(Topic ID: 92436)

John Popadiuk update thread……MAGIC GIRL, RAZA, AIW…..


By iceman44

5 years ago



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#7751 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

And back on topic.

Agreed, Please back on topic, everybody. Remember, this is a " JPOP update thread".

#7752 4 years ago

I'm dying to see the video. Hopefully it will be uploaded soon.

17
#7753 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

I'm dying to see the video. Hopefully it will be uploaded soon.

Shouldn't be long now, I hear John just upgraded to a 2400 baud modem.

#7754 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

And back on topic.

Anyone wonder why people think us pinball players are nerdy?

#7755 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

And back on topic.

johnny.JPG

Is that the new collector's edition Vending Machine that's he's making? And filed 15 Patents for?

#7756 4 years ago

That photo belongs to Ben Heck. Saw it here: https://twitter.com/benheck/status/325272771066212352

If Jpop's newly anticipated video has that coffee machine in it, I think we're in big trouble

#7757 4 years ago

image.jpg

Someone need to get John motivated, maybe Alic Baldwin

image-586.jpg

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12
#7758 4 years ago

Yup I took that photo on a road trip to Pinball at the Zoo, 2013.

I have no interest in John failing. If his games were shipped and great, they'd increase in value, creating MORE wealth for their owners who could in turn buy more games. At worst they'd keep their value, allowing buyers to get something different in the future if they wished.

#7759 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

they'd increase in value, creating MORE wealth for their owners who could in turn buy more games. At worst they'd keep their value, allowing buyers to get something different in the future if they wished.

You're going to cause the, "pinball isn't an investment"group to shit themselves with talk like that.

#7760 4 years ago

I could give a shit about value retainment. I don't want John to fail because I like his designs. The rules for his games can be lacking and need an overhaul down the road, but the art packages and layouts are fantastic. 2 of my top 9 favorite games are johns creations. One had the rules fixed years after B/W closed it's doors and the other one needs a major rule tweek to go from a great game to a phenomenal game. It's nice to see your favorite pinball people still thriving in the pinball world, so you never want to see them fail at anything.

#7761 4 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I could give a shit about value retainment. I don't want John to fail because I like his designs. The rules for his games can be lacking and need an overhaul down the road, but the art packages and layouts are fantastic. 2 of my top 9 favorite games are johns creations. One had the rules fixed years after B/W closed it's doors and the other one needs a major rule tweek to go from a great game to a phenomenal game. It's nice to see your favorite pinball people still thriving in the pinball world, so you never want to see them fail at anything.

But they are not "his" designs. They are collaborative efforts that entailed a lot of give and take which appears to be something that he is now steering away from.

#7762 4 years ago

Give credit where credit is due. John may not draw the art but he certainly is the guy that comes up with the overall layout and design. Can't take that away from him. Having said that, Neo I'm with you...it will be a shame to see these machines die and not see John thrive. While there is no defending his business decisions, I will not put him in the same ballpark as a certain others who were out to "profit" from this hobby, I just won't shoot me.

#7763 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

...I will not put him in the same ballpark as a certain others who were out to "profit" from this hobby...

I think John has already been paid his profit in this endeavor. I think he is the only one who has profited. Just my opinion.

#7764 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

I think John has already been paid his profit in this endeavor. I think he is the only one who has profited. Just my opinion.

If he has spent over $1,000,000 . . . my personal guess is about $600,000 was salary paid to himself over the years; about $150,000 a year sounds about right looking at things now. Could be higher if he wasn't paying vendors and what not.

If so, yes he has received his share of the money.

#7765 4 years ago

No way is his salary $150,000/year the money won't last at that rate, plus another $100,000 for code etc...

#7766 4 years ago
Quoted from CaptainNeo:

I don't want John to fail because I like his designs.

I do not want John to fail because it is bad for the industry.

#7767 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

I think John has already been paid his profit in this endeavor. I think he is the only one who has profited. Just my opinion.

There is so much speculation and impossible to measure what John profited without the facts. I'm sure he paid himself but I believe he had full intentions of getting these machines built and out the door and that's this mans one opinion. I'm invested here as well and have seen all sorts of companies mismanaged, taken for a ride, and succeed as well. This to me smells like someone trying his best without the "personal" necessary tools to get there. Self realization is hard for some people but I always go back to common sense and what I believe their intentions were from the beginning and all the way to that pivotal turning point.

16
#7768 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

I think John has already been paid his profit in this endeavor. I think he is the only one who has profited. Just my opinion.

Hard to argue with this. Whatever his salary, he took one, and from our money. And we got nothing.

#7769 4 years ago

These by the way are all the main factors I need to analyze and judge before deciding what path to take.

18
#7770 4 years ago

He also got a badass workshop out of it. I would give my left nut for a giant workshop with awesome tools. I guess I'm just not willing to steal from people to get it.

#7771 4 years ago
Quoted from RomstarArkanoid:

I do not want John to fail because it is bad for the industry.

He already has failed.

I find the amount of wishful thinking in this thread, even now, mind boggling. Then again, I wouldn't pay $17k for some cheap plywood with paint/ink/images on it, no matter who the designer is, or how good the game is hyped to be. Especially when the game is sight unseen and meant to be manufactured by somebody with no actual manufacturing business management experience.

#7772 4 years ago
Quoted from GetTheJackpot:

He already has failed.
I find the amount of wishful thinking in this thread, even now, mind boggling. Then again, I wouldn't pay $17k for some cheap plywood with paint/ink/images on it, no matter who the designer is, or how good the game is hyped to be. Especially when the game is sight unseen and meant to be manufactured by somebody with no actual manufacturing business management experience.

I was making a statement about him and all pinball suppliers as well... It has nothing to do with if he will be able to do this or not. My previous posts make it fairly clear my feelings on the situation.

#7773 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

No way is his salary $150,000/year the money won't last at that rate, plus another $100,000 for code etc...

That's kind of the point, the money hasn't lasted, it's gone.

#7774 4 years ago

I believe Rai forgot the time factor in the equation and meant wouldn't have lasted this long based on a 150k salary per year. Everything is pointing towards running low if not out so Aurich you are right as well

#7775 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

There is so much speculation and impossible to measure what John profited without the facts. I'm sure he paid himself but I believe he had full intentions of getting these machines built and out the door and that's this mans one opinion. I'm invested here as well and have seen all sorts of companies mismanaged, taken for a ride, and succeed as well. This to me smells like someone trying his best without the "personal" necessary tools to get there. Self realization is hard for some people but I always go back to common sense and what I believe their intentions were from the beginning and all the way to that pivotal turning point.

This reminds me of an old Onion article which might explain JPop's thought process when starting his own Pinball company.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/laidoff-ford-employee-decides-to-start-own-car-com,2086/

Or, he pondered his job options George Costanza style

#7776 4 years ago

The word is he stopped drawing a salary three months ago . . . who did he tell that to again? Maybe Ice?

#7777 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's kind of the point, the money hasn't lasted, it's gone.

Exactly what I was going to say. One possible reason he is vice president, and not owner or president is so that he can draw a salary as an employee and have no personal liability from the company. His wife is arms lengthish, could say John was a poor manager and the business failed. If Zidware declares bankruptcy, wife could claim a business loss on her personal income tax, reducing the amount of tax she would have to pay for her other (presumably successful) business. It is also a possibility that Zidware might be "renting" the building and equipment from a holding company owned by a John, his wife, or a close relative. This way even if Zidware (a pinball manufacturing company) goes bankrupt, the holding company (a capital asset investment company) gets to keep the money from rent, and keep the shop and equipment.

This is only one possible scenario and I don't know anything about how John runs his operation. I am merely stating that if this were the current arrangement, one company could easily have transferred all of its assets into another arms length company which would make it very hard for someone to go after the assets via a lawsuit once bankruptcy is declared. There is a possibility that Zidware owns zero assets to liquidate aside from some pinball parts. There is no limit to what John may have been paying himself, someone would have to physically delve into the books and bank account to be sure.

#7778 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

he didn't understand or couldn't comprehend why we would be so upset with him, especially since he is working "24/7 on our behalf and hadn't paid himself in several months".

whatever "several" months means, but considering he's had money on tap since 2011, obviously years of salary until recently.

#7779 4 years ago

For those not following the Skit-B debacle, I thought this was an interesting read someone posted:

http://www.inc.com/eric-markowitz/when-kickstarter-investors-want-their-money-back.html

There sure are a lot of interesting parallels in it.

#7780 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

The word is he stopped drawing a salary three months ago . . . who did he tell that to again? Maybe Ice?

Yep, that's what he told me.

I kind of felt sorry for him at the time.

Now, it's "No Soup For You" John . Literally

#7781 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The Payment schedule was:
3/1/2012 - $750 (Pre-order agreements)
6/1/2012 - $2250 (Game Concept)
11/1/2012 - $1250 (Whitewood, Software Start)
3/1/2013 - $2250 (Game Review, Changes, Software)
6/1/2013 - $3000 (Evaluation: Final Designs, Final artwork)
9/1/2013 - $495 (Build)
Optional : Ben & John show up at your house Q4/2013 - $1000
I was asked and paid up to "Game Review" which put me at $6500. John never asked for the next $3k, thank God, I'm sure he realized how far behind he was. Even when I sent in the $2250 I knew he was not at that stage yet because we had basically seen nothing of the game. We're kind of at this stage today basically.
That's 124 RAZA's paid approx $6500 each ($806k collected). Plus 19 Magic Girls at $17k ($323k). Even if not everyone paid up as much, that still going to put you at over a million, or just shy of it.
I kept wondering if my $3500 owing would cover BOM on raza, but Ben's guess is $6k to build it. So I don't see how my $3500 will get things done, other than help pay for someone's Magic Girl to get built.
My $6500 lost is $6500 lost any way you cut it. That is a Stern Premium or Heighway game chucked off a 20 story building roof.

It's hurts me every time I see that timeline!

I think I'm going to frame the original one that came in the packet, put in my office as a constant reminder of my stupidity and how NOT to treat my clients!

#7782 4 years ago

I will start out by saying that I don't wish for John to fail. I do think he's a jerk (insert Costanza meme: the jerk store called they're running out of you!).

I don't wish for John to fail because that would mean a lot of Pinsiders and other pinball people will lose money (potentially).

I've been on this thread since the beginning. Mostly just pointing out how absurd John is being by not showing anything that resembles a working pinball machine. I am not counting people that have played the games but don't say anything else. I am not counting that people were shooting a video 4-5 days ago. I am only counting what I have seen with my own eyes. And I have seen Zero.

I know some people say this thread is mostly non-owners trying to bring John down. I don't see it that way. I don't see the mystery people who looked in on Kevin as wanting to bring Predator down. I think I'm just pointing out facts. If it's only non-owners here, fine that's not bothering anyone. If there are owners here they are free to do whatever they want.

I just started reading a book about game theory called 'Thinking Strategically'. It started with a simple example we all know. Charley Brown is about to kick the football, Lucy pulls it away at the last second and Charley Brown falls on his back.

The above example illustrated a problem with 2 outcomes (up to Lucy) she can let Charley Brown kick the football or she can pull it back at the last instant. Now Charley must decide what he should do. What is his 'best course of action' knowing the facts? Lets say Lucy always pulls the ball back, she does it every time. Charley Brown's best course of action would be not to attempt to kick the ball.

Other decisions might have more than 2 possible outcomes.

Now with John (MG and RAZA). We have (I think) 2 possible outcomes.

1)both games are made (by John) and the numbers stay the same (24 MG and 124 RAZA), everyone is happy
2)both games do not get made and/or the numbers are not limited (not everyone is happy)

2) has several possible scenarios:
a) MG is made with the money John has collected, but not enough left to make RAZA (sorry)
b) neither game gets made
c) John sells his obligation and the rights to makes the games and they are made and shipped to the people who paid for them (this is far fetched almost don't even want to say this is a possibility). But maybe it's possible. But in this event, I don't see how the new owner does not blow up the 'limited number' BS. Meaning people get their games but not limited editions they paid for.

not sure if I missed any other possibilities. ??

So you owners should look at the possibilities, and look at the information you have on hand.
John says he will do an 'on the rug reveal' back in December 2014.
Someone says 'people are shooting the video now'. (does a video mean the game will be shipping soon? Ask Kevin about that.) How long does it take to shoot a video?
John has not paid some vendors.
John's artist is surprised at the turn of events.
The clearest pictures we have seen of 'games' is from Adobe video many months ago.
John doesn't return phone calls or emails (not sure about this).
John's phone number (or one of them has been disconnected).
John says he will update his blog twice a week.
John says he's working 5,000 hrs a year (do you believe this?).
John won't post on Pinside because 'great harm' will occur.
John is currently 2 years behind schedule give or take a year.

My point, is weighing the evidence, and decide what outcome is most likely?

If you believe outcome 1) is most likely, logic would say stay put, don't rock the boat.
if you believe outcome 2) is most likely, logic would say to visit John's shop and get more information or demand a refund. If you demand a refund, be firm and persistent and don't take 'no' for an answer. If John is looking to sell his IP and his obligations, he does not want a law suite or several. He doesn't want to go to court, nobody does. All he stands to win, even if he is awarded the victory, is that he will still be obligated to build your pins. So logically it's easier and makes more sense for John to refund you (if he can). If he can't, than that means he's out of money and outcome 1) would not have occurred anyway so you didn't disrupt anything that was set to be competed.

#7783 4 years ago

The funny thing is I can remember watching John give a presentation at the Pacific NW show about 4 yrs ago when all this started and saying how impressive I thought the guy was as a "business minded" artsy guy.

That and his reputation is what made me jump in. How wrong could you be? Fast forward, what does John have left now?

#7784 4 years ago

Rai, I think 2 c. Is the only way we see pins

I'm supposed to be in Chicago for business June 14-16.

If I go, that face to face with John should be interesting

#7785 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Rai, I think 2 c. Is the only way we see pins

I'm sure the limited numbers are about as reliable as the promise that Ben would come to your house.

#7786 4 years ago

Very good post Rai!

I think one other possibility would be for John to re-engineer the games into something that could be made one at a time. Sacrifices would have to be made to quality, and basically nothing could be custom engineered, but at least he wouldn't need new money get started, since a lot of these custom parts have to be made in huge quantities to be cost effective. By building them one at a time, John could open up new orders (having shipped previous orders), and he could reach some sort of escape velocity from this death spiral.

That being said, I don't suspect John has the personality/fortitude to push forward with anything less than perfection, even if it means zero games being shipped.

#7787 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Rai, I think 2 c. Is the only way we see pins
I'm supposed to be in Chicago for business June 14-16.
If I go, that face to face with John should be interesting

Do it! Get someone to video it and I'll send you your dozen beers back

rd.

#7788 4 years ago

Maybe Mike from Homepin can build John's games in China, since he is set up to do quantity 100s

#7789 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Exactly what I was going to say. One possible reason he is vice president, and not owner or president is so that he can draw a salary as an employee and have no personal liability from the company. His wife is arms lengthish, could say John was a poor manager and the business failed. If Zidware declares bankruptcy, wife could claim a business loss on her personal income tax, reducing the amount of tax she would have to pay for her other (presumably successful) business. It is also a possibility that Zidware might be "renting" the building and equipment from a holding company owned by a John, his wife, or a close relative. This way even if Zidware (a pinball manufacturing company) goes bankrupt, the holding company (a capital asset investment company) gets to keep the money from rent, and keep the shop and equipment.
This is only one possible scenario and I don't know anything about how John runs his operation. I am merely stating that if this were the current arrangement, one company could easily have transferred all of its assets into another arms length company which would make it very hard for someone to go after the assets via a lawsuit once bankruptcy is declared. There is a possibility that Zidware owns zero assets to liquidate aside from some pinball parts. There is no limit to what John may have been paying himself, someone would have to physically delve into the books and bank account to be sure.

It doesn't work like that in the United States.

Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the trustee has certain "avoidance powers" that allow him to reach back and undo certain transactions that took place prior to a bankruptcy filing. For example, the trustee has the power to avoid preferential transfers to insiders up to 12 months prior to the petition date [11 U.S.C. §547].

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap5-subchapIII-sec547.htm

The trustee also has the power to avoid fraudulent conveyances up to 2 years pre-petition under federal bankruptcy law [11 U.S.C. §548].

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap5-subchapIII-sec548.htm

The reach-back period for fraudulent conveyances is even longer under state law (e.g., up to 4 years in Illinois) [740 ILCS 160/10].

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2055&ChapterID=57

Per the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, a person automatically qualifies as an "insider" of a corporate debtor if that person is: (1) a director, (2) an officer, (3) a "person in control," (4) a general partner, (5) a relative of an insider, or (6) an affiliate of the debtor at the time of the transaction to be avoided [11 U.S.C. §101(31)(B), (E)].

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap1-sec101.htm

Transfers that can be avoided are very broad in nature, and might include cash, marketable securities, accounts receivable, inventory, machinery & equipment, real estate, intellectual property, and other intangibles.

Most importantly, avoidance powers allow the trustee to disgorge the assets and return them back to the estate, where they can be liquidated and distributed to creditors.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, so the above should not be construed as legal advice. I just deal with these issues regularly in my consulting practice. Always speak with a attorney for legal advice.

#7790 4 years ago
Quoted from retro_p:

Very good post Rai!
I think one other possibility would be for John to re-engineer the games into something that could be made one at a time. Sacrifices would have to be made to quality, and basically nothing could be custom engineered, but at least he wouldn't need new money get started, since a lot of these custom parts have to be made in huge quantities to be cost effective. By building them one at a time, John could open up new orders (having shipped previous orders), and he could reach some sort of escape velocity from this death spiral.
That being said, I don't suspect John has the personality/fortitude to push forward with anything less than perfection, even if it means zero games being shipped.

This whole "perfection" thing, regardless of what ends up happening, never made sense to me. As if he is incapable of anything but. This is not a knock on Zizzle, but he has worked within the reality of products being designed on a budget. He may not have been driving, but he was able to compromise art for businesses, and thats O.K.

26
#7791 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

I'm sure the limited numbers are about as reliable as the promise that Ben would come to your house.

bensnotcoming.jpg

#7792 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Optional : Ben & John show up at your house Q4/2013 - $1000

I am really curious if Ben ever agreed to this, or if it was pie in the sky promised by John? It's sort of like Vonnie D saying they had barry oursler as their pinball consultant, but as I found out by interviewing Barry he never talked to them in person or even on the phone, just emails. It's amazing what people will make claims to.

#7793 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Do it! Get someone to video it and I'll send you your dozen beers back
rd.

You are on RD!!! Maybe I can get somebody to video me doing an interview with him

Ben said he had no clue about the pin building in your home.

#7794 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

You are on RD!!! Maybe I can get somebody to video me doing an interview with him
Ben said he had no clue about the pin building in your home.

I tell you what, Ben would not have been happy if he had to fly to my house to assemble it for $1000.

rd.

11
#7795 4 years ago

That's true. $1000 would get me about halfway across the Pacific and I'd have to swim the rest of the way.

Sorry, I used logic, math, accounting and my knowledge of what things cost there. Know that doesn't fit in the Zidware world.

#7796 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

That's true. $1000 would get me about halfway across the Pacific and I'd have to swim the rest of the way

Well, as long as I knew you were coming, I could meet you half way with a boat. My mate has a duck hunting boat I could borrow.

Nice one!!

rd.

#7797 4 years ago

not to rub more salt in the rug effect wounds, but Lin (the guy creating the P2k haunted cruise project, which is now changing into a new architecture) started making this side project "frozen" table for his daughter (with early but working code). Oh look, LCD display in the back of the playfield, JPOP better start whipping his patents out

#7798 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

The word is he stopped drawing a salary three months ago

That lines up with his complaint about not getting new funds (do to this thread).
Figure he burned through the last of your guys $$ 3 months ago and went through his own $$ since then (That's still your $$ but he rationalized it's his).

-- I think this project will be flatlined sooner than you guys expect.

#7799 4 years ago

He should update something....

-1
#7800 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

My $6500 lost is $6500 lost any way you cut it. That is a Stern Premium or Heighway game chucked off a 20 story building roof.

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