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(Topic ID: 92436)

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

By iceman44

6 years ago

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Post #7211 Zombie Yeti (Jeremy Packer), first post on the Magic Girl/JPop fiasco Posted by zombieyeti (5 years ago)

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)

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#118 6 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

This thread is for current and future updates for those that care and I know you are interested so no problem. In fact, at some point you can pm me and I'll give you my log in to the blog if you agree to a "sub NDA"…..

For all the other crap people are slinging, this is pretty pathetic. Regardless of whether anyone agrees or disagrees with the secrecy issue, Jpop set his own rules, which is his right. You knew the parameters before you sent in money, that was no secret. You signed a LEGAL document for F#*& sake. And yet you are publicly willing to completely disregard that and hand the information out to anyone that PMs you? That's slimy and classless. I send NDAs to sub-contractor that work for my business all the time; I sure hope they respect my company's privacy more than you do Jpop's.

Jpop has a Facebook page and posts some pictures there. He does not post all the stuff from his blog there. Don't you think that is because he has made a conscious decision of what to make public and what he is trying to keep private? Who are you to overrule that decision for him? You handing out the information despite the NDA you signed is illegal and totally lame. If you respect Jpop as much as you say you do, then don't disrespect him by violating one of his primary requirements as a buyer.

And your "sub-NDA" comment had to be a joke. If you can't even honor an actual legal document from a respected designer like Jpop, who is going to honor a less-than-legal document from some dude on Pinside?

4 months later
#574 6 years ago

I was super excited when I first got in on RAZA. I know there has been some cool stuff on the blog, but it is all shown in enough of a vacuum that I don't have any real idea what the playfield layout is, much less the game play. I know a lot of the art and a lot of the individual features, but I have no idea about how it fits together.

I have also been confused about the predominance of aliens and lack of actual zombies. When you step back and think about the artistic beauty JPOP is known for, it is hard to imagine zombies in this context, although Spooky did create an aesthetically pleasing zombie character. This has always felt more alien invasion to me than zombie apocalypse. Not sure why he's gone that way.

I'm crazy, but I'm actually in on 5 pre-orders at the moment, one of them being JPOP's RAZA. Unfortunately I've lost all my enthusiasm over this game as I just can't see the finish line. I don't want to get out, because I think (hope) it will be awesome some day. But frankly, even if I wanted to sell my spot, who would be willing to buy their way in now anyway. JPOP has pooched this entire situation and screwed anyone who might need to back out in the process.

I've paid in half way on this and while I'm not totally assuming my money is gone, I've gotten to the point where I'll be really excited when (if) I find out I owe the rest because the game is ready. I don't have this level of skepticism with any of the other pre-orders, even though several are technically with lesser know commodities.

#728 6 years ago
Quoted from Shrub_Light:

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

Unfortunately it doesn't really look like this any more. I love the look in that video. The more recent look, like the backglass he showed at expo, kind of jumped the shark for me. It's like his artwork has become a caricature of itself. Some places it's cool, but others it is CV bright (which I own and like BTW) and just feels really busy. Then again, he's shown so many versions of different things I really have no idea which ones he's planning to roll with.

#920 6 years ago

Not to be such a skeptic... but does the blog post by Jpop really change anything?
I mean yeah.. he admitted being shamed by all the new "real" product and he basically needs to get his act together.. but an apology? an empty promise?
After this many years.. shouldn't buyers expect a more concrete/affirmative change in direction (Jpop has a epiphany) and immediately asks a professional to get his concept /parts out of the door... ala Stern?

He definitely didn't answer all the questions, but he has been producing a flood of info on the owner blog that is showing cool stuff we haven't seen and shedding a light on progress we didn't know was happening. Don't expect to get continually updated now that owners are feeling pacified.

I still have some questions about true status, dates, etc. However, I think John is showing more of his hand to owners, which he should have done all along, because of the "Lebowski Effect" as he put it. I hope he answers all the questions soon, but I'm pleased to see what he's shown in the last few days.

#934 6 years ago

As much as I love zombies (I'm in on RAZA), I like the magic theme more than Jpop's version of zombies. That said, I just can't justify $17K for a toy. The overwhelming majority of pinball machines are not "worth" anything close to what we spend on them, so there is a level of idiocy we all have paying this much for toys. I just have to draw the line on insanity somewhere, and apparently it must be at $10K.

2 weeks later
#1090 6 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Aliens and saucers are secondary to the Zombie theme in the flyer. Quite contrary to the side cab art.

This has been my biggest complaint all along, well I guess aside from the delays. I keep hearing it is going to be a zombie pin, and I get that the story is supposedly aliens converting people into zombies (hey the virus had to originate somewhere). However, it's still called zombie adventureland, so it needs to be zombies with some aliens, not aliens with some zombies. I'm guessing that Jpop realized that zombies are ugly and his desire for stunning art kept pushing him toward the alien forms. If I ever get my game, and it doesn't feel like a zombie pin, I'm going to be pretty disappointed.

I guess if people want a true zombie experience they should go for TWD, but I was a pre-order on the LE there and dumped it after seeing and playing. Zombies was a dream theme for me and I'm starting to feel I might not own a true zombie pin.

1 week later
#1167 6 years ago

I'm so frustrated with this whole situation. I have more of a stomach for pre-orders than almost anyone, but this situation is just starting to piss me off. 2016?

I'm at the point where I'm basically considering my payment lost money and if the game ever gets made, I'll consider it a windfall.

Between this and finding out BoP 2.0 is shipping with really incomplete code has been a double kick in the ass this week!

#1247 6 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

I was holding out, hoping a full working version of Magic Girl would be finished for Expo. I also know that in two years time you have collected $ 812,500.00 from the RAZA group and know you have expenses, which may involve rent and purchasing equipment to build the games. My fear is that half or more of this money may be gone and that you may never produce these games. I fear that the lack of progress is going to stop any new capital coming in and that it may be only a matter of time before your current capital is gone. I'm very worried you are on the edge of bankruptcy and would suggest you take action and restore people's faith in your company.

Sending an email to Jpop telling him your speculations about his finances, expenses, and "impending bankruptcy" strikes me as pretty foolish. If you want to cancel, fine. Telling him you're doing so because you're afraid he's about to go bankrupt is nothing but pure conjecture on your part.

Believe me, I'm as frustrated as anyone on this. But cancel based off what you know (or in this case what we don't know), not based on what you make up in your head.

#1286 6 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

A lynch mob mentality here will only harm Jpop's progress and not accomplish anything other than entertainment for a few naysayers.

I have found it odd how many people that don't have any money invested in this have so much pent up to say about it. If you aren't a buyer I just don't understand how you could have any more than a passing curiosity.

#1290 6 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

1.) We are all potential customers. I love CV, TOM, WCS'94, TOTAN....I'd love to see Jpop actually make new games. No f*cking way I'm going to give him a cent right now...but despite my skepticism, I want to see him succeed.

2.) We're all pinball friends here - we have empathy for those who do have money in on these games and don't want to see them lose their cash.

I don't blame you not wanting to give him money now...who would?

Unlike some others that have said "shut up if you aren't a buyer" I'm not saying that. I'm just noting that in some cases, not necessarily yours, some of the most hate and empty threats have been thrown around by non-owners. I don't understand that. For example, I have a passing interest in what the car crash looks like over in Skit-B land, but I'm not in on Predator so I just can't get too worked up either way.

#1292 6 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

And no, I wouldn't give him another dime either....right now But i'm ok with losing what I have into it also, although I highly doubt that happens.

I don't think anyone in on MG will be out money, but I'm starting to wonder about those of us in on RAZA. I think Jpop is progressing in earnest, but if he's really still a few years out, who knows what will happen by then. I've come to terms with never seeing that money again, but getting a game for it would be cool.

I think he'll ultimately deliver RAZA, but I suspect it will fall into the heavily under-coded category. It sucks when Stern does that (all the time) but at least you know code updates are coming 6-12 months later. Can anyone honestly say they believe Jpop will be releasing code updates even if he ever gets these games out the door?

#1294 6 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Yep, in any business venture, the last guys in line could get stuck holding the bag.

No offense to those involved, but thankfully that's AIW. Not sure how anyone had the confidence to jump down that rabbit hole.

Off topic here, but speaking of AIW, has anyone seen the Riot Pinball (guys making WOOLY) AIW playfield sketch? That thing looked cool and since I've seen and loved WOOLY to death, if I wanted an AIW pin, I'd be holding out for that.

#1310 6 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

Can someone tell me price? Think I saw 27k. Is that right?

For MG and RAZA.

1 week later
#1395 5 years ago
Quoted from Kerry_Richard:

I was in on the original IPB BBB order of 111 back in 02'. I took #111. About 3 days later, IPB sent me a letter indicating they found / had extra parts to make an additional 70-80 games.

I felt somewhat slided because I bought in at 1 of 111 games and selected my # based upon that amount of games. I also was uncomfortable giving a company $4,500 for something they had never built.

That must have been a scam of theirs. When I bought in they told me in no uncertain terms that there were only going to be 163. I picked my number and what my plaque said based on that (something about the last one being built). Oops, now there are 184 or whatever. Frankly, should anyone be surprised that Gene had trouble with keep rack of inventory?

Oh well, I figured out I didn't really like the games and so I never even opened mine up and sold it NIB to some dude in AUS a few years later.

#1396 5 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

Everyone seems more interested in rarity than the game itself.

Quoted from Cheeks:

Oh well, I figured out I didn't really like the games and so I never even opened mine up and sold it NIB to some dude in AUS a few years later.

Forgive me for quoting myself, but it is exactly why you're wrong about your statement. We're all buying these games on a hunch. We don't get to see or know anything about what it will be other than the theme (and in the case of RAZA, even that has shifted significantly since the beginning). Just like BBB, MG absolutely CANNOT be $17K good. Nothing is. But people are counting on it being good and rare to justify the price. Once people get their games, some will like it, and some won't. Frankly I think BBB sucks and couldn't get out from under mine fast enough. I bought cheap and sold high, so I was lucky. What people don't want here is to pay the premium for a 17 game run and end up selling at a much higher game run price. Why do you think RAZA and MG were different prices? They won't have a BOM difference. They have a production run difference. That rarity is valued at something.

So, people are hung up on the rarity because part of the value is tied to that. The more he makes, the less they are individually worth. Given that people bought at a certain premium level, they have every right to be concerned. Look what happened to people that bought a routed MM months before MMr was announced. Similar thing here.

1 week later
#1739 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

This pic was the game I originally pre-ordered though.

Quoted from woodworker:

I don't know, but this picture sure looks cool.

Quoted from frolic:

Darn, THAT's the game I wanted. crazy mad scientist game. Most people had issues with Ben's name being on it, because it sounded like it was HIS game, not just a character in it, but the character itself as a crazy scientist was always good.

So that art was shit canned and we now have mars attacks.

Quoted from ChrisVW:

Copyright issues aside, the purple on dark blue on light blue color palette just looks like a color muted jumbled mess, especially when backlit with purple LEDs. Earlier versions looked better in my opinion. Sometimes less is more. "Every frame is so dense"

Beyond the delays, here is my biggest issue. I absolutely LOVED the look and the theme of the original game concept. It was zombies first and foremost. From the characters to the color scheme. The direction this game has gone is all bad in my eyes. Not only have there been 17,000 art revisions, but somehow this has become more about aliens invading Cirqus Voltaire. I mean really, CV was cool and the wild color scheme was unique, but RAZA has turned into a crazy florescent caricature of CV. All other drama aside, I'm not nearly as excited about the game he's "showing" today as I was about the one I originally signed up for.

People talk about "skittles" and "clown puke" with the bad LED jobs some people do to their games. At least you could remove those bad bulb decisions. Somehow this game has taken that concept and baked it right into the artwork. I would trade RAZA for BHZA in a heartbeat!

#1856 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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

Quoted from Fulltilt:

John's post stated that he had set a date to show Magic Girl "on a rug" for mid December.

The problem is that when he said that, it had the air that he didn't really understand what it meant. It was apparent he didn't know the rug had to do with the movie, and I think he felt people thought it was cool just because it was on some snazzy rug. He seemed to understand that the game being shown in full was an aspect, but commented too literally about a rug reveal.

I'm fearful Jpop has actually spent time looking for what rug he'll have under his game. I think the metaphor of "rug reveal" meaning make a public splash with a full game went over his head and he's instead focusing on literally showing his game in private sitting on some rug. I hope I'm wrong (or he's been since clued in). If not, how sad.

#1858 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Bobby Knight once said, "if rape is inevitable, you might as well lie back and enjoy it"

Quoted from ek77:

Don't be a ass

Agreed! Some things, even if you're just quoting someone else, remain just as inappropriate. Not sure how you didn't feel disgusting just typing that.

#1872 5 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

No, I think he did. He admitted he had not yet seen the movie. My feel at the time was that whatever the reason for the rug didn't matter, it was the showing of a killer looking new game from a new manufacturer... And Jpop wanted to have that same reaction that Dutch Pinball received. That's the point he was making.

Well, the way he reacted was just ambiguous and off enough that it made me cringe a little when he said it, fearing he would do something dumb that he didn't really understand.

#1873 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

Absolutely. There certainly have been other vendors involved. Take a look at page 11, post #519. The major piece of hardware shown in the first image is exactly that, redone from scratch, after fully functional working assemblies were delivered a year earlier.

You'd swear he was getting paid by the hour for this stuff, making up things to revise left and right. It is unfathomable how many revisions there have been on everything. God forbid you use any existing generic Williams parts, let's custom fabricate the brackets from scratch.

Artwork? I'm positive he couldn't even answer how many times he's redone it. Not only is it taking forever, but it's looking worse the further along we get.

#1890 5 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Well, arguably he is. By you guys.


Not quite. If you consider that paid hourly, he's got to be down into the pennies per hour at this point and shrinking daily.

#2135 5 years ago

DISCLAIMER: I have already written off the money I sent to Jpop for RAZA.

Out of principle alone, I'm pretty much done. Frankly, I'm wavering between two ends of the spectrum. On the one hand, drain this topic and forget about this "investment" for a couple years, only to come back in 2016 to see if things have progressed at all. Or saying F' it and round up people to "get our money back," whatever that means. I don't "need" the money back, but it pisses me off that it's floating Jpop's boat. I really don't like the direction RAZA has gone as compared to BHZA, so I'm not even excited about the prospect of getting my game (a decade from now...). Frankly, I'm so close to feeling like if we could start a revolution (legal action), even if it only got us back a couple bucks, but it stopped Jpop from continuing this masturbatory charade, it would be worth it.

If I knew I could just ignore things and I'd have a game 4 years from now, I could deal. However, if nothing is going to get made (which is starting to feel more likely), then the principle of letting Jpop continue using our money to float him while he plays the 10,000 artwork revisions game pisses me off.

Ideally, I'd prefer to get the game. Second choice would be to get my money back. But a real competing emotion is to just blow all this up, salvage whatever pennies I can, and more importantly stop Jpop from treading all over us with this. I've had the stomach for the original BBB pre-order and several others, so I'm not a faint-of-heart pre-orderer. However, if you're just going to piss away our money, you don't have to fuck us up the ass in the process.

#2137 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

3) scorched earth is looking better and better and at least I can save someone else.

AMEN! Especially for all the idiots (no offense) that are considering sending in money for AIW. I almost feel it is our civic duty.

#2142 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

I think the raza play field is fugly colored.

BHZA was super cool. RAZA has turned into a psychedelic, neon caricature of Cirqus Voltaire. Even if I got my game today (fantasy statement of the decade) I would still be really disappointed compared to what I originally ordered.

#2147 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Dude don't give up like's your fucking money - he's flaking on his end of the deal. You're entitled to your money back or some answers...end of story. NO ONE should be all "oh ho hum, I guess my money is gone" ...remember - the customer is always right!!!!

Agreed, but at this point I would assume it would take litigation to get our money back. If that's the case, we might pay out almost as much as we have in to get whatever scraps Jpop has left. Even so, I feel like he's already cast us down, so why the hell not bring him down with us?

#2265 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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 weren't you a zombie? Or at least a mad scientist responsible for creating the zombies? I don't see the issue and I couldn't be more disappointed that look/theme isn't still in play.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

Care to comment about John working Tesla for his 4th title when that was your idea? Or do you not care, you just want to see it made?

Just want to see it made? You are aware it's Jpop were talking about here, right?

#2266 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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

You don't need to look any further than this game. BHZA > RAZA in every visual and thematic way.

1 week later
#2779 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I think John is working towards the goal that if he deliver a AAA game, everything that happened before then will become forgotten and forgiven.

Do you really believe this? If I were in on MG, and then I got MG and it was awesome, MAYBE. However, I'm in on RAZA. If he delivers an awesome MG, frankly that won't make me feel much different about my game. Good for the MG people, but I think it took RAZA and extra MG to even think MG could get finished (still might not). He has to make 3-5 times as many RAZA and he's not as far along. How is he going to fund those? Not to mention he'll be so tied up with the production aspect of MG that he probably won't have much time to spend worrying about RAZA. So, if he doesn't go bankrupt, it might be 10 years before I know if I'll see RAZA or not.

Not that I'd take this ride with Jpop again, but if I do get RAZA and it's awesome, then it'll probably be water under the bridge for me. But hey, I was in the original BBB group, so this isn't my first rocky pre-order ride. That said, I'm not anticipating this turns out as well for me as BBB did.

1 week later
#2893 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

And why do you think he would go about things any differently. We know he lurks here. He has read comments from buyers like yourself (a lawyer nonetheless) advising that everyone doesn't have much recourse. JPop is banking on your apathy. Calling your bluff so to speak. As I said before, sooner rather than latter, an owner will get fed up and force this dying on the vine project in one direction or another. It is my sincere hope that direction is completion.

The problem is everyone is so paranoid that they might miss out on a cool game, that they're paralyzed (I supposed that could be we're, since I'm not really doing anything either). John has sufficiently exhibited that he won't respond to negative comments, or requests for timelines. I hate to say don't bother any more, but really, why bother.

I'm at the point that I'm pissed at John going around not caring about any of this, just playing in his little consequence-free fantasy world. I would personally rather join a joint action if it meant getting anything back and stopping the charade, even if that killed the projects and made John get a real job. The problem is that so many others don't want that, and I frankly don't care enough to be the one that instigated the uprising that ruined everyone else's dreams (fantasy).

It's sad, but I'm basically so apathetic, mixed with a side of pissed, that I've for the most part decided not to think about it any more. Funny thing is I wouldn't have even cared about the delays if John would have been remotely upfront about how and why things are behind. So much could have been solved with a little bit of transparency, but then he wouldn't be able to ignore the people demanding refunds and accountability then would he?

#3060 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

I wanted the first two to be a big success so I could buy AIW with confidence. Now they serve as a warning. Right now I'm just hoping somebody jacks the AIW project and gets it done in the next 10 years. Not like JPop is in a position to defend it. I feel bad for the owners but hopefully an organized effort by them will right the ship.

Riot pinball has a sick sketch of AIW on their website. If they could ever find a way to actually release WOOLY, they'd have a far better chance of producing AIW than Jpop. Not to mention Scott is an infinitely better and more respectable person than John is proving to be.

#3163 5 years ago

I agree we need to take a stand, but I cannot image John would disclose his books. If I were him I wouldn't, even if they were in order. On this scale, I just can't imagine a company opening up it's accounting to customers. We are his metaphoric bank, but John is not publicly traded and (as far as I know) we are not entitled to the legal rights and stipulations of real banks.

I think it is more realistic to force him into disclosing what is actually developed and what is actually left to develop. I could also see pinning him down to a specific timeline, divulgence of the resources that he's aggregated to get there (as opposed to the treadmill he's been on for years), and consequences if he cannot meet agreed upon milestones.

1 week later
#3546 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Big updates on the blogs

Holy F#&$!

I was pretty meh on the MG playfield artwork shown above, and it had me even more bummed about the project. But the artwork on the RAZA playfield is SICK! I certainly don't forgive Jpop for his transgressions to this point, but the playfield artwork has me more excited about the game (at least the fantasy) than I have been in a long time.

#3602 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Seemed like the pitch forks were out and everyone was ready to storm the jpop castle. I'd be cheering and whooping with everyone if he revealed something cool like some dots and balls rolling on playfield video. More art after all this time seems very meh.

Trust me, I was/am ready to storm the castle. I just felt this "insult to injury" feeling when I saw the MG playfield. I used to be jealous I didn't get in on that game, but I have not been impressed with anything I've seen with that game. I was extrapolating what's recently been shown to RAZA and figuring even my upside was a game I wasn't thrilled with. So, while I have not stowed my pitchfork yet, I'm at least blown away by the RAZA art I've seen recently, and combine with some of the awesome features he's shown in the past, I think the game concept is awesome. Will I ever see it? Who knows. Am I still pissed about how this has all gone down? Hell yes! But at least now I can hope I'll get a game that I'll think is cool versus the feeling I've had recently that I wouldn't even like the game I was waiting for.

#3692 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

I think they are really trying to bring pinball up a level (or two). Color makes a difference .


You posted the one part of what he showed that isn't purple. I really hate the extremely narrow color pallet he's using on some of this. Similar to the backglass he showed (briefly) at expo, it's all dark blue on pink on TONS of purple. Loved the line art of the playfield, hate the undiversified color scheme! This section is not representative of the pallete of the rest of what he showed. But hey, maybe what he showed doesn't have all the color layers in it yet, and we know he's going to change it 75 more times before it's done.

#3725 5 years ago
Quoted from Skulz:

I also do not like the over usage of pinks and purples on Magic Girl and now on RAZA. I doubt my comments with make a difference though. The line art is so much more appealing to me than the color pallet that has been shown thus far, but you can't please everyone and I am hard to please anyways.

You're not alone, I've been complaining about this for a while. I really liked the original color pallete, but then again I liked the BHZA theme better than the direction the RAZA theme has taken. There are huge portions of the artwork where it feels like pink/purple/blue were the only colors left in the ole paint bucket. I think Pinball Bulbs had a hand in the design... Just kidding, I like, have bought, and have mimicked several of their LED color schemes, I just wouldn't have thought a playfield would use SO much purple.

#3737 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.

How depressing! This is the game I really wanted. Instead we're getting a purple zombie, on a purple roller coaster, in a purple theme park, chased by a purple alien.

#3767 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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)

Agree 100%. There is a vocal minority that insists on unlicensed, but I keep citing instances where people don't flock to the games once they come out.

Quoted from benheck:

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

Will it be the same playfield layout or are you guys changing that somewhat too? I never played Chuck's game so I don't have an opinion, just curious if you are changing more than just the theme.

2 weeks later
#4021 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'd love to know what was powering that. P-ROC? My understanding is that he doesn't have a final hardware platform picked yet. Which seems insane and backwards to me.

Ben Heck's boardset...Oh wait...

1 month later
#5478 5 years ago
Quoted from jarjarisgod:

True. It makes me wonder what the next theme will be. Game #4 has to be just around the corner. Sadly, I'm only half-joking at this point.
And shouldn't he be figuring out the hardware/software side of things at this point anyway?

Quoted from sturner:

There is no doubt JPOP is a talented designer and a creative person. But this whole thing feels like funding someone's personal art hobby and not an actual business venture. Hope I'm wrong but even under the best case scenario, machines in the hands of customers is many years away.

Quoted from frolic:

Until he starts manufacturing machines and collecting money for completed work, this is where we're at. Funded by us, and his wife apparently. There seems to be little motivation with getting games out the door, he can tinker endlessly.

I was going to say this exact thing the other day. In fact, unless this thing goes officially belly-up and Jflop is shut down through some legal action by the owners, I think we'll see a foam-core mock-up of whatever game 4 is (similar to the recent AIW shown) before MG gets officially delivered. How pathetic! The fact that I've invested thousands of dollars into this scatterbrain pisses me off.

#5868 5 years ago

Well, if nothing else that should settle the "was there a whitewood" debate. That's good I guess.

1 week later
#6358 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.

I've never understood people that insist on dialing every number they see on TV. Damn people are strange. That said Ben, you know you're a sexy hunk of pinball celebrity worthy of stalking. You shouldn't be surprised.

#6770 5 years ago

Speaking of CV 2.0H, when are we going to see ToTAN 2.0?

Yet another casualty of the jpop flameout. Bummer!

#6778 5 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

This was in very early discussion when Rick first mentioned it at Texas. Even I was unaware of all the other projects John had on his plate at the time. We have ToTAN right next to Funhouse in our shop. So its still on the list of projects, but it is not in heavy development at the moment.
FAST Pinball

Oh, that wasn't the answer I was expecting. Does this mean that this project could move forward without John? If so, there could still be some hope it might happen. If it needs John, no chance.

1 week later
#7379 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'm predicting their next game will be sold out within a month of announcement. And it's not going to be a slouch in the art department either. Remember this when it's announced, and tell me I'm not right!

Is this going to be a re-theme of Chuck's zombie game, or are they doing something with an altogether new layout? I was never a fan of the Pinball Zombie layout, so if basically only the art is different, I'm probably still not interested. I love Chuck and Spooky though, so I'm hoping they doing something totally new and kick ass.

#7608 5 years ago

The constant need for people to be negative, and be right at the expense of others continues to amaze me. It is not hard to see why a group of owners branched out to create more private groups. An actual (potential) positive update and 75% of the responses are either flat out negative or seriously sarcastic. I'm one of the "owners" but I'm also a realist. I started considering my money gone 5 month ago. That said, a positive update is a positive update. People have clamored to see a flipping game because they didn't believe he had one. Now at the word that there might be proof he has one, all of a sudden that doesn't matter any more? WTF?!

I understand and TOTALLY agree that there are still huge hurdles and this doesn't make me all of a sudden assume I'm getting a game. That said, if John is closer than we thought, and has something confirmed to be really cool, how is that not a good thing? It doesn't erase all the bad to this point and it certainly doesn't ensure any success moving forward, but it is still a positive step in the right direction.

Apparently that doesn't matter what-so-ever to all the armchair quarterbacks. For some time now, the noise to value ratio in this thread, particularly from people with absolutely no stake in this, is embarrassing.

1 week later
#8182 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Yes I would agree, there is a path to success if Magic Girl could be completed, I was proposing that a few weeks ago, but even I was stunned to learn how much work there is left to do on MG (despite visitors to his shop declaring it "near complete" 6 months ago) and he can't even hobble together one of those 3 games he has sitting there to make it look somewhat complete and get people excited.

If you've seen the recent video of MG being played, you'd realize not only is it not close to being done, but it's kind of underwhelming as well. Now, this could be due to how incomplete it is, but I was nothing but deflated (and pissed as usual at John) when I saw that video. How many years now and that's all you have to show? He is just plain incapable of getting anything done and just jumps around to the next shiny thing. I honestly feel if he had the funds to keep this charade up another 10 years, he wouldn't be any further along with the current games and would just have more incomplete games started.


#8627 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.

Absolutely been my biggest complaint about the game itself. Not only has the theme been downgraded, but the skittles color scheme is a step back as well. I loved the muted tones of the BHZA so much more than the current purple and blue explosion. I should be able to get a refund based solely on the fact this isn't even trying to be the same game I got in on (not to mention a million other reasons at this point).

#8879 5 years ago

Am I the only one that thinks the MG playfield is a cluttered, convoluted mess? I've never liked the way this looks to play with that monstrosity in the middle. I was always more hopeful RAZA (the game I'm in on) would be a better player.

This seems like a classic case of over-engineering something to live up to his "cool, innovative ramp and magnet guy" reputation at the expense of the game. If I wanted to see that little of what I can shoot on the upper playfield, I'd get a P2K or a Popeye.

#8917 5 years ago
Quoted from stangbat:

I'm sorry, but when I look at that pic with the paper ramps I can't help but think of Popeye.
Unfortunately I'm being entirely serious.

You're not the only one...

Quoted from Cheeks:

This seems like a classic case of over-engineering something to live up to his "cool, innovative ramp and magnet guy" reputation at the expense of the game. If I wanted to see that little of what I can shoot on the upper playfield, I'd get a P2K or a Popeye.

#8944 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Ok seriously this is getting petty! Who gives a F$&k if you can't use a socket wrench to tighten the legs. As for things to slam JPOP about this doesn't even make the top 1000 list IMHO!

At least we can all acknowledge there are over 1000 things worthy of slamming John about at this point.


#9000 5 years ago

I really CANNOT believe nobody has called out a couple specific statements from that video!

In video 2 (the one that starts with the EM being played):

1. @2:53-3:02 - the most ironic (and probably bullshit) statement about this entire project. John the voice of reason?!?

2. @1:50-1:56 - undoubtedly how John justifies treating us all like dirt

#9346 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Note the 1:2 part. Looks like they were hoping to incentivize RAZA and AIW buyers into buying the "cheaper" MG by doubling their money.

The other way around. 2 RAZA dollars get you one MG dollar. That means if you have at least $5k paid toward RAZA or AIW, even if you get the "classic" you're still basically paying the full MG price. You can't tell me they aren't going to try and charge the upper end of that range. So, $5k converts to $2500, with another $10k due. That's $15k invested for the "classic" version as opposed to converting straight to the limited MG for $16k. They obviously want to push people to the limited version.

Follow that kick in the nuts with the "we MIGHT still make RAZA/AIW if you decide to keep your money there" BS. I've been pissed and fed up with this on many occasions, but never as furious as this has made me.

I absolutely WILL NOT invest another $10k into MG. I don't even think that game looks cool. It looks like a convoluted pile of crap and was not the game I put in for.

My money is gone. Nothing I can do about it. I refuse to fund Jpop any more. I refuse to pay $16k for any pinball machine, especially this garbage. But I don't have enough sunk to pay more money to an attorney to try and get it back. If there is some group thing, maybe. If I had $20k+ in this, definitely. But us with $4-6k invested don't have many options.

I said this 6 months ago and feel it more now than ever, my money is gone and I'd rather just ensure Jpop goes down on this than bother trying to get a few pennies back (or sinking in another $10k).

#9355 5 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Can ANYONE tell me why I would entertain accepting HALF the 9k dollars JPop has had of my money that I paid for RAZA, having suffered all his crap, to apply to a Magic Girl??? That MF has some balls....


Your 9k converts to $4500. MG classic will be 12k. You only need to pay in another $7500 so that you've invested 16.5k for the classic, when the limited only cost 16k.

How anyone dreaming this up could have possibly thought this would be well received. I thought only John was that delusional.

#9472 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Don't like it? You don't get shit and we move on
I swear I don't know wtf is wrong with some of you people

What's wrong is I bought RAZA. I don't want MG, I think it looks like a turd of a game. No interest at any price, and I damn sure am not going to pony up another $10k for it. So my options are pay an ADDITIONAL $10k for a game I don't want, or wait 4-5 MORE YEARS for a game that they admit they might not even make (and if they do, the price is unknown and there is no commitment how much credit I'll get for my deposit).

Head or gut? Forgive me if I'm not jumping for joy.

#9516 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

Because JPOP walks if you sign. I'd rather he burn with bankruptcy.

Quoted from frolic:

I'm feeling the same way. Would rather get some GUARANTEED satisfaction from this than signing my rights away and HOPING I get a game years from now.

I agree with both of you. That letter was a complete insult to anyone in on RAZA or AIW. I have no interest in riding this train another 4-5 YEARS just to see if this turns out, and let John off the hook in the meantime.

The least I consider equitable is 1 transfer of funds to a pre-defined and specifically articulated MG standard (what will be different about it and still justify that high of a price) at the same price RAZA was supposed to be. I still get screwed because I get a game I don't want, but I don't take it up the ass 2 or 3 additional ways as well. At least I could sell the game if it ever completes.

#9592 5 years ago

Unless this investor comes back with a new offer, any further discussion about options is a moot point. There is no way in hell anywhere close to 100% of buyers are going to sign up for the current pitch, which is what they said they needed to move forward.

#9611 5 years ago
Quoted from Shrub_Light:

I think you and ChrisVW are overlooking this part of the contract.
"No, I would like to wait for the possibility of production of RAZA and/or AIW
machine(s) which I originally ordered. Prices and credits yet to be determined."
Take note of the words possibility, prices, credits, and to be determined.

No kidding.


#9810 5 years ago
Quoted from Jokercyclone:

I can totally understand being soured by this. The sad part is if it does sour you on pinball on a whole. Pinball is still the most wonderful hobby you can have. It's still filled with great people for the most part. This situation will never happen again in this form, it's dead, no one will hopefully have to go through it again. Just remember it's John that has soured you not this awesome game

I'm in the same boat, overall soured on the hobby right now. Between this shitshow and Jack acting like a secretive d-bag about the delays on Hobbit (another pre-order I have) I'm just fed up. I don't even want to look at the ToTAN or CV that I own. I have half a mind to burn them in the Zidware parking lot to show John what I really think of him. I'm closer to liquidating my collection and getting out of the hobby than I have ever been. Just has not been fun for a while now. Sad!

#9816 5 years ago
Quoted from Shrub_Light:

I'm feeling the same way, except I have no Jpop pins to burn. I'm really trying to be patient thinking if I sell all of my pins I might regret it down the road. I can't even enjoy playing them anymore without thinking of the butt load of cash I literally threw away. It's sickening really.

The whole hobby just feel different to me. Scammers selling vaporware machines (although wayne-o is an old school version of this phenomenon), other vendors obscuring the truth and treating people like dicks when they ask legit questions about delays (JJP), etc, etc. Even this place has turned sour in so many ways. This place used to be much more upbeat. I left RGP to come here because everyone there turned into jaded asshats. Have they all come here? More negativity here than is constructive.

There's some exciting stuff on the horizon with Heighway and hopefully P3, I just don't know if I care any more. We'll see.

Maybe watching John get drawn and quartered will lift my spirits?

#9869 5 years ago
Quoted from cppinball:

Kind of hard to even tell how many OWNERS there are for MG. I tried to start a thread getting us MG owners together and the the thread was shut down within 5 minutes. Together we would be a force but individually we are weak. In the end the only winners will be the Lawyers, unless we all got together and split some of the legal cost. Thanks Pinside for being so much help. At least I can come here and find out what pinball will fit in my FORD FOCUS.

There has already been information posted in this thread about attorney Zane D Smith in Chicago. Multiple people have contacted him and this seems to be the single most consolidated legal effort currently. His full contact information was posted earlier in this thread, but his office phone number is 312-245-0031. If you should choose to contact an attorney, that is where I would start. Not sure it ultimately makes sense to proceed with anything, but there could be some economies if everyone pursuing this direction went through the same place.

Just a thought.

#9917 5 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

exactly, if your perception of this hobby is as narrow as only paying top dollar for brand new machines when and if they are made your in the wrong hobby. ive had about six machines at this point, never paid over 2k, played them before i bought them, took them home that day. and there are still hundreds of machines to choose from that fall in that category. hell, theres 10+ machines id like to buy in my area right now. theres a difference between participating in the hobby of pinball and the hobby of buying the latest flashy top dollar toys to prove your wealth to yourself. if your getting out of "the hobby" because of skit-b and jpop, i suspect you fall into the latter category.

I love how when somebody can't afford something, that means the people who can are just showing off. Congratulations, you've bought a bunch of cheap pins. Good for you. I'm not in on MG. Not because I can't afford it, but because I can't justify spending $16k on a pinball machine. That said, some people want the game and can justify that money. Good for them, who cares. I don't look at them for a second and think it means they're pulling out the ruler. I'm in on RAZA, and Hobbit, and P3, etc. Not because I'm trying to be a show off, I wanted the games. But between the way John has stolen people's money and the way Jack is treating people regarding the Hobbit, it has definitely soured me on the hobby. And yes, it has me questioning whether I'll stay in or just liquidate and move on. Why does that make me a poser?

So, where exactly do you draw the line of who's showing off their deep pockets, $2100? Give me a break.

#9928 5 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

the point i was trying to make is that there are about eight million ways to wisely spend your money in this hobby. if you spent any amount of money foolishly, take it out on yourself, not on the hobby.its not pinballs fault you dont know how to make a wise investment.

I don't view pinball as an investment, however, if I were to sell my collection and balance sheet my net, I would be about 200% of original dollars spent (jpop fiasco included). That said, I don't need your clarification on what is or is not a wise pinball investment.

And if certain events drain the fun out of the hobby for me or someone else and we decide to get out, how is that "taking it out on the hobby" exactly? I risked money that I could afford to lose on a jpop game that I wanted. I'm way more pissed about his lying and overall handling of the situation than the actual money lost.

Nobody is disparaging you for buying low budget games. Why do you need to come in here and throw stones at people that took a chance trying to buy games just because you can't afford them? That's really constructive.

#10058 5 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

Cheeks said:
Nobody is disparaging you for buying low budget games.

Cheeks said:
Congratulations, you've bought a bunch of cheap pins. Good for you.

Quoted from stainedundies:

Cheeks said:
Why do you need to come in here and throw stones at people that took a chance trying to buy games just because you can't afford them?

Quoted from stainedundies:

it has nothing to do with wether or not i can afford them (which i can), it has to do with people acting like pinball as a whole let them down, when in reality they were let down by their own inability to make good use of their finances and a few bad apples who took advantage of them.
youre so defensive about finances, sorry if i hit a nerve during a tough time, but seriously dude, im not the one your mad at, pinball is not the one your mad at. youre mad at jpop for taking advantage of you which is understandable. take a chill pill and go play some pinball.

I'm not going to get into an internet fight with a troll, but I do have 2 comments:

1. You quoted me out of context to look like I was being sarcastic about people owning cheap pins. I was not being sarcastic. I think it's cool when anyone has a pinball machine. I don't care if it's $500 or $20,000. So again, nobody (including me) was disparaging you or anyone else with cheap pins.

2. Do you not realize it's a dick move to come into a thread where people have communally been robbed of $1M+ and basically tell them they are idiots and so be it if they're dumb enough to make bad pinball investments? You didn't invest in this and you obviously never would invest in this. Fine. Why come in and throw stones at people when they're dealing with a situation as raw as this? No explanation I can think of other than just being a flat out troll. Your comments certainly were not constructive in any way.

Whatever, I'm over it. Say what you will, but this is a small example of the type of negative culture I was describing. Oh well. Shame on me for thinking (hoping) we would be more of a community united.

#10075 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

$16k will buy you both a Hobbit AND Pat Lawlor's ORIGINAL themed game... IN LESS TIME for delivery for BOTH machines.
There is no market for hundreds of $16k machines. The limited nature drove the sales that were there. Silly to think you can just run hundreds more at the same price.


The idea of this game (before we saw it isn't as cool as imagined) combined with the rareness factor is what made it worthwhile to some. I cannot justify $16k on any pin, but I get how some did. Now that we've seen it, I don't think it's that cool. It looks like a convoluted mess to me. That whole central contraption blocks as much of the playfield as P2K or Popeye. Add to that, the game is not rare any more!

Now, if you paid in on MG, you're already out $16k. So, the consolation of non-rarity in order to get the game is acceptable. But for RAZA people, who didn't want MG (nor to spend $16k) the new offer to spend another $10k for a game you didn't want is obnoxious. Not ONE CHANCE that I'll go along with it as currently stated.

#10193 5 years ago

Beyond anything else, the main issue with buying into any LE/Premium/Standard model, regardless of the terms, is we don't know the differences. I think everyone can agree that without the exclusivity factor, MG is NOT a $16k machine. Frankly from my perspective it isn't a $12k machine either. Regardless, what is going to be different to create the $4-6k difference between models? The game is already so cluttered, how can there be room to add anything worthwhile. If you're not adding more for the LE, then you're removing for the lower model, which already isn't worth the price even without being neutered.

Beyond all that, while we complain about Stern removing features in their Pro models, at least the inclusion/exclusion of features was part of the original conception. Both models still work. To add or remove stuff here is at best an after-thought and seems to be to the detriment of the design either way.

I just don't see how this makes any sense in reality.

#10809 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Hey, members of the Facebook Owners group (I am not on facebook):
Bill tells me he's posting pics there, and they are not "NDA", they are for the public. He just doesn't have the time to be on pinside dealing with this thread, but everything is free for reposting here or anywhere else. So please post any new pics, thanks.
Apparently there are new photos of all missing parts that are coming together to get the game ready for this NW show.

Meh...nothing too exciting to see. He pulled some strings to get the ramps done over the weekend. That was the biggest "assembly" development.

#10818 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Well, I didn't mean to be speaking for him or put words into his mouth. Obviously he's posted in this thread recently.
My intention was just to make clear that the secrecy of the old ways is over and people should post the pics here if they aren't here.

Unless I missed them (and I'm in the group), there just aren't any new pics that are fundamentally different from anything we've all seen before.

#10824 5 years ago

The more I think about it, the more I really CANNOT WAIT until the MG reveal at the "out west" show. The way I see it, no matter what happens, it's a total WIN-WIN. It's the most I've looked forward to anything in this mess for a long time.

I've viewed my money as gone for months now. This latest development was just more of a kick in the ass confirming it than I was expecting. That said, there are 2 outcomes from MG at the show:

1. Reaction is amazing, people love it, and there is actually some renewed hope that this thing can be resurrected and we might get our money out of it. Would be nice, but unlikely.

2. The reaction is somewhere between "we've waiting all this time for THIS?!?!" and "what a POS!"

Reaction 2 would surely spell the official end of this fiasco, but honestly, would there be a bigger, more satisfying kick in the nuts to John than his masterpiece game's moment in the sun being doused by negative feedback on the game itself?

He's so used to everyone oohing and aahing over his stuff, I have to admit, it would be refreshing, in a childlike, "take that John" kind of way.

So, there is either a glimmer of hope, or John's game flops. Either one would be the best news in this thread in a long time.

1 week later
#13305 5 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

wow... impossible not to take that personally

I can see why. I think the MG playfield looks better than the RAZA one at this point. I believe the "clown puke" should be more a reference to the LED usage than the playfield artwork on this game.

YombieYetti, I do have an honest question about the color palette though. Is that you or John driven? I'm an owner of RAZA vaporware, and I have to admit that as much as I love the art, I have been perplexed by the overly blue/purple/pink color palette. I thought the way BHZA looked was cool and retro feeling. RAZA seemed to take an artwork turn with all the sci-fi stuff (which you've said was forced by John) and the color scheme. I really LOVE your work, so I'm curious about the color choices.

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