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Thread: The Pinball Show

  1. #1
    Senior Member kimkom's Avatar
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    The Pinball Show

    Episode 1 is up, with news of a new version of Pinball FX.

    Last edited by kimkom; 01-27-2021 at 10:59 AM.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Just as I said months ago... Pinball FX (4) is the big announcement.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Does someone want to make a thread discussing (speculating?) Pinball FX for the PC being an EPIC exclusive?

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    Don't know what to think about the Battle Royale pinball theyare wanting

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    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    Grooooan, announcements of announcements of announcements for something coming eventually. My pinballs are so blue.

    Looks like we’re essentially getting the next version of Pinball FX though that will probably have the VR support I covet built right in, so it’s all good. Anybody else a little worried about the “new business models” bit though? No subscription based service please... well, at least not one that is mandatory. I like buying and “owning” the tables.
    Last edited by Hinph; 01-27-2021 at 11:59 AM.

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    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lykaion23 View Post
    Don't know what to think about the Battle Royale pinball theyare wanting
    Agreed. Sounds like pinball for those that like to be a jerk. I'm curious if the new "platform" will lose cabinet mode since the new IP partners will require that. I also wouldn't be surprised if none of the previous owned content will carry over and everything will need to be (re)purchased from scratch.

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    This is.. um. very scripted.

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    I'm still afraid to come close enough to the monitor to type, for fear that the over-rehearsed guy is going to put my eye out flapping his 3D gangsta hands at me. What an uninspiring bore. They didn't say what they /were/ going to do, but it's pretty clear what they're /not/ interested in: anything like the enveloping joy of playing pinball. If I decide to become a completely different person whose concept of fun hinges on interacting with goofy people and their goofy nonsense, I'll be back. Otherwise, I'm out, and am /so/ glad I just got a real cab (not a toy one) and learned how to be part of The Community.

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    My biggest takeaway from The Pinball Show - Akos was standing in front of an AC/DC and a Dialed In. It was really uninspiring otherwise. No mention of if we'll have to repurchase tables for the new version, no word on adding the new physics to the older Williams tables, no mention of new features for Pinball FX apart from this Royale thing, no announcement of new Williams tables...
    Pinball FX3 wish list - Defender, Road Kings, Barracora, Blackout, Embryon, Mata Hari
    TPA wish list - Iron Maiden, The Walking Dead, LOTR, Transformers, TRON, X-Men, The Sopranos, Terminator 3, CSI, Gottlieb EMs!!

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    Senior Member EldarOfSuburbia's Avatar
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    They have an AC/DC and a Dialled In because they like playing them. Pretty sure nothing else could or should be read into that, unless it's wild speculation. That said, what are we here for if not wild speculation?

    "You've got an arm like a wet rag!" - The Dummy, Hurricane (Williams, 1991)
    "Ace of Clubs?!" - Bride of Pin*Bot, Jack*Bot (Williams, 1995)
    "You have been terminated. Have a nice day!" - Candy 2000, Safe Cracker (Williams, 1996)

    Wizard Goals remaining: Safe Cracker 26 [Unique] Tokens (19/26 collected); F-14 250K Launch Bonus; Frankie 150M Creature Jackpot, Complete CREATURE

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    Quote Originally Posted by crazyflipperfingers View Post
    My biggest takeaway from The Pinball Show - Akos was standing in front of an AC/DC and a Dialed In. It was really uninspiring otherwise. No mention of if we'll have to repurchase tables for the new version, no word on adding the new physics to the older Williams tables, no mention of new features for Pinball FX apart from this Royale thing, no announcement of new Williams tables...
    They have answered some questions on reddit (and discord). Mel answered the physics question "we are working to get the entire library updated with Williams Classic physics (pro physics). It's a huge undertaking, but it's a major priority.". They have also revealed that there will be live events, so that is something to speculate on.

    I agree with Eldar, the machines they were standing in front of weren't sending a message (if any looked like they were missing parts that were getting scanned that would have been a different matter entirely).

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    I'm getting a bit sick of the overhyping announcements just to make announcement for a future announcement. They are starting to feel like Farsight a little.

    Look, I'm a simple guy. Just announce a new table and I'll be happy. I don't care about the platform and its features. I just want to play more pinball.

    Zen really needs to focus on the KISS (keep it simple stupid) rule. Right now this reminds me of the original Xbox One announcement. All those features about enhancing your TV watching experience, but MS failed to focus on what really mattered,...the games.
    Last edited by shogun00; 01-28-2021 at 06:09 AM.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EldarOfSuburbia View Post
    They have an AC/DC and a Dialled In because they like playing them. Pretty sure nothing else could or should be read into that, unless it's wild speculation. That said, what are we here for if not wild speculation?

    Well, they DID say new IPs, so who knows? Why couldn’t it mean a Jersey Jack or Stern partnership involved? I could see it. Especially Stern.

  14. #14
    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    Well, they DID say new IPs, so who knows? Why couldn’t it mean a Jersey Jack or Stern partnership involved? I could see it. Especially Stern.
    Agreed, but I wouldn't be surprised to see that it also means other IPs within their current agreements. So maybe Pixar related original tables? And then whatever WMS tables that have other Disney franchises' IP like Indiana Jones, etc.

    Also, based on Zen's development cycle, this new version of FX should have been in development for at least the past 18 months. But we know how things have gone with much of that time period, so when will FX 4 actually be released? Q3/Q4? Are they hoping that the Mandalorian pack in March and the Arcade1Up cabinets in April/May are enough to keep us interested until they have some actual news to share?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinph View Post
    Anybody else a little worried about the “new business models” bit though? No subscription based service please... well, at least not one that is mandatory. I like buying and “owning” the tables.
    Maybe they will let you download everything for free but make you pay per "credit" (like real pinball machines generate profit) just like other games have in-game currency. So you'd have to buy packs of 50, 100, 250, 1000, etc. "credits" with a lower per-credit price based on the pack size. Maybe they'll be called Fx and perhaps premium licensed tables will require 2 Fx per play and standard tables 1 Fx.

  16. #16
    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Byte View Post
    Maybe they will let you download everything for free but make you pay per "credit" (like real pinball machines generate profit) just like other games have in-game currency. So you'd have to buy packs of 50, 100, 250, 1000, etc. "credits" with a lower per-credit price based on the pack size. Maybe they'll be called Fx and perhaps premium licensed tables will require 2 Fx per play and standard tables 1 Fx.
    For the mobile and Asian markets something like this will likely continue to be the case. But on the PC and consoles we will probably still have outright "ownership" capability, but will also see quarterly season passes that feature various cosmetics and bonuses. Just take a look at the business models that EA, 2K and Epic use on all their franchises for a glimpse of the future.

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    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    Pinball is niche enough already. A model like that would be suicide on non-mobile platforms. I don’t think they’ll do us dirty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Byte View Post
    Maybe they will let you download everything for free but make you pay per "credit" (like real pinball machines generate profit) just like other games have in-game currency. So you'd have to buy packs of 50, 100, 250, 1000, etc. "credits" with a lower per-credit price based on the pack size. Maybe they'll be called Fx and perhaps premium licensed tables will require 2 Fx per play and standard tables 1 Fx.
    Got a feeling if they want to have new type of subscriptions, the pay to play model could be a way to bring Stern in. Arcades are shut down, not sure Stern is making money out of just selling to home fans. You know, if a new table from Stern get release both physicaly and digitally at the same time, would you put quarters in it to play the virtual version? I could be in tbh, but it really depend of the price. A 1 for 1 or even half price compare to the real table would be way too much imo. Perhaps something like 5 virtual games for a dollar could be interesting? Price could be different for newer vs older stuff, who know. The pay to play model is not something im throwing out, as long as the pricing is right.

  19. #19
    Zen Studios Employee
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun00 View Post
    I'm getting a bit sick of the overhyping announcements just to make announcement for a future announcement. They are starting to feel like Farsight a little.

    Look, I'm a simple guy. Just announce a new table and I'll be happy. I don't care about the platform and its features. I just want to play more pinball.

    Zen really needs to focus on the KISS (keep it simple stupid) rule. Right now this reminds me of the original Xbox One announcement. All those features about enhancing your TV watching experience, but MS failed to focus on what really mattered,...the games.
    I hear ya, players like you who make up our core audience think alike in my mind. These announcements will come, and we will reveal concrete information, tables, features etc in the future. We are trying to carry the pinball flag to a new audience this time with FX New & Royale, which also reflects in the kind of communication we do - this demographic might require a bit more show and a bit more content. Or at least we think so.

    I think of Pinball FX as a great melting pot of core pinball gameplay and players with a fresh injection of new features and people who discover the game.

  20. #20
    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
    I hear ya, players like you who make up our core audience think alike in my mind. These announcements will come, and we will reveal concrete information, tables, features etc in the future. We are trying to carry the pinball flag to a new audience this time with FX New & Royale, which also reflects in the kind of communication we do - this demographic might require a bit more show and a bit more content. Or at least we think so.

    I think of Pinball FX as a great melting pot of core pinball gameplay and players with a fresh injection of new features and people who discover the game.
    So the Fortnite and Asian market demographic. Enough said. You know, you can't be everything to everyone and there is a very real chance that with this systematic pivot, you alienate the very people that put you in the position that you are currently in and ultimately you may end up with zero players.

    Honestly, it may just be the reality of how niche traditional video game pinball is and you can't support a studio like Zen by catering to the "core audience" anymore.

    Maybe the future of traditional video pinball is fan-made and/or crowdsourced.
    Last edited by trash80; 01-29-2021 at 07:36 AM.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    I don’t see any reason why new features that cater to new audiences will take anything away from people who want traditional pinball simulation. Both audiences can be served. They already announced that they will be adding the classic physics as an option to the Zen original tables, which they didn’t really have to do, and that’s quite a massive display of good will towards the core audience right there. Hell, maybe the people brought in by all of the new videogamey stuff will learn to then appreciate pinball in general and become fans of the simulation mode as well. Outside of messing around with a machine here or there throughout the decades in a bar, arcade, movie theater, etc., I myself wasn’t ever really a huge pinball fan until I picked up the Pinball Hall of Fame on Wii and learned how all of the rules work on tables. Then I started regularly going to the pinball museum in Vegas as well and was hooked on real tables and digital alike. I’ll always have to thank Farsight Studios for that even though they eventually lost me as a fan with their poor handling of TPA.

    I think we can at least wait to see the full reveal of the new game and hear all of the details before setting our minds on it.
    Last edited by Hinph; 01-29-2021 at 01:05 PM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hinph View Post
    I don’t see any reason why new features that cater to new audiences will take anything away from people who want traditional pinball simulation. Both audiences can be served. They already announced that they will be adding the classic physics as an option to the Zen original tables, which they didn’t really have to do, and that’s quite a massive display of good will towards the core audience right there. Hell, maybe the people brought in by all of the new videogamey stuff will learn to then appreciate pinball in general and become fans of the simulation mode as well. Outside of messing around with a machine here or there throughout the decades in a bar, arcade, movie theater, etc., I myself wasn’t ever really a huge pinball fan until I picked up the Pinball Hall of Fame on Wii and learned how all of the rules work on tables. Then I started regularly going to the pinball museum in Vegas as well and was hooked on real tables and digital alike. I’ll always have to thank Farsight Studios for that even though they eventually lost me as a fan with their poor handling of TPA.

    I think we can at least wait to see the full reveal of the new game and hear all of the details before setting our minds on it.
    Because if they are adding new "non-traditional pinball" features, they are not building new traditional tables. Things like Pinball Battle Royale (or Rocket League of Fortnite Legends) may end up being great fun, but if it succeeds, why would Zen divert development from that back to developing whatever alpha-numeric old pinball that 200 of us oldtimers really, really want.

    They haven't added the classic physics to anything yet. This has been discussed since the first WMS tables were released (more than a year ago). It was suggested that it would be an upgrade to existing tables, but then it became obvious that this was way too much development work for this to be done as some sort "good will" and has been repeatedly teased as something they intend to do, but it really is a lot of hard work to get it right. Then Zen came out and said, Hey guys, we don't want to reset the leaderboards to facilitate updating the physics.

    Anyway, I was probably the first, and initially only person here to suggest that FX (4) err, I mean FX NEW (along with buying all the tables again) would be the logical solution to the classic physics "upgrade" and other issues that needed addressing, and to expect it sooner rather than later. So far, and even with the pandemic, Zen is right on schedule.
    Last edited by trash80; 01-29-2021 at 04:27 PM.

  23. #23
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    I've given it a few days and now I can look at it more objectively after my first impression. Although, It hasn't really changed.

    Don't get me wrong - i love announcements - "sometimes" even announcements of announcements, but we've been seeing this "THE PINBALL SHOW" thing plugged by Zen as the coming of the great info scoop and given the lack of news for all of 2020, this was anticlimactic at best.

    My one word description for it: Inauthentic.

    Nothing against Bobby and Rose personally - they did what they had to do with what they were given but ugh.
    They are clearly reading a script word for word. I've seen enough marketing sell-sheets in my time to know when I'm being read one aloud.
    And the "kewl" pinball black t-shirt outfits and the "I'm so excited" reactions to things that are not really things to be excited about. Just.. no. It's trying too hard to convey authenticity without actually being authentic.
    I don't know that I care if the hosts actually play pinball or not. If they can ask the right questions in interviews and make it sound good enough, then their job is done. But when the script doesn't include anything other than "tell me about" questions and reading off bullet points and introducing the next title card segment, it does them no favors.

    I don't see the value in Mel's "interview" either. We like Mel. We like Mel Interviews. But Mel interviews come when Mel has something to announce or say. And this was supposed to be the time that Mel had something to announce or say because it's "THE PINBALL SHOW" and... it's not good.

    Battle Royale? They spent a bullet point in the 25 sec teaser video on it, and then in the interview, it's got it's own animated intro card, which we're obviously suppose to "PAY ATTENTION HERE" to it. But... Mel was asked about it and all we got was "we're huge fans of Tetris 99" and "bonkers... so fun.. new creation...kid of crazy. with a lot of players all together at the same time...pinball wizard at the end" with a lot of filler. It's never been done before and that's it?!? And this isn't an off the cuff interview where Mel got ambushed by the question. It's a show WHERE ZEN CAME UP WITH ALL THE CONTENT, enough to make it's own title card, and this is the content that THEY picked to put in it.

    "Ask Akos" - By the title, it sounds like it's a Q&A but, I guess since it's only the first episode - he talks about discord tournaments and Lups club and some stuff you have to go elsewhere to see. It wasn't bad but if there is a future "Ask Akos" where someone is going to actually "Ask Akos" something, there was no mention on HOW to submit a question to actually do that.

    It doesn't work. If it was stiff, but authentic then it would be something to grow on. Presentations can get better as those involved get more comfortable. But it wasn't authentic. It was heavily scripted and if you're going to script the whole thing, make it shorter with flashier music and hype like we know Zen can do for every table pack video. A scripted show about product is.. an infomercial. And all of those infomercials include a lot more demonstrations and examples than this did. If you're not ready to give a conversations worth of detail about something, don't include it in the interview. This was a show full of future announcements packaged in different segments but they almost all delivered the same thing - Promises of future announcements.

    "Content" breakdown
    2 minutes of intros and future promises about future shows*
    ~30 sec "trailer" for Pinball FX*
    7 minutes of Bobby interviewing Mel about his history in Pinball, Battle Royale*, FX (4)*
    30 secs of Bobby and Rose reading "key selling points" over Mando table footage*
    60 secs of Bobby and Rose reading "key selling points" over "animated" 1up tables still photos
    60 secs of "Ask Akos"
    15 secs of Bobby and Rose making future promises about future Star Wars table announcements* for the next "show"


    TLDR version - watch the Pinball FX teaser, skip the rest. If you really want more info on Pinball FX, read the Reddit thread. (but there's not much there either*) https://www.reddit.com/r/PinballFX3/...tform_for_zen/

    *may include future promises

  24. #24
    Senior Member trash80's Avatar
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    That reddit thread (and a couple others) about the Pinball Show is more informative than the Pinball Show was. Some interesting info via comments from the Zen team.

    1. Pro Physics (naming convention used for the WMS physics in the phone app) is something they are working on bringing to the Original Zen tables (there is an important AND...)
    2. The new engine (Unreal Engine ?) that Zen is working with is helping them facilitate this upgrade (Pro Physics and other elements)
    3. New IP is mainly being mentioned in conjunction with new Original Zen tables, not with other physical table manufacturers
    4. They have no intention of "killing" Pinball FX 3 - So... Both FX 3 and FX NEW will exist concurrently? I have an idea about how/why this is necessary, but instead of speculating out loud, I think it may be best for us to wait until April (or later) to find out.
    5. The questions that they ignored may be more telling, like the Stern related ones.
    6. Discord Live Events and Season Passes are a thing
    Last edited by trash80; 01-30-2021 at 09:39 AM.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Hinph's Avatar
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    7. VR! VR is totally happening with more info on it “very soon.” Probably next month. But then I doubt we’ll see any footage that early, so I guess we’re really just looking at a more official announcement and hopefully some details.

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