Quoted from Multiball1:
Can someone who knows for sure please chime in and define Proto vs. Sample.
I've been a bit confused about those terms lately, particularly as it pertains to playfields (as I see the descriptions on the ones PPS has been selling.) Why wouldn't any playfield be drilled and/or dimpled?
I know proto playfields could have inserts or holes for features that were nixed in production, but could a sample playfield have them too?
Appreciate the insight.
Protos are usually extremely limited in number - under 10, sometimes as little as 5 machines. They're made with red PCBs, and are kept in the company usually in the developers, designer, programmers offices to work on.
Samples are the first run of the games from the factory - between 100 and 300 made. They were usually sent out to high-sales distributors to get out to locations. These locations then had to provide feedback to the distributor on how the game performed, so the developers/designers could make changes.
Usually by the time the samples are out, large changes (wiring changes, such as adding lamps or switches) aren't often done. However, switches can be removed often.
Examples - the far right loop switches in WCS94 were removed mid-sample run. The door flashers in TZ.
Proto to sample changes would be the red lamp insert colors in TZ (Camera & Dead End), the "Ultra-Ball" changing to "Ultra-Goalie" in WCS94.
Sometimes bigger changes are needed during sample runs though, like having to add 'SPIN' to the inserts on the spinner on CV.