If the programmers were better then this hobby will explode!

(Topic ID: 189586)

If the programmers were better then this hobby will explode!


By Radrog

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by jwilson
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    #151 1 year ago

    If you want a AAA pin that has the depth of a AAA video game.. give me 60 million and I'll make it happen.. But I'll have to charge you 200k per game to break even.

    #152 1 year ago

    My $0.02, as a developer/programmer/sysop who is also dabbling in embedded coding on pinballs.
    Where is the money for the extra dev work for DLC coming from? A new mode would be a significant investment(unless it's a mode that was initially developed and then cut out). And it would require a whole new post sale QA organization, unless you are turning the dev team into a support and triage team as well. Pinball machines have traditionally been turn key sales(admittedly, this has changed somewhat with the move away from ROMs for storage). DLC could work, I'm sure, but at the scale we are talking about, I'm not sure that a company like Stern would find it at all lucrative.

    #153 1 year ago

    Pointless

    #154 1 year ago
    Quoted from ThatOneDude:

    And it would require a whole new post sale QA organization, unless you are turning the dev team into a support and triage team as well

    You know how us developers love getting put on the maintenance team </sarcasm>

    Quoted from ThatOneDude:

    DLC could work, I'm sure, but at the scale we are talking about, I'm not sure that a company like Stern would find it at all lucrative

    Not if they continue to give code updates away for free.

    #155 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Well as a software engineer it's part of my job to make you love it and we do it very very well. Ask anyone that has every played a big video game how tempting it is to spend money. It's fucking crack, and pinballers are already addicts, it would be childs play to hook them.

    The fact that you don't see any issue with any of this makes me sad. Freemium games these days are engineered specifically to "hook" people on "crack". It's practically psychological abuse. Playing into our worst weaknesses as human beings.

    #156 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Pins are not as complicated as many people seem to think they are.

    You keep saying this. The people who've actually worked on pins keep saying otherwise.

    I don't doubt you're good at your job, I'm not trying to criticize you personally. But you're trying to explain a world you've never actually experienced.

    Occam's Razor it, is everyone in pinball just dumb and incompetent, or are there factors you aren't considering?

    #157 1 year ago

    Seriously, dude - go download the source to CCC or maybe the P-ROC re-write of JD and take a look. Use virtual pinball to write all new rules, graphics and sound for an existing game and then come back to talk about "how easy it is".

    #158 1 year ago

    Everyone complains that nib pins are too expensive.

    I don't see how anyone would be fine with paying even more money for DLC.

    Why would anyone pay extra down the road for what is essentially a software update which has always been free?

    People are outraged and disgusted when Stern tries pedaling a $400 topper, but everyone would be fine with $100 to add a mode that has always been free?

    I don't think I've ever seen a group of enthusiasts who think they can do it better than the existing manufacturers.

    Look at the threads about Dialed In when it was announced, most people in those threads 'knew' better than Pat Lawlor what would make a good pin.

    -2
    #159 1 year ago

    Clearly there is no point in discussing this from the start

    #160 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Pins are not as complicated as many people seem to think they are. Pinheads have continually proven to have deep pockets and willing to spend like drunken sailors to update their pins.

    I don't think it is just a matter of money or complexity. I think that the support model isn't there, and I think that there is a lot of established thinking about pinball and software that would need to be overcome to make this a success. So, at least at the scale of the pinball industry right now, I don't see it being a hit(but, then again, I've been wrong before).

    That being said, those opinions are based upon a closed source, single source pinball manufacturing paradigm. I know some people with some damned good ideas on how to change the whole thing, and they are working on it now. I hope to be involved on the software side, but I have my own projects underway regardless. I think that the entire Maker concept is poised to be a game changer(pun intended) for pinball.

    Quoted from krankin:

    You know how us developers love getting put on the maintenance team

    Ain't that the truth of it

    #161 1 year ago
    Quoted from epthegeek:

    The fact that you don't see any issue with any of this makes me sad. Freemium games these days are engineered specifically to "hook" people on "crack". It's practically psychological abuse. Playing into our worst weaknesses as human beings.

    I think things have been this way for a long time, not just in freemium games. Companies are just getting better at it too.

    For example, one of the things the company I work for does is to determine someone's giving potential so non-profits know who to approach for money and for how much. Even down to how to appeal to the specific donor in some cases.

    Some sites are advanced enough to present unique visitors different donation options based on who the system determines they are.
    Certain visitors might get $5, $10, and $25 donation buttons while other visitors may get $25, $50, and $100.

    Once a basic system like that is in place, the only direction to go is to improve it. Run that cycle for a decade and well... you see the results.

    Quoted from Darscot:

    To a modern software engineer that is in any way competent I can assure you the code on a pin is not difficult or overly complex.

    I can assure you that I am far beyond competent and still know that pinball machines have their own unique requirements and constraints. The end code may not be that complex compared to large SaaS systems, but for any developer to say "hey, I understand how to scope a project that I don't have any experience in" usually results in people/companies wondering why they are 2000 hours into a project scoped at 500 hours.

    In modern, large, scaling SaaS systems a lot of the heavy lifting is done by frameworks or other software stacks that have had untold monies and hours poured into them. I don't think pinball gets that luxury.

    That said, check out Mission Pinball Framework if you want to see some great coders putting together code for pinball machines. The SDLC for MPF has matured so much over the past few years and even includes automated testing. Those guys have put an amazing effort forward and it shows.

    http://missionpinball.org/

    #162 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    To a modern software engineer that is in any way competent I can assure you the code on a pin is not difficult or overly complex.

    so, in your opinion, modern software engineers who think it is difficult or complex are incompetent? Some pretty good pinball machines out there for a bunch of guys who are incompetent.

    #163 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    That said, check out Mission Pinball Framework if you want to see some great coders putting together code for pinball machines.

    I forked MPF to get it running on the machine the high school kids are working on. I'll do a pull request if I get it into a presentable state. The platform we are using is Arduino Mega based. That being said, anyone with some time to burn could really help the project in documentation if nothing else. There is nothing in there on creating new platforms, for example(at least, nothing I've found). So, you just have to dive into the code for other platforms and go from there.

    #164 1 year ago

    As someone who has done embedded programming, and worked on some rather complex software projects, and teaches software engineering for a living, it's my opinion that coding a pin IS complicated in the Cynefin Framework sense. Cynefin classifies problem spaces into simple, complicated, complex and chaotic.

    As with any embedded system, there are a lot of state issues, timing issues, resource constraints, and dealing with the physical world through sensors (switches, etc.) that make the coding very much non-trivial. Even comparing to complex video game programming, where you have access to game engines, vast APIs and tools, and an army of artists and coders; is not comparing apples to apples.

    As for the DLC idea, I say yes. People play $400 for a freaking topper that adds no game play value. Look, I expect the code to be complete up to a certain level... say 12 modes, fully conceived, tested and working to be part of the $5500 NIB. For a $8000 NIB, I might expect 18 modes. But beyond that, I would play $100 for an additional three modes. Sounds like a good revenue stream for Stern and a good deal for me. Golden Tee and PowerPutt offer yearly upgrades to software that adds new courses to the game for $530.

    My one minor criticism for the pinball programmers in the industry, whom I have enormous respect for, is perhaps a lack of creativity in the design of game rules. I think there is a lot to be learned from the video game industry on game design patterns and better theme integration into the rules - (versus hit the blinky lights to complete the mode).

    -1
    #165 1 year ago
    Quoted from rosh:

    so, in your opinion, modern software engineers who think it is difficult or complex are incompetent? Some pretty good pinball machines out there for a bunch of guys who are incompetent.

    That is exactly what I was saying.

    #166 1 year ago
    Quoted from ThatOneDude:

    I forked MPF to get it running on the machine the high school kids are working on. I'll do a pull request if I get it into a presentable state. The platform we are using is Arduino Mega based. That being said, anyone with some time to burn could really help the project in documentation if nothing else. There is nothing in there on creating new platforms, for example(at least, nothing I've found). So, you just have to dive into the code for other platforms and go from there.

    If you are getting that down and dirty with MPF you should reach out to Jan/Brian/Quinn who are the developers on it. They would love to hear about your project, I'm sure! Hit them up on their forums, if you haven't already: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mpf-users

    You don't have your location listed, but if you are going to be at the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo next week I'd love to hear about your project!!

    #167 1 year ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    If you are getting that down and dirty with MPF you should reach out to Jan/Brian/Quinn who are the developers on it.

    I'll check that out. We started by building some stripped down Arduino code. Over the summer break, they will be working on getting the physical components rebuilt, so I'm going to try and keep up with the microcontroller code.

    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    You don't have your location listed, but if you are going to be at the Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo next week I'd love to hear about your project!!

    Huh, it doesn't show my location? Northern California, for future reference.
    I'll be at CAX in July, in case you are headed this way.

    #168 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Clearly there is no point in discussing this further. People are having difficulty understanding that people are good at different things. To a modern software engineer that is in any way competent I can assure you the code on a pin is not difficult or overly complex. I'm sure an appendectomy is pretty boring and routine to a surgeon but fucking mind boggling to me. This forum is great for information and help but any kind of discussion is basically pointless. Don't ever say anything negative about pinball or suggest things might be improved or this place just goes full on protect the hive.

    Or someone like yourself would rather just throw around opinions rather than get informed. Just because something includes 'simple' tasks doesn't make the cumulative effort easy or small. You've been presented plenty of informed opinions from people that have experience not only in development, but this particular industry, yet you'd rather focus on your own predisposition rather than actually get informed... even when the tools are right at your fingertips.

    Yeah, not much point in discussing further.

    #169 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    To a modern software engineer that is in any way competent I can assure you the code on a pin is not difficult or overly complex.

    It's not. That's not the point, and you keep insisting on trying to make that the only factor. And that's because you don't actually understand pinball development, and keep trying to shoehorn it into your video game world, and they just aren't the same thing.

    The reason why you keep coming off like a bit of a dick in this thread (sorry, it's true) is that you keep saying things like "to a modern software engineer that is in any way competent", and the subtext is "the people programming pinball now aren't competent". Like they're using their 56k modems to swap Pascal code with each other in plaintext files or something.

    Maybe you're a programming god, I dunno, don't really care, this isn't about you. It's about all the people who have worked on games who aren't f**king idiots, and not walking into their space, with no experience and no idea what you're actually up against and telling them they all suck.

    I've worked on a commercial pin, I'm pretty damn comfortable talking about it. I'd never go into a thread and tell you how to develop video games, never done it. Marketed them, played them, never been on a AAA game team, so WTF do I actually know about what it takes?

    #170 1 year ago

    Isn't coding a pin far, far more difficult than coding, itself?
    Ie: I once heard someone say something like: "there's 100 different rule sets you could program for any one pin, but only 1 of them is fun"
    So feel free to create code for... I dunno... The Walking Dead, and just see if it's anywhere near as fun as Lyman's version.
    (It won't be)

    It's like finding great tech salespeople who have both good people skills AND can talk to the geeks who run the IT departments. It's not just knowledge in one field, it's being gifted in both.
    And I'm not sure it doesn't also include knowledge of ensuring that fuses aren't blown from having a number of devices possibly all active at once. Is that also something that coders need to consider?

    #171 1 year ago

    You guys are spot on

    #172 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Clearly there is no point in discussing this further.

    Still going

    #173 1 year ago

    I am a glutton for punishment

    #174 1 year ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Like they're using their 56k modems to swap Pascal code with each other in plaintext files or something.

    I only code pinball in GWBasic. And we swap files on a BBS running on a 8088 Kaypro PC clone using a 9600bps modem.
    *sips his coffee while feeling old when remembering how he used to do stuff like this in his misbegotten youth*

    #175 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    How clever, appreciate the voting and constant quoting.

    Sometimes when everyone around you is telling you you're wrong, it's because you're wrong.

    #176 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Sometimes when everyone around you is telling you you're wrong, it's because you're wrong.

    I am totally wrong

    #177 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Considering your stance on piracy, I think I'll pass on your advice.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever met Lyman Sheats, or any of the other programmers to chat about this kinda thing?
    Would be interesting to hear what they had to say.

    13
    #178 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chambahz:

    Out of curiosity, have you ever met Lyman Sheats, or any of the other programmers to chat about this kinda thing?
    Would be interesting to hear what they had to say.

    Shit show aside, I'll interject here as a software engineer that has done a few things in pinball software such as:
    1) Demolition Man 2000
    2) Python's Pinball Circus (The Circus Maximus Games version)
    3) Wizard Blocks
    4) Pirates of the Silver Ball redemption for an operator
    5) P3 (a game and some of the underlying "system stuff")

    and a few others.

    Programming pinball from an engineering perspective (IE: how complex the logic is) isn't "hard". For the most part, you can get the logic for a mode done within a few hours after its planned out. Now this is just the PROGRAMMING part of it. This doesn't count the light shows, the DMD/LCD effects, the sounds and the choreography of all three. The basic "rules" aren't that hard to implement from a pure code standpoint.

    Standing up a new pinball system IS quite an engineering feat as many people don't learn anything about real-time programming or hardware interfaces anymore. The most they get is an introductory "architecture" class that covers basic AND/OR/NOT gates and how to make bit adders. Most people coming out of college CS programs aren't even familiar with the concepts of bank switched memory or IRQ. So, the initial development of a pinball operating system/hardware platform IS a bit complicated. Thankfully systems like the P-ROC and its associated software frameworks make this a lot easier. However, that system level development only needs to happen ONCE.

    Pinball IS difficult from the creativity standpoint, though. When you're a programmer, you've got to flex both sides of your brain. Most programmers that are put in charge of user interfaces on modern day webapps tend to make rather crappy user experiences. I'm guilty of it. Pinball programmers often have to have both sides of the creativity coin since they're often put in charge of a lot of the rules implementation as well.

    Again, the logic isn't hard by itself, but when you have to do that in addition to the other creative tasks within pinball, or you've got to worry about the low level hardware aspects of the game, it can get a bit complex compared to what the current mainstream software engineers are taught.

    #179 1 year ago
    Quoted from Compy:

    Shit show aside, I'll interject here as a software engineer that has done a few things in pinball software such as:
    1) Demolition Man 2000
    2) Python's Pinball Circus (The Circus Maximus Games version)
    3) Wizard Blocks
    4) Pirates of the Silver Ball redemption for an operator
    5) P3 (a game and some of the underlying "system stuff")
    and a few others.
    Programming pinball from an engineering perspective (IE: how complex the logic is) isn't "hard". For the most part, you can get the logic for a mode done within a few hours after its planned out. Now this is just the PROGRAMMING part of it. This doesn't count the light shows, the DMD/LCD effects, the sounds and the choreography of all three. The basic "rules" aren't that hard to implement from a pure code standpoint.
    Standing up a new pinball system IS quite an engineering feat as many people don't learn anything about real-time programming or hardware interfaces anymore. The most they get is an introductory "architecture" class that covers basic AND/OR/NOT gates and how to make bit adders. Most people coming out of college CS programs aren't even familiar with the concepts of bank switched memory or IRQ. So, the initial development of a pinball operating system/hardware platform IS a bit complicated. Thankfully systems like the P-ROC and its associated software frameworks make this a lot easier. However, that system level development only needs to happen ONCE.
    Pinball IS difficult from the creativity standpoint, though. When you're a programmer, you've got to flex both sides of your brain. Most programmers that are put in charge of user interfaces on modern day webapps tend to make rather crappy user experiences. I'm guilty of it. Pinball programmers often have to have both sides of the creativity coin since they're often put in charge of a lot of the rules implementation as well.
    Again, the logic isn't hard by itself, but when you have to do that in addition to the other creative tasks within pinball, or you've got to worry about the low level hardware aspects of the game, it can get a bit complex compared to what the current mainstream software engineers are taught.

    Nailed it

    #180 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Stern doesn't see much as lucrative, they appear to be solely focused on lowering cost and one time sales. It works for them but it is archaic and has no path to the future. Yes Stern would have to modernize their software and probable hardware too. Yes they would have to invest in the future. There is no reason why in a modern software process you can not bang out modes, code DLC for a pin. Mobile games get cranked out by the thousands. Pins are not as complicated as many people seem to think they are. Pinheads have continually proven to have deep pockets and willing to spend like drunken sailors to update their pins.

    BLUF: Although people generally do not want to hear realities.

    This is called the "short term profit margin" methodology.
    The same philosophy adapted from mobile application gaming.
    Stern rides the market surfing wave as a seasoned veteran.

    Stern remembers well the lean times in the 2000s, before almost resulting in the company quitting the industry in 2009.
    People have very short memories, many were not even around.
    George Gomez knows very well what is happening today.
    This includes putting the thumbscrews to small suppliers parts manufacturers for contracts.
    Remaining designers on the Stern team have learned to be a bit more quiet in their comments, and not be outspoken for a reason.

    Stern has dismissed their origins, and who have forgotten who supported them in favor of obliging modern collector ignorance.
    The new method is working well, but has long term consequences.
    Collectors "in the know" are far from impressed.
    New owners do not even know what is happening, or do not know the signs of a weakening industry.
    The market spike is not representative of overall industry health in any way, only buyer interest.
    These are two separate things and independent.
    The nature of repeated examples poorly managed boutique manufacturers and supremacy of Stern does not promote competitive industry growth.
    In fact most of the boutique manufacturers are starting to seriously damage the industry will false promises that people are getting tired of hearing.
    The loss of operators as a primary backup for the industry when private ownerships falls out of fashion is dangerous.
    Catering exclusively to high end buyers to eliminate production volumes (higher price to low production) promotes almost no growth, and pushes new potential owners out of the market entirely.
    The overall market is far from healthy, currently it is like cancer, a disease eating itself from the inside out.
    However, Stern does know how to survive even if they reduce production to one title a year and recycle old titles from their "vault".
    Eventually, however, this also falters, as it happened in 2009 with Stern.
    Even that trick does not last forever.

    How far and long it will continue, I do not know, but enthusiasts should not expect more than half of the current pinball companies to be around in 2018.
    This includes the potential official statement of the financial bailout (ala JJP Title Round 2) of Heighway Pinball, if the deal can be inked, even though fanboy shills remain in full denial and propagate misinformation cheerleading for Mr. Heighway. This is despite he already was so deep in the red and monetarily insolvent there was no way he was ever going to be able to fulfill orders of his second title, Alien, over the past 2+ years, let alone provide refunds to customers. However, this new "Let's Make a Deal" does not guarantee the company's long term survival, if the company cannot produce the game in necessary volume.
    Multiple other companies remain on earthquake faults as well for the time being.

    #181 1 year ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    There is so much that could be done with online and DLC. Stern already ships incomplete code, I have no idea why they don't add modes post ship for a fee. Weekly events and tournaments are all potential revenue streams. They are just not willing to make the investment and its unfortunate. They are just so far behind the times with the way they think.
    P.S. If Stern launched an Update to AC/DC this weekend that was $100 added a Dirty Deeds mode with the song and a tournament is running for the entire long weekend top 10 scores on the new mode get it free. How many guys go for it? I dunno what the price point is for pinball, but its common in gaming for customers to spend far more post ship then they do on the original product. So there is a point that it works out and its very profitable. Considering what people are willing to spend on mods I think this model would be very lucrative in pinball.

    People would simply wait for someone to buy the code and ask them to dropbox that summbitch over to them.

    I do think making all pincode open to programmers would grow the hobby, however...

    #182 1 year ago

    I haven't seen mentioned all the not-fun coding required to robustly deal with broken switches, stuck balls, jams, physical ball locks with multiple players, etc. Probably takes as long as the "fun" part.

    #183 1 year ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    I haven't seen mentioned all the not-fun coding required to robustly deal with broken switches, stuck balls, jams, physical ball locks with multiple players, etc. Probably takes as long as the "fun" part.

    Managing the trough correctly is a beast.

    #184 1 year ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    I haven't seen mentioned all the not-fun coding required to robustly deal with broken switches, stuck balls, jams, physical ball locks with multiple players, etc. Probably takes as long as the "fun" part.

    Yeah, it's the deep debugging part that really shows the abilities of the coder.
    I don't see any software fix for a broken switch.
    I do like how Aerosmith deals with multi player ball locking, though. Kudos to Stern for that bit of design.

    #185 1 year ago

    I know I should just stay out of this thread...
    I should have taken my own advice.

    #186 1 year ago

    Ah a cargument....awesome. Stern Vs. Toyota/Honda; perfect.

    #187 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Ah a cargument....awesome. Stern Vs. Toyota/Honda; perfect.

    You not even trolling with any effort. You are making me feel dumb and that is pretty impressive. This time I am out.

    #188 1 year ago

    Personally, I can't wait till my Internet of Pinballs machine is AlwaysOn™. Forced updates that brick or change the machine without consent, hacked patch servers that load botnet malware, DRM that limits the number of plays, unblockable ads between games... that is, until my toaster accidentally locks the PinballBus and the game doesn't work at all. When I call up Stern support I get "Rich", who can barely piece together the sentence he's spoon feeding me, and I hang up after 2 hours of frustratingly trying to explain that my game doesn't work, and no turning it off for 30 seconds and back on doesn't work. After I hang up the phone I think back to where it all went wrong, when pinball was so much less complex and the Pinside user Darscot lead Stern into the future of corporate copycat freemium milkbaggery.

    #189 1 year ago
    Quoted from ThatOneDude:

    I don't see any software fix for a broken switch

    Fix, no, but a game that realizes a switch is broken can do things like count it as hit when it's needed to complete a mode, say, rather than just never let you complete it. Stuff like that.

    Or a trough that has one of the middle optos malfunctioning can infer it to be closed when then next one up is closed, or open when the next one down is, in order to stay sane. The more contingencies covered, the more a game stays playable.

    #190 1 year ago
    Quoted from DanQverymuch:

    Or a trough that has one of the middle optos malfunctioning can infer it to be closed when then next one up is closed, or open when the next one down is, in order to stay sane. The more contingencies covered, the more a game stays playable.

    Good luck distinguishing a two ball multiball from single ball play without an outhole switch then. Even with it, good luck distinguishing a failed outhole feed from a drain during two ball multiball (i.e., transition to single ball play).

    But hey, this stuff is easy and mundane, right?

    #191 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mocean:

    Good luck distinguishing a two ball multiball from single ball play without an outhole switch then. Even with it, good luck distinguishing a failed outhole feed from a drain during two ball multiball (i.e., transition to single ball play).
    But hey, this stuff is easy and mundane, right?

    Its all just YAML files, bro...

    #192 1 year ago

    One thing to keep in mind is that the "programmer" role (in the context of this thread) is actually two different roles:

    1. The person/team who writes the low-level system stuff and actually "programs" the game.
    2. The person/team who designs the rules and thinks about "what should happen when"

    Sometimes those are the same person, and sometimes they're different people. (And when they are the same person, that's really that one person wearing two hats.)

    In probably 99% of cases when someone says, "This game's code sucks", that complaint is really about #2 above in that people are complaining about the rules of the game. (Sure, in some cases, like when two balls end up in the trough, or when a single vuk tries forever to eject a ball and gets stuck, or when a tilted machine gets a ball stuck under an upper flipper and you have to power cycle the game, then that's an issue that should be addressed by the person doing #1 above.)

    In theory the game rules designer (#2) would give a stack of flowcharts to the person writing the code (#1), and the person writing the code would take that, as well as all the assets and then do the physical implementation in code. You could make an argument that it might be better if one person wore both hats, but in general that's not always the case. (There are exceptions.. Lyman, Rosh, Scott D, Compy, Mocean, EP, probably others I'm forgetting who are both "rules guy" and "code guy".)

    From my standpoint, as someone who's been involved in pinball coding for 4 years, a huge +1 from me to everyone saying "Pinball coding is complex". I definitely agree that it seems easy from the outside, and certainly it's easier than writing code for a self-driving car, but the main thing that people don't think about with pinball code versus something like a video game is that pinball is a physical thing, and the code doesn't necessarily have a true "view" of the actual physical state.

    From the code's perspective, everything it knows about the machine is just a set of 80 or so switches that are either on or off. That's it.

    Unfortunately a switch being reported as "on" doesn't mean that it was activated by the ball/player/mech that should have activated it. It just means the switch is on. Similarly a switch that is reported as "off" doesn't mean it's *not* being activated. Once you start to think about switches having multiple states: on/off/stuck on/stuck off/jittery/broken/etc. then things get real complex, real fast. Sure you can make some inferences, like if a ramp made switch is always activated but the ramp entry switch never is, or if your trough 2 switch is activated but the trough 1 never is, or if a playfield switch is on or jittering when the machine does not think a ball is on the playfield... but again, the code's view of the machine is just limited to switch states and that can get complex. (And again, addressing that is up to the person doing role #1 above.)

    Obviously progress is always being made from all companies and frameworks against this goal, but just keep in mind that that's a completely separate conversation from whether a machine's rules are any good.

    #193 1 year ago
    Quoted from BrianMadden:

    Obviously progress is always being made from all companies and frameworks against this goal, but just keep in mind that that's a completely separate conversion from whether a machine's rules are any good.

    That's what I'm getting at, there is so much more to a well-designed program than the "fun" part of the rule set and light show.

    So much more to account for than in a video game.

    Just think how much of the code goes to "waste" in an emulator running actual pinball ROMs where switches never break, etc!

    #194 1 year ago
    Quoted from BrianMadden:

    (There are exceptions.. Lyman, Rosh, Scott D, Compy, Mocean, EP, probably others I'm forgetting who are both "rules guy" and "code guy".)

    Tons of great people in our community for sure!

    #195 1 year ago
    Quoted from BrianMadden:

    From the code's perspective, everything it knows about the machine is just a set of 80 or so switches that are either on or off. That's it.

    That's my go to description of how a pinball works when describing it to kids.
    On a personal note, I used to live near Destin(Santa Rosa and West Bay, just north of PCB). My dad worked on the Sandestin resort buildings. Love the beaches there

    #196 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mocean:

    But hey, this stuff is easy and mundane, right?

    Then factor in that team of less than 10 people (I'm including artists, mechanical engineers, sound designers, etc.) are responsible for something like Dialed In, compared to a team of HUNDREDS on your typical AAA game, and suddenly it goes from "that's cool" to "I can't believe you did this".

    What modern pinball design teams do is INCREDIBLE.

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