saw that the video already had 25 views and I had not yet posted it, but see that dts was one of those who found it. I'll try to get the other one posted soon, seems stuck on the upload, I'll try again shortly. Again, I'll try to get some better video shot in the next week.
First off, I want to thank all of you who came to expo and played Houdini and took the time to talk and give us feedback. The machines were played non-stop from open to close and there was always a line. We did have the game set up with 3 balls. I did not look at final audits, but the last time I had looked, over 1000 games had been played across the three machines, with an average game time round 3 minutes and an average score of 110,000. High score was around 1.6 million. 12 players had game times over 15 minutes, 17 players had games less than a minute.
Did get an email reading some catapult misses, so figured I would share the info here. One of the machines was dropped when being move to Expo, I didn't see it, but I guess fell off the hand trunk and landed hard on the back of the head. The mini display and backboard took it hard and had to be repaired on site. It appears that at some point during the show the switch that detects if the lid is open game loose and was not closing correctly. If the lower catapult does not see the lid open, it does a short throw to avoid throwing the ball over the trunk, etc. To be honest, I don't know if it is really a necessary feature, but, we did to be on the safe side. Once that was adjusted it was back to its normal high accuracy. Plenty of folks here can attest to how well it did.
We did have one major software bug that was causing us a lot of grief. And that led to a couple of more as I tried to track it down and fix it. The symptoms of the issue would not show themselves until long after the event that triggered it, so took me a long time to track it down. If a player started 'return from beyond', which is a mode that, if earned, starts if you drain out the left outlane. The mode puts the ball back in the shooter lane and gives you 30 flips to spell seance, do it, and you get to continue your ball, fail and your ball ends. It appears that if you fail, the at some point for the the next player, typically, the stage will then decide to ignore balls that enter it, and even if ball save would drop it out of the stage, the issue would continue. While I was not 100% able to correct the issue at the show, we were able to minimize to rarely occur, but that was not until Saturday. Normally it is harder to earn return from beyond than I had it set at the show, i wanted you guys to get to have fun with that mode, and that is probably why we and not seen this crop up before. Needless to say we will be doing a lot more play testing over the next few weeks to work through these kind of issues.
Houdini is chatty, no doubt about it. Keep in mind I sit in a room all day alone with Houdini, so, you can't blame me for wanting someone to talk to, heck, I even added a bunch of female callouts this week . While all stage modes and movie modes can be 'flipper escaped', I have not yet determined the best way to handle callouts in those situations as well as balancing them at other times. Rest assured I will be giving this more through both around a verbosity setting and how it behaves. Obviously everyone has an opinion on this, and I heard lots of them. At that same time, I don't think I had any other negative feedback the whole show, other than some thoughts on lamp flashing (which I believe was from the player in one of the videos, speaking of which, it looks like the other video finally uploaded . . .
Inserts are all RGB, GI is white. We did not have the right GI LEDs at the show, the ones we will use for the slings, etc. are frosted so less harsh on the eyes.
I and lots of folks ask how the backglass looks so great, with deep rich colors and balanced lighting. Not really sure how, it just does. It is a real backglass and has no 'white' backing layer, which I guess helps. There are just three led strips to the do lighting, but it just seems to work well, with how it is positioned with the monitor and its integration in the head. Obviously I am biased, but I do think it is the best integration of an LCD into a back box so far.
At this show I did not hear anyone complain about the low scoring of the game, seems with us and JJP doing that, on at least some of their games, everyone is getting accustomed to lower scores, that in reality help you know a good game or not. If you break 200K on Houdini, that is good game, 500K on Houdini that is a really good game, you break a 1,000,000 well that is a great game, I am sure at some point, after players learn how to maximize scoring, that someone will 'roll it over'. The main display is just 7 digits, but the smaller player displays can go up to, I believe, 9 digits.
Well, there is a cup of coffee and a bagel and lox calling my name. I'll check better later to see if there are any questions, etc.