Low scores are fine with me. Most EM games have low scoring too. Back to our roots while we innovate! WOZ scoring is cool.
Quoted from B9:
You may be over thinking what my expectations of achievement are - maybe a screen at the end of the game that shows what you accomplished during that game, for example:
50 Loops in Munchkin land
07 Witch Encounters
Oh, I get it now. Yeah, that would be cool! Sorry for the misunderstanding.
I think that the movie studio is going to require JJP to be very secretive about the images on this pin. Yes, we have seen most of the characters including Smaug, but remember that Jack needs studio approval to share anything with us. I hope we get to see something soon, though.
Quoted from Kryzsky:
Have been checking in on Hobbit threads and reading here and there, might have missed it.
Release of the pin still scheduled for Dec 2014 or has that been pushed back?
Still planned for release with the movie in December. Jack says he is contractually obligated to release it then.
Yesterday at TPF Jack said he has about 200 WOZ ECLEs left to ship. He refused to pass the buck on blaming specific vendors or suppliers and said the buck stops with him. I respect that.
He also said he had played The Hobbit whitewood in Chicago just before coming to the TPF and that he was very pleased with the progress, that it was a lot of fun and that it was a game full of strategic shots. He said it is very different from WOZ. Now that WOZ 3.0 is out, the programming team will have even more time for The Hobbit. I enjoyed seeing the teaser he showed, especially Gandalf's extra ball clip.
I don't think that we can expect a steady flow of press releases on TH; rather I think Jack and the studio will play this one closer to the vest. WOZ 3.0 shows Jack can build a great game. I believe he will build an even better one this time.
Jack reported that Lawlor's game is progressing at a great pace and that he was happily surprised at how far along it is already. He also said that Lawlor was as happy as he has ever seen him, clearly enjoying the design freedom Jack is giving him. Jack seemed unsure of whether or not it was a widebody. That was a bit confusing.
Butch did a real nice presentation on some of the technical aspects of using the menu and adjusting switches.
He said the manual is now over 320 pages. Jack quipped that we had a page for every pound the machine weighs.
There were no real bombshells, but it was great to have Jack there in person with Butch. I wish he had more than an hour to speak!
I like the idea of Gollum's cave. Maybe add in a required quest where Bilbo gets the Ring.
Quoted from zr11990:
I have been harassing him about an update and he emailed me that TH will be heavier than WoZ because of all the stuff that will be on it.
And the balls will be made of mithril.
"Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim."
I agree with DCFAN, LED eyes will be a big help - even if it is an aftermarket mod.
For me, it comes down to the fact that I have non seen these 4 parts in context, but Jack, Matt and the JJP team have earned my trust. Looking forward to seeing the whole package!
The fact that Jack shows us anything at all months in advance of a game's release is a big plus for me. Criticizing it as cloaked in secrecy seems odd when Stern does not even leak titles very far in advance. However, I do give credit to the Dutch Pinball folks for putting so much out well in advance of product release.
Quoted from John_in_NC:
I would expect JJP to provide less info going forward now they have proven they are a legitimate pinball machine producer. I certainly would have cut off the info after WoZ if I were running the show. Every time JJP provides anything the trolls crap all over it.
I enjoy seeing the advance teasers from JJP and I hope that they continue to do this with future games. However, I can understand that having every bit of info turning into a lightning rod for criticism gets old fast. Game #3 will give us a good indicator of what JJP plans to do from now on. Without a license Jack can do as much or as little as he wants in advance of releasing the game.
Jack and the JJP team obviously have taken the recent criticisms to heart and have achieved an amazing number of improvements in the last six weeks or so. While they admit to still having more changes to make, I feel very good about their desire and ability produce a winner. They have invested a lot of work and capital thus far (the license alone must have been expensive) and they are refining their vendor list and employee team as they get deeper into their second pin. It is no secret that a new company cannot afford to have their second product to hit the market be a dud. Jack will make sure The Hobbit is a winner.
The new Smaugs both look great! Well done JJP. I am getting the SE version and I think the gold Smaug may look best with the gold powder coat. That is my first impression anyway. Love that gold powder coat too. Thank you Jack and team.
Thanks for the Smaug head video mummite. Looks great no matter whether it is vertical or horizontal.
Quoted from meSz:
Apologies if I missed a post but wasn't one of the things to be done to Smaug is the adding of teeth? The pictures show an updated Smaug, which looks great, but all the pictures I have seen the mouth appears to be closed and it doesn't appear that it opens. Has this changed or am I jumping the gun here and there is more to come?
Smaug is not finished. Matt says teeth and lighted eyes are still to come.
Almost any surface can appear that way when photographed at an oblique angle under bright light.
I'm hoping we get to see an updated version of TH at the Texas Pinball Festival at the end of this month.
Quoted from lodgingdolphin:
Here is a video of a game I played on The Hobbit at the Ohio Pinball Show. The right slingshot wasn't functioning.
» YouTube video
Thank you for the excellent video. I especially like that you held the phone steady! It makes it so much easier to follow the ball and know what is happening. Well done.
I'm excited about how nicely TH is shaping up and I'm looking forward to delivery - whenever it is ready.
I played it and loved it! I'm a day one order and am eager to take delivery. On my first game I was able to lock three balls and get Smaug Multiball. It was amazing! Butch Peel said to me that if I like it now just wait until I see it with the programming more complete. There will be an RGB LED on the lockdown bar fire button. Depending on what color it is, the function of the button will vary. Cool! I thought the mouth and teeth of Smaug were very well done and Smaug's speech was perfectly synced with the mouth movement. The eye LEDs were not yet installed. Jack told me the game has been on the road constantly throughout the U.S. and Europe and hasn't made it back to the barn for an update in a while. He hinted that it will ship with code that is far advanced from what WOZ shipped with. The lighting was very impressive yet different from the style of WOZ. owning both JJP games will not seem the least bit redundant.
As to drop target noise on TH, admittedly, the TPF is a high background noise environment. But I did not find them to be loud at all. The sound was very good and the Smaug callouts were great. I also like that the LCD did an excellent job of directing the player what to do next. The use of animated parchment scrolls that unfurl and tell you what to do is very clever and fits right in with the look and feel of the game.
Also, the smaller LCD was clever and takes you through the pages of a book and is much more useful than WOZ's crystal ball video chip. The four subterranean heads that pop up make a big difference in your shooting lanes, are timed and will be a missed scoring opportunity if not hit. They are triggered by rollover switches lower on the playfield. This was a lot of fun, although there may be other ways they are triggered too.
One of the first things that struck me about the game was that the playfield looks even better in person than the images I have seen online. It is much more colorful, but not the explosion of primary colors that WOZ is. Rather, the mood and look of the movie are carried over to the playfield without it being dark.
I asked if the LCD was improved but was told it is the same as WOZ. Because the source material is HD, the film clips jump out at you like you were watching a BluRay at home. A whole different style of lighting than WOZ and the use of several flashers makes TH beautiful in its own right without being derivative. The lines all weekend long show the interest this game enjoys, and talking with others who played the game, it was very well received.
I'm going to have this game for years. Jack was committed to delivering a game of high quality. Thank you Jack! The extra wait is well worth it.
Is there some kind of coating on shooter rods that is making us all crazy? Seems like we have had more than our share of drama on Pinside lately. Now sj1000 comes up with:
Quoted from sj1000:
I am working on a deal that could place up to 5,000 machines in 50 states. I only wish JJP could execute. Originally my intention was for the JJP machines.
This makes you sound completely bonkers.
If you have something to say, say it. Jack is turning out WOZ games and has delayed TH because, in his words at TPF, "we got our ass handed to us at Expo". To his credit, he stopped everything and did a major rework of the game. It is hugely improved. I am grateful for the delay under these terms.
Quoted from sj1000:
I have already received the information I needed from todays activities. Best of luck to all of you pinball activities and the Hobbit.
That information is that you are unable present a reasonable statement of your intentions, that you have buckets of whatever the opposite of charisma is and that any business owner would never let you across his/her threshold.
Quoted from musketd:
Anyone know when these are going to start hitting the production line?
At the TPF Butch Peel said late May. I believe that Jack and the JJP team will ship a great game once again. My conversations with Jack and Butch at TPF increased my optimism that they are progressing according to their post-Expo plan and are very happy with the pin and state of the software they will ship.
Pin mods are not just for "fixing" design issues. They also help owners to personalize their machines - something a bit different from what comes off the assembly line.
Jack has already told us he is waiting for parts. If Acme (fictitious) tells him parts will be here on the 20th, Jack has learned not to tell us final build will start on the 21st. Why?
Take your pick:
Acme has sent out of spec parts before.
Acme's predecessor who Jack fired has sent out of spec parts before.
Acme ships late.
Acme's predecessor who Jack fired has shipped late before.
Something new goes wrong.
I can't blame Jack for not wanting to put a hard date out there. He wants The Hobbit to ship ASAP, just like we do.
Unfortunately, Jack cannot share anything solely with the Google group, as it instantly appears here. As a result, there is no "private" sharing. So Jack usually just gives a short advance notice to the Google group when sharing news.
I like both the LE and the SE, but the very fact that the SE is over the top and outrageous looking is what I like best about it. I never felt pinball was about subtlety anyway.
Quoted from Shapeshifter:
I know but everything said is so vague.
That is not surprising. Jack has told us he is waiting for the parts to arrive, relying on promises from his vendors. Maybe every vendor will deliver on time. Maybe every vendor will provide parts exactly to spec.
Maybe not. Then Jack would have to suffer the shit storm resulting from "another missed deadline". I think Jack's critics have taught him to avoid that scenario. Thus, we end up where we are today: it will be ready when it's ready. I'm OK with that.
I was in for the SE from the first opportunity I had to switch. I like the big outrageous dragon. I have never connected the words "restraint" and "pinball" in my mind.
Quoted from Goronic:
I agree with this, but (and I hate to say it) I bet Matt will provide mods like this after release. I think he will provide many hobbit mods (including bag end, smaug back and/or tail, improved gold pile, waterfall toy around back bumpers....)
That would be great!
Quoted from lowepg:
I hope JJP sells an ungodly huge number of these TH's (and more WoZ's too) so that they turn a pretty profit and they can bury the prepay model for JJP#3
I agree with this completely. The events of the past year have driven the market away from a long term prepay model. I think that the Stern model is an example of the limit of most buyers' patience with waiting for a game that they have paid for.
I placed my order on day one. It was November 26, 2012. I am very happy that Jack had the balls to redesign the game after the reception at Expo. It had to be a VERY difficult thing to do, but that decision saved The Hobbit and maybe even JJP. Thank you Jack! The wait will be well worth every agonizing day.
Quoted from DaveH:
Yeah, even at my age I still get excited by the toys we call a hobby
I just shot some video of a Multiball sequence and I'll try to post it up sometime later today. Yes, it is going to be shaky handed crap phone video. And the bummer is that I know it won't capture the level of sound the game actually has.
I'll also try to get some pictures of the stuff displayed on the book.
We are starving and will grovel for any crumb you can throw us.
I keep hearing that GoT will beat TH to market, but what is the unofficial guess on the GoT release? Are we anticipating September or October?
Quoted from Skyemont:
Whoever gets theirs first, post the day and time so we can see how many are being pumped out. How are they made? In what order. I emailed JJP last week about this q with no response.
Here's my scenario: On the first day to order TH, I placed my order and deposit at about 10:30 AM Central Time. For all I know, from 10:00 until 10:15 that morning, five different distributors may have called ordering 50 or 100 games each. So, even though I ordered early, I can't really assume how close I am to the front of the line. I'll just happily take my game whenever it arrives. You can be sure that when it arrives I'll post and include pictures!
I have to congratulate Jack for listening to the cry for more updates. When you have a beautiful playfield like this and show it off in an update, you ramp up excitement for the game. Well done Jack! The timing is perfect too. There are freshly uncommitted dollars out there due the disappointment experienced by some of the GoT preorder folks. Looks like a sales opportunity to me. I'm more excited than ever to get my TH SE!
The playfield is a masterpiece, but don't overlook that the Rules Teaser "How to Qualify the Arkenstone Modes" contains some great stuff too.
First of all, Gandalf sounds great and the art is beautifully rendered. If you hit pause on the clip as each area first pops up, you can see that it tells you what you have to do to qualify in that mode and even shows you what the target looks like. Amazing! This will make the game accessible to players of all skill levels and experience.
I am so happy that I have stuck with my day one order and that I have the Smaug Edition coming someday.
Nice to see that those mountains of gold are being made in large batches. And I like that Jack is sharing photos of the progress.
I'm going to get them for my SE; I will have the machine where the entire left side will show.
It appears that JJP has built their test games. It seems to me that until the results of testing these games are in, nobody can be sure of a start date. That's the point of doing these tests. If all goes well, we can expect production to begin soon with a slow ramp up to full capacity. I have no inside info; that's just what I think is likely.
Quoted from koops:
Did anyone purchase the replaceable decal "radcals" option?
Seeing that there is no side armour that covers around the flipper buttons so having a polycarb over the decals might actually protect them.
I did for my Smaug Gold Edition. It will be HUO, but I wanted it to have the best look possible.
There is also a bracket added to each ramp. Someone posted a video gripping it and trying to move it. It was rock solid.
Have any of you noticed that the knocker for final score "Match" is crazy loud? I almost wet my pants the first time I got a match!
I couldn't find an adjustment for this in the menu. Any ideas about where it is? Thanks.
My other question is what is the function of the red target in the right out lane?
Quoted from Pinister:
I was wondering the same thing but I like surprises so I just thought I would wait until I get my game.
I suspect that in certain situations it may award an add a ball. There have been a few times when I got another ball in play but don't know why. The red target may be the culprit or I could be full of shit.
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