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(Topic ID: 261711)

How to be operator and not grow pinball.


By vdojaq

8 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Diospinball
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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#1 8 months ago

Over the weekend my wife and I were in the Wisconsin Dells and went to brewery/pizza place called Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. It's a very popular place. Downstairs they have a full bar and arcade. There sat 3 beautiful pinball machines not being touched. Iron Maiden, G.O.T.G. & The Munsters. All 3 were pros. No need to play GOTG, we own one. Was excited to see Maiden and Munsters. Games were a buck each or 3 games for $2. OK, 1st 2 bucks go on Maiden, 2 player, my wife and I. My 1st ball is literally a drain and no ball save, Hmmn really? OK. My wife gets up for her turn and she nails the ball with the mini upper flipper and the rubber comes tumbling down and plugs the ball drain/trough. OK, shut the machine off. 2 bucks down the drain, shit happens. So we pump $2 in The Munsters and play a 2 player game. I kid you not, my game consisted of a left side drain, no flips. A center drain, no flips. And then a short timed 3rd ball. My wife's game was a left side drain after one flip, a very short 2nd ball, and an immediate left side drain for her 3rd ball, no flips. The ball save feature was turned off and both the side drain posts were positioned all the way up. She looks at me and says we are not putting anymore money in these machines. We both are decent pinball players, and she is the reason we own A13 and GOTG. If she is saying this, how about anyone else wasting a buck on these machines? This operator has these machines set up to swallow your money and who cares. I can't image the money being lost on people who say I am not doing that again. At least have a short timer for the ball save feature, not just turn it off.

My pinball rant for the day, or as the AC/DC pin tells you, PLAY BETTER!

#2 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

... OK, shut the machine off. ....

Wait till people start attacking you for touching someone else's machine!

#3 8 months ago

If I’m not mistaken Munsters comes with ball save turned off.

#4 8 months ago

Makes you wonder if they had just hosted a tournament or something and the games were set accordingly? Seems like a poor way to encourage casual play.

Quoted from bam10:

If I’m not mistaken Munsters comes with ball save turned off.

I have no idea but this would also seem like a weird call by Stern -- the "default" in pinball for the last 30 years has been ball save, are they trying to change that back now?

#5 8 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Seems like a poor way to encourage casual play.

Yeah, my point exactly.

#6 8 months ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Wait till people start attacking you for touching someone else's machine!

Yeah? Well any of those can kiss the dark side of my moon.

#7 8 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Makes you wonder if they had just hosted a tournament or something and the games were set accordingly? Seems like a poor way to encourage casual play.

I have no idea but this would also seem like a weird call by Stern -- the "default" in pinball for the last 30 years has been ball save, are they trying to change that back now?

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/watch-out-for-no-ball-save-on-munsters

Hmm...1st since RBION? That one always confuses me though...it either had one originally and later code took it away or the other way around.

#9 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Over the weekend my wife and I were in the Wisconsin Dells and went to brewery/pizza place called Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co. It's a very popular place. Downstairs they have a full bar and arcade. There sat 3 beautiful pinball machines not being touched. Iron Maiden, G.O.T.G. & The Munsters. All 3 were pros. No need to play GOTG, we own one. Was excited to see Maiden and Munsters. Games were a buck each or 3 games for $2. OK, 1st 2 bucks go on Maiden, 2 player, my wife and I. My 1st ball is literally a drain and no ball save, Hmmn really? OK. My wife gets up for her turn and she nails the ball with the mini upper flipper and the rubber comes tumbling down and plugs the ball drain/trough. OK, shut the machine off. 2 bucks down the drain, shit happens. So we pump $2 in The Munsters and play a 2 player game. I kid you not, my game consisted of a left side drain, no flips. A center drain, no flips. And then a short timed 3rd ball. My wife's game was a left side drain after one flip, a very short 2nd ball, and an immediate left side drain for her 3rd ball, no flips. The ball save feature was turned off and both the side drain posts were positioned all the way up. She looks at me and says we are not putting anymore money in these machines. We both are decent pinball players, and she is the reason we own A13 and GOTG. If she is saying this, how about anyone else wasting a buck on these machines? This operator has these machines set up to swallow your money and who cares. I can't image the money being lost on people who say I am not doing that again. At least have a short timer for the ball save feature, not just turn it off.
My pinball rant for the day, or as the AC/DC pin tells you, PLAY BETTER!

Not a big surprise. I work with an operator and I’ve grown more and more certain he’s never worked on the games since he unboxed them. He never replaces/rebuilds flippers, or replaces bad rubber or anything. He just pulled a Dale Jr. out of storage and the the thing is such a huge mess. Only redeeming quality is the max ball save is active. It saves your ball for like nearly a minute. You need it with the pieces of junk he puts out. I show him my machines’ earnings and he doesn’t seem to care even though the difference is night and day.

#10 8 months ago

After the flipper rubber flew off did you mention it to anyone working there? they should have atleast refunded your 2 bucks

There's a bowling alley near here that I'll mention issues & they write 'em down in a book for the operator if they can't fix it themselves

Shame such nice machines can give 2 seasoned players the same bad experience.

#11 8 months ago

Munsters has no ball save by factory default. Cheap, foreign-made rubbers break constantly. Some ops are tournament-player minded and set games up too difficult.

#12 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Yeah? Well any of those can kiss the dark side of my moon.

Not an attack I just want to make sure I’m not misinterpreting this. You had to SDTM balls and you shut off the machine because there was no ball save?

#13 8 months ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Not an attack I just want to make sure I’m not misinterpreting this. You had to SDTM balls and you shut off the machine because there was no ball save?

Flipper rubber broke and blocked the outhole...

#14 8 months ago
Quoted from mrm_4:

Not an attack I just want to make sure I’m not misinterpreting this.

Quoted from vdojaq:

OK. My wife gets up for her turn and she nails the ball with the mini upper flipper and the rubber comes tumbling down and plugs the ball drain/trough.

#15 8 months ago

How the hell did I miss that?!!!

Sorry guys, I’m gonna go back to not being a part of this...

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#16 8 months ago

I'll do my full rant someday when I'm let's just say a bigger operation...
The future of location pinball present and future is Collector Operators
becoming more of Operators than Collectors.
When the antique operators pass away and collector operators either buy them out
& or take over their current pinball infested locations is when quality and volume
of pinball on locations will jump.

10
#17 8 months ago

I make my games easier. The pinheads are nice to have hang out but the real money you make are on the casual players. If I see my average game time is under 3 minutes a game, it gets tweaked. I had a GB pro that was so bad from the factory with its wide gap, people were asking for the transformers back that GB replaced. Think about that one. I bought the middle post save from pinballlife and my earnings went from 50 bucks the 2nd month to 300 the 3rd. I just put a GoT prem in a new pinball location. Put side posts to easy and extended the ball save time...100 bucks first 6 days.

#18 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

We both are decent pinball players

I think you're mistaken.

#19 8 months ago

If the location isn't free play. Then here are my thoughts. I'd like a decent ball save grace timer.
Even more than the standard default(yes I know munsters doesn't have one as default... don't know if you can turn one on... I thought you could.)

I also want the game to award replays.
I know some ops turn the replay reward off... If you do turn it off, then at least give me an extra ball. But, I rather have a replay. I don't mind pumping in quarters and paying to play. I just do want to both occasionally get a free game by match and by skill.

Munsters really intimidates me though. I seldom ever have a good game on it. And that is one game I am not certain I'd ever play in the wild.
Galloping Ghost has a prem, and even though its set to free play. I could in like 10 minutes rack up my cost of admission into that place. That is how badly that game kicks my butt...

Its a shame that instead of a 15-20 minutes of a fun pinball action that you got hosed. Still look on the bright side. Its still always cheaper to take the risk and gamble on a machine in the wild, then to actually own an actual pin.
I've played games on machines that the ball got stuck on the first shot, and no one to report it too. Or one of the slings was busted one time. And of course super weak flippers... Its part of the risk(some could say charm) of location play... But, only out a couple of bucks...

Look on the bright side. You got to rant. And that's always fun.

17
#20 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

My pinball rant for the day

You didn't get pinball value for your money. I am sorry about that.

Had you been my customer. I would have gladly refunded your money, fixed things, or given you games on another machine. When someone is good enough to patronize my business. I want them to get value for their money.

LTG : )

10
#21 8 months ago

I have all my new Sterns at 50cents a game and set up for casual fans. I want them to have a fun experience and keep coming back. If someone has 30 second game, they’re probably unlikely to want to play again

#22 8 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Had you been my customer. I would have gladly refunded your money, fixed things, or given you games on another machine. When someone is good enough to patronize my business.

And that's the diff betwixt an arcade and games on location.

#23 8 months ago

Poorly maintained games can suck.
Even the strippers didn’t want any part this POS Sopranos I tried today.
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#24 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Over the weekend my wife and I were in the Wisconsin Dells and went to brewery/pizza place called Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Co.

My wife & I visit the MooseJaw about once a month. To your point, the machines are notoriously difficult. (But their games are typically new and in decent condition) I once spoke with the bartender / manager on duty and was told the machines aren't theirs and I could contact the operator if I had issues. (stickers were attached to each machine) I was further told that they host pinball leagues, so I'm guessing that's the reason for the difficult machine setups.

11
#25 8 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Had you been my customer. I would have gladly refunded your money, fixed things, or given you games on another machine. When someone is good enough to patronize my business. I want them to get value for their money.

I might add to this. When people come in I try and welcome everybody. If they get change, I ask them to let me know if they have any problems or questions to please let me know. If they don't come to the counter I try and let them know to let me know if they have any questions or problems to let me know.

If I see someone seeming to have trouble with a game, I grab the keys and go to them.

My rant is the person that doesn't say a word. And goes on line and leaves negative feedback somewhere, rather than let me set things right. I don't care about the feedback. Heck they can leave that or not even if I help them. I just wish I could have had a chance to help them.

LTG : )

#26 8 months ago
Quoted from freeplay3:

I make my games easier. The pinheads are nice to have hang out but the real money you make are on the casual players. If I see my average game time is under 3 minutes a game, it gets tweaked. I had a GB pro that was so bad from the factory with its wide gap, people were asking for the transformers back that GB replaced. Think about that one. I bought the middle post save from pinballlife and my earnings went from 50 bucks the 2nd month to 300 the 3rd. I just put a GoT prem in a new pinball location. Put side posts to easy and extended the ball save time...100 bucks first 6 days.

This was the other reason for my rant. You would think the operator is losing out on potential income from the casual player having games set up like this. I think your post supports that.

#27 8 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

You didn't get pinball value for your money. I am sorry about that.
Had you been my customer. I would have gladly refunded your money, fixed things, or given you games on another machine. When someone is good enough to patronize my business. I want them to get value for their money.
LTG : )

Lloyd would have brought the game to your home for a day.

#28 8 months ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

This was the other reason for my rant. You would think the operator is losing out on potential income from the casual player having games set up like this. I think your post supports that.

People will play games if they feel they get value. I use radical dart boards and they have quick cricket. Its $.25 a game but only last 10 rounds. The good players line up to play this and will drop 5 bucks in the bill acceptor and knock out 20 games fast. I also set my cranes to pay out a prize every 6 to 7 dollars. Most of my locations have regulars and I get familiar with them. Take care of them, toss them free credits, give away a few cheap toys from my redemption stock and they will stay loyal.

#29 8 months ago

I visit Moosejaw a few times a year, and their games are (mostly) in good condition, and clean. I've never noticed them that difficult to be honest. Many times they will get more expensive games including Stern Premiums. With all of the redemption shit out there, I'm thankful they keep a few nice pins in there.

Sucks you had a bad experience. You could have gone to that other place in the Dells with pins.

#30 8 months ago
Quoted from freeplay3:

I make my games easier. The pinheads are nice to have hang out but the real money you make are on the casual players. If I see my average game time is under 3 minutes a game, it gets tweaked. I had a GB pro that was so bad from the factory with its wide gap, people were asking for the transformers back that GB replaced. Think about that one. I bought the middle post save from pinballlife and my earnings went from 50 bucks the 2nd month to 300 the 3rd. I just put a GoT prem in a new pinball location. Put side posts to easy and extended the ball save time...100 bucks first 6 days.

I have a bit of trouble with this. I’ve got my MNF on location and I’ve tried to bring up the average ball time (it’s at about 35s right now) but on a lot of the old games they didn’t have ball saves. MNF is ‘89 and no ball save!
How do you make a game like that more friendly for casual players?

#31 8 months ago
Quoted from Vino:

Poorly maintained games can suck.
Even the strippers didn’t want any part this POS Sopranos I tried today.
[quoted image]

in today’s market, that’s called an “NOS” Sopranos..

#32 8 months ago

Once I was at a arcade, it was very nice, but all the $1 play, or 3 plays for $2 was marked out, you could still see it, but they had written over it $1.50 play, or 3 games for $2.50. If you want to do that just install a new price card. It was tacky.

Also a game was not working right(drop targets would not come back up as they should), and their repair guy did not give a crap, just said all these games have issues and we eventually work on them.

That place was huge, with all kinds of games also other than pinball, and not many people were playing the pins, and I first hand seen why.

#33 8 months ago

em's= no ball saves, SS games= no ball saves
plenty of games like : fun house, earthshaker, dr dude, mousin around, every other system 11..blah blah blah = no ball saves.
Gottliebs from that era the same.

location games go like this:

option 1= 25 to 50 cents to play, mega extra balls turned on, specials, low replay, flat back legs, out lanes lowered posts, dirty play fields, switch issues, weak flippers, features not working, ball checks often, games basically blown out....
game gets beat, op makes basically nothing after location splits, so op doesn't care what works, op only cares if coins drop through slots. Op visits location once a month if lucky.

option 2: games cost 75 cents to $1 (or more with card swipes sometimes) to play, higher replay scores, out lanes mid to high, shorter ball saves, limited extra balls, games very well kept 100% working and clean, strong flippers, op is at location often confirming all is well, code updates, changing rubbers often and keeping games very nice and tight.

if only option 1 games are supported, quality pinball will be gone from locations again. A game set up too easy when someone puts in money getting free games for 2 hours straight on 50 cents to $1 is just not worthy for a game owner these days.

*Pinball machines are the most hands on machine with constant cash and time upkeep wise for parts.

I try to find a happy medium on my location games but I'm surely not letting someone play 2 hours for 25 or 50 cents on a well kept new stern/jjp/spooky game and I have to split with location.
I watch audits and if i see shorter ball times or anything else that seems unfair to me or unfair to a player, I strive to adjust properly.
A happy medium is the goal!

I also listen to the customers and work with them best I can with any suggestions.

#34 8 months ago
Quoted from silver_spinner:

em's= no ball saves, SS games= no ball saves
plenty of games like : fun house, earthshaker, dr dude, mousin around, every other system 11..blah blah blah = no ball saves.
Gottliebs from that era the same.
location games go like this:
option 1= 25 to 50 cents to play, mega extra balls turned on, specials, low replay, flat back legs, out lanes lowered posts, dirty play fields, switch issues, weak flippers, features not working, ball checks often, games basically blown out....
game gets beat, op makes basically nothing after location splits, so op doesn't care what works, op only cares if coins drop through slots. Op visits location once a month if lucky.
option 2: games cost 75 cents to $1 (or more with card swipes sometimes) to play, higher replay scores, out lanes mid to high, shorter ball saves, limited extra balls, games very well kept 100% working and clean, strong flippers, op is at location often confirming all is well, code updates, changing rubbers often and keeping games very nice and tight.
if only option 1 games are supported, quality pinball will be gone from locations again. A game set up too easy when someone puts in money getting free games for 2 hours straight on 50 cents to $1 is just not worthy for a game owner these days.
*Pinball machines are the most hands on machine with constant cash and time upkeep wise for parts.
I try to find a happy medium on my location games but I'm surely not letting someone play 2 hours for 25 or 50 cents on a well kept new stern/jjp/spooky game and I have to split with location.
I watch audits and if i see shorter ball times or anything else that seems unfair to me or unfair to a player, I strive to adjust properly.
A happy medium is the goal!
I also listen to the customers and work with them best I can with any suggestions.

I agree. I think you're right. I don't mind dumping 10-30 dollars into an arcade or pinbar per night.
I'm a decent player and I'll get a few free plays and as I said... Even a few matches. I don't expect to be able to play all night on just 1-2 dollars. With that said. There have been some machines where I have gotten freeplays 2 out of 3 times that I've played them. And I tend to get bored and want to move on to another game... But, sometimes it gets hard to play out my credits. As one time I had to play 3-4 extra games on a machine due to matching and the replays. I would have given the credits to another person. But, no one was around me at that time.

Anyway... I think what you said made a whole lot of sense. And I never considered why an EM or SS with no ball save really doesn't bother or intimadate me... Maybe, because with an em you get 5 balls. And with a solid state... Sometimes there is still playfield validation that needs to occur. Or maybe because most solid states are like 3-5 plays for a buck. While munsters is 1 dollar per play or sometimes more. And I really, really suck at munsters.

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