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shiva engine DMD - latest update

highrise

Pinball Wizard
Hi Guys

Here's the latest work I've done on the Shiva Engine with added DMD.

Updates:

Improved attract mode, credits displayed when coins put in

Added a visual pinball logo, just to show off the graphics a bit (see screenshot)

added new commands, DMDmessage and DMDtextstream, for controlling messages and animated text.

put all messages and graphics at the top of the script so they can be easily edited.

added some vertical wipes

added some in game messages

made a start on the match message

If you like building tables, then PLEASE have a look, and consider making a table with this DMD in it, as I'd love to see that, I put a lot of work into it. It looks like it is too flashy for beginners, but give it a go and you might find it easier than you think. Of course, I will be making some proper instructions eventually too!

best

Highrise
 

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highrise

Pinball Wizard
P.S it is optimised for 1280 x 960. I tried to optimise it for 1024 by 768 but the DMD was a bit too big. Basically you get pixel crush if you run it at lower resolutions.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Looks good so far. I have my own version of the base engine as well, so I will have a good look at these changes. That's the problem with reels and DMD's, the amount you need, especially after you have to shoehorn it in to VP.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
cool. You might be able to give me a few pointers about where best to put the messages. I tried putting some in when you complete combo loops but it causes lag. The trick is to find points where the ball is briefly out of play. Oh, I added a tilt message too.

Another thing I will do is use the score timer to check if the score hasn't been updated for a certain amount of time. If it hasn't, it will switch to temporarily show which ball you are on, how many credits, the other players scores etc. So if you trap a ball with a flipper and wait a little while, you get the info you want, much like a real table.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
It's a dmd system, so not much help there, mine is just the orginal with "modifications", but it's a engine now, not a table. You are not gonna beat the lag anyway, because it uses so many reels. There is no multiplayer as well there, it just adds player 2's score to player ones score, and to display each players score would add more lag.

The score timer is easy enough to do, se2 had it as well, though it wasn't a status report, it was just the players score flashing. I'm wondering if a true DMD system would even work, maybe someone can look at the code and make a suggestion to try and reduce the resources
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
highrise said:
If you like building tables, then PLEASE have a look, and consider making a table with this DMD in it, as I'd love to see that, I put a lot of work into it.

Highrise

I don't want to try it out in the shivaEngine, but I made a table with the shivaEngine called "Spider-man & The Black Cat" If you want to stick your DMD into it, you are welcome to. I personally liked the split display the shivaEngine used, it just looks more suited for an 80's table.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
Yeah, Bob is right, but then it was only coded to be a bare minimum table as well. Just the difference between a DMD and a 4 player display makes it rather tough to have a all purpose type engine. se was a basic 4 player game, se2 could actually do anything from em to system 9, but because of the complexity, was a bit tough to use.

When you start getting into system 11, then you get all these different types of displays. A DMD within se will work fine, and proberly be the easest template available to do so. I like the slightly older games, with traditional 4 player scoring, that is what I grew up on was all, and that's what my version has now. The only other way is to shoehorn VPM's system into a template, but that would be a challenge that would be too much for anyone to do
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
actually, displaying all the players scores wouldn't cause much lag, since only one score changes at a time. Once something is on the DMD, there's no lag unless you change it. The thing to remember is, it rarely updates more than 20 EMreels at once. The multiplayer thing will be no problem. I just checked it, and it is showing the scores properly, it's just an error in the code where Ive forgotten to clear the DMD of the previous players score.

As for a DMD in an 80s table, you're right of course, in fact I said as much - to be honest I just wanted something that I could use to test the lag. I still think it can be improved by 10 to 20%, maybe more.

My original intention was to create something that would allow for some nice attract modes, match animations, and minigames. That is to say. stuff that happens outside of the actuall ball play. But the speed at which it works now is pretty close to allowing more in game messages. As a test I switched off the DMD updates, and I still got some lag - which says to me that the code can be improved.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
ok, check these updates. I've set it up so that is shows the scores properly, and added a status mode if you don't score points for a while. There is practically no change in the amount of lag.

The whole trick with using the DMD is not to think of it like a full screen. If it had to change the whole screen all the time, it would be incredibly slow. By storing every value of the EMreels in an array, it only updates individual reels if they are actually changed. So as long as you are careful and time everything properly, the updates are minimal, and lag can be avoided. Anything that involves a lot of updates such as animation, or large fonts, should be avoided when a ball is in play.

I'll take a look at the Spiderman table, that sounds like it would be fun, and there will be some nice options in terms of graphics. But I need to tidy up and finish the current code before I think about moving it to another table.
 

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highrise

Pinball Wizard
Hey Bob

Like the Spiderman Vs Black Cat table, very nice. There's a lot of lights going on, I'm not sure how that will impact on the DMD. Also, you've used shivaengine 2, and I haven't adapted it for that. So all in all it might take a bit of work. But it might be fun. Anyway, since I can convert most images to the DMD, I made a few just to show you. The could do with a bit of work but they look ok.

more later...
 

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highrise

Pinball Wizard
here's another, I improved it a bit. I know it doesn't quite match the table but it looks nice!
 

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bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
They do look nice.... It's not Spider-man Vs The Black Cat :) They are friends and even dated, it's Spider-man & (and) The Black Cat :)

The table could probably use an update, since I've learned a few things since I made it, but I'm not really in the mood to work on it. I think the arrow keys have some cheats if you want to check that out. You are more than welcome to use it or change it into what you want and call it a mod. The ramps and bumpers and plastics are kind of amateurish, but I didn't spend more than a couple of weeks making it.
 

Shockman

appropriate at this time
"My original intention was to create something that would allow for some nice attract modes, match animations, and minigames."

And while balls are sitting still in kickers, or hidden, or going through a sub trough bonus countdowns, many in game features. Will it be able to be used to make a selection? Enter initials? I hope horse power takes off again. A nice Tri-core 6gh eatch with , then we could animate spinners etc.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
thanks. I might look into it. What I need to find is someone with a great looking table that would like a bit of pzazz added.

If you have any graphics you would like me to 'convert' to a dmd image for use anywhere, let me know. They should be 120 x 30 pixels in size, or less.

As for the Vs thing, I took that from a graphic novel with that very title.
 

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highrise

Pinball Wizard
enter initials would be nice, yes. Since you can use the DMDtext command much like you would use a textbox, these things can quite easily be converted from existing code.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
Here's the latest update. The other players scores now show when the table goes into status mode (that is, if you don't score points for a while). I've also improved the Match so it matches to all players (but I haven't tested it properly).

I think I'll write some documentation, but is anyone actually going to make a table? Maybe I should look at version 2 of the engine instead?

The other thing is, I have no idea how the bonus should be displayed at the end of a ball. Can some explain to me how they think it should work / look?

thanks in advance.

Highrise
 

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Slapnuts

Super Moderator
Very nice work on this DMD highrise, nice to see some actual pinball talk happen on some other parts of this forum :D
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
se2 is beta, and shouldn't be used. Too confusing anyway, even I lose track, but it was aimed at only the most advanced scripters.

The orginal is fine, I may one of these days release a se3 version, but it's set to be a pre sys 11 (1985) engine, and it's a engine, not a template.
 

highrise

Pinball Wizard
well, I've succesfully injected my DMD into Bob's Spiderman / Black Cat Table. It actually only took an hour or so, not too painful. I haven't done much with the attract mode or messages, but it looks pretty nice.

Bob, sure I can't tempt you into doing a little work on this? It won't take much. The backdrop needs to be edited to put a frame on the DMD for a start.

Have a look at the screenshots and see if I can't talk you into it. It was tricky to get the black cat one looking ok, but I think I managed it. There are some good points in the game where animations could be done as well.

Highrise
 

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Liteuser.

Pinball Wizard
Hi, Nice work on the DMD

The score is squished at the resolution 1024 by 768 here. If I could get that fixed, I would be willing to build a whole new layout and new table on this shivaengine dmd. I have used shivaengine many times to build new tables. I do have a bunch of new tables and ideas that I'm currently working on right now, but in a few months from now I may try a new table on it, If thats ok with you guys? shiva and highrise

Spiderman and Blackcat is still one of my favorite VP tables to play and I really like the layout on the table and the same with Daredevil. The DMD looks good on the table IMO.

Later
 

bob

Add-a-ball specialist
Site Supporters
Bob, sure I can't tempt you into doing a little work on this? It won't take much. The backdrop needs to be edited to put a frame on the DMD for a start.

I wouldn't mind doing a small update, I just didn't want to try and sort through the SE2 to make a new table as it's really a bit too complicated for me. I wouldn't have been able to change the feel of the table enough if I used the SE2 and each new table, I would have made with it, would have had that same feel to it.

Send it to me at the email address listed on my site and I'll try to to get excited :) I have no current projects or WIP's at the moment, so I can whip out whatever you want.
 

shiva

Administrator
Staff member
Site Supporters
The orginal shivaEngine is fine. se2 is no longer, it was a beta after all, and as mentioned, I am rewriting the orginal for my own purposes, and folding in some se2 concepts.

I don't think the dmd would work with a new version, as this new version is set up to not need scripting skills, and having 2 separate scoring routines and trying to set it up to accept two different ways of scoring code would be too much to try and explain it to beginners, let alone the fact that support for eras is pre-system 11, as there's no single display or character display. (4 player split scoring system)
 
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