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Wizcat

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Everything posted by Wizcat

  1. In world championship news, the UK players are out. But right now Keith Elwin (USA) is in a heads up match with Danielle Acciari (ITA). Two absolute giants in competitive pinball. Streaming on https://www.twitch.tv/pinballasylum
  2. Just a heads up for anyone interested - it's the IFPA Pinball World Championships this weekend. This is like the 'world cup' of pinball - an invitational for the top two ranked players in each country (and then additional spots filled based on world ranking, which inevitably means a surplus of US based players) UK players this year are Andy Foster (a good friend of mine from Southport), and Sam McCourt (who runs Chief Coffee - another great pinball spot in London) Streaming is on twitch.tv/pinballasylum and it's in Florida, so the UK times look like: Friday 3pm – 5pm –> Session #1 5pm – 7pm –> Session #2 8pm – 10pm –> Session #3 (this will start 1 hour after the last group finishes Session #2) 10pm – midnight –> Session #4 1am – 3am –> Session #5 (this will start 1 hour after the last group finishes Session #4) 3am – 5am –> Session #6 Saturday 3pm – 5pm –> Session #7 5pm – 7pm –> Session #8 FINALS: 9pm – 11pm –> First Round (seeds 17 through 32 play) 11pm – 1am –> Second Round (Seeds 9-16 play the winners of the first round) 2am – 4am –> Third Round (Seeds 1-8 play the winners of the second round) Sunday 2pm – 4pm –> Elite 8 4pm – 6pm –> Final 4 and 5th through 8th match 6pm – 8pm –> Championship, Consolation final The last championships was in 2019 and if they can even slightly match the quality of that, then it will be a treat for sure. I've left a link below to one of the best games of pinball I've ever seen captured on stream. Some basics about Dracula: There are three multiballs in the game. Coffin - started by shooting the coffin on the right repeatedly. Mist - started by 5 ramp shots then a shot to the hole at the back, which brings out the 'floating' mist ball. The last multiball is hardest to start, but also has massive jackpots - Castle multiball, started either by shooting the dangerous standup targets to light locks on the ramp, or by seven shots to the ramp (to light a lock, then rinse and repeat - the third lock starts the multiball) What makes Dracula so much fun is that all three multiballs can be played together (ie you can start one and then continue to do 'the things' to start the other multiballs). The game increases the basic jackpots as you do this, from 10 million for one multiball running, to 30 million if you can get all three going at once. Plus the Castle multiball has incredibly valuable jackpots which are lit on the ramp and then collected at the hole at the back left (under the ramp) Spoilery explanation for what happens during the game:
  3. Agree that this was better than last week's train wreck, but still amazingly bad writing. The interrogator guy ...
  4. With TOTAN I always try to start a mode (centre shot to Genie), then concentrate on spinning the lamp. Every 15 spins it locks those in as bonus (for the rest of the game), and bonus can be massive. It also lights the scoop which will allow you to complete the mode (collect the jewel). Rinse and repeat There are very few points in playing the modes. There are decent points on the lamp once it is doing the lightning thing, and some people try to get that running with multiball If you can get all the jewels though it's an easy wizard mode that awards 50M (worth noting that if you get to the wizard mode you need to manually plunge the balls it keeps offering as you drain)
  5. Anyone play Namco's "Winning Run" back in the late 80s arcades? This was incredible. Definitely my first experience with anything that could be called sim racing. Full motion cabinet and flat shaded polygons. Absolutely gorgeous to look at and play. Me and a couple of mates would walk into town every weekend to visit the local arcade and take turns on it Apparently it has been quite hard to emulate the hardware, so the videos don't quite do it justice, but still .. For the late 80s, when I was playing C64 games at home, this was mindblowing
  6. I got lucky on that one! Daily Quordle #33 quordle.com
  7. Friday 26th through Sunday 28th. Still working out some details. Friday is likely to be tournament games only until the evening (and then evening session is VIP only). Saturday 10.30am through 6pm free play, then evening session for VIP tickets Sunday is 10.30am through to roughly 5pm (or possibly longer depending when the tournament finishes) I'm told the discount rate isn't secret so: Call 01327 307000 and make sure you speak to Hollie at the Mercure Daventry hotel, and mention you're booking for UKPinfest to get rooms at £73 per night b&b twin/double room (or £63 for single room) You can also email Hollie at HA0I0-RE@accor.com (yes that really is the email address!) You'll also need tickets for the event: http://www.ukpinfest.com/booking/
  8. Woo yeah. Mini meet at Daventry. Send me a pm if you're serious about booking and I'll pass over contact details for discounted room rates at the hotel You would need to book soon though as rooms are likely to sell out. (Or stay elsewhere close by of course) Offer open to any forum regulars
  9. Yeah I'll give it a go. My best gaming PC has a 970 series card so I'll see how it holds up! I appreciate it's not a level playing field otherwise (but I did fancy a quick go whilst that table was available on a platform I had access to )
  10. Some other tips that I've stolen from watching comp players over the years After the plunge, if you struggle to shoot the top loop, then let it drain during ball saver. The relaunch will go around the loop and award rpm. You can usually get two or three drains and free rpm shots during ball save if you're quick! In video mode toggle the gear stick a few times to get up to max speed, then try to drive between the lanes. There's also a secret mania mode. if you happen to see three cop cars when you drive past the donut shop, then twiddle the gear shifter a few times. The downside of doing this though is that the game becomes really buggy and all sorts of bad things can happen. It's great that the emulated tables still keep these issues in them (most top tournament players will never activate secret mania because the bugs aren't worth it, and the bugs affect all players! Still, it's with knowing about if you're on ball three and feeling lucky)
  11. HS2 on Pinball FX3 on XBox. No super jackpots. Most of it came from supercharger where you get incremental 5M for each ramp shoot. If you can shoot the ramp and then hold the left flipper up as it returns you can sometimes 'ski pass' it back to the right flipper and repeat. Happy with that.
  12. Yeah I think when people categorise the Solid State era it's basically games with seven segment displays for scores. T2 is generally considered the first DMD game, though Data East used a small DMD on Checkpoint which was actually released earlier. And EM games are similarly categorised by the reel score displays. Perhaps interestingly the very first solid state games actually kept the score reels and chime units (the ding ding sounds) traditionally associated with EMs. Chime units stuck around in quite a few solid state games because people considered them an iconic part of pinball. See also any time pinball appears in the movies, they almost always use chime sound effects, even on cutting edge games
  13. Some epic play in the final rounds of INDISC , live right now : https://www.twitch.tv/iepinball (And if you're up late, Andy Foster from the UK will be playing in the High Stakes finals starting around 2am GMT)
  14. I'm not participating, but yeah - Big House is not one of Gottlieb's finest (Robowar or TX-Sector are amongst my favourite Gottliebs from that era if you wanted a drop in replacement)
  15. Sounds like you're really enjoying this pinball stuff Bradigor The UK pinball scene is exceedingly friendly and easy to get into if you (or anyone of course) want to dip a toe in! Perhaps the best gateway to the community and meeting some people is via the UK Pinball League. A pinball league might sound a bit serious and intimidating, but it's absolutely the opposite. It's mainly a social event, usually at someone's house, but there are a few that are at public venues. Most league meets have about 15 to 30 or so people turn up. The format is usually an hour or so of 'practice' time - just play the games, say hello to people. Then 'the competition' - you play each game once and record your score. You can play alone, or in a group. Once the comp is over then it's back to just socialising and playing games for a bit before people drift off (usually 5-6pm or so). There's usually a few snacks put out, and you're expected to pay £5 as a contribution. The new league season is just about getting up and going again now that Covid is easing off a bit. I run the site at pinballleague.uk, and I don't have many concrete dates on the site yet, but if you're interested then just drop an email to the region/s that sound closest to you to get an idea of where the meets are and when (or drop me a PM if that's easier - happy to help). Also worth a mention that UK Pinfest recently started ticket sales. This is an event we run in Daventry every summer* and usually has about 100 or so machines. I'll be running the comps there, and these comps are a bit more serious if you want to test your skills against some of the best in the UK/Europe. The comps are only a small part of the show though (and of course entirely optional!), and the rest of the weekend is just playing games and socialising. Last couple of events at Pinfest we have had a virtual pinball machine there if you wanted to have a look at one. There are a couple of guys within the UK community that put a lot of effort into making really good virtual machines. If nothing else you'd be able to compare it to the real things and maybe get ideas for a self build. Anyhow - if anyone wants to get into *real* pinball then I'm very very happy to help. I got into that scene about 10 years ago now and have made a considerable number of good friends, and always happy to meet more
  16. Oh yeah I think that table you're using in the comp is modded with a laser - yeah that thing! The lockdown button will fire the cannon and (between times) can be hit to use a 'VIP pass' You collect VIP passes on a standard skill shot to the top inlanes (or if you go for a super skill you can get 2 VIP passes. You can do the super skill shot by holding the right flipper button during ball launch, then shoot any major shot within a few seconds) VIP passes broadly award 'a shot', but the game selects the most valuable shot for you. In addition it also triggers the bell (a shot towards increasing the playfield multiplier) and in multiball either activates the 'add a ball' or advances you towards it. So they're incredibly useful. For example, if you've got a playfield X running, then you need to hit the bell (every 30 seconds or so?) to keep it running or else it times out. The 2X (or 3X) insert on the playfield starts blinking rapidly if it's in danger of timing out, so a VIP pass is an easy way to keep it running.
  17. And of course, for everyone playing via emulation, it's VERY important to realise you've got an additional button on the lockdown bar you need to hit to activate the VIP pass
  18. That video is quite old unfortunately, and code updates since then (by the legendary Lyman Sheats, RIP) have made the game much more balanced. Long story short, the bell is triggered with the VIP button no matter what song is playing now. That said, the bell is still key to high scoring strategies. And acdc is just a phenomenal game for score challenges.. It's all about risk vs reward. If you're shooting your song shots then you're also building up your song jackpot. The song jackpot can get pretty decent on a good ball, so you need to weigh up when to cash out that jackpot. If you shoot the bell 3 times it increases the playfield multiplier to 2x, and then three more bell shots make that 3x On a good ball you can be getting 30 maybe 40 million or so for your song jackpot. But you could risk it.. it's just 6 more shots to make that a 90-120 million jackpot So many potentially good scores lost in the chase for a great score with this game
  19. AC/DC! Great choice Oblig photo of Rick Astley playing my AC/DC Premium at a charity gig a few years back Wish my computer was up to spec to play some of these VPinball tables. What's the minimum graphics card/cpu spec people here are using?
  20. It's not analogue on a real pinball machine (of any era). I think the difference (again, on real pinball machines) is the complexity of the circuit. Prior to the mid 80s or so the flipper switch pretty much powered the solenoid directly, meaning there was 40v to 70v or so going through the flipper switch. Perhaps for safety reasons as much as anything else, more modern games now only use the 12v switch matrix to read the flipper buttons, then there is a path through the circuit board to trigger a transistor which then sends the 40v to the solenoid Long story short. It's much harder to do momentary flips on modern tables now because at the very least it's determined by the delay of the transistor, and in some cases the circuitry ahead of that.
  21. There's also a setting - I think it's in adjustments #4 "difficulty". When that's set to hard then the KEEP letters *unlight* if you roll over the same one again. This is commonly the setting used in tournaments if you want the extra challenge
  22. What is fast flips all about then? On physical machines of the early 80s or earlier it was possible to very very momentarily trigger the solenoid, which allows for what is commonly called a tap pass: On later era machines (Addams Family onwards essentially) the fliptronics controller made this skill much (much) more difficult.
  23. There are some great tutorial videos on this channel. The best tip is just to practice though
  24. Lyman Sheats passed away today, which was a bit of a blow. He was quite frankly a legend amongst software developers in the pinball industry, and aged only 55 many were hopeful that there would be plenty more amazing Lyman games to look forward to. As well as being an amazing pinball coder, he was a really nice guy and an awesome player. I had the good fortune to play against him once in one of the large pinball championships in the US and he was generous in sharing his knowledge of the games before competing against me. If you're at all a pinball fan, it's highly likely some of his games are amongst your favourites. Attack from Mars, Monster Bash, Spider-Man, Walking Dead, Medieval Madness... and many more. Lyman's Lament is a fun mode he included in Monster Bash, and there is a flipper code if you want to try it out on an emulator (or the real table!) RIP Lyman
  25. Mother/Android : Absolute junk. Completely nonsensical plot with numerous huge holes that are unbelievable and just ignored. Avoid
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