Pinball Map Open Thread


Huh- go figure, it does look alright now. It was definitely failing for at least a week before I posted to this thread, go figure it’s fixed yesterday for whatever reason. I was definitely seeing a “DNS resolution failed” error from multiple PCs and my phone, Chrome, Firefox, and IE.


Really strange. I’d been using the site regularly during that time with a non-www url (though I wasn’t coming from google). I appreciate the alert, and we’ll keep an eye on it.

Good question. I don’t think this is listed in our charter :wink: But, members have certainly entered their high scores on the site as “CFF Backglass” and such. This has been a point of argument in the past (now that machines allow you to enter more than three characters). What’s the main point when giving up your initials to join a crew: to surrender your individuality for a greater purpose; or to append the initials to your name, so people can recognize your affiliation while still identifying you?

Misc: We have only 2 XXL shirts left. Just FYI. And we don’t have plans to make any more.


Minor update: @CFFLegs we wrote another “day in the life of the map” blog post, and you made it into it! Read it here. Nice work, and thanks for helping keep the map up to date!






Darn, if I was a bit more consistent with what I call myself when putting updates and high scores, and I was more colorful, maybe I would’ve been the featured player.

That being said, I am more interested in finding new locations to put up, but I will update statuses of machines if I feel they’re of note. I’m not as fast as I used to be, but the only reason I was able to find all those Orange County locations was because I cross-referenced the OC Pinball League’s list with that of Pinball Map, went to those locations, and added the places that still had pinball. I am still finding them though, most recently last month with El Caporal #1 in Sylmar.

(For those of you who follow the Los Angeles Pinball Map closely, I am “Cheerilee,” or at least that’s what I go by now. Though those of you who know My Little Pony in detail will have likely made that connection between “Cheerilee” and “Sunset Shimmer” by now.)


We’re going to add a user system soon, wherein people have to sign up and then log in in order to edit locations on the map.

This will be done to curb abuse (fun fact: OPERATORS are responsible for about 90% of the abuse on the site). Abuse is pretty rare, but we intentionally set up our site to make it really simple to edit, and thus we don’t have many countermeasures to stop the bad apples.

Casual opinion poll: We plan to limit usernames to six characters. We don’t want long usernames. We’re thinking people can just use their initials (or, if that’s taken, tack on a few extra characters). But, will six characters piss you off? Should it be seven? Should it be three? Thank you.


They edit each other’s sites out? What do the ops do?


Six characters would annoy me for no other reason than my first name being seven characters. Why such a low limit? Why not 32 characters?


As DHS, I’m curious to know what operators are doing to abuse the system.


As is, there are a couple of ways someone (operator or otherwise) could cause trouble. Anyone can remove a game from a location and anyone can leave a comment for a game. Because it doesn’t leave any fingerprints, I imagine they can’t say for sure whether an op did something or some other joker. I can see how certain locations being abused more than others might suggest another local op pulling the shenanigans.

I’d say make the user names 8 characters. That would allow most people to carry over their handle from forums, making it easier to ID folks.


8 characters sounds good Hishrace.

I deleted a machine for the first time the other day. It took, for me, some nerve. You have to imagine some real petty folks that would abuse the system.

I think some other data besides condition would be cool. Surmised code version, high scores, anecdotes about the machine or location. Operator id might be a step beyond.


If five locations get ghostbusters in a city, suddenly one person will remove it from four of those locations. They want to drive business to their own place. I have lots of examples.

Edit now that I’m not on my phone and can type quickly: @phishrace is right on. There’s very little accountability. There are, though, some fingerprints. We have IP addresses and device info. It’s actually kind of fun to do some sleuthing, to see that a person left super positive comments on some machines (such as noting that an issue has been fixed, which is indicative of an operator), and then five seconds later trashed another place and removed a bunch of machines.

There are also some proven instances of operators messing with it. Two examples: I created a region, and the administrator was an operator. I told him that I usually don’t let ops be admins, because of the potential to manipulate the data in their favor. He promised he wouldn’t. He lied! He intentionally left off a competitor’s locations. When confronted, he admitted it, and resigned rather than add that competitor’s locations. And then what followed was a crapload of tampering in that region (after I added the competitor’s locations). The other example is similar. I created a region, not realizing that the admin was a local operator. He added only his own locations (and did a terrible job at it), and then went AWOL. He never added any of the ones that other people submitted. I deleted the region.

Operators are the only map users who have money in the game. And some of them believe that the site will drive business. They whitewash critical machine comments with “BRAND NEW LED, PLAYS GREAT YOU GOTTA CHECK IT OUT!!!” and some seem intent on trashing their competitors. Last weekend someone removed every machine from Ground Kontrol (on the map). We restored the data within a couple minutes, and then a couple hours later they did it again, but this time they replaced the machines with random ones. And it was the same IP/device that a few minutes before left super positive comments at another location across town. No evidence that an operator did this. But, my hunch said it was.

Thus, we need a user system. I like having zero users. But we need more control, apparently.

Basically operators, or someone affiliated to them, try to mess with the competition. All they really do is create a hassle for us. Ops are great… But some of them annoy me to no end.


We just don’t want big annoying names. And I’m also thinking about how the named would fit in. Like, right now after a location comment it says,“updated on xx” and we’ll want it to say “updated on xx by rtg”

Maybe I should finish styling it first, and then decide the length.


You can add high scores, and you can leave location descriptions, and you can see if an operator is tagged at a location. One issue with adding more data points (like price, and code version) is that it’s just more data to get out of date. A few people love adding that info, but we don’t have comprehensive enough data to, say, limit results to price or code version.

People rarely leave high scores or leave location descriptions (I’m sure we could make this easier/better to input).

Plus, it’s already kind of hard to not have a cluttered site with too many words on it. More data = more things for people to wade through.


Small news:

For the user system, the username limit will be 15 characters so that @haugstrup can be HaugstrupMcCool. I just copied twiter - they have a 15 character limit. Not that twitter is a great example of reasonable limitations on character usage… but anyway.

New blog post, in which I, once again, try to explain why/when we create new maps. I’m also working on a FAQ for the site. If you have a question that should be included, ask it. Also, we created four new maps in the last week.


I’m seriously considering HaugstrupMcCool as my username


How do I update the zone a location is a part of? Maybe I should just volunteer to be an admin…


Don’t know if it’s possible, but perhaps create a Reddit-like up/down vote option on Machine status so that one person can’t simply remove a pin, but instead downvote it? I dunno. Just brainstorming. Probably creates more problems than it fixes.


You can just tell me and I’ll do it. Or, yeah, you can be an admin and do it yourself!

To be honest, the zone thing was something we thought up when we first made this site (and it was just a map or portland, oregon). I think it made a lot of sense for Portland. But in other regions, zones are up to that admin to define and maintain. So it’s definitely hit-or-miss, depending on the region.


Almost anything is possible. But, I don’t think this idea would work well. 1) It overestimates the amount of users looking at, and updating, a single location. While the site is a kind of wiki, in that mistakes are frequently fixed by other users, there are still plenty of low-activity maps/locations, in which just a few people are doing the bulk of the updating. So I wouldn’t want one person to “downvote” a machine, only to have no one else downvote it for weeks. That could lead to people visiting that location to play that machine, and then getting pissed at us, and it would lead to frustration by the first person who tried to remove it. 2) Operators would get annoyed when they update all their locations as a batch and they can’t actually fully remove the machines until someone else verifies it.

I think the user system will go a long way to remedy the issue of jerks wrongly removing machines from locations (which, I want to stress, does not happen often, but we just don’t have a mechanism to control it when it does happen).

Your idea does make me think that a “reputation” system could possibly work. Like, a freshly-created user might not have all the privileges as someone who has been around and made some quality edits. Dunno…