Announcing the Mission Pinball Framework: hw independent, python-based game sw


By BrianMadden

3 years ago


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  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by desertT1
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    There are 134 posts in topic. You are on page 3 of 3.
    #101 2 years ago

    Hey Brian, just curious, are you still planning on moving off of Pygame for OS X? Looks like it's broken with El Capitan, and considering the last version of the OS they mention on their site is Lion is doesn't give me much hope that it's being actively developed.

    Spending a Sunday morning checking out this death metal band vid turned me onto (Skeletonwitch, what a great name) and reading through the MPF docs. Really great documentation!

    Edit:

    Oh noes Pygame

    #102 2 years ago

    Answered my own question reading your really useful docs! I see you're going to move to SDL2. That's cake to install since you just need to drop it in the Library/Frameworks folder. When you get that transition finished I'll get it working in OS X.

    1 week later
    #103 2 years ago

    I am having problems downloading and installing MPF. Looking for some guidance here. Once I start the install I get several error messages, here are the first 2 that pop up. Any ideas? Thanks!

    Capture.PNGCapture2.PNG

    #104 2 years ago
    Quoted from pinlink:

    I am having problems downloading and installing MPF. Looking for some guidance here. Once I start the install I get several error messages, here are the first 2 that pop up. Any ideas? Thanks!
    Capture.PNGCapture2.PNG

    For best support with MPF you should post to the forums at missionpinball.com

    Aaron
    FAST Pinball

    #105 2 years ago

    Thanks Aaron, I will do that! Having problems registering for the site right now though. Asking me to enter the captcha, but there is nothing there.. weird. I will try again later.

    #106 2 years ago

    Sorry for the registration troubles. Our current spam blocker is overly-aggressive I think, so I just updated that now and we'll see how that goes.

    I see you register now and get your question posted there. (I'm just responding here for completeness for future people who read this thread.) I think this issue is related to running the installer out of the zip package versus unzipping it first and then running it out of the newly-unzipped folder. Looks like we need a doc update!

    2 months later
    #107 2 years ago

    I've had a pinball idea I've been procrastinating on for years. My programming skills are awful. When I get it going, I'm going with MPF for sure!

    2 weeks later
    #108 2 years ago

    Seeing how the Minion guys had some trouble when the latest MPF came out, I have a question. What is currently missing from MPF that is required to have a fully functional machine?

    I imagine that these things will be added in the future. If .30 makes everything prior require rework, but then no future update is expected to cause rework, then all is right, but it every major milestone requires significant rework, that would make things very challenging for somebody who isn't very good with the programming side in the first place.

    #109 2 years ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    What is currently missing from MPF that is required to have a fully functional machine?

    Good question. There have been 3 complete machines done with MPF so far, so by some counts you could say that it's all there now. (Here's the current feature list.) That said, I literally have a 50 page document of bullets of things I want to add, so you also can't wait until it's "done" because it will never be.
    Probably the biggest thing missing today is there's no service mode. So if you want to change settings you have to edit the config files directly with a computer. Second is that there is no bonus mode which you can setup via configs. I wrote a How To guide on how to do the bonus mode in Python, but I definitely want to get it to the point where you can just do it without Python.
    The bigger question is about the pain of moving between releases. To us it's important that we don't cause too much pain by making changes between versions, while at the same time we don't want to box ourselves into a corner limiting some functionality due to some decision we made 10 versions ago.
    That said, the minions guys have 2000 lines of config, but it's not like going to 0.21 broke all 2000 lines. Really it's lots of little things. We have a new setting for ball device (things that hold balls) timeouts, so you have to change one line in each of your ball devices, or we combined "shots" and "targets", so you have to combine those two sections of your config files. If someone spent 100 hours making those configs, I don't expect it would be more than a few hours to update them for the latest version. (Kind of like how you need to update all your apps and stuff when you move to a new OS on a computer, except that MPF comes out every 3 months instead of every 3 years.)
    We also have a config file migration tool that will update your config files automatically to the current version. So even all the little find & replace type stuff and easier changes are done automatically.
    Broadly-speaking, most new releases of MPF (there have been 21 so far) have added functionality rather than broken existing functionality. So a lot of the changes people need to make are where they manually coded something in Python before and then in a later release there's an automatic way to do it with MPF config files, so they have to make the decision as to whether they throw out their hand-coded versions or not.
    Also one thing we just put in place in 0.21 (which hopefully the minions guys will take advantage of moving forward) is for game projects that are public (on GitHub), we can actually download the latest configs for all the MPF projects out there and then run unit tests on them against the next version of MPF (along with the migrated config files). So the idea is that as we're adding and changing stuff, we can keep testing against all the known MPF games out there to make sure we don't break anything. That functionality is in place now, but I haven't written a How To guide on it yet. But I expect to have all that up and rolling in the next few months.
    So.. sorry that was a bit long-winded. Basically MPF is still alpha/beta/work-in-progress, so things will keep changing, but we're doing everything we can to make sure our changes have as minimal impact as possible. Even though MPF is new, there are almost 50 projects on it (that I know about), so we are definitely interested in not pissing a lot of people off!

    Added 13 months ago: Updated link for MPF features.

    #110 2 years ago

    Thanks for the great explanation and not a defensive quip. This is a great tool and I have read so much on it but there is a ton to digest. If it weren't for your write ups, I'd be lost.

    #111 2 years ago
    Quoted from desertT1:

    Thanks for the great explanation and not a defensive quip. This is a great tool and I have read so much on it but there is a ton to digest. If it weren't for your write ups, I'd be lost.

    Brian does an awesome job with the documentation for sure!

    #112 2 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Brian does an awesome job with the documentation for sure!

    Months ago when I was trying to decide what I wanted to use for software I spent some time looking through their blog updates and the thing that absolutely sold me was how they managed the doc updates. Hugely appreciated.

    3 months later
    #113 1 year ago

    Hi Brian,

    I just listened to your interview on the Boom Go Pinball Podcast which was very interesting. I am wondering if the MPF will be compatible with the P3 in the future? Will you be able to use it to make games for the P3? I know that Multimophic are making their own development kit for the system but was wondering if all the great features you described in your interview are able to be used on their platform as well?

    Thanks.

    #114 1 year ago
    Quoted from solarvalue:

    Hi Brian,
    I just listened to your interview on the Boom Go Pinball Podcast which was very interesting. I am wondering of the MPF will be compatible with the P3 in the future? Will you be able to use it to make games for the P3? I know that Multimophic are making their own development kit for the system but was wondering if all the great features you described in your interview are able to be used on their platform as well?
    Thanks.

    Considering that P3 is Unity and MPF is Python I'd assume no, but who knows what they might be able to work out.

    From what I've read Unity can use interpreters, so it's quite possible that they can make something happen. I wouldn't expect anytime soon though.

    #115 1 year ago

    I believe someone already used Unity with MPF (maybe Archer?)

    #116 1 year ago

    Yeah. I don't know the details but unity is def an option at least with .30 I think Brian mentioned it

    #117 1 year ago

    Interview part 3, 47:20, Brian talks about how there is a movement to use Unity as the media controller. Also slightly before that point he mentions that the media controller for video and sound is separate from the process and the application that controls game logic. So you could use Unity for your graphics and then the stock mpf for your game logic. Not sure how far along that project is but it is a distinct possibility.

    He does say 'advanced' user but....if you're determined I'm sure there is a way. Pretty cool how mpf is set up that way.

    #118 1 year ago
    Quoted from epotech:

    I believe someone already used Unity with MPF (maybe Archer?)

    Archer is not running MPF

    #119 1 year ago
    Quoted from rosh:

    Archer is not running MPF

    Nor Unity.

    #120 1 year ago
    Quoted from WaddleJrJr:

    Considering that P3 is Unity and MPF is Python I'd assume no, but who knows what they might be able to work out.

    Just to clarify this: the P3 is a hardware platform. We have a bunch of libraries (in our dev kit) that help you develop apps without requiring low level knowledge of the platform. Unity is the GUI we've chosen for our in-house development projects, and it's what we're basing our dev kit on currently. So using Unity is going to be the easiest path for 3rd parties to develop P3 apps for the foreseeable future. P3 apps can be built without Unity, but you won't get the benefit of reusing a lot of the unity work we've already done.

    Similarly, I understand MPF to be GUI agnostic, allowing you to interface the core of MPF to any graphical subsystem via events/sockets.

    On topic:

    Quoted from solarvalue:

    but was wondering if all the great features you described in your interview are able to be used on their platform as well?

    I'm curious - can you list some of the features in question? We can discuss in a separate thread how those features are handled in the P3 development framework.

    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    #122 1 year ago
    Quoted from agodfrey:

    They talk of UNITY!!!
    https://missionpinball.com/forum/f/unity-bcp-server/

    Unity is pretty cool. I am going through tutorials with my oldest son. It is pretty impressive how much he has been able to do. He is less interested in working on pinball than my other kids, but is excited about the idea of bringing some slick interactivity onto screens in the pinball games his brother wants to make.

    Whatever it takes to get them learning cool stuff, I am all about it!

    Aaron
    FAST Pinball

    #124 1 year ago
    Quoted from gstellenberg:

    I'm curious - can you list some of the features in question? We can discuss in a separate thread how those features are handled in the P3 development framework.

    It wasn't anything in particular, it was just that Brian was outlining the amount of work that has already gone into the MPF and their plans for the future and I was thinking that it would be great if that work could also be utilized when developing games for the P3.

    #125 1 year ago

    Well, we're not outlining the amount and specifics of our dev kit work yet because we're keeping it confidential until release, but I'm quite confident you and other 3rd party developers will be satisfied with our efforts. It's been a mammoth effort by a team of experienced developers, and we've been building our own games on top of it. The P3 has a lot of features traditional games don't have; so our dev kit will have a lot of features traditional frameworks don't have too.

    Sorry for the off-topic post. Feel free to contact me directly or create a P3-related thread for questions.

    MPF is certainly a huge accomplishment, and I continue to enjoy watching the progress they make every release, just as I continue to support them as they develop new P-ROC hardware support. In fact, I owe Jan some specifics on setting up the P-ROCs burst switch functionality.

    - Gerry
    http://www.multimorphic.com

    #126 1 year ago

    I think we'll treat the P3 hardware platform like any other. Once the specifics of the dev kit are released then we can take a look and see if it makes sense and/or how it would work. The architecture of MPF which separates the core engine from the media/display engine does allow for events to be sent in both directions. So conceivably there could be a Unity-driven component based on the P3 dev kit that acts as the media engine for MPF and also handles the ball tracking and stuff and sends that data to the core engine.

    I suspect the challenge will be around which component "owns" the USB connection to the hardware. In MPF, the MPF core engine is what's connected to the hardware, and in the P3 platform that hardware connection also includes all the communication to the IR transmitters and receivers that do the ball tracking. So we'd just to see if that logic can be handled by the MPF core engine or whether there's code in the P3's Unity project for that or what.

    Bottom line I guess is I have no idea, but we'll definitely take a look when the dev kit is released.

    #127 1 year ago

    Really enjoyed the Boom Go interview series.

    7 months later
    #128 1 year ago

    Hi Everyone,

    It's been 2.5 years since the original post, and MPF is going strong. We've recently changed the website to ".org" since we're just a group of hobbyists and not a commercial company. New URLs are:

    http://missionpinball.org (For general info on MPF)
    http://docs.missionpinball.org (For documentation)
    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/mpf-users (User forum, since the one we ran on our own was too hard to manage)

    Happy pinballing!
    Brian

    7 months later
    #129 6 months ago

    Today is the 3rd birthday of MPF!

    We're still going strong with almost 8,000 commits across the various MPF repos on GitHub and almost 1200 pages of documentation and tutorials. The hardware support list is getting pretty long: P-ROC, P3-ROC, FAST Pinball, Open Pinball Project (OPP), Stern SPIKE, LISY (for Gottlieb System 1 & 80), plus lots of different stepper, servo, LED, I2C, and DMD boards.

    And we're seeing that it really is possible build complex game logic with MPF's config files. (And of course for those who want to do more "real" programming, you can do that too. We recently created a developer documentation site: http://developer.missionpinball.org/en/dev/

    We're now working on MPF v0.50 in time for Expo this coming October. (The current version of MPF is 0.33.)

    All still completely free & open source!

    Thanks for the support and use and helping create more pinball in the world!

    #130 6 months ago

    mpf -b worked for me for the first time last night, so I got to bat a ball around. That's a very exciting feeling. The MPF docs have literally held my hand until this point and I expect I will need that the whole way through. Thanks to the MPF folks who help and the homebrew guys who also lend advice.

    #131 6 months ago

    Nice work!

    #132 6 months ago

    Man I need to blow the dust off Alien Poker and finish it..... MPF has made programing it a lot easier than I thought.

    #133 6 months ago

    I'm finally getting to the stage of actually using MPF for Spaceballs and it's making my life amazing. I actually get to focus on the fun parts of designing the code versus having to worry about the nitty gritty technical stuff.

    One of my goals is to do a config only machine, with no coding other than YAML config files. I'm working on some sound effects tonight, so fun!

    #134 6 months ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    I'm finally getting to the stage of actually using MPF for Spaceballs and it's making my life amazing. I actually get to focus on the fun parts of designing the code versus having to worry about the nitty gritty technical stuff.
    One of my goals is to do a config only machine, with no coding other than YAML config files. I'm working on some sound effects tonight, so fun!

    You and I are basically yin and yang on the technical side.

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