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  • #153457
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    The Endless Summer (Original 2019, DIP-desaster in progress)

    Inspired by Bruce Browns surf movies „the endless summer“ (I+II, absolutely worth to see even if you dont surf!)

    It all began on a flat day during my surfing holidays – why not combine the best of both worlds and create a surfing themed pinball? And having the opportunity to give back some of the fun to the community?

    But: I am able to shape a surfboard out of a block of foam and riding waves with it, but I never coded a single line in any programming language. I am happy to get my video recorder running and my alarm clock ringing at the desired time. As for VPX: six months of playing on my used bought cab (and still sometimes struggling with getting tables running) is all the experience I have. Well, I am more the handcraft guy than a programmer, but nevertheless I wanted to give it a try, knowing it would end in a desaster ;-)

    I had a clear vision and ideas what the table should look like, so I had a look at the scripts of my most faved tables – and understood nearly nothing. I found the editor and played around with walls. Found out you can copy & paste parts from one a table to another (including several system crashes). After dozens of hours of trial and error I had a concept of my table with crazy ideas of ramps, magnets, cup, diverters, targets, drop targets, magnetic turntable, multiballs and certain modes. Some of the parts are from the outstanding JPs „Attack from Mars“ and I also have stolen Fluppers cup from „Diner“, sorry for that. Of course I will not publish this table without your permission, if this table ever gets completed, what is unlikely.

    OK, maybe the playfield thing is sth I can manage. Experience with drawing/painting programs: none! I have chosen paint.net (for gimp I did not manage to get a simple line drawn) and started to draw a playfield around my ramps and gimmicks (I guess the best way would be having a playfield at first and then building ramps…) and learned some functions of how to combine layers and add photos to background colours and so on.

    Got an idea what plastics and primitives are. Downloaded blender and experimented a little bit but had to admit – no way to learn this besides my work/family/garden/other hobbies AND playing pinball…

    I tried to write and copy some code of existing tables, (like moving primitives, ifs and thens, loops and other strange things) but virtually no success, got error messages most of the time or simply nothing happened LOL.

    Played around with Scotts fine orbital framework, but its a pain to work sideways at my cab and on my sluggish laptop I got error messages all the time, too (VPX only, no b2s, no DOF, no Ultra.DMD installed…).

    Experimented with lights – dont have a clue how that works, nearly all changes of the parameters gave unexpected or no results. Recently discovered that blinking lights and flashers in some cases are just prebuilt playfield images…huh?

    Dont have a clue about programming DOF (my cab has 4 solenoids, a gear motor and a short LED strip only).

    To sum it up: given what I have reached the past weeks/months I extrapolated and found out, it would need at least two or even more of my lifetimes to get this table running the way I imaginate it. Additionally its hard to deal with several foreign languages at the same time (english, vbs, vpx…). The crazy thing is, many of you vpx-magicians would be able to get this up and running in virtually no time I guess…

    What I have now is a playfield (actually two versions- (turquoise and blue, Id like to give the possibility to choose in the script, would that be possible?) with walls, ramps, diverters (not working), drop targets, hit targets, a cup with a counter of completed rounds (not working as well) – enough to play some balls to get an impression.

    I have a „script“ (in my „language“ ;-) of the general playfield goals, task order of the missions and some modes (what happens when at what conditions? including a hilarious „skeet surfin´ mode“ (do you know or remember the 80s movie „Top secret“?;-), a „script“ for points and lighting and already collected tons of (60s surf) music, sounds and lots of videos for a PuP-Pack and an Ultra.DMD.

    Maybe there is someone out there interested in completing this surfing themed table and also putting his own ideas into it, as I cannot expect someone teaching me all the necessary stuff that is missing.

    Otherwise – R.I.P. endless summer pinball – nevertheless it was a lot of fun up to this stage :-)

    (and thanks to all of you creating tables that look better than reality itself and sharing it with us!)

    screen041219

    #153459
    bord
    Moderator
    @bord
    MembervipContributorModerator

    You were probably looking in the right direction when you started in with Orbital. To my knowledge there have been very few, if any, “looking for a game coder for my idea” threads that have ever produced results. We’re talking a 10X multiplier on the time you already put into your project for a very specialized skillset.

    I’m not posting that to be a bummer, but hopefully to point you in the direction of taking your idea and modding an existing table with it. Lots of cool mods have been done specifically to avoid the scripting rules from scratch problem. Check out Cuphead, Top Gun, Ace of Speed for examples.

    Good luck!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #153861
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    Made some huge progress during the weekend – 72 hours of testing and programming ;-) (couldnt leave it alone)

    Its for sure the least efficient idiot code on earth but the lights are blinking and modes (!) are working. Using collidable walls instead of primitives, for the time being OK, (maybe I´ll load up a video later on).  Once the knot has burst you get addicted… next two “problems” to solve:

    • how to stop functions during a certain mode and restart those afterwards at the same state (like “martian attack mode” in AFM)? (not a crucial problem but nice to have)
    • how to switch lane-lights with the flippers (e.g. two outlanes and two inlanes) correctly for each combination of lit lights? (did not understand JPs code on this)

    Any hints/tutorials somewhere? Thanks!

     

    #153862
    Thalamus
    Moderator
    @thalamus
    ContributorMemberModerator

    Sounds like you are trying to use a rom and then override things that are normally controlled by the rom. Again, do what Bord suggested, look at other well done mods if you are making a mod. You can’t really stop and hijack a rom event. Think of it this way. What happens if the rom doesn’t see ball activity for a while in a real machine ? Hopefully, ballsearch kicks in. Guess you can utilize that – somehow, but, it will be weird and slow the whole game down. The same goes for inline game lights. Those are normally mapped to the rom and pressing the right and sometime also the left flipper key is what makes them move.

    If you don’t use a rom, well, look no further than Loserman’ tables. Sure they are EM’ but, that is how you get full control.

    #153864
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    No, I do not use any rom.  All the blinking and sounds controlled by if´s and then´s ;-). Also no real “game”. Just one ball after another, no points yet.

    #153865
    Thalamus
    Moderator
    @thalamus
    ContributorMemberModerator

    Ok. Well then. You kind of need to look over other tables that is only script controlled. JP’s originals are great for that. Example – Serious Sam, one of my favorite tables.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #153866
    bord
    Moderator
    @bord
    MembervipContributorModerator

    Also check out borgdog’s Star Wars. That is an original that has modes, changing lane lights, etc scripted. It’s really great.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #153982
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    here´s a short clip (partly manual ball control to test modes and functions, center pin for less drains ;-), no sound)

    shortly after: switch lane-lights with flippers – solved ;-)

    #153985
    Thalamus
    Moderator
    @thalamus
    ContributorMemberModerator

    Looks better than I’ve expected !

    #153999
    bord
    Moderator
    @bord
    MembervipContributorModerator

    Really cool. You’re doing it!

    #154009
    JR
    Participant
    @jfr1
    Member

    Dang. That is pretty cool!

    #154509
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    some more progress:

    • flippers change lane-lights
    • added turntable in the upper curl – swirls away the ball during endless summer mode
    • some lighting effects (may look a bit strange, but who cares, its an original ;-) and I like it (blender is still a miracle, I used paint.net instead – not a big problem as I placed flashers in a way they dont hit objects but the floor only)
    • deleted walls of the lower arc – a magnet holds the ball instead (at least it looks like that ;-)
    • assigned points to hits/ramps/lane/modi

    problems to solve:

    – theres a trigger/kicker in the left upper ramp to catch and immediately release the ball for the tuberide (its a “brake” to let the ball roll down slowly afterwards). If the ball is too fast (at a perfect shot), it misses the trigger, the shot will not be counted (you need three rampshots) and maybe the ball gets stuck on the ramp on its way down). Maybe the ball is rolling along the sidewall above the floor instead of the ramps floor… how to catch the ball in any cases?

    next steps:

    • trying to clean up the code a little bit, I am still learning…
    • trying to import the table to orbital framework…

    #154584
    bord
    Moderator
    @bord
    MembervipContributorModerator

    Cool lighting effects!

    #156335
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    – catching ball in ramp – solved ;-) (by using a second kicker before the turn…dont know wether its the proper way, but it works)

    – importing to orbital – halfway success. first deleted all the fancy lighting stuff. plays quite OK including points on DMD and puppack – until the second ball comes into play…then all is messed up. several other functions do not work, most likely my own and the orbitals code interfere with each other. somehow musicfiles dont work, playsound is OK but boosts the vpx filesize.

    – building ramps in blender – no way, even with the tutorial files :-(

    Next step: I will try to understand and use the nicely commented code of “the clue” and combining it with the Ultra DMD code of “orbital” to my table…

    this project will take years I guess, but its fun learning new things, even in a way that hurts.

    btw: happy new year!

     

    #157236
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    Today I found out about the light-sequence-function… this is fun, adds so much to a table and is easy to program, even for me… ;-) (also found out, that Scotty Wic provided some more tutorials and VPX-documentation on his orbital-site…great stuff – thanks Scotty Wic!! (I have to try out that Orbital-Scoreboard with the Stranger Things table…see here: https://docs.orbitalpin.com/orbital-scoreboard )

    Some progress you see in the video: Wheel , backglass-attract video, toppervideo, some gameplay with more lighting(sequences), also some puppack videos (not necessarily at the right gamesequences, I wasnt able to record two or three screens at the same time…). Besides the main task (7 levels each of same difficulty), there are three different modes you can play as sidetasks, each different with various limited time to get bonus points, bonus multipliers and jackpots. You wont need rules, the lights will guide you.

    (watch until the end for a special bonus ;-))

    Problems to solve: Magnets are magnetic…whaaat!? Generally a nice thing,  but what if you keep one ball in place with a magnet and a second ball comes into play? It might get stuck at the first ball as well….grrrr. Righht now, I put an invisible wall around the first ball after the maget was catching the ball and then set the magnet off. When you virtually set the magnet off later in the gameplay, I just drop the invisible wall as a fake magnet-off….hmmm, clever or not? who cares – it works ;-) (most of the times)

    #157289
    JR
    Participant
    @jfr1
    Member

    Have to say I’m really impressed by this.  Been playing the test table tonight and really like the layout/vibe….I play in a band with a guy that has a vintage Strat that can nail Dick Dale surf tunes!

    Since you’re doing this the hard way and ..building from scratch? – I will say that I prefer tables with some form of plunger skill shot.  Perhaps a couple drop down lanes up top?  Maybe spread the Endless Summer Skeet drop down target area out a bit farther?  Or just go with Endless Summer for the drops?  …and open up that top area for three drop lanes?  Meh…maybe not, been staring for a while.  You have a certain look going on here that only you know where it should go.  and…I have no idea what I’m talking about.  But love what you’re doing here.  Please press on!!

    #157290
    randr
    Keymaster
    @randr
    ModeratorMember

    Is looking good! Great job so far

    ********************************************************
    Messing with the VPinball app and push notifications.
    So if you haven't downloaded app yet what are you waiting for!?
    for IOS and Android

    ********************************************************

    #157298
    makmak
    Participant
    @makmak
    Member

    @JR : skillshot ist already on my To-Do list (SUMMER-targets). ;-) . Come on, lets put some tunes or songs of your band into it (i suck at instruments, incl. keyboard..) thanks for you feedback!!

    #158401
    GTO77
    Participant
    @gto77

    @makmak – spent about 45 minutes playing the test table and I have to say what you have done so far is very impressive.  The most important thing – the fun factor – is all there.  I only stopped playing because I had to do something else.   Could not put the game down trying to find all the modes/features.  Really enjoyed the left ramp revealing itself for the three shots to advance to a different beach, the lane ball locks, and the couple of ball and lane lighting effect changes.  Music was catchy and well coordinated with the table.

    I’ll PM you a couple of other more detailed observations, but you almost have a completed product as is.  I mean, if it had some scoring I would definitely load it in my cab.  Really looking forward to the finished product.  Keep going, you’re almost there!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #158422
    Onevox
    Participant
    @rooster
    Member

    Very creative stuff. Love the wave action shots. Can’t wait for the release.

    Onevox

     

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