Results 1 to 33 of 33

Thread: ZEN Studios Interviewed by This Xbox Life

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    3

    Lightbulb ZEN Studios Interviewed by This Xbox Life

    Check out the interview with ZEN Studios in the latest episode of This Xbox Life Podcast. There are some interesting tidbits of news in the interview. We think you will enjoy.

    http://www.thisxboxlife.com/?p=9523
    Check out This Xbox Life Podcast at www.thisxboxlife.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    France
    Posts
    562

    Default

    Yeah cool !!

  3. #3

    Default

    Can't wait...

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Really cool interview. Thanks.

    One thing I am a little concerned about is the issue they go over about high scores and specifically how people utilize the save game feature to have a killer game using their best ball 1, 2, and 3 and restarting back to the last ball as they please.

    I was unaware that you could exploit the save game feature this way. I wonder if all the top 10 scores on all the tables have been accomplished like this. Its seems unethical to post a score using that exploit. If so, it makes me feel a lot better about my high scores now knowing that they were all obtained in a single consecutive game without saving and restarting if I had a bad ball 2 or whatever.

    I am interested since I know a lot of the best players are here on the forums. Is this the technique you guys use to get those billion plus scores?

    I am all for competition and high scores. That is what pinball is all about... but hearing about this makes me a little uneasy. Almost like they should have scrapped the save game feature to keep the leaderboards more ethical.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KGSoloman8000 View Post
    Really cool interview. Thanks.

    One thing I am a little concerned about is the issue they go over about high scores and specifically how people utilize the save game feature to have a killer game using their best ball 1, 2, and 3 and restarting back to the last ball as they please.

    I was unaware that you could exploit the save game feature this way. I wonder if all the top 10 scores on all the tables have been accomplished like this. Its seems unethical to post a score using that exploit. If so, it makes me feel a lot better about my high scores now knowing that they were all obtained in a single consecutive game without saving and restarting if I had a bad ball 2 or whatever.

    I am interested since I know a lot of the best players are here on the forums. Is this the technique you guys use to get those billion plus scores?

    I am all for competition and high scores. That is what pinball is all about... but hearing about this makes me a little uneasy. Almost like they should have scrapped the save game feature to keep the leaderboards more ethical.
    I agree 100% with you, i think it is a game breaking feature which allows one person to restart as many times to get a extremely high score that no one else can get to only playing one consectutive game.

    Zen, i have a request. Please take this feature out of the game. I may get flamed for saying this by some people, but i think its essential to make it feel like a real pinball game. Because in real pinball, there are no restarts, redos or anything.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    158

    Default

    I definitely use the save feature, as on a few of the tables a normal game for me can last hours, and at some point you gotta take a break and pick it up the next day. I had no idea the save game could be exploited like that, and I honestly hope it's addressed in a future update. I had just assumed it used temporary saves, so when you re-loaded your last save, it deleted it, preventing you from constantly re-starting from the save point.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heathenSauce View Post
    I definitely use the save feature, as on a few of the tables a normal game for me can last hours, and at some point you gotta take a break and pick it up the next day. I had no idea the save game could be exploited like that, and I honestly hope it's addressed in a future update. I had just assumed it used temporary saves, so when you re-loaded your last save, it deleted it, preventing you from constantly re-starting from the save point.
    Yea, I like the save feature too... but I would rather have it omitted to increase the integrity of the online leaderboards. Its just really disappointing to see a feature like this get abused.

    I was under the same impression. I thought you can save your game and resume it but if you power down your xbox and then try and reload the same save game wouldn't work anymore.

    From what the interview had to say it seems like they are going to address it in a future patch.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Great interview! Answers a LOT of questions I and others around here have had. Thanks for the link.

    Minus: I was appalled to learn that tournament scores and leaderboards could be abused by the save game feature. Seriously, that's just lame. A score of a billion achieved by exploiting a save is not a high score, it's just a lousy exploit. But, I'm glad to hear Zen will fix this.

    Plus: Was very excited to hear that there are 8 dedicated teams at work on pinball. Oooh aaah.

    Plus: Lots of new IP coming, and cross-promotions from other XBLA game titles. (It's a pity Bizarre Creations have gone under, we could have had a Geometry Wars themed table. )

    Plus: credit to Mel for being honest regarding the influences behind many of the Zen tables...

    Plus: some of the Zen designers have physical pinnies of their own, and are big fans.

    Nerdgasm: "Star Wars would be totally, amazingly rad, and let's just say ... both parties know each other very well".

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    1,177

    Default

    I'm real happy that we can be expecting one new table a month for the foreseeable future. It is also great that we can be expecting various different themed tables. In the end it actually doesn't matter to me what the theme of the table is - as long as it has a great flowing layout and great missions and mini games I will play any themed table, even High School Musical or Hannah Montana!!! (will though find it hard to explain to my wife that it is all about the game play for me). I don't know much about Marvel comics and their characters, apart from seeing a movie here and there, but in the end I love playing the Blade table as there is just so much that you can do and many cool ball and table effects.

    I agree fully that the save function should be sorted out - I would still like to have it in but it should be such that as soon as you resume the game from a save game, that particular save game must be instantly and permanently wiped. It should thus function more like a long "pause" rather that being an actual save game.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    France
    Posts
    562

    Default

    I remember trying to reset my console when I messed up with a saved game, but it didn't work. So I don't understand how those people do. But yeah, I'm very disappointed with Patch of Blue...

    By the way, what is "IP" ?
    Last edited by Vincent; 03-20-2011 at 08:03 AM.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    22

    Default

    i dont think there is any reason to believe blue used that exploit.

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    19

    Default

    In the interview, I believe that "IP" was referring to Intellectual Property.

    As far as Blue goes; in the Xbox Life interview, the Zen rep said that he talked to Blue frequently, and that Blue openly acknowledged using the "save technique".

  13. #13
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    1,177

    Default

    This whole question of using the save function reminds me of a Jose Gonzalez song - In our Nature. Don't know what the lyrics is but yes... humans will always find a way to identify and exploit any and all "opportunities". So in this particular case is it up to ZEN, the rule makers, to close this "opportunity" else the serious record breaking players will all be making use of it in their high scoring endeavors. Those of you that follow Formula 1 racing will recognize this tendency to push all the set boundaries to the maximum and to exploit any loopholes, just so that they can have the winning edge. The next year the rules would be changed again or would be redefined to prevent the teams from further exploiting the loopholes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    France
    Posts
    562

    Default

    In the interview they say that patch of Blue explained he had been using that method.


    Quote Originally Posted by smilingsaint View Post
    i dont think there is any reason to believe blue used that exploit.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Good interview...

    A bit annoyed about the save-cheat/bug/glitch/*feature*...

    I won't use it as my scores are already inflated to a point where it is hard to reach them.

    The saving either needs to be converted to a temp save (and thus all scores wiped clean to support the new system) or just removed; as someone said earlier, no restarts on a real machine and a bad ball happens to everyone.

    Makes me quite happy with some of my legit scores now however.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    272

    Default

    the save game feature is good when you dont ave time to finish a game but like a few others on here i had no idea it could be exploited in that way, please ZEN fix this..maybe one save and restart per game

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    13

    Default

    I think i am a really good player without using any of this save-bullshit. It is sad to hear about a method gaining points so easily. I have played for hours to get my highscores without any cheats.
    Nightmare Mansion: 3rd
    Buccaneer: 4th
    Spiderman: 8th

  18. #18

    Default

    Why not add a special 'no save' leaderboard then ? somme ppl were asking for a 'hard' or 'tournament' mode, this could be a double feature update somehow, although i know it would have repercussions on the whole superscore thing ...

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    3

    Default

    So glad you guys enjoyed the interview. We enjoyed doing it. I can't wait for more tables.
    Check out This Xbox Life Podcast at www.thisxboxlife.com

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    25

    Default

    It's should be standard practice to delete the save once it has been loaded.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    404

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrannical View Post
    It's should be standard practice to delete the save once it has been loaded.
    It is. There just happens to be ways around it, same as there has always been since they invented saved games.

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by smilingsaint View Post
    i dont think there is any reason to believe blue used that exploit.
    Thank you.


    This interview reminds me why the comments of marketers (and amateur journalists) should always be scrutinized:

    Mel has confused me with ancient of war.

    I'm not in Japan. Mel and I don't "talk all the time." I've submitted a few bugs and answered several emails regarding prizes. Our exchanges have been brief. I searched through the six emails I've sent him; none of them contain the word save.

    My scores are legitimate. My best Biolab game lasted 24+ hours playing over the course of a week--of course I used the save and resume feature to take breaks.

    If ancient of war is exploiting the save system, I'm still confused based on Mel's description. I've lost several high scores because my Xbox froze or my power went out while playing. It was not possible to resume the previous games after the disruption.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Kirk
    But, uhm, it is a legit score...it's just, like...it's from a save game. So any of you guys can, uh, take that tip and help boost your score.
    After I heard Mel make this comment, I decided to experiment with the save and resume feature. As far as I can tell, it only allows the current save to be in use. If the player quits to the dashboard or turns off his Xbox, that save file cannot be resumed. After a new game has started, it's no longer possible to restore from an old save file. The way the save system actually works seems to conflict with Mel's explanation of "he'll revert back to the [save] game."

    Quote Originally Posted by Wingman709 View Post
    So glad you guys enjoyed the interview. We enjoyed doing it.
    It's very poorly produced. I thought I'd clicked on the wrong link at first--ditch the annoying intro music and use your real names. Introducing yourselves by your gamertags is awkward and irrelevant. Keep the discussion to pertinent topics that interest the audience; nobody cares about which achievements you're trying to earn.

    No offense to Mel, but it would have been better to interview an actual developer rather than a PR guy. The Pinball FX 2 discussion was superficial and uninformative. Ask harder questions, and try not to sound like you're reading them off a cue card.

    Also, please do your homework prior to the interview. For example, Mel claimed the tables are all "original ideas designed from the ground up." He even mentions The Addams Family a moment later. Any fan of this table will immediately recognize its design in Buccaneer (mirrored). All three of the core Pinball FX tables were mirrored clones: Speed Machine = White Water, Xtreme = Black Knight 2000, Agents = Star Trek: TNG. The same is true for Rocky & Bullwinkle (mirrored Sorcerer). It's dubious to suggest the FX 2 tables are original. Pasha shares several similarities with Funhouse, and Secrets of the Deep is very reminiscent of Grand Lizard. Both Rome and Wolverine borrow heavily from Medieval Madness.

    Finally, it would have taken less than three minutes to excerpt the interview with vdub. I realize you want more listeners, but all most of us care about is news on the upcoming tables. Mel already does a great job keeping the community informed.
    Last edited by blue; 03-26-2011 at 10:25 AM.
    They took our pinball machines!
    Let's revolt, who's with me?
    Grab a pitchfork and come with Zen!

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    731

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blue View Post
    No offense to Mel, but it would have been better to interview an actual developer rather than a PR guy. The Pinball FX 2 discussion was superficial and uninformative.
    I thought it was a fun, and very informative interview.

    It's a shame that you were apparently mistaken for someone else blue, but I think you are being overly critical of other people's efforts. Not for the first time, I might add.

    If you think it should be done better, why don't you organise an interview? You can ask the hard questions, then edit the interview, upload it and let us know where we can grab it.

    Criticism is easy, blue. If you think you can do better, prove it. Otherwise, it's just pointless, graceless whining.
    Last edited by Womble; 03-26-2011 at 09:52 AM.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    1,177

    Default

    I'm with Blue on this one. Glad to hear that you achieved your scored a legit way - 24 hours plus on one game.... only in my dreams will I be able to achieve that!!!

    The interview was OK but I agree that I was also annoyed at first having to listen to guys explain what they are playing etc. and having to listen through large chunks before getting to the actual interview. An interview with one of the table designers would be great but the PR guy did a good Job but as Blue said all I cared about was hearing about new tables and when and from his interview there was plenty to feel excited about for the future.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    252

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Womble View Post
    why don't you organise an interview?
    Because you haven't paid me yet.
    They took our pinball machines!
    Let's revolt, who's with me?
    Grab a pitchfork and come with Zen!

  26. #26
    KickBeaten Down
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    919

    Default

    Actually, I think it might be Purple Vomit that Mel was talking about. I'll have plenty of time to find out, as we're both taking a plane to Budapest today. Hopefully we don't have a very large passenger sitting between us.

  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    252

    Default

    He's Canadian. ancient of war is in Japan.

    Hope you have a pleasant trip.
    They took our pinball machines!
    Let's revolt, who's with me?
    Grab a pitchfork and come with Zen!

  28. #28

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by blue View Post
    It's very poorly produced. I thought I'd clicked on the wrong link at first--ditch the annoying intro music and use your real names. Introducing yourselves by your gamertags is awkward and irrelevant. Keep the discussion to pertinent topics that interest the audience; nobody cares about which achievements you're trying to earn.

    No offense to Mel, but it would have been better to interview an actual developer rather than a PR guy. The Pinball FX 2 discussion was superficial and uninformative. Ask harder questions, and try not to sound like you're reading them off a cue card.

    Also, please do your homework prior to the interview. For example, Mel claimed the tables are all "original ideas designed from the ground up." He even mentions The Addams Family a moment later. Any fan of this table will immediately recognize its design in Buccaneer (mirrored). All three of the core Pinball FX tables were mirrored clones: Speed Machine = White Water, Xtreme = Black Knight 2000, Agents = Star Trek: TNG. The same is true for Rocky & Bullwinkle (mirrored Sorcerer). It's dubious to suggest the FX 2 tables are original. Pasha shares several similarities with Funhouse, and Secrets of the Deep is very reminiscent of Grand Lizard. Both Rome and Wolverine borrow heavily from Medieval Madness.

    Finally, it would have taken less than three minutes to excerpt the interview with vdub. I realize you want more listeners, but all most of us care about is news on the upcoming tables. Mel already does a great job keeping the community informed.

    So instead of thanking him to conduct a interview, you bash him? Wow man.

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by The Albin0 Rhin0 View Post
    So instead of thanking him to conduct a interview, you bash him? Wow man.
    Nothing around here is ever good enough for blue...

  30. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    404

    Default

    A few random observations -

    Mel did good job of explaining that, yes, there is a save game exploit while keeping it vague enough so that everyone and his brother does not use it. It is not easy to do but, then again, it is not at all hard either. NO, I have not done it but, yes, just thinking about it for a bit I was able to figure out how it is done.

    Not to speak for Wingman but the guys at ThisXboxLife are doing this for the passion of gaming, not for money as Blue seems to suggest with his "payment" comment about the interview.

    Yes, they need to keep the save game feature. Any marathon game can lead you to "zoning out" or getting fatigued. There are plenty of times I know I should step away and quit because I can not stayed focused.

  31. #31
    Senior Member crackervizzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Northern California, USA
    Posts
    340

    Default

    Hey everyone. Looks like I really stirred the pot with my This Xbox Life Interview.

    Yes, after reviewing my emails, I have mistaken A Patch of Blue for Ancient of War, which I apologize for. You must understand that we try to talk with as many of our fans as possible, and I try to remember not only gamer tags, but the real names behind them and it can be a lot to remember (and no, I was not reading cue cards during the interview!!!). Bottom line, A Patch of Blue is an amazing player and I can confirm that he never spoke of using the save game feature at any time.

    Anyhow, I will be more active here in the forums and available to talk about our games whenever possible.

    Thanks!

    Mel

  32. #32

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by crackervizzo View Post
    Hey everyone. Looks like I really stirred the pot with my This Xbox Life Interview.

    Yes, after reviewing my emails, I have mistaken A Patch of Blue for Ancient of War, which I apologize for. You must understand that we try to talk with as many of our fans as possible, and I try to remember not only gamer tags, but the real names behind them and it can be a lot to remember (and no, I was not reading cue cards during the interview!!!). Bottom line, A Patch of Blue is an amazing player and I can confirm that he never spoke of using the save game feature at any time.

    Anyhow, I will be more active here in the forums and available to talk about our games whenever possible.

    Thanks!

    Mel
    We all make mistakes, especially when one gets bombarded with emails from thousands of people. That is pretty tight that you are going to be active on the forums. I appreciate for what you guys have done, and keeping the community intact.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Vincent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    France
    Posts
    562

    Default

    Hi Crackervizzo / Mel,

    Welcome to the forum, and thank you for coming and sharing info !

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •