Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
TerryRed

DOFLinx: Effects! Now Available! Use DOF / MX (addressable) Led effects, and PuP with ANY Game or program easily!

Recommended Posts

DOFLinx: Effects! Now Available! Use DOF / MX (addressable) Led effects, and PuP with ANY Game or program easily!
 
DOFLinx is well known for its ability to give DOF feedback and lighting support to Future Pinball and Pinball FX3 tables. What many people don't realize is you can also do cool stuff with it using it's native KEY_TO_xxxx functions.
 
This allows you to use keys or buttons to trigger / control any DOF device and output. What's great about this is you can get simple DOF feedback and lighting for ANY game or propgram using DOFLinx! This doesn't need to be limited to Pinball either! It can be used for MAME, PC Games or normal programs. 
 
To do this, one of the best methods is to use a DOFLinx SUP ini file to configure what DOF effects you want to use. This file gets passed to DOFLinx when you launch your game in a front end. With so many options to use with DOFLinx and DOF, it can be a bit overwhelming to even know where to start. Many people would love to be able to use the DOF and addressable led effects I've created for many tables...but it can be daunting to even start to understand how they work.
 
 
That's why I decided to create "DOFLinx: Effects"
 
 
What is DOFLinx: Effects? It's the combination of two things.
 
 
"DOFLinx:Effects" rom on DOF Config Tool:
 
I created a rom called DOFLinx:Effects (doflinx_effects) on DOF Config Tool that contains hundreds of pre-programmed MX Led animations and effects. Many are what I use in my own DOF configs for tables and are available in 8 different colours. It also has DOF triggers for all the main DOF devices. This allows anyone to use these effects with ONE rom for any game (using DOFLinx), without the need to create new effects and DOF for EVERY game.
 
SUP ini Creator:
 
I created a "SUP ini Creator" excel sheet that makes this process significantly easier. You just enter what type of command you want, the DOF trigger you want, and the parameters you need. The sheet will automatically create and arrange all the commands for you. Then you just copy and paste the new DOFLinx commands into your SUP ini file. The sheet also lists ALL the DOF effects and commands with their triggers that you can use. I have included a couple of "SUP ini example" TABS in the sheet as well as their SUP ini files as a reference example for you to use.
 
 
Why do you want it, and what is it used for?
 
If you have tables or games that don't have DOF support, this allows them to do many things with DOFLinx, DOF and Pinup Player for those games. This can be startup events, or reactions from key / button presses. 
 
 
So can I use this to add full DOF to a VPX table, or DOFLinx support to a FP table?
 
No. This is not the same as adding proper DOF to a VPX table, or adding DOFLinx support to a FP table. You "can" use the doflinx_effects rom for anything you want, but you are better off adding proper DOF and effects to a rom specific for those tables.
 
What we are doing here is simply initializing the dofinx_effects DOF config, and then using a SUP ini (one per game) to configure what DOF trigger our keys and buttons will use from that DOF config.
 
 
What kind of things can it do? Some examples include:
 
On Startup of the game:
 
- have animated MX leds or effects such as a starfield when launching a space themed game.
- have a PuP-Pack startup with a rolling video on your backglass or another screen.
- have any of your cabient buttons light up or flash
- have the beacon or strobe go off
- set the RGB undercab lighting to a specific colour
 
While Playing:
 
- pressing Coin Button stops the starfield effects, and displays another "Ready" effect, and the shaker goes off for 5 seconds
- pressing Start Button will play a Start Game video, make the beacon light up for 5 secs, and turn off the "Ready" effect, and display "BEGIN" on the back matrix.
- pressing buttons will light machine gun and missle smoke effects (MX led animations) while also playing videos on the backglass, as well as toggling the undercab lighting to match.
 
 
So can't I make this stuff myself without DOFLinx: Effects?
 
You can...but that requires adding a new rom config to DOF Config Tool for every game, and you also need to create and add in custom effects for every game. This should only really be done for pinball tables that have proper DOF capability.
 
 
Can't we do this stuff with just DOFLinx native commands already?
 
You can only use normal DOFLinx native commands (without the use of DOF Config Tool) to control standard DOF hardware. These commands don't control MX leds and many other DOF toys. You also need to create those commands specific to your hardware setup and output ports,etc.  If you use DOFLinx "ROM" related commands however, these aren't particular to any user's setup, and can work for anyone.
 
 
Can we use this together with other FP and VPX tables that already have DOF / DOFLinx support?
 
No. You can only have one DOF session running at time.
 
 
"DOFLinx: Effects" Advantages:
 
- ONE single rom with everything ready to go that can be used for many games
- any SUP ini (created for DOFLinx:Effects) will use DOF effects and be ready to go for anyone's setup!
- the only changes that may be required are the user's key / button choices
- the desired DOF effects, and the key/buttons could easily be changed using that game's SUP ini sheet created with the "SUP ini Creator".
- if that game's SUP sheet is uploaded, then anyone can customize if for their setup as well
 
 
Demo Video!
 
Watch the video below to see an example of using DOFLinx: Effects with two MAME games. After Burner and Stargate are played, showing MX Led animated effects, DOF lighting and feedback, and videos from a PuP-Pack. This is simply reacting to Startup events, and key / button presses controlling the DOF and PUP Videos. There is NO, I repeat.... NO control of DOF or PUP from the game itself!
 
 
RYRxrfo.jpg
 
 
"DOFLinx: Effects" What is it? How does it work?
 
In this video I explain what "DOFLinx: Effects" is and how it works for any game... and it's limitations compared to proper DOF for Visual Pinball or Future Pinball Tables.
 
 
CjRLzk2.jpg
 
 
 
Video Demo of the all the DOF / MX Led effects you can use!
 
 

In this video I show you all the DOF / MX Led effects the you can use with DOFLinx: Effects!

Now when you look up a desired effect on the DOFLinx:Effects spreadsheet, you won't need to guess at what it will look like... you can see it in the video!

https://youtu.be/ERah5GNHiyM

 
 
bDAPjgq.jpg
 
 
How do we use it?
 
First, you should have a "basic" understanding of how DOF and DOFLinx works. If you don't then this may be A LOT to take in and figure out. I'm making this easier for you to do...but I'm not holding your hand either.
 
Make sure you have DOFLinx setup and working. 
 
 
 
Be sure DOFLinx is Run as Administrator. Then consult the DOFLinx guide to get a better undertsanding of how SUP *.ini files work. You also need the newest DOF config files from the DOF Config Tool web site. Then you need to download the attached "DOFLinx: Effects" spreadsheet. You will use this spreasdsheet to create your DOFLinx commands that will trigger your desired DOF feedback or effects. You will paste these commands into your SUP *.ini file. You will then setup your front-end so that DOFLinx will get this new supplumentary (SUP) *.ini file passed to it BEFORE your game is launched.
 
 
Add your game EXE to the DOFLinx.ini file in the Processes section. An example for mamelayplus is here:
 
PROCESSES=Pinball FX3,Pinball FX2,PinballArcade11,Future Pinball,mamelayplus
 
 
Front-ends:
 
You need to setup your front-end to pass SUP ini files to DOFLinx. This is done with DOFLinxMsg.exe. Using the example files I have attached, you would have those SUP *.ini files located in the "c:\DirectOutput\MAME" folder. This is how I pass my SUP files for MAME using the Pinup Popper front-end. (Make sure pinupmenu.exe is set to Run as Admin.)
 
Add this to the top of the Emulator's Launch Script:
 
😄
cd c:\directoutput
start /min "" "doflinxmsg.exe" "sup_ini=MAME\[GAMENAME]"
 
For other front-ends, [GAMENAME] may be something different for your "Launch Before" paramters.
 
 
SUP *.ini files:
 
So after doing that, you need some SUP *.ini files. Using the above example, they would be named after whatever their GAMENAME is in the front-end. The two example files I have provided are:
 
aburner2.ini
stargate.ini
 
 
What's in a SUP *.ini file?
 
Whatever DOFLinx commands you want to use when you launch your game. 
 
Here is the example of the aburner2.ini file's DOFLinx commands:
 
 
DELAY_BETWEEN_KEY_PRESS=0
 
# DOFLinx: DOF and Pinup Player Commands
 
FF_ROM=doflinx_effects
 
FF_PUP_INIT=afterburner
 
FF_DOF=E121,-1,E111,-1,E17,-1
 
KEY_TO_ROM=X1BK,E111,0,E121,0,X1BK,E35,500,E765,-1,X1BK,E10,-1,E33,2000,X1BK,E31,0,E31,1000,X1ST,E765,0,E10,0,X1ST,E100,500,E33,2000,X1A,E182,-1,E182,0,X1B,E166,-1,E166,0,X1X,E319,-1,E319,0,X1X,E323,-1,E323,0,X1X,E799,-1,E799,0,X1Y,E289,-1,E289,0,X1Y,E293,-1,E293,0
 
KEY_TO_PUP_EVENT=X1ST,E1,1,E999,1,X1A,E2,1,E999,1,X1B,E3,1,E999,1,X1X,E4,1,E999,1,31,E1,1,E999,1,A2,E2,1,E999,1,12,E3,1,E999,1,20,E4,1,E999,1
 
# DOFLinx (native) Commands. Note that the below commands need to be configured for the users device and output numbers
 
KEY_TO_COLOUR_TOGGLE=X1A,123,Yellow,X1B,123,White,X1X,123,Orange_red,X1Y,123,Red,A2,123,Yellow,12,123,White,20,123,Orange_red,A0,123,Red
 
 
 
That's a lot of mumbo jumbo! Lots of words and numbers that don't mean much to you right now. It would be hard to keep track of anything or make changes with that mess! Instead, the "SUP ini Creator" does all the organizing for you. You just have to input what you are using and how you are using it.
 
 
What happens with that file?
 
To put it simply...when I launch After Burner from Pinup Popper, DOFLinx gets the above commands added to it. Then when mamelayplus runs with our game, it "wakes" up DOFLinx, and these new functions will now carry out Startup Events and our keys and buttons with trigger the DOF and PUP commands.
 
When you exit your game, DOFLinx goes back to sleep, and those commands are no longer used. The DOF session and PuP-Pack are both closed.
 
 
Explanation of some commands used in a SUP *.ini file:
 
If a line has # at the beginning, it will be ignored. Handy for notes or comments.
 
FF_ROM is used to initalize the DOF Config Tool Rom that has all our DOF commands that we want to use.
 
FF_PUP_INIT is used to initialize a PuP-Pack (if PuP is installed).
 
FF_DOF is used for any "startup" type of DOF effects
 
KEY_TO_ROM is used for using key or buttons to trigger any DOF commands within the DOF "ROM" we are using.
 
Note that only xbox (XINPUT) gamepads are supported for buttons!
 
KEY_TO_PUP_EVENT is used to trigger PuP Events from the PuP-Pack we INIT'd.
 
KEY_TO_COLOUR_TOGGLE is a DOFLinx native command. This requires you to specify the device # and output port # specific to the user's hardware setup. This will be different for everyone.
 
There are more commands than this that can be used, but these are most of what you would be using.
 
 
 
Create your own SUP ini file!
 
 
Download the SUP ini Creator Sheet, and SUP ini examples (MAME) linked here:
 
 
...be amazed by the crazy amount of stuff it has...and want to kill TerryRed for making your brain melt. Again, you do need to have a basic understanding of how DOF and DOFLinx work to be able to best use this. 
 
The sheet makes this process significantly easier:
 
- all the information you need is in the sheet! VERY convenient!
- all the DOFLinx commands, DOF colours, key and button codes are available to use in drop-down menus, or for reference.
- enter what type of DOFlinx command you want, the DOF trigger you want, and the parameters you need. 
- add as many commands as you want and the sheet will automatically organize them for you. (you will need to do some copy and pasting of "formulas only" on certain cells after you are done with creating your commands)
- all your commands will be generated at the bottom of the sheet. Then you just copy and paste the new "completed" DOFLinx commands into your SUP ini file.
- the sheet lists ALL the DOF effects and commands with their triggers that you can use. No need to program any MX Led effects!
 
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE NO SPACES AT THE END OF EACH COMMAND IN YOUR SUP ini OR THEY WON'T WORK CORRECTLY!!! 
 
When copying and pasting any commands from the SUP ini Creator sheet to your SUP ini file, it adds extra spaces at the end. REMOVE THEM!
 
NOTE: For the "DOFLinx:Effects" rom on DOF Config Tool, triggers E1 to E899, and E999 are used for "DOFLinx:Effects" and are NOT to be modified or updated!!! Use E900 to E998 for your own personal custom effects.
 
 
SUP ini Creator Video Tutorial:
 
Watch the following video, where I explain what everything is on the sheet, and I'll take you through the process of making a simple SUP ini that will work similar to the AfterBurner example above.
 
Video Bookmarks:
 
Setup DOFLinx to wake up for your game: 1:38
 
What is a SUP *.ini file?: 4:02
 
Tour of the SUP ini Creator: 8:48
 
Create your SUP *.ini File: 24:12
 
Test your SUP *.ini file: 38:00
 
 
 
BLy2RKq.jpg
 
 
 
I am NOT an excel expert! So please use the sheet AFTER watching the video and following my instructions! I don't know much about using the technical formulas. DDH69 helped with that part!
 
Don't limit yourself. Try creating SUP ini's for any program or game. It could be something that has no DOF like Zaccaria Pinball, or Arcade games in MAME...console games...PC Games...anything. It can be in a pinball cabinet...or an Arcade cabinet...a simpit. You name it!
 
 
Summary:
 
 
I take no responsibility for how you use this! Use at your own risk!
 
I hope this has been helpful, and not too much to take in. I have provided this info, the "SUP ini Creator" sheet, and example files to get you going. 
 
This isn't here to be a full-time support thread. Just a helpful tool for those who wish to make use of it to add extra bling to their gaming!
 
Good luck, and PLEASE, if you have any SUP ini files for games, or any new spreadsheet TABS...share them on the thread for others to use! If you have videos....show it off!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK...so I made a new video that will show you all the DOF / MX Led effects the you can use with DOFLinx: Effects!

Now when you look up a desired effect on the DOFLinx:Effects spreadsheet, you won't need to guess at what it will look like... you can see it in the video!

 

 

Added to main post as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did mention this in this post...but to clarify for those who may not have seen it...

...currently, only XINPUT controllers or "keyboard" controllers work with DOFLinx. So if you have a Pinscape / KL25Z, then it won't work if you have it configured as a gamepad. This is because Pinscape only supports the older DINPUT gamepad standard. 

So if you have that, currently your options are either:

- configure your Pinscape to use keyboard keys instead

- use a program like Pinnacle Game Profiler, or XPadder to remap your buttons to act like keys

- if you use x360ce (for FX3,etc), try copying your files to the same location as the DOFLinx.exe.... maybe it will work? I have no idea, so I'm curious if anyone has tried.

If anyone knows of a controller for pinball that DOES use XINPUT... I'd like to hear about it as I haven't seen one yet.

For my cabinet, I hacked up an xbox 360 gamepad and connected it to my buttons, plunger,etc, so that's why everything works for me with no issues on anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Terry,

Is there any advantage / disadvantage to having Pinscape set up as keyboard keys? I'm preparing to set mine up for the first time, and was going to go 'keys'...

Thanks

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, LlamaStick said:

Hi Terry,

Is there any advantage / disadvantage to having Pinscape set up as keyboard keys? I'm preparing to set mine up for the first time, and was going to go 'keys'...

Thanks

 

Steve

I'm not the best person to ask...but for gampad controls, this allows you to use the gamepad AXIS for Plunger and Nudge.

 

This biggest issue for most is using FX3...you need to use x360ce with pinscape to make that work.

 

I "think" you can mix up some controls in Pinscape to be keys, and others gamepad. Not sure if that's good or bad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DDH69, is trying to possibly add DINPUT capability to DOFLinx. This would allow pinscape users as an example to be able to use their "gamepad buttons" with doflinx now (to use with Doflinx: Effects, or other doflinx features). If anyone out there has a pinscape (setup with gamepad buttons) or a controller that uses DINPUT, could you try testing out his beta and give him feedback? I don't have any DINPUT controllers currently to test with. Link to his beta is here:
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×