This is a bit anticlimactic but very exciting nonetheless. I will try to cover how this went down the same way I would have liked to have read it. Hope I can do justice to this.
Anticlimactic in the sense that this part of the journey began on the evening of March 22 (Friday night). I had just walked into my home from a lousy commute and the phone was ringing.
I didn’t recognize the number and thought it was a solicitor. I was about to say, thanks but I am not interested. Instead I said hello and the voice on the other end said, is this David. I said yes. The voice said, ”this is Jack Guarnieri”. Considering it was the end of March, I had a feeling I knew what the call could be about. I cant tell you the emotions, the thoughts that raced through my mind in those few seconds. Is this really happening?. I knew it was Jack and not a crank call as I had spoken to him once or twice before.
He said,” I cant tell you how long I have been waiting to make this call. Would you like to pick up your game next Saturday”. WHAT!!!!
Ok, get your mind right David, don’t sound like an idiot now. In any case, we spoke for a while. I asked him many questions. During our conversation Jack said, I see you are in New Jersey. Where do you live? I told him, there was a slight hesitation and he said, “well I think we will try to deliver your game to your home”. What!!! Being in NJ, my intentions were to pick up my game and check out JJP’s facility. I live about an hour and 45 minutes away, so good time to see it all. But deliver to my house???!!!! What a nice gesture! I thought it was best to go pick it up as I would hate to have these guys lug this machine up my stairs J.
Jack said he would call me on Thursday so we could make arrangements.
I asked Jack what he thought about going out to the forums and let all know. Jack
didn’t have a problem, but after speaking, it was determined that it would be best to wait till the game actually was picked up/delivered, that turned out to be a quite prophetic. So out of respect for Jack, I didn’t say anything. There was no one to share this with outside of my family and a few friends that find Pinball fun, but they look at me and say..ok so?? Talk about keeping your emotions in check for a week…it was one tough, looong week.
On Thursday I believe we communicated via email, Jack said he would finalize on Friday. So, unable to contain the excitement any longer, I did share this with
spfxted. Ted was the first pinsider I had met in person when he came to my house to play a few games he was thinking of buying…and a Pinside friendship was born. Plus who better to have take some pics..than a director! I want to thank Ted for keeping this quiet..I put a bit of a burden on him as it turns out. Also thks to a local pinsider yzfguy who I had asked to come for the unboxing..the more the merrier! And thanks to DCfan who helped me early on with lotr figures (he is the guy to goto if you need to find lotr figures) who also knew later in month and has been a positive WOZ supporter. And thks to Texastargazer another positive supporter, we share a love for another hobby who I shared my excitement with later this month..
On that Friday Jack called and I could tell something was off in his voice. Well turns out that Jack felt there may be issues with the game which had the prototype boards. This was right before the production boards were set to arrive. He just
didnt’ feel comfortable allowing this game to go out in the state it was. The point of this, I believe, no, I know, Jack wanted to do all he could to ship by end of March, but more importantly, he wanted to deliver the best product he could.....PERIOD.
Jack wanted me and my family to come down that Saturday anyway for a tour and lunch. This was the Saturday b4 Easter and there was no way I was going to put him out during this holiday week….but this just shows the type of compassion he has.
Fast forward to last week…with all the chatter and things really heating up..I shot Jack a short message,
yada, yada…and decided Wednesday would be the day. Back to containing the excitement…time to move some pins around and make room. Jack again offered to deliver…but at this point unless he, Jen, Keith, Ted, Chris, Alex and the entire team were going to come..I would pick it up. I want to see JJP’s facility in person!
So the day is finally here. Off to JJP's faciltiy. Arrived! Met right away with Jen and Jack. What gracious hosts!!! Jack went over many of the aspects of the game...some I took in, some I was on sensory overload. FIrst i think we spoke about the coin door and the audio Jack and how to regulate that. You can play the game w/ headphones and people hear the sounds or you can turn off the sound to the game. Great for a late night game when everyone sleeping. As we all know, the game will be evolving with new code. But to that end..and I have not got to play enough to understand it all...but when I got home..the various people playing had all sorts of modes happening..lights out (was cool), munchkin land, twister...shoot...I couldnt figure out what the heck was going on. Like Alex told me, It will take a 150 plays to understand the various nuances.
Anyway...we toured the facitly. Jack is so open to discuss any topic...VERY refreshing. I could go on..we had a great time ( Ted, my wife, Daughter, and my friend). Thank you so much Jack, Jen, Larry et all.
btw Ted took the pics...so blame him
This game is HEAVY...esp if you have to move it up stairs...325 lbs w/ out the pallet. I got my next door neighbors son (245 lbs of muscle)! Then unboxing, had to eat...set up, etc etc.
Then everyone played..and i watched...well at times I snuck in a game., But I got to write this up before its too late.
I wopuld attach some pics but by the time I get to that...its late!! Besides, thats TED's job!
Im not a tech...and have not dug under the hood yet. But as many of us have seen...the menu options are vast. Jack did go over almost all of those when we were there. There are so many setting for flippers, bumbers, coils, change to your hearts consent...but watch out. Jack raised the values on some...and your going to break things if you keep some of the setings too high. The game played way too fast to control the ball at higher settings.
I need more time on the game to offer more. There is a lot that no one has seen as far as game play is concerned.
The crystal ball...which is hard to pay attn to at first...has all sorts of "videos"/images happening (some were funny). The call outs are great and sooo many I have not heard and I have watched most of the released videos. The LCD is great..but hard to watch when learning the game..but for people watching, its something everyone liked....alot!
Sorry for the long post..its kind of how i would have like to have read it...so let TED post some pics..and I will do more as well in the coming days.