(Topic ID: 303114)

I want DMD-style graphics back. Anyone else?

By mystman12

2 years ago


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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by trueno92
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    Topic poll

    “Would you like to see some modern games use an HD DMD display style like Cactus Canyon Remake has?”

    • Yes, I think a DMD style display would suit some games better than standard LCD displays! 59 votes
      38%
    • I'm indifferent, so long as I get all the info I need to play the game from the display I'm satisfied. 23 votes
      15%
    • No, I'd rather see manufacturers stick solely to LCD displays and make the most of them. 72 votes
      47%

    (154 votes)

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    There are 57 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    11
    #1 2 years ago

    I just saw the new animations in Cactus Canyon Remake and wow, they look fantastic! For anyone who hasn't heard they've created new HD DMD style animations for it, which you can see in this vid:

    When it comes to the standard HD LCD displays we have on modern games these days, I've honestly never been super satisfied with how they look. There are a few that look pretty good (Mostly from JJP) but many are pretty bland in my humble opinion. DMDs to me have a lot more charm for a (seemingly) much smaller budget. I especially think some of the smaller manufacturers like American Pinball would benefit greatly from using a style like CCR is using, especially with original themes. I get why people would want HD displays for movie themed pins, but for original themes just get a talented pixel artist to make some nice dots and I think the presentation would overall be a lot nicer than what we've seen on many games like Houdini, which are often criticized for having some poor display animations.

    I do realize the one downside to this is that a DMD style display probably wouldn't be able to show as much information at once as a standard LCD display can, but I don't feel like that's a huge issue when most important info can be gleaned from the playfield lights.

    To clarify I'm not saying that games should use actual, 32x128 dot matrix displays again, just that they should mimic the style, but with some modern enhancements allowed by LCDs like color and a bump in resolution just like CCR is doing. It's probably not a fit for every modern game either, but I would take some nice dots any day over many of the HD LCD animations on a lot of modern pins.

    #2 2 years ago

    I love the art dots on the dmds.. such a cool part of the machine. I know they wont go back but my favorite games are prior to the lcd invasion.

    #3 2 years ago

    I prefer the large display like JJP uses. Stern’s is kind of small and makes the speaker panel look goofy IMO. Stern likes that because they want to keep the translite/backglass a thing…..mainly I feel so the LE has a unique feature. And it’s cheap for them to produce.

    I don’t think we need to make DMD’s a thing again but push for the rest of the older games to get color animations. COLORDMD has been doing a great job on that.

    #4 2 years ago

    I like the LCDs because of the info they can show, but everything has it issues.
    Shitty concert footage is just as bad as a rubber band Aerosmith cartoon.
    I play TWD all the time and im never bothered by n DMD...and yes those updated Refake DMD animation looks amazing.

    #5 2 years ago

    Color-DMD size is all we need, bigger screens just have too much BS you're never going to read/see if you're actually having a good ball. And F Stern for going to such a small GD font for scores when they went LCD.

    #6 2 years ago

    No way. Look at a game like Godzilla. The hilarious cheesy movie clips make the game. Same with basically any movie based pin. Now would I prefer a DMD in a game like AIQ? Yup

    #7 2 years ago

    I'm actually indifferent on the matter. Mostly because I grew up the alphanumeric displays. As long as the ruleset isn't too ridiculous; I'm fine with any type of digital display.

    #8 2 years ago

    Yeah............ No.

    I'm old enough to remember the constant bitching about how pinball needed LCD games to keep up with technology, and how DMDs were proof that manufacturers were cheap and stuck in the stone age. Also comments that pinball was dying since younger folks would NEVER play a game with an old fashioned, dated looking, DMD, and how this was killing the industry.

    This thread just seems to prove that no matter what the manufacturers do, or don't do, people will complain.
    There are plenty of great DMD games out there. Play those all you want.

    #9 2 years ago

    Pinball should have stayed with alphanumeric

    #10 2 years ago
    Quoted from nicoy3k:

    No way. Look at a game like Godzilla. The hilarious cheesy movie clips make the game. Same with basically any movie based pin. Now would I prefer a DMD in a game like AIQ? Yup

    Well yeah, that's what I'm saying! I'm not saying every game should go back to DMDs, just the ones that are better suited for that style of display.

    #11 2 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Yeah............ No.
    I'm old enough to remember the constant bitching about how pinball needed LCD games to keep up with technology, and how DMDs were proof that manufacturers were cheap and stuck in the stone age. Also comments that pinball was dying since younger folks would NEVER play a game with an old fashioned, dated looking, DMD, and how this was killing the industry.
    This thread just seems to prove that no matter what the manufacturers do, or don't do, people will complain.
    There are plenty of great DMD games out there. Play those all you want.

    I don't know, I think pinball is big enough at this point for a new game with a DMD style display to do just as well. Maybe not on location, but operators would have to chime in on that. People would absolutely complain, but I'm sure plenty of other people would love it (Just like with anything in pinball). At the very least, I'd love to see someone try it and see how people respond. Maybe even include both a DMD mode and a LCD mode to see which people prefer.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    Pinball should have stayed with alphanumeric

    Yeahhhhh I don't know about that one haha. Though it would have been cool to see some more WPC alpha-numeric games and the kinds of cool display effects they could have pulled off with the ability to fade segments. I always love seeing the clever animations they created with such a limited display.

    #13 2 years ago

    Let’s go back to score reels with each their own coil. Haha actually I liked with CGC did with remakes. Personally I don’t NEED a full LCD.

    #14 2 years ago

    Less graphics means coders can make more varied modes, etc since they don't all need a team of artists to support them

    #15 2 years ago

    The kind of display doesn't matter to me, I just don't want the video content to look cheap.

    Video clips can be kind of cool, I guess. But part of the charm of licensed games, to me, is that they take something you love and build on it.

    There was no Power in the original Twilight Zone, and certainly no episode with a spooky gumball machine. The game designers gave us cool literal callbacks to the show AND created new stuff, like the gumball machine, that fit the theme and made for a good game.

    If they could have put anything they could imagine on the display, would the game be the same? Probably not. Would it be better? Maybe... maybe not.

    #16 2 years ago

    I like the big dmd like in Maverick ,Baywatch ,dots are good

    #17 2 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Less graphics means coders can make more varied modes ...

    Please explain.

    #18 2 years ago

    I love dots as much as the next guy but DMDs had their time. Time to move on.

    15
    #19 2 years ago

    You don't really want DMDs back, since that's an LCD, you want pixel art.

    And pixel art is just a style like anything else. It doesn't have to go away. Clearly it's not, since this game is using it lol. But if you look at modern video games it's the same thing. You can use 3D (like any AAA game). You can go hirez but more hand drawn (say, Hollow Knight). You can use pixels (Stardew Valley). It's just a creative choice.

    I think what most pinball displays are missing honestly is more cohesive creative visions. The most successful games are the ones that pick a concept and really roll with it. And if that's dots like CC is doing, great. If it's comic book art (Alice Cooper) or polished movie clips (Hobbit) it can still work.

    I don't feel like any choice needs to happen, just ... make good choices. A lot of modern LCD games feel like a mishmash of styles to me, and that's what I'm less of a fan of more than any particular choice of technology to make them.

    #20 2 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Yeah............ No.
    I'm old enough to remember the constant bitching about how pinball needed LCD games to keep up with technology, and how DMDs were proof that manufacturers were cheap and stuck in the stone age. Also comments that pinball was dying since younger folks would NEVER play a game with an old fashioned, dated looking, DMD, and how this was killing the industry.
    This thread just seems to prove that no matter what the manufacturers do, or don't do, people will complain.
    There are plenty of great DMD games out there. Play those all you want.

    First off I agree, but old enough that was like 4 years ago….

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from tilted81:

    First off I agree, but old enough that was like 4 years ago….

    I want both. why not? variety is the spice of life!

    #22 2 years ago
    Quoted from Williampinball:

    I like the big dmd like in Maverick ,Baywatch ,dots are good

    Once you go jumbo you won't go back. ColorDMD is by far the number one best mod for BW and pretty much any DMD game.

    #23 2 years ago

    I really like the DMD dot style art and would love if some newer games had that same style instead of boring clips ripped straight out of a movie.

    #24 2 years ago
    Quoted from tilted81:

    First off I agree, but old enough that was like 4 years ago….

    That was part of my point and might not have come across claerly. The complaing about dot art being unacceptable in modern games was very recent.

    It's not like it would be some long term nostalgic throwback. It would be (I think) dated looking, and exactly what people were saying they did not want.

    No wonder consumers drive manufacturers crazy.

    #25 2 years ago

    Some games are clearly better with LED/LCD displays, but others certainly look fantastic with dmd. CCr absolutely CRUSHED it with this dmd presentation. It is phenomenal, but LCD really is the future...so we should probably just get used to it.

    As an interesting side note...I think it would be cool if a dmd or LCD were both given as options. Perhaps in different game versions (ex. pro vs. premium)?

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    As an interesting side note...I think it would be cool if a dmd or LCD were both given as options. Perhaps in different game versions (ex. pro vs. premium)?

    I don't think we'll ever see that, as it would take much more time (therefore money) to have graphic guys working on 2 different styles of displays instead of 1.

    #27 2 years ago

    I love my Walking Dead and TZ DMD’s, but in my opinion, certain games would be better with an LCD screen. (G.O.T and Ironman come to mind).

    Regarding the Bally Williams remakes, yes, bring on the HD DMD format!

    I would love to see/ OWN a TOTAN remake with the new HD format!!

    #28 2 years ago

    Real mechanical backglass animation. bring it back! I think this is why the ewer topper are so hot. We like toys that are interactive and move!

    #29 2 years ago

    That ship has sailed unfortunately.

    You can’t go home again.

    #30 2 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    You don't really want DMDs back, since that's an LCD, you want pixel art.
    And pixel art is just a style like anything else. It doesn't have to go away. Clearly it's not, since this game is using it lol. But if you look at modern video games it's the same thing. You can use 3D (like any AAA game). You can go hirez but more hand drawn (say, Hollow Knight). You can use pixels (Stardew Valley). It's just a creative choice.
    I think what most pinball displays are missing honestly is more cohesive creative visions. The most successful games are the ones that pick a concept and really roll with it. And if that's dots like CC is doing, great. If it's comic book art (Alice Cooper) or polished movie clips (Hobbit) it can still work.
    I don't feel like any choice needs to happen, just ... make good choices. A lot of modern LCD games feel like a mishmash of styles to me, and that's what I'm less of a fan of more than any particular choice of technology to make them.

    I was going to jump in and say going backwards is dumb, but - I think Aurich is right. There is a whole sub-genre of video game art which is specifically dedicated to games and artwork which looks “8-bit”, and is not a far cry from DMD art. If it’s appropriate for the period/genre of the game, why not?

    But go back to the actual DMD technology? There’s really no reason at all to do that.

    #31 2 years ago

    Deadpool sort of has this.. It's using the same HD display but it opted to go mostly 8-bit graphics (but you still have the resolution to really display all the information on one screen), or if you want the occasional deadpool breaking the 4th wall you can still do it. Maybe we jumped too far away from artwork and just need a balance of both?

    #32 2 years ago
    Quoted from RyanStl:

    Once you go jumbo you won't go back. ColorDMD is by far the number one best mod for BW and pretty much any DMD game.

    The new pin2dmd editor supports animated gifs, some great work being done on Last Action Hero with actual movie clips.

    Not HD, but looks great.

    #33 2 years ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    The new pin2dmd editor supports animated gifs, some great work being done on Last Action Hero with actual movie clips.
    Not HD, but looks great.

    And the extended color palette is AMAZING. Plus there’s a double-size LED panel capability now.

    #34 2 years ago

    Dmds look terrible in modern games. First thing I did when I got my MET was replace dmd with colordmd.

    #35 2 years ago

    I don't care for movie clips used during games. If I want to watch the movie, I'll go do that. Give me something new.

    Shadow is a great example of this. New dialogue, new adventures, etc.

    #36 2 years ago

    Back in my day, we had 3 numbered wheels that flipped in a circle. If we wanted to score in the thousands, we painted a 0 on the back glass...and we liked it.

    back-in-my-day (resized).jpgback-in-my-day (resized).jpg
    #37 2 years ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    I was going to jump in and say going backwards is dumb, but - I think Aurich is right. There is a whole sub-genre of video game art which is specifically dedicated to games and artwork which looks “8-bit”, and is not a far cry from DMD art. If it’s appropriate for the period/genre of the game, why not?
    But go back to the actual DMD technology? There’s really no reason at all to do that.

    Yeah any sort of pixel art could look great really, I'm certainly a big fan of it in video games when it's done right. I wouldn't limit the color palette to be 8 or 16-bit or anything though, and yeah, I'm not calling for a return to actual DMD technology. Actually, by using pixel art on LCDs users could choose from a number of different filters like on ColorDMD, everything from dots, to pixels, to interpolation. Personally I find dots a bit more pleasant to look at on pins but obviously options are always great.

    #38 2 years ago
    Quoted from mystman12:

    Yeah any sort of pixel art could look great really, I'm certainly a big fan of it in video games when it's done right. I wouldn't limit the color palette to be 8 or 16-bit or anything though, and yeah, I'm not calling for a return to actual DMD technology. Actually, by using pixel art on LCDs users could choose from a number of different filters like on ColorDMD, everything from dots, to pixels, to interpolation. Personally I find dots a bit more pleasant to look at on pins but obviously options are always great.

    Good point on the customization angle. ColorDMD has its 4 or 5 basic filters, but there are THOUSANDS now for video emulators, and even a few more modern ones would be pretty amazing to see as options.

    #39 2 years ago
    Quoted from EJS:

    Let’s go back to score reels with each their own coil. Haha actually I liked with CGC did with remakes. Personally I don’t NEED a full LCD.

    That is what I was thinking when I saw the comment below but I will do you one better. "We should go back to just having bulbs illuminate digits on the backglass to show your score, man. Who needs all this fancy crap?"

    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    Pinball should have stayed with alphanumeric

    #40 2 years ago
    Quoted from freeplay3:

    Back in my day, we had 3 numbered wheels that flipped in a circle. If we wanted to score in the thousands, we painted a 0 on the back glass...and we liked it.
    [quoted image]

    Post it notes man. Considering how I have heard people say "lower scoring games are less fun... because numbers???" just take a post it note and add as many digits as you want. You can even make your different displays score different amounts if you want to give some players a leg up or leg down. And think how much fun a 60 to 80's game that scores in the trillions would be? Probably be more fun than Godzilla with its wimpy smaller scores

    #41 2 years ago

    This isn’t a DMD. Color DMDs aren’t DMDs either.
    They’re just custom sized LCD screens that have every single frame hand-crafted to mimic a DMD.

    It’s like high-end MSPaint it’s a computer screen but broken into little dots. They fill in every single dot with the same “aspect ratio” and just display them on an LCD.

    #42 2 years ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    This isn’t a DMD. Color DMDs aren’t DMDs either.
    They’re just custom sized LCD screens that have every single frame hand-crafted to mimic a DMD.
    It’s like high-end MSPaint it’s a computer screen but broken into little dots. They fill in every single dot with the same “aspect ratio” and just display them on an LCD.

    Yeah I know, that's why I titled the thread "DMD-style displays". I guess it's kind of confusing since they're all LCDs while some just mimic DMDs. Makes it hard to write about without saying "LCD displays that have graphics mimicking DMDs" and "LCD displays with full color HD graphics" every time I want to refer to one or the other, haha.

    Gonna change the title to put the emphasis on graphics rather than the display itself.

    #43 2 years ago
    Quoted from freeplay3:

    Back in my day, we had 3 numbered wheels that flipped in a circle. If we wanted to score in the thousands, we painted a 0 on the back glass...and we liked it.
    [quoted image]

    I read this and heard Dana Carvey's voice.

    #44 2 years ago
    Quoted from sunnRAT:

    I read this and heard Dana Carvey's voice.

    Funny, when I typed it I heard Dana Carvey's voice.

    #45 2 years ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    Dmds look terrible in modern games. First thing I did when I got my MET was replace dmd with colordmd.

    I've never owned a DMD game I haven't put a ColorDMD in. And Metallica has some really great dots, that shine with the color.

    If there was a 'high rez dots' upgrade, like these Chicago remakes have for Monster Bash and Cactus Canyon, for Metallica I bet it would sell like hotcakes.

    But I still would want dots. Not concert footage, not 3D graphics like Iron Maiden.

    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    Deadpool sort of has this.. It's using the same HD display but it opted to go mostly 8-bit graphics (but you still have the resolution to really display all the information on one screen), or if you want the occasional deadpool breaking the 4th wall you can still do it.

    Great example, I forgot about that one. Deadpool is a strong candidate for "leaning into" a style. They picked a direction and made it work.

    Quoted from Methos:

    I don't care for movie clips used during games. If I want to watch the movie, I'll go do that. Give me something new.

    I think for a game based on a movie it can work fine. There's a lot I would have liked to have been able to do with the LCD on Alien (and who knows, with Pinball Brothers actively supporting the game maybe some day it will happen) but I'm still really proud of the job Kelly did with the clips for it. But he didn't just make the display a "movie jukebox" that barfed up clips, he put in the extra effort to edit them, add style and flair like old school VHS noise and static, and really focused on making them fast and punchy.

    I had a little input, but he did the vast bulk of the work, so not taking credit here. But still, I'm not so modest to avoid saying I think it came out great. You just have to add a little love. Kelly put the love in, and it works. Put the love into dots and they can still shine. Do something else and it can also be awesome. JP at JJP is a wizard with the polished animations. He does a more "slot machine" style, with all the chrome and trimmings, and it looks great.

    I don't like to be negative about people's efforts. But look, some LCD games looked phoned in. They have 10 different font styles, random 3D renders that look like PS2 games, and just aren't great packages. I think if you keep it simpler it's better. And that's one thing dots do well: keep it simple, keep it focused.

    I played a Monster Bash Remake today, and I thought the dots still looked fantastic in 2021. Perfect blend of modern and classic.

    #46 2 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I think if you keep it simpler it's better. And that's one thing dots do well: keep it simple, keep it focused.
    I played a Monster Bash Remake today, and I thought the dots still looked fantastic in 2021. Perfect blend of modern and classic.

    Totally agree. It amazes me how much people beg for actual footage of bands or movies in games. I love my Ghostbusters because it's all new and totally original. Very creative.

    #47 2 years ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    This isn’t a DMD. Color DMDs aren’t DMDs either.
    They’re just custom sized LCD screens that have every single frame hand-crafted to mimic a DMD.
    It’s like high-end MSPaint it’s a computer screen but broken into little dots. They fill in every single dot with the same “aspect ratio” and just display them on an LCD.

    So do you not like it? Aren't LEDs just dots anyway. My ColorDMD looks just like that but nicely colored dots. Best mod ever.

    #48 2 years ago

    Bahleeted

    #49 2 years ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    The new pin2dmd editor supports animated gifs, some great work being done on Last Action Hero with actual movie clips.
    Not HD, but looks great.

    Thanks for the compliments...

    What he said - working with 64 colors in a 128x32 pixel resolution..

    There are a lot more clips in here now, including a movie trailer that runs in attract mode too.

    #50 2 years ago

    It would appear this is already a lost art and it would also appear, with the influx of new "pinball enthusiasts" that there is a lost appreciation for that art. These fans of pinball are demanding everything and expecting it!

    Monitors/displays in pinball were going to happen once the cost of adding and coding them was justified. This happened years ago. There is no turning back now. This is not a happy accident. It has little to do with what the pinball fan wants or appreciates. Just like features and code...

    There are (mostly free) pc tools that allow for much faster dot creation. But, I would think that only a one off game like TNA or throwback on purpose "90's theme" game would benefit from some a thing. That would be just fine with me and I would play it!

    If you can't stand the new solutions, don't buy them. Just look for games from 1992-2015.

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