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(Topic ID: 217432)

Will future Stern designs live up to IMDN?


By spinal

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 49 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by starbase
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Topic poll

“Will future Stern designs live up to IMDN?”

  • No. IMDN is a one-off and will have little affect on future pin design at Stern. 40 votes
    60%
  • Yes. IMDN will make enough money that Stern will allow designers more time and freedom in the future 27 votes
    40%

(67 votes)

#1 2 years ago

Iron Maiden is one of the best and unique Stern releases in years but was designed (+ rules coded) largely outside of the pressures and deadlines of running a real company. This extra time and lack of pressure gave rise to small design details like Schatzing target and 3-shot upper flipper among other things too numerous to mention.

If Stern makes a killing on IMDN, do you think they will allow for more internal “ripening” of games in the future or will designers feel the same internal deadline pressure as before? In other words, do you think IMDN is a one-off because it came from outside or is IMDN the beginning of a new trend at Stern?

#2 2 years ago

Even if Stern changes its internal timetables, great top 10 games just aren’t created that often - so many things have to come together, and Stern has the huge benefit of all the previous (YEARS!!) of sweat equity put into Archer, for, presumably, free. There’s no way they could support that. Maiden is awesome because it was awesome before it came to Stern

#3 2 years ago

I agree with that but at the heart of every great game is a designer who had the time to hone his vision. If you tell a designer they only have a few months, all that flies out of the window and it becomes about meeting deadlines very quickly and the inevitable shortcuts that follow. Nothing on them of course - it comes from above.

#4 2 years ago
Quoted from spinal:

I agree with that but at the heart of every great game is a designer who had the time to hone his vision. If you tell a designer they only have a few months, all that flies out of the window and it becomes about meeting deadlines very quickly and the inevitable shortcuts that follow. Nothing on them of course - it comes from above.

Totally agree, I guess my point is that even if Stern was open to the idea of giving designers less tight deadlines, Maiden is SO far ahead they couldn’t justify the time this game specifically was given to breathe and evolve

#5 2 years ago

Could be. Perhaps Stern could pick say 25% of their pins (best future licenses) to be ones where they invest extra time/money to really go for something unique and special like IMDN (for the sake of increased profit of course). This is common practice in other markets to have bread-and-butter products for sale next to the-good-stuff for those customers who can tell the difference. Might be a good way to increase profits and apply more competitive pressure against competitors.

#6 2 years ago
Quoted from spinal:

Could be. Perhaps Stern could pick say 25% of their pins (best future licenses) to be ones where they invest extra time/money to really go for something unique and special like IMDN (for the sake of increased profit of course). This is common practice in other markets to have bread-and-butter products for sale next to the-good-stuff for those customers who can tell the difference. Might be a good way to increase profits and apply more competitive pressure against competitors.

I’m always down for better games, no matter the manufacturer!

#7 2 years ago

Even if Maiden's successes doesn't allow for more development time, it has certainly set a new standard.

#8 2 years ago

I think there's always going to be hits and misses. IMDN is a special game. I'm really curious to see what Keith does for game #2.

#9 2 years ago

Unless Stern just filed to become a non for profit company, I would say absolutely not.

-13
#10 2 years ago

It's a cool design but I think Ghostbusters premium / LE layout and toy offering is much more impressive.

#11 2 years ago

I think the small touches in Maiden are as much a result of a new designer with new ideas as it is a matter of development time. Even the best designers fall into ruts over decades of refining their designs and it takes a new perspective to shake things up.

If you listen to the most recent Expo Q&A with Steve Ritchie about half the questions are along the lines of "would Stern ever consider adding variety to (playfield dimensions/toys/flipper configuration/etc)" and Steve basically saying, "look, we've refined the perfect pinball to within an inch of its life and that's how things are." Sometimes you need new blood to shake things up, even if the new blood doesn't have the clout to make them include a subway the first time out...

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

It's a cool design but I think Ghostbusters premium / LE layout and toy offering is much more impressive.

I'd argue that Ghostbusters is a great example of a pin that could have used more development time. Everyone loved the playfield when it was announced but it quickly fell out of favor once people played the game. It just didn't shoot smoothly. Air balls, balls jumping over inlanes, slimer mech not registering. Sort of the opposite of the Iron Maiden experience.

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from iloveplywood:

I'd argue that Ghostbusters is a great example of a pin that could have used more development time. Everyone loved the playfield when it was announced but it quickly fell out of favor once people played the game. It just didn't shoot smoothly. Air balls, balls jumping over inlanes, slimer mech not registering. Sort of the opposite of the Iron Maiden experience.

Absolutely agree - specifically QC time, shooting the game and making tiny adjustments. This is something that seemingly all manufacturers could benefit from, but it’s just not a reality any more. They need the games out so they can be sold, which reduces the time available. I can say from experience that JJP is doing a great job following up on things when they have to make changes.

#14 2 years ago

I would hope that the other designers at Stern feel some pressure to create something a little more fresh as a result of Maiden's success.

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from kklank:

Unless Stern just filed to become a non for profit company, I would say absolutely not.

This misses a not so subtle point that spending more time and money making something really special can lead to more profit.

#16 2 years ago

I would say Stern should think long and hard before increasing the cost per game as people wanted hand drawn art Stern gave it to the people and they hated it think GOTG

#17 2 years ago

Why are we acting like IMDN cost a ton of monies to make? Did you all forget aboot the low coil count?

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Why are we acting like IMDN cost a ton of monies to make? Did you all forget aboot the low coil count?

The BOM for IMDN may be low, but the massive amounts of labor put into the planning and tweaking of the game are what made it so great

#19 2 years ago

I vote yes, especially since Stern has hired Brian Eddy. I can’t wait to see what Brian comes up with and if he can meet the lofty expectations we have for him based on his previous games.

#20 2 years ago

I just hope Stern has finally got the message that code is probably the single most important factor in a game selling way beyond the honeymoon period.

Still waiting for the KISS update

#21 2 years ago

This is a good question, but it really remains to be seen. IMDN was based on the Archer layout that KE had years to adjust & get it right. They have so many titles in production now, they could easily give more development time to each designer & release fewer new titles per year. I think it would pay off for them in the long run, instead of just tweaking old layouts (like GOTG) & pushing them out the door.

The proof will come with Ritchie's new game. Will they give him a couple years to come up with something unique on his rumored unlicensed next game? Perhaps tweaking the well known Black Knight layout, but now with an upper/middle/lower playfields & modern lighting/sounds? Or will be be another yet another fan fast flowest like GOT & SW pros? Give these guys some time to come up with something unique!

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from JJHLH:

I vote yes, especially since Stern has hired Brian Eddy. I can’t wait to see what Brian comes up with and if he can meet the lofty expectations we have for him based on his previous games.

Exactly, I just hope they give him the funds and the freedom to do it.

#23 2 years ago

Why not? Great team, great designers and programmers, and an experience that reinforces the need for mature code at release. Stern is looking strong.

#24 2 years ago

Wait and see.

#25 2 years ago

No way will every game be as good as IMDN. Some may be better but most will not be as good. For people expect IMDN type greatness for every game is just not logical thinking and it isnt going to happen. Some pinball machines are a home run and some are strike outs. Thats how its always been and how its always going to be.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Some pinball machines are a home run and some are strike outs. Thats how its always been and how its always going to be.

I feel like this is too binary a description: it’s more like most pins are singles or doubles.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from skink91:

I feel like this is too binary a description: it’s more like most pins are singles or doubles.

True, some games can be home runs, and some can be strike outs, but there are some singles, doubles, and triples, in between i guess also. I stand corrected.

Baseball is much better than a cargument right?

#28 2 years ago

I think we all have fun playing on a lot of those ‘singles’ pins too. They may not be machines we want to own, but we sure as snot continue pumping quarters into them!

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

True, some games can be home runs, and some can be strike outs, but there are some singles, doubles, and triples, in between i guess also. I stand corrected.
Baseball is much better than a cargument right?

Would that make TWD an inside the park home run? (hopefully you can delete posts later, I have a feeling I might regret this one).

#30 2 years ago
Quoted from iloveplywood:

Would that make TWD an inside the park home run? (hopefully you can delete posts later, I have a feeling I might regret this one).

Yeah id say thats an accurate assessment. lol

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from iloveplywood:

Would that make TWD an inside the park home run? (hopefully you can delete posts later, I have a feeling I might regret this one).

Not for me personally, but prefs are a subjective thing. I love the show, but thought the pin was just okay. I couldn’t even tell you why exactly.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from iloveplywood:

I'd argue that Ghostbusters is a great example of a pin that could have used more development time. Everyone loved the playfield when it was announced but it quickly fell out of favor once people played the game. It just didn't shoot smoothly. Air balls, balls jumping over inlanes, slimer mech not registering. Sort of the opposite of the Iron Maiden experience.

There were some minor hardware issues with early Ghostbuster games but later production runs had those items corrected. Pretty much every new pin goes through similar minor changes, Iron Maiden will as well.

With the airball protector airballs are not an issue. I'll take a ball jumping over an inlane every once in a great while to get some very unique and interactive toys versus traditional right / left ramps and side loop shots. The toy offering in Iron Maiden is disappointing in my opinion.

#33 2 years ago

Yes I do believe Bryan Eddie will come up with something special. I am in a honeymoon phase with MM at the moment and have high hopes for his first release with Stern.

I am not buying anymore fan layout games if I can avoid it. No going back, pinball needs to move forward. Hopefully with all the young blood in engineering at Stern will see some more innovative under the play-field mechs as well.

#34 2 years ago

I believe they will strive to have each future game they make a top ten.

You don't really know until people play them. ( hit the streets in the old days )

And in recent times they have had more great games than not so great games.

LTG : )

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from skink91:

I love the show, but thought the pin was just okay. I couldn’t even tell you why exactly.

I think the rules, coding, modes, and how challenging it is probably is what makes people love it more than the playfield design itself.

#36 2 years ago

If Borg is still designing than the answer is no.

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

If Borg is still designing than the answer is no.

ouch I can feel the burn from here

#38 2 years ago

I would like to say yes but I doubt it. As others pointed out it had a lot of design time before it came to Stern. Hopefully this game changes their mind and they allow for more time in design but I doubt it.

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

If Borg is still designing than the answer is no.

He was my favorite designer up to and including metallica. But ever since, it seems like he copies areas of previous games and jumbles them all together for something "new". Like the kiss/IJ area, etc. Nothing really fresh and new like IMLOTB. His last 3 designs have been stale IMHO and easily skipped purchases. I really hope he gets back on track because his physics are always really good.

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from dgoett:

He was my favorite designer up to and including metallica. But ever since, it seems like he copies areas of previous games and jumbles them all together for something "new". Like the kiss/IJ area, etc. Nothing really fresh and new like IMLOTB. His last 3 designs have been stale IMHO and easily skipped purchases. I really hope he gets back on track because his physics are always really good.

Imagine what he could do if given the design time afforded to Steve. It's a shame.

#41 2 years ago

It depends, is stern going to outsource all of their game design? Then Yes.

This game was designed and somewhat ready to go when they bought the design. Their internal game designs have been hit or miss.

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

The toy offering in Iron Maiden is disappointing in my opinion.

Man that was good for a laugh on a Mon. afternoon Panzer!

#43 2 years ago

Maiden is a beast out of the box.
Metallica acdc twd are now insane great pins but even those Super games was not even close from Out Of The Box.

My 2 cents its Elwin been working this pin for a long time , desing and software

This will not happen again soon but i hope i am wrong. Pinball for Life !

#44 2 years ago

Magic eight ball says: The answer is no. They will all be, at best, as good as rolling Stones.

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Man that was good for a laugh on a Mon. afternoon Panzer!

Evening Iceman! Hey we can all have different opinions here and mine about pins often changes, lol. I really need to get some time in on a premium / LE. I've only played the pro and would like to get some more time in on that model as well.

#46 2 years ago
Quoted from dgoett:

He was my favorite designer up to and including metallica. But ever since, it seems like he copies areas of previous games and jumbles them all together for something "new". Like the kiss/IJ area, etc. Nothing really fresh and new like IMLOTB. His last 3 designs have been stale IMHO and easily skipped purchases. I really hope he gets back on track because his physics are always really good.

I disagree. AS is a pretty unique layout, with the back-door skill shot. Guardians has a few elements of MET and IM on the left side, but it feels very different than either one of them. And while you could argue that the Orb lock shot is sort of a Danesi rip-off, it’s very well done. And I like that he brought physical ball locks back to us Pro buyers. The AS toy box lock (with the ball launcher) is my favorite lock shot right now.

#47 2 years ago
Quoted from starbase:

Yes I do believe Bryan Eddie will come up with something special. I am in a honeymoon phase with MM at the moment and have high hopes for his first release with Stern.
I am not buying anymore fan layout games if I can avoid it. No going back, pinball needs to move forward. Hopefully with all the young blood in engineering at Stern will see some more innovative under the play-field mechs as well.

I am excited about Brian Eddie as well! I think Keith and the new designers will breathe new life into Stern. From what we heard, Steve had plenty of time for Game Of A Thrones and Star Wars and they were definitely disappointments.

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from starbase:

I am not buying anymore fan layout games

I know fan layouts like on LOTR are so boring

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from JY64:

I know fan layouts like on LOTR are so boring

Boring enough to sell after six months, despite loving the theme. Such long ball times it would make me feel like I was actually a good player.

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