(Topic ID: 210573)

Does anyone Create CUSTOM ROMS?

By vintageclub

3 years ago


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  • 36 posts
  • 15 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by alveolus
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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#1 3 years ago

I am curious if anyone out there can create custom roms for Williams Solid-state machines, specifically Firepower. I'm not looking for much, just a ball lock rule change. Hit me up with your insights. Thanks.

#4 3 years ago

What exact change are you thinking?

'Scott', who hangs out on RGP sometimes, has done extensive modding of firepower specifically, even going so far as to rewrite the entire game as a system 7 game to take advantage of the expanded hardware capabilities, he's definitely the way to go regarding your change, if it happens that he hasn't already made it

I'm not aware of anyone else really doing system 6 modding these days. I've been working on a custom rom for sys 3-6 (https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/re-rule-hot-tip-w-me) but it's also a total rewrite, not just a tweak like you're looking for

Seems like that forum is pretty much dead

It's too bad as rom hacking seems like an under used part of pinball. So few people do it much and there's no real place to put info though that it sorta stagnates. Would be cool to have a pinside subforum for it

#5 3 years ago
#6 3 years ago

Mr. Glee was/is the main man there.
It's been silent for a long time.
Too much copyright threats.
Oliver got the same threats too....

#7 3 years ago

Doing this has been a long-time goal of mine...so many older machines play well, have great shots, etc. but need far better rules.

#8 3 years ago
Quoted from deluge:

Doing this has been a long-time goal of mine...so many older machines play well, have great shots, etc. but need far better rules.

Any specific examples? I agree many of them are lacking rules, but often I have a hard time thinking of improvements

#9 3 years ago

I am building a custom pinball using the boardset of 80's Bally with Skateball rules and features, I wish I could pay someone $100-$200 to tweak the rules - would be perfect then

#10 3 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

What exact change are you thinking?

I want a rule change to the 1-6 targets to lite locks. Not really making you hit them in order, but make it so you have to hit a specific target last in order to lite the locks.

1 year later
#11 2 years ago

Bringing this thread back from mothballs - anyone know if a custom rom has ever been done for stingray? Would love to adjust the rules so the 55000 point shot at the saucer isn't randomly available from the plunge. As it stands it sucks in tournaments because of that random award.

#12 2 years ago

Anyone think Kings of Steel (Right Target) could use some new coding?

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from ejacques:

Bringing this thread back from mothballs - anyone know if a custom rom has ever been done for stingray? Would love to adjust the rules so the 55000 point shot at the saucer isn't randomly available from the plunge. As it stands it sucks in tournaments because of that random award.

Not being available off the plunge would be nice, but that game is still so random, it doesn't seem like it'd help much? Further changes needed to completely derandomize the hole awards

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from ejacques:

Bringing this thread back from mothballs - anyone know if a custom rom has ever been done for stingray? Would love to adjust the rules so the 55000 point shot at the saucer isn't randomly available from the plunge. As it stands it sucks in tournaments because of that random award.

I'm assuming the hole value stays the same between players? So p1 drains with 55k lit, p2 has 55k lit as well? If so, that would be dead easy to fix. Would just change the code to give the same lamps for every player at ball start instead of leaving some and resetting others.

Quoted from zacaj:

Not being available off the plunge would be nice, but that game is still so random, it doesn't seem like it'd help much? Further changes needed to completely derandomize the hole awards

If the hole value changes via switches on the playfield, it's not truly random, it's sort of under your control.

Quoted from RonSS:

Anyone think Kings of Steel (Right Target) could use some new coding?

I forget what the right target does but I think over the years people have swapped wires from the right target to the center target, and added a gate back to the shooter lane to try and nerf that repeatable shot. What would you have the right target do instead?

There's a ton of Bally games from around that era that just build too much on one shot (eight ball champ, grand slam, likely others) which negates any other shots on the playfield being worth shooting for. (Medusa with neptune's cove, as well)

#15 2 years ago

I don't know specifically that I'd change what it does, other than perhaps "limit" the gain from it? Maybe code it such that you must drop a target or hit a rollover in between right targets to advance?

#16 2 years ago

Doesn't it continue to build until all the lamps are lit? Maybe just let it light the top lamp and that's it?

From what I remember of KoS was that if you actually drop the card hands, you will get a MONSTER bonus.... but that's riskier than whatever people are doing with the right target. Are you able to test revisions? (i.e. do you have a rom burner, basically)

#17 2 years ago

Stingray - hole value stays the same between players. If 55k was last thing lit before a drain it stays that way for the next player. Hole value is changed by ten point switches...in my opinion game could be better if there was a ten point switch in the "rebounds" around the kickout hole...could make setting up the hole award "more skillful" with some nudging.

Quoted from slochar:

I'm assuming the hole value stays the same between players? So p1 drains with 55k lit, p2 has 55k lit as well? If so, that would be dead easy to fix. Would just change the code to give the same lamps for every player at ball start instead of leaving some and resetting others.

If the hole value changes via switches on the playfield, it's not truly random, it's sort of under your control.

I forget what the right target does but I think over the years people have swapped wires from the right target to the center target, and added a gate back to the shooter lane to try and nerf that repeatable shot. What would you have the right target do instead?
There's a ton of Bally games from around that era that just build too much on one shot (eight ball champ, grand slam, likely others) which negates any other shots on the playfield being worth shooting for. (Medusa with neptune's cove, as well)

#18 2 years ago

In a sense it is no different than lock stealing - don't leave 55k lit for the next player and you're fine - however that sounds way easier than it is. Would be nice if perhaps the least valuable award was lit at the start of the game so player one can't walk up to a free gift so to speak.

Quoted from ejacques:

Stingray - hole value stays the same between players. If 55k was last thing lit before a drain it stays that way for the next player. Hole value is changed by ten point switches...in my opinion game could be better if there was a ten point switch in the "rebounds" around the kickout hole...could make setting up the hole award "more skillful" with some nudging.

#19 2 years ago
Quoted from slochar:

Doesn't it continue to build until all the lamps are lit? Maybe just let it light the top lamp and that's it?
From what I remember of KoS was that if you actually drop the card hands, you will get a MONSTER bonus.... but that's riskier than whatever people are doing with the right target. Are you able to test revisions? (i.e. do you have a rom burner, basically)

Not really sure, just remember watching "that video" where the guy just crams the right target all day until he rolls the machine, on 1 ball I think.

#20 2 years ago

Slings are pretty random, imo. Would be better if specific shots on the playfield could move it.

#21 2 years ago

Ok...so someone sent me video showing that there is a rebound switch by the upper saucer that changes the value ... Ignore my request....I guess I need to take a close look at mine to see if that switch is broken.

Quoted from ejacques:

Stingray - hole value stays the same between players. If 55k was last thing lit before a drain it stays that way for the next player. Hole value is changed by ten point switches...in my opinion game could be better if there was a ten point switch in the "rebounds" around the kickout hole...could make setting up the hole award "more skillful" with some nudging.

#22 2 years ago

I would like to see a separate rule for the far right spinner on Blackout.

As the code is written there is never a reason to shoot the far-right spinner as the middle spinner is a much easier shot and is always lit for the same amount. Perhaps a simple rule like alternating the center and right spinner for 1000 per spin. Or perhaps a rule where if you drop the yellow 3-bank three times the far right spinner flashes for 2000 per spin.

#23 2 years ago

soren has been fixing various ROMs for years. He could probably fix one of your choice for the right price.

#24 2 years ago
Quoted from alveolus:

I would like to see a separate rule for the far right spinner on Blackout.
As the code is written there is never a reason to shoot the far-right spinner as the middle spinner is a much easier shot and is always lit for the same amount. Perhaps a simple rule like alternating the center and right spinner for 1000 per spin. Or perhaps a rule where if you drop the yellow 3-bank three times the far right spinner flashes for 2000 per spin.

Just picked up a blackout. Been writing a new rom for it while I get it running, and currently it has the alternating, along with super spinner combos. If you've got any other ideas LMK, hopefully I get the machine working eventually...

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Just picked up a blackout. Been writing a new rom for it while I get it running, and currently it has the alternating, along with super spinner combos. If you've got any other ideas LMK, hopefully I get the machine working eventually...

Nothing like doing stuff out of order! I do the same thing, and it gives me motivation to actually get the machine running.

Quoted from ejacques:

Ok...so someone sent me video showing that there is a rebound switch by the upper saucer that changes the value ... Ignore my request....I guess I need to take a close look at mine to see if that switch is broken.

Well, here's the changes you need to make to rom U6 to make the eject hole always start on the same value:

Comparing files cpu_u6.716 and ORG\CPU_U6.716
0000022E: 1E 13
0000022F: 34 0A
00000634: BD 00
00000635: 12 00
00000636: 74 00
00000637: 7E 00
00000638: 13 00
00000639: 0A 00
0000063A: ED 00

The number to the left of the colon is the offset into rom u6. The number directly to the right is the 'new' value, and the number all the way to the right is the original value.

what it's doing:

offset 22e is part of a jump instruction (originally jmp $130a, short delay), that occurs at the start of every ball after everything has been set up, ball launched etc.

the instruction changes to jmp $1e34, which is the first empty byte in the rom at the end.

offset 634 is location $1e34 once the rom loads, previously blank. Here's what the bytes do:

bd 12 74 jsr $1274 - this routine resets the counter for the top saucer and sets the light. This code is already present in the game, but normally only gets called when the value rolls over from 1-2-3-4-5 to 6, to reset it back to 1. Bally was well known in this era for using this type of counter, and since Stingray (and pinball, which uses the exact same rom) was ripped off directly from bally (not sure which game, but likely freedom), it does the same thing.

7e 13 0a jmp $130a - this instruction should look familiar, as it's the one that we replaced to get to this routine.

$ed - this is the rom checksum correction for the new routine that's been added.

Edit your u6 with your eprom burner software or something like frhed (a free hex editor), burn onto a new eprom (2716 or 2732 if you double up the rom/have your board jumpered differently) and every ball will start with whatever the default value is (it's not 55k!) - it's 5k and probably lights some other feature on the playfield, not sure what. The picture below is what pinmame debug looks like when testing/writing these mods....
pasted_image (resized).png

If you look at the full size picture, you can see some lit dots in a grid.... these represent lamps, solenoids, and switches.

#26 2 years ago
Quoted from slochar:

Doesn't it continue to build until all the lamps are lit? Maybe just let it light the top lamp and that's it?
From what I remember of KoS was that if you actually drop the card hands, you will get a MONSTER bonus.... but that's riskier than whatever people are doing with the right target. Are you able to test revisions? (i.e. do you have a rom burner, basically)

It builds 20k, 40k, 60k, 80k, 100k, 120k, 140k, Extra Ball, 160k, Special, 180k, 200k. Stays at 200K for the rest of the ball.

I think a good fix for that game would be to have to complete a risky task like the drops or the 3 "deuces" targets at the top of the playfield to increment the right target value.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from slicknick13:

It builds 20k, 40k, 60k, 80k, 100k, 120k, 140k, Extra Ball, 160k, Special, 180k, 200k. Stays at 200K for the rest of the ball.
I think a good fix for that game would be to have to complete a risky task like the drops or the 3 "deuces" targets at the top of the playfield to increment the right target value.

So it increments itself when you hit it? Yeah, that sounds like you should have to do something else to increment it. Maybe not the drops because you could get it to high values relatively easy early on since the hands you have to complete are 'short'. The 3's targets are they particularly dangerous?

A really mean setting would be complete all the hands to advance it..... ha! Isn't there a spot card lane somewhere on the playfield?

Anything would be better than hit, bounce, hit, bounce, hit, bounce.....

#28 2 years ago

Thanks! I know just the guy to pass that info along to...perhaps we will do those up.

Quoted from slochar:

Nothing like doing stuff out of order! I do the same thing, and it gives me motivation to actually get the machine running.

Well, here's the changes you need to make to rom U6 to make the eject hole always start on the same value:
Comparing files cpu_u6.716 and ORG\CPU_U6.716
0000022E: 1E 13
0000022F: 34 0A
00000634: BD 00
00000635: 12 00
00000636: 74 00
00000637: 7E 00
00000638: 13 00
00000639: 0A 00
0000063A: ED 00
The number to the left of the colon is the offset into rom u6. The number directly to the right is the 'new' value, and the number all the way to the right is the original value.
what it's doing:
offset 22e is part of a jump instruction (originally jmp $130a, short delay), that occurs at the start of every ball after everything has been set up, ball launched etc.
the instruction changes to jmp $1e34, which is the first empty byte in the rom at the end.
offset 634 is location $1e34 once the rom loads, previously blank. Here's what the bytes do:
bd 12 74 jsr $1274 - this routine resets the counter for the top saucer and sets the light. This code is already present in the game, but normally only gets called when the value rolls over from 1-2-3-4-5 to 6, to reset it back to 1. Bally was well known in this era for using this type of counter, and since Stingray (and pinball, which uses the exact same rom) was ripped off directly from bally (not sure which game, but likely freedom), it does the same thing.
7e 13 0a jmp $130a - this instruction should look familiar, as it's the one that we replaced to get to this routine.
$ed - this is the rom checksum correction for the new routine that's been added.
Edit your u6 with your eprom burner software or something like frhed (a free hex editor), burn onto a new eprom (2716 or 2732 if you double up the rom/have your board jumpered differently) and every ball will start with whatever the default value is (it's not 55k!) - it's 5k and probably lights some other feature on the playfield, not sure what. The picture below is what pinmame debug looks like when testing/writing these mods....
[quoted image]
If you look at the full size picture, you can see some lit dots in a grid.... these represent lamps, solenoids, and switches.

2 weeks later
#29 2 years ago
Quoted from slochar:

So it increments itself when you hit it? Yeah, that sounds like you should have to do something else to increment it. Maybe not the drops because you could get it to high values relatively easy early on since the hands you have to complete are 'short'. The 3's targets are they particularly dangerous?
A really mean setting would be complete all the hands to advance it..... ha! Isn't there a spot card lane somewhere on the playfield?
Anything would be better than hit, bounce, hit, bounce, hit, bounce.....

Yeah, every hit is an increment.

The three "deuces" targets are only risky because you'd have to use the third flipper to bang them out or have a good shot from the lower playfield. But anything up there gets into the pops, so your risk is in their unpredictabiliy. They eventually max out on special too, but you get a reasonable "advance card multiplier" and 30k points for the other two completions. Maybe something like every time the three "deuces" are completed, you advance the right target, but the original 30k, card advance, and special only cycle every 1, 3, and 5 times respectively.

There are the 4 card rollovers at the top of the playfield, but I think getting up there and hitting them all is pretty tough and leans more towards chance than skill.

There's a "spot card when lit" on the outlane switches that feed the flippers. I would think for a good tournament player (I'm not one) that knocking hands out would be as easy as hitting the right target since it's less risky that moving the ball to the top of the playfield to get those deuces.

I guess there aren't a lot of KoS fans out there becasue of its right target reputation, but it could've been an EBD lite.

1 month later
#30 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Just picked up a blackout. Been writing a new rom for it while I get it running, and currently it has the alternating, along with super spinner combos. If you've got any other ideas LMK, hopefully I get the machine working eventually...

I missed your reply. That is really cool!

Can you elaborate?

Another idea is to fix the annoying spinner sound.

#31 1 year ago
Quoted from slicknick13:

Yeah, every hit is an increment.
The three "deuces" targets are only risky because you'd have to use the third flipper to bang them out or have a good shot from the lower playfield. But anything up there gets into the pops, so your risk is in their unpredictabiliy. They eventually max out on special too, but you get a reasonable "advance card multiplier" and 30k points for the other two completions. Maybe something like every time the three "deuces" are completed, you advance the right target, but the original 30k, card advance, and special only cycle every 1, 3, and 5 times respectively.
There are the 4 card rollovers at the top of the playfield, but I think getting up there and hitting them all is pretty tough and leans more towards chance than skill.
There's a "spot card when lit" on the outlane switches that feed the flippers. I would think for a good tournament player (I'm not one) that knocking hands out would be as easy as hitting the right target since it's less risky that moving the ball to the top of the playfield to get those deuces.
I guess there aren't a lot of KoS fans out there becasue of its right target reputation, but it could've been an EBD lite.

I currently have a KoS set up INDISC style from 2019. The lower left gate has been removed above the left flipper, and a gate has been added to the right lane that diverts the ball to the shooter lane every time you shoot the right target. This adds quite a bit of skill to shooting the right target, as well as removing the repetitive, right target catch, right target style play. But it still feels a bit lacking. The drops are still not worth shooting for, as well as the way they reset being less than satisfying. At some point I would love someone to look at completely re-vamping the rules, but not sure that will ever happen.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from alveolus:

Can you elaborate?

Elaborate on what specifically?

Which spinner sound do you find annoying? It's been along time since I played a blackout but I didn't remember anything

#33 1 year ago

I like the spinner pitch bending on blackout.

IIRC in the code it implies that the left 5 standups were drops originally, as it 'resets' them when you have them all completed (i.e. a solenoid fires)

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Elaborate on what specifically?
Which spinner sound do you find annoying? It's been along time since I played a blackout but I didn't remember anything

Please elaborate what you mean by “the alternating” and “super spinner combos”

The spinner increases the pitch of the background sound which becomes very grating when stuck on the highest pitches.

#35 1 year ago
Quoted from alveolus:

Please elaborate what you mean by “the alternating” and “super spinner combos”
The spinner increases the pitch of the background sound which becomes very grating when stuck on the highest pitches.

In my current alpha code, you light both right spinners as a unit, but only one at a time, then something (current bumpers) will alternate them back and forth, so you need to change up which one you shoot for. Combo wise, I've got it set up so the left inlane will flash a spinner for a few seconds for extra points (maybe 3x or 5x?)

#36 1 year ago
Quoted from zacaj:

In my current alpha code, you light both right spinners as a unit, but only one at a time, then something (current bumpers) will alternate them back and forth, so you need to change up which one you shoot for. Combo wise, I've got it set up so the left inlane will flash a spinner for a few seconds for extra points (maybe 3x or 5x?)

That is a big improvement!

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