Virtual Pinball

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DPrinny
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by DPrinny » Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:58 pm

I would suggest looking into the Arcade 1up Pinballs when they come out. They dont use the best parts, but they are cheap and modifiable.

Edit - Looked into when they are coming out and they gone announced a new one in Autumn at about $500
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE9JAOO7udE

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Matt_B
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by Matt_B » Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:25 pm

Rev. Stuart Campbell wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:35 pm
DPrinny wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:54 pm
Yup, it cant run on a cheap-o PC, even if the prices of such a thing seem to be dropping.
I was very surprised when they told me Visual Pinball was much more resource-greedy than Future Pinball, because many years ago when I first got into pinball emulation the reverse was true.

But I didn't really mean that - I meant the TERRIFYING complexity and user-hostility. Just registering for the main virtual-pinball forums is an agonising, hateful chore, and it's really not worth it, because what you get access to is an incomprehensible mess of incompatible, undocumented files in one of 105 different technical categories - yeah, I actually counted - which will need one of about a dozen different program versions to run.

I'm not a complete tech doofus - I've put hundreds of hours into wrangling my Retropie box and some pretty intricate configuration and scripting work is now second nature - but even the "simple and fast" YouTube tutorials for the pinball emus are an hour and a half long and might as well be in Ancient Greek.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zstAevRz8o

I would seriously HURL large sums of money at anyone selling a little cabinet the size of the one I linked to, on which someone had actually done the work of compiling and installing all the tables that work well, because the thought of having to do it myself is too terrifying to contemplate for a single moment.
What happened with Visual Pinball X was pretty similar to MAME, post 2003. They went from a system that did 'good enough' emulation to one where everything had to be cycle accurate, and all the moving parts get handled by a physics engine.

The result is a far superior experience, but you pretty much need a high spec modern gaming PC including the graphics card, hence the astronomical cost of cabinets that do it all. Would it help if you knew that most of that extra £800 was being spent on giving your cabinet brand new hardware rather than the guts of an old Dell office PC bought in a job lot?

You can, of course, still run the older versions, much like you'd run MAME2003 on a Raspberry Pi. However, once you've experienced the cutting edge, it's hard to go back.

Failing that, there's always Pinball Fantasies on the Amiga. :D

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DPrinny
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by DPrinny » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:47 am

Matt_B wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:25 pm
Failing that, there's always Pinball Fantasies on the Amiga. :D
Im more Space Cadet
Image

Well you could build one that just emulates console/computer Pinball games, would be a lot cheaper. Not as cool

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Rev. Stuart Campbell
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by Rev. Stuart Campbell » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:59 am

Matt_B wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:25 pm
The result is a far superior experience, but you pretty much need a high spec modern gaming PC including the graphics card, hence the astronomical cost of cabinets that do it all. Would it help if you knew that most of that extra £800 was being spent on giving your cabinet brand new hardware rather than the guts of an old Dell office PC bought in a job lot?

You can, of course, still run the older versions, much like you'd run MAME2003 on a Raspberry Pi. However, once you've experienced the cutting edge, it's hard to go back.
MAME2003 (or MAME2003plus) is of course by far the best way to run most arcade games on a Raspberry Pi, because they run beautifully and smoothly AND they save high scores, neither of which is true about the likes of MAME2010 or MAME2015. It's f-all use being abstractly more technically accurate if it means games run at 5fps and sound like someone grating cutlery. FBNeo is good for some stuff, though.

TBH I'd even consider blowing £1500 on a suitable mini virtual pinball cab IF it really did have ALL the cab-friendly FP and VP tables already installed on it and ready to play with zero dicking around by me required. It'd be a nice thing to spend the government's self-employment assistance on :lol:

But sadly nobody appears to be offering one for sale.

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Matt_B
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by Matt_B » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:06 pm

DPrinny wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:47 am
Matt_B wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:25 pm
Failing that, there's always Pinball Fantasies on the Amiga. :D
Im more Space Cadet

Well you could build one that just emulates console/computer Pinball games, would be a lot cheaper. Not as cool
You could probably do that with a Windows Atom tablet, and a suitable dock. Mind you, there don't seem to be a lot of Android/Windows pinball docks out there; the Switch and iPad have loads, thanks to not having to worry about hundreds of different form factors no doubt, but they're not exactly great platforms for getting all your favourite emulators running on.

It's funny that, despite being one of the first ever programs written for DirectX, Space Cadet pinball still runs just fine under Windows 10. It goes to show that if game developers had stuck to correct use of the the API - and Microsoft on their part hadn't deprecated widely used chunks of it - modern Windows could still have backwards compatibility with games from that era rather than being reliant upon a ton of messy mods and hacks.
Rev. Stuart Campbell wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:59 am
MAME2003 (or MAME2003plus) is of course by far the best way to run most arcade games on a Raspberry Pi, because they run beautifully and smoothly AND they save high scores, neither of which is true about the likes of MAME2010 or MAME2015. It's f-all use being abstractly more technically accurate if it means games run at 5fps and sound like someone grating cutlery. FBNeo is good for some stuff, though.
Although MAME2003 is obviously forked from a much older version of MAME, it's still had a lot of development largely because it was the best version you could run on a Raspberry Pi 2 and still get most games at full speed. Now that MAME2016 can run on a Pi 4 with overclocking, I think it'll gradually accumulate the missing features and supplant the older versions over the next few years. That said, the Pi 5 will probably be out by the time I make the switch.
TBH I'd even consider blowing £1500 on a suitable mini virtual pinball cab IF it really did have ALL the cab-friendly FP and VP tables already installed on it and ready to play with zero dicking around by me required. It'd be a nice thing to spend the government's self-employment assistance on :lol:

But sadly nobody appears to be offering one for sale.
I'm pretty sure that most of the people out there making tables would do it for you if you made it worth their while.

It's just got to be a bit of an under-the-counter service, because the licensing restrictions for the emulators forbid bundling them with games and hardware, and most of the games are still under copyright. So, with everyone being a C&D letter away from having to find a new career, they can't exactly go advertising it as a feature.

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DPrinny
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by DPrinny » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:58 pm

Matt_B wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:06 pm
DPrinny wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:47 am
Matt_B wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:25 pm
Failing that, there's always Pinball Fantasies on the Amiga. :D
Im more Space Cadet

Well you could build one that just emulates console/computer Pinball games, would be a lot cheaper. Not as cool
You could probably do that with a Windows Atom tablet, and a suitable dock. Mind you, there don't seem to be a lot of Android/Windows pinball docks out there; the Switch and iPad have loads, thanks to not having to worry about hundreds of different form factors no doubt, but they're not exactly great platforms for getting all your favourite emulators running on.
For an ickle desktop one maybe.

I was kinda thinking of mucking about with one of those toy tables and getting techy. Id want a decent sized screen inside, think anything below 21" will be fine.

Looking at it, not a lot if any console/retro computer Pinball games allow for vertical rotation, using a Switch might be interesting, ones with a nackerd screen seem to be a bit uncommon and others are a bit pricey right now.
Maybe get an Android box, they have a video out and will take almost any USB controller.
Or one of those little PCs, (Acer something or other) they are not powerhouses,
(meh Pi, but they dont really have any exclusive Pinball games) or a Laptop with a nackered screen.
Im thinking cheap and small ish, said before the bigger the screen the worse the viewing angle.
Basically, sod emulating full pinball tables, its cool and all but will only work if you can throw money about.
Wonder what I could make for under £100, when I start to get a project budget going. Till then
OFF TO THE WHITEBOARD!!!

Feck, I get all the ideas when im sleepy, but not fall a sleep sleepy

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Matt_B
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by Matt_B » Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:19 am

Good luck getting your hands on a working second-hand Switch at the moment. Still, if you've already got one, there are options for docks and most of the pinball games I've seen on it will work in vertical orientation.

If you want a big screen, have a look at this cardboard beauty:

https://imgur.com/gallery/koP3RoG
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpJr7H3M5JI

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DPrinny
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by DPrinny » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:11 am

Yeah I know. £250 for a none working Switch?
Bugger that.

The lights on the sides on that build kinda gave me an idea, could install ambient lights along the sides to give it more feeling

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Rev. Stuart Campbell
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by Rev. Stuart Campbell » Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:34 pm

Matt_B wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:06 pm
I'm pretty sure that most of the people out there making tables would do it for you if you made it worth their while.

It's just got to be a bit of an under-the-counter service, because the licensing restrictions for the emulators forbid bundling them with games and hardware, and most of the games are still under copyright. So, with everyone being a C&D letter away from having to find a new career, they can't exactly go advertising it as a feature.
I asked the people selling the one I linked, and they said they couldn't do VP tables "for legal reasons", even though they were able to supply the units with 400+ FP tables...

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Matt_B
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by Matt_B » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:57 pm

Rev. Stuart Campbell wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 12:34 pm
I asked the people selling the one I linked, and they said they couldn't do VP tables "for legal reasons", even though they were able to supply the units with 400+ FP tables...
VPX uses the MAME license, which means you're not supposed to ship it pre-installed with hardware. Nobody cares too much about Future Pinball because it's old and abandoned; there are still people tweaking the code to improve the physics and get new tables working, but it's not like the developers are going to band together to run you out of business.

Additionally VPX tables run using actual ROM dumps where the behaviour of FP ones is only as accurate as you can recreate them in scripts; you can do that with VPX too, I suppose, but the default assumption would be that you'd used the ROMs. That puts people selling VPX-ready tables at much greater risk of being sued by the pinball manufacturers for copyright infringement.

There are potential copyright and trademark issues with FP tables where they're using scanned graphics though. Still, there are a heck of a lot of original FP tables or ones where someone has taken the layout of a real world table and used their own graphics, and I'd suspect that the 400 you'd get would be those.

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DPrinny
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Re: Virtual Pinball

Post by DPrinny » Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:07 pm

On that, the Pinball collection on Steam apparently had a load more tables, companies didn't want them on it so they got removed

https://store.steampowered.com/app/2382 ... ll_Arcade/

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