Just a friendly reminder that Total Annihilation will be at the Multimorphic booth this weekend at the Texas Pinball Festival in Frisco, TX! Come by, say hi, and play the game. I am good for free high fives if you need one. See you there!
The time has come. I invited over a few buddies and we got a gameplay video of my current code set. The code is still very early and the video camera recorded on a setting from the year 1990 (sorry about that). 🙂
OK, enough of my blabbering on, here is the link to the video. Enjoy!
I know it has been a long time since my last update during Expo several months ago. I have been working very hard on the code as we will be bringing Total Annihilation to The Texas Pinball Festival this year!
For info on TPF, go here: http://texaspinball.com/tpf/
During all this code writing, I have also been working on more music and sound effects. For TPF there will be a new song added to the gameplay!
I am also in the process of teaching myself how to make basic animations for the game. Here is a quick video of my multiball start animation. This is obviously still a work in progress and may change.
Just wanted to let you know that Total Annihilation will be set up Friday night, through the rest of the weekend, at the Multimorphic booth at Pinball Expo in Chicago! Please come by, play the game, and chat. I will periodically have the game opened up for people to view the inner workings. Remember, if you are caught wearing a Total Annihilation shirt, you get a free high five. See you guys there!!!
Thank you everyone that ordered a Total Annihilation shirt. I really appreciate it. I have ended the campaign and we were able to raise $41.39 for the American Cancer Society. I know it may not seem like much, but every little bit helps. You should be receiving an email notification with your tracking info from Teespring in it shortly. Remember, you will get some sweet high fives if you wear your Total Annihilation Shirt to Expo! See you there!
I wanted to make a Total Annihilation shirt to wear to Expo this year and I was turned onto this site. If you would like one, they are available below for $19.14. These are only going to be available for a few weeks until the campaign is over. Any profit made from these shirts is automatically donated to the American Cancer Society by TeeSpring.com. If I see you wearing one at Expo, my friend Doug and I will give you high fives, and I am sure some others will too. 🙂
I know it has been a while since my last update. I have been working very hard on the machine getting it ready for public viewing at Expo 2016 in October. I have done a bunch of stuff to the game, but unfortunately, I am not going to show it here. You are just going to have to come out to Expo and see it for yourself. I promise I will get a bunch of pictures during Expo for those of you that cannot make it.
I have also been working on the story for the game, so here is a little introduction. The year is 1988. You will be traveling from this time into the distant future to stop a civilization from discovering reverse time travel. This civilization is pretty advanced, but their weak point is that they run nuclear power as their main source to the power grid. You will need to activate and destroy all 9 main reactors that they have on the island. Unfortunately, you will not be able to return.
Total Annihilation will have art, music and sound effects with a 1980’s vibe. The color scheme is Neon Green, Neon Pink, and Orange.
Below is a glimpse at a few of the attract mode screens. These may change in the future, who knows… Looking forward to seeing you guys and gals at Expo! Enjoy!
Just wanted to post a quick update. When I was describing my sound system tuning process to a friend, it occurred to me that this could be a pretty cool little update. I am going to keep it semi-simple as this can be a wormhole of confusing information.
So here is what is going on. Whenever you have a very powerful sound system that you hobbled together yourself, it is pretty risky to just tune your subwoofers by ear, especially if the output of your amp is close to the RMS rating of your subwoofers. You can easily blow up a speaker by sending clipped output signal to them from the amp.
What is a clipped signal? What does it look like? For this conversation, we are going to pretend that our sound is a perfect sine wave. The image below shows our perfect sine wave on the left. On the right side, you can see that the sine wave is now flattened at the top and bottom. This is called clipping.
Image credit goes to http://modernmixing.com/
Clipping happens when an audio signal is pushed louder than the amp can handle, so some of the data is cut off from the signal itself.
Now, back to my machine… What I need to do is make sure that none of the audio signals are clipping on my machine, but still drive the amp and subwoofer as hard as possible. So here are the high level steps that I took to verify that everything was ok.
I created a sound sample which was a perfect sine wave running at 50hz (50 cycles per second) and set it to be the default music on the Total Annihilation machine. (see image below)
I then disconnected the audio cable from the computer to the subwoofer amp and hooked up my oscilloscope to the output signal from the computer. This allowed me to physically view the sound wave on my screen, you know, with my eyes. This is called checking the pre-amp signal (in case you wanted to know).
I then started a game and took a look at the 50hz sound wave that was now playing. You can see from the image below that the signal is nice and smooth (no clipping). Yay!
Next I plugged the computer audio cable back into the subwoofer amp and disconnected the subwoofer.
The next thing I did was turn down the amp gain all the way to 0% (this is important).
The oscilloscope was then hooked up to the high level output of the subwoofer amplifier, just like how the speaker is hooked up.
I started another game to get the 50hz signal playing.
Then I turned the gain amp up slowly until I could start seeing the sine wave. I kept going until I saw a bit of clipping in the signal and then backed it down slightly under that limit. This is simply called the amplifier signal (post amplified signal).
Success! This now has set my amp to it’s maximum clean output and I will not have to worry about blowing the (not cheap) subwoofer in my game***. ***Yes, I could technically still blow it, but we do not have to talk about that now…
OK, OK, so there are a TON of technical details and nuances that I purposely left out of this post as it would have made it not fun to read.
Well, that is about it. You now know how to properly check your audio amps for clipping. All you need is some time and an oscilloscope. 🙂 Also, the sound system has never sounded so good in Total Annihilation.
I know it has been a while since my last update, but I have made some MASSIVE progress over the past month. I currently have the game completely wired up and SkeletonGame running! Yes, my game flips and plays multiplayer games. It also keeps track of some basic scoring! So you are probably asking what the hell is SkeletonGame. It is a framework for P-ROC written by a good friend Michael Ocean. It is used as a starting point for people wanting to build a custom or re-themed game using PyProcGameHD. I will be using SkeletonGame for my base game and helping the team improve the framework as I go.
Well, so let’s check out some chronological photos!!
Here is a dangerous photo of my 48v capacitor bank. I have shown pictures of this in the past, but not powered up in the machine. This capacitor bank acts as a smoothing circuit for my 48v line when coils fire. This will ease the current spike to the power supply. The little red LED on board is a warning light telling me that the capacitors are at full charge and to not touch it. This is pretty high voltage and could definitely cause some problems if it was instantly discharged onto my hand. 🙂
Here is a shot of some LED color testing I was doing on the playfield. Just making sure all the wiring was OK!
Below is a quick shot of the coil test service menu in this early version of SkeletonGame. This version will be upgraded to a better version soon when Josh Kugler merges his version with SkeletonGame.
Here is the beginning photos of the Sub Chamber that will be on the inside of the cabinet in Total Annihilation. This is basically a small bandpass box that houses an 8″ subwoofer that fires into a sealed chamber. The majority of the subwoofer sound will exit the bottom of the cabinet through a 4 inch port hole on the open side of the chamber.
I have already done a bunch of testing with this and 2 blown subwoofers later and a new Kicker car amplifer, I decided to stick with pure mobile audio components. I am using a Kicker brand subwoofer and amp for this setup. Oh, and another 12v supply that can provide up to 55 amps of current.
This is a screenshot of one of the CNC CAM setups I programmed for the Sub Chamber.
Starting to assemble!
Test fitting into cabinet.
I will be using the Dutch Pinball suite to build my lampshows for this project. Below is the base image that I use for that process to map the insert and GI lamps.
Below is a quick video of my test attract mode. It is basically cycling the colors and putting random colors to each lamp. Kind cool eh?
Now to finish this off, here are a bunch of cool glamour shots of my playfield lit up in attract mode! Hope you enjoyed the update!