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 Post subject: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:48 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 1774
Location: Arkansas, USA
I'm trying to decide the next guide I should write. I thought of a few options below:

1) Naming of tables - It may not seem critical but I think it would help someone new. There is an option that few people know about where you can create a folder for each table and add all the versions of one table with the library files to the folder. It makes it easy to identify the library files that go with a table.

2) Setting up BAM on a Pincab - I don't have a pincab but pretty much use the same method on rotating my monitor 90 degrees. I would need a little help from someone that has a pincab, mainly to review it and maybe to send me a few of their CFG files.

3) Setting up lighting on a table - This is a weaker area of mine but am willing to plow through it and write what I discover.

If you guys think we need a guide on something, let me know on a reply. I am weak on writing script so we'll have to rely on Blue's new template for that. I don't know anything about VR headsets and 3D either.

George


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Abbotsford
I think actually a companion piece to go with FPX would be the best thing. Something that goes into better detail that explains things better, maybe a simple step by step manual for beginners that uses FPX (or others as well) as the base example so very new people can reference a proper tutorial while they are learning how to make their own tables.

If you see from the script, I went to great trouble to try and explain how the script works, but there is only so much room, and too much of it overwhelms beginners. The best example is shivaEngine, (known as the tutorial table included for 12 years in the base install of VP, until recently) that also was responsible for the Cold1 tutorials. A lot of people cut their teeth with that one, and a few still use it even now.

It's all fine and dandy for some coding geek to sniff at you and say "it's easy", and then expects you to just jump in and be able to do advanced scripting that you need to go to college for, but it's not easy, especially because there is not something available that just starts you at the very beginning, and assumes people don't, or have never written a single line of code before. 99 % of the entire planet wouldn't even know what a Dim statement is for, there is nothing there that even teaches them that and that has always been the biggest problem with getting new people involved here. They have no clue what to do, where to start, they see a huge amount of things and most just give up before trying.

FPX is very basic scripting, for that reason. It's still scripting though, and uses things like the lightlist manager as well. I'm horrible at writing tutorials though, but still a person with basic knowledge of scripting would be far better to explain that to beginners rather than advanced scripters, most of them would just end up showing off how much more smarter they are than anyone else anyway.

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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:03 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 1774
Location: Arkansas, USA
I'm one of the 99% that does not know what a Dim statement is. I have seen these in scripts that I have edited but don't have clue what the purpose is for it. I have edited quite a few tables but have not created one from scratch. I just don't have the skill to write something like this.

I think this would be something that would be useful. How about you draft something and send it to me? I will edit it so it makes sense and test it on your template. If we cowrite this, I think we would be able to produce something good. What do you think?

George


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:36 pm
Posts: 2209
Location: Ontario, Canada
I am hacker but in my parlance "Dim" is used to declare a new variable that I choose to create.
My understanding is that "Dim" can either be public or private.

Public Dim's are declared anywhere in the script (but for organization usually at the very top) and outside of any subroutines (Sub Whatever, End Sub )
Code:
Dim George
Sub Whatever
bla bla bla
End Sub


Whereas Private Dim's are declared inside a subroutine
Code:
Sub Whatever
Dim George
End Sub


Publicly declared Dims are always active, whereas private ones are only active while that speciific sub routine is active.

Thus commonly in FP, letters are use as private Dim Variables

Code:
Sub Whatever
Dim X
if x = bla bla bla
End Sub

Sub NextWhatever
Dim X
if x= bla bla
End Sub


You can make up whatever Dim you want and then you choose if the variable is
a number, or a True/False statement.

for instance lets make Dim George be a public DIM
Code:
Dim George
Sub Whatever
bla bla bla
End Sub


Ok , let make it a true /false variable

Code:
George = True


Now that you have initiated it as a true/false, you must use it that way in the script and FP will remember the current active status of all publicly declared Dims.


So, lets say we hit bumper1

Code:
Sub Bumper1_hit()
If George = True then AddScore(100)
George = False
End Sub


Hitting the Bumper1 will give 100 points only the first time hit, then because George now = False, then next time no points are given.


We could have made Dim George an integer instead of true /false
by inintiating it as
Code:
George = 1


Now FP will remember that so we can treat George like a number instead of a True/False statement...

I think of Dims as Flags that guide the program how to proceed if certain conditons are active.

If George is true , do something
If George is false ,don't

or If George = 1 do something
If George = 2 do something else
If George = 3 then stand on your head and rub your belly or whatever
etc...
etc...


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 08, 2011 4:57 pm
Posts: 1063
Location: Turin-ITALY
GeorgeH wrote:
......3) Setting up lighting on a table - This is a weaker area of mine but am willing to plow through it and write what I discover.........


the lighting with Bam ,I do not know use it. "Monnezza" had made two tables (Buccanneer and Abra Ca Dabra) very beautiful as lighting.
Unfortunately, the light in FT is very bad. VP10 has taken giant steps in its light tables.
Greetings

Gianfranco


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 01, 2012 11:13 pm
Posts: 342
Location: Abbotsford
Gimli. That is about as perfect way to explain it as you possibly could. I can't do it that way, I'm sure a lot of others couldn't either. We get so wrapped up in scripting, and we start throwing around scripting concepts, that we all forget that most people wouldn't have the slightest clue what we are talking about, so how can they learn if they don't understand?

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Latest projects and rants at My Facebook Page
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Latest Project: FPx Template Engine


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 1774
Location: Arkansas, USA
Excellent write-up on what a Dim is. It makes more sense now. ...My point is though that I don't know enough about script to write Blue's guide by myself. Maybe the three of us could work together somehow?

George


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2012 11:12 pm
Posts: 1774
Location: Arkansas, USA
franzleo wrote:
GeorgeH wrote:
......3) Setting up lighting on a table - This is a weaker area of mine but am willing to plow through it and write what I discover.........


the lighting with Bam ,I do not know use it. "Monnezza" had made two tables (Buccanneer and Abra Ca Dabra) very beautiful as lighting.
Unfortunately, the light in FT is very bad. VP10 has taken giant steps in its light tables.
Greetings

Gianfranco


I'm not absolutely sure but I think Ravarcade has added all the lighting controls that are possible if you use BAM. I don't think the problem is so much that the capability is not there but it takes a lot of effort to figure out how to set it up so it looks good. I'll have to check out Monnezza's tables. I remember he often included the cfg file in his downloads but i never used them much.

George


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:36 pm
Posts: 2209
Location: Ontario, Canada
blue wrote:
Gimli. That is about as perfect way to explain it as you possibly could. I can't do it that way, I'm sure a lot of others couldn't either. We get so wrapped up in scripting, and we start throwing around scripting concepts, that we all forget that most people wouldn't have the slightest clue what we are talking about, so how can they learn if they don't understand?


Thanks blue/Shiva ! That means a lot coming from one of the great Gurus of virtual pinball !


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 Post subject: Re: Help Me Select Next Guide to Write
 Post Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:01 am 
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Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2016 2:20 pm
Posts: 132
Location: a cave
I touched the "Holy Grail" of adjusting Flipper angles, swing & strength today, so anything related to that would benefit me the most. I want to adjust more tables so that the ball has a better chance of staying "on" the playfield and doesn't ruin the gameplay as much (as some tables are simply badly balanced for gameplay, no matter which physics version is used).

I realize that this is complex because of the many factors involved but I need to get more of an understanding on how to set up angles, direction of bumpers and strength of all the included parts of the playfield which make up a good playable experience.

I'm not even looking into the physics aspect yet as there are tables which play astonishingly good with only 1.0 physics while there are 2.7 tables which play way too fast and hectic for my taste. So it must be possible to make a good, playable table only with the proper setup of all the playfield elements like lanes, angles, directions, etc. This is what I'm trying to figure out atm.

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