(Topic ID: 149456)

custom Hot Tip rom- want to beta test?


By zacaj

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 37 posts
  • 12 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by Arcade
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

I picked up a SS Hot Tip with no boards, and thought it'd be fun to hack together a few adapter cables and hook the existing electronics into the custom controller I'm building. Obviously it'd then be very easy to just reproduce the existing ruleset, but I could also make any changes I wanted, or even something completely different (although you're still sorta-constrained by the words on the playfield, unless you just say 'ignore this' or I put a sticker over it).

Here's a full picture of the playfield for reference:

image-A5_(resized).jpg

Coming up with a completely different ruleset for a game you already know is really challenging! Anyone got any cool ideas?

Personally I like to stuff the most complex thing I can in while also trying to make use of as much of the playfield as possible, and on older games the most obvious way to me is to add bonus collect. Thus, my first change would be to 'rename' the left kickout from extra ball to collect bonus.
Once that's done, those 1,2,3 lights around the top of the bonus start to look like multipliers... So I'll make the captive ball on the left advance the bonus multiplier, starting at zero (so you need to shoot the captive ball at least once to collect).
Of course, that makes the double bonus light a bit superfluous... I guess you could either have a separate 2x to apply, for a max of 6x collect, or you could also rename 'double bonus' to 'hold bonus'.
As for the spinner and drops, I'm not sure if much more can be done with them. The drops aren't in a position where you can really use specific targets for sharp shooting, it's more just 'knock them all down'. You do need a way to turn those 100 and 1000 point lights on though. The easy way is just to advance it each time you clear a bank, but I think it could be more interesting to have the number of targets down on each side determine the value on the other side...
All that's left is the kickout at the top, though sadly I can't think of much you can do here without 'renaming' every one of the five choices, and I've already renamed two things....

What can you guys think of?

#2 4 years ago

How about a game over attract mode light show? That's something the original machine couldn't do because of board hardware constraints.

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

How about a game over attract mode light show? That's something the original machine couldn't do because of board hardware constraints.

Definitely going to at least have all the lights blinking on and off or spinning in a circle or something.

With newer hardware you can easily do flashing or faded/PWM lighting for everything, which also often opens up more gameplay options as far as what you can signify to the player

#4 4 years ago

I'd maybe think about making the captive ball the bonus collect. It's pretty pitiful points as it stands, and is a pretty dangerous shot.

Not even sure I knew they made a SS version. Pretty sweet!

#5 4 years ago

If the chime box is gone, then rig up a sound system for this machine. Then you could have all kinds of sound effects and music or voice callouts.

#6 4 years ago

Collect Hot Tip targets, hurry up to kickout for big points randomised by spinner.RGB lighting on the double bonus lite, colours denote another doubling of bonus.
...and lower the Playfield and turn the captive ball shot into a ramp ( just spitballing ).

#7 4 years ago

Oooh, hurry ups....

#8 4 years ago

This is something I've wanted to see done for a long time. Not necessarily on this particular game, but just in general. I've got some programming experience, and have been thinking about doing a rules rewrite for some system 11 titles. I know there's a rewrite for Firepower out there as well--but I like your approach which is to not even use the existing boards.

How about dropping in a ball trough that can hold more than one ball, give the game a simple 2 ball multi-ball, use the extra ball kickout hole as a ball lock, and using the "noise maker" (score reel w/o numbers) solenoid as the extra solenoid you'd need to kick the ball out. You might need to work in an extra switch or so though.

Or maybe work in a timed drop target reset bonus.

#9 4 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

This is something I've wanted to see done for a long time. Not necessarily on this particular game, but just in general. I've got some programming experience, and have been thinking about doing a rules rewrite for some system 11 titles. I know there's a rewrite for Firepower out there as well--but I like your approach which is to not even use the existing boards.
How about dropping in a ball trough that can hold more than one ball, give the game a simple 2 ball multi-ball, use the extra ball kickout hole as a ball lock, and using the "noise maker" (score reel w/o numbers) solenoid as the extra solenoid you'd need to kick the ball out. You might need to work in an extra switch or so though.
Or maybe work in a timed drop target reset bonus.

Interesting, I completely forgot about multiball! Sadly, I don't want to make any changes to the machine like that, I'm making sure with my changes that not even any wiring is being done, everything just plain into existing connectors.

Interestingly, besides from that noise maker (I love that it has that so much), it also had a buzzer for something. Of course, using my own boards I'm not limited to the number of solenoids they had either.

A lot of system 11 games could benefit from a rules rewrite or modification, it's too bad that there aren't any easy to use replacement boards for them.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Sadly, I don't want to make any changes to the machine like that, I'm making sure with my changes that not even any wiring is being done, everything just plain into existing connectors.

I don't blame you for that choice. It'll make everything much easier anyway. That buzzer in the cabinet is for the tilt. It buzzes anytime anyone bumps the game, and it serves as a warning.

Quoted from zacaj:

A lot of system 11 games could benefit from a rules rewrite or modification, it's too bad that there aren't any easy to use replacement boards for them.

I agree. My whole idea wasn't a complete rewrite though, just additions to give the games more modern "niceties." Like, balance the ramp shot on earthshaker, and give the game a proper "ending" (like in Whirlwind), or give BK2K some more depth to the rules, things like that. My plan was to take the original ROM codes and add to it, and re-burn the ROM with the updated code so no other board modifications would be necessary.

Good Luck on Hot Tip though, I'm looking forward to seeing the progress!

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from KenLayton:

How about a game over attract mode light show? That's something the original machine couldn't do because of board hardware constraints.

software constraints, the same hardware did attract mode with later ROMs.

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

I don't blame you for that choice. It'll make everything much easier anyway. That buzzer in the cabinet is for the tilt. It buzzes anytime anyone bumps the game, and it serves as a warning.

I agree. My whole idea wasn't a complete rewrite though, just additions to give the games more modern "niceties." Like, balance the ramp shot on earthshaker, and give the game a proper "ending" (like in Whirlwind), or give BK2K some more depth to the rules, things like that. My plan was to take the original ROM codes and add to it, and re-burn the ROM with the updated code so no other board modifications would be necessary.
Good Luck on Hot Tip though, I'm looking forward to seeing the progress!

I'd love to do some smaller rom adjustments like that, it's too bad there's so little info on modifying the roms

So does the buzzer just buzz directly from the tilt, or is there anything else that sets it off, do you know? I haven't been able to find any videos of the original game where the buzzer goes off.

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I'd love to do some smaller rom adjustments like that, it's too bad there's so little info on modifying the roms
So does the buzzer just buzz directly from the tilt, or is there anything else that sets it off, do you know? I haven't been able to find any videos of the original game where the buzzer goes off.

I have a Hot Tip SS. It's a great game, but it would be cool to add complexity to the rules.

As for the buzzer, I'm pretty sure it just goes off for tilt. My daughters think it sounds like the machine is farting.

#14 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

So does the buzzer just buzz directly from the tilt, or is there anything else that sets it off, do you know?

The tilt literally buzzes as if it were directly connected to the tilt switch/plumb bob electromechanically. So if the tilt is activated, it'll buzz for however long the switch is engaged. It's sorta lame, because usually the plumb bob only makes switch contact very quickly, so the buzzer is short. Depending on the stock settings (I believe the game gives you 2 or 3 warnings before it actually tilts), it'll quickly buzz 2 or 3 times, then the tilt light comes on, and it's then silent.

Quoted from Bbismuth:

My daughters think it sounds like the machine is farting.

It really does sound like a fart!

#15 4 years ago

i want one of these SS versions. a friend has the EM one and i like it quite a bit.

#16 4 years ago
Quoted from barakandl:

i want one of these SS versions. a friend has the EM one and i like it quite a bit.

I've heard the EM version is preferred? No idea why though.

In dev news, yesterday I verified that my switch matrix scanning circuit works, got a few solenoids firing, then discovered that the display board is 5V, and my CPU is 3V. Looking into either using a different model 5V CPU or buying some buffer chips with a low 'input high' level. Pain either way though, if it had worked off 3V signals I could have just crossed a few connections on my existing LED matrix driver, now I'll need to design a whole new PCB

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

I've heard the EM version is preferred? No idea why though.
In dev news, yesterday I verified that my switch matrix scanning circuit works, got a few solenoids firing, then discovered that the display board is 5V, and my CPU is 3V. Looking into either using a different model 5V CPU or buying some buffer chips with a low 'input high' level. Pain either way though, if it had worked off 3V signals I could have just crossed a few connections on my existing LED matrix driver, now I'll need to design a whole new PCB

Maybe just because of rarity? Looks like the same PF, but sometimes they change up rules for EM/SS.

#18 4 years ago

I own the SS version, and I've played the EM version. Only differences I can tell are the bonus on the SS game counts up higher, and the kickout hole at the top of the SS version scans through the rewards before the first point is scored, then after, it behaves like the EM version.

#19 4 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

I own the SS version, and I've played the EM version. Only differences I can tell are the bonus on the SS game counts up higher, and the kickout hole at the top of the SS version scans through the rewards before the first point is scored, then after, it behaves like the EM version.

Counts up higher? Do you mean that it lights 10k and cycles through the lower numbers again?

Looking closely at the playfields, I note that on the EM version the spinner and bonus are 10x the score of the SS. Weird.

#20 4 years ago

All I've really got to add is to have the game focus more on the other shots, rather than being spinner all day like the game is from factory.

1 week later
#21 4 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Counts up higher? Do you mean that it lights 10k and cycles through the lower numbers again?

Yup. That's exactly what it does.

#22 4 years ago
Quoted from mbaumle:

Yup. That's exactly what it does.

Ah, interesting. I'm fascinated by these random changes they made.

On my side, I've successfully gotten the displays driven from one of my boards:

12647058_1674070296205532_5996614709065104608_n_(resized).jpg

10650048_1672714359674459_8698017393796361266_n_(resized).jpg

PCBs for that and the lamp matrix are in production, so soon I can finally have all the boards needed to test the code, which I've finished writing (480 lines of code so far to recreate the original ruleset)

#23 4 years ago

SS Hot Tip was the first pin I ever purchased. I recent sold that one when I bought a nicer example. It's currently in line for shopping. CPU has some issues.
In general it has a good rule set. About the multiple bonus multiplier I'm not too certain on. The game can easily build a high multiplier and why he winning of extra balls for score levels much like a EM we have had some pretty high scores in my house.
I think the game would benefit from some hurry up. Like. Get hot tip down and have to make a shot for the jackpot associated to each level of hot tip. Maybe remove the extra balls awarded at point levels and replace it with a hot tip "2" and captive ball timed shot. Or something to shoot for when I do finally get all three hot tips (horeshoes) lit.
Dam you. Looks like I'm working on hot tip this weekend.
FortyTwo.

#24 4 years ago

If someone did make a rom set I would be up do trying it.
FYI

1 week later
#25 4 years ago

After a long wait crossing the Pacific Ocean, the lamp matrix and solenoid driver boards have arrived and are ready for assembly IMG_20160211_153148_(resized).jpg

8 months later
#26 3 years ago

Hey there... has this project moved ahead? After examining "broken EM's" (games with poor rule sets) in another thread I was curious to know more about Hot Tip. Looks like there is no reason at all to shoot for the captive ball. Risky shot and not many points. Looks like a good candidate for a rules tweak.

#27 3 years ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

Hey there... has this project moved ahead? After examining "broken EM's" (games with poor rule sets) in another thread I was curious to know more about Hot Tip. Looks like there is no reason at all to shoot for the captive ball. Risky shot and not many points. Looks like a good candidate for a rules tweak.

Hoo boy, this thread has gone without an update for a while...

So, starting back from my last post: I assembled the pictured boards, and discovered some major design flaws with my solenoid control board (as in, when I plug them in the CPU starts smoking). So I redesigned those, and put them in the queue for my next PCB order. And then had a flash of inspiration and redesigned them again. Still haven't ordered them. While working on them and the light matrix boards, I realized I'm a complete idiot. What does a light matrix need? 8 PNP transistors for the columns and 8 NPN transistors for the rows. What does a solenoid driver board control? 16 Solenoids, via 16 transistors. No reason to design a whole second board, a generalized 16 transistor board could handle both cases easily.

I also got the display board produced and assembled, and while I was bored one week wrote the entirety of the code to handle both the original rule set and my redesigned ruleset, and let you switch between them by holding the start button in attract mode. Then I stumbled across a working system 6 boardset, so I stuck that in Hot Tip, and it worked! Well, darn, I've spent all this time making half of an entire replacement boardset and code for the game, and now the game plays just fine. Not the best rules, but it's still pretty fun! Actually playing the game also made me realize that the left kickout hole is really hard to hit on purpose, which makes me question my ruleset centered around shooting the hole to collect your bonus. (It also kicks down the middle half the time, grr) Luckily, I also picked up a Laser Ball without boards, and Laser Ball seems to be another game with, if not broken rules, than at least really boring ones (or at least I assume, since it seems to be really unpopular). So, I figured, my replacement boardset would work just as well in Laser Ball as in Hot Tip (and so would the original Williams boards), so I planned to go back to building the boards, design a ruleset for Laser Ball as well, and then decide which of the custom rulesets I liked more to determine which game got the custom boards and which got the original.

While I was designing some custom Laser Ball rules, and also working on numerous other projects, and starting to get parts and ideas together for a custom build I've been wanting to do, I stumbled on another system 6 boardset, mostly working,and stuck that set in Laser Ball. Crap, now I've got two mostly working games, half a set of custom boards, and two rulesets I've designed for them! What am I going to do now?

While I was fixing some problems on Laser Ball's boards, I noticed that they had the memory addresses for all the chips labeled on the schematics, but didn't pay much attention. Weeks later, driving home from league night, my mind got to wandering: "it's not like those boards are that complicated", I thought to myself. "I understand what all the chips do, and how all the IOs work... And if you know how all the IOs work, how hard can it be to write the logic to control the IOs? And if that's not hard, then it can't really be that hard to just teach myself 6800 ASM, backwards engineer all the boards, and write my own custom OS and game code from scratch!"

Night time zacaj driving down the highway alone gets some really stupid ideas.... But a week later I'd taught myself assembly, backwards engineered the hardware, and written code to manage all the solenoids, lights, displays, and switches (at least, in pinmame). I was on a roll! Within a month I could easily have a playable base game implemented on the original hardware; this could be great!

And then I bought a disassembled flood damaged PotC last month and all that other fun stuff went on the backburner I'm super good with managing my time and projects, yes I am.

As for the captive ball, Nico, it's not the biggest shot ever, but it's worth more than it looks. A good lit spinner is worth what, 10-20k? A lit captive ball, besides being much easier to light, awards (iirc) 3000 points right away, plus 3000 bonus, which is often doubled to 6000. So the captive ball might be worth 9k, and it's worth that much way more often than I manage to get the spinner lit. And lighting the spinner turns on the invisible outlane magnets too. It's no Algar, but it's not like you avoid shooting it. Also it's really satisfying to hit... If I were coding the game I would have made it worth, say, 5k unlit, and 25k lit with double bonus, for a bit of rebalancing. Or maybe even have it temporarily light the spinner? But it's not quite as broken as some people make it out to be, personally.

#28 3 years ago

Yow! That's a lot of work! I'm not at the level of designing my own solenoid driver boards but did have some success playing with an Arduino-controlled Multimorphic PDB16 board. I figure if I can avoid reinventing the wheel and still get the results I want, I'll go that route.

I haven't played Hot Tip extensively so I can't make a judgment call on the rules. But it looks like the main goal is to hit the drops and keep thwacking the spinner. Would be cool if, after hitting a lit spinner, you'd need to hit the captive ball to re-light it.

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from NicoVolta:

I figure if I can avoid reinventing the wheel and still get the results I want, I'll go that route.

You'd figure that too but when I look at the boards available I go "those are so expensive!" and then spend months designing my own cheaper ones

Quoted from NicoVolta:

Would be cool if, after hitting a lit spinner, you'd need to hit the captive ball to re-light it.

I feel like you'd need to be a bit more forgiving than that! Or maybe, first set of drops lights double bonus, second set lights spinner (pretty hard to get to), but a normal captive ball hit would light the spinner for one hit, and a lit captive ball would give you two hits, and the right inlane would give you a hit, and the left inlane would light the captive ball for one hit. There's a lot of room to play around with as far as lighting and turning off the spinner goes, once you get past 'do this, and then the spinner is lit forever'. Dracula has a cool rule where the spinner lights at only certain bonus values, works out pretty well

3 months later
#30 3 years ago

I have decided to give up on my hot tip. It's my second and the boards are kicking my ass. As soon as its booting again I'm selling it. Good game and the left spinner is a key to a high score. Five rotations raises the bonus. Plus getting the top saucer right will get you doubble bonus. My strategy was to always max out the bonus first and get doubble before working too much on the drops. A first set of the drops also gives doubble bonus. Was my first ever pinbal.

#31 3 years ago
Quoted from Fortytwo:

I have decided to give up on my hot tip. It's my second and the boards are kicking my ass. As soon as its booting again I'm selling it. Good game and the left spinner is a key to a high score. Five rotations raises the bonus. Plus getting the top saucer right will get you doubble bonus. My strategy was to always max out the bonus first and get doubble before working too much on the drops. A first set of the drops also gives doubble bonus. Was my first ever pinbal.

I feel the game is much more balanced once you disable the bonus from the spinner

#32 3 years ago

I can see that. Since with a couple good shots you can have the bonus maxed.

7 months later
#33 2 years ago

Progress!

Anyone want to give it a test? I've only got 2 Hot Tips to try it on, but it's working pretty well on those

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Progress!
» YouTube video
Anyone want to give it a test? I've only got 2 Hot Tips to try it on, but it's working pretty well on those

Only skimmed through this thread.
What all have you changed so far?
It is more then just an attract mode yet?
Does it require new boards or just rom chips?
Interesting idea.
I have a solid state Hot Tip but it is running Pinscore displays. Not original.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from Arcade:

Only skimmed through this thread.
What all have you changed so far?
It is more then just an attract mode yet?
Does it require new boards or just rom chips?
Interesting idea.
I have a solid state Hot Tip but it is running Pinscore displays. Not original.

Displays shouldn't matter.

I've written a brand new rom for it from scratch, so it runs on any hardware the normal roms will.

New OS with fancy features like switch debouncing, not showing 0s in front of the score, multitasking, etc
New ruleset built around building up and collecting bonus
New attract mode and other quick light animations

Right now the gameplay is nearly done, but it's missing things like high scores, adjustments, audits, tests, etc. Not sure if I'll add all of that, but I at least want to get the high scores and maybe a few adjustments for difficulty in there

I would have taken a gameplay video but I can't hold my phone and play at the same time

#36 2 years ago

I've got a nice SS Hot Tip to test it on. PM me

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Displays shouldn't matter.
I've written a brand new rom for it from scratch, so it runs on any hardware the normal roms will.
New OS with fancy features like switch debouncing, not showing 0s in front of the score, multitasking, etc
New ruleset built around building up and collecting bonus
New attract mode and other quick light animations
Right now the gameplay is nearly done, but it's missing things like high scores, adjustments, audits, tests, etc. Not sure if I'll add all of that, but I at least want to get the high scores and maybe a few adjustments for difficulty in there
I would have taken a gameplay video but I can't hold my phone and play at the same time

Cool.
If you need an additional person besides wxforcaster. Let me know.
Happy to help as well.

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