(Topic ID: 299309)

Stern Insider Connected

By anathematize

60 days ago


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    #51 60 days ago
    Quoted from zombieyeti:

    There's way more than what's being discussed or shown - be patient

    I'm really excited for all the potential this has but worried to lose some of your amazing artwork!

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    #52 60 days ago

    Just listening to the podcast now, so maybe some of this is answered, but my initial thoughts/concerns:

    1) You'd think Spike 2 would've been designed with WiFi on board for future proofing. Only reason I can think it wouldn't be is because some bean counter said "let's just charge for it later!!!".

    2) Agree with Joetechbob, not sure of the need of a QR reader on the game. Seems like an unnecessary point of potential failure, and an additional expense. Maybe there are some feature workflows they have in mind where it is necessary, but I am dubious.

    3) What is the monthly fee going to be to have your machines hooked up to this new revolutionary system?

    #53 60 days ago

    This sounds like it's all operator oriented for the achievements, promotions, remote repair troubleshooting

    Promotions and challenges (Call of Duty style) would be great but it sounds like they are locking it to location pins only to prevent people from cheating with the glass off at home

    #54 60 days ago
    Quoted from joetechbob:

    Feels like it should've just been a wifi dongle and QR code on the apron (instruction card or sticker) itself instead of all of this complexity per game. Are they trying to save people needing a phone, like I'm going to print out my QR code at home since there's a reader in the game???
    I heard George mention being able to have promotional QR codes that the game can read (free plays for good customers, etc.), but it feels like this is edge case-y and could've still been done via a stern phone app that just associates that with your account after you scan the promo QR code with your phone.
    I can't imagine this will be less than $200 as an upgrade (probably higher)...Wifi dongle + QR code printout could've been like 30 bucks.

    How would you associate game plays to players with just a QR code on the game? The only thing you could go off of is timestamps for the games and the timestamp of the player scanning the QR code into their phone. You'd have to do some sort of matching game on the backend which would unveil a slew of use cases that might not be accurate. For example, what if either the phone or the pinball machine are offline when the QR code is scanned or the game is started. While the solution sounds device centric, by scanning a players QR code you can at least accurately say this game is being played by player xyz and even store a bit of personalization in the QR code itself like player initials or name.

    #55 60 days ago

    I don’t think you will have to display the QR code. On location you will want to have it on the apron to entice a consumer to play the game. For home, the code could be scanned from anywhere I’d guess. The coded should be able to be scanned, shrunk, and printed on a small sticker that you can place anywhere. With all that being said, I hope stern puts the QR code on the screen so the code can be avoided being put on the game somewhere.

    #56 60 days ago

    I think this is going to be transformative for the industry if done right. Also right up my Tech Experience ally
    being a mobile app / web developer. Really peaks my interest if Stern is looking for any Full Stack Web / Mobile Developers
    drop me a MSG. I would jump ship to work on this in a heartbeat.

    I know so many people that won't go out to compete but this would drive them to do so again.

    #57 60 days ago
    Quoted from zombieyeti:

    The actual games feature game specific art (and in fact MORE as a result of the new apron vs the old) - I know as I've made some So don't worry!

    Good to know, thanks for the reply!!

    #58 60 days ago
    Quoted from Xdetroit:

    With all that being said, I hope stern puts the QR code on the screen so the code can be avoided being put on the game somewhere.

    They are building it directly into the Apron with a scanner

    I can see custom, non QR Apron sales increasing...but you just know they will modify the attachment points to force new playfields to new aprons

    #59 60 days ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    How would you associate game plays to players with just a QR code on the game? The only thing you could go off of is timestamps for the games and the timestamp of the player scanning the QR code into their phone. You'd have to do some sort of matching game on the backend which would unveil a slew of use cases that might not be accurate. For example, what if either the phone or the pinball machine are offline when the QR code is scanned or the game is started. While the solution sounds device centric, by scanning a players QR code you can at least accurately say this game is being played by player xyz and even store a bit of personalization in the QR code itself like player initials or name.

    Off the top of my head, a unique QR code is generated on the screen when a player "logs in" to the game. They scan it with their phone, and away you go. There are always multiple ways to skin a cat. To be fair, I haven't been looking at this problem for a couple of years like the the Stern team has, so I am sure they have thought everything through more than me.

    I just think an additional hardware requirement would've been the least desirable design outcome, unless selling the hardware was a potential revenue stream you wanted.

    #60 60 days ago

    excited to put it into my deadpool

    #61 60 days ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    How would you associate game plays to players with just a QR code on the game? The only thing you could go off of is timestamps for the games and the timestamp of the player scanning the QR code into their phone. You'd have to do some sort of matching game on the backend which would unveil a slew of use cases that might not be accurate. For example, what if either the phone or the pinball machine are offline when the QR code is scanned or the game is started. While the solution sounds device centric, by scanning a players QR code you can at least accurately say this game is being played by player xyz and even store a bit of personalization in the QR code itself like player initials or name.

    There would obviously need to be some hand shaking between the game and Stern's back-end, but doesn't seem like it would be a big deal as the game could simply be in login mode and prompt you to scan the QR code on the apron with your phone*. In the end, you would end up in the same/similar state.

    I'm not sure it's worth over designing for the chance that there's spotty connectivity. Just make 99%+ connectivity a requirement.

    * If you've played the "You Don't Know Jack" line of party games on your console, they do something similar, except they display a unique 6(?) digit code in the lobby that you enter into your device to join the game. No login required there, but that could've just been built into a phone app, e.g.

    #62 60 days ago

    how many gonna play with glass off

    #63 60 days ago
    Quoted from joetechbob:

    Just make 99%+ connectivity a requirement.

    Not taking money unless there is internet connectivity is a pretty huge leap here.

    #64 60 days ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    how many gonna play with glass off

    The achievement system has a "verified" label for location games. So at least there will be a distinction between games you can pull the glass on and ones you can't.

    #65 60 days ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    how many gonna play with glass off

    Locked to location pins only according to George

    Quoted from Haymaker:

    excited to put it into my deadpool

    Why specifically? Sounds like promotional challenges, achievements etc are all locked to location pins. Aside from score tracking, what else is there for the home collection? I may have missed that in the podcast

    #66 60 days ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    how many gonna play with glass off

    He addresses this in the podcast as well. He said there will be some achievements that will be "Verified" as coming from location games. The podcast has a ton of info. Highly recommend folks check it out.

    #67 60 days ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    Not taking money unless there is internet connectivity is a pretty huge leap here.

    I'm not getting that this replaces traditional payment methods (possibly augments it?)...I still see card swipers, dollar bill acceptors, coin slots, payrange, etc., given operators operate a variety of games from multiple manufacturers. Unless stern has some big vision to overtake payrange?

    P.S. I can all but guarantee that Stern will never make login a requirement to play a game. Would completely weed out casual players that just want to put in a buck and flip a game.

    #68 60 days ago
    Quoted from DudeRegular:

    He addresses this in the podcast as well. He said there will be some achievements that will be "Verified" as coming from location games. The podcast has a ton of info. Highly recommend folks check it out.

    was just askin for a "friend"

    #69 60 days ago

    There are a whole lot of underlying things to consider here from a security standpoint. Hopefully the reason for the QR items has a lot to do with that. Would you want some effin hackers to be able to log directly into the games if you are an operator? Hell no. I would want them to identify themselves via the QR scanner and identify the machine by its QR code. Now the player and machine are connected through the cloud rather than directly and there is an extra huge layer of security.

    The other thing to consider is that this is the death of software with custom sound and video. So my JP will never go on this network because I don't want to give up the cool code with movie video and sound clips.

    This was an eventuality for sure and it seems like Stern waited until it was really polished and offers a lot to the players, home use owners AND operators. I do look forward to see what features this brings, but I am also hesitant to say that I will install it on any of my current games. WIFI updates would be cool. Hopefully they don't install cameras like JJP, ugh. I'm also wondering if it can be disabled for home use on future games. Last thing I want is a game that has to be connected to the internet in order to play it. I don't see them going that way for now, but...

    #70 60 days ago

    You’re right! I just noticed there is a scanner component.

    Quoted from fooflighter:

    They are building it directly into the Apron with a scanner
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    I can see custom, non QR Apron sales increasing...but you just know they will modify the attachment points to force new playfields to new aprons

    #71 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    Locked to location pins only according to George

    Why specifically? Sounds like promotional challenges, achievements etc are all locked to location pins. Aside from score tracking, what else is there for the home collection? I may have missed that in the podcast

    Not locked to location according to the podcast. Both home and location have the same achievements, ability for promo challenges, etc. But the achievements will only show the 'verified' badge when they are done on location.

    #72 60 days ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Last thing I want is a game that has to be connected to the internet in order to play it. I don't see them going that way for now, but...

    They'd be stupid to require wifi to play and Im sure that would be a problem for a significant number of operators.

    10
    #73 60 days ago

    Hope the games will still function if you choose to disconnect it.

    #74 60 days ago

    I understand some concerns or skepticism, but I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt. Stern is leading the industry for a reason. I think this is a big step forward and I have high hopes. Looking forward to seeing more details as they are available.

    Also in the podcast he gives some nice hype for the upcoming Keith game in September.

    #75 60 days ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    Not locked to location according to the podcast. Both home and location have the same achievements, etc. But the achievements will only show the 'verified' badge when they are done on location.

    But the promotional challenges, giveaways, maybe even Stern shop or discounts could be tied to those...I'm sure verified pins only would benefit - It would be like the "real" recognized achievement...home ones won't hold credibility except for the home user...and personally, I don't care about personal video game achievements, in the same way I probably won't care about personal home pin achievements...it's only when they are tied to a multiplayer universe which sounds like only the on location players will benefit from

    11
    #76 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    I don't care about personal video game achievements, in the same way I probably won't care about personal home pin achievements...

    For me personally, I like the idea of "official" challenges within the existing ruleset to go for, I think it will give some games a little more life and might help to keep them fresh for longer. I'm not too worried about leaderboards or anything like that but I'm open to things that get me to play a game in a different way than I might otherwise play it. There is a lot of potential for what the design teams can do with this kind of connectivity, so I'm optimistic.

    For people that are interested: new content, for those that aren't: don't bother with it. Seems like a win-win to me.

    #77 60 days ago
    Quoted from joetechbob:

    There would obviously need to be some hand shaking between the game and Stern's back-end, but doesn't seem like it would be a big deal as the game could simply be in login mode and prompt you to scan the QR code on the apron with your phone*. In the end, you would end up in the same/similar state.

    QR codes can be pretty power full means to communicate data. You can pass all sorts of data within a QR code. They can store up to 4296 AlphaNumeric values representing Objects. So you can communicate a lot o info with them. I believe there are also 3D / Holographic QRs in the works that have even
    more storage. Outside of that you obviously going to need some secure account token that acts as an intermediary secure passage.

    This would be cool if Matchplay or other tools could leverage some of this to document scoring on site as well. This just made my day with all the Negative crap out there some good news!!

    #78 60 days ago

    Just heard GG mention on the podcast that "full access" insiders will potentially have more "play stuff" (starting at around the 43 min mark). Not sure exactly what this "play stuff" will be, but it is pretty obvious that one of the end goals of this is to create a solid subscription revenue stream for Stern.

    Good for the business, sucks for the players. I don't want to end up in the situation where the 10k machine I just bought needs another $4.99 a month to get a complete game experience.

    #79 60 days ago

    Name seems like a mouthful, from a marketing standpoint. I get that they want to leverage their existing Insider thing, so maybe "Insider Connect" instead, save a syllable? Ship has sailed either way, so this is just Monday morning quarterbacking.

    P.S. Hi ZY! Looking forward to some monstrous art this fall.

    27
    #80 60 days ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    I don't want to end up in the situation where the 10k machine I just bought needs another $4.99 a month to get a complete game experience.

    The moment this happens, I never buy another new game. Out.

    #81 60 days ago
    Quoted from shaub:

    For me personally, I like the idea of "official" challenges within the existing ruleset to go for, I think it will give some games a little more life and might help to keep them fresh for longer. I'm not too worried about leaderboards or anything like that but I'm open to things that get me to play a game in a different way than I might otherwise play it. There is a lot of potential for what the design teams can do with this kind of connectivity, so I'm optimistic.
    For people that are interested: new content, for those that aren't: don't bother with it. Seems like a win-win to me.

    The challenge thing would be okay for a personal goal, but part of challenge/achievement appeal is using them outside the home. Think a game like Call of Duty...building up your play progress affords you player skins, weapons, profile upgrades that are window dressing for your online Avatar. I'm not sure how many pinball people are into that though. For operators this injects some newness and connectivity but for the home player, it doesn't sound like much. I would love if they could incorporate some sort off glass off sensor system and make the real/verified achievements available to the home user as well...Location play isn't really my thing...then you could incorporate daily and weekly challenges like video games do which would build your user profile in various ways. Heck maybe even add gameplay modifiers, although they probably wouldn't affect existing coded games

    #82 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    I would love if they could incorporate some sort off glass off sensor system and make the real/verified achievements available to the home user as well...Location play isn't really my thing...then you could incorporate daily and weekly challenges like video games do which would build your user profile in various ways

    Funny I thought of that as well. Like the game will " know " when the glass is off. Would be a cool thing if they could pull that off.

    #83 60 days ago
    Quoted from zombieyeti:

    FWIW - I was a round one Xbox Live Beta Tester and am a HUGE lifetime gamer in general ...Gamertag YourMom and PSNID YourMom
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    With that said - I can assure you the platform is much larger than just stat tracking and braggin rights (although that is certainly there!) - GG and team surprised the hell out of me on this.
    Super excited for what's in store!

    Quoted from zombieyeti:

    There's way more than what's being discussed or shown - be patient

    I’m hoping this isn’t a huge dumpster fire akin to Microsoft’s horribly bungled Xbox One launch. That was a disaster and left a bad taste with players.

    “Oh it will be required to be online! ...wait no we’re removing that. Oh you can play discs... wait no digital only BUT you still have to have the disc inserted. You MUST have the connect installed... wait that’s not popular never mind”

    Achievements and all that stuff is cool, but the problem is that forced achievements RUINED gaming. I haven’t turned on my PS4 in over 2 years because of shovel-ware nonsensical achievements.

    They are pats on the back “wow you actually got to chapter 2! Achievements yay!”

    Wtf that used to be called PLAYING THE GAME. Now simply firing it up is an achievement? It’s meaningless.
    I went fully to Nintendo because there are no achievements. You simply enjoy your GD game! I have beaten BOTW 7 times now, and it never gets old. And I don’t have dumb, pointless achievements popping up for every action.

    I worry this will encourage total crap simply because the space can be filled. It should have a MEANINGFUL pinball-centric community. It’s why I love Pindigo and don’t bother with Scorbit. Pindigo tracks my locations I’ve played, scores on those games and how many machines I’ve played. That’s all I want!

    We don’t need silly extras and “connectivity” because the average bar-user at large won’t even understand it. I had someone at my local bar come up to me and say “wow there’s a Boba Fett pinball machine?? Crazy they must’ve made this like 20 years ago!”
    People are so stupid they don’t even realize brand new pinball machines are actually brand new, made this year. So the idea that they’ll figure out all these QR code’s and signing in is a stretch.

    #84 60 days ago
    Quoted from ExSquid:

    Funny I thought of that as well. Like the game will " know " when the glass is off. Would be a cool thing if they could pull that off.

    Probably would require some special glass with embedded sensors that would only work with specific IR or prox sensors...yeah not sure how they would/could pull it off...which is why they probably limited this "verified" idea to location play

    #85 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    Probably would require some special glass with embedded sensors that would only work with specific IR or prox sensors...yeah not sure how they would/could pull it off...which is why they probably limited this "verified" idea to location play

    Yeah, its pretty much wishful thinking but would be cool nonetheless.

    #86 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    I would love if they could incorporate some sort off glass off sensor system and make the real/verified achievements available to the home user as well...Location play isn't really my thing...then you could incorporate daily and weekly challenges like video games do which would build your user profile in various ways. Heck maybe even add gameplay modifiers, although they probably wouldn't affect existing coded games

    Agreed. It would be a bummer if there were some cool achievement promos that I couldn't get with a game that I actually own in my house. Gomez said this was to drive people to play at locations and give you something more for paying to play so it doesn't look like something like this will be implemented.

    #87 60 days ago

    It would be cool if they could incorporate some type of head to head/matchmaking capabilities to this. Thinking about it though this might be a challenge with latency, etc.

    #88 60 days ago
    Quoted from ExSquid:

    Funny I thought of that as well. Like the game will " know " when the glass is off. Would be a cool thing if they could pull that off.

    Somebody would 100% figure out how to 'hack' that in a very short timeframe. I don't think Stern is going to invest any sort of R&D money into an anti-glass-off detection system.

    I do think that it would be nice if there was some sort of solution though. It's a bit of a bummer that home users won't be able to get the same kind of achievement 'prestige' as location players.

    #89 60 days ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    The moment this happens, I never buy another new game. Out.

    With the rumored price increases I might be out anyway. Its getting harder to justify the expenditure even to myself.

    #90 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    Probably would require some special glass with embedded sensors that would only work with specific IR or prox sensors...yeah not sure how they would/could pull it off...which is why they probably limited this "verified" idea to location play

    I'd guess that no matter what they might try to do as a sensor to validate that the glass is on, people could come up with a way to spoof the sensor. Seems like the verified on location vs. unverified at home is a good compromise. That way you can still go after the achievements at home for fun.

    #91 60 days ago

    I just don't get why this thing has a QR code scanner ...

    Is it so that the machine doesn't need an internet connection?

    You log in on your phone, scan the QR code on the game with your phone. Your phone uploads the data to the server. The machine checks the server and sees that you logged in and want to play. When your game finishes, the game uploads the data about the game back to the server, and it's associated with your account. Your phone checks the server and you can look at and interact with your game results.

    That's how I would expect it to work.

    #92 60 days ago
    Quoted from JayTeeF:

    It would be cool if they could incorporate some type of head to head/matchmaking capabilities to this. Thinking about it though this might be a challenge with latency, etc.

    I'm pretty sure that's a big part of the plan with this

    #93 60 days ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    Somebody would 100% figure out how to 'hack' that in a very short timeframe. I don't think Stern is going to invest any sort of R&D money into an anti-glass-off detection system.
    I do think that it would be nice if there was some sort of solution though. It's a bit of a bummer that home users won't be able to get the same kind of achievement 'prestige' as location players.

    Oh no doubt!!! would definitely happen. I'm just really looking forward to see what the home owners get. I love the idea of working towards achievements and whatever else they have in store. I don't see how them giving us more longevity to our games is a bad thing. It doesn't seem like its "required" so no problem for me either way.

    #94 60 days ago

    will there be a monthly fee ?

    #95 60 days ago
    Quoted from proco:

    I just don't get why this thing has a QR code scanner ...
    Is it so that the machine doesn't need an internet connection?
    You log in on your phone, scan the QR code on the game with your phone. Your phone uploads the data to the server. The machine checks the server and sees that you logged in and want to play. When your game finishes, the game uploads the data about the game back to the server, and it's associated with your account. Your phone checks the server and you can look at and interact with your game results.
    That's how I would expect it to work.

    The game will be connected to wifi. It's in the podcast. The QR code was used to keep things simple and not have yet another device such as bluetooth / NFC to troubleshoot connectivity with.

    https://sternpinball.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SIPP-GG-Stern-Insider-Connected.pdf

    #96 60 days ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    The game will be connected to wifi. It's in the podcast. The QR code was used to keep things simple and not have yet another device such as bluetooth / NFC to troubleshoot connectivity with.

    He just means that it seems bass ackwards, as the phone/app could've been the QR scanner instead of the game. I'm sure they have their reasons, but on the surface it seems to make the solution a lot more complex and expensive.

    #97 60 days ago
    Quoted from EaglePin:

    I'd guess that no matter what they might try to do as a sensor to validate that the glass is on, people could come up with a way to spoof the sensor. Seems like the verified on location vs. unverified at home is a good compromise. That way you can still go after the achievements at home for fun.

    Hopefully they allow the full arsenal to home users...If that means putting an asterisk by the achievements or challenges, I guess that's a fair compromise. It's definitly a tricky proposal for a machine tied to the virtual world versus a console where everything can be controlled

    #98 60 days ago
    Quoted from JayTeeF:

    It would be cool if they could incorporate some type of head to head/matchmaking capabilities to this. Thinking about it though this might be a challenge with latency, etc.

    Also it conceptually doesn’t make any sense. Two people looking at two entirely different machines with entirely different physical things happening. This isn’t Fortnite or Mario Kart where you are live interacting with players in the same world & can see each other & interact. Pinball is “you vs. machine”. What someone else is doing on another machine somewhere else isn’t going to add any element of viable gameplay or fun for anyone. At best it’ll just seem like nothing is happening, at worst it’ll be confusing and annoying to have “a ghost” affecting your game somehow.

    Not to mention how a limited user base would even make a matchup almost impossible. Online games only work if there are multi-millions of players….won’t work with hundreds.

    Stern has this right by doing a stats & achievement approach. You can’t turn multiple physical machines into an online video game. …and yes, I know Gerry’s done it with Cosmic Cart. How’s that working out for the 6 people who have it? Not a needle-mover. Not a compelling gaming experience.

    #99 60 days ago
    Quoted from JayTeeF:

    It would be cool if they could incorporate some type of head to head/matchmaking capabilities to this. Thinking about it though this might be a challenge with latency, etc.

    If you wanted to do heads up-style timed challenges, I don't see why this Insider Connected system couldn't handle that. Set the challenge, start a timer on the screen to plunge and then just compare the times to complete the challenge when both players have completed it. Then you could show a challenge completed screen which compares both players completion times.

    The main issue with this would be whether you trust your opponent isn't cheating which would be a far bigger issue in random matchmaking type situations.

    #100 60 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    Hopefully they allow the full arsenal to home users...If that means putting an Asterick by the achievements or challenges, I guess that's a fair compromise. It's definitly a tricky proposal for a machine tied to the virtual world versus a console where everything can be controlled

    From what George said on the podcast, that will be the case.

    Obviously free game or loyalty type of promos really only make sense in the location pinball world. But i wouldn't doubt that the home user will be able to setup their own promos to reward family/friends that come over to the game room.

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