In praise of Arcooda Cabinet mode in Pinball Arcade!

codinghorror

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Aug 13, 2013
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I was a little skeptical of getting a cabinet mode through a third party, but after getting my $150 steam unlock key a day or two ago.. Well, I can finally report this works perfectly on my pincab. Launch the config option and it's exactly what you’d expect:

- provide coordinates of main playfield (monitor 1)
- provide coordinates of backglass (monitor 2)
- provide coordinates of DMD (monitor 3)

And boom-bam, all done, it “just works”.

You will have to enter the unlock key in the Pinball Arcade cabinet mode executable once you launch the game. It phones home to make sure the code is valid. I unlocked it just for testing on my desktop PC (which is in no way set up as an actual pincab, I just wanted to see if it worked at all), and then on my real pincab, and had no issues. I guess this is verified each time the game starts over the internet? I'm not sure.

- It’s not just a static bitmap image of the backglass; the backglass is dynamic now if it was in the game, some of them have relevant lights for scoring and game indicators and whatnot. Plus Banzai Run which has a playable backglass, though I don’t think they got that one set up in time.

- The DMD is also remapped to the LCD scores on early digital tables, so the table scores will show in the DMD screen when it makes sense, even without a "real" DMD on the original pinball, which is a nice touch.

- As far as the playfield goes, they even set up a proper direct overhead camera view for each table, which is kinda hard to do manually and IMO looks a bit weird… but a lot of cab owners like as it maximizes the playfield to the vertical monitor. Cycle playfield camera views in game by pressing C, and it remembers your last view choice. Now UPDATED with all 4 views as proper cabinet top down views!

They did a fair bit of work here, this is a legitimate cabinet mode, and IMO not a bad deal for $150 if you can get all the licensed tables you need before June 30…

As much as I appreciate the work that went into them, and I financially supported both, I definitely won’t miss the two hacked up hack executables I had to run independently to get rudimentary backglass and DMD support with Pinball Arcade prior to this. Having native support for a cabinet (aka double and triple monitor modes) in Pinball Arcade itself is so SO much easier.

It may have been a looooooooong time coming (and everyone's sad about the licensing apocalypse), but kudos to Arcooda and Farsight for making this happen.
 
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Jamman39

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Jan 1, 2013
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The only issue that I've had is that there are supposed to be 4 cabinet views each from slightly different heights. 3 of these views are zoomed way to far out, so much so that the virtual cabinet is viewable on the screen inside my cabinet. Once this is fixed I think this cabinet mode will be a 10/10 for me

I know a lot of people with 2 screen cabinets are having difficulties but I can't speak much too that
 

codinghorror

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Aug 13, 2013
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I actually prefer not having a direct overhead view because the table looks super flat and 2D that way.. I like a bit of angle to my table view so the current views work for me and the pure overhead is definitely correct on the tables I tested it on .. although that kinect video is kinda BLOWING MY MIND and making me want to do that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQrfAmdO8hI
 

codinghorror

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Aug 13, 2013
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Oh wow you are right I don't see those camera angles per se, what I see is ones where the fuller cabinet is visible angled down. Direct overhead is definitely in there though.
 

GAH1068

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Mar 6, 2018
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Once I get the 4 cabinet modes I will be happy. I think this is a great upgrade over the existing Pinball Arcade package and makes me want to play it more. I have been heavily favoring VPX and PinbalFX3 due to their
better tables views (even with FCM). I think they will get there!
 

Jamman39

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Jan 1, 2013
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If that video I linked to tells us anything it's that those camera views exist. My hope is that in the rush to implement 2 screen mode something just changed the position of those cameras and it's an easy fix for Farsight tomorrow.
 

SilverBalls

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Apr 12, 2012
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Yea the four cabinet views I saw in the Arcooda video and their claims of improved lighting, etc. are the only reason I splashed out $150 for the cab-mode plus about 120 Euros to purchase seasons 4-7 to complete my collection. I wouldn't have bought those seasons if there wasn't the temptation of the additional views.

I am one of many on these forums who used to buy every season of TPA on Steam, Android and Xbox but once Farsight pulled the promised free cab-mode support I just stopped buying anything from the company.

I begrudgingly bought this Arcooda 'add-on' because it was really something that was always supposed to be free, but I thought there is only one chance to have it so lets go for it. Obviously like many my decision was based on getting the advertised 4-views and working backglasses, and I am sure they will provide them otherwise a refund will be in order for false advertising.
 

vfpcoder

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Jul 9, 2012
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As a two monitor pinball cabinet owner (VPCabs Vertigo) I’m “pretty happy” right now — except for the 15 tables already documented as having issues in two monitor mode which I suspect FarSight will fix this week.

Now keep in mind that the Vertigo has a very small second monitor, so my expectations were not too high to begin with.

But darn, for the majority of the tables they really pulled off a satisfactory Backglass/DMD combo that works pretty well on this cabinet:

https://youtu.be/Fu_xFPbX6IQ

Sorry for the quality — and I was trying to film and play with one hand!
 
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Draco1962

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Dec 31, 2015
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Yea the four cabinet views I saw in the Arcooda video and their claims of improved lighting, etc. are the only reason I splashed out $150 for the cab-mode plus about 120 Euros to purchase seasons 4-7 to complete my collection. I wouldn't have bought those seasons if there wasn't the temptation of the additional views.

I am one of many on these forums who used to buy every season of TPA on Steam, Android and Xbox but once Farsight pulled the promised free cab-mode support I just stopped buying anything from the company.

I begrudgingly bought this Arcooda 'add-on' because it was really something that was always supposed to be free, but I thought there is only one chance to have it so lets go for it. Obviously like many my decision was based on getting the advertised 4-views and working backglasses, and I am sure they will provide them otherwise a refund will be in order for false advertising.

While in a game, click C on your keyboard to cycle through the 4 views.
 

SilverBalls

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Apr 12, 2012
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While in a game, click C on your keyboard to cycle through the 4 views.

You wouldn't know if course as I wrote it in another thread but although I bought this I am away from home for 2-3 weeks so am unable to try it. However from what people are saying the other Arcooda thread the 4 views obtained by hitting C are not like the cabinet views demonstrated in the Arcooda video. Is that not the case ?
 

BostonBuckeye

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May 3, 2014
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You wouldn't know if course as I wrote it in another thread but although I bought this I am away from home for 2-3 weeks so am unable to try it. However from what people are saying the other Arcooda thread the 4 views obtained by hitting C are not like the cabinet views demonstrated in the Arcooda video. Is that not the case ?

I just got back from being out of town and this is the case. However, I am positive that it is a bug that is causing only 1 of the 4 camera views to be in actual cabinet view. Arcooda on their Facebook page said in response to this specific issue that "It is released with 4 cabinet camera views. Anything not working properly will be solved asap with FarSight helping when they restart on Monday."
 

MattW

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Jul 14, 2015
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My quick impressions with three screen after a weekend playing.

The benchmark for me is FreeCameraMod + DMDExt. That gives me the camera angle I want for the cab, my DMD running on machines that have one, and a static backglass picture. An amazing pair of tools thanks to Freezy and NoEx, but takes a ton of time to configure and setup.

Having the camera already set in cabinet mode is a nice timesaver for folks that haven't already done it with FCM, if they add more than just one camera angle that is even better. But really not giving me something I don't already have.

The DMD support is a wash for me, same experience camera mode or not. If Freezy can bake in full support for the new cabinet mode, all the better.

Having the score on the backglass for older tables that do that is the big step up in term of experience - and games like Safecracker and Elvira play the way they were intended. However, I am very let down that the back glasses are totally static otherwise. Basically unless a light or function is core to the gameplay on the backglass, it isn't implemented. Playability-wise that is fine. But for a true pinball experience, missing the rest of the lighting is a disappointment. VP tables with B2S back glasses are superior.

Only major issue I have seen with 3 screen so far is Gorgar scores not showing on the backglass. Screen positioning and sizing is clunky but gets the job done. Otherwise pretty solid. Hopefully that and the additional camera views are fixed quickly.

So is $149 for scores on the backglasses worth it? For me, yes. For others, maybe not. FreeCameraMod and DMDExt can get you 80% of the way there with a little elbow grease. Plus FCM can give cabinet camera angles for *all* the tables, not a subset.
 
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codinghorror

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Aug 13, 2013
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FreeCameraMod and DMDExt can get you 80% of the way there with a little elbow grease. Plus FCM can give cabinet camera angles for *all* the tables, not a subset.

A *LOT* of elbow grease.. maintaining the mountains of sketchy hacks was a real timesink for me. I just want to play my pincab! Way worth $149 for a "just works" solution that's properly built into Pinball Arcade.. in my book, anyway.
 

MattW

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Jul 14, 2015
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A *LOT* of elbow grease.. maintaining the mountains of sketchy hacks was a real timesink for me. I just want to play my pincab! Way worth $149 for a "just works" solution that's properly built into Pinball Arcade.. in my book, anyway.

Agreed. If a person has more money than time, the $149 cabinet mode is an easy spend. If you have more time than money, you may not feel it is worth it with the alternatives out there.
 

vfpcoder

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Jul 9, 2012
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The NoEx camera mod is actually pretty great. It gave me a “cabinet feel” for the licensed FarSight tables when nothing else was available. And it will continue to do that in the future for those that don’t get in on this deal prior to 06/30.

But — over and above the hassle involved in setting it up — there were problems with running it:

* The NoEx mod required that DX11 configuration be set up to run in a window as opposed to fullscreen. This extracted a performance hit on my equipment that made some of the tables play a little “jittery”. With the Arcooda cabinet mode I can now set up DX11 to run in fullscreen. The tables now run “smooth as silk” which really adds to the experience.

* Everytime a new table was released, a new configuration of the NoEx mod was required along with adapting the new table for the proper camera view and acquiring graphics for the backglass. There was such a hassle involved that it actually discouraged me from purchasing new tables on Steam.

All in all I’m very grateful for the NoEx mod (and undoubtedly will be again after 06/30); but wish that the Arcooda option had been available years ago. For example, I never could get “Eight Ball Deluxe” to run properly with the NoEx mod. With the Arcooda software I almost feel like I’m playing the real thing.
 
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