Quoted from LTG:
all heck would break loose.
LTG : )
This seems like an easy bet... lol. Transparency, although it makes people angry, is hard to argue against.
There is only one problem with deeproot IMO... words are free, hype is free, everything they have given us has been free so far... gobble gobble gobble... its all just words darling, creating a buzz and so far, depending on what camp you are in, this is either the buzz of the flys circling the shit storm, or its the buzz of something great on the horizon, not sure which is the true reality anymore. I want pinball to succeed, just not sure deeproot has the answers.
So they are burning $75k a month right now (according to their mouthpiece) to generate a buzz (if nothing else) and they are missing their first big promised reveal at TPF... and JPop is associated with this whole thing, and you don't think it is time to start reading the writting on the wall, the tea leaves in the cup, and smell the dookie wafting up from between your toes? Because if you have put any money into this adventure, you may have stepped into a big stinking pile of god knows what.
Time will tell, but thats kind of a hollow overused statement in the pinball industry.
Ben heck, current VR may be dead, but is it going to stay that way? My experience has seen the equipment getting lighter and less cumbersome. It is just a matter of mass, bandwidth (resolution), and lag... once all three of those problems are ironed out, VR can be fun. I've played Beat Saber on the latest commercial gear, along with a bunch of other VR titles, and they are getting better. Not sure, but resolution and bandwidth and lag will be a problem with trying to play virtual pinball right now, but not that far into the future. You are spot on on the LCD playfield.
crazylevi, yes, they won't wear it now, but would they if is was like wearing a pair of lightweight snow goggles or sunglasses? Technology answers these problems and people have to adopt it. As an early adopter, I lead the charge for new tech... and so VR pinball is something that is coming, I believe, just how or what we might (or might not) have to wear will definitely change, and probably be something we have not seen yet. And if they are all geniuses at dr, maybe they have something to show us, just not at TPF (or at all? )
zablon, I agree, I played Beat Saber and Star Pirates, or something like that and it was immersive and time warpingly fun. I came out of VR thinking I had played maybe 30 minutes when I was actually playing for an hour and a half. The tech is getting pretty damn good.
The big thing for me was when my friend handed me the controllers. They 3d model the controllers and animate them in the VR UI, and you would almost believe when you grab the controllers they have turned you invisible. The controller is in "space" exactly where you move your arm, and it fools you almost completely.
benheck, you say VR is dead, but how many are willing to give up hope on a Holo-deck experience so easily? When the two technologies finally converge, the one which currently exists, and the one which is so far advanced it makes VR look like bone knives and bearskins, humans will flock to it, no?
I have every sympathy to those who have lost money on failed pinball adventures. I almost pulled the trigger on TBL but the cautionary tale of Zidware, and my hard pass on JPop’s promises held my hand. Pretty much if it sounds too good to be true in pinball, chances are, it is. The FOMO rational has been wired into us without us even knowing it. Currently, CGC is mining that vien of gold with their remakes. We now trip over ourselves to be top on the list for remakes of titles we felt we missed out on from the past. Zidware capitalized on peoples fears that machines like the hits of the 90’s were things of the past, and nobody, not even Stern was ever going to make machines like Bally/WMS did ever again. Now enters our savior, JPop, who harvested every ripe wallet who would buy in to the fantasy that he, and he alone, would save the pinball industry with his new and magical games he was cooking up. What continues to keep us conditioned to accept these fantasies is sometimes, like with DP and Heighway, actual machines get built, they become legends of rarity, and are still not to be missed out on. Some of us fools are easy to part our money from, and I am no exception, I have $1000 NFD down on a $8000 MBrLE, well, because I fear missing out on a sweet remake machine that I actually have played with my own two hands. Now, if we all would wait to give them our money untill we all did the same, actually play the machine before dropping a load on it, then maybe we could all avoid the next Zidware-Jpop/DP-TBL/Heighway-Alien/Deeproot-JPop Redux 2 sequel. Caveat emptor is as old as latin for a reason, but the sting and hurt of being burned in pinball is as old as pinball itself— when you dropped that coin in the slot and got no credit for it.
This all reminds me of what mamma used to say...
Mamma always told me pinball was like a box of... <BLAM> <BLAM> <BLAM>
Mamma was a fool, Forrest, and “Jen-nae” should have told you to duck...
But Cap’n Dan... why?
Because you stupid fools would not just STFU about JPop and DR and ripoffs, and scams and Zidware and RAZA and on and on...
<BLAM> <BLAM> <BLAM>
And you wouldn’t just STFU about shutting up either Cap’n Dan... I think you shot me in the buttocks.
I don’t care what happened back then, water under the bridge and all, but I do care that people got screwed, and to that end, I am hopefully optomistic DR doesnt pull a JPop Redux, and would caution people not to get their hopes up or put any money into DR they are not willing to loose. You got expendable and disposable and discretionary income and you want to promote the continuity of pinball machine production?, by all means, throw money at DR. But anyone pulling their IRA or 401k monies out to invest in DR should have their heads examined. I felt a little apprehensive putting $1000 non refundable deposit down on CGC’s MBrLE, and they have a track record and a history of delivering.
One should not put a lot of significance on WHO they have hired at DR, but more on what actual chance do they have of meeting the high goals they have outlined so far. Those claims are so far fetched and pie in the sky, that they alone would make me go wtf? More so than knowing JPop is on board.
I think too much emphasis has been placed on the designers and coders and trying to determine if past glories equate to future victories... As far as I can remember, every Lawlor and Richie has had their Commode Shows and Stellar Bores as well as their successes.
People like to think designers are the real gods of pinball, and I would disagree... the real gods of pinball are the players. Without our coin drops, pinball would not exist.
Magic Girl can not possibly be reviewed, categorized, critiqued, or other wise judged as a “good” game until it is finished and all mechs INSTALLED, programmed, and working, code is finished, and game is “complete”. Until then it is a flashy box of lights with some ZY artwork on it. That IP and $5 will get you a vinte latte at Starbucks, not much else.
I get excited about a pinball company when they bring a machine to the table and I can play it, like API, CGC, and most of the others trying to break into the market. I personally think deeproot shot their wad by making big noises and promises and missing their date for a big reveal at TPF. With the ammo in their quiver, they should have kept quiet, built their 5 machines, and then just showed up at the next biggest show when they were ready... drop 3 or 4 game titles onto the floor of the show, and put up pictures of them making 15 sample games of each title. Then say we are open for business, here are the first offerings from our company, we are taking orders for all of them, production starts yesterday, we have 5 machines of each title ready to ship today.
That would have blown us all out of the water, would have alleviated any JPop bad publicity, and then they could eventually offer to make people whole on zidware by giving a 50% discount on enough titles to make them whole... no money down to order.
But I am not a marketing genius... and what do I know? Not my circus, not my monkeys. And I am sure this approach has a billion flaws or cracks someone will immediately point out.
Quoted from Yelobird:
You realize they already did made commitments to early Zidware buyers when this all started which they didn’t need to clean up his mess but did.
Yes, but I would not have come out of the gate with the offer. I would start production, sell some games, get my self established as a manufacturer and profitable, then take on the burden of Zidware... that was the change I was expressing on how DR could try to make Zidware customers whole. But this is just musings. For the sake of those who are in the red on any pin misadventure, I hope DR can help out.
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:
Did Magic Girl actually have *missing* mechs? I know it had a shot or two that was not possible to make - blocked or something - and I know about the levitating ball failure. But were there other mechs missing? Wow.
Not sure how many mechs or just the levitating ball one (the original discription after getting the machine was dangling wires and plug, and missing mech?), but can we agree not complete by any stretch of the imagination? That was my real point there.
I’d go for a Barry machine. I own Pinbot and have a BO signed translite in my machine. So call me a fan boy, but both my ‘bot machines have been signed. Python (RIP) signed my BOP Heart Ramp at Expo. Yeah, they are giving away free vapor ware prizes. So what? I would enter said contest and put the winning notification letter in a nice matte frame and hang it in my game room. If a machine eventually gets delivered and I wheel it in the old game room, I will gladly take the letter down and toss it out.
I guess asking a relevant question like how does one enter said contest to win this “machine” from the designer of your choice might be asking too much, so I guess I will go look it up. A good piece of my time on the matter was spent reading people rant on how silly or stinky or outrageous it is to offer prizes yet to be imagined/designed/built/and revealed. Why would anyone care how realistic, or foolish, or bombastic, or ballsy a maneuver it is? If it gets you a pinball machine for free, would you care? And if you don’t want a free JPop DR machine could you enter anyways? So if you do win you can give it to me (Ok, maybe just sell it to me, I’ll be reasonable...)
Ok, Office Space does Pinball... sounds like a great title... Office Space Pinball Party... where the major toy is the three amigos standing around a Stern pinball machine with baseball bats... and a giant Red Swingline ball lock... that pops balls out like staples... During the final wizard mode, it lights the whole machine on fire while JPop, dressed as Milton sits in his beach chair on the LCD drinking a flaming Mia Tia laughing...
The more I thought about this... holy fuck- why the fuck not?!? The stapler lock though is my idea... I will pee in a circle around that idea...
Maybe it’s a Reverse-Reverse Psychology Guerrilla marketing campaign?... Say you are going to do a big reveal at TPF... then pull out of TPF early, but then crash it with 5 servings of pinball machine goodness and promise that they are ready to start rolling out of the quad (?), just pick any one of 5 titles, and your machine should be delivered in 4 to 6 weeks from date of order. Now that might generate some sales. If they have just a booth with their Logo and a bunch of designers and marketing types hanging out saying “everthing is awesome!” handing out Deeproot keychains, then that is probably not going to cut it.
Quoted from Roostking:
Its racist apparently
Well thats a new one on me... apparently people are confusing a warfare and marketing tactic with a species of primates whose name sounds somewhat similar. I don’t think you can make that mistake in print, but you can never be too sure. But then again, what word could we use instead??
The lack of real intel coming from DR just makes people uneasy... Like the calm before a storm, or the crickets of an Apple product reveal. If I was a detective really sleuthing out DR right now, I would be standing knee deep in their garbage dumpster every night, or dialing up the TPF organizers and asking surreptitiously just how much booth space DR has paid for. Or call around and figure out which DR designers are going to TPF by impersonating their PA’s (illegal!)
Or we wait a week.
Quoted from JodyG:
Has that statement been officially walked back yet?
That statement had such a hyperbolic ballistic trajectory, it should have come with a warhead to deliver it’s message. Anyone who has not taken DR claims as marketing hyperbole must have missed that definition in class, because that statement is what should be in the dictionary under examples of it.
Remember, no matter what happens, DR is going to say “Don’t worry, ladies and gentlemen, it’s all part of the show” because thats what P.T. Barnum would have said.
Quoted from flynnibus:
'getting paid' is the exact retort to 'is this a real company?
Not to quibble, but that is very close but not quite right, imo. I would agree with you, but only if the payments continue.
I define “real company” to mean that revenue is generated to cover all costs on a continuing basis. DR, without a transparent means of revenue generation, - and for a pinball manufacturing company, that means with no machines to sell yet -, they have not risen up to the moniker of “real company”, but are classified as a “startup” imo. Are they incorporated? Don’t know personally, but probably. Are they paying their employees? Don’t know, but most likely they are. Are they paying all the bills? Don’t know. Are they selling any machines? That we do know, and “Not yet” is the answer.
So imo, no, not a real company yet, but they are definitely a startup.
Quoted from frolic:
endless cash burn is not a recipe for success.
Unless you have endless cash...
My favorite pinball daydream has always been some well connected money man with deep pockets gets hooked on pinball, and the only way to satisfy his ravenous pinball appetite is to buy Stern, or JJP, or CGC and dump obscene ammounts of money into them and start pumping out titles and machines like back to back.
Well, right now, DR is the closest thing going to that pipe dream. I am wondering, though, does DR’s story end in success, failure, or with people behind bars?
Quoted from lpeters82:
That's great for the short term, but could also be the end for competition. I'll take slow and steady with a healthy business model versus a flash in the pan.
Well my fantasy doesn't usually end with pinball going up in flames, but I can see where you are going with your train of thought... which you are right, it probably is not a good thing for pinball in the long run.
rondogg, I agree, this is similar, but a one time shot in the arm, not an ongoing endless cash stream. The missing part of the JJP dream, however, is the endless, back to back machine titles. I think JJP needed what they got, but not sure they got everything they really needed to start cranking out machines like Stern. And with the market getting crowded, can anyone actually catch up to Stern? CGC, JJP, or DR?
Deep Root has talked some big talk, how much bite is in that bark? Millions?, tens of millions? Time will tell how deep the pockets are and who will end up as the top three manufacturers this time. If I were a betting man my money is on the best performers to date, and so far Deep Root is coming in a distant last place right now, but that could change.
I stopped and talked with Barry and I asked him a question, and here is what that was like and, if not verbatim, my apologies to Barry-
"I know you can not reveal anything and I am not asking you to, but can you tell me, as far as working for DR, do they give you as much satisfaction and freedom as a designer as you had back at WMS, and how do you like working for DR?"
He replied, "You mean as far as what we can and can not do in the machine?, well we have as much control as we did, even more so actually, to do what we want to in the machine. But we are working, heads down, it's very much like it was back then, we are doing some great things, you are going to be pleased with what we are doing."
Not sure how many of you have ever met Barry Oursler and talked with him at any length, but as a Pinbot owner and fan of Barry's work, I have had the chance to talk at length at several Expos and now at TPF. His statement was made in earnest, and from the twinkle in his eyes (one that I have not seen since Bally Williams closed their pin division) he looked sideways and smiled, but just enough so you could barely tell.
Quoted from JodyG:
Looks like DR has a few job openings if anyone is interested![quoted image]
There was a time in my career when these would have been dream jobs... unfortunately DR probably doesn’t pay what I am making now for slinging code or engineering work, at least to start.
We all buy one DR cabinet, then each title comes in its own shipping “Roady” case. These will be packaged so you can take them as luggage, and they will expect we take or “favorite” DR games with us to our friends house, who, having a DR cabinet, allows us to plug it in and play.
Sounds like a viable solution to the problem of “we got to go over to Dan’s house to play the latest DR title he just bought” and could you imagine a parlor of empty cabinets where we all bring are favorite titles and play? Like maybe a pin-alley?
Anyone getting where this is going?
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
It’s going nowhere because nobody has ever actually had this dilemma.
This is a paradigm shift in the way we gather and play pinball with each other and is not a “dilemma” to overcome but a new way of thinking about pinball. Is it deferent?, yes, is it needed, we don’t know, we may think “nope” but I don’t think this has anything to do with maintenance on a pinball machine as much as it is a way of swapping playfields in and out without additional hardware, but I could be wrong.
Quoted from kbliznick:
3 different single level playfields inside arranged in a triangle
I have actually built this mechanism in small scale to explore the possibility and it required some interesting engineering but not too much. I was sucessful modeling it in Solidworks, and had several ways to do it depending on how much weight you wanted to add, or how much money you want to spend on motors. There is a trade off in both directions, but multiple motor designs were lighter due to modern day rare earth magnets that have increased motor torque and retained a smaller size, but then BOM costs start hitting you big time, 3 playfields? How about just two?, or just one and a place to hang two more, so initial costs to operators are minimal, and multiple titles purchased at later date then could fill the machine up and let players choose, three real machines, one cabinet. But VR eventually will take over. Those who think it wont, thats ok, you will all be dead and long gone by then, as will I, but eventually, the experience will feel just as “real” as real pinball. Welcome to the world of the Unreal... don’t fight it Neo, let the Matrix take you...
There are a lot of people like me who would work in pinball if it wasn’t for a few things like the lousy hours, the lousy pay, and the complete lack of passion for pinball. Wait, maybe it was just those first two things...
I think the play that DR is making is based on the desire to create another set of 4 machines like the original 4 that sold well in the 90’s, and that JPop can hopefully recreate the same “magic”. And there are a lot of loyal followers of JPop’s machines and they are not players but operators. People seem to forget these titles made a bunch of operators a lot of money in the nineties, and who would not want another piece of that? JPop had a pinball vision back in the 90’s, but he had help, as I have heard a lot of rumor and mummers over the years that all four of JPop’s titles needed a lot of help from others to get the machines actually built. I never put much faith in rumors, but they came out of mouths of people who would have known, so I always put JPop down as a bit of a idiot savant on pinball design, with flashes of briliance that inspired others with his vision, and that the others then went and made it work. A title sells because it makes money. JPops machines made money. Ergo, DR is hoping that this can be recreated again in the 2020’s. I think that they are trying to brush some of that “bad” JPop taste out of peoples mouths and just trying to limit the bad publicity they knew that hiring JPop was going to cause. I say good luck DR, lets see what you got.
I actually saw a Ramones Show in Boston back in 1985 or was it 86?... the mosh pit had literally torn the theater seats from the floor in the front of the stage... it was a fucking trip.
Now back to Deeproot...
P. T. Barnum. The inventor of shameless self promotion. Just go watch the Circus documentary and you will understand completely that Mr Meuller is obviously either a devout follower or has the same genetic DNA...
If you are writing about deeproot, you are doing exactly what he wants us to do, talk about deeproot. Good, bad, ugly, it doesn’t matter to him, piss you off? Why not, you will still want to look behind the tent flap at the side show and see the new shiny things if and when (and when is really the big IF) they show up.
I think it is all pretty much Marketing 101... the more they talk about you, good or bad, at least you are on their minds.
If I was him, I would come on here and stir the pot every time this thread goes dormant... or wait, isn’t that what he is doing?
Did you know that P T Barnum started his career by passing an old black woman off as George Washingtons 160 year old nursemaid, and made a fortune, but when interest started falling off, he purposefully wrote an article and had it printed in the papers that claimed he was a fraud... the interest in the scandle rekindled public interest and he made even more money as people came to see for themselves if she was real or a phony.
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
What does that actually accomplish?
You missed the point. Your event did not stage the drunk crashing the event, you did not purposefully use this event to promote it the next year, you didn’t do anything PT would have told you to do, and you wonder why no buzz was generated?
Take a marketing course Levi, because anyone will tell you, it doesnt matter what you are selling, high end goods or tickets to freak shows, talk is talk is your name on peoples lips.
PT would have taken out adds the next year saying “come to our event, our event is so famous even the drunks crash our party”
That is Marketing 101.
The funny thing is, outside of Pinside, you ask a random casual player at an arcade, or off the street, “Hey, you ever heard of Deep Root Pinball, and did you know they are going to revolutionize pinball manufacturing?”
Quoted from CrazyLevi:
Not sure why that's funny?
Because the seriousness people throw around in here is pure bullshit on the planetary scale... because on this planet right now, statistically speaking, nobody gives two Hershey squirts about deep root pinball except Pinside. That makes me laugh, har-de-har-har!
Quoted from pinstyle:
You guys are nuts if you think these guys aren't making money.
Or that its NOT the reason we have how many companies building or trying to build machines right now? 8? More? Everyone thinks pinball and coin op amusements are easy until they have actually tried it a couple hundred times. The list of failed and defunct amusement companies is long... like, really fucking long. And growing yearly, it seems.
I usually let this thread count get to over 200 more posts than the last time I checked it before rechecking it. I have yet to determine why I do this, as we are now 3863 posts into a thread that has delivered about as much info as deeproot has delivered working pinball machines...
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