(Topic ID: 143611)

Game Of Thrones Pro - Huge cost savings


By fattdirk

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 54 posts
  • 34 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by QuarterGrabber
  • Topic is favorited by 4 Pinsiders

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There are 54 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 3 years ago

So I have an opportunity last night to look under the hood of the new GOT pro. I can't believe how sparse it is under the play field. This was my first time I've had the chance to closely examine a game running the new Spike system.

It looks like Stern is going to see huge cost savings from using this system.

The main thing I noticed immediately:

Lack of a wiring harness. It is odd seeing a play field connected by a network cable and a single connector with 4 wires for power I'm used to see a thick bundle of cables.

I can't imagine the amount of materials and labor this will save at the factory not having to build large wiring harnesses anymore.

I wish I had taken pictures. For those of you that have never seen the bottom, the game has 3 small boards that are probably 6" x 3" or so that have connectors that feed nearby switches, coils and insert lights and GI. They are daisy chained together via the network cable and power connectors and just serve the area around where they are mounted. The underside of the play field looks very sparse.

I'm hoping this type of efficiency is going to allow Stern to start lowering the prices in the future but that's probably wishful thinking.

I'd be interested from hearing from anyone with manufacturing experience as to how much you'd estimate the cost savings are for Stern from the new Spike system.

#2 3 years ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

lowering the prices

Good luck with that one - I wish that would happen too!

#3 3 years ago
Quoted from WeirPinball:

Good luck with that one - I wish that would happen too!

With so many new offerings it seems inevitable. I really like that Stern seems to be positioning themselves for the future and will be able to weather a downturn if and when it occurs.

#5 3 years ago

It will probably help them to maintain their low purchase cost. Not lower it.

#6 3 years ago

Can someone post a pic of under the play field of the GOT Pro?

#7 3 years ago

I personally think the SPIKE system sucks! Here's why:

1. Power supply fan noise
2. No true flashers anymore.
3. Power switch location.

Stern has cheapened it up way too much, while keeping prices high. It is almost a glorified "The Pin" now.

The new system could have been designed similar to MMR's beaglebone CPU, and still kept the features that make pinball, real pinball.

I type this as my MMR sits near my KISS LE. CGC/PPS did the redesigned system right. Stern got it all wrong, plus Stern's SPIKE board cost almost twice what a beaglebone cost.

#8 3 years ago

Ok, let's try these in a poll...

1. Stern will add a color LCD and lower the overall price of the game.

or

2. Stern will add a color LCD and jack UP the prices of the games.

Hmmmmmmm, I'm guessing 2. Stern will never lower the price of a game. And for everyone that points out that they have before, no, all they did was list a lower price on a less popular game. But the street price still goes up.

#9 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

No true flashers anymore.

What do you mean by this? I guess I didn't notice there being no flashers in GOT.

#10 3 years ago

Haha. GOT has at least 10 flashers. Maybe he is referring to the classic dome flashers and not the spot lights. In that case there are at least two of those in GOT too and every other new stern I can think of.

#11 3 years ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

What do you mean by this? I guess I didn't notice there being no flashers in GOT.

I'm curious too. Please elaborate.

#12 3 years ago

I guess we all see things differently from time to time. I think the flasher effects on KISS & GOT are awesome.

#13 3 years ago

I've been noticing that the physical switches (not optos) don't register all the time on the GoT pro on location near me, particularly the outer orbits and the standup targets. It's not like "oh, that switch is flaky" - all of them just don't register something like 5% of the time. Feels like an early solid state with the caps snipped off.

Come to think of it, are there any other cherry or leaf switches on the game? I can see how it'd be pretty sparse under the playfield.

Anyways, could just be me, could just be that game, my impression was that it was something new due to the system but I hadn't seen that kind of problem on KISS. I hope it's something they can address in software.

#14 3 years ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

It looks like Stern is going to see huge cost savings from using this system.

Same thing back in the day when Pins switched from EM to SS.

Huge savings in production costs and weight, but the price of games went up.

The manufacturers said the price went up to pay for the R&D required.

The operators did not complain, because the SS pins were EARNING! EM pins only a year old looked like dinosaurs.

#15 3 years ago

Yes I'm talking about the domed flashers. Yes Got and KISS have them, but they are nothing more than another led, software controlled to imitate a flasher. MMR also has LED's as flashers, but they are much brighter. I guess if most people can't tell the difference then that makes Stern's decision, that much better. But I personally think the flashers suck on every Stern after TWD.

#16 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

I guess if most people can't tell the difference then that makes Stern's decision, that much better. But I personally think the flashers suck on every Stern after TWD.

You can turn up the brightness in the software.

Many people were complaining how bright the flashers were in GOT, that is until someone pointed out that you can dial them down...lol

#17 3 years ago
Quoted from Law:

I've been noticing that the physical switches (not optos) don't register all the time on the GoT pro on location near me, particularly the outer orbits and the standup targets. It's not like "oh, that switch is flaky" - all of them just don't register something like 5% of the time. Feels like an early solid state with the caps snipped off.
Come to think of it, are there any other cherry or leaf switches on the game? I can see how it'd be pretty sparse under the playfield.
Anyways, could just be me, could just be that game, my impression was that it was something new due to the system but I hadn't seen that kind of problem on KISS. I hope it's something they can address in software.

I noticed the orbits not registering sometimes too.

#18 3 years ago
Quoted from Law:

I've been noticing that the physical switches (not optos) don't register all the time on the GoT pro on location near me, particularly the outer orbits and the standup targets. It's not like "oh, that switch is flaky" - all of them just don't register something like 5% of the time.

On the left side orbit on my KISS machine I find this happens. Haven't taken the time to investigate but it isn't all switches for me and I assumed it just needs to be adjusted.

#19 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

I type this as my MMR sits near my KISS LE. CGC/PPS did the redesigned system right.

I agree...PPS/CGC did a GREAT job on MMr

#20 3 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Same thing back in the day when Pins switched from EM to SS.
Huge savings in production costs and weight, but the price of games went up.
The manufacturers said the price went up to pay for the R&D required.
The operators did not complain, because the SS pins were EARNING! EM pins only a year old looked like dinosaurs.

But a GOT doesn't look much different than a T2 from over 20 years ago. EM to SS was a big difference.

#21 3 years ago

From the SPIKE manual.

image.png

#22 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

From the SPIKE manual.

Okay, and? So they're just like regular lights, but brighter because they draw more power. Just like ... flashers? I don't understand the problem. Seems like people thought GOT was too bright, so it can't be that they're not bright enough. How else are they deficient?

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Okay, and? So they're just like regular lights, but brighter because they draw more power. Just like ... flashers? I don't understand the problem. Seems like people thought GOT was too bright, so it can't be that they're not bright enough. How else are they deficient?

I don't get it either. The simplified wiring, "sparse" underplayfield appearance, and homogenized parts (like using the same LED boards throughout) are all features, not bugs. This stuff all contributes to making the games lighter, less likely to suffer shipping damage, easier to service, and almost certainly more reliable.

The SAM system had a good run, but modern high speed/bandwidth digital circuits render the old point-to-point matrix-based approach largely obsolete. Pinball has used the same basic architecture for nearly 40 years, time to move forward.

Yes, it might also boost Stern's margins a bit, but that just makes their long-term outlook brighter, which is good for all of us!

Personally, my speculation is that Stern is taking a conservative approach to rolling out the new system and is simply waiting for it to prove itself reliable in games of the same caliber as SAM titles before they stretch it to its fullest capabilities. (Actually the first application for Spike was The Pin, simpler than a normal game.)

#24 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Okay, and? So they're just like regular lights, but brighter because they draw more power. Just like ... flashers? I don't understand the problem. Seems like people thought GOT was too bright, so it can't be that they're not bright enough. How else are they deficient?

The same way a strobe is different then a flashing light?

#25 3 years ago

Of course stern won't lower their price even if it costs them less in parts and labour. It's a business. Maybe one day unicef will get into the pinball business but until then you have to pay full pop

Disclaimer: I know a lot of people on here are super serious so the above was a quote from the movie "Joe Dirt" and it is a joke.

#26 3 years ago

The flashers are no way near as bright as the high voltage flashers on SAM/WPC etc. All you have to do is watch a video of, say, ACDC or MMR and then a Video of GOT or KISS, you will barely notice the flashers on the latter games. I am all for technology moving forward, cheaper, lighter, more durable, etc. My point is superbright flashers have been a part of pinball since the SS era started, STERN should have designed the flasher circuitry the way CGC did. Everyone has their own pet peeves with the new boards, I was just pointing out mine. Maybe as more people get SPIKE based games, you will have a better understanding of my point, when comparing them to the older games.

#27 3 years ago

When I played GoT Pro a couple weeks ago, I never gave a second thought to what was happening under the playfield, or even considered the wire harness.
The flashers were too bright.
The video mode was ridiculously awful.
The overall game was amazing.
Can't wait to play more and to see the Premium model.

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from DaveH:

Ok, let's try these in a poll...
1. Stern will add a color LCD and lower the overall price of the game.
or
2. Stern will add a color LCD and jack UP the prices of the games.
Hmmmmmmm, I'm guessing 2. Stern will never lower the price of a game. And for everyone that points out that they have before, no, all they did was list a lower price on a less popular game. But the street price still goes up.

How about #3; LCD introduced and prices remain the same. I think this will be the case hence the long awaited delay of the LCD as they try to incorporate it at a reasonable worthy value

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

I personally think the SPIKE system sucks!

What happened to the thumbs down button?

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

How about #3; LCD introduced and prices remain the same. I think this will be the case hence the long awaited delay of the LCD as they try to incorporate it at a reasonable worthy value

Not a chance, $300 price increase minimum on the first LCD game.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

What happened to the thumbs down button?

Instead why don't you try to elaborate on why you think it doesn't suck?

10
#32 3 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

What happened to the thumbs down button?

I was getting too many so I asked Robin to remove it.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from Chambahz:

The video mode was ridiculously awful.

Video mode might've been the stupidest thing I've seen. I do remember there being dome flasher as when you get stabbed they flash on the PF.

#34 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

All you have to do is watch a video of, say, ACDC or MMR and then a Video of GOT or KISS, you will barely notice the flashers on the latter games.

Quoted from Chambahz:

When I played GoT Pro a couple weeks ago, I never gave a second thought to what was happening under the playfield, or even considered the wire harness.
The flashers were too bright.

One of you is obviously wrong! And I've heard a lot of reports of the GOT flashers being too bright, so I'm inclined to believe it. I only played GOT under pretty well lit conditions.

#35 3 years ago

I think the lighting in general on GOT is too bright, but there is very little difference (contrast) between the flashers and everything else.

#36 3 years ago

Well the good news is that early reports of the latest code are coming in, saying that the flashers are no longer blinding.
Now if only they could make the video mode play like the Horde mode in TWD.
THAT'S a pinball video mode!

#37 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

Not a chance, $300 price increase minimum on the first LCD game.

Man that would really suck seems like there has been a mark up on every single release now. I'm not sure how much more I can justify spending on a new pin. Their current price point is right on my limit.

#38 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

I personally think the SPIKE system sucks! Here's why:
1. Power supply fan noise
2. No true flashers anymore.
3. Power switch location.

If those are your only reasons,
1. Yeah the power supply fan sucks but with a exhaust fan mod, it cuts the high RPM fan noise down significantly.
2. I will mail you two old bulb flashers for every one of your Stern flashers. That way when the old flasher burns out you will have a spare.
3. Really, really, REALLY? The power switch is why you think the spike system sucks. Tell ya what, I got a selfie stick some one gave me, I will regift it to you, that way you can reach the switch.

Now 4 or five years down the road when one of your led display boards goes bad under the play field and you have to pay an arm and a leg to replace it, then YES the system components suck in the case that if one small led goes bad your average joe is not going to be able to micro solder that off and replace it and end up buying the whole led display.

#39 3 years ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

I'm hoping this type of efficiency is going to allow Stern to start lowering the prices in the future...

Someone was fortunate enough to get an honest, candid reaction from Stern Execs once they read the above line.

hahaha.jpg

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from paulohotline:

Can someone post a pic of under the play field of the GOT Pro?

GoT guts:

GoT_SPIKE.jpg

got_CPU.jpg

GoT_Underside.jpg

#41 3 years ago

So on a plus note, it looks like it will be super easy to pull the playfield out if you ever need to to install blades or something.

#42 3 years ago

Thank you.

#43 3 years ago

Thank YOU for all my glare guards

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

I personally think the SPIKE system sucks! Here's why:
1. Power supply fan noise
2. No true flashers anymore.
3. Power switch location.
Stern has cheapened it up way too much, while keeping prices high. It is almost a glorified "The Pin" now.
The new system could have been designed similar to MMR's beaglebone CPU, and still kept the features that make pinball, real pinball.
I type this as my MMR sits near my KISS LE. CGC/PPS did the redesigned system right. Stern got it all wrong, plus Stern's SPIKE board cost almost twice what a beaglebone cost.

They just make VE games look so much better

#45 3 years ago

Spike is a nice design. Why would anyone not appreciate use of more modern components and improved design? Companies exist to earn money - this looks like it would help Stern's profitability while creating the ability to provide innovative new features to its customers.

#46 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinterest:

Spike is a nice design. Why would anyone not appreciate use of more modern components and improved design? Companies exist to earn money - this looks like it would help Stern's profitability while creating the ability to provide innovative new features to its customers.

Exactly. SPIKE is a huge step forward. It cuts cuts manufacturing cost and increases serviceability and reliability. Without looking under the hood you would never know what a huge difference there is.

I have had a couple of good encounters and I don't even own a machine yet. First was installing a shaker motor into a KISS. There is now no need for the little board at all. Just install the shaker and hook it up. Also, since they moved the power switch there is a ton of room now to install the shaker on the right side instead of having to shoehorn it in on the left like before. The other cool thing is there are no longer diodes everywhere on switches and light sockets because there is no such thing as a switch or lamp matrix any more. I installed a Tournament button on a WWE and all you have to do is install the switch and hook up the wires. No more splicing diodes inline.

There have been a lot of threads about SPIKE already. Here is the official video:

12
#47 3 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

What happened to the thumbs down button?

It's more modern now so people's feelings don't get hurt. Think of it as "everyone gets a trophy".

#48 3 years ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

How about #3; LCD introduced and prices remain the same. I think this will be the case hence the long awaited delay of the LCD as they try to incorporate it at a reasonable worthy value

This has been my feeling all along. The incremental increase in cost every couple releases the past few years have all been so that the eventual cost of the LCD models don't seem so "crazy". Meanwhile, the past couple years Sten could use the extra profit per machine from the cost increase to both fund their development of the LCD and SPIKE tech, as well as acclimate the hobby to the higher costs once the LCDs final land.

#49 3 years ago

Op- care to shed some light as to what "huge" cost savings are. Yet another pinsider with intimate knowledge of sterns manufacturing, r&d and Bom costs are.
Spike is a fantastic system and well beyond anything currently out there. It wasn't cheap to design, manufacture and implement. It was done to improve game serviceability and reliability.

#50 3 years ago
Quoted from Iceman5000:

Not a chance, $300 price increase minimum on the first LCD game.

If that's all it is on a pro that would still be around $700 cheaper than their competition.

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