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#1 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 12:49 PM

I'm interested in knowing more about how pinball games like Pinball Dreams were done. Especially how the collision detection and physics simulation worked.

 

I found a little bit of info here:

https://gamedev.stac...ball-game/43719

 

Looking at the collision map it's not clear to me why the obstacles here take up a lot more space than on the playfield map. Is it perhaps because you only check for collision for one pixel at the center of the ball? If you need to check pixels at the edge of the ball instead, how do you know which pixels to check in order to detect all collisions?

 

I believe it should certainly be possible to make a fast, smooth scrolling pinball game using the F18A, and also a simplified version for the old VDP, given enough ROM or SAMS space.

 

This preview of Pinball Dreams for the C64 is already rather old, but it's a nice teaser:

 

 

 



#2 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 2:38 PM

I've thought a lot about pinball - looking forward to reading that link! :)

#3 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:10 PM

I remember how I and my friends spent whole afternoons after school with David's Midnight Magic ... and how I dreamt of having that on my TI. It was not even a scroller, and there were less widgets than in our Micro Pinball (2), but it was really addictive. Not sure why, Micro Pinball never really reached it, but to be fair, it was at least 5 years later that I found Micro Pinball, and maybe the time was different.



#4 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:30 PM

I remember how I and my friends spent whole afternoons after school with David's Midnight Magic ... and how I dreamt of having that on my TI. It was not even a scroller, and there were less widgets than in our Micro Pinball (2), but it was really addictive. Not sure why, Micro Pinball never really reached it, but to be fair, it was at least 5 years later that I found Micro Pinball, and maybe the time was different.

 

Same here.  I always wanted DMM on the TI.  I never played Pinball Dreams on the C64 but played the hell out of it on my Amiga.

 

EDIT: Oh, on the C64 is a recent development.  Well, there ya go!



#5 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:58 PM

I remember how I and my friends spent whole afternoons after school with David's Midnight Magic ... and how I dreamt of having that on my TI. It was not even a scroller, and there were less widgets than in our Micro Pinball (2), but it was really addictive. Not sure why, Micro Pinball never really reached it, but to be fair, it was at least 5 years later that I found Micro Pinball, and maybe the time was different.

 

yeah i played both, micropinball was ok but the physics aren't.. 



#6 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 5:21 PM

I remember Jill of the Jungle on the early PC.  Are you getting adventurous in the porting arena Rasmus?

 



#7 sparkdrummer OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 7:59 PM

 Oh my god! I LOVE pinball! It would be great to have a hot rod pinball game in our collection! How about GORGAR or FIREPOWER or ALIEN POKER. I'd play a whole lunch hour on one quarter.



#8 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:40 PM

Or Balls of Steel. :D



#9 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:28 PM

While watching that video I was wondering - do most people prefer the scrolling tables? They always kind of annoyed me, although I see the advantage in terms of offering better graphics. The best compromise I've seen did a sort of split screen where the flippers at the bottom were always visible, which I appreciated, but what do other people think?



#10 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:19 PM

While watching that video I was wondering - do most people prefer the scrolling tables? They always kind of annoyed me, although I see the advantage in terms of offering better graphics. The best compromise I've seen did a sort of split screen where the flippers at the bottom were always visible, which I appreciated, but what do other people think?

 

It depends upon the board layout and speed of the game.  In the game I mentioned, Balls of Steel, you have the option of an over-sized scrolling board or one that fits on a single screen.  I prefer the latter because of how fast things can move around and you can lose track of where the ball is.

 

Full-screen board ("Darkside")

 

Scrolling board

 

I play Pin-Bot on the NES and find its mode of scrolling is tolerable, simply because the board is fairly sparse.

 

 

But then the middle-medium is Rollerball for the NES which has multiple sections and only scrolls when the ball moves between sections.

 



#11 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:55 AM

David's Midnight Magic was actually announced for the TI, about three months before TI pulled the plug on the 99/4A. . .no code has ever surfaced though. Choplifter is another one that never surfaced, even though it was actually presented at demonstrations at the Summer 1983 CES. So many bits of useful code that never escaped into the wild back then.



#12 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 7:57 AM

I remember Jill of the Jungle on the early PC.  Are you getting adventurous in the porting arena Rasmus?

 

I had the complete 12 table Epic Pinball set (still running well in Dosbox). Interestingly, though, I looked out for a modern pinball ten years later or so, but never found a similarly exciting program.



#13 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:59 AM

One interesting aspect of pinball games is that the physics simulation engine can (and should) be completely separate from the view. In the background you can use a huge collision map at a high frame rate to accurately calculate how the ball is moving, and then you can render the result at any lower resolution and frame rate with or without scrolling, and still get a realistic result.

Edited by Asmusr, Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:35 PM.


#14 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:09 AM

Or Balls of Steel. :D

 

I remember see that as a game... inside the Duke Nukem 3D game.



#15 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:11 AM

 

I remember see that as a game... inside the Duke Nukem 3D game.

 

Essato!  The game itself is based on that in-game game*, and even has a Duke Nukem board:

 

 

* We need to go deeper!



#16 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:30 AM

For the good old times, from Good Old Games: https://www.gog.com/...lete_collection



#17 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 12:47 PM

While watching that video I was wondering - do most people prefer the scrolling tables? They always kind of annoyed me, although I see the advantage in terms of offering better graphics. The best compromise I've seen did a sort of split screen where the flippers at the bottom were always visible, which I appreciated, but what do other people think?


I think the scrolling works very well. I spent countless hours playing Pinball Dreams on PC back in the days of VGA. On the TI the scrolling could either be a fast character scrolling with more detailed graphics or a smooth scrolling with less detailed and colorful graphics.


Edited by Asmusr, Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:27 PM.


#18 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:47 PM

Rollerball also exist for the MSX, which has the same VDP as the TI-99/4A.

 

 

It's not bad, but somehow I don't find it very satisfying. 

 

Pin-bot for the NES looks great and is probably close to what you could do with the F18A with a lot of effort.



#19 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 11:55 AM

I'm pretty sure now that the collision map shown here (and repeated below to the right) is designed in such a way that you only need to check one pixel at the center of the ball to know if there is a collision. This is really clever IMHO.

 

Attached File  playfield.png   7.31KB   0 downloads Attached File  collisions.png   4.5KB   0 downloads

 

The shade of grey determines the angle of the barrier that the ball hits (white means no hit), which can then be used to calculate a normal vector (perpendicular to the barrier). When the ball hits a barrier its direction vector will be mirrored around the normal, and there's a relatively simple formula to calculate the new vector. This leaves plenty of time for scrolling and other stuff like moving the flippers.

 

The thing that's preventing me from proceeding with this on the TI is that I don't have a good idea about how to create a collision map from a playfield map like the one to the left. Doing this by trial and error seems to be a huge task. I'm still hoping for someone with an insight to chip in here...



#20 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:20 PM

The thing that's preventing me from proceeding with this on the TI is that I don't have a good idea about how to create a collision map from a playfield map like the one to the left. Doing this by trial and error seems to be a huge task. I'm still hoping for someone with an insight to chip in here...

 

I guess an array with a nibble (half a byte) per pixel would do, but then maybe that approach will take up too much memory.
 
Guess you've seen this.
 

 
https://github.com/l...MaskPinballTest


Edited by sometimes99er, Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:25 PM.


#21 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 6:35 PM

I started looking for 8-bit examples or disassemblies of pinball games for Atari, Commodore, NES, and stumbled across this I had completely forgotten.  It is not helpful for programming, but still an awesome program itself.  Friend of mine had it and we spent a couple of weekends building games.

 

https://en.wikipedia...onstruction_Set



#22 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:03 PM

Did you see the source code for the Commodore 64 Pinball Dreams remake?



#23 FarmerPotato OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2018 7:05 AM

While watching that video I was wondering - do most people prefer the scrolling tables? They always kind of annoyed me, although I see the advantage in terms of offering better graphics. The best compromise I've seen did a sort of split screen where the flippers at the bottom were always visible, which I appreciated, but what do other people think?

 

I hate scrolling pinball.

 

I double hate the new video multi-pinball that have a 60" LCD screen in the form of an actual pinball field, and they still feel the need to scroll.



#24 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:04 AM

I think the scrolling works very well. I spent countless hours playing Pinball Dreams on PC back in the days of VGA. On the TI the scrolling could either be a fast character scrolling with more detailed graphics or a smooth scrolling with less detailed and colorful graphics.

 

Me too. Yes, scrolling worked fine. I played Pinball Dreams a lot too, but then on the Amiga.
 

Rollerball also exist for the MSX, which has the same VDP as the TI-99/4A.

 

It's not bad, but somehow I don't find it very satisfying.

 

Looks more than okay to me.



#25 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 29, 2018 8:17 AM

 

Looks more than okay to me.

 

At least a starting point, yeah?






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