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johnparker007

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I've just gone back through and found an older post, I was talking about this way back November 2020!  But there's like a year or more left to get all the main fruit machines and some video games in probably...

But from that earlier post: https://www.desertislandfruits.com/forum/index.php?/topic/6460-development-updates/page/8/#comment-57188

...here is a shot of a modular environment, and then below, you can see the components:
screenshot

screenshot

...but, I really have to do lots of planning/design to develop the system that can pretty much automatically assemble these in a seamless fashion (to allow both easy arcade environment creation/customisation for the users wanting to build their arcades, and also for procedural generated arcades which could open up various new game mechanics to keep things interesting)... then there's the issue of how to do runtime lightmaps... it's all complex, but otherwise it will be very limited later on.

 

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1 hour ago, johnparker007 said:

Hey @Spidy21982 - yet another awesome cabinet, looks brilliant!  And I've seen layouts that use this too, will be super handy :) Don't worry I will be starting back on fruit machine model conversions again soonish... though I'm currently looking into getting MAME to run directly inside the engine (which will then use your Goliath video game model).  I did SNES, but MAME is proving to be much harder to do the ROM loading...

Ok - the bad news :/ ...

The arcade environment system I have planned - I'm sorry it's all more complex than a simple prebuilt environment.  It will be at least a year before I get to this part, so for now it's just an autogenerated wall with floor/ceiling.  Later, I have to design how best to enable the building of custom arcade environments... the idea is that the end user can also make them in the Arcade Editor... so there are packs like these:
f26fd12d-a755-4871-a9f6-fbdef8668870.web

screenshot

screenshot

screenshot

screenshot


And these are constructed via modular components... that would then allow for auto-generation of rooms etc that look like the above.  So the user could just drop in a bunch of machines... or even just say 'Generate an arcade containing a mix of video games/fruit machines/physics games, from 1970s-1990s, split into rooms' and it would generate them via random seed (like how a minecraft world generates, but it's a procedurally generated arcade instead).

I haven't even begun to do the proper planning yet though, and this can't happen until the normalisation tasks, to allow the fruit machines to be dynamically lit (the Goliath with it's MAME video games will come sooner as it doesn't have the backglass issue to solve), but there's a lot of complexity in the normalisation of the existing layouts).

So I can't actually use an environment at this stage, and when we do get to that stage, there will be modular components, but the design for how these will scale to enable snapping (like Skaletrix but for walls etc) will then be looked at.

I'm really sorry man :(  as you've already done work...  But that's the technical situation with how this is planned out - I think I covered some of it briefly many months ago way back in the thread. 

It may seem like I could drop a prebuilt environment in, but that's not the way as it'll cause extreme limitations, and lack of scalability/flexibility etc further down the line... this is more intended to be like a 'lego set' of components that snap together so the users can create and share arcades (including environment, props, and machines), all within a simple to use editor.

I'd also worry about giving you any specifications for how to make modular environment components at this stage, as it's just so early in the project, and those specs may change!

So I guess the TL;DR of all that is that it's just too early to create any 3d assets for the enclosing environment, as they may very well be unusable when I actually get to the stage of setting all that up, due to the fact it's not a simple environment.  Machines and props are all amazing! :) Just floor/wall/ceiling/general architectural structure - that is all coming later, and is not a simple prebuilt scene.

Ah ok i thought it was a prebuild environment damn ... think i forgot this with the modular things 🙂 but it makes me learn new things in cinema4d. Maybe in a year i m realy good at this🙃 

Mame in an environment with slots would be realy realy cool  .

Keep up the good work and when you need help in building things you need let me know.

Greetings spidy

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2 hours ago, Spidy21982 said:

Ah ok i thought it was a prebuild environment damn ... think i forgot this with the modular things 🙂 but it makes me learn new things in cinema4d. Maybe in a year i m realy good at this🙃 

Mame in an environment with slots would be realy realy cool  .

Keep up the good work and when you need help in building things you need let me know.

Greetings spidy

Hey you're already really good at this!   Keep up the amazing work - if/when I get the video games working I'll think I'll be back onto converting into a new one of your cabinet models for the next batch of fruit machines :)  

And yeah, modular has always been the plan, as it'll allow everyone to do so much more with it - be more complicated to develop, but worth it I think...  When I get to that stage, and have the modular design stuff worked out, I'm sure you can build some excellent modular components :) 

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46 minutes ago, johnparker007 said:

Hey you're already really good at this!   Keep up the amazing work - if/when I get the video games working I'll think I'll be back onto converting into a new one of your cabinet models for the next batch of fruit machines :)  

And yeah, modular has always been the plan, as it'll allow everyone to do so much more with it - be more complicated to develop, but worth it I think...  When I get to that stage, and have the modular design stuff worked out, I'm sure you can build some excellent modular components :) 

Spidy and you should team up and start a new tv show haha!! Legends!!! 
 

secondly that new cab (cos I don’t really know the differences etc) is that the so called jpm vogue one!?!? Basically is it the one for Arcadia? Or ace’s hot shot? They’re on your list already but I’m unsure which one of these cabinets I’m holding this bottle of champers for!! Haha!! Looking forward to seeing your current mame work when it’s there!! 

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42 minutes ago, woodsy said:

Spidy and you should team up and start a new tv show haha!! Legends!!! 
 

secondly that new cab (cos I don’t really know the differences etc) is that the so called jpm vogue one!?!? Basically is it the one for Arcadia? Or ace’s hot shot? They’re on your list already but I’m unsure which one of these cabinets I’m holding this bottle of champers for!! Haha!! Looking forward to seeing your current mame work when it’s there!! 

I will have to double check I'm too tired right now lol, but I think it is the JPM Electra (the Vogue the usually grey one that Indiana Jones is in).  To temper expectations, when I do get onto cabinets, I'm not sure which cabinet will be next... the Genesis has a lot of games, but I have things to work out to try do an interim simple solution for curved control panels, before we have 3d button system developed... :)

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I was beginning to lose hope with MAME running directly onto texture, but I've managed to get a very very old version of MAME from 2003 working.  It's far from ideal, I'm hoping to be able to support the most up-to-date libretro core, so later I'll be able to also do MAME-based FME on other targets (android)... plus the newer version has nearly 20 years of bugfixes to the emulation!

But this is a milestone none-the-less :D  Here is some Salamander attract mode running directly on Unity texture, plus a shader for CRT effects (I'll probably do something better for that as this is still 'flat')... also capturing sound.  It uses quite a lot of CPU... but... it is working :) 

 

Edited by johnparker007
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6 minutes ago, johnparker007 said:

I will have to double check I'm too tired right now lol, but I think it is the JPM Electra (the Vogue the usually grey one that Indiana Jones is in).  To temper expectations, when I do get onto cabinets, I'm not sure which cabinet will be next... the Genesis has a lot of games, but I have things to work out to try do an interim simple solution for curved control panels, before we have 3d button system developed... :)

deffo Electra cab as you say the old grey one is vogue 

Look forward to seeing newer jpms and some nice old 90’s clubbers like the boring red hot 6 

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1 hour ago, johnparker007 said:

I was beginning to lose hope with MAME running directly onto texture, but I've managed to get a very very old version of MAME from 2003 working.  It's far from ideal, I'm hoping to be able to support the most up-to-date libretro core, so later I'll be able to also do MAME-based FME on other targets (android)... plus the newer version has nearly 20 years of bugfixes to the emulation!

But this is a milestone none-the-less :D  Here is some Salamander attract mode running directly on Unity texture, plus a shader for CRT effects (I'll probably do something better for that as this is still 'flat')... also capturing sound.  It uses quite a lot of CPU... but... it is working :) 

 

Salamander..a true classic..

nice job getting it running. :)

 

Edited by shaun2097
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Incredible project.  This is utterly amazing!

John, how hard do you think it would be to add - in the corner of the screen - a running balance / cash in pocket?

I know you have many brilliant future plans and I know you'll have already thought a thousand times more about this potential than I have, but I'm just thinking that this small(?) feature would give a lot of enjoyment mileage as it is.

Even if it just started at 0.00 and went into negative/positive by subtracting/adding each fruity result, we could make up our own imaginary rules - like the challenge of starting with just a fiver in your pocket and needing to get to £51.31 to pay off Dave and buy yourself a pack of B&H.  Heading to the 5p machines first to try and win enough to move onto the 20ps etc.

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6 hours ago, pubjoe said:

Incredible project.  This is utterly amazing!

John, how hard do you think it would be to add - in the corner of the screen - a running balance / cash in pocket?

I know you have many brilliant future plans and I know you'll have already thought a thousand times more about this potential than I have, but I'm just thinking that this small(?) feature would give a lot of enjoyment mileage as it is.

Even if it just started at 0.00 and went into negative/positive by subtracting/adding each fruity result, we could make up our own imaginary rules - like the challenge of starting with just a fiver in your pocket and needing to get to £51.31 to pay off Dave and buy yourself a pack of B&H.  Heading to the 5p machines first to try and win enough to move onto the 20ps etc.

Full money in/out tracking is planned for the future. 

There will be some form of long-term wallet, but also other types of balances depending what mode you're playing in.  So if you play say an weekly/monthly online multiplayer league/challenge, then they'll all have their own wallet balances.  So you'd choose to work on your league standing, it'd load you up the arcade for that week's league... and then Rams will be server hosted (so if you go on a machine after it's been hammered, it won't be ready)... lots of core functionality to do first though, but there are plans for all this stuff :) 

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Tech update :) have still not had success yet with versions of (libretro) MAME 2003.  That said it's something that shouldn't be too painful to update in the future, when I do figure it out... so I'm just going to carry on for now, using the 2003 MAME core.  Tried it on a 'newer' game (new in terms of MAME 2003) - emulation is perfectly serviceable for now!  

The gameplay skill here is terrible :)  ...I was just testing getting some keyboard input going, I just have one button set up for this wireless mini keyboard... this will all be handled through a translation layer, so that there will be options to set up USB joysticks and wireless gamepads etc (acting as Windows Game Controllers), along with some redefinable keyboard controls - for those comfortable playing on keys (I used to like QAOP and Space back in the ZX Spectrum years! 

There's quite a lot of work to do now, since I've clearly got side-tracked into getting video games properly working in the arcade!  But general plan is to work towards getting this new stuff implemented in Arcade Sim, inside the Goliath cabinet to begin with...

Edited by johnparker007
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8 hours ago, Reg said:

NOOO.

It is not QAOPM/SP.

The optimal one is...

QW OK and P with SP as another if needed.

I am also right handed... :D

Oh god, I could never get on with that system of left/right on the left, and up/down on the right - when a Speccy game had that, but without redefinable keys, the game was ruined for me!  Also surprised you wouldn't go with SP and primary fire, P as secondary... it's all about the thumb usage! :) 
 

51 minutes ago, serene02 said:

I always used QAOP and M!

J

M instead of Space... did you initially start playing on a rubber key Speccy perhaps, where the Space was a key off to the bottom-right corner?  ;) 

I will definitely be implementing redefinable keys option for Arcade Sim video games anyway, as it sounds like everyone still has their own unique preferences for this stuff!  ;) 

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5 minutes ago, pubjoe said:

No love for qzip?

Haha I do remember some games having those - I didn't mind that one since it was similar enough to QAOP! :) 

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Mini tech update:

The eagle-eyed may have noticed some pixel mangling in these last two videos - fortunately this is (mainly) down to the CRT shader I was testing out.  I will now be doing different techniques (either a new custom shader, or alternatives such as an actual CRT mesh for screen curvature) to add scanlines/curvature/other effects, as I don't want those mangled pixels:

As an example, check out this comparison shot (both taken from inside the new Unity test project running MAME core):

(old) Mangled
image.thumb.png.4b1678b1b133630f9b7dd1df5601bc76.png


(new) Non-mangled
image.thumb.png.398885693ea3abee0cf9a2cc9d1703c9.png

Most obvious example above is the small 'TM' in the top-right.  On the top mangled image, the vertical line of the T has been completely lost!  Plus various other pixel scaling issues, very noticeable on the smaller text... I'll probably have some user settings (in the new settings menu) so people can adjust some aspects of the CRT simulation effects... but it's good to know the image isn't actually mangled at source :)  (I was mangling it!)

Edited by johnparker007
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4 hours ago, johnparker007 said:

Oh god, I could never get on with that system of left/right on the left, and up/down on the right - when a Speccy game had that, but without redefinable keys, the game was ruined for me!  Also surprised you wouldn't go with SP and primary fire, P as secondary... it's all about the thumb usage! :) 
 

M instead of Space... did you initially start playing on a rubber key Speccy perhaps, where the Space was a key off to the bottom-right corner?  ;) 

I will definitely be implementing redefinable keys option for Arcade Sim video games anyway, as it sounds like everyone still has their own unique preferences for this stuff!  ;) 

Yes, rubber keyed was my mates, was always on it, it wasn’t quite the same on my Spectrum 48k plus.

Isn’t it odd that I’d rarely use a joystick on Spectrum, yet it was pretty much all I used on the C64, could you even use keyboard on C64? I guess it helped with built in joystick port.

J

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1 hour ago, serene02 said:

Yes, rubber keyed was my mates, was always on it, it wasn’t quite the same on my Spectrum 48k plus.

Isn’t it odd that I’d rarely use a joystick on Spectrum, yet it was pretty much all I used on the C64, could you even use keyboard on C64? I guess it helped with built in joystick port.

J

To be fair, in those early years a lot of the joyticks were absolute gash - the 128k +2 came with this, and it was really quite bad:
440px-Sinclair_SJS1_joystick.jpg
But the 128k +2 keyboard was fairly decent, so for precision control, it was all about the keyboard for me.  Once microswitched near arcade-quality sticks like the 'Zipstick' came out, things got a lot better! :) 
s-l300.jpg

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More testing... Still running in the Editor (not a fully compiled Windows build) - have set up some more usable keys and played a game through on Salamander.  Used a wired keyboard rather than my usual cheapo wireless one and put TV in Game Mode, to reduce external input lag.

It certainly seems playable, there is maybe some very minor input lag, though I've just done the 'feel test' so far... there is is some jarriness with the scrolling of the background on level one, appears like very brief flashes, but it's just down to some jerkiness I think...

Thought I'd post anyway, going to record another game or two in Editor for initial testing, games where you can hold down fire seem better choices until the days of joystick support! Currently playing on QA IO ... Space M N

Once it's in a build, it may perform better in terms of input lag/smooth scrolling... plus once the CRT processing is in, that will reduce the crazy high contrast I have here a little.

I'm doing these tests of a few games to make sure it's actually going to be at least good enough quality to be 'fun' once I integrate it into the Arcade engine - Salamander seemed fun enough :) 

It'd be smoother using Unreal engine (as opposed to Unity engine), as that's better suited for hooking into this kind of stuff, but it may yet be smoother in a build... 

Edit: second test with DoDonPachi (a game where the monitor is vertical).  Scrolling doesn't seem as bad, generally fine and playable:

Edit 2: - high contrast fast horizontal scrolling test.  It does seem to struggle with high contrast horizontal scrolling so far... still playable, but not the best MAME experience... hopefully more improvements can be found, maybe in the build version:

 

Edited by johnparker007

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12 minutes ago, johnparker007 said:

More testing... Still running in the Editor (not a fully compiled Windows build) - have set up some more usable keys and played a game through on Salamander.  Used a wired keyboard rather than my usual cheapo wireless one and put TV in Game Mode, to reduce external input lag.

It certainly seems playable, there is maybe some very minor input lag, though I've just done the 'feel test' so far... there is is some jarriness with the scrolling of the background on level one, appears like very brief flashes, but it's just down to some jerkiness I think...

Thought I'd post anyway, going to record another game or two in Editor for initial testing, games where you can hold down fire seem better choices until the days of joystick support! Currently playing on QA IO ... Space M N

Once it's in a build, it may perform better in terms of input lag/smooth scrolling... plus once the CRT processing is in, that will reduce the crazy high contrast I have here a little.

I'm doing these tests of a few games to make sure it's actually going to be at least good enough quality to be 'fun' once I integrate it into the Arcade engine - Salamander seemed fun enough :) 

It'd be smoother using Unreal engine (as opposed to Unity engine), as that's better suited for hooking into this kind of stuff, but it may yet be smoother in a build... 

incredible... 

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Ok good news :)  The scrolling while certainly not perfect, is improved in an actual build (rather than running in the Unity Editor)... so this is the sort of scrolling we should get in Arcade Sim.  Over time I may find ways to further improve it, but this is perfectly fine, definitely happy to go ahead and start on the big tasks of actually integrating this is.  Yay, video games finally! :D 

A couple of tests of fast scrolling games, in built versions:

Edit - one last test of a fast scrolling game under built version, since the fast scrolling seems to be the weak point; again not perfect but definitely good enough to be playable :) 

 

Edited by johnparker007

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