Rock, Rock, Rock, Sudden death

I tried the best I could to resist doing this, but the Slamtilt’ers made go there. Hey @Gizmonic.

On Rollergames (L-2), Sudden death is started by either Roller motion mystery or at random during gameplay.

Roller motion mystery:
8% chance if Sudden death not played yet, this player, this game.
16% chance if Sudden death has been played, this player, this game.

At random during gameplay:
The game might decide, that Sudden death is not available at all this ball-in-play.
On a 3 ball game, there is a 50% chance of no Sudden death on ball 1. No ruling out on balls 2 and 3.

If Sudden death is qualified this ball-in-play, the game decides per random chance on starting it or not each 7 seconds.

10% chance if Sudden death not played yet, this player, this game.
1% times balls played (incl. extra balls), if Sudden death has already been played, this player, this game.
Example. 3% chance on ball 3.

With a lot of exceptions to starting it. No complete overview, but it pretty much boils down to, that Sudden death is never started if other stuff is going on. Or if there is no ball activity.

Other stuff includes as little as just having the ball in The pit.

No ball activity includes being in the status report. And ball search, of course.

I have not found any evidence, that game statistics have an influence.

Once per ball-in-play only. Also if previous was via the mystery.

With full disclaimer.


So, pretty much random if you’re playing like the postmaster general. If you’re hitting your shots or hitting SOMETHING, you’re more likely not to get it.

You should make it something you earn or just eliminate it - randomness like that doesn’t belong in a tournament game. There should be a level playing field. That explains what happened at Stomp2, where player 1 was way behind, we thought it might be a ‘catch up feature’ but the net effect of that player not hitting a lot of stuff (lots of bungled shots to the pit, catch and repeat) gave the game a lot more opportunity to flip its coin for this. Anything in there about leaving the freeze magnet available? He was able to hit pit, freeze, make sudden death, repeat for 3-4 times. Score went from about 600k to over 5 million, passing everyone.

Agree, it is super silly. I could be a last minute decision to give it a prominent appearance in the game than just as a mystery award. I guess the most straight forward would be on Mystery only. And Mystery being a fixed sequence.

No catch-up. The mode is started per random chance only. However, a lot of evaluations to prevent it starting. So, maybe a hold-back?

Wow, so it really is random.


I didn’t even like Sudden Death when I was awarded it first among my group at Pinburgh — just a bad taste in your mouth knowing that every player might not get it. I believe 3 out of 4 of us did.

I wouldn’t have as much issue with a “drop what you’re doing, there’s now a ridiculously powerful mode that started unexpectedly” feature on a game, if in tourney settings, all players were guaranteed to have it start for them once at some point in their game, and only once.

I’ve been on both ends of this, and I agree with you. It’s just terrible that such a lucrative scoring opportunity appears at random with no guarantee that anyone will ever get it.

This is one of the few games where I question its inclusion in ANY tournament, Pinburgh included. I know there’s a premium on getting as many working games as possible, but really, this one is just awful competitively.


I think we’d all like to see Pinburgh exclude a swath of games like this, but the problem is that there are only so many competitively viable machines and there’s always a drive from the player and the organizational end to expand. Until there are fixes or better machines to replace these games with, you’re going to have the pre-mod Casanovas, Riverboat Gamblers, Gottliebs with big random features, and Rollergames hanging around.

For other tournaments where you don’t need .35 machines per player, I can see these games being more excluded than included.


lol wut

If you’re looking to put in a competition mode setting, consider doing it for finishing the teams (normally lights eb)? 5th (+10?) WAR? 3rd (+5th) SKATE? (LOL)

Also how many ramp shots short-circuits the finish? Felt like 6 or 7.

That doubling of the chance made me scratch my head. I guess it is to counter balance, that Sudden death is nearly off the board otherwise.

Making it a wizard mode, one for when other stuff is completed, would be fun. As the game sort of pre-dates wizard modes. However, in its current state Sudden death is not that large of a cherry, really. Timed single ball mode.

Yes, the 6th ramp shot pays 2M and finishes the mode. Making ramp shots does not reset the timer, as the rule sheet says. It gives you some extra on the clock. And this is actually menu adjustable.

Pinburgh is about embracing pinball all kinds. And for 40 games qualify, you can do this. Never mind some odd ones in the mix for random chance, lock stealing and such. As long as you adjust for reasoable ball times and shot defficulty.

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Making SD an earned mode would be a great fix for RG. What about qualifying by collecting all teams and spelling Skate?

I am not too familiar with Rollergames. But to have Sudden death, in its current configuration, a far-reach “wizard mode”, I do not think that will work.

It is timed one ball mode. It might be juicy, but it might be zilch. No garanteed payoff (like Tour the mansion 50M). In fact, that was the difference the last time I played it. I bricked The pit to the right outlane, when I got it. My opponent was milking it for a couple of mills. And he won.

I’d rather have it as one of the exciting mystery awards you want (with mystery a fixed sequence in competition). And I truly believe that was the original design. With starting it at random being a late decision to give the players something extra. Maybe outside interference.

Perhaps someone could ask Steve Ritchie what the original intent was?

Sudden Death start from a fixed mystery sequence would be awesome!

On a second throught.

Nobody likes stuff that happens at random, I know. But, let’s allow Rollergames being the odd one where it has to be like this anyway.

What if Sudden death was stating at random, as we know it now, only in what we could call basic single ball play. But, it was garanteed once per game. Always and only once. It can happen on any ball-in-play. Which in turn emplies, that if you get to the last ball-in-play, and have not played it yet, it will start on first switch hit in open play.

It might still suck because of the strategy regarding physical ball locks. But it might also work.

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To go for the wall, of course. </non-helpful-answer>

I like this idea and it feels more in the spirit of the randomness that is Rollergames, while still bringing some semblance of consistency to make it more acceptable for a tournament/competition. I think your original idea of a mystery award with a fixed sequence is also a good idea, but I prefer the second suggestion above.

The spirit of the game. Yes, exactly.

However, having multiball ready, and that even on a game with lock stealing, it kinda sucks to be boosted into a single ball mode one cannot ignore.

Along the lines of Ghostbusters. Rocking a nice stack and then the game starts Mass hysteria. Noooooo.

Also starting via mystery would give a reason to shoot the 1-2-3 standups.