Informal pinball feedback

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 in Games, UX

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I’m not quite there yet. It’s almost done, There’s still some bugs, my scoring doesn’t quite work, and you can see the box 2D components (the coloured boxes and lines that build the world) and the outside visuals of trees and leaves aren’t included so I can see exactly where the ball goes, but I’m looking for some informal feedback now. I have two questions for anyone out there willing to take a few minutes to answer them.

#1 When you see the score counter telling you that you have 3 balls, do you think you have 3 plus the one you’re playing with, or three total?

#2 Do you think the ball counter works better up top with the score, or would work better at the bottom with the elephant launcher?

#3 (If you’re feeling adventurous) Any bugs that you find when you play the game? Any suggestions for visual style or game play would be appreciated. If somebody can get the ball up the ramp, that would be good to know as well, because I can’t. But I’m not exactly the best gamer out there to be testing this.

Thanks y’all!


  1. Jack Nilssen
    March 7, 2010

    Okay, let me first say kudos for doing a Box 2D pinball game, you are insane. I can’t imagine how much you’ve learned in this process!

    Excellent “wow” moment with the massive color shift from grey to orange. Hoping that’s intentional, because it’s awesome.

    Love the plunger!

    #1. Traditional digital pinball HUDs use “Ball #” to indicate how many balls the player has played, as most pinball games award extra balls for score or other in-game achievements.

    #2. Again, the ball indicator is usually tied to the score, so they’re often found together. Many digital pinball games allow the user to move and remove the HUD altogether.

    #3. The core mechanics are working wonderfully, though there are some issues I’m sure you’re aware of:

    – a common strategy with pinball games is to hold a flipper in the “up” position to catch the ball for precise play. Occasionally when I was holding the flipper up and the ball contacted it, it would rebound off with more velocity than it had coming down. This was the case with both flippers.

    – I played long enough to get 200k, and still couldn’t launch the ramp. I’d get the ball up as far as the first spline and it would either jam off the ramp wall or just drop down. Not sure if it’s even possible to get up there?

    – the left flipper seems to behave differently from the right one. I feel like the right one is tuned fairly well, though it could offer more angles of play, but the left one doesn’t seem to flip naturally for me at all. Perhaps the code needs to be mirrored differently?

    – tilt, tilt, tilt! I’m not sure how feasible it is to implement tilt at this stage of production, but allowing the player to nudge the table would be great, as there were instance where my ball got stuck bouncing in the upper bumpers for more than 20 seconds.

    Hope this is all helpful, and again, massive props for this ambitious project! Can’t wait to see the next iteration.


  2. Jorge
    March 7, 2010

    Hello hello,


    1- If the counter says that I have 3 balls, I think that I have 3 plus the one Im playing with. (I have two, that’s normal, right?)

    2- I think it would work better with up there with the score.

    3- I couldn’t get the ball in the ramp either. Functionally, I think that’s because the circles and the sticks that affects the ball are too strong or maybe the ball is not that heavy (the ball is moving really fast). I would give some aesthetic to the ball like giving shadow an light to be more realistic or maybe something else like using the brush in PS, creat some fur. make it different. Also the white circles on the board are to boring, maybe a inner shadow?

    Hope that helps.

    ps: miss you guys, how’s everything back there?

  3. Liz
    March 12, 2010

    I like it! I suck at it, but I like it! I liked it when it turned to colour – not sure how that happened, but it was fun! But then my ball got stuck up at the top by the horn thing with stars in it – randomly stuck to the outside of the horn.

    I am a big fan of the sounds – love the elephant, however my cat was sure surprized to be woken up by an elephant noise…that was fairly amusing.


  4. Liz
    March 12, 2010

    ok, on second playing – why is it only sometimes in colour? And the second time I played it the splash noise didn’t happen once…


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