(Topic ID: 92436)

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

By iceman44

5 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

23 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #20523 Link to legal documents with allegations & responses Posted by DennisK (3 years ago)

Post #20526 Third amended complain document Posted by c508 (3 years ago)

Post #20532 Summary of complaints & responses in legal documents Posted by DennisK (3 years ago)

Post #20626 MG is now ready! Posted by TecumsehPlissken (2 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (2 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (2 years ago)

Post #22304 Photos of every page of the Magic Girl manual. Posted by vidgameseller (2 years ago)

Post #22584 Lion Saw feature information. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #22710 Very detailed review from a game owner Posted by ShinyNick (2 years ago)

Post #22817 Details on the origin of the driver board Posted by Borygard (2 years ago)

Post #22957 Comparison photos between a MG 'prototype' and another shipped MG Posted by spfxted (2 years ago)

Post #23045 Pinball News first look review. Posted by Pinballs (2 years ago)

Post #23392 Ebay Auction for NIB Magic Girl #007 Posted by fattrain (2 years ago)

Post #23611 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by dgarrett (2 years ago)

Post #23615 Interview with Linda Deal (artist), speaking about CV and TOM Posted by toyotaboy (2 years ago)

Post #23754 The Deeproot link. Posted by pin2d (2 years ago)

Post #23946 Result of civil suit against JPOP Posted by rommy (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#63 5 years ago

JPOP update: everything under NDA, nothing to update.

Who wants to place their bets that ice just won't be able to contain himself much longer and will break the NDA one night after a few too many? He's getting close!

Quoted from iceman44:

I'll post some art pics of RAZA on the next update unless John blows a gasket, which I doubt….

#74 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Is Ben Heck still involved in this project in any way?

My plebe non-NDA understanding was no, not in any way.

#99 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I know when MG is shipping but can't say because of you….

Nice going Greg! Now we're all gonna just sit here in suspense.

#111 5 years ago
Quoted from Strange:

I personally like the mystery surrounding the production process of JPOP's work. It's something refreshing in this effin' Facebook tell all internet atmosphere.

Stern produces several games a year with less reveals and more mystery than Jpop, so I'm not really sure what tell all you're thinking of.

With Jpop we know the themes of the next three (lol) games, and already have seen some of the art. Stern is some rumors and then a full reveal.

#122 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

If you think John does not read the forums, you're wrong.
Just sayin'.

He's posted here before even.

Man, this is his baby, I'm 100% behind him keeping any secrets he wants. Pre-orders for game 3 when the first isn't done or revealed is a little o_O but we're all big boys and girls, spend your money as you like. I hope it goes great for everyone involved. I love bad ass pinball art, by all means, blow me away!

What I don't care for is the "lalalala look what I know about and you don't attitude" (which most people don't have to be clear) and so I can't help but troll that because it's smarmy and annoying and deserves poking.

Let's be honest, this thread is dumb. The game is under NDA, by definition there are no updates to be had. Just enjoy your private blog party, you paid for it after all, and when it's ready for the world to see we can all judge and hopefully be awed and enjoy.

Short version: ice, keep it in your pants.

#127 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's a place for owners to talk amongst each other and others to weigh in with their opinions....we don't get to do that on the private blog

Opinions on what? You can't even legally discuss anything!

"Did you see that update last night? Pretty cool art huh?"

"Yeah, that ... you know, the center part, that was sweet."

2 months later
#216 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

If I were still in on RAZA, at this point I would be asking for some very specific answers with regard to a timeline/estimate as to when the pin will be done and ready to ship.

Every leaked photo I see is still playfields full of foamcore. I really hope there's something more finished that just is private. Because think how long Predator has been in a "final" state with real plastics etc, and still not shipping.

2 months later
#552 5 years ago

Has anyone mentioned that the translite also has Robbie the Robot? Did he license that?

#620 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

The martian in a suit has been around since the atomic age. I doubt if there is any copyrights on file for it. Bring on the Pinside lawyers....


Created in 1962 by Topps, you can even see it on your image. They're still actively doing things with it, so yeah, I'm pretty sure they're protecting it. You might be able to do some small art projects with something, like my under the radar translite stuff, but selling $10k pinball machines is going to attract more attention.

#625 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

blurred ones, with certain sections unblurred.

Wow, seriously? I thought you guys with magic NDA access would at least see everything. All this time I've been assured that shit is real, and wait until I see it, etc etc, and you're not even seeing full photos?

#633 5 years ago

Damn. Well I've mocked the project a little before, because the whole secrecy thing just struck me as ridiculous, but I'm sorry that everyone who put money and faith into it is getting screwed over.

I don't honestly expect the games to ever ship, I'm sorry to say, but I hope I'm wrong.

I know people love Jpop, but you've gotta have someone with business savvy running the show, or at least an equal partner.

The reason I bought into TBL is that Dutch Pinball convinced me that they both have the vision, and passion, and dedication to pinball, but also the business smarts and ability to Get Shit Done™. You gotta have the last two parts too. Making pinballs is a big ass complicated endeavor. Jpop doesn't have the Williams machine to do things for him anymore. Who's handling things beyond just the vision of the game?

#680 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

Yep, it' over 50 years ago...how long does the CR last?

Copyright law is complicated (thanks House of Mouse!) but generally speaking for that creation date you're looking at 95 years:


Problem is companies like Disney keep lobbying to extend it, so it ends up being even longer.

If it was just some old property that no one was really paying attention to it might be one thing, but Topps dusted it all off in 2012 and did a bunch of new products with it, and has plans for more. So they're going to definitely want to defend their property.

Would suck if the game was actually close to done and Jpop got a cease and desist over the art! Beyond that though, I thought this was supposed to be an original title. Why the hell is he putting Mars Attacks aliens and Robbie the Robot in the art? Surely he doesn't need to borrow from old stuff to make his title.

#723 5 years ago
Quoted from Shrub_Light:

What others on here aren't realizing is RAZA was never a dedicated zombie pin. From day one, it was a nod towards 50's sci-fi "B" movies. It always was going to have aliens, zombies and hot chicks in the game.

I love that idea, and the illustrations and vibe look sweet. I have no doubt the art on the playfield and plastics and toys (whatever is even done) looks great too. Just struck me as odd that with all that creativity he was borrowing known (and pretty damn famous at that) character designs.

#727 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Aurich u should do a revised translight like u did jjp cabinet... That would be comical and probably cooler

Haha, I'm not a bad ass illustrator, I just fake it until I make it. The stuff I've seen from Jpop looks great, whether he did the art or someone else did, I have no idea. No complaints about the style, just odd to not do original characters.

#853 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

Also, he told me, design is cut throat. You share a neat idea with someone close to you and next thing you know it's getting tweeted to the world. Which is fine on a fully finished product or something coming out in a month. But if it's part of a whole system that won't be ready for 18 months or more, it gives competitors (friendly or not) a lot of time to reproduce and release their own version of your neat idea. It really burns to be scooped by someone who copied your idea.

See, but that's the risk in keeping things quiet. You think anyone else is going to make a pin with a bowling alley toy under the playfield now?

You show your game and you put your stamp on it. Everyone knows that's the Jpop idea. Rip it off and get shredded and laughed at.

Keep it quiet and someone rolls up, Lebowski style, and just steals all the air out of the room. Look at JJP. Jack puts the book toy on The Hobbit, and it's just a placeholder for the "real surprise". (This is public info now, so okay to share.) He could have saved himself a lot of heartburn and having his head torn off if he hadn't tried to be so secretive and sneaky.

I think sunlight is a better protection than shadows in a small hobby.

#951 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Happy to report John gets "the Lebowski effect" as he calls it on the blog

See? This is how good Dutch Pinball is! They show off an awesome game, and solve Jpop's issues, all with one blow.

I'm pulling for all of you to finally see something real after all this time. I've been a skeptic, and I'm still one, words aren't changing my mind any, but be happy to be shown up on this one.

2 weeks later
#1108 5 years ago

Personally I love the retro sci fi stuff, it's way cooler to me personally than zombies, which are getting so overexposed and boring. It's just too bad instead of being influenced by the old films he directly took the characters out of them. So what? That's the final art? Or just one more overly elaborate tease?

Whatever the origins it looks great. Thing is I buy limited edition prints for a lot less than 10k, and can fit more of them in my house than pins. Getting cool art isn't hard. It's getting a cool pinball that's the trick, and no cabinet art covers that part.

1 month later
#1646 5 years ago

I hate to say it, but I see people at pessimism, and you're going to slide to panic when it's becomes clear that nothing is actually going to be released and the green part of the curve isn't coming. My prediction: there isn't going to be a big "rug reveal" and nothing will be done or playable.

Everything I hear about what's really going on at Zidware just confirms that, but I could be totally wrong. I've heard nothing to make me think so though. I'd really like to see you guys see some hope, but hopefully at least no one is still sending him money.

And please, please don't even ask about AIW. I can't believe we're talking about getting info on that.

#1659 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Ben Heck deserves a lot of credit as well for knowing how to get things done. Him leaving this game hasn't helped.

I don't think Jpop is capable of letting someone help him to be honest. Everyone I know who's tried has bailed because he's impossible. You guys should have just pooled your money and paid for the same artists that Jpop is using to work with Spooky, and you'd already have your pin fully working and looking great.

#1660 5 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Someone said above that the JPOP games have reportedly had 3000 hours spent on the artwork.

That was figured using the same calculator that claims Jpop has 30 years of experience building pinballs.

#1676 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

FINALLY someone says it. I won't say what my involvement was, or what I saw or heard from others, but every story seems to be the same.

Since there's obviously enough people with the same story that I'm not outing anyone by saying this, I can tell you I know of 3 people who've personally told me amazingly similar stories about how they tried to work with him and how impossible it was. He's pathologically incapable of accepting someone else's input or finishing anything as far as I can tell. I hope the NDA people have seen some amazing shit, because so far all I've seen is a bunch of concept art that was done by other people. You guys do realize that Jpop isn't actually drawing any of that stuff right? If you want some rad pinball art I can tell you right now you don't each have to pony up $27k to get it.

#1681 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

You wouldn't think "rad artwork" would be that costly yet it consistently sucks with Stern and everybody else now.

Right?! Why do you think I'm constantly bitching about this? To be fair it's harder in this age of licensed games. Studios constantly trying to control every bit, you end up with The Hobbit, where JJP have to constantly apologize that they couldn't do what they wanted to. It's why I give so much props to Dutch Pinball, they did a licensed title with a crapload of obstacles, and they navigated those waters better than all the pros.

Quoted from rotordave:

Where does this belief come from?

Is it just because his BW pins had cool artwork so people associate this with JPOP?

I think that's totally the answer, yes. Theatre of Magic and Circus Voltaire are both by Linda Deal. TOTAN is by Pat McMahon. World Cup Soccer was Kevin O'Connor. Jpop did not do the art for those pins. All by established pinball artists, with a bunch of other games to their credit. Look them up!

And as RD pointed out, Jpop doesn't even get solo credit on the games his name is attached to. He was like the junior designer at Williams wasn't he?

Quoted from iceman44:

I do believe he draws out the preliminary sketches and design himself. He has gone through in detail the whole process on the blogs and told me himself. To what extent, don't know.

I'm sure he must sketch something for the layouts of his games, but as far as I know the man cannot draw anything beyond that. I can tell you that all those things he gets up on stage to show everyone are done by other people. When he shows off some cool concept art it's not his art. Empty cabinets at Expo? I'm sure the hinges were simply incredible or something, but the side art that will never see the light of day in a production game (since it's using Mars Attacks and Forbidden Planet assets that I guarantee he has no licenses for) was done by someone else.

Which is fine! I don't expect Steve Ritchie or John Borg to be awesome artists. But somehow Jpop seems to get the credit. Like I said, maybe the NDA people have seen something cool and awesome. The rest of us plebes? We've only seen things other people have done. None of that art is his.

#1682 5 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

That was why I asked a page or so back. Was wondering who did/is doing the art for MG..

I don't know who's doing what, but at least some of it was done by Matt Andrews.





#1708 5 years ago

Well if he wants to amaze and astound people with "The Lebowski Effect" maybe he'll start refunding people.

#1746 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

End of this month, I doubt there will be a chance.

Pretty sure by the end of this month no one will thinking about sending Jpop any more money.

#1764 5 years ago

Aaron how did you manage that ramp? It's in sections I presume?

#1802 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Most of the people speaking up here are owners. If there is a lot of wrong info, it's a sad state of where we're at.


I would also note there was nothing specifically pointed out. I'd personally like to know what's wrong information. I think people just don't want it to be true.

#1827 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

depends on which rug reveal.. the public one at expo, or the one upstairs that only VIP's got to see

Speaking as an ex-VIP who was upstairs at the party, we didn't see anything the public didn't. It was just an excuse to drink and hang out. The games were there and on, but same as downstairs, and honestly they didn't even get played a ton, people were socializing more than playing.

#1832 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

The Big Lebowski public reveal at Expo has set the bar for ALL future pinball reveals.

Yup. It's a pity things took a turn for the worse afterwards, and think what you will about Phil, but he threw one hell of a coming out event. Whole damn place was buzzing about it. Lines at least 6 people deep in front of all three machines, while games like The Hobbit were easy to just get next on from whoever was playing them.

The party was brilliant. As I said, nothing "new" was revealed, but that's how you get people sucked in and feeling like they're part of something. I can't lie, it worked on me!

If you don't make it public it's not a "rug reveal", period.

#1891 5 years ago

Welp. I take no joy in being right on this one. Where's the guy who was telling everyone they'd better hurry up if they wanted a chance to get in on AIW after the awesome reveal?

#1977 5 years ago
Quoted from s1500:

I will admit, the man can draw.

No he can't. He hires artists to do everything. He paid some kid to draw girls in cat ears, wrote up a concept, and put up a webpage.

I dunno where this idea keeps coming from, Jpop didn't do the art for any of his Williams games, and he's not doing them now. You're paying him to be a designer and idea man and director, and that's what he's doing, coming up with ideas. Maybe some designing. Not much directing.

#1986 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

This I think you're wrong on Aurich. The man can sketch VERY well. I guarantee the pussycat drawing is his. He draws all concepts and then gives it to some kid to "draw" digitally. Not saying he did this for any of his Williams games, but definitely with the Zidware vapor ware.

Could be, I've never met him, but people I know who have told me he can't draw worth a damn. If you have first hand experience that says otherwise I bow to it.

He definitely didn't do the art for the pins everyone knows him for, they all have artist credits.

#2047 5 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.

#2057 5 years ago

If JJP can have things done by someone in Holland pretty sure IL to MA isn't a deal killer for anyone.

#2072 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

He's showing things slowly. Doing video of a working game to present the buyers... But there's no need to panic yet. If he continues to avoid giving hard dates after he shows stuff then I guess there will be issues... He's saying he still going to hold stuff back

Dude, who are trying to fool? He's never going to build games. It's time for people to just face it. It's been years, he's taken money for three titles, and he's still not showing the first one. And he has the balls to ask for more money for vaporware title 3, and build fantasy KISS games, and put up a host of bullshit broken websites for all his other vaporware games that will never happen. That's your money he's wasting doing that.

He doesn't have a "working game". I'm sorry to use this analogy, but you sound like an abused spouse. You say "if he keeps avoiding giving hard dates" like this isn't the pattern he's followed the entire time. He did the "baby, I can change!" speech, promised a big rug reveal, and then ... nothing. It's time to face what's going on, that you're sending money to someone so he can play in his sandbox, and cut yourself free.

Designing is the fun part. That's the playtime. The rest is hard work. A LOT of hard work. He can't even finish playing. It's done.

You're just prolonging the inevitable, and wasting your cash. I doubt you'll ever see a dime back, and that sucks. Cointaker shouldn't have gotten involved, they're a legit business, maybe something will happen there, I dunno.

Best of luck to you all, but I think it's time to stop dreaming and figure out if you can rescue any of your money, or at least save yourself the pain of sending him more.

#2073 5 years ago

I feel terrible and embarrassed when I'm a week late delivering my translites because they're delayed at the printer or something. And I don't take a dime from people until they're ready to ship, I don't even have their money, just my promise to take care of things as fast as I can. Makes me feel like a jerk. I can't believe Jpop gets up every day, wanders into his studio (which I hear is fucking huge) and starts dreaming out his fantasy half naked cosplay girl bowling game, while asking people to buy him coffee so they can hear his wisdom. (You know who you are, sorry, had to throw that one in there.)

It's just pinball. We all love it, but it's not the freaking Mona Lisa. This isn't a 40 year epic journey of a master craftsman. It's a guy who was a junior designer at Williams trying to live out his dream of still making pinball, promising people the moon (I haven't even said a word yet about the ridiculous bullshit he promised people was going to be animated on the LCD screen at Expo, you guys all know that's utter bollocks right?) and meanwhile doing his pinball designer masturbation into piles of your cash.

I'd be afraid to show my face at Expo if I was Jpop. I'd be ashamed of what I was doing. Dude is so self unaware though that instead he waltzes in with empty freaking cabinets, with art that he doesn't have permission to use, a translite he won't let people take photos of, and then has the gall to tell people to just check out how bad ass the *hinges* are! Because that's the problem collectors of ultra rare pinball have, they're so tired of folding down the heads on their precious games with standard hinges.

Sorry, I'm starting to rant here. But he's giving boutique pinball a bad name. He's the poster child for irresponsible overpriced bullshit. If he ever ships all the Magic Girls and I haven't keeled over from old age I will personally donate $100 to Pinside. Feel free to remind me, I've lost a bet on here before and donated happily. My money feels rock solid safe to me.

#2077 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I don't even know what to say anymore.

I'd start with "John, I'm flying out to your studio next week to pick up my refund, have it in cash, your checks are no good to me."

#2080 5 years ago
Quoted from Sly_Old_Devil:

Aurich, I'm thinking it and you're typing it, spot on dude.

I'm not even in on this one, just a bystander (thankfully, sorry guys) but even I'm feeling kinda mad about it all. It just feels like people are being taken advantage of now. He made a lot of big promises, and isn't delivering on any of them. It's not even like he made the game and you're let down because the code hardly works and the animations are all missing (because really, has there been any serious talk about either).

You're not even being shown what you paid for. All this NDA secret access shit, for a long time I thought you guys were seeing bad ass stuff, and I was kinda annoyed that it was even being talked about here. You know, "lalala, look what I can see and you can't!" stuff. I admit it, I was probably minor grade jealous, curious at least. Then it finally comes to light that all you're getting is fish eye shots and piles of stuff on tables. Dude, that's the shit I used to pull in high school when I had a big project that I was blowing off and I was trying to show my art advisor that i was really doing stuff. "See! Check out all this foamcore and bottles of paint! Really getting into it now!"

Thing is this isn't high school. I don't do that with paid clients. If I'm behind then I'm damn well scrambling at the end to get it done, because they're paying me. And I'm a professional.

I dunno, maybe it's because my job is in the creative industry, I just can't settle for this stuff. I know what it's like to have a billion ideas and get distracted. I'm messing with this Metallica mod and I keep getting new thoughts that expand it. Or something sort of related. Or let's be honest, not related at all but man it sounds like fun. The difference is no one has been promised shit. This is my personal playtime. I can get it done because I want to share it and see if people want to buy it. Or I can tinker and fart around because I have a company already that does paying work and this is mine to do with as I like.

Jpop wants his cake and ice cream and cookies and he just announced he's doing a donut next. And he's gonna eat them all. And you paid for them. And maybe you can hold your nose next to a crack in the box and smell them. Cause they smell good. But then he's gonna go in his studio, close the door, and eat those bad boys up. And you can't have any.

#2082 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Guys what's the point of all this

I mean, I'm obviously venting, you can tell I'm worked up.

But the thing that kills me isn't people like you, I know you're just glumly trying to ride it out. It's when people show up going "Get in on AIW while you can, those slots are gonna go fast!" that my eyes want to just explode.

Hopefully anyone who could afford to send John money can afford to lose it. Sucks, wish it wasn't so, but I would think that you kinda knew it was possible and it's not like college funds or something. I'm definitely not trying to rub it in.

But no one should be sending him another dime. There shouldn't be any hope left. If he actually has something maybe the only way he'll man up and reveal it is if he gets desperate enough because the play cash has stopped flowing, I dunno. You can choose then to try and support what's left or not.

#2112 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

I wish Aurich was in on this project, only so he'd light up the blog.

lol. Feel free to steal from my rants, I'll be your ghostwriter.

It doesn't sound like he's really listening to the blog though. Are most people here RAZA buyers? I know MG is super limited, but I can't remember the new number after it was increased. Is it still less than 20?

It's sad that it's come to this for me, because in theory Jpop is espousing the ideals that I hold dear in pinball. Original hand drawn art, unlicensed themes, fantasy and magic and monsters, bright colors, creativity. It's easy to see why people were seduced by the siren call.

Not to bag on the other boutique games out there, but none of them have had really high quality art production. It's the one thing missing still. It's one of the reasons TBL was so exciting, the playfield was like "woah, I've been missing this for so long!".

And I feel like that what you all wanted too. It's the only thing he's shown that's kept you in for so long, right? And it's not like TOTAN and TOM are known for being having incredible rules. Both fun, but flawed.

#2114 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

I don't know. I don't know enough about digital watermarks. Probably not but then you need to worry about exif metadata from your camera.

Digital watermarks, EXIF data, all that stuff is easy to defeat. John isn't some master cryptographer. Unless that's why he hasn't built your games, he's been too busy developing a new system to track leaked images ...

Seriously, if he's even using something (and I wouldn't be shocked to find out it was a lie to scare you) it's going to be a commercial package like Digimarc. And those really aren't hard to defeat. You might degrade the image quality just slightly doing so, but in this case who cares.

Furthermore, there's no way he's custom serving a different watermarked image to every account on the fly so he can track individuals who are leaking things. You're talking about a guy with 10 different broken websites, it's just not happening.

#2171 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

When he asks for more money. It's simple, say NO, when our pins are ready to ship you get the remaining balance. PERIOD. If he can't do that, it's game over and life goes on.

I agree. You're either getting a game because you force his hand, or you're getting nothing. Does anyone really think Jpop has the cash on hand to refund everyone? And would you really be happy getting a couple hundred bucks if you managed it?

I personally doubt anyone is getting a game. But hey, maybe if you really corner him he'll realize he has to stop fucking around, and people can come in and help him get it done. Parachute the FAST team in for a weekend and they'll have a game up and running, you watch.

#2188 5 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

But from what I know, there's a game very close to being shown. The reveal has begun. It's coming in pieces but should end soon with the full game.

"From what I know"? Really? WTF do you know?

The reveal has begun.

#2193 5 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

I only know one thing. YOU SIR CAN'T AFFORD ANY ZIDWARE GAME, so why don't you stop stirring the pot and let the owners talk instead of trolling this thread. Just go to bed.

Wow. You're a real piece of work, that's really classy. I'm done talking with you.

#2196 5 years ago

kaneda, I told you I don't want to talk to you anymore. Don't keep PMing me. I'll just post what you wrote me for everyone:

You see my friend, because I know people who know you. And you know what
you're reputation is? It's that you're a bitter person who can't even
afford an MG. Yeah, I'm real shallow. I do more for other's than you can
even imagine. Go back and re-read the thread...you just kept stirring the
pot. But in the end, even when the game ships, which it will, you will
still be bitter because you'll never have one.

So basically he doesn't know shit about me, who I am, or what I can afford, and I would put just as much faith in his claims that he knows anything about Jpop, obviously he just makes up anything he pleases. And is rather nasty about it too.

Post whatever you like, it's an open forum kaneda, but please don't PM me anymore, I don't wish to speak with you.

#2264 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

John doesn't seem to understand Zombie culture anyway. Mars Attacks and Robots? That has nothing to do with Zombies! Pick ONE genre and stay true to it, that's what I did.

I love campy and/or classic sci fi, I have the Topps book that collects all the original Mark Attacks! cards, and a limited edition Forbidden Planet print in my office. That stuff is right up my alley.

But I agree, it's really unrelated to zombies. Sure, you could mash them up in an interesting way, nothing wrong with that, but when people are looking for ZOMBIES it's a tough marriage.

I sort of doubt Jpop really stopped to think about the genre. Zombies are an intimate fear. They confront us with our cultural mortality and norms. The best zombie flicks are allegorical, people trapped in a giant mall fighting the mindless dead.

Sci Fi is almost the other side of the same coin. Less about intimacy, and more the expansive unknown. We tend to band together as a world in the face of the alien, not get separated and fractured as our dead consume us from within.

Which is all to say that you're somewhat missing the point if you think you can just smush the two together and make everyone happy.

Beyond that, if your art is constantly changing (and we know it will have to change again since he's so utterly wrong about the rights to the Mars Attacks! aliens and Robbie the Robot) it calls into question the whole game. How can you be building a cohesive game when you don't even know who your main characters are? What kind of narrative structure can possibly exist in that kind of flux?

It doesn't sound like the work of a genius, it sounds like a guy saying "hey kid, draw me some cool retro space shit, I'm gonna be over here filing patents while my laser cutter is running".

Magic Girl is the same thing. "It looks like this!" ... "No wait, let's make it Egyptian themed!"

Licensed games are sadly the norm now, but one reason they're so popular is they give you a framework. When you're Stern and you're trying to release several games a year it's really helpful to have the foundation all set for you. No wandering in the desert trying to figure out the ins and outs of the theme, all the characters and narrative are right there.

I don't doubt he's an idea man. But when he was at Williams he probably said "a crazy circus!" and they said "make it so" and then he had to just work on it because there was a damn deadline and people there working with him who he couldn't tell to just piss off and leave him alone. Art was done, and no, we're not paying to have it totally restarted.

Too much freedom doesn't always equal a better result. See George Lucas.

#2301 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I no longer feel it's a strong title for pinball anyway (no license, no sales) increasing my level of not-giving-a-shit.

It really does sadden me to say it, but unlicensed games just are tough sells. People claim they want them, but then they see them and would rather talk about their favorite movie instead.

I think it's really because anything unlicensed brings the baggage of unreasonable expectations. Witness this thread. People want a zombies game! But no, not that kind of zombies game! When there isn't a license for you to kind of box the concept in mentally it's free to wander, and you can become disappointed easily if it doesn't wander in the direction you personally love.

I have themes that I would love to do if I was crazy enough to try and build my own pin. And I'm reasonably certain that I could build some excitement around them. I'm not a pinball designer, but I do know design and branding, I've built a career around it.

But I know that no matter how well I did that, and how slick my marketing and art and presentation was, I could generate all the excitement and probably double it with almost no effort by just reaching into a hat and picking a popular and visually interesting 80s movie.

#2337 5 years ago

Did anyone else choke when Jpop said "it's perfect, let's just move on"?

I totally dig the art. I think he found someone with great sensibilities for pinball. The video looks super fun, totally get the hype.

But man, I kind of winced every time I saw how much time was going into AIW. On one hand, he's asking for money for it, so I guess it's good that something is being done one it. On the other though, here you have owners screaming for just a little info on the first game, and you're messing around with a third game?!

It's nuts that you guys are paying thousands of dollars and all NDA'd up, and yet you're seeing shit for the first time clearly in an Adobe commercial.

#2376 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

That'd be a good way to generate some income for the shop. I don't get why he doesn't sell PF art, translites, shirts, and whatever else he can. Income is income.

No kidding. Then all the people who are bitter about not being able to afford the games (lol) can still have a piece of the dream.

Quoted from jwilson:

But *finished* ones? All you see are paper ramps. The implication is that he hasn't made any progress on MG in over a year based on photos from back then.

Actually, there's a brief shot where those super curvy (and probably really annoying slow) ramps that you see in paper look rendered properly in plastic.

Quoted from StevenP:

Software is the least concern, imo. It is a simple matter to update software these days, once a platform is in place.

Yeah, and that's working so well for Stern. I'd be cautious about thinking software can just be fixed later. If the games ship badly unfinished does anyone feel confident "old" games will get more attention over new shiny things?

#2405 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

He was afraid of people buying playfields and making extra MG games.

Seriously? News flash Jpop, if someone honestly wanted to go through the ENORMOUS trouble of trying to copy your game, starting with nothing but a playfield, then stripping their game and scanning it to make more would be the least of their worries.


You know who's sold playfield and translites way ahead of their game being built? Nordman and Freres. Was brilliant selling Woah Nellie stuff to build interest and support. One person at least did build their own too. They thought that was awesome.

Whatever, the idea of making a pinball for only 17 people or whatever is actually slightly offensive to me, so I can't say I'm gonna spend any time worry about his marketing failures and ridiculously ill founded paranoia.

#2418 5 years ago

Ah that last screen cap was the one I meant where the ramps were in plastic.

#2421 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Big leap, but hey, from an artistic standpoint, you have to be jealous Aurich.

Oh no doubt. I'm jealous of pretty much nothing else, the headache and the cost and all that good stuff. But it's so great to see pinball where the art matters and isn't just a necessary box to check off to get it down the line and approved by the licensor.

Of course they have to be made still, and as I said earlier, I really don't dig this limited thing. Why bother with all that work for 17 (or however many) people? Seems a shame. And dumb frankly.

#2431 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Yeah it's a little scary seeing that quote from 22 months ago saying these same prototypes would be done in a month. It was nice seeing something today, but we're still dealing with the same issues.

Remember that every time someone visits his shop they come out with stars in their eyes and a forgiving nature. And then a year goes by ...

So just saying, the video was awesome, but don't get too comfortable all of a sudden.

#2502 5 years ago
Quoted from Atomicboy:

It's still just a two flipper game? Why do new companies limit themselves to just two flippers...

Wrath of Olympus has 6! Which is too many IMHO, but it's not like all new companies are limiting themselves to 2.

#2513 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

My feeling is that even 3 flippers on a PF is pushing it.
They're always in the same place (about 2/3rd way up of PF on left or right orbit) and you get one or two shots out of it max. Not a good justification for cost.
Exception I might make is Twilight Zone.
Plus mini or upper PF eat up loads of PF real estate and increase build complexity / cost.

I enjoy 3 flipper games. I like that upper shot, and I also appreciate being able to use the upper flipper to alter the trajectory of the ball. I do that on The Shadow a lot.

Mini playfields and upper playfields though, while they can be cool, I think struggle to justify themselves. They're rarely all that fun, usually block space that could have been used just as effectively, and add a real cost to the BOM.

I guess with a ridiculous $16k game there's little point in trying to talk about build costs. But I think it matters a lot with projects that aren't trying to be so damn expensive.

#2541 5 years ago
Quoted from PhilGreg:

Anybody see Jodorowsky's Dune (available on Netflix)? I watched it last week and am following this thread and I see some similarities...

Haha, yeah, I've had the same thought more than once while reading this.

#2542 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

Even the wavy ramp we see in the video is clearly a hot-glue-gun test ramp. While those kinds of ramps are a great way to test out your ideas and easily make changes to them, that is a LONG way from pre-production vacuum-formed test ramps, and an even longer way from final manufacturing ramps. From the looks of it, most of the upper playfield stuff is not even close to pre-production stage.

To be fair there's a shot in the video (posted in this thread too) showing the wavy ramp with what looks like a real vacuum-formed ramp, not just hot glued foamcore.

#2555 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

I knoow what you are talking about, and I disagree. I wasn't even referring to the foamcore ramps, I was referring to the plastic ramps. To me, these look like strips of thin flexible plastic hot-glued together to make the basic shape, not a sturdy vacuum-formed ramp.

Ah yeah, could be I guess. The plastic looks pretty thick though, I don't think that's really gonna be flexible to do that. It's hard to tell from that blurry shot what's really going on though. The straight ramps I would totally buy are done that way.

#2567 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

If you watch that video segment, you can see the messy glued joints on that ramp. You can also see how easily it flexes when he twists it. I think it looks thicker than it is because of the depth of field blur.

Here, I made a gif so you don't have to search for it again.

Aw yeah, totally see them now, I agree, that's not vacuum formed. Thanks for the gif, nothing like looping a short segment to let you examine it!

#2568 5 years ago

On a positive note (for me, though not my wallet) watching Zombie Yeti work pushed me over the edge and I'm researching Cintiqs more seriously. I'd been thinking of getting one for a while, I'd like to do more digital drawing, this was just the final straw.

Betting I'll ship something I do with it before Jpop does!

#2574 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

So it sounds like the Adobe video was effective then .

Haha, yeah, if you think about it I was really their target market, not pinball people. Of course joke's on them, because they won't see a dime of the Wacom money I spend, and I have no real desire to upgrade to the stupid subscription cloud version of Photoshop etc, I haven't found a compelling reason to over CS6.

#2587 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

So I don't even want to hear about the NDA excuse to cover up his lack of transparency anymore.

Generally speaking if you're working on something that's protected by an NDA you don't invite a press crew into your shop with cameras and sit down for an interview with them, while showing off all the secret stuff. Total show.

#2593 5 years ago
Quoted from PPS:

I've never seen a ramp take 'a couple of weeks' ... couple of months maybe ... there is alot of modelling that need to be done, proofing, etc ...

A couple weeks in Jpop time is a couple of months!

#2602 5 years ago
Quoted from Zaxxis:

Some feel this could freak him out, jeopardize the project, etc -- but honestly, if the project is that fragile... it most likely wouldn't come to completion anyway.

Is he really that much of a fragile snowflake?

I feel kind of bad with how I've dumped on him in this thread, he's obviously a passionate pinball guy. I bet I'd probably have a great time hanging out at his shop with him, I shouldn't make it personal.

I just kind of do take it personally when someone takes people's money and then gets flakey for some reason. It's not even my cash!

IMHO once you take people's money you owe them. And if he doesn't have machines for you okay, but he can at least owe you some honest answers. No one should be afraid to ask.

2 weeks later
#3058 5 years ago

There was a time when I would have been pretty curious about what was hiding behind the NDA, and waiting to see what someone was gonna leak.

Now I'm just here for the dog.

#3084 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

This seems relevant...

Totally relevant! What's that from? Assume the Mark in question is his brother?

#3130 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I think we're literally going to get a new blog update this week with the backglass in the cabinet.

MG or RAZA? Because isn't that what he showed at Expo already? Even if he quickly took the translite once he realized people could actually see it?

#3153 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I don't see why he doesn't just refund our money

Presumably he can't. He's been spending your money working on games for years, how could he refund everyone? If he has that kind of cash still lying around why take deposits in the first place?

#3165 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

he's going to increase mg numbers and get a influx of 450k (20x17k)

Who would be dumb enough to give him $17k right now?

#3341 5 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

I cant get a email reply nor has he ever answered any of the numbers I can find or have been given.

And that's not a giant red flag that maybe you shouldn't send him money?

#3442 5 years ago

I know I have no money on this, and people paid seriously big bucks for an "exclusive" game, but even so, I think ultra limited games are lame.

If they're really that awesome then it sucks that almost no one will ever get to see or play them. And just from a business standpoint it makes no sense. 100 games? Okay you can get some economy of scale there. That's why WOOLY was aiming for that. But 15, or 20, (or what is it now? 40?) it's just silly, they're all more expensive to make that way.

But I have no skin in the game, and I can understand people who paid all that money and waited all this time being upset at increasing the run.

#3448 5 years ago

Lame in that all that work just to make a bare handful of games that will be squirreled away in private collections just doesn't fit my personal spirit of pinball. But also just is poor business sense.

Obviously at least some people were seeing at something that might be worth a lot more later. And fine. And if it was promised to be limited when you paid then it should stay that way.

#3455 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I guess now is a good time to mention in my contract it says if I bring the game to a show or expo my warranty is void.

What the everloving f**k???

Okay, that's just lame. Lame, lame, lame. I seriously just lost more respect for Jpop reading that.

$17k games, in ridiculously limited quantities, that you're not allowed to share with people? If it wasn't for the fact that I want all of you to see the light at the end of the tunnel on this I'd actually be rooting for this project to fail.

That's not pinball. That's just wanking. Not that I should be all that surprised, since that appears to be the theme for this whole debacle.

Anyways, I really do hope you all get your games and they're rad. It's not that I'm personally jealous or anything. Just feels like the opposite of how pinball should feel to me.

#3462 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The machine itself is made to coin-up specs

Except for the * that says

* do not actually attempt to play this game. Or touch it. Or let anyone see it.

Man, what a joke. The theme for his first game should have been clowns.

#3467 5 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

I think I must be in an awful mood, but I am wondering how much time he spent re-engineering the coin door for this "home" pinball

Probably as much time as he spent re-engineering the backbox hinges for the game you're not allowed to fold down and take places.

#3471 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Sheezus guys let it go! From my point of view (a guy with money in JPOPs hands) I don't really give a F#ck about a warranty clause saying I can't put my game on route... I JUST WANT MY F-ing GAME!
Let's not make the next 20 pages of this thread about this, if you put your magic girl on route and it breaks just say it broke at your house and get your replacement parts.

I hear you. But the flip side of just lol outrage (because it's so funny you have to laugh to not cry) is the real fact that you're buying a game from someone who's re-engineering everything from scratch. So it's not like you can just hit up Terry for parts. And if you were to say bring your game to a show to share with everyone it wouldn't be a secret, whole forum would be buzzing about it. What happens if John says "you broke the rules, not giving you parts"? You're hosed.

#3488 5 years ago

Zombie Yeti does great work, I dig his stuff, and I think it was a great call to use him. But he's a freelance illustrator. It's not like there's some magic window where if he doesn't use him he'll never be able to get him again.

Now if you have a full team working full time it totally makes sense to keep the pipeline full. Your designer and engineer can do X while someone else is doing Y. Certainly how Stern works. But everyone I've talked to says that John doesn't actually let anyone help him. He does it all.

So every bit on AIW is taking him away from MG and RAZA. Let alone "bowling cat girls" or whatever else he's cooking up. Sure, there's gonna be some downtime while you wait for a part to be ordered or glue to dry or whatever. Just a suggestion, maybe use that time to take some photos and update the blog for all the people throwing thousands of dollars at you to make it happen?

#3502 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

I'm anxious to see Magic Girl get finished but at this point it doesn't really matter if it takes another six weeks or six months.

People would be cheering in the streets if it was really only 6 months before they got their games.

You know what though? I'm cheering for hand drawn art and an original theme. I could go on for a while about a lot of things I think are bullshit, but there's no real point in injecting more negativity. We only see half a playfield, no inserts, it's hard to really judge, so I won't critique it or anything. But I want more, and we should be supporting the idea, even if the delivery of this particular game is flawed.

#3536 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Congrats to Popaduik for unclenching enough to let the top half of a playfield out into the wild. So that's something. And no fish-eye nonsense. In my opinion it's not enough, but it's definitely movement in the right direction.

Honestly it's really nothing considering what was already shown in the Adobe video. That blew all the secrecy out of the water really. Whatever, I'm totally cool with owners getting their little secret garden of reveals, it just seems like this idea I had that you were seeing all the cool shit this whole time hasn't actually been happening.

#3541 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

If he had any business sense at all he'd be selling T-shirts with the backglass on it, or nice giclee prints of the playfield artwork as posters, etc. There's tons of cash he's leaving on the table for the sake of "secrecy".

Yeah, the Whiz-Bang model. Of course that means you have to actually call your backglass design "done" first.

He says he's trying to build a company, but he doesn't really mean it. Because you don't build a pinball company by doing all the R&D and design work to then only build 16 games. It's fine as an artistic statement, but as a company it's lunacy.

#3610 4 years ago
Quoted from Collin:

Anyone care to give me the tl;dr version of the past dozen or so pages?

There's some nice looking art. No one has a game yet.

#3631 4 years ago

I love hand drawn art, so I want to support this idea, but I sure have mixed feeling about this stuff. I dunno about the "million lines of ink" (which is funny, there's no ink involved, all these drawings are done digitally) but sure, I can get behind making the game detailed. I trust Zombie Yeti's coloring skills, he'll tone down some of that busy-ness during that process. It's not like any of these games will ever be routed, so the logo being rather muddy from a distance isn't a big deal. This is meant to be viewed up close by collectors, not be commercially successful.

I don't really care for the way they chose to portray Alice, she's a rather unappealing central figure, but maybe the vision for the game has her being a total bitch instead of sympathetic, I dunno. No reason to judge too early.

I guess I just find all this breathless text somewhat grating and irritating when you know that there are people who have been waiting years for even a reveal of the game they paid for. There's a tremendous amount of work to be done to actually produce the first two titles still, it's a weird slap in the face to see all this time and effort being spent on a 3rd vaporware game.

Buy hey, he's "found his groove", so they'll be rolling off the line any moment now I'm sure.

#3645 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Since I'm an art moron, I'd like to use this chance to say I didn't understand what he meant, lol.
Does he mean that there are 1 million individual lines in his vector art? Is that insane? Seems to me that wouldn't be a good metric. It's like saying "Look how good my code is, there are a million lines."

You're not an art moron, you get it just fine.

It's all just fluff. He's got a good (and patient!) artist working with a Wacom tablet. How many "lines" he draws is totally irrelevant.

#3659 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I think this is the key - he's quick to generate inked art, but that is pretty much where the progress ends.

Well and keep in mind he's not actually doing any of that work. It's easy to look at some sketches someone else has done, make comments, and then kick back and wait for revisions to appear so you can make some more comments.

Don't get me wrong, art direction is important, but at a certain stage you gotta back off and just let your artist draw. And then take care of other business.

#3665 4 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Actually I'm pretty sure John does the sketches and Yeti comes in and redraws the images from Johns sketchs. At least On MG and RAZA.

I'd really love to see some kind of evidence for that, because it's contrary to what I've heard. But I don't know John, and don't want to make any strong claims without really knowing the story.

He's definitely not doing the sketches for Alice, those are Zombie Yeti's. However much they might be working together on how they should look. And he didn't do the art for his previous Williams pins.

I don't doubt that the guy has a vision and is helping shape the way his games look, I think it's pretty clear there's a "Jpop look" that he tries to make somewhat consistent. Beyond that I guess I won't speculate.

#3675 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

The main focal point of RAZA no longer appears to be zombies.

I actually think it's a cooler looking game now because of that, but I totally get that people who signed up for something might feel like they got screwed by the mid-stream theme switcheroo.

#3678 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I completely disagree about it being cooler looking because of that.
I thought the backglass shown at Expo was terrible.

To be clear I meant "looking" in a general sense, as opposed to the visuals. I won't judge that until something final is shown since it keeps changing every time anything is revealed. I agree though that just recycling characters from other franchises isn't particularly interesting. I just dig the sci fi theme more than zombies I guess.

The zombies feel tacked on now though.

#3695 4 years ago

I wonder how he's going to have the playfields printed? Are these going to be screened with spot colors or process? I would hope spot color if they're going to use that neon, but every color you add ups the cost and complexity since they'll each need their own screen.

#3732 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Who knows, maybe I'll help someone with a licensed Zombie theme in the future Wouldn't that be spooky?

People would probably chuck money at that idea!

#3741 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Guys lets at least wait to see the colored in playfield (hopefully in a few weeks)

Seriously. I get that everyone is bummed, but it sort of seems like it's getting to the point where people want to find reasons to be unhappier. Like the skateboarder with zombies, it's a little tiny detail, look at the size of the insert next to it! It's an easter egg, probably a shout out to Walking Dead from a fan. Instead of thinking it's funny or cool it's all "OMG RIP OFF".

Not getting the game you were pitched? Legit. But you're in for the ride now, you might as well see what it looks like before deciding.

I have lots of doubts. Lots! Will it ever be built? Will it have real code? Will it even be fun? Etc. But really, one of my doubts isn't "will it look good?" because I'm sure it will be cool to look at if nothing else. Jpop for all his faults is obviously someonr with art direction skills, and Zombie Yeti is a skilled illustrator. Let them show you the final package first.

Yeesh, can't believe I'm the one trying to talk Jpop buyers off the ledge!

#3745 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

MikeHogue: We are having a Skeet Shooting / Strategy Meeting this weekend to determine everyone's roles in [Spooky Game 2] which is a re-branding of Chuck's Pinball Zombies game.

A little sorry it didn't work out for me to be part of that, but looking forward to seeing how it comes out.

Would anyone really be shocked if Spooky ships game 2 before Jpop ships a single unit?

#3820 4 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

What is JPop's obsession with acid purple and green?


#3866 4 years ago
Quoted from dmesserly:

You know, everybody and their mother and their dog has the right but not the obligation to post every clever thought in their head, particularly those who aren't invested.
Man, its so tiresome.

So go read your secret blog and stay out of this thread. Because the rest of us find the constant "you're not in on this so keep it to yourself" litany tiring too.

#3872 4 years ago

Wow is MG really at 50? I knew it was going up, but didn't realize it was that high. I mean, I'm cool with it, I think super limited pins are silly, the more for people to play the better. But if I was in at 13 and it turned to 50 I wonder if I'd be so magnanimous. I'd like to think so, but I can see how that might get buyers pretty salty.

#3883 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

That's prob the reason...but - if that's NOT the reason....time to show off so people know it's not just art and foam.

Dude, be fair, it's more than art and foam. It's art and hot glued plastic now.

#3902 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

What, no photos?
You should hold Popaduik to the same standard as Jack and Rick!

If I had blog access you know I'd be posting them.

#3909 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Can you imagine a world where 2 months ago we thought it was the end for everybody and instead all these guys start cranking out machines. Whoop!

Sounds great to me, but I'm going to wait until I see pics of machines in people's houses before I start celebrating Zidware, DP, Skit B or anyone else.

#3920 4 years ago

T-shirts on in a Chicago area unheated facility in the dead of winter?..

Columbo is on the case! "Oh, and one more thing Jpop, where exactly were you the night of Sunday the 3rd?"

#3921 4 years ago

3 cheers for bringing nipples back into pinball! Helen had to do it because Luci couldn't!

I think it's funny to watch the things change. Godzilla grew some more arms, and a horn and a tongue, and the Mars Attacks! guys got new eyes and ears. But Robbie the Robot hasn't had a makeover.

Still, looks like you're getting steady updates now, even if it's more empty cabs and art. Keep it coming and eventually you'll get some real meat. I'm pulling for you all!

#3932 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Whether we have seen it or not, and some people have, MG is ready to be "in production" and is "done", per others and Jpop.
That's why I've waiting until March to go see it for myself if true.

I don't understand how some people apparently know this, but you as an "owner" have no clue, let alone been able to see it.

#3941 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

No matter what happens, I will not be sending pre-order money in again.

Everyone should follow that sage example. Every pre-order has been a disaster and a headache. Jpop, Rick, Kevin, DP, whoever. Once they take your money the attitude is "you paid up, I have the cash, but I don't owe you shit, so just be happy to wait over there".

How about instead it's "hey, I have a stack of cash, and if you want it then show me a game".

#3946 4 years ago

Spooky is the wonderful exception to the rule, bless Chuck.

#3948 4 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

How was Wooly pre-order a disaster or headache? Did not work out, everyone got his deposit back within a few days... Scott handled things as promised.

Scott is a great guy, and Spooky has a great team, I would hope that it would have gone smoothly. But we never really got a chance to find out.

#3964 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

You can see the cut out in the timber is for 3 stand up targets, not a Newton ball. A Newton ball will move if it's mounted like that.

I assumed that the ball had a welded post under it, so that it was screwed in from underneath.

#3988 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

We've already seen the prototype machines with the crazy-glued ramps. All this is, is close-ups of those. He is literally trickling out close-ups of the *same thing everyone has already seen*, albeit not close up. These aren't progress shots.

That's sure what it looks like. Did he even do a flipping whitewood? It seems like he just skipped straight to the artwork and then realized he'd better figure out a game to go with it.

I'm actually shocked he's using standard standup targets, and not something he reengineered from scratch.

#3990 4 years ago

Hey retro_p, do you actually know something other people don't since you're downvoting anyone who says these are just pics of what we've already seen?

#3994 4 years ago
Quoted from retro_p:

Just shocked by all the negativity... we've seen pictures of 3 full prototypes sitting in a row, tons of gorgeous art, and indications that he's been working on a production path. I think these are going to be amazing games. Sorry for playing negativity police, but it gets a little old.

It's not negativity, it's realism. Sorry man, but it is what it is. If Jpop doesn't want negativity he can solve that by actually doing what he promised, it's not the people in the forum that are the problem.

1 week later
#4013 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Today is Feb 18, we have 10 days left in Feb. What are the odds we see a finished RAZA as promised in Feb?

Last I heard he still doesn't know what hardware is powering these games. Can someone tell me different? Hard to show a flipping game when you don't have that.

#4016 4 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

Does "fully built" mean "flipping"?
To the very least one can expect a fully populated PF within a nice cabinet?

I guess you guys can decide what's weasel language or not, but to me? Hell yes.

This is a pinball machine, not a sculpture. If it doesn't flip it's useless.

Has anyone seen a flipping whitewood? Does such a thing exist? Normally you have that before doing all the art. Jpop is testing how all the shots feel and flow I presume, no?

#4019 4 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

If you read the post many pages back by Multiball1, he states clearly that he visited a few months ago and played a protoype MG and that it was in it's rough stages and was far from complete but was playable.

I'd love to know what was powering that. P-ROC? My understanding is that he doesn't have a final hardware platform picked yet. Which seems insane and backwards to me. But maybe I just don't have all the facts. If there was a flipping game that's a start at least.

#4026 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

I'm under the impression that the theme is about incorporating a bunch of old pin themes into one pin. Maybe I'm way off base here.

Junkyard 2.0

#4034 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

A lot, too many to count.

Is anyone really expecting a fully built game to suddenly be revealed in the next 9 days?

#4043 4 years ago

Playfield only? Big deal. Everyone has seen that already. Even lowly non-owners such as myself.

When I see a video of a flipping game, with sound and interactions then I'll be impressed. Nothing else means anything.

#4047 4 years ago

I'd be happy to just see the Alien art!

#4050 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

If one of these companies gets smart they will hire you as art director for a game!

Ha, I dunno man, pinball seems like a crappy business to be in.

#4062 4 years ago

5 days left for a Feb reveal. Anyone think we'll actually see it?

#4089 4 years ago
Quoted from TOK:

He's going to need to find an investor that is willing to take a high risk and also loves the project for more than just a paycheck.

"Hey Bob, did I tell you about my new investment? It's a bit of a longshot, but if I play my cards right I'm going to get that cat-girl bowling pinball I've always dreamed of!"

#4120 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

If I had a million dollars of other peoples money, I'd be doing everything in my power to keep them informed and happy.

This, a million times!

Hell, I feel obligated to keep people informed just when I have them on a pre-order list, no money exchanged. Part of the reason I don't take money ahead of time is that it's too stressful, makes me feel even more obligated that I normally do.

#4145 4 years ago

New plan: You guys get a group together and buy plane tickets. Meet up at the closest bar to Jpop and get Iceman lubricated (hmm, that sounds wrong) and then storm the building with him in front. Someone shoot video.

Seriously, every time someone visits they leave with stars in their eyes. Maybe Jpop is loading up his handshake with LSD. You need a group effort to combat the drugs.

Who's programming these games? That's actually the million dollar question IMHO. Because Jpop has playfields. Maybe they're not "done", but we've seen enough to see that they're close, and some ass kicking could probably pop out a populated game. But without code they're just gonna sit there looking pretty. Has anyone actually started programming?

#4169 4 years ago
Quoted from DevilsTuner:

there was plenty of comms while he was searching for backing thats the messed up part.

It's kinda sad how many people the "he" could refer to. John? Kevin? Rick?

Everyone is happy to talk your ear off excitedly when they want you to open their wallet, but who's still there for you after they already have their money?

I couldn't sleep at night leaving people like that. Okay, building pinballs is hard. I think we all see that now. But telling people what's up isn't hard. Much easier to be patient knowing that "this mech didn't work, and I have to wait a month for new parts" instead of complete silence. But I've reached the point where if you don't say anything I just assume it's because things are f**ked and you don't want to admit it to anyone. Or, you're just petty. You can decide which person that applies to.

Ask anyone who's ever been on the receiving end of my projects if they're unhappy with the level of communication they get from me. I know it's not that damn hard.

#4187 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Aurich might have a better idea what an artist of Yeti's level might cost.

I just don't have enough context to really be able to say. Is he paying him a fixed rate per job, or some kind of hourly deal, or did they work out something in between, have him on some kind of retainer?

He's obviously doing not only a lot of work (3 pins!) but a shitload of revisions, and depending on the contract that could play out a lot of different ways. It's not clear to me when Zombie Yeti stepped in either, because he wasn't the original MG artist, does anyone know?

I can tell you this, because I actually follow Zombie Yeti on Instagram, he's still doing other client work, it's not like John has him hired as some full time guy who's doing nothing but Zidware.

My guess is Ice's estimate is on the high side, but I don't have the facts to really be able to validate that in any way. Generally speaking this kind of freelance illustration is less costly that people tend to think, though it's obviously more expensive than some cheap asses want to pay.

#4198 4 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

I know for a fact your numbers are way off

You don't count, you visited Jpop and were obviously affected by the spores.

#4245 4 years ago

Lawsuit won't get you a game. At best you'll what? Recover some fraction of your money after a headache process?

I don't think the situation, as I understand it, is unsalvageable. You just need enough real pressure to force John to stop being so stubborn and let people into the process to complete it. Maybe that's legal pressure, maybe it's 10 of you showing up in person to have a serious discussion.

edit: And Ice basically said the same thing while I was typing.

#4249 4 years ago

Here's the post in question to save people the trouble of hunting it down:

Quoted from Multiball1:

I've been paid in full for MG for nearly two years and I have a significant amount paid in towards RAZA. If you look at earlier posts of mine toward the beginning of this thread it's very clear that I don't drink the JPOP cool aid (far from it) and that I'm as frustrated as could be with the delay. It brought me to a point where I said to myself that with over $20k invested into John's projects and all of this frustration I'm an ass if I don't drive or fly out to see him, so that's just what I did. (I'm not implying anything about other owners that choose not to or can't, it's just how I felt about my own situation)
All I can say is that if you are an owner and have the ability to visit you should. I'm also posting this to hopefully prevent some of the owners from having an unnecessary coronary. With that being said...could something go wrong...funds run out....development take even longer? Certainly.....These are all items that always remain the unknown, so I'm not offering you a verbal insurance policy but I'm happy to share an outline of what I saw and you take from it what you will.
I PLAYED A FEW GAMES OF MAGIC GIRL and really enjoyed the game. (It was not 100% done)
The LED screen was functioning, had tons of animation (certainly still has more to go), and it was fully interactive with gameplay.
Soundtrack and sounds were very appealing. I hate to take his new work and reference it by looking back 20 years but since it's the only comparable we all know, think along the lines of a TOM / TOTAN combo.
The playfield is far from a white wood. I believe the prototype I played had the final version of the playfield, although I'm sure anything is subject to change, but any of us would be thrilled to have this in our game without a single revision. The artwork is absolutely amazing. Colors are vibrant and really JPOP.
The backglass/translite is stunning and I believe it's been finalized. Artwork is also amazing and it beautifully compliments the playfield and cabinet art.
I think the cabinet art is terrific. Not too busy but really calls out to you. I predict there will not be any controversy by the owners over the artwork package.
In terms of the mechs, ramps, lighting, etc. I don't want to spit out a random percentage, but a significant amount were final production parts, with many items still being the prototype version as they wait for the arrival of the production pieces, and a small percentage being items still undergoing testing. There are boxes and boxes in his facility filled with some of the final parts that will go into the game, both for on the playfield and for underneath. The underside of the playfield was completely wired up..if you saw a picture of the underside you'd nearly think it was one that rolled off a Bally/Williams assembly line.
Ramps are going to be very "fun" and as I'm sure you expected are far off from what you see in pinball games today.
Lighting has some new and very visually appealing concepts that I think other manufacturers will attempt to use in their future games.
Toys.....certainly some new things pinball hasn't seen yet and others that we have seen, just pumped up on steroids. Of course many other playfield items/toys that are somewhat standard. One toy in particular is just off the charts.
Away from Magic Girl......
I saw the RAZA playfield that RAZA owners had access to on John's blog. It looks even better in person when you can view it from any angle. I also saw a few versions of cabinet art beyond what was displayed at Expo.
Saw an early sketched version of the AIW playfield (in a cabinet) as well as early sketched cabinet art.
I'm sorry that a lot of what I'm saying is "soft fluff" and incredibly general, but you all know why... Just imagine how frustrating it is to play the prototype of such an exciting and visually attractive game and not be able to tell your friends in the pinball community about it.
I just want to reiterate to owners, MG in particular (and RAZA once you see MG you'll be more comfortable) that I believe you will be much more relaxed when the private reveal happens. Considering how much time we've already spent waiting, a month or two of patience will serve you well and then you can decide for yourself. My point is, Magic Girl is real and almost here.
Or you can do what this impatient, anal retentive, worried OP (me) did and pay him a visit before you call your attorney. Heck, if you want out once the game has been produced I'm fairly confident you'll be able to make a decent return selling your game. Well deserved in my opinion considering the risk we've all taken.
** Your MG will not be in your gameroom in the next few months, but I don't think by end of 2015 is at all unrealistic. RAZA is being designed in parallel with MG so not a three year wait for that game either IMHO.

#4348 4 years ago

If you ask me he should just ditch the whole stupid NDA idea. It was dumb in the first place, but if he'd actually been feeding you guys awesome updates the whole time and it was a cool little secret club then it would have worked.

Instead you've got this situation where the outside world is convinced everything is screwed, and the owners don't feel much different. Total backfire. This obsession with patents and secrets is ridiculous. Pinball is a hobby where people build upon each other. Jpop wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the people before him who set the stage. Make your game, and let the public point fingers if someone tries to steal your idea.

But if you just opened everything up (hint, that's the "Labowski Effect") and got people excited everyone would be in a better spot. Not least of which is if it looks like things will eventually be done and you want a refund the chances of someone taking your spot are exponentially higher if everyone can see what's coming.

Let's face it, we've all seen the Adobe video, the NDA is a joke. Just become a pinball company and try and impress the world. Do it right and the positive feedback would be a healthy thing for everyone.

#4357 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Aurich, John knows the NDA is long gone and of no use now, he acknowledged that and laughed about how other people seeing MG stuff really thought it was great. I guess one MG guy showed everything to several people. So what.
Yeah, he knows, it works to his benefit now. More exposure the better.
We also talked about the opportunity with other guys dropping the ball and Jpop regaining the momentum again.
Rob, he knows its all his fault. If he had a communications director he'd never be in this spot. He's basically a one man show that just can't do it all, yet wants to.
I know we'll see a different approach going forward.

Sounds like you're on it man. I'm gonna talk to Aaron tonight, find out what you guys talked about. I already know you sucked at keeping my name out of it though! (All good.)

#4366 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Sorry dude, I let it slip by accident and he picked up on it like a sponge. I tried to just blow right past it but I knew by his reaction I F ed up

Hehehe. He texted me today and I fessed up before he told me you let it slip.

#4389 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

John is also in the process of opening up the development blogs to everybody, that's huge progress.

Good, that's the smart move, glad to hear it. I'll admit that I'm personally curious, but honestly I really do think letting the world see what he's up to will ultimately build good will and excitement towards his projects, and that kind of energy is beneficial.

#4390 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

So, Scott Danesi's house? With his Labowski pin that has the same code on it that was on it at expo? Sounds worthwhile.

Hey, if he's lucky Scott will show him the test hardware for our joint mod.

#4392 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

You, sir, need to stop with the teasing.

Hey, I showed my prototype! But Scott is building a board to do smooth fading of the LED.

#4435 4 years ago
Quoted from notaflyingtoy:

Ok, though I'm a bit unclear as to how this will help Jpop.

Hey Jpop! If you finish Magic Girl you can have a ...


I'm not ready to call the project saved yet, but I'm seeing the possibility of progress. IMHO you guys should be trying to get as much sunlight in as you can, not trying to figure out how to make more secret groups. If that had worked then great, I don't begrudge any of you your special access, you paid for it. But I think it's just a failed idea. Take your pleasure in the thought of owning the game itself.

#4486 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

So this whole project is about to go dark?

No. Someone started a Facebook group and they're talking there. Whatever, fine. If you're going to talk off in private then just do it, don't talk about it here.

Jpop said he's opening the blog, according to ice, so I don't see what it has to do with anything.

#4489 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

It would be nice if it was that simple. If any buyers talk here they get flamed. Pinside is hardly a friendly place anymore.

Eh, I think it's fine. Most of the bitching in here is coming from frustrated owners frankly. That's on John, not Pinside.

Edit: Removed pointless stuff.

#4491 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

It has been owners here mostly. I want the doors blown open on this whole thing. Sick of the secret shop visits with the "OMG!! Can't tell you what I saw but.... OMG!!!!" We've had that for years now.
All I want now is a plan for how that machine will end up in my house.

Ice said John was opening the blog, I would hope he's realizing that secrecy is just hurting him at this point.

Like I said, you want to have a private group then do it. And I guess you need to promote it here to attract people for a bit, but I hope this thread doesn't turn into "talked to Jpop's lawyer on Facebook last night about sekrit things" over and over. Because that's just going to foster ill will.

#4496 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

This Ice's thread and he can ask the moderator to close it. Send him an email if you like. I'll suggest it to him also.
I'm sorry your feelings are so hurt over this but its beginning to become weird.

I don't even know what you're talking about. Why would I ask for this thread to be closed? You're confusing me.

#4520 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

That's a good point, Rob. I think he may be referring to the wait list of people to buy the extra games Jpop is building. And trust me, its a bone of contention for the original 19 MG owners.

Yeah, I don't blame you guys at all. My "no stakes" view is hey, the more games the better! But that's a raw deal for people who paid frankly a shit ton of money for something that was promised to be super exclusive.

I can't believe I'm even saying this, but maybe with all the art he's done the original 19 should get like a special version of the cabinet, and the other orders don't get that art?

#4539 4 years ago

Let Doug and Aaron try and work things out before you go burning any phones.

#4542 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballfantexas:

From Facebook "The Magic is now free"
Here it is.

Nice work John, now keep listening to your buyers, they're gonna help you get back on track!

#4566 4 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

MG art does look amazing, but those colors! With LEDs, this thing is gonna be a pink/purple nightmare!

Or look awesome. Nothing wrong with those colors.

#4582 4 years ago

Here's the reality, as I see it: Pinball people are by nature positive and optimistic. It's why they pre-order these crazy games in the first place.

They only get sour when years of disappointment start to beat them down.

Opening the blogs up and letting the fresh air in is a great way to get some excitement back. And with some work John can keep it going. Hell, he doesn't even have to do all the work, he just needs to let go enough to let some people help him.

I didn't mean to start a fight with Kim (and we've squashed any bad vibes already) but this is what I meant about the Facebook group. I think it's great if you want to have it, but the whole aura of secrecy just fosters bad feelings. Better to use it quietly and let the public places be a place where positive energy can hopefully accumulate.

I'll tell you what, I can't talk about everything I know right now (look at what a hypocrite I am just one paragraph later!), but I'm feeling pretty positive about pinball in general right now, there's some light showing at the end of several tunnels. Hoping it doesn't fade out too soon.

#4590 4 years ago
Quoted from taz:

I continue to agree with this. I'm a RAZA owner, or sucker perhaps. Despite all the hoopla, I still don't know of a production schedule and have yet to see any of the promised reveals. Call me from Missouri, but I'm still pessimistic about this, despite all of the recent chest thumping.

I think it's fair to be skeptical. But I also think that no matter what happens nothing can/will change overnight, so you have to just see positive steps as hopeful signs of progress.

I would say that you should be vigilant for bullshit or broken promises, but accepting of positive interactions.

Or maybe it's the gin and tonic talking, I dunno.

#4613 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

The reason people go all "ga ga" for it after seeing this stuff is because it kicks ass and, well, people want it.
I believe John is open and willing to accept help and advice. He asked me if i wanted to provide any input on the design/layout aspects, I laughed, he's the genius there, I said i can help on the business side, which he admits is lacking and somewhat "moronic" because he simply can't do it all.
So we have gone from isolationist to hopefully more of an open forum and all hands on deck to help create a stable foundation business wise going forward so great games can go on for years!

The reason I'm hopeful is that the more John is willing to let people help, and just focus on what he's good at, the better things will go. We have a great community, full of smart people with lots of skills. Just gotta form up like Voltron!

#4626 4 years ago

Kids, don't smoke, play pinball!

#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.

#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."

#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?

#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.

#4720 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

So, whatever people have flipped in his shop, that is "90%" done, is being driven by boards that won't be used and will be junked?
And just like all the art revisions that got thrown out, all the work done on boards and programming will be thrown to the dust bin to start over with?
And people want to pretend this will be done anytime soon?

Honestly, if Aaron and FAST get ahold of it, they'll be a million times faster taking over by putting in the hardware they know and designed. So replacing the hardware isn't really as bad as it sounds, it's really part of the stumbling block right now.

Tell you what, be a hell of a test of the Mission framework to see how fast they can get basic rules functioning on a flipable game. People might be surprised at the speed of that. Still plenty of work to program the rest, but that's the kind of thing where a programmer can sit with a functioning prototype and just work independently of anything else.

That's why getting hardware up and running fast (no pun intended) would be advantageous, it would parallelize the work.

#4730 4 years ago
Quoted from retro_p:

Don't take the questions personally.

Then maybe try to not ask them so rudely?

#4749 4 years ago