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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Multiple FX Pinball announcements today, plus first looks!

    So another episode of The Pinball Show came out today and Zen released a whole bunch of news:

    * NO MORE TABLE PACKS - That’s right. Now you will be able to buy just the tables you want. But they did say you will be able to make your own bundles too at least on some things which is interesting.

    * OPTIONAL SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE - People will have the option to have a monthly subscription to play tables if they want, though some tables would not be part of this due to licensing issues.

    * BUY THROUGH PINBALL FX - Instead of having to buy through a store’s page, you will be able to buy right from within the Pinball FX game itself.

    * LONG GAMEPLAY LOOK OF INDY Was nice to see this table in action. It looks great.

    In addition they also showed the final update before release of the Noir table (which looks fantastic!), showed the game room of Pinball FX itself, and announced they now have an official presense on reddit.

    Link to The Pinball Show episode:

    https://youtu.be/_Q5AqZTkUxQ

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the info.

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    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Pinball Pass, the subscription service for Pinball FX, will be included in GamePass (Microsoft's subscription service for games)? Guaranteed Microsoft money for Zen with the potential of digital sales on top.
    It's all good.

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    The Reddit Q&A has tons more info in it too. m Some snippets from Mel below

    ZenStudios-Mel
    10 hr. ago

    Cabinet mode is still under development and not quite ready to show off yet, but we will do a deep dive on this sometime in the near future. New features, options, etc are being added to cab mode.

    Tickets are the basis for the in-game economy and was the key for us to unlock table packs. You can buy ticket for real money, then use them to buy individual tables.
    Ticket pricing / value will be discussed soon, likely next month.

    The darkened screen during Indy gameplay is specific to Castle Grunwald mode. Customized lighting options... that's a huge request. Stay tuned for news on this

    First party rules still apply with purchases across different platforms. Nothing purchased on Xbox for example will unlock an item in PlayStation. Zen will not break that rule, so for now a subscription will be good for the platform it is purchased for.

    Cabinet mode will not be a day one early access feature. It will come in one of the first updates.

    Improved camera angles... this is one of the most requested features. Look out for details on this soon!

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    Senior Member joeblow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narc0lep5y View Post
    The Reddit Q&A has tons more info in it too. m Some snippets from Mel below
    They also strongly hint in the thread that VR support will likely be offered in some form. I have a PS5 with a lock on getting its PSVR2, so this is good "news" to me.

    The main thing I was worried about though was being forced to subscribe to play tables. I'm glad they will still allow us to buy tables outright. They even hinted they will be some kind of special offer for owners of current tables on PFX3 who switch over, but no details were given yet. Maybe free tickets for each table we own per platform? That would result in a discount when they are redeemed (along with cash) to purchase them.
    Last edited by joeblow; 01-29-2022 at 09:44 PM.

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    The physics on Indiana Jones looked janky. I hope they refine it further before release and/or that they will listen to beta input.
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    Senior Member gameaddict4life's Avatar
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    Well it's going to be a free download with a free table to try so I'll give it a go on my Series S this summer. Not expecting the gameplay to have changed much over FX3 though. It's just a repackage with fancier graphics and some gimmicky modes. I wonder if the tickets you purchase are 1:1 with the table prices or if you have to buy set amounts so you have extra tickets left over that are useless unless you buy more. Why switch to tickets if that's not the case?
    It's all good.

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gameaddict4life View Post
    Why switch to tickets if that's not the case?
    I know that Sony is trying to limit the amount of DLC that is released for each game. Magic Pixel had to release the Zaccaria Pinball tables in bundles because of this. They originally wanted to have the tables to be released similar to the Steam version, but Sony said no to that.

    The ticket system is the next best thing, since it's only a few dlc bundles and that's it.

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    http://www.digitalpinballfans.com/sh...l=1#post296742

    TL;DR:

    * OVERRATED by HYPE MACHINE CONFIRMED - as expected

    * NO REAL IMPROVEMENT IN TABLE VISUALS - looks the same as FX3 but laughable raytracing mentioned 10 times... "selling point" desperation much?

    * THE USUAL ****TY STIFF PHYSICS - ball comes down and... booooinggg... stiffness everywhere

    * TIMMY'S STORE - Gone there to cash the dosh upfront without caring for existing customers (former fans), milking them and helping old pal Timmy canibalizing the market.

    * ANIMATIONS - Uninspired and stupid. Seriously, it got old already...

    * CONCLUSION: - VPX visuals and physics >>>>>>> this, anytime.
    Last edited by pinfan7; 01-30-2022 at 11:37 AM.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinfan7 View Post
    http://www.digitalpinballfans.com/sh...l=1#post296742

    TL;DR:

    * OVERRATED by HYPE MACHINE CONFIRMED - as expected

    * NO REAL IMPROVEMENT IN TABLE VISUALS - looks the same as FX3 but laughable raytracing mentioned 10 times... "selling point" desperation much?

    * THE USUAL ****TY STIFF PHYSICS - ball comes down and... booooinggg... stiffness everywhere

    * TIMMY'S STORE - Gone there to cash the dosh upfront without caring for existing customers (former fans), milking them and helping old pal Timmy canibalizing the market.

    * ANIMATIONS - Uninspired and stupid. Seriously, it got old already...

    * CONCLUSION: - VPX visuals and physics >>>>>>> this, anytime.
    Tell us how you really feel....lol. Setting your negativity aside, there’s definitely improvement in visuals. If you cannot see them, then you better go get your vision checked!

    As for the epic store exclusive...this is not news. Not sure why you are still complaining about it or what you would have had them do. They felt the need to get off their legacy engine and move to something more modern. So, they went with Epic, but that came with a price. Am I happy about it? No. Do I understand it? Yes. The alternative, which I guess is what you are proposing would have been to either do nothing at all, or start writing their own new engine from scratch, which would have taken a very long time and set them back years further than they already are. Then you would be complaining about THAT. In other words, I don’t think there is anything they could do that would make you happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    there’s definitely improvement in visuals. If you cannot see them, then you better go get your vision checked! .
    VPX:




    Seriously, you compare the visuals of the above screenshot and the visuals/ physics of this video



    with Zen's version? xD xD xD xD

    I think it's you who needs to see a doctor ASAP instead xD

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinballwiz45b View Post
    Your argument is invalid.
    Couldn't be further from the truth. Even the untrained eye/person can tell in 2 seconds in which version the ball has real mass & weight and how natural it moves and behaves, including unpredictability. But I guess you can keep Scared Stiff company at the doctor :P

    P.S. Add superior sound as well to the list.
    Last edited by pinfan7; 01-30-2022 at 06:13 PM.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinfan7 View Post
    VPX:




    Seriously, you compare the visuals of the above screenshot and the visuals/ physics of this video



    with Zen's version? xD xD xD xD

    I think it's you who needs to see a doctor ASAP instead xD



    Couldn't be further from the truth. Even the untrained eye/person can tell in 2 seconds in which version the ball has real mass & weight and how natural it moves and behaves, including unpredictability. But I guess you can keep Scared Stiff company at the doctor :P

    P.S. Add superior sound as well to the list.
    Like I said, if you cannot see any improvement in visuals, than there is something wrong with your eyes. And like I also said, nothing they do would make you happy. You just want to be negative. So I equate your complaints with a grain of salt.

    Has Zen made some misteps with this transition? Absolutely. Is everything as horrible as you make it out to be? No. The truth, as with most things in life, lays somewhere in the middle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    Like I said, if you cannot see any improvement in visuals, than there is something wrong with your eyes. And like I also said, nothing they do would make you happy. You just want to be negative. So I equate your complaints with a grain of salt.

    Has Zen made some misteps with this transition? Absolutely. Is everything as horrible as you make it out to be? No. The truth, as with most things in life, lays somewhere in the middle.
    I'm looking forward to seeing a direct comparison of the 2. It's hard to judge it on Pinball FX until it releases. I'm hoping to see a direct video comparison between FX, 3 and VP once they're all available. I'm excited to see how much has changed and how Pinball Royale is going to turn out.

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    Senior Member Pinballwiz45b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinfan7 View Post
    * CONCLUSION: - VPX visuals and physics >>>>>>> this, anytime.
    Even VPX has its flaws, as does many other digital pinball games. Some games suffer from overpowered nudging on keyboard, just like Zen. Your argument is invalid.

    You can't beat the real thing, which is why I've grown to appreciate digital games with more viewpoints.

    Remember also that digital pinball is a complete niche as it is, despite its surge in popularity over the past decade. Not everyone has ease of access to things like VPX or PinMAME, or heck, even building a custom cabinet.
    It has to warm up...(MULTIBALL)...SO IT CAN KILL YOU!

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    Having a hard time getting excited, with a 5 or 6 month turnaround still until consoles. It has been so dry recently, the mere release of news these days feels like a release of a pinball pack.

    For FX4, I was a hard sell for FX3 for Williams, but ultimately it was worth it. The question will be, is the upgrade from 3 to 4 going to be worth it or is it diminishing returns?

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    These VPX recreations almost look photorealistic!

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinballmonster View Post
    These VPX recreations almost look photorealistic!
    Here, have a cookie

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinfan7 View Post
    Seriously, you compare the visuals of the above screenshot and the visuals/ physics of this video
    with Zen's version? xD xD xD xD <snip>
    This is going to be YMMV (your milage may vary) situation.

    I'm not going to bother comparing the two as they are. You're comparing an alpha build (PFX) to a more complete program (VPX), that's been out for a few years.

    Clearly the video that Zen provided is using the casual physics and not the Willams physics. It also looks like Zen is using the default settings too. Even PFX3 had a gamma option that spices up the lighting. Who knows what other options Zen will provide in the final product. The VPX video on the other hand is at optimal settings. Can you guarantee that everyone will have the same experience as that VPX video? Doubt it! I have a decent laptop and I still have to adjust the settings to get a steady framerate. This usually makes the lighting effects look washed out for me

    One issue I have with Visual Pinball in general is that there is no quality consistency. Some tables look amazing, while others look downright aweful. It really depends on the table author and how much effort they put into it. At least with Zen, Magic Pixel, and Farsight, I know that the quality of the tables will be on par with each other.

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun00 View Post
    This is going to be YMMV (your milage may vary) situation.

    I'm not going to bother comparing the two as they are. You're comparing an alpha build (PFX) to a more complete program (VPX), that's been out for a few years.

    Clearly the video that Zen provided is using the casual physics and not the Willams physics. It also looks like Zen is using the default settings too. Even PFX3 had a gamma option that spices up the lighting. Who knows what other options Zen will provide in the final product. The VPX video on the other hand is at optimal settings. Can you guarantee that everyone will have the same experience as that VPX video? Doubt it! I have a decent laptop and I still have to adjust the settings to get a steady framerate. This usually makes the lighting effects look washed out for me

    One issue I have with Visual Pinball in general is that there is no quality consistency. Some tables look amazing, while others look downright aweful. It really depends on the table author and how much effort they put into it. At least with Zen, Magic Pixel, and Farsight, I know that the quality of the tables will be on par with each other.
    Zen's video clip in their latest The Pinball Show is Williams physics i.e. live catch and flipper movement. It looks like they still need to work on the physics a lot even to match what they already had in FX3 Williams Classic Arcade with e.g. Monster Bash.

    The VPX is not at optimal settings ;-) . I have a 10 year old PC and I have to turn down a lot of visual settings including anti-aliasing, shadows and reflections. The lighting effects of the playfield are baked in, so I don't know what you are doing for it to look washed out? Maybe you are moving the day/night slider up too much?

    Quality of VPX tables is linked to authors as you say. There has been a vast improvement in VPX quality over the last two years mostly because of a team of VPX veteran authors called the Visual Pinball Workshop (VPW) mod team that has set the standard. They have released 21 tables in two years that are all top-quality in terms of physics, lighting, sound etc. They also give input on many table author's work and help them to e.g. implement the latest physics that they have developed called nfozzy/rothbauer physics. They include table authors such as Skitso, Uncle Paulie, Flupper1, Bord, Daphishbowl, G5K and many others. There are also other great table authors outside of the VPW mod team and their collaborators including Goldchicco, JP Salas and Loserman57 which have all produced loads of high-quality tables. They play differently than the VPW mod tables, as they use different solutions for e.g. physics, but still look and play great. There are 100s of top-quality tables available and every couple of months they get updated (especially the VPW mod team tables) with e.g. refined physics, as they improve on it.

    VPX (and soon VPE) will never be competition for Zen and Pinball FX as it is only PC based and purposefully designed so that you must be hands-on to get anywhere with it. It is though a better experience for those that are willing to work with it. I used to play only Pinball FX3 (mostly Williams), but since I got a PC about 8 months ago, I've only played VPX as the gameplay experience on the top tables are unmatched by Zen or anyone else. My favourite tables at this stage are mostly by VPW mod team and their collaborators and include Indiana Jones The Pinball Adventure, The Lord of the Rings Valinor Edition, Tales from the Crypt, Taxi, Whirlwind and Spider Man Vault Edition. There are so many great tables that I just haven't gotten to including Batman 66, Guardians of the Galaxy and Metallica.
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    VPX is superior and also a much larger investment time wise. Zen is click and play.

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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloda View Post
    Zen's video clip in their latest The Pinball Show is Williams physics i.e. live catch and flipper movement. It looks like they still need to work on the physics a lot even to match what they already had in FX3 Williams Classic Arcade with e.g. Monster Bash.
    That's interesting! I only watched a few seconds of the video. In that case, the physics on the elastics still need some work then. Especially, if they are using red rubbers.

    Fun Fact: Did you know that the rubbers on pinball machines are color coded? The lighter the color, the more bouncier they are. White rubbers are the most bouncey, red is mid range, and black is the least bouncey.

    The lighting effects of the playfield are baked in, so I don't know what you are doing for it to look washed out? Maybe you are moving the day/night slider up too much?
    They aren't completely baked in. I change the intensity in the actual code script (when available), so I can keep most of the effects on. I'm amazed that the code for the lighting is still based on PacDude's lighting script code, that was originally made in VP8.

    I occasionally use the day slider but not that much. I wonder if it's a setting on monitor that is causing the problem?

    There has been a vast improvement in VPX quality over the last two years mostly because of a team of VPX veteran authors called the Visual Pinball Workshop (VPW) mod team that has set the standard. They have released 21 tables in two years that are all top-quality in terms of physics, lighting, sound etc.
    That's good to hear. However, until they cover the tables that I usually play. I'm not going to notice much. Most of the tables I've played on VPX are tables I've played in real life. Most of them are in the niche category for what it's worth.

    There are so many great tables that I just haven't gotten to including Batman 66, Guardians of the Galaxy and Metallica.
    Have they finally started working on LCD tables? I'm surprised considering the ROM sizes (2.5GB average).
    Last edited by shogun00; 02-01-2022 at 02:46 PM. Reason: Typos

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    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun00 View Post

    Have they finally started working on LCD tables? I'm surprised considering the ROM sizes (2.5GB average).
    Both the rules and video display etc. of Batman 66 and Guardians of the Galaxy was coded from scratch without using the ROM. It was a huge amount of work. That team is also working on a "new" table where they must do the same that they will hopefully release in the next few months. Someone is also working on Black Knight Swords of Rage and then you have tables that look like the real deal i.e. Godzilla, but without the rules and display. The ROM's for tables after around 2013 can't be emulated yet. The only exception I know about is Ghost Busters that Farsight ported and where the VPX use that "ROM".
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    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloda View Post
    Both the rules and video display etc. of Batman 66 and Guardians of the Galaxy was coded from scratch without using the ROM. It was a huge amount of work. That team is also working on a "new" table where they must do the same that they will hopefully release in the next few months. Someone is also working on Black Knight Swords of Rage and then you have tables that look like the real deal i.e. Godzilla, but without the rules and display. The ROM's for tables after around 2013 can't be emulated yet. The only exception I know about is Ghost Busters that Farsight ported and where the VPX use that "ROM".
    I own BK:SoR (pro) and I can tell you first hand that the ROM file for that machine is 2.6GB uncompressed. Spike 1 games are emulatable, since the board only uses a standard graphics chip and low end CPU. Plus, the ROM file is no larger than 50MB. Spike 2 uses a GPU along with a high end CPU.

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    Senior Member Scared Stiff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun00 View Post
    That's interesting! I only watched a few seconds of the video. In that case, the physics on the elastics still need some work then. Especially, if they are using red rubbers.

    Fun Fact: Did you know that the rubbers on pinball machines are color coded? The lighter the color, the more bouncier they are. White rubbers are the most bouncey, red is mid range, and black is the least bouncey.
    No! I did not know that! That explains why the tables with white ones drive me crazy with all that bouncing!

  25. #25
    Senior Member shogun00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scared Stiff View Post
    No! I did not know that! That explains why the tables with white ones drive me crazy with all that bouncing!
    I only learned about it a few years ago, when I bought my first machine.
    Last edited by shogun00; 02-04-2022 at 11:27 AM.

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