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).

1 comment:

  1. Looks like rather than refine the tables they have, they're trying to stretch out even more. Now they're coming out with "Pinball after Dark.. an "adult" pinball series, completely seperate from TPA, and also they're adding another platform to Pinball Arcade. If that wasn't stretching themselves too thin to appropriately treat each platform fairly, they've decided they're doing such a good job that they've doubled the price. Previously, each table pack consisted of 2 tables for 4.99. No more. Season 3 is 10 tables.

    Soo, I found a weblog with dev info on The Pinball Arcade.. I was just trying to find out when the next table was due, but here is what I read in the comments.. (article link is at the bottom)

    I don’t know about audio improvements. The PS4 version sounds like it was recorded in a toilet.
    I love TPA, it’s actually my most-played game of 2013 by far, but I’ve become very critical of Farsight over the last year. They rarely deliver on promises, and usually deliver a broken product. They were supposed to be a Wii U launch title, for example – still not out. Then the PC version was about a year late, and shipped without any of the promised PC features, and broken post-processing for AMD cards, etc. They even missed their own Steam launch date and then made a big fuss and publicly blamed Valve. The PC version is still not anywhere near what they promised, and the fact that it doesn’t have the DX11 lighting that’s in the PS4 version is so aggravating. Oh, and the PS3/4 3D support they’re talking about? I demoed it in person in March 2013 – and I was told it would be out “any day now”.
    Farsight doesn’t care about their fans at all. They continue to spit on them every chance they get.
    I’ve never had such a growing resentment towards a game company as I have had against Farsight the past year and a half or so.
    Here is a typical "Supportive" ;-) comment ..
    With support like this, who needs detractors?

    Why? Besides the Xbox 360 debacle, I think they have been great for such a small studio. They have also had some trouble with squashing some persistent bugs on certain tables like Cirqus Voltaire, but they have patched the game quite a bit.
    ……please start discounting the seasons packs. I’d love to play the tables just to mess around but considering each pack comes with tables I don’t like, you can’t the tables individually, and some tables are considering quite glitchy, I just can’t see paying 30 bucks for each season. Even 20 would seem more reasonable. Come on Farsight…
    Anyways, these are some of the comments I read there...
    OK I'd like to point out ths is a Developer's FAN page.. these came from a comments track with only 14 comments in total!
    This is the page, if you're interested..


    Me, I love the game enormously, but I really am starting to think that this company is what everybody says in all the reviews, they are a greedy bunch of developers….
    That sours the waters for me, sad to say…
    Just letting off steam here..