(Topic ID: 284890)

Who will the new American Pinball designer be?

By westofrome

9 months ago


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  • 199 posts
  • 77 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 9 months ago by TheLaw
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Who will the new American Pinball designer be?”

    • Dennis Nordman 71 votes
      55%
    • Ryan McQuaid 10 votes
      8%
    • Mark Ritchie 18 votes
      14%
    • Someone else 29 votes
      23%

    (128 votes)

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    There are 199 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
    #151 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Controlling what you type.

    I get that! Sometimes it’s better not typing anything but it seems we all keep typing.

    #152 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Controlling what you type.
    EDIT: Please if you are going the "'Merica freedom of speech!" angle this is not an American site, no public.

    That’s for sure. And no, that isn’t where I was going.

    #153 9 months ago

    Now back to our regularly scheduled program

    12
    #154 9 months ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Elvira3 is awesome. My fav Stern in years.
    Now AP just needs to hire an art/creative director.

    The art on Houdini is awesome.

    15
    #155 9 months ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    I'll give you one example that killed AP on route here for the OP I worked with. AP not fixing the crash bug introduced in the Houdini audits for more than 6 months (it may have been longer, we bailed at 6 months) was RIDICULOUS for a company that supposedly wants to build cred with operators. This was a critical bug for operators and should have been a priority, but it was not.

    Thanks for the info. Houdini was before I joined API... I'm not sure of the background to this case, but I feel pretty comfortable that API wouldn't let a crasher bug go on like that these days.

    Quoted from PinMonk:

    Also, the system menu is made for home users, not really functional and well arranged for operators. Stern and JJP are doing the system menus correctly for operators with clear layout and quick access. AP's graphical system menu is a mess (unless it's changed radically since Houdini).

    Would welcome specific feedback in this regard. DM is fine if you're amenable, to avoid gumming up this thread. The API service menus seem to me to be pretty similar to other manufacturers past and present, but it's been a few years since I've had games on route, so I may be overlooking something that would annoy an operator. Always welcome feedback to help make the products better.

    Thanks!

    #156 9 months ago
    Quoted from mbwalker:

    It would be really interesting to see what Nordman had planned for EHoH, prior to Stern's BOM reduction efforts.

    This is the show I was referencing although the sound doesn’t seem to work on my phone for some reason

    #157 9 months ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    This is the show I was referencing although the sound doesn’t seem to work on my phone for some reason

    YES! this is the panel I was thinking about. Here's Nordman's original design for Elvira3. Whoop de do whitewater-style ramp on the left, mechanical hand of fate at the left outlane, ramp wrapping around behind the house with a diverter, "tombstone" drop targets much more prominent out front on the left side of the house. Plus, whatever's happening behind the flippers with the guides. Lots of cool stuff.

    original-design (resized).jpg

    10
    #158 9 months ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    This is the show I was referencing although the sound doesn’t seem to work on my phone for some reason

    What an absolute shame they cut out the cool ramps and diverter and reduced it down to make it less than what it should have been! Now I know why some people hate Stern getting their dream themes! I mean who would have paid for the additions if their was a choice? Who would sacrifice a $1000 crappy topper to make all these cool features into the game? Stern is all about money and its a damn shame as they are the best at manufacturing...so far.

    #159 9 months ago
    Quoted from Ferret:

    Thanks for the info. Houdini was before I joined API... I'm not sure of the background to this case, but I feel pretty comfortable that API wouldn't let a crasher bug go on like that these days.

    Dunno. It was weird. A major crash bug (clearing the audits immediately rebooted the machine and...didn't clear the audits) that affects operators should be a 5-alarm fire, but not at AP. Enough people knew that it should have been fixed that first week. But, nope. They lost at least one operator because of not doing anything about it for more than 6 months.

    Good to know that you would not shine it on and understand the importance of operator satisfaction.

    Quoted from Ferret:

    Would welcome specific feedback in this regard. DM is fine if you're amenable, to avoid gumming up this thread. The API service menus seem to me to be pretty similar to other manufacturers past and present, but it's been a few years since I've had games on route, so I may be overlooking something that would annoy an operator. Always welcome feedback to help make the products better.
    Thanks!

    We don't have any AP machines now, so I can't really offer any firsthand suggestions, unfortunately. Maybe when Nordman's machine comes...

    #160 9 months ago

    @ vireland Do your operator a favor - tell him to try a Hot Wheels.

    #161 9 months ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    Do your operator a favor - tell him to try a Hot Wheels.

    Wouldn't it be better to consider the next AP pin ?

    LTG : )

    #162 9 months ago

    I think there will be a pleasant surprise if they give Hot Wheels a try. While I have one in home environment - I think it will be easy to maintain on location.
    This is also a game you need to get in your hands. As you know with lack of shows and difficulty of running a game as an operator these days exposure of new games is more sparse. I think a number of people will really like Hot Wheels when they get their hands on it. And I think it will be pretty reliable on location.

    I think Vic might like how serviceable and reliable I'd guess the game would be on location. I'm just a home player, but one with a fairly good collection. My guess is this game might have them take a second look at AP games on route in the future.

    Maybe give it a whirl with an eye towards what's coming too.

    #163 9 months ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I think there will be a pleasant surprise if they give Hot Wheels a try. While I have one in home environment

    Consider an operators point of view.

    Hot Wheels is almost a year old. It won't earn like it might have when it came out. PinMonk 's operator has probably had a less than spectacular year. And any money spent on new equipment, if he has any. Won't be risked on a game popular in a home environment. Right now the days of giving it a try don't exist. I don't know any operators that would do that right now.

    They would need to consider something new. A sure thing. Possibly from AP, maybe from another manufacturer. Maybe not even pinball.

    Don't get me wrong. I like AP's games. And a year ago I strongly considered selling a game and putting the money into a Hot Wheels. ( a change of mind from Oktoberfest which back then I think would have done good in my business ). But after last year. It isn't happening for me. The hard times started right before TPF when Hot Wheels was shown the weekend before TPF.

    Now in the future. If business returns. AP ramps up. The day may well come when I consider an AP pin for my arcade.

    LTG : )

    #164 9 months ago

    I get what you are saying Lloyd. I guess what I was trying to point to is AP is worth another try - when the time is right for an Operator to add a game. AP keeps making progress - Hot Wheels was a really nice step forward. And if an Operator wanted to try an AP game I think with what they have produced thus far Hot Wheels would probably be the top choice. Houdini and Oktoberfest are great home games more so than being on location. I think Hot Wheels would fit well in both roles - Home or location.

    I think that was a step in a good direction for AP.

    I am confident they are making more good steps. Adding Dennis and Mr. Fix and others is a very good move.

    #165 9 months ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I guess what I was trying to point to is AP is worth another try - when the time is right for an Operator to add a game.

    I agree.

    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I think that was a step in a good direction for AP.

    I am confident they are making more good steps. Adding Dennis and Mr. Fix and others is a very good move.

    They are making a lot of steps and heading to a bright future.

    This is great for pinball. Great for pinball fans.

    A lot better for everyone than the doom and gloom of the mid 1990's or last year.

    And once again we get to witness it.

    LTG : )

    #166 9 months ago

    @ LTG - Things in general will get better this year - when we get some normalcy, I think you and other Operators are going to get busy. There is pent up want to get out have fun, entertainment, food, socialize with others, play lots of pinball, etc etc etc.

    We will get there !

    I am pulling for everybody.

    #167 9 months ago
    Quoted from wcbrandes:

    What an absolute shame they cut out the cool ramps and diverter and reduced it down to make it less than what it should have been! Now I know why some people hate Stern getting their dream themes! I mean who would have paid for the additions if their was a choice? Who would sacrifice a $1000 crappy topper to make all these cool features into the game? Stern is all about money and its a damn shame as they are the best at manufacturing...so far.

    I would pay extra for that CE!!

    #168 9 months ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I think Hot Wheels would fit well in both roles - Home or location.

    As a HW owner I can confirm that the pin does great in a home environment. Until now everybody loves it.
    On location I think it is a gem yet to be discovered by many. Once it gets a chance I think it would do more than great out there.

    Also very excited that AP got Dennis aboard. Good times ahead

    #169 9 months ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    @ vireland Do your operator a favor - tell him to try a Hot Wheels.

    Nope won't happen. He's over AP - completely. And Hot Wheels is too kiddie for his locations, anyway. The main location he had for pins got sold and went to a no-pin kind of club vibe, then the pandemic happened, so it's really just and academic exercise probably for the rest of the year talking about what pins would be put out.

    #170 9 months ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    Houdini and Oktoberfest are great home games more so than being on location. I think Hot Wheels would fit well in both roles - Home or location.

    The Houdini we had out really did well on location, but I had all the upgrades on it so it performed pretty well compared to stock. Top 5 earner for the whole route pretty consistently. The operator had no complaints - until his audits couldn't be cleared and AP blew off fixing it. I don't think Houdini is a home-only pin.

    #171 9 months ago
    Quoted from PinMonk:

    The Houdini we had out really did well on location, but I had all the upgrades on it so it performed pretty well compared to stock. Top 5 earner for the whole route pretty consistently. The operator had no complaints - until his audits couldn't be cleared and AP blew off fixing it. I don't think Houdini is a home-only pin.

    Houdini is hands-down one of the most underrated pins out there.

    #172 9 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Houdini is hands-down one of the most underrated pins out there.

    I enjoyed it, and my son still talks about it. One of the few he misses.

    #173 9 months ago

    +1

    i'm of course right in the honeymoon with my Houdini, but i'm now discovering a lot of diff things that makes this pin greater that what i was thinking before buying it

    i like the idea to have various "locking" bays, and code is doing the job by realeasing, or not, this or that pinball, a fun choregraphy
    its a slow pin (i'm a tournament player, usualy liking fast pin, as the STERN ones), but than fiting perfectly with the theme
    the code is not too simple, not too deep, finaly easy to quickly get in
    ok let's admit with some hard shoot (as the inner loop), but not punitive when you missed them, its a friendly pin

    ...

    #174 9 months ago
    Quoted from Mudflaps:

    The innovation with EHOH is with the code. The layout is familiar but also deceptively simple. There are physical ball locks all over the place and the haunted house is on par with the MM castle. Everything just came together perfectly.
    Nordman knows how to put together a design, and listening to the podcast, he’s there to mentor and guide some younger designers. What I like about AP is they acknowledge missteps and accept constructive criticism. Hopefully the next few games will be huge for them.

    It’s that and the two change state toys. Deadhead crypt is three shots. Open, closed, bashing deadheads. Open shot can give you a moving target shot.

    The house has three as well. Open for a shot, up the ramp, up the ramp and back out from underneath. Plus the top of house moves.

    Overall, this is great design. I’m very excited for APs next game. Hot Wheels is fun though it needs that main toy.

    #175 9 months ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Controlling what you type.
    EDIT: Please if you are going the "'Merica freedom of speech!" angle this is not an American site, no public.

    it is sure starting to get that un-American feel as well, but just my OPINION.

    #176 9 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Houdini is hands-down one of the most underrated pins out there.

    I agree, was somewhat surprised to hear David Fix talk pretty negatively about it on the podcast. Franchi said he really liked it and the art but didn't like how bad it kicked his ass which is a pretty common complaint and I think that's pretty fair at least.

    11
    #177 9 months ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    I agree, was somewhat surprised to hear David Fix talk pretty negatively about it on the podcast. Franchi said he really liked it and the art but didn't like how bad it kicked his ass which is a pretty common complaint and I think that's pretty fair at least.

    The #1 complaint about Houdini is that it's hard...but I don't understand that because players also often complain about games being too easy. I feel that an element of difficulty is far better to have than being too simple, especially in a home setting.

    It has everything players say they are looking for: Good rules, lots of shots, great toys, an interesting and unique theme, phenomenal art and lighting, tremendous build quality, and spot-on sounds/music.

    #178 9 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    The #1 complaint about Houdini is that it's hard...but I don't understand that because players also often complain about games being too easy. I feel that an element of difficulty is far better to have than being too simple, especially in a home setting.
    It has everything players say they are looking for: Good rules, lots of shots, great toys, an interesting and unique theme, phenomenal art and lighting, tremendous build quality, and spot-on sounds/music.

    Takes a few games to get the feel for houdini, and too many folks give up after a game or two and are missing out. There is so much to do in the game. The inner loop shot and the milkcan shot are hard, but certainly shootable. The milkcan is really just the playfield multiplier, not sure it is used in any mode other then milkcan escape. The inner loop is a tight shot, but you get the great payoff of the catapult sequence, and it is probably is good it does not happen too often or it would lose its luster or just slow things down too much. The code has improved a lot from when it was first released, this new code is amazing. I think a lot of folks have listened to the naysayers or never given it a second chance, and they are missing out.

    I think it is great how Rosh and Ferret are so active here on pinside, they listen to and respond to feedback, and you can tell they are committed to making their games as good as they can be. Seems rules of the games they have done are really different for each game, and looking forward to seeing what they do next.

    #179 9 months ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    The #1 complaint about Houdini is that it's hard...but I don't understand that because players also often complain about games being too easy. I feel that an element of difficulty is far better to have than being too simple, especially in a home setting.
    It has everything players say they are looking for: Good rules, lots of shots, great toys, an interesting and unique theme, phenomenal art and lighting, tremendous build quality, and spot-on sounds/music.

    It is a bit hard on the default settings, but with some minor adjustments to the flipper position and a really well-leveled cabinet, the game comes alive. Some of the complaints are about it being hard because the shots are close, and supposedly tight (they really are not any more tight than 1000 other games), but if you don't have stuff close in the playfield, there are complaints that it's a "bare game" (see: the Hobbit). Most people who complain about it have not played it in years, and I guarantee never played a well-set up instance.

    #180 9 months ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    I agree, was somewhat surprised to hear David Fix talk pretty negatively about it on the podcast. Franchi said he really liked it and the art but didn't like how bad it kicked his ass which is a pretty common complaint and I think that's pretty fair at least.

    I don’t like the flippers on it. That’s my only complaint. Haha

    #181 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I don’t like the flippers on it. That’s my only complaint. Haha

    Thats why I got rid of it

    #182 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I don’t like the flippers on it. That’s my only complaint. Haha

    What was the issue with the flippers? Getting knocked down by the ball?

    #183 9 months ago
    Quoted from RebelGuitars:

    What was the issue with the flippers? Getting knocked down by the ball?

    For Houdini only, even with the updated power supply, the flippers go lame during events with lots of action and magnets.

    #184 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    For Houdini only, even with the updated power supply, the flippers go lame during events with lots of action and magnets.

    On the one I played it always felt like one flipper was stronger than the other. I couldn’t tell if it was that game or an issue related to this.

    Really killed any enthusiasm I had to learn the game. I like the rules but the shots are not for me.

    13
    #185 9 months ago

    Happy for Dennis. He could really use a break, hope American Pinball is the place for that to happen. I only got to hang out with him once, but we commiserated over a certain pinball company owner.

    More importantly the news that he's mentoring new designers is great. This hobby relies an awful lot on the old guard. No scene can thrive without new blood. It's exciting to see new designers with new ideas come in. We all win when that happens.

    #186 9 months ago
    Quoted from RazerX:

    I love many of Nordman's games, but am I missing something with EHOH? What innovation exactly has he brought with EHOH?

    IMO the best comparison is a cake. Every cake has the same ingredients. The best ones are made to perfection with layers of cake, filling and frosting; all done with the intention to wow you. EHOH is very much this design, it is very familiar but when you add in the code, Elvira, and the House, you end up with a great pin.

    #187 9 months ago
    Quoted from BigT:

    IMO the best comparison is a cake. Every cake has the same ingredients. The best ones are made to perfection with layers of cake, filling and frosting; all done with the intention to wow you. EHOH is very much this design, it is very familiar but when you add in the code, Elvira, and the House, you end up with a great pin.

    Are you saying you'd like to Eat Nordman?

    #188 9 months ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    For Houdini only, even with the updated power supply, the flippers go lame during events with lots of action and magnets.

    The new code I've tested does a lot to address this, combined with the capacitor add-on board and other items it's nearly negligible now but it does still exist to some small extent. Mine are about due for a rebuild too now that I think of it.

    #189 9 months ago
    Quoted from BigT:

    IMO the best comparison is a cake. Every cake has the same ingredients. The best ones are made to perfection with layers of cake, filling and frosting; all done with the intention to wow you. EHOH is very much this design, it is very familiar but when you add in the code, Elvira, and the House, you end up with a great pin.

    I'm not surprised the code it great. Lyman almost always delivers on that. Theme integration seems pretty well done too between code and art. I gotta say that I'm pretty underwhelmed by the playfield layout though. While the shots are fine none of them really stand out to me as particularly satisfying which is something I look for in modern playfield design. Its just a pretty basic fan. Not the interesting shot and shot combo selection that I enjoy on Wh2o, I500, DM or SS. If I was into the theme more, I guess I might like it more too. I'm glad many people dig it and its cool it has the strong following that it does. Too this point though, SS is still the Elvira game I enjoy playing the most even though the code is not nearly what it is on EHOH. Great code only goes so far for me if the playfield design is lacking. In a way, it feels similar to the feeling I had with Hobbit. Great code but the layout just wasn't getting it done for me, so I sold it.

    2 weeks later
    #190 9 months ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Happy for Dennis. He could really use a break, hope American Pinball is the place for that to happen. I only got to hang out with him once, but we commiserated over a certain pinball company owner.
    More importantly the news that he's mentoring new designers is great. This hobby relies an awful lot on the old guard. No scene can thrive without new blood. It's exciting to see new designers with new ideas come in. We all win when that happens.

    I agree, new blood is key sometimes to seeing pinball design in a new light. There is somewhat of a base for designing. Things have to be a certain way to make things flow, or do they? New people present new ideas especially with a new generation of young cats that have grown up in a whole different world than the older folks. (I’m in that older category)

    #191 9 months ago

    Dennis Norman's master piece ramp.

    #192 9 months ago
    Quoted from chad:

    Dennis Norman's masterpiece ramp: BOBS Rolling Ball Sculpture.

    It wouldn't look anything like that after Stern finished cost-cutting the BOM.

    #193 9 months ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    It wouldn't look anything like that after Stern finished cost-cutting the BOM.

    It would be a mono-target that said RAMP in big letters

    #194 9 months ago

    So it sounds like, at least from the Super Awesome Pinball show, that the rumors are the next game will be LOV from the Riot Pinball guys. Just rumours of course but that game looks fantastic and my friends who have played it really like it but as Franchi pointed out it's unlicensed and kind of a odd theme. I couldn't certainly see them being able to get that into production pretty quickly based on how much code and art are already there.

    #195 9 months ago
    Quoted from bobukcat:

    So it sounds like, at least from the Super Awesome Pinball show, that the rumors are the next game will be LOV from the Riot Pinball guys. Just rumours of course but that game looks fantastic and my friends who have played it really like it but as Franchi pointed out it's unlicensed and kind of a odd theme. I couldn't certainly see them being able to get that into production pretty quickly based on how much code and art are already there.

    That would be AWESOME! I've been hoping a manufacturer would pick LOV up and mass produce it. American would be the ideal partner for that because of their top-notch build quality as well as their history of not only doing mainstream licensed themes. I would be a definite buyer on an LOV from American and Riot.

    #196 9 months ago

    What is LOV?

    #198 9 months ago

    Thanks.

    #199 9 months ago

    I hope they refine it just a touch...LOV is a little sloppy.

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