(Topic ID: 90825)

Why don't manufacturers publish rule sets?


By Nokoro

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 21 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by Nokoro
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    #1 5 years ago

    I'm still somewhat new to this hobby, but there must be some reason for not publishing a complete set of detailed rules and scoring.

    #2 5 years ago

    Most scoring and rules are somewhat laid out in the manual. Well at least for the older machines. Once you get to the newer stuff with complex rules, modes and well the need for a huge rule poster and not just a 4x6 instruction card. Well.. good question.

    #3 5 years ago

    +1,000,000

    It's somewhat fun to figure these out, or to snoop around and read other peoples summary of the rules, but trying to understand the notes section in the code updates seems a little less "customer friendly" than I would like.
    I wish each game had a page on Sterns site with a Bowen-esque breakdown of the rules.

    #4 5 years ago

    Just thought of this the other day. Came to the conclusion that they think you already dropped $xxxx on the game so why take the time to explain to you the rules? It's not going to help them sale any more games (even though I think it may), and it just costs them more time and money.

    I haven't looked but is there a website that allows users to upload rules for games? I think it would be beneficial. I could tell you the ruleset for rollergames, sf2, hardbody, and playboy backwards and forwards. Would be happy to share the knowledge, just don't know where the best place would be...

    Maybe it is something that could be done here on pinside? Is there an interest by others to start putting rulesets up?

    #5 5 years ago

    I like learning the machine as I go. They usually give you the basics but leave some things a mystery until you play some games on it. I actually like it this way.

    #6 5 years ago
    Quoted from BeaverBrewing:

    I haven't looked but is there a website that allows users to upload rules for games? I think it would be beneficial. I could tell you the ruleset for Rollergames, sf2, Hardbody, and playboy backwards and forwards. Would be happy to share the knowledge, just don't know where the best place would be...

    PAPA has some rule sets.

    I like not knowing all the rules, it's fun to discover them. After owning TSPP for 2 years I still don't understand everything, especially some of the tree house awards.

    #7 5 years ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    I'm still somewhat new to this hobby, but there must be some reason for not publishing a complete set of detailed rules and scoring.

    Many of us enjoy learning the rules along with the shots. I typically (not always) don't even read the instruction card until I'm 40 or 50 games in.

    Even if you memorize the rules to a new game before playing it, you probably won't do well. You need to learn the shots along with the rules. For many of us, it's easier to learn both as you go along. Playing with someone else (a spotter) can be very helpful early on. Hard to watch the display and the playfield at the same time.

    #8 5 years ago

    I get the notion that it is fun to figure these things out as you go along, but once you've owned / played a game for long enough, it seems like there should be a reference point to figure out all the rules that have eluded you up until that point. Especially when it comes to scoring. What shots score what points and so on.

    At PAX East, I spoke to the guys who run Pinball Arcade for iOS, PC, etc. They said that it takes them 2 weeks of straight playing to learn the rules of a machine. They put the written rules into the software so you can view them. It just seems kind of ridiculous that you can't get these things from the manufacturers themselves.

    #9 5 years ago
    Quoted from BeaverBrewing:

    Maybe it is something that could be done here on pinside? Is there an interest by others to start putting rulesets up?

    I would be interested in having a repository for this.

    #10 5 years ago

    aren't the rules linked on ipdb?

    #11 5 years ago

    I would guess that they are in flux. What they start out with changes as they go.

    Take X-men-

    The initial code versus what is the final code are two different beasts- (pun intended)

    You had to start Magneto multiball to get things started and the stacking rules, combos and Deadpool changed the game completely.

    #13 5 years ago

    For the sake of operators.. Keep the punter coming back to try work out how it works. Part of the journey is the discovery. First half of a lifetime of quarters is working out the rules, next half is racking up the score. No point in giving away the first half.

    #14 5 years ago

    I just bought a Spider Man. I watched Bowen's Papa video shortly after. I kinda wish I waited awhile and learned it on my own and used his tips to improve my own. Now I feel like I'm playing his way, and that isn't easy. The videos are a great resource, but I feel like I may have shortened the life of that game by a few months watching someone do everything there is to do on it.

    #15 5 years ago

    I used to be a big gamer, and one thing the gamer community is AMAZING at is producing walkthroughs/faqs/rulesheets for every game known to man.

    I wish the pinball community was the same. I find rule sheets extremely helpful. And the recent skill shot thread indicates that there are a lot of people who have owned games a long time and there are still elements they haven't discovered.

    It would be awesome to have a knowledge base of rule sheets and tournament strategies for games. Pinball veterans have a distinct tournament advantage over newer players because they've played most games and know the rules inside and out. Without rule sheets it is impossible for newer players to understand games they rarely come in contact with.

    With this in mind I'd argue that rule sheets are more important to pinball than faqs/walkthroughs are for video games.

    A venn diagram of 'geeks', 'gamers', and 'pinheads' would show the 'geeks' have huge overlap with 'gamers,' and not so much overlap with 'pinheads'. Not to mention the fact that there is an order of magnitude (or two) more gamers than pinheads. So it is no surprise there is such a lack of this information being produced. But there is a better chance if the community would work together and reward people who write them.

    Like IPDB, Pinside would do well to make rule sheets available for games, and reward karma to people who write/contribute to them.

    #16 5 years ago

    You can learn most all of the rules these days just by looking at Instant Info. In past years, Lyman hasn't embraced II. Now he does. AC/DC and MET have tons of info. Keith Johnson games have had tons of info seemingly forever. Lonnie games are typically simple enough that you don't need the rules. You can figure them out on your own.

    Nokoro, I see you only own a Special Forces. Do you get all the rules for that? Just wondering where the frustration is coming from.

    #17 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    Nokoro, I see you only own a Special Forces. Do you get all the rules for that? Just wondering where the frustration is coming from.

    Yes, I do now. But it took me a while, even for a relatively simple game. And, when I first got it, a lot of switches were malfunctioning due to vibration. Because I didn't understand the rules, it took me longer to diagnose the problems than it would have otherwise.

    But, this is more coming from someone who would like to go and play some games on location and have a decent game without having to spend lots of money just learning the rules. I think it would make a lot of the more complex games more approachable and actually increase my enjoyment at playing them if I could reference the rules somewhere.

    #18 5 years ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    Yes, I do now. But it took me a while, even for a relatively simple game. And, when I first got it, a lot of switches were malfunctioning due to vibration. Because I didn't understand the rules, it took me longer to diagnose the problems than it would have otherwise.

    Well if it was your first game and it had switch issues, I can see how it might take longer.

    Quoted from Nokoro:

    But, this is more coming from someone who would like to go and play some games on location and have a decent game without having to spend lots of money just learning the rules. I think it would make a lot of the more complex games more approachable and actually increase my enjoyment at playing them if I could reference the rules somewhere.

    You still have to learn the shots. Comprehending the rules and putting up big scores is a lot tougher if you don't know the shots. There are rulesheets out there for most popular games. Play 15 or 20 games, then look at the rules. You'll learn the game a lot faster that way. (not just the rules)

    A little late, but welcome to the hobby. If you're ever in silicon valley, send me a pm and I'll hook you up with all the good locations around.

    #19 5 years ago

    When I was young I always felt the buddy system was perfect for pinball. Me and Ben would help each other out by what was displayed on the dmd, or called out during a multiball when the player is just focusing on playing. That and learning from the old gaurd if they are around.

    #20 5 years ago
    Quoted from pinballkim:

    When I was young I always felt the buddy system was perfect for pinball. Me and Ben would help each other out by what was displayed on the dmd, or called out during a multiball when the player is just focusing on playing.

    Yup. In the really old days (only EM's), there was no display and the value of each target was clear because of the different chime sounds for each value. Didn't need a spotter. You literally heard what you were scoring. Now, with a display and increasingly more complex rules, having a buddy along side is a huge help. The learning curve is a lot faster. You also have more fun that way. As some smart dude once said, it's more fun to compete.

    #21 5 years ago

    Way back in the early days of PAPA Data East created "rulesheets" for their tournament games... It was mentioned in the online Jurassic Park rulesheet that he "stole" some stuff from the Data East one.

    #22 5 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    I used to be a big gamer, and one thing the gamer community is AMAZING at is producing walkthroughs/faqs/rulesheets for every game known to man

    It just blows my mind how detailed some walkthroughs on gamefaqs.com are. Some are like a Stephen King novel.

    #23 5 years ago

    Because they never finish the code any more

    #24 5 years ago

    It's no fun to know. I only read the rule sheets if there is something I just can't figure out, which is rare.

    Discovering it yourself is where the fun is for me. Sometimes with more complicated machines, it worth it through watching the tutorial vids. I just watched a long one on WPT, the scoring strategies in that are insane. That would be a tough game to learn cold turkey for example.

    #25 5 years ago

    Same reason videogame companies don't usually hand out walkthrus for their brand new games; it's typically up to third parties and individuals to do that.

    Pinball is like an action, RPG, and puzzle game all rolled into one. Figuring out the right moves, and what needs to go where and how to make progress is all part of the fun (imo).

    #26 5 years ago

    something to consider... the software for these games is written in a patchwork manner... it would not be surprising to me if the manufacturer doesn't even know the complete ruleset...

    you can't compare it to videogames that follow a structured software development and release process...

    #27 5 years ago
    Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

    Same reason video game companies don't usually hand out walk thrus for their brand new games; it's typically up to third parties and individuals to do that.

    you're talking about the home market here vs. the arcade games of the 80's

    I used to author strategy guides for brady and prima and there's huge money in both the sales (from the book publisher side) and licensing (from the game publisher side) of official guide books. even with the internet, a lot of hardcore gamers will purchase the strategy guides on "day one" at the same time that they buy a game, just so they can cruise through the game (and then get onto the next), or have all of the maps handy to have a better advantage in multiplayer titles than their opposition for the first week or so.

    let's go back to the 70's/80's and look at [arcade] video games and pinball machines. even though the rules weren't as deep as they are today, as TimeBandit mentioned, most of the coin drop was earned by arcades & bars by players paying to play and "learn" the rules, patterns and risk/rewards of the machine.
    yes, a few companies put out small booklets for some of the AAA video games (pac-man, donkey kong, defender, etc...) but given the lack of the social media network and internet access that we have today, the ownage was on the player and their small band of friends sharing the "secrets" that they uncovered.

    and although pinball has a larger audience and target ownership today than bars, restaurants and the occasional arcade, they are still, by in large, commercial machines which are sold to make money for their operators. money which is made by repeated plays by players learning the rules to conquer the machine and/or achieve the high score.

    #28 5 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    A little late, but welcome to the hobby. If you're ever in silicon valley, send me a pm and I'll hook you up with all the good locations around.

    Thanks very much. I may take you up on that sometime!

    #29 5 years ago

    To be clear, my Special Force manual had a lot of the rules in it. It was just quite difficult to read and interpret. I did have fun figuring things out, but that is a relatively simple pin. My question was not borne so much out of frustration but curiosity. As accidental notes, the video game industry is quite different, and I was more familiar with that model.

    Quoted from j_m_:

    and although pinball has a larger audience and target ownership today than bars, restaurants and the occasional arcade, they are still, by in large, commercial machines which are sold to make money for their operators. money which is made by repeated plays by players learning the rules to conquer the machine and/or achieve the high score.

    As to this point, I can definitely see that, but let me make a counterargument based on some recent experiences. The first time I played LOTR, I was really looking forward to the game. I heard it was great. Yet, I didn't really know what to do, and my games left me unsatisfied. The playfield is fairly open, and nothing special happened during my games. I left disappointed. I came back to it several weeks later determined to give it another try. I really examined the playfield and read the short instruction card. I soon figured out about gathering rings and what that did. I had great games, and it is now one of my favorite pins to play. That said, I'm sure there is quite a lot I haven't figured out yet that would increase my enjoyment if I had some reference for the rules. Reading a rule set would make me want to go back and give it even more money.

    By contrast, I have now played WOZ several times and given it more than a fair chance in my opinion. I really can't figure out what I'm supposed to be shooting for. My games are also quite short (though that may have to do more with my skill on those games than the lack of a rule set). Either way, I'm at the point where I'm done giving that thing my dollars only to have relatively unsatisfying games. If I see it at a friend's house, I will certainly play and enjoy it, and even learn some things. But, I don't want to feed any more money into it until I know what to do. If there was a rule set, I feel like I would give it a second chance. Without one, it is not getting anymore of my money.

    #30 5 years ago

    Both LOTR and OZ are Keith Johnson games. Keith writes the deepest rules of any game programmer. Thankfully, he also gives more info via instant info than any other programmer. Hold both flippers in between balls and learn.

    Neither of those games are good 'beginner' games. Games with simple rules like IM, AVE and Tron are better suited for newer players. Jumping on LOTR or OZ and expecting to come up to speed quickly is like starting off in auto racing by driving an F1 car. Too much too soon. You can learn the rules by playing on location, but it's going to cost you.

    LOTR on default settings typically has very long ball times. If the game you're playing is set up hard (averaging less than 4 minutes a game), that will not only kill the fun of the game, but it will also empty your wallet quicker. Despite being a ridiculously deep game, because of the long ball times, LOTR' did very well on location for a long, long time. Likely a dozen or more currently on location in Portland.

    #31 5 years ago

    That makes sense and rings very true.

    #32 5 years ago
    Quoted from Nokoro:

    That makes sense and RINGS very true.

    I see what you did there

    #33 5 years ago

    Personally, I don't feel much love for a game until I know what to aim for and how it all works.
    Stern (and others) could at least make the rules available once they have been completed.
    Not sure how many pins are currently sold to home users vs operators, but I don't know a single Metallica pin that's on route locally, and yet there are 6 people I know locally who have one.
    I would expect that things are changing, no?

    #34 5 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    I see what you did there

    Believe it or not, it was unintentional.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    € 222.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Buthamburg
    From: $ 279.00
    Lighting - Backbox
    Arcade Upkeep
    $ 10.00
    Cabinet - Decals
    Docquest Pinball Mods
    $ 24.00
    $ 40.00
    $ 26.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    The MOD Couple
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 19.99
    $ 5,999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Arizona Pinball
    $ 200.00
    Lighting - Interactive
    Professor Pinball
    $ 175.00
    Lighting - Interactive
    Professor Pinball
    From: $ 220.00
    $ 55.00
    Gameroom - Decorations
    Pinball Photos
    $ 21.95
    Apparel - Unisex
    Pinball Wheezer
    $ 79.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 79.99
    Cabinet - Armor And Blades
    PinGraffix Pinside Shop
    $ 7,599.00
    Pinball Machine
    Classic Game Rooms
    $ 29.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    $ 75.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Whitewater pinball mods
    $ 20.00
    Playfield - Decals
    DevilsMuse Arcade
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 68.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    PinWorlds
    € 40.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    YOYOKOPTER MODS
    $ 125.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Sparky Pinball

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside