(Topic ID: 142802)

Why don't modern Stern games have subways?


By fattdirk

3 years ago



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    There are 160 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 3 years ago

    Just curious as to why modern Stern games don't have subways. Is there a logical reason for this or is it a cost savings?

    -1
    #2 3 years ago

    I think i read somewhere Gary Stern doesn't like them..they hide the ball and complicate the experience for average joe

    #3 3 years ago

    The designers have to design a game to use them.

    If Steve Richie puts a subway into Starwars, it will have one.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Just curious as to why modern Stern games don't have subways. Is there a logical reason for this or is it a cost savings?

    Subways cost extra. Do you what to pay $11,000 for an LE

    #6 3 years ago

    Metallica premium does

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from Leeps:

    I think Gary Stern doesn't like them..they hide the ball and complicate the experience for average joe

    Why does everyone believe Gary Stern makes all the decisions?

    #8 3 years ago
    Quoted from inhomearcades:

    Why does everyone believe Gary Stern makes all the decisions?

    Because he designed Metallica?

    11
    #9 3 years ago

    But they do have Jared...

    #11 3 years ago

    Im only saying what I read before. No idea where I saw it but I didnt make that up on my own...and no I dont believe hes making those types of decisions.

    #12 3 years ago

    This is actually a pretty interesting question. Some of the greatest games ever had subways. STTNG and FH to name a couple. Is it possible they're actually being told to design games without them? Is it because they're a pain in the ass to clean and maintain? Possibly because it's another custom piece to design and manufacture. The only thing on recent games that goes below the playfield is a scoop, and I'm sure they have warehouses full of those things just lying around.

    Has anyone missed them?

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from Pahuffman:

    Has anyone missed them?

    Nope, since as has been pointed out several times my modern Stern Metallica has one.

    Honestly I really only like them for ball locks, and physical ball locks are less common than they used to be.

    #14 3 years ago

    Look at how many playfield solenoids are on modern stern games compared to games with subways. Stern can't add more VUKs and god forbid diverters!

    #15 3 years ago

    The same reason every Stern has to have pop bumpers and manual plungers. Gary Stern said so

    Metallica prem/le is more of a ball lock than a subway

    #16 3 years ago

    I'm sure we will see a subway setup in a Stern in the next year

    #17 3 years ago

    The simpler the game, the less they're needed. It's hard to imagine STTNG without the subways to shuttle the ball around. STTNG also did a masterful job of using the subways to stage balls at the various VUK's to speed up gameplay.

    17
    #18 3 years ago

    the better question is , "why don't subways have modern pinball?"....think of the money that could be made, lol

    #19 3 years ago

    I think John Trudeau said Mustang would have a subway.

    His quote was something along the lines of, "I'm going to make it so integral to the design that it can't be removed!"

    Maybe he went with the double flap ramp instead? Maybe the subway would have been the shortcut in the race or the tunnel to hide from the police?

    I'm with everyone else though with cost. A subway requires a vacuum formed ramp and an entire VUK assembly (unless it can piggyback on an existing VUK/scoop).

    A ramp just requires a vacuum formed ramp.

    #20 3 years ago

    I, for one, miss them!

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from Kiwipinhead:

    The same reason every Stern has to have pop bumpers and manual plungers. Gary Stern said so
    Metallica prem/le is more of a ball lock than a subway

    How do you think the balls get from the coffin to the Mystery scoop? Subway.

    #22 3 years ago

    Thing grabbing the ball and taking it inside the box in AF needed a subway to complete the effect. I guess I miss them.

    A new thread should be started to discuss the great (or not so great) uses of subways in pinball.

    #23 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    How do you think the balls get from the coffin to the Mystery scoop? Subway.

    The coffin lock is a neat effect. If only the hammer wasn't so big it blocks the view from the right flipper shot to Sparky. Someone should fix that.

    #24 3 years ago

    I like Mystery subways...throw a 2 or 3 way path and a diverter below, and Surprise me during a "mode" or regular gameplay,
    with a random VUK throw back at me on the playfield.

    Dont like it? Turn it off in settings...either predictable, or Random.

    #25 3 years ago

    I like subways, I also like real ball locks. Stern has done both but they are not real common anymore.

    You don't see them because it costs money, you would have to give up a bash toy to get a subway

    #26 3 years ago

    Subways seem to be problematic with new/novice players. They'll be trying to watch the ball, and when the ball disappears they continue to watch where the ball was for it to come back, but then it shoots out from somewhere else and drains.

    #27 3 years ago

    Subways would help Stern to add a little different variety to their games . I really miss them.

    #28 3 years ago

    I would love a game with a subway diverter so you don't know from where the ball will launch when it comes out of one of several exits. Subways are fun but I think what I didn't find fun after a while is that you know where the ball will come from. Adding randomness would be awesome. Not sure if a game does this already?

    #29 3 years ago

    I miss the subways as well. TH has a small subway but nothing like TAF or TZ, and many others back in the day of great games. Bring back subways! I might buy another Stern if it had a great subway and a none music theme. I'm hoping Pat's game is going to have some subways. He's known for them and really does a great job in working them into the gameplay in my opinion.

    #30 3 years ago
    Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

    Subways seem to be problematic with new/novice players. They'll be trying to watch the ball, and when the ball disappears they continue to watch where the ball was for it to come back, but then it shoots out from somewhere else and drains.

    Flashers work well for letting players know where a ball will come from. But that's more cost for poor ole Gary. Subway, VUK and a flasher.

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Is there a logical reason for this or is it a cost savings?

    Weird use of "or" here, considering the answer is yes to both.

    #32 3 years ago

    I believe it to be cost savings.......i think a designer is on a tight budget and putting an extra gimmic on the top side of the playfield is money better spent than a subway.

    #33 3 years ago

    I've heard the Gary subway, AFM clone, manual plunger stories for a while. the bad thing is that putting constraints on the designer where X or Y can't be done "because i say so" limits creative design. So many good different playfield layouts need a subway to function else you get an X shot fan. This is why so many 2 flipper stern games feel the same, there's only so much you can do with 2 ramps and a bash toy.

    -c

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from jgentry:

    You don't see them because it costs money,

    Physical ball locks can also complicate code and be problematic, and therefore less reliable (especially on location). If a switch on a physical ball lock is not working correctly, the game can lose track of where balls are and can misbehave. In addition, the software then has to be smarter to hopefully catch those issues and work around them.

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from rosh:

    Physical ball locks can also complicate code and be problematic, and therefore less reliable (especially on location). If a switch on a physical ball lock is not working correctly, the game can lose track of where balls are and can misbehave. In addition, the software then has to be smarter to hopefully catch those issues and work around them.

    It's worth it. seeing a locked ball is one of the best joys of pinball, plus works out well with light shows and coreography. It also helps create non standard playfield layouts. multiball with balls shooting out from the trough is more distracting to the average joe than a subway.

    -c

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from Toasterdog:

    Flashers work well for letting players know where a ball will come from. But that's more cost for poor ole Gary. Subway, VUK and a flasher.

    Most of the games with subways do that, but it's surprising how many people I've seen just flat out not notice the signals the game tries to give.

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from CraigC:

    multiball with balls shooting out from the trough is more distracting to the average joe than a subway.

    Even worse when the ball shoots out of the trough then SDTM unless the upper flipper hits it like in TZ. That game should really have a few second ball save whenever the ball is shot out of the trough.

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    I would love a game with a subway diverter so you don't know from where the ball will launch when it comes out of one of several exits. Subways are fun but I think what I didn't find fun after a while is that you know where the ball will come from. Adding randomness would be awesome. Not sure if a game does this already?

    That would be cool, especially with added lighting effects. It would be a cool start to a multiball as well.

    -17
    #39 3 years ago

    I know we're the hardest of the hardcore, and want things that are surprising and challenging, but making the ball disappear and then randomly shoot of out of somewhere else is pretty bad game design.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I know we're the hardest of the hardcore, and want things that are surprising and challenging, but making the ball disappear and then randomly shoot of out of somewhere else is pretty bad game design.

    with the right lighting effects it's not surprising. If you played pinball before 95 you would not be surprised at all.

    -c

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from Jvspin:

    Even worse when the ball shoots out of the trough then SDTM unless the upper flipper hits it like in TZ. That game should really have a few second ball save whenever the ball is shot out of the trough.

    My UL flipper on TZ is adjusted so that a fast ball will end up on the LR flipper if you don't flip. It adds a lot of fun possibilities like drop catch on the right or a dead pass to the left. I'm not sure if it's design intent, though.

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I know we're the hardest of the hardcore, and want things that are surprising and challenging, but making the ball disappear and then randomly shoot of out of somewhere else is pretty bad game design.

    Without subways some features and shots just aren't possible. You can't have a big scoop shot like the TZ piano or Demo Man computer without a subway to have it come out somewhere else. Far away entrances like the TOM trunk, STTNG Neutral Zone, and FH mirror have better kickouts since they don't kick back out across the entire playfield. It's definitely enables more than just random ball teleportation.

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    My UL flipper on TZ is adjusted so that a fast ball will end up on the LR flipper if you don't flip. It adds a lot of fun possibilities like drop catch on the right or a dead pass to the left. I'm not sure if it's design intent, though.

    That's a good idea, how does it affect the piano shot?

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from DefaultGen:

    Without subways some features and shots just aren't possible. You can't have a big scoop shot like the TZ piano or Demo Man computer without a subway to have it come out somewhere else. Far away entrances like the TOM trunk, STTNG Neutral Zone, and FH mirror have better kickouts since they don't kick back out across the entire playfield. It's definitely enables more than just random ball teleportation.

    I'm assuming Aurich's post was more aimed in response to people saying they want subways with diverters that cause the ball to exit in random places, not the idea of subways themselves.

    #46 3 years ago

    I personally love subways. If a novice player is confused by it they should stick to playing EMs.

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

    I'm assuming Aurich's post was more aimed in response to people saying they want subways with diverters that cause the ball to exit in random places, not the idea of subways themselves.

    Right. I meant randomly literally, as in people wanted a subway with multiple exits that are chosen randomly. I think that's bad game design.

    I'm sure there are people here would would enjoy it. We're hardcore. But that doesn't make it a great idea.

    Seeing your ball disappear, and then appear somewhere else, and you can't predict it? Great if you're tired of beating Iron Man constantly. Frustrating for everyone else.

    #48 3 years ago

    Just saw this note on the STTNG IPDB entry (emphasis added):

    Patent #5,350,174 [BELOW THE PLAYFIELD BALL DELIVERY SYSTEM FOR A PINBALL GAME] filed October 28, 1993. Granted September 27, 1994 to Ritchie et al. Assignee is Williams Electronic Games, Inc.

    EDIT: Yep, Williams (Rick?) still holds the patent:

    https://patents.google.com/patent/US5350174A/en

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I know we're the hardest of the hardcore, and want things that are surprising and challenging, but making the ball disappear and then randomly shoot of out of somewhere else is pretty bad game design.

    Funny...we used to think of that kind of 'magic' as cool and interesting.

    #50 3 years ago
    Quoted from swampfire:

    EDIT: Yep, Williams (Rick?) still holds the patent:
    https://patents.google.com/patent/US5350174A/en

    Not any more. It's been over 20 years, so the patent protections would have expired.

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