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Creature from the Black Lagoon 2.3
*** Version 2.3 ***
NOTE: On version 2.2 of this table, I enclosed a beta version of BAM that is needed to play this table. BAM v1.4-267 has been released on November 9, 2019. You should upgrade to it and any future version. I have tested BAM v1.4-267 on this table it works perfectly. You can download the most current version at the following link. This installation file installs both 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.
Nitronimbus mixed a whole new sound track for this table! He brought my "alternate" version to a whole new level. I only replaced 5 songs on the "alternate" option on Version 2.2. He replaced every song with the original artist and then mixed a new version of the sound effects, voices and music in stereo. Those of you that like original versions of tables may not like it but I think it is great.
The download only contains two library files. Just replace the library files that you have currently saved with these two new files which have the same names. You can use these new library files for any version of the table but I recommend using version 2.2 that I consider to be the best. There is a third library that was included in the downloads of previous versions of the table that is named "criatura_fuentes.fpl". It contains fonts for the DMDs. You need to continue to use this file in order for the table to play correctly.
If you have played this table as many times as I have, the new sound track helps to freshen it up a bit. I hope you enjoy it! Thank you Nitronimbus!
*** Version 2.2 ***
I am enclosing a beta version of BAM (version 264) in the download that is needed to play this table. Although it is a beta version, I have found it works very well and have not experienced problems with it. The installation is simple. Just swap the "BAM.dll" file in your BAM folder with the one that is included in the download. You should upgrade when the final BAM version 1.4-264 or later version is released. I have added some new lighting options that require use of this beta version.
I initially thought I would make some simple changes to this table to bring it up to date. Then I noticed that the frame rate wouldn't go above 30 FPS on my PC and decided this would have to be a major change. The cause of the low frame rate was that the script used some executable and "eval" commands which are scanned by Windows Defender real time protection and require a massive amount of system resources. The scan uses enough resources that it causes the low frame rate even on a high end PC. You can fix the problem by turning off real time protection but that is not very desirable. I converted the executable and "eval" commands to their longer versions and the table plays at 60 FPS on my PC. I ended up having to consult Francisco on how to convert some of the code.
I added the same lighting effects that I have added to other tables but have incorporated some of BAM's newest features to adjust the brightness of all the light inserts on the playfield and lights on the backglass. I added the same options as on other tables but also added a new mode that I call "Night Glow" mode. This mode has dark ambient lighting with bright light inserts on the playfield. Gimli added another mode he calls "Old Renderer" which uses the "FP Original" system of lighting. This is for use on PCs that have problems with poor frame rate. All the other lighting modes use "New Renderer" which requires more system resources. Gimli also added a new menu option to adjust these or you can press the "Special 1" key. Like on previous versions, I added an option for "End User Settings". You can set this up by following directions in Notes file included in the download.
I have added dynamic flippers and tweaked the XML code from the previous versions. Up until now the table used Zed double flippers. I was unable to make the Zed flippers work with the dynamic flippers so I deleted the hidden flippers. I tried numerous settings but the dynamic double flippers ended up being sluggish and had poor accuracy. After removing the invisible flipper, the improvement was incredible. The flippers became responsive and very accuracate. In fact, you can now hit the snackbar with a cradled ball with either flipper.
I have never really been happy with the texture for the ramps. I thought it should be darker and more transparent so it matched closer to videos I have watched of the real table. This is not as easy as it might seem. I tried numerous textures and settled on one that seemed to be an unlikely candidate before I tried it. I managed to achieve my goal for the appearance and managed to make the center lane more visible. I added some new lighting there also.
I have provided an alternate set of libraries where I replaced some of the original music with the more popular versions of the music from the 50's. If you want an authentic recreation of the Bally table, you won't want to use this alternate version. I think it is fun to play this way and Francisco likes it. The original versions of the libraries are still available in the download.
After watching a video of a table, I figured out where to add a voice quote that I had after watching the video of the table. Voice quotes can be difficult because published rule sheets for table don't normally identify all the voice quotes and where they are used. Anyway, I added a new voice quote when the table is tilted.
There are several other changes that I made. I changed the background color of the DMDs using one of the new BAM features. I replaced instruction cards on the apron with new ones. I added some additional lights under the slingshots and set up some shadow maps. I added some new table loading textures discussed in the Notes PDF file. Also discussed in the PDF are adjustments to the settings for ball and flipper shadows. Francisco abandoned a flasher that I decided to use in the upper right corner. I added a blink pattern to it that runs during the attract mode.
This is one of my favorite tables. I guess I like it because I have always liked the movie and it's two sequels plus playing it brings back fond memories of drive-in theaters. I admit that I have been putting off updating it because it is the most complex of any table on which I have worked. It is even more complex now and has over 10,000 lines of code in the script. There are day and night versions of the table with each having a version with a full game room for those of you that like using VR headsets. Each day and night version has a partial room for those of you that have a pinball cabinet or need a version that is lighter on PC resources. Plus I have a day and night version for rotated display, all discussed in the Notes PDF file. I hope you enjoy this revision!
*** Version 2.1 ***
The most visible change on this version are the cars above the K-I-S-S lane and on the apron. Back when I started the modification of Francisco's table, I thought about providing a version with the car mod. I decided against it because it wasn't practical to provide another version in addition to all the other versions. Then on version 2.0, Gimli made the mock pinball tables disappear on some of the room options. It made me think about the car mod and whether we could make the cars disappear. I thought I might be able to provide a version where all the versions have the car mod but anyone who does not want the car mod could just make them invisible. It turned out Gimli could make the cars invisible and so here is a new version with the car mod. He added a new menu item for the car mod which has an option where you can turn the cars off (or make them invisible). Gimli implemented the car mod a bit differently than Francisco by providing an animated option plus two other options for still cars. Like the other options on the menu, he set this option up so it saves your setting and uploads it the next time you load the table.
The main reason I wanted to create a new version is to fix a stuck ball problem. When the path to the Whirlpool opens up during multiball and Creature Feature, the ball would get stuck where the ramp makes a half circle turn. Oddly, I never experienced this problem until version 2.0. On version 2.1, I added some extra kickers on the half circle ramp to prevent the ball from getting stuck. While I was adding the kickers, I noticed some fit and finish issues on the half circle ramp. The half circle ramp was quite a bit wider in the center than at the entrance or exit and so I made it all the same width. I reshaped the plastic in the center of the half circle ramp which then required me to rework the texture for it.
One of the guys on the GoPinball forum noticed black streaks on the texture for the black lagoon pond in the center of the playfield (specifically the green leaves on the top and the fish on the bottom). He called it "z-fight" which occurs when two different textures are "fighting" each other. He suggested elevating the surface it was on but raising the surface somehow made it interfere with the hologram of the lagoon itself. I found a fix by adding the texture to an overlay instead of the surface. It worked.
Wild happened to find out about a change to BAM where you can add an XML file to the script. It is simple to do and saves the end user having to deal with an XML file. I verified this change was implemented back in 2013 (BAM v1.0-56). I may have read about the change at the time it was released but it was long before I ever started creating custom physics so I guess it never sunk in. Needless to say that I added the XML files for custom physics to the script. NOTE that none of the custom physics versions have XML files now. The XML files have been added to the script.
Gimli also found a minor script error that was fixed.
European users that have Windows 7 N were experiencing this table crashing because it uses swapable textures in the script. Windows 7 N is a special European version of Windows without the Windows Media Player. The crashing was due to a bug in Better Arcade Mode (BAM). The good news is that it has been fixed. Those of you who live in countries that are part of the European Economic Area, Croatia, or Switzerland and have Windows 7 N need to upgrade BAM to version v1.4-207 or later if you have not updated BAM since April 20, 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.
I have added another version of the table that has been created for use on a rotated display. 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. This version will not be useful on pinball cabinets or PCs which have a normal landscape orientation. 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. This version of the table is only available with the Day option with partial room and custom physics. If you use this version, please provide some feedback. I would like to know if anyone is using it.
I don't anticipate making any new versions of this table unless there are bug fixes needed. I think the table is developed about as far as possible unless someone wants to add something like movie clips. I have really enjoyed working on this table and it was a learning experience as well. I would like to thank everyone that helped, especially Popotte who fixed a bug that no one else could figure out and of course Gimli who added so much like the car mod, multiplayer fix and a menu. This table has been something of a showcase for the new script additions that have been added with BAM. This is due entirely to Gimli who has always been the pioneer of new technology on pinball tables.