(Topic ID: 299309)

Stern Insider Connected

By anathematize

50 days ago


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    #151 50 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.

    You think the person playing $1/play for entertainment ... but doesn't have a phone... is still gonna care about online features??

    I appreciate your 2FA story, but the elephant in that room is 'having a phone' vs 'having a phone I'm willing/able to let you install YOUR enterprise stuff on'.

    #152 50 days ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    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

    There are so many ways a game's setup can affect play.

    I have a Twilight Zone. The slot machine eject will slowly wander (over multiple games) from the middle of right flipper to the tip, depending on the rotation of the kickout plunger.

    If it's kicking to the middle, you can let it bounce right to left and back to right for a super easy trap. If it's kicking to the tip, you have to flip the ball away on the fly or lose it. In-between YMMV.

    If the game is playing like the former, you can score billions relatively easily. If the latter, a few hundred million becomes challenging.

    Then there's things like flipper hop, flipper angles, sling sensitivity... hell, that last one can make any game killer if set just right. Deaden the slings instead and you can rack up points.

    Anything involving H2H competition on more than one example of a machine is severely flawed IMHO but the rest of the online features look neat.

    #153 50 days ago

    Juice this sucker into the IFPA scoring software, MatchPlay, etc and I'm in. Players scan their QR code before they start and when the game is over, the scores are automatically uploaded. No more sheets or running around taking pictures of the display.

    #154 50 days ago

    Maybe you set phone on game or scan when you play and it can tell it is you for a tournament. Everything could be ran without scorekeepers??? There is a lot of awesome potential. Game updates. Special modes on Christmas day? Or other holidays? I am curious what they will do with it. Maybe only location games need a reader?

    #155 50 days ago
    Quoted from flynnibus: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.

    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.

    It's a business decision dude and Stern made the decision that "table stakes" was not needing their users to need an internet connection. Again, I actually agree with you but for most IoT products Stern's decision to support offline is the norm especially when you have an HMI involved.

    To answer your points directly.
    1. Fixed locations helps wifi for reliability because you don't typically have handoffs and hops but see fallacy 5. Nothing stops the network topology around a static location from changing. ISPs can and do change the network. Locations can and do change their network equipment and in leased buildings it might be unknown and not under their control.
    2. Most IoT doesn't use REST because HTTP is fat. MQTT, COAP, binary or protocol buffers are the norm.
    3. again a business decision that Stern believes getting game data is valuable enough to build more reliability than just a network

    #156 50 days ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

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

    Cool

    #157 50 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.

    This is exactly what the pinbar from DR was supposed to do.

    #158 50 days ago

    Yeah i never understood why they never set something up for Home Use Games where each user can login, just locally on the machine and track scores etc... Instead of saying Player One it would say "Mike" or whatever and track everything. Even if turned on at a location, setting up a simple username/pin in the machine itself, similar to how you enter your high score with flippers seems simple enough.

    #159 50 days ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    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 - as almost as much as 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.

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

    Both valid points for sure. Especially at larger locations even if the retrofit kits are $100 which I think everyone assumes they will be more than that.

    #160 50 days ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    It's a business decision dude and Stern made the decision that "table stakes" was not needing their users to need an internet connection. Again, I actually agree with you but for most IoT products Stern's decision to support offline is the norm especially when you have an HMI involved.
    To answer your points directly.
    1. Fixed locations helps wifi for reliability because you don't typically have handoffs and hops but see fallacy 5. Nothing stops the network topology around a static location from changing. ISPs can and do change the network. Locations can and do change their network equipment and in leased buildings it might be unknown and not under their control.
    2. Most IoT doesn't use REST because HTTP is fat. MQTT, COAP, binary or protocol buffers are the norm.
    3. again a business decision that Stern believes getting game data is valuable enough to build more reliability than just a network

    1. People get in their car EVERY DAY without ever looking at a map blindly trusting their GPS will tell them how to get there, knowing they need network for that to happen. If people can take that risk... then people can take the risk that their bar game of Deadpool may not have internet connectivity at some random time because 'the internet is unreliable'. People pay $80 for home entertainment games that won't work at all if internet isn't available... or any countless number of industries whose product is 100% dead without internet. You're not breaking any new ground by saying "this requires internet connectivity"
    2. Ok, so the problem of reliable network is EVEN LESS critical then if using https. So, even less of a concern...
    3. And that's what I'm calling into question. It was also Sterns 'business decision' to be YEARS late to the decision to kill DMD. It was also Stern's 'business decision' to be YEARS late to internet connectivity. Just because Stern made a decision doesn't really justify it... it's just a statement of history.

    I'm trying to be optimistic there is some use case/functionality that isn't obvious yet that validates this hardware. I say it again, if it's just for 'operation during internet outtage' that is a colossal fail that people with many machines will NOT want to pay for.

    #161 50 days ago
    Quoted from gblack:

    Both valid points for sure. Especially at larger locations even if the retrofit kits are $100 which I think everyone assumes they will be more than that.

    Blank Stern Aprons cost basically $90 now... without art, without any electronics, without any 'new cool feature!' value. I think my spitball estimate of $150 for kits is even low...

    #162 50 days ago

    I think it would have been nice to keep it as an optional extra/ mod

    #163 50 days ago

    Will it detect my Magic Spinner flying across the play field then reinstall it ? And the trough gate

    9D42817E-85F6-499A-9CEE-B38DEFF9B0FF (resized).jpegE19106CF-D807-483E-9291-293382E1EC0A (resized).jpeg
    #164 50 days ago
    Quoted from MJK-911:

    Will it detect my Magic Spinner flying across the play field then reinstall it ? And the trough gate
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    would be cool if a user could just submit a photo from their app and it automatically sent that and details to the game owner tho

    #165 50 days ago

    Hearing George talk about it, he definitely seems passionate for the platform.

    #166 50 days ago
    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.

    Home users that dont understand how to get a better signal in various areas of their homes are 100 percent not going to be doing anything like this anyway.

    #167 50 days ago

    I think we're saying the same things just differently flynnibus and debating semantics.

    My knee jerk reaction was why not just put a $5 bluetooth radio in the machines for us die hards and build a super rich experience. Stern obviously believes that getting an average person to download an app or signup on a website to track their games is incredibly valuable. So, they are going to jump through a a lot of hoops to make that happen including offloading all network requirements to their device. The addition of the QR scanner on the machine itself is curious though because in a morning it feels like we've already come up with 2-3 software only solutions already that seem comparable. The most curious use case they are supporting is the not needing a smart phone. I envy the people that don't need have a smart phone but that 1 use case seems to be the hard one to overcome without the need to get the user to identify their profile, in this case with a QR code.

    #168 50 days ago
    Quoted from shaub:

    The kit will include a new apron with a qr reader for Pros, and mostly just a qr reader for Prem/LE as well as a wifi dongle. George said he doesn't know price but said he emphasized that he doesn't want this to be focused on making profit because he wants widespread adoption.

    don't force people to buy an wifi dongle when they can use e-net (spike 1 does not have e-net on board)

    #169 50 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.

    Why on earth would any operator want the PAYING player to be able to CHOOSE EASIER SETTINGS? Obviously skilled players will simply choose easy settings and blow it up and play on the cheap. Sounds like a losing proposition for operators.

    Not to mention most bars I’ve been in have shit signal and no wifi, because it’s a BAR why would you be on your phone when you’re getting slammed, and socializing? You honestly don’t see many people on their phones at the bar, despite popular beliefs.
    Dirty Bathroom Selfies don’t count!

    #170 50 days ago

    I was really hoping this would come with a component that would allow for some sort of online head to head play with other players, or make setting up online tournaments really easy. I saw a dart board recently with a camera and screen attached at a bar where you could pair with others around the world. It would be a ton of fun to be able to do something similar.

    #171 50 days ago

    Like most new IT adventures...

    I look forward to the endless bitching and moaning about how poorly this will work/ be implemented when it comes out.

    #172 50 days ago

    Since I’ve been complaining, here are positive features I was thinking about that ALONE could make this great:

    •Easily setup tournaments/selfie leagues/cash prizes remotely.
    No more annoying RSVPing or trying to find your local league.

    •When the machine says “participate in the local tournaments” you can scan in and it TELLS you everything you need to know and lets you register live on-site.
    That would make on-the-fly/monthly tournament play more economical since availability among the limited player-base is a challenge these days.

    •Operator audits, check your app and know when to collect! no need to get off the couch till the coin box is full!

    •Tech Alerts - no more calling/texting numbers or harassing cryptic operators. They’ll be alerted and players can report issues as well.

    Give me those handful of features and this would be fantastic. Social media/Pinside-style forums not needed.

    12
    #173 50 days ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    I look forward to the end less bitching and moaning about how poorly this will work/ be implemented when it comes out.

    No waiting necessary, you just described 95% of the current thread.

    #174 50 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.

    It seems like a comparatively large expense/level of complexity to support what is likely a small segment of the community (phone-less) who would potentially use/care about this feature.

    Personally, if it's multiple hundreds of dollars to add to one machine, I will probably pass unless it's just insanely amazing. If it was tens of dollars, I probably would've bought if it was even mildly interesting...

    Plus, it's got to be partly responsible for the rumored price increases...I'd (naively) rather have the old cheaper pro w/ no connectivity.

    #175 50 days ago
    Quoted from joetechbob:

    Plus, it's got to be partly responsible for the rumored price increases

    Doesn't seem like a rumor anymore. A few dealers have the new prices posted. Pros at $6599 and premium at $8699

    #176 50 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Not to mention most bars I’ve been in have shit signal and no wifi, because it’s a BAR why would you be on your phone when you’re getting slammed, and socializing? You honestly don’t see many people on their phones at the bar, despite popular beliefs.
    Dirty Bathroom Selfies don’t count!

    No one calls an uber at these bars?
    None of these bars use online menus?
    No one uses text messages or smartphone apps at these bars?

    Are people familiar with the term 'corner case'? Yeah.. you don't let the 2% drive the 98%.

    Bars with no internet... ok, those will be bars with no online connectivity! Next problem please...

    -2
    #177 50 days ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    No one calls an uber at these bars?
    None of these bars use online menus?
    No one uses text messages or smartphone apps at these bars?
    Are people familiar with the term 'corner case'? Yeah.. you don't let the 2% drive the 98%.
    Bars with no internet... ok, those will be bars with no online connectivity! Next problem please...

    Are you not familiar with the groundbreaking concept? If the bar has bad signal, most people go outside. They typical call ubers or cabs outside. Plenty of these bars don’t serve food, if they do it’s a giant menu above the bar.

    Not sure what posh bars you are going to, but none of them have pinball machines lmao

    #178 50 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Are you not familiar with the groundbreaking concept? If the bar has bad signal, most people go outside. They typical call ubers or cabs outside. Plenty of these bars don’t serve food, if they do it’s a giant menu above the bar.
    Not sure what posh bars you are going to, but none of them have pinball machines lmao

    So this dive bar where people live off the grid... why do they care about online gaming features again? More so then the ability to even send important snaps, texts, etc?

    Is this really the center of the market Stern should be aiming for?

    It really sounds like the fact the games not being online in your bar is the least of any patron's concerns. For you as the op... invest in fixing the problem if it's a deal breaker for the location. I'm sure the bar's PoS system isn't running on carrier pigeons... nor is the real owner/staff happy to go outside whenever they need to talk to the outside world.

    #179 50 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    Why on earth would any operator want the PAYING player to be able to CHOOSE EASIER SETTINGS? Obviously skilled players will simply choose easy settings and blow it up and play on the cheap. Sounds like a losing proposition for operators.

    I suggested that as being in the home environment, not location. My whole post was about making this stuff valuable for owners and not just location players and operators.

    #180 50 days ago
    Quoted from davidlldennis:

    *Video games since 2004
    Haha

    Warbirds had a form of this back in the early 90's...

    #181 50 days ago

    I wish they would have just used the Scorbit platform. I don't want 50 f'n apps to log pinball scores.

    Being from a home automation and control system background, I absolutely loathed companies that created their own walled in ecosystem/app. You need this app for your TV, and this app for your receiver, and this app for your lights, and this app for your thermostat and this app for your security system. If it didn't have RS232 and an open protocol I wouldn't buy it/install it.

    #182 50 days ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    I'm sure the bar's PoS system isn't running on carrier pigeons...

    -1
    #183 50 days ago

    This is for people competing online etc? I dont really get the appeal of that since every machine is setup and plays differently.

    Its not really fair competition unless every player is on the same physical machine.

    I setup my games pretty tough so most people that are "good at" those games at their own house wont fare that well at mine.

    #184 50 days ago
    Quoted from The_Pump_House:

    I wish they would have just used the Scorbit platform. I don't want 50 f'n apps to log pinball scores.
    Being from a home automation and control system background, I absolutely loathed companies that created their own walled in ecosystem/app. You need this app for your TV, and this app for your receiver, and this app for your lights, and this app for your thermostat and this app for your security system. If it didn't have RS232 and an open protocol I wouldn't buy it/install it.

    I agree it seems they could have just made a wifi dongle and worked with Scorbit just like JJP and Spooky did. That would keep the same platform across the manufacturers and possibly making it better for all by combining ideas and development. Now there's an entirely different app that needs it's own developers etc.

    15
    #185 50 days ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Like most new IT adventures...
    I look forward to the endless bitching and moaning about how poorly this will work/ be implemented when it comes out.

    Visual summary thus far:
    pasted_image (resized).png

    #186 50 days ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    This is for people competing online etc? I dont really get the appeal of that since every machine is setup and plays differently.
    Its not really fair competition unless every player is on the same physical machine.
    I setup my games pretty tough so most people that are "good at" those games at their own house wont fare that well at mine.

    I think that is why Stern has billed this as more of an 'achievement/challenge/stats' type of system versus a head-to-head matchmaking type of system.

    Obviously its not perfect and i think everybody who understands pinball gets that. But its definitely something extra to work towards and breathes some new life into a game weather you are playing at home or on location.

    -3
    #187 50 days ago

    I hope this ties into a social media feed that displays all the luxury items Gary Stern is buying with pinflation.

    #188 50 days ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    I think that is why Stern has billed this as more of an 'achievement/challenge/stats' type of system ...

    Everything is achievements now, gotta roll with what the next wave is into.

    #189 50 days ago
    Quoted from RC_like_the_cola:

    Hearing George talk about it, he definitely seems passionate for the platform.

    Of course he is, he's been trying to shoehorn QR codes into pinball since Transformers.

    No offense to GG or any Stern folks reading. I know time marches on, technology waits for no man, whatever. I just think QR codes and apron scanners are ugly.

    #190 50 days ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    I just think QR codes and apron scanners are ugly.

    Not as ugly as on a block of goddamn wood on resutaunt tables....wtf!

    #191 50 days ago

    All this bitching and moaning about the QR code thing. Jeez guys. Is it really that hard to grasp?

    - Scorbit system: Machine needs the software/hardware, needs to be logged in, player needs a dedicated app and account and be logged in as well.

    - Stern system: Machine needs the software/hardware, needs to be logged in. Player only has to show QR code to the machine and does NOT need a specific app or even a phone, just an account.

    So less network overhead with Stern. I have Scorbit and it's ok. Similar service, different platform.

    #192 50 days ago

    Co-op online thoughts; let’s take Deadpool for example:
    • You notice your friend is on his last ball, you just lit your extra ball, press button on phone to transfer your lit extra ball to him.

    • you beat Juggernaut and your friend beat Mystique + Sabertooth; now you both battle Sauron simultaneously.

    • you light super jackpot and can transfer it to your buddies machine no matter where he is in the game and it becomes 2x super. If he had snikt at 5x he has a potential for a 10x super (it’s called fun).

    • you defeat megladon, buddy beats T-Rex and the other battles were complete. Now you team up on megakraklasaurus Rex.

    • your game is over but your buddy just got an extra ball and has 5 seconds to transfer it to you. Boom! You’re back in play.

    • and then obviously the inevitable, you get to MR sinister and both games stop for the animation and you battle it out together.

    • all this while getting teammate achievements and goals

    #193 50 days ago

    --

    The concept of achievements/challenges alone has me sold. Great way to help you re-engage with machines you think you've already "beaten" by encouraging you to go for different goals or play in different ways than you might otherwise. More dimension than simply shooting for high scores.

    Also a cool idea to make things more interesting for guests. Even if a guest plays a low-scoring game, they might knock off a few low-hanging achievements and feel that sense of accomplishment or progress that makes them want to play another game. I can imagine achievements would also double as a good learning tool for teaching you the mechanics of the ruleset in a more digestible way.

    Here for it!

    #194 50 days ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    No offense to GG or any Stern folks reading. I know time marches on, technology waits for no man, whatever. I just think QR codes and apron scanners are ugly.

    Come on, everyone is doing it.

    39D0C14B-7340-423B-8CFC-9DCDEF8A9400 (resized).png
    #195 50 days ago

    I'm not going to get lost in the details of how they implemented it or how they maybe should have implemented it. I'm just looking at it for what it is: news about a new system that offers a chance to have even more fun on the machines, however it's done. To me it doesn't matter how they set it up as long as the way they set it up works relatively smoothly.

    I'd guess they evaluated a lot of different ways to go about doing it and went with a setup that they felt best balanced the needs & wants of players, locations, homeowners, and Stern. But no matter how they chose to set it up there are alternative ways that could be seen as better ways to do it for one of those groups. There really isn't any 100% perfect solution, but so what?

    If it works well and I like it, I'll use it. If not, then I'll just keep playing and not use it. Either way, I'm playing pinball and having fun.

    #196 50 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.

    The subsection of pinball playing people that don't own smart phones is so small it's not worth worrying about at all

    #197 50 days ago

    Are we supposed to be excited about this?

    #198 50 days ago

    Bet stern will be charging to use this. Microsoft charges to use Xbox live. To share and maintain scores cost money and a server cost money to maintain and run. I highly doubt stern is going to offer this service for free. You will probably have to be a stern insider member to use it. Just my opinion and I could be wrong, or right.

    #199 50 days ago

    I was in the wrong thread on this. Finally, can't wait to get more details and see what they actual deliver. It is hilarious the people are using the exact same arguments from video game 25 years ago.

    I love the complete lack of subtlety in the marketing. Online functionality, this call for Gen Z nerdy girl in glasses with fiber optic rays shooting out of her eyes. LOL

    #200 50 days ago
    Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

    The subsection of pinball playing people that don't own smart phones is so small it's not worth worrying about at all

    Yup. Low-res venn diagram of people without smartphones who care about online tracking of pinball play: OO

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