Benheck.com Podcast Episode 30

This was a video podcast that can be found on YouTube, enjoy:

Benheck.com Podcast Episode 82

benheck_podcast

We’re back with a new episode of the Ben Heck Dot Com Podcast!

Today’s topics include:

  • Kinect-less Xbox One, and what other things Microsoft should change (it takes us about 20 minutes to get back on topic long enough to discuss this)
  • Ancient beer and refrigerators, and why Sam Worthington was really the villain in “Avatar”
  • How young of women can people in their 30’s get away with dating?
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Alec Baldwin, and who’s been in the most pinball machines.
  • Food packaging that tries to hide inflation – ever notice this?
  • My (ir)rational hatred/dislike of Drew Barrymore.

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The ancient can of beer mentioned in the podcast.

 

AMH Debug 5-8-14

Not really debug anymore, just polishing stuff. You can open a serial terminal at 115200 baud on the USB programming jack to “talk” with the game. I’m beefing up what this can do, both for human-readable debugging, and using Bluetooth UART via a tablet or smartphone app.

  •  Improved command parser for serial.
  • On serial terminal, added commands for servo control, SFX and music (see below)
  • Added one-shot switch status return, so tablet app can control rate at which it monitors switch data.
  • Improved main game titles, added vendor logos.
  • Improved attract mode PRESS START graphic (always thought it looked crappy before)

 

————-SERIAL MONITOR COMMAND LIST————-
[E99000] Get current switch state, raw data (2 bytes dedicated, 8 bytes matrix)
[E98000] Toggle serial stream of human-readable switch data
[E97000] Disable Ball Search (useful for testing)
[E97001] Enable Ball Search (default)

[F00ABC] Play sound effect ABC
[F00ZXX] Play music file XX (music files always in _DZ folder)
[F00Z00] Stop music
[V00ABC] Play video file ABC

[SXXzzz] Set servo XX (0-4) to ZZZ Degrees (Only set if you know proper values!)”
[MXXzzz] Activate Coil XX (0-23) for ZZZ Microseconds (0-250)
[LXXzzz] Set light XX (0-63) to ZZZ brightness (0-7)
[L99000] Disable light attract mode
[L99001] Enable light attract mode

Update on available time for project building

I have just finished work on our custom pinball machine “America’s Most Haunted” which has entered production and started shipping. You can read more about it here. I’ll also make a large, in-depth article about it on this site once I get a chance.

I’ve been working non-stop on this game, The Ben Heck Show, and other commissioned work since mid 2012. It’s time for a break.

I’m going to be limiting my non-show commission work to 8 billable hours per week for the foreseeable future. This includes single-handed controllers, prototype work for companies and individuals, basically anything outside of our show. If you’d like to contact me about a project you may do so at benjamin.heckendorn@gmail.com. Keep in mind that this time allotment will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The automatic Paypal links for the single handed controllers will be coming down during this time as well. If you’re still in need of a controller, please contact me via email. I will probably spin the production of those back up in time for the holidays. I know there’s a great need for them, but there is also a great need, personally, for my sanity.

Other news:

  • I had the wrong file linked to Episode 80 of the podcast – sorry about that! You can find the corrected version here.
  • We are still doing our best to release a podcast once a month, time permitting.
  • You can of course keep really up to date with what we’re up to on The Ben Heck Show, follow me on Twitter, or visit my YouTube channel using the links on the right side of this page.
  • We’ll be at Maker Faire San Mateo next weekend filming an episode of our show – stop and say hi and we might give you a t-shirt!
  • I will be attending the Northwest Pinball Show in Tacoma this June. Ask me anything you’d like about our new pinball machine!
  • Good chance I’ll also attend California Extreme and there might be an America’s Most Haunted machine there as well. More info as it becomes available.

 

Benheck.com Podcast Episode 81

benheck_podcast

 

We’re back with a new episode of the Ben Heck Dot Com Podcast! Sorry it’s late, Jones had a cold or something.

Today’s topics include:

  • Fanboys getting upset about new movies / crappy sequels somehow “ruining” their childhood / the old movies.
  • Are foreign markets ruining movies? It rakes in the bucks, but are the movies getting blander and more bloated with CGI as a result?
  • Everyone hates Xbox now. Why?

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AMH Debug 5-5-14

Got some feedback from the Allentown show which I’ve worked into the game!

  • When ball gets stuck, game goes into Ball Search (firing everything trying to loosen ball) There is a way to get the ball stuck behind the targets. Normally the game checks for this whenever the targets go up, but if a ball is resting on target edge (which can happen) the game doesn’t know this and thus check didn’t occur. Fixed.
  • Added 2 new flags doorTrap and targetTrap, so the game knows if a ball is purposely stuck in those places during a mode. If a ball is there, game won’t move those spots during a ball search.
  • Enabled ball search when ball is trapped on purpose. Before this would prevent a ball search (since switch constantly triggered) but now a ball search can happen alongside it.
  • Made “halfway” point for targets so they can jostle about and still keep a ball trapped behind.
  • Re-exported Hospital Mode audio to quiet done Dennis Nordman’s booming voice that caused clipping.

AMH Debug 5-3-14

A beautiful sunny day, perfect for programming!

  • Changed ball search routine, so game will only ask to load balls when you press Start, not upon boot (makes troubleshooting / servicing easier)
  • Final graphics to add to game will be “Load X Balls”
  • Added visual Switch Matrix to service menu
  • Added Game Settings to service menu, that get stored to EEPROM (# of balls, free play, etc)
  • Implemented REPLAY feature, and counter for total number of games played
  • Fixed glitch where CREDITS:X and FREEPLAY didn’t appear on attract mode videos after a game had been played.

AMH Debug 5-1-14

Very close now, just tweaking a few things:

  • Wizard Mode is now in game, and achievable (good luck Allentown)
  • Fixed some end-of-multiball issues with music not resuming, mode total not being display.
  • Fixed issue with game “forgetting” about Hellavator MB if you stack Minion MB onto it.
  • Added “Flippy Ghost” video mode (spell WIKI, TECH & PSYCHIC, start mode by shooting ghost)
  • Added “color prompts” to GI. Each mode has a color (minion = blue, ghost bosses = green, MB = magenta) Making shots towards modes briefly flashes their color to guide player. MB and Minion already did now, now Ghost Investigation Shots do too.
  • Changed countdown “seconds” timer to more accurately represent actual seconds :) Bit longer than actual seconds, but feel right.
  • Increased some seconds allowed amounts to reflect new, faster timers.