(Topic ID: 257038)

Stern Stranger Things

By pinmister

7 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 7,137 posts
  • 642 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by pinballfan2000
  • Topic is favorited by 94 Pinsiders


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Topic poll

“Are you interested in a Stern Stranger Things pinball machine?”

  • Yes, I am interested if it plays well and has polished code 481 votes
  • No, I am not interested 439 votes
  • Maybe, not a huge fan of the franchise but maybe if it plays well 100 votes
  • I like pizza 200 votes

(1220 votes)

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Topic index (key posts)

13 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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Post #972 Stranger things video Posted by halflip87 (6 months ago)

Post #975 Stranger Things screen shots Posted by Rascal_H (6 months ago)

Post #1751 Feature matrix from Stern. Posted by twenty84 (6 months ago)

Post #1774 Pro features video. Posted by proco (6 months ago)

Post #1775 Trailer with intro from Duffer Bros. Posted by johnnyutah (6 months ago)

Post #1793 First shipping confirmation photo. Posted by vidgameseller (6 months ago)

Post #1829 Pics of official Stern accessories. Posted by RebelGuitars (6 months ago)

Post #1835 Brian Eddie podcast link on game. Posted by C2CPinball (6 months ago)

Post #3236 Nice game review Posted by delt31 (6 months ago)

Post #3275 This Week In Pinball deep dive. Posted by pin2d (6 months ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#4170 6 months ago
Quoted from foobeer:

Admittedly, I love this theme and I am getting an LE, so I want/need this to be good. That being said, yesterday, deadflip posted some quick videos at CES and while he doesn't show a lot, the projector images look a lot better than on the cnet still images.
https://www.facebook.com/DeadFlip/videos/632212824250140/[quoted image][quoted image]

It doesn't look as terrible as in the CNET photos but at the same time you're still seeing the white projector screen quite clearly. As has been shown earlier in the thread a decent lumens projector and a suitable display material will effectively make the screen disappear and be replaced by whatever is being projected.

If you're going to have a whizz bang feature on your $7700+ pinball machine the least you can do is make it actually work effectively for your customers. It kinda feels like Stern are trolling their customer base at this point.

#4173 6 months ago

Maybe you're supposed to play it under your bed or something, like where Seven was on the show.

#4177 6 months ago

lol sorry, it's late.. nearly 2am here (that's my excuse)

#4412 6 months ago

I think people are (in my opinion justifiably) dejected by what appears to be Stern's continued drive towards cost cutting at the expense of end users.

It's not as if these pins are getting any cheaper either. I don't know the full BOM on a current pinball machine but at the volumes Stern are producing I would be amazed if a Premium/LE ran to even half the RRP, taking into account *everything* including the licence.

Pin prices are going up and up, the quality of the toys and more importantly QA and QC keeps going down. The change from drop targets to a single target bank on Munsters, and the super cheap and unreliable $400 topper felt like a nadir to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if people could point to earlier examples.

I also don't think it really helps if you want the market to take a stand with this stuff but it carries on buying these pins sight unseen. Stern have absolutely no motivation to change course while they carry on selling these things hand over fist, and I can't blame them for that as a profit seeking entity. They are clearly not in the game to be the darlings of a select few (relatively) Pinsiders, and from that perspective it feels pretty contemptuous.

#4424 6 months ago

Those randoms streaming presumably don't have anything like the sort of sway that people who Stern would actually care about setting up an optimum environment for do.. e.g. the likes of Deadflip.

Expecting people not to stream something they see at CES in 2020 is a bit ridiculous, I think. If you don't want people filming stuff, make viewing it invite only, or in an auditorium with a velvet rope and VIP/controlled access, or something.

#4543 6 months ago

I don't know why they don't just make the LE/Premium even more expensive, and include an actually half decent projector. It's not like it would add $hundreds to the BOM, and people buying either version would surely want the best machine they can have, delivered ready to go rather than having to depend on modders to come up with an actually decent solution, and having to mod the pin they've just bought.

It's ridiculous. Mods should augment pins, and be to individual taste. They shouldn't fix shit that shouldn't need fixing from the start.

I don't get the logic of actually setting out to deliver something that is subpar. Shouldn't there be some sort of pride in delivering a Premium/LE pin? Why would you want your big gee whizz bang feature to underperform?

It brings to mind Tron LE - which I coincidentally have. Tron Pro is amazing, but the LE has actual tangible bonuses and it looks and feels like extra effort was put into it. I don't know much the fibre optics cost Stern, but the Eli mod that reproduced it for Pro owners wasn't a cheap or simple addon. What happened to that mindset?

#4823 5 months ago

neilmcrae is it better than Munsters though? ..which you also hyped to the max on the UK forum and told people that they should get the LE/Premium pretty much sight unseen?

#4963 5 months ago
Quoted from Guinnesstime:

They are pretty Prince-like. Projector looks solid.
The game should be a must buy from a theme perspective, but based on the stream, it just doesn’t look fun.

I really don't understand this mindset, I honestly don't. A must buy from a theme perspective, but the gameplay itself is meh?

How on Earth is the principal function a secondary consideration? There's plenty of Stranger Things merch you can buy elsewhere for a lot less money if you REALLY dig the theme, but spending $6k+ on something that happens to be branded Stranger Things - when you have no love for the actual gameplay - is just nuts.

Not making any kind of comment on whether the gameplay on this specific pin IS meh or not.

#5312 5 months ago

Don’t start modding a pinball until you’re satisfied that it’s all working properly and is dialled in. I’d suggest that process should not be rushed.

Adding anything to an electrical circuit has the potential to cause problems, particularly if there might be something wrong with the power in the first place.

#5325 5 months ago

How extensive are the schematics? You can pretty much build your own boards based on B/W schematics, and people & companies have done.

Obviously SMT makes things harder for end users anyway, but that is the case for pretty much all technology now.

2 weeks later
#5944 5 months ago

Mmm aren’t they likely to say that whatever happened to it happened while you transported it home, particularly if the box was externally unmarked?

Perhaps unrealistic but it might have been an idea to open it up and check it over at the dock, as that’s where the responsibility of the shipping company ended if you collected it.

1 week later
#6199 5 months ago

Absurd that this isn’t given to LE owners. Even if it wasn’t available for launch it should be gifted to the customers who dropped the most money on it.

If it was a full optional add on than one could argue that it’s a choice, but they built a reactive UV playfield and didn’t tell anyone - including LE customers - that they were planning to do this.

So what does this create, a LE+ variant?

#6214 5 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

It's not really different from buying a LE because you wanted the powder coat vs hammered finish, etc. It's just another form of packaging and go to market.
Apparently some people have made up this false expectation that an LE was an 'all inclusive' offer now... all while Stern has been selling them add-ons for years.. including for LEs.

Based on what? Couldn't we make that argument for a ton of 'obvious' mods out there in the market?

Obviously many people thought this was something 'built in' and being asked to pay to turn it on. It's not.. it's a bolt on kit that takes advantage of what is already in the PF art.

It IS manifestly different than a regular accessory though.

Before you buy an LE, Premium or Pro you can look at a feature matrix to work out what you’re getting and what you’re missing for your money. If you want powdered rails - there it is on the list, LE/Prem only, etc.

If this was an all in one kit that ADDED UV to various parts of the playfield you could argue that it’s purely a personal choice, like an addon “skin” for a character in a game.

The fact is, for the playfield to be UV reactive means that they knew they were going to be releasing this kit for some time, specifically held it back from the LE (at least) and worst of all didn’t tell anyone that it was coming - and therefore stopped people being able to make an informed purchase.

As it stands it’s a pretty major playfield feature, and essentially creates an LE+ spec.

How you can equate that to an accessory I do not know, unless you’re being deliberately obtuse, or an apologist, no offence.

#6224 5 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Your arguments do not hold up.
They know what features will be part of the game and which will be held back as accessories ahead of time. This is nothing new
They often include hardware and design elements in the base game to support accessories. This is nothing new.
Neither of those things are necessarily disclosed or advertised to buyers when they rush to buy on day one. This is nothing new.
The idea that it leverages existing art is not some magical breakthrough that changes the whole goto market. The kit adds and changes materially significant parts of the game.
People are just butthurt they think they should have gotten this feature for free -- not that Stern has changed how they do things or how things are sold.
People just live in their happy little bubbles I guess...

Are you seriously comparing this to an accessory plug for an as yet unknown add on in the future?

If Stern released a motorised demo down the line, and wanted to charge for it, more power to them.

UV ink does nothing without blacklight, so either you’re suggesting they added an invisible playfield feature in the new world order of them cutting BOM costs everywhere else, or - more believably - they designed and produced the PF knowing they were going to release an addon *to make it work* and didn’t tell LE customers they were going to do it.

It’s not a plug for a to be released topper or something, it’s a feature built into the playfield and specifically held back from at least the LE machine, to offer it as a DLC afterwards.

#6240 5 months ago
Quoted from kpg:

Honestly its an awesome enhancement. I felt like the Upside mode was very weak and they didn't integrate it well.
Now it makes total sense... what pisses me off is they saved what should have been a normal mode effect as a $279 "mod"
I think long term about stuff. Long term, and seeing where Stern's head is at, this is not cool. Pins will start to feel like a bare bones cheap Mobile game that you need to pay to unlock stuff all the time. This isn't what pinball is about. This is not headed down a path I wanted to see...

This is why I would be aggrieved as an LE owner. It’s gameplay driven, and UV suits the upside down aspect of the theme well.

Something this strong essentially creates an LE+ spec in my mind, it will be conspicuous in its absence on “regular” LEs now (yes, that’s now a thing)

#6408 4 months ago

Imagine if Tron LE had come with the fibre optics fitted, but no LED parts to illuminate them. No one knew exactly what they were for at the time, and since they didn’t do anything no one questioned that they were there.

Then a month after launch there’s a “mod” announced that is actually the missing parts from the BOM, which light the fibres up in sync with gameplay, in such a way that is not possible to emulate with a mod because it’s linked into the proprietary code (that already existed)

It looks amazing, but it costs extra, even though the fibres were already fitted when you bought it, and the code was already there when you bought it.

That’s this.

Actually this is worse because almost no one would’ve seen that this feature existed, because UV ink is invisible. It wasn’t mentioned on the matrix as “coming soon” (even with an extra price shown).

What I find impossible to get past is that you don’t add UV ink to a playfield, increasing the BOM, when no one can see it, unless you know you’re creating something to be released imminently to show it. How anyone can compare this to a topper or a shaker, which are entirely to taste, and generic (plenty of other companies provide both) is beyond me, unless they’re being deliberately obtuse.

#6650 4 months ago
Quoted from Manic:

Don't see your point. Everybody hated that deal also.
Maybe in the literature before the machines actually went on sale they could have stated "UV kit coming soon! Available for all models. Priced separately"
Then people would have been forewarned and maybe even excited about it. Apparently now a lot of people feel like Stern got over on them. You can say it's just emotions but emotions are what sell these things in the first place.

That would’ve been sufficient I would think. LE buyers might still have been entitled to have a little grumble about it, but at least they would’ve been able to make an informed purchasing decision.

There’s no way Stern didn’t know this was coming, given the playfield ink, which means they omitted it from the feature matrix deliberately.

People still seem to be drawing comparisons to mods like toppers, shakers and other generic cruft, when this is patently not the same thing. If Stern had released a UV kit that was *entirely* add-on, as in all of the UV bits were additions or replacements for parts already fitted, it would be a different matter, but this was partially built into the game already - which means it was always intended to be there and was cut either for time or cost reasons, or simply because they wanted to nickel and dime their customers.

“UV kit coming soon! Available for all models. Priced separately“ would’ve been ok I think. Not great, but no one could’ve complained if they went ahead and bought with this knowledge.

#6667 4 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

How would this changed anything though?
Would someone NOT had bought the game because a future kit was coming?
It doesn’t matter to which version you bought because all models have it...
And anyone who didn’t buy the game... still can if they want to.
So how would the outcomes changed if this was on the feature matrix?
There is all this angst about people somehow being screwed because it wasn’t listed... yet... there is zero penalty for not knowing. So how are they impacted in any material way?
The only thing that would have changed is people would have been bitching every day for the last 6 weeks “when are we going to see the UV kit”

The answer is different for everyone really.

As a rule of thumb I like to be fully informed about a purchase before laying money down. If the maker of something has deliberately withheld some pertinent information from me, or it feels to me like they have, I would certainly be left with a sour taste about it I think. If I was in on a Pro or Prem then I doubt I would have much cause for complaint, since I wasn't buying the fully loaded version anyway, but if I was in on an LE I'd want to know about OEM "mods" that were coming almost immediately after launch.

At the very least if this was known to be coming then I would have probably tried to negotiate it as part of the cost of buying the LE pin in the first place.

I don't disagree with you in terms of your general point, people can choose to buy it or not. I'm not saying that I don't think Stern should be able to sell addons etc post-launch. I'm saying that in this particular instance it feels like this was *removed* from the LE pin before launch, either because it wasn't ready or because they simply wanted to get more money for it.

I happen to think that the interaction of this mod, and how appropriate it is to the theme, makes it a must-have if you've already got an LE, to the point where it's like an LE+ spec. It would be like having Tron LE and the ramp fibre optics coming out post-sale.

#6975 4 months ago
Quoted from Darscot:

It was enabled but Tesla told them we don't actually manufacture the config you want but we will give you this car at that price but you will not get to keep the extras. Its just faster and cheaper to give them a car they have already built than try and build a different version. It would be like if Stern decided that all new Stranger Things now come with the UV kit built in from the factory but the price goes up $50. Someone that already ordered said no I'm not giving you the extra $50 and I don't want the UV lighting. So instead of spending time and money trying to remove the UV kit Stern just disabled it with software. People were just hoping they would get it for free and they didn't.

Indeed. You’re not entitled to something you didn’t pay for at the end of the day.

There are probably real cost savings in homogenising certain parts of a build, I can certainly believe that it would be more cost effective to build all seats with heat seating built in, then offering it as an upsell.

I bought a performance upgrade for a Porsche a few years ago which consisted of them authorising the VIN to have the feature, plugging the car in and unlocking it. Didn’t add any hardware components to the car as they were already rated for the spec upgrade.

Working in networking I’m used to kit coming with unified hardware that provides features that are unlocked via software licences.

Tesla’s mistake really was in inadvertently gifting this option to people up front, without making it clear that it was unintended and/or liable to be removed at any time without notice.

But I don’t think anyone can have cause for complaint. Down the line I can see them offering trial versions for feature unlocks, again more like IT things in general.

#7042 4 months ago

Dimpling seems like such a weird thing to get hung up on. Pooling and chipping is unacceptable, of course, but a metal ball striking a wooden surface imparts a force that has to go somewhere, and you can be sure a solid steel metal ball is going to win that battle 100 times out of 100.

Some playfields may be worse than others, but it will happen given enough time and action.

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