The Unique Design Challenge of Pinball Simulations (03 Oct 2005)
The game should include unique sounds that are only heard when the player accomplishes something difficult or unusual. These should be related to the theme: musical stings, car engines revving, funny lines from the movie, or whatever else makes sense. They should be short, though, and sufficiently rare that the player doesn't hear them so often as to get fed up with them. It's the clacks and ker-chunks of the bumpers and drop targets that are the essence of the pinball sound.
With computerized pinball you can, of course, do things that you can't do in a real pinball machine. You can teleport the ball around, change the force of gravity, or turn the ball a different color, for example. I wouldn't do any of these things just because you can, however. Part of the fun of pinball is its old-fashioned, mechanical feel. If you take too many liberties, you may still have a fun game, but it won't be pinball, and you may lose some of your core audience. It might also be rather difficult for players to understand.
Article URL: http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20051003/adams_01.shtml
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