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Slamt1lt's Collection: Phantom of the Opera ULTIMATE 1.04-1
NOTE: This table uses Dynamic Flippers that require use of BAM version 1.4-233 (or later) that was released on July 15, 2018. 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. The table can actually be played without using BAM but the performance is horrible.
This is Slamt1lt's version 1.04 before he removed it from his site. I have modified it as described below although I did not change anything that affects the game rules. I plan to continue posting modifications to Slamt1lt's tables if I get positive feedback.
One of the most appealing features of the real world Phantom Of The Opera table is the beautiful playfield. Unfortunately, the Future Pinball version of this table has never had a very good playfield texture. I looked through all the versions of this table and none had a playfield any larger than 1024x2048. It always looked grainy, even on a small monitor. Fortunately, Siggi was nice enough to lend his version of the playfield that merges a lot of photos from the internet and the final texture measures 3706x7055. You might think you can just enlarge the 1024x2048 version of the texture but it doesn't work. Enlarging an image basically just increases the size of the artifacts. It was problematic to add Siggi's playfield because it didn't fit the objects on the Future Pinball table. I ended up adding additional blank space around some of the edges and got it to match the main table objects as close as possible. I produced a texture 3736x7300. Then I moved all the lights and some of the triggers to match the new texture. Even more difficult was getting the text on the lights to align to the new playfield because these had all been saved as a single texture that fit the old playfield. ...But it was worth it because the table ended up looking beautiful. After I finished the playfield, I sent the table to Gimli to try out. He was unable to play it on his non-gaming PC. It was then I decided to resize it the playfield to 2048x4096 which is still high resolution and looks good on my PC. I did however save the 3736x7300 version into the texture manager. Those of you have a pinball cabinet and use a 4K monitor, may want to try out the larger version of the playfield. You do need a reasonably capable PC to run it. To use it, open the Texture Manager in the Future Pinball editor. Delete or rename the texture "playfieldonwork3" and rename "playfieldonwork3736x7300" as "playfieldonwork3". Siggi also created a set of plastics but I decided to not use them because the table already had high resolution plastics and in fact other textures are high resolution also. I suppose that Francisco and the other original table developers could not find resources for a better playfield texture but were able to find quality textures for everything else.
I created custom physics for this table. The XML file has been added to the script so you don't need to deal with and extra files other than the table itself. If you want to verify that the content of the XML file is working, you can open the BAM menu while playing a game and look at the bottom right side of the screen and verify that it says the following "Physics XML: from VBS script". If you want the ball to play faster, you can increase the table slope. Open the table editor and change the table slope from 6.8 in the right pane to the desired number. The limit is 10.0. Note that the changes will not take effect until you save and then you can play the table.
During the development of the custom physics, I started working on adjustment of the flippers. I found that Slam had adjusted the flippers correctly although I still wasn't satisfied with their performance. Then, Ravarcade posted a new version of BAM for Dynamic Flippers. Gimli helped me figure this out and so I applied this new technology to this table. I have found it really makes the flippers perform much better. It is one of the best enhancements to BAM that have been implemented in a long time. This modification of BAM has actually 3 different factors for flippers. 1) The geometry of the default flipper on Future Pinball is not quite right near the tip plus a single ball hit on the flippers registers as two hits so hitting the ball there can lead to inconsistent results. The fix is to add some code to the script. There is nothing for the table developer to do other than add the code to the script. 2) Gimli and I developed some code to make the flipper hit the ball harder the closer the ball hits the base of the flipper. The flippers don't hit the ball quite as hard as it gets closer to the tip. This makes the flippers perform more like real world flippers. 3) The final aspect of the change is the setting of the flipper elasticity has been enhanced. It is most noticeable when the ball hits a stationary flipper. The amount of bounce can be controlled in several ways. I have it set so you can do a "DeadPass" trick. This a simple trick where you can let the ball bounce off a stationary flipper and it bounces over to the other flipper. I have added some coding that allows to table to play without BAM version 1.4-233 but I don't like the way it performs because it turns off these flipper enhancements. You really owe it to yourself to try Dynamic Flippers.
Slam did not make the HUD Toggle Key work on this table so I added it. I have improved the way this works compared to my previous tables. All you need to do is press the HUD Toggle Key to toggle the heads up display (HUD) off and on. The setting is then saved to the fpRam file in your Future Pinball folder. When you close the table and open it the next time, the HUD will be set to the way you last changed it. If you delete the fpRam file for the table, the saved setting will go away and it will be set to the default (with the HUD turned on) the next time you open it. When you open the table editor and click on the "Table" menu and this click on "Table Info...", it will bring you to a screen that has a button named "Reset fpRam file to Defaults". This option actually deletes the fpRam file so clicking on this button will also delete your saved setting. Deleting the fpRam file also deletes any high scores that you have added.
Back on Slam's ULTIMATE version 1.01 of this table, he added an alternate sound track to the table but he also retained the original sound track. You can toggle between the two by pressing Special Key 1 on your keyboard. If you want the most authentic sound track that is like the Data East table, choose the "Classic" version. The default is the "Modern" mode that has a hoarse voice for the Phantom. The Phantom has an anonymous male voice on the classic mode. I like both versions and I occasionally switch between the versions for some variety. In the same way as the HUD Toggle Key, the setting is saved to the fpRam file for the table. When you close the table and open it the next time, it will be set to the way you last changed it. If the fpRam file gets deleted, the setting gets deleted in the same manner as I described for the HUD Toggle Key.
I performed a modification to the plunger so it operates more smoothly. It allows better control of the ball when it is launched. You should be able to make the skill shot more consistently if you remember how far back to pull the plunger when you make the shot. The plunger mod does require that you hold the plunger down a bit longer than on previous versions of the table. Just press the plunger key and hold it. Then watch the plunger withdraw and then release it at the point where you think you might make a skill shot. It won't work if you press and immediately release the plunger key.
When I was working on the playfield, I noticed the left side of the apron extended further up the table than the right side and was asymmetric. I reshaped it so the apron is the same height on both sides.
I also added a code to the script that extends the maximum number of points that can be awarded during a game from 40 billion to 922 trillion. I have yet to score one billion points during a game. The code will prevent you from having an unpleasant surprise ending to your game if you exceed 40 billion points. It is just about impossible to exceed 922 trillion points. Be aware that this function will not work unless you are using BAM version v1.4-183 or later.
I added a version of the table for use on a single monitor with a portrait orientation. This version will be of interest to you if the monitor on your PC can be rotated 90 degrees. I have added a screenshot of it that you can view on the "Images" tab of this posting. I have been adding this version to all the tables I revise because I build it for myself and it is not difficult to publish it. If you use this version, please provide some feedback. I would like to know if anyone is using it. NOTE: This version will not be useful on pinball cabinets or PCs which have a normal landscape orientation. The name of the download is "Phantom of the Opera ULTIMATE 1.04-1 Rotated Display.7z". The download includes directions on how to set up this version of the table.
I put quite a bit of work into this table mod. I feel like the new playfield texture, dynamic flippers and custom physics all come together and make it really pop. I hope you like it.