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Thread: Req: Please tweak lighting for washed out high gamma tables. Dark room should be dark

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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    Req: Please tweak lighting for washed out high gamma tables. Dark room should be dark

    I've brought this up a couple of times in the version update threads, but they don't get addressed, probably because they get buried too quickly, so I wanted to set it up as its own topic thread in hopes that it will get attention.

    Please bring the lighting back down to either what it was in PA 1.20 or how it is now in Stern Pinball Arcade.

    I believe it was modified to make it easier to see the Pinball on a completely dark table, but that's why we have GlowBalls™ and the option the brighten the normal ball.

    Pinball Arcade ver. 1.20 had the perfect lighting IMO, but has since been changed and the gamma is way too bright and washed out.
    Many tables no longer even get dark with the room brightness all the way down to zero.

    Here's how it looked in 1.20.


    Stern Pinball Arcade still has the perfect table brightness settings.
    It looks awesome with the room brightness all the way down.
    The glowing lights look fantastic and the colors pop.

    STERN PINBALL ARCADE VERSION (Room Brightness: 0%)


    PINBALL ARCADE VERSION (Room Brightness: 0%)


    Thanks!

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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    I would LOVE to see TOTAN looking like it does on it's PSN pic. It's such a gorgeous table with beautiful lighting!

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    This has been my biggest issue with the game. I spend more time tweaking the light sliders trying to find a good setting, but I just can't, sometimes tables will be ok, but then others won't be, so using the the setting that is set for all tables doesn't work...

    One of the ways i can explain it, is if you had 3 lights over the table and the middle one is turned off, it seems like that middle part of ther table is top dark, you can't see the art that good or the writing...

    The bulb brightness setting must doesn't work, you can turn it all the way down and they are still bright more or less and if you turn it all the way up then it's too bright and like glares or bleeds... It's hard to explain... I think the reason for this is because they don't look like they should, if you look at the PC version you can tell it looks like a colored bulb cover over a white bulb.... On PS4 it just looks weird and doesn't look like an actual bulb like it does on the PC... Even the last gen consoles have better lighting..

    The lighting on last gen consoles may not be as dynamic, but you can see the full table..

    Personally I could careless about the background on the outside of the table... You can have that space on the sides that shows the room and wooden floor as completely black... I think if that's what it would take to free up memory, space, or whatever so the table and the lights on the table could look as good as it does on PC and mobile then I'm sure majority of the console players will accept that and sacrifice that outside for better table and bulb lighting....

    Also the lighting or reflection of the ball is still too dark... It's kind of like the tables lighting where on some tables it looks fine, but others or most it's not... The silver ball looks like a matte gray color...

    It doesn't have that shiney metal silver look to it that it should have... The ball on Stern PBA version is the worst as far as being to dark and no way to change it or use a different one... I would say the tables for the most part on Stern PBA is much better looking lighting wise than the regular PBA version, but the ball is too dark...

    There are still some that is kind of hard to get looking just right, but I spend a lot less time messing with the sliders on that version versus the regular PBA version... If only wer could transfer the PBA tables to Stern PBA as well as being able to use the custom ball's or the glow balls, then that would be perfect and i definitely would be satisfied.... Of course being able to have the same physics as they are on Stern PBA as well because those physics feel and play much much better and the ball doesn't feel like a bouncy rubber ball, but that is for another thread as this is for the lighting....

    I think one of the main issues is that the game or original developers and maybe some of the current ones, were trying to emulate a natural look to the lighting like if it was in a darkened bar and personally, I hate that type of lighting because it's hard to see...

    One thing I've noticed about the mobile version is that the full table is a nice bright vibrant color throughout and it doesn't have dark areas or bright areas, it's even all the way through and that's how it should be on the console version with the option to give people to lighten or darken the playfield and then able to lighten or darken the bulbs... The current settings or sliders seem like that do both, just one will do more than the other.... Like the bulb slider will adjust the lighting for the playfield or the table as well, just not as much as it does the bulb settings and vice versa...

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    Oh one thing I wanted to mention, the lighting was MUCH better before the patch that gave us two sliders to adjust... Before it was just one slider and that was fine, we weren't complaining about the lighting or the sliders... Then ever since that patch that introduced the bulb sliders is when the lighting got messed up and has never been the same since then and it wasn't for the best, it made it worse...

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    Senior Member Rayder's Avatar
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    It's especially disappointing that the newest Stern tables that were added have the biggest lighting issues. AC/DC is eye-bleedingly bright and the brightness slider does nothing on that table. It's so bright that the UI lighting is hard to tell when lights are on or off in some cases. Mustang isn't as extreme, but it's still way too bright at 0%. Ghostbusters is OK, but it's still a little too bright at 0%.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rayder View Post
    It's especially disappointing that the newest Stern tables that were added have the biggest lighting issues. AC/DC is eye-bleedingly bright and the brightness slider does nothing on that table. It's so bright that the UI lighting is hard to tell when lights are on or off in some cases. Mustang isn't as extreme, but it's still way too bright at 0%. Ghostbusters is OK, but it's still a little too bright at 0%.
    Yeah, one of the issues I had in particular with the AC-DC table on Stern PBA is that it's one of those tables that is hard to get looking right, it's either to bright that the colors seem to blend or bleed and washout other colors or the led lights that blink or come on and off or it's to dark that you can't really see the table art and you end up having an even harder time seeing the ball... Again that's on the Stern PBA version...

    I almost like the brightness on PBA but it definitely could be toned down a little bit... If anything the brightness that is at now should be the max setting and allow us to turn it down from there...

    I know I've tried asking for a whole new version of PBA, like a version 2.0 and I get that it might not be possible to keep all the same tables, especially the Williams ones with a name change of the main game, BUT, what about making a new version without changing the name?

    Everytime there is an update/patch, the number version changes, could it be possible to just do that with a better, more improved version that takes advantage of current gen consoles?

    You would think with all the problems that people report, complain about, etc... That would have been one of the biggest things they would have tried to tackle and just do it instead of just using the bandaid fixes that ends up wearing off when another bandaid fix in implemented...

    I'm pretty sure there is a good amount of people that play on consoles, it's just that a lot of them may not know where to go to report issues or problems. A lot of them could be new customers that never knew the was a better looking and better playing version of these tables and don't realize that they have gotten worse within the last couple of years...

    I know I point to Zen and how their new version of Pinball FX was a huge improvement. Not only did it greatly improve tables that came out with the original Pinball FX and FX2, but it improved the physics as well... I'm sure the same could be done with PBA and it would probably make it a lot easier to fix bugs and or to not affect other tables when something is added or adjusted...

    If Farsight showed that they cared about console customers and was trying to fix and improve bugs, lighting, graphics, physics, and released the same content in a timely manner as they do on other platforms, then I guarantee the wouldn't be as much negativity and hate towards them... I know I for one would still be supporting them and buying everything they put out, even if they were tables that didn't interest me...

    It's kind of sad that we have to go play these tables or some of these tables on either last gen consoles like the 360/PS3 or on Stern PBA version just to be able to play a better looking or better lighting on tables and or better physics... The PS4 and XB1 should be the absolute best versions when it comes to consoles... Not everyone likes to turn the lighting all the way down and just have the bulbs light the table... Some of us would like a nice bright vibrant looking table, much like how the tables on Zens Pinball FX3 look, which is looking incredibly better versus PBA on consoles...

    That's why I'm a little hard or harsh because the really isn't any excuses that can be made on why these tables don't look better on current consoles... I can say that because my PS4 went down due to lightning last month and I finally got it fixed and got it back and during that time it was down I played PBA on my 360 and it was sooooo much better... I even noticed the views were a lot better as well... I don't know what happened, but on some tables, especially the T2 table, the camera view got changed on PS4 and not for the better, the way it looks and behaves on the 360 and how it used to on PS4 before the change ws much better and yes I've adjusted the multiball camera and event camera toggles on and off and they don't change it back to how it used to be...

    Now would be the best time to make a new version that takes advantage of the current consoles power and hardware since they have the two versions of PBA and combining the tables anyways even though they said they weren't... Or better yet, bring the tables to Stern PBA, but if that would cause an issue with the Williams tables, then just copy the coding for Stern PBA and bring that to the regular PBA... The physics and lighting is a huge improvement over what we have now on PBA, but the PBA does have the better and easier to navigate menus and has the different colored balls we can change to....

    Man there's so many issues lol....

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    Sorry for another post, but I just realized something and this might better explain the lighting issue...

    The sliders that we have to adjust the lighting is adjusting the color saturation more than it is the brightness or contrast of the table... While the brightness does kind of increase, it's not by much. It's just a very tiny bit. This is why it's so hard to try and find a good balance setting because the table isn't getting brighter, it's just the colors are increasing and over saturate... That's why I was explaining it as bleeding or blending into others...

    It's possible that the patch that introduced that bulb lighting slider was ment to increase the colors of the bulbs and that might have affected the other slider as well? Because before that patch when the was just one slider, it was fine and it would lighten and darken the table as a whole...

    I think that's the biggest thing, we don't really have a brightness or contrast slider and it's just a color slider for the colors on the table and the bulbs....

    Also when adjusting the sliders it seems like the brightness part of the setting mostly adjust on the outside... I noticed this when trying to change the sliders on the new Stern tables... The actual table colors or lightning doesn't really change, but if you look at everything outside of the table, that is getting brighter and darker, not too much darker, but it's not as bright as it is on the highest setting...

    Also the brightness of the ball, I know Tom said he still can see the ball brightness setting is kind of working, but there's some tables that it's not really working on. It's like the slightest brightness change to it when you turn it on and off... It should be a much bigger difference, maybe if there can be a slider for the ball? While the glow balls are the best currently for most of the tables, but there's some tables they just don't look good on or really work... I'm sure there's more people that prefer the default ball over the custom ball's... I would definitely use the default ball on more tables instead of the glow balls. I just use those because it's easier to see the ball on certain tables...

    Ok, I should be done, but I really and truly feel that's the issue is that the sliders we have are not adjusting the brightness and contrast...

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    Senior Member Rayder's Avatar
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    Forgot to mention that Star Trek (another recently released Stern) is also way too bright at 0% room brightness. So that's all 4 of the newest Stern's that are too bright at 0%.

    To be clear, 0% SHOULD be too dark, where you lose most of the table art details and 100% should be too bright where it looks like the tables is in direct sunlight. That way we could set the brightness levels to where each user can set them to their preference. As it stands, the universal brightness slider setting is useless and should just be removed because all the tables have drastically different brightness levels when set to 50/50. Same goes for the bulb brightness, though they seem less of an issue compared to the room brightness.

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    I concur with the sentiments herein expressed! I was all jazzed to play Pinball Arcade for the first time in a while, and settled on two EMs I like, Jacks Open and Wild Card, but soon enough the hazy lighting, which I could not resolve with the lighting sliders, started messing with my eyes and I had to stop. 8 o

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    Senior Member Rayder's Avatar
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    Right now, for me, the only table that is absolutely unplayable purely due to the brightness levels is AC/DC. That one is blazingly bright at 0% room brightness. Others are just brighter than I'd like them to be, even at 0% room brightness, but at least I can tolerate playing them.

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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    If they could make Room Brightness:00 absolute dark, and go from there I think it would be a huge improvement.
    They nailed it with Stern Pinball Arcade. That looks incredible with the Room Brightness at 00. The colors look very nice and vivid due to the gamma being correct. Pinball Arcade just looks washed out.

    I'm guessing they raised the gamma due to people complaining that it was too dark, but that's what Glow Balls™ are for! Plus they don't need to set the Room Brightness to 00.

    I'm hoping Farsight can still fix this stuff without having the license. Perhaps, like the high pitched Elvira gbug in Scared Stiff, they are unable to modify it now.

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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    Still curious if Farsight can still fix and tweak Williams tables, or did that option dissolve when the licensed expired?
    Hopefully not because there are bugs now that weren't present before the last couple of updates.

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    They stated that they can still do updates for the WMS tables.

    Can and will are two different things, however. They have no real financial incentive to spend resources on WMS tables. They have done so for the Arcooda software, but that's also a business partnership to take into consideration.

    I mean, ask Vita/Wii U/360 users what happens when FarSight considers something not worth it anymore. There's certainly a pattern.

    The PS4 guy Tom is a good guy and maybe we'll get lucky, but basically, don't hold your breath. I believe Tom once stated that each table's lighting needs to be tweaked individually; that's a lot of work for tables they can't sell.

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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    They stated that they can still do updates for the WMS tables.

    Can and will are two different things, however. They have no real financial incentive to spend resources on WMS tables. They have done so for the Arcooda software, but that's also a business partnership to take into consideration.

    I mean, ask Vita/Wii U/360 users what happens when FarSight considers something not worth it anymore. There's certainly a pattern.

    The PS4 guy Tom is a good guy and maybe we'll get lucky, but basically, don't hold your breath. I believe Tom once stated that each table's lighting needs to be tweaked individually; that's a lot of work for tables they can't sell.
    Even if they went back to the original default gamma setting that they had for 1.20 that would be a huge improvement.
    I think some people complained that they could see the ball (I may have complained too), so I think they bumped upl the gamma very high on the lowest Room Brightness setting (00) which kind of made it impossible to get a totally dark room and the colors also lost their vividness as well.
    Once they released the GlowBalls™, there was no reason to keel the raised gamma setting in a dark room. That fixed then problem with seeing the ball in a totally dark room.

    I really miss when the tables looked dark in a dark room of 00 brightness, colors popped. We don't have that anymore. .
    This was 1.20 (_sorry, in don't have any snapshots of these tables in the newest revision. If anyone else does, please share and compare).

    Pinball Arcade version 1.20 (Room Brightness:00)


    Pinball Arcade version 1.19 (Room Brightness:00)


    Pinball Arcade PSN Store photo:


    Stern Pinball has the most beautiful dark room lighting and colors right now. If they could try and match that with PBA it would be perfect.

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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    Senior Member spoonman's Avatar
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    Senior Member Rayder's Avatar
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    I'd have to go through the tables to remember which ones, but there are quite a few tables where the bulb brightness slider does nothing. Most of the time, the brightness it's locked at is OK, but sometimes looks off when you adjust room brightness one way or the other. And many tables still don't go dark enough at 0% room brightness.

    One of the best examples of a table with gamma issues causing a washed out looking playfield is Cue Ball Wizard. To me though, it seems more like color saturation is a little low.

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