(Topic ID: 224963)

Joe Balcer confirms Oktoberfest as American Pinball's next pin.


By PismoArcade

1 year ago



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#2451 7 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

No, tone deaf is making choices or doing something WITHOUT AWARENESS. Downplaying or ignoring would be stubborn or dismissive.
They knew what they had.. they aren't blind to it. They've acknowledged the comments. They aren't blind to or obvious to any of it.
The question is if its worth spending on changing. Clearly their decision was 'no' and they've stuck with the same format they've had since the game's first public reveal... nearly SIX MONTHS ago.
Maybe it's time for people to catch on.. it's not radically changing!

I hear you on this but I don't agree that they aren't blind to it. I really think they believe it's not bad and used these other animators to corroborate that thought. If they knew it was terrible, they would fix it. They think people are overreacting. They are not truly AWARE of how bad it is. Not sure how many different people need to call it out for that to happen. Tone deaf.

As for people needing to catch on - I will never support poor quality. What's frsutrating is I wish this game wouldn't be appealing otherwise b/c I woudln't even be talking to you about this right now. I wouldn't even care. However AP does a very good job in others areas that for someone like me, this absolute mess of a presentation really prevents me from purchasing this game. So I'm trying to help here, like many others b/c they're missing out on NIB sales.

btw - if AP determines they need to make their games cost 7500 to include proper/better animations and presentations, I would easily spend the extra 500. I think many would feel the same way. It's not a price thing (for me).

#2452 7 months ago
Quoted from Platypus:

I grew up with classic Bugs Bunny and Road Runner animation which I love ! Donkey Kong and Pacman came along. long after that was South Park (did anybody like that?) Animation is what it is and only more recently gotten really interesting. But I don't consider it at at all important in pinball. It is pinball which happens on the playfield. I don't watch the graphics unless someone else is playing to feed my friends the text cues. I consider callout cues and flashing lights on the playfield much more important. I have played several games on this machine and am more focused on how it plays and how I should approach it.
The zombee walking guys who move sidewise are dorky, maybe they could be people standing around eating brats. On the adult program they could be drinking beer and getting topless. But again I am not watching that and focused on the ball(s).

I agree animation is not at the top of the importance list in pinball

BUT

I think if you are going to put an LCD screen on your machine, you better have some decent video/animations for that screen.
If you are not going to put in the effort, then you should scrap the LCD and put in a DMD
Compared to what others are doing - Stern, JJP, Spooky - with their most recent machines, these animations stand out like a sore thumb and should be an embarrassment - heck JPOP had better animations on his failed games then this one.

At this point I would do what others have suggested and remove some of the awful animations, like the people walking around, and replace them with higher quality static images. The poor animations just distract from what looks like a really fun game

#2453 7 months ago
Quoted from wesman:

But Jeff wasn't responsible for the animations in Houdini, and I assume Oktoberfest as well.

He is listed in the credits of Houdini for Art and Animations, I obviously have no idea what his level of involvement is / was though. Not that it really matters I suppose, if you don't like what's on the screen you don't like what's on the screen.

#2454 7 months ago
Quoted from delt31:

btw - if AP determines they need to make their games cost 7500 to include proper/better animations and presentations, I would easily spend the extra 500. I think many would feel the same way. It's not a price thing (for me).

Oktoberfest already MSRPs for $7400.

#2455 7 months ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

I agree animation is not at the top of the importance list in pinball
BUT
I think if you are going to put an LCD screen on your machine, you better have some decent video/animations for that screen.
If you are not going to put in the effort, then you should scrap the LCD and put in a DMD
Compared to what others are doing - Stern, JJP, Spooky - with their most recent machines, these animations stand out like a sore thumb and should be an embarrassment - heck JPOP had better animations on his failed games then this one.
At this point I would do what others have suggested and remove some of the awful animations, like the people walking around, and replace them with higher quality static images. The poor animations just distract from what looks like a really fun game

The DMD thing has been mentioned before, dots are harder to do than animations on an LCD and the DMD would probably cost more than the LCD display.

The comparison to a JPOP game with shots that don't go anywhere and f@#ed many people out of serious cash??

#2456 7 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

Disagree. I owned a JJP game with a 26 inch display and beautiful looking animations and video... that the player usually doesn’t see because they are looking at the ball. The content on that huge screen was very busy. Quadrants of info, serif fonts, everything in motion, spread across a 26 inch screen. Basically, in my opinion, the eye candy on their screen failed because it was too busy and not well coordinated with stop and go on the playfield. Very frustrating.

Totally disagree. The display screens have great animations at times that coincide with ball stop/pauses, and the screens while playing have information I need that I can see quickly at a glance or when cradling the ball.

#2457 7 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

He is listed in the credits of Houdini for Art and Animations, I obviously have no idea what his level of involvement is / was though. Not that it really matters I suppose, if you don't like what's on the screen you don't like what's on the screen.

I'm assuming the fantastic Seance image is his, maybe the goldfish, and the hands waving over the hat. Even there, it's more a static image than animation. Those images alone stand out eerily compared to the Houdini and Bess frames, which I assume are not his figure renderings. Those look like odd paper doll cutouts, both misproportioned and stilted in movement.

(Edit:. Seems I'm incorrect on some of what I was inferring about up above. Just to clarify, I was guessing on some of these based on style, and was incorrect.)

#2458 7 months ago

DMD showed us that is not so much about the quality of the graphics but the feelings that it generates within us as we play a Pinball which is ultimately all about a feeling. That visceral excitement has to be captured on the screen.

10
#2459 7 months ago

Suggestions:

1) CONTRAST! Different colors don't mean shit. If your display wouldn't be readable in B&W then it sucks. A slim black stroke around a font the same brightness as background doesn't cut it (most manufacturers do this even Stern) Yellow duck icons against yellow beer = dumb.

2) THIS ISN'T AN EYE EXAM! Why do manufacturers fill the LCD with tiny fonts? (Again, everybody is guilty of this) Keep the text big and bold. LCD is roughly twice the height of DMD, so have twice the info at most... instead of an IRS form.

3) IS THIS A ZOMBIE GAME?. No? Then why are the women so ugly on LCD? Is this an attempt to make it "wife safe"? All you need to do for that is keep the boobs C and under. The photo-real women on PF aren't ugly - why are they on the LCD? (I know why - because clipart - but that's a reason not an excuse)

4) SKEUOMORPHISM IS SO 2007. Houdini and OKT are both ripe with this. It's the art style where UI elements look like real-world things - think iPhone's calendar or notebook circa 2007. CIRCA 2007. It's a completely dead style now outside of music software.

5) TODD TUCKEY'S WRIST IS STILL BROKEN. Does anyone in the pinball art world know how arms work?

oktoberfest-game-logo (resized).jpg
10
#2460 7 months ago

Pinball is, and always has been, a multimedia experience. This just becomes more true as technology advances. My advice to AP, and any pinball company really, is simple: hire a creative director.

Find a way to make it fit your budget, it will pay for itself. If you can't get a full time person work out a deal. I'm not volunteering, but was a time you could have got me part time for cheap with the right kind of offer. Be creative about getting your creative.

A creative director should be 'in the room' before you pick your theme. Get them involved in every opening decision, and ffs, listen to their feedback. What small companies like AP desperately need are smart calls about direction before they charge off. Pick a theme that caters to your strengths, not something that creates headaches and uphill climbs.

For example: AP has playfield design talent. Good programmers. The ability to actually build and ship games (that's no small thing!). These are clear strengths. A creative director can help steer ideas in ways that utilize those talents best, while avoiding weaknesses. If you just insist on making an Oktoberfest game then you really need to sit down with someone who understands the big picture from a multimedia perspective and can say "this doesn't lend itself to obvious clip art animations, let's be smart about our LCD design to avoid needing them in the first place".

Give me a couple hours and I could completely rethink how the entire LCD works, but you have to do that from the start. Someone with a visual UX background who also understand pinball rules will save you so much time and money and forum commenting. Don't just dump it on your programmers. They have enough to do already, and their own strengths (and weaknesses).

Some people won't care what's on your LCD screen. Clearly plenty of people do. Some will say they don't watch it while playing, but keep in mind that every show and location your game is at is also an ad for your game to the people watching. It matters. Do it right if you're gonna spend all this time and money.

#2461 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Suggestions:
1) CONTRAST! Different colors don't mean shit. If your display wouldn't be readable in B&W then it sucks. A slim black stroke around a font the same brightness as background doesn't cut it (most manufacturers do this even Stern) Yellow duck icons against yellow beer = dumb.
2) THIS ISN'T AN EYE EXAM! Why do manufacturers fill the LCD with tiny fonts? (Again, everybody is guilty of this) Keep the text big and bold. LCD is roughly twice the height of DMD, so have twice the info at most... instead of an IRS form.
3) IS THIS A ZOMBIE GAME?. No? Then why are the women so ugly on LCD? Is this an attempt to make it "wife safe"? All you need to do for that is keep the boobs C and under. The photo-real women on PF aren't ugly - why are they on the LCD? (I know why - because clipart - but that's a reason not an excuse)
4) SKEUOMORPHISM IS SO 2007. Houdini and OKT are both ripe with this. It's the art style where UI elements look like real-world things - think iPhone's calendar or notebook circa 2007. CIRCA 2007. It's a completely dead style now outside of music software.
5) TODD TUCKEY'S WRIST IS STILL BROKEN. Does anyone in the pinball art world know how arms work?[quoted image]

My wife has zero problem with attractive or large breasted women in games or pinball. Though maybe that's because she is one herself.

#2462 7 months ago
Quoted from Ferret:

Heck, if you don't have access to a game, watch one of the streams and send a link and a timecode with your explanation. Even feedback that can't be incorporated into Oktoberfest can help advise the team for future games.

OK, thanks for listening!

=== GENERAL THOUGHTS ===

It feels like you desperately need an art director or "executive producer" that takes Balcer's mechanical vision and creates an overall vision for the art and animation package. If you think you have someone today that fulfills that role I would challenge you as to whether you have the right person in that role. Your art director should have started early in the design cycle by requesting several concept art mockups from a couple different artists that have something in their portfolio that looks similar to the vision in your head. Get honest feedback on those conceptual designs.

What are the guidelines for your world? The color palettes, fonts, shading, lighting, mood, line thickness, stroke colors, perspectives should have been down selected from the multiple concepts. All characters in your world should look like they came from the same world; having the same proportion and physicality; then rendered or drawn with consistency.

The animations are extremely choppy. This gives you that feeling that we're in a 1990's era video game. I remember creating 8 frame sprite animations for video games back in the early 90s that looked better than the creepy-looking characters stalking the fairgrounds. This looks terribly dated.

There is a lack of consistency in art styles between cartoonish and realism. Select a style, stick to it and make sure you have the right talent that can pull it off.

I think your strongest element that ties the Oktoberfest world together is the wood look on the transition. For example, the mode select gates that open and the player score area - that's something to build from.

=== SPECIFIC ISSUES ===

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/400329829

At the 25:11 mark, take a look at the wood pallettes between A. the frame, B. the player score area and C scoring number tiles. They look to be from different color palettes - it is things like that make me want to pull my hair out. Why are the score numbers even on tiles? It makes the player scores bar too busy looking.

At the 24.54, the mode timer looks to be made up of 4 wooden blocks that had sex with a 7 segment LED display - yuck! Probably sounded like a cool idea to someone but it looks weird. Again, a completely different color wood palette in play here. Maybe a more traditional Barvarian clock or even a simple timer using the German font would look better. Even stealing the Houdini mode timer might look better.

At 8:34, the BALL SAVED screen is really, really nice. Use more of that style throughout. The burst pattern clearly ties to the burst pattern to the playfield. The bubble texture on the font is nice; use more of that technique but maybe with a bratwurst as the image. One minor adjustment... the gradient green that surrounds the text needs to be feathered more...too stark of a transition between the green and the burst pattern. That burst pattern style as a backdrop for text should be repeated more often. Place a version behind the Ready Player screen instead of the black, empty screen (see 9:06).

Remember, if anything is paid attention to by the player it will be between balls and between player turns so make those transitions great. They are really weak at the moment.

At 9:01, the Closing Time should be bigger with perhaps the same burst pattern text effects as the BALL SAVED. On the video, the blue stroke over the mauve/red text is hard to read. People perceive blue to be blurry.

11:47, animate some motion of the liquid in the beer stein during the drinking contest and add some movement to the woman's arms and braids. Overall the concept is clever but way too static looking. There is nothing about the animation that looks like you or her are making progress.

17:25, when the juggling tent opens, the image of the crowd is bad; really bad. I would kindly urge you to replace that image as soon as possible.

=== FINAL THOUGHTS ===

If API hired me to be the art director today understanding that that game is about to ship, and with a small budget to improve the display art package, here's what I would do:

- get consistency on the color palettes; especially the wood elements that frame the LCD experience. The strength of the existing design is the wood theme on the "tent select." Carry those thematic elements of that artwork throughout more of the screens. Rework the play score ribbon to remove the tiled look.

- 3:02, completely redo, from scratch, the fairgrounds scene. The concept is solid from a gameplay standpoint but artistically, the execution doesn't "stick the landing" at all. This is perhaps the worst screen at giving Oktoberfest the 1990's, early PC game reputation. The rollercoaster Oktoberfest in the background is really too cheesy.

- You're right... it is too late to do pre-production design on a machine that is ready to ship. Going forward, I would revisit your approach to developing animations. They are uninspired, dated looking, and the number of frames per animated sequence is ridiculously low. Going forward, I would think about moving to a more 3D rendered environment and artist.

Thanks for listening and good luck going forward.

#2463 7 months ago

My only issue would be minimizing the good looking big tiitied women like Ben said

I would have taken my cue from the Bier Haus slot machine

But hey, regardless of what’s on the LCD it’s 1000x better than my what’s on the dmd of my favorite game ever. TWD

For this theme, the LCD isn’t as important to me as say BM66 or Munsters

I will however scrutinize titties when I get the game next week

#2464 7 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

Disagree. I owned a JJP game with a 26 inch display and beautiful looking animations and video... that the player usually doesn’t see because they are looking at the ball. The content on that huge screen was very busy. Quadrants of info, serif fonts, everything in motion, spread across a 26 inch screen. Basically, in my opinion, the eye candy on their screen failed because it was too busy and not well coordinated with stop and go on the playfield. Very frustrating. Their games have a long time-to-market and high price. In contrast, I thought Houdini was the best use of an LCD screen in a pinball game since Lebowski. Fun, colorful animations, large, crisp fonts, easy to parse information. Loved the black on white non serif fonts used as scoring digits. It looked really sharp. I wouldn’t mind at all if some display content in Oktoberfest adopted the best attributes of Houdini’s display content.

I know I keep saying this (last time I promise), but for some reason I really like the Houdini LCD stuff as well -- though I'm not that picky visually (I have no idea what people mean about the sword angle in BKSOR even after staring at it for five minutes). LCD screens are so hit an miss for me in importance anyway. On my BM66 I think the LCD adds a ton. On my TNA I don't even know what's on half the screens and wouldn't have wanted them to spend another dime adding more LCD content.

JJP obviously specializes in this stuff and even there it's hit and miss. I think Hobbit and Woz are pretty awesome and add to the immersion. Pirates and DI less so. It's kind of ironic that for a lot of people Pirates and DI are considered the better JJP games too, even with the less successful LCD integration.

#2465 7 months ago

I think the select a tent screen is ‘trying too hard’, for lack of a better term. Refer to approx 5:10 of the twitch stream referenced above. It took the player over eight seconds to scroll throught the modes, and he wasnt even stopping to really look at them - all the while the screen is just a big muddled blur. I dont even know what the pictures were between the doors, they arent on the screen long enough to see. Dump them - they are un-necessary. I’m not sure he even got through all the modes...that is bound to get old in a home-use environment when you’re picking modes multiple times a game. Think of how pissed upset some people are that they can’t cancel the Sparky animation in Met, and that’s a cool rewarding lightshow! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

My suggestion, forget all the swiping of the screen left/right to get to the next mode choice - just leave the tavern doors static in the background and design a quick, snappy transition between the mode logos with every flip. The mode logos look great - so focus the player’s attention on them! Maybe add a bit of shadow or chisel effect to the logos to give it some heft and depth from the background. A player should be able to get in-and-out of that menu in less than 3 seconds if they know what mode they want, and if each logo is unique then they will be able to find it without even reading it - and get back to flipping, which is why they are there in the first place.

#2466 7 months ago

I agree with literally everything konjurer and vireland have been saying.

This is a huge step backwards from Houdini, which wasn't anything to write home about IMO, but at least there was some kind of consistency. Saying that the game costs what it does and more resources were directed to other things deemed more important is a poor excuse. What's currently displayed on that screen is nowhere near what should be accepted by today's standards.

#2467 7 months ago
Quoted from Ferret:

The Oktoberfest game team is here listening. Josh and I are regularly engaged in this thread, we're not running away. As I've said before, people shouldn't expect the entire animation package to be scrapped and redone. That's not realistic. But if there are reasonable things we can do to improve the presentation, tell us exactly what those are, and we'll see what we can do.
Several critics here have mentioned fonts. There is one font that is primarily used throughout the game, a Germanic typeface. Do you find that hard to read? If we hear a lot of that, we might be able to select another font that preserves the general style but is easier to read. Or do you have a problem with the color contrast of the text against certain backgrounds? That's something we can work with. Back around Expo, someone here posted a screenshot of a tent total screen, and said that they had a hard time reading it because of the contrast of the text against the background. That was very specific and constructive feedback, we agreed, and an improvement was checked into the code base minutes later. No problem. So go ahead, if you have access to the game, send a photo and tell us exactly what you'd like to see changed. Heck, if you don't have access to a game, watch one of the streams and send a link and a timecode with your explanation. Even feedback that can't be incorporated into Oktoberfest can help advise the team for future games.
Even something like "the dachshund walks like an anxious goat!"... well, OK, that just made me laugh, and frankly I personally have no idea what that means, but then I'm neither an animator nor an anatomist. But at least it's something specific, and thus more helpful than "the LCD sucks, booooo!"
Thanks!

It's great that the a programmers are accessible for updates and receptive to feedback, the code and gameplay look they it will be fun! , but I am not sure why general comments( boo!) about the lcd graphics would be viewed as whining, , positive feedback from uncritical sources might feel good but might not lead to long term success.

All the specific feedback about the how to improve the animation ( fonts. colors etc)can be useful but at the most basic level if the ap animation team can critically look at the screens on their competitors ( lets' say last few sterns and jjps) and say that Oktoberfest graphics are at that level , then they either do not have an eye for the graphics or the skills to get there.

Based on you and rosh's presence I assume you two do the graphics as well? just doing the game coding would be a tall order!

I hope the machine is a success and even if released with something close to current graphics consider releasing "visual update " package down the road that rivals jjp! ( personally just super nice looking non animated screens would suffice for me)

#2468 7 months ago

Great too see the constructive feedback rather than plain bitching.

I am in the boat of others who think the animations for Houdini are better than OKT....or at least the fit the theme better. I played OKT at tpf and watched about 20 games and I kept thinking something doesn’t gel right with the animations....almost they are trying to do too much.

ThT being said, the build quality, rules, playfield toys/layout on both games are great! The company is actively listening to feedback which is refreshing. I see great things from this company!!

#2469 7 months ago

Also, this has been said but appears to be forgotten, this is a 7400 game with better build quality than more expensive games. If this was 8500, I would expect the animations to be top notch. I don’t think it’s 100% fair to compare jjp animations to AP. Different screen size, different game price.

-1
#2470 7 months ago
Quoted from Pinphila:

Also, this has been said but appears to be forgotten, this is a 7400 game with better build quality than more expensive games. If this was 8500, I would expect the animations to be top notch. I don’t think it’s 100% fair to compare jjp animations to AP. Different screen size, different game price.

The graphics and animation don't compare favorably to Spike Sterns, either. Screen size is not the issue.

#2471 7 months ago
Quoted from Pinphila:

Also, this has been said but appears to be forgotten, this is a 7400 game with better build quality than more expensive games. If this was 8500, I would expect the animations to be top notch. I don’t think it’s 100% fair to compare jjp animations to AP. Different screen size, different game price.

Why can't everything be good?

So everyone making this argument is basically saying that at that price point something must be sacrificed - there's no way around it?? Is this what I need to believe?.....you cannot make a complete game that costs $7400?

#2472 7 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

The graphics and animation don't compare favorably to Spike Sterns, either. Screen size is not the issue.

No but the build quality, number of toys, light show, etc. is considerably better than Spike - Houdini feels like a 90s B/W or JJP game compared to GOTG.

#2473 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

5) TODD TUCKEY'S WRIST IS STILL BROKEN. Does anyone in the pinball art world know how arms work?[quoted image]

Have you ever held a Stein like this full of Beer? It looks right for what he is doing. If you need me to send you a Stein so you can fill it full of beer and take a selfie I can do that.

#2474 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

5) TODD TUCKEY'S WRIST IS STILL BROKEN. Does anyone in the pinball art world know how arms work?[quoted image]

I would not say its THAT broken, he just has a very alternative way of holdning a beer. If it manages to reach the throat, I think it suffices.

Prost das de gogel net verost.

#2475 7 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

The graphics and animation don't compare favorably to Spike Sterns, either. Screen size is not the issue.

Who f ing cares!

#2476 7 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

No but the build quality, number of toys, light show, etc. is considerably better than Spike - Houdini feels like a 90s B/W or JJP game compared to GOTG.

I don't think anyone is disputing that. The build of the machine is GREAT. The problem AP has (and it's a big one) is the art and art direction. It's passable with Houdini, but plain awful on Oktoberfest. The core issues are the same, however.

#2477 7 months ago

Am I the only one who sees nothing wrong with the wrist or any of the art? I actually really dig it. Admittedly, I haven't seen enough of the animation to judge.

#2478 7 months ago

Seems fine to me. CHEERS

2019-04-05_21.04.03 (resized).jpg
#2479 7 months ago

I guess I'm confused. Its the "American Pinball" company, right? Not American "Watch a screen while someone else plays pinball" company. Seems people want a champagne taste on a beer budget.

Let AP grow within a budget. Not everyone is an expert in cartoons.

#2480 7 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

I guess I'm confused. Its the "American Pinball" company, right? Not American "Watch a screen while someone else plays pinball". Seems people want a champagne taste on a beer budget.
Let AP grow within a budget. Not everyone is an expert in cartoons.

If you're selling a $7500 machine, you need $7500 in production value. If you can't do that, just put segmented score displays on it and skip the thing you don't want to invest in. If Oktoberfest had segmented score displays there would be little to complain about since the game itself apparently shoots well and has lots to do.

#2481 7 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

I guess I'm confused. Its the "American Pinball" company, right? Not American "Watch a screen while someone else plays pinball" company. Seems people want a champagne taste on a beer budget.
Let AP grow within a budget. Not everyone is an expert in cartoons.

I don't understand this approach. How much could a really proficient animator/artist charge to get their vision properly aligned with the existing art package, several thousand dollars....under twenty thousand? To improve leaps and bounds, that's not a drastic amount to place towards a more polished product. Especially when you're asking $7400 from consumers by the hundreds, and ideally thousands of customers.

Great package design pays for itself with the success it will bring. Potentially lost sales won't. The real risk is...not...paying someone to come in and make this idea entirely cohesive in a way that compliments the already outstanding product package, rather than hinder it.

If API is asking that much money from it's customers, we deserve the best we can receive from them. Over $7K for a product that's entirely gratuitous for home owners, isn't a small asking price. It's quite exorbitant, and for most people half the price, or a bit less, of an automobile.

The issues exist also not just with animations, but also screen layout and type usage.

That start up skill shot screen, with the entire half of the right screen being black, with ALL that negative space, kills me every time I see it. I thought it was a placeholder graphic in October, but it keeps showing up time and time again....

#2482 7 months ago

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.

Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"

Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.

OKT (resized).jpg
-2
#2483 7 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

If you're selling a $7500 machine, you need $7500 in production value. If you can't do that, just put segmented score displays on it and skip the thing you don't want to invest in. If Oktoberfest had segmented score displays there would be little to complain about since the game itself apparently shoots well and has lots to do.

So any animations, as clunky as they may be, are just an added bonus. What does the 7500 get you from stern? Split cabs and years hoping code gets updated. What does 7500 get you from JJP. Nothing. What do you get from Sparky? TNA with no video and a thousand dollars discount, yet amazing gameplay an interaction, minus cartoons.. Not sure what game at 7500 has everything. I'm open for recommendations.

-2
#2484 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.
Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"
Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.
[quoted image]

Offer your considerable talents for free then!

#2485 7 months ago
Quoted from wesman:

I don't understand this approach. How much could a really proficient animator/artist charge to get their vision properly aligned with the existing art package, several thousand dollars....under twenty thousand? To improve leaps and bounds, that's not a drastic amount to place towards a more polished product. Especially when you're asking $7400 from consumers by the hundreds, and ideally thousands of customers.
Great package design pays for itself with the success it will bring. Potentially lost sales won't. The real risk is...not...paying someone to come in and make this idea entirely cohesive in a way that compliments the already outstanding product package, rather than hinder it.
If API is asking that much money from it's customers, we deserve the best we can receive from them. Over $7K for a product that's entirely gratuitous for home owners, isn't a small asking price. It's quite exorbitant, and for most people half the price, or a bit less, of an automobile.
The issues exist also not just with animations, but also screen layout and type usage.
That start up skill shot screen, with the entire half of the right screen being black, with ALL that negative space, kills me every time I see it. I thought it was a placeholder graphic in October, but it keeps showing up time and time again....

When someone puts a dollar in a pinball machine, they play the game ,not the cartoons. If the game had the most bestest art in the world, yet sucked at gameplay, that player wont play again. If the art sucks, but gameplay is the best, they will play and pay again.

I get it, some people don't have to worry about budgets,but AP is new and focusing on gameplay, callouts, modes and playfield art will attract more players/money than font size and shadowing.

#2486 7 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

,but AP is new and focusing on gameplay, callouts, modes and playfield art

And fun.

Octoberfest is a lot of fun to play.

LTG : )

#2487 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.
Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"
Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.
[quoted image]

This looks like shit. I like it the way AP did it.

#2488 7 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

When someone puts a dollar in a pinball machine, they play the game ,not the cartoons. If the game had the most bestest art in the world, yet sucked at gameplay, that player wont play again. If the art sucks, but gameplay is the best, they will play and pay again.
I get it, some people don't have to worry about budgets,but AP is new and focusing on gameplay, callouts, modes and playfield art will attract more players/money than font size and shadowing.

I'm a current API customer. My opinion isn't more valid, but a possible repeat customer is definitely one to listen to in some capacity. What people like myself are stating isn't unreasonable, and the budget for a cohesive art package isn't as well, again when customers are being asked for more than $7K.

For me, the strength of the backglass, theme integration, and LCD usage is exactly the reason I want to buy The Hobbit from JJP. The gameplay isn't at the same level for me, but having one strength doesn't entirely diminish the other. In this case though, the LCD usage will do exactly the opposite for me, than the Hobbit. I wasn't incredibly keen on Houdini's LCD and font usage, but I appreciated enough aspects otherwise to make my very first pinball purchase from API.

To state the LCD has minimal value to a pinball player, suggests why even have a backglass or given amount of any information? Why not just have a headless machine with some minor score counter ala Cirqus Voltaire?

Why do cars even need extra trim, paint that has an appealing aesthetic, etc?

Regarding budgets Stern Pro's are substantially cheaper, and offer more cohesive art packages. I don't really like Yeti or Franchi's work, but I can still acknowledge how it fits the entire design, and gels with their theme usage.

And where or why on Earth are we insinuating that API is a broke ass startup? I'd imagine Spooky has far, far more risk involved, and as much as I was indifferent on their prior art packages, ACNC is genuinely quite impressive via the LCD usage.

And regarding budget, the consumer's budget also needs to be weighed in. At least four, maybe five companies by year's end are offering new games, and an enthusiast only has so much cash to spend on this hobby. So when competition is thick, these elements you personally may feel are minor, become MAJOR to other possible buyers. I've bought two pins this past year, which is crazy for me, can't buy one anytime in the next few months, so when I can....will my next pin go towards this game being a few months old at that point, or a new title by any other company or even an older game?

#2489 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.
Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"
Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.
[quoted image]

I guess that makes sense on paper but somehow I don't think making the beer stein more prominent makes the artwork more fun to look at. Wait, is that a stein? Or is it a sippy cup? The beer doesn't spill when you tilt the thing! I want one!

#2490 7 months ago

I love the Otto artwork in Oktoberfest. The new Inga is fine, although I didn't necessarily see anything wrong with the old Inga. The old Inga (which was characterized as "Mad Magazine style") was more goofy looking. Actually, I thought that was kinda fun. Reminiscent of the style of some of Youssi's characters from the 90's, like in the White Water, for example, where some of the characters look goofier than others.

#2491 7 months ago
Quoted from wesman:

I'm a current API customer. My opinion isn't more valid, but a possible repeat customer is definitely one to listen to in some capacity. What people like myself are stating isn't unreasonable, and the budget for a cohesive art package isn't as well, again when customers are being asked for more than $7K.
For me, the strength of the backglass, theme integration, and LCD usage is exactly the reason I want to buy The Hobbit from JJP. The gameplay isn't at the same level for me, but having one strength doesn't entirely diminish the other. In this case though, the LCD usage will do exactly the opposite for me, than the Hobbit. I wasn't incredibly keen on Houdini's LCD and font usage, but I appreciated enough aspects otherwise to make my very first pinball purchase from API.
To state the LCD has minimal value to a pinball player, suggests why even have a backglass or given amount of any information? Why not just have a headless machine with some minor score counter ala Cirqus Voltaire?
Why do cars even need extra trim, paint that has an appealing aesthetic, etc?
Regarding budgets Stern Pro's are substantially cheaper, and offer more cohesive art packages. I don't really like Yeti or Franchi's work, but I can still acknowledge how it fits the entire design, and gels with their theme usage.
And where or why on Earth are we insinuating that API is a broke ass startup? I'd imagine Spooky has far, far more risk involved, and as much as I was indifferent on their prior art packages, ACNC is genuinely quite impressive via the LCD usage.
And regarding budget, the consumer's budget also needs to be weighed in. At least four, maybe five companies by year's end are offering new games, and an enthusiast only has so much cash to spend on this hobby. So when competition is thick, these elements you personally may feel are minor, become MAJOR to other possible buyers. I've bought two pins this past year, which is crazy for me, can't buy one anytime in the next few months, so when I can....will my next pin go towards this game being a few months old at that point, or a new title by any other company or even an older game?

Which game at 7500, right now is blowing away people with the total package?

I'm not descrediting the previous buyer such as your self, your opinion matters more than mine. Again, I ask, what new pins are in the 7500 range? 4 or 5 companies are in this space, please name them, as I have a problem naming ever 4 or 5 legit pinball manufacturers over all. Let alone offering an original theme.
Stern premium anything 7500 Great games for the past couple of years.
JJP. Nope
CCG I think remakes are around 8,000
Spooky, great games, original themes, about or less than 7500
Deeproot? Nothing announced.

So there is my 5. Which games in that 7500 space have the total package?

-2
#2492 7 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

I guess that makes sense on paper but somehow I don't think making the beer stein more prominent makes the artwork more fun to look at. Wait, is that a stein? Or is it a sippy cup? The beer doesn't spill when you tilt the thing! I want one! A stein that doesn't spill the beer!

No offense to those who I am about to offend, but when you are a pro at art, or art direction, you can't see the forest from the trees when it comes to what makes a fun pin. Ultimately, it comes down to what the player sees, when playing.

Homepins might be different. Its working, playable art.

#2493 7 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Which game at 7500, right now is blowing away people with the total package?
I'm not descrediting the previous buyer such as your self, your opinion matters more than mine. Again, I ask, what new pins are in the 7500 range? 4 or 5 companies are in this space, please name them, as I have a problem naming ever 4 or 5 legit pinball manufacturers over all. Let alone offering an original theme.
Stern premium anything 7500 Great games for the past couple of years.
JJP. Nope
CCG I think remakes are around 8,000
Spooky, great games, original themes, about or less than 7500
Deeproot? Nothing announced.
So there is my 5. Which games in that 7500 space have the total package?

I think CGC starts at $6K. Stern's at $5600/5800, Spooky was $6K now $6400, and JJP base at $8500.

It's a tough sell for any game past a few thousand really. For me, anything past $2-3K seems like an irrational purchase. So once we're at the $5K and up range, it's all bananas and to me.

My second pin was POTC literally a week ago, and that's $2K over this, well the LE I bought. It's a non-sensical number for someone making sub $100K, but the game resonated on so many levels the price became secondary.....aside from the mass amounts of overtime I've been doing, never did that much prior to this hobby.

I think Deeproot will exist by year's end, and they have All Star levels of talent to knock this industry for a loop. Whether they pull through, who knows, but clearly massive potential is there, and what if they offer high quality and polish for sub Stern prices, like they're suggesting they will?

And your opinion matters as much as mine! It's just matter of where and if we spend our buccos here, there or over that way, and API, JJP, Stern, etc need to give heed to those voices, and they definitely do, in their own ways.

You seem like a rational and good natured person. Glad to have a back and forth with you.

#2494 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.
Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"
Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.
[quoted image]

I don't see the original wrist thing, but what immediately popped on yours wad the level beer in the tilted mug.

#2495 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.
Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"
Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.
[quoted image]

pass...

Of all the issues with the art, I think this is by far the least worthy of mention. Conner's goofs with KISS and BKSOR are way more 'abnormal'.

My biggest beef with the media is it's a smorgasbord of styles with almost no rhyme or reason to shift from one presentation to another. Its like taking 5 different people in isolation and then merging at the end.

#2496 7 months ago
Quoted from wesman:

I think CGC starts at $6K. Stern's at $5600/5800, Spooky was $6K now $6400, and JJP base at $8500.
It's a tough sell for any game past a few thousand really. For me, anything past $2-3K seems like an irrational purchase. So once we're at the $5K and up range, it's all bananas and to me.
My second pin was POTC literally a week ago, and that's $2K over this, well the LE I bought. It's a non-sensical number for someone making sub $100K, but the game resonated on so many levels the price became secondary.....aside from the mass amounts of overtime I've been doing, never did that much prior to this hobby.
I think Deeproot will exist by year's end, and they have All Star levels of talent to knock this industry for a loop. Whether they pull through, who knows, but clearly massive potential is there, and what if they offer high quality and polish for sub Stern prices, like they're suggesting they will?
And your opinion matters as much as mine! It's just matter of where and if we spend our buccos here, there or over that way, and API, JJP, Stern, etc need to give heed to those voices, and they definitely do, in their own ways.
You seem like a rational and good natured person. Glad to have a back and forth with you.

Sounds like we are in the same tax bracket, so I should probably set my expectations lower. We can discuss the pros and cons of any pin, but ill take interactive fun vs. cartoon when it comes down to it.

-1
#2497 7 months ago
Quoted from gliebig:

I don't see the original wrist thing, but what immediately popped on yours wad the level beer in the tilted mug.

I know when tilt, I spill my beer!

This just goes to show that nobody has all the answers, nor did I see anyone take me up on the offer of free art direction and implementation. It all costs.

#2498 7 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no depth to any of this art, that's why it looks flat.
Here's a simple mockup. The beer is closer to the camera, which makes it look more inviting. Like "Here, have a beer!" not "I'm holding this beer against my nipple!"
Give it a slight tilt. Shade around the beer to show it's clearly in front of the subject. I also adjusted the arm so it looks more like the forearm is pointing forward (like the photo of the woman above) which then makes the angle of the fist make sense.
[quoted image]

Come on Ben, you're from Wisconsin and should know if you hold your beer like that some is going to spill!

#2499 7 months ago

I also don't think it's fair to compare the CGC remakes, other than the improved dots (if you buy the version that has them) all their art (and playfield design, etc.) was done for them a long time ago. Even with the improved dots they are just taking an existing product and modernizing it, not creating it from scratch.

#2500 7 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

I know when tilt, I spill my beer!
This just goes to show that nobody has all the answers, nor did I see anyone take me up on the offer of free art direction and implementation. It all costs.

I'd offer free art, but they most likely don't want mine even for free!

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