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This is a great guide to using VP:  http://cold1.topcities.com

There is a VBScript reference here

 

 

 

 

 

The following FAQ is really old.  Is it here in case it accidentally helps anybody.

FAQ.  This is list of common questions and answers people have had with the tech beta

When I try to download it, it stops without finishing and tells me it's done.  I can't unzip the resulting file.
I'm having video problems, or I get errors about buffers when trying to play.

I can't get music to work.
Is Visual Pinball going to support integration with WPCMAME, to create accurate reproductions of existing pinball games?
I am new to scripting and I'm not sure how to start.  Is there a tutorial?
What is the licensing model of Visual Pinball?  Is it shareware, freeware, a demo?
The limit to image size seems to be 1000x1000.
How do I add/remove control points from a wall, target, or light?
What size image do I need to apply to the table?
Are there going to be built in shapes, images, and sounds?
Is there going to be an export function for images/sounds?
What is the Field Of View option on the main table?
Is there a way to change the background color for the table, or set an image?
Can I put a trigger on a ramp?
I am having problems changing the color of objects.

Q) When I try to download it, it stops without finishing and tells me it's done.  I can't unzip the resulting file.
A) One user found his C: partition was full, and had to clear out his Temp folder to get it.  One user had success using Getright (http://www.getright.com) after failing initially.
Another user had this to say (I'm not an expert on using the briefcase, so I'll use his words) "Instead of downloading to my briefcase, which never gave me a problem, I downloaded to my temp file."
All in all, I'm not sure why people are having this problem, it may be that my host has a time-out limit for downloads or something.  If possible, I will try to find a better place to host the file.

Q) I'm having video problems, or I get errors about buffers when trying to play.
A) If you are seeing some objects missing or being drawn wrong, try downloading the dogfood build, there is an important fix in it which will solve some problems.  This is a verified fix for people with voodoo3 cards.
If your screen resolution is below 912x764, try going to Preferences/Video Preferences and changing the window size to something below your resolution.
If you continue having problems, please send me mail or post to the forum with your operating system, video card, color depth, and any other system specs you can think of.  That way I can at least try to group together the people who are having problems and try to figure out what is causing it.

Q) I can't get music to work.
A) Right now, Alien Reactor is the only table with music.  So don't bother trying to get it to work with Top Speed or Wild West.

Q) Is Visual Pinball going to support integration with WPCMAME, to create accurate reproductions of existing pinball games?
A) It looks like a good project to plan for.  There are some technical difficulties to overcome.

Q) I am new to scripting and I'm not sure how to start.  Is there a tutorial?
A) Although there is no tutorial yet, looking at the script for the existing tables will help quite a bit.  VB is meant to be easy to learn, so don't be afraid to look.  There is a VBScript reference here.  You have to ignore the stuff that has to do with web pages - it's not separated very well.
Well, while I'm here I might as well go over the basics.  There are three main sections to script.  There is the header section, which defines global variables that any script function can look at and use, which looks like this "Dim Score".  There are event handlers, which look like this "Sub Bumper_Hit()", that are run when something happen on the table, in this case when the ball hits a bumper named Bumper.  Lastly, there are subroutines, which look like this "Sub AddScore()", which are called from event handlers to perform common tasks.  Pinball logic is usually not bad to understand, its just a large number of simple event handlers.  If you look through the event handlers of existing tables (look for the underscore '_'), you can get a good feel for how it works.

Q) What is the licensing model of Visual Pinball?  Is it shareware, freeware, a demo?
A) The current tech beta (and dogfood build) are freeware.  The final version may be different, but that's to be decided.

Q) The limit to image size seems to be 1000x1000.
A) Direct3D limits textures to 1024x1024.  VP does not check and error on larger sizes yet.

Q) How do I add/remove control points from a wall, target, or light?
A) If you right-click inside the object, near a wall, you will get an Add Point option.  If you select a point and hit the Delete key, it will go away.  There should be Edit/Delete from the menu, but as was pointed out to me, it's not there.

Q) What size image do I need to apply to the table?
A) Any size image (below the limit) will work, the image will be stretched to fit.  The default table size is 1000x2000, so your artwork should be twice as high as it is wide in order to look right.  If you go to the menu option File/Export/Blueprint, it will give you a bmp that you can start with, since it shows the layout of your table.  What I do is create an image with layers in Paint Shop Pro (http://www.jasc.com), add the exported image as a layer, and then I can fade in the outline to draw things in the right spot, and fade it out to save as a bitmap to import into VP.

Q) Are there going to be built in shapes, images, and sounds?
A) Yes, I want all of these eventually.  If there is a light or wall that you want to copy the shape of of, simply copy it, and then paste it onto your table.  You can scale and rotate it as needed by right clicking and selecting the proper option.

Q) Is there going to be an export function for images/sounds?
A) I would like to put one in, although this would in some ways comprise the ability of the table designer to keep their work to themselves.  Maybe an option.

Q) What is the Field Of View option on the main table?
A) This will eventually be in the help file, but since some people have asked:  FOV is a common term in 3D rendering; it refers how wide the scope of vision is.  A low FOV gives tunnel vision - you can only see what's directly in front of you, and object do not get smaller as they get farther away.  It is what the table would look like if somebody stood far away and photographed the table with a telephoto lens.  A large FOV gives a fisheye lens effect, with objects shrinking very rapidly as they get farther away.  The value used is pretty much a matter of preference.

Q) Is there a way to change the background color for the table.
A) Not yet, but there certainly will be.

A help file (VPinball.chm) is included in the tech beta download.  There is a shortcut to it from the start menu folder.  It is admittedly incomplete, but you may find answers there.

For a reference on the table scripting language, which uses Visual Basic scripting edition, look here.