Software

Earthshaker Aftershock Logo 1Hey Everyone,

I finally got around to starting my Earthshaker software rewrite project.  I decided to call this project Earthshaker Aftershock.

Overall Goal:
The plan for this project is to redo the entire code for Earthshaker and take advantage of it’s great playfield layout.  As we all know Earthshaker is a great game as it sits, but I feel it could be so much more.  I will be posting updates throughout the project and I hope to have something to show for Expo next year!  Let me know if you guys have any questions or suggestions.  I am always open to feedback (positive or negative).

This code will not be for sale but will be available on my GitHub account for those of you who want to check it out.

https://github.com/scottdanesi/earthshaker-aftershock

Please note that this code is built on the P-ROC and Procgame framework and cannot be run on an Earthshaker machine without extensive customization to the machine hardware itself.

Software:
I will be adding all new mini-modes along with new audio and display interaction.  I will keep the game easy to understand for novice players and deep enough for the most experienced.

Hardware:
I have in my possession Earthshaker prototype #2 (at least most of it) and I will be using that machine for my software re-write.  I do not plan on adding a DMD, I will be using the stock Alphanumeric displays (Thank you Jim).  I have also acquired one of Mark’s System 11 P-ROC interface boards!  This project is going to be great.

Updates:
I will be updating my topic on the Pinballcontrollers.com forum with technical updates.  You can visit the link here: http://www.pinballcontrollers.com/forum/index.php?topic=1001.0

As a first update, here is a video of my proof of concept code which allows me to test all of the hardware interaction with the P-ROC and the computer.

PostResultsHey Everyone,

I know I have skipped a few release numbers, but I promise you it is worth it.  I am excited to announce the latest version of the Arcade Tournament Software now with the new changes below.

  • Minor Bug Fixes
  • Tournament Final Results Posting to ScottDanesi.com! (see screenshot to the right)
  • Ability to import and export player lists when creating a new tournament

I hope you guys enjoy the new version!  As always, let me know if you have any feedback.

Latest version is posted here: http://www.scottdanesi.com/?page_id=161

Thank you.

Hey Everyone,
BreakoutWindowThe newest version is here!  Version 1.7.2 is a minor update with some cool fixes and updates.  I have created a heatmap on the standing breakout window that looks really good.  I have also added the ability to customize the size of the font on the breakout window as well.

The formal online user guide is updated with the new settings.  You can access it directly from the site or through the help menu in the Application itself.

As always, your feedback is very important to me, so let me know if you have any suggestions of find anything wrong with the software.

Thank you!

Get the latest version here

Hey Everyone,
The newest version is here!  Version 1.7.1 is a small update with some important fixes.  This version addresses some of the bugs that you guys have found and a few UI tweaks that you will probably not notice.  🙂

The most exciting part of this release is the creation of a formal online user guide!  You can access it directly from the site or through the help menu in the Application itself.

As always, your feedback is very important to me, so let me know if you have any suggestions of find anything wrong with the software.

Thank you!

Get the latest version here

Hey Everyone,

It is finally here!  I have been working on creating an Arcade Tournament Manager online user guide for a while now and finally completed the first version.  This user guide has detail about what every function does in the application and how to use it effectively.  I have also included a “Tournament Best Practices” section at the end.

I am definitely open to feedback on content.  If you would like to submit any added information, please feel free to contact me.

You can view the User Guide Here.

Enjoy,

–Scott

Hey Everyone,
The newest version is here!  Version 1.7.0 is a pretty big release.  We have added many new features and fixed all of the bugs that have been reported.  This version is solid, but we would still love to hear your feedback on new features, enhancements, and bugs that you may find.

New Features

  • Bug Fixes
  • Options section overhaul (again, sorry)
  • Ability to display marquee data by overall player rank or current leaders of each machine/event
  • Ability to choose how many positions to show in the marquee data for player rank (1st – 8th place)
  • All Files now get written to a folder in your documents to eliminate the need to run the application “as administrator” in Windows 7 and 8.
  • Payout options now show on the “Standings” tab for tournament administrators

Get the latest version here

Hey Everyone,

So I have been getting a few questions about how to properly connect an LED sign to my tournament software.  It is actually pretty simple and I will walk you through it below.

Supported Displays:

First things first, let’s talk about supported displays.  Currently, I have only tested the software with my BetaBrite 213C and my Alpha 220C.  These are some of the most common signs you can find that are affordable.  The BetaBrite signs also came included in the Tournament TOPS Kits from Stern Pinball.  I plan on testing other types and brands very soon.

Display Connection:

BetaBrite Connection Info2

This diagram illustrates the display connection to your PC

These signs use a serial (aka. RS-232 or DB9) connection to your PC.  This type of connection is now very uncommon and is most likely not included on that nice new laptop you bought.  Don’t worry though, many products still use this protocol and there are USB to Serial Adapters available for cheap.  I would recommend getting a USB to Serial adapter with the FTDI Chipset as I have not tested any other type.  If you are lucky enough to have a serial connection on your PC then this is not a problem.  I still like to use the USB to Serial adapter since it will also extend the range of the cable that came with your display.

Cable 1

BetaBrite Serial Display Cable

Speaking of which, you should have received a cable with your display that has a serial connection on one end and a network type plug on the other.  If you do not have this cable, don’t worry as they are inexpensive and can be found on eBay.

Once you have all the necessary cables you will need to hook them together and power up the display.

Configuration:

Configuring the sign to work with the software is probably the easiest part.  The one thing you will need to know is what “COM Port” number that your serial connection is set to.  This is a whole number that is usually under 10.  You can find this number by going to your control panel in windows and selecting Device Manager.  Your serial port will be listed under the “Ports” section and have the COM Port displayed in the title.

Once you have this port number, you can now open up the Tournament Manager application.  At this point be sure that your display is connected properly and powered on.  Click on the options tab and then click on the BetaBrite Options tab.  First select the COM port for your serial connection and then check the “Primary Display Output Enabled” checkbox.

Your display should show the test message!  From here you can setup a “Standby” message that will display on the BetaBrite while you are setting up the tournament.  You can use it to say when the tournament is starting and how much it costs to enter or whatever you want.  🙂

References:

BetaBrite Cables on eBay

USB to Serial Cables on Amazon

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

–Scott

Hey Everyone,

I have decided instead of cluttering up the internet with minor update message about the Arcade Tournament Manager, I would create a mailing list for those interested in keeping up-to-date with the latest version of the software.  I will be using this mailing for only for updating people interested when a new stable version of the software is available.  I will not sell or distribute your information to anyone.

You can sign up at the link below:

Subscribe for new version notifications

Please let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you,

–Scott

So the latest build is out! You guys have been a great help in finding bugs and recommending changes to the application. It is much appreciated.

New Features / Fixes:

  • UI Bug FixesATM1.6.3
  • BetaBrite Enhancments
  • Removed Donation message on Application start-up
  • Now stores all Tournament data in “My Documents”
  • UI Enhancements on Breakout Screen

To get the latest version of this software go to the Arcade Tournament Manager Page.