(Topic ID: 224963)

Joe Balcer confirms Oktoberfest as American Pinball's next pin.


By PismoArcade

1 year ago



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#3951 26 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

I didn’t buy a used bill validator.

Then check with the manufacturer.

They also might have some trouble shooting guide or manual on line to help you.

LTG : )

#3952 26 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

The coaster lock coil release coil stopped working, magic smoke...

Interesting. I had a problem when I first got my game where I had balls in the Corkscrew cue at the end of a game and the software tried to release them as usual. For whatever reason, the Corkscrew Release coil didn't have enough strength to release the balls. When that happened, with balls stuck in the cue, the software kept trying to release them. The release coil sat there making a buzzing sound, trying to move its armature, getting hotter and hotter. I wondered whether or not the software would have ever stopped energizing that coil had I not powered down quickly. The coil survived, I adjusted the mechanism so balls always release as they should, and it hasn't happened since.

#3953 26 days ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

Interesting. I had a problem when I first got my game where I had balls in the Corkscrew cue at the end of a game and the software tried to release them as usual. For whatever reason, the Corkscrew Release coil didn't have enough strength to release the balls. When that happened, with balls stuck in the cue, the software kept trying to release them. The release coil sat there making a buzzing sound, trying to move its armature, getting hotter and hotter. I wondered whether or not the software would have ever stopped energizing that coil had I not powered down quickly. The coil survived, I adjusted the mechanism so balls always release as they should, and it hasn't happened since.

Thanks for that data point, I do wonder since that costed lock membrane switch was randomly showing ghost locks if this maybe made that coil fail.

#3954 26 days ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

I adjusted the mechanism so balls always release as they should, and it hasn't happened since.

How exactly did you adjust the mechanism to fix this? Would be good to see pics with a description of what you did... mine hasn't done this yet, but I'd like to take preventative measures, as I'm guessing others might...

#3955 26 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

How exactly did you adjust the mechanism to fix this? Would be good to see pics with a description of what you did... mine hasn't done this yet, but I'd like to take preventative measures, as I'm guessing others might...

I don’t know of any “preventative measures” here. If it starts acting-up, ask API what do. If it works fine, I’d say don’t mess with it! To answer your question, when my game wasn’t releasing balls from the queue, I bent the metal tab that stops the armature (because the magnet didn’t have enough strength to grab the armature when the gap was large).

#3956 26 days ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

If it starts acting-up, ask API what do.

Now you've shared your solution I won't need to bug them Thanks, sounds like an easy fix!

#3957 26 days ago

I am getting phantom barrel locks now also,api is sending me out a pair of membranes today

#3958 26 days ago
Quoted from rockrand:

I am getting phantom barrel locks now also,api is sending me out a pair of membranes today

How many games has your game racked up?

#3959 26 days ago
Quoted from rockrand:

I am getting phantom barrel locks now also,api is sending me out a pair of membranes today

I’m not sure I understand the design decision to use those membrane switches.

#3960 26 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

I’m not sure I understand the design decision to use those membrane switches.

If they're reliable then I guess they're cheaper and easier to install than micro switches... the snag is that with this particular manufacturer, there seems to be a reliability issue... they used to be OK on games like Strker Extreme from my belief...

#3961 26 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

If they're reliable then I guess they're cheaper and easier to install than micro switches... the snag is that with this particular manufacturer, there seems to be a reliability issue... they used to be OK on games like Strker Extreme from my belief...

My biggest heartburn with this game so far, is the need to go to the manufacturer for parts. So all these speciality parts are a pain in the ass, made worse by their unreliability.

It takes a little bit longer to go through warranty service/ticketing/support. As a location operator, I’d rather just buy the part from somewhere that can get it to me fast.

Downtime is money, and this game has been down a lot recently.

#3962 26 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

It takes a little bit longer to go through warranty service/ticketing/support. As a location operator, I’d rather just buy the part from somewhere that can get it to me fast.

Have you contacted tech support at American Pinball yet?
I think you'll be pleasantly surprise on how fast you get helped?
Also have you contacted the distributor you purchased the game from?

#3963 26 days ago
Quoted from DanDanDAN:

Have you contacted tech support at American Pinball yet?
I think you'll be pleasantly surprise on how fast you get helped?
Also have you contacted the distributor you purchased the game from?

Do you operate games? Do you know what an extra 2-3 days of downtime means in terms of earnings? On a 7500 game, every dollar counts. Downtime on location also diminishes clients and location owners perceptions.

Of course I work through a distro. It takes a few days longer and my time to go through a distributor, file a ticket, talk to a support person to determine if it can be fixed and do their own troubleshooting..where I have to drive to the location 40 minutes away when they are available.. Then they send a part, RMA that I sometimes have to send back at my expense. It’s easily 3-4x more of MY time that I NEED to spend elsewhere.

I’d rather just CC order a $10 part, vs deal with all that. But with AP I don’t have that option. Using things like these membrane switches and having AP part numbers on everything is a pain in the ass and unnecessary. I get it for legitimate game specific parts (light boards, whatever), but these switches are an application where a standard set of switches would be fine. The fact that they have both failed so quickly doesn’t give me confidence that this is a reliable part.

#3964 26 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

The fact that they have both failed so quickly doesn’t give me confidence that this is a reliable part.

I just sent you a PM

#3965 25 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Do you operate games? Do you know what an extra 2-3 days of downtime means in terms of earnings? On a 7500 game, every dollar counts. Downtime on location also diminishes clients and location owners perceptions.
Of course I work through a distro. It takes a few days longer and my time to go through a distributor, file a ticket, talk to a support person to determine if it can be fixed and do their own troubleshooting..where I have to drive to the location 40 minutes away when they are available.. Then they send a part, RMA that I sometimes have to send back at my expense. It’s easily 3-4x more of MY time that I NEED to spend elsewhere.
I’d rather just CC order a $10 part, vs deal with all that. But with AP I don’t have that option. Using things like these membrane switches and having AP part numbers on everything is a pain in the ass and unnecessary. I get it for legitimate game specific parts (light boards, whatever), but these switches are an application where a standard set of switches would be fine. The fact that they have both failed so quickly doesn’t give me confidence that this is a reliable part.

The switch is available on the website. https://store.american-pinball.com/products/membrane-switch

If you want to go through warranty it does take longer than to purchase directly.
Here at American Pinball, you always have the option to buy the part outright, then you can stock the warranty replacement part.

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#3966 25 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Do you operate games? Do you know what an extra 2-3 days of downtime means in terms of earnings? On a 7500 game, every dollar counts. Downtime on location also diminishes clients and location owners perceptions.
Of course I work through a distro. It takes a few days longer and my time to go through a distributor, file a ticket, talk to a support person to determine if it can be fixed and do their own troubleshooting..where I have to drive to the location 40 minutes away when they are available.. Then they send a part, RMA that I sometimes have to send back at my expense. It’s easily 3-4x more of MY time that I NEED to spend elsewhere.
I’d rather just CC order a $10 part, vs deal with all that. But with AP I don’t have that option. Using things like these membrane switches and having AP part numbers on everything is a pain in the ass and unnecessary. I get it for legitimate game specific parts (light boards, whatever), but these switches are an application where a standard set of switches would be fine. The fact that they have both failed so quickly doesn’t give me confidence that this is a reliable part.</block

The switches were ordered on 10/29/2019

The switches were delivered on 10/31/2019

Tracking Number 9405503699300149840269

You can always buy the part on line and then stock the replacement part.

https://store.american-pinball.com/products/membrane-switch

#3967 25 days ago

To the normal collector or someone in their home, this sort of turnaround time is probably acceptable. To me, it's not. Here's the comparison.

Marco Order Submitted 7:27am (Day 1)
Marco Shipment Notification 11:32am (same day)
In-Transit (Day 2)
Marco Product Arrives (Day 3)

---

American Pinball Ticket Submitted About a Coil and Lightboard Issue - Tue, Nov 12, 3:06 PM (Day 1)
Radio Silence (Day 2)
I have to email customer support - (Day 3)
Barry Responds with Tracking information about the prior switch issue.
Barry then responds with "That is boxed and is going out today."

---

Also, your website to order isn't user friendly and there is an error in your documentation. The part number written on the coil and in the manual is "SUB0016-00A"

Screen Shot 2019-11-14 at 12.02.31 PM (resized).png

You have the part labeled differently on the site..and cannot be found in search..
9B3FEB1F-7AC5-4BDB-960F-165F72A27C23 (resized).png

So, I have to browse through all the pages.. hope I filter on the right thing to find it? There are 65 products on your page, there is no way to determine what parts are for houdini or oktoberfest.. can't wait for game 3. Of those 65 products, 10 of them are promotional products t-shirts, and stickers.. at least 23 other products are houdini specific. With a 39 page assembly manual for Oktoberfest, let's not pretend I can easily order whatever I need from the AP Store.

Now extrapolate this experience to all the issues we've had in only 4 months..

DBV Adapter/Harness
Wireform Weld Missing
Barrel Lock Switch
Coaster Lock Switch
Coaster Lock Coil
Tent Light Board

#3968 25 days ago
Quoted from DanDanDAN:

Have you contacted tech support at American Pinball yet?
I think you'll be pleasantly surprise on how fast you get helped?
Also have you contacted the distributor you purchased the game from?

The 'did you call your distributor...' line is really a cop-out in how manufacturers are working these days.

What are manufacturers like AP doing to make their distributors a valid support channel?
- Are they stocking spares? Making it viable for distributors to do so?
- Are they getting training on the support and servicing of the product?
- Are they being provided documentation and materials to support the product?
- Do they have access to materials or support infrastructure beyond what the normal customer has?
- Do they have means to source RMAs or work existing tickets?

Manufacturers are not doing their part to make the distributors a valid tier 0/1 support avenue. Today it boils down to a simple 'vetting' of who is a customer or not.. and they can't do anything specific to actually rectifying support problems that involve product-specific stuff. Sure maybe that line works for the rec room buyer who doesn't know how to open the backbox... but for an actual service channel, all it is today is extra wasted time.. and more people in the process bogging it down.

If you want to use a ticket system... don't just dump it on the customers to be the ones to open tickets. When an agent answers the phone, or email, and it's something that will require more than a one-time interaction... you open a ticket for that customer and their case. You don't send them away and say open a ticket... and start over again.

Self-service ticket creation is not an excuse to not open tickets for customers... it's an EXTRA path for those who don't want to start with a live interaction.

knockerlover's examples should show you that the processes as they stand now are sub-par and not effective for his business. Instead of saying "ok, but we have XYZ...' reflect and understand how your XYZ isn't meeting the need of your customer.

#3969 25 days ago

Nevermind the fact knockerlover reported the bug that it steals $0.25 from players when the game is set to $0.75 and pay with a dollar bill, yet to my knowledge it has yet to be addressed by AP.

#3970 25 days ago
Quoted from BarryJ:

The switches were ordered on 10/29/2019
The switches were delivered on 10/31/2019
Tracking Number 9405503699300149840269
You can always buy the part on line and then stock the replacement part.
https://store.american-pinball.com/products/membrane-switch

You're missing two key points in your timeline:
Ticket opened with AP 10/23/19
You e-mailed us asking us to register the game (which we promptly did) 10/28/19

So from the time the ticket was opened until we received the switches was 8 days, meaning the game was down 9-10 days. While I understand the need to confirm the game was registered, the serial # of the game was submitted with the original ticket which I'm sure can be traced back to the distributor and owner since we had been sent a part for another issue in the past. I'm happy to see access to parts are available to be ordered online and we'll be preemptively doing so.

At the end of the day we share a common goal of seeing AP games working well and earning "in the wild".

#3971 25 days ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Do you operate games?

Dan is their Sales guy.

Quoted from DanDanDAN:

I just sent you a PM

And he will work hard to help you.

LTG : )

#3972 25 days ago
Quoted from PinBackpacker:

You're missing two key points in your timeline:
Ticket opened with AP 10/23/19
You e-mailed us asking us to register the game (which we promptly did) 10/28/19
So from the time the ticket was opened until we received the switches was 8 days, meaning the game was down 9-10 days. While I understand the need to confirm the game was registered, the serial # of the game was submitted with the original ticket which I'm sure can be traced back to the distributor and owner since we had been sent a part for another issue in the past. I'm happy to see access to parts are available to be ordered online and we'll be preemptively doing so.
At the end of the day we share a common goal of seeing AP games working well and earning "in the wild".

We are working on making the process the best it can be. (email updates and real time tracking info coming soon)

All we ask for warranty replacement parts is that the game is registered. We have included a QR code on the main info sheet under the glass to make the registration process easy for you.

#3973 25 days ago

Can anyone confirm the warranty period for Oktoberfest for a NIB purchased game...? Thanks.

#3974 24 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

Can anyone confirm the warranty period for Oktoberfest for a NIB purchased game...?

Page iii in the manual. You can download from here if you need it :

https://tools.usps.com/go/TrackConfirmAction?qtc_tLabels1=9405808699937960387015

LTG : )

#3975 24 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

Page iii in the manual. You can download from here if you need it :

Thanks... got it... 90days from date of invoice on all parts (with some exceptions) and 1yr for the display.

#3976 24 days ago

Just put up my best game on this! Over half of this was my last ball bonus lol. Got to every wizard mode. At least I know it’s possible to get to the super wizard mode when that’s in the code. Still, super fun, and the point opportunities get enormous.

D48254DD-80BA-4008-B7F6-BDD718A905A5 (resized).jpeg
#3977 24 days ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

At least I know it’s possible to get to the super wizard mode when that’s in the code.

Congratulations! So there's a plan to add to the code a super wizard mode!!! That's awesome!!

#3978 23 days ago

Wow, 45 min! Gotta schedule your playing time with games like that. Nice work!

#3979 23 days ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

Wow, 45 min! Gotta schedule your playing time with games like that. Nice work!

My flipper fingers would fatigue!

#3980 22 days ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Just put up my best game on this! Over half of this was my last ball bonus lol. Got to every wizard mode. At least I know it’s possible to get to the super wizard mode when that’s in the code. Still, super fun, and the point opportunities get enormous.[quoted image]

Great score!

#3981 22 days ago

Here's another idea that I think will only improve the game: at the start of Corkscrew MB, keep the ramp down just long enough to allow all three balls to be shot straight back up the ramp... if the player manages to get the first ball (or one of the three) he simply gets awarded a jackpot. 2 out of the three balls up there awards a double jackpot but also doubles all JPs for the rest of that MB, and all 3 balls up there awards a triple jackpot and tripples all JPs for the rest if that MB... the pressure to shoot all three balls straight back up the corkscrew ramp with add excellent tension and force concentration... get the adrenaline going... to combat the counter-argument that the possibility of trippling all JPs will imbalance the scoring, I suggest multiplying the base JPs by 0.6... that way 1 (or no) balls up the ramp will result in 60% of what you'd get with the current code, 2 balls up there = 120% and 3 =180%... which will probably bring it back on average to about what it is now... I know, the idea is taken from Whitewater... but that element of that game I always found a blast, and I'd love to see it in this game too... would anyone else like to have this feature coded in? I appreciate the good people of AP are probably starting to move their eye onto the next game, but code tweaks like this, I feel, can only serve to make this game even better... players get a more adrenaline pumping experience, and AP get a reputation for polishing and improving code... win-win for all!

#3982 22 days ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Just put up my best game on this!

How many extra balls did you get? Like 10 or more?

During one of my awesome 3mil games that last 25 minutes I get 3-5 extra balls.

#3983 21 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

Here's another idea that I think will only improve the game: at the start of Corkscrew MB, keep the ramp down just long enough to allow all three balls to be shot straight back up the ramp...

That would be cool. Only problem is I suck at pinball, so would be useless for me.

#3984 20 days ago

So, anyone from API: apart from appreciating the idea of keeping the ramp down on corkscrew to allow up to 3x JP in that MB, and adjusting the baseline score to have an overall score-neutral effect, do you think you can implement this in a forthcoming code update? It would certainly get the players on edge during the MB start and enhance the experience at the cost of just a bit more programming... I'd do it myself in my spare time if I knew what I was doing, which I don't... ??

#3985 20 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

So, anyone from API: apart from appreciating the idea of keeping the ramp down on corkscrew to allow up to 3x JP in that MB, and adjusting the baseline score to have an overall score-neutral effect, do you think you can implement this in a forthcoming code update? It would certainly get the players on edge during the MB start and enhance the experience at the cost of just a bit more programming... I'd do it myself in my spare time if I knew what I was doing, which I don't... ??

We typically see most of what is posted here, we just don't always comment. If we think there is something that makes sense to add, change or do, then you may see it in a future release. Keep in mind that not every good idea will get implemented as there are a lot of factors that go into where we decide to spend our limited resources.

#3986 20 days ago
Quoted from JohnnyPinball007:

How many extra balls did you get? Like 10 or more?
During one of my awesome 3mil games that last 25 minutes I get 3-5 extra balls.

Just 2

#3987 19 days ago

On location I tend to hear a lot of players comment about the low scoring Oktoberfest is. At first, I was charmed by it. “How logical that these guys built a game with real scores” I would say. Now after a few months I see people trending away from OKT simply because they “feel” like they aren’t doing well.

As stupid as it is, as an operator I am going to throw out a vote for a scoring revision that brings the game into the hundreds of millions and billions that people seem to expect.

The game is fantastic and I hate to see people shy away because they don’t understand it.

I can certainly understand how complex that change would be, and I completely appreciate the design team giving me the big middle finger. I just wanted to let you know “what the people are saying” .

#3988 19 days ago

I have a request for AP.

Please never do what the other companies are doing with all the pro, LE, prem, and whatever else. Just keep on turning out one awesome packed game a year with no other models and all that bs.

And please just stay here interacting, even if it comes to just a pm message back as needed someday.

In the meantime your interactions, and LTG have been awesome, and answered 99% of my questions before I needed to ask a question myself.

Please keep checking Pinside a little, but use most of your energy to keep making awesome games.

Thanks,
Johnny

#3989 19 days ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

as an operator I am going to throw out a vote for a scoring revision that brings the game into the hundreds of millions and billions that people seem to expect.</blockquote

That is too funny, and sadly real these days. Mostly from people that do not get pinball.

I can see it now, I hate this game, I scored 5 bil over here on this game, and only 200k on this game, this game must suck and not see how awesome I am. Some people these days are just so entitled or something. But at least they are playing, and maybe someday they will get it. Every game scores differently.

#3990 19 days ago
Quoted from JohnnyPinball007:

Please never do what the other companies are doing with all the pro, LE, prem, and whatever else. Just keep on turning out one awesome packed game a year with no other models and all that bs.

Kinda agree about pro/premium/LE etc. Perhaps it’s a tactic pinball companies use to maximize profits (while making feature-limited machines more affordable for operators and home users). I played at an arcade recently that had a bunch of new Sterns... but every single one of them was a Pro. Kind of a disappointment.

I’m hoping the next API game is as much fun as Oktoberfest, bright and colorful like Oktoberfest, no more expensive than Oktoberfest, and maybe boots up faster

#3991 19 days ago
Quoted from JohnnyPinball007:

as an operator I am going to throw out a vote for a scoring revision that brings the game into the hundreds of millions and billions that people seem to expect.</blockquote
That is too funny, and sadly real these days. Mostly from people that do not get pinball.
I can see it now, I hate this game, I scored 5 bil over here on this game, and only 200k on this game, this game must suck and not see how awesome I am. Some people these days are just so entitled or something. But at least they are playing, and maybe someday they will get it. Every game scores differently.

I think, in some games, big honkin’ scores in the billions are part of the fun (for example, AFM). Maybe even part of the wow factor. In some low scoring games where the score increases by tiny increments leading to a low total score (for example, WOZ)... I never felt that scoring model added (or subtracted) anything in terms of fun

#3992 19 days ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

I think, in some games, big honkin’ scores in the billions are part of the fun (for example, AFM). Maybe even part of the wow factor. In some low scoring games where the score increases by tiny increments leading to a low total score (for example, WOZ)... I never felt that scoring model added (or subtracted) anything in terms of fun

I am with you 100%. I just thought it would be smart to explain the psyche of my players. I’ve heard a wide range of players comment on it. Everyone from novice to semi-pro.

#3993 19 days ago

Thank you for the feedback, folks. We always love to hear what our owners and players like and don't like about our games.

I do not expect that we will be radically changing the scoring of Oktoberfest. No middle fingers intended to anyone. Oktoberfest was designed so that a player achieving a score over one million could feel great about that threshold. Obviously, different pinball games have different scoring ranges... if "big numbers" are a criteria for game quality, then Johnny Mnemonic is the best game ever.

We hope that everyone loves Oktoberfest, and we hope that everyone loves our next games, which have their own unique vibes in all regards, including scoring levels. Thanks for your support!

#3994 19 days ago

I have to second the post about 'boot up times' being long, long, long. Maybe AP can do something on their next game to deal with that?

#3995 19 days ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

I just wanted to let you know “what the people are saying” .

We truly appreciate all feedback good, bad, or indifferent.
We may not respond to all feedback but believe me when I say most feedback is brought up in the office during meetings or water cooler talk.

#3996 19 days ago

+1 for faster boot up times if that is achievable!

#3997 18 days ago
Quoted from arcadem:

I have to second the post about 'boot up times' being long, long, long. Maybe AP can do something on their next game to deal with that?

The next game will boot much, much faster.

#3998 18 days ago

After Thanksgiving Special.

LTG : )

AP (resized).jpg
#3999 18 days ago
Quoted from LTG:

After Thanksgiving Special.
LTG : )[quoted image]

Buy membrane switches.. in bulk..

#4000 18 days ago

American Pinball has a separate promotion on games.

LTG : )

ap2 (resized).jpg
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