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Andrew
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Pinball is not going away
#372432 - 12/28/17 03:29 PM


https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/entertain...-466600373.html




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jonwil
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: Andrew]
#372445 - 12/28/17 11:22 PM


There is a new-ish (opened in March) retro arcade in my town that has a bunch of classic pinball machines. Never been there although I want to go there at some point since it only costs $15 for unlimited pinball all the way to closing time (all stuff being set to free play) and only $25 if you want arcade and console gaming as well as the pinball.

A while back I found a random cafe or something that had (of all things) a The Who Tommy pinball machine (I played one game on it) which only served to remind me how much I totally suck at pinball



Haze
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: jonwil]
#372447 - 12/28/17 11:32 PM


> There is a new-ish (opened in March) retro arcade in my town that has a bunch of
> classic pinball machines. Never been there although I want to go there at some point
> since it only costs $15 for unlimited pinball all the way to closing time (all stuff
> being set to free play) and only $25 if you want arcade and console gaming as well as
> the pinball.
>

yeah, that's pretty much the modern model, even if people didn't seem to believe me in that other thread ;-)



MooglyGuy
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Except it is. new [Re: Andrew]
#372448 - 12/28/17 11:35 PM


We can all wax philosophic about what it means for something to truly "go away", but at the end of the day, Midway/Williams are no longer making pins - and that was, and still is, the real nail in the coffin for the pinball industry at large.

Don't get me wrong, Gottlieb and Stern have had their fair share of well-done pins, but none of them can really hold a candle to WMS during their heyday. WMS were the people that, in my opinion, were really driving the pinball market forward in terms of creativity.

Without them, what have you got? A bunch of cheap, run-of-the-mill pinball tables that recycle standard mechanisms, and have very little which is unique on a per-table basis. Without anyone to really challenge them, Gottlieb have gotten complacent, and it shows in their more recent licensed pinball tables.

If WMS were to announce tomorrow that they're going back into the pinball business, I would happily rescind my criticisms, but seeing as both Midway and Williams are long buried, I doubt it's going to happen.

Again, we can circle-jerk each other off all day long about how amazing it is that the young'ins are getting into pinball tables, but when they're most likely to only ever interact with shitty licensed tables from Gottlieb with little to no custom parts, give me a fucking break.



B2K24
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Re: Except it is. new [Re: MooglyGuy]
#372454 - 12/29/17 01:38 AM


> We can all wax philosophic about what it means for something to truly "go away", but
> at the end of the day, Midway/Williams are no longer making pins - and that was, and
> still is, the real nail in the coffin for the pinball industry at large.
>
> Don't get me wrong, Gottlieb and Stern have had their fair share of well-done pins,
> but none of them can really hold a candle to WMS during their heyday. WMS were the
> people that, in my opinion, were really driving the pinball market forward in terms
> of creativity.
>
> Without them, what have you got? A bunch of cheap, run-of-the-mill pinball tables
> that recycle standard mechanisms, and have very little which is unique on a per-table
> basis. Without anyone to really challenge them, Gottlieb have gotten complacent, and
> it shows in their more recent licensed pinball tables.
>
> If WMS were to announce tomorrow that they're going back into the pinball business, I
> would happily rescind my criticisms, but seeing as both Midway and Williams are long
> buried, I doubt it's going to happen.
>
> Again, we can circle-jerk each other off all day long about how amazing it is that
> the young'ins are getting into pinball tables, but when they're most likely to only
> ever interact with shitty licensed tables from Gottlieb with little to no custom
> parts, give me a fucking break.


Agree with this 100%






Nate
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: Haze]
#372494 - 12/29/17 07:09 PM


syracuse has pinball guys here and there same model had a good talk about the old mechanical games 90's pins were so cool



anikom15
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: Haze]
#372531 - 12/30/17 09:01 PM


$15 is 60 credits. Now I know arcade games cost more these days but still: the model panders to bad players.



Haze
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: anikom15]
#372532 - 12/30/17 09:05 PM


> $15 is 60 credits. Now I know arcade games cost more these days but still: the model
> panders to bad players.

$15 is about 8 credits for most places I see that charge per credit these days..



Antny
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MAME and pinball new [Re: MooglyGuy]
#372538 - 12/30/17 10:09 PM


I was wondering if there were plans for MAME to take pinball further than it's current state.

Does MAME currently have an "output" system so it can be integrated in to some type simulator?

Current simulation of pinball is pretty sad. I was hoping MAME could improve the situation one day. I'm assuming it would be monumental to add artwork support & physics to make it happen.



Olivier Galibert
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Antny]
#372620 - 01/01/18 01:22 PM


> I was wondering if there were plans for MAME to take pinball further than it's
> current state.

Kinda

> Does MAME currently have an "output" system so it can be integrated in to some type
> simulator?

Yes

> Current simulation of pinball is pretty sad. I was hoping MAME could improve the
> situation one day. I'm assuming it would be monumental to add artwork support &
> physics to make it happen.

It would

OG.



Heihachi_73
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: Haze]
#372633 - 01/01/18 08:26 PM


> > $15 is 60 credits. Now I know arcade games cost more these days but still: the
> model
> > panders to bad players.
>
> $15 is about 8 credits for most places I see that charge per credit these days..

The biggest joke was Timezone (I think) here in Melbourne at one point, they had a "bonus" of $6 credit when you bought their $5 game cards - the games which supported card play were all $1.20 per credit!!!



John IV
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Olivier Galibert]
#372650 - 01/02/18 03:02 AM


OG, you probably know this but there was great progress made with Unity3D Pinball which used the Unity Engine and hooked into a dll of PinMame by two of your countrymen. That project has languished for a year plus but it was making decent progress and the physics weren't too bad.

Don't know if they ever open sourced it, but it might be worth re-visiting their progress if you have some interest in expanding Pinball in Mame. FWIW.



john iv
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Haze
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: John IV]
#372651 - 01/02/18 03:18 AM


> OG, you probably know this but there was great progress made with Unity3D Pinball
> which used the Unity Engine and hooked into a dll of PinMame by two of your
> countrymen. That project has languished for a year plus but it was making decent
> progress and the physics weren't too bad.
>
> Don't know if they ever open sourced it, but it might be worth re-visiting their
> progress if you have some interest in expanding Pinball in Mame. FWIW.

I'm pretty sure it's already been highlighted here as the exact type of scenario we want to avoid.

Platform specific crap that doesn't care to adhere to any kind of license.

Unless I'm thinking of something else (some kind of 3D arcade that did similar)

The main reason I think MAME is just going to have to take it all on board one day and have it's own inbuilt simulation is just so that it gets done properly, in a way that works across all platforms, not in some closed source proprietary format crap.



Dullaron
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Haze]
#372656 - 01/02/18 09:54 AM


> The main reason I think MAME is just going to have to take it all on board one day
> and have it's own inbuilt simulation is just so that it gets done properly, in a way
> that works across all platforms, not in some closed source proprietary format crap.

Haze you guys don't have time to make that happen. Not ever. So busy on the drivers and adding more ROM's.

Same way for the MAME for Android. Still in alpha stage. Stop here. Will never get done. I realize this and then quit talking about it ever since. I lost hope on this. It died and then put into it grave.

Don't get everyone else hype about it. They will beg you guys to death about it.

Dreaming isn't gonna get it done.



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Haze
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Dullaron]
#372661 - 01/02/18 02:57 PM


> > The main reason I think MAME is just going to have to take it all on board one day
> > and have it's own inbuilt simulation is just so that it gets done properly, in a
> way
> > that works across all platforms, not in some closed source proprietary format crap.
>
>
> Haze you guys don't have time to make that happen. Not ever. So busy on the drivers
> and adding more ROM's.
>
> Same way for the MAME for Android. Still in alpha stage. Stop here. Will never get
> done. I realize this and then quit talking about it ever since. I lost hope on this.
> It died and then put into it grave.
>
> Don't get everyone else hype about it. They will beg you guys to death about it.
>
> Dreaming isn't gonna get it done.

People said the same about the handhelds.

It's more realistic than MAME ever doing Taito Type X at usable, likewise the other modern PC based platforms. Heck it's more likely than MAME doing a lot of modern things at full speed.



Nate
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Haze]
#372663 - 01/02/18 04:14 PM


hope it happens tho the pin guys love tons of options and the old games are still sold as part of The Pinball Arcade



Dullaron
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Haze]
#372665 - 01/02/18 05:54 PM


> > > The main reason I think MAME is just going to have to take it all on board one
> day
> > > and have it's own inbuilt simulation is just so that it gets done properly, in a
> > way
> > > that works across all platforms, not in some closed source proprietary format
> crap.
> >
> >
> > Haze you guys don't have time to make that happen. Not ever. So busy on the drivers
> > and adding more ROM's.
> >
> > Same way for the MAME for Android. Still in alpha stage. Stop here. Will never get
> > done. I realize this and then quit talking about it ever since. I lost hope on
> this.
> > It died and then put into it grave.
> >
> > Don't get everyone else hype about it. They will beg you guys to death about it.
> >
> > Dreaming isn't gonna get it done.
>
> People said the same about the handhelds.
>
> It's more realistic than MAME ever doing Taito Type X at usable, likewise the other
> modern PC based platforms. Heck it's more likely than MAME doing a lot of modern
> things at full speed.

I have to see it before believe it though. I hope it way better than the Visual Pinball and Future Pinball.



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anikom15
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Haze]
#372703 - 01/04/18 01:16 AM


Haze, it really depends on what the devs are interested in and what their expertise is.

I am interested in a lot of things, but I don't have much experience in digital hardware. Hence I don't make emulators for MAME, but there are other areas where I can make contributions. Devs who can work on emulators are going to primarily work on emulators, because that's the most fun thing to do in this project, IMHO. If there is someone out there who is interested in pinball and knows enough about it, then they will work on it, so long as there isn't something that is more interesting for them.

Emulating handhelds is still emulation, and thus gets a lot of interest from the devs, pretty much all devs. Simulations just don't get that type of treatment, neither does a port to Android, and many other things that aren't seen as critical to 'preservation'. I've had many devs say to me they do not care about screen simulation at all, yet I feel it is an important part of these systems, equal to anything on the digital side, esp. being able to reproduce the raw analog video signals. It is an example of MAME having to step outside the digital world and figure out how to deal with analog functions. It is actually not quite unlike the LaserDisc fiasco. Electromechanical interfaces are a difficult thing to tackle. MAME doesn't simulate joysticks, steering wheels, and other inputs with a virtual 3D model. Is pinball different? What is the extent that we simulate things? How accurate should it be?

I don't know if it is just inexperience in engineering mixed-signal systems or something else, but devs are going to have to learn to compromise and accept imperfections in analog simulations, because they cannot be perfect. There has to be a willingness to accept something as 'good enough' while keeping a door open for better systems in the future. I am not arguing for HLE here. I don't think it ever helps. I am just saying that there needs to be people interested in making the simulations and the devs need to be open-minded about accepting them.



Haze
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: anikom15]
#372705 - 01/04/18 02:28 AM


> Haze, it really depends on what the devs are interested in and what their expertise
> is.
>
> I am interested in a lot of things, but I don't have much experience in digital
> hardware. Hence I don't make emulators for MAME, but there are other areas where I
> can make contributions. Devs who can work on emulators are going to primarily work on
> emulators, because that's the most fun thing to do in this project, IMHO. If there is
> someone out there who is interested in pinball and knows enough about it, then they
> will work on it, so long as there isn't something that is more interesting for them.
>
> Emulating handhelds is still emulation, and thus gets a lot of interest from the
> devs, pretty much all devs. Simulations just don't get that type of treatment,
> neither does a port to Android, and many other things that aren't seen as critical to
> 'preservation'. I've had many devs say to me they do not care about screen simulation
> at all, yet I feel it is an important part of these systems, equal to anything on the
> digital side, esp. being able to reproduce the raw analog video signals. It is an
> example of MAME having to step outside the digital world and figure out how to deal
> with analog functions. It is actually not quite unlike the LaserDisc fiasco.
> Electromechanical interfaces are a difficult thing to tackle. MAME doesn't simulate
> joysticks, steering wheels, and other inputs with a virtual 3D model. Is pinball
> different? What is the extent that we simulate things? How accurate should it be?
>
> I don't know if it is just inexperience in engineering mixed-signal systems or
> something else, but devs are going to have to learn to compromise and accept
> imperfections in analog simulations, because they cannot be perfect. There has to be
> a willingness to accept something as 'good enough' while keeping a door open for
> better systems in the future. I am not arguing for HLE here. I don't think it ever
> helps. I am just saying that there needs to be people interested in making the
> simulations and the devs need to be open-minded about accepting them.

It's a different set of skills, I'll give you that.

There is compromise already tho, look at the handhelds and the SVG scans going in the romsets, because they're important, and a fundamental part of the machine, even if they aren't really 'digital' data, but traces from scans etc.

The only thing that's constant with MAME, especially these days, is that you never know quite what is just around the corner, all it takes is one person to actually produce a working proof of concept that can be merged in, and as long as the licenses are compatible and the overall direction of things looks good then it can gain momentum.

Look at the recent work on the plugins for example, don't think I would have expected people to be writing hitbox viewers in lua some years ago, or AI players etc. but these days it's what some people are doing.

Honestly, I don't know exactly what to expect in the years to come but I suspect basic simulations of mechanical components are are least going to happen at some point, because MAME now covers so many different systems where such simulations need to exist to make the drivers somewhat functional, and we're not only talking pinball here but all sorts of part-mechanical devices.

Even some simple ones like the coin systems used on some newer games are actually (very) basic analog simulations, as coins must drop between two sensors within a certain time-frame. Likewise I think some of the recent driving game progress requires faking the position of the wheel in response to motor commands in order to pass self-test, which again is a very basic simulation, wanting to know the wheel turned right if the motor pushed it right, even if the actual input device the player is using on the PC didn't (because PC controls don't really work like that, and you can't guarantee somebody has a real wheel connected anyway)



anikom15
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: Haze]
#372706 - 01/04/18 03:33 AM


But that's the thing. These things only seem to come about because it is the only way to get the emulation working, i.e. emulation is the first class citizen. Nobody seems to care about analog simulations until it impedes the emulation. LaserDisc games? Emulation works in theory but we can't make progress because LaserDiscs aren't digital. And so all those emulators are in limbo. Someone, somewhere, has to tackle this problem, and it's a problem that's very much out of the scope of what most of the current devs generally do.

MAME should be more than just emulations of digital chips. People agree: PONG et al should be in MAME. If MAME is really about preservation and not just being able to play video games, then devs would treat simulations as first class citizens just like the emulations. I'm not saying the devs have to do the simulations, but it needs to be something on the todo. I have heard Vas say that we need someone to make a model for incandescent lamps. Yes! That is a good first step. We need to admit these things need to be done, but not because it is something that is required to get the emulation working, but because it is something that is a fundamental characteristic of the system we are trying to preserve.

It is a nuanced difference but I think it is a difference worth understanding.



Nate
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Re: MAME and pinball new [Re: anikom15]
#372715 - 01/04/18 05:44 AM


LD's seem more like logistics and a LD emu being out there leading to folks just wanting mame to do that and not do it right see ps1 saturn and the pc loaders



Dullaron
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What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: Andrew]
#372811 - 01/06/18 08:09 PM


Haze said Pinball simulations. I was thinking it gonna need something like that. I'm super hype thinking about it. Shit gonna go crazy.



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Brian Deuel
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Re: Pinball is not going away new [Re: jonwil]
#372859 - 01/08/18 06:11 AM


I only have to make a short jaunt downtown to play some pinball. I prefer old, EM machines but these will do...

http://pyramidschemebar.com/pinball/



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Heihachi_73
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: Dullaron]
#372863 - 01/08/18 03:57 PM


> Haze said Pinball simulations. I was thinking it gonna need something like that. I'm
> super hype thinking about it. Shit gonna go crazy.

The problem with pinball simulation is the ball physics, which is truly analog, unlike discrete logic which is still digital signals. The playfield angle, hills, ramps, the machine being thumped from anywhere from a slight knock to a full-on slam tilt that causes the game to end immediately or reset, the different bounce action from hitting rubber, metal, wood, plastic, flippers or other balls, as well as how powerful each shot is (not to mention the plunger, bumpers and other active items which aren't flippers, all of which send the ball in all directions and at various strengths).

While discrete logic is harder to emulate than CPU-based devices, it is still digital information which can be replicated 100% perfectly as long as the source information is correctly translated and whether the CPU of the system running the emulation can handle it at full speed. Even then, speeds can differ between real machines due to additional things such as different power levels, aging components (such as resistors and capacitors) and other similar things. This is even the case with modern CPU-based machines, where you can have two identical machines powered on simultaneously yet one will eventually get in front of the other simply because the components inside both machines are never 100.000000% identical even if the exact same parts are used.



Haze
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: Dullaron]
#372864 - 01/08/18 04:05 PM


> Haze said Pinball simulations. I was thinking it gonna need something like that. I'm
> super hype thinking about it. Shit gonna go crazy.

and I also said that the model used by PinMAME / Virtual Pinball was already a massive problem, basically locking any kind of decent Pinball emulation to Windows only by using closed-source software interacting with MAME.

Opposite of any kind of preservation.



TServo2049
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: Heihachi_73]
#372866 - 01/08/18 05:59 PM


This, this, and especially this. Do any of the virtual pinball simulators out there try to reproduce things like multiball ricochets that slow both balls down and send them in weird directions, balls gettting stuck and having to jostle the machine just right without triggering a tilt, balls taking forever to decide whether to go one way or the other because they've run out of momentum, balls ricocheting off the top glass, or balls jumping over a piece of the playfield? I've experienced all of these, and it would be amazing to simulate imperfections and annoyances. Maybe even some kind of RNG so that these events can happen out of nowhere like they always appear to for me.



anikom15
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: TServo2049]
#372867 - 01/08/18 06:45 PM


All of those things are totally deterministic so no RNG necessary. I think the most challenging thing is friction (the ball getting stuck). I donít know how games handle friction these days, if they even attempt to.

I donít see simulating physics to be so much of an issue as quantifying the physical objects. We could tear machines apart and weigh the components for mass, but thatís just one input, the simplest to measure. There are other things involved, and itís too much work to do anyway. So we will have to settle for inaccuracy. It wonít matter how good the physics engine is when the inputs are bullshit, but thatís all right. Itís good enough to demonstrate how the game operates and what sort of scenarios and quirks come up, and thatís the most important thing, really.



B2K24
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: Haze]
#372871 - 01/08/18 09:28 PM


> and I also said that the model used by PinMAME / Virtual Pinball was already a
> massive problem, basically locking any kind of decent Pinball emulation to Windows
> only by using closed-source software interacting with MAME.
>
> Opposite of any kind of preservation.

If PinMAME didn't ever exist I wonder how many of those ROMs would actually be preserved for us today.

Also, I thought both VPM and VP were completely open source.






B2K24
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: anikom15]
#372872 - 01/08/18 09:34 PM


> We could tear machines apart and weigh the components for mass, but thatís
> just one input, the simplest to measure. There are other things involved, and itís
> too much work to do anyway. So we will have to settle for inaccuracy. It wonít matter
> how good the physics engine is when the inputs are bullshit, but thatís all right.
> Itís good enough to demonstrate how the game operates and what sort of scenarios and
> quirks come up, and thatís the most important thing, really.

This is what TPA really hyped up during their kickstarter with having access to real machines and disassembling them.

VP and especially VPX paired up with PinMAME still offer the superior experience/product over something like TPA that's legally officially licensed and sold at retail.

https://youtu.be/XZdO1kTFjK0?t=5m32s



Comboman
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: TServo2049]
#372875 - 01/08/18 10:51 PM


A lot of the things you describe should never happen on a well maintained and properly setup pinball machine. Rusty balls, dirty playfields, worn rubber parts and incorrect playfield angle cause all kinds of weird behavior.



TServo2049
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: Comboman]
#372881 - 01/09/18 12:12 AM


Interesting. I played a bunch of 80s/90s pinball at California Extreme and I remember lots of weird stuff happening. But considering that the same tables would be down for repairs for periods of time, maybe they weren't fully restored like I assumed, and weren't behaving as they would when they were brand new.



TrevEB
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Re: What if the PinMAME ported over to the newer MAME. new [Re: TServo2049]
#375351 - 04/03/18 04:29 PM


The Pinball Arcade does in fact have balls getting stuck.
Mideval Madness in particular. Balls get stuck behind the ogres and sometimes up in the upper right area, just like the real thing.
The ball can hit the glass if it goes over an ogre at the same moment the ogre pops, but it doesnt cause you to jump like the real thing.
I cant say I have ever seen the ball jump the track or go off the rails.

The slight delay between pressing the button and a flipper flipping continues to be an issue.


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