(Topic ID: 209025)

Houdini is tough!


By Russell

1 year ago



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There are 178 posts in this topic. You are on page 4 of 4.
#151 1 year ago
Quoted from Eskaybee:

I owned LOTR for 7+ years. And I agree it’s a clunky shooting game but not necessarily in a bad way. Besides the legolas shot, the ball rattles around as it makes its way through just about every shot. Still one of the best pins ever, and certainly not the clunkiest game around, but it does have a fair shake of clunk to it.

I mostly agree, it's a great game in spite of it's clunkiness.

Now back to Houdini, all of this talk about it being to tight and no fun has actually sort of made me more excited to play a production game. I'm interested to see if I feel the same or if it being so hard will make it a nice mix up game in a mid sized collection.

#152 1 year ago

This reminds me to start a thread entitled

"Either Lord of the Rings and I am awesome, or it sucks and I'm just awesome."

#153 1 year ago
Quoted from jgentry:

Yes it is, I've owned 3 different ones and one was even a HEP restore. It's a clunky as they come. Still a fun game though.

know2 (resized).jpg

#154 1 year ago
Quoted from o-din:

Well, since I'm not married, that's how I like my pinball. Where do I sign up?

Talk to JJ at Game Exchange. Tell him I sentcha and he will give you the Flipper Baby discount.

1 month later
#156 1 year ago

Well, I hate to chime in here but I feel I must.

We purchased a Houdini for our place, #11 actually. It's one of 24 games in the house. For the first 2 weeks earnings were good, as expected with any new game, but then earnings declined rapidly. All other games continued earning as normal.

Issues we've seen so far are as follows:

-Air balls abound, regardless of settings.
-Stuck balls on a regular basis (see cause above). Especially in the Spirit Planchette area
-Upper catapult misses 80% of the time, regardless of settings
-Tight shots, mostly lock shot.
-NO MATCH SETTING (What??!! How was this missed?)
-Insulting players right off the bat. First game, First ball, miss the skill shot and the game insults you!? Now, I like ribbing as much as anyone but even Rudy and The Black Knight at least let you play for a bit before laughing at you or insulting you.
-Poor layout. Milk can shot is, as mentioned before, very risky and unnecessarily difficult. Wide shot on the left orbit, so wide in fact they put 2 switches there so the ball would hit at least one. They should have been adjusted the space on this shot prior to the final build which may have loosened up the tight lock shot.
-Poor Sound. The game has nice, large speakers but even after adjusting the $20 eBay amp they installed which is nearly impossible to get to behind the monitor, the game just doesn't sound good. Very tinny.
-Strange ball mechanism in the Stage. Customer: "Hey, there's a ball stuck in the theater" Me:"No, it's actually a ball welded to lever that's supposed to be there". ??!!

All in all, it seems the fun factor for this game just isn't there. Although some of these issues could be addressed with code, first impressions are over. If performance doesn't increase soon, It'll go up for sale and we'll move on to another title.

#157 1 year ago
Quoted from FourFlippers:

All in all, it seems the fun factor for this game just isn't there. Although some of these issues could be addressed with code, first impressions are over. If performance doesn't increase soon, It'll go up for sale and we'll move on to another title.

Sorry to hear about your troubles! I'm 60 games into #98. I'm not having some of the issues you are having. I'm obviously in the honeymoon phase and I'm loving it - best game ever fun!

What I do think is amazing about Houdini is that is it a super easy game to learn. It's always telling you what you need to do, how many shots are left, etc. That is sorely missing from Stern games.

Quoted from FourFlippers:

-Tight shots, mostly lock shot.

The lock shot is not nearly as difficult as people make it out to be. I have more trouble hitting the Key Lane and the Stage Alley and they are more dangerous if you miss. My daughter's boyfriend, a complete pinball novice, played Houdini last night and he hit the lock shot each game.

As to the physical issues. Sounds like you might have a lemon. I see very few airballs. My catapult shot is at 92% which is weird because I've never seen it miss.

Quoted from FourFlippers:

-Strange ball mechanism in the Stage. Customer: "Hey, there's a ball stuck in the theater" Me:"No, it's actually a ball welded to lever that's supposed to be there". ??!!

What does that mean? Sounds like you have a broken mech. There is not a ball pre-stuck in the theater. When the stage is opened the theater is empty. When it opens again the ball is gone. That could be a big reason no one is playing your Houdini.

Hope you get your issues figured out. Good luck!

#158 1 year ago
Quoted from konjurer:

Quoted from FourFlippers:
-Strange ball mechanism in the Stage. Customer: "Hey, there's a ball stuck in the theater" Me:"No, it's actually a ball welded to lever that's supposed to be there". ??!!

What does that mean? Sounds like you have a broken mech. There is not a ball pre-stuck in the theater. When the stage is opened the theater is empty. When it opens again the ball is gone. That could be a big reason no one is playing your Houdini.

Hope you get your issues figured out. Good luck!

If you do a Stage/Theater test, or lift the playfield, you'll see as part of the weldment, there's a pinball that's in the theater, welded to a lever. See the diagram from the American Pinball page below:
https://www.american-pinball.com/games/houdini/docs/Stage%20Mech%20Breakdown%20ASM0028-00.PDF

#159 1 year ago
Quoted from FourFlippers:

If you do a Stage/Theater test, or lift the playfield, you'll see as part of the weldment, there's a pinball that's in the theater, welded to a lever. See the diagram from the American Pinball page below:
https://www.american-pinball.com/games/houdini/docs/Stage%20Mech%20Breakdown%20ASM0028-00.PDF

You should post over in the main Houdini thread so Josh can chime in.

#160 1 year ago
Quoted from FourFlippers:

Well, I hate to chime in here but I feel I must.
We purchased a Houdini for our place, #11 actually. It's one of 24 games in the house. For the first 2 weeks earnings were good, as expected with any new game, but then earnings declined rapidly. All other games continued earning as normal.
Issues we've seen so far are as follows:
-Air balls abound, regardless of settings.
-Stuck balls on a regular basis (see cause above). Especially in the Spirit Planchette area
-Upper catapult misses 80% of the time, regardless of settings
-Tight shots, mostly lock shot.
-NO MATCH SETTING (What??!! How was this missed?)
-Insulting players right off the bat. First game, First ball, miss the skill shot and the game insults you!? Now, I like ribbing as much as anyone but even Rudy and The Black Knight at least let you play for a bit before laughing at you or insulting you.
-Poor layout. Milk can shot is, as mentioned before, very risky and unnecessarily difficult. Wide shot on the left orbit, so wide in fact they put 2 switches there so the ball would hit at least one. They should have been adjusted the space on this shot prior to the final build which may have loosened up the tight lock shot.
-Poor Sound. The game has nice, large speakers but even after adjusting the $20 eBay amp they installed which is nearly impossible to get to behind the monitor, the game just doesn't sound good. Very tinny.
-Strange ball mechanism in the Stage. Customer: "Hey, there's a ball stuck in the theater" Me:"No, it's actually a ball welded to lever that's supposed to be there". ??!!
All in all, it seems the fun factor for this game just isn't there. Although some of these issues could be addressed with code, first impressions are over. If performance doesn't increase soon, It'll go up for sale and we'll move on to another title.

Sorry to hear about your game problems. Sounds like you need to fine tune a couple coils, I am attaching a link of the manual for your reference, see "To calibrate coils after moving or re-leveling Houdini" on page 3-10. I am out of the office until Monday feel free to reach out if needed.833-API-HELP

https://www.american-pinball.com/support/

#161 1 year ago
Quoted from FourFlippers:

If you do a Stage/Theater test, or lift the playfield, you'll see as part of the weldment, there's a pinball that's in the theater, welded to a lever. See the diagram from the American Pinball page below:
https://www.american-pinball.com/games/houdini/docs/Stage%20Mech%20Breakdown%20ASM0028-00.PDF

I don't believe that a ball is welded into the theater. I believe that diagram show where the ball sits. I think you should post in the other thread and get some feedback from Josh or the other support guy. When the theater opens, is there always a ball in the theater? or are you talking about under the playfield? Can you see the weld?

#162 1 year ago

local joint got it last night. played 3 games, locked two balls each game haha. still cant master that shot. right orbit return SDTM. Middle left shot returns SDTM. Slings are not sensitive enough and dont ever really fire. Def needs some adjustments out of the box, but this is the one that was set up at TPF last weekend, didnt play it there but was hoping it was going to play a bit nicer. Hopefully it will get adjusted a bit to help some of the lame-o factor of bad returns. Cannon trunk only worked 1 time out of about the 10 attempts I saw. 1 ball got stuck off the rebound.

#163 1 year ago
Quoted from konjurer:

I don't believe that a ball is welded into the theater. I believe that diagram show where the ball sits.

Ball is not welded ....

#164 1 year ago
Quoted from InfiniteLives:

local joint got it last night. played 3 games, locked two balls each game haha. still cant master that shot. right orbit return SDTM. Middle left shot returns SDTM. Slings are not sensitive enough and dont ever really fire. Def needs some adjustments out of the box, but this is the one that was set up at TPF last weekend, didnt play it there but was hoping it was going to play a bit nicer. Hopefully it will get adjusted a bit to help some of the lame-o factor of bad returns. Cannon trunk only worked 1 time out of about the 10 attempts I saw. 1 ball got stuck off the rebound.

I watched the Dead Flip stream of Houdini. It was painful to watch. The catapult worked only once. The whole experience was similar to what you describe. My Houdini is working pretty good right out of the box. I get a few airballs and the scoop will fire SDTM on occasion with no ball save. Other than those minor issues it's working great.

#165 1 year ago

Got a chance to play it at the festival. Managed to keep the ball in play for a descent length after a couple games, think the people behind me were getting a little irritated. I actually really liked the tight shots. When a game is to easy....its to easy which is boring. My only complaint was that they seemed like they were set up a little shallow (if that's the right word). The ball seemed kinda of floaty, obviously that's not a big deal since it can be adjusted to the players preference. The one at cidercade was really, really floaty.
I could see this game possibly getting frustrating, but it doesn't even come close to TNA level frustration. Love me some frustrating games

2 weeks later
#166 1 year ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Sorry but rumors on Pinside is a pet peeve with me and this is exactly how they begin. All it takes is a casual comment and the next thing you know it's preached as gospel. I'm sometimes amazed at how out of control Pinside can be with misinformation.
Can anyone verify this please. Maybe it's true but it seems absurd to me.

There was and still is a white wood for Houdini... Who would design a game without a white wood to verify shots.... Especially a 22 inch catapult shot!

#167 1 year ago
Quoted from konjurer:

I don't believe that a ball is welded into the theater. I believe that diagram show where the ball sits. I think you should post in the other thread and get some feedback from Josh or the other support guy. When the theater opens, is there always a ball in the theater? or are you talking about under the playfield? Can you see the weld?

Other support guy here, the theater does have a ball permanently attached as part of the apparatus.

#168 1 year ago
Quoted from BarryJ:

There was and still is a white wood for Houdini... Who would design a game without a white wood to verify shots.... Especially a 22 inch catapult shot!


43'40"

#169 1 year ago
Quoted from Russell:

» YouTube video
43'40"

I would never want to take anyone out of context. Joe does mention that a version of a whitewood was made, to evaluate "form and fit", but it was not "built, wired and played." I wonder if it had been "built, wired and played", if perhaps the tightness of some of those shots could've been identified and possibly altered.

#170 1 year ago
Quoted from Russell:

, if perhaps the tightness of some of those shots could've been identified and possibly altered.

Shots are all very doable, sometimes Im shocked how I can make them with the angle of my flippers without even trying.

#171 1 year ago
Quoted from Russell:

I would never want to take anyone out of context. Joe does mention that a version of a whitewood was made, to evaluate "form and fit", but it was not "built, wired and played." I wonder if it had been "built, wired and played", if perhaps the tightness of some of those shots could've been identified and possibly altered.

Correct that there was no flippable or wired whitewood. Changes to shots could and were made after first prototypes shown last spring and before production this past fall.

#172 1 year ago

The tightness thing is way over blown. It is a challenging game but every machine worth playing has difficult shots. There is only one shot I can’t make with some regularity and that is the milkman shot which isn’t tight but it is at a tough angle off the end of the flipper.

The lock shot is not that difficult. If I set out to get trunk multiball I can usually get to it. I haven’t broke 400,000 yet so I’m not that great of a player either.

It’s going for those dang timed stage modes that kill me.

#173 1 year ago

played 4 two player games last night with a friend, so saw 24 balls of play. Trunk lock shot never worked once. played a trunk mb each game, other player locked at least 1 ball each game, 2 most games.

on two separate lock attempts that missed the game did not give credit for the lock, every other missed shot it did give credit for the lock. not sure how that happens.

had an okay score of about 800,000 one game, other games around 400,000. seems most points are in modes and the multiballs are kind of pointless, and the magnets just throw the balls away any ways lol. the return feeds from the left orbit (ie shooting right orbit and it comes around) and the inner key shot lead sdtm if you dont nudge. cant be fun for noobs. luckily the tilt is pretty loose on the local one so you can save a decent amount of tough feeds.

on a side note, who came up with the idea of starting the ball saver once the ball leaves the switch on the shooter lane? So you cannot dial in where the plunger strength is prior to attempting the skill shots. super lame, if you short plunge and it stays in the lane the auto launcher fires it into the playfield.

#174 1 year ago
Quoted from InfiniteLives:

So you cannot dial in where the plunger strength is prior to attempting the skill shots. super lame, if you short plunge and it stays in the lane the auto launcher fires it into the playfield.

Maybe so you only have one shot at it? It is a skill shot. Only time to practice is each ball plunge.

"played 4 two player games last night with a friend, so saw 24 balls of play. Trunk lock shot never worked once. "

Easy fix by operator. Coil strength on catapult.

#175 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

Maybe so you only have one shot at it? It is a skill shot. Only time to practice is each ball plunge.

yeah i guess every game prior to this one its not a skill shot my bad. only other game I know of that does this is TNA.

#176 1 year ago
Quoted from InfiniteLives:

yeah i guess every game prior to this one its not a skill shot my bad. only other game I know of that does this is TNA.

I know, i get your previous point.
But with TNA as you mention, think there just making pinball harder these days.
It annoys me all to bat shit hell when in a tourny i see someone soft plunge 10 times.

#177 1 year ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

It annoys me all to bat shit hell when in a tourny i see someone soft plunge 10 times.

ha, youre the type of player I want to play then if you can get under someones skin they usually play worse. if that bugs you i dont care, i am going to make sure i play the best game i can if that is me trying to soft plunge on GB 10 times so i can make my mode skill shot im gonna take as much time as possible to execute

#178 1 year ago
Quoted from InfiniteLives:

seems most points are in modes and the multiballs are kind of pointless, and the magnets just throw the balls away any ways lol. the return feeds from the left orbit (ie shooting right orbit and it comes around) and the inner key shot lead sdtm if you dont nudge.

I agree that the MBs on their own are kinda pointless (pun intended) compared to modes for scoring, starting them during a mode can help but it can also hurt because the mode timer (which is short on just about every mode) runs while it's locking the ball and starting the sequence. Seance does have the added bonus of lighting Return from the Dead but otherwise it's just trying to get Houdini letters for the most part. I'd like to see some better balance in that regard, especially when you consider mode points available if started with 2X scoring via the alley. The Key lane and alley shots can definitely be SDTMs when partially hit but I don't see that problem from the left orbit feed on the ones I've played.

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