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Robots Invasion 1.06
NOTE: This table uses Dynamic Flippers and Lighting that require use of BAM v1.4-267 (or later) to be installed which was released on November 9, 2019. I also added some script from BAM version v1.5-275, released on January 13, 2020 that changes the appearance of the ball. I have added some coding that will ignore this coding if you don't have version 275 installed yet. It is very easy to upgrade. You can download the most current version at the following link. This installation file installs Future Pinball and BAM at the same time. If you have either Future Pinball or BAM already installed, you can still run it and it will bring everything up to date.
*** Version 1.06 ***
After I posted version 1.05 of this table, I noticed that two of the stationary targets located below the two upper flippers had an extremely high bounce when hit. The ball would often drain after being hit. I decided I couldn't live with that kind of performance. One of the guys on the forum suggested I place a wall in front of the targets. I experimented with it quite a bit, but found if I increase the softnessCoef, the target performed much better. This version has the new settings. I suppose the effect is like a ball hitting foam rubber which has high softness and low elasticity. The ball still bounces off the targets; just not as much as it did.
I made a number of changes to the XML and the omega for the dynamic flippers. These are not big changes. I performed a bit of tweaking to make the table play better.
The original table played a news cast when you pressed the start game key. Slamt1lt removed it but I thought some of you might like to have it play. I made it so you can switch it on or off in the script. I like to get the game started quickly so I have it switched off by default.
The ball on the original table would launch automatically if you didn't press the pull plunger key quickly. I didn't like that so I disabled it.
I added a new frame to the Tipster to make it a little easier to understand.
I have played this table many times but have never completed the City Evacuation mode because it is difficult to intentionally make the ball go down the inlanes. Then I thought everyone might like to be able to reduce the number of hits required. So I added a way to change it at the beginning of the script. Then I added two other parameters that you can change to make the game easier. I think children would enjoy playing this table and you may want to make it easier for them. I set the default values so that they are the same as they have always been. If you are satisfied with the way the table played previously, you don't need to change anything.
I noticed during multiball that the ball would nearly always make its way to the right inlane and drain if you don't use the left upper flipper. I made the balls hit the bumpers in a more random manner so that this does not happen now.
Steve added an invisible surface above the playfield that was intended to keep balls from flying off the table. I noticed a ball would rarely but occasionally jump through a opening that was left and roll around on top of the surface. I filled in all the holes and added a higher surface above the ball launch area because of the ramp.
In my note above, I recommend using BAM v1.4-267 or later. The table won't produce any errors if you use an old version. I used coding that turns off all the new BAM features that I have added if you are using a version of BAM that does not support the coding. In fact, the table will play if you do not use BAM at all but it plays terribly without the XML or dynamic flippers and the lighting options won't work. It is possible that you may be using a version of BAM that is too old without realizing it. I added a message that will display if you are not using the recommended version of BAM. You can press the key to turn the message off and continue playing. If you play a game to completion, you won't see the message again. Of course if you are using the recommended version of BAM, you won't see the message at all.
The table didn't produce much indication when you got and extra ball or increased the bonus multiplier so you had to closely watch the counts on the playfield indicators. I added additional indication that displays momentarily to the score display. I may have made a few other small tweaks like this that I don't remember.
After implementing all the tweaks, I was able to more than double my highest score. I think all the tweaks I made are mostly responsible for the improvement. I can say however that my game playing skills have improved somewhat but not enough to double the score. I made no changes to the visual appearance of the table in this version. I just changed it to make it play better. I hope you enjoy it.
*** Version 1.05 ***
This is my favorite table that Steve Paradis created. He is one of the most innovative and creative guys to work in Future Pinball. If you are not familiar with him, I found an interview with him (click here to view it). You can find all his tables by clicking on "Polygame" in the list of table developers. Steve built this table to play like a Pinball 2000 table of which Williams only built two. There is a wealth of information about Pinball 2000 on the internet if you perform a search for it.
I like Slamt1lt's mod of the table the best and I started my version with it. I encountered two significant bugs that I fixed. The table has five modes but only the first two would play and then the holograms would disappear and the rest of the game was straight pinball with no more modes becoming active. The other bug was on the mode called "Hostile Bake Over". It could never be completed and you had to play this mode until the game ends. I have fixed both bugs and tested it to verify it works.
Steve's original table has something he calls a "tipster" that displays many of the rules. It sequentially displayed ten tips and then repeated. I decided to make the tips display at the correct time during a game. I ended up adding 4 tips to support this effort although I continue to use Steve's original tip sequence during the attract mode. I think all of it works quite well. I might add this feature to other tables if I get end users that say they want it. If you would like to see something like this on other tables, please let me know. The table did not originally have a Heads Up Display (HUD) because the score and other statistics are displayed on the playfield. I added a HUD to display the tipster. I also added coding to make the HUD toggle work so you can turn the tipster on and off. Your setting is saved to the fpRam file.
I set up the BAM lighting that I have been adding to all the recent tables I have modified. This is a three part process where I adjust the brightness of four flashers I added and change the brightness of the light inserts on the playfield. I also adjust the settings for the BAM lighting. You press the "Special 1" key repeatedly to cycle through the options. I have posted instructions on how to add your settings to the option for "End User" on the Info tab. The option, "FP Orig.", is intended to be only used on low end PCs that can't support "New Renderer". The names of the light modes appear on the playfield where the score is usually displayed. I added some additional lights under the slingshots.
I found some nice art work that fits the theme. I used it to add 4 table loading textures and added a virtual game room.
Steve's original table had several "execute" commands in the script. I converted these to the long form in order to prevent Microsoft's Defender antivirus (which is included in all versions of Windows now) from scanning these "execute" commands. Scanning these commands during game play can slow the PC down and cause stuttering (low frame rate) even on high end PCs.
The two upper flippers had a nasty habit of getting the ball stuck under them. I implemented a fix to block the balls from going under the flipper that I first used on the "Jupiter" table several years ago. It works nicely and does not interfere with the operation of the flippers. As always, I added custom physics and dynamic flippers to all five flippers. You can make changes to the flipper settings and many other settings in the script. The script has detailed instructions in the comments on how you can make changes if desired.
I added a version of the table that I call "rotated display". This is intended for those of us that have a desktop PC and can rotate the monitor so it is in portrait format. It improves the appearance of the table if you are able to orient your display this way. There is a screen shot of it on the Images tab of this posting. I recommend that pinball cabinet users use this version also although you should ignore the cfg files in the download and the instruction pdf file. Pincab users should just set the table up the way they normally would. This version has the HUD set up so it defaults to being turned off. The table loading texture is already set to one of the portrait versions.
I tried adding "bump maps" to the texture of the cannons but they didn't look right so I didn't use them. I did manage to get the lighting on the cannons just right. I also tried to add "shadow maps" but the playfield has too much contrast for them to be visible so I removed them.
Pinball 2000 is a wonderful platform. It is unfortunate that Williams only built two of them. I am so glad that Steve Paradis decided to build a virtual third version. Hopefully, someone will use Steve's table as a model to create more of them.