29 November, 2015

Timeshock beta

A year and a half after the alpha version the beta of Timeshock for the Mac is finally here. It is a perfectly playable version, not resource hungry and to my opinion very close to a golden master (once some minor bugs are squashed).

The release was accompanied by a list of missing features:

Cabinet mode, including offline installation
Multi monitor support for DMD/backbox
Joystick/pad support
New physics
Rolling ball display

Although the big improvement with respect to the 17-years old Timeshock was supposed to be the new physics engine I couldn't care less. The game is perfect as it stands and delaying a few more years in order to implement new physics means that we may never see another Pro Pinball resurrected. 

All is not perfect though. Among the criticisms voiced in the Pro Pinball forum is one I find quite justified. Here it is

Some lighting controls have disappearred, and we cannot make the table anywhere near as dark as before. I played the Alpha with very dark light settings, to fully appreciate the flashers, and that has gone which kills the game for me. Regular kickstarter supporters won't be happy as the kickstarter videos you posted (and my cabinet play video) showed super impressive light shows in an almost completely dark room (almost 2 years ago now). Surely the lighting sliders can be added back, plus the abilty to go much darker which is the biggest crowd puller for Pro Pinball Ultra? Taking this stuff away is the kind of thing Farsight would do!

My feelings exactly (and I did like particularly the lest sentence).

1 comment:

  1. You know what? I'm a little concerned considering all that time and work, and what do you have? A native OSX Timeshock. The screenshot you provided seemed a whole lot like the original, so I booted up Timeshock in Dosbox (mega or something - with the option for millions of colors) and, frankly, if the game plays even as smooth as the dosbox version I don't see ANY difference . The original plays perfectly, as you well know, and the table looks identical. to me, after examining the pictures closely. With the millions of colors option enabled I am concerned there is simply no difference. The 2D table surface seems identical, the 3D bumpers seem identical , and on OSX running via dosbox it is already perfect. I hope there is some real means where all the work and investment in the new Timeshock is justified.
    You know, the one that REALLY could use an upgrade, even if it is near perfect.. is "the Web".
    I really wouldn't mind a spin on the new timeshock to convince me it really is worth the immense amount of time and effort gone into it...
    However, I would *seriously* suggest you compare it running on Dosbox vs the new native version..