(Topic ID: 124541)

Pros/Cons of new Spike board set/setup?


By HighProtein

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 10 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by Law
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 4 years ago

    Pros/Cons of new Spike board set/setup?

    I've enjoyed SAM and Whitestar systems.
    What are your views of pros and cons of the next system/setup?

    #2 4 years ago

    Pro: Emminently crackable. CAN is one of the easiest things I've encountered to tap and watch, even modify en route. The modders will be happy. I suppose encryption or obfuscation is technically possible, but I've never seen it. The frames are pretty easy to interpret and reverse engineer even with no prior knowledge. Stuff like switch closures and light shows will be easy to spoof or tweak.

    #3 4 years ago

    I must be in the wrong thread. I don't understand a single word anyone's said.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from bigehrl:

    I must be in the wrong thread. I don't understand a single word anyone's said.

    This isn't my area of expertise! But Spike is the new board system from Stern for all their new games.

    CAN = controller area network http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus

    Law is saying that he thinks the new system will be easy to tap into so that modders and 3rd parties can intercept data in real time on the game and manipulate it.

    #5 4 years ago

    CON: Location of the power switch. For places with a large number of games packed tightly together, the location of the power switch beneath the bottom right portion of the head is very inconvenient.

    Taller players may have little problem leaning over the glass to reach the switch, but I know of more people who have a problem reaching the switch than people who can easily reach the switch.

    WWE Pro

    Marcus

    #6 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Law is saying that he thinks the new system will be easy to tap into so that modders and 3rd parties can intercept data in real time on the game and manipulate it.

    Wow, yeah- I just re-read my own post. Thanks for interpreting, Aurich!

    CAN is an industrial communication protocol that's used primarily in the automotive industry but also in some other closed-system multi-device applications like power plants, etc.. It's a good system for multi-point-to-multi-point communication where you have both regular updates and event-based transactions. There are a lot of devices you can buy to work with it. As far as I know, this is what the SPiKE system is using, I haven't got one to play with though.

    One really basic example- Since the information on the network is so easy to trace, you could record everything that happens and play it back later, no problem. Instant game state save.

    You can even get an app on your phone that watches this traffic and records and plays it back for you. They're not specific to pinball, usually used by people that want to mess with their engine timing or fuel ratio in their cars.

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from Law:

    They're not specific to pinball, usually used by people that want to mess with their engine timing or fuel ratio in their cars.

    Heh, yup. I have a Cobb AccessPort that I can plug into my ODBII port so I can mess with the tuning on my BMW 335i. Though in reality that just means that I keep it flashed to their carefully set up tune, since I have no clue what I'm doing and wouldn't be able to improve on what they've set up for me already.

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from Law:

    One really basic example- Since the information on the network is so easy to trace, you could record everything that happens and play it back later, no problem. Instant game state save.

    Out of curiosity, would this open up the possibility of resetting a game to a specific and exact state after a malfunction? Say in a tournament situation where the machine resets or something requires a fix that can't be completed live?

    Or would it be more useful only in terms of datamining or recordkeeping?

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Out of curiosity, would this open up the possibility of resetting a game to a specific and exact state after a malfunction? Say in a tournament situation where the machine resets or something requires a fix that can't be completed live?
    Or would it be more useful only in terms of datamining or recordkeeping?

    Unfortunately probably not, but it depends on how the software is written. To play back state requires not having anything random (which should be the case in tournament mode, so that's ok) but also some pretty strict requirements on exactly how the update loop runs. It's comparable to keeping everyone in sync for a multiplayer computer game, it's very doable if that's a design goal, but if the software isn't built specifically to support it there are a million tiny ways things can go wrong.

    #10 4 years ago
    Quoted from ecurtz:

    it's very doable if that's a design goal, but if the software isn't built specifically to support it there are a million tiny ways things can go wrong.

    Agreed. It's possible but would be a lot of work, probably more than a single tournament director could or should put into it.

    If Stern is smart, they'll add features like this though. They are well positioned to button up the "competitive" market if they support this kind of thing. I've got no idea what that market may or may not consist of, but they seem like the only company that's even partially addressing or considering that angle. Dutch Pinball has kind-of something there with their online leaderboards.

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