(Topic ID: 172149)

Multimorphic P3 October 2016 Public Update


By solarvalue

2 years ago



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#1 2 years ago

Just recieved the latest update from Gerry at Multimorphic:

Welcome to all of you who joined our email list at recent events and thank you to everybody else for continuing to follow our progress. It's been an incredibly busy and productive year, and we've enjoyed the opportunity to introduce all of you the the P3.

Addressing the elephant in the proverbial room, we hear the widespread requests for an announcement of a popular licensed theme. The time for that will come soon, but it's not quite here yet. The P3 is a revolutionary pinball machine, and the business model behind it is transformative as well. For years now, the success, or at least well-being, of other pinball manufacturers has hinged on how well they sell each new title. They're playing a short game. One major dud and they might not recover. Multimorphic is playing a long game. We're developing a pinball platform that will increase in volume sales over the next few years. More machine sales means the customer base for new games grows, and that brings in new game designers. The P3 game catalog will grow, as will game development budgets.

To bet the farm on the success of a single, expensive, resource-exhausting game would be irresponsible and a terrible business decision for us as a new company. We're happy other companies are willing to risk everything and fill that short term need, but we're taking a different approach and hoping to establish ourselves as a long-term player in this industry.

All that's not to say we aren't developing new, exciting content and moving forward to production. Both are happening. We'll defer talking publicly about new content, but we're happy to discuss our progress towards production. We showed off production sample machines at Pinball Expo in Chicago earlier this month. These machines represent what will soon be coming off of our production line and going to customers. We're currently ordering production parts from our vendors, and we're gearing up with our contract manufacturing partner to build machines. In other words, our first production run has officially begun, and our earliest customers have been notified. How smooth this first run goes will help us estimate delivery timeframes for the rest of our pre-order customers.

In 4 years we've designed a completely new pinball platform from the ground up, with unparalleled features and modularity, and with the potential to deliver both traditional and progressive gameplay experiences. We started showing early concepts in 2012, and we listened to and course-corrected due to community feedback. We also staffed our company with mostly community insiders, including 2 of the industry's most experienced and successful members (David Thiel and Dennis Nordman) to help with our first game, Lexy Lightspeed - Escape From Earth). So far we've developed 5 games, including LL-EE, Cannon Lagoon (a redemption-style game), and 3 mini-games (ROCs, Barnyard, and LL-SAS), and more games are in active development by both us and 3rd parties. These initial games were designed to interest a wide variety of players, and our game development roadmap includes both complex games with deep rulesets as well as games that are easier for everybody to understand and enjoy. Oh, and two of our fundamental patent applications just issued; so we'll be excited to work in a more official capacity with others who are interested in delivering platform-style machines.

I'm beyond proud of the Multimorphic team, which has dealt confidently and effectively with all of the issues and uncertainties that come with bringing paradigm-changing ideas to life. The challenges have been many, and we've received wonderful support as well as our share of criticism, but we haven't wavered from our vision or from our commitment to each other and our customers. I wish I could say the next steps will be easy, but they won't be. We'll encounter more challenges, and we'll deal with them too. In the next few months we'll be heavily focused on logistical and supply chain processes, working with our fabrication partners to make and validate hundreds of custom parts and working with our manufacturing partner to build, test, and ship machines. Our long-term success depends on how well we manage the early stages of these processes; so we're making sure to do things right.

To summarize, we developed and showed our concept. Then we developed and showed our first few games. Now we're working through production logistics so we can produce and ship P3s. New and exciting game content will come soon.

As we ramp up production, we'll be reaching out to all of our pre-order customers to discuss their build schedules. There's a long line of people waiting to buy P3s. If you're not yet on the list, please fill out and return that attached no-commitment pre-order form. We'll continue processing them in the order they're received.

I've attached a couple of pictures to show a bit of our production sample machines. The first was taken by Martin Ayub of Pinball News for his Expo 2016 show report (http://www.pinballnews.com/shows/expo2016/index.html). It shows the underside of the P3 playfield, exemplifying how different the P3 is built and how good engineering can result in an unprecedented feature list without sacrificing clean wiring and serviceability. The second shows a production sample machine next to an earlier prototype to highlight changes in backbox sizing.

As always, feel free to contact me directly with any questions, comments, or concerns.

- Gerry Stellenberg
Multimorphic, Inc.
http://www.multimorphic.com

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#2 2 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

We're currently ordering production parts from our vendors, and we're gearing up with our contract manufacturing partner to build machines. In other words, our first production run has officially begun, and our earliest customers have been notified.

That's the headline

#3 2 years ago

I'd like to see a better picture of the underside of that playfield. I'm having a hard time understanding what I'm looking at.

#4 2 years ago

Can you detail pricing for us?

#5 2 years ago

From the Pinball News article:

"Gerry said the price for the P3 system is $9,875 which comes with the Lexy Lightspeed upper playfield and software."

And, from another thread, about the future game kits:

"...we have some game concepts that we could develop and sell for under $1000 and others that are higher.
$1500-$2500 is a realistic estimate for standard complexity pinball games. Asking you to pay much more than that for future games would contradict one of the biggest advantages of owning a multi-game platform."

#6 2 years ago

I'm so... impatiently waiting for my position in line.

#7 2 years ago

Anyone know the back box width? I've been interested in p3 and glad to see an update -- wish it would have come to the nw show by now as I'd love to play one. If it won't fit thru the narrow basement door frame though maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up haha! Wonder --Does the back box detach easily with minimal cabling to disconnect?

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

I'd like to see a better picture of the underside of that playfield. I'm having a hard time understanding what I'm looking at.

That's likely because the features visible in the pic are features that only the P3 has, including the large playfield display, the wall/scoop assembly, and the multi-position trough. The versatility in the features is what makes the P3 capable of so many gaming configurations.

Quoted from Mbecker:

Anyone know the back box width? I've been interested in p3 and glad to see an update -- wish it would have come to the nw show by now as I'd love to play one. If it won't fit thru the narrow basement door frame though maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up haha! Wonder --Does the back box detach easily with minimal cabling to disconnect?

The P3's backbox is the same width as a WPC backbox: 28.75". Removing it, however, is much easier than with WPC. The cables that connect the backbox to the main cabinet are easy to disconnect (power, video, usb, LED ribbon cable, another LED cable, and subwoofer cable). Disconnect those cables, remove the two main hinge bolts, and the head lifts off.

- Gerry
http:www.multimorphic.com

#9 2 years ago

Hi Gerry -

Will the play field display be 4K resolution at final release or are you sticking with 1080p?

Curious to know about your thoughts on new standards that are available on that front...

#10 2 years ago

Our playfield display is a ruggedized commerical 1080p display. I doubt many would be very happy with the price of a 4k one at this point. Then again, median prices for even single-themed machines seem to be catching up and passing us.

Regardless of price, there are a lot of other variables that go into such a decision, like rendering power (CPU and video card) and content development, and we've sized our computer system to be powerful enough for new titles for [hopefully] years. Most of the content in games like LL-EE is rendered dynamically. We're not just showing video clips. Generating 4k quality content would be an expensive proposition, and we see very little value in that now. Our focus today is on fun gameplay. IMO, a 4k display won't make games any more fun than a 1080p for the next few years.

All that said, our system is designed to allow quick swaps/upgrades of components like the display (and almost everything else). The display literally slides out of the front of our (now patented) playfield rail system. Upgrading the 1080p display to a 4k one in the future would take all of about 30 seconds.

That was the long version. The short version is... we'll be sticking with 1080p for now, but upgrading to 4k in the future will be easy.

- Gerry
http:www.multimorphic.com

#11 2 years ago

Thanks for the details. I'm definitely interested in your product. It would be great to see one make it to Allentown next year.

If you can truly create compelling layout diversity from game to game, it's going to have a lot of buyers!

Best wishes on getting it out the door!

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

If you can truly create compelling layout diversity from game to game, it's going to have a lot of buyers!

We truly can... and will. Others can too. We continue to work on our 3rd party development kit.

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#13 2 years ago

just curious, how much does a P3 weight? (range of weight)

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from scott_freeman:

just curious, how much does a P3 weight? (range of weight)

We haven't gotten a final weight on our production samples, but our final prototypes (very similar) were 330 lbs with 17 balls installed. That's with the LL-EE playfield installed. Both LL-EE and CL playfields weigh 24 lbs.

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#15 2 years ago

Sssssss-eventeen balls?!?!

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Sssssss-eventeen balls?!?!

Since the P3 is a multi-game platform for which games will be developed for the foreseeable future, we can't predict how many balls a game will need. Lexy Lightspeed - Escape From Earth has an 8-ball physical ball lock that can hold 8 balls while a separate 4 ball multiball (Target Practice) is running. So it needs 12 balls minimum. Who knows what other games will need. So we designed our drain and trough system to not be limited to a specific amount of balls (other than the physical space will allow, but that space is about 4 feet long).

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#17 2 years ago

I really like how this is taking pinball into the future. I'm definitely interested.

I'll be honest in that I'm not really feeling Lexy Lightspeed. I thought it would be some sci-if theme but then you have big foot and other weird stuff. I haven't played it and it is still in development so I understand a lot can change.

What other main games are coming or how far away are they? There's Cosmic Cart Racing, right? What else?

#18 2 years ago

Just between us can you tell us what licenced themes you are considering?

#19 2 years ago

Thanks for the info Gerry! Now my only fear is that if I get one I'll have to sell off all my other pins to afford all the 2k modules I'm going to want once 3rd party dev's start cranking them along with what multimorphic brings.

How possible are homebrews with this system? On one side the hardware seems like it's pretty straight forward to me but as a guy with no graphics design background that part of it seems a little daunting.. I'd love to think that if I bought a system I could potentially develop a module but I am wondering how realistic that is?

#20 2 years ago
Quoted from Sticky:

What other main games are coming or how far away are they? There's Cosmic Cart Racing, right? What else?

Quoted from Rondogg:

Just between us can you tell us what licenced themes you are considering?

Moving forward, except in special cases, we'll not be discussing new themes and new game dev until the games are ready to be released.

Quoted from Mbecker:

How possible are homebrews with this system? On one side the hardware seems like it's pretty straight forward to me but as a guy with no graphics design background that part of it seems a little daunting.. I'd love to think that if I bought a system I could potentially develop a module but I am wondering how realistic that is?

We'll provide tools and examples of how to do almost everything you'll want to do. Making actual playfield modules for the P3 will be much easier than building full machines because we've already done most of the work. You'll just cut an upper playfield out according to our upper playfield template and install your devices and controller boards (PDBs and SW-16 boards).

Regarding software and graphics... our dev kit will give you a working game example and all of the features you'll need to implement a game on the P3. We chose to leverage the Unity3D game engine for graphics as it's the game engine used for a large majority of games in the mobile, console, and PC gaming markets, and it has an enormous and helpful community. Further, there's the Unity Asset Store that has a large supply of graphical content and feature scripts, oftentimes for free, to help you realize your vision.

Helping others make games for the P3 is an important part of our business model. We're spending a lot of time on the tools and back-end software to make it easier for you to develop and deploy new games (with or without playfield modules).

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Sssssss-eventeen balls?!?!

That's what she said.

Oh - no, sorry, that's what _he_ said.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

You'll just cut an upper playfield out according to our upper playfield template and install your devices and controller boards (PDBs and SW-16 boards).

ahh - so any lower PF control boards are permanently under it and all boards to control upper switches, lamps, etc. are under the upper PF then? I hadn't really considered that factor --are there extra unused switch positions under the lower at all?

Again -- thank you for all the information, you are really selling me on this concept, although I really wish one had come to the NW so I could put a little time on it. I watched most of the videos I could find but it's hard to replicate the actual experience of playing it I think and that's a lot of money to put down on something w/out being able to try it. I guess at this point since there are no pre-order incentives left (right?) it makes just as much sense to wait it out for manufacture and hope that a game goes public somewhere close before ordering...?

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from Mbecker:

ahh - so any lower PF control boards are permanently under it and all boards to control upper switches, lamps, etc. are under the upper PF then? I hadn't really considered that factor --are there extra unused switch positions under the lower at all?

The modular nature of the P-ROC/P3-ROC control system allows us to implement support for the core features of the platform and have a simple interface for custom modules. We expose standard connectors to the upper playfield modules so that playfield designers can implement support for their playfield features with local boards that connect back to the main control system.

If you want to swap out our stock button boxes, flipper assembly, or side modules with custom versions, there are easy hooks to tie them back into the control system as well. We designed the system to be highly extensible.

Quoted from Mbecker:

Again -- thank you for all the information, you are really selling me on this concept, although I really wish one had come to the NW so I could put a little time on it. I watched most of the videos I could find but it's hard to replicate the actual experience of playing it I think and that's a lot of money to put down on something w/out being able to try it.

We had the machine at CAX in 2015. Sorry you didn't get to play it then. This year RMPS was our only trip out west. Next year there will be lots of P3s in the wild; so getting your hands on one shouldn't be too hard.

Quoted from Mbecker:

I guess at this point since there are no pre-order incentives left (right?) it makes just as much sense to wait it out for manufacture and hope that a game goes public somewhere close before ordering...?

We call it a "pre-order", but really it's just a free place in line. That line has grown pretty long though; so if you're interested, I'd recommend getting on the list now. We won't ask for any payment until it's time to order parts to build your machine. You can decide then whether to follow through or fall off the list.

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#24 2 years ago

Really loved playing Lexi last year (and this year) at Expo. I quickly wanted to sell off 2 of my games to buy one. This year, I found myself bummed by what seemed like a lack of development on other actual pinball games. I was not blown away with the Cannon game. That said, I completely understand there's a market need for that type of game; I'm merely sharing my own wishes to see more Lexi-like pin games on this platform.

Truly, the possibilities for you guys are practically endless and as long as the software keeps up with the impressive hardware, I think P3 is a knockout. In the end though, software and just plain ole fun games is what counts. When I look to the console wars of years past, I've often seen that the beefiest systems weren't necessarily the ones that won over the masses; it was usually the consoles that had the best 3rd party developers and original content.

Excited to see what's coming!

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from seshpilot:

This year, I found myself bummed by what seemed like a lack of development on other actual pinball games

I get that... but I don't think that is really fair.
JJP took how long to get from concept to shipping WOZ or TH machines?
CGC took how long to reproduce an existing machine from STOCKed parts?
Dutch Pinball took how long to begin shipping TBL?
Thunderbirds still isn't shipping after how many years?

The point I'm making is Gerry obviously has a small group of volunteers who spend their nights and weekends working on the machine. AFAIK; they haven't spent any customer money to develop the machine(s). It's clear to me that it takes a WHOLE lot of man hours to iterate and engineer a completely new pinball platform with this level of technical complexity. I'm perfectly OK with Gerry's team taking the time to get the machine RIGHT and engineer properly before they ship. Spinning up subcontractors and manufacturers for these parts WILL take time... and it's clear from what I've seen that they are making progress.

For me they aren't going fast enough... but unless I missed something; they don't have $Million investors lining up to help them get the machine to market... so I'll settle for slow and steady - expecting that the first machines will be solid and ready for prime time. I'm not a $Million investor... and unfortunately, the best I can do is offer them my $9.xK when my spot comes up in line.

#26 2 years ago

Hi Gerry. Are the flipper buttons using leaf switches? I'm curious if the flipper action is all digitally controlled, or if they are "traditionally" powered flippers. Will we be able to do things like tap passes?

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from Zitt:

The point I'm making is Gerry obviously has a small group of volunteers who spend their nights and weekends working on the machine. AFAIK; they haven't spent any customer money to develop the machine(s). It's clear to me that it takes a WHOLE lot of man hours to iterate and engineer a completely new pinball platform with this level of technical complexity. I'm perfectly OK with Gerry's team taking the time to get the machine RIGHT and engineer properly before they ship. Spinning up subcontractors and manufacturers for these parts WILL take time... and it's clear from what I've seen that they are making progress.

Thanks for the support, John. Yes, we've been lucky to receive a lot of help from people with regular day jobs; it shows the passion of the community and the willingness to jump in and help with a project people believe in. Just to clarify though, we do have a team of full-time employees (myself included of course) that's working tirelessly to get the P3 into production. The bootstrap budget and small team isn't something we hide behind; it just hopefully helps to give perspective.

The amount of work required to bring a traditional-style pinball game to market is enormous. Multiply that by 2 or 3 to bring an innovative multi-game platform to market, complete with the tools and software necessary to make it successful. Yes we hoped to raise significant capital and do it the easy way, but it didn't go that way. So we've absorbed the risk ourselves and are making it happen. That we've nearly reached production in just over 4 years says a lot about the team.

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from Yetimon:

Hi Gerry. Are the flipper buttons using leaf switches? I'm curious if the flipper action is all digitally controlled, or if they are "traditionally" powered flippers. Will we be able to do things like tap passes?

I love watching the tap pass at 0:32.

Our button boxes support any kind of button configuration you could dream up, but our current setup uses leaf-switches. We're pinball players too. The playing experience is the most important part of any machine, IMO.

- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

#29 2 years ago

Are there any pics of the early prototypes? It seems like when I played this at last year's Expo it didn't have that style of backbox.

Edit: Don't worry about the pics. I found them.

#30 2 years ago

... alright, you got me in at the back of the line for those of us not in time for the preorder incentives I am hoping for some kind of reduced rate option to add one or more of the extra games. There's no plan to have standard and le packages at this time correct?

Also - maybe already covered but will owners have full access to modify, say, LL or cannon lagoon code/rules/sounds/etc to their hearts content?

#31 2 years ago

I've got to say that after talking quite a bit with Gerry and getting into the geek level, I can appreciate the concept from a lot of aspects.
I looked at it the first time and thought it was basically Pinball 2000 rehashed with the swappable playfields, but that's so far from the truth.
From a technical aspect, seeing the standard computer parts and discussing "future-proofing" was a big sigh of relief.
Seeing the main PF was a huge responsive screen was amazing. Seeing the ball roll across it and a ball trail on the screen to me was just really cool.
The blend with high tech and traditional mechanical parts like slingshots was pretty cool.
And the "open" concept of inviting people to create their own games is a win too.

Kudos to Gerry and the team on their progress, efforts, and perseverance. We all know how hard it is to bring a new machine to market, but it's ten times harder to bring an entirely new concept to market, and I think these guys are going to hit the mark!

#32 2 years ago

I was very impressed when I got to try it out at the RMPS. I was afraid that the floating flipper components would feel weird but it didn't.

I especially like the dynamic scoops, I think that it's a great innovation that a lot of new game play concepts will spring from. I enjoyed Cannon Lagoon because the scoops allow it to just keep returning the ball to the flipper and feeding the shooter, it's a fast game where you don't have to be concerned with keeping balls alive but just making accurate shot after accurate shot, like a 3 point contest in basketball or a shooting range. That makes for a fun quick game that is different than anything else. And you can easily turn that game play concept into a smaller part of a more traditional game, like a mode where it just feeds you quick shots like that.

Combine in all that the interactive screen allows for and I think there are tons of exciting and most importantly fun possibilities. And that was my key takeaway from my experience playing Lexi and Cannon Lagoon, it was just a lot of fun! I found myself wanting to play them again and that is more than I can say for the big name offerings that have come out recently that just don't give me that same feeling.

Good luck to Gerry and P3, can't wait to play a production machine!

#33 2 years ago

Just realized that the scoops are not being used in Cannon Lagoon to catch and return the ball like that, but the same concept could be applied to the scoops and used in any game.

#34 2 years ago

I am looking forward to seeing the latest revision of this platform next week at the Houston Arcade Expo.
www.arcadecenter.com

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

ยป YouTube video
I love watching the tap pass at 0:32.
Our button boxes support any kind of button configuration you could dream up, but our current setup uses leaf-switches. We're pinball players too. The playing experience is the most important part of any machine, IMO.
- Gerry
http://www.multimorphic.com

Excellent, thanks Gerry. That young player has some mad skills

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