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(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread

By lllvjr

4 years ago

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  • 12,564 posts
  • 660 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 hours ago by Ferret
  • Topic is favorited by 165 Pinsiders


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37 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

Display key post list sorted by: Post date | Keypost summary | User name

Post #145 Houdini Pinball initial flyer Posted by HighProtein (4 years ago)

Post #184 Initial reveal at TPF Posted by SilverballNut (4 years ago)

Post #190 Introductory Price of Houdini Posted by 1iblind (4 years ago)

Post #198 Initial Pictures of Machine Posted by lllvjr (4 years ago)

Post #229 Playfield Close-Up Pics Posted by bigd1979 (4 years ago)

Post #284 Machine feature details Posted by rosh (4 years ago)

Post #312 More feature details Posted by rosh (4 years ago)

Post #385 Double switch lane picture Posted by pinballrockstar (4 years ago)

Post #420 Pinball show appearance schedule for Houdini Posted by rosh (3 years ago)

Post #434 Houdini pics from Allentown show Posted by PinballSTAR (3 years ago)

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#506 3 years 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.

4 weeks later
#591 3 years ago

The company is called "ACCOUTREMENTS"?! This must be a pinside gag

#593 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

As soon as I typed that, I had to double check the packaging to make sure it was not a subconscious thing, since I am considering using it for a topper (having him hanging upside down in front of the backglass). Was wondering how long it would take someone to pick up on that, looks like it took a whole 10 minutes.

And great idea for a topper!

#610 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Obviously including his very strong belief in the after life, and his desire to contact those from the beyond as well as his debunking of those who he believed were fakes and conning people, had to be included in the game. We choose the spirit board as a way to capture that aspect, since it is a recognizable symbol of that arena. In addition, since it was a spirit board that led to the end of his friendship with Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (which I assume everyone here knows wrote the sherlock holmes stories), it seemed an appropriate symbol. So, while I understand your point, I do think our use of it is appropriate in capturing that aspect of his life. We do plan to have some trivia screens in the attract mode, so we will provide some further background around this.

I knew rosh would have a good explanation for this - him and Joe have spent countless hours going over Houdini's legacy - there's no way they'd overlook something as obvious as this. Let's go guys, I want one!

#612 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

To make one more comment on this, he was a very strong believer in the afterlife and spent a lot f time in hopes of being able to communicate to his mother in the great beyond. He also had a secret phrase he shared with his wife Bess, so that she would know it was really him if she tried to connect with him via a seance. Magicians gather every year, at his grave site, on the anniversary of is death (halloween), to performa a seance, so, it is an interesting thing that he was a strong believer, yet spent so much time debunking fakes.

I've always wondered about this too - the best I could come up with is that Houdini may have been skeptical about the supernatural en masse, but reserved the right to be wrong. My speculation is he only debunked actively/aggressively the people he felt were obvious fakes. His secret password and the seances also were really good publicity for him, even after his death. Gotta protect the brand!

I love Mrs. Houdini's quote after she stopped doing the seances: "Ten years is enough to wait for any man." LOL

#616 3 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

The Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show is happy to announce we will feature the Northwest debut of Houdini this weekend at the show! Houdini will be in the Nitro Pinball booth the entire 3 days of the show on free play, so get your game on!
Saturday, June 10th, from 11am-12pm, catch Joe Balcer and Jolly from American talking on the seminar stage! Along with designing Houdini, Joe Balcer was also a pinball designer for The Simpson’s Pinball Party, Apollo 13, South Park, Star Wars Trilogy and Starship Troopers. Hear Joe talk a little about his past and game design, as well as game development at American Pinball and what it took to get a working prototype together in just 4 months! Hear about Houdini's current status, American's future plans, and bring a question or two for a Q & A with the audience! For those of you that can't make it, the talk will be live streaming on the web at:
The 2017 Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show takes place June 9th - 11th at the Tacoma Convention Center in Washington State! The show features over 400 pinball and arcade machines from the 1950s to today, tournaments, world record high score attempts, vendors, seminars, guest speakers, raffles and prizes. This convention draws 4,000 collectors, players and fans of classic coin-op games.
This is our 10th show! Expect more games, more tournaments, more vendors, more speakers and lots of cool things to see and do! All 400+ games at the show will be on freeplay the entire weekend!

You left off WOZ and TH from Joe's impressive resume! (don't let him forget he had to work on Baywatch and turned into a great game despite the crap theme!)

#634 3 years ago
Quoted from flashinstinct:

Save yourself some trouble and put a sign beside or above the game on a banner that states that if people play they acknowledge that they can be filmed for promotiobal purposes and forfeit the right to compensation. $30 saving you hours of editing video.

Unfortunately that's not good enough in the US - you have to have proof (aka a waiver) that the person knows they were being filmed and knows their image would be used for promo purposes. Otherwise they could sue and argue in court they "didn't know they were being filmed". Yes this has happened.

#644 3 years ago
Quoted from rammstein99:

Houdini indeed debunked many frauds. Believe it was his wife(?) who went to seances under the fake name of 'Frances Raud'.
Frances Raud = F. Raud = FRaud. Get it..? A clever play on words- and she would help expose the fakes.
Regarding the fraudulent spiritualist mediums, Houdini uttered one of my favorite quotes: "Anyone can talk to the Dead. But they do not listen."

ha! I never heard that, that quote is awesome. I did know his wife acted as a reverse plant but hadn't heard the name before. that's great!

#680 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

I'm confident in Josh's ability and will allow him to make the "Curtain Call". Take a bow, Josh.

Python pin is next! You heard it here folks!

What a frickin awesome theme that would be

1 week later
#683 3 years ago

Need more Houdini news bump...

#685 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

I have my Houdini news!!
This will be the only NIB game i buy this year!!
I just hope its under my Christmas tree!
Santa, ive been a good boy this year.


Not .. <i>exactly</i> the type of news I was hoping for...

2 weeks later
#696 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Look for Houdini hitting the streets soon (fall)... by streets I mean some pre-production games on location not just in Chicago but on east coast as well courtesy of PinballSTAR. Time to add the east coast to the pinball testing grounds, Chicago has had that monopoly long enough ! ; )
Stay tuned... things are happening... production line being built... parts coming in...
PinballSTAR is an American Pinball / Houdini distributor. Email us to get on the pre order list. A refundable $ 250 deposit gets you in line !

Joe do you know where some of the locations will be at this point? I'd love to put some quarters into this game actually on location

#700 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Yes, there are tight shots. But, they flow great and are not hard to achive. Game plays awesome.

I played it in allentown and it felt like a "grower" to me. Tight shots are way preferable to cheap drains (I'm looking at you, Doctor Who!)

#712 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

I'm working on one not too terribly far from you... Stay tuned for info... email me if you'd like to get on our mailing list for info. Sales@PinballSTAR.com

Already done

#714 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

gee, go away on vacation and the thread gets busy. Been gone for 11 days, and today was my first day back in the office. Walked into my office and it went from having one Houdini machine when I left, to now three, crammed in. They were getting the line set up when ownership decided to re-do the floors in the factory since they were looking pretty beat up, and it was either do it now or, well, never, so they had to clear out half the floor at a time so all available space was used to store stuff and some was just loaded on trucks and parked. Was good for me to not be around while they ground down the floors, patched them up and put on a new finish. Heard it was pretty nasty. Certainly looks a lot better as you can see. As soon as that is done they can start setting the line back up.

Also upon my return, were the first prototypes of the 'spotlights' we will use to help light up the playfield. These will go through plenty of changes, but I'm pretty pleased with how this first iteration came out.

A few other tidbits . . .
Code continues to progress, now at 64.37% I did code up most of the video mode while I was on vacation Soon I will have to shift gears from working on 'game play' to 'infrastructure', things like coinage/pricing support, code updating, and audits so we can put machines out on test.
We have been expanding staff and that will continue.
We have still not set up distribution outside North America, but it is being worked on.
As far as some of the shows. We had to slow down on that for a couple of months, it is very hard to make progress when we are flying all over, and when you throw in vacations, there would have been just too much time away at a time that it is critical for us to be moving things forward. We have also reached a point where the prototype games are different enough from the various revisions of the physical machine that code is not going to be compatible much longer.

That last bit is particularly exciting!!

1 week later
#725 3 years ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Boutique little nothing company? You obviously do not know what you are speaking of.

I don't think he meant that as an insult; they are not a major manufacturer - they have not yet shipped the game; they are little. They are boutique. But man what a boatload of talent!!

1 week later
#726 3 years ago

Anybody hear anything new? Are they going to be shipping in fall as expected?

#728 3 years ago
Quoted from MattElder:

In the last couple days I have chatted with a couple people at American Pinball and I was told that they have just finished up the game and should be shipping in October.

That is too awesome. Anybody know how many games they (or say JJP for comparison) make in a week? This will be my first potential NIB and I'm curious how fast they tend to come once you pay in full

#731 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

IMO there is no hurry. I hope for quality sake its 5 games a week. The games are coming, they will be made. Let them finish code, work out the bugs and ship solid machines with no problems. Quality or quantity anyday.

Fully agree, I was just curious since all the different manufacturers seem to have different weekly output numbers. Not fair to compare with Stern but it will be fascinating what happens

1 week later
#732 3 years ago

Got word they are done, shipping real machines in October. Still amazed by this whole story

#734 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Got word? Or you read what Mattelder posted to you 9 days ago on this thread? Did he also share the production volume schedule? Give them time, the game is looking Amazing so far. False or assumed expectations are how things get off the track.

Huh? Wtf dude

#744 3 years ago

Thanks for the update Josh- we are all very excited obviously - really looking forward to this, whenever it is that all the moving pieces (pun intended!) come together. You guys have done an extraordinary job and made a -whodathunkit - very fun game!

#748 3 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

So you had to dump the catapult huh? Oh well.

Boy, wouldn't that suck!

#761 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

A couple of weeks ago we did a sound session with a lot of folks to do audience sounds, and we did a variety of versions of booing and heckling. Likely hear some boos anytime you fail at an escape/illusion, not just when you drain, but may depend on how badly you failed and how easy/hard the mode/illusion was. I don't plan to have boos when doing one of the five movie modes, since I don't think you had a lot of audience booing during silent films, except maybe when a villain was on stage, and we focus on Houdini, who was always the hero.

Very cool. Great idea too

#764 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Thanks for these suggestion, I'll let my sound engineer figure it out and I'm sure he will use other sources like those, but, using folks in the office for part of the audience, lets them be 'in the machine'. Plus, I don't think we will find a pre-recorded clip of an audience chanting "hou-di-ni" or hecklers calling him out by name, etc.
On an unrelated note, we did just post some positions we are hiring for . . .

Never before have I wanted so badly to live in the Chicago area!

2 weeks later
#776 3 years ago

Hoping for an update bump...

#786 3 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

no. Just a select few.

That's right. I don't believe I've ever seen an update from Stern on here. They usually announce stuff at expo and the big shows

#788 3 years ago
Quoted from PinMonk:

They tried a few times, but their PR guy was run off.

Lol! I forgot about that. I don't think JJP does much on here either, but I'm not sure. Heighway and Dutch Pinball used to... but uh.. yeah not sure what happened there. Gulp.

#790 3 years ago
Quoted from PinMonk:

LLoyd helps with JJP tech support here, but I don't think they have a PR person here.

I'm sorry, you're right - I specifically meant marketing. No offense, Lloyd!

#792 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

You kidding, Lloyd is marketing, support, supporter, tech, therapist, friend, shoulder to cry on, rules guide, and anything else connected to pinball or games with balls in general! Pool included. That man is an encyclopedia of pinball support and a dam nice person.


#801 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

You are not exactly making a great case for me to continue to post updates Would not shock me if at some point I am asked to stop. Obviously it is a two way street, and if trolls turn things ugly, it is hard for a manufacturer to want to be participative in a public forum.

Did come in this morning to find over 250 new voice calls waiting for me and a handful of new art elements for me to animate. I'm a little behind where I want to be on the code, primarily around the mini magician and the master magician modes. There are also a few other missing items that I've not gotten around to yet, things I consider lower priority right now, but will soon need to be addresses. Of course there rare going to be a lot of clean-up items (e.g. text formatting, etc.) and I'm sure as the machines start to get played more, various bugs will be uncovered. I should soon have a machine with one of the new playfields and new lamp boards, both of which are slightly different for the prototypes, and therefore will require some code changes.
Parts continue to arrive daily, unlike some companies our goal is not to build machines until we have all the parts. Stacking half built playfields against walls in hallways and bathrooms, does not help with a quality build (or so I am told by our production manager). Not sure how many more things we are waiting on, but the assembly line itself is looking great, as they are now doing the set up of workstations.
We have new staff joining us almost every day. Parking is starting to become an issue around here.
We are still very much on track for machines shipping this year.

I hope you take our comments with the enthusiasm and eagerness with which they are intended.. and not in anyway as complaints!!

#803 3 years ago
Quoted from GAP:

Just visited American Pinball today and everything looks great. Looks like production should be starting in 2 weeks on games going to Expo. The production playfield looks very vibrant and should pop under the added lights. Game was playing super fast today. Thanks Rosh and Balcer for giving me a update of the new production facility. I couldn't take pictures, but the lines, stations and final testing areas are coming along.
If you want to get in on a Houdini Pinball machine, Pm me or visit our site below.

How cool! I wonder why no pictures? I always thought that would be a cool thing to tour the facility. Maybe once they get going a little more

#811 3 years ago
Quoted from Travish:

Not giving him any credit at all but its nice that something good came from the whole j pop fiasco. No disrespect to those screwed.
That is all.

I think that is half the cool factor of this game ... then you realise it's a completely different animal from top to bottom, completely new art, new design, everything

I was looking at the art the other day, from way back when it was at expo (was that ONLY a year ago?!?!?) and had the original art - then when the new art was revealed I personally was not sure I liked it. But looking back, I have no idea what I was thinking!! This game looks OUTstanding!

I had an argument with someone yesterday about whether or not opera should be allowed to be modified - change settings, modern choreography. His position was the purists' "no changes!! Is nothing sacred?" And I disagree - we have to evolve.

#814 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

An argument over Opera? That sounds like a playfield dimples forum battle. lol Just poking. Truth be told my mom (love her) dragged me to Every opera and play till I was old enough to run. These days I am thankful she did.
And for the record, I agree with your friend. Opera is classic like art. Leave it alone!

I dragged my 8 year old to Aida on Saturday - I'm not gonna say he loved it but he DID enjoy it. Although they removed the battle scene, both of us were pissed! I can't agree on not changing opera - they NEED to find ways to (sometimes) bring in other ideas in order to get younger people involved. That doesn't mean putting a guy holding a cellphone in the middle of the stage (see what I did there?) but different choreography, different set design.

Opera is the music, and the libretto. That's IT. We've done things very traditionally for the past 100 or so years, but before that there were different interpretations - even by the composers! Not that every production needs to be radically different, I just mean it should be risked every once in a while. It is "ok" to do it with Shakespeare, (See Romeo + Juliet), this is the same type of thing IMO.

Ok sorry for the thread hijack.

#821 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

I do say I enjoy that thread has briefly detoured into Opera and the greatness of LTG.
While personally not a big Opera guy, one of my oldest friends, has written a couple, so it is nice to know that there are still fans out there.

You just haven found the right one yet

I am currently enjoying the heavy metal opera sung by Christopher Lee (yes, that one) at the ripe age of 91 or so.

1 week later
#832 3 years ago


Rosh those photos help everybody feel like it's just right around the corner! Did you block out other stuff there? Dont' tell us what you blocked, but what is that a photo of? the warehouse I guess?

#836 3 years ago


#840 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

I thought and noticed the same thing.
Bummer, wire would have been better.

Mod opportunity!!

#843 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

The last section will be a wire form, if you look the return portion it is half of what it was. We needed to keep the upper half plastic to still have the drop to the pops, and we also found if we made it a wire form where it crosses over the other wire form that feeds the catapult, there would not be enough clearance for the ball. This will transition to wire, right over the stand-up targets in that section, so it should be better aesthetically and should provide better visibility to the Stage Alley shot, which is the best way to start modes at the stage, since it doubles the value if you enter the stage via that shot.

Well this is just awesome.

#853 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballwil:

looks great....... but i hate the Data East klak klak klak sound from the pop bumpers.
They make this sound because of the plastic housing.
Newer pinball machines also have stronger pops (timing), so i hope the plastic won't break.

Don't all pops make this sound?

1 week later
#866 3 years ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

I'm thinking sand is to age the chain in a tumbler.

And if it isn't, that's a fabulous mod idea

#869 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Reference sand: There's a daycare center under the playfield. You put your infant through the coin door and you both can play.

Best Lower play field ever!

#904 3 years ago

So... the sand is fill for the playfield shipping boxes?!

#915 3 years ago

Man I hope the buried alive trick is somehow part of it..

#930 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

The box of sand, sealed with a rubber top is used for hammering in T-nuts. While it helps protect the playfield, what is more important, is that it dampens the sound. Anyone who has hammered in T-Nuts knows it can be pretty loud and since on the line it is being done all day long, well, you can understand why reducing the sound is a good thing for everybody.

That is fascinating! Rosh give us another riddle.. haha

#938 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

No-one streamed it.
Sad if it wasn't recorded.

I was hoping there would be some updates from someone who attended .. at the very least my god what a huge difference from last year!!

#942 3 years ago
Quoted from Aquapin:

Grabbed this from another post:
Lots of changes to Houdini:
1.Added lighting down at flippers with “theater” inspired spotlights.
2.Removed part of plastic ramp and made it a wire form.
3.Revised stage marquee playfield mini lcd
4. Catapult refined is now upper 90’s success. Trying to implement smart learning in game if a miss is recorded.
5. Custom side blades will be available. Trying to fit in bom.
6. Magic glass developed to compete with invisiglass/pdi
7. Shaker kit will be developed. Available as add on.
Set up for initial 1,000 units.
Weight of game 275
Next game unlicensed
90 day all inclusive warranty/ 1yr monitors warranty
Parts available to buy direct and through distributors
USB updates at coin door

Wow, the weight is 275!? That's HALF of a JJP game! lol

Interesting they have to make their own Invisiglass/PDI. Licensing i guess? I hope it's cheaper than $300.

Did anybody take any pictures or anything? This is driving me crazy

#944 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

They won't make any glass. They're just not going to buy at a huge markup from JJP or import from Germany (again at large cost). It will no doubt use a similar surface treatment method to Roman's/PDI, JJP Invisiglass and Stern's product, though where it will fit in the current lineup we won't know until we see it. Currently Roman's / PDI is a lot better than the Stern & JJP products.

I'm sure you're right about not making the glass - I guess I meant that it would have to be separately branded. I wonder who makes it ? This seems like such a huge opportunity to take over the market. Roman's glass is amazing, but there is no way he is able to sell in mass quantities, which will always keep the price high. Really too bad Roman is in such a terrible (for the consumer) situation in the US with PDI - hopefully that agreement isn't in perpetuity.

For me, it makes no sense to pay the extra $100 it costs vs getting Invisiglass, or (gasp!) the Stern one, when I could get 3 for the price of 2. PDI is definitely better, I can't dispute that - but not $200 better, which is what the premium is over Stern's solution. I have Invisiglass on my Hobbit, and it looks just amazing... or rather it looks like *nothing* ! haha

#947 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I may be wrong, but I'm fairly sure there are tariffs on glass panel imports, so both those and the customs clearance would add to the costs.
Possible that's being circumvented on the small volumes. Larger volumes - no.
Also, of course PDI want a good margin, or they won't sell it. So yeah, I don't see it getting cheaper in the US any time soon.

Yep, I'm sure you're right. Kind of a bummer, but it gives the high end market exclusivity I suppose.

#954 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I think it would be hugely in AP's favour if they hired a decent local digital media or production company to produce a JJP style demo reel for Houdini.
Needn't be as bombastic and obviously costly, just something to show it off professionally.

I definitely agree; I don't know where else they are marketing - maybe they are waiting until the game is shipping?

#957 3 years ago
Quoted from Sidekick74:

Any major changes to the playfield shown at Expo?
Any video recordings?

Check back one page, a list of changes was posted and Rosh said he thought it may have been recorded, may be posted later. I don't think they had intended this to be a major reveal

#960 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Well it's the biggest show of the year and they're intending to ship in November or December ... if not now then when?

Yep, I agree, I am not super clear on the plan there. I know I've got my preorder in but not sure where others will follow

#963 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Hi! Is the glass made here or Germany?

I'm curious about this too - odds are it's made here, which lowers import costs. Glass is cheap to make in (for example), china, but shipping is a killer. If glass was made here, shipped overseas to be coated, then shipped back (in huge quantities, obviously), it would avoid import tax. this is what door manufacturers do, which isn't that far off from the linear dimensions of PF glass

#975 3 years ago

Hear hear!!

#1027 3 years ago

Wait, 2 catapults?!

I have to echo Oldpinguy's sentiments - Rosh was so genuinely enthusiastic about the game when we talked with him at Allentown, his love for the theme, the company, the team, and the huge work ethic they have obviously put into this game is astounding!

#1045 3 years ago
Quoted from PBMAN:

Rosh, Game is beautiful. On list for one. May have already been answered but is this still planned to start shipping this month.

I think rosh said they are a tiny bit behind, so goal is end of the year

#1050 3 years ago
Quoted from pbwizard14:

This is only my second NIB pinball machine, the first being LOTR which I liked but sold because it just didn't stack up to my other machines. I have 4 games, SS, CV, TOTAN, and TZ (TZ done by high end pins for me). I feel this machine will be the perfect addition to my other titles. I owned a Theatre of Magic but hated the trunk breaking all the time and the repetitive game play so it went too. Two other games I owned were Star Wars 2000 and STTNG. I am really looking forward to this game. I was a buyer of Wayne Gilliard's MM and waited 6 years before I asked for and received a full refund. While MM has been redone, my desire for the game faded so here I am with this machine.

Wow, you didn't think LOTR measured up! You do have a great lineup, but what was it you didn't like? And same for STTNG? you've owned the top pins of all time! (Ok not Star Wars

#1070 3 years ago
Quoted from dirtbag66:

Some other takeaways:
That catapult is bad ass. But I'm wondering how sturdy that chest is. The game I played had a catapult that was a tad bit underpowered, meaning the ball was clipping the chest ever so slightly. Over time I'm thinking that is going to start leaving a mark...or worse.
The modes where they mess with you flippers is crazy. Reverse flippers is one thing, but reversing the switch completely (button pressed = flippers down, button unpressed = flippers up) was maddening!
Hats off on what looks like a solid first game from American Pinball!

I think rosh mentioned this earlier, that one of the show games had been dropped and repaired onsite, so it wasn't quite set up perfectly - that may have been the game you were on. He says they have a 90% (!) success rate of swish shots , which is remarkable. That said, it's a good point - it would be a shame to have to replace that chest If it gets damaged, but hey it's only pinball!

#1081 3 years ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

re: reverse/reverse-inverted flippers
as a modestly accomplished player, learning to improve my skill set in these two disciplines isn't something id relish. more than anything, i feel they should be categorized as 'gimmicks'. i dont even think they are 'cute'. accomplished players arent going to interested in rewiring their brain. would love to hear how top players felt about the subject. i cant believe the casual/rec player is going to like them much either. while entertaining/comical the first time, long term they will be stupefied.

Seems to me that long term they will learn how to do it better?

#1093 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Are we Really asking them to change their shirts, flyers, cards, art, stickers, Huge company sign marque on the building because we don't like their business logo? lol Asking/recommending software features/adds seems appropriate but come on.... I don't like the Windows logo but Bill Gates doesn't seem to care as I am buying a Product not his company. Sorry just seemed a bit rude to the company founders in my opinion. I wouldn't care if their logo was a brown turd as long as they made Awesome games like they are. Just an opinion....

I quite like the logo - it reminds me of stencil art on EM games. Logos should be easy to recognize and to draw

#1114 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

They can be improved over time. But if you expect JJP quality display and animations, I think you'll be disappointed.

IMO the game is supposed to act a little "old timey" - if the animations were as slick as DI , it wouldn't feel right

#1134 3 years ago
Quoted from mbelofsky:

We spoke at Allentown, does this mean that the game will not include protectors? I was hoping for Cliffy protectors since he makes the best. As I said before, not having to take apart a new game would be much appreciated.
I would pay for the glass, shaker motor, blades, and Cliffy protectors (even a premium on the Cliffy protectors to ensure that Cliff gets to make them). I would love to get this in the box all ready to go. While we are at it, how about a plastic protector set and ramp entry protectors?

Does anybody include Cliffys right out of the box?

#1136 3 years ago

Oooook but not any pin that actually got produced in real numbers, then. TBL is awesome but at this point it's a museum piece

#1152 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Will be cheaper than competing products, and I will let you know once the price is finalized.

That IS magic...

#1162 3 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

I put those things on a pin once and thought they looked horrible and peeled them off and a huge chunk of ink came off with it. I was sick.

If the playfield is waxed before the Mylar is applied, the Mylar will come up By freezing it (you can use a compressed air can by holding it upside down and spraying), most Cleared playfields shouldn't have any problem

#1175 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Hey! I am even Closer to your facility! In fact my customer is on the same block as you! Please consider me for play testing available Any day or time! Also I believe I was within the first 10 deposit orders. So a believer in what you guys (gals) are doing and the awesome product!!!

I will FLY to Chicago to play-test!

#1180 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Rosh can we get an update on code % and any idea on when the first production games will ship? Too freaking excited. I am number 15 from my distributor, but considering how many distributors this game has, I am afraid he won’t be getting 15 any time soon. How do you plan to address how many each different distributor gets?

Seeing as I'm. #1, it will be
A while!! /sarcasm

Hope our games ship soon!!

#1182 3 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Being first for a new pin isnt always a good thing.... especially with a new company.

Certainly true, especially with what happened with Heighway, DP, etc. Proof is in the shipping!

#1186 3 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Even then lots of things are found in home use and then fixed on later runs.... look at di as it was tested a extreme amount for a long time but still needed many fixes that were found in home use by early orders. But i guess someone has to be first lol.


#1191 3 years ago
Quoted from BubbaBeast:

Hey guys - long time pinball fan, but have just recently started my own collection. I'm a big magic fan, and was thinking about pulling the trigger on ToM before I ran across a flyer for Houdini at the White Rose Gameroom Show. This thread has been great, and I'm really excited for this pin. Rosh's updates and inside look into the process of creating a new game are awesome. This will definitely be my first NIB game. Before I put down a deposit can someone help answer a few newbie questions? I apologize in advance for my lack of knowledge!
1) After reading a few of the forums for newer games (WOZ, DI, Alien, Batman, Magic Girl, etc.) there are a lot of horror stories regarding putting money down before a product ships, so I will wait to order until after the game has been shipped to those who pre-ordered. Similarly though, how long would you guys say is a safe "grace period" to wait before purchasing a new pin so that the potential kinks have been ironed out (mechanical issues, coding problems, etc.)?
2) Updates to coding seem to be relatively common for games. How easy is it to download (?) and install new code updates? I have seen some updated ROM chips for sale on ebay - are these for older machines only, or do current machines update the same way?
3) My first two pins were bought through a local amusement company. They brought the machines to my house and set them up for me, provided a warranty, and will come and service the pins (at a cost, of course) if needed. If I were to buy a new pin through a distributor like CoinTaker, etc. would they provide the same services, or would they ship the box to my doorstep?
Thanks in advance for any help!

1) you'll get a million different responses on this. Expect something to have to be adjusted regardless of how long you wait. Hobbit came out in 2014 and still had some (minor) adjustment needed 2 years later.

2) you download a file from the website, do some fancy stuff on the computer to prepare a USB drive. Stick the USB into the computer in the game, turn on the game. Game updates itself. Remove USB, turn off game. Turn game back on, done.

3) I don't have any experience with this one; i'm sure somebody around here knows

#1195 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

One thing that should be mentioned is that so far, the prospective EU distributors are not indicating prices for Houdini that are marked up anything like as high as CGC or Stern machines are in Europe.
I hope this sticks.
JJP generally haven't been as bad as CGC and Stern, though obviously any additional mark up given that the price is so high already, is painful.
A Stern LE costs more to buy in Europe than a JJP LE. Let that sink in for a minute.

Yowza! I'd be buying Williams games at that point ..

#1199 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

I love how competitive the industry has gotten.

Lol.. I will only buy from a distro that provides back rubs and a free haircut! This could go downhill fast...

#1215 3 years ago

The waiting is killing us but I am seeing so many cost-saving innovations that I think that is the real "killer app" for AP. The games have to be fun and marketed in such a way that they are appealing - but they also have to be cost effective to build. The more "behind the scenes" stuff Rosh posts, the more it is clear AP is being very smart about keeping the game easy to maintain and to swap out. I bet the assembly line is modular as well... all good, GOOd things..

#1231 3 years ago

IMG_2339 (resized).JPG

#1268 3 years ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Of course you take a loss, at least when you sell something that you can buy new.
I bought a SW Pro, and put it on for sale after one week. Lost about 400€.

You lost me at "bought a SW Pro..". Sorry dude, they can't all be winners. Let's hope Houdini is

#1270 3 years ago
Quoted from Black_Knight:

When the intensity of the fad fades, prices will decline again. I'm not predicting a total crash, but the sales and secondary pricing will not be sustained indefinitely.

Let's get the show onthe road, then! I have a bunch of games I want to buy! Hurry up!!

#1285 3 years ago
Quoted from 3pinballs:

Hey Rosh.
What parts are being used? Are they readily available? This is looking really good!

There is a post previous in this thread where Rosh went over that. W/b flippers and mechs, Data east bumpers

#1311 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Had an Absolutely Great time visiting and touring the API facility today. Rosh as expected was an amazing host and answered Any question you through at him. More importantly you can tell they were looking for feedback and listening to make the Houdini launch a home run! The assembly line looks prepped/staged almost ready to hit the Start button. Every detail of assembly and more importantly QC was checked and double checked. Very impressive! While a start up, they are focused on hitting it out of the park and Exceeding expectations on every level. Proud to be an Early adopter and my confidence in this product, their team, and company is rock solid after this visit. Bravo to the API team and Thank You sincerely for opening your doors to give us a sneak peak!
The Mod Couple!

Glad to hear it, although I’m pleased to say I’m not surprised! The AP team has done a great job thus far of reaching out, clearly using 6sigma or ITIL to incorporate feedback directly into the design process - anyway, very great news. I am totally envious! Wish we were in Chicago too. Maybe when I retire I can afford to go work for AP

#1313 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

According to Rosh they are Hiring so your in Luck! lol Who needs retirement if your doing what makes you happy with a team that feels the same!

Well my wallet would need it still have a kid to put through college

#1326 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

These reveiws are killing me. Frothing at the mouth. Was hoping by Christmas, but would rather wait for perfection. Im in, hopefully by 50 th birthday in April.

They still say shipping in 2017... may be december 31 but it will be this year!!!

2 weeks later
#1349 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

All has gone quiet in the Houdini forums....

Is this some kind of show biz anticipation trick?

#1366 3 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

Also love the way you are never defensive about our "suggestions". Also very rare.
Your attitude alone is going to sell quite a few of these.

This is a fantastic (and correct, IMO) point

2 weeks later
#1559 3 years ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

All good , appreciate the fact that the whole thing came together so fast!

There is some mystery part they are waiting to be built or shipped to the factory which appears to be holding up the whole line. Hope it happens soon!

#1563 3 years ago
Quoted from konjurer:

It's going to be difficult waiting past Christmas for Houdini for me. I could have a new Dialed In or GOTG in my house in time for Christmas. Some news on when the line is going to get going would be helpful in tempering my impatience. I'm just not good at waiting.

I know what you mean - I had planned on DI and Houdini being in the house before the end of the year - had to adjust slightly. we are not getting DI until some time next year and hopefully Houdini as soonas they start shipping!

#1584 3 years ago

Awesome update!

#1595 3 years ago

Now just ship ‘em!!!

1 week later
#1629 3 years ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

that is the one i was referring to.
the one single game of video in the last six months. the opportunity to showcase the improved lighting, current/most recent state of the code, and flow/gameplay resulting from Balcers design tweaks; lasted one game. everything else is from 6 month old prototypes. the written updates are certainly appreciated, but with games going out the door soon, im sure people were hoping for more to SEE something more. if you dont want to concern yourselves with how the game actually plays, fine. im sure the match sequence is of more importance.

Can you link me to the latest video where Stern or JJP are doing these types of updates ? I missed have missed them

#1641 3 years ago
Quoted from Gexchange:

Our first 5 we are going to be sending out to public locations so as many people who want to play it can. One Location in Cali, One in Washington DC, 1 In Denver, Co, 1 in Seattle and one in Wyoming.

WHERE in DC? lyman’s?

#1644 3 years ago
Quoted from djreddog:

Hopefully VUK.

It's got to be one of the two. Both are equidistant for me.. man hurry up guys!!

#1652 3 years ago
Quoted from DBLM:

VUK is getting one soon. Was there Friday and was talking to the tech working on TNA. He said that it is is on the way. They also have GOTG in as well.

That is outstanding. My band rehearses down the street occasionally, and I played DI there recently. I will make it there again soon!!

#1657 3 years ago
Quoted from DBLM:

My daughter and I went there for lunch today and they said they expect it there this week. So pumped to try it.


#1665 3 years ago

I’m curious - how do you know about a DC location? Do the distros get a nationwide list of them or something? I suppose that would help with saturation

#1669 3 years ago

No Houdini at Lyman's today.. maybe tomorrow

#1672 3 years ago
Quoted from Gexchange:

I helped the operator get his start. He used to work for us. Still comes out and goes to shows and stuff with me. Really good guy

Very cool! I love that place; they keep a great rotation and the games are well maintained. And the food is really good! Not sure how they Pull it all off!

#1674 3 years ago
Quoted from Spelunk71:

Agreed. Lyman’s is always a blast. Stupid question: was it named after Lyman Sheets? I wonder if he’s ever visited.

I don't know - the owner's name is Kevin, and I know he works with his dad - maybe he's Lyman? lol

#1711 3 years ago
Quoted from konjurer:

I've been a little critical of the animations in this thread. Great American Pinball just posted probably the best video of the LCD animations and they look pretty fantastic. GAP's camera picks up a lot more detail and the colors are more clear and vivid than Josh's video. Looks great. More excited than ever to get Houdini.
» YouTube video

Very cool video! And very cool of you to man up that you’ve changed your mind!

#1735 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Amateur posters to this thread often miss asking about things before jumping to conclusions.
It has been on the list, well, since forever. I have mentioned a few times about 'polish', and that is the type of thing that falls into that category. I actually just got them from my sound engineer a week or so ago, so they will be in there soon. Since consecutive ramps increase scoring with each ramp, the sound needs to change accordingly and our sound engineer wanted to hear more of the game play to come up with the right sound sequence. Also means it takes a little longer to implement, then say sling shot or pop bumper sounds.

I was going to post something snarky about how “amateur” it is to put this level of detail into your game, but I guess I... oh well I kinda did didn’t I?

Houdini IN 2018!!!

#1739 3 years ago
Quoted from djreddog:

Any update on the DC location?

Not at Lyman’s yet..

#1754 3 years ago
Quoted from delt31:

Great video. Love the pops - looks like it shoots pretty well but just not a fan of the clip art feel to it or the music/sound package especially the voices. Would love to play it in person.

You’ll own one by Q2 2018, mark my words

#1763 3 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

It will be interesting to see how quickly the number of Houdini games shipped and on location outpaces Alien. I love that both of these games are happening right now, I played the prototypes of both at our Northwest Show this Summer and liked them a lot, but it seems like American really has their act together and will be producing in bigger numbers sooner.

At the absolute minimum, let's hope they ship games with a smaller number of issues than Heighway is

1 week later
#1782 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Suppose to get mine Friday or next week.

Which distro did you go through?

#1784 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

I'm busy working on code . Plus, I posted something three days ago.
There are about 20 machines that have finished standard playfield testing, and are in the completed cabinets, and are going through a second set of inspection by Joe, Jim and to a lesser extend me (I did reject a machine yesterday). Joe is also spending time on each game to tune it. They are also going through burn-in. A few issues have been found that are being addressed (e.g. inconsistency in dressing/routing of wiring) and re-training happening as needed. As I've said, we don't plan to ship games until they are ready, but I expect all of these to be out of here this week. There are another 10 or so currently on the line. I do not know where these are heading, and I suspect our marketing/sales guy is being overly optimistic with shipping dates, so, take any dates from distributors with a grain of salt, it is not there fault if there are delays. We want machines to be right. Not saying that every machine will arrive perfectly, but that is the goal.
Quick photo from a couple of days ago.

Yet another example of why I am happy to wait for these machines. (no I'm not!!!! )

It sort of sounds like you guys are doing the burn-in time in the factory instead of what's become common, where the first buyers become the final testers.

#1787 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Are any machines shipping with Magic Glass?

I thought I read that they were doing those as add-ons, and not until the first couple of shipments go out. Did I get that wrong?

#1794 3 years ago

Rosh is still active on PS, I think it’s just he’s busy! Did you see the update where he is personally inspecting machines, and Joe is personally tweaking them! I want one of those MFers.

#1796 3 years ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

Houdini is in the House! Watch us unbox it and stay tuned for an upcoming review and interview with the American Pinball team!
» YouTube video

Damn! I’m ready to PIF; where’s my Houdini!

#1802 3 years ago

You know, over and above the fact that most of us are in here drooling over these awesome games, these photos are REAlly really cool! I have not been on any factory tour (I guess I’ve seen a couple videos) but the behind the scenes on this is just very cool, even just these photos. The bins of parts, the line, etc.

#1807 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

The entire conveyor height can be adjusted so I'm sure they will change if they find it is too low


#1818 3 years ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

My distro confirmed shipping from Chicago Tuesday/ Wednesday next week! Fingers crossed

How long have you been in line?

#1820 3 years ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

November .... Paid in full before Christmas ... First new in box for me ... Just amazed how the AP has been straight forward and on point with how the build came together. After reading horror stories of other pin manufacturing have let the customers down, I'm buying with great confidence!
Looking forward to getting the pin and looking forward to see what comes next from a great crew and support team!

Every distro does it differently I guess. I’ve had a deposit since August or October but have never bought NIB before; I thought I was supposed to wait for communication from them first before paying in full

#1823 3 years ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

Nitro is a very reputable distro here in Western Canada ... Great at supporting local shows , tournaments ect. As he is the direct contact to AP regarding my Houdini I fully take him at his word!
You are right regarding the small holding deposit (refundable) and complete payment when ready to ship!
Another reason to trust AP .....

Glad to hear it! Can’t wait to see your unboxing! Haha

#1852 3 years ago
Quoted from djreddog:

My girlfriend loves the D, so if you have any on discount let me know.

Say WHAT?!

#1854 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Any chance you saw Cointaker on that list was told Friday would be delivery day!!! I can’t keep myself any calmer. Very excited!

Hope PinballStar is on there soon!!

#1867 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Sounds like DeepRoot is dreaming of making their own Houdini?
"TWIP: Are there any updates on deeproot coming to agreements with American Pinball?
RM: Our attorney and AP’s attorney have traded emails over the last few months. As of today, there has not been an agreement. On or about November 29, 2017, John Popadiuk elected to exercise a provision in his contract with American Pinball (‘AP’) permitting John to license all work performed for AP for $99. While much of the John’s (original) Houdini design occurred before his work with AP, the final touches while with AP were intentionally scrapped by AP in September 2016. It is fortunate AP provided John/Zidware with the ability to retain that amazing discarded work. Mr. Popadiuk/Zidware have since assigned the referenced licenses to deeproot Tech, LLC. deeproot is excited to add John’s (i.e. the original) Houdini design to its portfolio of games."

LOL AP Houdini is shipping, deeprot Houdini is ... uh, in a portfolio?

#1928 3 years ago
Quoted from Videogod:

May I ask a question, Josh? I got on the list for a Houdini back in May (!), and I'm really looking forward to owning it. My dilemma is that I would really like the Magic Glass, Blades & Shaker Motor add-ons. I know you mentioned that pricing and availability are not yet finalized, but would you suggest getting the machine now and adding those accessories later or waiting for all of them to be built into it at the factory?

Rosh has stated at couple of times they will probably not ship the initial batch of games with the glass or inner blades; if you wait a bit they may announce in-factory installation but that’s never yet been mentioned as a guarantee. I think the glass pricing isn’t even set yet. So you may want to wait a bit

#1964 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

What was said is that Houdini left no estate that controls the rights, however, we trademarked Houdini for use in pinball, etc.. Obviously there are other aspects of what jpop believes that AP sees differently.
Personally, and this is me talking, not AP, I find it reprehensible that Jpop would even consider doing this, after everything that AP did to help him.

Given their inimitable track records... it seems with deeproot, JPop has really found himself amongst cats of a ... similar character...

#1966 3 years ago

Well I don’t know about you, but that made MY day!’

#1971 3 years ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

I was at the expo reveal of the JPOP Houdini playfield. At first glance, it looked pretty nice. Upon closer inspection, I could only liken it to the Winchester house.

What a great idea for a theme!!!

#1988 3 years ago

Is that more than Heighway has produced?

#2003 3 years 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

1 week later
#2090 3 years ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

I’m just praying that you guys are brainstorming some mod ideas for Houdini. I want a machine that the mod couple goes all out on!

With everything packed in that game - what could they possibly add?

#2100 3 years ago

Got a little quiet here - I assume that means the latest shipped games went to people not on PS...

#2102 3 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

I was contacted for payment and while no definitive date was given yet it was in the queue and coming soon

How early did you put in a preorder?

#2104 3 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

Day 1, Hour 1. I also request not to be in first games off the line whenever possible as I don't like working out bugs on new games.

Got it - well I am a long way out then! Damn ! Lol

#2109 3 years ago

Went to VUK specifically today to play Houdini - the place also has a DI, Met, Gotg, TNA, CFTBL, Hobbit, Aerosmith, AFMr, Argosy(!), and at least one more I can’t remember. Stellar place.

I really enjoyed Houdini, the theme is SO well integrated. It really reminded me at times of “BioShock” with the heavy steampunk theme and the way some of the audio effects and “old-timey” film/Sfx worked. Really stellar. The animations work to this effect as well; they look roughly period, and I kept thinking of Terry Gilliam’s Animations from Flying Circus.

Anyway, the game! I played about 20 games on the machine, took me maybe an hour.
It is FUN. The catapult didn’t get old. The MODES! Are really fun and creative. The pops look very very cool, and the stage is amazing - the “magic” turning on when the magnets activate is really fun, and even though there is “just” one ramp there is a lot of variation in the game and Man is it smooth!!

There are several shots which are REALLY tight. Definitely this is something that an owner will want to adjust first. When you just perfectly nail the inner loop, it feels great - but it is super hard to hit. I mean SUPER hard. The shot has to be perfect. Very frustrating, but then again I did keep going back for more games... and also I think the shots would be easily adjustable in a home environment. There are targets that are just waaaay close to the inner orbit openings, and if they lean even the slightest bit into the opening, the ball isn’t going in.

So here’s the thing - I don’t think this is a major issue. I definitely got better at those shots. And it is clear that a lighter touch on the flippers is beneficial - I kind of thought that the coils should be dialed down a bit (sorry rosh!!), which would make the shots easier to roll smoothly in. The only shot that needs a lot of power is the ramp (man, the ramp draws a really cool visual path).

So yeah, I’m still in. It’s a great game. It is HARD. Oh man is it hard. And it’s frustrating. And it’s fun.

#2111 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

I heard from a friend who was at vuk today that both Houdini and TNA are floaty, like game is almost flat floaty. Perhaps that did not help issues regarding gameplay enjoyment and ability to make shots properly?
Anyways, thank you for the review! I like hard, means having it at home won’t be a snooze fest

TNA ... I played 4 games on; I think that is an outstanding modern game based on a traditional design. But I do not get it. It seems like a hodgepodge of ideas and it felt sort of ... incomplete.

Houdini isn’t levelled flat, but it definitely isn’t blinding fast - but I’m not sure it’s meant to be. If the ball is rocketing around the playfield, those shots I mentioned would be impossible. The game really rewards precision

#2124 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Hey guys! My Houdini arrives in 1 hour!!! Woohoo!
I also wanted to give my first experiences with Houdini, as mine was suppose to arrive Friday but shipping was delayed. Basically I needed to play it, so I went all the way from Richmond to Bethesda MD, to play at VUK all weekend.
Houdini was easily most beautiful game there, including TNA. The backglass is just gorgeous. The volume was originally so low you couldn’t hear it but the employee at VUK turned it up so it was easily the most audible of any games there. The game has been on route for a little over a week, to my knowledge. I checked over the entire game, I didn’t see a single spot of wear. Not on the shooter lane or the theater.
The game was a lot of fun. The modes are all very unique. The animations are high quality, the music is good and the voice instructions is good for the new players, I am happy I can just double tap out of em after I learned the game.
The shots in this game are tight, it will be perfect for a home game. With that said, all shots ARE MAKEABLE when you find your shots and get dialed in on the game.
I didn’t end up getting the GC but I did get 2nd high score which I am pretty happy about. Photo will be below.
Okay! So I have told you the good. So rosh, here comes the bad and the ugly.
1. the game was extremely shallow and felt very floaty. ( I had this fixed by the techs on Sunday. ) much better now.
2. From factory the pops were not very sensitive at all. It was extremely difficult to get good action and have the ball hit horizontally into the theatre or just pop in general, perhaps you could call them?
3. The game seemed to suffer from an auto plunger issue. It would auto plunge instantaneously on the 2,3,4 players turn or when I would get an extra ball and it would pop out to start again. This issue was totally random and would not happen every game but enough that it does screw you over.
4. The game had an issue where when you locked a ball in the trunk (catapult made 100% of the shots I saw in 2 days of playing), it would then need to ball search for the ball to shot the lower catapult down the wireform. So that sucked when you were in a mode and hit that lock shot.
The ugly:
The game had random resets where it would get a blue screen or kill people’s balls. I have 2 experiences to discuss that relate to this. 1. My friend was blowing up the machine, he was in seance mb and a mode, then brought in trunk mb and when it started (all on ball 1) the game turned black, and then killed his ball. Not only did it kill his ball but it then completely skipped my turn, and went to bonus instantly and then started his next ball. 2. When a mode started it went to a blue screen and the game just froze.
Alright. Well now that all that is said, I hope this helps rosh.
Guys, this game is freaking fantastic. I am sure it will be in my collection longer than Dialed in. Btw, the comedy in the game and Easter eggs are fantastic!
rosh can I get a test code version from you? I’d love to help in any other way I can regarding bugs, issues or code testing in a home setting.
I’ll post some more tomorrow! Pinstadium kit is going in as well tonight. Game is beautifully lit but I haven’t seen a game that doesn’t look even better after I’ve added one.

Good lord! I played this SAME machine a few days earlier, and none of these issues. However, I never played with anybody else - that may be part of the issue. Blue screen! Never saw it in 90 minutes of relatively continuous play between me and another guy who was wailing on the machine.

#2133 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

My first thought was to increase power. So I did by 1. It definitely made it worse. I just hope I can have someone figure out the ball plunger issue. The plunger is not centered on the ball. But I don’t think it will have enough wiggle room if I loosen to housing to make up that much of a difference. I hope I am wrong.

Vp when did you get in with your deposit? Looking forward to getting one in our house ...

#2178 3 years ago

Went back to play 10,15 games at VUK today. This time I DID feel like the game was set up very floaty - I am not sure if they are changing the game setup or what. The scoop kickout was really unpredictable too. (Not as unpredictable as my IJ mode hole kickout, but noticeable. Took me a few games to adjust)

Still very fun game, I’m still in, I think I’ve played enough on it I’m starting to really look for the game’s personality and consistency. Hoping when I get it home I can get it set up a little tiny bit faster.

Compared to the DI on location there, Houdini was excellent. dI was fun as hell, but it felt like that game was under water - floaty floaty floaty. Also, the shooter Rod is broken so that was pretty frustrating. Houdini still looks absolutely incredible in the lineup

#2182 3 years ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

It’s already been raised once due to my request. It was much much worse a weekend ago. Totally flat. My scoop on my game is still unpredictable. I am struggling to get the upper catapult to hit its target to return to right flipper I think I gotta adjust the wireform.
I just broke 1 million for the first time. It was a fantastic game.

How do you activate the upper catapult? I couldn’t figure that out

#2199 3 years ago

Anybody have ideas on how many are going out? Still haven't heard from any east coast distros on shipping

#2212 3 years ago
Quoted from Cobra:

Has anyone changed their mind about owning this after playing it? I was super excited to get one but after playing it I find it not as exciting because of that right inner loop. Milk can also.
When you need to make these shots for a mode or to lock ball and miss 95% of the time it is just not fun.
I love everything about it except that damn shot.
Is it possible to move that stand up on the left side of right inner loop over to the left a tiny bit?
My Houdini space and money is now going to a Dilaed In. This one is on the back burner now.

Many people have mentioned this, and those who have had more
Time to play it (see VividPsychosis’ response) Agree that it’s hard, but makeable. I had 2 friends play it onsite and say “it’s too hard, those shots are impossible”, so I went to play it again myself. I came away thinking “damn this game is fun but yeah that may be too hard...” so I went back a few days later and exclusively played Houdini and DI. Both are outstanding. A couple more games on Houdini allayed my worries about those shots. The game is so classy, all around.

#2241 3 years ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

Zach's fact checking of Kaneda's Review of Houdini
- “You can't backhand anything. The inner loop that feeds the catapult is way too tight.”
(Correction - you can backhand that shot with 80% accuracy)
- “I like the ramps”
(Correction - dipshit there is only one ramp)
- “Shots are too tight and I'm a decent player.”
(Correction - Stick with Gottleibs rookie)
- “There are posts beside the inner loop”
(Correction - those are standup targets not posts)
Anyone else wonder if he actually played a Houdini?

Maybe he got it confused with Magic Girl?

#2288 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Want to make a quick introduction, Barry Engler barryj is the service manager here at American Pinball, and has decided to join the craziness that is pinside. Guess he figured he would rather hear about things directly vs me relaying the info.
Lets try to be nice and not scare him off

Barry can you talk to the warehouse to get mine shipped soon!

#2291 3 years ago
Quoted from BarryJ:

Quality takes time. We are doing our best to get games out the door. I even help on the final line. It's worth the wait

I believe it! You guys are doing a stellar job. This whole process has been executed so well, and the additional scrutiny put on the whole process means no stone left unturned. Really amazing. Josh and Joe Balcer really impressed me talking with them at PinFest last year and you could tell how proud they were, it was all over their faces. It comes across in the game too. Hurry! Haha

#2327 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Still on wait list and preorders. I just placed an order for one and I'm not expecting it for a few months.

No one has stock. I’ve had a preorder since October and no calls from the distro yet. I’ve never bought NIB before so I don’t know if this is just what it’s like ? But there must be a lot of people ahead of me. I’ve called around to other distros and they promise earlier delivery so that may sway me

#2331 3 years ago
Quoted from wfumed2:

Gotcha! What is the soonest you’ve heard from a distributor so far?


#2338 3 years ago

Quoted from Yelobird:I placed my order for (3) machines back in June 2017 and have heard no new updates at this point. Hoping API sends some love to Joe@PinballStar soon.....

Oh great that does not make me feel good. Joe told me that the machine would ship to my door from Chicago, but I guess it still ships through his account. This is hella confusing, especially with other guys I’ve called saying they can have it in a month. I figured Joe had some pull, he always puts on such a great show

Added over 3 years ago: Original post implies I was somehow worried about PInballSTAR and Joe Newhart, which was not what I meant. Only meant I was worried I would be waiting a LONG time, and getting different info from different people. Joe is good people.!

#2340 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

I’m with you. Assumed with a June order I would be higher on the list but with all the Canada and other shipments there apparently was a longer line. Sad thing is I’m only 15 minutes from the factory but it looks like the wait will be worth it. My orders will stand unless my POTC CE comes in first or CG drops a surprise release bomb of awesome before that time. That could sway my patience. Lol

CGC just announced a delay to remake 3, so ... hopefully JJp comes through. I’ve been waiting on houdini since after it was re-unveiled. It will be in the collection! I think my enthusiasm is turning into entitled complaining though So I’ll just enjoy what we have for now. And maybe a couple trips to the place nearby that has one on location!

#2345 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Lol yep that’s what I am doing again tomorrow. Heading over to 257 to dump yet more cash into a row of games I bought but can’t have yet. Lol. What kind of sickness is this!! If you get your game before me though be warned you will have a visitor! Lol. I’m out in Norfolk visiting my kids bi-monthly.

You are eminently welcome! Hell, stop by if any of the current collection interests you!

#2354 3 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Nobody should feel any pain. This Is an awesome pin and will certainly be worth the wait. A great team whose only fault is wanting to make sure every game is perfect. Look on the bright side, they are still 4 years ahead of the wait for The Big Lebowski!


#2356 3 years ago
Quoted from per3per3:

For context, I pre-ordered in June and haven't heard anything yet.

From PinballSTAR

#2362 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

Come on guys, both of you commenting here have gotten updates from me by email or texts whenever asked, immediately. I know you are excited to get your game and I appreciate that, but there is no news to report - they do not make 1000 games a day and fulfill every order on the first day of production. This game went on sale in April, and one of you ordered in June, and the other ordered in October. Unfortunately the fact is people ordered before you. AND they JUST STARTED SHIPPING and slowly at that. It's a new company, a new line, a new game, new employees, etc... There is a learning curve... And I can tell you AP is wildly quality conscious. Joe Balcer, bless him, has been playing every game for 20 minutes before he approves it to go into a box to ship. So, the slow roll out is first expected, and second appreciated - we all would rather have a game that's perfect shipping than one rushed with issues.
If you want to call around and get bullshitted with fake dates you'll get told to make a sale go ahead. I do not play games with my customers nor potential customers. I will not be unethical and sell a game early to a new customer to make a new sale while my loyal early buyers sit and wait - so whoever is telling you they can get you a game next week while there are 100s waiting from every distributor for months is either lying to you or might get terminated as a distributor if they get caught doing that line jumping garbage. The 'I can get you a game next week' as was told to me today came from somebody that IS NOT EVEN A DISTRIBUTOR for AP. So take it for what it's worth - it's BS. I can tell you NOBODY has allotments planned out more than a week or knows what they are getting when at this early point - they are just starting to ship to customers after a run of early distributor games and test games for locations. I got an email Tuesday 'we have 5 games for you Wednesday' - that's when I knew I was getting something off the line - a day or days before. They aren't too confident on how many can go out each day just yet so they are just giving them to us as they can when they are done. That will ramp up to faster production and higher confidence soon. Customers are in line. And I am in line with AP. They are doing things extremely fairly, as I am.
I can tell you I am one of AP's largest distributors. Here's how it works... If I have say 15% of AP's orders and they make 100 games in a month they are probably assigning about 15 games to me. Someone who ordered 5% of what has been ordered will get about 5. I get asked 'what's my place in line' frequently and I explain to people it's irrelevant for the above reason. Distributors do not get same allotment numbers so # 4 with one guy could be same as #15 with another. The idea is for the company to try to get product to every distributor in a manner so they are hopefully getting to customers who ordered around the same time frame across all distributors... It's an imperfect science, but a lot of thought goes into it so it is as fair and equitable to both the distributors and to the customers as possible.
Do people try to buck the system ? Sure... I once had a guy on DI come to me when they started shipping after 6 months of preorder with this line 'How much extra can I pay to get my game now'... I told him nothing cause it won't happen. He still did order from me, then later cancelled when he got one earlier, probably by stealing someone else's spot in line from a distributor who was less than ethical and felt a few hundred bucks was worth screwing his earlier customers. A few extra bucks or one sale is not worth the reputation I've build for years. I'm not your guy for that. Rest assured guys like that will not be the guys answering the phone on a weekend, texting you during their family dinner to answer your questions, or helping you with service issues, they are motivated by $ only and when they have it their motivation to you is over. That's just a general comment and that said, AP for the most part has a really small but top quality team of distributors - they didn't appoint just anyone, they did their homework.
So please everyone be patient... all the games are coming... We all love you are excited, we are too... But you can't see 10 people post on Pinside they got their game and think 1000 have shipped... Chances are 10 shipped. I can tell you the team at AP is so passionate about what they are doing - from Dhaval down to Joe Balcer and Jim Thorton in design and production, to Josh in programming, to Ryan in marketing - these guys CARE, period, it's all I've seen from any of them from the start. They want the best game they can make, filled with the most fun stuff they can put in it, built with quality, and supported after the sale... And they did that at a $ 7,000 price point Houdini is a stuffed / blinged out LE model for a Pro/Premium price... It's a great game and a better value. Let them do the good stuff they do, they won't rush it, and they will get faster, and soon everyone will have their game. ...and everyone will live happily every after... : )
Joe Newhart

It's all good, Joe - nobody's trashing you. My comment you quoted there wasn't even meant to be negative. I should have written "I want to support Joe because I appreciate what he does for the shows I've attended (York, Allentown) and he walks the walk"

We're just excited to some day get these games - and I can only speak for myself - I've not bought NIB before, so this is all new to me.

#2364 3 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

I'm always available and have answered every email from you in record time... Any questions on status... just ask ! Happy to tell you what I know - I talk to someone at AP probably just about every day lately ! Thanks Rob !

Thanks so much! Hope we're good; I appreciate the info! Modded my previous comment for clarification

#2385 3 years ago
Quoted from PBFan:

Well, based on some of the preceding comments I'd have to say:
"I don't always buy NIB pinball machines but when I do ... I would go with PinballSTAR Joe"!
I like the upfront business honesty and the importance he seems to put on his reputation. That's the kind of salesman I like to deal with - and I would pay more for that experience.

I agree. I put my money where my mouth (and a bit of my foot) is and ordered a DILE from Joe last night. I’d set aside the cash weeks ago and never pulled the trigger, so now, done.

#2413 3 years ago
Quoted from foxtj24:

Anyone install their own art blades? Mine were supposed to be done at factory, but were not. Distributor sent me a set to do myself. They are so very thin. Ripped one trying to install it. These are the thinnest and stickiest blades I have ever tried to install. I can usually install the stern or tilt ones without taking out the playfield. No go on these. I hope they send me a replacement.

Look up the wet method on YouTube , very simple as you have time to adjust

1 week later
#2544 3 years ago
Quoted from calprog:

I was at TPF and played quite a few games. One thing that really bugged me is that the flippers had no power. I struggled to make the ball up the ramp. Can the flipper power be increased or is this a coding issue? Any insight would be helpful.

Just like a JJP machine and (I think?) modern Sterns, the settings can adjust coil strength

#2550 3 years ago
Quoted from PinMonk:

Much more specific control of individual coils than most Sterns. More like JJP.

Can't wait to get inside this machine!!

#2565 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

If you do get inside it, will you be wearing a Houdini style Straight Jacket with chains and locks
Please take a video

LOL!! And for my next escape, I will lock myself in the backbox!

#2689 3 years ago

Yep they are still months out...

#2739 3 years ago

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

F39D4A0B-F88D-4413-BB00-6379FF58C962 (resized).jpeg

#2746 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

API is doing an amazing job getting these made each week at a steady pace. Another batch went out this week and more pinsiders will be posting next week about it.

And it’s great to see the feedback is being incorporated right back into the game. I am glad a lot of the diehards got their games early and were able to articulate feedback - I don’t think I would have been able to do that. Rosh is pumping out the changes like crazy!

#2755 3 years ago
Quoted from MT45:

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

Glad to hear it! I’m almost done with it actually - some GREAT poster are in there which may end up on our walls soon...

#2759 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

That would be a mistake.
Ive owned a lot of pinballs, this is perhaps one of the best ever. Everthing gets easier with practice.

JIM Z I’ll take your spot man

#2769 3 years ago
Quoted from PinMonk:

That's a great comparison. Ghostbusters is frustrating. Houdini is not anywhere near that level of frustration.

Not even close. My Indy is more frustrating

#2770 3 years ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Last awesome magic history book by Jim Steinmeyer - The Magician and the Cardsharp... Dai Vernon is the father of modern, close-up magic (think David Blaine, not Copperfield). Dia Vernon invented hundreds of tricks and sleight of hand moves - the greatest innovator in card magic. This is the story of a legend about a card sharp that could deal any card from the middle of the deck. Basically, a card cheat that could not be detected. Dai spent much of his life, cruising the back rooms of bars and illegal gambling houses to find if the legend was real. Great story!
» YouTube video

Thank you so much for that!! I learned about Dai Vernon from a documentary about Ricky Jay, who is one of my idols, but I’ve never seen much about Dai Vernon.

#2777 3 years ago

Has anyone had to take one apart ? I usually prefer to take the backbox off newer pins so I don’t damage them (sooo heavy!). WOZ and TH were an absolute breeze in about 20 minutes - DI was more like a nightmare several hours long. I got it, but it would be good to know which Houdini will be.

#2785 3 years ago
Quoted from Charliew65:

JJ from game ecxhange Colorado said it was a 6-8 week wait at Texas pinball festival. Little better then 3 months.

Starting from when?

#2791 3 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Yes, each level is timed. If you advanced more than one level, when the timer hits it will fall back a level. A small milkcan on the left side of the screen shows the 'timer' for the multiplier. It is on my list to add settings so the timer can be made longer than it currently is and I may certainly change the default as well.

There are only a handful of wires that go from the head to the cabinet (two USB cables, power cables for computer and amp, connection for the backbox LEDs, I think that is it) and I believe just 1 that goes from the head to the playfield (cable for the mini-display). However, access to where wires plug in is not super easy, and you may have to remove the monitor assembly to be able to easily remove and re-attach them. Even if you do have to remove the monitor, it won't take very long to do it, as the bracket is just removing two screws and loosening four others to remove it. Should be closer to the 20 minutes than hours.

This is the best thing I’ve read all day. I had to cut cable ties, open the computer case and Unsolder things to do Dialed in, so this sounds like a breeze!

#2793 3 years ago
Quoted from MT45:

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!

Let’s get some over to the east coast Guys...

#2797 3 years ago

Part of being big is getting lots of different options though; he offers basically every manufacturer - and AP is still launching this bird. I get it, just WISH we had one on the way. And it is! Luckily I can go up about 10’miles away and play one, I am grateful for that and all the other games they have there.

That place helped me decide to buy DI, which I do not regret for 1 second

#2805 3 years ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Do I need a powered or unpowered sub?

Powered, just turn it down before you turn it on the first time, and dial it up when you have the game going

#2818 3 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Report on fb of one of these catching fire at level 257? Anyone hear about this?

What ?! Lol. Is there a link? Or is this one of those “heard from a friend of a friend” things?

#2851 3 years ago

I never noticed the Lon Chaney-as-Black-Death from Phantom of the Opera. Is that an easter egg? Or does it have something to do with Houdini?

#2853 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

I thought you said you got your game from Larry at Flip N Out? Also isn’t pricing standard across the board?

I think he just meant the topper

#2856 3 years ago
Quoted from CUJO:

Found it! Works now when I pass something like a ball or my finger between the optos now.
I guess I just haven't had any balls make it from the upper catapult past that opto recently or at all.
My lower catapalt never was missing the truck so unless it misses and falls into the upper catapalt, I assume that is the only job that upper catapalt has to do, is to get the ball back into play?

Rosh should confirm, but I believe it is only used in one mode, so you don't get a lot of interaction with that upper catapult.

#2864 3 years ago

Even though I am hating the wait, it is AWESOME they've sold so many so quickly. Really really happy for AP.

#2869 3 years ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

You are going to be tired tomorrow.
Lets see home by 930, unboxing 30-60 min, test catapult, set strength. 10-20 games, post on pinside, now its midnight at best. Have fun!


#2870 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

3 years for my WOZ....etc

Here comes somebody posting about TBL in 5.... 4.... 3...

Good to remember! NIB is hard

#2875 3 years ago
Quoted from Marcdaddy:

Guys it's true the Houdini went up in smoke during a tournament at Level 257, I was playing Star Wars 2 games away. The machine was stuck in Tilt mode and smoke from back of the Playfield, luckily after 10 seconds or so someone killed the power. Yep Roger was 1 of four that was on it.

Wait so Roger was really there? I thought that was Rosh making a joke! That is even more funny