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Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)
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Author:  skolomir [ Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

Generally, we must have on mind that future editor will be designed for new computers and should survive ten years. Since it will be written for the new hardware, we don't need to save resources.

Because of this, I think that FLAC format should stay. Example: Three MB in stereo mp3 format at 320 kbps is about 10 MB (maximum quality of mp3). It's 100 percent smaller than FLAC which is, with same time length, about 20 MB. Music file with bigger size shouldn't be a problem, because hard drives will be bigger and will have enough space for bigger tables. Also, I think that size of this music file will not drastically affect on speed of the game, because the processors will be faster.

When I'm thinking about physics, we should pay attention to all the variables that affect on the movement of the ball. With other words, if the FP neglected some of the physical variables, it should not be neglected in a new editor. Namely, if in FP slope, bounce, strength etc are affecting on ball movement, the question is: Is there something in real world, on real pinball machine, what affects on ball movement, and it is not coded in FP? I don't know, but we should pay attention on all variables which we know, and code it in new editof. More variables = more realistic physics from the begining..

Author:  blue [ Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

I can understand the amount of work needed for a visual system to replace actual scripting. The suggestion was because for every single person who takes the time to learn how to code, there are at least 10 others that won't even bother because it looks too hard or takes too much time to learn. There are a lot of people who would just like to make their own tables as simply as possible, and learning code and debugging it can take a lot of time.

I think we lose a lot of talent because of it, and both main editors are not the easiest thing to use even for people who understand coding.

But I think it's also important to get as many people's "feet wet" as possible by encouraging them with as simple a system as possible, so that they don't get frustrated. I suspect a lot of people would give a editor a shot if they could drop in a few objects and have a basic but working game that's quick and easy to use. And once they do make a game, they would be far more willing to learn a bit more to make their games better.

I think a better template would be in order, something that is set up (and complete, the FP new table template is incomplete) with working features and basic scoring/bonus setup etc already included is needed (or even a simple wizard that new people can use that allows them to set options) Most authors already have their own template, which is tried and true, so it shouldn't be tough to get one and modify it for beginners.

The second suggestion would be to have objects generate their code within the script, even if it is very basic, like scoring, kicker code etc. If you see HTML editors like Dreamweaver, they do this, and there is a special palette that shows that section of code that you can modify without having to open up the main script editor and then hunt for the code. This would be helpful even for advanced users, as we can put in a layout, and have a basic code in place for testing and getting the table working, and then afterwards, we can adjust the code to our liking. Sort of like Pinball Construction set and Virtual pinball for the Sega Genesis, where you just drop in objects and it works. Maybe a small system that ties several objects together in code like they use to do.

Another suggestion, just a pet peeve, is to have a stock texture already assigned to a model, or even the ability to set our own texture per model. I always forget that myself.

Author:  ravarcade [ Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

@skolomir
1. FLAC support is not a problem. First found "sound-lib" is FMOD and it support FLAC out of box.

2. It is almost imposible to create own physics sim lib - it is work for years. Posible is to use "good" lib like Bulitphysics and give access to table-devs as many as possible options/params.

@blue
You have right. Editing and creating table should be easier. So Advanced DEVs will create objects, physics models and scripts per object, for example bumper with options like "score value", "table event".
"table event" can be for example: "play defined table-light sequence".
So Advance DEVs can create good libs of objects.
Normal DEV can just put from libs objects on table, "paint" light seqence on simple editor and select this "light sequence" on "table event" for bumper. No scripting.

So to set "default" texture to object, objects-libs should contain textures.

Author:  unclewilly [ Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

This is nice to see. Who is going to be working on this devvelopment.

I'm leaning in the direction of blue.

Making a table needs to be easier, I think with a more complete template.

Also a comprehensive manual for scripting or a complete table as an example. Especially if you are going to switch from vb script.

I have no problem learning a new language, but I think some people will. The only reason vb script is nice is it is quick and easy to learn.

And you need to take into consideration, the novice table builder. As well as the advanced devs.

Great to see this discussion.

And on the Rom side. I really wouldn't care wether it's accessable for roms or pinmame, but I do think you should be able to access com objects and outside files from the script.

Something similar to the wolflibs for vp. Which have classes that define the params of certain table objects

Author:  ravarcade [ Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

unclewilly wrote:
... I do think you should be able to access com objects and outside files from the script.

Something similar to the wolflibs for vp. Which have classes that define the params of certain table objects

I'm not 100% it is wise to add COM objects to scripts.
I know i will solve a lot of problems if FP will have it, but there are 2 problems:
- Script with COM objects will work only on Windows (this is small problem)
- Security. You can create COM object to access file system like this:
Set fs = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
With so powerfull object in script You can for example search for Your email files, WOW passwords, www history ... You can create object to calc bitcoins in background ;)
With that powerfull scripts don't You scare to download and play another table?

Maybe creation of COM object from script should bring HUGE popup with Warning?

I was planing to add easy way to exted script with plugins and maybe add some authorization protocol for plugins.

Author:  blue [ Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

It does need to be a lot easier for people. It really doesn't matter how, as long as it is easier. I always see a lot of posts from people wishing they had the ability to make their own tables, and couldn't use the existing editors. It is a daunting task after all, and the amount of stuff you need to learn could take months, if not a year now if you have to learn from scratch, and not just the scripting part either now.

As to the other part, well, I can understand why no com support is in FP. It can and will cause a lot more problems than it is worth if you let it. I think though that it really depends on the type of community you want as well. If we learn the lessons of what not to do from the other community, while keeping this one intact to transfer over, and we all decide on the rules before we do something like that, then maybe it can work, but only a maybe from my point of view.

I would suggest instead that if a new editor should come into being, that it is more important to get it running and stable first, build a proper and strong community to support it, and then worry about outside script access afterwards.

Author:  TheNalex [ Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

blue wrote:
It does need to be a lot easier for people. It really doesn't matter how, as long as it is easier. I always see a lot of posts from people wishing they had the ability to make their own tables, and couldn't use the existing editors. It is a daunting task after all, and the amount of stuff you need to learn could take months, if not a year now if you have to learn from scratch, and not just the scripting part either now.


There's no magical solution to make an event based system (what pinball tables are in a programmer point of view) easy to use unless you make a "simple" (but limited) mode and an advanced mode (you have access to the script generated by the simple mode and edit it). Unfortunately, the time required to do the "simple" mode is by far the more complex / time consuming tasks.

blue wrote:
I would suggest instead that if a new editor should come into being, that it is more important to get it running and stable first, build a proper and strong community to support it, and then worry about outside script access afterwards.


For me: make it work and stable without COM objects then add/extend the capabilities of the scripting engine with what people need/want (there are probably other ways to extend the scripting than COM objects).

Author:  Gilrock [ Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

I've now developed one table in FP and the same table in VP. One thing I liked in FP was being able to script the backglass alongside the table code. In the VP version of my table it was nice to let vpinmame handle all the lighting, scoring, and other logic. Yes I was able to script it fairly close in FP but now that I see it running in VP there's no way to capture all the nuances of a table doing the script manually.

So with all that in mind the one comment earlier about things not being built-in like rom support or ledwiz support etc. I would like a system where all the stuff we know we do want to add doesn't end up looking like a hack job. That's why people find it so difficult. I don't think it's a good method to have to modify a script for every table to add a feature. There should be a way to install a plugin that provides the capability to all tables. We know we are going to want things like rom support and ledwiz etc. So there needs to be a way they can get added in without having to intercept DLL calls with another DLL that allows additional DLL plugins. And it needs to be designed so that adding the extra functionality doesn't slow the system way down. It's crazy how much of a PC is required to run some of the pinball simulations. We have PCs that can run Call of Duty flawlessly but yet we add a plugin to run ledwiz outputs and the ball starts stuttering. I think it takes a good look at the architecture up front to make sure we don't end up in the same situation.

Author:  franzleo [ Thu Dec 12, 2013 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

For those who use only the PC, the problem is losing all the details.
I would like to have the ability to edit and store what I see (changing slope and zoom).
In order to see ivies well what there is at the top and not the bottom (EPROM).
To recap: enlarge the most of what I see of the table.
I hope I have explained well.
PS. congratulations for this great project.

Gianfranco

Author:  ravarcade [ Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Define new pinball-sim-editor.... (TABLE-DEVS vs CODERS)

franzleo wrote:
For those who use only the PC, the problem is losing all the details.
I would like to have the ability to edit and store what I see (changing slope and zoom).
In order to see ivies well what there is at the top and not the bottom (EPROM).
To recap: enlarge the most of what I see of the table.
I hope I have explained well.
PS. congratulations for this great project.

Gianfranco

I was thinking about it for a while..
In editor window with table view should have:
- table schema (like now in FP editor)
- in game view (like free move in FP)
- physic models view
- more to define... and maybe 2 view same time on 2 windows (and on 2 monitors)

Also i like to get in editor to run physic/game simulation. For example to play game, record ball position, player inputs and more ... and ability to pause, replay like it can be now done in "Drift". (offcorse with ability to modify physics params, models placment).

... and more for editor
- real models size on screen.
With know monitor size and resolution i know size of monitor pixels. It allows to draws on screen elemnts exacly same size like in real world.

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