(Topic ID: 157282)

Multi-bingo machine!


By bingopodcast

3 years ago



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Multi-Bingo Manual.pdf (PDF preview)

There are 1284 posts in this topic. You are on page 26 of 26.
#1251 1 year ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

I did do a brief bit of bingo-ing yesterday - some maintenance on my United Caravan, which is also headed to the show.

I'm going to forward this statement to Jay Stafford. Might entice him to attend the show!

#1252 1 year ago
Quoted from DennisDodel:

I'm going to forward this statement to Jay Stafford. Might entice him to attend the show!

It would be great to see Jay having a great time playing a great bingo again.

#1253 1 year ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

It would be great to see Jay having a great time playing a great bingo again.

Here you go Nick.

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#1254 1 year ago

Hey, ryanclaytor the 20 hole playfield worked first try. If I can transport it safely, I'll bring it too.

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#1255 1 year ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

Hey, ryanclaytor the 20 hole playfield worked first try. If I can transport it safely, I'll bring it too.
[quoted image]

Incredible! See you in a couple days!!!

#1256 1 year ago

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1 month later
#1257 1 year ago

be sure to add this machine to your "wish list" if you would like to own one some day.
https://pinside.com/pinball/machine/the-multi-bingo

3 weeks later
#1258 1 year ago

Apologies for the delay in posting. The York show was extremely memorable.

First, a play counter...

A little over 3000 plays over the weekend. Not bad!

I was very pleased to participate in the unboxing of a 1962 Bally Silver Sails with @DennisDodel. It was in such beautiful shape! I'll likely never see its like again. It was a lot of fun to introduce new players to a brand new machine! Bingo Butch brought the United Serenade, the only one known to exist - in fact, there were three United games there.

One of the games that started my obsession made a return with Jeffrey Lawton bringing his Night Club. It remains one of my favorites to this day.

I was also honored and humbled to receive an award for Best Pinball - along with @DennisDodel for his beautiful NIB Silver Sails. The only two pinball awards at the show both went to bingos this year! I'd say we've arrived.

I did notice a couple of United logic issues with guaranteed awards. I will be fixing those shortly, along with a MASSIVE improvement to game load times.

Currently, I am loading in all assets and rendering the entire game as you page through the menu (for each game). This was initially so that I could do cool stuff like track game state and use a shared replay counter across games. What I found was that the "garbage" was not being collected quickly or efficiently when using this method, so I had to kill the process and start a new thread for each return to the menu. This prevents certain crashes due to resource exhaustion and a couple of other nasty side-effects. Unfortunately... it also meant that I was no longer receiving the benefit from the 30s load time on game start, and in fact, I introduced a 30s delay for each return to the menu!

I should be able to speed this to a few-second delay. I will be capturing still images of the assembled backglass/mechanicals as rendered from my machine to replace the renderings of the whole game. This will allow me to only load the 142 images as assets when the menu loads, then only import the game code when it is time to execute the game. I may find that there will be an approx 2 second delay when loading the game, but this is perhaps preferable to 30s of wait time just to hit the menu.

Looking forward, your next opportunity to play the game should be the Texas Pinball Festival, 2019! I look forward to meeting more of you, and seeing familiar faces ready to try their hand at the one, the only Multi-Bingo.

Other small improvements will continue as game documentation surfaces. I will keep this thread updated with appearances and big changes to the code!

For now, my attentions have shifted to two new projects:
Robo-Frenzy, a scratch-build EM arcade game (2 player, simultaneous, competitive) https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-em-arcade-game
And Multi-Races! A Multi-Bingo-esque reimplementation of all one ball horserace games from the 30s/40s and 50s that will play with a standard Bally playfield.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/multi-races-the-multi-one-ball-horserace-game

Multi-Races will have both payout and replay versions of games available. All three of these games will travel with me to shows, once complete.

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1 month later
#1259 1 year ago

A minor, but very exciting update.

I've been working on the menu routines for the Multi, as I am going to bring it to TPF in March!

The game menu takes approx. 30s to load, typically. It is loading all the assets, positions, and details of EVERY unit in EVERY game. Each time you drop to menu.

Obviously, this isn't very efficient, but it has served me well from a reliability standpoint.

Today, I spent a little bit reworking my menu code, and I can boast a 3000% speed improvement (or better). Less than 1s to load the menu, and much much less than 1s to start the game.

This should make new and existing players quite happy, as you had to get 'stuck in' on whichever machine you picked, unless you were willing to hear me jabber on about the game while you waited for the menu. Less wait = less time being annoyed by me.

I'm looking forward to seeing some new players in Texas in March, and I should have this new addition bugtested and rock solid by then.

#1260 1 year ago

Every game has been tested within the menu, but my lunchtime dev machine won't let me test resuming menu function after exiting a game. Just means I'll have to try it on the real hardware now. I don't expect any issues.

The hardest part was exporting the pre-rendered menu screens for each game with dynamic elements (almost all of them).

#1261 1 year ago

Went back over my notes from York, and there were a small handful of bugs to handle - I've resolved several of them today during my lunch break. Pretty minor things, overall. I'll have the remainder finished tomorrow, most likely. The biggest open one I have is that guaranteed awards on the middle set of United games do not always award when they should. Should be an easy fix, just requires a lot of testing.

#1262 1 year ago

The rest of the bugs squished, as anticipated. I poked around after reviewing guaranteed awards and realized that I didn't randomize the positions of Spotting Discs or Mixers on game load. Whoops! Everything starting at zero was killing a goodly portion of my portioning for the first few coins of each game.

All fixed. I also randomized the position of the lite-a-name feature, and special pocket feature while I was in there...

Finally, I wrote down about 5 games that need a minor bit of graphical polish on the odds during coin flash. The odds are spaced in such a way that they can obliterate their neighbor as they flash through - you wind up with weird flashes of odds cut out. I'll have that resolved for some tomorrow, but that change requires lots of coordinate stuff. It'll take a bit longer. I'd like to go ahead and hit all the games while I'm thinking about it. I am pretty sure there are a couple of Bally games with the problem (like Hi-Fi). I went through a similar thing with the red letter games like Orient, Zodiac, and other 20 holers. Just takes time. This should be the final bit of graphical polish I can apply unless someone finds some nice backglasses to photo to replace blurry/dusty ones in my library.

I have one other thought on a minor cosmetic change that I might try before Texas.

#1263 1 year ago

So the list of games with this minor graphical issue:
Tahiti (United)
Rio (United)
Mexico (United)
Hawaii (United)
and Variety (Bally)

Only certain positions of the odds unit have this issue. Correcting it is a matter of rendering the lit elements that are overwritten by the neighboring lamps on the odds unit.

In other words, if the lit elements are placed at coordinate 180,450 - I need to render a small portion of it beginning at 195,472 and a square of 25x25.

Now, what makes this rather time-consuming is that each lit element is completely different - both in the coordinates and the size of the lit element I'm replacing.

I spent most of the evening reviewing the work of the last few days and checking for other rendering errors. 5 out of 142 isn't bad, but I can make it perfect, so why not?

#1264 1 year ago

Very slow going, but I think I have the method needed to handle this correct. There is, however, a tradeoff. The unit steps at the final frame of animation, and there can be up to a 1s situation where your new odds are not displayed and your old odds are wiped off the map, somewhere between 1 and 30 frames of the actual animation. Not a huge deal, and it certainly looks better than before, but that's one of the reasons I didn't start on this process until now.

I've got United Tahiti (one of the most egregious examples of this phenomenon) corrected for the first two steps of odds.

#1265 1 year ago

Well, that was much more complex than it needed to be! I wrote several different methods to automatically determine which odds were shown and erase and redraw as needed.

I gave up on that. It was not working, and I'd wasted hours playing around with it.

Instead, I am drawing and erasing only one number for each set of odds at a time. Imagine controlling the individual lamps instead of the string.

All that to say, Tahiti is done and I have a clear path for the remaining 4.

#1266 1 year ago

Hawaii is also done!

I'm left with Variety, Rio and Mexico. They should fall quickly now...

#1267 1 year ago

Variety has now been updated as well! Only Rio and Mexico remain.

#1268 1 year ago

The last bit of optional programming has been done in preparation for Texas! I have one more thing I may try to do before the show, but otherwise, it'll be in heavy testing from now until March 22nd!

#1269 1 year ago

Had a friend over this morning to play test the changes to the game. Held up extremely well and worked great. There was an issue lifting ball 5 in every game. It seemed like there was a ball missing!

Turned out it was - had fallen inside the cabinet after York, I suppose. I need to play more...

TPF should be great, from a Multi perspective! Hope to meet some new players (and some familiar faces) in Frisco in March!

1 month later
#1270 12 months ago

I spent an hour testing various games last night and finally hit a problem with ball counting on screen games that I'd observed only once or twice since 2016.

Spent a good bit of time thinking about it, and wrote a new function that handles initial ball lift after all balls settle. Previously, the check_lifter_status() method was immediately called on trough8. This almost always does the right thing, except when the balls are settling during initial start.

If you read the comment above about having to manually load the balls because of a ball missing, it'll make a bit more sense. Now it'll work exactly like the EMs - ball missing on initial start means you can't play.

I still retain the solid state ball tracking for switching games or tilt with ball in lane - the game knows that the ball is there and will not be confused by the first ball already being loaded. This just changes the behavior when balls are dumped. Took quite a bit to make and test the change, but I think we are set!

I still need to have a few folks over again before TPF. I fixed a very small menu bug, but otherwise things seem great!

In play testing last night, I got two in the blue two times in a row, which long time bingo players know is like hitting the lottery twice in a row. (pretty unusual). I double-checked and things seem ok. Just a coincidence. (I think).

-Nick

1 week later
#1271 11 months ago

Spent some time playtesting last night and ran into a new problem (thanks zimjoe)! In Mississippi Showboat, the final Bally bingo (which never made it to full production), there are a few interesting quirks with the gameplay that lead to this bug. Before I get into the bug and how very complex it has been to troubleshoot, let me explain the game (which I find fascinating):

1) Standard late 70s six card gameplay - five balls, six cards, red diagonal scoring, corners, super lines, rollovers to enable corners & super lines, magic number doubles all scores on cards 1-3 and 4-6, and magic number double-doubles scores on one or two cards.

2) After five balls have been shot, pressing the 'C' button ("R" on the Multi-Bingo) will lift another ball, if additional coins have been played to enable scores for sixth ball.

3) Sixth ball scores -only- on cards selected by coin. Meaning, after the 11th coin, you can put in up to an additional six coins to enable sixth ball scoring on the rest of the cards.

Plain 'ol six card scoring works perfectly. The game searches, latches, waits for input, and scores exactly as you might expect. If you have multiple winners, it will score (or not based on double or nothing play) then move to the next winner in sequence as laid out by the search disc.

Sixth ball scoring works perfectly as well - the game will allow for scores on multiple cards if the sixth ball happens to complete one or more sets.

However, and this is the bug, if you have scores set up with your initial five balls, then play the sixth, when you search, it will only score on the first card upon which the game lands.

This has nothing to do with the position of the replay counters, and doesn't appear to have anything to do with the status of the various added relays to make the sixth ball feature work. It's a complete and total mystery as to why this has failed. I believe(?) it worked back during the initial showing in 2016, but I haven't played as much MS since then, so I'm not sure when I broke it, exactly.

I'm going to attempt to fix this before TPF. Without knowing the actual problem (which portion is failing), I am fumbling in the dark for a bit. I spent a couple of hours on this problem alone last night and couldn't get it. Was hoping the cold light of day would help me realize the issue, but that hasn't happened (yet).

Hopefully soon! Having a 90% functional payout irks me. It would more than irk players on location... so I've gotta resolve this.

#1272 11 months ago

Well, that took some doing, but I fixed it! Mississippi Showboat needed a third search method.

One for six balls with the sixth ball scoring on appropriate cards

One for four-five balls if sixth ball is not available

One for four-five balls if sixth ball in play, but not scoring.

The last one was not available, and was causing some serious wacky issues if you didn't play 11 coins or fewer or the max available (17 coins).

All ready for TPF!

#1273 11 months ago

A little self-promotion: Ryan Claytor and I have co-written a new E.M. publication: Coin-Op Carnival. The Multi-Bingo and I will be at the Coin-Op Carnival booth at TPF, along with various merchandise for the publication.

If you would like to read more about the book or order one for yourself on March 22nd, please see either www.coinopcarnival.com or join the discussion at https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/coin-op-carnival-a-new-em-focused-publication

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#1274 11 months ago

Nice - that book will be a winner for sure !

2 weeks later
#1275 10 months ago

What a weekend! The Multi made the trip, over 1300 miles, and suffered a single malfunction. The ball gate switch started flaking out and counting balls incorrectly. I adjusted it, tweaked it, massaged it, adjusted it some more, yelled at it, and just about got it to work correctly. It took some doing. Those switches are great and rarely come out of adjustment, but over 60,000 coins and it had to happen eventually.

IMG_20190320_093418 (resized).jpg

Before leaving

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Set up and ready to play

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New players learning the game.

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The Multi is now multi-award-winning - it won best custom pinball at TPF!

IMG_20190325_113738 (resized).jpg

After TPF I took a day and visited Wayne to tell him about the reception to the book - and he asked if he could see the game I built (I gave him an overview of some of my projects). Here he is playing his first game of bingo pinball.

IMG_20190325_114237 (resized).jpg

And he got a vertical three-in-a-row with after 5th lit - so on his first game he was able to collect in all colors.

I showed him the documentation as well - the schematic and manual. He paid me a very high compliment, "I'm glad you weren't making games when I was". That was extremely humbling. In a weekend full of humbling events.

Thanks to everyone who gave the game a shot during TPF. It was great to meet you all and see some familiar faces.

Speaking of the game, before leaving for Wayne's, I took a shot of the meter:

IMG_20190325_112233 (resized).jpg

Huge, enormous thank you to epthegeek for helping me carry the game out to the van after the show. I couldn't have loaded it without you!

4 months later
#1276 6 months ago

Tonight I'll be fixing a small crash bug I introduced in the massaging process at TPF for the ball gate switch. It's in one of the 142 games.... now, which one?

I'll be bringing the Multi-Bingo back to York this year, along with my new game, Multi-Races! That game is very similar in concept, but stretching even farther back. I am attempting to reproduce all 60+ one ball horserace games made by multiple manufacturers from the 1930s-1950s. I will have 10 games from four different manufacturers in Multi-Races at York.

Come see me and give the games a shot!

I'll also be selling Coin-Op Carnival and associated merchandise at the Coin-Op Carnival booth. If you've been waiting for your chance to pick one up, York is the place!

This year there will also be a special treat, courtesy of Dennis Dodel: a Universal 5-Star will be in Bingo Row in the free play area! This is a really interesting proto-bingo machine, and was refurbished by my 9-year-old (and she did a great job, speaking impartially. ). It's a really fun game that cannot be reproduced in the Multi.

As always, I can't wait to see everyone again, and meet the new folks that are just trying their first ball of the complex and challenging game we know as bingo pinball.

#1277 6 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

This year there will also be a special treat, courtesy of Dennis Dodel: a Universal 5-Star will be in Bingo Row in the free play area! This is a really interesting proto-bingo machine, and was refurbished by my 9-year-old (and she did a great job, speaking impartially. ). It's a really fun game that cannot be reproduced in the Multi.

woah, that's a pretty darn cool game! That center Star hole looks wicked difficult. https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=864&picno=16903&zoom=1
The hole distribution is really sinister/clever. The plungeable shots at the top like #1 only appears on a single card. 11 on 2. #2 only appears on 2.

#1278 6 months ago
Quoted from cait001:

woah, that's a pretty darn cool game! That center Star hole looks wicked difficult. https://www.ipdb.org/showpic.pl?id=864&picno=16903&zoom=1
The hole distribution is really sinister/clever. The plungeable shots at the top like #1 only appears on a single card. 11 on 2. #2 only appears on 2.

Yes to all the above. The plunge is vitally important on this game because you can land in the same hole multiple times. Getting the star -can- happen from the kickout at the bottom, but it's pretty rare. More frequently, you squeeeeeze in from beside the left or right post.

The games are very quick, like a six card but faster, and keep you pressing the button.

#1279 6 months ago

Haven't checked in for a long while. Congrat's on the award !

#1280 6 months ago
Quoted from bingopodcast:

What a weekend! The Multi made the trip, over 1300 miles, and suffered a single malfunction. The ball gate switch started flaking out and counting balls incorrectly. I adjusted it, tweaked it, massaged it, adjusted it some more, yelled at it, and just about got it to work correctly. It took some doing. Those switches are great and rarely come out of adjustment, but over 60,000 coins and it had to happen eventually.
[quoted image]
Before leaving
[quoted image]
Set up and ready to play
[quoted image]
New players learning the game.
[quoted image]
The Multi is now multi-award-winning - it won best custom pinball at TPF!
[quoted image]
After TPF I took a day and visited Wayne to tell him about the reception to the book - and he asked if he could see the game I built (I gave him an overview of some of my projects). Here he is playing his first game of bingo pinball.
[quoted image]
And he got a vertical three-in-a-row with after 5th lit - so on his first game he was able to collect in all colors.
I showed him the documentation as well - the schematic and manual. He paid me a very high compliment, "I'm glad you weren't making games when I was". That was extremely humbling. In a weekend full of humbling events.
Thanks to everyone who gave the game a shot during TPF. It was great to meet you all and see some familiar faces.
Speaking of the game, before leaving for Wayne's, I took a shot of the meter:
[quoted image]
Huge, enormous thank you to epthegeek for helping me carry the game out to the van after the show. I couldn't have loaded it without you!

Nick what a great moment in time. Well deserved for you and Wayne. Congratulations to you!

#1281 6 months ago

Thank you both!

In other news, it turns out that I had already fixed the bug while I was in Texas, and forgotten about it. Works for me! Ready for York.

2 months later
#1282 4 months ago

The time is nigh! Who's ready to play the Multi-Bingo at the White Rose Gameroom show Thursday, Friday and Saturday this week? I'm excited for another great show and I look forward to meeting new folks and seeing all the repeat players.

It has been great to see people come try it for years in a row. Thank you all for your support!

For those that might not know, I will also have another new game there this year: Multi-Races - these are the precursors to the bingos and only give you one shot to make your number. Super challenging and very interesting gameplay gimmicks.

I'll also be selling Coin-Op Carnival and related merchandise at the show.

Lots to do and I can't wait to do it! See you all this weekend!

1 month later
#1284 3 months ago

IMG_20191109_193957 (resized).jpg

These are all plays from York! Wow!!! That is quite a bit more than I imagined.

Thanks to everyone who played it!

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