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|Assunto: Top 8 Most Innovative Pinball Machines of All Time Sab 1 Maio 2010 - 8:32|| |
Já que ninguém escreve nada, ninguém mete nada para os outros verem... vou eu meter
Agora mais a sério.
No outro dia vi um artigo bem interessante sobre a história do pinball e decidi vir aqui partilhá-lo com vocês.
- Citação :
Top 8 Most Innovative Pinball Machines of All Time
At Popular Mechanics, we've got gaming geeks, energy experts, resident astronauts and roboticists and even an extreme surgeon. But no one's got our gadget guru beat on his pinball wizardry. From the invention of solid-state guts to holographic playing fields, from the advent of anticheating devices to online user mods, his all-time favorites reveal the evolution of history's most mechanical video-game console.
First With a Mechanical "Tilt"
Brokers Tip /// 1933 /// D. Gottlieb & Co.
Early pinball machines, which became immensely popular in a Depression-scourged America looking for cheap entertainment, were built without flippers. Instead of the now-standard paddles, users pulled a plunger to shoot balls onto the playing field, aiming for holes that were worth various point values. Of course, players would try to influence the outcome by shoving the machines themselves, and game operators were less than pleased with the potential for damage. This Wall Street-Âthemed game was the first to feature the now-standard "tilt" mechanism, which punishes players for physically abusing their low-tech gaming console.
The tilt is the brainchild of pinball pioneer Harry Williams, who founded the legendary Williams Manufacturing and designed the first electrical pinball machine. Various types of mechanical tilts have been used over the years, but the first was known as the Stool Pigeon. In it, a small ball stood on a pedestal above a metal ring. When a player pushed the machine too hard, the ball fell off the pedestal and hit the metal ring, activating an electrical circuit that would end the round.
Today, tilt mechanisms are standard in all machines, and mastering gently pushing a machine just hard enough to manipulate the ball without activating the tilt sensor has become an integral part of game play.
First With Flippers
Humpty Dumpty /// 1947 /// D. Gottlieb & Co.
Beginning in the early 1940s, a large anti-pinball movement gained steam across the country, resulting in its banning in a number of locations, including New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago (where most of the machines were manufactured). Much of the opposition to pinball stemmed from the belief that it was a game of chance, and thus a form of gambling. The introduction of the flipper in the late 1940s was important not just as a key component of what people today think of as pinball, but also because it brought a new level of control and skill to pinball. (Although it would be another three decades before most of the pinball bans were lifted).
Humpty Dumpty had six flippers--all facing outward, away from the center of the playing field. It wasn't until a 1950 game called Spot Bowler that the key hardware for game play took on its now common incarnation at the bottom of the playing field, facing inward.
First Licensed Movie Theme
Wizard /// 1975 /// Bally
Today, Illinois-based Stern Pinball is the only company in the world still making pinball machines, and every single one of its new games is based on a licensed theme (recent games include The Family Guy and NASCAR). But it wasn't until a movie about pinball was released that a game took its theme from a film.
Wizard was based on the 1975 movie version of The Who's Tommy rock opera (which was, of course, about that "deaf, dumb and blind kid" who sure played a mean pinball). The game, which featured depictions of Roger Daltry and Ann-Margret on its back glass, proved a hit, and another Tommy-based game came out the following year (Captain Fantastic, which featured Elton John in full pinball-wizard garb). Today's pinball designers use themes to give their games a narrative and structure, and to bring in a built-in customer base.
First Solid-State Pinball
Hot Tip /// 1977 /// Williams
Spirit of 76 /// 1975 /// Micro Games
Until the 1970s, no pinball machine had any sort of computerization. Instead, the electromechanical games ran on a precarious balance of moving parts, with their guts resembling giant Rube Goldberg machines.
But beginning in 1977, manufacturers began running their games off of computer chips, and the machines became far less prone to mechanical failure. (Engineers could also take advantage of the chips to put in more intelligent and complex features.) Oddly, when the first so-called solid-state pinball machines came out, Williams was worried that customers used to the familiar feel of churning gears and ringing bells would be scared away by the high-tech new machines. To protect against this, the company filled the games with spinning gears that did nothing except make familiar noise.
Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly identified Hot Tip as the first solid-state pinball machine. It was the first solid-state machine manufactured by Williams, but not the first in the industry.
First Dot-Matrix Display
Checkpoint /// 1991 /// Data East
In many ways, the early 90s were the last and greatest golden age of pinball. Even though video games were wildly popular by that point, pinball machines saw their best sales ever--and some of their best and most creative incarnations. This was the direct result of a single innovation: the dot-matrix display.
Before the dot-matrix display, pinball machines showed their scores on spinning reels and, later, simple digital displays. But the dot-matrix display was flexible enough to show more than mere numbers--they could display animations. As a result, programmers could add an unparalleled number of new features and new game modes (such as mini video games that took place entirely on the tiny screens), and even immerse the player in a narrative of sorts.
Checkpoint used a so-called "half-height" dot-matrix display, as opposed to the full-size one used in later machines. It was also the first game to allow a player to select the music they wanted to listen to during their game, with six different musical genres on the menu.
The Addams Family /// 1992 /// Bally
After the advent of dot-matrix display, pinball saw a rush of now classic games. But The Addams Family is perhaps the era's most iconic. It also sold more than 20,000 units, making it the best-selling pinball game of all time.
The game featured plenty of next-gen features, such as a moving mechanical hand (Thing) that picked up balls, an enormous number of scoring modes and new dialogue recorded by the film's stars specifically for the game. But the real reason for its success was that it had great game play. With well-placed ramps and shots leading into each other naturally, The Addams Family avoided some of the all-too-common pratfalls of the pinball machine. This game nailed the simple things, and virtually every game since has taken design cues from it.
The Twilight Zone /// 1993 /// Bally
Following the success of The Addams Family, designer Pat Lawlor was given carte blanche to make the game of his dreams. The result: The Twilight Zone, a messy, complex, frustrating and immensely enjoyable machine. Never before had a designer attempted to stuff so many toys and features into a single game. Some of Twilight's wilder features included a working gum-ball machine that would spit balls onto the playing field, a miniature upper play field with invisible magnetic flippers, and a working clock that would count down the time of different game modes. The game was so ambitious that it had to be built as a "wide-body" machine in order to fit all its features onto the playing field.
But because the machine was so mechanically complex and filled with so many moving parts, it was also extremely prone to mechanical problems. The clock, in particular, would frequently break down, and machines still in perfect working order are very rare and remain sought after by collectors.
Recently, The Twilight Zone has developed a reputation as the most-modded machine, with collectors using the Internet to buy and sell even more toys for the game's already crowded playing field. Common mods include filling the gum-ball machine with colorful plastic gum balls, hacking the game to play updated firmware that adds more game features, and even surgically installing magnets to the playing field to make game play more exciting.
Revenge From Mars /// 1999 /// Bally
Williams Electronics was perhaps history's most legendary pinball manufacturer. By the late 1990s, it had gobbled up the pinball operations of Bally and Midway to make itself one of only two pinball companies left on the planet (and by far the larger of the two, accounting for more than 80 percent of the market). But Williams's pinball operation was also just one small division of what was then a large, publicly traded corporation, WMS Gaming, that saw greater profits from slot-machine sales than from complex, low-volume pinball games. The company had made moves to shut down the pinball operation, but not before giving its engineers one last-ditch effort to redefine the game for a new millennium--and save their jobs.
The result: Pinball 2000, a high-tech pinball/video-game hybrid in which players would aim the ball at projected holographic targets (click here to see the game in action). Because much of the playing field was built from projected video, the games for Pinball 2000 were designed to be easily converted between themes as future games were released. But that never happened. Only two Pinball 2000 games were ever produced: Revenge From Mars and the not-quite-as-fun Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Although the new games sold moderately well, it wasn't enough for WMS, which closed the door on its entire pinball operation in 1999, leaving the much-smaller Stern Pinball as the world's sole manufacturer of pinball machines.
Espero que gostem de ler / saber estes pequenos detalhes / informações sobre "momentos" importantes da nossa paixão .
Mensagens : 454
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|Assunto: Re: Top 8 Most Innovative Pinball Machines of All Time Sab 1 Maio 2010 - 9:34|| |
@White - Muito bom post, obrigado.