VPX Gottlieb Flipperless Recreation Cloverleaf, 1932 by Gottlieb Version 1.4 for VPX


20+ YEARS as a VP author. How time flies...
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Jun 9, 2003
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Nice work, Will.

The plunger system is definitely better. I need to solve one more VPX issue in the meantime, but I was indeed able to test the shot-making stuff out a bit.

One thing that still appears at issue is that it doesn't currently look possible to hit the 5,000pt hole with a soft plunge, as the guy demonstrated in the video a couple times. Now maybe it's possible to hit it on a second or third loop with just the right nudging, but I doubt that's how the game was really designed to work, either.

I guess I'll try to fiddle with the code a bit to try to isolate the actual plunge value needed to make that soft skillshot.

More info later, and thanks again for the update.
Wow, even fiddling around a lot with the "SI" variable, it's been really hard finding a value that actually performs a skill shot with a soft plunge.

If you shoot below a certain threshold, the ball starts to 'die off' around the upper right loop, and doesn't properly make it to the lower right loop. If you shoot above the threshold, the ball goes sailing right past the skill shot.

There doesn't seem to be an actual number that works, and I tried it down to .1 divisions for SI.

Right now I'm thinking maybe the various wall friction values might be adjusted such as to make the shot possible. I suppose either that, or adding a trigger somewhere that artificially speeds up or slows down the ball as needed.

Fiddling with the slope doesn't really help with the issue. In fact, based on the two YT videos, it looks like the most realistic slope is the "hard" slope, as selected with the F1 key. The other two lead to too much floaty ball, which doesn't actually happen in the real game.

I guess I can keep tinkering with this if it's helpful. Normally I wouldn't think this kind of thing a big deal, but the 5,000pt shot is basically the premier shot in the game, tied to a special feature and all.
So the question remains-- should I continue tinkering with this stuff?

I don't see much point in doing so if it's only for myself, but for me, the work is probably worth it if it can be incorporated in the official version.

Your call, obviously. :)

I am sorry I haven't answered you. I've been having some serious heath issues and THINK I might have cluster headaches so I've not been paying attention to much right now. I'll take a look at this later as I THINK I have an idea on how to make this work.

We'll talk soon.
Ah shit, take care of yourself, mate!
Thanks Ike. My neck is refusing to support my head for some reason which is causing eye problems and the top of my head is going nuts so I'm calling the hospital tomorrow to get in to see a neurologist. I've had this for years but this has now been going on for over 8 days so I'm worried.

Anyway, see what you can do. Who knows, you might find a workable work around. Anyway, I'm working on three tables not released for VPX as of yet but have to redraw them so it will take some time.

See ya later.
Hope you made some progress on that health stuff!

I've been a little distracted these days, but will take a look at this project again.
I did thanks. I almost had a stroke as my blood pressure was so high my doctor couldn't believe it so I'm now on high blood pressure medication and it IS helping BUT slowly. Of course it takes time but the first day I took it it felt like I was young again. I can't really explain it, but it was like a complete rush like I hadn't felt in years. Talk about strange right? Seems I have a VERY DANGEROUS version of "hyper tension".

Anyway, I'm working on it and glad to see you may be able to find the problem to our "little dilemma".

Keep in touch.
Wow, that's scary.

I have high blood pressure myself, plus genetic high cholesterol. Not a good combination.

Besides meds, I take lots of garlic and capsaicin, plus exercise as much as I can. It's been a big help.

In the past I've had some extra-high blood pressure spikes (due to an antiperspirant of all things), and it's definitely not a pleasant feeling. I can't even imagine having it as bad as you did.

Good luck with all that.
It was bad for sure. The lisinopril is for very SERIOUS high blood pressure so I know I came close to having a stroke. I now have to watch my sodium (salt) intake as most people with high blood pressure are allowed to have about 1,700 mg of sodium a day, but I'm at 500. My blood is so full of salt (must be all the pre made foods at the store) that I now have to make fruits, veggies and other stuff that has very little to no salt at all. What a bummer. Oh well, I'd rather NOT die just yet!
Yeah, diet is something I've worked on for a long time, now. I'm mostly vegetarian, and typically eat non-processed foods. Stews, soups and salads are all fixtures for me.

Replacing salt and the hearty taste of meat takes practice and experimentation. MSG, healthy oils, and semi-salt / non-salt mixtures help a lot.

As a matter of fact, I've been thinking about writing a Reddit article about my experience with seasonings that can bail out bland dishes. Believe it or not, stuff like chicken bouillon powder and Kernel Season's ranch powder [pic] can pack a hefty impact per small amount used.
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So I just did a little experimentation on this tonight.

I had a new idea that adding a friction value to the floor might be the simplest way to fix this, so I started with ".1". That also produced an unexpected outcome, in that the ball now completes the top RIGHT loop and then invariably drifts to the left. Weirdly, adding more force doesn't seem to change that.

Another issue is that I don't remember in VB how to format a number such that it displays only a two digit # to the left of the decimal, and only one to the right. For example, the number "23.6". The "INT" function isn't the one I want, because it removes everything to the right of the decimal.

I'll have to go research current formatting and functions in VPX, I guess...

EDIT: Whoops... top right loop, not top left loop.
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Interesting really. I was thinking along the lines of adding a trigger to read the power behind the plunger; if not a certain amount at the right speed then the ball misses out. Perhaps the way you are trying to figure this out may be a better alternative. Let me know please if you find anything out.
Interesting really. I was thinking along the lines of adding a trigger to read the power behind the plunger; if not a certain amount at the right speed then the ball misses out. Perhaps the way you are trying to figure this out may be a better alternative. Let me know please if you find anything out.

So, I was doing a little more testing on this just now. I brought the floor friction down to .05, and the balls stopped doing that weird drifting thing I had mentioned.

On my test version of the game, I have the plunger force slowly incrementing by tenths of a digit, and now I'm starting to see a lot more accuracy in being able to direct the ball towards the skill shot. Right on!

Now, noticing that even my most accurate, painstaking attempts to hit the skill shot are still being bounced away, I went back to the editor and took a closer look at the pins & walls setup around the skill shot.

Then I see it-- right around where there should be a discrete clear space on the PF in order to let a ball in to the skill shot area, you apparently have... some kind of wall sitting there which blocks that opening!

Clearly I'm an idiot, because this whole time, I hadn't even bothered to take a closer look!


Anyway... the wall in question looks sort of like a rectangle with a smaller, slimmer rectangle sitting on the top-right corner. Unfortunately when I click on it, all the various pin walls get highlighted... I guess because it's a "collection." I don't know how to isolate it individually at this point.

I also have no idea what that dang wall is for. Maybe something that pops up under certain conditions? In any case, that wall seems to be the main culprit, here.

Do you know how I can select it individually?
Go to the "Collection Manager" then uncheck the bottom box showing "combine" or something like that. This combines all the items into that collection.

PS: The wall is used when the player holds down the starting key and the ball is shot into the playfield otherwise the ball will go right through and miss the hole. That's why it's there.
Thanks, and Wow... I'm getting old. I'd totally forgot about why that was there. Anyway, being able to make the skill shot still is a real issue, regardless.

Now just for fun, I tried playing around more with the floor friction, taking it anywhere from .03 to around .3. The results can be pretty unpredictable. I already mentioned the 'drifting' issue, but another one that happens at around the .2 to .3 mark is that the ball starts absolutely *sticking* to the walls, for example around the right-lower loop.

This may be a case where fiddling with one area causes too many problems in other areas. We'll see.

If that doesn't work out, I'll probably start messing with my other two ideas: 1) adding more friction to some of the walls, or 2) creating a trigger that artificially slows down the ball, so it has a better chance of making the skill shot.

Anyway, I'm already about halfway there due to adding finer sensitivity to the shot force, so things are going in the right direction.


Btw, if you're wondering why I'm only working on this here and there, my back's gotten pretty bad this year, and I'm only able to sit in a chair and focus for limited durations... with a big bag of ice on my lower spine. But I'll plug away on this here and there, both to help me get back in to VP, and to help get the table properly adjusted of course. :)
Ike, not to be strange but I bought some CDB oil for my back (as it was pinching pretty badly) and some of my friends stand by this. I tried it for only a few weeks, using half a full dropper and it works. Have you considered this route? You may want to look into hemp oil. I bought three LARGE bottles for $22 shipped which is a STEAL. I can let you know where I got them if you're interested and send me an email. I'll be glad to let you know where I got them and where you can get a 30% discount on them, Let me know.
Thanks for the advice! I've emailed you back, since it's probably good to separate out the medical matters from this particular project.

Getting back to the table today, I noticed that "Wall3" already discretely forms the entire lower-right loop, so I simply tried adding a little friction there. In combination with adding a bit of floor friction, that seems to be the solution to make that skill shot much more accessible. I.e., the two areas needed to work together. Huzzah!

Happily, by spreading out the change amongst the two surfaces, it means that no one surface changes all that much, meaning that overall, the game plays about the same.

Interestingly, I notice you can really pump up the sidewall friction without it having much influence, but adding a little bit of floor friction makes a huge impact. I guess that makes perfect sense when you think about it.

So at this point, the version I'm working on simply needs the numbers to be refined. Don't want to make that shot too easy, but do want to make it possible. Also, the starting shot power (and probably shot increment power) for the three modes needs to be tweaked. For example, the starting power for easy mode wouldn't make any sense for hard mode, and vice-versa.

So the main issue's now been solved... table just needs more work in future getting adjusted properly. :)
Sorry I have not responded. I am currently on THREE blood pressure pills so I am feeling what would you say "woozy" and can't keep my balance. Been sleeping a LOT and seeing my doctor so I am doing my best.

Anyway, I look forward to what you're finding out, Just PM me with any other info.

Talk soon and I have been currently been working on another table but it's been slow.
Yeah, figured it was something like that. Thanks for checking back in!

Anyway, the main issue is now solved. Just a matter of tweaking when I get time.

Take care.
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