Lexy Lightspeed – Escape From Earth
Grand Slam Rally
This was the first public showing of Wizard, Grand Slam Rally, and Heads Up, all of which are fairly early in their development cycles.
Wizard is a pinball-training application that gave people a small taste of its potential to introduce players to pinball techniques, guide them through practice sessions, and score each player’s proficiency. It included both onscreen instructions and video showing how particular techniques are performed, and it identified every time a known technique was successfully performed (ie. flipper passes, post passes, tap passes, cradling, etc). This app has the potential to teach beginners the basics of aiming and ball control and give experts a controlled environment for them to practice both individual techniques and combos.
Grand Slam Rally is the first P3 game developed by a 3rd party (86Pixels) using a pre-release version of our development kit. It’s a pitch-and-bat style game that works with the Cannon Lagoon playfield and makes heavy use of dynamic playfield artwork and popup playfield scoops. It can ‘pitch’ balls out of any of 5 playfield launch locations at a variety of speeds, and it can dynamically label the shots with reward values (single, double, triple, home-run). The scoops pop up for randomly placed outs after each pitch.
Heads Up! is what we believe to be the first internet-connected physical pinball game. Two machines connect to each other over a wireless network and allow two players to battle against each other. The objectives are fairly straightforward: shoot green shots; don’t shoot red shots. Green shots award points. Red shots ‘teleport’ your ball to the other machine, giving your opponent more opportunities to score points. It’s very simple in concept but layered with strategic complexities, and it was enjoyed by men and women across all age ranges and skill levels.
Like usual, we didn’t record nearly as much video as we’d hoped. When all of the games are more mature, we’ll record some high definition video in a quieter setting. The following is a full game of Heads Up!. (Watching tip: Focus on just one machine for a while. Also, launches from the center lane going straight down the middle are intentional and awesome! They can be used strategically)
It was enlightening and validating talking to people about the variety of games; there was a pretty even distribution of which ones were people’s favorites. The beauty of the P3 is that you can play all of the games (and many more that’ll be developed in the coming years) on a single machine, thereby completely changing the value proposition of owning a pinball machine.
With TPF behind us, and having learned a great deal from the assembly of the first 8 machines, we’ve spent much of April identifying and tweaking things that weren’t robust enough for machines going to customers. The result is we’re a few weeks behind schedule on our first production run and have communicated as much to all affected customers. So far, our 2nd production run schedule is unaffected, as most of the long lead-time parts that have already been ordered don’t need to change.
As we pass the assembly reigns to our contract manufacturing partner, we’re able to spend more and more time on new developments. We’re continuing to ramp up efforts on our highly anticipated Cosmic Cart Racing game, and we’re looking to wrap up the first public release of our development kit to help others create games for the P3. We’re also looking forward to releasing our new website, webstore, and customer support portal.
Thank you all for your continued support. I love hearing your suggestions and comments; please keep them coming. Also, while the machines in both of our first two production runs are going to paid customers (including many of you), we are currently maintaining a sign-up list for customers interested in buying machines from production run #3. For production run #3 we hope to move away from the build-to-order model, moving to a model where we can immediately ship from inventory. If you’re on the production #3 list, we’ll give you the opportunity to buy a machine before offering it to the general public. You can email me to get on this list.
– Gerry Stellenberg