(Topic ID: 203700)

deeproot Pinball thread

By pin2d

2 years ago

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10 key posts have been marked in this topic

Post #111 Firsthand information from the Magic Girl programmer. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #3026 RAZA promotional video Posted by vireland (7 months ago)

Post #5771 First RAZA gameplay video Posted by ZMeny (30 days ago)

Post #5874 RAZA video with more audible game sounds Posted by zaphX (29 days ago)

Post #5926 First RAZA video with successful ramp completion Posted by zaphX (29 days ago)

Post #5967 Another RAZA gameplay video Posted by flynnibus (29 days ago)

Post #6050 Closeup pictures of key playfield features Posted by Potatoloco (28 days ago)

Post #6133 Video of display animations Posted by LateCenturyMods (28 days ago)

Post #6329 Summary of Robert Mueller's interview Posted by jeffspinballpalace (25 days ago)

Post #6724 RAZA Gameplay video Posted by DS_Nadine (19 days ago)

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#327 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I'd generally agree. Though Tesla are an absolute fustercluck (I support electric cars though).

Based on?

5 months later
#1042 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Um, how?
Their electric cars? The CO2 footprint of the average Tesla is so high (due to the large capacity Lithium-Ion batteries) that you have to do huge mileages for years to emit less CO2 overall than an average family car over the same period.
For the average owner, it's multiples worse. As of now, pure ICEs, mild hybrids, or small city-type electric cars are vastly 'greener' and more sustainable. In terms of environmental impact and resources expended, Teslas are the most burdensome cars on the planet.

Citations please, or I call bullshit.

Those batteries have a massive lifecycle - they're expected to be used for decades after they're taken out of the car for other uses.

#1045 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I refer to the highly liberal-leaning Forbes magazine, which says the footprint of manufacturing the car (slightly more than the manufacture of a traditional petroleum engine) is dramatically and several-orders-of-magnitude outweighed by the CO2 savings of not using gas to power the car over its lifetime.

Oh, that rag. Their conclusions are debunked here, I assume you will trust Popular Mechanics as a fair source:

Back to the topic of deeproot, I for one hope they do great stuff and shake the industry up.

The only hard limit I can think of is the software. Throwing people at the software side of the problem will just make it take longer.

Does anyone know if they're using something like P-ROC or developing their own system from scratch? AP is using P-ROC, aren't they?

#1072 1 year ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Awesome link; that supports the Forbes article

Oh really? Which part? The part where it says, "That Tesla Battery Emissions Study Making the Rounds? It's Bunk." or the part where they say the study has "Just one problem: It's absolute nonsense"?

Back to the topic, I hope they are using P-ROC. Seems like a rather ambitious goal to develop their own software to run what they need. I give them a zero percent chance of being ready by next year unless they're using an already proven software system.

#1073 1 year ago
Quoted from o-din:

"The end result defines us: solid alternative investment funds that are designed to keep pace with or outperform traditional investments without taking on unnecessary, unpredictable risk."

Unpredictable risk sounds attractive... but in pinball?

#1090 1 year ago
Quoted from o-din:

"investments without taking on unnecessary, unpredictable risk."

What I meant to imply: pinball is the poster child of unnecessary, unpredictable risk.

#1145 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

IMO it wasn't *just* the fact that it was a broken, totally unworkable diorama ... it looked hideous.
Take a look at a picture of it.

American Houdini looks to have a much better layout. The color palette is awful on the JPOP version. But I quite like some of the art — the lions at the bottom and the snakes intertwining around the shoot again, for example. Very Mata Hari/Paragon/Lost World/Sorcerer.

#1206 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

This Toy has some masterful engineering inside with 1 Motor driving 2 Slings and 3 Pops (and other stuff). The Motor drives a shaft witch rotates constantly. When the Ball hits a Pop, the 'switch' hits the rotating shaft and fires it back up, same with every other mech.

It sounds like more things that can break TBH.

Maybe there are some opportunities for saving money. Optos instead of physical switches perhaps, but that’s not new, and I think there were good reasons these weren’t used instead of micro switches.

The most amazing thing I saw at NWPAS this year was a prototype pinball machine that used modern high resolution graphics to replicate the Pinball2000 machines. Perhaps, if the interactivity were good enough, and the graphics and video game aspect were good enough you could have gameplay so good that you wouldn’t need traditional ramps and such, and you could cut down on the physical costs. However, your production costs will skyrocket, and speaking as someone in the video game industry, that stuff ain’t cheap.

#1230 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

That we have handdrawn artwork back is thanks to Zidware, LCD thanks to JJP and so on...

Yeah, we’d still have those crappy red DMDs, incandescent lighting, and less interesting gameplay without all the competition. Innovation is good.

They certainly have a massive hill to climb, but I hope deeproot does well for the sake of pinball. It won’t look good if there’s another failure.

The history of pinball and video games is full of out of the box thinking - some of it flops, and some of it opens up new markets.

#1261 1 year ago

I for one am glad we don’t have those god-awful red DMDs anymore. They looked awful, and the only reason Stern used them was because they were dirt cheap. The LCDs are more expensive hardware-wise and vastly more expensive from content and production.

As an operator I can tell you that people are drawn to the big LCDs, and that alone means we’re never going back to non-LCD machines. I love my old Bally/Williams DMDs, and niche players can pull off a TNA now and then —maybe—, but the age of the DMD is done.

We’re in the infancy of LCD’s in pinball. Most of what is being done is confusing and just wrong. I keep hoping that one of the pinball manufacturers will hire some actual interaction designers who understand user interface and game design. Compared to video games, pinball LCDs are in the dark ages. They’ll improve.

Stern’s early LCD games were pretty bad, but I bet they took a lot of time to design. They had to build a framework from the ground up. That’s a crap-ton of work.

#1263 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

This isn't actually the case, the DMDs were pretty pricey, the LCDs are cheaper.

Yeah, now that I've run the numbers I see what you mean. A pin2dmd can be built all-in for ~$120 -- sourcing everything retail. They have to be at least half that price at volume, even less for single color LED. But when you go to a stock SBC to drive everything else, the hardware for driving the LCD comes along for free, so yeah they'd have to be cheaper.

#1298 1 year ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

Interesting take. If you've ever conducted usability tests on software it is incredibly enlightening. You watch seemingly bright, tech savvy people stumble and bumble their way through things that seemed so simple and intuitive. There are times when you just burst out laughing and want to shout out "RIGHT THERE ON THE LEFT NAV, YOU MORON"

I do regularly conduct usability tests. Mostly they are silent over the shoulder and take notes-type, but I’ve done some more sophisticated work too. Good UI is very, very hard and even more expensive.

Every time I look at the UI of a pinball LCD it makes me cringe. There are so many opportunities for improvement.

#1299 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Give it a couple of years and you'll get that kind of capability for half the cost again. Couple more. Halve it again.

No, you’re not thinking like a manufacturer. You’re thinking like a consumer.

A manufacturer has to decide on a hardware platform that will last them years and have guaranteed suppliers. They make massive investments in things like firmware, in-house tools to support their production pipelines, and in training and support.

Stern invested in Spike probably because they were stuck with ancient unsupported tools and were starting to lose their suppliers or costs were getting out of hand.

JJP didn’t have Stern’s infrastructure and could afford to design their internal pipeline around LCD production. And it shows. It’s like the difference between a Tesla and an EV from GM. The one from GM feels like an old car, the one from Tesla just feels better, because it was purpose built with no preconceived ideas.

Strictly by what they’re saying, Deeproot may be doing something like that. At the very least they will be able to standardize on newer hardware, where Stern and JJP cannot without a substantial investment. I’m very interested to see what they come up with.

Quoted from rubberducks:

As to the future of the media ... I don't think we'll be seeing 4K and 8K content on pinball machines. 1) Because the monitors aren't big enough, and 2) because assets would take more time and money to make.
However, as processing power gets cheaper, we're likely to see more and more of a push towards rendering fully interactive content on the fly. It'll take a while though.

That sounds a bit like “the total world market for computers is 100.” Of course we will see high res content on pinball machines. It’s just a matter of time.

If you’re just working from 4K assets with a 2d target, it doesn’t take more time or money in production to stay at that resolution. There’s a marginally increased cost for storage, and your system needs to be able to render it. It’s when you increase the resolution and render in real time in 3d that your production costs skyrocket.

You kind of casually throw out this idea that pinball companies are going to switch to including 3d video games. Being in the video game industry, I’d love to see it. But I don’t see it coming from any of the established players because the costs are at least 10x that of producing the kind of 2D crap they are doing now, and they know it.

I saw a mind-blowing prototype at NWPAS that was basically Pinball2000 with modern hardware. It was really cool. But none of the existing players are gonna take a risk like that.

#1300 1 year ago
Quoted from benheck:

Also why put an LCD on a game when everyone is carrying a smart phone in their pocket?
It's like LaGuardia's new Delta terminal that attaches an iPad to every table for the 0.0% of travelers who don't have a smartphone.
I thought it was weird that Dialed In connected to a smart phone but Pirates had an LCD built into the apron. Why not set your phone on the glass and the Compass appears on it?

Probably because it would be absurdly expensive to try and get a pinball machine to connect to a phone in any meaningful way. I sure wouldn’t want to try to debug software on all the flavors of Android + iOS. Nightmare.

Plus you’d have to convince people to download an app on their phone, which is just more friction to getting a quarter dropped.

#1303 1 year ago
Quoted from benheck:

Really the end goal should be to remove everything mechanical and simulate the game with a high-quality 3D 4K LCD glass.
Use head tracking to change perspective on the fly.

Please tell me you're joking.

#1331 1 year ago
Quoted from benheck:

Oh I'm dead serious.
Not that they would, but if a company like MS Valve or Oculus wants to build a head tracked virtual pinball they would make all our tiny industries efforts look like a kid playing with Lincoln logs.

Well, like you said, they woudln’t. If VR goes mainstream, and it’s looking quite doubtful at this point with less than 1% penetration, somebody will do it. And it might be better than existing virtual pinball (might), but it would still suck compared to real pinball.

#1333 1 year ago
Quoted from jimjim66:

Being able to easily change games by easily swapping playfield and art packages, and keeping the costs down would be awesome.

This is another idea that sounds good in theory but in reality really sucks.

First of all, have you ever swapped out a playfield? This will never be an easy thing to do, no matter how clever the idea. Playfields are massive.

The real reason this will never succeed is that for a few dollars more you have a second pinball machine that is ten thousand times easier to sell.

#1339 1 year ago
Quoted from benheck:

The technology of simulation can create better than real life experiences. It's just hard to imagine with pinball because the technology we use is a f'ing joke compared to the games industry.

Look, you're not going to find someone who loves video games more than me.

But 'better than real life'? That's just plain silly. It's not a question of resolution or approximating 3D. Pinball is visceral. It's a question of sensations. Until we have direct neural input, virtual pinball will suck.

No simulation is better than life. I assure you that no simulation of flying even remotely approaches the thrill of real flight. No car simulator will approach the thrill of driving my Tesla. And no virtual pinball will even remotely approach the visceral experience that is pinball.

#1340 1 year ago
Quoted from xizor:

P3 Playfield swaps are pretty damn fast & easy. If I'm careful, the whole process doesn't take more than three minutes, including putting the swapped playfield back into the storage box.
Just waiting on more games to swap in and out...

That's a very interesting platform. I've played it and see lots of potential there. I hope it does well. However...

Quoted from Brijam:

The real reason this will never succeed is that for a few dollars more you have a second pinball machine that is ten thousand times easier to sell.

As an operator I would rather have two machines that can earn money. That's also two machines that I can sell to anyone who is interested in pinball. Not just someone who /also/ has the same kind of platform, who doesn't have the playfield I have, and who wants the playfield I have. When I was just a collector I felt the same way.

#1348 1 year ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Serious question. What is "visceral" about pinball that you don't think can be emulated with future technology?

Honestly, an actual ball rolling around on a playfield. That will /never/ be emulated on a flat screen. You need parallax, depth perception.

We can hope for magical non-existent tech like holograms with extremely high resolution, high framerates, and very wide fields of view, but I've seen the latest iterations of holographic tech from the Hololens to holographic TV startups, and honestly the tech stinks.

VR goggles won't work because nobody will wear them in a bar/arcade nor will any operator take the risks of damage/theft. And VR today is still pretty lousy. The problem is that there will /always/ be latency between moving your head and drawing to the screen - that's reality. That latency makes a /lot/ of people sick.

And it can't be purely goggle-based because you still have to figure out how to deliver the haptics - the feeling of hitting the flipper buttons, the pulsing feeling of the solenoids through a 400 pound cabinet. And oh yeah, nudging. So you have to have a cabinet.

Let me ask /you/ a serious question: why do we need to replace actual pinballs rolling on a table?

#1351 1 year ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

3d 16k displays that are the exact same dimensions of a current machine (with all the little physical/audible physical idiosyncrasies we all love), the ability to play games with limitless possibilities (like an actual TRex running across the playfield), never a need to make a repair, hundreds of games on one machine, the ability to play in real time against anyone in the world, Pinburgh 118 with 16,000 players. I'm not talking about next year but 10, 20, 30 years from now?

It's awesome to dream, and I invite you to continue dreaming. We need more dreamers. If you're making an actual product, though, it'd better be anchored to something that is actually possible /now/.

Screen resolution isn't the issue. We need two inputs to see in 3D - left eye, right eye. That's why you'll probably always need goggles or glasses. You'll /still/ need a cabinet.

Maybe someday we will have cheap, lightweight glasses that can paint pixels right on our retinas with no latency and at the same resolution we see the world in. That's a hell of a big maybe, my friend.

Or maybe someday we'll have direct neural input, then we wouldn't need a cabinet. That's an even bigger maybe. A colossal maybe.

Quoted from Rondogg:

A hundred+ years ago there were men who refused to ever buy a car saying a horse was the real way to travel, now there are men who say that driverless cars are foolish. You honestly think that people born in a hundred years will be in anything but self driving vehicles?

Indeed, I've been an early adopter all my life and continue to be one. I've been ridiculed (hell, even here) for being an early adopter by 'those people.'

Quoted from Rondogg:

To answer your question, no, we don't need or want to replace actual pinballs rolling on a table. I'm just saying that you should have an open mind, at some point (maybe in years or decades) there might be a reason to enjoy both.

Your comparison isn't apples-to-apples. There is a real need for autonomous vehicles and technology that looks promising; a product that nearly everyone would use. Virtual pinball is a niche of a niche of a niche. It's an expensive solution without a problem.

#1355 1 year ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Yes, you will still have a cabinet and all the physical feelings/sounds from a cabinet.

I still don’t know how you’re going to duplicate the vibration of big solenoids moving around, or the vibrations of the other mechanical elements, because otherwise that big cabinet is going to feel dead.

But let’s say you do.

You have a very heavy cabinet that responds to nudging, and magically simulates mechanical vibrations without moving parts. Say there’s a monitor and a GPU that renders effectively identical to reality. Let’s say that in a magical future we figure out how to do notoriously finicky head tracking without a headset/goggles, maybe just with a few good cameras, a lot of processing power and great software.

But... it’s literally impossible to make head tracking work for multiple people at once, so any observer will have an awkward 2d experience that will be strange and disorienting. If these machines are side by side the movement will be extraordinarily distracting, because the whole playfield will appear to move with the head movements of the player. So you can forget about this working in a bar/arcade.

Now I don’t doubt that dedicated hobby programmers will spend cumulative lifetimes making these systems get closer and closer to reality. So sure, someday I suppose, you’ll be able to assemble something that looks a lot like pinball, but just like flight sims and racing sims, reality will be missing. It will be obviously missing, and that will be why people won’t spend money on them in the volumes required to sustain a real business.

#1359 1 year ago
Quoted from benheck:

Really the end goal should be to remove everything mechanical and simulate the game with a high-quality 3D 4K LCD glass.

Quoted from benheck:

The technology of simulation can create better than real life experiences.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

Nobody will ever claim digital pinball will replace the real thing

1 week later
#1394 1 year ago
Quoted from DennisNordman:

Neither is mine! But no more tits, after Whoa Nellie I'm scared of tits.

More tits please.

1 week later
#1439 1 year ago

I'm excited to see what they come up with but am reserving judgment until they deliver a product. This is a high risk niche entertainment product.

But in March 2019 we should see more than one completed title from them, right? That's only seven months away!

#1449 1 year ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Oh and there is also the possibility that he hasn't just hired a bunch of great people in pinball, but has talked them each into buying one of those $25,000 investments in the company. I'd be interested to know if they are just employees or also investors.


It's highly unlikely that any of their employees are also accredited investors (meaning they have a net worth of a million bucks or more). This is a federal requirement:

#1452 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

None of them will be investors.
Though it's very possible they might have share entitlements.

That must be some European terminology. Do you mean stock options, a profit sharing plan, or something different?

Unless deeproot is planning on going public or seeking acquisition, stock options would be unlikely. And I highly doubt the IPO prospects for a pinball company, no matter how revolutionary. I also don't think there are any likely buyers.

I guess they could have a profit sharing plan, but that would seem premature and risky given they probably still don't know their actual costs. Regardless, their investors will want to be first in line on profits.

#1455 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

And it’s basically just you disclosing you meet the criteria so the advisor who is selling these things is off the hook liability wise Red D wise

Um, I hope you're not suggesting a faked up a piece of paper with bogus assets or income from a dodgy investor absolves the company of liability. Because that's not the way Reg D works.

3 weeks later
#1472 1 year ago

"Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no."


#1559 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Blade Runner is a slow movie with slow music and nearly no action,... not the ideal theme for a fast flowing game of pinball.

It could be a kick ass machine. One mode to kill each replicant, wizard mode is escape with Rachel. Plus modes for interviewing Leon, Roy meeting his Maker, Priss meets Sebastian, LA Eyeworks....

I would Daft Punk up the soundtrack, though.

#1592 1 year ago
Quoted from Pinballpal:

Top Gun
[quoted image]

I guess you never played F-14 Tomcat.

3 months later
#2278 11 months ago
Quoted from PinBackpacker:

Here we have a new pinball company that has not asked any customers for deposits, is trying to compensate individuals impacted by the Zidware fiasco (which they have no obligation to do), and has offered to give away 5 machines after they launch, yet all Pinside does is bitch. What a bunch of babies we've become.

You know, none of this is being a baby, or bitching. Most of us are customers evaluating what product to buy. Many of us have direct experience in the pinball or related entertainment industries. It would be /really/ unwise to write these criticisms off.

In the wake of Zidware, Heighway, Skit-B and possibly Dutch Pinball it would be foolish indeed for any new pinball company to take deposits. For me, this is not something I would congratulate a company for doing; it is merely common sense.

To imply that DR offered compensation to Zidware customers purely out of the goodness of their own hearts, well, we will have to agree to disagree there. Jpop is an employee of theirs, and they are /very likely/ using at least one of his Zidware titles, which opens up the very real possibility of a legal challenge. A settlement with Zidware customers seems like a wise investment if you wanted to use a Zidware title or their IP and hire the company's founder. This is the kind of legal strategy I would expect from a CEO who is a lawyer.

And it doesn't feel like bitching to point this giveaway out as an example of the kind of overspending or lack of experience in marketing that contributed to Heighway and DP's financial problems. As mentioned by TWIP, /nobody else/ in the industry gives away pinball machines to TWIP. I enjoy reading TWIP and appreciate the effort that goes into it, but it seems unlikely that the actual profit generated through a giveaway of this magnitude would ever come even remotely close to paying off.

I do really want DP to succeed, and I want to see more innovation and experimentation in the pinball industry. As a (very small time) pinball operator and lover of pinball there are some things that really excite me about DR. They have unquestionably gathered a team of seasoned pinball professionals. They have more money than any of the other new pinball companies that I'm aware of. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they have interesting innovations; it is wise to keep that a secret until they are ready to take money.

I'm very, very excited about the possibility that DR can deliver and deliver big. LCD monitors and LED lightshows were a great innovation but it's time for more.

But as a professional in a related industry, there are things about DP that give me great pause: hubris/hype/retconning and the obviously unrealistic deadlines that have now publicly bit them hard in the ass, okay chalk that up to inexperience. Their CEO has no experience in pinball or entertainment (or marketing?) is having to come up to speed on a /lot/ of things in a very short period of time.

My biggest concern is that they are taking on too much risk for their first product(s). New playfield materials, new technical innovations to gameplay, new team, new manufacturing, multiple simultaneous product launches. I don't know about their underlying tech stack, but if they're not using something established like P-ROC that's a even bigger concern. Any one of these things could add years to development.

Even Tesla didn't take on this much risk for their first, second or even third major product.

Next to that is a massive fixed payroll (instead of contracting a lot of it out) and what seems to be a wildly optimistic estimation of the total global market size for pinball.

Is it possible? Yes. American Pinball has shown that a very good pinball machine can be made in a short period of time. JJP has shown that machines substantially better than Sterns can be made, and that people will pay more for them. I find both of these new companies refreshingly short of hype and all about delivery, and I wish I'd see more of that from DR.

2 weeks later
#2291 10 months ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

Really surprised that we haven't seen any kind of web presence .... facebook, website with any information, etc.

They have two company websites. Granted, they're a bit thin, but they do have a presence.

2 weeks later
#2400 10 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I totally agree with this. I mean as you are modeling this thing out month to month, with that burn rate, how many pins would they have to sell and deliver to get to breakeven? There is already a shitload of sunk costs with zero revenue.

If their burn rate is $9mm per year (as was posted a few months ago) and their net profit is $2,500 per pin, their breakeven is about 10 pins a day every day of the year, or about 14 pins a day running their factory 5 days a week with a two week holiday.

Of course that $2,500 net is pure speculation on my part.

Anyway, that's for breakeven at the current run rate.

Keep in mind that they may not have to pay their investors back for years if their play is to go public or be acquired.

Quoted from iceman44:

Can they even produce enough to meet that number in the time period they need to? Either way its going to be a long haul and hopefully a successful one.

I don't know. What kind of volume does Stern do per day? JJP? American? Does anyone know that can say?

#2401 10 months ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

Them showing you, pinball media, things that they legitimately don't want to get out without an NDA. Then you not reporting anything. The mind reels.

This is really common in the video game industry (among many others).

Why? You show the press your game early so they can be prepared before you launch. You wouldn't want to launch a game and have a three week delay while the press plays your game and then reviews it, would you? No, you want the press to gush about your game just a little before your game launches.

And nobody breaks embargo because they would be blacklisted. NDA not required, just common (business) sense.

#2416 10 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

$2500 profit? What kind of fantasy land are we living in here?

Yeah, I was being pretty darn generous. You have to start somewhere. But they have made some claims about getting their costs down, haven't they?

A while back I started on a spreadsheet trying to list every single thing that went into a pinball machine and cross-link retail prices for each item. I didn't get very far, but here it is if anyone wants to help:

#2417 10 months ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

Yeah that makes sense but they havent actually reported anything.

Exactly! They won't until Deeproot gives the okay.

#2428 10 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

We know Stern delivered about 10k pins in 2017.
They did that with 300+ employees and a manufacturing machine!

That's right, I forgot about how many employees Stern has. How many employees does JJP have?

I wonder how DR is planning on scaling manufacturing? They haven't taken pre-orders so how would you go about gauging how many units you'll need to build? Seems like a major challenge given that they are committed to building in-house.

2 months later
#3156 7 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

It's just a slightly better than flash-looking animation. No pinball, no concept art, nothing.
Comments are disabled on that video (wonder why??), so don't bother with the link if you're going for the comments

I agree that this video is merely a notch up from a flash video. I wouldn't put it on the level of JJP, but I'd put it over Stern which isn't saying much. It starts with a couple of seconds of mediocre 3D. The rest is 2D hand drawn art and so-so visual effects. Great VO and sound effects and music, but for me it lacks a consistent art style and direction. For example, the low detail cartoon spaceships don't fit with the gritty, flat, comic-book style art of the main characters.

#3159 7 months ago

There are a lot of things DR seems to be doing that look insane to me, but since I'm an outsider I'm going to trust that there are things they know that I don't.

All DR has done so far is make some outrageous claims and blow past deadlines, and let's face it, both of those are pretty common in the entertainment industry. Whether they release product in 2019 or 2025 doesn't matter to the pinball buying public. What matters is if the product is good or not.

The most encouraging sign to me is that they've mostly shut the hell up.

I wish them well.

#3161 7 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

That is the second time I read this and last time from a Person that thought American Pinball has cohesive art packages.

I don't recall saying that AP had cohesive art packages. I think their LCD visual art and animation is their weakest hand. Pretty sure I've said so.

I'm in the video game industry, what do you do?

Quoted from DS_Nadine:

That characters aren't 'flat' the colorization and shadows show depth, it's the animation that is flat. When they move their arms, that's the only time the Animation is a bit sub-par put I'd prefer a nicely drawn character over a lackluster 3D built.

The characters are two dimensional, my friend. They are flat and have no depth. That's not an arguable point. That's why it is painful to watch the zombie arms and faces zoom at the screen with zero depth. It's why all of the facial and arm movements look mechanical. It makes it particularly painful because they open with 3D and then switch to 2D for the remainder.

But I'm shocked, simply shocked that you prefer nicely done art to shit art. That's astonishing!

Quoted from DS_Nadine:

You couldn't do this animations in 2D with the spaceships (wich are easyer to make in 3D then a human body anyway) so they're 3D animated.
I'd call that 'optimization'.

Of course they could do the incredibly simplistic 3D animations they did with 2D art. Have you never watched any anime?

Mixing 2D and 3D is a no-no. They saved money but it looks awful, and it should /never/ have been signed off on. Choose one.

#3163 7 months ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

No. Let me retort.
Robert called me on my cell to let me know I was going to receive two DR machines for the money I had sent to JPop for the RAZA that was never to be.
He didn’t have to make that offer. He sure as hell didn't have to take the time to call me and ask if I had any questions about the offer. I’m pretty damn glad he did. I’m wishing them well and feeling ok with what I’ve heard so far. It’s got more promise than JPops “art play time” that I endured.
Has ANYONE on Pinside sunk cash into Deeproot? No? So what’s the continued bitchin’ about?

Dude, chill out. I'm not bitching. I really do want them to succeed. But I do think one reason we come here is to look out for one another, point out red flags that we see.

What I was saying is that to me, yes they've made a few mistakes -- overpromising mostly -- but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Re: Robert 'not having to call you on your cell,' I'm sure a lot of people would say that Robert didn't have to hire JPop, either. But he did. So DR doing what they did for former Zidware customers made business sense to avoid future liability, since they appear to be using JPop's IP from Zidware. Because of that, I'm not confident it was done purely out of a 'this is the right thing to do for humanity' kind of spirit. Since the founder is a lawyer, it seems more likely that he did what he believed he needed to do to protect the business and secure the IP from Zidware. As long as Zidware's former customers are okay with that, all fine and good.

Personally I really like several of the 90's era games JPop worked on and own a few. My opinion of those games won't change, just as my opinion of Trudeau games won't change. Yes, JPop has made some huge mistakes. But if he made a sincere and public apology that showed he really felt bad for failing, and was going to do everything he could to make things right, I'd feel a lot better about him continuing in the pinball industry.

#3165 7 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

I din't say it was you referring to AP.
You don't get what I mean with 3D.
I know and said the characters are 2D, but they're not flat shaded, so they have depth.
I know Anime. And they mix a lot of 2D and 3D.
Mostly Cars (Initial D), Mechs (Macross Zero, Frontier) or *drummroll* Spaceships, all kinds of inanimate objects while the rest is traditionally animated.
When you watch TV, EVERYTHING is 2D, so when well made, you wouldn't even notice any difference.
There's enough movies (and anime series) that try to keep their traditional look while beeing completely 3D rendered.

You don't know what the hell you're talking about.

Again, what do you do for a living?

#3167 7 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

I'm a professional Artist.

3D? Animation? Graphic design? ???

#3171 7 months ago
Quoted from Brijam:

3D? Animation? Graphic design? ???

NVM I looked you up. I wish you well with your comic books. Nur auf Deutsch, oder?

My point wasn't that you can make 2D art as good as 3D such that a non-artist couldn't tell the difference.

Specifically in the game industry, it looks like ass to mix 3D and 2D assets they way that DR did. People do it, it just looks like ass.

It's cheaper to do 3D spaceships the way they did, and it's cheaper to do the 2D art and animations they way they did, and it looks it.

Comic books, I have no idea.

#3173 7 months ago
Quoted from wrb1977:

brijam...I’m not an artist of any kind, although I can make a mean sandwich, and I disagree with you...see post #3164. Who care’s what anyone does for a living...just because you work in the video game industry does not necessarily make your arguments more or less valid than anyone else’s opinion.

This statement is everything that's wrong with America right now. Of fucking course it makes a person's /arguments/ more valid if they're coming from someone in the industry. I don't know much about climate science but I trust climate scientists more than I do people who talk shit for a living. It's why I asked if DS_Nadine was an artist.

What it doesn't do is make my /opinion/ more or less important. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion. You liked the video, great. So did I.

I like all kinds of things that aren't of the highest quality. But that doesn't make them the highest quality.

The video has some good production values, but there were corners cut, and some of them are glaring - to me at least. I was hoping for more.

#3176 7 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

What they did is mixing up 3D and 2D Flash Animation. The Problem is not the look of the 2D characters that were used (if you would take a Picture of the gril next to a spaceship it would look just fine) it's when both stand next to each other animated that the gap widens. - I'm with you there.

Well I'm glad we agree about something.

I disagree that putting the spaceship next to the girl would look good even as a static picture. The palettes look to match, sure. But the lighting and level of detail are way off, that's just to start. That 3D ship will look like a cut and paste job next to the hand drawn art of the girl. Try it.

Back on topic I'm just disappointed. I heard Disney artists and I was hoping for more from them; either old school cel animation or full 3D. I've done work for Disney and I have a lot of respect for their product. On the other hand, Flash animation really sucks, and it sucks worse when you bolt 3D to it.

#3180 7 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Nontheless is someone correct if someone is correct or wrong if he is wrong, no matter what his background is.
My argument should not become more valid in hindsight because of my background.
Basically we were only talking at (tiny) cross-purposes, but "You don't know what the hell you're talking about. Again, what do you do for a living? [I'm a Pro!]" is not at all helping realizing such things.

Come on. It's vastly more likely that someone with industry experience knows what they're talking about than someone who doesn't have industry experience. In any industry.

Sure, exceptions abound. YMMV. And yes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Honestly, would you take someone's advice about clearcoating a playfield if they hadn't done it before? Even if they might be right?

#3181 7 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

I think they were only referring to Disney Infinity, the Video Game.

Oh, I missed that.

1 month later
#3719 6 months ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

I'll be chomping at the bit to see all the flustrated people casting there downvotes.

Their/there is a common mistake. Use 'their' when you mean something owned. Use 'there' to indicate direction.

As in: 'DR was supposed to have their booth right over there, but they canceled because they have nothing to show.'

Also 'flustrated' should be 'frustrated.' As in, 'I bet this grammar post will really make people with no sense of humor really frustrated.'

#3739 6 months ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

That's two, what was the third one?

Do tell!

#3838 5 months ago

It's really hard to do something new visually with characters. I've seen much, much worse concept art. I agree the old Magic Girl art was more modern/sexy/visually appealing. This looks designed to capture the 50+ audience nostalgic for pinups and ray guns. If so, it's a success.

It'll be interesting to see this character in final form on the playfield/screen/magical device they're creating.

#3858 5 months ago
Quoted from johnnyutah:

I’m digging the art work they keep posting-[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

I was confused, then I went to their website. Their development and portfolios section says they do:
Video Games
Card / Board Games
TV Development

Makes total sense now.

#3868 5 months ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

Personally, I don't think the world needs more screen-based games, but they are easier to make...

I see what you did there.

3 weeks later
#4194 4 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

Here's a deeproot topic:
Some pin friends and I were discussing that the only plausible explanation for the number of games under development there is some sort of modular swap system. Otherwise the cash being spent is being wasted. Discuss.

If they believe they are launching some kind of entirely new 'must have' home entertainment product like the Atari 2600, their approach makes more sense.

But if this is some kind of new home entertainment system and not a high-end niche product, I wonder at the cost. It can't be priced so low as to compete with a video game console. And sure people routinely drop $3k on a gaming PC, and more to add VR gear, but that is an enormously flexible device with a vast industry supporting it.

If they are 'only' a pinball company their approach feels dangerously watered down in a Star Citizen kind of way.

The video game development field is piled high with the carcasses of game studios infused with a lot of cash that bring on talented artists and crash and burn a couple years later. I have worked with people who have experienced this first hand, and done work for with companies that have taken this approach and augured in leaving nothing behind but some articles and a smoking crater.

tl;dr: having talented people is merely one of many requirements; it is by no means a guarantee of success in the entertainment industry.

Speaking broadly about interchangable playfields, as an operator, I don't want to store playfields that sit around and don't earn, no matter how easy they are to swap, and I don't want to pay a premium for the extra hardware/engineering required to have swap-out capability that I will never use. When it comes time to sell a machine, with a swap-out system I can only sell to those with the proprietary swap system, vastly reducing the available market.

#4209 4 months ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

Now if DR has a "brain" that runs every single game with a simple change of a USB stick/sd card/ssd ... and swap the playfield out by removing a couple plugs .... THAT would also be huge for operators. No more lugging games around from location to location. Install a kit and done. DR could potentially cripple the SHIT out of Stern or JJP if they used this and of course the games were actually good.

I think you're forgetting things like cabinet art, backglass and toppers.

Are you an operator? Maybe your locations are different than mine, but the idea of a playfield swap on site, no matter how easy it is... just no. Hard no.

Quoted from CLEllison:

Who in their right mind wouldn't spend ~$3000 for a kit that gave you a whole new game?

What operator in their right mind wouldn't spend $2k more to just buy an entire second pinball machine that earns right alongside the first one?

#4217 4 months ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

That's the beauty, they could service both types. Those who want full machines or those who would buy kits. As far as artwork goes ,they could easily make replaceable/swappable encased artwork.

Really? Without adding significant cost to the cabinet? I'm less worried about the backbox but the sides of a pin take a lot of punishment on route. You have kids hanging off the sides, beer spills, what I like to call 'casual vandalism' - ("gee, I wonder if I can pry this off just to see if I can...").

I guess I'd have to see some actual working examples. It sounds pretty unbelievable to be honest, or expensive, or a pain in the ass to keep clean.

Quoted from CLEllison:

...if it meant a quick artwork change and simply unplugging, removing pf, inserting new one, plugging back in...

Those are some Very Big ifs. A fully assembled playfield with ramps and plastics and wired beneath is heavy and unwieldy. Your "removing pf, inserting pf" a bit of a scary operation without some kind of pulley system.

Quoted from CLEllison:

1.) No lugging a machine back to the shop and or moving locations on a regular basis.

I personally can move a pin in and out of a van and on site in a few minutes. It's really not a big deal. I can't see how installing a playfield without some kind of portable pulley or weird gadget would work without getting another person to help.

And transporting a fully populated playfield, I guess you could store it upright on its side, but it gives me the willies just thinking about it.

As far as I can see, this new system at least doubles my labor cost for transport and replacement, adds cost to the cabinet for some whiz-bang playfield hardware, adds cost for a magical removable artwork system, plus some kind of weird transporter/installer thingy for getting the pf in and out of the van and into the cabinet.

Quoted from CLEllison:

2.) Frees up money when they can't afford to buy a whole new machine and when the title stops earning. When I hear quotes like earning ~ $180 a month .... good lord.

I don't think you're looking at the math the way an operator looks at the math.

A pinball machine is generally an asset that holds a good part of its value, and if you're quite lucky, can even rise in value.

Every operator is different but when a new pin stops meeting our earnings requirements, we sell it or find another home for the pin at a site where the earnings don't justify a brand new machine.

Look at it this way, would you rather have a paid off pin earning $180 a month or pay storage costs on a playfield gathering dust?

Quoted from CLEllison:

3.) One would think the "hit" for depreciation on a "kit" would be much less than on a whole machine.

I'm not an economist, but isn't depreciation greatly affected by the potential market size of buyers (e.g. demand?). In other words, all other things being equal, a smaller marketplace of buyers would generally equate to a higher depreciation, wouldn't it?

Maybe I'm wrong there. The examples I can think of would be for video game peripherals vs. actual video game consoles, in my experience the consoles hold far more value than the peripherals.

Quoted from CLEllison:

4.) The home market would benefit due to limited funds and/or limited space.

Maybe. One can just as easily claim that due to limited space people don't have room to store a playfield. Either way it's just speculation.

Quoted from CLEllison:

Still waiting on DP to actually participate in this thread.

Given their track record I'd rather they waited until they had a product.

1 week later
#4326 4 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

If they really exist, in the described scale, their animation studios and all the story boarding and code people certainly aren't primarily for pinball - how ever large they may dream of being.

Their studio website only lists one developer, though they may have others in Texas.

Indie 2D video game timelines can sometimes be as short as 3-6 months -- when there are only one or two people involved. More people only increases dev time, it doesn't reduce it.

rubberducks I agree that making video games only complicates shipping pinball machines for them and adds a great deal of technical and financial risk to the entire venture. I'd like to see them succeed, and I want to believe this guy is the Elon Musk of pinball/video games, but there is no evidence of anything but a lot of smart people spending a lot of money.

They should never have opened their mouths until they had something to show. But now that they've made such astonishingly bold claims on so many fronts, they have to fulfill them or forever be the butt of many jokes, and every day they fail to show progress only creates more dogpiles.

Quoted from rubberducks:

If games or digital pinball sell decently well for them, and there's a viable business, I can see them abandoning physical pinball either before or very after shortly their first title(s) launch.

I seriously doubt there is much money to be made in digital pinball. There never has been, not sure why there would be all of a sudden. Hell, there's not much money to be made as a pinball manufacturer! If there was, we'd see a big entertainment company like Electronic Arts making pinball. This is why Bally/Williams shut down their pinball mfg. They were selling plenty of pins, they just made way more cash selling slot machines.

#4333 4 months ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

I think there was a virtual pinball company that was trying to be coin-op with existing titles, I never heard anything more about them.
Then there was another company that was trying to turn digital pinball into a gambling device in vegas, I don't think anything went beyond a few test units in Ny, NY

I only watched part of the video but I didn't quite understand how they turned digital pinball into a gambling device, it seemed very confusing. Their pacman rip-off was funny though.

#4340 4 months ago

Sorry, no points are given for simply honoring a legally binding contract.

My opinion is that deeproot entered into a legal agreement with Zidware customers purely to reduce the threat of lawsuits.

deeproot chose to use Zidware's intellectual property. Given this decision, the need to shield deeproot from legal exposure from Zidware customers seems glaringly obvious to me.

I still look forward to playing what deeproot brings to market. But come on, honoring a legal contract doesn't prove good character. It's like saying paying your electric bill on time makes you a good person.

My hope for deeproot is that their CEO has all communication run through an editor, that they focus on one single kick-ass product, and they start rolling out at least monthly official updates to turn the tide of negativity and dog-piling that is trending.

#4349 4 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Really? So you’re saying if I license technology from a company that has not honored its debts to other customers, I assume legal liability for those debts?
I interpreted the settlements with Zidware customers as a PR move to cover deeproot hiring JPop and using some of his old designs without immediately alienating 3/4 of the customer base. But I’m not following your legal argument.

So you're saying there's zero chance that a lawsuit would be brought without some kind of settlement offer like this? In my opinion, they did the math and this was way cheaper than fighting a potential lawsuit. Period.

I want deeproot to succeed and bring interesting pinball to the table. But no points should be awarded for honoring a legal agreement created to cover one's own ass.

I look forward to seeing any kind of update that shows an actual product is being worked on.

#4394 4 months ago
Quoted from CLEllison:

I just watched a 10 minute video of magic girl.


#4412 4 months ago

Thanks for the video. I guess MG has been talked to death, but if deeproot is releasing MG, I hope they keep the playfield artwork, music, voice acting and chuck everything else.

Especially the skittles-vomit LED GI - washes out the playfield instead of illuminating it. For the love of god don't ship a game without white GI.

2 weeks later
#4651 3 months ago
Quoted from Extraballz:

With all the quality issues with pins lately the door is certainly open for Deeproot to make a splash. Make a super solid pin with great quality and use that fact against your competitors.


#4671 3 months ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

If each person was allowed one ten and one one, the system would be a little better. Not averaging pro/prem/LE killed any semblance of genuine ratings the list ever had. Such a bad choice.
Really enjoyed wolf's IMDNLE review:
"Game is overrated. Like it and fun to play, but not top 10 or maybe even 20. Huge easy ramp in the middle is why noobs like this game." 1/10.
L-O fucking L!

Because nobody ever creates fake accounts?

Online reviews shouldn't be taken seriously (any of them). Trolls, confirmation bias, new games getting the novelty bonus, astroturfing, and review bombing play a part. Also some people have very strong feelings about a game.

#4704 3 months ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Robert was basically destroying his brand by coming on here and having a dialog. There is literally no way to win an argument in an open forum, and he was posting on his own without anyone advising him. Pure catastrophic posts that I will indeed miss. But his company/chances are much improved now that he has woken up and realized he is in a no-win scenario in this thread.

It's not about winning arguments.

It's about winning over and engaging with prospective customers. Plenty of vendors on Pinside do an outstanding job representing their brand.

They all follow a pattern: respect competitors (or at least don't trash talk them), avoid making legal threats even as a joke, treat people with respect, ignore the trolls, demonstrate excitement and passion for pinball.

I do wish they'd release at least some information about their upcoming showing of multiple titles this November. That's just a few weeks away, surely they must have something they can share!

#4705 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Pinside is its own worst enemy at times... encouraging trolling and driving the same crap over and over again instead of actively funneling traffic to the buckets it belongs.

Yes, I find that very disappointing. There are many clever ways to control trolls and broken records that don't seem to be in use here. I've overseen their implementation on highly charged political forums and seen great success.

#4709 3 months ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

If all deeproot game themes are to be multiplatform medias like cell game, movie, cartoon, pinball etc... part are the pros & cons?

The only pro I can think of is that if they do it right, it's megabucks.

Some cons are having to focus on too many things at once (this is a classic entertainment failure path, from Chris Roberts to Michael Eisner), massive cost, the impossibility of synchronizing product launches across categories. I don't believe they have the budget to pull this off, or the experience for that matter.

My hope: dp studio's webpage is more aspirational and that they're purely focused on delivering one, just one, pinball machine.

1 week later
#4837 3 months ago

How many people think they will bring at least one completed game to the November show?

#4848 3 months ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

But they never promised that. They only promised a prototype,... wich allready was in quite a good state months ago.

Oh, I think I missed an announcement somewhere. I thought they promised a number of completed, ready to buy pinball machines.

A prototype seems quite reasonable. American Pinball had the Houdini prototype ready in a very short amount of time, wasn't it six months?

#4859 3 months ago

Wasn't this the same art as their short RAZA YouTube video from six months ago?

1 week later
#4928 84 days ago
Quoted from Brijam:

How many people think they will bring at least one completed game to the November show?

Quoted from DS_Nadine:

"November 15-16, 2019
At a minimum, several RAZA prototypes will be available to play at the Houston Arcade Expo."

Quoted from GunsNPinball:

so it looks like there won't be a full reveal from Deeproot in November. According to Kanedas podcast there will be a presence from deeproot at expo but there wont be any games ready

One of these things is not like the other.

I guess it would be too much to ask for Deeproot to issue a statement to clarify? I was thinking of coming out to the November show.

#4955 84 days ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

(Wich again, ist impossible to miss, since the prototype is allready ready. If they do postpone the reveal, then it'll be for different reasons.)

So in your opinion they'll bring pins unless they don't. Gotcha.

Given that the event is a mere seven weeks away, I was hoping for a few tweets from Deeproot to hype up the show, tease some videos/pics. If they're bringing pins. You know, basic marketing?

#4962 84 days ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

That is no "opinion".

I think you're confused about what an opinion is vs. what a fact is.

I'll help you: it's your opinion they'll show up at expo with working pinball machines. Unless you're a representative of Deeproot?

It's a fact they've made numerous statements about expos and having playable pinball machines, none of which have been kept.

It would be wonderful if we would hear something from Deeproot, but the utter lack of marketing or hype train does not inspire confidence.

Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Regarding firing up the hype train:

You mean like all the other manufacturers don't do at all?

Actually, they do. Maybe before talking out your ass you chould just take 30 seconds and check?


#4963 84 days ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

There's no pleasing you animals.
"Robert should stop posting and make games"
"Omg Robert's account is deactivated"

You know, it's possible to be disappointed by both.

1) He should never have posted the way he did.

2) Deeproot as a company made big promises and commitments about showing product at expos, but has now gone silent. The ship sailed on being a dark startup long ago. They should never have said a word. But now that they did, and started making big promises, it doesn't look good to go so silent.

I don't care where they post updates. But if they're going to a huge expo in a few short weeks, it seems like a missed opportunity not to flog the fact, dontcha think?

#4973 84 days ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

You can't have it both ways. Y'all brow beat the man to stop spending time interacting until he has a product to show and now he (apparently) has.
This is what you asked for, now feel free to show some patience.

This isn't what I asked for. I'm glad the CEO stopped flaming out publicly here, sure. I'm not clear how that equates in your mind to wanting the company to cease all marketing activities.

I've been asking and wondering when they'd release any info to back up their very interesting and very bold claims for months now.

#5027 83 days ago

I'm impressed that they are making an effort to communicate. It's easy to snipe from the sidelines, but I'm grateful for the information.

In my direct experience, the last 10% takes 85% of the time, so I'm not expecting a product anytime soon. Honestly I'd rather that they communicate 'we're alive, we're late, get over it' on a monthly basis rather than deliver a product that isn't ready.

My biggest takeaway is that it looks as if they've pulled back from a multi-product launch. Excellent news. I hope they focus on one great offering.

Taking the TWIP interview at face value, I've long felt that animations could use a big step up. That's exciting, and long overdue.

As long as the playfield plays the same, I would really love a longer-lasting and more durable surface. I haven't taken a magnifying glass to my playfields, but my newer pins have significantly more dimples than older ones -- with less plays.

Interesting comments about their three pipelines. If they can make it work it could be awesome.

200 innovations is a lot. I'm intrigued. Maybe they've figured out how to stop plungers from obliterating themselves on coil stops, and how to keep boards from blowing transistors. That would be nice.

Hearing they raised additional capital is promising as well.

Thanks for the update, Deeproot.

#5047 80 days ago
Quoted from wolfemaaan:

I remember Microsoft used to solicit me about their “total written from scratch” Windows 7 phone. Saying the code rewrite was “revolutionary”. I let the air out by saying “I don’t buy smartphones for code or rewrites, I buy them because I like them and they make my life more organized and easier”
Hopefully Deeproot doesn’t go down the same road and think we give a shit about 200 innovations. We only care about good fun pinball at a good price & value, the end

For sure, the game has to be great. But if we're choosing between several great games, as we all are, innovations that improve durability and ease of maintenance could make the difference.

4 weeks later
#5117 50 days ago

I'd love to hear what's up at the company. Even more I'd like to /see/ what's up.

The last public statement from the company shut down all the negative comments, at least in this thread, for over a month.

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