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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:43 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 01, 2010 3:02 pm
Posts: 265
Blue - have you ever thought about generating statements procedurally? You can execute string statements that themselves are subroutines including event names like "XXX_Hit" and the hit routine will work. Table authors can just provide variable values during an "initializing" phase and then your script would generate all the events. The down side is that it makes debugging a bit more challenging.

More details on the Execute method here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/03t418d2(VS.85).aspx

I had started a script using this model and it seemed like it would work good. In addition, I added (via doing procedurally generated code) the concept of control arrays (like in VP) where all the drop targets for say JungleGirl could all be named "GIRLTargets" if say there were 4 drop targets that each light up the word "Girl". The initializing code to generate the hit events would have options about sounds, score, etc, plus there would be a "user event" that someone could write GIRLTargets_Hit and it would pass in the target index. Again similar to VP's control arrays. It does require table designers to correctly name the targets GIRLTarget1, GIRLTarget2, GIRLTarget3, & GIRLTarget4 since the script looks for those names.

Anywho, just sharing ideas, and maybe ways to get around having other table authors submit code to you if you could procedurally generate it.

-mark


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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 1:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Abbotsford
There is a lot of ways to do this, it's a very good idea. I think the easiest way is to give people the link of the first version.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ay1cex65ukgb ... 7.zip?dl=0

(Hope it works) I've been so busy with everything else in my life, been hard to do anything other than work on the JG art. (Looks nice, just added a update at my facebook.

Have a look, if people want to add to it, by all means. My scripting is very rusty, and very slow going with me. The concept is just having pre-set routines that people can just type one line in their code, but if there is a better way, there's a better way. thanks

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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 1704
Location: Arkansas, USA
Blue,

This is cool! I can see why this has taken a while. It is nice having directions in the script. Maybe I might create a new table sometime.

I have trouble making the textures fit the plastics especially when I decide to change the placement of an object and then try to change the texture. ... But that is probably beyond the scope of what you are doing.

Thanks,

George


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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 3:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Abbotsford
It's best to just make the entire plastics in one file the same size as the pf, and don't change your mind. :)
You can also do them as decals and layer them over top. keep a eye on my facebook page, when I get to doing plastics, I will make sure I do some details on how to do it. I,m planning to have 2 levels of plastics (like Getaway has and other newer tables, where the plastics are set at different heights and overlap) with the main plastics on one level which I will use one complete image for, and the higher levels I will use decals as they take up far less file size.

The other way is to use photoshop (or GIMP) which has layers and folders (called groups in Photoshop, which I use). You can sort all the layers for a plastic into a group, and if you need to change a object, you can take a blueprint, load it into your plastics file in photoshop, move the group (or the layer within that group) to match the new placement and then resave that image and reimport it back into FP.

The best way is exactly what I do. Get everything done, built and coded and set, and do the plastics art last. ;)

That is what I will be doing with Jungle Girl. I will do the initial art for the plastics, so I have a very good idea on how to tie in the various elements all together, rebuild the table based on the changes I have made for the PF, finish the scripting, then balance the gameplay. Once that is done and I am happy, then the plastics are finished and put in place. I generally work from the bottom up, starting with the art for the PF, then the bulbs, the metals, posts, rubbers up to the plastics.

I've been doing this for 18 years, I'm not very active, but this is the way I do it. Keep a eye on my facebook, despite the crazy crazy busy few months, I'm still able to get things done, and I always can do videos if needed if someone asks.

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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:29 am 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Abbotsford
One of my last unfinished projects, so now working on the FPX template. A few changes, a big restructure, and removed the sound system with a new one that now can play a background sound using the EffectMusic command.

FP has a very powerful sound and music system, but no one uses it much because it is quite complex and hard to understand unless you read the help docs under Scripting/global methods and variables, and work it out from there
It's quite complicated with the steps you have to take, so I have worked out the simplest way to use it as possible. The engine will fade out the BG sound, play the sound you want and then fade in the bg sound with the interval time.

Most authors do not use the EffectMusic command, as the manual doesn't really do a very good job of explaining it as it could, they usually just play the BG sound on a loop, but sometimes, it just sounds terrible, and this gives a far more polished table. It's a very powerful feature that no one uses, which is a shame, but maybe when people study the template, it might make them use it more when they see how simple it actually is.

I'm also adding very basic examples of some things, like a Ball saver and drop targets, but, as I have noted before, beginners templates should be aimed at beginners, or people who don't have the confidence in their own abilities yet to learn scripting. Overloading a template with table examples just makes it too overwhelming, and most beginners don't know where to start. This is a learning template, so I have tried to make it as easy to learn as possible, it's not about just telling people that it is easy to learn coding, it's giving them something they can use out of the box, and giving them the ability to want to learn.

I have removed or rewrote things since the last test version was released, it's one of the easiest templates ever released, it's just not a coders way of doing things, it's pretty much what a normal person's way of doing things, "proper coding" structure be damned.

A new version should be available for private testing in 2 weeks for bug hunting and playing. If it passes, and all the features are in, then it will be released here

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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:54 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
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Location: Arkansas, USA
Sounds great!

George


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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Abbotsford
GeorgeH wrote:
Sounds great!

George


Thanks, been a lot more work than thought though, so have spent more time fixing and even removing things to rewrite them.

ran slam into yet another new_table bug, this time with the GameStarted variable. It's pretty obvious that this was slammed together and thrown in at the last minute, and then intended to add the rest of the features and bugged fixed later, but that never happened. I really should have used my vpx template and ported it over, but that was for people who have a good knowledge of scripting.

I'm not looking forward to the bonus routine, the new_table template had a real hissy fit with it till I finally tracked down the problems within the stock script. It's actually a real rigid, inflexible script when you really dig into it. A lot of things that are not actually used or really useful but causes a lot of interference with other portions.

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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:16 am 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Abbotsford
Getting there, updated the first post with the features list, here's a copy:

' 4 players support
' Bonus count up to 159, bonus multiplier up to 15x
' Replaced tilt system with a custom plumb bob tilt setup
' Added Variables for easy settings. balls per game, bonus, replay scoring etc
' ball save, extra ball, special and jackpot support
' Complete routines included for all aspects of arcade tables, from power up, light Attract mode to a match feature
' Initialization, Light Attract, Match routines all ready included
' easy control of lights for Light Attract and game play, no typing required
' Pause key plays tune
' 9 element x4 translight display, Hud display x2 A.N.D. (Alpha Numeric Display) to support up to Williams System 11
' HUD display can be hidden or shown using the default HUD key set in the editor (Usually the tithe key, just below the esc key)
' Pre-set unified Bally type scoring
' Debug system variable for code testing in place. press F9 key at editor. Also writes to text file during debug mode to track code
' Special HUD displays for debug mode, shows bonus etc
' Multiple sound system capability with background music support
' Solid State and A.N.D. support HUD display
' Preset feature scoring Extra ball/Special etc with just one line of code
' Easy Beginners Fail safe system. All access needed for easy modification of the engine in ONE place without needing to touch the engine code
' You can add/remove/replace lights, sounds, change the display, adjust timers etc through this one setup
' Code is heavily remarked, and teachs you new methods as you work your way down the hit code
' Engine is fully automated as possible, so no need to touch the engine code, no rocket science degree needed.
' A brief tutorial is included in the script, at the very bottom

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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 1704
Location: Arkansas, USA
Wow! Your template is coming right along.

I agree that the sound system on FP is very capable but also very complex. I have been working on a rev of Masters of the Universe where I reworked the sound. I had to move all the sounds generated by the table objects to the script so I could adjust the sound level. (I would say that anyone creating a new table shouldn't even think about adding sounds to the table objects). I then categorized the sounds into different types and then added a code for every sound generated on the table. Finally, I discovered that the voice recordings for each character had the level set differently for each recording. So I figured out a way to adjust the levels of the voices. It was quite an undertaking. I plan to post it on Pinsimdb but am finishing up a rev on Creature from the Black Lagoon first. You can give it a try at the link below. You might let me know if you see any bugs:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/jhrlmdlsoo8f ... bPKDa?dl=0

George


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 Post subject: Re: FPx Table Template
 Post Posted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 330
Location: Abbotsford
I will if I have time. I can say the same thing, this is a very simplified version of my previous engines, and though it lacks the total flexibility and polish, it does the job, and as simple as possible.

hopefully, once I fix one more damn bug I just noticed, and get the Bonus Multiplier in, you can see how I did, and how I used the unique structure of the script I wrote to try and take advantage of it. It's "long code" in that a lot of code is just repeated over and over, instead of pointing to subroutines, as that is the best way to teach beginners, and not throw in a lot of advanced code that he has no chance of understanding.

Hopefully tonight or tomorrow, I will put up a link, and get heavy testing so I can fix any bugs, especially in the drain area, and maybe have the time to do a simple multiball and a Player memory system to replace this nvram crap that fp uses.

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