(Topic ID: 257038)

Stern Stranger Things

By pinmister

2 years ago

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  • 7,151 posts
  • 646 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by Neonblack
  • Topic is favorited by 83 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 486 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 202 votes

(1227 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 (2 years ago)

Post #975 Stranger Things screen shots Posted by Rascal_H (2 years ago)

Post #1751 Feature matrix from Stern. Posted by twenty84 (2 years ago)

Post #1774 Pro features video. Posted by proco (2 years ago)

Post #1775 Trailer with intro from Duffer Bros. Posted by johnnyutah (2 years ago)

Post #1793 First shipping confirmation photo. Posted by Tilt (2 years ago)

Post #1829 Pics of official Stern accessories. Posted by RebelGuitars (2 years ago)

Post #1835 Brian Eddie podcast link on game. Posted by C2CPinball (2 years ago)

Post #3236 Nice game review Posted by delt31 (2 years ago)

Post #3275 This Week In Pinball deep dive. Posted by pin2d (2 years ago)

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#400 2 years ago
Quoted from HookedonPinonics:

Ghostbusters was pretty damn good as far as theme integration goes. I know a lot of people don't like that game but you can not say the theme integration was not there. The whole game was based on the movie and had call outs by Ernie Hudson. The sounds in the game are some of the best and the light show mimicking the ghost trap was top notch

Disagree. Tons of annoying sound FX that have nothing to do with GB, yet totally lacking iconic sounds like the streams & Slimer’s screams & growls. Not enough movie quotes peppered about. Ernie, while legit, is kinda bland sounding as a custom callout - if you didn’t know it was Ernie, it just sounds like a generic guy. The DMD never shows the character’s faces. Only their backs & hands. Clearly they didn’t want to go through approvals on the Dot animation.

#406 2 years ago
Quoted from delt31:

Now if you want absolute dogshit call outs, check out JP stern!


I’d rather have a real person from a franchise than that absolute fake, horribly acted trash from JP.

#415 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanbrooks:

Am I the only one still waiting on his MMr and thinking it’s shitty of Stern to basically stop production of them so they can get ST built and shipped before the EOY as to be dicks to Spooky?

What? Stern doesn’t make MMr. CGC does.

Also, Stern doesn’t stop one game for another. They’re often building 5+ different titles at once.

#444 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanbrooks:

The excuse given to my distributor from CGC as to the ETA of a MMr ordered in May was “waiting on Stern to finish”. I have no reason to doubt my distributor. His firm is one of the oldest and undoubtedly the most respected coin-op distributor in the country.

Get a refund and get a new distributor. He’s fundamentally wrong. Stern built the first batch of MMr’s around 2015, and the contract manufacturing deal ended either that year or 2016. CGC has been making their games themselves since.

So, you can choose to believe the facts: Stern literally has ZERO to do with MMr in 2019.

Or, continue to believe this bizarre lie that Stern is building MMr & stopped due to Stranger Things.

#453 2 years ago
Quoted from ryanbrooks:

Please don’t attack me or the information I was given. I’ve never attacked you or anyone on this forum. I’ve spent $3M with this distributor this decade. I’m an amusements operator. They have no reason to lie to me. I stated what I was told.

I’m not attacking you. I’m correcting your misinformation. Facts matter. Correcting incorrect information does not constitute an attack.

One more time if you still don’t understand:


#550 2 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Am I the only one a bit annoyed at Winona Ryders overacting, and lack of range in facial emotions?

I like how she says “crayon” the way I do...”cran”....lol...drives my wife fucking nuts.

#736 2 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

That's the thing, they can't cancel.....without losing a grand. That's the price of FOMO

Pinball = peeps got $$$$

If someone bought R&M and this ends up being cool, they’ll get both.

Nice thing about Stranger Things from a buyers point of view: We can wait and see. No need to pre-order.

#1039 2 years ago

Finally, a game with real video & voice assets. Good job, Stern. The projection on the spinner, targets, ramps & above the left ramp looks really cool...not sure about “the wall” yet...interesting way to conceal the monster, though. The whole thing seems very out of the box...I’ll definitely seek one out to play.

#1261 2 years ago
Quoted from RonSS:

STN (Stranger Things Netflix) - when someone types ST this should pop up as an option, correct?

STN seems like short for Stern.

How about StTh

#1303 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

If you can’t tell the difference what does it matter.

I haaaaate fake voices in games, but it’s when the actor is reaaaally poor (Beast & Storm in X-Men, Spidey Vault, fake Optimus in TF, all the BDK voices, all the Stern JP voices.) If the actor is a good sound-alike & a good actor, like Stern POTC, Shrek, or fake Gandalf in Hobbit, it’s great.

In the case of Stranger Things, it’s clear they have all the character clips from the show...so you’ll have a ton of that real legit personality you want from the license. If the custom callouts are a fake Harper...I think that’s OK on this game. His voice is generic “male gruff guy” enough that no one will care. Kinda like how “generic military guy” on Iron Man didn’t really bug anyone, since it was paired with a good Jarvis sound-alike & 100s of real movie voice clips.

#1342 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I'm interested enough in this theme that it got me to sign in to Pinside.

Sup Rob! How are ya?

#1367 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Nobody concerned with the clear coat issues? I thought there was still some problematic playfields popping up.
Also, aren’t recent customers with bad playfields having to fight to get an unpopulated playfield? Other customers report being ghosted with regards to their playfield warranty requests?

NIB Addicts forget so quickly. It’s a strange thing.

#1386 2 years ago
Quoted from Vino:

All those extras plus ship is the BSE, which will run higher than current pricing on stern premium.

It’s just irrelevant to compare the two games. One is truly limited & that limit is already sold out. If you wanted a NIB Rick & Morty game, that was the only way to get it. There won’t be more. Comparing prices to an unlimited Stern just doesn’t mean anything.

#1496 2 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Is it really hand drawn? Or is it digitally drawn via a Wacom using software?

All “hand drawn” art is digital now. Wacom is just a tool. Any good artist can use digital art tools to make art look like real pencil, ink and paint. Donnie, Yeti, Franchi...all digital.

#1499 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I take hand drawn as being drawn with your hands. I could be wrong though. Never known a playfield to have art hand painted on it either.

Hand drawn includes digital today. It just means the art was created from scratch by the artist. This Stranger Things art looks hand drawn/painted (with digital tools like all art today). It’s just realistic in style, like Franchi art. It’s the style 80s movie posters were painted in...IMO its fitting for this theme.

#1511 2 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

when this game is off.. its going to look odd with the white everywhere

Oh, the “it looks bad when off” arrives. Surprised it took so long for this, the most irrelevant of observations, to appear.

#1603 2 years ago
Quoted from frankmac:

Where does the ball go when shot in the Demogorgon mouth?

Out his butthole.

#1754 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Why don't companies create paid DLC code packs for future seasons when a pin is released before a movie/series is over? Like the last 3 seasons for GoT, seasons 3 and 4 of Stranger Things for this pin...

These are games, not DVD box sets. They don’t need the complete stories to be successful games...they just need the essence, some iconic features, music, voices & an adversary of sorts. One season of Stranger Things has more content than the LOTR trilogy....so 2 seasons is more than enough content to create a game concept. Same with GOT, it’s not even really based on the overall story - you pick a house & try to take the throne...you shoot at a dragon. Simple distillation of the concept.

I don’t think there’s ever been a TV based pinball that took you through the entire tale of the series, and that’s fine - these are basically “board games” you play for 5 minutes.

TSPP/FGY - They feature iconic characters, bits, and quotes. Not everything from every season, but more than enough content for great pins.

Sopranos - Distilled to “rob shit, steal shit, kill people, strippers.” Featured cool theme song & voice clips. That’s all it needed.

CSI - Distilled to “collect evidence, solve crimes”. Made sense for a game.

24 - Kill terrorists.

Walking Dead - Kill zombies, survive.

GOT - Pick a House, take the throne.

There is no reason any pin needs “season pack updates” - Stranger Things will have enough content to be a game fans of the show will enjoy.

#1822 2 years ago
Quoted from Captchaos:

Wondering what the projection screen material will look like, over time, after the ball rolls over it for a year or so.?

It’s probably stuck under the ramp. Ball won’t roll directly on it.

#1892 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Jurassic Park would like a word with you...

JP’s animation looks like Crazy Taxi on Dreamcast.

#1908 2 years ago
Quoted from dsmoke1986:

Nothing wrong with Dreamcast; best console ever!!

I love my Dreamcast. But a 20 year old retro gaming experience is a totally different thing than modern pinball display animation.

#2060 2 years ago
Quoted from dsmoke1986:

Ehh, not so sure...Do we really need fully rendered 3d animations on par with something like a Death Stranding? I think JP's animations are great, no problems with them to me.

Of course not - my issue isn’t realism or resolution...but art direction and animation. The humans on the JP display look wonky and dated. Stern seems to do OK with monsters and animals, though.

Personally I’d rather see more 2D stuff like Alice Cooper. Pinball isn’t a video game, so the score display doesn’t need to look like one...but if it tries, and looks dated - it is what it is. I have the same critique of P3 games. Technology with dated art direction just looks old..it has the opposite affect than intended.

#2070 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

It's great that Stern announced, and shipped a game in the same day but does any of that matter when the code looks like an alpha release? Might as well wait until around CES and have the code further along. After watching that quick video all I could think is how much better Jurassic Park looks with its custom animations and lack of movie assets.

This is reminding me of the GOTG launch. Remember that with zero voices at all? Although once we heard “boballee bobo” we realized why lol

#2343 2 years ago
Quoted from kermit24:

I am excited to play the premium/LE version of this game. Something tells me the projected content across a variety of targets and the "screen" will immerse you into the theme a lot more.

This game was clearly designed as a Prem/LE first, and I bet that’ll reflect in the code. This pro seemed to be lacking personality...every time they shot one of the kid shots, there was a still graphic & info...but no clip or callout. I bet you that on the Prem/LE, that same graphic/info will be on the LCD while an actual show clip of the boys doing/saying something will play on the projected screen.

#2344 2 years ago
Quoted from Toppers:

Anyone else get irritated by the sound of the multiball music on last nights stream. It’s the same 8 bars/measures over and over and over. I feel like it’s a 80’s pin on loop... I don’t think the sound on this game is promising. The music also seems very lack luster (besides the main theme song of course)

This is very typical of Ken Hale’s pinball music. It’s almost always very boring & lacks that pinball energy and punch.

#2346 2 years ago
Quoted from Rockytop:

This is a premium/LE game in my opinion.

Absolutely. Some pins translate fine to a Pro when features are changed and cut...JP’s T-Rex doesn’t move, but it’s still a big ass T-Rex. In this case, the screen, which is fundamentally required for this new projection effect, is just a giant wall with a sticker. A wall with a sticker is an embarrassingly odd thing to have in a pinball machine. I’m shocked so many people here seem cool with it. Has it not been a result of having to alter a Prem toy, no game would ever be designed with a sticker wall.

#2409 2 years ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

Eh, I actually much prefer plastic ramps. Give me some ToM plastic ramp goodness all day!

Right? So many classic games have plastic ramps. Some have plastic, some have metal. It’s a design & aesthetic choice. To be anti-plastic ramp with zero reason as to why metal would be better is just like saying “too many inserts” without playing it and seeing if they benefit the rules and gameplay.

#2441 2 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

can't understand the hate for this game. It has lots of shots, some challenging, it has a ruleset that looks like is quite deep. So the theme isn't perfect but it never is - most folks haven't played it?

Critique of a $6000-$9000 toy isn’t “hate”. It’s normal discussion that should take place when deciding whether a $6000+ toy is worth purchasing.

#2446 2 years ago
Quoted from JodyG:

I wonder how hard it would be to install your own projector into a pro, and run the Premium/LE code?

I don’t think it would be possible - but even if the code worked, the game wouldn’t know what to do with the different magnet lock.

#2452 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Not possible. Try and run the prem/LE code on a pro and the game doesn’t work at all. I know because I’ve accidentally done it done it before. Haha

You can still run Shrek code in Family Guy & vice versa! Games play perfectly with the other’s code...funny thing to see.

#2462 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

I admit I've never played that game or even research it. I'll look into it. Been out of the loop for a while.

It’s terrible. Not sure why it was brought up as a great game. Weird.

#2472 2 years ago
Quoted from Dr-Willy:

When was the last time you played it? it was very rough to start but is a fantastic game now. The stock audio isnt great but the rule set is, and with clelands sound mod it a really really good game.

I don’t know - but when I played it, it was just a bunch of disconnected modes with horrible bobaleebobo voices. Did Cleland hire Bradley Cooper to redo the custom callouts?

#2482 2 years ago
Quoted from Coolpinballdino:

You guys need to play GOTG with the latest code a lot got added since the start. Modes have changed got cherry bomb multiball. Especially try it with the cleland code the music he added makes the game kick ass.

Was it a total rewrite? What made it better? I really hated how you picked modes at ball launch...I like a little build up and gameplay before I start an event - that’s far more satisfying. Are modes still a video clip that plays independently while you shoot colored lights? Whether it’s bad acting or Cleland’s replacements, unless the modes actually feel satisfying to shoot with your shots actually doing something, I can’t imagine it being much better than it was.

#2493 2 years ago
Quoted from delt31:

- here's why it's going to be awesome (I'm in on a pro and a huge fan of the show)..... It's AFM meets stranger things WITH better code.

You don’t know this has better code than AFM. AFM is a Lyman masterpiece. Strangey Thangs is currently unfinished.

#2540 2 years ago
Quoted from delt31:

It's a deeper coded game than afm. The current code they showed yesterday demonstrated it's basically AFM..... One of the mini wizard was a play on. Total annilihation.
Oh and it has over 40 modes..... It's going to be a deeper AFM per Brian Eddy
I'll take that

Just talking about “depth” in a vacuum means nothing. It’s about how the rules, sounds, music, content, choreography, execution & overall feel that matters...how the rules gel with design. Promise of depth means nothing until you play it and feel it out. You can’t declare a new unfinished untested mostly unplaced Stern a victory over an all time classic that’s still being enjoyed today.

Quoted from dsmoke1986:

GOTG is the bomb bro. You need to check your taste level

LOL my taste level is just fine. Fake voices from bad actors are in bad taste. The layout is close enough to other games that are much better that I don’t need to force myself to like bobaleebobo...I’ll just jam on Metallica & Iron Man to get a similar but superior experience.

#2544 2 years ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

It already does. Haha. Every game from that era is extremely shallow.

A statement like this is pure ignorance and misunderstands the benchmarks on which to judge. These are “action board games” ...games live or die on play & rules. “Shallow” is a totally misguided term by those who think they know what “depth” means and think mode mass and content = depth. Almost every 90’s game has a perfect match of rules & design that complement each other & make for a perfect gameplay experience that’s fun to play over and over. If this wasn’t the case, you wouldn’t have had decades of people wanting to buy these games for their home & playing them non-stop. There’s nothing shallow about them...they’re expertly and elaborately thought out. The only games that are truly shallow are games like BTTF...which almost have nothing to do. Hit drops, lock ball, repeat, multiball, that’s it. B/W’s best? Nah. Not shallow. Ever. Anyone who would claim that is flat out wrong & using the term incorrectly....especially if they’re trying to gauge superiority of machines.

#2571 2 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I agree with a lot of what you are saying but Chuck knows his rules better than most people

Fair enough - I think it comes down to the word “shallow”. It’s being misused in terms of description & a benchmark. Shallow used to mean a game didn’t really offer the player much to do or any interesting strategy...it inferred that the programmer put enough in there for the game to function, but not much in the way of creativity to keep you coming back. Your example of TNA is perfect. TNA isn’t remotely shallow. It’s easy to understand, but has so much challenge, nuance and creativity in it that it makes you want to keep playing it forever. It takes a real creative flair to take a limited piece of wood in a box and give it so much to understand and enjoy.

#2596 2 years ago
Quoted from Potatoloco:

I think there should be a casual mode that is objective based instead of score based.

Most DMD era to modern pins are objective based. Start modes, finish modes, destroy the castle, sink the ship, etc. I could tell you every objective in LOTR and how it relates to advancing to the end...I’ve had the game for over 10 years...I couldn't tell you what scores what...but it doesn’t matter, as objective = score. I know more jackpots =more score. Finishing modes = score + elf gifts which = score. The best games are the ones designed with some obvious things for casuals to do & nuance for the pros who want to dig deeper. No need for two separate rule sets if a designer & programmer knows how to craft a great pinball machine design & ruleset.

#2705 2 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

Nobody can possibly critique it until they've played the game.

We absolutely can. We can see the art, see the features, see the layout, watch streams, hear the sounds. We know whether this pleases our eyes and ears. Many of us have played enough games to get a solid take on what any new game is about at launch. Our opinion may change once played, but impressions upon reveal are not to be discounted entirely.

#2712 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

The re-introduction of Magslings would have been great for this game. I thought that was one of the coolest features of Ghostbusters. Having a mode where the ball(s) could be held then flung around like how 11's powers in the show works would would have been awesome. A video playing of her throwing shit around while that happened would have been perfect.

No game should ever have magna slings ever again, ever. Let that idea die in hell with John Trudeau.

#2884 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

AFM, MM, MB have very few modes and only are revered because nostalgia has a way of keeping some people thinking they’re so great. If they were produced today for the first time, everyone would be complaining at how shallow the coding is and would refuse to spend $9k on any one of them.

The irony of this statement is hilarious. These games ARE being produced today and people are still happily spending big bucks on them. If any company made new games that were as good as AFM/MB/MM, they’d be killing it in sales. These games aren’t popular due to nostalgia. They came out near the death of the arcade and didn’t sell that well compared to other 90s games. They are popular because they’re great. They’re approachable, they have great features for newbs, but nuance for pros. They have an overall perfect combo of creativity, choreography, fun mechs/toys, and great rules. You clearly played machines that were set up too easy - any game can be set up harder.

#2924 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Right on cue. Knew someone would say this. Of course nostalgia dollars are going to be spent on these old games. There are enough people that like them, but make these same non themed games today and watch how sales will not be so kind. That alone makes your statement ironic and hilarious. Most people won’t risk spending 9k on a no name game today, unless a pinhead and sales will be small. Just look at Black knight SOR for example.
Look no further than Dialed In a nonthemed game to see how bad sales would be. Dialed In is every bit as good and in many ways even better with a great deal more tech in it and certainly many times deeper code, but being an original theme has kept it from selling in the big time.
AFM, MM, MB and the like are pure pinhead nostalgia games. Ask anyone that is not a pinhead and they will not care about those titles, although if they saw them might put in a quarter or two, just as they would on Dialed In.
In this day and age, it is big name IP titles that sell, which is obviously why pinball makers choose them and almost never make original titles. Too risky indeed and not enough demand. Back in the 90s, the landscape was much different being a location only driven market.

You’re conflating two different issues. Non-themed games don’t sell today, that is true. No one is dismissing that fact. People buy on theme hype today.

Saying MM/AFM/MB are only nostalgia games & dismissing that they’re actually good games is wrong. Again, there weren’t enough of them around to become nostalgic. They’re good because they’re good. They’ve stood the test of time because they’re endlessly fun. Newbs & Pros love them. Excellent design. Excellent Lyman rules & code. I never played those games in an arcade. I have zero nostalgia for them. I have nostalgia for T2 and EATPM...and I don’t own them. I have nostalgia for Addams & STTNG...but I own them because they’re excellent games to play.

#2926 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Don’t hate these old games. They are still fun! They only hold up because they have 25 years of time on their side.

This proves they’re STILL FUN 25 years later, not that people are blindly enjoying them out of nostalgia. People hang onto video games for nostalgia, not pinball. Great pinball is always great pinball.

Quoted from jimwe5t:

But shallow games don’t hold up well in a HUO environment, because of shallowness and becoming boring is the point,

You don’t understand what “shallow” means. Play DE game like BTTF, Simpsons or TMNT. Those are shallow. Almost nothing from B/W in the 90s was shallow. Full of modes, multiball, wizard modes, scoring strategies...not to mention the best build, gameplay, mechs, toys and light/sound choreography. No amount of convoluted math/chess of a game like Stern SW will take away the expertly crafted gameplay experience of the 90s games.

#2931 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Wrong why? Because your beloved old timer games say so? No one says they are not good designs, cause they are. It is only being very shallow and original themes that would not cut it into today’s market, that is why your continued assertions are plain silly and wrong. No manufacturers are going to take a chance on these type of titles today, because pure business acumen and sales logic wouldn’t allow them to do so. Just look at the poor sales of a fun playing game like Oktoberfest if you have a difficult time understanding this point. Sales have been very poor to say the least.

Stubborn newbs, amirite?!

Again you’re conflating two different issues & misusing shallow. You throw around this buzzword and you have no idea what it means.

-No one is arguing that non-licensed themes don’t sell.
-No B/W 90s game is shallow.

That being said, Octoberfest didn’t sell because it’s a stupid niche theme & is the ugliest game ever made.

MB/AFM/MM can still sell today because:
-Excellent original themes anyone can understand: Destroy the castle, kill the aliens, bash the monsters.
-Excellent design, gameplay and rules.
-Excellent art, sound and characters.

Nostalgia is irrelevant to these games. Nostalgia is what’s selling awesome themes on horrible games like GB & SW.

#2932 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Never said people don’t want them. Pinheads do still enjoy and want them. That is the reason CGC is in business, but even they are going to go with a rumored licensed theme soon.

Pinheads HAD them already. CGC remade them because of all the new buyers who wanted them couldn’t get them. These aren’t just games for pinball nostalgists. They’re for buyers who recognize what amazing games they are, which are endlessly fun, which = longevity in a home collection.

Also, CGC was in business for decades before they decided to get into pinball.

#2957 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Excellent art, design does not sell a game to anyone but pinheads that remember them from their youth. See the results of Cosmic Carnival, it has excellent art. Re-read my posts for you to understand. Your still “conflating”. Do you sell these games or have stock in them? Lol

I’m not discussing this with you any further if you choose ignorance and insults. I would have been happy to share my pinball story with you, but instead you'd rather make stuff up. No I don’t sell games. Not sure what “stock” is. Have fun in pinball. May our paths never cross.

#2972 2 years ago
Quoted from billsfanmd:

How in the h&$)#! Did this pass beta testing in the field?

That’s the problem. Stern doesn’t test in the field anymore. Build, ship unfinished & untested...NIB maniacs who can’t wait get to pay to be the beta testers.

#2993 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Don’t you think the modern day games should all be ranked much higher? They are simply higher tech and design in every way than the old machines of long ago.

Games shouldn’t rank higher just by the very notion of being modern. If a game is good, a game is good. If a game sucks, it sucks. Doesn’t matter when it was made. Today’s games aren’t always of higher quality or design, despite being new. Pinball is inherently retro. Tech doesn’t design a game. People do. The only thing really “higher tech”’ on new games is the score display & multi colored lights. Other than that, it’s still wood, plastic, metal, and a ball.

I was always the guy who was trying to tell “the old guys” how fun many Sterns were when collectors only wanted B/W 90’s games...I love tons of Sterns up through Metallica. I own 7 of them. After that, I think they took a slide for the worse for the most part. Nothing since Metallica has been as good, despite the tech upgrade of SPIKE....tech is irrelevant...I don’t play tech, it’s the game experience that counts.

My favorite modern game is TNA, for what it’s worth.

#3013 2 years ago
Quoted from jorant:

Dialed in is awesome and a fresh take. Many of my favorite pins have "no theme." I feel the curmudgeons in the hobby are too scared of it because it is a new theme. I honestly don't get why people don like that machine.

All games have a theme, even if it’s non-licensed. A license usually helps players understand what a game is about instantly. An unlicensed game needs to do the same thing:

Fish Tales: It’s about catching fish
No Good Gofers: It’s golf...and annoying gophers.
AFM: It’s about stopping the aliens.
MM: It’s about mad kings & trolls & destroying castles.

Dialed In: It’s about...a basic 90’s guy in mom jeans with a magic cell phone? And drones? And a hologram theater? And disasters?

It’s an instant WTF...it doesn’t draw over potential players with the promise of an exciting and understandable premise. It’s a fine & fun game...but it’s failure to catch on is 100% its theme.

#3016 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Dialed In is better off with all of it wackiness, it's what makes the game so much fun!
Dialed In: It's about stopping disasters.

I agree - but people don’t know that when walking up to it. It has to be explained. The title: Dialed In, doesn’t imply disasters. No one has to explain Earthshaker or Whirlwind.

#3032 2 years ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

I can't imagine they let the projector left on during attract mode; but on location it'd be a must.
Propably will be an Option.

Why would you assume that? Of course it’ll be on. It’ll never be off. The whole point of it is that it’s an attractive feature and a major part of the game. Can you imagine if RFM had an option to turn the monitor off?!

#3038 2 years ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Because pinside decided the projector will break after 5 minutes of usage.

LOL, oh Pinside...

The projector is basically just another LED. It’ll be fine.

#3045 2 years ago
Quoted from cooked71:

Wonder why the launch of this was so rushed? Really early 0.64 code, no Prele, odd timing just before Xmas.

Stern has released almost every game massively unfinished. I mean, we could go back to Wheel of Fortune...but it’s still happening recently. Batman ‘66. Ghostbusters. GOTG. They do it because they can. NIB maniacs will still buy the games no matter what. What incentive to they have to release a finished product?

#3069 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

They are pros and are dedicated to greatness. They’ll finish the product like they always do.

Pros don’t sell unfinished untested toys for $6-9k. Marketing people who have no respect for their customers do.

Only buy when complete. Anyone buying this game right now is a fool.

#3070 2 years ago
Quoted from cooked71:

But this game was clearly designed around the projector - why launch with the weakest version of the game?




People will buy. What’s the incentive to change?

#3104 2 years ago
Quoted from dashv:

I went in on a ST Premium.
I’m in no rush to get it.
Still not really sure where I’m gonna put it. I need to make room.

If in no rush, why order it now? It’s a Premium. You could get it whenever over the next 3 years while Stern has the license.

#3144 2 years ago
Quoted from musketd:

How can anybody judge this game on .64 code? Is the true question; it’s unfair to the design team that puts all their hard efforts into the game.

Because it’s being sold for $6k-$9k. It’s open to judgement as an allegedly complete consumer product available for sale.

#3158 2 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

So I guess he will be working for Stern again soon.

Yeah, nah...Stern isn’t going to rehire a pedophile.

#3162 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Sorry but I look at this game and have to ask, does it really take a professional pinball designer with decades of experience in this field to design a game like this?

You have to realize this game was designed as a Prem/LE first. That’s the real game. We should really only judge his creativity and design based on that version.

Pro is just a Stranger Things poster for people to put quarters in at a bar.

#3283 2 years ago
Quoted from zimvsdib:

I just looked at this machine and its probably the worst photoshop bashed art I've ever seen on a game.

Have you seen 24? Elvis? Almost every Stern before Metallica? STh is at least painted over...looks like an 80’s poster...decently appealing for the theme. During Stern’s truly “Photoshop era”, they were just flat out dropping photos on the playfield.

Quoted from jonesjb:

Is it hand drawn illustration like Christopher Franchi creates? Or is it Wacom pen PhotoShop paintover effect like this:

You don’t think Franchi is using a Wacom & Photoshop & painting over? Okaaaaaay.

#3290 2 years ago
Quoted from dri:

Don't forget how weird these games will look after Season 4+, new actors, grown up actors, new threats and we're not even in Hawkins anymore. The upside down will most likely be around still.

It doesn’t matter. A pinball machine isn’t a DVD box set, it’s a game. If it’s based on a TV show, it just needs enough iconic characters & scenarios to create a solid game out of. Simpsons, Sopranos, 24, CSI, Family Guy, Game of Thrones, Walking Dead ....none of them contain the entire narrative of the series, and that’s OK. 2 seasons of Stranger Things has more content to make a game out of than the LOTR trilogy. Most people play a game of pinball for 3-5 minutes. 2 seasons worth of characters and events are enough for a pinball game’s path of objectives and narrative.

#3298 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Yeah. There's a good number of pins based on TV shows that are missing around half of the content from the show as the game is released while the show is halfway through its run. TWD, GOT, and now Stranger Things all feel incomplete as the code ends up telling the themes beginning, a middle, and...that's it. It's bummer from an objective ruleset perspective as there's no real end of the theme to reach, and certain events like you said end up missing from modes. I'm sure this is done on purpose to rack up sales while the shows popularity is still high.

You fundamentally don’t understand pinball game design and what matters. No one is expecting 40 hours of programming & storytelling distilled into a 5 minute pinball game.

#3304 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

LOTR would have been better if it covered just the first 2 films and that's it right?

1.) LOTR doesn’t have every story beat, character or piece of content from the movies.

2.) I’ve had the game for over 10 years and never seen Valinor. Most people won’t even get to Destroy The Ring. I love LOTR, it’s the best deep game ever, but depth for the sake of depth or as a marker of good game design is way overblown.

#3307 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

How would LOTR pinball been if it covered just the first film and skipped the last two? It wouldn't be remembered nearly as well, and wouldn't be anywhere near as popular as it is over 10 years later. Destroy the Ring, a mode most players can get to on a great game, wouldn't even be in the game.

Cool, you missed my point entirely, bro...just like you thought “mom jeans” on DI was a reference to the construction lady, and not the dude on the playfield wearing mom jeans lol

No TV show pinball has included the entire series story arc. They don’t need to. They’re games. Not DVDs. It’s not relevant to whether the game & rules & integration are designed well.

#3313 2 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Makes sense. Without a large portion of the story covered, people can’t help but wonder ‘what if’ or missed opportunity. It’d be great for GOT to have final seasons added into the code. Would be possible, no?

Why would GOT need that much content in a pinball game? While I’m not a fan of the GOT game, what I do think was brilliant is how they decided to tackle the theme. Pick a house, take the throne as that house by defeating the others. Perfect way to distill a huge complex series into a core concept that works well for a pinball machine. Same with Walking Dead, which didn’t even have any show assets...but thankfully, “kill zombies” is really all a game like that needs to work in terms of narrative. 2 seasons of STh is enough content for a game. Kids doing kid stuff, flipping into the Upside Down, killing monsters. Boom...it’s a game.

#3314 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Cool, you missed my point entirely as well. Yes, there are TV show pins that have covered an entire series story arc. Batman 66 and STTNG.

STTNG doesn’t cover the entire series or even present itself as a storytelling game. The modes are relatively generic. Asteroids, Time Rift, Board the Shuttle, Q...they don’t even use clips from the show...it’s all custom....but, it works. Perfect example of how an entire show’s narrative doesn’t have to be part of a pinball to make a great game of a license. STTNG is a perfect blueprint for a licensed TV show game.

#3337 2 years ago
Quoted from T3quila:

The million dollar question for manufacturers is, would you and others pay enough to make that happen and profitable for them.
I agree with what people said countering my points above actually, I don't think the market is there. But it's a nice thought experiment.

These are already $6-$15k machines. They’re not $60 video games. Pinball code should never be seen as DLC, ever. These games should be tested and complete experiences at launch...Stern got into the habit of releasing incomplete games when updates didn’t need a ROM chip burned anymore...and unfortunately they’ve continued this & people keep buying, so they have no incentive to release finished games. Still - each game has proven it needs 2 to 3 more years to be finished. That’s not DLC or added content. That’s all shit that should have been there since day 1 for such an expensive product.

#3365 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

The DLC argument always makes me laugh a little. DLC has proven to increase future sales. The more excited a person is about a current product the more likely they are to buy another product. The best thing Stern could do is drop new code or features on the last pin just before they announce the next pin.

Code updates to get games where they should have been in the first place is one thing. Paid DLC is another.

#3380 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Paid DLC, Season Pass, Subscription model, call it whatever you like it works

...for $60 video games with infinite open worlds & millions of players.

These are finite boxes...expensive board games that sell a few thousand on a good year.

Different items, different markets.

Again, Stern struggles to just finish the base game over a 2 or 3 year span. On a $6000-$15k game. Paid DLC?! You f*cking kidding me?! Let’s see if they can go for 2 years releasing tested & finished games at launch...then maybe we can toss around paid code updates as an idea. Under the current biz model? No f*cking way.

#3382 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

DLC is a proven model and it works.

For video games. That millions of people buy for home use.

Pinball machines aren’t video games. They’re ultra expensive coin-op devices meant for 5 minute plays.

Quoted from Darscot:

I didn’t say Stern is going to do it but they should.

No, they shouldn’t. They should finish these fucking games before releasing them is what they should do.

#3419 2 years ago
Quoted from pinmister:

I am digging the Premium art the best and wondering what powder color would look good? Candy Red, Iced Candy Blue or maybe chrome?[quoted image][quoted image]

Black with some white flakes in it - Upside Down trim!

#3431 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

I know I shouldn’t bother because your like talking to the wall.


Quoted from Darscot:

You know like in Stranger Things time period when video games were coin-op devices meant for 5 minute plays. Shit evolved and now people sit at home and play them for hundreds of hours, how many hours did you play switch this year?

Pinball hasn’t really evolved. It’s inherently retro, and that’s what people like about it. People have been collecting games in their home for decades, and play the same pinball machine for hundreds of hours. That’s the awesomeness of pinball. A great game is forever. If a game is great, it will always be played and enjoyed. It’s 2019 and new MM, AFM, and MB are being made. With the same code.

Quoted from Darscot:

It’s not just video games, it’s a proven business model. It’s why they drop constant software updates in so many products from Cars, Cell Phones, Televisions. If consumers feel supported they stick with you.

I think we’re just talking about two different things. You keep saying “DLC”, which implies PAID. I’ve never paid for a TV or phone update. Those are improvement updates, which is what Stern does now. It is support, and yes it causes customers to stick with them. Agreed. Updates are good. Paid DLC is not something that pinball needs. Look at P3 if you need an example of someone trying to make the pinball universe bend to other products universes. P3 thought pinball needed to be a “platform” with “apps.” In 7 years they’ve sold like 7 units. Pinball is massively different than other electronic consumer products.

Quoted from Darscot:

If the only thing your going to respond with is negativity just save the key strokes.


#3437 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Some things never change and I just can't be bothered with this anymore. Time to clean up this site a little

You leavin’? Maybe you’ll come back when paid Pinball DLC becomes a thing. So....never! Byeeeeee!

#3445 2 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

I hate that you have to do very basic tuning like this on NIB. Shouldn't basic play testing verify that the primary shot can be made?

You would think. People keep ignoring the fact that Stern no longer tests & tweaks before releasing these untested and incomplete machines...then act surprised when this stuff happens. I swear, we’re in an era of Pinball Stockholm Syndrome. Buy buy buy! Don’t critique! Don’t demand quality and excellence from your multi thousand dollar luxury purchase!!!

#3454 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Paid upgrades can be really great. Some people just think it’s always a scam, that companies intentionally hold stuff back and force people to pay for it later. In my experience that is not how it works. It’s always about time and budget or something you just didn’t see during development. I would happily pay for a mini wizard mode half way through the jukebox on my AC/DC. I understand that it seems obvious and people will complain and say it should have been there from the start. You just have to ignore that very vocal minority and focus on the positives. The pinball market is obviously very willing to spend on cosmetic upgrades, they would be pay for value added content.

Why do you like being taken advantage of? You’re practically begging for Stern to F you.

It’s not a vocal minority. No one wants to pay for pinball code updates when the game already cost $6k-$15k. At that price, you’ve paid for all future support. Jesus, they can barely finish games within 2-3 years of release. There’s no market logic in pinball that makes any sense to introduce paid upgrades. They don’t have the resources. The user base isn’t there to justify it. The licenses will be expired by the time they could get around to it. Etc etc etc. It’s the worst idea of all time ever. Stop begging for it, FFS. Find a game that’s good and play it.

#3457 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Just to be completely open I work for EA and was the lead software engineer on the most successful DLC in history. I know the amount of internet hate we get. I also know how popular and loved the feature is. Clearly I’m just insane and have nothing to offer on the topic.

EA makes video games!!

These are pinball machines!!!!

You of all people should realize the massive and multiple differences in the product, market, and companies.

Maybe it’s because you’re an engineer and not a creative that you can’t comprehend the differences? You know who else is an engineer who was convinced he was right that pinball needed to be a platform with paid apps? Gerry from P3. I see the similarity with you two.

#3465 2 years ago
Quoted from Darscot:

Ah anti-intellectualism alive and well.

Projection alive and well.

You have not given an intelligent case for paid pinball DLC. “cuz vidjo gaimes dood it, and I makes vidjo gaimes so mes smarts and youz stoopids” doesn’t make your case.

But yeah, we’re the idiots representing the anti-intellectual movement. OK.

#3467 2 years ago
Quoted from pipes:

Does it suck knowing that your company will never make anything better than NHL '93 for the Sega Genesis?

SSX Tricky on PS2 was incredible. I think that’s the last EA game I bought. Maybe it’ll get some DLC so I can play it again?

#3479 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Pinball companies absolutely should offer paid "season expansions" for games that released before a show finished. TWD, GoT, R&M, STH all great candidates.
You don't think people would pay $500 for 6 more seasons of content/modes for their TWD? They hand out 7k for couch swatches FFS.

But Ben, look at how TWD was designed & coded already. The show’s narrative is irrelevant. It has zero assets from the show. What would “adding 6 more seasons” even mean in terms of rules & presentation? Most people consider TWD one of Lyman’s greats - a great game is always a great game. Once again, it’s a game, not a DVD box set. If you want to play a pinball game based on a theme you like, play the game. If you want to watch the show, fire up Netflix.

#3509 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

And frankly you've made no argument except "it shouldn't happen" and insisting Pinball is different, but no reason why it would be different.

Yes I have. I’ve repeated myself enough times. If you chose to ignore the very real & logical reasons why it will never happen, that’s on you and your selective reading.

#3548 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The reality is this is the real reason most don’t want a micro-transaction or DLC model in the hobby... no one wants the free ride to end.

This is the most batshit sentence I’ve ever seen from someone in this hobby. Free ride?!?!?

THESE. GAMES. COST. $6000-$15,000.

These are the most expensive games on the planet. There’s no “free ride”.


Ya know what, F it. Happy new year. I hope all of you that are content with buying unfinished untested games with cratering playfields get your paid DLC. I can’t wait to see you paying even more just for a $10k game to be a finished game. Enjoy.

#3612 2 years ago
Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

New Sterns dimple wayyyyy more violently - more and deeper craters - than new CGC games AND older Stern games.
My brother’s new GoTG already has the gash dimples recent Stern’s are know for, and lots of dimples in general. Far worse then my new MMr. And my XMEN LE playfield, which I have no idea how many total plays are on it, looks practically new. It has dimpling, but you have to down real close and look from an angle. Something is definitely different about Stern playfields in the Spike 2 era. In short, they suck.

Yup. Craters vs. dimples. All playfields dimple, but the well made older playfields you really has to specifically look at the right angle in the right light to see it. The best Stern PFs I ever saw were my WOF & BDK. They were like slick glass...zero dimples, even if you looked hard. These new mushy crater playfields have been happening since around X-Men. It’s inconsistent though. Sometimes they’re good, sometimes they’re bad. I had a STLE with a very nice playfield, no craters...a friend a few towns over got one that looked like it had herpes after 80 plays.

#3621 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Why does this nonsense refuse to die?

Because older playfields didn’t crater & turn into lumps. New ones do & cost $6k-$15k.

#3623 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

The playfields haven't changed. You have.
Try to remember when pinball was fun.

They have. You’re being disingenuous and spreading disinformation.

Pinball is fun. One can have fun playing pinball and critique the sub-par quality new machines. Walk & chew gum.

#3642 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

These tiny little pin pricks are what you guys are getting all worked up about? Looks fine to me.

Speaking of pricks...

Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Dimpling isn't real. You guys are all insane, and ruining pinball.

No, narcissists like you who think YOUR way to “hobby” is the only way are what ruins pinball. Have some fucking respect for the people who buy machines. They’re part of what keeps these companies alive so you can run around putting quarters in games. Pinball doesn’t exist on route alone. Everyone here plays a part in making pinball still exist. So - if someone is spending money on a machine, whether it’s an operator or homeowner, quality is expected. Stop insulting and gaslighting people for having expectations and principals.

#3690 2 years ago
Quoted from pinmister:

I started to notice the deep 'craters' in my Star Trek LE and thought it was a defective playfield. Since then we have had numerous discussions about dimpling or cratering and what I believe is happening is not necessarily Stern's, JJP's, or Spooky's fault. I believe the reason we are seeing a drastic difference between playfield quality between the decades has to do with the quality of the wood and changes in the chemicals used for clear-coat. Old growth forest v.s. new growth(night and day difference) forest make it difficult to source high quality specimens. EPA regulations have outlawed many chemicals that were used in the 90's for clear-coating, leaving companies to try and find alternatives(not the same). I believe the older playfields that are holding up well typically used a harder more dense plywood layer than what they are using today. Today's wood and clear coat do not feel as dense and thus the dimples become craters. People will argue that it is normal and over time they will even out. Ok that is true but what is going on is the dimples have become deeper and in turn it takes a lot longer and a lot more plays to see that playfield even out. It is difficult for a home owner to put 10,000 games on a machine to level out the craters-so in the meantime craters are here to stay and will continue to be an eye sore. My .02

Cratering like this will never even out. Even after tens of thousands of plays.

#3693 2 years ago
Quoted from pinmister:

Where the hell is vid1900- we have another dimplegate on our hands

We don’t need gaslighters to tell us not to believe what we see with our own eyes.

#3700 2 years ago
Quoted from pinmister:

What is your solution?

Don’t buy new games. They’re too expensive to look like this. None of my 2005-2013 Sterns look like this. My Hobbit & TNA (bought used) didn’t look like this. The knowledge to make non-cratering playfields exists. Stern doesn’t want to take the steps to do it, so I won’t buy their games.

Quoted from pinmister:

I guess I have grown to accept craters in playfields and still enjoy supporting and buying NIB machines. I put my magnifying glass back in the drawer where it belongs.

You’ve got Pinball Stockholm's. You’re Stern’s abused captive & love them. These aren’t magnifying glass issues. I could take a magnifying glass to my games and find flaws. My great looking playfields have dimples if you magnify - this isn’t that. Cratering is NOT dimpling. It’s something else. These are obvious defects you don’t have to try hard to find. You have 37 games. You have plenty of pinball to play and enjoy without rewarding poor quality with multi-thousand dollar purchases.

#3706 2 years ago
Quoted from JodyG:

Everyone is still going to line up and go apeshit when TMNT comes out, and they are still going to sell 600 LE's sight unseen.

Please keep me honest when TMNT comes out. That’s probably the last nostalgic theme someone could make to make me go nuts...and the rumors I’m hearing so far sound fantastic. I cannot lose track of reality and buy it at launch.

#3708 2 years ago
Quoted from KnockerPTSD:

Not trying to start a clearcoat thread but the thing that changed are the environmental laws. Companies cant use those good old fashioned harsh chemicals they used to.

Why don’t JJP or Spooky playfields crater? They’ve had chipping & pooling issues, which would be more a problem regarding chemical compositions. I think wood softness is the more likely culprit for the deep pits.

#3714 2 years ago
Quoted from jellikit:

I am not an apologist, but a realist. Without a doubt not all playfields wear, dimple, or 'show' the same. At the same time I have seen it from all manufacturers over a long period of time.[quoted image][quoted image]

You’ll see dimples on any game at the right angle and light. Craters are deep and visible always. There’s something different about them compared to the norm.

That being said, I just ran bright light over my STTNG & looked at every angle. Not one dimple at all...and that’s a game with 2 cannons and a flying lockout.

#3718 2 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

It is strange how different these playfields are.
My Maiden pro did not and still does not have a single dimple.
Very thick clear coat and a tiny bit of pooling on a couple of posts.
But strange to have no dimples at all.

It’s a crapshoot!!!

Unfortunately with Stern, it always has been, even in the pre-crater days. Odds are you’d get a playfield with planking, colors were wrong, or the color alignment would be off. I’ve seen soooooo many variations of LOTR playfields. One had a full green Gollum on it!!! Some are rich looking. Some are washed out. Mine has nice colors, but the red alignments seems slightly off, so Frodo looks high lol.

#3724 2 years ago
Quoted from KnockerPTSD:

I'm a pro guy but I'm curious to see how the art packages will effect peoples choices between models. Do I want Turtles on my game or the Shredder version? Bebop and Rocksteady edition? Krang? Who knows?
(Actually a purple trimmed foot edition would be pretty awesome)

It’s Yeti, so every version will look great. Playfield will be the same on Prem/LE, so I don’t care if I miss an LE & get a Prem down the road.

#3726 2 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

I have had other QC issues with my Maiden but there really are no dimples and never have been.[quoted image]

That’s awesome. That shows it can be done, and craters shouldn’t be normalized as inevitable. Wonder if Stern is sourcing playfields from different places? Or could it be cure time? Was your Maiden from launch or did you buy later?

#3729 2 years ago
Quoted from pinmister:

I am generally curious how many layers your playfield is? Same with your STTNG Greg? As long as we are having this discussion again, let's try and figure out the discrepancies. Is it a 5-7 layer with a dark dense wood on the top, or is it a 9-11 with a lighter colored layer in the plywood? Just curious

Here’s mine...does that count as 7?

#3732 2 years ago
Quoted from jellikit:

I remember with TSPP looking at the red on Lard Lad Donuts to see how everything lined up with the screening.

I got a good one. Later run TSPP playfield. No splotch on Homer’s head like most of them. Zero dimples.

#3803 2 years ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

7. Is there a better pinball song than 80s TMNT?
I’m in on this one, cause it seems they’ve fixed issues on the PF and such. Welcome to 2020!

Not just the theme song, but the 80s cartoon had an amazing library of stock music they used within the show. I hope the games music is heavily based on it.

What makes you think they’ve fixed the pf issues? Have you seen the crater STh playfield pix? Then again, I just played a JP that looked fine...it’s a crapshoot, and that still worries me.

#3806 2 years ago
Quoted from kpg:

I'm all in on a TMNT pin especially if Borg is doing the playfield. None of his designs have ever let me down.
But here's the thing, if playfield dimples will let you down, then I'd just make up your mind now that you won't be totally happy in that regard. It's going to dimple, some more than others, likely dude to the variance in wood they use. You likely play the "dimple lotto" because you may get one that dimples more then another.
Thankfully I am not irritated by that at all and I don't really care because I actually never see them unless I really try to look for them. Playing the game I never see them. No one else who's played my machines see them.
Now when I had ghosted inserts in my GB and clear coat pieces chipping off? Yeah, that sucked and pisses me off.
I'd say this, if you truly want a specific game or theme - just buy it to have fun and just don't get close enough to see the dimples. Just buy it and have a blast

Dimples and craters are different. Dimples don’t bother me at all. Craters make a game look like it’s diseased. I’d be more than happy with a “normal dimple” playfield.

#4329 2 years ago
Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

When I went in and talked to my distributor about my playfields I got a speech about how well Stern is doing and they cant keep up with demand and pooling is normal... I walked away feeling great that Stern doesnt need me as a customer anymore.

When I talked to a Stern employee about STLE’s LE features (asteroid flashers) not being coded 8 months after release, he basically said “Who cares?! 99% of our buyers don’t even notice those things...we’ve got your money already!!!!”

Not sure why they add an extra features to LEs then if they think their customers don’t even care if the features work or not.

Anyway - that was the last new Stern I bought.

#4331 2 years ago
Quoted from jandrea95:

OK, this is what he basically said, now will you tell us what he actually said? haha.

I mean...I could go dig up the text from 5 years ago...lol

#4432 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

or the fact that the same toaster they've been happily selling for decades suddenly isn't "innovative" enough - try to adapt to this new broadened marketplace while also taking advantage of it.

But but but but why don’t toasters have WiFi so we can make toast with other people at the same time!!!!!! Imagine making toast with your friends!!! Cuz breakfast should be a Fortnite!!!!

#4448 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

You dimpling people are seriously losing your minds. I just don't get it.
Every single pinball machine ever made "dimples" and "craters" and then "waves." it's normal wear and tear. Why can't you get this through your stubbornly thick noggins?
Here's two random shots of two random games in my shop that I just pulled off my phone and cropped. Every close up pic of any pinball machine that has been played will look exactly like this. Both of these games present and play beautifully and look gorgeous with the human eye connected to a sane brain.
STOP IT! You guys are ruining pinball.
[quoted image][quoted image]

Stop gaslighting! You’re ruining Earth!

Those are pictures of normal playfields. Modern craters are different than dimples.

#4454 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Please show me a pic of a 1 month old playfield no good gofers so we can compare.

My NGG had less than 200 plays on it when I bought it. That's an equivalent. Zero craters.

My STTNG was NIB. As I've played it for the past decade, it still looks perfect. Not one crater or dimple for that matter...and that's with cannons shooting balls all over the place.

Quoted from CrazyLevi:

You are ruining pinball with this nonsense by corrupting the minds of untold numbers of clueless, impressionable newbies who are obsessed with a complete non issue.
Stop it!

You stop it. You're ruining people by lying to people, gaslighting, and encouraging them to drop critical thinking skills...to not believe what they see with their own eyes. By dismissing the experiences of people who know the difference between the quality of old & new games. We get it, your way of hobbying is routes and tournaments. You have no stake in the quality of the product...you don't buy games...stop insulting people for having standards for their expensive purchases.

#4457 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Pics please? Not gonna take your crater-obsessed word for it.
You can even take a pic by gaslight to show us how awesome it looked with 200 plays on it.

Gaslighting lying troll. Having no interest in liars or tournaments, this is the last time we shall speak. *CLICK*

#4462 2 years ago
Quoted from manadams:

I find it very hard to believe you never had one dimple on your STTNG.

ZERO. Maybe it cured more being in storage for 15 years?

#4466 2 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Why is it so hard for people to believe that dimpling is normal?

Why is it so hard for people to understand that dimpling is normal, but giant craters aren't? They're two different phenomenon, with two different distinct physical outcomes.

1 week later
#5031 2 years ago
Quoted from bgwilly31:

Im in on a LE. But the code definitely needs to give the player a direction. Moments, callouts, etc.

Yet, you already bought it. What inventive do they have to do better?

Cancel your order. Buy it when it’s an acceptable product for the price.

#5079 2 years ago
Quoted from Trindawg:

Yeah I bought it from game room guys in Michigan.

Do they have lemon laws in Michigan? If so, get a refund.

Sorry you had to learn this way, but Stern doesn’t test their games like they used to - so, first buyers are guinea pigs. Quality’s always been a crapshoot with Stern. My Metallica LE was perfect...but friend of mine got one with a part missing from the coffin lock, and balls just fell into the cabinet. Another friend got one that was unacceptable and practically falling apart in multiple areas. The hobbyists who came up buying used games & fixing/restoring themselves usually don’t mind getting under the hood and getting things dialed in...but for someone new to the hobby, this must be extremely frustrating. A new item as expensive as a pinball machine should be 100% out of the box or damn close to it.

#5428 1 year ago
Quoted from kpg:

Just sent the check off to pay for my LE - I know I'm gambling with this one, Lonnie on code for one (I promised myself I'd never buy another Lonnie game) the fact the projector will probably not blow me away, and the demogorgan being really the only cool toy on the entire playfield (and that's questionable too)
I was going to list the good things here, but I can't think of any except it's a stranger things theme
Well ! I'm crossing my fingers on this hahah ! I'm sure it will be fun, but Stern got me on the theme alone on this one. Well played Gary, well played.
One thing is for sure. I'll give my honest opinion on everything, good or bad, because I don't care if it hurts the value of a machine I own. I'm going to just call it as I see it, good and bad. And ill report everything here of course !

This post really encapsulates the absolutely bizarre state of this hobby & its customers. A person who knows he’s probably going to be disappointed, yet makes a $9k purchase with relative dispassion.

#5445 1 year ago
Quoted from kpg:

Cheap fun and dumbasses like me help keep Stern in business and the hobby climbing - so embrace don't hate brotha !!!

That word “hate” is thrown around so much these days merely for having principals and rational critique. The “hobby” has ZERO to do with keeping Stern in business. Pinball machines exist without them. Great ones. It’s not my duty to keep them in business for making sub-par product. It’s their job to woo us. It’s not a charity.

#5489 1 year ago
Quoted from usandthem:

Every now and again, Stern seems to suddenly forget how to do the most basic things. In this game, it's a pop-up post. With Avengers, I believe, they forgot how to make a plunger hit the ball squarely. The resulting off-center hit didn't have enough gusto to get the ball out of the shooter lane.

They also forgot how to design sling switch holes. They’re smaller on Avengers than usual, so the switch bends against the wood behind it, resulting in a game with poor switch sensitivity & crappy sling play after a few plays.

#5568 1 year ago
Quoted from Diospinball:

So, I have a question for everyone in this thread. Maybe a few questions and observations. I'm a big fan o Brian Eddy's. I mean two of his games are two of my all time favorites and I really do want to play and own a shadow one day.
There seems to be a lot of dislike(hate is too strong) for this game. Is it the theme? As I thought Stranger Things was really popular and people are always clamoring about a new relevant theme(even if Stranger Things is based on nostalgia). This theme isn't for me as I've never seen the show and no desire really to watch it. But, again a lot of people really seem to love it.
Is it the art package? The use of video clips in the game?
I personally think the layout is good. Maybe not great.
Could it be the pro is awful and that this game should only have a prem and LE?
Because, the projector is really cool. And when I watched the footage of it I was impressed by a lot of what I saw. The ramps being lit. The drops changing the movie screen of course acting as dmd backbox basically. That is just amazing and keeps the players eyes on the playfield.
So I really think that the projector is one of the coolest innovations in pinball in a long time. And perhaps other games can expand on it.
But, then you have the pro and no projection. And as a result the coolest feature is missing. And so that movie screen really just seems even more lame and out of place. And also no mag lock for the pro. That lock feature is a nifty and cool ball lock. I get that pros need to be scaled down. But, I think stranger things without the projector isn't scaled down, but a shell of the game that it was meant to be. I think a good pro should retain the core features and spirit of the original game. And I don't think Stranger Things pro does... I could be wrong. But, I think if you compare it to Deadpool or Black Knight(which is missing the upper playfield) you'll find those games still have the same feel and spirit. Not so with this. Pro just feels barren.
Then lastly about barren.
When I was watching the deadflip stream. I couldn't help but think that the prem lacked pop. The music is a bit dull, the callouts are non-existent and when they are there they are DULL! The clips are good and I like the asset use. But, because of the projector you know have the big LCD that is just scrolling the stranger things logo most of the time. And that is boring.
To me(and maybe just me) pinball should be frenatic and I like gonzo animations and callouts and sounds. I want to be bombarded as the ball caroms around and smashes into stuff. It just to me feels rewarding. Don't really get that yet.
Now, I know the code is early. And I also haven't played either of these games yet. These are just my thoughts and questions.
But, I was just curious, because a lot of people are dumping on this game. And I see a lot of really amazing potential for it. And I know if never realized potential is useless. Just curious your thoughts on this.
And this isn't Stern bashing. I own 2 sterns and I'll buy a lot more in the future. Just curious why people think this is a bit of a lame duck, when I think it could turn into a beautiful swan.

You answered your own question.

Theme is hot. It’s not the theme.

It’s a game with a giant wall with a sticker on it it, revealing a mutant artichoke that doesn’t do anything. From the guy that made the amazing MM castle & lots of other mechanically amazing games. Plus unfinished code.

#5574 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Th pro has a long future ahead of it though. With additional rules, modes, callouts and polishing it is currently undergoing, the basic game with a ramp and Demo might be more widely accepted and even embraced one day.

Even though it was looked at as “the cheap era”, 2010/11 saw Stern release “basic” and “bare” games that still had some very satisfying features to interact with the player. Iron Man, which was ripped on by the hobbyists at the time, had a satisfying bash toy that attacked you with a magnet, a satisfying kickback, another random magnet shot, and exciting sound/rules/music. Avatar’s AMP suit was an extremely satisfying “shoot to kill” shot. Tron took an old toy, a spinning disc, and made it exciting in the way it whipped the ball back at you. Even Rolling Stones much hated “Mick on a Stick” is a really fun motion target that keeps the player on their toes, and it’s smartly programmed to move out of the way of combos. BBH has a moving deer to “shoot”.

All were simple games, but with satisfying interactivity. I don’t think the sticker wall & artichoke offer that satisfaction that these other simple games did. I think Munsters suffered from the same thing. Simple, but nothing to shoot that makes you feel good. Simple doesn’t have to equal boring.

#5621 1 year ago
Quoted from Diospinball:

Yeah, but I've had projectors fry for all kinds of reasons. And these are mounted in a ceiling. Imagine them getting shake rattled and rolled all the time. Turned off and on, off and on. Day after day.
Do you want a friend to do a death save on your Prem or LE stranger things?
No friend of mine would do such a thing. But, still pinball is a violent game. Machines get shook!'
And also I want to know the heat consumption of these things. And also the venting. Because most projectors generate a LOT OF HEAT! Trust me. And also you need to frequently change their filters. Again. I don't know these models. Just asking questions and I would be interested in knowing more about them. This fascinates me.

You gotta stop thinking about it like a home theater projector. It’s basically just another LED in a game filled with LEDs.

#5653 1 year ago
Quoted from kpg:

True story and you guys are going to laugh
But after all these posts I can't un-see the demogorgan anymore. It truly does look fucking stupid. I can't stay on board with it lol. Unbelievable because I love this theme too.
There's another LE available from Trent now... Have at it.
Switched it to Jurassic Park LE. I'd rather have that bad ass dinosaur then this flared up vag. It just didn't age well with me.

OMFG, that is amazing.

Good decision though, JP is awesome.

1 week later
#6085 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurium:

Everyone pretends they know how to run a pinball company... Your assuming they didn't test these games?

If they tested them, we would know about them before announcement. They used to put out protos of new games at random arcade locations so they could see what works & what doesn’t, then revise and improve before release. They don’t do that anymore.

#6257 1 year ago

Stern: Here’s an unfinished untested game with basic bitch code, a ball lock that breaks after one game, and a playfield made of cheese!

Customers: Oh, sweet, take these thousands of dollars, kind sirs!

Stern: Oh, by the way, we also left out this lighting feature so you can buy it later!


#6397 1 year ago
Quoted from kpg:

Probably the same chode who came up with the idea to write a letter to Stern to possibly "WIN" the opportunity to buy a $15K Super LE version of Batman 66. Seriously. What was that.

That was the day I lost all respect for them as a company.

It was also the day they learned the NIBNEWB FOMO moron buyer base would spend $15k on a machine that has pre-proto code, worse quality and less features than the $3500 NIB games they were selling in 2007.

Buy buy buy. Trash.

I was the biggest 80’s TMNT fan on the planet. You’d think I’d be ready to fall for their shit & throw money at the TMNT game...wrong. I’m good.

#6576 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurium:

Honestly I think you guys are all out to lunch... I think Stern hid this on purpose thinking it would be a GOOD thing and everyone would be excited about it after the fact... It just seems like nowadays on here Stern, JJP, Spooky nobody can do anything right. You guys will find a way to bitch about something...
I have games from all era's and from each company, guess what they all have dimples if you look close enough. I've bought NIB games from all of them as well and i've had to tweak / fix games from each company aswell... Its all part of the hobby, stop bitchin about every little thing and play pinball...

Give me $9k. I’ve got some balls you can play with.

People will buy anything now, and is bad to critique!!! My dimpled balls, now for sale! Step on up, Pinsiders! I’ll put them in a box, I hear ya love boxes! $300 and I’ll shine a blacklight on them while you slap ‘em around!!! Something might glow under UV light!!! Woohoo! Everything is fun! Everything is good! Buy buy buy!

My balls are brought to you by Sack @ Flippin’ Out.

#6664 1 year ago
Quoted from corvair61:

Sounds like an emotionally abusive relationship... Lol

You knew what you were getting into, all the red flags were there. Your friends told you to run. You didn’t listen.

#6859 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballaddict78:

How many pages of this thread are rarehero telling us how terrible every stern is and how spectacular and amazing spooky is. Get over yourself.

Eh? TNA is the only Spooky I love, and because I love it & Scott Danesi’s style, I bought a R&M. I’ve praised Stern JP as being a great game.

I will not be hiring you to be my biographer.

#6987 1 year ago
Quoted from fooflighter:

None of us are getting out of here alive, why worry about things out of our control and waste time

Because I can buy/play much better games for less money that don’t crater. That is absolutely in our control. While I’m here, principles matter. I won’t spend $6k-$9k on a game that’s not built with quality standards.

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