(Topic ID: 86784)

How will pinball need to change to survive another generation?


By lowepg

5 years ago



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    #1 5 years ago

    I know the current "pinball revival" is in full swing with new machines (new old machines!) and new manufacturers to get just about any pinhead excited....

    But it's still catering to the same crowd (with a few exceptions). YES there are some new pinheads entering the hobby, but I suspect it's a drop in the bucket compared to the baby boom and genX'ers....

    If nothing changes, I find it hard to believe the next generation will embrace pinball. But what would have to change to make a difference?

    i think it goes way past themes and LEDs- the game itself will have to change dramatically. JPP seems to have come the closest to "changing the game" (stern has done nearly nothing new), but even that - I think- will not be enough for the next generation to embrace pinball.

    Thoughts?

    Maybe smaller?
    The next generation will likely NOT be living in the common McMansions of today with 1000's of square feet dedicate-able to toys. Perhaps a more compact or interchangeable game design? Maybe a "murphy-bed" design that folds up into the wall?

    #2 5 years ago

    For all the banter about WOZ.....I believe if these were in the nice family fun centers that have the air hockey and redemption games....it is a fantastic looking game that non-pinheads flock too. Add a ticket dispenser on the side....let the tokens start filling up the coin box....my 2 cents

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    #4 5 years ago

    it will need to become simpler... we live in a world of short attention spans... what the average pinsider "wants from a game" makes it even harder to draw new people in...

    #5 5 years ago

    There are a few key issues with pinball, any one of which will inhibit it’s growth:

    1. For home use, the cost of the machines – clearly the biggest issue.

    2. For home use, the size of the machines – doesn’t tuck away nicely under your TV cabinet.

    3. For home use, the maintenance – I would say about 80% of pinball collectors now cannot fully service their own machines, and there are few options to assist for many.

    4. For routed locations – finding a way to implement machines back into a commercial location now that arcades are for the most part a thing of the past. It needs a new more devoted showcase, instead of being another ticket dispensing thing, turned down and barely working in the midst of grappler machines and “who wants to be a millionaire” machines.

    5. For router locations – maintenance, it’s hard to find a machine anywhere that doesn’t have some issue that restricts major aspects of the physical play/rules.

    Most of us see the interest with friends and family. People are interested in them, and they would be played, but given the reasons above, you either need to make a good devotion to it for home use, or there needs to be speciality locations solely for pinball with maintenance being #1 on their agenda.

    #6 5 years ago

    I like what JJP and Multimorphic are doing. More focus upon art, adventure, and new interactivity/gameplay. Making games worth collecting and replaying.

    New movie tie-in/product theme/blinky lights/DMD's = won't do it anymore. It's all been done. The platform is begging to evolve.

    Remember the board game "Dark Tower"? Incredibly forward-thinking. Took board games in a new direction. Safecracker is another good example. Although designed for redemption play (and thus more ideal for conventions and arcades rather than home), the back-and-forth interplay between pinball game and backbox game is brilliant for that end. It succeeds where other hybrids like Baby Pac Man and Caveman failed because it doesn't force you to play a "video game".

    I envision (and am working on) a RPG pinball game like Borderlands. It's still pinball, but the goals have much more depth and are part of a larger narrative than simply "racking up points". Remember how Nintendo transformed video games by giving us more depth than Atari's arcade & point based play? Time for pinball to make that leap. Multimorphic is absolutely leading the pack here... and they just might sucker punch the entire industry in similar fashion once things really get going.

    What would World of Warcraft pinball look like? A game that you can "level up" and explore new challenges. Sequential games you must return to again and again to finish... can't do it all in one game.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    it will need to become simpler... we live in a world of short attention spans...

    I am 48 years old. Pinball was a thing we enjoyed as kids/teens and grew up with. I enjoy saving the past, and to be honest - I don't really care if any new pins or new developments are ever made. It may sound a bit selfish, but I only need pinball to survive as long as I am interested in it. My teens (just now turned young adults) are not interested in it at all. My younger kids are good for a game or two and it's back to the XBOX. I would not count on them being pinball fans or hobbyists in the future. You are absolutely right about the short attention spans comment, because my boy wants me to take him to Game Stop almost every week for a new game.

    #8 5 years ago

    "Innovate or die"……..

    Take a look at the crowd who buys pinball machines still these days. It's just a matter of time. Factor in future recessions and market dips and who knows.

    Anybody remember what pin prices were back in 2008 and prior? For some reason, people seem to talk themselves into the idea that these pins can't ever tank in value in again. Or how about the early 90's to the year 2000 time frame?

    I don't see how the used market doesn't tank. Something has to give with 1000's of 8k pins coming onto the market and those dollars getting shuffled around. And these 8k models will be like buying a new car, driving it off the lot, and instant depreciation.

    Pinball really is just a niche collectors market for the most part. A great hobby. It's gonna take continued innovation from what JJP has started, hopefully Stern too and mix in guys like P3 and Jpop.

    Pinball is too complicated to figure out for the younger generation. They want Xbox and Playstation at home and will stuff quarters into stupid mindless redemption games on location. Where does pinball fit there?

    I think 2014 will be a big shakeout year, I hope not, but the train is on the track and heading our way.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I don't see how the used market doesn't tank. Something has to give with 1000's of 8k pins coming onto the market

    Let me ask, so how is the used pinball market really any different than, say used guitars? There are 1000s of $X (actually - all kinds of prices) guitars coming into the market every year.

    #10 5 years ago

    It's precisely the contrast from videogaming that will keep pin interesting.

    If anything, there is a lack in innovation in videogaming. More stagnation there than anywhere else. For example, the battle between Playstation4 and XBox One that's going on right now... yet neither really offer anything that wasn't there the previous generation. The latest killer title, Titanfall, is just another First Person Shooter. Same game, over and over again. Kinect/Wii/PSMove controllers are already passe. Virtual reality headsets are still some time away.

    But the mechanical, or more precisely, videomechanical, enterainment has much more potential right now. It's DIFFERENT and a bit counterculture. So while I don't see it overtaking videogaming, I don't see it disappearing either. I think the challenge will continue to be coming up with creative mechanics, blending them with the best of videogaming (without creating an actual videogame... just elements of it), and getting the product out there for the youth to play. I think slapping a ticket dispenser on a Woz and placing it in a place where kids frequent is a must.

    And I think establishing a network of approved pin repairers wouldn't be a bad idea if the volume gets there.

    #11 5 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    Let me ask, so how is the used pinball market really any different than, say used guitars? There are 1000s of $X (actually - all kinds of prices) guitars coming into the market every year.

    A guitar is smaller to collect, the universe of current and future guitar players is huge, they cost less……etc.

    Pinball is a fun hobby with a very limited market that currently has no way to expand even back to 90's numbers.

    #12 5 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    Pinball is too complicated to figure out for the younger generation.

    I think you underestimate them. When I was a kid, around the age of my kids now who can't seem to stay interested in the machines (age 12), I couldn't find a lot of interest in pinball either above the budding video games in the mid 80s.

    Later on, when a few did grab me, and I started to appreciate the rules, and the fact that I was playing something real, and that I played a lot of sports, and this had a real ball aspect, that is what finally grabbed me in. Despite being hot and cold with vids over the years, pinball has always amazed me, and my 28 machines are indicative of that over the fact that I play no vids no, other than the odd uber simple and short timed free game online.

    Most "kids" just don't have the avenue/chance to even begin to sink their teeth into these things, as they are virtually unavailable to 99% of people out there.

    The problem is not innovation. Hell, my one girl, when she comes down, plays more on my one EM than anything else, because she can figure out the rules more.

    -2
    #13 5 years ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    A guitar is smaller to collect, the universe of current and future guitar players is huge, they cost less……etc.
    Pinball is a fun hobby with a very limited market that currently has no way to expand even back to 90's numbers.

    Right.

    I think a closer parallel would be classic jukeboxes. I see today's pinballs relegated to similar status by the next generation. Incredibly interesting, but to a small (and shrinking) collector group.

    Maybe something in this formfactor could better survive?

    Mini1.jpg

    #14 5 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    Most "kids" just don't have the avenue/chance to even begin to sink their teeth into these things, as they are virtually unavailable to 99% of people out there.

    That's certainly PART of the issue- visibility.

    But even in the VERY few places in my town to play pinball, they are not popular with the younger crowd. The ONE place in Raleigh, NC that had more than 2 pinball machines (yes- depressing!) was a family fun center. I visited there MANY times for bday parties, AND (since it was closer to my office) would go there on my own to play pinball.

    In 25+ visits I can honestly say i NEVER saw kids playing pinball- and btw- they had decent machines. The kids would walk right past the pins to feed the redemption machines... Actually, it would not be uncommon to find unused credits on the machines....

    It's not just access.... it's theme and gameplay and more....

    #15 5 years ago

    ...

    www.MultiMorphic.com

    --
    Rob Anthony
    Pinball Classics
    http://LockWhenLit.com
    Quality Board Work - In Home Service
    borygard at gmail dot com

    #16 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    In 25+ visits I can honestly say i NEVER saw kids playing pinball- and btw- they had decent machines. The kids would walk right past the pins to feed the redemption machines... Actually, it would not be uncommon to find unused credits on the machines....
    It's not just access.... it's theme and gameplay and more....

    I bet there is no volume. This is something that isn't talked about much, but crank the volume on them, as with the other machines, and I bet this changes things.

    Even when I play at other people's homes that have some of the same machines as me, and they turn their volume down to next to nothing, it seems soooo much more uneventful.

    #17 5 years ago

    Over the last 5 years or so, gaming in general has been heading towards multiplayer/ online. There are becoming less and less single player gaming experiences. Even those offer some form of multiplayer gaming. This is what kids today gravitate towards. Its sad but multiplayer online gaming is some kids only form of social interaction.

    Pinball needs to do something similar. Offering some type of multiplayer or social networking game play would be pretty cool. Of course the logistics of setting something like that up would be difficult at best. Without a controlled environment, people could tune their machines to whatever to give an unfair advantage. Obviously the key would be to have locations for kids to come and play, but good luck getting kids out of the house to game. Pinball is competing with a device that is 5 feet from their beds.

    #18 5 years ago

    For all the talk of getting kids into pinball, I never played pinball as a kid, even when it was available in arcades and other coin-op venues - I stuck to video games. It wasn't until college that I got into pinball. Part of that was living in a town with an awesome pin arcade (Pinball Pete's) but I do think that expecting pins to do well in family fun centers surrounded by redemption machines is unrealistic. How many here were into pins as a kid, how many got into it in college/beyond?

    #19 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rick432:

    Virtual reality headsets are still some time away.

    Game changer.

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    I think you underestimate them. When I was a kid, around the age of my kids now who can't seem to stay interested in the machines (age 12), I couldn't find a lot of interest in pinball either above the budding video games in the mid 80s.
    Later on, when a few did grab me, and I started to appreciate the rules, and the fact that I was playing something real, and that I played a lot of sports, and this had a real ball aspect, that is what finally grabbed me in. Despite being hot and cold with vids over the years, pinball has always amazed me, and my 28 machines are indicative of that over the fact that I play no vids no, other than the odd uber simple and short timed free game online.
    Most "kids" just don't have the avenue/chance to even begin to sink their teeth into these things, as they are virtually unavailable to 99% of people out there.
    The problem is not innovation. Hell, my one girl, when she comes down, plays more on my one EM than anything else, because she can figure out the rules more.

    read your last sentence again... you make our point for us...

    #21 5 years ago

    lowepg isn't wrong about on-location pinball for kids: there's a Shrek at the local Chuck E Cheese and the kids ignore it. It usually has a random credit on it if not an abandoned ball in the plunger. it's a shame, but they'd rather put their coins in a machine that goes "ping" and spits out 3 tickets than play a full game of pinball.

    but it's not that kids today are fundamentally incapable of enjoying it. i don't even think it's a problem with theming or rules -- it's just at a glance, its purpose isn't obvious, whereas the redemption games are instantly understood. i can't blame a kid for putting their coins in a machine they understand versus one they don't.

    when kids come to my house, usually they are curious about the pins. but they simply don't know what they are. my daughter (age 6) likes to play, so she will usually initiate some rounds with her friends. they will ask me how to play and i'll tell them, give some basic hints like "if you send the ball up that ramp, it will go down to that upside-down area underneath the blue window" or "when the ball comes out that scoop, hold the right flipper up and see if you can catch it" etc). they do have fun. had a girl about 8 years old play for an hour, and cry when her mom made her leave. and her 6 year old sister played 2 full games on all three of my machines. with a little bit of guidance and instruction, these games were as cool to them as anything they'd seen.

    but without me (and to a lesser extent my daughter) there to tell them about the games and sort of get them started and giving them hints and stuff, tell them about various goals, they would probably lose interest in a couple minutes. if they had just encountered these games in an arcade, they would never have been interested.

    so i guess my point is what it takes to get kids -- or anyone, really -- into pinball is someone else that's enthusiastic about pinball to be there to introduce the game and get them started and actively help them see some of the cool stuff. no casual player has ever read a rule card, or ever will. and young people don't instinctively understand anything about it. they may not get that the flipper buttons are on the side, or that the lights are anything other than random, or that some of the stuff on the playfield is interactive and that there are goals and modes and such.

    pinball is still a very cool games for people of all ages and all skills levels, but it is not a self-starting thing. it requires an ambassador.

    #22 5 years ago

    Anybody collect Ed Roth stuff? His stuff currently sells very high? I love to collect his merchandise but its ridicously expensive. I bet in a few years when his generation dies off who will carry the cross? The new generation dont know anything about him or his characters he created (ratfink)... I think pinball is like ed roth stuff. The generation that grew up with this are in there prime and drive the prices even higher. What will happen when that generation passes on and the new generation is up? I think prices down because fewer people will want that. I can see video game stuff going up with gen x.

    #23 5 years ago

    My kids aren't interested and I have had 60's 70's, 80's, 90's and the latest Stern games.

    Phones and Xbox wins.

    Future?

    The only platform that has a chance is Mulitimorphic.

    #24 5 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    Let me ask, so how is the used pinball market really any different than, say used guitars? There are 1000s of $X (actually - all kinds of prices) guitars coming into the market every year.

    Kids still dream about and buy guitars.

    Kids don't play pinball.

    #25 5 years ago

    I played a decent amount of pinball when I was younger. A lot of it was because my dad was into pinball, and whenever he would take me to an arcade, he would get me to play at least a couple games of pin with him. But for me when playing without him, a major part of the allure was the potential of winning a free game. The parents give me a couple quarters, and there was always the hope of stretching my game time out a little longer if I did well. That really isn't the case for any other games.

    Now fast forward to today, all the kids/everyone have mobile devices. Who cares if you can win a free game on a machine you have to put quarters into, when you can download 20 free games a day from now until eternity and never play them all. I'm not sure that younger me would have cared about pinball either. That $1 mom just gave younger me would be much better utilized on a candy bar.

    #26 5 years ago
    Quoted from ectobar:

    Now fast forward to today, all the kids/everyone have mobile devices. Who cares if you can win a free game on a machine you have to put quarters into, when you can download 20 free games a day from now until eternity and never play them all. I'm not sure that younger me would have cared about pinball either. That $1 mom just gave younger me would be much better utilized on a candy bar.

    OH SO TRUE. We just didn't have the mobile technology and home entertainment options that the younger generation has today. I can't even remember when I last bought a CD, since I get most of my listening from YouTube, Pandora, internet radio, etc... all free. Mega huge free options for games on PCs, tablets, phones too. Put actual real money into a machine to play a game? ABSURD

    #27 5 years ago
    Quoted from NicoVolta:

    I like what JJP and Multimorphic are doing. More focus upon art, adventure, and new interactivity/gameplay. Making games worth collecting and replaying.
    New movie tie-in/product theme/blinky lights/DMD's = won't do it anymore. It's all been done. The platform is begging to evolve.
    Remember the board game "Dark Tower"? Incredibly forward-thinking. Took board games in a new direction. Safecracker is another good example. Although designed for redemption play (and thus more ideal for conventions and arcades rather than home), the back-and-forth interplay between pinball game and backbox game is brilliant for that end. It succeeds where other hybrids like Baby Pac Man and Caveman failed because it doesn't force you to play a "video game".
    I envision (and am working on) a RPG pinball game like Borderlands. It's still pinball, but the goals have much more depth and are part of a larger narrative than simply "racking up points". Remember how Nintendo transformed video games by giving us more depth than Atari's arcade & point based play? Time for pinball to make that leap. Multimorphic is absolutely leading the pack here... and they just might sucker punch the entire industry in similar fashion once things really get going.
    What would World of Warcraft pinball look like? A game that you can "level up" and explore new challenges. Sequential games you must return to again and again to finish... can't do it all in one game.

    I absolutely disagree with this, no disrespect intended.

    A lot of what is wrong with video games today (IMO) can be traced back to this idea of going away from "points". Since about 1995, the focus has been on more realistic "simulation" instead of gameplay. We have 3D puppets with ragdoll physics where we once had sprites and simpler physics. Games these days are easier; there are cheats and guides to help people 'win' games. You can "continue" where you left off. All it takes is perseverance and a bunch of button mashing. All games have ends (you can finish every video game these days), whereas before (back in the classic days) games didn't really 'end'.

    Why was Pac Man a hit in its day? Would it have been a greater hit had it had better graphics? Would it have been twice the hit it was with 3D graphics and ragdoll physics? If the game hadn't been based on points, and you could "finish" the game? What about if it had 'missions'?

    Tetris sort of proves my point. It got pretty popular right about the time that the 3D games started taking off. Brutally simple graphics; entirely point based. It was about gameplay.

    Video games are not pinball, of course. What Multimorphic is doing is interesting of course. But it can't be the 'only' direction for innovation in pinball (IMO).

    Then again... is what video games doing right now "wrong"? Certainly not from a dollar standpoint. It may be the most financially viable lifeline for pinball to try and shoehorn the home-console type video games into a pinball cabinet. However to people like me, it just represents a dead end. (I really hate 3D models though! Sue me )

    Tournament play is exciting--even on the old machines. Look at what the younger generation is doing there. Escher Lefkoff and Josh Henderson leading the group. This is one vital lifeline for pinball.

    I actually really hope that the future of pinball keeps it a very unpredictable game that can't be "finished"... that is point based, because that is its legacy. It's also very physical; with physical objects and it requires physical interaction.

    FPS video games are so freakin ubiquitious... please for the love of all that's holy... keep those things in the game consoles where they belong.

    There may be a lot of thumbs downs on this; but it's just another opinion. Thanks.

    #28 5 years ago

    It won't survive. It's an old man's hobby. Lou Reed said it best, "I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine."

    #29 5 years ago
    Quoted from Chris_james0:

    It won't survive. It's an old man's hobby. Lou Reed said it best, "I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine."

    Obviously I think you're right. I think we might very well look back at 2014/2015 as the peak of the "pinball rebirth." With 3-4 new players cranking out games in addition to Stern- and all driving the price point to new highs.... certainly the saturation point for $7K-$8K pinball is going to be tested.

    Add in the fact the the US economy is being artificially pumped up by horrible monetary policy... and THAT day of reckoning is coming soon....

    Winter is Coming.

    14
    #30 5 years ago

    Pinball needs two things to remain relevant to new and old players alike........ Beer and weed.

    #31 5 years ago

    I think it will be like vinyl records. There will be a small but enthusiastic crowd.

    #32 5 years ago

    I think 3 things need to happen
    1. They have to get lighter (sorry, but shipping weight and broken backs aren't helping things). If you want weight, add it later
    2. Better diagnostics (Woz seems to addressed this tremendously)
    3. Swappable playfields to save space and cost in the home and during transport (home and routing)

    As far as playfield design, there really needs to be some innovation in interaction (not a bunch of toys), whether that be bringing back P2k or what P3 is doing with the interactive LCD screen. I like the haunted cruise project that one guy is doing with the P2k system, actually turning pinball into sort of a role playing game (purchasing items to battle in the storyline).

    #33 5 years ago

    I believe pinball purchasing will get harder in 5 years time.... until one of us dies and a family member dumps all of them on craigslist for some stupid low price.

    #34 5 years ago

    ever tried it with psychedelics? unreal.

    #35 5 years ago
    Quoted from Noahs_Arcade:

    ever tried it with psychedelics? unreal.

    Ever try Sweetwater 420 ?

    #36 5 years ago
    Quoted from castlesteve:

    Ever try Sweetwater 420 ?

    Ever spent time in a Turkish prison?

    #37 5 years ago
    Quoted from castlesteve:

    Ever try Sweetwater 420 ?

    yes, at a http://mellowmushroom.com restaurant, interestingly enough.

    #38 5 years ago

    When kids grow up and start getting places of their own and start making good money they will start buying pins because they are just COOOL!!! Cool to look at, cool to play, cool to collect, and for many cool and interesting to work on.

    #39 5 years ago
    Quoted from t2:

    When kids grow up and start getting places of their own and start making good money they will start buying pins because they are just COOOL!!! Cool to look at, cool to play, cool to collect, and for many cool and interesting to work on.

    i really doubt that is going to happen... the GREAT majority of pin owners today played pinball on location and it's safe to say that it was a childhood dream for many (waving hand in the air) to have their own pinball machine... today's kids have zero emotional attachment to pinball... there is nothing "cool" about pinball to them...

    #40 5 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    Ever spent time in a Turkish prison?

    joey ... do you like movies about gladiators?

    #41 5 years ago

    The problem with pinball isn't pinball...it's the fact that it's a coin-operated game and coin-operated games are generally irrelevant to our culture.

    Pinball right now is embraced by those with nostalgia and a 20/30-something "hipster" generation that likes the old school nature of it. Based on that - changing it too radically risks turning people away. Some innovation is cool, but I don't think it will ever be a massive gamechanger as pinball is just a small part of one scene - the arcade. If the arcade is dead, then the coolest pinball ever won't make a blip on the mass culture.

    IMO collectors, barcades, and tournaments are what will keep pinball alive for whatever time it has left.

    #42 5 years ago

    I think the next generation likely looks at pinball in a similar way that many of us Pinsider's look at jukebox collecting, EM/Woodrail pinball collecting, and ham radio. For many of us that stuff was before our time and we don't have any nostalgic feelings towards them. Sure they are kind of neat and some of us even collect some of the old machines, but I think that market is shrinking overall. I'd be happy if pinball sticks around for another 20-25 years to cater to "our" generation. If you're under 25 and enjoy this hobby you're going to have it made when the rest of us liquidate our pins to move to smaller houses or the nursing home.

    #43 5 years ago
    Quoted from pezpunk:

    joey ... do you like movies about Gladiators?

    Well well well, Scraps is a boy dog, isn't he?

    #44 5 years ago

    Interesting points from everyone. I'm not sure pinball will survive indefinitely. Entertainment changes. Folks don't like the same games they liked 100 years ago for the most part.

    I see big differences in what my kids like to play and what I liked to play as a kid - and I wasn't even interested in pinball back then. The video games they're playing are easier than what I played, but they're also more immersive and allow for much more creativity and customization. Saying that pinball rules are too complex for today's kids doesn't fly. Mine know every ridiculous combination of elements in Minecraft, not to mention all the Minecraft clones. They don't get confused, they love learning the intricacies, just like kids did with pinball thirty years ago. Minecraft costs a couple dollars and they can play it for weeks. It's a no brainer.

    #45 5 years ago
    Quoted from chadderack:

    Video games are not pinball, of course. What Multimorphic is doing is interesting of course. But it can't be the 'only' direction for innovation in pinball (IMO).

    What you're saying isn't falling upon deaf ears. I get it. Each of the different "eras" of pinball (and video games) have something good to offer. 60's EM's are primarily about nudging and rolling over targets... random chance often a big factor. 70's EM's became more technical with longer flippers and direct skill shots like drop targets. 80's and especially 90's machines dialed in the speed and skill factor even further with increased table slope, multiball, progressive jackpots, etc. BUT... we hit the wall somewhere in the late 90's. The game hasn't fundamentally changed since and practically every possible ramp/target/bonus/blinking thingy has been implemented somewhere along the way. What else can be done with a 1" 1/16" ball bearing rolling around on a table?

    Points won't go away... they'll just become something more relevant to a more interesting goal. That's exactly what Nintendo did in 1985 after the big arcade crash. Our attention spans demanded more depth, and the gameplay expanded to capture it. Pinball can do the same. It has to.

    It amazes me how few pinball games capitalize upon even a simple expansion of game theory. For example, a simple WWII torpedo sub game on the backglass could TOTALLY transform an old table into something fresh and interesting again.

    When I play PinBot, I try to get to the Sun. Addams Family? Complete the mansion. Safecracker? Earn a token. WOZ took a creative route and dialed back "point inflation" to 60's EM scoring levels... which was cute... but points are obviously secondary at this point. WOZ is an adventure under glass. People want to travel to the Emerald City. Make cool stuff happen. I saw a lot more yung'uns into WOZ than any other...

    ...and then, of course, there's Multimorphic, who have quietly introduced the quartz watch to a convention of indifferent and puzzled mechanical Swiss timepiece makers.

    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    I think 3 things need to happen
    1. They have to get lighter (sorry, but shipping weight and broken backs aren't helping things). If you want weight, add it later
    2. Better diagnostics (Woz seems to addressed this tremendously)
    3. Swappable playfields to save space and cost in the home and during transport (home and routing)
    As far as playfield design, there really needs to be some innovation in interaction (not a bunch of toys), whether that be bringing back P2k or what P3 is doing with the interactive LCD screen. I like the haunted cruise project that one guy is doing with the P2k system, actually turning pinball into sort of a role playing game (purchasing items to battle in the storyline).

    Bingo. Leveling up and depth of gameplay... it's coming... and will be awesomely fun.

    #46 5 years ago

    Nostalgia aside there will always be those that are fascinated with history. All but one of my pinball machines and arcades are older than I am. I only own one vintage game that I have any memory of playing as a kid (US Marshal gun game.) My bicycle, my motorcycle, jukeboxes and old car are all manufactured before I was born.

    I have a friend in his 30s that was excited to recently pick up an old Victrola. My wife and I often see young people at antique shows and flea markets. Much of the interest in these types of things extend beyond childhood memories. Or maybe you don't have to have experienced something to be nostalgic about it?

    It wouldn't surprise me if the demographic does shrink a bit over time but I think there will always be a strong following.

    #47 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Well well well, Scraps is a boy dog, isn't he?

    We have clearance Clarence. Roger Roger, what's our vector Victor?

    #48 5 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Kids still dream about and buy guitars.
    Kids don't play pinball.

    Maybe,but Guitar Hero nearly killed the idea of playing the real thing for kids. They didn't have to actually play a real guitar,but rather button mash their way to virtual stardom and have the envy of all their friends while that $100.00 intro level Fender sat in the corner collecting dust the whole time. Luckily Guitar Hero died a few years back and that old guitar yawns the one string rendition of Smoke On the Water once again.

    #49 5 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    The problem with pinball isn't pinball...it's the fact that it's a coin-operated game and coin-operated games are generally irrelevant to our culture.

    Exactly. Coinops were designed to capture foot traffic via casual, quick bursts of entertainment. The games themselves were shaped by that paradigm. Evidenced by the number of collectors who, after securing a favorite childhood pinball machine in their home, complain of the obnoxiousness of the attract mode. PLAY ME! PLAY ME! "Jeez I wish it would shut up..."

    That world is long gone, thank you iPhone. Pinball has to deliver something unique and relevant to TODAY. Some Millennials enjoy the retro/vintage aspect of pinball... and it is unique because it is a physical metal ball flying around in there not just a video game... but... the simple game mechanics don't captivate them.

    Yet.

    #50 5 years ago

    The problem with pinball is a lack of access to machines in good repair anywhere but in barcades. Kids generally love pinball, but as in the past, they have to find people to give them money to play it where they find it. Then, most of the time, the machines don't really work good, so they don't develop their skills and it's not a generally rewarding experience.

    If you want to help pinball survive, you have to get your machines out where people (kids especially) have access to play them.

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