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  • Suggestions for cabinets

    Hi all,

    just some suggestions:

    1) allow any keys to be used (so i can map to cab!)
    2) support auto rotate of game field (without having to rotate screen in driver settings)
    3) allow setting and memory of view for all tables without having to select each time

    Already downloaded three packs :-)

    regards

    shifters67

  • #2
    Not just for cabinets, I'd like to second having another way to get at portrait mode. Having to muck about with windows settings every time I want five minutes of pinball seems entirely unnecessary. How about a command line switch or setting in the options in-game? I'm guessing this has something to do with how you support the mouse cursor, but it'd be much appreciated if you'd consider it for the future

    Comment


    • #3
      Very disappointed, but the fixes should be simple

      Originally posted by shifters67 View Post
      Hi all,

      just some suggestions:

      1) allow any keys to be used (so i can map to cab!)
      2) support auto rotate of game field (without having to rotate screen in driver settings)
      3) allow setting and memory of view for all tables without having to select each time

      Already downloaded three packs :-)

      regards

      shifters67
      All of these would be great. How about a dual screen option to put a static graphic and the DMD on a second monitor?
      How about navigating to different tables with the left and right flipper buttons instead of the mouse? I would also like to be able to launch each game from the command line and fully quit a table with the ESC key. The flippers are also really, really lagged. It's almost unplayable.

      Until I can at least remap the keys in the game, I'm not going to buy any table. Once I can do that, I will buy every single one.

      All that said, the game does look awesome on my cabinet (after I rotate the display). I am excited to get everything working without a mouse and without rewiring the inside of my cabinet and changing the controls in all my other games.


      Originally posted by Nashwan View Post
      Not just for cabinets, I'd like to second having another way to get at portrait mode. Having to muck about with windows settings every time I want five minutes of pinball seems entirely unnecessary. How about a command line switch or setting in the options in-game? I'm guessing this has something to do with how you support the mouse cursor, but it'd be much appreciated if you'd consider it for the future
      Have you tried Alt+Shift+[arrow keys] or Ctrl+Alt+[arrow keys]? Many video drivers will rotate the screen for you with those shortcuts.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rooter View Post
        Have you tried Alt+Shift+[arrow keys] or Ctrl+Alt+[arrow keys]? Many video drivers will rotate the screen for you with those shortcuts.
        I have put together a script for that with autohotkey. The script switches to portrait, starts FX2 and switches back after the program closes.

        http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?sh...24422&p=225277

        Comment


        • #5
          Ok this is awesome I bought two packs already. It needs more options for the vpin cabinet makers though! Alot!.

          It needs support for 3 monitors dmd, playfield, and backglass. If 2 then playfield and dmd backglass combined.
          The views are too far back in portrait mode. They should make a view that replicates a 38" high table and a 6' player.
          You need to allow the ability to remove the pause and camera buttons taking up huge real estate on the pf
          Betabrite support
          Custom Table Navigation Gui That Is More Minimal
          Rumble support that can be wired to a shaker motor

          I can't think of anything else right now.

          Comment


          • #6
            The above comments sound great. I'd really love to focus on creating a cabinet setup if these options were available.

            Just yesterday I got my Samsung SyncMaster 204B vertically sitting on a laptop stand that is just good enough to hold the screen stable in a good angle and am controlling it now with a gamepad controller which is already awesome! Then I read about a "cab setup" for the first time on this forum and was wondering what they meant by it.. Oh yeah I'd love to create a full cabinet setup with pinball fx/zen pinball.

            Implementing functionality for the above suggestions would be the greatest update!

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks guys! We do have lots to adjust and more to add, your input helps!

              Comment


              • #8
                First of all, thanks for releasing this for PC, and double thanks for including portrait mode at launch! After playing this for over 30 hours in the past 5 days, here's my lengthy list of cabinet suggestions and ideas.

                I know you guys are busy and that cabinet owners are a minority (if an extremely passionate one). So I'll organize these by importance as I see it. Some have obviously been mentioned, but I wanted to get all my thoughts in one place. Others can feel free to disagree, offer their own ideas, or expand on what I have. Just trying to help out with ideas and I appreciate your responsiveness to the community in general.

                By the way, we don't need menus for everything. Some simple txt or ini files would be fine for a lot of this stuff, if that's a possibility. Also, speaking for myself, I'd be more than willing to pay for access to some of the more advanced features, or contribute to a small Kickstarter.

                P.S. You guys should get/build a cabinet for the office. They're awesome.


                Critical

                -- Multiple monitor support, with ability to move DMD to another screen. Ideally you could drag the DMD to any monitor, rotate 90 degrees in any direction and allow it to be resized to any size to accommodate everyone's builds. A text file would be fine, though (monitor number, X and Y coordinates, X and Y size in px, etc). This would be appreciated by some multi-monitor desktop users as well.

                -- Ability to remap controls to any key, any joystick button, or any joystick axis. This would be appreciated by desktop users as well.
                -- Analog nudging recognized by input on the X and Y axis would be ideal. Otherwise, an adjustable minimum threshold would help so that accidental bumps to the cabinet (or the impact of a real plunger) do not trigger huge nudges. Either way, a "gain" setting for the amount of nudge force applied once input is registered would help as well. This would allow me to trigger full-strength nudges like the Xbox 360 controller stick does without abusing my cabinet.

                -- Ability to rotate to portrait/cabinet mode inside the game, rather than via Windows monitor settings. This would be appreciated by desktop portrait users as well.

                -- One of two things:
                -- A) Ability to launch directly into a certain table via command line commands. This would allow the front end programs people use on cabinets to launch tables from different pinball games and back out again. Ideally it would skip any splash screens, or at least proceed through them without any "Press Enter to Start" prompts. I'm not sure what might be required, like in terms of closing Pinball FX instantly when an exit button is pressed, or if the script would basically just do an Alt+F4 on it or what. Others can hopefully provide more detail on the bare minimum needed here.

                -- or B) a menu system that can be navigated by just the buttons on a cabinet. For example, mine has two flipper buttons on each side, a Start button, a "coin" button, a Launch Ball button and an Exit button underneath the cabinet. I was thinking this would be tricky, because you don't want to have to maintain a separate UI just for cabinets and adding wrapping to the cursor (to avoid mapping up/down buttons) might get messy while trying to use it. But I think the best idea is to just keep the UI how it is in portrait mode and offer an option to have separate controls configured in the menus vs in the game. Given my setup and the existing portrait mode UI, I'm imagining this:

                -- Menu:
                -- Left primary flipper button: move left
                -- Right primary flipper button: move right
                -- Left secondary flipper button: move up
                -- Right secondary flipper button: move down
                -- Start button: select (Enter on the keyboard by default)
                -- "Coin" button: switch section (Tab on the keyboard by default)
                -- Launch ball button: nothing; or maybe select also
                -- Exit button: back out (Esc on the keyboard by default)

                -- In-Game:
                -- Left primary flipper button: left flipper
                -- Right primary flipper button: right flipper
                -- Left secondary flipper button: launch ball (for Tesla magnasave, Moon Knight shooting gallery, and other instances where you can't move your hand down to the other buttons on the front of the cabinet fast enough)
                -- Right secondary flipper button: launch ball (same reason as above)
                -- Start button: launch ball (for starting a game from attract mode and entering initials)
                -- "Coin" button: nothing
                -- Launch ball button: launch ball
                -- Exit button: pause (Esc on the keyboard by default)

                Through key-mapping utilities, I'm basically already using this system for the menus and it works well.



                Important

                -- Option to disable all non-critical special event cameras. What I mean by this is anything you can see in a normal, full-screen, portrait view of the table should not zoom in to a close-up view. Examples that should not have a zoomed event camera: launching the ball from any plunger (main or alternate), Jabba the Hut coming out into view on Boba Fett, the mission mini-playfield on Blade, the submerged "Fight" mini-playfield on Pasha, etc. Examples that should continue to have special cameras because they zoom away to mythical offscreen areas: Hulk Arena, breakout-style minigame in Fear Itself, Brain puzzle in Biolab, etc.
                -- Extra credit: get the upper backbox playfield on Paranormal (when it is released) to operate on the 2nd backglass monitor like the real pinball table Banzai Run.

                -- Option to disable the roaming camera in attract mode. It kind of kills the illusion in a cabinet.

                -- A backglass image displayed on a second monitor. Ideally built in automatically with some nice art, or else the ability to somehow set an image ourselves per table. The artists in the community would come up with something.


                Nice-to-Have

                -- Slightly more adjustable camera. I'm torn between views 1 and 2 right now. The angle on 1 seems good, but is maybe a hair too close and a little of the plunger mechanism gets cut off. Maybe custom positioning, or at least custom zoom? Extra credit: some kind of setting where you put in your height and it adjusts the camera?

                -- Support for real DMDs. Many people are building these into their cabinets because they are so much brighter and more authentic than emulating the look of a DMD on a monitor. As far as I know, they all use the PinDMD board. The owner, Russ, is active in the virtual pinball community (especially over on vpforums) and might be willing to work with you. I don't know how your DMD system works and what this would take, but it would be amazing. Others in the community may be able to help as well.

                -- Built-in support for the the Pinball Wizard controller (and thus Pinball Wizard kit used in many cabs). I haven't used the standalone controller itself, but I imagine it would work well for desktop enthusiasts who want authentic controls. Ideally the game would recognize it so that the plunger and analog nudging would work with no configuration. Probably would be good to still allow button remapping on top of that, though, because people may have different preferences depending on what the menus are like and such (or they may have physically wired their buttons to different joystick numbers other than the default). Barring built-in support for it, it would be cool if you got one and tested with it to make sure it works nicely with generic control configuration options.


                Stretch Goals

                -- I don't know if this is even possible, but a cabinet-specific camera angle that removes or counteracts the 3D perspective you get from the game engine. What I mean by this is that normally objects in a video game that are further back in the scene appear smaller because they are further away. So on a cabinet if you align the camera so that the front of the siderails of the in-game table line up with the edges of the screen on the near side of your playfield monitor, the rear siderails of the in-game table are like an inch or two in from the edges of the monitor because the perspective effect of the engine takes over -- the far side of the table appears smaller. I don't think you really need this on a cabinet, because the far side of the playfield monitor is physically like 3 feet farther away from your eyes than the near side. It would be awesome if the virtual table just "fit" the real one perfectly. Obviously not a high priority; just an idea.


                Extra Crazy Stretch Goals

                -- Head tracking like in this video. Maybe via Kinnect for PC? I don't seriously expect this, but it would be cool, right? Assuming there was minimal lag.


                Thanks for your time!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'd like to add two things to Roo's detailed and well written list.
                  They aren't "Critical" or "Important". I think they go best under "Nice-to-Have"
                  • Support for two sound cards
                    Many cabs have two sound systems. The first (and main) sound system is located in the Backbox and gets used for ROM sounds.
                    This includes speech, music, and sound effects - everything what originally came out of a given pinball machine's speaker system.
                    The second sound system is for mechanical sounds and usually located in the cabinet. Mechanical sound include bumpers, slingshots and ball rolling sounds.
                    It makes one helluva difference, take my word for it. Especially if you have matching subwoofers to go with it.

                  • LED-Wiz support
                    LED-Wiz or Arduino boards get often used to control misc. button lamps, force feedback and toys. Here is a list of what is commonly used, obviously we don't need all of them. Contactors, flashers and shaker would be nice

                    Button Lights - Commonly used are "Start" and "Launch Ball", sometimes "Extra Ball", less common are RGB flipper and magnasave buttons.
                    Contactors - Up to 8 Contactors for mechanical sounds, usually 2 for flippers, 2 for slingshots, 3 for bumpers, and one in the back. A good post describing this with pictures is here.
                    Force Feedback - Shaker motor, gear motor, replay knocker.
                    Flashers - Usually 5 high powered RGB LEDs and a strobe.
                    Rotating Beacons - It seems more and more people putting one of those on their backbox lately.
                    Fan - Rarely used. Before you ask, it's for tables like Whirlwind and Twister.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The portrait / landscape stuff is easy to work around so engineering time isn't important for that.

                    A couple things that would be helpful:

                    1) provide a way for an external app to read current table being played or know in main menu. Something real simple such as update window title, set a registry key, anything like this. Something simple like this enables someone (me) to update a backglass monitor with the translite image for each game as its being played. Let the community do the work of making this work and creating the images

                    2) provide ability to map other joy axis for nudge not just Xbox pad. Isn't generic direct input support pretty simple?

                    3) provide ability to run Dmd in its own window that can be sized and frameless. This will let us drag that window to any monitor. Might be easier to implement than coding multi monitor support into the game?

                    Mapping specific keys can be handles by the community via script. The current in game options are pretty good.

                    I would be willing to do some of the engineering work for these features for free

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Roo5676 View Post
                      -- Support for real DMDs. Many people are building these into their cabinets because they are so much brighter and more authentic than emulating the look of a DMD on a monitor. As far as I know, they all use the PinDMD board. The owner, Russ, is active in the virtual pinball community (especially over on vpforums) and might be willing to work with you. I don't know how your DMD system works and what this would take, but it would be amazing. Others in the community may be able to help as well.
                      Already in the works. No guarantees, but let's just say Zen have been very receptive to the idea thus far and Russ is already in the loop. Hopefully it will happen...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gamester View Post
                        Already in the works. No guarantees, but let's just say Zen have been very receptive to the idea thus far and Russ is already in the loop. Hopefully it will happen...
                        That would really be incredible.

                        Recognize you from VPF; have you played any Star Wars Pinball on your Star Wars themed pincab yet? I was just looking at the latest pictures (here) and it's looking awesome! That artwork is really cool.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Roo5676 View Post
                          That would really be incredible.

                          Recognize you from VPF; have you played any Star Wars Pinball on your Star Wars themed pincab yet? I was just looking at the latest pictures (here) and it's looking awesome! That artwork is really cool.
                          Thanks for the compliment!

                          I had to leave town the day after I got my cab playable, so I haven't gotten to play much of anything yet. But my wife and kids have been keeping it company and running up scores on some of the VP tables while I'm away though.

                          I may hold off on buying/loading any of the Zen tables until they have in-game portrait mode and assignable keys worked out. I am itching to try it out though.

                          Will update my build thread(s) when I get back too.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gamester View Post
                            Thanks for the compliment!

                            I had to leave town the day after I got my cab playable, so I haven't gotten to play much of anything yet. But my wife and kids have been keeping it company and running up scores on some of the VP tables while I'm away though.

                            I may hold off on buying/loading any of the Zen tables until they have in-game portrait mode and assignable keys worked out. I am itching to try it out though.

                            Will update my build thread(s) when I get back too.
                            Actually, none of these things need to be worked out. I suggest the Zen guys spend their time elsewhere as these do not need engineering resources dedicated. I have my cabinet set up with these things all happening automatically when you load the zen platform. You could very easily create a hyperpin entry called "Pinball FX2" and have it launch pinball fx platform properly rotated with keys remapped. From a cabinet perspective, I do not see any benefit of having these things in game. You can remap your keys using an autohotkey script and you can rotate your monitor as you need using the same script and the freeware app irotate. I ended up reconfiguring hyperpin and visual pinball to use left and right arrow for flippers and that saved a lot of effort. My cabinet has four buttons, 2 on each side. I use those to select the game, and plunge selects the game to start. If you have an ipaq or something and only have two flipper buttons on your cabinet, you can set up shift actions for up/down arrows.

                            I also have managed to create a backglass image for every table and have written an app that changes the backglass everytime you select a table from within pinball fx2. I'm still testing this before I might release it on vpforums or such. As it stands right now, the app requires a few things to run right. You have to enable the file system audit policy to syslog read files then set up permissions in windows explorer on the steampinball\SteamApps\common\Pinball FX2\data_steam folder to enable read audits. This creates a syslog entry in the security log everytime one of the files is loaded. Then my app will register for event log changes on this log and look for entries specific for pxp files. Everytime you select a table, pinball fx has to load the data from the pxp file for that table to show the description and screenshot. My app will display an image, if you have such an image in the folder where the app runs with the same filename as the pxp file. I threw together some images, but they are not so great. We need the community to come up with some nice backglass images As it stands now, the app will display the image wherever you tell it to on any monitor and you can size the image to any size you need it to be. If Zen added some sort of hook into pinball fx where an app like mine could monitor something intended for this purpose, I think it would be a decent permanent solution (saving Zen engineering resources again). Unless Zen plans for animated backglasses that are somehow interactive with the game activity, I don't see how it would be any better to have it native in the game - once installed.

                            For me, the hyperpin platform is an interesting toy. But the pinball fx stuff is actually fun to play - unlike any of the VP emulations. Having a real physics engine makes such a difference. So, for me, I ditched Hyperpin as my primary platform. Instead, I have windows 8 metro window on start up. I can from there (with the pinball buttons) select pinball fx (win 8), Pinball fx steam, hyperpin, or slamit. All those things run their appropriate platform, rotate the monitor, remap the keys etc. But I hardly every load hyperpin. But for someone that uses the hyperpin stuff a lot, you could just have the system boot to hyperpin as it does now and have the pinball fx2 launch when selected from the hyperpin menu. I did all this with slamit a year or so ago and wrote up a vpforums thread on how to integrate it. It would work very similar for pinball fx2. If anyone seriously wants some help with this I would be willing to help.

                            Right now, the only thing we really need is the ability to move the DMD off the first monitor onto another screen and resize it. Hopefully it can just be made into its own window that can be moved, resized, position remembered, then frame disabled. Currently, I have analog nudging working really well using the xbox 360 pad emulator mapping my accelerometer to the left xbox 360 stick.
                            Last edited by markmon; 05-19-2013, 05:36 PM.

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                            • #15
                              That is all good info, Markmon, thanks.

                              I understand and appreciate the attempt to try to limit Zen's time spent on things the cabinet community can accomplish somehow, but we don't know exactly what they have planned. If some of the stuff is easy for them and they decide to do it, that's a bonus. I'm sure your skills will come in handy to bridge the gap between whatever they end up offering and our full solution. A lot of that stuff sounds really promising, even at this stage.

                              Some of the things (like in-game monitor rotation) have been requested by desktop users as well, who won't be plugged into the cabinet community or willing to mess around with scripts and stuff as much.

                              I think most people will stick with HyperPin because it works so well on a cabinet. I think most people are on Windows XP or 7 as well, so they wouldn't have the option of the Windows 8 Metro stuff.

                              I can see two solutions: one where you launch Pinball FX from a single HyperPin item, and one where you have one item per table with the standard preview video and stuff like is used for Visual Pinball and Future Pinball today. That's why I gave those two options above in my initial wishlist. I think many people would ideally want the Pinball FX tables (and Pinball Arcade tables, and Pro Pinball tables if that happens) to just integrate into the big list with the VP and FP tables. You'd still have your favorites list to use as well. If that doesn't end up working, launching into Pinball FX as a whole could still work.

                              As for customizable controls, it looks like many desktop users want this as well and Zen have already said it's on the list. Right now I have it working with Xpadder and x360ce, which I posted about here.

                              I will ask you this: how did you set up your plunger? Mine is mapped to the right trigger of a 360 controller, but it's still pretty unreliable. It always moves the onscreen plunger accurately, but sometimes when you release it the ball goes at like half the speed it should.

                              And even using key-remapping utilities, I can't quite get it how I want without having different controls for the menu and within a game (see my suggestion above). I have mine set up the way I listed it under "Menu" above and this works great. I can navigate every menu option, including tabbing to the alternate menu (like switching between Overall/Friends/My Score on the leaderboards). But I can't have my secondary flippers be up/down for the menu and also be the "launch ball" button in the game. I would really like this because some modes/missions have things where you need to hit it very quickly. Try doing the 2nd level of the Moon Knight shooting gallery when you have to move your hand down to the front of the cabinet to fire -- you can't do it nearly fast enough.

                              Also, sometimes the launch ball button just doesn't work for me. For example, neither my start button or my launch ball button (which are both set to the launch ball command) work to drop the ball off the rail after hitting the Arena ramp on Hulk. Pulling the plunger does work, but is not ideal as a quick hit action. The buttons do work in other cases, though, like the Kraken magnet on Secrets of the Deep. Maybe it's just something weird with my setup of Xpadder and x360ce, but to me it's just another reason why native support would be ideal. If you have any suggestions on how I could accomplish this with the current control options, I'm all ears.
                              Last edited by Roo5676; 05-19-2013, 07:48 PM.

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