(Topic ID: 321853)

What was the first solid state machine that could not be made as an EM

By PopBumperPete

1 year ago


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    There are 70 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 1 year ago

    What would have been the first Solid State machine that could not have been built using motors, relays and switches?

    #2 1 year ago

    I think all SS is technically a logic circuit or program which is repeatable with relays.. just hugely inefficient and cumbersome as the complexity is raised.

    #3 1 year ago

    Interesting question!! I'll have to give this one some thought but I agree with Koji.

    John

    #4 1 year ago

    I would say Gorgar, since the audio (first talking pinball machine) played a crucial role in the game.

    #5 1 year ago

    Gorgar is a good canidate but I suppose technically it could have been done with an 8-track player. Or was it still 4-track then?

    #6 1 year ago

    There’s apparently multiple SS only games from the mid 70s. I guess you have to figure out if you mean mass produced or any at all.

    I assume your question means, what’s the first game that they didn’t make SS and EM of it.

    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    I assume your question means, what’s the first game that they didn’t make SS and EM of it.

    I read his original question as games that simply could not be made due to the limitations of EM tech.
    What is the first game that HAD to be SS since EM would not perform the functionality?

    #8 1 year ago

    Eight Ball. Memory of previous sunk balls from player to player. That would be pretty complex.

    #9 1 year ago

    I was going to say Centaur for complexity but the above might be better

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    I read his original question as games that simply could not be made due to the limitations of EM tech.
    What is the first game that HAD to be SS since EM would not perform the functionality?

    Oh okay. Well then it would have to be the first with digital sounds then. Not sure how you could do that mechanically.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Oh okay. Well then it would have to be the first with digital sounds then. Not sure how you could do that mechanically.

    They have EM baseball machines with sound boards in them.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from gearheaddropping:

    Eight Ball. Memory of previous sunk balls from player to player. That would be pretty complex.

    Williams 8 Ball, a two-player EM, keeps separate track of sequential sunk balls with a separate stepper for each player.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from EJS:

    They have EM baseball machines with sound boards in them.

    Interesting. So maybe the first multiplayer game with game state memory then?

    #14 1 year ago

    The criteria is probably what SS game could not be made as an em from a practical sense. Meaning it had a feature which would be to complex or cost prohibitive to duplicate with em relays.

    I think games with sound effects and backing music tied to gameplay would definitely cross this line. And at a certain point SS rules probably become too complex to duplicate with relays. Feature with complex activation sequences or have multiple features that can be active/inactive independently probably cross the practicality line.

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from wolverinetuner:

    Williams 8 Ball, a two-player EM, keeps separate track of sequential sunk balls with a separate stepper for each player.

    Not familiar with Williams 8 ball, but the Bally Eight ball kept track of each individual ball sank (not just a # of balls, which is what a stepper would do), and it also kept track of 4 players that way (4 x 7 coils?), and it also kept track of the Super Bonus, and maybe each players kickback status?
    I think that qualifies as not feasible to do with EM tech, so Bally Eight Ball gets my vote.

    #16 1 year ago

    How about Black Knight. Were there any E.M.s with timed shots?

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    How about Black Knight. Were there any E.M.s with timed shots?

    Yeah, quite a few have continuously active stepper type units driven by coil or motor that continuously move at certain points. Thinking of an old Chicago coin twinky I had, but I know there are a few where there is a timed action for the player.

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from SantaEatsCheese:

    Were there any E.M.s with timed shots?

    Travel Time was a game that was entirely based on how long it took you to play. That concept could’ve easily been scaled down to a single shot.

    Theoretically, any SS game could be made with EM logic, since a transistor at its most basic level is really just a switch that turns on and off. Even light shows could be done with motors and steppers (Think: Bally Skyrocket but taken to extremes), audio done with cassette tapes, timers done with motors/bimetallic strips, etc.

    Really, anything could be done so long as you have enough room and wiring to drive all the features you want. The only thing I think that wouldn’t really be possible to drive with EM tech would be anything display related.

    #19 1 year ago

    I agree with saying Eight Ball is the first to truly take advantage of SS features. It keeps track of a wide number of feature progress across multiple players. It would need several dozen relays or custom mechs to work in EM form that wouldn't fit in a normal cabinet. (Because you have to draw the line somewhere, given infinite space and time you could make just about anything in EM form)

    As an aside, looking at other manufacturers...its where do you want to draw the line of it being practical in EM form. Like 1978's Williams World Cup could be an EM with a bonus stepper unit for each player to track their goals throughout the game. But that isn't practical...

    #20 1 year ago

    Multimorphics's Lexy Lightspeed, Escape from Planet Earth. You couldn't do the laser grid used to track the ball's process in E.M. form.

    #21 1 year ago

    New tech was a draw at that time. Remember that pins were getting pressure from the new digital arcade games for a patrons $0.25.

    SS required less labor to assemble vs an EM machine during production.

    SS opened up more possibilities in pinball for rule sets and sound.

    But another very key reason was due to the change from AC to DC voltage for pops, bumpers and flippers. And here is the issue, an EM cannot keep accurate score with a fully rectified playfied with plenty of gameplay features.

    The Gottlieb EM Cleopatra is a primary example. Even with a somewhat sparse playfield layout the ball speed outpaces the speed of the score motor. It is by far the fastest EM I've ever played. And why it can never be a tournament game.

    #22 1 year ago

    My thought is any game that has a spinner that scores more than 1/10/100/1000.

    Say Harlem Globetrotters for example, which can do a 200 or 2000 point spinner. I'm struggling to think how you'd pull that off in an EM even with a big chunk of hardware.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Jahkub:

    My thought is any game that has a spinner that scores more than 1/10/100/1000.
    Say Harlem globetrotters, which can do a 200 or 2000 point spinner. I'm trying to think how you'd pull that off on an EM even with a big chunk of hardware.

    easy, just a different relay for each scoring exception circuit.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from koji:

    easy, just a different relay for each scoring exception circuit.

    I assume you'd need the score motor to send two pulses to the score reel per spinner hit. The score motor would have no way to keep up with the speed of the spinner. I guess I'm not seeing what you mean.

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from koji:

    easy, just a different relay for each scoring exception circuit.

    it would never keep up with how fast a spinner is spinning, because you'd have to use the score motor to make it pulse the 10/100/1000 more than once at a time

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    it would never keep up with how fast a spinner is spinning, because you'd have to use the score motor to make it pulse the 10/100/1000 more than once at a time

    No motor pulse, the exception circuit is pulsing the reel directly. 10s/100s/1000s

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from koji:

    No motor pulse, the exception circuit is pulsing the reel directly. 10s/100s/1000s

    I don't understand what you're proposing. It's easy to get a target to score like 200 pts. Use a score motor cam that will pulse twice per cycle. Getting that to work with a spinner though? The traditional score motor wouldn't be able to go fast enough. Score reels probably wouldn't either

    That's why spinners are always directly tied to a single pulse up. It's the only way it can keep up with how fast a spinner scores.

    If it was trying to do 200 pt spins, the score motor would need to cycle each spin, so most of the spins wouldn't be tallied in the score. Maybe if they added a stepper to keep track of how many spins need to be added, but that's silly. The game would take forever to count a solid spinner rip. (And affect scoring elsewhere)

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    I don't understand what you're proposing. It's easy to get a target to score like 200 pts. Use a score motor cam that will pulse twice per cycle. Getting that to work with a spinner though? The traditional score motor wouldn't be able to go fast enough. Score reels probably wouldn't either

    Don't use a motor. Add an override relay for double scoring. Have all scoring run through there and you can easily double every point switch in the game - or separate them to specific functions. Don't overcomplicate things by adding rotational logic where it's not needed.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Easy - don't use a motor. Add an override relay for double scoring. Have all scoring run through there and you can easily double every point switch in the game - or separate them to specific functions. Don't overcomplicate things by adding rotational logic where it's not needed.

    explain like I'm a five year old EM tech how an override relay works

    #30 1 year ago

    Well, must not be quite awake... yeah, that would work for scoring but you would still need the motor to pulse the 100s relay twice - just like any other multiplied shot value (assuming score reels).

    #31 1 year ago

    Harlem Globetrotters started the question, but I'll use Stars as another example

    I forget what the unlit Stars spinner is worth, maybe 100 pts. But then for each star you collect, it lights a spinner light. The spinner is worth 200 x the number of lit stars. So the game needs to be able to quickly add 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, or 1,000 points per spin. Doesn't seem doable in EM form (in a traditional sized cabinet)

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Score reels or lighted scoring?

    Good point, it could be done easily with lit scoring.

    Edit: Having a spinner with lit scoring would be super weird though

    #34 1 year ago
    Quoted from Jahkub:

    Good point, it could be done easily with lit scoring.
    Edit: Having a spinner with lit scoring would be super weird though

    Well, it could come back to mechanical optimizations. We could see a score reel which might be able to skip a digit, or we might utilize a different offset of reel to shift horizontally one step like a caps lock on an old typewriter.

    We might have each spin incrementally trip additional relays that are then calculated on a single score update

    My initial answer to it being easy is based on it already in place with something like Space Mission, The spinner rips a normal score, and can be lit for a higher per spin value. This is just changing the reel which is being pulse with each spin.

    If you are looking at something like stars, then an optimized way might see a shift method on the reel, mechanical 2x step, or a lighted method as mentioned.. but if you wanted to really replicate the function, you could conceivably have a motor constantly creating various circuit paths on various relay conditions. This is essentially how a CPU operates. The spins could be buffered with a large relay bank to avoid missing switches.. but TBH, even SS machines potentially miss switches due to processing.

    #35 1 year ago
    Quoted from koji:

    Well, it could come back to mechanical optimizations. We could see a score reel which might be able to skip a digit, or we might utilize a different offset of reel to shift horizontally one step like a caps lock on an old typewriter.

    Yes, that's actually how the double award feature worked on Gottlieb woodrails for earning 2x replays. Good point.

    #36 1 year ago

    All I'm hearing is how unpractical it would be to make a spinner that gave a value other than 1/10/100/1000/etc per spin (Space Mission spinner is worth only 100 or 1000. I had one for years)

    Granted I've only worked on one non score reel game, but I don't see why using lit scoring would make the problem better. It's another type of stepper unit that would need to receive multiple pulses per spin, and it needs to happen very quickly

    Yes solid state games can miss scoring. But the game can is reading switches in the millisecond range so it's hardly missing any (especially with a capacitor), and depending on the game, it does have a buffer for the scoring display to catch up.

    #37 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    It's another type of stepper unit that would need to receive multiple pulses per spin, and it needs to happen very quickly

    Just another stepper. Lots of lighted scoring games have different methods of scoring.

    #38 1 year ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    Just another stepper. Lots of lighted scoring games have different methods of scoring.

    Is there an EM spinner that doesn't score 1/10/100/etc per spin

    The most "complicated" variation on spinners I can think of are like Old Chicago where each spin gives you some points and a feature progress that gives a bonus advance every 5 spins (and it would be simple to make it give out 1/2/3/4/5 bonus advances for every 5 spins if desired)

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    Is there an EM spinner that doesn't score 1/10/100/etc per spin
    The most "complicated" variation on spinners I can think of are like Old Chicago where each spin gives you some points and a feature progress that gives a bonus advance every 5 spins (and it would be simple to make it give out 1/2/3/4/5 bonus advances for every 5 spins if desired)

    That's the thing tho. Trying to backport a SS game, VS a game designed for EM tech. So it would not make sense to add complexity unless there was a real need.

    #40 1 year ago

    The scoring mechanism itself doesn't matter. Like bullseye targets that score differently based on the switch hit. I'm not aware of a spinner that scores differently. Considering (at least that I'm aware) that they weren't used for scoring until after score reels were in common use, you probably won't find one.

    Not an expert, and certainly don't claim to be, but I have done ground-up wiring on a complex custom EM game, and performed in-home repair of a lot of games from all eras. As a big fan of bingos, I can assure you, there are ways to do just about anything seemingly complex in EM. I agree with a previous poster who said that the opto grid on the P3 would be difficult, probably impossible, and that changes in display technology are impractical at best. Just about everything else is doable. We're not talking about what is practical, just what couldn't be replicated in EM. Two coils per score reel that actuate two sets of ratchets are definitely not practical.

    #41 1 year ago

    I love EMs too. Fixed a couple dozen now. (And say no thanks to the bingos )

    I'm going to come firmly down on making a spinner like Stars work as an EM is impractical to the point of not considering it.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    It's easy to get a target to score like 200 pts. Use a score motor cam that will pulse twice per cycle. Getting that to work with a spinner though?

    You could just put 2 switches on the spinner, some sort of make/break switch that could do 200/spin. Not sure score reels could keep up tho.

    #43 1 year ago
    Quoted from DNO:

    You could just put 2 switches on the spinner, some sort of make/break switch that could do 200/spin. Not sure score reels could keep up tho.

    This is at least a more practical solution. Though you'd quickly run into a wall of how many make-breaks you could stack together.

    Might work for Harlem Globetrotters. Wouldn't for Stars.

    #44 1 year ago
    Quoted from TreyBo69:

    This is at least a more practical solution.

    To my eyes it's not. A relay is far more practical that defaults to normal scoring, changes path to pulse the double coil for additional scoring. Adding switches to a spinner changes the way the spinner moves/how much it can spin. Cheaper, yes, on its face, but not more practical or reliable. Again, that assumes reel scoring.

    Fun topic! Back to making my next game.

    #45 1 year ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    To my eyes it's not. A relay is far more practical that defaults to normal scoring, changes path to pulse the double coil for additional scoring. Adding switches to a spinner changes the way the spinner moves/how much it can spin. Cheaper, yes, on its face, but not more practical or reliable.
    Fun topic! Back to making my next game.

    You could still have a single switch on the spinner. It fires a relay stack that is full of make-breaks. Those provide the multiple pulses needed to increase a scoring unit more than one per spin. (although good luck adjusting the spacing lol)

    And it's more than double scoring. It's how do you do increase the scoring unit by 1,2,4,6,8,10 (1 and 10 are easy) per spin

    Really the only way I can think to do it is you need a separate high speed motor that is only for the spinner. It would rotate 10x the speed of the score motor. Then you could maybe get the spinner scoring to keep up with the actual spinner.

    Edit, or like some have mentioned - make a very complicated score reel

    #46 1 year ago
    Quoted from bingopodcast:

    To my eyes it's not. A relay is far more practical that defaults to normal scoring, changes path to pulse the double coil for additional scoring. Adding switches to a spinner changes the way the spinner moves/how much it can spin. Cheaper, yes, on its face, but not more practical or reliable. Again, that assumes reel scoring.
    Fun topic! Back to making my next game.

    Yeah.. I started to think about a modified flip-digit counter that could step gaps associated with more card flipping.

    Or just the shift mech on reels..

    But again, solving a non-existent problem really IMO.

    #47 1 year ago

    I think the earliest pinball game feature that can't be done with EM technology is probably the maze feature in Mr. & Mrs Pac Man.

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from Garrett:

    And why it can never be a tournament game.

    Sure it can. Everyone's up against the same score motor limitation. For games like Volley it's a skill to NOT hit multiple targets while the score motor runs.

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from yancy:

    Sure it can. Everyone's up against the same score motor limitation. For games like Volley it's a skill to NOT hit multiple targets while the score motor runs.

    Or when it is important enough for the engineer, they can add a hold relay.. like was done for Grid Iron on the outlane touchdowns.

    #50 1 year ago

    Also I feel like here is the relevant xkcd

    a_bunch_of_rocks.pnga_bunch_of_rocks.png
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