Author Topic: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.  (Read 398 times)

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Offline swinks

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What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« on: November 13, 2012, 10:17:26 AM »
Thought it would be cool, interesting and maybe it may help the companies out there to step up their innovative ideas not yet out but could be incorporated into new machines. I am not talking game themes just ideas that enhance the game play that have not been done yet.

1. Replace Micro switches - I know the cost would go up a little but when you factor the time to solder, set and test micro switches the costs could balance out and they replace using use proxy sensors that detect metal and design into the playfield so there are no slots through the playfield for crap to fall down through, or sensors to break, timber to wear down. The playfield could be routed in the back (recess) with one of those nuts with the spikes and a sensor simply screwed in but with the sensoring tip just below the playfield surface so graphics could smoothly pass over the sensor and you the player would not know it was there, set the height for ball recognition and you are done and you probably would never have to worry about the sensor again and it quicker to install and set.

2. I had a thought a while ago similar to the Transformers game but different it the way of game options to play but more in depth. That once you push the start button for a game you push either the left or right flipper for a game with different rules and goals etc. I know I said no game themes but I need explain a idea to to explain my thoughts. Picture the game theme (my fresh idea  :-)) AREA 51, pushing the lhs button sets the game up for a set of rules where you the player is a spy and you have to enter the AREA 51 facility to access the underground facility and achieve certain goals to get deeper to the underground hangar say to steal a UFO. Then if on another game you start by pushing the right flipper button and now you are a alien who has escaped from extra terrestrial storage zone and you need to go say to a weapons level to get a specific key / crystal to then go back down to the bottom level to escape in your UFO. The alien escape mode could be regular lighting but when 2 targets (like the 2 targets on WH20 back centre for a multi ball) hit it activates a high alert mode with all lighting going out with UV lighting and sirens where the spy mode is in regular lighting as well until you hit a target say 4 times because the game depth is a bit deeper that triggers a alarm and starts the UV lighting and sirens soldier attack. YES I know a game theme but my point is 2 different game styles built into one game making the game even more challenging, entertaining and varied.

That's right I forgot it takes Stern 6-9 months to do software updates for one game imagine 2 game style softwares to run and update  - just kidding  - this is not a Stern Bashing comment as I understand where there is innovation there is risk of failure, massive losses and business closures. I am proud of Stern for keeping the hobby going and providing many games over the last 10 years or so but some ideas could be introduced to add a desire to want a machine with a whole new package of ideas .

What are your thoughts, ideas.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 06:22:22 PM by swinks »

Offline Caveoftreasures

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 02:44:36 PM »
If I was Stern, I would relook at things that have been done before that have worked, as well as investigate new ideas etc.
If I was Stern -

** I would send a email/questionaire to every person who has ever purchased a Brand New In Box Stern Pinball Machine (via their sales dealers) asking for suggestions/enhancements/innovations/ideas that people would like to see. (most businesses do this yearly I might add)
That may also include game titles/themes as well..

** I would look at/offer/investigate a widebody game or range.

** Relook at Larger DMD displays (like used on 1995 Sega Frankenstein and 95 model Batman Foever) If u have ever seen one of these in full motion, the graphics are stunning.

** Rethink the LE/Premium/Pro range..I feel personally the LE pricing is far too high, ($9170 LE incl shaker motor-oucchh ex delivery versus
$6420 PRO incl shaker ex delivery), making it a $2750 difference, and I feel that some of these features should be on a Pro model already... Gary said customers wanted more bells n whistles, but he missed the point, they didnt want to pay $2750 extra for it, thay just wanted the Stern games to have more features..more toys, more bling...but paying $2750 extra was never something any one in their wildest dreams thought they would have to pay extra to get extra basic features...this is silly..I think alot of people think this is wrong...I personally will not buy a LE on principle alone...

There should be one great Stern design, one playfield...then have a LE being seperated compared to a Pro model by glass material/backglass instead of a plastic translite, have the sidearmour metal work powdercoated, maybe a limited number of LE is OK, but differences shld be cosmetic, not major...OR keep it exactly the same way they are doing it, but the LE pricing shld be like the $8200 Premium pricing (and no more at all) and it should for $8200 now be the LE pricing tops, incl a shaker motor.....they would sell more, and not piss lots of people off.

** Look at linking pinball with world wide web for competition scoring, but be realistic and understand people will cheat n take glass off to get crazy scores, or add a webcamera to the translite area which activates when u go online via hitting tournament button etc, so people can see u playing etc, via a dial in website or something similar u can join n belong to/share scores n be part of a world wide web competition, held anytime, anywhere....

**Mirror blades could be a good std inclusion to bling machines up..

** add a jukebox song selector (like AC/DC) to each new title, but for Avengers for example, it includes the songs that were played/on the movie when the movie came out..use song selector when game not being played, or during gameplay if wanted....connect your Ipad or Iphone to a port to play your favourite songs also thru games speakers...and program could make game general illumination or inserts flash to music beat..get new younger generation interested..make the pinball machine more relevant.

** Companies like AMD (all Stern agents really) should carry a factory style lease/hire purchase/finance package..Finance simply sells more products/machines..Imagine a Ford/Holden dealership without a finance division...(not)

**Industry needs more advertising...its almost non existant in this Industry...Product placement of new Pinballs should be in places like Jetski shops, motor bike shops, smarter marketing needs to be adopted both here and the USA/other countries..I am amazed this is not even looked at, at all..bewildering to me..

** fifty other things I will think of and add later >>  ^^^

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Offline Olivia_jason

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 03:49:51 PM »
Quote
** Look at linking pinball with world wide web for competition scoring, but be realistic and understand people will cheat n take glass off to get crazy scores, or add a webcamera to the translite area which activates when u go online via hitting tournament button etc, so people can see u playing etc, via a dial in website or something similar u can join n belong to/share scores n be part of a world wide web competition, held anytime, anywhere....

that is a  bit more of an argument for a LCD screen.

i still recon stern can make money from online gaming with pinball, with paid sub******ions to their servers.
but they would have to make it worth while, like different games and types of battle matches.

I do recon limiting a game to one set of rules is stupid with the technology we have today.
and not just one set of rules but one type of game, you could have traditional rules for traditional gameplay, and also other types of games like skill games or battle matches.
they could also sell different games for you to buy.
and just like xbox or playstation games they come out with one set of rules, and later on the company develops other sets for sale which you buy and download from xboxlive as an example, addons are very popular.
 stern could do this so they can release the game you buy, a few weeks later develop new rules you upload and you can select to play those rules.

i also think the LCD screens should be used for Advertising in a shop, they should allow advertising to be uploaded on the screen, so if your arcade or cafe has a special or event its displayed making use of the lcd for advertising in your business.
that would make it very attractive to shop owners, which would help with more sited pinballs and at least whilest the machine isnt in use the space it takes up isnt dead space.

another thing, a jukebox mode, usb to plug in your mp3's so you can use the pinball as jukebox in your man cave.

these are the sorts of things they should look into imo.


as for the getting word out about stern or who ever else is making pinballs?, well i agree, i have people weekly and even daily come into my shop trying to sell me, claw machines, Atm machines, retro cocktail machines, any sort of vending machine known to man but not once has any rep tried to sell me a pinball machine.
and to be honest out side of this hobby no one knows who stern are, or even if pinballs are being made any more.

some one here have contact with stern or JJP, should send them a link to this thread.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 04:03:07 PM by Olivia_jason »

Offline swinks

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 04:30:26 PM »

Quote
i also think the LCD screens should be used for Advertising in a shop, they should allow advertising to be uploaded on the screen, so if your arcade or cafe has a special or event its displayed making use of the lcd for advertising in your business.

I heard a interview with Jack (spooky I think) and he said this about the LCD in WOZ and future others can be uterlised for advertising.

Offline Olivia_jason

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 04:35:13 PM »

Quote
i also think the LCD screens should be used for Advertising in a shop, they should allow advertising to be uploaded on the screen, so if your arcade or cafe has a special or event its displayed making use of the lcd for advertising in your business.

I heard a interview with Jack (spooky I think) and he said this about the LCD in WOZ and future others can be uterlised for advertising.

it makes perfect sense imo, and if you the machine is for home use people can put custom pictures in there or favorite pictures in it for the machine to scroll through. but having the option to put pictures in the screen is great for shop and being able to put store advertising in it, also might help cover site fee's for hirers if they can sell some advertising o nthe machine when sited in a shopping center or what not. anything that makes it more attractive to operators and makes the machine look less of dead space will help the machine be sited imo

if the machine is sited people will take a look at it, so why not use that opportunity to jam their face with some adds when the machine isnt being used.
this is thinking from an operators point of view especially when not in use it is using electricity to do nothing so make it do something.

another idea for arcades, is provisions for a ticket reel, people have mentioned these ticket games are the most played games in arcade, kids want to get a few tickets after playing a game to try and claim some crappy prize at the end of the day or playing arcades lol.
now kids play those crappy games like throwing a basket ball through a hoop to claim a few tickets,"BORING"
 im dam sure they would play a pinball if it can be easally modded for a dispensing tickets out the coin door on a pinball,
i wouldnt think it should have the mech on all models but certainly have provisions for it if an arcade uses redemption machines. and i know most of the arcades in qld are full of redemption machines these days.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 04:45:14 PM by Olivia_jason »

Offline swinks

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 04:47:54 PM »
Some great points and ideas:

especially finance and the jukebox thing. When the AC/DC first came out in Feb (first batch of 12 units) I went down and had a few games and said to Norbet exactly that while in attract mode it should be able to play songs like a jukebox - he loved the idea and said he would tell Gary directly but it must have fallen on deaf ears. But also to build on it with a usb plug and play any music is a great idea.

like you said about a camera maybe just in LE's could have a camera - could be alot of fun

The wifi link could be used for their own research for the machine to automatically send a report once a month back to Stern / JJP to see - how many games are played, the settings (easy, medium and hard), what version software is being used, ball drains, performance of games played (ramp shots, vuks etc) and then once a year send a email to that person asking playfield wear etc to determine wear against game performance use. They could use it as a valuable tool for future development, even a location reference to see where all the machines are living (marketing tool to determine blind spots or changing trends of game concentrations to assist in promoting pins). Also like you guys said to compete against a mate (another state / country) with the same settings or if a game had the 2 mode setup like alien / guard or cops / robbers - you and a mate you play against each other if that is possible ????

What about a score display that projects on to the glass or playfield like a car onto the front window in  some cars.

I think one of the problems with innovation is the risk of failure as it could shut down their business if they invest so much and get nothing back due to lack of sales with the worst case closure.

It would be awesome if Jack or Gary could follow this and possibly use some of the ideas.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 06:19:54 PM by swinks »

Offline Retropin

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 04:54:22 PM »

Quote
i also think the LCD screens should be used for Advertising in a shop, they should allow advertising to be uploaded on the screen, so if your arcade or cafe has a special or event its displayed making use of the lcd for advertising in your business.

I heard a interview with Jack (spooky I think) and he said this about the LCD in WOZ and future others can be uterlised for advertising.

it makes perfect sense imo, and if you the machine is for home use people can put custom pictures in there or favorite pictures in it for the machine to scroll through. but having the option to put pictures in the screen is great for shop and being able to put store advertising in it, also might help cover site fee's for hirers if they can sell some advertising o nthe machine when sited in a shopping center or what not. anything that makes it more attractive to operators and makes the machine look less of dead space will help the machine be sited imo

if the machine is sited people will take a look at it, so why not use that opportunity to jam their face with some adds when the machine isnt being used.
this is thinking from an operators point of view especially when not in use it is using electricity to do nothing so make it do something.

another idea for arcades, is provisions for a ticket reel, people have mentioned these ticket games are the most played games in arcade, kids want to get a few tickets after playing a game to try and claim some crappy prize at the end of the day or playing arcades lol.
now kids play those crappy games like throwing a basket ball through a hoop to claim a few tickets,"BORING"
 im dam sure they would play a pinball if it can be easally modded for a dispensing tickets out the coin door on a pinball,
i wouldnt think it should have the mech on all models but certainly have provisions for it if an arcade uses redemption machines. and i know most of the arcades in qld are full of redemption machines these days.

My repro WILLIAMS 10 STRIKE comes with ticket dispenser. I pulled it out when i bought it but it comes as standard... and yes, this old old machine did well onsite. The kids love the tickets

Offline Caveoftreasures

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 06:07:06 PM »
HERE IS ONE STARING US ALL IN THE FACE WE HAVE ALL FORGOTTEN ABOUT !
I asked Stern via a letter why STERN pinballs DO NOT have attract mode (audio) like many of my DMD machines do....??

U would think that a AC/DC Pro or LE would start a 10 second audio clip at random like my Gilligans, my Bugs Bunny machine etc etc etc...I asked Patrick Powers if they will seriously look at it for AC/DC and he said literally, that they havent bothered with attract mode since the Sega days....

Attract mode audio, is something that Lyman Sheats could program in ten minutes, surely ????  Dissapointing...might be time to send Steve Ritchie another letter !
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Offline Retropin

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 06:10:21 PM »
I assumed they did Cavey... guess you have to be an owner to know this

Offline ajlaird

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 06:17:26 PM »
Inbuilt camera for photos of high scorers is a good idea - cheap and obvious once you use an LCD display.

MP3 player capability - iDock and other connectivity makes sense.

Offline pinsanity

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 07:02:34 PM »
The construct of a pinball machine has to change and evolve radically if they are to both survive and appeal to the next generation. There is little chance of long term survival when you continue to target 40 year old white males as your one and only demographic.


Design change:
This will probably get up the noses of a lot of traditionalists, but my suggestion is that the maple ply playfield is done away with and a sheet of routed clear acrylic/perspex is put in its place. Underneath that sheet will be a high def 3D screen/projector or an OLED film/screen (which can be drilled/cut through) and will project the playfield art onto the underside of the perspex. This will also have the advantage that in game animations or even scoring can be viewed directly whilst looking at the playfield itself. The flippers will be real, the ball will be real and some of the generic topside playfield assemblies will be real but the artwork and lights etc will be simulated by screen. The reason for this change is that it will have greater appeal to the next generation of "Iphone screen staring addicts".

In essence it will be a hybrid between a real pinball and a virtual pinball. Playfield artwork/layout can be customised with a USB/WiFi update. Imagine a WOZ machine for example where halfway through the game the Wizards leering face appears on the playfield to provide hints/clues on what shot to make (like an updated/advanced version of the Creature from CFTBL).

I compare this idea with the evolution of the poker machine. The traditional one arm mechanical bandit is a thing of the past. It is all push button screens or touch screens nowadays and the failure of pinball to embrace newer screen based technology is holding it back from reaching the next generation.

Poor/Wasted marketing:
As mentioned at the start, Sterns marketing leaves a lot to be desired. Advertising in trade mags is akin to preaching to the converted. As pinheads, we already know pinballs are being made by Stern, what is a dud/decent machine and what title is next. Stern did put a machine at a Comic-Con convention this year and that is a start but they need to get the next generation more aware that pinballs are real and they are still being made. Plus as mentioned before they need to evolve in order to get the next generation not only interested but aware in the first place.

Stern needs to hire some college/university age kids during their summer breaks and put them on temp employment contracts at minimum wage (which in the US is S.F.A.). You buy a fleet of used minivans and convert them into "mobile pinball transports" with Stern advertising emblazoned on the side of the vehicle. You put one of these virtual/real pinball hybrids into the back of each van along with 4 kids (one will be trained for the tech side/machine breakdowns, two (1 male and 1 female) for marketing/public speaking/general public interaction and one will be the driver/transport.) We need to change the perception of pinball to the public, so that means no more of the scantily clad and vacuous "rent-a-bimbos" who always seems to be prevalent at these types of pinball shows promoting the product.

These "pinmobiles" crisscross the country attending any events where youth are primary attendees (Big Day Out, Uni O weeks, spring breaks at Cancun, even high schools if they will allow it) in order to promote the machine. And yes, as starters the machines will need to have Wifi and be easily updateable/customisable given how individuality and consumer choice is so heavily emphasised in marketing campaigns these days.

Radical? Yes.
Crazy? Maybe.

Anything is better than the current model though, and doing nothing will lead to the end of pinball in 10 years (probably less), in my view.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 07:24:47 PM by pinsanity »

Offline Strangeways

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 08:22:08 PM »
Inbuilt camera for photos of high scorers is a good idea - cheap and obvious once you use an LCD display.

MP3 player capability - iDock and other connectivity makes sense.

When the Stern Cosmic Princess marketing campaign in 1979 or 1980, there was a photo of the machine with a little box that was rumored to take photos of players that attained high scores. It never took off - I never saw the camera box, or knew if it existed. Cool idea.

Sometimes, and innovation can be part of the ruleset. One part of Blackwater100 I loved was the multiball as soon as a game started. Adrenaline STRAIGHT from the outset.
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Offline ajlaird

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 08:25:44 PM »
Inbuilt camera for photos of high scorers is a good idea - cheap and obvious once you use an LCD display.

MP3 player capability - iDock and other connectivity makes sense.

When the Stern Cosmic Princess marketing campaign in 1979 or 1980, there was a photo of the machine with a little box that was rumored to take photos of players that attained high scores. It never took off - I never saw the camera box, or knew if it existed. Cool idea.

Sometimes, and innovation can be part of the ruleset. One part of Blackwater100 I loved was the multiball as soon as a game started. Adrenaline STRAIGHT from the outset.

That's why I love Apollo 13 - the sheer adrenaline rush from facing a 13 ball multiball is insane! Will have to see if I can get hold of one next year once I have saved up some cash.

Offline Caveoftreasures

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 12:44:18 AM »
quote

The construct of a pinball machine has to change and evolve radically if they are to both survive and appeal to the next generation. There is little chance of long term survival when you continue to target 40 year old white males as your one and only demographic.

good point, but Gary Stern will be retired or pushing up daisies in 20 yrs time max, so it wont matter by then.....if Gary wasnt walking the planet tomorrow(I want him to live to 100) but if he wasnt here tomoprrow, or in 10 years, would Stern just shut, or would it continue on strong...thats the question to ask as well...otherwise, us 40 yr olds, will just have to keep buying new sterns each year to keep the industry/company alive.....it may just have to be enough...lol
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 08:45:11 AM by Caveoftreasures »
Behind every garage door could be a pinball collectors
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Into  Stern -JJP - Cars , Road Bikes- Jet Skis - Star Trek n Sci-Fi & Electronics    
Beware of Stalkers & Walkers when playing The Walking Dead

My 7yr old son Hunter is my best mate in the world !

Offline Cursed

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Re: What innovations can you suggest for a new DMD game.
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 10:15:38 AM »
I would love to see a networked 'challenge mode'.

Unlimited balls, first to hit the left orbit gets a point, first to hit the right ramp, first to hit a target a certain amount of times, first to start multiball, first to a certain score.......you get the idea.

You could play against anyone or more importantly someone you know. I would prefer to see networks used for challenges rather than just high scores.

Sorry if this isn't really an innovation.  !@)