(Topic ID: 299309)

Stern Insider Connected

By anathematize

57 days ago


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    #101 57 days ago

    So Stern is installing a QR code so you can pay a subscription to argue about pinball on a Stern forum? Genius

    #102 57 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    I went fully to Nintendo because there are no achievements.
    And I don’t have dumb, pointless achievements popping up for every action.

    I have some bad news for you: https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/isochronic_frost/achievements

    #103 57 days ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    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

    But they don't keep it simple. They add yet another device with a QR code scanner when they can totally do it without one. They need a wifi dongle (which they include with the kit anyways) and the rest is software and an internet connection (which they need anyways for their current approach).

    20
    #104 57 days ago

    Online play is meh... absolutely zero safeguards to take the glass off and go crazy. All games are set up differently with the pitch and outlanes. Matchmaking would also be a huge shit-storm with even a hit game selling less than 5000 units. And that's presuming all 5k games have this upgrade.

    Unless they develop a sensor that sees if the glass if off, and calibrates the pitch, and sees where the outlanes are... the whole online play thing is a non-starter for me.

    Lastly, if this opens the doors to paid achievements and DLC then have fun with that I guess!

    #105 57 days ago
    Quoted from proco:

    But they don't keep it simple. They add yet another device with a QR code scanner when they can totally do it without one. They need a wifi dongle (which they include with the kit anyways) and the rest is software and an internet connection (which they need anyways for their current approach).

    Gotcha. I have scorbit now so I can see pros/cons of both methods.

    #106 57 days ago
    Quoted from shaub:

    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.

    I've been hoping they might be able to develop a system where you can play head-to-head against someone else from home, and when it's the other player's turn your LCD would just show what's being shown on the LCD of the other player. That way you can see what's going on in that person's game as it happens. You wouldn't be able to see the other person's playfield unless it was a friend and you did a Zoom type of call with them, but seeing the LCD display of another person's game seems like it could be a decent/substitute way to open up head-to-head play against anyone who's logged in. Just pie in the sky thinking though.

    #107 57 days ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    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.

    Oh man, it would be awesome if in the home environment you could have games auto linked to QR codes/Insider Profiles so that you don't have to scan anything just select from a short list of pre-linked profiles. AND THEN, also allow for different rules difficulties for different profiles. Like if you could go into the adjustments and create specific difficulty profiles: Level 1, 2, 3 and factory for example and then set those difficulties for individual profiles.

    In my opinion, that would be a cool way to add some real value for home users.

    -1
    #108 57 days ago
    Quoted from EaglePin:

    I've been hoping they might be able to develop a system where you can play head-to-head against someone else from home, and when it's the other player's turn your LCD would just show what's being shown on the LCD of the other player. That way you can see what's going on in that person's game as it happens. You wouldn't be able to see the other person's playfield unless it was a friend and you did a Zoom type of call with them, but seeing the LCD display of another person's game seems like it could be a decent/substitute way to open up head-to-head play against anyone who's logged in. Just pie in the sky thinking though.

    How would seeing someone else’s LCD add any fun to what you’re doing? It’s hard enough to pay attention to all the stuff on the LCD for your own game…that would just be confusing and difficult to try to pay attention to someone else’s & try to figure out how that relates to what you’re up to.

    #109 57 days ago

    QR scanner on machine reads your unique QR from your app to log you into the machine, not many other considerations, 1 to 1.

    The other options would have more fail points, considerations, development efforts for what is supposed to be the simple part of the solution and allow them to spend more time developing new features/releases for the app.

    What if multiple people are connected to the machine on location with their phones? Don't need to worry about network related connection issues, handling of additional logic to have to go back and forth between devices a few times to validate the appropriate user that is playing.

    #110 57 days ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    Online play is meh... absolutely zero safeguards to take the glass off and go crazy. All games are set up differently with the pitch and outlanes. Matchmaking would also be a huge shit-storm with even a hit game selling less than 5000 units. And that's presuming all 5k games have this upgrade.
    Unless they develop a sensor that sees if the glass if off, and calibrates the pitch, and sees where the outlanes are... the whole online play thing is a non-starter for me.
    Lastly, if this opens the doors to paid achievements and DLC then have fun with that I guess!

    This is why we stick to the classics

    #111 57 days ago

    I have yet to listen to the podcast or dive real deep into it so I may be speaking a little prematurely but the challenge quest, player loyalty and rewards from location pinball seem to ring very familiar. PINQUEST maybe???? I know the connectivity does a ton more but hate to see a hobbiest put a ton into something and have there idea copied. Again I could completely be wrong so correct me if I am.

    #112 57 days ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    How would seeing someone else’s LCD add any fun to what you’re doing? It’s hard enough to pay attention to all the stuff on the LCD for your own game…that would just be confusing and difficult to try to pay attention to someone else’s & try to figure out how that relates to what you’re up to.

    I was thinking of it as when it's the other player's turn to play a ball, you wouldn't be playing and you'd see on your screen what's happening on their screen. Then when their ball is done you play your ball. Like I said, pie in the sky thinking off the top of my head and haven't really thought it through.

    #113 57 days ago

    You mean you don't need an ipad infused to your lockdown bar to do something like this?!

    Interesting!

    #114 57 days ago

    On Pinside I’m not playing a machine, I’m on a “social media”-esque website whose sole purpose seems to be hyping or tanking the latest games. The achievements on Pinside are secondary anyway, and Robin is overhauling it. But to my original point: I’m not playing a pinball machine with this post, so those achievements aren’t related

    #115 57 days ago
    Quoted from Gotfrogs:

    So I guess LE owners have to remove one of their special insets to add this QR reader if they want to add this feature to their machine? I wish they would have taken another route. Scorbit does the same thing but does not require a reader on the pinball machine.

    Stern won't do that much of a user involved install. They will likely sell it as a full apron that replaces your apron similar to the UV kit for Stranger Things. I don't see them sending you just the QR scanner for you to install on your existing apron. I could be wrong.

    #116 57 days ago

    I don’t want this. And I definitely don’t want a price increase that could be used to justify it.

    #117 57 days ago
    Quoted from shaub:

    Oh man, it would be awesome if in the home environment you could have games auto linked to QR codes/Insider Profiles so that you don't have to scan anything just select from a short list of pre-linked profiles. AND THEN, also allow for different rules difficulties for different profiles. Like if you could go into the adjustments and create specific difficulty profiles: Level 1, 2, 3 and factory for example and then set those difficulties for individual profiles.
    In my opinion, that would be a cool way to add some real value for home users.

    Now that would be great...kids scan their phone and it's set to an easier level for example

    #118 57 days ago
    Quoted from Hollywoodbone:

    I have yet to listen to the podcast or dive real deep into it so I may be speaking a little prematurely but the challenge quest, player loyalty and rewards from location pinball seem to ring very familiar. PINQUEST maybe???? I know the connectivity does a ton more but hate to see a hobbiest put a ton into something and have there idea copied. Again I could completely be wrong so correct me if I am.

    There is definitely some overlap in the achievement/quest related functionality but with Stern being the manufacture of the game they are going to have the ability to go so much beyond what a third-party can do and it will all be a part of the game development/code development process from step one.

    All of the operator functionality for example could never be implemented by a third-party as easily as Stern can.

    Its probably a death knell for Pinquest when it comes to Stern but there are plenty of other games out there that can still benefit from that platform.

    #119 57 days ago
    Quoted from GorillaBiscuits:

    Online play is meh... absolutely zero safeguards to take the glass off and go crazy. All games are set up differently with the pitch and outlanes. Matchmaking would also be a huge shit-storm with even a hit game selling less than 5000 units. And that's presuming all 5k games have this upgrade.
    Unless they develop a sensor that sees if the glass if off, and calibrates the pitch, and sees where the outlanes are... the whole online play thing is a non-starter for me.
    Lastly, if this opens the doors to paid achievements and DLC then have fun with that I guess!

    This was exactly my gripe about the streamed head-to-head competitions that were held.

    #120 57 days ago
    Quoted from RatShack:

    This was exactly my gripe about the streamed head-to-head competitions that were held.

    The last few were played on the exact same machine at different times, and composited to appear live.

    #121 57 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    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.

    I wouldn't called it bungled. There was backlash from players, which made Microsoft change their plans. I wish they would have stuck with their original ideas. Console gamers are the most uninformed knee-jerk reactive players out there.

    #122 57 days ago

    So supposedly going to be inexpensive... so a pre-programmed Stern licensed wifi dongle that you hook up via app for a game port maybe?

    #123 57 days ago
    Quoted from RatShack:

    This was exactly my gripe about the streamed head-to-head competitions that were held.

    The PinClash stuff is pretty fair, in my opinion. The qualifying attempts are required to be live streamed so you see the glass is on and the player isn't cheating, plus the qualifying round objectives arent really based on keeping the ball alive for longer so pitch and tilt sensitivity aren't as big of a deal. But even those are verified for the actual tournament so I think its actually a pretty poor example.

    #124 57 days ago
    Quoted from robotron:

    how many gonna play with glass off

    Aside from that there are still a lot of variables from game to game even on location....playfield pitch....outlane settings.....and so many more. Am I crazy? Just trying to understand this.

    Edit: This point was raised above...just seeing it....

    #125 57 days ago
    Quoted from Palmer:

    I wouldn't called it bungled. There was backlash from players, which made Microsoft change their plans. I wish they would have stuck with their original ideas. Console gamers are the most uninformed knee-jerk reactive players out there.

    Exactly, the console community is so toxic. Literally any move made is the sky falling.

    #126 57 days ago

    from the podcast transcript the part that seems interesting to me is being able to analyze all the things you accomplished in a game, post game. Like I see people making comments "I can't remember hitting the Raptor multi-ball in awhile - I wonder if something is wrong with that drop target at the back" and you'll be able to see the analytics of the game and say "Oh, last time I hit it was 3 weeks ago", or I had a really high score but not sure what exactly I did to get it and you'll be able to see "oh, I had a 2x multiplier when I hit this shot", etc. That won't be out originally but I can totally see them giving that sort of functionality over time.

    My big concern, as someone who is expecting a Jurassic Park Premium in December run, is what it's going to do to the cost (I know an increase is coming - but how much) and what it's going to do with the custom audio/video code. I'm sure they will be prohibiting it going forward, but I'm curious if I turn off wifi updates if I'll still be able to mod the code as I see fit. I'm expecting the worst here honestly.

    #127 57 days ago

    This is probably a sneaky way of adding advertising into your game. You're in the middle of a multiball and the LCD suddenly switches to an insurance commercial.

    #128 57 days ago
    Quoted from insight75:

    Aside from that there are still a lot of variables from game to game even on location....playfield pitch....outlane settings.....and so many more. Am I crazy? Just trying to understand this.
    Edit: This point was raised above...just seeing it....

    I mean, I think at a certain point competitive pinball players just need to live with this. It isn't an e-sports competition or even a casual multiplayer game of Counter Strike.

    Unless a ton of technology gets added to machines that really isn't relevant to most pinball owners, there will be absolutely nothing that can assure that any two games are setup exactly the same. And even then there are variables that will make them play differently. I don't think anything will ever replace a competition (even for just high scores) that takes place on the same game or bank of games.

    #129 57 days ago
    Quoted from bdaddy:

    what it's going to do with the custom audio/video code. I'm sure they will be prohibiting it going forward, but I'm curious if I turn off wifi updates if I'll still be able to mod the code as I see fit. I'm expecting the worst here honestly.

    I have a JP with the custom code as well. My assumption is we won't be able to use custom code with this :/

    #130 57 days ago

    I remember when my achievements lived only as memories in my head... like turning over Pinbot 5 times, or having a 9.5 billion score on BOP, or that time I double turned over my Central Park. I enjoy having a high score table on my machines, but this system isn't something I need, want, or care to pay for. There was a reason there were so many single player titles back in the day. Pinball is something enjoyed solo by a lot of people.

    12
    #131 57 days ago
    Quoted from jandrea95:

    Exactly, the console community is so toxic. Literally any move made is the sky falling.

    Good thing the pinball community is not like that at all! /s

    #132 57 days ago

    Can we get pinside integration so that we don't have to stop looking at pinside when playing pinball? I hardly play anymore because it takes me away from pinside.

    #133 57 days ago
    Quoted from bdaddy:

    My big concern, as someone who is expecting a Jurassic Park Premium in December run, is what it's going to do to the cost (I know an increase is coming - but how much) and what it's going to do with the custom audio/video code. I'm sure they will be prohibiting it going forward, but I'm curious if I turn off wifi updates if I'll still be able to mod the code as I see fit. I'm expecting the worst here honestly.

    The price increase is $1k and you won't be able to run the movie code with the connected stuff running

    #134 57 days ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    How would you associate game plays to players with just a QR code on the game?

    That's why you have a transaction in the cloud and the game and players request meet up there.

    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    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.

    Online connectivity is table stakes these days... they should add what is going to be hundreds of dollars in operator cost per game just so they can have temporary off-line functionality? That doesn't make sense IMO.

    The game can reach out to the cloud and setup a websocket or callback... and the player can initiate a transaction from their device to the cloud telling the service which game you are requesting to interact with. The game can get everything it needs to know about you from the cloud... and you can do any number of easy proximity checks to authenticate the game selection.

    This took what would have been a simple $30 USB dongle retrofit kit to now what will probably be a $150-$200 retrofit kit.

    #135 57 days ago

    I'm not paying for nor connecting any of my pins to a subscription service. I don't play in-person pinball tournaments nor am I interested in competing against virtual strangers on leaderboards. I only play single player games on my PC too, nothing multiplayer, online or anything that needs me to create an account. Certainly I'm not in the targeted demographic.

    Still will follow this to see the end result, but count me out from participating. George isn't getting adoption from this fella.

    #136 57 days ago
    Quoted from Only_Pinball:

    The price increase is $1k and you won't be able to run the movie code with the connected stuff running

    yea, but is there any nuance to that? Meaning if I turn off the online stuff (disconnect from wifi) can I put in the SD card with the movie code, then when I want the connected mode I just put in the normal card and turn wifi back on?

    I'm personally not against the default code so even if I can't do it I'll enjoy the game just fine, but was hoping for the option at least.

    #137 57 days ago
    Quoted from bdaddy:

    yea, but is there any nuance to that? Meaning if I turn off the online stuff (disconnect from wifi) can I put in the SD card with the movie code, then when I want the connected mode I just put in the normal card and turn wifi back on?

    That's the hope! We likely won't have the answer for a bit.

    #138 57 days ago
    Quoted from bdaddy:

    yea, but is there any nuance to that? Meaning if I turn off the online stuff (disconnect from wifi) can I put in the SD card with the movie code, then when I want the connected mode I just put in the normal card and turn wifi back on?
    I'm personally not against the default code so even if I can't do it I'll enjoy the game just fine, but was hoping for the option at least.

    Problem will be that most of the time they update code they also update the node boards that get flashed.
    switching SD-Cards will then result in a continous reflashing of the nodeboards. What i do not think to healthy.

    If someone does an a new movie integration in the new images that will come and a disabled wifi in one image and online on the other that may work.

    #139 57 days ago
    Quoted from smokedog:

    Good thing the pinball community is not like that at all! /s

    Ha, touche, but this community is exponentially less toxic.

    #140 57 days ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    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.

    Uhh.. no

    There is NOTHING secure about QR codes - their purpose in life is to be a substitute for typing/data entry. They are not any form of authentication.

    Anything the platform can do via QR codes you could do via prompts or challenges and the app. Game displays code, you enter it into your app... etc.

    The main thing the scanner would offer is to be an INPUT device... and that is something I really question why the user needs to input something into the game itself when both the game and app can be talking to the same cloud. Things that need input (like admin access, reset, setup, etc) can be things you can limit to tasks that require physical access (use the USB port, portals menu, etc).

    #141 57 days ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    That's why you have a transaction in the cloud and the game and players request meet up there.

    Online connectivity is table stakes these days... they should add what is going to be hundreds of dollars in operator cost per game just so they can have temporary off-line functionality? That doesn't make sense IMO.
    The game can reach out to the cloud and setup a websocket or callback... and the player can initiate a transaction from their device to the cloud telling the service which game you are requesting to interact with. The game can get everything it needs to know about you from the cloud... and you can do any number of easy proximity checks to authenticate the game selection.
    This took what would have been a simple $30 USB dongle retrofit kit to now what will probably be a $150-$200 retrofit kit.

    From the other point of view...you're assuming the user has decent cell service inside a location or the location has guest wifi available. I know I don't get great service in many locations and I don't like connecting to some random insecure wifi. With this being wifi from the game, the location/operator only has to worry about the game connected to their wifi and takes the end user device out of the equation.

    #142 57 days ago
    Quoted from joetechbob:

    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.

    What if they dont have a phone? (believe it or not, some people dont or at least dont have smart phones. I work in IT at a college and when we tried to roll out 2FA it was crazy how many dont). Now all you have to do is log in to a computer and print off a QR code. Seems like a good decision to me. This way nobody is excluded.

    10
    #143 57 days ago
    Quoted from EaglePin:

    I was thinking of it as when it's the other player's turn to play a ball, you wouldn't be playing and you'd see on your screen what's happening on their screen. Then when their ball is done you play your ball. Like I said, pie in the sky thinking off the top of my head and haven't really thought it through.

    How would that be fun? My time is precious...if I'm playing pinball and there's no one else in the room, the last thing I want to do is sit there and stare at my machine, showing me on the LCD what someone else somewhere else is doing. If the goal of this theoretical head-to-head is reaching milestones or high scores...it would be more logical to just be on some leaderboard or friend group through this connectivity...and then just look on the app to compare your goals/scores occasionally vs. "playing live".

    #144 57 days ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Online connectivity is table stakes these days... they should add what is going to be hundreds of dollars in operator cost per game just so they can have temporary off-line functionality? That doesn't make sense IMO.

    The network is reliable is the #1 fallacy of distributed computing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacies_of_distributed_computing

    Agree with you that adding hardware costs is a questionable decision but Stern believes in this concept enough to at least find a UX that allows for the machine to store and send the game data when the machine is offline so it can send the data when the machine goes back online. Remember a lot of these machines are being setup in basements, rural areas and countries with poor ISPs, so network connectivity is not a given.

    #145 57 days ago
    Quoted from BrewNinja:

    What if they dont have a phone? (believe it or not, some people dont or at least dont have smart phones. I work in IT at a college and when we tried to roll out 2FA it was crazy how many dont). Now all you have to do is log in to a computer and print off a QR code. Seems like a good decision to me. This way nobody is excluded.

    If a person can fork over $6K-$10K on a pinball machine, they can afford a phone. Otherwise they can't play.

    caddyshack-judge.gif
    #146 57 days ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    From the other point of view...you're assuming the user has decent cell service inside a location or the location has guest wifi available.

    Again, that's what we mean by table stakes. I could also make the argument "well you are assuming they have electricity... what if they don't..." . That's what table stakes means -- it's the minimum we assume everyone can provide.

    Cell phone coverage is ubitious - and almost as much with open wifi. If I'm an op with 4 pinballs in the room, if there was no open wifi, I could buy a $80 router and add it to the location just for this cheaper than buying $200 kits for every game. And the problem of internet access is only going to go DOWN in severity over time... not get worse. Yet here we've made an architecture decision that should stand for years.

    Quoted from gblack:

    I know I don't get great service in many locations and I don't like connecting to some random insecure wifi. With this being wifi from the game, the location/operator only has to worry about the game connected to their wifi and takes the end user device out of the equation.

    I bet $5 the app is gonna want internet access itself to work

    #147 57 days ago
    Quoted from Guinnesstime:

    If a person can fork over $6K-$10K on a pinball machine, they can afford a phone. Otherwise they can't play.[quoted image]

    Lots of location players don’t own any games.

    #148 57 days ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    The network is reliable is the #1 fallacy of distributed computing.

    Poor choice to die on here.

    1) We're talking fixed locations
    2) We're talking microscopic transactions - not 4k streaming media - we don't need high quality internet, just something that a few RESTful TCP https posts can survive
    3) The whole thing is about being 'connected' -- Do you want to cripple adoption just to build for resiliency where the real game still works even without network?

    Plus, the game (or app) is still going to require network somehwere... scanner or not -- so trying to make it work in a complete island scenario is over engineering.

    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    Remember a lot of these machines are being setup in basements, rural areas and countries with poor ISPs, so network connectivity is not a given.

    We're making decisions based on the belief that the guys buying $8-12k toys can't afford to get wifi to their game room?
    Or that we are putting $8-10k location pinballs in the random corner of rural america truck stops?

    80/20 people... don't let the tail wag the dog.

    There needs to be some other use case they are embracing besides 'network resiliency' -- That's a horrible choice to cripple your adoption for in 2021... network access is only going to get better every day going forward.

    #149 57 days ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    How would that be fun?

    This^

    Exactly. I see no way to play "Head to Head" across the network except to monitor balls played, score, and achievements completed while simultaneously playing a game. And I agree, standing and looking at the display for a half hour while getting my butt kicked is something I reserve for in-person play on a single machine. If we both have the same machine why would we wait for the other player to play a ball and let one machine sit idle?!? And how much would we care about the outcome if we see we are getting clipped at double our score? I am sure the casual player would just punch up another game and forget he had started a head to head match... so good players would always be seeing <Other player has left the game> Sounds like a blast of fun

    #150 57 days ago

    Any idea whether this will allow things like per-user high scores or per-user game settings? I remember Predator was talking this up in their design. It'd be awesome for each player to be able to have their own high scores on the game (or last 50 players or something), and to set it up so that if my kids scan, the game will go to extra easy or something (without having to always change the audits).

    Also, if you're just scanning a QR code to ID yourself to the game, wouldn't that be easy enough to print out and have on a card or something if you didn't have a phone? Again, could be a way to set it up for the kids.

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