nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Submit any ideas for the project here.
Post Reply
tanthony
member
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:32 pm

nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by tanthony » Sat Apr 19, 2008 11:32 am

I'm just starting to learn about Future Pinball and Visual Pinball. Can't even run them on my current laptop unfortunately. However, I'm intrigued by the idea of being able to a swap out of the playfield on my Pinball 2000 with a large LCD --- just like you can swap out RFM and SWE1 playfields --- and using the nucore computer to use/play one or both of these programs on the platform. I've conceptually toyed with ideas (that I don't have the skills to implement) on how to leverage the 2nd screen and I wonder whether either of these programs would be capable or could be enhanced to support an active and dynamic 2nd screen (using the one already built into Pinball 2000) to create a 3D look and interactively similar to RFM/SWE1 but fully digital, of course.

Doesn't seem like it would be that hard to put the LCD playfield together. Just need the largest LCD that will fit and a frame for it that would slide into place like the SWE1 and RFM playfields. The rest would be on the nucore side of things to support it as a plug-n-play option/capability.

So... I throw this on the request list for some version in the future.

tanthony
member
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:32 pm

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by tanthony » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:14 am

Can't sleep.... so here's a tech idea.

I was thinking as part of my Nucore installation on Pinball 2000 that
if I installed a PC that could dual boot Windows and Linux... that I
could either boot to Linux/Nucore or Windows/Future Pinball. For
Future Pinball use, I could build a playfield platform to slide into
place with a Hanns.G HG281DPB 28" Widescreen LCD Monitor (or
something similar) on it that would serve as a digital "playfield" and
then use the monitor already installed in my RFM as the backglass/
display (reflected, of course, off the tinted glass). The 28"
monitor appears to be about 19" by 26" which would fit nicely into the
Pinball 2000 cabinet and leave plenty of space for a backglass
reflection towards the rear without interfering with the playfield
images & play.

Just teasing out ideas on how to get the most fun out of a Nucore
installation & trying to invest only once in the computer setup I
would utilize.

If anyone... hello Chuck? .... has any thoughts on the matter, I'd be
interested. I think it would be very interesting to use the platform
in as many ways as possible and it perhaps could be one of the more
economical ways to get a Future Pinball cabinet set up (or without
taking up additional space) for those that have an interest in that.

In fact, if anyone else takes on this same/similar idea or an interest
in it, I'd obviously be very interested for tips/ideas.

tanthony
member
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:32 pm

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by tanthony » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:26 am

Anyway, I'm guessing the biggest trick for me is going to be to hook up the flippers (and other buttons). Obviously, it would be nice to utilize the one's already built into the Pinball 2000 machine. However, that probably calls for some interfacing I'd have to dig into. I'd expect the Nucore board could be leveraged to interface, but since the Nucore software runs in Linux and Future Pinball & Visual Pinball run in Windows, I doubt you were looking to support something like this, which means I'd have to sort it all out myself in terms of software interfacing. That said, if you guys would be willing to provide some guidance on leveraging your interface card to tie into the flipper buttons, etc., as a replacement for a KeyBoard when running in Windows, that would be mighty cool of ya. I'm not much of a programmer anymore, so that's unfortunately a challenge for me. This will be a long project for me if I'm doing it 100% on my own. Still, a Future Pinball kit for Nucore seems rather like a rather cool idea to me... so I think I'd like to take it on.

User avatar
Chuck
Site Admin
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by Chuck » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:37 am

(copied from my rgp post)

Ok, let me first start by saying you're a nut ;-)

Now, you certainly could dual boot windows and linux although you
could also try Wine (http://www.winehq.org/) It runs a lot of windows
games and someone has probably tried to run future pinball on it. As
far as interfacing to the flipper buttons, for a proof of concept you
could piggyback wires to another controllers. We could also provide a
very simple API interface to those controls (not at launch though.)
For that matter if you went that far with it you could add mame to the
mix and play Galaga on one very interesting screen.

Jazman
Senior Member
Posts: 83
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:38 pm
Location: WI

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by Jazman » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:29 pm

Chuck wrote:(copied from my rgp post)

Ok, let me first start by saying you're a nut ;-)

Now, you certainly could dual boot windows and linux although you
could also try Wine (http://www.winehq.org/) It runs a lot of windows
games and someone has probably tried to run future pinball on it. As
far as interfacing to the flipper buttons, for a proof of concept you
could piggyback wires to another controllers. We could also provide a
very simple API interface to those controls (not at launch though.)
For that matter if you went that far with it you could add mame to the
mix and play Galaga on one very interesting screen.
While this wouldn't be my first choice of something to do with Pin2K (much more likely to implement it on a really nice MAME cab, which I am considering doing), here is my 2 cents.

WINE really isn't an option for Future pinball. The system is really awesome with great visual effects and you need decent video horsepower. As such, I wouldn't want to do this in an emulated version of Windows. I saw one guy who dual booted Windows and Linux using a mechanical switch that switched the power cable to two different drives (IDE style). Both were jumpered to be masters and he used both connectors on a normal IDE ribbon. It wasn't perfect because you needed to make sure the system was powered down when you switched it, but it was a unique implementation. In addition, it was rock solid since you weren't really dual-booting and the issues that can cause.

Jaz

ChadTower
Veteran
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:16 am

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by ChadTower » Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:07 pm

Technical challenges aside... that sounds like one hell of a licensing nightmare to do "officially".

:shock:

User avatar
Chuck
Site Admin
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by Chuck » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:31 pm

ChadTower wrote:Technical challenges aside... that sounds like one hell of a licensing nightmare to do "officially".

:shock:
I wouldn't be anything official from us. I really can't wait to see what some of the more creative people in the crowd do with a standard computer in their pin2k systems.

ChadTower
Veteran
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:16 am

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by ChadTower » Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:11 am

Perhaps a menu backdoor into an XML is in order? That would give people an easy way to add menu items in an out of the way place so they can launch other apps directly from NuCore. You guys don't support networking yet but folks could launch into other apps that do... I wouldn't mind adding a video streamer myself.

User avatar
Chuck
Site Admin
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by Chuck » Thu Mar 26, 2009 11:09 am

ChadTower wrote:Perhaps a menu backdoor into an XML is in order? That would give people an easy way to add menu items in an out of the way place so they can launch other apps directly from NuCore. You guys don't support networking yet but folks could launch into other apps that do... I wouldn't mind adding a video streamer myself.
That's something we could do. It might be cleaner to throw a menu in before Nucore launches.

ChadTower
Veteran
Posts: 103
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 10:16 am

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by ChadTower » Thu Mar 26, 2009 12:45 pm

Chuck wrote:
ChadTower wrote:Perhaps a menu backdoor into an XML is in order? That would give people an easy way to add menu items in an out of the way place so they can launch other apps directly from NuCore. You guys don't support networking yet but folks could launch into other apps that do... I wouldn't mind adding a video streamer myself.
That's something we could do. It might be cleaner to throw a menu in before Nucore launches.

You'd have to have NuCore be the default and have a timeout that selects NuCore, though. Wouldn't want to force users to actively select the default boot app. Maybe a config flag someplace with that menu disabled by default so it's not something everybody has to deal with.

tanthony
member
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:32 pm

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by tanthony » Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:40 pm

I've ordered my parts to construct the "playfield" platform. About $100 of parts and presto, I'll have a Pinball 2000 playfield to attach my playfield LCD monitor to. I'm literally using original Pinball 2000 underplayfield parts and I'll cut a piece of plywood to be be my playfield platform to which I'll mount the playfield supports brackets, etc., and the playfield monitor. The LCD playfield will pull in and out just like any other Pinball 2000 playfield. That should be most of my cabinet related effort & expenses I think. I'll probably want to come up with some kind of "Future Pinball" translite as well for switching out with the RFM or SWE1.

I'll probably either dual boot Linux/Windows or try to do some kind of switch out using two hard drives (perhaps literally a switch to use when swapping playfields). I think there will be too many complications trying to leverage Nucore and Linux for me vs. trying just trying to peacefully co-exist and just leverage the same computer, 22" LCD monitor, and cabinet. So, I think the rest of the equation will probably involve an I-PAC, some wiring & connectors, the dual operating system PC, and the playfield LCD monitor.

If I could leverage Nucore & it's hardware, then I'd save myself the i-Pac & wiring and having to connect/disconnect these connectors to the flipper buttons, start button, and plunger button. However, I'm thinking it shouldn't be that big a deal to connect/disconnet these additional items when switching to/from the Future Pinball playfield.

While I'd like a cleaner solution integrated with Nucore, I think this alternative approach will ultimately be fine and sufficiently satisfactory.

I'll be taking my time with this project but I'll periodically post my progress. If anyone else has ideas/solutions or does a similar project, please post.

User avatar
Chuck
Site Admin
Posts: 1547
Joined: Wed Mar 28, 2007 3:34 pm
Location: Michigan
Contact:

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by Chuck » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:10 pm

tanthony wrote:I've ordered my parts to construct the "playfield" platform. About $100 of parts and presto, I'll have a Pinball 2000 playfield to attach my playfield LCD monitor to. I'm literally using original Pinball 2000 underplayfield parts and I'll cut a piece of plywood to be be my playfield platform to which I'll mount the playfield supports brackets, etc., and the playfield monitor. The LCD playfield will pull in and out just like any other Pinball 2000 playfield. That should be most of my cabinet related effort & expenses I think. I'll probably want to come up with some kind of "Future Pinball" translite as well for switching out with the RFM or SWE1.

I'll probably either dual boot Linux/Windows or try to do some kind of switch out using two hard drives (perhaps literally a switch to use when swapping playfields). I think there will be too many complications trying to leverage Nucore and Linux for me vs. trying just trying to peacefully co-exist and just leverage the same computer, 22" LCD monitor, and cabinet. So, I think the rest of the equation will probably involve an I-PAC, some wiring & connectors, the dual operating system PC, and the playfield LCD monitor.

If I could leverage Nucore & it's hardware, then I'd save myself the i-Pac & wiring and having to connect/disconnect these connectors to the flipper buttons, start button, and plunger button. However, I'm thinking it shouldn't be that big a deal to connect/disconnet these additional items when switching to/from the Future Pinball playfield.

While I'd like a cleaner solution integrated with Nucore, I think this alternative approach will ultimately be fine and sufficiently satisfactory.

I'll be taking my time with this project but I'll periodically post my progress. If anyone else has ideas/solutions or does a similar project, please post.
Please document everything. If it turns out well it would be great to add to the wiki.

tanthony
member
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:32 pm

Re: nucore Future Pinball and/or Visual Pinball Support

Post by tanthony » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:12 pm

I'm expecting to go with a 32" LCD TV as my playfield. It's a tight fit on the width of the machine, so I'll have to choose carefully by confirming dimensions (preferably in person with a measuring tape). 1080p 32" LCDs are just becoming common. I prefer a 1080p vs. the 720p resolution to get the best graphics. May pay to wait 6+ months for prices to come down a bit as I'm trying to keep this project on the cheap (relatively speaking).

Until then, I plan to start building my wire harnesses to connect to the flipper buttons, etc. to the I-PAC board. I'll probably invest some extra time on this to ensure easy/quick connect and disconnect when swapping playfields.

I will start documenting everything so it's available to others.

Post Reply