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Future pinball physics


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#1 johnsmith194

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 11:06 PM

Ive read about how much VP users whine about future pinball's physics being broken or wrong. While playing future pinball I understood what they meant. But that problem may be simple, I noticed that the marble spins on itself way too much so when you push it with a flipper it can do unwanted results. Sometimes I hold in on the flipper and I notice that it can stay 3000ms on the flipper before stopping spinning on itself. I think fixing this will make the VP users stop crying about the physics being lame. Is there anyone else who noticed about the marble spinning too much?

You guys should try this, play with the marble a while and hold it on a flipper and count how long it spins. It really wouldn't do this on an actual pinball machine. If you can't see it spin check out the graphical options and make sure ball marks and high quality pinball model are checked.

#2 Rawd

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 11:17 PM

Yes, the spinning of the ball casues problems also due to the fact that you cannot change the friction values on objects. eg.. The ball will rebound with spin the same off of a metal rail as it does a rubber. There is also an issue with the acceleration of the ball I think. The whole physics engine could use a revamp, but that is doubtful to happen.

I never had a problem with FP physics until I played VP9. I still use both emulators on my cabinet, but I decided to start learning the VP editor because the FP physics just hurt me too much now. sad.gif



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#3 destruk

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 11:30 PM

Does that explain how a slingshot kicker arm can fire and send the ball straight up?
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#4 Rawd

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 11:40 PM

QUOTE (destruk @ Jul 23 2010, 05:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Does that explain how a slingshot kicker arm can fire and send the ball straight up?


It does all kinds of weird things. I have had the ball hit a flat metal rail at a 45 degree angle, and then rebound back at the same angle at me. The physics are somehow tied into the frames per second as well, because they run differently with v-sync on and off.


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#5 billlpa

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 02:10 PM

Has anyone noticed better gameplay (dare I say physics) in different camera modes? I swear it plays better (more realistic) playing top view than some of the other fixed 3/4 views. And I have noticed a difference with vsync on and off as well. Can't quite place my finger on it though.

#6 Noah Fentz

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 04:31 PM

QUOTE (johnsmith194 @ Jul 23 2010, 07:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ive read about how much VP users whine about future pinball's physics being broken or wrong. While playing future pinball I understood what they meant. But that problem may be simple, I noticed that the marble spins on itself way too much so when you push it with a flipper it can do unwanted results. Sometimes I hold in on the flipper and I notice that it can stay 3000ms on the flipper before stopping spinning on itself. I think fixing this will make the VP users stop crying about the physics being lame. Is there anyone else who noticed about the marble spinning too much?

You guys should try this, play with the marble a while and hold it on a flipper and count how long it spins. It really wouldn't do this on an actual pinball machine. If you can't see it spin check out the graphical options and make sure ball marks and high quality pinball model are checked.


You really should choose your vernacular more carefully in the future. 'Whining' and 'crying' is just asking for trouble.

I fully support both programs. I've neither whined nor cried over the FP physics, but there is more than just the spinning that needs work. Hopefully, Black will continue to develop FP.

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#7 Shockman

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:05 PM

I don't blame Chris for the problem with physics.
I think Newton has dropped the ball. They obviously have the knowhow and incentive to refine pinball physics in their engine, And Chris may have been counting on this. Early there was at least one update to Newton that addressed at least one issue with pinball physics in FP. However, with a program as good as FP is, Newton should have used the popularity of FP as a baseline to improve the physics of their engine, in terms of pinball directly, but in doing so, overall as well.

Having said that. The settings for the options are too limited in my opinion. They are set within a tight range that is one mans idea of right. They are also there I believe to constrain the user to parts being used as intended. I believe that the selection restrictions, the building restrictions, and setting restrictions are such that the physics engines capabilities are still a mystery. In other words you can not evaluate a physics engine with your hands tied behind your back.



#8 The Loafer

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:11 PM

Physics: I'm pretty sure it was confirmed a long time ago that physics are tied to the frame rate. I can confirm that when I upgraded my video card, I got more enjoyment out of FP, and I'm not talking about using more bells and whistles visually, I'm talking playability.

#9 rob046

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 06:04 PM

Yeah FP actually has a physics counter (damn can't think of what its called) that is much like a fps counter. The higher that is the safer you are, I suppose, from having odd things happen with physics?

I don't know, I don't put much stock in that. Cuz ever since FP has been out I've used a number of gpu's, all very high end. so frame rate & horsepower wasn't an issue on most/all tables. Yet I still get the same issues as everybody else.

Actually FP's physics if you take flippers, really isn't too bad. Things can be tweaked to make it all feel pretty damn real.
& I've found that with the flippers, the faster/stronger you set them, the better they are. Cuz they get more snap. Hell if I know why FP's flipper strength is slowed down by simply slowing down the flip of the flipper. Which is a shame cuz there are so many EM, early SS type tables that could play a lot better. You pretty much need to set flipper strength (aka speed) halfway just to get a somewhat proper, realistic stroke.

Slingshots, I used to have a pretty big issue with these, but playing lately I'm not noticing the crazy stuff quite like I used to a few years back (such as like destruk said, the slingshots slinging the ball in odd direction, like semi upwards).
I just played a game & for the most part the slings seemed very normal. Huh. Maybe I just havent played FP a ton since the very latest version came out? Yeah I really haven't played a ton of it in the past few years until recently I been batting around VP & FP again.

The ball spin thing, yeah that is visually annoying, but it doesn't seem to affect physics. While I can see the ball rolling while cradled in my flipper, its not moving, which is the most important thing. & it doesn't happen every time. Sometimes I trap the ball & the spin stops as it should.
So as usual FP is hard to deal with sometimes, but other times its a delight! I may not ever fully embrace it, but I'm never gonna ditch it either. Always had that kind of relationship with FP, what it does well, it does well. I had fun building a few tables in it. Its just nice to have something other than VP sometimes. & lets face it, FP's eye candy, visuals, helps make up for a lot of its shortcomings. & the other nice thing about it is that as the months pass more & more people have capable graphics cards that can run FP well. When FP first came out, not many people did. Now nearly everybody does.

#10 Pinbotic

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:12 AM

That "physics counter" is news to me. I have always been using high performance parts in my computer and I never really understood why people said FP physics are so bad, but I guess that on a weaker computer they may be atrocious. The flippers are the only part that I would say needs work, but they can be partially fixed with a little bit of tweaking by using the same methods that rob046 suggested.
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#11 destruk

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 04:33 AM

Some players are annoyed by ball ghosting on LCDs more than others, some are more annoyed by physics issues than others, no matter how ideally perfect they may appear to yourself. It's different for everybody even on the most advanced latest hardware (less than 2 weeks old) there will be something that someone out there isn't going to like.
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#12 rob046

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:51 AM

QUOTE (Pinbotic @ Jul 24 2010, 10:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
That "physics counter" is news to me. I have always been using high performance parts in my computer and I never really understood why people said FP physics are so bad, but I guess that on a weaker computer they may be atrocious. The flippers are the only part that I would say needs work, but they can be partially fixed with a little bit of tweaking by using the same methods that rob046 suggested.


There is a physics counter. Its right with the fps counter, F9 I think. You never checked your fps before?
Yeah, FP is nice in that it has counters for fps, tri's, op's, & physics, all displayed by hitting F9 (maybe its F8, but one of those 2).

#13 Jerry Winter

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Posted 27 July 2010 - 03:31 PM

I agree with the named problems above my post, FP has in fact some physical troubles as you can notice by playing a longer time.

But as we know, FP is a virtual machine with a lot of parameters to change and in my opinion I think a lot of problems can be fixed by the right adjustment. For example slingshot-strength, some ramp angles, bumper-power and a lot of more. I donīt wanna say that every user has to change the full adjustment before playing first but every player has another likes and dislikes and this is what Iīm trying to say: Individual tables needs individuel adjustments and we should see us advanced to have the possibility to change some angles, powers or something else what in the "Real World"...playing "Real Pinball Machines" may be impossible. I.E. two flipper-fingers donīt have to be adjusted in the same angle...start-angle and swing-angle can differ from right to left...sometimes it is necessary to use different values. The same is imperative for kicker-strength and direction, two things they has to be preset meticulous.
One of my aims during creating a pinball table is that every ball that leaves a ramp or a kicker lands on a "finger"...Iīve seen tables before where the ball reaction after leaving one of the named elements remembers more on a rodeo ride...without any ball control...and that is what I try to avoid.

I donīt wanna bother someone or be the smart guy...this post is just a little notice how some problems can be fixed without a lot of work.


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#14 highrise

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:05 PM

I'd like to hold my hand up and declare myself proud to whine and cry about the physics in FP. The whole point of 'virtual' pinball is to suspend your disbelief and make you feel like you are playing on a real machine. As soon as it feels wrong, the illusion is broken. Sadly, that is how I would sum up FP. A broken illusion. Even though VP doesn't look as nice, I don't mind because it feels a lot better.

#15 Rawd

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:09 PM

QUOTE (highrise @ Jul 28 2010, 11:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Even though VP doesn't look as nice, I don't mind because it feels a lot better.


In my opinion, some of the newer VP tables look nicer than the nicest looking FP tables. The real time 3D lighting and shadows of FP are really nice to look at though.

Is this going to turn into another VP vs. FP thread? I hope so... I like the discussion. smile.gif


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#16 The Loafer

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:29 PM

QUOTE (highrise @ Jul 28 2010, 01:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd like to hold my hand up and declare myself proud to whine and cry about the physics in FP. The whole point of 'virtual' pinball is to suspend your disbelief and make you feel like you are playing on a real machine. As soon as it feels wrong, the illusion is broken. Sadly, that is how I would sum up FP. A broken illusion. Even though VP doesn't look as nice, I don't mind because it feels a lot better.



At some point in the future, a better simulator will come out that will do a better job of providing better physics, collision detection, graphics, etc... which means VP9 as it is will fail to suspend disbelief and you may then feel its not worth playing. Not saying you're wrong, just saying...

IMHO, this is where there is a break in opinion. For me, virtual pinball means "a video interpretation of pinball". It implies no realism as nothing can meet and approach real pinball; as we are talking about two completely different things. It's like saying "playing a good FPS is the same as firing a real gun", to which I'd say balony! My interpretation has advantages: I can still play "Night Mission pinball" on the Apple II+ and still find it fun to play. Same thing with Alien Crush pinball, or Pinball Dreams, or whatever.

Don't read the above as a diss on your own interpretation, it's not meant as such. We all have our standards and your standards I guess are higher. That's cool. As long as we're enjoying what we're playing, that's all that counts.

#17 Bob5453

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:51 PM

I made the same 2 tables with FP and VP. This means the same author using the same skills to make the same tables.

Conclusion. Future Pinball makes great screenshots and Visual Pinball is great for playing the table.

Future pinball is fun to tinker with, Visual Pinball can be a bitch to tinker with. Newbies probably should use FP for playing and building, learn to crawl first, then learn to walk and run later with VP. To me, it's not a Ginger or Mary Ann decision as I would play with either of them. smile.gif That's my opinion and really, who gives a rat's arse about my opinion anyway. Play the one you like or play both of them, but whenever you ask a question about FP physics, then expect someone to post that FP's physics suck....

Maybe if FP used a steel ball instead of a marble....


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#18 Rawd

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Posted 28 July 2010 - 05:53 PM

BTW Bob.. I enjoy looking at, AND playing your FP tables.




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#19 Shockman

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 03:18 PM

QUOTE (The Loafer @ Jul 28 2010, 12:29 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (highrise @ Jul 28 2010, 01:05 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd like to hold my hand up and declare myself proud to whine and cry about the physics in FP. The whole point of 'virtual' pinball is to suspend your disbelief and make you feel like you are playing on a real machine. As soon as it feels wrong, the illusion is broken. Sadly, that is how I would sum up FP. A broken illusion. Even though VP doesn't look as nice, I don't mind because it feels a lot better.



At some point in the future, a better simulator will come out that will do a better job of providing better physics, collision detection, graphics, etc... which means VP9 as it is will fail to suspend disbelief and you may then feel its not worth playing. Not saying you're wrong, just saying...

IMHO, this is where there is a break in opinion. For me, virtual pinball means "a video interpretation of pinball". It implies no realism as nothing can meet and approach real pinball; as we are talking about two completely different things. It's like saying "playing a good FPS is the same as firing a real gun", to which I'd say balony! My interpretation has advantages: I can still play "Night Mission pinball" on the Apple II+ and still find it fun to play. Same thing with Alien Crush pinball, or Pinball Dreams, or whatever.

Don't read the above as a diss on your own interpretation, it's not meant as such. We all have our standards and your standards I guess are higher. That's cool. As long as we're enjoying what we're playing, that's all that counts.


I here you Rob. I have never understood people that said, and I have read it a few time here, that they were fine with FP until they tried VP. But I certainly don't understand people that say at the right settings, FP provides better physics, or the right frame rate, because I never even played FP if I could not sustain 60 FPS at max quality, and I could since it's release, except when I burned up my GTO, and when I bought new computers without the GTs that would go in then. I tried FP first thing with each of the new computers and built in or provided GPUs and it worked with all of them, though not at full speed, and because of that I did not use FP nor comment on FP based on that. I can deal with a premium spec PC as niche hardware, because it is going to soon be a below standard, unlike cabinets which will always be a negligible niche.

However, getting back to the first point. The physics working with the right settings. That is no reason nor excuse. These physics in particular, if not adjustable are totally worthless, to me, no value at all. Though I don't buy into it. If there was settings that would change the physics instead of adjust the physics, I would have found them, but that would have ruined FP for me as well.

It's kind of funny. FP has pretty much EVERYTHING that is on the wildest VP wish lists, and more people use VP, I think. Why is that?


#20 highrise

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 04:05 PM

You're right about old video pinball games like Pinball Fantasies etc, they are still fun to play. I love Pinball of the Dead on the GameBoy advance as well. However the problem with FP is that the graphics are in one generation and the physics in another. That's really the problem, because when you see the tables you think 'wow, this is the future!', and then you see the physics and you think 'oh, this is the past'.






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