Using Home/Tournament ROMs in Competition

I think that Strobe Multiball needs to be qualified and then you get it home rom add more in balanced way . In MM it’s balanced based on game state but not the same for all orders also video mode needs to be qualified

“Stroke of Luck” was referred to as an immediately recognizable example where randomness influences the order of awards given and maybe influence game outcome…

I question the use of hobbyist home roms in tournaments.

Most of them fix bugs and add balanced scoring + balancing stuff that Competition Mode does not do.

DutchessVonBeep, you are a breath of fresh air.

While that’s a legitimate question, there are several home or beta ROMs – AFM, MM, TZ, and CV are a few that come to mind – that were actually done by the original development team, not hobbyists reverse-engineering the code. While these ROMs may have had less testing at the factory than “official” releases, by now they have had zillions of hours of real world testing, and are arguably as reliable as any “official” release.


Replace “original development team” with “original programmer” since most were solo efforts.

At this point hobbyists code has been tested extensively as well, depending on what roms you are referring to - and as a bonus, if there are bugs to be fixed, they’re still actively fixing them.

Stroke of luck awards in 1.13b (assuming that’s considered a ‘home rom’) are not what I’d consider really random - it’s really easy to predict what you’re going to be getting. It never awards locks or extra balls or anything truly unfair in tournament mode - any player can shoot what needs to be to shot to influence their own reward, and no one gets locked out of any of the goodies. It’s certainly better IMO than “50 million” each time.

As for other roms, here’s an example that’s very “under the hood” - Bally Atlantis. The stock game has TONS of auto percentaging stuff that simply can’t be turned off, so it’s a terrible, terrible game for tournaments. (No way to turn off extra balls, the multiball lock freebies change automatically, other timers change automatically… none of which stock you can turn off.) The tournament rom does the “popular” things that ARE visible, like enforcing same jackpot value, progressive jackpot individual for all players, etc. - BUT it’s entirely possible to set up the game so it plays “stock” - but the auto percenting stuff (and extra balls) can all be turned OFF.

This is somehow a bad thing?

I agree that roms that add stuff to a game that’s completely different (the firepower that takes the multiball and adds a jackpot of 600k to it comes to mind) isn’t the best choice IMO for a home rom. Any changes from stock should be listed on the machine as well, the way INDISC did it is great because not only do they list the changes, they listed the settings on the stock machines too.

Tournament/home roms are another tool at the tournament director’s disposal, just like tilt settings, stock settings, post settings, fat rubber, etc. They’re not going to solve all issues with tournaments (most of which seem to concern long playing games, or games with an exploitable strategy), they’re just another attempt to level the field.


I think we might want to hive off the discussion on Tournament ROMs / Home ROMs into it’s own thread soon.

But I’ll say that if people use them (and, yes, there are plenty of games which are really unusable with stock ROMs), I’d urge them to do what we do at City Champ: put a sign on the backglass (on under the playfield glass) explaining the key differences and link to the website that lists all the details.


Welcome to that thread :slight_smile:


What is the issue with them? Assuming that walking up to the machine or going to the tournament you know that it’s a different rom before hand. Most of them just seem to be balance patches or “quality of life” fixes.

we’ve used Rollergames in our tourney specifically because of Soren’s custom rom.


Here is a rundown of WPC game mods originating people from Williams with year of release (full disclaimer).

Their special “mod” or “home” status is believed to be because they were made after the game had ceased production (with testing and distribution procedures) and official support. Made per the wish of developers under the agreement that coin play would be disabled.

FH - 1992 - Larry Demar
DM - 1995 - Lyman Sheats??
TOM - 1995 - Louis Koziarz (no home status but requires a different security chip)
TZ - 1997 - Ted Estes
MM - 1999 - Lyman Sheats
MB - post-1999 - Lyman Sheats
AFM - post-1999 - Lyman Sheats
WH2O - post-1999 - Cameron Silver
CV - post-1999 - Cameron Silver

It is interesting, that while AFM, CV and TZ as well as DM for those who like the swearing have become the ones universally used, the rest of them have not really filtered out. In my experience at least. WH2O is rumoured to have introduced new bugs.

Please chime in if you have detailed knowledge of some of these. Clear benefits for competition play, for instance.

MB remake uses the home rom wtih coin play