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VR short cabinet with realistic hardware?


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Hey, sorry if this has been covered thoroughly elsewhere.  (I tried searching for it.) 

I'm recently becoming obsessed with the idea of virtual pins even though it's really not in my budget to do one right now.  I currently own a relatively decent gaming PC (RTX 2070 Super GPU) and a cheap VR setup (original HTC Vive) and I saw https://www.pinsimvr.com/ and thought it'd be interesting to make a budget version of that (without the PC, screen, and VR headset) that is basically just a big controller.  That sort of thing might actually be in my budget.  I have zero experience with virtual pinball or the hardware involved.  There's three things I'm primarily wondering:


1) How realistic can you get the haptics with things like feeling the ball's location, bumpers at the back of the table, drop targets, rails, etc.?  (or will it essentially be like advanced version of rumble for controllers?)  I've seen things like putting exciters at four corners of the cab to simulate ball movement and I wonder if something like that would help?  Keep in mind this is a VR build, so I'd be getting audio already so I guess the only use for speakers would be vibrations.  (I'd also be willing to entertain it being more than just a super short cab like the builds I've seen on YouTube.)

2) What would a budget build cost look like for something like this?  Obviously I don't care how it looks (since I can't see it when playing) but some extra touches would obviously make it nicer like maybe a cheap metal lockdown bar with vibration underneath (though I could always add something like that later.)  I'm sure this will fluctuate a lot considering things like maybe finding a cheap used coin door, but I'm curious what a general bare bones build cost would be if it was a smaller cabinet with  all the standard stuff like accelerometer (or one of those cool bobs for nudge/tilt), plunger kit, buttons, d-pad (might skip for just using the VR controller), four pinball legs (if needed for realistic nudging), and whatever hardware to shake/vibrate the cab.

3) Do things like Zaccaria Pinball even work with this sort of system or do you need VPX VR/ Future Pinball/etc. for the game to be able to tell the hardware what to do?  I own all Zaccaria Pinball tables and one of the big things I'd want is for it to work with playing Zacccaria Pinball in VR (and Pinball FX2) if possible.  I will be checking out VPX and whatever other options there are for software, but I'm assuming you need software like that that's truly designed to simulate tables to even get the info to the correct hardware.  Curious if anyone has experience with using their virtual pin to play Zaccaria/FX2 tables.  (Though maybe I just haven't seen people have already built Zaccaria tables in VPX etc.?)  I've only really seen Zaccaria played on the new AtGames virtual pin and it seems to have it's own version of the software (probably for this reason?).

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1) I put exciters in my PinSim and am quite happy with the results. I only use 2 (left/right) and a subwoofer. Since the pinsim is much shorter in lenght in my opinion you wouldn't need 4 exciters.

2) As you say it will fluctuate a lot. I first built a prototype using a cardboard box, a cheap zero delay board and some AliExpress buttons. Think that cost me 25 euro's. My full PinSim should be around 300,- I guess.

3) Basically you build a big USB controller. Within the commercial games (Zaccaria, PinballFX, Pinball Arcade) you are usually tied to their default key mapping. Within VPX you can assign the keys/buttons yourself.

 

In this video you see Jeremy from tested playing Zaccaria on a Pinsim: 

 

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That's a really good idea making a prototype from a cardboard box.  Good to know on the exciters and it makes sense with how small it is you'd get away with two.  Does their location matter?  Also, yeah, I saw Jeremy's build and it looks like he put rumble under where your hands rest so maybe that's a good location?  

Maybe I should clarify for the 3rd question.  What I mean is, can games like Zaccaria or FX2 VR tell my controller (maybe even through 3rd party software or something) that a certain thing (e.g. bumpers) is being hit and the corresponding hardware should trigger, or do all of the solenoids/knockers/exciters/whatever kick off at once because it's just being told to vibrate in general (or maybe left/right vibrate you'd expect in a controller)?  I'm guessing it's the latter but I'm not that familiar with software/electronics to know the ins and outs.  All I can think of is something like wiring solenoids to be the flippers and just having them wired straight to the corresponding flipper button so they just auto-fire without having software tell them to trigger.  

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Exciters are basically speakers, you connect them with an amplifyer to play the audio source you want. In VPX you can select Sound Effects to play through your exciters and Music (ROM audio) through your headset or desktop speakers. See also: http://mjrnet.org/pinscape/BuildGuideV2/BuildGuide.php?sid=audio

I don't believe splitting audio output to different sources is supported in Zaccaria or FX2VR. I am not sure if you can trigger solenoids or knockers in Zaccaria or FX2VR. Perhaps @TerryRedknows if this is possible with DOFLinx?

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2 hours ago, Arvid said:

Exciters are basically speakers, you connect them with an amplifyer to play the audio source you want. In VPX you can select Sound Effects to play through your exciters and Music (ROM audio) through your headset or desktop speakers. See also: http://mjrnet.org/pinscape/BuildGuideV2/BuildGuide.php?sid=audio

I don't believe splitting audio output to different sources is supported in Zaccaria or FX2VR. I am not sure if you can trigger solenoids or knockers in Zaccaria or FX2VR. Perhaps @TerryRedknows if this is possible with DOFLinx?

OH!  Of course.  I didn't think about them being essentially speakers.  That makes a lot of sense.  These two games are just going to have one set of sounds whereas VP is going to have separate table sounds that I could use.  Also like this idea of having a subwoofer pointing down into the bottom of the cab.  (I'm guessing that's what you did for your build.)  Also noticing they put exciters on the side walls a bit under the flipper buttons so maybe that's a good spot to try.  This guide in general has a lot of cool stuff in it.  Thanks!

 

 

1 hour ago, BorgDog said:

@bord built his mini controller with actual pinball mechs it's pretty cool. Not sure if he has it shown here or not, maybe he'll come in.

  Interesting!  I hope so.   I keep looking at what components could be added and thinking "That's probably too much for a small cab....but I want it."  Haha.  For instance, a shaker motor is probably too much but maybe a cheap small hand-made (5W maximum) shaker?  Another that's probably skip-worthy but would be fun is the replay knocker (considering its standard placement is in the backglass area so maybe it's mostly for sound?).   I'd be very interested to know what mechanics he added and skipped (and placement).  The more I think about it, the more excited I get, but I also don't want to go overboard and just have overspent to make one big vibrating/shaking mess.  Haha.

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