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DMD version of Shiva Engine

highrise

Pinball Wizard
Hi Guys

With Shiva's permission, I'm developing a DMD version of his V1 Engine. Although this is primarily a test for how flexible my DMD engine can be, the results are already pleasing enough to make me think this could be a good thing.

I've attached what I've done so far, which is basically an attract mode and a score display for player 1. The attract mode allows fancier effects on the DMD since there is no ball in play (it does slow the attract lights down a little but I don't think it's too bad) As you will see, the DMD can display everything the player needs to see, meaning that a lot more screen can be freed up for your artwork.

Notes:

Will still need a reasonably fast PC I think. Comments on performance are most welcome.

this uses four of the simple DMD commands:

printdmdtext - for printing text
wipe - for wiping between one image and another, currently there are two wipes - straight switch and random. This will need more explaining, which I will do later.

cleardmd - for clearing the DMD (you guessed it)
filldmd - for filling the DMD with a particular pattern

(I will probably lose cleardmd, since filldmd 0 is the same thing)

please DO NOT use this to make tables yet, it is very much half baked. When it's finished it will be tidy and easy to understand. I will provide instructions on how to work the DMD, but for now this is just another demo. Feel free to poke around though, it's reasonably commented though not completely. It's going to be pretty easy to use though, since I'll do all the programming for the fancy effects.

Note to Shiva: I took out Option Explicit for the time being, I will tidy up my code later...

Enjoy!
 

Attachments

  • shivaenginedmd.zip
    559.3 KB · Views: 366

highrise

Pinball Wizard
a thousand apologies. Here it is again. To make up for my faux-pars, I have added the colours for you to play with. The blue is quite nice, though not very realistic...
 

Attachments

  • shivaenginedmd_723.zip
    559.9 KB · Views: 373

shiva

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Staff member
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just dled it. looks nice, but there's a small problem with display at 1024 by 768, where the reels overlap each other, so you get half a text character sometimes. At 1200 by 1024 it's fine.
Speed was okay in demo mode, seemed fine while I played a game (been years since I played the orginal as well, all I can say is yikes)
I would say maybe a option like Playboy se, the user can select either reels, or have them turned off and use the standard text box display instead. That should help people with slower computers
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
yes, I'm afraid that it is always going to look better at some resolutions than others, there's no real solution to this, much like most of the more glamorous add ons people have made for VP. Still, at least it's angle independent! Is there a resolution I should optimise it for? Comments also welcome on anything else anyone would like. I will probably finish the 'DMDmessage' command which will allow you to put a message on the screen for a certain period of time, and choose to have it flashing etc.

I've really put a lot of time into making it as time efficient as possible, but if anyone out there with more skill than me can see other ways to improve it, don't hold back!
 

shiva

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Staff member
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1024 by 768 is the most common used res now, but a lot of gamers go higher. Too many resolutions out there, and VP was made a long long time ago, before these higher resolutions even existed.

I seem to remember a light object based dmd a while back, but can't remember the name. Maybe someone can remember, but I think it was yu-gi-oh. I'm sure someone will remember, I thought it was quite nifty, and at the time ran on my old 700 mhz celeron fine. I'm pretty sure that the latest "update" from MS also is causing problems, as I have noticed display problems with text boxs as well now, the font seems to have grown a lot larger.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
The light based system I am familiar with is Destruk's which he used on his Crusader Table. this used around 4000 lights. Much of the code I have written could be applied to lights, (I think you mentioned this before) but to have a 120 x 30 DMD grid with three colours (plus background), you would need 120 x 30 x 3 = 10,800 lights. I don't think it would be much fun creating such a thing (I guess you would create 3 DMDs and then stack them), it would be a huge undertaking. Then you have to work out the best way of addressing it. Once you had done it, changing the colour scheme would be very tricky as well. It probably would be faster than using reels, but there's no guarantee. The advantage with using reels is that I only have to use 300 objects, flexible colours, and easy to manage.

I think the conclusion you have to come to on this is that if you want something with this kind of detail that is easy to use, you're going to have to have a reasonably fast PC. That's true of practically anything luxurious in VP. As long as it doesn't need a really high end machine, I think it's one of those things you have to accept.

I still think I can squeeze a bit more efficiency out of it mind you.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
I was thinking though, it is a bit strange sticking a 1990s style DMD into a template that is predominantly 1970s / 80s. Still, I guess it is fairly easy to upgrade the look of it.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
just did a bit of work on the dmd holder, if thats what you call it. Here's an SS.
 

Attachments

  • sshot_189.jpg
    sshot_189.jpg
    34.5 KB · Views: 852

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
can't see the screenshot, just a name of the file, not hyperlinked. I also am having problems with timeouts as well now. Way to much load on here, deadly with dial up.
Would like to see the screen shot though, I will pm you with my personal site address, maybe you can upload there, and it would be easier for me as well, till Jon gets the speed back up.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
here's a new update. Just finished a couple of new wipes and put a border on the DMD, both of which give it a bit more authenticity.

Comments welcome, please do have a look at the code for the attract mode and let me know if it will be easy enough to do, given that I'll do a tutorial.

Shiva, I couldn't get on your site but I'll PM you a link to a download.
 

Attachments

  • shivaenginedmd_203.zip
    575.2 KB · Views: 329
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