(Topic ID: 134047)

Maybe it's time to build a simpler pin.

By Aurich

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 486 posts
  • 149 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by swinks
  • Topic is favorited by 18 Pinsiders


Linked Games

Topic poll

“Would you buy a modern take on an early 1980 solid state for $4k?”

  • I'd be interested. No pre-order. Maybe pay and get within 3 months, max. 106 votes
  • Unsure. Would have to play it, see reviews, probably not an early adopter. 100 votes
  • Doesn't really sound like the pinball I'm into more, sorry. Probably pass. 104 votes
  • Eh. 53 votes

(363 votes)

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#56 4 years ago

I find the cost discussion amusing because ultimately it's about what the game earns ... Not what it costs.

We've had some drivers at Raw that sell for $1000-1500 more than others and it's solely based on the earnings potential of the game.

A game that earns $1000 a week and that operator won't care if that pin costs $3k, $4k, $5k, $6k. It's simply a numbers game for that ROI.

I've heard of operators that have paid for their Jurassic Park Arcade after 6 weeks worth of earnings. With that kind of earnings power you can literally charge whatever you want.

#61 4 years ago
Quoted from Zampinator:

How many "locations" across the country have the "location" to earn that type of $ per week on a pin/arcade? 100-200? I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that the majority of locations earn that much a week. For their sake, I hope they do that some pretty good $.

Luckily more than that to keep us (Raw) in business.

I think the point of the D&B post was exactly that. When we land store coverage for one of our games with D&B that's 90 games sold to one customer. Sell them a twin and it's a GREAT day at the office. CEC alone is 600 stores. Cover those at 2up and you're off to the races. Main Event, Round 1, movie theatre chains, etc. That 100-200 number is wayyyyyyyy off base.

#88 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

But if you're asking people to take a chance on pinball again I think there's a good argument to make that you can bring in more people with a model that's half the price.

That's not how it works

As the manufacturer it's on you to design and test the game and be able to turn those earnings reports over to your customers as to why they should take a chance at any price.

Here's how we roll at Raw ...

Build up a workable Proto as cheaply as possible. Get it on test and see how it earns, follow audits and tweak as necessary until either two things happen:

1) you have a turkey and if so kill the project

2) you have something that can earn for your customers

We've been down road #1 too many times, but spend a ton of test time trying to get to #2 with every project.

When we do our customers trust that we have a winner for them to put on route.

Your customers shouldn't be putting up the money to try and see if it works ... That's the manufacturers job

#95 4 years ago
Quoted from T7:

Only if the intended customer base is operators.

That's the question at hand ... Is there a version of "pinball" that exists that can make it a viable coin-operated piece of amusement equipment for casual patrons to want to play and be entertained enough to play again, and again.

Personally Aurich's ideas are definitely the path I would investigate. There are some seriously awesome 80's style designs based on wide flipper gap/large outlane/short ball times.

Updating that with more physical interacting devices, along with storyline based rulesets ... All that can be seen in under 10 minutes but you rarely survive 3 minutes of fury is where I would go...

#98 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Wasn't "The Pin" basically this, but without a coin door? Simpler game, alpha numeric display, low(er) price.
I don't see The Pin being a good location earner.

IMO not even close. That game layout is still 'shot-post-shot-post'. I'd be more interested in seeing wider areas for Make-able shots where the trajectory of the ball can do some interesting things (all as the player watches it happen).

It's also still wayyyyy too confusing of a ruleset. I couldn't tell you how to play it and I should be able to explain any game just by looking at the playfield.

#283 4 years ago

If I had $1 million to waste, here is the direction I would personally try:

Take a Stern Catacomb with some slight modifications (which I'll explain)

Smack a Jurassic Park license on there, and the storyline mimics our Raw Thrills Jurassic Park Arcade game.

Capture the dinosaurs (who are loose running around an island), and then return them to Jurassic Park safely.

Game has full HD video in the playfield and backbox. I would just pull the work we've done from our Raw assets or use movie footage.

Each of the 4 drop target banks represent a different dinosaur. Pick the most famous ones (raptors, t-rex, spitter, teradactyl). Complete the bank to light the spinner shot the 'capture' that dinosaur. Each of the drop target banks would be dressed up with a custom figure that could shake when the targets are hit, or jump up/down, or [insert something physically entertaining].

The spinner shot would divert into the saucer that is over on that side, which would be picked up by a Helicopter via a magnet (think Rescue 911). It would pick it up and move it to a ramp that will eventually feed the ball back into play for multiball which would start immediately after this happening. During multiball you have to clear the target bank of the dinosaur you captured, and then shoot the spinner shot again to safely place the dinosaur back in the park.

Center of the playfield would clearly show the dinosaurs species that have been "Captured" (starting a multiball with that species lit), and those that have been "Rescued" (scoring the jackpot during multiball with that species lit).

Mini-Wizard mode available for all Captured. Wizard mode available for all Rescued.

Throw it some other random stuff - that "Spot 2" target on the lower left can be an electric fence (magnet in front of it throws the ball anywhere, or holds it to be able to display something/start something). I'd also replace the two lanes in the upper left with a saucer (similar to Golden Cliffs on Paragon), but it has to be something physically dressed up where the player knows the ball is going into 'something' (insert visual effects/excitement for getting in that saucer) so there's an emotional response.

No extra balls available, no special, no match, no ball saver. Also, you're allowed to buy-in and continue where you left off. Not WMS buy in for 1 more ball, but insert another $1 to simply start the new game where you left off. If you want to put it in the budget to amp up the difficulty, you put the drop target banks on individually resettable coils and make players clear them left to right in order to qualify that dinosaur to be captured.

Start button on the lockdown bar, start button also plunges the ball . . . no other buttons needed besides the flipper buttons.

Full HD video, plenty of places for the ball to be held in creative ways to be entertained, physical action all over the place, the layout of the jet bumpers will help casual players complete these banks of targets just from the ball bouncing around, and you don't have to worry about the typical shot-post-shot-post of today's designs. The wide open angles allow anyone to spray the ball around, have a blast, make progress in the story line, and have some cool stuff happen via the display, loud ass speakers, magnet throwing the ball around, helicopter taking it to another place, etc.

Here's a video of it in action if you haven't played it:

Start at 5min and watch "THE BALL IS WILD" pinball at it's finest.

#288 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Hey Josh, I'm curious, if you put on your IFPA hat for a moment, what would you think about your Jurassic Park game as a tournament player? Viable or not really the right kind of game?

For competitive pinball it's amazing how most games work just fine for that environment. [Insert video clip from the ending game on Scuba from CAX]

Catacomb is already a fine game for tournament play. Modernizing the rules to give it some added strategy (along with a 100X increase to the entertainment value of the game) IMO would make it even better. Knowing that you don't want to start that multiball yet in my JP style ruleset because jackpots are worth more after capturing multiple dinosaurs before you get to the Rescue part would all be part of that strategic play mechanic.

This era of games to me just has that magical 'Ball is Wild' thing going on where a player doesn't have to necessarily hit shots to be entertained. Good players still have the opportunity to play more efficiently/effectively, but no shot is safe (like many of today's games where I play for an hour, and a casual player plays for 60 seconds). At some point in that Catacomb video the player literally hits like the left slingshot flailing around, and the ball bounces up into the left kicker and completes 2 banks of targets all on its own. That's the stuff that never happens today with the ways playfields are currently laid out.

#289 4 years ago

To emphasize how pretty much any pinball game 'works' for competition . . . here's Mata Hari (since that was brought up previously) at it's finest.

IFPA12 World Championship final from Sweden a couple of months ago. Just absolutely incredible play by both players.

#351 4 years ago

If you check out the Catacomb video start at 4:55 . . . this is the kind of 'action' an inexperienced player can find at the start of the game:

(here's the link again)

On the plunge - ball interacts with the jet bumpers to make progress on all 4 drop target banks (1 on the left, 1 on the top, 2 on the upper right, 1 on the lower right). In my theoretical design this is already causing positive emotional feedback with whatever physical things the dinosaurs would be doing on the drop target banks.

8 seconds later at 5:03 our commentator makes his first flip! His right flipper directs the ball into the left slingshot (OH NO!) . . . where the ball proceeds to juggle between the slingshots and upper kickers, bouncing into the lower right drop target bank and clearing the set of drops at 5:07.

That dinosaur is now lit to be captured and the helicopter on the left spinner shot for Multiball to begin. That area is already going crazy, the helicopter propellers are on and spinning! Based on the exotic scoring opportunities any seasoned player wouldn't want to actually start the Multiball with only one dinosaur captured, but that's on the player to decide, because if you drain you lose the progress of having those dinosaurs lit ready for Capture (little risk/reward play a whole 12 seconds into the game). This yahoo has no clue what he's doing right now anyway.

6 seconds later the player interacts with the 'Electric Fence' magnet target (his 3rd flipper interaction with the ball, and first interaction that doesn't involve hitting the slingshot). This will surely cause something incredibly entertaining to happen on the giant LCD screen, with the magnet grabbing the ball and holding it there for a second to really milk the moment. Maybe it starts a hurry up somewhere, maybe it gives nothing but entertainment the first time, maybe it gives you a mystery award, maybe it gives you a warning (hint) of something you should be shooting for on the playfield.

5:15 the player gets his first flip that actually hits a target directly! He clears the upper right target bank, lighting the second dinosaur to be captured! The game is going insane right now. Two dinosaurs ready to go in the helicopter, other opportunities available on the playfield at your leisure. [seasoned player has to decide - continue on with trying to capture more dinosaurs at the risk of losing everything when draining, or cash out and start the multiball as quickly as possible]

2 seconds later at 5:17, the player flails a backhand that actually makes it up the spinner lane. In my treatment here comes the helicopter to take the ball away. Game is going even more insane then it was 2 seconds ago. Where's the ball going? Up on this ramp thing, oh no it's coming back out at me as another ball autoplunges onto the playfield. What do I do now . . .

This is after 22 SECONDS OF GAMEPLAY . . . with a player that has literally made 3 or 4 flipper interactions with the ball in those 22 seconds.

In reality the player has seen EVERYTHING the game has to offer 'physically' in 22 seconds, but with the rules depth available he would at max only be able to rescue the two dinosaurs he's captured, so he would first have to clear those banks again and hit the jackpot while keeping both balls going, and then when back in single ball play qualify those dinosaurs he had not qualified yet to be captured (obviously the random ball bouncing around helps you less when you're down to actually needing a specific bank here and there).

A game doesn't need 3 balls to entertain you. It doesn't need 5 balls to entertain you. This magic should almost be happening 'for you', which funny enough this dude playing is just TERRIBLE, but in those 22 seconds if I can't sell him on wanting to put another dollar into this game when he's done with it, after the entertainment I'm able to provide in those 22 seconds . . . then he can go play a Raw Thrills game somewhere else in the gameroom

I'd love to see a video of any current pin that would offer this kind of entertainment in the first 22 seconds of gameplay, while having the player literally make 3-4 shots with the pinball (2 of them into the opposing slingshot lol).

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