(Topic ID: 92436)

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


By iceman44

5 years ago



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#4651 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Can you imagine what WOZ would have looked like if JPop had designed it?

Maybe they can bring JPop in to do a Pink Floyd Lazerlight LE WOZ after they sell out the red ones.

#4652 4 years ago

Jpop was able to get games down and out the door at WMS. That is the difference between then and now. He had a task master lording over him there, and hard deadlines, where as now he is accountable to no one, including his "investors" (customers).

Ice is on him, but we won't know really if anything is changing until there is something really substantive.

I'm still feeling sore that we were promised "reveals", left believing this for months, and this week I find out he's got no real functional hardware system or programming, and we're hoping the Mission and Fast guys can take it over?

#4653 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Jpop was able to get games down and out the door at WMS. That is the difference between then and now. He had a task master lording over him there, and hard deadlines, where as now he is accountable to no one, including his "investors" (customers).
Ice is on him, but we won't know really if anything is changing until there is something really substantive.
I'm still feeling sore that we were promised "reveals", left believing this for months, and this week I find out he's got no real functional hardware system or programming, and we're hoping the Mission and Fast guys can take it over?

Everything you say is correct. I still believe it will get finished and that it will be worth the wait.

#4654 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Can you imagine what WOZ would have looked like if JPop had designed it?

Based on what's happening right now it would look like some pictures of purple artwork. WOZ is by far the largest move forward in tech is decades. I get why a lot of folks don't like the game, but please don't pretend like JPOP would have just blown it out of the park when he hasn't delivered anything yet. JJP is the only other company that has been able to produce a large production run of a game other than stern in forever. I'm a huge fan of JPOP's work from the B/W days and I hope these games all make it out for the sake of everyone that has money in it.

#4655 4 years ago

I was thinking of running through the blog and marking a development timeline with milestones, just out of curiosity. To me it seems like 90% of the work was done by the end of 2013, then he started navel-gazing on unimportant details. But it's hard to be sure without mapping it all out.

#4656 4 years ago

He seems to have hit a wall in 2013 and has done a lot of backtracking and revising.

#4657 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

To me it seems like 90% of the work was done by the end of 2013, then he started navel-gazing on unimportant details.

You might be on to something, because he was talking about prototypes being done spring 2013. I can clearly recall speaking with him Christmas '12 and being told they'd be ready in a few months. There is a thread on pinside where in march 2013 it was even said "this month".

#4658 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I was thinking of running through the blog and marking a development timeline with milestones, just out of curiosity. To me it seems like 90% of the work was done by the end of 2013, then he started navel-gazing on unimportant details. But it's hard to be sure without mapping it all out.

Have fun.

#4659 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm still feeling sore that we were promised "reveals", left believing this for months, and this week I find out he's got no real functional hardware system or programming, and we're hoping the Mission and Fast guys can take it over?

IMHO that might end up being a blessing in disguise though. FAST and Mission are Get Shit Done™ people.

#4660 4 years ago

My best guess based on what I know and what I've observed with how things went so wrong is:

-Visitors to his shop get so starry eyed, he basically gets told by everyone "Take as much time as you need". This hasn't helped his time/project management.

-Those of us not visiting the shop laid silent for a very long time. There was a small uprising January 2014 (the infamous "crickets" episode) but John lashed out and took that so badly that people were accusing him of doing nothing, that we backed off. He also promised then to send a letter outlining what he did the past year, but that never came.

-The dam broke at Expo '14 with the empty cabinets. We've had a few cycles of uprising/apology/silence since then. Not sure whether what we're going through at the moment is another cycle of that or something more significant.

#4661 4 years ago

I think likely, the early stuff was not ready. Maybe you could say half baked and John wanted great stuff not just average so he kept working. I think that's fine as the better pin might result. But I also think he should have communicated something like that and said the pins were not good enough for delivery in 2013 and we are pushing back delivery to 2016. Maybe offered a refund if people did not want to wait that long. I do think 2016 is more likely than 2015 at this point.

#4662 4 years ago

Reviewing the RAZA blog. "crickets" came up Oct 2013. Reviewing some of those old posts, people asking the same questions as we're asking now (where are we in the process, how much is left, etc) is just sad.

#4663 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Can you imagine what WOZ would have looked like if JPop had designed it?

Yeah, Robby the Robot, Godzilla, and Mars Attacks Alien vs. Dorothy (sexed up).

#4664 4 years ago
Quoted from notaflyingtoy:

"Printing presses" doesn't sound very boutique to me. Sounds like a shift away from John's vision.
If it's going to be about sound business practice and ROI then the MG and RAZA folks need to come to terms with opening up those runs.

If he can't get games out the door, his vision is totally irrelevant anyways.

#4665 4 years ago

Nevermind.

#4666 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Can you imagine what WOZ would have looked like if JPop had designed it?

No, because it would have never been finished or released.

#4667 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Jpop was able to get games down and out the door at WMS. That is the difference between then and now. He had a task master lording over him there, and hard deadlines, where as now he is accountable to no one, including his "investors" (customers).
Ice is on him, but we won't know really if anything is changing until there is something really substantive.
I'm still feeling sore that we were promised "reveals", left believing this for months, and this week I find out he's got no real functional hardware system or programming, and we're hoping the Mission and Fast guys can take it over?

I'm pretty sure Jpop didn't program the Williams games
I'm pretty sure Jpop wasn't responsible for ordering cabinets, playfields and parts.
I'm pretty sure Jpop never handled a single dollar from purchasers.
I'm pretty sure Jpop never handled a single dollar when it cam time to pay for all the BOM.
I'm pretty sure Jpop never physically built the games or had to organize this......

and on and on and on. It's pretty obvious why the train has stopped at the art/design station and it will never leave unless there is another conductor waiting to guide this train to the next station. Who's going to help operate the MG/RAZA/AIW train?

It's actually a simple question that only John can answer. Until John gets real and takes steps in the direction to get help, nothing will get done.

QSS

#4668 4 years ago
Quoted from QuickSilverShelby:

I'm pretty sure Jpop didn't program the Williams games
I'm pretty sure Jpop wasn't responsible for ordering cabinets, playfields and parts.
I'm pretty sure Jpop never handled a single dollar from purchasers.
I'm pretty sure Jpop never handled a single dollar when it cam time to pay for all the BOM.
I'm pretty sure Jpop never physically built the games or had to organize this......
and on and on and on. It's pretty obvious why the train has stopped at the art/design station and it will never leave unless there is another conductor waiting to guide this train to the next station. Who's going to help operate the MG/RAZA/AIW train?
It's actually a simple question that only John can answer. Until John gets real and takes steps in the direction to get help, we can only speculate.
QSS

I can see this being a bottleneck. Maybe what happened with Skit-B also. At least Jpop may have build zizzles (not sure) but Kevin, I'm pretty sure had never built anything or run a company before. I know there are success stories out there (such as Dell dorm-room headquartered company). But I would venture to guess, we know about those companies that have succeeded in this way, but how many countless companies have not succeeded in this way? Probably far more do not succeed.

I believe, John (and Kevin also I put them together) hit a wall. They got so far, and when the rubber meets the road when the talking stops and the action begins they froze up and couldn't proceed.

Even JJP and PPS are not having a walk in the park and they have far more muscle or business backing or manufacturing capacity behind them.

#4669 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I was thinking of running through the blog and marking a development timeline with milestones, just out of curiosity. To me it seems like 90% of the work was done by the end of 2013, then he started navel-gazing on unimportant details. But it's hard to be sure without mapping it all out.

Quoted from rai:

He seems to have hit a wall in 2013 and has done a lot of backtracking and revising.

When did Ben leave the project?

#4670 4 years ago

This is why I didn't commit to Nemo, and why I didn't commit to WOOLY (also I think Wooly is over priced). But I am not willing to become the defacto bank of America. I am not willing to assume all the risk for a start up company. I think it's cool (for Nemo, being one of 20 pins or whatever, but I didn't want to run the risk of failure to deliver or maybe the pin has and issue like WoZ had and the company can't afford to send out replacement boards or maybe goes under and there never can be a replacement part). Just a lot of risk with these start-ups.

Have said it before, JJP did the correct thing at the start. Maybe he didn't pick the best theme, but I think it was OK theme. But what he did was offer a discount $6500 for a pre-order to people to take the risk. He was offering a $7500 pin for $6500. People could actually sell their spots if they didn't like it or JJP could buy back the discounted spots (refund) and sell them at a higher price.

#4671 4 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

If he can't get games out the door, his vision is totally irrelevant anyways.

Totally? Not totally.

I do agree to what I think you're inferring. Hopefully my point won't be lost: if anyone actually thinks that the only way to get these games out is to increase the amount of a single title getting made, then it should be the first one, Magic Girl. The "patrons" need to "fall on the sword." It seems self serving to say, "to get our 50 (or 250) boutique games made Jpop needs to change what he is doing on Alice and other future games." Especially if you don't think Zidware has a sound business plan, you change that plan now, not later.

16
#4672 4 years ago

WCS 94
TOM 95
TOTAN 96
CV 97

Four years... four games. Amazing what a huge company with many departments can help accomplish.

#4673 4 years ago

Moving on.

#4674 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

WCS 94
TOM 95
TOTAN 96
CV 97
Four years... four games. Amazing what a huge company with many departments can help accomplish.

With one game, many things are established. The second games and beyond don't have wheels(either parts or mfg processes) to be re-invented. There's going to be tons of things in common which makes things a bit smoother.

#4675 4 years ago
Quoted from taylor34:

I don't know why FAST or Mission would want to do this though, people who get things done working with people who don't is a recipe for disaster...it just doesn't work out. This is one project I'd pass on, plus you know vendors aren't getting paid, why would you sign up to be another person not getting paid?

We see a potential win/win. We are eager to dig into projects that are pushing pinball. We feel like our hardware/software combo is a great fit for John. He needs to design the hell out of games and then have a crew available to help realize those designs. An advantage for John also will be that independent of his projects we have a roadmap for new parts/technologies he can enjoy. I used the analogy "Q to James Bond" in describing the relationship yesterday. When John starts to design another game we can show him a bunch of new tools! And he can find fun ways to use them.

We want to let designers be designers and not have to deal with things they shouldn't.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4676 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

I used the analogy "Q to James Bond" in describing the relationship yesterday.

"By the way, my name is Pop. Jay Pop."

#4677 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

"By the way, my name is Pop. Jay Pop."

Lol I spit coffee when I read this! John in a James Bond tuxedo! That would rule!

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4678 4 years ago

To be honest, I am confused why Mission & FAST haven't been working on this the past 5 months. There was a blog announcement on Oct 21, 2014.

Now there are "discussions" happening? Like, WTF?

I really don't know anything about Mission and FAST, but John apparently made a decision about it 5 months ago, great. Obviously even if these discussions are successful, we're 5 months later along than we could have been, and more accurately SHOULD have been.

#4679 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

To be honest, I am confused why Mission & FAST haven't been working on this the past 5 months. There was a blog announcement on Oct 21, 2014.
Now there are "discussions" happening? Like, WTF?
I really don't know anything about Mission and FAST, but John apparently made a decision about it 5 months ago, great. Obviously even if these discussions are successful, we're 5 months later along than we could have been, and more accurately SHOULD have been.

Now that the blog is public, that post was made after our visit to John's shop when at Expo. While we have not been in the trenches with John specifically, we have been advancing the hardware and software as would be needed for John. So I wouldn't say time has been lost, rather the ability to meet the requirements for John's games were prioritized and are being fulfilled whether John were using our solution or not.

I talk to John often. This is a very exciting time in his project development. I would love nothing more to enable John to design his heart out and help him to deliver games for years to come.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4680 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

We see a potential win/win. We are eager to dig into projects that are pushing pinball. We feel like our hardware/software combo is a great fit for John. He needs to design the hell out of games and then have a crew available to help realize those designs. An advantage for John also will be that independent of his projects we have a roadmap for new parts/technologies he can enjoy. I used the analogy "Q to James Bond" in describing the relationship yesterday. When John starts to design another game we can show him a bunch of new tools! And he can find fun ways to use them.
We want to let designers be designers and not have to deal with things they shouldn't.
Aaron
FAST Pinball

Good luck, the games look pretty amazing art wise.

#4681 4 years ago
Quoted from notaflyingtoy:

Totally? Not totally.
I do agree to what I think you're inferring. Hopefully my point won't be lost: if anyone actually thinks that the only way to get these games out is to increase the amount of a single title getting made, then it should be the first one, Magic Girl. The "patrons" need to "fall on the sword." It seems self serving to say, "to get our 50 (or 250) boutique games made Jpop needs to change what he is doing on Alice and other future games." Especially if you don't think Zidware has a sound business plan, you change that plan now, not later.

I agree that later games should not be subsidizing earlier games. If he needs additional money to put each game out the door, then the allowable run size for each should be increased per game to cover it.

#4682 4 years ago
Quoted from taylor34:

I don't know, 'get stuff done' guys just don't mesh well with people who don't, it ends up leaving you frustrated at the lack of progress on their end. I don't know how many times I've gotten burned by that (I guess enough now to know not to do it). Look at how many other accomplished guys have bailed from this project, that should tell you something. A job at a company isn't paying vendors, has high turnover, and hasn't produced anything seems like an opportunity to pass on.

If you go into a situation expecting to change someone like John or hope he changes, you are doomed. If you can approach it and someone like John knowing their strengths and setting up an arrangement that allows for success, you can achieve something great.

You can have a band with excellent musicians playing their parts perfect, and the music can be dull and lifeless. You need an x-factor to push it to be amazing. Challenging ideas and concepts that push talented people to do their best work is kind of environment I love work in.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4683 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

If you go into a situation expecting to change someone like John or hope he changes, you are doomed. If you can approach it and someone like John knowing their strengths and setting up an arrangement that allows for success, you can achieve something great.
You can have a band with excellent musicians playing their parts perfect, and the music can be dull and lifeless. You need an x-factor to push it to be amazing. Challenging ideas and concepts that push talented people to do their best work is kind of environment I love work in.

How many pins have been finished, completed and shipped using the FAST controller? You certainly seem to speak with great authority on the matter, but I don't know of any publicly sold pins that have the FAST controller integrated in their system. Am I missing something?

#4685 4 years ago
Quoted from retro_p:

How many pins have been finished, completed and shipped using the FAST controller? You certainly seem to speak with great authority on the matter, but I don't know of any publicly sold pins that have the FAST controller integrated in their system. Am I missing something?

As far as I know the only "alternative" controller system with shipping pins is Ben Heck's. Predator was going to be the first P-ROC complete commercial game I believe, but since that's in limbo ...

I'm not counting little hand built projects, like even Matrix. There are what? 4 of those?

#4686 4 years ago

I have to comment here. I met with Jpop last Wednesday and followed with a lengthy phone call to Aaron on Friday.

Aaron is off the chart passionate about pinball and the work he does. Much of this stuff is way over my head but I know a world beater when I meet one. If he can do half of the things he told he can this project will move forward a light speed. And I believe in him.

Aaron is the man here and I reported back to the owners group exactly that.

#4687 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

As far as I know the only "alternative" controller system with shipping pins is Ben Heck's. Predator was going to be the first P-ROC complete commercial game I believe, but since that's in limbo ...

In that case I can't help but think what Aaron is saying is kind of patronizing; if you've got the track record to back it up, you can speak as an authority on "getting shit done", but if you haven't done anything... really?

#4688 4 years ago

Way back at the beginning i got the impression jpop was using proc for some period of time (I don't know how long or if it was more than a curiosity).. Wonder if Gerry is on the list of vendors not paid or not.. Or whether some of the the bad blood between proc and fast is related. Plus you have GLM complaining about not getting paid.. Seems like there's been a lot of churn here already. DP is going with PROC so there's going to be at least 83 commercial machines with that (plus bop2.0 units.. So technically proc is in the club of made it to commercial)

#4689 4 years ago

I'm leery of anyone talking big at this point, because this being pinball we've seen EVERY new manufacturer stall out and things move way slower than anyone would have guessed. And that is generally FROM showing a prototype at many shows, and we're not even at that point yet. And that is also from well funded and well staffed organizations.

Ben Heck is the only member of the "get shit done" club, and the rub he gave Spooky.

#4690 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Ben Heck is the only member of the "get shit done" club

Works for me! Well you have to include Charlie too. Aaron can submit his membership and get his card after he backs it up.

#4691 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Works for me! Well you have to include Charlie too. Aaron can submit his membership and get his card after he backs it up.

For sure. We are new on the block. Have a ton to prove. Collectively we have achieved plenty in other spaces and are eager to do the same in pinball.

This doesn't need to turn into yet another FAST vs. PROC debate either. Gerry sold a few boards to John. John tried them and and decided they were not for him. This was before we were even on the scene. That's all there is to know with regards to JPOP and proc.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4693 4 years ago
Quoted from retro_p:

In that case I can't help but think what Aaron is saying is kind of patronizing; if you've got the track record to back it up, you can speak as an authority on "getting shit done", but if you haven't done anything... really?

We are entrepreneurs and makers. Running businesses (15 years personally) and what not. We got into pinball for a new challenge.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

14
#4694 4 years ago

The question I would raise is if John hasn't decided on a board set yet, how much is that going to affect the schedule?

At the risk of scaring people, programming a game is even harder than building one (look at Stern)

#4695 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

Gerry sold a few boards to John. John tried them and and decided they were not for him. This was before we were even on the scene. That's all there is to know with regards to JPOP and proc.
Aaron
FAST Pinball

I wouldn't say that's all there is to know.

#4696 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

I wouldn't say that's all there is to know.

Elaborate?

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4697 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

At the risk of scaring people, programming a game is even harder than building one (look at Stern)

Or look at your own AMH project. First game produced almost a year ago, and you're still tweaking code (which is already fantastic, but you're wanting it to be the best it can be)
http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=6161

CSI and monopoly both left the factory without complete code. It's the one thing that doesn't have to be complete because it "can" always be fixed later, even if it might not.

#4698 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

The question I would raise is if John hasn't decided on a board set yet, how much is that going to affect the schedule?
At the risk of scaring people, programming a game is even harder than building one (look at Stern)

The Fast guys are willing to help do the programming and they claim to be able to do so pretty quickly. I think you have hit on the worst news of all of this which is that the code must be pretty far behind. Based on the playfield shots he has released, there are lots of things to shoot for and do in the game and I think john probably has the rules pretty straight in his head. Making those rules work in a machine is probably going to take a long time.

The reason I am optimistic about the FAST involvement is that they appewr to be a pre-made hardware/software solution to support john and they can also do hardware support going forward which reduces John's workload and support load.

#4699 4 years ago

Does anyone know what is the hardware John has running now in the game?

#4700 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

I wouldn't say that's all there is to know.

My point was that John has looked at all options and is continuing to do so. If he wanted to use proc he could have years ago.

But you seem to have insight on this decision and can probably speak to it better than I.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

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