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chinzman93

Vp...fp2.5...pinball Arcade...unity3D...sam Pinmame..what's Next And What If?

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I not really sure how to start this discussion since some of things discussed have been a lightning rod for conflict. Also considering the rules on some other forums regarding discussing 'taboo' topics, I thought I would post here for thoughts. I have only been following the VP/FP community for a couple of years, and most of that time was spent building my cab and, well, playing with my cab (mostly VP). But during that time, it seems alot of great things have been happening with new developments, such as newer versions of VP, FP new physics, all the pinball arcade stuff (if they ever get PC versions out), Unity3d stuff, and the SAM pinmame code release.

 

In particular, the Unity3d and Pinball Arcade, both have had some form of community financial support. Unity3d had the fund raiser and Pinball Arcade had their Kickstarter, both of which I was happy to kick into. But these projects kind of got me thinking. Alot of discussion has been made about the need for new software/editor. Also, there have been alot discussions on the pros and cons of VP versus FP. This post is not intended to start that discussion again. But seems to boil down to FP is the hot girl at the bar you want to take to bed and VP is the girl you want to take home to meet the parents. VP's physics in my opinion seem better and has rom support but the editor/table building seem to be better in FP. I know that there are some great looking tables in VP, but the learning curve is steep. I only realized how steep when I started trying to mod a table or two myself. Also, I know that the work on the physics in FP has shown alot of improvement with the work being done. I could only imagine what kind of improvements could be made in FP physics if the code was open sourced and could allow for a physics upgrade. I believe it uses Newton Game Dynamics which is open sourced and still worked on.

 

From what I have been able to gather from old posts on google is FP's developer Black left the community, didn't seem to care for pinmame, and didn't want to open source the code. Which I can understand, I'm just glad he fixed the expiration issue before leaving. I'm sure there is more to this, and some of the people that have been around for awhile could expand on this or correct my incorrect assumptions. In any case, I am wondering if he doesn't want to just open source the code, could an offer be made to him to purchase the code via the community with a fund raiser or kickstarter type project with the sole intention of open sourcing the code? I know I would certainly kick in, and considering how fast the funding for the Unity3d license effort went maybe it would be feasible. I don't mind having to kick in on something, and considering PB Arcade table releases many people would seem to agree.

 

But even if it is that would leave me with some other questions which I hope some people with more knowledge could answer:

 

Does anyone even know how to contact him?

Can he even release it or did does he have some kind of contract restrictions from the Ultrapin business?

Would it be worthwhile to even try?

How much would he want?

and

Has this already been tried and was a no go? (If so, I apologize for wasting everyone's time even reading this....lol)

 

Any thoughts on whether this would/could be possible?

 

Thanks for reading....I need a beer.

 

 

 

 

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Interesting thought.

My concern would be locating programmers that are good enough to make the changes we would all like to see. VP is currently open source, and there have been some modifications made, but they all seem to be minor.

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Agreed, that could be an issue. However, that bridge could be crossed down the road. Perhaps with a second round of fundraising to contract some programming time. Whether the finacial support would be there would be another issue. I suspect it would be. I think there would be enough people willing to contribute that it could keep individual costs relatively small. I think this would give people who would like to help but don't have either the time or skill sets need an opportunity to contribute. With the caveat being that all code developed remains open source, I could see this possibly working. Perhaps programming developments would have to be done in smaller phases to keep cost down.

 

An old addage in IT:

 

The project can be done:

1) Completed quickly

2) Be Stable

3) Be inexpensive

Pick 2 of the 3....lol

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I would say - just forget it. Black does not reply to anything he put behind. It's dead and the earlier we accept that the earlier a new project could be started. I never met such a straight forward guy before in my whole life. Man, how many e-mails did I sent him concering "Jumpman Under Construction" and trust me - I tried all ways of contact. Never got the slightest sign of life...

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I would say - just forget it. Black does not reply to anything he put behind. It's dead and the earlier we accept that the earlier a new project could be started. I never met such a straight forward guy before in my whole life. Man, how many e-mails did I sent him concering "Jumpman Under Construction" and trust me - I tried all ways of contact. Never got the slightest sign of life...

Funny how he got permission to to "use what ever he wanted" from the original developer for that project but does do the same for his abandoned project.

 

Im not sure I know enough about the limitations of VP but could it not be enhanced to improve the graphics and ilk to improve it to the FP eye candy level.  Maybe a VP10 is in order.

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Currently someone is working on bringing VP into DX9, but I'm not sure how much that will improve the graphics overall.

 

There was someone else that posted (I forget which forum) that is actually working on a new engine that looks promising, but it's very early on.

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Currently someone is working on bringing VP into DX9, but I'm not sure how much that will improve the graphics overall.

 

There was someone else that posted (I forget which forum) that is actually working on a new engine that looks promising, but it's very early on.

 

Was that the Unity3d work by Louziou? I believe that utilizes a table built with the FP editor, and the table then executes in the Unity environment. I believe he was able to interface with Pinmame as well.

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My 2 cents:

 

I think it just might be time to start fresh, which could be done on the foundation of what VP 9.x is. But with version 10, make it bigger, better, easier to use, more robust and have it completely different than the "traditional ways" that have hampered it in the past. No more FS/Spanned/Desktop versions for a table. Just 1 file. 

 

I just realized what would have been a good idea: a nvram default file that could be attached to the VPT table. Instead of fiddling around with downloading & properly placing said file, why not just bake it into the VPT file? 

 

B2s? Just make a "backbox" area, like Future Pinball has had for awhile.


Another idea: Why not a pinball XML standard? I was kicking around the idea of some pseudocode where,for example, all the objects setup in a pinball table can be nicely expressed in XML data. That opens it up the concept of being platform agnostic. 

 

We have computers that help us do all these things and more. Why not have it help us place a nice game of pinball? 

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Was that the Unity3d work by Louziou? I believe that utilizes a table built with the FP editor, and the table then executes in the Unity environment. I believe he was able to interface with Pinmame as well.

 

Does that mean the .FPT file format is known, ie reverse-engineered? If so, that can be a big bonus(ie puts things ahead of the game). 

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Yes, as far as I understood him he can read the whole content of the FPT files, only writing back changes is not possible for him yet.

 

Maybe a good start would be to document the .FPT file format, and build off of that? It has much more primitives than VP does. That, and it has those nice selections of different objects(ie not just 1 pop bumper).

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There is a thread on VPF. If you go to google and search for unity3d and vpforums it is the first item that comes up. I would post a direct link, but I am not sure what the rules are here regarding posting links to other sites and don't want to step on toes.

 

There is a post on the last page that addresses the reading of the FPT format. The LVR utility is referred to earlier in the thread and I believe was written by a FP table author (but I can't seem to remember who).

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My 2 cents:

 

I think it just might be time to start fresh, which could be done on the foundation of what VP 9.x is. But with version 10, make it bigger, better, easier to use, more robust and have it completely different than the "traditional ways" that have hampered it in the past. No more FS/Spanned/Desktop versions for a table. Just 1 file. 

 

I just realized what would have been a good idea: a nvram default file that could be attached to the VPT table. Instead of fiddling around with downloading & properly placing said file, why not just bake it into the VPT file? 

 

B2s? Just make a "backbox" area, like Future Pinball has had for awhile.

Another idea: Why not a pinball XML standard? I was kicking around the idea of some pseudocode where,for example, all the objects setup in a pinball table can be nicely expressed in XML data. That opens it up the concept of being platform agnostic. 

 

We have computers that help us do all these things and more. Why not have it help us place a nice game of pinball? 

vp already has a backbox area the B2s thing is something else entirely

 using it we can also make animated back glasses and fading lights

 using it we can also put in play fields to redo the lighting if need be

 

 and as for inexpensive FP sourcing

it's free now why change that?

I won't pay anything towards it if we have to pay to actually use it

this is precisely why I love both VP and FP they are FREE!

if they weren't I wouldn't be able to use them since I have NO INCOME AT ALL

so anything I use or play must be freeware or else it does not get used at all by me

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Currently someone is working on bringing VP into DX9, but I'm not sure how much that will improve the graphics overall.

 

There was someone else that posted (I forget which forum) that is actually working on a new engine that looks promising, but it's very early on.

 

You're probably thinking of this thread: http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=23226

 

While promising it's way early in the game, and the dev hasn't posted an update in a bit. Which is all good, and understandable, I just wouldn't count on anything happening with it yet.

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"this is precisely why I love both VP and FP they are FREE!"

"if they weren't I wouldn't be able to use them since I have NO INCOME AT ALL"

"so anything I use or play must be freeware or else it does not get used at all by me"

 

@Faralos - It certainly wasn't my intent with this discussion to suggest that either FP, VP, or anything new would require payment (except Pinball Arcade). In fact, just the opposite. I do appreciate that both VP and FP are free for everyone. And I do realize that some users may not want or be able to contribute to such an endevour, and that is fine. The whole point was that anything developed stay open source and free for anybody... :) Basically, if such a effort was undertaken, that it be based on the premise that anybody that could and wanted to help could but that it still be free for everyone. My hope was that if enough small donations could be raised, perhaps the community could purchase FP and open source or buy some programming time for something else. Similar to what was done on the Unity3d stuff. Hopefully, that pans out someday.

 

However, it doesn't sound like a purchase or anything would be feasible. If it does at some point, I would cerntainly be willing to support it. Just as I support the pinball arcade tables (hopefully coming to a PC soon).

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You're probably thinking of this thread: http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=23226

 

While promising it's way early in the game, and the dev hasn't posted an update in a bit. Which is all good, and understandable, I just wouldn't count on anything happening with it yet.

Thanks for the link. Somehow I missed this.

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You're probably thinking of this thread: http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?showtopic=23226

 

While promising it's way early in the game, and the dev hasn't posted an update in a bit. Which is all good, and understandable, I just wouldn't count on anything happening with it yet.

 

No, I think he means the work of fuzzelhjb. There is already a dx9 branch in the offical VP svn. As far as I remember there were also a thread at VPF about this, but I can't find it right now.

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I just found this thread. Would a direct x 9 update mean better graphics? This is a bit beyond me.

 

I had heard Paul say a long time ago (a few years ago), and he said "FP was a direct rip from VP". Is there any truth to this? This thread made me remember that quote.

 

 

Also I don't think links are a problem here. I think what Dazz is trying to stay away from is becoming another PN  Soapbox ™. Totally understandable, this place is about moving forward. :)

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FP isnt even close to a direct rip of VP. it uses a whole different rendering process and a completly different physics engine.

 

and to answer the question of would dx9 improve the graphics. answer is yes. with dx9 we would get a ton of extra lighting options in a full 3d enviroment.

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Not trying to resurrect a dead thread but.....

 

Pinball Labs Kickstarter!

 

This was kind of my original intent with this thread. At the time, I didn't think a KS for a ground up development of a simulator with built in editor using a current engine would be possible, thus the discussion of trying to get FP open-sourced. However, this is the best chance that I have seen in awhile....

 

Think about it!

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