(Topic ID: 203700)

deeproot Pinball thread

By pin2d

1 year ago

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#141 1 year ago

The ferrari for kia pricing comment. Do I think pinball could be streamlined (both in development and production) to keep costs down while keeping features up? sure!

Could you design a table virtually, then transfer that over to the real thing (see wrath of olympus)
Could you... spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on robots that pick and place every playfield component and install them to reduce labor cost? absolutely
Could you have every part made in China for 1/3 the price? Sure, but be ready to fly over there and watch them like a hawk

Here's the thing.. Pinball is a VERY small volume product comparable to other industries. Even if you're the king of the industry (Stern) producing about 15,000 machines per year, that's really not a lot of product (especially one that requires game designers/mech engineers/programmers/artists/testers/production fixture engineers to develop two new titles every year). All that development time for 7,500 units. Who would want to do all that up front work and money when they've never designed or built a pinball in their life? The comment "pinball is easy" is very JPOP sounding. Remember early on when he would criticize all the homebrew games (that were finished and had code) about not having the detail to paint their vent grills? Yet his glass had to be custom cut for his custom cabinet, which also barely cleared the shooter rod? June 30th, 2019 can't come soon enough. I don't want to see them fail, but they are going to realize very quickly what they are up against. All I gotta say is they better have someone in charge that pushes for as many off the shelf components as possible.

#144 1 year ago
Quoted from applejuice:

Please see the updated webpage from deeproot Tech. (Scroll to bottom of page). In summary, i would like to share the following statement :
Jim Askey (aka Applejuice or myPinballs) and deeproot Tech have reached an agreement transferring IP rights in and to Software for Zidware games to deeproot Tech for undisclosed consideration. Mr. Askey agrees to refrain from possessing, or performing any further work on, the Zidware software or related IP and shall promptly remove any online content regarding the same. Neither deeproot Tech nor Mr. Askey will be making any further comments about the agreement or any corresponding particulars.
Thank you all

right now mr k from NY is going "nooooooo!"

#154 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

did that patent end up being granted? anyone have a link?


display with sensors specifically:

US20130147111A1-20130613-D00003 (resized).png

1 month later
#280 1 year ago

Germany? Whatarrrrrrruuuuuudoinnnn ere?

#335 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Anybody have the link to JPOP's seminar where he stands in front of a slide projected on wall listing games not made by JPOP? That one was a classic and I could use a good chuckle.


#367 1 year ago

I say a david blaine parody pinball #cheezits

#383 1 year ago
Quoted from deeproot:

We are proceeding with John's original Houdini design but not the Houdini name

so ball paths that go to nowhere then?

#397 1 year ago
Quoted from FalconPunch:

A reminder of what JPs Houndi looked like at expo 2016 -
» YouTube video

It's coming back to me.. Left loopback ramp that goes to nowhere, houdini tank that blocked the LCD screen (just like magic girl), and the panhead screws used to fasten down the ramp instead of flatheads (so the ball would bounce). I don't care if it was a rushed prototype, you can buy flathead screws at home depot. Also no spring steel ramp flaps (also easily fabricated if you're even remedially crafty).

HOUDINI_EXPO (resized).jpg

1 week later
#436 1 year ago

all i gotta say is that if John cant build a pinball with a full team (designers, programmers, sound guy, artists, funding) this HAS to be the final final final straw... right?

#517 1 year ago
Quoted from deeproot:

You misunderstood. We will be taking a hammer to every PF.

beyond that, im assuming youll be setting up a test fixture to life test pinballs striking the playfield in parallel?

#528 1 year ago
Quoted from Dmod:

Sounds like they may use something similar to the pinball hardtop that OutsideEdge introduced at Expo in October.

Agreed. This is basically thin polycarbonate, same stuff used for bullet proof glass (granted it's much thicker). I'm guessing hitting with a hammer will have no effect (cept you can still scratch polycarbonate) so maybe it'll be a hammer with felt (so you get the impact but not the scratch).

Think about how much easier the Stern clearcoat issue would have been if all they had to do is ship a thin overlay to customers (especially overseas), instead of having to ship an empty box, have the customer pull the heavy playfield out, ship that to Stern, the factory does a rebuild with a new playfield (which is a ton of labor pulling off components and putting onto a new playfield), then ship that heavy playfield back to the customer.

Granted even on an overlay you still have to pull everything off the top layer, but it's the bottom layer that's usually the beast.

This 5 days of deeproot is starting to sound like 5 days of revealing innovation.. Sounds like a lot of it could be existing, but no company has really implemented all of this aftermarket stuff from the factory. I just hope the end product is as good as Robert is describing.

#560 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

cutting holes in the playfield for mechs? no problem.

» YouTube video

to be fair, I don't see video playing on the cutting.. For all we know only the luminescent is working. If that is in fact true, I'd be really curious what a 2 foot x 3 foot sheet of OLED costs. It's one thing to manufacture flexible phone displays, it's another to scale that up for giant TV's (or in this case, multimorphic display without compromising where mechs can get placed or how those mechs are controlled with wires).

1 week later
#602 1 year ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

Maybe it's time for him to find a different profession and work on paying people back himself

I don't know how you pay back a million dollars (and still have some minimal salary to live on) without some high risk high return profession (pinball), or team up with a lawyer who is going to negotiate you out of this mess (Robert), or in this case both. Supposedly John was doing sub-contract work as an independent artist between End of Williams and Zidware (beyond zizzle). As much as these announcements by deeproot sound like a lot of hot air, this is honestly John's best chance of getting out of this giant mess.

#612 1 year ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

but don't announce or reply to anything...total radio silence. When machines are ready, make this huge splash by announcing to all Zidware customers that they can come and pick up their machines

I think that was Robert's original intent, but there are too many pinside slueth's that stumbled on his website.

Quoted from lpeters82:

Is pinball a high return profession?

As a designer, for some. I meant more that the pinballs themselves are low volume, and hence typically high margin. Unlike someone who works at Stern and makes a straight paycheck, it's possible deeproot promised Jpop a percentage of sales.

#637 1 year ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

They really need to read the contracts that John has.He was to complete and ship 100% working pinball machines in order to transfer the IP I haven,t opened mine however from what i have been reading they are very far from complete?

but they are complete... GARBAGE


1 week later
#725 1 year ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

Interesting mention that Barry is working on a farm or produce themed pin- https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/looking-for-a-farm-or-produce-themed-pin

It almost seems like deeproot is trying to find new untapped markets (IE not barcades). I don't know, would anyone still play pinball at a grocery store (and would they care if it matched the theme?).

1 month later
#799 1 year ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

I can’t recall JPop ever making a Zidware pitch on Pinside

It was early, even I was barely posting on pinside at that point. He made plenty of pitches on RGP and PROC forums.

#814 1 year ago

sounds like jpop might need a raise. like a $200k raise.

1 month later
#882 11 months ago

would that be called a whiteboardwood?

#921 11 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

"In fact, we have received or are ordering all machinery needed to create nearly every component of a pinball machine in house."

Seems both improbable & hyperbolic, and likely to cause serious issues. How many startups in any sector choose to manufacture a disparate set of components made from totally different materials, using different machinery and techniques, in a complex assembled product using hundreds if not several thousands of components? The answer is that they don't. Because it's less efficient, more costly, and particularly in a startup scenario likely to lead to serious quality problems.

I think it's too vague to make the assumption that "nearly every component" means they are going to reverse engineer every single mechanism (ball through, pop bumpers, plunger, flipper assemblies, sling assemblies). Perhaps they mean that nearly every "unique component to each table design" is going to be made in-house (laser cutter for plastics, CNC and printer for playfields, etc).

#958 11 months ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

Remember the “solar roof”? At the announcement, the demo panels weren’t working solar tiles

Do you realize how many demos don't work because of aggressive timelines? You should read up how apple faked their first iphone presentation until the engineers could finish eliminating bugs before they started shipping.
How often does someone start up a brand new car company and last more than a year? Or a rocket company that successfully launches a rocket and sends satellites into space?

The Tesla roadster started shipping in 2008, that's 10 years. In another 3 years it'll surpass Scion, a brand created by Toyota that failed to create a market.

2 weeks later
#1029 11 months ago

How do we even know if JPOP will even survive at deeproot? Robert has already talked about "tough love" conversations.

How many of you "not going to buy from any company associated with that toxic designer" would change their mind if JPOP was no longer with the company?

#1044 11 months ago

How did the tesla thread get criss-crossed into the deeproot thread?

#1089 10 months ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Shamelessly stolen from Linux computer forums of the 90s

and later stolen by fark.com

#1097 10 months ago
Quoted from knobstone:

A brief post and thank you to Robert Mueller of Deeproot for the fantastic interview on the ****** podcast. Very informative on your company and especially acquiring licenses for pinball machines. Looking forward to seeing you and some of your team at the Pinball Expo 2018 in Chicago.

agreed.. great interview, robert comes off less gruff and fluff. Early on he seemed to be in attack mode, and "pinball is easy". He clarifies that his goal is to streamline pinball design and manufacturing. His goal isn't to take Stern down, he just wants to build great pinball in the most cost effective way. While it's true Stern has the most experience, in any business that can sometimes be your downfall because many companies continue to work the same way they always have, whereas a new company building from scratch would have a fresh approach.

#1154 10 months ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Copperfield blows compared to Penn and Teller

I've seen Penn & Teller twice. Both times the shows were outstanding, and they always stay after the show in the hallway to sign autographs, take photos, no matter how many people are waiting. What I love about them is that they know magic isn't real, and every show they usually show how one of them is done with clear boxes, and you can choose to see how the meat is made, or close your eyes and keep believing. As far as tricks I don't think you can really top them, they've read every magic book and have seen every kind of magic trick. It's why they have that show BS!, most people can't fool them, but on rare occasion someone does. I've loved those two ever since they first showed up on letterman in 80s, hanging upside down in front of the camera so that objects floated in mid-air. Also it's amazing for any pair of performers to get along for 4 decades without getting in some sort of fight. If someone made a P&T pin I'd be all over it.

#1162 10 months ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Anybody think DR should contract with Ben Heck to work with JPOP to redesign Houdini into Ben Heck's Haeluecenogenic Lab Trips? It would be a hard sell to get Ben onboard given the impossible assignment. But if they worked together and brought back the same art style .... Wowza!

that would be like asking a holocaust survivor if they would like to donate to the hitler foundation

#1176 10 months ago
Quoted from mrgone:

He will continue to recycle the same ramps, magnet set up he has already used on Tom,totan,wcs94, and cv.

Sort of like how 95% of Stern pinball machines have a ramp on each side that returns the ball to the inlanes? Or how steve ritchie admits his lower half is EXACTLY the same on every game he designs? Not that I want to defend JPOP, but he does have some good concepts, he just sucks at implementing them.

1 week later
#1234 10 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Only cost that will have appreciably increased for them is doing stuff for the LCD - though in some cases the effort has been so minimal or relied so heavily on video footage, it's probably not increased man hours.

Gomez claims in his interview with Nate that there is a whole art team now dedicated to LCD art just like they've had for doing playfield and cabinet art. I'd have to say that for iron maiden, since the graphics is based from the video game that probably wasn't difficult. But yea, something like deadpool had to be created from scratch.

Honestly I'm totally for this new LCD era, but I don't know that we "need" all this fancy animation. I just wanted LCD because the hardware was cheaper, more reliable, less power, probably easy to source parts in the far future. If deeproot decides to do more simplistic graphics closer to a DMD (but color and better resolution, sort of akin to how MMr is), I'd really be ok with that.

#1245 10 months ago

Zombie Yeti being snarky:

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#1254 10 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

You want pinball to grow or attract new players? You need stuff happening that looks fun on the LCD.
That was one of the reasons WOZ broke new ground.
Also, some of the people saying less resources should be put into the display and forget and it's too costly nevertheless go bananas for ColorDMD and describe it as the best upgrade ever ... which is it?

we want color small dots.. like ben said double height display (128 x 64).. i dont need HD. neither does redemption games. some do, but the highest profit ones are those that are fun. display should always be secondary on mechanical games.

#1283 10 months ago
Quoted from mcbPalisade:

For that matter why don't new pins have USB chargers? People might play pinball just to charge their phones.

i actually thought about that.. 5v conversion is easy, so is adding a port somewhere. some airports still charge a fee to charge your phone (if u dont have your cord). i think a usb port could actually help. didnt the coinbox podcast guys try that on route?

#1293 10 months ago
Quoted from iceman44:

The LCD effect will eventually be part of the glass

A world on the glass

So a few years back I was saying no (they were horribly expensive). I'm seeing some of the smaller displays are getting reasonable (24" for $400):

This is measured diagonally, so actual width is 21" (would be good for filling the back half of a widebody), maybe they sell even smaller ones. I wouldn't want transparent just for scoring. If you're gonna do that then just squeeze a 7" LCD in the apron. However, the transparent means you could potentially bring back Pinball2000 without needing special mirrored glass (which makes the entire playfield dark), the only section that's dark is where the LCD lays on top of.
KI_37_120 (resized).jpg

#1304 10 months ago
Quoted from Brijam:

Please tell me you're joking.

he's not. using head tracking means it creates a 3d effect on a flat screen (and 4k HD you wouldn't be able to tell the difference). It would mean zero maintenance, there would be very low cost (think about how cheap big TV's have gotten). I know nothing beats real, but some people really enjoy car simulators because they'll never afford a $300k exotic car.

#1309 10 months ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Hah, you thought doing content for a relatively small LCD involved more work, expand that to a playfield sized LCD with full physics engine and stuff.
Good luck generating the content to make that compelling without AAA game studio size staff and talent, even if you leverage unity.

you need to go over to gopinball.com, those first 2 original titles were created by one or two guys, for free. once the engine is made, its not that terrible laying out a design (code is still hard). go look at the stranger things future pinball table, thats definately one guy.

#1358 10 months ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

What I'm saying is that the technology will get so good that the advantages it poses (as outlined earlier) will be adopted and appreciated by a lot of people, and make the proliferation of pinball grow to more than just niche hobby.

This... there are plenty of audiophiles that swear their $10k stereo system with the antique record player is superior to everything out there, or the flip of the coin of song collectors that swear they can tell the difference between a FLAC file and a 320kbps mp3 file... Then there's the 95% rest of the population that's perfectly ok with 128kbps mp3's, or streaming music through the dozens of services. You can make this comparison with nearly anything
Live concert vs watching HD video later on youtube
Driving a bugatti vs playing a simulator on a high end gaming PC with 3 monitors all mounted to a hydraulic chair to give you G's
Actually going to outer space via virgin to feel weightless vs going on a plane that nosedives to feel "weightless" for 45 seconds
Actually skydiving vs going to one of those giant fan skydiving places

Nobody will ever claim digital pinball will replace the real thing, but I bet a big portion of the population might gladly fork over $5k for a REALLY good pinball simulator (not virtuapin, I'm talking 4k HD, head tracking for 3d, coils that fire when you hit the flippers so you feel it, nudging that really bumps the ball realistically) if I only had to pay say $10 per table (like pinball arcade on steroids), especially if you're someone in an apartment in the city and can't spare the space. Or you fear getting into the hobby because you fear it'll break and you don't know how to fix it (and you can't afford to keep paying a tech to fix it, if there's even one nearby). Or you're someone like me that can't afford the latest Stern (and keep them all because of cost and space), but it would be nice to be able to play any of them.

#1367 10 months ago

If you haven't listened already, Dennis Nordman talks about his career plus how things are going well at deeproot. Though it is a paycheck, he seems like a genuine guy (hence why he quit heighway when false promises were made, which he also brings up).

#1372 10 months ago
Quoted from MarkInc:

Why hasn't anyone come up with a flush mounted LED insert and shallow trenches for the wires for those tough, busy mech areas?

I'm doing a layout that does exactly that.. effectively there is a playfield layer (3/8), and a 1/8" layer that is just LED's and wire traces. Granted I still can't have mechs going through wire traces, but it at least eliminates all those bulky bayonet brackets and makes the bottom very clean. Theoretically it would also eliminate EMF keeping the lighting wiring away from coil lines.

1 month later
#1471 8 months ago

No way deeproot is making virtual pinball. Pinball FX doesn't have any pinball designers working for them and they crank out reasonable original tables. Also most of those older designers can barely work autocad, much less anything 3D. Do you think they are simply drawing up playfield layouts only for some 3d animator to translate it to digital?

#1483 8 months ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Good read. Very happy to be wrong about it being VR pinball. 80's license they just got better be BTTF.

i hope so too, or as JodyG says goonies.. but what if its big trouble in little china? might be a cheaper license.

#1507 8 months ago
Quoted from adol75:

second hand machines can be bought for close to nothing

Yet we hardly see any of those machines make it over here, and when they do the sellers want $1k and up. But yes you are right, pachinko is still huge in japan, so are claw machines. People sometimes go to these places as almost like a shopping center. Some take advantage:

#1511 8 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Oh I toured Stern once. They were still using wires. It was cute

I would imagine wire harnesses are still simpler to design for a game than doing PCB traces (as archaic as it seems to see giant 4'x8' boards with nails in it). But seeing how good even free pcb programs have gotten, I do wonder if it's equal work up front.

benheck have you ever calculated pcb cost (for GI and coils) vs equivalent wiring? Are they comparable without calculating the labor cost savings?

#1591 8 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

Here's pinball money.
[quoted image]

aint nuttin' like dance combat!

(i actually did enjoy those as a teen though)

1 week later
#1766 7 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

That's a pretty tall order considering Gottlieb released 14 titles in 1935 alone.

unfair comparison. that was after the market crash and thise 14 titles would be played on route for pennies (not collected in the home) as an escape from misery.. most of those games were very simple and none of them had electricity yet so it would be easy to push out a bunch of titles quickly.

#1767 7 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Also, can't help thinking that if WMS had released 'just' these 5 titles in '95, they'd have sold a hell of a lot more, saved a lot of money on development, and history might have been a little bit different ...
Theatre of Magic
No Fear: Dangerous Sports
Johnny Mnemonic
Attack from Mars

i wouldnt include congo. it might be a hot title today, but for many years it was thought of as crappy for its theme.

1 week later
#1844 7 months ago

while manufacturing is its own animal (you really need employees dedicated to it), for all we know they are contracting it out to an outside assembly plant. at my work we buy sub-assemblies all the time because its more cost effective. sometimes we OEM a complete product and slap our label on it. im not saying what Stern does is easy, but new companies setup manufacturing all the time (at much higher volumes than pinball). people need to stop believing Stern has some magical formula. they effectively bought sega, transferred the name, and kept rolling out games the same way (with minor improvements). they are still using the same dimpling machine for playfields, same 4x8 plywood sheets for making wire harnesses. im excited to see a video of deeproot's manufacturing process.

1 week later
#1905 7 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

It's funny, you don't really notice how actors' voices age until you see a project like this. Sean Connery did the voice work in the From Russia With Love videogame back in 2005. I was super-psyched about it, but boy did he sound old. Ended up wishing they'd gone with an impersonator instead. I haven't listened to Jane Fonda in a while but I imagine there might be some of the same issue.

3 weeks later
#1946 6 months ago

So I'm guessing that $750k isn't just salaries of designers, rent, parts, etc.. I'm sure a big part of that is building a factory (both physical material and designers to lay things out), so that monthly burn could go down. Who knows what the investors have put in, what Robert is putting in, what Robert's other companies are playing the "cash cow" until this company gets off the ground.

I just don't know why people can't learn from previous endeavors. JPOP didn't succeed because he had almost no business plan. Heighway promised the world and hemorrhaged pre-order money. If every new startup would start out more like spooky, we might actually see more businesses stay in business. Hell, I even had high hopes for Homepin at one point.. Making arcade stuff and pinball parts to keep cashflow going, making all the parts for the first pinball so you could theoretically supply retailers. Then the CEO turned into a PR nightmare, his first pinball sucked, and now he's shuffling pre-order money around to keep the business floating because he can't crank out more than 20 games a month.

#1955 6 months ago
Quoted from Jerryuop:

None of us have given them any money yet, so I don’t understand the people willing them to fail. I hope they are extremely successful and produce a bunch of high quality games. The extra competition will only serve to make all of the companies work harder to earn our money.

I think most of us do (including myself), but when you hear big talk, then delays, and hemorrhaging money you have to wonder how long they can sustain, and even if they do start building product what's the risk involved of not staying in business because they can't sustain cost vs income (so who do you go to when your machine fails, see big lebowski project). Spooky was risky, but I still bought AMH because his business plan made sense (and he's only 3 hours away so I could drive there with my pitchfork), and having someone like Ben around at the time certainly bought some credibility.

#2021 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

You'd have to make the inside cabinet very bright to act as a backlight

Pinstadium-like lights

Quoted from benheck:

You'd also have light losses with the pair of polarization filters

I think consumers can accept this, they already accept a darker movie experience when they watch the 3D version. They also accepted pin2k (5,000 units wasn't a failure at the time, nor today. Williams killed off the company because slots were more profitable).

Quoted from benheck:

You'd also have to track or somehow detect the height and position of the player to make sure the FX are drawn in the correct spot for perspective

Correct, at least within reason (accuracy probably only has to be every few inches). This can be done several ways (webcam with good software, multiple lasers that detect distance being blocked)

Quoted from benheck:

visor - nobody is going to wear that. Sorry. It's the secret reason why VR is dead.

I honestly don't know how VR ever exists in a public space. I think it sorta took off in the late 80's because it was so groundbreaking you were willing to put up with sharing a visor, look at blocky graphics, and have a cord yanking on your back. VR at home does make sense sorta, however most of us don't have living rooms with giant open spaces like they show in every ad.. Hence your point on your podcast talking about how flight sim/racing/floating games are perfect for VR because you can experience them sitting in place on your couch.

#2065 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

People want big bulky collectibles so their basement looks like a bar to remind them of when they were single. It's the secret (not so secret?) reason Heigheway's modular system would never take off.
Remember this is a hobby where people pay a $17,000 premium for different decals on a wooden box.

while people dream of having that awesome basement or outbuilding with the inside decorated like an old arcade, i'd wager only 5-10% of people in the hobby actually have the space or money to do so. Go look in the "gameroom thread"

You see a lot of the "home arcade" people re-posting photos to show updates, but most people are posting photos have 2-10 pinballs in their basement, garage, many unfinished. If it is finished, it looks like a standard basement (standard carpet, standard painted drywall, minimal decorations on the walls). A lot of wives tolerate this hobby and don't want the house modified drastically to serve some nostalgic itch.

I have 3 pins in my living room because i only really have space to fit 7 in the basement because the rest is used for storage. id be happy with some sort of VR or GOOD virtual table, and maybe a handful of real pins. i dont need a 2nd full time job as an arcade operator trying to keep 30+ pinballs running.

1 week later
#2143 5 months ago

I love the people in this thread rubbing salt into wounds. In 2011 there was Stern and JJP was JUST announcing their new company and 1st title. You didn't even see early concepts of WOZ until mid 2011. Like Frolic said it was a different landscape. Did many buy in because of FOMO or thinking it would be another BBB? Of course, but honestly the concept wasn't that far fetched. Wrath of olympus got designed for free, but because it didn't get the 100 pinball minimum (I think it got somewhere around 70) it couldn't get manufactured. However, those willing to assemble their own playfields could do so if they bought the parts and 6 did get made (and they work).

If John didn't squander money (IE lease a giant building and buy a bunch of capital equipment and hire 2 artists to work on the same game), but just tinkered with a design like Scott Danesi did and got a WORKING game before taking deposits, it would have had a much different outcome.

1 month later
#2310 4 months ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Deeproot? "Their" website is up and running just fine.

deeprootfunds? Yes, just fine.

http://deeprootpinball.com, nope!
deeprootpinball down (resized).png

downforeveryoneorjustme (resized).png
#2322 4 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

movie office space.

This is me when I agree with someone wanting a hip-hop themed pinball, and then realize everyone else disagrees.

#2333 4 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

He needed a boss back then, so hopefully that helps with the current situation

He has beyond a boss, he has a boss who's dumping a shit ton of his money in this company, and a bunch from investors. I guarantee there are daily morning status update meetings going on over there.

#2361 4 months ago
Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

And Micheal J Fox would still never sign over release of his rights, and Christopher Lloyd has also expressed no interest.

Then how did Zen studios manage to make their own version of it, it surely has both of their likeness. I think it's far easier today to get them to sign off than it was back then. Not like either of them are hot hollywood stars right now. I'm guessing (like others have said) that Robert is saying it's not available for purchase..... because it's already been bought. And I get it, if you have a license you can't talk about it until everything is approved and signed off, and I respect that. But if it IS BTTF, risk of trusting a new company be damned I would be hard pressed not to plop my money down before even playing it if the layout looks good.

Quoted from adol75:

I didn't even know actors owned rights to the characters they play. I wonder if that's why on WOZ, Judy Garland is mentioned separately.

It's true of pretty much anything. Demolition man had it's backglass revised because wesley snipes owned the rights to his likeness, and therefore could reject art. Just look at Heighway Pinball Aliens. There's a reason why Sigourney Weaver's likeness wasn't in it, either it was too expensive, or someone else already had the rights to her.

1 week later
#2406 4 months ago
Quoted from Brijam:

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

Stern: From what both Gary and Jody Dankburg have said, they need to make between 55-60 per day, which is roughly 15k games per year.
JJP: If I had to guess, if they are making at best 2,000 games per year, that's barely 8 games per day
AP: no clue, and I doubt they would want to publically say what they make since they are such a young company.

3 weeks later
#2482 3 months ago
Quoted from brucipher:

If it weren't a real company, you would think a lot of the pinball design veterans working for them would have jumped ship by now.

Nordman left Heighway when they announced at the show they were ready to go into production in what.. a month? when the whitewood was still in design.

Of course there's a difference between promising the world to customers, and working for deeproot who at least admitted early on that they weren't ready to reveal at TPF like they had hoped. Still, pinball manufacturing in general is not very stable and designers can sense when things aren't going well.

1 week later
#2550 83 days ago
Quoted from Bublehead:

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.

Barry doesn't joke around, he tells it like it is. If he says he's happy and thinks customers will be happy with the product, it probably will be.

1 week later
#2561 71 days ago

someone posted a link to deeproot's patent for a pinball cabinet on deadflip stream the other night. im for innovation, but im also for JUST MAKING A PINBALL MACHINE.

20190405_201059 (resized).jpg
#2578 71 days ago
Quoted from fnosm:

This reminds me an awful lot of Heighway Pinball design.
Look at the backbox and the cartridge for the glass.
I going out on a limb and calling BS that this has anything to do with Deeproot.

it is deeproot, their name is on the patent of the full pdf.

#2668 69 days ago
Quoted from BMore-Pinball:

plenty of patents get filed all time and no products are made.
Car manufacturers constantly file patents and never go through with the features
with that said, putting in my 2 cents - I have no interest in swappable playfields.
The feature made the heighway game cabinets very strange looking and the design really bothered me

so do many companies, but they usually have 20 million plus in sales, not a brand new pinball company trying to get their first machine out so there is some revenue coming in. they are still burning money.

#2705 68 days ago
Quoted from ultimategameroom:

Has deeproot made any mention of showing a finished or proto machine after they announced that there wouldn’t be any at TPF?

From what I hear, it'll be done when it's done. TPF was obviously the best place to show something since it's a short drive. To show games at say MGC or expo would be a heck of a drive (both for the games and the employees). Sure, you can reveal a pinball anytime (just look at Stern releasing black knight 2 days after TPF), but at some point you have to bring games to a show so people can play them, especially if you're a new pinball company earning trust.

#2717 65 days ago
Quoted from Zavadoza:

Here's a couple clues though: JPop's RAZA is first release. Then Barry's game, then Dennis Norman's

JPOP, that explains the delay. I'm assuming deeproot had no choice but to push this through first to satisfy the existing customers. I sure hope they started with a blank sheet of paper, and had Barry and Dennis review his layout on a weekly basis.

1 week later
#2761 57 days ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine: If I'd have the money I've ordered the new Black Knight at first sight.
I couldn't. - Now that I've waited a couple of days I notice what I may not like (too hard, knight does not shake, repetitive music) so I want to play it first.

i would.. its hard, music is repetitive (hope they fix in code update).. also shield is also falling off already

20190419_145955 (resized).jpg
#2787 56 days ago
Quoted from billyboy:

Look at the daily "for sales" in the market. It's huge everyday, because people are trying to sell to buy the next new pin

agreed, nothing wrong with finally prying some older titles out of collector's basements. I'm seeing a ton of games go up for sale in the past week, and I think it's due to both black knight and wonka coming out.

Quoted from billyboy:

There will be an eventual semi-freeze in the market on both used and new games. The available space and money will reach a tipping point

Or perhaps the market just shifts. 8 years ago it was mostly high-end collectors had all the modern Williams DMD games, leaving only alphanumeric and early solid state to the bottom end collectors. With more and more HD display games with great animations and sound, it starts to make DMD look slightly dated.

#2848 54 days ago
Quoted from EDMAN:

Just curious...did JPop get any permissions from the Mars Attacks illustrators (original trading cards/movie) in regards to his original artwork for RAZA?
The Alien is uncanny

He did not.. if I'm not mistaken he also had a robbie the robot and a godzilla in his art. That's not to say any of that will be in this version, but yes at the time he had unlicensed art on his prototypes.

#2854 54 days ago
Quoted from kdecgp:

Is a backbox even necessary anymore?

It hasn't been "necessary" since solid state was introduced (atari put scoring in the apron). The backbox serves as an attention grabber on route, same way slots have LCD's on top with flashy graphics. One could argue you could have a home version that eliminates the backbox (only install a backbox for routing), but is that too much of a customization?

Also does that change the shape of a pinball too drastically?
Google Zingy Bingy, you'll see how weird a game without a backbox looks (not going to post here for obvious reasons)

#2880 54 days ago
Quoted from frolic:

The $750k quote was from December. Robert also said it will ramp up as they get to launch.
That's $3,750,000 just counting December to April. Yikes.
I'm sure there's a ton of cool stuff in the halls from all that cash, but no products rolling out the door.
And do all these staff just go home after? They seem like permanent hires, so this cash burn at this intensity will only go up.

and they still havent setup manufacturing. even if you farm that out, no 3rd party is going to build production fixtures for free.

#2895 54 days ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

Not sure why people thought Python was losing his mind...
[quoted image]

dude, i said what i said for a reason. thanks for making this thread nsfw

#2924 53 days ago
Quoted from benheck:

Jeri Ellsworth could make a ball-tracking ASIC in her sleep.

man i would love to see her get back into homebrew. maybe you two can join forces?

#2968 53 days ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

Here is a quick video of John Papadiuk talking about Retro Atomic Zombieland on the Ben Heck Show back in 2011.

lots of people design a pinball for a decade..
yea, they're called jpop
#davidspade #tommyboy

#2989 52 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

His games suck ass.
The best one he ever made he didn't even finish (World Cup Soccer - thanks to whomever at Williams took that project over).
There's never been a single more overrated "classic" pinball designer than Jpop. I do not and never will understand the cult.

i remember playing it new in the arcade, not knowing or caring about the designers back then. didn't even know about TOTAN OR CV until i got in the hobby 8 years ago. i remember having fun playing it at the time, even thought about buying one once. its such a tainted game i dont think i could ever own one. i know that sounds silly, but theres also so many other good titles out there and only so much room in your house.

#3002 52 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

It's funny to me the number of people who think it's some Herculean engineering task to develop a system that could track the ball on the playfield without mechanical switches
Gerry, you really need to work on getting the P3 to more shows...

they have, its called optos (williams), proximity (heighway), touchscreen surface (multimorphic). heck i know kugler used a cheap webcam to detect dice dots on his homebrew casino pinball. also if musk can make a self driving car using nothing but cheap cameras (no lidar) i wouldnt think tracking ball position would be terribly hard

#3054 52 days ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I think that is really dismissive of some of the very smart engineers that work at Stern for example.
Anything is solvable with money and man power, especially at the level pinball is at. A more accurate reason in my opinion is there is no business case or return on some of these ideas.
When JJP bailed on the pirates mech, that was an engineering failure due to lack of experience/smarts. They said so.
When Stern isn't putting video camera ball tracking in games, that's business smarts.

so much this.. where i work i can have the greatest new design in the industry (and have cost savings), but of the ROI isnt less than 3 years it gets shot down immediately. if the camera replacing switches idea had merit, any manufacturer would jump at it. think about the cost of all those switches, and the wiring going to them, and the connectors.

ben once had a wacky idea of somehow replacing all the insert lamps with pulsed lasers and mirrors. totally feasible, but a lot of work to proove it out.

#3056 52 days ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Of course it is. I've seen this argument before and it's always stupid and offensive.
There are PLENTY of people who work at Stern because they WANT to. They'd rather work in the pinball business than somewhere else. Many people have turned down higher-paying jobs to work in the pinball industry.
Most pinball companies aren't just hiring people who are otherwise unemployable off the street. They are hiring talented people who want to work on pinball machines.

and so much this. i interviewed at JJP and jack did offer me a job, but i turned it down based on pay and benefits. ask kugler about how he took a pay cut to work for AP. most new designers are taking those jobs out of passion.

#3066 52 days ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Wiring labor is cheap compared to field support.

Yeaaa, but it's a LOT of wiring. ask anyone in the industry what a pain it is to manufacture, not to mention design a new harness EVERY single time you design a new playfield.

Physical switches are constantly getting mashed needing re-adjustment, and sometimes switches can cause ball hangups. Ever notice how modern cellphones have very few physical switches anymore? That's because touchscreens are more reliable. They also prefer you charge using a wireless pad so you don't wear out the charging port.

When people talk about cameras, we aren't talking about a webcam.. It can be a cellphone camera (which is tiny and cheap and can mount in tight areas on the playfield). If a replacement cellphone camera is $5 retail, it's probably less than a dollar in volumes direct from the manufacturer (and you don't need 13 megapixels to detect an object. Hell you don't even need color). I'm willing to bet if you found the right chinese supplier that was trying to dump 2 year old cellphone cameras you could get them for 50 cents all day long. Tool up a small plastic mounting bracket. $.50 camera + $.25 bracket ($.75) to replace a $2 switch (and cameras can detect multiple areas replacing multiple switches).

I guess the only caveat is how long would the camera stay clean, and how often would you have to clean it?
Could it slide out under the playfield so you don't have to peel away layers of plastic to get at it?

#3137 50 days ago
Quoted from hank527:

Sorry he burnt his bridges and I despise him and will never like him. His overall attitude is poison and that's contagious in an organjzation. The sooner the cancer is caught, the better. Jpoop is cancer in this industry.

I think people forget all the things he did.. he'd make statements like "check your ego at the door", yet he would comment on homebrew games not having painted vent grills even though his shooter rod didn't line up with the ball (or have a groove).

"Starting a pinball is easy, but finishing it is hard" - Yes you've proven that point.

He'd ask for volunteer help, and then either ignore that help or cop an attitude.

It wasn't that he failed to build a complete working pinball, he failed at three (yet took money on all three even though he knew he could never deliver the 1st without someone bailing him out), and it still didn't function because of failed mechs and failure to pay the programmer working on his game.

He never apologized to the buyers, instead he sued them.

I have no doubts John has some imagination, but I fail to see anyone supporting him unless they don't know his history.

1 week later
#3245 42 days ago

i wish deeproot luck. i hope they deliver a more packed playfield than what stern does currently for $5k

#3345 38 days ago
Quoted from deeproot:

Lastly, I agree with Kaneda that it is not fair that people are holding money back from making other purchases (pinball or otherwise) expecting us to imminently launch.

I would hope nobody is actually doing this. Even if you announced a month from now that you have a fully working whitewood, I'm assuming there's still a lot to do (play testing, coding, animation, sound, artwork, tweaks, building up a production assembly area, ordering parts / tooling). Everyone should be buying whatever pinball looks interesting to them right now. You should never be waiting for the next thing, because there will ALWAYS be the next thing.

#3366 37 days ago
Quoted from jellikit:

6. Star Wars topper receives final approval and begins delivery.

holy crap! that thing isn't released yet either??

2 weeks later
#3437 17 days ago

It's retro alright.. remember 7 years ago when JPOP started working on his 2nd game and didn't finish it? good times

#3625 15 days ago
Quoted from adol75:

Stern has been keeping the industry alive for the last 20 years and managed to stay afloat while every other competitor sunk. They deserve to be praised for that and for still being the only ones able to deliver 3 new games a year.
JJP took it a step further by going back to the cost no object design that rules the industry during the golden age, with a far superior build quality, deeper integration, and toys, toys and more toys.
So seeing someone bragging and spitting on them, who came out of nowhere, with no track record in the industry, who is late of every single promise he made, and entered the business by saying "pinball is easy", is quite irritating to say the least, and clearly not brash but plain stupid.

This /\

Gary Stern: played with parts in the service cage as a kid, became a salesman for Stern Electronics in the early 80s. He knows a little bit about pinball and what sells.

Jack: Routed pins in the 70s, knows what does good on route, what parts fail (LTG also does their service, who also has a long experience of coin-op)

Robert: Pinball is fun, I'm going to buy a dozen. 6 months later, I have money and a media company, I'm going to start a pinball company and hire whatever designers are left.

No offense Robert, I really hope you figure all this out, but even if you're 6 months away from showing RAZA I just hope you realize the uphill challenges you have ahead of you. You should have swallowed your pride and stopped bragging well over a year ago.

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