We're back!

After a disaster in our datacenter took down our server, we are now running Pinside on a brand new server. However, things may not work as expected as we are still polishing the playfield and adjusting some switches! We might be switching to maintenance mode a few times. Please see this forum topic for more info.

(Topic ID: 77386)

Hobbit Update

By B9

7 years ago

Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 10,044 posts
  • 743 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by GravitaR
  • Topic is favorited by 96 Pinsiders


Linked Games

You're currently viewing posts by Pinsider panzerfreak.
Click here to go back to viewing the entire thread.

#27 7 years ago

Oh wow! I feel that is going to be one heck of amazing pin! Looks like its shaping up nicely. New interface looks very cool. I can see how certain scoring elements will likely be placed in the four corners of the screen.

#29 7 years ago
Quoted from B9:

I noticed the reflection in the JJP logo video is no longer showing WOZ

HOB.jpg 10 KB

WOZ.jpg 11 KB

Talk about attention to detail!

#31 7 years ago

The audio in this game is going to raise the bar I think for pinball sound. Very cool that JJP has hired Two Steps From Hell to do the music.

#36 7 years ago

Anyone else notice that there are no longer drops below the left and right upper flippers? The layout design shows drop targets in those locations with targets behind them but the white wood shows standard standing targets. Is this how the game will be made or is that just for the white wood and drop targets in those locations will be in the game?

I hope its the last option as come on this is a JJP game and it should have a lot of mechanical toys / features like WOZ.

Update: I do notice a lot of space between the stand up targets and the playfield in front of it on the white wood picture. Seems like that space may be intended for the actual drop targets?

14a (1).jpg

#92 7 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Looking pretty cool, one question though, what's the point of using the top flippers when you can hit everything with the bottom flippers? What am i missing here?

Well, I don't think we will be able to hit either ramp with the front two pop ups (if there character pop ups) up using the bottom flippers. In those times say to get rid of the pop ups you may have to hit them on the back of the targets by making both ramps from the upper left and right flippers.

#95 7 years ago

I think it was intended for the films to be long and drawn out as Peter Jackson has literally enough time to cover the entire book and then some especially with putting in extra content that isn't even in the book. Personally I just love the world of Middle Earth and the more drawn out it is the better as long as Peter Jackson is the director for a Tolkien written book. I'll probably buy all of the extended editions on Blu Ray in a set when they are out as I did with LOTR. I think it will be too difficult to stay awake and watch all 6 films back to back though, haha.

For anyone interested in seeing how The Hobbit films were made check out the documentary below. Its a long video but wow is it ever cool just seeing how much work went into the films and the passion the crew has for them.

#139 7 years ago
Quoted from Ice9ers:

Game play enjoyment is all that matters to me. I have a WW. Not high scoring by comparison to most DMD's but it's a keeper. But I am so confused on choosing between keeping my MMRLE order (love MM) or changing it to THLE ( don't love WOZ).

I was in that exact same boat. If I could afford both I would get both but I can't. I decided to go with The Hobbit as while I enjoy MM for the same price, $8k (or $7.5k with preordering Sept 13) I would be getting a pinball machine with the latest tech in pinball, a loaded wide body game, game with an LCD, some similar elements to MM and a quest based ruleset from Keith and Ted. After I thought about that it was an easy decision to make. MM is still an amazing pin but I just can't afford that and a Hobbit plus I'm a huge fan of the books and films.

#148 7 years ago

I think The Hobbit is going to have one heck of a deep ruleset based off of what we saw in the video. Here's where I'm thinking the rules are going. This is going to be something new for pinball when you toss in the LCD display.

1. Each players goal is travel the path of Bilbo, the Dwarf's and Gandalf from the point where they arrive at Bilbo's house all the way towards the end of the last movie.
2. We can see the green, red and yellow markers on the map of Middle Earth in the center of the screen. Each marker represents a player. If a character is in mission in Lake Town then his marker will be there on the map while another player could still be all the way back in the Shire.
3. Each point where a player stops in Middle Earth will represent one of the games missions.

Other guesses

1. Defeating Smaug will be a wizard mode similar to Destroy the Ring in LOTR and Battle the Wicked Witch in WOZ. I don't see defeating Smaug being a There and Back Again or Somewhere Over the Rainbow type wizard mode as people are going to want to fight the dragon on a good to great game.

2. The title of the last movie is called "There and Back Again". I think this will be the games final wizard mode where you somehow have to go back through Middle Earth on the display / game and get back to the Shire.

3. There will be a mode where you go back and forth with Golumn with riddles. Beating this mode and others will award you a reward.

4. Rewards along the way will include the key into the Lonely Mountain, the ring, and Bilbo's sword Sting.

1 month later
#250 7 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

No, it's just that gauntlet is more exciting to talk about , because it's here, and not a figment imaginary machine that we won't see for 3 years.

This thread is about The Hobbit...Also no one will be waiting 3 more years for the game. I bet the first games start shipping by the end of the year with a majority arriving the first half of next year.

#271 7 years ago

Bilbo Baggins multiball wizard mode featuring music by Leonard Nimoy?!

3 weeks later
#295 7 years ago

Same here. It's going to be interesting to hear just what type of toys are filling up the IO board more then WOZ. Here's some guesses I have for the toys and features.

1. 11 drop targets.
2. Three of the five Smaug drop targets (the three on the right) may be a rising / lowering drop target bank similar to the one Tron and Attack From Mars. Personally I'm hoping the three targets are a moving target bank so players have some way to attack Smaug.
3. We know there are 4 pop up's in the middle of the playfield but are they all going to be character pop ups? I'm going to guess that one of the pop ups is a trap door and that a couple of them will have targets not only on the front but the back as well. Each pop up can be hit from behind by either shooting one of the ramp shots for the upper two pop ups or hitting the orbits for the lower pop ups.
4. Smaug will be interactive on at least the level of the castle in MM if not more.
5. We haven't seen everything under the playfield. Jack said something along the lines of a lot happening under the playfield in the machine as a lot happens underground in the movie. There could very well be a lower mini playfield.

#313 7 years ago
Quoted from PEN:

I did not know you were into LSD Panzer.

LOL! Those are the type of videos you can find when doing random YouTube browsing at 2:00am, haha.

#314 7 years ago

Anyone else see the recent Facebook post that PinballSTAR Amusements posted today?

"Smaug... The Hobbit pinball...
We have gotten teasers from Jersey Jack Pinball saying that the Smaug dragon toy in the top left of the playfield will 'be alive' and interact with the ball...
When the info is released at some point I will send the person I deem to be closest to being correct and most descriptive a Hobbit pinball prize package.
It's fun, it's free, you can win cool stuff... Let's hear all those great ideas and theories... Again, this about the Smaug toy part of the game only..."

Sounds like the Smaug toy may be interactive on the level of the Castle in MM.

I've been wondering where the ball locking mech will be on The Hobbit and up until now thought it would be one of the pop ups if one is a trap door. While that is still a possibility I'm going to guess that the Smaug toy is also the ball locking mech similar to the castle in MM.

#317 7 years ago

Sounds like fun! I wonder if JJP would use a ball similar to the Power Ball in TZ for the Arcenstone?

1 week later
#425 7 years ago

I heard that Jack will be speaking about The Hobbit at TPF this evening. Any update on if he said anything new?

#471 7 years ago

So I just read about the Gandalf extra ball animation. I wonder if this means JJP signed or is planning to sign Sir Ian Mckellen for custom call outs? That would be awesome!

#472 7 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

They stand to gain new customers and keep the ones they have. You do realize they still haven't sold out of all 1500 LE's (we have no idea if they're even close at this point.) That alone breaks Jack's prediction that Hobbit would sell out much faster than WOZ. You also realize there were 2 more pre-orders for sale on Pinside in the last day? I dropped my pre-order as well due to lack of confidence and a lack of transparency on JJP's behalf. If you don't want to show something ... then why can't you even CLEARLY state your progress?? Customers don't deserve at least that much? Because if I had been told from the beginning back in Dec 2012 that I would not be shown hardly anything on progress (much less on any sort of a regular basis) I never would have put my money down.

Jack has clearly stated progress about The Hobbit including playing the latest whitewood and releasing more animations. With WOZ he had to release a lot of information about the game to get buyers on-board but like many are now saying WOZ speaks for itself, especially with 3.0 just released, and now JJP can play its cards closer to their chest because of their success. I also think, and read, that Jack doesn't want to release too much information about the game as he's then giving ideas away to the competition. With The Hobbit JJP has already released far more information (including animations, cabinet art work, who's doing the audio, that TH uses up all of the IO board, etc) then we are used to with Stern so I think they are being as transparent and open as they can be without just giving ideas way to Stern.

#487 7 years ago

Here's the comments made about The Hobbit from TPF.

From Pinball News

"After showing a brief trailer, Jack said he had been to the JJP mid-west location to play one of the two whitewoods for The Hobbit, which he said is a very different game to The Wizard of Oz. He described how it uses the same driver board as The Wizard of Oz, but where in that game there are seventeen unused drivers, these are all used in The Hobbit.

Although the details have not been revealed yet, Jack said Smaug - the dragon - will be positioned on a mountain on the upper left side of the playfield and would interact with the ball in a couple of ways. He also described it as a strategy game with more than two controls on each side which the player can use to control what happens on the playfield."

Also about half way down the page below you will find the audio clip from when JJP spoke at TPF. Jacks comments about The Hobbit are in the first 10 minutes of the video.


I think the coolest thing said during the JJP panel is Jack mentioning that The Hobbit will have even more features / toys packed in then WOZ. Jack said that The Hobbit uses all 17 unused IO driver port inputs that we're not used on WOZ!

#526 7 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

Display animations and sound update:
» YouTube video

DAMN! That "Extra Ball" animation is very cool! Looks like there's been more than a few changes to the playfield layout too. There appears to be a lot more going on based off of the updated playfield layout.

#574 7 years ago
Quoted from Darkslide632:

Jack said he wouldn't ship WoZ without unfinished code, too...

Hey at least the code is now done and has a deep ruleset unlike many other modern games. WOZ also sounds like the most complex pin Keith ever worked on which makes having complete code for WOZ even more impressive.

#576 7 years ago
Quoted from Darkslide632:

Preaching to the choir, my man. I love the game.

Haha, same here. I'm just glad the code did get finished for the game. I remember emailing Jack a year ago about if WOZ would have a deep ruleset and he simply replied with "One word...Keith!".

#607 7 years ago

Great points. I feel the exact same way and enjoy many of the games that Stern and JJP are putting out.

#622 7 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Given the trouble getting games out the door, lets go with Atari Jaguar.

Let the JJP jabs continue!

#627 7 years ago
Quoted from PW79:

Have No Fear Captain JJP Defender is here!

Haha! Yup, your right...I'm here to defend JJP from the trolls! It's a pretty easy job thankfully, really short hours.

#628 7 years ago
Quoted from retired_user_101:

just skipped 200 posts hoping for news

Jack is speaking at the Michigan Pinball Expo today so maybe we will hear something new regarding The Hobbit. If he starts taking questions I'm going to try and ask if JJP plans on hiring one of the actors from the films for custom voice work.

#644 7 years ago
Quoted from retired_user_101:

great question !!
keep us posted

I asked Jack today at MPE if JJP is thinking of hiring someone from the films to do voice work for The Hobbit. It sounds like a no He mentioned that Martin Freeman wanted $100k for 10 minutes of voice work and that custom voice work from film actors has gone up significantly since the days of games like LOTR. There's still hope I guess that they get someone else from the films that would be a bit cheaper. Jack did say that they have Two Steps From Hell to do the music for the game which alone I can imagine is not cheap consideromg that major film studios have hired them to do music for big budget films.

As far as what else Jack spoke about at MPE it was some of the same things from TPF. Jack and Butch showed the same Hobbit clip they showed at TPF. Jack did say that they will likely be showing playfield artwork for TH soon. From what I heard it sounds like playfield art cannot be released until the second movie is out on Blu Ray / DVD since the playfield uses assets from the first and second films. Jack did say that the cabinet and playfield use assets from the 1st and 2nd films while the third movie will be incorporated on screen as otherwise the game wouldn't ship on time.

It was nice hearing Jack talk about his passion for JJP and pinball in general. You can really tell that Jack loves what he does, wants to make customers happy and wants to run a company that makes fun pinball games. Jack also mentioned that some operator magazine (not "Replay" that Jack writes for) ranked WOZ as #1 in earnings for April. One funny comment that Jack did make was in regards to some of the constant WOZ bashing by a select few on Pinside...he said something very close to (in a joking tone) "that they don't know sh*t about building a pinball company", haha. That got a good laugh out of the crowd. Overall Jack and Butch gave a really nice presentation and it was great to have JJP at MPE again.

#647 7 years ago
Quoted from bmunn1:

I thought the 2nd DVD was out already.

It's out this Tuesday, April 8th.

#649 7 years ago
Quoted from retired_user_101:

thanks for taking the time to post the news
have fun there.

You're welcome! I also recall Jack mentioning something about the player controlling divertors on top of the playfield and underneath the game. My guess is that players will be able to control the main ramp divertor. I do wonder if controlling an under the playfield divertor means that guesses about an underground playfield with camera that can then be played on the LCD is going to happen. That idea does fit with the theme as an underground playfield could represent Smaugs layer inside the Lonely Mountain and you battle with him below and above the playfield (he could be an interactive toy that rises / lowers from one playfield to the next) just like how the characters in the films battle with him inside the Lonely Mountain and then outside later on in the films.

#657 7 years ago

working, reliable, fully coded?

Working: Where's the issue here? Are you talking about WOZ games with the 5 volt LED board issues? Those are games are not down for the count, people can get replacement boards, games with 7 volt boards are out (far more vs 5 volt games) and thankfully a permanent fix is being developed for people with a light board issue. Many many owners with 7 volt games haven't had an issue, including my own game.

Reliable: How is WOZ the highest earner at many locations if it's not reliable? Does adjusting switches / coils make it unreliable? Every pin regardless of manufacture would be deemed unreliable then. I know of a WOZ near me that was one of the first shipped yet still out earns every other pin, including modern Sterns, right next to it...

Fully coded: Why even bring this up with 3.0 out? WOZ has a deeper ruleset than any modern Stern game. Over a dozen updates have been released in the past year. Keith and Ted coded on the most complex pinball platform yet and still managed to create a deep complete ruleset for the game. Also JJP didn't make owners wait 6+ months for a code update to complete the game.

Jack and JJP developed, built, shipped and have now supported one of the most complex pins the pinball industry has ever seen. Please tell me how he hasn't kept his word? Are we going to start talking about how the game was going to ship earlier, about how the game would never ship with incomplete code? It's not how you start but how you finish that matters and missed shipping dates and 1 year old complete code goals no longer matter with WOZECLE's shipping, the game out earning other pins on location, seeing 3 WOZ's with 5 people deep all Saturday afternoon waiting to play it at MPE, and 3.0 out which makes the game have one of the deepest rulesets in pinball.

#668 7 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.

While Jack didn't confirm it my guess is that JJP does have assets to the 3rd movie yet as otherwise it would be incorporated into the side art and playfield artwork. Based off what Jack said yesterday it sounds like the machine would have to be delayed if assets from the third movie were to be used in playfield and cabinet artwork and that to release the game on on time the 3rd movie will be incorporated in the rules / on screen.

#669 7 years ago

duplicate post

#670 7 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I'll also add that Jack himself promised (at the MPE in 2012) a WoZ would be placed at a Jersey shore arcade by Memorial Day, that year. I delayed a trip to the area to see the pin. Alas, more words unkept.
Panzerfreak, I think I figured it out, JJP accidentally sent an Operator's pin to Abel for you which is why yours has worked flawlessly. Good for you!

My game came directly from JJP. I do know other owners that received their game from Abel and haven't had any major issues. I did preorder my Hobbit from Abel.

#696 7 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Do you have this on a macro or do you really re-type this 10 times a week?

Do you have a macro for posting something negative in every WOZ thread or down voting a positive WOZ / JJP comment?

#698 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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.

I hear ya. It's nice to have a blend of audio call outs using lines from the movie and custom call outs from the actual movie that the pin is based off of. I don't think STTNG or LOTR would be as highly regarded as they are today without the custom call outs from actors in the show / films.

#724 7 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I have no problem with WOZ or JJP. I also have no problem with rational fact based constructive criticism.
I do have a problem with long-winded redundancy.

Theres a simple solution to that...don't read it Sounds like you just can't stand to reading anything good about JJP / WOZ yet don't mind posting jabs (not talking criticism) repeatedly towards them.

or...just keep following this mindset about JJP and WOZ :p.

#730 7 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Takes 1 second to thumbs down someone vs. however long it takes to type multiple paragraphs. I don't stalk, but if I see a long-winded trollish post from certain redundant individuals, I will thumbs down as a time saver to responding. The feature's there to say "I disagree"....why call me a stalker for using it?

Context is your friend, and you KNOW I often write positive things about JJP/WoZ when there are positive things to discuss. I just think it's silly how any constructive criticism is instantly dismissed by you as "hate", followed by multiple paragraphs about how WOZ is the most complex game ever made with the most best toys ever. You don't have to take it so personally and sell it so hard every time.

Thats not true. I understand theres going to be criticism about the game, that's expected. There are things that have annoyed me about the game as well as some actions taken by JJP. I don't count jabs and name calling as constructive criticism. I dont want to argue anymore about this, as I'm sure you don't. I apologize if I took it too far in some replies. I enjoy WOZ obviously a lot and have a lot of pride in supporting a company like JJP because of what they did with WOZ and the positive effects making that game has had on pinball.

#731 7 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

100k for 10 minuts is just embarrassing.
But, there is still hope Smaug will scream out loud MULTIBALL in the 3rd movie.
You never know, .

Haha, that would be awesome. Hopefully JJP can at least get one actor from the films for some call outs.

#740 7 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I love you too

Lol! Haha

#760 7 years ago

With The Desolation of Smaug out on Blu Ray / DVD today maybe JJP will soon show us artwork for the playfield Based off Jacks comments at MPE it sounds like they couldn't release anything with assets from the second movie until the Blu Ray / DVD is out.

On another note if the third movie is implemented into the game only in terms of software we may not see code that uses assets from the third film until its release on Blu Ray / DVD around this time next year.

#856 7 years ago

I hope they get to that point too but we have seen that starting a pinball company is not an easy thing to do and certainly not while building a pin like WOZ for a companies first machine. I don't mind waiting a year for a pin on the level of WOZ. Stern can come out with 3 titles a year but they are not on the same level of a game like WOZ or TH. Ford, Chrysler and GM all make more vehicles then Ferrari and McClaren but I would much rather wait for the latter if all the vehicles were the same price. Good things like WOZ that offer a lot of value for the money, and code updates, are worth waiting for in my opinion.

#857 7 years ago
Quoted from brucipher:

Has JJP made any comments about Hobbit code completeness at launch? I know he had said WOZ code would be "complete" at launch, and that was not the case. As someone who is thinking of pre-ordering, this is the biggest deal for me. I have no desire to buy a pin with incomplete code ever again.
Please don't turn this question into a bash JJP opportunity...thank you!

I doubt it will be complete at launch. Yes WOZ code wasnt complete at launch but Keith and Ted did complete the code for the game with 3.0 and then some.

#861 7 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

A year really I don't think so. WOZ a Ferrari please look at all the problems posted on game threads.

People are not having problems on the level you are claming. You make it sound like every owner is having light board issues and that can't be further from the truth. I've had my game since November 2013 and its been rock solid. While my ACDC Premium is awesome the quality level, and value for what you get, is no where near what JJP did withh WOZ. If I'm going to be spending $6.5k+ on a pin its only going to be for a JJP game from now on as their games are better built and you get far more game for your money.

#864 7 years ago

I'm not picking sides. I like a lot of Stern games and think they make some great products. I enjoy my ACDC Premium whenever I play it.

#962 7 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

That's been a rumored feature for quite some time. Lots of people on here have tried to poo-poo that rumor, but it still seems to be in play. I think it's pretty cool, myself. Time will tell.

Yup, lots to see still. WOZ has a ton of toys / features on its playfield and with the The Hobbit supposedly driving 17 more things than WOZ I think we have only seen less than half of its toys so far

3 weeks later
#1009 6 years ago

That is definitely playfield artwork on the game Maybe we will be getting another update soon.

#1030 6 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

took my best crack at it

hobbit.jpg 110 KB

Thanks! Hmmm. It seems like the lower pop ups, at least the right, have artwork of a door on it? I guess it's possible that the upper two pop ups are figure pop ups and the lower two could be trap doors?

#1084 6 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Well, that would be a short thread for sure.... look at whats heralded as "updates" now: pictures of jack reading a book? lol... he couldnt have found an easier crowd to please....

It was a Facebook post...Is Stern posting random Superman and furniture pictures considered updates as well?

JJP keeps their customer base more in the loop than anyone else in the industry. Over a dozen code updates were released for WOZ and throughout the entire process Jack, Ted, Keith and Alex offered updates about the updates and responded to feedback on the JJP Google group. Jack has also been active on the JJP Google group by posting weekly.

What updates has Stern released about their next game...nothing. With JJP we have seen nearly the entire layout for The Hobbit, videos of white woods, images of updated cabinet art, who's doing the audio, updates about custom voice work, updates on the number of toys. That seems like a good amount of information released.

#1086 6 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

JJP should keep their customer base in the loop they hold on to their money longer than anyone else in the industry.

Yup, and in the end they have the only NIB pin in the industry worth a $7.5k+ asking price. I don't mind waiting for a quality game that actually has a lot of toys, and complete code like I did with WOZ. I don't see anyone dropping their Hobbit preorders for a Mustang LE despite that game being out...

#1088 6 years ago
Quoted from PappyBoyington:

Iv'e seen you post this before the answer is still the same. JJP has to keep their customers in the loop because of the preorder money. Also, Stern has a track record of building games and JJP doesn't...yet.

I hear what you are saying about the preorder money and updates. Agree 100%.

#1093 6 years ago
Quoted from jadziedzic:

You keep throwing out this nonsense regarding the WOZ software updates like it's something of which JJP should be proud. The only reason WOZ required "over a dozen code updates" was because the code was seriously incomplete when the first games started to trickle out from the factory. All but the last three releases (1.2x, 2.0, 3.0) would reasonably be considered prototype level code.
BTW, I think you spelled "weakly" wrong.

Your darn right they should be prod of it. Keith mentioned that WOZ is the most complex game he's had to code for yet and the fact that he, Ted and JP made the game as deep as it is today is pretty impressive.

Code updates were released nearly monthly for the game with open communication from JJP about when the updates may drop as well as what may be in them. That's a nice change of pace compared to other games...

Also, coding for a LCD based game sounds more complex compared to DMD based games so yes JJP should be proud to offer their first game (also the first to use an LCD) with complete code less than a year from when they began shipping.

From Keith Johnson's Pinball Magazine interview.

"PM: Is it very different to program a display effect now than when you were programming dot matrix displays?
KJ: It’s more complex. With dot matrix animations all you do is say, “Here’s a block of graphics I want to show, whether it’s for full screen or part of the screen, and then put in some text down there.” With what we do, we have a lot more to think about. There’s a lot that needs to get onto the screen and it takes a lot of time to send data to the graphics card before it gets displayed.

We’re managing what the data is – whether it’s a movie, a sprite, or text, or whatever – and we’re trying to keep that as slim as possible. Then we’re trying to get everything to show up in the right spots, so that it looks pleasing and not like it’s just thrown up there.

With dots you have a very limited area that you can work with. It’s just very obvious which things fit where, whether you’re going to use a small font or a larger font. With what we’re doing, which is a 1360 x 768 full HD display, there’s a lot more tweaking in terms of what the exact right spot is to put down text, what’s the best way to show this movie while the ball is doing something else. It’s a lot more attention to a lot more things than you would have to worry about with a dot matrix."

#1095 6 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Why does the "gang" keep picking on poor Panzer?
Back to Hobbit update thread……. or I'm about to

haha. I'm fine with it really. It's the same people over and over again. This has been going on for months now. I'm actually getting pretty good at guessing who down votes my JJP related posts at this point!

As for another Hobbit update I recall Jack saying something (at this years MPE) along the lines of not being able to release playfield artwork until after the second film had been released on DVD and Blu Ray. With Jack posting The Hobbit pic on Facebook with part of the artwork showing I hope that means we will soon see the rest of of the playfield artwork.

#1120 6 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Really? Come on the design of the game is done. If Joe has moved on than who better than kieth to dial it in. The hobbit is a lot farther along than you all know. Pf art almost done.....rules done being programmed now......all parts designed and being fabricated.

Well said!

#1152 6 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Who's "dead against amazing machines"??
Criticism of JJP's business practices and/or Jack ≠ "against amazing pinball machines"
Don't feel bad for missing this simple point, Jack does it all the time as well.... it's his go-to retort to criticism (besides blaming his suppliers for screwing up )
I, for one, am extremely interested to SEE a WORKING and FINISHED The Hobbit machine. I think WoZ has some amazing features and advances, but the gameplay, theme and music were no-go's for my tastes... such is life. However:
A faster game, with a great theme (TH) AND all those technical advances "seems" like a big potential winner. So Im anxious to see TH. I'll still never in a million years pre-order, but I'll still be a customer if the games come out great and they work out many of the problems that plagued WoZ.....
Many folks here tie any criticism of Jack or JJP directly to criticism of his game (and their game!) and, even more insanely, to criticism of pinball in general! LOL.
Example; I think Steve Jobs was a colossal a-hole, but I separated that from evaluating and owning MANY Apple product when they met my needs/interests.

What problems with WOZ are there to work out? The LED board issue is fixed, done. Myself and many others have had their games for months now without any major issues. The game wouldn't be ranked #1 in earnings at a lot of locations (#1 by I think its called Play Magazine?) if it was plagued with many problems...

#1153 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballHog:

Why do you guys always look for a negative in everything you post. I know everything has not been smooth with JJP, but what in any kind of business is. Jack said Joe's part is done. Some of you guys live to see something fail. Why not enjoy more pinball. If you don't want to buy from JJP that's fine, but stop thinking that every bit of news that comes out of JJP is the end. I want to see everything with pinball succeed. Guys we don't have a lot of options. Let's hope we get some more it will only help the hobby.

Well said. For some reason the typical people up voting negative JJP / WOZ posts are not doing the same thing with the post above? Hmmmm. Go figure.

#1185 6 years ago

This is going to be huge. Interactive apron plus LCD = awesomness Can't wait for this game.

Of of the teaser videos for the game shows a map of Middle Earth on the LCD with different markers across it. It's possible that the markers represent each player and their "location" in Middle Earth which may represent where they are at in the game. I wonder if this feature of tracking your progress on the map of Middle Earth is what will appear on the apron?

#1196 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

You know more Dan.....tell us!

haha. I'm thinking he does as well.

I originally thought that the interactive map may be an LCD on the apron but I'm thinking its more likely that the map will be printed on the apron and then LED lights will be placed across various points representing a players location in Middle Earth that corresponds to the rules. Maybe the far right location on the apron is the Shire and all the way to the right is the Lonely Mountain with a bunch of points in between.

1 week later
#1225 6 years ago
Quoted from B9:

Has there been any new information ?

I haven't heard anything. Members of the JJP Google Group created a post about requesting a Memorial Day update but nothing came out of it. I would have thought we would have seen the playfield art by now.

1 week later
#1251 6 years ago

Looks like the game is shaping up nicely. Thanks for posting the updates.

#1263 6 years ago
Quoted from ledge:

Christmas 2016, not too far away.

After owning a WOZECLE for 6 months I can say that I don't mind waiting for their next machine. Hopefully though we don't have to wait that long. I do think that the software for The Hobbit will be more complete than WOZ's code at launch.

#1346 6 years ago
Quoted from PinPatch:

Seems like the drop targets on the original orbits have been removed as well.

The drop targets on the left and right orbits are still there with three on each side.

#1347 6 years ago

The next big question on my mind is what are the toys going to be like for this game? WOZ has a lot of toys and features that I think justify its price but is there a comparable amount of toys with TH?

We know that Smaug is going to be the main toy and with the price of this game I'm hoping it's at least as interactive as the castle in MM. If the toy just bends down like the T-Rex in JP and "eats" the ball I think that will be a bummer. I'm also wondering if the character pop ups will also be lock mechanisms with the four "Lock" inserts being right in the middle on the pop ups. It also seems like another toy will be placed in the "Bag End" area of the playfield.

#1363 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Tell us more!

Sure, no problem! Here's the whole post you took the quote from...lol

"The next big question on my mind is what are the toys going to be like for this game? WOZ has a lot of toys and features that I think justify its price but is there a comparable amount of toys with TH?

We know that Smaug is going to be the main toy and with the price of this game I'm hoping it's at least as interactive as the castle in MM. If the toy just bends down like the T-Rex in JP and "eats" the ball I think that will be a bummer. I'm also wondering if the character pop ups will also be lock mechanisms with the four "Lock" inserts being right in the middle on the pop ups. It also seems like another toy will be placed in the "Bag End" area of the playfield."

#1366 6 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Its a shotters game for sure. Think new innovations mixed with a crazy rule set. It going to tell a story and you will get pulled it. Percition will be key!

That sounds good to me! I'm sure Keith is going to put together another deep quest based ruleset for The Hobbit.

As far as Smaug goes do you or anyone else think that there will be a shot into the toy MM castle style? Currently I see 5 drop targets in front of Smaug with 3 /5 on the right having stand up targets behind them. Is it possible that the 3 drop targets on the right are on a motorized target bank similar to the target bank in Tron and Spiderman? If not I'm curious how Smaug will interact with the ball then, especially with Jack saying that the toy will be very interactive.

#1371 6 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

Funny. I consider the T-REX eating the ball more interactive than the castle in MM.

I think the T-Rex is a cool toy and is interactive (more than a lot of pin toys) but the castle in MM has multiple interactive features. There's the draw bridge that moves up and down, the door that swings open, the wall shot towards the left and the "exploding" feature.

#1392 6 years ago

We are pretty much 6 months away from release of the game at this point. The third film comes out December 17th. I can remember when the wait was well over a year.

1 month later
#1404 6 years ago

Anyone else think that the Smaug toy may be a multilevel toy similar to the main toy in Dr. Who? The player could first awaken Smaug (level 1) then get him to come out of his lair (level 2) and ultimately raise another layer (level 3) to expose the missing scale. Each level would result in new ways to interact with Smaug.

#1425 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

he really dominates............

godzilla_14.jpg 88 KB

Lol, nice. Based off the flyer it doesn't appear that Godzilla interacts with the ball at all in that game?


#1429 6 years ago
Quoted from HighNoon:

He does...the balls come out of his mouth.

Ah ok, cool. At first I thought the "zilla breath" comment on the flyer was referring to magnets under the playfield in front of Godzilla that sent balls flying.

1 month later
#1473 6 years ago
Quoted from Pinbally_1968:

This is a great pf layout! Im happy with it The artwork will have to speak for itself once it is fully illuminated and populated with all the rest that comes with it.The only (negative) opinion i have to say about it ... it could have been build into a non-widebody, just so that it more guarantees flow and play ability. nevertheless, im glad i have ordered one

It will be great to see how well the playfield blends into the entire package. Maybe we will see a prototype at Expo.

I don't think TH could have been built into a non-wide body without removing the 6 drop targets in the lower playfield, reducing the right / left in lanes from 2 to 1 and removing two of the pop ups. Plus who knows what else would have to be removed. Maybe no middle captive ball shot and just a tiny Smaug head, lol. I'm sure TZ could have been built into a non-widebody but would anyone want that today if it meant no gumball machine, no mini flippers and no mini magnetic playfield? Heck no. I'll guess that The Hobbit is going to play very fast at times but also provide some fun stop and go play. I also can't wait to see what Keith and Ted do with the ruleset. We are in for a treat with whatever those two come up with

#1486 6 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Gonna have to start agreeing with Panzer. The Hobbit is looking more appealing to me : o

What!? You agreed with me?

1 week later
#1501 6 years ago
Quoted from playernumber4:

Note to self: Buy Escalera...buy Escalera....


Even weightlifters at the World Strongman competition can barely deadlift two WOZ's. Rumor has it that with the Hobbit weighing even more then WOZ that it won't be allowed into next years competition out of fear that competitors may be injured.


#1562 6 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

That's being kind. They just have that "home made fan-mod sculpture" look that personally, I just don't find appealing. They don't look like real pinball toys. I don't have high hopes for Smaug…sorry.

I know what you mean. The warg I think looks pretty good, the spider a little better but the other two...My first reaction was "really?". I say that not as an insult as there are many other things good about the game. They look ok but I was expecting more detail / polish. If Smaug is on the same level of detail as these I likely won't go forward with my order. I hope I'm wrong. After owning a WOZ I expected the same quality on the TH in terms of attention to detail.

The rest of TH looks amazing and you can see that in the playfield, ramps, cabinet, lcd animations, etc. However, the look of these models in their current state detracts from what is already good about the game. I would expect the models to look at least as detailed as the MM trolls but that is not the case.

#1573 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

You just slammed me (to put it mildly) on the other Hobbit thread for "insulting Matt", literally no more than a few days ago. Now you're criticizing his work and threatening to possibly not go forward with your order? Okay. At least you're being honest now I guess.

The feedback I provided wasn't rude unlike yours from previous threads. Actually I complemented the first two figures. You came off as condescending and repeatedly brought up your rather rude witch model comments over and over again. Matt has done some fantastic work on WOZ. I think that the barrel models for The Hobbit look great and that the warg bash target looks good. However, I'm not thrilled with the other 3 and expected more after seeing what is in WOZ and some of the earlier Hobbit reveals.

#1584 6 years ago
Quoted from Leechman:

I'd agree but hopefully in completed game they'll look better! I was definitely disappointed at first glance but trying to keep an open mind on them. Bash toys not too big of a deal for me but the main toys need to be amazing for me to stay in for sure!

mmtroll-839.jpg 60 KB

Wow. That actually don't look that great up close. Then again they are not viewed that close in MM.

After taking a second look at the 4 Hobbit pop ups I think that the first two look pretty good. The Orc and Goblin though need some work in my opinion.

#1643 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

And gee, based on your response to these 4 pop-ups I'm guessing you'll think Smaug was done by Michelangelo.
At this point I will absolutely not be buying a Hobbit. The direct-print cabinet was the nicest "quality" feature of WOZ that I loved and that seems to be gone now. An LCD is nice ... but great looking and fun toys are better. Especially when you're paying 8K+ for a game.

Didn't you already sell your Hobbit spot to someone else?

Great looking toys are nice but I'll take good looking toys that actually move over stationary ones any day. Especially when you're paying $8k+ for a game. Pop ups move with character models and interact with the ball. A toy like the crystal ball has things you can actually look at on the playfield to shoot for as well as mode information. Innovative features like mini outlane games increase the fun factor of games. Mini playfields with a door to bash down, loop shots, a spinning house with feet that kick out, a toy that brings the ball up to a mini playfield that has targets to shoot at are far more fun in my book then a nice looking toy that does nothing in terms of gameplay. We have heard strong rumors about The Hobbit having a 5" LCD somewhere as well as an interactive map on the apron. Both of those toys (features if you want to call them even) somehow interact with the player whereas a stationary toy does not.

Don't get me wrong its nice to have highly detailed stationary toys but at the end of the day I'm buying a pinball machine because I want things that the ball or I visually can interact with. As a player and pinball owner a 26" LCD with mode information and cool animations offers much more value and fun then a toy that doesn't move at all...

Would MM owners want a more detailed but less interactive castle? It could be the best looking miniature castle in the world but that doesn't help much in a pin. The same goes for Smaug. As long as it looks good but is interactive people will be happy as they are buying a pinball machine to play pinball.

#1671 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

Honest to God ... if only there some mature employees at JJP who could handle criticism they might actually have had a future.

Dude get out of here if you are going to start being disrespectful again. You don't want a Hobbit, already sold your spot and you have been bashing WOZ non stop for weeks now. Why keep posting in this thread?

#1742 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

I believe that was Dannunz's comment (see below) and it seemed to clearly be sarcasm (hence the liar emoticon). I think you can pretty much guarantee Hobbit will be at Expo.

I see everyone else on Pinside has stated their opinion on these pop-ups and we're left with the usual crew of JJP pumpers (and employees for that matter) repeating over and over that "these are no big deal", "I think they look okay", and "they're so small who cares".
Next "update" please ...

There's plenty of good things to say about The Hobbit as opposed to making negative ones. For example all of the ramps and rails are metal as opposed to plastic. I would expect at least metal rails when spending $7k+ on a pin. The playfield artwork looks great especially after the team took into consideration customer feedback. We know that the code will be much further along at the release of the game then WOZ was when it first began shipping. The game is going to have two VUK's, a subway, 11 drop targets, a kick back, mechanical mini axes, two magnets and hopefully a very interactive Smaug toy. There's rumors about an interactive map on the apron of the game as well as a 5" LCD incorporated into the Bag End area. The game is also driving 17 more things then WOZ resulting in it weighing more then WOZ which many consider to be one of the most feature packed pins out there. With the game driving 17 more things I think that there is much more to be revealed. Plus we have another epic Keith Johnson ruleset to look forward to it.

As for the pop ups. Yeah I wish the Orc and Goblin were more detailed but like others have said they are very small and needed to be designed a certain way to pass WB approval. I thought the MM troll pop ups looked great until I saw them up close in this thread. The Goblic and Orc pop ups will be furthest away with the Spider and Wargs one being closer. When The Hobbit's pop ups are seen in the completed game I think they will look perfectly fine.

#1769 6 years ago

It sure sounds like the full reveal will be at Expo! I would think it would have to be with production set to begin by the end of the year.

#1776 6 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I guess my question is how do they show the full game and still satisfy the studios requirement to avoid spoilers from the 3rd movie.

I think it will be in the form of code / video clips on the LCD like CraZ4Pin said. I can't find the post but I remember Jack saying that the 3rd film would be implemented via software after it's release.

As for the 3rd film being represented on the playfield it's already there. There's a "Battle Five Armies" insert and the entire lower playfield area has several of the armies around it.

#1778 6 years ago
Quoted from HENSBROOKER:

Any news on The Hobbit from Jacks visit @ FREDDY's in Germany?

I'm interested in knowing as well. If not we are only a few weeks away from Expo!

#1786 6 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

Checked the German forum:
But didn't find anything interesting there for now, except the talk of 3 videos that have been shown.
Maybe later they will be posted there.

Thanks! It looks like Jack was talking about The Hobbit at the event. Jack appears to be showing off some pictures of a more completed version of the game. You can see lit LED's and drop targets in the second picture below. It also looks like someone was there capturing video of the event. Now we just need to find the video


#1794 6 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

Not to mention the horns on the PF are doing it for me!

Haha. I'm thinking those may be the "Horn of Gondor" toys.

#1808 6 years ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Is Jack at the local senior center, or are pinball fans just that old?

I don't think so. 27 here. I would have been there if the event was closer. Another buddy of mine owns several pins and is the same age. During Jacks fireside chat at this year's Michigan pinball there were a lot of pinball fans of various ages.

#1813 6 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

LMAO! I love that video..
» YouTube video

Haha! That's great.

#1815 6 years ago

Looks like good news for overseas buyers. Freddys Pinball Paradise is now an authorized JJP distributor.


#1819 6 years ago

Does anyone else think that the "Lock" rollovers may be used for the games skill shots? WOZ has several that vary in difficulty to provide for some fun gameplay but I was wondering where would they be at in TH? With the way the exit of the shooter lane is lined up I'm thinking that the Lock rollovers may be the skill shot targets. Maybe 2, 3 or even all 4 can be hit on the plunge for different point values?


#1829 6 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

So you've covered about 20% of the possibilities.

Haha. Awesome!

#1844 6 years ago
Quoted from mummite:

I am sure these are placeholders. If these are really just flat pieces of plastic they wont look to good and will break easy. But lets wait till we see it all together

Maybe the final production axes will me made of metal. After all TH is confirmed to weigh more then WOZ. That still boggles my mind considering everything in WOZ.

#1857 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

You missed this one Pinchroma. Care to comment on whether these cheap plastic axes are the final pieces that will be in the game?

Want to talk about TH's all metal ramps and rails? You love comparing WOZ and TH to a certain recently announced Stern game. That game has metal ramps and rails right? I mean for $7.5k+ it has to...

#1887 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

You have repeated this same point over and over and over again to me. I have never seen a person so in love with metal rails. Are you under the impression that metail rails are somehow a luxury item over molded plastic ones? I thought many folks preferred the look of the plastic since you can see through them? Is it really some sort of massive cost savings that Stern is getting there?

Metal rails and ramps are a premium option over molded plastic ones. It's like standard rims or nice chrome rims on a sports car, cloth or leather seating, etc. Stern even advertises metal ramps and rails as a premium feature on some of their games. Look at Star Trek by Stern. Plastic rails on the pro but metal on the premium and LE. The only modern Stern pro game to include metal ramps and rails is Metallica Pro and Stern themselves advertises this in the games feature matrix and flyer. Plastic ramps and rails are fine at the pro level but when we are talking $7.5k+ for a pinball machine the game should at least include metal ramps or rails and if the design allows for it both. Would I like the axes in The Hobbit to be metal? Heck yes. Would I rather have plastic ramps and rails but metal axes...no.

I've never seen a pinball company advertise plastic ramps and rails as a feature...


#1889 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

If it's a "premium option" over molded plastic ones ... then why are you showing the feature listing of a "Pro" model which is considered the lowest model Stern sells, no?


I said that Metallica is the only modern Stern pro to offer metal ramps and rails. That's not the case with other pro's for some reason. Metallica also has several unique interactive toys / features yet that's not the case with every pin the company makes.

Also, I posted the picture because Stern is advertising metal ramps and rails as a feature. Have you ever seen them mention plastic ramps as a game feature? Like I said there's nothing wrong with plastic ramps and rails at the pro price point. However, at the higher price points metal ramps and rails is nice option to have as it helps to justify the price. We see the same type of things with car companies all the time. Standard rims and cloth seats on a regular model but chrome rims and leather seats on a higher end one.

#1928 6 years ago
Quoted from CraZ4Pin:

Right .. because everyone knows the most difficult and time consuming part of building a pinball machine is the code.

I thought we had heard about several revisions of the I/O board (or some custom board) over the course of the first year of development? If this was done so quickly then perhaps you can better explain what the most time consuming difference was with WOZ development to explain the nearly 1.5 years more it took JJP to show a lit prototype? Something we still haven't seen from JJP's 2nd game Hobbit after nearly 2 years now, right?
And thank goodness the studo for TBL did not demand ugly revisions to toys/artwork.
I'm on a roll again tonight ..

What is your problem? Seriously. You sold your Hobbit spot. Get out of this thread for good and stop being a troll. Yes you are on a roll tonight...a trolling roll.

#1990 6 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.

Great point. For TH the team will be able to pull from 3 long feature length films video clips and audio. That is a wealth of content to work with it. Personally I think one of the biggest strengths of TH will be the way that Keith and Ted tie their ruleset into all of the cool videos clips and animations that JP makes. Keith even mentioned that the ruleset will be mission based and comprehensive which means covering all three films. I think we are all in for a treat with what Keith has been cooking up for the rules. A game can have the coolest toys in the world but it's the programmers that bring them to life with interesting and fun rules. Keith and Ted will do just that with TH like they have done with other successful titles they worked on.

As for The Hobbit films themselves I think they are really good. JJP picked a great theme to base their second pin on. The entire series has a lot of appeal across various age groups. World wide ticket sales for the first two films alone are over $2 billion.

#1999 6 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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.

I can see your point especially if the clips were very long. Thankfully they are not very long move clips though. Maybe 10-20 seconds at most for an entire scene. WOZ has various clips from the film but none are longer then 10-20 seconds with exception to the ones that play during There's No Place Like Home. I like the LCD as a score display and secondary information source but it's also nice when tied with clips from the film(s) and custom animations.

#2011 6 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

When I spoke with Kieth at Jacks show he said "I am going to show the world what a real mode based game looks like"
We were talking about the Hobbit!

That sounds awesome. I prefer Keith's style of rulesets that tell a story, put you on a quest and give you rewards towards a larger goal then others that are simply about points. Keith's rulesets just keep me coming back again and again. There's so much content to work with too with the 3 Hobbit Films that the game could very well be deeper then WOZ, LOTR and TSPP.

I'll admit that I actually considered dropping my Hobbit preorder after seeing TBL reveal yesterday. However, I can't see spending almost $9k on a theme that I can't really relate to. I like TBL movie but it's not one of my favorites. I love the LOTR and Hobbit films though and can see pins based on those themes being much easier to get my wife onboard with (especially with having kids in the house one day) and something that she will enjoy as well.

#2021 6 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

The hobbit movies are drawn out and boring. Doesn't mean the pin won't be great but Peter Jackson can't seem to make a great movie.

Well, of course they are drawn out as its one book split into 3 films. Somehow there are even extended editions, lol. However, the more Middle Earth the better in my book. I'm glad all 3 films are packed with detail and not rushed. Can't wait for #3.

#2028 6 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

I strongly advise you to not drop your hobbit pre order till after expo!

Oh I'm not. I already talked myself out of it, haha. The Hobbit is the theme and pin for me. Looking forward to seeing more at expo. It sounds like what we have already seen just scratches the surface in regards to what the game will offer.

#2090 6 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

I'd want my money going into a GAME feature instead of a camera for high scores...but that's just me maybe.

With a JJP game you may get both. It sounds like a really cool feature and one that could be turned on or off in the system menu. It would be perfect for player profiles on a game where you can load up your player profile, play a few games and then have your scores and other gameplay stats saved for viewing at anytime.

#2093 6 years ago

I was thinking about what else could be in the game that hasn't been done in pinball before. One of the things I thought of was rear targets on 2 or all 4 of the pop ups. We know that the two ramps have a divertor. When the ramp divertor is enabled it will allow for a shot to the rear of either of the top two pop ups. If the lower pop ups have rear targets they can be hit from either orbit. I think targets on the rear of the pop ups would be awesome and provide for some really fun gameplay.

The other possibility I thought of was that the pop ups themselves may be the lock mechanisms. I don't think it's just by chance that there are 4 roll over targets and 4 pop ups, haha. I could see having to hit a roll over to spell "Spider", "Orc", "Golbin" or "Warg" and then lock the ball at one of the pop up mechs. The lock mechanism could be on the back of each pop up or maybe the pop ups raise up and down to reveal the lock shot. Smaug could also be the lock mech (there's another divertor in that area) of course but I would expect there to be a "Lock" insert in front of the right ramp to notify the player that lock is lit.

1 week later
#2147 6 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Yep I clearly remember this! I thought Jack had also said at that time that the LE cabinets would be screened & clear coated as well. PDX hang on to that email please, cause it sounds like we have already lost the screen printed cabinet on the Hobbit LE. If we lose the Invisa glass and the shaker as well I am going to cancel my order.
Hopefully Jack will clarify at Expo...

I think JJP should just say that every LE they make comes with invisigalss and a shaker motor. That right there shows that they offer value with their games and offer more then then competition at the LE level. I don't see how they can't with WOZECLE coming with both and then not including it with The Hobbit LE which is priced higher then WOZ. Jack himself said that JJP is making The Hobbit with the mindset of "WOZ will be our worst game". To make TH better then WOZ it needs to include the LE feature set that WOZECLE came with in my opinion.

#2164 6 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

I know it's been discussed to death, but I'll agree that it's still a very odd design choice to have the largest and most prominent characters on each side be the villains. Especially when they're as unattractive as the goblin king. With the photoshop art package, it would only take a few clicks of the mouse to pop them out of there, or shrink them down and tuck them in the background somewhere. Oh well, at least they're not on the back glass!

I hear ya. I don't have a problem with the villains being on the side art but I wish they didn't take up so much space and in the case of the Orc be front and center.

#2165 6 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Button on the lockdown bar.
LTG : )

I'm going to guess it's used for a mini crossbow toy on the apron of the game.

#2175 6 years ago
Quoted from B9:

Is there something new between the speakers ?

H0B.png 162 KB

Nice catch. It could very well be a flasher.

1 month later
#2373 6 years ago

Lots of cool changes. It's great to see that JJP changed a lot of things based on the feedback after expo.

I cancelled my order after expo and at times regretted it. After seeing the updated game it's still not for me. Smaug needed to interact with the ball for me to drop $7500 on a pin. Also, drop targets are fun but there's too many in TH in my opinion and the game would have benefited from other unique toys / shots where the lower drops are.

I wish JJP nothing but the best with this game and will be patiently waiting for Pats game.

#2443 6 years ago
Quoted from Rockytop:

It looks like there is another hole to the right of the VUK at Smaug. Any idea what this is for?
Could just be a place to run wires underneath I guess. It would be cool if this is where the missing scale in Smaug's armor was and this was the shot you had to make from the right flipper. Of course, that would require the drops revealed the hole instead of having a standup behind them. In the pics it looks like the stand ups are still there.

image.jpg 99 KB

I believe that is for the subway. The ball drops down into that hole after coming off of the divertor to the left of Smaugs head.

#2767 6 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

To me, High Speed feels nothing like T2, which feels nothing like Star Trek.
Very different games, all with good flow.
Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. Hobbit looks like it has a lot more flow than WOZ. It's a step in the right direction.
Post edited by Captain_Kirk: g

I hear ya. In my opinion stop and go games like WOZ can be just as fun as the fastest games out there. Increasing the flow in a game comes at the expense of reducing the number of toys or devices in a game that interact with the ball. For $7500+ I want a pinball machine to have multiple unique things that interact with the ball. WOZ does that in a variety of ways but I'm just not feeling that with The Hobbit right now. There are a lot of people out there that prefer flow over stop and go and vice versa. I'm glad that JJP is trying to please everyone with games that offer different styles of play. I tend to prefer WOZ style games at these price points which is why I'm holding out for Pats game. Alternating between a high flow game and a stop and go game sounds like a good design strategy to me as it pleases customers on both side of the fence.

#2830 6 years ago

Seeker939 and Mechslave,

Those comments about the game and Smaug are a little more harsh then what I would say but I tend to agree. The Smaug toy is a disappointment to me as it doesn't interact with the ball. As more and more details about TH were released I always thought "ok, it doesn't appear to have as much going on as WOZ but Smaug is going to be extremely interactive". Interactive how? Maybe a motorized drop target bank AFM style in front of the toy with a shot behind it or a moving Smaug head that lowers into a mini playfield below the main playfield. What was released though is a bummer in my opinion considering the price tag of the game.

I understand that TH weighs more then WOZ but that doesn't mean its automatically better then WOZ. I find WOZ's two mini playfields, crystal ball area, and witch area far more interesting then drop targets as they are unique and offer unique rules. Take the spinning house area for example. The "rainbow" stand-up targets need to be hit to enable the mini playfield, the mini playfield then has a loop shot while a motorized house is spinning, hit the shot enough times and a magnet grabs the ball upon exit and oh yeah feet then pop out of the house. How can a bank of drop targets be more interesting and fun then that? I think that would be fine had Smaug been far more Interactive but that is not the case. If it was up to me the game would have the motorized target bank in front of Smaug (he still wouldn't be hit so no issues with the license there), a canon type toy representing the windlance toy where the right drop target bank is, two of the four pop ups being trap doors, and a mini playfield in the upper right area that features the hidden door of Erebor. If toys and features like that were in the game I could see the layout being as interesting as WOZ.

My rants done, haha. I'm a big JJP supporter but can't help to feel disappointed about this game. I know I need to play it to give it a proper opinion and will do so once one is on location. In the end I think that Keith will make TH fun due his brilliant ability to create epic and interesting rulesets. However, I just think that TH lacks the chaos, randomness, and uniqueness in its features that JJP did so well with WOZ. Hopefully that will return with Pats game.

#2853 6 years ago
Quoted from MapleSyrup:

I appreciate all the comments about Drop Targets. I agree for the most part. The physicality of them certainly makes the shot more satisfying. I FAR prefer when dropping a target opens another possibility though. I'm a big fan of the mech, I love their implementation in my machines, MET's Inline Drops, STLE's Vengeance Drop, WOZ's Winky Target, TSPP's Itchy and Scratchy Hole (Yes, I meant to say that!) and TWDs Woodbury Drop.
How nice to see thoughtful responses to my post, instead of "You're a frakking TOOL. You must not know ANYTHING about REAL Pinball! What sort of moronic idiot faced jackhammer doesn't like Drop Targets??!! Go Whine to Gary Stern you Frakking Crybaby!!!"

I agree about preferring drops that reveal more behind them. Imagine if all 3 drop target banks in TH had a motorized drop target bank behind it with an AFM style shot behind that. That sounds doable with the wide body format and would open up a lot of gameplay possibilities. I don't recall a game that has used more then 1 motorized target bank.

#2949 6 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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™.

I find it crazy that WB didn't want Smaug to be hit considering that in the second film alone (spoiler) he gets hit by these explosive pots that the dwarves throw at him and is then covered in liquid gold. I rather get hit by a pinball then either of those two options, lol.

#3002 6 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

The 800 pound gorilla here is the Expo flop and all the cancelled orders. JJP and The Hobbit HAD to be a IAAPA. Not to mention IAAPA is a much softer venue for pinball. 99.9% of the people who go there haven't played pinball in 20 years if ever - believe me, I've been there. On the other hand FPF is a huge pinball show with all the main players there ready to critique the game. JJP did not want to chance a second flop in a month's time with the game about to release.

I think JJP is doing the best they can with the original layout that Balcer did and the very strict licensing requirements. With that being said I cancelled my pre-order for one reason...there are no interesting interactive toys in my opinion. For me to spend $7500-$9k on a pinball machine it needs to have features such as something that picks up the ball, tosses it around, traps it under the playfield, offers a mini playfield (or 2, like WOZ), a central interactive toy with two or more things that interact with the ball, etc. Some people are comparing The Hobbit to a 21st century EM which I tend to agree with but in the end I just can't see spending this type of money on an EM game.

I think The Hobbit will still sell well thanks to the extremely deep ruleset that Keith is cooking up, the games great looking updated artwork, and the interaction the player will have with the LCD. My hope with Pat's game and future JJP games is that we will see the return of more interactive toys. Just the other day I was playing a friends Star Trek LE and I thought to myself "damn, this ship toy is pretty cool, it has a drop target with a magnet and kicker behind that plus the ship moves all over the place". Smaug needed to be on that level of interaction (if not more) to keep me on-board.

#3006 6 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

LOL...of all the interactive "toys" to compare with, really, the ST ship?? It's a drop target and magnet UNDER a the ship. The ship does nothing with the ball. It's a cool "toy", but it's not interactive.

I see your point. However, the entire ship area in ST comes off as more interactive then Smaug currently as it interacts with the ball more then the Smaug area. The same goes with the central flying saucer area in Attack From Mars, Rudy's head in FH and the pirate ship in POTC. All 3 of those games have a main area that offers the ability to open up other shots and / or direct interaction with the ball.

I know that the Smaug area isn't complete yet and that the entire area may come off much more interactive as things are filled in.

#3047 6 years ago
Quoted from Asael:

I don't get all of this. Smaug will talk, turn his head, has drop targets (plural!!!) before him , an upkicker and I think 3 diverters and 1 or 2 magnets to change the course of the ball and I saw 2 cool flashers, special eyes and teeth will be added. He can lock balls and kick them out to you in different ways.
Isn't that enough???? One of the best games out there, Spider Man, what are the toys doing in there?
They make a good show, a very good show. And I see already now what show Smaug will do in this game, when Keith and David bring him to life.
Smaug is just not implemented in the code to his full potential!!!! That's all for now. But is here anybody on pinside, fan or hater, that has any doubts Keith will not squeeze every little fun out of this part of the game he can?
Hell, I KNOW for sure this game will be great from what little I yet saw. And Smaug as he is now has the potential to become one of the best toys in pinball.

I think all of that only works if the Smaug area looks like one complete toy. Currently it doesn't and that's what's hurting it in my opinion. Some of us had the idea of having most of the back area being a large interactive Lonely Mountain toy where the back of Smaug toy is the gate of Erebor and then turns around to reveal Smaug. I know that the game isn't complete yet so there's still hope.

#3174 6 years ago

Wow, the updated Smaug head looks awesome. Great job Matt! You really captured the look of the movie Smaug in the toy. The eyes look spot on and remind of the close up of them in the second film.

1 month later
#3721 6 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

Wrestlemania LE has a LCD on the playfield, similar to the Hobbit. Also contains Stern's new system, which can drive LCD displays. DMD should be gone within a couple more games from Stern. Most likely Ritchie's next game around the end of the year (He's out of rotation again for something big).

Based on the rumored specs of Sterns new system I doubt it will be able to drive a mini LCD that interacts with game modes and pump out 1080p video to a much larger display at the same time. Its to be determined if the mini LCD in Wrestlemania actually interacts with game modes (like on WOZ and TH) or just cycles through videos. Big difference. I hope they prove me wrong. They are moving in the right direction.

#3762 6 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

It's good to hear that Keefer figured out some clever ways to integrate the upper flipper. This was not the case back when I owned the game.

Keith and Ted did an amazing job with WOZ's code. Personally I think that JJP has the two best programmers in the industry. These guys not only crank out code updates but also make unique comprehensive rulesets that don't exist elsewhere. It's also a huge plus that Jack, Keith and Ted are open with owners about upcoming code updates. I'm sure these guys are going to do a brilliant job on the code for The Hobbit.

#3829 6 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNavidad:

Sorry. It's a "crossbow" but sure looks like a cannon to me. Still fires pinballs. My best friend has a TWDLE and it serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever. At least JJP is pushing the limits on new technology, not recycling something from 1991 that was debuted (to the best of my knowledge) on T2. Yawn.

I think the crossbow in the TWDLE is really cool as it's a good representation of a crossbow in a pinball machine and is interactive. I wish that JJP would have done something similar with TH and made the Windlace toy a motorized cannon instead of a kickback. Imagine having to hit a random or roving drop target with a motorized cannon in The Hobbit. That sounds amazing to me and would be a blast for having to defeat Smaug as the player would take on the role of Bard The Bowman at that point. A kickback just doesn't provide the same experience compared to something that actually moves to hit a variety of things on the playfield.

1 week later
#4002 6 years ago

Regarding the shot between the pops...

The shot as it is today feels like a waste of space in my opinion. I think that area would benefit from a saucer type shot with kick out like the wizard shot in WOZ. That type of shot feels much more meaningful and interesting then just shooting between an open area and having an opto pick up the shot.

The ball rarely stops in TH and a saucer shot would briefly allow it to so that the player can look at the mini LCD or main LCD for certain notifications. The saucer shot would be perfect for collecting rewards, starting modes, and more while allowing the player to see some cool animations in the process.

#4008 6 years ago
Quoted from kidvid:

As someone who is in the queue to get one of these, this is something that worries me a lot. I'd like it if the game were to slow down or stop at the appropriate moments so I can enjoy some of the special effects shown on the LCD.

I'm sure Keith already has some ways to do it if needed. The ball can still be held by the two magnets, at the two VUKs, the kick back due to the pop up peg, and the hole to the subway where the ball drops down from the Smaug divertor.

2 weeks later
#4253 6 years ago
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:

It sucks that you have to mod your $9000 pinball machine just to finish what should have been done to begin with. The one pop bumper needs a figure on it, it looks like ass. The book is placed poorly, its little things like this that are making me question this purchase. Jack if you're reading, with a higher price tag comes higher expectations. I don't care if the machine weighs 3 thousand pounds, that does not make me feel like I getting my moneys worth. Great artwork, innovative toys and monster rulesets is where I get my moneys worth.

Spot on. I don't feel the same sense of value or wonder with The Hobbit as I did with WOZ and that is the main reason I gave my preorder to someone else. If the Smaug head cost $200 to buy then where is the other $8800 in the machine? I'm sure a decent chunk of change is going towards code development and license cost for not only the film but music from Two Steps From Hell as well. However, with WOZECLE we got a clear coated wood apron and a topper yet neither are present in TH which has a higher price tag. If the money for a clear coated wood apron and topper went back into the games toys and features I don't see it.

As for Smaug if he couldn't have been hit by a pinball due to the license (SPOILER FROM 3RD FILM....) restrictions yet get killed by an arrow in the 3rd film then I would have chose an entirely different toy that could be. The damn dragon gets hit by exploding pots in the second film along with being covered in liquid gold and has a giant arrow shot through his heart in the 3rd film yet a tiny pinball can't hit him...the licencors are ridiculous.

I apologize for coming off critical about the game as I do think it will still be a fun game. My criticism towards TH only stems from it's price tag mainly due to Smaug not interacting with the ball and the emphasis placed on drop targets versus other unique toys, features and shots. I do believe that TH will receive a monster ruleset thanks to Keith and Ted. The rules those two create along with animations from JP will bring this game alive and make it a very addicting and fun game to play.

2 weeks later
#4504 6 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

The surprising part to me is not that some people think JJP may mislead it's customers about delivery dates but that some people still believe they tell the truth. How many promised delivery dates did JJP miss? A few towards the end are understandable. The promises that were greater than a year out?? I still get a kick out of the video were Jack was talking to someone at MPE. If he played in a poker game and bluffed that poorly everyone would take him to the cleaners. People are not paying attention or they so badly want JJP to do well they completely ignore any negative. I'm sure there are lots of people on both sides.

I don't think the missed delivery dates matter anymore now that JJP has not only shipped all 1000 LE's but also completed an extremely deep ruleset for the game very quickly. The success of the game, its sales, its frequent code updates, earnings and fun factor now far outweigh the delayed shipping discussion.

As someone who owns a WOZ I can see why it took JJP so long. 3 years isn't really that long considering that they started from nothing and managed to build a machine that blows anything else away in terms of what you get for the money.

1 week later
#4581 6 years ago
Quoted from dirtbag66:

Good, awesome, great.
Now can we get to Pat Lawlor's machine, please?
I couldn't care less about a pinball machine that is based on a nine hour trilogy that is based on a 320 page book. What's next? A 12 hour miniseries based on a letter J.R.R. Tolkien wrote to his nephew in 1963?
End rant.

The Silmarillion has been announced to be a 72 part movie series. Rumor has it that JJP already has the license for The Silmarillion pin and will ask Keith to create code for the game for the next 50 years with the final update being pre-configured to auto upload to the JJP support site in 2160 for the final films release. The games code is said to compose 1,000 modes, 72 movie multiball modes, 20 mini wizard modes and a main wizard mode that not even NASA's super computer can beat in simulated games. All game code is to be stored on a 4 x 5TB RAID 5 SSD configuration for speed as well as reliability.


I should of saved this for April 1st, haha.

1 week later
#4628 6 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

Does anyone feel that JJP appreciates other pinball drama deflecting from the fact that the machines are late again and no one is paying attention?

Better late and end up with a nice game that actually exists from a legitimate company then one that isn't. The wait paid off with WOZ so hopefully it will be worth the wait for TH as well.

#4768 6 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

If that's what it takes to make Jack look good

Nah, shipping all 1000 LEs, fixing the LED light board issue, putting code updates out every month for over six months and making WOZ a feature packed game with new tech already makes Jack look good

1 week later
#5069 6 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

Apples to apples man. JJP is JJP. Forget about the variables, they have a history of shipping late. Whether it's light boards or Smaug's teeth, when have they delivered pins on time? Just saying no matter how you justify it, why would anyone pre order after the WOZ pain? Just wait and buy from a distributor. Why can't people figure that out by now?

I can think of 1500 reasons. Preordering a Hobbit a LE a couple years back locked in the $7500 price and option to change free of charge to a Smaug SE versus $9k for a Smaug SE today. Also those who preordered a WOZ got in at $6500 or $7500 versus $9k for a new Ruby Red. There are definitely benefits to preordering.

#5076 6 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

So does this mean Pats machine will be $9000 right out the gate? Jack if you are reading this $9k for Pats game and I'm OUT!

Agree. $7500 is my limit. These $8k and $9k prices are insane and will eliminate nearly all home buyers over time in my opinion.

#5137 6 years ago
Quoted from Doostur:

My thoughts exactly which is why I haven't pulled the trigger yet. Seems like rather slow game play and very open play field. I'm waiting to see the finished product before I pass full judgement. It does look like a gorgeous piece though.

I think part of the problem with the game feeling slow right now is the pace of the games main music theme and incomplete software. The take on the Lord of the Rings theme JJP is using is slower and not as upbeat compared to the main track created for LOTR pinball in my opinion. Hopefully more unique music is implemented into the game for its modes to help liven the game up. The music used for Smaug multiball is very cool and is a Two Steps From Hell track.

Keith and Ted created an amazing ruleset for WOZ that took time and I bet a ton of work. By this fall The Hobbit will likely seem like a whole new game thanks to the software being more much further along then it is today.

#5169 6 years ago

I wonder what happened with using Two Steps From Hell music for Smaug multiball?

At Expo Smaug multiball was using a Two Steps From Hell track but now there appears to be no unique music playing during the mode.

Check out the video below at the .40 mark to hear the original track.

#5172 6 years ago

Keith and Ted just need more time to work on the code to bring the game fully alive. It will happen but who knows it may be by the end of the year to get a deep and complete ruletset for the game. I believe WOZ started shipping May 2013 and it took until December of 2013 for the game to really have a complete feel. It does seem like TH code is much further along then where WOZ was at it's point in development.

#5175 6 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

Question for people who are considering hobbit and don't have a LOTR. Why not just get LOTR? It's a proven winner, loads of mods, code is one of the best ever in pinball, and its $$$$$ cheaper. Plus LOTR has better shots. The ring shot is amazing.

1. Keith did the code for LOTR but is also doing it for The Hobbit.
2. 30 modes compared to maybe 15 total (including MB's and wizard modes) in LOTR
3. The large LCD, HD animations and high quality sounds
4. Action button, talking Smaug, kickback, 4 pop ups, lots of drop targets.
5. Still set in the LOTR universise
6. Compared to an HUO LOTR the Hobbit is $2k-$3k more.

I think the main issue a lot of people still have with The Hobbit is Smaug not interacting with the ball. It's a bummer but I think it can be overcomed by Keith and Ted creating an amazing ruleset for the game and making the interaction from Smaug unique.

#5178 6 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

So it should be the better pin. We will see.

I hope it is at least comparable in terms of the fun level. A great ruleset from Keith and Ted will do that.

#5205 6 years ago

In line a second time to play The Hobbit at Michigan Pinball Expo. First thoughts...the game doesn't seem slow and has a good pace to it. The animations and sound are outstanding. I also find the LCD on the book toy very easy to read. Overall I had a lot of fun playing my first game on TH.

#5220 6 years ago

I believe these are a couple new animations which were part of Friday nights code update.

1. On the right hand side of the screen you will notice that the reference to sneak preview - prototype code is gone and instead the text "Hit Ring Button To" is listed with a ring animation and something to light in the game. The Ring Button is the action button on the lockdown there and there is now a "Ring Button" decal around the action button on the game.

2. End of ball animation. I haven't seen this before. Looks and sounds amazing!

#5234 6 years ago

Here are my thoughts on TH after playing it at the Michigan Pinball Expo. I was only able to get a couple games in on it.

Like many have already said the game looks great visually and the updated playfield artwork really pops. The game at MPE had the playfield protector on it. Personally I didn't like the look of the protector on the game which was mainly due to the way it looked around areas like the rollovers, lanes, and in between switches. The side artwork with the RAD-CALS looked nice but I personally found them too glossy. Also, if I did still have my pre-order I think I would prefer the LE art package due to there being unique side artwork on both sides of the cabinet and Smaug now being represented on the playfield thanks to the updated artwork.

As for gameplay of TH I was pleasantly surprised. I'm not sure what the pitch was set to on the game at MPE but I didn't find the game slow at all. The interaction from Smaug was impressive even though he doesn't interact with the ball directly. The mouth movement of Smaug seemed perfectly timed with the toys speech. The book LCD is very impressive and is already much more interactive then the crystal ball toy in WOZ. At one point during the game I saw a countdown timer on the LCD toy which is tied directly to a mode. The games code was just updated the night before and now has the "Ring Button" feature (action button) at least partially implemented. I think that Keith is going to come with some really nice ideas for the Ring Button.

The game is incomplete rules wise which is expected at this point. Gary from Abel Electronics (a JJP distrubutor) told me that the games code is about 50% complete at this point. The remaining 50% of the code must be the games main modes as I didn't see many in the game (other then Smaug MB) during the time that I played. The lower left area of the games LCD shows the status of hurry-ups for the games 4 pop up toys. I hope that the hurry ups for each pop up toy leads to a mode similar to how the witch hurry ups in WOZ lead to Fireball Frenzy. I'm also interested to see if the game will have modes similar to those in LOTR that are tied to events in the films and require a set number of shots to be completed. I did notice that the upper right area of the LCD shows your location in Middle Earth during Bilbo's quest. If the game does have story modes (hopefully) I wonder if they will be tired directly to your location on the Middle Earth map?

I didn't get a chance to hear Jack speak at the fireside chat but was able to talk to Butch from JJP. It's always a pleasure to talk to him as he such a nice and humble person. I asked Butch if JJP had found a Gandalf sound a like yet (someone from JJP at Expo said he should be telling the player what to do) and it sounds like that is still in progress. He did say that David Thiel will be receiving a Hobbit soon to work on the games sound and something about David implementing Two Steps From Hell music into the game. I was surprised at this comment as the games sound is already impressive. Just wait until David get's his hands on the game!

A part of me wishes that I kept my preorder now after seeing the game. One of my best friends now has my spot and refuses to sell it back to me after also playing the game, haha. The game does have less on it then WOZ in my opinion which is where I have a hard time justifying $7500+ for one. However, if the sounds, animations and rules are top notch for all 30+ modes I can see that adding a lot of value to the game and making up for there being less on the playfield compared to WOZ. While I still wish that Smaug interacted with the ball I think the games sound work from David, animations from JP and rules from Keith and Ted will make players forget about that and provide a fun pinball experience.

#5243 6 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

Code completion isn't my concern on this pin at all - or the game modes. The only downers to me are the smaug area (though it is growing on me), and the bag end area (I think that could be more populated). But all in all, I am still going to keep my order. The game/ball speed is ok to me as well.

I know what you mean about the Bag End area. Personally I would like to have see an Attack From Mars scoop shot in that area but I don't think it's possible due to the subway below.

I did notice that The Hobbit flyers on JJP's site do not show the far left side of the game where the left rail leads to the kickback. I wonder if there's something else to be added there such as a mold for Smaugs tail? If the game is 100% complete you would think that the flyer would show the entire playfield. We already know that JJP intends to make Smaugs eyes glow (not currently implemented) so maybe there's a couple other finishing touches to come?


Also, we may not have seen the games final apron design based off the two comments below from the games listing page and flyer.


#5245 6 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Man, really? The game was originally supposed to be done last July! I love their desire to make a game the best it can be but I just can't see how they can survive like this taking so long to produce a single game. With WOZ it was understandable since they had to develop so much from scratch (both hardware and software platform). But with Hobbit, what the heck? Two and a half years in development? Why are people not waving red flags all over the place?

If there is anything else left to be shown I bet its already done at this point. I can see JJP announcing that the game is shipping and revealing any revealing any remaining changes at the same time.

#5252 6 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

I agree, I don't mind the longer wait for a better hobbit.
On another note, did any hobbit fans happen to take any video or pics of the machine at the midwest gaming classic (MGC?). Apparently it had some new hardware on it.

New hardware eh? Interesting.

#5258 6 years ago
Quoted from check_switch_26:

It's still there. I just checked.
The amount of music created by TSFH for Hobbit has been overwhelming. Every mode and multiball has its own cue. The game contains more than 45 minutes of original composition.
Additionally, there are five variations of the licensed tune "Old Friends". (One by TSFH and the remainder by David Thiel.)

Wow, that's great to hear. Thanks for the update! I didn't know that Two Steps From Hell did original composition work for TH. I thought all of their music being used was existing material. Awesome news.

#5261 6 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNavidad:

I knew JJP was planning to add LEDs to Smaug's eyes...but the pop-ups? That something I didn't know, but pleasantly surprised if it's true!

I wonder if JJP can create an attract mode that has Smaug talking as soon as people walk by? Maybe that decal between the speakers on the head of cabinet that we thought was a camera is really a motion detector? Haha. I think that would be a great feature.

#5286 6 years ago
Quoted from statsdoc:

They need this guy ... » YouTube video

Wow! For sure. Those are great impressions.

#5292 6 years ago
Quoted from micro:

His Gollum is spot on.
His Gandalf is pretty close too.
Seems perfect for the Hobbit custom callouts

"Let's take it from the top", "Give me a Gandalf Suuupper Jackpot callout and add a little crazy laugh to the end of it".

#5320 6 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Why on Earth does everyone think 30 modes will be so awesome?

Due to JJP having two of the best programmers in the industry working on the code for The Hobbit. Keith Johnson and Ted Estes.

#5324 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I certainly agree that simply having more modes doesn't mean it will be awesome. It totally depends on how they are implemented, including things like stacking strategy etc.
ST has 18 modes, and that's too many for me...at least with the way they are set up on ST as most of them feel the same.

I hear ya. Even though Star Trek has 18 modes they seem like 6 with multiple levels that require more shots to be hit. I believe that each of the levels share the same music and dots? If the Hobbit has 30 unique modes for different film events that would be huge and keep the game interesting regardless of the mode you are playing.

From Ted Estes regarding Hobbit rule design.

"The grid in the middle of the screen keeps track of the 31 "Book Modes", each of which is tied to a scene in one of the three movies."

Also, Keith and Ted really know how to create modes that are more then your typical "hit this shot 4 times", then "hit this shot 8 times" type of modes. Keith has proven that pinball modes have the ability to tell a themes story and make a player feel like they are on a quest.

#5331 6 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Are there any good combo shots to be made in this game?

Orbit shot, then shot to right or left ramp, and then back to opposite ramp.

#5344 6 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Its kinda funny that Pinsiders have to come up with ideas how to use the upper flipper since JJ has no idea.


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. Then again most games don't have Keith and Ted working on the code to create something unique and cool like that. Those two guys think out of the box when it comes to rulesets that work an entire playfield in interesting ways.

#5387 6 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

That's not true at all...have you seen the animations? The extra ball animation where Gandalf breaks the rock...that's modified movie video. They just had to get approval.

I believe that clip as well as others were denied unless that recently changed.

JP from JJP talks about the modified video clips being denied by Peter Jackson in the video below.

#5389 6 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

I believe that clip as well as others were denied unless that recently changed.
JP from JJP talks about the modified video clips being denied by Peter Jackson in the video below.
» YouTube video

Nevermind, lol. I see in the video that while some video clips were rejected the extra ball one with the rock splitting was approved. JJP can add animations on to the end of the clip but not alter a scene.

#5391 6 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

31 modes may sound fun but will be far to easy or never seen so that it does not matter how they are. AC/DC has 12 modes and inless you are a presoon who reachs wizard mode two of the games on AC/DC what good is haveing 30 modes. I would rather have 12/15 chalanging modes then easy modes or know I will never see half my game.

I doubt the modes in TH will all be easy. While ACDC has 12 modes none of them are story based or feature unique dots for each of the required shots. The modes in The Hobbit are going to tell the events of the films with video progressing on the LCD of those events. Also, I like the feeling that I always have something to reach for or unlock something I've never seen when turning on a game. When dropping $7.5-$9k on a game I think a vast majority of players want a deep ruleset that will keep them coming back again and again.

#5399 6 years ago
Quoted from Craig:

I understand the point, but how long did we wait for the Karl Urban call outs? The pin was released a long time before the additional voice work was done. I'd be happy to have subsequent upgrades for The Hobbit.

I believe it took Stern around 6 months to release the update with Karl Urban callouts...After WOZ was released Keith and Ted cranked out nearly a dozen code updates in 6 months.

#5425 6 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

Four years one game

I'm not wasting my time arguing with you. You have been a troll in this thread and JJP threads for months now. Please leave...finally...you bring zero value to any JJP related thread.

#5441 6 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Ah balls! Confusing rules? How could that be the two "greater" coders working on the game? I guess I could just hit the flippers non stop like a 4 year old and watch the movie on the display.

The code isn't even being close to being done. Give Keith and Ted time and in the meantime stop being insulting.

#5469 6 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

I assume you're only interested in folks who currently have money with JJP waiting for a game? Not folks who placed a deposit in the past and got their game(s)?
I think it's a good idea for an outside group to do some analysis if there is any reason for concern. Even if there is no reason for concern at all (hopefully), it's still peace of mind to know folks didn't sit around in denial for months/years when red flags should have been caught.

Don't listen to anything the troll has to say. Just look at the info below from other threads he's posted in since joining Pinside. Reported again. The account should be banned.


#5513 6 years ago


#5515 6 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Always bad etiquette posting PM's Panzer. No matter how funny.

Yeah, removed. I never PMed him or her first and was being spammed through PM's.

"I know who you are". Wow, yeah don't make threatening comments to me.

#5564 6 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

No, it's not odd at all actually. What is odd is how the hard questions are always evaded. I would keep the back and forth banter going but I have to head to church. I'll check back with you later.

Hard questions? There are no hard questions. Sj1000 is not coming off professional and the "concerns" he is bringing up are described in confusing ways.

This is not the thread to address lawsuits. Please go create a separate thread for that and keep the non sense in there. This thread is for Hobbit updates.

1 week later
#5705 5 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Yeah... Because manufacturing in the U.S. Automatically = quality & long term success!
(Insert photo of Detriot looking like Beirut- without the glitz)

I'm from Michigan and work in Detroit and can tell you that we make some of the best vehicles in the world. The big 3 have stepped it up big time over the past 5 years in terms of quality. Also, Detroit itself is coming back which has been great to see. I've noticed the city improving heavily over the past 5 years. Detroit still has a long way to go but the recovery now has momentum and positive changes are happening all the time.

#5739 5 years ago
Quoted from Goronic:

If you can't get your hands on an original this is a great one to have on hand. (I own it, and it is really nice)
amazon.com link »

Nice. I may have to get that one. I have this one and like it a lot, it's made very well.

amazon.com link »

#5769 5 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

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?

That sounds like the coolest topper ever. I hope it happens.

#5846 5 years ago

The game in the recent video looks even better then the prototype I played a couple weeks ago at the Michigan Pinball Expo. Completed code, additional music / sound work, and the Gandalf sound-a-like call outs are going to make this game a hit. The game shown at Allentown looks like a complete 180 from what we saw at Expo last October.

#5857 5 years ago

Can someone please ask Jack where the plaque for the LE and SE will be mounted to?

#5923 5 years ago
Quoted from mufcmufc:

WOW and I thought WoZ was heavy, this is gonna break some backs!!

I'm sure this game alone with get Escalera a few sales!

2 weeks later
#6103 5 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

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.

Lots of great points. JJP needs to send out one of their official emails with an update regarding Hobbit production. I haven't seen one of those types of emails for months now...

1 month later
#6566 5 years ago

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

I've been very impressed with just how many changes the game has gone through since expo. What began as a dark and bleak looking game now looks far more vibrant, complete, and fun to play. The amount of audio, programming and FX work being put into the game by Keith, Ted, David and JP is extremely impressive.

A couple highlights from the video below. I'm sure some of these have already been mentioned.

1. Custom dialog from a Gandalf sound-a-like is coming. JJP is just waiting on final approval
2. 1000 voice clips already pulled between the 3 movies and all 33 characters
3. Less looping in music. Nick Phoenix from The Two Steps From Hell is a pinball guy and doesn't like looping in games
4. Two Steps From Hell created 34 custom pieces for The Hobbit pinball amd there isn't really a need to loop any of them
5. The "Old Friends" theme is licensed from Howard Shore but David has created several variations of it
6. David has FX stem tracks for all 3 movies. From what I heard in the presentation it sounds like being able to pull audio from the indvidial sound layers that when compiled together create the final audio track in the films.
7. David is creating what he calls "Award Stingers" which let's players know that they have hit the correct shot. These are combined with video clips from the films. Think of LOTR during a mission when the DMD animation changes with each correct shot hit. It sounds like David is doing this for all 34 modes!

#6574 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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?

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.

#6577 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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.

I had a chance to play a few games at the Michigan Pinball Expo back in April. After seeing the game online from Expo I was done. The game just looked dark with all of the brown tones, incomplete and I was disappointed that Smaug not only looked bad but didn't interact with a pinball.

The game I saw at MPE in April was a complete 180. The code was still early and I didn't notice any of the "award stingers" or video clips for shot progression in the game. However, the basis for a great game are now there. More improvements to the game have since been made since MPE such as lights in the pop ups and Smaugs eye's lighting up. However I was still on the fence.

Hearing more about the rule design for the game and David's audio work is pushing me to get back in on the game. Also, even though Smaug still cannot interact with the ball he looks far better then he did at Expo. Overall the redesign (thank you for helping!) and the amount of software, sound, and FX work done in the game make it seem like a completely different game then what was at Expo.

#6582 5 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

Congratulations PanzerFreak! Where are you as far as original order date?

The spot was originally purchased by me in September 2013. After Expo I sold it to a friend and now he's selling it back to me, lol. I'm not sure when the distributor originally put in his order.

#6600 5 years ago

I still wonder if the far left side of the game is complete as the brochure doesn't show the entire playfield. Perhaps some type of molding representing Smaugs tail is going on the far left rail? I did notice that the Hobbit flyer says "subject to change with or without notice".

The Wizard of Oz brochure is done extremely well, shows the entire playfield and explains the features on the game. The Hobbit flyer lacks the same punch in my opinion.

Hopefully each version of The Hobbit has it's own flyer created that shows more of the game then the current one. That approach was done with WOZ and it worked out very well.


#6684 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I have been seriously considering selling most of my collection in order to get a Hellcat.

That is an awesome vehicle! I've gone in the opposite direction with buying a Prius...Saving money on gas, insurance, maintenance and therefore more money for pinball, lol. I do miss my 05 Mustang GT everyday, haha.

#6754 5 years ago

Hey Jack and Keith,

Any chance we can see the rule / objective screens for the game?

#6767 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Wait, what? Sorry, not even sure why I'm following this thread at this point.

I was trying to get the thread back on topic as I have a genuine interest in the game. I think we need a new Hobbit 2015 Update thread.

Are their similar rule / objective screens in the Hobbit as there are in WOZ?

Thank you!

#6768 5 years ago
Quoted from B9:

With all the activity, I thought I missed something important

I would recommend requesting to have this thread closed and creating a new 2015 Hobbit update thread.

#6772 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverBallz:

No need for another thread as there are NO updates!

You have returned along with the negative JJP related comments...sigh.

Also, don't ever again say that Keith is neglecting JJP or is wasting time by posting here. Keith is the best pinball programmer in the industry in my opinion and seems to work for the only large pinball company that grants their employees enough time to work on code updates.

#6806 5 years ago

Question for Keith,

Are all 34 modes using video progression clips where hitting each lit shot shows a new video clip from a scene representing a mode? David mentioned in his presentation that he is using what he calls "award stinger" sound effects in these types of modes.


1 week later
#6883 5 years ago
Quoted from Rick432:

Star Trek is awesome. I hope JJP lands the next ST license, in fact.
Oh, and, in order to stay on topic and not invite the wrath of certain unnamed entities, uh... so, any news about the Hobbit sticker on the top edge of the backbox?
There. That should do it.

I'm still wondering if that sticker is really a placeholder for some type of cool feature that hasn't been announced yet. I heard that Jack announced the crystal ball toy for WOZ as a surprise.

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.

#6891 5 years ago
Quoted from centerflank:

When was Hobbit announced and pre order money started to be accepted, anyone remember?
~early 2013?~

I like to say as early as December 2012.

Actually, December 12th 2012.


#6892 5 years ago

Also, JJP itself was announced on January 2nd, 2011 based on a Pinball News article date. The first WOZ's started shipping April 29th, 2013 again according to Pinball News. That is 848 days from announcement of JJP to the date posted on Pinball News about the first games shipping.

As for The Hobbit the game was announced November 30th, 2012. As of today it's been 949 days since The Hobbit was first announced based on the date of the Pinball News article below.

I'm a huge JJP fan but I don't know how in the heck it takes longer to build The Hobbit now that the company, factory and platform is in place then it did for WOZ to be announced and first shipped. I know that the games redesign took extra time, 6 months from what I heard, so that does play heavily into the delay.