(Topic ID: 107222)

Thoughts on The Hobbit art and theme

By Aurich

7 years ago


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  • 65 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by pinlosopher
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There are 153 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 4.
#51 7 years ago

Crap :/

Features of the Game:
- Super-White LED GI Lighting

#52 7 years ago
Quoted from fuko:

Crap :/
Features of the Game:
- Super-White LED GI Lighting

I hate to say it but that white has to go.

#53 7 years ago

I agree that the art on the Hobbit is drab and muddy, but the real reason I canceled is because of the shots. When I played the game in Chicago I knew this was one thing the code couldn't fix. No matter how well the code turns out it still won't fix the clunky feeling of the shots. Nothing ever felt really rewarding to hit. I love stringing together warp ramp shots on my STLE, but with the Hobbit it was just clunky target after clunky target.

I hope JJP is successful with this title but I could tell it wont be for me. I wanted this to be an epic game and that is what stings the most. I had a friend say "It's not the money, it's the realization I won't be getting a great game to play."

#54 7 years ago
Quoted from Lotr-Hobbit:

Hi. I am a simple person and simply a Pinside neophyte. Take my opinion for whatever little value it is worth, but here is my observation. For the purpose of full disclosure, I own LOTR with the latest code, and I am paid in full for THSE. LOTR is number 6 on the pinside 100 list. I played a LOTR yesterday, built in 2003, without any code updates. It was a real privilege and eye opener. Imagine if JJP had released that same LOTR at Chicago last week. What would the pinball faithful say....................?????
-nice game with decent cabinet art and a great theme, though some of the playfield print is kind of fuzzy (good so far)
-lots of ramp shots and a complex, deep code (still good)
-truly theme based, with great integration of game, play, and theme (actually, very nice)
- disappointing Paths of the Dead nudge field, which really should have been a mini play field with its own flipper like some of the subsequent Stern games (oh well, nothing in life is absolutely perfect)
-Balrog bash toy which lights up and roars when you hit it. It DOES NOT TALK OR EAT YOURBALL. but it is still cool because the Balrog was cool in the movie (really??? How about more animation? We expected more).
-Baradur tower kind of buzzes electronically, particularly at the end of the Destroy the Ring sequence. (Was this intended, or is it simply an electrical short?)
-Palantir with an exposed drill hole and poor back lighting. THIS MUST BE A PLACEHOLDER FOR SOMETHING ELSE.
-Poor code with disruptions of game flow and some stupid play situations like when the Balrog blocks the center ramp to the ring when the Start Mode light is on.(there is more wrong than just the code).
-if you angle the game a bit higher, play will be faster and better(that's the down side of producing a game with so many ramps and not enough (rapid return) drop targets.)
-fun game, but how many times do I need to hear Gimli to say "the path of the dead" before I vomit???
-with the depth of this story and all of the possibilities for this theme, could the brilliant pinball gurus not come up with something better??? I think I will cancel my order and buy RCT by Pat Lawler when it comes out instead (truly, no offence Pat).
SOUND FAMILIAR????????? Give JJP and TH a chance. They still have a superior, game changing product with superior clear coated cabinetry, superior lighting with with RGB LED's, superior wide body design, and a great theme. Oh, and an LCD screen with true video, not a little DMD. Wake up people, the DMD went out with the pager and the typewriter. Sent from my I-pad. Cheers!

You mention all these gimmicks that you think represent high-end, but they're actually easy to implement. That doesn't take talent. Whereas the things Aurich brings up cannot be done by throwing money at the problem, you would actually need a real pinball designer to do the job.

With LotR, George Gomez didn't leave in the middle of production, and it shows.

With TH, Balcer left in the middle of production, and it shows.

#55 7 years ago
Quoted from Lotr-Hobbit:

Imagine if JJP had released that same LOTR at Chicago last week. What would the pinball faithful say....................?????

I would say: LoTR wasn't (and isn't) worth $9k

#56 7 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

I would say: LoTR wasn't (and isn't) worth $9k

Quite frankly, no pinball machine is worth $9000.

-1
#57 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

And that's what makes great pinball.

No, it isn't. IJ4 has fantastic art and theme integration. Do you think IJ4 is great pinball?

You're obviously entitled to your own opinion, but rest assured that plenty of us will play the finished game before deciding whether we like it or not. It is a game after all. Not fine art.

#58 7 years ago

IJ4 looks like garbage. Cheap and crummy. Just like the game.

#59 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

IJ4 looks like garbage. Cheap and crummy. Just like the game.

Agree 100% on that! IJ4 is terrible as just art and horrendous when you throw the chopping wood rules over it.

-7
#60 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

IJ4 looks like garbage. Cheap and crummy. Just like the game.

Says the guys who thinks the PHOF logo is the bomb. lol

Quoted from Aurich:

All I know is I'd wear that on a shirt.

image-953.jpg
#61 7 years ago

I have contacted a spirit from the other side. I have seen the future of the Hobbit and here it is:

The wide open playfield with RGB lighting looks awesome and clean. This is a really classy looking pin. Bilbos house looks really cool and so do the two wireform VUKs. The pop up characters look really good now and have been incorporated into 6 different modes. I love the central captive ball and there is a mode that reminds me of the Twilight Zone. The wind lance toy is cool and fun as well. I love hitting the ramps one after another in multiball watching the balls cross. I also love the Elvish they laser cut into the ramps. Smaug looks pretty great now that they changed the rocks and I love the way he taunts you and says so many different things. The barrel bumpers are great. I added a Goblin King figure and some blades and this is a beautiful playfield. Oh and the video is absolutely freaking stunning, as is the music. Best video and music ever in a pinball. Did I mention 28 modes?

#62 7 years ago

Lots of good points here. I still think that The Hobbit is going to be a fun game.

As for Balcer leaving and it impacting the game I think everyone interested in the game should read Pinball Magazines interview with Joe Balcer below. During the interview Joe discusses The Hobbit playfield, how he wanted the game to have a wide open feel and put the shots along it's permitter. After reading the interview again it seems like his design is still intact.

http://www.pinball-magazine.com/?p=1449

From the interview

"I was looking for a wide-open feel, because of the movie. It’s based on the shire, so I initially wanted to put everything on the perimeter of the game layout and have more of a wide open feel to the shots and the game. Using different mechanisms within that area gives you targets to shoot at that are there one moment and gone the next. It gives it different levels without creating different levels, which I really like about this layout."

#63 7 years ago
Quoted from HunchbackHodler:

the lighting should be like this
51633.jpg 247 KB

Well that's a good example You like it... I don't (sorry not meant personally).

I get Aurichs thoughts/concerns, but for me - maybe I am just simple minded - this is just the "Hobbit" style. Somebody wrote 50 shades of brown - Yes! Even the blue sky on the playfield looks like another shade of brown I like it! And I like the Smaug SE Version much more than the other, because it fits with another 25 shades of brown perfect to the rest of the machine...

One of my favorite machines is Centaur... black and white (and red) and still some color is coming from the inserts. Not that it is comparable... What I mean each game can have its own style or "color language" - why not 75 shades of brown.

But still... at this time The Hobbit does not look like a "must have" for me. But I am willing to be pushed over the edge by the final version (IAAPA?) of the hardware and a more advanced version of the software.

#64 7 years ago

Everyone can wish for hand drawn art and stain glass window looking play fields but remember the machine's title is

The Hobbit: Motion Picture Trilogy.

So me thinks no licencor, which specifies having motion picture trilogy in the title, is going say no worries make it look like a stain glass window or in fact a cartoon!!

#65 7 years ago
Quoted from PinPatch:

Everyone can wish for hand drawn art and stain glass window looking play fields but remember the machine's title is
The Hobbit: Motion Picture Trilogy.
So me thinks no licencor, which specifies having motion picture trilogy in the title, is going say no worries make it look like a stain glass window or in fact a cartoon!!

Aurich already mentioned the limits of the licensing.

Anyways, this very thread depicts another Middle-Earth motion picture table. It has many of the elements Aurich mentioned. It's not just about cartoonish representations, he's also asking for a depicted narrative and a more pinball-like art direction.

#66 7 years ago

The Hobbit looks a lot different from TBL. I might be the only one here, but I find that kind of refreshing.

TBL looks like a 90' wms game on steroids. I love that fact about the game, but I also love to have different types of games in my collection and the hobbit will stand out, looking different from all other pins.

Yes, the playfield have a cold and dreary feel to it (without lights at least) but so does the movies.

Peter Jackson went with a much colder look for the Hobbit movies than lotr and I think jjp captured that same feel as the movies on this playfield.

Aurich makes some great points and he also have a very good artistic sense, in general but I do not agree with him 100% on his view here.

Then again he has seen it in person and I have not, so I greatly appreciate his view on things. I also take into consideration that Aurich hates photoshopped art in the first place. I would have loved for it to be original art but we all knew from the start that it was not gonna happen with Hobbit.

With that open widebody playfield it will probably play a little slower than most modern pins.(almost like an EM on steroids)

Again no problem for me. Why does every new pin have to be faster than the last? I actually like that it stand out in that department too, but I can understand that it may not be for all.

What I find a little strange is that many of the threads about the Hobbit that pops up after Expo is about things we knew about long before last weekend. we have known ca how it would play since we saw the whitewood. The rest is just window dressing and rules for the most part.

The only new element shown on Expo was Smaug (and the book, but that was a placeholder)

I agree that it needs to be fixed in some areas. I have no problem with Smaug, but the area needs some mountains behind it and smaller coins.(should be easy to fix) The book needs to go and also the vuk covers(again, easy to fix)

I am still inn on The Hobbit. It will probably not be the second coming but to me it looks fun, interesting and I love the theme.

#68 7 years ago

Well, I'm happy to be able to change from LE to SE with no additional cost, and I did made another payment to JJP for my hobbit. I have a faith that they will do a great machine, but in the worst case scenario, I'll get a refund to purchase another machine.

I really have no issue with the Smaug as long as the tail will be there and obvious and a mountain behind. Little disappointed with what I saw so far, but not to the point to cancel my order, will give it more time.

and I need an LCD pinball into the collection lol, if it turned to be a total disappointment I'll always be able to get WOZ or TWD!

#69 7 years ago

For now it don't see it happen. 2 years of development and the TH shown at the expo was a big
disappointment for me.

What is disappointing also:

- JJP had no good story at the expo of what we can expect
- JJP had no good story after the expo what we can expect. Nothing concrete, just vage 'promises'
- JJP mentioning that they will do something with the feedback given by their customers. Why couldn't they with a professional team thought of those points?
- A part of the 'problems' were already know bij JJP. But some not? How can it be that if you are so far in the process of a game you did miss such points?
- People finding excuses to justify why TH looks like it does now

I am not in on TBL yet, and I am sorry to bring it up on this thread. So please, can someone explain me why Dutch Pinball has their shit together and why JJP isn't. I am in for almost 2 years on TH and it
is a dream theme for me, but all it gives me now is bad nightmares.

#70 7 years ago

I like this:
swarfs-452.jpg
And I don't like this:
Disney-7-dwarfs.jpg

The Hobbit is a european fantasy. in the style and color of old english TV shows, like "All Creatures Great and Small" or the one and only true "Robin of Sherwood".
Don't turn it into a US Kitsch persiflage of the core theme. The Woz artwork is awesome for it's theme but with The hobbit we need something else.
The earth colors are great and good for The Hobbit.

But it's right, a pinball game should be a small world under glass. It should tell a story even without rules, sound and lights. It should be beautiful even unpluged.
I was shocked of the expo reveal. Let's take a small detail, the captured ball. The playfield art shows a symbol of the key for the hidden entrance to Erebor. But what have we so far on this game? Two ugly nacked metal ramps around it and a nacked diverter at the top of it. I miss the coherence in this.
But we all know NOW that there are more things coming. Please people don't forget we know now that this was a UNFINISHED Hobbit!!!! And so I still think that this game with this earth style can still become one awesome piece of art.
Let's wait and see what JJP will bring on the table next time we will see it.

But to make my post above short. Aurich I dsiagree to you. The Artwork of the Hobbit theme isn't bad. Perhaps not your taste but there is nothing wrong with it. It only has to be done right for this pin to shine.
The animations on the LCD together with the sound are letting me hope that JJP knows excactly what I want. And I think someone said Keith is a big fan of this theme. I trust him to do it right.

#71 7 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

For now it don't see it happen. 2 years of development and the TH shown at the expo was a big disappointment for me.

Yes it was, but please don't give up. I am sure that the endproduct will be great, perhaps not the game that would be built with unlimited resources. But I still think it has the potential to be one of the best games ever.

#72 7 years ago
Quoted from Asael:

Yes it was, but please don't give up. I am sure that the endproduct will be great, perhaps not the game that would be built with unlimited resources. But I still think it has the potential to be one of the best games ever.

I sure hope so. But sense and feeling do not match a the moment.

#73 7 years ago

Whatever flaws TH may have you would have seen many more happy customers if it was a $5500 game.

#74 7 years ago

I think the Hobbit is a great theme and JJP will do well with it. I think it will be a great earner for operators and will generate good revenue for locations simply because of theme . I do not mind the art and playfield graphics. I have learned not to drink the Kool-Aid and only purchase games that play well and are fun to me. I have not played the Hobbit but by looking at the layout and watching dozens of videos I feel I have a good feel on what it would play like. It seems to be a really deep game with heavy rule set, much like WOZ. That is great if you are a tournament player and keep long ball times, but I am a pretty casual player and I actually enjoy easy objectives and simple layouts. The Hobbit with the two ramps and dozens of drop targets seems like a boring layout to me. I also cannot seem to get used to the big distracting LCD screen with stop and go call-outs. I really enjoy games that flow and are fast and it appears it will not flow well. I wanted to like WOZ but it turned into a rainbow show with no flow. I have no skin in the game and I really want JJP to succeed, I think more manufacturers is great for the industry as a whole. I also think any game over $7000 would really need to play well and look good in order for me to be interested. I am liking TBL and I really like the guys attitude who are developing it but I think I will need to really play it and see if it is a good game or just a novelty machine. If you are someone who is really into theme alone then some of these boutique games might be a good fit. I am falling back in love with some of the classics and their designs. Some of my favorite machines to play right now are NGG and Barb Wire. Go with what is fun to you is now my philosophy.

#75 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

IJ4 looks like garbage. Cheap and crummy. Just like the game.

With respect I will have to disagree. I do not give thumbs down but this goes to show how opinions can vary. I love X-MEN and many do not. I respect opinions-I just get annoyed when someone calls any pinball machine trash or garbage. One mans trash is another mans treasure. Peace

#76 7 years ago

IJ4 isn't a keeper for me I've had it twice now but it looks amazing and the gameplay is quite fun, non-pinheads love it thus it still makes coin on route and garners a high price. That being said TH playfield is actually fine with me, its all about the atmosphere and Smaug, if Jack shows final product with a full Samug toy and all the other filler that should be there, figurines of the characters and landscapes with proper illumination then I'm still going to buy it, at this point gameplay and rules just cannot be judged, I watched a video of TBL and while its a beautiful looking game everyone pretty much thinks its awesome with out a lot of play on it so there is hypocrisy going on here to some degree. Personally TBL call outs would get very tedious after a short while along with the bowling alley. Look, like all pinball companies B/W included every game can't be a winner. Theme is very important, what if DP's first game was Ishtar? Wait I actually love that movie, DP lets make it happen.

#77 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's funny, LOTR is nominally the same license, right? And yet there wasn't any of this "the Balrog isn't hit by a pinball in the movie!" nonsense. The translite is hand drawn art, not PR stills. Same with the cabinet. The printing on the playfield is awful, JJP trumps the quality of the printing, but it does a much better job at telling the story. The Balrog, the sword, of course the ring, the Path of the Dead, the tower, it's much more of a narrative-based layout.
It's not my favorite game, visually speaking, but I think it did accomplish what it needed to. The art is definitely hamstrung by the shit print quality.

It's also a different time and a different IP. LOTR was such a runaway success that the studio was likely trying to squeeze every dollar out of it before interest went flat, so they were a lot more liberal with the license. Up until LOTR, no fantasy movie had ever been popular, and there was no reason (at the time) to think interest would -still- be this strong in the IP. Studios are a lot more likely to be liberal with a license when they don't think the money train is going to keep rolling.

Flash forward to now, and LOTR is -still- a huge cash cow for them, so the studio is interested in tightly controlling everything associated with the licensing. The fact that the Hobbit hasn't been doing as well is also going to contribute to the studio more tightly controlling the license since it should (from their perspective) be as lucrative as LOTR if they can convince everyone it's the same thing.

I worked in marketing for a couple years, and you could always tell which brands were riding a hot streak and which ones were in bunker-down mode.

#78 7 years ago

The playfield is missing a lot of the story...they have the mountain and dragon pictured on the lower playfield then depict them AGAIN with the upper playfield mechanics. What about everything else? I wonder if they thought of integrating the popups with scenery that would match each one (spider, orc, goblin...) instead of floating them in the air with the dragon? The lower playfield (being freed of mountain, sky and dragon) could have then included other aspects of the movie...

If the mountain and dragon are so important that you need to show them twice, then make an effort on them!

To me, the lonely mountain and Smaug are the culmination of the long journey and so should be at the very top (as they are). From the lower portions of the playfield you could have developed the early part of the story and built from there....

#79 7 years ago
Quoted from Asael:

The Hobbit is a european fantasy. in the style and color of old english TV shows, like "All Creatures Great and Small" or the one and only true "Robin of Sherwood".

I don't disagree with that. And I'm not advocating turning it into a Disney cartoon. But again, you don't have to be so literal. This is pinball, color is not your enemy. But you don't have to repeat WOZ and go rainbow.

Someone brought up Centaur. That's one of my favorite playfield designs of all time. It's stunning, especially if you see it in the original black and white (like a CPR repro) and now all yellowed and worn. Black, white, red. One of the most bold and graphic designs in the history of pinball.

I've acknowledged that one of my issues with the game is simply that making it look directly like the movie isn't appealing. I actually refuse to believe that was the only viable approach. But even leaving that aside, it's the absence of the narrative that bothers me the most.

I guess Joe thought it was interesting to push it all the edges and have no logical grouping by the story to things. "I was looking for a wide-open feel, because of the movie." Uh. That makes basically zero sense to me. That's not at all how I think of The Hobbit. I blame Jackson for trying to turn it into the LOTR films. It's supposed to be intimate, the journey through the eyes of a little Hobbit. Caves and dark woods and under the mountain. Not vast sweeping vistas.

#80 7 years ago
Quoted from karl:

Yes, the playfield have a cold and dreary feel to it (without lights at least) but so does the movies.
Peter Jackson went with a much colder look for the Hobbit movies than lotr and I think jjp captured that same feel as the movies on this playfield.

The Hobbit trilogy is more colorful than the drab and dreary Rings trilogy. This was even mentioned in a Peter Jackson interview.

-9
#81 7 years ago

Being that this thread is on the art package and I consider the LCD screen to be a part of that I feel the LCD is also a fail. The fact the game uses only 1/3 to 1/2 the screen much of the game is a waist . Do you really need to know game progress all the time I don't think so it is just a waist of screen.

#82 7 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

Whatever flaws TH may have you would have seen many more happy customers if it was a $5500 game.

I would have exactly the same concerns at $5500. I have 12 spots in my game room and too many pins. Every pin has to earn a spot in my house regardless of cost. (Yes, I have too many right now...)

TH will have to bump a keeper for me to grant admission - right now DH is safe. I could see it bumping IJ4, but there is also a TBL on the way....

#83 7 years ago

Battle of the 5 armies posters released today.

1-peter-jackson-and-the-hobbits-prepare-for-battle-with-new-posters.jpeg 2-peter-jackson-and-the-hobbits-prepare-for-battle-with-new-posters.jpeg Hobbit-uk_thorin_erebor_hbfa-peter-jackson-and-the-hobbits-prepare-for-battle-with-new-posters.jpeg
#84 7 years ago
Quoted from ek77:

Being that this thread is on the art package and I consider the LCD screen to be a part of that I feel the LCD is also a fail. The fact the game uses only 1/3 to 1/2 the screen much of the game is a waist . Do you really need to know game progress all the time I don't think so it is just a waist of screen.

Not saying I even agree with you, but the LCD screen is still early. That's code, it can be changed. There's really no point in discussing it now. The playfield is what's tough to change, once the game ships that's it.

I've talked with Jack, I have faith in JP, I feel like JJP is listening and open to feedback, so they just need to be given a chance to do their thing. We'll know soon enough how that works.

#85 7 years ago

The other thing I want to say to follow up on my post above is that while I don't honestly know how this game is going to come out, the "inside" info I have is enough for me to recommend that you wait it out for a bit before making any decisions. I know I've been critical, but it's not done yet, don't walk away from your pre-orders that are locked in at a good price.

#86 7 years ago

Good sign.

It's great JJP is at least listening and making adjustments, and it's great someone has the passion to provide their ideas to make things better for the good of the machine. It remains to be seen if the end machine will meet the customers' expectations, but love the effort from all to set things right. I'm still in for now - dream theme so hopefully the end result is great.

Scott

-8
#87 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I've talked with Jack, I have faith in JP, I feel like JJP is listening and open to feedback, so they just need to be given a chance to do their thing.

So you feel it's perfectly okay for you to start a thread here telling everyone in excruciating detail why you think the theme and presentation totally suck, but the rest of us should give Jack a chance?

An "insider" wouldn't do something like that. HTH

#88 7 years ago

Want to know if it's okay to enjoy your home collection instead of playing on location? Curious if it's okay to give your honest opinion on something? Just ask phishrace, the Pinside Ombudsman! He's here to solve your ethical quandaries!

#89 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

The other thing I want to say to follow up on my post above is that while I don't honestly know how this game is going to come out, the "inside" info I have is enough for me to recommend that you wait it out for a bit before making any decisions. I know I've been critical, but it's not done yet, don't walk away from your pre-orders that are locked in at a good price.

OK, I'm curious.

#90 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

The other thing I want to say to follow up on my post above is that while I don't honestly know how this game is going to come out, the "inside" info I have is enough for me to recommend that you wait it out for a bit before making any decisions. I know I've been critical, but it's not done yet, don't walk away from your pre-orders that are locked in at a good price.

Might be a little late on this one.

#91 7 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

The other thing I want to say to follow up on my post above is that while I don't honestly know how this game is going to come out, the "inside" info I have is enough for me to recommend that you wait it out for a bit before making any decisions. I know I've been critical, but it's not done yet, don't walk away from your pre-orders that are locked in at a good price.

I wouldnt say $7500 is a good price, I guess comparable to 9k it is but still not good.

#92 7 years ago

I'm in on TBL, I wish it was $7500.

Maybe this is just my own ego talking, but Jack and I butted heads pretty decently, both publicly and privately. I give him credit for still talking to me after that.

It's never my goal to sabotage anything, just to be honest. My feeling is that JJP is listening. So while I don't know the final outcome any more than anyone else, I do feel like it's worth giving them a chance.

#93 7 years ago

Im in on TBL and TH and they are both not good prices but somehow I feel so much better about paying $8500 for TBL and not so good about paying $ 7500 for the Hobbit. Im more than likely dumping my hobbit order but Ill be waiting for a true reveal.

#94 7 years ago

Nothing is ever certain. But man, I'm sold on Dutch Pinball. The prototype was great, I can't wait to see what they do with the rest of the time. It's got the magic. The price is ridiculous and yet I'm somehow still in.

Maybe Hobbit can't be saved. Or maybe JJP will make an awesome save. I'd advise anyone who's in to at least let them try. They might surprise you. And if not, hey, bail away.

#95 7 years ago

The problem with the Hobbit playfield art isn't that it's Photo vs. cartoon...or even the colors. It's just...empty. It's just a whole lot of nothing. It looks boring. I know it's subjective, but I'm a big fan of the LOTR playfield art...I think it tells you a lot of information in a limited space, with good composition, "action lines" on the shots, main characters (I like how the fellowship inserts are above their respective characters near the middle of the PF), the armies rushing at the bottom by the flippers, and lots of other little tidbits...it's very organic and classy looking, IMO...one of my favorite "photoshopped" playfields for sure. The mountain, dragon and SKY SKY SKY with little heads off to the sides on Hobbit playfield just don't work. I think some more interesting and dynamic work could have been done on the playfield with Smaug & the various characters. Maybe the thought was that the LCD would be telling you the story with Smaug & the characters....but still, you want an attractive playfield to look at while you're playing. It's just weird that an 11 year old Stern game looks better...from the same licensor, no less - so I don't think it's quite fair to blame them in this instance. They approved it, but they didn't design it.

#96 7 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

The problem with the Hobbit playfield art isn't that it's Photo vs. cartoon...or even the colors. It's just...empty. It's just a whole lot of nothing. It looks boring. I know it's subjective, but I'm a big fan of the LOTR playfield art...I think it tells you a lot of information in a limited space, with good composition, "action lines" on the shots, main characters (I like how the fellowship inserts are above their respective characters near the middle of the PF), the armies rushing at the bottom by the flippers, and lots of other little tidbits...it's very organic and classy looking, IMO...one of my favorite "photoshopped" playfields for sure. The mountain, dragon and SKY SKY SKY with little heads off to the sides on Hobbit playfield just don't work. I think some more interesting and dynamic work could have been done on the playfield with Smaug & the various characters. Maybe the thought was that the LCD would be telling you the story with Smaug & the characters....but still, you want an attractive playfield to look at while you're playing. It's just weird that an 11 year old Stern game looks better...from the same licensor, no less - so I don't think it's quite fair to blame them in this instance. They approved it, but they didn't design it.

Hmmm...same thing can be said about AFM as one example...empty! It's amazing that most 20 year old games look better than most of the recent games too. Just sayin'.

#97 7 years ago

But AFM doesn't "feel" empty. It's a simple and straightforward (and IMHO great) game, but look at the playfield. The area in front of the saucer targets is full and feels vibrant and relevant.

It's funny though, looking at it and then comparing to TBL the whole things about the TBL design being a throwback to the 90s is really revealed as an exaggeration. It has some of that old school flavor, but it looks modern when you go back and really look at 90s pins with that context in mind.

I think evolution in styles is a good thing. In fact I'd give props to Stern for realizing that with TWD.

It's a "photoshopped" playfield, in that that tool was liberally used, but effectively, not in a lazy or crummy way. The scale of the toys is maybe off — big ass well zombie, small barn, with huge head inside — but the playfield art is well balanced. It's not muddy, which this theme could have fallen into easily. Clear and graphic, but also bringing that photographic feel to it. The zombies by the flippers for instance give a great feel to the lower playfield.

#98 7 years ago

I have come to realize that I do like a layout were it is clear what you have to do. Like AFM it is all there on the playfield, what to do and what your progress is. TH does not have that and maybe that is one of the reasons it does not 'suck you in'.

I hope JJP is going to convince me not to cancel my order. I so badly want this game to be a succes.
We will see that in a few weeks.

#99 7 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Hmmm...same thing can be said about AFM as one example...empty! It's amazing that most 20 year old games look better than most of the recent games too. Just sayin'.

Wide open space, true. But nothing here seems boring or bland.
AttackFromMars.jpg

Now go look at TH again and you'll see the difference. AFM has more colorfull and dynamic art but also the upper third of the PF looks cool and just fits. Simple CAN work if you MAKE it work.

#100 7 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Hmmm...same thing can be said about AFM as one example...empty! It's amazing that most 20 year old games look better than most of the recent games too. Just sayin'.

That game has a motorized target bank with a shot behind it, and a scoop shot to the right of it. Imagine there just being 3 drop targets instead with stationary standup targets, no shot behind it to destroy the saucers, and no scoop shot to to right...

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