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
Tuesday August 13, 2013

Adjusting the drop-down feet for optimal Witch squishage.

This past weekend I had the glass off my Wizard of Oz pinball to make an adjustment (if your Haunted Forest ever looks like a tornado went through and leaned a tree, let me know if you need any help) and, after doing that, I took the opportunity to conduct a few camera tests. However, instead of shooting random footage with no purpose, I ended up with something that might be mildly useful to new owners.

On my game, after each software update the default settings for Dorothy’s spinning house results in the Wicked Witch of the East’s trapped legs looking like they’re sticking out of the gutters, instead of being solidly squished under the floorboards. I’ve seen a few comments from new owners and location players about suspiciously malfunctioning feet, which is almost certainly nothing more than a need for calibration.

To help make the process as straightforward as possible, I’ve created a quick video tutorial on how to adjust the spinning house and drop-down wall for optimal presentation of those gaudy striped socks and hotly contested ruby red slippers.

Check it out below, and let me know what you think! Be sure to select 720p or 1080p for the best quality.

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Posted by Daniel Tonks on 8/13 at 7:31 AM
Saturday August 10, 2013

New software promises brighter general illumination.

On Friday, Jersey Jack Pinball released a new software update for The Wizard of Oz – which replaced another update from only the day before. Among the just-released version 1.18’s extensive list of new features, bug fixes and other improvements since prior major version 1.14, it also includes a note for “GI lamp brightness corrected”. As discussed in my post earlier this week on how to improve the GI lamp assembly’s alignment on your WOZ, the overall brightness of the game’s general illumination has been the subject of some controversy – so just how much does this software actually change things?

To help answer that question, I’ve taken video of WOZ running both software v1.14 and v1.18. To ensure a completely fair comparison, the game was filmed in a dark room where the only source of illumination was the game itself, the video camera was mounted on a tripod, and I used identical manual exposure values for both versions.

I’ve prepared the resulting footage in a handy comparison video that you’ll find below.

Posted by Daniel Tonks on 8/10 at 6:45 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,