I saw JJP's FB post of the updated Hobbit and went looking to vent my frustrations. Here I am!
I hope you guys are still buying because someone needs to continue to finance these guys and keep them in business until someone else comes along (ala' Pat) and makes a real game.
How you can look at this mess and not see a major step back from WOZ is beyond me. Why not address these following points ...
Why is Smaug a mediocre piece of child artwork and only his head at that?
Why does Smaug not directly interact with the ball despite customers begging for this for 2 years?
How are cabinet decals not a step back from direct-print on ECLEWOZ?
Why are the number of LED inserts cut in half (or more?) from WOZ?
Why could JJP not come up with a creative use for an lcd on the playfield like the cyrstal ball? Pointless.
Where are all the toys that were in WOZ???
Why is more than 2/3 of the playfield completely wide open ... nothing .. void. That's all you could come up with to introduce better "flow"?
Why is JJP no longer including a topper even on the LE's? Where did the cost for that go into?
It's amazing that given a very small number of neat things to look at on the playfield JJP actually managed to find a way to detract from the pop bumer toppers with that ugly looking lcd.
Why is there simply a metal apron with art and not wooden on the LE version (excuse me, versions) of this game? Just 1 more step back from WOZ and again, you couldn't even so much as add backlighting or something original on it?
You can get a TWD shipped to you in the $4500-4600 range no problem. Where do you see the justification for another $4000 (or more) in this game?!? It's just ridiculous. You have to know you are financing the numerous business mistakes JJP has been making to date, no? Because the money is definitely not in the bill of material.
I find it odd Craz4pin's account is unlocked....yet he has zero posts on this big Hobbit reveal day. Then there posts like this. You do the math.
Quoted from ls1chris:
fair enough, i cant find a pic anywhere of what it made me think of in the movie when i saw the "toilet" and the other pillar towards the ball diverter at the back. it reminded me of the "roman plumbing" they used to move the molten gold.
i wonder if this is even final revision on the PF also as no one has seen any of the assets of the final movie either.
they are gonna keep us guessing right until the end.
Well based on the Expo reveal, I think we can all assume that whatever was revealed today is not the final version & changes are still coming to the aesthetics & design. The "pillars" don't look finished to me either & the book will mostly likely be better incorporated into the back corner. Who knows, but fun to guess
Jack also mentioned on the Google Group that Keith installed some new code towards the end of the day today.
If someone could post some video tomorrow of that new code, we'd all be very grateful!
Quoted from BackAlleyMatt:
yes they are columns and or pillars just like in the pic u posted. The color was still being discussed as there are both brown and green in the movie. If u look on the ramp u can see that decals where made to add the look of more columns in the area and to dress up the ramp. here is another pic of the main column that covers the diverter mech.
Wow that was unexpected Matt! Thanks for posting those pics. Very nice work, and I'd have to agree that dark emerald color would probably look best & contrast better against the coins. At least it would match the artwork on the bottom of the playfield. Any ideas for the area by the book?
Quoted from Sammy31:
Unless I missed the post, nobody has yet discussed the return rail on the left side of the playfield (it leads to the left outlane/kicker)....looks like the mechanism that is supposed to place the ball on that rail is still missing...any ideas as to what is will be? I'm not sure if this was even mentioned on that list of "updates yet to come"...
It hasn't been revealed yet. But from what I understood there should be a diverter that can deliver the ball to Smaug, to the LT return lane, or down the LT return rail to the windlance kickback. I always assumed that LT return rail would be a physical ball lock, but I'm really not sure at this point. It could just be that with this basic code running on the prototype, they removed the diverter & the windlance kickback for a later reveal. So still something to look forward to
Quoted from mummite:
I am sure it's still in the works where everything will be positioned, but the book is in an odd place. If this is it's final resting place then the pop cap with the detail should be moved out from under the book.
Also how will the new bag end shot work? Will there be a new switch there where the mode change switches use to be? a roll over button switch or something?
To me it, looks like there's a spot for a rollover button on the new playfield art. Jack called it a "Bumper 10pt switch between top and right (through-the-bumper shot)"
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
Im bummed that smaug is now having more interaction taken from him(no tail diverter, only turns halfway now and no sign of the rest of his body).
Didn't everyone learn from Expo, that what we're seeing is not final? What makes you think that Smaug will only turn halfway now, just because that's how they programmed him for IAPPA? The likely explanation is that they haven't decided, or haven't completed, what the final design of the back of Smaug's head will be. So instead of doing a full 180 turn at IAPPA, they just turned him halfway.
I think the new sculpt of the skull looks much improved. The space between his horns has been cut out & contoured. They've dropped the rock texture completely. When looking at him in profile, it almost looks like he has a massive thick neck. They should just go with a scaled look for the back of his head & made the whole rotating part his head & neck, giving him more mass & presence, and remove the "floating head" appearance. There are plenty of gold pile moldings elsewhere. Just my 2 cents.
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:
we have got to be looking at a near-final machine here... no?
Overall playfield design? You bet. Done deal. The action & mechanics of Smaug, and the rest of the whole playfield are set. But I cannot see how anyone can honestly say that Smaug is a "fail" without seeing the final look & how the toy is integrated into the code & gameplay (talking to the player, rotating, waking up, fire breathing effects in a dark room, god knows what other cool ideas Keith has planned for him, etc). It may not be what you expected, but at least reserve judgment until the game is finished.
I was referring to the little stuff, like color of the pillars, molding around the book LCD, the exact final look of Smaug's head, adding his teeth & tongue, the stickers on the sides of the ramp, etc. Cosmetic changes. I have no doubt it's all going to come together over the next few weeks & be ready to go into production by end of December. Just look how much they accomplished (and were probably working on already) since Expo.
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
Ok so we are just supposed to assume that there is gonna be a different hobbit pin at every show? You know what stops rumors and guessing? Showing a finished machine or tell the buyers exactly what the game is gonna be and quit leaving it up to speculation. I don't like guessing with $7500. That's just me though. Also if the head suddenly goes back to turning 180 degrees my disappointment is more than likely not gonna change.
The smaug head comparison looks the same. The red smaug head was a blurry pic so you can't see the same detail as in the gold.
Well you are definitely entitled to your opinions. And since you're a Judge Dredd fan like me, you obviously have excellent tastes I just look at what it is.....not what it could have been. And so far I really like what I see.
Quoted from Goronic:
I hope that the teeth fit in a way to have them not showing when the mouth is fully closed.
That was my thought as well. In the movie his teeth do not show when his mouth is fully closed, so I'm sure Matt will come up with something clever. With the tongue and lit eyes added, this will end up being a very nicely detailed toy. Very happy so far.
EDIT: Upon looking further, I wish both Smaugs had some black washes applied to bring out more of the scale details. That would be a home run for me
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
This is just being overly picky, id imagine its either teeth or no teeth. I highly doubt they add retractable teeth to this toy. Its not gonna be an exact representation of a cgi smaug.
I wasn't suggesting complex retractable teeth. But they will find a way to have the jaw fully shut as pictured & space cut out inside the mouth for the teeth to fit when the mouth is closed. Can't be that difficult.
Judging how harsh the studio has been with approvals.....yes, the premier character featured on the table is going to look as close to his CGI representation as possible. I think they're practically there already. It's a great looking sculpt.
Quoted from check_switch_26:
There's a nice display of Smaug's head at the Wellington International Airport.
Nifty video of the assembling of the head is here:
(The one in the game is about 1/28th the size.)
Beautiful paint job on that.
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:
My response to you was a play on what Jack had said, making it seem impossible to add body parts to smaug. I have no doubt pinsiders will mod that area in some way so it doesnt look like Smaug the Decapitated.
It depends on how the head mech is coded. If it rotates 180 degrees on the final build, then adding a modded body or torso behind the head is silly. Who wants to see a Linda Blair exorcist Smaug with a backward head on his body? I know I don't. I trust the head is going to get integrated fine with proper lighting in that area, added teeth, lit up eyes & coded mechanics.
Quoted from DarkWizard:
Thats true, but you could still have other body parts (wings/claws/tail) like he is sitting "in the pile of gold" and they are sticking out. You wouldn't necessarily have to have the body and neck directly behind the current head. That way his head can turn but it wouldn't necessarily give the exorcist effect. Even the originally planned "tail" diverter might be enough to make the difference.
I doubt it. Have you looked a photos or video from a top down perspective? Smaug's head is huge & takes up that entire back area. There's no space for body parts/wings/tails sticking out of gold. They'd have to be huge to be in the right perspective, and there's just no room back there for that stuff from what I can see. Time to move on. Ready to see the teeth, lit eyes & the amount of speech/player interaction that gets put into the gameplay.
Quoted from PinballRulez:
If I can make it and will post some stuff here.
Some close up pics of the new Bag End area would be nice. Also a good pic of that "sticker placeholder" on the head. If there's going to be any last-minute surprises before production starts, I'd say it's going to be either a flasher or camera in that area.
I don't believe so. That was an assumption made by everyone here. But with all the changes to the game since expo, it's a moot point now. He gets a pass from me at least, since they've done a lot of work to update the game in the last 2 months, and they're pretty close to finalizing everything at this point. I'm pretty sure production will start around the end of January, since they'd like to avoid the same drama that occurred with WOZ production. No worries from me.
Quoted from PinballRulez:
The change list was published before the game went to Automated Services. And the only things to do from that proto to production model are Smaug teeth, eyes, beast GI and smaller axes I believe.
They recently had a professional photoshoot. Why do that if a lot of changes still have to be made.
Don't get me wrong. I do like to get some pleasant surprise, but Jack saying no more changes and all the other cards on the table I do not see that happening.
Quoted from Goronic:
The gold trim is hard for me to pass up. Are the rails also gold coated to match?
I would love to have a definitive answer to this question. Are the rails the same color on both the SE & LE versions, or do the rails match the color of the trim on each version? Can Alex shed some light on this?
I'd rather hear it from the horses mouth (Alex), as he's the one doing the powdercoating, but you are probably right.
I think it's just the angle as well. But I like the color of the gold trim on TH way better than MMR. The MMR has too much of a yellowish tint to me. Nice to see them side by side tho.
I also heard that Hobbit is running a newer version of code at EAG this week, so I hope someone is kind enough to post some video of it
Quoted from DarkWizard:
OK, well that's good news.
I think I may have figured out something that bothers me.
There are no shots where you can do an "oh shit" recovery that you still graze the ball but didn't get a chance to aim and then it actually goes somewhere useful by accident and you can say... "I meant to do that". Like the Gimli or Shire holes in LOTR. (Not counting when the center toys are up for bashing). Every shot looks very deliberate.
Then play better & make your shots.
The Hobbit will be all about making specific accurate shots in a certain amount of time, in accordance with the 30+ modes (ex. hit this ramp, hit the entire bank of drops, hit the random rapidly moving drop, hit this pop-up troll within 5 seconds, etc etc.). With the unique controllable drop targets, there must be thousands of possible scenarios they can create. Obviously it depends on the code. But I'd much rather have a game that rewards me for my skills. The more difficult the better. The harder it is to master, then the longer it's a keeper.
Well we can clearly tell that there's at least one outlane mode on TH already, Gollum & the ring on the RT outlane. Since there's an insert there, I'm guessing you'll have to light it first before starting the outlane mode (perhaps one of the mystery target awards). I'm really looking forward to whatever that mode becomes, guessing riddles by making timed shots, etc. For me as a little kid, that was the most memorable part of the Rakin/Bass animated movie, not Smaug.
Agreed. Some of the complaints I've read so far seem unjustified. Difficulty making the ramps? Just increase the flipper strength. Game seems slow? Increase the pitch to your liking. These types of gripes can all be adjusted during setup.
Huh? They were never contractually obligated, that was just assumed by pinsiders. They made late changes to the game, that obliviously changed the release date. They're not holding off on shipping until the Blu-ray release.
Keith has stated in the past that they'll ship with code & modes covering the 1st two movies, then update later on with 3rd movie material once the Blu-ray is released & they are able to work with the assets. That will take extra time itself. No way they holding off on starting production til April/May to time with 3rd movie code. They've got to start getting TH out the door soon if they're going to release Lawlor's pin in Q3/Q4 2015.
Moot point. Release dates obviously revised when they made all the design changes after Expo.
Quoted from lowepg:
Ok, so this was actually pretty easy to find.... search term "contractually obligated" and it popped right up!
Better grab your torches & pitchforks. Jack posted something on an internet forum that turned out not to be true.
As stated above, the delay is worth it and the game will be even better because of it.
Quoted from beelzeboob:
You call it a decal. I call it a missed opportunity. They could have done something really interesting with that area.
Maybe with all the late changes, whatever was planned for the backbox got pushed down the priority list. They're under the wire to finish up & they just can't keep adding things. Or they could surprise us all with a last minute backbox feature reveal. Who knows?
The more I think about it, I really think it's just going to be a placeholder decal on the Hobbit. That's a bit disappointing, but I'm sure they already have a long-term plan. Whatever tech they're planning to put in that area (such as a suggested camera or flasher), probably won't be revealed until Pat's game. Then they can always make an add-on mod available down the road to add that feature to the Hobbit.
Someone who had a good look at it mentioned earlier that the decal is the Arkenstone wall carving that was above the secret door entrance. If they put a custom molded glowing Arkenstone in the backbox, and code the lighting to the game modes, that would look pretty awesome.
Quoted from Asael:
I still doubt that what we have seen lately is the final! Perhaps it's close, but there was talk about teeth for smaug for an example. Or is that canceled.
I feel there will be some small additions on the final reveal, such as Smaug's teeth & his lit eyes, maybe improved sling axes, custom game # plaque added to the apron, covering exposed wires, etc, etc. But the ship has sailed on major design requests that people repeatedly keep bringing up, like moving the book LCD to the apron. As Jack has stated, the design is done. Time to start building these & getting first deliveries going by the end of Q1 2015.
Quoted from PaulCoff:
Does the apron light up and inform the player on modes/status? This was mention awhile back in an interview w/Jack, but I do not see it implemented in these protypes. Anyone know for sure or was it mentioned already that it got cut?
They moved on from that idea & put the map in the upper RT corner of the backbox LCD. It shows your progress on your quest through Middle Earth. Go to the 1:15 mark of the video & you can see how it might be implemented. Works for me.
In the pipeline? Not really. This has been covered in other threads. You're not going to see a new Star Wars pin based on any of the new films until the new trilogy is completed. That's around 2019. The production around those films is the most top secret in history, so there's zero chance of them releasing any assets to be used in the design of an upcoming pinball machine made by a 3rd party company. Just look at the difficulty JJP had with producing TH and working with assets & getting approvals. A new SW pin will come eventually, but not for years.
That being said, I hope JJP secures the rights. The theme fits their family friendly model & would look incredible on their large LCD & history of deep coding.
What you paid for a pin has nothing to do with it.
One simply cannot judge a pin before playing it for yourself. Period. Especially when the design of the machine in question hasn't even been finalized yet, and you haven't even seen how the final code, design, sound & gameplay all come together.
I'm really happy they changed the color of the pillars from tan to emerald green. With the black detailing it really makes the gold coins pop even more! That back corner is going to look great now. Well done Matt.
I think I'm in the same boat as everyone else preferring the red Smaug, but I'd have to see both placed in a machine to have a better idea. Really looking forward to seeing how the lit eyes are integrated into the gameplay, but I'm sure it involves Smaug waking up when eyes are lit. Very happy! Keep up the great work JJP
From what I can put together, there are 35 hexes representing modes. There could be 10 modes specific to each of the 3 films. The backglass already says "Shoot character or spell race to qualify modes". So these modes could be started by completing the drop targets (for Elf, Dwarf & Men), or there could be modes specific to hitting the Gandalf & Bilbo ramps, or the Radaghast scoop when lit.
Then there's the 3 goal modes already written on the playfield (Into the Fire, Barrel Escape & Battle of the Five Armies), and I imagine those are specific multiball modes, similar to LOTR. That leaves 2 hexes for Final Wizard modes, equaling 35.
Then there's the popups with the 4 beast hurry-up shots, Gollum ring mode, collecting the dwarfs, the key shot, obtaining sting, finding the arkenstone, the windlance, killing Smaug, defeating Azog, etc. etc. With so much content from these films, there's going to be a huge amount unique scenarios to cover it all. The more modes the better, and the best man in programming is on the job.
Of course I'm probably completely wrong about all of it. Care to enlighten us Keith? I think there are many of us who find the code potential the most exciting thing about this pin
Quoted from Goronic:
But that would be an edge issue - I think it would be hard to get dust under the bulk/center of the playfield.
I completely disagree. There are 4 pop-ups on The Hobbit playfield, all needing holes cut out of the Playfield protector for the mechs to operate. So there will be plenty of edges for dust to get under the protector.
It's complete overkill for home use IMO. I'm passing.
The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Blu-ray is set for release on 3/24/15, so at this point we're not going to see any units shipping before then, that's for sure.
If they're waiting on updated parts to come in, or just holding off to ship with code that encompasses all three films......I get that. But the no update silence is deafening & it's a bit disappointing for everyone. It's not just on here, but on the Google group as well.
I'm sure they already have at least one build of a final production table with all the changes & updated parts. They had a professional photo shoot take place over a month ago. Throw us a bone & release those finalized marketing materials. How about Keefer officially comments on how the code is coming together? That small gesture would make alot of us happy until production starts
And here I thought with all this activity we had some actual news I'll check back Saturday.
Any pics PinballSTAR could post from the event would be greatly appreciated. I would really like to see video of a toothed Smaug in action
That was the best video yet, so thanks for posting that!
Quoted from lodgingdolphin:
The LCD screen over the pop bumpers didn't do much for me. I don't think I noticed what was playing on that screen once during the game. I'm sure that will change once more time is spent playing.
From what I saw in the video (at the 1:08 mark), one of the uses of the book is to show the countdown for timed modes, similar to TSPP. You can see the countdown on the main display as well, but it's much easier to just quickly glance at the book. Well done.
I also like the addition of the 4 spotlights. If I had one suggestion, I wish they had used color-changing GI lighting instead of just standard white. That could have really set the overall mood for the different modes. But with so many modes & multiple tasks running at the same time, maybe that would have been too much? I'd really like to ask Jack why they didn't go that route.
Otherwise looks phenomenal, fast, and may require some serious quick multitasking skills during gameplay. The shipping date can't come fast enough!
Quoted from DarkWizard:
Speaking of the drop targets. To anyone who has seen the prototype recently, Have they quieted them down at all? I know the one early video with glass ON where they were cycling around the playfield, they were very loud and seemed distracting. I'm not sure what "mode" that was, but I haven't seen it in any of the new videos.
I think the sound of the drops won't even be an issue during gameplay. Didn't seem that loud after watching the new videos. Anyway with all the effects & music pumping from the superior sound system, whatever sound comes from the drops should be minimized.
Quoted from DarkWizard:
But is it the extended edition?
I read the extended edition of The Five Armies, as well as the definitive Extended Edition Bluray Box Set "The Hobbit: There & Back Again", will be released this November. Just in time for Christmas.
I anything they should be sending some updates to the actual paying customers on the Google Group, but it's been crickets over there for months as well. It is what it is I guess.
I really believe they're just waiting on updated parts, as I remember reading something that they had to re-make all the heads for the popups at the last minute because WB wanted their logo stamped onto them. I'd be shocked if production has not begun by June 1st. They want it out the door just as much as we do.
I just focus on other stuff & when it gets here, it gets here.
A 5 minute video of updated gameplay from MGC would be awesome right now. Thanking someone in advance to post it
I want to see these lights in the popups, ring button graphics & new sounds. I liked the sound the spinners made from the other video.
I just spotted this Hobbit video on YouTube from the MGC show Thanks to whomever posted it. Few things I noticed...
1) Popups are lit with white light from under the playfield. Nice touch!
2) Smaug's eyes appear to light up briefly during the multiball mode
3) Ring button graphic on the main LCD screen. Options said to light Thorin or Attempt backstab.
4) There's a new jackpot animation. Can't wait to hear the Gandalf callout for it later on.
5) Windlance ready insert is lit
6) New colored yellow bats with red rubber
Just keeps improving I really think Keith is swinging for the fences on this one, trying to top what he did on LOTR. I cannot wait for the full implementation of all the modes. You're going to really feel like you're Playing as Bilbo on a great adventure. And if there's a hidden wizard mode like Valinor Multiball, that's the icing on the cake for me.
Quoted from solarvalue:
If you watch closely you can see that some of the lighting effects (orange) represent fire coming from the dragon's mouth. The eyes on the dragon head light and then the inserts light up in orange in the direction in which the head is facing. So, in the video this is mostly down the left side but at one point (0.38-0.39) the head is facing across the playfield towards the upper right and you can see the same lighting effect going in a different direction. Pretty clever really.
Excellent job picking this up! I also noticed that when Smaug is breathing fire that a flame animation rolls across the book LCD. I can only imagine how this "fire breathing orange insert effect" will look in a darkened room when fully implemented.
Quoted from wcbrandes:
There is nothing really here yet with the dropping targets etc.
I totally agree. We've really seen nothing on how the drop targets will be coded & utilized for the different modes, other than this old test mode video.
I just don't buy the argument that there's just nothing to shoot at on this pin. It's an absurd statement to me.
There are 3 banks of 11 individually controlled drop targets, with standup targets behind them. These can be controlled as an actual target, or can be programmed to popup & block your shot at the targets behind them. They can also block your shot to the VUKs. As seen in the test video, they can move extremely fast. One single drop can dart quickly across the playfield as an incredibly difficult target to hit for a skill shot. The variations are endless, and will provide COUNTLESS unique shots for the modes, depending on how they're programmed.
There are 2 spinner loops, 2 ramps, 2 VUKs and 1 captive ball....all which have both arrow & scroll inserts which can be lit for different mode shots. There potential there for multiple modes running & stacking. Similar to LOTR, you can start a mode, and then be required to hit multiple specific ramps, VUKs, etc to score jackpots & complete the mode, or make a shot to extend the mode timer.
Then there's the 4 popup targets, which can be used for timed hurry up shots, or popup randomly to block your shots to the ramps, drops, etc. There's huge potential there, especially when used in conjunction with the controlled drop targets. There's also the 4 lock rollovers, which can be programmed to light as specific targets, in addition to lighting the ball locks. There's also the mystery standup target, and also the shot into Bag End & the pops. Don't forget about the kickback either, and how it may be integrated with a shot to the upper right flipper for a Smaug killshot.
Plus Smaug should have a part in controlling the loop ramp diverter, the 2 magnets at the top of the loops, and the subway underneath to work against you to interfere with your shots, or randomly effect where the ball will appear.
And we just heard about the Ring Button, which will add even more depth to helping complete your shots and launching the windlance.
Sorry for running on......but to me, this pin has the potential to be the ultimate shooting man's pin, with an incredible depth of shot variations. By my count there are nearly 40 individual targets to shoot in this game. How is that nothing to shoot at? I guess if there was a simple big Smaug bash toy some would be happier. But that's not me. I'm a thinking man who loves a challenge. Give me a variety of targets. I find the thought of being under pressure to make all these different shots exciting! I love machines that put my meager skills to the test, provide incredible depth of play. It can kick my ass & keeps me coming back for more. And if there's a mythical hidden mode on the Hobbit like Valinor Multiball, then I'll never get rid of my machine until I reach it.
To me this much is clear......The Hobbit is going to be an incredibly unique & challenging experience. Keith has to be thrilled to get another chance to dive into Middle Earth, and create an experience that surpasses his outstanding work on LOTR. The first shipment can't come soon enough. Keep up the good work JJP!
After doing some more thinking, there's even more skill shot possibilities right off the ball plunger. A strong pull could hit one of the moving DWARF drop targets, or go into the LT VUK. You could time your plunger pull to hit one of the moving popups. Or a soft plunger pull could roll across all four rollover locks right off the bat. And that's before the game has even started.
And I'm sure that the power of the windlance can be adjusted by programming, so that the ball can be shot at the MAN drop targets or the RT VUK. As for that "useless" RT upper flipper, it's clear that a powered up windlance shot can get the ball up to that flipper, then across to the DWARF drop targets.
So imagine that the Smaug killshot is ready & the windlance is loaded. 4 of the 5 DWARF targets are up & moving back & forth, simulating Smaug's exposed scale & leaving a single standup target exposed. The lower flippers have been disabled. The playfield is dark, Smaug is taunting you, breathing fire all across the playfield. The shaker kit is rumbling, the sound & music are booming. The timer is counting down. You have one chance to launch the ball up to the RT upper flipper & make the killshot, or the ball will drain. Talk about pressure! And how satisfying would making that shot be for the player? Perhaps one of the most satisfying in pinball.
When I look at this playfield I see so much potential. This game is going to be a home run.
The only thing I've ever heard about a topper was this design by Illvjr, posted in a long lost bag end thread about 4 months ago. His quote from that thread....
"This was the bag end topper I had designed for the game. It's not going into production unless I did a aftermarket as a mod. My design had LEDs inside the house to light up the windows simulating the sun. And the door would be on a actuator. When u hit the start button the door would open half way to simulate starting the journey. When the game would end it would close...
Pinnovators retains the drawing still but it wasn't submitted to wb."
I'd be very interested in buying this, as I'm sure others would as well. Beautiful design & functionality. So are there any plans for after-market production?
Quoted from dtowndobe:
I was told, by Jack @ at the Allentown show, that TH production was going to begin in a few weeks. Not sure if that means 2 weeks, 3 weeks or more, but that's all I got to share...
Quoted from RobT:
Interesting. Someone else posted that Jack told them production would start at the end of June.
I think most people would agree that a "couple" means 2 & a "few" means 3. If Jack said a few weeks, then we should just double that expectation, based on his track record. I think we can safely assume production will start in 6 weeks from now, which would put us right at the end of June.
You're both right.
Christopher Lee kicks ass in general
I can't wait to see what Keith comes up with. Those ring modes are going to be really cool. I hope the playfield goes dark when you put it on, but Smaug is still lit up & blowing fire across the inserts.
Jen said August? Seriously? That's completely absurd. I realistically expected production to begin around the beginning of June. Considering most expected production to start in December, I think we've been more than forgiving at this point, even with all the Expo changes.
I've been a huge supporter of this pin, but even I'm beginning to crack with these extended delays and ZERO official communication from JJP. I understand why there were delays, but it's the communication that I'm having a problem with. If they don't want to post on here, that's fine, but at least send out regular updates to your paying customers on the Google Forum who have already paid in full. When was the last official JJP update email sent? Early February? I can't even remember now.
So if an August production start is true, and since I'm at the very back of the preorder line, I can expect AT LEAST 6-9 additional months of production before I can even think of receiving delivery in approx Spring 2016??? I'm sorry but I just can't envision them pumping out 1500 pins in 3-4 months. Maybe I'm wrong. But this is becoming a serious test of patience.
I'm sorry but JJP is dropping the ball & losing momentum on this project. Just look at this this thread. Not a peep of activity since Stern announced their latest. There's lots of great pins in the pipeline now from multiple manufacturers. The masses minds are elsewhere & moving on to the next big thing. Who can blame them? Shit even my mind is drifting.
Sorry for the rant (something I've never done on here). Just getting frustrated. A little communication goes a long way, you know? This post is not an opportunity either for the haters to light their torches about JJP, Pre-Ordering, etc & repeat the same arguments I've read a million times before. Been there, done that.
Enough of the second-hand hearsay & whispers from the latest pinball event. This is a thread about HOBBIT UPDATES......so let's get an official one already Jack. Your customers deserve nothing less at this point. Thanks.
I find the lack of updates completely unprofessional at this point. But if you have no good news to report, then I can see why they've gone silent. Still no excuse.
He's going to need to start producing these Hobbits by July 1st, or else I may actually consider pulling out. That's something I never even thought would happen, because I love JJPs cutting edge tech & Keith Johnson's coding. The more time that goes by, on top of the realization that I won't receive my pin for at least another 6 months after production starts, is almost too much to ask. I preordered thinking "they can't possibly have the same types of production delays on the 2nd machine as they did on the first", yet here we are.
There's just so many great pins out there that I could buy & be playing right now, instead of letting my money sit for nearly a whole additional year. I've learned a lot about this hobby since I first put down that pre-order cash, and I almost have to pinch myself when I realize I'm dropping 8K+ on a pin that I haven't even played yet. And here's more food for thought......What if the rumors are true that Stern's next Ritchie/Lyman title release is Game of Thrones in the Fall? What if Hobbit production really is delayed for another 3 months from now? We could potentially have the top 2 pin manufactures both producing a Fantasy/Dragon themed pin with their best design/programming teams, on the market at the same time, at the same price point, competing for the same dollars. Interesting to say the least, and a situation I'm sure JJP would like to avoid.
Quoted from PanzerFreak:
At JJP's last presentation at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade show someone asked in the Q&A section if there is anything left on The Hobbit to be shown that isn't on the game today...Jack said yes.
Yeah, the plaque with your Edition number has yet to be revealed. I wouldn't get too excited. He's also stated over & over that the overall design was done.
Quoted from Skyemont:
I think for some 2015 is right. Just won't be that many and won't be mine for sure.
Yep. And this is why I bailed. Didn't feel like being at the end of the line & waiting well into 2016. But after reading Ted & Keith's comments, I'm feeling a little regretful. Code is going to be insanely deep & features will be entertaining. Can always get one later tho
Quoted from lowepg:
I think a bigger threat to TH is a Stern GoT machine (assuming TH is slow to ship and Stern kicks up the innovation with GoT- ie LCD, great sound, etc).
And there's only so much money in owners pockets to drop these NIB, highly priced machines. Sure we'll probably have tons of options to purchase this fall/winter (TH, GoT, Kiss, SMVE, Alien, etc), but most people don't have that kind of money to drop, let alone on just one. Most of us will have to choose.
Just one of the reasons I bailed on TH. The delays are doing them no favors, and announcing Lawlor's pin before 2016 would be a poor decision. You might get a name reveal at Expo, but I'm guess not much more than that.
Quoted from PanzerFreak:
What's crazy is that the wait for TH has now exceeded the time that JJP was announced as a company and the time the first WOZ games shipped. TH appears to have less going on it then WOZ (still a lot), the platform is already built and a factory exists so that makes the delays even more puzzling.
Hit the nail on the head
Quoted from PinballRulez:
My main problem is the lack of concrete info. When is my game being delivered. Based on that info I can make a decision. It is all too vague at the moment. And for me there is only one alternative at the moment, but that pin isn't available either.
I feel for you man, and always enjoyed reading your comments here for the last year or so. Seems like you're reaching your breaking point too. I think the only thing you can assume at this point is that you won't be getting your Hobbit until Spring 2016 at the earliest. Sure they'll probably start production in the Fall, but based on their production track record, it's going to take awhile to pump out 1000+ games (along with WOZs & new standard Hobbits mixed in there). Can you handle that? That's just rational thinking, and I just couldn't deal with the thought of another year of waiting, no matter how awesome the game turns out to be.
And when that "alternative" pin gets revealed (cough cough GOT)....I think your decision will become much clearer.
My guess is that JJP is probably saving the complete ruleset release for their Expo presentation in October. I last heard TH production won't start until October, so they need something to talk about at Expo. Can't keep giving the same presentations over & over.
Highly unlikely that they'll be showing Lawlor's pin at Expo this year either, unless they feel like cannibalizing Hobbit sales. Maybe a theme/name reveal on Lawlor, but that's it.
I guess we'll know more in a week or so at the open house.
EDIT: Even though this is a Hobbit update thread, I'm not complaining about the Tron talk I'm a huge electronic fan, always loved the movies & would love to own one someday.
Well I don't see it that way. These JJP games aren't cheap & most people on here can't afford both, let alone one of them.
If Lawlor's pin is revealed before Hobbit is well into production, then a lot of people might ask for a refund on the Hobbit & move that money to Lawlor's pin. I don't see how that helps JJP. They aren't producing multiple titles like Stern, just barley 2 at the moment. There's also the chance that if Stern's GOT is revealed at Expo (which it probably will) & it turns out to have all kinds of new Stern tech (LCD), then it also has a good chance to cause additional refunds from Hobbit pre-orders.
Yes in the long run JJP needs to be producing multiple titles at the same time. But getting the Hobbit out the door is the immediate priority right now.
Quoted from Rarehero:
"People on here" are a minor fraction of pinball sales. They're trying to sell games to all kinds of customers around the world - not just the hardcore forum fanatics.
I would argue that people on here (operators & pinball fans) drive the industry, not a bunch of mythical worldwide deep pocketed buyers that are out there buying up $9500 WOZRR & Hobbit Pre-orders left & right as Jack would have you believe.
I'd also be willing to bet that the majority of operators & fans feel that almost 10K for a NIB JJP pin is ridiculous. All I'm saying is it's not in there best interest to reveal a THIRD title when it's taken over 3 years to get the SECOND title out the door (which it has yet). It will cannibalize their own sales. My two cents, moving on....
Quoted from Rarehero:
What ever became of Balcer, anyway? It was odd that he left well before the game was finished. Did he ever land on his feet somewhere?
The first red flag was when Balcer left over a year ago. The game design clearly wasn't finished, yet JJP brushed off his departure saying it would have no effect on Hobbit development, because the game design was already finished. Well how'd that work out at Expo 2014?? Add up all the BS and the coming delays were clear as day.
Quoted from Hazoff:
Thats what happened to me, I think the game looks great but I recently backed out as I just don't care anymore. Still, I will probably pick one up second hand in the years to come.
Amen. This looks like the current way of thinking lately. I keep noticing more & more people (like myself) who were vocal supporters in this thread over the last 2 years making comments just like yours. People are dropping out & the buzz on this project is practically dead.
I'm not surprised there was no news this weekend, but what a huge disappointment for preorders. Really a missed opportunity for JJP to come clean on the Hobbit production timetable. I feel bad for everyone still waiting on this title. If that GOT reveal meets expectations, get ready for a wave of refund requests.
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:
He indicates that mostly they ran out of time on it both internally and with the licensor.
So it sounds to me like JJP ran out of development time, not "License holder rejected idea of Smaug eating pinballs". Another stretching of the truth from JJP to deflect blame.
Shame because that could have been really cool toy.
Quoted from vid1900:
Realistically, I bet I don't see my game for another year.
This is why I decided to get out back in May. Even with all the excessive delays, they don't exactly have a great track record of pumping the games out the door when the production finally starts either.
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