(Topic ID: 92436)

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


By iceman44

5 years ago



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#2001 4 years ago
Quoted from Shrub_Light:

Well Ice do we have any legal recourse? I'm sure since I bought mine from cointaker I would have to go after them, which would be unfortunate as Chris is a good guy.

This is a good point and Chris should provide answers to his customers.

Ice mentioned that Jpop has breached his contract with these games. At that point Chris should have been demanding answers from Jpop since he has been taking payments for the 25 Cointaker edition games.
Since the payment schedule was progress based, ask Chris for the current status of your game and to provide you with a new agreement and timeline.
If you are unsatisfied with the information then ask Chris for a refund.

#2002 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

This is a good point and Chris should provide answers to his customers.
Ice mentioned that Jpop has breached his contract with these games. At that point Chris should have been demanding answers from Jpop since he has been taking payments for the 25 Cointaker edition games.
Since the payment schedule was progress based, ask Chris for the current status of your game and to provide you with a new agreement and timeline.
If you are unsatisfied with the information then ask Chris for a refund.

Redeyes has a Cointaker RAZA up for sale and has to find someone to take his place for him to get out. I almost pulled the trigger before Expo but a real estate deal feel through...THANK GOD

#2003 4 years ago

I can understand why some of the boutique pinball makers are having a hard time with delays etc being it's their first attempt at doing something for the first time, but what's John's excuse? He should have known what the process was going to entail and planned ahead accordingly. When I initially spoke to John to get on board he gave me the impression that he already had much of the art and design work done and was chomping at the bit to build it, little did I know that he was starting from scratch and it appears he had little already planned. After all these years I'm still looking at pretty pictures and colors.

#2004 4 years ago

Got to admit a Pussycats is appealing. I like both themes, should be a slam dunk. Unfortunately does not look feasible with all the other delayed projects. Won't be sending in a deposit though...prepay model has fooled me three times, so must draw the line.

#2005 4 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

Heh, so far they haven't done anything since the only useful public patent of his at the moment has already been non-final rejected mostly because of... his own patent on CV (which is BS anyway because of Flipper Football).
Source: http://portal.uspto.gov/pair/PublicPair app # 13709056
Been a bad year for pinball patents in general. Stern lost their rgb led patent and accelerometer patent. Multimorphic has been final-rejected on a major one and non-final on a few others.

Small companies don't have the resources to defend their patents and actually quantify the damages to make it worthwhile. That's if you can even get one, as if appears pinball patents aren't easy, surprised by Multimorphic, not surprised by Stern's rub fail. Might act as a deterrent but legal fees to defend would wipe out most of these guys anyhow.

Quoted from Shrub_Light:

Well Ice do we have any legal recourse? I'm sure since I bought mine from cointaker I would have to go after them, which would be unfortunate as Chris is a good guy.

As for any recourse guys, sure there is a "breach of contract" on his part and you could send him a demand letter, asking for attorney's fees as well, giving him 30 days to cure the breach (in Texas) and then file suit. He might be judgment proof at this point? No assets left?

He won't answer the suit or just file a general denial which would buy him more time.

As for Cointaker, you could def press those guys for a refund and probably get it, but like you said, Chris is a nice guy. Put it on him to go get the funds from John or ask him to pony up himself.

Bottom line, legal action is not a great idea in this case.

#2006 4 years ago
Quoted from TaTa:

Redeyes has a Cointaker RAZA up for sale and has to find someone to take his place for him to get out. I almost pulled the trigger before Expo but a real estate deal feel through...THANK GOD

I'm not so sure Chris can simply wash his hands of this mess and he is definitely in a position to push Jpop for some answers. Correct me if I misunderstood but hadn't Chris demanded nearly the full payments for these 25 games from his customers already?
Maybe Ice could chime in, but I would think Chris would have some duty to ensure the progress of the game was in line with his payment demands and after all the Cointaker name is attached to these 25 games.

#2007 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

Maybe Ice could chime in, but I would think Chris would have some duty to ensure the progress of the game was in line with his payment demands and after all the Cointaker name is attached to these 25 games.

See above, Chris is his "agent" and as such is liable for delivery, and breach of many promises, its called "promissory estoppel", of course there would be several other remedies you would seek as well.

Has anybody pushed Chris?

#2008 4 years ago

Hopefully Cointaker carries some type of professional liability insurance in the event of a business dealing gone south. I wouldn't want to see that Chris loses money over this, but in my views, he shouldn't have been asking for further payments once those contracts had been breached.

#2009 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

I wouldn't want to see that Chris loses money over this

I don't get the concern about some vendor's bottom line. If you're in on this game, the only thing that you should be worried about is your own cash.

#2010 4 years ago

How did Cointaker ask people to meet the payment timeline when the production timeline was out the window?

#2011 4 years ago

It was a mistake for Cointaker to get involved in this to begin with. I don't know how much money they were going to make on each CT version, but I doubt it was worth the risk. I assume that CT simply forwarded the deposit money that they received to Zidware? If so, it is highly unlikely that CT will issue any refund until they get the money back from Zidware.

I would think that the people who ordered through Cointaker are in a slightly better position than those who ordered direct from Zidware, as they are a more proven company that would have liability for the refund on top of Zidware.

Those who bought from Cointaker: who did you make the check payable to? Cointaker or Zidware?

I wonder what kind of company Zidware is? LLC?

#2012 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I wonder what kind of company Zidware is? LLC?

Not an LLC, probably an s-corp. From a legal standpoint it doesn't matter which.

#2013 4 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

I can understand why some of the boutique pinball makers are having a hard time with delays etc being it's their first attempt at doing something for the first time, but what's John's excuse? He should have known what the process was going to entail and planned ahead accordingly.

This is the main reason I felt comfortable putting down money on RAZA. Given John's proven track record as a designer, and the invaluable experience he gained from his days at Williams, I figured this project would be a walk in the park for him. I expected to see some cool innovation, but I didn't think he was going to try to completely reinvent the wheel.

#2014 4 years ago

Same was true for me. I bought in because of his background and experience. As he will tell you, he's one of only 2 people in the world that made pinball2000 games. I figured all that would mean something but I'm concluding with all these boutiques you need sound business management as well as the pinball design and passion.

#2015 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Same was true for me. I bought in because of his background and experience. As he will tell you, he's one of only 2 people in the world that made pinball2000 games. I figured all that would mean something but I'm concluding with all these boutiques you need sound business management as well as the pinball design and passion.

And programmers, and mechanical engineers, and ...

#2016 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Same was true for me. I bought in because of his background and experience. As he will tell you, he's one of only 2 people in the world that made pinball2000 games. I figured all that would mean something but I'm concluding with all these boutiques you need sound business management as well as the pinball design and passion.

::cough:: One of only 2 people in the world that *SHIPPED A* pinball2000 game ::cough::

#2017 4 years ago

I have a feeling, that john will eventually make and deliver his games. But I also have a feeling that the time until that end will be measured in years.

If john had been up front and said I'm selling these games with a delivery date of: impossible to say or if he had said the delivery date would be somewhere between 2013 and 2017. I am not sure how many would have signed up.

Further, I think his 'self imposed' build limit is a ruse as well, he could have said unlimited MG games (limited that is to how many people can fork over $17,000 for a game).

His self imposed limit was deliberate to entice buyers to pony up money, rather than take a wait and see approach.

As a side note, I just got a note from John saying "yesterday we began the MG reveal for the owners..."

But apparently me being just a RAZA owner, I don't count. I suppose my money was not used in any way to develope MG? In other words if he bought a 3D printer or whatever for use with MG and RAZA wouldn't I be entitled to a reveal of MG?

#2018 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

This is the main reason I felt comfortable putting down money on RAZA. Given John's proven track record as a designer, and the invaluable experience he gained from his days at Williams, I figured this project would be a walk in the park for him. I expected to see some cool innovation, but I didn't think he was going to try to completely reinvent the wheel.

Quoted for truth.

#2019 4 years ago

I did talk to Chris from Cointaker. He's not real happy how things are going and has games on order from Jpop for himself. His money is tied up the same as ours.

#2020 4 years ago

Our RAZA money was used to complete Mg. Let alone the build of mg.

#2021 4 years ago
Quoted from Honch:

I don't get the concern about some vendor's bottom line. If you're in on this game, the only thing that you should be worried about is your own cash.

That is why I would expect CT would carry appropriate liability insurance for their venture with Jpop.

#2022 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

That is why I would expect CT would carry appropriate liability insurance for their venture with Jpop

I'd be surprised if they didn't have insurance.

#2023 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

That is why I would expect CT would carry appropriate liability insurance for their venture with Jpop.

Chris didn't mention anything about liability insurance, but did say he has quite a lot of money invested in this.
He said the games will get done but Jpop needs to get off his ass and complete something. He most definitely agrees it's been way too long.

#2024 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Our RAZA money was used to complete Mg.

So shouldn't any reveal of MG also be posted on the RAZA blog? Is that unreasonable for me to assume, we are waiting for proof of life, and he won't show anyone but MG owners anything?

I have respect for John, but if he were here, I would also have some hard words for his lack of professionalism.

#2025 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

And programmers, and mechanical engineers, and ...

Correct, and it was reasonable to assume at the time that because of John's past experiences, he would have a lot of connections in these areas.

#2026 4 years ago

Well that's the thing, when asked about who's money paid for what, he'll tell you he's building a company. Well our money built his company, and we're not allowed to see those results.

#2027 4 years ago
Quoted from Honch:

I'd be surprised if they didn't have insurance.

1. Losing money on a venture like this would likely not be covered.
2. With business insurance, if you do file a successful claim for something like this, they jack your rates and make you pay it back over time.

Business insurance is a lot different than the insurance many of you might be used to.

#2028 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Well that's the thing, when asked about who's money paid for what, he'll tell you he's building a company. Well our money built his company, and we're not allowed to see those results.

Total BS from John.

First he said wait until the Expo and he brings friken empty cabinets and a translight he won't let anyone take a picture of.

Then he says wait until Dec 17 for a Lebowski "on the rug"-like reveal. So far I'm still waiting for a picture of anything remotely resembling a working pinball machine.

#2029 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

So far I'm still waiting for a picture of anything remotely resembling a working pinball machine.

It's in a picture on this post: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jpop-update-thread……………mg-raza-and-aiw…/page/35#post-2106409

That blurry green blob in the background is it. Great stuff!

#2030 4 years ago

What makes this situation sting more than the other pre-order debacles is that so many people love and respect John's past work. In a way, people feel like they have been let down by one of their heroes.

#2031 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

So shouldn't any reveal of MG also be posted on the RAZA blog? Is that unreasonable for me to assume, we are waiting for proof of life, and he won't show anyone but MG owners anything?

Up until this week I figured JPop did not want to reveal the game because a) he wants to retain the ability to change anything on a whim and b) he is worried about competition copying something. In some ways that is reasonable, but now I'm not so sure.

After 4 years, while all MG's are spoken for and largely paid for, he still won't even reveal the full game to those people. Making matters worse, in that same time he has overtly been spending time designing several other pinball machines and taken pre-order money for 2 of them. The problem is not the time he spent, rather is highly likely he is using that money for MG development and won't include his other pre-order customers in any MG related progress to give them a warm and fuzzy feeling that he will finish their game in the foreseeable future. This shroud of secrecy has bothered me from the beginning but now there is just no excuse.

#2032 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

It's in a picture on this post: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jpop-update-thread……………mg-raza-and-aiw…/page/35#post-2106409
That blurry green blob in the background is it. Great stuff!

Nuts

#2033 4 years ago

From the sneak peak page on zidware.com - some of these were posted on the raza blog and I thought they were confidential.

http://www.pinballinventor.org/custom_sneaks.html

#2034 4 years ago

John just posted a photo on facebook of a person working in his shop with this statement - assembling from an assembly drawing...imagine that... (I had my cup on)...thanks JG

Is this supposed to be a response to concerns that nothing is actually being built?

10420120_885650958146112_3988132135627334460_n.jpg

#2035 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Well our money built his company, and we're not allowed to see those results

First off, I am on the buyers' side here in the grand scheme of things. But as far as what buyers are entitled to, I think a couple of you are talking and thinking as though you are investors in the company. You aren't, you don't have company stock so you don't have the "right" to information about product development. If JPop received money from you for RAZA, you as a customer simply have nothing to do with MG.

Whatever information is being sent out would fall under customer service, which is obviously very bad in this case. Same with timelines and whatnot.

As a pre-orderer in pinball, as in anything else, you are just paying early for a game so you get "dibs" when it's made. If you pre-ordered a new assassin's creed video game from ubisoft, do you think they would appreciate getting letters and demands from you on how their new game "Santa's Quest: Chimneys of Fire" or whatever game they're working on is doing?

Pinsiders are using their pre-orders as leverage to try and get "inside" John's business. And I fully understand that, I would be trying to get in there too after this long and that much money. I'm just saying John will not let you, and he obviously doesn't think your preorder entitles you to it.

The only real "right" I see is the right to your deposit money back. If you signed an agreement to waive that right, then you don't really have any rights left unless you can show that he has no intention of delivering the game. Then he would be guilty of fraud.

Once you sign away your right to a refund, at that point you are pretty much depending on John to be a decent human being and a responsible businessman who respects and values his customers.

#2036 4 years ago

That is PDXmonkey

#2037 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Same was true for me. I bought in because of his background and experience. As he will tell you, he's one of only 2 people in the world that made pinball2000 games. I figured all that would mean something but I'm concluding with all these boutiques you need sound business management as well as the pinball design and passion.

Wow, you'd think WMS would have been killing it in profits since it no longer needing dozens and dozens of people usually involved with producing pinball machines! </s>

If he actually believes and stated this, it's no wonder why his stuff is way behind schedule.

#2038 4 years ago

The reveal is here - if you enlarge this image enough you can see the reflection of the MG playfield in the ball

10392341_885651668146041_453341722666299899_n.png

#2039 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

From the sneak peak page on zidware.com - some of these were posted on the raza blog and I thought they were confidential.

http://www.pinballinventor.org/custom_sneaks.html

Looks like he's using williams return lanes
sneak_playfield.jpg
http://www.pinballlife.com/index.php?p=product&id=2770

#2040 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

From the sneak peak page on zidware.com - some of these were posted on the raza blog and I thought they were confidential

Those pictures are looking really cool...

#2041 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Those pictures are looking really cool...

You want to buy me out?

#2042 4 years ago

Aren't some owners able to build their own?

Maybe JPOP should send out the parts to ALL the owners so they can start building them on their own at this point.

#2043 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

You want to buy me out?

Maybe for pennies on the dollar haha...

#2044 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

You want to buy me out?

Guess that depends on how bad you want out.

#2045 4 years ago

Another innovation: The ringmaster has fangs and a new hat - very impressive.

#2046 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

of a person working in his shop

NICE Shirt! Get that MG to Dixon,CA!

17
#2047 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Those pictures are looking really cool...

Looks like a lot of laser cut plastic to me. After seeing the enormous waste of time KISS prototype that he had zero business building (please don't start stories about his sick friend loving the theme or whatever the excuse was) it's obvious that's what he likes using now I guess.

Hey, neat, lasers. I don't see any games. Anyone can cut some shapes on a laser or get some nice concept art. If anyone wants to throw a few thousand dollars at me I'll get you some bad ass laser cut shapes and a drawing to screw them on top of.

All I'm saying is keep your eye on the ball. It doesn't take 4 years to do that shit. I feel like he's managed to keep people at bay with these kinds of photos, and you shouldn't fall for it anymore.

#2048 4 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

Not an LLC, probably an s-corp. From a legal standpoint it doesn't matter which.

It actually does matter a lot. But regardless, if people have to resort to litigation we ALL lose. And yes, probably a sub S, not as good for him for asset protection.

#2049 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

What makes this situation sting more than the other pre-order debacles is that so many people love and respect John's past work. In a way, people feel like they have been let down by one of their heroes.

this is spot on ! exactly how I would describe it , a major letdown I'm not in on RAZA or MG but I did get in on AIW about 10 days or so Before expo I was really excited to be in on one of these boutique bad ass machines as I envisioned they would be and thought that after expo I would be kicking myself because I didn't get in on RAZA or MG when I had a chance to....... now....well... I am just hoping that all the stalling and unnecessary redesigning etc...will end , machines will get built, & delivered & that I will not lose my down payment and that I will SOME day get a really cool machine

#2050 4 years ago

Is there anyone out there that has gotten to the point they would rather him throw in the towel and refund whatever is left of money to everyone? Or is that too far? I.e., would rather let him proceed to conclusion, with the risks as they are?

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