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Zen Pinball "Hardcore" Mode

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  • Zen Pinball "Hardcore" Mode

    A common item of feedback when people talk about Zen Pinball HD on Pinball Arcade Fans forum is "I wish there was a way to make some mechanical elements more hardcore".

    To clarify, what this means is:

    1) Set slingshot strength to 100%
    2) Set pop-bumper strength to 100%
    3) Reduce the friction physics on the flipper bats so the ball doesn't come to a screaming halt on the flipper instead of doing a shuttle pass.
    4) Make the Ball Save timer a little less generous
    5) Change the "weight" of the ball so it behaves differently on ramps.

    Having played Pinball Arcade quite a bit, coming to Zen was a bit of a learning curve for me having played lots or IRL pinball, and being used to the physics in Pinball Arcade.

    Don't get me wrong: I get what Zen is trying to do with the product. The way I understand the product, the goal of Zen is to bring pinball to the masses, and make it fun for the average punter so they don't have balls gobbled up in short order.

    What needs to be understood is that because of the resurgance of digital pinball, punters are moving between the two franchises and encountering a different play style. That's not to say that each franchise should play the same by default. Not at all.

    For those who want a more "real world" feel to the gameplay, and don't mind if their play time is shortened as a result, wouldn't it be fantastic to have a "Zen" mode and "Hardcore" mode, with the features implemented above? Similar to different difficulty levels in other game titles.

    From a technical implementation standpoint, would a profiled physics model (I would assume this would be how a Hardcore mode would be implemented) be something that Zen could implement? Or would *want* to implement?
    7
    Keep it the same?
    42.86%
    3
    Increase by 25% to a total 50% strength?
    28.57%
    2
    Increase by 50% to a total 75% strength?
    0.00%
    0
    Increase to 100% strength, like a real-life table
    28.57%
    2

  • #2
    Also, to clarify, I'm not trying to troll with my OP. I seriously feel it would be awesome to have this feature in Zen, because I'm actually enjoying Zen more than TPA at the moment. I find the quality of Zen to be much higher than TPA. The general polish of the tables is great. The mechanical sound effects are superb.

    If the game was given the option of being a little less "arcade" and a little more "real world", I think Zen would put the scare right up TPA and probably convert a lot of nay-sayers over to the franchise. And that can only be a good thing for digital pinball overall.

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    • #3
      I believe what your looking for can be found in the operators menu adjustments...

      https://forum.zenstudios.com/showthr...vigation-Guide

      There are presets you can use to make it a little easier to switch back & forth between factory & your own settings..

      I think what your asking for is a button/or mode you can use to switch back & forth between difficulties without going into the operators menu...i could see its usefulness..although i dont believe Zen is any easier than TPA...in fact some of the goals are way harder to pull off...but thats just me...i personally like Zens physics better...i dont like the way the ball floats on some of tpa's tables...but again...just my op

      (Dont take me wrong Jared i like TPA as well, just prefer Zen )
      Last edited by MarkItZeroSmoky; 04-04-2013, 11:34 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MarkItZeroSmoky View Post
        I believe what your looking for can be found in the operators menu adjustments...

        https://forum.zenstudios.com/showthr...vigation-Guide

        There are presets you can use to make it a little easier to switch back & forth between factory & your own settings..

        I think what your asking for is a button/or mode you can use to switch back & forth between difficulties without going into the operators menu...i could see its usefulness..although i dont believe Zen is any easier than TPA...in fact some of the goals are way harder to pull off...but thats just me...i personally like Zens physics better...i dont like the way the ball floats on some of tpa's tables...but again...just my op

        (Dont take me wrong Jared i like TPA as well, just prefer Zen )
        I totally get where you're coming from. And yes, you are correct in your ideas about a single menu button that enables the feature rather than going through the operator menu each time.

        The fact we get an operator menu shipped with each table is a very cool feature of Zen. And as we both know, this is a premium feature on TPA.

        I guess I would like to see the Hardcore mode also count towards the leaderboards and achievements. When you install the preset difficulty levels at the moment, you also remove your ability to achieve Swarm high-scores and medals. Maybe a different set of achievements for the Hardcore mode, along with the adjusted physics and table mechanical tweaks.

        I honestly think most of the comments I see on PAF are relating to how 'weak'' the pop bumpers and slingshots are. I know sometimes I have had a ball bounce 6-8 times between them in this infinite arc, which simply wouldn't happen on a real table, or in TPA. I think it happens because of the gravity applied to the ball, and the strength of the slingshots. Likewise with the pop bumpers. It is like the coils are doing half-strokes when the ball triggers them. Even it that could be tweaked, and nothing else, I think that would make the dynamics of the table change considerably. Just like a real table with everything working 100% (and subsequently, all the coils operating at full efficiency), the game is faster and more exciting.

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