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Flipperless They are coming...

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Cool beans! :D

I particularly appreciate the unusual flipperless tables. Those with alternate designs, or the extra clever ones, or even the beautiful ones. Or those that combine all that stuff, like Cloverleaf for example, which I'll get back to testing soon enough.

Do you have any plans to re-create pachinkos, btw? IIRC the spinners are tough to do in VP, but at this point there's probably some good methods that have been used here and there. Using a reel graphic and some simple logic seems like it might work. I did try flippers once, arranged in a kind of wheel, and they proved to be rather cumbersome at the time. But maybe they could work, nowadays.
 

druadic

Pinball Wizard
Cool beans! :D

I particularly appreciate the unusual flipperless tables. Those with alternate designs, or the extra clever ones, or even the beautiful ones. Or those that combine all that stuff, like Cloverleaf for example, which I'll get back to testing soon enough.

Do you have any plans to re-create pachinkos, btw? IIRC the spinners are tough to do in VP, but at this point there's probably some good methods that have been used here and there. Using a reel graphic and some simple logic seems like it might work. I did try flippers once, arranged in a kind of wheel, and they proved to be rather cumbersome at the time. But maybe they could work, nowadays.

Never fiddled with pachinkos but I think tiltjlp and another author did. Animation via VP is not tough actually, you just have to use walls. I have an original table idea that would animate lightening and even bubbling, but it's a long way off. I also ideas for a "loop de loop" in a flipperless table for "skill scoring". We'll have to wait and see what I can do.


Using walls at one or two degree increments along with turning the images work near flawless actually, but what I have in mind would use an external program of sorts. Like I said, when I find the time (which won't be very soon) we'll see what I can do.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Ah yes, I see Patrick did a number of them, plus a couple other people:
http://irpinball.org/nonpinball.htm

The walls method sounds interesting. I'll take a look at what's going on in these games here.


Edit oof, I'm not sure Patrick ever played pachinko before. Looks like he doesn't even try to implement the spinners. So far I'm not sure anyone ever did come up with a way to handle them in vp...
 
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druadic

Pinball Wizard
It's actually very easy if you have a stationary item which just needs to be turned a few degrees. Using walls on top of one another, you can have them raise or drop using various images. The images can be turned left or right using a good graphics program (such as GIMP 2.10) as long as you keep the image in the SAME PLACE, turning the graphic left or right.


I've used this method a few times and it works.


One example without using a graphic is Bank-A-Ball which I released for VPX. Check out the walls at the top right hand of the screen for the top right banker. Use the flipper keys to move the wall left or right during play. All I did was make a single wall the way I needed it to be, then COPIED it, rotated it and voila, using the flipper keys the walls could drop or raise to make the game play look like the real thing.


A graphic example would be Bonanza (my 1 ball payout by Exhibit) would be the ball slappers that kick the balls further into the play field for game play. Very simple premise. Using the original image, I drew around the slappers at each side and made a regular FULL screen image with just the slappers, removing the rest of the play field image. I then made another copy of the slappers and moved the tiny images a few lines up, thus making the slappers look like they are moving using some walls. Piece of cake.


The BEST example would be some amazing tables by Starman (Walter is his name) and his work is one of the finest examples of this; especially his soccer themed table with moving players. It was an amazing thing to see what Starman did and how he pulled it off. Check that table out too if you have the time (it uses VP9).
 
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Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Sounds interesting; I'll take a look at your examples.

One thing that I have to mention about these pachinko spinners, is that they're made of fins attached to a wheel that rotates. Unlike the flipper object, VP never really came close to intending to emulate objects like that.

In terms of each spinner wheel, IIRC there's specifically something like 6-8 fins, all rotating around the wheel. Then each one needs to be represented as walls, 0-50 by gradations as you're saying. On top of that, there's the quality physical formulas necessary to capture the whole situation, because additional balls coming down will commonly spin the virtual wheel in the opposite directions, for example.

Also, I think the one thing that makes something like this much harder is that there's no baseline VP object that makes particular sense. Flippers are the closest, probably, and walls are the most generic and adaptable. Yet neither has that "Jenny says quack" principle.
 

druadic

Pinball Wizard
Sounds interesting; I'll take a look at your examples.

One thing that I have to mention about these pachinko spinners, is that they're made of fins attached to a wheel that rotates. Unlike the flipper object, VP never really came close to intending to emulate objects like that.

In terms of each spinner wheel, IIRC there's specifically something like 6-8 fins, all rotating around the wheel. Then each one needs to be represented as walls, 0-50 by gradations as you're saying. On top of that, there's the quality physical formulas necessary to capture the whole situation, because additional balls coming down will commonly spin the virtual wheel in the opposite directions, for example.

Also, I think the one thing that makes something like this much harder is that there's no baseline VP object that makes particular sense. Flippers are the closest, probably, and walls are the most generic and adaptable. Yet neither has that "Jenny says quack" principle.

With VP, YOU must make the proper adjustments and movements via the table. Some of it can be easy, a LOT of it is tough. BUT, it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.


When I have time, we'll have to do a collaboration project together and perhaps we can make a really fine pachinko game. Who knows. I could even find time between tables and we can start something. Let me know. It might be a bit interesting for me since I've never worked on these machines because I usually work on coin operated ones.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
With VP, YOU must make the proper adjustments and movements via the table. Some of it can be easy, a LOT of it is tough. BUT, it all depends on what you're trying to accomplish.

When I have time, we'll have to do a collaboration project together and perhaps we can make a really fine pachinko game. Who knows. I could even find time between tables and we can start something. Let me know. It might be a bit interesting for me since I've never worked on these machines because I usually work on coin operated ones.
That's a GREAT idea, and I'm flattered, duderino.

The main reason I stopped developing in VP is due to increasing brain fog, and increasing arthritis in my fingers & wrists. That stuff is down to a disease I'm currently struggling with, although there's been kind of a breakthrough on the horizon that could change things up for me, something fierce.

Let's see how things go, but for now, I like your idea. :)
 

druadic

Pinball Wizard
That's a GREAT idea, and I'm flattered, duderino.

The main reason I stopped developing in VP is due to increasing brain fog, and increasing arthritis in my fingers & wrists. That stuff is down to a disease I'm currently struggling with, although there's been kind of a breakthrough on the horizon that could change things up for me, something fierce.

Let's see how things go, but for now, I like your idea. :)

Just let me know. Of course it seems the older I get the worse my brain works, but it's funny once I picked up VPX I began to remember a lot of what I knew from the past. The worst part is my other medical issues but have been working around them.


Anyway, this may be fun. Just say the word and we can start. I'm always open to any date to start on a project as long as I can juggle my other projects into the mix.


Talk soon.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
The worst part is my other medical issues but have been working around them.
Foof. Yeah, after a lifetime of practice, I know that one for sure. Yet the alternative (sitting around on your arse) is far more detrimental for a body IME. "No pain, no gain," so to speak!

Haha, anyway...

Well, let's say this, druadic-- solving the issue on Cloverleaf will be my homework. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye open for a worthy pachinko game to be emulated. I'm thinking maybe an older 40's-50's-60's version, pre-electricity.

For example, here's one such idea, even if it's slightly out of my conceptual time frame:

1973 Nishijin M-11 (King Frog)
http://pachinkoplanet.com/images/restored4sale/1509/rest1509_pf.jpg
http://pachinkoplanet.com/images/restored4sale/1509/rest1509_back.jpg
Code:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFyK_EgqPu4
Also-- one thing you might notice about the VP pachinko re-creations in general is that they're NOT just terrible, inauthentic conversions, but they also lack any bells & whistles that many VP PB games have. For example, no ball effects, no sound of the ball hitting a pin, no lighting FX, no author FX of virtually any kind.

By comparison, just listen to that joyful clattering of balls in the video above!

Now, I reckon Bob in particular did the best conversion job from that I've seen, specifically by adding info and statistics to the active playing state, but also by adding a more authentic ball launch system. (because in pachinko it's common to put more than one ball in play at a time... Patrick!)

.

In the meantime, my wireless keyboard is on its way out, and I need to order a new one. Might be a little while until I get back to you upon this stuff. In the mean time, keep up the good work!
 

druadic

Pinball Wizard
Some of the mechanics on a pachinko are not tough to deal with or the lighting actually, but the specific problem will be the amount of balls allowed on the screen at any one given time. Reason for this is that after a good amount of balls are on the screen VP is famous for slowdowns and a lot of people don't have higher end machines to not have the slowdowns or lags.


I for one don't have this issue as I've tested over 100 balls on my screen without a single hiccup, but of course my system is a dual Xeon system with 24GB of ram and a MSI 480 card with 8GB of RAM so I'll not have that problem.


I've never really delved into dealing with packhinkos, but we'll have to "wing it" so to speak until we can figure out exactly what needs to be done. I don't know how else to even tackle the issues.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
A traditional pachinko is very much like the games you're emulating, in fact. You shoot the ball at a specific strength, it bounces around the pins fairly randomly, and if the ball ends up in a scoring position, you add that score. Sometimes you need to hit a PF toy before-hand in order to open it up for scoring, but that's about as deep as the logic goes.

There's also a fascinating gambling backstory to pachinkos that makes up for their extreme simplicity. Indeed, they're hugely significant cultural objects in Japanese history, involving the Yakuza, even. No VP emulation will ever be able to capture all that, but as we saw with Bob's version, some factoids that get displayed in-game would be a nice option to help re-create the spirit of the game.

I don't see the # of balls issue being a real problem. We can always start with a low-ish cap, and the user can adjust it to match their machine capability. Displaying that number on-screen makes sense to me, as would be automatically loading & storing it in a save file.

Again, I'm pretty sure the biggest challenge will come down to getting the spinners realistic and functional. If you have a chance, watch some youtube video of the spinners in action, then check out some of those pachinko re-creations over at IRP. They run in VP8, btw.

IIRC the closest any of those 4-5 authors come in emulating a spinner is in using lights to indicate the spinning action. That's not a terrible solution IMO, but it still doesn't behave the way the real thing does.
 

druadic

Pinball Wizard
Well I wouldn't use lights for spinning but walls and turning the images of the original spinners by one or two degrees each, consisting of around 50 to 75 walls making the spinning process much more satisfying. I've played these and found replicating the flower petals and spinners aren't too much of an issue really (of course it depends on the spinner type itself) but the ball capacity is. I can create a ball limiter so to speak which would limit balls by 25, 50, 75 or 100 which would more than likely pique interest in the pachinkos in VPX I'm sure. Let's take this slow and we'll get this ball rolling.
 

Ike Savage

Froggy like robot
Staff member
Site Supporters
Hmm. What would be the advantage of having the ball-limit-on-screen variable go by units of 25 in particular?

I assume this is a different variable than balls-per-play, which necessarily should be a specific, limited number.
 
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druadic

Pinball Wizard
Sorry I have not released anything yet folks. It takes time. I am redrawing two tables at once that are currently NOT on the IPDB. Both are near complete but still need some redrawing, coding and tweaking. I think you'll like what is coming next. Keep nudging those machines!
 

druadic

Pinball Wizard
Working on a Friday (05/01/20) OR a Saturday release on (05/02/20). A bit more tweaks and a new release will be up shortly; no later than Sunday (05/03/20) I am hoping.
 
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    also, just to be clear-- the issue with "unapprove" is that you don't know if the table actually gets deleted from the server, right? AFAIK I have no way of seeing where the tables actually lie on the server, so it's something I can't test effectively
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