(Topic ID: 26628)

New Predator Info Thread

By SkitBPinball

7 years ago

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  • 329 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by robin
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#73 7 years ago

Wow. Holy Crap. Awesome. Skit-B is taking pinball to a new level. Your team is putting passion and substance back into an industry that has been missing it for a decade. I absolutely love the login feature and all the data tracking. How cool is that gonna be to be able to go back and individually see how you're doing? Comparing those values with my other pinhead friends?? Sweeeeeeeet.

I was glad to make a donation to you guys to keep things moving along.


#217 7 years ago

Vibration is the natural enemy of any electro-mechanical system... But the shaker motors are pretty cool IMO.

1 week later
#313 7 years ago

The Neverending Story would be pretty sweet... So many iconic characters and such a good story. Is that novel old enough that you wouldn't have to worry about licensing (assuming you created your own imagery and didn't want to copy the movie)? gotta imagine that'd make things easier if you didn't have any additional legal mumbo-jumbo to deal with...

#468 7 years ago

I attended the expo in Chicago this past week and was able to attend both Skit-B's and Stern's seminars. What really puzzled me was some of the comments from Gary Stern relating to the development of their pins - he thinks pins are too difficult to learn and that pinheads are playing them too long, not making any money for the vending company. In essence he's stuck between three customers (vending company, the pinball enthusiast, and joe schmoe with a dollar to burn) - how do you design and mfg. an enjoyable game for everyone - you can't and ultimately no-one is satisfied. It's refreshing to see Skit-B's approach - they're customer centric - they know their customer; the pinball enthusiast that's willing to shell out $5K for a pin, and they're building a pin that they're customers are going to want and love. Deep rule-sets, data tracking, kick-ass mature theme, hand drawn playfield art - a complete package that pinball has been lacking since the pinnacle of Williams' (MM, AFM, TOTAN, etc.). I finally got a chance to play this sweet game at the expo and so far am very impressed. They still have a ways to go in polishing the game up, IMO, but they've got the underlying makings of a great pin. As long as the quality and integrity continues to go along with their already great work I only see good things for these laid back guys.

#497 7 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

Yeah, it's not at all like JJP bringing an unfinished WOZ to a show a few months back with no working GI and no action other than a ball flipping up and down the playfield. What are these guys thinking actually showing us a game in development. If you enjoy mystery and zero input, go buy a Stern!
And, why stop at the ramps? Why not slam them for the pencil-drawn playfield art they're proposing? Man, won't that look like crap! Haven't you guys heard of color before???
I would expect this reaction if the game was being billed as finished or near-finished.

Lol. I love this response. Just to add to the sarcasm - what, you need a computer outside the pin to run this thing? haven't you guys heard of programmable circuit boards?

As everyone has said a WIP is called a WIP for that reason... it's a work in freakin' progress!! Yeah it was hard to see the ball coming around the left orbit, but you know what, I crouched down and could see the ball just fine - my little brain is capable of envisioning (notice the word vision embedded in there) what the final product may be like. As for the prototype (there it is again - prototype - as in still being developed/perfected) being unplayable I'm not sure what expo you were at... I had a lot of fun playing the game, launched quite a few mulitballs, got to one of the wizard modes, even broke a billion points (which I guess is a decent score considering my limited knowledge of the rule set at this time). All those things adds up to a playable game to me. But who knows maybe my math is off...

#515 7 years ago

Well, if were onto Predator now and actual game play, here are my comments/feedback:

-Game seemed to have pretty good flow (I'm a fan of flow). They had some issues with the left orbit switch not letting the ball orbit properly but that'll get fixed.
-There are a number of back-hand shots that were well designed - ie. the upper drop on the right is accessed nicely from a right flipper back-hand.
-I was very concerned initially about the two stand up targets front and center being fast center ball drains but they were not an issue - if you play sloppy and outta control you have to contend with them, but overall seems like they worked well.
-far right drop was a little interesting - they have some wire-forms ramping the ball down to a lower kicker, not sure I'm in love with that versus a solid playfield with more art and a drop, but I'll wait to pass judgement.
-Ramps felt pretty smooth and clean.
-Upper right kicker I have some concerns on it dumping the ball onto the ramp, but STERN's been doing it for years without many ramps cracking so maybe it'll be ok.
-Prototype needs to account for securing the ramps better - assume the production version will have more robust ramp implementation.
- Center lane/pop bumer area where everything throttles down was interesting/different. Not sure i'm in love with it, but it's cool.
-Pretty typical outlane feel - proper nudging seemed to save most balls.
-Pick your shot option was a little confusing at first, but might end up being a cool new feature to pinball.

My $0.02 for now on gameplay...

#573 7 years ago
Quoted from blondetall:

Don't you love when you have money saved up for a pin, then stupid things start to happen? ...

No kidding... my water heater just went out... another $1000 not going towards pinball...

2 weeks later
#781 7 years ago

Honestly I'm surprised you've managed to wait this long for a deposit... a meager 5% holding deposit sounds very reasonable.

On another more serious topic - how do you envision handling warranty on the machine and service during that warranty period? (Unless you're not offering a warranty....)

#802 7 years ago
Quoted from rai:

On a related note, I saw a Gary Stern interview where he explaining why a pinball machine cost $5K he said it costs roughly $750K to $1million to design a machine.
I know this was a nebulous catch all figure, I wonder how this jives with small manufacturers such as yourself. I realize it is not the same process but the end product is the same.

STERN Pinball has a ton of overhead - all the table designers, software engineers, mechanical engineers, audio guys, artists, licenses, rent, utilities, salaries for workers, benefits, advertising, etc. I'm still surprised to see each pin apparently costs them that much to develop... more over though, I'm surprised their pins aren't more expensive - when you look at how much manual labor goes into making a pinball machine, $5K is a very competitive price. There's gotta be over $2K-$3K in just parts alone not even counting labor. $5K is a small mark-up from that to make a profit...

Skit-B and Quetzal have started a new era in pinball manufacturing - small, start-up businesses with little to no overhead which means they can design pinballs for much less - this of course is offset somewhat by the number of machines they build as things always get cheaper as volume increases. Unfortunately (for STERN) when things get cheaper we're not talking just cost but also quality... With a small run of 250 I would guess we're going to see a very high quality product.

#879 7 years ago

No email yet either. #121. scott.gullicks@gmail.com

#980 7 years ago

Quick question on the concept of using an overlay for the production playfields: has the Predator team done any aging studies on using an adhesive backed overlay long term? Back in the 80's everyone thought they had found the new savior in playfield protection... We all know how that ended up - ten years later the Mylar bubbles and cracks effectively ruining the playfield. Considering the playfield is the most expensive and difficult component to replace, I sure hope the new process your considering will stand the test of time... Also, do you plan on clear coating after the overlay for more protection and that added shine and gloss that makes playfields so sweet?

#991 7 years ago
Quoted from Nibbles:

So what everyone is saying is that I'm going to be clearcoating the PF, and possibly the cab, when I get it (after a proper 'break-in' of course).

Possibly, just make sure you use the right type of clearcoat material... I've read a lot of custom pinball threads and many of them had issues with ruining the overlay because they were spraying a clearcoat with incompatible chemistries.

#1036 7 years ago
Quoted from Hoss-Woods:

...As far as the art on the playfield that is being digitally applied/printed directly to the playfield itself.
-Steven Woods
Build Manager - SKIT - B Pinball

Awesome - thanks for the extra info. Glad you guys keep posting your build intentions and are taking our comments constructively - that's a sign of a good manufacturer.

I'd also be interested in the extra cost of going with a playfield that's been clearcoated...

1 week later
#1234 7 years ago

F'in funny video - love Skit-B's sense of humor. Sounds are freakin awesome, sometimes I forget how much that makes a game fun, definitely not going to be lacking on this pin. As for some of the criticism I've read on earlier posts, I will wait to post judgment until the game is more complete - I gotta feeling they put this together to help satiate some of us knuckleheads. As for game play and the right ramp, I played a number of games at the Chicago expo this year - the game has great flow and that right ramp wasn't any harder to hit than the one on T2 and I had no problem alternating those ramp shots to get the ball to a more strategic position... Looking forward to the next update and the final layout with artwork!

#1238 7 years ago

No way the ramps will be black. At least Skit-B made it clear to me at the expo that the black was just what their vendor had readily available for that prototype build. Transparent ramps will be required IMHO for the final build.

#1252 7 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Does UV last forever?

Nothing lasts forever...

#1351 7 years ago
Quoted from blondetall:

So now that you've got the account set up, it is time to start asking for deposits on game #2?


#1360 7 years ago

Deposit just sent - #121. Feels like the real deal now.

Couple of items I wouldn't mind some more clarification on:
1) Warranty/Service/Repair Plan?
2) Shipping - cost estimates? (I assume free if we pick up...)
3) Any update on critical milestones timing - artwork finished and approved, tooling completed, code completed, first production run, etc.?

Looking forward to this pin - I like how there's a bit of art on the speaker/dmd panel as well - will fit in nicely with my T2, IJ, TZ, and CFTBL line-up.

#1364 7 years ago
Quoted from SkitBPinball:

Costs more to come pick it up. Booze and libations aren't free

Lol. Very true... at least the booze and libations should be more fun than waiting for a truck to show up in my driveway. Michigan has some decent beer, do they not?

1 week later
#1479 6 years ago

WH2O, AF, what other gems do you guys (and gals) get to play when you're not busting ass on Predator?!

#1482 6 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I think a Predator 2 quote or two as a rare easter egg would be cool. I hear what you all are saying though and agree Predator 2 was not nearly as good as Predator 1, but it wasn't a totally terrible movie either . . . just needed Arnold!

Seriously... Everyone keeps posting this stuff; Skit-B has to stick to the first predator movie for licensing issues. Posting something about wish lists from Predator 2, Predators, Aliens vs. Predators (1 or 2) isn't going to happen and will only clutter and derail the thread. Lets stay on target...

#1514 6 years ago

I'm not too worried about the angles - these ramps have a decent slope just to get up them; by the time the ball clears and is trickling back down to the inlanes it doesn't have a lot of energy or damaging force left anyway... With that said, I'd love it if Skit-B has an option to buy an extra set of ramps and plastics along with the pin - you just never know what flying steel balls will do. (Heck, if the playfield art is as kick-ass as I'm hoping for I might be interested in buying a second playfield too!!).

#1523 6 years ago

Nice... Predator next to two new Stern LE's? Is the TRON an LE as well??!

#1662 6 years ago

Fuckin 'A, fuckin 'A. Thanks for the update and the candid nature as always. Each day that passes makes me more and more excited to be on the owner's list for this one of a kind project. Take your time, do it right, let your artists make the best damn product they can. Everyone is going to reap the benefits when it all comes together. Fuckin 'A.

1 week later
#1747 6 years ago

Coming along very nicely. The detail is impressive, can't wait to see the final product.

#1797 6 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Congo is a great example I prefer to think of it as an unlicensed theme since it is better if you do not think about the movie.

Johnny Mnemonic is another good example... The Matrix pin may prove it.
Back on topic... Personally IMO The Predatot is a great movie, especially considering its 26 years old...

#1799 6 years ago
Quoted from Kcpinballfan:

I was thinking the skull is a shooter rod handle but I can't remember if it has a plunger or just a button. It's also pretty small by looking at your hands. Hmm... Any hints? Is this a playfield toy or a cabinet toy? I think someone said something about it going over the left sling or outlane, this would seem like a good guess. Anyway I'll stop pestering about it. I'm just anxious to play this game.

Pretty small? I was thinking it was pretty big actually; especially considering how much room there is in a pinball machine... (The prototype used a launch button for firing the pinball.) Needless to say, I'm intrigued as to what it will be.

1 week later
#1948 6 years ago

Seriously, everybody, chill out. Yeah, I think there is something a bit off on the gun and the way Arnie's holding it, but that's why it's ART. Its not a photoshopped piece of crap, it's a hand drawn, artistic rendering. What makes it awesome and all art for that matter is its human and not perfect. In summary, quit 'cherbitchin and appreciate it for what it is.

#1952 6 years ago
Quoted from navajas:

Damnit. Who here's bitching? Good lord.

Did you just ignore a good chunk of the previous posts or just happen to not read them? I just don't wanna see this thread turn into a "this is what the artist should do" thread.

3 weeks later
#2268 6 years ago

Awesome color!!

1 week later
#2310 6 years ago

Any updates on the playfield artwork?? Good things come to those who wait, but I wanna play Predator!

1 week later
#2338 6 years ago

Based on the current rate of art development (maybe 20% of the playfield complete in three months - and I'm guessing that's being generous) plus the approval process, I'm thinking were in for a little bit of a wait... In any case, it gives me more time to either figure out which pin I'm gonna sell to make room or put an addition onto my home.

3 weeks later
#2682 6 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Am I the only one that didn't get his Predator Shirt?

I didn't get one... but then again I donated $50 before they were offering free shirts based on the donation.

2 weeks later
#2926 6 years ago
Quoted from rai:

me too.
I'm confused also, said there was going to be interactive toys. I don't really see how the toys are going to be interactive.

Based on its location I would guess the body will move and sway based on pop bumper hits...

#2927 6 years ago

The clear ramps (from what I can see) look sweet.

#2948 6 years ago

Is the expo open yet?? I can't wait to see some pics of the playfield art - you've got my excitement peaked!

#3109 6 years ago

Playfield art looks freaking awesome! I can't imagine what it actually looks like in person - photos never due justice to the real colors and detail. Flesh tones and color palette I think were chosen well. I really like that the Predator was moved up and in to keep as much of him visible as possible (even now it looks like a good chunk of that beautiful art will be covered by the apron/drain guide) and swapping out Dutch's face for a skull was a great move.

Couple things to consider/reiterate:
Granted this isn't on a real playfield, but it looks like the top of Dutch's head may get cut off by one of the triangular inserts... This was a big f'up that stern over looked on the Transformers LE that they got a ton of crap for - sucks looking at my LE and seeing part of Megatron's face missing.

The blood red skull (although a large chunk will be obscured by the lane guides and sling plastic) may benefit from more hue variations to match the rest of the playfield color style.

If he has the time to fix Dutch's shoulder I think that would be a huge improvement. Glaring anatomy issues right dead center in the playfield on the main character is going to be cause for controversy on an otherwise incredible piece of art and pinball history. Hate to see a bunch of haters because of someone's shoulder.

With all that said, I repeat, bloody freakin awesome art. If nothing changed I'd still be speechless and in awe when I uncrate this baby and put it in my line-up.

#3399 6 years ago

I had a chance to play the crap outta Predator last fall at the Michigan Expo. If I had to compare it to a modern machine, I'd say it's actually a lot like a "mirrored" Terminator 2 pin just with a heck of a lot deeper ruleset.
-Both make good use of the ramps with alternating shots that return it to the opposite flipper
-Both have a drop shot that can be hit with a nice back-hand
-Both have another drop shot on the far side of the playfield
-Both have minimal targets that you actually aim at (Predator has the two right in the middle that you need to be careful hitting or you run the risk of some serious SDTM action, and T2 basically just has the three below the pop bumpers that are actual planned hits - the others for kickback are typically just slop from the slings and the targets below the HK are really only worth anything from the skill shot)
-Both have a high set of three bumpers that are accessed via an orbit shot
-The flow of the game seemed very similar in the two
-Both have great hand drawn artwork.

The number of stand up targets isn't a big issue for me. When I think of my favorite genres of pinball machines and my favorite games the stand up targets are almost irrelevant in most cases and are usually something I seldom aim for such as MM (the troll targets are the only ones I usually end up having to try for, even then they usually just get hit enough during a mulitball), IJ (Williams) the POA targets are again usually just from slop with the three drop targets front and center pretty similar to Predator, TZ - other than the clock, the greed targets again are usually just hit from slop and usually not a specific shot.

Anywho... I'd love to hear more details about the actual Predator game play and any new modes/features that have been updated since last fall.

#3414 6 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Please keep us posted on how Nemo is...

Another new pin with a fantastic art package.

#3425 6 years ago
Quoted from Tweedlefuzz:

Different angle of the skull from Amanda K on FB.

It would be sweet if the eyes light up red when the ball drops outta the mouth.. At least it looks like the VUK sends the ball up and then down the habbitrail right under the skull and spine.

#3451 6 years ago
Quoted from SkitBPinball:

Here's a full size scan view of the preliminary artwork. Not to the extreme res that we need, of course, but it is large enough for those of you who weren't at expo to get a nice look at. You can see a lot of it is sort of "patch-worked" on there, which obviously won't be on the final product.
Adjustments are happening very quickly. I woke up to this on my phone this morning:

Holy crap! That's awesome!! The colors and textured are way more consistent with the awesome job on the rest of the playfield. Thanks for posting the latest full playfield pic as well - it's higher res really shows off James' skill in color, variation, texture, etc.

1 week later
#3853 6 years ago

Actually agree with Nava<edited>for once... Signed crap never did a lot for me other than stir up controversy. Would like it better if the signed backglass was actually just a transparent signed overlay... Then again ill be dropping down the full Monty as soon as I get back from vaca so what the hell do I know. Keep rockin skit-b boys.

Post edited by The_Dude_Abides : No personal attacks please.

#3863 6 years ago
Quoted from navajas:

Excuse me? What the hell man?

? Are you upset with me agreeing with you or the auto correction? All love on this side bro, no harm intended.

2 months later
#4951 6 years ago

Wow. I think some folks need a brew or two to chill out. Does it really matter what build number you are right now - it'll probably change by the time skit-b replies anyway. Personally I'd rather have them spending their time developing this pin than answering rhetorical emails of little value to the big picture. And yeah, it feels like forever since an update, but what the heck, kick back, and lets just hope when the grand wizard does speak we hear something profound.

1 month later
#5298 6 years ago

Awesome! Now that, is a blood stained skull if I ever saw one.

#5346 6 years ago

I've never really been a big fan of the open-mouth Predator and always liked how the movies kept that part minimal for the most part and relevant to what was going on in the movie... With that said, how cool would it be if after you drain or before a mode - all lights go dark, uv kicks on and BAM! there's one pissed off Predator staring you down right in the middle of the playfield...

--Production Number: 121
--Production Order: 80

1 week later
#5368 6 years ago
Quoted from SkitBPinball:

Who let this guy into the super-secret back room??

coooooool.... Goddamn Jackpot.

ps. thanks for the shirt!! looks even better in person.
pps. your logo rocks. if people see something other than "skit-b" I think they have something else on their minds...

1 month later
#5476 6 years ago

Yeah, I'm interested to see what their game plan is too... It'd be cool if they release a video update just prior to EXPO to get everyone hyped up; but I can see the advantage in them holding off for a grand reveal at the EXPO too...

1 week later
#5574 6 years ago
Quoted from MagicMako:

So the Skit B boys are scheduled to talk at 7pm on Friday at Expo, is that when all will be revealed or will it be before then? Does anyone know? Not gonna lie, I was hoping it was tomorrow (err...today)...since it's my birthday and all, but oh well, what's another day or two.

Exhibit hall opens on Thursday, so my guess is the machine will be playable/viewable at that time. Ill try to upload some pics if it is.

#5755 6 years ago
Quoted from Betelgeuse:

There are games with UV reactive playfields, like Scared Stiff and TFTC. There has to be a way to make it work through clear coat.

Good point - there are many different formulations for clearcoat that all react differently to different chemicals...

1 month later
#6448 5 years ago

Looking sweeeeeet. The colored inserts look really nice - a big improvement IMO.

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