(Topic ID: 35605)

Stern Pinball, and Why Williams Still Outperforms Them


By PDXGeek

6 years ago



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    #201 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    I am glad you think I am an idiot. In other news, no one cares.
    I dont like AC/DC and I dont care what the "top 100" says. In fact, since you didn't say "top 10" or even "top 20" that lends more credability to what I am saying. That game shipped with some of the worst software I have ever seen. So bad that I could just do nothing and let the cannon shoot the right ramp over and over. Fun. I love Ritchie, but this is the worst game he has ever made IN MY OPINION. Just because I dont like what you like, doesnt make me an idiot, it makes you close minded.

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    #202 6 years ago

    The only reason to complain about AC/DC is if you aren't a fan of their music. The layout, the lighting, the production values, the sound, the software, are all mostly top notch. You throw in better speakers, a shaker motor, a few lighting mods, and the pin is arguably approaching the top 10. If you don't like the music then you probably won't want to own the pin. But I can't see how you can deny that Stern put a lot of money and effort into that machine.

    #203 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    I am glad you think I am an idiot. In other news, no one cares.
    I dont like AC/DC and I dont care what the "top 100" says. In fact, since you didn't say "top 10" or even "top 20" that lends more credability to what I am saying. That game shipped with some of the worst software I have ever seen. So bad that I could just do nothing and let the cannon shoot the right ramp over and over. Fun. I love Ritchie, but this is the worst game he has ever made IN MY OPINION. Just because I dont like what you like, doesnt make me an idiot, it makes you close minded. And what the hell does this have to do with games being easier to understand?

    You're an idiot (yes, still!) because it seems as though you've not heard about "software updates".
    So unless you're stuck in the past, that cannon trick cannot be performed anymore. The current rules rock and apparently there's another update coming out that can only further improve this already very-well received title. You rating/commenting on a game running launch-day software is probably the only way you can find anything negative to say about it.
    I'll bet even an MM would suck if you rated it before they put the flippers on.

    #204 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    Sure, it has nothing to do with the name on the box, but when you are the only one, you dont have to go far to figure out who is making it.

    But then can we agree that there are Stern games that make progression really easy / obvious for new players too? Because if it truly has nothing to do with the name on the box, let's talk about how there are some games that are great at this too...

    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    The title I chose for this OP was incorrect, and overly aggressive. The only point I am making, and one that everyone seems to mostly miss, is that we need to see more easy to understand games in the market place. Reason being is if you alienate the entire new gen of pin players, you just lost pinball, and that is something this community of players seems to be missing. Good thing John Popadiuk understands this, but when he is only making craft games, it doesnt help pinball as a whole.

    The thing though is that it can't just be overly simple games. To use another route example, Whirlwind came out and was a total turd at first, but guess what happened? After about a half year, the game started taking off in it's earnings. What happened was that players, who had nothing obvious to shoot for, were initially turned off by it's overly short ball times. But... after a little while, as they started to figure out the depth and complexity of that game, they started going back to it again, and again, and again.

    Whirlwind may not seem like that complex of a game right now, but if you think about it's place in time, it was the first game that really used something resembling "modes" and is often credited for having the first wizard mode. The challenges in it are really tough, and there are little things that you can do (the Tornado Siren or whatever it is called) that give you challenges that are beyond just points. It's proof that sometimes, a complex game is *exactly* what the marketplace wants.

    Now, maybe there aren't the same level of pinball players out there now, but the games that combine the something easy to shoot and the depth are the games that earn really well on route for a long time. Games like MM and POTC - shoot something obvious (Castle, Ship) and then you can figure out other cool stuff beyond that.

    BBH, IM, and TRS all have *really* obvious bash toys that you can tell are going to be fun to hit when you walk up. The rest of the rules... who knows? But if you're a new player, who cares until you've played a couple extra games and start figuring them out? FG and Avengers definitely have the same sort of thing. I'd call the jury out on ACDC (I don't know if the cannon is enough on a pro to make a new player drop coin on it... I'd love to see an earnings report on it though, as it may have "Whirlwind" syndrome with the rules that keep you coming back), X-Men (ditto, is bashing Wolvie interesting for a newb?), and Avatar (you don't actually bash the bash target). There are few games that I think don't start with a really obvious, cool thing to try to do.

    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    BTW: Goatdan has been the only one that I have read that is actually thinking about this question in the right frame of mind. I cant agree that the elephant is a huge failing for IJ (it has a ball save after all so its a noop imho), but I definitely enjoy reading your thoughts.

    Tell a new player that they have three balls. Watch them play ball one and two. Watch ball three drain immediately. Observe if that player stays standing at the game after the third ball drains.

    I forget which designer I was talking to that said that ball save was one of the worst things that happened to pinball, because it allowed designers to design games lazily that allowed random uncontrollable drains straight down the middle. A good design can negate a ball saver.

    I LOVE JP, but when the dinosaur eats the ball, and then it comes up the VUK and the player is still trying to figure out what the heck just happened, that is a design flaw for new players.

    #205 6 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    You're an idiot (yes, still!) because it seems as though you've not heard about "software updates".
    So unless you're stuck in the past, that cannon trick cannot be performed anymore. The current rules rock and apparently there's another update coming out that can only further improve this already very-well received title. You rating/commenting on a game running launch-day software is probably the only way you can find anything negative to say about it.
    I'll bet even an MM would suck if you rated it before they put the flippers on.

    Rate a game before they put flippers on? Um, yeah, walking away from this one.

    #206 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    I dont like AC/DC and I dont care what the "top 100" says. In fact, since you didn't say "top 10" or even "top 20" that lends more credability to what I am saying. That game shipped with some of the worst software I have ever seen.

    Ok with that statement you just lost all if any credibility you had. You have Xmen LE rated at over a 9 & you think ACDC had horrible code???

    Someone put a bullet in the side of this threads head pleaseeeeee!!!!

    #207 6 years ago
    Quoted from smassa:

    Someone put a bullet in the side of this threads head pleaseeeeee!!!!

    +100000!!!!!! close it please!!!!! borrriinnng!!!! week's old.......get on to something new!!!

    -1
    #208 6 years ago
    Quoted from goatdan:

    But then can we agree that there are Stern games that make progression really easy / obvious for new players too? Because if it truly has nothing to do with the name on the box, let's talk about how there are some games that are great at this too...

    The thing though is that it can't just be overly simple games. To use another route example, Whirlwind came out and was a total turd at first, but guess what happened? After about a half year, the game started taking off in it's earnings. What happened was that players, who had nothing obvious to shoot for, were initially turned off by it's overly short ball times. But... after a little while, as they started to figure out the depth and complexity of that game, they started going back to it again, and again, and again.
    Whirlwind may not seem like that complex of a game right now, but if you think about it's place in time, it was the first game that really used something resembling "modes" and is often credited for having the first wizard mode. The challenges in it are really tough, and there are little things that you can do (the Tornado Siren or whatever it is called) that give you challenges that are beyond just points. It's proof that sometimes, a complex game is *exactly* what the marketplace wants.
    Now, maybe there aren't the same level of pinball players out there now, but the games that combine the something easy to shoot and the depth are the games that earn really well on route for a long time. Games like MM and POTC - shoot something obvious (Castle, Ship) and then you can figure out other cool stuff beyond that.
    BBH, IM, and TRS all have *really* obvious bash toys that you can tell are going to be fun to hit when you walk up. The rest of the rules... who knows? But if you're a new player, who cares until you've played a couple extra games and start figuring them out? FG and Avengers definitely have the same sort of thing. I'd call the jury out on ACDC (I don't know if the cannon is enough on a pro to make a new player drop coin on it... I'd love to see an earnings report on it though, as it may have "Whirlwind" syndrome with the rules that keep you coming back), X-Men (ditto, is bashing Wolvie interesting for a newb?), and Avatar (you don't actually bash the bash target). There are few games that I think don't start with a really obvious, cool thing to try to do.

    Tell a new player that they have three balls. Watch them play ball one and two. Watch ball three drain immediately. Observe if that player stays standing at the game after the third ball drains.
    I forget which designer I was talking to that said that ball save was one of the worst things that happened to pinball, because it allowed designers to design games lazily that allowed random uncontrollable drains straight down the middle. A good design can negate a ball saver.
    I LOVE JP, but when the dinosaur eats the ball, and then it comes up the VUK and the player is still trying to figure out what the heck just happened, that is a design flaw for new players.

    You know what Goatdan, its nice to have a great, well thought up, post like this.

    I like your example of Whirlwind. This was one of my favorite games in College due to its difficulty to keep the ball alive. I think there is a big difference between then and now though. Back then, playing at an arcade was still very popular. So, when a game first game out and it was difficult (like WW and PinBot) a lot of people just walked away. Then, after a few of the really good players got to the game, and you got to hear the siren shot that requires you to hit the left loop (missing the bumpers), then the upper loop, then ramp all sequentially, that machine made a sound that drew everyones attention. Add in a fan that added environment to the game, and some amazing jackpot shots, and you have a game that will draw people in. I still wouldn't call WW complex by any means, it was quite simple. Shoot the flashing arrow, lock the ball, rinse, repeat. Everyone figured this out pretty quickly. Unfortunately, we dont have good arcades with kids anymore, we have bars and establishments that only the already addicted Pinball player goes too.

    Bash toys do make things popular, but look at CV, which had the most obvious bash toy ever, and it did terrible (I picked mine up in 97 for a cool 1600). So it's definitely way more then bash toys. POTC did well by combining bash toys with a theme that everyone recognized and it was very popular, as was LOTR. Once again though, the theme itself led more to the popularity of these games IMHO then the gameplay. Take away those themes and I believe, as does Stern, all these games fail badly.

    I am definitely not saying Stern doesnt make easy to approach games, in fact if you look back you will see I called those out. I am simply stating we need more games that meet the needs of growing the popularity of pinball. If any of you have been to any of the PAPA pin tourneys you will notice a severe age gap in the players. This is what I am focusing on, and this is what concerns me about the future.

    #209 6 years ago

    I agree with most of what PDX says.B/W did do it better. I think AC/DC has great music ,lights, and art(prem. and LE). The problem for me is the playfield shots are nothing new and get a little boring . In 20 years this is all we get since the great B/W games. I dont care if i know every rule when i walk up to a game. I do care if the shots are fun. AC/DC is 2 typical up and back ramps,a few typical drop targets,a cannon shooter that was done better in 20 year old games, and a swinging bell that is fun to hit but not as fun as most toys on16-20 year old games. . I would rather play a TZ , MM ,TOTAN, and Wh2O than AC/DC and most other new games. I appreciate Stern for keeping new games coming and like some of the games like IM, but overall not near as much as B/W. No PDX is no idiot. He is actually pretty intelligent.

    #210 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    Rate a game before they put flippers on? Um, yeah, walking away from this one.

    Oh but it's ok to rate ACDC before the final code is done.

    #211 6 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    Oh but it's ok to rate ACDC before the final code is done.

    It sure as hell is ok to rate acdc as it sits now. Code is plenty far along. They need not reads any further updates and it's good as it stands. Xmen and WoF are the only stern titles that actually need an update at the moment. I know people want TF update but it's pretty much complete as it stands as well, like it or not.

    #212 6 years ago

    When I move from SM (awesome freakin game) over to my MB one thing I notice is how solid and well built the MB feels.. Not sure how else to say it but MB oozes quality compared to My SM
    It's like jumping out of a Chevy caprice into a high end Mercedes when I switch back and forth between the two.
    Sorry but Stern games feel a little more like a disposable Bic lighter and B/W games are more like
    Zippo's
    Not bashing sterns I love them, but like everything (not just pins)quality seems to slip more as the years go by.
    JMHO.

    #213 6 years ago

    Here is my take on pinball in general. I like Pinball the way it is. I have no problem if anyone wants to take pinball to a new level.

    Its been said before and it is true. Pinball has not changed one bit since the introduction of the DMD.

    So we are looking at 20 years of no new innovation. Pinball in its current form works. It is just really down to the build quality. Theme and game play is really all it comes down to.

    In reality, there is only so much one can do with a steel ball and a couple of flippers.

    It is also seems that it is the same guys designing the pinball machine layouts that have been for the last 20+ years.

    Mechanically speaking, what new advances in technology have even happened in the last twenty years? Face it, a slingshot is still a slingshot

    Every advance has been in software, processing power and video monitors.

    It appears that JJP is still a DMD pinball with a LCD monitor and some cool animation. A good designed rule set does not mean a physical innovation. An LCD monitor is not an innovation. More of an evolution.

    That does not mean a new pinball can't be great based on the current platform, it can. But think about it. Todays pinballs are very interactive. Pinballs have been that way since the DMD. It is important to hear what is being said so one can follow what to do. At a typical establishment, it is improbable to hear what is going on. It is just flippers and balls at that point. Good luck in trying to figure out rule sets. And unless you come to pinside or similar, who even knows there are rule sets.

    Does pinball play need to advance past the DMD era to be profitable and great? no. But some new consumer friendly technology needs to be introduced. There is your innovation.

    #214 6 years ago
    Quoted from Concretehardt:

    When I move from SM (awesome freakin game) over to my MB one thing I notice is how solid and well built the MB feels.. Not sure how else to say it but MB oozes quality compared to My SM
    It's like jumping out of a Chevy caprice into a high Mercedes when I switch back and forth between the two.
    Sorry but Stern games feel a little more like a disposable Bic lighter and B/W games are more like
    Zippo's
    Not bashing sterns I love them, but like everything (not just pins)quality seems to slip more as the years go by.
    JMHO.

    No doubt this is true. I noticed this big time when I switched from a TRON Pro to a TZ and back last weekend.

    #215 6 years ago
    Quoted from Concretehardt:

    When I move from SM (awesome freakin game) over to my MB one thing I notice is how solid and well built the MB feels.. Not sure how else to say it but MB oozes quality compared to My SM
    It's like jumping out of a Chevy caprice into a high Mercedes when I switch back and forth between the two.
    Sorry but Stern games feel a little more like a disposable Bic lighter and B/W games are more like
    Zippo's
    Not bashing sterns I love them, but like everything (not just pins)quality seems to slip more as the years go by.
    JMHO.

    I notice this every time as well. Stern makes some fantastic playing pins! I'd absolutely LOVE to have AC/DC, Tron, Avengers, SM & IM. But they do "feel" cheaper built.

    #216 6 years ago
    Quoted from Concretehardt:

    When I move from SM (awesome freakin game) over to my MB one thing I notice is how solid and well built the MB feels.. Not sure how else to say it but MB oozes quality compared to My SM
    It's like jumping out of a Chevy caprice into a high Mercedes when I switch back and forth between the two.
    Sorry but Stern games feel a little more like a disposable Bic lighter and B/W games are more like
    Zippo's
    Not bashing sterns I love them, but like everything (not just pins)quality seems to slip more as the years go by.
    JMHO.

    SM is my favorite Stern game and its awesome, but I know what you are saying. It has a definite "feel" to it. I'm not sure what it is, but playing SM is different that even other Stern games in feel. It is very weird. I must say that ACDC, X-Men and Avengers feel more solid to me than previous Sterns. Much better quality in feel IMO.

    #217 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    It sure as hell is ok to rate acdc as it sits now. Code is plenty far along. They need not reads any further updates and it's good as it stands. Xmen and WoF are the only stern titles that actually need an update at the moment. I know people want TF update but it's pretty much complete as it stands as well, like it or not.

    I agree with you 100%. You can rate AC/DC now and as far as I'm concerned, you can rate Xmen and Avengers how they play currently as well.
    However, once code is updated, it's absolutely idiotic to rate the game on the previous version.
    That's in reference to the OPs comments about how bad a game ACDC is because he was able to continue shooting the right ramp using the cannon.
    (Not to mention that of all the issues with initial release programming, I'm not sure why the OP would complain about a bug that doesn't even apply unless the player opts to take advantage of it)

    #218 6 years ago
    Quoted from Astropin:

    I notice this every time as well. Stern makes some fantastic playing pins! I'd absolutely LOVE to have AC/DC, Tron, Avengers, SM & IM. But they do "feel" cheaper built.

    My AC/DC doesn't feel like this but my other Sterns do. LOTR in particular. It's never bothered me though.

    2 months later
    #219 6 years ago

    What sucks is that current pinball sw development has decided that its ok to ship machines incomplete, then fix it later. How about you ship it when its done? With the rapid release schedules everyone is trying to follow these days, its sad that the consumer is paying the price. Look how many updates occur these days compared to the Williams area. How many ROM releases should it take to dial it in?

    #220 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    What sucks is that current pinball sw development has decided that its ok to ship machines incomplete, then fix it later. How about you ship it when its done? With the rapid release schedules everyone is trying to follow these days, its sad that the consumer is paying the price. Look how many updates occur these days compared to the Williams area. How many ROM releases should it take to dial it in?

    While I agree that games should be shipped more complete you have to remember we live in a different world now where as updating things is a hell of a lot easier then it was before.

    #221 6 years ago

    This is very true, but does that mean that we should just accept incomplete software on every release? No sane person expects perfection in 1.0, and some updates are reasonable. But I really think that the release quality is getting very poor, which is the cause of so much hate on these forums alone that it demands some evaluation.

    However, giving credit where it is due, Avengers was much more complete than the release of TF, ACDC and XMEN.

    #222 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    I am glad you think I am an idiot. In other news, no one cares.
    I dont like AC/DC and I dont care what the "top 100" says. In fact, since you didn't say "top 10" or even "top 20" that lends more credability to what I am saying. That game shipped with some of the worst software I have ever seen. So bad that I could just do nothing and let the cannon shoot the right ramp over and over. Fun. I love Ritchie, but this is the worst game he has ever made IN MY OPINION.

    This just in: up to number 8 on the chart. Go Ritchie!

    For what it's worth, I'm sorry for calling you an idiot. Wasn't necessary just because you don't like ACDC.

    #223 6 years ago

    I have owned Stern games (TSSP) and plan on getting some in the near future..I've been told I'm a Stern hater from my friends..however I don't feel that way, I do think AC/DC is great and TSSP was also great and up to B/W specs...When I saw XMen, Transformers, SM, IM etc..I just feel something missing/different in the newer titles Vs. the older ones or the B/W A-list games..the games feel cheaper and thrown together..and I kind of like hand drawn art vs all the photoshop stuff.

    -1
    #224 6 years ago
    Quoted from SuperTurbo:

    If you don't like the music then you probably won't want to own the pin.

    Thats like 80% of the game right there. So when people say its the best game ever made they are talking about the theme... Replace the music with say Rolling Stones or another theme altogether a game with that playfield design would struggle, like RS/IJ4/IM etc etc.

    Sure it might make people feel good when they play it, but there aint much to be had in terms of play...

    #225 6 years ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    Thats like 80% of the game right there. So when people say its the best game ever made they are talking about the theme... Replace the music with say Rolling Stones or another theme altogether a game with that playfield design would struggle, like RS/IJ4/IM etc etc.
    Sure it might make people feel good when they play it, but there aint much to be had in terms of play...

    Really? Have you seen the ruleset? There are threads on here sharing ideas on rule explanation and how to achieve some of the jackpots. Opinions and explanations are required because this pin is so deep.
    2 ramps, a loop (2 shots, 1 at either side), targets, and the bell. 5 shots, most of which are available from either flipper.
    That beats most pins that I've ever played.

    Not to mention a game like AFM or MM. Similar or fewer shots, but still great games.

    #226 6 years ago
    Quoted from RGR:

    game with that playfield design would struggle, like RS/IJ4/IM etc etc.

    Bwahahaha, ACDC and now you are adding IM to your list. Does anyone value what you say at all...

    #227 6 years ago

    I haven't read any of this thread but given the subject title and that it's five pages long, I figured y'all be needing some of this.

    201205161503030.kleeenex-portfolio.jpg

    #228 6 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    For what it's worth, I'm sorry for calling you an idiot. Wasn't necessary just because you don't like ACDC.

    Apology accepted Chambahz ;p

    I will admit, software updates have gone a long way towards saving this game (AC/DC). I am going to be spending some time with this machine here soon, and I am actually looking forward to it.

    In hindsight, this thread title is horribly inaccurate to the statement I was really trying to make. My main topic of discussion was meant to be on how the rulesets these days focus on the home user and pinball has lost its ease of approachability to new players. I still believe this is true, but I also now know more about sales data, so it makes sense. Stern for instance makes the bulk of all their money from home sales. So it makes sense that the rule sets require reading an FAQ instead of a well designed game that makes it obvious. The home user wants a complex rule system, and while I definitely don't agree that AC/DC is the best game ever made (like pinside owners like to tell me over and over again) it is a great complex rule system, and probably the best software work that Lyman has done in regards to home play. The PF design is totally meh, and uninteresting. We are talking classic Ritchie layout here, which isn't a bad thing per se, it's just not what makes AC/DC fun.

    #229 6 years ago

    It's like Coke v. Pepsi.... except that one brand went out of business a long time ago. I've personally decided to live in the present and future. I expect to end up with mostly Stern and maybe a JJP in the future. Pinball may still be old tech, but the 90's pins are looking more and more dated compared to the new games. Feel free to pay $10K+ for a Cactus Canyon, Monster Bash, etc. I don't think those games are any better than AC/DC, Tron, or even Avengers as recent examples. There are some great Williams games to be sure, but to dismiss Stern is silly... they are making good product and their prices are no more outrageous than the prices on "A" list collector quality Willilams games. At this point, I'd rather have something new if the price is comparable.

    #230 6 years ago

    I agree with you tbanthony. I am so happy that JJP came along, and because of this, caused advances in Pinball that would not have occured otherwise. Look at the quality of the Pins that have come along since JJP announced what he was going to do. I love the new lighting, and how the mood of the game changes as you play. XMEN is the best example of this I have seen so far though, and AC/DC, if you recall, shipped without this feature even working.

    #231 6 years ago
    Quoted from tbanthony:

    Feel free to pay $10K+ for a Cactus Canyon, Monster Bash, etc. I don't think those games are any better than AC/DC, Tron, or even Avengers as recent examples. There are some great Williams games to be sure, but to dismiss Stern is silly... they are making good product and their prices are no more outrageous than the prices on "A" list collector quality Willilams games. At this point, I'd rather have something new if the price is comparable.

    Agreed all all accounts!

    #232 6 years ago
    Quoted from Hwawonyu:

    Bwahahaha, ACDC and now you are adding IM to your list

    Have a look at both playfields, then get back to me

    #233 6 years ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    That beats most pins that I've ever played.

    You havent played pins with more than 2 ramps, one loop, and a centre shot??? This playfield is so similar to IM yet clearly its a better game mainly due to the theme. Yes it has a detailed ruleset, but the average player will never figure that out.

    #234 6 years ago

    I was gonna make a thread..."Bally/Williams games, and why they are still Bally/Williams games!"

    #235 6 years ago
    Quoted from AbacusMan:

    I was gonna make a thread..."Bally/Williams games, and why they are still Bally/Williams games!"

    Thought if would be... Why BBH Still Outperforms Them

    #236 6 years ago
    Quoted from wolfy:

    I agree with most of what PDX says.B/W did do it better. I think AC/DC has great music ,lights, and art(prem. and LE). The problem for me is the playfield shots are nothing new and get a little boring . In 20 years this is all we get since the great B/W games. I dont care if i know every rule when i walk up to a game. I do care if the shots are fun. AC/DC is 2 typical up and back ramps,a few typical drop targets,a cannon shooter that was done better in 20 year old games, and a swinging bell that is fun to hit but not as fun as most toys on16-20 year old games. . I would rather play a TZ , MM ,TOTAN, and Wh2O than AC/DC and most other new games. I appreciate Stern for keeping new games coming and like some of the games like IM, but overall not near as much as B/W. No PDX is no idiot. He is actually pretty intelligent.

    +1 I feel almost exactly the same.

    Lots of crazy bashing going on in this thread (and NO it's not Stern bashing, Pinsiders ).

    #237 6 years ago

    No matter what they do with the code on AC/DC, the layout is still a slightly altered T2 from over 20 years before. Must be the reason when I play it that it seems so familiar

    #238 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    while I definitely don't agree that AC/DC is the best game ever made (like pinside owners like to tell me over and over again) it is a great complex rule system, and probably the best software work that Lyman has done in regards to home play. The PF design is totally meh, and uninteresting. We are talking classic Ritchie layout here, which isn't a bad thing per se, it's just not what makes AC/DC fun.

    Totally agree with this.

    #239 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    I agree with you tbanthony. I am so happy that JJP came along, and because of this, caused advances in Pinball that would not have occured otherwise. Look at the quality of the Pins that have come along since JJP announced what he was going to do. I love the new lighting, and how the mood of the game changes as you play. XMEN is the best example of this I have seen so far though, and AC/DC, if you recall, shipped without this feature even working.

    Not to totally disagree with you since you're in a pretty good roll now, but the GI (mood lighting) did change colors based on circumstances happening in acdc even when it first shipped. The game also has color changing inserts but those weren't enabled until a recent update. I also don't credit most of what's happening in the industry to JJP. JJP came around at a time when pinball was on an upswing. Coincidentally at the same time, stern got some funding and hired talent which started producing output by the time JJP arrived on scene. So popped up magic Girl. In general, things were rolling JJP is following the wave - not leading or causing it.

    #240 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    Not to totally disagree with you since you're in a pretty good roll now, but the GI (mood lighting) did change colors based on circumstances happening in acdc even when it first shipped. The game also has color changing inserts but those weren't enabled until a recent update. I also don't credit most of what's happening in the industry to JJP. JJP came around at a time when pinball was on an upswing. Coincidentally at the same time, stern got some funding and hired talent which started producing output by the time JJP arrived on scene. So popped up magic Girl. In general, things were rolling JJP is following the wave - not leading or causing it.

    Can you really say this with a straight face?? Pinball was circling the drain when JJP came along, look at what Stern had been putting out in the couple of years preceeding:

    CSI, NBA and 24 in early 2009, not exactly instant classics, then nothing until Jack persuaded them to do a run of LOTR LE's later in the year. Then in 2010 Ironman, BBH, and Avatar, again 2 out of 3 were duds, and IM isn't much better IMO. About the time that JJP announced Woz, Rolling Stones came out, and that was followed by TF. I would call this roster of games as being anything but on a roll

    JJP exists because the games being put out were perceived as being not what Jack thought his customers wanted, and regardless of what you think of WOZ or JJP, I think it's pretty obvious that the threat of competition has pushed Stern to try to make better games. Tron, and AC/DC are not my cups of tea, but they do show an increased effort to put out an improved product over what they had been producing.

    #241 6 years ago
    Quoted from dgpinball:

    About the time that JJP announced Woz, Rolling Stones came out, and that was followed by TF.

    Tron came out after RS and before TF, just sayin'.

    #242 6 years ago
    Quoted from dgpinball:

    Pinball was circling the drain when JJP came along, look at what Stern had been putting out in the couple of years preceeding:
    CSI, NBA and 24 in early 2009

    Right, this is when Stern was almost out of business and was cutting back / laying off everyone.

    Quoted from dgpinball:

    Then in 2010 Ironman, BBH, and Avatar, again 2 out of 3 were duds, and IM isn't much better IMO.

    Again, during the cut back times. At this point, only designer at stern was John. Everyone else was laid off. And I disagree 2 of the 3 were duds. IM is great. Avatar is a lot of fun. I like BBH, but don't love it. But that's beside the point. There were still in the thinning out phase here. It was around this time they got investors / funding. And that's when they rehired lyman, steve ritchie, george gomez. Keep in mind that hiring those guys doesn't mean that the next day they release better games. It took Steve a year to produce AC/DC. George came back and designed transformers. Like it or not, TFLE isn't a cut-back cheapened machine compared with something like BBH.

    All the improvements at stern cannot be attributed to JJP - a company that's still never shipped a game. That's ridiculous. Instead, it was similar timing when they got funding from investors allowing them to rehire their better folks and home collectors buying LE's kept them going since. When someone comes to invest in your company, you have to present a business plan. They wont just offer you a shitload of money to support your sinking ship. So a business plan had to exist prior to the investors plopping down a bunch of cash, and it had to be aggressive or no one would invest. I'm guessing the investors decided to invest in Stern because they saw pinball taking an upturn and Stern showed some plans on how they'd grow. Just like JJP, SkitB, and Popadiuk decided to step into the scene. If there wasn't a customer base to support all these companies, none of these guys would be trying to produce games. JJ is a business man. He is doing this to make money, not to improve the pinball community. If pinball wasn't on the upturn, JJP wouldn't exist either.

    #243 6 years ago
    Quoted from dgpinball:

    No matter what they do with the code on AC/DC, the layout is still a slightly altered T2 from over 20 years before. Must be the reason when I play it that it seems so familiar

    I really remember liking T2 when it came out and is one of the games that got me into pinball. Still a classic. Also the cannon on T2 does not block the outlane to my memory like how bad it does on AC/DC which should never happened for a new game made today. I wanted more creativity from Stern in there games and expected or wanted a lot more. Anyone have pictures of both games to compare cannon location. T2 was so different for its area but I feel AC/DC is good but not extremely different than the last few Sterns from a creativity stand point.

    #244 6 years ago
    Quoted from Concretehardt:

    When I move from SM (awesome freakin game) over to my MB one thing I notice is how solid and well built the MB feels.. Not sure how else to say it but MB oozes quality compared to My SM
    It's like jumping out of a Chevy caprice into a high end Mercedes when I switch back and forth between the two.
    Sorry but Stern games feel a little more like a disposable Bic lighter and B/W games are more like
    Zippo's
    Not bashing sterns I love them, but like everything (not just pins)quality seems to slip more as the years go by.
    JMHO.

    I definitely can understand this, and agree to some extent, but I also have to say that I enjoy the feel of the flippers on newer Sterns more than any old 90s B/W machines. And personally, I value the feel of the flippers more.

    #245 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    JJP is following the wave - not leading or causing it.

    Yea, I agree with this. JJP did what any smart business would do. You don't spend all your money trying to cause a wave, you just ride one that has already been started. However, Stern didn't cause this wave either. It was the fact that all the Bally / Williams games prices were going crazy, pins were getting purchased up quickly and home ownership rates went through the roof.

    This is when JJP bashed Stern for their uninventive games, lack of toys and old and tired layouts. He then announced he was doing his own thing and showed videos of multi-color GI rotations, odd flipper layouts and discussed many other ideas they had. I don't see how JJP wasn't forcing the hand of Stern at this point. He has investors, and deliverables now. Stern has to work to not become obsolete and look stale.

    #246 6 years ago
    Quoted from dgpinball:

    Can you really say this with a straight face?? Pinball was circling the drain when JJP came along, look at what Stern had been putting out in the couple of years preceeding:

    I think JJP pushed them a bit, but I think the giant capital infusion had more to do with their improvement. It helps a lot when you have the cash to afford top notch talent and better licenses.

    #247 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    The home user wants a complex rule system, and while I definitely don't agree that AC/DC is the best game ever made (like pinside owners like to tell me over and over again) it is a great complex rule system, and probably the best software work that Lyman has done in regards to home play. The PF design is totally meh, and uninteresting. We are talking classic Ritchie layout here, which isn't a bad thing per se, it's just not what makes AC/DC fun.

    Having a new, unique, and interesting PF design is overrated.

    PF designs are almost *never* what makes a pin fun.

    Play any pin with what you consider an "interesing PF design" with the volume turned off and see how fun it is.

    #248 6 years ago
    Quoted from RobT:

    PF designs are almost *never* what makes a pin fun.

    You don't actually believe this Rob?

    #249 6 years ago

    Did Bally/Williams take deposits on games before they were even close to being done. Did customers have to wait to take ownership of games that shipped with incomplete code? Perhaps its just a byproduct of a much smaller company these days.

    #250 6 years ago
    Quoted from NathanP:

    Did Bally/Williams take deposits on games before they were even close to being done. Did customers have to wait to take ownership of games that shipped with incomplete code? Perhaps its just a byproduct of a much smaller company these days.

    Ya think? They were also a small division of a larger company. Nobody is forcing anyone to preorder anything. If you don't like it just wait till the game is out and buy it then. Or I guess you can just wait for the next Bally/Williams pin to come out & buy one from them???

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