(Topic ID: 269025)

With COVID-19 rules, STERN coder's are preparing massive updates


By hoby1

55 days ago



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  • 64 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 47 days ago by Rdoyle1978
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    -36
    #1 55 days ago

    Then I woke up.....Wishful thinking

    17
    #2 55 days ago

    Actually they are doing a big code overhaul. With the recent addition of the #1 player in the world, he is going through every game to tweak the rules and code. Good things coming!

    12
    #3 55 days ago
    Quoted from hoby1:

    Then I woke up.....Wishful thinking

    what games do you want to see more code for? They've actually been pretty active and doing nice work. EHOH has received quite a few nice updates recently with more on the way as have ST and I believe BK. I see people asking for munsters code, but i thought that game was considered finished by the programmer.

    Id like to see them touch up acdc, they left a significant hole for Oi mania.

    -5
    #4 55 days ago
    Quoted from Lermods:

    what games do you want to see more code for? They've actually been pretty active and doing nice work. EHOH has received quite a few nice updates recently with more on the way as have ST and I believe BK. I see people asking for munsters code, but i thought that game was considered finished by the programmer.

    no code will save munsters at this point

    -1
    #5 55 days ago
    Quoted from Lermods:

    I see people asking for munsters code, but i thought that game was considered finished by the programmer.

    Then he deserves to be fired!

    #6 55 days ago
    Quoted from DeathHimself:

    Then he deserves to be fired!

    Stupid nonsense.

    If your boss says, do this thing, and you do it, you should be fired?

    #7 55 days ago
    Quoted from ectobar:

    Stupid nonsense.
    If your boss says, do this thing, and you do it, you should be fired?

    Do you really think Gary and George said to say such a stupid remark especially as sales are just about to come in? That's so counter productive for business...

    and if not but an employee does or states something stupid that causes loss of revenue, yes they get dismissed.

    #8 55 days ago

    Wasn't he told to make the game simple? For some reason I thought I read it around here somewhere or on one of the many podcast. I'm not a huge fan of the code but will play the game on route periodically as I like how it shoots. Me personally I wanted more from it.

    #9 55 days ago

    WWE update coming in hot!

    gif.gif
    #10 55 days ago
    Quoted from Guinnesstime:

    WWE update coming in hot![quoted image]

    This actually may be truer than you know if rumors are correct.

    Fact is, Stern employees have been cranking out code updates and continuing to work on new games since this started. You think Gary is just paying them to pick their noses? No, that's not really how Stern operates.

    It's the same old refrain. When people are bitching about lack of code updates, they are really bitching about lack of code UPDATE - as in, the one game they care about. If that game hasn't received the update they've convinced themselves they deserve, they think the code monkeys aren't doing anything worthwhile, when in fact they are doing plenty.

    #12 55 days ago

    Now THAT is wishful thinking.
    I’m pretty sure the coder was saying that the master files are lost for this game? I don’t remember it completely but the files were on his computer at Stern when he left and had been accidently deleted.

    I wish we could see WOF finished because that game truly deserves it.

    #13 54 days ago
    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    I’m pretty sure the coder was saying that the master files are lost for this game? I don’t remember it completely but the files were on his computer at Stern when he left and had been accidently deleted.

    Keith Johnson wasn't given the extra help promised by Stern to finish WOF's code, and him being laid off from the company was the nail in the coffin. The game itself also sold poorly, from what I've heard, so -- as Keith mentioned in an interview -- there's little for Stern to gain from finishing code on an unsuccessful title from 13 or so years ago.

    Plus, if they wanted to do something new with WOF, I suspect they'd have to go through licensing approvals again.

    Quoted from Isochronic_Frost:

    I wish we could see WOF finished because that game truly deserves it.

    I also like the game and want one, but I personally doubt Stern will officially update it again. The only solution may be a fan update with P-ROC, essentially rewriting the original rules from scratch before adding the missing stuff in.

    #14 54 days ago
    Screenshot_20200519-141629~2 (resized).png
    #15 54 days ago

    I wish they would add two more songs to maiden like they did for Metallica.

    #16 54 days ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    Wasn't he told to make the game simple?

    Yes. They wanted something that new players could easily approach and not so crazy complex like GOT and SW.

    #17 54 days ago
    Quoted from smognote:

    I wish they would add two more songs to maiden like they did for Metallica.

    Hell yes! Sign me up for more songs for Maiden. The greatest game ever (in my opinion) can only get better. Minor bug fixes with a couple new songs to select (no need to have any new mini-wizard modes or whatever thrown in for the songs IMO) is all it needs at this point.

    Hook me up with some Revelations and Caught Somewhere in time...

    #18 54 days ago

    How would you propose adding songs to IMDN? The songs in MET don't mean anything. They are just background music. The songs in IMDN are the modes and have corresponding inserts. Where exactly would you add these songs and what would be their purpose?

    #19 54 days ago

    Beatles is another that id like to see them add another song or two that isn’t tied to a mode/insert for between modes. I think it’s stupid that they have taxman wizard mode but the song also plays throughout the game between modes. Shouldn’t hear that unless you make it to the end.

    #20 54 days ago
    Quoted from ectobar:

    How would you propose adding songs to IMDN? The songs in MET don't mean anything. They are just background music. The songs in IMDN are the modes and have corresponding inserts. Where exactly would you add these songs and what would be their purpose?

    Every song in Met except unforgiven has a corresponding mode as well. Met uses music exactly as Maiden does.

    #21 54 days ago
    Quoted from ectobar:

    How would you propose adding songs to IMDN? The songs in MET don't mean anything. They are just background music. The songs in IMDN are the modes and have corresponding inserts. Where exactly would you add these songs and what would be their purpose?

    Since the initial song selection has no impact on gameplay, all they need to do is create new song selection images for the Start screen, and call it done. Nothing gameplay or insert wise required. Frankly I would like more songs that I won't hear during any modes.

    #22 54 days ago

    Nobody in the history of playing MET has ever referred to Snake MB as anything other than Snake MB. Sad but true.

    #23 54 days ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    Wasn't he told to make the game simple? For some reason I thought I read it around here somewhere or on one of the many podcast. I'm not a huge fan of the code but will play the game on route periodically as I like how it shoots. Me personally I wanted more from it.

    I like mine. Could be great. Video clip integration is not good and so redundant compared to Elvira and BM66 for example

    It might be fine for “on route”. Then just sell to location operators and not HUO

    It can be both “simple” and “complex/deep” like the games I mentioned that Lyman did

    Maybe they told Dwight that, but I won’t be buying any Dwight games for HUO unless it’s completely done up front or there is a guarantee

    Even then I might wait it out and not buy. I still have my GBLE and not interested in waiting 2-3 yrs to finish code

    Lyman might take longer but he does it in stage and they are materpieces

    When you are dropping $9k on a pin it should go without saying code will be deep and great OR don’t sell an LE version. Just make pros

    #24 54 days ago
    Quoted from chuckwurt:

    Yes. They wanted something that new players could easily approach and not so crazy complex like GOT and SW.

    That was my understanding. I loved munsters as a kid, used to watch it with my mom but it’s like the ultimate old boomer title. Anytime my parents tag along to play pinball with me or my brother they always go to munsters. They can play it for a few minutes, somewhat understand it, not feel like they wasted a buck with instant drains. Put them on Star Wars and see what happens... I’m glad this game exists as it does.

    #25 54 days ago

    I've got zero expierence with Batman 66 but hear it's one of the best codes out there. Couldn't the update tdk to be deeper? Last code update was 2010

    #26 54 days ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    When you are dropping $9k on a pin it should go without saying code will be deep and great OR don’t sell an LE version. Just make pros

    I don't know. To me it just has to be fun. My deadpool isn't what I would call deep but its fun. I spent $9k on my Tron LE and I think we can all agree it's not deep, but its fun for me to play.

    I think sometimes we over think things and think deep equals fun when a less complex code can be fun and a nice change sometimes. Another example would be Iron Man too. With munsters it just doesn't have the spark (at least to me) that the other shallow games do. I do enjoy shooting the ball around on it though thus why I'll stick a couple bucks in one on route.

    #27 54 days ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    With munsters it just doesn't have the spark (at least to me) that the other shallow games do.

    That’s cause Dwight mustn’t be contained!! Let the man make his crazy rulesets!! Man GOT and SW are so good. Scratch me right where I itch. Hopefully that’s where TMNT goes. Can already see it from the selectable character standpoint.

    19
    #28 54 days ago

    I'll take this in a slightly different direction: I'd like to see Stern improve the OS. The nice thing about OS improvements is that they apply to all future games (and potentially past games as well).

    An immediate example: I can understand why the Service Mode menus still display as if they were on a DMD. (Although it makes the burn-in test rather silly.) But they could do it so much better if they used the rest of that lovely screen:

    • Actual explanations of what the various options mean (quick, what's the difference between Flasher LED Brightness and Flasher LED Max Brightness?)
    • Switch/lamp/solenoid tests that show playfield positions and wiring colors.
    • Built-in troubleshooting information ("Oh, you're running a switch test on switch 42? Is it busted? Here's a picture of how the under-playfield wiring should look.")
    • Better diagnostic modes (think about how convenient it could be for operators to have a Quick Playfield Check mode -- "Just roll a pinball around all the various ramps and loops and such, here's a playfield diagram showing all the switches you haven't hit yet, okay, now load balls into this lock and we'll verify that the VUK works, and so on, until everything's tested and we give you troubleshooting information on any parts that failed").
    • Better experience for home users ("Welcome to Guided Setup! Is this going to be a commercial or a home installation? Home? Okay! I can turn on Free Play and disable Match, and remind you when you should perform maintenance; is that okay?")
    #29 54 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This actually may be truer than you know if rumors are correct.
    Fact is, Stern employees have been cranking out code updates and continuing to work on new games since this started. You think Gary is just paying them to pick their noses? No, that's not really how Stern operates.
    It's the same old refrain. When people are bitching about lack of code updates, they are really bitching about lack of code UPDATE - as in, the one game they care about. If that game hasn't received the update they've convinced themselves they deserve, they think the code monkeys aren't doing anything worthwhile, when in fact they are doing plenty.

    If they do that, then I will have to get one back. I liked it before, but figured a code update was never coming and it had to go in trade towards JJP Pirates anyway. I lobbied for a code update for quite awhile and sent over multiple lists of what needed to be fixed as did many others. I'd gladly pick up another one for the right price, especially if the code was revisited.

    #30 54 days ago
    Quoted from KickahaOta:

    I'll take this in a slightly different direction: I'd like to see Stern improve the OS. The nice thing about OS improvements is that they apply to all future games (and potentially past games as well).
    An immediate example: I can understand why the Service Mode menus still display as if they were on a DMD. (Although it makes the burn-in test rather silly.) But they could do it so much better if they used the rest of that lovely screen:

    Actual explanations of what the various options mean (quick, what's the difference between Flasher LED Brightness and Flasher LED Max Brightness?)
    Switch/lamp/solenoid tests that show playfield positions and wiring colors.
    Built-in troubleshooting information ("Oh, you're running a switch test on switch 42? Is it busted? Here's a picture of how the under-playfield wiring should look.")
    Better diagnostic modes (think about how convenient it could be for operators to have a Quick Playfield Check mode -- "Just roll a pinball around all the various ramps and loops and such, here's a playfield diagram showing all the switches you haven't hit yet, okay, now load balls into this lock and we'll verify that the VUK works, and so on, until everything's tested and we give you troubleshooting information on any parts that failed").
    Better experience for home users ("Welcome to Guided Setup! Is this going to be a commercial or a home installation? Home? Okay! I can turn on Free Play and disable Match, and remind you when you should perform maintenance; is that okay?")

    Honestly, the DMD-style menu works fine. It's intuitive, simple, and gets the point across.

    It's 100 percent for service and adjustment. Why should stern waste time and resources beautifying it? How would this improve anybody's feature adjusting or service testing experience?

    #31 54 days ago
    Quoted from 85vett:

    I don't know. To me it just has to be fun. My deadpool isn't what I would call deep but its fun. I spent $9k on my Tron LE and I think we can all agree it's not deep, but its fun for me to play.
    I think sometimes we over think things and think deep equals fun when a less complex code can be fun and a nice change sometimes. Another example would be Iron Man too. With munsters it just doesn't have the spark (at least to me) that the other shallow games do. I do enjoy shooting the ball around on it though thus why I'll stick a couple bucks in one on route.

    I agree with the “fun” part

    Munsters is still a lot of fun for a few games every now and then and then on to something else

    I never did go for Tron, IM or Deadpool to own them. Although DP is on my want list

    But you are correct, it doesn’t have that “spark”

    STHLE does have the spark

    Surely after Munsters they will let Dwight loose on TMNT

    #32 54 days ago
    Quoted from iceman44:

    I agree with the “fun” part
    Munsters is still a lot of fun for a few games every now and then and then on to something else
    I never did go for Tron, IM or Deadpool to own them. Although DP is on my want list
    But you are correct, it doesn’t have that “spark”
    STHLE does have the spark
    Surely after Munsters they will let Dwight loose on TMNT

    Munsters was like that phone they made with giant number keys and a simple display and no bells and whistles.

    It was intended for very old people who can't see very well. Nice and simple.

    Doesn't have much to offer anybody else though.

    #33 54 days ago
    Quoted from MJR8peanut:

    no code will save munsters at this point

    I watched that show when I was young, well reruns in the 80's. I'm old but not that old Still theme does nothing for me.
    Anyway I've played some Munsters and its a fun game. Goes in that "I'll play on site but never own" category. Like most pinball machines for me. What would save it? that's my question.

    #34 54 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Munsters was like that phone they made with giant number keys and a simple display and no bells and whistles.
    It was intended for very old people who can't see very well. Nice and simple.
    Doesn't have much to offer anybody else though.

    Lol. I Guess that’s right. They can’t all be masterpiece games although that’s what I’ve come to expect from Stern as good as their recent games have been

    #35 54 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Honestly, the DMD-style menu works fine. It's intuitive, simple, and gets the point across.
    It's 100 percent for service and adjustment. Why should stern waste time and resources beautifying it? How would this improve anybody's feature adjusting or service testing experience?

    It's that attention to detail we look for when dropping upwards of $9000 on a pin. Sure, old, basic menu works fine but so does photoshop art, clipart animations, thin clearcoat, and cheap voice actors. Pin can still be fun with all that but a lot more enjoyable when everything done at a higher level. Stern still makes the cheapest full featured pin so guess you have to cut corners somewhere.

    #36 54 days ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    It's that attention to detail we look for when dropping upwards of $9000 on a pin. Sure, old, basic menu works fine but so does photoshop art, clipart animations, thin clearcoat, and cheap voice actors. Pin can still be fun with all that but a lot more enjoyable when everything done at a higher level. Stern still makes the cheapest full featured pin so guess you have to cut corners somewhere.

    I don’t see what a basic menu has to do with any of the gripes you mentioned.

    It’s easy for stern to ignore your complaints when they are as weak as this. To extrapolate your theory, when stern sees people whining about things as insignificant as this, it may lead them to believe all of your complaints are as equally frivolous and that they aren’t worth addressing.

    Picking your battles instead of going into these bottomless pit of despair laundry list gripefests would probably be much more effective in getting the things you actually need done.

    #37 54 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I don’t see what a basic menu has to do with any of the gripes you mentioned.
    It’s easy for stern to ignore your complaints when they are as weak as this. To extrapolate your theory, when stern sees people whining about things as insignificant as this, it may lead them to believe all of your complaints are as equally frivolous and that they aren’t worth addressing.
    Picking your battles instead of going into these bottomless pit of despair laundry list gripefests would probably be much more effective in getting the things you actually need done.

    Yup. Just get it done, ship it out the door, and be done with it. Rinse, repeat. I'm all for it.

    #38 54 days ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Honestly, the DMD-style menu works fine. It's intuitive, simple, and gets the point across.
    It's 100 percent for service and adjustment. Why should stern waste time and resources beautifying it? How would this improve anybody's feature adjusting or service testing experience?

    You run a pinball sales and service business. Looking at a small sample of your posts, you're clearly very good at it. I would take your advice on just about anything related to pinball. But I've spent almost a decade of my career working on user interfaces for computer software. And one of the strongest lessons I've learned from that is "When you want to know whether your interface is efficient, study how experts use it. When you want to know whether your interface is intuitive, study how newcomers use it. When you want to know whether your interface is effective, study both."

    Is the SPIKE service menu efficient? You're an expert. I'll gladly defer to you on that. I'm a newcomer at configuring a pinball machine. Is the SPIKE service menu intuitive? No. No, it's not. It's not close.

    #39 54 days ago
    Quoted from KickahaOta:

    You run a pinball sales and service business. Looking at a small sample of your posts, you're clearly very good at it. I would take your advice on just about anything related to pinball. But I've spent almost a decade of my career working on user interfaces for computer software. And one of the strongest lessons I've learned from that is "When you want to know whether your interface is efficient, study how experts use it. When you want to know whether your interface is intuitive, study how newcomers use it. When you want to know whether your interface is effective, study both."
    Is the SPIKE service menu efficient? You're an expert. I'll gladly defer to you on that. I'm a newcomer at configuring a pinball machine. Is the SPIKE service menu intuitive? No. No, it's not. It's not close.

    Good points. Also consider the business up side of spending money making the menu easier to use for a newcomer. Let’s say it costs $50,000 to rebuild. You’ve just saved the newcomer what... 2 minutes? Once? And will they now go buy another new machine - or perhaps would the old interface so turned them off that they would never buy another Stern again?

    I actually think the Spike UI sucks. I have a JJP POTC right next to a Spike2 game. The JJP menu is great - works roughly the same but much nicer visually. The spike menu looks horrible. But I change what I need to and close the coin door, forgetting all about the menu. It just doesn’t make business sense to re-do it.

    #40 54 days ago
    Quoted from MJR8peanut:

    no code will save munsters at this point

    If Batman '66 could be fixed, Munsters can. Munsters code is almost 1 to 1 exactly where Batman '66 was at its sad and depressing launch, feature and mode-wise. Lyman eventually made it great. Munsters can be fixed, but the will to fix it has to be there.

    #41 54 days ago

    I for one, hope that one of these magnificently talented, highly skilled; very attractive coding geniuses, would take a bit of their COVID coding day, juuuuuussssst enough to record a REAL knocker firing and implement said knocker noise into every Stern ever produced!
    (Minus WNBJM and the like of course!)
    Pretty please, with sugar on top.

    #42 54 days ago

    Funny thing is everyone knows they asked for a "simpler" game after StarWars Multiplikatorgate, but now that they got that it's Dwights, Georges, Sterns fault.

    And might I add, Stern/ Dwight did heavily communicate this in advance.

    #43 54 days ago
    Quoted from DS_Nadine:

    Funny thing is everyone knows they asked for a "simpler" game after StarWars Multiplikatorgate, but now that they got that it's Dwights, Georges, Sterns fault.
    And might I add, Stern/ Dwight did heavily communicate this in advance.

    There's SIMPLE and then there's NOT FUN. Attack From Mars is a simple game with easy to understand, non-annoying rules that's a great deal of fun every time. It DESTROYS Munsters. Munsters is just code poor and fun impoverished. The Kitty show was a mistake and the pointless dragstrip breaking up gameplay over and over is annoying. With a substantial rethink it could be a great game without getting much more complex. But Stern has to WANT to do it.

    #44 54 days ago
    Quoted from ectobar:How would you propose adding songs to IMDN? The songs in MET don't mean anything. They are just background music. The songs in IMDN are the modes and have corresponding inserts. Where exactly would you add these songs and what would be their purpose?

    Most of the songs in Metallica are tied into its "modes"(more so mbs) but Metallica isnt as mode based as Maiden. Even the added track "Blackened" has a mode (though they were clearly banking on "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse")
    Maiden (PRO ) has "Can I Play with Madness" tied to nothing and that song blows. People just like more tracks to choose from and Maiden fans have favorite songs they wish were in their games. I'd love a couple new tracks. Having said that, does Keith Elwin strike you as a guy to just add songs? I'd bet he would want to have at least some little new thing in the code to reflect them. Fingers crossed.

    #45 54 days ago

    I wish they would expand the high score tables on Deadpool ala Jurassic Park/Iron Maiden. Think -- disco loop champion, most ninjas killed, chimichanga champion, etc, etc, etc...

    #46 54 days ago
    Quoted from mikeflan:

    I wish they would expand the high score tables on Deadpool ala Jurassic Park/Iron Maiden. Think -- disco loop champion, most ninjas killed, chimichanga champion, etc, etc, etc...

    Flipper power adjustment, please, I'm begging you Stern.

    #47 54 days ago
    Quoted from Graysonsdad:

    I'd love a couple new tracks. Having said that, does Keith Elwin strike you as a guy to just add songs? I'd bet he would want to have at least some little new thing in the code to reflect them. Fingers crossed.

    It ain't up to Keith. Stern has to pay Iron Maiden for any new tracks they license. No way they're spending money when it won't make anything back for them, and even if it increased demand for IM, Stern is sitting on a backlog of orders for other JP, HoH, etc so even that likely won't help.

    Quoted from 85vett:

    Flipper power adjustment, please, I'm begging you Stern.

    This is in the latest OS code. JP and STH have it, not sure what other games so far? It'll hopefully get backported to others as they receive updates.

    #48 53 days ago
    Quoted from metallik:

    It ain't up to Keith. Stern has to pay Iron Maiden for any new tracks they license. No way they're spending money when it won't make anything back for them, and even if it increased demand for IM, .

    Couldnt the same have been said about the Metallica tracks? Why update the Ghostbusters and GoT code when they arent producing them anymore? (I could be wrong about another run of GoT happening) For that matter why update anything after they've sold their fill? Keeping customers happy and coming back for more. That IS good for business.

    #49 53 days ago

    Code updates after the games are off the line and forgotten by the sales department are nothing more than a labor of love by the programmer. Lyman will revisit something he never finished to his satisfaction, sometimes years later. But they are working on that stuff on their own time.

    #50 53 days ago

    This thread is the equivalent of a crop dusting...

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