(Topic ID: 91457)

F14 Tomcat : Second Sortie - custom development and rebuild


By Snux

5 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 448 posts
  • 81 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by agodfrey
  • Topic is favorited by 81 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

Topic Gallery

There have been 105 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

DSCN0037 (resized).JPG
DSCN0036 (resized).JPG
second_sortie_rotate.gif
second_sortie_rotate.gif
DSCN6522_(resized).JPG
IMG_20160717_094335_(resized).jpg
IMG_20160717_094413_(resized).jpg
DSCN6182_(resized).JPG
DSCN6179_(resized).JPG
helmet.jpg
DSCN5573.jpg
DSCN5570.jpg
Hal_Jordan_Orange_Lantern_001.jpg
bfg0021.jpg
giphy.gif
DSCN5156 (Large).JPG

There are 448 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 9.
13
#1 5 years ago

A few folks have seen some posts from me on the pinballcontrollers forum about my F14 custom development "Second Sortie". As I have hit a natural pause at the moment (waiting for the new F14 playfields to be released), I thought I'd start a thread here on pinside with some background, current status, ideas and other information for anyone who is interested to follow along.

216376.jpeg

I discovered that it was possible to write new software for your pinball machine using P-ROC for the very first time around 3 years ago. I'd bought a Bride of Pinbot and was searching for more information on Williams ROM versions when I discovered that the Dutch Pinball guys had started to experiment with a P-ROC and were thinking about extending the software. So I bought a P-ROC and a DMD display and followed along.

I soon decided though that I wanted to develop something myself. Although natively designed to work with WPC and Stern SAM, on the P-ROC forum Steven had come up with a way to interface the P-ROC to older System 11 machines. I replicated this design and got my F14 Tomcat under P-ROC control. Trying to spread the “P-ROC Sys11 love”, I then designed a driver board which can replace the existing Sys11 MPU and allow a much simpler P-ROC connection.

DSCN3861.JPG

With the WPC and Stern setup, one of the great things is that Gerry and Eli did a lot of work with pinmame to allow it to control the P-ROC. That means that while you develop your custom code, you can still run the original Williams code via pinmame, meaning you don't need to be without a game when you want. So I picked up the pinmame source and extended it to also allow control of System 11 machines. That means I can play a regular game of Tomcat without needing to put the original MPU back in again. I did write some basic new code for Tomcat, but events in life overtook and it all went on the backburner. A couple of older videos here, showing pinmame control and then some basic custom code....

#2 5 years ago

Looks cool, Snux, yes, I saw this on the PROC boards a little while ago. Can't wait to see how it turns out!

#3 5 years ago

I should explain why I chose to work with an older System 11 machine, and why the F-14 Tomcat in particular. With more modern machines, the software is generally already very complex, with display animations, video modes and so on and coming up with improvements to those is not an easy task.

The System 11 platform is a great generation of machines, but had some limitations in terms of how much software code could be squeezed in and of course only used alphanumeric displays. So coming up with new ideas for game play, rules and putting in a DMD seemed the way to go.

I got hooked on pinball at university back in the late 1980s. The university bar had a games room, with a bunch of pool tables and a line of 7 or 8 pinball machines. I remember when F-14 Tomcat turned up and I don't want to even try and think about how much money I put in the coin slot while it was there for a year or so.

The gameplay on a Tomcat is fast and furious, a real adrenalin rush when you want a game. Game times are often quite short, but when you manage to get to the jackpot it's really impressive. I want to keep the speed of the original game and in some ways make it faster (read on later about game ideas and hardware), but give it a deeper ruleset and add a dot matrix display.

#4 5 years ago

When I heard that new playfields are in the pipeline, I decided that while waiting for that I'd get the cabinet restored and made into a one-off. Both inside and outside were in poor condition and Jady had offered on the P-ROC forum to do me a special. This was the result - you can see the yellow in the original design has been replaced by a blue colour-matched to the playfield plastics. Also some of the orange from the playfield has been added to the backbox sides. The "Second Sortie" game name is also included.

F14 cab.jpg

I had the new design printed up on laminated vinyl by a local pinhead that has a print shop. As mentioned in a previous post, this design is a one-off, please don't ask for a copy as I'm intending on staying the right side of PPS (please don't make this an IP-Flame-Fest-Thread!).

For the metalwork I decided to get some powdercoating done. It was the first time my local powder shop had done candy work (they've not been open long) and they made me promise never to bring any more! But I'm pleased with how it turned out. Had the legs, rails, apron, shooter housing and the habit rails done..

DSCN4138 (Medium).JPG

When it came to restoring the cab, I don't have the skills, tools, time or space to do a proper job. I'm happy working electronics, programming, mechanical repairs and so on but woodwork is just not my thing. So I sent this off to Manny at Woodtech (I'm in the UK). Here are a few pictures of how it looked when it left here :

DSCN3954-1.jpg

image-99.jpg

image98.jpg

#5 5 years ago

Looking forward to this.

16
#6 5 years ago

And this is how it came back......

DSCN4229 (Small).JPG

image27 (Small).jpeg

image28 (Small).jpeg

image30 (Small).jpeg

The picture of the cab front shows a different door, I've actually fixed up the original and put it back on since the picture was taken.

Here is a close-up of the head decal.

image2 (Small).jpg

Manny also did a lot of work to strengthen the cab. Here's a shot of underneath..

image22 (Small).jpeg

While he was doing that, I did some work on the speaker panel. The LEDs in the speakers I will be able to switch on and off under software control. Think "Afterburner" :

Burners2.jpg

So, now you can see why I want to wait with the refurb until the new playfields are available; anything other than a new one wouldn't look right in this "new" cab. So now while I'm waiting for those, in the next post or two I'll outline what I'm thinking about in terms of software. I'm not so far with that yet, so once I've explained where I'm at any other suggestions are welcome!!!

#7 5 years ago

Looks cool. I'm curious, how easy will a painted leg scratch?

#8 5 years ago

The metalwork is powdercoated, not painted, so is really tough although I'm sure if you put your mind to it a good hard scrape with a screwdriver would make a mess. I've seen a few other folks powder coat F14 habit rails so I'm hoping they hold up. Time will tell once it's all back together and being played!

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

And this is how it came back......

Super handsome!

#10 5 years ago

That really looks awesome! Beautiful!

#11 5 years ago

Amazing looking! Keep us posted on your progress. Very interesting plans you have.

Mike

#12 5 years ago

Good Lord this is incredible!!!

Very nice! Doing anything with that BK2K? That is a game I always thought should be converted to DMD.

Chris

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

Doing anything with that BK2K? That is a game I always thought should be converted to DMD.

Actually I just sold the Black Knight 2000. I can squeeze 3 machines into my game room, but 2 is a lot more comfortable. Even with the F14 out of action, the BK2K wasn't getting any use so it's being replaced with a machine that'll get played a lot more - LOTR is in the house from the end of this week!

I agree that BK2K would be an interesting project (with or without DMD) - it would be good to try and stop it being a one-shot game (if you can perfect that right flipper to left ramp to upper playfield shot you can play almost forever) and make some objectives on the lower playfield compulsory before the locks can be made. Maybe even disable the upper playfield flipper until you've "earned" it somehow. But I'll leave that for someone else

#14 5 years ago

I'm planning on making a couple of (reversible) modifications to the games hardware once I've got the new playfield. The main one will be adding an auto launch to the ball shooter, so the ball can be launched automatically by the game in addition to being shot manually by the standard plunger.

With the F14, the thing that interrupts the flow most (in my opinion, yours may vary) is that the game has to stop any time a new ball needs launching into play. That is particularly noticeable when playing a multiplayer game - if you've locked 3 balls before draining and the next player gets a multiball and leaves the locks empty, you have to manually plunge 3 balls back into the locks before you get to play again properly. With an autolaunch we can get that done without manual intervention or maybe even relock the balls during the bonus sequence for the previous player.

The other thing I'd like to use the autolaunch for is to keep multiball running for longer if we want to - if a ball drains we can kick it right back into play. We can also start a multiball without needing to actually lock all the balls first, maybe something like a "Scramble all Jets" instant multiball kind of thing.

Another thing I'm planning to add is the ability to switch off the standard white general illumination (GI) and light the playfield red instead. For that I'm intending to use some of this flexible LED strip, some hidden under existing playfield plastics/features, some a bit more visible.

ledstrip.png

By switching the GI off and the red lighting on, I'm hoping to kind of get a "Stealth" or "Nightflight" mode going. Take a look at this and you'll get the idea :

red2.png

The other thing I want to do is cosmetic too. That boring "radar" insert in the middle of the playfield?

rd1.png

At the moment, on a standard machine, it just has some green lighting behind it which is always on, plus some flashers. I'm planning to put an RGB LED ring behind it. It can either just glow green so it'll look like the game normally does, or I can switch it to red for the above-mentioned "Stealth" mode, or I can have it actually sweep like a radar. I have it controlled by a little Arduino device, which in turn is controlled by the P-ROC. Here's a short video of it working on the bench. Since this video was shot I've got the "sweep" action a lot smoother and looking better, I'll catch that in another post sometime.

I was originally thinking about trying to add a divertor at the top right of the playfield, to make shots destined for the upkicker divert left and into the bonus multiplier loop. The idea being that game play would have no interruptions at all when the divertor didn't want balls to get kicked up onto the ramps. But I can't see a nice way to do that without drilling a bunch of holes, so I think I'll leave that alone for now.

That's all the hardware changes I'm thinking of at the moment on the playfield, but maybe some other ideas will come as we go forward.

#15 5 years ago

I should include a short shameless plug for the P-ROC at this point

If you're interested in writing new software for your existing WPC/Stern SAM/Sys11 (and Data East, but we didn't test much yet) pinball machine, or you're thinking about building your own custom pinball machine from scratch, head on over to the pinballcontrollers site.

www.pinballcontrollers.com

We also have a fairly active forum with a lot more details on what folks are doing and where you can post ideas, ask for help or just generally chit-chat.

www.pinballcontrollers.com/forum

If you're specifically interested in System 11 with the P-ROC, there is a summary thread here :

http://www.pinballcontrollers.com/forum/index.php?topic=542.0

A number of folks also have a sub-forum for their own work, they're here :

http://www.pinballcontrollers.com/forum/index.php?board=17.0

Within that is a section for my Tomcat, although at the moment a lot of that is related to some older work. I'll be posting more technical details there as coding gets under way again.

#16 5 years ago

I forgot the other hardware modification I'm planning to make. At the bottom of the playfield are 7 white "Kill" inserts. Alpha, Bravo etc. I'm planning to put RGB lights behind those and maybe turn them into modes. Maybe have an insert light up blue when it's available but not played yet, green when in play and red when completed. Or something like that. I know how I want to get that working but haven't tested it out yet. More pics and details when I get that far..

kills.png

#17 5 years ago

That sweeping radar effect is killer! F-14 is the perfect game to re-theme and add lighting effects like you've shown. The night combat mode is a great idea, too. Don't know if you planned it, but a shaker motor would also be awesome. It can simulate the effect of pulling Gs during combat.

Quoted from Snux:

I forgot the other hardware modification I'm planning to make. At the bottom of the playfield are 7 white "Kill" inserts. Alpha, Bravo etc. I'm planning to put RGB lights behind those and maybe turn them into modes. Maybe have an insert light up blue when it's available but not played yet, green when in play and red when completed. Or something like that. I know how I want to get that working but haven't tested it out yet. More pics and details when I get that far..kills.png 208 KB

Another great idea. While you're at it (if it's not too burdensome), maybe you can also change some of the playfield art color scheme to match the beautiful new cab colors? I never liked the yellow underside of the jet by the kill lights...I'll stop now, I don't want to dictate on your game too much, hehe.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from JoelOmatik:

Don't know if you planned it, but a shaker motor would also be awesome. It can simulate the effect of pulling Gs during combat.

I have toyed with the idea, let's see how that goes. It should be easy enough to add near the end of development, if there are some good places to tie it in. Pulling Gs is good though!

Quoted from JoelOmatik:

Another great idea. While you're at it (if it's not too burdensome), maybe you can also change some of the playfield art color scheme to match the beautiful new cab colors? I never liked the yellow underside of the jet by the kill lights...I'll stop now, I don't want to dictate on your game too much, hehe.

That's one thing that won't happen unfortunately - I really am no artist, so I'll be taking the stock new playfield when they finally get done. I also quite like the yellow on the playfield, as it happens.

Quoted from JoelOmatik:

I'll stop now, I don't want to dictate on your game too much, hehe.

My ideas for how the gameplay will work are still very much on the drawing board. I'll be posting my ideas soon, but one of the main reasons for starting this thread is so that anyone that has an idea can throw it into the mix. I'm sure that not all the ideas will make it in, but there are a lot of creative thinkers out there that I'd love to tap into. More about that later!

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

I forgot the other hardware modification I'm planning to make. At the bottom of the playfield are 7 white "Kill" inserts. Alpha, Bravo etc. I'm planning to put RGB lights behind those and maybe turn them into modes.

This idea is great. Sys11 were only a few years just before "modes" went mainstream with TAF.

The placement of this inserts seems ideal, and even the text matchs pretty well modes: each mode represents an enemy to take down, by doing special things (get a number of spinner hits, alternate left shots/right shots, comboing, etc... ), the kind of stuff the LOTR you havenext to the F14 do very well! kudos again to keefer for creating such a great ruleset.

This opens the door to a wizard mode or two, when all modes have been completed and/or started.

Good luck for this project, it's very exciting!

#20 5 years ago

One of the Mods I did to my machine is I added a couple of interactive jets to the playfield. They can be found here.

http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/f14-airplane-and-afterburner-mod

One of the things I would like to do is add two orange inserts to the engines of the main tomcat by the flippers. Just don't have the guys to drill holes in my playfield until I have a spare playfield to mess with.

As a pilot and F-14 being one of my favorite pins I can't wait to see the development of this. I am always available for testing or development help.

#21 5 years ago

Snux, my hats off to you. Many folks are simply awestruck at the time, talent you are putting into this part of the hobby. Just to step back and see the directions this hobby has taken, no longer is it restricted to cleaning up and fixing old machines. Hobbyists like you are "rewriting the rules of the game" literally and figuratively. Great job, and I want that radar illumination for my Tomcat, too!

#22 5 years ago

Here's a possible solution to fix the long ball wait times with the 3 ball locks: have a ball(s) CONSISTENTLY sent to one or all of the locks during single ball mode. This way, they'll always be ready to go without downtime. You can also set the machine to auto lock all balls during game over.

Or, maybe just have one ball always ready in the bottom-most lock (by the right "launch" entrance). It would kick out automatically during every ball launch. It will need some experimenting, but it can be done. It just needs the right choreography.

#23 5 years ago

Having the autolaunch will make staging balls while other things are going on easier for sure. I can see where filling the locks during single ball play would be a good thing to do (or even the objectives of a mode - hit the spinner a certain number of times to launch and lock a ball, then hit something to get a multiball underway).

Lots of ideas, keep them coming please! Rick - need that playfield

#24 5 years ago

Any chance we could see a photo of the PF with the new ruby red wire ramp install? I'm dying to know how that looks!

#25 5 years ago
Quoted from Fifty:

Any chance we could see a photo of the PF with the new ruby red wire ramp install? I'm dying to know how that looks!

I'm dying to see it too, but until the new repro playfields are made I don't have one to put it on! My old playfield has been stripped of parts ready for the swap.....

#26 5 years ago

A great song to use is "Mach 5" by Presidents of the USA (yes, that's the band's name). It came out in '96 and has a driving, adrenaline rushing guitar sound with a touch of goofiness. Personally, I feel it would fit great with the theme.

As for actual Mach speed, that's another great aspect to give it cool vocabulary. You can include sonic booms, supersonic speed, Mach cone, breaking the sound barrier and shockwaves to start. I found these on Wikipedia:

Subsonic
Transonic
Sonic
Supersonic
Hypersonic
High-hypersonic

*Perhaps use these in the left or right arrow inserts?

The actual link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mach_number

You can also add real working cockpit gauges that respond to gameplay shots/misses and warning alarms if you're hit. It may be cost prohibitive and hard to fit, but it's just an idea. I don't know what kind of sound equipment you have, but it'd be cool of you can make your own cockpit chatter that syncs with gameplay. (I'm hit, he's on your tail, he's in my sights, etc.). Re-watch Top Gun for some speech ideas.

I just thought this: Hurry-Up mode: when ball rolls over R inlane when HU is lit, you'll hear "Break right, break right!" (Like in TG) to avoid a missile launched at you from behind. You must quickly hit the left orbit entrance so the ball/jet "breaks right" towards the upper R flipper to avoid getting blown up and collect an award. The DMD will show the jet careening towards the right as the missile flies away. A LOUD Doppler sound will be heard to simulate sudden air speed changes, a killer light show adds to the effect and everybody 50 feet away knows you just evaded a certain death.

More to come!

#27 5 years ago

I really hope Rick gives this the OK as a kit if Snux would want to open this up to the community for sale. Loved the cabinet and the DMD animations.

One thing I had heard that another F-14 owner had considered was putting a slingshot on the rear of the playfield facing the pop bumper. Not sure if that ever was experimented with, but I would think that would create a lot of action up there.

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from JoelOmatik:

A great song to use is "Mach 5" by Presidents of the USA

Their ode to Speed Racer and his Mach 5

Mach 5 Speed Racer.jpg

#29 5 years ago
Quoted from burningman:

One thing I had heard that another F-14 owner had considered was putting a slingshot on the rear of the playfield facing the pop bumper. Not sure if that ever was experimented with, but I would think that would create a lot of action up there.

The prototype had a slingshot there (it's still in the early owner's manuals ).

I tried to find a small enough slingshot mech to squeeze back there, but I never could. It needs about 1/4" more room for the bracket to move.

#30 5 years ago

nice work snux, and glad to help on the cabinet graphics - the cabinet looks awesome especially with the powdercoated trim.

you said something about the changing the colours of the front of the cabinet, what changed ???

also in relation to the slingshot - Skateball has a small mech unit as the plastic on the rhs is very narrow, though not sure is small enough.

#31 5 years ago

I would like to see this type of mod work on EATPM,another great system 11 pin. Longer multiballs with auto launch,upgraded DMD with updated code would get her up to date nicely. Hope to see this F-14 finished soon.

#32 5 years ago

Fantastic thread! Looking forward to seeing your progress.

I'll be doing an F-14 restore at some point. This thread has given me something to strive for. That cabinet is amazing!

#33 5 years ago

JoelOmatic - some great ideas there, thanks! I'm going to be starting over with the software, so initially will be looking to get the base game code and rules in place with just placeholders for sounds/music/graphics which can be improved later. Last time around I spent a long time on the "frills" and the gameplay never got far as a result. Want to reverse that approach this time!

Quoted from RobertWinter:

Fantastic thread! Looking forward to seeing your progress.
I'll be doing an F-14 restore at some point. This thread has given me something to strive for. That cabinet is amazing!

Thanks Robert. Wish I could claim the credit for the cabinet but it's all other folks work. Jady (Swinks) with the decal design, Jim printed the vinyl and Manny did the magic to the cabinet itself. I'll be doing the playfield swap myself though, so I won't feel so bad.

Quoted from burningman:

One thing I had heard that another F-14 owner had considered was putting a slingshot on the rear of the playfield facing the pop bumper. Not sure if that ever was experimented with, but I would think that would create a lot of action up there.

Quoted from vid1900:

The prototype had a slingshot there (it's still in the early owner's manuals ).
I tried to find a small enough slingshot mech to squeeze back there, but I never could. It needs about 1/4" more room for the bracket to move.

I had thought about this too but will probably give it a miss although it would be cool to see. The pop bumper isn't great up there, but it does make mean the hitting of the targets up there is more skill based which lends itself better to what I want to do with the software. If the slingshot and pop bumper got crazy up there then the targets would get hit too easy. Although having a sling which could be enabled/disabled under software control might be interesting. Something for another day though!

Quoted from swinks:

nice work snux, and glad to help on the cabinet graphics - the cabinet looks awesome especially with the powdercoated trim.

Jady - awesome work on the graphics - if you ever decide to dip your toes in the P-ROC world and need one of my Sys11 driver boards, give me a shout. I owe you

Quoted from swinks:

you said something about the changing the colours of the front of the cabinet, what changed ???

It's only the coin door that changed, not the decal. Manny put in a spare coin door just to take that photo. The machine now has the original Sys11 door installed but I don't have a photo at the moment. The only other thing on the front of the machine that's different to 'stock' is the illuminated start button. Those white plastic buttons on Sys11 machines are just ugly!

Quoted from burningman:

I really hope Rick gives this the OK as a kit if Snux would want to open this up to the community for sale. Loved the cabinet and the DMD animations.

I'm not intending to have any Williams IP in this work, so I don't think Rick needs to be involved especially as the cab decals are only intended for my machine. I have a proper day job so this is just a hobby; selling kits and getting involved in all the support of that just doesn't appeal. However, everything that I'm doing (the P-ROC setup, software, auto launcher, DMD etc) will be written up here and on the pinballcontrollers site and be freely available if someone else want to copy it at their own risk. I'd suggest waiting though until my F14 looks even partly done software-wise as this might be quite a long term project.

Quoted from karmalord:

Hope to see this F-14 finished soon.

Me too, although like a lot of folks I'm fitting this in around work, wife, kids. I also need the new playfields to come out

#34 5 years ago

Dammm...

This would be great with the upgrades mentioned...might just have to hang onto my F14 a bit longer now in hopes of a kit.

#35 5 years ago

One thought, with the advancements in LED technology, instead of 'adding' red LED strips, you may consider RBG LED replacement of the GI bulbs.

Use the original game code to run them in full on white mode, and use the P-Roc code to use multi color modes. You may have to design some small interface so that 'on' = 'RGB all ON' (AKA: White) as a default so there is no code changes needed for the pinmame code.

#36 5 years ago

Lookin good, keep us posted!

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

One thought, with the advancements in LED technology, instead of 'adding' red LED strips, you may consider RBG LED replacement of the GI bulbs.
Use the original game code to run them in full on white mode, and use the P-Roc code to use multi color modes. You may have to design some small interface so that 'on' = 'RGB all ON' (AKA: White) as a default so there is no code changes needed for the pinmame code.

I like that idea, but that would also mean replacing all the GI sockets and adding a bunch of wiring.

#38 5 years ago

I think the F14 looks great and I'm sure you'll create great rules as well!
It's sure helping the P-ROC-system11 development that you've created such a great signalconvert-and-driverboard for that purpose!
Now start programming that damn thing..... (no need to wait for the new playfield )

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from Patofnaud:

One thought, with the advancements in LED technology, instead of 'adding' red LED strips, you may consider RBG LED replacement of the GI bulbs.
Use the original game code to run them in full on white mode, and use the P-Roc code to use multi color modes. You may have to design some small interface so that 'on' = 'RGB all ON' (AKA: White) as a default so there is no code changes needed for the pinmame code.

I did consider that briefly, but as LongJohns says that's a lot of extra wiring and new sockets. With the red LED strip I should be able to daisy-chain them all together and just have them on or off (although I might need to have the brightness software adjustable, but that can be later). The strips are easy to mount and I think can be hidden up nicely. If I wanted to be able to make the GI all kinds of different colours that would be one thing, but I only want to switch to red. LED strip is cheap too.

Quoted from sven:

Now start programming that damn thing..... (no need to wait for the new playfield )

Well the old playfield is all in pieces and stripped so I can't use it. However a couple of folks (thanks Michael and Dave) are working on adapting an F14 Visual Pinball table to interface with the P-ROC pyprocgame framework, so I might be able to get started on a virtual Tomcat. If that works out I'll post details of it here......

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

Well the old playfield is all in pieces and stripped so I can't use it. However a couple of folks (thanks Michael and Dave) are working on adapting an F14 Visual Pinball table to interface with the P-ROC pyprocgame framework, so I might be able to get started on a virtual Tomcat. If that works out I'll post details of it here......

Yes, I know, I was just mostly kidding... (and knowing from the pinballcontrollersforum there's being worked on a VP-pyprocgame F14, my remark was serious for a little bit ).

#41 5 years ago

This is going to speed things up....... it's not 100% working yet, but MOcean has been working on the bridge from pyprocgame to Visual Pinball. This means that you can develop your custom machine that will eventually be running on a physical machine via a P-ROC but using a virtual environment instead. So I can work on the game code without needing to actually sit in front of the machine.

Still a few things to fix yet (and the auto plunger/launcher to add) but wanted to post this video so you can see what I'm talking about. This is Visual Pinball displaying an old version of my custom code running in attract mode. Lamps working, DMD display running. My screen capture software isn't great so the video looks a bit 'lumpy' and the capture of the DMD isn't very good, but in reality it's nice and smooth just like the real game. I'll try and get a better video tomorrow, but you get the idea.....

A million million thanks to MOcean for working on this, I wouldn't have had a clue where to start with VP!

#42 5 years ago

Very cool! This way you can playtest a game without having to be near the game itself (even if it's finished and all)! Would it be very hard to get other games going like that as well?
..... I suppose I have to get reading the pinballcontrollersforum better for an answer to that...

(that old code of yours still thanks me in attract mode .... nice! ).

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from Snux:

And this is how it came back......

The picture of the cab front shows a different door, I've actually fixed up the original and put it back on since the picture was taken.
Here is a close-up of the head decal.

Manny also did a lot of work to strengthen the cab. Here's a shot of underneath..

While he was doing that, I did some work on the speaker panel. The LEDs in the speakers I will be able to switch on and off under software control. Think "Afterburner" :

So, now you can see why I want to wait with the refurb until the new playfields are available; anything other than a new one wouldn't look right in this "new" cab. So now while I'm waiting for those, in the next post or two I'll outline what I'm thinking about in terms of software. I'm not so far with that yet, so once I've explained where I'm at any other suggestions are welcome!!!

Holy Cow !!!! That is amazing !!!! that candy apple red is sweet !!!

#44 5 years ago

So is this bridge going to be available to anyone?

Thanks

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from sven:

(that old code of yours still thanks me in attract mode .... nice! ).

Ah, now I understand! Sven = Steven. I didn't know that was your name on pinside!!!!! Your name will be in the attract mode for the new code too

Quoted from Lonzo:

So is this bridge going to be available to anyone?

It kind of is already, but I don't pretend to understand much about it. I think it only works without much tweaking for WPC machines, Sys11 ones need some work. It can also require some rework to the .vbs code behind the VP table.

The pinballcontrollers forum has some threads on the technical side of it : http://www.pinballcontrollers.com/forum/index.php?board=23.0

And the wiki has a page on setting it up : http://pinballcontrollers.com/wiki/Pyprocgame_vp

I know MOcean is planning (some day, among his zillion other projects) to get the whole process better documented, but in essence the answer is "yes, the bridge is available".

#46 5 years ago
Quoted from labnip:

Holy Cow !!!! That is amazing !!!! that candy apple red is sweet !!!

Yeah, it does look good. Only thing wrong is that the 2 siderails are somewhat different shades, but with the lighting in my game room you don't notice it. The powder shop I used (here in the UK) is a fairly new operation and they hadn't done candy before, and I didn't notice the difference until I got it home. It took them weeks to get it done in the first place and I can't be sending it back for weeks again to colour match better. I'm happy with how it looks!!

#47 5 years ago

A better video capture, with some limited gameplay from the old code I wrote. Still a couple of glitches in the VP table to work out, like the shooter lane filling up when the VUK is hit, but the possibility of custom coding in a virtual setup is almost here !!

#48 5 years ago

Man, this MOcean guy sounds pretty great... Ha!

So, I've been slowly improving the VP-PROC Bridge and I'm going to document how to get Sys11 machines working in VP. It's tedious, because you generally have to go through the VBScript in the table and rename every switch and lamp from the manual numbering to a row/column format. I have written a reusable VBScript function that tries to remap them from Sys11 to PROC/WPC numbering automatically, but it's not perfect and when you're trying to debug your own code, imperfection in the emulator is not helpful.

For Mark's Second Sortie, I just manually changed all the values in the VBS. I also wrote new VBScript to make the table adhere to the real hardware state a bit more closely (seems Visual Pinmame does some stuff for you, like decoding the AC relay and turning that into a different set of solenoid numbers).

This machine was "pretty easy", but mostly because I've gotten pretty good at this and there's no complex Mechs to deal with on this table.

I just came to this thread to remember if there was a launch button added --I'm adding the autolaunch right now

- Michael

Quoted from Snux:

It kind of is already, but I don't pretend to understand much about it. I think it only works without much tweaking for WPC machines, Sys11 ones need some work. It can also require some rework to the .vbs code behind the VP table.
The pinballcontrollers forum has some threads on the technical side of it : http://www.pinballcontrollers.com/forum/index.php?board=23.0
And the wiki has a page on setting it up : http://pinballcontrollers.com/wiki/Pyprocgame_vp
I know MOcean is planning (some day, among his zillion other projects) to get the whole process better documented, but in essence the answer is "yes, the bridge is available".

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from Mocean:

I just came to this thread to remember if there was a launch button added --I'm adding the autolaunch right now
- Michael

Nope, no launch button, just a regular plunger on the front of the machine. The launch is one of those that allow manual and automatic, like on Junkyard and others.. Coil 19 is currently unused on F14, the autolaunch will be wired to that.

Quoted from Mocean:

Man, this MOcean guy sounds pretty great... Ha!

Certainly does

#50 5 years ago

Are you eyeing making these "kits" available?? Will they be about as much as the Bride of Pinbot kit??

Thanks.

Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
$ 10.00
Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
Gweem's Mods
From: $ 18.00
Apparel - Men
Pinside Shop
$ 19.99
Eproms
Matt's Basement Arcade
From: $ 20.00
Cabinet - Other
Rock Custom Pinball
$ 20.00
Electronics
Yorktown Parts and Equip
There are 448 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 9.

Hey there! Got a moment?

Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside