State of PAPA Update – April 2014

As the Replay Foundation team (those guys who run PAPA events and projects) wind down from a three week rush between Pinburgh, MPE, and PAX East, we figured our viewers deserve an update on all (well, most) of the projects currently ongoing down at headquarters.

Gameplay Videos:
Some of you may have already noticed our team’s work schedules revolve around our major events, which means a lot of the website content during the year fluctuates between a steady stream and non-existent. When we transitioned over to our new website, one of the features we’re most looking forward to implementing is scheduled content, such as releasing gameplay videos every Wednesday. This type of scheduling helps to balance out what gets released when and keeps the site from becoming too stagnant during especially busy periods of manual labor around Headquarters or heavy travel around the country. In theory, the idea is great, but in practice, we’re still getting used to it. You may have noticed a dearth of videos recently, which was caused by Pinburgh labor, behind-the-scenes website work, Circuit broadcasts, a pinball speech at PAX, a 7000 mile road trip across the country, and other unannounced projects. The good news for viewers is now that the backlog of those issues are mainly over, the release schedule will pick up again soon. We hope to build enough video content over the summer months to help us make it through the August rush, and then at that point, the following Winter should provide us enough time to film and edit enough videos to stay on a steady schedule into the future.

Tutorials:
A lot of what is written above applies to the tutorial videos, although there is one massive difference. The gameplay videos are all played and narrated by local staff, while the tutorials are primarily narrated by Bowen, who lives hundreds of miles away. Staff still does the filming and editing on the tutorials, which allows us to occasionally create a backlog by filming a number of them at once, resulting in a more normal release schedule, but in the end, we are still dependent on the travel schedule and volunteer effort of someone who is not an employee. The best we can say with regard to upcoming tutorial videos is they will be made available when we have the opportunity to create more.

Roadshow:
The PAPAtv Roadshow fell off schedule after episode three due to many of the issues listed above, but it will be returning soon with episodes four and five to finish the inaugural season. Details of season 2 will be posted when we have them.  We look forward to continuing this project long into the future.

Website:
Some of you may have noticed the PAPA calendar is fairly empty at the moment; this is because we are working on implementing a public calendar, which will give you the opportunity to add your own league updates and events to our schedule and website. Any pinballer who wishes to promote a tournament, league, or event will no longer require PAPA staff to create the posts for them or add their events, eliminating as many bottlenecks in the process as possible. We hope you will take advantage of this new feature when it becomes available.  Viewers will also have the option of subscribing to specific aspects of the calendar and receiving updates.

A great deal of additional website work has been done that will be offered to the public in the near future. The new PAPA site will be reaching version 2.0 in beta soon and, when released, will include updates to many popular features as well as become fully mobile compliant for those of you who visit on your phones and tablets. We also will be simplifying our navigation structure to make things easier to find. Be sure to update your content links when the update arrives.  We expect the new website to continue to grow and improve with time, and we will do our best to keep you updated on what all we have planned.

PAPA 17 World Championships:
PAPA 17 is scheduled for August 14-17, 2014, and games are already in motion down at Headquarters in preparation. We listened to your feedback after PAPA 16 and will be making several adjustments to continue improving the event. Please don’t ever hesitate to contact us with your input.

Kickstarter DVD’s:
The process of creating kickstarter discs has been only slightly less frustrating than the creation of the actual broadcast booth. The good news is we are going to make this delay right with our backers. The first test disc with reasonable results has officially been burnt. While it still requires a bit more testing, we are hopeful this master will be sent off for duplication very soon. As supporters of our efforts, and as the final major remaining piece of our kickstarter rewards, you will be rewarded for your patience.  Stick with us on this one.

Thanks for listening,

mhs

South Coast Slam

scs

April 19,20 – Worthing, England
£12 day entry, over 110 pins and 40+ cabs all on free play. Raffle prizes include an IJ pin and an IJ cab, and there’s a bar. Kids entry is free and all proceeds to charity.

TV’s Will Barber is the organiser along with Ivan GrizZ Durneen, Dom ‘Rav’ Escott and Matt ‘Tatty’ Adams, Thomas ‘Snoreasaurus’ Hare, Oliver ‘Alpha1′ Moazzezi and all members of SCTOMA.

Bugging the Creature

Creature-from-the-Black-Lagoon-1

One of the many reasons why I enjoy doing commentary for PAPA TV is the potential for me to learn something about pinball. During the PAPA Circuit Final, I had the opportunity to learn something new about Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Of course, I have been playing CFTBL for years like many of you. However, I had heard only a few years ago about the programming bug that can stunt your scoring in a bad way during multiball.

I am not talking about the Ten Billion Snackbar glitch which really can happen, believe me.

snackbar10billion

Instead, the story of the multiball glitch goes like this: When you are playing multiball, if you bring your playfield multiplier to 4X scoring, you will no longer be able to get any playfield X multipliers for any subsequent multiballs. So, once you go 4X, you had better take advantage of it during that multiball, because that multiball ends, you will lose out on playfield multipliers for the rest of the game.

But, why? Is this a bug or a feature? (A Creature Feature? No? OK.) I wasn’t fully aware of the ramifications of this bug until the 2014 Circuit Final Marathon match on CFTBL. When Keith Elwin played a multiball on CFTBL, he only pushed the playfield X to 2X scoring. He purposefully did not got to 3X or 4X.

I understood why he didn’t push to 4X because of the bug, but why not push to 3X scoring?

The reason became clear on his next multiball. If you watch the replay of the game, you will notice that during his next multiball, his multiplier goes from 1X directly to 3X (skipping over 2X entirely). Apparently the game “remembers” that he was at 2X during his previous multiball, and that why he goes straight to 3X.

Following this theory, that would mean during the next multiball after that, the game would remember that the player is at 3X and would go from 1X directly to 4X.

Finally, after that multiball with a 4X playfield multiplier, on the next multiball, the game would remember that the player was at 4X before. Therefore the game would go from 1X directly to … well, what next after 4X? Since there is no such thing as a 5X playfield, it is reasonable to assume that the game would go from 1X, wrap completely around past 4X and go back to 1X again. Which means you would be stuck at 1X. If this is true, that would confirm the reason why you can get anymore playfield  multipliers after a 4X playfield multiball.

So, the reason why Keith stayed on 2X scoring instead of pushing to 3X scoring on his first multiball, is so that he could go quickly to 3X scoring on his next multiball. And the reason why you wouldn’t push to 4X scoring on a 3X multiball is so you could go quickly to 4X scoring on your next multiball.

This is why I will play CFTBL differently from now on. I used to push all the way to 4X on my first multiball. After i heard about the playfield multiplier bug, I would only push to 3X on my first multiball. But, apparently, that is also an incorrect plan. It seems that what players should do on CFTBL in order to “be like Keith” and other top players is:

Assume you will get three separate multiballs during the game, one at 2X playfield, one at 3X playfield and one at 4X playfield.

Only push to your next playfield X when you have Super Jackpot ready (or at least close) so you don’t risk wasting playfield multiplier opportunities during the game.

Anyway, this is my hypothesis. Now, I want to hear from you. Will you play CFTBL differently after seeing what happened during the Circuit Final. Does what I am proposing makes sense, or does it sound like the ravings of a pinball fanatic?


Steve is the editor of the website Fun With Bonus, home of the semi-coherent, misguided ramblings of a journeyman professional/amateur pinball player.

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PAPA Circuit Final: Thursday, March 27

pinball2014_0102fIn about 12 hours the players and spectators will enter PAPA HQ to watch the PAPA Circuit Final, the culmination of a year-long series of tournaments held around North America.

At stake is $100 every game, an additional $2,500 to the champion, and a fantastic freaking belt. Also at stake: elimination. In every game until the final four, the last-place finisher is eliminated immediately.

Can defending champion Daniele Acciari of Italy repeat his run from last year, from the first game to the last? Or will #1 seed Keith Elwin add another banner to the PAPA rafters?

All of it will be live on PAPAtv, with camera angles and commentary geared for beginners and experts. The broadcast starts at 9:30am ET (1:30pm UTC): PAPAtv on Twitch.

Join us for a great day of pinball, and spread the word.

For More Information

Who’s Playing

  • #1 seed Keith Elwin won three Circuit events and finished second in three others.
  • #2 seed Zach Sharpe won three Circuit events and finished second in two others.
  • #3 seed Joshua Henderson, age 16, finished 3rd at the PAPA 16 World Championships.
  • #4 seed Trent Augenstein won the Fairfax Pinball Open in February.
  • #5 seed Jim Belsito won California Extreme in July.
  • #6 seed Adam Lefkoff finished 2nd at the Pinballz Arcade tournament in December.
  • #7 seed Steven Bowden finished 2nd at Pinballz and 3rd at Southern Pinball Festival.
  • #8 seed Donavan Stepp won Pinballz and finished 4th at the World Championships.
  • #9 seed Josh Sharpe won the Louisville Arcade Expo in March to advance.
  • #10 seed Andrei Massenkoff was the World Pinball Champion in 2011.
  • #11 seed Robert Gagno was featured on the Science Channel’s “Ingenious Minds”.
  • #12 seed Raymond Davidson, age 21, is one of the top players in Seattle.
  • #13 seed Dean Grover took 3rd at Lyons Pinball Classic and Louisville Arcade Expo.
  • #14 seed Dave Stewart finished 2nd at PAPA in 1994 and 3rd in 2007.
  • #15 seed Jason Werdrick finished 5th at PAPA 16 and 2nd at Pinburgh 2011.
  • #16 seed Cayle George made the PAPA final round three consecutive years, 2010-12.
  • #17 seed Bob Matthews is the Arizona state champion.
  • #18 seed Brian Shepherd took 3rd at Fairfax and edged out other players in Louisville.
  • #19 seed Tim Hansen took 2nd at Cascadia and two other top-16 finishes.
  • #20 seed Andy Rosa finished in the top 8 at the last two Circuit events to qualify.
  • #21 seed Daniele Acciari is the defending champion, and won both IFPA7 and IFPA9.

The Machines