Oh, my... I suppose it would be time for something of a "state of the union" post, yes?
Short of defending trivial things, PinballDad is really on to something. I do think many of us have missed the point of his initial post, so hopefully I don't do the same. What I read is that people have been wanting to see certain things pretty badly and we haven't shown any of it, while we still managed to go out for a weekend to a public tourney with the game. The response to this is pretty simple:
The machine is in complete enough condition to show and the things requested are not.
A project of this magnitude requires a monumental amount of networking and consolidation of resources. Our in-house team can accomplish quite a bit on our own, but certain aspects just have to be sent out to other professionals who can handle it. These things include, but certainly aren't limited to, playfield artwork and toys. These things cannot be rushed. That being said, they are still moving along nicely. I have seen things from Matt that have really blown me away, and while it kills me to have to keep it to ourselves, it's necessary to wait until it is DONE to show it to you guys. Not because we're sadists and overall bastards, but because for many legitimate reasons concerning both business and presentation. We learn from our mistakes, even the ones we consider "small."
There is a lot of talk about the changes that should happen now that money has exchanged hands, and I disagree with just about all of them. The only thing that has changed on our end is that we are able to gather resources when we need them and our shop is warm (infinite thanks for that). We have found that we have literally hundreds of dedicated people who have real faith in us to accomplish monumental goals within a reasonable time frame, and we do feel the need to repay not the monetary commitment but the "spiritual" commitment as best we can in any way we can. When we see posts asking for peeks at artwork or toys or anything else, we certainly don't just overlook them and keep moving; we usually call our contractors and see how things are progressing.
On that note, I can't PROMISE a Christmas look at highly-developed playfield art and toys, but I have been assured that such a thing shouldn't be a problem by both parties. Trust me, our fingers are crossed just as hard as yours.
There has been a lot of progress with the game in ways that seem trivial, but are very important. The game now handles a lot of functions differently that keep it running with less bugs and hiccups, and the new animations are coming along (just not implemented yet). There are a few more voice calls and sound effects in the game, and every different multiball and mode has its own music to go with it. We have our end-product circuit boards here in-shop and ready to go in, and code work on the last remaining elements of the game are nearing completion. We also have an updated playfield CAD with all the minor changes we needed to make in place, which is to be cut within the next few days. Ramp angles have been confirmed to be proper, so work on the 3-D mold for the ramps has begun, as well.
Oh, and clear ramps.
On the plate:
We get deposits in various forms every day, and one or two waitlisters at the same rate. There is a ridiculous amount of logistics involved with all of this paperwork, and it's terribly cumbersome. If you've sent me an email within the last few weeks and haven't heard back, please be patient as I am going to take some time off from all of my normal duties to hit the emails and get all of the communications under control. If you're wondering if we received your deposit, there will be a mass-confirmation email going out as soon as we can to thank everyone for their support. While I'm on the subject of communication, if it is at all possible, please use my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of using PinSide's PM service. Quick messages or whatever are fine, but "important" messages are hard to keep track of when they are in two different places.
I know it has taken way longer than anticipated/acceptable, but t-shirts will be arriving before the holiday and will be going out immediately after they arrive.
I think that's about it for now. If anyone has any other questions, as always, drop 'em here or email me, whatever.