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Author Topic: Virtual Pin  (Read 968 times)

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Ian

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Virtual Pin
« on: October 23, 2017, 10:37:56 am »
Hey guys a local guy here in Wisconsin builds Virtual Pins for half the cost of some of the bigger guys out there. He has made about 20 of these things and I wanted to know what your thoughts are to Virtual Pins? Do any of you guys have one? Does it get a lot of play? The only real reason why I am considering this is because Pinball prices are crazy, and I really only have space for one machine (I actually don't have space but I will make some!), and I just don't have the $4k-$8k to spend on the real deal. And it seems I have good taste because the ones I want are going for those premium prices.

Just curious of your thoughts.

Oh the guy is going to charge me $2500 for the virtual pin. I just don't have the time to build this as I still have to get the Super Punchout finished and out the door... and come April my first kid will be here. I figure since I have the money and don't have the time this is where I am leaning towards.
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Mike A

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 11:36:04 am »
Does he have any specs, pics, a website? I might be interested myself. I like tinkering on old arcade machines. I really have no interest in building a virtual pinball machine. I am like you. I love pinball, but I don't love the pinball prices.

Malenko

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2017, 11:43:33 am »
Real pins dont cost 4-8k my 4 pins combined are under 4K (SF2, T2, Comet, Lethal Weapon 3); Super nice home use only highly desired pins and the latest releases, yeah they are pricey.

My vpin got enough play to justify the grand or so I have into it. Its likely you could make one for SIGNIFICANTLY less. That being said you KNOW you arent playing a real pin, and even the latest tables on the latest software still feel like video game pinball.   If you got the cheddar then go for it, but I'd at least have the guy let you play a few games on one of his completed pins first.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2017, 11:54:11 am »
I agree with Malenko (except he seems to be getting real pins a lot cheaper than me lol). Most of the production VPins Iíve seen and played look great but just suck when it comes to game play. Lag seems to be #1 and then just overall feel of it. Maybe consider buying a real pin for that price. Play the heck out of it until youíre bored then sell it or trade for a different one. Pins tend to hold their value.

pbj

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2017, 12:11:45 pm »
These are popping up on Chinese sites for about $1,500 plus shipping. 

I played a miniature one at the Houston show this weekend.  Virtual pinballs are still ---smurfing--- terrible. 

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 02:27:30 pm »
They aren't terrible, they just aren't real pinball.  I'm kind of 50/50 on it.  Virtual pinball can be fun, but not as fun as an arcade cabinet.... I wouldn't put a lot of money into them. 

For the record, the only three pins that ever held my attention more than just your average novelty were Star Trek TNG, Addams Family, and Twilight Zone.  Unfortunately I have very good taste because they are probably the most popular pins out there and cost a small fortune.  So for a guy like me virtual pinball is probably as good as I can afford.

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2017, 03:03:24 pm »
Does he have any specs, pics, a website? I might be interested myself. I like tinkering on old arcade machines. I really have no interest in building a virtual pinball machine. I am like you. I love pinball, but I don't love the pinball prices.

Craigslist.. ---steaming pile of meadow muffin--- photo, but he did send me some better ones and they looked really nice.

https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/clt/d/virtual-pinball/6305024539.html



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Malenko

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2017, 03:13:58 pm »
$2500 and you get an i3 CPU ? No mention of RAM (type or amount) most importantly, no mention of video card either.   I'll echo my previous statement, try before you buy. He has the PF TV angled the wrong direction  :dunno

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2017, 03:14:05 pm »
Real pins dont cost 4-8k my 4 pins combined are under 4K (SF2, T2, Comet, Lethal Weapon 3)

Thanks for the reply... you are right, I should try to find one to play to see if I like it. I understand not all pins are 4-8k but the ones I really like are. Specifically my fav is Creature from the Black Lagoon. Just looking at Craigslist today everything was over $3k with the exception of a $1900 F-14 Tomcat.

I guess my other issue is space. Generally Malenko how tall are Pinball Machines. I have to be below 72". Could you measure yours and see if there is a general height?

as you can see in my photo below I have an air duct I have to account for...

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2017, 03:16:25 pm »
all of mine are varied in height, LW3 is the tallest even without the pinball topper (the police light); I'd be happy to measure when I get home.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2017, 03:28:03 pm »
all of mine are varied in height, LW3 is the tallest even without the pinball topper (the police light); I'd be happy to measure when I get home.

I appreciate it.... I think I may inquire about that F-14 Tomcat. Looks like a fun machine.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2017, 03:58:54 pm »
I'm taller than 72" and all pinball machines are taller than me.

Malenko's machines are all different heights because he has the wrong size legs on them.


Ian

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #12 on: October 23, 2017, 03:59:44 pm »
I'm taller than 72" and all pinball machines are taller than me.

Malenko's machines are all different heights because he has the wrong size legs on them.

Thanks pbj ... just means I have to get creative.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2017, 04:31:27 pm »
You can use 90s Gottlieb legs, which are a couple of inches shorter...

http://www.marcospecialties.com/pinball-parts/D-4337


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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2017, 05:55:12 pm »
Malenko's machines are all different heights because he has the wrong size legs on them.
yeap nothing to do with different sized back boxes or anything. Comet is the only pin under 72" and it has no DMD and is butt ---smurfin--- close to 72" . I have the correct legs on all my machines -_-
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #15 on: October 23, 2017, 06:03:27 pm »
Ha!  I got a crisp $1 bill that says you don't.  It's why your SF2 towers over everything.

Go measure your legs and post the results here.   8)


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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #16 on: October 23, 2017, 08:26:58 pm »
Ha!  I got a crisp $1 bill that says you don't.  It's why your SF2 towers over everything.

Go measure your legs and post the results here.   8)
Even if SF2 isnt the tallest? 

you can keep your dollar, dont feel like going downstairs....Im about 10 minutes from bed. SF2 is the one Im not sure about because I have no idea what size gottlieb legs should be. That being said, not every pin is the same height at the top of the head.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #17 on: October 24, 2017, 02:12:57 pm »

Just to add my 2 cents on the technical limitations/issues of a pincab.  If you already know this, ignore this post. If you donít, enjoy:

First and foremost, lag is both real but also subjective.  IE: itís real because itís measurable but itís subjective because some will tell you ďI have no lag on my cabĒ while others will play the same cab and say ďyes there isĒ.  The effect of lag is perceived differently depending on several factors but also for pinball, if you go back and forth between real pinball and the pincab, the differences between lag and different physics are more noticeable.  If you just stick to the pincab, after a certain amount of time, the brain compensates and you donít notice it. Iíve owned real machines (still miss you Tron  ) and Iíve had a pincab since 2012 and Iíve seen lots of real pinball players play on the cab.  To date:  The average pinball connoisseur notices it but with a certain adjustment, not so much.

- TV used for playfield
- PC specs
- windows settings
- extra bells and whistles (more on that in a sec)
- which simulator used, which version?
- other factor * (more on that at the end)

TV: obviously response time has a factor but also is the TV set in the proper mode?  IE: Game mode?  "Just Scan" mode?  PC mode?  Depending on the TV manufacturer, one mode may be better for you than another.  Some TV's need the PC connected on one specific HMDI port (if using HDMI) to be able to get the least lag possible.  I think VR has done a lot of good in helping both the consumer and developers (and hopefully TV guys) into making low persistence displays so that lag is near zero.  GPU Driver support has reduced the effect of lag and Iím pretty sure itís because of their need to support VR devices on the PC.

PC Specs: Well duh, the stronger the PC, the less likely there will be lag.  There is a hardware limitation with using TV's that means there's a plateau that you won't cross (dependant also on all the other factors) so you won't get less lag by just having a great PC but a crappier pc with more intensive tables will create more lag.  Strictly speaking of the GPU, I can only say putting in a NVidia 960 gave me noticeable less lag than the previous card I was using (570). This could simply be due to better driver, there's no clear cut formula but... it is what it is.  My current specs are i7 @ 4ghz and an Nvidia 980. Keep in mind, this pincab PC also has a dual role: secondary VR pc so I wanted more muscle. 

Windows settings:  Within nvdidia display tool (and I assume AMDís comparative control panel) there are settings you can set that can greatly reduce the lag such as setting the max frame latency.  Also, ease off on the anti-aliasing settings

Extra Bells and Whistles:  in my pincab, I have contactors, mech motor, shaker motor, LED lightings, etc.  These are all connected through an LEDWIZ.  These extra bells and whistles really are outstanding, def adds to the experience.  However IMHO at the moment, I can attest there is a noticeable difference in lag, especially with the older Visual Pinball 9 tables.  On Visual Pinball 10 (which has grown leaps and bounds in the past 18 months), performance is negligible in most cases.  Specific to the LEDWiz, it's connectivity could be subject to varying degrees of performance depending on which USB port it is plugged in, so something I need to investigate further.

Which simulator used:  There are many, each with their own benefits. For the sake of discussion on lag, Iíll leave the argument on which is better for another day and bring the limit further down by only discussing the free software available: therefore Future Pinball and Visual Pinball.  Future Pinball games care be fun if one accepts the physics for what they are (more arcade than sim) but IMHO lag is worse. For Visual Pinball, there are 3 different main branches that people use on their pincab:  VP9, VPPhysmod and VPX.  None of these are compatible with each other, so if you are using the VP9 exe, then you have to play VP9 tables, same with physmod and VPX tables. Putting this back to lag issue, the best is the most recent which is VPX (Visual pinball 10) and lag is lessened with this release. Aside from several improvements to the source code, there is also a new ďExclusive full screenĒ option that absolutely makes a difference. 

Other factors:  If the backglass is too CPU intensive and your PC isnít up to snuff, then that can induce lag.  USB port conflicts, bad drivers (like any PC gaming, display drivers can be a headache), various internal settings within the Visual Pinball program itself, the way the table was built, mistaking lag for flipper settings, going nuts on anti-aliasing settings, etc. 

Now that Iíve typed all of that, itís not the nightmare you might think it is.  Iím giving you the reality but that may not affect most of you. Many of these factors aside from the ďtoysĒ can interfere just as much with any pc gaming.  The biggest thing to consider?  Are you the type that will even notice it?  Many donít so I will repeat what others have said earlier, try before you buy however consider that the one you are trying, they may not have tweaked it as much as possible to reduce lag.  If you try it, try one of the better known VPX tables , ask the gent if theyíve got it set to exclusive fullscreen and if they have LEDWIZ support (real flashers, LEDís, shaker motor, etc), ask them if they can disable them so you can test for yourself.  If you donít see a difference, or if itís not that big a deal, then a pincab is for you.

YEs, this was wordy but IMHO I think it can be useful info for those interested.  Carry on...

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2017, 02:38:38 pm »
Good post I'll disagree on one point though.... Visual pinball is a cluster ---fudgesicle--- of a mess, especially with all those plugins needed for the backglass, outputs, ect.  You'll download a table and try to run it only to get a script error and you'll notice in the description that it's meant to run on a beta version of X, or an archaic version of vp9, or what have you.  So you download that version only to find that it breaks all of your other tables. The only solution is to have 5 or 6 versions of visual pinball on your computer.  Also if you install some of the plugins for backglass they throw errors if your second monitor isn't up and running or they'll run strangely or any other manner of issue. 

I've been trying to start building a virtual pin, but the issues with visual pinball in particular are really slowing things down.  I don't want to invest in any hardware until I have all my favorite tables up and running. 

pbj

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2017, 02:57:20 pm »
Visual Pinball has been a mess for 10+ years.  It will never be fixed.


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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #20 on: October 24, 2017, 03:57:07 pm »
I must say you both are talking out of your butts, or at the very least pretty close to it :)

In the last year or so, there is an official "all-in-one" installation exe that you can download that GREATLY simplifies cab users.  The all-in-one installs:

VP8.1, VP994, VPphysmod5 (maybe 2) and VPX.  Yes, new beta versions of VPX are regularly released and if they offer a new function not available previously, then any table built with that function will not work properly. This is pretty much par for the course for most indie development that provides regular updates. One huge improvement the past two years has been the abilty to easily switch from desktop to fullscreen (pincab) view. Before you needed to download a separate table or mess with the view settings, now they are both saved (well all 3 but.. that's for another day).   Of course there is room for improvement, I'd love to see them implement a call where when the VP EXE runs a table that needs a newer version, it would call home, tell you it needs to update itself and boom the trick is done. Perhaps the lack of this feature is simply expertise required?  I think the devs are all ears if you guys know how to do this :).

Relevant VBS scripts (pretty sure these are up to date)

DB2s backglass support:  installation is all automatic. In the past 18 months or so, the devs have incorporated the calls to load a backglass within the VBS file

VPinmame: all done automatically... well kind of.  VPinmame is installed and works as advertised however if you want to play the SAM Stern games, then you need to install the updated vpinmame.dll and rerun the setup.  This is a hassle but it's a grey area you guys I am sure have seen for yourselves via the legalities of our hobby and this industry

So after the install, we still need to get the tables, so we unzip those in the tables folder and download the roms and place it in the rom folder and as far as running it through VPX, it works fine.  VPX also has a different file extension from the rest so if you want to use Windows friggin explorer as your "front end" go right ahead, it will know to load the right EXE.  For VP9 and physmod, yep they will get confused but installing a front end resolves this and does the work for you. Of course this is no different running then running multi emulators.   So ie: consider VP9, VPPhysmod and VP10 as totally separate programs that just happen to share a bunch of files.  All a matter of perspective

It's not all sunshine and rainbows, I agree there's lots of room for improvement but man, it's better than it used to be, a LOT better.  The nice thing is there's still regular updates and anyone who's tried the recent tables redone in VPX will attest to the leaps and bounds in the tech and performance.

Tables you need to check out just released for VPX in the last couple of weeks:  Jurassic Park, Fire!, Space invaders, Xenon, Cyclone and just today, The Getaway.  This is just a small sample!

Anyway, selling mode turned off.  I get the frustration, I kind of left the hobbie for close to 3 years with a couple of short lived returned that didn't stick. But the physics are such improved that I feel it's worth the effort. 

One last  recommendation:  if you give it another try, limit your frustration:  stay away from VP9 and even VPphysmod and just try VPX tables. This will do two things:  1) hopefully make you see the light and 2) if you enjoy it, probably kill off the desire to run 99% older tables, especially VP9. With few exceptions, I don't find those a lot of fun anymore.

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #21 on: October 24, 2017, 04:07:29 pm »
So, that's nice, how often does the ball go through the flippers?



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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #22 on: October 24, 2017, 04:22:05 pm »
That hasn't been a thing in years funny guy, I think since VP8.1 or VP9 came out.  Take a look outside, it's 2017! :D

Yeah that ball through flipper used to be real crap back in the day :(

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #23 on: October 24, 2017, 05:06:05 pm »
 :laugh2:
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #24 on: October 24, 2017, 05:08:11 pm »
The guy sold the F-14, but I think I will just save up my cheddar and buy the real deal. It's really hard to know what to look for, and what games are fun and stay fun without getting boring. You know?

The Visual Pinball stuff is fun, but I don't know if I would play it as much as I think I would. But a real one I feel would get a lot of play.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #25 on: October 24, 2017, 05:12:40 pm »
Anything in isolation is fun but will quickly get boring.  I think 4-6 machines is the sweet spot.  Unless you've got one particular game that's your absolute favorite (mine is WCS 94).




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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #26 on: October 24, 2017, 06:19:31 pm »
Anything in isolation is fun but will quickly get boring.  I think 4-6 machines is the sweet spot.  Unless you've got one particular game that's your absolute favorite (mine is WCS 94).

Well... I love love Creature from the Black Lagoon, but yeah $5-8k is way too much for me.

I do have my eyes on a Black Rose for basically the same price as the virtual pinball. I think I may scoop it up.

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2017, 07:15:01 pm »
I must say you both are talking out of your butts, or at the very least pretty close to it :)

Nope, sorry, it is you who is doing the butt talking.  The first thing I did was use the all in one installer...... Not a single table I wanted to play worked with it.  I then proceeded to go down a never ending rabbit hole of installing betas and specific exes to get some tables to work.  With every table I end up having to install or re-install more junk.  If your experience was better than I'm glad for you, but I assure you it is the exception and not the norm.  I'll also remind you that not all tables have been ported to vpx, and some have been ported rather poorly. 

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2017, 08:08:46 pm »
Black Rose is a terrible game.  I owned it for about a week.


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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #29 on: October 24, 2017, 10:14:54 pm »
Black Rose is a terrible game.  I owned it for about a week.

I hear you... thanks for the opinion. It did okay as far as reviews over at pinside... I don't know, I think I am going to go for it. Looks like a good starter pin due to the difficulty level not being as high as the others. Plus it seems like the price of pinballs either stay the same or go up, so I am not out any real money if it turns out to be a huge dud. I am limited with what is available in my area and what strikes my interest.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

Loafmeister

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #30 on: October 25, 2017, 02:48:23 am »
I must say you both are talking out of your butts, or at the very least pretty close to it :)

Nope, sorry, it is you who is doing the butt talking.  The first thing I did was use the all in one installer...... Not a single table I wanted to play worked with it.  I then proceeded to go down a never ending rabbit hole of installing betas and specific exes to get some tables to work.  With every table I end up having to install or re-install more junk.  If your experience was better than I'm glad for you, but I assure you it is the exception and not the norm.  I'll also remind you that not all tables have been ported to vpx, and some have been ported rather poorly.

Ok the quality of the table is dťpendant on the author not the simulator.  Let me guess you are going to blame Nintendo and the Switch if a third party game sucks?

Donít get me wrong, there is no guarantee you can find the table you like for sure.  Out of curiosity, when did you last try the allinone installer?

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #31 on: October 25, 2017, 10:43:34 am »
I don't know, I think I am going to go for it.

Meh, you've been warned, I've owned dozens of machines, my conscience is clear.

 :cheers:

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #32 on: October 25, 2017, 04:00:48 pm »
I don't know, I think I am going to go for it.

Meh, you've been warned, I've owned dozens of machines, my conscience is clear.

 :cheers:


 :laugh2: Okay bud! If I hate it after a week or two I will be honest and tell you. Thanks again for the feedback!
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #33 on: October 25, 2017, 07:35:33 pm »
I must say you both are talking out of your butts, or at the very least pretty close to it :)

Nope, sorry, it is you who is doing the butt talking.  The first thing I did was use the all in one installer...... Not a single table I wanted to play worked with it.  I then proceeded to go down a never ending rabbit hole of installing betas and specific exes to get some tables to work.  With every table I end up having to install or re-install more junk.  If your experience was better than I'm glad for you, but I assure you it is the exception and not the norm.  I'll also remind you that not all tables have been ported to vpx, and some have been ported rather poorly.

Ok the quality of the table is dťpendant on the author not the simulator.  Let me guess you are going to blame Nintendo and the Switch if a third party game sucks?

Donít get me wrong, there is no guarantee you can find the table you like for sure.  Out of curiosity, when did you last try the allinone installer?

Please learn how to do quotes.  ;)


With that out of the way.  No I wouldn't blame Nintendo, but I wouldn't buy one if all the games were shoddy.  Regardless the problem is both visual pinball, it's various forks, and the fact that the vp community, since it's founding, has been quite anti-standardization.  When you don't have standards and a strict set of rules, you get the mess they have now.  The only version any table should be created on is vpx and vpx should be backwards compatible with all of the older tables.   

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #34 on: October 25, 2017, 07:58:21 pm »
I must say you both are talking out of your butts, or at the very least pretty close to it :)

Nope, sorry, it is you who is doing the butt talking.  The first thing I did was use the all in one installer...... Not a single table I wanted to play worked with it.  I then proceeded to go down a never ending rabbit hole of installing betas and specific exes to get some tables to work.  With every table I end up having to install or re-install more junk.  If your experience was better than I'm glad for you, but I assure you it is the exception and not the norm.  I'll also remind you that not all tables have been ported to vpx, and some have been ported rather poorly.

Ok the quality of the table is dťpendant on the author not the simulator.  Let me guess you are going to blame Nintendo and the Switch if a third party game sucks?

Donít get me wrong, there is no guarantee you can find the table you like for sure.  Out of curiosity, when did you last try the allinone installer?

Please learn how to do quotes.  ;)


With that out of the way.  No I wouldn't blame Nintendo, but I wouldn't buy one if all the games were shoddy.  Regardless the problem is both visual pinball, it's various forks, and the fact that the vp community, since it's founding, has been quite anti-standardization.  When you don't have standards and a strict set of rules, you get the mess they have now.  The only version any table should be created on is vpx and vpx should be backwards compatible with all of the older tables.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #35 on: October 25, 2017, 09:06:21 pm »
Somebody got the joke at least.  :)

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #36 on: October 26, 2017, 07:49:52 am »
Setting up visual pinball, even with multiple versions of visual pinball is kind of a cake walk with pinball X front end. There's really 2 versions of VP9 that support almost every table, plus the physX VP9 (3 in total) and you add VPX.  Every table says what version it was made for so just make 4 VP folders, put those tables in those folders, and point pinballx at those folders and your pretty much done.

I admit its a bigger pain in the dick than it should be, and having to open the table in the editor just to add B2S server is also a pain, but its nothing too complex. The fewer tables you have the fewer headaches too.
To me its like when you have to have a certain romset for certain versions of MAME. Yes, a standard would go a LONG way to unclusterfucking it.
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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #37 on: October 26, 2017, 02:23:17 pm »
I need to take a look at that pinball X frontend. Got too frustrated trying to setup visual pinball and future pinball a while back.
Been enjoying pinball fx though.


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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #38 on: October 26, 2017, 02:27:52 pm »
Hey I'll give it a shot.... anything is better than doing it manually. 

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Re: Virtual Pin
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2017, 10:51:56 am »
Quotes: blame my phone? :)

VPX:  One thing you said earlier Howard may have been right at the time (don't know for sure), but it's totally false now.  Within VPX, there is full backwards compatibility. IE: you don't need a specific beta version to run a specific beta VPX table, just ensure you use the latest beta and any VPX will work with it.  There's no denying the lack of compatibility is a pain in the buttski but it is what it is, still worth it.  If you want to run recent SAM stern games, the aggravation does go up a bit because you have to use an "unauthorized" VPINMAME DLL.  You've been warned LOL   Anyway, just stating so that others reading the thread don't get too scared of VP, whether or not you try and like it, nothing I can do about that.

  
 

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