Tournament Director Machine Information Wiki?

I’ve been toying around with the idea of starting up a Wiki-like site dedicated specifically to capturing information pertinent to ideal machine set-ups for tournaments. I am interested to hear from this group (and especially any Admins) if TiltForums is the right place for this, or if hosting on a different site would be preferred.

Game Notes – Replay Foundation is an awesome resource, but I would think something that is community-maintained would have better longevity.

What they should contain:

  • Game Info
  • Software Version (if applicable)
  • Machine & Setup Notes
  • Dip Switch or Machine Settings
  • Any information to help a Tournament Director set a machine up for an event.

What they shouldn’t contain:

  • Play Strategy (my thought is those conversations are on Rulesheet pages)
  • Be a repeat of information available already on places like OPDB, IPDB or Pinside

Why I think this could work on TiltForums:

  • Core network of people already here focused on Tournament play
  • Wiki feature available in the software
  • Opportunity to take a game that might be considered “unplayable” and make it work for a Tournament Setting

Here’s a sample I’ve put together for Fireball II:

Fireball II

Game Info
Name Fireball II
Manufacturer Bally
Year 1980
Type Solid State Electronic
OPDB Gry7q-MwNE2
IPDB 854
TiltForums Rulesheet Does Not Exist
Latest Software Version X.X

Machine & Setup Notes

  • Extra Balls are earned by hitting the entire center bank down while the Extra Ball light is flashing. The first opportunity to earn an Extra Ball happens on each ball when the player has earned about 25,000 points, and opportunities will continue to be offered to the player as their ball continues.
  • It is recommended to turn off Extra Balls and have them score 50K (via Self Test 16 and 17 set to ‘01’)
  • There is a second flipper button on the right side that controls a moveable center post called the “Little Demon Post”. You earn “Little Demon Credits” every time you knock down the entire center bank.
  • There is both “Red” and “Blue” bonus on this game. If the Red Bonus earning opportunities are not nerfed, it creates a opportunity to run the multiplier up to 5x and backhand the right saucer for continuous 115k shots that are slow to collect, safe, and repetitive.
  • There is soft lock stealing. Locks that are stolen will have already-qualified saucers to re-capture locks.
  • There are no inlanes on the game, but there are one-way gates that allow a ball in the outlane to return to a flipper. If you feel that ball times are running too long for an event, you can:
    • Remove one or both post rubbers in the outlane
    • Remove the posts in the outlane
    • Remove the one-way gates

Dip Switch Settings

Switch Category Setting Notes
SW 6 Outlane Special Off Reduces the number of opportunities to get specials
SW 7 C/D Rollover Off You have to get C & D individually, which makes getting Red Bonus multipliers harder
SW 8 Doomsday Special Off because it reduces the number of opportunities to get specials
SW 14 Fireball Bonus Limit Off Caps the Red Bonus to 12k (before multipliers)
SW 15 Drop Target Starting Value On Encourages hitting the side drops.
SW 16 Game Over Attract Either Do you want it to make noise in Attract Mode? Yes = On, No = Off
SW 21 Red Bonus Multiplier Holdover Off Caps the Red Bonus multiplier opportunities.
SW 22 Multiball Lit Saucer Holdover On Keeps progress you’ve made towards multiball
SW 23 Multiball Target Lights Holdover On Keeps progress you’ve made towards multiball
SW 24 A-B-C-D Light Holdover Off Caps the Red Bonus multiplier opportunities
SW 29 Replays Per Game Either On = All Replays Earned are Collected; Off = One Replay Per Game Allowed
SW 30 Red Bonus Collect on Drain On If you’re capping the ability to collect Red Bonus during the game itself, you could allow it to be one-off collected on drain.

I realllly love this idea, I just worry that this might get overwhelming as a wiki page and quickly become unmaintainable. There’s obviously a lot of information to capture. Maybe it should just be for games/information that is not in the PAPA list as a start?

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As a tournament director I would just like to see if the game can be setup well for tournaments or not and what to change to do that.

Demoman - (enter code revision)

  • it is recommended to have the outlanes wide open and tilt sensitive
  • disable the claw to prevent the player from getting the lock freeze award every trip to the claw.
  • disable extra balls
  • enable tournament mode

Monte Carlo (gottlieb)

  • not recommended for tournaments unless the modded roms are installed that awards 1M on the ramp instead of 10M.

Something like that.


I would love to include this this information directly on OPDB so it can be distributed via the API there. Selfishly I’d like to display the information directly in Match Play when adding machines to a tournament…


you don’t need to do that with the tournament rom

Okay. Wouldn’t be easier since most don’t have the tournament rom? Wouldn’t have to look for it, just do a simple adjustment.


but that is the type of info that needs to be an wiki for tournament setup

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agreed. If there is an alternate rom that is good for tournaments, there should be a link on where to get it if possible. If not, then contact info on who can provide it, etc. If it’s not really available, then probably not best to mention it.


This is a really cool idea but also think somewhere where it was easier to search and return a result for a specific game would make more sense than the forum here—this list will get long fast.

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This is the correct answer. Andreas, how can we make this work?

In my mind it would go something like this:

A few people volunteer to be stewards of this information. They will ultimately be the ones to add new info or update existing info. OPDB can’t really function on a “wiki” basis where anyone can update information – it’s just not setup that way. I’ll make these people OPDB editors if they’re not already.

That group goes through the same process @coreyhulse did for Fireball II above but for more machines. I’m thinking something like 20-30 machines across all types (EM, SS, DMD, JJP machines and the latest Sterns). The purpose is to see what the data looks like: How long the setup notes are, what the labels for dip switch categories are etc.

Then I will write code so this data can be stored in the OPDB database and displayed on the website (and exposed to all via the API).

One last thing: I’d be hesitant to include “latest software version” just because my gut feeling is that it’s too time consuming to keep up to date and that if entered into the database it’s more likely to be out-of-date than up-to-date.


You would probably need some accommodation for notes based on specific versions of software though. I don’t think I can help much with the data gathering/entry but if you want to bounce ideas off me for data modeling/structures and stuff I’m all ears.

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I’m happy to volunteer as tribute to get the templates hammered out.

@haugstrup - What about a GitHub repo with .md files? We could have a file per OPDB ID (group-level).

Or, were you thinking that we’d have specific form inputs right on OPBD’s admin side? That would be better if that is possible.

Hah, I’ve also been considering this, mainly for my own purposes, but I had intended that if I could formalise a structure that it might be suitable for a wiki.

I’m not so sure it’s suitable for an API though? Would it just be one long string of (perhaps markdown formatted) text? Or would it be separate text fields for different considerations?

For example, in my document I started to structure it as known bugs / tournament considerations / rom differences (or rom fixes) :

Addams Family

Known bugs:

  • Tilting ball will advance GREED

Tournament considerations:

  • Ball locks are not emptied between games. If locks have been made this may disadvantage a following player due to the fact they will not be able to plunge for skill shot as often
  • ‘The Power’ - players often try to trap up and let the magnets time out (15 seconds of no switch hits). Some tournaments disable the magnets entirely.


  • An alternative ROM by Soren allows the magnet timeout period to be shortened.

I also like the idea of covering the important dip switches though. I’d love to be involved in helping out

Definitely will want inputs on the OPDB admin side for this. But I don’t know what that would looks like yet. Just a couple of free text fields (for “setup” and “known issues” etc.) or also some structured inputs for dip switch settings? That’s why I think it would be useful to gather the data for a large handful of representative machines first and then figure out to to mash it into the OPDB database.

The data would need to be somewhat structured I think. For example, consumers will want to display a table of switch settings differently on a mobile phone versus a desktop computer. Storing that data in a markdown table will make that job harder

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OK, so who wants to help get some sample write-ups together? I made a Google Doc that we can use to test the waters on what to capture:

  • Pick a game that you’d like to document
  • If the game isn’t in this document yet:
    • Copy the “Sample Game Template” which is the first entry under Games
    • Find the right spot in the document alphabetically
    • Paste the “Sample Game Template” into the right spot
  • If the game is already in the document:
    • Navigate to the proper place using the navigation menu
  • Input or update information based on the suggested headings, but do not feel constrained by them. The goal is to figure out what needs to be captured by looking at a series of sample games.
  • What they should contain:
    • Any information to help a Tournament Director set a machine up for an event
    • Machine & Setup Notes
      • Things like…
      • Information relevant to physical setup
      • Information about potential exploits
      • Alternate ROMs or software to be aware of
    • Dip Switch or Settings Configuration
      • Things like…
      • Dip Switch Settings
      • Important System Menu Options
  • What they shouldn’t contain:
    • Play Strategy
    • Be a repeat of information available already on places like OPDB, IPDB or Pinside
  • Feel free to use comments or suggested edits if there is something major that requires conversation
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So if we add a gottlieb that should have dip switch settings and if it’s anything else it should leave that off since IPDB has the manuals available?

One thing we might want to figure out how to manage is settings that apply to a class of games. For instance “For Stern games after , Coin Door Ball Saver is available and it should be enabled. This is setting .” Or information about what to set on any WPC machine.

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My thought is to have recommendations for dip switch settings. It doesn’t need to be a repeat of the manual for what every switch does, but it should contain recommendations for good settings for tournaments. Fireball II has a number of options which if set certain ways allows for a game-breaking strategy. Other games I would imagine would be a bit simpler in the switch settings.

I like that. I added a different heading in the document for “Category-Specific” and put your Stern note as an example.