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Thread: Community Designed Table

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Community Designed Table

    While we are waiting for news about the next table(s) release (which hopefully will be non Marvel ) I thought that I would pitch an idea that has been discussed a year or so ago in a new table idea thread but kinda got lost between all the ideas.

    I would so love it if Zen offers us the opportunity in some ways or means to be involved with the design of a table. From my side I would be interested in just pitching ideas to Zen or to even teaming up with a group of guys/gals to work on the table layout and rule sheet/scoring strategy. I'm am sure that there are people around here that have the interest/background to look at the theme (no licensed themes - all original), sounds, music, 2D graphics and 3D modelling and what ever else is required.

    Zen can even guide the process by e.g. inviting input over a couple of weeks:

    Week 1 and 2 - theme, Short list themes and final selection.
    Week 3 and 4 - layout and table dynamics (3D models and animations)
    Week 5 and 6 - rule sheet and scoring strategy
    Week 7 and 8 - sounds and music
    etc.

    So that after 2 months or so the community will have given Zen a clear idea of what kind of table they want and then Zen can put the pitched ideas through their magic table making machine . The community should off course also be involved in problem solving and Q&A and it would be really awesome if Zen could do a weekly blog documenting the process.
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  2. #2
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    Default Suggestions

    Before we work too much on this we should get some confirmation from a Zen representative. Here are some of the great pinball themes that I remember people mentioning in the past:

    - Soul Train
    - Steampunk
    - Sports (Soccer, Baseball, Tennis, Etc.)
    - Carnival
    - Morbid/Horror
    - Wild West
    - Casino
    - Japanese Dojo
    - Human Body
    - Gold Rush
    - Rollercoasters
    - HP Lovecraft (Cthulu)
    - Hells Depths
    - Vikings
    - Zombies

    Also, don't forget we should steer away from tables that would require licensing or cause copyright issues. Unless we want to pursue certain table ideas that require some kind of licensing agreement.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloda View Post
    While we are waiting for news about the next table(s) release (which hopefully will be non Marvel ) I thought that I would pitch an idea that has been discussed a year or so ago in a new table idea thread but kinda got lost between all the ideas.

    I would so love it if Zen offers us the opportunity in some ways or means to be involved with the design of a table. From my side I would be interested in just pitching ideas to Zen or to even teaming up with a group of guys/gals to work on the table layout and rule sheet/scoring strategy. I'm am sure that there are people around here that have the interest/background to look at the theme (no licensed themes - all original), sounds, music, 2D graphics and 3D modelling and what ever else is required.

    Zen can even guide the process by e.g. inviting input over a couple of weeks:

    Week 1 and 2 - theme, Short list themes and final selection.
    Week 3 and 4 - layout and table dynamics (3D models and animations)
    Week 5 and 6 - rule sheet and scoring strategy
    Week 7 and 8 - sounds and music
    etc.

    So that after 2 months or so the community will have given Zen a clear idea of what kind of table they want and then Zen can put the pitched ideas through their magic table making machine . The community should off course also be involved in problem solving and Q&A and it would be really awesome if Zen could do a weekly blog documenting the process.
    I love this idea. However, it would be nearly impossible to get everyone to agree on everything, so we'd have to put everything up to vote, which would be timely. This would be a huge project that I would love to be able to help out with, but with my current workload and the release schedule we have, I just really don't see this happening. That being said, we do take the community's ideas into consideration when designing tables. Any theme/feature suggestion you guys post gets sent to the team, and they do know what you want. Making everyone's wish come true would be impossible, but I know the team does their best to make interesting tables that you'll all enjoy.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbieBobomb View Post
    I love this idea. However, it would be nearly impossible to get everyone to agree on everything, so we'd have to put everything up to vote, which would be timely. This would be a huge project that I would love to be able to help out with, but with my current workload and the release schedule we have, I just really don't see this happening. That being said, we do take the community's ideas into consideration when designing tables. Any theme/feature suggestion you guys post gets sent to the team, and they do know what you want. Making everyone's wish come true would be impossible, but I know the team does their best to make interesting tables that you'll all enjoy.
    Thank you for the feedback. I know that the idea is a bit of wishful thinking but I also believe that it will be able to create a lot of interest in Zen. Maybe something along the lines proposed can be used as part of the build up for Pinball FX 3. I for one would love the idea of knowing that I had some part in designing a table that is played by thousands.

    You are right, the only way that it can be done is through an iterative process and most practically through a serious of polls. Not to purposely disagree with you, but I feel that one poll a week (or two) will not be too taxing. The first poll for instance can be very broad by just looking at the theme e.g. 10 themes that Zen wouldn't mind exploring can be put up for the poll. Second poll can be on the general table layout e.g. only 2 flippers, 3 flippers with one cross flipper, 4 flippers etc. This can continue for all the various aspects of the table, but with Zen basically directing activity at all time.

    Anyway... I respectfully accept how you best see fit to handle this and I gladly acknowledge that Zen do pay attention to the suggestions made on the forum (as can be clearly see in how table design etc. is evolving).
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cloda View Post
    Thank you for the feedback. I know that the idea is a bit of wishful thinking but I also believe that it will be able to create a lot of interest in Zen. Maybe something along the lines proposed can be used as part of the build up for Pinball FX 3. I for one would love the idea of knowing that I had some part in designing a table that is played by thousands.

    You are right, the only way that it can be done is through an iterative process and most practically through a serious of polls. Not to purposely disagree with you, but I feel that one poll a week (or two) will not be too taxing. The first poll for instance can be very broad by just looking at the theme e.g. 10 themes that Zen wouldn't mind exploring can be put up for the poll. Second poll can be on the general table layout e.g. only 2 flippers, 3 flippers with one cross flipper, 4 flippers etc. This can continue for all the various aspects of the table, but with Zen basically directing activity at all time.

    Anyway... I respectfully accept how you best see fit to handle this and I gladly acknowledge that Zen do pay attention to the suggestions made on the forum (as can be clearly see in how table design etc. is evolving).
    I really like your ideas, and I really appreciate you understanding. Who knows, maybe someday we'll have the time/staffing to do something along these lines

  6. #6
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    sounds like a good idea, but I'm afraid it's going to turn into something like this:
    the-homer.jpg



  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkKodiaK View Post
    sounds like a good idea, but I'm afraid it's going to turn into something like this:
    the-homer.jpg


    This just made my day! I am a huge Simpsons fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkKodiaK View Post
    sounds like a good idea, but I'm afraid it's going to turn into something like this:
    the-homer.jpg


    Afraid? If that thing was a pinball table I'd play the heck out of it

    Even if it fell to simple votes over an extended period as Cloda described, and turned into some sort of penny-farthing idea (ie. a cool idea that goes overboard until you have a bicycle no-one can ride), I would still be in love with it enough to buy it (obviously) and force everyone on my friends list to do the same (which I essentially do now also)

  9. #9

    Thumbs up

    Those are some good ideas, Mindsparks.

  10. #10
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    During my recent absence I've been beating some brick walls together in my mind - one of which, is what I think you're looking for here, Clo. The missing link between this outstanding community and the game designers has troubled me, as well. Both sides have fair motivations - we already get much more interaction with the staff then almost any game with such a large fan base, ever has - yet, this hasn't been a possibility for most game types until pinball, and currently doesn't feel utilized in the revolutionary way that it could, and arguably should be.

    Zen's hesitancy is by no means, unfounded. Do you have any idea what 343 would deal with if they allowed halo fans to design even a weapon for them? The key distinction, not taken into account, however, is the maturity of your fan base. If you want to reach new plateaus, it requires the occasional leap of faith.

    That said, there is no feasible way they could process all the subsequent input while maintaining the production quality that has become synonymous with zens reputation. Such a tall request would likely end costly for both sides.
    Which is where I began my quandary.

    How can we minimize that gap without risk of tipping the delicate balance we're all accustomed to - zen included?

    There are a number of pandering options that would make most of us feel better, but affect little change in application. I can't stress enough how inevitably vain, such distractions would end up being.

    So it would seem, that to improve the lines of further communication between the two parties, a mediator or filter must be implemented. Although shyrwookntothechin and ms.splodobomb have gone above and beyond in their attempts, I no longer believe the onus falls on zen's shoulders. The community needs to call itself to order - which it really isn't out of as is.

    What I purpose, then, is an organized collective of the dedicated fans - working together with selected intermediaries on both sides. A pinball underground - a wizards conclave, if you will.

    I'm sure most of us, including the numerous trollers, could easily list off the prevalent players that made the community what it is. This would merely mean recognizing them and allowing them to speak for the rest of us pinheads, when the time came.

    Clearly, creating something like this would require a certain degree of patience and support from both sides, but that goes back to that maturity I previously mentioned. I still can't find reason to believe it couldn't work, but I also can't find many other mutually compromising options - and as you can see, it's not from a lack of trying.

    I'd love to hear thoughts from both sides. There are many aspects I haven't been able to resolve, such as multi-platform interaction and unforseen designer specific limitations (I'm lookin at you, deep). It would also go a long way, if we could hear the perspective of the more shy trolls, as well as any dissenting critics there may be.

    Communication is exactly what we're trying to develop here - it's gunna take some to make some.
    So... whatta y'all think? Am I totally coming from left field here, or what? Sometimes I lose myself in wonderland logic.

    Gratefully,
    ~Chesh
    If life's really just a game, it was designed to be played co-op.

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    Default I'm Trippin'

    Wow, that's a lot of words.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Cloda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CheshireGrin1221 View Post
    Communication is exactly what we're trying to develop here - it's gunna take some to make some.
    So... whatta y'all think? Am I totally coming from left field here, or what? Sometimes I lose myself in wonderland logic.

    Gratefully,
    ~Chesh
    Quite a bit to consider, but I for one would be very keen to get involved in designing a table which ever way it comes about. I'm not the artistic type so as far as expressing the theme and the graphic design of things go, I will not be of much help. My interest is more in the table layout, the play mechanics, the rule sheet and for me the most interesting, the scoring balance.

    Even working with just a select group of people, this will end up being quite an onerous task so time limits and deadlines will be necessary. Working groups for the various aspects will need to be set up and a champion will need to be assigned for each working group. One person from Zen (a table designer) will also need to be assigned to oversee the process to keep it within the bounds of their practical table design limitations.

    My overall feeling though is still that the appropriate time for this would be in time for the Pinball FX 3 release as Zen will be able to use it as a marketing tool by pushing community involvement in a game to a new level. But alas... I have no idea what all is required to bring a table to fruition so not for one moment will I assume that it is at all straight forward. As Chesh have said, it is just sometimes nice to dream some and lose yourself in wonderland logic
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  13. #13
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    I didn't even hardly read this thread because of tired and beer filled eyes but what it sounds like someone is suggesting is that the only way a Community Designed Table would work would be if an "Illuminati" of sorts were at the core. I'm sure their decision to launch all the mediocre but wild idealized players off to a peaceful pinball planet where they could frolic amongst there limited billion scores would eventually backfire and they would return, WARBOUND and vengeful ready to smash all the puny humans who though they where smart enough to create a table without chaos.

    I lost track of thought so there it ends...
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  14. #14
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    Default Don't Trip...

    It was a lotta words, but that just corresponds to the perplexity of the endeavor.

    Short n sweet: there ain't no way zen could do more than humor all of us, without it getting too complicated to be worth it.
    The community has to find a way of filtering itself n deciding what ideas are truly worth proposing, however that could be done.

    I also don't like any sort of skill centered "illuminati" as it likely will result in controversy. It would have to be an interest/involvement level that determined who the representatives were.

    Ya know, for the pinheads, by the pinheads - one table under chaos, with intricacy and nudges for all.
    If life's really just a game, it was designed to be played co-op.

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