New! Dark mode!

Browsing Pinside at night? Getting tired of all the white? Switch to dark mode using the button in the top right (or CTRL-B)!

(Topic ID: 193652)

Call to Action Demand Open source code from all pinball manufacturers


By TechnicalSteam

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 93 posts
  • 44 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by herg
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    One image has been uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    checkpoint_price (resized).jpg

    There are 93 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    -25
    #1 3 years ago

    First its 11:3pm and I'm baffled by lack of availability of open source code from pinball manufacturers. That said I'm not crafting a treatise on this subject just yet. However, I did some quick natural search queries on the subject "Call to Action Demand Open source codE from pinball manufacturers " and came up with plenty of comments but no real discussion.

    As a seasoned software developer with experience with Git and NPM. I really find it annoying that we dont get a chance to contribute to code on games. Sure we can "roll our own" or collaborate with others that do. But I am hoping that pinball producers step up.

    It would be very simple to share the code for these machines. This would #1 Increase interest in pinball and #2 Decrease development cost for all companies involved.

    The consumer would be empowered to fix many of bugs and issues on new and old releases. While still giving the company's ownership over the product. Thru simple pull request and continuous integration methodolgy game code could evolve.

    I know I would glady contribute to bugfixes, updates and new feature request if it meant fixing my favorite machines bugs.

    First top pinball manufacturering company to do this, will come put on top!

    #2 3 years ago

    Good luck. Since they are single source I'm surprised there isn't already a $50 "developmental fee" for updates. That way they can charge you for their lack of code.

    11
    #3 3 years ago

    The issue is the electrical components. What if bad code locks something on. Best case bad fuse worst case a fire.

    #4 3 years ago
    Quoted from clg:

    The issue is the electrical components. What if bad code locks something on. Best case bad fuse worst case a fire.

    Does this ever happen with official code? I've never heard of it.

    #5 3 years ago

    Will never ever happen (at least from major players). The license holders are the ones placing the restriction on the manufacturers. Open source means no licensed themes and no licensed themes mean Stern shuts down. Gary said he will never do an unlicensed game, that would be bad business for him.

    26
    #6 3 years ago

    License holders.
    Support issues.
    Safety issues.

    Never gonna happen from a large pinball company. Just bad business.

    You open source complainers just need to make your own games.

    #7 3 years ago

    I love open source and contribute to many projects, but I don't see a play for open source code for large company's games.

    #8 3 years ago

    And you would need to learn assembly language

    #9 3 years ago
    Quoted from clg:

    The issue is the electrical components. What if bad code locks something on. Best case bad fuse worst case a fire.

    What you're talking about is basically a specialized case of product liability, where the product is software. In the product liability space, negligence is used for design defects on the theory that greater care in design would have prevented the problem. Manufacturing defects are evaluated according strict liability, because they happen no matter how careful a manufacturer is, and making the manufacturer liable spreads the cost of defects. If a software defect gets someone hurt or destroys property, there could be tort liability—but there's probably that already.

    #10 3 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    I love open source and contribute to many projects, but I don't see a play for open source code for large company's games.

    Or small spooky isn't open source nor do I think any other manufacture will.

    Quoted from Ballypinball:

    And you would need to learn assembly language

    None of the new boards are assembly. They are all higher level coding.

    #11 3 years ago

    All the wpc are assay, wpc 95 as well

    #12 3 years ago
    Quoted from Ballypinball:

    All the wpc are assay, wpc 95 as well

    I really don't think anyone is actually expecting Williams to release old source code. The request is for currently active manufacturers, and even that is nearly impossible. They are not programming assembly, though. Not even Spooky, with their minimalist processor.

    Speaking of open source and Spooky, did AMH v23 source ever get released? I thought that open source was one of the selling features of AMH, and I do have the v22 source, just not v23.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from Ballypinball:

    All the wpc are assay, wpc 95 as well

    Yes, the old stuff is. But with Williams not being an active manufacture except in remakes and license protection. I would think it's hard pressed to even remotely ask pps to open source that. The best we could get is new one off games on a board like the proc, i.e. Nick b's multi bingo that's open source

    #14 3 years ago

    NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. That's like demanding MCDonalds to release the recipe for their big mac sauce!

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Does this ever happen with official code? I've never heard of it.

    I believe there was a Metallica issue where Sparky coil would lock on when you opened the coin door?

    #16 3 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. That's like demanding MCDonalds to release the recipe for their big mac sauce!

    I swear i found it on Pinterest

    #17 3 years ago
    Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

    I believe there was a Metallica issue where Sparky coil would lock on when you opened the coin door?

    There was. Plenty of smoked coils from that.

    #18 3 years ago
    Quoted from herg:

    I really don't think anyone is actually expecting Williams to release old source code.

    I'd love it if they did that! It's not that hard to edit the assembly to modify a few bad rules. Or gottlieb. Or even classic Sterns. Most aren't even licensed, there shouldn't be any problem with that. A lot of older games could be improved drastically if we had access to the source code, aren't licensed, and the companies aren't around any more to care about people smoking their games or anything.

    Something like releasing the code (minus assets in the case of licensed stuff) for games more than 5 or 10 years old would be great future proofing and would help prop up resale values of games. Of course, the bigger companies won't do this, because it would take effort on their part, not worth it, but it would be a nice gesture.

    Would this be good for pinball in general? Yes. Will most companies do it? No. I don't see why the OP is getting all these downvotes just because the companies can't be bothered.

    #19 3 years ago
    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    It would be very simple to share the code for these machines. This would #1 Increase interest in pinball and #2 Decrease development cost for all companies involved.

    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    First top pinball manufacturering company to do this, will come put on top!

    This is why I downvoted. Disagree with both of these statements. Going open source wouldn't make any pinball manufacturer suddenly rise to the top. I also disagree that it would decrease development costs. Most of the costs are in the upfront development of the code and the pin, which wouldn't change. Then you have the additional costs of supporting when some moron puts on "Joe's Build #4444, armageddon lightshow and all coil spasm" and blows his fuses, calls Chaz and says "Dunno what happened, was just playing and things blew up."

    Quoted from zacaj:

    Something like releasing the code (minus assets in the case of licensed stuff) for games more than 5 or 10 years old would be great future proofing and would help prop up resale values of games. Of course, the bigger companies won't do this, because it would take effort on their part, not worth it, but it would be a nice gesture.

    Why would a modern pinball manufacter worry about future proofing and propping up resale values? They make money by selling new pins. So add a cost center for moving to open source and dealing with open source issues, make future licensors more nervous because their brand is now out of their and Stern's control, then gut future sales by creating a modding community for older machines. Makes absolutely no business sense.

    -2
    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    Then you have the additional costs of supporting when some moron puts on "Joe's Build #4444, armageddon lightshow and all coil spasm" and blows his fuses, calls Chaz and says "Dunno what happened, was just playing and things blew up."

    If you wait till the machine is out of warranty anyway, you don't need to worry about this.

    Quoted from paul_8788:

    Why would a modern pinball manufacter worry about future proofing and propping up resale values? They make money by selling new pins. So add a cost center for moving to open source and dealing with open source issues, make future licensors more nervous because their brand is now out of their and Stern's control, then gut future sales by creating a modding community for older machines. Makes absolutely no business sense.

    Resale value is half the reason pins can be this expensive. If you looked at your new Premium and knew it was only going to be worth $3000 a year later, you might rethink that. People know their games are gonna be worth a good price later on, so that helps the initial sale. Will that outweigh the cost of setting it up? Probably not. As I said, most bigger companies won't bother. Would earn them a lot of good will though. How many people are sour because their game got dropped with unfinished code and is now dead?

    In the end though, this is a niche market, and companies live and die by the health of the hobby. Open sourcing the old code helps rejuvenate cheaper games, helping more people get into the hobby, etc.

    It's still something that'd be smarter for smaller companies like Spooky to do though. They even started doing it, but then stopped for some reason? Did they ever mention that on their podcast? It seems like Rob Zombie and Dominoes are suffering from their code and Spooky is already hard pressed to keep up with their code, and the community would happily jump on it, balancing stuff, adding things here and there to their own branches, which Spooky could then selectively merge into their own official base.

    With most of the game code already written, people won't generally be modifying any areas that can cause lock ups anyway, so the danger of that is lessened further

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    In the end though, this is a niche market

    Yes, and Pinside is a niche of a niche...and folks who really care about accessing source code is an even smaller niche of a niche. Most people that buy games probably don't even care or know enough to even get into the adjustments menus on their machines. I only change defaults to free play and 5 ball play. That's about it.

    10
    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    Yes, and Pinside is a niche of a niche...and folks who really care about accessing source code is an even smaller niche of a niche. Most people that buy games probably don't even care or know enough to even get into the adjustments menus on their machines. I only change defaults to free play and 5 ball play. That's about it.

    Quoted from wayout440:

    ... and 5 ball play.

    I was with you, right up to that point.

    /5 balls is cheating

    #23 3 years ago

    This has to be a troll posting...

    #24 3 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    Yes, and Pinside is a niche of a niche...and folks who really care about accessing source code is an even smaller niche of a niche. Most people that buy games probably don't even care or know enough to even get into the adjustments menus on their machines. I only change defaults to free play and 5 ball play. That's about it.

    Most people don't need to care about getting into the code, they just need to have better code available, just as most people who benefit from regular open source software don't know how to code either.

    #25 3 years ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    I was with you, right up to that point.
    /5 balls is cheating

    5 ball play is what we grew up with, young fella...but I digress.

    checkpoint_price (resized).jpg

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    5 ball play is what we grew up with, young fella...but I digress.

    On an EM where you often don't even get to flip, sure.

    #27 3 years ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    On an EM where you often don't even get to flip, sure.

    Who cares? Let people enjoy a pinball machine they way they want.

    Back on topic: I would love it if the software was open source but I understand why it is not. Isn't AMH software open source? Has anyone done anything with it?

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    On an EM where you often don't even get to flip, sure.

    So Walking Dead?

    Quoted from oohlou:

    Who cares? Let people enjoy a pinball machine they way they want.
    Back on topic: I would love it if the software was open source but I understand why it is not.I sn't AMH software open source? Has anyone done anything with it?

    Supposedly it is/was but I can't find the code on their site anymore Maybe I'm just missing it. They have the graphics files available and the sounds can be replaced, which is great, but that's the stuff that'd be easier to hack anyway.

    #29 3 years ago

    I wouldn't want access to the source code. Half the fun is figuring out the scoring rules. This would eliminate that.

    #30 3 years ago

    I demand that technicalsteam open sources his bank account. I further demand he open sources his house so that we may party there buying beer and pizza from the aforementioned bank accounts.

    #31 3 years ago

    He had me at....

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    I demand that technicalsteam open sources his bank account. I further demand he open sources his house so that we may party there buying beer and pizza from the aforementioned bank accounts.

    I don't agree with the OP but your point is a straw man argument.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gratis_versus_libre#.22Free_beer.22_vs_.22free_speech.22_distinction

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    First its 11:3pm and I'm baffled by lack of availability of open source code from pinball manufacturers.

    I'm baffled by the fact that you can't type the time properly.

    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    I really find it annoying that we dont get a chance to contribute to code on games.

    Why? You're not an employee of a pinball company. Why would a company want you to monkey with their product? Why do you want to work for free? Go do your job, enjoy your free time.

    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    This would #1 Increase interest in pinball

    Maybe with like 4 mega nerds.

    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    I know I would glady contribute to bugfixes, updates and new feature request if it meant fixing my favorite machines bugs.

    Here's how to handle that. Don't buy games with unfinished code and bugs. The people selling the product will fix it.

    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    First top pinball manufacturering company to do this, will come put on top!

    Yeah, no.

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from Travish:

    Good luck. Since they are single source I'm surprised there isn't already a $50 "developmental fee" for updates. That way they can charge you for their lack of code.

    ssshhhhh! Done give them any ideas.

    #35 3 years ago
    Quoted from AlbanyTim:

    I wouldn't want access to the source code. Half the fun is figuring out the scoring rules. This would eliminate that.

    Probably easier to figure them out by playing than by reading the source :/

    Quoted from Rarehero:enjoy your free time.

    What if I enjoy fixing pinball code?

    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Why would a company want you to monkey with their product?

    Free labor? Why do most tech companies open source much of their code?

    Quoted from Rarehero:

    The people selling the product will fix it.

    How's that been working out for ya?

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Free labor? Why do most tech companies open source much of their code?

    Free labor via open source is a myth everywhere I've seen it. It actually costs the company I work for more time and money to have some of our products open sourced.

    We use it mainly as a PR tool and a recruiting tool. The structure we have around accepting and reviewing a pull request is pretty large.
    It has to be when incorporating code written by Bob in his garage into an almost billion dollar product offering.

    As a tip to you aspiring programmers out there, if you know a company you want to work for, find one of their open source projects and contribute meaningful code to it over the course of a couple months. If they like what you are doing you could easily land a job.

    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    What if I enjoy fixing pinball code?

    Plenty of options besides demanding a company let you alter their proprietary product.

    1. Apply for a job at a pinball company.
    2. Buy a P-ROC
    3. Make your own game.

    Quoted from zacaj:

    Free labor? Why do most tech companies open source much of their code?

    Do gaming companies? Do coin-op companies? This isn't a "piece of tech". It's a "finished" product. (In theory lol)

    Quoted from zacaj:

    How's that been working out for ya?

    I stopped buying games. Worked out great! Just playing all the bug free finished ones that exist!

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. That's like demanding MCDonalds to release the recipe for their big mac sauce!

    https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/product/big-mac.html

    Just saying.

    Marcus

    #39 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Plenty of options besides demanding a company let you alter their proprietary product.
    1. Apply for a job at a pinball company.
    2. Buy a P-ROC
    3. Make your own game.

    1. Planning on it
    2. Built my own boards, PROC costs too much
    3. I did.

    Plenty of options, yes, but the best one for pinball in general is if they'd just release the code.

    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Do gaming companies?

    Many do.

    Quoted from Rarehero:

    This isn't a "piece of tech". It's a "finished" product. (In theory lol)

    That doesn't have any bearing

    Quoted from Rarehero:

    I stopped buying games. Worked out great! Just playing all the bug free finished ones that exist!

    And the companies still aren't finishing their code.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Plenty of options, yes, but the best one for pinball in general is if they'd just release the code.

    It's been said before, it'll never happen. Partially due to the games being licensed. Partially due to companies being protective of their R&D. There's nothing in it for the companies to open source their code, and only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of pinball enthusiasts would even understand or care what "open code" is or does. It's not something that'll move the meter at all...so the premise of this thread: "Call to action" and "DEMAND" is just laughable entitled mega-nerd stuff.

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    It's been said before, it'll never happen. Partially due to the games being licensed. Partially due to companies being protective of their R&D. There's nothing in it for the companies to open source their code, and only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of pinball enthusiasts would even understand or care what "open code" is or does. It's not something that'll move the meter at all...so the premise of this thread: "Call to action" and "DEMAND" is just laughable entitled mega-nerd stuff.

    Your estimate of how many people would care is way low, but either way, it not happening doesn't mean it's not better. If you don't demand, then it's definitely not going to happen. It doesn't hurt to have it in the conversation, and it's in no way entitled to want to be able to fix the code on your $7000 machine.

    14
    #42 3 years ago

    As promised, Multimorphic will be open sourcing game code for many of our non-licensed games, including our first game LL-EE. We'll also be making available tools and documentation to help you build and test it on your P3.

    Let us get some machines shipped, and then we'll make the game code available.

    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    it's in no way entitled to want to be able to fix the code on your $7000 machine.

    The premise of the thread is the epitome of entitlement. DEMAND! CALL TO ACTION! ...c'mon.

    Don't buy $7000 pinball machines that don't have complete/bug-free code. Don't reward companies that make poor products and charge that much.

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    The premise of the thread is the epitome of entitlement. DEMAND! CALL TO ACTION! ...c'mon.
    Don't buy $7000 pinball machines that don't have complete/bug-free code. Don't reward companies that make poor products and charge that much.

    Yeah, and screw those people who did, they have no right to ask for better treatment. You bought the game, you are entitled to complete code. If the company can't deliver, it's on them.

    Quoted from gstellenberg:

    As promised, Multimorphic will be open sourcing game code for many of our non-licensed games, including our first game LL-EE. We'll also be making available tools and documentation to help you build and test it on your P3.
    Let us get some machines shipped, and then we'll make the game code available.
    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    Great to hear

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Yeah, and screw those people who did, they have no right to ask for better treatment. You bought the game, you are entitled to complete code. If the company can't deliver, it's on them.

    Exactly. Take it up with them.

    I feel bad if anyone bought a game with boned code...but that's been Stern's M.O. for almost a decade at this point. The info is available for all to see on da internets....buyer beware.

    #46 3 years ago

    Why would Stern just turn over it's software that they invested heavily to the world, including their competition? So a few fans could tinker with their games, put them on route, and have them malfunction or do things they were not designed to do? That's entirely ridiculous.

    #47 3 years ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    Why would Stern just turn over it's software that they invested heavily to the world, including their competition? So a few fans could tinker with their games, put them on route, and have them malfunction or do things they were not designed to do? That's entirely ridiculous.

    The premise here is ridiculus (open source) but pinball companies could development APIs like most successful software companies do. No need to expose hardware drivers or IP just interface for end user customization. It can be done. Apple does it, Android has it. Etc. A whole new ballgame, software mods... On Stern Star Wars for example. you could tie in (pun intended) a custom toy feature to register like it came from the factory and affect scoring.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    2. Built my own boards, PROC costs too much

    I don't understand why anyone would do that strictly on price. To learn, yes, for fun, yes, for price? That seems ridiculous. You could accomplish so much on your custom game in the time it would take you to create your own board. Not to mention debugging time of that board, doing OS stuff, etc. when all of that has already been done with the p-roc.

    #49 3 years ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    1. Planning on it
    2. Built my own boards, PROC costs too much
    3. I did.

    What game did you build? Is there a thread or website about it? Any info on your board set that you made?

    #50 3 years ago

    That is a list of ingredients, a list of ingredients is not a recipe.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    From: $ 9.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 24.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    $ 74.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lermods
    $ 42.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 22.00
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 199.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Medisinyl Mods
    $ 54.99
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 2.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Doc's Pinball Shop
    $ 5,899.00
    Pinball Machine
    Operation Pinball
    $ 59.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Sparky Pinball
    $ 3.50
    Various Other Swag
    UpKick Pinball
    $ 27.25
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 1,099.00
    Flipper Parts
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 87.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    From: $ 54.00
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 24.50
    $ 10.00
    Playfield - Protection
    Filament Printing
    From: $ 99.99
    From: $ 42.00
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: $ 110.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Bent Mods
    From: $ 7.50
    Electronics
    Docent Electronics
    From: $ 41.00
    $ 5,999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Classic Game Rooms
    $ 69.50
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lermods
    $ 9,099.00
    Pinball Machine
    Little Shop Of Games
    $ 149.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    There are 93 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside