(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)


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30
#754 5 years ago

Whoah Hunchback slow down. You're way off.

If anything I was a "license", a name attached to a game. We hashed out some ideas, but it was 99% John and now he's going in a different direction which is fine by me. So I'm the dark as much as anyone else.

It has been a while and people are understandably curious as to what's going on. I have the same concerns about Predator and the industry in general. Money is tied up for years, instead of buying a game, growing tired of it, flipping it and uses the funds for something else.

Problem is you tinker too long and something like TBL might arrive and blow you out of the water.

1 month later
33
#2258 5 years ago

I can't speak to all of the reasons John changed BHZA to RAZA. Some customers didn't want me on the game, just zombies, which I understand.

But part of it had to be his displeasure with me working with Chuck who has a competing zombie game. I wasn't even part of Chuck's game (just AMH) but I guess it was close enough?

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.

17
#2295 5 years ago

I know almost as little about BHZA as you all do. We hashed out some ideas that I won't discuss as I too signed his NDA.

I didn't feel I was very closely involved, so that's why I didn't give a whoop when he changed it.

RE: Tesla, anyone who walked into my office and saw my Tesla backglass hanging on the wall is/was free to "borrow" the idea from me since I did nothing to protect it. I no longer feel it's a strong title for pinball anyway (no license, no sales) increasing my level of not-giving-a-shit.

There's nothing more I can tell you from my end.

#2509 5 years ago

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.

1 week later
#2714 5 years ago

AMH had about a year of work done when Chuck started his company. It took a little over another year to get it ready for manufacture and coded.

So about two years total, as a nights and weekend job for me.

2 weeks later
11
#3253 5 years ago

That's not his dog.

If you click and drag the photo into Google Image Search, it's from a site about "Unfortunate Animal Patterns" (Yes Google Image Search works in reverse too)

#3257 5 years ago

Ah! I see.

Carry on then!

1 week later
#3522 5 years ago

Hey it's Paul who sold me my Space Shuttle!

I wear a sweater at work too. Heat in the Midwest is easily 1/4th of your rent!

21
#3727 4 years ago

Original concept was myself as "evil mastermind" creating zombies in abandoned amusement park. Player was "the guy" trying to get back "his girl" that I kidnapped to turn into a zombie queen. Very straightforward "hero, villain, goal"

I liked the idea of an old, decrepit amusement park. The environment decayed, like the zombies. There was going to be an underground lab / lower PF thing. The porthole on the side shows the glowing reactor that powers the park (that's still in the game I see)

It seems John has not only diverged wildly from original theme but what zombie fans want in general. They want gore, violence and a sense of feeling important in a post apocalyptic world. Not clowns, alien women and ray guns.

41
#3730 4 years ago

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

10
#3744 4 years ago

Toyota: Yes the skill shot was going to be the ball going into a simplified Skee Ball circle thing. Center shot most points, outer ring less, just like real Skee Ball (easy to understand) Who knows maybe that's still in there.

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.

I will probably help Chuck with rules, write some of the script, mentor a new programmer and do dots.

#3758 4 years ago
Quoted from RustyLizard:

I wonder if Spooky game one customers get priority on game two? Ben??

Not sure if Chuck is doing that. When it's announced, a reasonable fee holds your place in line until your game is ready to ship.

#3764 4 years ago

Oh it's an irrefutable fact that non-licensed games don't sell as well. It's probably part of the reason Williams declined in the 90's (most of their stuff was original after 94)

Chuck's game is still zombie-related but not "zombie babes" anymore.

15
#3772 4 years ago

If you're an industry vet you can get away with unlicensed (Jpop, Pat Lawlor) or if you're unproven with a license you'll also do OK (Skit-B, Dutch)

It's kind of like dating. If you're tall and rich, you're golden. If you're one or the other you'll do OK. If you're neither... good luck!

#3802 4 years ago

I wore too many hats on AMH and certain aspects of the game are weaker for it.

We are having a meeting tomorrow to discuss who does what on next game. I will probably do dots, but the game art has to be the licencor approved artist so NOT me!

1 month later
#4595 4 years ago

I really want to see John succeed. This art is great and his games always have great flow. If he could finally have a game with great code (easily the weakest point of any of his games, not his fault) the sky's the limit.

In the neverending betting pool of "Zidware Vs Skit-B" I'd give it to Zidware, they've got twice the money to work with on each game and no licensing costs.

18
#4636 4 years ago

At a certain point you just have to say "Screw it, good enough!" and release something.

The trap people fall into is "It's taken this long, so it has to be even better!" and the tweaking cycle continues. Like a snake eating its own tail.

Finish something and save your improvements / what you've learned for thr next project.

16
#4672 4 years ago

WCS 94
TOM 95
TOTAN 96
CV 97

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

14
#4694 4 years ago

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

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

11
#4702 4 years ago

I started programming AMH September 2012. We had a prototype PF by MGC 2013, the one we demoed in the Zombies cabinet. That wasn't a production PF (by a long shot) but everything was there shots / gameplay-wise.

By MGC 2014 Chuck had made the game ready for manufacture and I had completed the code. By this I mean all intended modes were present and the game could be won.

So that's 17 months of programming just to get to that point.

Did bug tweaks after MGC 2014, games started shipping. Did another big code update just before Expo last year, and just released one yesterday as well.

20 months of programming (in my spare time) to date is a good estimate, and that was for a DMD game.

10
#4903 4 years ago

Pin programming is 90% troubleshooting and that requires a full flipping game.

Does Jpop even have that to give?

22
#4917 4 years ago

He's gotta put a game in your hands, simple as that.

If he won't (for legal / privacy reasons) then his paranoia outweighs his business sense and that's a recipe for disaster.

If he can't (because they games aren't done enough) then the project is so laughably behind no amount of hardware / coding will save it.

I have faith in you and your team Aaron. But I don't have much faith left in John.

1 week later
29
#5272 4 years ago

That "we will assemble it!" sounds like John Math...

2 round trip flights within US: $1000
Shipping machine: $325
2 nights hotel X 2 people: $400
Ben Heck 8 hours labor: $1000

Total: $2725 Net loss ($1725)

Math. The basic skill to have before starting a business.

16
#5276 4 years ago

Nah, not interested in that job.

What if these games don't even shoot well? In theory they should, but I've never even seen a ball roll across one in a video, or in person.

Predator sucked ass but at least they brought it to shows.

#5283 4 years ago

John didn't like that I was helping Chuck out, since Chuck had a competing zombie game.

Not that I cared, wasn't my idea to be in the game anyway and I didn't have any creative input.

I'm shocked ya'll didn't get your pitchforks out a year ago, with that pointless KISS thing he clearly spent a lot of time on.

As a bystander that's where I lost faith. As an owner, that's where I would have lost my patience.

11
#5301 4 years ago

John has however long the Skit-B shitstorm lasts to get his shit together.

Once they're done there, they'll move into him.

#5305 4 years ago

I really don't know anything about John's state of affairs.

I just know how the world works.

27
#5660 4 years ago

StevenP many people have tried to help John but he won't let them.

It's a small community - he's burned through just about everyone.

With no final boardset and no code this game is DOA.

FAST Pinball was going to help but John wouldn't even send them a MG PF.

Maybe because it wasn't done? If the PF can't be shot it can't be programmed.

Nobody wants to see John end up like Skit-B. But unless he's ready for change - or the project is taken over - he will.

21
#5737 4 years ago

Here's the smell test for future pre-orders:

Are you paying them to BUILD a game, or DEVELOP one?

(I'll let you guess which choice is the bad one)

11
#5739 4 years ago

Maybe change that to just Stern, unless you've got a Hobbit sitting in your gameroom and aren't telling us.

But yes, Stern's a well oiled machine. They're always selling, so they've got cash flow to be always developing.

#5950 4 years ago

Oh it's real all right!

1 week later
#6357 4 years ago

I had my cell phone number accidentally show up for a split second on a device in an episode of my show. It was a very annoying few weeks afterwards.

2 weeks later
22
#7479 4 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

Very good question. I have long held the theory that the workshop was a far larger drain on overall resources than most people might think. I do not know how much a space like that goes for, (I think some numbers were thrown out some time back) but 3+ years of that can't be small money.
It was just one of the many things (leasing that large space) that baffled me when I was working with Zidware.

I was always concerned about his shop space as well. I'd guess it was about 3k sq ft and half filled with junk (inspiration?) then he goes and DOUBLES it about a year ago? Why??? That's 6k sq ft for ONE MAN to wander around in doing god knows what each day.

29
#7498 4 years ago

I'm just saying, John could sit around NOT building games in a lot, LOT less space.

Like a spare bedroom, basement or garage.

Until games have shipped it's not his money being foolishly wasted, it's yours.

23
#7506 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

What do all those companies have in common?
They were started with their principle owner's money, not given a million dollar advance from the customer.

Plus sitting on a million bucks you're "pre-earned" doesn't cause one to work very hard.

27
#7676 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

Are refunds going to be issued ? Ever? Soon? I wish someone who visits him or is in his ear would really get a definitive answer on that. I could not wait any longer so I just hired an attorney to get my refund.
Wouldn't it be great if all you had to do was ask for a refund? I have to pay $275 / hour to get my refund. Sucks.

You can't refund money that doesn't exist.

John's gambit was take pre-orders, make a bunch of pretty art and patents, and get bought out/hired before he actually had to produce anything.

Didn't work. And now any investor has to deal with 500-600k of unfunded liabilities (building games owed) on top of however much labor it would take to actually finish them.

24
#7688 4 years ago

I formed this opinion through observation and analysis.

When you see where things are now, and look at things he's said over the years in interviews, seems like he always planned to get bought out.

Not saying he PLANNED to fail, but he got himself into a situation where a buyout was the only way to succeed.

As GLM said, his business model was never sustainable. Nuts and bolts aside, certain one-time costs are very high, specifically code. It's tough to amortize these across 100 games, let alone 20! It's just not worth programming 20 of something.

John compounds the problem by adding RAZA and AIW into the mix. Now he's got THREE games that need code, when even ONE was impossible.

And yes, assuming the money is nearly gone, even if the games were done he'd need the inventory to build them. They're complex so let's say 5k BOM each (plus labor)

That's where you get an "unfunded liability". He owes 100 RAZA, but the money isn't there to build them. Thus unfunded. Sure the back end of the RAZA deposits is still due, but if it's less than 5k each, you still don't have enough money to build them.

"The solution is to just sell MORE of each title!" In theory, yes. But you can't just say "we need 500k, so let's sell 50 more RAZA at 10k each!" because then you don't have the capital to build the 50 you just sold. (This is how many, many businesses go under)

What you'd have to do is this:

1) Need 500k?
2) Profit per RAZA is 4k
3) 500k/4k = sell 125 more games

15
#7711 4 years ago

I never agreed to fly to anyone's home to complete a build. If John wanted me to do that he should have created a contract (BTW I never had one despite him using my likeness) that specified "public appearances" were one of the conditions of my compensation.

It's a ridiculous idea anyway. Spend thousands on travel for 2 people, and who completes a game upon delivery anyway?

12
#7758 4 years ago

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

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

11
#7795 4 years ago

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

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

18
#7908 4 years ago

Pinball machines aren't "investments" in the traditional sense of the word, but their ability to hold value very well, and in some cases appreciate beyond the purchase price, has been a HUGE factor in the hobby's strength these last 5 years.

46
#7957 4 years ago

All these people volunteering to dive in and "save" JPOP remind me of these women who get engaged to a guy who's been divorced 4 times and think "I'll be the one to fix him!"

27
#8047 4 years ago

Ninety-four thousand linear feet of pointless banners with words like "Wow" "Zap" and "Believe!"

33
#8235 4 years ago

Here's something to consider - maybe the best "least worst" option with Zidware is he ditches 2 games and rolls everyone into whatever game is most finished?

All other problem aside, software is the deal-breaker in this scenario. Even assuming final hardware, you're talking 80k for a programmer to spend a year making a game people want to play. TIMES THREE GAMES. (and that's not even considering art / sound / dots)

"Oh but someone will program because they love pinball". BS. As the world's leading authority in Hobbies Becoming Jobs, no matter how much you love something, if it consumes a disproportionate amount of your time, you're going to want cash for it to make it worth your while.

What probably happens with John, is he finds somebody willing to code "for the experience" (free) But when that person realizes the soul-sucking hell that coding really is, they ask for money, and that's when John balks. (see also: other Zidware jobs)

If he was just making ONE game (which should have been his goal originally) these one-time costs would be lower. Instead of finding coding/art for RAZA and AIW, he just needs it for MG.

RAZA/AIW buyers get MG instead of nothing.

Could that be an acceptable solution?

22
#8275 4 years ago

Everybody's chasing the next Big Bang Bar remake. They can say pinball "isn't an investment" til the cows come home, but that possible reward is why they "stick around" with projects well past the point of no return disaster (ahem PREDATOR)

14
#8304 4 years ago

A pattern is emerging how to succeed as a boutique, and it's "develop as much as possible on your own time and money" When the risk is on the developer shit gets done!

Dutch, Spooky, P3, Heighway, Riot all had finished games before coming with a price and asking for money. In cases like Riot the price ended up high, but better to know that at the start and regroup than price something too low and lose money.

Spooky, P3, Heighway and Riot also had the.. How shall I say... "Challenge" of not having money thrown at them like JJP, Skit B and John, so we had no choice BUT to spend wisely.

Design time, wages, taxes overhead all must be paid from the game's profit. If you start with a price (10k, 16k, 6500) and then work backwards designing to get to a BOM you're shooting in the dark.

I don't think the moneys all gone, he's still paying rent obviously (the vendor you can't NOT pay But if he's spent down into a few hundred K, even with the back end payments there won't be enough for parts (6000-7000) or labor (750-1000 per game)

#8308 4 years ago

"Kevin Kulek built this in a cave! With a box of SCRAPS!"

A flipping Whitewood is no big deal. Few thousand Tops or less if old used parts. You don't even need an OS just wire secondary coil winding through end of stroke old school!

If a Whitewood was really that difficult you wouldn't see Frozen, Nightmare before Xmas or any of these other homebrews. The scale and manufacturing is the hard part.

The math should be simple. How much do buyers still owe + cash on hand - BOM - labor.

It's going to be a negative number no matter what, but HOW negative is the question any investor needs to know.

13
#8370 4 years ago

Rarehero brought up "Thief and the Cobbler" a few thousand posts back and it's the best analogy yet for JPOP.

Richard Williams has done amazing work over the years, from commercials, possibly the best version of A Christmas Carol ever, and animation director for Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

In all those situations he had a boss, a timeline and a due date. Thief and the Cobbler was something he tinkered on for years, and finally got funded once Rabbit hit big.

Then he proceeded to spend a lot of time and money not finishing it (despite having the resources to work on it full time) He also went through staff like shit through a goose (sound familiar?) and kept changing things (hm...)

Finally (here's the part where we use the past to predict the future) it was taken away from him and the completion bond company spent as little as possible to patch in holes to release... SOMETHING. "Arabian Knights" in USA and nobody gave a damn. (Fans have since made restoration cuts, animation is great, the story is still garbage IMHO)

During that same period Disney basically ripped off the setting, cranked Aladdin out in 2 years, and made loads of cash. Making Arabian Knights, when it did come out, look like a rip off when it was the other way around.

#8463 4 years ago

Hey it's progress.

37
#8603 4 years ago

To be fair, there were people who wanted a RAZA game without me in it, and I have no issue with that. It was always kind of weird to be honest.

Thing is, you don't use me for my likeness or name (there are much better looking people in the world) unless the game is actually about what I do, in which case that's a horrible theme (see also Experts of Dangerous)

You use me for my ability to prototype and get things done. That's the real loss for John. Maybe his plan was to get me to do that for free because he put me in a game? I don't know. I'm pretty selfish but my egotism doesn't work that way (John doesn't know me well enough to know that)

John said I had to choose between him and Chuck. Well Spooky gives me royalties off shipping games every month, while whoever buys out Zidware's assets might releast RAZA by 2020.

Think I made the right choice.

19
#8621 4 years ago

My biggest issue with RAZA is the radical theme shift. John sold people on a ZOMBIE game, years before TWD. Remember how badly everyone wanted that theme? It was the Iron Maiden of its day.

Having a zombie lab under an amusement park, that's fine. The visuals of an old park would be cool, and kind of like that one movie, Zombieland wasn't it?

But then he added all this sci-fi crap which is a TOTALLY DIFFERENT GENRE. There are more clowns than zombies now which is a big No-No.

Plus he removed zombies and added all these copyrighted things like Mars Attacks, Robbie the Robot and Not Godzilla. No matter how obscure Mars Attacks is I guarantee it's still protected (so I'm basically saying all the RAZA art would need to be redone)

#8663 4 years ago

On AMH we had a complete playable game at MGC 2013...

...and they were ready for manufacturing a year later.

20
#8732 4 years ago

The shooter rod is mounted at least 1" too high. (which is also why it almost hits the glass) No launch ramp, the ball is meant to rest on the PF because you can see the switch slot for it.

Be sure to sign up for Pinball School! These techniques and more can be yours for only $1895*

*bank transfer, personal check or Western Union only.

#8743 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Jpop's games don't use glass! He has a patent on a new invisible force field!

It prevents the glass from breaking and causing great harm to you or your family!*

*home use only

11
#8775 4 years ago

In my experience tempered glass can be obtained with about 1 day turnaround. But expect to pay twice as much for glass that's just a few inches longer.

It's shocking John didn't pot more forethought into spacing. He's really good at Solid works I'd assume he has an assembly of at least how the cabinet goes together. Wood, minus divet, plus ball / 2 that's where shooter rod tip goes.

Anyone attempting to save this project needs these things at minimum:

1) Project manager who kicks asses instead of kissing them
2) BOM and supplier chain
3) A full time programmer for one year
4) Audio video company for animations working with programmer
5) Someone to manufacture the games (add 1k on BOM for this)

#8783 4 years ago

TigerLaw:

All "best possible scenario" guesses here:

8k to get a game built (7k BOM + 1k labor) * 150 games owed (possibly more AIW is ???) = $1.2 million

Backend payments on RAZA 4k * 125 = ($500,000)

So your 700k is a good starting point. But then you have to add a PM, programmer, audio/video development, plus overhead. Probably more like 1 million investment + 1 year to start shipping MG.

The real problem is going to be return on investment. (unless it's just a tax write off) Margins are going to be SLIM even on a 10k game with all the custom crap, so 2k profit per game you'd need to sell 500 more (at 10k???) just to recoup what you spent originally.

#8787 4 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

I think you are right on the switch slot. But after a second look I think the playfield is just sitting low without hangers attached. Hard to tell from the video aspect but the playfield angle seems to be off from the shooter rod angle. I suspect that once the lockdown bar receiver and hanger brackets are installed, it will line up.

Good point. We don't know what the PF is resting on. The hangers will lift it up, and also push it back.

The cabinet edge, being at a higher angle in the back, is hopefully what made the glass closer to the shooting rod, not the rod's placement itself.

21
#8813 4 years ago

The gameplay on those cabinets looks phenomenal.

#8849 4 years ago

It had at least twice the height of ramps & etc that most games have.

There was an entry ramp (paper) same place as TOTAN, that looped around and up had a magnet that could catch the ball and drop it into the right return ramp or go past that and drop into the left return ramp.

The return ramps are what he milled and they look straightforward. But the curved loop ramp? I pity da fool that has to make a mold for that!

#8857 4 years ago

From the photo I saw before it was removed, yes there is a middle "corkscrew ramp" that feeds [the ramps he milled]

Everything else looked in place (laser-cut flat PETG, no problem) but yeah that last twisted ramp, not sure how you'd vacuum form that sucker.

Should probably be a plastic entry ramp that turns into a habitrail. John likes to say "nobody thought the TOTAN ramp would work either" but man, this REALLY looks like a long shot to get the ball to the top.

#8862 4 years ago

GLM we had that issue with AMH as well. Required bigger coils to get balls up the "jump ramp" and caused the game to be faster and more difficult as a whole. Should have ditched the jump ramp to begin with.

You can shoot a ball on a paper ramp. If that's what it takes to have a game flipping for a show or investor, so be it!

People would much rather play a game with an unfinished ramp than look at an empty cabinet.

#8881 4 years ago

The spiral ramp looks to have a gap / hole to drop the ball into the right ramp.

So maybe the spiral ramp can be done in 2 pieces? Still, a lot more complicated than the 2 "flat" ramps he milled.

Still, ramps aside, the rest of it seems to be there so... hope?

30
#8913 4 years ago

In pinball you either need to be a classic designer or have a desirable license to get money thrown at you.

If you have neither (like Wooly or AMH) then you've actually got to build a good game with deep rules to get any intetest, and even then it takes a while.

Who works harder? A guy with nothing to prove, or someone with everything to prove?

#8928 4 years ago

pinballnut3 hits the nail on the head. Each show you go to eats up multiple games worth of profit, not to mention time.

14
#8982 4 years ago

Wouldn't it be amazing if someone put a CCC amount of work into a TOM code re-write, and it was an approved release with a FAST WPC 2.0 brain swap?

#9009 4 years ago
it__s_over_9000_.png
29
#9087 4 years ago

Most (if not all) full-time startup owners don't even take a salary - or at least nothing above living expenses - for years. So if John was paying himself *anything* substantial that's [another] very bad sign that he's been doing it all wrong.

If you can't not pay yourself a salary because of the mortgage, wife and kids, then don't start up in the first place.

#9093 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Wow, just wow Ben if that was the case then there would be no America as you see it today. Most entrepreneurs have been broke and in debt all their lives until they strike it big. Not sure of your last sentence grammatically hard to comprehend?

I should have said "if you can't afford to live without a normal salary, don't do a full time startup"

34
#9704 4 years ago

No way in hell it's Terry.

If DP can't move 300 TBL at 8k (a real game people have flipped and loved) there's no chance you're going to sell 200 original theme 16k vaporware games with a toxic reputation.

Guessing the scam idea is all current JPOP owners (nearly 200 hm...) will pony up to secure a LE Magic Girl. You can tell this from the Classic scam framework.

RAZA victims either pay in $9500 more to get a MG LE, or lose $3250 and have to pay in $8750 to get a $12,000 Classic.

You save $750. Zidware saves 4k.

They're quoting prices without a BOM? Even if this goes ahead, it's doomed to fail because JOHN STILL WORKS THERE.

And god, what's going to happen to Cointaker in all of this?

46
#9803 4 years ago

Keep in mind the bulk of the customers are RAZA paid in at $6500.

For either version of MG they need to pay about $9000 more.

$9000 is a very good estimate for BOM + labor of MG.

Once again it's not John's money on the line, or (very much) of the investor's - it's YOURS!

Don't fall for this trick. Time to walk away from the blackjack table.

44
#9858 4 years ago

If Kevin is getting away without criminal charges, no way anything would stick on John.

This isn't even a Ponzi scheme, BTW. A Ponzi scheme requires early investors to get a return on their investment (at the cost of new investors) and seeing others get this return gives new investors the CONfidence to send money.

Example: I saw my grandma get Social Security, so I'm OK with it coming out of my paycheck. (not to get political it's just a very easy example)

Nobody has gotten anything out of John, and probably never will. If you're still in this for the rarity, just remember once BBB or Kingpin gets remade the era of games appreciating past 10k is over.

What really boils my frog is if John paid himself anything more than gas station attendant wages for 4 years, he'll have pocketed more money NOT making games than I will make on the entire AMH run.

See why some of us get pissed at "classic designers" and "desirable licenses" getting a free pass?

17
#9967 4 years ago

So here's my concern, how in fact DID he spend so much money?

Since I no longer give a damn, consider this: Pinball designers got six figures 20 years ago when things were good. Did John pay himself this? He sure loved to talk about the old Williams days like a jock who got fat reminiscing about the high school football team.

Take a salary like that, times four years, add in the SS, medicare, unemployment etc that would go along with it (likely paid by the company before his salary, not afterwards like self employed) You could be at half a million pretty quickly.

25
#9998 4 years ago

I still can't believe John made a ripoff website of my Bible Adventures game.

16
#10000 4 years ago

http://biblepinball.org

Never say an idea, even a bad one, in front of Jpop

#10025 4 years ago

Let's get this thread up to 65536 posts and see if we can roll the counter.

Should be enough time to do that in 5 years.

41
#10035 4 years ago

I don't think you could sell 200 units of "Elvira and the Muppets Fight Jaws" with Iron Maiden soundtrack at 16k, let alone this tainted mess.

#10295 4 years ago

A question nobody has asked: Is John working 24/7 and sleeping under his desk to bring something playable to NW Show?

57
#10462 4 years ago

Pintasia needs to understand how people are seeing John right now.

Best analogy is a corporate CEO, who runs a company into the ground and gets paid millions to do it. When everything goes under, he floats to safety with a golden parachute, while his investors / customers / employees / vendors get screwed. His golden parachute lands softly in a New Job, where he is paid to start the process all over again.

32
#10480 4 years ago

I suggest all prospective pinball builders get the following message tattooed across their forehead (in reverse) so they are reminded every morning in the bathroom mirror:

BOM First MSRP Second

If you don't follow this rule YOU WILL FAIL.

Secondly, there is a huge gulf between "not enough money to make the games" and "out of money". With the sky-high BOM's these games likely require, John probably passed than point once he spent over 20% of takings.

Still, how did he spend so much? Did he get hit with a tax bill on that 1.2 million at some point in the last 4 years? That could easily have done it.

12
#10502 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Knowing him he probably recognized it all as revenue.
Maybe we can file corrected tax returns and get that money back.

That could be the colossal mistake on the books that he doesn't want anyone to see.

47
#10660 4 years ago

I agree, just start over.

The only value in the IP is the artwork. Zombie Yeti is the star of this show. Imagine what he could accomplish if his work didn't have to be squeezed through the cheese grater of John's mind?

Save your 9k and buy a game from whatever company hires Yeti to make something just as pretty, but much cheaper, than Zidware crap.

34
#10665 4 years ago

Thought that was common knowledge. John didn't like me helping Chuck with a "competing" zombie game and told me to make a choice.

Ironically Johns game is now a bunch of aliens and clowns and Chucks game has been rethemed towards horror.

And yes, John has no business sense whatsoever. The guy makes his customers sign NDAs to buy a game featuring Ben Heck with whom he doesn't have a contract or legal agreement for compensation for use of likeness.

b49eeba0b7ea5a0f63eb4f9cfaf43439877766abc16b4fe9edc2ff2e08abc1e9.jpg
59
#10690 4 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

I gotta disagree with this. Are you really saying that the 2 complete layouts, custom parts and lighting designs, music/voicework, new toy designs, etc. are all worth nothing? It will be interesting to see how people compare the MG prototype to AMH in a few weeks, I guess.

Yup, until we see a working, playable game, it's worth nothing.

AMH might not be as pretty as John's games but it's real and shipping. Is John in his shop at this very moment, tweaking code on Memorial Day like I am?

23
#10717 4 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

Wait. When I met with John about helping with electronics and programming, my first question was, "You're working with Ben Heck, what do you need me for?" He told me that you were way too busy with your show and project that your involvement was spotty. Are you telling me he lied to me???
Also he said that you tweet everything you see and he couldn't allow that.

Yes, a show with a set schedule (something John wouldn't understand) that pays me money (something John never did) sure as hell will take precedent over a game I NEVER ASKED TO BE IN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

As for Spooky, they let me make the kind of game I wanted to make. Sure I had to do it in my free time, and didn't get paid til the end, but it was under my control.

#10730 4 years ago

If RAZA was nearly complete (as MG appears to be) then we would have seen it by now.

Good chance RAZA / AIW BOM's would be nearly as high as MG since many things wouldn't change (cabinet, LCD system, custom mechs) and thus there'd be no margin at 10k price point.

So one would ask "then why not ask a little more to build RAZA instead?" and the answer is probably because it's even further behind than MG.

#10738 4 years ago

That makes sense. Once the custom design is done, you just duplicate it.

That could also explain selling 125 RAZA's, he probably got laughed out of many a machine shop trying to get 13 custom mechs made.

29
#10739 4 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

If Ben Heck was hired/contracted/consulted in as the Lead Tech/Engineer and he and Pintasia had ability to fire JPOP who would remain on as game designer would folks drop litigation?
With Ben Heck involved and some others industry experts I think this could bring in new money.

ZenTron - I would not take that job if offered. Nobody really knows how much remains to be done, and I would not want to work with John under any circumstances.

33
#10801 4 years ago

Anyone else notice the Magic Girl cab is on a rug?

Rug Reveal and "Labowski" is where I stopped caring about John. The misspelling indicated he had no clue what that license was about and thought people just wanted games on rugs and bowling (Pussycat Bowling anyone?) It also shows reactionary, not creative, thinking.

Any real businessperson with about one month left to save their company would be working on Memorial Day. It isn't some stupid Disney movie where Tim Allen learns to be a good dad by making the baseball game. Going bankrupt and getting sued is a much worse fate for someone's family.

#10823 4 years ago

Looks like all the ramps. Slap them in the game!

This is what they need to do. Show any and everything positive and remove questions like "what about the middle of the ramp?"

39
#10922 4 years ago

Bill your #1 goal for NW show should be to get the game shooting as smoothly as possible.

Don't worry about graphics, sounds, etc - as long as the code can cycle balls that's enough. Art is one aspect but in the end pinball is a mechanical game - it has to feel good.

Keep tweaking right up until you have to start driving, and then give yourself a good half-day to fix whatever shakes loose after the drive.

30
#10982 4 years ago

It sounds like John has been "divorced" from this project - isn't that what people wanted?

As Bill has probably already discovered, there are people willing to help "as long as John's not involved" and if that roadblock if truly removed, help can come flooding in.

18
#11156 4 years ago

Since we're getting a flood of info, it's time to ask:

How does it shoot?

If it doesn't have the trademark Popdiuk flow, and go over like gangbusters at the NW show, Bill & Co should pull the eject lever.

#11157 4 years ago

Since we're getting a flood of info, it's time to ask:

How does it shoot?

15
#11363 4 years ago
duh_LAW!.jpg
19
#11430 4 years ago

Is he closing down the 4000 sq ft double-wide art & garbage storage facility, oh I mean shop? Is the production moving to more appropriate location?

The sooner that stops leeching cash the better.

15
#11482 4 years ago

Don't worry, THIS is still up:

http://biblepinball.org/

Coming just in time for Rapture!

27
#11625 4 years ago

A lot of folks may want to sue Zidware / John just for the pleasure of it.

If the Pintasia plan requires zero lawsuits, it's just like those "Get Traffic Fatalities Down to Zero!" ads - just ain't gonna happen.

29
#11687 4 years ago

It lines up with my assumption John has spent the last couple years trying to get bought out rather than build a f'ing pinball.

21
#11693 4 years ago

2012, I was on a panel at CAX.

At this time I was still associated with John, RAZA was still BHZA and had actual zombies, I hadn't announced AMH, etc.

John Skypes in, talks about games, how he's doing it best, yada yada yada.

Gerry Stellenberg is sitting next to me, whispers RE John "Somebody's looking for a job!"

Seemed like a harsh statement at the time but looking back, Gerry was right.

Maybe John took in all this money just so Stern would take him seriously?

26
#11732 4 years ago

It's the Duke Nukem Forever of pinball!

Right down to company folding, and someone swooping in to slap it together at the last minute.

10
#11748 4 years ago

I didn't mind DNF but it was gifted to me on Steam so free can skew one's judgement. I would LOVE to know the entire story behind that mess, somebody should Kickstart a documentary.

You know that impression you get when someone's asking about something and you know they want to be invited along? "Oh Mad Max, I wanna see that, I'm not doing anything Saturday..."

Well that's how John sounded about JJP or Stern anytime they came up "Oh, they should be hiring REAL designers..."

He actually blamed Spooky for torpedoing a supposed deal he had with Jack (this was like 2 years ago) which, even if true, was his own fault for involving me or Chuck in any capacity (it IS true Jack hates us)

I'd love to play this game, or see it made, but at this point it seems like that crappy car you had as a teenager, and at a certain point you're better off taking it to the dump than putting more money into it.

#11768 4 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Sadly that seems to be a recurring theme with John.
And it seems JJP and Stern did just that.
LTG : )

Oh snap!

Yeah, John would last about 3 days at Stern I'd imagine.

#11772 4 years ago

RobT I'm sure Jack switched the method to save money, not for a vendetta.

12
#11868 4 years ago

Gotta star Tom Hulce (Amadeus)

#11878 4 years ago

Wait, no.

"It's a movie, so it has to star Chris Pratt" - new rule in Hollywood

POPADIUK BEGINS

15
#11932 4 years ago

And now, for John's final magic trick, he's going to make all your money DISAPPEAR!
.
.
.
.

*poof*
.
.
.
.
"Vanish!"

26
#11943 4 years ago

The great, late Python Angelo in his famous drunken interview was right about John all along. Only now do we understand the wisdom.

"Popadiuk is a chameleon! And I should know, for am I the King of Snakes!"

#12081 4 years ago

Seems like vendors are popping out of the woodwork. They might be able to help paint the picture of how much John actually spent.

Creating a game is where the expensive labor is. It wouldn't take that many contractors to blow through 1.5 million in four years, or even three years if we go by the fact sounds like the money ran out a year ago.

26
#12090 4 years ago

We're trying to apply reason, logic and accountability to someone who clearly has none It's like arguing with a drunk person when you're completely sober.

Businesses fail and lose investors money all the time. Sad thing here is if John would have been open with people back in 2013 he could have gotten the help he needed before it all went to seed.

"Here are my games, let's do a round of funding based off this"

Instead of:

"My companies going under who wants to buy the scraps?"

14
#12102 4 years ago

If John collected south of a million then it's actually pretty feasible he really did burn it all up on salaries, parts, contractors, rent, etc. 300k a year is nothing.

I've heard numbers on Predator and they too collected a lot less than people think.

Bill needs to cost reduce this game so the amount that needs to be collected for completion can be lower. Not just parts, but complexity of assembly which looks to be a nightmare from a casual glance.

Nothing they could put in this game would make it actually worth 16k. The value now is how badly people want to see the project completed.

13
#12117 4 years ago

Another question nobody has asked:

Of the list of "Cars a pin can fit inside" how many get scratched off that list with this tall cabinet?

My guess is a lot, since it's the folded down height that is the killer.

36
#12212 4 years ago

Take John to the NW show, and have a charity Dunk Tank he has to sit in.

All proceeds go to the MGRAZAAIW relief fund.

12
#12327 4 years ago

From photos of John's shop I'd guess 200k of the money went towards wide format printer ink.

The first dozen banners you hang on the wall that say "Believe Wow Zap!" don't do anything, but once you get to around 30 productivity skyrockets to 5% efficiency.

16
#12430 4 years ago

I don't think pre pay or deposits should die. If people want more variety in games than Stern licenses that can only happen with boutiques.

What you need to watch out for is people expecting you to PAY FOR DEVELOPMENT. In these situations once they spend more developing a game then they will earn in profit, things tip over.

If someone develops a pinball on their on dime & time then you're just paying for parts and labor, it has a much better shot at becoming real.

Also I see Pinside changed their layout to work better on mobile (counts toward Google rank now thanks smartphones but it looks like empty space ass on a real computer.

#12486 4 years ago

Pintasia is going to hit (one of many) brick walls trying to get parts from vendors John still owes money too.

Magic Girl... that game's got some serious baggage!

19
#12526 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Just wanted to point out that if John was really completely out of money, he would have been busy emptying out that expensive shop that he is paying rent on...

He still needs all that room to store his ego.

#12618 4 years ago

My impression is you shoot the ramp, and at the break point (since the ramp is in 2 pieces) a magnet can catch it mid-air (like left ramp of TOM) and then drops it into right squiggle return ramp.

Else you don't catch it, it keeps going and hits the end and drops into left squiggle ramp.

Meaning if no code, and it can actually make it up there, it will always goto end and return on left ramp.

Those ramps are going to return HELLA slow...

49
#12793 4 years ago

Anti drunk posting keyboard breathalyzer!

Could be a great episode for my show - I can test it myself.

#12847 4 years ago

Back when John parted ways ways with me the project didn't seem so dire. Though I do recall a couple MGC's / expos in a row him saying "Oh yeah I might have something at the this show..." and I wondered why he never had anything to show even after two years!

Yeti's story sounds legit. Before anyone brings up the 3 MG in cabinets from the Abode video, heard from many a person those were just mockups to look impressive on camera.

47
#12854 4 years ago

To give you some perspective on how staggeringly slow John worked compared to people "with something to prove" :

AMH went from a foam core idea in January 2012 to fully playable at MGC 2013, about 14 months. Didn't have final mechs or laser cut ramps, but all the ideas were there.

During this time everyone involved also worked full time jobs, was almost entirely done nights and weekends. My show schedule went from biweekly to weekly and I also did a large project for AMD that same winter delivered just before MGC.

Ironic that John says I left because of drinking, stories go old Williams was a booze and coke soaked affair. Perhaps if John actually put in a hard days, week, month, years of work he'd understand why people need to relax?

#12863 4 years ago

The poster is pretty good, but Kevin's head needs to be rotated about 2 degrees counter-clockwise and lifted slightly.

Unless the Neanderthal brow was intentional, then carry on!

16
#12876 4 years ago

They haven't slid it into the cabinet in that photo because it would reveal the "oh shit!" mistake of the ramps blocking the patented screen.

#12896 4 years ago

Gonna call it now, 15k posts by Sunday.

#13015 4 years ago

I've got the Downfall files, I could make one.

11
#13061 4 years ago

Pinsiders do know, right, that the Hitler Reacts meme is over 6 years old?

Still, fun to drag it out for stuff like this and man, it was SOOOO easy to write

#13099 4 years ago

I recall John saying something about Copperfield too... Like he was maybe a customer and they were going to "skin" a custom MG for him maybe?

Not too far fetched TOM started as David Copperfield but was changed.

11
#13174 4 years ago

Zidware, Inc.

Zero K by Xmas.

#13257 4 years ago

Someone could eat a bag of Skittles and vomit on the game in protest - thing is we'd never know it'd happened.

#13262 4 years ago

I'm sure he'll be there, he can let us know how the animations look.

27
#13288 4 years ago

Nobody is criticizing the volunteer's work to put MG together - we know they did it for the buyers / community and it's great people will at least get to see this game.

If someone says "you worked 24/7 last 3 weeks and it only does X much???" they're not mad at you, they're realizing just how far behind John actually was.

#13337 4 years ago

I like your work Yeti, I'm sorry if I made you feel discouraged. You will be making great waves in pinball long after this project!

Pinball looks a lot different on camera than in person, hopefully I'll see one in person some day and form a better opinion.

I won't change my mind on this though: Plastics in the back half are overkill, do nothing (I assume) and will greatly increase the assembly costs. Bill should consider simplifying them.

#13900 4 years ago

Considering John designed this game backwards (art first, mechanicals... still not done) enough had probably changed since that photo to render those PF's worthless.

25
#14105 4 years ago

Project boils down to the following:

1) How much is done - what value was obtained from the million bucks spent?
2) How much has to be re-done - what value will be LOST from the money spent?
3) How much is left to do - what value was not achieved from the money spent and has to be put back in?
4) How much will that cost - is it even worth it to continue?
5) How long will that take - how patient are the buyers after waiting 4 years?
6) How much will the BOM be - can it ever achieve a profit?
7) How many games can even be sold at 10k - less than 500 I guarantee that, even if it were Elvira and the Muppets Fight Jaws - Soundtrack by Iron Maiden.

Then ask yourself "how many CV on steroids games can be sold at 10k?" and you're at probably LESS than John's original total sales (the bulk of games, 125 RAZA were sold with a very different theme and art direction)

If you profit 1k per game then you need to sell 1000 games at 10k to "pay back / make whole" the original buyers.

Toss aside emotion, and the math doesn't paint a pretty picture.

Sadly, Skit-B asking for $1500 more per buyer to obtain a license and pay for labor would have made a whole lot more sense.

32
#14507 4 years ago

I recall exactly how I got hooked up with the Zidware train.

John had seen the episode of my show where Jeri Ellsworth and I were building pinballs and he emails something to the effect of "hey we should hang out sometime and I'll show you how it's really done!" (typical John-as-teacher BS)

An eye-roller now, but at the time OMG IT'S THEATER OF MAGIC GUY!

His idea with BHZA was to make the zombie theme everyone was clamoring for, and get younger / videogame crowd interested. As ICEMAN mentions, there are plenty of more photogenic people than myself who could have served this purpose ("Olivia Munn Let's Kill Zombies" maybe?) but whatever.

There weren't any "smoking guns" back then so can't help you there. John and I worked together, in either his or my shop, maybe a total of 10 times. Never saw a flipping MG, only early whitewoods. All built "flat" on a bench, I wondered why he didn't at least try things at 6.5 degrees. Never saw RAZA past flat pencil sketches.

He had a lot of crazy BAD ideas. Like a giant BEN head on the PF with arms sticking out. I thought he was kidding until, sure enough, MG has a stupid wizard head with arms sticking out.

--------------------------

I may have said a homebrew can be slapped together for a few grand, but nobody manufacturing a game has a BOM that low, not even Stern. Remember homebrewers will always have used parts, old cabinets, etc.

I still contend the best way forward with all of this is to let it die.

#14633 4 years ago

The 3 MG's seen in the Adobe video were mockups to look good on camera (more BS smoke & mirrors) So scratch those off your list.

If MG was that incomplete, there's probably only 1 prototype, at least in anything resembling a playable condition.

#14637 4 years ago

Can they be played? No? Mockup.

#14722 4 years ago

I'd agree the prototype would be the most valuable thing at auction by a long shot.

Original pinball IP can have value if it's earned it (BBB, AFM, MM, ToM) but MG has no nostalgia, no cache - it's just a generic concept plastered on a failed pinball machine of which zero were produced. RAZA has less than no value - the Mars Attacks, Robbie and Godzilla imagery make it a liability. AIW is an interpretation of a public domain book. Point is - there will be no windfall for creditors from any sale of Zidware IP.

14
#14859 4 years ago

Space Mission X?

Do we have a full list of how many pins John was in the process of not finishing? I've heard up to 7.

Seems like John wanted to stay in the fun kiddie pool of the idea & brainstorming part of production - and not dip his toe into the bloodbath of the other 90%.

#14883 4 years ago

Nothing wrong with serial RGB for pinball. WOZ's issue was the driver IC was intended to take a voltage higher than 5 and knock it down to 5... but they piped in exactly 5. Which is why the 7.5v higher voltage fix worked.

WCS TOM TOTAN CV all real JPOP games... just ran through the filter of production, budgets and schedules.

#15095 4 years ago

Better yet, call Adobe!

(or Saul...)

12
#15145 4 years ago

That thing I'm working on...

BHZA was going to have a lower PF with rotating "stages". 3 scenes on a circle so it's rotate 120 degrees per cycle. (Flipper and ball mech stay put, area with targets move)

Idea was you were working your way through my lair, you'd beat one "room" them move on. Third "stage" was a Zombie Reactor or something you bash X times to win.

Now everyone knows what the porthole was for - to see a glowing light.

19
#15152 4 years ago

What's bizarre is John taught me "if it shoots good in foamcore, it'll shoot great in metal & plastic!" And we used that to build AMH - it was foamcore for the first 6 months as we worked out modes (see attached)

From what I saw, John never did this step. If you're going to bother building something full size, whack a ball around! Instead he makes a static foamcore mockup then jumps right to whitewood.

DSC07376.JPG
51
#15424 4 years ago

No startup should pay themselves more than "basic living wage" until their company is up and running. If you can't afford this because of a mortgage and kids, don't do it.

In one year John paid himself almost as much as I'll make on the entire run of AMH which took me 3 years. This makes my salary for AMH about 33k, which is still more than a lot of families in this country manage to live on.

Now let's go back and assume I paid myself 100k per year "what I deserve!" 300k / 150 games = $2000 of a $6000 game! That would obliterate Spooky's profits, their employees, and maybe even cut into the BOM = failure.

The math just doesn't work for that kind of salary until you start getting into 400-500 games. Which you'll never get to with a 10k price point.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Salary also explains why John - supposedly - turned down a 60k salary buyout at Stern.

29
#15489 4 years ago

Nobody cares how much a CEO makes as long as the company is successful and delivers products.

When a company fails and takes investors / banks / government money down with it - then people get upset. Because in those cases everyone asks "what went wrong?"

#15542 4 years ago

I stick with my original assessment from a few months back: John gambled that someone would buy him out - and he lost.

This isn't criminal - plenty of companies start with the intention of acquiring capital to fully achieve their goals. But those companies also have products to show - John just had art.

Ironically, all the chances to sell out seems to have come in the last six months (deepRoot, JJP, Pintasia) at which point the projects were so far behind nobody wanted to take a chance.

Maybe he should have thrown his hands up in despair back in 2013, at which point the progress of the games wouldn't have been so laughable.

16
#15554 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

So are you saying that he purposely slowed the production of MG and RAZA to increase the liklihood that he would get bought out before he actually had to reveal the games to the buyers? This theory would make sense, since there is no other way I can fathom how he managed to accomplish so little in four years.

That doesn't make sense either, because an investor would want to see a finished game. As many homebrewers have shown, making a game isn't THAT hard.

It's beyond our comprehension as to John's motives as most of us deal in the realm of logic, reasoning and accountability.

#15555 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

So are you saying that he purposely slowed the production of MG and RAZA to increase the liklihood that he would get bought out before he actually had to reveal the games to the buyers? This theory would make sense, since there is no other way I can fathom how he managed to accomplish so little in four years.

That doesn't make sense either, because an investor would want to see a finished game. As many homebrewers have shown, making a game isn't THAT hard.

Let's face it - John's motives cannot be fathomed by the majority of people who deal in the realm of logic, reasoning and accountability.

25
#15647 4 years ago

Here's a scary thought:

Zidware's money is gone, but John - by all accounts, in Skit-B fashion - hasn't accepted its over.

My first question is "how does he stay in that building?" Well what if he pays the rent personally from the money he made as Zidware's genius president? He could, in theory, continue noodling for another year or two at that rate.

Until the landlord kicks him out, I don't believe the money is truly "gone" and the longer he noodles, the less there is for recovery.

PS: Pinball is hard, but not "4 years and a million bucks hard"

#15719 4 years ago

Nobody's really talked about the game itself. Besides very few mechs working, was the layout OK or would have it required drastic overhauls at which point you'd be basically making a new game?

I find this all fascinating, in a "oh my god I'm so glad I got off the Titanic before she left England" sort of way.

#15742 4 years ago

If what Kevin did wasn't criminal, no way John's actions were.

The King Solomon reference about "splitting the prototype" isn't entirely appropriate. Unlike a baby, it could be auctioned off into cash, and those dollars divided by number of buyers.

#15865 4 years ago

The noodling continues, unabated.

John and Kevin need a Pintervention.

12
#15894 4 years ago
Quoted from bounoun:

But wait ! That shouldn't be a problem, cause like JPOP said, there are people who buy paintings for millions ! So there must be some wealthy Millionaire somewhere who just can't wait to lend money to JPOP the pinball god.

The difference is... Those paintings are finished.

The only thing John can finish... Is his career!

1 week later
14
#16074 4 years ago

Designing a part takes X amount of time.

Drawing patent diagrams (so your buddy StevenP can be an enabler by filing it for you at very low cost) takes X more amount of time.

This is time wasted because NOBODY CARES. Even if you have a good idea (which John didn't) people will just engineer their way around it. Patenting something early on makes sense, but who actually thinks the highest volume days of pinball are in the future?

But remember John was paranoid (and needed money) Maybe he hoped Stern would steal one of his ideas (that he stole from old EM's) and he'd get a windfall!

19
#16080 4 years ago

Well, Python did say that "Popadiuk is a chameleon!" so maybe he DOES eat crickets! Mind blown.

#16094 4 years ago

Near the remaining MSP arcade, the restaurant to the left of the Burger King has really good shakes (but they cost a fortune) Ask at the bar.

I don't think John's [shops] were quite 6k sq feet, but still, considering how much was done off site and the non-volatile nature of stuff he did do, no reason his basement shop wouldn't have sufficed right up until production.

I'd visited his basement shop, and then the first real shop. What boggled my mind was all the JUNK he filled it with. Sure, everything from his basement moved over, but where did the rest of it come from? Storage lockers? Barn finds?

11
#16113 4 years ago

It's easy to fix that spelling mistake, just slap a purple lightning bolt over it.

When will this horror end???

17
#16134 4 years ago

While I don't buy into the "prototype conspiracy" I do see why people are concerned about its return, as from an auction / money reclamation standpoint it has more value than anything else in Zidware's assets.

John sure sounds proud of all the work other people are doing for him in those photos!

24
#16173 4 years ago

Pinball machines hold their value very well, so a game in the home is like cash in the bank. Really, as long as you can make the initial investment you can then swap out / change machines for a nominal cost. Almost like leasing them.

When our sales were slow it was infuriating to see other boutiques (with much better sales) blow both their opportunity and your money up in smoke. That 5k you spend on Predator might be 6k a year from now when you sell it, then you could try our game. But not anymore.

We speculate this is how Spooky has stayed on Sterns good side - we are a competitor, but we're not a competitor destroying wealth.

10
#16190 4 years ago

It's possible. Was talking to a pinhead friend the other day who had no clue Zidware imploded.

He must lead a happier life, away from the drama.

17
#16220 4 years ago

It literally hurts my brain thinking about how colossally stupid John's "we'll finish the game in your home!" idea was.

That's why this situation is so stupefying to people - trying to figure it out logically is a fallacy because the situation was born without logic.

Course this is the same guy who hired a programmer with England, with a 160% exchange rate, and probably spent 2k just shipping him a whitewood.

#16226 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

When I heard that, I assumed the $1k was JUST the labor (assuming John's salary of $90k/year, that's $360/day). If he could finish the build in 2 days, he's still profiting assuming the buyer was fronting the airfare, shipping cost and hotel. Not being a buyer, I have no idea what the contract said, but I'm sure it wasn't very clear.

If the buyer fronts those costs then it's more like $2500 instead of $1000. Who would do that?

Cardboard pinball seems like a pretty safe Kickstarter. All they have to do is press START on a laser. Unless they get massively over funded and can't meet demand, I'm sure you'd get your product.

#16238 4 years ago

Yeah at tax time I can just show that photo to the IRS and they won't require any money!

Wonder if it would work with my landlord(s) too?

#16284 4 years ago

There's always option 3, which is maybe Jack wants to complete one of John's games as a JJP title.

A business relationship that would last several microseconds at best.

11
#16494 4 years ago

At this point John's customers would probably take whatever's left / # of customers and move on with their lives.

The fact that John continues to operate - with no chance of building anything - is pretty disgusting. Like an estranged wife using current husband's money to find a new husband.

Landlord always gets paid first - so if he's still there, there's still money. Why is he spending so much to accomplish what others do in their garage or basement? I'm sure for appearances (look at the framed crap everywhere) but at this point that's not fooling anyone.

He's going to piss away every last nickel waiting for his White Knight to come. Though any *smart* White Knight would invest in a company worth saving, like JJP.

23
#16504 4 years ago

John constantly talking about "how we did things at WMS" reminds me a guy in a dead-end job at his 20 year reunion bragging about how good he was on the highschool football team.

#16528 4 years ago

First clowns, then a Cymbal Monkey? Is John deliberating stuffing this game with things people hate?

Also notice how that monkey is on a World Cup oscillating target. "PINNOVATION" at its finest!

JPOP is the illusion of creativity.

11
#16545 4 years ago

8 ) Sell people on a Zombie game, but then make an amusement park theme nobody asked for.

10
#16570 4 years ago

Those January 2014 updates are hilarious, in a sad way.

If you have to keep telling everyone how amazing your company is, then it's not amazing. Actions speak louder than words.

I can understand him bagging on Predator because that thing was truly a PoS, but Heighway? John sounds like a politician - don't say why you're good, just say why the competitor is bad.

What's really grating about his comments on other boutiques is HE BROUGHT NOTHING TO EXPO! Hell even Kruger Family Pinball or whatever that was is better than Zidware because it was a real game that could be played.

Maybe John could get a new job building housing. He could build the roof first, basement last, and figure out how to wire it after all the drywall is installed.

#16574 4 years ago

It will fit *PERFECTLY*

65
#16628 4 years ago

Pinball school is in session!

rz_playfield_full.png

#16644 4 years ago

John'e email is pretty reasonable. He's not promising or asking for anything.

I stand by my comment that called this IP worthless. StevenP countered by saying the games were "95% done!" which is a laugh. RAZA looks like it needs to start over as well.

22
#16652 4 years ago

The real takeaway isn't what he said, but the fact he'll respond to new buyers while ignoring old buyers.