Quoted from benheck:
I agree the wrap around backbox is awesome. The split portion... Not so much. Front firing crotch speakers is a great idea even if their design and spacing looks bad.
Still think the Pinbar is dumb, even if they'd stamped a proper lockdown bad around it. It's such an "old man idea" of what would attract whipper-snappers to play.
"Oh they like cell phone screens, let's put that on there!"
The young people who goto barcades like pins BECAUSE they are retro. There's a huge millenial/Gen Z fascination with analog tapes, records, anything pre-digital.
The innovations (aka $$$) should have been put into the mechs. You wanna stand out from Stern, and remind us of the 90s, that's how you do it - not a f'ing LCD. (I'm assuming Jpop is still butt hurt that Williams didn't use his Pinball 2000 concept)
Make a mechanical wonderland under glass, again, retro! Instead we get a static sculpt of a stupid alien with the WCS target below it.
Also reading the Bowden stuff and the lame ass, WAY overwritten RAZA back story makes me think this game is gonna come to a dead stop and make you use that PinBar far too often. Goto the shop, choose a path. Since all John really wanted to do was make a carnival themed pin he probably put Alien Whack A Mole on that screen too.
All they seem to have innovated was the cabinet. This does nothing for game play or costs.
Many insightful points here! Thanks Ben!
My first impression of the curved backbox portion was that it was a fresh way of updating the backbox without going overboard. And it looks like it goes well with the Retro and Atomic part of RAZA without going overboard. It also looks to me like something that could go well with other themes so a great standard DR platform look. And feedback seems mostly good too on curved part. Bravo!
But here is an example of what I hope will not ultimately be DR’s downfall...
That they can’t leave great enough alone.
They need to make the greatest, super-duper-est, most fantastically awesome backbox the world has ever laid eyes on!
So JPOP and Robert, both ego driven dreamers who enable each other and seemingly shut down any talk of pragmatism at DR, go even further...
“Let’s add the bottom stacked backbox potion so that people can look through the backbox”
Now don’t get me wrong, I see the appeal for it reinforces the original Retro space theme of RAZA (so +5 points say), but this won’t go as well with the other themes (so -15 points here).
“So let’s go another step further, let’s make it an option”
Did I read this correctly that they want to have different physical versions of backboxes as an option?
If this is true, now DR is messing with what seems like is their other goal... that of creating a new standard platform for DR (-10 points).
And I’m pretty sure that most collectors don’t want a totally new backbox look for each DR release (-5 points). Because pinball is grounded in being a *retro* hobby and to collect something means that the commonality between the items is as important as the differences. Having every release have a different backbox from the same company goes too far. And this non-cohesiveness waters down their brand a bit IMO (-3 points).
And then there is manufacturing. I’ll leave it to you to unravel the manufacturing nightmare of having varieties of backboxes (-25 points). Hopefully Octo will take care of that.
So the backbox is a micro example of the greater theme replaying itself out again and again at DR.
That they just can’t leave great enough alone.
Robert and JPOP are exceptionally smart in their own ways, and have great ideas too, but they both have to be tampered down with pragmatism. But it looks like from the last NDA’d, non-release, 10-yr-vision slide deck dump party that all internal pragmatism talk has been shut down. This is why we see external hobbiest feedback shutting down release celebrations with 5-person pro documentary film crews. A company that is filled with talent and decades of experience.
Now when you apply this unbridled design bravado to literally every aspect of a pinball machine, and consider all the complexities of all their interdependencies, you might just ultimately end up with the company-equivalent of the center mech of JPOP’s original Magic Girl.
You see, Magic Girl could not leave great enough alone.
OK, so harsh criticim but really it’s not coming from a place where I want them to fail. Like I say, a lot of good ideas and smart people, but I think with some blind spots. I want them to succeed and hope some pragmatism can help them refocus toward feasible product.
But it’s my guess at this point that the mobile app they were working on will be incorporated into the pinbar so we’ll be standing at a pinball machine playing a game we could be playing on our couch.
Or it might just end up to be the greatest, super-duper-est, most fantastically awesome, standing, touch screen video game experience the world has ever laid eyes on.