(Topic ID: 234948)

Is there interest for a head-to-head machine?


By jabdoa

1 year ago



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  • 38 posts
  • 24 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by ichigokurosaki91
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    #1 1 year ago

    We created a prototype of a head-to-head machine with two full size playfield. The theme is good vs evil. We brought the machine to the Dutch Pinball last year and Jack Danger did a cool stream:

    A lot of people enjoyed playing it (at least our impression). The game is fully playable without major problems such as ball traps or missing modes. Obviously there is a lot which can be polished and we are working on that. Also we will probably redo/overhaul the artwork when doing a final playfield revision. However, we now reached a point where we are wondering if this should stay a one-off or if we should build a few machines. Is there interest for such a machine? We would probably build like 10 machines.

    Major downside: It is huge (220cm or 7.25 feet) and will be expensive (at least the price of two machines obviously). On the upside the concept is unique. Even older head-to-head machine such as Joust have a different type of rules. In Joust it is about keeping the ball on your side to get the maximum score. In this machine it is about keeping your lives by not loosing any balls and at the same time shooting balls to the other player so that he looses balls quicker. Last man standing wins.

    Most stuff is already in CAD and we also produced most parts at commercial manufacturers. So this could be produced. The build progress is documented in a German forum: https://www.flippermarkt.de/community/forum/threads/head2head-pinball-im-eigenbau-good-vs-evil.160338/ and also slightly on Pinside: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/head2head-custom-pinball-machine-good-vs-evil.

    What would have to change for a small run?
    - New artwork
    - Professional printed playfield (current prototype is a decal) at Mirco (current playfield is also by Mirco)
    - Laser all plastics (currently 3D printed)
    - Some more sounds/call outs
    - DMD animations
    - Laser a new revision of all ramps and rails (mostly minor changes such as adding more tabs for plastics)
    - Change from 80V to 48V PSU for easier certification
    - FCC/CE certification

    What do you think? Price would probably be in the range of $25k to $30k (because of small quantity).

    #2 1 year ago

    It would be a big help to see photos of the actual machine, the stream just looks like two games side by side.

    It's interesting that the Joust model is being attempted again in Japan: https://arcadeheroes.com/2019/01/25/jaepo-2019-pinball-in-japan-bandai-namco-unveils-pac-man-panic/

    #3 1 year ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    It would be a big help to see photos of the actual machine, the stream just looks like two games side by side.
    It's interesting that the Joust model is being attempted again in Japan: https://arcadeheroes.com/2019/01/25/jaepo-2019-pinball-in-japan-bandai-namco-unveils-pac-man-panic/

    or this:
    https://arcadeheroes.com/2018/12/23/taito-space-invaders-pinball-jam/

    #4 1 year ago

    Looks like a lot of fun.
    I would definitely play it on location.

    #5 1 year ago

    First time I’ve seen your machine in action Jab, very nice! That concept I can see being a lot of fun.

    #6 1 year ago

    That game is A-MAZING. Got my 9 year old modern gaming snob to ask “one more!” About 10 times at a recent Busch Gardens outing

    #7 1 year ago

    Interest by collectors? Sure, but not sure if you could drive sales. If it cost the same as 2 stern pros you are at what 11k? Then there is the size and space factor that would knock many people out of owning it.

    Historically speaking these have not done well on route either. That said, my usa football garners interest anytime someone see's it because it is so odd looking, just need to get it shopped so they can actually play it.

    #8 1 year ago

    Been tried many times commercially and always a failure.

    It's just a bad idea for a pinball machine.

    #9 1 year ago

    A previous example of this , as we all know, is NBA Fastbreak. Fun for sure, but difficult to keep the two machines in a fair, competitive state versus each other.

    #10 1 year ago

    A true head to head game costs twice as much to buy, takes up twice as much space, and gets played half as much if that. It just doesn't make any sense.

    #11 1 year ago

    Here is a picture of the machine in action

    IMG_20181110_171126.jpg
    #12 1 year ago

    This game looks really slick

    Cost and size are probably the main prohibitive factors.

    I have fun with head-to-head games, but I can see how novelty can wear off quickly in a home environment, especially on the simpler games.

    I brought a War (head-to-head cocktail table) to a show a couple years ago, and people were having a blast with it.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Cost and size are probably the main prohibitive factors.

    Yeah, a bit too large for some houses. I do like how compact Joust is in comparison. If only they made more than 400.. I'd definitely own one. Played it at Flippers a few years ago with my wife, we both enjoyed it... last year it ate my quarter. That, I did not enjoy.

    #14 1 year ago

    It's a very interesting concept and it does look super fun to play. The size of it is clearly an issue and the fact that you can't put it against a wall which can be problematic in many locations.

    Since you need to send balls between machine, have you consider making that "virtual" ? As in ball lock on both sides, put 10 balls in each, and release on one playfield while locking on the other playfield. That way you keep your concept intact and you can link machines side by side, and eventually be able to sell a single machine, same way it works on linked arcades.

    And pushing the concept further, you can add more players to the game, make it a 4 player one etc...

    #15 1 year ago

    Maybe others will chime in on a more positive note, but I fall into line with others. Looks cool- amazing build and congratulations on how polished it looks!

    However- Cost is super out there (like 4+ new Sterns) and size is way to big to consider owning. Might play in a barcade but probably would prefer a typical game.

    I honestly would love it if the small format Joust like games apparently being produced elsewhere were availble in the US. I often play with a friend and a genuine competitive two player hame would be amazing- even better if it was smaller than a std game as it will ALWAYS be played less than a single player game and this ensures it will never be worth the same space.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Been tried many times commercially and always a failure.
    It's just a bad idea for a pinball machine.

    I don’t know. Joust was released at the worst possible time. With the proliferation of man caves/game rooms and pinball collectors, I think it would have a good chance to succeed if it were released now. It is always such a big hit at shows. But then again I am desperate to have one so what do I know.

    As for the op, I would love to see them succeed but the market for something this big and expensive would be really small I would think. Maybe if you cap it at 100 or so you could sell it to the hardcore and rich collectors.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from alveolus:

    I don’t know. Joust was released at the worst possible time. With the proliferation of man caves/game rooms and pinball collectors, I think it would have a good chance to succeed if it were released now. It is always such a big hit at shows. But then again I am desperate to have one so what do I know.
    As for the op, I would love to see them succeed but the market for something this big and expensive would be really small I would think. Maybe if you cap it at 100 or so you could sell it to the hardcore and rich collectors.

    Joust isn't the only head to head game ever made. There's been like 4-6? And they were all released in much better commercial times than Joust was.

    All failures.

    The one Gottlieb made around 1970 actually put a large distributor - who pushed gottlieb to make it and bought almost the entire run - out of business.

    Pinball is man v. machine and always has been. Man v. man just doesn't work. You talk mancave - staples like air hockey machines and foosball are always going to fill that void.

    #18 1 year ago

    Commercially you would need someone like Dave & Busters to buy them to get them out there but as others have said it's asking a lot for the home use environment. It's a shame because we all want innovation in Pinball but I'm not sure that this is it for all of the reasons that others have listed.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Joust isn't the only head to head game ever made. There's been like 4-6? And they were all released in much better commercial times than Joust was.

    https://www.ipdb.org/search.pl?specialty=24&sortby=name&searchtype=advanced

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from adol75:

    The size of it is clearly an issue and the fact that you can't put it against a wall which can be problematic in many locations.
    Since you need to send balls between machine, have you consider making that "virtual" ? As in ball lock on both sides, put 10 balls in each, and release on one playfield while locking on the other playfield. That way you keep your concept intact and you can link machines side by side, and eventually be able to sell a single machine, same way it works on linked arcades.
    And pushing the concept further, you can add more players to the game, make it a 4 player one etc...

    This is an excellent idea, as it would address the size/space issue. You could then set it up with a single-player ruleset also, and thereby get in more plays on location from individuals who don't have someone to play with.

    #22 1 year ago

    How about head to head online? That could be quite easily done with the virtual ball locks another person had mentioned?

    With that being said, there could be different models that are physically head to head, and online head to head

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from SkyKing2301:

    This is an excellent idea, as it would address the size/space issue. You could then set it up with a single-player ruleset also, and thereby get in more plays on location from individuals who don't have someone to play with.

    Make it like the "Cruisin'" racing games - you can have one standalone, or more than one side-by-side interacting.

    #24 1 year ago

    2 Namco head to head redemption pins.
    Pacman and space invaders. Hopefully we'll see them in North America.

    https://arcadeheroes.com/2019/01/25/jaepo-2019-pinball-in-japan-bandai-namco-unveils-pac-man-panic/

    pacmanpanic (resized).jpgpacmanpanic2 (resized).jpg
    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from erak:

    2 Namco head to head redemption pins.
    Pacman and space invaders. Hopefully we'll see them in North America.
    https://arcadeheroes.com/2019/01/25/jaepo-2019-pinball-in-japan-bandai-namco-unveils-pac-man-panic/[quoted image][quoted image]

    They've done really well with their 4p head to head pac-man games. But then those are super fun and reliable.

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from adol75:

    It's a very interesting concept and it does look super fun to play. The size of it is clearly an issue and the fact that you can't put it against a wall which can be problematic in many locations.
    Since you need to send balls between machine, have you consider making that "virtual" ? As in ball lock on both sides, put 10 balls in each, and release on one playfield while locking on the other playfield. That way you keep your concept intact and you can link machines side by side, and eventually be able to sell a single machine, same way it works on linked arcades.
    And pushing the concept further, you can add more players to the game, make it a 4 player one etc...

    We thought about this. However, pinball is about actually shooting physical balls. It would not be the same. Similar to virtual pinball. It similar but not the same.

    You can actually play our machine as a single player. The other side will just do nothing and you are playing against yourself/score. That part of the software is not very advanced though.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from jabdoa:

    We thought about this. However, pinball is about actually shooting physical balls. It would not be the same. Similar to virtual pinball. It similar but not the same.
    You can actually play our machine as a single player. The other side will just do nothing and you are playing against yourself/score. That part of the software is not very advanced though.

    Not sure I was clear. When I said virtual lock I l meant the physical ball is locked on one side and another physical ball is released on the other side. That way you don’t need to have 2 machines in length but can have 2 side by side.

    #28 1 year ago

    Very cool. Would be great for parties.

    3 months later
    #29 1 year ago

    Sorry for bumping this old thread, but that would make a big, 2-player, head-to-head pinball comeback! I would like to try that game!

    #30 1 year ago

    Head to head should be done like it was in Big Race USA, over a network or the internet. One player blocks certain playfield features for the other player. It's been a long time but I remember it being great fun.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from insx:

    Head to head should be done like it was in Big Race USA, over a network or the internet. One player blocks certain playfield features for the other player. It's been a long time but I remember it being great fun.

    #32 1 year ago

    If you want networked play then the P3 might be what you want. We like the fact that the ball physically moves to the other side which is why we built our machine. Ball transfers are very transparent and intuitive to the players. Kids understand it during the first game. We had kids around the machine all day at DPO.

    #33 1 year ago

    I like Multimorphic's idea of doing that!!

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from jabdoa:

    If you want networked play then the P3 might be what you want. We like the fact that the ball physically moves to the other side which is why we built our machine. Ball transfers are very transparent and intuitive to the players. Kids understand it during the first game. We had kids around the machine all day at DPO.

    The idea is great, there is no doubt about that, it's the practicality of it that is not. The answer really lies in knowing if you aim at building a commercial product or if you want to keep it homebrew and take it around at shows.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from alveolus:

    As for the op, I would love to see them succeed but the market for something this big and expensive would be really small I would think. Maybe if you cap it at 100 or so you could sell it to the hardcore and rich collectors.

    100 is already much more than we could realistically build. More like 10-30.

    Quoted from adol75:

    The idea is great, there is no doubt about that, it's the practicality of it that is not. The answer really lies in knowing if you aim at building a commercial product or if you want to keep it homebrew and take it around at shows.

    We don't want to make a commercial product at any cost. So if there is no interest in a "real" physical head2head game I'm fine with that. Makeing a few machine would be more to prove that we can do it and not to make money out of this (but also not at a loss). If you designed a game for four years with two guys you probably will never even break even if you consider your work.

    #36 1 year ago

    Was there any thought to using Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World sized cabinets? The layout looks like it could be compressed to a smaller footprint and still have a decent head-to-head setup.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from Agent_Hero:

    Was there any thought to using Super Mario Bros. Mushroom World sized cabinets? The layout looks like it could be compressed to a smaller footprint and still have a decent head-to-head setup.

    That would certainly work. However, from a homebrew (or probably even small MFG) standpoint you would have to reinvent too many things. We choose a full size standard width playfield because all the parts are readily available for those. We still had to build the cabinet and backbox which required a decent amount of changes. If we also had redesigned hindges, armour, legs, glass guides and so on we would not have finished the machine by now. Maybe in a few more years. A pinball machine consists of a large number of parts. Individually those are relatively easy to manufacture/build but you cannot simply redesign them all. That would require a lot resources and even with sufficient funding/people those project usually fail because of complexity/dependencies.

    2 weeks later
    #38 1 year ago

    Well, it would be much more the coolest if pinball changes.

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