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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 (4 years ago)

Post #20526 Third amended complain document Posted by c508 (4 years ago)

Post #20532 Summary of complaints & responses in legal documents Posted by DennisK (4 years ago)

Post #20626 MG is now ready! Posted by TecumsehPlissken (4 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (4 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (4 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (4 years ago)

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#3474 6 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

You're assuming John could find 50-100 more people willing to spend sixteen grand on MG. Honestly, I think just about everyone who would do that, has already done that. 16K buys a lot of quality pinball... would you rather have, say, an EBD (2K), Spirit (5K), an AFM (6K) and a few good EMs? Or a Magic Girl? None of John's earlier games were exactly earth-shattering, so I don't understand this second-coming-of-Christ mentality around MG and RAZA....

You are right on. I don't see how adding to the queue of games fixes any financial cash flow
I don't get the Ponzi scheme mentality that have been tossed around on several of the boutiques. The logic of "selling just 100 more preorders" would bridge any cash flow gap is amazing. The profit on these isn't as huge as you might think, and selling more product, that doesn't cover the fixed cost of the parts and shop/factory?, is producing a faster road to being broke.

3 months later
#7462 5 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

hopefully, this "reverse risk" has ended with the meltdown of recent projects...
"buyers" are not investors... they shouldn't be taking ANY risk at all...

"Let the buyer beware" has been a saying for hundreds of years - buyers always take some risk.

#7468 5 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

When do they plan on announcing the title?


#7469 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Maybe in the aftermarket but they're usually about $30-$50 on the site. I think your estimates are off a bit.

Look at all posters, and its more like $1200.

1 week later
#7814 5 years ago
Quoted from retro_p:


I read this and stopped there.
You started out phrasing these suppositions as fact, making some pretty heavy assertions... but they are still grounded only in opinion.
Say what you will about John (I sure as hell am not defending him here), but let's keep the rabble rousing to a minimum -- there's already plenty of anger/uncertainty to go around.
To me at least, it looks a little self-serving when you are running a competing pinball company.
Edit (as I posted below):
Indeed, "competing" probably is a bad fit, but "has a vested interest in seeing Zidware crash and burn" seems a little wordy.

Retro - that's an unfair shot at Ben - its spin to say "phrasing suppositions as facts" - your making that up in your mind; Ben didn't say any of it was facts - to me it was clear it was opinion. I agree with Ben's thinking 100%. Also don't agree that it was rabble rousing - it added a thought as to how Zidware got to where it is now... and where it isn't. Frankly, I'm surprised that there are 157 pages for what Jpop said were just a couple dozen owners/pre-orders.

#7815 5 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

John's reputation among collectors is/was that the pinball community liked the games he designed (for the most part). John's reputation with people who worked with him or did business with him is/was that he is a flake. Right now as far as I'm concerned his reputation is ruined and I doubt anyone would do business with him unless there was money to be made, which is this case is probably not possible. So if John went into this thinking he was going to be bought out, he's more delusional and stupid than I can find words for. If the games ever do get produced I hope people don't forget what a jerk off he is and don't ever send him pre-order money ever again. In fact if anyone ever sends ANY pinball maker pre-order money again then they deserve what they get.

To me, John's games are cool but took an ENTIRE TEAM of experienced "everything pinball" group to make CV or TOTAN. From design, engineering, mechs, drawings, BoM, sourcing parts, quality control, build.... He worked for a business, he wasn't a business. I'm not sure why anyone would expect JPop to be able to manufacture. It was a small project with limited units - and he had Ben Heck as a coder/collaborator. Without code and a factory, or at least a small shop with minions to put it together, and a vendor(s) to give him trade-credit to order parts, and build his cabinets.... never mind.

#7817 5 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

I can somewhat see your point, but Ben isn't exactly competing with Jpop since Jpop hasn't even produced one game; what's there to compete against? And Ben's giving his opinions based of everything we all know now. He certainly wasn't giving his opinion a year ago in this manner and no one else was. I think we're all on the same page now. What we see is what we know, and we haven't seen much :/.

Ben worked with John, none of the rest of us did. I find his posts here more relevant because of it. Ben is a pretty extraordinary guy based on his projects I've watched on Element 14. Also, Ben did his coding on AMH, and John lost a big resource just looking at the result of the all-in-one board electronics and coding. I've heard from Charlie how much Ben worked on and contributed to the whole AMH success. And the opposite is the loss Jpop had to fill without Ben.

#7819 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

The point was that Zidware / JPOP is a competitor to Spooky and thus Ben's opinion shouldn't carry weight because he works for Spooky and would be biased. The fact is that Spooky is sold out of pins while all folks money are still tied up w/ Zidware / JPOP.

But Ben worked with Zidware / JPOP and now he doesn't - being a former guy involved in JPOP projects had some value doesn't it?

#7820 5 years ago
Quoted from Linolium:

Frozen is mine. It is a 1-off I'm building for my daughter. I have no current intention of making it anything more then that for a variety of reasons.... and it flips and scores fine

And.... I hate to ask ... how did it take? My guess is - not - years.

#7947 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Software and rules were always the big concern about the new games. We knew they'd look beautiful, play smooth, but could possibly be extremely shallow, especially by 2015 pinball standards.
Anytime it was brought up with John he was pretty dismissive about it, that he had new talent doing it. But learning that Star Trek ended up having 3 man years of software on it, and John's programmer doesn't even work for him anymore and hasn't for the past year. Combine that with how long it took Keith/JJP to get WOZ polished, you're left with realizing that these games weren't going to be too compelling once you were over the shine.

Also recognize KEF on WOZ did all the new ops system, I/O code for new video and almost all new hardware drivers, - KEF built a pinball platform THEN coded WoZ. Stern games have a team of coders with specialists in dots, sound, gameplay etc. How is Jpop going to find another KEF, Lyman or Ben Heck - plus all the specialists? It ain't going to happen soon, even if he had 100 games put together and done - there isn't any code!!

#7949 5 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

Ben is extremely talented in all sorts of ways but he's no Lyman or Keith. Those guys are in a league of their own. And they are very different in how they attack rules.

And none of them are available to Jpop

#7951 5 years ago

I was wondering what you guys think about the hurdles on the software side for John.

Lyman and Keith have been doing rules for decades. Ben did one game, but Ben did the boards and all the overhead system code too - and Ben's dots, audio/video controls, and rules turned out pretty good IMO. Plus Heck did the boardset, and all that goes with them: OS and I/O and power control.

KEF (+ later on Ted Estes) and it took 3 years+ of ground-up on WoZ OS, video control and rules. Stern has just released a new operating system platform - which takes years to create and test.

Here's the thing -- Zidware/ Jpop needs everything - op system, I/O, rules, sol drivers board control logic, switch matrix logic, everything... any prototyping on mechs or code left with Ben, right?

Lets say Jpop finds (and can afford) a KEF or a LFS for the rules ... He still needs an operating systems guy to code for the boardset - Does Jpop even have a board set or prototype boards? - plus if you had all the above, the todo list still has storyboard and dots and rules. Design and story, requires close collaboration with the game designer and software (see Ritchie/Lyman for ACDC and Spiderman for example, or Borg & crew on TWD or Iron Man or Tron).

Code is a key critical-path "thing" to get a game done .... I don't think JPop is even at week 1 of a 3 year time horizon for just the code alone.

Spooky, JJP and Stern have proven they can. Dutch Pinball proved to me they can do it, based on the Bride 2.0 (its amazing work all around). Heighway's game looks and plays well - and Andrew will do fine on the "making" part. Common to all the above success projects - a great team, not one or two guys, but usually at least 5 or 10 or dozens.

I'd like to hear discussion about the platform/coding issue facing Zidware, opinions on the feasibility, has anyone seen any dots, code, boards or operating system. And does JPop have anyone left on his team?

#8184 5 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

Has anyone contacted the guy that supposedly supplied and programmed the boards that are currently being used? Wondering his take on the situation and his costs to finish. Anyone here know who he is?

Are there any boards yet?

#8228 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I guess Nemo has not shipped either (yet). that was another pin with limit of 30. I don't recall exactly how much it cost, but let's say $8000 x 30 = $240K
How was Nemo able to have a flipping game 3 years ago, and John still can not show one with 5x as much cash collected?
I keep going back to Spooky, Ben and Charley who were able to deliver pins (AMH) with less inside experience in the pinball industry, less time and less money.?
It reminds me of the TV show Cheers.

The point is, there is hundreds of off the shelf parts and controllers that is the dirty work for most of pinball machines is already done (look at Wooly and Predator) these guys aren't trying to make a whole pinball industrial complex from scratch, neither is Spooky. They are trying to build a few dozen or hundred pins. Jpop kind of got off track by trying to make everything custom from scratch which is duplicating tons of work that's already been done.

The difference is, If you go to Spooky's shop, which I picked up my AMH a few weeks ago, there is art, parts, and 3d printed prototype stuff, and boxes and boxes from Terry with coils, pops, hardware of all types - etc. same as probably Zidware HQ. And it is a wonderland to a newbie.

BUT... in the other room are games in boxes, games being put together, and games in test (about 3 a week). Mine was sitting in the test area and all cleaned up ready to go . The minions put it in the van and off I go. That's the difference! Games in boxes.

Jpop is a dreamer not a builder. I'm afraid that is all buyers will get - dreams and not builds.

#8320 5 years ago
Quoted from vex:

nobody has the right temperament to work with john apparently...

Um, reverse that, John doesn't have the right temperament to work with anybody... apparently

#8321 5 years ago

Sorry to chime in and not be an owner (several times close and spoken with him personally) BUT I just don't see this being resolved until he actually is threatened with jail time or being sued for his personal assets... THEN.. he would turn over whatever worth/less assets he has for Stern to actually produce.. JPOP obviously just can't ever get his sh(# together to even come close to producing an actual game...
Artwork on MG does look great...as a concept... have Stern like a vulture seize the assets... push JPOP aside and finish the game with an experienced production/code team..I would be a buyer then..

Why would Stern or JJP be interested? The money return is nil, and the run size is too small to gear up a production line - and if there's no code, its just a box of parts.

#8327 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

If Stern could drop the PF into their standard boxes, have a traditional DMD, just standard Stern parts. They could have a ready made non licensed pin by a famous designer that they could sell for ~ $8k or about what MMR costs.
I'm not saying the current owners would get anything out of this arrangement, but if Stern was interested in paying a fee to get the art and design rights, and then Stern codes it. I think it could be a modest success.
Not saying Stern would be interested if it was 26 units. But Stern could probably make a profit selling 500 or more pins.

And the code would come from.... where? for how much? Its the software that will make or break the machine, and will likely cost the most of any missing pieces. And JPop's mechs would have to be proto and made, many / all aren't likely drawn or engineered for a vendor to produce.

#8587 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

The lies are endless Tiger.
Jpop set out to take our $$$

Of those in this thread (407! pinsiders, 8500+ posts !!) who has a dog in the fight?

Some are obvious by the post content, but did not read them all & some ordered more than 1.

Raz, Ice,Tiger .... who else?

#8592 5 years ago
Quoted from musketd:

I am friends with Jpop and have tried to pleade with him to give people some sort of better updates, but he seems not to care to inform the owners anymore; which is just not right and at this point in time MAGIC GIRL should be done; I can't believe that he does not have them ramps done for it yet. I wish he would l;isten, but he chooses to just leave teh owners in the dark and leave them not knowing what is going on which is just not right.

Forget the public forum, does John private email any of his "pre-orderers"?

#8611 5 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Not to be pessimistic, but as a betting man, I would bet that Whysnow is going to be like others who have visited John. He will go to the shop, see all the cool stuff, John will waive is magic wand and whysnow will be hypnotized and drink the cool aid. He will report back that stuff looks great and progressing and that jpop will soon be showing more stuff. I do not mean this in anyway as a slam or commentary about whysnow, just saying this has been the pattern.
The reality is, other than a thorough audit/investigation of the finances, the plans for manufacturing, the plans around completion (e.g. software, etc.), can the viability and likelihood of the machines being produced be ascertained. If john would allow knowledgeable people to do that and report back, that would be of value and meaning to buyers and vendors -- however, I think we all have a pretty good sense of what that audit would show. Only via legal action will that happen, and that will likely end up in bankruptcy proceeding.
There is a very big difference between Kevin and John. Kevin committed fraud, he took in money under false pretenses claiming to have a license he he did not have. John has not committed fraud, I do not believe there is any evidence that he deliberately deceived anyone, he is just incompetent as a businessman, and like most small businesses he is likely to fail and go bankrupt.
Reality is those who have pre-paid, were investing in John and his vision, whether they saw it that way or not. Whether they recognized it or not, they were taking on the risk in expectation of being rewarded with a machine that would be limited and therefore have value and hopefully live up to expectations. Few if any did the due diligence to determine if John could pull this off, they were excited by the vision, by the possibilities.
I'm not saying the buyers have no right to be mad, and they certainly have the right to demand what they paid for, but I don't see this as fraud, and anyone who invested thinking this was a guarantee was fooling themselves.
I think the vendors and contractors who have been screwed, have a greater gripe, although they too had a responsibility to assess the viability of the business and their likelihood to get paid. In my business it is pretty rare that we ship product without first being paid. We do let some customers do invoicing/terms, but only after we have vetted them. If we choose to do that we recognize we are taking a risk. If someone does not pay, we do what we must to try to get payment.
Of course the other big difference between Kevin and John, is Kevin did actually produce a working prototype that was displayed and played in public.
I do not mean to diminish in any way what John has done or the fact that buyers and vendors have legitimate gripes, or to say they have not been screwed, they have. I hope that all vendors get paid and all buyers get their machines, but obviously that is looking less likely with each passing day.

Rosh - you're close to John's shop - why don't you go?

#8624 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Was this post designed to get like 40 response posts saying "me"? We all have hundreds of dogs in the fight, they're called pinsiders.

I agree, we should all be allowed to post as the pinball community. More interested in how many there are as a group as it seems nobody of the preorders is getting much/any info - even with NDA, those folks should be able to disclose whether there has been any news or responses.

I'm in Chicago area too. I've talked to John several times over the years, for more than a few minutes, at Expos - I like his games, but not a fanboy - John and I have met at Gameworks just to play new Stern release like Iron Man, etc as fellow pinheads checking out new games, design ideas and enjoy the fun of pinball.

I don't know where John's shop is, I haven't talked to him since Expo 2013. So all the recent sh*t to hit the fan was long after our early conversations about Magic Girl which was in early design and some prototype or the Heck Zombie idea, or our bitching over a game of Avatar that seemed a bit lacking.

But, if I could get in touch with John, I too would offer to rep for pre-order pinsiders and relay whatover onsite info I can gather. I think John's NDA was more for design ideas and prototype mechs protection of IP.

I've been onsite at Stern, JJP and Spooky - I'd like to see what John's shop looks like anyway.

#8711 5 years ago

And who is working on the software? I see all this hardware speculation on vendors, glass size, custom parts, vacuform ramps, etc. Without code - even the hardware, if any of it exists for the quantity of production games - doesn't mean squat.

#8735 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

Joey (and Roman) can cut PDI glass to any size you need. You're SOL on the Invisiglass though.

Why would JJP carry an odd size inviglass for 30 games?

#8736 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

How does one order replacement glass for this custom size?

Step 1. Have a game delivered
Step 2. break the glass
Step 3. Step 2 can't happen if Step 1 is never completed.

#8877 5 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

It's interesting that two guys (you Tony and Ben) that I've never heard say anything publicly bad about anyone are so pissed at John. Not giving either of you a hard time about it. It's just interesting that John pissed off two very even-keel tech guys to this point. Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking of working with John.

When you don't get paid, it changes things.
Does anybody think a vendor would open a new invoice for Jpop - ever again?

#9102 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

What's the price of MG, RAZA, and AIW combined? Is there some combination of those that adds up to 30k? Maybe two magic girls discounted to be 30k?

MG losses = price paid + legal fees to enforce contract + collection fees if needed + + +
A settlement request usually goes well beyond the value of the item or service itself.

#9104 5 years ago

I'm amazed at how many pre-order / buyers seem to be surprised at 100% dollar loss potential. Several hundred posts ago, who had pre-order MG $ at risk?... crickets.

But for those that are in, are you surprised?

JP isn't a business guy - he's a designer - artists and developers get help with the $finance decisions.

These ventures are a bet on the key man - purely gambling. Land speculation, start-ups or gambling with a lot of upside too - return v. risk. Should be no surprise the high reward bets can go to $0.

JJP was a bet, funded by past customers.
Spooky was a bet, self funded by Charlie and Ben. Took $ for a place in line as back-orders (after starting to make the games), not pre-orders. Charlie stayed standard and used known vendors.

Planetary MMr was a bet, less risky b/c it was an existing design, known parts (plus some major improvements like lights, boardset, etc). Rick had to create the subcontractor build process - but less risky as he had a game, and obviously was his own vendor for most parts.

Other projects are/were a bet solely on the person(s), and their access to $funds to buy parts, get a team & production line/space.

My guess is the bet is approaching 99% probability of zero return.

#9124 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

And this may well be the litmus test. Logic dictates he gives the guy his money. If he doesn't, then the financial questions have been answered. Now a run of these would do him in regardless. This is where the rubber meets the road on jpop's future.

At this point, if you get a refund, put it in savings. A bankruptcy would likely claw back any refunds.

#9254 5 years ago

Hmm, another Chicago builder... did have a new company and new game at Midwest gaming classic, right?
There may be people willing to trust the licensee, buy your position, and you are out, other buyers are added. You get out with $, new buyers get the builds, and games get made. Sign the agreement, but insist somebody buy your spot. Under this arrangement, I could see the licensee buying your spot, giving you your deposit, and reselling your spot. If posts start saying I got my money back, I'm out bc someone took over my order, then others may see this project will get done, and new folks might come in.
I don't think its a bad deal for current order holders, and also see bankruptcy without you all signing this agreement as being a true statement, and you seeing zero dollars.

My probability of preorders losing zero dollars is down from 99% to 25%. Sign the agreement, there is nothing to gain by not signing, a likely gain to your current $0 value if you do the agreement. Is not pressure, it's finally a decent plan that makes sense and is viable . If these aren't signed I think it's 100% chance you lose all deposits and would spend more money on a lawyers trying to find $0.

#9937 5 years ago

I am not in on Zidware pre-orders. I do know several that are, and I feel for them, and all of you in or out of this deal, b/c sad for anyone in pinball.

My add to the conversation is something new (I hope). Converting every one's deposit to a shareholder position, along with the new licensee, and as a group of owners, hire a factory, and start over with vendors, build games.

After reading the letter, and being involved in a few equity positions of small firms, there may be a way out using another approach.

1. Licensee is buying rights to build that title. Not liable for any $ sent or spent by John pre-June 1.
2. There are no assets for a 2nd or 3rd party to buy - prior pinball shutdowns sold remaining parts (hard assets) to one party, and licensing to another (for example PPS, now owns the Williams licensing and IP to be able to produce games, and get royalties on repro parts.)
3. Given #1, there is no money going to JPop, one benefit is that he bails from build commitment,
4. Given there are no assets, except maybe a few parts, Licensee is not buying Zidware, but taking over the license, newly converted deposits > shareholders would join her/him/them. If you don't convert your deposit to equity - the only other option for Zidware is bankruptcy ch 7. Vendors and deposits spend money to chase $0. ZW/JPop remains a debtor to vendors and folks that don't convert to an equity position.
5. Regardless of Zidware and JPop's financial outcome - a Licensee could still do the games on their own nickel.
6. June 1 appears to be a small fraction of signers, based on posts in this thread, and comment from buyers telling me themselves - the letter, in current form, is dead on arrival.
7. Unless Ice and others are correct about the "angel" having a big revival of trust that MG, etc. will get built - I doubt the Licensee will make any second offer that will be accepted.
8. I presume no amount of changing that letter/offer will change minds to sign it.

So what's the last ditch idea?:
A counter offer that Zidware deposit $ become shareholder $, so become equity owners of the License, along with the angel Licensee, with share of ownership equal to the amount deposited. Of course, to be confident as a part owner - you'd want to know who the big "Licensee" co-owner is (perhaps they have money down, and would be a shareholder anyway?).

A conversion does at least 3 things:
A. every body with $ in, gets a share of future games made - if the Licensee is right that 199 MG's can happen, you have the potential for upside. It might still fail, and you get $0, but at least high risk has a potential for high returns, without upside, your high risk has a return of just great harm. Re: rareness being part of the value of the $16k, at least you'd get some $ from new orders for yours being "less limited".
B. The lawsuit threat goes away for the new owners - drop the "no suing for 4 years" clause for the new entity, yet existing claims on Zidware / Jpop remain. In other words, conversions of deposit into equity shares, should prevent ability to sue yourself (as a new owner) or fellow co-owners.
C. Only those with enough energy remain "in" the project, and are cheering on the effort to get games done - some hope of getting your game, + some upside $ for the risk/pain taken.

What it doesn't do:
A. Can't guarantee anything. But your risk now has some $ return, vs. todays almost certain 100% loss.
B. Still leaves a problem of who is the management person/team. That may be the toughest part, but also some of these posts show some smart, savvy business guys that would be good candidates - should be a fellow shareholder who has skin in the game.
C. It isn't free. This new owner group would need to put in capital - a capital share equal to your new ownership - $ to get parts, hire a builder, and someone to manage all that business side.

An owners of GitRDone Pinall, it might look like this for example:
Lets assume 30 MG deposits at $8k , that's 240,000
Lets assume 100 RAZA deposits at $5k thats 500,000
Lets assume 50 AIW depositings at $5 250,000

Let's toss in a 10k rounding to get a $1,000,000 of deposits.
Every 10K in deposits is worth 1% ownership, and participate in future revenue from larger MG and RAZA production runs.

Lets guess MG BoM/labor at $9k per Bheck's estimate and a $1k profit per game. Sell another 100 magic girls and shareholders split 100K, i.e. a 10K original deposit = 1% = $1k per new MG sold.

To me, that's a bet i can think about, that has both up/down sides, and gets me something for my deposit rather than almost certain $0 in bankruptcy, and maybe below $0 if I have to pay someone to collect my claim. Remember, a claim from a judge, doesn't mean you won't have to pursue collection on that judgement.

#9939 5 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

New thought that I have not seen brought up:
What are the odds the "licensee" is just a LLC shell type company John has created to transfer his liability from himself to the new entity?
Sounds like madness, but from John's perspective it sounds like a perfect solution. He gets to protect himself, and he gets to keep noodling for another 4 or so years. It also explains the lack of logic in the plan.
Truly a desperation play, but in desperate times what else you gonna do?
Sorry if this was already brought out, it has been hard to keep up.

John's not that smart/business savvy.

#9997 5 years ago

No comments on my deposits converted to shares?

#9999 5 years ago


#10042 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.

Does it have an LCD?!!

#10401 5 years ago
Quoted from MinusWorlds:

Dear Poptasia,
Please explain how in any way, shape, or form, it's appropriate for John to receive potentially more money from this project whilst receiving no ramifications whatsoever for his past digressions?
Correct me if I'm wrong but under your "save the day" scenario JPop nor Poptasia have any obligation to issue refunds, correct? JPop/Zidware doesn't have to file for bankruptcy nor liquify any assets, correct? Poptasia now gets years to build the game and collect MORE money, correct?
For you to even think it's remotely acceptable to insinuate JPop will be paid for his work going forward is stupidity of epic proportions. This is not YOU looking out for pinheads. It's you saving JPop's ass and nothing more. No risk on your part, no risk on JPop's part and all the risk on the people you are asking MORE money from. The collective audacity of your "company" is bewildering. Your scenario is a joke, sounds more like a hostage situation than anything.

Mr Minus - do you have any money put towards orders at Zidware?

#10409 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

It seems unbelievable that the 'project' could continue, with no/few vendors being paid, and no pre-orderers refunded even a penny. For the vendors in particular, it is a disgusting, potentially bankrupting situation for them. They don't have an 'angel' to come in and rescue them! And they deserve such an eventuality far more than Jpop.
There are open clauses in the new agreement regarding future costs. It's wide open legally- no protection for the consumer, and of course a 'get out of jail free' clause for Jpop. No sensible person would sign up to this new agreement, and certainly not after 4 years and the lost money and all the shenanigans.
I emailed Jpop with a final request for refund before legal action. On the high likelihood he doesn't reply, I will be going to court over this, hopefully as part of a class action. I know that other people have contacted/will contact the attorney too.
So here's the reality of the situation- Jpop/Zidware is going to get sued. How does that affect this proposed new arrangement? Obviously, it kills it. So why are we pretending otherwise? Zidware is toast. It's over. MG/RAZA/AIW customers need to accept this reality NOW, and not perpetuate this nightmare any further. Maybe later, after the bankruptcy etc, other people can take these machines forward without resorting to a ponzi-type scheme. And I really have had enough of Jpop and his blasted legal agreements!! Enough already.
I accept that I'll probably not get my money back, but there is a point of principle here. And if Jpop has committed fraud, it's out of our hands anyway, because that will be investigated regardless of civil suits.
So people, please, wake up and smell the coffee! Zidware and this 'project' are dead.

I strongly encourage "ignore" for Pinballs, Sadsack and Major. Their pinside accounts are clearly new and used as anonymous trolls in this thread - not sure why, but they clearly don't seem to be ones with skin in the game. After you ignore, go back and read the posts from 10100 without the drivel - and it will change the tone of the conversation, to a more useful way to interpret the real feel of the posts.

#10418 5 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

New contact should be just what you want to do with your credit and a request to not bringing any lawsuits against John for the next 120 days. Why not make John truly work his 7 x 14 to finish this or face the firing squad. John should be consulting for free in a specified time frame in hopes of avoiding a lawsuit.

I would think the arrangement is John get's paid no $ for completing all the games preordered. JPop should only ever get more $ on new orders AFTER all preorder $ games are delivered - I think that's what I'm reading from Pintasia. There were several posts complaining JPop is getting consulting $, and I don't see that being what Pintasia said or implied.

#10420 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

I don't think it's sunk in yet for people that it's definitively over now. People are going to have to pay for MG etc again, and wait 4 years, again, and receive nothing, again.
Whilst I understand that we desperate suckers will grasp at any straw going, the fact is that this is over. For instance, when Zidware is declared bankrupt, its IP will be sold, and that means the new company cannot use it. That is, they cannot legally make MG etc.
Any new agreements that people think they've made will be unpicked and voided.
It is now time to leave the casino, and stop listening to the conmen.

Again, click "ignore" for this guy. Now he is spewing false information - the letters say 2 years for MG, not 4. The only forum comments this guy has made per his profile is on this thread, so this account was solely for trolling this thread.

#10422 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I was thinking more about this. "Collectors Edition" and the $16,000 price tag, while the classic edition will be far cheaper.
As far as I can tell, the only reason $16K was ever brought up by John and why anyone signed up for it, was not because it was such a great design, it was because it was double super limited. 13 pins, would surely cost more to build (per pin) than 199 pins or 199 plus unlimited classic pins. Duh. So people paid extra to be one of 13 (not one of 199+).
So the classics will be cheaper obviously. This reflects the fact that the pin does not cost $16K to make. $16K was a number for a run of 16 pins. The reason they're charging extra (I suspect) is so they can absorb the 'discount' to the people that got ripped off by John. In other words, lets say the rest of the money owed on average is like $7500. They may just break even on the first 199 or even lose money if it really costs like $9K per pin to build. If the classic editions sell for $12K, they can realize a small profit on those.

But the 13 super limited was expanded to 25, and the 14-25 added orders paid the same 16k even though there were going to be 25, not 13, exclusive limited editions. What should be being asked, is what makes up the difference between the classic and LE MG's to warrant $10 v. $16k, what do you get for your extra $6k?? That's an entire Spooky title #2.... is for extra bling, a shaker, better speakers - $6k is a whole lot of BoM for adding LE stuff.

#10430 5 years ago

Wow, October Expo should be entertaining in Chicago this fall.
Look at all the things that will have happened or will have to be explained away by then....

Heighway - Full Throttle should have some games in buyers hands by July.
Spooky will announce title #2 in June
Dutch should have BL shipping by end of summer.
JJP Hobbits should be shipped in August (at least I think that's the most recent date in the Hobbit thread).
Lawsuit outcomes should be trickling in re: SkitB/Pred and ZIdware (regardless what happens with the Pintasia deal)
Pintasia will either be giving info on the manufacturer of MG, have a status for other RAZA preorders and announcing vendors are being paid - or that they failed to get a deal, or failed to pay vendors (who won't sell them another dime of parts until back-invoices are paid).

#10460 5 years ago
Quoted from MinusWorlds:

No I don't. What's your point? I did email back with John prob a yr ago RE: AIW. Got his packet of info. He flaked on communication a couple of times and I decided not to do it.

My point is you are sounding pretty pissed and calling out Pintasia, when you don't have any $ in this. Sure, we as a community, hate to see all this happen, and fellow collectors get hosed - but I'm trying to understand why you are addressing them, when you aren't part of their letter request.

#10463 5 years ago
Quoted from Major:

Yes, my account is new. So what? Yours was at one time too. I haven't trolled anything, just given thumbs ups and thumbs down as I see things. Calling someone a troll who hasn't posted a word and telling people to put them on ignore... nice welcome to Pinside, thanks. Keep up your little bubble and watch for the next pre-pay fiasco.

It seems odd you only created the account, to only be active (11 months late), on this thread only. To me, even if its just up/down votes, is trolling. Obviously you'll vote down any thing I post here from now on, regardless of whether you agree with the thought or not.

#10465 5 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

That sentiment is real enough. He is saying how easily 2 years has turned into 4 already and it likely would happen again. Hardly spewing anything.

Not what I meant - Pintasia letter said 2 more years, and that's a true statement. Saying its 4 more years is false, b/c that's not what the letter says.

#10467 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Why do you keep calling them this? lol

I corrected it Greg - Lol back at ya'

#10644 5 years ago

I apologize for my rant on major, pinballs and sad sack. Major, I know you are a victim in this. Besides, regardless on being $ at risk or just a pinsiders, as a group, we deserve justice as a community. Emotions got the best of me yesterday - and I posted poorly , venting behind the keyboard.

Also, Major, thank you for your service, I do feel bad about my comments, and want to be on everyone's side looking for some positive outcome.

Thanks for reading - I truly am sorry.

#10646 5 years ago

Re: Illinois attorney general complaint.... It does get results, many stories of successful cases, either resolved pre or post court date, from a competent group of people who do protect the people.

#10697 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

All of the blue boards were designed and manufactured by GLM as well. These are the lamp boards for both the GI and the RGB lighting system. The original insert lighting system was based on RGB "pixels". There are three of them in the picture (flat metal squares). These "pixels" were reverse engineered and then built with various configurations to fit all of the different type of inserts that were going to be used.
A small minor note of interest, purple was the original color John wanted for all of the PCBs. Unfortunately purple is a custom color (please don't mention OSHpark or any of the other prototyping houses) and very difficult to get in small volume production runs. I then convinced John to do blue, primarily because of time crunch issues (gotta get it ready for that Expo reveal!). So a majority of the boards produced were in blue.
Later John toyed with the idea of doing black before settling on...standard green.

Did he want to invent 565 bulbs to innovate from the boring 555 model? Its easy to see how the BoM could go from 5000 to 15000 in no time. Handcrafted "everything" is not what folks were expecting - handcrafted mechs, magnet tricks, weird ramps w/magnet holds or goofy paths - sure, that's Totan and ToM Jpop tactics - but custom color boards, spiked bolts, odd size glass, aluminum molds, custom hinges, playfield raising mechanisms - I bet even the lock mechanism for the lock-down bar is redesigned. Will the pinballs be standard size? Round?
Bill and team could standardize at least the unseen stuff (blue or black boards, really?) - cutting boM could be done w/o killing the unique inventions/features.

#11333 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

Ben - you and Charlie played with John. Can he play pinball?

John and I played Iron Man, Sopranos and a few other titles - he's actually a good pinball player.

#11568 5 years ago

There seems to be many conflicting uses of the terms license, asset and liability here. If I understand the last 11500+ posts, it seems Wc and group at Pintasia have bought a license to build games. They are borrowing MG from Zidware to complete a working prototype to be at the NW pinball show to see if there is interest - from pre-order buyers to stay in and from potential new orders to bring the MG production run to 199. A license doesn't not mean Pintasia buys any part of Zidware. Assets would include any physical or virtual parts of the game (hardware and software, including data in design files) - so they get none of that. They don't inherit the IOU's of deposits that have been made (so no liabilities) nor any liabilities to vendors (which seems like there is a lot of open invoices to many/all vendors of programming, parts, art work, etc.). What we are all struggling to understand is that many of the liabilities are outstanding accounts payable - so where is all the cash? - if you didn't pay any invoices, and you only leased space and machines - there should be a lot of cash in paypal.
For simplicity though - lets assume all the cash went to leases and salary - and Zidware has nothing except a shelf of parts and a few cabinets/playfields/boards that appear to total maybe 3 machines in total.

So that would inform everyone with a Zidware accounts payable claim(i.e. unpaid vendors, service providers and customers with deposits) on what decision to make. If there are $0 in assets, except the game going to NW pinball, plus some parts, you could split that by your deposit/total deposits.

All the civil complaints and suing for money back, may win judgements, but I would say if $0 cash to pay you, then Zidware/John will not be able to pay, and collection agencies will need to be hired (by each depositor?). In bankruptcy, there would be large costs of discovery, and net payout to investors after legal and discovery expenses, would be very low or zero.

I think the only logical decision left, is to give Bill and group the 33 days until June 30, before deciding whether or not to transfer your deposit claim to Bill in the form of Pintasia credits. If you don't transfer your deposit claim to Pintasia - you are trying to get $ out of a stone (or you can bet on the chance of there being some $cash - but know that is will be depleted by claims, legal fees, judgements and collection costs) .

If you transfer your deposit claim in exchange for Pintasia credits - then you have to give up your right to sue in order for Pintasia to honor those credits (which MAY worthless). Those credits are the only thing I see that might have value to you as a depositor.

For credits to have value - the NW reveal has to convince depositors and new potential buyers that MG is worth taking to production (by worth = do shots feel right, is the art cool in person, do I think the Pintasia team has a viable manufacturer lined up?). Also, enough depositors have to convert to Pintasia credits (whether in on MG, RAZA or AIW) so that they know if they should proceed or ditch.

Maybe this will help with the use of asset, liability or license. Right now the posts are pretty confusing b/c these words are getting mixed together.

#11738 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

It's been said already but it's worth repeating. We all do. I may not have money on this game, but I have friends who do. It hurts me to see them hurt/stressed/taken advantage of. It sours the hobby for all of us.

But, Greg, honestly, you don't have a decision to make about the current deal on the table - we all have an interest in things ending well for people we know that do have $ at risk, and go well for all of us as a whole, because it sucks to have a hobby be a thorn in your side, it should be fund, so it does hurt, emotionally. Posts over and over saying the same thing just adds to the downer side of that dead horse. Lets bury the horse instead of standing in a circle around the horse saying what a shame that horse died. Lets move on so that we can stop wasting time on the past.

And re: many posts on soured on the hobby - or even my ToM. John doesn't mean that much to me - the company of Bally made those games, not John. I'm certainly not going to feel bad talking to other pinheads at shows, or playing my collection or playing in tourneys. This will be a footnote in a pinball book someday, but I'm not bailing b/c of John P - why give him that power of your happiness about pinball?

If pinball makes you stressed or mad - only then should you walk away from it.

#11746 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Thanks Applejuice! There you go - the playable whitewood no one new existed because no one was "allowed to talk". Absolutely baffling why John didn't bring this to Expo '13 or '14.

No kidding - this may have saved the project with an expo 13 or 14 reveal.
Why didn't he do that????

#11837 5 years ago

Has anybody, with $ on preorders, been to the Zidware location in the past 3 months?

#11862 5 years ago
Quoted from Hitch9:

Somebody should make a t-shirt: "I read the whole Pinside JPOP update thread and survived it"

wasted 24 hours, and wish I didn't.

#12078 5 years ago
Quoted from Honch:

I think people just want to know the truth about the possibility of you being involved with ponzi schemes, or people that were involved currently working with you.

Geez Honch - Bill is a good guy. He has a good reputation. Pinside has become RGP. Most of these posts are negative. Ive only counted about 3 of the last 100, that at most said, hey we might have a shot lets see what unfolds until June 30.

The ponzi scheme theory is BS. That's the truth.
A ponzi scheme takes new investments and promises a bigger return that is possible - you all a promised the the same return - a game - no more, no less.

#12099 5 years ago

The large $ are think were spent on prototype parts - ie. machine this mech and lets see how it works, redraw, remake, try again - almost every part on this game, from side rails to apron to the spikey bolts were custom made, likely at larger costs that you realize. Spooky is standard parts, except for a few specific 3d stuff (Ghost, upper lanes, a few brackets underneath PF) and the powder coat ramps. Most all else was not in need of parts drawings, protos, or re-protos for tweaks. I think most of the time and $ were put into design, drawings and custom part making.

#12105 5 years ago

it would be easy to spend $900k on prototyping if you had every piece of stainless custom made to size, strength and specs - and certainly took more that one try per part. I understand everything from cabinet to BG size is different than any past pin. I cannot recall, but some of the vendor posts said they were being paid up until late 2014?? Which would mean at least some $ went vendors and contractors before 2015?
There is a lot of money that was spent on design and prototyping parts that was spent, but did not result in 10 final parts sitting on a shelf. There is still more $ sitting in playfields, and working mechs on a least a few games.
But its a big chunk of $ in parts, prototypes, spent with fabricators - there is probably nothing in the bank account, but there was a lot of money spent b/c it was nearly ALL custom parts. I could easily see $12k in BoM on this game if you design a custom part and only hand-make 19 of them.

Ask Terry how much just a tool/bender/custom fabrication unit is for a part. Lets say a lockdown bar tool/fabrication setup costs $10,000. At $100 retail, you need to sell 100 units just to break even on the fixed costs. Say there is $50 material and $25 in labor in each unit. $at 25 gross margin, you need 400 units to cover variable and fixed cost just to break even. And only then do you make $25 in profit starting at unit 401.

Zidware Jpop designs the same part at $10000 plus $75 to make each unit and makes 20 of them. thats $500 fixed cost + $75 variable cost PER part. $575 for the custom, $100 for the standard.

It would only take 100 parts at $10k design/proto and final tooling to add up to get to $100,000 in cost. If its 200 parts and it takes 5 tries at $10k each thats a million. And you still only have 200 custom parts. The you need software, boards (all custom from what I know), playfield printing, art iterations with Jeremy, plus you'd need to add on assembly labor.
I can easily see $1000,000 gone without having more than a few games, and lots of tooling for the custom parts. BUT thats just the "get all done for planning out the design and parts". So where's the cash to actually pay labor and the factory and the actual parts made from the prototyping.

Enter Pintasia - they buy the license rights to all the tooling and the art. That's IP, not much actual hardware parts in hand, so I would say its likely the assets cant be turning into cash unless you spend the next $100k putting the game together, and maybe finish proto on 5 or 6 remaining parts.

Bill takes it to NW - if reception is good, he adds another couple $100k to risk building and getting the rest of $ or new orders to make & deliver all the games orders - or make as many as folks signed up for in the June 30 agreement, and refund those that decided to not sign up by June 30.

If Pintasia goes to NW and reception is bad - walk away, lose his game and the $100k - he is willing to toss that as "at least I tried", but I can afford to lose it all, but if it works, we might not lose money (I don't think he's going to make any, even if the all 125 pre-orders either get games or a combo of games delivered and refunds. WHat the June 30 deadline letter says is No refunds guaranteed, but Bill has said in this god-awful long thread, that his plan is make all 125 folks whole - you have to take his work for that, as I don't see that in the Pintasia offer letter.

Or if you don't sign or Pintasia gives it a go but decides to drop it due to lack of participation - good luck in suing Zidware or John - you can fight over the tooling and Cad drawings - there isn't any $.

#12166 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm curious, to those that have seen it - Is there much compelling reason to have such a deep/custom playfield and cabinet? It seems to me from the little I've seen that the game could have been engineered for regular depth. Some changes obviously, but for the costs of going "custom everything", there doesn't seem to be that much added to the game? A curly ramp and a mini playfield? Both I'm sure could be modified to fit a regular game.

I've seen it, yesterday. Yes, most everything is custom. It could be changed to a standard rails, apron - all kinds of stuff - but it won't be handmade or small run custom designed parts anymore.

For other readers who don't think there could be $6k difference in BoM from the handmade v. "standard available" parts - see my earlier post from a few hours ago.

#12168 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

Yea, unless he is legally bound for some reason to keep the details of the deal confidential i think those beans should be spilled. It would build a foundation of trust & transparency.

Maybe Bill has "spilled" to those with an order. Why would any pinsider be entitled or expect any deal specifics on $ to be posted here?

#12176 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

You have to think big picture. Does Pintasia just want to appease current buyers and close shop or do they want new customers? For me to be a new customer I want that info.

There will be a billion pictures at the NW show. Pintasia will likely share tons of details and feedback they get at the show. New customers will need to be sold on the whole concept and know its feasiable, and Bill and team and us will know alot more by June 15.

#12197 5 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

He's a mucho annoying troll that was banned to the graveyard of 'ole RGP. Over there he has an audience of about 12 people

The account has been on pinside for .... 12 hours.

#12477 5 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

The last pictures posted of John didn't look too well. How is his health?
Maybe he's fighting other things, while trying to complete the impossible.

John's health is fine. Probably not in my best interest to write these next two lines....Everybody seems to have glossed over my post that I was there Thursday in his Zidware shop and talked to him about the Pintasia deal, saw what's there, etc. Its not like I was taking inventory or anything, but I'm surprised nobody asked me to elaborate.

#12479 5 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

There's 100 percent chance Zidware is going belly up. He pulled Facebook and his website. Lawsuits are filled. Do you think he will win the lawsuit?

I agree the liabilities exceed assets by a long ways. My understanding is Pintasia is offering you to transfer your Zidware liability (i.e. your pre-order $) into Pintasia credits towards a machine by 6/30. I don't have any Pintasia terms, except what's been posted in this god-awful long thread 200 or so posts ago. Even if all customer liabilities of Zidware transfer their prepay $ to Pintasia, there are probably liabilities to vendors left against at least some of the parts ZIdware has on the shelves.
My view is that if you don't transfer your ZIdware liability to Pintasia (which also requires your agreeing to not leave any legal claim against Zidware), your liability will likely be wiped out in any collection effort after Zidware bankruptcy.

You have until June 30 to decide where the best chance of getting something - as a Zidware liability worth 0 or as a Pintasia liability that might get you a game (or at least your deposits" worth towards a game).

#12487 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Would you mind elaborating?

First, I had no intention of going there to do any research or investigation for pinside. I had some art John's was going to sign, and I needed it before father's day. Given what I saw in this thread, I hesitated to say I was even there, and I'll probably regret saying I was. I do think some elaborating may help you guys - but if it doesn't, ignore me.

My thoughts and observations....
1. The game isn't in the front office anymore, its with the Pintasia folks getting stuff done so it can be at NW show.
2. anything I would say about John's comments to me on the situation, would get flamed - I'll share my thoughts on a few conclusions of mine... John realizes his reputation is trashed (for life) & he isn't a business guy. I feel John genuinely hopes Bill's team does make the games. I fell John never planned for any of this messy end-game to happen, and I feel he isn't a crook trying to steal $. I don't think John admitted to himself, that it was over for Zidware doing this alone, until the last 2 weeks or so. I think Bill's conversations with him the past 30-60 days, and the threat/serving of lawsuits created an action point.

Here's what I was thinking as John pointed out stuff on the MG (the 2nd proto and 3rd proto were in cabinets).
3. The game is beautiful in person.
4. Almost every part is custom - the costs to design, draw, proto and make these parts with custom tooling would have easily blown all the deposit $. Its easy for me to see the 10k game being done w/many standard parts, and its also clear that the 13,29,25 whatever the # of LE/custom/original MG will have $6k more costs in it just for the fact all the parts are uniquely made and crafted. When you custom design everything, you have to custom design tools to make it all. Cabinets to backglass to bolts. I'm not even sure all the screws and bolts are #6 and #8 standard!
5 Cost v. value. It will cost more for the custom v. Pintasia standard. But is it worth $6k more?- I don't know - an apron is and apron, whether its standard metal Stern or odd-sized, custom cut stainless with a special finish. SPikey leg bolts v. 8 standard bolts - probably big cost difference to draw, tools and produce spikey v. standard - what do you think , $200 more for a set - but its $200 v. $20 buck a set - no function added, but theres another cost diff, but not a value diff.
Then again, some may value the $6k diff of worth in just the sordid tale of all the variety of custom parts attempted.
6. Jeremy's artwork is stunning in person. I saw RaZA and AIW (in black and white full foam core cabinet and BG).
7. I'm going to keep my opinion to myself as to what parts or other things in his shop are worth - I have no idea.
8. John is still working... on playfields, content, parts and design in the hopes Pintasia can make games. I was surprised to see him there, honestly.
9. I didn't / couldn't take any pics b/c none of the art, parts, designs, etc. belong to John/Zidware any more - all the IP is owned by Pintasia.
10. I do think Pintasia will be able to make the games - The next 30 days with the reveal and actions taken by the 100 or so buyers/pre-orders will tell. I say 100, b/c many bought multiple games or both titles.

#12495 5 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Seriously if there is information to share, share it, why the need to be asked for it??

Because of snide comments like this.

#12512 5 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

What does this mean? You mean everything in his studio does not belong to him anymore?
That's not cool at all.

That's not what it means. Pintasia bought the ideas - drawings, part ideas, etc. They did not buy any assets - so yes, everything at Zidware is still belonging to John. Bill said he "borrowed" the machine to take to NW show. see post 11414.

#12513 5 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

He does not have until June 30th.

Bill has until June 30, as Pintasia will have the full list of those owners who signed and those who didn't. You mean John doesn't have until June 30? John has already given Pintasia the license. The cases against John or Zidware aren't affected by Pintasia's offer that expires June 30.

#12514 5 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

and not a word to any other customers........

Not true, Pintasia sent info directly, or talked to owners, or put stuff on the Facebook owners group.

#12517 5 years ago
Quoted from Strohz:

Interesting, did John actually tell you this? If it was just a straight up licensing agreement as Pintasia has been saying, wouldn't John still control it? Plus, there has been far more photos/videos released in the past two weeks than two years so seems like Pintasia--if they now own the IP--likely would have been supportive of that if it helps generate excitement for the product.

I said I wouldn't to John, and John asked me not to b/c of the Pintasia agreement. It is a licensing to Pintasia issue, John doesn't control the intellectual property any longer. The videos were from before the agreement, and then recently, the pics Bill released are the only recent pictures I've seen. I'm not sure what you'd want pictures of, that you haven't already seen.

The picture Bill showed of the game in the front office at Zidware is the same office I saw Thursday, except the cabinet and playfield are now with Pintasia, on loan, going to the NW show.

#12520 5 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

Hahaha. John has shown this will not be the case. He already negotiated a salary for himself.

How do you know he negotiated a salary for himself? I think you are guessing, right?

#12524 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Actually, Bill just "licensed" what Zidware owns. The right to use the IP and the assets. I don't know if its "exclusive" or "nonexclusive" or considered, as the general rule, an executory contract.
The federal statutes and case law is complicated in this area in the event of bankruptcy.
Pretty sure that's why Bill was working so hard up front to avoid litigation for John. I wouldn't want to spend a whole bunch of money either and then have the progress halted/slowed down due to the bankruptcy.
In any event, I'm looking forward to seeing a flipping MG next week and what could have been!

Right on, Iceman. Bill licensed what Zidware owns. ZIdware owns the MG game Bill is borrowing for the June 5 show. Bankruptcy would delay, halt or stop completely anything Pintasia is trying to do to salvage something to show us later this week and pull together re: a manufacturing deal, etc. by June 30.

I suppose (but don't know) an involuntary bankruptcy could be filed and started - but why not wait until June 30 to see what Pintasia can pull together? If they can pull together a flipping game by Friday, I think they earned the benefit of the doubt so see what they can accomplish by then.

#12525 5 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...

I see your point. Doesn't look like anything has been emptied out at all - its a pretty full place. But the pics I've seen in the past, of the row of RAZA, some of the PF pics, Bills picture of the office with the game on "the rug", all that stuff is still there, and pretty much in the same spot as when those pics were taken months ago.

My point is that there are parts and partial games, and "stuff" that are hard assets sitting there - but I doubt there is much of a bank balance in the checking account - like Bill Brandes said, enough to pay the rent and lights for one more month.

FYI - it was 85 that day, there was no A/C on, John turned off the lights as we left a room - the desk and chair are old used furniture. I'm not defending anything - I'm just pointing out there wasn't any bling there.

#12534 5 years ago
Quoted from ShaunoftheDead:

Can someone who has paid into this or is owed money for services/parts supplied swoop in with a court order and seize the game?

I doubt it, b/c the trade receivables are likely unsecured by any particular asset.

#12538 5 years ago

I would think it might work something like right of first refusal. Using some round numbers, for example:
Game 1 is made and ready to ship, Owners 1, 2 and 3 have put in $5k deposits, and the game final price is $15k.
Owner 1 and 2 pass and want refunds, owner 3 says he's in, and pays his $10k and gets his game, Owner 1 & 2 get their 5k back.
Pintasia/wcbrandes said 7 days/500 posts ago.... as games get made, the $ will go to the folks who want refunded or they'll get their games, and he will take his game last (i.e. after everyone else is made whole or either a delivery or refund).

Lets assume 10 games are made at $15k, and the pattern continues, 2 get refunded and 3rd guy takes delivery.
That would satisfy 30 MG orders (20 get out at full refund of their $5k, 10 have paid in another $100000 - Pintasia has nothing, but has completely taken care of first 30 MG orders).

Now there are the 100 RAZA orders - who could have converted to the MG queue, or wait for RAZA. Lets say the pattern continues, except its 1 refund, and every other guy gets the MG regular for $10k, so he pays $5k, and RAZA 1 is refunded. That pattern goes for 50 MG games, odds are refunded, evens get an MG.

AT that point - 30 MG Limited orders have been filled, 20 refunds, and 10 games delivered.
100 Raza orders are filled. 50 refunds, 50 games built and delivered.

Pintasia still has $0, and is actually in the hole by 60 games BoM, which is probably around the $100k Bill mentioned he'd be out just taking this risk to get the MG's done, parts ordered, built, etc.

But.... now Pintasia has met all Zidware commitments, has the license for MG, Raza and AIW, and can build 149 more MG standards. Let's assume they can build for $9k, sell for 10k. Its going to take 100 more MG sales to break even on their 100k. That would bring the total to 10 LE, and 150 standard MG delivered.

So with 49 games left, at $1k profit each, THEN Pintasia starts to make money.

They have also much of the RAZA parts and design and art done, at least it looks pretty much done for those steps.

Pintasia does the remaining proto and design for what? $50 k?
Then they can break even on game 51 of RAZA adding $1k to the kitty for AIW.

It is feasible but will take a long time.

#12547 5 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

I didn't notice any profits in those numbers. Good luck on that.

Go back and look at wcbrandes posts - he's not in it for profit. Heck, he isn't even expecting to get his $100k of NEW money back for quite a while, and his machine will be last. SO ... yeah, there was no profit in those #'s.

#12554 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

Until we see the contract between him and JPop, nobody knows what "he's in it for."
He can tell you all anything he wants. He can "outline the deal" to the buyers, but if nobody has seen the agreement, ultimately, nobody knows what the deal is.
All this speculation could be instantly ended if he published the contract between him and JPop.
There is obviously a reason he won't go into details. If he's not in it for the money, then what is there to hide? If he wants to help everybody out, then what's there to hide?
There's only one reason to keep the contract secret.

Good point - all I know it what Bill is telling here in this thread. I don't expect the contract to be published on pinside. Why does Bill/Pintasia need to disclose the details in public? Proof will be in the game shown at NW show, and what Bill can provide us with re: info on a manufacturer deal and vendors getting paid. Actions are the only things that matter.

#12664 5 years ago
Quoted from pin-pimp:

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

There is a big circular ramp.

#12672 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

Holy cow. How can this be true? Were those hot glued foamcore and plastic ramps just for show? How could we get to this point without anyone ever shooting them?

The swirl ramp is in the game, and is functional.

#12864 5 years ago
Quoted from BloodyCactus:

so.. how did pintasia get all the assets and ip? is there a bill of sale? transfer? do they now own zidware debt? is this even legal?
before, the debtor pyramid was companies owed, and people who paid money in up front.
with people doing the pintasia credit thing, do pintasia now become the largested creditor owed? and being largested creditor would get first pick over the assets?
by pintasia getting all the parts/ip/designs ownership does this just wipe whats owed to other creditors of zidware, seems shaky to grab all ip/assets as one company goes bankrupt before court divies it up to the creditors.
I cant get my head around the legalities of whats gone on between pintasia<>zidware<>creditors.

Since you quoted my post - here's what I know - and some has been posted in the past couple hundred items.
So heres a summary/bump
John said it was a short agreement for the license IP to make the game. I am pretty sure Per Bill's posts here and what John told me Monday, there is no purchasing of parts, hard assets, or games in progress (even the proto going to the NW show is "borrowed"), and no assets means Pintasia does NOT own customer or vendor debt. In sum, what Pintasia has is the right to build the games, selectively take over your Zidware $ into Pintasia "credits", and if you transfer, you waive your right to have any further claim on ZIdware.

Or you can ignore the Pintasia agreement, not convert your Zidware $ order to Pintasia credits. That group of owners has recourse to Zidware via courts, but then its a decision /risk - can I and/or a group get a collective judgment and collection court-ordered, and part 2 of that risk , how does collection of $ for liquidating parts, assemblies, custom boards - whatever - work? THen how is the cash distribution work, based on your % of money deposited. It gets fuzzy for me on how the liquidation, bankruptcy, court process looks like - both details, time and $ to pursue that path. Its been stated by both John and Bill, that's likely a bankruptcy/court process with no cash in the bank, as its all wrapped up in proto parts, die cut patterns, etc. I would think most of what would be liquidated, would barely cover the costs of the court and collection steps involved.

Again, I'm not a party to the agreement, but that's my summation.

#12869 5 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

John is the ONLY problem here. I resisted this for a long time because I wanted to see these machines and the work I put into them. I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I liked him. It's not like it was a pleasure working with him all the time, bear in mind. Whether I was being delusional or selfish, I'm getting a pretty clear picture now thanks to the last few weeks.
One question keeps coming back to me: If John could lie for years purporting to be doing the art himself, why would I think he would be honest about ANYTHING? Or capable to DO anything himself? It saddens me to even think some of what i now do about him - but the evidence is pretty overwhelming.
So I probably shouldn't share this - but I think it's important because Bill will catch hell from some here regardless of the showing at NW - BUT here goes... The prototype - John's LAST ditch effort to prove himself and possibly earn an ounce of goodwill back to his toxic reputation - was all based on pure horse excrement...
John said it would be ready by last weekend. It wasn't. Monday? Not even close. Tuesday? Nope.... Bill was taken for a ride in this, albeit an extended one by comparison to most - based on the info John presented and trusting it. BUT he pushed through - a team of local owners came in to dig John out and get something out of nothing over the past days. That team got it functioning at 2am this morning. Right now the machine is leaving Chicago for NW.
Unfortunately in all of this, and personal circumstances beyond my control, I won't be riding or attending NW afterall. It saddens me because I wanted to see MG just once in a working form and buy Bill & anyone involved a few rounds of drinks.
Argue that it was futile all you want - but at least someone tried. It definitely wasn't John.

I was one of the local collectors that helped. John was not watching, he was doing. I got home at 230 am last night/this morning, after taking vacation from my real job for M and Tu. I think Bill knew it was a stretch to get it to Tacoma by this weekend - he sent someone from his area, to help assemble and transport the came - he's not part of Pintasia. So yeah, a couple of us tried (and completed) the assembly. It was all there, but not all assembled, now it is. You all will see for yourself this weekend - I'm sure it will be the most quickly photographed, uploaded, posted game in 2015 - with reactions all over the place with opinions good and bad.

#12872 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.

Almost - those are protos that do have a lot of working assemblies - but much of it was redesigned in look and function into the game you'll see (in person or immediatedly posted photo/video). I took a pretty good look between games and playfields, schematics as we were assembling and testing.

#12882 5 years ago
Quoted from pin-pimp:

well my ramps look good in there. game looks appealing. im going to the show tomorrow. will be interesting weekend.
Ben you going? met you there last year.

Pin-pimp. Your ramps do look great in the game! If you don't like the metal connection underneath the two half circles, blame me. I don't have a game on order, I'm just a local collector in the loop with Chicago area pinheads, coders, suppliers and designers. I decided to help these last two days to give everyone a change to judge and decide what to do if I had a preorder. I would hope someone would step up if the game was being made in Seattle and I had $ in here in Chicago with a reveal at Expo. You guys deserve to see it.

Things we did were assembly, testing and tweaking final part fitting, a lot of little adjustments to connector placements or such - minor stuff - with a lot of small step testing.

I'm not looking for any atta boy - but you deserve a game to see and judge, and to know the game is done, and hopefully with no bugs created in transport, be able to play the game (or see someone playing) and let the chips fall where they may.


#12891 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I hope you took some photos of the shop and general contents. It could be valuable for placing a time marker on the assets contained int eh shop when this goes to further litigation.

Any response to that is a no-win. I see your point though.

#12895 5 years ago
Quoted from MXV:

I consider myself very lucky that the timing worked out that he flaked out on me and started blowing me off after he paid me for my work up to that point so I walked away not being owed any money. I feel horrible for everyone of you who got ripped off by him but I can't say the outcome surprised me.

Lucky indeed. Good judgment on not having any IOUs.

#13110 5 years ago

Why not start a ZombieYeti thread? I think he deserves more exposure v. buried in this 13k+ thread of marathon postings.

#13112 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

Is this strictly a civil case? I'm curious why there is no discussion of fraud or criminal charges? My first response had I been in this situation would be to contact the local AG and file some kind of fraud complaint. After all, people paid for a product and that product was never delivered. Does Zidware have a merchant account? They could lose control of that as well. Did anyone pay with Paypal? Paypal will freeze their account over fraud claims.

Discussed a couple dozen times - search the thread for "fraud" "criminal" "civil" "complaint" "Paypal"

#13251 5 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

It was chosen (I was told) because it was far away from the kids zone and could be easily pulled off the floor if drama develops. Makes me wonder what others know that I don't?
FAST Pinball

With all the threats, lawsuits, and posts - don't you think Bill has a right to be cautious? Some of the comments here have been pretty wild and I would have my guard up as well as a plan B (escape route). From setting it on fire to throwing pinballs at the cabinet - are people serious or joking?

#13263 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Tell me the owl is a joke. Looks like a happy meal toy glued down.
No offense to the guys that burned the midnight oil to get it to this stage but wow. That game looks sooo incomplete. Not off to a good start imo.

Well since I spent 24 hours Mon and Tues - yeah, it is kind of offensive.

#13264 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

My anger is at John, although PDX has been part of John's charade by telling us over and over again John had more than we've seen and about playing a "near complete" game 7 months ago.
There is no more hiding the state of it. We're seeing today the best that can be done with it, 7 months after being told "near complete" and a final 2-week push getting ramps made and putting it together.
Here's a nice little flashback posted by John October 23, 2014:

Frolic - are you at least going to the NW show to see it in person? It looks pretty good from the "putting it together" perspective as I helped PDX monkey and John until 2am Wed. You guys need to focus on the present, and ignore all the speculation and bull crap comments - see the game and say whether you are in or out.

#13271 5 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

Hey Dgarrett, thanks for your efforts helping to get the game together.
I hope MG blows everybody away.

Thanks. I'll show two pics from Tuesday afternoon. Not sure why, they'll just be more flames, assumptions and wrong guesses about what's missing or what isn't missing - but here goes. The while blocks in the back with the arrows, were temp spacer guides for the monitor brackets before we put them back in, there were some zip ties being added to the wires behind the monitor, those right side wires won't show - this is not the final pic before loading. We hadn't reinstalled the right back plastic next to the monitor. Yes, the prototype schematics are in the upper left part of the pic - we used full size, full color documentation that was complete for lamps, flashers, switches and coils to double-check connections, wire colors, etc. Nothing is final, final until production. For example, we didn't have the final right-sized motor for the lion saw, rather than put on a temp placeholder, we left it off.
I can answer a few questions, but I'm just a minion, and its not my product - I'm not an owner and didn't ask for pay - its just to give it a chance to be judged, good or bad, and for Bill/Pintasia to have a shot at showing a close-to-final game.
Notice: If Bill wants the pics taken down - I'll do so.

#13273 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

No, that's AceJedi. Good guy.

Monkey is on the right, and a heck of a nice guy.

#13280 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Offensive, lmao. I acknowledged the efforts of the volunteers. I will reiterate it again. What the volunteers have done is commendable. Having said that, there are lots of eyes on this project. By design in fact. Many of those eyes belonging to potential buyers. If you think just because a handful of guys worked hard to get the game presentable buys a game being peddled for $16k a break; you're sorely mistaken.
So what? We should lie and say it looks great? Gotcha.

I appreciate the nod to the volunteers. Opinions on Value, color, looks, game play, features will be all over the place. $16k buys a lot of other pins - many thought 1 pin might be worth $16k - I didn't bite on that offer, no pin is worth that to me. Some would not pay a dime for an EM, some restored ones go for $4k - that's what makes a market. The game will speak for itself and folks will love it or trash it or be, meh. Doesn't matter how much time or volunteer effort, I agree.

#13287 5 years ago
Quoted from TecumsehPlissken:

Dgarrett are you in ??

Never was. There's always a chance later, but I'm waiting for the June 30 date b/c a lot more info will be known about a go/no go production possibility.

#13290 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.

Well said. Thanks Ben.

#13293 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

» YouTube video

I'm gonna watch the Hitler meme again - post of the year. #13027.
We likely have to wait until tomorrow to see pics and video of the game.

#13327 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

You expect people to make a 16K decision based on the game in its current state??

I don't expect anything of anyone making a decision at this point. Do what you want.

#13335 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

One of the weekends I was at John's shop, he had a multi-level wood cut sign thing that had something to do with a wizard, but I can't remember exactly the details. It looked awesome though. Any chance that's your art Jeremy? Could you do poster prints of that?
John said at the time he was going to make/sell those and a few other decor items as a side thing but that never happened.

I saw it, looks are very cool. Not clear it was Jeremy's work though.

#13358 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'm going to put it more delicately than Ben, but what's up with the colored GI? And is the backbox RGB that just happens to be constantly on purple or is that color of the strips?
Why would you take Jeremy's work, blow out all the contrast in the name of constant oversaturation, and then compound that by killing any chance of the details appearing by washing it out all out with colored lights? Not hard to fix the GI, I'd like to know more about the backbox lighting though. Would look so much better with cool white lighting letting the art speak for itself.

I worked on the led in the backbox, replace a strip of cool white that was in the middle of the girl, it looked weird, and we didn't have a warm white, so just shorted an RGB across red/blue to make another purple. Again, this wouldn't be production final - I'm sure the color led would be tweaked. ANother option would be cpu controlled RGB, but that was not a high priority Monday or Tuesday!

There are also 2 versions of the BG, one is more of a flesh tone girl.

Bottom line - the LED in the BB and the lighting GI on the PF are not final.

#13364 5 years ago

The comments on the art, will it play well, etc. seem to be out of sync with the $16k purchases done w/o a speck of art or layout. Will it be worth $16k? Who knows what the market will be. I wouldn't buy a machine sight unseen these days, esp. preorder, without having at least concept art and layout seen in advance. Pat's game at JJP better be awesome - its probably the second game that will be MSRP $10k+.

#13367 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Got it. It's so hard to know what's "real" from the notes you're following, and what people are winging to try and get it out the door. Which I understand was a feat.

A good example is the post-save on Theatre that was removed for cost. John put one in MG, because he could.

#13371 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Did I see $1 for 3 ball game on the apron? Is this how Pintasia plans on recouping some of it's money?

We put the $ 1/play on last minute, just for fun - it contractually can't be on location - get it? Also just in B/W & how many posts will say the cards should be in color? I did like the plastic clear covers with the lightening bolt corners. When's the last time a game actually had any cover over the instruction/pricing cards?
At least there is a little humor to be found somewhere in all this.

#13396 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

I might buy one, when it is built.
I committed to buying MG in August 2011, and here we are, finally, now, seeing some photos of it. But clearly, obviously, it's not worth $15,995.00, however nice the plastic ramps and electromagnets are.

This is when I get foggy on how to argue right and wrong in this whole project. How do you argue difference of opinion and not meeting "expectations". If this is the game design you get - assuming Pintasia builds it - and your opinion is its "only worth 10k" - does Bill owe you a MG + $5995??

Folks ordered blindly at $15,995 and were promised a game. Game is now being shown, and those in at $15,995 don't like the look, feel and finish. But you gave over the money with no clue as to the final design,etc. You agreed and paid $15,995 with no refund. The game isn't worth that, in your opinion, now that you see it.

So is that fraud or high expectations v. the reality seen today. I'm not trying to be a jerk to those with $ in, but I honestly am looking for an explanation that isn't so foggy to understand.

#13530 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

I want to see those receipts.. I don't believe that. Did he pay off a bunch of shorted suppliers?
There are all kinds of crazy claims here that don't make sense, with all due respect.
Who here wants to make this game and blow a half million to a million of their own money, to ultimately redeem JPop? Because that's exactly what people are hoping for. Someone is going to lose their butt producing a game that, by all accounts is "state of the art" circa 1997.

Wow - are you seeing Bill's posts? Crazy claims don't make sense - Bill's comments, who is the source, do make sense - but not to those who don't know bill or understand what he said in those posts. Yes, he thinks and does stuff with his money differently than we do. He takes big real estate and turnaround risks. You and I probably don't. Bill has at least an 8-figure net worth - risk/reward. We pinsiders, for the majority, don't risk, and don't get reward on that scale. Read posts 11414, 11950, 11953, and 111951. (yes, I'm that anal to have written them down - too much noise to find them). Or search the post for pinsider wcbrandes and/or pintasia.

Believe what you want. I think it does make sense, if you have 8 $ figures to invest in interesting things.

Bill and team are big boys and girls, what do I know? Jpop's part of the license turnover to Pintasia, is he can't say or show anything, that's all Pintasia now - don't expect a word, pic or appearance by Jpop re: any of the 3 titles. MG and protos of AIW and RAZA cabinets, playfields, parts, boards and mechs are owned by Zidware, and MG is on loan for the NW show. Pintasia bought rights to the art and theme, but not parts, machines, tools or other assets nor assumed vendor or customer liabilities. Bill's June 30 offer gives you credits for your pre-order $, note the word GIVE. Bill is willing to try to get your machine using the credit of what you paid in towards the machine, and you pay the remaining to get delivery.

I believe it, Bill is really giving this a shot and has a 100% shareholder control and motivation to recoup his up to $100k. I went through the math in a post a few days ago - it takes 149 games or so for Bill to break even. He will make money if the plan works, but it will take months, and he says he'll be the last to get a machine of the original MG orders - and he is willing to wait it out for production run time. BIll is no fool - google his track record. Other partners put millions into Jack's JJP and Gary's Stern balance sheet - there are some crazy investors in pinball ventures, but they must be having some success - those makers are still around.

Yes Pintasia is working with suppliers. Zidware paid many past invoices. John said to me Monday that some open invoices are in dispute b/c of John giving them new product designs in exchange for a small run of parts. Then being billed for design time and parts, that were agreed to be an even exchange. There are two sides to some of the vendor stories. Why would John or Bill have to explain all those details to you, personally. Let the guessing begin on what those few sentences mean - doesn't any of that seem possible

Tnen again, You can bail on Pintasia's offer and sue Zidware, that has no cash, and take cents on the $ when the parts on the shelf and whatever partially completed games left in the shop and sold. Those proceeds will pay the bankruptcy trustee in charge of distributing remaining proceeds, court costs, legal fees and auction commissions. I've seen liquidations, the trade receivables and customer deposits are unsecured creditors, unpaid taxes of fed, state or property take senior priority. You can take the 5 MG cabinets and cut them into thirds with a chainsaw, you want the flippers, backbox or popper section? (see Solomon's 2 women, 1 child solution).

#13536 5 years ago
Quoted from Jokercyclone:

I guess they didn't go with the leg bolts of pointy death. It would have been a good test to see if someone stabbed themselves. Game looks good though despite washout.

The leg bolts of pointy death were on the game as we worked on it (no injuries reports earlier this week). the crew in seattle, used standard bolts for the public crowd. "You'll poke your eye out kid"

#13570 5 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

Any last-minute deal cut with an insolvent company is going to be scrutinized, and the art and theme are intellectual property assets of an insolvent company, regardless of how Pintasia Designs Inc has characterized its recent agreement with Zidware Inc. There are laws in place in the United States regarding insolvency and fraudulent conveyances that govern this. They can easily be navigated through by simply following certain procedures: e.g., full disclosure, public notice, competitive bidding, and valuable consideration. Unfortunately, it appears that none of those procedures have been followed.
That's why John Popadiuk and Bill Brandes should have to explain those details, not to anyone personally, but to the creditors of the insolvent company, because those creditors actually have first claim on the assets. There should be no guessing here. The creditors deserve full disclosure, and the law requires it.

That's not true. The priority for customer deposit claims [Priority 7] is actually senior to tax claims [Priority 8].

Razorback - you are missing something - this is all quoted from a case and the key word is LIKELY not certainty.

#13575 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Glad to see this get finished, but..
Both videos, the ball seems to get hung up in the shooter lane
Flippers not only weak, but it's floaty (which means the angle isn't very steep), so they're REALLY weak

THe shooter lane hangup is simply because than blue metal was a last minute "cut to length" that was too short. It should extend further so the ball isn't hung up there.

Plus the PF angle is very low - in our test, the shooter lane worked fine at 6 degrees - it looks like the levelers have been set to around 2 degrees.

Yes the flipper coils are weak, on purpose. You don't want strong flippers bashing and breaking things (see the WoZ comment). Stronger coils in production, and slight adjustment in length of that blue metal flap. We discussed as we assembled MOn and Tues - its not final.

#13596 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

sorry but this is COMPLETE BS! He is not giving you a damn thing. He is lieing and telling you there is zero money with John (we know this is a lie since the shop is still open and John has yet to declare banckruptcy).

Again more BS. You are drinking this koolaid way too concentrated and you now have personal vested interest in this so are just another mouthpiece for the lies. JPOP still has his studio and still has some amount of cash. just STOP with the lies of no cash unless !

Alright - enough!. I'm done with you. You are making stuff up now, man - you need to stop. You claim there is money. Past posts said 300k or 900k or other #'s - you claim you haven't seen the books - so what's your number based on? Libel and slander are crimes too.

Including this post - I count 14 posts saying , get out now, call your lawyer. Made your point - please stop repeating it.

Stop the repeated threats of baseball bats, showing up at the shop, "make his life a living hell" - how many violations of pinside rules does it take to lose your pinside access? None of these were softened with "just kidding" or sarcasm emoticons.

Finally, I will say it again, I have no personal vested interest. I have no pre-order, I just volunteered some time (alot of time) earlier this week to get the game in the van with PDX so Bill/Pintasia has a chance to show it, and owners have a chance to see it.

Your calling me a liar, more mouthpiece for lies, etc. is stupid. Grow up. You need to STOP.
I'm not going to hi-jack the thread any longer, or argue with a guy who makes pinside more of a crappy place than RGP.
My conclusion is to push the ignore button, I suggest you do the same and chill out from threats and legal advice.

Sorry for the detour guys.

#13607 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Every time I see this sorry excuse trotted out at a show I just shake my head.
First of all, if your game is so badly designed that normal strength flippers that can make the shots as they're meant to are going to break your game over the course of a weekend then the game is badly done. I get that it's a prototype, never the less, this is pinball. You're hurtling a 1 1/16" steel ball around inside it, it's gotta deal with that fact, or it's useless.
Secondly, this is your one chance to wow people. So really? Turn the flippers down and don't bother to level and pitch the pin for the video you know everyone is going to scrutinize? It makes no sense.
Risk chipping a plastic guys, this is your moment to show the game. You're not going to get another like this. Set the pitch right, turn the flippers up right, and let it play or not, as the case may be. Otherwise all this effort to get it there was wasted.

THe video was in the back room - my understanding from PDX, who just put it on the show floor, is that the flippers are fine, and the PF angle is around 6-7 degrees. The round 2 videos and feeds will help to see it better.

#13613 5 years ago

Apple - I did go through all the service menus - and kudos, that's some awesome work. True also that there are coded switches and features that may or not make final production. (similar example is the lamps for the IJ backbox jackpots that were coded and not used). I think there is code for the drain post on ToM, but the mech was pulled from production games.

#13615 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

Hey dude, good for you. Thanks for helping bring the game out so people could see it. I'm sure everybody appreciates that.
But don't take it personally if people are not satisfied with the status of the game or the Pintasia deal. That has nothing to do with you guys.
Bill would probably have less heat on him if he was totally honest with the community over exactly what the terms of his deal is with JPop. But he continues to keep that secret, so it ramps up people's cynicism. Again, nothing personal. If I were around, I'd love to help get the game set up too. Thanks for helping out! Thanks for sharing this with the community. It's unavoidable that there's going to be a lot of controversy surrounding it.

Thanks and no worries about taking in personally. Made the mistake of taking WN off of ignore and reading it. Pushing that ignore button feels really satisfying sometimes.

#13680 5 years ago
Quoted from Erik:

What is the story with the green face in the backbox? Is it a hologram?

Green face is a spinning mini pf. Sort of like CV cannonball. Its to have a mini pinball, and those are real pins, like a mini-bagatelle.

#13689 5 years ago
Quoted from Mocean:

I'm as hopeful as the next guy, but "Final production" ? Let's take it one day at a time, shall we?
Seriously, you're responding to Jim/Applejuice: the guy who wrote the code for well over a year (two, I think), has not been payed for the final Three Months of that work, and telling him what's what based on a day or two of effort to assemble the thing? Reign it in there, cowboy

What I'm telling AppleJ, is what I saw in his software service menu screens - not based on anything in assembly. In the latest video, you can see them scroll through on the coin door open screen.

#13697 5 years ago
Quoted from CactusJack:

Anybody else cringe when they see a PC keyboard as an integral part of a pinball machine?

Yep. Seen it before. like on WoZ, where one of the show videos shows Keith pull out a keyboard to work on Linux reboot, and udpate.

#13809 5 years ago
Quoted from someoneelse:

Because law enforcement would remind you that you would be stealing from all the other prepayers etc. that have money in this. You could force them to sell the proto and evenly divide the proceedings between everyone having money in this....your share will be very small.
How is this kind of thinking - "I want this machine as indemnification for myself" - and not caring the least bit about the others invested in this better than what JPop did?
You really need to open your eyes to business reality. Companies go bankrupt all the time, people lose most of their investments, the IP is bought out and someone else finishes and goes live with the product - in some cases even making a fortune on it.
A big part of the problem is mentioned by yourself: "...invested hard earned money in good faith...". Tell any investor, businessman or non-pinball friends that you invested hard earned money in "good faith" (and not much more than good faith) and be surprised by what they will answer.
You bet on the wrong horse, you invested in the wrong company, you believed in the wrong person. All natural concerns and clear thinking was thrown overboard in the light of a shiny & rare new toy. A lot of this disaster originates in the wrong and somewhat naive belief that an artist and pinball designer must be competent to run an economical challenging business. I think it's safe to say that artists are among the ones to been known to typically have less connection to "hard facts business" than most other professions.
Now it seems that someone with the necessary financial potential and business competence has stepped in and is trying to evaluate if the IP is worth going for, if there is still enough interest in the machine, if it is feasible and what it would take to produce the machine. Thus the presentation & the "offer" to the original prepayers.
And don't be fooled by the emotionally loaded comments about no one wanting this machine due to it's history. If it is released it will be one of the most collectable pins ever made and the value, depending on numbers produced, will probably go through the roof. Not despite but because of it's history. I'm not saying it's a good move, but if a pinhead friend called me saying he just got a MG I'd jump in the car immediately and be there lightning fast.
Whatever, I still feel deeply sorry for anyone invested in this. There really is no "right" solution to this situation, either way it will cost you a lot of money which makes me very sad.
Maybe the single positive effect of this will be that future projects in pinball will have to be approached in a far more professional and thoughtful way leading to more healthy and realistic endeavors. After the pitchforks have been tucked away again, that is.

Most intelligent post in the thread.

#13872 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'd take a Kiss pro over this.

Whew. Finally. Buy a Kiss, and ignore this thread, (400+ posts is plenty.)

#14157 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Just because people have a difference of opinion, or not everyone thinks this pin looks like much (it looks bad, I mean gameplay not art). But just because we are not doing cart wheels over MG doesn't mean we can't post here.
Also, my posts over the years have been directed against John (how he was jerking everyone around). This has since been proven, or are you disputing that? You should be thanking me for calling out Jerk-Pop instead of defending him if it wasn't for people asking hard questions or posting bad things about Jpop this farce could still be going on.
If this pin played anything like AcDc or TOM or TAF or Kiss there would not be one negative post here, but the ramp can't even be hit, that's kind of a problem don't you think?

Hey, opinions are what they are. You keep saying things over and over and over - 403 posts or so is boring is all. I'll take your advice - ignored.

#14165 5 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

To me, I don't see a profit. That's the point. That's why I'm asking questions.
I do, and have done, "good" things for the pinball community. I've run nearly 50 tournaments, helped out at every single pinball show in my area since 2009, started a pinball map, done lectures and outreach and so on, all volunteer and "for fun". More, I know many similar people in pinball, including the principals who run the shows.
I'm not patting myself on the back, but illustrating I'm pretty freaking wired in to the part of pinball where people help out of their good hearts, and I can't think of a single one (and I know some very rich ones, too) who would take on a JJP 2.0 for "fun". In short, it sounds "too good to be true". It doesn't add up.
I don't know of anyone who signs up to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars or worse, and commits to a multi-year business endeavor out of the goodness of their hearts. We're not talking about orphans or cancer victims, but pinball games.
This is why I'm questioning your assumptions. You are assuming a significant financial sacrifice on his part that to my knowledge hasn't been validated.
I'm sure it must be seductive to imagine a rich guy swooping in to provide a magic solution to this situation. Suddenly a savior appears and it's tempting to get on board. But I also know that people who have been kicked emotionally and financially in the balls are susceptible to strangers with ice packs. And the moment they take their hands off their nuts to reach for that ice pack, sometimes they get an ice pack and sometimes they get a second kick in the balls.
Now ask yourself this question: why does a guy do things "for the community" or "for fun" have a co-pilot tied to ponzi scams, and who just made a video LAST MONTH for said ponzi scams? "At least they're doing something to get these made" doesn't answer the question.

Why not ask Bill these questions, send him a PM on pinside - I don't understand why the several here asking questions, don't ask bill or Pinstasia directly - my understanding is that owners have a direct contact info to do so. If you don't have a $ in the game, why ask about the deal or Bill's profit projections?

#14172 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

You may have missed it Mark, but Jpop was attempting to collect $$$ for new orders a month ago when he was already in negotiations with Pintasia to sell all IP rights. This shows clear intent to steal peoples money. He knew the project was dead for him but was trying to get more money.

I'll simply say... prove it.

#14249 5 years ago


Quoted from Baiter:The BOM is high because there is no volume...19 of anything custom is insanely expensive. Now that it is clear it will take the community to complete the game, I'd recommend retooling as much as possible to standard parts, which will lower BOM, resulting in lower price which attracts more buyers, which is the only way to get this done.

In working on the game, and talking to John and seeing the cad drawings, I think much of the $ went to design for boards, custom lights (yes, even the lights were custom boards w/LED chips). Lots of $ spent on custom light design, boards, art and coders (I presume Applejuice got paid up until he said earlier, late 2014 I believe?) so vendors paid at least 2011-2014. The apron is custom stainless, the side rails are stainless (vs. stern black wood rails), custom boards for lights, custom boards for cpu, drivers, transformer was custom, cabinets and BB is custom (and patents?), BG is custom with inserted speakers (no speaker panel in back), custom scoop, custom subway.

Anyway, change all those to standard, and BoM goes down dramatically. Leave the 19 with all stainless, lightening bolts everywhere, etc. and then "regular run" of MG up to 199 with standard apron, rails, lighting etc. Most of the deposit money was spent on sunk, fixed costs for design, not the variable cost of each machines BoM. I think Bill can make the numbers work for both versions.

For RAZA, the BoM could be even cheaper b/c its a larger run, standard (mostly) parts, and could be much less cost / machine.

#14250 5 years ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

I don't get it...at what point is this game worth $16K?
What exactly are people looking for? A pinball machine that can play a game, grill a burger, and then fly to the moon?
Maybe I'm just completely out of touch, but this notion of creating ultra-rare, super-duper-crazy-insane special, machines is weird. Whatever happened to pressing start and justing playing games?

I don't get it either. Pre-orders are saying it isn't the $16k worth they paid for. But it was totally a sight-unseen, JPop design, $16k. So there were people who said a vaporware pinball is worth $16k. So, before 2011, all the $ sent to Jpop were for a pinball, whatever design and theme fit Magic and Zombies. For everyone to go back now, and say the machine revealed isn't what I imagined, I don't see as being valid.

Interesting to see if a judge says, well games are coming, just beyond your time frame and what you imagined - after all, you did put money in without seeing anything - and production estimates of timing are just that, estimates. So you will get a game, at the price you agreed to up front - where's the fraud and damages I should award you from the defendant?

#14252 5 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

Okay, I did.
As for why I'm asking, I'm not sure why I have to justify questions about pinball on a pinball forum, but fwiw, it's not to see the project fail. If you can point me to a question of mine that is "unfair" in this sense, by all means, and if you're right, I'll apologize. I'm not immune to being too persistent occasionally.
But I don't think that's what it is, at least not mostly. I think my questions are fair but simply bring up inconvenient truths which some would rather just put out of their mind.

Its good to ask questions, but you may get wrong or incomplete answers unless you ask the source - that is my point - I think the questions are good ones, and deserve solid answers - whether $ invested or not. Some here may be willing to buy a new order, if the game is the right price and can be shown to be actually done and in a box ready for delivery.

#14254 5 years ago
Quoted from brent149:

Wow, according to that letter if you bought either of the other two machines you're really getting burned.

Bill said the Pintasia letter, supercedes John's letter.

#14255 5 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

I'm still trying to understand why the effort is "finish MG at any cost"? Is it simply because it was assumed to be the closest to completion?
If it's indeed the game with the LEAST number of people "invested"- why not survey the group and determine if it's even worth throwing more time and money at?
Obviously MG isn't "shovel ready", so if it's going to take a major redesign, perhaps it's actually NOT the best machine to build? I mean, once you look past the nice artwork, the game seemed unremarkable.
Are RAZA and/or AIW even on the radar for prototypes?

RAZA has a playfield, partially populated prototype, and I think a simpler game mechanically and custom mechs.

#14257 5 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

This thing that surprises me most is how much is still incomplete on the playfield, compared to what i had on my prototype over a year previously. Also some of the comments made about magnets not being coded are just plain wrong. You can see clearly that switches are missing from various places including the ramps, and also some of the actual magnets are not even installed. Also, the main arcade mode seem to be left set at 1 ball per game, even though this was easily adjustable and the Ball search feature is included in the framework, but not configured for development, as it confuses things when testing rules and proper mech operation.
Even though i am owed a 5 figure sum from popaduik i still offered to answer questions or give advice on technical items, service mode settings, code etc for the guys there during the weekend to help smooth out the demos as best i could. I did not get a single question....
Looking at one of the videos posted you can see that when the door opens the poor game is trying to tell you to check a bunch of switches including the ramp entry and exits. Someone even says 'i guess we have to just wait for these messages to go by'
Anyway, back to work for me, i've got a shed load of money to make up for....

Last monday, we indeed skipped putting switches on ramps, we didn't do the tiger saw mechs for the software, there was no time left to put the switches and magnets on the ramps, literally - I did the metal plate connecting the ramps, we did the drill press on the holes in the steel and I matched the two semi-circles as best we could to avoid ball traps - you'll notice in the pics that the lip of both ramps and the inside walls of the ramp were not perfectly aligned. The 1 ball setting was to keep the queue moving at at show - JJP does the same thing.

So some error messages will be easy to attach switches, others like the magnet popper/repeller and the magna flippers in the mini PF will still need the proto mech completed and tested. So the code is there - but some simple stuff isn't / wasn't simply b/c the game had to go to Tacoma, in the morning, and we quit at 230am Wed, pdx went and switched vans (b/c of the long drive and mileage limits) after 230am and the game left with him at 9am.

#14369 5 years ago
Quoted from Mocean:

Look, I get that you were pressed for time so the switches didn't go in, but the point is that John wasn't pressed for time prior to this. Worse, Jim is owed some 5-figure sum and in this opportunity for him to at least get some possible free press or future business, people see of his code in a situation in which it cannot be it's best.
To Markmon's prior comment about (paraphrasing) "ball search being easy to code" and "magnets being hard to code" --that's totally backwards. Moreover acceleration and hold magnets are literally impossible to code for when many physical switches aren't in place.
I get that you did a lot for the machine to get it to the show, and I don't think there's any sane person who doesn't appreciate that, but you need to stop responding like the machine was built in three days and that there was only three days in which to build it, especially when responding to people who had either worked on it or invested in it literally /years/ ago. OMG, yes, a /million/ times better that the machine made it to the show in any form. Yes, I get that it was incomplete for any number of reasons, but you cannot reasonably expect people to not voice their displeasure at that situation.
If Jim says he had a prototype almost a year ago and asked for those switches to be installed a year ago, what really kept someone over in that palatial zidware facility from making that happen? Perhaps it points to the idea that the end game was a buy out and for someone else to just "finish it up" --not necessarily out of malice or greed-- but whatever the reason, clearly functional details like these weren't a high priority for some reason or another.
This whole situation is sad.

What I said was we didn't have time to put stuff ON THE RAMPs. The ramps went in last on the prototype, that's all I meant.

#14575 5 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

First and foremost, I would like to express my deep gratitude to everyone who dedicated their time and effort to help bring Magic Girl to light. Without everyone's effort this would not have been possible.
I would also like to personally thank everyone who believed and supported me in this endeavor.
After working and speaking with a lot of you, who know pinball development inside and out, and finally getting an opportunity to see how far along Magic Girl really is, I have decided that it is not worth my effort or finances to move this to completion.
Despite the fact that I'm not going to continue with MG, I do not regret the investment I have made as I hold the friendships cultivated at a much higher value.
Thanks again for all your support and patience.
Best regards,

I agree, you made a good decision. You should be applauded for even giving this a shot and making a full-in effort to do a thorough due diligence. I doubt anyone else could have gained as much access and digged as deep into the feasibility - so it should help any who wondered, if someone took a serious look, should we keep going? or "not worth the effort"?

The best ending was for someone to fully answer "can it be done" - now we know.

For me personally, it was worth the time and effort to get the game, in whatever state is was in, to the show. I'm glad the community had the chance to actually see (most virtually) and play (or see someone play), after 4 years of fog. Makes a good story for pinball history.

Again, thanks . I appreciate the efforts.

#14639 5 years ago
Quoted from brent149:

I've seen these shirts and can attest they're 95 percent done. Nothing to worry about.

Too much purple.

#14642 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

If it means nothing, why did you get worked up enough to respond with your ridiculous post about having Zidware foot the bill to ship it back?
Did Zidware foot the bill to have it shipped to the NW?
Did you and/or Pintasia have some type of agreement with regarding to shipping it back to Zidware after the show? Or did you just think it would never have to go back? Or did you put any thought into it at all, one way or the other?
What did you think was going to happen? What did you base it on?
Do you think that whoever has it now can just keep it until someone pays to have it shipped back to Zidware? Who do you think has the responsibility to get it back to Zidware? Anyone?

Rob - this isn't worth fighting with PDX over, is it? And why would he know the answers and why does he own them to you, personally? John asked me to put him in touch with Michelle at sTI/NAVL, they talked and he has a quote, and he intends to use that company to get it back to Illinois. The speculation, finger-pointing and accusations over stuff is crazy - you have nothing to base it on!?

#14652 5 years ago

Why are folks expecting to hear about ZIdware assets? WHere they are, how many proto cabs or PF, etc.? Don't expect anything while there are open lawsuits now going on. (I know, you weren't told much before). The definition of stress is the distance between expectations and reality. The only part of that equation you can control is your own expectations (for info, for instant resolution of the legal stuff, get any $, when, how much?). Some have dealt with having to lower expectations and moved on, for others that gap is really wide, and results in another post here.

Here's what is still fuzzy -
With the Pintasia deal gone, what remaining offer is on the table? Pintasia had v1 and v2 of their letter (6/1 deadline, 6/30 deadline).
Does Zidware's letter apply now?

#14793 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

If a movie is made, the hardest part would be figuring out the genre, horror or comedy?

Total.... Drama .... .Island (originated in Canada, of course) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Total_Drama_Island,

pick your avatar and your pairings for the post-Pintasia bout
TDI pinheads.jpg

#14794 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Ironically, one of the reasons that I got in on BHZA when it was first launched was, in a funny sort of way, because of the NDA.
I figured "holy shit, you mean I have to sign an NDA to be part of this project? That must mean that I am going to see some cool-ass shit along the way. It might take awhile, but at least the ride will be cool, seeing all this new shit that JPop is going to come up with!"
So one of the reasons I decided to get out and get a refund is that it became obvious that we, as owners, weren't really going to be seeing much of anything, and the alleged need for a NDA was a complete joke.

Those with $4500 lost, you subscribed to $100/month "Pinball Dynasty Meltdown". They rest of us got to watch it free over the internet.

#14796 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

For the record
4 prototypes
2 whitewoods
1 mutant thing
Whitewoods have more features but less art.
Mutant thing has art but hardly anything else.

4 cabinets, BG
At least 1 in-progress whitewood

full cab and Backbox in foamcore/Nordmanite w/Jeremy's B/W drawings on cab, and BB.

#14799 5 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

Thanks Bill for getting the game to the show and your efforts.
I wonder if John is ringing your phone off the hook trying to make a better deal?
Rather than seeing the game in the museum or burned in the desert in Vegas, it'd be cool if we could get back everything we had already paid for from the auction for cheap. We could then sell off whatever machinery, equipment and such to give back money to the vendors and since it is apparently not feasible to manufacture the games, we could try to just finish the prototypes and share them.
Put one in the States, Canada and Europe and all of us that have money into the games can share them in some kind of rotation. I could see it now, meeting up on stretches of highways passing them off, like the olympic torch
Any other ideas?

Skip the court costs: This would bring emotional and financial peace for everyone.

Oct Chicago Expo, first sell all remaining parts at the show, then $5/ticket to watch (cathartic for pinsiders; owners are free, of course) - split the $ in this kitty amongst the vendors based on invoice $ outstanding.

Video record the 8 cabinets and partial PF, 130 orders, 1 chainsaw - everybody gets around 1.5% of the remains - Ice & PDX and WcB get to share the saw. Pieces handed out with first choice of the bits going to #1 in the pre-order queue? The video proceeds from the next 4 years are divvied up amongt vendors and owners

#14800 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Cool shit like the Theater of Magic Post, Magna Flips, and upside down lamp spinners. He didn't invent the popup center post. He didn't invent magna flips, and he didn't invent the lamp spinner, which was done first on EMs.
Maybe they'd all be fun features! I'm okay with taking old ideas and remixing them, that's part of pinball. But it seems more than a little ridiculous that he was trying to protect ideas like that from being "stolen".

Yeah, but the patented purple lightening-bolts on the arpon and scorecards (and almost everything else) are valuable ideas.lightning-bolts-backgrounds.jpg

#14803 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

I know who has the game and I won't say who. But I will say why. I refuse to tell anyone because we don't need emotional folks that lost their money trying to come steal it. As for why someone has the game, it was for analysis of the software task to complete it. No one here needs to know more about the whereabouts of the game. As long as jpop is ok with where it's at, it's no one else's concern.
And for anyone that thinks they have part ownership in the game because they paid for *a* game I can only say that you don't. You didn't buy stock in Jpop's company and assets. You bought a promise of making and shipping you a completed game. That gives you no rights to the rest of the company assets. Sure you can sue to get to get something, but then jpop will just sell his assets to cover legal fees. In this regard, we are all screwed.

MarkMon is correct about the financial analysis of the business ownership - credit analysis is part of what I do for a living. This situation is similar to some software and web company failures in the early 90's. Investors bought in for a potential for "something". Many times the product or service was described in a generic way, but the people making the pitch and doing the work, were respected and trusted from their past successes. The magic of the "just one more time" hopes were dashed, and pre-pay investors lost their investment - and there were minimal leftovers, except for unfinished code - any bankruptcy proceeds were eaten by court, legal and liquidation costs.

#14826 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Seriously, someone is going to break into a house/office and steal that pin?
Why would anybody want to waste more time trying to complete the software on a pin that will never get built?
"As long as Jpop is ok with it, its no one else's concern?" Huh?
I guess the bizarre factor with this whole project will never end.

Its Zidware's asset Ice - John P, like it or not, is 100% owner of Zidware and therefore 100% of that machine- what is the question?

#14827 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Upon thinking about this a bit more, the only potential valuable assets I think Zidware might have are its patents. It seems one of the ways our monies were wasted was in expensive patents on everything. If this is true, the parents are an actual IP that have value.

Value to whom? Only a maker pinball who would use them would be a buyer - The content of the patents are published, complete with drawings.

#14841 5 years ago

Let's see what the initial estimate of asset value might be for the large $ value items...
What's the market / how much would you pay for...
the Master prototype?
The 3 RAZA cabinets?
The 3 MG cabinets / 1st proto PFs & parts (used in the Adobe video)?
The patents?
The other 2 partial MG playfields?
The foamcore AIW full size and complete B/W ZombieYeti art?

#14842 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

That is a quote from Jpop... does anyone know what revolutionary light structure system he is talking about here?

Yes. LED boards, with 1,2 or 4 lights each, about 1inch square, wire in serial by a 4 wire ribbon cable with clock, data, ground power - controlled by an arduino, in a 64 address daisy chain. I presume one of the "secrets" he didn't want another maker to "borrow". But that's just a speculation.

#14946 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

Those are based on the original off-the-shelf RGB "pixels" that John got from Adafruit. The originals had 4 RGB LEDs. I had reverse engineered them and reformatted them into 1, 2, 3, and 4 LED configurations to properly fit a wide variety of insert types.
Apparently these were discarded and redone by Cointaker in a single LED configuration. (I didn't see any of those with more than one LED in them).
BTW, all of the GLM boards had proper locking headers on them.

The ones I installed had the proper locking headers.

#14953 5 years ago

I want to be the first post on page 300. Dang! missed it by 2 posts.
50 posts a page, so we are less than 50 away from that 15,000 mark

#15054 5 years ago
Quoted from Methos:

Blatant lies on progress to customers, lack of any type of business plan, complete waste of resources, incomplete accounting and deposits, by all accounts no real intention of going into production, and to top it off - taking a salary before paying employees and contractors. Fraud is the deliberate intent to secure unlawful gain and difficult to prove, but I think a case could be made for just that.

Naw, bad progress estimates aren't lies, over selling a sales pitch - not a lie, lack of business plan? Not unusual, waste of resources - no doubt, but again just poor management. Bad records on accounting? Sure. Intent? how do you proove. Salary w/o paying others - also is a common thing.

As much as folks want punishment - my opinion is that the legal system will empathize, but not find civil or criminal judgments.

#15058 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

You weren't paying for a product. You were investing in a startup, with the hope of receiving a product out of it. Startups fail all the time. People lose money. No one goes to jail.
Seriously, this notion that John is going to jail, or even will be convicted of any kind of fraud, is just not happening. The lawsuit may or may not recover any money, and it will most certainly cause bankruptcy, but that's going to be the extent of it in all likelihood.

Certainly cause bankruptcy? Not the lawsuits... I would guess as long as Zidware is still hoping to deliver, and there was no contractual deadline (was there a delivery date in the contract/purchase agreement that was violated?), there will be little for a judge to rule a chapter 7 is warranted.

I don't even think a group of pre-orders could force an involuntary, b/c there is no lack of contract fulfillment if no dates were written or promised.

THere's a lot of angry pinsiders and pre-order "owners", but I haven't seen anything a judge could consider as a breach of contract, fraud or theft. Just a bad business guy, with too optimistic pre-orders that will not be fulfilled. If no refunds were offered in the contract - I also think that collections or judgments for refunds have no basis either.

#15075 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Waiting for STI to pick it up and be sent back to Zidware.

John did confirm with me yesterday that he had the shipping arranged.

#15166 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

This is so completely wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to begin.
I seriously can't even believe what I just read.

Please elaborate, RobT.

#15167 5 years ago
Quoted from bounoun:

Come on, how much this sucks this is very naive to think. Is was a startup from the start. Did he have production line ? A team of engineers ? Office ? Everything was paid for by the preorder money.

Ha, I saw preorder and read "predator".

#15168 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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.


Abolutely right. I saw foamcore of all 3 Jpop machines. All were for looks and mech placement only - aeshetics. I don't think any were used for shooting angles and flow. Maybe the paper ramps we saw at the end of MG were for flow testing - but I think it was more for clearance and support mechanism testing than it was for ball path testing.

#15171 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

The contracts do offer refunds which John has not honored.
I don't see anyway Zidware can avoid bankruptcy voluntary or involuntary in the next month.
Thanks for the work you put in NW show wouldn't have been possible without your help.

That seals it then. If there are contractual refunds, its done and bankruptcy will be soon.
Once a refund is requested, is there a time deadline or terms that are in the docs that could be used in court?

#15226 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Perhaps he means "in some shape or form" to be Zizzle style; though truthfully I find it hard to believe JPop could even build out a Zizzle style game...he certainly couldn't manufacture anything that sophisticated.

Damn, I just had a ZIzzle thought. What if JP makes a mini game - similar to Ben Heck's mini-pinball experiment shown over on Element14.com and calls that a completed and delivered MG and RAZA? It would be fraud on so many levels - but weirder thoughts have come from the Zidware lab.

#15229 5 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

There is money left. I will get some of it through a lawsuit. Others will get money that file lawsuits. There is a strong case for embezzlement, fraudulent transfer, and other criminal misdeeds. All of that will be pursued...every detail...until we find it. IMHO , given his track record, there is ZERO chance that there is no criminal activity. Criminal activity is all over these transactions at several stages.
If you really can't see taking people's money for one project and using it for something else as a crime I suggest you brush up on fraudulent transfer and embezzlement. Embezzlement is not hard to prove. Neither is fraudulent transfer in this case. I mean on the very face of things money used to build MG taken from RAZA and AIW depositors is fraudulent.
Call Zane if you have doubts

Rommy - do you know (and this is totally an honest question) what records are needed to show fradulent transfer? It seems there may have been zero booking - it that a plus for the buyers side in the lawsuit? Seems that the contract with deadlines and deposit schedule, and then the timing of the taking of RAZA and AIW monies, before MG was delivered are strong evidence too.

#15317 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

Yes. Also, all unsecured creditors (vendors, pre-orderers like us) would be in the same boat. Only secured creditors would be higher up
Don't fall for it. Yes, we may get no money, but no-one knows what assets are available to seize currently. We need court action to determine this, and that's the whole point of the legal action! For $500 it's well worth a punt to get this muppet.

I agree. There may be no checkbook balance, but there are lots of assets for liquidation. I keep saying there is no cash, but that doesn't value at zero all the parts in boxes, or the partial assemblies, digital files, etc.

If a parts vendor doesn't get paid - lets use GPM for example, if he delivered 100 pixel boards, and only got paid for 10, is he a secured creditor with those hard assets of boards as security interest - or is that a trade receivable unsecured and equal to all other claims?

Who knows how much would be had in cash on a full liquidation auction, but it would be something,to split. I hope this all works out soon for all those that are owed refunds, for invoices or services.

#15331 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I just assumed he blew a chunk of the cash on machinery. But if that's not the case, and you don't have expensive gear to sell off, how the hell did he burn through it all? Obviously some of it was pure stupidity (buying $7,000 worth of LEDs when you don't even have a single game to show) and lots of it was wasted on custom fabrication, but damn, all of it?

$90k on rent, he did pay vendors up through part of 2014, he said he stopped paying himself in Nov 2014 ( I presume that means he got paid UNTIL Nov 2014). Over 4 years, I could see him blowing a million bucks, and nothing to show for it but a few designs on paper and one or two prototype parts. There were probably a lot of designed parts that were done 3 or 4 times - the 1st and 2nd tries cost something, and those are deleted files and tossed in the dumpster pieces. But there is stuff there - its worth something.

#15588 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

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

Lets get real here please. There are dozens of pinball guys that would love to be back in the making pinball business at 60k and be grateful. John should have taken the 60k, but he was too proud. Pride before the fall, actually. John now needs any job at 10k, 20k whatever - (hell, $10 x 2000 hours a year would be 20k). its insulting if he doesn't, because he should be digging ditches, waiting tables, I don't care if he worked on the space shuttle - he needs 3 jobs, and every penny should go to paying back what wasn't his to being with. He should have to fund his own design and development time the past 4 years, by paying back everyone who helped fund it , but got nothing in the end.

#15589 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

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

Larry is a damn good business man. You produce value, and you get paid. John didn't produce, he shouldn't get paid. Simple.

#15590 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

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

Well then, time to put all this posting wisdom and energy into the pinball business of Flynntasia. Walk with me.... When are you hiring 4-5 guys at 90k and year and showing us your first whitewood. What's the theme and price point? Who's financing it? = unless you start making those kind of posts, your repetitiveness is worthless. If you can blow $500k a year on salaries, and make 500 games, starting tomorrow, selling at $6k - $5k bill of materials, so the $1k x 500 cover just your annual salaries - go for it. Who pays for the shop, tools, rent, and healthcare? Oops, the games now cost $8k. How about a little profit and some extra for the design kitty for game 2? Oops, charge $10k.

You keep saying you or Jpop can do that? Build pinballs? at a profit? Profit, you keep using that word, I don't think it means what you think it means. ... your model says 500 at 10k, and can't deliver.

Oh yeah, that pesky uncomfortable truth - Spooky builds 150 games a year, at $6k and makes it work.