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.