American Pinball Houdini thread

(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread


By lllvjr

1 year ago



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#501 1 year ago
Quoted from burningman:

I agree, that's why I was questioning it. When I heard it on the podcast I thought to myself, I haven't heard that before....
Just wanted to see if anyone else may know something about it...I'm listening to the podcast again now to make sure I heard it right.

Or is a certain someone creating drama to fuel the lull?

#502 1 year ago

That might be a smart move in an ultra competitive market.

One edition but a limited number.

Sell out and move on to title 2.

#503 1 year ago
Quoted from burningman:

Was going to call my distributor Joe @ Pinballstar but thought I would just ask here. I recently heard on a podcast that Houdini is going to be limited to 600 games. Anyone else heard the same?

I asked at the show and they didn't say it was, there is no license holder so there is no reason why they would be limited to a production number. Joe Balcer said they were hoping to avoid licensed themes for their next two games to allow them more freedom as well.

#504 1 year ago

I thought I heard it on the eclectic gamers podcast but I was listening to several episodes of theirs and a few other podcasts on the way home from Allentown. It could have been an older episode. Still trying to find it. Not trying to create drama or miscommunication, just was asking.

25
#505 1 year ago
Quoted from burningman:

I recently heard on a podcast that Houdini is going to be limited to 600 games.

we may limit it to 6,000, but certainly not 600

We have no limit planned at this time and hey, I'm not busting my ass creating a great rule set to be on that few number of games.

#506 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

You got it reversed sir. AS blows away DI by a fair amount imo. So they are already discounting DI? To what? What is it, $7700 now or $8000 for a "standard"". Or an LE? Different pricing for different folks? I thought it was $8k and $9k firm?
I love how you JJP fanboys get all defensive in threads that really haven't nothing to do with DI.
At least they are actually finally getting ready to ship the pin despite claims by Jack that they would be more Stern like in their releases.
Announce a pin and start shipping it 8 months later isn't going to get it done.

You can always get a better deal from a distributor than by buying direct. The manufacturers don't really want to sell direct; it's not how the pipeline is set up.

#507 1 year ago
Quoted from burningman:

I thought I heard it on the eclectic gamers podcast but I was listening to several episodes of theirs and a few other podcasts on the way home from Allentown. It could have been an older episode. Still trying to find it.

I do not recall us ever stating on our show that Houdini was a limited run, but if you find an episode where we did just let me know which one and I'll be sure to air a correction!

13
#508 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

we may limit it to 6,000, but certainly not 600
We have no limit planned at this time and hey, I'm not busting my ass creating a great rule set to be on that few number of games.

I don't know if it's been said here, but thank you for bringing back normalcy into the hobby, this LE, SLE business was never a good idea for the hobby, different codes and mechs and all. Also thank you all for making a game in 4 months with a realistic price. This has had an obvious effect in the market already. I can't tell how long I've been waiting for real competition in the pinball market.

#509 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

You can always get a better deal from a distributor than by buying direct. The manufacturers don't really want to sell direct; it's not how the pipeline is set up.

It is for JJP, that's why i wouldn't want to be a distributor for them while they sell direct at the same time, for better deals when they want to move pins like they have done in the past.

17
#510 1 year ago
Quoted from kvan99:

I don't know if it's been said here, but thank you for bringing back normalcy into the hobby, this LE, SLE business were never a good idea for the hobby, different codes and mechs and all.

Over the last 6 weeks I have been to three shows and talked to hundreds of pinball enthusiasts, and at least 75 times I have been asked a question such as 'is this the LE' or 'how many models will there be' and when I answer there is just the one, 100% of the time the response back was along the lines of 'good, I hate the multiple model thing'. So, from where I sit, it is clear that the market does not want it, but clearly some companies believe it is a good thing, at least for the bottom line.

As the person creating the rules and writing the code, I can't imagine having to do it for two or three versions of rules and mechs, and then keeping it all straight, let alone getting it completed (needless to say, but I'll say it, pinball code can be extremely complex).

I always thought the original intent of more than one model was to have a lower cost model, with less complex toys that would work well for operators vs collectors who wanted more. But even if that was the original intent, that does not seem to be where it has evolved to. But as we have seen with the airlines and other businesses different levels of service/product, obviously can have a benefit to the bottom line and often the customers have not real say in the matter.

Personally, I'd rather see some machines that are designed/geared for the street but still great at home and for collectors and vice versa, since there are plenty of LE games out on location, so clearly some operators what the full loaded games for their locations. We have seen some very basic games come out, that I would say were geared more towards the non-enthusiast market, that some collectors still wanted. Joe Balcer is very focused on making Houdini as reliable and street friendly as possible, for example, you would need to remove nothing from the playfield to give it a good cleaning. At the same time, I have been focused on making sure the game is fun for novices, enthusiasts, and the hard core skilled/strategy guys. Of course no game will ever make everyone happy.

I can understand how manufactures want to maximize profit and I can see a place for add-ons that provide the 'bling' or extras (invisiglass, toppers, etc.) or even certain features that are not core to the games functionality (e.g. shaker motors when not really critical to the game) that some folks want and others don't really care for, and if that kept fully functional and developed games at a more affordable price, then great.

I also don't get how those who are paying more for an LE often get their games after the standards/pros/etc. Seems if you are paying more, you should get yours first, but thats just me.

Obviously I don't make all the decisions here at American Pinball, and some of the comments above are my views and I'm not necessarily speaking on behalf of AP, but I think you have a sense of the things that I will continue to push for and be vocal about.

#511 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Over the last 6 weeks I have been to three shows and talked to hundreds of pinball enthusiasts, and at least 75 times I have been asked a question such as 'is this the LE' or 'how many models will there be' and when I answer there is just the one, 100% of the time the response back was along the lines of 'good, I hate the multiple model thing'. So, from where I sit, it is clear that the market does not want it, but clearly some companies believe it is a good thing, at least for the bottom line.

If you ask people... they don't want it.. because they want their cake and eat it too.

Drop a mech from your design.. and people will complain you aren't putting enough into the game
Add more into the game, but creep your price up and people will complain about the price
Try to find the balance and people will still complain how THEIR money isn't buying the game THEY want.
Then complain you should option everything out.. and then pick apart your options price because when they add up the game is too expensive or your line item costs aren't inline with someone who markets that alone, etc.

Ultimately it's all driven by what margin your company needs to be whole and successful to themselves. The beauty of the tiered model is it gives you the ability to do markups without a line item beatdown. It also is an easy upsell opportunity for those buyers that just 'gotta have it all' and generally gives you more margin cushion to work within.

The problem as always is when people feel they aren't getting the right value proposition for their model... and simple envy. They want what the higher model offers, but they don't want to pay more for that. So people fight over what should be in a model. Of course when the company makes it worse by stripping TOO much out, yet the price doesn't reflect it.. the problem is exaggerated.

Even if Stern didn't do this move initially.. it would have come later. No way manufacturers are going to sit by and watch all the mod companies sell 1-2k worth of mods into games without them getting any of that action when they could have sold those mods themselves as factory.

The desire for beauty queens and LOADED games predates the tiered game model... the tiered game model is just a response to it.

#512 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

we may limit it to 6,000, but certainly not 600
We have no limit planned at this time and hey, I'm not busting my ass creating a great rule set to be on that few number of games.

Double thumbs up

Quoted from DennisK:

I do not recall us ever stating on our show that Houdini was a limited run, but if you find an episode where we did just let me know which one and I'll be sure to air a correction!

Definitely didn't mean to spread bum dope. It was a long ride back from Allentown and with the rain, traffic, etc I'm surprised I can remember any of the podcasts I listened to..my apologies.

18
#513 1 year ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

If you ask people... they don't want it.. because they want their cake and eat it too.

I agree with most of what you said. As I said, businesses will do what ever is best for their bottom line and future success.

Id like a model where game functionality is not differentiated for the justification of having different versions.

Put forward a complete game that meets that definition for a majority of the marketplace and then provide the means for those who want more.

You certainly may lose part of the market, where your price point is too high to provide the complete game, and I'd rather see that than strip out a $100 part to justify two models and now it is a $2000 difference to get the complete game as created by the design team.

I guess I want the old school model a design team had a budget and a price. They created the best game they could within those constraints making the decisions that had to be made. They put forward that offering and the marketplace decided.

Provide add-ones to enhance games with the items the marketplace views as nice but not essential (and yes, obviously what is essential is not universal agreed).

I would argue that rails that protect the cabinet by the flipper is more important than blades, and you may see it the other way. But in either case they are not essential to game play so if it came with just one of those, which ever if us likes the other can get it as an add-on, but neither of us has lost game functionality.

With today's collector there is a desire by some for more aesthetics, but the one model should be what the majority find a complete game and if it that is the case the market should be receptive if priced accordingly.

This landscape is changing all the time, different companies approaching things the way hey think is best resulting in the marketplace getting more choices, and that's a good thing

#514 1 year ago

I really enjoyed playing the game at Pinfest, speaking with Josh and Joe, and watching others play. I did put down a deposit and look forward to it continuing to evolve.

I told Josh and Joe that I would love to buy a NIB pinball and not need to take it apart to add Cliffy protectors on the holes, ramp protectors, plastic protectors, and magnet fuse protection. If I add any bling then that is my choice.

I realized that one of the things I enjoy in a game is a subway. Which is probably one of the reasons Star Trek Next Generation is one of my favorite games.

I asked most of the questions that have been asked on these threads and answered by Josh. The trunk is steel so it should hold up to being hit. I would probably buy extra trunk decals or hope they include in the goody bag.

I also like the idea of one version of the game.

I look forward to their manual.

Michael

#515 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

I guess I want the old school model a design team had a budget and a price. They created the best game they could within those constraints making the decisions that had to be made. They put forward that offering and the marketplace decided.

A big thumbs up for this business decision!
Thank you.

13
#516 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

for example, you would need to remove nothing from the playfield to give it a good cleaning.

BOOM! Am I the only clean freak, show piece collector/player that noticed this comment? The hits just keep coming on this title for me.

With the current shit storms involving Stern, Dutch and Heighway Pinball, I have been on a game buying sabbatical and have considered leaving the hobby. Houdini has me excited again.

And thank you Josh Kugler for spending time with all of us here.

#517 1 year ago

Got a chance to play Houdini at Pinfast last weekend. Totally surprised overall how cool this game was. I loved the catapult that freely launches the ball at least a foot and a half up the playfield into a crate. What magic is this?

#518 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

I loved the catapult that freely launches the ball at least a foot and a half up the playfield into a crate. What magic is this?

Gravity?

#519 1 year ago

When is production starting again? Fall?

#520 1 year ago
Quoted from hAbO:

What magic is this?

MAGIC (resized).jpg

#521 1 year ago

Anyone have a clue when they will start shipping?

1 week later
#522 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

whom are the affiliated parties with this?

Is it safe to assume this will be using pinnovators sound components?

The current prototypes making the rounds to shows have our sound board, but their going a diff direction for production....
Still looking forward to grabbing a game when shipping starts.

#523 1 year ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

but their going a diff direction for production....

We certainly appreciate all the help and effort from Pinnovators, unfortunately the Pinnovator board is optimized for the traditional pinball two speaker and subwoofer configuration which is not the right design for our six speaker sound system.

Quoted from wdpvideo:

Anyone have a clue when they will start shipping?

Our goal is to be shipping before end of year.

#524 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

We certainly appreciate all the help and effort from Pinnovators, unfortunately the Pinnovator board is optimized for the traditional pinball two speaker and subwoofer configuration which is not the right design for our six speaker sound system.

Our goal is to be shipping before end of year.

Played Houdini at Allentown and have to say it it is a great game!
Will you be at Pintastic this year?

There are a lot of pinheads in the northeast and because of the proximity, Pintastic is the only show that many of the northern folks can or will go to.

#525 1 year ago

Would love to see you guys at Pintastic New England this year. Dying to play some Houdini!

#526 1 year ago

Had a go at PAAG and will have another at PNW meeting next month. Its a great looking game with good feel. It will be very interesting to see how this develops out. Needs a lot of refining and tweaking, but over all for an early stage prototype this is one beautiful machine with a ton of interesting shots. The layout and concepts are fantastic so I can only see this getting better and better as it gets nearer to a production model. Great first go AP and can't wait to see you at PNW meeting. Would be cool to see the next gen machine at this one to see the differences and directions you are taking it. Best of luck!

#527 1 year ago

100% agree with your business model, rosh. Another thing I hate about having the 3 models is that you end up liking and disliking features in all models. There is always a debate on what version to get and if features are really worth extra cash. Sometimes it seems like inexpensive features are purposely stripped from the 'cheap' version just so premium models appear to have more value. You end up 'modding' the pro with things that should be stock.

#528 1 year ago

Played yesterday at Pin-a-Go-Go. Fun game, great shots, felt solid. The cannon that launches the ball into the box was pretty damn cool. The American Pinball rep told me that the T-molding on the back box will be changed to lights and more lights will be added to playfield so it won't be as dark. No change to price with either addition.

IMG_3861 (resized).JPG

IMG_3893 (resized).JPG

#529 1 year ago

I don't understand what changing the tmolding to lights means, anyone able to clarify that?

#530 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I don't understand what changing the tmolding to lights means, anyone able to clarify that?

LED strips?

#531 1 year ago

I had the worst luck trying to play this at PAGG. Stood in line three seperate times, once for over a half hour, only to walk away disappointed because the game kept going down and being turned off. Glass was pulled every few minutes. It's a beautiful machine and once the bugs are worked out it's gonna be a wiiner.

#532 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

100% agree that it crushes DI

You're mental. If you had hands on with both, Houdini isn't even in the same LEAGUE as Dialed In. Not to diss Houdini, because I'm very interested in getting one, too. But it's immediately clear when playing them that there's an OCEAN between the quality of hardware and software finish of Dialed In and Houdini. It's not even fair to make a comparison.

#533 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I don't understand what changing the tmolding to lights means, anyone able to clarify that?

Aurich, the Flyer should clarify for you...

IMG_2542 (resized).JPG

#534 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

As the person creating the rules and writing the code, I can't imagine having to do it for two or three versions of rules and mechs, and then keeping it all straight, let alone getting it completed (needless to say, but I'll say it, pinball code can be extremely complex).

Cracked me up at PAGG that I was trying to figure out where the ball counter was on the screen while waiting for a turn. After finally giving up and asking one of your guys, I found out that isn't in yet. Made me feel even dumber about what on the screen might be hinting at the current ball count since the answer is - nothing!

Thanks for bringing it to PAGG. I've been wanting to try it ever since the first show a few months ago. Tons of cool ideas already in play, now I can't wait for the finished product!

10
#535 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Cracked me up at PAGG that I was trying to figure out where the ball counter was on the screen while waiting for a turn. After finally giving up and asking one of your guys, I found out that isn't in yet. Made me feel even dumber about what on the screen might be hinting at the current ball count since the answer is - nothing!

Actually, there is one. Must have been Jolly you were talking to, he does not know the game that well. To the right of the score is set of 5 'light bulbs', since the game at PAGG is on two ball play, the lower three would be broken/shattered bulbs. The image below would be ball one in a three ball game . . .

Roundcube Webmail _ Re_ Screenshot request (resized).png

#536 1 year ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Would love to see you guys at Pintastic New England this year. Dying to play some Houdini!

While I've been pushing for it, does not look like we will be there this year, with what we have going on at that time.

Quoted from wcbrandes:

Great first go AP and can't wait to see you at PNW meeting. Would be cool to see the next gen machine at this one to see the differences and directions you are taking it. Best of luck!

game at PNW will likely be the same machine. We are working through some changes to the ramp and playfield, but machines with the changes are not likely to be ready in time for PNW and SFGE.

#537 1 year ago

Thank you Rosh for bringing Houdini to PAGG. Really enjoyed playing it and my wife loved it as well(always a plus). I concur that the game went down as one of the balls in our game was stuck in the yuk to never return. I'm sure all of these little things will be worked out.

Houdini is a blast to play and the call outs are fantastic. And thanks for the t shirt! Great touch.

#538 1 year ago
Quoted from AliciaC:

Thank you Rosh for bringing Houdini to PAGG. Really enjoyed playing it and my wife loved it as well(always a plus). I concur that the game went down as one of the balls in our game was stuck in the yuk to never return. I'm sure all of these little things will be worked out.
Houdini is a blast to play and the call outs are fantastic. And thanks for the t shirt! Great touch.

Quoted from PismoArcade:

I had the worst luck trying to play this at PAGG. Stood in line three seperate times, once for over a half hour, only to walk away disappointed because the game kept going down and being turned off. Glass was pulled every few minutes. It's a beautiful machine and once the bugs are worked out it's gonna be a wiiner.

Sorry for the issues, the game is still very much a toddler, and I think it has decided to misbehave since I am not there. I do know it has had a few hundred plays this weekend. It has been reported to me we had a bad opto in the subway that was causing some issues, a jammed trough right when Jim went to grab dinner, some ball hangups, as well as a blown fuse. Had not heard about a VUK issue, could be related to the opto or I've seen the ball go into the vuk, bounce up and get stuck on the edge of the subway. Normally a nudge will take care of it, but we have a fix in the works.

I appreciate all the feedback.

#539 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Actually, there is one. Must have been Jolly you were talking to, he does not know the game that well. To the right of the score is set of 5 'light bulbs', since the game at PAGG is on two ball play, the lower three would be broken/shattered bulbs. The image below would be ball one in a three ball game . . .

That was what I had narrowed it down to, but the buff AP guy there said there was no ball counter in yet. Glad to know I didn't waste all that time in line studying the screen. I would suggest making the bulbs a little bigger. They're pretty insignificant relative to the busy background around them.

Thanks for the clarification!

#540 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

To the right of the score is set of 5 'light bulbs', since the game at PAGG is on two ball play, the lower three would be broken/shattered bulbs.

What a nifty feature, I love it!

#541 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Aurich, the Flyer should clarify for you...

That is a joke right?

Leds around the edges?

Please, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

#542 1 year ago

Totally agree with kvan99. Can't wait to get mine!

#543 1 year ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

That is a joke right?
Leds around the edges?
Please, nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

I have seen the cabinet with the test leds, its pretty cool looking, you can always shut them off!!!
Pincades
AP Dist.
JT

#544 1 year ago
Quoted from Jamaster10:

I have seen the cabinet with the test leds, its pretty cool looking, you can always shut them off!!!
Pincades
AP Dist.
JT

As long as there is an option to switch off as it was bad enough playing GOT and being blinded

#545 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Aurich, the Flyer should clarify for you...

Oh wow. Huh. I'll have to see in person I guess.

#546 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Oh wow. Huh. I'll have to see in person I guess.

Something like this I assume

IMG_2544 (resized).JPG

IMG_2545 (resized).JPG

IMG_2546 (resized).JPG

#548 1 year ago

Pinball will find a way to LED anything I guess!

#549 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

I would suggest making the bulbs a little bigger. They're pretty insignificant relative to the busy background around them.

Once you know where it is, it is pretty easy to spot, but I may look at 'flashing' the current ball to help draw attention to it.

Quoted from fishbone:

What a nifty feature, I love it!

With the larger, color displays, I felt it made sense to do something a little more creative and that tied in with the steampunk vibe, but that was no so radical it would piss people off. Pinball people like evolutionary change, not revolutionary.

#550 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Something like this I assume

thanks for the photos... proof of more is not always better

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