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Slamt1lt's Collection: Phantom of the Opera ULTIMATE 1.04-3
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.
=== Phantom of the Opera ULTIMATE 1.04-3 ===
I suppose I am getting forgetful in my old age. When I changed the code for the flipper omega, I copied the code from another table and pasted it into this one. I never changed the values for flipper omega that had been entered for the other table. It didn't play badly with the new values but I liked the old ones better for this table. This version has the flipper omega set back to what it was on Version 1.04-1 but I kept the new coding.
When I changed the lights to round or shapeable on Version 1.04-2, I tried moving the halos either under the apron or under the backboard which makes them not visible. This makes the light have uniform brightness. A halo makes the center of the light brighter. The halo works to good effect on the candelabras because it makes the light appear to brighten a darkened room as a candle might. I don't like it on the status lights but it is the only way to make a light brighter without using BAM. So on Version 1.04-2, I moved the halos back over the top of the lights using the lowest possible glow radius so they would be brighter. The lights didn't look bad this way. Then, I discovered something about lighting using BAM that I did not know before. There is an option called "PostFX". When I turn it on, the lights become brighter and darker when it is turned off. When I turned it on for Version 1.04-2 of the table, the lights became too bright. In fact, they were so bright that the text on the lights became washed out, especially for the white lights. I decided to try hiding the halos as I did before with "PostFX" turned on and the lights were the perfect brightness. So I decided to publish Version 1.04-3 with the hidden halos. Unfortunately, I can't turn on "PostFX" for you. It is something you need to do yourself. To change it, open the BAM menu. Select the "Plugins" menu and press enter. You will see "Plugin: Pinball High Score". Arrow down, highlight this option and press the right arrow key. This will display the option for "PostFX". Arrow down to "Enable" and right arrow to change the "No" to "Yes". That is it.
On Version 1.04-2, I changed the flipper omega but left the halos set over the top of the lights. So you can play Version 1.04-2 without turning on "PostFX" but still have the corrected flippers. Personally, I prefer using Version 1.04-3 and turn on "PostFX".
I can see why some table developers hide the halos for their lights on their tables while others keep them centered on the light. I suspect the guys that don't hide the halos didn't know about BAM's "PostFX".
=== Phantom of the Opera ULTIMATE 1.04-2 ===
This version changes the status lights on the playfield. Francisco and the other guys that built the original table set up the status lights on the playfield in a way I have not seen before. They used a single lens texture on every light. To add the text to the lights, they added an overlay over the entire playfield which used a texture that was invisible except for the black text which laid on top of the lights. This method had the disadvantage of adding a thin white line around the perimeter of the black text. This made the text on the lights look a little fuzzy. I published version 1.04-1 with a modified version of the text overlay and the lights in front of the flippers didn't look right. One of the guys on the forum said he had to squint at the black spots on the bottom lights of version 1.04-1. I decided to change them to shapeable lights. I added the lens texture to the playfield and laid the text on top of the lens texture, negating the need for the overlay. It looked really good and eliminated the white line around the perimeter of the black text. I decided to rework all the status lights on the table in the same way. I can see why the original builders didn't do this because creating shapeable lights is very time consuming but I decided the time was worth it because this has been a popular table. The shapeable lights make it possible on the grasshopper and scorpion lights to illuminate the parts of the light where it comes to a point. There are candelabras on the left and right sides of the picture of the phantom which light up when the ball drains. The light used to be circular but I changed it to a shapeable light also and makes it look much better. I also changed the higher resolution version of the playfield texture to add the lenses that I discussed in version 1.04-1 below and the directions are there on how to change to it are there.
This is the last of the tables where I need to fix the bounce control. We are defining bounce control as the amount of bounce the ball makes when it hits a stationary flipper. When I posted the first version of this table, I was having trouble figuring out how to adjust bounce control. I have upgraded bounce control to Ravarcade's latest version of the code and adjusted the values. Gimli has also modified the code a bit and I am using that version on this table. Gimli turns bounce control off when the ball is cradled by the flipper. I have found it plays just like the version where bounce control is active all the time but I get better scores for reasons I am unable to explain.
I prefer to have low bounce from stationary flippers although I have found that passes are possible from one flipper to the other with my settings. However, I know a few folks that want more bounce. Changing the bounce control settings is difficult because there are 4 parameters in the script that you have to adjust. To make it easier, I have provided a list in the comments of the script for 12 sets of predetermined values that can be entered into the bounce control code. The script includes directions on how to make the changes and requires no special skill. Just look for "BOUNCE CONTROL" in the script. You can use these same values on all the tables that I have posted which have dynamic flippers.
The new version changes the way to enter the omega values for the flippers. I set up constants where you can just enter the omega values you want into the 2 locations in the script. On version 1.04-1, I had to use a calculator every time I wanted to change the omega values. Version 1.04-2 uses the exact same math as version 1.04-1 but lets Future Pinball do the calculations whenever a change is made to the constants so it is not necessary to use a calculator anymore. The settings are easily changed by an end user but I have found that most end users aren't interested in changing the flipper omega but more often want to change bounce control.
This version also fixes a minor flaw in the script for dynamic flippers. The calculation of flipper omega is applied to both flippers at the same time on version 1.04-1. There would only be a problem if two balls hit both flippers at the same time, which never occurs on a table with two main flippers. It is much more likely to be a problem during multiball on tables that have three or more flippers. The new version calculates flipper omega so it is only applied to one flipper at a time.
I have added a new texture for a portrait loading screen in addition to the old landscape one. I created the portrait version mainly for the "Rotated Display" version of the table but those of you that have pinball cabinets may find it useful also. Both textures have been saved to both versions of the table. If you would like to switch to different texture, open the Future Pinball editor for the table and click on the "Tables" pull down menu. Then select the "Table Info" option. Under the option for "Loading Picture", you can select either of the following:
I made some minor changes to the surfaces and textures around the plunger area to improve their appearance.
These changes update this table to the latest developments of dynamic flippers. On updates to other tables, I deleted the old versions of tables when I fixed the bounce control. I decided to keep version 1.04-1 for nostalgic reasons because it is the first table to use dynamic flippers. I think it still plays pretty well but version 1.04-2 is better.
=== Phantom of the Opera ULTIMATE 1.04-1 ===
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.