(Topic ID: 67687)

Controversial solution - Why not charge for code updates?


By Brads_User_Name

5 years ago



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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by master_of_chaos
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    There are 85 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 5 years ago

    "Completed Code" is a myth. Yes - I am well aware that there have been quite a few examples of some glaring examples - Wheel of Fortune is one that often comes up on that list.

    Having said that, EVERY system never really meets its first "true test" until it is in the hands of a variety of users and it is turning up imperfections, bugs and the like. This applies to pinball or otherwise - i.e. Financial Systems, Sales System, EVERYTHING.

    Notice that virtually every computerized device or system receives frequent code updates - if you have a smartphone and apps you see this regularly.

    IDEALLY, everyone would like code to be at "Final State" the moment you are using it - but that is exceptionally rare. Until the user community is finding new ways of breaking the code or uncovering bugs or shortcomings, the code has never really been stress tested.

    The Gulf that exists is between code that functions properly with most features functioning properly - and that of UNFINISHED code - which I think is the perception pinball suffers at times.

    It's just my 2 cents - but I think it is a valid point of view that is relevant to this discussion.

    Oh - paying for code updates - Bad Idea - for many of the reasons identified by others above me in the thread.

    #52 5 years ago
    Quoted from Guinnesstime:

    Oh I'm sure there are ways. Maybe they can require a special memory stick direct from them. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard for them to do something that would persuade many from buying from them. Maybe a subscription of for a bank of pin updates or something.
    At least (for now) we are safe from in-app purchases like on an iPhone game.
    "Would you like to add an extra ball for $.99?"

    Older games used to have buy in's like that may they can add that back.

    as for DRM special memory stick how to stop copying / muilt game updating with out braking stuff / makeing a failed update count ageist you.

    #53 5 years ago

    I agree with the op, although Id probably only pony up $10 or something...but not for every update, just a final polished one...

    #54 5 years ago

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

    #55 5 years ago

    A good running game, free of glitches, errors, plays good, etc is part of the game purchase. PERIOD!

    Technically, the code/software should be finished before the game is released.

    #56 5 years ago

    Think this through people - do you honestly think they can add effective DRM to a pinball machine? They can't even ship completed code

    #57 5 years ago

    Give me a full and complete code for something I already paid you for. No negociation.

    #58 5 years ago
    Quoted from Darth_Chris:

    Give me a full and complete code for something I already paid you for. No negociation.

    image-231.jpg image-439.jpg
    #59 5 years ago
    Quoted from Apollyon:

    Best thing to do right now, as was mentioned by someone else in another thread, is for Stern to allow its coders to take 3 months and finish Xmen, Avengers, Metallica, ST coding. Nothing else new. Have a delay in releasing a new game, and instead do reruns of past excellent games that people are clamouring for. And for the love of God, communicate with your customers, telling us that you will complete the code for these games.
    Reputational increase, and $$$ in your jeans.

    Yes, this is a reasonable "solution" to the current ever-piling-up code issues. But will Stern listen? Does Stern even want or care to listen? I'd love for them to set aside 3 months a year purely for coding issues, during which the designers can pow-wow and discuss/plan future titles and get their act together for the coming 9 months of production.

    Will Stern generate enough $$ in that 3 month period to stay sufficiently profitable on a yearly basis? Don't know.

    Even a month would be better than the current state. What about Codecember? Give the designers a month off to do what they want, and have the coders and dot animators go hog wild for the month.

    Bah, we could go 'round and 'round on this topic forever, and have infinitum on this board over the past two years and Stern still hasn't seemed to listen.

    What "we" need to do is get a formal petition going to bring this unrest and dissatisfaction to Stern's attention on a more prominent level. Emails trickling in b!tching about code is easy for them to ignore. After all, I see one person on my lawn a day with a torch or a pitchfork and I don't blink an eye. I see a whole mob of people at once with torches and pitchforks, now you have my attention.

    F@&k I babble a lot. Sorry

    #60 5 years ago
    Quoted from RobT:

    Worst. Idea. Ever.

    Right along with pay toilets...

    Paying extra for code or a crapper is just wrong.

    #61 5 years ago
    Quoted from cal50:

    Paying extra for code or a crapper is just wrong.

    I'm not so sure I agree. If Stern were to ship basic ruleset for games, provide an SDK that allowed third parties to build and share rulesets.. perhaps through some stern-headed governance body, I'd be fine with that. I'd even be wiling to pay a reasonable price for the SDK and do some type of revenue share if I ended up selling the expanded software. If they don't want to burn resources on it, then open the door to those of us who would. If they open-sourced their entire SDK, I'm sure guys would be all over that in a New York minute.

    #62 5 years ago

    Not to jump in on the dead horse beating, but I'd be PISSED if I dropped $6K on a NIB game with unfinished code... and then had to drop more coin at a later date for an update.

    Eff that noise.

    #63 5 years ago

    If they're not going to finish the games, why not just "open up" the code of the game and let the community hack away at it?

    I'm still pretty impressed with the Pinside guy who hacked the ROM binaries and was able to allow successful sprite/graphic/sound modifications.

    How much harder would it be to hack the rule set?

    ps. I think it was kind of unfair to 'downvote' the OP. He's just proposing a 'What If' that I haven't seen previously discussed.

    #64 5 years ago

    The folks that build devices employing embedded software systems are bound to certain laws and restrictions for intellectual property, copyright, patent. It's not as simple as you might think, they don't just "open up" the code without thinking about the ramifications. There's certain software for the commercial electronics devices we build that are tied to various licenses, that I am to be VERY, VERY careful about not releasing into the wild.

    Of course, our updates to released product are always free.

    http://www.wright.edu/rsp/Security/S2unclas/Propriet.htm

    http://www.freibrun.com/articles/articl2.htm

    #65 5 years ago

    This is purely and utterly a nonsensical idea. We don't want pinball to be like the automotive industry. I believe it was Mr Ford that said, "we don't make cars to make money, we make cars to make money out of spare parts." or words to that effect.

    I believe that all new machines should come with some sort of guarantee that the code, if not already on the machine, will be completed up to a stated level e.g. all features/modes will be operational within a stated period of time. Once this has been fulfilled, then and only then, I MAY be prepared to pay a small amount i.e. well under $50 for a 'special' update that is above and beyond when the stated code is considered as finished.

    We have already seen Stern software can be hmmm modified in that we can add our own songs and some other bits and pieces. You seriously don't think that if we have to pay for software updates that the manufacturers system wouldn't be hacked or pirated copies made before a week was over.

    #66 5 years ago

    Why not start a class action lawsuit on an unfinished product that should be finished by now. They sell incomplete products. Could one start a case on this (unfinished products)? Charging for a code of an 7k unfinished machine is stupid. Seems to me someone needs to start a fire under there ass and maybe they will complete (code) on maybe one machine. Better yet stop buying there incomplete pinball machines and then they will complete the codes.

    #67 5 years ago

    Ludicrous.

    #68 5 years ago

    I don't think this guy deserves the thumbs down and negative comments he's getting. He's just another frustrated owner/buyer trying to figure out how to make his game playable. I don't like the idea, but maybe if there was a model out there that compensated for this, money back if not complete 6 months post, I don't know, it would help ease taking the leap to buy another Stern.

    None of that will happen of course, simply because Gary Stern doesn't give a shit about you as a buyer. He just wants your money, and on to the next.

    All of these discussions though add to the overall consensus that will one day make a difference, keep that in mind. More threads complaining, and rightfully so, will help make the change.

    #69 5 years ago

    Lemons

    #70 5 years ago
    Quoted from Brtlkat:

    Why not start a class action lawsuit on an unfinished product that should be finished by now. They sell incomplete products. Could one start a case on this (unfinished products)? Charging for a code of an 7k unfinished machine is stupid. Seems to me someone needs to start a fire under there ass and maybe they will complete (code) on maybe one machine. Better yet stop buying there incomplete pinball machines and then they will complete the codes.

    Good luck with that. All electronics products companies building computer hardware or software products nowadays release what would be called a "minimum viable product". When was the last time you bought a piece of software that didnt already have a patch ready for you to download the day it came out? Do you really expect a pinball machine to be some exclusively built electronics product that will have 100% complete code at the time of release? It will never happen. They are not going to wait 6 months more or whatever to polish code before a hardware release to market, and still risk that there will likely be updates.

    #71 5 years ago
    Quoted from wayout440:

    When was the last time you bought a piece of software that didnt already have a patch ready for you to download the day it came out?

    Yah but there is no download waiting for use to download(update) the day we get these machines, Its been months and no updates. So now what?

    #72 5 years ago
    Quoted from PennSkier:

    "Completed Code" is a myth.

    I would consider SM and LotR as "Complete". It's not a myth.

    #73 5 years ago

    No, i will not pay for completing the code.

    offer a program a 50 buck bonus to fix bugs, and you know what you get? more bugs.

    The best thing for this is competition. If company J delivers games, and follows up with code, then company S will need to do the same to compete. Same thing goes for LCD screens.

    Add additional small companies competing to the mix, and you have a better chance for pressure.

    Next, you need a vocal group telling both companies, this is explicitly what you want, or you will not order. Rushing to fill up pre-orders does not help the cause.

    They were accustomed to selling to operators. Finished code, meant the game accepted coins. Two or three minutes of game time, were all that were needed.

    We are pretty sure the market has shifted to over 60% home buyers in the US. Every show the companies give there sales pitch, this needs to be brought up, and emphasized during the Q&A.

    #74 5 years ago
    Quoted from Brtlkat:

    Yah but there is no download waiting for use to download(update) the day we get these machines, Its been months and no updates. So now what?

    The OP seemed to suggest that manufactures provide additional features/bug fixes as a paid update. Minimal release versions of software will usually have fixes that tend to happen as they occur and with varying timelines. Additional software features are generally a lower priority than bug fixes and the ones that get a faster timeline are the ones that the customers push for the most. I just don't agree that they should be paid for by the end user, and that expecting 100% complete code - no bug fixes or changes later, is generally unrealistic in the modern computer electronics market.

    #75 5 years ago

    Shit like this just makes Planetary Pinball remakes of all the classics even more appealing

    Hell some System 11 games have more code than recent Sterns which is just damn pathetic

    I am thinking of abandoning Stern all together & just buying Sega & Data East games for 1/4 the price & 4x the code

    #76 5 years ago
    Quoted from Asael:

    I would consider SM and LotR as "Complete". It's not a myth.

    Excellent examples. Point taken + Thumbs up.

    #77 5 years ago

    I think that part of the issue is that there never has been a official "definitive" rule set issued by bally, williams, gottlieb, stern and/or jersey jack for any machine that they released.

    and for that reason, it's kind of hard to pin down a company and say "hey! this is incomplete, you need to finish the code"

    however, if we ever get a point where they explicitly spell out the rules and feature set of a game and then never deliver, then you may have a leg to stand on from a legal standpoint.

    #78 5 years ago

    Can I pay for my Stern code updates with my eplate credit card?

    #79 5 years ago

    I think all this talk of code updates, when they are gonna show up, and what they will contain all could be put to rest if stern would just communicate with us better. Its the lack of direct communication and real info that leads to all this speculation and guessing.

    #80 5 years ago

    If the parent companies can not or will not do it and they refuse an open source concept that leaves hopefully someone hacking it. Its too bad there is not a developers sandbox to test and mod game code for 3rd party dev's.

    Keep official factory ROM's / code marked as such and sandbox / experimental code marked as such.
    Standard disclaimer use at your own risk and the company should be free and clear.

    #81 5 years ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    Hell some System 11 games have more code than recent Sterns which is just damn pathetic
    I am thinking of abandoning Stern all together & just buying Sega & Data East games for 1/4 the price & 4x the code

    Yea? Which system 11 games have code as much in depth as say the unfinished xmen? Which Sega games have code even as good as say current Star Trek or Metallica?

    #82 5 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    Yea? Which system 11 games have code as much in depth as say the unfinished xmen? Which Sega games have code even as good as say current Star Trek or Metallica?

    You're kidding right?

    Metallica has what? 4 MB's & zero modes lol. ST has 6 modes posing as 18?

    Call me crazy but Baywatch has more meat n taters in the code & toy department

    Holy shit man WWF or TFTC absolutely destroy MET & ST in the code department. If you can't agree to that then I don't trust you

    I'd say Funhouse & Bride of Pinbot are pre DMD games which seem superior to MET at the moment

    I know those aren't system 11 but whatever they aren't DMD

    Not sure but Riverboat Gambler, a system 11 might outsmart MET at the moment

    FYI my collection & wish list is 100% Stern

    #83 5 years ago

    Congrats to the OP for coming up with one of the worst ideas I have ever seen posted on this site. Seriously these machines cost a ton of money as is and seem to be increasing in price with almost every release. If they can't find a way to make adequate code for them then F it I'm going bowling dude.

    #84 5 years ago

    this isn't a controversial issue, its just dumb. Paying to get them to complete the game is crazy. Sure there have been code updates as long as there have been SS machines. But those were generally just bug fixes, not adding major segments of gameplay that were always intended to be in the game and they did didn't get ready in time.
    The only way to justify paying for a cope update is something like BoP 2.0 (which I've already done). If williams decided tomorrow to drop new code for MM or Space Shuttle that completely changed gameplay and sounds and made it essentially a new game then I'd consider it. But both of those games are complete as is, neither needs new code to be fully playable as they sit now.

    #85 5 years ago

    Well, i think the "code" IS finished for all Games out there. The "ruleset" is the problem.
    And with this in my mind, i cannot understand what the hell is so difficult to finish or in other words fine tune the rules, so that most of us are pleased with them?
    Is the code base so terrible programmed, that they have to rewrite everything from scratch every time?

    Maybe the should make the rules not so complicated as they are right now. If i look at the ruleset for acdc pinball machine, there is lots of unneccessary crap (raising base values , collecting super jackpots etc) that doesn't interest most of the players. So this could be included in an final update.

    And no, i wont pay for something i thought i have aquiered when i paid for the machine.
    Its like buying a classic board game without finished rules, so you have to make them yourself .

    In fact, how should it be done? Not for the systems that are actually produced.
    Everyone could copy the code . It cannot be protected right now.

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