(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread


By lllvjr

2 years ago



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#2001 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Congratulations!! Enjoy.

There is no knocker, we have talked about, and it is certainly possible, we will later offer a kit to add one. We have put that on the back burner for now as we have higher priorities, as I am sure you can understand. My guess is we will revisit it in a month or two. Things like the knocker and shaker start off in the BOM, but end up getting removed based on other items we feel have greater value. For example, the themed spot lights, do we do those or a knocker -- which creates more value? I'm not saying that was the specific tradeoff, but in general those are the kind of discussions we have. At one point we were going with an 8 ball trough, since I wanted 7 balls in the machine, but that was going to cost a significant amount more then a six ball, so I would have to have been willing to give up something else of substance, so, clear choice was I'll get by with six balls (which believe it nor created quite the headache for me when we made the change).

Joe is going out there today to take care of it. He wants to give the whole machine a good look over, since it now has close to 2000 plays on it.

Tight shots, it is all in your head. Backhanding the right inner loop is actually quite easy. If flippers set correctly, you can typically also backhand the ramp. What I find hard is hitting the ramp after the milkcan loop to increase the playfield multiplier. It is not that the ramp shot is that hard, it is the 'panic/pressure' of needing to hit it right then that makes me miss it, typically badly, but again, all in the head, since there are times I can hit that ramp three, four times in a row. Pinball really is a very mental game.
I'll look at adding an option for a short ball save on the scoop when not in MB. Joe and I were talking about that not long ago. This is typically the kind of thing where I rib him about software having to compensate for his "design flaws". Needless to say he gets way more opportunities to rib me about software stuff.
No match yet, pretty sure I know what I am going to do, just have many higher priority items.
Super Skill is the magic target on the left side. There is an expanded skill shot in the works, not hugely different, per se, but will require more skill to earn items of greater interest/value, including a new feature for the stage. Right now I have it pencilled in for the March release. BTW, current skill shot gets harder on each ball, if you make it.
Seen the catapult throw into the box thousands of times and it never gets old.
Replay scores are probably at defaults, and those probably need to be re-evaluted based on the data we have collected. Other defaults might also changed based on data we have collected. Some of the locations have been great in sending over logs and stats for me to review, and in some cases I have recommended changes to their settings based on what I am seeing.
.
.
Speaking of locations sharing data, for any operators following this thread, here are some key metrics from three of the half dozen or more locations with machines.
Games: 1867, Avg Game Time: 3:38, Avg Score: 76156 ($1/game)
Games: 2142, Avg Game Time: 2:47, Avg Score: 53525 (entry fee games on free play)
Games: 1522, Avg Game Time: 2:54, Avg Score: 76120 ($1/game, 3 for $2)

Awesome communication!!

-1
#2002 1 year ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

Of "Kugler Family Pinball", one of the best shooting custom games ever made. I wonder if that's AP's next theme!
- Gerry
https://www.multimorphic.com

Ummm... it is TAF... of course it shoots well.

#2003 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Ummm... it is TAF... of course it shoots well.

Bzzzzz! Thank you, try again. It shoots well because Josh has an awesome work ethic

#2004 1 year ago

FYI just saw The 1Up on Colfax put a Houdini on the floor for any Denver area folks wanting to try it.

#2005 1 year ago
Quoted from Jamaster10:

Quick Friday bump for those who didn't catch this the first time.
Will do a local party soon!!!!!!!!!!

pulled audits yesterday
almost 100 plays since Tuesday at 10 pm

#2006 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Ummm... it is TAF... of course it shoots well.

It used a TAF ramp, but the rest of the layout isn’t the same.

#2007 1 year ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

It used a TAF ramp, but the rest of the layout isn’t the same.

Yeah, the upper part of the Kugler's playfield has much more flow (two loops that feed the upper flipper). It's really not that similar to TAF. Even the ramp is modified. It's a great layout, and there's now a trend for putting family members on backglasses.

- Gerry

13
#2008 1 year ago

I'm lucky enough to live within an hour of the Pinball Gallery in Malvern, and they just added both a TNA and Houdini to their collection. I've been ready to pull the trigger on a Houdini for a while, but wanted to play it first. So I drove out today and put in a lot of games, and damn this game is good. Not being a fantastic pinball player, my biggest concerns were that there would be short ball times and shots that were overly hard to hit. None of that is true - I was able to hit every shot relatively easily (the milk can shot was tricky) and started multi-ball and a few modes on each game.

In summary - the machine is beautiful, the shots are fun, the sound and call-outs are great (the giggling girls were not annoying, and the instructions for each shot were more helpful than obtrusive). I will definitely be picking this up once the shaker motor and art blades are available.

I also ran into Steven Bowden and got to watch him rack up all of the high scores on both TNA and Houdini. What a nice guy, and he made hitting a million on Houdini look easy (it's not).

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#2009 1 year ago

Played at Marvelous Marvins. Played great! It did seem that there was a hesitation on the flippers. Also, the Inverted flippers didn't seem to work well, but that could have been me.

The machine sat too low in front and understand they shipped them the wrong legs. It was about 2 inches lower than any other machines in the line up.

Once the tweek the code I think the game is going to be awesome!

#2010 1 year ago

Also, the shots were tight, especially the right side, but I was making them and the other guy that was also playing it.

Milk can was great. Catapult worked everytime (6 times). Tight but makable. Very satisfying when you make them.

Color on the whole game is awesome, especially the translight.

#2011 1 year ago

transprtr4u was kind enough to have me over for a few games today, and this game is very impressive.

It is a hard game as the shots are very tight but the layout, lighting, sounds and build quality are all top notch, even better looking in person too!

#2012 1 year ago

Played Houdini at the local distributor in Houston on Friday at Joystix Classic Games & Pinballs during their Pac Man Fever Friday. This is the first chance I had to play it and I really enjoyed it. The game had someone at it all night long. It is a really good looking game too. 27545073_10155399601523207_898800134760846845_n (resized).jpg

#2013 1 year ago

I drove 90 minutes to check out Houdini at the Analog Arcade in Davenport, Iowa.

Here's my most controversial thought while playing Houdini... it ocassionally played like Ghostbusters; and I strongly dislike Ghostbusters. Houdini can be brutal. The power on the right flipper was lacking and I could not backhand shots all the way up the ramp. The ball flew off the left wireform right down the middle twice on my first game. Several times the magnet threw the ball down the outlanes. The center post seemed dead... unlike STDM Zach's machine where the ball would nicely bounce back to a flipper, a straight-on drain would just die off the post like a wounded duck. Frequently, the ball save would shoot at the ESC targets and drain immediately. The ball got stuck on the switch several times when coming back down the Key Lane. The pops are not nearly as lively as a Stern - wonder if that is adjustable?? Houdini drove me crazy and I said many bad words in anger during my time with it.

OK, I got the negatives out of the way. I freaking loved it. Played for 2 hours and my games got better as I went. The left shots are pretty easy to hit. The right shots are tight and hard... but not impossible for a below average player like myself. I got to see the catapult at least 12 times. So that shot is not impossible at all.

I'm not going to repeat all the good stuff that's already been said about Houdini. My key take aways were

* it's absolutely beautiful, easily the most beautiful, detailed pinball machine I've seen in person, wow!
* the game makes it very easy to understand what you are supposed to be doing
* one of the best games where the modes actually mean something
* Josh did a fantastic job of integrating magic and Houdini's escapes into the modes
* the card flinging video mode is very clever
* the playfield design is very, very good. Love the pops, gobble hole and theater area
* anything negative I said about the animations I now take back - well done!
* this is a stop and go game. On those "stop" moments the backbox display is really helpful. Not just random animations.
* Music and callouts are really well done
* there is so much to do in this game!

Houdini is loaded and has excellent value for the money. More excited than ever to get mine now.

-3
#2014 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Played Houdini at the local distributor in Houston on Friday at Joystix Classic Games & Pinballs during their Pac Man Fever Friday. This is the first chance I had to play it and I really enjoyed it. The game had someone at it all night long. It is a really good looking game too.

So are they fixing the legs on these? That Houdini looks like a Shetland pony in that lineup with those legs...at least 2-3" shorter than the GotG next to it (which is already 2" shorter than the AfMr next to GotG - so Houdini would be 5-6" shorter than AfMr!).

#2015 1 year ago

I’ve played it on more than one occasion, the height seemed fine to me. The second time I played it was at Level 257 and it was in a line of pins and it seemed to be the same height as all the others.

#2016 1 year ago

I noticed no difference in height either.

#2017 1 year ago
Quoted from DngrWillRobinson:

I’ve played it on more than one occasion, the height seemed fine to me. The second time I played it was at Level 257 and it was in a line of pins and it seemed to be the same height as all the others.

So maybe they've already fixed it? I know some of the early owners were talking about the low legs and said they were supposed to be fixed with the right legs.

-4
#2018 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I noticed no difference in height either.

How could you not notice the difference in height when the picture you took shows Houdini at least 2-3" lower than GotG and 5-6" lower than AfMr?

#2019 1 year ago

I did not take the picture. It came from Joystix Facebook page. You are basing your preceived notion on an angled picture. I am basing it on my experience playing it in person. I am 6' tall and I noticed no difference in height playing it and looking at it standing next to other games.

#2020 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I did not take the picture. It came from Joystix Facebook page. You are basing your preceived notion on an angled picture. I am basing it on my experience playing it in person. I am 6' tall and I noticed no difference in height playing it and looking at it standing next to other games.

Didn't realize you didn't take the picture. Glad to hear it was the same height as the other machines when you played it.

#2021 1 year ago

I played it both at 257 as well as GAP and it stands the same height as all the other games. It only stands out as being Awesome to play and a challenge to beat! lol

#2022 1 year ago

What is most current code ?

#2023 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

How could you not notice the difference in height when the picture you took shows Houdini at least 2-3" lower than GotG and 5-6" lower than AfMr?

It's the angle of the picture. Go stand in front of a line-up of games (equal height) from that same vantage point and tell me what you see. Using your logic every game is getting progressively taller if you look down the line in that pic. What's the height of that DI at the end? That Houdini is fine.

#2024 1 year ago

The height of the game is the same as every other game. We changed the leg length between the prototype and production, as we moved the front legs up so the game would sit and proper angle with all leg levelers already the way in, since often that is what happens when games are on location. This therefore requires longer legs. My first guess was some prototype legs got shipped, but I was just informed that the company doing the powder-coating somehow got some wrong legs mixed in with ours, and since they are wrapped in paper, it was not noticed. The correct legs will get shipped out and the team will be checking the remaining legs.

Quoted from Fishbeadtwo:

What is most current code ?

Games have been shipping with 17.1.10, the machine at Level 257 has 18.2.1 and that has also been distributed to a couple of other locations since it has support for $1 for 1 game pricing (yes, somehow I forgot to include that in the service menu options), but not sure if they have installed it yet. I'll be pulling the logs from Level257 tonight, unless the snow gets in the way, and if I don't see any issues of note, that code will be made available later this week. My guess is half the games that ship this week will be on 17.1.10 and the rest will be on 18.2.1. I will post the change log here when the code update goes live.

#2025 1 year ago

Re: konjurer 's comment about the centre post being dead.

That was another piece of feedback I forgot about the L257 game. In the few games we had, it exhibited virtually no bounce. Perhaps wrong type of rubber.

#2026 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

The next version of the code is going through test now, and I might put it on the machine at Level257 tonight (yes, you guys who play there are guinea pigs) and it is possible another site or two might install this test version. If nothing of note pops up after a couple of days we will make it available to all owners.

Any word on magic glass, art blades, and shaker motor availability time frame yet?

#2027 1 year ago

I will be updating the Houdini @ Tyler's Tender today to 18.2.1.

Quoted from konjurer:

I drove 90 minutes to check out Houdini at the Analog Arcade in Davenport, Iowa.
Here's my most controversial thought while playing Houdini... it ocassionally played like Ghostbusters; and I strongly dislike Ghostbusters. Houdini can be brutal. The power on the right flipper was lacking and I could not backhand shots all the way up the ramp. The ball flew off the left wireform right down the middle twice on my first game. Several times the magnet threw the ball down the outlanes. The center post seemed dead... unlike STDM Zach's machine where the ball would nicely bounce back to a flipper, a straight-on drain would just die off the post like a wounded duck. Frequently, the ball save would shoot at the ESC targets and drain immediately. The ball got stuck on the switch several times when coming back down the Key Lane. The pops are not nearly as lively as a Stern - wonder if that is adjustable?? Houdini drove me crazy and I said many bad words in anger during my time with it.
OK, I got the negatives out of the way. I freaking loved it. Played for 2 hours and my games got better as I went. The left shots are pretty easy to hit. The right shots are tight and hard... but not impossible for a below average player like myself. I got to see the catapult at least 12 times. So that shot is not impossible at all.
I'm not going to repeat all the good stuff that's already been said about Houdini. My key take aways were
* it's absolutely beautiful, easily the most beautiful, detailed pinball machine I've seen in person, wow!
* the game makes it very easy to understand what you are supposed to be doing
* one of the best games where the modes actually mean something
* Josh did a fantastic job of integrating magic and Houdini's escapes into the modes
* the card flinging video mode is very clever
* the playfield design is very, very good. Love the pops, gobble hole and theater area
* anything negative I said about the animations I now take back - well done!
* this is a stop and go game. On those "stop" moments the backbox display is really helpful. Not just random animations.
* Music and callouts are really well done
* there is so much to do in this game!
Houdini is loaded and has excellent value for the money. More excited than ever to get mine now.

Did you ask them to make any adjustments? (Analog)
They are great fellas there, They take good care of the pins.
I sold them there Houdini.

Pincades
JT.

#2028 1 year ago
Quoted from Jamaster10:

I will be updating the Houdini @ Tyler's Tender today to 18.2.1.

Not really, what you have is 18.2.1T, the testing version of the release and you will want to upgrade it with the official release once it comes out. I'll be reviewing logs data today from about 200 games of play to see if there are any issues of substance that would prevent its official release.

#2029 1 year ago

The Houdini at padavans in St Louis has the test version installed. Will update again once the official version it's released.

#2030 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Not really, what you have is 18.2.1T, the testing version of the release and you will want to upgrade it with the official release once it comes out. I'll be reviewing logs data today from about 200 games of play to see if there are any issues of substance that would prevent its official release.

I stand corrected LOL

#2031 1 year ago

What is the deal/reason for the giggling?

#2032 1 year ago
Quoted from gliebig:

What is the deal/reason for the giggling?

the attractive young ladies on the sling shots was the inspiration for it. There is alternative sound you can switch to in the settings for those who don't like giggling women.

#2033 1 year ago

Ya I heard you can change it to moaning women.

#2034 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

the attractive young ladies on the sling shots was the inspiration for it. There is alternative sound you can switch to in the settings for those who don't like giggling women.

I love that sound effect. It’s more sinister and eerie to me.

#2035 1 year ago

Opening soon in Marysville, WA!

HoudiniWindow (resized).jpg

#2036 1 year ago
Quoted from FlipperFreak:

Opening soon in Marysville, WA!

Congratulations

#2037 1 year ago

Got to play it some more. Why are timers counting down when the ball is moving thought the locks? Other games stop the timers for that.

#2038 1 year ago
Quoted from FlipperFreak:

Opening soon in Marysville, WA!

Sweet, I can play an hour of games and then hit the casino!

#2040 1 year ago

Just played Houdini at transprtr4u 's house.

It's awesome and fun! Looking forward to playing it again.

#2041 1 year ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

Got to play it some more. Why are timers counting down when the ball is moving thought the locks? Other games stop the timers for that.

Locks as in the catapult sequence (it does pause it), or are you talking about the pops, where it doesn't. The reason I don't do it in the pops, is the pops are used in multiple modes, so I don't feel appropriate to be extending the time when you are scoring points by being there. At the same time, either a mode is heavily pop focused (handcuff king, Needles trick), or being near the pops has little value to you (there is one maybe two exceptions where the key lane shot is used which will put you in the pops), so if you should not be near the pops, then why should you be rewarded for being someplace you should not be? Although I'm sure many will disagree.

One of my mantras is just because others do it or its 'always been done that way', does not make it right (I think Joe hates when I say that) nor does it mean I have to do it that way. If you like things the way they are on every other game, then, well go play a _______. Obviously Houdini conforms to many of the expected behaviors and features, since you want folks to be comfortable and obviously some of those make a lot of sense, but what often makes a new machine interesting, is when it does things that are different or new or unexpected. TNA, is an 80s style game, but brings new things to it, like speed and intensity of game play, I don't think it would be so popular if Scott had just made a new 80s style game that played like an 80s game without adding new ideas to it or using newer concepts to challenge the status quo.

#2042 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Locks as in the catapult sequence (it does pause it), or are you talking about the pops, where it doesn't. The reason I don't do it in the pops, is the pops are used in multiple modes, so I don't feel appropriate to be extending the time when you are scoring points by being there. At the same time, either a mode is heavily pop focused (handcuff king, Needles trick), or being near the pops has little value to you (there is one maybe two exceptions where the key lane shot is used which will put you in the pops), so if you should not be near the pops, then why should you be rewarded for being someplace you should not be? Although I'm sure many will disagree.
One of my mantras is just because others do it or its 'always been done that way', does not make it right (I think Joe hates when I say that) nor does it mean I have to do it that way. If you like things the way they are on every other game, then, well go play a ______. Obviously Houdini conforms to many of the expected behaviors and features, since you want folks to be comfortable and obviously some of those make a lot of sense, but what often makes a new machine interesting, is when it does things that are different or new or unexpected. TNA, is an 80s style game, but brings new things to it, like speed and intensity of game play, I don't think it would be so popular if Scott had just made a new 80s style game that played like an 80s game without adding new ideas to it or using newer concepts to challenge the status quo.

In the catapult sequence the hurry up shot was counting down seemed like a bug that it did not pause. To be fair in multi player games where some players get a quick lock and others get the longer one the timers need to pause.

Keep it running in the bumpers!

#2043 1 year ago

Rosh-
Any update on what you choose for a match sequence?
Also, i know it doesnt have one yet....but will you write code for a knocker?
Love knockers, lets me know i did good, pavlov feeling of accomplishment.

#2044 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

One of my mantras is just because others do it or its 'always been done that way', does not make it right (I think Joe hates when I say that) nor does it mean I have to do it that way.

Amen Brother Josh! I've been coding a machine and as I design modes and think about the way modes have been written before I'm like, damn, there's not a lot of imagination going on with existing modes on most Stern games. I like the new ideas Josh - especially the life after death modes.

I'd like to see more use of the RGB inserts in modes. Instead of shoot the red shots - colors and color animation used in RGB inserts can represent things like fire, water, electricity, etc. I think that is a rich area that hasn't been explored in much depth yet.

#2045 1 year ago
Quoted from Joe_Blasi:

In the catapult sequence the hurry up shot was counting down seemed like a bug that it did not pause. To be fair in multi player games where some players get a quick lock and others get the longer one the timers need to pause.

Hmm, it is a global pause that impacts timers for stage, movies, milkcan multiplier, and hurry ups, but I'll take a closer look. The primary exception is king of cards, which runs a timer and that was making the hurry up count down, even though you had no way to shoot it since the ball is held in the stage, that was a pain to deal with, but obviously needed to be done. In the case of the catapult, it is a flat 8 second pause, for a variety of reasons, although that starts at the upper vuk, so if the ball finds its way into the lower catapult some other way, that the pause would not occur, I'll put that on the list to look at.

Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Any update on what you choose for a match sequence?

I've narrowed it down to a couple of ideas, including my original concept. I'll probably get to it later this month or more likely March, the reason for which I will shed light on later.

Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Also, i know it doesnt have one yet....but will you write code for a knocker?

Pretty late in the process we added an auxiliary board to the cabinet as a better way to wire in the shaker, as well as to handle flashing of the start button (which is not RGB LED so needed a different solution). We built that board to have extra capacity for other things/add-ons, and we already have one enhancement that will leverage that. Given the design, it can be used for a knocker, and once we have time to really look at that we will. We will likely create a kit for it (given wiring needs), and I will code for it (not like it is tough code to write). Obviously that is one of the first things that gets cut from a BOM given the very limited use of it vs the cost of it. But I know some folks really like them.

Quoted from konjurer:

I'd like to see more use of the RGB inserts in modes. Instead of shoot the red shots - colors and color animation used in RGB inserts can represent things like fire, water, electricity, etc. I think that is a rich area that hasn't been explored in much depth yet.

No doubt more can be done with the RGB, but also have to balance that with making them helpful/useful to the player. We all know there is a game or two that are using RGB in some 'colorful' ways, but it can result in you having no freaking clue what they are telling you.

#2046 1 year ago

Thanks another great update !

#2047 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Pretty late in the process we added an auxiliary board to the cabinet as a better way to wire in the shaker, as well as to handle flashing of the start button (which is not RGB LED so needed a different solution). We built that board to have extra capacity for other things/add-ons, and we already have one enhancement that will leverage that. Given the design, it can be used for a knocker, and once we have time to really look at that we will. We will likely create a kit for it (given wiring needs), and I will code for it (not like it is tough code to write). Obviously that is one of the first things that gets cut from a BOM given the very limited use of it vs the cost of it. But I know some folks really like them.

Any ETA on the shaker motor (/knocker kit), magic glass, and art blades yet?

#2048 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Any ETA on the shaker motor (/knocker kit), magic glass, and art blades yet?

Seems your distributor should know.

#2049 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Seems your distributor should know.

Seems like one post here with an update is more effective than dozens of individual pinsider calls to distributors for the same information...

#2050 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Obviously that is one of the first things that gets cut from a BOM given the very limited use of it vs the cost of it. But I know some folks really like them.

"Limited use"?! I guess this game really is tough! I don't remember the exact percentage, but in the old days games were designed to give a replay once every ? games. I'm sure it was about every 6 or 7 games.
You gotta give a little reward now and then or they walk away.

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