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Classic Games (Games) The Almighty Buck Games

What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High 133

Posted by timothy
from the more-fun-to-watch-than-poker dept.
siobHan writes "The PAPA World Pinball Championships recently concluded in Scott, PA (near Pittsburgh), as covered on Slashdot already. The organizers recorded full 1080p/60 HD video of the playfield during the final games, and have uploaded the entirety of the crucial deciding game, with commentary (direct link to just the video). The winner of this game received $10,000 for his skillful play."
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What Pinball Looks Like When the Stakes Are High

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  • PINBALL !! (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @07:35PM (#33406086)

    Ever since I was a young boy,
    I've played the silver ball.
    From Soho down to Brighton
    I must have played them all.
    but I ain't seen nothing like him
    In any amusement hall.
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball!

    He stands like a statue,
    Becomes part of the machine.
    Feeling all the bumpers
    Always playing clean.
    plays by intuition,
    The digit counters fall
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball!

    He's a pinball wizard
    There has to be a twist.
    A pin ball wizard,
    S'got such a supple wrist.

    How do you think he does it?
    I don't know!
    What makes him so good?

    ain't got no distractions
    Can't hear no buzzers and bells,
    Don't see no lights a flashin'
    Plays by sense of smell.
    Always gets the replay,
    Never seen him fall,
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball.

    I thought I was
    The Bally table king.
    But I just handed
    My pinball crown to him.

    Even on my favorite table
    He can beat my best.
    His disciples lead him in
    And he just does the rest.
    He's got crazy flipper fingers
    Never seen him fall.
    That deaf, dumb and blind kid
    Sure plays a mean pinball!

  • Ah Pinball (Score:2, Interesting)

    by theskunkmonkey (839144) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @07:54PM (#33406196) Homepage

    Memories of misspent youth and quarters.

    I could pop a quarter in an Eight-Ball Deluxe machine and play all day. I was able to hit most of the specials and rack up credits for free play. Sometimes I even left a few on the machine when I had to go.

  • by Majik Sheff (930627) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @08:24PM (#33406300) Journal

    There is only one pinball manufacturer in the world right now, and they didn't get there by being the best engineers, artists or designers. They got there by being/having the scummiest lawyers. Now we're stuck with horrible designs, bad gameplay, and most of the best IP buried in an unmarked grave in wrigley field.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 28, 2010 @08:58PM (#33406418)

    I don't understand the lawyer comment. Stern is a continuation of Sega. We have one manufacturer in the world because Williams left to make slot machines and pinball doesn't make much money. If Stern dropped out then we'd have 0 manufacturers and nobody would take their place. Stern has made some pigs, but they also made Simpson's Pinball Party, Family Guy, and LOTR which are all great games.

  • by Majik Sheff (930627) on Saturday August 28, 2010 @09:55PM (#33406624) Journal

    You've obviously never had to service any of them. Stern has a nasty tendency to release their designs before fully testing them. For an entertaining read check out the code revisions and dates for Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Back EMF is a recurring issue on several modern Stern designs; due to things like poor wire routing choices and underspec'ing diodes on larger coils.

    Want a nightmare? Check out the membrane switches under the motorcycle toy on Harley Davidson.

    I could literally rant for hours about Stern and never repeat myself. They are garbage whose horribleness is only eclipsed by the complete shite rolling off the lines of Gottlieb starting in the early 70's and culminating with Water World.

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Saturday August 28, 2010 @11:16PM (#33406924) Homepage

    That's why I like the 4th guy. He's a bit more random in his playing style, but he actually nailed several ramps back-to-back, unlike the other perfectionists. His score didn't go quite as high, but he spent a lot less time idling and played it like a normal person rather than a committee-designed robot.

    Those guys who just sit there all day, planning their shot like a goddamned golfer, are indeed ultra-boring. There was a crap pin, I think it was Stargate, that had a truly game-breaking oversight in that one of the trick shots could be jammed. Hitting it the first time was difficult, but it was so close to a secondary flipper that if you timed it right, the flipper would just barely wedge the ball against the cup, triggering the bonus for as long as you held the flipper. I remember when I was a kid, people would have a shitty round and ask me to take over the last ball to do the trick, just to score a free game. It was mind-numbing but it's not like a 10 year old has anything better to do :P

    Tricks that are cool/impressive in a pinball game: ball stops (because I suck at them), fast loops, precise tilt saves and the efficiency metric I label "points per second". Ultimately it all boils down to knowledge of that particular table and a smooth flowing rhythm.

  • Re:Pinball Fantasies (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mwvdlee (775178) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @03:36AM (#33407550) Homepage

    They're both by the same developers. They also had a third pinball game, Pinball Illusions, which was also great.

    It has always surprised me that those guys could do excellent pinball games and pretty much all other pinball games to this day (except Metroid Prime Pinball on NDS) have sucked big time.

    Sure, they looked great and had all kinds of whizzy effects, but the physics just feel wrong in most pinball games. And since it's essentially a game about physics, that's a pretty big problem.

    I've always wondered what the technical difference is between a good pinball simulation and a bad one. The physics are pretty straightforward, so it really can't be sloppy calculations. Could it be resolution of dimensions or time? Or perhaps they precalculated a lot of stuff for precission? Why is it so hard to create a pinball game with physics that feel right?

  • Re:Monitor (Score:3, Interesting)

    by xded (1046894) on Sunday August 29, 2010 @01:21PM (#33409454)

    Because your eyes field of view is wide rather than tall.

    Problem is that industry choose to change the AR from 4:3 to 16:9 keeping the diagonal size constant, while they should've kept constant the height (or, at least, the vertical resolution).

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