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(pinballnews.com)   Pinball Wizard now getting super jackpots in heaven   (pinballnews.com) divider line
    More: Sad, Game, Pinball 2000, Pinball, game design, Williams Pinball Controller, Programmer, Games, Computer programming  
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1716 clicks; posted to Fandom » on 24 Jan 2022 at 3:50 PM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-01-24 1:48:39 PM  
I thought it would be Pete or Roger from The Who. Sad that this wizard passed.

/Cancer sucks.
 
2022-01-24 1:50:25 PM  

AirForceVet: I thought it would be Pete or Roger from The Who. Sad that this wizard passed.

/Cancer sucks.


I thought Elton John.
witlovekath.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-24 1:57:43 PM  

AirForceVet: Cancer sucks.


I don't think the cause of death has been released yet. But, yeah, cancer sucks. DEATH sucks.

I realize that most people associate the term "pinball wizard" with The Who or Elton John, but Lyman was the real deal. Not only was he a kick-ass competitive pinball player with one of the most unique playing stances I've ever seen (he would spread his legs wide and bend down to play the game from the view of the flippers), but he programmed games like he was the Picasso of pinball. So many legendary pins under his belt: Attack From Mars. Medieval Madness. Monster Bash. And he often updated code on games that went from "eh" to "awesome" once he worked his magic on them.

It's a big loss for pinball.
 
2022-01-24 1:58:07 PM  
Props to a man who worked on the inside to make the rules better and more fun for everyone.

/ Ironically this is what I wish I could say about politics. If elected officials worked hard on the inside to make the rules better and more fun for everyone we would live in a much better world.
 
2022-01-24 2:11:12 PM  
"Pinball Wizard tilts."
 
2022-01-24 2:14:33 PM  
Born in 1966, after playing pinball in college

That's quite a feat.

/thought it was Elton, also
 
2022-01-24 3:22:49 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size


RIP
 
2022-01-24 4:02:23 PM  

trakball: AirForceVet: Cancer sucks.

I don't think the cause of death has been released yet. But, yeah, cancer sucks. DEATH sucks.

I realize that most people associate the term "pinball wizard" with The Who or Elton John, but Lyman was the real deal. Not only was he a kick-ass competitive pinball player with one of the most unique playing stances I've ever seen (he would spread his legs wide and bend down to play the game from the view of the flippers), but he programmed games like he was the Picasso of pinball. So many legendary pins under his belt: Attack From Mars. Medieval Madness. Monster Bash. And he often updated code on games that went from "eh" to "awesome" once he worked his magic on them.

It's a big loss for pinball.


Gotta admit had no idea.  Now I do.  Be kinda like losing one of the major iconic video game designers

/at least the positive icons anyway
//I wouldn't mourn too hard if it was Kottick
///he unfortunately counts as an iconic designer in terms of "most harm done to game design overall done by management"
 
2022-01-24 4:17:57 PM  
Wow Data East, haven't heard that said in a while.
 
2022-01-24 4:57:48 PM  

Some Junkie Cosmonaut: Gotta admit had no idea.  Now I do.  Be kinda like losing one of the major iconic video game designers


Totally. Dude was like, the Shigeru Miyamoto of pinball design. The game ain't gonna be the same without him.

Marcos P: Wow Data East, haven't heard that said in a while.


Yeah! They have a wild history. From 1986 to 1994 they were Data East, then Sega Pinball from 1994 to 1999. In 1999 they merged with Stern. Stern pretty much had the pinball market all to themselves from 2000 - 2010.
 
2022-01-24 5:09:32 PM  

trakball: So many legendary pins under his belt: Attack From Mars. Medieval Madness.


After grabbing a Legends Pinball cab for Christmas, I've been strongly leaning towards adding the Arcade 1Up digital table that includes Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness (two of my favorite tables) to the collection.

I know digital pinball has it's issues, but since I'm never going to be able to afford an actual table, I figure this would be the next best option.
 
2022-01-24 5:34:15 PM  

SpectroBoy: AirForceVet: I thought it would be Pete or Roger from The Who. Sad that this wizard passed.

/Cancer sucks.

I thought Elton John.
[witlovekath.files.wordpress.com image 203x412]


That's the Champ.  Tommy is the wizard
 
2022-01-24 5:45:31 PM  

trakball: AirForceVet: Cancer sucks.

I don't think the cause of death has been released yet. But, yeah, cancer sucks. DEATH sucks.

I realize that most people associate the term "pinball wizard" with The Who or Elton John, but Lyman was the real deal. Not only was he a kick-ass competitive pinball player with one of the most unique playing stances I've ever seen (he would spread his legs wide and bend down to play the game from the view of the flippers), but he programmed games like he was the Picasso of pinball. So many legendary pins under his belt: Attack From Mars. Medieval Madness. Monster Bash. And he often updated code on games that went from "eh" to "awesome" once he worked his magic on them.

It's a big loss for pinball.


When I read he worked for Data East and Williams, I realized this guy programmed by childhood. I love video/arcade games but pinball machines are extra fun. I spent many a quarter while waiting for pizza.

Thanks Pinball Wizard.
 
2022-01-24 6:20:24 PM  
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Wizard!  You shall pass!

(Sir Ian Sir Ian Sir Ian...)
 
2022-01-24 7:22:57 PM  
The biggest compliment I can give him is that his later games were fun even on early code. Playing the new Godzilla on early code reminded me of playing Metallica on early code. Both games were/ are a lot of fun despite not having wizard modes and other things. That's how you can tell a pinball programmer is doing a good job. Early code is still fun.

Saw him at PAPA years ago and was tempted to say hi and introduce myself, but he was already well known back then and had lots of other people cornering him, so I left him alone.
 
2022-01-24 7:27:44 PM  

Gratch: After grabbing a Legends Pinball cab for Christmas, I've been strongly leaning towards adding the Arcade 1Up digital table that includes Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness (two of my favorite tables) to the collection.

I know digital pinball has it's issues, but since I'm never going to be able to afford an actual table, I figure this would be the next best option.


I'm in the market for something in a digital pinball.  What do you think of it?  Have you added to it?

My friend has a DIY one which, while really fancy, is far beyond my patience and skills to make.  It's got, like, everything, but I'm not gonna take on that level of project.
 
2022-01-24 7:35:21 PM  

Myk-House of El: I'm in the market for something in a digital pinball.  What do you think of it?  Have you added to it?


Personally, I have a Nintendo Switch. PinballFX has an option to turn the screen vertically for that "real" pinball feel (Pinball Arcade has that option as well, but Pinball Arcade sucks).
 
2022-01-24 8:00:07 PM  

trakball: Myk-House of El: I'm in the market for something in a digital pinball.  What do you think of it?  Have you added to it?

Personally, I have a Nintendo Switch. PinballFX has an option to turn the screen vertically for that "real" pinball feel ([Farsight] Pinball Arcade has that option as well, but Pinball Arcade sucks).


Do you say that because they no longer have the Williams and Bally licenses? Because that's not their fault. That was a really lousy thing to do to them. I still remember the FARK thread about that.

Wine Sipping Elitist: trakball: AirForceVet: Cancer sucks.

I don't think the cause of death has been released yet. But, yeah, cancer sucks. DEATH sucks.

I realize that most people associate the term "pinball wizard" with The Who or Elton John, but Lyman was the real deal. Not only was he a kick-ass competitive pinball player with one of the most unique playing stances I've ever seen (he would spread his legs wide and bend down to play the game from the view of the flippers), but he programmed games like he was the Picasso of pinball. So many legendary pins under his belt: Attack From Mars. Medieval Madness. Monster Bash. And he often updated code on games that went from "eh" to "awesome" once he worked his magic on them.

It's a big loss for pinball.

When I read he worked for Data East and Williams, I realized this guy programmed by childhood. I love video/arcade games but pinball machines are extra fun. I spent many a quarter while waiting for pizza.

Thanks Pinball Wizard.


Zen is the one who got the licenses after they were yanked from Farsight (who retains the licenses only for Gottlieb and non-current Stern tables [does anyone have the licenses for Data East tables?]). I have to admit that they did an excellent job, though their means of gaining credits for upgrading the app is convoluted (three different kinds of currency: Zen Coins [which can be used to buy the others], Arcade Tickets [for playing games in League Play mode and the advanced Challenges mode], and Table Parts [for upgrading tables to different levels, plus you need Arcade Tickets in addition to upgrade to Levels 2 and 3, and Zen Coins to upgrade to Level 4 ― it has to be at least Level 2 to even be able to play a table offline or in Arcade Mode instead of Challenges or League Play, and Level 4 to activate the Pro Physics which is their main advantage because that's supposedly a completely different physics algorithm, but you have to play the standard one for many hours before you can even try it out unless you want to plunk down cash for Zen Coins], then you play levels in Challenges to earn rewards, and League Play to advance through "seasons" and earn bigger rewards once every 3 weeks depending on what level you reached).

They apparently have a VR app that, combined with a table "front" cabinet and of course decent VR gear, can pretty convincingly simulate the real experience, depending on how good the cabinet is (good ones have bump and tilt sensors and even haptic feedback as well as flipper buttons and plungers and front panel buttons and the like).

Still, though, I wish Farsight had gotten to keep the licenses, and Zen stuck to their lane of making original simulated tables that play like late-generation real tables but don't duplicate existing ones, and which often use licensed properties such as Marvel movies, Star Wars, The Walking Dead, etc. Those look hella fun.
 
2022-01-24 8:19:16 PM  
COMALite:Do you say that because they no longer have the Williams and Bally licenses? Because that's not their fault. That was a really lousy thing to do to them. I still remember the FARK thread about that.

I don't love that they lost the licenses, but I get it's not their fault. No, I hate Pinball Arcade because the functionality SUCKS. No online leaderboards, no walkthroughs of the game, but the WORST PART IS: you can't play multiplayer games! There is no way to add a second or third or fourth player. Thats just lazy programming.
 
2022-01-24 9:54:55 PM  
He programmed the Tommy machine?
My god, I suspect so much money on that thing back in the day. Stationed in Texas, if go to the PX and could spend ages on it!
The man was a quality pinball creator.
 
2022-01-24 10:13:18 PM  
There has to be a twist.
 
2022-01-24 10:22:54 PM  
Here's a slightly different version..

Norman Gunston - Pinball Wizard (1976)
Youtube ICVTg8n5taM
 
2022-01-24 10:41:53 PM  
Medieval Maddness guy, nooo!
 
2022-01-24 10:52:56 PM  

Dumb-Ass-Monkey: He programmed the Tommy machine?
My god, I spent so much money on that thing back in the day. Stationed in Texas, I'd go to the PX and could spend ages on it!
The man was a quality pinball creator.


Man, I REALLY need to proofread before I post. Goddamn autocracy.
 
2022-01-25 8:57:42 AM  
If you're ever in Vegas and love the sliver ball, check out the http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ .

Tons of machines including some I used to play in high school.  No admission and some games are still a quarter.
 
2022-01-25 11:15:07 AM  

Brandi Morgan: If you're ever in Vegas and love the sliver ball, check out the http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ .

Tons of machines including some I used to play in high school.  No admission and some games are still a quarter.


I LOVE The Pinball Hall of Fame! Haven't been to their new location yet, though. Definitely planning on making a trip out there in the very near future!
 
2022-01-25 2:02:39 PM  

trakball: COMALite:Do you say that because they no longer have the Williams and Bally licenses? Because that's not their fault. That was a really lousy thing to do to them. I still remember the FARK thread about that.

I don't love that they lost the licenses, but I get it's not their fault. No, I hate Pinball Arcade because the functionality SUCKS. No online leaderboards, no walkthroughs of the game, but the WORST PART IS: you can't play multiplayer games! There is no way to add a second or third or fourth player. That[']s just lazy programming.


No, I'd say it's more a matter of lazy trakball not looking into the app's features. The following is for the Android app, and I tested it just now to make sure:

• "No online leaderboards" ― Tap the Gear icon in the upper right corner while a table is loaded and on-screen but a game hasn't been started, then tap "Leaderboards" (3ʳᵈ button down). You can use either a Facebook or Farsight login to access the leaderboards and be entered in them when you score high enough to qualify. You can also use Google Play Games to track and save your progress (that option is given when the app loads so you'd have to know about that one, assuming you're using Android!).

• "No walkthroughs of the game" ― Tap the Gear icon in the upper right corner while a table is loaded and on-screen but a game hasn't been started, then tap "Instructions" (top button). Choose any aspect of the game or Play All of the walkthroughs. Each goes step-by-step and positions the game board with arrow highlighting exactly what it's talking about at any time. The text instructions and walkthroughs are much more comprehensive than the ones on Zen's Williams Pinball app, by about an order of magnitude. I believe that many of them for the Williams games they no longer have were written by the now-sadly-late Lyman Sheats himself.

You can also access individual walkthroughs from the Standard and Wizard Goals, to see the specific instructions for achieving the specific goal. That plays just the one "chapter" in the main Instructions.

In the Pro version of tables you could also access Pro Tips specific to the table written by actual pro players, that again show a walkthrough on-screen with some pretty handy strategy tips not always obvious from the regular instructions. I remember that one for "Party Zone" said something like, "When you land in Request Zone when lit, wait for the menu to finish, then press the Left then the Right flipper button. Doing most anything else will play a song other than 'Pinball Wizard,' and while the score will still be the same, it'll cost you major coolness points."

• "But the WORST PART IS: you can't play multiplayer games! There is no way to add a second or third or fourth player. That[']s just lazy programming" ― Tap the Gear icon in the upper right corner while a table is loaded and on-screen but a game hasn't been started, then tap "Game Setup" (2nd button down). Select your number of players from 1−4, then press the yellow [Start] button from there, or exit that dialog and press the regular [Start] button (your choice).

I'll admit that Zen's physics and graphics are better, but the Farsight one is quite good and it does all the things you said it doesn't, and some (such as walkthroughs) even better than the Zen one, and not by a little bit either.
 
2022-01-25 3:07:13 PM  

COMALite J: No, I'd say it's more a matter of lazy trakball not looking into the app's features. The following is for the Android app, and I tested it just now to make sure:



Jeez man, no reason to be so hostile. I was referring to the Switch version. I did miss the walkthrough part, my bad. But there are no options to add additional player and no leaderboards.
 
2022-01-25 6:49:34 PM  

trakball: COMALite J: No, I'd say it's more a matter of lazy trakball not looking into the app's features. The following is for the Android app, and I tested it just now to make sure:

Jeez man, no reason to be so hostile. I was referring to the Switch version. I did miss the walkthrough part, my bad. But there are no options to add additional player and no leaderboards.

My apologies. I was in a bad mood over something else. Also, I've never even seen a Switch.

It's just that the Farsight people had put so much work into those Bally and Williams tables, and not just in recreating the tables themselves and the ROM contents, yet with changes to facilitate the various extra modes such as Standard and Wizard Goals (so it wasn't just a matter of loading existing ROM images like with VPinMAME), but also the walkthroughs, the Standard and Wizard Goals themselves, Pro Tips, etc. In Pro mode you could even get to the Operator mode (on a real machine you'd have to open the coin door for that), and change game settings such as number of balls, number of tilt warnings, game-specific features, etc. ― only for Bally/Williams to up and say, "Thanks for reviving interest in our past art, and by honestly licensing instead of piracy like with Visual Pinball + VPinMAME. We're gonna show our gratitude by yanking the licenses away from you and giving it to these Zen guys who up until now have only done their own creations, often with licensed properties."

While the Zen versions are better looking and with better physics, they still have only a handful of tables (none of the Elvira tables despite several Halloweens having come and gone since then, but Farsight had both of the ones that existed at the time), and other than the Arcade Mode (standard play) and the One-Ball Challenge, they eliminate a key aspect of the nature of the games: end-of-ball bonuses and bonus multipliers.

Take "Hurricane" for instance. This game based on Coney Island has as its ultimate Wizard mode something called "Clown Time." To achieve it you have to light up all of the lights on the clown's face near the front of the playfield: left eye by riding the Ferris Wheel, right eye by riding the Hurricane Ramp (rightmost ramp), nose by hitting the Dunk the Dummy in the middle (just to the right of the Comet Ramp ― hit it twice to increment bonus multiplier up to 6×), left cheek by hitting all three of the pink "duck" targets on the left side (which relights the Ferris Wheel and also lights the Lock on the Juggler lane in the middle, just to the left of the Comet Ramp), the right cheek by hitting all four of the "cat" targets on the right side (which also relights the Hurricane and Juggler), and the mouth by scoring a million-point shot on the Comet Ramp in the middle. When all are lit, an amber light at the Hurricane lights to start Clown Time.

Normally you'd want to do this. Yet the way it works is that for about 30 seconds all the minor targets score 50k, with major shots scoring 500k, then 750k, then 1 million each, as the Table Guide (Zen's pathetic substitute for Farsight's "Instructions":walkthroughs) says. Sounds pretty good, right? But what the Table Guide neglects to mention is that those scores aren't scores that you get right then ― instead they add to a special Clown Time Bonus which doesn't get added back to your score until the end of that ball (Clown Time bonus can't be multiplied, IIRC ― it appears after the multiplier has multiplied the other, much smaller bonuses, but since it can be several million points in a decently played Clown Time round).

See the problem? In either League Mode (three-minute fake "head-to-head" [you're actually playing against a previous player's score at the level you chose, not playing against someone else in real time like they try to make you think]) or all but the One-Ball Challenge (including the 5-Minute Challenge [which is otherwise like League Mode but with more time and a set score to reach rather than beating some other player]) or Survival Challenge (where you have to advance a scoring level within a minute), you don't get an end-of-ball bonus. When you reach the target score on those two Challenges (the final one for Survival Mode), the game simply ends with "Objective Reached" and you can collect your rewards. If the time runs out on either of those modes before you reach the score, or after three minutes in League Mode no matter what, the game simply ends and you lose. No rewards, and in many cases it cost you Arcade Tickets and, in League Mode, sets you back a bit in the level by which your eventual reward is scored.

That makes Clown Time, the main Wizard mode of the table, actually worse than useless (except in Arcade or One-Ball Challenge)! .You have to try not to activate it, because if you do, you'll be trapped for 30 seconds (out of your three- or five-minute limit, or the one-minute limit to achieve the next level in Survival Challenge) in a mode that, no matter what you do, won't add much to your score. All your big scores get added to the Bonus instead, only you won't be able to collect the Bonus! This is especially frustrating in Survival Challenge because if it activates more than ½way through a scoring level, it will time you out and it will cost you the game and the Arcade Tickets you spent on it if you're playing the two highest level challenges, because you won't be able to accumulate enough points to advance to the next level.

Also, in almost all tables, it basically makes Bonus Multipliers useless for those modes (in Hurricane you can also collect a Bonus Multiplier as a random reward from the Juggler, but in these modes it might as well be another "Absolutely Nothing." thus doubling your chances of getting Absolutely Nothing at a time when you might need a big score to survive ― worse, you might get "Clown Time" of Death from there without needing to light up the clown, which would activate immediately without you shooting the Hurricane Ramp!). The one exception is "Tales of the Arabian Nights" which does have a "Collect Bonus" as a possible reward for a Wish from the female Genie in the Lamp. That can come in really handy because you can rack up really big bonuses on that table since there appears to be no limit to how high you can increment the Bonus Multiplier, and it's easy and usually safe to do so: just hit the two captive balls alternately. But you can only collect them by wasting another big scoring opportunity: Lightning Lamp and activating "3× Lightning" from the Wish. To get at "Collect Bonus" you must not go into the Wish hole while the Lightning Lamp is active. You must let it expire, yet the Lightning Lamp, especially with 3× activated, is the easiest way to get big points quickly. This wouldn't be an issue of you had the regular End-of-Ball Bonus to look forward to.

What they should do is change the League Mode and the 5-Minute and Survival Challenges to, when you either achieve your objective or the time runs out, the game does not simply stop. Instead it acts as if you Tilted: the flippers no longer work, bumpers only work as needed to get the ball to drain, etc., but unlike Tilt, it does score the End-of-Ball Bonus. That may be enough to push you over the Objective in the two Challenges modes, or enable you to defeat the opponent in League mode. But more importantly, it'd restore the intent of the designers of these classic tables. Bonuses are a big part of the game, and making them not happen is a big deal to the strategies of most of their tables.
 
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