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Test period for new machines


Danno
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What would have been the test period for a new machine before a manufacturer was confident to release it for sale, would they have been field tested at a select few locations first?

 

Was there ever any machine recalls due to bad design?

Edited by Danno
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I was a test site at Brimsham Park for Barcrest and JPM machines via Gamestech. 

 

Machines tended to stay for about 3 weeks before being recalled and assessed.

 

There were a couple of barcrests that never made it, but no JPM's from what i can remember. there was one machine that didnt last a week as it quite literally, gave money away. plug was pulled on it as hopper went empty twice within a day, and i wouldnt switch it back on. It was removed and never seen again

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Regarding electro machines,I don't know of any being recalled.

We would receive new manufactured machines direct from Nottingham to our workshops in Newcastle where they were unwrapped, We then gave them a basic test(Coin entry/credit,win lines and payouts) to make sure they operated to spec.From there they were sent straight out to operations on site.

 

The only design problem if you could call it that was with the old Gaming Board over the 24p token.Bell Fruit built some games to give an extra free credit (13 instead of 12 @ 2p play)when the token was replayed.

To keep the GB happy it was quickly rectified with an easy cam alteration an replace the coin entry badge.

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One of the biggest flops in game design in recent years was a machine by Barcrest called 'Fort Boyard'. I think it passed the site test, went into mass production and was found to be so un-popular that they all got pulled and sent back to Barcrest.

I remember seeing a Bell Fruit machine in a local pub several years ago and in was based on Track and Field. It was in the pub a few weeks and it' was the only one I have ever seen, I wonder where it is now?

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There have been literally 100's of failed test machines over the years. Standard tests are 5 machines, then 10-20 and then first production of 50 for the final release based on orders.

 

Many machines only make the initial test stages. We have about 30-40 failed test machines on our books.

 

Some machines programs would be open to an empty or extreme exploit on the payout %, and generally if it wasn't a licenced product (Indiana Jones, Cluedo etc) then it would be pulled, fixed and re-skinned.

 

A JPM that springs to mind that did fail was Box 13.

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It does show the difference made to the industry from the electro machine era to the intro of the MPU.

 

In the 80s especially,So many program updates on a daily basis from all the leading manufactures to sort out gliches,payout and % discrepancies.as well as the many empties.  

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Lots of test machines:

 

Epoch Maygays Rebound. Triple column similar to JPM's impuse, with multi colour seeded exchanges. Some exchanges boosted your position by one..or sometimes reduced by one

 

ACE's 5th Dimension. Pot of Gold cabinet, with large LED matrix display, of play it again fame. Triple, double and single bars advanced "5TH DIMENSION" logo, which completing triggered features in a back lit UFO, on the top glass. Weird

 

Astras 6 reeler, £15 jackpot. 2 sets of 3 reels, with Double Cash symbols, stacked one on top of each other. The cash entry slot was opened up both sides, coin on the right side played top reels, coin left bottom reels. You could play 50p / £30 jackpot, but essentially two independent machines, in the same cab.

 

Projects Jokers wild £10 all cash. With a SNG 4th nudge reel, that went to a spinal tapping 11

 

Epoch Maygay's Max Overdrive. A four reel JPM Impulse clone, with a cracking drum and bass feature board sample.

 

That 4 reel Electrocoin random hold machine I quietly rabbit about from time to time.

 

Epoch Maygays Discovery 2000, a remake of the £4.80 classic, with large 7 seg display, that changed colour as you climbed past 500 - 1000 - 1500 - and 2000 points, which was Big Money.

 

BGT's Millenium Bug. Similar board layout to BWB's pyramid.

 

Those are a few I recall..

 

Oldskooler

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  • 7 years later...

JPM, in the earlier Electro mechanical days.

Several colleagues used to play test through dev, then a play test department took over before a limited site trial locally for a couple of weeks.

During that time a limited production run would be made to send a couple to each of the distributors and 'Majors' as we called them Music hire, Associated Leisure etc.

Quite often last minute changes to the programming of timers etc before despatch.  

Usually on site for two week before the decision to run a bigger output.

We did have a modem operated data collection system running just prior to the takeover by Whitbread hence their huge interest in POS data collection for pubs at that time. 

Hope that helps!

 

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