Oh but that teaser absolutely says FEEL THE POWER! I can't wait!
By the way, for those who don't know, the "Skyway Toll" is a legitimate reference to the Chicago Skyway, which is a high bridge on I-94, over the industrial and shipping harbor. It's a catchy name but in a way it doesn't make sense for the game as it's on the east side of the city (heading toward Gary, Indiana) instead of west / en route to Kansas and Tornado Alley.
Anyway, the graphic is awesome! When the game was made the toll booths still had the catch basins for throwing coins into them
Cool deal, glad you liked the info. I grew up in Chicago so that little reference always makes me smile, even though I *hate* going over that bridge. Heading east, it looms rising from the bowels of hell... I literally had nightmares about that bridge before I ever first saw it in real life. But chasing tornadoes, sounds like fun to me!
So is this new board a requirement, or an option? I was curious what challenges you were facing to add DMD support to the original platform, but figured you were adding a subcontroller for the new displays and code sequences. Wasn't sure if the entire platform had to be replaced or not.
Not questioning your ability or decision, but it's important to note that replacing the MPU alone is $300-400 for proven options, so the cost of this upgrade just spiked way up.
Just one point of advice: Rottendog's System11 replacement has been found to have various inconsistent issues with sound reproduction on certain games... you might have to pay close attention to that.
That cellar looks amazing! You should "hide" a pinball machine in there somewhere. Or some other fun easter eggs
Lots of holes, yes, thankfully! But given the relative scarcity of thru-hole components for certain functions these days, I wouldn't begrudge if a few sm pads had to sneak in. Couldn't tell if it was "100% thruhole for sure" and didn't wan't to take for granted.
Fantastic - a true beacon of light in this abominable year! And therefore all I want for Christmas man, so get crackin'! (Just kidding. Maybe only a little. Haste v. waste and all that... but dang, that's impressive and surely worth the wait).
BTW are you still rocking an old IBM Aptiva (did they sell those there) at the bench? Haven't seen one of those in ages but it looks strangely familiar. Used to love me some locking drive-swap caddies back in the day... ah, the things we did before cheap flash memory.
That lettering looks fantastic! Did you basically have to develop your own font? I've done that before... it's amazing how tricky that gets, especially once you have to scale for size and kerning. But anyway, what you have there looks awesome!
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!
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"
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!
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!
The van in dots really looks incredible... so many nuances of detail right off the translite! Great work!!
Only possible way I could see to enhance it, is you could have the chaser/driver sticking his arm out flicking a coin (or a bird LOL) at the booth
But really that's only a "friendly suggestion"... what you already banged out there looks awesome
I'm down for Beta testing! I just hope the exchange rate doesn't make me regret it later (I know, being in the states with other cheap parts, I probably shouldn't complain, oops). But I do think the cost for a whole new Sys11 platform & DMD is competitive.
Will code / feature updates be easily applied via USB?
I have a Dr. Who as well, so I've got a template to source toward finished appearance. Might be fun to try to design an overlay, thinking like a storm chasing vehicle console...
Quoted from BrewNinja:
I am so in on the beta!
I also have a CNC and cut files that I cut out my other DMD games with (to make the backbox speakers the same size). All Id have to do is add the cutouts.
What is the RGB panel mounting situation? Is it the same as a normal DMD? I feel like the DMD panel itself is going to have to be shifted up a bit compared to a normal DMD game to accomodate the other cut outs. I could start playing with something if I know how it mounts.
There are some tricks to using color panels on say Dr. Who (and I think Addams Family) but nothing horrible. I was able to move the lamp board on my DrWho down, and the colorDMD up just a tad... easy to do and can't hardly tell anything was done. So hopefully, "worst case" here will be something similar.
I'm definitely down for a DIY kit. It would feel awesome to say I managed to "build" (if not design) a complete hardware system. And yeah, I'd really wondered if you were going to build all of these yourself when you've got better things to do!
I'd like to think I'm well qualified, having troubleshot, serviced, and rebuilt now dozens of various WMS6-thru-11, BLY/Stern -35, and GTB Sys80 and 3 boards - in some cases quite extensively.
While new assembly is definitely easier than troubleshooting and rework, to spare you some possible grief, I would try to discourage people who aren't well-versed and capable. You don't want to end up needlessly chasing issues that were caused by someone's mistake, or eating warranty costs. Especially if you're also hoping for them to complete the kits to begin play testing in some specific timeframe.
In saying that I realize / admit, maybe I'm not as fully-versed as I like to think I am sometimes. BUT... I'd still be very interested in this option! You should probably clarify the support / warranty / at-your-own-risk parameters a bit, though.
Hey so to anyone looking to buy these, I was about to commit the transaction yesterday and noticed some Paypal funny business with the exchange rate: something like an additional 5% on top of the (already low/unfavorable) dollar/pround conversion. Tried to see if my CC had better direct conversion and... one does not simply figure this out apparently. Go figure.
It may end up a wash after all but I hate "surprise" and "gotcha" fees like this. I've bought records and other stuff from europe and never had this pop up (or maybe it's because the transaction is so large here it's finally obvious). Anyone have experience with this?
I know, I know, our Euro pinballer friends have it worse so I shouldn't complain... it's just the "WTF?" surprise that made me balk momentarily... I'm personally committed either way.
Quoted from applejuice:
If it makes you feel any better i get charged fees on my invoices from PayPal to and its something i just have to take on the chin when running a business...
By offering these self build kits i've halved the cost for purchase with the exchange rate and you can source the remaining parts in your local country at better prices hopefully. If you don't want to buy in then its ok, there is no pressure.
Oh we get the PayPal grift stateside too... all kinds of horror stories and you're right, there's no such thing as a free ride. I've had to take my lumps selling online similarly! I just never noticed the currency exchange fee before. It wasn't a deal-breaking amount (20 quid) but its appearance made me go "huh?"
Anyway, I am indeed very grateful and excited for the more affordable and fun DIY option. And I'm paid up now, so cheers and I can't wait (but take your time, I'm not trying to rush greatness)...
Quoted from yaksplat:
I just realized that i need one of these.
My lead bends are never great.
Dammit all the stuff I order from Mouser and I never thought to look for one of those! OTOH it seems like something I've probably thrown away as scrap at one time or another...
I've been distracted by more pressing priorities and commitments the past couple months but I *finally* trolled through the BOM and ordered everything. Took a long time to cross-reference everything for number/qty/desc while building carts at suppliers that had this component but not that one... the chip shortage has apparently affected availability, as for example one of the transistors (the one using qty 40) was out of stock from 2 different suppliers with lead times quoted to 2022. And I had to troll for some other substitutions on caps, etc with worrying stock levels. So I know there aren't many of us, but I suggest anyone else dragging along on acquiring the parts better get to this sooner than later! Sadly I'm sure I missed something and won't realize it 'til build time comes so.
The BOM sure adds up quickly though... about $300 for parts for the PCB & display. And I still need to get a speaker/display panel. And the autolauncher. Phew!
Any updates on the code/features/etc in the last few weeks?
Quoted from applejuice:
If you are on the slack discussion group then there's plenty of chat/help on parts sourcing etc.
Shoot, the email I used to pay for the board is not one I typically monitor / email from so I forgot about the slack group invite you sent there. And I've never used Slack, ever. Guess I'm a slacker in a different way
Took me long enough to get started, but mine is finally working in the ranks. Just have to get the plastic media panel cover made.
The kit's definitely not for the unskilled or faint of heart - I'd guess about 1300 solder connections in all, and some very tiny and dense near very sensitive components. But it goes together well (provided you source everything properly) and I'm proud to say mine worked 100% first time no issues once I got it put together! The graphics look amazing in person and while it's very much a Beta code base with some random glitches, the game plays well and it's exciting to be a part of this. Can't wait to see how it comes along.
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