(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread

By lllvjr

2 years ago

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  • 8,871 posts
  • 534 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 hours ago by finnflash
  • Topic is favorited by 147 Pinsiders


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Houdini Release Notes Verison 19.4.7.pdf (PDF preview)
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Topic index (key posts)

33 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #145 Houdini Pinball initial flyer Posted by HighProtein (2 years ago)

Post #184 Initial reveal at TPF Posted by SilverballNut (2 years ago)

Post #190 Introductory Price of Houdini Posted by 1iblind (2 years ago)

Post #198 Initial Pictures of Machine Posted by lllvjr (2 years ago)

Post #229 Playfield Close-Up Pics Posted by bigd1979 (2 years ago)

Post #284 Machine feature details Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #312 More feature details Posted by rosh (2 years ago)

Post #385 Double switch lane picture Posted by pinballrockstar (2 years ago)

Post #420 Pinball show appearance schedule for Houdini Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #434 Houdini pics from Allentown show Posted by PinballSTAR (1 year ago)

Post #533 Official Houdini Flyer with features listed Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (1 year ago)

Post #535 Ball Counter graphic for game Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #609 More mode and feature details from programmer Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #639 More game system details from programmer Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #978 Photos of the updated game for expo Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #1000 Photos of the cabinet interior side art Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #1287 Josh Kugler Interview Posted by konjurer (1 year ago)

Post #1357 Houdini Gameplay video Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #2290 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by BarryJ (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#78 2 years ago

It is entirely possible that Joe had a playfield design mostly ready to go and adapted it to Houdini.

Therefore , we could see a flipping game of some sort at TPF. I wish them luck, but you have to maintain a degree of skepticism, based on the missteps of the Jpast.

vdojaq seems to know.

1 week later
#171 2 years ago

I hear they are dropping it into a lake and the reveal happens when the machine escapes its shrink-wrapped tomb and emerges from the water..

10 months later
#2120 1 year ago
Quoted from ezeltmann:

I spent a good portion of the day trying Houdini and TNA at Pinball Gallery.
Houdini was really impressive as an early production game with no noticeable mechanical problems. Everything worked all day . No balls stuck either.
Best display integration with backglass. All animations and screens look like they belong there. Attention was paid to matching up with the curtains and steampunk elements throughout the presentation. No other company is doing that as well right now. IMO
Head and speaker design fits well with theme.
Clear instruction, both audible and visual , regarding game instructions and what needs to be shot. Great for beginners and pros alike.
Score display is tiny, along with the information for what ball you are on. Maybe magnify it for 10 seconds at the start of each ball and scale it back. Just way too small.
Trunk: Catapult launches into trunk. Never missed. Amazing.
Magnets: Well integrated , although i do not fully understand as to when and why they activate. Active during multiballs. When they are active in normal play its a cool effect without the downside of an insta-drain. Magnets provide effect right where Houdinis hands are placed on the playfield art when the nearby target is hit. Makes sense.
Stage: Nothing too high tech , but a cool toy that works and provides a different (fun) shot and ball path.
Lots of different challenging shots. Punishing for uncontrolled play. Playfield a bit crowded on left. Milk Can and Magic Shop hole stand out as original.
Audible "rewards" for making shots seem lacking or too subtle. Needs better mix overall. Magician voice and instructions sound a bit clinical and aren't very exciting.
The only cool lighting effect i can remember is for the trunk before it catches the ball. There is the strobe i have been begging Heighway to put on the Alien head. Playfield is well lit overall. Might need more lighting effects, as i just can't remember anything that stands out. Inserts near the stage / magic shop are hard to notice.
Smooth shooting game when the shots are accurate. This game played a bit slow , which made time for recovery after a bad shot. In that regard , it made you feel like you were getting your moneys worth, for a paid game on location. Full instructions at the start of each mode left almost no guessing on what to do or shoot. As mentioned , more polish to the sounds and code are needed to bring this to the next level. Fun shots with some confusion based on the subtle sounds and shot feedback.
Plenty of modes that seem to start in three or different places. Stage , Lock shot and Spirit. Has reverse or inverted reverse modes with a multiball. Seems like i might be sick of that gimmick, but to each his own. Multiballs will stack. Not sure which ones do, but you could be hunched over for a while playing reverse flipper! Someone call a chiropractor.
Flippers were incredibly responsive and i am pretty sure you can tap pass with em. Great for ball control. Not sure if there is a setting , but they seemed to be set a bit on the weaker side. The gameplay was a bit slow which works well with the difficult nature of the shots, but also; slow sometimes is not all that exciting. I am not a fan of the flipper art. The flipper art somehow takes away from them (hides them), while successfully achieving the goal of being integrated into the theme.
Great game with great toys and cool modes and shots. Needs improvement in sound , lighting and code polish for a more exciting experience.
Honorable mention : That seemingly-out-of-place green skull Spirit Plastic. Doesn't match anything but it is super cool and appreciated

I've played the Houdini at Pinball Gallery in Malvern PA 2 weeks in a row with no issues. Impressive effort for a first run build.

my review from another thread after first time.

4 months later
#4735 9 months ago
Quoted from MightyGrave:

My Houdini arrives in 2 days and i'm very excited. So i want to ask if there are any advices, tips or things to look for when settingup / adjust the magic Houdini.c
Following things are actually prepared :
- New shiny low magnetic balls
- New shooterrod
- Theater decal
- shaker, innercab decals, magic glass
installed from factory
- steam punk dustcover (towel)
Thank you

i'm getting one within the hour and am interested in the same info!!!

#4752 9 months ago


houdini amp (resized).jpg
#4769 9 months ago
Quoted from HOOKED:

If I were a straight jacket where would I be ?
What do you guys think of this mod? Cant decide where to place it.
The original thought was behind the pops but I kinda like it infront of the trunk and it does not get near the flying ball.
Mod will be available Aug 2018 in paint stage now this is my proto.
3d cast based on his actual jacket currently on display all the way down to the buckles on the back of the jacket and its hand painted.

I think the Spirit plastic is the best art on the game (that doesn't really fit the overall package).

Personally , i would not cover it , but maybe it should be covered by a mod . lol

#4807 9 months ago
Quoted from jkashani:

Installed an external subwoofer (polk SPW 10) today and although it does sound better, it still lacks that boom I thought I would get. Any suggestions as far as dialing in for a better sound? Otherwise, the game is stellar just lacks in the sound department. Maybe a speaker upgrade will be available at some point.

i posted a pic of the amp adjustments only about one page back. you will get boom!

3 weeks later
#5129 8 months ago

rosh Hi , i tried loading a custom message and after enabling it , i am in a constant reboot loop (houdini loading screen with progress bar) .

How do i get back to normal?

I did update to the latest code first.

CURRENTLY BRICKED !! Going to try old code update after reloading new code kept the looping error.

#5131 8 months ago
Quoted from CUJO:

Just guessing but you'll probably have to update the code from the USB again... should at least solve the looping.


**EDIT** load old code and reload new code to Unbrick

I'm sure i did something wrong , but i don't know exactly what yet.

#5133 8 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Pull and send me logs

How do you pull a log?

#5135 8 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Insert a usb stick with no game code in it

I managed to update to old code before specifically looking to make a log (as you suggested) . However the USB i was using has several log files on it , possibly from when i loaded the custom message .

PM me your email address or post it here and i will send you what was captured before i backdated the code to 18.5.

#5140 8 months ago
Quoted from Videogod:

I'm also in an endless loop boot cycle. Happened after I tried to load the custom message and went into Settings -> Standard to enable it.
Tried to "update" the code from the USB drive, but it's still in the boot loop.

I am back up and running , only after loading old code and then reloading new code. Might be a help to get a log to Josh. I was already back to old code by the time he asked for mine.

Quoted from rosh:

likely has the log that would help, also send me the custom_message.png file you are using

Email sent!

* UNBRICKED * had to load old code and then new to get out of never ending boot loop.

Great job Josh on the new code and being a presence here to help us !!

#5147 8 months ago
Quoted from Videogod:

Figured out the problem with my Custom Message. The PNG file has to be 72 dpi (I had mine set at 150 dpi).
1360 x 768
72 dpi
PNG format
Works great now. GREAT code update. I love all the new stuff!

Glad you got yours working! The image posted from Josh is 120 dpi .

I do appreciate the effort put into this game; and as a bit of constructive criticism, i do not care for the new movie mode voice. Seems out of place and muffled compared to the rest of the package. The female voice i wasn't thrilled with , but it seemed to fit the time period somehow. <yes i know it can be turned back to the other voice>

Interested if others share the same opinion. I was up until 3am playing a nice 3mil game!

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1 month later
#5960 7 months ago

Just figured i should report that after installing the shaker motor, the catapult starting missing regularly (low) . Was nearly flawless before that.

Not sure if that is the exact cause, but i could see it being enough of a power draw to affect the throw, if some of the issues being brought to light here are true (coil performance ).

1 week later
#6091 6 months ago

In a post way back it was mentioned that the "key lane" wasn't making a sound , making him think the switch wasn't working.

That is still one of my issues with this game , that some made shots do not produce a sound that lets you know you did something. Lock shot also comes to mind. I know you have announcement that lock is lit , but the actual switch event seems like it should have a distinct sound (like most pinball games do) . If the sounds are there , they are getting lost. Overall i am happy with sounds and callouts.

Hope it doesn't come through as a complaint , i am loving this game more and more and am hoping to help improve it via feedback.

4 weeks later
#6584 5 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

In some of the FILM modes there can be a delay where the screen is animating something before you know you've really completed it. The biggest culprit is Haldane where you have to keep hitting the spinner to make the Water Wheel spin faster until it spins off the axle and the mode is complete. In general though you should always be able to tell when illusions have been completed because all the inserts will flash Red several times, there will be cheering and the music or other background sounds stop. There will also no longer be instructions on what to shoot next on the small screen.

The fact remains that after the many games that i have played; it is almost never obvious (to me) as to when you have completed a mode and there is significant delay on some of the indicators. Sometimes the applause is way understated and hard to tell the difference from the boos , which are very prominent. Lighting changes (flashing insert moving to new shot) is also somewhat delayed.

I am hoping for polish in these regards.


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