Warning: Opinions inbound.
There's something like a holy trinity for getting your pinball project funded.
1) Reputation. Having a reputation for having been able to make good on designs in the past. Games designed, companies ran, good connections, etc.
2) A working prototype. A fully flipping machine. Something that shows you can at least get 75% of a pin built.
3) Market demand for a new machine.
And a 4th wildcard:
4) Enough cash on hand to buy 1 and / or 2.
I think you grade each point on a scale of 0 - 10. All added up you've got to get to at least a "10" in order to expect some success.
1) 7 - Had an established business in the industry.
2) 0 - Nothing here but an idea.
3) 10 - Guys were begging for it.
4) 5 - Took pre-orders but he certainly had a bank roll of his own.
1) 8 - Who doesn't love a Jpop design? Plus he's got all of the connections.
2) 2 - At least there were some drawings and concept art.
3) 9 - Maybe a little less hungry because of JJP, but the demand was still there, especially for another TOM or CV.
4) 1 - Took pre-orders, I'm not sure he could have funded the whole thing on his own.
1) 8 - Had connections. Could produce playfields, cabinets, translights.
2) 10 - You couldn't ask for a more open presentation of their prototypes and build progress.
3) 5 - They had others in the market already, maybe coming a little later in the game. A year earlier and this would have been a 9/10.
4) 5 - I don't know that Charlie had big money, but he could open a shop on his own and start making pinball stuff almost immediately.
1) 0 - Sorry guys. Some kids in the basement don't have a lot of industry reputation capital.
2) 9 - They hit the ground running with a really nice prototype.
3) 8 - I think they're between JPOP and JJP, I could be wrong about this, it's not an exact science.
4) 1 - Took pre-orders but at least could demonstrate that they had enough money to produce a decent prototype.
Feel free to create your own scales here, but Vonnie D should have done something to up their company's reputation capital.
1) 2 - OK, Ousler is a name but the level of his involvement isn't clear. Consulting on some modes isn't really a big commitment.
2) 1 - Some drawings and an idea.
3) 1 - They've said, "You thought pinball was dead?" Really there are what, 12 or more boutique or bigger players releasing new machines? A lot of money is tied up and a lot of attention is being spread VERY thin these days.
4) 1 - ? Again, not much to show. A web site, drawings, a video. Not much real capital there.
To help your cause you really need to up the value of your endeavor by a lot. Now is not the time to keep everything close to the cuff. If there's some mind blowing million dollar idea that you're afraid will be stolen, then you shouldn't be afraid to hit up family, mortgage the house, and fund it yourself.
You can be coy about your innovations if you've got a reputation as a big hitter design wise. Show us what you've got. You can't go on reputation alone. You're not Lawlor, Ritchie, or Jpop.
Use Ben as an example. No one was more open than Ben Heck. He's doing things other manufacturers haven't done before. Cool ideas. He was able to show them off as he went along and no one came along and stole all of his ideas.
I'm sure some would see this as another knock, but it's meant to give you an idea of what you're going to need to succeed. There's a long time before the kickstarter is over, but in a world where a game can sell out in an hour (MM) after being announced, you've got to be concerned with your underwhelming results so far. Some adjustments are going to be necessary.