Saturday September 21, 2013

Winning: best game ever! Losing: audio recording flub.

After yesterday’s gameplay video showing JJP’s The Wizard of Oz running v1.21 software, I decided to see if I could improve my audio capture quality by recording directly from the game’s line level output... and during my initial test, ended up having my best-ever game of WOZ at 295,917 points (and yes, that’s with my extra ball problem fixed). The only problem: audio didn’t come out at all good! Seems I was using a cable with a bad connector, and my recording ended up being horribly clipped (while not actually overloading the capture device). That’ll teach me to rely on VU meters without grabbing a pair of headphones to double-check!

I’ve salvaged the track as best I can (mostly by mixing it with the “live” recording I also made), but will only post the most interesting part of the 16-minute game: which is about two-thirds of Ball 3, where I stack more modes and multiballs than I ever have on WOZ!

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Posted by Daniel Tonks on 9/21 at 8:35 AM
Friday September 20, 2013

And I use the term “gameplay” loosely, since my gameplay tends to suck!

While I certainly enjoy pinball, I’m not a particularly good player... which is why I always said I’d never post footage of my gameplay. But, since The Wizard of Oz software v1.21 actually seems to be a much bigger update than at first blush, I decided to try anyways. Watch as I flail away, missing important shots and hitting useless ones... oh well, at least you can see a couple new videos and cool lighting effects!

A few notes about this video:

  1. The game was played in a completely dark room. And I do mean dark! I did this mostly because I was interested in capturing the screen and the colors of the lighting effects as best I could, but it made the ball rather hard to see (for me playing as well!). Next time, I’ll try to have a bit of ambient lighting.
  2. This is quite literally my first full game on the new code, and the extra ball setting was far, far too generous (I enabled the 4 point-based levels, forgetting how low and closely set together the default values are). Rest assured this has been corrected!
  3. I’ve chopped out a few of the more boring parts... and even then it’s still 11 minutes long!

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Posted by Daniel Tonks on 9/20 at 9:56 AM
Thursday September 19, 2013

Learn how to update the software on The Wizard of Oz in 3 minutes!

Yesterday evening, JJP released a long-awaited update for The Wizard of Oz. The new version 1.21 (download here) replaces the former version 1.18, and is what’s known as a “Delta Update”. This means that instead of having to download an almost 4 gigabyte image of the game’s entire file system, the Delta file only includes content that’s new or changed. In this case, that’s about 114 megabytes of goodies – which although still significant, will be a heck of a lot quicker to download than the equivalent of an entire DVD!

Since the process of installing a Delta Update will be new for the vast majority of WOZ owners (it was for me!), I’ve created a quick 3-minute tutorial documenting everything from downloading the update, decompressing it in the proper way on a USB stick, and finally performing the update procedure on the machine.

You’ll find the video below, and after the break I’ve also attached the list of changes in v1.21!

Posted by Daniel Tonks on 9/19 at 9:29 AM
Friday September 13, 2013

Photos, press release, edition comparisons and much more!

One of the things that’s always bugged me about pinball sites – and indeed sites in every industry – is the tendency to provide product photos barely larger than a thumbnail. How am I supposed to see anything with those? For a large, detailed product like a pinball, resolution is what’s important – so give me a photo I can study and sink my teeth into!

And here they are for Stern’s brand new Star Trek pinball, beginning with overviews of the three different editions. On the left is the Pro “Starfleet” model, the center is Premium “Vengeance”, and on the right is the Limited Edition “Enterprise”. These photos may still look like thumbnails... but click a couple of times and ye shall receive incredible resolution!

Pinplay Photo #72
Pinplay Photo #73
Pinplay Photo #74

Next, we have the two different versions of the playfield – on the left with plastic ramps is the Pro playfield, and the right one with chrome wireforms is shared by both the Premium and Limited Edition models.

Pinplay Photo #75
Pinplay Photo #76

Posted by Daniel Tonks on 9/13 at 12:30 AM
Wednesday September 11, 2013

Teaser video for the newest game by famed designer Steve Ritchie!

Earlier today, Stern Pinball officially announced their latest game, Star Trek, through a teaser video posted on YouTube. This new machine is based on the “rebooted” series of movies, and covers both “Star Trek” and “Star Trek Into Darkness”. Check it out below!

Now, as of this moment high-resolution photos and feature details simply haven’t been published yet, so what I’ve done for now is stitch together nine of the long pans as seen in the video, to give you a closer (and non-moving) look at artwork and playfield details. Remember to click on the thumbnail to enlarge, and then again to see the original full-resolution image!

Here are the three cabinet versions, from left to right: Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition. Sorry that they're cut off, but in the video they fade between shots. (Update: improved cabinet photos can be seen in this post.)

Pinplay Photo #63
Pinplay Photo #64
Pinplay Photo #65
Posted by Daniel Tonks on 9/11 at 1:08 AM
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My WOZ machine had that random issue of failing to load a ball when I needed to. I dreaded and dreaded because I couldn't find anyone in Kelowna to fix it. I did so much research t- that's how I know it's a common problem, and finally I found an...
This looks so incredible. I'd pay $20 to play on this table for 2 minutes right now!
Thanks for the inspiration,