(Topic ID: 323915)

The Cat's Meow -- a new home ROM for Bad Cats

By idealjoker

1 year ago


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#201 6 months ago

Im in a spot where I can't watch it. Dammit.

Quoted from interconnect:I can't believe I never noticed that before. There's a basically an unused controlled light in there. That's awesome you integrated into the game.

#202 6 months ago

I have a Bad Cats. I can't want to try it....

#203 6 months ago

The new seafood windows are done. They'll be available as soon as I get pics.

#204 6 months ago

Alright. I've seen it. That's awesome. How many pinball people can there be in cumming Georgia? Lol... So you all know each other? It's a tiny little place if I rememeber.....

Quoted from interconnect:I can't believe I never noticed that before. There's a basically an unused controlled light in there. That's awesome you integrated into the game.

#205 6 months ago

I got a chance to watch this with sound. I think the flasher there in front of the dog house goes crazy on mine during that time, did you retask the dog house to go crazy instead, or, am I crazy?

Quoted from idealjoker:

Notice anything different in the short video below?

#206 6 months ago
Quoted from jrcmlc:

Alright. I've seen it. That's awesome. How many pinball people can there be in cumming Georgia? Lol... So you all know each other? It's a tiny little place if I rememeber.....

Are there others here in Cumming, GA? I don’t follow. As far as I know I’m the only one. It is a tiny little city. I’m originally from Michigan; moved here in 2014 for work. I literally don’t know anyone IRL that’s into pinball, except my brother. You guys are all I have. LOL. .

#207 6 months ago

Yeah there are a good # of pinsiders with cumming GA listed as their location and I'm familiar enough with the area to know that it's a tiny place and that seems odd lol

Quoted from interconnect:

Are there others here in Cumming, GA? I don’t follow. As far as I know I’m the only one. It is a tiny little city. I’m originally from Michigan; moved here in 2014 for work. I literally don’t know anyone IRL that’s into pinball, except my brother. You guys are all I have. LOL. .

#208 6 months ago

28 or so the map shows although many are well outside of town.

Quoted from interconnect:Are there others here in Cumming, GA? I don’t follow. As far as I know I’m the only one. It is a tiny little city. I’m originally from Michigan; moved here in 2014 for work. I literally don’t know anyone IRL that’s into pinball, except my brother. You guys are all I have. LOL. .

#209 6 months ago
Quoted from idealjoker:

Notice anything different in the short video below?

Hello! I've been working on an update of Bad Cats for visual pinball and I would love to use this updated ROM. We have a discord channel where we test the tables before release and this ould allow a lot of playtesting and feedback for your custom ROM if you are interested. Either way, where can i get a hold of the ROM in its current iteration?

Also a couple of questions:
1. About the dog house. In reference images it looked like there has always been a GI bulb in the dog house? It looks like you put a flasher bulb in there currently? I'm wondering what kind of bulb and also it it your custom ROM that enables the light (I'd like to add this to my simulated table as well) or is the signal for the light already outputed by the classic ROM and it was just never used?

2. About the seafood wheel flashers. I notice in videos the seafood wheel seems to have two flashers inside of it, but it all the teardown pictures (i don't have acess to a real machine) I can't for the life of me tell where those lights are actually. If you could snap a pic or just let me know where they are it would help accuracty in my 3D construction

Some renders are attached for preview:

2023-09-26 06_17_42-Blender_ [C__Users_Administrator_Desktop_BadCats Local_BadCats_003.blend] (resized).png2023-09-26 06_17_42-Blender_ [C__Users_Administrator_Desktop_BadCats Local_BadCats_003.blend] (resized).png2023-09-26 06_18_58-Blender_ [C__Users_Administrator_Desktop_BadCats Local_BadCats_003.blend] (resized).png2023-09-26 06_18_58-Blender_ [C__Users_Administrator_Desktop_BadCats Local_BadCats_003.blend] (resized).png2023-09-26 06_27_16-Blender_ [C__Users_Administrator_Desktop_BadCats Local_BadCats_003.blend] (resized).png2023-09-26 06_27_16-Blender_ [C__Users_Administrator_Desktop_BadCats Local_BadCats_003.blend] (resized).png
#210 6 months ago

"About the seafood wheel flashers. I notice in videos the seafood wheel seems to have two flashers inside of it, but it all the teardown pictures (i don't have acess to a real machine) I can't for the life of me tell where those lights are actually. If you could snap a pic or just let me know where they are it would help accuracty in my 3D construction"

They are located on either side of the wheel sort of shoved into the sides where you just can't see them from the top but they light it up.

Quoted from dcbenji:

Hello! I've been working on an update of Bad Cats for visual pinball and I would love to use this updated ROM. We have a discord channel where we test the tables before release and this ould allow a lot of playtesting and feedback for your custom ROM if you are interested. Either way, where can i get a hold of the ROM in its current iteration?
Also a couple of questions:
1. About the dog house. In reference images it looked like there has always been a GI bulb in the dog house? It looks like you put a flasher bulb in there currently? I'm wondering what kind of bulb and also it it your custom ROM that enables the light (I'd like to add this to my simulated table as well) or is the signal for the light already outputed by the classic ROM and it was just never used?
2. About the seafood wheel flashers. I notice in videos the seafood wheel seems to have two flashers inside of it, but it all the teardown pictures (i don't have acess to a real machine) I can't for the life of me tell where those lights are actually. If you could snap a pic or just let me know where they are it would help accuracty in my 3D construction
Some renders are attached for preview:[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

#211 6 months ago
Quoted from jrcmlc:

I think the flasher there in front of the dog house goes crazy on mine during that time, did you retask the dog house to go crazy instead, or, am I crazy?

You are not wrong, but that doesn't mean that you're not crazy... On my game there are three Seafood Flashers. Two of them are just like you write, "sort of shoved into the sides". Those are great -- they illuminate the wheel. But my game has a third one directly underneath the "spin wheel" arrow insert (see image). There is also a regular lamp there. During the Seafood wheel spin the flasher goes crazy *and* the lamp is blinking. When I added the Doghouse lamp to the wheel FX it did not make a significant difference because the only thing I can see is the crazy third flasher. That's why I disabled the flasher while debugging the Lamp FX and that's the version I used for the video. But this version leaves the wheel really dark, so I think I'll have to re-enable the flashers. I'll probably end up removing the third flasher bulb.

Quoted from dcbenji:

1. About the dog house. In reference images it looked like there has always been a GI bulb in the dog house? It looks like you put a flasher bulb in there currently? I'm wondering what kind of bulb and also it it your custom ROM that enables the light (I'd like to add this to my simulated table as well) or is the signal for the light already outputed by the classic ROM and it was just never used?

I have not made any changes to the game hardware. The lamp in the doghouse is insert lamp #30. The original ROM uses it, but only for attract mode and for some of the lamp FX (e.g. Jackpot). I have now added it to the game play and also to the FX at the end of the game when the GI is flashing rapidly.

Quoted from dcbenji:

Either way, where can i get a hold of the ROM in its current iteration?

I certainly appreciate more testing. PM me your email address and I will add you to the list of beta testers. I hope to send out my next version later this week.

SeafoodFlashers (resized).jpgSeafoodFlashers (resized).jpg
#212 6 months ago

Dammit I'm gonna have to open mine up now. Lol

Quoted from idealjoker:You are not wrong, but that doesn't mean that you're not crazy... On my game there are three Seafood Flashers. Two of them are just like you write, "sort of shoved into the sides". Those are great -- they illuminate the wheel. But my game has a third one directly underneath the "spin wheel" arrow insert (see image). There is also a regular lamp there. During the Seafood wheel spin the flasher goes crazy *and* the lamp is blinking. When I added the Doghouse lamp to the wheel FX it did not make a significant difference because the only thing I can see is the crazy third flasher. That's why I disabled the flasher while debugging the Lamp FX and that's the version I used for the video. But this version leaves the wheel really dark, so I think I'll have to re-enable the flashers. I'll probably end up removing the third flasher bulb.

I have not made any changes to the game hardware. The lamp in the doghouse is insert lamp #30. The original ROM uses it, but only for attract mode and for some of the lamp FX (e.g. Jackpot). I have now added it to the game play and also to the FX at the end of the game when the GI is flashing rapidly.

I certainly appreciate more testing. PM me your email address and I will add you to the list of beta testers. I hope to send out my next version later this week.
[quoted image]

#213 6 months ago

I guess mine is the same. Lol shocking.

PXL_20230926_180440033 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180440033 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180451672 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180451672 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180616913 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180616913 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180623138 (resized).jpgPXL_20230926_180623138 (resized).jpg
#214 6 months ago
Quoted from jrcmlc:

mine is the same.

Darn. I wonder whether prototype games have that 3rd flasher, because the lamp FX during the wheel does not make much sense that way but perfect sense without the third flasher: During the FX both the flasher and the lamp underneath the insert are used but the two are not synchronized. On my game, if you look closely the flashing is really quite irregular -- maybe this is what you meant by going crazy.

So I removed the third flasher bulb and popped in the original ROMs for a quick test. It looks much better to me. The wheel flashing is now fast enough again to light the wheel, but the insert arrow is no longer crazy but does the big circle with all the other insert lamps, which to me makes more sense. Which makes me suspect that the 3rd flasher was a late addition maybe because incandescent bulbs are a bit dim. In any case, I'll make sure that the TCM code does the full flashing.

#215 6 months ago

idealjoker as a small thank you for doing this I'd be happy to send you a free replacement seafood window we just had made, PM me your address if you want it. Thanks again for all your hard work.

https://pinside.com/pinball/market/shops/1521-no-gouge-pinball/09454-new-bad-cats-seafood-window-w-hardware-free-shipping

#216 6 months ago

Those look awesome, thank you! PM sent

#217 6 months ago

I like playing my games in the dark. What has bothered me about Bad Cats in the dark is that the wheel is very nicely and brightly lit while it spins up, circles and starts slowing down, but the darn light turns off before the wheel stops. What the heck? So now I have to look at the displays to see the award. But I want to look at the spinning lights on the PF, which are prettier. I tinkered a bit and I have come up with this:

I like it and I very much like the Doghouse light. And there are no bugs that I am aware of remaining in the game. Therefore, I plan to make a patch out of this version and send it out to the testers maybe tomorrow. Is that going to be the final one? I don't think so...

If you look closely the wheel light is not steady, it is flickering. The flicker is not bad in this case, but when more stuff is going on in the game (fish timer, ramp timers, etc.) the flicker gets a lot worse. It's not supposed to be flickering at all: In the game code the flashers are driven at 16Hz with a 50% duty cycle (1/32th of a second on, 1/32th of a second off). With incandescent bulbs this makes for a steady strong white light. But when the CPU cannot keep up, the light flickers. So I am planning to add a "flasher GI driver" to the real-time backend of the system (the interrupt handler) to keep the wheel light on nice and steady.

#218 6 months ago

Will those of us with leds see any issues?

Quoted from idealjoker:I like playing my games in the dark. What has bothered me about Bad Cats in the dark is that the wheel is very nicely and brightly lit while it spins up, circles and starts slowing down, but the darn light turns off before the wheel stops. What the heck? So now I have to look at the displays to see the award. But I want to look at the spinning lights on the PF, which are prettier. I tinkered a bit and I have come up with this:

I like it and I very much like the Doghouse light. And there are no bugs that I am aware of remaining in the game. Therefore, I plan to make a patch out of this version and send it out to the testers maybe tomorrow. Is that going to be the final one? I don't think so...
If you look closely the wheel light is not steady, it is flickering. The flicker is not bad in this case, but when more stuff is going on in the game (fish timer, ramp timers, etc.) the flicker gets a lot worse. It's not supposed to be flickering at all: In the game code the flashers are driven at 16Hz with a 50% duty cycle (1/32th of a second on, 1/32th of a second off). With incandescent bulbs this makes for a steady strong white light. But when the CPU cannot keep up, the light flickers. So I am planning to add a "flasher GI driver" to the real-time backend of the system (the interrupt handler) to keep the wheel light on nice and steady.

#219 6 months ago
Quoted from jrcmlc:

Will those of us with leds see any issues?

The strobe effect (that I imagine to be there) will be completely regular. If you like the strobe effect hopefully more regular is better than less regular. But for those LED users who don't like the strobe effect and would like something closer to the original, perhaps there are OCD boards for LED flashers on the market.

#220 6 months ago

I don't notice any strobe at all, unless I just don't know what you mean. Other than my flashers flashing when I hit my flippers, which I have a board that fixes from @dumbass, I have zero issue.

Quoted from idealjoker:The strobe effect (that I imagine to be there) will be completely regular. If you like the strobe effect hopefully more regular is better than less regular. But for those LED users who don't like the strobe effect and would like something closer to the original, perhaps there are OCD boards for LED flashers on the market.

#221 6 months ago
Quoted from jrcmlc:

I don't notice any strobe at all,

Then there won't be any strobe in TCM, either, because right now I am driving the flashers the same as they are driven in Bad Cats and the only goal is to make the driver more regular.

1 week later
#222 6 months ago

Have the latest code running now (R1866). One thing that I noticed is that the rate the relay toggles at the end of game seems faster than original. Did you speed that up at some point?

#223 6 months ago
Quoted from Robotworkshop:

One thing that I noticed is that the rate the relay toggles at the end of game seems faster than original.

Well spotted. In the original code the flashing thread starts and runs "alone" for a few seconds and then a second thread is started that blinks a game-over message with the same speed. In my game there are three different behaviors: i) the flashing is fast (same speed as in the recent beta) but then slows down when the game-over message begins. ii) the flashing is fast and stays fast during the flashing of the game-over message. iii) the flashing starts slow and stays the same when the game over message comes on.

I am convinced that the design behavior is ii. But on my game this is rare and most of the time the blink speed is slow once the game over message is being displayed. I do not like the change in speed at all. But I have not been able to come up with a consistent behavior with the the original design. So what I ended up doing for the beta is to shorten the flashing duration from 3s to 2s and wait with the game over message until the flashing has ended.

With this change, the game-over FX are somewhat different in TCM than in the original. I think that I prefer consistency but I have not fully convinced myself. Another possible option would be to try to make the game consistently do behavior iii, i.e. slowing down the flashing.

#224 6 months ago
Quoted from idealjoker:

Well spotted. In the original code the flashing thread starts and runs "alone" for a few seconds and then a second thread is started that blinks a game-over message with the same speed. In my game there are three different behaviors: i) the flashing is fast (same speed as in the recent beta) but then slows down when the game-over message begins. ii) the flashing is fast and stays fast during the flashing of the game-over message. iii) the flashing starts slow and stays the same when the game over message comes on.
I am convinced that the design behavior is ii. But on my game this is rare and most of the time the blink speed is slow once the game over message is being displayed. I do not like the change in speed at all. But I have not been able to come up with a consistent behavior with the the original design. So what I ended up doing for the beta is to shorten the flashing duration from 3s to 2s and wait with the game over message until the flashing has ended.
With this change, the game-over FX are somewhat different in TCM than in the original. I think that I prefer consistency but I have not fully convinced myself. Another possible option would be to try to make the game consistently do behavior iii, i.e. slowing down the flashing.

My only concern is that the speed seems too fast and may not be good for the relay. Actually I’ve always thought the duration of the whole flashing sequence of the lamps to be longer than needed. I’d rather see the flashing not as fast and shorter duration. Something to help save the relay and not give people seizures looking at it. This is something I never cared for in the original code. Just a suggestion.

#225 6 months ago

Good point, but you have not fully convinced me yet.

First, just to make sure we are on the same page, the number of switching operations (which is what I thought dominates the wear of relays) is the same regardless of whether the thread runs fast or slow. Since I reduced the flashing time by 1/3rd there are 1/3rd fewer relay switching operations with the TCM beta than with stock code. From this consideration I expect the relays to last longer with the TCM code.

With regards to the switching speed, the speed in the current beta version is the design speed of the thread, not any faster. More importantly, the on-off switching time for each relay is always 1/32th of a second (2 tics) both in stock code and in TCM, regardless of whether the thread runs at full speed or is slowed down because of MPU load. (Solenoid and flasher pulse durations are time sensitive and handled by the interrupt routine, i.e. the pulses do not get any longer under load.) The only difference between the thread running slow and fast is that in the former case the relay stays off a bit longer than 1/32th of a second. (I am not sure about this, but I think that it likely stays off for 3/64th of a second instead of 2/64th of a second.) Since the on-off time is consistently the same as with the original WMS code I am not very concerned about the relay switching speed.

What I am more concerned about is the overall effect. In the original game the sequence is as follows:

  1. Run end-of-game match award.
  2. Flash the GI rapidly while displaying the game scores for 2 seconds.
  3. Continue flashing the GI while also flashing a game-over message for another 2 seconds.
  4. Continue flashing the game-over message for another 6 seconds.
  5. Start attract mode.
With the current beta version there is no overlap between the GI and display flashing and that bothers me somewhat. So I intend to take another look at this, and slowing the flashing somewhat is definitely something that I want to try. I do want consistent speed, though. And, if I want to keep the basic design, the first half of the flashing has to be long enough for the players to read the scores.

#226 6 months ago

Relay endurance is not a problem, they are specified for millions of cycles. In fact, relay operation makes the contact points slightly clean themselves.

I don't much like the GI flashing, and would prefer it set to minimum. Maybe an adjustable parameter?

#227 6 months ago
Quoted from Tuukka:

Relay endurance is not a problem, they are specified for millions of cycles. In fact, relay operation makes the contact points slightly clean themselves.
I don't much like the GI flashing, and would prefer it set to minimum. Maybe an adjustable parameter?

I think an adjustable option would be great. Flashing is ok but I think it flashes a bit too much. Original code or updated.

#228 6 months ago

I wish there were any unused adjustments left. The timed drop targets could be made so much better with one. But unfortunately there is no RAM to make additional adjustments available. (Doing so would also require fairly complex changes to the Sys11 adjustments/presets system, which would further delay the release.)

What I think I am going to do is put the post-game strobe (I think that's a better term) on a "double yes/no" adjustment together with the attract mode sounds. The adjustment will say something like "A.M. SND/P.G. STROBE" with the options "YES/YES", "YES/NO", "NO/YES" and "NO/NO".

Speaking of the attract mode sounds I noticed that the "One More Time" callout is supposed to be synchronized with the Enter Coin/Free Play message. Since this only works correctly after a game has ended, I disabled the callout immediately after game boot, when it is also not the right thing to say.

#229 6 months ago

UPDATE -- New beta (R1893)

I ended up slowing down the post-game strobing to the point where it runs without irregularities with the same overall timing as in the stock code. The GI strobing effect can be disabled with adjustment#48 as indicated in the previous post. Other minor changes include "clean" limits for the Jackpots (20M and 15M exactly for the Litter and individual Jackpots), a couple of further cosmetic improvements, as well as a reduction of the (score-only) skillshot reward to 150K when playing with ME-OW rules.

However, the Seafood Wheel was the main issue for me. The lamp FX of the wheel in Bad Cats is a very simple and beautiful design: while the wheel is spinning clockwise, a "search-light pattern" sweeps around the playfield inserts in the other direction (counterclockwise). This search-light pattern includes the cat in front of the doghouse and all wheel-reward inserts (1-8). But when you spin the wheel it does not look like this. Except for some flicker, the cat, 3 and 7 reward inserts all look "stuck on" because of the wheel flashers, hiding the search-light sweep. It's the same with stock code and TCM. Removing the flasher bulb under the cat insert helps. But light from the other two flasher lamps bleeds into the 3 and 7 inserts, making them look stuck on. I had to mask those inserts with thick electric tape to make the wheel lamp FX look good, but I am guessing that directional LED flashers might work even better. I also added the four outer flashers around the PF to the search-light pattern (which is not possible with the original System 11). I think that this works well, not least because now there is some flasher action on the backglass during wheel spins.

1 week later
#230 5 months ago

Hello,
Found this post while on google looking for rom updates for my Bad Cats. Which I am currently restoring (you might have seen a few requests under Tech: Alpha-numeric). Man this machine is a mess with some REAL horrors temp fixs from previous owner.

Intesting to see home mod roms for pinball, so have the following questions:
1. When will "The Cat's Meow" be available & cost?
2. Do I need to update sound roms to use?
3. Do you have any idea what updates to roms from Williams included? As number of updates but no details as to contents.

Also if you are still looking for testers happy to help.

#231 5 months ago

Great that you found the thread!

Quoted from No_CLU:

1. When will "The Cat's Meow" be available & cost?

I am planning for a release within the next 2-3 weeks. There is one more bug report (from an emulator test, and it's only a cosmetic bug) that I would like to look into in a bit more detail, but otherwise I am not aware of any issues and I am happy with the way the current version plays. The patch will be free. Unless you have an EPROM burner there will be some costs involved with getting the ROM chips burned.

Quoted from No_CLU:

2. Do I need to update sound roms to use?

To the best of my knowledge there is only one set of sound ROMs for Bad Cats and that's L-1.

Quoted from No_CLU:

3. Do you have any idea what updates to roms from Williams included? As number of updates but no details as to contents.

The only significant difference between LA-2 and LA-5 that I have noticed has to do with the way spurious switch closures of the fish target are dealt with. In LA-2 there is no attempt to filter those out. In LA-5 there is a strong filter, which is great at filtering out the bad closures but that also makes the target a lot less fun to play with, because it only awards 1 or max 2 lights per ball hit. (There's more details in an earlier post in this thread.) In TCM you can choose the fish target handler from LA-2, LA-5 or another (better?) one that I implemented.

#232 5 months ago

Thanks for answering my questions.
Wish I had been following from the start as would have offered to help.
Very interesting topic and you have made excelent progress improving rules and game play.
Looking forward to finaly release soon (TM)

#233 5 months ago

As an embedded SW designer myself, I really appreciate this great work. Finding out what the current code does, designing well thought improvements and making space for them in ROM - and what's most important, testing it all thoroughly before release!

I understand this is a hobby project, but would gladly give a small donation towards future projects, when the final patch is available.

#234 5 months ago
Quoted from Tuukka:

As an embedded SW designer myself

This is what has made the thread so much fun for me: I can talk with you all about things that bores virtually everybody I know in person to tears.

Quoted from Tuukka:

would gladly give a small donation towards future projects

I have only recently stumbled across online tipping jars (such as buymeacoffee.com) and I like the idea of getting an occasional tip from a happy user.

2 weeks later
#235 5 months ago

UPDATE -- More bugs and new beta (R.1938)

I need at least a week or two without any bugs before I will be comfortable enough to release the patch. Unfortunately the last two weeks have been quite buggy with some of the problems requiring non-trivial fixes. Therefore, I have just sent another beta version to the testers.

BUGS FIXED:

  • Jackpot was on memory when playing with the hard (ME-OW) rules.
  • Starting the Safood wheel immediately after scoring the JP suppressed the 5M SPECIAL display FX.
  • Outlane sound FX were suppressed when a special callout was playing while the ball went through the switch.
  • Ball search stopped the Doghouse timer and left the lamp in an undefined state.
  • Ball search was not handled correctly by the Trashcan and Fishbone switch handlers.
  • During timed BBQ mode, the Doghouse could not be lit from the inlane.
  • The "disappointment sound" when losing the unlimited Millions mode was not played under some circumstances.

IMPROVEMENTS:

  • Made the CAT NAP message blink slowly.
  • Rules selection now always plays the correct game-start sound, even when scrolling through the rules quickly.
  • Improved turning off of the Trashcan and 10x insert lamps after scoring the Fishbone-Us with 10M lit. (In the original ROM, the Fish inserts are turned off during the FX but the Trashcan and 10x lamps are turned off later, when the ball is ejected.)
  • Changed the callout for successful completion of drop bank with single targets, because the one I had used before is too similar to the one used for the skillshot

#237 5 months ago

I just can't hide it.....

#238 5 months ago

Sorry to hear of extra work and issues. But end result sound worth wait.
Sadly my Bad Cats in bits at the moment, still deep cleaning and replacing parts. Hope first full game will be on new rules.

#239 5 months ago

I've been following this thread since you started it.

As a huge BC's fan (owned mine for about 30 years) I didn't even realize all the issues / bugs in it. So, I'm so excited to acquire your upgrade and happy to send you Coffee / Booze "tip" $$$

Thanks again for taking on this project!

Kerry

#240 4 months ago

Meow me-meow meow

#241 4 months ago
Quoted from idealjoker:

UPDATE -- More bugs and new beta (R.1938)
I need at least a week or two without any bugs before I will be comfortable enough to release the patch. Unfortunately the last two weeks have been quite buggy with some of the problems requiring non-trivial fixes. Therefore, I have just sent another beta version to the testers.
BUGS FIXED:Jackpot was on memory when playing with the hard (ME-OW) rules.
Starting the Safood wheel immediately after scoring the JP suppressed the 5M SPECIAL display FX.
Outlane sound FX were suppressed when a special callout was playing while the ball went through the switch.
Ball search stopped the Doghouse timer and left the lamp in an undefined state.
Ball search was not handled correctly by the Trashcan and Fishbone switch handlers.
During timed BBQ mode, the Doghouse could not be lit from the inlane.
The "disappointment sound" when losing the unlimited Millions mode was not played under some circumstances.
IMPROVEMENTS:Made the CAT NAP message blink slowly.
Rules selection now always plays the correct game-start sound, even when scrolling through the rules quickly.
Improved turning off of the Trashcan and 10x insert lamps after scoring the Fishbone-Us with 10M lit. (In the original ROM, the Fish inserts are turned off during the FX but the Trashcan and 10x lamps are turned off later, when the ball is ejected.)
Changed the callout for successful completion of drop bank with single targets, because the one I had used before is too similar to the one used for the skillshot

So far this seems like the best version yet. Running well so far and it should get a lot of use on Thanksgiving.

#242 4 months ago

Hi,
I'm the author of some roms colorizations for virtual pinballs.
Among these are alphanumeric roms .
You can find, for example, the one for Diner (Williams 1990) or Bugs Bunny Birthday Ball (Bally 1991)

I was planning to start colorizing Bad Cats and came across this thread today

Do you have a complete list of the improvements/changes you've made to the original version?

Would you accept and allow me to do a colorization based on your rom?

Well done for your work

Beep Beep 2 (resized).pngBeep Beep 2 (resized).pngDanse Bugs Daffy (resized).pngDanse Bugs Daffy (resized).pngDiner BG Score (resized).pngDiner BG Score (resized).pngLoterie (resized).pngLoterie (resized).pngTransition Crédits (resized).pngTransition Crédits (resized).pngReplay (resized).pngReplay (resized).pngWhats up (resized).pngWhats up (resized).png
#243 4 months ago

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

As it stands, I am aware of one remaining bug, which is a serious one: When you drain the ball immediately after lighting the Jackpot, the game continues without noticing the ball in the outhole (no end-of-ball bonus count). All switches except for the outhole continue to work normally. With the glass on, the only way I found to end the ball is to tilt. With the glass off, after draining the ball you can score the Jackpot on the ramp and after the Jackpot has been scored, the bonus count begins automatically. The bug is very difficult to reproduce with the glass on, because you really have to drain very quickly. But I have managed it once so I know that it needs to be fixed.

Fortunately, the bug can be reproduced reliably with the glass off (thanks @interconnect!) and I have finally found time to create a program trace with PinMAME. The trace is 4,809,548 lines long and will take a bit of time to get my head around. A fun project (way better than watching movies) for a 9-hour flight I have this Sunday...

Quoted from ebor:

Would you accept and allow me to do a colorization based on your rom?

Of course! PM me if there's anything I can do to help. With regards to a compete list of changes, there are two key posts (listed on the thread home page) where the changes are documented. The information in these posts is mostly correct but needs to be updated for the release, since I have made additional changes to the game rules. Once I have fixed the remaining bug, that's the only thing left on my to-do list.

#244 4 months ago

Thank you for the update. Safe travels.

#245 4 months ago
Quoted from idealjoker:

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
As it stands, I am aware of one remaining bug, which is a serious one: When you drain the ball immediately after lighting the Jackpot, the game continues without noticing the ball in the outhole (no end-of-ball bonus count). All switches except for the outhole continue to work normally. With the glass on, the only way I found to end the ball is to tilt. With the glass off, after draining the ball you can score the Jackpot on the ramp and after the Jackpot has been scored, the bonus count begins automatically. The bug is very difficult to reproduce with the glass on, because you really have to drain very quickly. But I have managed it once so I know that it needs to be fixed.
Fortunately, the bug can be reproduced reliably with the glass off (thanks interconnect!) and I have finally found time to create a program trace with PinMAME. The trace is 4,809,548 lines long and will take a bit of time to get my head around. A fun project (way better than watching movies) for a 9-hour flight I have this Sunday...

Of course! PM me if there's anything I can do to help. With regards to a compete list of changes, there are two key posts (listed on the thread home page) where the changes are documented. The information in these posts is mostly correct but needs to be updated for the release, since I have made additional changes to the game rules. Once I have fixed the remaining bug, that's the only thing left on my to-do list.

Fak! Good luck w that one!

#246 4 months ago
Quoted from DK:

Fak! Good luck w that one!

It took a few hours, but that was mostly because of a false start. In the end, the bug was easier to nail down than I had thought. I will write a separate post with technical details. The fix was trivial: I only had to change the id of the Jackpot Flasher thread from an odd to an even one, so that the system would not wait for it to exit before calling the end-of-ball handler. It's a bug that I had introduced myself in October, but it only caused problems when you light the final BAD CATS letter but then drain the ball before the Jackpot-lit music starts playing. Seems impossible but that happened both to myself and to a tester in real game play.

While finalizing the beta I also found another issue --- occasionally, the O skill shot did not advance the bonus multiplier. This one was intermittent and very easy to miss. It mainly affected the easy (SEAFOOD) rules when lane change is active during the skillshot. (To my surprise, even with lane change I miss lots of skillshots...)

I have just sent the new final (hah!) beta to the testers. I am feeling really good about this one. Fingers crossed! Perhaps TCM could be a nice stocking stuffer for some...

#247 4 months ago
Quoted from idealjoker:

It took a few hours, but that was mostly because of a false start. In the end, the bug was easier to nail down than I had thought. I will write a separate post with technical details. The fix was trivial: I only had to change the id of the Jackpot Flasher thread from an odd to an even one, so that the system would not wait for it to exit before calling the end-of-ball handler. It's a bug that I had introduced myself in October, but it only caused problems when you light the final BAD CATS letter but then drain the ball before the Jackpot-lit music starts playing. Seems impossible but that happened both to myself and to a tester in real game play.
While finalizing the beta I also found another issue --- occasionally, the O skill shot did not advance the bonus multiplier. This one was intermittent and very easy to miss. It mainly affected the easy (SEAFOOD) rules when lane change is active during the skillshot. (To my surprise, even with lane change I miss lots of skillshots...)
I have just sent the new final (hah!) beta to the testers. I am feeling really good about this one. Fingers crossed! Perhaps TCM could be a nice stocking stuffer for some...

Awesome! I can try a new image anytime.

#248 4 months ago

I just installed your latest patch/update this morning. So far so good. Will be getting some time in on it over the weekend.

11
#249 4 months ago

TECH POST -- Debugging with PinMAME

PinMAME is a program that emulates the eletronics (not they physics) of Pinball hardware. It rocks, because it has a real debugger. When you start a game in PinMAME with the --debug option, you get a debugger window, which supports a bunch of different commands. With G (go) you continue execution of the game program where it was interrupted. On startup, this means booting the game. When you do this, the debugger window disappears and you get another window showing the alphanumeric game displays, in this case with the attract mode running. There's also a couple of grids showing the status of the switch and lamp matrices. Using the keyboard, you can toggle any of the playfield switches and also trigger the cabinet switches.

To start a game, you press the "Start Button" (number 1 key). But since there is no ball in the game you get "PINBALL MISSING" on the display. So, first you have to put a ball in the game, which you can do by closing the shooter-lane switch (W+H at the same time). Now a game can be started with the "1" key. To launch the ball, you press W+H again to toggle (open) the shooter-lane switch.

To reproduce the bug, I had to light the Jackpot and drain the ball immediately afterwards. The quickest way to light the JP is to drop the Bird drop targets 3 times with single targets. The PinMAME sequence for this is 6x R+A-S-D-F-G (3x drop and reset), followed by W+S (outhole). Now the game was blocked: the ball was in the outhole, but the bonus count did not start. The game continued with the lit-Jackpot music playing and with all switches working except for the outhole switch, which was dead. The only way to end the ball in this situation is to tilt (immediate end) or to score the Jackpot, in which case the bonus count would begin automatically after the JP had been scored.

However, I did not do end the game but interrupted it to enter the debugger. Since I had access to the entire memory I could inspect the (linked) list of threads that active ("running"). In the memory at $0089 there are two bytes of data that point to the data structure of the first element in this list. It contained the value $043C. At this address there are 18 bytes of private data for this thread, including register values, flags and, importantly, a program counter (PC) that holds the address of the next instruction to execute when the thread wakes up (resumes execution). With this address it's easy to figure out what code the thread is running. However, the first two bytes in the data structure (at address $043C-$043D) is a pointer to the next thread in the list, $0406 in this case. The last element in the list has $0000 in its first two bytes.

Following the list of active threads it was not hard to find the outhole handler thread, and its PC told me that it was stuck in an infinite loop, waiting for threads with the WAIT flag to exit. (This is a feature of System 7-11, which is used to synchronize the end-of-ball sounds with the bonus count down, for example.) Going through the list of threads again, I found a single one with the WAIT flag and that was the Jackpot Flasher thread. Turns out that this thread was stuck waiting for the background music to stop, which it never did, because the lit-Jackpot music was started after the ball had already drained.

Thus, I had nailed the bug. To fix it, I cleared the WAIT flag of the Jackpot-flasher thread. Completely trivial.

[Note: The description above describes the way I eventually diagnosed the bug. This took maybe 25% of the time I spent on the problem. The remaining 75% were false starts and other mistakes.]

#250 4 months ago

Wowza...buddy you are putting in the effort. Thank you again for all this.

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