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(Topic ID: 281817)

Official Williams and Bally software upgrades


By soren

11 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 267 posts
  • 122 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 15 hours ago by razorsedge
  • Topic is favorited by 146 Pinsiders
  • Topic is sticky in its sub-forum

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Topic index (key posts)

8 key posts have been marked in this topic

Display key post list sorted by: Post date | Keypost summary | User name

Post #29 Soren talks about PPS partnership on Slam Tilt Podcast Posted by Gizmonic (10 days ago)

Post #58 LED Lamp Ghosting - Procedure 1 vs Procedure 2 Posted by soren (10 days ago)

Post #125 Changing video modes is not easy... Posted by soren (9 days ago)

Post #153 PPS has the source code! Posted by PPS (7 days ago)

Post #186 Soren sets expectations Posted by soren (6 days ago)

Post #197 Where the CPU rom is located for swap on WPC games. Posted by Manny65 (4 days ago)

Post #251 Analysis of the WPC lamp matrix operation Posted by soren (3 days ago)


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There are 267 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 6.
101
#1 11 days ago

Planetary Pinball, the sole licensee for Williams Electronics Games, Inc is proud to announce that we will start to release software upgrades for Williams™ and Bally™ pinball machines.

Ever since WMS closed the pinball division in 1999, the games developed and manufactured by them have been in high regard with players and collectors of pinball machines. And games are continuously being restored to like-new condition. Thanks to a steady supply of new and improved parts, from small mechanical and electrical units, to circuit boards and playfields. Parts made available by Planetary Pinball and domestic and international collaborators. Recent years have also given us a number of new innovations. Bringing the games of yesteryears into a more contemporary look and feel.

Software is the heart and soul of a pinball machine. While a lot of effort went into making software for games, the framework, rules design and special effects, on some games the time has shown a few shortcomings. These might be bugs, like incorrect scoring, game progression being lost, modes being messed up etc. Or rooted in the fact that games were developed with coin drop play on locations in mind. In some cases making them less than ideal for the more contemporary use of home play and high level competition play.

The goal of software upgrades is not to make fundamental changes or redesigns. Neither to upgrade display graphics or sound. The goal is to make minor tweaks and fixes, while keeping the spirit of the game intact. And to strive for having rule changes under the users control via new and expanded feature adjustments.

The premier release is new software for the four games Red & Ted's Road Show™, Creature From The Black Lagoon™, Junk Yard™ and Radical™. Please see individual release notes for details. They are designed and implemented by Søren Worre. A professional software engineer and pinball enthusiast who has obtained the knowledge and the craft to make software upgrades to Williams and Bally pinball machines. They are now available for purchase from our authorized distributers.

This Pinside thread will serve as the official social media platform for these upgrades.

https://www.planetarypinball.com/

Please buy official ROM chips from authorized resellsers.

Action Pinball, UT, USA
Astill Entertainment, ON, Canada
Classic Arcades Inc., PA, USA
Dots and Loops, Denmark, Europe
Matts Basement Arcade, VA, USA
Mr. Pinball, Australia
Planetary Pinball, NV, USA

23
#2 11 days ago

New releases

November 2020

--
Creature From The Black Lagoon
Revision 5.0

Summary

Broken features within the modes Multiball, Big millions, Snack attack and Move your car are fixed.
Random elements within the modes Multiball, Snack bar and Playgound can now be set to run in patterns.
Two new feature adjustments.
The never used left inlane scoring indicators now have a purpose.
Upgraded lamp procedure.

Improvements

Fully suitable for competition play.
Supports LED lamps.
No playfield indicators left for incomplete usage.

Release note

--
Junk Yard
Revision 2.0

Summary

The video modes in the game are toned down.
For better flow of the game and because video mode was too easy to repeat playing.
The hugh scoring potential of the Super skill shot now limited.
The under exposed Time machine mode (in competition play) can now be played more than once per game.
Two new feature adjustments.

Improvements

Better suitable for competition play.
Much more enjoyable without the overly exposed video modes.
The Time machine feature is more into play.

Release note

--
Radical
Revision 3.0

Summary

Logic regarding ball lock and multilball progression is made per players individual merit.
Players never loose achevements from ball to ball.
Derandomisation of the multiball Mega-million (jackpot).
Derandomisation of the Snake run award.
Further game elements that was not even for all in multi-player games now equalised.
New Contest game adjustment.
Bug fixes. Points not being awarded. Multiball false start. Ball stock in lock lane. And more.

Improvements

Fully suitable for competition play.
No ball hangup in the lock lane requiring a power cycle.
Still suitable for arcade play via adjustment.
Many bug fixes for a perfected game that plays and awards points as expected.

Release note

--
Red & Ted's Road Show
Revision 7.0

Summary

The city modes sequence is no longer restricted to an east to west route.
With the trading post (Albuquerque) and The west coast (Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles) at certain progression.
New map mode feature adjustment.
Los Angeles mode bug fix.

Improvements

Easier for players to experience the various modes of the game.
Greater variety from game to game.
Strategic choices for playing preferred modes.
Bug fix.

Release note

44
#3 11 days ago

Lots more to come working with Soren ...

#4 11 days ago

Thanks to pps and soren!!! This will be an outstanding contribution to this community. Soren is certainly the man for the job. What's next on the radar for this initiative?

22
#5 11 days ago

It's taken alot longer than we had liked but have been working on this during the year. WMS is onboard and approved the custom updates, as well as Soren is authorized to produce these and has always been a great resource. We've got these available thru many of the Eprom resellers, so please get yours from them as this we want Soren to get some compensation for his many many hours of work!

Planetary Pinball

#6 11 days ago

I've got an EPROM burner, would it be possible to just buy the ROM instead of having to pay for an extra chip/shipping?

#8 11 days ago

Wow this is very exciting for the pinball community, thanks for all the hard work.

#10 11 days ago

Awesome news!!

#11 11 days ago

My Radical! will surely appreciate the effort. Thanks!

#13 11 days ago

Sweet! Thanks to PPS and soren for making this happen. Prices seem very fair.

#14 11 days ago

So these are not available for free download? I understand, lots of work have went into development and thanks for that!

#15 11 days ago

Looking forward to more games getting improved!!!

#16 11 days ago
Quoted from Tuukka:

So these are not available for free download? I understand, lots of work have went into development and thanks for that!

$15 - price of a round of coffee at Starbucks!

Wonder if any plans for the big three? MM, AF, MB?

28
#17 11 days ago
Quoted from Tuukka:

So these are not available for free download? I understand, lots of work have went into development and thanks for that!

Right, they're asking you to pay so the coder sees a bit of change. $15 to $20 seems pretty damn fair to me!

11
#18 11 days ago

Soren has done amazing work. This way he receives some compensation. Also it is nice to see official blessing of new code. I will be ready to distribute these shortly.
Dave AStill

#19 11 days ago

Ordered a Creature ROM. Thanks!

#20 11 days ago
Quoted from gunstarhero:

Ordered a Creature ROM. Thanks!

Me too. Awesome news! Thanks Soren and PPS!

#21 11 days ago

Wouldnt mind throwing the coders some $ for the efforts. Lots of work I'm sure. Tome to look for a roadshow now. The original code was flawed with repetition

#22 10 days ago

$15.00 / $20.00 is very reasonable for these efforts, thank you!!

#23 10 days ago
Quoted from Tuukka:

So these are not available for free download? I understand, lots of work have went into development and thanks for that!

they may show up in the mame / pinmame rom places. Maybe not the main ones but the other full rom repos.

#24 10 days ago
Quoted from soren:

Please buy official ROM chips from authorized resellsers.
Classic Arcades Inc., PA, USA

tenor.gif
#25 10 days ago

I think everyone would be curious about the next batch of titles Soren plans to work on. First four is a great start. I'd be curious if a new title update cadence might be to release every 3 months or so?

#26 10 days ago

I know a ToTAN revision would be nice to eliminate the Harem Multiball / Genie Battle combination scoring exploit.

38
#27 10 days ago

This would not be possible without the investment of PPS and a handful of us authorized burners that stand behind Soren and what he does. We are so happy to see this finally become a reality. If you do not get the rom from an authorized source (listed in original post) such as myself, or turn around and distribute the one you bought, you won't be supporting the efforts to continue future updates and it may come to an end.

#28 10 days ago
Quoted from Meloyelo51:

This would not be possible without the investment of PPS and a handful of us authorized burners that stand behind Soren and what he does. We are so happy to see this finally become a reality. If you do not get the rom from an authorized source (listed in original post) such as myself, or turn around and distribute the one you bought, you won't be supporting the efforts to continue future updates and it may come to an end.

there should be an place to buy the rom files for people who want to burn there own rom for use in there own games. So they don't need to pay for shipping / chip costs.

#29 10 days ago

Søren was on our podcast to talk about this new partnership:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-slam-tilt-podcast/page/7#post-5967697

Ron...

#30 10 days ago

Thanks to everyone involved!

#31 10 days ago

Great with official software updates to our beloved games

#32 10 days ago

Hope to see upgrades for the following
No fear ( add stacking modes with multiballs)
Bram stokers Dracula ( changes in mystery awards)
Congo ( making fighting the gray gorilla much harder)

Thank you !

#33 10 days ago

A great deal. Way less than operator prices from the brick & mortar distributors. Well done....

32
#34 10 days ago

We had given soren a list of enhancements and modifications that we collected thru the years as well as input from Josh Sharpe, etc. Now the hard work is for Soren to figure out what can be done when (he most likely has other things to do in his life!), but we will try to get a cadence of new releases. Again, please don't bootleg them, as the monies are to help compensate Soren, it would be a shame to shut this down or having to figure out a different way so we are hoping the community supports this and will help put pressure if you see this going on ... thx

#35 10 days ago

Very cool, will be a HEP like thread where we can see what's being done and when they are available?

#36 10 days ago

Yes, all ideas welcome, let's keep Soren busy!

#37 10 days ago

Just looking at the improvements to Creature, couldn’t all the B/W games use a “supports LED lamps”? Most of the WPC games have the dimmable GI feature so does this mean better LED use?

#38 10 days ago
Quoted from yuriijos:

Just looking at the improvements to Creature, couldn’t all the B/W games use a “supports LED lamps”? Most of the WPC games have the dimmable GI feature so does this mean better LED use?

I believe the Creature comment is just anti-ghosting, NOT dimming cooldown/burnup feature that LedOCD implements.
- I could be wrong, though.

#39 10 days ago
Quoted from yuriijos:

Just looking at the improvements to Creature, couldn’t all the B/W games use a “supports LED lamps”? Most of the WPC games have the dimmable GI feature so does this mean better LED use?

That's a very interesting question. A couple of issues, one being the lamp matrix already operates at 60Hz. Unless the CPU can somehow scan the matrix at a faster rate than that or adjust the pulse width instead of increasing frequency, I don't think that will be possible. Another problem is even if that's possible, it will likely consume too many CPU cycles and affect gameplay. I don't even know if the lamp matrix scan behavior is software controllable in the first place. GI dimming is achieved through modulation of power going to the various GI triacs. These are only a handful of components. The 16 drive and return lamp matrix transistors are a lot more to keep track of.

#40 10 days ago

This is awesome news and I applaud the effort and passion that went into this undertaking!

#41 10 days ago
Quoted from PPS:

We had given soren a list of enhancements and modifications that we collected thru the years as well as input from Josh Sharpe, etc. Now the hard work is for Soren to figure out what can be done when (he most likely has other things to do in his life!), but we will try to get a cadence of new releases. Again, please don't bootleg them, as the monies are to help compensate Soren, it would be a shame to shut this down or having to figure out a different way so we are hoping the community supports this and will help put pressure if you see this going on ... thx

does he have the source code to work with?

#42 10 days ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

$15 - price of a round of coffee at Starbucks!
Wonder if any plans for the big three? MM, AF, MB?

I think the home roms for MB does a lot and it's on the remake.

MM is good and the home rom does a few more things.

#43 10 days ago

Ordered a Creech as well!

#44 10 days ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

does he have the source code to work with?

Since it's got the OK from PPS and WMS I'd assume so.
Since soren is used to reverse engineering assembly code (I assume), having the source would be immensely helpful.
Making bug fixes and feature enhancements much easier to implement.
Really excited for what this project brings to my mostly WPC collection.
At $15 a pop, I'm very happy to help contribute towards this great effort.

#45 10 days ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

does he have the source code to work with?

Quoted from dudah:

Since soren is used to reverse engineering assembly code (I assume), having the source would be immensely helpful.
Making bug fixes and feature enhancements much easier to implement.

Patching object code is annoying. You need to find the right bytes to patch out or if you can't find any spare bytes then you need to insert your "jsr" or "call" instruction and then execute the same instructions you replaced followed by whatever patch code you want to execute. You need to do this for every place you want a change. On top of that you need to find empty (blank) space to insert the code you want to execute. On top of that if you're working in a segmented (bank switched) environment you need to adhere to the limits of the segmented address space. All this adds up to a GIGANTIC headache.

If you have the source code then the assembler (I'm fairly sure all of these games were written in assembly mnemonic source using a symbolic assembler) can correctly generate the new addresses when you add code as well as enforce limits for segmentation. On top of that you can shift code around at will to adhere to segmentation restrictions. It's a "gift from the Gods" to be able to do this (i.e. work with source code).

31
#46 10 days ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

there should be an place to buy the rom files for people who want to burn there own rom for use in there own games. So they don't need to pay for shipping / chip costs.

For crying out loud, the pinball community has a huge asset in programmers who are continuing to lend their hands to make the games that we enjoy, very expensive games, even better many years after the original company that produced them cut ties. 15-20 bucks for a darn chip is no big deal for gods sake! Really??!

27
#47 10 days ago

Bought my CFTBL ROM. Already sold out on PPS. Holy cow, how many were in stock - like 5 ?

Happy to support this. This is the answer to our prayers for those who enjoy the "new" classics.

$1000 for a piece of plastic that goes on top of your "lifestyle brand" game with a spring up board and some sound....OR....$25 for a new rom for a 25 year old game....man, boy, this is tough....

#48 10 days ago
Quoted from GPS:

For crying out loud, the pinball community has a huge asset in programmers who are continuing to lend their hands to make the games that we enjoy, very expensive games, even better many years after the original company that produced them cut ties. 15-20 bucks for a darn chip is no big deal for gods sake! Really??!

not saying that and say paying $12-$13 to just download and not have to pay shipping costs = more to the programmer
hell people who play Virtual pinball may want to buy the roms and they really can't use chips.

and no sold out of chips

#49 10 days ago

These should be $50 minimum unless the programmer is just doing it for fun. I don’t know how much time goes into these updates, but a good coder is worth $300+ / hour for custom updates.

#50 10 days ago

This is a really incredible announcement. Thanks to everyone involved in making this happen. I cannot believe my Creech will get much needed code fixes in 2020.

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