A Few Words From Skit-B Pinball

(Topic ID: 111191)

A Few Words From Skit-B Pinball


By SkitBPinball

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by robin
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34
#1 4 years ago

Hello, everyone. I'm certain a lot of you guys are starving to hear from us, as we've been very quiet publicly for some time now, and I apologize straight-away as I'm sure it has made many of you feel very uneasy about the situation as a whole. There are a lot of things going on over here and while I was personally hoping to break the silence with an earth-shattering announcement that we have games moving out the doors at a regular pace and everything is ahead of schedule, every small delay and challenge has amassed into a pretty significant delay in getting finished games out to everyone. I've been pondering long and hard how to address this in a proactive and comforting way for weeks without much success. That being said, with the help of some close friends, I think I finally have an answer.

Since day one, we have generally been regarded as "Pinball of the People," and that wasn't because of our awesome ability to lead people on or butter folks up with outlandish promises. We were given this illustrious title due to how accessible and open we are and the fact that we always lead in with straight-up and open honesty, no matter what. I know, without a doubt, that it was this openness and honesty that earned us your support so early on, so I guess, in a way, I'm going to go back to those roots to just lay it on in one heavy, quick sentence.

Manufacturing pinball machines is hard.

Seriously. There is no other way to spin the fact that even though we now have a firm grasp on what we need to do to take this thing to the finish line, there was no way to know the monumental tasks we faced in making this crazy dream into a reality. There are just so many variables to consider, many of which carry variables of their own, that we weren't even aware of until they caused a roadblock for the project that had to be surmounted immediately or else the entire plan would fail. It's a harsh and humbling reality that has been the most significantly life-changing experience I've ever known.

Over the course of this project, I've learned many things and had many responsibilities. As we push further and further into the production cycle, many of the "fringe" facets of company representation and operation have unfortunately but unavoidably suffered as my time was needed on the shop floor getting everything ready for the build, and now personally building games and quality testing them. This means that all of my other tasks were heavily neglected, and admittedly continue to be neglected. Tasks such as website updates, correspondence, appointments and even my personal phone has gone whole days without being tended to.

To rectify these problems, I'm very excited to say I will be personally sending out bi-weekly build updates to everyone on the list. I'm sure these updates will vary in significance from one email to the next, but if you're into the idea of seeing the nuances of pinball production or if you'd like to see a bunch of guys working on your games, it should be at least entertaining If you have a vested interest in the project, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take the time to add both Kevin@SkitBPinball.com and Support@SkitBPinball.com to your email address book. The amount of issues we encounter due to spam filters is unbelievably staggering.

Even though we have built a very strong team over the years, we are still a small, dedicated team with a passion that is undeniably unmatched. This affords us the unique ability to control and fine-tune our vision to a degree that has yet to be achieved by anyone else. While we are still working through the build process, I am thrilled to report that there are a handful of games already in various stages of assembly. More on this in the upcoming newsletters!

So what is the takeaway from this incredibly long-winded post...?

Am I making a return to Pinside?
Unfortunately, no. While I never intended to "turn my back" on Pinside, and I sincerely love the pinball community, it's simply not healthy for me, and it sets an unreasonable standard for communication.

Is this a production update?
Not really, although I believe this is the first time I've officially stated that there are games being physically assembled, so there's that.

Is this a public apology?
Sort of. As I stated above, it was our open and honest communication that won us your support in the beginning, and I would be lying if I were to say we haven't betrayed that in some way, even if it was with good intentions. The silence has been deafening for too long, and for that I most sincerely and personally apologize.

At any rate, it's now onward and upward, my friends. We undoubtedly have some serious work ahead of us, but I will not let the hills ahead of us blur my view of the mountains we've crossed. It's time to move on from schematics and sourcing. It's time to put our nose back to the grindstone. It's time to get hyped up again.

It's time to build some games.

I'll leave you guys with a single, simple photo of the contents of just one of the many shipments of parts we have over here. How many machines do you think is in this pile??

parts.jpg

#2 4 years ago

Noice!

#3 4 years ago

Thank you for the open and honest response Kevin, I look forward to the bi-weekly updates. I'd imagine you'll get a barrage of responses most positive and some negative but Im sure there will still be many questions from some about license hiccups. Take care and keep cracking at it.

#4 4 years ago

Thanks Kevin for your update, it was getting tense for a while..,, wait are you actually gonna be reading the replies!?

#5 4 years ago

I would say that is not even enough for one pinball machine.

36
#6 4 years ago

What machine is the OP talking about?

#7 4 years ago

Thanks Kevin, that's all I needed to hear.

#8 4 years ago

Thanks for the update, much appreciated.

Quoted from SkitBPinball:

How many machines do you think is in this pile??

Is this a bet? What do we win?

#9 4 years ago

Id say thats maybe 4 machines parts but definitely not all the parts for 4 machines.

#10 4 years ago

Party on.

#11 4 years ago

THANKYOU! THANKYOU! THANKYOU!

I wish others were so blatantly obvious as this! Finally someone with the balls to say it how it is and not just say oh soon it'll be soon! Shat has happened were trying to fix it and I know I've dropped the ball!

That's all anyone needs to say to make anyone feel better and you've said it perfectly mate! You haven't blamed shifted (which makes you look like an ass) and you've taken it on the chin that you haven't done your best in some areas! I wish someone hadn't ruined my trust and I was down to buy one of these as it is going to be amazing and from what you've just penned can't say enough about the quality of person at Skitbpinball!

Skitbpinball I give you a standing ovation!

THANKYOU again!

#12 4 years ago

Party on Garth!

34
#14 4 years ago
Quoted from RCA1:

What machine is the OP talking about?

I wish he would say PREDATOR publicly to drop the conspiracy theories. It seems really intentional that he's not saying it and no explanation of why.

#15 4 years ago

Looks like he took a page out of Wayne's MM ( 10 years ago ) build plan . Wayne had cardboard boxes with MM written in magic-marker . So if games are being built ,why not a pic. of that ?

-3
#16 4 years ago

Haters gonna hate! Even with this post , they still hating!? These are not run of the mill haters, my fellow pinheads. These are Predator haters!! Die hard, in the face of reality, in the face of facts and pics...they STILL doubt and hate...

These are energizer bunny haters !

I believe they will not believe the machine is real even if it was sitting in their own living room.

Thanks Kevin - cant wait to get mine!

Predator #19

14
#17 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

Haters gonna hate! Even with this post , they still hating!? These are not run of the mill haters, my fellow pinheads. These are YOUR GAME haters!!

YOUR GAME #19

fixed it for you....

11
#18 4 years ago

He says open and honest about 10 times but no mention of why he can't say the word predator, which is the whole reason people are concerned. I think this public message misses the point. Not sure why "your game" owners are happy with this. GL to all but I'm thinking this post doesn't change much. It basically takes a lot of words to say "we are delayed but still working on a pinball machine of some type."

#19 4 years ago

Nothing has changed and that pile of parts proves nothing. A bunch of gunnas, a half apology and a few bulk bags of PF parts is less than required to quell thinking people.

Apparently the thought of actually sharing the specific difficulties encountered is "unhealthy".

The first rule of the predator: "Never mention the predator." The only thing missing was the pitch for mythbusters deposits. Apparently the run on the bank finally got his attention.

#20 4 years ago

I have no skin in the game but I wish these guys the best! I would love to play a Predator one day as its one of my favorite movies and the more people making quality pinball at an affordable price is good for the community.

18
#21 4 years ago

Your machine vs. aliens was a good film also

#22 4 years ago

I wanted to pre-order one... debated.. I am super anxious to see this produced/made/played and in the market.

But I just cant toss $ out there and then hope and wait and wonder. This is a nice update yada yada, but am glad now that I will wait and pick up a HUO Predator one day

Life is just too short to loose sleep over pinball

GOOD LUCK SKIT-B..... now do a good job on my future 2nd owner game!!

10
#23 4 years ago

The picture he included should have had some likeness of the predator if he wanted to ease any fears. Also, he basically says this is his only post on pinside for a while, probably because he can't say the word predator in his posts so he has to stay off pinside to avoid that little awkwardness. Unrealistic expectations for communication include: periodic updates (one post per month or so?) and that you use the name of your product. Pinside has such high standards! Best to avoid that community... The community that allowed you to sell 250 games in no time flat with huge deposits! That he considers his buyers a separate entity is troubling.

#24 4 years ago

And one last thing... It's not pinside demanding communication so much as skit-b customers demanding communication on pinside.

14
#25 4 years ago

DISCLAIMER: I have not pre-ordered 'this game'. That being said, I find this whole situation very interesting, and enjoy following the drama.

My take on this is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The elephant in the room is why SkitB cannot mention Predator in public. My guess (and that's all it is) is that this is a licensing restriction. That SkitB paid as little as possible for licensing, and one of the restrictions placed on them was 'no public advertising'. Since Predator was sold out (or near so) maybe SkitB figured that was OK. But then the license holder came and asked them to cleanse the 'net of all mention of Predator pin...and that's what they did - but yet they still retain the rights to build the machines. ...and here we are.

....or I could be wrong.

#26 4 years ago

follow

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from TenaciousT:

Looks like he took a page out of Wayne's MM ( 10 years ago ) build plan . Wayne had cardboard boxes with MM written in magic-marker . So if games are being built ,why not a pic. of that ?

I wish the Skit b guys the best of luck but.......the problem Wayne had is the same as every new pinball co. has.THEY DONT HAVE A FACTORY!!!You can't crank out games without some sort of assembly line.Building games by hand takes forever.ask Wayne or Gene or JPop or Ben Heck or even Jack for that matter who had problems delivering games with a factory.he had to work out the kinks.Lets see how they do with Hobbit.

I honestly hope all these boutique games get built and get delivered to their recipients in a timely fashion,but I haven't seen anything indicators in the hobby that gives me confidence that it can happen quickly.Or meet the production of the Stern facility.

Question for Gary Stern next Expo seminar:How many games per day/week does the Stern factory produce?

Same question for Skit B,same question for JJP........inquiring minds,who are dropping 8-10K, want to know.

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

Question for Gary Stern next Expo seminar:How many games per day/week does the Stern factory produce?

Same question for Skit B,same question for JJP........inquiring minds,who are dropping 8-10K, want to know.

JJP has stated they do about 10 per day.

Stern has stated they average 35, but can double that if needed.

Spooky, the only boutique, has stated they can do 2 per week.

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

Question for Gary Stern next Expo seminar:How many games per day/week does the Stern factory produce?

Last I was told was ~20-50 games a day depending on what is on the line and when

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Spooky, the only boutique, has stated they can do 2 per week.

clarification. They have stated that they are currently doing 2 per week. They have done 3 but scalled back to focus on quality and consistency. They also have the ability to train more and build more but prefer the approach of keeping good staff employed rather than how some other companies in manufacturing operate.

#31 4 years ago

I think Spooky as an operation is the gold standard for boutiques. Small, lean and mean operation, but grinding out product. Office staff returning emails, etc. No one is left asking questions.

I'm not sure where Skit-b came up with the 10/week number they're using for predicting customer's dates. In theory that would be an operation with 5 times the staff of Spooky... but tooling up for a temporary gig, because they won't be manufacturing their next game in house.

#32 4 years ago
Quoted from SunKing:

My take on this is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The elephant in the room is why SkitB cannot mention Predator in public. My guess (and that's all it is) is that this is a licensing restriction.

Please do not talk about those we do not speak of.

the-village.jpg

#33 4 years ago

Thanks guys!!! The fact that the other boutique shop does 2 a week is a good measuring stick for now.
So Im guessing a realistic # for a boutique is 2 per week.Now how many preordered,how many will they build(non preorder), X2, per week and you get some sort of picture when the games will be produced.Not including any other setbacks,which I hope doesn't happen.Scott

#34 4 years ago

Count the flipper bats. That's how many games lol.
Nice job Kevin. It's going to get harder when u ship and the feedback comes back from issues. There's always issues

#35 4 years ago

Hopefully they can make the games faster than 2 per week or people later down the list won't be seeing their shipment until late 2017 at best. So that's what, a 6 year wait for a machine?

#36 4 years ago

Don't have a Predator on order but seems like an olive branch has been extended. Seems silly to snap it off before you get your bi-weekly reports. Should really wait to see if it delivers on its promise first.

#37 4 years ago

40 balls. So 10 games. Looks like 20 flipper bats.

Still in with no concern.

-Jim

#38 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I think Spooky as an operation is the gold standard for boutiques. Small, lean and mean operation, but grinding out product. Office staff returning emails, etc. No one is left asking questions.
I'm not sure where Skit-b came up with the 10/week number they're using for predicting customer's dates. In theory that would be an operation with 5 times the staff of Spooky... but tooling up for a temporary gig, because they won't be manufacturing their next game in house.

I agree here. They have a didicated location and staff. The staff isn't overlapping in roles (too much anyway) so they can be very consistant. For SB to do 10 games a week, there is going to be a need for 15-20 hands.

#39 4 years ago

No mention of Predator still has me baffled . . .

#40 4 years ago

Guys, step back a bit, up to now the complaint was the lack of communication and weather the game was being built etc. So now he has communicated and he will have a bi-weekly news letter. Second, he said the game are being built. This is getting a little crazy.

mad-men.gif

18
#41 4 years ago
Quoted from Pintucky:

No mention of Predator still has me baffled . . .

It's been so long, the license may have expired. That could mean that they are allowed to finish their games, but no longer advertise them in any way.

#42 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's been so long, the license may have expired. That could mean that they are allowed to finish their games, but no longer advertise them in any way

If that was the case, they wouldn't be prohibited from saying so.

#43 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

If that was the case, they wouldn't be prohibited from saying so.

Actually yes it could, depending on the contract between the two parties.

#44 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

If that was the case, they wouldn't be prohibited from saying so.

It very well could be that any public mention is considered advertising by the licensee.

#45 4 years ago

Well, I'll be looking forward to my next email update, which I will NOT be sharing here! BAD PINSIDERS! BAD!

Only $4750 for a decoder ring to access the club.

I keed, I keed.

#46 4 years ago

Curious why no pictures of the games under construction ?

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It's been so long, the license may have expired. That could mean that they are allowed to finish their games, but no longer advertise them in any way.

You may be onto something. Once upon a time there was talk of the first predators shipping Christmas 2012. Either they aren't allowed to advertise anymore, or maybe the licensor was told the machines were completed and they're quietly getting them out the door, even though the license has passed.

#48 4 years ago

Woohoo !!!!

#49 4 years ago
Quoted from underlord:

Well, I'll be looking forward to my next email update, which I will NOT be sharing here! BAD PINSIDERS! BAD!
Only $4750 for a decoder ring to access the club.
I keed, I keed.

I wouldn't either. Seeing stuff getting built is really fun for me. But with some folks here just wanting to stir up problems, I don't blame anyone for staying away with whatever they know.

#50 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

It very well could be that any public mention is considered advertising by the licensee

Are you saying that he just wrote that huge post about the pinball machine they are building, which is OK to do, but if he included a sentence that said "The game will look great and meet everybody's expectations with no surprises like a re-theme or whatever people have been talking about." that he would be in breach of his contract?

I doubt it.

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