(Topic ID: 237280)

What is the future of Mechanical Theme Integration?


By spinal

11 months ago



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  • 87 posts
  • 47 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by DS_Nadine
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    There are 87 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 11 months ago
    Quoted from SunKing:

    Alien. The Xeno grabs and eats the ball for the start of ambush multiball. Too bad only a couple hundred were made...

    the alien xeno mech performs the same action as addams familys 'thing' - a magnet that reaches out to retrieve the ball. over 25 years ago bally made more than 20,000 AF with 'things' that worked. HP made less that 200 aliens, many with xenos that malfunctioned. i couldnt understand why people got so excited over the xeno thinking it was something new/different/innovative.

    #52 11 months ago
    Quoted from greenhornet:

    the alien xeno mech performs the same action as addams familys 'thing' - a magnet that reaches out to retrieve the ball. over 25 years ago bally made more than 20,000 AF with 'things' that worked. HP made less that 200 aliens, many with xenos that malfunctioned. i couldnt understand why people got so excited over the xeno thinking it was something new/different/innovative.

    I agree that it's very similar to Adams family Thing so not really something spectacularly innovative from a hardware standpoint. However, it is a bit different in that the tongue comes out to get it.

    I also agree that I heard that many malfunctioned so this is just an example of it not going through enough engineering before release. There is nothing intrinsically complicated about this, it just was not designed well enough.

    Now, a separate topic really is that of Mechanical Theme Integration and if they pulled it off here. I would say yes. The reason is that someone took an element from the Movie and tried to make it come alive in the game itself. If it was something really novel I would say great but the main goal was to make the multiple head-opening-tongue-shooting-out element from Alien come alive I think they accomplished that (at least in principle).

    Mechanical Theme Integration is about making something from the theme come to life in pinball hardware and not necessarily about that hardware being something we have never seen before (but bonus points if it is novel of course).

    #53 11 months ago

    Shout out for The Battlefield on The Shadow

    It's huge, unique, and a neat physical version of playing Breakout.

    shadow04 (resized).jpg

    Also the user controlled ramp diverters were a neat touch. It's an idea that hasn't really been explored to its full potential

    #54 11 months ago

    Yes, innovative hardware and fun, but does this take something from the Shadow world, something from the theme and try to bring into physical hardware? I haven't seen the movie so have no idea.

    -1
    #56 11 months ago
    Quoted from spinal:Back to MM as a great example, look at all the elements here and how they interact with each other.. If they could do it in the '90s, it can be done today!

    are you saying we shouldnt be having to settle for todays castle themed game which includes a razor blade on a string and a frankenstien that peeks over a wall - both of which rarely come into play, and when they do hardly affect/impact game play? for a game that was marketed as having the kitchen sink thrown at it, as the OP says, when it comes to MTI, some games are coming up way short.

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    #57 11 months ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    Yes, innovative hardware and fun, but does this take something from the Shadow world, something from the theme and try to bring into physical hardware? I haven't seen the movie so have no idea.

    The dagger on the diverters is in the film. The ring is in the film. The film ain't that bad. It is a blend of different 'Shadows' mostly following the story lines of the old radio shows.

    #58 11 months ago

    I think Hurricane counts with its dual Ferris Wheels and spinning backbox platter. The juggler is also *neat* but it just throws the ball from one cup to another.

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    #59 11 months ago
    Quoted from greenhornet:

    are you saying we shouldnt be having to settle for todays castle themed game which includes a razor blade on a string and a frankenstien that peeks over a wall - both of which rarely come into play, and when they do hardly affect/impact game play? for a game that was marketed as having the kitchen sink thrown at it, as the OP says, when it comes to MTI, some games are coming up way short.[quoted image]

    OK, so you're referring to Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle by Spooky. Can anyone elaborate on what it has and doesn't have with regard to mechanical theme integration?

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    #60 11 months ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    One thing I'm surprised we haven't seen are motorized outlane posts. These could be used to:
    1) Allow the operator to adjust difficulty much more easily - or even have the game adjust based on auto-percentaging.
    2) Allow in-game variation through:
    a) modes in which they are more or less open or closed, or where the posts oscillate
    b) earning of closed posts through awards
    3) Allow unique competitive scenarios where:
    a) Handicapped positions based on player strength in a multi-player game
    b) Ensure remote games connected online have equal post settings

    EMs had them, they called them gates

    #61 11 months ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    Mechanical Theme Integration is about making something from the theme come to life in pinball hardware and not necessarily about that hardware being something we have never seen before (but bonus points if it is novel of course).

    The trick is come up with something that is a new idea. The rocking mini playfield on JJP Pirates looks to be unique. This main issue would be reliability on a pin for the arcade operators. Will there be another Rudy? Most likely answer is no.

    If that Time Shock pin becomes a working prototype, that is something I want to see more of. Taking a video pin game and creating a real pin. So far it appears to be a design challenge and a large financial challenge.

    #62 11 months ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    OK, so you're referring to Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle by Spooky. Can anyone elaborate on what it has and doesn't have with regard to mechanical theme integration?
    [quoted image]

    Please don't feed the troll.

    #63 11 months ago
    Quoted from gliebig:

    Please don't feed the troll.

    Sorry not up on the latest with Nightmare Castle - haven't read thread. Anyway, question still stands if someone knows the answer.

    #64 11 months ago
    Quoted from Darcy:

    The trick is come up with something that is a new idea. The rocking mini playfield on JJP Pirates looks to be unique. This main issue would be reliability on a pin for the arcade operators. Will there be another Rudy? Most likely answer is no.

    Yeah, good point - Rudy is asking a bit too much today but I'm so glad that he exists!

    #65 11 months ago
    Quoted from alexmogil:

    I think Hurricane counts with its dual Ferris Wheels and spinning backbox platter. The juggler is also *neat* but it just throws the ball from one cup to another. [quoted image]

    Thanks for your post. Yes, a good example where someone thought about how to take elements of an amusement park and create pinball machine hardware that represented them (roller coaster, Ferris wheel and juggler). Visually appealing too I think to watch balls go through the Ferris wheels and juggler is neat as well.

    Here's the promo video for Hurricane:

    #66 11 months ago

    JJP pirates went overboard (eh?) with the pirate ship. Jam packed, it rocks side to side, not controlled by the player as in indy. It rocks slower and faster based on character selection and where you are in the game. It has two spinners, two flippers, targets and a cannon that shoots the ball into the hole on another ship.
    Thats what i call innovation. It should be named the best mini playfield ever.

    #67 11 months ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    Yeah, good point - Rudy is asking a bit too much today but I'm so glad that he exists!

    Pinmation is definitely not asking too much today. I could easily see JJP doing a full fledged talking character on one of their games if they were to do a theme where that makes sense.

    #68 11 months ago

    - agree with above poster re JJP POTC. Best mini playfield ever, great theme integration as well. (2nd best mini playfield is Shadow)

    Other top mechanics working well with the theme:
    - circus Voltaire ringmaster
    - World Cup soccer goalie
    - dialed in hologram
    - cages coming up in outlanes of TOTAN (makes me think of the captured princess)
    - white water insanity falls ramp from the upper flipper (rarely is a ramp a mechanical toy, but I feel it counts here)
    - Houdini trunk shot
    - AC/DC cannon
    - mist ball on Dracula
    - big Lebowski rug, car, and bowling
    - Bansai run upper playfield
    - cosmic cart racing magnet ramp
    - multiple mechs on champion pub

    #69 11 months ago

    Potc is a great one.

    Ship, chest and spinning disc.

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    #70 11 months ago

    Agree that actually Stern POTC has good mechanics with theme integration too.

    And now my vote for worst mechanical theme integration, which I define as an actual attempt at a decent mechanical device but one that has poor theme integration...

    X-files file cabinet

    #71 11 months ago

    Honorable mention to STTNG for having cannons to launch balls with and the Borg ship that shoots them back at you.

    I really wish the manufacturers would bring back subways.

    #72 11 months ago
    Quoted from Silverballer:

    Honorable mention to STTNG for having cannons to launch balls with and the Borg ship that shoots them back at you.
    I really wish the manufacturers would bring back subways.

    There's still some cool subways out there being put in games. Although a smaller subway Ghostbusters premium / LE has one for locking balls from the main ramp. Hobbit has a fairly good size subway that feeds 4 different entrances. The largest subway in a game made in the past 20 years may be the one in JJP's Pirates, technically there's two (mini one in lower right).

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    I'm working on a STTNG playfield swap, here's a pic of the new subway plastic with parts reattached. I don't think we will ever see a subway like this again, crazy.

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    #73 11 months ago

    I don't know if this counts, but I love how the shaker motor goes with the flapping of the dragons wings on GOT. It's a shame I'm thinking about selling it.

    #74 11 months ago

    Probably a bash toy with no articulation and a couple ramps. (You said “future,” which doesn’t necessarily mean progress).

    #75 11 months ago

    An inflatable Gloop in JJP Willy Wonka that would come out of the playfield and push the ball, that would be a big first in pinball.

    #76 11 months ago

    Metallica mop hammers balls in coffin under playfield
    Potc ship, trunk spinning compas
    Indiana j 4 moving scoop and ark
    Aerosmith launches into toybox and elavator
    And some more
    I think stern isnt doing so bad

    #77 11 months ago

    Addams Family - motorized bookcase
    Fish Tales - fishing reel rotating ball lock and flapping fish topper.
    AC/DC - interactive bell (it just swings but its satisfying to hit when you hear the sounds and see the animation)
    White Water - Bigfoot diverts ball and head spins.
    Twilight Zone - mini PF with magnet flippers, motorized clock
    Fireball, etc - Zipper flippers
    Bride of Pin*Bot - ball locking rotating face.
    Cue Ball Wizard - motorized working cue stick
    LotR/GOT - sword ball lock
    Water World - tanker ship ball lock
    BSD - mist ball
    TOTAN - Lamp (not motorized but satisfying to spin when you hear the sounds and see the animation)
    Championship Pub - punching bag/boxer

    Mechs don't have to be fancy to be fun, just clever and nicely integrated. But as already mentioned, they take time and money to design and they add to BOM and build time. Only competition will improve things.

    #78 11 months ago

    Just to complete discussion of WOZ, the witch's castle is another good example: hit targets, bash down door and then enter to rescue Dorothy. And don't forget that before you can rescue Dorothy, the player must have her physically captured by the flying monkey and taken to this castle. The elements of the story are put directly into hardware.

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    #79 11 months ago
    Quoted from spinal:

    Yes, innovative hardware and fun, but does this take something from the Shadow world, something from the theme and try to bring into physical hardware? I haven't seen the movie so have no idea.

    Honestly the coolest and most Shadow-y thing on the Shadow is the Sanctum Lock, where the ball stops (thanks magnets and optos) dead in its tracks, the wall lowers, then the ball enters the lock lane. So simple but so cool.

    #80 11 months ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    One thing I'm surprised we haven't seen are motorized outlane posts. These could be used to:
    1) Allow the operator to adjust difficulty much more easily - or even have the game adjust based on auto-percentaging.
    2) Allow in-game variation through:
    a) modes in which they are more or less open or closed, or where the posts oscillate
    b) earning of closed posts through awards
    3) Allow unique competitive scenarios where:
    a) Handicapped positions based on player strength in a multi-player game
    b) Ensure remote games connected online have equal post settings

    PopBumperPete mentions these can be gates.
    You can also get the same thing with a kickback.

    #81 11 months ago

    The Helicopter on R911 proves that not all mechanical things are are great idea in Pinball. It's neat, but I dislike how much it disrupts the game.

    Also sticking with Gottlieb-
    Loop ramp in Gold wings
    Ski Slope elevator in Wipeout
    Deez ball lock in Waterworld

    #82 11 months ago

    Sometimes it's good to revisit old classics in search of new ideas.

    Also, imagine making a ball move like this...

    #83 11 months ago

    I read through this whole thread and am shocked not to see a single mention of the catapult on Houdini. This is a perfect example of a well-integrated mech, and which is cool enough to still be interesting 1 year in. That’s a lot of plays.

    #84 11 months ago
    Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

    I read through this whole thread and am shocked not to see a single mention of the catapult on Houdini. This is a perfect example of a well-integrated mech, and which is cool enough to still be interesting 1 year in. That’s a lot of plays.

    I didn't think Houdini was particularly known for his catapults

    #85 11 months ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I didn't think Houdini was particularly known for his catapults

    ???

    #86 11 months ago

    Johnny Mnemonic hand mech

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    #87 11 months ago

    Things like the Castle in Medival Madness or the Glove in Johnny Mnemonic are perfect examples of perfect mashups of theme integrated toys/ mechs and the main thing Stern is (mostly) lacking (and JJP and AP are pushing but fail to deliver in other things).

    MM Castle is not THAT wild thing of a mech (it's way less complicated then JM Hand mech), it's more the combination of things that make it unique.

    For me personally Sterns Star Trek comes close, as it has "only" a Vengeance bash toy, but that bash toy (equipped with a rumble function, magnet, backkicker and drop target) makes it a living, breathing enemy you have to fight.

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