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Williams Space Shuttle

GeorgeH

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I struck out on two items of the check list. I don't have any side rail models that fit this table. The area for side panels is quite short so there is very little room for anything anyway. The only thing that might fit there is a star field but I've decided to not add side rails. The other item I can't do are the bump maps. The texture for the space shuttle is too smooth and so there are no bumps that show up on it after going through the process. I tried adding bump maps on some of the plastics but those use TGA files that are mapped for areas that are transparent. I determined that bump maps don't work on TGA files. The plastics are supposed to be flat anyway.

Let's proceed on to the good news. I have successfully added shadow maps. They don't always work on every table but they do on this one (at least on the front of it). The back of the playfield has large black areas where the shadows don't work as well but they look good on the front which has wide blue areas.

The way I add shadow maps to the slingshots is a little tricky. This table like many others I have worked on only has 4 bulbs that light up that light up brightly when the slingshot is hit. Unfortunately, I can't get the shadows to look right when the slingshot is not being hit. So I add 4 more bulbs that are always on. Then I add shadow maps to all 8 bulbs. I would like to stack the 4 always on bulbs directly on top of the other bulbs but the shadow maps don't work this way so I stack them partially so they are slightly offset. Anyway they are close enough so that a 2 bulb set cast the same shadow. Doing the shadows this way makes them look good when the slings are not being hit and the bulbs cast a brighter shadow when being hit.

I usually add the lighting before the shadow maps. I have found that I usually have to rework the lighting a bit after I add the shadow maps. We'll see how it works doing the shadow maps first on this table. Anyway the following is a screenshot of how the table looks now. The back part of the table looks too dark to me but that will be fixed when I do the lighting.

SpaceShuttle1.23.png
 

GeorgeH

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I am nearly finished with the lighting. For those of you that work on tables, it is better to add shadow maps before doing the lighting. I did have to rework the shadows slightly but much. If you do lighting before the shadow maps, you will have to rework the lighting quite a bit after you finish the shadows. I will post some screen sots of the lighting when it is finished. While I was working on the lighting, I zoomed in close to many of the table objects. I noticed that Tomasaco's smaller models look stunning and are nicely detailed. Here are a few screen shots zoomed in close:

Drop Target:
SpaceShuttle1.2.png


Spinner:
SpaceShuttle1.22.png


Stationary Targets:
SpaceShuttle1.25.png
 

GeorgeH

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I have finished the lighting which makes the table look pretty slick. I owe a lot to Tomasaco's textures and models. I started with my reworked light settings from Attack From Mars and changed them a bit. I think the lighting looks better than my other table mods. The "FP Original" setting never looks as good as "New Renderer" on any table but the "FP Original" setting on this table is very close to the "Day" mode that uses "New Renderer". Adjusting the render settings in BAM is tricky because there are many settings and some of the settings produce similar effects to others. I made the lighting switchable with the light mode for a number of objects on the table. On this table, each light mode has separate settings for ball brightness and brightness of the targets, flippers and some of the plastics. I tended to use global commands for these things in the past.

I am often hesitant to post screen shots because because they frequently don't look as good as the table. I don't know the reason why. This screen shot looks good although it is a bit difficult to see the halos from the lights shine through the plastics. The lighting is set to "Dark Night". The "Night Glow" mode is more popular but it is darker and screen shots of it don't work as well.

I have noticed that owners of real tables can buy a kit that back lights the instruction cards. I decided to add the same thing to this table but make them switchable so the end user can turn them on and off. They are turned on in the screen shot. They have the same lighting as the rest of the apron when they are turned off. Each lighting mode has its own setting for brightness of the card. It is pretty difficult to read the rules when the cards are turned off but they do tend to attract more attention there when playing the game so that is why I made them switchable.

I added bulbs that shine halos through the slingshots. The bulbs are turned on in the screenshot but are not quite as bright as they appear on the table. I planned on adding halo bulbs under the rest of the plastics but decided they look good as is. Tomasaco created models for the plastics and they produce halos that look different than normal surfaces but they actually look better.

SpaceShuttle1.2.png
 

GeorgeH

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Thanks Nic. I am pleased with the way it looks also. I worked on the menu system today. It won't be long before it is ready to post.
 

GeorgeH

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I have finished the menu system. You could probably anticipate the options I added if you have read my previous posts. They are:

1) lighting
2) instruction cards on or off
3) lane lights that use both flippers or the right flipper only
4) 3 or 5 balls per game
5) HUD on or off.

I could post screen shots but they are the same or similar to the screens used on my other table mods.
 

GeorgeH

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The table is finished though it will take a little time for me to create the version for rotated display and write everything for the posting. There is also a bit of testing to do.

One thing about Tomasaco's textures is that none of them use power of 2. You can read more about power of 2 in the FP help. To be honest, I have never really understood why PC applications have to use this for their graphics. I do know that FP is not the only application that requires power of 2 so it must be something about the way PCs work. I probably would not understand it if someone explained why it is needed anyway. FP will allow you to use textures that do not comply with power of 2 but then it will require a lot more resources on your PC so it is best to use it. I have learned a trick on how to apply power of 2 to any texture used on FP. I am willing to post a tutorial on how to do this if someone requests it. Anyway, I have converted all the textures used on this table to power of 2. It does make the table load faster.

I have imported the XML code for the custom physics into the script. I also added the message that displays if you are not using the correct version of BAM.

I decided I did not like the sound the flippers make. I watched several videos of the real table and listened to the flipper sound. I found some audio files that are a pretty close match to the real table and have replaced the audio for the flippers.
 

GeorgeH

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Guys,

I have posted the table now:


Before I posted it, I made a few more changes. I figured out a way to make the gas segmented displays stop flashing by disabling some thing called "Boredom" in the FP editor. I thought it was intended to imitate the flicker of segmented displays that you can see in videos but maybe not. Real tables don't flicker like that in real life so I don't want this table doing it either.

I did some things to make the 3 bank of drop targets next to the spinner so you can hit it. I moved it out into the lane a little more and a few other things. I also did a few things so it is easier to see whether the flags are dropped or not.

George
 

GeorgeH

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JLou discovered a bug on my version 1.2 of this table. The models for the plastics over the ball locks for multiball have a window that shows the playfield but will not display the ball. It is a strange problem that I have not seen before. I decided to fix it by replacing the models for the plastics with standard surfaces. I built 2 surfaces for each plastic. The area above the lane to the kickers has a surface that is transparent. The rest of the plastic is another opaque surface. For some reason, I never noticed this.

In the screenshot on the left, you can see the old version with the bottom of the ball being visible at the green arrow in front of the window but it is invisible underneath the window. On the right is the fixed version where you can see the ball through the window. It is pretty odd isn't it?

Space Shuttle 1.2.png
Space Shuttle 1.33.png


I am considering some additional changes to release in a new version. If you guys want me to add something, please let me know.
 

AnonTet

Pinball Hall of Famer
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Well, the surfaces work just as well so no need to think about it too much I suppose. Still weird :)

My 2m play on this table tells me it's to "clean". I mean looks perfect, sharp so I think i'm saying it lacks "mood"/"feeling". I'm sure you'll do wonders with the lighting to get that space environment at least.
 

GeorgeH

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Objectives for Version 1.3

:check: Change plastics over the ball locks so the ball is visible through the window.
:box: Add spotlight that shines on the shuttle.
:box: Check overall lighting to make sure it works well with the spotlight.
:box: Add JLou's new Dynamic Flippers V 2.
:box: Add ball shadows available on new BAM Update v340.
:check: Make the degree of bounce off flippers adjustable in-game.
:check: Add Paolo's sound for ball bouncing off flippers.
:box: Possibly make flippers switchable between V1 and V2.
:box: Update in-game menu to be able to adjust degree of bounce off flippers, sound for ball bouncing off flippers On/Off and switchable flippers between V1 and V2.
 
Last edited:

GeorgeH

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I figured out that to make dynamic flippers switchable between V1 and V2, that the flipper swing would have to be changed. There is no way to do that in the script so it can't be done.
 

JLou5641

Pinball Wizard
I figured out that to make dynamic flippers switchable between V1 and V2, that the flipper swing would have to be changed. There is no way to do that in the script so it can't be done.
It's something i'm thinking too... Are the Flipper Swing and Angle are customisable in script? It could be a good stuff for choosing between different gameplay configuration wich each one have their own Omega, Flipper Angle and slope ( Ex: Casual mode, Tournament Mode, Standard Mode, like some table in VPX or PBFX3, and also real pinball ). Maybe Ravarcade could add this possiblity
 

GeorgeH

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It's something i'm thinking too... Are the Flipper Swing and Angle are customisable in script?
There is no way to change it in the script. The only option is to change it in the editor. Another problem is my way of changing the ball mass in the script doesn't work. When I change the ball mass to be lighter and change ball gravity, the ball continuously rolls up and down the launch lane after being released when the game starts without pressing the plunger. It seemed to work on Twilight Zone but not here for some reason.
 

JLou5641

Pinball Wizard
When I change the ball mass to be lighter and change ball gravity, the ball continuously rolls up and down the launch lane after being released when the game starts without pressing the plunger. It seemed to work on Twilight Zone but not here for some reason.
Do you set ball mass with xBAM.BallMass = Mass ?
 

GeorgeH

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What I think is happening is your stuff stays in the memory even though I tell it to exit the sub. In the example below, I set your stuff to be set to nvR6 = 1. Even though I exit the sub, it appears to stay in the memory.

Sub AdjustBallVelocity()
If BAM_VERSION < 254 or nvR6 = 2 then Exit Sub
xBAM.EnumBalls 100,0,"AdjustSingleBallVelocity"
End Sub
 

GeorgeH

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Even if there was a way to change V2 flippers to V1, there is still no way to change the flipper angles and swing in the script. I am just going to use Dynamic Flippers V2 in version 1.3.
 

JLou5641

Pinball Wizard
What I think is happening is your stuff stays in the memory even though I tell it to exit the sub. In the example below, I set your stuff to be set to nvR6 = 1. Even though I exit the sub, it appears to stay in the memory.

Sub AdjustBallVelocity()
If BAM_VERSION < 254 or nvR6 = 2 then Exit Sub
xBAM.EnumBalls 100,0,"AdjustSingleBallVelocity"
End Sub
okey.. Too complexe for me at this point.
 

GeorgeH

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okey.. Too complexe for me at this point.
When the version 2 flippers loads into memory, the only way I think the values can be removed is to figure out what the default values are and change them somehow. It is too complex for me to figure it out as well.
 

AnonTet

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Can you try to delete the regular XML and load directly from PhysicsXML? that way you don't have 2 XML at any given time competing for priority... Just a though
 

GeorgeH

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Can you try to delete the regular XML and load directly from PhysicsXML? that way you don't have 2 XML at any given time competing for priority... Just a though
The PhysicsXML doesn't load everything even though there are values entered for everything. The only values that are loaded from the PhysicsXML are the ones that you can change on BAM's physics tweaks menu. ...So you have to load the "XML as comment" first and then change it with PhysicsXML. ...But all that stuff works fine and is not the problem.

The problem is that much of the coding for Dynamic Flippers V2 gets loaded into memory and the only way to remove it is to change it to something else (as far as I know). I added some coding to exit the DF2 subs when the DF1 flippers are selected. Unfortunately, exiting the subs doesn't remove what has been loaded into memory.

I could post 2 tables where one is DF1 and the other is DF2 but I think I will just go with DF2.
 

AnonTet

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I'm aware of that. But what it doesn't load get's the defaults.

The idea was to get it out of the way. But now you mentioned the physicsXML only being let go if changed... So moot point.

I agree with the DFv2 release though :)
 
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