(Topic ID: 254118)

Unpopular opinion: Stop putting pops in games!


By pinfarmer

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 100 posts
  • 71 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 days ago by Tranquilize
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    There are 100 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 8 months ago

    One of the best!!!

    #52 8 months ago

    Cyclopes is a great example of how to make pops an interesting feature of the game.
    Bottom left pop replaces a slingshot - makes the ball less predictable at the flippers
    The upper pops obscure direct shots to targets. Upper flipper used to shoot through the pops for drop target hits.

    Here is a good video of it in action: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/496878739
    If you skip to 1hr 8min mark, you can see Roger Sharpe show us how it's done!

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    #53 8 months ago

    Plenty of games don't have pops and I like that. Mr. Stern insists on a standard 3 pop cluster in all Stern games. I've often said eliminating them could free up the coil count for other cool features in Pro models. Maybe have a random pop off to the side like TNA or Paragon, etc.

    #54 8 months ago

    I think in some modern games the coding for the pop bumpers could be done in more interesting ways , for example in TWD which I guess has a " nest" (, with only one exit for the most part ) a new dynamic could be introduced by coding for bumpers hits to SUBTRACT from scoring or objectives for missed tunnel or well walker shots that end up in the bumpers .

    #55 8 months ago

    I agree that pops that just sit there and score 1k points per hit are boring. Now, if its integrated into gameplay (AFM, Scared Stiff) where it progresses modes or (WWater) where pop hits choose different modes, I think they are implemented much better. In some games they are nice to use in multiball to, hopefully, park a ball there so you can shoot stuff with the remaining balls.

    Having pops in unusual locations is interesting. Cyclopes, Spanish Eyes, Old Chicago, etc., really makes for interesting gameplay when they are located near the lower half of the playfield.

    #56 8 months ago
    Quoted from Axl:

    In my book, pop bumpers can be divided into two categories.
    The good:
    Bumpers make the ball wild with uncontrollable feeds all over the place.
    The bad:
    Pop bumper nest on top of the playfield with one entrance and one exit.

    100% this. If they are just going to be the same boring nest just to be there...don't bother. Save the space and coil count for something fun.

    If it's going to be out where it can cause some chaos...heck yeah put them in! I'd love to see a Spanish Eyes type set-up in a modern pin. Right smack between the flippers, and watch the world burn. Would be awesome.

    I will say though, for the boring old nest, Dwight's pop-slots thing has at least added a bit of fun. Not enough to make them worth having, but better than the complete waste they usually are.

    #57 8 months ago

    I like how they can add to the randomness and shoot the ball someplace unexpected.

    And when REALLY set up weird (middle pop games like Fan-Tas-Tik, Old Chicago, etc), they can be super fun.

    Middle pop (resized).PNGpop 2 (resized).PNG
    #58 8 months ago

    Bally hard-body has no jet-bumpers

    #59 8 months ago

    For the pops nested way back in the corner and buried where you can barely see them and they do not put the ball in danger of being drained. I ask what is the point of even engineering them in?

    As other have stated, I like the randomness pops provide. Some of these pops are so adept at draining the ball that you really have to be on your toes to fight the randomness and unpredictability that pops can provide.

    #60 8 months ago
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    #62 8 months ago
    Quoted from trilogybeer:

    Junkyard and Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle do not have pops

    You know, I've owned ACNC for a few months and it never occurred to me that it doesn't have them.

    #63 8 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    3 pop bumpers. whoopee.
    Going' Nuts has seven.[quoted image]

    never heard of this game before. looks fun.

    #64 8 months ago

    Like others may have (indirectly) said, it's not the absence or presence of the pop bumpers themselves, but where they are placed. TNA is the most recent game that had excellent use of one pop bumper. Pop bumper nests with one safe exit are overly used and aren't really meaningful. Put them in a meaningful spot with function and they completely change the game.

    #65 8 months ago
    Quoted from ccbiggsoo7:

    never heard of this game before. looks fun.

    Goin' Nuts is a rare item.

    #66 8 months ago

    Did someone say "pudding pops"?

    #67 8 months ago

    TZ has good pops. You want to avoid them. They're a hazard. You're on your toes as the ball comes out.

    TNA is one of my favorites, and proves you don't need a lot of pop bumpers, a single bumper in an open field can create enough randomness to keep things interesting. The other genius thing about that pop is that it's actually a TARGET. You may need to shoot directly at the pop itself in order to destroy reactors.

    I think a lot of the new sterns the idea of the pops is to give good players someplace to dump a ball during multiball. I really can't think of any other use than that. There are the slot machine type awards that almost never seem to do anything significant.

    #68 8 months ago
    Quoted from treborlicec:

    Mr. Stern insists on a standard 3 pop cluster in all Stern games.

    Steve Kirk had to put up a little fight with Mr. Stern, but in the end won out with his one pop bumper SK1 design.
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    #69 8 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Steve Kirk had to put up a little fight with Mr. Stern, but in the end won out with his one pop bumper SK1 design.
    [quoted image]

    Gary Stern: fighting interesting pop bumper configs since the 70s!

    #70 8 months ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    Gary Stern: fighting interesting pop bumper configs since the 70s!

    Might have been his dad Sam Stern, who perhaps was a little more open minded as far as innovation and themes.

    Goes way back to when he worked for and then owned the Williams pinball company.

    #71 8 months ago

    I don't care if there are pops in a game or not. What I do care about is Gary Stern limiting the creativity of the designers with ridiculous mandates. Just give them a timeline and bill of materials and let them go to town.

    I understand subways from a maintenance perspective, but hiding pop bumpers behind the right ramp on every game doesn't do much for anybody.

    #72 8 months ago
    Quoted from brenna98:

    Cyclopes is a great example of how to make pops an interesting feature of the game.

    I had another Game Plan called Super Nova, where one of the main goals was to progressively raise the value of the pop bumpers, which wasn't easy, until the red cap in the center was worth 5000. Then that is what you wanted to hit repeatedly.

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    #73 8 months ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    Like others may have (indirectly) said, it's not the absence or presence of the pop bumpers themselves, but where they are placed. TNA is the most recent game that had excellent use of one pop bumper. Pop bumper nests with one safe exit are overly used and aren't really meaningful. Put them in a meaningful spot with function and they completely change the game.

    TNA is a great example of a pop bumper done right. I was playing a tournament once with a buddy who referred to a game with a similar set-up as having a "pop bumper right there in f*ck you land!". LOL

    #74 8 months ago

    Here is one of the games I own now with five pop bumper and four flippers. I honestly can't picture the game without either of those.

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    #75 8 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Here is one of the games I own now with five pop bumper and four flippers. I honestly can't picture the game without either of those.[quoted image]

    I think I count more than 5

    #76 8 months ago
    Quoted from northerndude:

    I think I count more than 5

    Like some of the EMs shown earlier in this thread, those upper two are not pop bumpers, just regular bumpers or dead bumpers. No pop.

    #77 8 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Like some of the EMs shown earlier in this thread, those upper two are not pop bumpers, just regular bumpers or dead bumpers. No pop.

    There's my learnin' for the day!!

    #78 8 months ago
    Quoted from northerndude:

    There's my learnin' for the day!!

    Dead bumpers usually have smaller caps and with close inspection the metal pop bumper ring is not there. Thus my comment about Gigi. Out of 14 bumpers, only three are pop bumpers.

    #79 8 months ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Actually... a ton of Ted Zale games don’t have pops.

    Invoke Zale's name and you had to know I'd pop up behind you in the mirror.

    There are three Zale games that didn't have pop bumpers- Loop the Loop, Six Shooter, and the ironically named Op-pop-pop. There's a possible 4th, which I've never seen in person-- Fun Cruise. From the photos I've seen, they look like dead bumpers, but maybe someone who has the game or has played it can clarify on that one.

    #80 8 months ago

    Man, first two thing I think of when someone says pinball are the flippers and pop bumpers!

    #81 8 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Here is one of the games I own now with five pop bumper and four flippers. I honestly can't picture the game without either of those.[quoted image]

    Been softly looking for this for years

    #82 8 months ago
    Quoted from bangerjay:

    Been softly looking for this for years

    I was looking for a lot of years. Well worth the wait. Fits right in with the scheme of things.

    The multiball is pretty unique. Only single player EM to ever have it.

    #83 8 months ago
    Quoted from brenna98:

    Cyclopes is a great example of how to make pops an interesting feature of the game.
    Bottom left pop replaces a slingshot - makes the ball less predictable at the flippers
    The upper pops obscure direct shots to targets. Upper flipper used to shoot through the pops for drop target hits.
    Here is a good video of it in action: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/496878739
    If you skip to 1hr 8min mark, you can see Roger Sharpe show us how it's done![quoted image]

    Yeah I wish more designers would use the pop bumpers in a more similar fashion to what gameplan or mr. dansei did.
    Shooting through them for a critical shot works as well, but clusters need to be a thing of the past... gets boring.

    a lot of the classic sterns did some cool stuff as well with them, even having dead bumpers is more interesting then clusters.

    #84 8 months ago

    Black Hole has great pops that are definitely tied to game play.

    #85 8 months ago

    Champion Pub also has no pops.

    #86 8 months ago

    BOP's pops are the best, the ball just goes crazy in there!

    #87 8 months ago
    Quoted from VGC1612:

    (Pics of Majorettes and Slick Chick)

    I grew up with a Slick Chick in my house; 5 pops and 4 passives for a challenging, super fun game.

    I also just played Majorettes for the first time recently, way more fun than I expected. Of all those bumpers though, only 4 are pops, the other 6 are passive. It'd be even better with more pops.

    Good call! Love that game too.

    #88 8 months ago

    Would be interesting to see a new game with different pop configuration like near the bottom.

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    #89 8 months ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Goin' Nuts is a rare item.

    Goin’ Nuts is one of the rare oddball games that is actually really good . BangerJay had one for a while and I put a decent amount of plays in on it , I personally really enjoy that game squirrels and all .

    #90 8 months ago

    My favorite EM is Jumping jack because it has those wonderful pops above the flippers. Perfect.
    Yes I think I meant the pointless cluster at the top. Pops are often great in pre 90s machines.

    #91 8 months ago
    Quoted from pinfarmer:

    My favorite EM is Jumping jack because it has those wonderful pops above the flippers. Perfect.
    Yes I think I meant the pointless cluster at the top. Pops are often great in pre 90s machines.

    You should give Bally Flip Flop a whirl. Or Gottlieb Abra Ca Dabra. I wish these two were solid state and not EMs.

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    #92 8 months ago

    Stern's listening!

    With the next $500 price hike, you get all pop bumpers removed as per request.

    #93 8 months ago

    I dont want my mom and pop inside my pins

    8 months later
    #94 8 days ago

    Resurrection as I was going to start a similar thread.

    This thread made me realize that I just dislike the Stern tri-cluster, top-right pops. More creativity is needed!

    Pinball magic makes an interesting use of a single pop.

    Doesn't Indy use pops well? I remember some sort of fist fight count down?

    #95 8 days ago

    I will say I am absolutely sick of games the plunge directly into pop bumpers. Nothing is more boring than plunging your ball and then have it hit the pop bumpers a bunch of times until they go into one of two defined paths (I'm looking at you AFM). Tell me that AFM would be a bad game if they just took the god damned pop bumpers out, you'd be lying to yourself.

    #96 8 days ago

    JP2 missile shot through the pop bumpers would not be possible without pop bumpers. I like them for this reason.

    #97 8 days ago

    You know, most people here get irritated at calling pinball machines "tables", but for me, it's using "pops" instead of the far superior "jets".

    Mostly because "Super Jets" just sounds so much nicer than "Super Pops".

    #98 8 days ago
    Quoted from etien:

    What I really dont get is when pops are so clustered and with one single exit that they dont bring anything. Think #TOM or #MB.

    Agreed; that is my only real beef with pops. When done correctly they can bring some danger and fun (see games like Paragon). Stern had what felt like 10 years of using pops like a delay device only, where the ball would rattle around, then come out in the same controlled manner every time. See games like Spiderman.

    Truly pointless, and a stain on otherwise good designs.

    #99 7 days ago
    Quoted from radial_head:

    Nothing is more boring than plunging your ball and then have it hit the pop bumpers a bunch of times until they go into one of two defined paths (I'm looking at you AFM). Tell me that AFM would be a bad game if they just took the god damned pop bumpers out, you'd be lying to yourself.

    Problem solved on AFM by holding the left flipper when you launch, to go for the super skill shots -- it'll let the ball come around & down the left orbit ...

    #100 7 days ago
    Quoted from KozMckPinball:

    JP2 missile shot through the pop bumpers would not be possible without pop bumpers. I like them for this reason.

    That's a good point. They are used decently in imdn as well as an obstacle for the left ramp and as a qualifier for Cyborg. Elwin at least pays attention to the pops in his designs.

    I'd still like to see some more designs with less clustering and some with no pops though. I never miss them on Shadow.

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