(Topic ID: 148114)

2016 Hobbit Update Thread


By labnip

4 years ago



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There are 1529 posts in this topic. You are on page 24 of 31.
#1151 4 years ago
Quoted from Skyemont:

CONGRATS!!! Hopefully you will have good things to say about it. A lot of mixed reviews.

Once Keith releases code, opinions on game play should ratchet up significantly. One rumor has this happening by end of next week. Great to see games are being churned out and delivered on a regular basis.

#1152 4 years ago
Quoted from VegasAlleycat:

Smaug #60 has arrived! Or in my case, I got the rare Smuag version!
Delivery guy said it was the second one he has delivered in Vegas already.

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Love the stamp!! It is perfect ! Congrats !!

#1153 4 years ago

Apparently I have not been paying too close of attention, but when was it decided to go with stainless wireforms? Has anyone that's seen the current game in person feel this impacts the aesthetic as compared to the powdered rails from earlier versions?

#1154 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

Apparently I have not been paying too close of attention, but when was it decided to go with stainless wireforms? Has anyone that's seen the current game in person feel this impacts the aesthetic as compared to the powdered rails from earlier versions?

Was decided a bit ago... I believe the issue came down to the special powder coating ultimately used created too much bumpiness when used on the wire forms. The powder coat on the legs / cabinet hinges / etc. is not smooth. Wire forms need to be smooth.

#1155 4 years ago
Quoted from dtowndobe:

Now get that thing unboxed and play the snot out of it!

Unboxed but still downstairs. I am going to remove the play field so my son and I can get it upstairs on our own. Too heavy! Hopefully I can do this tonight so I can finally play it.

#1156 4 years ago
Quoted from VegasAlleycat:

Unboxed but still downstairs. I am going to remove the play field so my son and I can get it upstairs on our own. Too heavy! Hopefully I can do this tonight so I can finally play it.

Cat you have more patience than me. I would plug her in where ever she sits be it the kitchen, living room or bath room : )) Have Fun

#1158 4 years ago
Quoted from VegasAlleycat:

Smaug #60 has arrived! Or in my case, I got the rare Smuag version!
Delivery guy said it was the second one he has delivered in Vegas already.

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Yo bro,

I'm down from the Great White North for two weeks. Can I come and play

QSS

#1159 4 years ago

Well this is probably as far as I will get today. But it does look pretty nice even with the protective film on the cabinet. I will wait to pull the protective film off the Rad-Cals until after I get it upstairs.

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#1160 4 years ago

A few interesting observations--the flipper rubber is definitely not standard rubber. Looks to be silicone like superbands or Saturn rings. I have superbands on many of my pins and like them. Also, there are 4 pre drilled holes (3 small mounting holes and a larger one for a power cord?)on top of the backbox--maybe a topper is in the works? And no rubber strip on the top edge of the backbox which was a nice feature on WOZ.

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#1161 4 years ago

Thanks for the pics. This pin is truly a work of art.

#1162 4 years ago

I can confirm that the Smaug edition has as an extra silicon rubbers. This I heard this week from the person who supplies these rubbers to JJP

#1163 4 years ago
Quoted from VegasAlleycat:

A few interesting observations--the flipper rubber is definitely not standard rubber. Looks to be silicone like superbands or Saturn rings. I have superbands on many of my pins and like them. Also, there are 4 pre drilled holes (3 small mounting holes and a larger one for a power cord?)on top of the backbox--maybe a topper is in the works? And no rubber strip on the top edge of the backbox which was a nice feature on WOZ.

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#1164 4 years ago
Quoted from VegasAlleycat:

Well this is probably as far as I will get today. But it does look pretty nice even with the protective film on the cabinet. I will wait to pull the protective film off the Rad-Cals until after I get it upstairs.

Did you get the playfield protector as well? I ordered both but haven't gotten the call yet for my Smaug. Getting so excited!

#1165 4 years ago

Looking forward to the reveal Lorenzo!

#1166 4 years ago
Quoted from goldant:

Did you get the playfield protector as well?

No, I passed on the playfield protector. The playfield looks beautiful though. Hope you get yours soon!

#1167 4 years ago

Hmmm, I wonder if we lost a feature on The Hobbit.

At one time the flyer mentioned a "Player Controllable Orbit subway leads to 3 distinct ball paths" and now the flyer posted on pinside states "Orbit shots can be redirected into pop bumpers or dropped into an under-playfield subway, to suddenly reappear at either the Balin or Radagast verticle up-kicker".

I thought it was cool that the subway was going to be player controllable (an a unique feature).

I don't know which version of the flyer is newer (hopefully the one with the player controllable subway is the newer one), but this is the first time I looked at a flyer that didn't have the player controllable wording. If it is no longer a feature, that is a bummer.

Here are the two flyers for comparison...

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JJP_Hobbit_Flyer_LE2_(resized).png

#1168 4 years ago

The top flyer must be newer as it has the name for the upgraded decals, RAD-cals.

#1169 4 years ago
Quoted from oopsallberrys:

The top flyer must be newer as it has the name for the upgraded decals, RAD-cals.

Good point. Bummer then, I guess the player controllable subway got scrapped....why else take it off the flyer.

#1170 4 years ago
Quoted from brucipher:

Good point. Bummer then, I guess the player controllable subway got scrapped....why else take it off the flyer.

it may mean the same, just worded differently...

#1171 4 years ago

The 3-way left ramp can deliver balls to the flipper inlane, Smaug™ or the Windlance outlane.

Should be the right ramp.

#1172 4 years ago

It plays really smooth

#1173 4 years ago

Third location in NYC with a HOBBIT Pinball, The Creek and the Cave in Long Island Cuty, Queens NY

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#1174 4 years ago

Got to play Hobbit again at The Boxcar in Raleigh, NC last week while on vacation and passing through. Man, this is an awesome looking game. And, it feels so solid and elegant. I need a lot more time to really make a judgement, but it is impressive. Only negative for me was that it felt a little floaty, but much better than when I've played it at shows previously. Unfortunately, while we were playing the ball got wedged in a popup. It was jammed so tight the ball search couldn't free it. Guys onsite didn't have a key so we were done playing a bit sooner than I would have liked. Very jealous as I'm watching the unboxings here. Would seriously consider this machine if I felt like I could spend that kind of cash right now.

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#1175 4 years ago
Quoted from JeffA:

Got to play Hobbit again at The Boxcar in Raleigh, NC last week while on vacation and passing through. Man, this is an awesome looking game. And, it feels so solid and elegant. I need a lot more time to really make a judgement, but it is impressive. Only negative for me was that it felt a little floaty, but much better than when I've played it at shows previously. Unfortunately, while we were playing the ball got wedged in a popup. It was jammed so tight the ball search couldn't free it. Guys onsite didn't have a key so we were done playing a bit sooner than I would have liked. Very jealous as I'm watching the unboxings here. Would seriously consider this machine if I felt like I could spend that kind of cash right now.

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This is happening quite a bit with the ball getting wedged into a pop-up - I wonder if it's possible to fix this in any way?

#1176 4 years ago

Mine has yet to do it after 10 days or so.

#1177 4 years ago
Quoted from pinaholic:

Third location in NYC with a HOBBIT Pinball, The Creek and the Cave in Long Island Cuty, Queens NY

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Three in New York on location and not one in LA? Boo.

#1178 4 years ago

Hobbits everywhere except Richmond, Va.

#1179 4 years ago

I like how the game Ships with white rubber.

#1180 4 years ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

I like how the game Ships with white rubber.

I hadn't noticed...that IS great!

#1181 4 years ago
Quoted from Eryeal:

This is happening quite a bit with the ball getting wedged into a pop-up - I wonder if it's possible to fix this in any way?

I've been to boxcars 3 times since they got TH and 2 of the 3 times the TH was malfunctions to the point where it was turned off.... I'm assuming if they had keys to pull the glass, it wouldn't have been an issue. However, for a game that needs to withstand the wear and tear on location- sometimes in locations where they don't have keys onsite- this seems to be an issue.

If the ball is getting physically stuck- I can't see this as an issue correctable with software. Perhaps some adjustments to the mechs?

#1182 4 years ago

Also noticed it's now only 5 balls in the game vs. 6 balls. Doesn't mean much just pointing out the differences in the flyers.

#1183 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

I've been to boxcars 3 times since they got TH and 2 of the 3 times the TH was malfunctions to the point where it was turned off.... I'm assuming if they had keys to pull the glass, it wouldn't have been an issue. However, for a game that needs to withstand the wear and tear on location- sometimes in locations where they don't have keys onsite- this seems to be an issue.
If the ball is getting physically stuck- I can't see this as an issue correctable with software. Perhaps some adjustments to the mechs?

probably getting stuck based on the cycles they are using during ball search... that kind of behavior can be changed with software. Hold the monster up longer.. use more force.. etc.

#1184 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

I've been to boxcars 3 times since they got TH and 2 of the 3 times the TH was malfunctions to the point where it was turned off.... I'm assuming if they had keys to pull the glass, it wouldn't have been an issue. However, for a game that needs to withstand the wear and tear on location- sometimes in locations where they don't have keys onsite- this seems to be an issue.
If the ball is getting physically stuck- I can't see this as an issue correctable with software. Perhaps some adjustments to the mechs?

If I were on an op, I would never put a stern LE/PREM model on location nor would I a jjp machine. Anytime I play on location, these are the 3 machine types that I can almost guarantee will be out of order or have some other issue hindering gameplay when I go out to play. Stern pro's almost always in tact and working 99%. It's a good thing that stern has a pro model build plan, I just wish more So Cal/ Nevada ops would abide by the pro model plan and recently it appears they are finally learning. That said, it's a good thing I'm not (or most of us for that matter) are in the market for a jjp on location - there sure is something special about WOZs and THs for home use, no?

To those ops that do put JJPs on location, I commend you and just hope you have a good policy in place to keep the machines well maintained and working at all times.

#1185 4 years ago

I will be putting mine on location as soon as it gets here. Fingers crossed for a well-behaved example, but I do expect some teething issues. Any issues will of course be logged and reported back to JJP so they can track these things and improve things over time.

#1186 4 years ago
Quoted from brucipher:

Hmmm, I wonder if we lost a feature on The Hobbit.
At one time the flyer mentioned a "Player Controllable Orbit subway leads to 3 distinct ball paths" and now the flyer posted on pinside states "Orbit shots can be redirected into pop bumpers or dropped into an under-playfield subway, to suddenly reappear at either the Balin or Radagast verticle up-kicker".
I thought it was cool that the subway was going to be player controllable (an a unique feature).
I don't know which version of the flyer is newer (hopefully the one with the player controllable subway is the newer one), but this is the first time I looked at a flyer that didn't have the player controllable wording. If it is no longer a feature, that is a bummer.
Here are the two flyers for comparison...

No one seems to care that Smaug went from "interacting with the Ball in three different ways" to "Smaug, who can talk to you and steal your pinballs" to "Smaug sculpture taunts you", or that the moving outlane ballguide meant for aiming the windlance was quietly removed somewhere along the way (or maybe it was broken on the game I played? But it didn't look like it could move.).

It doesn't seem to matter that not much is left of the original concept.

#1187 4 years ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

No one seems to care that Smaug went from "interacting with the Ball in three different ways" to "Smaug, who can talk to you and steal your pinballs" to "Smaug sculpture taunts you", or that the moving outlane ballguide meant for aiming the windlance was quietly removed somewhere along the way (or maybe it was broken on the game I played? But it didn't look like it could move.).
It doesn't seem to matter that not much is left of the original concept.

It was a big ruckus when it changed. But we've all known that change for what, a year now? Things always change along the way when designing and building pinball machines. Ideas that sound good may not work right when the whitewood is built. License holders may not approve of some interactions. We only even know it existed in the first place because JJP tells us things about games years in advance. Don't worry, plenty of people have smashed on JJP because Smaug doesn't eat pinballs.

#1188 4 years ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

No one seems to care that Smaug went from "interacting with the Ball in three different ways" to "Smaug, who can talk to you and steal your pinballs" to "Smaug sculpture taunts you", or that the moving outlane ballguide meant for aiming the windlance was quietly removed somewhere along the way (or maybe it was broken on the game I played? But it didn't look like it could move.).
It doesn't seem to matter that not much is left of the original concept.

Plenty, plenty, plenty people care about this. A bit of digging will find it..

Quoted from TimeBandit:

I hope Peter Jackson is f@cking happy that he has taken a machine of this quality and hobbled it by not letting the ball touch his precious dragon.
#peterjacksonknowsdickaboutpinball

#1189 4 years ago

The Hobbit at Flippers was working fine. The ball did hang up on a return lane post but a nudge cleared that.

BTW - Flipper's fans, they're are getting laser tag. 'Not sure where they will get the space but 'hope it doesn't infringe on pinball space.

#1190 4 years ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

No one seems to care that Smaug went from "interacting with the Ball in three different ways" to "Smaug, who can talk to you and steal your pinballs" to "Smaug sculpture taunts you", or that the moving outlane ballguide meant for aiming the windlance was quietly removed somewhere along the way (or maybe it was broken on the game I played? But it didn't look like it could move.).
It doesn't seem to matter that not much is left of the original concept.

Don't forget to mention that the original art concept on the playfield was changed too. Those a-holes...

#1191 4 years ago
Quoted from RTS:

Don't forget to mention that the original art concept on the playfield was changed too. Those a-holes...

I know. I don't understand why they would listen to people who are buying the pin.

27
#1192 4 years ago

My game overview so far after 35 games. Apologies in advance if these are duplicates of other pinside posts - who can read them all? This is solely from what I learned playing, so I disclaim any accuracy, implied or explicity. I assume you have seen and know the roadmap rulesheet to understand what follows.

Game Play:
Here's as far as I know (AFAIK). Game code 0.81. Smaug edition.

A few key points. There a few missing mini modes, mode completion bonuses, or any status report. All 31 modes are able to be started and played all the way through

There are 4 skill shots, harder shots award more points, select with the ring button. A roving dwarf target, any elf target, any lock rollover, a roving inlane. If you miss a skill shot, but don't hit any target, drain will relaunch the ball.

4 lock buttons light all 3 ball locks, right ramp to lock a ball, 3 locks to start multiball. Second time through, must qualify 4 locks for each of 3 balls.

Smaug MB behaves like most games, a 3-ball multiball. Fan shots of Jackpots flashing "fire" colors - loops, ramps, and holes, and a few targets.

Beast MB is a 2 ball & can easily start during Smaug MB (if both are running, its a 4 ball MB) Beast Frenzy is qualify all 4 beast through inlane/beast hit a couple times - different color lights by the beast tell you if you have killed them once, twice, or more. Red beasts mean you are in Beast Frenzy mode, all 4 beasts come up, and once all 4 are completed, they start to come up in singles or groups as you complete them. Caution: during Smaug MB, Beast Frenzy makes ramps and loops more difficult, as the beasts keep getting in your way, doing it randomly by position and various timing lags. That complaint "playfield is too open" goes away once you experience the combo MB.

The modes are a bit more involved an require some exploring how to qualify them and how to complete them. A note, that not all the modes can be "completed" as of v0.81 and I think some of the small wizard modes may be yet to come - likely us early players won't get deep enough to see code missing - I'm sure Keefer & co. will keep updates coming about as fast as we can master the steps to actually get far enough to play them.

Mode qualifies: AFAIK, there are 6 groups of modes to qualify (and I think Keith said there's 1 more mode group that is "not obvious"). There are 6 icons in the top middle of the screen, which are greyed out, and fill-in color when qualified. The left ramp qualifies Gandalf modes, right ramp=bilbo, right hole=Radagast, the 3 sets of drops for elf, dwarf, man.

Mode change, start, play. Modes are shown on the book. Left ramp turns the page, each page is a short mode description. The 31 modes/pages take you through the Hobbit Story. Right Ramp "mode" is lit in red, starts a mode. I think the book pages turn to only modes where the character or race have been qualifies. Gandalf modes involve.... Gandalf: fighting return of Sauron, is L ramp for more points per hit, hits are any target. I think Gandalf has 6 modes. Bilbo modes focus on his roles, like "flies and Spiders" where you bash the spider a few times, then got to the pops to free dwarves from the web, etc. Another mode for Roast Mutton with cut scenes/shots by Bilbo confusing the trolls, then to free the dwarves. Each mode is a short task based on that scene in the movie/book. Radagast has a distraction mode, where he leads the beasts away, and its a fight of pop-ups. There are a variety of elf, man, dwarf, orc & dragon modes, etc.

The drop target modes are insane. For example, one of the dwarf modes involved single drops that are up and down, traveling around the sequence of the 11 drops in closewise order. Your job is to NOT hit a drop, but hit the standup behind a drop, but its only available when the set of 3 drops traveling around the 11, are down and revealing the stand-ups behind.

The modes are full of drops to hit, avoid the drops - hit the targets behind, Random drops that sequence - its crazy what Keith can do to you with all that detailed control of lights, targets, and combinations.

Explore playing these, and I won't reveal any more strategy of how to complete them, its more fun to discover it.

Oh - and a big footnote. The modes only stay qualified for that ball. You have to requalify the ramps, the hold and the drops, to have the 6 groups available at the book again. Mode progress that have been started does carry over to next ball.

A key to good play is using the ring to postpone a lock to start a mode instead via the right ramp. There are strategic times when you will want to start a mode before going into multiball - its especially useful if the mode is one of those nasty hit-standup-while-avoiding-drops modes.

Ball save & Extra balls are turned off by default. Some 10 second ball save and a few point levels that award EB help in exploring. The cut scenes for EB are fantasic and my guess is we see only a few dozen video scenes and I would expect perhaps 100's as the coders move along.

I got scores in the 300-500k with no EB. Scores in 800-1.8 mil games with (several) EB.

That's a long enough post to help those you have their games, or tease those with a game arriving soon.

#1193 4 years ago

A few tech notes:
First - know that pinball is mostly solid state, low failure LED bulbs. Not much is likely to go wrong out of the box. If something doesn't work, its usually a connector or a wire came off.

Connectors:
Without the diagrams of wiring for the cabinet or backbox, which will be coming to the manual after pages D - 80, I had to call support for a bit of help with connectors. These may be helpful notes.

From talking with LTG and Frank:
I opened the metal box and made sure connectors were tight, from both outside and inside the back of the box.
Make sure the miniUSB connector at the B.A.G. board is tight - it controls all the GI and LED lights, and was the last place I looked to get my GI and RGB lighting to work.
If you take out the PF, the reconnections are easy if you take a lot of pics as you disconnect. Note there are two black/red power combos, and plugs don't matter which goes into which - as long as colors match. THere are 3 yellow/black power connectors, and those 3 are interchangable also.
The connector with 2 solid purple wires coming from the transformer isn't used. The light blue 2 wire connector the runs along the left cabinet and terminates near the left back corner of the metal box isn't used. A connector near the coin door isn't used.

Wires:
After removing and putting the PF back in the cabinet to move things - I also had a few loose wires I had to resolder. Those were easily found and reachable. If something doesn't work, its usually a connector or a wire came off

Everything from the factory seemed pretty well done.
One issue was the ring button didn't work - its was not set into the lockdown bar, so the post under the ring didn't reach the switch when pressed. I loosed the hex nut, turned the button which has a little nub that fits into a small notch in the cutout in the lockdown bar, and replaced the hex nut. Then re-seated the button, the post then reached the switch - fixed.

My other issue was the spider pop wouldn't stay up. 3 slight adjustments may help: reroute the wire that goes to the spider point switch, raise the rubber stop, and check mech isn't scraping the back of the PF hole.

Here's the details after checking with Lloyd and other owners (these tweaks will be done on the games on the line).
The routing of the wires that go up to the spider point switch were threaded through a bundle which may its travel with the mech too tight. I re-routed the wire (thankfully it has a connector) being sure it didn't get near the pop mech, to get some slack so it travels freely. Also, there is a rubber stop for the plunger in the coil on the pop mech - mine needed to be adjusted so that only 1 thread was visible through the lock nut (be careful to make sure the trap door is still flush with the PF). Loosen the nut, turn the rubber stop by hand to raise it a bit, check to make sure trap door is level with playfield, tighten the nut. There is also the possible trouble of the mech rubbing the back of the popup hole in the PF. A black lever at the back of the spider can be rubbing, if so, do a slight (1mm) bend away from the back of the wood hole, and it should more freely.

#1194 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

probably getting stuck based on the cycles they are using during ball search... that kind of behavior can be changed with software. Hold the monster up longer.. use more force.. etc.

Good point. However, that was only one of the ball hangups I saw on this particular TH. Another was hung up in the wire-frame and no amount of banging/tipping could dislodge it. Perhaps better ball search logic would have allowed the game to continue to run without one ball, but I think A physical change or mod would need to occur if this is a reoccurring issue of a ball getting stuck.

#1195 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

A few tech notes:
First - know that pinball is mostly solid state, low failure LED bulbs. Not much is likely to go wrong out of the box. If something doesn't work, its usually a connector or a wire came off.
Connectors:
Without the diagrams of wiring for the cabinet or backbox, which will be coming to the manual after pages D - 80, I had to call support for a bit of help with connectors. These may be helpful notes.
From talking with LTG and Frank:
I opened the metal box and made sure connectors were tight, from both outside and inside the back of the box.
Make sure the miniUSB connector at the B.A.G. board is tight - it controls all the GI and LED lights, and was the last place I looked to get my GI and RGB lighting to work.
If you take out the PF, the reconnections are easy if you take a lot of pics as you disconnect. Note there are two black/red power combos, and plugs don't matter which goes into which - as long as colors match. THere are 3 yellow/black power connectors, and those 3 are interchangable also.
The connector with 2 solid purple wires coming from the transformer isn't used. The light blue 2 wire connector the runs along the left cabinet and terminates near the left back corner of the metal box isn't used. A connector near the coin door isn't used.
Wires:
After removing and putting the PF back in the cabinet to move things - I also had a few loose wires I had to resolder. Those were easily found and reachable. If something doesn't work, its usually a connector or a wire came off
Everything from the factory seemed pretty well done.
One issue was the ring button didn't work - its was not set into the lockdown bar, so the post under the ring didn't reach the switch when pressed. I loosed the hex nut, turned the button which has a little nub that fits into a small notch in the cutout in the lockdown bar, and replaced the hex nut. Then re-seated the button, the post then reached the switch - fixed.
My other issue was the spider pop wouldn't stay up. Part of it was the routing of the wires that go up to the spider point switch were threaded through a bundle which may its travel with the mech too tight. I re-routed the wire (thankfully it has a connector) being sure it didn't get near the pop mech, to get some slack so it travels freely.

Thanks for the info about removing the playfield! I will need to do that to my game to get it upstairs.

#1196 4 years ago

Thank you dgarrett. Your overview was helpful in understanding a few things I didn't understand.

#1197 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Good point. However, that was only one of the ball hangups I saw on this particular TH. Another was hung up in the wire-frame and no amount of banging/tipping could dislodge it. Perhaps better ball search logic would have allowed the game to continue to run without one ball, but I think A physical change or mod would need to occur if this is a reoccurring issue of a ball getting stuck.

Actually it will continue to run without one ball - if you wait long enough after the ball search, there is some sort of a message (I only heard it once, can't remember exactly what it said) and it will give you another ball to play. So that is one good thing - but of course if the ball is lodged in a pop-up, it's not going to be able to be shot out.

#1198 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Good point. However, that was only one of the ball hangups I saw on this particular TH. Another was hung up in the wire-frame and no amount of banging/tipping could dislodge it. Perhaps better ball search logic would have allowed the game to continue to run without one ball, but I think A physical change or mod would need to occur if this is a reoccurring issue of a ball getting stuck.

From what I understand, the left wireform is being modified to prevent a ball from being trapped near the exit.

#1199 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

My game overview so far after 35 games. Apologies in advance if these are duplicates of other pinside posts - who can read them all? This is solely from what I learned playing, so I disclaim any accuracy, implied or explicity. I assume you have seen and know the roadmap rulesheet to understand what follows.
Game Play:
Here's as far as I know (AFAIK). Game code 0.81. Smaug edition.
A few key points. There a few missing mini modes, mode completion bonuses, or any status report. All 31 modes are able to be started and played all the way through
There are 4 skill shots, harder shots award more points, select with the ring button. A roving dwarf target, any elf target, any lock rollover, a roving inlane. If you miss a skill shot, but don't hit any target, drain will relaunch the ball.
4 lock buttons light all 3 ball locks, right ramp to lock a ball, 3 locks to start multiball. Second time through, must qualify 4 locks for each of 3 balls.
Smaug MB is as expected. Fan shots of Jackpots flashing "fire" colors - loops, ramps, and holes, and a few targets.
Beast MB can easily start during Smaug MB - Beast is qualify all 4 beast through inlane/beast hit a couple times - different color lights by the beast tell you if you have killed them once, twice, or more. Red beasts mean your in beast mode, and they all 4 pop up, and randomly re-pop up as you complete them. If this is during Smaug MB, its trouble to try to hit ramps and loops, when the beasts keep messing with you. The open PF goes away, when the beasts are after you.
The modes are a bit more involved an require some exploring how to qualify them and how to complete them. A note, that not all the modes can be "completed" as of v0.81 and I think some of the small wizard modes may be yet to come - likely us early players won't get deep enough to see code missing - I'm sure Keefer & co. will keep updates coming about as fast as we can master the steps to actually get far enough to play them.
Mode qualifies: AFAIK, there are 6 groups of modes to qualify (and I think Keith said there's 1 more mode group that is "not obvious"). There are 6 icons in the top middle of the screen, which are greyed out, and fill-in color when qualified. The left ramp qualifies Gandalf modes, right ramp=bilbo, right hole=Radagast, the 3 sets of drops for elf, dwarf, man.
Mode change, start, play. Modes are shown on the book. Left ramp turns the page, each page is a short mode description. The 31 modes/pages take you through the Hobbit Story. Right Ramp "mode" is lit in red, starts a mode. I think the book pages turn to only modes where the character or race have been qualifies. Gandalf modes involve.... Gandalf: fighting return of Sauron, is L ramp for more points per hit, hits are any target. I think Gandalf has 6 modes. Bilbo modes focus on his roles, like "flies and Spiders" where you bash the spider a few times, then got to the pops to free dwarves from the web, etc. Each mode is a short task based on that scene in the movie/book. Radagast has a distraction mode, where he leads the beasts away, and its a fight of pop-ups. There are orc modes, dragon modes, etc.
The drop target modes are insane. For example, one of the dwarf modes involved single drops that are up and down, traveling around the sequence of the 11 drops in closewise order. Your job is to NOT hit a drop, but hit the standup behind a drop, but its only available when the set of 3 drops traveling around the 11, are down and revealing the stand-ups behind.
The modes are full of drops to hit, avoid the drops - hit the targets behind, Random drops that sequence - its crazy what Keith can do to you with all that detailed control of lights, targets, and combinations.
Explore playing these, and I won't reveal any more strategy of how to complete them, its more fun to discover it.
Oh - and a big footnote. The modes only stay qualified for that ball. You have to requalify the ramps, the hold and the drops, to have the 6 groups available at the book again. Mode progress that have been started does carry over to next ball.
A key to good play is using the ring to postpone a lock to start a mode instead via the right ramp. There are strategic times when you will want to start a mode before going into multiball - its especially useful if the mode is one of those nasty hit-standup-while-avoiding-drops modes.
Ball save & Extra balls are turned off by default. Some 10 second ball save and a few point levels that award EB help in exploring. The cut scenes for EB are fantasic and my guess is we see only a few dozen video scenes and I would expect perhaps 100's as the coders move along.
I got scores in the 300-500k with no EB. Scores in 800-1.8 mil games with EB.
That's a long enough post to help those you have their games, or tease those with a game arriving soon.

Thank you for this! Makes me excited to get mine even more.

#1200 4 years ago
Quoted from Eryeal:

Actually it will continue to run without one ball - if you wait long enough after the ball search, there is some sort of a message (I only heard it once, can't remember exactly what it said) and it will give you another ball to play. So that is one good thing - but of course if the ball is lodged in a pop-up, it's not going to be able to be shot out.

This is the "chase ball" feature in settings>system settings>Chase ON/OFF (default is ON, will launch another ball after 4 ball searches). The software assumes a ball is permanently trapped (off a ramp, on a plastic via airball, etc). If that trapped ball does come loose (like wedged under a trap door), the first ball that drains, will kill both balls, and all returns to normal.

A chase ball keeps a location game going, if a trapped ball is lodged somewhere and never comes back to the playfield until the operator is able to take the glass off and get it.

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