The Pinball (digital and physical) ERA |OT| Full Tilt

Here’s my Halo pinball table design by feature. Obviously there’s loads of detail missing, but this I’ve been carrying around in my head for a long time.


1. Ball Launch Plunger - the handle is a Plasma pistol that can be manually pulled back (makes the charging sound and vibrates) or trigger squeezed for same effect - let go to release ball.
2. Secondary/Multi ball - “Oddball!”
3. Bumpers - Covenant and/or human Plasma Coils/barrels
4. Bonus multipliers - double, triple, over etc kills all the way up to Killamanjaro - time based rules to attain multipliers.
5. Table “host” narrator- 343 Guilty Spark for rare announcements, Cortana for regular ones.
6. Temporary scoring state switch (bonus rounds etc) - “Orbital Drop Shock!”
7. Toughest ramp - full loop the loop Halo artifact.
8. Smaller ramp - Mancannon!
9. Loss of ball through center - “Ball Dropped!” “Suicide!”
10. Flippers - just flippers. No need for everything to be gimmicky.
11. Multiple multiball’s (3 or more) “FLOOD UNLEASHED!”
Theming is always fun to dream up, but lately I’ve been getting into the actual design of the games modes and rules.

For example:

Spinner Multiball (or whatever you want to call it)
Completing the target bank lights a letter and the spinner. Hitting the spinner then increases the value of Spinner Jackpot by number of spins, unlights spinner, Complete target bank again to spot another letter and relight spinner. You can keep lighting letters without hitting the spinner so it’s up to you if you want to risk the spinner shot to try and raise jackpot value. Lighting all letters and completing word lights lock. Locking the ball resets the word. Repeat the process to light lock 2. Locking the second ball lights Spinner Multiball. Hitting the Spinner starts Spinner Multiball, a three-ball multiball where each spinner shot rewards the Jackpot value you built up earlier.

That’s just a basic, generic concept. Lately I’ve been fascinated with some of the more intricate and clever scoring ideas.

Now that said, my idea for a game is similar to Nex Machina where you progress through a series of smaller boards with a more limited scope in objectives and branching paths.
 

Stinkles

343 Industries
Verified
Theming is always fun to dream up, but lately I’ve been getting into the actual design of the games modes and rules.

For example:

Spinner Multiball (or whatever you want to call it)
Completing the target bank lights a letter and the spinner. Hitting the spinner then increases the value of Spinner Jackpot by number of spins, unlights spinner, Complete target bank again to spot another letter and relight spinner. You can keep lighting letters without hitting the spinner so it’s up to you if you want to risk the spinner shot to try and raise jackpot value. Lighting all letters and completing word lights lock. Locking the ball resets the word. Repeat the process to light lock 2. Locking the second ball lights Spinner Multiball. Hitting the Spinner starts Spinner Multiball, a three-ball multiball where each spinner shot rewards the Jackpot value you built up earlier.

Yeah - I listed out the aesthetic references rather than the design proper, but I have given it a bunch of thought over the years. I have a bunch of sketches that look cool on paper, but it would need a real pinball designer to interpret, and some stuff (like a proper loop the loop for example) might be impractical or unworkable with other element. The good news is that if we ever make a real pinball table - we can just overload the designer with inspiration and ideas.
 
Yeah - I listed out the aesthetic references rather than the design proper, but I have given it a bunch of thought over the years. I have a bunch of sketches that look cool on paper, but it would need a real pinball designer to interpret, and some stuff (like a proper loop the loop for example) might be impractical or unworkable with other element. The good news is that if we ever make a real pinball table - we can just overload the designer with inspiration and ideas.
Haha.

Lately I have really come to appreciate Stern’s philosophy that the code is both paramount to good design and pliable. You could have two identical tables, physically, that play completely different based on how they are coded.

Stern’s Batman 66 was the first game that showed me just what a dramatic difference the code can make. They completely reworked the minor villians from something that felt perfunctory and superficial to something that added tons of depth and strategy.
 
Hey there lovely people, I figure now is the time to celebrate and dance naked on the streets:

EDIT:
Directly from the horse's mouth (AKA developer) on the Steam Forums:
Originally posted by Akos:
Hi everyone, got an update for you!

Family Mode will be turned off on PC. You will have the ability to turn Family Mode on in the settings if needed. We will continue to work on this issue now and in the future. For now, artwork will remain altered on Fish Tales with references to alcohol and tobacco being removed.

Thanks for the insight and the feedback on this issue
But not everything is settled at this point:
melchiah_kirk [developer] 28 Sep @ 7:52pm
There are still ongoing conversations between Zen and platform holders which may or may not result in changes to our rating. This is as honest as we can be at this time. As things progress, we will keep you updated.

Fish Tales is free for all players. We must absolutely keep the content in line with what our age rating system is. At this time we are not prepared to release a version of Fish Tales without the censored artwork. It is possible this could change in the future, but again, we are going through the necessary steps with platform holders to make sure we would make the changes correctly and in line with what an existing player base would require (notifications, etc.).
All in all great news, they are obviously trying hard to make progress on this issue. Props to the Zen developers for not just sweeping this under the rug.
 
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It's a really bad table.
Are you kidding? It’s far from a bad table. Are you familiar with the table since its more recent code updates?

I’m curious why you think it’s bad, let alone really bad.

Hey there lovely people, I figure now is the time to celebrate and dance naked on the streets:

EDIT:
Directly from the horse's mouth (AKA developer) on the Steam Forums:


But not everything is settled at this point:

All in all great news, they are obviously trying hard to make progress on this issue. Props to the Zen developers for not just sweeping this under the rug.
I wish Farsight was half as communicative and transparent as Zen.
 
I wish Farsight was half as communicative and transparent as Zen.
Yeah, i dont know what is happening with Farsight. What are their plan? Concentrate to become the ultimate Gottlieb - Stern old clasic pinballs ? Concentrate to release one or two new Stern machine at a more expensive price? Let TPA die simply? I think there is tons of old Gottlieb -Stern machine id love to see. Id simply love to hear whats next for them concerning TPA.
 
Yeah, i dont know what is happening with Farsight. What are their plan? Concentrate to become the ultimate Gottlieb - Stern old clasic pinballs ? Concentrate to release one or two new Stern machine at a more expensive price? Let TPA die simply? I think there is tons of old Gottlieb -Stern machine id love to see. Id simply love to hear whats next for them concerning TPA.
The most hilarious irony to me is that they still haven't released the two new Stern tables in Stern Pinball Arcade, the app that was the impetus for their creation that they were originally announced for.

And who fuck knows how long it will take for these two tables to come to consoles.

On a positive note, I'm actually enjoying Big Buck Hunter on my iPad quite a bit. I've never played the real one and always heard it was mediocre. It's better than I anticipated! It's not great but it's solid and translates well to digital.

I will say that both BBH and Woah Nellie might be contenders for "Worst Sound Package" of any modern pins.

Going back to Zen, i really like the new Solo table. Better than the TLJ pack.
 
The most hilarious irony to me is that they still haven't released the two new Stern tables in Stern Pinball Arcade, the app that was the impetus for their creation that they were originally announced for.

And who fuck knows how long it will take for these two tables to come to consoles.

On a positive note, I'm actually enjoying Big Buck Hunter on my iPad quite a bit. I've never played the real one and always heard it was mediocre. It's better than I anticipated! It's not great but it's solid and translates well to digital.

I will say that both BBH and Woah Nellie might be contenders for "Worst Sound Package" of any modern pins.

Going back to Zen, i really like the new Solo table. Better than the TLJ pack.
Yeah, strange in not in Stern,and on console. Im waiting for them to be release on Switch, but im still raging a bit at the price. Id love to give Big Buck a try, but hesitating a bit to throw like 13$ cnd on 1 table.

I think they will need to adjust their price, if competition, like Zac and Zen release tables pack at like 9-10$ or at better deal if separate, they need to adjust.
 
So i have an idea for a new tournament structure.

We get a small list of volunteer users and each user creates a tournament with a different table. Everyone plays in each tournament. We award points for each position on a leaderboard and the person with the most points overall is the winner.

So maybe myself and 3 others host all 4 Williams tables next month. Start them on the same day, run it for 10 days.

Yeah, strange in not in Stern,and on console. Im waiting for them to be release on Switch, but im still raging a bit at the price. Id love to give Big Buck a try, but hesitating a bit to throw like 13$ cnd on 1 table.

I think they will need to adjust their price, if competition, like Zac and Zen release tables pack at like 9-10$ or at better deal if separate, they need to adjust.
I think on Switch you will have to buy the two tables as 2 pack. Stern Bundle 3. It's $15 USD.
 
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Not the most indepth article, but Newsweek definitely should get solid coverage.

https://www.newsweek.com/2018/10/05/pinball-back-and-fans-are-playing-record-numbers-1139991.html
The International Flipper Pinball Association keeps track of tournaments around the world and reported an almost tenfold increase in the number of them from 2009 to 2017. Attendance at these events skyrocketed from 12,527 in 2009 to 115,656 in 2017. IFPA President Josh Sharpe tells Newsweek this isn’t only an American phenomenon, with other countries, such as Australia, especially embracing the pinball boom too.
I have recently been hired to direct several monthly IFPA tournaments in Indianapolis and have found that scheduling is really tough due to the growing number of conflicting monthly tournaments in the area.

I think 2018 numbers are going to be significantly larger than 2017. Every bar with a decent collection of games is doing monthlies. It's to the point where there are more monthly tournaments than weeks in the month.

I'm looking at scheduling the November tournaments and this is what the calendar is going to look like. This is just for Indianapolis, this isn't even considering the tournaments 1-2 hours away.

7th Annual Fountain Square Pinball Classic
Sinking Ship Monthly
PinVault Monthly
Centerpoint Brewing Monthly
Round Town Brewing Monthly
*Wild card*

All of those are IFPA sanctioned. If you are serious about competition it's a great time to earn points and rank up.
 
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So i have an idea for a new tournament structure.

We get a small list of volunteer users and each user creates a tournament with a different table. Everyone plays in each tournament. We award points for each position on a leaderboard and the person with the most points overall is the winner.

So maybe myself and 3 others host all 4 Williams tables next month. Start them on the same day, run it for 10 days.


I think on Switch you will have to buy the two tables as 2 pack. Stern Bundle 3. It's $15 USD.
I initially thought that might be overkill, but most users here will be playing all four tables at release, and most likely quite a bit too, so this is a really good idea! I'm definitely open to hosting a tournament. If this idea comes together, feel free to PM me any details I might need to do so.

I have recently been hired to direct several monthly IFPA tournaments in Indianapolis and have found that scheduling is really tough due to the growing number of conflicting monthly tournaments in the area.

I think 2018 numbers are going to be significantly larger than 2017. Every bar with a decent collection of games is doing monthlies. It's to the point where there are more monthly tournaments than weeks in the month.

I'm looking at scheduling the November tournaments and this is what the calendar is going to look like. This is just for Indianapolis, this isn't even considering the tournaments 1-2 hours away.

7th Annual Fountain Square Pinball Classic
Sinking Ship Monthly
PinVault Monthly
Centerpoint Brewing Monthly
Round Town Brewing Monthly
*Wild card*

All of those are IFPA sanctioned. If you are serious about competition it's a great time to earn points and rank up.
That's crazy. And that's just in November??? I kinda thought the same thing, about how 2018 seems even bigger than last year, just from how much things have grown month to month, buzz wise...or at ekast my burgeoning awareness, haha!

Where do you keep track of all of those tournaments? On the IFPA website?
 
I initially thought that might be overkill, but most users here will be playing all four tables at release, and most likely quite a bit too, so this is a really good idea! I'm definitely open to hosting a tournament. If this idea comes together, feel free to PM me any details I might need to do so.



That's crazy. And that's just in November??? I kinda thought the same thing, about how 2018 seems even bigger than last year, just from how much things have grown month to month, buzz wise...or at ekast my burgeoning awareness, haha!

Where do you keep track of all of those tournaments? On the IFPA website?
It's actually been somewhat of a nightmare because I don't want to conflict with non-IFPA tournaments or any league nights either. I have to rely on social media and word of mouth and even as tuned-in as I think I am I still miss things.

Because I need to give 30 days notice to get IFPA sanctioned I was limited to the last two weeks of October when I was given the go ahead for a specific venue, a brewery. They have their own events, unrelated to pinball, so I have to schedule around that. We all agreed that Thursday the 25th would be best. I submitted it to the IFPA, got approved, then someone messaged me that there is another IFPA tournament in the same city on the same night. Now, the Chicago Pinball Expo is that weekend so that basically meant Monday was the next available day. I scheduled it for Tuesday Oct 30th. I just found out there is another tournament on the 28th.

That's 3 tournaments in 6 days sandwiching the biggest pinball convention of the year.
 
So i have an idea for a new tournament structure.

We get a small list of volunteer users and each user creates a tournament with a different table. Everyone plays in each tournament. We award points for each position on a leaderboard and the person with the most points overall is the winner.

So maybe myself and 3 others host all 4 Williams tables next month. Start them on the same day, run it for 10 days.


I think on Switch you will have to buy the two tables as 2 pack. Stern Bundle 3. It's $15 USD.
I think that it was previously discussed to award points for the player's position on the monthly leaderboard, so points would be added each month to the general leaderboard.Your idea is interesting and the tournament structure could be tweaked, although i don't know how well (your suggestion) would work in practice.
 
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With Williams in FX3 I’d be down for some friendly competition. Didn’t really have much interest in the game before.

Only issue I could see with running four tables simultaneously is that you would blow through the currently small Williams catalog immediately. One table per month would allow it to drag out in such a way that you would never run out of new Williams tables to play tournies on.
 
For those looking for real pinball in real arcades, I can vouch for...

http://www.railroadstreet.com/

The Railroad Street Bar & Grill in Linfield, PA. I was there on Friday night and while I didn't have a ton of time to play, I did get to try Iron Maiden (finally). They had Kiss (original and new), Metallica, Dialed In!, Addams Family, Fathom, and a bunch more I'm forgetting. Lots of stuff on tap. Food was very good.
 
For those looking for real pinball in real arcades, I can vouch for...

http://www.railroadstreet.com/

The Railroad Street Bar & Grill. I was there on Friday night and while I didn't have a ton of time to play, I did get to try Iron Maiden (finally). They had Kiss (original and new), Metallica, Dialed In!, Addams Family, Fathom, and a bunch more I'm forgetting. Lots of stuff on tap. Food was very good.
I was there in June, on my way to Philly from Pittsburgh. Not a bad spot, really mellow when I was there, and the tables were in nice and functional shape! I think I found it via the Pinball Map app.
 
I was there in June, on my way to Philly from Pittsburgh. Not a bad spot, really mellow when I was there, and the tables were in nice and functional shape! I think I found it via the Pinball Map app.
Yeah, tables are well kept. It's a local pinball source that rotates things for them apparently. It's very chill, even on a Friday night when I was there. It was a date and I didn't want to drag things on with me playing long games of Addams Family or something like that. All that practice at home adds up!
 
So i have an idea for a new tournament structure.

We get a small list of volunteer users and each user creates a tournament with a different table. Everyone plays in each tournament. We award points for each position on a leaderboard and the person with the most points overall is the winner.

So maybe myself and 3 others host all 4 Williams tables next month. Start them on the same day, run it for 10 days.


I think on Switch you will have to buy the two tables as 2 pack. Stern Bundle 3. It's $15 USD.
Im in for this tournament, point system could be as only top 10 are counted for each table, position 1 - 10 points, pos 2, 9 point, etc. I wouldnt mind setting one table, just need proper instruction, never really started one, if you need a hand for this.
 
Errr so why are they confirming this for PC but are yet undecided on the console versions, they share the same ESRB ratings? So if its ok for the PC version why not console?
From what they've, Mel has said during his Q/A and interviews, I think Steam is less stringent in settings like that versus consoles being a bit more prudish.

Patches can be such a pain in the ass on consoles compared to PC also.
 
Im in for this tournament, point system could be as only top 10 are counted for each table, position 1 - 10 points, pos 2, 9 point, etc. I wouldnt mind setting one table, just need proper instruction, never really started one, if you need a hand for this.
What i might just do is create two more accounts that i can use to set it up
 
Nay. Having only the free table means more competitors. Give everyone a chance to buy the first set, they might not get it straight away and the free table should act as a gateway drug!
 
ho-ho interesting

What if we make Fish Tales the Tournament Table of the Month and treat as we have all the prior tournaments but we also do the other 3 tables + your Fish Tales score as Super Tournament?

So in the Past Winners honor roll we'll have:

Monthly Winners

Super Tournament Winners (Quarterly event)

And we can do this every 3 months.
 
Nay. Having only the free table means more competitors. Give everyone a chance to buy the first set, they might not get it straight away and the free table should act as a gateway drug!

You right here. Not everyone might have it and everybody will have FT.So a good monthly Fish Tales tournament might be perfect. Going to vote Nay.

ho-ho interesting

What if we make Fish Tales the Tournament Table of the Month and treat as we have all the prior tournaments but we also do the other 3 tables + your Fish Tales score as Super Tournament?

So in the Past Winners honor roll we'll have:

Monthly Winners

Super Tournament Winners (Quarterly event)

And we can do this every 3 months.
Bit tired, trying to understand, in october, we do FT, and every other month we do 1 table and at the end of the 4 month like we have the ultimate champ of Williams pack 1?

Pack 2 is schedule before the end of 2018, we might need to speed things up? I would do 1rst month ( october ), only Fish Tales, but every week after in november, 7 day tournament for each other table. I would set FT the first month a 21 day tournament, to get the most people in? Just an idea.
 
You right here. Not everyone might have it and everybody will have FT.So a good monthly Fish Tales tournament might be perfect. Going to vote Nay.



Bit tired, trying to understand, in october, we do FT, and every other month we do 1 table and at the end of the 4 month like we have the ultimate champ of Williams pack 1?

Pack 2 is schedule before the end of 2018, we might need to speed things up? I would do 1rst month ( october ), only Fish Tales, but every week after in november, 7 day tournament for each other table. I would set FT the first month a 21 day tournament, to get the most people in? Just an idea.
No, we do Fish Tales in October and concurrently we do all 4 Williams tables with the Fish Tales included.

So if you want to just play Fish Tales you'll still be playing in the Monthly tournament but you can also play the other 3 Williams tables and the Super Tournaement will be the 3 paid Williams tables + your Fish Tales score.

Does that make sense?

There will be 4 individual table tournaments going on at the same time. Fish Tales is the Monthly and Fish Tales + MM, Junkyard and The Getaway comprise the Super Tournament.

If you got in the top 4 in Fish Tales you will be awarded points towards the Super Tournament. That's basically all you need to know.



Monthly Tournament (High Score Wins)
Fish Tales - hosted by ResetEra

Super Tournament (top 4 scores get 1-4 points, person with most points over-all Wins)
Fish Tales - Same listing as above
Medieval Madness - Hot Ham
Junkyard - Spicy Boy
The Getaway - Uncle Fester

This would be the inaugural Super Tournament, the next one would be in January and kick off 2019 with Williams Pack 2. The quarterly scheduling would sync up well with the Williams pack releases if we have the first one in October.

What I like about the Super Tournament is that you can win even if you're not good at a particular table. Likewise, you could win without getting first place on any table. If you're consistent enough to place in the top 4 you might still end up with the most points depending on how everyone else does.
Anyone not planning on buying the Williams can just play in the monthly. If you are buying the Williams pack you can play in both the monthly and the Super tournaments.
 
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Sounds too complicated. Why not just do the regular tournament more regularly?

As I've mentioned before I love the idea of a league though (think it could help with visibility too)
 
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