Quoted from Rockytop:
I wonder how much the aprons will cost
why would you need a new apron?
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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.
Quoted from cosmokramer:
I hear ya, but I'm open to believing that they won't gouge people (on this single item). I think there is much more value for Stern in this being in every machine than selling the individual units.
But we'll certainly see what they actually sell them for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:
I don't disagree with you. Luckily for me there's a big library off offline pins I will continue to enjoy and collect. We all play for different reasons. I enjoy pinball socially and to unplug.
I don't understand your whining about this ADDITIONAL feature. You can still play any online enabled game without logging in, without doing challenges, without achievements or leaderboards or whatever. It just sounds like this is a reason for you to be angry about mean old Stern Pinball doing things you dont like that dont even have to affect you at all.
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:
Your logic is highly flawed. Firstly, an addition is not always an improvement. Try adding 50 pounds to your girlfriend. Secondly, we've already been alerted to the largest ever Stern price hike in the neighborhood of $600-$1000. This is what we get in exchange. So, as a collector it does affect me. Do you generally pay for discretionary things you don't like or want? That would be pretty stupid. Don't you think?
First things first, my "logic" is that if there's a feature you don't like, don't use it. I certainly didn't say ALL additions are improvements but this one is. If you want to talk about price increases, that's another issue worth discussing. But a price increase was coming with or without this hardware, we'll see what it ends up being but if the increase is $400 or $500 for a Pro but $1000 for a Premium, then clearly there are other considerations than the new hardware.
Quoted from flynnibus:
but this is also the same Stern that is still using the Sega Portals UI for service menus 25 years later...
It would sure be nice if they used this opportunity, where they will be releasing updated code for ALL Spike 2 games, to update the menu system. I know very little about what that would take but it sure seems like an across-the-board change like that would be worthwhile for owners and operators. And if they could give me an option to create custom adjustments profiles/pre-sets that I can quickly switch between, that would be great.
Quoted from BaxterStockman:
And say you win a game with a post game match or high score. It puts that credit into your account. Would be really nice since sometimes my best games are when I'm running late or need to get back to the table because the food is arriving.
This would be cool but a feature like this would have to be locked to a specific operator so you can't get free games on one operator's machine and then spend it on another operator's machine.
Quoted from TechnicalSteam:
What's the official list of games that will be included in the first rollout? I'm hoping Jurrasic Park and Elvira 3 are on
In the George Gomez announcement video (around the 1:42 mark) it is mentioned that 7 machines to start will include the Insider Connected platform, and implies they are: Avengers, Deadpool, Jurassic Park, Led Zeppelin, Mandalorian, TMNT, and the next released game (Godzilla).
Quoted from Jared:
all Spike2 games will be able to be retrofitted affordably and easily.
I'm very curious what "affordably" actually means. Hopefully the actual price will be shared soon.
From the article above: "GG: Insider Connected will remain free. Insider Connected All Access will be a subscription based service just like the existing All Access loyalty program has been. Insider Connected All Access will have specific premium features on top of everything that has been described above."
Quoted from thedarkknight77:
So let me get this straight, operators are going to get a huge price increase and in addition, they are going to have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for this crap.
Where did you hear/read that this was happening?
Quoted from pinballkyle:
It’s blatantly obvious a monthly subscription will occur for op’s. This is how all vending is going. I’m not super excited to see the fee structure but I assume it’s around $20 per mo per game.
I disagree that it's "blatantly obvious," of course it's possible but I'm personally much more interested in what is confirmed to be happening rather than what every random pinball fan THINKS Stern will ultimately do with this technology.
Quoted from pinballkyle:
I’ve been in this industry for a long, long time, to me it’s blatantly obvious it’s going to happen. I wouldn’t call myself a ‘random pinball fan’ I run an arcade with 25 pinballs, and I route games at several locations.
I have a gut feeling that this stern insider will be free or cheap for home use, but at a much higher price point for Op’s
I think you're missing my point (starting with my initial comment/question) in that I'm more interested in confirmed features, costs, requirements, etc. rather than just speculation, even if your experience in pinball informs your current expectations.
I certainly think there is room for speculation and discussion but I keep seeing people say things they expect or that are "blatantly obvious" but saying them in a way that implies it's an actual thing and not just their opinion. That's why I asked the question in the first place.
As an operator, how do you think operators in general would respond to Stern Insider Connected for "free" and as a subscription service? Do you think it will increase earnings to have it enabled? Especially enough to justify an additional expense.
Quoted from DNO:
Free=great! Let’s try it out.
Subscription=Let’s let them earn like always, maybe try putting one on line and see if it makes more $$.
*I don’t think it will significantly raise earnings on casual play locations (which is a lot of route play money), so if it costs it will soon be taken offline.
I feel like the retrofit kit will certainly be a huge stumbling block for operators existing machines. But I guess, the upcoming games with it pre-installed will be a chance to test the waters. As a player, I feel like a single machine at a location with Insider Connected would kind of miss out on the overall potential of the system but I guess that is unavoidable as anything non-Spike2 will lack obviously lack the functionality.
Quoted from thechakapakuni:
Is there an official Stern page that explains what this does or is it a mystery and we’re all guessing?
Bits and pieces from various articles, interviews and a video of George Gomez talking about the system. It actually speaks to the point TaylorVA is trying to make about knowing ahead of time what you're gonna get. Everyone is speculating what it will be, what direction it will go in, whether it's great, whether it is the worst idea Stern has ever had, whether we will get "less" in the core game than we have been, etc. The reality is, Stern announced Insider Connected to coincide with a price increase that it is a part of as well as the release of Godzilla (the first game released with the tech) but haven't yet adequately informed machine buyers what the immediate and long term plans are for it.
Quoted from Dent00:
Aerosmith is not a Spike 2 game, so according to what Mr. Gomez mentioned, the insider connected device would not work on Aerosmith.
Any Stern machine with an LCD uses the Spike 2 system. Aerosmith/Batman66 were the first 2 games to use the system.
Quoted from gamera9:
It didn't for me. It wants another 40.00.
did you convert your existing account or create a new one?
Quoted from JPloof:
Has anyone received the actual email from Stern as of yet to transition your account?
Nope. I just ended up making a new one because it wasn't like I had all-access previously or anything that needed to transfer over.
Quoted from Insanity199:
"Why $500obo? That was the price increase on this game to cover it and it is currently limited."
Stern's site clearly shows Insider Connected markup as $300 retail. If someone buys that for close to $500, we have really gone mad.
He was pretty forthcoming in the ad that people are hinting at MUCH less direct from Stern when they're actually available. I see no problem with the ad.
Quoted from Insanity199:
I was specifically referencing that he said $500 was the price increase because of it. $300 MSRP was the increase on all machines which can be clearly seen on the Stern website. Regardless, you are right that he was up front that it will likely be sold for less from Stern.
Fair point, that was misleading. I still don't have a problem with the ad.
I'm gonna be honest, I don't really know the specifics of all the drama surrounding the guy but there seems to be a bunch of a pre-existing conflicts at play.
Quoted from thechakapakuni:
maybe it’s time to have a glass out sensor?
How would a glass out sensor even work though? Surely it would be difficult to do or create something that could just as easily bypass it if you have access to the internals of the machine.
Quoted from HighProtein:
1st Verified Florida location!
What's the process for being verified? Is it just applying or is there more to it?
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:
what about better menus then that are not the same ones from the MID 90's??
Tanio said something on the Godzilla Prem reveal stream that strongly implied they were working on them. Which would be nice, but better, more detailed/intuitive diagnostics would be cool too.
Quoted from Audioenslaved:
have they released pricing for this sucker yet? I’m keen but I’m thinking the price will be too high for me. It’s cool tech but I don’t think I want to spend more than $100 AUD for it
Quoted from Audioenslaved:
Which means they’ll be about $300 AUD if not more. Too much for me unfortunately. I like some of the things but not all of them. Can you hot swap node boards? You could buy one and have a cat5 cable hanging out of your machine and you could just move between games… I’d be up for $1200 to fit out my current collection
Not sure, but the "right" thing for Stern do is enable some level of support for online features with just a wifi dongle for the home environment. Im fine using a Stern Insider App to scan a QR code on the screen to associate my account with a specific machine I own. Then, when you want to add a player, you could have a list of associated accounts to choose from. Of course, that won't happen, but it would be preferable to spend like $30 to add wifi to 2 machines rather than the $600 through the current method.
Quoted from DakotaMike:
On coin play, it definitely needs to auto log you out. I played a GZ Pro while waiting between rounds at our local monthly tournament, and afterwards someone else walked up to play and I had to quick run up and press both flipper buttons to log myself out. Otherwise, they would have ended up playing as me, and it would have fubarred my achievements.
It's nice to just be able to keep playing without constantly scanning in, if possible. I wonder what the balance is though. I feel like a "Recent Player" option would be nice, but also, I don't want anyone being able to play on my account.
Another issue I've run into is, 3 players, all signed in, 10 credits on the game. And then, Start button 3X, because 3 players, right? Well in this case, 4 players because Start button the first time auto-adds 3 players (because we're signed in) and then 4th player for 2nd Start Button press. How do you address that?
Quoted from Hsinchu:
I am running a customer image.
After I upgrade to "Stern Insider Connected" do I need to install back the original image or what will happen to my custom image once the Insider Connected HW is installed?
It will be overwritten with the new update that supports InsiderConnected. The question then becomes, will Pinball Browser work on those future code versions and/or will Stern be checking the code is proper through wifi. My guess is that online connected games won't be able to use custom code but offline games will.
Quoted from stubborngamer:
Finally tried Insider Connected for the first time on a Godzilla Pro.
Pretty underwhelming experience, doesn't add anything to playing the game. Just some achievements pop up between balls. And going through the app after the play session was a meh experience.
They really need whatever other features they have planned to come out as soon as possible. In it's current state it's DOA.
I agree that they need more features to fully realize its potential but I've been enjoying going for specific Achievements for things that I don't otherwise need to go for. For example, I just went through and completed all of the DNA combos on Jurassic Park and am not keeping an eye on the Fossils. While I COULD have done that anyway, the fact that it is tracked as Achievements has highlighted those specific things. Also, I've pretty much got my fill of the "right way" to play TMNT, but I'm going to focus on the Achievements for a little extra incentive to play the "other stuff" that is in the game.
Obviously "to each their own" but I think a lot of people are enjoying it and it is currently in its infancy so there is tonnes of room for improvement. It seems like getting Achievements out for all the different games is goal one so after that we can expect more features. I'm personally hoping for daily/weekly/monthly challenges that alter the way you play the game, rather than just rewarding you for doing what is already there, but we will see how things develop.
Quoted from Gotfrogs:
I have also had good luck with TP-Link product in the past. If only stern would just sell the scanner alone for $99.
Or re-work the system to work without a qr reader entirely, especially for home use.
Quoted from Bos98:
I also did this! Simple to switch between games. I just added a 3rd switch in anticipation of Mando Star Wars and Batman coming online soon!
Cool set up, Ive "only" got 3 hooked up so I don't have to mess with multiple switches.
Not that you need my advice but I wonder if the following setup might be more intuitive.
Bank 1: 1, 2, 3, 4
Bank 2: A, B, C, D
Bank 3: E, F, G, H
and then your games would be 1a, 1b, 1c, 1d, 2e, 2f, 2g, 2h.
You could even put a little "1a" or "2g", etc. label in the corner of each backglass, where the qr reader is designed to go, or where the price card is.
Quoted from cabal:
waiting for my kit, but it may take some longer
i have some questions, that i could not figure out.
is a wifi-dongle essential? can the setup run without it, if it is only connected via cable?
when a switch is used to connect several machines with one scanner, is it essential that the scanner is connect before booting? or will the the machine find it after some time on the bus? like when you forgot to swtich over.
If you are talking about a wired internet connection? Then yes.
And the QR scanner does NOT need to be connected before boot. I have 3 machines on, and can cycle between them easily using a manual network switch.
I received the file for a coin door mount for the qr reader from mattosborn and made some modifications in order to accommodate a 4-way manual network switch. I've never worked with 3d printer files or anything before but I did my best to make something functional and plan on making additional changes, getting it re-printed, sanding it, and painting it with a hammered black spray paint to better match the coin door. I'm very happy with the result and it is certainly better than opening the coin door to change which game is "connected." Again, huge shout out to mattosborn for sharing his work. I'd also like to give another shoutout to KingVidiot for his explanation of how to configure a network switch to utilize a single qr reader between multiple machines.
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Quoted from PinballHaven:
That’s awesome, I would be interested in that .stl if you’re sharing!
Could you take a pic with the coin door open to show how that all lines up? Any issues there?
Here's a pic of inside the coin door. It actually worked out a lot cleaner than I expected. Each of the rightmost cat5 cables run to a connector in the head of each of my games.
I'll gladly share the .stl, but I just have a couple of tweaks I'd like to make and test for a "final" version before I do that.20220116_231140 (resized).jpg
Quoted from ULEKstore:
Question: Has anyone tried connecting an IC kit for Batman 66 yet and run into any issues?
I made an IC plate for the coin door (because I didn’t want to mess up the look of the apron), but there are no open/free Ethernet connections on the node board.
Any ideas or advise would greatly be appreciated.
I connected my machines to a free connector in the head, I think it's often used for toppers.
Quoted from Biju:
Thanks--the reason I'm asking is because I'm having a difficult time believing I can't make these myself. The only piece I think that's proprietary is the game code update and the micro-SD card they install which I'm guessing you can image onto another card. The QR codes aren't "real" by typical standards so you'd just need to pass a non-code into the node board as I highly doubt the reader itself is doing anything other than passing a code to the board.
Perhaps someone has already tried this and I'm missing the obvious.
The QR Reader is attached to a node board, that's gonna be the issue that prevents anyone from making the kits.
Quoted from bghenson23:
Played some Avengers Premium today connected and it looks like it skipped an achievement - "Black Order Battle Royale" I believe was skipped, unless I don't understand the achievement, but I collected all 6 gems and defeated Thanos, so I don't think I could have not played Battle Royale. sk8ball
Neither Black Order MB and Battle Royale Achievements seem to work, the Disc RPM ones also dont work.
Quoted from scootss:
I wouldn't consider it "must have" at this point, but for $200 (jn this very expensive hobby), it is enjoyable and has been worth it...to me.
Yeah, definitely not a must have yet. I borrowed a kit from a friend and got most of the achievements on my machines, so now the usefulness is pretty negligible. Having your user name instead of "Player 1/2/3/4" is pretty nice on location but relatively useless when playing single player games by yourself.
Quoted from timmmmyboy:
We're over 7 months since original announcement, 5 since they've been shipping kits, and other than code updates for games we've seen zero updates to the platform, not a single new feature. Meanwhile Stern happily posts pictures from industry events teasing leaderboards. For operators who have quite a bit invested in these kits we care about them investing in IC. This thread is more than technical walkthroughs of the 27 ways someone can setup a network switch in their house. Frustration is warranted at this point.
I know I definitely expected more to be available by now. I borrowed a QR reader from a buddy that bought one for his Mando, I used it on my 3 Sterns for about a month and then gave it back to him when he bought a supported game. Now I find myself with little to no urgency in getting my own kit because the achievements, while cool, are just not worth the cost (in my opinion). I am definitely excited for potential new features but it would be cool if they were to start releasing additional functionality or even some sort of road map.
Quoted from bghenson23:
I really like the idea of Insider Connected, but it seems like the development is going at a glacial pace - here are some thoughts I have for probably low hanging fruit that might provide decent value (not in a particular order):
1) show locations I've played at so that I can easily see leaderboards and games on those locations
2) make the links from recent activity clickable to take me to my achievements/scores
3) make the latest achievement clickable or show the description - I might not remember what it means
4) let me know who is following me and let me click to see their achievements/recent activity
5) show average scores and standard deviations
6) split scores out by location - I might score a billion at one, but can't at another
7) split the achievements by location - this and the last one might drive more activity for operators
8) show me how many games it took to get an achievement
9) indicate on the games screen which games I have achievements for and which I don't
10) show leaderboard details on the actual pinball machine
11) let me click on one of the games and see ones with IC near me - this will let me more easily hunt achievements
12) on the connections screen show me some recent highlights from that connection without having to click
13) on the stats page, show me the games I haven't played and help me to find them locally
14) matchplay integration for tournaments
15) Social media integration so people can brag that they just hit a leaderboard or made an achievement
16) Head to head match leaders - let me compete against my connections and track the W/L records
17) Show me uncommon achievements for games - that might get players to push for them more
18) Achievement leaderboards
19) Notifications when knocked down or off a leaderboard
20) Notifications for high scores on a game (GC, High scores, mode champions, etc.)
21) Notifications on connection's achievements/leaderboards
Anyway, that's just a few thoughts, but I'm sure some other folks here have other ideas that are probably better. But most of these seem easy and doable and building on what already exists.
whoa whoa whoa, that list is gonna see us all the way through 2042.
Quoted from stubborngamer:
So far they think we should be excited by achievements. I'd guess whatever they may have planned for head-to-head connectivity might not be much more than a leaderboard.
Isn't that the truth. With achievements you go from earning a ridiculous amount the first dozen times you play a new game and then all you're left with are the very difficult ones. When it was first released, adding achievements to games I'd already played a ton game them a bit of new life but having them from the launch of the game isn't adding much for me personally. We need so many more features to make this system worthwhile, especially when you considering we're paying like $200USD per machine for this system.
Quoted from Jazman:
Ok, so if Home Team doesn't require you to scan the code, can you you just add the wifi adapter yourself to get the connected features? The WiFi adapter they are including in the kit is $22 at Amazon. I can't see a reason to need anything more than that for home use. The scanner is irrelevant and doesn't warrant the $200 price tag (at least not for me).
So, can someone from Stern comment about whether I can do that? I will plan to watch the video they sent to see if they say anything...
EDIT: Since it looks like it needs to enroll you once with the scanner, guessing it would still be required. Seems like they could just do it by letting you enter your login credentials when setting it up the first time...
Or they could let you do all the association stuff in the app. I might try borrowing a scanner to register all my games and see if that will work as a work around for me.
Quoted from Jj557:
Other than taking forever to update, the new home team works really well. Much better than having to use the scanner every time.
It would be much better if you didn't need the QR reader at all. It is clearly an unnecessary requirement, primarily in the home environment.
Quoted from Schwaggs:
When guests scan in, I hopped they would appear in the list of guest users on all games in the venue. It doesn’t work that way. They need to scan in on each and every game.
Anyone know if this is just a setting I need to change?
I guess you just need to add them as full-fledged home team members and then just remove them later.
Quoted from TeeJayN:
I installed a RJ-45 coupler in the back of the cabinet. See posts #3077 and #3079.
Quoted from TeeJayN:
The Easiest may not be the Best. The easiest is to lift a few staples from one of the bottom cabinet air holes and shove the cable through. I preferred using a real LAN jack on the back of the cabinet. Or you can do the same on the cabinet bottom if preferred. Yes, it takes a few dollars and more time but the final install is clean and conveniently functional.
Definitely a sleek solution, Stern should really add that to their cabinets or the head from factory.
Quoted from Bundy:
Very good news and makes perfect sense from a business perspective.
Especially considering every new machine is coming with IC anyway. Also, I'm glad it's there currently because it's harder to take a "feature" away than to never provide it in the first place.
Quoted from davegauth:
It's just my opinion - I feel they know exactly what they are doing and this is not a gimmick for them.
IC has only been out for a year - and it's becoming way more popular than many would like to think. This whole thread is about people talking about it, complaining about their achievements not being recorded properly, how to get it on their other machines cheaply etc. 80% of enthusiasts are hooked already.
They know what they are doing with this. They are just not in a rush to throw the switch as there is no pressure to do it on anyone's timline but their own. Like a cornerstone release that needs to be rushed due to licensing agreements.
Oh, they know.... more is coming....
I agree that they have a solid, long term vision for Insider Connected but I do think the community has pushed them into potentially new directions. But the most important thing is, they need to speed up the process of rolling new (planned) features out.
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