(Topic ID: 224963)

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

By PismoArcade

1 year ago

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Topic index (key posts)

3 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #928 Oktoberfest initial release pics and rule card pic Posted by PinballSTAR (12 months ago)

Post #1686 Updated (final?) Oktoberfest cabinet art Posted by HOOKED (9 months ago)

Post #1954 Link to 3/1/19 streaming video Posted by chuckwurt (7 months ago)

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#93 1 year ago

With regard to whether this is a popular cultural theme, take a peek at this:


The worldwide attendance and longevity numbers are nothing to sneeze at.

#206 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Awesome code by Josh, confirmed!

Hey now...

1 month later
#624 1 year ago

Quite a few games with double buttons on only one side. From this same designer (Joe Balcer) there was Starship Troopers. WCS94 is probably one of the more well-known titles with that configuration.

#664 1 year ago

Hopefully Josh is too busy working to notice that I'm sneaking whitewood photos between code updates...

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#687 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

How about a sneak peak of the shooter lane?

Alright, Pinside... y'all had one free bonus sneak peak request before Expo, and if this is what you want, your wish is our command.

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#703 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Last one...I promise.
Please post pic of the bottom 6 inches of a leg.

I aim to please.

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1 week later
#1363 12 months ago
Quoted from jaytrem:

Skyshot, slingshot, launcherbahn for the VUK?

When it's not the Food Stand, the VUK is called the Sky Slide, and has a tent feature dedicated to it (although that tent was not enabled in the Expo build).

#1366 12 months ago
Quoted from Wildbill327:

From what I seen the roller coaster ramp looked cool, maybe you can add a mode so you can shoot that ramp and see the ball jam all the way around without stopping at the coaster lock.

Alright, here comes technical nitty-gritty.

The lock mechanism has a nice design that when a ball is released, it physically blocks the other balls in the lock so they don't slip by and cause an unintentional multiball. (Anyone remember Cirqus Voltaire high wire lock release glitches? Yeah, none of that in Oktoberfest.) What this means is that if there's already a ball in the coaster lock, we can do a "no stop" pass-through, kinda like LOTR's sword lock. We take advantage of this during the Looper tent, which rewards combo shots on the coaster ramp. However, if there isn't already a ball in the lock, we have to wait for an incoming ball to reach the "front" position before we can release it, which causes a brief stoppage. It'd be cooler if we could speed that stoppage in all situations, but I'm happy to accept that to get super-reliable ejects from the lock.

Fun pinball development trivia: the early whitewood had the coaster ramp but not the coaster lock device. We were shooting the coaster ramp with such speed that occasionally the ball would fly right on through the top stretch of the ramp so fast that it just smacked into the side of the cabinet, instead of following the coaster ramp wireform. Oops.

#1415 11 months ago
Quoted from rogerdodger:

Are there ways for a single ball to use the corkscrew ramp or is it for multiball use only?

One of the tent features, Looper, is solely about shooting the corkscrew ramp, preferably in repeated combos.

1 week later
#1516 11 months ago

Reposting this from the doomed PinballSTAR thread...

Whew... enough monkey talk, at least for me. Since a few people asked about it, let's talk MagNab (which does NOT refer to any inappropriate touching of, or by, magpies).

There are four magnets in Oktoberfest. One each is located on either side mid-playfield, near the OKTOBER and FEST target banks. Players can't control these magnets; they're there to add some fun chaos to the game. (And sometimes they can help you -- I've watched the OKTOBER magnet happily play ping-pong with those targets, rapidly accumulating several target hits on the player's behalf. You get extra points for this!)

Then there are two other magnets: one located above the TAP lanes at the top-right of the playfield, and one located above the upper-right flipper in the right orbit. These ARE player controllable, using the extra right-side button... that's what we call MagNab. You earn MagNabs by shooting the lit "MagNab" shot, which alternates between the right ramp and the captive ball. (Pro tip: one of the steins awards an extra MagNab when you shoot the lit MagNab shot... and like all steins, you can stack their powers.) Hitting the MagNab button energizes both the right orbit and TAP lane magnets for a couple seconds. Both magnet choices are useful: the right orbit one gives you a nice feed to the UR flipper, which has several important shots including the upper ramp (beer barrel lock) and the bartender (advance toward or collect a stein)... the TAP lanes advance PLAYFIELD X. (Pro tip: one of the steins gives an extra advance to Playfield X when you complete the TAP lanes... and did I mention, like all steins, you can stack their powers.) Obviously, this gives some interesting choices about where and when to use your MagNabs.

There are also occasional automatic MagNabs... an inlane -> opposing orbit combo will usually catch the ball at the TAP lanes, and every X pop bumpers does an auto nab at the UR flipper when the ball exits the pops to the right orbit.

We can't wait for everyone to play and learn Oktoberfest!

1 month later
#1623 10 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Who puts purple text over a blue background?

Sorry, where do we have purple on blue? I'll be glad to address any legibility issues... sometimes we've stared at these things for so long that we're running on autopilot, so I appreciate any constructive feedback on what you've seen.

The machine I saw streamed at Pincinnati appears to be running Expo code (or close to it)... we've completed and refined lots more stuff since then... with plenty more still to be done. Certainly our goal is to have this be a game that everyone loves.

#1627 10 months ago

Ah, gotcha, thanks solarvalue and benheck. I'll get that cleaned up.

The blue and white checkerboard pattern isn't changing, that's the Bavarian flag, so that pattern is pretty ubiquitous.

#1650 10 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Ferret looks like he's got a lot already in the game, hopefully more to come.

Of course! Tons more rules have been implemented since the version of code that was seen at Expo/Pincinnati, with still more to come.

#1667 10 months ago
Quoted from BertoDRINK1:

If they both can lock balls how many balls do you load into this machine?

Oktoberfest is a six ball game.

2 months later
#1748 8 months ago

Just to add a bit to rosh’s comments... the code on this game will be very solid when it ships. Of course we’ll still refine choreography, scoring balance, any bug fixes needed, but no one should be asking where the code is. There’s a ton to do in the game, and you’ll be able to have a lot of fun just shooting around, or by creating complex strategies, whatever you prefer.

Can’t wait for everyone to get to play Oktoberfest!

2 weeks later
#1814 7 months ago

I received my Oktoberfest today... and while I may be totally biased, I am very impressed at the quality of the production hardware. The team at the API factory has built a rock-solid machine. And I'm loving the playfield refinements that Joe Balcer has made, compared to the prototype games that have appeared at shows over the past few months. It just shoots better.

Software-wise, as rosh said, it's really not comparable to the game that was shown at the Chicago Expo. Code, art, and audio have all progressed immensely in the past few months. Game rules are pretty much done now (though I'll still be tweaking score balance obsessively). We've been getting new art and audio assets pretty much daily. And now we're at the point of adding in more lighting effects, shaker effects, knocker effects, all that fun icing on the cake.

And had several friends over to break it in... I believe everyone had a ton of fun. We aimed to create a game that was joyous and festive and silly and fun, with great shots and interesting strategic choices, and I think we nailed it. I couldn't be happier with the overall product, and I hope y'all love it too.

#1826 7 months ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I am curious how far your friends made it through the game last night. I ask this this because 14 tents is alot of modes to cover (and sound really cool) and I'm going through difficulty balancing with something I'm working on too. I'm curious if your friends found it too much content or they made it half way and it would be possible to go all the way through on a killer game?

Totally possible. One friend, certainly a good player, got through 11 of the 14 tent features and one mini-wiz, then the game crashed. (Doh! Mea culpa. But this is beta testing, so that’s the point here: let me find the crashes so y’all don’t.) Several players played about half the tents in a game, which I think is fine for day 1 play. For reference, everyone was a very experienced player, though a range of skill levels.

Quoted from luvthatapex2:

What were some other comments they gave the game last night when playing? First impressions say alot! Were they able to follow the rules of the game with the callouts and screen messages?

I think so. I made a point of mostly shutting up and watching and taking notes, not telling people what to do, because API is not shipping me with every game sold. I didn’t notice any persistent confusion... folks seemed to get the general idea of most features within a couple games. Perhaps most importantly for me, since it’s a major hook of the game, people seemed to quickly catch on to the stein power-ups and started choosing them with purpose. There are some subtle rules that seemed to confuse folks, I’ll ponder whether to document them better or leave them subtle. I admit that I like having some subtle/quasi-secret rules so that players can have the joy of discovery... IMHO it’s kinda boring if everything is just laid out for you. As long as those rules don’t prevent anyone from having a good time even if they don’t study up, of course.

Also, this machine was running week-old code (since that’s when it shipped) and we’ve improved a bunch of things since then... we’re really in refinement mode. So I’ll put on the latest and greatest and we’ll try it all again tonight.

Overall it seemed like people had a lot of fun. Didn’t hear many complaints about anything. Hardest shot might be the Beer Barrel ramp/lock, which is an upper flipper shot... took folks a few games to find that, but by the end of the evening Beer Barrel MB was played many times, so I think that’ll be fine.


#1833 7 months ago
Quoted from DerGoetz:

Quoted from Ferret:
because API is not shipping me with every game sold.
THAT'S IT! I'm out!!!!

I may be willing to make exceptions for our customers in Hawaii.

#1835 7 months ago

Agree with many of Flynnibus' comments. As I mentioned above, we're getting additional visual and audio assets almost daily, so a lot of the player feedback items are either already done (but not in the build that was on the game last night) or coming soon. For example, we're expecting to get several hundred new callout lines in the next few days. Fun stuff.

#1870 7 months ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Also there are modes where you loop the ramp so it doesn’t hold then drop. I’m sure it returns faster in that scenario.

Actually, the lock release device has a nifty interlock on it that prevents any balls but the one being released from exiting the lock. However, the flip side of that is we can’t let balls just roll through.

I like the Rube Goldberg effect of starting Corkscrew MB — the ball releases are timed so that all three are spiraling around the wireform at the same time, it’s fun to watch. (Just don’t watch TOO long, as the balls do pick up speed when they reach the flipper!) If you were shooting that wireform 10 times a ball, yeah, the length might be frustrating, but the way it’s used avoids that IMHO.

#1912 7 months ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

can you stack steins? Like maybe per ball, so you can get 2-4 steins built up but lose them at end of ball?

As Josh notes, the short answer is: YES, all steins stack and persist through the whole game.

And you can select the same stein more than once if you want, and its abilities multiply.

Also, important to note that Josh was talking about the “global” stein boosts, but each stein also multiplies scoring of a specific tent feature. So if you know you’re good at Duck Hunt, you might want to pick up the Frosty Ferret stein before playing Duck Hunt... or even WHILE playing Duck Hunt, as the power-up takes effect immediately. And you still get the higher Beer Barrel MB scoring that Frosty Ferret provides.

The strategic options in this game are crazy... but for folks who don’t care about that and just want to shoot the ball, the machine suggests a choice that’s a reasonable middle of the road, so you can just double-flip to move along. Tried hard to make this a fun experience for any style of player.

#1928 7 months ago
Quoted from branlon8:

what's up with that side ramp ? It seems like it never gets hit. I wonder if it's really hard to hit (seems fairly broad) or if it's only worthwhile during certain modes.

It's not bad. It's certainly not a gimme, but once you learn where it is on the flipper, it's reasonable. Certainly easier if you have the magnet assist you. I'd say it's similar in feel to the upper ramp on Rollergames.

Since it is a harder shot, it's used somewhat sparingly in modes, but it's a ball lock for Beer Barrel Multiball (whose locks can be stolen in multiplayer games), a Double Jackpot during Corkscrew Multiball, a world of goodness during Beer Barrel Multiball, and gets play in some tents and wizard features.

#1930 7 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

On Rockin' Express (basically a carnival Flying Bobs/RockandRoll/Tai-Fun/Matterhorn/Himalaya, etc ride), can you make the riders start puking if you hit the spinner enough to make it go really fast?
I could see Oktoberfest being hilarious if you can make bad things happen to the sims in the park the better you play.

We're still refining A/V, who the heck knows what all will turn up...

#1936 7 months ago

So talking about the music: there IS method to the madness. We have three major categories of things to do in Oktoberfest Pinball On Tap: beer/drinking events, rides, and midway games. Each of these categories comes with its own style of music... the music for the midway games has a carnival/festival vibe, the music for the rides leans more towards rock, and the beer features use polka/oompah style music. This is all part of our overall intention to let the player explore EVERYTHING that Oktoberfest has to offer... contrary to what some might think, the festival called Oktoberfest is not just oompah music and drinking beer until you pass out, there's much more to it than that.

And from a practical standpoint: for every player who might want nothing but traditional Bavarian music in this game, there's another person who would run away screaming at that thought. We've tried to settle on a good balance that represents the festival well and not overdo any particular style. While I don't believe American Pinball plans to offer customizable soundtracks, if game owners really want to hack their game to modify the tunes, I suspect someone will figure out how to make that happen.

And finally, we are still refining the audio/visual elements of the game, including music, callouts, animations, etc. While no one should be expecting that any of these elements will be completely thrown out and started over from scratch, y'all are welcome to post constructive feedback here, the team is listening. (Hopefully those of you playing Oktoberfest this weekend at Louisville, or at other upcoming shows, notice a number of things that changed in the game based on feedback from Chicago Expo, streams of the game, etc.)


#1986 7 months ago
Quoted from Crile1:

Unfortunately, for me and my family a beer themed pin does not fit in. I think this pin will suffer for theme as it will likely divide folks and put off others before even approaching the game for what it is. Good job on the layout and rules. But theme is a solid "F" for this family.

I have to ask: why? Oktoberfest (the event) is in fact a family event... it’s not just about drinking beer. Ditto Oktoberfest (the game). Here’s a little subtlety about the pin: at least with adult mode turned off, it never tells the player to drink beer. Sure, it dances all around that topic. But we’re not trying to instruct some kid to chug beer, and I don’t think we do. If we missed a spot, we’ll fix it.

IMHO, Oktoberfest is as family friendly as, say, Corvette or Indy 500 (even though, y’know, kids can’t drive cars). Or as family friendly as the Super Bowl (which I think many families watch despite it having lots of beer commercials).

If Oktoberfest doesn’t suit your specific family, I’m very sorry to hear that. But I think most families will find its theme to be fine when they give it a good look.

#2005 7 months ago
Quoted from Hollywoodbone:

I still think Houdini has some of the best code ever and I’m really liking what josh is doing with this.

Hey, what am I, chopped liverwurst?

#2024 7 months ago
Quoted from luckycreature:

From the stream I didn't see many balls lasting longer than 30seconds to a minute.

That doesn't sound too far off from what it should be. Most pins usually target an average game time of around 3 minutes. And Joe Balcer's designs are nothing if not unique, so players walking up for the first time won't find shots in exactly the same spot on the flippers as other games.

My home machine has had 500 plays over the past couple weeks, with a range of player skills. Average game time is 3 minutes 42 seconds. That is somewhat on the long side compared to the 3 minute target, but I'm generally a PAPA/Pinburgh "B+" player so I should probably be getting somewhat longer game time than average.

#2028 7 months ago

Thankfully it includes a generous ball saver at both start and end.

#2133 7 months ago

I have gotten — once — a 7-in-a-row sweep of the OKTOBER targets. I was very surprised when all the inserts just suddenly lit up, felt great.

The X-in-a-row target scoring is indeed progressive... with no modes or multiballs active, the points will be nice but not epic... but do a big sweep during Ring Toss or Corkscrew MB or even Füd Frenzy and it should be pretty juicy.

Also, a couple days ago my wife shot the F in FEST, and though not a true sweep, watched the magnet ping-pong the ball into E, S, and T, one at a time. It looked hilarious.

#2139 7 months ago

Matt Kern is audio lead on Oktoberfest. David Thiel is not involved, he is working with Deeproot. However, David is an absolutely amazing artist and a great guy.

Quoted from PanzerFreak:

The presentation of images / text looks unappealing on a number of screens as well, especially the skill shot and end of ball screens.

Skill shot screen currently looks terrible. Perfect example of where we’re still working on the A/V. That’s what happens when *I* do any sort of visuals... I am not an artist. I recently received the final version of the imagery from our actual artist and it’ll get into the build soon.

End of ball bonus, though... that is as intended and most people seem to really like it. What do you find unappealing about it?

#2141 7 months ago
Quoted from acaciolo:

I vaguely remember reading that there might be 2 different versions of the machine (one for adult, and one more family). Was that just referring to the ability to change callouts in the settings or was it more of an adult artwork package?

Primarily audio callouts, possibly some animations. The physical machine does not change, it’s an operator adjustment.

#2216 7 months ago

Josh did a good job summarizing the tent features, but of course they have lots of fun subtleties that he didn't mention... just to tease a few...

Quoted from rosh:

Ring Toss is about hitting the targets on the Oktober and fest target banks, alternating one side from the other

Hitting X-in-a-row lit targets gives progressively higher scores. If you're skilled (or lucky) enough to sweep the entire lit OKTOBER bank in one shot (7-in-a-row), the points will be raining down. Completing either the OKTOBER or FEST bank gives a bonus, and completing both banks gives mongo bonus.

Quoted from rosh:

Looper, is about shooting the left ramp that feeds the coaster

Preferably in sequential combos, which become more and more valuable. It's very satisfying (and valuable) to hit a 5 or 6 or 7 way combo on the Roller Coaster ramp.

Quoted from rosh:

Füd Frenzy -- should be self explanatory

Yes, it's a switch frenzy... but you increase the frenzy value for every *distinct* switch you hit on the playfield. Think you'll just rip the spinner like in many frenzies? That's OK, but you'd be much better off shooting a bunch of OKTOBER, FEST, or PROST targets, *then* rip the spinner. And as long as you're at it, if you shoot the spinner via the right orbit shot, try using the top lanes MagNab to catch the ball up there, and further increase the frenzy value on that TAP lane and then the pop bumpers.

That's just a few of the hidden features... I'm not spilling the beans on all of 'em, don't want to take away all the joy of discovery.

And of course, each tent's scoring is multiplied if you have the stein associated with that tent.... and you can stack several of those steins if you really want to try blowing out the scoring for a tent.

Also... DUCKS!

#2230 7 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Is there a Duck Hunt video mode?

There is a Duck Hunt mode, but it's not a video mode.

Quoted from branlon8:

And behind the VUK sink hole it appears there is a lane leading to the left.

This is a dead-end overrun for the VUK shot, so that instead of firm shots hitting the back wall and bouncing out without settling in the VUK, the ball loses its energy in the overrun area and falls into the VUK nicely. It works quite well.

#2235 7 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Is there any Video Modes?

Yes, Tap It is a video mode.

#2272 7 months ago
Quoted from balt:

On Octoberfest, the list of achievements only shows what you accomplished. Positive reinforcement. No zeros shown. I earned a few steins and some ducks. Thank you Josh.

You’re welcome.

On a related note, it’s currently possible to have zero bonus on Oktoberfest... in which case you get zero, along with a quick note that tents, steins, and ducks award bonus.

This may change later, we’ll probably give bonus for calories eaten too, and we do spot a few of those at start of game.

#2306 7 months ago
Quoted from BertoDRINK1:

Can the pin be set to the one handed play only at any time? Would love to do an hour or so of just that.

Sure can, it's an operator adjustment.

Quoted from BertoDRINK1:

Possibly a Pin Golf type hour or so also with a few goals, not sure which objectives would be the best for that yet. Suggestions would be great.

Hmmm, I haven't play-tested any of these for PinGolf, but here are a few ideas...

- Win a tent feature (potentially easy)
- Start a Food Stand feature (easy)
- Start Roller Coaster Multiball (medium)
- Get 100 calories from the Food Stand (medium-hard; tweakable by adjusting that number)
- Collect 5 steins (medium-hard)
- Start Duck Derby (hard, though can be made easier via operator adjustment)


#2320 6 months ago

We’ve still got quite a bit more coming in the lighting department, so it’ll only get better.

#2326 6 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Sober made is hhhaaarrrdddd

But hilarious.

#2329 6 months ago

I trust lots of people got to play Oktoberfest this weekend and enjoyed it. If you have any questions about the game, please don’t hesitate to ask here, we’ll do our best to answer... you don’t have to get info from a podcast, you can go straight to the source.

#2340 6 months ago

Could be a setup thing, conference hall power, or even just the impact of three days of non-stop play on the flipper coils. Left (roller coaster) ramp isn't too hard to hit, and is (amazingly) even backhandable. And fortunately, failed shots rarely go SDTM. Upper (beer barrel) ramp is, as flynnibus mentions, tougher -- my personal analogy is Whirlwind's Millions Plus ramp, but pick any comparison. My opinion varies on whether it's easier as a combo from a left orbit shot, or from the slower/more predictable pace of MagNab'ing it... I imagine each player will have to discover what works best for them.

#2367 6 months ago

How has this never been done before?

Or has it, and I just overlooked it?

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#2380 6 months ago
Quoted from kettchxxii:

There seemed to be a logic issue with the locks holding balls in-between games. Either Code or a flaky switch under an extremely specific circumstance.

Those adjustments were last-minute additions, so it’s possible that there’s a lurking bug. If you’re able to provide any more specific info about what you saw, please let me know and I’ll try to repro and fix.


#2381 6 months ago

Oh, and I’ll be very interested to hear further feedback from those “more serious players” as they get more time on the game. The strategy of the steins provides SO many ways to approach the game, but most people aren’t gonna fully grok the possibilities in just a few plays.

#2395 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Also in a 3 player game it skipped player three during one of the balls. Not sure if that was lock related.

If anyone sees any obvious bugs like this, please send as many details as possible to rosh and/or myself. If you own or operate the game, capture a log (Josh sent info about how to do this earlier in this thread), note the exact time of the problem (please set your machine's time in the service menu!), and send us the log. If you don't have access to the logs, no problem, just send us as much contextual information as possible to help us isolate the issue. I've played lots of 1, 2, 3, 4 player games and never seen that sort of bug, but certainly we are very concerned about any bugs and will eagerly fix them ASAP if we can reproduce them.

Quoted from Chitownpinball:

I think all the modes need to have more explanation on the tent pages.

We're actively improving stuff like start-of-mode instructions with both on-screen text and callouts. (Even compared to the software at TPF last weekend, there have been tons of software improvements... TPF was 10 days ago, that's an eternity in software dev time. ) We've tried to be very consistent with shot lighting... tent mode shots are blue. Multiball jackpots are red. Food Stand features are pinkish-purple... etc. Also: during tent selection and tent intro animation, playfield lights will flash blue to indicate the selected tent's shots, letting you get a general idea of what a tent wants you to do even before you start it. Also also: for all tent modes, there is consistently an info bar on the bottom of the screen that tells you what to shoot for, and how many more thingies (usually "shots" but sometimes things like "spinner spins") are needed to win the tent. Once you win the tent, that strip disappears and is replaced by bursts of confetti signifying that you won the tent and are now collecting victory shots.

Quoted from Chitownpinball:

The game started kicking two balls out and auto launching them at ball start if i rushed the bonus collect screen.

Ditto what I said to Ben above about logs and such. I double-flip to accelerate the bonus screen all the time and have never experienced the problem you describe, but we take bug reports seriously and will get them fixed if possible. (Although I'll be honest, I really like and am proud of the bonus screen and usually prefer to let it do its thing. )

Quoted from Chitownpinball:

I do not like how choppy the tent pages are to select between modes. Theyre slow and blurry when they move. Hurt my eyes to look at and they take forever to move.

Note that you do not need to wait for the animations to select modes, you can flipper-select as fast as you can. Personally, when I'm just playing and I'm choosing a tent, I watch the tent insert lights in the center of the playfield... the selected tent (the "cursor" if you will) flashes white, the left flipper moves counter-clockwise, and the right flipper moves clockwise. Strategic players will also note that tents you haven't played but for which you have that tent's stein will light in beer-amber (and the stein's logo will also show up on-screen during tent select)... since steins multiply tent scoring, that's often a good choice, but choose what works for you.

All of the screens shown by chitownpinball and paul_from_gilroy are still being updated... the skill shot screen has already been improved, and the "zooming over the crowds in the tent" scene will be improved soon. We're certainly aware of areas that are not up to par. But just keeping it real... the entire animation package is not going to be scrapped and redone. We hope people will appreciate the overall game for what it's meant to be, which is playful, silly, fun... y'know, a festival. With a playful, silly, fun art style. And with lots of interesting shots and interesting rules to keep players coming back for more.

#2419 6 months ago
Quoted from MikeS:

I also really like that you can sweep all of the "Oktober" targets with a single shot if you hit it just right.

Oooh, did you do this? It's really hard but hella satisfying. I've legitimately done it only once, and was thoroughly surprised as the whole bank of lights promptly lit up.

Quoted from MikeS:

I think the modes in their current form could use some work to make them more interesting and perhaps more valuable.

Can you provide some details of which modes you thought weren't interesting? We tried really hard to have modes that would make use of every feature on the playfield, and also incorporate subtle features to offer surprises and strategies for each of them. A couple examples: Füd Frenzy looks like a typical switch frenzy. But the switch value increases by each distinct switch you hit. You can sit there and just rip the spinner a lot, that's some good switch action... but it'll be worth a lot more if you hit a wide variety of other switches first. Bumper Cars looks like a "super pops" sort of mode, and it is somewhat... but its value increases by hitting the top slingshot. Best way to do that? Shoot that slingshot from the upper flipper. How many games reward you for shooting a slingshot with a flipper? Rotor seems like a typical "shoot the roving shot" mode, but point values multiply with the number of distinct shots you make... etc etc etc... there are a lot of details that may not be immediately obvious, but once you know what's going on, you can take advantage of them to maximize your results.

And all that is before considering the effect of steins on modes. Each stein multiplies the scoring of a specific tent mode, and also has some global power-up effect. The steins with the most useful global power-ups probably do not boost the tents that you would most like to boost. Choose wisely.

Quoted from MikeS:

I also think it might be a good idea to not allow modes to be repeated as that would also add strategy as to when it is best to cache in on certain modes.

You can only replay tent modes if you haven't won them. And you really really want to win tent modes. Winning tent modes awards progressively more ducks (which increase the value of all subsequent tent modes) and gives Tent Win end-of-ball bonus, which is multiplied by regular bonus X AND multiplied by the number of tents won in that ball. Several million just in bonus is quite possible if you're rocking the tent modes. Don't tilt. (Oh, you're on your final tilt warning? Might be a good time to collect the "more tilt warnings" stein...)

Quoted from MikeS:

With the way it is now I would carry-in something like "Fud Frenzy" every time before starting a multiball.

There are about 6 tent modes that are particularly good candidates to carry into a multiball. Füd Frenzy seems obvious, and it's certainly a good option... but then again, my wife scored 2.5M in Ring Toss alone by carrying it into a multiball. Personally, I like Duck Hunt. Again, this is significantly impacted by what steins you've chosen.

I'm still obsessively tweaking overall scoring balance, so some things will change over time, but I'm reasonably happy with the scoring balance even now. None of the tent modes is guaranteed monster points... but all of them have the potential for big points. And yes, if you successfully stack the right steins + appropriate tent mode + Food Stand + multiball + playfield X, your score will probably blow up. Congrats on successfully executing a good strategy.


#2434 6 months ago
Quoted from MikeS:

It became apparent within a few games of playing that this is a game you won't score well with if you don't have a strategy and understand what you are doing with Steins and the Food stand (I'm still not completely sure how the Food stand factors in).

Yeah, I think it's fair to say that like with most games of the past, oh, 25 years, casual players should be able to do just fine shooting the flashing shots and having cool stuff happen, but there are plenty of opportunities here for more knowledgable players to come up with their own approaches to blowing up the game.

Food Stand features primarily increase multiball values. Food Stand awards give calories, calories increase the scoring in Beer Barrel and Corkscrew MB's. (Versus ducks, which do nothing for multiball scoring, but increase all tent scoring.)

Quoted from MikeS:

Is there a rule-sheet or guide on the game that I can read up on? Now that I've played it I think everything would make more sense. I'm excited to give it another go and see how I do!

Nope... you can be the first to start a rule sheet for it!

#2447 6 months ago

The Oktoberfest game team is here listening. Josh and I are regularly engaged in this thread, we're not running away. As I've said before, people shouldn't expect the entire animation package to be scrapped and redone. That's not realistic. But if there are reasonable things we can do to improve the presentation, tell us exactly what those are, and we'll see what we can do.

Several critics here have mentioned fonts. There is one font that is primarily used throughout the game, a Germanic typeface. Do you find that hard to read? If we hear a lot of that, we might be able to select another font that preserves the general style but is easier to read. Or do you have a problem with the color contrast of the text against certain backgrounds? That's something we can work with. Back around Expo, someone here posted a screenshot of a tent total screen, and said that they had a hard time reading it because of the contrast of the text against the background. That was very specific and constructive feedback, we agreed, and an improvement was checked into the code base minutes later. No problem. So go ahead, if you have access to the game, send a photo and tell us exactly what you'd like to see changed. Heck, if you don't have access to a game, watch one of the streams and send a link and a timecode with your explanation. Even feedback that can't be incorporated into Oktoberfest can help advise the team for future games.

Even something like "the dachshund walks like an anxious goat!"... well, OK, that just made me laugh, and frankly I personally have no idea what that means, but then I'm neither an animator nor an anatomist. But at least it's something specific, and thus more helpful than "the LCD sucks, booooo!"


#2449 6 months ago

Shout out to Gilroy! Mmmm, garlic...

#2533 6 months ago

Thanks very much to those of you who wrote specific suggestions of items that you find unappealing / hard to read / etc... I won't respond to everyone individually, but the team appreciates it, and I'm taking notes on what's been said... as the dust settles here, we'll certainly review everything to see what improvements we can make that give us the most bang for the buck in addressing the most (un)popular items. And of course we continue to welcome any comments and concerns that anyone wishes to share, the more specific/detailed the better, either publicly on the forums or via DM.

A couple quick responses to some items that were mentioned multiple times:

- The "blurry crowd scene" when entering tents... that was always meant as a concept placeholder, not final imagery. It will be improved.

- Animations when choosing which tent you'd like to enter... skipping for the moment the question of whether an individual likes the imagery, but about timing: you don't have to wait for the animation when choosing tents. Flipper-select as fast as you can; the playfield lights are always instantly updated, and the animation always fast-forwards to the currently selected tent. Double-flip to select. And double-flip again if you want to cancel the tent intro animation. We try not to make anyone look at animations if they'd rather be flipping the ball sooner.

- Ein Prosit absolutely is in the game. A short clip of it is played at the end of Every. Single. Game. It's also played at length during Chugging, HSTD initial entry, and may be used in a mini-wiz feature.

Thanks for everyone's continued interest in Oktoberfest!

#2557 6 months ago
Quoted from Bond_Gadget_007:

I know code isn’t finished, but I noticed you can keep going into Juggler mode and get a myltiball every time. So right now it’s Juggling tent all day until they figure this out.

Go right ahead. While in Juggling, you can't qualify other multiballs. You can't collect steins. And the scoring tiers reset every time you re-visit a tent, so you actually need to make a few shots in one tent visit to get any meaningful points. This is not a problem of unfinished code. (At least unless/until someone demonstrates to me that there's an exploit... )

#2559 6 months ago

BTW, regarding Juggling... I actually AM aware of one potential exploit. I'm not discussing it because I want to see if it becomes a viable strategy... if so, I'll nix the repeatable Juggling. But it seems too painful to really take advantage of...

#2568 6 months ago

Absolutely, Cayle is one of several excellent players who really know how to turn the smallest glitch of a ruleset into a huge exploit. I will be delighted when any such players get some meaningful time on Oktoberfest. I figure it's a given that there's at least one bad exploit lurking in the code... problems like that are found in games by great programmers who have two decades more experience at this than Josh and me combined, so yeah, it'll happen, and then we'll fix it.

#2577 6 months ago
Quoted from SarcasticHorse:

Would love some more direction on how close modes are to being completed and what is going on with the food tent.

Whenever a mode is running, there’s a status bar at the bottom of the screen telling you what to shoot and how many more are required to win the mode. It also indicates how many of that tent’s steins you have.

Food Stand features are basically Super {Orbits, Bumpers, Ramps, etc} for points and, more importantly, calories. Calories boost jackpot values for Beer Barrel and Corkscrew multiballs.

#2582 6 months ago
Quoted from SarcasticHorse:

One other thing - the hit the vuk callout is a little weird. Hit the food tent would be better,

Good point, thanks!

#2621 6 months ago

For folks who say that Oktoberfest plays long... it does, but there are lots of tweaks to control that if you wish. Remove the center post between the flippers, and in Settings, make outlane saves harder (affects the behavior of the standup targets above each outlane), and reduce ball savers (initial launch ball saver and each multiball saver are individually adjustable). And of course tighten tilt.

#2634 6 months ago
Quoted from Psw757:

couple shots tough to hit because of what I felt was bad visibility

I find it difficult to see the captive ball shot from a normal playing position, but I find all the rest of the shots to be easily visible. Which shots do you feel are hard to see? (At this point I wouldn't really expect physical game changes that would affect this, but I'm curious.) (Also: I'm 6' tall, so YMMV based on your height, as with all pins.)

#2675 6 months ago
Quoted from drfrightner:

Octoberfest is the most confusing theme I've ever seen... at first glance it looks like a BEER theme, but no wait its a carnival, its a party, no wait its I have no clue. Who would drink beer and ride a roller coaster?

Ummmm... the theme is Oktoberfest. Of course that includes beer, and there's plenty of beer in the game, but it's so much more than that. Yes, rides, games, partying, food, music.

This is Oktoberfest: <

(Simply the first hit I got searching YouTube for "Oktoberfest"; feel free to browse the infinite stream of results.) Believe it or not, it's not just oompah music... for whatever weird reason, "Sweet Caroline" is a super popular song there. So are many other pop, rock, and even country songs, both German and American. And keep watching to 8:24 or so to see what kind of carnival it really is.

Really, we didn't just make up a bunch of stuff out of thin air to fill the game. We tried to be faithful to the theme. Even the ducks are absolutely an Oktoberfest tradition.

The original Oktoberfest in Munich Germany is 200 years old and pulls in several million people each year. There are hundreds if not thousands of derivative festivals around the world each year. It's all pretty damn popular and fun.

#2676 6 months ago
Quoted from drfrightner:

the game and all the mechs are fun, unique and different.

Quoted from drfrightner:

Now the good... they learned from Houdini, they made a game that is a lot of fun here.

Quoted from drfrightner:

The game is fun, its different, love what they did with the rails

Quoted from drfrightner:

So yeah I think honestly its one of the most original and fun games probably released in several years

Quoted from drfrightner:

I was tempted to buy one, because the game really is that much fun to play

Quoted from drfrightner:

American Pinball created one of the most fun games, I've ever seen

BTW, I was negligent in my previous post... thank you very much for these kind comments. That's some of the best praise I can imagine from a single post, especially a post that was kind of down on the game, LOL. We trust that lots of people will have an absolute blast playing the game like you did, and also enjoy the world that the game evokes, whether that's the original Bavarian Oktoberfest, or any of its many offshoots, or simply beer and midway games and amusement parks/festivals and having a great time.

#2706 6 months ago
Quoted from Viggin900:

However if there was a way to make the code so it is "optional"to have Otto and the tents select randomly for you to pick up the pace it would be cool!

I’ve thought about this, and can certainly add an adjustment for this if there’s demand. Meanwhile, in non-tournament mode both stein select and tent select tend to default to semi-random things you haven’t chosen already in the game, so... just close your eyes and double-flip to basically get the effect you describe.

#2713 6 months ago

Thanks for the feedback, folks. There’s already about a zillion adjustments in the game, so what’s a couple more?

#2716 6 months ago

I have had no power problems with mine in the two months I’ve had it. Electromechanical aspects of the machine have been rock solid.

#2749 6 months ago

I concur. Levelers should be all the way in from the factory, stick with that, and only tweak as needed for left/right leveling. On mine it plays at a nice speed overall and all ramps are reasonable to make.

#2756 5 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

I really hope they clean up at least a few of the really awful images

Which are what?

#2760 5 months ago

OK, gotcha, I had your comments from that message in my notes already... thanks.

FWIW, we’re finishing up the last couple features that don’t have A/V at all before looping back to do refinement... so if y’all play it again soon and don’t see changes yet, know that we did not reject everyone’s remarks.

#2816 5 months ago

Yes: knocker, shaker, and magic glass.

#2820 5 months ago

What LTG said.

#2822 5 months ago

Thanks for your support, I hope you love the game!

#2825 5 months ago

Thanks to you also for your support, cjmjmm2006! So glad you and your customers are liking the games.

#2834 5 months ago

It’s actually calories that boost the jackpot values for Beer Barrel MB and Corkscrew MB... Ducks increase the value of tent modes. You earn calories from the Food Stand features. So hard to say if that was legit scoring... but if he had 3 of the steins that boost Beer Barrel MB scoring (Frosty Ferret)? ... Probably legit. Having three of those steins would mean that all Beer Barrel MB Jackpots were at 4X normal value (+1X for each Frosty Ferret). Of course there’s opportunity cost here: by loading up on that one stein, he was foregoing other benefits, like boosting Corkscrew MB values, or extending tent time, etc.

All that said: I’ve been spending a lot of time on score balancing in recent days, and the next code release will be (IMHO) better score balanced than the code that’s currently on games. I certainly welcome all feedback on anything that anyone thinks awards too many or not enough points.


#2835 5 months ago

BTW, I’ll be roaming Pinfest tomorrow, including hanging around the Oktoberfest for awhile, if anyone wants to ask questions, give feedback, or just say hi... please feel free. I love chatting about the game. I’m Joe (not to be confused with Joe Balcer, game designer, who’s also here ) and I’ll be wearing an FSPA (Free State Pinball Association) shirt.

#2853 5 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Had a crazy game on this! Unfortunately the game reset on the last ball after I shot it into the scoop

Sorry about that... this is fixed in the upcoming code release. (No, I can't give an exact release date, but soon.)

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

still had a ton of fun.


#2862 5 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Ok, after owning this game for a week, I have some rule questions:

Yay! I've been semi-patiently waiting for players to start seriously digging into the rules... I love this stuff...

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

What does the captive ball do besides give the occasional mag nab?

It's a shot in some modes and multiballs. Shooting it as part of a combo (e.g. left orbit->captive ball) gives a combo bonus. In the next code release, there's a Super Striker feature available occasionally (when Inga catches the ball on the UR flipper and says "Eins... Zwei... Drei... Strike!") for bigger points.

One nice thing about the captive ball is that there's a couple switches in its lane, so we can (and do) detect the strength of a hit on the captive ball, and alter awards accordingly.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

How does each duck effect mode scoring?

No quick and easy answer to this question... 14 tent modes, 14 different answers: a mode like Füd Frenzy that wants you to make dozens of switches by necessity has different scoring patterns than a mode like Rotor that wants you to make a few lit shots. But for every tent mode, more ducks = higher scoring.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

How do calories effect jackpot scoring?

Similar answer to above.

I should note that I've focused a lot on score balancing over the recent couple weeks, so all the exact details of scoring will be different (and hopefully more fair and fun) soon anyway.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

How do you relight the bar for stein collects?

You can...

- Skill shot into the bar door
- Bash the bar X number of times, where X is based on difficulty adjustment setting, how many steins you've already collected, and how many Ish Pale Ales ("Easier to Collect Steins") you have.
- Bankshot off the PROST targets into the bar, which immediately opens the bar
- Do a left orbit->bar combo, which immediately opens the bar.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

When does the game do mag-nabs for you?

Either inlane -> opposing orbit will generally do an automatic nab. So will X number of pop bumper hits followed by an exit to the UR flipper.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

How do you get higher than a 2x playfield?

You can complete the TAP lanes again while 2X Playfield is running; this will bump you to 3X Playfield and reset the timer. This is easier to do if you've collected one or more Baker Street Ales ("Increases Playfield X Time").

On a related note: if your Playfield X is larger than 2, when it times out, it doesn't drop all the way to 1X, it just decreases by 1X... you only get partial time at the reduced level, though.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

The ? Skill shot seems like it’s a bit excessive on points

It might be. However, actually making the ? Skill Shot is a bit excessive on difficulty, so hopefully it balances out.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Any combo rules coming? Maybe a classic left orbit to side ramp?

Yep, already there, although not currently well celebrated when you get them. Yes, left orbit -> side ramp, left orbit -> captive ball, and left orbit -> bar are all combos, because who doesn't love orbit -> upper flipper combos? As I mentioned above, I consider bankshotting PROST into the bar to be a combo. Right ramp -> right orbit -> (auto-magnab) -> ramp is kind of a combo, though I need to enhance that one.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Seems like there is some missing music choreography at the start of Corkscrew MB when the balls are released

True. Already improved for the upcoming code release.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

All the lights in Corkscrew mb are red. Maybe make the jackpots one color and the targets another so it’s easier to differentiate between.

Yep, thanks for that feedback, I agree that Corkscrew MB is rather... red. There's a bunch of improvements I want to make to the lighting in both Corkscrew and Beer Barrel multiballs.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Sometimes I hit the mag nab button and nothing activates even when I have plenty of them. Can you not activate it while the ball is on the flipper?

You should be able to. Not sure what to say about this one. So you have a ball trapped up, hit MagNab... it doesn't make the "electrical buzzing" sound or decrement your MagNab count? If it's only "sometimes", perhaps try checking/adjusting the switch on that button?

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Is there / will there be a big final wizard mode?


I'm very glad that you're enjoying the game!

#2871 5 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

Regarding combos, one of my favorite "feel good" shots is a left orbit followed by UR flipper into the tent hole to start a mode. The "side entrance" so to speak. Have you guys thought about making it a formal combo or adding some fanfare when it happens?

I've observed this combo also and thought that it should do something... perhaps light Enter Tent if not already lit? Hasn't been a high priority, but yeah, don't be surprised if some sort of rule is added to this combo in the future.

I'm actually kinda amazed about how much stuff you can do with Oktoberfest's upper flipper... the scoop, ramp, captive ball, and bar are all full-fledged shots. But there's also a duck target up there that you might want to hit, and shooting the upper slingshot during Bumper Cars increases the scoring of that tent mode (and often gets slingshotted into the pop bumpers for additional scoring goodness) so it might actually be reasonable to shoot the slingshot in that situation. So... 6 viable targets from an upper flipper shot. That's pretty sweet IMHO. But I admit I'm a sucker for upper flippers.

#2872 5 months ago

BTW, while I'm thinking about it: since more people have gotten meaningful time playing Oktoberfest, if you haven't already, pop by its ratings area here on Pinside <https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/oktoberfest/ratings> and tell the world how you like it. The game will be getting its initial spot on the list this weekend, and I'd love that to be based mostly on players who've gotten real time on the game.


#2901 5 months ago
Quoted from mof:

I haven't watched much OF video yet to time the stop-n-go, but my hope is that all manufacturers in 2019 use the "hold both flippers" to gracefully exit ALL stop-n-go. It's a signal from the player the MPU saying, "I've already seen this, please please spare me".

AFAIK, all choices and animations that hold the ball in Oktoberfest support double-flip to accelerate.

#2908 5 months ago

Yep... the Stein Race tent mode forces you to play one-handed. Also, via operator adjustment, you can configure the machine to ALWAYS play one-handed (this is primarily a gimmick/novelty configuration, although potentially it could be valuable to players missing their left arm) or to allow players to select one-handed play as desired (holding both right-side buttons when starting the game). We wanted to provide some additional value to the extra cabinet button besides just magnet control. The extra button also comes into play during the Tap It video mode.

I hope you absolutely love the game once it's settled into your home!

#2927 5 months ago

Thank you very much for your kind words, iceman44. I’m thrilled that you’re so happy with your new Oktoberfest!

However, I have to comment on this:

Quoted from iceman44:

I've got an AlienLE that Ferret and Florida guy finished off

Sorry, I have to make sure “Florida guy” gets his due... that is Brian Dominy, bcd, an incredibly talented engineer, super nice, and part of the pin community for over 25 years.

Thank you. Back to everyone enjoying Oktoberfest.

#2930 5 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Have you thought about adding an adjustment to have the food tent modes be randomized?

Thought about it, and probably won't do it... and you touch on the reason why in your next question. It's by design that Food Stand modes alternate between modestly lucrative and more lucrative... if a player wants to juice up the value of multiballs, they need to work the playfield a bit. It'd be less balanced if by random choice the player sometimes started off with a couple lucrative ones, or conversely started with both of the weaker ones.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

The cake mode (2nd food mode) is worth a *lot* of calories. Since calories boost jackpot scoring, I’ve had some ridiculous jackpot scores. This mode should be toned down some, calorie wise.

Yes, in the upcoming code release, there's been a bunch of balancing of the Food Stand modes themselves -- both calories and points -- as well as the impact of calories on multiball values. I'm still not totally sure I'm satisfied with all of it -- it can all get complicated, especially when one or more multiball-value-boosting steins are in the mix -- but I think what's coming is better than the current production code, and if it still needs more tweaking, I'm on that.

Out of curiosity, can you tell me what kinds of ridiculous jackpot values you've seen? Just want to be sure your level of ridiculous is in line with what I'm expecting from the current code.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

How many ducks advance bonus x?

Completing all 4 duck standup targets advances Bonus X and lights Mystery. Three of them are readily player shootable; the fourth, hiding in the pop bumpers, requires some nudging prowess and/or some luck.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

I’m assuming the value for the completed modes in bonus is some % of the mode?

Yes, 10%, times the number of tent modes won on that ball.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Any sound FX coming for food shots besides the normal shot sound?


Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Do ducks targets in duck hunt add toward the total duck count in normal play?


Quoted from GrandFireball1:

What do the Prost targets do during beer barrel multiball?

Completing PROST relights all jackpot shots. If a ball(s) is locked in the Beer Barrel, completing PROST also resets the lock timer.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

I seem to be getting a bit too many Outlane saves from the targets. Will there be an adjustment to increase the difficulty of this?

Yes, in the upcoming release.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

There’s no sound effect for hitting the bar.

Thanks, I believe we caught that one last week when we did a walkthrough / punch list of every feature in the game and the A/V assets we still need.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

I’m stein race, after all the shots are collected to win the mode, the game says “You’ve won the race, but Shoot green shots for more points!” — everything is still blue. It would be cool if in each of the modes, there was a victory callout and different colored shots to indicate that you’re basically in victory laps.

Ummm, hmmm, really? Thanks, we'll check that out. We tried to keep the colors consistent so players would know what each shot color meant when a bunch of stuff is stacked... so tent modes are blue, multiball jackpots are red, food stand modes are pinkish-purple, etc. When you win a tent mode, there is a distinctive fanfare and callout, and then the confetti stays on-screen, so we're hoping that players do understand when they've won a tent. Please let us know if that's not the case. The tent rules don't change once you're in victory laps.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Does hitting the Prost or Oktoberfest targets during normal play advance the respective multiball jackpot value?


Quoted from GrandFireball1:

There should be a bonus for completing a tent mode the first time played.

Hmmm. I'll think about that one.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Status report coming?


Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Looking forward to the next code release!!

Me too! Keep your eyes peeled, we expect it's coming pretty soon...


#2961 4 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

Random question: The frosted dome LED above the TAP lanes... it turns yellow, green, or flashing red and I understand all that. Why does it turn white at the end of your turn?

grandfireball1 is correct... The playfield lights during bonus are supposed to look like beer is pouring into the playfield and getting a little head at the top... matching the screen animation.

#2963 4 months ago

Changes to music and animations and callouts, several key bug fixes, better scoring balance, rules tweaks in several features, some new adjustments, better MagNab logic, and more... It's a pretty huge update.

#2965 4 months ago

New code is in beta now... if we don’t find any serious problems with it, I’d guess a general release in a few days.

#2971 4 months ago

The knocker is used in Bumper Cars also, though we're still trying to figure out the best behavior for that. The way it's currently used is synchronized to the on-screen animation, which is really fun and makes perfect sense for a spectator, but seems kinda wrong for the player (assuming they're busy playing and not watching the screen). We may stick with that, or adjust it somehow (which might mean "provide an operator adjustment to control its behavior").

Oh, the subtle frustrations of game design...

#2979 4 months ago

While Flipper Meister was intended to be valuable, perhaps that was a little TOO valuable. Thanks for the report, fixed... with apologies to anyone who was hoping for multi-billion point games in the future.

#3006 4 months ago

What (if anything) does it say when you try to update?

#3018 4 months ago

It is. Upcoming code release includes lots of new music, callouts, and sound effects, with yet more to come.

#3030 4 months ago
Quoted from mfresh:

I am hoping that I will be able to play it anyway using my right hand to control both flippers. Can this be done, or do the two buttons on the right only work for certain modes rather than the whole game?

Yes, you can set the adjustment so the game is always in one-handed mode, not even needing to hold the right-side buttons when starting the game.

Best wishes for a quick and complete recovery.

#3034 4 months ago
Quoted from artymech2131:

But when you try to play this way every time you push bottom flipper button to flip left flipper it uses your mag stops! I'm I'm not sure if this is intended, or another way that the mag could be energized with only one hand....... ( would have to switch that function to the left flipper button ) So I guess I'm just asking what is intended for this problem? It could be I have set something wrong.....

The intention is that when playing in one-handed mode, basically the left flipper button and the MagNab button swap, so the left flipper button is MagNab and the lower right button is the left flipper. The normal right flipper button remains unchanged.

I'll test to make sure this is indeed what's happening and we're not incorrectly using MagNabs on that button when playing one-handed... hopefully we didn't introduce a bug.

(BTW, the above description should apply regardless of how you get into one-handed mode: whether it's during Stein Race, or by player-initiated one-handed mode, or by "permanent" one-handed mode by adjustment.)

#3038 4 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Finally got to the Flipper Meister mode. Pretty cool! Not going to spoil it for anyone.

Congrats! That's quite a tough mode to reach.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- what determines the value of each of the shots? Is it related to your mode scores? I had one pin wiz ale stein going into this also.

Yes... each lit shot made gives an award based on your performance in tent modes, in the order you played those tent modes. And of course, Pin Wiz Pale Ale multiplies these shot values, same way steins boost all tent modes. (Wanna defer Flipper Meister while you stack a couple Pin Wiz Pale Ales? Risky strategy, but quite lucrative if you pull it off...)

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

-It would be nice if there were some instruction text before the mode starts since it’s a bit confusing.

Totally agree, I'm on that.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

-I got all the shots and went into what seemed like victory laps for 2 million a shot (the first one was a million, maybe a completion bonus?). Anyway, seems like a tad too valuable. The beginning shots seem well balanced.

Thank you for that feedback. 'tis true, if you get to the Victory Laps phase of Flipper Meister, the shots are very valuable, as it's very difficult to even reach Flipper Meister, let alone complete it... but if I overdid it, I'm glad to evaluate and adjust.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

-Anything special happen with the tent modes afterwards?

Not specifically, you kind of start over. Of course, since all tent mode scoring is based on ducks, you'll certainly have a decent number of ducks at that point, so every tent should be much more valuable the second time through. You will likely also have more steins, so those will also boost tent scoring.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

(Here’s a quick idea: Have a super Flipper Meister mode if you complete all the modes and not just start them. Try to get all the tents green. Just a thought

There's no separate award planned for this, but since Flipper Meister scoring is based on your total points in each tent mode, if you actually won every tent before playing Flipper Meister, the Flipper Meister shot values would be insanely high.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

-Sorry if it’s been mentioned before, but what are the current wizard modes in the game and what’s still to come?

The code we just released (19.6.5) has Flipper Meister and Duck Derby enabled. Calorie Coma (5th Food Stand feature) and Stein Slinging (collect all 14 distinct steins) should be in the next code release. There should be a final FINAL wizard mode for conquering everything else in the game, still to come.

I hope you had a great time playing through to Flipper Meister! What was your final score on that game?

#3039 4 months ago

Hi @aniraf ...

I'm so sorry that you've had a bad out-of-box experience with your game. Of course that is not acceptable, we want you to be able to enjoy your new game right away. Although I'm not API Customer Service, I'm up at this silly hour so I'll take a crack at whatever I can...

Quoted from Aniraf:

-The ball jumps off the end of the wire ramp from the VUK and drains nearly every time.

Try reducing the power of the Food Stand VUK via the operator menu: Settings > Coils > VUK.

Quoted from Aniraf:

-About 70% of the time, the balls fail to exit the ball trough. After the solenoid fires ~10 time, the game just sits until it does a ball search. Often after doing the ball search it will trigger a drain sequence.
-Starting a new game will sometimes immediately fire a ball out and into the play field with no plunge. This happens if it succeeds in getting the ball out of the trough (last bullet) then with zero warning it blasts it into play. When this happens the whole cycle takes about 1/2 a second from start button press to ball launch.
-Ball drains are frequently not registered. All trough IR switches seem to be working per tests.

So for all of these, I'm worried about your photo that appears to show the Ball Trough Jam switch active. If the Trough Jam opto is being triggered when there's no ball there, weird stuff is gonna happen. My first thought would be to try re-seating the trough board connectors (with the game powered off, please!) to see if that helps.

Quoted from Aniraf:

-Drop target will not stay up which causes ver rapid cycling. It stays up about once ever 15 tries, but it is random. I have no idea how to adjust this without removing a lot of hardware, I will consider that tomorrow.

You can try strengthening the drop target reset via the adjustments: Settings > Coils > Drop Target. It may just need a little extra "oomph" to have it securely reset.

Quoted from Aniraf:

-All pop bumpers fire at the same time regardless of which pop bumper is the first to be hit.

Ack, that's pretty scary. If you go into Tests > Switches and trigger one of the pop bumper rings with your finger, does the screen show all the bumpers activating, or just the one you touched?

Again, I'm very sorry to hear you're having problems with your game, but I'm sure between myself and other API staff here, we can get you fixed up soon.

#3046 4 months ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

What is the best way to contact AP support?

Phone: 833-API-HELP
Email: service@american-pinball.com
Web: https://www.american-pinball.com/support/service/

Good luck, I hope you get these glitches worked out quickly, and then have a blast with the game.

#3047 4 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Final score was 16.5 million. Little over half that was from flipper Meister

Nice score, even without the Meister points.

Agreed though, that feels a bit too rich, I’ll tweak it. Thanks for the info.

#3049 4 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

once you have visited 13 you could skip Flipper Meister (don't recall if we allow that or not, if I have flipper meister lit, I'm going for it) to go back and 'win' a mode you did not win

You’re not forced to play Flipper Meister unless you’ve won all 13 other tents, so yes, you could do this.

Quoted from rosh:

There are a couple of tents I have yet to beat on a single visit.

There are? Which ones? Ring Toss used to be nigh impossible, but that’s been improved in this code update. The rest should be reasonable to win in one attempt.

#3052 4 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Of course always helpful to collect the TENT letters during tent modes to add time. Obviously there is a stein for that too, but not one i tend to take early.

I didn't use to take that (Engler Pale Ale) early either, but my opinion has been changing... now I'm leaning toward taking it earlier and playing some easier-to-win tents to quickly boost my duck count, which of course makes all the other tents more valuable. If I'm successful at that, especially on a single ball, I may switch gears and take a Reclab Redrum Stout to help with Bonus X... Tent Win Bonus can be huge. Of course, if multiball is imminent, break out the Freakshow Rooster or Frosty Ferret...

#3056 4 months ago

Great news, aniraf! Thanks for the update, and please don't hesitate to ping us again if you have further problems or questions.

Have fun!

#3058 4 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

The one at Helicon did that to me several times too, I forgot to mention that to them. Very frustrating and I think a ball save should be added to code until they can come up with a physical fix for this.

I'm not averse to having such a ball saver. I didn't realize this was such a common problem. On my game it happens like 1% of the time, basically in the "that's pinball" category.

Thanks for the videos, @aniraf ... but ermigerd, the backboard illumination PWM in the slow-mo video, ouch...

#3061 4 months ago

If you ever do another such video, presumably setting the Backglass Brightness and Backpanel Brightness both to 10 (i.e. full brightness) will alleviate the flashing...

But that's a really good point with the slo-mo... definitely a trick I should remember to make use of. So easy nowadays with highly capable phones in everyone's pocket...

BTW, one gotcha with the software/ball saver solution is that it wouldn't be applicable during multiball... so the physical solution is still preferred.

#3069 4 months ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

I love all of the modes and stacking steins, but I am curious if less experienced people will get it.

Perhaps not, just as I expect that novice/casual players don't get many subtleties of modern pinball. I hope the steins might actually be reasonably comfortable for players who are familiar with collecting power-ups in video games. But even if players don't understand what's being presented, the suggested (default) choices for both tents and steins should be reasonable.

Thanks for the feedback!

#3079 4 months ago
Quoted from joefox22:

After locking a ball the ball ends happening pretty consistently as well as balls getting hung up on the entrance to the barrel (bartender).

Hi Joe... I heard about these issues from a player who was at your tournament. Very sorry to hear you had trouble.

Re: locking a ball ending your turn... that's pretty wacky. I really can't think of what might cause this. Since you say you're able to reproduce this pretty much at will, please do so, then immediately pop into service mode and capture a log file (simply inserting an empty USB thumb drive should do this), and then send it to josh@american-pinball.com and ferret@american-pinball.com so we can try to figure out what's going on. ("We" probably meaning "Josh" for this particular case, as I'll be away for the next couple days...)

Meanwhile, if you haven't already, I'd suggest popping into switch test and using balls to verify that each of the lock switches, as well as each of the trough switches, is responding as expected.

As for balls getting hung up on the bar entrance... try submitting a trouble ticket at <https://www.american-pinball.com/support/service/>... I'm sure Barry can help you get this worked out.

Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

I think I've narrowed it down a little. It seems that if the dome LEDs are yellow and the spinner is spinning, the magnab button is unresponsive. Once the spinner stops spinning, the button works. Perhaps it's a bug.

Thanks for the additional detail, Paul! That's very helpful to let us try to replicate and fix it, if it is indeed a software issue.

#3083 4 months ago

A right inlane -> left orbit combo will also automatically catch the ball at the top magnet. And of course weak/off-center orbit shots will often not have enough "oomph" to make it fully around the orbit.

#3115 4 months ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

Sorry, I should have been more clear. Inside the UX where I can adjust coil power there is no coil labeled “knocker” or something similar. There are a few which are just numbers. I suspect it is one of those since the knocker is optional.

Can you clarify what you're hoping to achieve? Unlike many other coil settings where an operator might want to adjust coil strengths to ensure that balls are kicked with appropriate strength, the knocker is more about the experience. The knocker shouldn't be very sensitive to things like playfield level. We intentionally play with knocker strength in code to make weaker or stronger THUNK!s based on the experience we're trying to convey... and unlike coils that interact with the ball that may be very sensitive to strength, there's no real penalty if the knocker is a bit too strong or too weak.

But if we're overlooking situations where it makes sense for operators to adjust the knocker strength, please let us know.


#3120 4 months ago

As Paul notes in the previous message, the more frequent usage of the knocker (during modes) does have Off/Soft/Medium/Loud options. Volume isn't currently adjustable for the replay knock. If you feel the volume is still too loud, of course there are "hack" solutions like putting a piece of felt on the strike plate to physically dampen the volume.

Hope this helps!

#3124 4 months ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

I did unfortunately notice a lot of points where the animations and modes would lag the real-time events that the ball was experiencing.

We've been doing some cleanup recently that should minimize occurrences like this.

Quoted from Aniraf:

Lastly, my friend got a high score and there is a difference between the final game screen and saved score which just seems odd. (pictures posted)

Wow. Certainly never seen that. Looks like the difference is exactly 10,600, which would be the bonus (assuming no bonus X and the tent won wasn't on the last ball)... was there a tilt on the last ball or anything like that? My best guess at the moment is that something interfered with awarding bonus as expected... but why it would show up in one place and not the other is gonna take some investigating. Thanks for the report!

#3128 4 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

I've managed to reach Duck Derby a few times. When it starts, it says something about shooting green shots and avoiding red shots. Problem is, it always starts with all shots on the playfield lit up red. Is that normal? It happened today, and instead of shooting a red shot, I cradled two balls in the right flipper. With two balls cradled, each time I hit the left flipper button, I scored 2000 points, and I could do that forever.

Nope, those aren't normal behaviors. Based on the combination of symptoms you describe, I'd be suspicious that one of your duck targets is gapped too tightly, such that random coil kicks are causing it to trigger. Try going into Tests > Switches and then gently thump the playfield with your fist, and see if any of the duck targets activate when you do that. If so, widen the gap on that switch a bit and hopefully both of these problems disappear.

Quoted from Aniraf:

No tilt, but there was a weird thing that happened inside the chugging mode. It switched to Otto and then went black screen and then said something like “you cheated” and next thing you know the mode was over.

Ummmmm. I'm at a loss here. Josh did the code for Chugging, maybe this rings a bell with him.

Quoted from Aniraf:

My left loop opto does not consistently recognize the shot. This is one of those things that seems to correlate with the “slow down” when in muktiball modes like juggling.

If you don't mind, next time this happens to you, pop into the service menu right when it happens, insert a USB stick to capture a log, and send it to josh <at> american-pinball.com and ferret <at> american-pinball.com. My expectation is that while animations can occasionally get laggy, all shots should still be recognized as expected... so if that's not the case, we'd like to know what's going on so we can address it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Quoted from Aniraf:

Lastly, one code suggestion: when you go to start a new game and the balls haven’t yet made it back to the trough, maybe throw up the warning a few times before going into the ball search. I know impatient customers are going to tag that button three times before the balls return and I feel like that is unnecessary wear on the coils.

We can do that. Thanks for the suggestion!

Quoted from Aniraf:

Thank you for reading these. This game has a lot of promise. I would again recommend people keep a close eye on this title because 2-3 more code updates and you will have something really remarkable.

Thanks for the kind words! Certainly we intend to try our best to polish any remaining rough edges and add some final icing on the cake... we want everyone to love their Oktoberfest.

#3133 4 months ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

Does anyone have some suggested scoring tips?

If we did our jobs right, there's no single straightforward "do this and blow the game up" strategy... but here are some things to consider:

- Tents are the main scoring opportunities of the game. The value of shots in tents is based on the number of ducks you have. You earn ducks by hitting unlit duck standups around the playfield, and by winning tent modes.

- An implication of the previous statement is that the early game goal re: tents is not necessarily scoring big points, it's simply winning the tent. So early in the game, consider playing tents that you think you have a good chance of winning, even if they're not super valuable themselves. Save more point-rich tents for later, once you've accumulated enough ducks to juice up their scoring a bit.

- Of course strategic selection of steins is key. Remember that each stein offers two power-ups: a "global" effect (like making it easier to start multiballs or giving more playfield X time), and multiplying the scoring of a specific tent. By design, stronger global effects tend to be paired with less valuable tents, and vice versa... but this also means that there are some steins that have fairly balanced global effects and matched tents. Those might be better choices early on. And generally you'll really want to have the stein associated with any tent you choose to play.

- The two main multiballs (Beer Barrel and Corkscrew) aren't necessarily big points on their own, so ideally you do something to amp them up. Steins are one way to do that (Frosty Ferret for Beer Barrel, Freak Show Rooster for Corkscrew). The other is to get calories at the Food Stand. The most calorie-rich Food Stand features are the alternating ones: 2nd, 4th, etc.

- If at all possible, have a tent going when you start a multiball. Some of the tents to stack with multiball are obvious choices (frenzy-ish tents like Füd Frenzy and Bumper Cars) but don't overlook some of the others... e.g. Duck Hunt can be a very good choice; you might be surprised how many incidental duck target hits you get during a multiball.

- If you've won 2, 3, or more tents in a single ball, Tent Win Bonus will probably start becoming huge, and you may want to start focusing on raising your bonus X (complete all 4 distinct duck targets), possibly with a Reclab Redrum Stout in hand to boost the increase. Several million points in bonus alone is possible.

Have fun!

#3142 4 months ago

The apron instruction card does mention that ducks boost scoring, but yeah, not necessarily super obvious.

#3154 3 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

If you bring a food mode into multiball, do the jackpots increase as you collect calories, or does it wait for the mode to be over before calculating the new value. I stacked the cake food mode (2nd one) with corkscrew, and as I was hitting slings and pops, my jackpot value wasn’t increasing. Only when I made jackpots did the value increase, which is just part of the multiball rules.

Option 3. The base jackpot values for Beer Barrel and Corkscrew multiballs are based on your calorie count at the time those multiballs are started.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Does the stein that makes Oktoberfest easier to spell carry into the targets during corkscrew mb as well, or just to light locks?

Just for lighting locks. We originally thought about having it also affect those targets during Corkscrew MB, but that turned out to be way too powerful.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Do calories effect duck derby, or just corkscrew and beer barrel?

Corkscrew and Beer Barrel. Duck count affects Duck Derby (and Juggling).

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

There seems to be a bug with the food stand drop target not awarding tent points when it is up. Usually when this happens my next food mode / extra ball is ready.
- just tested this with Rotor mode. First few shots on the target were fine, but then when food was lit with the target up, my lit rotor shot didn’t score

Ah, dang it. Mea culpa. This is true... this glitch is a remnant from when that drop target could be lowered by the software. Good catch, we'll get that fixed for the next rev.


#3159 3 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

Found an interesting bug after playing Flipper Meister: (see pic). All it is is the shot number for completion not resetting.

LOL, nice. Thanks for the bug report. And congrats on getting to Flipper Meister! Not easy. What was your final score?

#3161 3 months ago

Still, excellent score, nice job!

And your reported bug with tent win status not getting reset after Flipper Meister is now fixed on my local machine, thanks again.

#3165 3 months ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- when the adjustment is set to ‘Off’ the screen still comes up during attract mode after holding the right buttons and hitting start, one hand play would be enabled. The problem is that it doesn’t actually set the game that way. Once the adjustment is set to player select it works. Pretty minor

Gotcha, we'll get that taken care of.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- the bottom right button still activates mag nabs, which I’m guessing are supposed to be off or enabled from the left button
- when selecting a stein or tent mode, hitting both right buttons should lock in your selection, instead of having to use the normal left/right button press

These are already fixed for the next release. Also fixed for the next release: lane change (T-E-N-T letters, T-A-P letters) now works as expected in one-handed mode. (In the current code, it's still looking for the physical left button to lane-change left.)

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- had a weird issue (I can pull logs if it would help) where a player was able to start 2 tent modes at once: Juggling and Duck Hunt. I think he must’ve hit all 3 buttons at once?

Yes, if you've got a log for that, please send it along... ferret <at> american-pinball.com, josh <at> american-pinball.com.

Thanks so much for all the bug reports... I'm sorry that there are bugs at all, but we'll fix whatever folks find.

Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

Good call. It finally happened again. I immediately went into Switch Test and sure enough, the Right Duck target was stuck closed. Just needed a gap adjustment. Both times it happened, there was, um... a lot of quacking.

Heh... "Oktoberfest: A Lot Of Quacking". Almost as good as "Pinball On Tap". (True story: for seminars at shows, one of our taglines is "Oktoberfest: What's With the Ducks?")

Glad you found the errant switch!

#3170 3 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

But can you clear the current period earnings audits on Oktoberfest? Because you still can't on Houdini

Just tried this in Oktoberfest and it worked. Let us know if you have any trouble.

#3171 3 months ago

Oktoberfest Playing Tip of the Day: When playing tent modes, rolling over an unlit T-E-N-T letter (inlane/outlanes) will add time to the current tent. More time is added if the timer is closer to zero (in other words, to add the most time, don't do this immediately when starting a tent).

Whatever T-E-N-T letters you light during a tent mode also count towards starting your next tent mode.

#3180 3 months ago

Latest released code is 19.6.5. Of course we’ve been working hard on new stuff since then.

Quoted from bobukcat:

I think was a mini-wizard mode called duck race (I think). I was so shocked that I was having such a good game my memory fails me on what was going on but shots were alternating from Blue to Red, I'm sure this is covered in a post from ferret somewhere and I'll go find it in case I ever get there again. What a fun game!

Yep, Duck Derby is a mini-wiz. Get your duck to the finish line before the opponent ducks get there. If your duck is selected, lit green shots advance your duck. If an opponent duck is selected, lit red shots advance that opponent, so you don’t want that! Shoot the green duck target (will always be one of the bottom two) to reselect your duck before making more shots. TLDR: shoot green, avoid red. If your duck wins, you go into Victory Laps.

Very glad that you had lots of fun with the game!

Quoted from bobukcat:

One question we did have is about use of the shaker, it was set to heavy utilization and medium intensity and I think I only felt it go off about three times. Is that normal?

It should go off all the time when the ball is in the pops... just a really subtle shake, but that gives a cool presence to the pops. Perhaps the most blatant use of the shaker is at the start of Corkscrew Multiball.


#3185 3 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

We never felt the shaker when the pops where going off and viggin900 had one particularly great bumper-car run (~300K just from that) so it's not like we didn't have the ball in the pops a lot.

Ah... one gotcha on that is that the shaker effect in the pops will only happen if Settings > Standard > Shaker Usage is "High". This setting defaults to "Medium".

Quoted from bobukcat:

One other thing I forgot, it seemed like the magnet action when the Oktoberfest standups were hit was not as severe / strong as in other ones I've played. There were a few times it gave it a really good fling but not a lot. This isn't necessarily a problem but I didn't see an adjustment for that in settings, did I miss it or/and has that been dialed back some in the latest code?

There's no specific adjustment for this, though I suppose you could try increasing the coil power to "October Magnet" and/or "Fest Magnet". The magnet action is meant to be random. The code for it hasn't changed since the game was revealed, AFAIK.

#3187 3 months ago

On several occasions I’ve had the magnet ping-pong the ball against the targets about 10 times straight... fun to watch.

#3192 3 months ago

The thing about Oktoberfest is that it has a LOT of side-to-side action, which already makes the game tricky to handle. If you want your game to be more difficult, consider removing the center post, tightening the tilt, and/or making the outline save targets more difficult in the adjustments.

#3196 3 months ago
Quoted from Viggin900:

I can't seem to find the adjustment for the shaker in the settings?

Settings > Standard > Shaker Intensity
Settings > Standard > Shaker Usage

Intensity controls the maximum amount of force that the shaker is allowed to use. (Different shaker effects use different strengths, but you might not like the stronger effects for whatever reason and want to tone them down.)

Usage controls generally whether you want the shaker to be used for as many game events as possible (High) or less frequently (Medium or Low).

1 week later
#3200 3 months ago

Thanks for the report, aniraf. I'll reproduce that bug and get it fixed.

#3203 3 months ago

Not at all... customers should feel comfortable contacting us via any means to report issues with our games. Can't always promise that everything reported will be fixed or changed, but certainly critical issues like this will be addressed, and generally we want to satisfy our customers, since that's how we, y'know, sell games.

#3210 3 months ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

Quoting my own post. This happened again on location. I just went to the bar to fix it. Is there any way to tilt the plastic back there so that the ball will roll off of it?

Try giving Barry at API Customer Support a call or text: ‭(224) 422-3191.

The software handling of this situation should be improved in the upcoming version, BTW.

#3215 3 months ago

We hope that our game #3 will excite everyone with its well-recognized theme, great layout, and ruleset that is easy to understand yet has never been done before in pinball.

Then hopefully we'll do it all again for game #4.

#3221 3 months ago

I’ll note that we’re still improving animations in Oktoberfest. Players will see some nice improvements in the upcoming code update (or visit SFGE this weekend where beta code should be on display).

#3235 3 months ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Also why is there not a stein to make getting the ramp down easier?

The Sloshed Rosh Lager stein makes it easier to complete the OKTOBER FEST letters, which is what lowers the left ramp for Corkscrew locks. (Completing either OKTOBER or FEST qualifies 1 lock; completing the other bank qualifies locks 2 and 3.)

It's probably not obvious what this stein actually does: if you hit a target that's already lit, it will try to spot you a target 1 to the left or 1 to the right of the target you hit. And since ALL steins can be stacked: if you have two of this stein, it will try to spot you a target 1 or 2 to the left or 1 or 2 to the right of the target you hit... and so on. Yes, this means if you have three of this stein, you could spell OKTOBER just by shooting the middle O over and over.

#3247 3 months ago
Quoted from Paul_from_Gilroy:

In my game I felt that the LED strip back there was so bright it washed out the TAP lane inserts as well as the Playfield X inserts really bad. So I covered parts of the LED strip

FYI, the brightness of the backbox LED strip can be adjusted in software: Settings > Standard > Backpanel Brightness.

#3290 3 months ago
Quoted from dugmar:

Also ended up with two balls in the scoop on lower left. The VUK took 8 attempts to eject. I finally helped it with some well timed nudging. Odd that it is not designed to eject two balls.

If your operator is friendly, ask them to verify that they have the latest code version installed on the game. Last month's code update (19.6.5) is more aggressive about boosting the scoop eject strength if the balls aren't coming out (e.g. when more than one is stacked in there). And also tell them to keep their eyes peeled for another update in the coming days that has lots of great enhancements.

#3294 89 days ago
Quoted from Aniraf:

We had a lot of good players and everyone really seemed to enjoy the game. I saw only one beer barrel lock in about 150 games or so.

Very glad to hear that everyone had fun with Oktoberfest!

But... only one Beer Barrel LOCK in 150 GAMES? Honestly, without more information, I'm not sure what to tell you, but something isn't right there. The Beer Barrel ramp is not an easy shot, but it certainly shouldn't be that hard. Maybe try adjusting your "Upr R Flipper Main" coil strength up, or down. Check the level and slope of the game (intended configuration is for all leg levelers to be fully in, except for what's required to level the game left-to-right).

Just speaking for myself: I'm a solid but not exceptional player, admittedly with a lot of experience on Oktoberfest. If I'm just playing and not testing something specific, I expect to get a couple Beer Barrel locks EACH GAME. Certainly it's easier from a flipper MagNab, but even for players unfamiliar with the MagNab button, there are enough automatic MagNab opportunities in the game that players should be able to lock balls in the Beer Barrel. I'd love to hear any information you can provide on what you've seen here, so hopefully we can help guide you into getting the Beer Barrel working as expected for your players. One thing to note is that the game has audits for both making the Beer Barrel ramp shot ("Upper Ramp Made") as well as actually locking balls in the Beer Barrel ("Beer Barrel Lock 1", "Beer Barrel Lock 2", "Beer Barrel Lock 3"), so hopefully these can provide some objective data for the situation.


#3296 89 days ago

Definitely appreciate any and all customer feedback. At the least, maybe we can add some more callouts guiding the player to shoot the ramp, especially after a MagNab when they have a moment to think about it.

#3334 82 days ago
Quoted from gmanrulz46:

great job one little problem , the ball trough sometimes will not send up ball takes a couple tries. end of ball shows up and its on to ball 2

Huh. Obviously that should not happen. I'll check it out. Meanwhile, sounds like you might want to slightly increase the coil strength of the Trough Eject coil to help the balls get out of there.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

#3342 81 days ago

Ugh. Murphy's Law, I guess. Sorry about that. Any chance you grabbed a log?

#3344 81 days ago

arcadem, did you get a system reset during Flipper Meister also, or just lost audio?

Either way, certainly possible that a bug snuck in there... if so, apologies, and we'll see about getting it fixed ASAP. We hate crashers as much as y'all do.

#3353 80 days ago
Quoted from Viggin900:

I still can't figure out stuff like lighting the tent etc?

BTW, please note that there is an instruction card hiding in plain sight on the apron artwork, in its traditional place on the left side. Hopefully that provides good guidance about the basic rules of the game, no manual needed. (Although I definitely recommend the manual to anyone who owns the game!)

#3364 75 days ago
Quoted from Viggin900:

The new code is fantastic! Thanks. One thing no one has mentioned is Rockin express. Its not very "rockin". When I accomplish the outer lanes nothing happens and almost wonder if it is even registering? A nice zingy lightshow like the ride would be nice here so I feel satisfied

It's on my list. Got a bunch of new callouts to wire up, plus some light shows and animation tweaks. At least the current code has the score values zooming by on screen.

#3374 73 days ago
Quoted from Maide:

Obviously the scoop shouldn't do that if it's setup correctly, but any chance for a ball-save for that, when there's only one ball in play?

Already in there. It’s an operator adjustment.

#3386 71 days ago

It does, though it's not required, since updates do not normally reset adjustments/audits/high scores/etc.

#3397 70 days ago

Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.

#3399 69 days ago
Quoted from Viggin900:

When the cuckoo sounds to warn before the end of tent time maybe a cuckoo clock animation on the screen? That would be cool!

It would be! Heck, why limit that just to the end of tent time?

1 week later
#3403 57 days ago

And we are most certainly not done yet. Enjoy!

#3409 55 days ago
Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- no sound FX for hitting bar

Yep, we've requested a sound effect for that.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- If the player misses the right ramp from the left inlane super skill shot, sometimes the light on the ramp won’t go out until a major light show happens. Pretty minor

Sitting on my to-do list right now. Perhaps get to it this weekend.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- would like to know hits remaining to open bar (maybe use the Collect Stein insert: red for 3 hits, yellow for 2, and flashing when the bar is open

We've kinda gone back and forth about how to communicate "hits remaining" to the player. (This applies to the outlane save targets also.) It can be confusing, especially to casual players, to illuminate an insert, especially one labeled something seemingly obvious like "Collect Stein", but then you shoot that thing and it doesn't actually collect a stein. "The game screwed me!" Add to the mix the complexity of the Ish Pale Ale stein that reduces the hit count required, and the fact that hits to the bar during multiball don't count, and we wound up feeling it'd be a better experience to use the insert to guide the player when they can actually collect a stein.

As a compromise, we might add a blurb to the Pinfo status screens explicitly counting hits required, for those who wish to plan their strategy.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- When you collect the “Easier to spell tent” stein and you complete the tent lanes, there is usually 2 callouts that the tent mode is ready. I’m assuming it should be just 1.

Yep, on my list.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- would be nice to have a “Food Stand ready!” callout

Already added for the next version, along with an accompanying fanfare. (Yay, something that's in a better place than "on a list"! )

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- If you’re in Looper, for example, and you shoot into the bar for a stein, and you choose the “More time in tents” stein, is that supposed to affect the current tent mode running or does it wait for the next one? Right now it doesn’t effect the current mode.

It does affect the current tent mode. It does not immediately add time to the clock, but if you add time via the T-E-N-T rollovers, you'll get more time added than you would've without the stein.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- Let’s also say I’m in Looper and I collect the stein that boosts that mode, is my mode value supposed to be 2x now, or do I have to wait to play it again for the booster to come into play?

Yes, the tent scoring multiplier takes effect immediately.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- I’m a pretty good player, but I’ve never gotten anything higher than a 3x playfield (and that’s with a couple steins that increase playfield x time). Would be cool if the 3rd collection of the “more playfield x time” stein would activate the magnet on every orbit shot while the player had a multiplier running. And it could be set to only do it up to a certain x value, then the player would have to use magnabs. Just an idea, but would certainly be an interesting strategy.

Personally I don't think it's a bad thing that it's very difficult to get high playfield X. It's part of the strategic choices offered by the steins, and the need to keep the game scoring balanced. Players who want to focus on a playfield X strategy can decide if they want to collect Baker Street Ale for more playfield X time, and/or Buschbrau for more MagNabs to make it easier to put the ball in the TAP lanes, or some combination thereof... each of these approaches has pluses and minuses, certainly. And all the steins provide tent scoring X, and the Freakshow Rooster and Frosty Ferret steins give multiball jackpot X, and those all stack on any playfield X... basically there are "X" opportunities all over the place in this game. (Haven't even mentioned how Tent Win Bonus and its X and the bonus X can be an absolutely huge factor.)

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- Secret skill shot for short plunging and hitting the center drop target to immediately start a food mode??

Nice idea.

Quoted from GrandFireball1:

- I know it’s still in the works, but how will the final wizard mode be qualified?

Excellent question!

Thanks very much for the feedback, really appreciate it. Have fun!!

#3412 55 days ago

IMHO 40 is way too strong and makes it unshootable. Try the default strength or just a touch higher. It’s really not too much about strength, it’s just that there’s a narrow sweet spot, and it’s pretty close to the tip of the flipper.

#3417 54 days ago

Great, Jake, glad that you got it set up to be more reasonable for Beer Barrel MB. If you haven't already, also consider setting the adjustment "Release Beer Barrel Locks at Game End" to NO -- this should make it easier to start BBMB when you're playing a bunch of games, and add to the chaos and fun of stealing locks from other players (even across games).

Also glad that your wife loves the game! We tried really hard to make a game that would be pure fun for everyone.

#3423 52 days ago

Nice catch! I'll take a look.

#3438 48 days ago
Quoted from rosh:

for all your duck needs . . .

I can't like this enough. Including just the concept of "for all your duck needs".

Quoted from iceman44:

My game is DOA. Zero coil firing and Switch testing is not possible either.
Just trying to get a response from somebody for some help on my game.
I reached out to Barry E., he reached out to me and then AWOL after calls and emails.

I just sent you Barry's contact info in response to your PM. He's great at support so I'm sure he's not ditching you, but being a holiday weekend in the US, don't know his whereabouts over the next few days.

That said, we can try our best to help. Since you say that neither coil firing nor switch testing is possible... does this mean that absolutely no switch inputs are working on your game? No start button, no coin door 4-button panel, nothing?

If you give as much detail as you can about your symptoms and what you've already tried, hopefully we can get you rolling again ASAP.

Very sorry that you're having trouble with the game.

#3443 47 days ago

McPin54, rockrand: please provide as much detail as you can about what problems you're experiencing, if you think they are code issues. We are certainly happy to fix any problems we know about, but gotta make sure we actually know about them.

#3447 46 days ago
Quoted from mfresh:

I have had NIB Sterns and one NIB JJP before now and none of them have worked out of the box as well as this machine does.

Outstanding! So happy to hear that.

Quoted from mfresh:

Secondly, I had an operation on shoulder a week back and have been unable to play any of my games, but thanks to the one handed play option I got up and running with Oktoberfest with two flippers! Brilliant.

Sorry to hear about your shoulder, but at least that's a pretty cool consolation.

Quoted from mfresh:

if the ball escapes from the right outlane and goes back into the shooter lane, it seems like the game thinks that there is a new ball in play complete with skill shot options, rather than just launching the ball back into play. Is that intentional?


Quoted from mfresh:

And the other thing is that I have never ever managed to get the ball into the barrel lock - it can get half way up the ramp at most. I realise this is supposed to be a hard shot off the tip of the flipper, similar perhaps to the warp ramp in Star Trek, but it doesn't seem physically possible. The leg levellers on all legs are completely screwed in, and I have tried increasing the power of the upper right flipper up to 40 but no luck.

Do NOT set the upper flipper power so high. I don't know the actual physics, but my guess is that when the power is too high, the ball basically slams perpendicular into the ramp instead of being able to follow the curve. Whatever the explanation, it doesn't work well if the power is too high. Set the flipper power back to default, or maybe one or two notches higher. Then it's just a matter of finding the shot. Personally I find it much easier to make from a MagNab, but it's certainly possible from an orbit or pop bumper feed too.

Quoted from mfresh:

Final question: any reason by the leg bolts are fastened using hex wrench/allen keys rather than the traditional style that can be more easily fastened with a power tool?

Don't know the answer, but personally I liked this... I always tighten leg bolts by hand, not with a power tool, and with this design, I was able to use the tool that secures the backbox to also secure the leg bolts, instead of fetching a separate wrench.

Hope the game gives you many years of joy!

#3449 46 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

So is it possible to adjust the setting so that the game plays one-handed permanently? If so, I guess you can chose which hand you play with and the mag-nab feature is disabled...?

Yes, via adjustments, you can set up one-handed play to be at player request (hold both right-side buttons before starting a game) or always one-handed. Can't really choose which hand to play with because the dual buttons are only on the right side, so unless you do some contortions, you'll be using your right hand. MagNab is in fact still available on the left flipper button during one-handed play.

(Also: regardless of the overall game one-handed mode, Stein Race is always one-handed.)

Enjoy your new game, @pinballslave!

#3465 45 days ago
Quoted from iceman44:

"Captive Ball" lit?

Yes, the first captive ball switch is where the captive ball sits when it's at rest, so it will usually be closed when the game is idle. There are three total switches in the captive ball lane: Captive Ball 1, Captive Ball 2, and Captive Standup. (This is how we can gauge the strength of hits, e.g. for the High Striker animation and to determine Super Striker point values.)

#3482 43 days ago

I'm a bit hesitant to reply since I'm biased, but the Beer Barrel shot is absolutely not luck. It's not an easy shot, but it's definitely not luck. When I'm playing for fun (as opposed to testing something-or-other) I usually make it a few times per game. IMHO shots from a MagNab are MUCH easier.

Pro tip: any shot up the Beer Barrel ramp spots a PROST letter. This happens before evaluating the lock. This means that if you have just 4 of the PROST letters lit, a shot up the Beer Barrel will award a lock.

Double pro tip: a left orbit -> Beer Barrel ramp combo spots two PROST letters. Again, this happens before evaluating the lock. This means that if you have just 3 of the PROST letters lit, a left orbit -> Beer Barrel shot will award a lock.

If you're having problems shooting the Beer Barrel ramp, check the coil strength of the upper flipper. You want it at default strength or maybe a notch or two higher. Setting it too strong will actually make it harder to make the shot.

#3503 42 days ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I have this pin on order and I had no idea that playing it can drone on for 45+ min. That's possibly even longer than Lord of the Rings. Marathon pins are bad for multi-player, bad for league, bad for route, and generally not my style. If the average game on this pin is truly 20-30+ minutes I may need to walk away.

Shouldn't be anywhere close. Average game times that I've seen are in the neighborhood of 4-5 minutes. Of course a skilled player can blow it up, but that's true of any game.

Also, Oktoberfest has a LOT of adjustments, so you have lots of flexibility to adjust ball savers, extra balls, etc to help tune your game times.

#3520 41 days ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Why would one want to hold balls in barrel after game ends? Please explain.

Beer Barrel locks can be stolen, across players in a game, and/or across games... the latter only if you set the option to keep the balls in the lock between games. So for example, if you have the game set to hold Beer Barrel locks at end of game, and you end a game with two balls locked, then when you start the next game, you just have to light the BB lock (complete PROST), shoot the BB ramp, and you'll be in Beer Barrel Multiball, because you steal the locked balls.

If you set it to release the balls at end of game, you can still steal BB locks between players within a game, but not across games.

BTW, even in tournament mode, you can enable the option to retain BB locks between games. This can provide a strategic choice for a player with choice of play order to do something other than the traditional "last available"... perhaps you look in the Beer Barrel, see two balls lurking there, and decide to play first and try to steal those balls.

#3533 40 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

Had some goofy behavior right before Barry and Dan packed the game up at CLE PIN.
Started the game and hit the scoop to start a tent mode. After selecting duck hunt, the game gave me beer barrel lock 1, then served a ball into the shooter lane after the ball came out of the scoop. Then it had the ball start animation. Once I drained one of the balls it went to bonus count up.

Hard to know for sure just based on that description, but I'd at least be suspicious of a misadjusted switch (or wiggly connector) on the Beer Barrel lock switches.

If that machine is going back to the shop with BarryJ and dandandan, perhaps they can pull the logs and/or try to repro the problem, so we can confirm.

#3534 40 days ago

Oh, and for pinballslave ... I for one am very, very familiar with the sound of the anti-rollback device on a roller coaster lift hill. We had actually considered that sound as the coaster ascended the hill in the Corkscrew start animation, but decided it might be kind of annoying to hear over and over, especially for people not accustomed to roller coasters. Being honest about it, it's not the most pleasant sound, even if it has positive connotations for coaster enthusiasts.

That said, audio is still getting polished in the game code, so who knows where we settle on that...

#3559 35 days ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

I knew there was a reason that buying an Oktoberfest felt right!

Seriously, that's what gets me when some people say they're unhappy with this theme. Literally every night that I've watched TV over the past couple weeks -- and I suspect this will continue for the next month -- I see ads for Oktoberfest beer, or some restaurant's special Oktoberfest menu, or the Oktoberfest festival coming up next week at some fairgrounds. Oktoberfest is a big cultural event for a couple months EVERY year... and the rest of the time, it's great to just celebrate music and food and beer and fun. What's not to love about this theme?

#3570 34 days ago

Uggggh, norcalrealtor ... did you wind up rejecting delivery, or were you able to take it out while the carrier was still there to see if there was damage to the game?

#3576 34 days ago
Quoted from chuckwurt:

I was HORRIBLE at ducky derby though. I didn’t even hit the first ducks shot haha. Is that mode supposed to end your ball when it’s over? When I lost the flippers died, ball drained and bonus counted up.

Hmmm... two thirds of that, anyway. If you lose Duck Derby, flippers die, ball(s) drain, and then you should be able to continue play. It should actually give you flipper control back once one ball drains, but give you a fairly long ball saver for the remaining ball.

Very glad to hear that you are enjoying the game! I like to think we’ve created some great moments in the game: Corkscrew MB start is fun... and there can be some crazy light shows if you’re in multiball with a tent stacked. Beer Barrel Super Jackpots are pretty fun. I like even just tent wins, with the whistling confetti and associated fanfare and callouts. But we’ll keep trying to make it better.

Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I asked the guy to wait while I investigated further and notified my distributor. Opted to accept it and file a claim.

Good luck, hope it turns out OK.

#3597 32 days ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

Which mode(s) require or engage the one-handed play? I changed the setting in the menu from Off to Player Selectable, or something like that. Not sure how it comes into play.

The only feature that requires one-handed play is the Stein Race tent.

If you set One-Handed Play to "Player Selectable" via the adjustments, then players have the option to hold both right-side buttons before starting a game... the machine will display a notice that starting a game at this time will enable One-Handed Play. If you go ahead and start a game while holding the right-side buttons, the entire game will be in one-handed mode. You can also set the One-Handed Play adjustment to "On", which will have the game always in one-handed mode... fun gimmick. (Our league just had a party over the weekend, and one-handed Oktoberfest was one of the for-fun contests.)

#3610 31 days ago
Quoted from mfresh:

1. Playing juggler suddenly all the the playfield lights (but not the backbox) went off midway through the mode. They came back in after the ball drained. Is this deliberate or a bug or something else?

This is not intentional. Do you have any more details on what else was going on at the time? e.g. did you have a Food Stand feature stacked, or collect an Extra Ball during Juggling, etc etc? Anything you can recall that would help us reproduce the problem would be great. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Quoted from mfresh:

2. I have had the ball go under the corkscrew ramp just before the ramp goes down, trapping the ball under the lowered ramp. The food drop target was also down. When the ball search eventually freed the ball by lifting the ramp, the food target had been reset and was no longer down. Is this avoidable?

The drop target does get fired if a ball search happens, in case the ball is sitting on the lowered target. The drop target can't be lowered in code; it only has a "raise" coil, not a "drop" coil, so once it's up, it's up, unfortunately.

However, one thing I've been thinking about is tweaking the ball search logic to increase the priority of raising the left ramp flap if it's down, before cycling all the coils, which would help for this sort of situation.

Quoted from mfresh:

3. Often when the ball is ejected from the food VUK it runs down the habitrail but jumps off into the outlane, and the ball drains. What's the best fix for this?

Paging barryj ... I believe he can guide you in the ways of gently bending the wireform to minimize or eliminate this issue.

Quoted from mfresh:

4. Is there a reason in Looper why the ball stops at the top of the rollercoaster before being released to come back round? Seems like the action would be more exciting if the ball motion was uninterrupted and it came back to the right flipper asap, like loopin' supers in Ghostbusters

Yes, there is a reason... if you examine the lock device, it's got a (rather cool) interlock mechanism so when a ball is released from the lock, simultaneously a little lip injects between the ball 1 and ball 2 positions, preventing any other locked balls from trying to escape. (If you've ever had to screw with the ball lock on, say, Cirqus Voltaire, you will understand just how great this interlock feature is.) However, nothing is entirely free, so the tradeoff for this more reliable lock device is that there's no "flow straight through" opportunity... the ball has to stop at one of the lock positions.

On the other hand, arguably that's not a bad thing. Fun whitewood story: before the lock mechanism was available, the whitewood just had the steep metal ramp connecting to the spiral wireform, no lock device. It turned out that a good strong shot on the left ramp would send the ball screaming through where the lock device now is, continue onto the wireform, and be going fast enough that instead of conforming to the wireform, the ball just kept going straight and smashed into the right wall of the cabinet, and then fell several inches onto the playfield. Oops. The mechanical reliability of the final design here is the clear winner.

#3621 29 days ago

Just a choice. Similarly, you can’t advance PROST toward Beer Barrel locks during Target Shooting.