26 January, 2014

A new, season three, table by Farsight

The Pinball Arcade collection of Farsight has just become one table richer. (By the way, I am really worried about the new shenanigans of Farsight: in this, third, season they are publishing new tables one by one and selling them at the same price they were selling a lot of two tables in seasons one and two. What will they come up with next?)
Anyhow the new table is Black Rose

a pirate themed game which I find funny. Graphically appealing table, uncluttered playfield, with some nice features. It has even a cannon shooting balls. As always, the game is almost unplayable with the standard ball. However, as my friend Doc-Nick has advised, I started experimenting with various balls. (Mind you; most of them are totally useless: they are there just to justify (?) the price Farsight is putting on the extra ball packs). Here is what I prefer

The white ball is visible most of the time. If only Farsight were coming up with a silver, non reflecting, ball...

09 January, 2014

Progress report on Timeshock (bis)

Adrian Barritt reports that during the end of the year vacation period the three flippers of Timeshock have been rendered and in a very near future they will be incorporated in a first playable version. 

Here is an image of the lower part of the table

What is really amazing is that in the remastered version of Timeshock there are 880 flipper frames, compared to just 48 in the original version (which explains why rendering the flippers has been a major enterprise).

07 January, 2014

How to improve on Farsight ball visibility

This is an advice of my friend Doc/Nick. He noticed that playing Big Shot with the 8-ball custom ball does improve visibility. He suggested that I try it and so he got me experimenting. I started with the same ball but then a new series of custom balls were proposed, along with season-three tables. Most of them have some ridiculous decoration but there is one black ball which looks jet-black in the menu.

I started using it in my favourite test case, Big Shot

and I noticed two things. First, the visibility is definitely improved. Second, the ball is not uniformly black: it has the reflections that are making the standard ball almost a chameleon but the black overpaint dominates. 

The second test was the “unplayable” pinball, White Water

Here the black ball was of no help at all, and so I started experimenting with other colours. I found that a green ball has the better contrast and does improve the game a little (but unfortunately only a little bit).

El Dorado, the city of gold

with the over-ornate, multi-coloured, table poses a serious problem. I tried a blue ball and a red one but none was really satisfactory. A uniformly white one would probably help but Farsight prefers to offer balls decorated with graphics from the various tables rather than a ball which would improve playability.

As a matter of fact a white ball does exist. Perhaps I am too harsh criticising Farsight.

The final test was the Creature from the black lagoon table

Here again, no really satisfactory solution was found. A yellow ball does help a little but not to the point one would have liked.

Clearly more experiments with balls are necessary in order to optimise the combination ball+table. (It goes without saying that any feedback would be precious).