The Pinball Show

Hinph

New member
Feb 29, 2012
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I don’t see any reason why new features that cater to new audiences will take anything away from people who want traditional pinball simulation. Both audiences can be served. They already announced that they will be adding the classic physics as an option to the Zen original tables, which they didn’t really have to do, and that’s quite a massive display of good will towards the core audience right there. Hell, maybe the people brought in by all of the new videogamey stuff will learn to then appreciate pinball in general and become fans of the simulation mode as well. Outside of messing around with a machine here or there throughout the decades in a bar, arcade, movie theater, etc., I myself wasn’t ever really a huge pinball fan until I picked up the Pinball Hall of Fame on Wii and learned how all of the rules work on tables. Then I started regularly going to the pinball museum in Vegas as well and was hooked on real tables and digital alike. I’ll always have to thank Farsight Studios for that even though they eventually lost me as a fan with their poor handling of TPA.

I think we can at least wait to see the full reveal of the new game and hear all of the details before setting our minds on it.
 
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trash80

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Dec 14, 2018
471
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I don’t see any reason why new features that cater to new audiences will take anything away from people who want traditional pinball simulation. Both audiences can be served. They already announced that they will be adding the classic physics as an option to the Zen original tables, which they didn’t really have to do, and that’s quite a massive display of good will towards the core audience right there. Hell, maybe the people brought in by all of the new videogamey stuff will learn to then appreciate pinball in general and become fans of the simulation mode as well. Outside of messing around with a machine here or there throughout the decades in a bar, arcade, movie theater, etc., I myself wasn’t ever really a huge pinball fan until I picked up the Pinball Hall of Fame on Wii and learned how all of the rules work on tables. Then I started regularly going to the pinball museum in Vegas as well and was hooked on real tables and digital alike. I’ll always have to thank Farsight Studios for that even though they eventually lost me as a fan with their poor handling of TPA.

I think we can at least wait to see the full reveal of the new game and hear all of the details before setting our minds on it.

Because if they are adding new "non-traditional pinball" features, they are not building new traditional tables. Things like Pinball Battle Royale (or Rocket League of Fortnite Legends) may end up being great fun, but if it succeeds, why would Zen divert development from that back to developing whatever alpha-numeric old pinball that 200 of us oldtimers really, really want.

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

Anyway, I was probably the first, and initially only person here to suggest that FX (4) err, I mean FX NEW (along with buying all the tables again) would be the logical solution to the classic physics "upgrade" and other issues that needed addressing, and to expect it sooner rather than later. So far, and even with the pandemic, Zen is right on schedule.
 
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Narc0lep5y

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Feb 21, 2015
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I've given it a few days and now I can look at it more objectively after my first impression. Although, It hasn't really changed.

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

My one word description for it: Inauthentic.

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

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

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

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

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

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


TLDR version - watch the Pinball FX teaser, skip the rest. If you really want more info on Pinball FX, read the Reddit thread. (but there's not much there either*) https://www.reddit.com/r/PinballFX3/comments/l6drpp/pinball_fx_the_new_pinball_platform_for_zen/

*may include future promises
 

trash80

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Dec 14, 2018
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That reddit thread (and a couple others) about the Pinball Show is more informative than the Pinball Show was. Some interesting info via comments from the Zen team.

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

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Feb 29, 2012
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7. VR! VR is totally happening with more info on it “very soon.” Probably next month. But then I doubt we’ll see any footage that early, so I guess we’re really just looking at a more official announcement and hopefully some details.
 

trash80

New member
Dec 14, 2018
471
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With the way that Star Wars VR is being announced, it seems that the two new Star Wars tables may NOT be coming to Pinball FX 3, or at least not until after April 29th.

"Star Wars Pinball VR launches April 29 with eight amazing tables: The Mandalorian and Star Wars Classic Collectibles – two tables never released anywhere else before – are joined by six
remastered favorites, including Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The
Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,
Star Wars Rebels, and Masters of the Force."

RIP FX3...
 

Pinballwiz45b

Active member
Aug 12, 2012
3,650
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With the way that Star Wars VR is being announced, it seems that the two new Star Wars tables may NOT be coming to Pinball FX 3, or at least not until after April 29th.

"Star Wars Pinball VR launches April 29 with eight amazing tables: The Mandalorian and Star Wars Classic Collectibles – two tables never released anywhere else before – are joined by six
remastered favorites, including Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The
Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,
Star Wars Rebels, and Masters of the Force."

RIP FX3...

They listed Pinball FX and Star Wars VR on their Collectibles table. So yeah, pretty much confirms FX3 is no longer getting new tables.
 

Dok5555555

New member
Nov 1, 2013
177
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They listed Pinball FX and Star Wars VR on their Collectibles table. So yeah, pretty much confirms FX3 is no longer getting new tables.

I hope that's not true. Otherwise it might be a long time before we get to play any new tables (aside from VR, which I don't have) since the new PFX might not be out for awhile. I'd really like to play the new Star Wars tables on my Switch.
 

Lykaion23

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Apr 8, 2014
100
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Sry to hear that :( I watched the Show and it seems they really kicked FX3. I hope they can survive with this few possible sells, cause I don't have VR Equipment and don't buy it now, I know many people who can't zse VR cause of medical problems, the Player base is limited to Playstation and PC only, means lesser and lesser possible customers, last but not least this few possible customers need also be in the small group of being SW Fan and Pinball Fan and VR User. Don't know who makes Marketing questions there.

Saying that they come to Pinball fX isn't helpful cause they don't have even have something to show of it means it isn't more then planning the Roadmap
 

Hinph

New member
Feb 29, 2012
230
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Star Wars Pinball VR is rad and I am buying it day one... but the Williams/Bally tables are coming to VR eventually too, right?... Right?!
 

Robert Misner

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Oct 4, 2014
610
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played a ton of pinball fx2 VR and it looks like they used eh same room environments2 as a template and are adding trophy collectibles. all i ever heard from the vr community is less flash and more tables..so zen is doing the opposite...great :)
since they left the vr version of fx2 stagnating for years.. i wouldn't bother with this till after we see if its a one off or going to be adding more tables regularly..
the other primary issue is the horrible arcade physics of the old games compared to their new simulator physics.. in VR is worse cuz it feels all wrong..
with VPX VR advancing so far now and with the vr front ends working .. i'm not sure how popular this will be..if the vr tables have better physics and can be bought in the pinball fx game (i suspect its the non vr versions only) maybe
but having all the tables broken up into their own vr game sucks..you want all your tables in the same gui ..
 

curtis

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Aug 30, 2015
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I'm generally excited about pinball news, but this has been very disappointing from Zen. VR has no interest for me. I'd much prefer new table releases and better cabinet support. Their announcements are just about useless fluff. Maybe the Mandalorian will be fun, but seems a new PinballFX exclusive (not for FX3 ??). Time will tell and, hopefully soon, questions will be answered.
 

BionicJim

New member
Apr 2, 2014
7
1
I’m super excited about this announcement because I felt like VR was “too niche” for a smallish company to continue supporting, even though they produced excellent games. I like to dabble with other games on my PSVR, but Pinball FX VR is the only one that I regularly play. The extra - pinball environment and ability to lean-in to the table and check out the operation of each shot is magical. I’m not sure if I would’ve gotten into the ET game as much if it weren’t for the VR version that made the animated characters more compelling and the drop-down play field with flying spaceships really cool. My fav is Mars, though, a table I spent many hours on in early versions of Pinball FX (wasn’t it called Zen Pinball then?). It was transformed into a new and exciting experience in VR. I’ve read others comment that Tesla is a game changer in VR and that is my sensibility, too. Overall, I’m very pleased about Zen being willing to continue to innovate in VR while also providing content on the Arcade 1Up machines and traditional platforms.
 

trash80

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Dec 14, 2018
471
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I’m super excited about this announcement because I felt like VR was “too niche” for a smallish company to continue supporting, even though they produced excellent games. I like to dabble with other games on my PSVR, but Pinball FX VR is the only one that I regularly play. The extra - pinball environment and ability to lean-in to the table and check out the operation of each shot is magical. I’m not sure if I would’ve gotten into the ET game as much if it weren’t for the VR version that made the animated characters more compelling and the drop-down play field with flying spaceships really cool. My fav is Mars, though, a table I spent many hours on in early versions of Pinball FX (wasn’t it called Zen Pinball then?). It was transformed into a new and exciting experience in VR. I’ve read others comment that Tesla is a game changer in VR and that is my sensibility, too. Overall, I’m very pleased about Zen being willing to continue to innovate in VR while also providing content on the Arcade 1Up machines and traditional platforms.

Zen is not "smallish," they are a wholly owned subsidiary of Embracer Group which is the largest publicly traded European video game company in existence. Much of what we are seeing from Zen, like VR, new (unannounced) IP, and the brand new upcoming edition of Pinball FX are due to the capital security available to the studio from being part of a huge conglomerate .
 

zmcvay

Member
Sep 19, 2014
354
4
Wasn't able to watch much of the video for now, as much as I love playing in VR, hoping I can play them out of VR as well.

Not thrilled about the classic table selection, hope the others come down the pipe. Baffled Masters of the Force is getting the upgrade, but maybe that table will play better when I can look around it easier. I've never had a great time visualizing shots there. Rebels gets dull fast, and it would have been nice to include things from beyond season 1. Solo was better than either of those IMO and I'm not sure why they didn't just prioritize the movie tables.

Hoping Starfighter Assault gets the move over. Not the best Zen table, but having the two capital ships battle across the table would be epic!
 

Scared Stiff

New member
May 18, 2019
184
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I am very unhappy with Zen these days. Considering they have not had much content in the last year, they should be working RAPIDLY to feel that void on EXISTING platforms. Instead they are obsessed with the single minded effort of abandoning current software for new greener pastures when they instead should have had a two track approach of building for the future AND for the present time. The present time has been almost abandoned entirely and now when they do get around to releasing something, it’s a separate thing and something not everyone can even use.

I need them to be more focused on today, not just tomorrow. If the new version of FX was coming out say in the next two months, I’d feel differently. But I don’t think this will be released until towards the end of the year making for a VERY sparse two year period.
 

BionicJim

New member
Apr 2, 2014
7
1
...the capital security available to the studio from being part of a huge conglomerate .
I sure hope this works out well for Zen, but wasn’t the acquisition very recent? I’m gun shy from the infamous Microsoft “wholly owned subsidiary”, Rare, purchased to goose development on Xbox, and somehow not, most probably due to too many corporate decision-makers changing the path that had brought them to glory in the first place. With this new show and all the irons in the fire we know about, this is an exciting time and hopefully Embracer Group is the catalyst needed for Zen to shine even brighter.
 

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