Stern insider connect - thoughts

Pinball Discussion, Location Games, Etc.
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KingPin Games
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Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by KingPin Games »

Just doing a little market research on this new feature from Stern.

Are you interested in the new achievements?

Do you think it will cause you to "play another game" while on location?

Is this something you will play at home?

At what cost would you retrofit your current games?

Hilton, as much as i value your opinion on this (and i do), i have already heard it and most here have too. I would like to keep this as civil as possible. At this time Stern is not charging for, nor requiring any payment from the operator (minus the increased cost) for this feature. Will that change in the future, your guess is as good as mine and your concerns about the data collections are valid.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by PinJohn »

This is one of the times I pretty much agree with Hilton. :o

I have no use for the connect feature and I wonder what happens down the line as far as subscription etc and who data is shared with and so on.

I will not retrofit any of the Sterns I have that could adopt this feature.

Last thing I want during league or pin parties is folks playing around with their phones. I have no need to compare my scores or achievements with others on the internet. All machines are set up different, play different so what would it matter. I can perhaps see some benefits for ops checking machines remotely if that is going to be in there.

My refrigerator is not connected to the internet nor should my pinball machines.

This might be nice for some, but not me.

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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by ralphwiggum »

I think it is pretty cool, but at the same time, it all depends on the implementation. Being able to update your software on the fly would be nice, and it would be kind of cool to see a special mode applied to a machine for a one-day mini tournament, or something along those lines.

That all being said, I dont ever see me owning a machine that has this included, as Stern has already baked in the cost of the system into the machine. If it were an option like the old TOPS kits, it would be a different story. I know costs on everything are going up everywhere, but Stern pricing (all pinball pricing) has become stupid, to be honest.
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epthegeek
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by epthegeek »

I think it's kinda nifty, but it's not going to make me "play one more game", when I'm oot and aboot those decisions are made by time and available funds, not chasing fake prizes.

I like tech gadgets. I think this is a cool gadget to add some current tech to pinball without messing up why pinball is cool in the first place. Stern keeps teasing other great stuff they intend to do with it, and I look forward to whatever that is.

I certainly hope they don't start squeezing operators with it. That would be a shame.

I recently got my first spike 2 game (IM) and if the IC bits are cheap enough, I'll probably get it to play around with. Not really sure what "cheap enough" is; I'll just wait for the announcement of what it actually costs and see how I react from there.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by MikeS »

I tried it out at Blue Moon and think that it's pretty cool. It's nice being able to keep track of your stats and score averages, and keep track of achievements that you reach..
It would be cool to see online leaderboards per location or incentives for reaching certain achievements (free drink, etc).

I think I'd be far less interested in having it at home. If it was a $100 cost I'd be tempted but in its current state I don't think it gives you enough enjoyment to justify a higher price
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KingPin Games
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by KingPin Games »

thanks for the posts guys. i really appreciate the feedback.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by DeaconBlooze »

Seems like a neat enough idea to me, and pretty inevitable.

Being able to export audits remotely would be really cool. I always mean to track my audits over time but never go to the trouble of recording them (at least not consistently).

I think the next step for games is to allow you to progress over the course of several sessions. If anyone has played pinball fx, the knight game does a pretty good job of that. Build up your shield, sword, etc. Login for your next play and your loot is retained.

I think that could be done really well, or really poorly. I'd be pretty annoyed if this became a subscription service, required for tournament entries, etc. We have enough of that shit in our lives.

My guess is that might be how this turns out. The game can still be played, but if you want the full experience you pay x/mo for the stern app (pro v premium). It's potentially a way for them to get a cut of the end users after the machines leave the dock.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by Hilton »

2F44C060-5846-4217-9950-B85A1ABCC88B.jpeg
My only thought. Can anyone make me a cool apron sticker that is good quality to put in this position. I understand why stern did not include it (they want people to not have an option to cover it… hell George told me to “just put a piece of paper over it”)

I will pay for the sticker if you make it.
I would also guess there is a market for the stickers as there will be plenty of home games that don’t care for the lack of art here.

If someone can make up a nice sticker, I will pay to get 100 stickers made and give them out for anyone that wants them.

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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by JimS »

Biggest problem was that Lauren ended up "owning" the machine before the Route Account was set up. :lol:

Think it will be a hit. Having our names entered for us, no player 1 2 3 4, play another game? sure. Been a blast to play around with. Games with friends are more fun now with the name plates and achievements.

If Stern decides to make pinball not fun then. . . I guess we will stop Stern Pinballing. . . Till then? Sign Me Up.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by Audome »

I played on Sunday at Blue Moon. (Pinballmom's Gameroom according to I/C).

I like the new achievements and will likely track my progress, although I am not OCD about getting every badge/award. The achievements wouldn't be the reason I would play another game; however, if I'm staring at a bunch of options to play, I might throw a couple bucks into TMNT to try for something I'm missing. So I guess I/C might direct money in Stern's direction over a non I/C machine. I'm wondering if in the future I will choose a location that has I/C machines retrofitted vs a location that doesn't... (don't shoot the messenger)

Right now I/C isn't worth anything. The value doesn't seem to be there for anyone, but I have high hopes. Operators might be able to know my frequency of play, skill level, length of stay per visit, number of friends/family that play with me...you name it....and hopefully can easily translate that consumer information into increased sales.

Until I/C proves it's value, it would be tough to retrofit even my one Stern game, especially when I'm guessing I could buy a sheet of invisiglass for roughly the same price. If Stern announces a much lower price point, I'm gonna jump in and try it out. Hope this perspective from a non-tournament, location player helps.
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KingPin Games
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by KingPin Games »

More good feedback.

Hilton, I was also under the impression the games would come with decals to.cover the camera area and am looking into it with stern.

.jim, Lauren should be able.to go into her account and unregistered the game. Then, as an operator, you should be able to register it in your name.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by JimS »

Yeah, got it all set up. Was a funny situation though!

Just need those kits for the LEs now. Should be a blast!

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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by CftBL »

I am actually considering buying it for my Star Wars. If the ability to play against other people in their homes materializes, I definitely will be getting it. I have a couple friends across the US who also have the Premium and we've talked about being able to play head to head matches against each other remotely. I don't care as much about the achievements though.
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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by Methos »

It doesn't do anything for me personally, and I don't play much pinball on location, so it's of no value to me. I'm actually trying to reduce my time on my phone, not add to it. :)

For those that play a lot on location and are into competing, it will be awesome. Certainly is a win for operators and will help in driving more plays on location. As Tim said above, the new prices are crazy and I don't see myself owning anything new from them anymore.

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Re: Stern insider connect - thoughts

Post by Chris K »

I don't think Internet high scores are a great idea. Not all pinball tables are equal, nor are they set equally. Add Internet Bragging Rights to high scores, and some people will set their games up very easy, to get to the top of the Internet scoreboards.

Internet-connected high score boards (think Xbox or iPhone) are always filled to the brim with unbelievable scores, set by people who cheated, abused some game mechanic, or followed some YouTube guide to hit the Perfect Score. The "real" players start way further down the pile, with less-good cheaters sprinkled in. So the scoreboard ends up superfluous for everyone but cheaters.

Even if you had--purely hypothetically, wink wink--a guy in a black-and-white striped referee shirt watching every game being played, chances are your scoreboard would be dominated by some megalomaniac who figured out how to cheat the system to be top of the pile. Someone should make a documentary....

In short, as soon as you bring notoriety into the equation, people become jerks. Internet scoreboard suck.

Achievements are less awful, so long as you aren't the type who develops a compulsion to "complete" your achievements.

What I WOULD like to see is Internet integration in general... say "weekly challenges", live content, and other such dynamic content. That requires more work from the developer than a scoreboard, but imagine something like JJP having a November Challenge for GnR, where if you can play all of November Rain the game will play some "Happy Thanksgiving" video they created for 2021. Bad example, but there's lots of opportunity to keep people engaged in games with continuing content.
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