Super Mariolle Bros!
I think the Mythbusters idea is one of the first things I’ve heard of that I would probably get for the theme alone. It would have to suck pretty bad for me to not want it!
Experts of Dangerous!
Please don’t remind me of that pice of trash who stole a lot ooney from me!
Was hoping predator would be a great addition for The Sanctum…
I never heard of that one! I guess that was a little bit before the Predator business.
Somebody could make a pretty good little website that was a Rogue’s Gallery of pinball machines that never materialized and their stories.
I believe that place is called Pinside!
That’s right! You know, I don’t go over there that much. For a forum with that volume, this site beats it for talk about actually playing.
The level of accumulated knowledge on buying, maintaining, and repairing machines on Pinside is really cool, I just wish it wasn’t such a sweaty man cave.
Oh yes, I definitely remember Experts of Dangerous. I was never really sure what the legal status on that was, but I guess with Skit-B disbanded, it’s not going to happen anymore.
Something I forgot to mention is that Pokémon is going through a big 20th anniversary event right now. A ton of new merchandise has popped up (mostly in Japan), there was that Super Bowl commercial, there is cross-promotion with fellow Nintendo IP Splatoon (the Pokémon-themed Splatfest is happening as I am posting this), and they created a special 20th anniversary logo. Digital Pokémon pinball games already exist; it would be pretty neat to see Stern give it a shot.
Going through Episode 19, I can definitely relate to the story about not feeling welcome in a tournament. I actually found it a change of pace to see pinball competitors being friendly and open to newcomers, as I am used to going to competitions where the top players are part of a clique. They help each other win competitions, and if an outsider like me shows up, will help each other keep them out. It’s a different scenario than being on a machine and being asked to leave without compensation, but the feeling is the same. But forgive me if I’m very quiet and keep to myself; it’s hard to shake off the social strategy of keeping a low profile so as not to attract the cliques’ attention.
One question here: Throughout this podcast, I occasionally hear not-so-stellar opinions of monitors on pinball, such as on The Wizard of Oz and Full Throttle. Can you elaborate on them? How do monitors compare to DMDs? I got into pinball in 2013, right around when The Wizard of Oz had come out, so I have no nostalgia for DMDs, and I am pretty confused at Dutch’s decision to have a monitor with a DMD-like grid pattern for The Big Lebowski.
That being said, I personally think that there is a lot of work to do regarding efficient use of screen space and HUDs on a monitor as opposed to a DMD, as someone who plays a lot of modern video games, most of which tell you more information than is displayed even in The Hobbit without being intrusive. The people designing screen layouts seem to be doing it based on what they know about DMDs, and they are largely being used as bigger DMDs with higher resolution and in full color. (I am still jealous of how easy-to-find and accessible pinball is in Seattle though.)
I’ve only played WOZ ten or fifteen times total, but I find the use of the monitor kind of counterintuitive. Maybe I’m just used to the compact simplicity of the DMD, but the monitor is just so big - it’s hard enough during a busy game to keep track of a DMD, let alone a full-sized monitor. The WOZ animations and visuals also look kind of cheap and photoshoppy, but that might be just me. I’m curious to see how Hobbit handles it, because it’s an interesting problem. By creating such a large display, they’re essentially having to create and design a secondary video game of its own, which is a major task by itself. I’m sure once they figure it out it’ll be stunning (and super attractive to people who wouldn’t usually play) but I can see why they went with the DMD for Big Lebowski (fewer copyright issues, too, probably).
When Lebowski was at Pinball Expo, it had an LCD, not a DMD. The LCD isn’t as large as WOZ’s, is that what you meant?
I haven’t been keeping up with it, but doesn’t it have a DMD effect? Kind of like the color DMDs. I remember it was much simpler than WOZ’s.
Lebowski definitely has an LCD monitor in there, not a DMD, but it displays a matrix of solid-color dots, akin to a ColorDMD. (Well, that’s what it looks like to me, but I’ve never seen one close enough to actually see if the dots are solid-color or if it’s a full-resolution image with a black DMD-esque mask over it.) I’m wondering why they went with the DMD effect and not make use of the full resolution of what the player can see. Is it for a retro effect?
I’ve also heard Episode 20. I so want something like a Super League around here, now that I’ve heard some in-depth description from someone who runs one. I keep an irregular schedule at work, and I don’t know when I’ll be available until pretty close to that day. Something like Super League would be so nice for someone like me.
I personally didn’t find much wrong with the visuals on the monitor for The Wizard of Oz except for the obvious CG clashing with the live-action cutscenes, but that’s probably due to budget and time. Given infinite money and all the time needed, one could hire some modelers and animators from a Hollywood animation company like Blue Sky, or even from a video game with a talent in convincing-looking computer graphics like Squaresoft, but it’s currently not feasible. (You’d be more likely to get fully-orchestrated background music before getting convincing CG.)
I had heard about the monitor right above the flippers in Full Throttle around the time I got into pinball, and, as a beginner, the first thought that came to mind was that this should be on every pinball machine from here on out. That’s the area I would most commonly be looking at, and if the information is conveyed clearly, concisely, and compactly, is what I believe would be the single biggest boon in getting a non-player into a machine: It shows them, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that there are rules and scenarios going on, and it’s not just about not letting the ball drain. I then heard from some pinball veterans that the monitor being there threw them off, as they’re used to looking up.
I would be interested in seeing if this is something of an upside-down-glasses situation, where people accustomed to doing one thing becomes disoriented and thrown off when it changes, but for people used to it, it becomes the new norm and switching back disorients them and throws them off. (I’m referring to a psychology experiment where people wore glasses that caused everything they see to be upside-down. The subjects were, understandably, having trouble doing even basic tasks, but after a few days, seeing things upside-down became second nature. When it came time to take them off, seeing the world right-side up again made them clumsy and stumble around again for a few hours.)
I think I’ll start a new topic regarding use of monitors, as I don’t want to derail this any further.
Tales from a top level player who’s initials are seen more than the man himself. Lonnie Langford talks about his long history with pinball, how he plays for 3-4 hours straigh (and I mean ONE GAME), why he doesn’t play tournaments anymore, and how we’re going to get him out of hiding. Sasquatch is a local legend in this part of the world, and Lonnie is just that for pinball.
Can’t wait to listen to this. Lonnie puts up scores that shouldn’t be possible. He put 16 or 17 billion on Game of Thrones within a day or two of it arriving on location.
I just listened to it for the first time since we recorded it 3 weeks ago and I think it’s one of our better ones. I hope you enjoy it!
I enjoyed hearing Lonnie’s perspective on Lord of the Rings and his story about the power going out at Shorty’s right before he almost reached the 255 mansion room shots threshold on Addams Family was an absolute KILLER! Oh the humanity!!!
Totally. Those are the kinds of stories I try to pull out of people on the pincast. The TAF on though, damn. I can’t even imagine!
As always, thanks for listening!
We’ve had two more episodes since last posting.
One about virtual pinball, and one with returning guest Dave Stewart.
In this latest episode, we learn about Dave’s long running history with pinball, how he got so deep into running tournaments, when he finds time to sleep, and he drops an announcement bomb on the show about some super sweet prizes for the tournaments in the upcoming NWPAS show this summer!
Oh yeah, in one of the recent podcasts, there was a request for themes for…that game you guys play where you take turns naming machines of a particular theme (whose name escapes me at the moment). I got a few suggestions, though the difficulties I assign to them might differ from person to person:
• Machines with a button or a trigger for a plunger
• Machines with a wild west theme
• Machines with talking animal characters
• Machines with built-in monitors
• Machines whose artwork contain at least one car, truck, or motorcycle
• Machines with a circus or carnival theme
• Machines with a side ramp
• Machines with 4 or more pop bumpers
• Machines with a historical theme or historical figure theme
• Machines with at least one number in its name (can be spelled out)
• Machines whose name has a subtitle
• Machines with a specific and named player character
• Machines themed on an animated TV series or movie
• Machines themed on a franchise that currently is, or at a past time, was a movie trilogy
• Machines themed on a franchise with a comic strip (NOT a comic book)
• Machines with collection-based progression (modes become available when you obtain an X amount of something)
• Machines with lightning flippers on original release
• Licensed-theme physical machines that share its theme with a digital pinball release (not including The Pinball Arcade)
• DMD-era machines without a wizard mode
• Solid-state era machines without a multiball mode
• Machines with an ice or snow theme
• Machines whose names begin with a certain letter (excluding “The,” “A,” or “An”)
• Machines with a specific number of playfield features (such as ramps or inlanes)
• Machines of a certain manufacturer