American Pinball Houdini thread

(Topic ID: 183206)

American Pinball Houdini thread


By lllvjr

1 year ago



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Topic index (key posts)

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

Post #145 Houdini Pinball initial flyer Posted by HighProtein (1 year ago)

Post #184 Initial reveal at TPF Posted by SilverballNut (1 year ago)

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

Post #198 Initial Pictures of Machine Posted by lllvjr (1 year ago)

Post #229 Playfield Close-Up Pics Posted by bigd1979 (1 year ago)

Post #284 Machine feature details Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #312 More feature details Posted by rosh (1 year ago)

Post #385 Double switch lane picture Posted by pinballrockstar (1 year ago)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post #2290 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by BarryJ (11 months ago)


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#532 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

100% agree that it crushes DI

You're mental. If you had hands on with both, Houdini isn't even in the same LEAGUE as Dialed In. Not to diss Houdini, because I'm very interested in getting one, too. But it's immediately clear when playing them that there's an OCEAN between the quality of hardware and software finish of Dialed In and Houdini. It's not even fair to make a comparison.

#534 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

As the person creating the rules and writing the code, I can't imagine having to do it for two or three versions of rules and mechs, and then keeping it all straight, let alone getting it completed (needless to say, but I'll say it, pinball code can be extremely complex).

Cracked me up at PAGG that I was trying to figure out where the ball counter was on the screen while waiting for a turn. After finally giving up and asking one of your guys, I found out that isn't in yet. Made me feel even dumber about what on the screen might be hinting at the current ball count since the answer is - nothing!

Thanks for bringing it to PAGG. I've been wanting to try it ever since the first show a few months ago. Tons of cool ideas already in play, now I can't wait for the finished product!

#539 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Actually, there is one. Must have been Jolly you were talking to, he does not know the game that well. To the right of the score is set of 5 'light bulbs', since the game at PAGG is on two ball play, the lower three would be broken/shattered bulbs. The image below would be ball one in a three ball game . . .

That was what I had narrowed it down to, but the buff AP guy there said there was no ball counter in yet. Glad to know I didn't waste all that time in line studying the screen. I would suggest making the bulbs a little bigger. They're pretty insignificant relative to the busy background around them.

Thanks for the clarification!

4 weeks later
#662 1 year ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

OK. Picky feedback. The curtain movement is unnatural. It needs to move from to top. This is a big part of the animation.

Curtain's fine IMO. They have plenty to work on yet that matters. It'd be dead simple to offer a choice of curtain opening in a polish update after it ships if they want to.

#665 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

I have a question rosh!
I've just seen the panel with Joe Balcer and noticed in the early skethces that there's a magnet area marked at Houdinis hands on the playfield.
Is that in the game? - That'd be awesome but didn't see it yet in the gameplay video snippets.

There are magnets by the hands and his head that move the ball in SEANCE mode, if that's what you're asking.

#667 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Yes, that was what I wanted to know, thanks.
Game continuously gets more awesome!

You need to full-screen it to see well, but the SEANCE mode magnet action is shown a bit here:

Closeup of that mode:

And the cool 3/4 PF length basket shot is shown here:

Closeup of that shot:

#669 1 year ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

Closer magnet action and catapult can also be found on our fly-by video.
» YouTube video

Got it. Updated the post with direct links to the point in the video that shows those two modes closer.

#671 1 year ago
Quoted from ZMeny:

Thanks man. Pretty great game from what I experienced on it.

Yep. Pretty rough at PAGG, but there's potential for days and lots of good ideas already represented. Looking forward to this one.

4 weeks later
#706 1 year ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Fun game! Never get tired of seeing that ball fly through the air!

And unlike Aerosmith, they seem to have pretty tight software compensation for misses that adjusts the power dynamically. There aren't a lot a misses, despite it being a much longer launch.

#708 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Would it be some lighting improvements in the center of the playfield?

Last I heard they were putting themed theatrical-looking spotlights on it to illuminate the mid-playfield more.

#710 1 year ago
Quoted from flipnout1:

Talking with Joe Balcer the other day and they have nothing on the schedule until October for Pinball Expo. They want to concentrate on building games. Every show takes resources away from that goal.
The good news is a small run of production games should be hitting the streets before Expo so folks will have a chance to see and play in the wild.
Contact me to reserve yours now
Larry@flipnoutpinball.com

If they really are skipping California Extreme, that's a mistake. It's a huge show. Immense upside for West Coast exposure.

1 month later
#759 1 year 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.

Why not just mix your own from audience FX sets from Hollywood Edge or Sound Ideas? You'll likely get better results and more control. They have one whole series that's JUST audience reactions and a bunch of related collections:

https://www.sound-ideas.com/Product/793/Walla-Series-Sound-Effects
https://www.sound-ideas.com/Product/425/Audience-Reactions-I-Sound-Effects-Library
https://www.sound-ideas.com/Product/426/Audience-Reactions-II-Sound-Effects-Library
https://www.sound-ideas.com/Product/89/Laughs-Cheers-Applause-Sound-Effects
https://www.sound-ideas.com/Product/875/Crowds-Concert-Audiences

#763 1 year 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 . . .
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/american-pinball-is-hiring#post-3926483

That's what I was suggesting. Use the extensive audience FX in those series to layer along with stuff specific to your machine. Like, for example, the Walla series has indistinct audience mumbling of various sizes and that could be layered as a background for the heckler, for example, to "fill out" the sound.

3 weeks later
#787 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

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

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

#789 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

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.

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

#796 1 year ago
Quoted from DennisDodel:

All manufacturers still plant stuff here. Just not officially.

That is completely true. Positive and negative info.

3 weeks later
#862 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Was walking through the factory today, grabbed a couple of quick photos . . .
Given these bags of sand are half empty, the rest must be at the start of the line . . .

These huge pallets of color displays were being delivered, glad I'm not the one who has to break these down and put them in the parts cage, although some will go right to the back box line where they are needed.

Are you still aiming to ship these by the end of the year?

#873 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Sand could be used for little tiny stage sandbags used for counter weight or line pics.
Also used to fill something for ballest.

Putting REAL sand or silica in tiny bags is asking for trouble. They'd be better off with the plastic SHAPE of a full bag and putting THAT inside the bags to give the illusion of full bags.

#879 1 year ago
Quoted from orangestorm87:

is sand not used to make molds for casting metal? Hmm?

The work of casting metal is child's play in the 21st century. Chinese kindergarteners, to be specific. Outsourced, FTW.

#902 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Here is where the sand ended up. This "sand box" will now head to the front of the line. I'm sure someone can figure it out now. If not you can ask me at expo!

Your floor is already so dimpled. I hope you put in a warranty claim.

#911 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Wrong!

Wrong

Wrong
As I said "Start of the Line"

JPOP's ashes?

#989 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

Here are some photos, as promised

With the purple post sleeves already on it, I think clear rubbers would look better than black. Other than that, wow, what a good-looking game. And that trunk shot is always awesome to watch when it happens.

#998 1 year ago
Quoted from futurepinhead:

Can someone describe the flow or the feel?
I had a friend tell me it's "different" which tells me absolutely nothing.
I'm seriously considering this one, but I hate that I haven't got to play it yet.
Also, do you have to sign a non disclosure to play it or something? Where are all the freakin videos?!

I feels hard.

It's more WoZ than Dialed In, and that's not a bad thing.

#1013 1 year ago
Quoted from konjurer:

I was hoping to see new video of Houdini in this thread but nothing yet. I did find this on youtube. Very interesting...
» YouTube video

Interesting, but I wish phones would prompt people to record in widescreen mode. And holy noise-reduction-needed Batman!

#1051 1 year ago
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.

Stern has the most refined and "print ready" logo, but they've had forever to get to this point. Aside from Dutch Pinball, all the others (JJP, Spooky, AP, and maybe Heighway) need to simplify into a format that works better. Heighway is well over halfway there. The other three need a lot of refinement.

But I don't play a logo, so I don't care that much.

#1099 1 year 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....

MS has changed the windows logo a little to a lot every few years since forever.

#1108 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Fair and true enough. So let’s let API be in business for many years Then demand they redesign the logo to our liking. Lol.

Trust me, it's easier and cheaper to get it right at the beginning than once you've grown.

#1132 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

I have previously asked the appropriate members of our team to look into that, not sure if they have reached out to him yet or not. Suspect they have had higher priorities leading into expo, but, it is on our radar.

I agree. Getting him an advance playfield so you can have day one cliffy protectors (or ship preinstalled?) is a huge plus.

#1139 1 year ago
Quoted from mbelofsky:

No. But wouldn't it be great if Cliff could reach a deal with a manufacturer to have his superior quality and ingenuity designed into the game, not as a copy of a "Cliffy like" protector but as a "Cliffy protector" that gives him credit for his work and allows us to have the option of having them added during assembly?

Amen. And I think the pinball community would support whoever did it.

#1189 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

I don't recall exactly what I said at expo, and since then it is has gone down a little, as I added some new things to the to-do list around sound calls, and potentially feature lamp behavior as wells the stage bug, and then back up to about that same level, 86.392%. The outstanding things remaining are more/better light shows, sound effects, music (I think 5 modes don't have their unique music yet), animation clean-up and improvements, bug fixes, service mode/adjustments/statistics cleanup and additions, and then the Magician modes. I'm not too concerned with last being in place before we are shipping, so those are lower on the priority list than some of the other items (plus need to give the early owners something to look forward to)
As mentioned previously, Houdini is a little chatty, well not Houdini himself, since he only talks at the start of stage modes. There are 9 settings to control various aspects of voice calls (see below). As a reminder all of the 10 stage modes and all of the five movie modes, as well as Jail Escape hurry ups, Seance Multiball and Secret Mission (combos), can be flipper escaped during their intros.

We are in the process of getting a decent webcam so I can do some decent videos of game play, so that is on the horizon. It will take some time to get the right setup.
As far as production, we are getting close to pulling the trigger on the line, we have a couple of parts that are delayed. We also need the new parts to kill off the couple of ball traps we found at Expo, but those are not holding things up, yet. I guess technically you can say we have started, as we are moving playfields through the first couple of stations where we do have the needed parts. But to me, despite what others might stay, production is when the first machine rolls off the line and goes to final testing AND the line behind it is filled with playfields being assembled (vs when we did a few sample games). There are some other minor issues we are working through, things like changing connector styles, wiring routing, etc. to be more reliable, easier to service or to make manufacturing easier.

I will post something here when I have a date or two setup to see who would like to come by and play test. Obviously there will be a limit on the number of folks for each testing event. Nothing agains anyone here, but I am looking to get in some of the better players I know (I'm looking at you Yancy, Jay, Robot)

Back when I was running call centers with 300+ agents, anytime IT would want to roll out new systems, I would want to be first or last. When first you typically get an extra level of service and in some cases are able to get changes made to your liking, otherwise last to give time for the issues to be worked out.
Along those lines, over the last couple of weeks and weekends we have been doing extensive burn-in on the production samples to identify any issues. This is an addition to life testing we have done on some of the key mechs. We did find a couple of minor issues, basically mechs that come to us assembled that will need to have some screws "loctite'd". First machines will go to distributors for their showrooms, so that will also help identify issues. However, pinball machines are pretty complex, as you all know, so I would be lying if I said "there will be no issues when games ship". I do feel bad for the guys who work in the lab where the burn-in is happening, having to listen to the machine fire through all of the coils twice every minute all day long must get to be quite annoying. Normally we would do it in the burn-in area, but right now that is pretty crowded with parts being quality checked. Normal burn-in would be just overnight for production machines, but obviously we want to do as much of it as we can right now to shake out (pun intended) any issues.

Great update. On the speech screen, having a "mute all" option as the first choice that will turn them all off with one click might be nice.

1 month later
#1390 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Because as Rosh already covered this is not a custom assembly line. All games will be the same and same model. Many like myself do not want HUO protection. Plus this gives you quality time with your personal game and upgrades.....

At the very least, I hope they've sent Cliff a playfield by now so he can have day one protectors available for owners to buy as an option. I've suggested it, as have others.

#1394 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

NOT questioning your suggestion just curious if thats how CG, Stern, JJP, etc work with Cliff and other secondary markets? Not saying its not a good idea just wondering If thats what they do? Seems like Cliffy makes his amazing products after the release and OEM fine tuning. Would be bad business to have secondary markets start making mods etc only to make an OEM change and have him eat the change. Kind of like the cell phone market and cases.

Unsurprisingly, Stern just rips off Cliff's designs. RE: AP Houdini, I doubt there would be an OEM playfield change within the last 1-2 months before launch since the playfields need time to cure, so it's safe to send him one (if it hasn't been done before).

#1476 1 year ago
Quoted from LTG:

Drop a safe in the water. Match number escapes in a bubble and when it rises above the water it pops and reveals the number.
LTG : )

Use fart bubble sound effect. I'm sure I have some. Genius.

#1488 1 year ago

That hole on the right is DEFINITELY going to need a Cliffy. I hope they got him a playfield already...

#1495 1 year ago
Quoted from DngrWillRobinson:

I was at their open house in November and saw the side art for the first time and loved it. I wouldn’t get this game without it. The shaker motor however isn’t a must have for me, I don’t see where it fits in with this theme, or to put it better, when would it be appropriate to activate during the game play. At any rate, it’s simply an amazing game.

Séance. For one. Duh.

#1522 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

The current plan is mylar will be applied at the factory to the pops, drops and scoop, the sling shot mylar will be included but not installed. While not everyone will agree with that, I think the majority of folks would find that to be the right scenario.

You said they're talking about a cliffy at the scoop (or getting him a playfield so he can have them available day one). Is this looking likely? It's getting pretty close to still be talking, and that will DEFINITELY need protection.

#1525 1 year ago
Quoted from djreddog:

While Cliffy's are damn nice and everything, my guess is AP have bigger fish to fry then trying to worry about shipping a playfield to Cliffy so he can make the protectors. You keep harping on the Cliffy's like it is a deal breaker and it's simply not for a lot of people. Let AP perfect this machine to what it should be and get it shipping, and then at that point they can worry about Cliffy's. They have hundreds of buyers with down payments already and 99% of them are going to purchase the game regardless of the Cliffy being ready at shipping.

I don't think shipping out Cliff a playfield would stop their line or affect their production. Aside from shipping the playfield, essentially zero time commitment to improve the machine for those that want the protection.

And while not a deal breaker, having Cliffys available to buy day one would just be a nice detail on a machine with so many nice details checked off on the list already.

#1527 1 year ago
Quoted from Fytr:

The beauty of a cliffy protector is that you can put one on 20 years after you got the game and it still covers any damage just as well as on day one.

Well, yes...I guess. But preventing the damage in the first place is the best-case scenario I prefer to shoot for. That why I bulletproof all the new machines (with cliffy protectors and other items) before they're put on the route I help with. Resale is higher when they come off the route as a result.

#1535 1 year ago
Quoted from epotech:

not a fan of the light bit around his eyes. still thinking of buying tho.

It's not nearly as intense in real-life. For some reason the cameras really accentuate it and also make Houdini look 10lbs heavier.

2 weeks later
#1637 1 year ago
Quoted from adamross:

Which one in Cali?

Probably Free Gold Watch, I would guess.

1 week later
#1703 1 year ago
Quoted from GAP:

Video
» YouTube video

Never get tired of that trunk shot. I hope the music doesn't get old fast. That robot mode music, while probably authentic, was irritating quickly.

3 weeks later
#1833 1 year ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Interesting. Can’t recall hearing it used before.

I see it more in print than hear it in conversation, so not surprising.

1 week later
#1963 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

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.

But given his history, is it really a surprise? I mean, really...his record speaks for itself.

#1986 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

So it looks like Houdini's are really starting to show up at distributors and on location all over the place. Any ideas on how many have been produced at this point? Maybe a rough estimate from Rosh or even a motivated individual adding up all of the posts on Pinside.

25 as of a few days ago.

-3
#2014 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

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

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

#2017 1 year ago
Quoted from DngrWillRobinson:

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

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

-4
#2018 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I noticed no difference in height either.

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

#2020 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

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

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

#2026 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

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

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

#2047 1 year ago
Quoted from rosh:

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

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

#2049 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Seems your distributor should know.

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

#2051 1 year ago
Quoted from DennisDodel:

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

In the days of $7000-$10000 pins, match games are a little more rare.

#2059 1 year ago

Okay, so everyone doesn't have to call their distributor, here's what I found out:

4-6 more weeks on the magic glass and shaker motor availability, no pricing yet.

Art blades just came in. No official pricing, but $95 shipped is being bandied about as the price.

#2063 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

yep.
back in the 70's we had ..
multiple dedicated specials on the playfield.
multiple point total replays.
and match game.

We also had Charles Nelson Reilly. It was a different time.

#2069 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

It’s great that American Pinball appears to be getting these games out at a great clip, much faster than TNA and Spooky for example, but they all appear to be going on location. I only know of two in customers homes at this point. Does anyone in this thread have one in their home or could a distributor let us know when we can expect home use shipments?

Seems like a good plan to get awareness of the machine up first while also refining the machine for home users. Since most home users are going to want magic glass and/or shaker motors and those are 4-6 weeks out, I bet you won't see the home floodgates open until those are available from the factory. But that's just a guess.

1 week later
#2149 12 months ago
Quoted from Malibu-SS:

I am guessing you are talking the coil strength?...mine started of at 26 I have moved it up to 27....still a few misses

I thought the software auto-adjusted, like Ghost Flips on MB. It doesn't?

#2151 12 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

This is a simple adjustment in the software coil settings. No game knows the installation setup or leveling and every setup is different hence the reason some don't have a great experience at location test sites. They install and sometimes skip the dialing in part. The catapult power is different on a 5 degree level playfield setup over a 7 degree fast play setup. Set correctly this thing is as accurate as Michael Jordan!

But auto-adjustment will usually be better since it will note when a shot is missed and adjust power accordingly if it keeps missing. This will account for wear over time when the game drifts from the initial "perfect" adjustment and require no interaction with a human. It wouldn't be that hard to program. I'd like to see it in the game.

#2153 12 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

We did pay around with this (and Joe keeps saying it) and I continue to look at it, however, the challenge with auto-adjustment, is there is no way to know with any level of certainty which way it missed, e.g. too low/short or too high, and making adjustments the wrong way in an automated fashion could do far more harm than good. For example, even if I look to see did it end up in the upper catapult when it should go to the subway, a common landing place on a short throw, that still does not mean it was a short throw, since I've seen a high throw end up there as well. It would have been nice to have a sensor on the front of the trunk to detect a short throw, but that was not feasible. In most environments, once you get the setting right it is quite reliable.

If it's reliable once you set it manually, then more than 2 misses in a row in the future would likely be short throws from age/wear, so you can +1 the baseline. That doesn't work, +2 the baseline to slightly increase the power of the throw. Still missing? Jump the other way to -1 baseline, then -2 baseline, then alternate +3, -3, +4, -4, etc until you get success. It wouldn't have to kick in often, and shouldn't unless two launches in a row are missed, but it could work.

If there are misses detected, you could also "ghost adjust" by rapidly repeating the shot automatically when a game is over.

1 week later
#2253 11 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

So, how do you backhand right ramp on KISS?! Only done it accidentally...

Seems to vary from machine to machine. We had a Premium on route where you could pretty easily do it on demand. I have an LE where it's essentially impossible and only happens every now and then by accident. I have no idea what accounts for the difference, and since I played both, it was clear to me that there WAS some kind of difference.

#2256 11 months ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Any news on the Side Blades rosh ?
Have been checking the AP store everyday and still not on the site to purchase

They're an option for pre-installed now, for sure. $99 to add them at the factory.

Magic Glass $295, Mid March.

Shaker Motor - Lost somewhere on a boat in the Pacific, apparently. No word.

#2284 11 months ago
Quoted from beatmaster:

not a big of a deal but they should add a 1/4" spacer.

Or just use a taller hex standoff to begin with.

#2294 11 months 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

Speaking of which, are you going to change the hex standoff to a slightly taller one so the ball makes the shot into the wireform more reliably? (Pictures posted earlier in this thread)

#2299 11 months ago
Quoted from BarryJ:

Actually the standoff is the right height. Being a wire ramp there are slight differences between wire ramps and different ramp runs. A different wire ramp might sit perfect were yours does not. Regardless, what you need to do is adjust the coil strength.

Haven't got ours yet, but I'll bear this in mind...

#2307 11 months ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

First job Berry, call Heighway, explain how customer service and care works. Then twist their arm to hire 2 people for pinside lol.

Isn't "Berry" kind of a slur?

#2400 11 months ago
Quoted from beatmaster:

i noticed a little bit of wear in the shooter lane, for those of you who wants to protect your shooter lane, there's a shooter lane protector that fit almost perfectly. just need to trim the edge a little under the apron close to the metal bracket or not if you install it under the metal bracket, other than that it's a perfect fit.
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=4130
also added a metal protector on the right side of the shooter lane to protect the wood, can't remember where i got it (years ago), darker than brass like a chrome bronze fits the game perfectly.

It's going to need a full cliffy set, but as of the last time I checked, AP hadn't loaned cliff a Playfield to make a set of protectors yet.

#2402 11 months ago

Hole on the far right, the shooter lane, and likely the saucer by the stage. That's just in the limited time I spent playing it. There may be other likely wear points. I wish they weren't dragging their feet getting him a playfield.

#2407 11 months ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Cliff doesn't need a play field, just someone to measure the area precisely. He makes protectors many times for games with info from someone that measures the games.

Given that almost no one has it yet, that's not even a likely/practical option.

#2408 11 months ago
Quoted from Frogman:

Yeah, the folks at American Pinball have some screwy priorities. (Sarcasm)

It's all hilarious until the first clearcoat chip. This is an EASY preventative for AP, they don't have to DO anything except loan a playfield.

#2414 11 months 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.

If they're easily torn and super sticky, I would recommend the "wet method" then. I hope they're not just cheap heavy duty coated paper instead of actual arcade type textured material like the Stern ones.

#2417 11 months ago
Quoted from Pinless:

I was pumped to be able to go to cidercade and play tonight, but a broken rubber on the flipper put a damper on it.
After the 5th or 6th airball I walked away. I was afraid the glass was going to break.
No doubt it’s going to be a classic. American Pinball hit a home run with this one. Looking forward to trying again at TPF

I wonder what rubber they're using. That's pretty fast to have a flipper rubber break...

#2419 11 months ago
Quoted from foxtj24:

They look and feel like the titan perfect play to me. Cannot say for sure though.

Are titans that fragile, though? They haven't been on location that long to be broken already. We get at least 12 months out of our flipper rubber on location.

#2426 11 months ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

Cliff won't typically make protectors until he has a play field ...maybe he's done it in the past, but its not his typical MO....he likes his products to fit perfectly

Having spent some extensive time with it now, I don't see how he'll be able to protect the magic shop/jail escape hole to the right of the stage. The hole is cut too small - the ball barely fits. If it's lined, even with Cliff's thin steel, I think it will make the shot hard/impossible.

So that leaves the VUK saucer, the right scoop, and the shooter lane I would want protected ASAP.

#2433 11 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Arcade Expo ready for the Show!

Seems like the rope on the left or right should be angled out for players to exit.

#2448 11 months ago
Quoted from SDTMinSTL:

I love Houdini. I ordered one and I am getting VERY close to payment time and the commitment that comes with it. I have played 7 or so machines in the wild, from GAP in Chicago to Padavans in STL, Texas Pinball Festival etc. I am noticing some inconsistency with the right scoop, specifically, where it kicks the ball out to.
Mike's machine up at GAP was kicking the ball dead nuts SDTM. At the time, he assured me it was a issue with a coding update that reverted to an old set. I have talked to him since and he confirmed that was the case.
All the machines I have played since have kickers that send the ball to the top of the slingshot. I noticed it on every single Houdini kickout tonight at TPF. I don't know if this is a consequence of the quick development timeline, misadjusted solenoid power, or a misadjusted kickout etc. For those of you that have one, are you noticing this?
Jason

There's some weird inconsistency with that scoop. Hitting the sling top corner is because the power for the coil is too high. But if you set it low enough so the ball barely kicks out and rolls in front of the right sling like it's SUPPOSED to, sometimes for no apparent reason it can't kick a ball up and out of the scoop. Without changing the power, I've noticed sometimes the ball is slow and other times it FLIES out of the scoop. Seems like a software issue, and I imagine it will be resolved eventually. The software is pretty robust, but there's still a number of weird glitches in it that will be worked out over time. Still a LOT of fun to play, even with the occasional glitches.

#2456 11 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

I'm having the exact same issues.
This response from AP regarding SDTM : Try adjusting coil strength first. Lower it. If that doesn’t work then try this.
make sure the coil strength is at 6, and then adjust the flat rail exit to touch the post. They may need to adjust the snubber bracket down a little bit so the ball comes out slower and rides the rail better
And this regarding the ball getting stuck in scoop: Try adjusting the coil power up one in settings first. You can test it in this mode as well. If that still doesn't work perfectly you can bend the scoop up a little bit to allow the bAll out better

I don't think it's a physical issue. The actual POWER of the scoop eject seems to vary during the game, even though you don't change the settings. This is most obvious when you make it lower power so the ball rolls out and right to the right flipper. If you set it there (where it seems it should be), sometimes for no obvious reason, it can't even get the ball up out of the scoop and back up to the playfield. Definitely an issue that make the "best" low-power option not an option for now. I think they'll get it worked out eventually in software.

#2458 11 months ago
Quoted from ZEUS:

I agree, seeing the same thing. Inconsistent power when exiting out of the scoop, 80% of the time fine, but after certain modes/shots it will hang up for 3-4 times before ejecting properly. Good to see others having same issue, so can be corrected (I'm sure Rosh is monitoring this). I also am seeing issue with ramp shot for shot for trunk. I think I may have issue with solenoid that makes it lock to waterwheel ball lock or to trunk. Sometimes ball(s) go to waterwheel lock and not recognized. I tested all 3 of the switches there and they work, but game gets hung up and searches when it goes there sometimes. It will release it but has to search first...

You mean the left lock? We had problems with that, but after adjusting the switches (check for registration with a ball, and move it side to side - there's some slop for the ball, and the switch can not register if the ball leans when the roller for the switch isn't low enough to activate regardless of where the ball rests) we have no problems with that left 3 ball lock now.

Subway is still occasionally weird. Not sure if it's software losing the ball, or if there's some obstruction, but I intend to get a live camera down there to watch what's happening while playing. Ball search fixes it when it happens, but it's annoying to have to wait for ball search in the middle of a game.

#2466 11 months ago
Quoted from pinlawyer:

Anybody know what mode makes the seance multiball go dark? I'm trying to figure out whether I have a bug or a feature.
I assume everyone has the "Trunk Multiball Locked" callout?

What do you mean "go dark"?

#2468 11 months ago
Quoted from pinlawyer:

Lights go out, except for a few white lights on the pf

Never happened on the one here. There are ball management issues, especially with mixed/stacked modes, but we've never had that happen, and we've been in Séance mode (stacked and normal) many, MANY times. Sounds like an issue with yours.

#2482 11 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Okay so here is the scoop.
Ideally you want the power just strong enough to get it out and have it go past the sling right to the flipper. If you make it too weak, and it falls back, the scoop will fire it out stronger. The strength increases if it believes there is continue to be fallbacks, since there is the issue of a double or even triple stack in the scoop. So a rapid shots back into the scoop can result in a harder kickback. if you are finding it is hitting the top of the sling, you want to try to adjust, every so slightly the end of the flat rail. You can use a screw driver between the rail and the post to angle it out slightly. Sometimes the top of the scoop also needs to be either opened up or closed slightly to improve the flow.

Does it remember the harder power for the next time? It's just weird because without ball jam/stacks or successive fast scoop shots the power is changing for the kickout just on single ball kickouts. You can't count on how it's going to come out and where it will go. If it's a really hard one, it tries to fly straight down the middle, or it can hit the top of the sling, or it can come out at the "set" power and roll past the sling right to the flipper each time. The inconsistency is the frustrating part.

#2484 11 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

From where I was standing (and boy was there a lot of standing), the overall reception was great. We had a line the entire time (both with our 4 and the 2 in other booths). I had people stopping me wherever I went during the show to dell me how much the enjoyed the game, loved the look, etc.

It's a great game, and really an astonishing effort for a year of work to be shipping this cool of a game with code more complete than any of the recent Sterns shipped with.

#2489 11 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I stopped to play the one at Cidercade last Thursday. It was super weak flippers (not possible to back hand the tight shots like others have suggested trying and left flipper barely able to make ramp).
Just mentioning since I told the bar tech and he said "that is how that game is". Assuming there is a power adjustment that you may want to tell them about.

Coils are DEFINITELY adjustable. Sounds like a poorly configured setup.

#2491 11 months ago

What's the deal with the spirit hand flipping off the player on the playfield? Inside joke?

the bird (resized).jpg

#2498 11 months ago
Quoted from Heretic_9:

Just back from Arcade Expo 4.0 @ Banning, where I had a chance to play this. Only for 1 3-player / 3-ball game though, due to the lines waiting. Not sufficient to form an opinion on it, but at first exposure it does look impressive. (I have not had the opportunity to read this thread yet . . . ) One observation though: where it pauses to give you b.g. info on Houdini's career etc., this would absolutely slow things down to an intolerable crawl in tournament play -- *unless* there happens to be some menu settings that can suppress this feature.

There are menu settings to turn off exposition and hand-holding, but I haven't played with them yet to see if you can turn all this off. As it is now, it's nice while learning the game.

#2507 11 months ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

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

You can choose whether you want reversed or reversed and inverted. And the mode is meant to mimic Houdini in a straight jacket (you cross your arms to play). Makes WAY more sense than in Ghostbusters.

#2520 11 months ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

Side art came in yesterday !
Nicely packaged ....

DEFINITELY use the "wet method" to install them. The material is thinner than the Stern art blades and could tear much easier if you try to correct a mistake. Wet method install works perfectly and you don't have to remove the PF.

#2521 11 months ago
Quoted from bemmett:

Anyone gotten or seen the magic glass yet? If so, comments on it?

I don't think it's available yet. Art blades are out now, magic glass up next, then shaker motor.

#2527 11 months ago
Quoted from Malibu-SS:

Really? Can you install playfield down? or up? I did notice that they are not as wide as others and wondered about that

You want to have the PF up first, then lay the art blade in place wet with a generous amount of the soapy spray on the backing so you can slide it around and into place. Align it with the edge just below the glass channel and centered around the hole near the back of the cabinet, then get the bubbles out of the front part, then lower the playfield and pull it forward on the rests and get any bubbles out of the back part.

The Houdini art blades don't go below the top edge if the playfield, and they don't go to the front edge of the cabinet (stopping just after the apron meets the PF). Wet Method installation is maybe 10-15 minutes total for both blades.

#2542 11 months ago

Metal standoffs, the preferred type.

#2547 11 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

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

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

#2560 11 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

does the game come with coin mechs installed? If not then which coin mechs should I order for it?

Comes with coin mechs, but NOT a dollar bill acceptor. And bucking the recent trend toward 12v DBA, Houdini uses 110v DBAs.

#2562 11 months ago
Quoted from Kerry_Richard:

I certainly hope Houdini playfields aren't switched to another vendor. The ones I've seen are beautiful, solid and amazing! I'm also saying this bcuz; I'm a future buyer of Houdini. Seems like a fair amount of time down the road and wouldn't want to get a different manufacture company's PF.
I'm very concerned with quality of others PF companies. Especially with issues noted with ghosting, planking and now a lot of noise about ribbing. Those PF's look BAD!

Don't forget chipping. Clear chipping is terrible, too, and more destructive than ribbing.

#2567 11 months ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

rosh is there any area of the playfield on your test games that are showing signs of wear? I'm wondering about putting Mylar on certain sections of the playfield such as over the magnets in order to keep the playfield nice longer.

We've got over 100 plays on it getting the kinks out and there's no sign of wear or chipping. At this point Dialed In had already chipped at the SIM card hole. There are actually mylar pieces (or clingy plastic, I haven't seen if they come up) on the playfield already. Look by the jail hole entrance.

#2571 11 months ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

If we can just pretend I'm simple for a second what does 12V DBA and 110V DBA mean?

I gave you a clue by using the full term before abbreviating

#2575 11 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

My understanding is that a playfield will be on its way to cliffy in the not too distant future, so for those of you who love cliffys . . .

Praise the Rosh.

#2580 11 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Josh,
I have a odd request, Pinstadium basically has 2 channels One channel connects to GI and the stadium lighting follows what the GI is doing. The other channel you hook up to a flasher. I'm having a hard time finding an LED that operates like a flasher. The spots are on all the time. The stage spotlight is also on all of the most of the time. Can you think of a LED that us Pinstadium owners could use as the flasher channel? Otherwise, the flasher channel is pretty much useless.
The LED in the pops is the only other interesting location I can think of. What are the pins on the RGB LEDs? Is the left pin ground and then R-G-B? I'm guessing that there are a lot of Houdini's with Pinstadiums that are running into this issue.

The spotlight on the chest is treated like a flasher when the ball launch happens.

#2583 11 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

I don't think Houdini needs it personally. Bright white GI throughout, the back strip light for rear of game. Playing it at night, I feel its pretty bright.

Agree. It's lit very tastefully, and works in a dark room just fine. Brighter would ruin it.

#2596 11 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Hooking a third party modification to Houdini can void the warranty. In would therefore be inappropriate for me to provide direction or input on this subject.

Same thing on Spike2 now. According to Gomez the power budgets are so crap on Spike2, mods can blow node boards. Nice. What happened to building in a cushion?

#2597 11 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Hooking a third party modification to Houdini can void the warranty. In would therefore be inappropriate for me to provide direction or input on this subject.

W-wait. Is this just for electrical stuff, or will putting Cliffies on (before you start adding them at the factory <- nudge) void the warranty, too?

#2601 11 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

If you damage your playfield putting on protectors, that is on you, but otherwise I do not believe it would impact the overall warranty coverage.

That's the important part. Thanks for the clarification.

#2610 11 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

Thanks Eric, but I’m not sure what you mean.

Lift the playfield, loosen the screws holding the scoop assembly, turn the scoop so it faces a smidge more towards the apron, then tighten the screws again while holding the new position of the scoop in place.

#2625 11 months ago
Quoted from ZEUS:

Anyone seeing this happen ? I've bent switch back a couple times as it continues to occur, and actually made sure it was slightly angled as to try and prevent the sideload or hitting at an angle. I believe that when it hits front Blue "A" to the right of it, it hits Green "E" at angle

Haven't seen it on the one here (yet), but I can see how it might happen.

#2626 11 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

Anyone else experiencing inconsistencies with general coil strengths? Lower canon, scoop, flipper strength all seem to change from game to game.

The only one that varies that I've noticed is the scoop, and it's wildly inconsistent. Flippers, catapult, and VUK were all great once we got them dialed in. I think the trunk has missed once in hundreds of plays.

#2629 11 months ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

That's not currently an option in software? It needs to be, I was planning on adjusting it to make it easier until I get better at the layout

We didn't change them, but pretty sure there are options for adjusting the mode lengths.

#2641 10 months ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

re: pinstadium lighting
all manufactures should add controlled lighting packages as standard.
.

Those pictures are massively exaggerated and represent your bad camera more than the reality of Houdini pf lighting, which is fine, as-is.

#2654 10 months ago
Quoted from RebelGuitars:

Lots of modes are stackable. Starting Straight Jacket Escape multiball with reverse flippers, then starting SEANCE multiball is great. You can also stack Jail Escapes with Stage and Movie modes.

Indian Needle Trick and Séance is a great combo because INT mode is points for pretty much any switch, and multiball stacked with THAT is points-a-plenty!

King of Cards has an Extra Ball in it, too, very much like the Medallion in the Indy bar video mode.

#2660 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

On a related note, there needs to be more ball saves on the scoop kickout. I'm seeing a few SDTM ejects with no ball save. My KISS Gene Simmons head does that sometimes but there is always a ball save to protect against that situation.

That KISS Gene Eject ball save took about 2 years to show up.

#2664 10 months ago

Here's the Houdini we just put out last week here in CA:

shameless-3-23-18 (resized).jpg
#2669 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Josh - hope you don't take these comments as too critical. I think the Houdini rules are one of the best rule sets I've ever played. Hopefully feedback makes the game better for beginner to intermediate players.
Another thing that could improve the game play is to make the "Add Time" shot provide more time or at least make it adjustable. By the time the ball is back under control I've just chewed through what little time was awarded to me. Houdini is very much a stop and go game. If Houdini was a great flow game you could bang out these modes. However, it takes time to get control and make these shots. Any shot to the middle and left of middle takes you into the bumpers. Once into the bumpers and the mode is essentially over.
I have a question for the Houdini players out there... has anyone completed the Milkcan Escape? That mode seems like it would be almost impossible to complete. One potential improvement could be a difficulty setting so that one (easy), two (medium) or three (difficult) milkcan shots are required. I think the mode would still need 3 shots to complete but with fewer milkcan loops for mere mortals. Hitting one on purpose is freaking hard enough!

I've completed it a few times. Knowing the left and right targets can complete one shot if the color is right helps a lot.

#2670 10 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

I’ve never completed the milkman mode. In fact I find the shot near impossible to make. I also despise the card throand Inc video mode, it feels like it was an afterthought and just not fun to me in a game where everything else is!

I go for King of Cards video mode first thing to get an extra ball right off the bat.

#2672 10 months ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

Haven't seen the extra ball show up in the video mode...

I think it's the 4th refresh of the 25k ring. Not sure if it comes up later in the 10k ring. I usually just spam the 25k ring to get the extra ball and ignore the 10k ring.

#2675 10 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

Would you mind explaining this in more detail? I wasn’t aware there was another way to complete this mode without hitting the loop?

The left and right targets that say "MAGIC" are color coded. Whatever color is lit in front of the target indicates what mode will be advanced just by hitting the target. For example, if the target's green, hitting it will advance the Jail Escape (which is the "green" mode). I think blue is the color for all the stage modes, which would be the milkcan escape. So hitting when they're that color counts as finishing the current shot needed for Milkcan mode. It's VERY helpful.

#2677 10 months ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

I highly suggest the little shop of games plastic protector set for Houdini to everyone. I've played maybe 5 games and already have a broken plastic at stock coil settings. The ball flew up behind the planchette, broke the plastic, and got stuck.

AP is working on a deflector to fix this ball trap. They're testing it now.

Quoted from PinballTilt:

I also had an issue where the game wouldn't boot up. Both screens were blue and then the boot up never started until I power cycled

This is usually due to it not detecting one or both monitors properly. I had to check all connections again when it happened here and then it booted fine.

#2681 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

My lock shot quit working. The ball just sits in the catapult. When the ball search starts, it does fire the catapult and I get credit for lock but it really sucks to have to wait and no lighting effect either. Any thoughts as to what's going on? Seems to stuck be in a weird state.

Does the switch in the catapult saucer register in switch test with a ball (not your finger)? Sounds like the switch is not working so it doesn't know the ball is there.

#2683 10 months ago
Quoted from drummermike:

My scoop coil is not consistent. I have been changing it from 7 through 9. It is on 8 right now.

This is a software issue that just needs to be figured out over time. As it is now, the scoop eject power is wildly inconsistent, even when you know there's only one ball in the subway so no chance of a lockup or jam requiring more power to kick out.

#2686 10 months ago
Quoted from Rush1169:

Are Houdini’s ready to ship from distributors? I want one, but just want to call, pay, and play within a week. . .

As far as I know, all known distributors have lists of waiting buyers that stretch back to last year. It will be hard to get instant gratification for a while unless you're willing to pay more to buy off someone in the front of the line.

#2692 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Tested the VUK switch a few times and it works - when the ball is in the VUK it lights up. I've rebooted the machine several times and no difference.

Next time it goes dead there, open the coin door while in the game and go straight to the switch test and see if the switch is registering. I don't think it's software because we haven't had this issue at all. Is this always a 1 or 2 player game (we haven't played more than a 2 player game)?

#2694 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Thanks vireland for the help. The VUK is firing. So that makes me think the VUK switch is fine. When the ball gets into the catapult its just not firing the catapult. I'll have to check to see if there is an opto or some other switch in the catapult... I didn't think so but I may have overlooked it.
One player game. But I haven't tried two player to see of it happens in 2 player. It started failing in the middle of a mode.

Each of the catapults has a switch in the "spoon". That's the part you need to adjust, repair, or replace. The switch trigger is the silver part in the "spoon" of the catapult in each of these pictures.

catapult to trunk (resized).jpg

catapult to ramp (resized).jpg

#2701 10 months ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Can we get an adjustment for hold voltage on the flippers? I'm really getting sick of losing the ball because the s-e-a targets bounce back with such force that it pushes the flipper down and drains. I also noticed that changing the stage to do the kick out doesn't work on my game. Now i see two balls in there and it still kicks out the scoop (I was attempting to have it kick out the stage so less chance of the sdtm from the scoop)

One of the balls you see in the stage is "an illusion". It's not a loose, playable ball, but part of the assembly and the "magic".

#2704 10 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Its a bummer to share that magic, but indeed fake ball there in mech.
You can see it in test mode by opening curtain and run that coil in test.

I learned it firsthand trying to diagnose a stage problem. While running through the tests, I thought a ball had gotten magnetized - REALLY MAGNETIZED because I couldn't budge it out of the stage - until I counted and realized it was an "extra" ball and part of the mech.

#2712 10 months ago
Quoted from PinballTilt:

Thank you for your suggestions Josh. Good to hear that you are still making improvements. I'll give them a try tonight.
Is there an option to enable restart of a game if the first ball did not go as planned? I use this frequently on Williams and stern games in a home environment, but it didn't work when I tried it on Houdini yesterday.

Open coin door, go to menu, exit menu. Start next game. We got quite good at it.

#2713 10 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

As a reminder, current code version is 18.2.27 (18.2.25 is basically the same unless you use 5 ball play). You can see what version you are running during boot up and by going to the API Cockpit (service menu).

Any ETA on the next code release?

#2715 10 months ago
Quoted from CUJO:

I must be the lucky one with #77 as I have only had two ball drains from the scoop in over 120 3-ball games.
There has also been very few ball scoop ejects that haven't made it out on the first try...
Looking forward to some kind of MATCH feature..hopefully...
And the catapult accuracy has been pretty darn good too. I'd say over 90% of making the trunk shot.

Our catapults have been like 99.9% accurate, but the scoop is a different story. Wild fluctuations in power on the eject.

#2718 10 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

I expect to button it up and start some 'field testing' by end of next week. Hard part is drawing a line in the sand and stopping adding/fixing/modifying things. Maybe if you guys stopped asking for stuff I'd be able to do that.

Give us whatcha got and then we can start this dance all over again.

#2733 10 months ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

If you have PinRemote™ you don't need the key to open the coin door. Just your cell phone and the operator PIN...

Turning the key is cheaper and fast enough.

#2757 10 months ago
Quoted from JIM_Z:

The developing reputation has me thinking of canceling my order......I'm an average player at best and don't think frustration equals fun.

It's plenty fun. If you suck at making the shots, you'll activate plenty of SEANCE multiball, which is entertaining in and of itself.

#2765 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

This is what I'm worried about! This is what some influential podcasters are saying. I thought it worth mentioning here.
JIM_Z, it is a freaking awesome game. It is not Ghostbusters brutal. It is not unfair. I never feel robbed. You are going to brick shots until you start getting the shots dialed in. The good news is that while the game is very challenging, it is very forgiving in other areas. The layout is tough but Balcer really designed a cool game.

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

#2773 10 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Yes. I listen to all feedback and give thought to it. Sometimes I will react right away and change things, sometimes I let it simmer to see if it makes sense to me and/or how it might make sense to do it, and sometimes I just throw it in the bit bucket. You will have to wait until the next release notes are published to see what I've done with the various 'input' that I've gotten.

New code still coming late next week?

#2780 10 months ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

No Loctite(r) on switch screws? Add a shaker and it will disassemble itself in short order. And other things. Sorry A-P but these are objective observations.
Just my $0.02 of course

Stern isn't doing loctite on many (most?) of their screws, either. It's not like this is some huge industry standard and AP is bucking the trend.

I hate Star Trek LE. Isn't fun. Usually I know in a few minutes. Does that invalidate all the people who love it? No.

#2807 10 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Shaker motors being installed for machines that will be at MGC. Should be available to order shortly thereafter. Takes four screws to mount to existing T-nuts, 2 screws to put the lid on and then the cable plugs into an existing board a foot or so away.

Cost, shipped?

#2811 10 months ago
Quoted from pinden007:

Will this game ever be available - or available this year - NIB without a wait?

Someone is (was?) selling theirs on the marketplace for what they had into it.

EDIT: Looks like WAS selling. Sold in one day:
https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/archive/62331

#2815 10 months ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

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

Ruh-roh.

#2817 10 months ago
Quoted from cleland:

Can anyone confirm if the threads on the leg bolts are the same as regular type like Stern?
https://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&amp;id=3391
While I see the Allen Head type they use fits with the theme, I would rather use regular types with nylon bushings.

Go with the ones they provide. Look much better on this cabinet then standard leg bolts.

#2825 10 months ago
Quoted from cleland:

Thanks Rosh. Last question, so are the bolts same diameter so I can use nylon bushings on the stock Houdini ones? That would be cool.

Pretty sure they are. I just grabbed some out of the parts bin (black ones) and they worked fine. Nylon bushings are pretty much mandatory since the coating is kind of fragile compared to normal powdercoating.

#2832 10 months ago
Quoted from cleland:

Thanks for confirming, I'm going to order up some black ones from Pinball Life.

Ace hardware has them if you have one of those. Pretty much any good hardware store should have them. They're in the section of the store with all the drawers with miscellaneous screws, nuts, fittings, etc. That's where I get mine (black and white, both).

#2836 10 months ago
Quoted from MT45:

I had mine shipped with art blades and they are just perfect.

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

#2859 10 months ago
Quoted from CUJO:

LLoyd,
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?

Upper catapult is used when you've activated a film. You hit the trunk shot after F-I-L-M is active and instead of putting the ball in the subway, it sends it back to you via the upper catapult.

#2881 10 months ago
Quoted from rosh:

Update on the smoke. We had someone go out to assess things and everything was operating correctly. Since we knew something happened, I took a trip out and we checked the resistance on the coils and did find one slightly out of spec. Once it was removed we could see that the wrapper had partially burned, so we replaced the coil. What is nice is that having all coils using a connector, it easy to test the coils out of circuit. After reviewing the logs, etc. it appears that Roger's violent play resulted in him tilting at just the right half second window where a missing flag in the code tied to a particular switch resulted in the diverter not being properly released when the tilt occurred. The code has being corrected and is being tested now, and will be in the next release.

I don't know if the P3ROC you're using gives you this level of granularity, but a watchdog system like Stern is using in Aerosmith (and I assume all Spike/2) would be nice to prevent these issues:

(From Aerosmith update readmes):

- Added support for dynamic detection and isolation of overcurrent coils or
LEDs. Previous behavior would disable all coils and LEDs for 1/2 second each
time a short was detected. New behavior will determine the short coil and/or
LED and disable only the offender.
- Added tech alert for overcurrent coils and LEDs on node boards. New
diagnostic test to retest node board and report with coils/LEDs are drawing
too much current. Excessive current draw could be the result of a shorted
coil, an incorrect replacement LED/incandescent bulb, shorted light socket,
et cetera
- Every 15 minutes during attract mode overcurrent coils/led will be rechecked
and returned to service if operating correctly.

#2891 10 months ago
Quoted from FtrMech:

Changing subjects a bit, are there any plans for a Séance out-hole protector...does anyone think it is needed? Seems to get a lot of hits in that area both coming and going. Are there any other protectors needed for the playfield?

It looks like it has a mantis-style one in there already, but I'd prefer a cliffy that covers the top edges, too. They were supposed to send Cliff a playfield, not sure if they did or not.

#2893 10 months ago
Quoted from pinballinreno:

Is the protector too low?
It should be even with the playfield or only 1/64" or less below the surface.

Beveled holes make that impossible.

#2903 10 months ago
Quoted from Ericc123:

So new question. I’ve had a ball get stuck against this stop several times now. I’m not sure how it’s getting there but when it does the stop and the far left pop bumper just keep going off but the ball doesn’t shake lose. I have to stop the game every time to take the glass off to get the ball out. Any ideas?

This happens on the one here sometimes when a fast ball hits the plastic post, then bounces back, then rolls forward too slowly to trigger the switches (there are three above the ball lane). It used to do it a lot more, but I adjusted the switch leaf so they broke easier even if the ball rolled slowly. You want it so the switch barely breaks when the ball passes under it. The one in your pic is hanging a little too low and needs to be bent up a bit.

balllanelock (resized).jpg

#2906 10 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Excellent. I missed the switch in the picture.
LTG : )

Don't feel bad. I missed it, too, on the Houdini here. When we first got it and were having problems with the locks there, I didn't know there were three suspended switches on TOP and was having a hard time figuring out how to approach the problem. Once I "discovered" the switches, it made it a snap to get it all working right.

#2954 10 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Went to my favorite downtown Pinball location (Lyman’s Tavern in DC) and Houdini is down... looks like a problem with the pop bumper. I has a sad...

Doing its best Phantom of the Opera opening impression.

#2955 10 months ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

Anyone else experiencing random Multiballs when there shouldn't be one? It's happened to me twice so far and then the game seems to kinda lose track of where balls are for a while. I'm also experiencing randomly weak flippers, usually the right one but sometimes the left as well. It usually only happens for a single flip but I had a really good Trunk MB going in the Elephant mode and the right flipper got REALLY weak for about 10 seconds then snapped back to life. It would be a really good way of messing with you even further if this was intended behavior at times but I don't think it is.

Yes. Ball management is currently "magical" and I'd say the game can add (and subtract) balls at any time, for any reason, based on my play. It's not super-frequent, but it does lose track of balls.

I think Josh said the weak coil thing was related to the P3ROC and they're working on addressing it. I've noticed it a smidge, but it's pretty minor for us.

#2957 10 months ago
Quoted from Mayboyz:

Hi all
I would love to see Lloyd Olsen doing tech support for this company.
He is always there to help 7 days a week.
He is a legend in this business and he would be a great asset for American pinball tech support
So let’s all try and get Lloyd to do tech support for American pinball.
What do you say!!!!!!1

That would be great, but pretty sure the AP guys are undead. They answer tech support stuff at all hours and even on the Lord's Day.

#2972 10 months ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Not telling you where the ball is coming from adds to the fun, challenge and theme of the game. Maybe that is a proposal for a feature setting. I wouldn’t want it set on though.

If the ball management were consistent (not losing or adding balls at times), the magic ball misdirection might be fun, but as it is, it's irritating. I think it will get there, but it's not fully baked yet.

#3007 10 months ago
Quoted from ElectricLou:

Hi
I just got my Houdini yesterday. It looks incredible.
I have a problem with the API Theatre. I knock it 3 times, the curtains open but when the ball enters, it stucks inside the hole between the fake ball and the subway. The game stall and nothing happens. I have to wait for the fake ball motor to release it without starting the mode.
I searched a solution to test the ball motor without success. Any idea?
Thanks
Lou

Run the stage calibration in the utilities.

#3016 10 months ago
Quoted from Pale_Purple:

I've looked around but haven't found much, what is the magic glass? I think this would be a great home game and I'm considering getting one later this year.

Invisiglass = Magic Glass. Glare reduction and better visibility.

#3022 10 months ago
Quoted from pinden007:

Are there any settings on pop bumper sensitivity? There were a lot of times tonight where the ball bumps into the bumper put no action.
Also had lots of air balls. Can the targets be adjusted to cut down on those?

Pop Bumpers:
Adjust the leaf switches under the pop bumpers closer together (but not touching).

Airballs:
Turn your flipper strength down. We have the one here set at 21 right and left and it's plenty strong enough for everything. Might go down to 20 before long.

#3024 10 months ago
Quoted from transprtr4u:

Also adjustable in the settings menu, however I adjusted one of the leaf switches on mine as well!

The Pop bumper settings menu isn't for sensitivity, it's for strength - how hard it pulls down when triggered. If they were having trouble with the pop bumper triggering, that wouldn't help the core problem, and it would put more wear and tear on the machine faster.

#3027 10 months ago
Quoted from BladeFury:

After the crappy news on the JJPPOTC, I'm so excited to get my Houdini Wednesday!

Software is really coming along, too. There's now a "player's choice" card option in the Magic shop hat now that lets you pick your mode at the stage and the skill shot has different rewards for the target you hit. Some new "gag" pulls from the hat, too.

#3029 10 months ago
Quoted from BladeFury:

That's great to hear! I bought the game because its beautiful and challenging bought a pinsiders game that he received off the truck last week then the next day my shipping company picked it up and shipping to me. Bought to have something now as I waited for JJPPOTC and after news today I'm glad i did and also not looking good that i will be staying in on my CE but time will tell...Excited for my Houdini

The people that call Houdini hard need to spend more time with it. It's definitely a challenge, but I wouldn't call it hard. And there are funny things here and there, like when you do really well collecting jackpots, the callouts get more frantic until you get a "Holy <bleep>!" in a manic voice. Really cracked us up the first time it happened, and generates a smile even now.

#3031 10 months ago
Quoted from BladeFury:

Awesome anything straight away to check out of box?

The unpack checklist Houdini ships with is pretty spot-on. Basically just check coil strength for the lower catapult (that shoots to the chest), the upper VUK (that feeds to the lower catapult- it should BARELY make it up the VUK so the ball is slow enough not to fall off near the end), and the upper catapult (again, so it's slow enough that it barely makes it into the upper wireform that feeds to the right flipper). Maybe turn the ball serve to the shooter lane coil down and the flipper coils set to 21 or 20. They were a smidge too strong on ours and caused too many airballs until we turned them down. There's also a ball trap on the right side that AP is making a diverter for. No idea if it's done and shipping with the new pins or still coming, but if you get an airball on the right, the ball can get stuck under and to the left of the Spirit pointer.

If you're putting it on a route and install a dollar bill acceptor, note that it will be a pain to close the coin door because the DBA hits the coin box unless you push the front edge down slightly (like 1/8" - it's that close to being right) as you close the door. This is because the cabinet for this and AfMr are slightly out of spec to the small side (hence the plastic lockdown bar "bumpers" on the inside sides of the lockdown bar of AfMr to keep the lockdown bar centered because it's too big for the slightly-too-small-for-standard-Bally/Williams parts cabinet). It's an annoyance, but I blame Churchill for that since they knew they had a problem with AfMr and didn't correct it before they made the Houdini cabs.

#3034 10 months ago
Quoted from FtrMech:

Just a cool observation...looking at my POTO and the Art blades on Houdini...it is safe to say that the Phantom was a "Magician" as well...

I think on Houdini the stuff on the art blades is traditional theatre plays and shows, and Phantom of the Opera fits in that box.

#3042 10 months ago
Quoted from monte_:

I played about 20-25 games today at an arcade today. I found 2 shots to be extremely difficult, the milk jug and the lock loop for the chest. I feel like the lock loop for you have to have not only some skill but some luck. I want to know if it is really that hard even after you have played the game a couple hundred times. I had no games where i got 3 balls into the lock mechanism and to get into milk jug was luck. I guess you have to be perfect off the end of the right flipper. Someone post and let me know. I was thinking of purchasing it. Anyone unhappy with the purchase because it is too challenging or like with any pinball machine it gets easier as you play it more?

Lock lane is not that bad once you spend enough time with it. It reminds me of the KISS right ramp. Mo