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Author Topic: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages  (Read 1825 times)

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TheShaner

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PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« on: October 01, 2012, 11:54:46 am »
Now that I am done, for the most part with the MAME Abduction cabinet, I have two more builds that I want to embark on.  The first is going to be this Virtual Pinball Machine.  My Cyclone is lonely and needs a partner.

Overall plan:

Theme
PinHead - Red and Black cabinet with Hellraiser accents.  Time to give the kiddos some nightmares!



The Cabinet
The plan originally was to buy a Williams pinball cabinet that was gutted and work my parts and what not into it.  The more I think about it though, the more I am convinced that I will need to build this myself.  Why not?  I would rather have something pristine as opposed to a cabinet that looks "pretty good".  So I will probably use my Cyclone as a starting point for measurements and move from there.  If you have seen my other thread, you know I am an LED junky, I anticipate lots of red coming off of this one.

Guts
Still working on the measurements, but obviously we are looking at two LCD monitors and a big TV.  The computer doesnt have to be too awesome, so I might upgrade my MAME cabinet's PC and use the old one inside the Pinball cabinet.  The question is going to be how far do I take this to make it feel like a real pinball machine.  On the high end, Chris77's Big Bang is the best implementation I have seen.   Im not sure that I will go that far, but I would like some motors to emulate the ball movements and lots lof external lights.  So it will be somewhere in the middle probably.

So I'll start working on some mockups and the artwork here shortly...

« Last Edit: October 01, 2012, 12:05:17 pm by TheShaner »

PL1

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 01:26:56 pm »
Still working on the measurements, but obviously we are looking at two LCD monitors and a big TV. 
By this, I assume the big TV is the main playfield (a 46" 16:9 is close to 1:1 for widebody tables IIRC) and the two monitors are the backglass and DMD.

The computer doesnt have to be too awesome, so I might upgrade my MAME cabinet's PC and use the old one inside the Pinball cabinet. 
Umm, you might want a little more horsepower for this than for a typical MAME setup to avoid stutter during high-speed multiball and maintain a high framerate.

I would like some motors to emulate the ball movements

What?   :dunno

  Several other items to consider for this build:

Nudge mechanism

Plunger mechanism and ball launch button

Number of flippers (2 or 4) - L, R, L Upper Flippers/Magnasave (wired together), R Upper Flippers/Magnasave (wired together)


Scott

TheShaner

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2012, 03:16:38 pm »
By this, I assume the big TV is the main playfield (a 46" 16:9 is close to 1:1 for widebody tables IIRC) and the two monitors are the backglass and DMD.

Yup.  It will be around that size.  I thought the overall size was closer to 42", but the bigger the better.

Umm, you might want a little more horsepower for this than for a typical MAME setup to avoid stutter during high-speed multiball and maintain a high framerate.

Cool, I didnt think it needed that much horsepower, but that's cool.  I will research further.  Cant have the action stuttering.

What?   :dunno

  Several other items to consider for this build:

Nudge mechanism

Plunger mechanism and ball launch button

Number of flippers (2 or 4) - L, R, L Upper Flippers/Magnasave (wired together), R Upper Flippers/Magnasave (wired together)

Yes, the nudge mechanism ... I had forgotten the terminology for this part of it.  It's been a little time since I initially did my research.  I believe that Chris77 actually incorporated other motors in his as well, but I will need to go through that thread again.  It's been a while.

Thanks for the input!

Nephasth

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2012, 03:31:21 pm »
Yes, the nudge mechanism ... I had forgotten the terminology for this part of it.  It's been a little time since I initially did my research.  I believe that Chris77 actually incorporated other motors in his as well, but I will need to go through that thread again.  It's been a while.

If you haven't yet, take a look into mercury switches for nudging.

TheShaner

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 03:43:54 pm »
I would like some motors to emulate the ball movements

What?   :dunno

This is what I was referring to... A shaker motor for some of the games that rumble the box.  I know it can be used for haptic type bumps too, like the ball hitting the bumpers, etc...
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,98252.msg1134647.html#msg1134647

PL1

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 04:01:56 pm »
This is what I was referring to... A shaker motor for some of the games that rumble the box.  I know it can be used for haptic type bumps too, like the ball hitting the bumpers, etc...
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,98252.msg1134647.html#msg1134647

Found the shaker motor just before you posted. 

The only down side I see is maybe accidently causing a nudge/tilt.


Scott

ViriiGuy

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2012, 06:35:54 pm »
Oh sweet! I can't wait to see this build!
I recently purchased a 1979 Williams Flash, with the intention of building a Pinball Cab, but it turned out to be in way too good of a shape. So I am repairing it, selling it and using the money to build an even better pinball cab :D

rockyrocket

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2012, 01:34:06 am »

menace

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2012, 06:52:14 am »
From someone who has done one--don't underestimate how much hardware you are going to have to come up with if you build one from scratch--legs, siderails, coin door, leg braces, lockdown bar etc.  Using a gutted one gives you all that and you can re-do the exterior or leave it slightly "weathered" for more authenticity. 

Also a 46" is nice but many games look TOO big when played at that size--its like watching a 4:3 sized TV show on a 16:9 TV--people get fatter and it just looks off..

.A fast video card is a must since this is a very graphics intensive program and using dual video cards for a 3 screen setup isn't that hard and yields great results.  Forget magnasave--unless you really like the small handfull of games where it was used

The digital plunger is nice Nanotech Mot-ion plunger seems to be the standard but don't order from them directly--they take forever.  Find a re-supplier on vpforums.org

Good luck--its a big build!  building a mame machine is easy (and cheap) compared to a virtual pin...
its better to not post and be thought a fool, then to whip out your keyboard and remove all doubt...

MTPPC

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2012, 11:13:27 pm »
Yes, the nudge mechanism ... I had forgotten the terminology for this part of it.  It's been a little time since I initially did my research.  I believe that Chris77 actually incorporated other motors in his as well, but I will need to go through that thread again.  It's been a while.

If you haven't yet, take a look into mercury switches for nudging.
I tried mercury switches and didn't like them. You can' control the duration of the switch press and that's what controls how hard the nudge is. I ended up using switches for the left and right nudge buttons and a mercury switch for up nudge. I am unable to enact a bang back save because of the mercury switch.

Nudging is a MAJOR MAJOR weakness in virtual pinball because when you get good at it (with buttons of course), it almost feels like cheating. If you use mercury switches or a nudge-bob, it's too hard to stay alive. I think the joystick hack might be the best solution. I also saw where people put switches under the lockbar and used it to physically nudge.

Nephasth

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2012, 11:19:27 pm »
[I tried mercury switches and didn't like them. You can' control the duration of the switch press and that's what controls how hard the nudge is. I ended up using switches for the left and right nudge buttons and a mercury switch for up nudge. I am unable to enact a bang back save because of the mercury switch.

Nudging is a MAJOR MAJOR weakness in virtual pinball because when you get good at it (with buttons of course), it almost feels like cheating. If you use mercury switches or a nudge-bob, it's too hard to stay alive. I think the joystick hack might be the best solution. I also saw where people put switches under the lockbar and used it to physically nudge.

I haven't messed with any of the virtual pin stuff, but can you set up different switches for different strength nudges instead of having it as a duration a switch is made? If you could, what are your thoughts on setting up multiple mercury switches set at progressively steeper angles giving you a soft, medium, and hard nudge switch for each side?

MTPPC

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2012, 11:21:13 pm »
From someone who has done one--don't underestimate how much hardware you are going to have to come up with if you build one from scratch--legs, siderails, coin door, leg braces, lockdown bar etc.  Using a gutted one gives you all that and you can re-do the exterior or leave it slightly "weathered" for more authenticity.
I call it a patina and can vouch for the savings. My machine was a legless shell for $20. I got legs for about $28 on a lucky ebay auction and ended up spending around a grand on a pretty nice simulator with no force feedback. Here's my build thread: http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=121653.0


wol-nz

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2012, 11:48:09 pm »
great another pinball machine for me to dream about ~if only i had one...

Look forward to seeing every detail.
My art is always free for you to download and modify as you see fit...
Why?... because I could never find any art I loved on the net. So I played around with Photoshop and wish to share it with the arcade community.

PL1

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 07:53:54 am »
I haven't messed with any of the virtual pin stuff, but can you set up different switches for different strength nudges instead of having it as a duration a switch is made? If you could, what are your thoughts on setting up multiple mercury switches set at progressively steeper angles giving you a soft, medium, and hard nudge switch for each side?
There might be a way to do this without having to rewrite scripts, etc.

"Z" is left nudge in VP/FP.

If you can get an encoder to output "Z" for the first switch, "ZZ" for the second and "ZZZ" for the third, you can get 1, 3 (1+2), or 6 (1+2+3) Z's.

I'm working on an experimental nudge circuit.  I may try to incorporate a variant of the 3 switch idea.   :cheers:

You can' control the duration of the switch press and that's what controls how hard the nudge is.

Not sure how MTPPC is getting longer press = harder nudge.  The only nudge setting I can find in VP/FP is the button assigned.  Default is 1 button press = 1 "unit" of nudge, no matter how long you press for.  I think you can adjust the strength of that nudge "unit" and the number of "units" in a given time to tilt by editing the script, but I haven't played around with scripts very much.

Realistic analog nudging is VP's Holy Grail -- and appears to be just as elusive.  :banghead:


Scott

Nephasth

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 09:46:11 am »
If you can get an encoder to output "Z" for the first switch, "ZZ" for the second and "ZZZ" for the third, you can get 1, 3 (1+2), or 6 (1+2+3) Z's.

Xpadder can do that.
Quote
Xpadder can:
- assign a key, combination or sequence to any accessible controller button, trigger, stick direction or dpad direction

ChadTower

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 09:51:20 am »
I tried mercury switches and didn't like them. You can' control the duration of the switch press and that's what controls how hard the nudge is. I ended up using switches for the left and right nudge buttons and a mercury switch for up nudge. I am unable to enact a bang back save because of the mercury switch.


Heh.  If you are seen using bangbacks in an arcade the op might throw you out.  They are banned in any pinball competition.  I'm not saying don't do it on your own machines, of course, but it's not a skill you can take to other peoples' games.


Quote
Nudging is a MAJOR MAJOR weakness in virtual pinball because when you get good at it (with buttons of course), it almost feels like cheating. If you use mercury switches or a nudge-bob, it's too hard to stay alive. I think the joystick hack might be the best solution. I also saw where people put switches under the lockbar and used it to physically nudge.

Atari's Video Pinball uses switches under the control panel to nudge.  The panel is on a bit of a hinge and you press it downwards.  I am surprised I haven't seen anyone use Pinball 2000 flipper buttons for nudging.

rockyrocket

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 11:26:38 am »
Quote
I am surprised I haven't seen anyone use Pinball 2000 flipper buttons for nudging.
Man if you know of a source I will fit them tomorrow, lots of people swear by using a sidewinder pad and a custom build of VP and corevbs for analogue nudging.
I personally have mercury switches and second side buttons and have to say I now just use the buttons - but i do have a sidewinder to install when i feel like it.
http://www.hyperspin-fe.com/forum/showthread.php?14739-Nudging-options

ChadTower

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 02:43:28 pm »

Hrm... well, Marcos has the two buttons.  I can't find the rest of the assembly, though.  I could look it up in my RFM manual when I get home if you want and see if it can be found by part number.

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 04:03:46 pm »
Subscribed!!! Now let the cool ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- begin.

Could you use pressure sensitive switches for nudging????
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 04:13:01 pm by griffindodd »

spoot

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Re: PinHead - Virtual Pinball Machine - Planning Stages
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 04:28:17 pm »
I hope boot up sounds are like the following:

There is a secret song at the center of the world, Joey, and its sound is like razors through flesh.

I'm here to turn up the volume.

  
 

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