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Visual Pinball X + Bigbox ... a starters guide


ItchyRobot
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I have been messing around with Visual Pinball X on Bigbox for a few years now. Being an overlooked emulator on Bigbox, I had to create all my videos and download all the individual clear logos, rule cards and flyers from other websites. It was a pain in the ass, but well worth the effort. As you can see in the below video, I have an arcade/console/pinball setup. You may notice as I pause the game, a pause window pops up showing the layout of my arcade style controls. I have flipper and nudge buttons on the side of my controller - a must in my opinion. My monitor is in the desktop view, which is best for my other platforms (consoles and arcade-MAME); so, I have opted for this general layout for my pinball tables too. It just goes to show you how immersive pinball can be even in this viewpoint. Since I know a lot of people that have MAME and Retroarch builds, and view their games in desktop/landscape view, I hope this can be an inspiration for people out there maybe wanting to add pinball to their builds. It is a bit of a learning curve due to all the different parts and settings, but well worth it in the end.

- As with all emulators, first get Visual Pinball X running outside of Bigbox. Download the latest 10.6.2 build here ...
https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?app=downloads&showfile=11572
The devs are in the final stages of squashing bugs for the 10.7 release, but ignore that for now. Most tables are still being released as 10.6 tables. But be aware there are a few starting to require 10.7. Stay away from those until you learn how this all works.

- Once you get VPX installed, you will need a few more pieces, Tables and Roms. Both can be found at a couple websites; I tend to stick with these two sites ...
(note that some Roms are becoming harder to find, so you may need to try other sources if you run into Tables using Roms that you can not find on these sites)
VPfuroms: https://www.vpforums.org
VPuniverse: https://vpuniverse.com
Roms are the code stripped from the chips of the original pinball tables. They go here ... \Visual Pinball\VPinMAME\roms. This Rom will work in coordination with the Table - Tables go here ... \Visual Pinball\Tables. A bunch of coders/artists/wizards work together to meticulously recreate the pinball Table in the VPX editor. The Table will be scripted in a way to tell the Table to look for a certain Rom, so that is important. To figure out which Rom the Table is using, open the Table, then go into the script of VPX and search for "Gamename". That will show the name of the Rom that the Table is trying to use. Download that Rom in order to get the Table that you are interested in to play.

- The above steps will be a good start. Try them and see if you can get one Table that uses a Rom to run (note that some original Tables that the community have created don't require a Rom, just in case you run across that situation). I have not detailed a lot of the other steps and settings, but I am not here to show a step by step process. I will leave it up to you to dig in a bit more and troubleshoot yourself the best you can. If you have done that with other stand alone emulators, I am pretty sure you will be able to stumble your way through this too. I will answer questions as I can, but please try your best alone first. Also, stay away from any tables that require Pup Packs. That is a whole other chapter that you dive into one day after you learn how the basics work. I personally stay away from them, as I find all the videos and stuff distracting during gameplay. I would also stay away from any pre-built downloads that have the entire build already done for you. These generally cause more problems and questions than it is worth. Learning how all the pieces work together will ensure you know how to troubleshoot your build later on. Also, for now, stay away from any Tables that require UltraDMD or FlexDMD - you first want to learn how to run the tables that use the basic built in DMD (scores window).

If you get the table/rom running, come back in here and I can give you more tips. Getting the DMD setup can be confusing for some people, as also can getting the Table's view set to how you want. I am sure I left out a bunch, but hopefully this will get some of the brave people out there pointed in the right direction. Even though it was a big learning curve for me to get this all set up in my arcade build, it was well worth it. VPX/pinball is now my most played emulator in my Bigbox build.\

Some other resources for media...
The videos I made of my own gameplay. The clear logos I get from
https://www.vpforums.org along with most of the tables and roms. https://vpuniverse.com has a bunch of tables, roms and artwork too.The flyers I get from https://flyers.arcade-museum.com and https://www.ipdb.org/. And the rule sheets I get from http://www.pinballcards.com/ and http://www.pinballrebel.com/pinball/cards/. I convert the pinball cards (rules) to a PNG image, and place them in the LaunchBox\Manuals\Visual Pinball X folder. I have found the image format loads much faster and more smoothly than Launchbox's built in PDF reader.

Here is a showcase of my current VPX build...

=============================================================================
And if you master getting Visual Pinball X (VPX) installed and working, you can start making some DMD upgrades if you wish. There is an Add-on that a fellow from the Vpin community made that basically allows you to skin the DMD, taking from a lower resolution to a very high resolution and also gives you the ability to add borders and affects to the DMD to simulate glare and such; not only for the dot matrix DMD's, but also for the alphanumeric ones. Hopefully this helps some others out there that may be too scared to try, or are having issues setting up Freezy's DMDext 1.9.0. FYI - I am using a single landscape monitor with the DMD on the same monitor (desktop view). So, if you have a portrait monitor, mimicking a real table layout and backglass/DMD on a second monitor, this video may not be the best tutorial for you. Though, it will at least familiarize you with the settings. Info and download links to DMDext v1.9.0: https://www.vpforums.org/index.php?sh... And if you are brave enough to start trying to colorize Freezy's DMD, see this forum thread (it is easy, so go for it!) : https://vpuniverse.com/forums/topic/5...

 

 

Edited by ItchyRobot
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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, i configured platform Visual Pinball X on my Launchbox and games works perfectly but i have 2 problems.

I've Installed all in secondary hard disk here D:\LaunchBox\Emulators\Visual Pinball\VPinballX.exe

PROBLEM 1 :

Every game that i launch appairs a notify windows security  User Account Control (UAC) prompt telling us a program is starting up that we intentionally launched.

so i must click OK every time for every play. I Resolve this if i change UAC Control at maximum slow (never notify) but not is sure for my Windows 10 and i don't want this method.

I check the other way here : https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/stop-annoying-uac-prompts-how-to-create-a-user-account-control-whitelist-windows/

I Follow this tutorial, i create a task but when i create the shortcut nothing happens, maybe i do an error in this.

This is the general method for to create a shortcut. Put this inside C:\Windows\System32\schtasks.exe /RUN /TN "Name Of Folder\Name Of Task"

I've Installed all in secondary hard disk here D:\LaunchBox\Emulators\Visual Pinball\VPinballX.exe 

so i try Visual Pinball as name of folder and name of my process is NOUAC

but nothing.

Any solutions ??

 

PROBLEM 2 :

A lot of games of Visual Pinball X that i launch appears a message of Copyright, is this :

Usage of emulators in conjunction with ROMs you don't own is forbidden by copyright law. IF YOU ARE NOT LEGALLY ENTITLED TO PLAY [game name] ON THIS EMULATOR.

I must select Yes, i am everytime. It's very boring. I don't like it!

 

Please help me to resolve this 2 problems...

Thanks.

Mark

 

PROBLEM1.jpg

PROBLEM2.jpg

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2 hours ago, marcosgaming said:

Every game that i launch appairs a notify windows security

Visual Pinball X does not need to run with admin privileges. If you right click VPinballX.exe > Compatibility, make sure "Run as Administrator" is unticked.

2 hours ago, marcosgaming said:

A lot of games of Visual Pinball X that i launch appears a message of Copyright, is this :

I only have a handful of tables in Visual Pinball X and do not recall seeing that message, but in LaunchBox I have set up Visual PinBall X like this:

837355702_Schermopname(103).thumb.jpg.43fe5ccc1064d3f07a005335e1e25077.jpg

With command-line parameters: -minimized -exit -play

Edited by Koroth
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1 hour ago, marcosgaming said:

Try with table AC/DC but are 50% tables that give me this alert. 

Ok. I tied with the AC-DC Pro-1.0 table. To run that tables you need a rom. When I put the rom in the VPinMAME\roms folder and launched the table I got that disclaimer, but only the first time. If you tick "Yes, I am" > OK, the second time you launch that table you won't get that disclaimer anymore.

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49 minutes ago, marcosgaming said:

But problem 2 is always present. 

You should only have to select "Yes, I am" the 1st time you use a specific rom.  "Rom"... not to be confused with "table" (pinball machine).  The 'rom' from your image would be "acd_168h.zip" and is (supposed to be) located in your ../Visual Pinball/VPinMame/roms/  folder.  Once you agree by clicking "Yes, I am", it will save a file in the ../VPinMame/nvram/  folder (in this case, it would be "acd_168h.nv") and you won't get that prompt again [for that particular rom].

Check your nvram folder and see if anything has been saved there.  If the folder is empty (or at least doesn't contain acd_168h.nv), that would explain why you're seeing that message every time you launch your AC/DC LE table.  If it's not there, then you need to figure out why it's not saving it.  I assume your are clicking Yes when prompted.

Why it not saving?:  If you installed Visual Pinball in your "C:\Program Files" [or C:\Program Files (x86)] directory, chances are you have a permissions issue.  If it's installed under C:\Users\yourName\someFolder... (which can include 'Desktop'), it's probably a permissions thing as well.  That can all be resolved (NOT by running VPinballX.exe as admin) by some screwing around with Windows, but that can be a pain in it's own right.  If this is the case (Permissions), the easiest resolution is to (re)install Visual Pinball somewhere else.  Even "C:\Visual Pinball" would work.  But you'd have to reinstall vs simply moving the folders/files.

If that's not the case, check the Path setting in VPinMame.  (run setup.exe located in ..VPinMame/ folder).  Click Setup Paths and verify the paths.  Specifically NVRAM:.  If that all looks good, click Cancel, then click Install.  Installing (again) won't undo anything you have, just 'refresh' it  . In a manner of speaking.

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On 9/3/2021 at 10:35 AM, marcosgaming said:

Hi, no no all works perfectly but i wouldn't that screen disclaimers appear for every rom.

I know when i confirm Yes, i am, the table not show me more disclaimer...

I ask just if any knows how to accept this disclaimer automatically for all roms..if is possible....

THANKS. :)

No way around it, and not a problem for people that build their own collection since they usually load one table at a time, adding art and accepting nag screen as they go. I have a feeling you have acquired a bulk set of roms and are trying to bulk import them. Just deal with the nag screen, accept them as they pop up and eventually you will never have to deal with them again once you have accepted each one. But do know that you will have to take the step of accepting the nag screen with each new table you add in the future. The good thing is that you wont have to do it for tables that you have already added/accepted and update as new mods come out.

Edited by ItchyRobot
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On 9/3/2021 at 9:35 AM, marcosgaming said:

Hi, no no all works perfectly but i wouldn't that screen disclaimers appear for every rom.

I know when i confirm Yes, i am, the table not show me more disclaimer...

I ask just if any knows how to accept this disclaimer automatically for all roms..if is possible....

THANKS. :)

If comfortable with registry then can do it.  There are registry keys for each rom here:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Freeware\Visual PinMame\

If you go to the default key (you may have to make default key if not present):

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Freeware\Visual PinMame\default

and set the skip_disclaimer key to 1 then any NEW ROMs launched will always take the default key settings first (i.e., will default to no nag). For keys already generated for a ROM then there are some tools floating around that will go through and set keys for any existing ROMs in registry.  

There are some tools like VPTools and SetDMD which allow you to modify some registy entries and do global changes but mostly for positioning, etc. I don't see option to change that flag in those two tools. 

It is also a reason to make sure you back up that registry set if you ever change your PC out to keep your settings in place.  

Capture.thumb.PNG.f4c1afb792b76fdbedbd8345b2e9d3b6.PNG

 

Edited by sundogak
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I have added a tutorial for upgrading your DMD from the default DMD to Freezy's DMD. This allows for higher resolution DMDs for both the dot matrix and alphanumeric DMDs. And if you are brave enough, I have also included steps on how to colorize some of the tables DMDs.

See the second video in my first post.

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  • 7 months later...
51 minutes ago, Alumriel said:

Thanks for this guide. My end goal is to setup a combined arcade/pinball setup, with a monitor stand that "transforms" from arcade mode to pinball mode. I will also have a DMD and "backglass" monitor up above, so I'm hoping that will work with Bigbox.

Here is the TV stand I just purchased - https://www.buystuffarcades.com/products/t-t-transforming-tv-stand

lol I'm trying to import exactly this part to Germany, I just think it's mega

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