(Topic ID: 232625)

Pinball Depth Chart


By Electronmagic

10 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 16 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by rai
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    PHYSICAL DEPTH.pdf (PDF preview)
    Vintage-Marx-Electric-Pinball-Deluxe-Arcade-Type-Automatic-_57 (resized).jpg
    DEPTH OF CODE.pdf (PDF preview)

    #1 10 months ago

    I ranked one as an example.

    Demolition Man results:
    Depth of code - 63 feet
    Physical Depth - 7 feet
    Total Depth - 70 feet

    #2 10 months ago

    I often hear about how deep some games are, but the concept seems so abstract. Also, game ratings are very subjective, and they don’t attempt to rate depth (which I think is a big miss). Admittedly, depth isn’t everything, but it is something. Categories like “artwork” will always be subjective, but I believe depth is something that can be made objective with a system, so I made one.

    I have used a typical E.M., specifically a Gottlieb Jungle Queen, as a baseline for assessment. Jungle Queen has a depth of 0. That’s not saying it’s a bad pinball machine, but just that it has absolutely no depth, and what you see is exactly what you get. To me, there are two aspects of depth – physical depth and depth of code. Physical depth is things that go beyond a typical E.M. (things that bring the ball above, below, or behind), and depth of code is the software that is unseen without playing the machine.

    I’m hoping some of you would be willing to rate your machines. My collection contains mostly older pins, so I’m anxious to see how some of the newer ones look. Also, it would be cool to see how different versions of code measure up on the same machines. I think it would be best left to those who have owned the machines for a significant period of time. A brief explanation would be required, along with a software version.
    Don’t “double dip.” If a feature would fit into two categories, just list it once where it would give it more feet of depth. I’m sure there are things I missed, so suggestions are appreciated, but I would like to lock the system in a week or two.

    Ultimately I’d like to make some kind of chart for comparisons, but that would be a way off. Someone made a chart about six years ago, but it seemed to be purely subjective, so it’s not really the same thing. Eventually we’ll figure out which pinball machines are the deepest.

    #3 10 months ago

    PINBALL DEPTH CHART
    DEPTH of CODE

    DEPTH OF CODE.pdf
    #4 10 months ago

    PHYSICAL DEPTH

    PHYSICAL DEPTH.pdf
    #5 10 months ago
    Quoted from Electronmagic:

    Jungle Queen has a depth of 0. That’s not saying it’s a bad pinball machine, but just that it has absolutely no depth, and what you see is exactly what you get

    Drop targets score points and add bonus.
    A, B, C gives double bonus.
    B lights the center pop bumper.
    Dropping all drop targets in a bank lights the corresponding 5000 lane.

    None of this is WYSISYG. There are much better EM examples, but I suspect even the most basic machine you can think of still has at least one "do X to get Y" objective.

    #6 10 months ago

    Is this on a scale of 0-10? If so, I’m sure the games near 10 would be LOTR, TSPP, WPT, the JJP pins.

    Physical depth seems like a tougher beast. Wouldn’t that fall in the category of toys/cool features?

    #7 10 months ago

    I'd say _this_ is a 0:

    Vintage-Marx-Electric-Pinball-Deluxe-Arcade-Type-Automatic-_57 (resized).jpg

    Every bumper scores one point. Absolutely nothing hidden or collectable.

    (Yes, I had one of these as a kid. "Gateway drug", fer shure...)

    #8 10 months ago

    Depth? Depth of game rues directly related only to scoring or, the depth of the overall availability of a path that changes the game in real time.

    Thus far, at the top of this scale for the later would be Wizard of Oz.

    I don't think you realize the breadth of certain games. Depth does not only equate specifically to rules. What about "width". I would suggest the above example of WOZ is the widest and deepest of pinball games, thus far.

    #9 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Depth? Depth of game rues directly related only to scoring or, the depth of the overall availability of a path that changes the game in real time.
    Thus far, at the top of this scale for the later would be Wizard of Oz.
    I don't think you realize the breadth of certain games. Depth does not only equate specifically to rules. What about "width". I would suggest the above example of WOZ is the widest and deepest of pinball games, thus far.

    You may be right about WOZ. Would you be willing to plug in the numbers using this system and see where it falls?

    #10 10 months ago
    Quoted from Electronmagic:

    You may be right about WOZ. Would you be willing to plug in the numbers using this system and see where it falls?

    I don't have the time for that. Seriously though, you have to even consider customizable rules like the ability to have tilt warnings carry over from ball to ball on WOZ. It'a not something every player experiences and it's not my cup of tea but you have to consider it part of the complexity of the game itself. There is so much more to it than what the average player experiences in a few games of pinball.

    #11 10 months ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    There is so much more to it than what the average player experiences in a few games of pinball.

    I agree. That's exactly why I suggested this is only for people who have owned the games for a significant period of time.

    #12 10 months ago

    So is jungle queen wysiwyg just because all the rules are written on the playfield? If I sand off the art does it get deeper?

    There's at least 2 or three stages of rules to it. Completing drops, maxing bonus, lighting the lanes, etc. I think that should at least count as 'length' if not depth. There's stuff to work towards, and you don't see everything every game either.

    But that isn't all there is to depth, though. I'd argue that some games have a lot of content (breadth) but no depth. Some have many layers of content (length), but not depth. Depth requires choices to be made, imo. Weighing options, risk reward, etc. A game could have a ton of content but not be very deep if you just play through it all the same every time

    Some ems have quite simple rules but the combine with the layout in a way where you're constantly weighing options, what to shoot for or prioritize, et

    #13 10 months ago

    I don’t know why a PF in head would be worth any more than an under or upper PF.

    #14 10 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    So is jungle queen wysiwyg just because all the rules are written on the playfield? If I sand off the art does it get deeper?
    There's at least 2 or three stages of rules to it. Completing drops, maxing bonus, lighting the lanes, etc. I think that should at least count as 'length' if not depth. There's stuff to work towards, and you don't see everything every game either.
    But that isn't all there is to depth, though. I'd argue that some games have a lot of content (breadth) but no depth. Some have many layers of content (length), but not depth. Depth requires choices to be made, imo. Weighing options, risk reward, etc. A game could have a ton of content but not be very deep if you just play through it all the same every time
    Some ems have quite simple rules but the combine with the layout in a way where you're constantly weighing options, what to shoot for or prioritize, et

    Sorry, I didn't intend to demean Jungle Queen. I think it's a great game. I used to own it, and if room would have permitted I still would. Perhaps I should've started further back in pinball history, but I wanted to stick with a game I knew. And thanks for the input. Perhaps in the future someone will also endeavor to objectively measure the breadth of pinball machines also, but let's see where this goes first.

    #15 10 months ago
    Quoted from rai:

    I don’t know why a PF in head would be worth any more than an under or upper PF.

    You bring up a valid point! I have this on my list of things to fix. Thanks.

    #16 10 months ago

    I’ll look into shot count on my machines to see how many ‘main shots’ like ramps and orbits and how many ‘minor shots’ like stand up targets etc.

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