There's a great read over at Cheap Talk about how digital pinball machines changed the industry, back when there still was an industry. They were big tables where you flick a ball around, but they were smarter than you think.
In the olden days of pinball, there wasn't much to adjust. Free game scores were hard wired into the machine and couldn't be changed. But with the introduction of Williams High Speed in 1986, things got more complicated.
The new machines would dynamically adjust the free play score based on an algorithm. It also introduced a method where if you had already scored a free game, it was impossible to win a random free game.
The post goes into much more detail over at Cheap Talk, but ultimately, these algorithms exploits, and the layouts of the tables themselves got so complicated that new players couldn't figure out how to master them. And, as we all know, pinball faded into the night. If you're at all a fan of pinball, it's an interesting read. Head on over to check it out. [Cheap Talk via Retro Thing]
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