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(Topic ID: 92436)

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

By iceman44

6 years ago

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23 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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

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

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

Post #20626 MG is now ready! Posted by TecumsehPlissken (3 years ago)

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

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

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

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

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#48 6 years ago

If the pics were posted publicly before, then they are just being reposted in this thread. This would be like me posting pics from his expo talk that had magic girl art in it.

#105 6 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

Heaven forbid pinheads get the chance to see some things that he is working on. I personally think that is the wrong approach to take now days but to each their own. TOTAN was the biggest reason I got addicted to pinball. I love Jpop's work and am not hating just don't care for all of the hiding going on with his newest works in progress.

well, to be fair, Stern still works in secret and doesn't even announce the title till they are ready to sell. jpop is used to working in secrecy from his time at WMS. The owners blog is his compromise to let the people with some money invested know something about what is happening, but I understand his desire to just work in secret. I think ideally someone fronts him the entire nut to create a game and then sell it after, but what we have now is just how its going to be.

1 month later
#173 6 years ago

I'm in on RAZA and will stay in for the duration, but I'm not doing this again.

It's interesting to see the revisions, a process most other companies don't do at all (once and it's "good enough"), and how much the work changes, but I still think we the buyers would have been happy and content with that original backglass with ben heck on it, and not have considered for a second what might have been if he created a dozen more versions.

#176 6 years ago

I'm not saying I don't like the new art better, but the game was sold as BHZA, we saw the art, if we had the game a year ago instead of waiting all this time would we have been unhappy?

2 months later
#274 5 years ago
Quoted from TaTa:

Talked to someone who was at JPops yesterday and still no working MG...let alone RAZA

I have my protective cup on.

#295 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Empty cabinets ...

image.jpg 99 KB

ugh. what I feared. cabinets, and some art and some parts shown.

#325 5 years ago

The burn, is as an owner, I still had no idea what he was and was not going to show at expo. Last he said on his blog, he was going to have a big "reveal" in October. So, unless there is a flipping game at the shop that some owners would like to tell me they got to see, the disappointment is justified.

#357 5 years ago

I guess that means another 6 months of revisions to take the robot out?

#384 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Was wondering if someone else was going to say that. I was thinking the same thing.
I like the artwork on the cab a lot (although I think the alien has far too similarity to another alien), but that backglass doesn't look good to me. Too busy, with little standing out. No "wow" factor.
If he has to re-do it, I think that's a good thing.

That backglass has been revised dozens of times, that is probably one of the most documented things on the blog.

#389 5 years ago

I am/was good with waiting, but it's the not having a clue part of where we're at and how much longer it will be that I don't like.

John told me 18 months ago that MG prototypes were being built and ready for spring 2013. I get that there are set backs, but no one has seen a flipping game at all. I can only guess RAZA is a year off still? Will we have it xmas 2015? No even factoring in how long they'll take to build (another year?). Spooky can make 2 machines a week, why would that not be a normal number for all boutiques?

#391 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

If Spooky can build them why would you assume Jpop can't?

I'm wondering if a non-factory can produce pins faster than 2 a week, the pace that Spooky has set. Jpop can screw a game together, but how quickly?

Just concerned that pace will add another year to another long wait for whenever it will be done.

#436 5 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

I have FAITH + 1

I wish faith had nothing to do with it. Would be much better with deadlines met and products delivered.

#455 5 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

My only critique would be more updates

This is a biggie.

#563 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Until you get the "user can't comment" notice.
JPop needs reigned in.

Hold on, you're saying a paying customer has been blocked from the blog for asking questions?

#566 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Me. Others too I think.

That is downright unacceptable.

#575 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Me. Others too I think.

What was the nature of your comment that got you blocked? How much did it differ from what I posted?

#587 5 years ago

I think a lot of us were expecting something significant at this expo. It can't be business as usual anymore, something has to change.

#605 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

This post is directed twards RAZA owners... Drano just posted a pretty strong post on the Blog and I have made a few posts as well. At this point as owners I think the only way we can get anywhere is to stop beating around the bush with John and just post how we really feel..... So if your an owner get on the blog and politely say your piece. That way 3 or 4 owners don't have to do all the heavy lifting and John is more likely to listen.

Yes, please. Now is the time.

#673 5 years ago

The last couple days since expo has pushed me over the cliff as well and I'm at the "it's only a pinball, this is not fun, I'll take my check please" if that was possible. And what makes this more aggravating is I know I CAN'T get a refund, so I'm stuck on the ride.

#674 5 years ago

Thanks to those who posted to the blog. If anyone else can that would be great. I'm going to hold back adding more commentary for risk of looking like I'm taking it over, so the more voices we can get the better.

#682 5 years ago

He switched out Ben last year, and I even remember commenting about Mars Attacks then. I looked up my post on his blog, and sure enough July 23, 2013 I posted the Mars Attacks comparison and even included a photo from the movie.

So, yeah, I don't get it.

#693 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

Are you guys sure he's out of money and needed to sell the extra 25 spots to raise cash?

We know the number of machines sold (ish), we know what the price. So it doesn't take much math to figure this out.

#700 5 years ago

Multiball1, I hope you are right and I am wrong.

#708 5 years ago

Well, the truth is, we ARE a bit afraid of him, because in the past when this has flared up, he did not handle it well. So we backed off.

But here we are a year later from the infamous "crickets" blog post, and he did promise to write a letter outlining what he did in 2013, but that never materialized.

#722 5 years ago
Quoted from JosiahCox:

-No current production time line.
-Money invested cannot be recovered even though you all are way past the initially published time line.
-Multiple games being worked on and even new ones introduced before a single title has even been completed with a final design.
-The production numbers have changed without "owners" being notified.
-And finally, there is fear that asking questions may anger the maker and negatively impact further communication.

It's painful to read that, but you've summarized it.

If I wasn't laughing I'd be crying at this point.

#774 5 years ago

I just posted this to his blog:

Thanks for the updates, John. I do want to keep insisting for some answers to questions asked including an updated time line for the project. I appreciate your heart felt post, but I still have no idea what YEAR i might expect the game.

I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say we all know you have the best of intentions, the quality of the work is beyond debate, but the transparency has been poor and questions have gone unanswered, and still are.

Not trying to be a ball buster. Just want some straight answers to some straight questions. Thanks.

#779 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Dates are nice but if they can’t realistically be meet why make them?

Ok, so you want to return to the status quo and wait patiently till he tells us it's done. Got it.

I believe you predicted 2016 or even 2017, and that was after you visited his shop this week. If that is the situation, then we should be told that.

#799 5 years ago

Well, to be fair, there was a deadline. It was in the owner's package when I signed up. Q4 2013 for RAZA. Actually John re-affirmed that deadline when my wife visited his studio spring 2013.

So we've been "Jersey Jacked" already, but with never having an update again.

#807 5 years ago

I don't even want to talk about lawsuits or going down that path. If it came to that, we've all lost.

I think yesterday was a tough day for jpop, but the message has been received it seems. I'll keep pressing him though.

#817 5 years ago

Probably the simplest solution here, is for John to show what he's got. Drop the secrecy, and generate positive hype again for the games. That will put names on the waiting list again and those buyers can replace the ones that would like off.

He may not want to do it this way, but he's in a spot now and would have to compromise.

#840 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I'm glad that you guys lit a fire under John's butt, and that he has responded in a way to make you happy.
But from someone who was formerly in on this, and now looking in from the outside, my 2 cents at this point is that you guys should all be getting a new schedule with dates for production milestones to be completed.
This was done in the original packet/contract, and those dates obviously no longer apply. Get a new schedule from JPop. He's almost 3 years in, he should be able to give a much more accurate schedule at this point. This would help keep his feet to the fire, knowing that he has to have certain things accomplished by a certain point.
Otherwise, you guys are all still in the exact same boat that you were before, and we could be having this same conversation again next year.
Maybe he did give a new production schedule in his recent blog posts? If so, that would be great news.

I responded on his blog that I'm still waiting for the answer to my questions, and will continue to ask him those questions. Yes, I would agree, I didn't want his response to buy time yet not address the underlying issues.

I also suggested he post an "Ask Me Anything" on his blog, promise to answer every question, and clear the air.

#845 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

So he's basically saying he hiding it from u longer and waiting till its done to show u... Am I wrong or is that the interpretation? How is that good for u guys

That was always part of his process, to treat us as kids at Christmas time. If there was any merit to that, it went out the window when the original deadlines were passed.

If someone wants to be a kid at Christmas, they can choose not to read the blog. To force us to be children is.... childish.

#856 5 years ago

I was pondering the secrecy, under "what's the worst that can happen".

Say, jpop showed an unfinished game at expo this month. In the game was a cool as hell toy, a robotic dog that walks across the playfield, picks up the ball with a magnet, and drops it into a hole somewhere (I made this up).

The pinball world goes nuts, talks about how jpop showed the Hobbit what a REAL interactive toy is, people are beating down his door to get on the waiting list.

Flash forward a year... Stern releases a new game, in it a dinosaur walks across the playfield, picks up the ball with a magnet and puts it in a hole somewhere. The online world erupts about how this ripped off jpop straight up.... BUT..... jpop's games are already long spoken for, and everyone knows and saw he had this toy first.

I mean, this is the worst-case-scenario, and the worst thing is the jpop owners all got to see some cool shit and were pumped up along the ride.

#858 5 years ago
Quoted from gstellenberg:

Hmm... I find that quote quite interesting.
- Gerry

See my above analogy, the p-roc will always be recognized as the first. Maximum respect, Gerry.

#884 5 years ago

Pondering the secrecy aspect some more....

Considering that all his titles are extremely limited production. There really is no reason to not show stuff. It would be one thing if he had a factory, and hopes to sell thousands of machines, then you want every competitive advantage.

This information vacuum has created the situation where owners who want to get out can't be replaced because all the outside world has seen is the "empty cabinet" which is the ultimate metaphor of how this project is perceived.

Even with his patents, patents need to be enforced. So he has a patent, whoopdee do, prepare to spend thousands and years in court defending it. They seem pointless when they've slowed down the production, nothing can be shown until patents granted, so he's sitting on all kinds of stuff he won't show. In this case, the cure is worse than the disease.

#892 5 years ago

I'm not cancelling my order, don't want out, I know the game will be great... when I get it (when was that again?). I have serious issues with the biz aspect of it, the lack of accountability, the lack of deadlines, the lack of transparency, the fact that there are other people that have posted in this thread that would like their money back and can't get it.

I could go on the Wonka tour, but those things still need to be addressed.

I run my own biz, it does well, it gives me money for things like pinball. If I ran my business like this I would be OUT of business, so yeah, I'm going to be critical.

#906 5 years ago

Well, it doesn't really matter, what's past is past. I'm waiting, but not-so-patiently, for John's answers to the tough questions. Looking forward, and want to see the road map.

#922 5 years ago

24 hours is a long time on Pinside, all of this blew up just a couple of days ago, so we'll see. He said getting kicked in the balls was hard but needed.

The owners are temporarily pacified by John's post and a couple of bits if news and a promise to answer the questions. I'll get my steel-toed boots on for the next round but am extending some time for him to prepare whatever it is he is going to present us, since I am still a customer, a concerned one, but one who wants his game first and foremost and wants this to work out. I'm not doing this to be a shit disturber for no reason.

#937 5 years ago

I wonder what would have happened if jpop had the games at TBL level (flipping games with alpha software but completed artwork) and was able to show them at this year's expo? HE would have been the belle of the ball.

expo 2015 will have Pat Lawlar's new game, likely DP #2, Heighway #2 and maybe #3, Stern with who knows what, P3. Harder and harder to stand out.

Just seems this 2014 expo was a missed opportunity, but if nothing else it hammered home a large point and hopefully we will get our games well before expo '15.

#946 5 years ago

They have to show the machines sometime.

#998 5 years ago

Well, and it was a project he did with a dying friend who is now passed. Hard to hold that against wanting to fulfill a dying friend's wish.

#1029 5 years ago

Comparing this thread with the Predator one, this thread was going nuts just a week ago but calmed down because John let it be known he got the message loud and clear.

Positive progress is being made to address our concerns, it isn't business-as-usual any longer. Time will tell, but the main thing was that we got enough to put our minds at ease for the time being.

#1036 5 years ago

As a RAZA buyer I would accept a discounted machine in return for allowing him to make a deal to sell them openly. It would be better for pinball, better for me getting support later for my machine since it would be a far better business. I'm not sure if John can make a real go of things the way he's doing it now.

#1050 5 years ago

It's been a single week. He did make a declaration that MG will be shown in December (a Lebowski type reveal), and that he is working on a raza timeline.

I didn't expect it all to be done in 24 hours.

A frankly, once MG is shown, that will put a lot of this to rest and he'll have demonstrated he can get something done.

There's been a few other blog posts this past week, but they are more of the type that we normally see on there, so I don't credit those as signs of change. But if there is no RAZA timetable posted in the next week or so, I'll be asking about it publicly again.

1 week later
#1087 5 years ago

3 weeks after this thread blew up, I still never got any of my questions answered unfortunately. Still have no idea what year I might see RAZA.

It will be helpful for MG to be shown to the world next month. But I have no idea how much is left with RAZA, and how long it will take to produce 120 machines. If the Spooky standard of 2 machines per week is realistic, and without a factory or huge workforce that probably is a reasonable number, and RAZA isn't completed till end of '15... it is likely '16 before many if any see their game.

But I am GUESSING because I have NO IDEA on any of this. John's response at the time bought a few weeks of quiet, but we're pretty much at the same spot. Are MG owners seeing any more info about anything?

#1099 5 years ago

I don't like the Steve Jobs comparison, I think he's more like Francis Ford Coppola making Apocalypse Now.

#1141 5 years ago

John can run things any way he wants... IF he were giving refunds to anyone who asked for any reason. If the journey isn't the reward for them and they're tired of it, then let them out.

Because there are multiple people we know of that can't get out, then this model is broken. The NDA's have been VERY effective of snuffing out information for the greater pinball community and killing enthusiasm for the game, so much so there is no apparent waiting list anymore.

At the same time, John is not confident enough in the NDAs to show the owners anything that HASN'T been patented (yet) and very little of the game.

I asked again last week on the blog what YEAR I might see the game. No response. There was a blog post this week of the white wood build, but that tells me nothing of how much is left to do, where we are and what timeline we're looking at.

#1143 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I think we will get a "timeline" on Raza with the new guy he hired if we can be a little more patient, by the end of the year.

I wish John would just state that if that's the case.

Last he told me, in his response a few weeks back, was that he would answer the questions. Then silence.

#1157 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:
Jpop posted this link on facebook. An interview in three questions with jpop. In one of the questions, the interviewer says you have magic girl to be released in 2015 and retro zombie to be released in 2016.

Well, this is exactly what I'm talking about... I've been asking what YEAR i might see my game and a timetable. Abd the reality of building 100+ machines outside of a factory environment. So, what, 2017 when I get my game then? It said Q4 2013 in my owner's package and never an update since then. This is shitty.

John has provided no other info or answers. I have to guess that this is the timeline then.

#1178 5 years ago

I dug up the timeline from the owner's package.

Basically, we're 50% done the process, as outlined by the milestones.

We're somewhere around:

Playfield Whitewood
Software Start

Whitewood / Software Start is on the schedule as Q4 2012. By this schedule, there is at least a year left if everything goes perfect and we ignore how slowly everything has gone so far.

I get that a lot of groundwork has been done. I also get that John created every part from scratch instead of using off-the-shelf. But all of that came at extreme cost, especially time.

The biggest crime is the lack of communication, the lack of posting updated timelines, the lack of answers. I think everyone is very understanding, hell, we collectively have allowed the project to slide as much as it has without saying too much about it, but at some point the rubber has to meet the road.

#1181 5 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

Is this for MG? Just out of curiosity, what were the initial milestones and their respective projected completion dates? For AIW, there was no timeline provided to me, at all.

This is for RAZA, I'm not a MG buyer so I don't know what timeline they have, but it was started before RAZA so it would be even longer ago.

I can recall a conversation with John around Christmas 2012 that he was working on the MG prototypes and would have them ready for Spring 2013. This information gave me confidence in my RAZA ownership, that everything was coming together. This December MG reveal seems to be what he was shooting for Spring 2013.

I also wonder what could have gone so wrong, that something he was working towards 3 months down the road becomes 2 years later.

The saddest thing about all this, is I'm so over it. There is no fun left. The arrival of my game will be "it's about goddam time".

You can call me a ballbreaker, but when you sign onto something with a dozen page contract and a schedule, the impression is that they have their shit together so waiting years past the delivery point, I think I can be excused for my attitude.

#1195 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

Given the lack of communication, I have no confidence that there will be good support for a machine for which I can not buy off the shelf parts.

I have grave concerns about this as well. All these custom parts, how do they benefit us? And what happens when we need them? Is the pain-in-the-ass value of that to us worth it?

#1203 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

If MG is revealed as a fully functioning pin and it blows everyone away, it will have a positive impact on what JPop is doing and give RAZA owners some level of confidence as well.

That's basically what I'm holding onto.

1 month away.

#1223 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

John just posted on the Blog that he is gunna do a full game reveal on RAZA the first week of January

John is developing a real M.O. by throwing out a bone when the heat starts getting raised, but also using it as a way to ignore the questions asked of him on the blog.

I'm not sure if this means "flipping white wood" or what, but we still need a clear answer about where we are in the project, what is left and when we might see our games. This has been asked over and over again now and he never answers.... so, either he doesn't know, or the answer isn't good and he doesn't want to come out and say it.

Looking at the owner's schedule.... "Game Review" in Q1 2013 follows "Playfield White Wood / Software Start". So we may very well be where I thought we were.

#1228 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Frolic, you don't need John to tell you what the new timeline is, just set your expectations for 2016 sometime and if he works out a production partner it might be sooner. Simple as that.

I don't accept that. I've got the schedule sitting on my desk of the project I paid to get in on. The answer is rip it up, forget about it, and maybe a machine shows up years from now?

Probably time for me to go... if refunds were available.

#1231 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Option B is what?

Well, John could at least be forthcoming and answer my and others' questions.

As a businessperson myself, I can't think of any other business or industry where this type of behavior towards your customers would be acceptable. That is what really gets my goat.

If I entered this as literally an "Artist's Patron", well, then that is the situation and I'm throwing my money away to create art. But that isn't what was pitched, I came in to buy a game promised for delivery a year ago, presented with a time table created by someone who's been in the business for decades.

#1233 5 years ago

We're not far away from both games' reveals, so I guess we'll see what happens.

After that I'm likely going to drain all the jpop topics and delete his blog and try to forget about it until the letter shows up looking for my final payment. Play the games I've got, and look forward to the Heighway games coming. Seems like that is the only way to handle it. Yay fun.

#1238 5 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

How is he gonne build all those pins when the pin is gold finaly?

I can only hope that the last payment I have owing will cover the BOM.

#1253 5 years ago

I'm concerned about "where the money has gone" because of the lack of refunds. If there was an account with a half million dollars sitting in it, why not just cut people loose? Better than the public flogging that is happening.

#1283 5 years ago

Almost all of the problems in this thread could have been handled with some simple answers to simple questions. It's the avoidance that is creating a taint over everything.

Give refunds to anyone who is asking. The games are obscenely behind schedule and you can't force someone to stay in yet not deliver a product. If the game is going to be truly as great as we're led to believe, those spots will fill up again.

Not giving refunds paints a picture that the bank account is empty and there is no money to give back. And if that is true, then there are bigger problems at play here and that needs to be dealt with in a transparent and professional way.

#1301 5 years ago

Thanks for posting about your visit.

Quoted from Multiball1:

** Your MG will not be in your gameroom in the next few months, but I don't think by end of 2015 is at all unrealistic. RAZA is being designed in parallel with MG so not a three year wait for that game either IMHO.

This drives me nuts that a few people have posted recently about visiting the shop, how great everything looked there, but are still guessing wide (sometimes multi-year) guesses on when we might see our games. I have to take away from this that John is refusing to present any real timetable despite the repeated requests.

#1316 5 years ago
Quoted from Multiball1:

LED was completely interactive with game play (scoring), as was lighting, music, speech, and sounds. My opinion is that coding is far from primitive, but certainly by no means finished.

How would you say it compared to the state of Lebowski at expo?

1 week later
#1398 5 years ago

When I bought RAZA (then BHZA) it was because of:

-Zombies! Fueled in no small part because of the TWD tv-show.

-Big Bang Bar selling for $15k+. Basically, if a new game with half the production, it is a "buy now or never" as I'd never stomach paying $15k or more for a game. It was not an investment in that I had/have no intentions of selling, but the reality of the forced scarcity meaning I'd never otherwise be able to own one.

So, yeah, if that forced scarcity model gets mucked with, basically means my money was tied up for no reason and all the stress/frustration/anger about waiting all this time was for nothing if someone can come at the end and buy in for the same price.

I now own a TWD LE, so the Zombie itch has been scratched, and as far as Zombies go, the TWD pin obviously has that in spades, far more than RAZA will at this point.

Had RAZA come out on its original release schedule, I could have been playing Zombies for a year before TWD and all would have been good.

If point 2 is made moot because of increased production, this whole experiment was a waste. I won't be pre-ordering anything ever again after this, whether or not the #s get changed.

#1401 5 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

It is like buying a future year of fine but limited wine (yes I am taking a risk) and TWD LE is like buying a common Merlot at a local package store.

Well, you get to have the Merlot tonight with company at dinner .

It is what it is at this point.

#1435 5 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

However $6300 also seems really... optimistic.

I'm hoping this will change when/if MG is shown this month and RAZA shown in January (that's what we've been told).

Right now, yeah, its hard to generate interest when there is ZERO public information for the game.

#1444 5 years ago

I was in on TBL but cancelled because i'm sick of pre-ordering and want to stop the madness. I will buy one on release. Also got out of Predator last year (thank god).

Besides RAZA, which I'm apparently stuck with since there are no refunds and no takers (not selling for $1k ), I've got a Full Throttle coming but at least that was only $1k deposit and was put in at the end of development, not the start, and I should have it soon.

I'll probably do that with Stern again, knowing I'll have my game 4 weeks later, and if Heighway delivers, do it again for their titles on release, but no more throwing money in based on a fantasy.

#1499 5 years ago

Anyone still want to speculate that jpop is sitting on half a million cash?

#1507 5 years ago

There's a reason he wants to sell more MGs. At least he has a potential solution, that might piss off 20 people, but would keep his business going.

#1557 5 years ago

I think there's a lot of "professional courtesy" extended to jpop in this situation. The NDAs, Patents, etc... all don't mean shit without him lawyering up and going after people in court, not likely to happen.

The same is true in reverse, you have customers with contracts with Q4 2013 delivery stated for RAZA, you have apparent vendors owed money, but unless they lawyer up and take it to court, not much happens.

Basically all of us are just holding on by the nails and hoping for a positive outcome.

#1559 5 years ago

I'd just like my game.

#1564 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

40% chance - Game revealed to owners only. Reminders of NDA still in effect and general disappointment because owners can't talk and the community can't see. No ship estimates provided to owners.

I would say this is 99%. Won't be much of a "Lebowski" effect with only a few eye balls on it and no video/pics shared with everyone else.

I didn't even know there was a date. So, RAZA owners are in the dark as well.

So basically, whenever this happens, expect the same sort of comments we hear when people visit the shop...

"WOW!!! IT WAS AMAZING! I can't show you or tell you more about it, or when we'll actually get it. But WOW!"

Ok, great.

#1570 5 years ago

From reports, there's been a playable MG in his shop for a while. What I was expecting though was a public reveal, to create that "lebowski buzz", not just another test drive for owners under NDA.

#1602 5 years ago

Every visit I've ever read has been glowing, the willy wonka tour, but I'm at the point where I could see incredible artistry but if there is no business aspect to show me, no deadlines, no answers, we're all essentially artist patrons.

I posted this on his blog:
When can I, the customer, expect to see my game?

this part , "the customer", seems lost.

#1605 5 years ago

It's also possibly why we're in the situation we're in. All the visits to the shop drink the kool-aid and tell John to take as long as he needs, make as many revisions as he needs. He's probably been hearing that a long time.

#1607 5 years ago
Quoted from Redeyes:

he would send a letter of some sort to start the process

I think others have chimed in already of this multi-step process, with no refund till someone takes your place.

All we can hope is that the MG and RAZA reveals will be public and generate some sort of buzz so people waiting for refunds can get out.

#1632 5 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

almost entirely due to JPops unconscionable poor communication. On his blog, it's essentially crickets in response to repeated requests for updates on progress, status reports, potential timelines, or essentially anything else.

All I can deduce from his unwillingness to answer these simple questions is the answers are not good and he doesn't want to say them.

We're probably onto something when we look at the Spooky build rate of 2/week as a benchmark. We're probably onto something when we see that the RAZA schedule is somewhere around the Q4 2012 timeline with a year+ left... BEFORE they start getting built.

I think the MG buyers are in a better place. They might see their game in 2015 with only the 20 to be built (not included the additional rumoured sales, but no one has money into those yet so no one is technically waiting for them).

I'm ready to throw something at my monitor every time a new art revision is posted and our questions ignored.

#1634 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

as I have always said. Artist unchecked. Revision are doom. Someone step on his neck and make thing move forward as is. Not improved, changed or modified. At some point you need to stop and make a call.

Apparently the game has 3,000 artist hours on it.

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


The quality of the new art is great, but at what cost? in both money and time? 2016/2017 for my game to arrive?

#1644 5 years ago

The burn is the lack of communication, and the avoidance of simple questions.

I don't know why every boutique pin manufacturer takes the same page from the same playbook and goes dark with the "well, I can either spend all day answering your questions or I can work on the pin, what do you want?". At least Jack when he was making WOZ was out there showing the work in progress, even if he was missing date after date.

With Hobbit is was always Dec 2014 release and if they don't make it, they're close to it, and everyone has seen the game and it has been playable at a few shows.

#1652 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

Saying they're so busy working on pinball that they can't communicate rings as hollow as that friend that never calls and when you see them at a party they say, "I would have called but hmmm yea... Soooo crazy busy...."

Yeah, basically this. We aren't saying "come and spend all day on pinside". It's "the project is a year late, we'd like an updated timetable".

Well, that exact question was asked 2 months ago (well, asked many times, but specifically then) and 2 months later still nothing.

#1656 5 years ago

Yeah Charlie and the Spooky crew are definitely gods amongst men. Ben Heck deserves a lot of credit as well for knowing how to get things done. Him leaving this game hasn't helped.

#1670 5 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

If it wasn't for Pinside, you buyers would have almost zero leverage to get much of anything from them. Keep posting until you get what you want and what you were promised.

The public shaming worked a little bit around expo. It seems like the only tool we have if our responses on the private blog don't go answered.

#1683 5 years ago

Well, there is definitely a strong "jpop style" between all his games, including the new ones. That is why I signed on in the first place. I never thought he was the artist, but just like a movie director, everyone is working to fulfill his vision.

I have big issues with some of the ways he's been conducting business, but I know everything in his shop is amazing and wouldn't have been created anywhere else.

The art I've seen is all great. The games from what I've seen will have the same style and flow that we expect from him. They'll have innovative toys, light shows and ball tricks. They'll set a new standard, for certain.

THAT is what we've been sold. And if delivered, will be great value for our money. But all the other bullshit with no accountability has got to stop already. John, ok, you've announced your revealing the games, and hopefully the reveals will go over well and everyone will love the work. Would have it been so hard to give us an updated timeline? Why the pulling of teeth over this stuff? Tell me, the guy who is buying the game and sent you the money, when can I expect it? Just deal with these questions please.

#1700 5 years ago

The crazy thing about the Robbie the Robot and the Mars Attacks guy, is they were both added in later revisions of the art.

So if there is a problem and one or both of them have to be removed or changed to conform, all that time was wasted putting them in, and now more time wasted changing/removing them.

The backglass isn't an oil painting, so obviously with digital tools this can all be done, but it makes the case about how the stuck in the weeds we are when deadlines don't exist.

Oh, and I guess no one noticed the Godzilla monster? (look at upper right side by the coaster)


#1704 5 years ago
Quoted from jackofdiamonds:

With all the designers brought out of retirement by Stern and JJP,why not Jpop?

As the story goes, there were discussions with Stern at some point but its not the environment for him. I would agree with that.

It's too late now though. He's got people's money for 3 different games, can't "go get day job" at this point.

#1713 5 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

I have now heard 4 different parties considering a Tesla based pinball title. Saying you are doing one just to "secure" the theme is garbage.

Yeah the "dibs" thing is nonsense. Especially when then it is years away and small runs.

#1736 5 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

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

BHZA picture.jpg 58 KB

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

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

#1740 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Looks like it is being worked on to me. Taken right from the Pinball Inventor FB page.

Zidware.jpg 45 KB

zidware2.jpg 28 KB

Hmmm... so that is game #4 (not including KISS), while we wait for a TIMETABLE of delivery (forget about the actual delivery date).

#1752 5 years ago

So, can someone confirm there is a MG reveal this week? I've seen nothing more about it.

#1754 5 years ago

I just spoke with a real MG owner, and he doesn't have a clue what is happening. He's completely in the dark.

If there is something going on this week, I guess the game will be shown to a few people at the shop, but this is not much of a reveal.

#1773 5 years ago

I've heard from some other MG owners that there is no public reveal this week. Some of them will get to see it.

I'm going to guess that until the first owner receives their first production machine, no one else will see it. Dunno when that might be, dunno what that means for us raza buyers.

Looking at the RAZA timetable from the owner's package, proto samples and building is slotted for the last 6 months. So not sure if that means MG will exist as a prototype for 6 months. So perhaps that means MG owners might start receiving their games in the last half of 2015.

If there's a raza reveal in january, possibly the game is around the same stage, and we'd have around 6 months before the first owners see their machines? but then there's the question as to how long all of this will take to produce.

So I guess our earlier guesses for 2016 delivery are probably accurate. It's unfortunate we're left guessing like we have been.

If MG owners are told anything more about the actual production, I'd love to hear it.

#1777 5 years ago

Serious question, does anyone know of a single other industry that operates like all these pinball companies? This is so f'd up.

I set incredibly high standards for my own business' customer communication. We hustle our asses off for them. We have to work that hard because that is what it takes to keep the customers happy and loyal to us. In turn, I do well, well enough to buy pinball machines.

I know without a doubt, if I ran my biz like ANY of these companies... the "radio silence", the ignoring questions they don't want to answer, the missed deadlines and no updated timetables, all the while paying up front and years in advance. There is no way I'd be in business.

John, if you're reading this... THIS is why I am short with you. I mean, sheeesh.

#1790 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

We need to keep the pressure on John guys! I posted on the blog last night, I think if the owners go quiet on the blog John takes that as an all clear to go back to design mode rather than finish the F#cking game mode.
So if you are on the blog don't be shy, post some motivational thoughts for JPOP!

Please we need some more voices, and thank you to those that have chimed in.

#1801 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

The amount of negativity, wrong information spoken as facts, and just plain bullshit is sickening.

Caused by the information void.

Most of the people speaking up here are owners. If there is a lot of wrong info, it's a sad state of where we're at.

#1807 5 years ago

I'd like to know what of the following is factually incorrect.

I'm going to speak to RAZA since that is the game I'm in on, can't speak for MG:

-The owners package had a 2 year schedule ending with game delivery Q4 2013.
-There has never been an update to that schedule since
-Multiple owners have pleaded for some sort of updated schedule
-John basically ignores all questions he doesn't want to answer
-Even though the game is 1 year late (so far), the owners have seen very little and have no real idea of the state of it
-People such as pdx, that have posted about their shop visit, still gave a 3-year-wide window of when the game might possibly show up
-The game had a pretty serious theme shift over the course of development
-Our money seems to be held hostage, we've heard from multiple people who want refunds and cannot get them
-There apparently will be a super secret MG reveal this week that a few people will see
-No idea when anyone else will see it
-We have no idea how many machines his shop can produce at what time frame
-We see the difficulty the largest companies have with software and no idea how this will play with our games, or how much fun or deep the games will be.
-Everyone who has visited the shop is blown away by the artistry and craft on display
-The games will shoot well, have great ramps, ball tricks, toys and art package
-If we ever get our games, they will be impressive displays of modern pinball art
-Which brings us back to... WHEN? no idea.

Good enough summary for everyone?

#1813 5 years ago
Quoted from jruddr:

When I signed up John told me you could get a refund anytime.How hard did these people try?

There have been posts in this thread about it:

From reviewing those posts, we have:

-People that have gotten no response when asking for a refund
-People who were asked to sign a document signing away their claim to the game first, then going into a queue while a replacement person takes your place
-Waiting months or longer for someone to take your place

#1815 5 years ago
Quoted from pinstor12:

did the refund policy change like the game?

I think for a long time there was a waiting list, so this was not an issue. As the game got more and more delayed, and less and less known about it online, the waiting list shrunk to nothing and now we're in the situation we're in.

#1844 5 years ago

The RAZA blog is full of comments from owners looking for answers. This isn't just a couple of ball breakers now.

#1851 5 years ago

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?

#1867 5 years ago

Sorry, I'm confused.... but is the implication here that zidware only has a few critical parts and assemblies? Enough to make a prototype game(s) but not production games?

I suppose its possible another vendor stepped in and started from scratch, but is this another part of why we are so delayed?

#1881 5 years ago

If there's a reveal, but no one actually saw it, did it really happen (on a rug)?

The reveal today may end up worse than the expo debacle, cause at least there was a room full of people looking at 2 empty cabinets (and pics on Pinball News).

If I wasn't laughing, I'd be crying at this point.

#1885 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

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

Well, we saw that coming. Next comes the non-descriptive reviews and comments.

#1932 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Patents still pending

I'd love to know how any of these patents have served us, the customers, other than delaying the project endlessly and eating up tens of thousands of dollars or more.

#1934 5 years ago

This "reveal" is worse than I feared.... I expected a lot of "HOLY SHIT!" posts at least.

#1953 5 years ago

Coincidentally, I just received this today. I'm contemplating a flight overseas to go for shits and giggles. Something tells me this will be a proper reveal.


#1970 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

He did say everything would be up by midnight. I'm hoping this isn't everything. I guess he has two more hours so maybe something will show up then.

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.

#1997 5 years ago

So I coined a new term…..The Lebowski Effect – “The outcome of showing a new game concept, exactly and early on, in it’s entirety to the masses to create surprise, comradery and extreme happiness”

That is John's quote.

He set the expectations for the reveal yesterday, then totally screwed it up. Just like at expo, telling us there was going to be more there and showing up with empty cabinets.

This is not going to end well for any of us.

#1999 5 years ago

Just noticed that today (Dec 18th) is exactly 2 months from the infamous "Great Pinball Expo Week" (Oct 18) post on the raza blog. It's interesting to re-read it, and John's responses, and see where we are 2 months later.

#2014 5 years ago

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.

#2020 5 years ago

Our RAZA money was used to complete Mg. Let alone the build of mg.

#2026 5 years ago

Well that's the thing, when asked about who's money paid for what, he'll tell you he's building a company. Well our money built his company, and we're not allowed to see those results.

#2074 5 years ago

I don't even know what to say anymore.

#2089 5 years ago

I understand the rage from sympathizers. We're all in the pinball fraternity together and we care about each other and it isn't right if some of us have had thousands of dollars thrown away with nothing to show for it.

I've done the same thing in Predator threads.... I get angry to see things screwed up so badly. ESPECIALLY when it is preventable. In this case some simple ANSWERS to questions that have been asked again and again and ignored again and again.

#2107 5 years ago

So, for those of you who have seen the MG "reveal".... there is no finished game shown? Or game at all?

#2117 5 years ago

John seems to care about his stature amongst pinball designers, I can't understand how he can be oblivious to a thread of over 2,000 posts on pinside ripping him apart.

I guess you can write it off as "haters" but there are a ton of disappointed customers here.

#2131 5 years ago

I just posted this on his blog

John, in light of the MG reveal, I think you need to re-read your own post. In particular, these 2 quotes:

So I coined a new term…..The Lebowski Effect – “The outcome of showing a new game concept, exactly and early on, in it’s entirety to the masses to create surprise, comradely and extreme happiness”

I stood here (exactly in the photo) watching as they rolled out a rug (I have not seen the movie yet) and then proceeded to watch them setup the game, plug it in and walk away. For sure it was the most popular attraction at the event next to the food, and the beer fridge. The game had ball hangers, you had to hake it and the code crashed and rebooted. But no one cared.

After the expo “Lebowski effect” that you saw first hand, how they owned the show. You were going to do your own MG “lebowski” reveal this week (on a rug). It did not have the same outcome. There are 2,000 posts on pinside talking about it.

We went by what you told us, expectations were set, as well as numerous requests these past 2 months for timetables and various answer (which you did say you would answer, but later ignored).

This could have gone different. Right now your customers are feeling pretty bummed.

#2136 5 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

Ideally, I'd prefer to get the game. Second choice would be to get my money back. But a real competing emotion is to just blow all this up, salvage whatever pennies I can, and more importantly stop Jpop from treading all over us with this.

I'm right there with you. 1) I'd like my game. 2) If John mailed me a check and said "shut the f up, nice knowing you" I'd run to the bank with it, drain the topic and move on 3) scorched earth is looking better and better and at least I can save someone else.

#2148 5 years ago

I like the cut of your jib, Cheeks. If I lose my money, I'll be getting 10 fold in satisfaction back through other means. I live on Pinside, it's going to be hard for him to drum up interest in future titles.

#2224 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

All this talk of getting an updated timeline seems misplaced. He can just make up a new timeline, he's learned that missing self imposed deadlines are not that big of a deal...
What you guys really need is a full accounting, inventory and budget (the budget would be tied to some timeline. Here is what I would ask:
1) How much money has he taken in total from customers to date?
2) How much capital did he invest into the company from third parties or himself?
3) What is in the bank account as of today?
4) What is his cash burn rate monthly?
5) How much is his salary (broken down by each year of the project)?
6) What is the outstanding accounts payable not yet paid?
7) How much is left outstanding in pre-order money from people who have signed up (this is his only AR)?
Does he intend to contribute capital to the company moving forward and if so how much and when?
9) What are the assets of the company (mostly equipment I would presume)?
10) What is his inventory?
11) How much in parts does he need to build out MG in total? How about Raza?
12) What will the labor costs be?
13) Costs to pursue patents further and other weird intangible costs?
Once all this is answered you guys can decide the next step...and whether JPop is able to build the games even if he is inclined to do so.

Thanks for the great list. I agree with the other comment, just reading these questions would make his head explode like a nuclear mushroom.

#2234 5 years ago

So after 2,000+ posts on topic, this thread is ready for the garbage can? Come on, out of respect for us with money on the line give it a break.

#2247 5 years ago

raza blog updated with no acknowledgement of the dozens of recent comments

#2250 5 years ago
Quoted from Redeyes:

U said you posted on the blog yesterday? I didnt see it?

it's there (and others)

#2260 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I can't speak to all of the reasons John changed BHZA to RAZA. Some customers didn't want me on the game, just zombies, which I understand.
But part of it had to be his displeasure with me working with Chuck who has a competing zombie game. I wasn't even part of Chuck's game (just AMH) but I guess it was close enough?
John doesn't seem to understand Zombie culture anyway. Mars Attacks and Robots? That has nothing to do with Zombies! Pick ONE genre and stay true to it, that's what I did.

I think Spooky's zombie game is also the reason why raza went Mars Attacks.

Even though BHZA/RAZA was sold out, because another zombie game existed (or plans to exist) we got a ton of changes (burning money and time).

#2267 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

If you want this info, there is only one way to get it: filing a lawsuit.

It's not hard to guesstimate the money he's gotten these last 4 years, it does not add up to a lot. Then start deducting expenses, like that 3,000 hours of art, and everything else. Combined with not giving people refunds, pretty easy to conclude there is no money kicking around. lawsuits are pointless.

All I'm left with is the public shaming to try and get some answers and hope he can turn things around. Failing that, make sure everyone knows not to send any more good money after bad.

#2274 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm waiting for the 5th game.

I thought this was it (courtesy google cache, posted publicly):


He's removed the artwork, btw. The girls are gone. Good chance he is lurking this thread.

John, it's time to change how you are doing things. If you were flush with cash, games built, satisfied customers, you could tell the whole world to F off. But that is not how things have gone.

#2311 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

John is active on the RAZA blog today has posted several updates.

I don't know whether he's trying to be funny or meta by showing the (empty) cabinets again. And no acknowledgement of the dozens of questions from his customers.

#2317 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Jesus, that's more of the games and artwork I've ever seen, and he's allowing THAT to be public?

WTF... we've paid thousands of dollars and get bread crumbs and that video showed me way more than I've ever seen.

#2327 5 years ago

JUST today, John posted FISH EYE photos of the shop where you couldn't see jack. This video was way better than I've ever seen. I can see why people get so excited visiting the place. There is some cool looking shit there.

JOHN.... PLEASE.... answer some your customer's questions about how these projects are going to end and be produced so we can get excited again. The ignoring us is bad business.

#2336 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

The video is the first real update ive seen in this thread.

Definitely more than whatever MG reveal is happening this week.

#2339 5 years ago

I am so torn about what I saw in that video. Parts of it are.... "YES!!! this is why I am in on this!!" and the fact that this thread is 2000+ posts of customer issues.... TOTALLY AVOIDABLE and bad business.

That shot of the RAZA playfield is more than I've ever seen before. The "patented" lighting system we get to see quite well in the video for the first time.

#2342 5 years ago

That video brings us back to the point that John is sincere making these games. He is there working. No one has ever called it a scam.

But he refuses to answer owner's questions and concerns about the schedule and other points, and a in general has no accountability to anyone.

I was dazzled by what was shown in that video, just as everyone is when they visit the shop, and I've said before I suspect that is part of the problem. People are blown away with what they see, no one holds his feet to the fire when they visit.

#2350 5 years ago

Just posted this to the blog. He doesn't acknowledge them but I know he reads them and at least I get it off my chest:

John, we're entering farce territory now when Adobe shows the world more of your games than we (you know, the guys paying for the party) have ever seen:

Your owners have been begging and pleading for some answers and changes with how things are done and we get fish eye lens photos and a revisit to the "empty cabinets" that started the big broo-ha-ha 2 months ago after expo.

Then there's the whole issue of you pretending you don't see the comments or questions in the blog recently. But I have these quotes from you from 2 months ago, but still no answers:

On Oct 21, 2014 I posted:

"Thanks for the updates, John. I do want to keep insisting for some answers to questions asked including an updated time line for the project. I appreciate your heart felt post, but I still have no idea what YEAR i might expect the game.

I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say we all know you have the best of intentions, the quality of the work is beyond debate, but the transparency has been poor and questions have gone unanswered, and still are.

Not trying to be a ball buster. Just want some straight answers to some straight questions. Thanks."

To which you responded:

"Morning Chris, yes from your earlier post I diid note and we have began on clarifying these and I will report back. Jpop"

Also posted by you on Oct 21, 2014:

"Well getting kicked in balls by fellow Canadian Chris was hard, but it is what is needed now. Lying to customers is not the way I work, to make them go away for a while. "

#2365 5 years ago

This is what the big MG "lebowski" reveal was supposed to be (at least the way WE thought it was supposed to go), just show game, show video, let the world see it and go nuts.

#2369 5 years ago
Quoted from islandpinball:

I do love his art....geez he does some amazing stuff, no wonder why people give him so much leeway.

yeah, we're clinging to that hope he can get it done.

Although my 30 minute buzz from that video has ended and I'm back to the hard questions of getting the game completed, produced and whether the software and rules will be up to 2015 standards in pinball.

#2413 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Cabinet pics are opened

are you referring to the mg reveal?

#2416 5 years ago

Some more stills from the adobe video


#2417 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Alchemy link unlocked but link not working yet

How does the reveal compare against the adobe video?

#2429 5 years ago
Quoted from theBRAIN:

The art package looks very nice but the owners were told those 3 MG prototypes would be ready 1 year and 10 months ago and they still aren't complete. That is nearly 2 years lost on progress, was that because of waiting for patents? Any clue to how much longer until the prototypes are fully completed?

Yeah it's a little scary seeing that quote from 22 months ago saying these same prototypes would be done in a month. It was nice seeing something today, but we're still dealing with the same issues.

#2437 5 years ago

I wish John would get some sort of business manager.

#2449 5 years ago

Someone on his blog said that video wasn't expected to be out yet. Adobe jumped the gun. So that explains why it exists and why John gave them such access.

The bummer is that video did more to hype up his games than anything we've seen, and that we're likely to see for some time since the MG reveal is private. I'm guessing until the first customer has a production machine and shoots an unboxing video, this is all we're going to see.

#2491 5 years ago

I doubt very much there is a market for 133 $16k machines (especially pre-ordered). Let alone all the issues going on with the lack of answers for games 1 and 2.

#2511 5 years ago
Quoted from pinstyle:

What I cluster f$&k this guys web sites are. There is like four maybe five or more pages that all go nowhere...or to pages that look similar but are not? I'd like to look around but I'm not sure that is possible? I dont think I can even properly explain how jacked up his sites are....

The scary thing about all those websites is each represents time/energy/money spent on something when he has 2 projects where he has taken people's money and are years behind schedule, with still no end in sight. Even MG seems like we'll be lucky if customers see them in 2015.

#2522 5 years ago

With John so insistent on not answering our questions, the only thing I'm left with is the answers are not good and these things are a long ways off still. Best I've heard, the MG reveal hasn't shown the actual game playing.

There are also large questions of the software/rules part of it. We know from Stern AND JJP, that have literally the best in the business working on software, it remains a challenge to get it done in a timely fashion.

Lots of questions, very few answers.

#2523 5 years ago
Quoted from GravitaR:

Anxiously awaiting the Shooter Rod reveals.

The castors were amazing.

#2528 5 years ago

Am I crazy, or is that photo of the cabinet with the button without armor a potential problem spot?

#2531 5 years ago
Quoted from blimpey:

Not only in this thread, but surpassed the info. provided on the blog.

Apparently even more than the MG reveal based on what has been reported.

#2534 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

This part is a shame. I thought the "value" and the "fun ride" for those who sent in money for the pre-order was being able to see everything as it developed.
It's disappointing to hear that those who can see the blog are still mostly in the dark. What's the point of the blog if it's just fish eye lens close ups and no overall big picture? There should be a nice diary of the complete development of everything in the game. Including videos of mechanical testing and game play.

It was ok 2 years ago to see some artwork on the blog or whatever. Once the initial game delivery date passed, now by a year, and we still see nothing significant on the blog (more art, the "empty cabinets" most recently) it is not good or fun. Especially when dozens and dozens of blog posts asking where we're at have been ignored.

The burn is the things we're asking for (updated timetable, production estimates, etc) are not "trade secrets", we're not asking for him to demo some innovative toy that he's worried will get ripped off.

#2544 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

Based on the substance of what we've seen in this drawn-out "On the rug" reveal, I am convinced that JPOP thought the lesson to be learned from "The Lebowski Effect" was that he merely needed better marketing. Despite the fact that the adobe video came months earlier than he wanted, it appears, from the enthusiastic response from a lot of his formally disgruntled customers, that he was right.

I think the video created about 24 hours of buzz, but that has receded again to the pressing concerns about the entire operation.

we'll probably see another little buzz bump at times in the future if/when anything substantial is shown. Most likely MG will be shown just enough to then follow it up with the rumored sales (ahem, pre-orders) of the additional 30 units. but even for those potential buyers, they're probably looking at a lengthy process, but at least they are part of a cash injection.

#2546 5 years ago

before expo I would have jumped at a spot for MG. now my confidence is shaken, and I dismiss the "you need faith" part of pre-ordering. faith should have nothing to do with it and is a ridiculous idea for pinball.

I'll need to see the final game. and by final, I mean final production game, with completed software. I'll need more than cabinet and backglass photos and some led chasers.

And if I miss the boat? Somehow I'll live, and be thankful these are the kinds of problems I have.

#2569 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

On a positive note (for me, though not my wallet) watching Zombie Yeti work pushed me over the edge and I'm researching Cintiqs more seriously. I'd been thinking of getting one for a while, I'd like to do more digital drawing, this was just the final straw.
Betting I'll ship something I do with it before Jpop does!

So it sounds like the Adobe video was effective then .

#2572 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Like Bill and others have said, John is a "good man", with great passion and love for pinball.

I think we're literally living this proverb : "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Quoted from iceman44:

I'm afraid he is just trying to buy time while he waits for the white knight to ride in, team up, and save the day.

I've said it before, but he is already financed - BY US. This project has been 100% crowd funded. Where is the upside for an investor? Machines have been sold, and mostly paid for. You would bring an investor in at the BEGINNING to get the project to market. Not at the end. Only way an investor would come in at this point is if the limited nature of the pins are thrown out the window, because otherwise what is there for an investor?

#2598 5 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

Software is the long pole in this tent. Unless there is a room full of programmers in India or something that we don't know about, I can't see this ending well.

John refuses to talk about this, pretty much completely.

And for all the "hand drawn" art we've seen, I don't know how any of it translates to an animated display. Then there's the whole issue with game rules and depth.

#2604 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Is he really that much of a fragile snowflake?

He doesn't handle the criticism well. Case in point, his radio silence recently, not even acknowledging the questions.

He is the definition of working hard but not smart. When people get critical he'll throw back at them that he is working 7 days a week, morning till night, that this has taken a toll on his family, etc. That is all true. But that is because of the poor management more than anything.

#2605 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Id be very curious how much money JPop has paid himself in salary from the deposits;

He probably draws some sort of salary, but works out to slave wages I'm sure. Him drawing money is not the reason for running out of money, it is the monthly cash burn on everything else that he can't get his arms around.

These games are unique in that they have are fixed revenue. Only a certain number of games produced, most of that money has already been taken in. There is NO upside to spending years longer on them, there is no further money to make, and in fact he is damaging his reputation and business. Alice should be an easy sell out to his existing customers but obviously that isn't the case.

#2614 5 years ago

Anyone ever read the business book E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber?

Jpop could be a story straight out of there about how just because you like doing something doesn't mean you should own a business doing it.

The example in the book was a lady who loves making apple pies. So she opens up a bakery, and now it is the worst job in the world. Working from the crack of dawn till late in the night, everything from mopping floors to book keeping.

Basically the point was, if you love making apple pies, get a JOB in a bakery, make the pies, collect your pay check, there is nothing wrong with that. Not everyone should be an entrepreneur, and the role of entrepreneur is different than that as "technician" (making the pies/designing pinball). If you want to be a technician, maybe you shouldn't be an entrepreneur.

But I digress, since that horse has left the barn.

#2620 5 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

No more negativity

I don't find this thread particularly negative. It is active, lots of posters, lots of concerns, but there is no fighting (now that a certain person is ejected). As someone who's got thousands tied up in this, I find this thread pretty useful.

#2631 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Started opening up the website and yanked it away by not putting actual video like he said he would.

Based on everything that has been gleaned from the adobe videos, shot 4 weeks ago, and any other information (or lack of).... I think we're getting a pretty clear picture of the state of the games. I don't think there is a lot we don't know that exists (ie: no finished playable prototype with completed software/ramps/etc).

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#2649 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'd rather see John work from the most important to the least important things. Skit-B had a working game from the beginning and started working on the finishing touches and tweaking as they needed.

I think that was one of Skit-b's keys to (early) success. They had something to show people, as rough as it was, and the software was basically complete.

Now, of course they are having trouble getting from that to production, but so is jpop, and with jpop no one (that I know of) has actually seen a playable game (by playable, something resembling a final prototype game experience, not just flippers knocking a ball around). If there is a playable game, the "reveal" would have been a good time to show it.

#2660 5 years ago

At this point I don't want anything to delay the game anymore than it is, so I'll take Mars Attacks, Robbie and Godzilla.

#2669 5 years ago

Can't imagine how the MG reveal could have gone any worse. Seems to have confirmed the worst concerns everyone had of the state of the game and his ability to get it done.

There was no "lebowski" moment of plugging the game in and walking away and letting everyone go nuts over it.

And look at the loooooooooooooong road all the other new manufacturers have had FROM that point of showing a playable prototype at a show. Even Spooky, who we all cheer for getting things done, took a good 6+ months from announcing the final game and taking orders to shipping the first customer's game. Everyone else is way behind that.

#2678 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

I think he is sincere in getting the games built, but definitely was overwhelmed by the task.

I'm not sure if there is anyone here that doubts that at all.

Most of the issues in this thread can be addressed by some transparency and responding to customers.

Heck, most of the issues could have been addressed by an actual "lebowski" reveal.

#2679 5 years ago

I wonder what the odds are that come expo 2015, we'll still be wondering and debating whether there will be a MG shown there for the first time ala Lebowski?

#2690 5 years ago

In one of those adobe videos he talked about being a steward for pinball, with the knowledge passed down to him. I would suggest that ultimately the making pinball taught to him was a BUSINESS. It was about producing machines that would earn on location for the operators, and who would in turn buy the next release (and hopefully throw the old ones into the landfill), which was scheduled to be produced in the factory on a tight time table, under very tight project management and costs analysis.

I doubt any of his mentors would have taught him to take "as long as it takes" with no regard to cash burn, costs, customers, and anything else.

#2693 5 years ago

I missed that there was a second video if you scroll down on the adobe page:

Some stills from video 2.


#2695 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

What is even more important regarding the above is the fact that per Ben Heck, he had already been working on what became AMH for quite some time (I can't remember for sure what he said...but I am pretty sure it was more than 6 months) before Spooky even announced that game.
I know Ben reads this thread occasionally so maybe he can chime in?

yeah I'm not even talking about development time. I'm talking from the point the game was called as "finished", promotional video and flyer made, orders and money taken.

They got from that point to customer delivery in about 6 months. All I'm saying is it doesn't appear John is anywhere near that "finished" point, and who knows how long production would take after that.

#2706 5 years ago
Quoted from thedarkknight77:

When JPOP files for Bankruptcy, which will eventually happen, we will all ask ourselves how those buyers could have been so stupid...........The evidence is great, but the denial is even greater.

Look at this thread, most of the buyers are the ones doing the complaining and can see this is not a sustainable business in its current state.

We're all holding on to some hope, because that's all we've got at this point. The money is gone.

#2752 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Also John is one of the most frugal people I've met. While I won't deny rent isn't free (he probably could have developed a lot of this at home), and this timeline is ridiculous, don't think he's spending money like water.

Him running out of money is the nicest explanation for the stories of vendors not getting paid and refunds not being given out to those who ask. If he's sitting on cash and purposely stiffing people, that is a whole other issue.

If he's frugal AND has run out of cash, then that validates the concerns that the open-ended timeline is burning money, even if the lawyer is a pinhead doing it for fun, all those patents take time (which will cost money in a lot of ways).

Also doesn't address what will need to happen for John to defend the patents.

#2754 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Vendor(s), believe it's just GLM at the moment saying he is owed money.

I've been contacted privately by others.

#2760 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Okay I can't comment on that then

Do you believe all the cases are legitimate?
Cause I'm not even sure GLM's case is legitimate.

Well, all I know for certain is I am a concerned customer.

There was also the reports of him looking for outside investors. If he was sitting on cash that would be unnecessary.

I'm going to state that I completely understand how he ran out of money, and that the project was more than he expected, and he's always chose to make a quality product ultimately for us. All of that can be true and can be dealt with.

The big issue here is the communication. That has nothing to do with patents. If he can change his business MO, he can still turn this around.

#2762 5 years ago

I was not an original MG buyer, so I don't know what it feels like to have put my money at risk years ago only to see some people come in at the end and pick one up.

But I have to say, producing extra MGs may very well be the solution to avoid disaster here.

-Pays for BOM of all machines produced
-MGs hit the streets and the world gets to see them
-Boosts confidence of raza and alice buyers to see a game done and out the door.

Without that extra ~$400k from 25 MGs, where does the money come from to pay for production? There doesn't seem to be another way out of this.

#2778 5 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

Can you tell us how he responded? Your post does not convey much hope that you think he will address any of the concerns that have been put before him by his customers. At any rate, I would imagine that if he had any intention of correcting this, he would have done so by now.

I think John is working towards the goal that if he delivers a AAA game, everything that happened before then will become forgotten and forgiven. That might be true, but it could have been done different along the way.