(Topic ID: 299309)

Stern Insider Connected

By anathematize

3 months ago


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    -2
    #201 3 months ago

    Stern charges you to become an insider so I can't imagine this will be any different. Maybe initially it will be free but long term they will likely charge once everyone is using it. People have short term memory in this hobby and this is the same company who intentionally left out the uv kit in stranger things just so they could sell you it later as a mod.

    I personally would rather have seen them put the time and effort into making the games better however when they sell out sight unseen and people in the mod community makes up for Stern's cheapness and lack of creativity (i.e. baby yoda) there is no reason for them to change what has been working.

    #202 3 months ago
    Quoted from thechakapakuni:

    Are we supposed to be excited about this?

    About as much as a cactus wedgie is for me... I'm what they call an early adopter except when it comes to IoT and pinball... it made sense for operators to get info on their routed machines but I am not a supporter of H2H, or DLC, or achievements, or "certified" location scoring, or sharing my info with anyone unless it is in a hosted tournament but most tournaments are not "Stern Only affairs"... so this doesn't work for that either.

    #203 3 months ago
    Quoted from BallyKISS1978:

    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.

    As it's currently described, it doesn't seem like Stern will be doing anywhere near as much data up/down as game consoles, so their cost to operate should be substantially lower than XBL. Not to mention the massive disparity in # of users between XBL and pinball players... apples and oranges imo.

    My guess is Stern gets enough marketing/buzz/data from this to rationalize the cost of operating it.

    #204 3 months ago
    Quoted from BallyKISS1978:

    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.

    You should really listen to the podcast or take the time to read the transcript. It's all there - no need to speculate.

    No change to the current Insider system. It's merged with the connected thingy. There's the 2 Stern Insider subscriptions. The free one and the paid one. It's the same for this connected thing. The paid one offers the ability/possibility of swag/rewards.

    -4
    #205 3 months ago

    I am excited to see that they come up with as far as online play, I am excited to see DLC. Really though I most excited just to see if pinball starts where gaming is today and makes a great product. I kinda think they will probable just make all the same mistakes.

    #206 3 months ago

    Semi-serious question, what has a higher net cost for stern to operate/maintain annually?

    1) Insider Connected
    2) The 'Wall of Microwaves' for Stern's production line workers

    #207 3 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I am excited to see that they come up with as far as online play, I am excited to see DLC. Really though I most excited just to see if pinball starts where gaming is today and makes a great product. I kinda think they will probable just make all the same mistakes.

    George stated it clearly. This will grow as an ecosystem but for starters it'll be pretty basic.

    -1
    #208 3 months ago
    Quoted from MrMikeman:

    George stated it clearly. This will grow as an ecosystem but for starters it'll be pretty basic.

    Yeah, I don't expect much at launch but eventually I am sure they will try DLC and Online Play and it will be super fun and totally a guilty pleasure to see how they do.

    #209 3 months ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    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.

    so $40 /year player and $$$ per game per year for ops?

    #210 3 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    Yeah, I don't expect much at launch but eventually I am sure they will try DLC and Online Play and it will be super fun and totally a guilty pleasure to see how they do.

    Exactly. I hate armchair quarterback speculation when it comes to new shit like this. Wait and see what's being offered and then make an informed opinion. The majority of the complaints are from folks who didn't even take the time to read the transcript or listen to the podcast. They just assume the worst. Get the tin foil hats out! Conspiracy is in the air!!!!

    Not a fan of DLC but I have bought some for some games that I found totally awesome and wanted more. This gives a possibility of maybe going for v2.0 code updates eventually? Who knows. No point in bitching about it now as it doesn't exist yet and no way to know if they will do it and what the costs will be like if it happens.

    #211 3 months ago
    Quoted from dr_nybble:Wonder if this opens up the possibility of multi-game campaign-style play.

    That would be interesting for me.

    13
    #212 3 months 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!

    OK, this is the one part I can speak intelligently on. As someone heavily experienced in this business, we have an industry term for what you just stated as fact... "Wrong." I have been to literally hundreds of bars, in NYC, outside NYC, I have yet to set foot or hear of a single one that doesn't have Wifi in 2021. Wherever this Honky Tonk Fantasy Bar, where people turn off their phones, sit around and exclusively talk to all the other patrons, like some background scene in Roadhouse is that you're using as a sample for the bar industry as a whole, it doesn't represent more than 1% of popular establishments. If that much. You can hate on the connectivity thing all you like, but I wouldn't use that as your point of contention. There's much better reasons.

    #213 3 months ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    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.

    Its still the same kind of thing... half of you guys dont even use the tilt bob in your games and play on 5 ball or unlimited ball save.

    Im supposed to care that you achieve something on that sort of setup?

    #214 3 months ago

    My only interest in this is for solo play, but I think it can still be compelling.

    Achievements/trophies, sure, but hopefully there will be machines that get more overarching goals that are accomplished over many games. Campaign play if you like.

    The interview with George (nice that they include a transcript!) was great. Part of his design approach was explained as embracing user feedback to potentially change direction or focus depending on where the excitement is (or isn't).

    Plus it would be cool to get a random hat or whatever in the mail like he describes

    #215 3 months ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Its still the same kind of thing... half of you guys dont even use the tilt bob in your games and play on 5 ball or unlimited ball save.
    Im supposed to care that you achieve something on that sort of setup?

    I don't think you understand how achievements work.

    #216 3 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    I don't think you understand how achievements work.

    Enlighten me...

    I would assume it tracks your progress or how far into a game you have gotten?

    How much money you have given Gary?

    How many times your wife has given you permission to buy a game?

    I cant think of too many other major pinball achievements .

    #217 3 months ago
    Quoted from MrMikeman:

    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.

    Scorebit - no hardware needed on modern PC based games

    Stern... Let's add a hardware requirement for no good reason... yeah that will help drive adoption!

    "but scorebit needs an app..." and Stern thinks you are gonna print QR codes and carry them in your wallet... LOL wtf this isn't coupon clippers. The argument 'you don't need an app' -- but is all tied to benefits having an online account and profile is DUMB.

    People will use apps - what they don't like is FRICTION TO USING THE APP. (aka long startups, difficult signups/logins, multiple steps, etc).

    #218 3 months ago
    Quoted from EaglePin:

    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.

    you also haven't seen the price... really easy to think utopian when no one is asking you for your wallet before you can use it.

    #219 3 months ago

    Below is what scorebit says it does... it tracks scores duh.

    If your scores are on machines that are setup for non tourney level play I dont see why anyone cares.

    "Find the best arcades, bars and places to play pinball using the Scorbit app
    Track your scores and challenge your friends for bragging rights
    Automatically log scores when playing on Scorbitron enabled machines"

    #220 3 months ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Enlighten me...
    I would assume it tracks your progress or how far into a game you have gotten?
    How much money you have given Gary?
    How many times your wife has given you permission to buy a game?
    I cant think of too many other major pinball achievements .

    No that is not at all what they are. They are personal achievements that are focused almost solely around player engagement. Video games have online and multiplayer ones but the whole point is for you to do them for yourself. It was an easy way to create more thing for people to do. So they would engage longer with the game and in this case a pin. They are things that you try and do that are not directly connected to playing or winning. They can be used to help you learn as well. It is about you and your pin. Things like score 10 this in a row or do this in less than this time. There are secret ones and ones that are insanely hard to do. It really about more stuff for the player to do and enjoy. Its to avoid people seeing the end of the game or wizard mode and stop playing. Once you master the game then you go on and try and get all the achievements.

    P.S. There is right way and a wrong way to do everything. Some games have super fun achievements, others just have bullshit ones that are lame or just garbage marketing that try and make you tell your friends or post online.

    #221 3 months ago
    Quoted from chooch:

    Stern charges you to become an insider so I can't imagine this will be any different.

    Well... they are gonna charge somebody... the question is simply who.

    My guess is they will charge per enabled game, not per user. That way an Op can pay for a game and customers can use features freely, while a home user would pay for the game to get the perks of enabling it. I imagine user profiles will always be free - but leveraging a games features is an easy way to monetize it. Subscription based of course.

    #222 3 months ago

    As much as I don't like Stern's seemingly Rube-Goldberg-like approach to this problem, I will commend them for not making people connect via fucking Bluetooth or NFC.

    ...I wonder if they started with NFC, figured out it would suck, and said "fuck it, swap it out that POS in the apron for a QR reader instead"?

    #223 3 months ago
    Quoted from Darscot:

    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

    #224 3 months ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Its still the same kind of thing... half of you guys dont even use the tilt bob in your games and play on 5 ball or unlimited ball save.
    Im supposed to care that you achieve something on that sort of setup?

    I really don't think its intended as some sort of e-peen measuring contest. But, of course, there will be people that use it as such because its the nature of some humans. Those same people can always go to an actual in-person tournament and back up all their digital dong slinging if they feel like proving something.

    Frankly I don't think most people care that much about other people's digital achievements or what the state of their machine was when they achieved said achievement. Your mileage may vary.

    #225 3 months ago

    The Transformers QR code was a winner.

    Be interesting to see which direction the new version goes.

    End game will be DLC, no doubt … somewhere down the track.

    rd
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    #226 3 months ago
    Quoted from joetechbob:

    As much as I don't like Stern's seemingly Rube-Goldberg-like approach to this problem, I will commend them for not making people connect via fucking Bluetooth or NFC.
    ...I wonder if they started with NFC, figured out it would suck, and said "fuck it, swap it out that POS in the apron for a QR reader instead"?

    Yeah, as we've talked all this through the decision makes a lot of sense. They want the average person to create an account and a QR code is the least friction. As much as I'd like to believe that bluetooth could work here the last thing any player would want on location is to deal with pairing. Although, bluetooth 5 theoretically does have better non-pairing functions but then you run into only newer phones supporting bluetooth 5 and no support for people without phones. Agree on the NFC, god that tech is just an absolute disaster for anything real.

    Apologies to Stern, my knee jerk reaction on the use of QR reader was dead wrong. Hoping this turns out amazing and we look back in a couple of years and can't even remember playing without connectivity. I look forward to printing out my profile's QR code and dropping quarters.

    #227 3 months 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
    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!

    Can't wait to see all the new features that will unlock in the games.
    Side note - I was a round 1 Xbox Live Beta Tester as well and I remember your gamertag! I still have my original one too. The Hawk

    #228 3 months ago

    In thinking back to sterns new user agreement at the beginning of the year - I wonder if the system will pick up mods such as my Pinwoofer, say they are not authorized and then not allow me connectivity? I can see custom firmware not being approved, but am a little curious to see how this plays out with mods. While it's definitely going to have its bugs and lack of features out of the gate, I for one welcome this in. There has been made mention that the hobby isn't growing in the younger (20-30 year old) demographic - this is exactly the implementation and way to bring a lot of new blood into the hobby with its simplicity and the allure of looking to grow your achievement collection.

    #229 3 months ago
    Quoted from JPloof:

    In thinking back to sterns new user agreement at the beginning of the year - I wonder if the system will pick up mods such as my Pinwoofer, say they are not authorized and then not allow me connectivity? I can see custom firmware not being approved, but am a little curious to see how this plays out with mods. While it's definitely going to have its bugs and lack of features out of the gate, I for one welcome this in. There has been made mention that the hobby isn't growing in the younger (20-30 year old) demographic - this is exactly the implementation and way to bring a lot of new blood into the hobby with its simplicity and the allure of looking to grow your achievement collection.

    Stern would be pretty damn stupid to mess with peoples mods. You may be right, but I would hope they wouldnt be this out of touch.

    #230 3 months ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    you also haven't seen the price... really easy to think utopian when no one is asking you for your wallet before you can use it.

    It's also very easy to think critically about a newly created product with limited or speculated information. I just go based on what I know. Maybe this system will work out well, maybe it won't. I don't know. For me today, on announcement day with limited information, my thought is just that it's good that something like this is being created to possibly bring even more fun to playing pinball.

    When a price is announced then that of course will factor into my decision about whether or not I use it. Same as with anything I buy, if I like the functionality and I'm okay with the price I'll use it. If I don't like how it works or if I don't like the price, I won't use it. But for me those are just decisions to be made another day when I have more information.

    #231 3 months ago

    I just watched the video again, did they actual add a screen for the QR code? If that is a screen clearly they are not learning from the mistakes of others. Why in the hell would you add the cost of a screen?

    #232 3 months ago
    Quoted from Zambonilli:

    Yeah, as we've talked all this through the decision makes a lot of sense. They want the average person to create an account and a QR code is the least friction. As much as I'd like to believe that bluetooth could work here the last thing any player would want on location is to deal with pairing.

    Where the bluetooth situation breaks down immediately for pinball is the idea of more than one player on a game at a time. Plus, pairing differs in just about every device and you don't control the UX within your application. Plus, pairing means staring at spinning icons.... and potential for radio interference with alot of devices around.

    #233 3 months ago
    Quoted from JPloof:

    I wonder if the system will pick up mods such as my Pinwoofer, say they are not authorized and then not allow me connectivity? I can see custom firmware not being approved, but am a little curious to see how this plays out with mods.

    Why would they care about something like Pinwoofer? Custom firmware is a problem because of unapproved audio and video assets, but going against other items like a speaker upgrade would be useless.

    #234 3 months ago

    Could a QR code add credits on any machine? That way Stern employees would never have to pay to play? What happens when it escapes to the public?

    How long until you as a non paying subscriber must scan your QR code and then watch an advertisement, but you can skip it by paying the monthly fee.

    This could be a great addition, or abused. I really hope its the first.

    #235 3 months ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Custom firmware is a problem because of unapproved audio and video assets

    Is Stern really on the hook for what happens to their computer based machine once it has passed into the hands of the end user?

    Genuinely asking because I'm not sure how much liability they would actually have in regards to their licensing contract when it comes to something like that.

    -1
    #236 3 months ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    Is Stern really on the hook for what happens to their computer based machine once it has passed into the hands of the end user?

    Genuinely asking because I'm not sure how much liability they would actually have in regards to their licensing contract goes when it comes to something like that.

    If the licensor gets pissed about it because they think Stern did it, or is allowing the user to end run around the license agreement, it could go bad. Not sure what Stern would legally be liable for, but lawsuits aside it would be bad enough for a licensor like Disney to say "screw you" to Stern because of it and just not grant them anymore licenses.

    #237 3 months ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    I really don't think its intended as some sort of e-peen measuring contest. But, of course, there will be people that use it as such because its the nature of some humans. Those same people can always go to an actual in-person tournament and back up all their digital dong slinging if they feel like proving something.
    Frankly I don't think most people care that much about other people's digital achievements or what the state of their machine was when they achieved said achievement. Your mileage may vary.

    Ah.. I think I found a guy with his machines on 5 ball and no tilt bob.

    Competitive pinball is an actual thing... and I would assume being "online" that will be a big part of it.

    People are comparing it to xbox live etc and thats exactly what that is.. online competitive or co-op play.

    Or I guess e-peen measuring as far as you are concerned.

    #238 3 months ago
    Quoted from Bublehead:

    About as much as a cactus wedgie is for me... I'm what they call an early adopter except when it comes to IoT and pinball... it made sense for operators to get info on their routed machines but I am not a supporter of H2H, or DLC, or achievements, or "certified" location scoring, or sharing my info with anyone unless it is in a hosted tournament but most tournaments are not "Stern Only affairs"... so this doesn't work for that either.

    CC539A4B-B623-4ACD-98E7-7D4F62DA58D7.gif
    #239 3 months ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Where the bluetooth situation breaks down immediately for pinball is the idea of more than one player on a game at a time. Plus, pairing differs in just about every device and you don't control the UX within your application. Plus, pairing means staring at spinning icons.... and potential for radio interference with alot of devices around.

    Can we just agree Bluetooth absolutely sucks in general? Like you said, different devices vary and it works like 25 percent of the time the first time. It’s so clunky compared to WiFi in general.

    #240 3 months ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    If the licensor gets pissed about it because they think Stern did it, or is allowing the user to end run around the license agreement, it could go bad. Not sure what Stern would legally be liable for, but lawsuits aside it would be bad enough for a licensor like Disney to say "screw you" to Stern because of it and just not grant them anymore licenses.

    Fair enough. I guess Disney could just work with JJP again but I'm sure they know that means so much less value for their license in the world of pinball.

    Granted. Pinball is such a small market I would be surprised if it is even a blip on the Disney radar.

    #241 3 months ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    Ah.. I think I found a guy with his machines on 5 ball and no tilt bob.
    Competitive pinball is an actual thing... and I would assume being "online" that will be a big part of it.
    People are comparing it to xbox live etc and thats exactly what that is.. online competitive or co-op play.
    Or I guess e-peen measuring as far as you are concerned.

    I always have kept any home machines on absolutely brutal settings. And frankly I prefer playing on location in actual live tournaments as opposed to racking up digital achievements on a game at home.

    Stern isn't billing it as 'online competitive or co-op play' Just because people are projecting their own digital insecurity and ego stroking on it does not mean that is what Stern is intending it to be. Did you even listen to the hour long podcast with George Gomez?

    #242 3 months ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    Granted. Pinball is such a small market I would be surprised if it is even a blip on the Disney radar.

    Not even a blip on a blip. They probably make more selling souvenirs from one shop in one day at one of the parks then they make from licensing pinball.

    #243 3 months ago
    Quoted from jandrea95:

    Can we just agree Bluetooth absolutely sucks in general? Like you said, different devices vary and it works like 25 percent of the time the first time. It’s so clunky compared to WiFi in general.

    love it for airdrop negotiation... and spotify... and that's about it

    #244 3 months ago
    Quoted from anathematize:

    I always have kept any home machines on absolutely brutal settings. And frankly I prefer playing on location in actual live tournaments as opposed to racking up digital achievements on a game at home.
    Stern isn't billing it as 'online competitive or co-op plauy' Just because people are projecting their own digital insecurity and ego stroking on it does not mean that is what Stern is intending it to be. Did you even listen to the hour long podcast with George Gomez?

    All I was saying if its anything like scorebit then it is about scores and competing... a scoreboard etc.

    That is hard to do in pinball since everyones machine plays different

    Its not like a video game where everyone plays on the same platform (unless they cheat).

    Pinball machines vary wildly in difficulty and setup.

    #245 3 months ago
    Quoted from flynnibus:

    Where the bluetooth situation breaks down immediately for pinball is the idea of more than one player on a game at a time.

    Shouldn’t be a problem at all, one transceiver could handle limited data from quite a few different devices.

    #246 3 months ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    All I was saying if its anything like scorebit then it is about scores and competing... a scoreboard etc.
    That is hard to do in pinball since everyones machine plays different
    Its not like a video game where everyone plays on the same platform (unless they cheat).
    Pinball machines vary wildly in difficulty and setup.

    I think you are mistaken in thinking this going to just be a glorified and 'official' version of Scorebit which is - by definition - a score based leaderboard only. And an imperfect one at that.

    Stern's system is going to be much more integrated into actual, specific, objective based challenges in the games. Similar to Karl's objectives in the PinClash tournaments.

    Your example of video game leaderboards is in bad faith because - regardless of the platform - every single online leaderboard in every video game in history has been rife with cheaters and exploits and is the reason "prove it on LAN or STFU" is a thing in competitive gaming.

    Yes. Some people will use it to brag and lord over their friends and random people on the internet. Anybody who does so and the people who get bent out of shape about it clearly don't understand the multitude of variables that go into setting up a pinball machine and the literal impossibility of matching the setup on any two machines.

    We all know this. Alert the media. Water is wet.

    #247 3 months ago
    Quoted from skink91:

    Shouldn’t be a problem at all, one transceiver could handle limited data from quite a few different devices.

    It's just not really what most bluetooth stuff is setup for... it takes a slow process and literally multiplies it it out.. it's a mess.

    Bluetooth is used because you need a direct local peer to peer connection. It might be nice to use as a token exchange like airplay does then connect through the cloud... but pairing itself for a temporal public data connection really isn't where bluetooth shines. YMMV

    #248 3 months ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    The Transformers QR code was a winner.
    Be interesting to see which direction the new version goes.
    End game will be DLC, no doubt … somewhere down the track.
    rd
    [quoted image][quoted image]

    I just got Transformers a few weeks ago and I’m amazed that it has 11 QR codes and none of them work. They went nuts on that shiz when it came out! QR CODE FOR EVERY CORNER.

    #249 3 months ago

    "We see your Jurassic Park is running the pinball browser movie code . Your serial number is now found in violation of terms of service and your warranty is hence forth void.. have a nice day"

    #250 3 months ago
    Quoted from fooflighter:

    "We see your Jurassic Park is running the pinball browser movie code . Your serial number is now found in violation of terms of service and your warranty is hence forth void.. have a nice day"

    This honestly made me chuckle, what exactly would you be losing here? Voiding a Stern warranty is like saying hey I won't invite you to my Birthday. I am sure they will just ban the pin from the network as they should.

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