Diner: Custom ROM discussion

Diner is rumoured to give Start multiball on Todays special, if the player has a ball locked. But that is not true (though often). It will, however, start multiball for you, when plunging the ball to the upper eject. Just as a shot made by the player via the spinner. But, the Diner used at INDISC had a mechanical condition where it unfortunetly did not make it all the way, from the hole plunger, to the upper eject hole, every time.

My experience based on Diner broadcast which was two balls from a quarterfinal. And the finals game.

The mod was developed starting October in collaboration with Belsito. And my plan was to make a decision on release or not, or further developement, based on INDISC experience. The content of the mod was posted by Belsito in post 3 of this thread, some time before INDISC. This is the full content of the mod.

Stuff like deterministic Todays special and more linear progression Stir-the-cup are under consideration. Please chime in. The inspiration is, as it often is, the luck/skill balance for higher level competition play.

I was very sad to see the trouble the game had in the final round. For players and organisers. The jukebox plunge awards is first switch. Not necessary the upper hole. So, I guess a phantom switch was what you had there, Colin.

Honestly, I highly doubt that the mod had anything to do with the misbehaves. It is pinball-gizmos, as they unfortunetly appear once in a while. Great timing, right. Deep investigation to be come.

Great work, INDISC crew. Great play, players.


To help clarify…

There is a setting in Diner where the ‘Todays Special’ scoop does or does not spot the top scoop awards. I had game set to NOT spot the upper scoop awards.


Happy to announce, that I have cracked the major malfunction seen during Jared Augusts ball 2 of Diner in the final.

And even happier, that this has nothing to do with the software mod installed in the game. And that I can explain it and reproduce it at will. On the L-4 ROM in factory reset configuration.

The problem is a weakness in the procedure starting multiball in the switch handler for the upper eject hole. There is a window of a little less than a second, where if the hole switch is released and then re-closed, the game ends up in the state we widnessed. Start multiball Release lamp is off, multiball cannot be started at the eject hole, Release cannot be relit and at drain, the game does not go to end-of-ball.

Luckly, there is some evidence for this explaination in the broadcast of the game played. The upper eject hole awards 5K by default. Starting multiball awards 50K. If you watch closely, you will see, that the score is first increased by 55K. And then by 5K. Two hits registered.

If you want to try it on, release the switch when you hear the deedeely-dumm jingle. And the close it again at once.



@zvrabes or another moderator, can we break out the Diner Custom ROM discussion to a separate thread?

Thanks so much for creating the Custom ROM for this – I liked the concept of the alternating ramps in MB, although with how tough the INDISC Diner played, we rarely got to see anyone live long enough in MB to get to the Rush phase. Ha!

Deterministic Today’s Special would be fantastic, but it should be player-specific, similar to some of the other great Custom ROM’s you’ve written. I believe that the current custom ROM actually is deterministic, but the sequence is across players.

The same across-player every-other-Today’s Special (with a ball locked) sequence I described earlier for my quarterfinals game also took place during the Final 4, Game 1, on the Diner ball 3 compensation ball: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/535253643?t=00h34m15s
34:15 mark: Eric is the first player to shoot a lit Today’s Special with MB lit – awarded Start MB.
38:50: Colin Urban is next player to shoot lit Today’s Special with MB lit – awarded 150K.
42:20: Andrei is the next player to shoot lit Today’s Special with the prior player’s ball locked, but without MB lit (he had not yet spelled DINER) – awarded Start MB. @funwithbonus even made an appropriate statement on commentary as Andrei shot it: “He’s not going to get a multiball with this. Oh, wow. It actually did it this time!”
Unfortunately, there weren’t any more lit Today’s Special shot with a ball locked.

I recommend that whatever Today’s Special deterministic sequence is awarded, that Start MB is never awarded if you haven’t lit MB (spelling DINER). I also recommend that perhaps only the first Today’s Special (with MB lit) award Start MB. For the rest, pick from a determined sequence of the other existing awards in Today’s Special list, forcing players to shoot the more difficult spinner shot to start MB #2+.

I’m certain that full plunging the ball to the upper eject area with MB lit – which happens every time you lock a ball with the subsequent plunge of the 2nd ball served – does not start MB. Nor should it. Perhaps I misunderstood you?

Thanks again, @soren.

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He’s referring to how a shot to the Today’s Special hole will (usually) fire your ball into the upper eject, causing the MB to start. @pinbwzrd pointed out that this is actually controlled by a setting, Adjustment 46 “Top Eject Award”, which will prevent the MB from starting when the hole fires it into the the upper saucer.

Diner deep dive. Factory and the INDISC ROM alike.

If adj 34 is set No, Today’s special is never awarding Start multiball. If set Yes, every other Today’s special will award multi, if multi is qualified. This is cross-games, players, everything.

Reading the manual, it seems like this limitation was a last minute decision. And that it originally was multi every time.

If adj 46 is set Yes, a shot to Today’s special hole that is then plunged all the way to the upper eject, will make the upper eject award its lit stuff. This is whether or not the mystery awards is lit. And if you get multi from the hole, you will get 1 from the upper eject.

Plunge from shooter lane is never awarding the upper eject stuff. Infact, the ball has to walk one of choiced switches before the upper eject becomes active. And the spinner is not one of them. So, an eject going all the way to the spinner and back to the flippers, a shot back to the hole will only hand the player a long nose.

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To clarify. The game will not give Start multiball at Today’s special twice in a row. And with extra balls off you can rely on it coming per this pattern. With EBs, that might take precedence.

You can hard lock steal to multiball via Today’s special. You have to earn lock yourself in order to be able to start mutiball via Release. However, if there is a ball in the lock, spelling DINER is enough to light Release.

I like the rule that you can always rely on Today’s special to start multiball once per player. Or for the first multiball only. And for own made locks only (no hard lock steal possible).

Thanks @soren. This explains it. In this case, I’d recommend that for now, Adj 34 be set to No for all multiplayer competition use of Diner.

If you choose to spend any more time on the Diner custom ROM, I’d recommend the edit the Today’s Special logic to what I previously proposed: player-specific deterministic order that will always award Start Multiball only once, and only when Release is lit.


The plan is indeed to make a nice ribbon for Diner. May have to be a dedicated new rules ROM. The goal is menu control over rule changes, but regretfully not always possible.

I think Stir-the-cup will stay as is. Those increment intervals are funny- but not too harmful. Quirky character of these good old games is worth preserving. And that 1.5M premium adds to the excitement. Also for a broadcast, I guess. And, in either case, stuff like Stir-the-cup is mechanically adjustable. If you really want to.

There are random awards, fixed order awards, fixed point value only and - my favourite - what you need given current state of your game. This could be…

If first multiball is ready, do award multiball.
If zero customers achieved, do award serve customer (comes with 25K points).
If four customers achieved and dine-time < 12, do award adv. dine-time (comes with 10K points).
Else award 200K.


Cup gets harder too. After first 2? collects, instead of every 2 spins increasing the score it goes to 3 per increase. No matter how many revolutions/level, every spin after getting 2.5M is 100k (up to 3.5m iirc).

You’re right. Right on the deep end, as always.

-> 500K -> 750K -> 1M -> 2.5M (DINER spell out, two switch hits per inc)
-> 2.6M -> … -> 3.5M (cherry on top, one switch hit per inc)

I played that Diner enough at INDISC that I could have just used the money I lost on broken tickets to just buy a copy of Diner.

I did witness a very flummoxed player get 50k on Today’s Special instead of start multiball, twice in a row. Really unlucky because it started multiball every time for me.

Loved your rule set, Soren