The Pinball Arcade Catch-All

I can't see any "percentage towards listing" progress on the Steam page anymore (whereas I was able to see "1%" earlier). Is it just me?

WolverineJon wrote:

I can't see any "percentage towards listing" progress on the Steam page anymore (whereas I was able to see "1%" earlier). Is it just me?

Nope, they removed the progress bars. I don't think they were updating correctly as apparently, a couple of games got approved well before they actually hit 100%. I think not showing progress makes sense anyway, I could see it causing bias in the system. I do hope they made it but I'm guessing they did given Pinball Arcade's apparent success on other platforms.

Interesting. Thanks for letting me know it's not just me!

I guess it makes sense to remove the bars -- no doubt there would be outcry if some game's bar hit the 100% mark but Valve still didn't want to put the game on Steam for some reason, or couldn't work out a deal with the game's owner that both parties were happy with.

Twilight Zone table is now available! Viva la Kickstarter!

Except the Kickstarter folks are all saying that they got screwed. I'm still waiting for my 360 version so I wouldn't know.

Still waiting for approval for the Steam version. The only other platform I have that will run the game is iPod Touch (iPhone), and the screen on that is just too small for the game to be enjoyable, for me at least.

Time for a small rant.

I really don't like the fact that tables are no longer sold seperately. I've been quite enjoying one of the newest tables, Firepower, and I'm willing to buy it (by itself) for the price that they've previously sold vintage tables (usually $2), but I can't. The table is only available as a $5 pack that includes another table (Dr. Dude) that I have no interest in playing. I appreciate how previous tables came with the option of buying two in a pack to save a dollar, and I bought a couple of those packs, but I do not like the fact that the last 4 tables that were released are not sold seperately. This is causing the devs to make less money, as I refuse to buy a two-pack when I'm only interested in one of the tables.

Your position seems reasonable to me, MeatMan. Have you let the Pinball Arcade guys know?

(I contacted them via email a while back asking how I purchase their tables on Windows, given that they show a Windows logo alongside the other supported system logos on their homepage. I did get a response back, albeit not a terribly immediately helpful one.)

They have a PC version planned but it's stuck in Valve's broken Greenlight system. For some reason, they're just letting it sit there rather than either selling it through their web site or going with the myriad other digital distributors there are. If they put it on GamersGate or GameStop Downloads, they'd probably build up enough interest to push it through Greenlight but they don't seem to be bothering. I've bought all the tables on PS3/Vita and most of them again on iOS and I've told them I'd buy the entire catalogue up to the point yet again on PC if they'd put it there. Given that it's on Mac, I don't know why they're insisting on waiting for Greenlight.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

Given that it's on Mac, I don't know why they're insisting on waiting for Greenlight.

They were planning on using Steamworks I believe. However, I think they said started working on a non-Steam beta for Kickstarter backers so they might have a workaround if Steam never happens.

HELL yeah! It's about bloody time. I'm totally buying that again on PC.

I am going to be all over this on PC. Will I be able to use my monitor in a vertical orientation in this game?

Its weird that this took so long. It's out on just about every single other platform. I'm definitely going to be buying a few PC tables when this comes out.

EvilDead wrote:

Its weird that this took so long. It's out on just about every single other platform. I'm definitely going to be buying a few PC tables when this comes out.

Steam's broken Greenlight system is the reason. It's been stuck there for months because Valve refused to just give them normal developer status and well, the Greenlight hive mind kind of sucks.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:
EvilDead wrote:

Its weird that this took so long. It's out on just about every single other platform. I'm definitely going to be buying a few PC tables when this comes out.

Steam's broken Greenlight system is the reason. It's been stuck there for months because Valve refused to just give them normal developer status and well, the Greenlight hive mind kind of sucks.

I read your article and Greenlight really seems like a mess. Something that came up to me while reading it was that Greenlight is something that only hardcore gamers would be involved in. Its a minority of people determining what the majority of people will have the option of buying. Judging by pinball games sales on other platforms I would assume that it has a massive casual appeal. Isn't Pinball FX 2 one of the best selling XBLA titles?

EvilDead wrote:

I read your article and Greenlight really seems like a mess. Something that came up to me while reading it was that Greenlight is something that only hardcore gamers would be involved in. Its a minority of people determining what the majority of people will have the option of buying.

Yeah, that's another major problem with the system: As you can guess with something like this there's a certain type of crowd who has the time to browse through the multitude of entries and rally support between them. As a result, anything that wouldn't be immediately appealing to a typical 20-year-old white straight male tends to languish in obscurity while a mediocre JRPG filled with awful sex talk with underage-looking anime girls gets approved in record time.

I can understand why Valve would want something like this if the non-stop flood of entries on Greenlight was anything like they were having to sort through themselves previously, but the current setup needs a lot of work.

They've finally gone back to the well for Terminator 2, looking for $59k. Odd that I only found out about this via Zeboyd Games' blog, instead of Far Sight blasting updates at the Twilight Zone and TNG backers.

I'm likely sitting this one out as well. I like what they do, but after having to Facebook message back and forth with them (because email didn't work) in order to get TNG or TZ credited to my account I think I'd rather wait and see how close they get before chipping money at them. Also, Rabbit had a fair point on the podcast this week: it's been over a year, where the hell is the PC client?

Yeah, I'm not contributing to any more of their Kickstarters. They so completely dropped the ball with getting tables out to backers of the last two. I still have PS3/Vita codes for both of them that don't activate and I never get a response when I e-mail them. After writing a very snarky e-mail for about the fourth time (after several non-snarky attempts before that), I was told to contact a Kickstarter specific address and went back to getting ignored again. I'll wait and buy the table when it goes up for sale. Their Kickstarters are not nearly well organised enough.

shoptroll wrote:

I'm likely sitting this one out as well. I like what they do, but after having to Facebook message back and forth with them (because email didn't work) in order to get TNG or TZ credited to my account I think I'd rather wait and see how close they get before chipping money at them. Also, Rabbit had a fair point on the podcast this week: it's been over a year, where the hell is the PC client?

It was stuck in the broken Greenlight system. It only recently got through it. Granted, nothing stopped them from putting the PC version out elsewhere but I suspect they wanted access to Steamworks. But yeah, I still think Greenlight as it is now is crap.

Well speak of the devil, look what they wrote in this month's newsletter:

Since our Steam Greenlight several months ago, we’ve been hard at work creating a Steam version of the Pinball Arcade. We’re happy to announce that the first Beta build of the Steam platform was released to internal test last week! We will be conducting a closed public Beta of the Steam version in July- if you are one of our Kickstarter backers entitled to Beta access on the PC platform, watch your email for information on how to get access! We are targeting an August release for the Pinball Arcade on Steam with all of the current table packs available.

So T2 made it, barely, thanks to the undying faith of the FarSight supporters. As of this post, there's about six hours left. Successful funding is a lock at this point because KS terms dictate that a pledge can't be changed less than 24 hours before the end of a campaign if doing so would cause the campaign not to be funded. This is just an FYI for anyone interested in any of the rewards.

Like others in this thread, I had decided that I wasn't going to contribute. I don't entirely blame FarSight for the problems with my platform of choice, the 360, but both the TZ and ST:TNG campaigns were horribly run, with problems getting tables to non-360 backers, confusion about and dissatisfaction with KS rewards, and, most damning, limited-to-no communication from FarSight about any of it.

This pattern appeared to be continuing with T2: There was almost no awareness of the T2 campaign outside limited efforts on Facebook, and there was no attempt to inform backers of the previous tables until a week after the T2 Kickstarter began. Once again, FarSight was dropping the ball off a cliff when it came to community engagement and communication. I'd contributed at the $50 level for TZ and ST:TNG, but enough was enough.

I changed my mind for three reasons:

1. The limited licensing window. Apparently, something is about to happen with the Terminator franchise, and once it does, the license will either be unavailable or prohibitively expensive, even with a Kickstarter. FarSight argued that it was now or never. I've never actually played T2, but I know its pedigree (Steve Richie), its place in history (first Williams DMD, first video mode in pinball), and its reputation (one of the best tables from the beginning of the '90s golden age). It seemed a shame that it might never see the light of day, and I know how I'd feel if one of my favorite tables was stuck in licensing limbo.

2. The PC version. Being a fan of the classic Pro Pinball series, PC was where I really connected with video pinball. I only switched to consoles because it was literally the only game in town. I'd given up on the 360 version due to the interminable Crave bankruptcy morass, with the last nail in the coffin being the lack of backwards compatibility on the Xbox One. I didn't see myself investing any more dough in a dying platform. But a (supposed) August release on Steam with all tables has rekindled my enthusiasm. Not only will there be greater longevity, but I can play video pinball the way God intended—with the Shift keys.

3. The Williams Hall of Fame. Somehow, FarSight still hasn't dried up my seemingly inexhaustible goodwill for the fantastic job they did on this disc-based collection. Their utter ineptness with community management is still outshined by their talent and passion for recreating classic pinball. And when it comes down to it, if FarSight doesn't do it, who will?

So I ponied up $18 for the Pro version of T2 and left it up to fate to decide. The amount of ire they've stirred up (as reflected by the comments on all three Kickstarter pages) made it anything but a sure bet. They were still about $12,000 down when I backed, so I figured if enough other people had enough faith in FarSight to keep this going, then they could have my money. I would overlook the past mistakes, I would overlook my ever-growing disappointment, and I would overlook the (unintentional?) veiled threat in some recent interviews that if T2 didn't get funded, we could kiss Addams Family goodbye.

I'm still here, FarSight. I'm still rooting for you. So let's make that August release date for Steam, okay?

I'm on the fence still about backing this at my usual $30 (2 licenses + special ball) or just waiting for release. I haven't really been playing much PA on my iPad lately, and I'm not 100% sure if the PC version would get me playing more. However, I think it's important these guys keep doing what they're doing. Just not sure I need to buy in now to make sure that happens.

shoptroll wrote:

Well speak of the devil, look what they wrote in this month's newsletter:

Since our Steam Greenlight several months ago, we’ve been hard at work creating a Steam version of the Pinball Arcade. We’re happy to announce that the first Beta build of the Steam platform was released to internal test last week! We will be conducting a closed public Beta of the Steam version in July- if you are one of our Kickstarter backers entitled to Beta access on the PC platform, watch your email for information on how to get access! We are targeting an August release for the Pinball Arcade on Steam with all of the current table packs available.

The part I bolded is what concerns me. I've resented the fact that, several months ago, Farsight stopped giving customers the option to buy new tables individually, forcing you to spend more to buy a "pack" of two tables. It's disappointing to read that it looks like the same thing is going to be present on the PC version.

I know there are diehard Farsight/TPA fans that will buy everything that's released, but they've lost sales from me because of that decision. Case in point: each of the two newest 2-packs has one table that I like (Whirlwind in the newest pack and Centaur in the previous pack), but because I don't have the option to buy just those tables, I chose not to buy either of those packs.

How does this story impact what you guys are discussing?

http://www.trueachievements.com/n139...

Does Crave's bankruptcy impact on FarSight, or are they just the publishers of FarSight's product on XBLA?

m0nk3yboy wrote:

Does Crave's bankruptcy impact on FarSight, or are they just the publishers of FarSight's product on XBLA?

They were FarSight's publisher on XBLA because you can't self-publish on XBLA. Shouldn't impact development on other platforms.

They mentioned a long time ago that a "revised" version of the game would be released for XBLA. This may be the steps necessary to get the new version out. Or it could be that FarSight and Microsoft agreed to put the 360 version out of its misery.

Either way, another sterling communications job by FarSight. Way to get out ahead of this story and stop exactly this kind of speculation, guys!

FarSight needs a Community Manager more than just about any games company in history aside from maybe 3000AD. I hadn't heard about the Terminator licensing window (likely because I never read that anywhere, surprise) but yeah, I still don't have working PS3/Vita codes for the last two Kickstarter tables and they still haven't given me an answer. I so admire what FarSight is trying to do but they don't know how to handle Kickstarters properly. They need a dedicated support person and a dedicated community person. Not giving them any more money up front until I see they're resolving this issue. I'll continue to support their tables when they hit full release but that's it.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

FarSight needs a Community Manager more than just about any games company in history aside from maybe 3000AD. I hadn't heard about the Terminator licensing window (likely because I never read that anywhere, surprise) but yeah, I still don't have working PS3/Vita codes for the last two Kickstarter tables and they still haven't given me an answer.

Have you tried contacting them via Facebook? My license for Twilight Zone or TNG wasn't properly applied to my account (presumably because I didn't bother creating a FarSight account until a month after the rewards were out) and after several unsuccessful attempts at contacting their support email I gave up on that and messaged their Facebook account which actually replied to me.

At least it looks like they finally cleaned up the PA website so it's not a completely garish looking thing.