(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread

By lllvjr

2 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 8,890 posts
  • 534 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 hours ago by zahner
  • Topic is favorited by 147 Pinsiders


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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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3 weeks later
#1683 1 year ago
Quoted from GAP:

First machine out AP's door to the public. 12/30/17, Historic day for AP and pinball.
Need a Houdini pinball machine visit our site at http://www.greatamericanpinball.com

Huge congrats to the AP team!!

3 weeks later
#1841 1 year ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

Word from my Distro is that my game has shipped ... Will post unboxing here ....

Excited for you ... if you don't mind, when did you place deposit/reserve a spot?

#1896 1 year ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

Had to add a little razzle dazzle to Houdini
- Pin Stadium Lights
- Trough Lighting
- Scoop Lighting
- Purple Titan sling silicones

Love the look Zach. When I get mine, I would love to be ready to add something similar ... what trough light system did you go with or was it DIY? I build my own scoop lights but sometimes the trough strips are just so easy to buy and pop in there.

1 month later
#2502 1 year ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

I was watching a guy play when the machine went to some wonky mode where the flippers were backwards (press button to drop, release button to flip) and also switched side-to-side.
I'd pass on this behavior, annoying not innovating.
Theater of Magic is a machine about magic and they didn't have to do this to have a great game.

One of my favorite features of the machine. I understand if some may not enjoy it. Similar on my GBLE but without inverted. You can get pretty good at it by reversing your arms!

#2503 1 year ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Just wanted to show off my GC game from TPF on the Houdini Machine located in front of Cointaker! Woot woot

That is an AWESOME score!!
I would bet one of the highest at the show if not THE highest. Well done sir.

I played my first game (ever) at the AP booth with Joe watching and scored over 600K. I think my score remained the GC on that game all the way to Sunday.

Wife played it too and Joe and I were getting a kick out of watching! I was IMMEDIATELY hooked and walked over to Larry at Flip-n-out and handed him my check - paid in full. What a great game and what a super group of guys pulling as a team for the win!

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#2505 1 year ago
Quoted from drummermike:

Number 92 is now home! This is my first NIB. Was worth the long wait. The pin is one of the best looking I have seen if not the best. I have made all the shots so far. The hardest is the milk can shot close to the left sling.
The minor problems are the same as others. Scoop needs adjustment. Still trying to get it right. The ball sat in the upper catapult and never came out. The wrench did not fit the bolts. Used a Craftsman hex.
But other than that, the game is great. It looks fantastic and plays great. The playfield is smoother than the new one I just put in my FH. This pin is going to be my favorite soon. I hope everyone gets theirs soon!

Congrats! Beautiful game

1 week later
#2748 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Bought this today to ease the sting of the wait over the next several months...

Read that cover to cover as it was a Christmas present from my wife - was one of the convincing items in deciding to buy this game. The AP team did a phenomenal job keeping true to the man. You'll love the book

#2792 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

Looks like my Houdini is on a truck and should be here Thursday. I can't wait to play the game that Joe and rosh have put so much hard work into.

Yup ... just got the same heads up from Larry at Flippin' Out. Super excited! Ordered on 12/5 and receiving on 4/5. Nice job American Pinball!
120 days!

#2830 1 year ago

Picking Houdini #147 up now!

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#2835 1 year ago

You can see in my previous post that I drove to the freight yard and picked my Houdini up. What a blessing to have my dad here from NY to pick it up and unbox it with me. I asked him to play the first game ... here are some pics!

I played my first solo game and REALLY loved the gameplay. A beautifully made machine. Much heavier/solid than the competitors build. Art is stunning. Play field is like glass. Trunk shot is at 100%. Added a topper. I had mine shipped with art blades and they are just perfect.

First full game over 11 minutes and just plain fun!

Home run Josh, Joe and AP Team!

More detailed review and thoughts to follow

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#2837 1 year ago
Quoted from vireland:

Be VERY careful raising and lowering the PF with those art blades. They're much more paper-like than the Stern official ones and snag/tear VERY easily if something on either PF edge drags.

Thx for the heads up and will do.

#2843 1 year ago

That's where I ordered mine as well. Only issue was the 12volt plug/converter that supplies power. Worked intermittently and I had to crack open the plastic housing and re-solder the positive leg as it was just simply sliding back and forth in the thru hole of the circuit board. Solid now

Looks great too!

#2844 1 year ago

A few high rez pics of the Houdini playfield as I did not see a ton of these out there yet ...

Beautiful game!!

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#2846 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Look at the fourth photo just posted by MT45

Happy to help even incidentally!

#2863 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

Machine number 150 just got delivered. I work until 9PM tonight so this day is going to be brutal.

Congrats! Pics when u can!

#2883 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

Could anyone who has a machine post some pictures of the sound box for me. My game had no sound whatsoever but I’m fairly certain this super bass box is unpowered. I can’t find any lose cords to plug into it to get it power.

Looking straight at the Lepy amp, right hand side, then at the bottom (again ...at the Lepy amp) there is another cable that feeds up from bottom. Do you see a cable there as well?

#2885 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Your power switch is turned off on amp in picture. And check those knobs/pots, they are either on blast mode, or turned all the way down. The red light should be eluminated on amp.

Eric is correct on power switch. If that’s not it, check this wire feed on right side, bottom

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#2889 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

Not dumb to say because that’s what I figured I just couldn’t find it. Thank you MT45 for letting me know that it was on the right. I found it got it plugged in and am up and running.

Glad it was something simple!

#2910 1 year ago
Quoted from adamross:

For anyone who has plugged in an external sub, can you please tell me (or show a photo) where exactly it plugs into? Thanks in advance!

Edited as incorrect info was posted

#2911 1 year ago

Topper pic - really like how it fits the theme, color and art style

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#2915 1 year ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

This is correct the lower speaker jacks that are red and black on the mounting plate side of the unit are for the subwoofer the upper speaker Jacks are for your speakers the RCA jacks are for your aux inputs.
It's hard to see since the labeling is right near the wall of the cabinet but they are labeled sub.

Hmmm . My apologies then. I am however getting output from these jacks and the sub is working - strange ... as you are correct they are clearly labeled as inputs.

I removed my original post on the subject

#2916 1 year ago

Slo-mo shot of the catapult shot ...

#2918 1 year ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Is there an opening to run the speaker wires out of the cabinet or do I need to drill a hole?

There is an opening. Bottom of the cabinet you will see cutouts for venting/cooling. They are covered by a screen.
Simply remove 4 screws from right or left side and that screen is flexible enough to just pull up and allow you to drop your sub cord through
Then, I would add a piece of protective tape (I used a piece of foam tape, but a couple of layers of electrical would work) to the sub cord where the screen touches it.
Then re-install the screws - the screen sort of "pinches" the sub cord in place

#2919 1 year ago

Anyone take a quick picture of the SEANCE VUK switch for me? You will need to get creative with your phone to get it "in there"!

I had mine jam on the armature coming up from the plunger/coil (it's a black plastic armature so when the sharp edge of the switch got "past it" - it really stuck there!

Pull the PF up and gently un-stuck it but I want to make certain the switch is oriented and has the correct bend structure to function normally

Seems like the design is for the armature to be under the switch and actually make contact with it every time it launches from the VUK?

First pic is the armature post stuck/jammed against the switch blade edge - the armature was stuck up so high, the ball was resting against it
The second picture is after my correction/fix

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#2921 1 year ago
Quoted from MT45:

I had mine jam on the armature coming up from the plunger/coil (it's a black plastic armature so when the sharp edge of the switch got "past it" - it really stuck there!

OK - I was nearly 100% certain that the switch blade should NOT be above that armature, so I pulled the switch and bent it like many other VUK switches I've seen. Also got an email back from Barry at API on this Saturday night at almost 9pm to help me trouble shoot it. (these guys ARE AMAZING!)

It was bent incorrectly from getting jammed so violently with the coil armature

Working 100% now!

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#2927 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

If you get the chance to see them at a show. Talk to them. They have some really great people working there. I was lucky enough to ride with 3 of them from TPF back to DFW, and spend time chatting and enjoying life.
LTG : )

Very cool Lloyd! Sure wish I would have run into you at TPF - always wanted to say hello.

The API guys are truly genuine folks. I was right next door to the API team at TPF for most of the show (at the Pinstadium booth helping Scott and Sindie). Before the show opened I got to hang out with Joe and later Josh, Barry and the rest of the team.

I was extremely impressed at the "we're in it together" attitude they all displayed - especially at the TPF API forum/discussion. They celebrated each other's contribution, recognized the team members back home and had the ownership in the audience as well. Mukesh Vasani took time to speak to me after the API event and made it clear that they were 100% focused on customer satisfaction. He handed me his business card and said to call if I needed anything at all.

With a team like they have assembled - that call will never be necessary but it shows the level of commitment at API from the top down

#2928 1 year ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

Pretty damned excited to join the owner's club, even better because it was a surprise birthday present from my wife! Have to give AP major props for the way they pack this game in the box, very, very well done. Have to adjust a few things here and there but so far I'm very happy other than having to figure out how to hit some of these shots!

Congrats - best birthday present EVER!! (Happy Bday too)

#2939 1 year ago

Can't stop photographing this beauty.

Here are some cabinet shots ...

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1 week later
#3046 1 year ago
Quoted from monte_:

I want to know if it is really that hard even after you have played the game a couple hundred times

It does get easier!
I simply love the game. I'm an average + player. This game will force you to play "IT" and play it a very specific way.
This is not a game where you step up casually to "just play some pinball". If you get on it and flail away, it will be a short game and probably not real fun.
It is a game for pinball players that want to control the ball, shoot accurately and progress thru the game.
I can hit the milkcan shot, it's off the end of the right flipper and best taken from a cradled ball. Not too hard on the flip or it will pop out. I would say I am about 2 out of 10 attempts (maybe 3 on a good day) and they are purposeful.
I can hit the center loop from the right flipper - it's tight but I can aim it and hit it about 4 out of 10 times maybe even better.
I have only recently tried to backhand and did that once but will work it some more this week.
The left orbit is easy, the right a tad harder
The key lane is easy, the alley shot to the left of it a tad harder
The ramp shot is about the same challenge as the right orbit - speed of the ball coming down the inlane vs a cradled shot makes the difference
Seance scoop is challenging (off tip of left flipper) but only because the speed of the ball will dictate how close to the very end of the flipper tip you should take the shot. To get high consistency, again, cradle/hold, then take the shot
You will learn very quickly with this game to control, control, control each and every shot
I almost GUARENTEE that you will play better on all other machines after playing Houdini!
Did I say I love it?

Added 12 months ago: I mentioned in the post that I can hit the inner/center loop from the RIGHT flipper but actually meant the left flipper. Backhand is obviously done from the right

#3110 1 year ago

I just couldn't help myself and ... thankfully my wife was cheerfully accommodating! I was inspired enough by the Steampunk game art to order both of us a set of costumes to match this special game.

Tonight we set up the photo lights, tripod and the DSLR and then took a million shots to get these.

Houdini is such a unique game and we both loved meeting the team that built it while at TPF.

To Joe, Josh, Barry and the entire API team we say Congratulations on a fantastic game - sell a bunch!

Enjoy the pictures. We enjoyed taking them

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#3118 1 year ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

You guys are crazy awesome!

Thx Zach! High compliment!

#3121 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Beautiful game, beautiful wife thanks for sharing.

I’ll pass that on to the her. It will make her day!

#3162 1 year ago

Code update is awesome! Love the new skill shot opportunities

Back to playing it ....

Some pics of the update so others can know what to expect and see where to plug in the USB stick

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#3165 1 year ago
Quoted from BladeFury:

I'm in and love it! Received it yesterday, really got to admit this is a heck of a game for their first game..5-10 games in and finding shots and able to hit them all. WOW this made my day after having to get out on my Pirates CE...and dang an update already...gotta go

Congrats!! You are gonna LOVE it!

#3256 12 months ago

Pulled my PF up and yanked the fuse out ... it says

T4AL 250V

Hope that helps

Edit - I forgot to measure the fuse for you so ... just be sure to measure the slot on your board as I think this fuse is the 20mm size (shorter than standard PB machine fuses). Reason to check is that I "think" they make the T4AL in 2 lengths 20MM and 30MM

#3419 11 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

Any tips on how to consistently hit the milkcan loop?

Best I can offer is take it from a cradled ball. Much more challenging to estimate postion off the tip of flipper when the ball is rolling at varying speeds.

So ... cradle, wait until almost at tip of flipper and gently flip THEN ...

the most important part (for me) was to use this bit of advice - it stopped a ton (I mean maybe 80%) of pop-outs from shots that were "made" but did not stay through the loop and literally popped back out

It's basically 2 strategically placed felt "dots" - this worked for me like a champ


#3509 11 months ago

Finally broke a million. I've had the game a few weeks but have only played maybe 40 games or so. Getting used to the shots and played well tonight. First and last game of the evening. Felt good to get 36,000 bonuses!

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#3524 11 months ago
Quoted from lodgingdolphin:

Had my longest game yet tonight, but still a few letters away from spelling Houdini.

VERY nice score my friend!

#3633 11 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

I have early production game #90. Im able to hit all skill shot targets. Now getting the skill shot is another story.
Soft plunge is the key. To much strength on plunge and it adds a velocity that is impossible to control.

I can hit it as well no problem. As ericpinballfan said, the higher up the switches are, the softer the plunge - counter intuitive

1 week later
#3926 11 months ago

Finally busted 2 million last night. Having a blast too!

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1 month later
#4767 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.

Beautiful piece of work! I like the spot near the planchet...

1 month later
#5687 7 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

I Heard about tight shots but this layout plays smooth finally and i’m happy that some shots are tough to succeed. The most difficult shot for me is the milk shot above magic target. I don’t know if something is needed to cushion the impact so that the ball goes down on the switch instead of rejecting.

Try the felt dot trick ... worked like a charm for me - stops about 75% of the rejects I was getting


3 weeks later
#6145 6 months ago
Quoted from PhantomO:

Ugh, I just had five trunk catapult misses in a row (left side). My bracket pivot didnt fully solve this issue. No clue what this is now.

I'm having the EXACT same issue - love to hear if anyone solves this.
My mech is perfectly centered but still having issues even running a dedicated Variac
Truly deflating cause I love this machine and am usually capable of fixing just about anything PB related ... this thing is a mystery

#6225 6 months ago
Quoted from MT45:

I'm having the EXACT same issue - love to hear if anyone solves this.
My mech is perfectly centered but still having issues even running a dedicated Variac
Truly deflating cause I love this machine and am usually capable of fixing just about anything PB related ... this thing is a mystery

OK - time to report back on some simple changes I made to make my catapult (now) 100%!
BACKGROUND: Catapult was missing wide left often (83% hit rate lifetime) - more power I gave it, the worse it missed

Full disclosure, I am using a Variac but not sure it is helping with this issue because I had it before and was not getting 100% on my catapult.
Variac is set to 122.4 volts and my standard wall power is 124 volts

so .. here is what I did:

1) Straightened the catapult within the play field by elongating the mechanism frame holes as in previous posts (it's now straight)
2) Added a small piece of adhesive backed Velcro (fuzzy side) to the left side of the physical catapult (see pics)
3) Set lower catapult setting to #27
4) With glass off, I then tested the catapult OVER 40 times and was PERFECT each time (theory is that velcro is pushing/aiming ball to the right)
5) Not only did I test it BUT i tossed balls into the seance VUK at the same time the catapult was firing (did that many times)

The catapult still hit on target every single time!

Got quite a score doing this

The velcro is oval shaped and I cut about 1/3rd of it off the full length and about 20% off each end to fit the catapult (note I used the fuzzy side of the 2 pieces). Link below

amazon.com link »
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