DO OR DIE: A competitive pinball podcast!


Perfectly put - You make the game play the way you want it to be played. If I want to see Circuit Final Beatles again, that’s on me to run the game on those settings.

To give my opinion on what’s notable and what’s not:

  • Extra Balls/Special - always assume they’re off, mention behavior if they’re left on.
  • Ball Saves - make sure your ball save light works and we’re going to be cool.
  • Alternate ROMs - list at least the revision used, if not detailing the key features changed.
  • Critical Settings - IMDN secret skills, Beatles multiball on ball 3, BKSoR magnasave disable, etc. Since players may get one chance to play the game, list these for clarity.
  • Other Settings - Deadpool difficulties, Metallica items to Crank It Up, etc. Can be listed, but preferably on a support sheet (not on the game) if at all. Listing every tweakable point on a game leads to info bloat.


you’re gonna need some tournament help after that recent finish


That’s why I’m listening to podcasts!

But yeah, that was some prime beef.

First time ever playing BMX. Didn’t know there was extra buttons to control inlane diverters. That was a painful lesson.


So for me, I guess the bigger takeaway is that my tournaments have a great mix of skill levels at every event. What is common or known to the “tournament players” is completely unknown to the people playing in their first, second, or third tournament. Luckily, I have always geared my tournaments to satisfy the newbies because I know the every day tournament players are generally in the know. At most of tournaments you can find neon orange/green index cards that clearly explain any changes or mods.

IMDN - card states its running code v1.06, and secret skill shots are disabled, and start mode is always Flight of Icarus
Aerosmith - running code v1.07, toybox disabled
All EM’s - card states the game is 5-ball
TWD - Barn doors disabled

In addition to having these details on each game if necessary, I also go over all the changes during the rules announcements at the beginning of the tournament.


Pretty much spot-on.

Generally competition EMs are set to 5 balls, but that’s not always the case so it may be better to add that.

If you want to get fancier than these descriptions, then I’d go to a supplementary sheet to mention them. If the players care enough, they’ll look for it. If not, then it doesn’t lead to info bloat on the card/glass.


I always err on the side of more information. I try to document any settings changes (as well as if a commonly changed setting isn’t changed, since players might not know what the default is), as well as any important rules that the game doesn’t explain. For instance, Alien Star doesn’t mention anywhere that the right inlane lights the spinner!

Genie doesn’t mention the main aspect you’ll probably be playing for in tournaments (how pops toggle the bonus x):

My Demo Man has Soren’s rom, but in case people don’t know what that means, I try to spell it out:

In retrospect, I probably should have noted what tournament mode does (same order for computer awards), rather than just saying tournament mode is on.


Getting off topic, so unless someone splits this thread off, I’ll make this my last off topic post in this thread. Caught the first episode and enjoyed it. Nice work guyoverthere.

No need to list the software revision if it’s the latest and greatest. Players new and old expect the latest software. Adding that info can cause confusion to newer players (‘Is this some special version of software I don’t know about?’). I believe default start mode is FOI anyway, and shooting the lower spinner will change the mode, so no need for that really either. TMI Listing toy box/ barn doors/ Groot disabled is fine. You can always just say that virtual locks are enabled, if you want to leave ‘disabled’ out the wording. Players will understand what you mean. If the coin card correctly says how many balls, no need to add a note for that.

I’m getting mixed messages here. On one hand you’re saying go ahead and makes all the changes you want (make the games harder), just so long as you tell the player. On Genie, you’re handing out unsolicited strategy tips. If players should be okay with the software settings changing, shouldn’t they know that the pops toggle the multiplier going in? Isn’t game knowledge part of tournament skill?

I sense your games are in a private location (hold start button for more credits) and they don’t get the settings changed a lot (awesome instruction/ notes card). That’s kind of a different story. If people get used to your changes, sure. But if you don’t want to scare off noobs, keep the changes (and notes) to a minimum. Game rules are complicated enough these days. Usually no need to make them harder via software.


Back on track with a new episode, Yegpin!

Show outline:


  • High Stakes
  • Classics
  • Main


Alright, I am going to nitpick. Hitting a blue and white target at the same time is 5X value, not 10X value since they are each worth 500, so a value of 1000 if hit alone.


I haven’t listened yet, but I’m sure you’re talking about Atlantis. I’ll point out that if it didn’t have this special scoring, it’s very likely you’d receive 500 points for hitting 2 drops at the same time.


Yeah, @Theguyoverthere mentions that you would likely only get credit for 1 if the special circuit was not in place. I think you need to compare to hitting them one at a time. I am willing to argue 10X vs 5X for hours if you would like. :slight_smile:


A picture is worth a thousand words, and those drops are worth 5000 points.


I agree. It’s really quite simple math. There are 10 drop targets.

If all 10 are hit individually, 10 x 500 = 5000
If all are hit in pairs (5 pairs) that is 5 X 5000 = 25000

25000 / 5000 = 5

Edit No offence Raymond :slight_smile:


D’oh! Math is hard! But if you did take it as “completing a perfect bank two at a time vs 1 at a time” then yeah you would get 5 x 5k = 25k vs 10x500=5k which WOULD BE 5x :wink:


@Theguyoverthere mentions that Fade to Black is an obvious choice for the first CIU on a Premium/LE Metallica. I don’t disagree.


It’s not a bad mode on the Pro either, because of this change as of v1.51 4 years ago:

  • Due to the lack of spinners on the PRO (bummer), the number of switch
    hits required to drop to the next level for the “Fade To Black” mode has
    been reduced from 20 to 15.

So you get a level bonus every 15 switch hits on a Pro (vs. 20 on the Premium/LE). Seems reasonable, and probably still makes FtB on a Premium a bit more valuable. It’s just not a night and day difference like you might think.

I’m slightly confused, however, by this note from the v1.6 README:

  • Increased “Fade To Black” units per level on the PRO from 10 to 15.

Maybe there was a short-lived version between 1.51 and 1.6 that is no longer documented that changed the 15 value down to 10; nothing is listed in the README currently on Stern’s site.

Anyhow, The More You Know™ and all that.


Or, another way to look at it:

10 perfect shots that take down a pair each time would clear two banks for a total of 50k. 10 imperfect shots that take down one each time would only clear one bank for a total of 5k. Which is 10X. :slight_smile:


Oh, it’s going to be like that. Well then, all targets down scores 5k, so it is 60k vs 10k or 6X. :slight_smile:


But he’s agreeing with you ?


Perhaps this is similar to the origin story for the term “agree to disagree”?


In this case it seems more like “disagreeing to agree”!