(Topic ID: 98940)

PPS / MMR communication - it's NOT about the coin mechs (or is it?)


By jfh

5 years ago



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#1 5 years ago

A mod suggested that a new thread be created to discuss "the MMR coin mech issue", rather than having the discussion continue in the main MMR thread. I wasn't going to do that, but was encouraged to do so after some private discussions.

In thinking about it, I realized that some missed the point that the larger issue isn't about whether or not coin mechs ship with MMR, but rather how PPS handled the issue.

In case anyone doesn't know, here are the facts:

- Shortly after deposits on MMR became non-refundable, Rick announced that MMR would ship without coin mechs.
- This was the first indication that the remake would not ship equipped for a primary function of a commercial pinball machine and one that was obviously present in the original.
- Rick stated the reason for this omission was a logistics issue due to non-domestic orders and implied that it would be difficult for Stern to handle getting the right type of mechs with the right game on the assembly line.

There was a lot of discussion about the missing mechs. Rick stated that that PPS believed that only a small percentage of MMR buyers would be impacted by this decision, since the significant portion of the games produced were going into homes of private collectors who, for the most part, don't use/need coin mechs. I happen to agree with this point, and I know many others do, but using that as a rationalization/justification for not including mechs.

Any good project manager would conclude the same thing I did - that either this was a cost cutting move or the issue of needing different types of mechs by country wasn't appropriately planned for. I think it is the latter, as it doesn't make sense as a cost-cutting move for a number of reasons.

Instead of something like:

"Hey guys, we underestimated what was required to efficiently install the proper coin mechs during the production of MMR, so we believe it's best for the project that machines ship without them. PPS will send a set of coin mechs at no charge to the registered owner of a machine if they would like them. In addition, we would like to offer [something/discount coupon/whatever] to all owners as our thanks for your understanding on what we hope is a minor inconvenience."

What did we get?

- you guys don't understand how hard this is to do
- what's the big deal? Nobody uses mechs anyway
- if you want them, we'll sell them to you cheap (totally ignoring those folks would essentially pay for them twice)
- It wasn't our decision not to include the mechs, it was our contractor's fault.
- feigned ignorance over "missing parts"
- total ignorance of the real issue.

I don't think this is acceptable. I believe, as I know many do, that Rick has done (and plans to do) much for the pinball community and I am quite grateful for his efforts. I was one of the first to place an order for MMR, despite the fact I own a pristine original, as I wanted to show support for MMR and the concept of reproducing classic WMS titles. I want a new AFM, CC, BBB and maybe some others.

There seems to be a disturbing habit when someone questions a PPS decision/move. Many of the replies we get don't acknowledge the issue, but
- repeat the original answer, as if we didn't read or understand it the first time.
- tell us we wouldn't understand the issues involved
- slyly disparage the person asking the question
- totally ignore any constructive criticism or suggestions
- fail to attribute any responsibility to Rick and/or PPS. Everything is someone else's fault.

Let me be perfectly clear - the issue that mechs aren't shipping with the game don't bother me anywhere near the perception I have that Rick is tone deaf to the concerns that have been expressed in the MMR thread (mechs is the latest, but certainly not the first). Yes, I can afford mechs if I want them, but that's not the point - I shouldn't even have to think about having to do so.

Yes, nobody cancelled their order over missing coin mechs (which would have cost them $1k). Would anyone have cancelled before the deposit deadline? I suspect not, but no one had the opportunity.

Most don't care about the missing coin mechs. Fine. What if the game were to ship without legs? Most of us have a spare set or two - no big deal, right? What if it was "too hard" to figure out what power supply needed to be installed in the game?

Doesn't matter - it's not a parts issue. It's a communication and trust issue. I don't want snarky answers from someone who doesn't think I'm intelligent enough to handle the truth. If I mess up, I take responsibility for it. I expect others (including Rick) to do the same.

I say it's not about the mechs - what do you think?

-7
#3 5 years ago

I think I will enjoy playing the hell out of my game. Personally I think coin mechs are stupid. Most are for homes and should just have an access door with art as well as Apron with art and lighting and no free play cards.
If I was an op I would prefer a door with dollar feeders or credit card slots.
Bring on the game, my basement awaits.

#4 5 years ago

Nobody is perfect. No company is perfect. No new product release is perfect. It's only $20.

#5 5 years ago
Quoted from jalpert:

Nobody is perfect. No company is perfect. No new product release is perfect. It's only $20.

Not asking for perfection. Don't care about the $20. Just want responses from PPS that don't treat us like we can't handle the truth or would somehow think less of a MMR or PPS if we had reasonable discussion about issues and suggestions.

I did not create this thread to discuss who cares about coin mechs or not. I'm more interested if people think it's OK to be treated with distain. (Maybe no one cares, as king as PPS keeps making games).

#6 5 years ago

How about this: since most of the machines aren't going to be used with quarters anyway, lots of cash boxes are going to go unused as well. Can we get a list of volunteers to sell their cash boxes to buy coin mechs for people who intend to put quarters in?

#7 5 years ago

I agree that the announcement and follow-up on the removal of the coin mechs was handled poorly (especially in light of how cheap a good fix for the problem would have been).

I don't agree that it's part of some larger pattern of PPS ignoring customer input. PPS's engagement in the trim color debates proved to my satisfaction that the company is capable of considering "constructive criticism or suggestions." Rick (whom I've never met and know only by reading his Pinside posts this past year) seems to have a big personality and enjoy sarcasm, which can cut both ways when he's acting as a PR rep for PPS. The safest route would be for PPS to do as Stern and JJP do and generally avoid posting on Pinside. Or for Rick to follow basic PR protocol and respond with a forced smile to all criticism, regardless of how silly it is. Probably good business but it would have made the wait for MMR a lot less interesting!

12
#8 5 years ago

I personally think remaking these old games is great for pinball, but the way PPS has gone about it not so much. They put a pinball machine on sale before they even had a completed prototype, then let us watch as they went through the trials and tribulations of trying to finish it.

The trim issue was a complete joke as months were wasted trying to please people because nobody was happy that they were going with cheap paint instead of what had come on prior Williams LE models.

I bailed early on because I felt the product was being cheapened and realized there would be no way that I could get my money back if I wasn't happy with it.

#9 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

If I was an op I would prefer a door with dollar feeders or credit card slots.

If they included those with the purchase price, I would as well. Up in the north, we have $1 and $2 coins. They work great for pins.

Quoted from jalpert:

It's only $20.

$50 plus.

Will it come with a manual/schematics? Will the coin door lock be uniquely key'd, or a generic key that opens many locks? Will it come with balls? How is PPS testing the coin functions if no mech is installed at the factory?

I guess I will send my distributor an email, and they can ask Rick. I will post the answers here once I receive them.

#10 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

"Hey guys, we underestimated what was required to efficiently install the proper coin mechs during the production of MMR, so we believe it's best for the project that machines ship without them. PPS will send a set of coin mechs at no charge to the registered owner of a machine if they would like them. In addition, we would like to offer [something/discount coupon/whatever] to all owners as our thanks for your understanding on what we hope is a minor inconvenience."

EXACTLY!!! When those of us started posting our concerns about this coin mech issue, I figured Rick might not enjoy seeing so many customers showing their disappointment. But instead, for bringing the subject up, we got pilloried not only by a handful on the thread but by Rick himself.

You did a good job jth explaining this. Those were my sentiments exactly!!!
Thanks,
Mike

#11 5 years ago
Quoted from jalpert:

Nobody is perfect. No company is perfect. No new product release is perfect. It's only $20.

God I love Straw Man arguments!

#12 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Personally I think coin mechs are stupid.

Quoted from jalpert:

It's only $20.

Oh hell! And 'they' follow . . . . the ones who bitched about our discussion on the other thread are on here now. PROOF they just like stirring pot!

#13 5 years ago

I don't trust anyone who already has an original MM and ordered an MMrLE anyway (especially if they say they are intending to keep both). And who buys a duplicate just "to show support" anyway?

#14 5 years ago

I just hope everyone that ordered the game ends up happy with it and does not end up finding out there are a lot of things that were done with cheap alternative/facsimile parts or omissions thereof.

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from littlecammi:

I don't trust anyone who already has an original MM and ordered an MMrLE anyway (especially if they say they are intending to keep both). And who buys a duplicate just "to show support" anyway?

I never said I was going to keep both, at least for any extended period of time. My original plan was to sell my game and have a new MMR for my game room. My plans have changed. But I fail to see why I ordered an MMR has anything to do with the topic at hand.

I have skin in the PPS remake game as do 900 some other people. And I'm more interested in hearing their opinions and those who had orders and changed their minds than worrying about why someone I've never met or dealt with doesn't trust me.

#16 5 years ago

Calm down Pintucky or you might faint. http://www.bbmlive.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/old_man.jpg
The other thread was about updates and this one is about how folks feel about the coin mech issue. So we are here to discuss.
I agree with the Op that Ricks mistake was dealing with this after the deposit period. But I have had to tell customers things that suck so I get it. At this point I hope its his one slip and focusing on moving games will make up for it.

Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Personally I think coin mechs are stupid

By this I mean they are outdated. Bill receptors, tokens or better yet credit and debit readers make more sense for routing a game.

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

The other thread was about updates and this one is about how folks feel about the coin mech issue.

Umm no.

Read the thread title - it's NOT about the mechs.

It's about how the issue of the mechs and how PPS handles communication on other issues that they see as inconvenient.

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

It's about how the issue of the mechs and how PPS handles communication on other issues that they see as inconvenient.

Are there other specific instances where you think Rick/PPS mishandled communication with his customers? Maybe some examples would make more clear why you view this as a trend.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I just hope everyone that ordered the game ends up happy with it and does not end up finding out there are a lot of things that were done with cheap alternative/facsimile parts or omissions thereof.

Agree! This coin mech thing helped trigger those kinds of feelings as you stated.

Loved your one word reply on 'our' WOZ forum. Just read it! Agree on that one too!
Mike in Kentucky

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

how folks feel about the coin mech issue

Quoted from Hwawonyu:

I agree with the Op that Ricks mistake was dealing with this after the deposit period.

Quoted from jfh:

Umm no.

Read the thread title - it's NOT about the mechs.

Coin mech issue...meaning communication more than the mechs themselves. I get it and as I said I agree. Right now its a half full or half empty moment and with 1 strike I am hoping the rest moves forward and we are glad to get games. If more odd changes or communications start like with our other Pin Company then I will start to worry.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from Pintucky:

Agree! This coin mech thing helped trigger those kinds of feelings as you stated.
Loved your one word reply on 'our' WOZ forum. Just read it! Agree on that one too!
Mike in Kentucky

For those paying attention, McCune and others triggered those concerns when MMR was announced based on his and other restorers past dealings with the repro parts industry.

-28
#22 5 years ago

coin mechs are an insignificant cost compared to an $8000 machine, and will not even be used by 90% of the people who buy MMRLE.

if someone wants a coin mech they need to take the simple action to solve that problem (buy a coin mech) rather than whining for weeks about it.

#23 5 years ago

It is not just about the coin mechs. It is about what will and will not be cheapened overall in this remake. Hopefully pretty much everything will be just like the original (with the exception of the boardset and lighting) and the buyers will be ecstatic.

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

I don't agree that it's part of some larger pattern of PPS ignoring customer input. PPS's engagement in the trim color debates proved to my satisfaction that the company is capable of considering "constructive criticism or suggestions."

They might consider it, but they didn't really do much about it. I'm still getting the ugly mustard gold I saw at TPF. If they weren't going to do brass or something equivalent, it would have been nice if they could have at least come up with a better gold powder coat with the help of community input.

#25 5 years ago

You should add a poll to see how many people care about the lack of coin mechs vs those that don't. I'd be curious to know.

-1
#26 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

Not asking for perfection. Don't care about the $20. Just want responses from PPS that don't treat us like we can't handle the truth or would somehow think less of a MMR or PPS if we had reasonable discussion about issues and suggestions.
I did not create this thread to discuss who cares about coin mechs or not. I'm more interested if people think it's OK to be treated with distain. (Maybe no one cares, as king as PPS keeps making games).</blockquote

1st:You sound very ignorant!
2nd:Rick already addressed why the decision was made
3rd. Almost every route operator has and uses there own coin mechs EX:for tokens they might sell out of a bill changer.
4.You can buy them online for $8.50
5.If your still upset sell your spot I know of at least 10 people who want a New MMRLE.
6.If you really want some coin mechs I have a almost full 5Gal. Bucket of them I'll send you 2.
7.If you never installed them they take 2seconds to snap in the holders which will be on the coin door.
8.Take a break ,go for a walk,skip rocks,go bird watching,or read a book you are dwelling way too much on this subject !

#27 5 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

It is about what will and will not be cheapened overall in this remake.

The question then becomes is this a cost saving move or production move as Rick said. Cost saving=bad call and concern. production to keep games moving=a win...almost, for some.

#28 5 years ago

Saw the picture. I'll probably look like that in about 35 years! I'm the youngest looking 66 year old you'll ever see. But you DID 'get me' on that one! Got a chuckle out of it. And you can thank your old buddy pezpunk for keying me in on your personality, thus me not crying 'foul' over that picture of the old goat!!! You ain't as mean at heart as you may sound at times. So, I got a good laugh out of that.

Quoted from Hwawonyu:

By this I mean they are outdated. Bill receptors, tokens or better yet credit and debit readers make more sense for routing a game.

I have never considered this. You are right, especially for operators. Coins would not work so well for them. I guess because of MY AGE . . . I have only thought of 'coins'.

#29 5 years ago

I wouldn't care about the coin mech stuff if I were in on the MMr, other than the fact that I would have assumed they would have been there, and them not being there is saving someone money, and costing me money.

In the long run, I don't care. Is the door still fully wired and set up for them? Is this known, or is this the next shoe to drop?

#30 5 years ago

See Rick,
charge 6k for games and you wont get beat up like this!

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

See Rick,
charge 6k for games and you wont get beat up like this!

I am sure that is part of it.

17
#32 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

coin mechs are an insignificant cost compared to an $8000 machine, and will not even be used by 90% of the people who buy MMRLE.
if someone wants a coin mech they need to take the simple action to solve that problem (buy a coin mech) rather than whining for weeks about it.

Most people can't change a tire so a jack is now an option and you pay extra for the option.
The cost of the jack is insignificant compared to the cost of the vehicle and 90% of the people will not use it.
These people should just pay extra for what should come as standard equipment on the vehicle instead of whining for weeks about it.
The game was sold as a reproduction of the original game, did the original game come with coin mechs?

#34 5 years ago

Door, wires, bucket, lid, everything is present. You need to snap the mechs in, but do nothing else. It has been confirmed.

Quoted from tamoore:

Is the door still fully wired and set up for them? Is this known, or is this the next shoe to drop?

-4
#35 5 years ago
Quoted from tracelifter:

The game was sold as a reproduction of the original game, did the original game come with coin mechs?

the game sure didn't come with LEDs or a beaglebone black. silly argument.

15
#36 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

the game sure didn't come with LEDs or a beaglebone black. silly argument.

Deflection and redirection.
The question was did the original come with coin mechs.
It is a simple yes or no question.

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:Deleted post

Now thats just silly

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Are there other specific instances where you think Rick/PPS mishandled communication with his customers? Maybe some examples would make more clear why you view this as a trend.

Rick has answered a ton of questions related to the 3 trim choices and other subjects that he either likes talking about, or else makes his product look good. He is careful to avoid answering anything outside of that. And he has certainly seen the questions because he will answer in those threads while being careful to address those issues. Here is a list off the top of my head, I may have missed some (and I will admit some of these may have been answered and I missed it):

1) Does it come with a printed manual?
2) Will there be available printed schematics as WPC had?
3) Will there be a goodie bag?
4) If 3 is yes, will it contain spare plastics?
5) If 3 is yes, will it contain those wing bolt things for securing the head on location?
6) 110 service outlet for soldering irons or lights?
7) How do software updates happen, are they going to be downloadable or will something have to be purchased to accomplish this?
8) Does opening the coin door have a high power lockout for safety?
9) Original had helpful scrolling text in the Test menu when you hit the Start button, telling fuse type and number, connector locations, etc? Will this OS?
10) Original had a dedicated power supply for the flipper coils, does this one?
11) WPC can compensate for a broken EOS switch, can this one?
12) Will test reports (credit dot) still work the same way?
13) Original could not be programmed to take a single coin for 1 credit, which some found to be a nuisance. Can this one?
14) Since all driver boards and power supplies are below the level of the playfield, are there going to be covers to protect against falling stuff (pinball dust, screws, etc)?

What did I miss?

-6
#40 5 years ago
Quoted from tracelifter:

Deflection and redirection.
The question was did the original come with coin mechs.
It is a simple yes or no question.

I don't understand this response. The game is not an exact reproduction. I would expect equal ire on your part regarding LEDs and the board system and every other deviation, if you really are upset because the lack of a coin mech is inauthentic.

14
#41 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

I don't understand this response. The game is not an exact reproduction. I would expect equal ire on your part regarding LEDs and the board system and every other deviation, if you really are upset that a lack of coin mech is inauthentic.

To me it would seem those things are tech advances, and leaving things out are not.

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from viper001:

Rick has answered a ton of questions related to the 3 trim choices and other subjects that he either likes talking about, or else makes his product look good. He is careful to avoid answering anything outside of that. And he has certainly seen the questions because he will answer in those threads while being careful to address those issues. Here is a list off the top of my head, I may have missed some (and I will admit some of these may have been answered and I missed it):
1) Does it come with a printed manual?
2) Will there be available printed schematics as WPC had?
3) Will there be a goodie bag?
4) If 3 is yes, will it contain spare plastics?
5) If 3 is yes, will it contain those wing bolt things for securing the head on location?
6) 110 service outlet for soldering irons or lights?
7) How do software updates happen, are they going to be downloadable or will something have to be purchased to accomplish this?
Does opening the coin door have a high power lockout for safety?
9) Original had helpful scrolling text in the Test menu when you hit the Start button, telling fuse type and number, connector locations, etc? Will this OS?
10) Original had a dedicated power supply for the flipper coils, does this one?
11) WPC can compensate for a broken EOS switch, can this one?
12) Will test reports (credit dot) still work the same way?
13) Original could not be programmed to take a single coin for 1 credit, which some found to be a nuisance. Can this one?
14) Since all driver boards and power supplies are below the level of the playfield, are there going to be covers to protect against falling stuff (pinball dust, screws, etc)?
What did I miss?

Excellent list of some of the potential differences/omissions. I am sure there are several more possibilities that I hope also don't come to fruition.

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

To me it would seem those things are tech advances, and leaving things out are not.

Fair point.

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from iwantansi:

Now thats just silly

So's your avatar. Now I gotta go! Late!

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from viper001:

What did I miss?

Call Rick and ask ?

He's posted his phone number and said many times to call.

If I had any questions, I'd email or call him.

LTG : )™

#46 5 years ago

My issue isn't about the lack of shipped coin mechs. This was my post which got moderated out in the other thread:

Do I have extra coin mechs; nope. I had to order 1 to complete my Star Trek: Mirror Universe build. The bigger concern I have is... Given he's not SHIPPING with coin mechs... how is the MFG line VERIFYING the coin circuits work?!

Are they going to put "test mechs" in the machine and run quarters thru enough times to verify the circuits and the coindoor work as expected? Would seem paying labor to install mechs... then turn around and uninstall them would be more expensive than including them. Doesn't make a lot of business sense to me. What happens when test coin mechs "Escape" to the buyer?

Or is Rick just "letting that one slide"? IE screw the coin-op portion of the game. If there are issues; it's the buyer's problem?

Either way; he better be testing the co-op functionality as part of is OQA process on significant sample of the production machines... doing otherwise is a dumb move.

I don't have a dog in THIS race... however, if he remakes AFM - I'll be looking long and hard at how he handled this first game to determine if he deserves my next NIB cash.

#47 5 years ago

So it's not about the fact that there's no coin mechs...it's how he TOLD us about it!

Yes, I agree. It's always the cover up, not the deed. Just ask Nixon!!!!

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from pezpunk:

I don't understand this response. The game is not an exact reproduction. I would expect equal ire on your part regarding LEDs and the board system and every other deviation, if you really are upset because the lack of a coin mech is inauthentic.

What is there not to understand, this isn't a Mensa test it is a simple yes or no question.
Did the original game come with coin mechs?
If you are going to remove them why wait until the date for a refund has passed before announcing it?

#49 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

There seems to be a disturbing habit when someone questions a PPS decision/move. Many of the replies we get don't acknowledge the issue, but
- repeat the original answer, as if we didn't read or understand it the first time.
- tell us we wouldn't understand the issues involved
- slyly disparage the person asking the question
- totally ignore any constructive criticism or suggestions
- fail to attribute any responsibility to Rick and/or PPS. Everything is someone else's fault.
Let me be perfectly clear - the issue that mechs aren't shipping with the game don't bother me anywhere near the perception I have that Rick is tone deaf to the concerns that have been expressed in the MMR thread (mechs is the latest, but certainly not the first).

It's not just PPS. It seems to be a prerequisite to be a curmudgeon if you want to run a pinball parts/service business.

#50 5 years ago

Meh
It is one thing to be a parts supplier, it is quite different to be a pinball machine manufacturer
There is now a higher expectation from PPS

It is not as if Gary Stern and Jersey Jack have ever said the wrong thing

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