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DIY / Re: Virtual Pinball bartop assembly
« Last post by em2nought on August 04, 2020, 04:45:13 PM »

I really like the Wild Snake tables which combine pinball and space invaders.
DIY / Re: Virtual Pinball bartop assembly
« Last post by airboy on August 04, 2020, 08:20:03 AM »
The virtual pinball software is about 80-90% to reality of physical play.  It has really gotten good.

Honestly, the older games (say 25 years old and older) play better virtually.  The moving parts (bumpers and whatnot) deteriorate over time and the action is muted.  Virtually, it plays much closer to what a new machine does.

Congrats on the build.  If I had that skill set I would build an arcade setup.
DIY / Re: Virtual Pinball bartop assembly
« Last post by steve58 on August 04, 2020, 08:01:53 AM »
Very cool! 
DIY / Virtual Pinball bartop assembly
« Last post by Yskonyn on August 04, 2020, 03:32:40 AM »
I've been a fan of pinball for as long as I can remember! At my football club we had a Terminator 2 table which ate countless coins of my pocket money. The movie coupled with the pinball table made such an impression on my younger self that from there on whenever I found a pinball table somewhere I just have to play it.
When Windows 95 included '3D pinball' me and my old folks ran regular weekend tournaments where the competition was quite fierce. Fun times!  :bd:
I've been on the lookout for my own pinball table ever since, but the price usually is prohibitive and regardless; I can't house a full size pinball cabinet anyway.

Just recently I came across a cool program called Visual Pinball and the communities over at and I entered the rabbit's hole...

Visual Pinball would be able to simulate that old and dear Terminator 2 table. The the software is designed to run on DIY cabinets. Surely something more portable would also be available and perhaps I would be able to get my pinball cabinet afterall!
After browsing the net for a while I came across the Sharpin Bartop Cabinet ( which seemed like the exact thing I was after, but Android wasn't going to cut it. It needed to be Windows driven. Would a motherboard fit into the Sharpin? Dimensions told me it would, but with limited room inside the cabinet heat might be an issue.

Still, I had my old Asus Z87-A motherboard laying around unused with 16GB DDR3 RAM still mounted as well as an Intel i5 4670K processor.
I could use the PSU from the old case as well. The only thing I needed to get was a videocard, but if all checks out it would be a minor additional cost as something like a 1050 would be sufficient.

I ordered it and went DIY:

First needed to reinforce the bottomplate to prepare it for motherboard mounting:

Then check how it would all fit best with regards to clearance to the monitor and room for all components needed within the cabinet:

Next mount the risers for the motherboard and attach the motherboard itself:

And build up from there:

I needed to drill a grille at the left sidewall and mount a case fan (not on the picture) to get proper airflow through the cabinet and push sufficient hot air out (the openings at the back weren't enough). I also mounted a RAM fanblock at the frontside of the cabinet to suck cool air from below and push it over the motherboard towards the exit fan.
The system intially had some heat issues (as expected), but with these fixes the CPU core temp under load does not go above 70 degrees Celcius, which is acceptable. Ideally I would have liked a tad lower temps, but considering the cramped space I am happy enough.

It resulted in this final prototype (still need to properly mount the second monitor and get rid of the cables in a neat way)

Currently I am running Steam with Pinball FX3.
Over time I will get Visual Pinball running as well and make a custom front end menu so the cabinet doesn't load into Windows desktop, but rather an Arcade menu system to choose pinball tables directly.

As keyboard and mouse solution I use a combined 'gamepad'-like device with has a keyboard and trackpad in miniature form and used bluetooth. Works excellent!

Motherboard: Asus Z87-A
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 16GB DDR3
CPU: Intel i5 4670K
Videocard: Geforce 1050Ti
SSD: Samsung 860 EVO 512GB
Network: TP-Link wireless dual band adapter
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Professional Simulation - Digital / Combat Mission in the Real World
« Last post by Jarhead0331 on June 09, 2020, 07:25:17 AM »
How some of our favorite wargames are being used by real warfighters.
GameTalk / Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Last post by The_Admiral on December 08, 2019, 06:04:31 AM »
I know I shouldn't put half a finger in this mess, but still thank you for the sweet mention Andrew  :)
I am sympathetic to their cause, to some extent - I got published when I was 15 in the French magazine dedicated to computer wargames for a monster scenario on TOAW1 (I used every inch of the available space on the map that wouldn't require the player to run OPART 500 I think!). Let's say it was the first obvious external indication that I had that bug in me, and 20 years later here I am.

Now now. Making scenarios is easy. I did it, and I will do it again for my game (if it ever comes out, that is). But starting a new game from scratch without a motivated and skilled team sounds very adventurous. Still, TOAW is no black magic, Norm Koger kept it simple from the beginning. The genius and the generosity of the design is in its versatility, not its complexity - akin to Steel Panthers for instance, but technically the complete opposite of WitP or WitE, if I want to keep using Gary Grisby-based metaphors. I think that cloning TOAW really ain't the end of the world, but you need someone who's good at modern, up to date coding AND loves the series. This is where things get tricky.

My dev loves the PTO, loves planes and has all the basic culture one would need to bring us to the end of this long journey. I wish them luck in finding a guy like him - but it ain't simple.  I have a few in mind, but they all started their own thing - in the age of Unity of command, or Radio Commander/General, it is not easy to convince a young chap to get back to the basics while only marginally improving on them. Obviously, we're not remaking Great Naval Battles, Pacific Air War or Fighting Steel with the graphics and mechanics of the time - we embarked ourselves on something new and this is partly what keeps us motivated. Like some others say, I am not sure TOAW absolutely needs to be remade, it served and still serves its purpose - and might still do so for the decade to come the way it is.
GameTalk / Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Last post by SirAndrewD on December 08, 2019, 01:06:18 AM »
A victory lap?? For what? Creating ill will among a potential buyers of their future game?

It doesn't look like they took an instant to understand us, and refused to give an instant for us to understand them. 

PopeFrancis had a good approach.  I'd say again, just heck, we'd like to know who randomly shows up and get communicated to. 

You can pile on us on your new forum for not understanding and having a handful of random comments all you want.  More power to you.  Try sitting on a high horse and dictating what is a "Grog" game and what is not.  Tell those of us here we're not Grogs, many of us who were service members, historians (I'm one, published), or other and running off and saying we're children.

You're taking a couple of days worth of your own issues and applying it to this forum.  I'll stand by our people here 100%.  We might be goofy sometimes but that does not mean we're not serious about our hobby.  Damn, you see what I spend every year on it you'd be nuts.  And again, I don't give a carp if I make a few jokes on some threads. 

Anyway, I think some of you guys had a misunderstanding.  All I can see is that a lot of you are happy about pissing off people that might've supported you. But, it is what it is.
GameTalk / Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Last post by Gusington on December 07, 2019, 08:13:09 AM »
A victory lap?? For what? Creating ill will among a potential buyers of their future game?
GameTalk / Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Last post by Jarhead0331 on December 07, 2019, 07:00:44 AM »
They are gone and have transitioned to their own forum. They are actually doing a victory lap over there. Iím embarrassed for them.

GameTalk / Re: The Art of Conflict 5.0
« Last post by SirAndrewD on December 06, 2019, 10:53:01 PM »
No worries.  I completely understand.  What we'd like to do is write a wargame to replace TOAW.  We're sick of the vaporware shuffle and we're trying to take matters into our own hands.  So far there's only 5 of us but it's only just now gotten off the ground.  We're moving over here from the Matrix site to avoid any unpleasantness or lawsuits, etc.  I'm one of the TOAW playtesters and I detected my boss peaking in yesterday so he probably knows what we're up to.  Oh well.  Can't keep it a secret for long anyway. 

I'm wondering if we should write it from fresh scratch in C# or if we should use one of those game-building software packages.  Anybody have any experience with those?  I'll have to look into it.  Google "free game building software" or something.  I've already downloaded the 2017 version of MS Visual Studio (Enterprise Edition) for free and installed it.  Now I need to teach myself C# I suppose. 

I have no idea what we're getting into but who knows it might be fun.

Cool and ambitious goal.  Yeah, I think you could find a lot of help from a lot of people here with the approach of bringing that up and addressing the community.   

I think as was said earlier, you're probably better off doing the "work" part of your operation on your own forum where you can moderate responses and keep things on track.  But Opening and having a regularly running Dev blog over here could probably bring you a lot of help and attention that you might find valuable.  It's worked for other developers that wanted to engage over here. 

We're still going to likely leave a random comment here or there.  But, if you engage with us and ask us to stay strict and on topic in your threads, you'll be surprised to find that we will.  You guys just need to engage with the community, it's very welcoming when you do.
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