(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 (3 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (3 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (3 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (3 years ago)

Post #22304 Photos of every page of the Magic Girl manual. Posted by vidgameseller (3 years ago)

Post #22584 Lion Saw feature information. Posted by applejuice (3 years ago)

Post #22710 Very detailed review from a game owner Posted by ShinyNick (3 years ago)

Post #22817 Details on the origin of the driver board Posted by Borygard (3 years ago)

Post #22957 Comparison photos between a MG 'prototype' and another shipped MG Posted by spfxted (3 years ago)

Post #23045 Pinball News first look review. Posted by Pinballs (3 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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#6179 4 years ago
Quoted from Bonnevil69:

the thing that has bothered me about the pic of those machines is that stuff seems to be out of wack from each other. that ramp especially. I know they are prototypes but man it just gets me

Were there ever white woods of this game? I don't think so...so these are working protos without code??? Hmm? My guess is that these are going to be orders 1-3 at some point.

#6392 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

I'm withdrawing my official complaint against Jpop and will excitedly continue on with Magic Girl and RAZA.
I cannot and will not explain further. No private emails please.

Did he offer you 10% of the company?

#6536 4 years ago

Guys, I think he NEEDS the Wired article because it will bring in more preorders which, in turn, will bring in more money - from people who have no idea about Pinside. This could be because he wants to make the games OR it could be just to continue his income stream (so he can continue to invent).

#6685 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I assumed he was stalling hoping for an angel to swoop in and buy him out.
Sorry to say it, but that sounds like colossal waste of capital to me. Just buying out the debt alone seems like a terrible investment.

He needs to go on Shark Tank.

#6942 4 years ago

If I was in on Magic Girl, I would drive over to Zidware with my wife's minivan and take delivery of one of these. You paid for one, you own one. I would ask for all of the parts he has related to the game, and off I would drive, never to allow JPop into my life again. I would figure it out from there. If 5 or 10 partial games are in his shop, that group of owners can figure out where to go next. Maybe for another $3K each, you can get some of the rarest completed games in history. Again, this is what I would do. If he did not cooperate, I would call the police while I was there and show my receipt (It worked with my ex-wife).

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#7077 4 years ago

Translation:

I am still fiddling around. Pinside has foiled my master plan. I am really broke. I have an attorney. No, I am not kidding; I really need some money. If you know someone with money, bring them to me. Yes, I am serious, I have an attorney. Thanks for the money so far. Let me keep fiddling.

#7111 4 years ago

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Why is it that, in a VERY small way, I feel sorry for this guy?

popadiuk1.jpg
#7293 4 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

I try, I try. And the truth is, beyond all the problems and issues, he HAS put a ton of time and effort into these projects (full-time and then some) and has already addressed a huge amount of details to make these things production-ready. He wasn't just drawing layouts on paper/computer and putting together some artwork on a cabinet. Stuff like the plastics set (shape/artwork), detailed printed playfields with inserts, etc., many custom parts (brackets, toys, mechanisms) designed and ready for manufacture, a capable and appropriate modern boardset to run the game, lots of original music and voices and display graphics, a sound system, cabling laid out for production, lighting (incl. some new improvements), new cabinet design... all of this is in place. For MG and (with a few toys being finalized) for RAZA. This isn't just a designer ready to hand over a design to the "engineering department" to do the heavy lifting; the engineering has been done in parallel.
So, seeing all this stuff has tinted my glasses a bit rosier than most. And makes me really hopeful that these games will get finished somehow. Because i like pinball. And, despite any possible personality quirks, i really do like John too and think he has good intentions to make great pinball for his customers, believe it or not. I am well aware that good intentions can make for good paving material!

It sounds like he is truly ready for the expensive part...producing them. Getting manufacturers to make all of the toys, gadgets, mechanisms, ramps, playfields, etc...is the most expensive part. Then, he just has to get some kind of assembly line going to put it all together. I'd say he can probably get the next 100 games done for about $400-500K if he doesn't have to hire anyone (just get a bunch of people to do it for the love of pinball). I have my reading glasses on and I still can't see pink. Maybe I am color-blind.

#7316 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Like Gary Stern always says, it takes $1,000,000 to develop a game from start to finish.

Right, just to make game #1 in any batch for art, engineering, design, whitewoods, etc... before he orders any parts.

#7317 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

Thanks man! I do really appreciate all the kind words from everyone here! It's good to know all the work didn't go unnoticed at least. And I'd LOVE to continue doing pinball art - no question there!

It is a wide open field right now. I know that Dirty Donny has been very successful in the last 2 years focusing on the pinball community. He obviously had the inside advantage with Metallica, but the residual effect has been huge. He has sold out his non-pinball art at every single pinball show. He can't create stuff fast enough. If you want to talk to him, send me a PM and I will give you his contact info.

#7415 4 years ago

(sorry, I meant to quote the Mondo Posters guy)

It is not that hard to get a license if you are a well-established company with money, AN ATTORNEY and a track record. Those Mondo posters are typically $300+ each and they typically have runs of about 325. I've rarely seen them get re-run. That tells me that they gross about $100K per poster and usually the license will run about $50K. They can net about $50K per poster. Pretty good deal for posters. I hope that helps.

#7420 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Maybe in the aftermarket but they're usually about $30-$50 on the site. I think your estimates are off a bit.
http://mondotees.com/collections/posters

I am talking about the original 325 they print on premium licenses, not reprints or B and C licenses. Check eBay, they regularly sell for $2,000-$10,000 in the resale market.

#7428 4 years ago

Sorry, this thread can get back on track AFTER I plug my favorite Mondo Movie Poster Art:JurassicPark-10_1024x1024.jpg
(It's the part where the attorney gets eaten;It always makes me cheer. No offense StevenP)

1 week later
#7763 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

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

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

2 weeks later
#8824 4 years ago
Quoted from I8UB4:

image.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

That picture explains a lot as to why the shooter was too high above the playfield. The top ramp will not fit under the glass. Everything about this game is custom.

#8843 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

It was just the fully populated play field with Paper ramps..

The center circular ramp sat at least 10" above the play field which explains why the play field has to sit so deep in the back of the cabinet. It really blocked your view of the entire top of the play field. I think the shooter rod will have to sit much lower than on a standard game and that is why it doesn't line up on the video on his website/blog.

PS - ChrisVW; Why can't it be posted again?

#8883 4 years ago

It's starting to remind me of another game that had a custom sized play field, custom cabinet and custom glass. Had to put the DMD in a custom location so people could see it.

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#8890 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Cyclone phoned ... It wants its wiggle ramps back.
rd.

Too funny. Plus, it did have a clown with a wheel on the backglass:

backglass_sm.jpg
#8922 4 years ago
Quoted from CraigC:

spikes are used on high end speakers for use on carpet. and from having games on squishy carpet before i've considered using some sort of spikes to anchor them better and keep them from moving around. I'm not defending anything else here besides the spike idea
-c

The spikes are the leg bolts. They put a hole in your leg when you nudge (to remind you of all the pain in this project).

Edit- Found a pic (imagine accidentally bumping those suckers):

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#9265 4 years ago

"...provided that each customer reaffirm his or her interest in obtaining the ordered

products or converting to other products and providing any outstanding payment upon

finalization of pricing, together with his or her commitment to standstill from bringing any action

related to outstanding orders. The Licensee will be hiring Zidware’s founder as a consultant (in

such capacity, “Consultant”) to assist Licensee in the completion of the design of the games,

and a standstill agreement is important to ensure that Consultant is not needlessly distracted by

demands or litigation during this critical time."

I think it's "all or nothing." If anyone does not sign the Agreement, the new company will not do the deal with John.

Plus, providing a "balance upon finalization of pricing" is absolutely ridiculous. They really expect everyone to send them more money in the next few weeks PLUS "waive their rights" for 4 years.

I'll take over Zidware on that deal.

Recap:

1) Everyone sign the Agreement.
2) Everyone send more money.
3) Everyone waive their rights for 4 years.

And, still NO GUARANTEE you will ever get a game.

UGH!!!

#9278 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I'm not privy to any insight here - but I THINK the idea would be by getting a buy in for MG then production can start yesterday, whereas spreading the resources on 3 machines out of the gate would be suicide (as we've seen). Again - i have no knowledge on these decisions - just drawing my own conclusion.

I am curious if you would be willing to share how much you were paid by John over the last 4 years and how much you are still owed at this time. Also, what have you been promised by the new investor? I think that would help everyone here gain a better perspective as to how they "weigh" your opinions on this matter.

#9308 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

Why not? Apparently there is boxes of parts and playfields done for the game, artwork and design is done. Sound, music and some coding had been started also. Why couldn't we take inventory and figure out what is missing and, shop our own manufacturer and finish the games on our own?
125 RAZA buyers with approximately half the money left on the table.....

Because the new owner needs Raza money to build Magic Girl. See a pattern?

15
#9320 4 years ago

Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.

That's what this is. Please stop using the word "INVESTOR" here. An investor would come in with a million bucks, build games and sell them. That's what I would do as an investor. They are not, though; They are asking for MORE money. This is a shill to get everyone to release JPOP AND the new owner from any personal liability here. Please do not fall for it.

#9429 4 years ago

CLASSIC...PONZI...SCHEME!

FACT: Most ponzi schemes start with good intentions for the first group that invests. When the first plan doesn't work out for the schemer, he/she is convinced that their plan is still good and goes after a second group of investors (usually because they are embarrassed to tell the first group they lost their money). When the second "plan" doesn't work, they go after a third group, etc...

All the while they pay themselves and feel justified in doing so for all the hard work they put in.

When the music (money) finally stops, they always UPGRADE you one last time and blame you if you don't do it.

Does this sound familiar? The letter is win-win for JPOP. You sign his terms and release him of responsibility for "hope" of a return on your investment or, you you don't sign it and it's your fault you lost all the money.

There is one way he can lose. Contact an attorney and go after him civilly. Contact the local police and the Attorney General's office in the state of Illinois.

http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/filecomplaint.html

Remember, he does have assets, and, he paid himself for the last 3 years. I am sure geniuses- creating patents and important trademarks like a picture of Zeus holding a pinball- feel they are worth a lot of money and pay themselves very well.

Take a look:

https://tsdrapi.uspto.gov/ts/cd/casedocs/bundle.pdf?sn=85761478&type=FTK&fromdate=2012-10-23&todate=2012-10-23

18
#9437 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

There IS an investor. One we are very lucky to have.
I'll let him reveal himself. He's doing it for love of pinball. Who else is gonna jump into this shitstorm?
Option A. Don't agree to this. Sue John personally. Zidware is broke. Good luck with that
Option B. Agree to this and you get a pinball machine. Investor is risking over 1 million bucks
We all knew there would be more MGs to make the numbers work
You get John OUT of the $$$ part. What more do you want?

If the investor is putting in a million bucks and doing it for the love of pinball, he doesn't need signed letters from buyers or money for that matter. He needs to take over for John and start building games. The million bucks should do that with no problem. After they start hitting the streets, he can sell hundreds more and start making a profit.

#9481 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

You might think differently if it was your 1 million that was at risk
He asked me if I wanted to be involved and I considered it and then said he was nuts. BUT, with him involved it WILL get done.
You do understand that he nor anybody else would drop a dime in with the onslaught of litigation
So if that's what you want, the other option is Zippo

If the letter today was an announcement that $1 MILLION was being invested in JPOP and games will be built, there would be no onslaught of litigation. There would be hope and a whole new level of patience. Plus, there would probably be a line of people wanting to buy these games, ONCE THEY ARE PRODUCED.

It's the whole "hocus-pocus" of sign this, commit to that, hurry up, or lose it all, that leaves a pit in my stomach.

25
#9561 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

The advice to sue John now is Assinine. But hey, knock yourselves out
The other option is just walk away
Maybe it's lost on some people that John wouldn't be running the show anymore. Thus, you have to decide if you think the new guy is capable or not

The other option is not to "just walk away." It is to choose not to sign it and see if games are made.

You are still owed a game or a refund even if you don't check a box on this document. By signing this document, you are waiving your rights and acknowledging that you may get nothing in the future.

As a matter of fact, I feel that checking the box to wait for RAZA/AIW pretty much seals your fate that you will never get anything in the future. No game, no refund, no justice. You signed that you are OK with that.

I am begging all of you to please be careful here. Make you own choices, but consult an attorney and do some research.

#9718 4 years ago
Quoted from jarjarisgod:

John managed to swing a promotion at Zidware somewhere long the way. According to the letter he is now President instead of VP. That kid is going places!

Maybe Kaneda became VP after doing such a great job with PR?

There is only one name that comes up this weekend to save the deal - Gary Stern.

Edit: 2 names - Dave Peterson as well.

#9728 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

How else are we gonna get this thread to 10k by tonight?

I am certain the thread will hit 10K once the name is announced - no matter what name it is.

29
#9840 4 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

BACKGROUND
Zidware, Inc. ...The Company is headquartered in a leased facility in
Streamwood, Illinois and has historically operated at a deficit and relied on deposits from
purchasers of machines and shareholder loans to fund its operations....

This is my favorite part - because I have created, purchased, and sold many businesses in the last 25 years. And, yes, I have been burned - particularly to the tune of $3 Million in "shareholder loans."

Let me translate how that works:

1) Invest $3 Million in a business with one owner who controls the cash.

2) Forget to include salary restrictions on that owner when you invest.

3) Owner "pays himself" a huge bonus one week, say $2.5 million.

4) A few days later, the owner deposits $2.4 Million back into the corporate account. This is a shareholder loan to the company.

5) Looking at the monthly numbers (just totals), things look in order. I never notice it.

6) Years go by.

7) You have a buyer for the company at $4.5 Million.

You are notified that there are $2.4 Million in outstanding shareholder loans that get paid before you.

9) You learn an expensive lesson.

John is no dummy. He had no restrictions on the money. He paid it all to himself first, and, out of the goodness of his heart, loaned it back to Zidware. That way, he is first in line as a creditor. That is why he is paying nobody! The language of "shareholder loans" was not included accidentally. By signing it, you are acknowledging that "John has outstanding loans and you were made aware of this."

EDIT: = 8.

#9842 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

This is my favorite part - because I have created, purchased, and sold many businesses in the last 25 years. And, yes, I have been burned - particularly to the tune of $3 Million in "shareholder loans."
Let me translate how that works:
1) Invest $3 Million in a business with one owner who controls the cash.
2) Forget to include salary restrictions on that owner when you invest.
3) Owner "pays himself" a huge bonus one week, say $2.5 million.
4) A few days later, the owner deposits $2.4 Million back into the corporate account. This is a shareholder loan to the company.
5) Looking at the monthly numbers (just totals), things look in order. I never notice it.
6) Years go by.
7) You have a buyer for the company at $4.5 Million.
You are notified that there are $2.4 Million in outstanding shareholder loans that get paid before you.
9) You learn an expensive lesson.
John is no dummy. He had no restrictions on the money. He paid it all to himself first, and, out of the goodness of his heart, loaned it back to Zidware. That way, he is first in line as a creditor. That is why he is paying nobody! The language of "shareholder loans" was not included accidentally. By signing it, you are acknowledging that "John has outstanding loans and you were made aware of this."

In other words, he can still make claims for any new money deposited towards loans he is owed.

EDIT = 8.

Sorry, I duplicated myself instead of editing. Jim

Was adding this line - In other words, he can still make claims for any new money deposited towards loans he is owed.

25
#10583 4 years ago

A note to Mr. Brandes:

Bill,

Please take these 30 days to consider distancing yourself from JPOP. I know you are a huge fan and you have heavily invested in theses games. My take is that you became very concerned and finally visited him in the last 30 days. Everybody leaves the Mad Scientist's laboratory feeling like there is a genius at work. I am certain this happened to you as well. The part you forgot is that he pumps ether into that place (it's an expression). It takes at least 60 days to come out of the ether. How many posts have we seen filled with hopes and dreams in the last 3 or 4 years after people have left the laboratory? They always get burned by John in the end.

Many of them actually get the idea to "rescue him from himself."

You are not the first one with this idea. You are just the first one that was willing to do it under "John's terms."

That is my point to you. He is setting you up to burn you as well. I know you are in the ether because no competent businessman puts together a contract that says "Do not sue the genius at work or he will not be able to focus." Every contract you get will protect him just a little bit more. Every contract buys another two years for John to burn you and come up with another plan for himself. He will actually be able to blame you if the games don't get built.

I understand the reasons you have kept him involved. He owns everything and Has control of everything. You will not have access to any of it without him. I am here to tell you that this is a bad thing. 199 games cannot possibly be shipped in the next two years if he is involved. I personally don't think 199 can be delivered if he is not involved. JJP did not make two years, Heighway will not get 200 off in less than two years (it's been 22 months), TBL, MMR, etc...

I am saying this because I like you, but more importantly, I love this hobby. I love your spirit and I would love to see the games get made but nobody else should be burned along the way. I know John and I am certain he let you believe all the ideas in this License deal were yours. I assure you that they were not. Nobody has been able to look at his finances. How will you feel if you help protect him and you later find out that he squirreled away $400k? He is not providing financial transparency here for a very good reason.

Please reconsider your position here. Maybe you can force John's hand a little more and make this deal a little better for yourself and everyone involved. Please don't hesitate to send me a PM if you would like to hear more. I have plenty to share on what I have recently seen.

Kindest regards,

Jim Tracy
Jim@ezlocal.com

#10877 4 years ago

A quick Google images search for Sabrina Wei gets some great results. I would post them, but I do not want to turn this into a "boobs" thread.

#10939 4 years ago
Quoted from pin-pimp:

Don't cruficy me, I'm here to help and will reveal what I'm doing to help out.

Crucify you? They should crown you! Great work. It's awesome to see what motivated people can accomplish. I have to applaud Bill here as well.

12
#11060 4 years ago
Quoted from gcp:

Serious question - how does one acquire* the Zidware assets while avoiding Zidware's liabilities *without* John being on board? Unless John himself actually sees the writing on the wall and agrees to lay low and go along with this scheme?
* sorry - "license"

I think the "license" probably could have been acquired by any person here. I think John would have given it under two conditions:

1) Don't sue me.

2) Make games for people and give them some type of credit so they don't come after me.

Many songs are "licensed" over and over again by TV shows, movies and commercials. I really think any person here could go get a license from John under those conditions.

Here is the thing. Bill acquired the license. That's it, a license to try to make the games. I really don't think he is the bad guy here. Bill IS spending his own money to try to complete the first game. It was the furthest along so it makes sense. My guess is that he is investing about $100K to try to get that done. He is working with about 25 vendors to put a game together for the Northwest show. That's more than John could, or would even think about doing. It makes no sense for Bill to talk about RAZA and AIW yet. Let him try to get game 1 working.

Finally, Bill has to have some contact with John. He can't just cut John off. John has EVERYTHING on his computer, in his shop, and in his head. He needs that stuff to make ANY of the games. We all know John is a little "flaky." Anything could happen.

The following is my opinion - Bill is hoping he can get everything soon even with the risk that "John might go crazy and destroy everything" when all the lawsuits and attorney general letters start to hit. Then, John is bankrupt, and there is no chance that any of these games ever see the light of day. That is why Bill is asking for some kind of "stay of execution" on John. He is hoping to slow the tide over the next month to get everything he can from John. This is to protect all of the buyers. Somebody else will have everything.

Finally, this is a no-win situation for Bill. He did not buy the company. He does not owe anybody anything as such. What if he can make these games and sell them for $10K each? Then, he sends them to the first 15-20 buyers for free. They will still be asking him for $6K refunds from him even though he gave them exactly what they paid for (other than exclusivity). He didn't owe them the games or the $6K each; John is the one who might owe them something. If Bill sells 100 or 150 of them at $10K, the exclusivity is gone, but that is the price to be paid to attempt to move on to games 2 and 3. That will upset even more people.

So, my advice for now, take a deep breath and let Bill do his thing. Leave Bill alone and offer support to him. That's what I am doing. If he asks, I will go to John's shop with six of my guys TODAY and help to put a game together.

On John, I have no advice. Let your conscience, heart and brain guide you towards making the best decision for you.

It's really worth thinking about.

#11076 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

BackFlipper you just saved me a ton of writing thank you. Will you honestly go help and make sure the games are complete as he promised. no excuses all parts ordered and rest he has in his hands already please pm me as working hard from west coast.

Yes, I will. Name the day & time, and I will be there with a couple of helpers. I am more than happy to do that. I know how much getting this first (prototype) game out means to you. It's everything. PM sent.

#11205 4 years ago

I am curious to know what everyone thinks Zidware is worth today?

I know the number is ZERO if you include outstanding debts. What if it went through bankruptcy and the whole thing is up for auction today? The protos, cabinets, toys, art, patents, IP and trademarks.

What do you think it's worth?

#11372 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

"This was our informal plan, that's not under any NDA. John was to turnover MG and RAZA by July in whatever condition they were in at that time. Then John would 'disappear' for 2 years working on AIW. With RAZA for a release at 692 units by October 2016. MG at 1130 units in 2017. And AIW at 2k units in early 2018. All vendors paid by June 2015. All presales refunded by Feb 2016 for those that chose to not accept delivery (with refunds in part or credits for MSRP less than the amounts John arbitrarily chose at time of machine delivery). Penalty for refund would have been loss of certain 'privileges' (which will remain undisclosed as it is now moot). No real point to worry about any of that now. I wish these new investors the best. They are going to need it."
This is the part that I paraphrased earlier after listening to Nate Shivers break it down on Coast to Coast podcast.
Wrap your head around that one fellas.
Stand by boys, I'm hoping Bill is gonna come to his senses very soon.

Wow! That's a lot of games. How did deepgroot arrive at those numbers? I am sure it was an exhaustive study. Did I miss the Pinside poll?

#11376 4 years ago
Quoted from limelime20:

The game is already on it's way to the show..., Zombieyeti is in the car with it., It's gone from Jpop..
The question is, who owns it?

My guess is that it is still the property of Zidware. It's my speculative belief that Bill acquired only the license to build the games. He did not buy the assets. He mentioned earlier that the game is owned by the 150 owners in the group.

#11431 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Guy's we licensed the games and have borrowed the one MG to finish the damn thing that he seemingly could not finish himself. Once the game is finished we will all be able to see if its even worth making, and like Aurich said, shoots well. That wasn't gonna happen with John and in a locked building with blinds closed. The other huge step is to cross reference what John says is BOM to a factual one which I have the best of the best that are willing to help analyze when complete. At the end of the day, the customers, like myself, will have one more "complete asset" to sell if it proves to be not worth building. The machine is "on loan", this is how I look at it and it will be returned to all of us when and if I get it complete. It would be ultimately stupid of me to spend more capital let alone time building something so toxic no one wants to purchase. In the end it will be well over a 6 figure digit to get it complete and worst case scenario there is at least one complete Magic Girl that will be split with everyone that he owes.

Thanks Bill! That should end that discussion.

I know everyone wants to know what you paid for the license. This is my guess. No money exchanged hands, but you promised to deliver the 15+ Magic Girl's once you can go into production. That would be about 15 games X $15K = $225K

I wonder if anyone else in the world would pay that for the license.

The other option would be to wait for the bankruptcy and buy the IP at auction. I don't think anyone in their right mind would pay more than maybe $25K....pushing it might be $50K, but I don't think so.

If someone did buy the IP at auction for $50K, that would get each owner about $300 back. For $300, I'd rather take a short "wait and see" approach. I am not talking about legal action against John. I am talking about giving you a break, Bill. At least you are protecting the biggest asset that John had.

#11432 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

Thanks Bill! That should end that discussion.
I know everyone wants to know what you paid for the license. This is my guess. No money exchanged hands, but you promised to deliver the 15+ Magic Girl's once you can go into production. That would be about 15 games X $15K = $225K
I wonder if anyone else in the world would pay that for the license.
The other option would be to wait for the bankruptcy and buy the IP at auction. I don't think anyone in their right mind would pay more than maybe $25K....pushing it might be $50K, but I don't think so.
If someone did buy the IP at auction for $50K, that would get each owner about $300 back. For $300, I'd rather take a short "wait and see" approach. I am not talking about legal action against John. I am talking about giving you a break, Bill. At least you are protecting the biggest asset that John had.

Plus, you are putting about $100K into this one big asset which I think will benefit everybody by seeing if this game is even worth making.

#11453 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Questions still waiting for answers:
1. Terms of the license agreement.
2. Why license, with the complicated "we'll make you whole" rigamarole instead of buy-out and clear, legal transfer of liability.

Why would anybody buy out John's liabilities? They are about $1.3 MILLION. Everything he has is not worth $100K. That's everything.

#11456 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

...he can snake out what little value there is at Zidware before it gets locked up in litigation.
I guess I'm just a pessimist, but that's the logical conclusion.

I don't think he "snaked it out," I think he "saved it" from what John is currently doing...see website...see blog...see walls missing art from a recent visit...

One item is saved and Bill repeatedly states "It belongs to all of the owners."

#11457 4 years ago

Sorry, duplicate. Ugh!

#11539 4 years ago
Quoted from CraigC:

what's the cost on something like this, is it possible to do this for home brew games at a reasonable price?
-c

I think a set of ramps is at least $3K.

#11541 4 years ago

This is a great article in this week's Crain's Chicago Business. It is very relevant to this discussion.

It's called: "Kickstarter's Darker Side."

http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20150523/ISSUE01/305239994/when-kickstarter-projects-have-trouble-getting-started

#11581 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Did he pay you AT ALL?
That's one lesson from all of this. NEVER WORK FOR FREE.
I work in animation and I see this all the time. Charismatic producers asking for free (or underpaid) work...."This is your foot in the door!" "When this project gets picked up, you're the first one hired!".
BULL. SHIT.
If you have a skill, you've worked hard to hone that skill. It's not just some cute thing you do for fun. It's your livelihood. ALWAYS get paid (and paid fairly) for your work...or walk away.

I think he was paid for a while. Then the payments stopped. I believe the same for Zombie Yeti and others.

#11682 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

There was no funding. In another bone-head move, Jpop made this game thinking it could get him the Kiss license. Total waste of time and money.

...or, he was auditioning for a role with a bigger pinball company that would actually get that license.

#11689 4 years ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

He's been auditioning for a gig and hoping someone with an assembly line brought him on and his games. Pat took his garage game to JJP. Pop was just adding games to his garage haul until someone bit. KISS license was a home run swing. If he could wow them and secure that, Uncle Gary had to come a callin'.

Yes, he actually mentioned it on the phone with me last year. He was hoping JJP OR Stern would buy him out.

#11745 4 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

This is LITERALLY Twilight Zone status. How do you have a flipping whitewood, for years!, and not bring it to a show (any show!) for anyone to see?
I have to think that so much of this NONSENSE could have been avoided if that had happened. But, I guess if he was bringing it to shows he wouldn't be of the mindset to fiddle with hinges for months.
This is all so sad.

Good thing he did not bring this to shows. He would have collected even more deposits and might have announced another game by now. This show may have gone on another two years before the music finally stopped.

#11822 4 years ago

It looks to me like Sabrina might have the money and contacts to get this done.

#11884 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Wait, no.
"It's a movie, so it has to star Chris Pratt" - new rule in Hollywood
POPADIUK BEGINS

JPOP looks like Weird Al to me.

weird-al-yankovic-c4535fb7f213b73e.jpg
#11887 4 years ago

Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.

It's worth saying again.

#12598 4 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

The Toy for MG is the big swirl ramp in the middle of the play field.Read the posts on the guy who made the ramps last week.2 wiggle ramps ,no big circular one.
So unless their is a REAL circular ramp somewhere the game will not have its biggest feature at NW show.
I could be wrong but I haven't seen or read anything on here that tells me otherwise.

He made the center one as well.

408601-i.jpg
#12625 4 years ago
Quoted from Beemus:

Any prototype that exists along with parts should be destroyed by fire so this ugliness can end and everyone move on.
Any effort to move this forward or make it a success ultimately will only stroke the ego of a dillusional thief. This vision and art of JP should NEVER be realized even if in a flimsy attempt to recoup some $.
Bridges burned... Throw what remains on the fire.

If there was a fire, would the insurance company believe the contents of the shop were worth $1MILLION? Pretty good question.

#12774 4 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Just caught up with the last few pages of this thread. WTF is with this Iceman guy? Quantity isn't quality, man. Your posts are redundant gibberish and make me feel kind of embarrassed for you.

He'll be waking up pretty soon.

One of the guys at my office just read the thread and swore that ICE's account is operated by two people.

21
#12848 4 years ago

The bottom line is that John NEVER intended to create a pinball manufacturing company. He NEVER thought of the money as money being paid for an actual pinball machine.

John felt he was building a pinball design company. That's why he was so delusional. That's why he felt everything was fine. That's why everything was about the "love of pinball." He felt everyone "got it" that they were giving him money to further develop pinball. Getting a game was not a responsibility, it would be a bonus.

He truly believed that somebody would buy his business or build the games for people as part of a licensing deal. That's what he thinks is happening right now. Bill has licensed the games so Bill should build them. John feels he has done his part. He is shocked that people would actually sue him.

In the meanwhile, John will go back to tinkering in the laboratory "for the love of pinball." He will continue to defend his actions and will blame the community for how they have hurt him. It's really a sad situation.

#13032 4 years ago
Quoted from statsdoc:

Ouch. I was hoping for one of those. Snooze and lose I guess. I wasn't even off the site for that long.

Same here. My wife had me doing chores.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread. Dirty Donny has been killing it with the pinball community for the last two years. We love to put this stuff in our game rooms. Hopefully, I'll be around next time.

#13246 4 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

If you want to own that owl toy today then you can order it from here for $5.99.
http://anwo.com/store/snowy-owl-toy-miniature.htm

#14233 4 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

One hundred dollars! What kind if question is that? If they want to sell more of them the BOM must come down. The reengineering costs are peanuts compared to what Jpop has collected. At least the guy pointed out something fresh and insightful in this boondoggle thread. I swear I think it might have been better if Bill never took on this project.

Bill taking on the project is a distraction of the real problem-JPOP. He should have waited for the BK AND PURCHASED THE LICENSE LATER. He then could have offered some credits to all purchasers and would look like a hero.

#14236 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Yes, but then Bill might be bidding vs other interested parties.... I assume he chose the timing very deliberately.
It was unclear if (under the jpop plan) he was going to have to pay anything (to Jpop). He wouldn't assume the liability, but would TRY to offer credits to the jpop victims.... Jpop might trade away the whole thing for protection from lawsuit, and a Liles multiyear gig "consulting" on the games.
Vs
Having to big against someone else looking to pickup the work done so far for a song.
Btw- I'm not suggesting Bills strategy was a bad one.

Agreed, but I really don't think the MG license has a value of more than $25K. I don't think any of the bigger manufacturers would have touched it. I am guessing Bill has spent much more than that already. Just a guess.

#14570 4 years ago
fat+lady+sings-feature.jpeg
#14844 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

the patents I always thought were stupid even right in the beginning.
and the way John would tout them, made me roll my eyes, purely for ego reasons, no actual worth.
and in the end all the concern for the waste of time was justified.

Don't forget these valuable trademarks...

ImageAgentProxy.jpg Titanium_Plate.png
104
#15426 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Sure, but the customers also shouldn't be irrational and upset when they learn the company spent product revenue on... the company's expenses.
This is why every company starts with SEED money - you can't startup a company with just sales revenue on your first product. The goal is to start generating money to show promise (and get more investment) or get cash neutral before the seed money runs out... John didn't do either.
No one has discussed how much seed money John started out with, or other revenue sources and instead assumed the only money in the pot was pre-order dollars. I'm sure the preorder was the dominate portion... but I doubt he started with 0 dollars before taking MG sales. If that's the case... a lot of the blame does go to the customers for taking such great risks. Why throw 5 digit numbers at a company with zero capital?

When I started my business 23 years ago, my partner and I used our savings accounts to get started.

We did not take a salary.

A year later, that money ran out so we both took line's of credit on our homes to the tune of $250K.

We did not take a salary.

Another year went by and we were out of money again, but the business showed real promise so we borrowed another $500K.

We did not take a salary.

The fourth year we started making a profit and began to pay the bank back.

We still did not take a salary.

In year 6, we finished paying the bank the $750K plus interest and made a small profit.

Only then did we take a small salary.

How did I live for almost six years without income? I ate Ramen noodles and mac and cheese. We did not go on a single vacation. We lived on the money my wife earned as a dental assistant. We were poor, but I was motivated.

What happened? We were motivated because we put our entire life on the line. We HAD TO MAKE IT WORK. We had no choice. We really did work 7 days a week. I risked my home, my kids college savings, my retirement, etc... I went ALL IN. I still arrive at the office every single morning by 7AM and often work till 9PM (14 hour days sound familiar?).

The problem is that John never had to go ALL IN. He didn't even put the tip in. If he did, his sole focus would have been on the BOM, making games, and getting them out the door SO HE COULD EVENTUALLY MAKE A PROFIT and get paid. If he had taken a $250K line of credit on his home, risked his kid's college fund, and been eating Ramen Noodles instead of Starbucks, we would all have games in our homes. The model certainly could have worked. Look at Ben and Charlie.

I have ZERO respect left for this man. He justified his salary because he was doing the job of 10 men. Listen to his interview again. "It took 3 or 4 guys just to do the cabling." He probably feels that people still owe him all of the remaining money on these games, not for the actual games, but for all of his dedication and hard work. Nobody ever owed me anything in my life. I EARNED every penny by generating a profit.

HERE IS MY OFFER TO ONE PINSIDER:

If you were burned by John, and you cannot afford to hire Zane Smith because the conditions in your life have changed, please send me an email with your purchase contract and proof of payments attached, and I will send $500 to Zane Smith on your behalf. You will be part of the lawsuit and will maximize your position to try to get something back.

If times have really gotten tough (because life happens and much can change in 4 years) and you don't want to go through Zane, send me all of your info, contracts, payments, etc... and I will send the $500 to you personally instead. It is your choice, but again, I can only do this for one person at this time.

Whoever I help, I will keep your information private. I will not share your information on this forum or anywhere else in my life. You have my word.

My contact info:

Jim Tracy
jim@ezlocal.com

14
#15431 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

*should* being the right word... because you're going in with the notion that money is tight and you want to succeed. Those are business decisions.. you try to run lean. The key concept is LEAN -- John's failure as a money man in his startup is missing that concept. Of course he also failed under his CEO hat, his designer hat, and his marketing hat.
Startups run lean where they can... but you don't get a 'startup discount' on things you need to buy on the open market.. or hire on.. etc.
For all we know this number was 'discounted' in John's brain.
It gets back to -- does this specific salary point change any of the outcome? No
BTW.. who wouldn't turn down a 60k job at Stern.. that's insulting if you are supposedly a role that only a handful of people can pull off and you're in a major metro area.

If he was worth more, somebody would have offered him more.

I live in Chicago and my wife and I got by on less than $60K a year. We rented a room in a house when we first got married. I have 50 employees today, and 70% of them make less than $50K right now. Somehow, they get by.

I guess I am insulting all of them.

33
#15433 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

You're a great guy and that's a nice offer...but if anyone here needs $500, they should not be collecting pinball machines...

I am just guessing that some lives have changed in the last 4 years. Divorce, death, loss of job, bad investments, etc... Maybe there is somebody no longer collecting...maybe there is somebody that does not even post on these forums, but reads them. Maybe there is someone who needs a break in their favor right now.

Maybe, just one good deed is what this community needs to turn the tide in a positive direction. Pay it forward, right?

14
#15436 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

That's a nice story - and yes, that's often what it takes to succeed. I've never challenged any of that. You made sacrifices in your attempt to succeed. These are choices - choices not all people make the same.. some succeed, some fail. Some do as you did and still fail.
I'm sure you made other choices too.. like "right sizing" any inventory you took on, or where you stored your stuff, or what kind of contracts you sourced. All of these choices are driven to the idea of prioritizing expenses and running lean because you are trying to operate within constraints and get to a point of sustainability.
To your point about motivation... its as I stated in another post..

By paying himself comfortably up front... he removed some of that pain motivation which doesn't help when he has no other sanity check around him either.
In hindsight, we know JPop didn't have this prioritization and lean kind of thinking... not in the game design, not in his operations, not in his company direction.
None of that really changes what the market rate for what employees are worth though. The difference is if you actually pay people or trade them something instead... and in your case you were operating as an owner. John obviously never was... John started a business without any business sense or partners to give the business that balance.

I think in hindsight we know the FINANCIALS could have worked given the prices charged - but I don't think it would have worked with John driving the boat. The company's output shows that.. the company didn't just run out of time.. they company was adrift, they had no valid business plan, and the product was bad.
The salary situation didn't sink the ship.. it just ensured a timely death.

Yep, it's much easier to fail with OPM (Opium) which is OTHER...PEOPLE'S...MONEY.

#15441 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Do any of them do a job as exclusive as pinball design and producer? Or any of them do any work where there is probably less than 3 dozen qualified people in the world to do it?
The role in question here is not that of a low tier employee, or new hire, or rank and file.
Someone go ask Larry De Mar if he'd switch to your company for 60k a year...

When you choose a position where there are only 3 dozen positions available in the world, yes, you have to take what you can get because the odds of another one becoming available can be quite low. Or, you may have to take an entry level position doing something else where you will be paid even less.

12
#15450 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Do any of them do a job as exclusive as pinball design and producer? Or any of them do any work where there is probably less than 3 dozen qualified people in the world to do it?
The role in question here is not that of a low tier employee, or new hire, or rank and file.
Someone go ask Larry De Mar if he'd switch to your company for 60k a year...

Last I checked, $60K is better than unemployment. If you have a family and no job, you take what you can get and work your ass off until somebody pays you more.

If that's your only offer, I guess you are better off stealing it from the community that supported you? Is that what you're saying? What does Larry DeMar working for my company have to do with anything?

15
#15458 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Is that your sales pitch when hiring people??

Because the discussion was over the market value of a head of a product development team in a highly complex, specialized market. Not what you happen to pay people.. because I'm pretty sure your business is not building coin op machines for the global market.

1) Yep, you busted me.

2) No, I don't build coin op games for a global market. But, when I interview a person for a job, I pay them based on their skill level and market value for the position they are interviewing for. I can't pay somebody based on what they used to make "back in the good old days - the roaring 90's!" I do, however, interview plenty of them that made $150K in their past, but bring $40K of experience in my industry. Some earn their way back to $100K+, some do not. $100K+ talent always rises to the top.

19
#15460 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Are you Gary Stern?
Note I didn't say 3 dozen positions available.. I said three dozen people QUALIFIED to do the job. # of positions available doesn't drive market value, it's about qualified people vs # of positions.
You do what ever other pinball designer has done... switch fields. Their skill set is still highly valued even if not in pinball.

Agreed. It was semantics. I meant qualified people to do the job vs. positions available. If there are 36 total jobs in the world designing games and 35 are filled, and you get offered the only one available, you just might have to take it for whatever they offer. Or, you might have to change careers.

I am tired of arguing with you Flynn. You win the best Pinside fighter of the day. I can't break down the semantics and double entendres of every word the way you can. I have to go back to work here. Peace!

29
#15463 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Ok, so again... Larry De Mar comment. Try hiring the head of a coin-op game production company for 60k to do that same job. Stern wasn't hiring people to do your company's line of work.. so again your comments about what you pay your 50 employees has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Yes, people live in Chicago on less than 60k a year... and what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

What does Larry DeMar have to do with JPOP? Talk about tea in China? They are 2 totally different human beings. Larry DeMar went to MIT for goodness sake! He was the head of Engineering at Williams for 19 years.

If JPOP was worth $100K+ because he was another Larry DeMar, someone would have scooped him up when he was looking. Please Flynn, you have insulted me, but please don't insult Larry DeMar by comparing his value to JPOP's.

10
#15466 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Alright, let me try and tackle this point so we can move on:
You and BackFlipper are not saying things entirely differently, you just think you are. Basically, you are saying JPop paid himself like anyone in a similar position (running a coin-op production company) would have paid himself. You note his salary had no impact on the game being made, only how fast (or slow) the collapse occurred.
BackFlipper is saying JPop overpaid himself, took the profits out of the front end, and should not have been paid like he was.
You both make good points, this is what I see: JPop over paid himself as someone running a coin-up production company that had no product and no investors (pre-orders are not investors...though they were treated even worse than an investor would have been since they had no corporate management rights).
JPop paid himself as if he had capital to do so, he had no capital . . . that money was not his. It was not investment. It was payment for a product that he had no ability to manufacture and he knew it before he stopped paying himself (there is no way it just suddenly hit him at Expo last year that was out of money and had no hope to build the games).
Now, JPop is just sitting back and waiting for yet another Patron (not a customer or investor - he doesn't know what those are) to come give him more money to keep up his arts and crafts show. The man should go to jail for what he has done...his only defense against his fraud is literally the "incompetent imbecile defense".

Thank you. Going back to work.

99
#15515 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

HERE IS MY OFFER TO ONE PINSIDER:
If you were burned by John, and you cannot afford to hire Zane Smith because the conditions in your life have changed, please send me an email with your purchase contract and proof of payments attached, and I will send $500 to Zane Smith on your behalf. You will be part of the lawsuit and will maximize your position to try to get something back.
If times have really gotten tough (because life happens and much can change in 4 years) and you don't want to go through Zane, send me all of your info, contracts, payments, etc... and I will send the $500 to you personally instead. It is your choice, but again, I can only do this for one person at this time.
Whoever I help, I will keep your information private. I will not share your information on this forum or anywhere else in my life. You have my word.
My contact info:
Jim Tracy
jim@ezlocal.com

I hate to quote myself, but it was the best way to provide this update:

I am proud to say that 2 people have provided proof of their purchase from Zidware and I have decided to help both of them. I will not say who they are, what they wanted, how they wanted it or even if they participate on Pinside. If they ever want to share any of that information, that will be up to them.

$1000 is honestly a small price to pay for the great things that pinball has brought me. Heck, $1000 is only 1/3rd of the profit I made when I sold my Tron LE. I have lost $1000 in a day at a casino. It will not change the quality of my retirement. I am really happy to have been able give back.

#15867 4 years ago
Quoted from inhomearcades:

Does anyone have any idea what the price of the intellectual rights were when jpop gave it over to the other guy to begin production? Even a ball park.

I was told that it was $0. It was an Agreement to include credits to previous buyers and expand availability.

2 weeks later
22
#16246 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

The guy and his family have suffered enough, really, he has.

Really? He has suffered enough? I am curious how he has suffered. He got a million bucks and played tinker toys for 4 years. I wish I could suffer that way.

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