Welp. Looks like you'd expect a Wonka pin to look like if you've already seen the Blu-ray cover or the slot machine. Lots of inserts, lots of flippers, sure it's fun, JJP makes complete games. But already lost interest, I don't see any amazing toys, art is lunchbox regurgitated, sound is whatever.
Everything I said about licenses definitely applies here. I'm sure people will have fun with it. But I'm definitely bored already. Hype was overinflated, surprise.
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
But start it up with a long boring speech from a JJp guy reading off his iPhone, and then follow it up with another boring speech from pat who isn’t exactly mr excitement, and then just reveal the game, start playing it with commentary without hyping it up or quickly showing off some of the features?
What the fuck is going on here?! There was no excitement. No show. Seemed amateurish.
Same thing with the Dialed In reveal, we're all there waiting for the sheet to come off the game, and Pat is talking about the new LCD bracket in the backbox and the leg levelers. No one cares, show the game heh. It's just how Pat is I guess.
I'll say this, having been on the presentation side of the room, you really have no idea what the heck is happening on the stream. You're talking to the room, nobody is giving you hand signals for "there are 12,000 people on stream right now". I find it hard to fault JJP overmuch, they clearly seeded content ahead of time, as soon as the game was announced there was video content with interviews and polished gameplay. There was a plan, it worked pretty good.
I really think the reality of the whole situation is the game itself didn't blow people away as the hype foretold. If the toys and presentation of the actual game were stunning the stream would have been fine. As it is those who were already committed seem happy, the fence sitters are in wait and see mode, and the skeptics got the fuel they needed to stay disinterested. No reveal can change what the game is. If there was a chocolate river down the playfield or whatever wild shit people convinced themselves was gonna be there it would be a different story.
Quoted from PtownPin:
my only struggle is figuring out the $2K price differential between the standard and LE....not sure I get that delta....
Standard: "What's the lowest price we can still clear a reasonable profit with to try and get back the people we're losing with these high prices?"
LE: "What can we charge our more affluent customers for some add-ons without scaring them off?"
It's that simple. Don't try and figure out the math or the value, not how it was calculated. These are emotional purchases, not rational ones where you can calculate the cost of a mech and powder coating. The margins on those extras are very high, they're charging by what the market will bear, not their costs.
Quoted from zaphX:
Invisiglass, shaker and wonkavator make up 2k in value easily to me.
There you go. Just think about personal value.
Quoted from pipes:
I agree. The excuse for the crappy animations on Oktoberfest has been the price. How can we possibly expect to have everything for $7400?.....well it appears that for $100 more you can infact have everything.
It has nothing to do with price. AP hasn't made it a priority, and they're paying for it. It's really that simple.
Quoted from mnpinball:
Those are multicolored RGB lights to resemble sparkling during certain modes
The question being asked is why is there bare wood around the lights. I dunno. Aesthetics of some kind apparently, there's no reason they need to be there as part of the printing/insert process.
Quoted from f3honda4me:
I am going to make an observation
I'm going to make an observation too. You copied and pasted your entire post from another thread, or maybe you copied it from here and put it in the club thread, I dunno. Here's the same fucking text, word for word in the Golden Tickets Inside thread:
Either way it's part of a trend with Wonka fans, you like to spam this forum with the same content all over the place. Wonka wins best game at the the show award? Let's see it pasted into three different threads! (No one really cares about show awards that much.) There's a video with Pat? Link in in every thread with Wonka in the title!
I think my least favorite thing about Wonka is becoming the people who are relentlessly hyping it. Before the game was revealed, during the reveal, and now. To the point where you're just literally copying and pasting your push. You've been here 4 months and have 1500 posts, try actually writing each one separately.
Quoted from Chippewa-Pin:
Good point Aurich, but can't the same also be said for someone who posts something they dislike about WONKA and then having to read the same exact thing from 10 other people? How many posts have you read about not liking the SE side art, the gobstopper not being a 'real' toy, what's missing on the SE, how bad the reveal was, why isn't this the GOAT, where's the chocolate river, on and on...?
If 10 people post something it's probably indicative of an issue. If one person posts the same things 10 times they're just being a loudmouth. Clearly there's a mix of both things here. That's forum life. But copying and pasting the same post is just lazy beyond even the usual repetitive noise, at least write a new post to repeat yourself if you must. So I said something, deal with it if you don't like it.
The SE art is pretty minimal, to be kind. I'm not posting over and over about it, I had my say early and I was done. But the fact that you're seeing a lot of bitching is because it's not great. If that bums people out because they just want positivity I get it, I think the arguing can get silly and people should enjoy their games.
But we're here to talk, and let's be honest, there's a history of Pinside criticism bringing about positive change. We had a lot to say about Hobbit remember? What happened? They went back and rethought the playfield art and it came out way better. I wish I could have done that with Alien, I would have gladly taken the criticism to heart if that was an option, people said plenty of things I agreed with when they weren't being personal and nasty. Heighway wasn't enlightened like JJP, so it wasn't to be. Just to not be a hypocrite.
If JJP reversed course, heard all the bitching, and put the Gene Wilder image on the SE, do you think people would be glad there had been a fuss? I think so.
Quoted from zaphX:
Complaining endlessly on here will not change things.
You know, I just talked about how that wasn't true. You're new here, so you don't know the history I guess, and that's fine. But you're dead wrong.
If you don't like the complaining about the art you have options:
1. Read it and move on with your life
2. Put the person on ignore
3. Drain the thread (good day sir!)
Alright, I've been avoiding wading into this, but since people are being pissy with me anyways I might as well earn it.
Putting on my design pedant hat, I really want to know what intern at Warner Bros screwed everyone over with this half assed logo, so prominently featured on the SE. They took a wonderfully whimsical piece of typography, and ran it through the wringer until it looks like crap, and it's a damn shame. It's been bugging me since I first saw it. I got inspired by the boring complaints to get to the bottom of it, so here's a hopefully non-boring, or at least overly detailed, complaint to break things up.
First thing I did was hunt down some original movie posters from the film's debut. Here's an example of one:
Nothing particularly special really, a little dated feeling by our modern standards, but I like it fine. But for our purposes all that matters is the logo at the bottom. Someone hand lettered that, it's clearly not a font, especially given the era we're talking about. No computer warping typography then. That's a great piece of work, really fits the character of the film. Dates things to that era of psychedelic type, but that's okay, we're talking about an older movie here.
Now compare it with this bit from the game:
The life has absolutely been sucked out of it. They're trying to hide it with all the colors and shading and outlines, but the basic shapes are just mangled.
Look at the H in "chocolate", in the original lettering the connecter between the two sides is a little ball, like a piece of candy. In the Warner Bros version it's just a lumpy mess. No sign of the ball at all. Look all the inside top of the C in "factory", see how on the original it curves in smoothly to a little point? The remake has a sloppy artifact poking out instead. Same with the curves inside the T next to it, weird chunks instead of curves. That artifacting is all over the logo. The smooth curves are chunky, the proportions are sloppy and don't connect right, and the whole thing looks like it was badly traced by that woman who ruined the Jesus painting and got internet famous.
I'll tell you what the intern did. They took the original poster, or probably a crappy photo of it, and brought it into Adobe Illustrator. Then they ran an auto-vectorize filter on it, to turn all the shapes into editable objects, rather than taking 45 minutes to do it all by hand. And then they took the filter result and ... called it a day. Went to get lunch, emailed the file out, and never looked at it again.
Here's some proof. I took the H I like so much, and brought it into Illustrator, and did just that, ran an auto trace on it. Then I did my own hand drawn version. Took a couple minutes, this isn't actually difficult stuff. Look at the difference here. I could have used a more high rez source to be truly accurate with the details, but I think you get the point:
Here's what the linework looks like between my hand drawn and the auto trace in more detail. You can really see how not only is the ball connector totally lost, but the curves around the ends of the letter are lumpy and inconsistent, not smooth, or are done as straight lines without any of the hand drawn character. You can't follow the line of the side of the H from the top to the bottom with your eye as a continuous shape. The auto trace isn't that smart, it just takes a best guess stab at things, you need a human hand to guide it:
This isn't JJP's fault, as far as I can tell Warner Bros put zero effort into their own franchise, and JJP had to use what they were given. But damn, what a wreck. And if that's all you've got to work with? Please don't make it the only art on the side of your game! I know some people roll their eyes at font talk, but this is really painfully obvious stuff. If Dirty Donny had drawn the Metallica logo wrong people would have been pitchforking.
Quoted from Nevus:
Aurich, I have an art question.
I rarely consider doing a powder coat on a game, but Wonka SE is one where I would probably do it.
Being whatever the total opposite of artistic is, I use caveman tools like online color wheels when considering options.
What color would you suggest for powder coating on the SE? If you are willing to answer that one, would you mind sharing your why as well?
PM is fine if you want to avoid the whining.
I think this is a pretty personal thing to be honest. Some people like their powder coating to stand out with a 'look at me' feel, others like being more subtle. If the SE shipped with stainless armor I'd just leave it honestly, I love the classic look. But I'm not wild about the black I see on the site, kinda Stern Pro eh, so I can see why you'd want to do it.
I personally like the more subtle approach, but also wouldn't want to do it without feeling like I was getting something worthwhile out of the money and effort. So I'd go with blue, similar to what JJP did with the LE, but pay whatever extra was needed to get some kind of two stage candy pearl look. Then I'd have my cake and eat it too, as far as "subtle but worth it" goes. If it ends up feeling similar to the LE that's fine, I'd only care about the game I had at home, not what anyone else's looked like.
My two cents!
Quoted from Soulrider911:
Thank you!! aurich I have been biting my tongue as well, and you nailed it. They really need to improve the logo mark and text extrusions... which could be like you said the original vector curve, or the number of extrusions they have added to the font / logo in whatever 3D software they are using.
The treatment is one thing, but the underlying source shapes seem to be a Warner Bros thing. They'll license it out to just about anything, you can find the logo all over the place. Here's a calendar with the same problems.
But they really don't seem to have much in the way of brand guidelines, this slot machine app is a different treatment:
And this slot machine logo is entirely different (look at the H, they got the ball back in, however hard to see through the gaudy 3D gold, and the swirl off the end of the W is nicer):
So I dunno what to say. Maybe JJP went back and forth with lawyers and are stuck with it. Maybe they didn't try and change it. Maybe no one cared, I dunno. If I was on the project I would have redrawn it off the original poster to get it right, and then simply not said anything and hoped nobody noticed, heh. Maybe they did that and got their wrist slapped! My experience with this licensing stuff is you get a different answer depending on who you talk to. But my guess, just given all the different logos and slot machines etc a simple search turns up is that nobody is really paying that much attention to these kinds of details. Hence my intern comments.
Damn, Rarehero told me to check out the Blu-ray cover, and he was right, it's way more accurate to the original, no wonky Wonka auto trace issues. Got an amateur hour drop shadow under it, and a gold texture applied, but look, our friend the rounded candy is back in the H!
I know you JJP nerds are reading this, fix the logo! Here's evidence it's licensor approved to do it this way. Do your buyers — especially the ones getting nothing but the logo on the SE — a solid, take the hour or two to get it right.
I think I'm done with Logogate now, back to complaining about no chocolate rivers or something.
Quoted from delt31:
Damn it. I was about to reply to this saying you have to be kidding me - now we're commenting on the text BUT my brain was blown away by the fact pattern and now my eyes can't stop seeing it either. Damn you for bringing this to my attention!
Look, design stuff can be, pardon the term, wonky. There’s stuff that’s a matter of personal taste. I could rant about the font choices on Ghostbusters, but no one would care. They’re not “broken” I just think they didn’t do it right. Wah wah wah, no one caaaaarrrrrres.
But this isn’t a taste thing, it’s basic mechanical stuff. Someone did a half assed job with a license worth who knows what. Millions probably if you factor it all in. And it doesn’t take anything special to see it once you know how to look.
Caring about this stuff is my job. And most companies care a lot too. I went back and forth with Microsoft the other week about if the text next to their logo should say “presented by” or “brought to you by”, and then when I thought it was settled they didn’t like the spacing of it, had to be the width of the squares away from the logo. 7 or 8 emails over minor stuff, but that’s business as usual.
I don’t know if the brat/kid multiball story is true. I believe it. Seems to me they were paying attention to the wrong stuff.
Quoted from stpcore:
How do you "know" this? Would love to hear how you know someone's thoughts and intentions. Sounds like you arent being "objective" and that's the irony here.
I work in journalism (creative director for Ars Technica). Every day I work with professional journalists who are kick ass at their job, and respected in their fields. It's my firm opinion that there is simply no such thing as being completely 'objective' when you cover something. You can try your absolute best to be neutral, but what you leave out matters as much as what you put in. The headline colors how people think. Every little bit has some element of your personality, or the organization's policies or whatever else.
Frankly a lot of the time we're not neutral, because being neutral and 'not picking a side' is just another form of picking a side. If we're covering policy, and there's a bad law with bad ideas, it's really our job to say "this is a bad law", not just try and robot out the facts. That's what the experts in the room should do. Give you enough to make up your own mind, but not try and pretend that real things aren't happening.
We joke that we're getting things right when people from opposite camps accuse us of being in cahoots with companies. Like when you're told you're both Apple and Microsoft shills you're probably doing it right.
And I'm talking about "hard news" here, not reviews. Reviews take all of the above, and turn it up to 11. Why are you reading (or listening to) a review if you didn't want someone's opinion? You can get a fact sheet from the manufacturer if all you want are specs.
If you're talking about something that's not been revealed, that's under NDA, that is a 'secret', then yeah, you probably want to be a bit careful. Your reputation can take a hit there. The hype was a little over-fanned on this one maybe. But to treat anyone running a pinball podcast like they're supposed to be Swiss neutral is silly. I promise you none of these podcasters are getting paid the way 'real' journalists are, these are labors of love. If you can't put your heart and passion and opinion into it then what's the fucking point?
My opinion: Pinside needs to own up to the way we fan hype, and not try and dump it on people who tease about things. Especially if it comes from a source we know better about. Ahem.
Quoted from phoenixpin:
Special When Lit for example (a great podcast!) titled their episode “The Pinball Landscape Is About To Change” which to me anyway implies a momentous shift with the new JJP game.
An addendum to my above post: if you write a bad headline, you're gonna have to own it. That's a bad headline. Literally nothing changed with Wonka, at absolute best it's another good JJP machine, for a price they've sold at before. That's it. If anything Dialed In was a bigger deal, if they could have understood how to make an unlicensed game connect with people better who knows? But "pinball manufacturer makes fun game from license you've already seen on slot machines" isn't changing the landscape any more than Batman66 did.
I FUCKING LOVED WONKA, THIS GAME IS GREAT is a personal opinion no one can argue with. THIS GAME WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING is some woah, chill, stuff.
Quoted from iceman44:
This just in.....
It ends up being "just a pinball machine" and the pre release hype machine ended up being an across the board over hype.
Yup. Just a pinball is fine for the record, but let's be real about it.
Quoted from stpcore:
I tried to explain my thoughts and opinions a few different times in this thread. I'm not sure what you want me to own up to when I already explained my first impressions and why I feel the way I do? I'm not avoiding anything so does that mean I'm owning up to it?
It's just a bad headline. I already wrote a whole sermon on objectivism and passion, you do you, it's not the end of the world. We write bad headlines sometimes too. Over all I think your content is what matters, unless you write bad headlines daily, then that's a problem. You got excited and missed the mark a little, life goes on.
Unless you're defending it still? Are you saying Wonka has changed the pinball landscape? Because that's clearly not the case. I don't listen to podcasts, so if you actually fleshed that argument out I apologize, I haven't heard it. You don't have to make it again for me.
Quoted from stpcore:
Did you actually play this game in a controlled environment yet?
Nope, never seen it in person at all. Have no judgement on if it's fun or not because of that. I bet it's fun to shoot though. I'll play it eventually I imagine, I'm in no rush. Hopefully they fix up a lot before then.
Quoted from stpcore:
Pat Lawlor says in our panel discussion the he believes that Wonka is the pinnacle of what can be created right now in this century for a pinball machine.
Well, that's just clearly nonsense. Pat is marketing his new game. You might as well say "Gary Stern said in our interview that Black Knight is the best pinball game Stern has ever made."
Quoted from Chippewa-Pin:
I think what you've written about the artwork makes sense and I learned quite a bit reading your posts. 99% of us don't even have 1% of your artistic knowledge.
What is your opinion of the playfield artwork? What are your thoughts about the 'sparkle' on the CE playfield? I care more about the playfield as that's what I'm looking at while I'm playing. I want the cab artwork to look good, but unless it's REALLY bad, it has zero impact on whether I purchase or not. I care more about the backglass artwork than the cab. With so little real estate to work with on a JJP backglass, that has to be tough to make it look good.
The playfield is okay. Look, I'm not trying to tear the game down, but it kind of is what it is. It's the same license the slot machines and everything else have, with the same assets. You get the logo, we talked about it. You get the same pics of the kids for the inserts. You get the 3 or 4 drawings of Gene Wilder. Clearly that's all they had, they used it as best they could, and put candy over the rest of it.
I'm personally very sympathetic to how license restrictions work, I think the package is fine for what it is. Do I love it? Not really, I'm not gonna pretend otherwise. "It looks like the slot machine" is basically never a plus in my book for anything. Honestly the more I looked up packages for this license during research the cheaper it all felt, they'll sell Gene Wilder's face for anything, and it's a bit sad.
This isn't WOZ, where they got to do their own hand painted art. It's not Hobbit where they had a ton of great high rez assets to work with. Old movies don't have all the great marketing material and promo stuff, no hard drives full of huge files waiting to be used. On Alien it took them literally months to find me a decent image of the classic 'egg' poster, nobody knew what happened to it. Movie is from the late 70s, probably had a cardboard box on a shelf with stuff for it and that's it you know? I'm sure on Wonka they were told "here's the license package, you can use this" and that was that.
I think every other JJP game has a stronger visual package than Wonka, but that's because Wonka is just okay and the other games range from pretty good to great to me. Might end up the best JJP shooter, who knows, just talking about the art. What weight you put on that is a personal decision.
Quoted from jawjaw:
Personally, I don't really care how they dotted their i's in the font.
If that's what you got out of it that's fine.
Quoted from gliebig:
I was in on one of these until I found out there is no "ball" connecting the H. Fuck.
Hey, you at least read it.
Quoted from thewool:
I guess we're all nerds at heart as I'm loving logogate!! Fascinating stuff Aurich... I also now can't unsee it.
(runs off to find other Wonka logos around the house)
Design is fun, learning to look at the world through a new lens is fun. I share this kind of stuff because I enjoy it, but also because my hope is that education leads to us expecting more. I'm not trying to tear down, but build up. If you appreciate design in your life even a little bit more now as you run around your house I'm loving it.
Quoted from stpcore:
He wasnt making a prediction as he was referring to his belief on current affairs. He never claimed to be an oracle.
If Elon Musk says "the next Tesla is going to be the pinnacle of how cars can be created" and your response is "Elon knows a lot about cars, I bet he's right" then you need to calibrate your skepticism meter, that's all. That doesn't mean Teslas are shitty cars, but you can't go through life believing everything salesmen tell you either. Of course Pat said that, of course Gary Stern says that, of course Elon says that, of course Steve Jobs said it and Tim Cook can't quite figure out how to say it, but wishes he could.
Gary's been around pinball his whole life, nobody takes him seriously when he says the current Stern is the best game. Every time, right?
Quoted from pinlink:
To be fair, I don't think Aurich spent a ton of time hunting for things to nit pick.
Nah, it jumped out at me right away, hard to not see it if you're the right kind of nerd, I know I wasn't alone. It just didn't seem worth bringing up when people were excited, I'm not trying to be a dick. But then I got shit for having an opinion at all and so I took 20 minutes to put together a post, I freely admit partially out of petty spite.
Not towards JJP, but here I am not posting much about Wonka at all and just because I have a rep anything I say gets treated like I'm a nitpicker, so fine, here's my nitpick. Be happy hating on it, you're welcome.
Quoted from Cantabkiwi:
Hey, let’s stop dumping on Aurich! One of the few that is qualified and expresses a (well thought out) opinion around here and can and has backs it.
I look forward reading more.
Haha it's all good, thanks, but I'm fine. Not gonna talk about something I've never listened to, there's nothing to discuss. It's like the good old days of 2016, everyone on Game of Thrones is still alive and a podcaster is riding my shaft non stop.
It's just forum posts, if you're getting overly worked up over it then I dunno, reevaluate your life, or your hobbies or get a dog or something.
Quoted from Lamprey:
Arguing? No, we were talking about the assets the JJP was given by the license holder. Maybe you should read the thread before casting stones.
That post is really living rent free in some people's heads.
Just enjoy your games people. Nothing I've ever loved has been diminished by reading that someone else didn't like it. You want to talk about growing up, work on not letting the approval of strangers affect your enjoyment of things.
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
In a way it must be a curse to have such a refined artistic eye!
Ignorance is definitely bliss.
Wait, are we supposed to be listing our cars in our collections too? I missed Robin's update on that apparently. I'm not sure I'm insecure about my manhood enough to do that.
I hear there's Honda dissing, but I'll tell you what, most impressive pinball/car thing I've ever seen is someone fitting a Twilight Zone perfectly into the back of a Honda Fit. That's gotta be the most stealth pin hauler in existence, it was like a magic trick.
In fact, if someone said to me "I bought a cheap car so I could afford more pinball!" I'd shake their hand.
Thanks for the update, I forgot all about the stream, those are good things to know.
Quoted from Chippewa-Pin:
- Does the wonkavator virtual ball lock on the standard edition work the same as the physical lock on other models. As in does it carry over to other games/players? It does not carry over from player to player. It's virtual... each player would have to complete it in 1 game.
I missed this if it was answered already, is lock stealing the only way to play with the 'nicer' versions, or is it optional? Because I love lock stealing, but not sure I love it on a complicated game. It's great on games like EATPM and TNA, where the play is real basic and the multiballs are basic, and starting a multiball or risking leaving it for the next player is part of the charm.
I imagine competitive play will be on the SE anyways, just in terms of games being available in public spots and the prices.
Quoted from Amused_to_Death:
It’s intentional. They’re employing a filter to introduce dirt and scratches onto the film.
Yes, and only on some scenes, they apply that effect when the oompah loompahs pull down a projection screen in the middle of everything, not when the video is full screen. I think it's a clever idea.
The movie isn't color graded like we're used to modern films, it's a period piece really at this point. It's not going to look like the Tim Burton one, which was a lot slicker and more candy coated, but not as appealing of a movie to actually watch I think most would agree.
Just look at these two images. Burton has the saturation cranked, everything is practically glowing and vibrant, that's the look he wanted. The original film is nearly 50 years old! It's got the look of the era. It might not feel as appealing in some ways if you're used to new films, but I think fans would be mad if you cranked up the saturation and redid the color grading.
Quoted from Amused_to_Death:
I guess they like Zynga more than Jersey Jack Pinball. You’ll find Candy Man as one of the main themes in Zynga’s new Wonka’s World of Candy game for iOS and Android.
Probably like Zynga’s money better. I promise you enough cash would have solved the “no Sigourney Weaver” problem for Heighway.
At a certain point pinball companies can’t keep opening their wallets, not enough return from a niche market. Zynga prints money with their apps with the reach they have.
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