BSD @ IFPA 16 finals

First of all…greatest finals on stream I’ve ever seen. Great job JDL Pinball and commentators.

The Johannes & Daniele match is one for the ages. That win plus the upcoming several German events (7-10 days) might mean we may have a new #1 player in the world by July.

There were a lot of comments and suggestions on the stream about the BSD malfunction. What is the correct ruling, and what exactly happened?

(and has BSD ever worked in a tourney?)


I’m just a guy, I might have just decided to play on and give a comp ball to CEL…on the assumption that it was a software issue (assuming there hadn’t been other similar issues earlier in the weekend).

Explanation of what happened is in the other thread:

No idea on what the malfunction was, but I did notice a credit dot before they started. Did anyone check the message for the credit dot? Might’ve given a clue about what caused the malfunction. Once you get the Mist optos square on Drac, you usually don’t see credit dots.

The other things I noticed is that it didn’t appear to be very steep and cradling and post passing seemed easier than usual for Drac. Did it not have lightning bats?

We used my Drac for years at CAX and it never had an issue. I got more compliments on that game than any other game I brought. It had upgraded flipper coils (11629’s) and we made it really steep for competition. Lightning bats and lightning fast. Fantastic game for competition.

Edit: thinking some more about it, my game did have one small issue over the years. The bracket that holds the ball for the upkicker to the left flipper feed bent down, so the optos wouldn’t recognize the ball. We bent it back up and it was fine for the rest of the show. Never had any software issues.


One of the ones we have in league will get confused and fail like this at least once in a night if we don’t disable the mist. The software is notoriously buggy.

That said, I think there were 3 reasonable ruling.

  1. Save the scores, try to identify and fix the issue. Since it is a WPC, that involves killing the game. I think technically Johannes deserved the points from the auto plunge.
  2. Assume it was a one off failure, each player get’s a compensation ball.
  3. Assume 2 major malfunctions occurred (both players lost balls) throw the game out.

Danielle explicitly asked at one point “can you check my bonus” and that request seemed to be denied. That was the only thing I thought odd

I’d have thought checking the bonus and including that in the score would make sense

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Examples of major malfunctions include:

  • The bonus count begins while the ball is still in play. This can happen if, for example, the machine loses track of how many balls are in the drain trough.

He received a compensation ball.

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He had not earned those bonus yet. What if he tilted. Also, on his comp ball he has the chance to earn them again. He already got 1 payout, so he could get 4 payouts already.

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1 - Johannes deserved a compensation ball
2 - Yes, This is what happened
3 - That call would never be made unless the major malfunctioned repeated in the 2nd game and a catastrophic malfunction was called." * A major malfunction repeatedly recurs in spite of attempts to repair the machine."

2 is not what happened. 1 is what happened, they turned off the machine and they each got 3 compensation balls. 2 would be play on and give each player 1 compensation ball.

A combination of 1 & 2 occurred if you wanted to get technical about it.

1 - Saved score of player who played their ball, killed game (Johannes never played his ball nor touched the machine)
2 - New game, each player got a compensation ball

I disagree. Besides taking mine to CAX, I also had it on location at the home base of the local league for years. It had minor issues over the years, but no software glitches other than the tilt warning steals your bonus bug. Rock solid.

For those not aware, there is only one version of software for Drac. The software isn’t complicated, but the hardware is. Again, would like to know what the message was with the credit dot on the game in question. That’s likely the real clue as to what happened here.

Credit dot was from a hardware adjustment. Right inlane switch removed and mystery set to OFF at game start so it would never be activated.

We didn’t feel comfortable assuming it was just a bug, so we made the executive decision to kill the game in progress and try and recreate/fix the problem.

Daniele did earn one ball worth of Bats and Rats bonus, but because we don’t recreate state when adding compensation balls to a new game, the loss of those potential future Rats and Bats points is bad fortune from the pinball gods.


That makes sense. Wouldn’t have hurt to have looked after the malfunction to see if any extra errors got tacked on. May have been done, but didn’t see it on the stream.

Do you feel Drac software is stable enough for large events Josh?

Absolutely. It was the only incident all weekend of ~100 games. Losing track of balls is unfortunately something that has to get dealt with from time to time.

I consider allowing video mode and Multiball to stack and disable your flippers a bit buggy.

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I believe the ‘buggy’ comments come from the consequences of what may otherwise be minor failures… leading to catastrophically bad, and odd behavior. With the limited sensing of ball locations, the game can often get into a bad state if its tracking of balls gets off. This kind of state can even carry over from player to player. I believe this is what people mean by ‘buggy’… it’s that the problems when they do get triggered… are quite severe and persistent.


While Daniele was playing his first ball, I said “wanna bet there will be a malfunction on BSD”. Boom! Always seems to happen in playoffs…why? Who knows? But take that to the bank. BSD is not reliable in my opinion, 100 earlier game success or not.


The question is do these issues occur more in multiplayer games? If so, maybe playing BSD in single player like they were doing with lock stealing games is the answer.

I’ve heard complaints about Drac for years. Based on the reliability of the game I had, I assumed most of the complaints were based on hardware issues. The Mist optos have to be 100% or you will have issues. If you have a Drac with any odd errors, change all the Mist optos before you do anything else. Hell, I’d recommend replacing them based on age alone. WMS optos are pretty reliable, even after 10 years or more, but those Mist optos have to be perfect. One phantom trigger from a flasher and all bets are off.

Once you’ve replaced the optos, run the Mist test repeatedly. If no errors, you should be good to go. Mist-wise anyway. Lots more optos in the game, but those are the crucial ones.

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This game was basically everything that makes tournament pinball great and a look into what makes it an absolute nightmare to deal with.

A+ will watch again and again.