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Star Trek: The Next Generation Warps to The Pinball Arcade Today

Bobby King's Avatar + Posted by Bobby King on Mar 19, 2013 // Lead Designer, FarSight Studios

Hey everyone, Bobby King from FarSight Studios here. We just got back from Dallas and the Texas Pinball Festival. It’s a tremendously fun weekend that includes playing hundreds of classic and rare pinball machines to the latest tables from Stern Pinball, like The Avengers; and Jersey Jack’s first table, Wizard of Oz (which looks and plays great and features the first LCD backbox display in pinball history).

Next weekend, we’ll have a booth in Milwaukee at the Midwest Gaming Classic, so if you live in the area, stop by and check out the show. There will be everything from classic video game consoles and coin-op to tons of pinball.

The Pinball Arcade - Star Trek TNG

The Pinball Arcade - Steve Ritchie

In Dallas, we were lucky enough to get to spend some time with legendary pinball designer, Steve Ritchie. The “King of Flow” even took some time to check out our latest PS3 feature, stereoscopic 3D before heading back to Stern where we know he’s working on his next pinball design destined to be a classic.

This week we’ll be releasing one of his designs, Star Trek: The Next Generation. It’s an amazing table and on pretty much everyone’s top 10 all-time list.

Based on the hit television series, STTNG puts players in the role of an honorary Starfleet Officer serving next to their favorite characters from the show. Features include eight different U.S.S Enterprise missions, many Multi-Ball Modes, Holodeck Video Modes and opportunities to advance in rank. One unique feature is a patented, below the playfield multiple ball delivery system, which results in continuous gameplay when balls on the playfield fall into a cellar hole. With its amazing feature set, custom speech by eight original cast members and the show’s theme song and music, this table appeals to all players but is a Star Trek fan’s dream come true.

The Pinball Arcade - Star Trek TNGThe Pinball Arcade - Star Trek TNG

While we were in Texas, we recorded an interview (to be released next year) where Steve shared some stories with us designing/developing Star Trek: TNG in addition to his favorite features of the the table. For example, when they had their first meeting with the Star Trek licensing executives, they were first told that photon torpedoes could not be in the design. With the help of Roger Sharpe’s diplomatic rhetoric and Steve’s insistence that he was not about to design a “mamby pamby” game – they were able to come up with compromises that led to a deep and compelling rule set. During gameplay, the player gets to choose missions that change up the objectives on the table. All of these missions are fun and make every game different. Steve and I share the same favorite mission, Battle Simulation. In this mode, the two probes are loaded with pinballs and given targets to fire at and hit. The satisfaction of getting on a roll hitting the targets is a blast. Once the player gets through all of the missions, they can earn Final Frontier multi-ball — one of the most intense and spectacular pinball experiences ever created.

For those who don’t know, we owe a huge amount of thanks to the generosity and dedication of our backers on Kickstarter. Without them, the Star Trek: The Next Generation pinball project would not have gotten funded. We continue to be amazed and humbled by the tremendous outpouring of support that our game has received from all of our fans. On behalf of the entire team here at FarSight Studios, we are very proud and excited to be releasing Williams’ Star Trek: The Next Generation table into The Pinball Arcade! Backers can expect vouchers for both the Pro Version of the table and the custom balls over the next couple days.

//Add Your Own

33 Comments

1

+ ExpressImpress on March 19th, 2013 at 12:21 pm said:

MAKE IT SO!


2

+ EiigyPocrOff on March 19th, 2013 at 12:22 pm said:

I can’t wait to play this later today, thanks Farsight! By the way this is probably my favorite game on the Vita.


3

+ CrusaderForever on March 19th, 2013 at 12:30 pm said:

Thank you, I bought the Zen2 Star Wars tables today and I will be buy Pinball Arcade STTNG table tonight! I love Pinball on my Vita!!!


4

+ AizawaYuuichi on March 19th, 2013 at 12:37 pm said:

Any chance the 3D update will be released today as well? Or is that next week or some other undisclosed time? Really looking forward to that. And looking forward to more tables as well, so either way, I’m happy. Thanks for continuing to support the game! :)


5

+ CobNat on March 19th, 2013 at 12:38 pm said:

Thanks for making this happen! I remember playing STTNG with my friends at the local convenience store, over and over and over. The nostalgia factor is high, and as such will be my first table for Pinball Arcade.


6

+ lisatsunami on March 19th, 2013 at 12:44 pm said:

Looks fantastic. I would love for you to make a wallpaper of this table so I can see it as soon as I boot up. Vita needs more wallpapers, like my Persona 4 ones.


7

+ FreelanceSam on March 19th, 2013 at 12:48 pm said:

lisatsunami, you can make your own Vita wallpaper!! When you’re in the game, press the PS button and the Start button at the same time. Viola!! Instant Vita wallpaper!!

My virtual wallet is waiting for ST: TNG!!!


8

+ djshadow28 on March 19th, 2013 at 12:52 pm said:

Hello Bobby,

Pinball Arcade is also one of my favourite game on my PS3 and PSVita.
I also own it on my ipad and my android phone.
My only little complain is that the PSVita version is not the most wonderfull of them all.
On my Samsung Galaxy III it’s looks nicer then my powerfull PSVita. I hope there will be a beter update in the future.
But that’s a small complain so i hope you are not angry. It’s positief feedback!

I can’t wait to play Pinball Arcade in 3D on my PS3. I must wait another week for this release.
Keep up the good stuff and i hope we get more and more great pinball tables for you!

Greeting,

Jeroen


9

+ Matthew60two on March 19th, 2013 at 1:01 pm said:

and now we must wait F-O-R-E-V-E-R for sony to update the darn psn store!


10

+ BonesShaggy on March 19th, 2013 at 1:07 pm said:

Hi there Bobby!
Huge fan here..
Since little I’m a huge fan of pinball machines and i gotta say that TPA is by far the most realistic one i ever played on consoles.
I own every release so far on every platform except for android.
As a pinball fan, i gotta say….Nice work! But as a client i have a some complains.
Maybe you can help me out….
The ps3 version is amazing….the light effects and physics are simply perfect….BUT what happened to the VITA version? the first releases were really good but now i cant even read the table anymore…
The amazing graphics from the first tables didn’t followed the next DLC’s and it just became like a huge blurry picture.
Since i work a lot and most of the time I’m traveling to outside my city and country, the chance i have to play is on my VITA and I’m getting a little unmotivated to keep playing on it….
Why the sudden lack of effort on the VITA version? my iPhone and my iPad have better versions even tho my VITA is much more powerful….
Please….put some effort on the VITA version too! it can take up the HD graphics without a doubt!

Looking forward for the table release today so i can play it =)
Hope the graphics are better this time!


11

+ FreelanceSam on March 19th, 2013 at 1:12 pm said:

I honestly don’t think it looks -that- bad on the Vita. It could be better, yes, but as long as I can see stuff and send my shots there, I don’t really mind. It’s the gameplay that matters, not the graphics. I -could- play pinball on my PS3 with the shiny lightning and graphics, but a handheld is loads more convenient for me. It’s the perfect timewaster, especially on trips when I’m on a plane or a train!


12

+ CaptainRadical on March 19th, 2013 at 1:12 pm said:

I think you mean to say “When the PSN updates sometime later tonight/early tomorrow morning.”


13

+ BonesShaggy on March 19th, 2013 at 1:21 pm said:

@11 i know….i still play it because of the gameplay..
but if you compare the initial tables and the last ones….you gotta admit that it looks like they used a small jpeg and a background for the table (you can check the scared stiff for example)…the first ones are really clear…and come one….read the background is part of the gameplay…. =/
at least for me..


14

+ shb23 on March 19th, 2013 at 1:25 pm said:

Engage, number One!

Thank you for this, I love TNG, and it’s a shame they never got the great game they deserved in their day.


15

+ bmrskate on March 19th, 2013 at 1:28 pm said:

Zapp Brannigan says, “Set phasers… to LO-O-OVE!”


16

+ Ecks on March 19th, 2013 at 1:35 pm said:

I’ve stopped buying any new Pinball Arcade tables until problems with the old ones are fixed. Why should I keep giving them more money when they aren’t fixing problems that have been around for months? Quit pumping out so much DLC and fix what we’ve paid for.

One problem is the ugly Black Knight background image. Hugely pixellated, how did that even get through the art department in the first place?

I’m also not fond of the pricing structure for the TNG and Twilight Zone tables ($5 is $2.50 too much), as well as charging us for “pro” upgrades. I do realize the TNG and Twilight Zone licenses were very costly, but isn’t that what the kickstarter was for? Why are the tables double the cost?


17

+ PrimeroIncognito on March 19th, 2013 at 1:35 pm said:

I’m ready.


18

+ TenaciousQC on March 19th, 2013 at 1:35 pm said:

nice pinball arcade guys :)
But PLEASE make this on http://www.sternpinball.com/simpsons.shtml

The simpsons pinball arcade :)


19

+ PrimeroIncognito on March 19th, 2013 at 1:46 pm said:

@ Ecks

The pixelated image of Black Knight on the table select menu is bothering you? Really?

By the way, they have fixed lots of old glitches. They don’t just sit around counting their cash like a lot of haters on their facebook page suggest. The most recent physics update (the best and most realistic yet!) is proof of their undying dedication to fine-tuning their game’s experience for the players, and other little things were fixed that most people overlooked, such as the collision detection in the right inlane on Medieval Madness. Remember how the ball would just fly through there, frequently resulting in a drained ball? Not anymore. And that’s just one example. There are too many other improvements to list here.

And no one is forcing you to buy anything. I not planning on buying any of the “Pro” versions of any of these tables. The extra features in Pro mode really don’t add anything necessary to the game, but it’s great for people who really enjoy those kinds of things. So, what’s the problem?


20

+ Ecks on March 19th, 2013 at 1:55 pm said:

PrimeroIncognito:

Yeah, it was bothering me. Until I upgraded to the latest version of The Pinball Arcade that’s out now. They changed the interface, and now it’s ugly. The table names are all pixellated too.

It’s not about being forced to buy tables. I want to buy more tables. I just am annoyed that they keep putting out new tables and not fixing things that need to be fixed. It’s like “well, we got your money already, so we don’t need to fix that!”. Yes, I agree, they have fixed many things though. It just seems the whole thing needs another layer of polish.

My post was just an accumulation of annoyances all finally having gotten to me and got me posting.


21

+ SpooNManX on March 19th, 2013 at 1:56 pm said:

I love the game, but the menu is worse off now.
Please keep in mind that some of us display our PS3 on large screens and the menu looks as if it was ported from the portable version of TPA.

Also, If you could please allow us to play our own music from the XMB it would be greatly appreciated!
As much as I love the older games without BG music (IE: Central Park, Big Shot, Black Hole), they are hard to listen to for any length of time without having some music playing.

PS: Any word on if we will be able to import all of our PS3 DLC to the PS4 version?
The release of the PS4 is coming up quick.


22

+ PrimeroIncognito on March 19th, 2013 at 2:21 pm said:

@ Ecks

I understand. I know how little annoyances can pile up and become one big problem. It’s a feeling I’m very familiar with. But like I said, a lot of things have been fixed, and obviously, that’s a sign that they care, and they will be working on fixing the other little glitches eventually. We have to be patient. Nothing in life is perfect, but The Pinball Arcade sure is close, right? :)

Keep in mind, FarSight is a small team, and they’re trying to manage multiple versions of The Pinball Arcade all at the same time. It’s a lot of work to deal with all of those different distributors, while also acquiring table licenses, fixing glitches in existing tables, promotion, etc. I’m honestly impressed by what they’ve been able to accomplish thus far. And being a pinball lover, I’m very appreciative of their work too.


23

+ PrimeroIncognito on March 19th, 2013 at 2:34 pm said:

I haven’t played TPA in about a week, so I just booted up the game to see this new menu you guys are talking about. I see what you mean by it looking “pixelated”, but honestly, it isn’t that bad, and it’s probably another one of things that will be improved in the future. And I actually like the scrolling method they’ve implemented, with the tables arranged in alphabetical order. Anyway, it’s just a menu.

Most importantly though, the meat and bones of the product, the tables, are still beautiful. They haven’t changed. They still look and play great, and that’s the most important thing. Can’t wait to play Star Trek later today, and I’m really looking forward to Genie in next week’s pack with Attack From Mars. I remember playing AFM when I was younger, but I guess it didn’t really leave an impression on me. I’m still excited to play a virtual version of it though. But, Genie… I absolutely LOVE that table. A brilliant classic. Simple, yet elegant.


24

+ BigStack007 on March 19th, 2013 at 3:03 pm said:

Nice..Thanks FarSight Studios


25

+ LouVelvet on March 19th, 2013 at 3:03 pm said:

Ahh i finally have personal affirmation that i wasn’t fascinated with this pinball machine when it came out JUST because it was ST:TNG and i was a complete nerd — turns out the game was just absolute tits all around! Can’t wait to revisit it after all these years, thanks FarSight!


26

+ FreelanceSam on March 19th, 2013 at 3:14 pm said:

Someone said ST is already up on PSN so check it out. I don’t see it on the Vita though so I’ll have to wait.


27

+ FreelanceSam on March 19th, 2013 at 3:27 pm said:

OK it’s up for Vita too. Yay!!!


28

+ Velloid on March 19th, 2013 at 7:19 pm said:

I am surprised that nobody else is complaining about the slight lag from when you press the flipper button to the flipper actually flipping. To me, even though it only a fraction of a second of lag it it still very noticable and really makes me enjoy Pinball Arcade less than other pinball games like Zen Pinball which has instantaneous flipper action. I really want to like Pinball Arcade but until you fix this lag issue and add another smart camera cam that follows the ball around the top of the table better I sadly have to say Pinball Arcade while decent, is not the best pinball game on the PS3.


29

+ egeorgiou123 on March 19th, 2013 at 9:02 pm said:

i want to thank you for bringing these great tables to life. i use to spend a liittle fortune when i wagged school during the early 1970s.your prices are good and you the tables are ours forever. again i thankyou, i feel like a school boy all over again!!!!!!!!


30

+ Pendharker on March 20th, 2013 at 1:26 pm said:

I started playing Start Trek: TNG on the Vita last night. First, let me point out that I at one time held the (local) Grand Master score on the real-world table. I played that game for SOOOO many hours before the owner took the table back. It was my favorite activity between classes at the university.

With that said, I want you to know that your digital version is SPOT ON!!! It is EXACTLY like playing the real with the only exception being the physical nature of the Vita itself. You did an incredible job here. You have my deepest thanks as a pinball enthusiast and I hope you take pride in the work you’ve done. This is amazing!


31

+ Inacito on March 20th, 2013 at 9:02 pm said:

I was eagerly expecting the 3D update, but I cannot find the option anywhere. Is it there or should we have to wait more?


32

+ quothetheraven79 on March 21st, 2013 at 9:40 pm said:

Are you guys going to address the refresh issue before you start considering putting 3D on your game? The refresh rate for PS3 is horrible!


33

+ egeorgiou123 on March 22nd, 2013 at 5:37 am said:

i have been playing my pinball arcade in 3d from day 1.if you have a 3d tv check to see if it has a 2d _3d converter, if it has you can play your pinball in 3d.if you have any lagging with your flippers, you can do 2 things. 1.change picture mode to game mode, 2.use your controller with charger cord conected to your ps3 console all the time.i hope this might help anyone out there.gday fellas,see ya later.


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