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Diablo III - Dunard #1884
Reged: 07/22/05
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Re: Williams Predators Flies Again! (Williams 1987 Prototype at CAX 2017)
07/30/17 05:27 AM

> Williams Predators flies again at California Extreme!
> Pictures here.
> This machine is based around the only orignal parts i have from this game - the
> original game PCB set and power supplies which belong to Domonic Escott in the UK. He
> entrusted me with this in order that i figure out the big technical challenge that it
> had.
> This PCB has been around for a long time, but was it missing the crucial control
> interface pcb that was inside each cabinet. These interface pcbs link each players'
> special 49-way joystick and action buttons, along with switches and cabinet buttons
> to the main pcb. With all of them missing, it was only possible to play at the Red -
> Hawk position. No paperwork is known to exist for this game so everything had to be
> worked out by hand.
> With help from members of the MAME team, a reverse look at code interfacing the UART
> to the main cpu, it was determined that there was a 7-byte packet expected from each
> interface pcb. The exact order of the bytes (and the bits within them) and what they
> represented in the packet was not immediately obvious, but was worked out eventually.
> The added complication was the 7th byte was a'check' packet which was a calculated
> sum based on the contents of the other six bytes. If it was not calculated correctly,
> the entire packet is ignored.
> After some considerable trial and error, I was able to write code for a small
> microcontroller (a PIC) that reads the Joystick positions, and the 4 minimum buttons
> needed per player for the game to function, and translates them into the 7-byte
> packet that the game pcb expects. This output is then converted to RS-485 and send to
> the respective connection on the game pcb.
> The game was intended to occupy 4 FULL SIZE arcade cabinet which made the game very
> expensive labor intensive for the game owner requiring a large amount of space and
> upkeep. It was a hard sell when compared to the money generated by 4 individual
> games. 30 years later with the advent of flat panel monitors, it is now possible to
> have a single cabinet and superior player interaction.
> This cabinet has been hand-made to fit four players in the most space efficient
> footprint that i could make for my small home-arcade. The cabinet design has
> developed organically over a number of years, being made from scrap wood, an old
> metal filing cabinet, more reclaimed parts, old LCD monitors and lots of wiring and
> connectors. This went from a bunch of monitors sitting on some wood balanced on top
> of a metal cabinet into an exhibition-ready machine largely in the last three weeks,
> working all day every day to work out how it was going to look, work and be durable
> for CAX.
> Vector artwork was created from online photos by Lindy Groening, and NightVoice from
> the MameWorld Art Project in Adobe Illustrator and Coral Draw. Final artwork layout
> and control panel design was created by Trevor Brown in an exceptionally short period
> of time using ArchiCAD. All other technical engineering and cabinet creation work by
> Andrew Welburn of Additional thanks to Gast Architects of San
> Francisco for color plotting and assistance.
> TrevEB

Two thumbs up on the machine arts.

Windows 11 Home 64-bit / AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT / AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.59 GHz / RAM 16 GB

Entire thread
Subject Posted by Posted on
* Williams Predators Flies Again! (Williams 1987 Prototype at CAX 2017) TrevEB 07/29/17 06:09 PM
. * Re: Williams Predators Flies Again! (Williams 1987 Prototype at CAX 2017) Dullaron  07/30/17 05:27 AM

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