Finally! It has been a bumpy ride for me, but a far more stressful one for Nemo's creator, Antonio. "The Journey is the Reward". It has been a long journey for me, but even longer for him. He actually drove 11 hours to bring the game. Unequaled customer's service!
Looking back at my notes, pictures and file history:
- "Pre-order" made on May 14, 2012. No money sent – just clicked on a button, that was it!
- Prototype played in September 2012 in Madrid during the EPC. First time I met Antonio. Great guy! Game was still in its infancy, code was embryonic (single player, no multiball) but stunningly beautiful.
- First payment made in December 2012. (I know, I know, "don't preorder" Well, I did, I understood the risk and never regretted I did)
- Met Antonio again in Saint Etienne in October 2013.
- Regular updates from Antonio since then. A major cosmetic change was the new ramp design.
- Initial goal for delivery was December 2013, if I recall correctly!
Game is now here.
Yes it is beautiful.
No, it is not perfect.
Code is not finished (Antonio is working on it). I won't post videos anytime soon because I am travelling to the US in a couple of days and will wait for better code.
First impressions: game has very good potential. The shot map / layout is excellent. You can backflip both ramps. Outlines are greedy (they were wide open). The captive ball is – believe it or not – a very hard shot.
Antonio can now claim he has succesfully delivered one game (out of 14 ordered) by collecting probably less than $30k (40 times less than Jpop). Most games are not paid in full (Price was 4425 euros with coin door – around $5,000).
Could he make a living out of it?
Of course not!
Antonio did not allow himself a salary. He and his wife assembled the games pro-bono. They both kept their jobs and work hard.
I truly admire what they do.
PS: the cat loved it too...