With the PS3 and PS Vita launches of The Pinball Arcade on PSN this week, I thought that I’d share a few more details about our game and offer some general gameplay tips.
The launch tables include one from each of the four major manufactures that we’ve licensed. Tales of the Arabian Nights (Williams), Ripley’s Believe It or Not (Stern), Theatre of Magic (Bally), and Black Hole (Gottlieb). Tales and Black Hole were part of the Pinball Hall of Fame games. We’ve spent a lot of time improving the physics and the graphics of our pinball engine over the past few years, so we feel that they’re definitely worthy of updating.
When we first made the Gottlieb collection we gathered references from the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas. We took a lot of pictures, recorded the audio with microphones, and took notes on the rules along with gameplay video reference. We actually re-programmed all of the rules from scratch.
That was a huge challenge! Now, we buy all of the tables and take them apart. Plus, we now have a bunch of physics experience and improved technology to make the tables look and play almost exactly like the real thing. ROM emulation is a huge part of the improved technology, so our simulations now run the same exact code as the original tables with authentic music, sound effects, and voice over. It’s been a learning experience, and it’s our goal to continue to improve.
When choosing tables, we look for tables that are universally recognized as being great (ipdb.org and pinside.com are two sources that we highly respect); we throw in a large helping of what our fans want, what our pinball expert friends think would be good picks, and what tables we at FarSight love and think will make for great videogame simulations. Of course, the final decision is also impacted by what’s feasible to license.
To score well at our game, I strongly recommend that you master the art of nudging the table without tilting. In general (i.e. video game pinball “and real” pinball), the key is ball control and knowing what to expect as much as possible. It is usually much easier to be consistent with a shot fired from a cradled position than when you hit the ball with a live deflection. But equally important, you should try to learn where and how the ball feeds towards the flippers as best you can and how to keep the pinball or pinballs (in multi-ball) under control as much as possible by mastering different passing and catching techniques.
Our first DLC pack is going to include Medieval Madness and The Machine: Bride of Pin.Bot. These are two of my personal all-time favorite tables. We hope that you enjoy our digital versions as much as we enjoy getting to recreate these classics!
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