Quoted from markmon:
I still don't buy the colorizing problems either. You say Eric's method wasn't very good as it limited colors and had performance issues. But CCC runs plenty fast. Modern computers are cheap and fast now. Performance shouldn't be a worry at all. And as for color palet limits, who cares? It's DMD dot graphics. I bet you can't really tell the difference either way unless you compare side by side. Certainly the difference is not worth an extra year of development at least. Plus your timeline argument is hard to follow. On one hand you say it takes a year to implement the dots correctly then on the other hand say they shelved the project due to licensing. Well, which is it? It can't be both.
I didn't say Eric's method wasn't very good, it was great for CCC, and his solution was very innovative, and would work well for other games that need to run at the current frame rate animations on WPC and Stern games use and with a limited palette, which is probably 99% of them. Whether that amount of color would have worked with the BOP2.0, I don't know, I am not sure how much of a palette they wanted/needed, but suspect more than what Eric's solution would support, given the types of gradients there are using on their 3D objects. I will acknowledge that I can't say that for certain, since I have not looked deeply into their new animations (I've only had a couple of games on the color version). I am pretty confident that the method would not have worked well with the frame rate that I believe BOP2.0 runs at.
In addition, once they decided to go to color, which again they did without a change in price, it would have been pretty dumb to pour a ton of engineering time into a solution that would then not work for their next project. So, maybe they could have used Eric's approach, added some optimization to squeeze more performance out of it, and get BOP2.0 to market a month or so earlier, but all of that engineering time would have been a total throw away relative to TBL and other projects -- and in my opinion, that would have been a pretty dumb business decision.
I don't think I said it would take a year to implement the dots correctly, if I did, I misspoke, what I believe I said was it was not as easy as just plugging in Eric's solution, and did require some real engineering.
I find it interesting to be challenged on some of these technical aspects, when I have a ton of experience and knowledge on what Eric did, having discussed it with him at depth, reviewed his code line by line, and having initially implemented it for my game, before moving in a different direction, when I decided to move to a larger screen and wanted more then a couple of hundred color/shades. In addition, based on a few comments from Koen, I'm pretty sure the approach they have now taken is very similar to what I and MOcean have done, and I certainly know what is involved in that, and while it would not take a year, it would not have been done in a week either. I do think you should respect that I know what I am talking about as far as the technical and software aspects.
I am confident that the use of the "Bride" in the new animations, would have been impacting the need for licensing, just like the use of CC images and sounds became an issue with downloading those with the CCC code. And while they could have removed the Bride and most folks would have been fine with that, I seriously doubt everyone would agree with you that losing the original game was okay. I am 100% confident, that there would have been as much, if not more, griping, on this board if it shipped without the original code, since that was the original commitment on the project.
Whether they were going to can the project was my impression from a variety of things I read on pinside, other forums, and conversations with other pinball enthusiasts, it is not something I ever heard from Barry or Koen. I know if it was me, and I was trying to get TBL going, at some point if I could not resolve the licensing issues on BOP2.0 in a way that made financial sense, I would have canned it.
I don't think they ever said 'it will be shipping any day', when the licensing issues were going on. I believe when the agreement was reached, that Rick posted, they could start shipping, but as I said, I'm pretty confident they had not been putting a ton of work in getting it ready until after the agreement. Do you think they should have been buying computers, speakers, amplifiers, LCD displays, having speaker panels made, creating wiring harnesses, etc. when they were not 100% sure they would be able to ship? Would you?