(Topic ID: 236362)

What's more important? - Theme/License or Layout/Shots/Code


By ZenTron

3 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 months ago by Rdoyle1978
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    Topic poll

    “What's more important? - Theme/License or Layout/Shots/Code”

    • Theme/License 13 votes
      21%
    • Layout/Shots/Code 50 votes
      79%

    (63 votes)

    #1 3 months ago

    You're given a budget to design a machine from the ground up. Do you invest in an A/B rated theme and invest less in Layout/Shots/Code or do you invest in a C/D rated theme and invest more in Layout/Shots/Code? Which is a higher priority to you?

    Thanks

    #2 3 months ago

    I would rather have a game focused on gameplay as a player, but as a company looking to make a profit I would get the best possible theme. Voted layout though because I voted before reading the 1st post.

    #3 3 months ago
    Quoted from ZenTron:

    You're given a budget to design a machine from the ground up. Do you invest in an A/B rated theme and invest less in Layout/Shots/Code or do you invest in a C/D rated theme and invest more in Layout/Shots/Code? Which is a higher priority to you?
    Thanks

    It literally depends on the budget you have and how many total units you intend to make - but if low budget is key to the equation, you start off with just one and show it around while making it the best it can possibly be, like Scott Danesi did.

    All IPs start off as 'original' themes. The point is they become franchises for a reason, when the ideas, story and marketing people have all properly done their job. You should be thinking about a pinball machine the same way, and If your budget isn't so limited, asking yourself the relevant question - does your team possess the talent and necessary time to develop a fresh idea into something inspiring, or do you pay to have that work already done for you provided you know exactly how you want to build it up. There should be a 'both' option in the poll.

    #4 3 months ago
    Quoted from Pinballlew:

    I would rather have a game focused on gameplay as a player, but as a company looking to make a profit I would get the best possible theme. Voted layout though because I voted before reading the 1st post.

    this is the big contradiction - if you put this question to an individual customer they’ll most likely say layout/code, etc. is more important. But if you read the posts in Pinside you quickly get the impression that theme is way more important to the pinball buying public.

    #5 3 months ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    this is the big contradiction - if you put this question to an individual customer they’ll most likely say layout/code, etc. is more important. But if you read the posts in Pinside you quickly get the impression that theme is way more important to the pinball buying public.

    I think that location pins rely on theme to grab the occasional customer in a pizza place. So that’s behind my reasoning. My favorite game as a player is TWD and I am not into horror and never seen the show but the pin is awesome.

    #6 3 months ago

    Code and layout. Munsters is recent proof of this for me......... such a highly anticipated title that people are dumping quicker than yesterdays newspaper.

    #7 3 months ago

    This question will be answered if Stern really does release an original theme by Ritchie. Will Stern buyers and non-pinsiders buy and make it a success, or will it suffer the sluggish sales of a non-themed game by an A-list designer like Dialed In? I'm curious to sit back and watch this one play out. Can Stern's marketing overcome the lack of a popular well known theme?

    #8 3 months ago

    Hopefully Ritchies original theme will break the current paradigm of half baked, tired, or otherwise uninspired franchise themes. I’m convinced Dialed In could have been that, but it’s on the wrong side of the price elasticity curve. It takes a rare and special buyer at $9k. I wonder what the gross margin is on a DI or DILE?

    Am I the only one that finds it ironic and weird that this community obsesses over the next <insert movie, band or tv show> theme yet the top 3 rated games are original themes?

    #9 3 months ago
    Quoted from holminone:

    Am I the only one that finds it ironic and weird that this community obsesses over the next theme yet the top 3 rated games are original themes?

    Well, those top 3 hold nostalgia for what got a lot of us into pinball when we were younger. Whereas Metallica or LOTR came around later when arcades were mostly gone.

    #10 3 months ago

    It’s all important. An experience is multi dimensional and cohesive. To be exceptional all dimenensions must be exceptional. It’s a fallacy to tease apart dimensions and question their individual importance.

    #11 3 months ago

    The fallacy in this question is the assumption that the guy holding the purse strings hasn't already made the choice. :/

    #12 3 months ago

    For me (to have a pin in my home) - it is ultimately the FUN factor. I am often surprised at which Pins I find Fun and which ones I don't. My personal examples below.

    example 1: Scared Stiff. I fell in love with that game at a fellow collectors home and just had to have one. I had no desire to own that theme but after playing it I just felt that the overall package, sounds, lights, theme, gameplay and innuendo just made me smile and have fun every time I played it. I only sold it because I needed to fund my Tron LE - it is the only game that I really miss (owned it for 3 years).

    example 2: TSPP. I love the show and given the great theme integration and awesome toys - I should have loved that game. I don't like it and I have tried so hard to like it (tried to force myself - played it tons!). It has everything that I should like but it just doesn't give me Fun.

    example 3: Lord of the Rings. An absolutely awesome game to play but it can be a lengthy adventure. I don't play it much but it is perhaps my favourite game - I just don't have that much time to play it but when I do - man that games is kick-ass Fun.

    example 4: WOZ. I love the gameplay and it's uniqueness. This is the only theme that I hate - because I absolutely cannot stand the movie (not sure why - I think it is because I hate the Lion character). Only theme I don't think I could own but I really want to own it to play for a bit - almost convinced to buy (for a while). It is a great game to play and I have Fun playing it.

    Theme is important to me (to own - not to play) but it is the overall package - I am a lights/sound guy (love home theatre setups) - audio completes the experience for me.

    I really have to play a game for a bit to determine if it is worth (me) owning. While I quite enjoy hearing what others think - I never blindly follow the crowd. I like what I like and enjoy playing games I don't think I will like because you never know.

    #13 3 months ago

    I guess that depends on who you are targeting at.
    If it's operators, theme is almost everything as long as the machine's gameplay does not deter casual players from dropping a second Euro..
    If it's home users it depends on the individual. For me gameplay and flow is the focus and theme just must not be terrible (I am looking at you, Oktoberfest) and speak to me at least a little bit. Regarding depth of rules, I am not a good player, so while I do appreciate the option of building strategies, I usually don't get around to actually accomplishing them, so flow and diversity are more important to me - so is audio and playfield artwork.
    For machines on location I don't give a sh*t about theme as long as gameplay is good and audio is not deterring me (repetitive sounds, bad music).

    #14 3 months ago

    Good game play can save a bad theme, but a great theme only goes so far if the play is so-so.

    However with the current price level for new games I’m not considering any NIB games unless they have both.

    #15 3 months ago

    This is a tough question, because I’d love to say that layout, toys and code are the most important. However, theme does matter. There are some great shooting pins or pins with great code that I would not want to own due to the license or the look of the pin.

    For example, Keith Elwin designed what I believe is the second best pin of 2018, but I would not own that pin because of theme (Archer would have been a great theme). Likewise, I think the code in TWD is amongst the best out there, but I would not want to own that pin due to the way it looks, particularly with the bash toy. I will play these games on location but they are not games I would purchase.

    On the other hand, there are some themes that do not appeal to me that I would own. The Shadow, Indy 500 and NASCAR come to mind here. I am fine with a theme that does not resonate, but some themes kill the machine for me, and I would not purchase them for home use solely because of the theme.

    #16 3 months ago

    To make a great pin, there has to a balance between playability, and theme. Not all themes have the same effect on everyone.

    Think about it, a potential player walking along a row of pins, will most likely pass on playing that pin with the 'Heinz Ketchup' theme.

    #17 3 months ago

    To make a great game? Layout / shots / code. To make a profit ? Theme.

    Time and time again it is proven out that theme surpasses the actual gameplay - Take Stern - they are reusing layouts, throwing games together quickly, and getting them out the door. and they SELL! The thing is, they're all fine games. Each release may not be the greatest of all time, but they're solid enough.

    Then look at JJP - they released a game with one of the greatest and fun layouts of ALL time, with extremely mature code at release - called it Dialed In... and half the market didn't buy the game because they "couldn't get into the theme." It boggles the mind. Iron Maiden is a Stern example of the same phenomenon - "I just don't like the music..." despite the inspired design and innovative rules.

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