General Troubleshooting Emulators
FIRST: It may seem OBVIOUS but the first step to figuring out frontend problems is to first figure out if it's a frontend problem AT ALL. Which means, always run the game/table/emulator OUTSIDE of the frontend with exactly the same parameters to determine if its an Emulator Config problem, or a Frontend configuration problem….. Also, its important to know that Popper doesn't 'tell' vpx where to show your backglass, and doesn't 'tell' fx3 where to show the dmd for fx3. I say this because I see people spend too much time trying to figure out settings in Popper when most of their effort needs to be setting up VPX or FX3. Always test run without your frontend running…. it will save you much time in figuring out issues.
I tried to run XXXXX with XXXX and it doesn't work… what can I do to get it working?
The best way to troubleshoot problems in starting games is to determine EXACTLY what Popper is trying to run based on your emulator script.
Follow these steps to help you find out why launching doesn't work:
1> try and run game/table in Popper. if it doesn't work, exit Popper right away (don't start another game)
2> file explorer. browse to the folder pinupsystem\launch there is a file called curlaunch.bat that is the last game script it tried to run.
3> examine the batch file for typos that you may have or forgot a cd\ or something in your script.
4> edit the curlaunch.bat and add a pause at the end and remove @echo off from first line if there is one, and then run the batch file manually directly from this folder (do not move curlaunch.bat)
you will usually find/see errors on why the game/table doesn't start properly this way. like forgetting to go to d:\ if your game is on another drive. simply modfiy the launch script afterwards and try again. curlaunch.bat is recreated dynamically and is overwritten each time you start a game/table.
“but it works when i run something manually, but not when launched in PinUp Popper?”
PinUP Popper doesn't do anything magical or hook into things that will stop ANY program from running….Popper after launching the launch script will take virtual 0.1% or less of resources while emulator runs.
There are only a couple of things that are different when you run outside of Popper:
1> Your launch script is configured to run VPX (or other emulators) via command lines that are different than how you run via manually. VPX emulator config can be set to disable or enable full screen exclusive or even run a different EXE via alt-launcher. Also, many times the error was you ran a different VPX filename!! Popper was configured to use a vpx filename, but you manually ran a similar but different filename.
2> windows security, if you run outside of popper you may be running it as 'normal-user', BUT many people set pinupmenu.exe to run as admin. That can cause different behaviours with your app or 3rd party utils. Now with latest versions of DofLinx, you should set everthing (exe, startup tools, doflinx) as non-admin running. this should help if its a security issue.
3>your launch script could be wrong/broken. see above topic for looking at curlaunch.bat. Many times people will forget to 'cd' (change directory) to the same location at the emulator before running.
4> focus issues. if you need to click with a mouse on the emulator to start having your keys working then its a windows focus issue. see focus issues here.
and the only other thing that could be different is 'timing'. sometimes you run things manually and you may do things 1-2 seconds apart while doing it manually. in curlaunch.bat, things are quicker. so you may need to add 'timeout 3' between running mulitple things in launch script.
PERFORMANCE DIFFERENCE. When i run outside of Popper it runs better than via Popper. Again, see above section as popper doesn't use resources while it is hiding. BUT, you can setup Popper to 'Keep displays ON' which WILL take up resources to play the looping mp4s. So check by setting 'NONE' in game manager for keep display on.
Note: If the game has a FULLDMD or PuPDMD make sure you don't forget to set to NONE the keep-on display setting on game as you could be wasting resources cpu/gpu playing media behind it for no reason.
You can put taskmanager (set with always-on-top) on your BackGlass during play to see if there's other reasons for performance difference. Sometimes you will see anti-virus or even windows update running in background via taskmanager.