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(Topic ID: 266974)

Pre DMD vs Post DMD. Which era did it better?


By NorCalRealtor

6 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 22 posts
  • 16 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by SunnRAT
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    Topic poll

    “Which era did it better? ”

    • Pre DMD Era 25 votes
      49%
    • Post DMD Era 26 votes
      51%

    (51 votes)

    #1 6 months ago

    When considering art, originality, fun factor, replayability, and pure pinball bliss, which era did it better?

    Is the post dmd era actually better, or do we just like discussing it more?

    If there's one pin that most supports your choice please share.

    #2 6 months ago

    I like both pre and post dmd but prefer 90s games to the modern sterns

    #3 6 months ago

    When I design machines in my dreams there is no screen on the head, but there is interactive back glass features. So a cross between EM and vintage SS.

    #4 6 months ago

    This is like having to pick which one of your kids is the best one.

    #5 6 months ago

    I have to go pre dmd just for numbers alone.

    #6 6 months ago

    The screen doesn’t matter all that much IMO but the rule sets have gotten considerably more complex - and MOST games have used that to good advantage, especially recently. JP2, EHOH, POTC come to mind.

    #7 6 months ago

    Something that nearly every pre-21st century solid state pinball game excelled at is sound design. Pinball sound and music should be incredibly dynamic and "urgent", evoking a tense and almost panicked feeling. Bold sound effects for even simple actions like passing through an inlane, upbeat and uptempo music, loud, excitable voices, and explosive, bombastic sounds for big events like jackpots.

    I feel that while most modern games generally have good sound design, only recently have they started to match up to the 90s and earlier games on that front. I think Ghostbusters was the first recent game to really get my attention with its sound, and it was Iron Maiden that I felt really captured the manic energy of the classic games more than anything in the last few years. The male demon voice (Eddie?) is my favorite narrator of any game in some time now.

    On the other hand, there are games like Guardians and Stranger Things that, while not exactly having "bad" sound design (other than Guardians' long drawn-out speech clips), are a bit too restrained, subdued and "quiet" feeling to me.

    #8 6 months ago

    The DMD era as a whole was way more creative and original than the current format.

    If I want to watch old TV shows or movies, I'll just watch them on the flatscreens I already have.

    The pre DMD was even way more original and creative than that.

    #9 6 months ago

    I dont think it is a pre/post DMD thing
    B/W wpc95 and even Sega tried new things
    But once B/W were out of the game, Stern just stopped trying

    #10 6 months ago

    One thing is for sure, pinball today is soulless compared to what most of the 20th century had. No humor, no feeling, almost like no emotion was involved in the creative process.

    They are still money making devices though... for those building them. Or those that were building them.

    #11 6 months ago

    This is all greatly dependent on what you grew up with, how simple or diffiicult you like games, what you like to work on, and what themes you are drawn to. I will try to break down each.

    art - Pre
    originality - Pre
    fun factor - very subjective. I think it is Pre if you like simpler games and post if you enjoy deeper games.
    replayability - also very subjective. I think it has more to do with specific shots (making them, getting close, or totally shanking them).
    pure pinball bliss - There is no way to quantify this. It largely depends on what you grew up with, your sentimental connection, and your enjoyment in the theme.

    Is the post dmd era actually better, or do we just like discussing it more?
    All these games are newer...so they are fresher in peoples minds, are tied more to pop culture, were more widely available, and a lot of people just werent old enough to have played many games before...or even werent alive when they were made.

    If there's one pin that most supports your choice please share.
    Its hard to say one pin supports a choice because there are far too many out there.
    Paragon is amazing, but so is JJP potc.

    All this is why i always recommend a variety of pins from different eras in ANY home collection.

    #12 6 months ago

    I think an important factor is how dependent is gameplay on the display. The more a game relies on the display, the more it drifts in the direction of becoming a video game. I think this is a negative. Ideally the inserts tell you what you need to know, the call outs and audio confirm this and the display confirm this further with some decorative elements. Of course, the more complicated the rules are, the more challenging it will be to adhere to this. I think the new color monitors on pins are great, but I really just need to know what my score is so the “improvement” over previous display systems is for me a small one.

    #13 6 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    This is all greatly dependent on what you grew up with

    You use that like it is past tense. Is there a point in time where someone just stops growing mentally? Oh yeah, almost forgot...this is pinside.

    #14 6 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    You use that like it is past tense. Is there a point in time where someone just stops growing mentally? Oh yeah, almost forgot...this is pinside.

    It seems to me that most people under 40 dont have much interest in EMs. They only want dmd and newer pins. I would be very interested to see an age chart on it, actually.

    I very rarely see anyone under 60 interested in wood rails. There are, of course, exceptions to everything.

    #15 6 months ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    Ideally the inserts tell you what you need to know, the call outs and audio confirm this and the display confirm this further with some decorative elements. Of course, the more complicated the rules are, the more challenging it will be to adhere to this.

    I think the best practical advantage LCD games have is bringing information out of the status report into a place the player can see it always, like the value of the power jackpot in Maiden.

    #16 6 months ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    The more a game relies on the display, the more it drifts in the direction of becoming a video game. I think this is a negative.

    When you have a hobby full of people that grew up playing video games and not pinball, that's what you get.

    Sad, but true.

    #17 6 months ago
    Quoted from VanishingVision:

    I think the best practical advantage LCD games have is bringing information out of the status report into a place the player can see it always, like the value of the power jackpot in Maiden.

    This is a good point, however I don't think developers have fully grasped how best to implement this yet. Maiden is a good example of how to do it right, mind.

    The opposite was DMD and even alpha-numeric's biggest advantage: the display is so simple, the developer is forced to spell out the goal to the player in large monochromatic letters/figures. This way, it only takes the player a quick glances to gather whatever information they need, be it score, progress, objectives, etc.
    While an LCD can certainly display more information and allow artists to create a great show for spectators—Maiden and BKSoR are great for this—I think some games can get carried away and display too much at once. I seem to have the most trouble with SW: none of the text in the game has any drop shadow, making most colours of text hard to read and blue/purple text almost impossible to read. I was hoping a code update would change this.
    Of course, any pin based on a movie just has to show tons of clips of the movie over information about the game, though DMDs did this, too. At least it looks as it should on an LCD.

    I think DMD is better from a gameplay perspective, but as amusement machines, upgrading to LCD is a no-brainer. Developers are only going to get better at using them, too.

    #18 6 months ago

    I prefer original themes over licences. And pre DMD was the heyday.

    #19 6 months ago

    Maybe it’s just a honeymoon phase but I’ve found all these Classic Stern’s are timeless. The early to mid 80’s pins are just phenomenal. Something about the single level playfields that are so “simple” yet require pure skill to actually be good at, it puts them on another level.

    This may be unpopular but I find that a lot of DMD games suffer from a handful of gimmicks. They can get a bit repetitive.
    A lot of the old school games had to have damn good design to bring something new to the table when they didn’t have ramps, or multi levels or even decent sounds.

    Then to top that off, in the late 80’s we started getting multi-level games that still had insanely tight geometry! I mean the gift keeps on giving.
    So pre-DMD all the way.

    #20 6 months ago

    Wow. Even split. Didn't expect it to be so close. I voted pre dmd. For me that era was more original, more charming, had better artwork, and best of all "deep code" wasn't a thing back then. The rules actually fit on the rule card. It was all about high scores and having fun.

    #21 6 months ago

    I grew up on the 70s and 80s and the very early 90s machines. Got back in a few years ago and was floored by the modern machines with their depth and toys, but feel the urge to get back to the early solid state games and back. As mentioned above, they just seem to have more soul. Aside from the Rick and Morty that’s on its way of course.

    #22 6 months ago

    I just wanted to point out there are exceptions to the generation rule.

    I am 36 years old. I was a kid in the 90s so one would assume I would gravitate to more modern pins. However, if I had to choose between pinball from the pre-DMD era and the current post-DMD era, I would absolutely prefer those early solid state machines. I find the abundance of original themes, the artwork, the sounds and robotic voices, everything, etc, none of it can be touched by anything we see today.

    Of course, modern pins have more elaborate playfield and features, but if were talking the complete package, then its pre-DMD for me. No question.

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