This afternoon at 2:00 PM EST the European streamer JDL pinball, the Austrian pinball distributor RS-Pinball GmbH and several Pinball Brothers team members conducted the first ever official gameplay stream of Pinball Brothers' new Queen pinball machine.
David Thiel is in charge of the game's audio. Kelly Mazurowski is the animator. At the beginning of the stream, software engineer Joe Schober, who is programming the game along with Brian Dominy, called in and gave a brief overview of the machine's rules.
The game that was being streamed contained brand new code, version 0.86, which is scheduled to be released for the game next week. The team that is coding the game expects to release new code every three weeks as they keep polishing and adding to it. The games that Pinball Brothers brings to the Texas Pinball Festival will have even newer code than what was shown in this stream. Version 1.0 should be ready in a couple of months.
They said that the game is very deep with a number of different ways to play it.
Players of Queen need to collect band members. Players can also collect band members' instruments and autographs, which act as shot multipliers. The four members of the band correspond to the playfield's four major shots:
- Freddy Mercury Lead Singer represented by Center Ramp and piano drop targets
- Sir Brian May Guitarist. His red special guitar is the game's upper playfield. This upper playfield has targets, a captive ball and a ball lock. The upper playfield has a dedicated Red Special multiball that has a risk / reward aspect to it. It can be delayed for bigger points.
- Roger Taylor Drums - represented by the pop bumpers
- John Deacon Basist - represented by the standup targets
The coding team's main goal is to balance the game to make sure that that there's no single dominant strategy to get the highest score.
Other random notes:
- Skill Shots: Main Skill Shot Main Piano Drop Targets. Plunging into the In lane or Out lane opens several Super Skill Shots
- Encore Multiball: a 45 second enhanced ballsaver that's triggered by the right outlane.
- Wembley Multiball: the 4 major shots are lit for Jackpot -- once you complete those, you have a timed opportunity for a Super Jackpot on the left or right ramp, then a Double Super Jackpot on the "other" ramp. When you get them both or time out the Supers, all 4 main Jackpots relight.
- Left Outlane: has a kickback that's earned by shooting the spinner. The kickback shoots the ball all the way up into the machine's orbit.
- The Queen machine will ultimately contain 14 songs. Every song has different goals and features. Some are attuned to the music so that when an instrument has a solo you need to shoot it. Not all of the modes are fully programmed yet.
- Streamers can connect an HDMI cable to get a direct screen feed for streaming the game to the Internet
Euro Pinball Corp., a company formed Pinball Brothers and Pedretti Gaming to manufacture machines, is currently producing Queen machines from its brand new, larger factory. A number of machines have already been delivered in Europe, RS-Pinball has delivered 20 already itself. A shipment of Queen machines is scheduled to be sent to the United States early next week.
Overall Queen looks like it's shaping up to be a really fun game. The code looks much improved from its first showing. At one point though the game did freeze and require restarting, so there's still some bugs to be worked out. As I write this, the gameplay stream is still live, so hop on over there and check it out. If you're reading this later, you can still click on the link to watch a replay.