So.. I had a plan to do these developer diaries each week. That didn’t last more than a week. I found I was spending more time trying to record progress than actually making it. There’s also gaps where nothing actually gets done, which would make for some dull updates. So I’ve backed away from the idea of such regular updates and will do them at less regular intervals. I want to try and keep the format however. So anyway, this second entry will be covering progress from 23/11/2020 until 23/12/2020.
The long play session from Sunday brought up a number of things to address with the latest build of the code. Two bugs I thought I had seen the back of came up again, although could not be reproduced 100% of the time. The first one was two balls being served up during ball save. This came up twice during the session. I’ve further tightened up the timeout config settings on the outhole and ball trough ball devices. I have also switched the ball serve for the ball save to occur on a slightly later event that occurs during the ball save process. The second bug is related to the animated star field background stopping in some cases after a second player is added to the game. To get this to occur was not easy as it’s very timing specific. The root cause is somewhere under the MPF hood and not specific to my game. I worked around this same issue last week in other areas of PINBOT 2.0 so was able resolve it using the same method. The animated star field background is an animation I rendered to an animated GIF file that MPF then plays. Currently, this animated GIF is used across many slides and shows in PINBOT 2.0. What I think is happening under the hood is the same animated GIF asset is use across multiple slides and when a slide that uses it is destroyed, it “stops” animating the GIF even though other slides that are active are still using it.
A new week is kicking off, which hopefully means lots of exciting changes to come for PINBOT 2.0 over the next seven days. I’ve decided to start putting together a small “developer diary” of the progress for people to read and follow along with. Sometimes there will be images or videos to share. While at other times it will just be text. I don’t have any planned format for what I share – only that it will be broken down into the days of the week, where I document progress for each day. Ideally I’d love to be able to put up a post each week, but there will be periods where little to no work on the project is done. This means some posts may span several weeks – I’ll just see how it goes.
First thing to look at today was adding flashers to the lamp shows in both the high score and bonus modes. I’ve opted to go with a simple top to bottom sequence for the high score mode. This repeats every 5 seconds. The bonus mode sequence will work in reverse, with the flashers activating from the bottom of the playfield to the top and sync with the insert light show that plays.
A somewhat boring task today was creating a script that packages together the “pinbot-recoded” folder for deployment to the production machine. Up until now, it’s been a manual process of deleting the old folder from a USB stick and copying the required folders across. It would be so much easier to just run a single command line (like “packagepb” for example), which did everything and removed all manual steps. I’m often using either LUA or PHP for my scripting since those are what I’m most familiar with. I decided to go with PHP in this case. The script didn’t take long to create and has a reasonable amount of logging and error handling for when things fail. I expect this will evolve as the project goes on.
Once again I’m well overdue for an update on my PINBOT 2.0 project. Huge steps have been made since my last post in July, so let’s get started. With the display panel completed in the last update, it’s time to get the boards installed to actually drive this 2.0 project. PINBOT has an MPU board that consists of both a CPU section and driver section for the coils. Before removing anything, all connectors were labelled.
Posted in: Pinbot Extended 2.0
, aud flipper
, display panel
, light panel
, switch matrix
I’m long overdue for an update on my PINBOT 2.0 project. It’s been moving slower than I had hoped, but there’s no real rush here. Also, for a 2.0 project like this, a lot of time gets spent on code and it’s not easy to translate that into interesting posts for people to read. But there are some interesting things to cover 🙂 Thanks to a mate of mine, I’ve been able to source a P-ROC board on loan which will allow me to move the project from my desktop PC into the physical machine to actually test! This is very exciting to say the least! I’m on the look out to buy my own though as I’ll eventually need one – but for now this will do.
Fixing never ends when it comes to pinball and it’s just an accepted part of being an owner. Due to working from home until COVID-19 is behind us, I’m spending more time with my games during break periods. I switched my SWEP1 machine on last week for a few games as it had been sitting idle for awhile and noticed that the sound was not right. Specifically, some sound effects were quieter than others. I put the game into test mode and ran the audio diagnostics. I found that there ware no sounds coming from from the left speaker. Only the right speaker and sub were working. My thoughts were that it’s either the PRISM card, sound amp board, or the speaker. I did the standard cable reseat at the back of the PC first, but the problem remained. I then opened up the PC and reseated the cable running from the sound board to the PRISM card. Again, the problem remained.