(Topic ID: 115360)

The Big Lebowski Preorder Club (Members Only)


By Nilroc

4 years ago



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#5901 2 years ago

Interesting Newsletter. Step by step it continues. Progress is made and decisions are taken and parts are ordered.

If I understand newsletter correct new CM is
http://www.neopost-technologies.nl/en/home . A company Jaap used to work for.

Parts have deltimes so aim is October for a zero series/preproduction model. Also parts were designed by DP and Ara so DP has IP to. Only the big board was made by Ara and they are redesigning it and thinking of cutting it into smaller boards.

Good open communication. Much improvement.

#5902 2 years ago

It seems like for them to get the rest of the money....something has to be sent in....

#5903 2 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

It seems like for them to get the rest of the money....something has to be sent in....

It's called forecasting, all companies do it. Except in this instance, there are deposits and then full payment already committed. Like I said before, had ARA delivered, the cash crunch would have never happened. It's really a forecasting nightmare.

#5904 2 years ago

enjoyed the good news and reading along ... some youtube translator humor

TBL1 (resized).png
TBL2 (resized).png
TBL4 (resized).png

TBL5 (resized).png

#5906 2 years ago

It was good to put a human face to things. I question some historical accuracy (DP sold expo that the new designed main board was more elegant and didn't look like crap with all the wire) and doubt his interpretation of the ip "sharing" (I noticed an edit in the video too) but in the end, I believed his sincerity. Please tell me the Richard "I'm Not A Crook" Nixon picture was an attempt as self-deprecating humor.

12
#5907 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Please tell me the Richard "I'm Not A Crook" Nixon picture was an attempt as self-deprecating humor.

Obviously you're not a bowler.

a2385ed283199a55f82c97d0f39c5696--the-big-lebowski-nixon (resized).jpg

#5908 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Obviously you're not a bowler.

I'm aware of the correlation. The irony of a "everything is fine video" with a picture of tricky Dick square in the frame remains.

Either way, as I said, a good video nonetheless.

#5909 2 years ago

The re-design of the "big board" will mean, that the board better holds up forever in the first 50 TBLs as there will probably be no replacement. Am I wrong? Am I wrong?

#5910 2 years ago

Watched the video. Here are the highlights if you are interested:

- They believe they can skip prototypes altogether and begin with engineering (0 series) samples, possibly having them built by October (this sounded like a blue sky forecast, but that's fine). Not sure what this means in regards to testing, that would be a great question for the next update.

- He did kind of gloss over the shared IP (ARA and DP developing a custom part, for example) question. But if that's a problem, it will come up by the time they have an engineering sample at a show.

- He discussed financing!! Seems like the new CM isn't interested in completely being the bank. He said that they (new CM) believes that the extra machines ordered by CT and Nitro (there are 200 of these, per Jaap) that have $1000 deposits on them can help pay for the 130 that have been paid for already. The quote was something like "being creative in how we build and ship the 200". Jaap believes DP has enough money in the bank that the profit from the 200 CT/Nitro machines + money in bank, will be enough to make the whole project (all 330 machines) cash flow. I took this to mean that they may be producing some of the 200 and the 130 at the same time in order to make the money work.

- There are more Lebowskis on the way! Says they will engage a small number of Distros in Europe to sell additional machines at some point in the future. He envisions as many as 600 machines posssibly built through the new CM between Nitro/CT and some new sales efforts in Europe.

All in all, I thought this was their best update ever. He used actual numbers, talked finances, the numbers make some sense to me, and so does the plan so far.

#5911 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

He discussed financing!! Seems like the new CM isn't interested in completely being the bank. He said that they (new CM) believes that the extra machines ordered by CT and Nitro (there are 200 of these, per Jaap) that have $1000 deposits on them can help pay for the 130 that have been paid for already. The quote was something like "being creative in how we build and ship the 200". Jaap believes DP has enough money in the bank that the profit from the 200 CT/Nitro machines + money in bank, will be enough to make the whole project (all 330 machines) cash flow. I took this to mean that they may be producing some of the 200 and the 130 at the same time in order to make the money work.

Or maybe the 200 CT/Nitro games would ship first (to bring in new revenue), and then the fully-paid games would ship (since they won't bring additional cash flow)? I did not watch the video but the quotes you provide seemingly could go either way. That would be a bummer for existing orders, of course, but similar to what happened with WOZ as I understand it, and perhaps the only way they could get the games made at this point.

#5912 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Or maybe the 200 CT/Nitro games would ship first (to bring in new revenue), and then the fully-paid games would ship (since they won't bring additional cash flow)? I did not watch the video but the quotes you provide seemingly could go either way. That would be a bummer for existing orders, of course, but similar to what happened with WOZ as I understand it, and perhaps the only way they could get the games made at this point.

Good point. They aren't out of money though, I could see them doing a little of both. If they are building 5 machines a week, maybe 3 Early Achievers and 2 New Achievers. Depends on their banked money I suppose.

I submitted that as a question for their next update.

#5913 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

Good point. They aren't out of money though, I could see them doing a little of both. If they are building 5 machines a week, maybe 3 Early Achievers and 2 New Achievers. Depends on their banked money I suppose.
I submitted that as a question for their next update.

I think this is indeed what Jaap means wth creative financing. If this means the machines get built I have no problem with other people getting them sooner as me as I understand why and it should not be done in a secret way. I think however also this plan is not into place yet but under study otherwise Jaap would have been more clear I think.

#5914 2 years ago

If I were an early achiever, I'd take better late than never. Hopefully this has turned around..

#5915 2 years ago

I'm hovering right around #300 so I think they should go in reverse order.

#5916 2 years ago
Quoted from TRAMD:

I'm hovering right around #300 so I think they should go in reverse order.

I'm 299 bitch, so suck it!!!!

QSS

#5917 2 years ago

I thought this was DP's best update to-date.

#5919 2 years ago

So is it safe to say that with engineering new parts there is a chance they will make some of the parts different, which could make it more difficult for the original machines to get replacement parts?

#5920 2 years ago
Quoted from Khabbi:

So is it safe to say that with engineering new parts there is a chance they will make some of the parts different, which could make it more difficult for the original machines to get replacement parts?

If you have a concern, shoot them an email. Jaap will probably answer it in the next video update. Here the questions I submitted:

- Will you have a testing period for the 0 series?

-There were a few mechanical issues that some people reported in the released games, will you be fixing these or doing anything differently in the new build?

- I understand the new money is definitely in the 200 machines that CT/Nitro have sold and are holding deposits on. I can understand being creative on when machines ship to help cash flow. Do you anticipate shipping to both EAs and 'New Achievers' as you build machines? Or will you be sending New Achievers out first?

#5921 2 years ago

you might want to specify which mechanical issues specifically that people reported. you don't want a blanket statement that all issues are fixed unless you know which ones are issues.

I'd like to know about software support and going further. They don't have a programmer anymore and its not a system that anyone can jump in and update.

Quoted from RTR:

If you have a concern, shoot them an email. Jaap will probably answer it in the next video update. Here the questions I submitted:
- Will you have a testing period for the 0 series?
-There were a few mechanical issues that some people reported in the released games, will you be fixing these or doing anything differently in the new build?
- I understand the new money is definitely in the 200 machines that CT/Nitro have sold and are holding deposits on. I can understand being creative on when machines ship to help cash flow. Do you anticipate shipping to both EAs and 'New Achievers' as you build machines? Or will you be sending New Achievers out first?

#5922 2 years ago

Hi there,
I know about production issues.
But Did DP polish the code during this time?
Currently, do you think the code and gameplay are great? Do you consider this game has an unique layout?
Just looking to know if this could be fine for me when issues would be solved.
Thanks

#5923 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

I know about production issues.
But Did DP polish the code during this time?

Hard to polish the code when you don't have a programmer, as I understand it he left DP some time ago.

Probably worth asking DP to address with specificity their plans for future code updates in the next weekly update (i.e. do they plan to hire a new programmer or hire the original programmer back, if so do they plan to make significant changes/additions to the code or just polish/address bugs, will the new build require any changes to the code, etc.)

#5924 2 years ago

Sorry I didn't know it.
I hope all will go in the right way for everybody
Thanks

#5925 2 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

you might want to specify which mechanical issues specifically that people reported. you don't want a blanket statement that all issues are fixed unless you know which ones are issues.
I'd like to know about software support and going further. They don't have a programmer anymore and its not a system that anyone can jump in and update.

Someone else will need to ask about the mech issues. I was only passively interested since I didn't have my game at the time they were being discussed.

I would bet they have the software dev figured out since they plan on making 600 more TBLs, but that would be a great question to ask.

#5926 2 years ago

It's good news that the company is one that at least Jaap already has a relationship with and should know the main actors involved.

There should be fewer unknowns and less chance of skullduggery. Also more leeway in the event of difficulties.

Quoted from Rensh:

I think this is indeed what Jaap means wth creative financing. If this means the machines get built I have no problem with other people getting them sooner as me as I understand why and it should not be done in a secret way. I think however also this plan is not into place yet but under study otherwise Jaap would have been more clear I think.

It sounds like he's suggesting that NeoPost will be prepared to overlook initial cashflow issues (shipping the fully paid games), knowing that more money will be coming in later (guaranteed) via the increased order book from CT & Nitro. I suspect they may ship a mix of new and paid orders initially.

#5927 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Or maybe the 200 CT/Nitro games would ship first (to bring in new revenue), and then the fully-paid games would ship (since they won't bring additional cash flow)? I did not watch the video but the quotes you provide seemingly could go either way. That would be a bummer for existing orders, of course, but similar to what happened with WOZ as I understand it, and perhaps the only way they could get the games made at this point.

and so possibly scam more people?

I do not try to lend them bad intentions but it seems to me that Those who have fully paid their machine and waiting their game for months must be shipped first. and then take eventually more orders if some people get faith.

Customers are not banks. This is another example of a business badly thought and badly tied.

when an european manufacturer starts their business by thinking to US market and skipping EU market that tells a lot about their reflection of the business.
certains n'ont pas la lumière à tous les étages...

#5928 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Those who have fully paid their machine and waiting their game for months

We wish it were only months but sadly it's been years.

#5929 2 years ago
Quoted from JimB:

We wish it were only months but sadly it's been years.

...too much time effectively.

#5930 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

and so possibly scam more people?
I do not try to lend them bad intentions but it seems to me that Those who have fully paid their machine and waiting their game for months must be shipped first. and then take eventually more orders if some people get faith.
Customers are not banks. This is another example of a business badly thought and badly tied.

I'm a custom home builder and over the past 10 years I've been building mostly 4plex' buildings.

When a customer wants to buy one of my homes they put 10% down and that money goes "In Trust" with a lawyer. They pay nothing else until the day I'm 100% finished building their new home and they take possession. Until then the deposit has to be in trust with a lawyer....... that's the law around here. It's there to protect the customer not me. If I go under the customer is protected.

On these projects I'm usually into them for $2 to 2.5 million before I see one cent. I have to either get bank funding, use my own funds or usually a combination of both to make these projects happen. If I only sell 3 of the 4 units I don't get paid until I sell that 4th unit. All the money from the first 3 units and part of the 4th unit goes to the banks, suppliers and trades that work on these buildings.

From the time I buy the land to the time I sell the last unit can sometimes take freakin years before I even get paid.

How come pinball manufacturers don't have to follow this model of payment vs delivery of a product? Because there is no industry regulation, no laws and therefore no one to watch over the industry. My industry watches me like a hawk!!

Ultimately, pinball is the wide west and every pinball manufacturer (except, perhaps Spooky) has done some crazy ass shit with their "customers". I don't think this will ever change. It's just the nature of the pinball beast.

QSS

#5931 2 years ago

I've still got $1,000 down on TBL with Tommy at Nitro so my exposure is minimized. I hope I can still get this game.

QSS

#5932 2 years ago
Quoted from JimB:

We wish it were only months but sadly it's been years.

Damn straight. 3+ years and counting.

#5933 2 years ago
Quoted from QuickSilverShelb:

Ultimately, pinball is the wide west

I agree! Er, and it's Wild West...

27
#5934 2 years ago

Again, build on the backs of the paid customer. WTF. Why is everyone in this hobby so fing non business like? Wild west? DP, do like everyone else does in business that wants to make a living. Take your pre orders to a bank and get loans that you are responsible for! Go to your new manufacturing buddies and cut them into the company if they lend you enough to get the people who have paid years ago their machines. In other words do the fing business financing and figuring out for yourself. Be responsible for your success and or failure. Fellow hobbyists .... stop telling these supposed "business" men, and I use the term very lightly here, that it's OK to make a living on the back of customers. They have fu*ked up and so did we by giving them our money. So stop telling them it's OK to try again on the backs who have paid holy crap

#5935 2 years ago
Quoted from QuickSilverShelb:

I'm a custom home builder and over the past 10 years I've been building mostly 4plex' buildings.
When a customer wants to buy one of my homes they put 10% down and that money goes "In Trust" with a lawyer. They pay nothing else until the day I'm 100% finished building their new home and they take possession. Until then the deposit has to be in trust with a lawyer....... that's the law around here. It's there to protect the customer not me. If I go under the customer is protected.
On these projects I'm usually into them for $2 to 2.5 million before I see one cent. I have to either get bank funding, use my own funds or usually a combination of both to make these projects happen. If I only sell 3 of the 4 units I don't get paid until I sell that 4th unit. All the money from the first 3 units and part of the 4th unit goes to the banks, suppliers and trades that work on these buildings.
From the time I buy the land to the time I sell the last unit can sometimes take freakin years before I even get paid.
How come pinball manufacturers don't have to follow this model of payment vs delivery of a product? Because there is no industry regulation, no laws and therefore no one to watch over the industry. My industry watches me like a hawk!!
Ultimately, pinball is the wide west and every pinball manufacturer (except, perhaps Spooky) has done some crazy ass shit with their "customers". I don't think this will ever change. It's just the nature of the pinball beast.
QSS

when you go and see the banker, do you go with a financial statement (with all charges, revenues, profit), sale promises?
that seems like property development except the banker looks at your experience in the industry and if you have no experience it will be very difficult to get some funds whatever the financial statement and sale promises OR the banker will take no risk and would accept to give you funding if only sales promises cover the cost price of the production and if you bring big personal funds. Why? because the banker is financially involved as He financially guarantees the project. If the promoter does not have this financial guarantee from the bank, he will not be able to pass any notarial act with his clients and so not able to sell. this is a protection for the customer.

now, i don't know how works the pinball industry, what were ARA and DP agreements, how DP funds the projet, if a bank was financially involved in the projet to guarantee the production in the event of a company failure, but the result is some customers have fully paid and have nothing.

#5936 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

It's good news that the company is one that at least Jaap already has a relationship with and should know the main actors involved.
There should be fewer unknowns and less chance of skullduggery. Also more leeway in the event of difficulties.

Makes one wonder tho, why they did not engage with them in the first place...

#5937 2 years ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

Makes one wonder tho, why they did not engage with them in the first place...

They could have been one of the firms that originally submitted a quote. They said there were a number.

I would guess ARA were chosen because 1) in house electronics design, prototyping and manufacture (also environmental, electrical and mechanical endurance testing facilities 2) previously good reputation 3) price 4) they produce very disparate stuff - so a pinball machine shouldn't have been THAT much of a push.

Not sure the new guys have 1) and they certainly don't have 4) as they produce specialist postal industry stuff as their name suggests.

We still don't know who did what, but I highly doubt they questioned the intent or honesty of their partners .... hence the total lack of backup plans and why it's taken so long to get here.

Finance and delivery order questions aside, it does look like they may have turned a corner though.

#5938 2 years ago
Quoted from QuickSilverShelb:

How come pinball manufacturers don't have to follow this model of payment vs delivery of a product?

Because their customers have no problem throwing money at them with just a wing and a prayer.

download (resized).jpg

#5939 2 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Again, build on the backs of the paid customer. WTF. Why is everyone in this hobby so fing non business like? Wild west? DP, do like everyone else does in business that wants to make a living. Take your pre orders to a bank and get loans that you are responsible for! Go to your new manufacturing buddies and cut them into the company if they lend you enough to get the people who have paid years ago their machines. In other words do the fing business financing and figuring out for yourself. Be responsible for your success and or failure. Fellow hobbyists .... stop telling these supposed "business" men, and I use the term very lightly here, that it's OK to make a living on the back of customers. They have fu*ked up and so did we by giving them our money. So stop telling them it's OK to try again on the backs who have paid holy crap

personnaly, I think here the mess is An error in the financial statement of the project or an agreement failure with subcontractors...

Does someone know what is problem here?

#5940 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

personnaly, I think here the mess is An error in the financial statement of the project or an agreement failure with subcontractors...
Does someone know what is problem here?

No, and without viewing contracts and documented communication at all stages from both sides, we won't. Which obviously won't happen unless it goes to court.

#5941 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

personnaly, I think here the mess is An error in the financial statement of the project or an agreement failure with subcontractors...
Does someone know what is problem here?

pinball is hard

#5942 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

personnaly, I think here the mess is An error in the financial statement of the project or an agreement failure with subcontractors...
Does someone know what is problem here?

So you have no frame of reference here, Donny. You're like a child who wanders into the middle of a movie and wants to know...

#5943 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

when you go and see the banker, do you go with a financial statement (with all charges, revenues, profit), sale promises?

That's pretty much how it works. Show them the purchase orders I have for future product, show how much skin I have in the game and if the banker feels it's not enough money on my part, I put more of my money towards the project to get it to fly. I get in deep and I have so much on the line I have no choice but to make it a success.

That's pretty much why pinball manufactures fail left and right, they have very little money on the line and therefore very little incentive to succeed.

Quoted from o-din:

Because their customers have no problem throwing money at them with just a wing and a prayer.

Here in lies a huge part of the problem. A banker would never fund a pinball machine based on a "theme" or a "promise". A banker would want cold hard cash from the potential builder to back up a project and it would be a hell of allot of cash.

Pinball customers regularly line up and throw money at unknown people with no balance sheet and gamble their money on nothing more than a theme and a dream. Crazy shit and when it stops people will stop loosing their money.

QSS

#5944 2 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I agree! Er, and it's Wild West...

Damn my tiny brain and alcohol intake

QSS

1 week later
#5945 2 years ago

Amazing how slow this gets when there is no negativity.

#5946 2 years ago

Thread traffic is direclty related to news from DP and subsequent discussion more than anything else.

And the negativity is is inversely related to the quality and substance of the updates, the last of which was pretty good as far as they go.

-7
#5947 2 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Again, build on the backs of the paid customer. WTF. Why is everyone in this hobby so fing non business like?

well you thought you would be so in business, unfortunately for you, your ''investment'' takes a little longer to pay back lol.
Get real, you only are in this for return of investments for profit, not for amusement or for pinball . Your bonus is to get in here to post and spend time and thrive on negativity.

#5948 2 years ago

Sounds like you have your head up your own or DP's as* so far you have lost consciousness from the stench. Grow up

#5949 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

Thread traffic is direclty related to news from DP and subsequent discussion more than anything else.

Silence can be golden.

#5950 2 years ago

, see, you have nothing else to do but sitting here and read / respond this pinside topic 24/7. have fun.

Im gonna play and enjoy my TBL again. You will probably never as I think you will try to sell it NIB as soon if you get it.

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