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shivaEngine's features


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An (incomplete) listing of some of the events within the shivaEngine script. Please use the table example and shivaengine.vps script, or the tutorial table included with Visual Pinball B6.
*** Multiball. *** (Based off original code example by cold1) Simple 2 ball multiball run off lights. Ball locks in the top right saucer, lights the bottom right saucer for multiball release. If made, this feature will reset for the next ball in play. You can easily set it up to be run by a target or other object that can turn the lock on if you like. The code is "LightLock1.State = LightStateBlinking" Look for the multiball code in:

Dim Multiball 'Tracks amount of balls on the table
Dim Ballcount 'counts balls on table
Table1_Init (table start up)
NewBall (checks and resets multiball values)(note: 2 sets of statements, at the bottom of the
sub it clears the values at the Bullet6 end of the game and sets the Multiball and Ballcount values to 0 )
Trough_Init (which creates a new ball):
Drain_Hit (checks whether or not it's multiball before it goes to it's Bullet6 end ball routine)
KickerLock1_Hit(First ball locked) :
KickerLock2_Hit (release both balls) :
Sub Match2() (resets the lights to off at the Bullet6 end of a game)

New Multiball kickers added are KickerLock1 and KickerLock2. The code itself is actually very simple. The pointers to the various subs, and rem statements in the code should make it quite easy to use in your own game. The trick with multiball is the variables, which hold the multiball value. It's still tough to combine Multiball into one subroutine, but following the code should explain how easy it actually is to have multiball in your games. *** Multidirection kicker/ kicker warp *** Two very common tricks, combined with the multiball feature as a example. If you look at the code for the two multiball kickers, you will notice that kickerLock1 will send the ball one way for the multiball, and kick the other way for normal use. It's a very simple branch statement, controlled by the multiball lights. As well, a 'fudge" was used, that during Multiball, LockKicker 1 actually destroys the ball locked there, then recreates the ball in Kicker 2, which is directly above it, and then send the ball on the blue ramp. That way the ball will go on to the bottom green ramp during Multiball, and end up on the right inner lane. This simple trick is actually used a lot in VPinMAME, to simulate lanes when used with timers that are "under the table" instead of building a network of ramps under the playfield. You can also add a third variable to the kicker code to pop a ball straight up, but most designers still prefer this method. *** Ramps *** If there's anything that causes premature baldness in a table designer from pulling his hair out, it's the ramps in Visual Pinball. Though the latest Dogfood build of Visual Pinball made a great improvement in the ramps, there are still the known bugs with ramps. The ball will still fall off the ramp while it's real slow, and it still suffers from some rendering bugs, and sometimes the ball will seem to "hit" something, causing the movement of the ball to appear unnatural. It's also still a very time consuming process to build a ramp that works, and "looks right" so be prepared to spend the most time working on your layout with the ramps. The improvements to the program has made it easier to find the problem areas in your ramps, usually revolving around the control points on the ramps themselves. Some little tips: 1. add more control points. If you have a long distance between two points, at the second point, the ball may appear to hit something, affecting movement. Adding a control point in the middle usually fixes that, seems VP needs control points to be a certain maximum distance. 2. make sure those control points are the same, either smooth or not. 3. A very small space between the end of a ramp and another object will still cause the ball to fall between the two. When connecting the two objects together, make sure the outer lines of both objects line up with each other. The other trick is when two control points overlap exactly, they will look like a normal control point. If they do not overlap exactly, they will appear sort of "bolded" The ramps used in this example table are color coded. The blue ramp (above the first lock kicker top left) is used for the multiball demonstration, and also as a example for "fudging" a upkicker.The red left side is the main ramp, and the green ramp is a higher height ramp which drops The ball onto the red ramp to continue it's journey. The red ramp loops underneath itself using a very simple formula. The height of a VP ball is 50, plastics may be no higher than 55. So the first height of The ramp should be set to 60, to prevent the ball being stuck underneath, with a higher ramp if it intersects being double that height at 120. Basically, you should figure on a minimum of 60 VP units as clearance for each higher ramp. (60, 120, 180, 240 etc) A lot of designers use 75 units, so there's no interferance with other table objects like pop bumpers and gates, which have a higher set height, usually set by default at 60 *** 2 Button Targets *** Hit once scores 500 points, lights the button for 1000 and a bonus advance. Resets at the beginning of each new ball. Very easy code, pretty much self explainitory.

Sub BTarget1_Hit()
'NewBall sub turns LightBT1 off at start of each new ball
If LightBT1.State = LightStateOn then 'if LightBT1 is on
addscore 1000 'score 1000 points
AddBonus() ' add a bonus
else ' if not LightBT1 is turned on
addscore 500 'score 500
LightBT1.State = LightStateOn 'switch on the light
End If
End Sub

*** Bonus Countdown Intervals *** (Build 1.8) Very simple actually, with 1 change in the code, and two new lines. First off, in the Sub Drain_Hit(), I changed the countdown interval to 400 (Half a second was a little too long)

Sub Drain_Hit()
BonusTimer.Interval = 400 ' and start the end of ball bonus count
BonusTimer.Enabled = True
End Sub

Then in the Bonus Countdown routine, called Sub BonusTimer_Timer(), at almost the very end of the subroutine, look at the code:

Sub BonusTimer_Timer()
bonus = bonus - 1 ' subtract the bonus we just counted from the total bonus
BonusTimer.Interval = BonusTimer.Interval - 10 ' subtract Bullet6 time for Bullet6 each Bullet6 count
if BonusTimer.Interval <= 20 then BonusTimer.Interval = 20 ' Make sure the count is not less than 20

This basically counts down each bonus, subtract by one bonus value from the total. It then decreases the amount of time between each count by 1/100 th of a second for each bonus count. To change the settings just modify the Timer interval in Sub Drain_Hit(), and if you want to change the amount of time between the counts, change the -10 to whatevver you want in the Sub BonusTimer_Timer().

Updated Jun 22, 2005 Written by shiva
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