(Topic ID: 281817)

Official Williams and Bally software upgrades


By soren

65 days ago



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  • 384 posts
  • 159 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 14 days ago by Robotworkshop
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#51 64 days ago

Here’s to hoping NGG finally gets the fix it’s been waiting for.

#52 64 days ago

no games to send money for...
Not sure we'll ever see a STNG update.
Monster Bash was clobbered by the remake.
So looks like I'm on the sidelines indefinately.

#53 64 days ago
Quoted from Zitt:

no games to send money for...
Not sure we'll ever see a STNG update.
Monster Bash was clobbered by the remake.
So looks like I'm on the sidelines indefinately.

STNG will need both main line and home rom updates.

#54 64 days ago

Stupid question but will this effect ColorDMD upgraded machines? Or games that are already upgraded to LedOCD? Great to see this and well worth the price. Maybe Cactus Canyon may see a final code.

#55 64 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:Stupid question but will this effect ColorDMD upgraded machines?

Note they said; no new graphics or audio... so the changes are mainly bug fixes or minor rule changes which shouldn't effect ColorDMD. That said; *IF* they did... I'm 80% sure ColorDMD would patch the color dots like they just did for Stern Star Trek and a few others.

#56 64 days ago

Great to see Sorens updates becoming available again! People like him and Applejuice/Jim (RFM updates) are really great for our hobby!

Quoted from mollyspub:

Bram stokers Dracula ( changes in mystery awards)

I'd buy a BSD Rom if only in the videomode where the wolves are coming from (left or right) was randomised. Even when set to 'hard' and the wolves approach with many and in high speed, right now it's always the same: 5 right, 1 left 4 right, 2 left 3 right, etc...

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#57 64 days ago

Thanks for the kind responses. I read everything and contributions are appreciated. I will try to keep up with commenting too.

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#58 64 days ago
Quoted from Crash:

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.

Let me demystify the thing about LED lamp ghosting. It is not because of 60Hz/50Hz AC mains power. It is true the GI is AC and some LEDs may flicker from this. But this is to be solved by using LED that can compensate for that. In other words, a hardware solution.

The lamp matrix lamps are pulsed as well. But from a DC source and due to the matrix design. So pulse duty cycle and duration is unrelated to the AC mains power. It may make LEDs flicker as well. And better LEDs may be immune to this.

The ghosting however is a whole different issue and cause. And may be visible to LEDs that are otherwise good at not appearing as flickering. It is because the original lamp matrix control system at Williams was having an overlap of the next row status and the current column strobe. So short that incadescent lamps do not respond to this to any significance. But enough that it, with the response time of the transistors, can cause LED lamps to appear as a soft glow.

The good people at Williams realised this and updated the procedure in 1995. And I like to believe it was during the developement of Indy 500. It has LED lamps on the switch matrix. This exact procedure is the one implemented in these upgrades to Creature and Road Show. And same will be ported to future upgrades of other games using the older procedure.

See this short video for a demonstration. And please note. Flickering and ghosting may still appear. Due the condition of a game (power supply, control logic, transistors) and quality of the LEDs used.

#59 64 days ago

Thanks for the explanation. My frequency question was mainly directed at lamp smoothing for a fade on/fade off effect, not ghosting. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

#60 64 days ago
Quoted from soren:

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.

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#61 64 days ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Stupid question but will this effect

Quoted from Yelobird:

games that are already upgraded to LedOCD?

Quoted from soren:

The good people at Williams realised this and updated the procedure in 1995. And I like to believe it was during the developement of Indy 500. It has LED lamps on the switch matrix. This exact procedure is the one implemented in these upgrades to Creature and Road Show.

Given soren 's description, this is the same as the patch that has been around for many years. This does not affect the operation of LED OCD, but unfortunately, does not provide the same level of improvement in games without one.

#62 64 days ago

So this won’t affect the ColorDMD? As I think I understand it, they’re revamped to color, frame by frame. Just code but no changes to DMD scenes?

#63 64 days ago

I hope they do STTNG and change video mode to random.

#64 64 days ago

Getaway could use some help. People run different roms for different reasons and all are buggy. It would be cool to see some added modes to games like that but not sure that is in scope with the project.

#65 64 days ago
Quoted from seah2os:

So this won’t affect the ColorDMD? As I think I understand it, they’re revamped to color, frame by frame. Just code but no changes to DMD scenes?

In theory, no.
But if scoring is changed, and someone colorized a screen based on the text of the amount/score displayed, then that could affect certain frames..

#66 64 days ago

Exciting to see this classic era getting some new polish. Perhaps we need a "wish list" thread for each game where the developer can flag things being worked via "key posts"?

-Rob
-visit https://www.kahr.us to get my daughterboard that helps fix WPC pinball resets or my Pinball 2000 H+V Video Sync Combiner kit

#67 64 days ago

Indy 500 really needs the software help.

#68 64 days ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Getaway could use some help. People run different roms for different reasons and all are buggy.

That was already in the works previously I think there was some tweaks going on with how it performed.

If you look here:
https://sites.google.com/site/allentownpinball/tournament-rom-mods
I've been keeping a catalog of updated/tournaments roms there, most of the WPC ones are Soren's, before the deal was worked out. So I would assume that those will be upcoming candidates for updates.

#69 64 days ago

A short comment to the post about ColorDMD. Of course the goal is to work seamlessly with ColorDMD.

I do not wish to speak for them or how robust their system is. But I will say this. I have both removed and changed text on the DMD in various games. And those particular DMD sequences have still been colourised correctly. One example of this is the right ramp "x ramp shot" advertisement in Creature where an incorrect Snack attack one is now removed.

#70 64 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??!

Well, PPS is already out of stock on the CFTBL rom. Why not make it available to download? I'd gladly pay the $15-20 for the image and burn it myself rather than wait for them to restock on roms.

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#71 64 days ago

To be clear, there are 4 or 5 other places other than PPS to buy the roms.

#72 64 days ago

+1 for randomizing the STTNG video mode. Would really help the game.

I’m so glad to see you putting in the time to do this. We all really appreciate it!

#73 64 days ago
Quoted from aztarac:

Well, PPS is already out of stock on the CFTBL rom. Why not make it available to download? I'd gladly pay the $15-20 for the image and burn it myself rather than wait for them to restock on roms.

I'm kind of surprised their rom chip services don't reflect their stock of blank eproms instead of ones that may be pre-burnt, but I guess it depends on how their order picking is set up.... just parts in, parts out wouldn't operate this way.

Like npo says, hit up one of the other suppliers.

#74 64 days ago
Quoted from soren:

A short comment to the post about ColorDMD. Of course the goal is to work seamlessly with ColorDMD.
I do not wish to speak for them or how robust their system is. But I will say this. I have both removed and changed text on the DMD in various games. And those particular DMD sequences have still been colourised correctly. One example of this is the right ramp "x ramp shot" advertisement in Creature where an incorrect Snack attack one is now removed.

It really depends on the individual person that did the color. Some screens are recognized using the entire frame so any change would cause it to no longer be colored. Usually though frames are being identified using a small portion of the frame that typically remains static and dynamic areas are avoided.

#75 64 days ago

This is just amazing and I'm so glad to see PPS embracing code updates/changes to older games. Soren has done great work in the past for free but making these changes is a daunting and time consuming task. He should definitely be reimbursed for his hard work.

I suspect that the code for these games has long since been lost (maybe some of the original programmers have them still. but they can't admit to that).

I agree that there needs to be a paid download option. Perhaps you get emailed a rom file would be the easiest solution? Assuming the files are small enough for email. Please buy from authorized places and don't pirate this work. I very much want to see this continue.

I believe a couple people have said they don't think MB will get changes because of MBr. The remake uses a rom and emulator under the hood so there's no reason they couldn't put out an update with an updated rom. I'm not really familiar with any bugs in AFM, MB or MM myself though so I don't know what could even be done for them.

#76 64 days ago

100% love this new work!!! PPS and soren have made something previously ruled out as it was 'set in stone' into a more accessible possibility. As new titles arrive from soren and pps, more owners will jump on board the happy train, which is good!

Although buying download images and burning the ROMS yourself is technically a great way to simplify the process, I suspect that providing any form of DOWNLOAD is not being persued by PPS and their distributors due to the can of worms it would open: It makes it that much easier to copy the files and share those images with other enthusiasts. Not that this whole soren effort will generate life-changing money for either party, but offering download files directly would likely take whatever that revenue is to ZERO pretty quick. Selling hardware ROMs adds one layer of IP protection, as fewer people have the knowledge, means and tools to copy/burn ROMs. Sure copying can still be done, but not by everyone.

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#77 64 days ago

All ... just some background on this ... we've embraced code changes for some years, the problem is a) getting WMS to be 'ok' with it, which happened earlier this year, b) finding someone that was credible and able interested in working thru it, and c) finding the time to get things going.

So, fortunately we got that together with Soren who fits that profile ...

As for WMS, they are the rights owners for the code - and they want the code controlled - they do not want various updates floating around, as there are potential issues (although not likely but big companies don't work that way) so we do the things we do here for a reason, and as well as we want to keep Soren funded to be motivated to do this - so we are not entertaining 'downloads' for a fee at this point. Hopefully this is not such a large inconvenience.

Anyways, this is a good thing - and hopefully will add a little more to each of these games and we have more in store ...

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#78 64 days ago

These are dirt cheap for the value added. I’d pay twice that just to keep Soren and the updates going.

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#79 64 days ago

Amazing how people want things like this for free!

#80 64 days ago
Quoted from Blitzburgh99:

These are dirt cheap for the value added. I’d pay twice that just to keep Soren and the updates going.

Agreed, back when pinball was big, Each ROM chip was $35-40 from Bally or Williams distributors (When Bally was Bally and Williams was Williams) in the US.

Adjusting for inflation would put them close to a hundred bucks a pop.

#81 64 days ago
Quoted from NPO:

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....

Please let us know how you like it after it is installed.

#82 64 days ago
Quoted from PPS:

we want to keep Soren funded to be motivated to do this - so we are not entertaining 'downloads' for a fee at this point. Hopefully this is not such a large inconvenience.

I'm disappointed to hear that. I'm not saying the price difference for a digital version should be significantly less. Perhaps like $5 cheaper (which would probably be around what it would cost to ship). You get to pocket the money that would have gone to the chip and time to program it. This would mean more money for both you and soren. Unfortunately my fear of not providing a way for people with eeproms and burners to easily get it digitally means that they might just pirate it instead. Convenience (or lack there of) is a HUGE motivating factor in piracy(see: RIAA and their obsession with exclusive rights deals). If it's easier to simply go buy it from either PPS or another authorized store and get it instantly delivered digitally you've just made it incredibly convenient and it's now MORE work to go find for free.

Unless I'm mistaken there's no way to protect the roms from being dumped so the spread of it will probably be inevitable. The best thing to do is to try to eliminate any desire to do that.

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#83 64 days ago

Everyone just pay the man , worth the couple of dollars for his effort and time ....

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#84 64 days ago
Quoted from mollyspub:

Amazing how people want things like this for free!

This drives me nuts when I see these responses - or waaa let us burn our own chip. It is a few bucks, this is how they set it up, just pay the price.....or don't. Or take up coding and distribution and provide this free for all of us.

It is so nice people like this take up the coding and do the distribution all for our benefit - just support them how they ask.

#85 64 days ago

So glad to see the updates here and coming soon.

#86 64 days ago

I know some games are more complete than others, but I was only thinking how cool it would be to have a champions table for MB -

Mosh Pit Champion
Full Moon Fever Champion
Ball and Chain Champion
Frankenstein Champion
Drac Champion
Mummy Mayhem Champion
Creature Champion

Only a small change but it would really add to the game.

#87 64 days ago

Would love to see the add on of "Loop Champion " on No Fear j

#88 64 days ago

Some form of donation or Patreon seems to make sense. Is there any list or order that is being considered for what machines to update?

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#89 64 days ago
Quoted from hockeymag8:

This drives me nuts when I see these responses - or waaa let us burn our own chip. It is a few bucks, this is how they set it up, just pay the price.....or don't. Or take up coding and distribution and provide this free for all of us.
It is so nice people like this take up the coding and do the distribution all for our benefit - just support them how they ask.

$15K for a pinball machine that you havent even played 1 game on and it comes with a small piece of leather couch = SURE!!!!!!!

$25 for a ROM with brand new features and improved code. An update that we never thought would be happening in our lifetimes = I dont want to pay shipping!!! Give me the autonomy to do what I want even though I did nothing to contribute. I want to save money!!!!!!! Got to put food on the table for my family!!!!!

A bit exaggerated, but you get the point.....

#90 64 days ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

I know some games are more complete than others, but I was only thinking how cool it would be to have a champions table for MB -
Mosh Pit Champion
Full Moon Fever Champion
Ball and Chain Champion
Frankenstein Champion
Drac Champion
Mummy Mayhem Champion
Creature Champion
Only a small change but it would really add to the game.

tournament mode have random awards do a bit more then just fixed points in an fair way. MM, AFM, have that.

#91 64 days ago
Quoted from pinball_ric:

Unfortunately my fear of not providing a way for people with eeproms and burners to easily get it digitally means that they might just pirate it instead. Convenience (or lack there of) is a HUGE motivating factor in piracy

What percentage of potential customers do you think a) have a burner and b) will refuse on principal to buy a pre-loaded chip if available (for cheap) and instead insist on waiting for an (illegal) rom to be available for download so they can use their burner and save on shipping costs? It's unlikely that the loss of a handful of potential sales to piracy would make it worth PPS' time to set up (and get B/W's permission for) digital distribution.

#92 64 days ago
Quoted from Markharris2000:

.... as fewer people have the knowledge, means and tools to copy/burn ROMs. Sure copying can still be done, but not by everyone.

There are a lot of pinball collectors that have the ability to burn new ROMs. The ROM burning community is bigger than you think.

#93 64 days ago
Quoted from Tommy-dog:

There are a lot of pinball collectors that have the ability to burn new ROMs. The ROM burning community is bigger than you think.

I know some folks have ROM burners, but alot more don't or don't want to bother. Candidly I have a 27xxx burner somewhere in a box in the garage, but it was easier to pay MattsBasement $20 for a set of Funhouse Home ROMs last year.

#94 64 days ago

I don't know about you but I find it far easier to burn a rom than wait a week to get a physical device. And you people are missing one of the main points I made. You're acting like people who want a way to get it digitally want it substantially cheaper "to save money". It would be FAR better if it was a small discount so that more money went to soren and others associated. You only save a little but you get the convenience of getting the rom instantly and can burn it tonight. Plus from a few posts so far it seems like stock is starting to sell out. That wouldn't happen with digital distribution.

Ultimately it's up to PPS and I hope that people do get it through whatever official means they provide and don't just pass the rom around for free. There are so many games with either incomplete code or game breaking bugs that I'd love to see fixed. Or even games that the code and rules just plain sucks on that could hopefully be improved upon.

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#95 64 days ago

Now if you could do a ball save on Addams family. For my wife. Really not for me at all.

#96 64 days ago

i'm confused. for instance, for creature, do i get to choose which revision i prefer? it seems to give me several choices.

#97 64 days ago

soren: Just an idea:
If you can use the sourcecode, what about adding (optional) daily highscores? You could develop it once and then the deploy that code in all roms. And its not about adding or changing any rules, so WMS would most probably be okay with it.
It would be perfect to have these daily highscores for partys, small tournaments or kids while keeping the all time high scores.

#98 64 days ago

I'm curious, will Soren have access to the B/W sourcecode from now on (I hope so as that would speed things up a lot compared to reverse engineering)?

#99 64 days ago
Quoted from NPO:

A bit exaggerated, but you get the point.....

This hobby used to be a hive of cheapskates... now people harass them for not wanting to pay for what they can do themselves.

... and people wonder why toppers are $300, 500, 600, now $1000.

#100 64 days ago
Quoted from pinball_ric:

I don't know about you but I find it far easier to burn a rom than wait a week to get a physical device. And you people are missing one of the main points I made. You're acting like people who want a way to get it digitally want it substantially cheaper "to save money". It would be FAR better if it was a small discount so that more money went to soren and others associated. You only save a little but you get the convenience of getting the rom instantly and can burn it tonight. Plus from a few posts so far it seems like stock is starting to sell out. That wouldn't happen with digital distribution.
Ultimately it's up to PPS and I hope that people do get it through whatever official means they provide and don't just pass the rom around for free. There are so many games with either incomplete code or game breaking bugs that I'd love to see fixed. Or even games that the code and rules just plain sucks on that could hopefully be improved upon.

As the primary issue for you is waiting for the package to arrive would it be ok to pay full price and have it sent electronically?

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