Incomplete game releases

I’m not sure if STERN is the only company that does this: releasing incomplete (the software, that is) games?!

Anyway, I feel that it’s a (bit of) waste of time playing these incomplete games until (at least) 1.00 is out, and will probably not play any STERN game before 1.00 is released in the future.

I played BKSOR today for the first time since june. And it’s a different game in many ways. And I guess there are numerous STERN games that change a lot more than BKSOR when new software versions are released (with deleted highscore tables).

I guess this won’t change in the near future and I will just stay away from playing games before 1.00. And I am not keeping track of different software releases and I guess I’ll play the games when I know (somehow) 1.00 is out :expressionless:

Since I have no real interest in playing tournaments there’s no need for me learning the rules of 0.x of a game and when the next software version is out, the strategy might change a bit/completely.

Every company does it. Enjoy the ride. It’s fun to watch a game evolve.


We get it, you don’t play tournaments.


God forbid you play pinball for fun :wink:

Seriously though I look at feedback and streams and adjust the ruleset for what I think is the better based on what I am seeing.


I get frustrated with earlier codes that need to be changed due to poor initial rules, often losing GCs when rules are updated, and having to relearn games all over again, sometimes many times, like with Metallica. Still I see the necessity of the updated codes for score balancing and game improvement, so I appreciate all the necessary changes and the designer/programmer effort and care that goes into them. Programmers don’t seem to have as much time as they used to to have initial codes be really strong right when the game is released, and I think they need the crowd-sourced feedback from us to discover subtle bugs that only reveal themselves after a lot of play by many players.
It is fun sometimes to find an older exploitable unbalanced code (24 nuke bug, for example) on location and get silly scores with it.

1 Like

I guess. But I have limited time, interest and energy to play pinball and learn rules. Usually I try to learn the rules as deep as I can and hopefully even find strategies that haven’t been discovered yet. Sort of. And it takes time to re-learn or re-think when it comes to the strategy. I will spend some time on BKSOR because I like the playfield, the multiballs etc. so much. But I won’t spend time on a game like Game of Thrones that seems to have changed the rules completely (I knew some of the basics of the previous versions) from what I’ve heard.

I would if I could afford (both money-wise and vacation day-wise) going to good/fun? tournaments (you will probably not find them around here, it seems).

Be my sponsor and I’ll play every single tournament in Japan for the next five years! That’s a promise.

I do! Sorry… Tournaments can be fun, as well. But I’m done with most of that. Not all of them though… Please, give me 50% of your IFPA-ranking points (I’ll pay for the transaction in bitcoins, noone will ever find out!) and I will play the IFPA World Championships next year.

I never played Iron Maiden when it was new so I have no clue what was changed in the early ROMs really. Looking at feedback and streams sounds good. I whish WMS/Bally had that option in the 90s since there are “some” annoyances :angry: in really good games that could have been improved. But Soren seems to be doing a good job there? I still haven’t played any of his ROMs.

One of these days I might do a custom ROM for Theatre of Magic (I really love the playfield, art, sound etc. - the rules are …eh… so-so, to say the least) but I don’t have the time for that now. I saw the Indiana Jones ROM made i Python, so it’s doable.

Saying you’re not going to play any game until it’s at 1.00 means you’re missing out on a lot. YOU could be the person that spots a bug, or even suggests an improvement, that is later added, or spots an exploit.
By the time code is at 1.00 the vast majority of these things have been ironed out, and you’ve missed out on the ability to discover new things and share them with others.

BUYING a game which isn’t yet at full code is completely different and personally I would be a bit more cautious buying a game so early.

Saying all of that I bought both IMdn and JP2 NIB before code was fully developed because I enjoyed playing both machines on site, at tournaments and at shows, and have not regretted it at all.

Honestly, I am glad that manufactures like Stern release their games early as the feedback they get back from the community helps them make it a better game at the end. With only have a handful of game testers and a few knowledgable people that are developing rules why not put it out early and get feedback from the masses to try make it even better. Even the best rule developers can’t think of everything.

1 Like

Yes, I did send a Deadpool bug report to STERN and it was fixed (within 24 hours, I beilieve). That’s good. Kudos to STERN! But I just don’t have the interest and time to play software versions that keep changing in every release. Sorry… new modes/wizard modes/no wizard modes? etc. I will miss out.

I will focus on learning the games when 1.00 is out, and read the rule sheets at that point. Unless there’s a Kraftwerk game released!

The upside of this is that BKSOR felt a bit like a new game to me today (haven’t played in since june) and it’s alive and kicking again. I was a bit bored with it after just a month or so, even though I love the playfield.

I don’t know if they have more or less time, but there is a 40 page google doc with the rules to AC/DC. The rules are much more complicated and involved now, so we should cut them a little slack for that. What’s the longest doc we could make on a 90s game…5 pages?

This is unfortunate, and I’ve heard multiple people say this recently as well, but it’s not true. The powers of the houses have changed, as did some of the scoring. Yes, this has changed some of the strategy, but the rules are essentially unchanged.

You say you won’t play games until the code is done, but then you lament that there are 90s games that could have been improved and balanced with additional code! :slight_smile:

This exists. There is a Soren ROM.

New code is already going out early to certain people who are giving feedback and finding exploits. Will things be missed that could have been found if it went out to the masses? Yes, some. But while the wisdom of the crowds is great for guessing the weight of a cow, it’s not great for developing complex software and rulesets.

Every game is different. IMDN and JP have changed very little from initial code, other than having additional wizard modes added. Others have seen massive overhauls, even well after 1.0 code (like X-Men). 1.0 is a nice round number, but you’re still going to be disappointed when strategy changes well after 1.0, and will be missing out on lots of great games that barely change from .94 to 1.0

All of that said, there have been some examples of poor and/or copy/pasted code that went out with initial game releases. I’m just saying there is a big difference between that and having improved and expanded code in the future that may affect strategy.

1 Like

Well, at least I know I’m stuck with poor rules and play and use strategies (one strategy is to not play ToM at all, unfortunately) accordingly. With these new machines, you never know!

I know. But I’m thinking of making a complete new set of rules, more or less. With new wizard modes etc. That’s why it’s probably (most very likely) not gonna happen.

Yep! But I will probably play pinball just ~10-15 hours a month, or so. With some occasional breaks.
I don’t have the interest to play more than that really. I get bored if I do. And that’s not a whole lotta time if I want to learn the games in-depth. I’d rather focus on a couple of games that’s out with 1.0/“complete” rules and learn them than “waste time” learning strategies that’s due to change in future ROMs. :expressionless:

Also, I don’t have the time/interest to keep up with what’s “complete” (well…), reading rule sheets and changes in different ROM-versions. I did that for a while, last year. But it takes too much time and energy that I’d rather spend elsewhere in life.

1 Like

In Sweden you have Borås Pinball Open and Borås Pinball Classic Open, thats two of the best tournaments in sweden, close to Gothenburg. Also in addition you have the matchstick pinball open, and LPA Pinball Open. That is good, compared to many other countries!

I won’t spend money to go to tournaments, far away-ish from home, that can’t even make (the effort to make?) a registration form in 2020, on the World Wide Web. …that has no prize money. I’m not even chasing IFPA-points (I’m not in there. IFPA, that is).

lol alriight

lel :slight_smile: kek :slight_smile: … and so forth.

In my view playing along as the designer and programmer develop the game is great fun and allows good feedback. I’ve seen players come up with ideas that have gone in to games many times. batman '66 and now Elvira are/were fantastic to get a new set of features every few weeks. Same is true on many other Stern games and also true on TNA (co-op mode was a player idea I believe) and lots of improvement on Dialed in.

My only gripe with code releases is when the organisation acknowledges a problem that they have fixed but the release hasn’t happened and even though they ended up doing another (fantastic) release I think Dwight saying that Ghostbusters was done was the right thing.

Both the final late release for AC/DC, Walking Dead, GoT, GB and MET were fantastic to see happen.

right now I think I’m waiting on an update for GOTG, Iron Maiden and Deadpool that hints have been dropped exist but they have not yet been released, again its not like the games are doomed with out it, far from it but we like the new and shiny :smiley:

Someome: please make a website (no, NOT a facebook page, plz!) that keeps track of all the software updates in pinball! How “stable” a game’s software is (rule-wise) :slight_smile: ? I’m not kidding. You would get at least one user: me!

If someone is willing to administrate this I could incorporate it into the new “Pin City”-site me and …other people… are making. There’s no problem coding this (simple stuff, indeed), but I would never administrate this myself.

Too me it’s just too much reading about: this game has new software on location X and that game has new software on location Y. When will the software be updated on game X on location Ö? And I don’t even know what’s new in the software. It’s …energy and time consuming… and my GCs are gone with the wind in these updates.

In fact, this makes me want to play pinball less these days. It’s just too much to keep track of, if you want to learn the games in-depth.