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Big-E

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A member registered Feb 18, 2016

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No problem; I get just as much enjoyment playing it. Thanks for giving us this great game :)

Hey everyone,

Well, it's officially up and running on my arcade cabinet. I've decided to start a new thread to help reduce the clutter and cross-posting. from now on, if you do anything that relates to running Spellrazor on a cabinet, make an arcade controller for it or do any such related stuff as far as Spellrazor is concerned, please add to this thread.

Here is the video on YouTube

my Control Card image is Here

Thanks again to Dene and Tartley for all the help so far.

As I post more stuff to get this game running under Hyperspin (as well as some nice quality photos of the game running on my cab) I will be posting links to everything I put up in this thread.

Things to come soon:

*Spellrazor theme for Hyperspin

*Xpadder profile info (my profile may not work for everyone)

*Marquee artwork

*XML scripts for the game (database, as well as launch scripts for AutoHotKey)

*game launcher (a pre-compiled AHK script that runs as a standalone to launch the executable fullscreen)

*some nice photos of the cab running Spellrazor

*anything else that I forgot to list here

(Edited 1 time)

No problem; I don't mind at all. You're more than welcome to use pics/video of it running on my cab. I'll work on getting some stuff together for you to share today.

I've tried to implement the command line on my cabinet, but it seems to take too long to load sometimes, so the game loses focus as Hyperspin times out and Hyperspin doesn't seem to like it running that way, so I've gone back to using the AHK loader I've created with the pre-compiled executable; it seems to give the quickest load up and most consistent performance.

I've so far gotten up to level 5 in normal mode; As I get used to the controls on my cabinet, I keep getting further in the game. it's only a matter of time. Either way, it's a fun addition.

I'll be sure to update this after I get a video / new pics online.

(Edited 1 time)

No problem; I love doing research :)

Edit to add; You should read the comments on that article I linked; Tons of info! Apparently someone had tracked down Mr. Ollefen in 2011, and supposedly: 1) he doesn't work in the electronics industry at all anymore and 2) "Doesn't remember much from back then"... Very strange...

Posted in Suggestions
(Edited 1 time)

As for Polybius, My theory is that the confusion comes from the game "Cube quest", which was the only game produced by a startup called Simutrek (sound similar to Sinneslochen?) It was released in 1983, was raster-based, with a primitive 3D modelling engine that overlaid rasterized graphics over footage from a laserdisc. The game is currently emulated perfectly in MAME; I have it installed, and it's trippy and fun. A cross between a surreal space shooter and a puzzle game (due to the Cube elements) It's a rare arcade cabinet. never saw one in the flesh personally, but it was featured on the game show, Starcade" in an episode.

Paul Allen Newell was responsible for the programming... interesting to note the development of the game was originally done on the Vectrex (vector display-based home console). Roms for this prototype exist in the wild, btw.

Youtube video of the gameplay and attract screens:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czpd7yfdsNQ note the similarity between what was described in the gameplay descriptions of Polybius.

Posted in Suggestions
(Edited 6 times)

Sorry about all the edits; I learned a lot of stuff about some interesting history in Williams, and have been revising this post; it's worth a thorough read!

It's a funny thing, I used to live in the Chicago area; Around that time, Chicago was the hub of video game manufacture in the United states; Companies like Bally, Midway, Gottlieb, Stern and many others were based out of the Chicago area. My father worked in vending machine/coin-op service, and arcades were everywhere. it was a magical time. Being from that area, and being a young arcade enthusiast in that era, as well as having a father who worked in the industry allows me some insight into how / why SpellRazor may have come to be cancelled, so indulge me while I share some info:

The game, Berzerk (manufactured by Stern a Chicago-based company) was made in 1980. It was the first arcade game to use digitized speech, and was ridiculously expensive to implement at the time (cost about $1000 per word, in 1980, that was a LOT of money!) so, as it would have been probable to implement speech in spellrazor, the addition of Speech digitization saying the phrase, "Threat detected, seek and destroy" would have cost the developers about $5,000 (which comes to about $14,502.56 USD in today's money) quite pricey.

Judging by the graphics of the game, with it's clean lines and particle effects, it could have only been implemented as a vector game. Vector displays have been used by some arcade manufacturers in the USA (such as Atari) but Williams was not known for a color Vector display in any of their machines (which were raster based) of course, there has been recent info about a color vector prototype that was being worked on by Williams... in the timeline between the games Robotron and Blaster. Robotron was a game from 1982, which would place the timeline for this mysterious vector game anywhere from 1981 (when development on this project was possibly started) to 1983 (when Blaster was released) The vector game was going to be called "Predators" or possibly "Conquest". Although the article I link below is uncertain of the title and has pretty much ruled out the possibility of the game being called Predators, we will refer to it as "Conquest" for clarity...

Some info from the developers:

"Between Robotron and Blaster, Eugene (Jarvis) and I spent a great deal of time working on what was going to be Williams' first color vector game. There was a hardware system designed around the 68000 CPU. We built up a home-brew development system to work with the Gimix boxes and worked on the beginning of a space game." -Larry Demar

More info on this prototype including schematics photos can be found HERE

In theory, development of Spellrazor could have started prior to this, with the intention of running it on the same hardware... one of the reasons for the projects cancellation may have been due to the fate of the prototype hardware being unsuccessful or not up to the performance specs required. Another possibility could be that the basis for this vector hardware came from repurposed assets from the now-cancelled SpellRazor project, and in attempting to switch to a different CPU, found it wasn't up to par and the "Conquest" project fell apart as a result. Either that, or "Conquest" suffered from similar "side effects" that SpellRazor did, due to using similar hardware. It's highly unlikely we will ever know for sure; but it does give one insight. Also of interest is the Hardware developer who worked on the vector – R Van Ollefen. Little is known of this person, searches turn up nothing, and supposedly he worked for Williams only briefly, similar to Mr Bower, and supposedly disappeared around the same time... Are the disappearances of these two developers which happen to be around the same time frame somehow related?

Another quote from Larry regarding this:

"The hardware design (which was done by a classmate of mine that had a very short employment at Williams) was flawed and the images that were produced were fuzzy. I think he used an analog design for something that everyone else did digitally (or maybe the other way around) and had a problem with noise getting amplified that he could never solve.
In the middle of it all the hardware designer had differences with the management and left the company. At that point the project died."

Of note, many of these effects can be caused by what is known as the Bucha Effect (or Flicker Vertigo) when a person is exposed to a flashing light source somewhere in the 20hz range. It can cause Nausea, Vertigo and disorientation in exposed subjects, and epileptic fits and seizures in those who are overly sensitive or prone to seizures.

Replied to tartley in Questions
(Edited 10 times)

Post has been revised, multiple times, for clarity. Thanks Tartley!

My Cab is running Windows 7 x64. I have not been able to get the fullscreen switch to work at all... Until recently... Up until now I've been doing it through an AutoHotKey script which runs the Executable, and waits for the window to become active (looks for the window title SpellRazor to show up) and then sends "tab" keystroke to the window. This works, but you see a 2nd window (the script) show briefly before the game boots; also, because it waits for the window to become active, game boot time varies, Sometimes it takes 3 or 5 seconds to start with the window hanging in the background. most of the time it starts in one or two seconds, which isn't too bad; I think it's more of a quirk with Love2D than anything.

EDIT: OK, I see what you did there, You're running the LOVE file through an install of the love engine, gotcha. I've hunted around for the .love file of the game and I believe I've found it. Will do some more testing and see what I can do with it.

EDIT_2: Edit again... Holy crap! It worked! Finally! Running it through the Love engine did the trick! Thanks for the assist, Tartley! After some messing around on the command line a few times; I got it to run fullscreen on startup! You're a lifesaver! Just to clarify; you need to run LOVE, calling the spellrazor.love file, and entering the command line switch. the pre-compiled version of SpellRazor in .EXE form will NOT work with the command line switch! +1 for the help :) I will need to update my Hyperspin configuration to incorporate this, but it should work like a charm, and take me about an hour to implement. I will, however, retain my AHK scripts for those who may want to use the SpellRazor executable on their cabinets instead.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Complications aside, I've made some major progress with the game and running it under Hyperspin. Here's what I've done so far:

*Added under the MAME wheel; Shows up with all the arcade games running under MAME (using PCLauncher module) I'll post the XML to add it to the database soon.

*Configurations for PCLauncher module and a Postload config have been made to try to get it to load seamlessly as possible; and Exits immediately on Esc key (do you want to quit screen is bypassed completely)

*The most difficult (and exciting) part of all, the keymapping is complete; game is completely playable (even the console to an extent) via the control panel. The solution I came up with is pretty innovative; an xpadder profile has been created to support this game on an arcade control panel using a joystick and 10 buttons (including the 1P start and flipper/coin button) You can view the Control card I made for the game HERE. It's a great compromise to having 29 buttons or so on the control panel. I still have a keyboard handy for console hacking to make it easier, but actually playing the game on arcade controls now; and it controls nicely!

*Created Wheel art and Game Theme for Hyperspin; Theme uses the Game's trailer as the video.

Video of the cabinet runing SpellRazor, all the features, etc to come soon! I've been having a ball playing this game on this setup!

To learn the story, here's a hint:

While playing the game, hit the Enter key to bring up the console:

look for hints; they appear in white, enter the hints in the console's prompt and hold on to your socks!

Posted in Questions
(Edited 2 times)

LoL, sorry. misread... Tried LCTRL+ESC, on Windows 10, it brings up the start menu and moves app to the background; the arcade cab is running Windows 7 though, so it may work better.

BTW, I installed it in the cab to do a test run; game runs buttery smooth.

Push comes to shove, I can resort to AHK scripting to get it to do what I need it to. Thanks again, Dene!

Edit: I managed to get it to run full screen at startup by making an AutoHotkey Script and compiling it to an executable for testing. The script runs the executable, and enters a tab keystroke to make the window fullscreen, better, but still not as clean as I could get through native fullscreen switch at startup. I still can't figure out the command line switch; I've tried entering the switch several different ways (Spellrazor.exe -fullscreen, /fullscreen, fullscreen, etc. nothing seems to work; It always opens in a window.)

I just downloaded it; doesn't seem to want to switch to fullscreen by command line execution... Usage?

also tried left shift+ESC and it doesn't seem to want to exit out, brings me to the same "are you sure" screen as if you just hit ESC.

Folder says it's 0.9.11 as well... What am I missing?

Thanks in advance

(Edited 3 times)

Okay, on to the reply portion:

1) That's excellent fullscreen on startup will be just fine!

2) Yes, adding a Shift + ESC function would be useful, I could add it as a macro to exit the game in the frontend.

3) Thanks for the suggestions as to keymapping, They would mostly be treated as Hotkeys for important actions from the control panel itself... I would likely have the keyboard handy for everything else, but for quick, arcade plays, button mapping would be a big deal; Implementation of the shift function with my control panel would give users access to all the spells like "secret moves" (for example, holding the P1 "flipper" button would act like a shift key, mapping the other buttons to different spells)

I'll be sure to snap some pics of the cab once it's up and running on my system. Also; I'm using Hyperspin as my front end; I'll be sure to send you my XML configuration files, Xpadder profiles, Hyperspin game theme, and any other artwork (such as bezels, marquee, etc) once they're ready, upon request.

It will probably take me a day or two to get everything humming on my cab; Likely have it implemented by this weekend.

Thanks again! great game by the way!

Update: I snapped some quick photos of my cabinet, Sorry if the pics are not the best:

Arcade Cabinet Photos

Some of the features:

*Slim cabinet with 2-player control panel (Two 8-way joysticks, eight buttons per player not including flipper buttons on sides, 1P and 2P dedicated start buttons two "mouse" buttons on the front. LED lit 2 1/4" arcade trackball)

*Hinged, lockable access door on the front

*Cooling fans in the back of the case, 2.1 stereo Logitech speaker system (with active subwoofer)

*Modular monitor mount with 1080p HD LG 24" LED monitor. Monitor can be rotated (and locked) 90 degrees for vertical or horizontal games. angle is adjustable as well. VESA mount is designed/3D printed by myself. entire monitor assembly is removable for use as a showcase pedestal with a larger HD display.

*Coin door is also 3d printed. available for download from my Thingiverse page for download at http://www.thingiverse.com/Big-E

*System is Intel Core2 Duo based, windows 7 64-bit. Added an Nvidia graphics card and plenty of ram. Currently runs MAME, Daphne (laserdisc emulator) Sega Model 2 and Naomi/Atomiswave and some PC based games (soon to include Spellrazor!) More systems and games to come; I have a 500GB HDD to fill!

Additional accessories include (not pictured):

*GT2 Pro force feedback wheel and pedals (for racing games)

*Custom made IR sensor bar to use Wiimotes in light gun games

*Analog flightstick and throttle for Flight sims.

*Triggerstick adapter for games like Battle Zone, Assault, Cybersled and Virtual On (allows player to move two buttons to the joystick) the triggerstick files are also available on my thingiverse page.

*Wireless Logitech Keyboard with touchpad for debugging and more. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.


Created a new topic Questions
(Edited 4 times)

Hi Dane,

I have a couple questions regarding Spellrazor; I just downloaded it and have some questions.

I plan on adding this to my arcade cabinet for a more "authentic" experience, so giving me some hints regarding the executable would help me out a lot.

Question #1

are there any command line arguments that can be used with the executable? for example, If I want the game to start up in fullscreen could I use C:/>Spellrazor.exe -Fullscreen or something along those lines? A list of commands for command line execution would be really helpful in setting the game up for use on my cabinet.

Question #2

Are there any keyboard shortcuts to exit the game? or will a simple ESC do the job? I need to know this to get the game to close cleanly in my frontend.

Question #3 control panel setup:

I can map all my controls no problem: on my panel I have the following:

Two 8-way arcade joysticks with four microswitches each (movement obviously) and a grand total of 22 buttons (two are mouse click keys; all are mappable and shiftable) so in theory, I could map every key to the software. Oh and a trackball too. any suggestions as to what keys would be essential to map to the game keys? I also have a wireless keyboard (used to play games like Thayer's Quest, as well as for debugging) so there is no shortage of keys.

Looking forward to installing this on my cabinet. All possibility of curses or wild-surges are an acceptable risk for it's users.

Thanks in advance!

-Big-E