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Thread: Post your PC Pinball gaming setup

  1. #1

    Default Post your PC Pinball gaming setup

    I'm interested to know what setup people play Pinball FX2 on. Do you play on anything other than a keyboard or a game pad? Have you built something specifically for the purpose? Maybe converted an arcade stick or are playing on an arcade cabinet? I'm aware of the numerous dedicated cabinets out there and they look fantastic but I don't have the room in my games room as the space is taken up with several cabinets I've built.

    I'm currently playing with an XBOX controller but am starting to think about making a dedicated cabinet of sorts. Not a traditional shape as I don't have the space. It'll probably use a 27 inch monitor and I'm undecided whether to go portrait or landscape for the orientation. Portrait is nice but it doesn't feel right playing on a scaled down version of a table. I may go for a rotating monitor to provide some flexibility. The design may well take some of the design elements of my arcade cabinet (Vewlix).

    I'm looking for inspiration so please show what you have.

  2. #2

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    I built a pincab and the FX2 games are amazing on it
    2vshsso.jpg

  3. #3
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    I use this to play it...built from scratch.

    - Cabinet based on Williams Widebody Dimensions (modified backbox width to fit the TV)
    - 46" LED LCD Playfield
    - 32" LED LCD Backglass
    - Real Vishay DMD
    - Cree RGB LEDs for lighting effects
    - LED Strobes
    - Solenoids for flipper, bumper and slingshot force feedback effects
    - Shaker motor
    - Gear motor
    - Infinity sound system with 8" sub
    - Custom Designed Artwork
    - Under cabinet RGB color changing accent lighting

    IMG_3308.jpg

    IMG_3327.jpg
    Last edited by gamester; 06-12-2013 at 09:07 PM.

  4. #4

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    I built a widebody cab. 46"/32"/DMD with all the force feedback and LED goodies. My family & friends & I really like pinball fx2. The graphics look great and the tables are very entertaining. I'm really looking forward to fx2 using the backbox and DMD and hopefully the ledwiz.

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the responses. Those builds look excellent. I'd really like to know more about the components used in your machines to give it a realistic feel. It's making me consider ditching one of my existing arcade cabinets and building one of these.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ericleroi View Post
    Thanks for the responses. Those builds look excellent. I'd really like to know more about the components used in your machines to give it a realistic feel. It's making me consider ditching one of my existing arcade cabinets and building one of these.
    For details on the components used in some of the high end pincab builds, I suggest you check out the Hyperpin Cabinet forum on the Hyperspin website. There's quite a few good build threads there and the virtual pinball community is generally very helpful. I'm also happy to answer any questions you may have offline or over on that forum.

  7. #7
    Senior Member LeanderL's Avatar
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    Such cabinets are really cool but...way too expensive, at least for me.

  8. #8

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    I am waiting to make a video of Pinball FX2 on my cabinet until there is backglass and/or real DMD support. This is my cabinet playing Visual Pinball though:



    Features:
    Real pinball cabinet (Sega Golden Eye)
    40" main screen
    28" backglass screen
    Analog plunger
    Accepts quarters
    Real DMD
    Shaker motor
    Replay knocker
    Solenoids for flipper effects
    Cree LED's

    I still have some cosmetic things to do to it. I can't wait for some more cabinet support in Pinball FX2!

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the info and offer gamester, it's appreciated.

    Excellent builds going on. Keep the posts coming!

    Edit: thanks for the breakdown of components rooter.

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    I updated my original post with some specs on my cabinet.
    Last edited by gamester; 06-12-2013 at 09:06 PM.

  11. #11

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    That's great gamester, thanks. It really helps to have some specifics to search for. Do some of these components require the application to expose API's or to use plugins (e.g. solenoids and shaker motor)?

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamester View Post
    I updated my original post with some specs on my cabinet.
    Gamestar, are the guy who built the simply awesome STAR WARS: Pinball Unleashed cabinet? If so I've been following your thread since day one.
    EDIT your photos in first post now work, and see it is same VP cabinet! I'll be attempting to do a lesser build this year, if it can turn out half as good as yours I'll be happy.
    Last edited by Richie; 06-12-2013 at 09:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richie View Post
    Gamestar, are the guy who built the simply awesome STAR WARS: Pinball Unleashed cabinet? If so I've been following your thread since day one.
    EDIT your photos in first post now work, and see it is same VP cabinet! I'll be attempting to do a lesser build this year, if it can turn out half as good as yours I'll be happy.
    Thanks for the compliment. Good luck with your build! Hit me up on the other forum if you need any help.
    Last edited by gamester; 06-12-2013 at 10:00 PM.

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    20120721_094032.jpg

    As soon as I get the pc put back together ill be playing on a cocktail pin cab
    32 inch lcd
    Nanotech plunger and button set up (hopefully this will be supported)
    I7 3.4 ghz quad core
    16 gb ram
    2 nvidia 259 1gb cards
    Windows xp pro 32 bit
    Last edited by unclewilly; 06-12-2013 at 11:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    Such cabinets are really cool but...way too expensive, at least for me.
    How much do these cost?

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    Senior Member LeanderL's Avatar
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    The VirtuaPin cabinets range from 5000-6000$. A mini version is available for 2600 though but too small imo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    The VirtuaPin cabinets range from 5000-6000$. A mini version is available for 2600 though but too small imo.
    Those are of course turn-key machines. If you're up for such a DIY project, they can be built for significantly less...

  18. #18
    Senior Member LeanderL's Avatar
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    Yes but the parts aren't that cheap and you definitely need to know how to build the cabinet. Clumsy people like me won't stand a chance.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    Yes but the parts aren't that cheap and you definitely need to know how to build the cabinet. Clumsy people like me won't stand a chance.
    The parts are mostly pretty cheap, there are just a million of them if you go for feedback effects. I only did some basic carpentry on mine and I didn't know anything about it before I started. I only needed a drill and a saw. It was really easy because I found an old empty Golden Eye cabinet for $40. I didn't even choose to buy the cabinet just so it would be easier, I bought it because I wanted it to be solid and realistic. When you nudge my machine, it's like nudging a real pinball machine.

    If you wanted to go for a budget build you could go:

    Empty used cabinet: ~$40
    Decent PC: ~$200
    40" main screen: ~$350
    Screen for backglass: ~$199
    Hack an old keyboard for buttons: $5
    10 buttons: $20
    Misc other things to make everything nice: ~$200

    So, you see, it's not cheap but can be done for under $1000, which is significantly cheaper than a turnkey one ($5000) or a new pinball machine ($7500). You can do other things with it too. If you hook up an Xbox controller, MAME vertical shooter games are really fun on it. When I am not playing pinball, I also use mine as a media server for all the TV's in my house as well as backing up files on the network.

    For me, it is just a hobby. I didn't build it myself to save money, I built it myself because it was really fun. I created an arcade cabinet and wrote my own shooter for it. Now I have created a digital pinball machine and I am creating my own game for it. For my next project, I want to build a real physical pinball machine.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Roo5676's Avatar
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    I got a VirtuaPin because I don't have the skills/tools/space to build my own. It was expensive, but the build quality is impeccable. The playfield monitor is gorgeous and has great viewing angles, too (something cheap TVs may lack).

    No doubt you can build your own for cheaper, but if you aren't in it for the hobby aspect and just want to play pinball, you have to think about the dozens and dozens of hours you will spend researching and building, too.

    And I think you are understating the prices by a bit, Rooter. $200 for a PC? (A good video card alone will cost that much). Nanotech or similar kit for plunger and nudging? Speakers/subwoofer/amp?

    I think maybe around $3000 is a more realistic DIY price, although it can vary a lot depending on what you put in it, obviously.

    VirtuaPin does sell kits, also, if you want a half and half approach.

    If you want to build your own, there are a lot of good threads on vpforums, the HyperPin forums and the Build Your Own Arcade controls forum.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    Clumsy people like me won't stand a chance.
    Give it a go! You won't know until you give it a try

    I had zero woodworking skills before I started building my cabinets. Provided that you have the patience, I think most people could turn out something pretty decent.

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roo5676 View Post
    And I think you are understating the prices by a bit, Rooter. $200 for a PC? (A good video card alone will cost that much). Nanotech or similar kit for plunger and nudging? Speakers/subwoofer/amp?
    You don't need a very powerful system unless you are playing complex Visual Pinball tables with transparency. Pinball FX2 will definitely play great on a $200 PC. It plays just fine on phones!

    I would not recommend the Nanotech plunger. As for nudging, there are cheap hackable options. I just prefer to use an extra set of buttons above the flipper buttons.

    A cheap sound system can be obtained from a thrift shop for next to nothing. I was describing how cheap you can build a decent cabinet, not something top of the line. I spent $120 for SoundSticks (incredible!) because I think the sound is one of the most important things in pinball.

    Don't get me wrong. A cabinet can be a huge money sink. There is always something I want to add or upgrade and that is what is fun about it. It doesn't have to be that way though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roo5676 View Post
    I think maybe around $3000 is a more realistic DIY price, although it can vary a lot depending on what you put in it, obviously.
    I'm definitely under $2000 on my build.

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    My Little "Steam Cab" in the middle. I hook up my laptop to it when I feel like playing a game of Pinball FX2.

    Intel i5, 2,9 GHz
    GeForce GT 540M

    95JmXss.jpg

  24. #24

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    Cool mini pin Rosve.

    Edit: also cool arcade cab and real Pinball cab

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by unclewilly View Post
    As soon as I get the pc put back together ill be playing on a cocktail pin cab
    32 inch lcd
    Nanotech plunger and button set up (hopefully this will be supported)
    I7 3.4 ghz quad core
    16 gb ram
    2 nvidia 259 1gb cards
    Windows xp pro 32 bit
    Nice. Post some more pics when it's done unclewilly.

  26. #26
    Senior Member LeanderL's Avatar
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    WinXP only supported up to 4 GB Ram. Additional Ram is not used. Maybe Pro is different but the standard version of XP is limited.

  27. #27
    Senior Member Roo5676's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeanderL View Post
    WinXP only supported up to 4 GB Ram. Additional Ram is not used. Maybe Pro is different but the standard version of XP is limited.
    You would need the rare 64-bit version of Windows XP Pro, but I think they actually stopped supporting that early. I'm not even sure if you can get SP3 with it.

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    By the time I'm done with my cab I will have upgraded to win 7pro 64bit.
    That's what I use on my digital storm bolt in my living room to play on the 50inch lcd
    It also runs vp and fp maxed out smoothly.


    I also have a small 7 inch usb monitor I will use for a dmd.
    For ems I move the scoring reels to the apron

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    Default HyperSpin and Pinball FX2

    My setup is using a cabinet from www.recroommasters.com - and the Tank Stick from http://www.xgaming.com/ - the PC is in cabinet running Windows 8 - and the keyboard draw slides forward and closes under the Tank Stick. In the picture the keyboard and mouse are exposed but it closes clean.

    I have about 10 TB of games starting with Mame, PS2, etc. running in HyperSpin - so I can play classics like Pacman, Robotron, Tempest, etc. and other games.

    The X-Arcade Tank Stick programs like a Keyboard so its pretty simple to setup. It has two buttons on each side of the controller specifically there for pinball.

    I'm launching Pinball FX 2 out of hyperspin (working on integrating it now). Still looking for the message thread here on the AHK script for the command line - but otherwise it works great.

    Cabinet.jpg
    Last edited by Falantrius; 12-29-2013 at 11:48 PM. Reason: mistyped a line

  30. #30
    Junior Member Zeiram's Avatar
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    Here's a shot of my cab.

    TOM.jpg

    Like Roo's, it's also a VirtuaPin. I would have enjoyed building it myself, but my job keeps me so busy that it would've taken months to put together something I was happy with. That said, I've had fun tweaking it. I added RandR's awesome PS3Eye kit for head tracking in Future Pinball, and I may add some other I/O goodies when I've exhausted all the software projects I plan for it.

  31. #31

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    Heres mine, built it back in 2010 time...so im guessing alot of the components i used back then are out dated now, such as strobe flasher on the rear, LCD TV (not super thin LED), standard pinball plunger connected to micro switch etc.



    I havent played it for over a year, maybe i should no that Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade havr cab support. Does Pinball FX allow for the DMD to be placed on the 2nd monitor and are there backglasses for the tables?
    Last edited by lettuce; 01-04-2014 at 08:16 PM.

  32. #32
    Senior Member Roo5676's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lettuce View Post
    I havent played it for over a year, maybe i should no that Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade havr cab support. Does Pinball FX allow for the DMD to be placed on the 2nd monitor and are there backglasses for the tables?
    Actually, they both have just single-screen portrait support right now. TPA cab mode is supposedly coming early this year sometime and according to this, Zen just got a cabinet so I assume they will start working with it soon.

    I've been playing them both on my cab, but you need to use utilities to map the controls to keyboard or Xbox 360. I can't wait to move the DMD off the screen and get some proper nudging and plunger support!

    I think some people are using PinballX for backglasses and to "directly" launch the tables (using macros to navigate the menu I think), but I haven't tried it.

  33. #33
    Junior Member Zeiram's Avatar
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    What Roo said...

    It's straightforward to set up PinballX to start a specific table via AHK with a static back glass.

  34. #34

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    I built a half scale cabinet with 22", 17" and 7" monitors with second hand computer stuff from ebay. It cost about £300 to build.

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    Any chance of a pic insx?

  36. #36

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    SheepsTooth, here's a photo (I've replaced it with a better one).

    Pincab-MM-1024.jpg
    Last edited by insx; 02-12-2014 at 06:57 PM. Reason: new photo

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    Thanks for the pic - it looks really impressive. Where do you plan to put it? I mean is it going to have legs or is it suitable for table-top use. I'd like to build my own cab but don't know where to start I have thought a nice mini cab would be nice. Is it heavy to move around? I'm guessing it is...

  38. #38

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    I'm not sure about legs, I currently just put it on a table but I might put it on legs at some point. It weighs 22KG so it can be picked up and moved but I wouldn't want to walk a mile holding it

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    insx, that looks really, really good (thanks for updated pic btw). Well done on your creation mate. Might I ask if you had a design to follow or is it a total DIY job from scratch? 22KGs... lighter than I would have guessed. You're winning me over more and more to a half-size cab.

  40. #40

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    I just made it up as I went along. It's roughly 1/2 scale but the MDF sheet was 607mm wide so I made that the length of the machine. Other dimensions were dictated by the monitors so the backbox is a bit taller than it should be.

  41. #41
    Senior Member Casio's Avatar
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    l_21732510.jpg

    Who needs a fancy cab?!
    Last edited by Casio; 02-14-2014 at 02:46 PM.

  42. #42

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    Need is a strong word

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    Default PinKadia! My custom Pinball / Arcade cabinet

    Here's what I game on. It's a virtual Pinball / Arcade combo cabinet I built for Pinball FX 2, Pinball Arcade, Future Pinball, MAME, PC, etc...








    A pic of it running Pinball FX2 with video backglass, DMD and "marquee" through Pinball X.




    ...and here's a video of Pinball FX2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02yOiHutEO0

    Pinball Arcade:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZJub0Z1Emg

    Future Pinball:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0siU0B9IC0

    PC Games:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9VSUpkBt5s

    MAME soon to come....
    Last edited by TerryRed; 02-23-2016 at 08:25 PM.

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    After a lot of requests to demo BAM 3D head tracking on PinKadia, here's a video demonstration!



    This is using one PS3 eye camera, and my 3 point IR LED hat, and Freetrack through FaceTrackNoIR. The two camera, or Kinect V2 method is much better, but this still looks damn cool!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hfz8...ature=youtu.be

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    Well, now it is time for more upgrades.... as a result this is what happens in the middle of a project upgrade... total mess everywhere which makes my wife sooooo happy!


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFvVJGNi0gM



    I always wanted to add in a plunger and a big LAUNCH button. Can't easily find either in Canada, and buying from the US is costly with our crappy CDN dollar and costly shipping.

    So, I found a place in Ottawa that does repairs and sells parts called Pinball Medics.

    https://pinballmedics.ca/

    Since I was taking my daughter to Ottawa Comi-Con, I was able to stop by his place and buy what I needed from him. He had everything except for the mounting plate for the plunger, which I didn't need anyway. He's a great guy and had a fantastic Pinball collection which I sadly didn't have time to check out....

    Here's a video demonstration of my plunger setup:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QM7a84cmRTU



    Hopefully I can maybe make a couple of custom tilt-bobs to work as a digital nudge type of setup. Then, I'm off to update the control panel with a different button layout, a third 4-way joystick, and all three joysticks will have BAT tops instead of BALL tops.

    After all this is done, its just a waiting game for all my parts to arrive from China, so I can install feedback via 10 solenoids. I'll also be installing led strip lighting to act as 5 rgb flashers, addressable led strip lighting / matrix for animation, white strobes, and red / blue beacons (LED strobe versions). Lots of work to do!

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    While waiting for my parts to arrive from China for feedback (solenoids, lighting, etc), I figured I would get some other upgrades done to the cabinet, now that the plunger is working.

    After using the cabinet for a while, I really wanted to have a dedicated 4-way joystick for alot of the classic arcade games that really do need it. (Pac-man, Q-bert, Dig-Dug, and many more). I also wasn't really happy with the "ergonomic" button layout. Yah, it was nicer for fighting games, but not for anything else for me personally. Also, in order for me to fit a third joystick on the control panel I would have to rearrange the buttons in order to have enough space. I also didn't like the ball tops, and the LED joysticks don't allow for easily changing the tops without reaching inside the cabinet.

    Another thing I wanted was to eventually put in a spinner, but I needed to have a hole pre-drilled for it. So I have two extra buttons above the right joystick that can be swapped out with a spinner later on. I also put in a central "FIRE" button for those pinball games that use it (Star Trek, AC/DC, Alien Legacy, etc). I also labelled every button with transparent labels from a cheap label maker. It worked surprisingly well, and you can't see the label unless you look real close at the buttons.




    I decided to use a spare XBOX 360 gamepad (instead of the Logitech gamepad) for player one and the pinball controls. The main reason was that I wanted to have force-feedback outputs from the gamepad to use to create possible feedback options (solenoids, lighting) for Pinball FX2 and The Pinball Arcade in the future. I also setup this controller so that the x / y potentiometer was completely accessible for the plunger in the cabinet. This gamepad was MUCH easier to wire up as it had only one common ground for all buttons, and the pads were larger and easier to work with.



    Here you can see that I now have the entire control panel connected to two old school parallel db-25 cables for player one and player two, with a molex connector for the LED lighting. MUCH nicer than having all wires directly goto the gamepads. Yes, this involved soldering over 125 wires.... but now if I ever need to get access to the control panel or change / replace anything, I just unplug three easy to access cables. Yes, its alot of work, and I could have used some other solutions instead of gamepads, but that would not have given absolute complete compatibility with ALL PC Games and emulators / pinball games without some hassles. I will NEVER have any problems with any game running properly on this cabinet using this.




    Here you can see the extra trim I put around the side and front buttons.




    I found that the LED lighting was too bright at 12V for the LED buttons on the arcade panel, so I used 5V instead. Combined with the non-lit BAT tops, I found this to be much nicer on the eyes while playing. My white LEDS for the bottom white buttons have died out, and I didn't have any spares. So I put in similar colour LEDS as the A B X Y buttons to match for now. They look almost the same in person and much nicer as opposed to the picture.




    With the undercab and speaker lighting, it makes for quite the colorful display at night time.... can't wait for my addressable led strips!


  47. #47

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    This looks so rad! I love it!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbieBobomb View Post
    This looks so rad! I love it!!
    Wow! Thank you so much Barbie!

    The virtual pinball community is VERY thankful for Zen's excellent cabinet support in Pinball FX2. It's very nicely done, and much appreciated!

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    I always try to find new ways to make use of the "4th display" area on my middle screen.

    For MAME, I knew there were some cool programs out there that would let you see your control panel layout and other info for each game, either by pausing, etc..

    I just wanted a way to show what the controls were for each game in MAME since there are so many different layouts. When someone else is using the cabinet, it would be nice not having to explain to them the controls for each game....but when I found CP-Wizard, I found exactly what I had wanted.

    I am basically trying to setup as standard control panel layout for each control type for each game in CP-Wizard. I just made a background pic the size of my middle screen with the MAME logo at the bottom. Then I made the layouts I wanted and saved them as separate layouts. Then I had CP-Wizard configured to use whatever layout for each control scheme as required.

    I didn't need to have CP Wizard running in the background. I just had CP-Wizard do an Export-batch, creating control panel images for each game automatically with the correct naming of the files. These pics work with Pinball X as my DMD screen images for MAME. They display while browsing through each game and stay displayed while playing. Simple and easy to see to see while playing at any time. I may just use this for PC Games and other emulators too.

    Here's some pics of my current layout. Its simple, and probably not final, but works quite well.








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