(Topic ID: 264843)

Is it time to create a virtual arcade for playing real pinball ?


By ataritoday

12 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 14 posts
  • 10 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 12 days ago by lpeters82
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    #1 12 days ago

    Hi,

    I have had this idea in the back of my mind for some time and wondering if now is a good time for someone to pursue....

    The idea:
    - Create a way for people to play real pinball machines virtually via live streaming.
    - Community has some resourceful people that could build an interface board or kit that would allow someone to control a machine remotely (insert coins, flip,
    plunge, press start button). (there are examples today of this type of thing working.... i.e. Sega Crane machines, etc...)
    - Create a site that allows the customers and the operators to find each other and exchange money and feedback.

    Essentially, allow anyone to be an operator, virtually. Allow anyone on the internet the ability to play your machine via live streaming.

    The Pro's:
    - We get to play real pinball when we want.
    - People buying machines have a way to make some money back and fund the investment.
    - During a Pandemic, operators have a way to keep money coming in.
    - The operator would be able to control when his arcade is open to play.. (via the website).

    Con's:
    - Nudging is pretty much out..... unless you want to get robotics involved.
    - Obviously not the same as being there.
    - Competing with virtual pinball (i.e. Zen pinball).

    Investment needed:
    - Camera equipment for every machine you want to operate.
    - Need to develop interface board.... (or manufacturers could build functionality into machines... via wifi)
    - Someone needs to create the virtual arcade site for operators and players to connect.

    If below could not be done widely, could be an interesting way for people to try out new machines as they are released, without having to go to a show.

    #2 12 days ago

    You can already play Batman 66 here: https://www.surrogate.tv/

    #3 12 days ago

    Putting all of the technical hurdles above aside, the round trip delay would be too much to make it enjoyable.

    At that point, might as well play TPA, Williams tables on Pinball FX, etc. At least you’d be able to nudge.

    #4 12 days ago
    Quoted from ataritoday:

    Hi,
    I have had this idea in the back of my mind for some time and wondering if now is a good time for someone to pursue....
    The idea:
    - Create a way for people to play real pinball machines virtually via live streaming.
    - Community has some resourceful people that could build an interface board or kit that would allow someone to control a machine remotely (insert coins, flip,
    plunge, press start button). (there are examples today of this type of thing working.... i.e. Sega Crane machines, etc...)
    - Create a site that allows the customers and the operators to find each other and exchange money and feedback.
    Essentially, allow anyone to be an operator, virtually. Allow anyone on the internet the ability to play your machine via live streaming.
    The Pro's:
    - We get to play real pinball when we want.
    - People buying machines have a way to make some money back and fund the investment.
    - During a Pandemic, operators have a way to keep money coming in.
    - The operator would be able to control when his arcade is open to play.. (via the website).
    Con's:
    - Nudging is pretty much out..... unless you want to get robotics involved.
    - Obviously not the same as being there.
    - Competing with virtual pinball (i.e. Zen pinball).
    Investment needed:
    - Camera equipment for every machine you want to operate.
    - Need to develop interface board.... (or manufacturers could build functionality into machines... via wifi)
    - Someone needs to create the virtual arcade site for operators and players to connect.
    If below could not be done widely, could be an interesting way for people to try out new machines as they are released, without having to go to a show.

    Jack Danger and the guys from surrogate.tv used some raspberry pies to interface with a Batman 66 and Deadflip mentioned it would be doable to any machine.

    #5 12 days ago

    I did not know Jack D had done that, I will check that it out.
    I realize its not the same as playing live by any stretch...
    The upside vs Zen is it avoids the "physics" debate .

    If you did set something up, its lets you play games that perhaps are not digitized yet.

    If the lag is bad.... agree tough challenge.

    #6 12 days ago
    Quoted from mjsbowl:

    You can already play Batman 66 here: https://www.surrogate.tv/

    Disappointed that this is unplayable for me. On a high end PC with 50MBx50MB broadband at home with about a 2 second delay. I was also the only one in the game.

    Logged back in and this time about 1/2 second delay - still way to much to play the game when you have to predict where the ball will be in 1/2 a second vs. where you see it.

    #7 12 days ago
    Quoted from Mr_Tantrum:

    Disappointed that this is unplayable for me. On a high end PC with 50MBx50MB broadband at home with about a 2 second delay. I was also the only one in the game.
    Logged back in and this time about 1/2 second delay - still way to much to play the game when you have to predict where the ball will be in 1/2 a second vs. where you see it.

    Yeppers. That was my point to the OP: Virtual pins will always be a better (less worse?) experience than trying to control a pin over the Internet, almost exclusively because of the delay.

    #8 12 days ago

    tried it too. unplayable.

    #9 12 days ago

    That was pretty cool as a curiousity! I'm interested to see how the raspberry pi was hooked up. There's almost no way a game that far away could be even remotely playable. The video lag is the main problem. What they could do is set up a lower frame rate, so it's more like a 15fps. it would be choppy but you'd have way better feedback and it (might) make the game more playable.

    #10 12 days ago
    Quoted from Jjsmooth:

    tried it too. unplayable.

    I watched your game as I was next in line and figured it was real laggy. I’m playing now and holy cow Batman! The lag is so bad as the ball comes down the ramp I have to hit the flipper before the ball even makes it to the inlane switch. Cool idea, wish the lag wasn’t so bad. Still had fun, I miss playing pinball on location already

    #11 12 days ago

    The Batman 66 machine is in Europe so North American players are going to have some real rough lag.

    #12 12 days ago
    Quoted from mettle64:

    The Batman 66 machine is in Europe so North American players are going to have some real rough lag.

    The lag seems to change between games too. I tried again and the lag was about 5 seconds. Ball was gone well before the flippers even responded to my flips. Will try one more time

    #13 12 days ago

    Based on the high scores, it is obvious that at least some players aren't having terrible lag. As stated, I assume they are very close (latency wise) to the source.

    #14 12 days ago

    I tried it out and had terrible lag. I was trying to predict where the ball would be and flip accordingly. The two other players in my game seemingly weren't having the same issue.

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