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Thread: Is the Williams license in better hands now? Would a wide variety of tables by TPA be

  1. #26
    Senior Member zmcvay's Avatar
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    Great news after a long drought! Just hoping the other shoe doesn't drop.

    Besides the fact that if I do want it on the new Pinball FX platform I'll have to buy it again later of course.

    Would be nice if some other exclusives were confirmed to be headed there, either the 2 Oculus Star Wars tables or the Pinball Party ones. The Oculus exclusivity for the Mandalorian must be up soon at least.

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    Senior Member Pinballwiz45b's Avatar
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    Side by side comparison, in case anyone's interested -- FX3 vs Unreal:



    FX3 looks great as usual, but Unreal is looking sharp and vibrant! I can only imagine what the other Williams games will look like. That being said, I wonder what kind of graphics settings are utilized in the Unreal version.
    Last edited by Pinballwiz45b; 12-16-2021 at 08:29 PM.
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    Senior Member francis247uk's Avatar
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    Looks great, thanks for posting!

    Have Zen said anything about Pinball FX coming to PS5 and Xbox Series consoles - will they also be a year wait after the epic exclusive, so March 2023 release?

    Also are they scanning the assets at 4k (or above) for Pinball FX do we think, or are they doing that already with FX3....

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by francis247uk View Post
    Have Zen said anything about Pinball FX coming to PS5 and Xbox Series consoles - will they also be a year wait after the epic exclusive, so March 2023 release?
    Epic Store exclusives don't affect console releases. The PFX3 version comes out on console in March as well.

    Pinball FX (reboot) will release out on PS5, XBS, and Switch over the summer. Zen also confirmed that they are also making PS4 and XB1 versions, but I'm not sure if they will release out over the summer as well.

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    It looks a bit sharper in the Unreal engine. Maybe a little less washout with lighting in the background. The table looks better on the right, however, I think part of that is the number of lights on in the game play.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomwaits View Post
    For me, Zen getting the WMS license has ended my interest in digital pinball. I haven't purchased any of their WMS tables. I only play on PS4, and won't buy censored tables. They've only released one table that wasn't in TPA. Devoting development resources to WMS tables means there hasn't been a Zen original since Solo (except the two Star Wars VR exclusives). The license changing hands has been a disaster to me and after buying every table in ZP1, Marvel, Star Wars, ZP2, and PFX3 until Solo, they've lost a customer.
    Well, the only one non-TPA table thing is about to change. There’s been numerous Zen originals since Solo. Just all on Apple Arcade.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1adam12 View Post
    Those are some good points, with the pandemic putting things into a tailspin. I do think Zen really dropped the ball. Farsight did fan polls and worked to put out tables that were high in demand. Bride of PinBot is still a favorite and one of the tables that has me visit the mobile app from time to time. There were some great tables out in that era, so to speak, such as the Elvira table.
    The way the business is being handled with things like Apple Arcade are indicative of how businesses seem to work harder and harder to just find a dedicated audience willing to pay for some special service. I’m thinking about things like the big ten network, the nfl network, and so on. It’s a flawed comparison, but I think you get my drift. As of now, Zen has taken a specialty product and tucked it away in a special corner. I won’t pay for Apple Arcade, so I’ll just have to miss out. I can only hope not many people shell out for it so it can prove to be a flawed idea.
    Why is it a flawed idea? 5 bucks a month for over 200 all-you-can-play games with no ads? People spend more than that on coffee in one day, let alone one month. It’s totally a good deal. And I’m on a six month free trial so it’s not even costing me anything right now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinballwiz45b View Post
    Side by side comparison, in case anyone's interested -- FX3 vs Unreal:



    FX3 looks great as usual, but Unreal is looking sharp and vibrant! I can only imagine what the other Williams games will look like. That being said, I wonder what kind of graphics settings are utilized in the Unreal version.
    Maybe itís my age, but I am perfectly happy with the FX3 engine. I feel that apps hit that point a long time ago where they were meant to be obsolete after a few years. Iím sure the new software will be noticeably better to some people, but Iím just happy to be able to play these tables decades after playing them IRL. Iím thrilled about the Indiana Jones table, and think it will have been worth the wait.



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    Moderator Xanija's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinballwiz45b View Post
    Side by side comparison, in case anyone's interested -- FX3 vs Unreal:



    FX3 looks great as usual, but Unreal is looking sharp and vibrant! I can only imagine what the other Williams games will look like. That being said, I wonder what kind of graphics settings are utilized in the Unreal version.
    The difference is quite noticeable. I'm a huge fan of sharp graphics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    Why is it a flawed idea? 5 bucks a month for over 200 all-you-can-play games with no ads? People spend more than that on coffee in one day, let alone one month. It’s totally a good deal. And I’m on a six month free trial so it’s not even costing me anything right now.
    I don't think it is flawed, as they are trying to cash in on the non-pinball gaming person. But for me, pinball on a tablet?! Like having T-Day dinner through a straw. And in the world of today's media and gaming options, it is best not to force dedicated gamers to wait and find something else to spend their money on.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yespage View Post
    I don't think it is flawed, as they are trying to cash in on the non-pinball gaming person. But for me, pinball on a tablet?! Like having T-Day dinner through a straw. And in the world of today's media and gaming options, it is best not to force dedicated gamers to wait and find something else to spend their money on.
    Yeah well that bridge was crossed long before the Apple Arcade deal, when they decided to dump their own engine and go with Epic’s which made everything come to a grinding halt. And to each’s own. I’ve been a dedicated pinball player since the 1970’s and I LOVE being able to play on a tablet. Actually I have been playing on my phone more lately. And for me that’s still a heck of a lot of fun. I can’t stand at a pinball machine anymore. Don’t have the stamina for it. Hands can’t handle it for long either. This is perfect for me and my situation. But I can understand why it wouldn’t be for others. At least the wait for new tables is almost over for everyone. Indy is coming!

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    Digital pinball with a controller kinda sorta makes sense. But there are just too many variables involved: the size and weight of the controller, the travel of the buttons, input errors, and the odd parallels or lack thereof of controller inputs vs actual pinball buttons and plungers.

    Pulling a plunger by swiping down on a screen and activating flippers by tapping, on a rectangular display feels a lot more natural than holding an enormous egg shaped controller in your hands and arbitrarily assigning functions to buttons and levers.

    You also have to take into account button/lever travel latency, so you have to hit shots (more than) slightly earlier with a controller, whereas tapping and swiping directly on the screen at least feels like the latency is minimized.

    As far as zen's business decisions, I'd imagine there's a lot less revenue for Williams tables compared to say, FPS games: COD, Fortnite, etc. They've got to grab any bag they're offered.
    Last edited by pinballmonster; 12-24-2021 at 05:28 PM.

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    Senior Member Pinballwiz45b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinballmonster View Post
    Digital pinball with a controller kinda sorta makes sense. But there are just too many variables involved: the size and weight of the controller, the travel of the buttons, input errors, and the odd parallels or lack thereof of controller inputs vs actual pinball buttons and plungers.

    Pulling a plunger by swiping down on a screen and activating flippers by tapping, on a rectangular display feels a lot more natural than holding an enormous egg shaped controller in your hands and arbitrarily assigning functions to buttons and levers.

    You also have to take into account button/lever travel latency, so you have to hit shots (more than) slightly earlier with a controller, whereas tapping and swiping directly on the screen at least feels like the latency is minimized.

    As far as zen's business decisions, I'd imagine there's a lot less revenue for Williams tables compared to say, FPS games: COD, Fortnite, etc. They've got to grab any bag they're offered.
    Keyboard player here, been that way on PC pinball since the Full Tilt / Maxis days. Couldn't get behind a controller apart from consoles. The way I play, I want the experience to parallel that feeling of a real machine, and keyboard makes more sense to me. A traditional controller with just 1 finger on each flipper button, it feels very strange and awkward.

    What's missing from FX3 (and I'm going to assume in the upcoming FX) is custom plunger controls for the mouse. It's been implemented on FX2, which is strange.

    What's suffering on many different pinball games with nudging on a keyboard, is that there are too few variables. It's not just a 0 or 1 deal, you need fuzzy logic behind it. SlamIt Pinball was WAY ahead of its time.

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    Another nice aspect of playing on a tablet is that you maximize use of screen real estate.

    There's so much wasted space on a standard 16x9 display.

    Hopefully, the next iteration of Williams mobile pinball will feature higher res tables. The latest m1 chips and snapdragon 88x GPU's should be able to handle whatever zen can throw at them.

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    @pinballmonster:
    Turn the screen by 90į and you got no wasted space at all. On Controllers I say I don't feel any delay (cabled), a little buttontravel is only realistic and I find I have quite good nudging control with an analog stick.
    Just my 2 cents.
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    Nudging with joystick controllers is clearly superior ergonomically compared to reaching to and swiping at the top of a tablet screen.

    Continuous tapping on a tablet or phone can also irritate your joints, so the bit of cushion afforded with buttons and triggers is probably slightly preferable for longer sessions of gaming.

    My only significant gripe is that I can't get any controller to work without input errors in macOS. Gaming support is abysmal.

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    The differences in those 2 screenshots are minimal and what you see there is the infamous -for many years- lacking of proper Anti-aliasing (no MSAA or SSAA iirc) in the Unreal Engine 4. You can enforce more sharpness and colour warmth through your GPU control panel if you want it to look like that in FX3.
    Notice also the lack of reflection on the table sides. In fact it's pretty dissapointing what I see there, I would expect way more fidelity, detail, HDR lighting, including a different playing environment for FX but we see here the same lounge, so it is pretty obvious again that the only reason they 've gone to Timmy's Store was to get the dosh upfront and milk existing customers, while playing Timmy's exclusivity game of cannibalizing the market rather than competing. The minor differences and same version ported in another engine is one more reason not to get it on the Timmy's Store. Not that I would do anyway, I'm done with Zen, these days I only support Zaccaria/Magic Pixel and I play Williams/Bally exclusively in VPX.
    Last edited by pinfan7; 12-27-2021 at 05:32 AM.

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    What pinfan7 said!

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    Senior Member Pete's Avatar
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    ...but, but, but... the speckles man!!! those gorgeous speckles on the stairs!!! did you see those friggin' bad boys!?? hahahahahha
    I promise you the lighting will be much cooler looking with real ray tracing and stuff... once any of us can even afford a damn gpu with ray tracing in this crazy shortage... which should take about as long as the exclusivity contract maybe. Though i think nvidia is just getting our hopes up by saying the shortage will end later this year... it could go on for years for all we know. anywho... remember when farsight was like "just buy all the will/bal tables before the month is over before they go away, we will make more tables we promise, you havnt seen the last of us, more tables will happen we swear, bla bla friggity bla frigg" and then nothing... NOTHING!!!! i defended those guys here for like a year saying stuff like they will probably surprise us with something awesome and yada yada... they chumped me. made me look like a fool. All those ignored early sterns they could have put out. ahhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! ahhhhhh!!!!! im in helll!!!! HELLLLL!!!!!!!!!

  19. #44
    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    I just play Zaccaria now. TPA is too slow and Zen is too fast, like the ball is on a ping pong table. Zaccaria seems to have the perfect balance between the two and the leaderboards are fun when they're working. I can actually place in the top ten on some tables. Playing on the Xbox Series S. Really nice experience.

    If Zen gets rid of the all the censorship stuff I might consider getting the new FX. Still not crazy about their physics though.
    It's all good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gameaddict4life View Post
    I just play Zaccaria now. TPA is too slow and Zen is too fast, like the ball is on a ping pong table. Zaccaria seems to have the perfect balance between the two and the leaderboards are fun when they're working. I can actually place in the top ten on some tables. Playing on the Xbox Series S. Really nice experience.

    If Zen gets rid of the all the censorship stuff I might consider getting the new FX. Still not crazy about their physics though.
    No doubt. I have to, but hate to, agree. The zen tables are so beautifully and faithfully rendered, it's a joy to see such painstakingly recreated tables.

    Playing the game is completely different. The "arcade" version doesn't seem faithful to the real world physics of actual tables. There's no weight to the ball, so it travels at improbably fast speeds. Everything about the physics is exaggerated: the spin, the speed, the bouncing, it's just kind of ridiculous.

    As beautiful as the tables are to look at, they're not actually fun to play. Oddly, the zen physics makes game play too easy, so its pretty much impossible to find a middle ground.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinballmonster View Post
    No doubt. I have to, but hate to, agree. The zen tables are so beautifully and faithfully rendered, it's a joy to see such painstakingly recreated tables.

    Playing the game is completely different. The "arcade" version doesn't seem faithful to the real world physics of actual tables. There's no weight to the ball, so it travels at improbably fast speeds. Everything about the physics is exaggerated: the spin, the speed, the bouncing, it's just kind of ridiculous.

    As beautiful as the tables are to look at, they're not actually fun to play. Oddly, the zen physics makes game play too easy, so its pretty much impossible to find a middle ground.
    I have fun playing them. To each’s own I guess.

  22. #47
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinballmonster View Post
    No doubt. I have to, but hate to, agree. The zen tables are so beautifully and faithfully rendered, it's a joy to see such painstakingly recreated tables.

    Playing the game is completely different. The "arcade" version doesn't seem faithful to the real world physics of actual tables. There's no weight to the ball, so it travels at improbably fast speeds. Everything about the physics is exaggerated: the spin, the speed, the bouncing, it's just kind of ridiculous.

    As beautiful as the tables are to look at, they're not actually fun to play. Oddly, the zen physics makes game play too easy, so its pretty much impossible to find a middle ground.
    Zen's Williams Classic Arcade/Pro physics is a mixed bag at the moment. For the first three Volumes they were still refining the physics so the ball was flying across the screen with no weight, flipper tricks don't work that well, especially e.g. tip-passes. In Volume 4 they already improved it a lot, but since Universal Monsters the physics is quite decent and plays realistic. My favourite tables out of the released bunch are Road Show, Space Station, Monster Bash and No Good Gophers. On the Arcade 1UP cabinet, they updated the Vol 1 - 3 tables to have similar physics to the Universal Monsters tables and later. Let's see what they do in Pinball FX, but it will certainly play much better and more realistic than FX3's Volumes 1 - 3.

    P.S. Zen did say that they will update FX3's Volumes 1 - 3, but that hasn't happened yet, unfortunately.
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    I did misjudge TPA's physics in the past mostly because what I've tried from TPA were free monthly Stern tables and I also fell victim of the hype for FX3, but when I *truly* played some I found out that they had many tables with the ball being not *that* slow as I previously believed with my misjudgement, compared to Zen's speedy-gonzales equivalent. After owning some tables and trying more stuff for real I found out that TPA's physics were actually much better, the ball had a true "hard" metal mass which you could actually "feel" by the way it was interacting with the table objects and your flippers, and almost all flipper tricks like tip-passes, alley passes, post-passes, basic stuff like drop/live catches -a sensible back-hand- were already there and done better. It always felt amazing to pull them off in any table, in contrast to Zen's which turned out to have overrated and overhyped physics. Marble-physics video has shown it and while it got a bit better it still suffers from that and the flipper control is still horrendous. For example Taxi is a reasonably fast table, where you can lose the ball from your eyes, but the ball never behaves in such erratic (i.e. broken) way like it does in Zen's tables. CftBL, while the ball is heavy af in FX3, if you give it some speed and it hits some corners it will behave exactly like in The Party Zone (see marble-video). Playing a Pinbot game or Space Shuttle, or... anything in TPA does not compare to anything sparse and trendy Zen offers, and it still holds fine in the visual department with DX11. Not to speak about its superior cameras. I never understood why FX2/3 needed to have so many crap cameras in quantity and angle.
    Last edited by pinfan7; 01-25-2022 at 04:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinfan7 View Post
    Not to speak about its superior cameras. I never understood why FX2/3 needed to have so many crap cameras in quantity and angle.
    This one of my biggest issues with Zen tables - I don't like any of their cameras, none of them suits my preferences. Ideally, they should implement free camera mode so that everyone can setup cameras as they like - similar like Visual Pinball has.

    Additionally, force feedback on PS4/PS5 controller is far superior on TPA. While it barely works in FX3, I can really feel the ball in TPA. Not having implemented all functionalities of PS5 controller in next version would be big disappointment to me.

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Iga_Biva View Post
    Additionally, force feedback on PS4/PS5 controller is far superior on TPA. While it barely works in FX3, I can really feel the ball in TPA.
    TPA is actually very unrealistic in that aspect. Everytime the ball hits a rubber the controller rumbles. It annoyed me so much that I had to turn the rumble off.

    When playing a real pinball machine, do you ever feel the ball rolling? I haven't! The only vibrations I feel are from the solenoids popping and the shake motor (when available).

    Zen has the force feedback a little more accurate than TPA. If they just add the solenoid feedback from the flipper coils, then we'll be all set.
    Last edited by shogun00; 01-28-2022 at 03:47 AM.

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