This news pages hasn't been keeping up with the news; for all your Visual Pinball news needs, you should defer to http://www.vpforums.com. Sorry for the confusion!
- If you have installed Windows XP SP2, you may have noticed that when exiting a table and going back to the editor, VP crashes. I am working on a fix for this which should be testable soon.
- For the people with graphics display problems, or if it seems that tables just don't play after they've been rendered, there is a really good chance you have an nvidia card with 40.72 drivers, which contain a bug. I personally went back a few driver versions, other people may have other solutions.
- I updated some links to account for hippie.net going down.
- Well, it's been a very long time since the last update. But that is actually good news, since it means that Tech Beta 6 is stable and people are using it to create all kinds of cool magic. Work on TB 7 is continuing; if all goes well it will be a great release with huge advantages for table authors and players alike. There are also some special surprises which may take place soon.
- Sorry to all those who couldn't download lately, please try with the new link to IRPinball.
- There is an update available to Tech Beta 6. Get it from the download page. It fixes several bugs found in TB6.
- Disabled slingshot works correctly now.
The rotate/translate/scale dialogs now work with ',' as decimal separator, or whatever your favorite language settings use (I know I said I would fix this a long time ago.)
- Ramp points shouldn't appear in far off places anymore.
- EMReel Colors & Formatting panel opens all the time now (it's quite tall, the problem was for VP windows that were shorter than this one panel.)
- Doing a compile in the script editor doesn't screw up editing of script afterwards. (Some of the posts on this were a bit confusing, so I should probably clear something up. The 'Compile' option in the script editor performs the VBS version of a compile, which is just to parse through the code and look for syntax errors. It doesn't do anything permanent like a C compile. Tables are always recompiled when you hit Play.)
- Locked scripts should be compatible with all OS versions & countries now. Authors of tables with locked scripts will need to resave their tables and rerelease them to make sure everybody can open them.
- A new release is coming down the pipeline; in preparation I have compiled a list of new things. I'm not as organized as some people, so you'll have to get what you can from my ramblings: Tech Beta 6 features. As always, general bug fixes a part of any release.
- Looks like the forums are in the process of being moved, check back later if you can't reach them.
- I have set up a temporary download server so the dogfood 5 full version and exe only upgrade can be downloaded from the download page.
- Thank you to everybody who is setting up a VP site in response to shivasite going down.
- Thank you to Shiva for creating shivasite and supporting all of our download needs for so long. There is no way the VP community would be what it is today without this site.
- The forum problem looks like it was only temporary; it is working fine now.
- As many of you have noticed, the download site is down, and the forums don't seem to be reachable either. I am aware of these problems and will get VP downloadable as soon as possible.
- There is an update to dogfood 5 available. It fixes several bugs in this release. Get it at the download page.
- Dogfood 5 is out! For those of you who don't know, dogfood builds are new builds with lots of features that aren't yet known to be stable enough to be full beta builds. Get it now at the download page!
- New features:
- A new object type - EMReel, which simulates a rotary wheel score display (or use it with images for a slot machine, etc.)
- Collections can fire events as a unit
- The options panel can modify the properties of multiple items at once (they all have to be of the same type).
- A new global variable in script called GameTime that gives you how long the game has progressed in milliseconds. I put this in mainly for external physics simulations (magnets, spinning wheels) that required the correct timing.
- Resources can be held in an external file for easy localization. I've pretty much dropped the ball in terms of foreign languages for the past few releases, hopefully this will make it much easier since localizers will no longer need to coordinate with me at all. I'll probably release the external file as a separate thing later.
- Cursor keys move objects in the editor, shift-key moves them farther.
- There is now a 'Lock' option on the context-menu for each object.
- Editor remembers the size of the window from session to session.
- You can select objects by name from the toolbar on the left. This is most useful for selecting entire collections at once. You'll notice the look of the toolbar has changed a bit; it now scrolls when there is not enough space for all the icons. Some things have moved but it's easy to get used to.
- Full screen mode does not hang with vpinmame tables any longer.
- Pictures on bumpers now light up. Right now this means that bumpers with pictures on them draw a little darker than before when they are off, but they look neat when they light up.
- There is a new property of a table called YieldTime. It can be set to make VP yield to background processes, and I have also found that it makes vpinmame games much smoother and responsive; it seems to weave the thread together more evenly. I no longer have to push to flipper button 2 seconds before I want it to flip. I'm not sure what the final effect of this property will be, I'll put it out there and see how it works for people.
- And some bugs fixes and stuff.
- Yay, the forums are back. You gotta reset your password before logging in.
- Once again I'm trying to break my record for never posting news updates.
- As you may have noticed, the forums are down. Let's hope they get working again soon.
- I've been working on a couple cool features recently. I have object able to be part of any number of collections, any of which can fire events. Also, editing the properties of multiple selected objects.
- Black has joined up and has mostly finished his first feature: A Reel object that can be used an EM score display or for slot machines or any number of other ways.
- Another long awaited update - this time it only took me about 6 months to finally changes my tables page to point to other's poeple pages who actually have the latest stuff. Ah, the scene has changed quite a bit since people would point me to tables and I would scramble around trying to find download space for them. My thanks, of course, to those running VP sites; they've been doing an incredible job.
- I cleaned up the links page a little. It's hard to tell what should be on there.
- I actally have found some spare time to work on VP. I have added images on ramps, custom shape triggers, and full-screen mode.
- For the first time in a long time, I have a new poll. Just to change it. Not that the old one wasn't good - people were still telling me where they heard about VP. I will probably bring it back someday.
- Thanks to everybody who sent mail telling me the download link isn't working. I don't know what the deal is, but for now I'm changing to link to point to shivasite. I finally got around to uploading the file there. Anyway, it should work for people now.
- Thank you to everybody who has sent me e-mail. There is a slight problem where I get all mail, but I can't send any. This has been going on for awhile now. Eventually I will get off my butt and do something about it, but I've been pretty busy. If there is a problem you need answered, the forum is probably the way to go. I will start using a hotmail account soon if this isn't cleared up.
- For anybody using 4.1929, I updated that build quickly to 4.1930 because there were some bad memory leaks, which can lead to fail surface creation if you play a table more than once. For anybody who caught the bad download, get the new exe to fix it.
- I have been envisioning how to do ramp images for awhile, so I started that. Ramps can either be textures like walls, taking a cookie-cutter shape out of a larger image, or they can have an image stretched along them, as if you had a picture made of rubber that you bent in the shape of a ramp (some things you have to able to wave your arms in the air to explain.)
- There are a couple issues will TB4 I'm still looking into. Apparently it can't play all the mp3s people want it to play, and some it play at the wrong speed. Also, some people are having performances problems on VPinMAME tables with lots of flashers. At least one person worked around this by setting the color depth to 16-bit instead of 32.
- A new version of Tech Beta 4 is available. This build (4.1929) has various fixes, the big ones being two fixes for loading files that either crash or hang. VPinMAME tables will no longer prompt you to save after you have only played them. Also, there is a finally a Delete menu command so people can figure out how to delete items.
- Tech Beta 4 is now available for general download! The bug discussions on the forum have gone done for awhile so without further ado go get TB4 from the download page.
- If you find any bugs in TB4 that were not in TB3, please post them to the forum in the bugs section, I look at those every day.
- I swear Tech Beta 4 is almost ready. There are just a couple more things. It's hard to tell what bugs were in there before and what all needs to be fixed to make a good release.
- As some people have noticed, the version of Alien Reactor which is currently included in the full download does not load. This is because the file version was meant for Tech Beta 4. TB4 is almost ready to release. Look for a download in the next couple days.
- I have a new version of Tech Beta 3 that does not expire in July. You can download it from the Tower of Pin mirror site.
- Some people who have their system clocks set funny have already experienced this: The current beta version is set to expire in July. I am working on a new release which along with bug fixes and features will also extend the beta period. I haven't gotten as much work done as I would have liked on it, but I'll give you all I have:
- Collections (the ability to easily create arrays of objects without having to set it up in the Table_Init function. This is a feature which is not anywhere near done, but once again I'll give what I have.)
- Saving/Loading table values (for things like high score - easily save out persistent values for your table without the FileSystem object.)
- MP3 support (with the caveat that I'm dumping wma support, which isn't so bad because nobody could get it to work anyway. So don't worry that your table is broken - it pretty much always was.)
- Configurable standard StartGame and AddCredit keys.
- JPEG support (yay - smaller file sizes. This is the last thing I'm finishing off.)
- Some good bug fixes (especially the one where the ball sticks to the flipper.)
- Faster frame rates
- A new forum has opened up thanks to Shiva, and it seems to be better than the MSN one, so I'll start linking to that one instead for now. The old forum can be found here.
- I added a bunch of links on the links page. Thanks to those who sent their site in. If it's not on the list, I must have missed it so please remind me. I was pretty lazy on the descriptions, obviously.
- I sincerely apologize for being so incredibly behind on my e-mail - I pretty much have to conclude that not everybody is going to get a response (the forum is a great way to get questions answered). I do still read every e-mail, though, and I thank everybody who has sent such nice comments on VP.
- Obviously it's been a while since I've updated anything. If everybody who has a VP page could send me email (VisualPinball@RandyDavis.com) with the site address and a small description of what it is, I will try to make the links page more comprehensive so new people know places to go. (For people who aren't sure where to go, the forum is a great place to get leads.)
- I just wanted to let people know what I am working on in terms of features. Script can now access any ball as an object, and can change the properties of it. It can set the position, velocity, color, or image of the ball. This can be used for all kinds of special effects. My first feature is that in Alien Reactor, the ball glows blue when as it passes through the reactor.
- I am about halfway through adding JPEG support.
- Keep posting feature requests on the forum - there are a huge number of them, and some of them just can't get done, but there are many that are possible and it is good to know what people want.
- I haven't been answering e-mail very regularly, so I suggest that any feedback go to the forum. There are a lot of people there that know what is going on. I will try respond to all the mail I have received, but I can't guarantee a speedy return.
- I want to thank everybody who has made the Visual Pinball community as great as it is today - everybody who has a VP site or has made a table or answered questions in the forum. You make my job way easier.
- For people interested in Visual PinMAME, a product which integrates with Visual Pinball and allows you to play pinball tables using the actual ROMs from arcade machines, you can find it at http://pinmame.emuviews.com/home.html.
- There is a support site for Visual PinMAME at http://welcome.to/vpinball. This site also includes download links for many non-MAME tables.
- I've been getting quite a few e-mails along and forum postings about people getting crashes and hangs trying to load/play various tables. I don't currently know why this is happening; I'm just putting this here to let you know that you aren't the only one. I will try to find a wider base of computers to test out the problem on. In the meantime make sure your system complies with the stuff listed on the intro page, and on the download page.
- Wow, it's been a week since I did anything to the site. I guess I must really be busy. I update the tables page with Mr. Do and Playboy.
- Wow, I haven't had any news for a few days. I've been a bit busy with work so I haven't had much time to get a lot done on VP.
- Updated the tables page with Breakshot.
- Updated the tables page with a new version (0.8) of Eight Ball Pool.
- Work is progressing well on new features. I'm working now on the collection manager, something which I had wanted a long time ago but it never seemed the right time until now. Basically it allows you to create groups of objects that you can automatically reference in script as arrays, and use the For Each notation in VBS to loop through. I'm not sure in the end that it will be as much of a timesaver as I had hoped, but it does allow you to do a lot of tricks that would otherwise be prohibitive to set up.
- The Spanish version of Tech Beta 3 is now available on the download page. Other languages pending.
- For some reason, the table submission form is not working on this new server. If you sent in a table anytime during the last week, I did not get it. Please send the information through regular e-mail for now.
- Other e-mail seems fine, so go ahead and send feedback again.
- I fixed the Wild West link on the tables page so you can download it now.
- Finally got around to putting up a new poll. I couldn't think of anything remarkable, so this one is a general marketing survey.
- Welcome to the new server! With any luck, this one will be way better than the old one. Just think, you may actually get to see the screenshots! There is a bandwidth limit on this one though, so I'll probably be simplifying things in the near future.
- For a few days, please do not send e-mail to randydavis.com as it may be routed incorrectly - please use the forum for questions.
- The foreign language versions of dogfood3 are coming along.
- I did a bunch of work of the graphics engine, raising frame rates by huge percentages.
- I also have begun work on using mp3's for music, and it looks like it is going to go really well - no pauses when starting a song, and very low processing overhead.
- !!!Sometime during the upcoming week or so, this site will be switching servers, and may be unavailable for some amount of time. My e-mail will also be unavailable during that time. The forums will still be up, though, so you can bookmark that page and still get questions answered. With any luck, the new server will actually allow pages to download in a reasonable amount of time.
- Updated the tables page with new versions of Eight Ball Deluxe and Fish Frenzy.
- Updated the tables page with The Simpsons and Noyze. The Simpsons uses sounds from the Spanish version of the show - quite interesting.
- The fact that the site has been downloading incredibly slowly and the fact that there are quite a number of tables now, I split the tables page so the response time should be better.
- I spent the weekend getting my new foreign language translation tool working. Unfortunately not quite done, so nothing to show yet.
- Thanks to http://www.theunderdogs.org/ for giving VP a Top Dog rating!
- Updated the tables page with Gorgar and Fish Frenzy, plus new versions of Black Knight 2000 and Eight Ball Deluxe.
- Dogfood 3 is here! Get it from the download page. Unlike previous version, you can no longer download previous versions, since pretty much all released tables will only work with the most recent version. (It has been renamed Tech Beta 3 for this reason.) It includes updated versions of Top Speed and Alien Reactor. If you don't want these updates, you can get the exe only version and overwrite the old exe.
- So far it is English only. My next project after making sure everything in this release is okay is to finish up the Spanish, German, and French translations.
- The full release also includes a new help file, vpreference.chm, which contains a comprehensive reference of all the script functions that can be called on VP.
- Also included is Pinball.ttf, a great display font for pinball. Thanks to Black for finding and tweaking this font.
- Thanks to everybody who has helped make VP what it is today. I'm very bad at remembering the names of everybody who has made a difference; someday I will try to compile a real list. Sending feedbacks with bugs or suggestions is always fantastic. And of course many thanks to the table designers, who are constantly making people more excited about VP than I possibly could myself.
- I have a new poll in place. This one is about the process to start a VP game. For table designers, please try to answer as a player.
- Dogfood3 is pretty close to being done. Look for the download in the next couple of days.
- As you may have noticed, the site was down for quite awhile yesterday. Obviously since you're reading this it's back again.
- Updated the tables page with El Dorado.
- Looks like there's going to be a French translation coming along soon. And the French have such cool sounding words for everything, so you know it's gonna be good.
- Well, it's Valentine's Day again, and what am I doing? Why, the same thing I do every Valentine's Day of course: work on web sites. It was 1 year ago today that I created the SlaveMaster web site (my previous game). What a simple project that was in retrospect...
- Dogfood3 is getting pounded on by a few table designers, which is good because there were some problems I missed. It should be out in a week or so.
- I changed the full Spanish and German downloads to be from a temp mirror site, so those should actually by downloadable now. The exe only versions should follow soon.
- A couple dogfood3 features I forgot yesterday
- Textboxes with transparent background
- Flipper visibility property (to bring flippers into existence when needed, or to simulate zipper flippers.)
- Objects can be placed on ramps, as well as on walls.
- I have put in a new screenshot showing Top Speed updated with new features from dogfood3. Notice the ball shadow. Anybody caught not noticing the ball shadow will be shot. The best background I've come up with so far is a gradient. I'm so frickin' creative.
- Here is a list of features/fixes for dogfood3. It may not be complete, but I think it covers the highlights at least:
- Flipper Rubber
- Kicker rendering - hole, cup, hidden
- Flipper strength
- Slingshot strength
- Physics of nudging improved - nudge strength will probably have to be recalibrated on your table
- Backdrop layout - image, color, lights, decals, textboxes
- Faster table rendering
- Improved editor speed
- More robust file format. It is more likely that going forward, old versions will be able to load newer files, just without the new features.
- Kickers can kick up as well as out. (Kicker.Kick angle, speed [,inclination])
- Subtle physics improvements
- Undo and file change notification now works on main table options
- Timers on flippers and walls work
- Spinners respect the transparency color set in the image manager for true shaped spinners.
- UserDirectory script function: provides a place to put user files created in script
- Control of bumper light state
- Bumper image now works
- Bumper side color
- Bumper shape and default values altered to more closely reflect real life
- Sounds can be looped, and stopped on command
- I moved a bunch of old news to a new 'Old News' page, which you can get to from the bottom of this page. Hopefully this will make this page show up faster.
- Thanks to Sam Gabrielsson at the Tower of Pin, we have a new mirror site for VP. This will probably be used for English only, and I'll do the rest from my limited bandwidth server.
- I haven't thought of a another good poll to put up, so I guess the current one will just hang around for awhile...