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Twilight Zone

Gimli

Pinball Master
re: Boosting a ball up a ramp,
In VP, I remember placing a trigger near the bottom of a ramp, which linked to examining the X & Y velocity in script. If the ball was close to 'making it' up the ramp, I could give it a little boost via XVel and YVel. If not, I could just leave the ball alone. It was a nice little solution for a ramp that was acting 'unfairly,' but no idea if that same method works in FP / BAM.

IIRC FarSight (the Pinball Arcade guys) used to go overboard with such tweaks, making their tables downright wonky to play. I don't miss those tables.
I have seen /tried many types of ramp assists:

Prior to BAM (we didn't have a way to monitor for velocity and location etc.. of ball)
1. So authors used kicker or kicker ramps like Paolo is suggesting that were trigger by hit events

With Bam ball monitoring we can now try many things:
1. Alter the Flipper Response
2. Assist the ball up the ramp based on ball velocity or location using directional magnet pulses

George stated earlier he didn't like the ramp assist method....
 

Isaac Sauvage

Meep!
Site Supporters
Consultant
Thanks, Bob. All modern roads lead to BAM, it seems.

Yeah, I'm not crazy about ramp assists as a regular solution, but sometimes you can get the overall table physics right, yet still a ramp will play much harsher than it should in real life. So it's a nice little occasional solution as I see it.

'Course, that was my VP-thinking, from when I had to use my feet to make the car go.
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
Thanks, Bob. All modern roads lead to BAM, it seems.

Yeah, I'm not crazy about ramp assists as a regular solution, but sometimes you can get the overall table physics right, yet still a ramp will play much harsher than it should in real life. So it's a nice little occasional solution as I see it.

'Course, that was my VP-thinking, from when I had to use my feet to make the car go.
It sounds like VP has ways to code based on ball monitoring...so that was ahead of FP...it's only now we can do it using BAM
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
Gimli knows how to create what I call a "power assist". It is a trick that basically forces the ball up the ramp when you hit the entrance to the ramp so there is no way it can roll back down. I don't know how to do it abut don't like to use it because it eliminates the skill of hitting the ramp.
I didn't fully develop it but you can set the assist based on ball location and ball speed

so the magnet pulses only if you hit the right spot...so that still requires skill

and you can set the magnet to pulse only if it hits the rights spot at a certain ball speed of > 1000 or whatever
In this system the ball can roll back down
 
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Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
George stated earlier he didn't like the ramp assist method....
power assists?or ramp assist?

anyway, it seems like a good solution to try.....personally in 2 of my tables I used the kicker ramp, if used well it works .... but these novelties of yours seem to me solutions that can be used, I don't see why George doesn't like him

so a solution could be the one we talked about before, that is to play with the dynamic fins, the other you tell me about magnet ..... interesting thing.....mmmmm

is there any table that you have (you and george) or (you, bob) implemented these solutions? I'd like to deepen the subject, maybe create some demo, to show with some ramp ... if you 2 agree
 

Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
I thought, some solution could be devised using all the elements discussed so far ....

first of all, you need to know what kind of force is needed to complete a ramp of this kind, that is very steep, which unfortunately is obtained based on how a table is built ..... then establish, from the fin to the entrance of the ramp, how much force needs, then from the entrance until to the top of the ramp ... if you analyze this data, you can find a solution that doesn't look like a "ramp assist" but instead a flick made by a true master of the game ... .obviously as Gimli says, use a magnet or a kicker, which does its duty when it has to, in a specific point ... for that force used by the fin
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
power assists?or ramp assist?

is there any table that you have (you and george) or (you, bob) implemented these solutions? I'd like to deepen the subject, maybe create some demo, to show with some ramp ... if you 2 agree
Paolo if you can make a simple demo table with a couple of steep ramps ( I don't know how...)
then I can develop the concept a little further and george can see if it is useful. If not then at least it will be a fun exercise.

I think a demo table is preferable as a real table takes forever to load and reload every time you make changes and there will be no competing issues. And then we can use that for any tutorial we create.
 
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Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
Paolo if you can make a simple demo table with a couple of steep ramps ( I don't know how...)
yes, in fact, I myself had proposed to create the demo (the part concerning the ramp) then you do the rest

I tried to open the Twilight Zone table, but I gave up because it takes a long time to open, and I don't have all this patience to wait

but i saw in editor .. what kind of ramp is it ....(very particular).... see photos......now i have a question for george ... he says he lowered it, but i see it is a model ramp .. i wonder what he lowered .. .. because if I think that he has lowered the whole model, many things will no longer work
Cattura5.JPG


possible solutions.....
1)if you intervene by modifying the ramp-model, through milkshape, then there are consequences, many things must be adjusted,opzione for me to be discarded, because it takes a lot of time
2)see this photo below, this is the "fake ramp" that is used to highlight the decal, a texture that you then see on the ramp ..... now ... I take this fake ramp, and turn it into a kicker, I have to, a little bit downsize, and then I place it a little higher, so when the ball enters the ramp, and goes up a little, it comes back, but if it rises enough to get to this ramp-kicker, the ball is pushed to complete the ramp
3)for me the best, I fully trust what gimli could do
Catturai.JPG



Bob.... @Gimli .... I prepare the demo with a ramp, normal that of fp, not a model, so as to be able to implement our theories

for @GeorgeH ..... I will make a video with my Zaccaria table, to show how my ramp-kicker works
 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I think Monster Bash has an assist on the ramp below Frankenstein.


Actually all the models of the ramps on Twilight Zone are fake. All they do is provide a place to display the textures. The real ramps are the standard FP versions that are set to be invisible. Each ramp also has another standard ramp positioned above the real ramp that keeps the ball from flying out. It was confusing to figure out the real ramps.

I have added nanokickers to ramps before. To adjust the height, you have to save a surface to the nanokicker that is set to the correct height.
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
I think Monster Bash has an assist on the ramp below Frankenstein.

Ya I remember monster Bash had a very tricky ramp and we weren't perfectly happy with it
I think I was happier with the ones I used for Adam's Family but others didn't like it at that time.
I will see if I can dust it off...
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
yes, in fact, I myself had proposed to create the demo (the part concerning the ramp) then you do the rest

I tried to open the Twilight Zone table, but I gave up because it takes a long time to open, and I don't have all this patience to wait

but i saw in editor .. what kind of ramp is it ....(very particular).... see photos......now i have a question for george ... he says he lowered it, but i see it is a model ramp .. i wonder what he lowered .. .. because if I think that he has lowered the whole model, many things will no longer work
View attachment 16627

possible solutions.....
1)if you intervene by modifying the ramp-model, through milkshape, then there are consequences, many things must be adjusted,opzione for me to be discarded, because it takes a lot of time
2)see this photo below, this is the "fake ramp" that is used to highlight the decal, a texture that you then see on the ramp ..... now ... I take this fake ramp, and turn it into a kicker, I have to, a little bit downsize, and then I place it a little higher, so when the ball enters the ramp, and goes up a little, it comes back, but if it rises enough to get to this ramp-kicker, the ball is pushed to complete the ramp
3)for me the best, I fully trust what gimli could do
View attachment 16628


Bob.... @Gimli .... I prepare the demo with a ramp, normal that of fp, not a model, so as to be able to implement our theories
Thanks Paolo
 

Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
Actually all the models of the ramps on Twilight Zone are fake. All they do is provide a place to display the textures. The real ramps are the standard FP versions.
I know this too ..... george, there is no need to underline it ... and precisely for this reason I tell you that if you intervene with some modification, on the real ramp you have to do it then with all that is above, understood?with question and doubt .... everything works as before????the choice is yours ... you are the "owner" to do what you think is most suitable based on your vision in this table, but when it comes to steep ramps ... well it's just pains
 

Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
nanokickers
bad solution....obviously for me......I used them for a long time, but then I discarded them

EDIT:
another thing that the real ramp can also be delete it, and use the ramp model, just put it in collision .... so you can lower all the structure that concerns the ramp .... and make it softer but it is always hard work
 
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Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
Thanks Paolo
also to you!

ok...I took the steep ramp, straight from the Twilight Zone table, and I have to say it's in height 69, very steep,with its "ball guard" protections always on the ramp, but invisible.

I did not take anything else because it is not necessary, I respected the measures of the table, 590x 1090

Bob, @Gimli here the demo,for your test...in attached

@GeorgeH
I know it might not interest you, but I want to show you anyway, just to get you an idea...

you can see it: when I use the hand roller, I show you that the kicker is not at the beginning of the ramp, but a little higher ..... now this ramp is steeper than the one in the Twilight Zone, but unfortunately it is the type of construction the table requires, which depends on so many factors, and when you find yourself with these types of ramps you need to have some help to complete them



I wonder how Bob's solution could be ..... for this table, it would be interesting to see


EDIT:

here is a picture you see the kicker ramp
Cattura55.JPG
 
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Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
I don't see the table I have attached,in my post above ???

ok I put here.....
 

Paolo

No Bam no Play
Chat Moderator
Site Supporters
Bob...but do you see it?

I do not see it......yet, I uploaded it???????
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
also to you!

ok...I took the steep ramp, straight from the Twilight Zone table, and I have to say it's in height 69, very steep,with its "ball guard" protections always on the ramp, but invisible.

I did not take anything else because it is not necessary, I respected the measures of the table, 590x 1090

Bob, @Gimli here the demo,for your test...in attached

@GeorgeH
I know it might not interest you, but I want to show you anyway, just to get you an idea...

you can see it: when I use the hand roller, I show you that the kicker is not at the beginning of the ramp, but a little higher ..... now this ramp is steeper than the one in the Twilight Zone, but unfortunately it is the type of construction the table requires, which depends on so many factors, and when you find yourself with these types of ramps you need to have some help to complete them
View attachment 16633


I wonder how Bob's solution could be ..... for this table, it would be interesting to see


EDIT:

here is a picture you see the kicker ramp
View attachment 16634
That seems to work nicely !
 

GeorgeH

Flippered Out
Staff member
Site Supporters
I have added my objectives to the first posting and will modify it as needed. I found the original song for the theme music and will probably make it switchable with the default.

I have been experimenting with ways to make the ball go all the way up both ramps. I have found that increasing the table slope to 7.0, increasing flipper swing to something around 55 and adjusting the parameters in the XML help. Reducing the height of the ramps helps also. The miniplayfield was set much higher than it needed to be. Setting it lower makes the right ramp perform much better. I thought that Shiva's code would help because the omega is higher in the center of the flippers than on either end of the flipper, but it doesn't have any more power than the standard dynamic flippers. I may still use it though because the aiming of center targets seems a little better though I have not decided yet.
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
I have added my objectives to the first posting and will modify it as needed. I found the original song for the theme music and will probably make it switchable with the default.

I have been experimenting with ways to make the ball go all the way up both ramps. I have found that increasing the table slope to 7.0, increasing flipper swing to something around 55 and adjusting the parameters in the XML help. Reducing the height of the ramps helps also. The miniplayfield was set much higher than it needed to be. Setting it lower makes the right ramp perform much better. I thought that Shiva's code would help because the omega is higher in the center of the flippers than on either end of the flipper, but it doesn't have any more power than the standard dynamic flippers. I may still use it though because the aiming of center targets seems a little better though I have not decided yet.
Paolo and I are working on ramp assists but if you dont need it thats ok
 

Gimli

Pinball Master
OK. I didn't know you were doing that. The ramps are still pretty iffy so go ahead.
So far we are testing Wild's "Kicker Ramp" where he uses an invisible ramp model that he assigns as a kicker in Future Pinball Model Editor.

It works quite well but to make it more realistic we are using BAM ball tracking and Bam miiniplayfield code as follows.

1. Grab "kicker Ramp" in a MP box and then you make the kicker available only a certain times using Miniplayfield_kickerramp.Collidable = True or Fallse
2. We make Miniplayfield_kickerramp.Collidable = False when ball is rolling back down ramp (That is when the ball y velocity is greater than zero
3. We also make Miniplayfield_kickerramp.Collidable = False when ball speed is really slow ( so really lame shots won't activate kicker)
4. We also make Miniplayfield_kickerramp.Collidable = False when ball speed is really fast as kicker assist is not needed
5. We tried to pick a sweet spot of ball speed where Miniplayfield_kickerramp.Collidable = True

It seems to work quite well so we are trying it twilght zone...
Limitations of this method:
1. You have to know how to make the Ramp kicker model for each table
2. You can't have variable pulse strengths of the Ramp Kicker

We are using BAM flipper testing tool to test this and determine which values to use. See Video below
We are able to choose where ball is released and even set the ball speed and direction. It release the ball 100 times.
In the video below I show how to access the flipper testing tool and I set the ball release to right flipper "cradled" location at velocity = 0
Please turn the video sound off before you play it as it is annoying.
 
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Gimli

Pinball Master
To demonstrate the Flipper testing tool, I will show how to release the ball from 3 different locations:
1. Above right in lane
2.Above right flipper just above level of right slingshot
3. From Cradled position
TestSpots.jpg


 

Gimli

Pinball Master
@GeorgeH
@wild
@Ike Savage
@shiva
@TerryRed
@NitroNimbus

Here is an initial go at Ramp Assist GeorgeH.
It does look like it may work but I am not sure how this ramp functions. The Faster shots do make the ball go all the way around the ramp without the ramp assist. While the ramp assist on slower shots make ball go straight up ramp to hit the target only ? If we wish the ball to gall all the way around with all ramp assists, Paolo may need to make a second "kicker ramp" up higher in the next ramp segment ?

If you play in debug mode it will display the ball speeds and whether an assist is given or not
Flipper Testing Tool is great for this as you can launch ball directly at ramp from different angles and different speeds without even using flippers.
 

Attachments

  • Twilight Zone ULTIMATE 1.02_ramp-assist.fpt
    59.9 MB · Views: 69
Last edited:
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