A PLAN FOR A PLATINUM EDITION ADDAMS FAMILY PINBALL GAME Design ideas for improving the greatest pinball game ever made.
As good as this most popular pinball game ever made is, I believe there is still room for improvement. The following dream list presents the features I wish someone would incorporate into a new limited edition run of this great machine. This run, like the previous Gold Edition run of 1,000 machines, would commemorate TAF's unique position in pinball history and be titled the "Platinum Edition."
1. If a player manages to get all three tunnels in the Tunnel Hunt round or all three ramps in the Seance round, he or she is rewarded by three extra bear kicks or perhaps spotting the next mansion room.
2. The $50 million bonus for completing all the mansion rooms to earn a tour of the mansion increases by $20 million every time it's done in a game. This is because it is much harder to do it a second time than it is the first.
3. Re-engineer Thing so that instead of a magnet picking up the ball, the fingers actually come together and grab it. Also, make the drive motor that lifts Thing quieter.
4. Get rid of all the knife connectors in the wiring. These vibrate loose over time and are very difficult to fix.
5. Get rid of all the raw wire bundles and replace them with non-tangling and easier to trace ribbon wires.
6. Redesign the Chair and Swamp ejectors so that the balls always come out at the same angle. The game is hard enough. Loosing a ball because a random ejection causes a bounce into a drain in such a manner that it's impossible to save is unfair.
7. Add more flashing lights to the lightning flashes in the back panel and rather than using random flashing lights, trigger them to fire in sequence to create a more realistic effect.
8. Rerecord the solid state sound chip using up-to-date techniques so that the sound quality is better. Many quotes and sound effects sound buzzy as a result of being recorded when solid state audio recording was primitive.
9. Replace Thing's box with a wood-finish version that's closer to the real box as shown in the TV series.
10. Change the electric chair so that it looks more like the real thing: paint it and add a head cap and arm straps.
11. Clean up the wiring that shows on the playfield. As is it makes the game look cluttered and sloppy.
12. Continue the stone decal pattern over the Bookcase's turntable and make the case itself look like a bookcase with wood-patterned framing and realistic books in it.
13. Get rid of the ramp direction signs and replace them with signs or decals that enhance the look of the game. Everyone who owns a TAF knows what everything is for, they don't need to be told.
14. Increase the number of top scores listed during attract mode from five to ten.
15. Create an easier to follow and more complete manual with schematics specific to this particular edition that covers all of the wiring in detail. This manual should also have detailed troubleshooting information and repair directions. Another thing the manual should have is a complete list of test voltages for every connector to facilitate troubleshooting.
16. Redesign the entire workings of the game to make it more maintenance friendly. As it is now an Addams Family Pinball game is almost impossible to work on without special rigs and equipment. In particular, get rid of any designs features where one component blocks access to any other component.
17. Equip all connectors with test pins to facilitate troubleshooting.
18. Add a Practice Mode option that disengages scoring and enables players to practice whatever shots they want. For example, one practice option would be to lock the game in Tunnel Hunt so players could practice making the hard Vault shot and even harder and more dangerous Swamp shot.
19. Improve the construction of the cabinet so that it looks like a valuable piece of fine furniture.
20. Create a system for changing the batteries so that all of the stored information isn't lost. Move the battery hold off of the circuit board so that if the batteries leak they don't destroy circuitry.
21. Fuse all three magnets.
22. Replace all the bridge rectifiers that tend to burnout over time with different types that are more reliable.
23. Include an owner's history log in the manual so the machine's history can be preserved.
24. Use gold, platinum or tungsten switch contacts throughout the machine to reduce the production of carbon residue.
25. Provide swivel-down wheels on the legs for easy moving.
26. Add knobs to the end of the levelers on each leg with "raise" and "lower" arrows to guide adjustments.
27. Increase the Quick Multiball reward for getting a ball in the Vault. This is a very tough shot and should have a commensurate award.
28. Add more combination shot awards. For example, a $5 million award for making the Bear Kick ramp, Thing ramp, Left ramp and Swamp combo.
29. Find a more durable playfield material. Screw holes in the plywood used tend to strip out after just a few loosenings and tightenings. (Or find screws that don't tear up the wood.)
30. Add more quotes from Morticia and Gomez and make them stereo so that Morticia's voice always come out of the left speaker and Gomez's out of the right (to match their positions on the backpanel and playfield.)
31. Change the Mansion Room lighting to increase the number of colors. As these rooms light up they become the visual focal point of the game.
32. Add an "easy," "average," and "hard" switch on the front of the game so that players have the option of playing at the level they feel most comfortable. One nice feature for the "easy" setting would be to have both "Special" lights lit so that if a ball escapes out one of the side outlanes the player gets a makeup ball.
33. Add a blue Cloud Topper light as a standard feature.
34. Have a post or wall pop up between the two lower paddles for 10 seconds to prevent balls from draining as a reward for making either a combo, a difficult shot, or achieving some other milestone.
35. Have the actual Addams Family song, the one from the television series, play during attract mode.
35. Add a spinner somewhere on the playfield. (This one's for you, Tom!)
36. Add a switch to turn off the magnets. (Many players hate those things.)
37. Make the bottom of the cabinet and all the below-the-playfield ball troughs transparent so when balls hang up the problem can be seen by looking up from the bottom.
38. In addition to listing the top game scores, add a second list that records the highest single ball scores.
39. Reduce the response time for the automatic Thing Flipper to determine it's missed the Swamp. As it is now, if the ball misses, bounces off a bumper and back into the Swamp it registers as a hit. This throws off the aiming for the next shot.
40. Make it easier to properly level the Vault turntable.
41. Add an access door to the rear of the back panel so troubleshooters can work the back side of the circuit boards without having to remove them.
42. A "ball purchase" button on the front of the game. This is different than a "ball buy-in" that trades a free game for an extra ball. Pushing my idea of a ball purchase buys another ball at the expense of the average points earned per ball so far in the current game. The player would be gambling that he can do better on the next ball than he has so far. A good time to do this might be if he or she had an extra ball ready to collect but the last ball of the game drained before it could be collected.
43. An instant restart option, to restart a game that gets off to a bad beginning.
After reviewing this list I discovered that many of these dream features could be added by an enterprising home owner. As time permits I hope to incorporate as many of them as possible to create my own "Platinum Edition Addams Family" pinball game. Wish me luck!
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