Can a code update really improve a bad pin?

(Topic ID: 128674)

Can a code update really improve a bad pin?


By str8cash

3 years ago



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  • 61 posts
  • 32 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by BMore-Pinball
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There are 61 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
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#1 3 years ago

I've had the misfortune of playing 50 to 100 games of Walking Dead Pro. What a p.o.s! Everywhere I turn people are talking about the great new code update. Can a code really improve a terrible game? Unless a bumper was installed between the flippers to stop all the sdtm shots or a kickback was added for the extremely cheap drain outer lanes, how would a code improve it?

#2 3 years ago

I've played quite a bit of TWD (there's one on location where I get my lunch every day) and even with the old code I think it's a fun game. The one near me doesn't have many sdtm drains that I've seen some mention though so maybe it's all in the set up? Any way it's easily one of my favourite recent sterns gameplay wise, I think they dropped the ball on the play field art (cabinet is ok) and the audio though.

#3 3 years ago

The new code is a big step in the right direction. TWD is a unique fun layout IMO. If you played 100 games you must be a closet fan in denial. I could not play 10 games on Adams Family before being bored to *ucking tears so to each their own I guess

#4 3 years ago

I have an LE and I guess I'm lucky. I have no sdtm issues. People say to hit a flipper when the prison magnet holds the ball to release it early and you get a magnet pulse. I dont understand the big deal. My pin always pulses the ball to one side or the other whether I wait it out or flip and force it to release early. Always.

Some times it throws the ball back into the prison head when the doors are open and self scores that way. That always makes me grin.

However on a side note, what ever the code release was before 1.19 was, I do remember having sdtm issues then.

#5 3 years ago

Code won't solve inherent design flaws. But things like magnet pulses and a rubber on a post here and there can and have made drain monsters into playable machines. Great code can absolutely bail a mediocre machine out, though. Lyman has mastered this art. Cameron Silver also single handedly turned CV into a game that played as well as it looked, some years after it was sabotaged and released by B/W.

#6 3 years ago

Short answer: If a game is "bad" because it has "exploitable" rules that encourage playing it in a way that is not fun, code can improve it. If a game is bad because it is a clunker or has a poor shot layout, code is not going to help much.

#7 3 years ago

I am going to start a Proc project soon to see if I can improve a terrible pin: Popeye. Given the amount of work coding a pinball machine involves (I have one simple machine under my belt), it may take me a while.

#8 3 years ago

I think SWDE is a good example of a game improving quite a bit by updating the code.

Quoted from gcp:Short answer: If a game is "bad" because it has "exploitable" rules that encourage playing it in a way that is not fun, code can improve it. If a game is bad because it is a clunker or has a poor shot layout, code is not going to help much.

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from ktrain315:

I think SWDE is a good example of a game improving quite a bit by updating the code.

Absolutely. That, CV, and CC would be the three best examples, IMO.

#10 3 years ago

TZ was a giant improvement.

#11 3 years ago

Yes
my first NIB was a Batman TDK
out of the box, the machine was a dud, I thought I had just flushed a couple of thousand straight down the toilet
updated the code to what was available, the machine improved x 10

two years later, and a few more updates, the machine is completely different to the game I unboxed

#12 3 years ago
Quoted from str8cash:

I've had the misfortune of playing 50 to 100 games of Walking Dead Pro. What a p.o.s! Everywhere I turn people are talking about the great new code update. Can a code really improve a terrible game? Unless a bumper was installed between the flippers to stop all the sdtm shots or a kickback was added for the extremely cheap drain outer lanes, how would a code improve it?

Like a lot of stern games they have to be setup correctly and TWD does require a couple of tweaks. The out lanes are tough but not as bad as IM so I do not get that complaint at all. The STDM from the prison magnet sucks when it happens but typically a cancel with the flipper buttons and a gentle nudge completely eliminates this. The biggest issue is the drain from the pops. I added a slightly larger post sleeve and this took care of the issue almost completely. I also added a small piece of felt to at the end of the left orbit that allows about 50% or slightly more of the left orbit shots to return cleanly to the flippers without stopping in the pops. So it's not like it requires expensive time consuming adjustments to play great.

Play one with the new code in a home environment that has been setup well and you will be surprised. As for the out lanes, you can always buy that post that someone made to pretty much block the out lane but I personally find that ridiculous. You might as well put a rubber band over the out lane and block it. To each there own.

Great code is required or at a minimum fun code is required to make a good game. Doesn't matter what the layout is if the code sucks. AC/DC is a pretty average game without the code. Meh artwork, fan layout, the bell is cool, but not that much else going on. The code makes it a blast to play though.

#13 3 years ago

Just install the Oursler special on TWD. I personally love the flipper center post. Adds another level of chaos whether you should trust it or not. It really is like 50/50 on saves and isn't as cheap as it appears.

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#14 3 years ago
Quoted from str8cash:

Can a code really improve a terrible game?

Depends on what makes the game "terrible" to begin with. Was it a great table with bad code? If so, then yes. If it had a terrible layout, terrible shots, horrible sound, and one time slapped your mother, than a code update may not save the game.

However, my next purchase in a few days was decided upon strictly because I keep reading on how the code change made this dud a winner.

From - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/high-roller-casino
"Played this with the v2 ROMs and the V3 director's cut version and it's a night and day difference - like a new machine. Definitely a fun machine and worthwhile - but you have to have the V3 ROMs for this machine. It was definitely a labor of love for keefer. "

That, and about a baker's dozen other similar threads sharing the same sentiment made me put a deposit on the machine AND contact my local guy for the V3.0 ROMs to be whipped up today so they're here a day after I get the machine.

So long answer to your original question... yes, code apparently can save a terrible game. Hope TWD gets/got some similar love.

#15 3 years ago

I think code really improved X-Men. They added combo awards, Deadpool, Nightcrawler activity, wizard modes, multiball scoring changes, and made the game much more about strategy and VERY accurate shooting.

When the game first came out, the rules were bare bones, and the shots did not seem to have much cohesion, and there was not much strategy other than start Wolverine and Magneto. Code improved that and its now one of the more challenging and fun games of recent years (IMO of course)

#16 3 years ago

IMHO, I feel that the Walking Dead, Metallica and Star Trek have very similar layouts. One of the reasons I sold my Walking Dead was I felt it was too similar to Metallica.
Theme wise Star Trek should have won hands down. But Sterns lack of communication about code, pused me to Walking Dead instead. When I got to Walking Dead I liked the layout but the code was a little weak and no actor call outs. Then I got Metallica, polished code, a few xtra shots and the Sparky bash toy blew away thr zombie in the barn so TWD left.

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from Butch2099:

IMHO, I feel that the Walking Dead, Metallica and Star Trek have very similar layouts. One of the reasons I sold my Walking Dead was I felt it was too similar to Metallica.
Theme wise Star Trek should have won hands down. But Sterns lack of communication about code, pused me to Walking Dead instead. When I got to Walking Dead I liked the layout but the code was a little weak and no actor call outs. Then I got Metallica, polished code, a few xtra shots and the Sparky bash toy blew away thr zombie in the barn so TWD left.

Other then a bash toy in the middle I'm not sure I'm seeing the similar layout? Sparky is definitely cooler then the zombie bash toys though.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from Butch2099:

IMHO, I feel that the Walking Dead, Metallica and Star Trek have very similar layouts.

Maybe in the "it's got 2 flippers, some ramps and some pops" sense.

-6
#19 3 years ago

For the most part, code updates only satisfy those who have overspent on a pin and are in denial on how awful the game really is.

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

For the most part, code updates only satisfy those who have overspent on a pin and are in denial on how awful the game really is.

Your joking right? You should go back and reset your METLE to the code it shipped with then. I'm sure you will love it just as much as the code that's on it now. Same goes for AMH.

#21 3 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

Your joking right? You should go back and reset your METLE to the code it shipped with then. I'm sure you will love it just as much as the code that's on it now. Same goes for AMH.

500,000 thousand

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from coz6:

500,000 thousand

500,000 *OR* 500 Thousand. Pick one.

#23 3 years ago

BOP 2.0 is a good example of a complete code overhaul, plus extra.

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

For the most part, code updates only satisfy those who have overspent on a pin and are in denial on how awful the game really is.

Crabby much!

#25 3 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

Your joking right? You should go back and reset your METLE to the code it shipped with then. I'm sure you will love it just as much as the code that's on it now. Same goes for AMH.

My point is, Metallica was a good game to begin with. The code only enhanced the game. The OP speaks of "IF" a good code can save a game. And the answer is...NO...it can't.

We are only speaking of the pins that were bad to begin with where someone thought the code could save it. I think you need to reread the OP's first post. He states that in his mind it's a P.O.S. My point is...no great code can change that.

Let's turn it around and let me ask you a question. Why are you so quick to pile on when you can't even comprehend the original post from the OP?

#26 3 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

Other then a bash toy in the middle I'm not sure I'm seeing the similar layout? Sparky is definitely cooler then the zombie bash toys though.

Bash toy in the middle, bumpers are in almost the same spot on all 3 games, 2 main ramps both feed back to the flippers on each side of bash toy.

#27 3 years ago

Unfortunately I play it at a pool hall by my work. The setup is terrible and even the slightest nudge tilts it. It's basically unplayable. Maybe my opinion of the game would change in a home use environment but I doubt it. The playfield leaves lots to be desired, there's no color (unless white is a color you like) lacks shots and has no flow. I will not put another buck into it. Hopefully they switch it out for anything else, and soon!

-1
#28 3 years ago
Quoted from str8cash:

Unfortunately I play it at a pool hall by my work. The setup is terrible and even the slightest nudge tilts it. It's basically unplayable.

I agree for the most part, TWD even with better code is a lame layout. Playing it with a tight tilt is basically random luck as to what crap you are going to be served with out of the pops. From the layout it looks like the game should flow great, but unless you want to left ramp all day its so choppy. I don't see how code can really change it

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

My point is, Metallica was a good game to begin with. The code only enhanced the game. The OP speaks of "IF" a good code can save a game. And the answer is...NO...it can't.
We are only speaking of the pins that were bad to begin with where someone thought the code could save it. I think you need to reread the OP's first post. He states that in his mind it's a P.O.S. My point is...no great code can change that.
Let's turn it around and let me ask you a question. Why are you so quick to pile on when you can't even comprehend the original post from the OP?

There's nothing to turn around. I own a TWDLE and I disliked it pretty quickly. I wouldn't call it terrible on it's release but it was average to bad at best. I wanted to sell or trade it and even had a straight up trade for a METLE lined up but my wife is a huge fan of the show and wanted to keep it. I agreed to at least wait for the code up date. Code update drops and the game is dramatically better and I can't stop playing it. There are still some things that need to be fixed and polished but I think it's a really good game now and I thought it sucked before. So I'm pretty sure I understand exactly what the OP was asking. You made a foolish comment that code updates pretty much do not matter. Look at all of the games from the last 15 years that are in the top 40. What do they all have in common? Awesome code!! Several of those games were released with garbage code, MET included in my opinion. Modern games with average layouts at best can turn into great games if the code pans out. It's not like there is anything crazy inventive or mind blowing in any of the newer games except for the deep complex rule sets and high risk reward modes/jackpots.

Quoted from str8cash:

Unfortunately I play it at a pool hall by my work. The setup is terrible and even the slightest nudge tilts it. It's basically unplayable. Maybe my opinion of the game would change in a home use environment but I doubt it. The playfield leaves lots to be desired, there's no color (unless white is a color you like) lacks shots and has no flow. I will not put another buck into it. Hopefully they switch it out for anything else, and soon!

Honestly, I wouldn't waist your money. TWD requires some nudging. If you cannot give the game a firm nudge forward without it tilting you are going to get left out lane drains constantly if the lanes are in the widest position. I like the dark creepy playfield personally, but the game is not going to be for everyone. The game is light years better with the new code and I think a lot of people are going to like it. Like I said though, this is not a game that should be setup with a sensitive tilt.

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from jgentry:

You made a foolish comment that code updates pretty much do not matter.

Just curious, does everyone who downvotes eggbert get love notes, or am I special?

Mr. Grumpy Pants

#31 3 years ago

I haven't done much down voting so you could just be extra special or I could be in for some unpleasant PM's in my future. Now stop ruining pinside for eggbert with your cliques and socal liberal ways

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Just curious, does everyone who downvotes eggbert get love notes, or am I special?

Damn he sounds hot & bothered.

#33 3 years ago

In a word, YES!

#34 3 years ago

TWD is awesome!
The really good, really tough games don't get appreciated at first -> this is TWD
Code is one of the MOST important aspects of ANY MODERN PIN.

- Poor Layout + Great Code >>> Great Layout + Poor Code

TWD has a Great Layout + Great Code!

#35 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Just curious, does everyone who downvotes eggbert get love notes, or am I special?
Mr. Grumpy Pants

I have never received a PM for eggbert. I feel left out

#36 3 years ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

I have never received a PM for eggbert. I feel left out

Try telling him he's wrong more often. It's not hard.

#37 3 years ago

Eggbert_300.png

#38 3 years ago

I remember Metallica at release and pinside had so much hate against the game.... w/ new code as of today, people are loving it and stern is selling the crap out of it.

-1
#39 3 years ago
Quoted from northvibe:

I remember Metallica at release and pinside had so much hate against the game.... w/ new code as of today, people are loving it and stern is selling the crap out of it.

The issues with Metallica were purely code though.

TWD has more than that to deal with; a poor art & sound package. No code update is gonna fix that. I'm just not a fan, never will be. I can't stand looking at it. I think it was just a poor idea for a theme. Popularity of a theme doesn't always dictate an instant win when translated into a pin.

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from thedefog:

The issues with Metallica were purely code though.
TWD has more than that to deal with; a poor art & sound package. No code update is gonna fix that. I'm just not a fan, never will be. I can't stand looking at it. I think it was just a poor idea for a theme. Popularity of a theme doesn't always dictate an instant win when translated into a pin.

This of course is just your opinion and not a fact at all. I happen to love the artwork on TWD. You want to see truely bad PLAYFIELD artwork, if you can even call it artwork, look at stern Star Trek. It looks like someone at a bag of skittles and puked them up all over the Playfield, dreadful

#41 3 years ago

I like the artwork on both Walking Dead and StarTrek playfields. To each their own. At least they are not photoshopped collages like a lot of games. The art fits the theme IMHO.

#42 3 years ago

OP, tell the location or the op that the tilt is too tight. Machines need to be playable and without the little posts above the inlane/outlane guides this one needs to be nudged. There is a location in town that has 4 recent/semi-recent Stern machines. We are there every 2 weeks for a tournament that I put on. We have worked with the arcade manager to tweak the machines to play nicely for above-average players.

Funny story. When they first got TWD, they didn't have the tilt bob installed. I don't know if that is how it comes out of the box, but it was just the stick. Our first event there was a pairing late in the event that lasted almost an hour for a 2 of 3 because they were able to save everything. Each player had a total of 1 warning each by the end of the 3 games and they were almost dancing with the machine.

We told them that the tilt was WAAAAAAAAAYYYYY too loose and found out a few days later we found out that it was just the stick swinging in there.

#43 3 years ago
Quoted from thedefog:

The issues with Metallica were purely code though.
TWD has more than that to deal with; a poor art & sound package. No code update is gonna fix that. I'm just not a fan, never will be. I can't stand looking at it. I think it was just a poor idea for a theme. Popularity of a theme doesn't always dictate an instant win when translated into a pin.

but the title of the thread was about code upgrading a bad pin. I'd say people though metallica was a bad pin when it came out.

I don't think twd's layout is bad, I really like the uniqueness.

#44 3 years ago

A machine that regularly drains SDTM and thru the outlanes sounds like no code update can make it better than it already is.

#45 3 years ago

Mmmm sounds like my met pro....

#46 3 years ago

I finally played it at a home with code update.. Still sucks. No flow, terrible sound and graphics. Just not a fun pin (and isn't that why we play??) Found myself extremely bored and couldn't wait to play the other pins there. His biggest regret was buying it nib. I'd like to try Metallica without the code updates just to see the difference.

#47 3 years ago
Quoted from QuarterGrabber:

This of course is just your opinion and not a fact at all.

Of course it is not fact. Subjectivity is never fact. I hate the art and sound on TWD. My opinion. I made that pretty clear in my post it was opinion. And in contrast to your opinion, I don't mind the art on Star Trek at all. It is a bit over-the-top with the gradients and rainbows, but not terrible.

#48 3 years ago
Quoted from northvibe:

I don't think twd's layout is bad, I really like the uniqueness.

I like the fact it isn't cookie-cutter normal Stern layout stuff as well. I just can't get past the art and sound.

#49 3 years ago
Quoted from str8cash:

I finally played it at a home with code update.. Still sucks. No flow, terrible sound and graphics. Just not a fun pin (and isn't that why we play??) Found myself extremely bored and couldn't wait to play the other pins there. His biggest regret was buying it nib. I'd like to try Metallica without the code updates just to see the difference.

hmmm.... difficult and frustrating - absolutely!
But sucky, terrible, not fun, boring ???? we playin' the same pin?

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

A machine that regularly drains SDTM and thru the outlanes sounds like no code update can make it better than it already is.

Sounds like an EM

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