Awesome time as always, everyone involved does a fantastic job, this is my new adult Christmas! The past few weeks on the personal work/family side have been exhausting and my friend and I were scrambling to get 7 games ready... so I feel like I slepwalked through most of it... but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.
My friend is the "Atari Guy"... I'm the one that started his addiction and loaded that Middle Earth into my beater van, then told him it sucked when he finally got it working It's all good, we debug each other's projects all the time. I tweaked the pops on ME and Airborne before the show, they still need some work but the Atari switches are a bit unorthodox for field tweaks. Voltage regulator on Atarians died on Saturday, I'm sure we (he) will get it fixed and he might even have a Space Riders there next year.
As for my games, Expo got cantankerous right at 2pm Friday so I'm sorry it was off most of that day, but I got it 95% late Friday night and then found the source cause of the issue (a weirdly broken up-post mech occasionally jamming a switch) just before Sunday open. In my defense, that 50-year-old, unrestored, original EM - which got HOT with stuck coils but still kept stubbornly chugging - was probably up more and less troublesome than the brand-new state-of-the-art JJP PotC
Pinbot and BigHurt found a new local, public home but my girls aren't gonna let me live that down for a while... Speaking of Big Hurt, everyone who played it should know that game - which played 100% flawlessly with no issues I'm aware of - was destined for a dumpster before I rescued and completely disassembled, disinfected, repaired, refurbished, and reassembled it, during which it survived a move with all parts scattered about in buckets and boxes. It certainly deserved to live and boy did it prove it!
JJP PotC was very disappointing to me. Such a gorgeous game, almost a work of sculpture... I could look at it all day... but then you can't see a blasted thing under all the stuff at the top of the pf. It's almost Popeye bad, but worse: very frustrating to lose sight of the ball and have it come back form somewhere completely unexpected. I imagine more plays would bring more familiarity and anticipation, but on top of that the game itself was very buggy and clunky. The left scoop never registered properly, and the boat didn't seem to work well either. Ramp shot is difficult, you finally get it up there and... it dribbles off the side or gets stuck between the flipper and the railing.
Houdini, otoh, was astounding. What an amazing pin!! The theme integration, the fit and finish, the art, teh way the screen is seamlessly placed into a beautiful translite, and the gameplay were all awesome. A very unforgiving game, the shots were tight and I was completely tired and D-game all weekend, but I loved it. Shots felt great when I made them, I liked the challenge... the instructions were very clear and easy to follow, the insults were funny, and this is by far not only the best $7000 pin IMO - it was better than JJPOTC for less. Stern should take this seriously.
Such a shame that Rat Race got sick... I hope it doesn't have to be renamed Rat's Nest... so glad I got to see the engineering-dev level boards in that one. I know it's in the right hands to get fixed!
The Bossy seminar was great. Really intrigued by the dev work going on there. I have a project idea in mind, it'll probably make Jeremy regret he ever spoke of it ha ha.
So much to see and do... my kids kept me busy... hung out with the wife when they weren't... met up with some familiar friends... too tired to make any new ones but can't wait for next year!!!