(Topic ID: 98847)

'Storm Blasters' - The Journey to Create New Software & Hardware for Whirlwind

By applejuice

8 years ago


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  • 428 posts
  • 113 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by applejuice
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There are 428 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 9.
#251 1 year ago

Lol. Been 5 years in the making. Probably gonna be a few more months before we get a good "it's in production" confirmation on this. look back in this thread, I was foaming at the mouth myself. I've now reached a kinda zen mindset. It'll happen. Just give it time. Woosah

1 week later
16
#252 1 year ago

Back at it 2021! New tornado target graphic. Gonna animate it so the text flies in from left & right. Pretty pleased with how it looks though This is the animation you will get when dropping the upper single drop target.

Screen Shot 2021-01-14 at 15.27.18 (resized).png

#253 1 year ago

ohhh, that's very nice!

#254 1 year ago

Oh, that is *sick*! Effin a!

So if it's tied to the target, are you counting "stages" of growth?

Storm nerds would love if it were tied to the Fujita scale....And, taking that a step further, there are 6 progressive inserts in the target lane, which would fit the Fujita scale nicely! Even all the way to escaping/redirecting/targeting/surving an EF-5 (or 6) for Extra Ball!

#255 1 year ago

Well if we are going that far: throw in a Paxton/twister reference too... That would be sick. Game over man.

#256 1 year ago
Quoted from lurch:

Well if we are going that far: throw in a Paxton/twister reference too... That would be sick. Game over man.

I get the sentiment, but Sega already made a Twister pin. I'd rather Whirlwind stay OG "Independent" if ya dig.

#257 1 year ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

I get the sentiment, but Sega already made a Twister pin. I'd rather Whirlwind stay OG "Independent" if ya dig.

I get ya, but if he isn't going to do this setup for a Twister, what's the harm? It would be a great 90s reference for everyone. Heck TZ has a lot of callous that reference other games... Now that I think about it, how about making it an Easter egg?

Mat

#258 1 year ago

I am still waiting for my invitation to become a beta-tester !

Still ... great work !

#259 1 year ago
Quoted from TomDK:

I am still waiting for my invitation to become a beta-tester !
Still ... great work !

+1

#260 1 year ago

So new code with a DMD for Whirlwind? where have I been? this is amazing news.

#261 1 year ago
Quoted from woody76:

So new code with a DMD for Whirlwind? where have I been? this is amazing news.

Either way, you're here now! Super excited for this project. Nice to meet another Nashvillian with a Whirlwind! Picked mine up from a friend in Old Hickory only a couple months after the tornado hit and have been playing non-stop. I get the itch now and then to flip it for something newer, but I know I'd regret it once I saw the finished update.

#262 1 year ago
Quoted from caseywreed:

Either way, you're here now! Super excited for this project. Nice to meet another Nashvillian with a Whirlwind! Picked mine up from a friend in Old Hickory only a couple months after the tornado hit and have been playing non-stop. I get the itch now and then to flip it for something newer, but I know I'd regret it once I saw the finished update.

Awesome. Yes, I know your friend in Old Hickory. He is a good dude. Whirlwind is a fantastic game and always thought it needed a DMD.

#263 1 year ago

and the ball saver will be fantastic as that is one of my big issues with this one.

1 week later
#265 1 year ago

When we get to the point of beta testing I will let everyone know!

#267 1 year ago

+4

#270 1 year ago

+6

#271 1 year ago

+7

#272 1 year ago

-7
+1

#273 1 year ago

Wow am inlate to the party here. Just saw your project today. This is amazing. Are you planning to ever make a kit for public sale? I suppose you'd have to deal with Big Rick Bartlett then though.....

Really amazing work!!

#274 1 year ago
Quoted from pinghetto:

Are you planning to ever make a kit for public sale?

Yes

1 month later
16
#275 1 year ago

Some updates.

First up, some info regarding the continued development of the hardware controller board. This is the other main part of this project and something that is as important as the software and dmd graphics if not more important. A reliable and sturdy hardware platform is super important and is something i've been working on in the background fro multiple years. The indy rewrite project also uses the technology. Recently over the last few months i have been refining the board layout, fixing bugs and also improving some aspects of the firmware on it. This is also super important.

I have today, just completed version v0.3 of the firmware and fixed the last major bug i think. This update is also going to be rolled forward into the indy board firmware to improve that board to.

Here is the latest layout of the v0.2 proto boards. Some layout positions needed to be moved to allow better alignment with existing cable lengths and also i needed to adjust the mount hole positions alittle. A few tweaks here and there were also done with some part solder pads and a mistake with 2 lamp columns being reversed was fixed.

fullsizeoutput_12d3 (resized).jpeg

And so on to something rather exciting, the first full game play video. Multiple games played here, hopefully give you a flavour of hoe the game is looking with the graphics, sounds, rules in etc. Video is 17 minutes long and i played (badly) a number of times to get the first multiball started. I managed to show a fair amount of variety i think inc the new combos on the right ramp/loop, storm chase direction collection, tornado grows, skyway, cellar awards, drop target sweep, multiball lock, multiball start, quick multiball start and play, bonus count up, game start, game end, attract mode etc

Hope you like it.

#276 1 year ago

Still watching the 17 minute video! Looking forward to this project coming to an end. I’ll be your first customer!

#277 1 year ago

OMG. You tease so much! I sooooooo cant wait for this. My soldering iron and CNC are standing by

#278 1 year ago

Absolutely amazing

#279 1 year ago

FANTASTIC!

Looked stable through multiple scenarios - that's great and no small, necessary accomplishment - you should be right proud!

I couldn't help but notice some ticks with the audio, like doubled-up / echo-ey sounds and some off-sequence timings or lag. Didn't affect gameplay, but still noticeable to whirlwind fanatics. I'm sure this is v.01 bugs at this point. Anything you can share on how those happen / can be fixed?

Will users be able to develop / add their own graphics? I could think of a few I'd like to see... but your foundation is awesome and I know you're busy!

LOVE the ball save, and additional feature champ add-ins! Can't wait to find the "hidden prizes"

#280 1 year ago

Thanks for posting these updates -- really next to witness !!!

PS: You have unsightly flipper hop. Somebody ship this man a set of Cliffys!

-mof

#281 1 year ago

Is it purposeful to not have the 3-drop targets bank reset from ball-to-ball, or between locking balls? It does FUBAR the Skill Shot quite a bit...is that by design?

#282 1 year ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

FANTASTIC!
Looked stable through multiple scenarios - that's great and no small, necessary accomplishment - you should be right proud!
I couldn't help but notice some ticks with the audio, like doubled-up / echo-ey sounds and some off-sequence timings or lag. Didn't affect gameplay, but still noticeable to whirlwind fanatics. I'm sure this is v.01 bugs at this point. Anything you can share on how those happen / can be fixed?
Will users be able to develop / add their own graphics? I could think of a few I'd like to see... but your foundation is awesome and I know you're busy!
LOVE the ball save, and additional feature champ add-ins! Can't wait to find the "hidden prizes"

The idea of this thread is to share the progress as i go, a no holes barred access, so much of this stuff would normally be internal only, but its a journey thread so i share everything un edited. Yes there are a few double sound activations to sort out and this is all just work in progress so nothing is final or complete.

There won't be a ways to add extra graphics yourself. Its complex enough to rewrite a game from scratch and create and entire dmd library on your own, but if you have suggestions for extras, or know people who can create animations then let me know. We have a good set of graphics now that works as a base and will add to it as we go.

The next stage is going to be get some control boards and displays made for early adopters and beta testers to try out. This is where i will get much more feedback on the game rules etc. There are going to be bugs to fix and rule nuances to improve.

#283 1 year ago
Quoted from boagman:

Is it purposeful to not have the 3-drop targets bank reset from ball-to-ball, or between locking balls? It does FUBAR the Skill Shot quite a bit...is that by design?

Just a bug or mistake in the rules , nothing more. As above, this is just work in progress and the game was rewritten from scratch so things will need to be tweaked/improved. As i get people with the game running the update i will start to get more feedback hopefully on some of the minor things that need tweaking/fixing, but also as i post more videos and you spot something i haven't shout up no problem.

#284 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

Just a bug or mistake in the rules , nothing more. As above, this is just work in progress and the game was rewritten from scratch so things will need to be tweaked/improved. As i get people with the game running the update i will start to get more feedback hopefully on some of the minor things that need tweaking/fixing.

Understood...that's why it was merely a question/observation. I know it's a work in progress.

#285 1 year ago

So bloody exciting!!!

I'm about to start restoring my Whirlwind and I'm possibly preempting things, but can you offer/suggest any changes/mods I make in preparation of Whirlwind 2.0 while it's fully stripped?

#286 1 year ago
Quoted from Flynnyfalcon:

So bloody exciting!!!
I'm about to start restoring my Whirlwind and I'm possibly preempting things, but can you offer/suggest any changes/mods I make in preparation of Whirlwind 2.0 while it's fully stripped?

The main thing for a restoration is all new standup targets i think and ramp rollover switches.

The other mech that is an addition for the rewrite is an auto launcher mech. If you look back at my posts you will see its a std stern autolauncher mech with williams 23-800 coil, so thats something that you will need to buy to.

On the speaker panel front, i am still deciding what to do kits wise. I am thinking at the moment of just supplying the rgb led panel and you can source a wpc wood panel yourself from doctor who era, as that has the same lamp cutouts on the bottom (7). I may look to get some blanks made if anyone is interested in helping with this. I also have to get a speaker cover plastic remade as the same as the original but to fit a wpc speaker panel and the dmd opening. I do have a lead for this, but any other suggestions welcome.

#287 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

The idea of this thread is to share the progress as i go, a no holes barred access, so much of this stuff would normally be internal only, but its a journey thread so i share everything un edited. Yes there are a few [things] to sort out and this is all just work in progress so nothing is final or complete...

Understood and I assumed as much... just really excited to see the developments and interested in anything you can share about the process, warts and all. I hope my observations came over constructively, I know projects like this are massive and always have unexpected bugs and "shoulda been simple or not a problem at all yet here it is, arrgh" things to work out, and over again. When you're ready to invite other folks to help beta test please do keep me in mind!

As for animations, I'm competent at static graphics and have dabbled a time or two with custom animated gifs and bitmaps in limited palettes and the like, so I get the concepts... and I'd be willing to help, but would need toolsets for the platform. Figure you're busy enough without having to weed through someone else's nitpicky animation prefs and descriptions But again, if I can help directly let me know. Otherwise, carry on!

#288 1 year ago

What are you planning on doing for releasing it? Planning on only selling kits or doing an open source(ish) DIY style also?

Personally, seeing as you are not in the states, where probably the majority of your buyers are going to be, I would be trying to keep the weight down as much as possible for shipping. I have no idea what a speaker panel costs to ship, but even from inside the US its not going to be cheap. I have a CNC I built that I can make my own on, and I could probably make some for others as well. Like my first question though, not sure if you are looking to sell a premade solution or just release everything.

So excited for this though! Might have to take my whirlwind to MGC when everything is out

#289 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

The main thing for a restoration is all new standup targets i think and ramp rollover switches.
The other mech that is an addition for the rewrite is an auto launcher mech. If you look back at my posts you will see its a std stern autolauncher mech with williams 23-800 coil, so thats something that you will need to buy to.
On the speaker panel front, i am still deciding what to do kits wise. I am thinking at the moment of just supplying the rgb led panel and you can source a wpc wood panel yourself from doctor who era, as that has the same lamp cutouts on the bottom (7). I may look to get some blanks made if anyone is interested in helping with this. I also have to get a speaker cover plastic remade as the same as the original but to fit a wpc speaker panel and the dmd opening. I do have a lead for this, but any other suggestions welcome.

I could potentially help with CNC cut wood panels in the US, anyway (doubt it makes sense to ship these across oceans, likely can find someone to do them on each continent?).

—Donnie

#290 1 year ago
Quoted from BrewNinja:

What are you planning on doing for releasing it? Planning on only selling kits or doing an open source(ish) DIY style also?
Personally, seeing as you are not in the states, where probably the majority of your buyers are going to be, I would be trying to keep the weight down as much as possible for shipping. I have no idea what a speaker panel costs to ship, but even from inside the US its not going to be cheap. I have a CNC I built that I can make my own on, and I could probably make some for others as well. Like my first question though, not sure if you are looking to sell a premade solution or just release everything.
So excited for this though! Might have to take my whirlwind to MGC when everything is out

The kit will be new assembled controller pcb and rgb led panel as a minimum in the same way my indy kit is. The speaker panel wood, speakers, plastic cover and auto launcher i'm still thinking about the best options, but they may be optional items or ones you can just source yourself. There are quite a few wpc replacement panels about already to and its good that wpc ones fit perefectly. Its the extra holes for the 7 insert lights thats the hard part, so a doctor who one would work best etc.

#291 1 year ago

New video

A close up of the screen to show the animations/graphics/screens/fonts in better detail

#292 1 year ago

The traveling tornado is SICK and OMINOUS and I love it

The red pickup hauling a DOROTHY is a nice easter egg I mean, if it's not gonna be the van from the game... I could dig this. BUT maybe the van would be better for consistency with the actual theme.... yet you can let the truck show up occasionally, it would be a fun little "wait, did you see that!?" moment / reward

Oh and the fonts, colors and shading are excellent!

#293 1 year ago
Quoted from goingincirclez:

The traveling tornado is SICK and OMINOUS and I love it
The red pickup hauling a DOROTHY is a nice easter egg I mean, if it's not gonna be the van from the game... I could dig this. BUT maybe the van would be better for consistency with the actual theme.... yet you can let the truck show up occasionally, it would be a fun little "wait, did you see that!?" moment / reward
Oh and the fonts, colors and shading are excellent!

Yeah I definitely want to have some twister easter eggs/homages in there. (One of my favourite films.) It’s probably a good idea to make the skyway the van mostly and then throw in the Dorothy truck occasionally as you say.

#294 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

The kit will be new assembled controller pcb and rgb led panel as a minimum in the same way my indy kit is. The speaker panel wood, speakers, plastic cover and auto launcher i'm still thinking about the best options, but they may be optional items or ones you can just source yourself. There are quite a few wpc replacement panels about already to and its good that wpc ones fit perefectly. Its the extra holes for the 7 insert lights thats the hard part, so a doctor who one would work best etc.

Cool! Even fully assembled, thats ambitious! Totally get it though. Since the wood panel is pretty easy to come by one way or another, could always just transfer the holes from your current one, or have a template for the holes, so people know where to cut. Shouldnt be too hard. The only thing that is big/a pain is still going to be the speaker cover. There are a bunch of options for that as well though. Cant wait to get my hands on one

#295 1 year ago

Damn this is looking impressive! Kudos Apple!! The tornado in the background of the score is brilliant!!

I think it's been brought up before, but are you planning on having a selectable 2.0 mode and original mode? As much as I love what you're doing, keeping the original Whirlwind code on such a classic pin as a option is a huge tick. If so, is replicating the Alphanumeric display a possibility?

#296 1 year ago
Quoted from Flynnyfalcon:

Damn this is looking impressive! Kudos Apple!! The tornado in the background of the score is brilliant!!
I think it's been brought up before, but are you planning on having a selectable 2.0 mode and original mode? As much as I love what you're doing, keeping the original Whirlwind code on such a classic pin as a option is a huge tick. If so, is replicating the Alphanumeric display a possibility?

No, it’s just my new version. The hardware is geared towards that . Trying to run emulated original code just adds all sorts of unnecessary headaches and costs

If you want to run the original game use your original hardware

#297 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

No, it’s just my new version. The hardware is geared towards that . Trying to run emulated original code just adds all sorts of unnecessary headaches and costs
If you want to run the original game use your original hardware

I won't lie, I was hoping for a mode selection to go between the two versions. But it's also not my project

#298 1 year ago

Storm Chaser Van!

Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 22.24.35 (resized).png

#299 1 year ago

The truck could show up when you get to 100 tolls. as a bonus of some sort for making it that far. Looks great and glad to hear the original audio. What is that thumping sound during the wait to lock music... is that your fan pulsing?

#300 1 year ago
Quoted from yaksplat:

I won't lie, I was hoping for a mode selection to go between the two versions. But it's also not my project

Me too and would pay a handsome price but I'll probably modify it either way when it's ready.like you said not my project and I'm sure some legalities as well.

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