Quoted from DS_Nadine:
Seminar stream today?
No-one streamed it.
Sad if it wasn't recorded.
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:
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
JJP widebodies weigh about 380lbs. Think DI is around 340lbs?
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.
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:
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
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.
Quoted from rosh:
Morning all, just a few quick thoughts before I head over to expo.
Magic glass is incredible, while I am no expert on the other products, they put a sheet on my machine one day and didn't tell me, I went to go do reach down to do something and smashed my hand into it, did not even realize it was there. One of the three games at the show has it so I am sure someone can give an unbiased assessment.
I'll post some of the photos from our expo presentation when at my laptop with decent internet., I think it may have been recorded, I'll find out.
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.
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:
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
Well it's the biggest show of the year and they're intending to ship in November or December ... if not now then when?
Quoted from DS_Nadine:
While this may not be the most proper place to brag about this...
...isn't the expo coverage in genaral serverly lacking?
Pinballnews wrote what they could but other then a a walk trough the floor and 2 1/2 YT-Vids of POTC there's about nothing to find.
No Houdini, no Thunderbirds, nothing...
I want to watch the American Pinball Seminar (and most of the others as well).
Unfortunately, in quite a few respects, pinball still seems to be stuck in the 90s.
rosh will you guys be sending one to the DPO Expo in the Netherlands next month? Largest show in Europe this year.
Over 350 machines, maybe over 400 by the time it happens. By comparison Pinburgh (ReplayFX), which I think was North America's largest consumer show this year, had 'only' 305 machines.
Quoted from rosh:
Sorry for short replies, other than photos been using phone and hard to be verbose -- which is not a problem for the machine, which is way too verbose, I knew it was a little chatty, but that has been the primary negative feeeback on the game. But hey I sit in a room all day with just the machine, naturally I would make it chatty (and did recently add a bunch of verbose female voice calls)
DPO is on our radar, we are running a few weeks behind our schedule so not sure we will have a machine "bulletpoof" in time to ship. A couple of other shows in same situation.
Left side shots were tweaked slightly and flow better with less chatter. The narrow right side shot was also tweaked, if it is any wider it would be no the 1/16 of an inch. Whatever little tweaks Joe did really cleaned things up as far as now it shoots.
Well, time to drive back over to expo. I'll try to get some video, but no promosis, pretty busy with talking to those st the show..
Good to hear.
Also, regarding your prior post, good that they're Mirco pfs rather than US-sourced ones. Firmly hoping the Churchill cabinets are more towards the quality end of the spectrum that JJP order, rather than the few Stern still get.
Let's not forget others, though.
Balcer quickly turned an absolute stinker of a JPop design into something workable, and has since refined it into something that now looks like it can compete with JJP, let alone Stern. Many no doubt currently nameless individuals helped.
I don't know if it has been discussed or not, but I'd strongly suggest revisiting the AP logo. Perhaps by the artist responsible for the pf and cabinet.
It looks very out of keeping and amateurish compared to the rest of the package. Particularly when on the white decal in the middle of the speaker panel.
Quoted from jwilson:
Let's be honest, all the pinball company logos are kind of crappy. So if anything they're just matching the competition on that one.
I think the Stern, DP and JJP ones get the job done, the animated JJP one more so than the static one.
The machine looks great, but the AP logo looks like a place holder left behind from their formation over a year ago.
Quoted from konjurer:
Someone mentioned this on a different Houdini thread a few minutes ago and I think it's worth mentioning as a suggestion here.
I would like to see the Houdini animations cleaned-up, have more consistency and perhaps up the quality of the creative work. I'm not saying it's bad - it fact I think it's a lot better than what Stern is doing. Some of it looks great. However, JJP's animations are the standard. And it is being compared to POTC. Houdini's animation are the weak link in an otherwise beautiful game. Please don't take that as an insult! I know it's really hard work.
They can be improved over time. But if you expect JJP quality display and animations, I think you'll be disappointed.
As I haven't had the opportunity to see one, and I don't think it's been answered, are cabinet decals wrapped (new Sterns / CGC) or do they lay edge to edge, like JJP / 90s games / older Sterns?
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.
Quoted from pbwizard14:
I know one thing about this game (for myself of course), when they end the run of this machine and move on to the next, I would hate to be on the outside looking in. For me, this is the rebirth of Williams/Bally, at least from what I have seen. I was hoping JJP would have been it, but Jack's titles do not interest me, although I do not doubt the quality is there because everybody has said it is outstanding. Maybe a future title from Jack, but for now this is the one to own for me. I have been on the sideline since Wayne Gilliard announced the remake of MM and I get in on that, so it's been a while.
It's not licensed. They can build them as long as there is demand for them.
Quoted from pbwizard14:
That is true, but most Williams/Bally machines were not licensed either and when they moved on, they moved on. I do not think it would be easy to produce two or three machines at the same time. There has to be a ton of parts and game specific parts would have to be completely isolated from one another not to mention the people it would take to roll two or three different production lines. Stern has been doing it, but his key to success must be that most machines share a lot of the same parts and only have a few changes when it comes to theme specific items or he completely stops production of one game and restarts it for a previous title.
WMS had set development and production schedules with a constant conveyor belt of new titles. Once a title's run was done, it was on to the next. There's no reason why that should be the case here, especially when subsequent titles will likely be "done when they're done".
Mis en place and proper storage aren't very difficult or expensive to set up. They just take a bit of time and effort ... which it looks like they are taking care to do anyway. Compare the shots of the JJP facility or recent ones of AP's, to CGC / Churchill's, or worse, Stern. The former look modern and organised. The latter look haphazard, chaotic and to some extent dangerous.
There's no reason to have multiple lines, they can just do as CGC / JJP do and switch between runs of each title. Assembly will be broken up into small enough stages that one guy isn't putting together half the machine, so there won't be a significant relearning period each time.
I don't think production is anything like as hard as most companies have made it seem, in recent history. If you have adequate funds and competent people overseeing it, and you aren't trying to chop huge chunks out of costs, it should be pretty smooth.
Quoted from rosh:
This is certainly true, at the same time, the BOM is built based on costs that are often tied to large quantities. You are not getting a fully loaded machine like Houdini if we were buying parts for just a couple of hundred games, our costs would be significantly higher, so either there would be less in it or a higher sticker price. So, if there is demand we will keep building, but not like we would order custom game specific parts for just 100 machines, the costs would get way out of whack. So at some point is do we think we can sell X more machines, and if so, go for it, if not, start setting up for the next title.
Here is a holloween treat, some photos of assembly stations being loaded up with parts. I believe these are being stocked for 20 games at a time.
All I'm saying is, if the machine (and its reliability & build quality) live up to the hopes it has latterly raised, after the very rough introduction, I think there will be viable demand long beyond the initial 1000 units you said you'd legislated or ordered for.
Particularly as your markup in EU is low, and it sits half way between a Stern Pro and JJP / Stern Premium in pricing (yes, a Stern Premium costs the same as a JJP non-LE here). Also all the more reason for you to try to get a couple of machines to DPO Expo in 10 days time. You occupy a gap in the market here, and it's the biggest show of the year in Europe.
Quoted from rosh:
We certainly hope to do more than 1000. We had planned to get a game to DPO, but due to some vendors missing commitment dates, does not look like it is going to happen. I'm not happy about it, but, was somewhat out of our control.
Probably reasonably expensive to get one or two air freighted on short notice, but I suspect it would be more than worth your while.
There simply isn't anything else on the market that's near it in price and features in either mainland Europe or the UK.
Spike 2 Premium / JJP Standard is a €1500 ($1750) jump above Houdini, which is pretty enormous.
There won't be another show this big with as many travelling from around Europe, until it takes place again next year, by the look of it.
There isn't another show of any major size (and reach) AFAIK until EAG in London in January, but pinball's presence is quite small, as it's mainly arcade and amusements stuff, and it's aimed at operators and distributors.
I think it's a huge opportunity for the company. JJP can't produce enough to meet demand in a reasonable time frame (and a couple of EU dealers have recently dropped them as a result). Stern Premium and LEs seem to be doing very badly now due to both the extortionate pricing, and poor quality / features / code. Punters are waiting for an alternative, but they need to see it.
Quoted from pbwizard14:
The run will probably last a year if that long and when the dust settles there may be between 4000 and 8000 (maybe a few more or less) machines available TOTAL. People will not be selling them and routes will not take them off just because they are no longer being produced. Once the run ends completely, if the game is indeed a home run then the prices will go up. It's that simple. Supply and demand just like when MM was first produced, only 4000 or so machines and because it is popular its price soared. The number of all the machines being produced right now, today, is going to shrink because there are several companies making machines; Heighway, Spooky, Stern, JJP, Planet, and American, at the same time, people can only afford one maybe 2 of them over the course of a year. When production stops all of them will have LOW production numbers making them RARE and driving up their price if they are popular. Unpopular games will not move in price very much because nobody will be trying to get one after production ends. If I can't buy a JJP POTC and a Houdini, I have to choose and that is a big deal because neither company will be producing them forever, although JJP is still offering WOZ and Hobbit, but not every model. Also, American might completely close the Houdini line to open a new line. In some regard, you do not want to compete against yourself by having more than one machine at a time available. This could accidently hurt new title sales.
It's stupid for the vast majority of people interested to order now, when they have not seen or played one. So saying order now is ridiculous.
Provided it's a good & reliable machine, per my previous posts, it should prove very popular in Europe due to its pricing. But the orders aren't going to come in until people actually get a chance to see and play. Also looks like they're going to miss EU's largest show this year, and possibly also the world's (for 2017). There's not even any decent (and recent) video footage yet either.
Also, there is absolutely no chance in hell of them producing 4-8000 machines in 12 months. JJP have a much larger facility and production line and can produce only about 4000 machines a year, give or take, maximum. CGC committed major resources to AFMr & MMr this year, and their estimate was 3000-3500 for the year.
Based on the size of the production areas AP have shown, I'd expect the first 1000 to take *at least* 6 months. Maybe more if there are hiccups and lessons learned.
Perhaps demand is so strong after a few are out in the wild, they will choose to expand the size and pace of production, though, if they have that option.
If somehow over the course of 3 or 4 years, they produce 4000 of them, they'll be available well below list, second hand.
If you're basing your estimates and buying decisions on the kind of numbers and theories in your post, I'd urge you to reassess.
Quoted from pbwizard14:
This post proves my point on the limited number of machines and the price you will pay for a used one. You guys act like these machines are all over the country for people to play, guess what, they aren't and that should not be a factor. If it gets good reviews and it's a theme you're interested in then buy it. I have purchased several machines I never played before because they were popular and looked interesting and guess what...I didn't like them and sold them without taking a loss.
No, it doesn't. I don't think you understand the market.
People should not expect not to take a loss on these when they sell them. First of all they're not an established company. Second of all, there's a glut of used games coming onto the market. CGC have gone from 0-100mph in a few months, and look set to become the #2 manufacturer by volume next year, with 3 remakes on the line. JJP can't produce many more machines without expanding or moving their facility, but since everyone wants one and they're so expensive, people are selling some of their existing collection to get on the waiting list for a DI or PotC (and still WOZ). AP of course. Spooky. Stern ... people seem to be holding onto Spike and Spike 2 games for very little time (perhaps fear of them falling apart / node board failure), so there are lots of lightly used new games for sale. That's not a market that can support rising prices for new machines. Low production, high demand 90s machines look like they'll all be redone by CGC, too - since they took over manufacturing from Stern, original MM and AFM prices have plunged.
That said, unless the machine proves to be a turkey (doesn't look like it), loss on selling should be quite modest, given how reasonable the pricing compared to features looks at the moment.
Quoted from rosh:
I'll be hosting a Houdini play testing event here at the American Pinball offices in Streamwood this Saturday from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM (or maybe later if folks still want to play). If you are interested please send me a PM with an approximate time you want to stop by, just want to be sure we don't have too many folks here at one time. I'm not overly that concerned about it, since we should have three games set up for play, but opening it up here on pinside, one never knows.
Oh, and for those who can't make it, here is a photo you might enjoy. I will still not say production has started, since machines are not yet rolling off the end of the line (still waiting on a few parts), but they have started down it.
If you don't mind the play being broadcast, it's probably worth you contacting deadflip
He's in the Chicago area, and it would certainly get the gameplay out there a bit more.
IMO, some of the verbal explanations are a little long-winded for pinball. You could cut half the words out and still convey the same meaning.
Animations look like they could use some polish, as well as general presentation. One very low hanging bit of fruit would be to make fade and transitions frames slightly longer. Scene switches would look a lot less abrupt.
However, the game itself appears to be shooting really well now. It looks smooth.
Quoted from rosh:
Animations will get some more attention. However, there is a limited budget, and I went with an approach of greater variety vs fancier animations (although these are all uncompressed high res images). As I have said before, I spend way, way way too much time on animations relative to other aspects of the game, given they have far less value to the player then pretty much everything else (voice calls, sound effects, music, lights, rules, etc.). Having said that, as you know, I am always open to suggestions and input.
If you didn't see my quick edit, this was my initial suggestion, as some of the transitions look a little jarring, and indeed there are a few which seem missing.
"Animations look like they could use some polish, as well as general presentation. One very low hanging bit of fruit would be to make fade and transitions frames slightly longer. Scene switches would look a lot less abrupt."
That would certainly not be time consuming or expensive, relatively speaking. Since they're typically sliders and tick boxes in a software package.
Quoted from rosh:
There are lots of settings to control the level of verbosity, see the snippets below from previous posts, also check out the image link which is a screen shot of some of the sound settings . . .
That's a great level of granularity.
Can I suggest when you're putting video out or taking it to shows that you turn movie rules off?
Quoted from Yelobird:
Unless your in the US please as I and my family Appreciated knowing how to play the game and seeing the animation work. Home users can shut Everything they wish off when they get it home. Not everyone that looks a pinball machine is a natural Wizard!
My comment simply relates to keeping prospective buyers excited ... and since this is very unusual(ly verbose) in pinball, some might be deflated by it. Not everyone reads this thread, so they won't know you can turn it off.
Quoted from Yelobird:
So your saying it would be a Benefit for the company to Not show the How To play animations to prospective buyers especially those that don't read Pinside? Seems like the Opposite would be the smarter business decision to interest buyers. I for one hate walking up to a machine pinball or other and Not have a clue what to do. Hence the reason I could never get into dropping $2 into one of those awesome 3D video games.
People have limited concentration spans, is what I'm saying, and the vast majority of prospective buyers are already likely to be pretty familiar with pinball.
Quoted from chinosts:
I just watched a YouTube video of game play for this machine. In my opinion, this looks like a beautiful machine with an awesome theme. I love the light show and all the playfield shots and toys.. The voice call outs sound great as well. This machine reminds me of something that Williams would of built in their heyday.. Like a Theatre of Magic or Circus Voltaire..
Does anyone know if/when its coming out? Where to get it? How much will it be?
Would probably be a good idea to put a list of both domestic and international distributors / resellers on the website. I know there are already UK (Pinball Heaven), French (Zpeabonk) and Dutch (Ministry of Pinball) distributors, on the international front.
I don't really see the point of rushing to push a handful of production games out now in the few days remaining in December. Especially since with the holidays, workers' minds will inevitably be on other things and the chance of "Friday afternoon" mistakes and oversights increases.
I don't think anyone who has followed this now believes Houdini to be vapourware or an eternal prototype, or AP purveyors of them. So proving they can 'finally' ship the first games isn't a huge hump to get over IMO.
Quoted from pin2d:
For those interested:
DEEP DIVE into Houdini Pinball by American Pinball - Overview, Likes, Dislikes, Code, Features
Some useful info and feedback there.
Reaching the final wizard mode looks like it's going to be quite an achievement, as with some other recent Balcer games:
For the Master Magician (Wizard) Mode, you must collect all the HOUDINI letters by:
complete all 10 Stage modes
complete all five Movie modes
collect eight items from the Magic Shop
complete all five Jail Escape Hurry-ups
complete all five Secret Missions
earn a super jackpot during Trunk Multiball
earn a certain number of jackpots during Seance Multiball
Not sure how difficult each is, but that's a ton of stuff to get through.
If rosh has such a document for 1.0, if that's what the launch code designation is, could we see a rule sheet for it? Even if it's a messy, scribbled assembly of notes
I'd love to see how the code evolves from the outset, with the aid of patch notes.
A lot of us are going to struggle to find one to play, any time soon.
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
I think the art is good. The animation and transitions still need a bit of work, but they've obviously improved a great deal since the early days.
Seems like I might be getting the chance to play the one at Level 257 in about 2 and a half weeks. Hope all is ship shape then.
Are any other arcades or barcades in Chicago due to get machines before the end of the month?
Are those metal (reinforced) pallets, including a slip stopper? Kudos, if so. That's great to see.
I'm convinced that one of the reasons for Sterns particularly being damaged during transport is how weak and rickety the pallets are. The JJP ones aren't hugely better.
I've seen a bunch that have been totally destroyed .... and when they get damaged, the freight companies then put them (unsecured) on top of another pallet - that makes them very wobbly ... which can lead to the whole thing toppling over and getting smashed.
On another note, looking forward to playing the one at 257 next week, hopefully.
rosh thanks for the earlier tips.
3 of us went to 257 on friday and had about 40 minutes on it.
Good news is that all 3 of us liked it, felt it shot well, looked pretty, and is a great first effort. Some of the really tight looking shots (right inner orbit and milk can orbit) are actually more than makeable, and animations look better in the flesh, though could use some work.
Bad news is that the machine had some issues. Roll overs on inner right orbit, key lane, milk can and sometimes the strange double roll over on the left orbit weren't registering. That many meant there wasn't much of a game. Maybe activation weight is too high?
Also, the catapault into the trunk needs to be calibrated. Missed 100% of the time, hitting about half way up.
Further bit of feedback which I forgot. Pops on the example at L257 needed to be adjusted. Thought they were super weak.
One other thing for the game in general, I think the mass of bright, cool white GI towards the rear of the machine would look way better and less harsh in warm white.
Not sure what the GI arrangements are on the game? Can one change them?
Quoted from beatmaster:
Bad pictures, actually i found that the upper pf is too bright, so i changed the upper led in the light socket for a purple.
you can do the same thing for the ball through, purple. a $3 comet led strip.
other than that, i also think the pf is very well lit.
The upper quarter of the pf where there's a bunch of bright white (GI?) Light, a lot of which reflects in the clear plastic ramps), is it possible to change that to less fiendishly bright warm white? IMO it would improve it considerably as a standard option.
Hadn't looked at the thread in about 5 weeks.
Really glad to see that production has now ramped up considerably, and niggles are slowly being eliminated.
This could be a slow burner.
I may have missed posts pertaining to the matter, but I assume shipments to EU / rest of world are still being held off until they're totally satisfied with how machines are shipping?
Quoted from nwpinball:
I just got back to my hotel room after set up at the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show. Looks like we have 5 Houdinis on the show floor on freeplay! 3 in the Nitro booth, 1 on the main floor, and the $20 raffle game at the front merch and raffle desk. Joe Balcer and Jim Thorton will be talking about Houdini and American Pinball from 5-6pm Friday, it should be live streaming at:
Thanks for setting up live streams of the seminars / lectures.
Something I feel all of the larger shows should be doing.
Few tidbits from Joe Balcer's talk, on the stream:
- Now at a pace of 35 machines finished per week.
- Out of space at their current facility, but trying to do make do, until ....
- A new facility of 3 times the size is being worked on now to get it ready for production before the end of the year.
- They still intend to unveil #2 at Chicago Expo in October.
- They also intend to have the machine available to buy (and take home) within a month of the announcement.
- Know where #3 is going - i.e. presumably title / theme decided.
- Will be sending machines overseas now that they have CE certification.
- Still looking for more distributors, and want it in stock everywhere it's offered.
- Both the animator and art guy for Houdini are full time employees now rather than part time contractors.
- Amongst other accessories, will likely release one or two different toppers, plus a knocker kit for Houdini.
- Likes art blades done by the original artist, and intends to put them into the next game as standard, BoM allowing.
Curious about the talk of voltages.
I run my Stern and Spooky US imports on a frequency / voltage converter (sine wave) at 110/60.
None of them are remotely weak. In fact AC/DC and RZ are still nuclear. Ball still catches air off AC/DC slings even with resistors added to depower the coils.
Quoted from pinballinreno:
Houdini 488 in the house! (Garage for now)
Ship date 8-8-2018
Build date August 2018
Zero box damage.
Driver was very nervous, he had never delivered a pinball machine before and wanted to inspect for damage right with me.
SAIA LTL on this leg of the journey was amazing, helpful, polite and couteous.
The box looked like it might have just been packed, fresh and new.
Many thanks to JJ at game exchange Colorado (@gex).
Now I have to sell my Theatre of Magic to make room!
PM me if you are in the market for a HUO ToM...
[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]
488 with August build date, and shipped from a distributor to you. That has to mean they've already passed 500 built, then.
I'd imagine they'll have shipped more machines than Spooky by the end of the year. Pretty fast start.
Edit: Oh, and that's already more than double what Heighway produced, despite being around for about 6 years, and in production for 3 years. Double Heighway & DP put together, actually.
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