This topic contains 151 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  randr 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 20 posts - 101 through 120 (of 152 total)
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  • #43279
     Nemo 
    Participant
    Member

    Besides the debate over “intellectual copyrights” i think it’s a great concept and worked out very well, i tried it with the excellent

    TOM and King Kong and it’s a breeze to get a table up and running, real slick !

    #43284
     randr 
    Keymaster
    ModeratorMember

    Agreed it is slick! looks great.

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

    #43290
     Dark 
    Participant
    vipMemberContributor

    This is slightly off topic but something had occurred to me recently when talking to fuzzel in regards to encouraging future implementation of DX11 in VP’11’.  Looking at the pinball arcade recreations, they look pretty nice in terms of graphics and lighting as they benefit from modern PBR dynamic lighting etc but the physics leaves something to be desired.  I think at first glance to anyone looking to acquire virtual pinball tables is that VP is a grade or two below commercial products and because it’s free it doesn’t warrant paying much attention to by IP holders.  I suggested to toxie and fuzzel that we need to start thinking about porting VP to DX11 and I made a statement along the lines of “if we had an editor similar to the VP editor we’ve all come to know, with the power of say something like the Unreal4 Game engine we’d blow away the commercial tables.’

    I think only now…..just now with the most recent VPX tables pushing the envelope, do the tables actually start to rival commercial recreations visually as well as other pinball simulators.  If there comes a point where we are indeed putting out a better product for free that could be perceived as cutting into the profits of commercial developers that could get us the wrong type of attention.  I honestly think if VP was fully dynamic already and had support for VR like the commercial tables are really starting to push as part of their appeal it could potentially start triggering C&D even on old classic titles.  Are we blowing up a bubble that’s bound to burst at some point without even realising it or am I just adding to the hysteria? :P

    What keeps us safe?  We’re a small niche community and everything is free, but free or not all it takes is one profit based company to perceive this hobby as a threat to their profits and it could have a dramatic impact on the vp community regardless of the rationale or arguments made for why ‘this is okay’.

    With all this said, if we had a more advanced game engine, some thing on par with TPA,  I know I could make better looking models than a lot of the toys show cased on TPA.  Looking at their MS Frankenstein model, it looks so flat, like why aren’t they using normal maps to improve the look of the geometry, wtf?  They may have good resources and all the tools needed available to them but TPA and the like but they  just don’t put the love into tables like we so often do.

     

    3dcreation

    #43294
     Sliderpoint 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    Woah woah, your bomb analogy is not accurate (i prefer to think of them as cookies, not bombs Hehe). Even downloading those files together does nothing. Your need VP and VPM to do anything with them. The idea that that because it only takes 1 click to download some files from a site somehow makes that site MORE responsible than a site that you can get the same files but it takes 10 clicks is false. Both sites are providing the same content, don’t try think that number of clicks absolves anyone of anything.

    -Mike

    #43302
     freneticamnesic 
    Moderator
    vipModeratorMember

    I personally feel like TPA tables have been a solid 2-3 steps behind some of the best work created in VP in the past 2 years. TPA is in a “good from far but far from good” place, they built a lot of tables for use on CRT early on and didn’t really improve on them as we switched to higher resolution monitors. I have no doubt that the textures others and myself have used are significantly higher resolution than anything TPA has even considered. TPA is also frustrating in their complete abandonment of hardware. They’ve abandoned Xbox One except for Stern TPA tables… I think they’ve done the same for PS4 as well.

    But that’s another story. Right now we have the commercialization of our community to worry about.The guys who make the software that hosts the tables and make the hardware that plays the tables can skate around the laws and actually make money on it, a product that wouldn’t be as popular or possible without the work of people who build the tables for free. Now we are asked to upload our tables to a service that will benefit the people who make money while giving nothing back to us – I don’t think table authors are going to stop downloading their tables from the forums where they participate and start using a frontend, so much of what we do is based on community feedback and interaction. In that scenario there are only negative things that can happen to the table authors. You’re attempting to take a substantial part of the community completely out of the equation while somehow still expecting support from the community. Nothing about it makes sense. You’re on GameEx where no table development happens, the only reason I visit that site is because PinballX, which has been working perfectly fine, suddenly “expired” and has forced me to download a 100mb file from a site that is often painfully slow to download from. A file I don’t have any need for… There’s been no new feature in the last year that has improved the experience for me. Think about the reasons you might have a built in expiration date to your software and tell me you can only think of end-user benefits. Nobody likes it at all.

    Now you may continue to deny the links between VPCabs, PinballX/GameEx and your software, or appear flabbergasted by the connection I’m making, but you really need to think about how it benefits them. I pity you if you’re making no money in that menagerie.

     

    #43304
     freezy 
    Participant

    I kind of agree with Dark. The Stackoverflow guy I’ve mentioned is a developer and far from stupid, and he hates VP because it’s such a hassle to setup, plus he thinks it’s still cardboard 2D graphics. Honestly I don’t think any potential C&D issuer has ever seen or played what the latest VPX has to offer.

    That said, I’m pretty sure VP will stay niche for quite some time. First, it’s only PC, which reaches compared to Farsight doing pretty much any platform out there very few people, and secondly even with VPDB it’s never going to be a one click setup. Also, it’s not like we’re a rich entity that could be sued for a lot of money. If you’re going after someone, you usually first do the math what it costs and what the potential benefits are. I don’t see much financial benefit in going after a niche community.

    @Fren: What I don’t get is why you only seem to see the “bad guys” profiting off VPDB. Maybe there’s also a guy who likes drowning kitten on VPDB. But what about the good guys? What about you finding a ROM and downloading it within 10 seconds at VPDB instead of 2 minutes at VPF? Why do you seem to think that I’ve built VPDB for the kitten drowner?

    #43313
     ICPjuggla 
    Moderator
    MembervipModerator

    A lot of us authors feel the way fren does about this.

    What I find weird is how you keep denying the fact your software & sight isn’t connected to  VPcabs, PinballX/GameEx. I wish I would of saved our original PM you sent me to join the beta group. I denied the invite and deleted the PM. If I recal you stated to me in private your software would run exclusively with PinballX. Seeing as though PinballX is connected to VPcabs you can maybe now figure out my concerns with this and why I say your hiding something from us about it! So yeah…… Too me it seems there’s a connection there..

    #43315
     freneticamnesic 
    Moderator
    vipModeratorMember

    I kind of agree with Dark. The Stackoverflow guy I’ve mentioned is a developer and far from stupid, and he hates VP because it’s such a hassle to setup, plus he thinks it’s still cardboard 2D graphics. Honestly I don’t think any potential C&D issuer has ever seen or played what the latest VPX has to offer. That said, I’m pretty sure VP will stay niche for quite some time. First, it’s only PC, which reaches compared to Farsight doing pretty much any platform out there very few people, and secondly even with VPDB it’s never going to be a one click setup. Also, it’s not like we’re a rich entity that could be sued for a lot of money. If you’re going after someone, you usually first do the math what it costs and what the potential benefits are. I don’t see much financial benefit in going after a niche community. @Fren: What I don’t get is why you only seem to see the “bad guys” profiting off VPDB. Maybe there’s also a guy who likes drowning kitten on VPDB. But what about the good guys? What about you finding a ROM and downloading it within 10 seconds at VPDB instead of 2 minutes at VPF? Why do you seem to think that I’ve built VPDB for the kitten drowner?

    holy shit what? lol

    I see the bad guys because they’re the only ones I have a problem with. I’m not pointing out the good guys and saying they’re bad. You didn’t build it for the kitten drowner….look, I love metaphors and analogies but this is a weird stretch. Anyways, you didn’t build it for the bad guys, you just ended up giving it to the bad guys. You did it for good, I am sure of that, because I love the idea. I have mixed feelings about it though, yes VP is hard to set up and that keeps it in obscurity and keeps it from prosecution and C&Ds for the most part. Your broader reason for not supporting SAM tables is because of that very dilemma. It keeps us as just a niche in a larger hobby. I don’t like that VP isn’t easily accessible but it’s not without its benefits. Look at the forums though, there’s so much help from everyone, there’s really no excuse for not being able to set up VP with the amount of knowledge on VPF, VPU, VPB, MBPC, PinballX Forums, etc. If VP were easily accessible to everyone then we’d very quickly be facing restrictions with what we can or cannot do. With ease of use comes commercialism and with that comes a very bad thing for us. If VPCabs was out there selling cabinets only with officially licensed software like PBFX2 or a modified version of TPA (similar to what they announced with another cabinet manufacturer today) then I would have absolutely no problems with them. I am not against people making money, especially if they’re producing a great product. But when that business is tightly interwoven with the hobby we enjoy so much there’s a lot that can go wrong. Primarily, as far as table authors go, my points have been laid out and there’s nothing new that I can say. When the community is threatened, though, by software that can eliminate it, then there’s something new to say. If you provide one-stop shopping then there’s no need for VPF, VPU, VPB. There’s no need for the discussion, the support topics, and when that dries up so does the community of authors. There’s no more feedback, there’s no more collaboration, there’s no more innovation. I don’t want to see that go and I will stand against the threat until either myself or the threat is defeated.

    I’ve spent the better part of 4 years deeply engrossed in this hobby and have staked a large percentage of my free time in providing legitimate content for the community, much of which wouldn’t have even been possible without the community in the first place. I say all the time that I build tables for myself, first and foremost, but the truth is that without the community I wouldn’t have the drive. If that community is driven out by the ease-of-use replacement that is VPDB, or because of legal action brought on by its involvement in the ventures of a for-profit business, then I have no further need to build tables. I’m creative, I’ll find new things to do and I already have numerous hobbies to fall back on, but until then I have to speak up.

    #43316
     freezy 
    Participant

    If I recal you stated to me in private your software would run exclusively with PinballX.

    No, I did never state such a thing. I said quote “So it finally looks like it’s going to sail with GameEx”. PM me your email and I’ll forward you the archived PM from VPF.

    I can’t prove that I’m not “in bed with VPCabs” or that nobody is paying me for VPDB. (And I’m talking about VPDB, not GameEx, because I don’t know what deals Tom has with others but me.)

    So finally it boils down to plausibility. Think about my actions, and think how I would act differently to either confirm or rebut your theory. Why would VPDB be open source. Why would I have contacted authors and asked for their blessing before opening. Why did I spend weeks developing an algorithm that allows identifying table mods within seconds. Why is there an enforced rule at VPDB that states that only authors can upload their creations. I could have created a subscription site where anyone can upload anything. I’m pretty sure it would have been a commercial success. I didn’t do that. Ask yourself why not. Try to judge based on facts around you rather than prejudices and feelings.

    @Fren: Tom stated before that his role is sponsor and not owner. I didn’t “give” VPDB to anyone. If Tom is your worry, then I’m happy, because there’s nothing to worry about. The need for community forums was discussed before in this thread, and I’m still convinced that VPDB will not in the slightest “dry out” the existing forums. If you have a different theory I’d like to hear the reasons for that theory.

    #43322
     Sliderpoint 
    Participant
    MemberContributor

    I will try to explain one possibility that I think might be a/the concern.  You have created an open source API, which normally, we in the hobby are all about.   But it also creates the possibility for someone (like vpcabs or virtuapin, pinballX or whoever) to create their own piece of software that ships with their products that will point straight to VPDB and allow a user to download all the files they need (which is awesome by the way), but it could bypass the entire community side of things.  What checks are in place to prevent something like that from happening?

    -Mike

    #43323
     freezy 
    Participant

    That’s a really good point and I don’t have a definitive answer yet. For now, I’m closely monitoring the API logs and I’m not aware of any third-party integration. However, when that starts happening, there must be guidelines in place how to use the VPDB API. For example no bulk downloads and credits must always be visible when choosing to download something. We will need to communicate that to any third party and make sure they follow those guidelines.

    #43324
     ICPjuggla 
    Moderator
    MembervipModerator

    If I recal you stated to me in private your software would run exclusively with PinballX.

    No, I did never state such a thing. I said quote “So it finally looks like it’s going to sail with GameEx”. PM me your email and I’ll forward you the archived PM from VPF. I can’t prove that I’m not “in bed with VPCabs” or that nobody is paying me for VPDB. (And I’m talking about VPDB, not GameEx, because I don’t know what deals Tom has with others but me.) So finally it boils down to plausibility. Think about my actions, and think how I would act differently to either confirm or rebut your theory. Why would VPDB be open source. Why would I have contacted authors and asked for their blessing before opening. Why did I spend weeks developing an algorithm that allows identifying table mods within seconds. Why is there an enforced rule at VPDB that states that only authors can upload their creations. I could have created a subscription site where anyone can upload anything. I’m pretty sure it would have been a commercial success. I didn’t do that. Ask yourself why not. Try to judge based on facts around you rather than prejudices and feelings. @Fren: Tom stated before that his role is sponsor and not owner. I didn’t “give” VPDB to anyone. If Tom is your worry, then I’m happy, because there’s nothing to worry about. The need for community forums was discussed before in this thread, and I’m still convinced that VPDB will not in the slightest “dry out” the existing forums. If you have a different theory I’d like to hear the reasons for that theory.

    I miss typed, you are correct you said GameEx and not PinballX. My apologies for the confusion. But in reality aren’t they the same thing?! Both run at the same sight by Tom or am I wrong there?!.

    #43325
     freezy 
    Participant

    PinballX and GameEx are both products by Spesoft, aka Tom. They are different sites of the same owner. They share a forum also called GameEx. VPDB is not owned by Spesoft. It is hosted on a server sponsored by Spesoft, but I am the only person who has access to that server. VPDB also has a section at the GameEx forum. It has about the tenth of the activity of this thread alone. ;)

    #43326
     TNT2 
    Participant
    Member

    Just started reading this thread. Interesting stuff.

    As I have talked about previously Pinball Arcade is what got me into virtual pinball for the first time. I actually preferred it over VP until physmod tables started coming around and I haven’t really gone back. VPX is really pushing the envelope as everyone here knows.

    I think Farsight’s focus is mobile devices. I know they only have a few people that work on the PC version. It looks nice but as Ben Logan said it’s a lot like pinball pong. The physics are ok but not realistic. And the tables pretty much play the same from one table to another.

    #43375
     ICPjuggla 
    Moderator
    MembervipModerator

    PinballX and GameEx are both products by Spesoft, aka Tom. They are different sites of the same owner. They share a forum also called GameEx. VPDB is not owned by Spesoft. It is hosted on a server sponsored by Spesoft, but I am the only person who has access to that server. VPDB also has a section at the GameEx forum. It has about the tenth of the activity of this thread alone. ;)

    So again I was correct in saying its exclusive to PinballX or as you say GameEx witch is in bed with VPcabs!

    So there’s your problem! I got you to finally admit it without you even knowing it!

    #43421
     freezy 
    Participant

    So again I was correct in saying its exclusive to PinballX or as you say GameEx witch is in bed with VPcabs! So there’s your problem! I got you to finally admit it without you even knowing it!

    Your logic is flawed. There are several things you don’t consider:

    • We had VPDB up and running long before there even existed VPCabs. VPDB was never part of any deal with VPCabs.
    • Any exclusivity deal there might be is between VPCabs and PinballX and between them and them only. I don’t even know how VPDB could be in any way “exclusive”, it’s an open website with an open API (do I really need to repeat this that many times?).
    • I don’t think there’s going to be a PinballX integration with VPDB. I’m already working on a client that can be used with any frontend that has the same database format as Hyperpin or PinballX. So even semantically there is no exclusivity.

    I’m not a fan of exclusivity either. It usually gives an unfair advantage to the one obtaining it. Look at the console wars and the recent developments in the VR community. Exclusivity leads to isolation which hinders innovation.

    I don’t know where your hostility comes from. If you don’t like VPDB, that’s okay, just don’t upload your games to it and we’ll be fine. You’re welcome to discuss your concerns, feelings and suspicions, but please don’t present them as facts, because I don’t think that’s fair.

    #43604
     Tom Speirs 
    Participant

    Hey ICPJuggla,

    I am not sure exactly when I turned into Satan!?

    Do you want to have a chat though? You seem to have some issues with me or at best distrust of me?

    Cheers.

    Tom.

    #43613
     Tom Speirs 
    Participant

    Also, for the record VPCabs haven’t given me a single dollar and their is no agreement in place for them to ever do that. Its no secret, there are pictures on my site of it but what I got was a beautiful PinballX branded cab from the deal of which I use to develop PinballX on, which 99% of you all use, for free. Company records are also public in the UK. I’m not proud of it but I’ve lost many thousands trying to make my hobby a full time gig and I am pretty nice about things, like now when people question my ethics or integrity. I shouldn’t have to justify myself but I do. Its a guess but I would expect VirtuaPin and the subscriptions from VP Forums  amount to a lot more than Ill ever do. I know this is a different site and this one is but lets not kid ourselves all the pinballs sites are free. Sorry, but I am not sure how I became the bad guy when I am doing all this for free to everyone apart from me. I’m certainly a sucker but not bad. I think the initial announcement was pretty clear. We’d like you to be involved but if you don’t want to be please at least have some respect. I don’t even want an apology, even though I deserve one.

    If anyone is still fearful or has paranoia or anger see a doctor and get some medication. It’s nothing to do with me, it is you. Some people are just nice and have good intentions. Deal with it and if you can’t at least try and talk to me about it without making it the Jerry Springer show.

    #43623
     Tom Speirs 
    Participant

    holy shit what? lol I see the bad guys because they’re the only ones I have a problem with. I’m not pointing out the good guys and saying they’re bad. You didn’t build it for the kitten drowner….look, I love metaphors and analogies but this is a weird stretch. Anyways, you didn’t build it for the bad guys, you just ended up giving it to the bad guys. You did it for good, I am sure of that, because I love the idea. I have mixed feelings about it though, yes VP is hard to set up and that keeps it in obscurity and keeps it from prosecution and C&Ds for the most part. Your broader reason for not supporting SAM tables is because of that very dilemma. It keeps us as just a niche in a larger hobby. I don’t like that VP isn’t easily accessible but it’s not without its benefits. Look at the forums though, there’s so much help from everyone, there’s really no excuse for not being able to set up VP with the amount of knowledge on VPF, VPU, VPB, MBPC, PinballX Forums, etc. If VP were easily accessible to everyone then we’d very quickly be facing restrictions with what we can or cannot do. With ease of use comes commercialism and with that comes a very bad thing for us. If VPCabs was out there selling cabinets only with officially licensed software like PBFX2 or a modified version of TPA (similar to what they announced with another cabinet manufacturer today) then I would have absolutely no problems with them. I am not against people making money, especially if they’re producing a great product. But when that business is tightly interwoven with the hobby we enjoy so much there’s a lot that can go wrong. Primarily, as far as table authors go, my points have been laid out and there’s nothing new that I can say. When the community is threatened, though, by software that can eliminate it, then there’s something new to say. If you provide one-stop shopping then there’s no need for VPF, VPU, VPB. There’s no need for the discussion, the support topics, and when that dries up so does the community of authors. There’s no more feedback, there’s no more collaboration, there’s no more innovation. I don’t want to see that go and I will stand against the threat until either myself or the threat is defeated. I’ve spent the better part of 4 years deeply engrossed in this hobby and have staked a large percentage of my free time in providing legitimate content for the community, much of which wouldn’t have even been possible without the community in the first place. I say all the time that I build tables for myself, first and foremost, but the truth is that without the community I wouldn’t have the drive. If that community is driven out by the ease-of-use replacement that is VPDB, or because of legal action brought on by its involvement in the ventures of a for-profit business, then I have no further need to build tables. I’m creative, I’ll find new things to do and I already have numerous hobbies to fall back on, but until then I have to speak up.

    But that’s another story. Right now we have the commercialization of our community to worry about.The guys who make the software that hosts the tables and make the hardware that plays the tables can skate around the laws and actually make money on it, a product that wouldn’t be as popular or possible without the work of people who build the tables for free. Now we are asked to upload our tables to a service that will benefit the people who make money while giving nothing back to us – I don’t think table authors are going to stop downloading their tables from the forums where they participate and start using a frontend, so much of what we do is based on community feedback and interaction. In that scenario there are only negative things that can happen to the table authors. You’re attempting to take a substantial part of the community completely out of the equation while somehow still expecting support from the community. Nothing about it makes sense. You’re on GameEx where no table development happens, the only reason I visit that site is because PinballX, which has been working perfectly fine, suddenly “expired” and has forced me to download a 100mb file from a site that is often painfully slow to download from. A file I don’t have any need for… There’s been no new feature in the last year that has improved the experience for me. Think about the reasons you might have a built in expiration date to your software and tell me you can only think of end-user benefits. Nobody likes it at all.

    Now you may continue to deny the links between VPCabs, PinballX/GameEx and your software, or appear flabbergasted by the connection I’m making, but you really need to think about how it benefits them. I pity you if you’re making no money in that menagerie.

    You have some good points. I relate to all of it and can agree with some of it too. All I would say though is lets regain some perspective. I feel right now that this is an “addition” rather than “subtract”. Again though, I am just supporting freezy. I just thought it was pretty slick and cool and that’s how everything worthwhile on the internet started. That’s why I got involved. Again I am just the sponsor and mainly because I have a good reputation, not bad one! I don’t own it. I don’t need the aggravation either. I would also like to say the fact there is only one viable front end out there is not my fault in any way either and If people want to act somewhat unethically anyway I don’t see that VPDB really makes any difference. VPDB is still harder to use than a configured USB drive off ebay. I also agree that I am a sucker!

    And Randr no offence buddy, but you need a little help with site development here! Does everyone see I edited this topic a gazillion times!? At worst that’s a privacy issue.

    #43631
     Dark 
    Participant
    vipMemberContributor

    I hear a lot of the points made here recently and I can understand and relate to many of them.  One thing I wanted to comment on was this idea that an automated download system would destroy the community.  I think at most it would diminish the rate of new authors or new community members but over all it’s not going to change things much.  I want to make the distinction here between the type of people who want easy automated downloads and people who want to actively participate in the community.  The people who just download (I see some on vpf) will be registered members for years, happily downloading away and you’ll notice that at some point they run into trouble and make a forum post on how to resolve an issue, this is when I notice that these guys will have a post count of less than a dozen posts or perhaps it’s even their first post.  Point being that we already have boat loads of users who have no interest in the community until they need something usually in the form of help and those types of people aren’t very likely to be active community members any ways.   Having said all that though I think Fren has some valid concerns because many of us started out as that ‘download member’ (including myself) and gradually become an active participant in the community, so that’s what I mean when I say numbers of new participants could diminish.

    Also I’ve made the point before that ultimately where an author posts their work is completely up to them and there are just some authors who may never leave vpf or may never post a table on vpdb and as a result, if you’re a vpinballer you’re going to have to visit all the sites and search around to get the full scope of tables available…..and I think that’s a good thing.

    3dcreation

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