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Thread: Zen, please explain!

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    Senior Member LeanderL's Avatar
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    Default Zen, please explain!

    Please take a minute and explain! It is highly important to the community.

    1) Why are the tables censored but The Walking Dead or Doom are ok?

    2) Would it be possible to change the age rating for a DLC OR can we get an additional DLC that unlocks the normal version the Williams pack?

    3) What can we expect in the future? Will all upcoming Williams tables be censored? What can be done not to censor them?

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    From https://www.pinballfx.com/?page_id=7989:

    Zen Studios is very aware that certain tables, such as Medieval Madness, have content that cannot be included in an E10+ rated game. At this time we are running the Family Mode version directly from the ROM on consoles, Windows 10 and Mac. Zen is not censoring the game any differently from what Family Mode includes. On Steam, the game is not running Family Mode; however, this can be turned on in the game settings if so desired.

    This is a complicated issue with varying ideas and opinions, and it directly intersects huge stakeholders including legal, business, product and community. Zen’s first obligation is to provide age-appropriate content within the game’s rating.

    We hear from both sides – those who do not want Family Mode to be the only option in the game and those who appreciate Family Mode, and we will work to find the right balance for this situation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    Please take a minute and explain! It is highly important to the community.

    1) Why are the tables censored but The Walking Dead or Doom are ok?

    2) Would it be possible to change the age rating for a DLC OR can we get an additional DLC that unlocks the normal version the Williams pack?

    3) What can we expect in the future? Will all upcoming Williams tables be censored? What can be done not to censor them?
    I hear ya.The current censorship situation is unacceptable.We've also been talking about it in this thread: https://forum.zenstudios.com/showthr...ate-censorship

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    I really would like or recommend to give such an option! (decensor/unlock true arts!)

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    Senior Member LeanderL's Avatar
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    This really needs to be replied to! Please, Zen!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    This really needs to be replied to! Please, Zen!
    I found this link in the Pinball Arcade Forum: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/...r-esrb-rating/

    We are referred to as a vocal minority and basically all future tables will be censored.
    The whole situation is ridiculous, frustrating and paradox.Everyone is striving to recreate and in a way preserve those classic tables and experiences and then the whole thing gets shot in the foot with this censorship nonsense.
    As said before i own all of Zen tables(and all TPA tables) and i would have loved to support the upcoming Zen Williams tables but not like this.The least Zen could do is change their sales model and release the Williams tables in single packs so one can choose which tables to boycott and which not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALH2012 View Post
    I found this link in the Pinball Arcade Forum: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2018/...r-esrb-rating/

    We are referred to as a vocal minority and basically all future tables will be censored.
    The whole situation is ridiculous, frustrating and paradox.Everyone is striving to recreate and in a way preserve those classic tables and experiences and then the whole thing gets shot in the foot with this censorship nonsense.
    As said before i own all of Zen tables(and all TPA tables) and i would have loved to support the upcoming Zen Williams tables but not like this.The least Zen could do is change their sales model and release the Williams tables in single packs so one can choose which tables to boycott and which not.
    First of all, I get your point about censorship.
    But looking at the whole picture it's very simple.

    Zen makes virtual pinball tables, they happen to be not an exact copy of the originals but a little bit altered. (they're still good and fun to play)
    You, the customer, has two options:

    - Like what you get and buy

    or

    - Don't like what you get and don't buy

    It's that simple. Zen is makes these tables the way they want to, and that may not be the way you like it. That's just too bad for you. But nobody forces you to buy.
    You can just leave them if you don't like them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M!chel View Post
    First of all, I get your point about censorship.
    But looking at the whole picture it's very simple.

    Zen makes virtual pinball tables, they happen to be not an exact copy of the originals but a little bit altered. (they're still good and fun to play)
    You, the customer, has two options:

    - Like what you get and buy

    or

    - Don't like what you get and don't buy

    It's that simple. Zen is makes these tables the way they want to, and that may not be the way you like it. That's just too bad for you. But nobody forces you to buy.
    You can just leave them if you don't like them.
    Absolutely.If the customers don't care about censorship or truthful recreation of the tables and if Zen doesn't care it is anyone's prerogative to say yes or no.I'm not holding it against anyone or Zen for not caring about censorship but i do care and i find the current situation unacceptable.Hence my gain or loss.I'm glad i still have the unfiltered TPA tables and the show must go on.Zen doesn't have my benefit of the doubt anymore.I am disappointed.

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    Hi everyone,

    Doom and The Walking Dead fall under our descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Language, while some themes in these tables would require 'Alcohol and Tobacco Reference' and 'Suggestive Themes' which we don't have listed for Pinball FX3.

    There are internal talks about what could be a good option here, when we have news on this we'll try to inform everyone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Doom and The Walking Dead fall under our descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Language, while some themes in these tables would require 'Alcohol and Tobacco Reference' and 'Suggestive Themes' which we don't have listed for Pinball FX3.

    There are internal talks about what could be a good option here, when we have news on this we'll try to inform everyone.
    Looking at Mel's comments on Annandtech, I tink we're in for a long wait...
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    they just want to save us all from rampant Pinball filth this censoring is so pathetic,it`s almost funny.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    they just want to save us all from rampant Pinball filth this censoring is so pathetic,it`s almost funny.
    When it comes to something like this, again I must be in the minority. Whether you call it "family" mode or a way to conform to a rating, what does audio/visual content matter as long as it works well with the overall theme? I love Gorgar for example but frankly, find it a bit creepy and offensive. But nobody is making me buy Gorgar or play Gorgar. Same with Elvira, offensive to me, but not so much the pinball as the character who, to me, was offensive before she was ever a pinball theme lol.

    I guess given that, I would speak out in favor of a switchable family mode with exact original content present. I may be the only person who would turn family mode on though. But then everyone would be happy If there was a switchable family mode with the original table, it should be part of the recreation. If there was not one, why add the censorship? My 2 cents.
    Last edited by steven120566; 10-17-2018 at 06:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steven120566 View Post
    When it comes to something like this, again I must be in the minority. Whether you call it "family" mode or a way to conform to a rating, what does audio/visual content matter as long as it works well with the overall theme? I love Gorgar for example but frankly, find it a bit creepy and offensive. But nobody is making me buy Gorgar or play Gorgar. Same with Elvira, offensive to me, but not so much the pinball as the character who, to me, was offensive before she was ever a pinball theme lol.

    I guess given that, I would speak out in favor of a switchable family mode with exact original content present. I may be the only person who would turn family mode on though. But then everyone would be happy If there was a switchable family mode with the original table, it should be part of the recreation. If there was not one, why add the censorship? My 2 cents.
    i do agree with a Family/Adult mode toggle,best of both Worlds. Im just not a Fan of censoring by Game Companies or Organisations, that Choice should be left to their Parents .
    Last edited by snoopy; 10-17-2018 at 06:34 PM.

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    I found Mel Kirk's comments to be insensitive and insulting. The so called "vocal minority" is the main audience for these tables. Going as far as removing features from a table like a mini game is going too far (not to mention Champion Pub is already in a somewhat unfinished state, as is).

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    My 2 cents, I dont really care what they to to the looks of the tables as long as I can still get the great gameplay. I dont want it to be changed however to make the table play different or what was intended. Champions Pub is one of the few tables I liked on TPA and I want it as faithful as possible.

    So far I really like what Zen has done with the 4 tables available and they have made them more fun then what I experienced on TPA. I will continue to buy all their tables and enjoy them far more then TPA!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianvgplayer View Post
    I found Mel Kirk's comments to be insensitive and insulting. The so called "vocal minority" is the main audience for these tables. Going as far as removing features from a table like a mini game is going too far (not to mention Champion Pub is already in a somewhat unfinished state, as is).

    same here,first the vocal minority thing, then throwing Farsight under the Bus with his ESRB Rating comment was unnecessary.

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    So far I like the physics and polish much better than Farsight's, I just wish the game wasn't stuck with 4Kids like Censorship.

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    McLovin wrote:Hi everyone,

    Doom and The Walking Dead fall under our descriptors of Fantasy Violence and Mild Language, while some themes in these tables would require 'Alcohol and Tobacco Reference' and 'Suggestive Themes' which we don't have listed for Pinball FX3.

    There are internal talks about what could be a good option here, when we have news on this we'll try to inform everyone.

    then please explain to me, why the walking dead table has a Axe with blood on it as plunger ,but the Sword on the MM backglass is censored? This makes zero sense at all.
    Last edited by snoopy; 10-19-2018 at 11:36 AM.

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    What's with the age rating anyhow - kids don't actually play this do they?

    Everyone knows the Pinball audience is 99% middle aged men and the kids are all playing Fortnite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alipan View Post
    What's with the age rating anyhow - kids don't actually play this do they?

    Everyone knows the Pinball audience is 99% middle aged men and the kids are all playing Fortnite.
    exactly,this is ridiculous beyond belief. Im 56 years old and do not want Disney sanitized recreations of real Tables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alipan View Post
    What's with the age rating anyhow - kids don't actually play this do they?

    Everyone knows the Pinball audience is 99% middle aged men and the kids are all playing Fortnite.
    Sad but oh so true, lol!

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    same here,first the vocal minority thing, then throwing Farsight under the Bus with his ESRB Rating comment was unnecessary.
    Where is this article or interview? I’d like to read it.

    Myself, I’m here for the pinball gameplay. As long as the ESRB Rating doesn’t effect which tables they can bring over I’m ok. Even if it does though, there must be so many tables that I’d be awhile before they were left with only tables they feel they couldn’t include under the current rating. Hopefully by that time they’ve figured out a way to include them, maybe in a teens and up DLC pack or something. “The Tables in the Back Room” DLC, lol. Like that room in the video rental store when you were a kid that only creepy looking guys ever came in and out of.
    I can see a group of kids at a sleepover now, acting all sneaky, as they make sure the parents are asleep so that they can load up and play Scared Stiff! Then the inevitable disappointment when they realize it doesn’t contain anything even close to what they see on the internet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    Thanks for the link and now we actually have a good explanation on the edits.

    Kirk noted that Zen Studios has been penalized for inadvertently crossing the ESRB in the past. Last year, the studio's Infinite Minigolf was removed from digital storefronts after some inappropriate placeholder artwork accidentally made its way into the VR version of the game. The ESRB raised the game's rating to a T, requiring it to be altered and resubmitted to the ESRB before it could go back on sale at the original E rating.
    Yikes! That will explain why they are being extra cautious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    same here,first the vocal minority thing, then throwing Farsight under the Bus with his ESRB Rating comment was unnecessary.
    Thanks for the link. As far as what he said in the article, I don’t see how he could answer questions about how TPA version has these things and PBFX3 doesn’t without saying what he did. I don’t see that as him throwing Farsight under the bus but just answering what was asked. And I’d think that vocal minority part is almost surely correct. You’re always going to hear a lot more from those with negative views than those with positive, making it look at first glance like things are skewed to the negative. That’s Statistics 101.
    Hopefully they’ll figure a way to make everyone happy. Myself, I’m more than happy with the tables so far, but to each their own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hunter328 View Post
    Thanks for the link. As far as what he said in the article, I don’t see how he could answer questions about how TPA version has these things and PBFX3 doesn’t without saying what he did. I don’t see that as him throwing Farsight under the bus but just answering what was asked. And I’d think that vocal minority part is almost surely correct. You’re always going to hear a lot more from those with negative views than those with positive, making it look at first glance like things are skewed to the negative. That’s Statistics 101.
    Hopefully they’ll figure a way to make everyone happy. Myself, I’m more than happy with the tables so far, but to each their own.
    The problem isn't the tables themselves, but the censorship of the tables. I like the way the tables play, but the censorship is very similar to the silliness of 4Kids where they censored Luffy's smile in an episode of One Piece for no good reason. And it's possible some of the changes could affect how the tables play. A mode may be removed from Champion Pub, a game with a somewhat limited rule set, as is.
    Last edited by Brianvgplayer; 10-24-2018 at 07:33 PM.

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    the whole protecting the Kids argument is quite frankly absolute bs, they hear worse at school then from a pinball machine qoute.i find it quite telling that they removed the preservepinball hashtag pretty quickly after the ars technica article was out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    the whole protecting the Kids argument is quite frankly absolute bs, they hear worse at school then from a pinball machine qoute.i find it quite telling that they removed the preservepinball hashtag pretty quickly after the ars technica article was out.
    Don't get me wrong: I would prefer uncensored tables as well, but you can hardly blame ZEN for restrictions set by Disney or ESRB.
    I do hope they find a way to solve this by making a special 16+ DLC or whatever solution they can find. Though I'll end up purchasing the tables anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianvgplayer View Post
    The problem isn't the tables themselves, but the censorship of the tables. I like the way the tables play, but the censorship is very similar to the silliness of 4Kids where they censored Luffy's smile in an episode of One Piece for no good reason. And it's possible some of the changes could affect how the tables play. A mode may be removed from Champion Pub, a game with a somewhat limited rule set, as is.
    I get that and it’s more than a fair complaint. But I also understand Zen’s side of the issue. Some of what I’ve read makes it sound like Zen is trying to be some kind of watchdog group out to protect kids and aggressively out to censor whatever they view as inappropriate when it seems to me more like they always envisioned their game to be family friendly and easily able to receive the E10 rating and are now handcuffed by the strict guidelines of that when it comes to content they didn’t originally create but are trying to recreate as faithfully as they can. Something they probably didn’t foresee happening when they set those policies up originally since they always had complete control over what went into their own creations. Now that they’ve run into this problem, and I chose to believe them when they say it’s a complicated one that’s not easily fixed, I can understand why they had to censor what they did. I also think that these being the very first days of Zen having this license that it’s too early to give up hope that they’ll be able to come to a solution that makes everyone happy. I even think they were probably upset at having to censor the tables in the first place, but they realized they were in a situation where they had no real choice at this time.

    I’m holding out hope that before they come to a point where they’d have to release a table where the actual gameplay would have to be altered that they will have devised a way where doing so would be unnecessary.

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    I'm under the impression from the article that they chose to censor it to keep the ESRB rating, rather than the ESRB telling them to do so, and didn't make it clear that it was their intention all along. I disagree that many of those comments needed to be said, especially the one about the way Farsight handles the ESRB ratings. From the sound of it, that thing with the Mini Golf game was something that should have been caught much earlier (and I read somewhere that the XONE and PS4 versions were rated T even before the art was changed for the Switch version).

    Edit: It looks like an announcent will be made soon. I may sound negative, but I am enjoying the tables themselves and the physics are definitely much better than Farsight's floaty physics. I also like how the tables in arcade and tournament modes seem just as mean as the originals.
    Last edited by Brianvgplayer; 10-25-2018 at 10:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianvgplayer View Post
    I'm under the impression from the article that they chose to censor it to keep the ESRB rating, rather than the ESRB telling them to do so, and didn't make it clear that it was their intention all along. I disagree that many of those comments needed to be said, especially the one about the way Farsight handles the ESRB ratings. From the sound of it, that thing with the Mini Golf game was something that should have been caught much earlier (and I read somewhere that the XONE and PS4 versions were rated T even before the art was changed for the Switch version).

    Edit: It looks like an announcent will be made soon. I may sound negative, but I am enjoying the tables themselves and the physics are definitely much better than Farsight's floaty physics. I also like how the tables in arcade and tournament modes seem just as mean as the originals.
    thanks for the update link. sounds like good news . i guess the vocal minority helped things along.
    Last edited by snoopy; 10-25-2018 at 11:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianvgplayer View Post
    I'm under the impression from the article that they chose to censor it to keep the ESRB rating, rather than the ESRB telling them to do so, and didn't make it clear that it was their intention all along. I disagree that many of those comments needed to be said, especially the one about the way Farsight handles the ESRB ratings. From the sound of it, that thing with the Mini Golf game was something that should have been caught much earlier (and I read somewhere that the XONE and PS4 versions were rated T even before the art was changed for the Switch version).

    Edit: It looks like an announcent will be made soon. I may sound negative, but I am enjoying the tables themselves and the physics are definitely much better than Farsight's floaty physics. I also like how the tables in arcade and tournament modes seem just as mean as the originals.
    Whether he intentionally “threw Fairsight under the bus” or not, Farsight had done the same to Zen recently. Does anyone remember when PBFX3 first came to Switch and was getting all of the flak over the FPS in handheld mode? I remember right after that started Farsight’s add for either TPA or Stern highlighted the fact that they were the only ones giving players a true pinball experience in both docked and handheld mode. That kind of angered me toward them. Anyone who’s played both can tell from one second of gameplay how much more graphically intensive Zen’s game is and thus how much harder it must have been to get it to work at 30 or. 60 FPS, whatever it was. The fact that Zen was able to achieve that after the fact is pretty impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy View Post
    thanks for the update link. sounds like good news . i guess the vocal minority helped things along.
    Not so far.

    With the release(Williams Pinall Vol.2), also comes the option for players in the PC Steam version of Pinball FX3 to play the tables in their original form. This means family filter off by default and unaltered cabinet and playfield art on all three Volume 2 tables.
    In other words.All other platforms remain censored.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ALH2012 View Post
    Not so far.



    In other words.All other platforms remain censored.
    Well. There is always the option of no tbuying them on console.

    The fact that the tables are uncensored on Stea, but censored on the consoles proves that Disney is NOT the reason for censorship. Just the normal age-ratings are and I don't think ZEN is really looking for a solution for that, especially after reading Mel's interview last month.
    The only reason they say they are looking into it, is hoping that in the mean time people will still buy the censored tables...
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    Currently the world is strange. It seems that everything is offensive to someone or even legally defined as 'hate speech.'

    I blame America.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfhfony View Post
    Well. There is always the option of no tbuying them on console.

    The fact that the tables are uncensored on Stea, but censored on the consoles proves that Disney is NOT the reason for censorship. Just the normal age-ratings are and I don't think ZEN is really looking for a solution for that, especially after reading Mel's interview last month.
    The only reason they say they are looking into it, is hoping that in the mean time people will still buy the censored tables...
    I agree.I would love to stand corrected but at the moment it seems like Zen is stalling for time with no genuine intention to ever release the tables uncensored beyond PC.The only effective way to protest would be to boycott the Williams tables.Sad situation either way.

  37. #37
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    Hi everyone,

    Steam on PC has a more lenient system which affords us the room to release these tables unaltered. Other first parties do not allow this.

    This is a first step to get these games unaltered to PC first, hopefully, we'll have more news on other platforms in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLovin View Post

    This is a first step to get these games unaltered to PC first, hopefully, we'll have more news on other platforms in the future.
    Here's to hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
    [...] hopefully, we'll have more news on other platforms in the future.
    Thanks, I hope so too! I like having the Windows 10 / Xbox One version for the Play Anywhere feature but I'm a bit bummed we're still stuck with Family Mode there. Worse, I'm form Europe and there it's already PEGI 12 so really, any censorship you guys do currently would still fit in at 12+ for EU players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by McLovin View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Steam on PC has a more lenient system which affords us the room to release these tables unaltered. Other first parties do not allow this.

    This is a first step to get these games unaltered to PC first, hopefully, we'll have more news on other platforms in the future.
    Hete in Europe it's PEGI 12. There is no need to censore them in Europe anyway. This can easily be released in Europe without censorship. So just split up the releases for Europe & America.
    For the rest, the "in the future" statements from ZEN have left quite a bad tast in my mouth in the past, as this usually meant then Zen never came back to the subject, or a "no" after a very, very long time (WiiU releases, Mobile releases, VR releases, etc...)
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