Author Topic: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?  (Read 2789 times)

uncivil engineer

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So with a lot of help from this board, my Flash machine is now pretty much playable.  I display drivers work well (however, i'd love to add a flash feature), I have about 80% figured out how to run the sound card from the P-roc (still can't make the background sound work properly), and the basic rule set is in place.  The code is pretty stable, and my kids can play it for an hour or two without an issue.

However, I am the first one to admit, my coding is pretty messy.  I am thinking about starting all over using what I know now to create a better code base.  There are some features I would like to introduce (like lamp updating, and sound effects from the computer rather than the primitive Williams sound card).

However this leads me to my next decision.  Should I keep working with Flash?  There are a couple of limitations I have come up against that are starting to bug me.  For one thing the displays will only display numbers.  I can't do alpha numeric characters without a major backglass overhaul to ad a DMD.  If I do that the machine will forever be a P-roc machine, as I don't think that modification could be undone easily.  That would still leave me with the limitation that Flash is a single ball machine.  While this makes trough management a breeze, it also limits the game play.  I could hack the playfield and ad a trough, and make it a two ball machine, but once again, that means some seriously permanent changes to the machine. 

I guess I am reluctant to do permanent changes to the Flash machine because it is in ok condition.  The playfield is about a 7 out of 10, with only some minor wear marks.  The backglass is perhaps a 6, with some flaking, and the cabinet is also a 6, and could use a new paint job.  I guess it is the pinball purest in me that is reluctant to start hacking away at a pinball that could very easily be restored to a pretty good condition.

In an ideal world, I would be able to get my hands on a trashed system 11 machine that natively supports multiball, and has working alpha numeric displays.  I just wish these were not so hard to find on the west coast of the US.
--Uncivil Engineer

Mark Jarzewiak

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2015, 07:15:16 AM »
Cost-benefit time.  It seems in some ways that the Flash has been a learning experience and you've made a great deal of progress in a short period of time.  Is there a particular reason you don't want to do more experimenting (and thus permanently alter the machine)?  I'm about to start a restore of my Bad Cats and still am thinking about adding multiball which means at least some modification, and that to a new CPR playfield.  I'm thinking I'll wait partly because I might just want that game 'stock'.  It sounds like you expect to sell Flash at some point and if that is the case, I'd move on as well.  I was long going to do a DW rerule but finally sold the game as I wanted something else.  Knowing I might sell at some point made it hard to move forward with that project.  Congrat on how far you've gotten though.

Steve S

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2015, 09:45:11 AM »
If you wanted to be able to reverse any changes, you could always pick up another Flash playfield (there's one for sale now on Pinside) and use that for your modifications.  You could also mount a DMD above the backbox if you didn't want to have to modify the backglass, or you could swap out the backbox for one from a DMD game and scan/print a Flash translate to fit.  That would allow you to revert to the original hardware if you ever wanted to go back to it.  By the time you do all that, though, you might have saved a lot of effort by starting with a DMD-era donor game.

I guess it depends on where you want to wind up.  If you really like Flash but always wished that it had multiball or a DMD, then that would lead you toward making the changes to your game.  If you are looking to program a pinball machine with modern features but Flash happens to be the game you've got, then I think it would be less work to start out with a different game.

Flash is a fun game, and since it was working when you bought it, you should be able to find a buyer and get your money out of it if you're not tied to the title.

uncivil engineer

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2015, 11:16:13 AM »
I converted Flash because that is the only game I have.  Right now I am space and financially limited to only two games.  The middle of June I am planning on picking up another game, and right now I think I would really like a project system 11 game with at least multi-ball.  Ideally, it would be a big-guns, High Speed, or Pinbot.  If I could find something that is missing the backglass, I would be more than open to adding a DMD.  Besides, the new release of skeletongame seems to be geared heavily towards the use of an HD DMD, and I would like to try to take advantage of that.  At the least, I would like to have an alpha-numeric display to work with.

If I do get a new machine, Flash will be put up for sale.
--Alan

Mark Jarzewiak

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2015, 11:38:59 AM »
It sounds like you should move on then, to something you want to work with in the future.  Diner and CFTBL are two games that load three balls but only use two ball multiball and I think both would be good candidates for rule rewrites.  Diner would require the Sys 11 or other interface whereas CFTBL is lots more expensive but would only need a P-ROC.  I've thought about CFTBL as a friend has one.

MOcean

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2015, 01:38:45 PM »
Agree. Move on.

Once you retheme a game it becomes hard to part with. If you're short for space, then it really better be something you love.

System 11 titles have a lot of untapped potential, but even still, it should be one of your absolute favorite games.

uncivil engineer

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2015, 04:07:58 PM »
Well it is nearly official, As soon as I can put the original board back in Flash, it will go up for sale on Pinside.

I have already got a lead on a new P-roc project machine, and it is PERFECT for a conversion.   

More to come...

uncivil engineer

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2015, 11:01:19 PM »
So I picked up my new project tonight.  The machine is arguably the worst of the Williams WPC generation, and is ripe for a rule re-write, and possible re-theme, or at least a modification of the theme.  The playfield is filled with toys, so much so I am tempted to remove a few.

Let's see who can guess which machine I got  :P

MOcean

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2015, 11:57:05 PM »
Hurricane.

MarkInc

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2015, 12:19:11 AM »
NBA?

uncivil engineer

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2015, 12:56:58 AM »
Ok, another clue....

This game followed one of Williams greatest successes.  It was so bad, that the distributors threatened to sue if Williams tried to enforce their 'minimum buy' clause in their sales agreements.  This game is sometimes called 'the beginning of the end' for Williams.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2015, 01:21:39 AM by uncivil engineer »

MOcean

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2015, 08:44:57 AM »
I cheated and looked it up. awesome. I'd never consider it worse than Hurricane. Yours has a lot of potential, and is a wide body. I agree that you should remove some toys; clearing some space in the upper playfield would really fix a lot of the complaints about the game. Plus you could recreate the awesome arcade game as a video mode :)

There are a few wpc titles that consistently pop up "cheap" (priced under $1500) that always tempt me for P-ROC-ing.  Relative to Sys11, you can really appreciate just how plug and play running a P-ROC on the WPC era really is.

Congrats!

MarkInc

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2015, 02:17:33 PM »
Is there no rescuing this one?

Mark Jarzewiak

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2015, 02:37:20 PM »
Well, you sound like you are speaking about Circus Voltaire as it came after Medieval Madness but I don't think that is it.  Widebody though so that isn't it.  Sounds like Road Show actually.  But I'm not gonna look it up.  I would love to find a beat WPC with a crappy theme but nice layout.

Rosh

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Re: I've about come to a crossroad with Flash, which way to go?
« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2015, 04:52:37 PM »
popeye