Basic Functionality Complete

Phase one is nearly complete. I’ve got primary functionality in place. I wish I could say it was easy, but it took a good portion of my weekend. Here is what is set up:

Windows 7, Visual Pinball 9.1.2, Future Pinball 1.9.1.20101231 and HyperPin 1.0.

Visual Pinball links up with PinMAME and UltraVP to emulate pinball tables, backglasses and dot matrix displays.

Future Pinball is a newer version of Visual Pinball and is less authentic, but has more realistic graphics and easier set up. Most pinball enthusiasts install both emulators in their cabinets.

HyperPin is the front end screen that allows you to seamlessly jump between pinball tables in a very slick  arcade-style way, utilizing the buttons on the pinball cabinet.

Attached is a video to show how it looks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAs6vj9t88A

This was not a straightforward installation. If you’re not savvy with windows, be ready for extreme frustration and the chance that you won’t pull it off. I’m not kidding. Get your brain into troubleshooting mode. Some tricky things to keep in mind for those of you trying to get all this installed:

  • If you’re using Windows 7 64-bit and are installing for a cabinet set up, use Tweegster’s install guide as a reference point. http://www.vpforums.org/index.php?automodule=downloads&req=idx&cmd=viewdetail&f_id=4070 Just remember, his guide is old and some parts are incorrect. Use your troubleshooting skills and have lots of patience (or beer.) His guide is just that — a guide, not a guarantee that it will work for you.
  • Tweegster tells you to remove error prompts. Don’t bother. Those have been removed a while ago. Tweegster’s help file also gets the fields in the HyperPin XML editor backwards. This will cause you to want to slit your wrists. Don’t bother. Just flip them around or follow my suggestion in the next bullet. Those are just the two things I remember. There are more. Put away the razor blades before you start reading the instructions.
  • There are two “names” in the HyperPin XML editor (“Game Name” and “Description”). Make them both exactly the same and make those names match the ROM, UVP, table and HyperPin files, too. I’m not kidding. They all must match. Pick a naming convention and stick with it because you are going to do this hundreds of times.
  • HyperPin has “Media Packs” which hold the wheel graphics, table graphics and backglass images used while the front end loader is running. Remember, these files along with all ROM, UVP and table names must all be exactly the same. None of the authors of these files used a consistent format.
  • Some enthusiasts misspell “Addams Family” in this way: “Adams Family” Save yourself a lot of heartache and try searching with this spelling. This is true for many of the tables – there are errors everywhere.
  • For Future Pinball, you need a keyboard with a “Scroll Lock” key. I’m not joking. If you have a Mac keyboard or slim keyboard attached, it’s not likely to have a scroll lock key. You need it to adjust the playfield and backglass sizes in Future Pinball. Yes, I had a keyboard without that button. It’s OK – I figured out what to do before I went on a murderous rage.
  • Oh, did I mention that you need beer, patience, troubleshooting and a nice, calm demeanor. Yeah, good luck with that and like I said, put away the razor blades before you start this phase.

 

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