(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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#388 5 years ago

I'm not seeing anything here that is so insanely innovative or different that he'd need 3 years to get to it. All I see is a slightly higher WMS cabinet.

Lighting bolts must add a lot of delays.

I feel really bad for all the people who have paid $16K for nothing. Literally nothing.

#440 5 years ago

Remember, John was bumped off WCS because he couldn't get his shit together. Now he has no support staff to step in and set him right.

#706 5 years ago

I had to laugh when I saw that post defending him talking about "good looking the transformer is".

Seriously? How much of a stretch to your own credibility do you have to make to talk up how the transformer looks?

3 years in and the transformer - which looks like the standard one you get from Altek - is your go-to feature?

Another thing I don't get - why didn't anyone at the "reveal" stand up and ask WTF? Or is everyone scared of him?

#849 5 years ago

Personally, I wouldn't be satisfied with that response, especially the bullshit fisheye photo. That's just proof he has no plans to do anything about all the heat. And, based on the responses here (other than frolic, who seems to get it), he's totally right. You all swallowed it whole.

Ask yourself, how could anyone who has been in pinball for "33" years (I question the validity of that number given his first game was in 1994) be so far behind? Either incompetence, which I find hard to believe, or indecision and noodling. The simplest reason is the latter.

He could solve this easily by just *showing the damn game* without the closeups or fisheye nonsense. Just *show your progress*. Problem solved.

But to him, there's no problem. He's already got all your money, and you're all scared of him. He's got zero motivation to finish these games, or reveal anything.

Perhaps a lawyer's letter might help light a fire under him. Clearly logic and reason don't work.

#852 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

it gives competitors (friendly or not) a lot of time to reproduce and release their own version of your neat idea.

The problem with that is - what competitors?

There's Stern and JJP, and we all know how cheap Stern is so they won't be stealing anything. JJP hasn't even released their second game yet.

Anyway, forgetting that - the solution is to *actually produce something in a timely manner*. And if you don't want to reveal stuff, *don't take pre-orders*. He could have easily never released a single photo or anything by just coming out with a finished game.

He chose to take pre-order money, so he *chose* this open model. Can't have your cake and eat it too.

#861 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

I hear ya, but it never stopped Joe Kaminkow back in D.E. days from ripping all the best Williams designs.

History (and the Top 100) shows how well that worked out.

No one thinks "Data East" and "Innovation" in the same sentence, even though they did some really cool shit like the blinders on Tommy, or the Bullwinkle backglass animation. So, by stealing from WMS they only made themselves look bad.

#864 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

And sold a ton of pinballs....and then became Stern.

First they *went out of business* and were bought out by Sega. Then Sega *went out of business* and became Stern.

#870 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

Hate to keep banging away at this but you're only partially correct the D.E. Pinball division was sold to Sega, and Sega sold to Stern...Also if I read correctly Sega never went out of business.

Sega was going to close it down and Gary arranged a buyout. That's when Kamikow went off to do slots.

So technically it didn't go out of business on paper, but if Gary hadn't stepped up it would have closed.

#1049 5 years ago

Wait a month and then check this post again. I bet he's back to zero communication and non-delivery by then.

#1052 5 years ago

Of all the owners, frolic, you seem the most reasonable in both your demands and expectations on Jpop. If the others had your level of concern I bet MG would have been out already.

1 week later
#1077 5 years ago

A flipping prototype that they can touch would probably make most people happy for awhile.

#1094 5 years ago

At least Jobs managed to actually produce something.

Perhaps the "owners" (I use that term in quotes because right now all you own is the right to bitch on a private blog) should start raising more hell again and ask for actual updates.

I suspect, however, everyone will wait for whatever time in December he's promising to show more. Perhaps he might show an insert or a ramp next.

#1100 5 years ago

That's a bad analogy as well since it did actually get made.

Perhaps the Winchester House is an apt analogy.

#1124 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

What concern of this is yours?

This is a public forum, and I'm calling out bullshit behavior. Also, I know a couple of people personally who are being jerked around in this whole thing that have invested a significant amount of money with zero real results, and it pisses me off that my friends are getting hosed.

#1126 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Some of you guys on the outside are acting like the owners are just cattle standing around. Individually and now collectively JPOP is feeling the heat.

That's not really being communicated back. The owners seem as quiet as Popaduik himself, so naturally people speculate.

knock off the keyboard boasting of what others should do or what a tough guy you'd be "if" you were in on this.

I don't think I made any such comments but I am welcome to be corrected. Mostly I'm just calling the situation bullshit and Popaduik ridiculous for his whole secrecy play. He's the author of his own misery.

#1131 5 years ago

So since it doesn't effect me directly I should just shut up about it?

Perhaps all this public heat on Popaduik might effect him, and even more importantly other boutique makers who might reconsider doing this pre-pay thing going forward.

I don't think keeping it private is as effective. See any political scandal for proof of that.

#1135 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's your choice, nobody has a gun to your head, pre pay, or not.

Prior to the public "outing", people seemed to think the pre-pay system was the way to go. But now that most of the pre-pay options have failed to deliver and the discussion is taking place publicly, people who aren't directly involved in this particular transaction might reconsider doing a transaction elsewhere, such as TBL or WOOLY.

If your special clubhouse hadn't leaked out here on Pinside, those people might have thought everything is hunky-dory on the pre-pay front. Now they're more informed about risks and how not a single pre-pay game has been delivered yet. Well, except BoP 2.0 which is just a kit anyway.

Also, let's assume Popaduik eventually delivers all three games. Rejoice! However, there is now a public record that there was serious problems with delivery of those games, and he'll have some incentive to make sure it doesn't happen again because the next set of buyers will have this info and will be more informed about his methods, instead of it being locked up behind a walled garden on a site you can't read until you pay.

So, based on that, I guess I don't agree with the idea that if it doesn't directly effect you, you should just shut up.

#1144 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Hmm both my WOZ and AMH were prepay and they actually exist.
Both took longer than original estimated too.

I stand corrected. I thought AMH wasn't prepay though?

#1155 5 years ago

In that interview he mentions a "MakerBot Pinball" as well. I wonder how many he has on the go now?

4 weeks later
#2064 5 years ago

Am I the only one who looks at that list of URLs and think this whole thing is a giant Ponzi scheme?

Announce a game, take deposits, show some occasional photos, repeat.

#2071 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

He's showing things slowly. Doing video of a working game to present the buyers... But there's no need to panic yet.

That comment makes me think it is less Ponzi and more of a CULT.

He's the cult leader and all the pre-order people are his followers who are completely brainwashed, and the same followers keep making excuses for him because they're totally hooked.

The analogy kind of breaks down since a lot of the "cult members" seem to be rebelling now.

#2281 5 years ago

It seems to me the only possible action at this point is a lawsuit. "Asking nicely" is clearly a waste of time.

There's a bunch of lawyers on this site, won't a couple of you do some pro bono work for the sake of boutique pinball?

#2289 5 years ago
Quoted from Zaxxis:

Here are some other interesting domains John has recently registered in august and updated back after expo.

Looking at the source I think he is doing these sites by hand - they use *tables* for formating!

Clearly a sign he is completely crazy.

#2362 5 years ago

It looks good at first glance but then you realize that none of the ramps are finished, etc.

#2370 5 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

That paper stuff is very early models. John doesn't seem to throw anything away. There are ramps, and flipping playfields, I do believe.

But *finished* ones? All you see are paper ramps. The implication is that he hasn't made any progress on MG in over a year based on photos from back then.

#2398 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

Wow after seeing those games I would be willing to wait till 2016

... And the cult leader wins over the brainwashed again.

Seriously, a couple of videos and he gets a free pass for FOUR YEARS of stringing you people along?

#2407 5 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

I think you should let the cult decide for themselves.

More like battered spouse.

#2488 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

"we started Alice so I can keep the artists busy (as we are almost complete RAZA and MG has a few
small tweaks)"

Are the artists full-time employees? I assumed they were contractors and therefore don't need to be kept busy.

1 week later
#2876 5 years ago

So, have any of you owners sent more money since the start of this thread? I believe there's been requests but I haven't seen if anyone paid up.

#2877 5 years ago

5 days and no updates? Did Popaduik say something on the private blogs?

#2937 5 years ago

The fact that it is a loose group of people with "only" 16K or so invested each makes him a lot more safe from lawsuits than if it was one big investor who had given him $2M.

Trying to get all the "owners" together for a class action would be like herding cats, since they don't all agree on what or how, and also own different games.

Kind of smart in an evil way.

#3015 5 years ago

Finally it's getting interesting again. Lawyers attack!

#3021 5 years ago

I think people would be satisfied just having a final outcome, good or bad. Which is why lawyers getting involved is good.

#3244 5 years ago

One person I know who is in on both MG and RAZA doesn't interact with the blog or Pinside at all, and doesn't question John on the timelines in any way - so it's possible there's a silent majority who are content to just let it ride and hopefully get a game someday. I'm not sure why he's not up in arms but I guess he's more patient and can afford to lose the money.

The key would be to reach these silent bystanders and get them involved.

#3245 5 years ago

Hmm, that line sounds familiar...


#3269 5 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

So, hold onto your hats a bit longer--you may be happy you did.

I don't see any actual answers or reasons in your post as to why people should continue waiting.

I think he's gotten enough faith at this point and burned it all up. Time to just come up with some facts.

#3309 5 years ago

Yeah, the timing of this guy coming in and saying "just wait a bit more" is suspicious... it seems to have fired people up into thinking there's actually a flipping machine with production-level parts. People are talking like that's a given.

The only given at this point is Popaduik has had your money for four years and he's got some foam core and/or glued plastic ramp versions of Magic Girl. That's it. Software? Who knows. Everything else is speculation until he actually shows anything.

#3377 5 years ago

I'm skeptical - saying there will be a display in February sounds a lot like what he said after expo, which turned out to be nothing once the deadline hit. Why not show what he has *right now* as well as in February? That would go a longer way to deal with communication issues.

#3390 5 years ago
Quoted from Xerico:

Now that flame has been put to JPOP's feet, I hope an accelerated progression occurs in early 2015 for all MB & RAZA owners.

Isn't this *exactly* what people said after Expo?

Popaduik says "sorry, I'll do better," everyone eats it up, then he goes silent for another month or two and people get angry again. Rinse, lather, repeat.

This "update" with no actual new info is just a smokescreen like the last couple, intended to stop people from getting lawyers involved. Don't buy it!

#3431 5 years ago

He can *say* whatever he wants. If he *showed* something that might be different.

#3534 5 years ago

Congrats to Popaduik for unclenching enough to let the top half of a playfield out into the wild. So that's something. And no fish-eye nonsense. In my opinion it's not enough, but it's definitely movement in the right direction.

As for the shot of the three prototypes, that's the same as it was before, with the crazy-glued ramps. So, nothing new. Seeing final production ramps, now that would be exciting.

#3539 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Honestly it's really nothing considering what was already shown in the Adobe video.

I'm just trying to find *some* positives here. I mean, compared to the garbage he was letting out before - fish-eye shots of a bracket? seriously? - this is light-years better.

That said, I agree. That reveal is bullshit.

If he had any business sense at all he'd be selling T-shirts with the backglass on it, or nice giclee prints of the playfield artwork as posters, etc. There's tons of cash he's leaving on the table for the sake of "secrecy".

#3570 5 years ago

It only looks busy because it's keyline art. Look at some keyline examples, they also look busy without colour.



#3598 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

I'm kinda blown away that a few bits of art get tossed out and the crowd seems happy again.

I wouldn't say "happy", more that it's a sign of *something* getting out rather than the *nothing* that was coming out before. That said, people should still hold his feet to the fire about getting real info.

#3658 5 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

Not that I would recommend jumping in but Alice has moved at a much faster pace than the other two. The Alice pre-order was started around 9 months ago and we have already seen what has been shown on the public site plus two or three generations of playfield design.

I think this is the key - he's quick to generate inked art, but that is pretty much where the progress ends.

It seems like he's only interested in the fun part and that other stuff like business plans and communicating with customers is just a stupid distraction.

#3702 5 years ago
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:

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

The art is definitely a million times better than what's out there now.

But then, you can actually *play* what's out there now. How about less art and more completed games?

#3716 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

You guys are asking for even more revisions to the art?

I think people have seen enough art and now want to see working games. The days of getting everyone to relax by releasing some art are now over.

#3855 5 years ago

Is there a sign pointing out when the prototype will be finished?

#3857 5 years ago

There's probably 100x the parts in a Rolls.

#3870 5 years ago

My point is that they can make a Rolls in 6 months and it is 100x more complicated than a pinball machine. I'll remember to explain it better next time...

#3901 5 years ago

What, no photos?

You should hold Popaduik to the same standard as Jack and Rick!

#3903 5 years ago

I was hoping your crusade in the PPS threads would migrate over here!

#3976 5 years ago

Yeah, the close up shot of a playfield feature is nice and all but it's more of the same. Zero progress. Same old same old.

Show a video of the game flipping. That's what people need to see!

#3979 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

I disagree, it is something. We are seeing areas of the pin that make it seem a lot closer to completion. That's a good thing.

We've already seen the prototype machines with the crazy-glued ramps. All this is, is close-ups of those. He is literally trickling out close-ups of the *same thing everyone has already seen*, albeit not close up. These aren't progress shots.

1 week later
#4030 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Like Frolic said, the pitch forks will be out and going ape shit will rule the day again if simple promises aren't kept this time around.

I guess twelfth time is the charm, eh?

Weren't you supposed to take him to task finally?

#4032 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Well, I have had enough people ask me to hold off prior to this coming "reveal".

How many times has he failed to meet deadlines and people are still "well, one more chance..."?


#4072 5 years ago

You're not investors, you're just customers. And customers are the lowest point on the totem pole.

#4095 5 years ago

Yeah, make Magic Girl and all your problems disappear. I wonder why he doesn't get it.

#4122 5 years ago

The thing is, Popaduik will *never* say it. Ever. Even when directly questioned he changes the topic.

#4160 5 years ago

Iceman, weren't you going to storm the gates?

Where's that fire in your belly from before?

That's the only way this is going to get resolved - through legal pressure. I honestly think Popaduik is a high-functioning autistic.

#4224 5 years ago

Time to get on that plane, Iceman. Git'r'done.

#4320 5 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

I think visits and non-aggressive contact by owners is the only logical thing to do. I have been there twice before.

Only a crazy person does the same thing over and over and expects a different result.

A bunch of people have gone to visit and nothing has changed. Plenty more have sent non-aggressive letters and emails, and nothing has changed. Maybe it's time to change tactics?

#4325 5 years ago
Quoted from roc-noc:

Actually I did see good progress between the two visits.

The other owners don't seem to have the same info as you. Have you shared it with them to help with the situation? Why doesn't Popaduik share this info with the other owners himself?

So, if there's progress, don't they deserve to see it?

All of this is regardless of someone being an owner or not.

#4400 5 years ago

Iceman's update can be summed up as: "Trust me."

Why? What actions has he done to generate that trust? There's no mention of time lines in that response, no mention of *why* previous deadlines were missed, no explanation of what's actually done at this point. It's more hand-wavy nonsense about "it's all good" with nothing explaining *why* it's good, other than "trust me."

It's just yet another stall tactic without facts or numbers.

#4406 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

The way that I read his post was that he *was* provided with some explanation of why deadlines were missed that made sense to him. But those reasons were not stated in his post.

I read that as well, but why not provide those details?

Is the only solution for every owner to personally call Popaduik and talk for an hour to get the story? That's hardly a solution.

#4409 5 years ago

Because I know people in on the games personally, and I find Popaduik's treatment of his buyers offensive.

#4410 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Seems you like you enjoy drama and want to keep people worked up.

I think the owners *should* get worked up. It's been almost 5 years at this point with no results. That's what happens when people just passively sit around waiting, getting dribbles of fish-eye shots to placate them over and over.

That's no way to treat people's trust.

#4412 5 years ago

He should say that, then. I see no reason not to say that if it's true.

#4524 5 years ago

Even Tucker managed to make 50 cars.

#4634 5 years ago

I have to say, even *I'm* optimistic hearing that he's willing to let other people help with he "boring" parts and have him concentrate on the design side.

But, can he stop himself from changing things, or working on some toy, instead of working on getting the game *done*? Is he willing to have someone else manage the project timeline?

Reading the now-open blog, he apparently had the playfield done in 2012! 3 years ago! Phew.

#4655 5 years ago

I was thinking of running through the blog and marking a development timeline with milestones, just out of curiosity. To me it seems like 90% of the work was done by the end of 2013, then he started navel-gazing on unimportant details. But it's hard to be sure without mapping it all out.

#4756 5 years ago

I don't think anyone actually cares what the hardware system is, they want to see a flipping game.

It's fantastic that some owners are now taking a more active role. Hopefully that results in some true progress, rather than just reveals of what's already done. It certain seems more hopeful.

So, that's the ultimate question - what's the date for seeing a working game with a ball that hits targets and scores points?

#4764 5 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

I'm curious if anyone on the team has written code for a fully functional DMD style game, whether on FAST/MPF or on another platform.

MPF doesn't have display support yet, I don't think. Lamps and score reels, yes!

They may have come out with another version since I last checked.

#4779 5 years ago

Yeah, Expo is OCTOBER. That's a long time from now.

#4786 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

That's correct. Now everybody has plenty of notice to make arrangements. I'm not sure what your issue is.

I meant in terms of seeing a working game, not visiting the shop.

#4874 5 years ago

Next time someone is at Popaduik's place, just get him to box up one of the three MG prototype playfields and send it out west. That's all he needs to do. Then the MPF/Fast guys can handle the rest.

Iceman, do you think you could get him agree to do that?

#4878 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

The FAST guys have requested that he do this and JPOP has refused.

It's almost like Popaduik *wants* to fail.

#4901 5 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

The ideal situation would be to get a playfield to work on and get a good run down on the way it is intended to operate.

Someone said that Popaduik refused to do this with you. Is that true?

#4938 5 years ago

From my perspective Iceman and Aaron have a good shot at making it work. The only person who could make it fail now is Popaduik himself.

#4963 5 years ago

Yeah, it's more "once bitten, twice shy".

#5010 5 years ago

Can't I be indignant at Popaduik's behaviour and *also* be very interested in updates? That's why I follow this thread.

#5042 5 years ago

Wow, this turned dark overnight!

Hey Popaduik, answer the phone!

#5047 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

I think he believes that the reveal of awesome machines will settle us all down

Don't you actually have to reveal something, though? The only reveal that matters at this point is a finished, fully working game.

#5206 5 years ago

I don't think it's that Popaduik is a nice person. I think he's a POLITE person who isn't actually very nice.

Talking to former WMS co-workers of his is enlightening. I recommend you ask them about Popaduik next Chicago Expo.

#5330 5 years ago

I don't think doing this stuff remotely is going to work.

Someone needs to be there in person, standing beside him. Phonecalls and emails are too easy to ignore.

That's the only way anything is going to happen - in person.

#5363 5 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

Spend time reading the Predator thread and the rationalizations of every owner who ignored all the bad signs in hopes they would eventually get their game.

I particularly enjoyed Whynow's flame-out in that regard.

Perhaps StevenP should spend some time reading the blogs. All the lies are laid out there in plain sight.

#5421 5 years ago

I wonder if Popaduik will show his face at a show again.

#5594 5 years ago

Ehh, Popaduik is fine and won't do squat because this stuff is all online. There's no one showing up on his doorstep, in person. Which is the only way anything will happen, period.

#5750 5 years ago

So has Iceman given up on this? Are we back to square one?

#5921 5 years ago

The crazy thing is, he keeps talking about how his machines are going to be light years better than Stern games, but from what I've seen they might be JJP level at best - hardly worth the 4-5 years development cycle.

But then he's always been good at talking a big game, but is actually outright lying.

#6138 5 years ago

Why doesn't Iceman get on a plane and visit Popaduik in person?

That's the only way to confront him. Too easy to ignore emails, phone calls, etc.

#6236 5 years ago

So when are you owners going to get on a plane and visit en mass?

Maybe 10 people at the door demanding answers with pitchforks and torches might jar something loose.

#6291 5 years ago

Lots of righteous indignation but not a lot of action.

At this point I'm more frustrated with you owners not taking a more active role in getting action than I am with Popaduik. Maybe the super-sekrit club house on Facebook should organize a get-together at Zidware and make some demands in person.

But I guess everyone is too busy? Or can't be bothered?

That's how Popaduik wins and continues to dick around with your million dollars without a care in the world.

#6294 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Maybe you should talk about things you're fully informed on.

How's that private group working out? Are you getting anywhere?

Doesn't sound like it from here.

#6309 5 years ago
Quoted from dmesserly:

This is a primary example of the idiocy that threatens to ruin Pinside as a hobby site. And the reason why a Facebook owner page was created.

What, that people should take action, perhaps as a group, instead of just grumbling about it?

Yeah, that's the cancer that's destroying Pinside.

#6406 5 years ago

Mr68 seems particularly intoxicated with the exclusivity and "very important pinballer" nature of being involved with the whole Popaduik debacle - so much so he doesn't even want to reveal his big news to other owners, thereby pumping up his own importance - so it's no surprise that he wants to keep everything secret and just for himself.

I think I'll err on the side of Occam's Razor and assume Popaduik is just blowing more smoke up his ass, just like everyone who visits. He's a master of the talking con.

#6418 5 years ago

Perhaps he confused your Texas drawl for being drunk.

He's Canadian, you know - we don't have none of your funny accents up here.

#6426 5 years ago

Should have recorded the calls and posted them as evidence that Popaduik is a liar and delusional.

#6534 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Wasn't the most brilliant move in the world to brag about Wired in a thread with someone who works for Condé Nast.

Now this is how to get the message out to Popaduik - torpedo his ego-driven media events.

Everything is about relationships and who you know, and it appears he's burned enough bridges at this point that there's no one left to fool!

#6674 5 years ago

I think Popaduik allowing the most hated person on Pinside to do PR for him is easily the funniest thing I've seen here since the NuCore guys got caught using GPL code in their project.

#6678 5 years ago

What's sad is that people are still hanging on to the possibility of any of these games actually getting made, when everyone should band together to try and salvage their money.

But then there's still Predator people who think that game is possible!

#6692 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Magic Girls... still a hope in hell that 19 can be made.

This is what I'm talking about. *there is no hope in hell of them getting made*.

The sooner people accept that, the sooner you can get around to suing him and putting this whole debacle to rest.

#6773 5 years ago

Popaduik is the definition of style over substance.

1 week later
#7102 5 years ago

It's so frustrating to be a logical person and try to interact with someone who isn't. Popaduik is clearly living in a bubble of his own ego and no amount of reality will penetrate.

It reminds me of Steve Jobs "Reality Distortion Field" except that one worked on *other* people!

#7112 5 years ago

I'd feel a bit sorry for him if he would just admit to *some* culpability in the situation, but he's blaming everyone else but himself.

That's one of the most frustrating aspects of this whole thing. If he'd just *be honest* and own up to it, I bet everyone would forgive him. That is, if it wasn't all just a scam all along for him to tinker around in his sandbox on other people's dime.

#7310 5 years ago

He must really hate Pinside now - we've forced him to pay his artist!

#7412 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Brands can be very picky about how they're represented, and you have to go through a lot more channels if you're straying from certain styles.

Sort of off-topic, but the Mondo guys consistently get big rights holders to sign off on very stylized illustration for their movie poster series, so I'm wondering what they're doing right. Is it because it's small, limited edition runs of posters versus a wide-release game? I wouldn't think it made much difference.

Here's some examples of them for people to see what I'm talking about. Imagine pinball machines with this level of artwork!

back-to-the-future-mondo.jpgReturn of the Jedi.jpgironman_786_poster.jpgansinbride_528_poster.jpg

#7418 5 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

Those Mondo posters are typically $300+ each

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


#7419 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I don't know how Mondo does it, but they can afford to spend however long they need for a poster to get approved I would think

The posters are for specific film screenings, so there is a definite deadline involved - usually only a couple of months. So the mystery of how they do it but pinball can't continues.

Talking to people involved, it turns out that licensing has changed *a lot* since the 90s. They used to get *all* media with a license - video, stills, music, voice talent, everything. But now they need to negotiate each piece separately. Licensing has become a cash cow business, which unfortunately is somewhat "ruining" pinball a bit in that the current players don't have the same freedoms.

Anyway, that's all off-topic on Popaduik stealing people's money.

#7427 5 years ago

I used to be a poster maker and it was a constant conversation among the artists about how to deal with flippers. No one has come up with a real solution to the problem - even open editions don't solve the problem.

#7515 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Either John thinks he's smarter than everyone else or he's too pig headed to admit he messed up.

If you talk to some of his former colleagues, you'll find that this isn't a new situation - there's a lot of parallels to previous projects (note, plural) getting derailed. The difference was back then he had a boss.

I'm beginning to think the whole NDA secrecy thing wasn't to protect his intellectual property, it was to stifle people talking to each other and realizing they were being JPOPed. If people were free to share and talk, they'd soon see he was a total flake. And in retrospect the signs were clear - no one in the pinball business would hire him, at a time when Lawlor and Ritchie were coming out with new games. Red Alert!

#7702 5 years ago

If it was his plan to get bought out, that was a shitty plan because everyone in the pinball business who might do that is well versed in the JPOP effect and wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole.

It's not exactly a giant business and word gets around fast.

#7727 5 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

I read thru the last few pages of updates...
I feel asleep!!

But don't have any more details to offer?

I'll never understand this. Everyone who visits comes back saying "everything is fine!" but *never elaborates* or *provides details*.

#7868 5 years ago

Yeah, but you're a reasonable, logical person.

Popaduik isn't. That's what is so frustrating.

#7995 5 years ago

The reason the people who have been to the shop won't talk is because if they did, Popaduik would cut them off completely.

I can see the appeal of being part of the VIP Club with insider info. I get it. But it's a bit disingenuous at this point to still keep silent when clearly nothing is ever going to actually happen.

#8008 5 years ago

To themselves, thinking that keeping it private gives them some sort of special privilege, but the reality is they have privileged access to something that is never going to happen.

#8014 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Oh so they really owe it to themselves to share everything with you in order to deal with reality of this project. Gotcha

No, more that they're fooling themselves that keeping it secret and staying in Popaduik's good graces is somehow worthwhile, versus helping the owners.

#8133 5 years ago

He clearly has no problem lying to people, he could have easily taken 2x or 3x the deposits he claims to have, and it's impossible for owners to compare since they were all bound by NDA.

Nice Ponzi scheme.

#8201 5 years ago

I dunno, there's probably still plenty of Popaduik apologists that he could go to a show and walk around fine. But he won't be able to do presentations or sign stuff without someone throwing a tomato at him.

The only logical thing I could see happen is that after all this finally comes to a close, whomever ends up with the MG prototypes could arrange for someone to finish them and get them playable. Then there will be three MG prototypes worth $50K or whatever. Otherwise no one is ever seeing this game, period.

What's probably the most irksome is that he won't even care, because he lives in his own bubble world where everyone else is to blame for his issues and he's the world's best pinball designer.

Great. Harm.

#8213 5 years ago

He won't let anyone in who isn't 100% committed to him. And talking about it means you get left out of the insider club.

#8295 5 years ago

Don't worry, he'll show all of you in 10 years when he reveals the finished game at Expo for 5 minutes - no photos allowed.

#8383 5 years ago

More hand-wavy non-committal bullshit.

Why do the sycophants all use the same Popaduik non-speak?

#8767 5 years ago

That video is, literally, the definition of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

#8988 5 years ago

I think I can count on one hand the number of people qualified to program a WPC-era game, and all of them are gainfully employed elsewhere.

Also, keep in mind that if it's just a ROM upgrade, they'd still be working within the limitations of the system itself, now over 20 years old. The allure of a P-ROC upgrade like BoP 2.0 is getting the colour screen and fancy rules that more processing power and RAM offers.

#8990 5 years ago

Well, P-ROC is definitely the priciest option, but right now it's the only option. FAST is still vapourware, PinHeck is pretty much exclusive to Spooky.

One guy was working on a single-board solution but I haven't heard anything about it lately.

#8992 5 years ago

That's what I mean, it's not exactly plug and play.

#8995 5 years ago

Actually, we should try to organize a seminar with Popaduik. That way, all the buyers will know ahead of time where he is and at what time so they can gather and ask him some questions in person.

I doubt anyone would call him out at a show if he was just walking around, but they'd be way more vocal in a seminar setting!

#9037 5 years ago

Fantastic news! I mean, not for the owners, but finally there will be some actual progress on finishing this fiasco once and for all.

And Popaduik's reputation with it.

#9040 5 years ago

Here comes the monkey stirring the pot with zero updates.

#9063 5 years ago

Yeah, I've been vocal in here even though I'm not in on any of the games. But at least I'm not swinging my junk around pretending I know something and then not following up on it.

Frankly I'm glad someone finally brought suit against him. That's the first real progress this ponzi scheme has had in years.

#9138 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's been 4 yrs, another small wait ain't gonna hurt a thing.

How many times does Popaduik need to cry wolf before you stop running out to help?

#9666 5 years ago

Man, I missed the real crap show overnight.

Anyway, forget the deal - everyone agrees it reeks and isn't worth the paper it's printed on. How bad it sucks doesn't even phase me.

What really has my head spinning is all the people still playing the secrets game. People who have previously *said*, in *this* thread, how much they hate the secrecy and how secrecy is what allowed this fiasco to get to this point.

I am *amazed* that people like ChrisVW and Iceman *wouldn't* out this mystery person because they have both stated the above many times! Basically they are total hypocrites.

Please explain how keeping secrets benefits you, because it certainly doesn't benefit all the other owners. There must be some reason. Are you under NDA? Did you cross your heart and hope to die if you told? Or is it more like the Insiders Club membership fee? If you told you wouldn't get super exclusive access to privileged info?

Because if that's the reason, that's bullcrap. And lame.

#9671 5 years ago

Another thing to add.

I kinda knew this but Larry DeMar is a goddamn genius and an amazing boss, because he got a guy, who is obviously a borderline autistic sociopath and clearly incapable of even finding his own navel, to produce some pretty good games over a ten year span.

#9678 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

No one told me who he was, I didn't pinky swear to John Popadiuk I wouldn't tell, I figured it out on my own. It's not my responsibility or obligation to "out" anyone.

So you're okay with keeping secrets as long as you know?

#9746 5 years ago

I used to have a rep as a prick in the pinball community, but I never pulled the crap ChrisVW is pulling in here. I can be terse, sure, but he's almost gloating.

#9910 5 years ago

So Ice, why won't you out the anonymous licensee?

#9911 5 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

he apologized and said he
has one for me on hold. I received that email March 19, 2015. He followed
up on March 20, 2015 and asked if I needed more info on MG.

So that shitheel was even still selling Magic Girl! Wow!

#9930 5 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Maybe the same reason I'm not. People tell you things, & you keep it to yourself.

And this is how a shitshow like this gets to this point, instead of stopping at a more reasonable state - no one talks.

#9976 5 years ago

32 posts to go until 10000!

When will the people in the know step forward and out these anonymous licensees?

#9993 5 years ago

When did pinball get so dramatic? It was pretty chill when I dropped out in '02.

#10014 5 years ago

I always knew John was weird and a space cadet. I never expected him to pull this crap.

#10047 5 years ago

Sure, Ice. How about you out the anonymous licensee?

#10165 5 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I'm going to bed however to answer simply, if john is fielding law suits all day every day then we cannot get out of him what we need in these machines simple as that.

I'm curious why Popaduik even needs to be involved at this point. He is toxic and everything he touches turns to shit. Look at how his involvement in your announcement totally exploded. And if the games are as done as he claims, his job is basically complete. We already know about his checkered history at WMS of being pulled off his games - yes, more than once he was pulled from control of his games - so we know his "best" work is when someone else handles the software.

Why would you want anything to do with him?

The only reason I can see is it allows you to get the sweetest terms to access what little IP he has.

#10199 5 years ago

Didn't all the people who knew who the anonymous licensee was say we'd all feel so much better after they revealed themselves? That it was someone well-known in the community?

I don't know about you guys but I've never heard of any of the people on that list. And none of them have any manufacturing experience.

And what's the crap about "Programmer: TBD"? Why don't you *pay* the existing programmer what he's owed and let him finish?

This update offers zero relief for anyone, and it seriously makes me question the reputation of guys like Iceman or ChrisVW if they really believed the "reveal" would solve anything.

This still looks like a shit sandwich of a deal to me. I think the deal is structured to give both Pintasia and Popaduik the sweetest deal possible. He gets off scott-free after blowing millions of other people's money, never has to say he's sorry, and gets to continue playing in his fantasy world for a few more years.

The injustice of it makes me angry.

#10206 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

To yank him out of the design process and put a no-name in his place is a bad idea.

Nevermind the whole injustice angle of letting him continue to play tinpot dictator. Let's look at his history.

It could be argued that his best two games are WCS and CV. *Both* of those games were taken out of his hands and finished by someone else, and play a million times better than they did before he was yanked.

What exactly is left to do on MG? The playfield is complete, so it needs tweaking and software, all of which could be done by half a dozen experienced designers out there, like say Barry Oursler. Or even a new guy - he's just playing cleanup at this point. You've got the artist, and just pay the existing programmer what he's owed and let him finish. No Popaduik needed.

There's playfield drawings of the other games too, just take that and run with it.

But ultimately the smartest play is to let this hit Chapter 7 and let the light of day clean out the filth, then pick up the pieces free and clear with ZERO Popaduik involvement. Given that two different business deals were in play even in this state means *SOMEONE* will pick up the pieces and try to continue, *and* Popaduik gets what's coming to him for defrauding people for years.

#10210 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

The investor is Bill Brandes -- aka. "wcbrandes", a respected member of the pinball community.

Me having never heard of him of course doesn't mean much. He might be respected but he's not anyone of particular note in the pinball *manufacturing* business.

As for the programmer, perhaps Bill is already in negotiations with the original programmer?

The guy posted in this thread before the reveal and I got the impression this whole thing was a surprise to him. So, yeah. Not feeling good on this whole deal.

Why did Popaduik choose this deal over the deeproot one? Answer that question...

#10216 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

How about John gets cut as consultant and Ben Heck gets brought in.

See, there's an idea - we know Ben can handle clean up duty on the playfield if it needs tweaking. No need for Popaduik anywhere near this.

#10233 5 years ago

Yeah, I'd say most people want a refund. If *this* is the guy who's taking over, I'm not seeing how he's an improvement over Mr. Nutbag Popaduik.

#10242 5 years ago

I really suggest people google this guy. There's some pretty amusing results.

#10258 5 years ago

Yeah, and he's apparently a love 'em and leave 'em type.


"The two had a romantic, intense date that just showed off how hot this single mom is. However, Bill, her date, ended up just using her for flings and would go weeks without trying to see her."

Maybe him and Popaduik have more in common than we think!

#10322 5 years ago

Still no answers why Popaduik screwed the deal with deeproot in favour of this one.

#10342 5 years ago
Quoted from PINTASIA:

This is the only way.

Or someone could buy Zidware as-is, assume all the debt and get the game made in a straight-forward way.

This bullshit "license" is not for the "good of pinball". It does nothing but protect both you and Popaduik from lawyers. Not a good start.

#10345 5 years ago

Also, if Popaduik is forced into bankruptcy, isn't any licensing deal within the last few months null and void?

So basically you need *everyone* to not sue Popaduik. And that's just not going to happen.

#10377 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

What I'm hearing from Chris at Cointaker and mostly other owners, amongst all the garbage, is that most are willing to give this a chance.

That's not what I'm hearing, either in this thread or elsewhere.