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Fruit Machines Inside Out: Compensation


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#41 mazza500

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:45 PM

I created this, I really would have loved to get into creating fruit machines back in the day.   This was just messing about to be honest, I did spend a bit of time on it.  It was based of Supa Fruit by Union Games, I created a sound package for it as well.

 

 

 

That looks amazing, I have seen worse looking machines which were official. 



#42 fuzion

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 12:46 PM

You can download the layout from here fella, it's in downloads.

 

PS It was created a very long time ago now, early 2000's maybe.

 

J


Edited by fuzion, 11 July 2017 - 12:47 PM.


#43 edwardb

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 01:41 PM

Vortex! I designed a game when the same name back at Mazooma - didn't go anywhere. There's a funny thing about space themes in gaming; "putting your money in a black hole". Same as games that are overly green......they never seemed to be popular.



#44 fuzion

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:25 PM

That's odd, I guess it's subliminal.  

 



#45 richy1976

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:35 PM

Old friend of mine come up with idea for beau peepfor ace, got free machine and 15%.
Then they went on to make 2nd one without him.

#46 edwardb

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 03:04 PM

Old friend of mine come up with idea for beau peepfor ace, got free machine and 15%.
Then they went on to make 2nd one without him.

Beau Peep! My god we used to have one in the chippy near my old school. What a bag of shite!

and yes, we got ideas sent in - none ever got made for legal reasons, mainly. That's how I got my break, designed an X-Files (remember that?) game, sent it to Maygay, went nowhere but got a tour of the factory aged 14 and kept in touch with a few people. Left school, went to college, blagged a job at Mazooma and the rest is history....



#47 phattbloke

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:29 PM

I think a lot of the emptiers arose due to a "Free Win", my understanding of this is that a Free Win didn't update the compensators when it should have done, leaving the game in the same happy state.

Either that or the game wasn't checking the compensators properly before allowing the win in the first place.

 

There were some Barcrest emptiers that worked that way, but most were just down to holes in the code that were exploited by people - testing was nowhere near as rigid back then as it would be today...


Beau Peep! My god we used to have one in the chippy near my old school. What a bag of shite!

and yes, we got ideas sent in - none ever got made for legal reasons, mainly. That's how I got my break, designed an X-Files (remember that?) game, sent it to Maygay, went nowhere but got a tour of the factory aged 14 and kept in touch with a few people. Left school, went to college, blagged a job at Mazooma and the rest is history....

 

And now you almost know what you're doing ;)


also, a while back some red gaming fruit machines used to put the first £3 or £4 you inserted stright to the bottom cash box even if its hopper wasnt full to give the impression that it was full.....sneeky bandits!!

 

They soon got a cease and desist on that!



#48 phattbloke

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 04:40 PM

Hi All

 

Answers to your questions:

 

ritdav: "That was really interesting.First question coming up.Emptiers were they mainly badly written code or were they always deliberate.Reading the above they would have to be beyond the compensators to work .What were the legendry ones and were people fired over them.If you can't talk too much about them thats fair enough."

 

Almost always mistakes. Never intentional apart from one guy at Ace who decide to try and make a few quid by putting an emptier in. He got caught in a pub, fired and prosecuted. I think he got 2 years for fraud. That was on an old SP-Ace club machine.

 

Were people fired - generally no, all software has bugs and fruit machines are no exception. The famous ones, like Donkey Kong, were just oversights (nudge debugging code left in by mistake).

We had an emptier on one of our games, where changing stake should have cancelled holds, but if you were quick enough you could hammer the holds and change stake at the same time. Oops!

Simple fix.

 

When you get a report of an emptier, all hell breaks loose. I did 18+ hr days just playing the game, trying to work out what was going on based on (generally useless) info from the site. You also pore over the code and look for anything awry.

 

Guitar: "An actual question for you though, where do you get the random values from on a machine with no RNG fitted?"

 

Good question! Believe it or not this was on JPM's standard interview question for software engineers. So we had a mixed prime congruential RNG but I suspect most people now use a mersenne-twister RNG. This was in the core libraries for games so we used that. But to answer your question; if for some obscure reason you had no RNG, then you write one, or you use inputs to generate random numbers, maybe timers of button presses, or system timers. I can't think of any library I've ever see that didn't have an RNG though. They're pretty fundamental to gambling!

 

evo1: "On an offtopic question when you played with tokens did the machine play on a different cycle/% cause again never really got any return on token play"

 

Yes, token payouts were typically in the 50% to 60% region. 

 

fuzion: "A lot of people I used to play with referred to compensators as pots, even a lo-tech game like Golden Game had quite a lot of separate pots to play around with."

 

Yes indeed - those lo-techs had about 20 compensators. My first ever bit of fruit machine code (aged 17!) was doing the attract mode for Golden Oldie. Attracts were written in a sub-language to make them quicker when writing lamp sequences (all done by hand...time consuming!). If you watch the "ripple" on the button lamps, you can see that I missed out the Start button further on in the sequence. That was also in every other Mazooma lo-tech - makes me laugh when I see them in a seaside arcade even now!

 

wizard: "I think a lot of the emptiers arose due to a "Free Win", my understanding of this is that a Free Win didn't update the compensators when it should have done, leaving the game in the same happy state."

 

Correct - the win wasn't removed from the comps, or in some cases the win was added to the bank, and then some visuals happen, before the win is removed from the comp. So, obviously if you switch the power off during those bank pay visuals, the win never got taken from the comp and hence a "free win". We never had this problem as the line of code that adds the money to the bank is always immediately after the win has been removed from the comps, and also we separated logic and visuals entirely. You'd be amazed the number of companies that didn't - and were always the ones with problems.

 

fruitman69: "Not really, anti force code normally will monitor certain variables, if forcing is detected then it would set a flag"

 

Actually, in my experience, what people termed anti-force code actually wasn't. It was anti-stats testing code! Manufacturers used to buy other manufacturers machines and play them, log every spin, and work out what the game was doing. I remember visiting Maygay in 1996 and seeing a Barcrest 10 out of 10 being stats played. So what everyone did, was monitor the last, say 200 coins to go in - if they were all £1 coins then you mangle how the game plays. Still hits % but plays differently. Obviously in a pub you'd get other coins inserted, so this would never happen.

 

wayne123: "Thanks for the info - love to read how the fruit machines have ripped people off - strange question but is it possible to look at an actual programme for a fruit machine ?"

 

Yes, I will be releasing the code for a game I wrote soon (when I can find the backups, probably in my attic!). It's a Hungarian AWP but still very similar to a UK game (dual lapper board, etc).

 

shaun2097: "also, a while back some red gaming fruit machines used to put the first £3 or £4 you inserted stright to the bottom cash box"

 

Correct! We spotted this whilst stats playing one in the office one day. We thought like you did - was just to suggest to the players the machine was "backing". Found no evidence of anything else.

 

I'll add a few things here:

EdwardB will also be aware of someone who is also well known for putting things in his games, and i would be surprised if they still didn't...

 

There were a lot of "power-off" bugs in some machines, which was exactly for the reason Ed said - the banking happened before the compensator in NVRAM had been updated with the actual win - which is just shoddy code. It was soon fixed so that the compensation was done just before the visual, making it impossible to do this trick.

 

I remember when i worked back at Impulse in 2001 and the first DOND came out, and I said that i thought the game would be around for about 2 to 3 years before the industry moved on. It's now 16 years later, and the games are almost without exception just different versions (and now mostly a lot more complex) versions of DOND. No wonder the Industry has died... If the game doesn't have the DOND feature on it, it probably stands no chance of success. Plus, the Jackpot level now means that games like Wipeout, Grid Runner, Duffs Beer Guide, etc.. are no longer possible to do (in terms of the skill aspect) unless you get VERY creative, and then players just seem to like more of the same DOND style games.

 

What was once a vibrant industry with many different styles of games has become one-dimensional and over-run with terrible games providers who don't really understand or care about the maths (especially on the random games) - not mentioning any names here.

 

I'd love to design / code another Wipeout - i loved doing compensated games, even though i now work in the random slots business outside the UK. I really enjoyed doing them, and they could be great fun to write and to play!



#49 edwardb

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 05:12 PM

Agreed. The business was ruined by beancounters and greedy pub companies.

Law should enforce 90% payout and a better stake/prize ratio. AWPs should be fun. The clue is in the title.

The good games we all loved won't happen again which is very sad.

#50 fuzion

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 06:32 PM

It is sad, I played almost every day in the early to late 90's.  Loved the days of the 20p token.  Some fantastic and playable games from this era.

 



#51 shaun2097

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:13 PM

It is sad, I played almost every day in the early to late 90's.  Loved the days of the 20p token.  Some fantastic and playable games from this era.

 

snap. i agree


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#52 fruitman69

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 08:22 PM

Vortex! I designed a game when the same name back at Mazooma - didn't go anywhere. There's a funny thing about space themes in gaming; "putting your money in a black hole". Same as games that are overly green......they never seemed to be popular.

 

 

Apart from money mad martians  then ;)


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#53 fruitman69

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 09:00 PM

 

What was once a vibrant industry with many different styles of games has become one-dimensional and over-run with terrible games providers who don't really understand or care about the maths (especially on the random games) - not mentioning any names here.

 

 

I 100% agree, there is probably more math calculation in my SIMs than some commercial games which is just crap really, they should do more math and make them work better, but like you say some to not care about how it plays.

 

My pet hate on random games is a random decision shown to the player that isn't random or is but it don't match the true odds displayed, if you work the math out correctly you can make it true instead of all the " bending it a little"  

 

I accept some games will need to modify the perspective it a bit to get it to fit the profile but on a standard  pick me with only set values it should just be true picking FFS :)


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#54 edwardb

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 07:39 AM

 

I 100% agree, there is probably more math calculation in my SIMs than some commercial games which is just crap really, they should do more math and make them work better, but like you say some to not care about how it plays.

 

My pet hate on random games is a random decision shown to the player that isn't random or is but it don't match the true odds displayed, if you work the math out correctly you can make it true instead of all the " bending it a little"  

 

I accept some games will need to modify the perspective it a bit to get it to fit the profile but on a standard  pick me with only set values it should just be true picking FFS :)

 

I generally do Pick Me's as true-picks BUT selecting from multiple sets of values. Otherwise you have to make the bonus much more rare to afford giving all these prizes on an equal chance.

It's a tough one - do you run it as true odds and maybe have it coming up less, or weight it and make it more frequent with the chance of a bigger prize?

 

Welcome to the world of balancing games. I can only speak for myself but I play knocking on 100k spins myself whilst making & balancing games, and obviously see the results of billions of spins.

 

At the end of it, there is no right or wrong - games with appauling maths have done very well, and vice-versa. There is an old saying in the industry - "if we knew for certain what made a popular machine, we'd all be millionaires". When someone says that, I always go back with "no, we'd be out of a job because someone else would already have done it!".

 

:)



#55 Guitar

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:09 PM

I'd love to design / code another Wipeout - i loved doing compensated games, even though i now work in the random slots business outside the UK. I really enjoyed doing them, and they could be great fun to write and to play!

 

So you coded the original Wipeout? If so, thanks for a decent game, this is my favorite game of the modern era (£15JP onwards). Are you ex JPM by any chance?


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#56 fruitman69

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:25 PM

Agreed. The business was ruined by beancounters and greedy pub companies.

Law should enforce 90% payout and a better stake/prize ratio. AWPs should be fun. The clue is in the title.

The good games we all loved won't happen again which is very sad.

 

 

I actually believe that the beginning of the end was  when the section 16 loop hole was exploited. Once gamblers had a taste of  fast games with frequent £500 jackpots  it was game over for the AWP.

 

As since then all they done is pushed for bigger stakes bigger prizes and bad ratios.

 

That combined with shite profiles and not much better games or game play is obvious why its going down the toilet.


Edited by fruitman69, 12 July 2017 - 10:28 PM.

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#57 richy1976

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 10:58 PM

The amusement went when the tokens went.

#58 edwardb

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

We started seeing a noticeable drop off in revenue in the early 2000s - the innovation went, the jackpots went up and the % went down. Also, on a human level, a lot of good designers either left or moved to the USA to work on casino games (Barcrest USA). The UK really suffered from that, I think.



#59 wayne123

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:14 AM

What stake of play / jackpot do you think started the decline ?



#60 phattbloke

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Posted 13 July 2017 - 09:32 AM

 

So you coded the original Wipeout? If so, thanks for a decent game, this is my favorite game of the modern era (£15JP onwards). Are you ex JPM by any chance?

 

I didn't code the original Wipeout - it was done just before I moved to Impulse - and I went to Impulse from JPM yeah :)






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