(Topic ID: 73161)

Wish List of Bugs In WMS/BLY WPC/WPC95 Code to Fix?


By PPS

5 years ago



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There are 267 posts in this topic. You are on page 5 of 6.
#201 4 years ago
Quoted from meSz:

You realize that update is from 9 months ago?

- yea, and I missed it then. :p

#202 4 years ago
Quoted from aobrien5:

It's also contrary to every other game out there. When a single danger can cost you 100m in bonus, it's gotta go!

Very true but i enjoy little things like that.
I understand it is unbalanced but I always enjoyed it in league.
Everyone knows it happens where i play so it's an extra challenge to remember not to nudge that sucker with lightnin flippers.
Is it worth risking your bonus to keep a ball in play?
I agree it's flawed but I have accepted it as a part of playing that game.

I also disagree with ball savers on older b/w games unless it is a blatant drain from a scoop or something
(Funhouse I'm talking to you)
I love the brutality of quick drains.

#203 4 years ago
Quoted from renodakota:

(Funhouse I'm talking to you)

+1

Quoted from renodakota:

Everyone knows it happens where i play so it's an extra challenge to remember not to nudge that sucker with lightnin flippers.

Would be especially brutal if someone didn't know about the bug, so I'll give you there's extra skill required as long as it's an even playing field.

#204 4 years ago

All of my BSD grievances have already been listed in this thread, but one thing I did not see mentioned is patches to eliminate ghosting when using LEDs. Some games have the fix available (TZ for sure). Some do not (BSD).

Just to recap all of the BSD bugs:

- tilt warning causes loss of bonus
- premature end of turn during multiball, when at least one ball is still in play
- video mode starting during multiball (should not even be able to start it when mist has just been activated but not actually started yet)
- tournament mode mystery awards much larger and more varied than non-tournament mode, the opposite of what is desired

I have also seen a ball save to end of turn, where it says it is giving me a ball save, but no ball is actually kicked into the shooter lane and it ends my turn after a short delay.

#205 4 years ago
Quoted from jalpert:

An MM type skillshot would be neat. Hold down the left flipper, shoot. Ball goes around the orbit to the left flipper to shoot a ramp or something.

Great idea - then you have to shoot the right ramp for an award, and further, onto the POA for additional awards.

1 week later
#206 4 years ago

Sorry for more necro on this, but a couple of other BSD wishes:

- Ball save for the asylum and altar kickouts. Really annoying to lose the ball after video mode or Renfield.
- either video mode should be disabled while bats/rats are running, or they should stop counting down until video mode is over. Either way, it is quite annoying to get video mode when you almost have one of them completed.
- The recently discovered: autoplunge briefly shuts off right flipper bug.

1 month later
#207 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Suggestions for theatre of magic:
- poof target enables 5 sec ball saver
- fix trunk thinking its broken and shutting itself off when a trunk test fixes it.
- ball saver if magnet save fails
- multiball wizard mode would be nice
- integration of home rom features like tiger saw
- perhaps you could sell a poof upgrade kit that includes the champ pub center post.

These are much needed! Rick, please let us know what to do to get it!! If I had access to the code software I would help! Oh and yes I realize this thread is old...

#208 4 years ago

Any movement on this initiative? Have any updates been made?

#209 4 years ago

I'm curious as well ...

#210 4 years ago
Quoted from Spraynard:

Any movement on this initiative? Have any updates been made?

Quoted from fosaisu:

I'm curious as well ...

I had put a post up on PPS' forum about this in hopes that Rick would address it since it was on his forum but to no avail. Someone else did respond advising that this was being handle by FAST Pinball but their site has a last update from Nov 2014.

http://blog.fastpinball.com/planetary-pinball-fast-pinball-announce-wpc-2-0/

#211 4 years ago

Back to the funding question - seems like PPS could generate some good will by using whatever the BOM cost would have been for 2000 coin mechs that were paid for by customers but not included in the games as seed money for the required programming resource.

#212 4 years ago

There are people with the expertise to do the software development work, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them would be willing to do it at no cost; in other words, WPC game software updates that don't require spending several hundred dollars on "v2" hardware. If there are such concerns about theft of IP/DRM it would be relatively simple to use an outboard dongle board that piggybacks onto one of the outputs of the WPC CPU; but the low-tech method of sticking a serial number in the ROM image should suffice to track down anyone who freely distributes the updated software. Unfortunately, this approach doesn't put sufficient bucks in the coffers so it was never seriously considered.

#213 4 years ago

This thread is a year old.Any update from PPS when we will be seeing some new and improved ROM sets for games?

#214 4 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

Back to the funding question - seems like PPS could generate some good will by using whatever the BOM cost would have been for 2000 coin mechs that were paid for by customers but not included in the games as seed money for the required programming resource.

For f*@#k's sake, jfh, enough with the coin mechs! I seriously doubt that continuously tweaking Rick about this in every possible venue is going to lead to any positive result.

#215 4 years ago
Quoted from jadziedzic:

There are people with the expertise to do the software development work, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of them would be willing to do it at no cost; in other words, WPC game software updates that don't require spending several hundred dollars on "v2" hardware. If there are such concerns about theft of IP/DRM it would be relatively simple to use an outboard dongle board that piggybacks onto one of the outputs of the WPC CPU; but the low-tech method of sticking a serial number in the ROM image should suffice to track down anyone who freely distributes the updated software. Unfortunately, this approach doesn't put sufficient bucks in the coffers so it was never seriously considered.

Programmer by trade and would be willing to do such work for free if I owned the machine. It beats the loopholes you have to jump through to edit DE since no code is available. Would be nice to fix some games that have well known dealbreakers.

#216 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

For f*@#k's sake, jfh, enough with the coin mechs! I seriously doubt that continuously tweaking Rick about this in every possible venue is going to lead to any positive result.

Wasn't intended as a tweak. Things are different now than when Rick said that PPS needed some seed money a year ago. Whatever you think of coin-mech-gate, PPS ended up with some revenue for nothing. Why not use that as seed money for the code update project?

#217 4 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

Wasn't intended as a tweak. Things are different now than when Rick said that PPS needed some seed money a year ago. Whatever you think of coin-mech-gate, PPS ended up with some revenue for nothing. Why not use that as seed money for the code update project?

Rick never said they cut the coin mechs to gather "seed money" -- in fact his line all along was that PPS had the money to fully fund MMr and was just taking $1k deposits to confirm buyer seriousness.

I agree it'd be great if PPS would assume the (probably minimal, especially if volunteer coding labor is forthcoming) cost of making code updates. But it makes zero sense to me to link that to the coin mechs (or any other beef you have with the BOM on MMr) unless you're trying to piss Rick off.

#218 4 years ago

Well, we can all wait around until "they" figure out how to 1) fix the bugs, 2) make money doing it, and 3) have a sufficient level of DRM so that it can't be shared (meaning, the solution you're waiting for will likely have a hardware tie-in)...

or...

We can do what other software developers on this thread have already recommended: 1) use a public defect reporting repository to record the issues we'd like fixed, and 2) let those who enjoy this sort of work fix them in their spare time.

You're more likely to get your fix via the latter, I'm predicting. In fact, I'll provide the fixes for W?D and Fish Tales as soon as they are reported in the repository.

#219 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Rick never said they cut the coin mechs to gather "seed money" -- in fact his line all along was that PPS had the money to fully fund MMr and was just taking $1k deposits to confirm buyer seriousness.

You aren't getting it. I'm not talking about seed money for MMR. I'm talking about seed money for the code update project.

Before Rick collected extra $ from MMR buyers for coin mechs that were part of a BOM for an $8k game, he wanted a way to fund/seed the software project. Rick got "money for nothing" from MMR buyers. I'm saying use that money to seed the software project to demonstrate good will rather than still looking for seed money (if that is still the case - We don't know if PPS is even working on this project anymore).

#220 4 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

You aren't getting it. I'm not talking about seed money for MMR. I'm talking about seed money for the code update project.

Plainly I misunderstood your "seed money" reference! But other than your long-running concern with the coin mechs, I still don't see why you'd bring the "profit" from omitted coin mechs into play here as opposed to, say, the profit PPS makes on any of its other projects, which could just as easily be earmarked to cover new code if Rick so chose. Neither have anything to do with the new code.

Quoted from jfh:

Before Rick collected extra $ from MMR buyers for coin mechs that were part of a BOM for an $8k game, he wanted a way to fund/seed the software project. Rick got "money for nothing" from MMR buyers. I'm saying use that money to seed the software project to demonstrate good will rather than still looking for seed money (if that is still the case - We don't know if PPS is even working on this project anymore).

And I'll go out on a limb and guess that Rick doesn't share your assessment that he needs to "demonstrate good will" as a result of the coin mech issue. Especially given your history posting on this topic I don't think Rick is going to be so inspired reading more coin mech discussion that he decides to fund freely distributed code updates (and I say this as someone that's agreed with you in other threads that PPS mishandled the coin mech isssue).

With that I've posted more than enough on this topic so I'll shut up, and hope that PPS or a licensee still has plans to move forward on this project!

#221 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

I still don't see why you'd bring the "profit" from omitted coin mechs into play here as opposed to, say, the profit PPS makes on any of its other projects, which could just as easily be earmarked to cover new code if Rick so chose. Neither have anything to do with the new code

Yes, neither has anything to do with the new code. But it's obvious that you still don't get the point or see the optics.

Rick could have used some of "the profits PPS makes on any of its other projects" as you suggest a year ago WITHOUT coming here suggesting that PPS needed ADDITIONAL funding to seed the code project. He chose not to. He is entitled to use profits any way he sees fit. Fine.

Whatever money you attribute to coin mechs is different - that was money received/taken for no value received. Not "profit" (conceptually). Is Rick ever going to come out and say the seed money came from MMR buyers? Of course not. However you account for it or what you call it, PPS has already received the seed money for the code project and they should not come back at this point and ask for more.

But given the radio silence by PPS on this project both here and on their own forum, I'm guessing it's not happening anytime soon.

1 month later
#222 4 years ago

Do you know of Worms Armageddon? It's a old game (1999) that got its source code released to two selected people (a coder who hacked the multiplayer portion of the game and a worthy guy who demonstrated enough skills). Results: better game, played still today (without this patches the game refuses to play from Windows XP, patched plays all the way to Windows 8.1). They are doing it for free.

Why don't release the code to only a few worthy programmers? People who created great ROM just hacking the compiled assembly are good candidates (2.0H on CV, for example, or the new SW ROM).

Create a new branch (for example 9.5M or M-5) that states that nobody takes responsibility about damages on pinball machines and they are done.

Enforce people who had the code shared to
1) Not share tools and code to anyone
2) Release them only has a patch form, not complete file

Make it happen!

#223 4 years ago

Its been said before but worth repeating, Lots of TOM's out there and a time reset or trunk reset to allow the trunk to continue working without having to power cycle the machine to reset it is needed.

(The trunk sometimes gets hung up while turning with a solid ball strike)

#224 4 years ago
Quoted from cal50:

(The trunk sometimes gets hung up while turning with a solid ball strike)

This happened to my TOM today, yet again. So frustrating.

#225 4 years ago

So after 1 year, what has PPS patch?

4 months later
#226 4 years ago

Bump -- has anyone heard anything from PPS or Rick about progress on this project?

#227 4 years ago

Pressing start during Choose Wisely in IJ will start a new game in the background. Game must be reset to normal.

#228 4 years ago
Quoted from dantebean:

So after 1 year, what has PPS patch?

0.0

#229 4 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

AFM: sometimes bottom lane lights don't change when right (and probably left, but I'm not that coordinated) flipper button is pressed. So to move the unlit lane 3 to the right, I have to press 3 or 4 times (depending on whether or not the bug happens). Latest 1.13 ROM

I was wrong about this - there's no ROM bug. I assumed there was just one flipper input to the CPU (in which case this problem would have to be a software bug, since the flippers worked correctly), but apparently there are different optos for flipper and lane advance, and my lane advance opto was intermittent.

So if this "bug" is on anyone's list, please remove it....

#230 4 years ago

i don´t understand why Rick asked for a wish list and than there is ... nothing .

PPS should start a kickstarter campaign for each rom that has bugs and if the goal is reached, he will get his money and there is no need to worry about "pirated" copies.

everyone of the supporters has it in his own hands wether to share "his" rom or not.

#231 4 years ago

Because "Rick" never intended to do anything about it - boy, why is that so hard to see???

These machines all performed well for their intended purpose - - - as MONEY making machines.

Now we are collecting them - give up - they were never supposed to be perfect and they never will be.

All these clowns doing "immaculate" restorations, better than factory - please, take your hand off your TINY thing!!!!

#232 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinball_4_me:

Because "Rick" never intended to do anything about it - boy, why is that so hard to see???
These machines all performed well for their intended purpose - - - as MONEY making machines.
Now we are collecting them - give up - they were never supposed to be perfect and they never will be.
All these clowns doing "immaculate" restorations, better than factory - please, take your hand off your TINY thing!!!!

u mad bro?

#233 4 years ago

Nope - just being realistic but thanks for observing.

#234 4 years ago
Quoted from kyle5574:

Getaway ROM selection is always an issue since they all have bugs. ROM distributors and Pinside polls say that most people run L-2. A new L-2 modified to fix the multiball / Free Ride bug would make it an easy choice.

A few other L-2 bug fixes/suggestions:
1) Fix the "Secret Mania" Easter egg so starting it does not screw up the rest of the game.
2) Free Ride ball saves should not increase RPM. With default game settings, I once scored something like 77M (iirc) without touching a flipper - multiple free rides per ball started the supercharger mode.
3) Handling a faulty up/down ramp: The code knows if the ramp is stuck high and won't go down. If it's stuck up and LOCK is lit, have a loop from left orbit or upper flipper count as a LOCK. That way you could still get multiball even if the ramp is stuck.
4) I know this isn't a bug, but since you're in the code...see what you can do to improve the animations. For example, if you look through the existing L-2 ROM, there is already one awesome unused sequence where the girl asks for a ride and the driver coolly turns his head towards the player as if to say "oh yeah..." Play that occasionally! There's enough room in the ROM to make a lot of the graphic sequences cooler than just inverting the colors on the screen every few frames to generate "excitement". This was one of the earliest DMD designs (1992) - I think it could look a lot better if it was redone knowing what the programmers knew by 1998...

I'd pay good money for a ROM that did this, and there are a lot of Getaways out there...

#235 4 years ago

Getaway:

Supercharger score count is always out to lunch. It doesn't affect gameplay, but it's confusing for people. You might drain the ball immediately and it tells you you scored 10 mil. You might score 45 mil, and it tells you that you scored 673 mil, or some other crazy number. You might actually score 600 mil and it says 20 mil. Supercharger score is crazy pills for

TOM:

The loop counter / ramp value on the middle ramp gets lost when there are other things going on, eg: lighting letters for M-A-G-I-C. So the value for a loop could be increasing from 2 mil to 4 mil to 6 mil, and then the count resets because lighting the I took priority or something, and ramp value drops back to nothing instead of 8 mil.

#236 4 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

Free Ride ball saves should not increase RPM.

Yes, this is so easy to exploit once you figure out how the ball lands coming out of the right orbit. On my game you can often get three free launches and RPM increases if you time it right, then you can add on another few loops if your timing is good. Supercharger and Redline Mania aren't too far away if you are successful, and your game hasn't even really started yet. And if Free Ride is an award I just let it drain and relaunch to build up RPMs. Someone that is aware of this can really take advantage of it in tournament situations.

2 months later
#237 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

This has already been addressed in another thread and it's been clearly stated it isn't happening. So nothing to be gained by going down that route here.

I think the reason code hasn't been published more often in this industry and many others is that management, investors and accountants tend not to understand that publishing your code does not have to be the same as offering your code up for anyone to use for free and in an unlimited fashion on one of the many different open source licenses. They don't even have to publish it as such, they could simply offer it to people that wrote to them asking for it ... as many companies do.

You can publish some of the code, or full source, and still not offer it for either paid or free license. So if someone was stealing their code and using it in their commercial or non-fair-use, then they could still set their lawyers on them ... which is essentially the same situation as now - because if someone really wants to steal or use the code, they'll decompile it and do it anyway. All the current status quo of not publishing the code does is prevent the facilitation of community support and input. Especially on a lot of old machines, I'd imagine many of the bugs and undesirable code could be very easily fixed or improved if it was made available and easy to inspect.

Many hands make light work.

There really isn't much of a reasonable argument against it, not even for protectionism. The barriers to entry to the pinball industry are overwhelmingly in terms of the physical design, prototyping and manufacture of the tables .. not game code. It'd be nice if at some point in the future the various stake holders in the industry could get together and agree to publish game code .. particularly for products which are no longer being supported.

#238 3 years ago

Thinking about this more, surely the way to go would be the way the PC game industry allows and supports modding by the community.

Release an SDK or development environment and expose all the game scripting / hooks to sound and video. Then you don't have to publish any of the underlying code. Simply have a fair use policy, presumably stating for non-commercial use only (or subject to approval), and that the rights holders withold the right to use or license any mods.

The industry was kept on life support by hardware modding, hacking and repair, and continues to be hugely beneficial and not only condoned but encouraged by the table makers. Why should it be confined to physical things only? Post electro-mechanical tables are nothing without software.

For the WMS / Bally / Midway games, why not charge $50 a year per license for the SDK / software that you write or mod the game scripts in (and hook it to audio / video), so initial development cost can start being offset immediately. Then PPS / Chicago can benefit from all the work the community does in their remakes / reboots. They might find that lots of old games suddenly rise in value with squashed bugs and better modes or modal flow, and that can only be good news for their remakes.

Surely this would be a huge shot in the arm for the hobby?

#239 3 years ago

Exactly *why* would Williams care what happens to a product (the pinball machine) they've already abandoned? Exactly how do they benefit financially from doing *any* work to develop and support an SDK or a pluggable library or whatever that allows an end user to tweak or otherwise modify the game software? Your example of $50 per SDK license multiplied by all the people who might actually buy one is chump change to Williams, and would never offset the cost of software development to allow end-user access to the base game software or operating system.

Ignore Williams and consider Stern. Are they going to sell *more* $7,000+ pinball machines if they spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to enhance their game software and operating system to allow end users to plug in modifications? Maybe they'll sell a handful of extra games to the die-hard hobbyist, but I doubt it would ever cover the development costs incurred by Stern.

Consider JJP; since they started with a blank slate they could have developed such a capability, but if they did it hasn't been made available.

The PC game industry is an entirely different animal with different volumes and cost structures.

#240 3 years ago

i think its a great idea to "fix"the bugs.New game rules and shots are out of the question.just to fix bugs requires hours of work,in other words,$$$$$$,to get done.Cant even imagine how much to implement new rules inside a 20 year old code.

So after PPS pays programmer(s),how much do they sell a rom set for?100 bucks? 200 bucks?Guareenteed bitchfest if PPS charges 100 dollars or more for new rom set.

I hope its cost effective for PPS to do,cause I would love to see it.But ask yourself what you think a fair price would be for a new improved ROM set.

#241 3 years ago
Quoted from jadziedzic:

Exactly *why* would Williams care what happens to a product (the pinball machine) they've already abandoned? Exactly how do they benefit financially from doing *any* work to develop and support an SDK or a pluggable library or whatever that allows an end user to tweak or otherwise modify the game software? Your example of $50 per SDK license multiplied by all the people who might actually buy one is chump change to Williams, and would never offset the cost of software development to allow end-user access to the base game software or operating system.
Ignore Williams and consider Stern. Are they going to sell *more* $7,000+ pinball machines if they spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to enhance their game software and operating system to allow end users to plug in modifications? Maybe they'll sell a handful of extra games to the die-hard hobbyist, but I doubt it would ever cover the development costs incurred by Stern.
Consider JJP; since they started with a blank slate they could have developed such a capability, but if they did it hasn't been made available.
The PC game industry is an entirely different animal with different volumes and cost structures.

Where did I ever say WMS would develop it or that they should? They still own the IP, and hope to generate revenue from licensing it to PPS / Chicago. Abandoning it would be letting all and sundry use it for free and for whatever commercial or non-commercial purposes they liked.

$50 per year is simply an example of a model that could likely finance most of the cost of development in the medium term. Better would simply be a community project, where PPS didn't need to get involved, and WMS gave tacit or explicit approval to.

Yes, Stern definitely would, as would JJP. There's no reason why software mods can't be significantly bigger than hardware mods. Mods have added billions in value to PC gaming over the years. Hardware mods have added countless value to the pinball industry.

Your point being? Volumes are low and nominal margins (should be) are huge in pinball. Opposite in gaming for the most part. However the % of the community that would either contribute to or use mods or provide feedback in pinball is likely to be incomparably higher.

Also, as far as newer games are concerned, having help from the community in fixing stuff and having them providing new ideas and paradigms would significantly lower the burden on Stern / JJP / Heighway etc. Just look at what's happened with WWE. Star Trek & TWD were an abject mess on release, KISS is quite ropey. It absolutely would be a good investment for Stern at least, given how many titles they're putting out and how apparently under-resourced their software teams are.

-1
#242 3 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

- This community is organized enough with enough motivated and talented coders that I think we'd get quality ROMs,

Really?For free?I guess Stern pinball is unaware of these talented and motivated coders.....who work for free.

-1
#243 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

how apparently under-resourced their software teams are.

yep

#244 3 years ago

Corvette could use an update as well.
You start "Catch me if you can" mode.
Then you can make a few shots, but not all.
Then the ball drains, mode ends and you will get no award for the shots you did make.

#245 3 years ago

What I would like to see is a change for F-14 Tomcat.
When it is set for "no extra balls" you will also get no Insurance ball.
In essence the ball save has been disabled.

#246 3 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

Really?For free?I guess Stern pinball is unaware of these talented and motivated coders.....who work for free.

Sounds like you're not familiar with linux, MythTV, or tens (hundreds?) of thousands of other software projects that people individually or collectively do for free. And how about Visual Pinball - who do you think created that and draws & codes all the playfields?

Motivation is usually:
- It's something they are passionate about so they make it and they want to share
- It's something they need so they make it and they want to share
- If you're a professional programmer, it's great to have some examples like this for your portfolio when looking for work.
- Probably lots of other reasons, I'm not a sociologist/psychiatrist.

To get even closer to exactly what I'm talking about, here's a personal example: I had a PC with an Asus K8N-E motherboard with on-board SATA ports. The SATA chip (Sil3114) (the hardware) supported 2TB drives, but the K8N-E BIOS used older SiI3114 firmware and would only support drives 1TB and smaller. So I read up on BIOS hacking and eventually was able to replace the original SiI3114 firmware in the BIOS with the latest version. It solved my problem and I made that BIOS available on the web for others to use. I still get 1-2 emails a year thanking me for doing it.

So you can bet that if the HS2 source code was made available with a compiler, I would not only fix the HS2 bugs I've brought up on this thread, I would look at adding features, enabling unused animations, improving the graphics (this was one of the earliest DMDs...they didn't have the time or experience to get all they could out of it), etc. And I would share my modified ROM image with anyone who wanted it.

And I guarantee you that someone would do the same for every popular (and probably most of the unpopular) pins out there.

So yes, there's a large, friendly coding community out there that loves doing this kind of thing and sharing.

-Fred

#247 3 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

Sounds like you're not familiar with linux, MythTV, or tens (hundreds?) of thousands of other software projects that people individually or collectively do for free. And how about Visual Pinball - who do you think created that and draws & codes all the playfields?
Motivation is usually:
- It's something they are passionate about so they make it and they want to share
- It's something they need so they make it and they want to share
- If you're a professional programmer, it's great to have some examples like this for your portfolio when looking for work.
- Probably lots of other reasons, I'm not a sociologist/psychiatrist.
To get even closer to exactly what I'm talking about, here's a personal example: I had a PC with an Asus K8N-E motherboard with on-board SATA ports. The SATA chip (Sil3114) (the hardware) supported 2TB drives, but the K8N-E BIOS used older SiI3114 firmware and would only support drives 1TB and smaller. So I read up on BIOS hacking and eventually was able to replace the original SiI3114 firmware in the BIOS with the latest version. It solved my problem and I made that BIOS available on the web for others to use. I still get 1-2 emails a year thanking me for doing it.
So you can bet that if the HS2 source code was made available with a compiler, I would not only fix the HS2 bugs I've brought up on this thread, I would look at adding features, enabling unused animations, improving the graphics (this was one of the earliest DMDs...they didn't have the time or experience to get all they could out of it), etc. And I would share my modified ROM image with anyone who wanted it.
And I guarantee you that someone would do the same for every popular (and probably most of the unpopular) pins out there.
So yes, there's a large, friendly coding community out there that loves doing this kind of thing and sharing.
-Fred

Fred,

You make some great points here. I actually work with several companies in the pinball industry designing everything from lower level OS/game framework code to higher level business applications that help them be successful. I understand Rick wanting to test the waters for "code updates" after the success seen by the DE Star Wars updates and Cactus Canyon. It makes sense to see who is interested because its actually a decent sized undertaking from the engineering side.

First you have to decide how you'll tackle these code updates. Do you do 2.0 versions (like Cactus Canyon), or do you modify the ROM image? Anyone who has actually had to deal with the APPLE system that ran pretty much every WPC title will tell you that, while it was great for working in 6809ASM, its a far cry from modern technology, and there is a bit of a learning curve. However the macros in the framework do make it bearable (Thanks Larry and Ted!).

Then actually getting the build chain running on a modern computer is a bit more extensive. WMS mostly used NT based systems back in the day along with several DOS tools for DMD animations.

The engineering side of it was really quite cool for the time, and it was a lot of fun working with these tools when I had the chance to tinker with them.

Being the geek that I am, I really hope that more people step up to the plate. We've got some really really smart pinhead engineers out there who often times create and contribute back to the community. In fact, much of the internet itself runs on open source software that came from community contributions similar to the ones we've seen in pinball.

I'll be watching these developments closely!

#248 3 years ago
Quoted from Compy:

First you have to decide how you'll tackle these code updates. Do you do 2.0 versions (like Cactus Canyon), or do you modify the ROM image?

I imagine (to the extent allowed by Rick) people would be working at both extremes. There'd be ROMs that were basically the same as the best original ROM + some fixes, and then there'd be other ROMs that might completely reimagine the game.

Anyone who has actually had to deal with the APPLE system that ran pretty much every WPC title will tell you that, while it was great for working in 6809ASM, its a far cry from modern technology, and there is a bit of a learning curve. Then actually getting the build chain running on a modern computer is a bit more extensive. WMS mostly used NT based systems back in the day along with several DOS tools for DMD animations.

Well I'm sure with all the emulators out there we could recreate the hardware environment (and hopefully automate passing data between emulators). I'm not a serious programmer. I think if I had the original source and recreated the original development platform, I might eventually be able to fix a few bugs and/or make a few minor tweaks. Anything beyond that would need a real programmer.

I'll be watching these developments closely!

I hope there are some developments to watch!

#249 3 years ago
Quoted from yonkiman:

I imagine (to the extent allowed by Rick) people would be working at both extremes. There'd be ROMs that were basically the same as the best original ROM + some fixes, and then there'd be other ROMs that might completely reimagine the game.

Well I'm sure with all the emulators out there we could recreate the hardware environment (and hopefully automate passing data between emulators). I'm not a serious programmer. I think if I had the original source and recreated the original development platform, I might eventually be able to fix a few bugs and/or make a few minor tweaks. Anything beyond that would need a real programmer.

I hope there are some developments to watch!

Indeed, the major wild card has always been duplicating the compilation environment (where you take the assembly and compile it down into a ROM image). WMS thankfully used an off the shelf 6800 compiler. Rick has stated that he'd managed to get one running, so thats a great thing.

If you want to get a good idea for how the original source code looked, take a look at some 6809 assembly code Compared to intel assembly, its a breeze. However, compared to higher level languages, it can read like Swahili. Its the APPLE macros that really gave the language its power, and thankfully the engineers were really really good at documenting the system a while back, so anything is possible

I remember modding the TAFG ROM to remove a some of the Cousin It Hideout awards to make the game play a bit more fair. I had to do it in hex, and it was a pain, but boy was it fun once it worked!

#250 3 years ago

For many of these games I would think generally small changes could improve the game. I'm thinking of Bad Cats and the jackpot shot worth up to 20 million. Changing point values shouldn't be such a big deal. However, to keep the plastics and backglass in line with scoring it would be great to see new rules integrated that made the player really work for those points and also made other things more lucrative to balance the game. That, however, would take major work. Just removing the random awards though would seem to be doable on a smaller scale.

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