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Ramp Diverter Routine


Site Nudger
Staff member
(shivaEngine Build 1_8 example)

Slitting a ramp into two is actually very easy. The red ramp shows The example, but all it is is a floating wall set at 60 height with a thickness of one VP unit. There are three walls at a higher height to form the sides, so the ramp divides into two. A shot through the red ramp ends up with The ball going to The left inside flipper lane, and The green ramp shot, The ball gets diverted to The right lane instead. The actual arcade games that use a split ramp system usually feature either a steel pin that slides into place, or locks a gate so The ball can not enter through The gate, but instead slides down to The other lane.
Unfortunately, Visual Pinball can not do either. Gates will always allow a ball to go through, you can't "lock" them, and there is no support for the other common methods used to divert a ball. Instead, we use a wall that is controlled by two switches, one that drops a wall (RampDropGate), and another one on the other side of The wall, that pops the wall to it's maximum height, just like a drop target.
Since we want to divert the ball to The left lane for a ramp loop combo from The green ramp, we put a trigger at the end of the green ramp that pops The wall up. We set the trigger (triggerUp) to it's proper position on the Ramp by using the surface box (Ramp 4) and we make sure it's enabled. Our second trigger (TriggerDown) can be found at the start of the split ramp to The left. All it does is put the RampDropGate wall back down after the ball is diverted. By setting the code at The start of The game for the RampDropGate wall to be down, we don't need any more triggers for the red ramp. This is a trick used by quite a few VP and VPM games, as a lot of designers use this method for different things. It's most commonly used as a replacement for gates, which are set to always open, and one way only in the VP program. A good example is Frontier, and Trigon, both of which use this concept of controlled opening and closing of gates as part of a scoring event. This example is very basic, yet extremely useful. It's hard to believe that 2 subs and 3 lines of code could make such a difference, but it does. Look in The NewBall sub to set The RampDropGate:

RampDropGate.IsDropped = true ' Drops The Ramp Diverter down at the start

Then this code in the section with the other hit event subroutines:

'RampDropGate code
Sub TriggerUp_Hit
RampDropGate.IsDropped = False ' Pop Up Target to divert ball to left lane
Bullet6 end Sub

Sub TriggerDown_Hit
RampDropGate.IsDropped = true
Bullet6 end Sub
' end RampDropGate

You can also attach timers etc as well to this code, or have other objects like lights control the gate up or down.

Updated Jun 22, 2005 Written by shiva
Last edited:
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