Author Topic: Stunts arcade cabinet  (Read 1162 times)

dukeofurl

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Stunts arcade cabinet
« on: June 16, 2021, 03:40:40 PM »
Hi guys, new user here but I've been playing Stunts since my dad brought it home as a surprise gift one night around 1991.

Recently, I was able to put stunts into my customized pc based racing arcade cabinet and its pretty neat to play it with a wheel.  I'm gratified that stunts (via the joystick option) allows for analogue steering. That was definitely not a regular feature of other racing games circa 1990.

I've been trying to get a moderate collection of tracks going for the version I'm running in the cab and thought I'd pose a few questions:

-Has anyone tried to make Stunts versions of the tracks that are available in Atari's Hard Drivin/Race Drivin arcade game? I know they wouldn't be 1x1 matches because the Race Drivin tracks do some things that can't be done in Stunts, but it would be neat to have those on my cab.

-It's become apparent to me that many custom tracks I'm downloading from the internet are very tedious to play, for example, putting sharp curves immediately after jumps or right on top of hills where you can't see them or plan for them in advance, putting elevated curves immediately after the ramps to get up to the higher elevation, putting many spirals into the track which require going very slowly, putting 4+ loops in a row or lots of jumps in a row which will throw your car into hyper gear, etc.  I'm certainly guilty of doing all of this stuff when I was a kid, but these days, these sorts of elements do not make a track fun for me.

Does anyone have a few suggestions for tracks that are similar to the ones that originally come with the game (e.g., Bernie's, Joe's, Skid's, Default, etc.)?  I think most of those strike a good balance for tracks that are very playable, don't require you to furtively drive through the track expecting sharp curves or other obstacles to pop up before you can deal with them, and don't try to take up every last block in the track creator. These tracks are much more fun to play on the arcade cab with the wheel and pedals than tracks that were clearly designed to get you into hyper gear or surprise you with tedious track and obstacle placement.


Cas

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2021, 12:43:57 AM »
Hi, Dukeofurl!

That cabinet with a steering wheel sounds like a great experience for Stunts. I've always dreamed of something like that. Even I have thought of the possibility of making one that can get tilted in agreement with the road and Stunts if the right information can be extracted from the game's memory at run time.

In my opinion, the tracks that have been the most fun to race on that I've tried are tournament tracks. I wouldn't say that every one of them, but in general, a track made for racing is more likely to be fun to play that one that was made, as you describe, to try to fill the grid or just see a lot of variation, the way I used to design tracks when I just had Stunts. However, some of these tracks, the ones I enjoy the most, wouldn't be so enjoyable if I had to use an analog steering wheel to race, as it becomes a lot harder to execute some combinations. I do have a number of old tracks that might fit what you suggest, but I encourage you to browse the tracks in ZakStunts and Race For Kicks or just download the track archive (http://www.raceforkicks.com/downloads/competition-archive-2020.zip). I'm sure that at least a 20% to 30% of the tracks there will be compatible with your description.

In particular, about Hard Drivin', I don't know of any attempt at reproducing those tracks. Like you say, it would be very difficult to make it even look like it's the same track since HD uses a sequential vector-based map, as opposed to Stunts' grid-based one. Still, you can easily create tracks with that intention. If the internal editor would seem a lot of work for you (it's OK in general, but editing the terrain is specially annoying there), you can try Bliss (http://www.raceforkicks.com/bliss/index.html) and you can have a working track in five minutes.

If you do make new tracks with that style, don't hesitate to post them here. We're all the time on tracks made for racing, so some variation is great! :)
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dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2021, 03:20:52 AM »
Thanks for the idea of the competition tracks. I downloaded the archive you linked and it seems to have thousands of tracks in it!  I guess I'll have to do some sifting through that.

I think I am going to take a stab at replicating one or more of the Race Drivin tracks, if it comes out OK I'll post it here.

Duplode

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2021, 03:59:03 AM »
Hello and welcome, dukeofurl!

Following Cas' lead, three relatively recent competition tracks that are perhaps balanced in the way you describe are Alan Rotoi's ZCT219, Cas' ZCT227 and dreadnaut's ZCT237. For something completely different, KyLiE's Pacific is a lovely example of a very long track (something unusual in competitions) that is nonetheless highly drivable. I have attached those four to this post (r4k5.trk is Pacific).

The cabinet sounds really cool, by the way  :)

dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2021, 04:13:37 AM »
Thank you, I'll check those out.

I tried my hand at replicating the Hard Drivin Speed/Stunt track and I have attached it to this post.  I think some of it ought to be recognizable if you're familiar with that track :)  Actually, trying to recreate it in Stunts has reminded me that Default, the track that comes with stunts, seems to share an awful lot of similarities with that Hard Drivin track (drive up a mountain within first couple seconds, choose between two routes, one route has a lot of stunt obstacles on it while the other seems more geared toward speed, there is a bridge that crosses over the track by the starting line).  Driving casually on each branch, my finish time was about even.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 04:25:23 AM by dukeofurl »

dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2021, 04:37:13 AM »
By the way folks, as a kid I discovered you could easily clip yourself onto the divided highway elevated grass and trees area just by driving at the point at a slow speed.  I searched the forum but didn't see anyone else talk about this, so I'm uploading a replay just in case this is groundbreaking new stuff for the community (I don't suppose it would help anyone trying to get a faster time). 

Daniel3D

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2021, 09:47:40 AM »
Recently, I was able to put stunts into my customized pc based racing arcade cabinet and its pretty neat to play it with a wheel.
Sounds really cool.
Do you have any pictures?

In the 30th anniversary edition thread I've posted a couple tracks based upon real circuits. Those are very suitable for you, but also quite flat and devoid of stunts, so maybe not interesting.
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I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
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dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2021, 03:39:13 PM »
Here are some pictures of the arcade cab. 






« Last Edit: June 18, 2021, 02:08:33 AM by dukeofurl »

Cas

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2021, 01:24:35 AM »
That looks A-MA-ZING!  I want one of those, even though I don't know where I'd put it  ;D  And also, I'm not a good pipsqueak... I'm just more into programming and just loving Stunts and being part of the community, that's all.

I can see you're into music too. I'm a little rusty, but I play piano and guitar and I liked making music on the computer, but that's been a long time ago. Someday again, maybe.
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dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2021, 02:20:57 AM »
Thanks, it was a dream I've had for a long time to do an arcade cabinet for racing games.  I put all the old arcade games on it like Outrun and Cruisin' USA and had fun with that for awhile, and then I decided to expand it to basically any old racing game that I have ever enjoyed so I added some PC and console stuff.  Stunts was kind of an afterthought, and one of the oldest games I have on the machine, but it is quite fun to play it with analogue steering via the wheel.  In fact, I would say having the ability to control the steering with the wheel makes it MUCH easier to take flat turns at a good speed without steering into a skid. 

The wheel is actually a Thrustmaster T2, which was one of the first PC analogue wheels mass produced in the 1990s. It was natively supported by a lot of Dos games.  These days I luckily don't need to worry about things like special drivers, as I can use adapters to get it recognized by windows as a generic analogue joystick, and from there, map it to basically any emulator, including dosbox.

Although the steering in Stunts is analogue, it seems that the throttle and brake are still read as a digital signal when using a joystick. The throttle and brake are just 100% ON or OFF when I press a pedal rather than giving me 25% or 50% of throttle the further I put the pedal down.

I tried to put Street Rod 2 on this as well for laughs, but unfortunately that game only provides digital steering, which makes it basically impossible to play with an analogue wheel as it is impossible to keep the car going in a straight line (the car will steer 100% left or right if the wheel is even just a few degrees off center).

The most recent game I have on the machine is probably Need for Speed Carbon, circa 2005, emulated with a gamecube emulator.  It's quite a difference to go from a post 2000, high polygon, texture mapped game with fancy particles and lighting to Stunts!

Daniel3D

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2021, 07:20:41 AM »
Really cool. I hope one day to make one to. But based on a different type of arcade racing  8)
https://youtu.be/YHtZLkxWFmg
Edison once said,
“I have not failed 10,000 times,
I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”
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Currently running over 20 separate instances of Stunts or 4D Sports Driving.

dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2021, 03:06:09 PM »
I think the tilting on Radmobile might just be mechanical rather than the machine receiving instructions from the software. In that case, it might be fairly simple to adapt stunts into such a machine and keeping the rotating element without needing to write any custom software. This video gives some clues about the mechanism:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fvGlD5e3KM

KyLiE

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2021, 03:25:56 PM »
Has anyone tried to make Stunts versions of the tracks that are available in Atari's Hard Drivin/Race Drivin arcade game?

While it's not a remake, my first track for Race For Kicks was inspired by and named after Hard Drivin'.  I think you will find that most of my tracks are designed to your liking.  Below are links to all the tracks that I have released so far:

Race For Kicks Track List
Mirror Lake on ZakStunts
Hidden Valley in USL 2021

Although the steering in Stunts is analogue, it seems that the throttle and brake are still read as a digital signal when using a joystick.

It has been mentioned on the forum before that although Stunts supports joystick steering control, the input is still digital.  While I don't have an arcade cabinet, I have a racing seat with a steering wheel, pedals and shifter that I use to play various SEGA arcade racing games.  I have often wondered about playing Stunts with analogue controls but I have never attempted it because I was under the impression that it would not improve the experience.  After reading your post though, I might have to try it! :)

dukeofurl

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2021, 07:30:59 PM »
Thanks!  I've just downloaded several of your tracks and will give them a shot!

I can't believe you have a wheel and have not tried it with stunts yet!  The steering adjusts gradually with the turning of the wheel, that's what I mean that it is analogue steering. Please give it a try and let me know what you think :)  The joystick configuration does not save when you exit stunts, so you would have to reconfigure it every time you start it up.  To get around this, I configured the joystick and got through the manual copy protection, and then took a save state in dosbox that I load on each startup so I'm configured and ready to go at the press of a button.

Cas

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Re: Stunts arcade cabinet
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2021, 12:58:38 AM »
I remember having played Stunts with my analogue joystick (an actual stick with two buttons) back in 1993 and I had found it very uncomfortable. I had the impression that it was digital too and because, later on, I had read here that it was, I had kept assuming so too. Now what you say makes sense to me: it is the forwards/backwards direction that's digital, but not the steering. I do not own an analog steering wheel. I never had. Now this makes me want to buy one, just to play Stunts :D
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