(Topic ID: 92436)

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

By iceman44

5 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#690 5 years ago
Quoted from gearheaddropping:

Wow, I just read this whole thread. I thought the JJP WOZ train was bad, this one cuts the cake. How many games is JPOP making? Magic Girl, RAZA, Alice in Wonderland, and KISS?
I love his stuff, but it seems like a financial manager might want to reign him in a bit.

Not Kiss. That was a fishing attempt to get the license that failed. But still the other three.

#729 5 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

Then again, he's shown so many versions of different things I really have no idea which ones he's planning to roll with.

According to his seminar, he intends to roll with them all. Allowing people choices to customize their game. This seems like a horrible idea and I can't see how you'd ever actually complete games like that.

Direct quote from a silly article on pavlov pinball:

He plans to offer a high degree of customisation to customers so that they can buy something unique. “I am designing 1000 games for 1000 different people,” he says. “Customers might ask me to draw their dog on the playfield, or engrave their initials (into the cabinet.)”

If that's accurate, this stuff will never be done.

#787 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

Magic girl looks great!

The 'look' of it has never been in question. John makes pretty stuff, sure. But one might ask why is it this goofy fisheye shot instead of a clear view of the entire thing?

#790 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Cause that's John still controlling and hiding his work from the masses. Is what it is not going to change

Or the ramps still aren't done.

#793 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

You can see the ends of the ramps in the picture.. He's just controlling hiding the main new designed toys and what not.

You can see the glued together ends of the pieced together test ramp, sure.

#803 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

I suppose if there's any consolation, it's that people have been waiting WAYYYY longer for MMR to come out.

How do you figure? Magic Girl is like 3 years in ... MMR was announced at last year's expo.

#808 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

I think he's talking about the people that were waiting for wayne's promised MMR to materialize. I'm not sure that is valid, though, as it was a completely different entity.

Ooooh, yeah. I forgot about that train wreck.

#924 5 years ago
Quoted from Lonzo:

Just Curious. Is Ben Heck still involved with this project? I haven't heard his name mentioned with this project in a long time.


#962 5 years ago

Hopefully john had a come to 'the jesus' moment (along with the lebowski effect) that trying to build customized games for every single customer is suicide. Sure, it's a nice thought, but it's just not viable.

#967 5 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

He had a KISS license to begin with?!?

Nah, he was fishing for it, hoping to get it. Lost the battle to Stern.

#969 5 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

I do have new information about plans for a group to potentially help JPOP out of this mess. We will see what happens and I hope they are successful.

What John needs more than anything is someone to tell him no when it needs to be said. On his own, he's forever changing things which just drags the schedule out longer and longer. As great as he may be as a designer/artist/idea man, he really needs a business-mind to steer the ship.

I hope things come together. I'd love to see his games completed, because I'm sure (at the VERY least) they'll look awesome. Hopefully they'll play just as well, too.

#970 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Do we know this for a fact? Stern doing Kiss is just a rumor at this point.

We know they have the license, yes. When will they act on it? No idea.

1 month later
#1501 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Pretty Vague dude.. What the rest of the story?

John didn't pay his invoices. How's that vague?

#1505 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Well let's see last time i checked there are 2 sides to every story! So Were the original terms of the agreement fulfilled on both sides? What's the rest of the story? Starting to sound like the JJP screened cabinet debacle (JJP think he got screwed over and it sounds like the guy making the cabs thinks he got screwed over) so which is it both parties can't be right... Can they?

I know of one other person that was working on Johns projects that is no longer doing so due to lack of payment. And he's owed a rather sizeable amount. I don't think there's any conspiracy here with GLM, he just stopped sending John parts due to non-payment.

#1538 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

So if anybody can find anything else that would point to John and/or Zidware having a problem paying its debts, I'd like to see it.

With all the NDAs, you won't get this.

#1545 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Hehe, I'm pretty sure vendors don't have an NDA with John.

But I do.

#1762 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

WTH? I wonder if part of it is that lighting truss he built for the KISS prototype.

Yeah, that's what it is. It's heinously ugly, IMHO.

#1852 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Will be curious if the reveal also means revealing a timetable of how long the game will be a prototype, what is left to do, how long manufacturing will take and when the owners can expect their machines?

I would not recommend holding your breath for any of these answers. It would be detrimental to your health.

#1855 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

I'm curious to know what the bar is here. I keep hearing "A playable game" but what if you lift the playfield and it's a mess of wires and prototype boards and placeholder parts? I ask this because I've played Predator a few times at different shows for what seems like a long while now and it's still not shipping.

This is an important point. MG has been a "playable" game for some time. One person who has been to the shop even posted publicly that they played it. But it's not DONE.

#1880 5 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

I can't believe how great the rug reveal was. I take back everything negative I said in this thread.

As good as the emperors new clothes?

#1889 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Reveal is up... But still private to owners only


#1963 5 years ago
Quoted from Zaxxis:

http://www.pussycatpinball.com - "Coming Kinda Soon" in 2015
http://www.pinballx.org - Coming in 2015!

oh good grief. Finish something first john. Or at least be a little more honest with the years!

#1974 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm confused, cause people have said they've played it. If he's not posting it, then he's still paranoid and holding back. A lot of good that does anyone.

They played what exists. What exists is not complete.

#2015 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Same was true for me. I bought in because of his background and experience. As he will tell you, he's one of only 2 people in the world that made pinball2000 games. I figured all that would mean something but I'm concluding with all these boutiques you need sound business management as well as the pinball design and passion.

And programmers, and mechanical engineers, and ...

#2029 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

So far I'm still waiting for a picture of anything remotely resembling a working pinball machine.

It's in a picture on this post: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jpop-update-thread……………mg-raza-and-aiw…/page/35#post-2106409

That blurry green blob in the background is it. Great stuff!

#2056 5 years ago
Quoted from Linolium:

I have offered to help him code in the past (couple years ago at this point?), nothing came of it though. I think the distance thing was an issue (IL vs MA)

Apparently not, since the guy he DID have programming on contract was in another country. Until that ended.

#2286 5 years ago
Quoted from Zaxxis:

Here are some other interesting domains John has recently registered in august and updated back after expo.
- http://creation6pinball.org
- http://biblepinball.org
- http://creationgames.org
Good themes if you ask me, because his buyers are praying for their games to be made.
Lastly, we have http://pinball1977.com, which was registered on 9/29. "Retro mod shop dedicated to keep the pinball tradition alive and well. From recreating a retro-type pinball game, to illustrating pinball art and designing mods. The future of pinball today!"

Bible pinball is Ben Heck's idea too. I've heard him describe that game concept in detail before (at MGC)

#2287 5 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Even better, can Robin update the site so if someone gets X amount of thumbs downs in a thread they are automatically kicked out of the thread?

That would get abused.

#2316 5 years ago

Some wide open shots of john's shop in here. Surprising.

#2319 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

Not really. He's good at hiding things he doesn't want people to see. Every shot was very carefully planned to only show you a glimpse of something interesting or cool, but no major detail.

Not sure when this was filmed, but those wavy ramps on MG are very different than the original test ramps he built and had on the games earlier this year. There's quite a bit shown that surprised me.

#2320 5 years ago

Wonder if Jeremy is paid up.


#2331 5 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

Magic Girl doesn't even look like it's any further along than that Kiss game he brought to MGC last year.

To be fair, this is nowhere near true. The Kiss game was artwork on foamcore with a few laser cut plastics. Actually flipping that thing would have destroyed it. The software was just an attract mode and skeleton code that would make the game score points and make noise when switches were hit, if you did start a game (which he said was crashing anyway when he had it at MGC - which was odd because it was working ok before that) ... ANYWAY ... MG is a full on real playfield with real mechs, they're just not all finalized yet. And the software has a decent amount in it already, including a fully operational service & test mode. No where near as rudimentary as the Kiss 'demo' model.

#2352 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

I didn't see this mentioned. Since this image is public I'm not breaking any NDAs

That's the oldest full model of the RAZA playfield that exists. I would expect a LOT of that has changed.

#2375 5 years ago
Quoted from Linolium:

I'd buy some translates and playfield prints.

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

#2380 5 years ago
Quoted from Jakenjoi:

And any time I have an artist illustrate something for me I will pay per each use, even if it's the same drawing.

While likely true, I would think it would serve him well to negotiate a deal for other items and SELL SELL SELL.

#2439 5 years ago
Quoted from PeteB:

Before trashing John's operation any further, I think everyone should turn their attention to the following photo.
Just in front of John's face is a Kiss machine, looking well into the late stages of design and development, but even better in the far right are 3 fully assembled Magic Girl machines which you can clearly make out have either wireform or clear plastic ramps. These look like finished prototypes where he/they are no doubt working on the game code. Interesting that the display is in the playfield just like Circus Voltaire.

That kiss game is entirely made of foam core board. Always has been. It's nothing different than what was shown at MGC. He just doesn't get rid of things. The three MGs on the right are prototypes, but not likely complete, and they look to have the older straight ramps on them.

#2454 5 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

WHat exactly does the video show that wasn't already known?

Quite a bit. Most people haven't seen the inside of his shop, and there's a lot of wide shots of the shop. The things he's been showing owners about MG/RAZA are usually just individual parts or art pieces, he's never shown mostly assembled play fields to anyone outside the shop before.

#2458 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Also, I see no RAZA games so what's that mean a year behind MG?

Quoted from rai:

I think the games look great, not sure about the huge contraption in the middle of MG, I would fear the games will be overloaded with toys and gizmos and become somewhat trouble prone or cramped (not a wide body but packed with toys).

#2468 5 years ago
Quoted from blimpey:

Just found a photo of three nicely populated MG p/f's on the artist's instagram.

That's a nice shot of the older prototype ramps that aren't all wavy.

#2494 5 years ago
Quoted from minnesota13:

With long ramp runs you have add the ramp "waves" to slow the velocity of the ball. Without the waves
the ball will blow out the end of the ramp even with some added rubber bumper.

I'm not suggesting the straight ones are better, just that the last time I was at the shop, that was the design.

2 weeks later
#2895 5 years ago

Just remember, everyone saying nasty things about John on online are just complimenting him.

(Paraphrasing John from his Expo "Nothin' But Cabinets" presentation)

1 week later
#3287 5 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

But your statement seems to suggest that John will reveal games ready for production with completed dots/animation and a full rule set with completed code. In my mind, this is the only way that you can make a statement like the one above.

Great. Now I've herniated myself laughing.

#3319 5 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

Are you nuts? Have you ever seen the Transformers lock, or the Hulk toy, or....
I mean, let's be for real here.. assume that "hundreds of thousands" is the bare minimum to meet your qualification 200,000 hours. At one mech in test that is 22 years. With 25 mechs in test that is still the better part of a year. You seriously think that Stern is testing ANY mech 25 at a time for the better part of a year, straight?
Might want to at least try to be semi-realistic with your hyperbole, instead of totally ludicrous.

I might believe thousands of repetitions - like the video they showed of the TWD crossbow mech repeatedly firing up a ramp and reloading - but not thousands of HOURS.

#3330 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

Show them on a weekly basis what happened this past week.

I think this would make a lot of people's blood boil a bit. "This week I've been experimenting with cutting a hole in the side of the cabinet so people can look inside. It'll be like one of those cows at the state fair, but with lights, and less chewed grass."

#3333 5 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

I have cash in hand to pay for a AIW

Don't do that.

#3517 5 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

He had a CNC back when Ben was still on the game...so he probably still has it.

He used Ben's back then, but has since gotten his own.

#3548 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Anyone want to post it?

Buyers eyes only man. They've got nothing else for a long time, let them have this.

#3734 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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

A licensed (Rob) Zombie theme ... ?

#3768 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

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

It'd be nice if the design was iterated on a bit more for sure. It was a pretty sparse layout when he showed it at MGC last year. Had some cool bits to it, but there just wasn't much in total.

#3785 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

To reframe it.... Ben, if you sell 150 machines, you outsold jpop's entire run of MG and RAZA.

Yeah, but I'd expect that if John's games ever actually got done and weren't limited quantities, he'd sell a lot more than AMH did/does.

#3791 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Well John is "starting production" on MG in March

Anybody laying odds on that?

#3873 4 years ago


3 weeks later
#4385 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Note to The Big Lebowski pre-orders. Dutch Pinball heard about my trip and has kindly invited me to visit them while in Chicago. I will be extending my stay.

The Netherlands is in Chicago?

#4388 4 years ago
Quoted from LITZ:

The North American DP base is in Chicago.

So, Scott Danesi's house?

Post edited by epthegeek: Removed the code comment bit, Scott told me it's fresher than Expo.

#4391 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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

You, sir, need to stop with the teasing.

#4393 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

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

I was wondering what that board on Danesi Designs was for. I somehow missed the proto-peek.


#4601 4 years ago
Quoted from Strange:

OMG, i need the money for this fuckin' game.... ahhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!
Talk about John comin' thru in the end and all these douchebags talkin' mad shit over & over & over & over again. DOUBTFUL. That bastard is my boy. John is my boy. He's the one who really gets it...

There still isn't really any "coming through". There's no complete, running MG on the blog. Just art, like we've always heard. And weird history.

This is why he's continued to get away with not delivering for this long. People see the bits and pieces he's got so far and go all gaga for it.

#4695 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

Gerry sold a few boards to John. John tried them and and decided they were not for him. This was before we were even on the scene. That's all there is to know with regards to JPOP and proc.
FAST Pinball

I wouldn't say that's all there is to know.

#4710 4 years ago
Quoted from Strohz:

When I visited I was told he was using the Quetzal pinball controller (a modified version of the NEMO hardware) developed by Antonio in Spain. Of course, we know how well that project has done since then. I've never heard him announce an actual programmer, but know someone was working on the menu system as far bask as two expos ago. Whether it went anywhere or was scrapped remains a mystery to me.

It was a board made with Antonio. Produced by Great Lakes Modular, I believe. I wonder how that turned out.

Edit: After posting I found out that GLM didn't produce the control board, Tony produced other parts for John.

#4735 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm not concerned as much with FAST's cost, as I am the WASTE of throwing away previous solutions.

Yup. Originally John was going to use P-ROC, but Gerry didn't want to re-design (test and manufacture) the board (for free) so that John could have one with features he didn't want/need to use stripped out and sell it to him cheaper - plus, he said, he didn't want to be 'beholden' to a competitor (since Gerry was going to make P3). So he spent a great deal of time & effort having Antonio make a new board for him and the programmer he had working at the time (who is not any longer due to non-payment) do a lot of testing and such, and they switched to his new custom board, which was close enough in operation to the P-ROC that the existing code base would run on it -- so at least THAT time wasn't wasted.

Now apparently Aaron is lobbying to have him switch again so he's got a client for his hardware? Hope they all like working for free.

#4742 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

It was a board made with Antonio. Produced by Great Lakes Modular, I believe. I wonder how that turned out.

Small update to this - GLM didn't produce the controller board. Tony did other projects for John.

#4744 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

That's really what R & D is all about isn't it?

This isn't really a case of researching and developing to fill a need. The PROC WOULD have run the games fine. John could have saved the expense and time and just used that.

But he made his own board. Now THAT runs the games fine.

There's no real need to shift to new hardware and start over unless he doesn't have someone currently working on the game code and the offer from Fast & MP is "we'll do this if ..."

#4762 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

... get a flipping game by the PNW meeting

John's had a functional (unfinished) MG game for well over a year. The software wasn't completely done, but there were some modes, and multiball, and a full service mode. As referenced by whomever that was that visited the shop and said "I played Magic Girl". He stopped paying the programmer that was working on MG at the time, so he (the programmer) didn't renew the contract they had an continue working on it.

#4787 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

IMHO the owners should just rally behind Aaron and Brian, and tell John to just go ahead and give FAST a shot for Magic Girl. We're talking a handful of games here, why the hell not just go for it? You've got two guys in this very thread chomping at the bit to help get this game built. If they deliver even half as fast as they say they can it will still be twice as fast as anything else that's going on right now.

It's kind of sad that its come to that, really. John started with PROC. Had a full time programmer that was making great progress. Should have been able to put the pedal down and get things done with a fully fleshed out framework and an eager contributor.

But John had to be John. He wanted a new version of the PROC, without paying any development or testing costs tailored to his specific needs. He didn't get that so he decided to make his own, and throw a whole wrench into the works costing time, effort and money. Then, for whatever reason, he stopped paying the guy who was doing the code. That guy stuck it out for a while, then he gave up, as it was his full time job and he has a family to feed.

I've heard from a bunch of people that tried to work with and/or help John on these projects and not one of them relates good stories or news. John may be a great designer. Very creative and all that. But he really needs someone in charge. Someone to say no. Someone to set budgets and timelines. Without that, I fear any new effort in any direction will just be as wasted as all the previous years.

We'd all love to see John's games finished, I'm sure. But just having one gung-ho guy with a brand new untested boardset and an unfinished software framework that lives on the other side of the country is no magic bullet as long as things continue on the path they've been on.

#4932 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Did jpop ever come up with a sound board for the system? Or is that still non existent?

If the code runs a computer of some kind (as it would with a PROC, Johns Board, OR FAST) then that can output the sound and you just need an amp.

#4941 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Just because the prior crew couldn't make an impact doesn't mean others can't

This is pretty disrespectful to at least some, if not all of the people who have worked on John's projects thus far. For example, the guy who wrote the bulk of the existing code for both MG & RAZA, developed the system for the RGB insert lighting, was instrumental helping build & test john's PROC replacement and much more had a contract to be paid for the work he did. Everything he was given he did do. And John stopped paying him the salary he needed to live on, so he stopped working for John and found other work. To say that he didn't make an impact (or earlier, call him a 'loser') is BS.

1 week later
#5360 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

"I have a new project manager starting today and we will see how he fits in. He is a pinball guy, so most of the parts he knows, but not so much my process or style and is a PM for a large company.

Oh, hey, I know who that is. I also know what went on then. Same old story. the PM guy laid out a bunch of hard truths for John and he never returned the PMs calls after that.

#5399 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Is John's blog officially dead? He hasn't posted a RAZA update in nearly a month?

Too busy mocking up Alice, apparently.

#5404 4 years ago
Quoted from eckelpeckel:

I wish zidware would just sell the designs to a manufacturer,

They'd have to be finished for that.

#5412 4 years ago
Quoted from eckelpeckel:

looks like a pretty complete game (physically) to me?

Looks like it, but it's not. The ramps are prototypes, and all the bits in the upper playfield aren't even finalized yet.

#5431 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

At this point he has worked/is working on SIX games. Isn't it odd that he only seems to be able to finish games that nobody is paying for, like KISS?

Don't get crazy now. Kiss wasn't anywhere near finished. It was foam core and hot glue just like that aiw mock up. If you would have tried to flip it, you would have destroyed it. It wasn't even a full model. Was supposed to have ramps on it.

#5517 4 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

So that pretty much puts the hardware platform back at square zero, correct? Who is left that will work on his proprietary platform? My guess is no one and that is why there is no flipping MG or RAZA and hence nothing he can do to move those projects along. So, instead he has thrown himself into AIW completely.

He's got a working board design that runs his games just fine. There just won't be any shift to using FAST instead if Aaron is not involved.

#5529 4 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

Is this the modified p-roc or his own homebrew platform?

It's a board Quetzal made for John, replaces the function of the PROC but is different in architecture.

Quoted from notaflyingtoy:

Now I'm confused. I understand no Fast boards. What games are running?

MG has been 'running' software/driver wise for a long while now. With John's new control board. It's not a full game that you could start producing, but the CPU system and such are workable and have been.

#5533 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

And yet the owners have yet to see a video with a flipper moving a ball, let alone the game really shooting.

Because John is crrraaaaaaaaazzzzzyyyyyyyyy. Or something.

#5551 4 years ago

Great harm. Sure. Good thing all his secrecy and lack of progress isn't doing any harm.

#5695 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

I'm confused. I thought John told ice that he was opening up all the blogs to the public, and that he no longer cared if stuff from the blogs was shared with the community. Is this not the case?

That was before the 'great harm'

#5703 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Wow, I completely missed that. When did this "freak out" happen?

I believe he's referring to this:

Quoted from jazzmaster:

I guess posting here is one way to get his attention..... from the blog:
I have had a bunch of folks message me about items from this blog appearing on public forums like “Pinside”. These items are not meant to be distributed but for the owners here only. The items / ideas / designs and illustrations on this blog are protected by United States ©Copyright and need to be kept as “trade secrets” until public viewing is ready.
If you are the person or know the person, please stop immediately as great harm is being done. Jpop"
So much for the "opening of the gates" policy.

The Great Harm.

#5947 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

I'm pretty sure the day one thing is an April fools prank.

I assure you, it absolutely is not.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

Day one pinball. From idea to full blown company and 30 finished games in 6 months. Granted there are no flippers, it has professional artwork by John Yousi and 4-channel multiplex sound. Amazing what you can accomplish when you have a "team" that all work together, and you have a "project manager"

Hilarious tidbit - the whole thing has its genesis in the Contact Master that Yancy bought from ... (wait for it) ... JPOP.

#5955 4 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Don't forget shipping!

Pick up your Scoregasm Master in person at MGC - No shipping cost!

#5957 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

April fools day is over, brotha!

Day One Pinball's Scoregasm Master is no joke. It's a legit pin-game that you can buy at MGC.

#5970 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

He hasn't answered my calls or texts this past week, must be busy in production
Calling him again today.

Busy in production. You're hilarious. This is just how he operates. When that guy that he announced was going to work with him as a PM met with him for 2 days and asked a bunch of hard questions and talked about setting deadlines and budgets -- John never took his calls after that.

#6004 4 years ago
Quoted from yancy:

...and I wore a Zidware shirt last night while assembling Scoregasm playfields.

Circle of life man. Circle of life.

1 week later
#6452 4 years ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Im taking preorders for Limited Edition Tshirts

2015-04-10-18-47-29.png (Click image to enlarge)

It's not May.

1 week later
#7075 4 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

Also, who is the 1 person who got turned away from a tour? I'd love to hear from that guy!

TheKorn. He wouldn't sign John's NDA.

#7212 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

Hello all - I'm the artist on JPOPs 'recent' machines - I haven't heard for him in a few weeks and started doing some diggin which led me here - can someone summarize what is going on? thanks in advance!

He's missed every deadline he's ever set. He owes a bunch of different associates/contractors money. Customers who paid in advance for games are still mostly in the dark.

Also: Your art on these games is magnificent. It's a damn shame they they likely won't get made for people.

#7286 4 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

Honestly, if someone were brought in to take charge of these projects

People have tried. It always ends up the same. They hit John with the truth of how things need to go and he stops taking their calls.

#7392 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Like doing a game for Spooky is getting sat down in the corner or something.

Seems to me doing work for a company with shipping games is a step up, no matter who it is.

#7488 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Even if the FAST/Mission guys were overboard in their bravado about getting a machine flipping in 2 days, they certainly would have had something by now if John had just agreed to it 2 months ago or whenever that was being talked about.

He's already got a playable MG if he would put it all together and show it to anyone. The original game ran, had some stuff in it - but wasn't complete. It gets a little old continually throwing aside the nearly 2 years worth of effort that the original programmer/systems designer put in to get the game base framework & service mode running, develop his RGB insert lighting system, etc. The software wasn't done, sure, but he's had a rig running in attract mode with full feature lamps and whatnot for years now, and it would run a game if he'd build one.

#7490 4 years ago

I'm just talking about the repeated idea that FAST/Mission could have stormed in and saved things in no time. The part they would have contributed (controlling hardware & software) is already in place, and the software is much farther along than you'd get in two days with any framework, no matter how robust. The parts they could help with wasn't really the problem.

#7499 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Hahahahaha, a pinsider who thinks MG is playable and that John can put it all together. Who said pinside doesn't have confidence in John? WHO?!?

More like a guy who's been to johns shop, worked on some of johns projects, and seen all this stuff first hand.

Note that I didn't say it was done. I said you can boot it up and flip it and there's part of a game there.

2 weeks later
#8222 4 years ago

From FB: "John says time to replace these little ramp puppies with some serious plastic rampage.....on the way...!"


Can he really think that admitting he doesn't have ramps done for the game after all these years is worth broadcasting?

#8468 4 years ago

I wonder who he found to machine some aluminum for him for free.

#8720 4 years ago

I love how in the video where he yaps about how he's got to get custom glass for the cabinets he's known the dimensions of for years ... he's using a mostly blank print-test playfield with a few bits bolted on to it and he STILL tries as hard as he can to not show you anything on it.


#8814 4 years ago

Just throwing this in the fray - but, a lot of audio/music has been made for at least MG and maybe RAZA. There's also a bunch of animatics done for the display for MG that I know of too. So even though Ben's summary of work to be done is still bleak without those, it's not QUITE as bad as it could be -- Even if you completely throw out the whole backend and game work from the previous programmer, there's a decent amount of assets already there.

#9236 4 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

Zidware, Inc. (“Zidware” or the “Company”) is a designer and manufacturer of pinball machines.

LIES. Manufacturer my ass.

#9256 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Hmm, another Chicago builder, Scoregasm games anyone?

I can't imagine Terry would jump into this ridiculous fray.

#9264 4 years ago

How's the owners facebook group look this morning? heh!

#9277 4 years ago
Quoted from TaylorVA:

If he is forced into bankruptcy than at least the licenses could be sold as an asset and not sold by John to these "licensees."

It seems to me like the 'sale' of the license to make the games in this case is being paid for by honoring the money already in on preorders, rather than paying john outright for them.

If zidware goes through bankruptcy/liquidation someone could buy the assets to be able to make the games and NOT have any obligation to honor the deposits already made, no?

Though in that situation the money raised from selling off the goods would go to pay back the people with money in, wouldn't they? I suppose that actually is the better course for those owed.

#9283 4 years ago
Quoted from thedarkknight77:

As far as I am concerned, you are the genius behind JPOP. There is an army of us that will petition Stern, JJP or Spooky to make sure you stay in pinball. Heck I will write you a check.

QFT. The absolute best thing about ALL of John's projects was the art. Period. The MG playfield ended up too cluttered IMHO because John was throwing everything and the kitchen sink onto it -- but the art on all three projects is fantastic.

#9301 4 years ago

Who's in for going to the auction when stuff gets sold off?

#9302 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

The RAZA buyers are Zidwares most valuable potential incoming funds, in my views. Roughly half the money has not been collected for this game of which is apparently nearly at the same stage as MG.

Quoted from slapshot:

nearly at the same stage as MG.

Nope. No way, no how.

#9339 4 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

John actually sent me an email once telling me to stop sending invoice reminders as it was "annoying him" ...


#9376 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Secrets are what boned this project from the beginning.


#9425 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

What if there is no investor? What if this is just a tactic to stall and maintain the long con for another 4 years and another million?

You think after failing to actually run a business all this time John could pull a fancy shuffle like that off? ha ha, suckers! There is no investor, it's just me! And I duped you all into signing no-sue agreements! -- I doubt it.

#9430 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

You get John OUT of the $$$ part. What more do you want?

I'm sure not getting ripped off with the 50 cents on the dollar BS is high on a lot of RAZA buyers list.

#9535 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Thus, you have to decide if you think the new guy is capable or not

How can anybody decide that when almost nobody knows who he is?

#9562 4 years ago

You guys are missing an opportunity here - seems to me if you're being told to fill out how much you paid in, then everybody is paid in full! Hell, tell 'em you paid for 2 raza's to solve the 50% credit problem. Since there are apparently no records.

/not serious

#9743 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Found it. Fattrain knows or is the guy.

Quoted from ChrisVW:

Fattrain is not daddy warbucks.

Hey may not be, but he DOES represent a guy with big money looking for rare games. There's a long standing thread where he's looking for stuff like Kingpin and King Kong, etc.

#9752 4 years ago
Quoted from pinsnob:

To clarify, this is an old deal that fell through.?


#9796 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

All ready for a bombshell ...?
A good friend of mine emailed JPOOP 2 weeks ago asking if he could still buy a AIW.
(The times show an hour but he sent it from eastern time zone ... Reply was 9 minutes)
JPOOP would have known that he was "in the cart" In NZ, that's called "trading while insolvent" and that's a criminal offense. You can't take people's money when there is no chance of delivering. That's fraud.
Here is the email. Names removed to protect the innocent ...
On 5/5/15 1:01 PM, ******** wrote:
Is alice in wonderland still being made?
How does one order one?
On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 2:10 PM, John Popadiuk <jpop@zidware.com> wrote:
Yes absolutely. main reveal is here for now. Almost sold out. Currently building the whitewood from this design. To order you would send a Paypal deposit of $4750 (info@zidware.com). A beautiful piece of illustration and pinball it will be.

Wow. Jesus. All along I just assumed John was a goofy 'artistic type' that wasn't really malicious with any of this and actually thought he'd be able to get the games done when he started -- but to actually tell someone to send in money for a new order after all that has come to light is unbelievable.

#10229 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

according to him I am the ONLY person who wants a refund instead of the new deal. Am I in the Twilight Zone?

Sounds like typical interrogation tactics. "Your buddy is in the other room giving us all the details of what you did(*). If you lie to us now your punishment will be all the worse"

* This part is a lie.

#10266 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

There's no Programmer?

Programming is 80% of the work in creating a pinball machine. If they're starting over from zero and hiring "a programmer" it'll be at least a year before there's a finished game.

Quoted from MapleSyrup:

There is no code.

There is code for the current setup, and you can actually sort of play a game on it. But unless they're going to shovel large amounts of money at Jim, I doubt he'd want to be involved -- so someone is going to have to start over.

#10619 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Someone flamed John's facebook page, and I'm amazed there are people backing him up

Is that James Lewis, as in Pinball Inc Ramps James Lewis?

Edit: Sorry, my memory sucks Loflin/Lewis. Derp.

#10623 4 years ago
Quoted from Compy:

No, you're thinking of James Loflin from Pinball Inc.

Oooh, right. That seemed odd. My bad.

#10721 4 years ago
Quoted from danczaz:

I drive by there all the time... I have to drive by there this afternoon... I'll snap a photo for everybody.

He's in the first building in that industrial park on the right side as you go in. The space has a front office type area with clearly visible pinball stuff in it so it's pretty easy to spot.

#11111 4 years ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

What in the hell is that contraption in the middle? Is there an elevator to the top? That looks like one of those wishing funnels that you put a coin in and watch it magically roll on it's side down and down and down and down........Seems like a bog down to wait for that thing.

It's just a big circular ramp up. There's a mini playfield raised in the middle of it though.

#11113 4 years ago
Quoted from taz:

Did it have plastic ramps then? I thought they just made them.

Hand made out of cut plastic and glue on that prototype - not molded.

#11126 4 years ago

Seems like the right way to do this is for someone to:
- Step in, and buy Zidware's assets outright
- Pay off the vendors owed
- Refund all the preorders
- Finish MG
- Build it and sell it.

Who's up for that?

#11171 4 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

Guys, this is JOHN POPADIUK. The man was a literal god in pinball. One of the top creators in the hobby, and he's fallen so far.

Not sure how you make this leap. He made WCS (before it was finished up by someone else), TOM, CV and SWE1. Most of which are considered pretty mediocre as a whole. CV, which most people would call his best game, didn't sell when it was new because ops didn't want it.

He was a guy who worked in pinball. He's rather creative with physical design and art direction. But he was just one spoke on a wheel that got games made back in the day.

Edit: Oh yeah, I forgot TOTAN. My bad. Another pretty game that most people yawn at the gameplay of.

#11417 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

applejuice - what other projects did you work on? I know about kiss and we have heard that there was some sort of EM project there - anything else?

The 'EM' project wasn't so much an EM, just a really simple, low BOM game with a throwback style playfield layout that he wanted to sell cheap. They've been in the lobby of his office space for a long time. Anybody that has been there would have seen them. He called it 'Space Mission X'. Jim did the base framework code for that, and I tweaked around on it a little to add some audio, rules and testing functions. But it was never a front burner project, it didn't get a lot of attention.

The Kiss foamcore mockup thing Jim didn't have a hand in. He didn't even know it existed until it was mostly together. I built a shell in a hurry in pyprocgame so it would do something with graphics on the screen for an early meeting. It didn't really do much.

#11435 4 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

Applejuice, I feel your pain. It sounds like you poured your heart and soul into this project based on JPop's false promises. I hope there is some recovery in your future.
What board set was this code developed on? Was this done on something common like the P-ROC board set? Or was this custom hardware that John paid or conned someone else to develop for him?
I am hoping it is P-ROC so it is easily reproduced. Because I don't see a custom board set in the future for these machines.

I posted this at some earlier point in the thread:

Quoted from epthegeek:

Yup. Originally John was going to use P-ROC, but Gerry didn't want to re-design (test and manufacture) the board (for free) so that John could have one with features he didn't want/need to use stripped out and sell it to him cheaper - plus, he said, he didn't want to be 'beholden' to a competitor (since Gerry was going to make P3). So he spent a great deal of time & effort having Antonio make a new board for him and the programmer he had working at the time (who is not any longer due to non-payment) do a lot of testing and such, and they switched to his new custom board, which was close enough in operation to the P-ROC that the existing code base would run on it -- so at least THAT time wasn't wasted.

Original code was built on PROCs. New board has libraries that make it able to run the same code.

#11523 4 years ago

Ramps for Magic Girl? WHAT YEAR IS IT?! <insert picture of Robin Williams from Jumanji>

#11546 4 years ago
Quoted from turbo20lbs:

I was driving home yesterday, and I swear I saw John (goofy long hair guy, can't miss him) moving a pinball machine out (or in?) of the shop. It is right off the main road here so you can see the suite from the road. I tried to turn around as fast as I could but he was gone. It looked to be that EM he has, that is all yellow(ish) on the cabinet colors right?

He was always picking up old beat up crap from craigslist. We scavenged parts off an old playfield he had to put spinners on the 'retro' space mission game one weekend.

#11725 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Wow this is really impressive work Jim! Thanks for sharing. The lighting is very nice and the screen complements the gameplay well. Its really the programming that makes the game come alive.
Did you work on the music and animations too?

I believe John had Rob Barry from WMS doing sound. Another artist (not Jeremy) was doing screen animations.

#12853 4 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.

He had that row of 'prototypes' in the shop for a long time - it wasn't something done just for the adobe video. They were never complete working games that I'm aware of.

#12973 4 years ago
Quoted from TOK:

You should steal it and head to Mexico. This tale needs more twists and turns!

A post on facebook makes it sound like John is driving out west with the game. I doubt he'd steal it from himself.

#13037 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

If it had gone past this stage it'd be colored it could happen - but might be some time before I can focus on it.

I'd be interested in a colored one too. You know, since the B/W is already SOLD OUT anyway.

#13057 4 years ago
Quoted from asay:

yes like we established in another thread, Ben is famous.

Internet famous. It's different. Nothing against Ben, of course, he's a great guy. He's just not "Famous" famous.

#13113 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I thought copperfield was the early SS game that Epthegeek was coding?

No, that was Space Mission X.

#13330 4 years ago

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.

#13354 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I did do that - even engraved and cut the parts on my laser

Time to add another item to the online shop! .. Oh, hey - it was something about a "Pinball Shoppe" wasn't it? Whatever, it looked awesome.

#13370 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

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

MG to me seems very much like a knee-jerk reaction by John against all the times he was told to remove things for cost/timeline purposes. It has tons of stuff on it. Probably too much.

#13512 4 years ago

All that LED color wash out on the playfield and then the cabinet art in it's normal color at the end is kind of a shock. heh.


The flat metal with screws biff bars seems like a really odd choice. Same thing with the centering strips under the levitator mech (which never really worked right). Seem like they'd bang up the ball.

#13516 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Look at how blown out the contrast is on that - that's why you want cool white. That purple totally ruins the amazing art.

At least on this one it was explained that the back box LEDs were a last minute duct-tape and glue situation and it just ended up purple.

#14284 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Also during this time, John made a Kiss pin which he had no license for, did not collect any deposits for, so he used all the other money collected to fund this game.

The Kiss thing was a foam-core prototype only. A waste of time, sure. Some resources too. But mostly it was just art on foam filled cardboard. He didn't pay me anything for the code that ran the demo/tests, not sure how much he paid for the art mockups but I know they were a rush job.

#14289 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

But he has no RAZA prototype and a 1/2 working MG prototype, I just feel those should take priority to his unpaid projects.

What should have taken priority was putting together a team that could actually run the business and get things done. It seems like John just did the part he knew how to on MG, then kind of hit a wall, fumbled around and started RAZA ... repeat.

#14542 4 years ago

Can't say I'm shocked. Another well intended hopeful soul chewed up and spit out by the zidware machine.

#14634 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

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

No, they weren't. They existed long before adobe ever came by to shoot a video. They weren't done. Couldn't be made whole without serious rework due to fitment issues, but they weren't just mockups for that stupid video.

#14851 4 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

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

The lighting 'Structure System' is not the LED boards under the playfield. He has this stage-lighting like rig that was a long metal pole that ran along the side of the playfield, up in the air, angled with the glass. It attached to a support post at the front and the back. All the items (lights, decor, whatever) were attached to the pole and (at least in the prototype) secured with thumb screws. The whole thing was hideous, and he seriously thought it was an amazing idea. Space Mission X was going to use it. I think it was on the Kiss prototype too - but since that was a rock-band/stage type thing, it kind of worked with that game. It was still too bulky/gaudy though.

Update: you can see it in this picture from the Kiss Prototype thread. It's not angled up as much on the kiss proto as it was on the SPX game, but you can see the basic structure of the thing.


#14857 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Ha. I liked my imaginary fiber system better. i agree those row of LEDs are pretty ugly.

The row of exposed LEDs was new for the kiss proto - the space mission x never had that on it that I saw. Just the big clunky flasher housings and some plastic space ships or something.

#14861 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Space Mission X?
Do we have a full list of how many pins John was in the process of not finishing? I've heard up to 7.
Seems like John wanted to stay in the fun kiddie pool of the idea & brainstorming part of production - and not dip his toe into the bloodbath of the other 90%.

Space Mission X was the 'retro' budget game that he had in the lobby of his workshop. Plainly visible through the front windows to anybody that went by.
Then there was the Kiss prototype model and the 3 main games. I don't know if any of the others a actually had anything built or not (the bowling girls or whatever it was called?)

Edit: SPX was the farthest along of the non-main games. Hell, it may have been the farthest along of all the projects. Real wood playfield, actual parts, software that you could play a game on. LOL.

#15120 4 years ago
Quoted from gambit3113:

This thread is stupid now.

Well played.

#15402 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Guys, I did go over the books, ... He was paying himself, if I recall roughly 7500 a month

Wait. What?

Quoted from wcbrandes:

He was paying himself, if I recall roughly 7500 a month

Quoted from wcbrandes:

roughly 7500 a month


#15498 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

$7500 a month salary
$2500 a month rent, expenses and utilities
x 2 years

Where do you get TWO years? It's been like 4.

#15506 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

The original delivery timeline for Magic Girl around two years or less. That money was taken for those games. My point was that he had to have known that he could not build the games after he paid himself that high a salary.

Ah, ok - just from a "here's my schedule" point of view. Gotcha.

4 weeks later
#16531 4 years ago

John's like a character in a Twilight Zone or Amazing Stories episode. How bizarre. Continuing on like everything is fine.

#16534 4 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

What about this. Magic Girl #4 Finally Being Shipped -(at the bottom) Makes it sound completed.

That's the one they built to send to the NW show. Because the other 3 couldn't be finished as is, they had to build a 4th.

#16537 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Seriously. The last "official" thing he had to say was the Pintasia announcement that he officially could not finish these games.

"Zidware no longer has the ability to get Magic Girl™ (“MG”) into production let alone Retro Atomic Zombie
Adventureland™ (“RAZA”) and Alice in Wonderland The Pinball™ (“AIW”)." - John Popadiuk

(From the letter he sent about the pintasia deal)

#16548 4 years ago

All these numbers ... all you need is one:

1) Be crazy

#16552 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

All these numbers ... all you need is one:
1) Be crazy

Quoted from Pimp77:

1) Be a criminal
I corrected that for you

Why not have Both! <Party>

I don't think John had any purposeful criminal intent - I think he's just crazy/naive.

#16557 4 years ago
Quoted from vex:

he was taking fresh money up to 2 weeks before the shit hit the fan,knowing full well nothing would ever be produced. i call that criminal intent. you have fallen for the " i'm a hopeless clown" facade he wants to purport to the community.

Quoted from Pimp77:

Edit: maybe not at first, but he is clearly there now.

You guys think he's evil, I think he's just "artsy" and certifiably nuts. Either could be true.

#16567 4 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

He is crazy, we agree on that. You don't think he realizes the jig is up yet continues to play with other people's money?

I really think he doesn't understand that the jig is up. I think he still believes that some rich guy is going to throw money at him. He still thinks this will all work out somehow -- THAT kind of crazy. Delusional. Not accepting reality.

#16569 4 years ago

Here's what I'm talking about -- this was shared on the FB Zidware group on June 11th:

-- Quoted Part ---

Had an interesting (bad) talk with Jpop today.

First (amongst many) problems, he still thinks that Zidware will continue further. I asked him how? he replied we just need (another) millionaire invest to infuse cash in. I told him you had that chance with Bill and blew it. He replied well people buy 5 million dollar paintings every day, it's a small amount to those people. Swear to god that was his reply word for word.


-- End Quoted Part --

#16603 4 years ago

I'm sure he counted his original investment in games john was working on as part of that number.

9 months later
#18808 3 years ago

John needed someone to run the business, and an engineer to make his 'dreams' actually work properly, physically. But he wasn't having any of that. A long line of people offered to help john in the areas that he needed and were rejected outright, or accepted and then driven away by the insanity of the whole thing.

4 months later
#19159 3 years ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Here is my take. I believe that John has somehow convinced this Dhaval and this AimTron company to reverse engineer the PROC system and reproduce the system he needs for these games. In turn, if the games somehow actually get produced, the "NEW" American Pinball has a product to sell. Meanwhile, leaving all the original buyers in the dust, shit out of luck. Dhaval get his money if, and only if the games get produced and sell. John probably had enough in the prototypes to convince this guy to take a complete leap of faith.

John already had a working board set, that wasn't the problem. He needed a mechanical engineer more than most things, but he definitely needed other things as well.

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