Pinburgh 2012 Semifinals – Group Y


  1. JOE
    April 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Regarding my ball 2 on LOTR i had the choice of accepting the drain or playing a full game after everyone else finished.
    This rule is different from PAPA-rules. I had some bad experience with the PAPA-rules as well. Its very hard to make four players satisfied in a situation like this. I guess we all just want the machines to work at all times 🙂

    Being player 1 it leaves me with a quite tough desicion to make. Considering the other players first balls i felt like my 17M would probably be enough for 2nd place and 2 points.
    And i still had a ball left. Unfortunately that ball only amounted to 2,5M bonus.

    This was a very annoying start to the semifinals for me and like Keith said, i would have preferred playing TZ even though i only had a decent first ball.

  2. bowen
    April 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    FYI, in tournament mode, the clock is reset to 11:30 on any player’s ball regardless of their previous lock progress.


  3. JOE
    April 7, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Bowen: There still a difference in if the ball feeds from the top or the plunger lane when you lock again.

    Also i had played this bank of games earlier, doing good on TZ and Mars Trek but poorly on FH and Flash Gordon.
    And i was not comfortable on the last two machines as Keith pointed out.

    Also i was sort of screwing myself up on FH by plunging to the jets on ball one thinking that Quick Multiball was not lit. Sometimes when you start a game the EB is lit instead, so i thougt that the EB was lit but the light broken. Should have talked to someone before plunging in that situation of course. Also the funhuse was not leveled correctly. It was leaning to left and that why we havent seen anyone in any of the videos hitting the mirror of the short plunge. This might be on purpose by the tournament directors possibly. Flash Gordon had an incredibly tight tilt and as Keith pointed out misaligned flippers. And even though Mark had put on special plastics to prevent the ball from hopping it sure did. But hey! If you want to win you have to overcome those kind of things and Adam did a great job doing just that.

  4. MHS
    April 7, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    If that funhouse wasn’t level, it’s news to me. All of the games are leveled to zero with our digital level before finals. It’s possible it got out of level from being banged around, but it started the day at zero, of that much I’m positive.

  5. CAyle
    April 7, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Uh huh…. The old papa level on the play field glass trick – 😉

    1. bowen
      April 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      I ain’t never seen MHS leveling on the playfield glass.

  6. MHS
    April 7, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    cAyle’s just needling me… and it worked… a little.


  7. JOE
    April 8, 2013 at 1:07 am

    I can tell the lean of the machine just from looking at the videos. TZ is leaning slightly left, Mars Trek slightly right, FH left and Flash Gordon right. The slower the ball moves up to down the more impact it has. FH had a very steep pitch that masks it so its harder to see.

    The reasons can be many, sometimes the playfield itself is not flat. 20+ years will take its toll. Sometimes the floor is not flat which i guess is the most common reason. And as you say a shove can also lead to the angle changing.

    Just for fun ive watched lots of the gameplay videos and made notes of the pitch and what strategies are better under those circumstances. Bad news is ive done it for no reason if the machine has been moved since then.

    BTW Mark your doing a great job with the machines, just dont put too much faith in the digital level 😉

  8. MHS
    April 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

    See you soon, Jorian. Looking forward to another great tournament! Are you coming in early for any of the pre-pinburgh tourneys?

  9. bowen
    April 8, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Actually Mark, you should just have Jorian come in early to be in charge of the leveling!

  10. Kme
    April 8, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    The bummer to me about the FG is the game has a nice balance of risk-reward with the left drop targets in lighting the spinner. But as you can see in the video you are lucky to get 3 spins out of the left side. I do not think there is any way to completely level a game and keep it so. My Congo can either be level on the lower portion or upper portion but not both due to playfield warpage.

  11. mhs
    April 8, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    It’s just 227 games, not counting any of the 225 that may have been moved in the practice bank, or counting what gets rearranged for circuit final, or what gets rearranged for the 4 division finals.

    Just leveling. No big deal ;o)

    From now on, all finals will be played on Tattoo Assassins and the Horseshoe ringer! No leveling required.

  12. JOE
    April 8, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I’ll be coming to PIT at around 4:30pm on Wednesday, hoping to be able to play the pre-tournament that night.

    Actually me and Jörgen usually do the leveling at competitions at home. Mats, however says he doesnt even notice if the game is leaning or not. I dont know if thats an advantage or disadvantage?

  13. Dave Stewart
    April 8, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    With regards to settings to not steal locks … and I guess this applies to this year’s Pinburgh where some games appear to be marked to play as single-player because of that: I think there’s nothing wrong with a multi-player game where you can steal locks, or even jackpots as long as it’s something accumulated by other players, and not prior games. That’s part of head-to-head competition. E.g. in football, team gets an interception, they now have ball at a different position than if the other team punted. It’s up to a player who locks a ball to collect it … or as many do on TZ to not collect powerball until they are ready to collect two. It all becomes an interesting twist on strategy on those games.

  14. bowen
    April 9, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I’m torn on this one, because it is definitely part of head-to-head. And if that’s all it was, two players, it makes a good argument. But Pinburgh and PAPA finals are four-player rounds. If I’m player 3 and I keep watching player 1 set the table for player 2, it’s a bit upsetting! Some games are worse than others in this aspect, but it’s another way to level the playfield. Eh, get it? Bah.

  15. Raymond
    April 9, 2013 at 5:02 am

    I think Adam got his ball back on LOTR because he had just locked a ball in the TWO Towers ball lock (not the Twin Towers :P), and plunged all the way around, only hitting one switch.

  16. April 9, 2013 at 11:57 am

    @Bowen and Dave

    I actually agree with both of you. I wasn’t so sure that I liked the idea of single player games at first either. To be honest I’m still not sure I like it. At previous Pinburghs, I have been both the beneficial recipient of the misfortunes of other players and I have set others up with my own mistakes. It does take something out of the head to head format but ultimately I think that single player in these situations will be the fairest solution. We’ll see how it plays out.

    @Bowen: I was wondering if any consideration was given to the increased advantage in the order of play in these situations. I mean, playing forth is always a slight advantage, but when all of the other players have already played their entire games, I think that advantage only increases. I’m not saying that this should have swayed the decision just wondering if that was taken into account.

  17. April 9, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I know that in the past some old EMs were only single player…but this certainly increases the number significantly.

  18. Adam
    April 9, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    In my opinion, the advantage to playing an entire game after everyone else has finished is absolutely enormous. WAY MORE than any perceived advantage/disadvantage to poaching locks in a game. If lock stealing is that bad, then don’t use the title at all, but one-player-only seems way worse. If I’m last player, not only do I get to watch 9 other balls played before I go, but I can completely adjust my approach and strategy for the game *before* I even start based on everyone else’s scores. Also, I hope none of the one-player-only games are 1st or 3rd in a bank, because you can have a situation where a group starts on the third game, and now the top seed gets to go last on that game. If it’s only EMs or 4th game choices, at least this sweet, sweet gift goes to the player who came in last in the previous game.

  19. mhs
    April 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    The majority of them are game 3 and game 4. Opinion noted.

  20. bowen
    April 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Next time I see Adam L. I’ll go first in a 2-player game of Doctor Who, then I’ll let him play an entire game last after me on AC/DC, and we’ll see how much of a sweet sweet gift it is.

    Sorry that you disagree with our decision, but we think it’s the right thing to do and we’ll play Pinburgh 2013 using those rules.

    Raymond is right about why Adam B.’s ball was returned; you can see the lights in the skill shot lane indicating that the ball has been deliberately replunged and was not a hardware error.

  21. JMP
    April 10, 2013 at 10:00 am

    I don’t think there’s any real way around the 4th player advantage problem unless you can’t play serially. Which are very few games (the two player head-2-head ones, which are rare, and only two player).

    I think it’s part of the unique charm and character of pinball.

  22. NOB
    April 10, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Great job on the videos. Since Bowen mentioned the “live” thing in the comments to the final, here’s my perspective as a spectator: for me, that “live” feeling adds significantly to the enjoyment of the videos, and there are sadly a few things that can really take away from that experience:

    For one, the dodgy audio on Keith’s commentary track sort of destroys the illusion that there are two guys sitting in the same room watching and talking about the same game, which I feel is pretty much essential to a good sports commentary.

    The other thing that put me off a little bit in this video is that (except for the surprise TZ resest) Keith basically gave away everything that would happen during his play time before it actually did happen. It’s hard to avoid knowing who won the whole thing, but everything beyond that is just unnecessary spoilers (I recall a video by Cayle on one of his own games, where he did a pretty good job keeping the suspense).

    Another thing that comes to mind is that while a certain amount of banter between the commentators is a nice thing, a bit less puns and more substance might have been beneficial to the final video. In my country, American Football is a sport nobody really knows much of anything about, so every time they show the Super Bowl on TV, the commentators pretty much rehash all of the rules as the plays are going down, so people actually know what’s going on and can enjoy the action. Since pinball isn’t yet a mainstream sport everybody knows everything about, it would be nice if there were more talk about basic rules and why people are shooting for what they’re shooting for. I’m not talking about this or the final video in particular here, just generally. Pros will probably excuse the redundancy, and the rest will feel a strong urge to seek out some on location pinball machines to try for themselves what they learned. At least that’s what happened to me on a bunch of Bowen’s videos.

    Sorry for the lengthy comment, and please don’t take it the wrong way, I think you guys are doing a fantastic job of making this great thing that is pinball an actual spectator sport. I greatly enjoy watching all the videos you put together, and it’s very understandable that there are still a few kinks to work out. I just want to help further the cause so that one day I can call up my guys and watch a game without that being some silly nerd thing.

  23. Mark
    April 10, 2013 at 10:01 pm

    The fact you’re willing to take this long to make a constructive comment encourages us to continue making more and better videos. We’re going to always be trying new things and attempting to improve. All feedback is good feedback, because it gives us perspective on what our viewers want.

    Stay tuned.

  24. NOB
    April 10, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Your comment in turn encourages me to fire off some more constructive criticism 😉

    A bit more on the technical side: When you hosted the videos on Vimeo, it was possible to watch them as actual full screen vertical videos on a tablet, which made the videos a nice bedtime watch for me. As I understand, you switched to Youtube because Vimeo has a cap on upload size. Is this something that could be remedied by some sort of account upgrade? I’d certainly be willing to put some donation money towards being able to watch actual vertical pinball videos.

    The other (a bit opposite) thing is, while watching vertical videos vertically is great, there’s a case to be made for seeing not just the playfield but also the players themselves. There has been this one Batman video where you can see Bowen from the side, which was great (and probably out of all the videos the most work), but I think what really needs to be done is putting a second camera on top of the machine, so you can actually see the players’ faces. Apart from the obvious benefit of seeing the players’ immediate reactions to what’s going on the playfield, it’s just a bit strange to watch hours of tournament footage without having any idea what the finalists actually look like.

    I recall that talk with Bowen where it was mentioned that putting the competitors front and center might make the sport more accessible, and I fully agree that seeing the players while the action is going on would be of great benefit to all sorts of viewers. Out of all the ball games, pinball is probably still the one that’s the most interesting to watch without seeing any of the players, but being able to emotionally bond with those guys beyond the occasional curse word or rage tilt would, at least for me, greatly improve the enjoyment as a spectator.

    I don’t know how much more work and cost this would mean, or if there are any legal considerations with showing people’s faces on video, but in my opinion this is an absolutely necessary step to make tournament broadcasts more mainstreamy and watchable outside of an “already hooked on pinball” setting (and even for already hooked types like me, it would be such a great improvement).

  25. Mark
    April 11, 2013 at 1:52 am

    These are interesting ideas. We’ve considered many of these issues. I highly recommend you watch the PAPA Circuit final tomorrow morning and stay tuned for our upcoming announcements.

    Good things are coming…

  26. Mark
    April 11, 2013 at 1:54 am

Comments are closed.