About reviews of "all in one" software packages

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
We at Pinball Nirvana understand that to most people who join the community, they may not have the technical skills to get vpx or even fp working without a bit of help, so we have been considering looking at several programs aimed at getting more people to play our games. After some discussion, we have decided to also look and review the non-commercial programs that include games with their download. As a Author, I don't like these programs any more than anyone else, but, as much as we try to sweep these programs under the carpet and pretend they don't exist, the truth is a lot of new users do in fact use these programs, because it is such a pain in the ass to not only set-up vpx and FP sometimes, but also the many hours needed to download and get each table to work.

So instead of sweeping things under the rug, and having people use out of date software with very old versions of tables that make the authors look bad (like me, I found a table of mine that was a older version that wont even play in BAM because it was that old) maybe we could do a better job of this. As far as I am concerned, it doesn't matter what people use to become part of our community, all that matters is that they are a part of our community.

If we can steer them to a modern up to date program with current tables, ( instead of wagging our finger at people for doing something we don't approve off and then have them download some old obsolete program that makes the authors look bad), then at least we can make it better for everyone. As a community, we have done a piss poor job of this, and certainly haven't made things easier for new users who want to play pinball. As a example, I'm setting up a cabinet, and started to download and install and setup tables for that, and it has taken hours just for a bunch of games. Some people forget that, it can take a long time to get a decent collection up and running, and most new users have no idea where to start, where to find the tables from multiple sources (there are 3 main and 2 small sites just for vpx) how to get them setup properly, or what to do if something doesn't work.

After going through all of that, I really can't blame new people for using these things, but I also want to make sure they use the proper programs, or at least the right programs to get them started. Since I have a brand new computer to set-up, I decided to have a look at some of these programs, as well as spotlight projects from some of our community members, just to see what works, what doesn't, and which program(s) are the ones I would use if I was a "newbie". I'm tired of looking bad if someone plays a old out of date table I did, and it's a bad reflection on the entire community. I would rather just look at all of these programs, give my impressions, and give new people a informed opinion. We can always wriggle our fingers at them later if they download and use them.

I won't be looking at products that are part of a commercial package like pre-built cabinets that "includes" tables without the permission of the authors, those are scum and people know exactly how I feel about those. I also will occasionally look at other licensed products, starting with the AtGames Legends Gamer Pro controller, which should be on my doorstep in a couple weeks, as well as anything else I buy/sent to me/borrow.

There are quite a few packages out there, CoinOps Next2, Pinball Emporium, and others, as well as installers like the new "baller" just released, so if people have suggests or know of others, just comment here.
 
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Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
I look forward to these reviews!

Fact is, I'm only familiar with a few contemporary simulators beyond FP and VP, so this will be quite educational for me.

I did try searching a bit to see if anyone had put together a list of non-commercial simulators, but only found WP's hodge-podge list of pinball-video games, probably pretty-well out of date. Still, it's a start:

But maybe, as one of the many ongoing site projects, we can collaborate on building a proper list with proper descriptions.
 
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AnonTet

Pinball Wizard
Site Supporters
I support this. I don't consider myself educated enough in pinball but I know my ways around software and even I have to say that the 1st time I recall installing VP (example) was a pain. Nowadays it is much easier (to install) but the problem remains regarding information on what's next and where to put this or download that or why this error happens. Just finding a probable right answer to our questions is tiresome as it can be in a link lost in a 100 page thread... from 2010...

I personally think this is a much needed work so I'm thanking you in advance for it.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Yeah,the entire thing has grown into quite a mess. Because I have a new computer, I decided to set up the old one for cabinet use. VPX is actually alright,other than throwing out half my downloads because they supported one DMD format or another, but FP wasthe worst because of having to manually adjust the screen in cabinet mode.

Here's a idea for everyone with cabinets. Zip up your cfg files in the BAM folder and put them up here. Best thing we can do to help people if we want them to play fp tables, and not expect them to spend a hundred hours putting in each table one at a time. Most of those people wont, they will just use vpx tables then.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Looking at pinball emporium right now. Reading Facebox and some negative comments about it with authors rights makes me laugh a bit, as nearly all the tables use other ip or copyrighted material from other sources. As to this front end, I should mention a new version will be coming out shortly, but i have noticed a couple things he missed in the settings, and fp is being the usual bitch it always is with 2 screen set ups. Had some windows problems (no sound) but alas, fp is crashing with the front end due to my 2 monitor setup, but this is not the setup I will be using with my cabinet. The big thing is he has changed the default keys in FP, I guess to match the vpx keys, so it's a bit different.
This is a pure cabinet setup, pretty easy but you really need to run the install video with this one.
Table selection seems pretty good and sort of current, but then this program is a bit older as this version came out a few months ago. Have to see what version of BAM this is etc. VPX tables though hasn't caused me any problems and look properly scaled and work fine so far. (yes, I am amazed as well at that concept, but then I have only tried out a few games) Even FP cab games look great single screen, scaled perfectly so far.
 

ArgCades

Pinball Player
Hi, im super new here, its good that people like you is finally "ok..ish" with the AIO pinball solutions, of course... not the ones that are sold... but the ones that are free for everyone. I found myself tinkering with VP and FP for a year and even more, and i really think that a better solution is needed to get people started at least, i am a person who spends hours and hours reading, trying, failing, reading again... and even couldnt pass some errors sometimes...
I also know that is really hard to make AIO for different setups, i think the "baller" installer will make things easier at least to have a starting point.
I just tried a little bit the Pinball Emporium but i only have one setup right now and did not want to screw my config so i did not installed on my main rig. Looks good and its actively updated by the developer.
Now, with this post and your opinion i feel encourage to make my own build and try to share it with everyone, i will try to make my best and i dont want to put a filler in it, just a few good tables for people to have a starting point and get into this awesome virtual pinball world.
It would be nice to get your opinion when im done, the only thing that i did for now is the "PinArcade" build, but i failed cos i made it for portrait so implement VP on that one will be a total mess, but at least for me FP works good but its not the latest BAM version.
Thanks for your opinion on this matter.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
This is the thing. No matter what, people, and the majority of them especially new to vp/fp, are going to use these no matter what. We can shout at them as much as possible, but all that will happen is they go underground, or are too scared to ask for help.
People on their high horse should just fall off and think about making things a lot easier for new people, instead of expecting new people to have the tech knowledge to do this themselves. Before I started, i took a fresh install of FP and VPX, and after problems with both, spent a bit of time fixing things. Then I started to put in the tables one by one. a hour later, I had 10 working, a lot of the vpx games I downloaded just didn't work because of one thing or another, and I couldn't be bothered to spend the time fixing them.

Do you think new people will do this? I don't. I decided when I was going to look at these things that a lot of people really don't care what my actual views are, and would prefer just a honest uncoloured opinion from someone that started vpinball development 22 years ago. If there's one I like the best, the one that new people should be using as opposed to programs that are out of date or just out and out bad, then that's all the new players will care about.

No matter what I say, or what my choice is, doesn't matter. It's the choice of the people that will use it. If someone objects to all in one packages, fine. Not part of this review system. If someone downloads say Pinball Emporium, they can always just delete out the tables and add them back in from downloading if they feel they are disrespecting authors.

As authors, community members and leaders, we have done a very bad job of this, supporting our own products properly, and now we consistently face this issue. We don't include videos, or wheel images, or even a basic cfg file. We didn't offer a simpler method for newer users to use, and sometimes, when a new user posts for help, some people seem intent on making that new person feel stupid, or are just out and out condescending.

We could see a big explosion of new users, 99 percent of them will have no clue what they have to do. No matter how much some of us object, it's time to just get off our high horse, stop tripping over one moral and ignoring all the other ones that we are doing ourselves, and just make it easier for those new people and our selves.
 

Vpxpinball

Pinball Player
I would have to agree. i think that most people do spend countless hours trying to figure out how to get installs working properly, but just can't do it and if they do figure it out it is out dated and not a proper reflection of the author. Most people will put in the time but after so many failed attempts they give up. I know I have many times .
There are a lot of tutorials out there that are to complex and unintentionally leave a small step out. This scan easily happen in a 30 minute video. And when the video is technical a 30 minute video can turn into a much longer video, that you can't get the same results as the author. People get frustrated and feel like it's is a club they are not allowed in. I think this could end up being the best thing that ever could happen for this community. If the community wants exposure this is definitely a step in the right direction. Thanks in advance.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Yeap. I have had a talk with the author. I get it, he just wants to help people just like I do, JP, Gimli, George.

I made a couple suggestions to him, and I think this is a stand up guy, so I will support his front-end in future, as well as Baller as well. Not hard to include the cfg, a front end video, and images for it in my next releases. He has stated already this next release is just a improvement to the install, don't think there will be any more tables.

I actually think that we as authors should be doing everything we can to allow people to play our games. If this happens as stated, maybe we should start sharing cfg/video/wheel images so new users can pop them in to PE or Baller, and then when they download the table, just pop the vpt/fpt file in their tables folder and it will work. A download maybe?
 

ArgCades

Pinball Player
I think this is the first step into the right direction, countless people asked me for months to make a vp build based on retrofe frontend and i always answered, i dont know, maybe later, and even told them that the autors didnt want this approach, and i understood the reasons why and respect those reasons.
This step will benefit the community and in the end a lot of new people would end up going deeper into the hobby, and hopefully, benefit the authors along the way somehow.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Which is the way it is suppose to be, as opposed to the way that ended up in flames, insults and bad feelings. I wonder if those that are so public about their opposition bothered to even talk to the author. Far as I am concerned, and for my own personal interest, I have no problem promoting my games with this, the more people that play it, the more that enjoy it, the happier I am about it. I guess I have learned after 20 odd years that it is always best to hear 2 sides of a story, and make up my own mind as opposed to having someone tell me what I am suppose to think.
 

clarkee

Pinball Player
I just had to say thats the most measured and sensible thoughts on PE ive heard. Im not an idiot around a PC, and actually was looking at Mame about 20 years ago, but i fell out of love with this stuff cos of 'life'....Then i came across Nate and installed PE. Ive tried not to mither too much about how this works and how that can be fixed and went to many of the vpin sites and read and watched and read and watched again. Ive learned a lot along the way and actually once the new PE comes along and is installed on my cab [current versions is superb but ive 3 displays so had to do some manual tinkering], ill shall be setting up another 3 screen pc and trying to setup from scratch using baller installer. Ive also got another machine which is used for playing with Argcades builds. One thing i did see whilst out in the comminuty was some really bad attitudes towards noobies which was really quite sad to be honest. As you say, You cannot stop these builds, people want stuff easy and quickly, and l;ets face it a lot of these wizards have had a lot of time on their hands in the last 12 months! Have a great day people. Im off to work. peaceout and once again Thanks to Argcades and Nate and Nailbuster for spreading the love in this hobby.
 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I didn't know such software even exists. I guess I'm living the past. My idea of a front end program is what I wrote in this tutorial:

 

Spelly88

Pinball Player
I'm relatively new to virtual pinball, and I do know my way around a PC. Before I found Pinball Emporium, I watched a lot of YouTube and TerryRed and MajorFrenchy videos and was actually able to get a VPX setup running on a proof of concept desktop. I had no desire to mess with Future Pinball as it was hard to just get VPX up and running.

Then I tried Pinball Emporium and man, how great is that... Everything just works. And in the rare chance I had an issue, Nate answers all questions in a calm and helpful manner. I get the reservation about tables being included, but from an end user standpoint, I wouldn't have known about 75% of these tables if I didn't see them in Emporium, so I'm really glad he did. And the tables I wind up liking, I go look up the authors and see what else they've made. I just think this is a great thing overall. I actually just finished building a real cabinet from scratch (ok I cheated and bought the GRS 43", but everything else I did) and with PE, I think it's as good as the real thing for me. So thank you to all the amazing people involved in this community, the table builders, developers, artists, etc. Without you, none of this exists. Also thank you to Nate and Pinball Emporium for making the barrier to entry really small and allowing more people to experience this great hobby.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Reviews will be delayed. For Pinball Emporium, a new version will be released soon, so it makes sense to wait till it is out. As to Baller, I can not recommend using this program at the time being. It is not ready yet, I found several things, one that caused fp to crash no matter what., though I figured out why and fixed it. (I will send a list to Nailbuster) it is typical vpx complexware, has too many problems out of the box for beginners to be able to use, and biggest of all, at least to me, there is no uninstall that I can see, or windows can see for that matter. In my book, that is a automatic no for any beginner.

It's just not ready for prime time, and people new to vpinball and have none of the technical knowledge with computers (basically 99 percent of the entire planet) to be able to fix problems without asking for a lot of help may find this a bit frustrating, and may not like the fact they have to delete registry items manually. Both vpx and fp can screw up a lot and very quickly, and not being able to start over fresh is a very bad thing. Still, once the problems have been ironed out, then a second look is in order.
 

TerryRed

Pinball Master
This is going to be a lively hot topic...that's for sure. I've seen all sides of this spectrum.

-------------------

Regarding wanting to bring people into the community.

Lets get right to that. I have no doubt many if not most people who "just want to play" and want an all in one with everything included (apps, tables, roms, pup-packs, etc) tend to have NO interest in coming into the community and be active on the main virtual pinball web sites. They just want a download link, and don't give two thoughts about who made the games, apps, or how to help improve any of it. Let's be real... that's going to be the majority of people who are used to just downloading (or purchasing) an all in one HDD with everything on it. If they come on to the main vp sites.. it would only be to have someone fix their setup as a result of these packages that they know nothing about. They tend to have no interest in giving up "their" free time to try to help themselves. They just want someone else to give up their time to fix it for them so "they can just play". I have seen this attitude far too often as opposed to those who are humble and "try" to learn and help themselves (and are not lazy).

That tends to leave a bad taste in many people's mouth... particularly those who do try to help out many people in the hobby.

I tend to be more of the "help others to help themselves" type. This is why my videos and guides are more detailed that "explain things" instead of just "install and forget about it", because that is not going to help anyone in the long run. I'm in the trenches and I've seen the problems people get over and over and over again, so I'm not talking out of my ass here (and I've been a tech for 25+ years).

I'll be damned though if I will give up "more" of "my" time (which I already do enough as it is) to help someone who won't even attempt to help themselves, and has no care in the world about the community.

I've gone out of my way on my guides and videos to specifically direct everyone to the main vp and fp related sites with links, etc. So there is no excuse as to know where they need to go for downloads of the apps or tables, and for help.

Let's be real... sooner or later, everyone will need to fix something on their setup, as Windows just loves to create problems... or if they add new hardware down the line, or change things. Both VPX and FP are getting older and its getting harder to just "install them and play" given the restrictions that come from things like Defender, anti-virus, security restrictions, uac, lack of things installed like Visual C++, direct x, proper drivers, etc.

It's a disservice to lead people to think "any" installer will fix "all" their problems. It won't. They need to know the software and "their" hardware to some extent. This hobby and the software involved is not Pinball FX.... and we need to be realistic about that and be sure everyone understand that.


-------------------

For "installers"... the big issue comes down to a few things... the software portion and the table / roms / extras portions.

The software portion:

I can't speak on behalf of all the devs out there... but I can in regards to Pinup Player and Popper... both of which I am an active part of their development. I can tell you that neither Pinup Player or Popper are free to include with any installer or package, unless Nailbuster has approved it for such. For Pinball Emporium (and some others, but not all) I can for sure say that Nailbuster was not consulted about Pinup Player's inclusion, nor has he said it was ok to include it (and he is easy to contact for requests). For the cabinet "sellers" that have included PuP and Popper with their cabinets... Nailbuster has also made it clear that it goes against the license and usage of Pup and Popper.... but they tend to do what they want anyways, because they only have an interest in making money off of others work... not contributing to the community.

Most devs tend to be fine with installers IF they are done right and with respect to the community as a whole and the wishes of the developers.


Authors:

- many authors only want their tables shared on specific sites, or not be part of any installer / download package. Doesn't matter if you don't like that or or agree with their reasons. It's called courtesy and respect for their wishes (if they made them known).

- others authors don't care either way.

- if authors aren't active or haven't been part of the community anymore for years... then they wouldn't care regardless.

- I'm sure most WANT everyone to play their tables.

- if an author (and all contributors) for a table / pup-pack, etc is consulted about inclusion with an installer package and they are fine with it, then that should be fine to have "those" specific things included (and it's no one else's business)


PinEvent:

For my own work (PinEvent and PinEvent tables)... I specifically only want PinEvent related stuff to be downloaded from the places I have made them available. My reasons are:

- I update PinEvent, the tables, and pup-packs regularly, so its essential that the correct files and updates for PinEvent, the tables, and pup-packs are being used together and "correctly"
- I give technical support to my table mods, pup-packs and PinEvent (and FP and VPX in general) at these places. I don't want to see misinformation about the wrong setup and usage of PinEvent being spread elsewhere which causes nothing but problems and headaches for the player and myself which can be avoided
- I want feedback to problems so I can address them quickly. When it was needed, it would be resolved quickly as a result of direct feedback at those download locations I shared my work at
- contrary to some people's belief, there are MANY different types of cabinet and hardware setups out there beyond a simple 2 screen or 3 screen setup. My work covers ALL of it.... but to be able to give support for ALL of them... the player's need to have the "proper" info to have everything setup correctly on their end. I provide all of that with EACH of my downloads on the vp site they are located at
- I take great pride in my work. I want to be sure everyone is using it correctly for their setup. Also... it sure would be nice to "see" them enjoying my work with maybe a shared picture or video link of it running on their cabinet. "THAT" is by far my greatest reward for what I do, and inspires me to do more

I DO want everyone to enjoy PinEvent and my tables / pup-packs. So let's be sure they know how to do that the right way, and where they can easily get them.


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Baller Installer

As for Baller Installer. this is still fairly new (so may need updates / fixes for sure)... but the intent of Baller Installer is geared more towards those who are interested in setting up VPX / FP / Popper and PuP.... and more so on a cabinet, but it can be used for desktop as well. (You don't have to use the Popper front-end if you don't want to).

Know your Layout, and "your" hardware.

It's designed to work with "all" setups, as long as during the install, the USER chooses the "correct" layout for their setup (they need to know what they have and are using on their cabinet first!), and also they need to set up their Windows / monitors / pup displays correctly, as the installer uses the pup displays as a reference for setting up everything else automatically. No other installer offers this kind of option, as there are multiple types of setups and configs needed for them out there.

FP and BAM

The FP and BAM portion is using my own guide's settings for FP and BAM directly (I provided them and tested them)...and I can assure you... THOSE are correct and should be what everyone should be using for the best and most "proper" starter install of FP and BAM that will work with all tables (old and new)

The FP video and editor settings are ready to go as they should be setup for proper usage. The only issue may come from the monitor / DISPLAY # settings getting mixed up for multiscreen cabinet users as a result of "Windows" mixing up things at some point later (a common problem with FP and VPX)...but that is beyond anything that any installer can predict or resolve everytime (why users need to know their basic PC settings).

It includes a good new default setup of BAM with a proper "default" POV for the playfield view for cabinet users, among other settings (disabling the HUD DMD,etc). For desktop users the BAM settings are changed accordingly as well.

The only problems that could arise are from Windows / Defender / Security settings not allowing BAM to work correctly (and give an error on tables)... and the lack of all Visual C++ updates not installed on the user's PC. All this is described and linked in my FP and BAM Mega Guide and Install videos.

PinEvent

PinEvent is included...and the default PinEvent settings that are setup from the installer are a result of what layout was chosen during the install (again... the user needs to know what "their" cabinet setup is using). The settings changed for cabinet users is the dmd driver type (based on the layout chosen during install) and the pup-pack option for RetroFlair BAM.

PinEvent PUP Stream is specifically NOT enabled by default, as it won't work for everyone's setup (and may cause a crash with FP on some hardware gpu combos). More info for it's setup and usage (for cabinet and desktop) is on my PinEvent install guide.

Users should be downloading any PinEvent tables and PuP-Packs from VPinball (or linked from Pinball Nirvanna) so they have the correct info for each table's setup and pup-pack options... and should be consulting the PinEvent Install guide there (included in the PinEvent_Settings.vbs with Baller Installer)

Popper is already setup to include the launch / close commands needed to enable / disable the FP Backglass and Arcade mode (not used with PinEvent tables). In Games Manager, just add PinEvent to the CustomLaunchParamter for each PinEvent table. For desktop users... they need to remove those extra lines in the launch / close script since they don't want the FP Backglass ever enabled.


Baller Installer can be easily reinstalled if someone messed up something, or chose the wrong layout during install. Just remove the entire installed folder (usually vPinball) and reinstall (default Baller settings should be used again).

As for it not having an "uninstaller". Not exactly the end of the world... but you need to determine if you want a fresh install from an uninstaller. Not everyone "wants" all the registry settings removed for VPinMAME etc... if they are doing a re-install.
 
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shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Don't disagree with any of that Terry, but then it's not me making the choice for other people, it's their choice. My choice is I don't really care what people use, as long as they use it, enjoy it, and don't pay for it.

As to a uninstaller. Yes there should be one. Period. There at the very least should be info or a list on how to remove the program manually, and really, what will the average person do if he needs to remove the program. You can not expect a average person to delete from his registry, most people do not know what they are doing. This is unfortunately a big problem within the vpx community. It's become geekware, and way beyond the levels of most peoples knowledge.

One of the most important things about what I want to do is give people a informed decision, and not just sweep it under the rug like what has been done for a long time. That is counter productive, and you also have to be honest with those people, and think about their skill level. A lack of a uninstaller to the average person is a BIG thing to those people. Computers are scary to some of them, they don't want to do these type of things even though it may not happen.

The average person will do what is easist, and will use the easist program to use.

For example. Pinball Emporium. A fine installer, very very easy to use. Sure there are tables in there, sure there are people tripping over their morals and seem to be dictating what someone should and shouldn't do. But what's preventing someone who just deletes those tables and downloading fresh ones to replace them? He will have to do it anyway if he wants the latest versions, no matter what he uses.

With Baller, you have to spend 10's if not 100's of hours putting in each game/images/videos/etc. It actually doesn't like easy to the average person either with the managers etc. To community memebers that has been here a while, they are fine with that and they should use baller then. Average person coming off the street... he may feel different.

My personal opinion aside, as a author, my next release will include logo, video and wheel images for the various installers. As far as I am concerned, I just want people to enjoy my games. Nothing else.
 
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ArgCades

Pinball Player
I personally spend a LOT of days watching not just Terry videos, but a lot more, going through posts, forums... and even for me (im not the saviest person but i know my way around registry entrys, windows behaviors, etc), it was NOT EASY AT ALL!... im still struggling with a lot of stuff sometimes and have to re-read for 100th time about a error that i maybe had months ago...
I really appreciate the work of all authors, creators, and tech guys that spend time making tutorials like Terry does for example, i learned a lot from them... but all of those, require a minimun tech level that most people dont have...
Is it ok to left those behind cos they are not smart enough? of course most will use the easiest way... but some, even trying to go the hard way... they will not reach the point of enjoyment that i know most authors want people to have.
And also, a lot of creators and tutorials are for more "High end" systems, with all bells and whistles, and for people going the "entry level" to see if they really like this things and see if they want to invest more time and of course a lot more money into this "hobby".
It is just my own opinion and of course i respect any other point of view like Terry's and the rest.
I love that they are trying to do this Baller installer wich will make things a little easier for the "non iniciated", but then the people will also need the the proper version of the table they want, the exact pup pack for the configuration they have, etc...
And want to point out one more thing... i personally know people who started as a "all in one pack downloader" and ended up making their own PupPacks... so, Terry... there's hope for the community to get more people this way, i know they are the fewer of the few... but there's still hope anyways.
 

TerryRed

Pinball Master
Baller Installer was made with the intention of being "community friendly"...and not stepping on any toes... or including anything without consent, etc. Could it include a whole bunch of stuff....sure but that wasn't the point.

Popper as a front-end was always intended for those who want customization, flexibility and more power features. This is not intended for those RetroPie types. So again... you can't compare it to all in one packages with a basic front-end that includes everything (tables, roms, pup-pack, media).... as its not trying to be that.... and Baller is also not trying to piss off the very people who provide content.

That may not be as convenient for everyone, and mostly for those who could care less about the vp community.... but it's doing things that way. If someone wants to get content... they can get it one way or another on their own. Baller installer won't tell them how they should do that (but Popper does provide built in media server / grabber).

It also isn't forcing people to use modified tables that have been made to only work with one specific set of controls. This may be ok for noobs or those who don't have cabinets, and don't know any better... but for cabinet users with varying hardware and controllers and configs, they definitely wouldn't want to confirm to that.


Would I like to see easier solutions? Sure of course... and I could have done things like that long ago... but in the end I'm not going to take it upon myself to just say "I don't care what any devs or authors think... I'm doing my own thing and share it anyway". Not exactly respectful or community friendly.

As an author... I do everything I can to make sure my releases will simply work as intended (like including BAM cfg file,etc), and go WAY out of my way to provide options for everyone (beyond anything I would ever use myself). I provide the info needed for everyone. It's all there.

There is no one setup solution...as there are many different configurations and pieces of hardware out there. As I pointed out... sooner or later... everyone will have a Windows related problem. All in One installers won't help them there.... and they need to understand Windows and software at a basic level to fix their problems. No one is left out... the information is there for them. They just can't rely one someone else to always fix their problems for them.

To make others think they won't need to understand this software or PCs or Windows if they want to get into the hobby... you are not helping them at all for what they may get into down the line... especially if they want to build a cabinet, or build a PC as that is a costly investment.


We can't exactly say things like "this can bring more people into the community" if the intent is to do things so they never have to come into the community as everything is provided for them. You can't have it both ways.

I don't expect everyone to be part of the community... but let's be honest and realistic about it when it comes to installers and all in one packages that include community made content. I know most other vp related sites that host the table content and forums sure don't like it. Without the vp related sites... you won't have "any" content to enjoy either.
 
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ArgCades

Pinball Player
In all honesty it didnt even cross my mind that authors could not be happy with people sharing their tables/packs/whatever somewhere else for start... idk why, but never cross my mind... Actually i found out from someone that some authors were not happy with that after i release a build with a lot of FP tables, im really sorry about it, i would have done things other way or never included those if i knew that previously.
However, i dont thing that anyone who makes a AIO solution, will take the job of contacting every creator to look for approval, again, its my own opinion, not talking for anyone else here.
And yes, a AIO solution would probably work on the current setup with the tables included and only basic setups 1/2/3 screens, no toys, no whistles, no haptics, ssf or anything else... and yes they may find the hard way that if they want more of their cab/setup, they will have to learn a lot first, but again, i think THATS the point when they could get actually INTO the community in a humble way to learn and be able to mod their own stuff. Of course, always hoping for the best of people.
Anyway, i will leave it here, thanks for all the work that you and the rest do for everyone else to enjoy.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
The problem is some packs (like Coin-ops) are so out of date that a few tables included with them just don't work. They are never tested, never updated, and should be avoided.

I think people who do these things do so with the best intentions. The fact that some members of the community seem to feel they have the right to speak for the authors and completely ignore the fact that we show "disrespect" in just about every other matter can be very off-putting. The only thing that actually happens is those people end up chasing those people out, or cause them to stop doing anything, when instead we as a community should instead show our appreciation even if it's the wrong way, and instead encourage those people to do something else that still benefits others.

For example. A frontend (use baller as a example even though I do not recommend using it at the moment) needs video files, graphics and textures like wheel images and menu/backglass items, audio files etc. None of this stuff will put some persons nose out of joint, so if people who know how to do graphics or video editing etc should decide to do up these files for older tables (or even new releases if the author decides to not do it) then that is helping a lot of people who haven't even opened Paint once in their life, and can grab the entire package for their cabinet.

Others can write routines for say checking monitor position which pretty much screws up everyone (which is in Baller, and actually one of the most handiest things, as Windows is very inaccurate with reporting positions in the display settings, and doesn't "take" when you do set them)

Ton's of stuff that can be done that is extremely helpful.
 

TerryRed

Pinball Master
Yes, both Baller Installer and Pup setup checks for Window positioning and eithers tells you that it's wrong or wont let you position a pup display, etc.

Baller is an installer... not a front-end :)

For media... Popper (front-end) has a great built-in built in media manager with a fetcher, so the user doesn't need to create anything (as long as there was already something made for the table). The user can also record media from popper as well on the fly right in the front-end so it matches their setup.

Could there be an all in one media set? Absolutely... and I encourage that. Some people don't like their custom fancy media creations like wheels and loading video to be shared in packs... but there is no reason why there can't be a nice ready to go media pack. That said... that can get rather large in size... so again... not what Baller Installer was intended for.... but something that can easily be copied if wanted. In fact.... Popper has a built in Media-Pack function to also drag and drop an entire media pack zip per table as well (like hyperspin used to) and everytinng goes where it needs to and gets renamed to match... just no one seems to use it.

Believe me when I say... in the early days of Popper, we tried to establish a "standard" naming convention so that a common database and media set could be made rather easily... but "everyone" wants to have things "their" way so they can customize things the way they want... have the naming conventions they want...etc.

I won't deny that even myself I can jump the gun when someone may be doing things considered not ok by "the community"... but I always try to either give them a heads up that it's not ok... or at least see if the person involved was clearly informed before hand or has been doing it a long time, etc. So far though... in all cases... the people involved...including Nate were told before hand what they were doing is wrong... and their response was that they didn't care and they were doing it anyway.

That REALLY sucks compared to other guys who "try" to do similar things in a way that may not piss off anyone. I personally don't like speaking on anyone else's behalf either (authors, content creator, etc) as for all I know they don't care where their tables are being shared. But there are many who are very vocal about it, and it's very clear that at the very least... most of the main vp sites where all the content is hosted are not happy with packages that include all the community made content out there.

I don't expect this stuff to not ever happen and its nothing new... and honestly I don't want to know about it or see shared links for it... as I have better things to do like creating more tables to play instead of dealing with drama.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
All-in-one would be very nice., but that is up to the authors to support, and most of them just can't be bothered. (Old problem) Just look at vpx and the multiple plug-ins as a example of better think before you do, and the constant questions and posts that turn up 5 times a year. Both communities are a huge mess in that regard, and we are certainly not all that helpful with all the various information being scattered all over the place and impossible to find.

Maybe there should be a standard for media packs at the very least. As authors, we should make things easier to use, because as authors we also benefit from it. The very reason we constantly have these problems because we just don't make things easier because it's less effort to just yell at others if they are doing something wrong, and then you don't have to do anything. I usually find that talking to someone is a lot more successful than yelling at them. I talked to Nate myself, and made a couple suggestions, and if that is what he decides to do, then PE will move in a slightly different direction with the next release. I personally found it to be a very decent installer and front end (table free), and easier than Baller in fact (though baller's complexities beyond that was equally as useful) and worthy if that is all you use it as.

"Believe me when I say... in the early days of Popper, we tried to establish a "standard" naming convention so that a common database and media set could be made rather easily... but "everyone" wants to have things "their" way so they can customize things the way they want... have the naming conventions they want...etc."

Been like that for 22 years. How hard is it to just use avi, png, and mp3? People just want to take credit is all.
 
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