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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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#982 5 years ago

I'm sure most will disagree, but in my view of the world, if Stern knew Jpop was in talks with them and swooped in to take it, while not illegal by any means, does strike me as scummy.

If they did not know and it was just something they were pursuing since they have been doing a series of old rock and roll bands, then no harm no foul.

If KISS liked the idea from jpop, and decided to shop it around and brought it to Stern, then hard to hold it against Stern, but would have been nice if they passed on it, if they knew Jpop had been pursuing it. Not saying I would have expected Stern to do that, but would like to see that type of behavior in such a small ecosystem, no matter how unrealistic that is.

#1068 5 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

The stuff he wants patents for, is that all been done? Or still in the patent system some where?

I've got a pending patent that is probably going on three years. Not saying that is normal, but the process can be long (I think my first patent took around 3 years). He could release what he is doing as patent pending, but that would not offer any protection at that point, but does put others on notice that once approved they would have to cease what they are doing. Be risky for some other pinball company to "borrow" his idea, and suddenly not be able to sell a game due to the patent being granted. Accordingly I see limited risk him in showing/producing stuff with the patent pending. Of course it is always possible it does not get granted, which is a whole other conversation.

#1074 5 years ago
Quoted from minnesota13:

rosh - you have your terminology mixed regarding patents. Patent Pending - means the patent has been approved. Patent Applied For is what you are looking for.

Quoted from minnesota13:

terryb -- got it -- patent pending and patent applied for are the same.

So I guess you were the one who had the terminology mixed up, not me. Glad I did not call my patent attorney to tell him he was using the wrong terms

1 month later
#1688 5 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Why can't a boutique just grab this completed design and produce it?

I don't think you understand what drives someone to be crazy enough to do a boutique pin. A huge part of it is around the overall creation of something, bringing your vision to life, not just 'building' a machine. Maybe there is someone who would want to do, but most of the folk I have talked to who are building machines I don't think would have interest in taking someones creation and building it. It is certainly possible he might want to try to turn his machine into physical machine, as we have seen with WOOLY.

#2061 5 years ago

My understanding is Jpop pays his developers (and vendors) upfront.

Oh, wait, maybe it is he never pays them, I get those things confused.

#2285 5 years ago

Is there a way my pinside account can just automatically thumbs down any Kaneda posting? I know you can ignore someone, but you still see all their stupidity when others quote them.

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

#2292 5 years ago

I would be shocked if this was granted. First off, seems that pinball2000 had the ball interacting with the display via switches, sensors, etc. (although I guess that is why he is trying to say 'vertical display' to get around that and any pending patents by mulitmorphic that might pre-date this).

Regardless, hard to see this passing the 'non-obvious' requirement given the evolution of pinball the last 20 years. I can easily make the argument that DMDs have been telling a player where to shoot and when a switch is hit the display reacts, what he is trying to patent is clearly just an evolutionary step from that.

#2293 5 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

That would get abused.

I was joking , well, sort of. I guess the booted person could appeal, but if it was being abused, it would probably be for good reason. I guess a better approach, and maybe this happens, is that at X thumbs downs on X posts in a thread, a moderator would be proactively notified.

Quoted from ccotenj:

hmmm... the people on my "ignore" list don't show up when quoted...

I stand corrected, I don't typically ignore people, although maybe I should be doing it more often

#2360 5 years ago
Quoted from S37VEN:

Sorry I may have missed this elsewhere but what does RoHS stand for/mean?

2 months later
#4748 5 years ago

Certainly an interesting development, and if I was a buyer, I would look at this as meaning at least another year. A few other thoughts . . .

As has been said, P-roc is a proven platform. Between BOP2.0, CCC, Predator, Matrix, Wooly, Buffy, Deadpin, the Kuglers, and plenty of others that have not been publicly available to play, it is clear that the P-roc works and is reliable. I will say that the driver boards have not been used as extensively at this point since games like CCC, BOP2.0 and Matrix were using the boards already existing in the game (Predator and TBL are both using the driver boards as well as most of the custom games (vs re-themes and extensions). Regardless those boards have seen plenty of action.

The FAST boards are new and have only seen action in a couple of games, and other then the EM conversion that was at expo, I don't think any other games have been playable at various pinball events, at least not that I have played (I think there is a portable machine that Aaron has shown with the boards). I am not saying the boards are not good or reliable, just not proven at this point. Their drivers boards have a little bit of a different 'philosophy' in combining drivers and switch detection into a single board, and only time will tell if that is a better, worse or equivalent as far as functionality and reliability (plus MPF will work with P-roc and associated driver boards as well)..

The pyprocgame framework is a proven commodity at this point, with all of the machines mentioned above using it. However, some of those machines are using extended versions of the framework that provide more support for color, larger displays and other features. CCC uses an extended version that Eric did to support color, DP has their version also to support color and their other enhancements, and Buffy and the Kuglers use what is called the HDVGA version of the framework, which is publicly available for others to use and has been shown to work with 32bit color running a 450x900 size display, that also has a new upgraded version on the horizon.

The MPF framework is full of potential and I think when it is finished (last I heard the v1 release was expected in about 5 months, but the alpha/beta is available now), should be an excellent platform and may turn out to be great for amateur programmers, since you should be able to get the basics functionality of a games mechanisms up and running with little to no actual programing. Of course the game won't have rules, sounds, graphics and all the rest, which will require programming, etc. In the case of helping JPOP, FAST and MPF certainly have guys with those skills. However, how much of the current code is usable with the new platform is unknown (at least to me), but given how MPF does things, there is certainly some refactoring needed.

I find it interesting that JPOP is now on his third (or more?) hardware platform. Based on Eric's comments it sounds like the game does currently run on the current hardware platform, and it is not clear why the change and hard to know if there is an issue with the platform, JPOP being JPOP, or if FAST/MPF made him an offer he couldn't refuse. BTW, multiple manufactures have looked at using P-roc and have chosen to go their own way, which I suspect is likely been under the belief they could find a cheaper solution as the P-roc with its computer requirement is not cheap, so maybe they did end up with a cheaper solution, but certainly seems they have had a lot of delays in the process.

Time will tell if this is this the next volume in the JPOP saga, or just another chapter. For those of us in the cheap seats, it continues to be an entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Hopefully at the end those who have bought will get their machines and laugh about the journey.

Did just hear about a study that found that the process and anticipation of buying something you desire, is actually more emotionally stimulating (typically positive) then when you actually get the item. So, for you buyers, this is all good

#4763 5 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

The FAST boards are new and have only seen action in a couple of games, and other then the EM conversion that was at expo, I don't think any other games have been playable at various pinball events, at least not that I have played

I was incorrect in this statement. The EM conversion at Expo was running on a p-roc and drivers boards from (aka multimorphic, aka p-roc), but I believe it was using MPF, Brian can pipe in here and clarify if I am wrong on this.

I'm not sure who the entire team is at FAST and mission pinball, but 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.

#4800 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

We call it getting JPOP'ed.

I guess I got lucky. Talked with him a year or so ago about doing some programming for him. After we talked I did my due diligence and talked with other pinball guys in the Chicago area who had done work for him, and the message was pretty clear ...


#4861 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Aaron knows Jpop, he knows what he's walking into, and he's still willing to do it.

Based on other comments, I tend to think that knowing him is one thing, working for/with him is another. Clearly some of the others who have done work with him, knew him and thought they knew what they were getting into.

Hopefully Aaron will tame the beast and folks will get their games.

#4863 5 years ago
Quoted from BrianMadden:

If a brand new machine that I had never seen before showed up at my door (assuming the hardware was hooked up), it would literally only take a few hours to have a game running on it.

I'm calling BS, it would take a few hours just to read the massive amount of documentation

#4864 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

being a customer is yet another

So here is a question for you, given where we are, rank order these from least to most crazy (presented here in no particular order).

pinsider's coming to this topic expecting meaningful news

#4866 5 years ago
Quoted from Mocean:

I've coded the HD VGA fork of pyprocgame, the hardware accelerated rewrite of the hd vga framework,

Oh, and I've been sitting here twiddling my thumbs? Just joking of course, and I would certainly acknowledge that it was 93% you, 5% me and 2% me dangling shinny objects in front of you to get you to do the stuff I want.

#4915 5 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

But I also see the glimmer of hope

I wonder how many before you said the same thing.


#4922 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Honestly, that's what losers do, they pack it in, don't succeed. I'm not saying it's their fault in the past, John brought all this on himself.
Aaron and others like myself do have the perfect skill sets to help John with his own self proclaimed "moronic tendencies" on the business side.
The bottom line for us as a group here is that WE aren't going to let John fail. Pay attention and watch what happens now.

I don't think others packed it in are losers by any means. The exact opposite, most, if not all, of them were absolute winners in other things they have done. I'm sure that most of them also thought what you are thinking "we are going to turn this around. John has changed, he understands he needs help, yada yada yada". These are folks who also had the skills John needed, skills to project manager, know how to bring products to market, know how to develop and deliver, software, etc. and ultimately it did not work. Maybe this time will be different, and I hope it is, but as Einstein said . . .

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

I'm not sure what is being done this time is really all that different then what has gone on over the last couple of years. Maybe it is, and maybe this time it works, I hope so for all of those who have put their hard earned cash on the line. But as a betting man, I would not put my hard earned money down on it happening anytime soon.

Good luck, and I hope you succeed where others have failed.

#4927 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

I think the big difference this time is that Iceman and FAST are being very vocal, open, and transparent about the whole thing. A public light is being shined on this by them. As long as they remain open and transparent then maybe they have a chance. Once they start getting secretive then I suspect things may fall apart.

I guess the first test of that, is to see if this type of info gets honestly shared . . .

Quoted from frolic:

Ice, can you fill us in on a very specific analysis of where the game(s) are at?
Basically what we've been begging for for the last several months.
What is the state of the game?
What is left to do?
What are the hold ups in accomplishing that?
What is the projected time frame of finishing that?

Be nice to see a gantt chart or high level project plan, showing all of this -- that would make a lot of people happy.

#4951 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Now I realize that so many of the rubberneckers want to see this thing crash and burn horribly and it makes for great conversation on here,

I don't thing there are many folks here who want to see this crash and burn, a few but not many. I think most want to see this happen so those who invested get what they have paid for. Rubberneckers are not looking for something to crash and burn, however, when they see a train wreck, they will "stretch their necks" to get a look at it, and yes around here, they will continue to look and talk about it until it is no longer interesting, but that does not mean they want to see it crash and burn. I have little doubt that your attitude and confidence in your ability to make this a success, will keep folks interested in watching what happens from here.

Quoted from iceman44:

I don't really care at this point about what happened in the past.

I applaud your confidence that you can get the job done, and wanting to start with a clean slate, but, as the saying goes, "those that do not learn history are destined to repeat it". It may certainly be in your best interest to find out from those who had issues with john what happened, so you can hopefully find a way to be successful working with him.

#5063 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Seriously - if Jpop or SkitB show their faces at this one...shit could get UGLY.

Strikes me as an opportunity for one or both to raise the needed capital. Set up a dunking both and make it $5 a throw, or go for the big money and set up a boxing ring and let folks take swings at them for $50 for two minutes. Bet there would be a long line.

Quoted from toyotaboy:

can be a budget machine at

Not my impression that Jpop is budget conscious as far as equipment, etc.

While the $100K seems high, the $1500/month seems low. Four 10x10 storage lockers in Chicago run me a $1000 month (with limited power, etc.) and that is cheap by Chicago standards.

#5079 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Buffalo grove is high in general, city isn't much better.

My storage units are in west Loop, not BG.

Not sure that listing is typical of that area, not that it matters. John probably has 5 times that amount of space -- again, not that it really matters.

#5113 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's not a good thing that either would fail. But I feel like Skit-B's failure could have a bigger impact on the future of boutique pinball.

I don't think either one of them failing would have had massive impact on boutiques, but the combination of them both teetering on disaster, and then sprinkle on top of that MMr delays, JJP delays, the TBL sideshow with Phil, and all of a sudden you have a wave go across the ecosystem that leaves behind a sentiment of "no way in hell will I pre-order", which will have a significant dampening on boutiques.

Unfortunately what has created the most damage, is not the issues and the problems they have run in to, it is the total mishandling of communication around the issues that has created the greatest damage. Most folks here recognize that this is not easy stuff to do and most would be more than forgiving of issues and delays, and have been, however, no one likes being lied to, and whether it is a direct lie or a lie through omission it does not matter. As we have learned time and time again, ultimately the truth comes out and it is the 'cover up' and 'deceit' that is ultimately what brings things crashing down.

Setting aside some questionable business practices (e.g. not paying vendors and contractors), if Jpop and Kevin had treated their customers with open and honest communication, especially when the shit was hitting the fan, they would still be struggling with these challenges, but they would not have a mob with pitch forks ready to show up on their door step. In fact, they would likely be getting a ton of support, but as we have seen, even those that were giving them that support and defending them, are now finding that quite difficult to do.

#5124 5 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

So far I've seen little evidence that customers are refraining from pre-orders.

Not saying it has and not saying it hasn't at this point. The reality is the issues with these projects have really only cast their dark shadow over the last several months, so, not a lot of pre-order opps since then (outside of Stern). Wooly fell flat and could not get pre-orders it needed (although I know some will argue the price was too high relative to the machine). I don't know how well Aliens has pre-sold.

Only time will tell.

1 week later
#5904 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Seeing comments on JPop's Facebook page seems to show proof that there are still people out there who would probably consider putting money down on AIW!

for some seeing a Jpop machine, with it's lines and curves and art, is like Homer Simpson seeing a pink frosted Donut, they just can't resist it.

#6015 5 years ago

Jpop and Skit-b not really direct comparisons. While jpop has certainly missed deadlines I don't think you can call this fraud like with Skit-B. Kevin blatantly lied about having a license when he didn't and without a license he could not legally produce and sell the game, and yet he was taking money, knowing that was the case.

I do not know the terms of Jpops agreement with buyers, so I don't know what rights they have relative to him missing deadlines in getting refunds. His lack of transparency and communication, as much as anything, is what is creating so much of the angst, so has clearly been stated he is his own worst enemy, but other things happening in the ecosystem is now bring greater focus and pressure. While typically one would think that would help move things along and drive him to be more transparent, that just does not seem to be the case, or at lest, anytime it looks like that is going to happen, it quickly fades (e.g. iceman, fast/mpf, etc.).

#6077 5 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

I can't believe he's blown you off after only a month or so.

For those who previously tried or actually did some work for him, and those of us who know them, this is not a surprise at all. It was clear it would be an up hill battle.

I still hope someday he wakes up and realizes he needs help and actually accepts it, but no way I would put money on that happening. Seems there will always be the next person who thinks they can fix the situation, and maybe someday that will happen. I hope so for those who have money riding on it.

#6110 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

He stopped getting paid and left. There currently is NO programmer. So the state of it is the same state it has been in for some time (years apparently, MG reportedly was in this flippable stage 18 months ago). So it's been sitting there since.

Based on jpop's history, it would not surprise me if by now he has conned a new developer into working for him. And also based on history, he is likely starting from scratch, since Jpop probably has a new vision for the software, and a lot of developers never like what the last guy did (or it was not in the language, they like or it is was not documented, etc.), and want to do it their way, which is another big downside of switching developers mid project, yet again). So, if my hunch is right, and unless jpop finds some magic dust to sprinkle on things, add another year or two. Of course if my hunch is wrong and he has not conned a new developer, well then add . . .

#6122 5 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

And I am a programmer in the community who would contribute maybe 5-10 hours per week if anyone wants to put jpop in touch with me.

I've felt that way in the past, but have talked to too many people who have done work for him, and their message was always the same -- run away. So now if I ever feel like that I lie down in bed until the feeling passes.

#6131 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

I do a bit of python.. it's not the most beautiful of languages and very annoying/ugly when indentation gets dicked up. What a terrible idea.

Not sure how you define 'beautiful', I've not been using python that long, but I think the indentation as a requirement in order for code to properly work has huge benefits in insuring readability, so not sure how you can say annoying/ugly when it gets messed up, other then yes, your code won't run correctly it it is not indented correctly. It also keeps the code less cluttered and easier to read, imo, since you don't have a million braces all over the place.

Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I've been REALLY spoiled by .NET.

I can't real comment on .net, I've spent the last 15+ years working at start-up companies that all have used open source technologies, so the typical LAMP stack.

#6384 5 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

I will drive this to completion I guarantee it.

Best laugh I have had in days. Isn't that what Iceman was saying just a few weeks ago.

Amazing how many times we hear someone with that attitude, start down the road with jpop and then quickly retreat, since basically all of those unknowns, are known. Based on past history, he will want an NDA that will be incredibly restrictive. He is incredibly protective of all he does (or thinks about doing), and does not share or play well with others. He has no clue or desire to understand timelines and still wants to remain in total control, and only share the info he feels is necessary. Nothing is ever exactly the way he wants it, so therefore nothing every gets totally complete. He will pretty much ignore any input on what he needs to be doing differently.

I'm sure he will be happy to work with you, he will promise you the moon and the stars, and then, well, you will likely join the large club of those who have done work for him in the past who have walked away for all of the above reasons.

Who knows, maybe you will be the guy to finally change all that, but as a betting man, I'd put my money on that not being the case.

Best of luck!

#6387 5 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

If things don't work out, you are more than welcome to join us for drinks at the JPOP'd Happy Hour at Expo in the fall.
FAST Pinball

so are you reserving the large large ballroom for that?

#6395 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Mr68 said:
I flew to Chicago a month ago and met with Jpop face to face as representative of the owners group. This was a very uncomfortable meeting for Jpop I promise you. I don’t yell but I’m direct and forceful. Last week I file a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General. This past Tuesday Jpop was served with my demand letter via courier, signature required.

I'm withdrawing my official complaint against Jpop and will excitedly continue on with Magic Girl and RAZA.
I cannot and will not explain further. No private emails please.

Seems anyone who visits Jpop gets mesmerized by what they see, or get hypnotized by jpop's excitement and enthusiasm or maybe he serves them some type of koolaid.

Regardless, I find that you making the first post which was ripping on others and telling folks to be careful of who they follow, and talking big of how you are going after jpop, and then posting something along the lines of "I'm 100% in and don't ask why", as being flippant and disingenuous.

IMO, it would have been better if you just left the thread then make a post like that.

#6421 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

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


#6805 5 years ago

While I could shed some light on what it takes to code a game from scratch, Epthegeek, or Koen from DP would be the most knowledgable people to ask about 2.0 type stuff, as far as recreating the existing game and creating a totally new version (assuming original code needs to be re-created in some fashion). On BOP2.0 there were not DMD stuff to re-create for the original game. With Eric it was an expansion of CC, which is not a 'second version' of a game, but the concepts are similar and he first had to re-create all the existing functionality, assets, color the dots, re-create fonts, etc, which may or may not be necessary, depending on what is available in all of the areas, and what hardware platform it is going to run on, and if a developer is comfortable working from the original code, etc.

Assets and use of those are critical from a legal use standpoint, so it is not that you can just go hire someone to do it, with working out those issues with Rick, however, there is now a 'template' for that given the bop2.0 stuff.

Regardless, as wolfmarsh said, way too many unknowns to set a cost, IMHO, $20K would not be nearly enough (at least based on my hourly rate). Heck, just think about how much time the developer will need to spend testing the code.

#6931 5 years ago

No 'angel' investor is going to jump and save the day, unless they are someone with a total love of pinball and are willing to do it with the understanding there will be no return on the investment, best you could hope for is getting your money back out. Any true investor wants a return that justifies the risk they are taking, which is pretty high and this case, and are looking for a minimum of 3 or 4 fold return, if not significantly more.

On a related note, it is pretty typical in a start-up situation that those who invest later get better terms than those that were the first to take risks. Often the founders will make very little compared to the last guys to throw in money (which is often big money) who are often guaranteed to get a 2 or 3X return before the early investors get anything, and with multiple rounds, there can be a couple of layers like that. So, in the case of some of these scenarios being thrown around, where more machines are made, and others feel that the new buyers (e.g. investors), are going to get a better deal of sorts, well, that is sort of how that often works.

In this case getting a machine, that is less rare that originally expected, is better than the company going bankrupt and those early 'investors' getting squat. However, unless John is willing to have someone else be running the company, hard to see anyone putting any money in, whether as deposits towards a game or as an investment to help keep the company afloat.

Funny thing is, I could help John with this. I've help build successful companies, raised millions in capital (not that I think you really can in this situation at all), and I can actually also code a game, but at the same time, I've learned enough from this thread and talked with enough folks who have worked (or attempted to) with John, to know not to even reach out to John and go down that rabbit hole. I know the history, and I have no desire to repeat it. If I really thought John would change . . . but just don't see that happening.

#6948 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

No offense to anyone who's offered to help, but can you program a fun game?

'fun' is the eye of the beholder or I guess the player. But you are welcome to play mine at expo, or talk to those who have. The feedback as been very positive on it. Certainly not done with it yet. But to your point, the second game I was working on, when I finally got it to the point I could actually play it for real, vs a 'simulator', I was just not happy with it, the toys were great, and was pretty pleased with where the the dots and sounds were, but the overall play relative to the software was just "off" -- too much going on at the same time which confused things, and it needs some serious re-work -- but it does have cool toys.

This video of my first game is pretty old many things of changed, as this was while I was converting to the larger, color display, at some point you will see graphics from when it was standard DMD which will give you a sense of the difference. (plus the guy playing was stoned or drunk at the time). The return is also much nicer then this hacked together thing, having had a custom one made. I need to do an updated video and clearly I need to find an artist.

#6950 5 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

if you put in the "spinners"

I've thought about adding a spinner to one side of the inner loop or what I call the 'left loop' which is one of the shots off the upper flipper, love spinners, especially if they have good speed and sound. I don't really know whirlwind that well, but the game obviously has influences from Steve Ritchie, Pat Lawlor and others. Naturally I incorporated the things I like it games (fast loops and orbits, ramps feeding back to inlanes for flow, third flipper, kickback, shot through pops, things that require nudging skills (at least if you are playing on high or wizard mode), etc.).

#6952 5 years ago

I guess I should have one here, but you can see stuff on the website

and my second in progress game (well, you can see some protoypes of the toys as well as learn how to vacuum form stuff in your kitchen). . .

#6959 5 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

Is that a modded Whirlwind layout?

No completely designed and built from scratch, and the playfield was hand routed with tools that I probably bought before a large percentage of the folks on this forum were born. If you go to the thread I posted some of that is covered there (the thread called "I don't need a stink cnc" focuses on the playfield routing). I also did an expo presentation on it, which you can listen to it as well as download a pdf of the slides via the links below, it is pretty long, but does give a good overview of what all is involved --

#7084 5 years ago

I'm not a buyer and I don't know what the contract looks like and if Jpop is now in violation of it. It is not like he has committed fraud, like Skit-B claiming a license they did not have, and collecting money under false pretense, so not sure where there are a legal grounds to go after him, other then missing a contractual obligation.

What would concern me as an owner, is that it is clear from his post that he is running out of money and from what has been seen publicly, it does not seem like machines are heading out the door.

Is it really pinside that is preventing people from buying his new machines, or is it the fact that he has yet to deliver a single machine? I'm going to say the latter.

I like the shot at those under NDA, who he now believes are speaking in violation of it. I would somehow suspect suing a vendor or contractor over violation of an NDA when he has defaulted on payments, is probably not going to have the results he thinks.

I do find it interesting that he says that pinside and these other activities are causing him to lose so much time, yet there seems to be little communication coming from him as a result, so not sure what this is causing him to spend time on.

There is an old business adage that "when no one knows what you are doing, they assume you are doing nothing" -- certainly around here, where the silence can be deafening, there is tendency to assume it is worse then nothing.

#7246 5 years ago
Quoted from Shoot_Again:

Kugler Family FTW
Thanks for posting this video otherwise this thread would have been a total bust.

What is probably the most pertinent aspect of me posting that video to this thread, is that it was just a little over 12 months from the time I started on it and when I had it at expo. That was working on it while commuting on the train each day, nights and weekends. The first version was a traditional DMD vs the color it has now, and the rule set at that point was only about a third of what it is now, but that was a fully playing whitewood and I had basically no clue what I was doing when I started.

I can understand john not wanting to show a game too early in the process, given the way his brain is wired, and a certain level of perfectionism he has, but it is just hard to understand how in this amount of time, he has not been able to show off something that is playing a game (serving up a ball, scoring points, processing the end of ball ball bonus, etc), with some sounds, music and animations reacting to switch hits, it would be understood it is a work in progress (although I am sure there would be some handful of people ripping on it).

By the way I am now taking pre-orders, so if anyone wants a game that is all about my family for their game room, just send your first 50% payment of $10K.

#7502 5 years ago
Quoted from Sjsilver:

The economics of that were always impossible

I think the economics were originally possible, well maybe not with John's "vision" and certainly not with the way he is running the 'business'. Had he used 'common' parts, instead of wanting to re-invent the wheel, as well as not re-engineering and re-designing things over and over and over and over and over and over again.

Obviously this gets back to having a business person running things. Whether it was Bally/Williams, Stern or anyone else, you manage to a budget and a timeline. Yes, that requires tough decisions to be made as to what you can do and what you can't in a machine. Lots of pins had things get cut due to budget or time constraints. It is the nature of product development and manufacturing (well of course the after market has put a lot of those things back into games, e.g. third magnet in TZ). John does not want to play by those rules and that is why things are in the sad state they are in.

On a positive note, John and Kevin are both providing great examples of what not to do if you want to be a boutique pinball maker.

#7671 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

I do not believe any of us really thought he would start providing two updates per week.

I think maybe Jpop as weeks and months confused, in his mind he still has a ton of days before his next update is due, in fact, he does think he is way behind schedule, in his mind it has not been 36 months, he has been at it for 36 weeks, so he is less that a year into the schedule.

#7906 5 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Once the people who are part of the cult following catch wind there are for sale, it will bring in sales from non pin people. AIW is going to sell to only pinheads

Not sure there has ever been a case where a theme brought in any significant number of sales from anyone that was not already a pinball enthusiast. I recently talked with an industry insider on this subject and I got the impression that while there have been a few cases over time where they thought that would be the case, it just did not materialize. Not saying there won't be any, but would be insignificant, even in a small run.

#7923 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

My dealer has a Mustang in the lounge

I would have thought that lots of dealerships would want one, great way to keeps occupied when mom and dad are buying the car. But from what I have been told, the opposite is true, most dealerships like for the kids to be annoying mom and dad, it distracts the parents and shortens up the negotiations.

Quoted from Aurich:

This is just a funny anecdote, but the person you're talking with happens to be someone who's a big Metallica fan and bought his first pin because he was a fan of the band.

I think we have all know for a while now that you are not "normal", so this is actually a meaningless comment/data point On a serious note, was it that you never thought about owning a pinball machine before that or was it a case of you had been wanting to, and Metallica was the push you needed to get you off your butt and actually buy one?

#8086 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

John doesn't allow photography in his studio, and he won't let the public take photos of his backglasses at expo. Either he's hard wired to the internet, or if he is wireless he has 64-bit encryption installed on his router.

While John is quite paranoid about everyone stealing his designs and ideas, we have not seen any 'systems/network' company/person here complaining about not being paid, so accordingly, my guess is his network is not that sophisticated.

#8122 5 years ago

I went around expo and looked at my “competition” in boutique and was not impressed at all at any of it.

At least mine (The Kuglers), Deadpin, Buffy, Wooly, FullT, TBL -- could all play a game (and the first 5 have pretty complete rule sets, and the last had some pretty cool functioning toys.). All of these, except maybe FullT, not sure, were started looooong after MG. Heck my, second game, Casino, was only 6 months old when it was at expo, and could flip, play a game and had working toys (although not totally complete) and nice cabinet art -- and I only work on it a couple of hours a day, a few days a week -- not 7x14.

Making a pinball machine is not easy and it does take time, but I don't believe it is 7x14 x 4 years time/hard to get a playable prototype produced. Manufacturing them is very, very hard, but seems like John is not even ready for that. I just find it mind boggling that he has yet to be able to bring a flipping machine to a show, change that, he has not been able to even show a 5 to 10 minute video of game play. I can understand him not wanting to show something too soon, so as not to create a ton of negative comments about what is missing, incomplete sound/music, etc., but at this point him showing practically nothing is doing far more damage. I also doubt many of the pre-order buyers (which are the only kind of buyer for MG) would be freaking out seeing an incomplete rule set and a game with some minor playfield issues.

Oh, and yes, I had no vents in the back of the Casino cabinet, just holes. I guess maybe I should be concerned that it will take me 7x14 to get that done.

#8141 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

does he not understand that time = money?

#8367 5 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Gameplay wise? Probably will be pretty boring. WCS is considered JPOPs best when it comes to rules, but as was pointed out it was taken from him. CV is ok. Tom and Totan are boring.

Many here would argue that those are good and some may say great games, regardless, I think the majority of folks would agree they are fairly shallow games and any game this is 100% geared towards collectors, needs to have good depth. Given how little info has ever come out about rules, it is hard to believe the rules will live up to the aesthetics and the expectations of collectors. Great pinball machines have balance, between art, playfield design, rules, sounds, dots, toys, music, etc. The little bits we have seen, all fall into just the first two categories.

#8437 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Current games:

I am strong believer in variety in a collection, deep games, fast games, flow games, slow games. I like having a game or two that are fun and fast but don't require a lot of thinking/strategy (like BK2K -- which I miss, and I need to add a sys11 game back into my collection), and I like games that really make you think and strategize like TSPP. I like having an EM for its style of play and the mid-80s games have their desirable attributes as well. Nice to have games that have a wizard mode or major goal that is achievable on a occasion (e.g. whitewater, TZ, STTNG, etc.) vs being almost impossible to achieve (TSPP -- several time have completed 5 of the 6 big objectives, but I just can't seem to ever get the five super jackpots)

I don't have a TOM/TOTAN/CV but I can certainly see how one of those would be a nice fit in decent size collection, they do have their redeeming values. I did have a WCS94, and that fits into the 'don't have to think too much' category, but is a fun game with an achievable and rewarding wizard mode (although not sure you can really call it a wizard mode), and it is great for kids (they like to shoot for the goal).

#8464 5 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

Eric to write the code

Based on Eric's knowledge and experiences with/of Jpop, I don't see that happening, ever. To be honest, I don't think a single software developer or vendor who is aware of what has gone on, will do any work for him without payment upfront. Oh, and I don't think many would do it even under those conditions, unless they also know the existing vendors have been paid. I wouldn't.

#8469 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

So your telling me there is a chance?

if you mean him finding someone who does not know what has gone on, then yes, I guess there is a chance. If you mean someone who does, well, as I said money upfront, but first he needs to pay those who have been stiffed. I know personally I would not be comfortable getting paid by John upfront for future work, when I know others have not been paid for work/product already delivered. I'm sure there are some out there who would, but that just not jive with my ethics, and knowing Eric, I'm pretty confident it does not fit with his.

#8473 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Crap, just ask Josh how he vacuum formed the bowl for his casino game, guarantee it wasn't machined aluminum.

Vacuum forming in the kitchen . . .

It does take time to get the wood sanded smooth enough as every imperfection will show, but certainly for prototypes it wood works great. For the roulette wheel, Nelly did the woodgrain hydrographics for me to give it the right look, so was less critical to be perfectly clear, although it was surprisingly clear.

Even if john ultimately wanted the higher quality of the aluminum, would seem to make more sense to start with wood forms until you were sure you had everything correct, if not, pretty expensive to make a new aluminum one -- so hopefully either he did wood first, or maybe he got it right the first time

#8487 5 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

Has there ever been an aluminum ramp before? Seems like it would wear and deposit dirt all over the playfield? That is why stainless steel is used, because it is so hard.

It is not an aluminum ramp, it is an aluminum form, for vacuum forming plastic ramps.

#8498 5 years ago

"No second tries" -- thus the reason you first do wood molds

#8572 5 years ago

Not to be pessimistic, but as a betting man, I would bet that Whysnow is going to be like others who have visited John. He will go to the shop, see all the cool stuff, John will waive is magic wand and whysnow will be hypnotized and drink the cool aid. He will report back that stuff looks great and progressing and that jpop will soon be showing more stuff. I do not mean this in anyway as a slam or commentary about whysnow, just saying this has been the pattern.

The reality is, other than a thorough audit/investigation of the finances, the plans for manufacturing, the plans around completion (e.g. software, etc.), can the viability and likelihood of the machines being produced be ascertained. If john would allow knowledgeable people to do that and report back, that would be of value and meaning to buyers and vendors -- however, I think we all have a pretty good sense of what that audit would show. Only via legal action will that happen, and that will likely end up in bankruptcy proceeding.

There is a very big difference between Kevin and John. Kevin committed fraud, he took in money under false pretenses claiming to have a license he he did not have. John has not committed fraud, I do not believe there is any evidence that he deliberately deceived anyone, he is just incompetent as a businessman, and like most small businesses he is likely to fail and go bankrupt.

Reality is those who have pre-paid, were investing in John and his vision, whether they saw it that way or not. Whether they recognized it or not, they were taking on the risk in expectation of being rewarded with a machine that would be limited and therefore have value and hopefully live up to expectations. Few if any did the due diligence to determine if John could pull this off, they were excited by the vision, by the possibilities.

I'm not saying the buyers have no right to be mad, and they certainly have the right to demand what they paid for, but I don't see this as fraud, and anyone who invested thinking this was a guarantee was fooling themselves.

I think the vendors and contractors who have been screwed, have a greater gripe, although they too had a responsibility to assess the viability of the business and their likelihood to get paid. In my business it is pretty rare that we ship product without first being paid. We do let some customers do invoicing/terms, but only after we have vetted them. If we choose to do that we recognize we are taking a risk. If someone does not pay, we do what we must to try to get payment.

Of course the other big difference between Kevin and John, is Kevin did actually produce a working prototype that was displayed and played in public.

I do not mean to diminish in any way what John has done or the fact that buyers and vendors have legitimate gripes, or to say they have not been screwed, they have. I hope that all vendors get paid and all buyers get their machines, but obviously that is looking less likely with each passing day.

#8581 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

rosh > goven the multiple projects there is already a good case for larceny by conversion (i.e. using RAZA funds to work on MG).

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think that applies. This is not a case of John taking property or funds and making it his own. This is business taking in funds and using it to operate the business. If this was a case where money was in an account, like at true investment account, and he then took and used for his own purposes, that would then fall into this. If he rented equipment and then sold it, that would also fall into this. It may also apply if he bought items from vendors, that he did not pay for, and then sold them.

#8586 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

He claimed he had deals with people to produce the product that he never had in place. He didn't sign Ben Heck, sold the machines and re-themed them after taking the money. He does not give refunds despite producing (theoretically) a different product than the customer paid for.

Fair enough.
Not sure of the details around what he claimed at the time nor what is in the contract with buyers as far as refunds relative to a "different" product. I tend to think that he was pretty vague on the product. In the case of Ben, if he was selling the game based on his involvement and that changed, at that point he would have needed to refund any money if someone requested it. After some reasonable time if someone did not ask for their money, there were accepting that change in the product. My guess is few decided to bail when Ben left the project.

On the manufacturing side, while that certainly falls into leading folks to believe he had his act together relative to getting the games built, I don't think that is the same legal situation as Predator, where he lacked the legal right to do so. Many businesses make plans that then change, that does not make them illegal/fraud, but I do not know to what degree jpop made statements around the manufacturing side e.g. did he have verbal agreements on getting games made that then fell apart, that would not be fraud, if he had no clue how he would do it and claimed he did, well that would be deception.

#8588 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

A preorder is not a "true" investment as you describe,

I'm not saying it was a "true" investment, but in reality that is what it was given it was a start-up and it was pretty clear that is how he was funding it. I'm also not saying he is not in violation of contracts, he probably is, and that opens him up to legal (civil) issues. What I am saying it is not fraud (e.g. criminal). He did not go into this looking to rip people off.

Everyone who pre-paid can go sue him for breach of contract, that will force bankruptcy since he does not appear to have the assets to cover those liabilities.

Kevin could certainly end up in jail, I don't think the same is true of Jpop.

#8594 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

That's not how it works,

I totally agree he is breach of contract and I understand your arguments and you raise valid points.

Whether he is legally required to notify regarding changes in the product, would be dictated by the terms of the agreement. If he switched the type of flipper assemblies he is using, would you believe he needs to notify? That is a change in the product.

Wether he is legally required to get signed acceptance of a change would be determined by the legal terms of the contract. Best practice would be to do what you are saying, provide notification and get acceptance and he certainly would need to get acceptance if he changed the terms of the contract -- which I have not seen. I think the bigger issue right now around all of that is the failure to provide refunds assuming the terms in the contract have been violated, which it certainly seems they have.

Regardless, I guess you and I will have to agree to disagree on the definition of Fraud as far as what he has done.

#8597 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

You can go to prison for a ponzi scheme.

I don't think this would qualify by definition. He did not go into this with the intent of taking money from later investors to payout to earlier investors (as you pointed out these are not investments).

However, it is hard to believe that his balance sheet at this point can balance. Hard to see how it is possible that he has the sufficient assets/receivables to offset the liabilities/payables that he has taken on by accepting additional pre-pay money.

#8617 5 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

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

Not sure how close I am, but I know it is here in the Chicago area, so I guess too far it can't be.

Given I have been pretty opinionated on this board, I guess maybe it is incumbent on me to take a trip to go visit. Of course whether he lets me in (I am a pinsider after all), that is a different story. But if he doesn't at least I can join an exclusive club that has just one other member.

I doubt he will give me much info on the important aspects of the situation (e.g. the true health of the business), but I can at least try. Maybe there is a disc golf course near where he is to at least give me something to justify the trip if he does not let me visit.

Probably be a week or two before I can carve out the time, although I guess if he is there 7x14 . . .

Hey John, if you are reading this, let me know if you are not going to let me visit, so I don't waste my time.

#8620 5 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

he seems like the drum circle type to me.

I have been (dragged) to a couple of drum circles (actually kind of fun to do once). I can bring a drum if that will help get me in

#8632 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

So for those people who are more familiar with making ramps.... is the issue that you basically can't go from paper & cad to "final" without extensive testing?

Not saying you can't, and depends on how the CAD was done relative to the machine and how the paper ramps were done (e.g. how accurate are those to the cad drawing), but given how expensive the aluminum molds are vs wood, typically you want to validate the design before you go for the expensive molds. If things are off by say more then .25 inch, you could suddenly have an issue with where the ball is now exiting in the wrong spot, e.g. it now lands too high in the inlane and tends to bounce up and over to the outlane. If you do it first with wood and you find that to be the case, you adjust it, maybe you do another wood, or go to the aluminum, but now with a higher confidence level. However, if you did it with the aluminum, you probably say "its a feature" vs re-making the mold -- especially on a low production run.

Designing in CAD is great, but the physics of a pinball does not bow to a CAD drawing. I know in my experience you don't really know if you got it right, until you play it -- but I'm not a professional like jpop

#8637 5 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

For the majority of a pinball layout I can understand this. However, aren't we talking about a return lane plastic trough here? Where would the ball get hung up? What has to be so right? The ball comes into the trough and gravity does the rest. I must be missing why these are hard to get right.

We are talking in general terms about the creation of plastic ramps, subways, etc, not just returns. I gave the one example where if the exit from the ramp is not right you can get undesirable bouncing to the outlane -- something I am sure everyone here has experienced on a game at some point. If you look at games over time you will see how things evolved to improve how they exit (e.g. tear drop shape.

Recently the DP guys had an issue with the subway on TBL, being too tight and the ball getting caught. They did the part with a 3d Printer and were able to a adjust the design to get it right. Probably good that they figured this out before getting a mold made and making hundreds. I'm sure when they first drew it up it looked fine.

I wonder what iteration of the white water insanity falls ramp they added the 'exit' so that if the ball did not make the climb successfully it could exit, and I wonder at what point they decided to add the small 'cover' piece to keep the ball from flying off on the way down. Maybe they got that right the first time, I don't know, but my point being, when you make this stuff, you don't know what you don't know.

#8639 5 years ago
Quoted from RomstarArkanoid:

. We are making assumptions that he never made it in renwood to test it, which have no way of knowing. He does not communicate, so it feels like the right thing to say.

True, but I tend to think if he had, we would have seen those, just like we did send the paper curve ones that replaced the glued straight plastic ones.

Given johns level of perfectionism, he certainly may have gotten these right, but like you said just surprising to many of us that it seems he never did wood molds -- but maybe he did.

#8689 5 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

I did have a very weird shot, once, where the ball hit the glass early (earlier than it normally does) and did not have velocity to make it back up the other side, so it dribbled for about 10 seconds and finally fell out.

I've seen this on more than one occasion. BTW, I was referring to that plastic flap that sits over the ramp just as it starts to the descend.

I have not doubt you are right about that opening being there from day 1 (would have been crazy not to think it would get stuck there), but my whole point around this was that you want a prototype ramp in the game so you can see and find places that are going to have an issue, that you don't see when doing the design, and that you want to find before you make a final, expensive, mold. From your comments I am sure you agree with that.

I know at the Mafia event last week at my house, the ball got stuck on one of my custom games in a spot it has never gotten stuck before. Not a spot I would have identified as a likely place for it to happen, but as you said, the ball will find a way, now I need to find a way to prevent it.

#8716 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Same way you order any glass? Just tell them the size you want cut.

not always so easy to do with tempered glass. In my experience with a wide body EM with non-standard glass, was that the custom piece of tempered glass was a lot more expensive then ordering from Terry and as others have mentioned 'no invisiglass for you'.

#8719 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

PDI/Invisglass might be a problem. I don't find buying glass locally to be a problem though for tempered glass. Maybe it's slightly more expensive, but there's no shipping, and you can pick it up same day.
For something that you hopefully buy once and forget about it doesn't seem like a huge deal to me. At least not compared to all the other issues he has. I presume the game is just way steeper at the glass to accommodate the LCD screen in the back?

It took them a few days for me, but that might just be the limitations of the glass place I went to. I agree, not the biggest issue around this.

The need for more depth, should not really change the length of the glass needed. You are just lowering the playfield or as Stern has done, the pivot point. If you lower it a lot, you then might need a different placement of the legs on the cabinet to get the needed height for the playfield slope). Although if that is needed, john would likely design new legs.

#8737 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

The shooter rod is mounted at least 1" too high.

When I got a cabinet form VirtuaPin for one of my custom games, Paul did not want to drill the opening for the shooter rod, since he was concerned about getting it in the right place. You don't have to be off by much for it to not work right.

#8837 5 years ago

Clearly John has done and produced a lot of stuff, as Eric as indicated, but what is missing an cohesive and comprehensive plan to get this across the finish line. I think in John's mind he is making progress, but without a project plan timelines, it will never get done. Maybe all of this 'noise' is getting him more motivated, but has consistently been pointed out hard to see this making across the finish line and into production, given the funds that are likely available, or probably better said not available. We obvious don't know how much he has drawn as salary, nor how much he has paid out for stuff. Although we have to assume there is very little left since he clearly owes a ton of money to vendors and contractors.

As far as production, maybe he was planning on having skit-b do the production for him after they cranked out Predator at 10 per week or maybe Chicago coin after they did MMR (oh, wait they could not do MMr, they had Stern do it) or maybe he thought Spooky would do it for him, not like he pissed off Ben and/or Charlie -- oh, wait . . .

The reality is several people have offered to help project manage, etc. and many were willing to do so for a fraction of what their time is worth, and jpop refused to let them help. He does not want someone to manage the project or to manage him, he wants to do things his way and thus we will have a new term of art 'the jpop way', which will be a lesson for future pinball companies on what not to do.

#8930 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

The only big show I went to last year was Southern Fried Gaming Expo and I saw neither AMH or Wooly.

Wooly has only been at Expo and Allentown. Scott does not believe having it at shows will create enough demand to justify the time and expense. Ideally, if he (and same for Spooky), could find a buyer who is open to taking it to a show in their area, maybe for some form of a discount on the purchase, that would get it more visibility without the expense. Right now, Wooly does not have sufficient buyers to move forward, but I know Scott has not given up on that yet.

#9289 5 years ago

So, if I read this right . . .

Vendors get screwed, the new owner as no obligation to them, so they will have to go after Zidware. So vendors will still have to go after jpop, who has now admitted he is basically bankrupt.

they have no plan on how to get these built -- so how is that any different from where things are now?

pre-paid buyers have been given a scant four days to make a decision, over a holiday weekend, so not like they have much time to even consult and attorney have stuff reviewed. Talk about a strong arm tactic.

Just not seeing how this is really changing things, at least if they named who it was, folks could decide if they believe in that person/company.

#9313 5 years ago

Terry is a pretty smart a guy. If he wanted to make more pinball machines, he would start from scratch, vs taking on all the baggage that comes with this. I just don't see where there is any upside for him on this. Why would he want to risk his reputation on this craziness?

I also don't see DP, Heighway, Multimorphic or Spooky being interested for the same reasons. Obviously no reason for PPS to, they have plenty of games ready to go that they can make if they wanted.

#9390 5 years ago

New post over in skit-b thread, Kevin has been seen, as he showed up, with his lawyer, at the courthouse for the first, of what could be many, lawsuits. The judgement went against him (no surprise there) and he has 21 days to refund the complainant. Sounds like the criminal investigation is not going to result in charges. And when asked by the judge about all the others owed refunds, he has stated he hopes to refund the rest of the money in 60 to 90 days. Obviously not the last chapter in that story.

#9426 5 years ago
Quoted from Hitch9:

What on earth difference could there be to warrant between $4-$6k difference? Same functionality, so just cosmetics?

Only the LEs will have the curvy ramps and the spiked leg bolts and glass that fits.

#9510 5 years ago

Struck me I've read those word before, and not to pick on you iceman, but a search on iceman and 'will get done', does provide some interesting cliff notes of the last few months. Not all the posts apply, but . . .……………mg-raza-and-aiw…?tu=iceman44&tq=WILL+get+done

#9520 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

That statement was more full of hope and lacking in facts and reality
Based on the facts I know now, it's significant hope and what I mean is based on his track record and what he does, IF it goes forward in confident in him that it WILL get done
I understand folks skepticism. This is just my opinion

I think those cliff notes show the continuing struggle of this thread between hope and dismay, optimism and skepticism, and this latest news is really more of the same, even more so, since there is now a choice people have to make.

#9558 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I get the feeling that this "consultant" thing is in name only.

Interesting how they position the need for him to be involved as the reason there needs to be the waiving of the right to sue -- since he can't afford to be distracted by such nonsense.

#9593 5 years ago

not to be a broken record, but how do they expect someone to agree to this without knowing who the new company/owner is and how they plan to produce games, that john has been unable to even produce a working prototype.

All indications are that all existing companies that have a demonstrated ability to manufacture a game have zero interest in this project in any form.

If this guy is such a capable businessman, then why is he hiding behind his lawyer? Given how much of the issue has been lack of communication and transparency, certainly this is not the right way to go about it.

I also have to think the vendors and contractors who are unpaid, are not going to just sit back and let the little bit of value of the company has be sold off in this manner.

#9601 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Like I said, more info coming soon.

Maybe there should have been no letter/contract sent with a deadline, until more info was shared/available.

#11525 5 years ago

Lets remember that at expo, Lebowski was basically a flippable game to get a feel for shots, there was almost no code, rules, animations, sounds in the game at that point. However, that was enough for folks to get a feel for the game and how it will play (as well as a good luck at the art package). It also showed they were making good progress and that a game could emerge in the not too distant future.

It would seem that is the short term goal here, a couple of years later than expected, but certainly a good first step to see if the game is even playable and interesting from a shot perspective. It will be interesting to hear the feedback from those who get to play it.

#12131 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

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

You could probably lower the pivot point to get the height, you might then need extra long legs to get the necessary slope. I did this on one of my games, and Stern has done it (you will see Pinball life carries two different versions of the bracket that mounts to the playfield). John would likely need to go even lower, which means it would probably need legs longer then standard, put making those would probably be a hell of lot more economical then a totally new cabinet design, glass, etc. Hard to know without seeing how tall that spiral thing really is. But the real question is, was that feature worth all of the extra engineering and cost, but then again . . .

spared no expense.png

#12177 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

that the custom cabinet could have been avoided by modifying an existing cabinet

that is probably not the biggest thing, getting cabinets built a slightly different size is not a huge deal, but it all those other custom stuff that then comes with that. Meaning, custom size glass,which is really not owner friendly (and mean no invisiglass on this high priced game), custom backglass size as well, custom hinge/brackets, and I'm guessing some of these others as well: custom lockdown bar, custom lock down receiver, custom aprons, all of which make no sense on a limited run machine vs if he was looking to do 1000.

Some of the custom electronics to me is even crazier. The P-roc and board set was there, why re-invent that. Maybe the RGB stuff was worth looking at new, since there were not a lot of options for that at the time. AT the end of the day, I can't possibly see how the electronics game out cheeper this way then using P-roc or other boards already in existence.

If it was me, near the very top of my list of 'how we are going to do things' would be "use common parts", right below that on the list would be "if you cant find a common part to do the job, go look again".

#12237 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

"The central secret of a manipulation of interest." (Henry Hay, The Amateur Magicians Handbook, pg. 2, copyright 1972).

If you are going to quote from books by magicians, you need to at least find something from JB Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, which was published in 1952, and is still considered to be the bible of close up magic.

#12632 5 years ago

As far as the patents, hard to even seeing them getting approved, they are so derivative of previous work. Even if approved he would then have to go after someone who he believed was violating it, and that takes big bucks and there is a good chance the patent won't hold up under scrutiny by the courts for the same reason as above.

#13125 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Heck, just six weeks ago JPop apparently was trying to sell AIW slots.

It is acts like these that moved him from just being incompetent in running a business and knowing how to get machines produced, to being a fraudster.

To me the biggest crime he has committed is that over two years ago he had to realize he was in trouble, and while he was getting many experience project mangers, business people, etc. offering to help him, HE REFUSED THAT HELP! Often the only thing these people wanted was a machine. Accepting that help would have potentially saved zidware and his reputation. Both are now doomed.

#13137 5 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

John went into this with no intent

John went into this without the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to do it. His inability to create a team that could work together as well as bring in the individuals needed to make it happen, is his biggest weakness. It is hard to understand how he could understand he needed a developer, an artist, etc. but not a business manager and a project manager. But I guess he did not want the latter two, since he did not want anyone who would tell him what to do and how to do it.

At the end of the day, it was his ego and need for control that made failure a fait accompli

#13145 5 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

For those of you haven't read about it yet, several Predator pre-orderers appear to be receiving refunds to their paypal accounts. Prior to this, some were successful with charge-backs through their credit cards, but now it appears that Skit-B is actually processing the refunds.

latest info is that Kevin (and his Lawyer) were NOT behind these refunds. Unclear why paypal has been doing it. His lawyer keeps saying he is still planning on making the games and they are working through the details. If you do believe he will make these games, I have some ocean front property in Idaho for sale that you may be interested in, both Atlantic and Pacific views are still available, but they are going fast, so don't delay.

#13158 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

If he was backed by personal savings, you know it would have gone way different.

I don't think there is any doubt of that -- and here is where Ben will jump in to re-enforce that is what Spooky did, put their money where their mouth is, which kept them motivated, focused and on track.

#13320 5 years ago

I think the art by itself looks great, but when I look at it, I think of something Python said to me at Expo a couple of years ago when looking at my whitewood and giving me thoughts about the art. He said something along the lines of 'keep it simple, don't cram a ton of stuff into it, you don't want it to look too busy'.

Obviously everyone is entitled to their opinion and have different likes and dislikes. When I look at the game, overall, it seems very busy, just too much stuff going on with the ramps, toys, plastics and the art. This is not meant in anyway as a criticism of ZombieYeti's art, which most of us agree is a amazing, but more about John's approach to the game and what seems like him wanting to throw/cram in everything he ever wanted to do on a pin.

#13382 5 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

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

Pretty sure it is safe to say 'nothing is final'

#14136 5 years ago

lots of reviews, but still nothing on one of the items Jpop clearly felt was extremely important after looking at other boutique games . . .

Are the air vents painted?

#14270 5 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

Ball search feature is included in the framework, but not configured for development, as it confuses things when testing rules and proper mech operation.

I always disable it as well when doing development, really annoying to be working on the game testing stuff and suddenly it goes into ball search. I also found I need to turn off 'quick ball save' to avoid confusion. Was working on the lane lamps/handler and would hit the right outline switch to complete the lamp and a another ball would get throw into play. Since I was doing that pretty much at start of ball for testing, I kept thinking there was a trough code issue with that second ball was being put into play. Was relieved when I finally realized it was the ball save.

Of course you do then have to remember to re-enable things like this -- which obviously was not done in this case.

#14338 5 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Double post... (is that happening to everyone?)

seems sometimes when you hit post it does it, but it stays on the page, so you don't think it did. When I think this has happened, I've copied by text, and first checked to see if it did or did not post, thinking I can just start a new post and paste it back in. so far though, it seem it has always posted.

#14342 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

Magnets, on the other hand, are very difficult to code. Especially if the magnet is suppose to send the ball somewhere specific. There will be tricky pulse timings and tons of trial and error. In addition, long term holds on magnets will need to be carefuly tuned so that the coil doesn't burn up.

true, although I find, at least with the p-roc/driver boards I use, that it is far more likely that a fuse will blow before the coil burns up. When I am working on a magnet or diverter to get the patter right (or to get the pulse and timing right to sling the ball off the magnet), I use a circuit breaker rather than a fuse, since I know I am likely to blow more than a few while trying to tweak it. Those little circuit breakers have probably saved me a $100 at this point.

As far as the ball search timer, sound like that is in there now, but as Jim indicated he had turned it off during development and I'm sure none of the 'volunteers' knew to turn it on or possibly even how. Doubt that would have even resolve the ball hang-up issues that were being reported, since it sounded like they were not necessarily associated with a mech/solenoid.

#14346 5 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

You said redundancy twice....


#14438 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

No. It's not about asking for help. At the trade show isn't the place to be editing code.

Quoted from SunKing:

if they had, someone would say "Omg, how dare you ask unpaid vendors for help". it's a no win situation at this point.

I believe Jim had offered to help and its as likely a setting or just uncommenting a few lines. Regardless, it is an insignificant item in the scheme of things.

Quoted from jwilson:

The problem is, people expected "flipping game" to be like, say, The Hobbit or The Big Lebowski where the rules are thin and some stuff might not work, but it's playable.

It seemed to me the goal was to get the game into public to see if it was worth finishing. Since it was being 'expedited' to get it there, it should have recognized it was going to be less than some other 'reveals' we have seen like TBL, which had almost no rules, but you could shoot and get a good feel for the shots and the toys at least acted like they worked. MG by most accounts, was not ready to play a month ago, (there were no ramps for crying out loud), so it certainly was not going to be fully playable, but, it was playable enough for people to get a better sense of the game, the shots, etc. more so than anyone had in the past.

At this point some see the potential in the game, others don't see it and don't like it all, there was no chance it would have been universally loved or hated. However, at least Bill, and those with money on the line, now have a lot more info to help assess the situation.

#14479 5 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

People seem either very forgiving, very forgetful, or very unknowledgable about this to not understand the extent of JPOP's failure. Any one of us if given 4 years and one million dollars could have come up with a flipping prototype, probably several.
The games might have been crap, they might have been great, but at least the prototypes would have been built.

Just look at the P-roc booth at expo the last two years, Wooly, Deadpin, the Kuglers were all built for a few thousand dollars, nights and weekends, and in a year or so. Buffy and Matrix, while re-themes, were totally new rule sets, art, etc. and also done in a relatively shot period of time. These games all have nice shots, flow and rule sets. I'm not saying they were all 100% complete, but far more complete then what we have seen from Jpop, including what was just seen.

TBL went from announcement to a flipping prototype (albeit with only 2% of the rules), in well under year. Only one guy at DP even knew they were going to do it, when it was announced at expo 2013, and there it was at expo 2014 flippable (oh, but the air vents were not painted -- so we need to hold that against them).

None of these folks had any experience in making pinball machines.

#14522 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Yea, but all of those people were competent. JPop is clearly incompetent. JPop pretty clearly has some sort of personality disorder that is pretty serious. Not sure if he could even get and hold a job at Wal Mart.

The point I was trying to make, which I did poorly, was that it was doable. Those who say 'this was doomed from the start' are wrong, the p-roc guys, spooky and DP have shown it can be done (at least getting to a functioning prototype in a year or so) and spooky has shown you can get them built without building out a massive factory.

John had far more knowledge and experience on what it takes to design and engineer a game, so there is no excuse that four years and a million dollars spent, that things are where they are. It really gets back to in his inability to manage complexity, to have deadlines that drive things to completion and force the tough decisions. John never made tough decisions, he wanted his cake and to eat it too, and now he has neither.

This was possible, John was just not the guy who could drive it, and that was something folks did not realize or do the due diligence on. The wanted to believe, and you know, that is not necessarily a bad thing, even if it has turned out poorly.

#14532 5 years ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

My thoughts: boutique shops like these should be able to get pre-orders so they know where they stand when they are going to make big investsments. It makes their efforts viable. But we should all stop pre payments on those orders.

The big challenge is that the effort and expense to take a game to production is massive. If you have any custom parts, you have to make/buy these all up front, only way to do it. So a boutique firms needs to validate demand, and currently pre-order is the way to do that. Just having a list of 'yes I will buy' is not the same as 'yes I will buy and here is my deposit' (which is still not 100% sticky). If we had some history, in the boutique world, of what percentage of those who say "yes, I will buy it" actually follow through and are not just full of crap and/or wanting to reserve a place in line 'just in case' they decide, then future boutiques could use a 'list' to get a sense of demand and determine viability without requiring large deposits or total pre-pay.

This does mean the boutique needs to come up with money to buy all of the custom parts, and enough of the standard parts to get a dozen or so machines done, and then using that money from those sales to get the next dozen done. The boutique maker though has to feel that the 'demand' based on that list is reasonable enough (given assumptions about how many will drop out) to justify mortgaging their house or taking out a business loan etc.

Post development of the game, you are likely looking at a 150 to 200 thousand dollars, to fund the first 25 machines or so, depending on how many custom parts you have (as well has having the necessarily facilities and tools to assemble, etc. -- not included in that number). Again, this is after development of the game. So, bottom line, with the 'death of pre-order payments', if you can't come up with a couple of hundred thousand, then you should probably not be dipping your toe in the boutique pond.

#14607 5 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Btw the one at the show was not one of the three.
Those three are still at Zidware as far as I know.

say what?? So now there are four not three prototypes? hmm, I do recall talk of more than three ramp sets being made, but this is the first I recall hearing there are four prototypes in varies stages of construction.

#14783 5 years ago

Those who put money down did not make a "mistake", they took a gamble, they looked at the info available and felt the risk would be worth the reward. They felt that they would risk betting this money on a new company, side are, and get a unique and rare game. They were betting on getting an outcome like BBB.

Unfortunately the gamble did not pay off. All they can hope for now is minimizing the losses.

No guts, no glory. These guys had the guts to put their money down, unfortunately they bet on the wrong horse -- or maybe I should say jackass.

Ultimately they may only end up with a "red badge of courage", but I applaud them for having the guts to take a chance.

#14813 5 years ago
Quoted from Mocean:

To make a VP recreation, you need lots of scans/pictures of the playfields and plastics, right? So right now you're taking the machine apart, taking pictures/scans, to acquire that data. Must be fun...
. . .
You're probably also looting the software side for assets...? Game code, animations, audio/sfx..?

So it is possible they are taking software, sound, audio and art assets, many of which the vendor has not been paid for, and potentially putting them into a VP game? Wouldn't that qualify as theft of IP, if they don't have a legal right to do it? Or have they worked some deal with John (and/or Pintasia?) to be able to do this?

Something smells fishy here.

BTW not sure we have heard anything about the audio/sound/sfx and who created those assets and if they were paid. Makes me wonder if this yet another vendor unpaid.

#14893 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Again.. no. It all depends on the relationship between John and his hired help and the conditions under which the IP was created.

I think you mis understood, I was not saying the vendors still have rights to the IP (although I have no idea regarding if they do under the law since they were never paid for their work). My comment was about taking the game and scanning the plastics or the playfield or pull art assets off the computer, would be theft of IP that belongs to zidware and could have value in bankruptcy. =

#15025 5 years ago

You get a gift card to a restaurant, you are basically giving them money for food at a later date. The restaurant goest out of business. You are out your money, it is not a criminal act.

Obviously with jpop it is a lot more money, but at the end of the day, not a crime. Even if you wanted to argue that him taking money in the last few months, when it is clear he is going to fail, you would probably have to prove that he knew that was the case, and too easy for him to argue 'I was talking to investors'. Most, not all, of the folks here do not believe he went into this planning to commit fraud. He is just a bad businessman with a bad business plan.

When I have been involved in start-ups, there is the 'big boy clause', where you are acknowledging the high risk nature of the investment. I'm sure that was not in the documents with John, but the concept certainly applied. I'd like to believe anyone with the 16K to give to john is a 'big boy' and understood there was significant risk with this.

This same thing applies to PPS, DP, Skit-B, etc. if you are giving money to a brand new company, you have to understand there are significant risks. It is pretty universally known that most new businesses fail, failing does not make it criminal.

#15065 5 years ago

As is agreed by all, john is a bad businessman, and after reading one of the posts above regarding them not finding any evidence of zidware being a legal entity, I have to wonder if he was so bad, that it will end up being good. Meaning, if he really did not create a true legal entity that would provide protection for him personally from liability, then all of his personal assets become available for vendors and customers to pursue, which would obviously provide far greater assets than there would be if zidware is a legal entity. It would also put John in a painful situation for much longer then just zidware going bankrupt and clearly most here would to see him feel the pain for as along as possible.

#15690 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

well of course I would expect he would be looking for and deserving a cut, but I think he is possibly one of the worst people to get into bed with at this stage.
This Jpop deal was aweful from the start, he has people on the Pintasia team with serious potentially criminal background from their recent past, and I think he is now caustic espesially given all the continueed secrecy when he was trying to get MG proto alive. Best case scenaio is a completely silent investor. If he wants to reach out and try to put together a deal then great for him, but best case is to keep it completed behind the scenes as it wont do any good to have the PIntasia name on any future project IMO.
My point is I think there are likely better deals for Riot than having anything even remotely involving Pintasia or someone looking for a large cut. Granted, maybe they are interested in selling the whole thing off and letting someone like Pintasia give it a crack on moving it to produciton. There is not a much more deserving game to see come to light and I would love to see team Riot bring it all to reality.

If there were a ton of folks wanting to fund Wooly, it would have funding by now. I'm not saying it does not deserve it, but there are very few investors out there looking to fund a pinball start-up. It seems Bill took a shot at zidware to see where its was, and if he would get his machines, ever. He took an aggressive approach thinking maybe with his business expertise, he could salvage something. I think he was crazy to try, but I admire crazy. He obviously found that was the not case, and walked away -- like a good businessman would after looking under the covers and seeing that there is nothing of substance there.

Others have already commented on your comments about his team, and it would be up to Scott/Riot to decide if they had concerns with that or not. While some may not agree or like the way Bill introduced pintasia and how he handled the zidware thing (and I suspect Bill would do things differently with 20/20 hindsight), I'm not sure I would make a leap that says having pintasia involved in a project is going to be viewed as big negative to most in the community. in the end, he did zidware buyers a favor in getting the truth of the state of the machines out there.

As far as wooly. I agree that RGB LEDS and a color display would make the price point more justifiable, especially given Scott's artistic skills. The reality is while the cost to the BOM of switching over might be minimal (well, depends on if the CPU they are using can handle it), the development of all new animations, in color, and potentially larger screen, is significant. I'm sure Scott has considered it, but may not want to be putting that kind of effort into it if he does think it will make a difference in making the project fly.

#15892 5 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

They are completely different places and things are very different just based on that alone. Most notably a town of 50k where everyone knows everyone

Midland is part of the tri-cities, which has a population of over 400K, so not exactly small town america. I lived their briefly, and never met Kevin or jhagen while I was there, so, don't everyone knows everyone. Regardless, I don't believe the fact that the authorities there did not press charges against Kevin, at this time, has anything to do with the size of Midland.

1 week later
#16133 5 years ago

you guys are missing the best part of that . . . 'took a small army to get the parts on the game and functioning . . . '

When it left Chicago, if memory serves, there were no ramps and a million other issues, he makes it sound like it was completed and ready to play.

#16181 5 years ago
Quoted from LapsedGamer:

I work at a Fortune 500 doing some engineering, we still get plaques and a cool 1500 for a patent so your mileage may vary on this.

Heck, my company did not even tell me when I had one granted, I found out when I got a mailing from some company about buying a plaque, etc.

#16338 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

if you truly cared about Pinball all of you would have rallied as a group to help the poor guy figure out what he has and what could be saved if it was possible.

I have to disagree with this. There was a whole bunch of folks who reached out to John to try to help, over a long period of time. Experienced business people and project mangers. He refused to listen. You can't help someone who refuses to accept the help. Clearly he wanted a white knight to come in and give him money so he continue with the status quo, which was never going to work. Unless he was willing to change how he was doing things, he was not going to succeed. Bill tried to do what you suggest, and walked away and rightfully so from what we have seen and learned.

The lynch mob on pinside did not lead to his failure, his ego and stubbornness did.

#16544 5 years ago

While an incomplete list, seems to be that John's design philosophy is . . .

1) Take a bunch of stuff I did on my previous games and throw them on here, but tweak them every so slightly so I can claim they are new.
2) Take a bunch of cool stuff used on EM games, dress them up, and make it sound like I came up with it
3) Take every idea I had that Williams would not let me do, since the felt it was not practical or affordable, and throw it on here. Who cares what the BOM is, thats for loser companies that want to make money.
4) Throw a ton of pinks and purple colors on the playfield, make it look busy and hard on the eyes -- but call it stylish!
5) Put on slow curvy ramps, because they look cool, plus straight and fast is for loser designers who actually can finish games that can be made.
6) Throw even more plastics and toys on it wherever possible, to hide the ball from the player and slow things down, but call it stylish!
7) Put the DMD lower to the playfield where it is easy for the player to see, oh, but then put a bunch of stuff in front of it, so only if you are 6' or taller can you see it.

#16595 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Hell even Kruger Family Pinball or whatever that was is better than Zidware because it was a real game that could be played.

And actually has a deep rule set and has great flow and rewarding shots, what it does not have is Art, so it has everything that Jpops games don't (and vice versa). BTW, the name is Kugler, but, close enough.

Quoted from Richthofen:

If you are a Millionaire, and want a pinball machine built, give Gary Stern or Jersey Jack a call and say "hey, would you build theme xyz for $1 million investment?"

I'll do it for a hell of a lot less than $1,000,000 and in a fraction of the time Jpop has spent noodling in his workshop. So if anyone is interested, just PM me

#16612 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:


Be thankful I'm not Rick, or you would be getting a C&D for messing with my copyright

#16647 5 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

I like the Free Bird multiball. Gets you pumping.

It is definitely a song that screams MB. The game has five other MBs, plus that first one can be earned multiple times, so I really need to find some other great songs that have that energy. I also like having versions that are instrumental only when possible.

Quoted from pinballrockstar:

that pin is awesome!
the music is spot on and it is flowing well?
i like the queen song at the end.
can i pre order?

Not too many songs that would be a better fit when getting a high score than 'we are the champions'.

Well, if you really want a game about my family in your game room, sure, you can pre-order

If ever did do a production game, there are three things I can tell you about pre-orders

1) The only pre-order would be a couple of hundred bucks, to put you on the list and at least make sure you have at least some real interest vs just sending an email.
2) Any pre-order money would be held in escrow by a third party
3) pre-order money would NOT be used for design, engineering or anything else. It is deposit money towards a machine, not towards the development of a machine.

But you know, there are people out there who spend $5 Million on paintings, I'm sure I can get one to give me a $1 million.

On a serious note, if I did it, I would fund it myself or find funding for the development, engineering and the building of the first X machines, because that is how its been done in other start-up businesses I have been involved in.

#16713 5 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

the latest slew of updates is a hedge against fraud litigation.

certainly could be, but based on history, I have to wonder if he is still expecting a white knight to step in and give him a million dollars, so in the meantime he is just going along as if all is good with the world. I would not expect him to change his behavior until he is forced to by legal means.

3 weeks later
#17046 5 years ago
Quoted from Jazman:

There is no freaking way that JP shows up at Expo this year...

Given how delusional he is, not sure that would be a safe bet. How about giving some odds and we can get some wagering going? Liven up this thread while we wait for the next court date.

#17069 5 years ago
Quoted from Oldgoat:

What's next? 'I just hit my goal of producing 100 foam board layouts'?

He passed that a year and half ago

#17152 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

Here are a few examples of things I've done when I've been screwed by companies.. much bigger companies where I was much less important...

The problem with your examples is that those were companies who actually cared about their reputation.

The attorney general, which is for the State, not the city, and FYI Jpop is not located within the city of Chicago, regardless, she has much higher priority issues to take on, ones that impact a large number of her constituents (e.g. whether state workers should be paid during a budget impasse, going after a business that has illegal foreclosed on hundreds of home owners, etc.) vs an issue of a couple of hundred people, most from out of state, not getting a product they ordered from a start-up business. Not saying she would not care, but, not like it would be a top priority.

It is more likely that civil court action will move this along.

3 weeks later
#17360 5 years ago

You guys are all being way too hard on jpop. He is a great creative mind, he is working really hard and some day he would have delivered kick ass machines if it was not for all of you, it is all your fault . . .

wait a second, did I just write that? I think I need to call my doctor, those new meds I am on are making me delusional. hmm, I wonder if this is the same meds jpop is on?

#17380 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Where the hell are the other 100 owners?

Some are holding out hope john pulls this off and don't want to piss him off (and yes I do believe there are some folks in this category)
Some figure it is a total waste of time, given that nothing else seems to get his attention
Some have decided to just put it behind them and move on with their lives and try to forget about it
Some don't think they could keep it civil enough to post what they want to say on a public forum
Some don't want to leave a trail for the police, in case they ever meet up with john and go postal
Some are so removed from the community, they don't even realize things are as bad as they are
Some are still stuck in the denial phase

3 weeks later
#17792 5 years ago
Quoted from Artimage:

For those arguing that an interview on a pinball podcast where John looks ridiculous is somehow helping him prove his case that he's still working, I just don't buy it.

There seems little doubt he is continuing to work, which is just further support that he is delusional. He has no money and no plan on how to ever get these built, but he is plugging along as if all is good. He is clearly waiting for a deus ex machina event to save the day, but those only happen in fiction -- which I guess is the world John lives in.

1 week later
#18022 4 years ago
Quoted from XNIF:

To me it's the whole vibe this whole thread has, it stands against everything i like about pinside.

I think it is probably acceptable that one tenth of one percent of the threads on PINSIDE push the limits. There is a lot of emotion here, which is totally justified given the situation. This thread is probably very therapeutic to some and it also acts as a cautionary tale for others. I think the moderators do work to keep this thread from getting too, too far off the rails, but I think this is a case where a little more leeway is acceptable. If someone really turns nasty to other pinsiders, they certainly get booted. They have also been very active in killing off other related threads to keep it all here for those who want to participate in it. Also, as you said, you can always drain it.

I also think at times we have to recognize that moderators are also pinsiders, and on occasion they are going to take off that hat off and walk that fine line. I believe there is some forum for expressing issues with moderators (no clue, I have not had those kind of issues).

#18140 4 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

(but... "Special Guest Speaker: Python Anghelo!" WTF ??? Is this last year's version?)

Mike is notorious for not properly updating the schedule and other stuff on the website. Tons of oddness, when the first official 2015 schedule came out it listed that Predator would be there.

#18148 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

and doesn't have 3 working games with him

and what if he brought the magic girl prototype? it made out to the one show, and it would not totally shock me if he showed up with it, seems to fit his mindset of continuing to move forward as if nothing is wrong, like having no money left, etc. I could see how In his mind, having it seen will get folks lining up to invest.

1 week later
#18235 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

You would think anyone with half a brain (yes, I know who we're talking about), and with the intention to save things (which he says he's still there "working" every day to save everything) would have spent the last 4 months since the game came back fixing whatever it needed to have gotten it to some point it could have been brought to Expo, and try to change the narrative about what is going on.

This is why I thought there was a reasonable chance he would show up. Expo was lacking any real excitement and having Magic Girl there certainly would have livened it up. Even if he someone else brought it for him, hard to see how it could have made things worse, and as you said, he had plenty of time to make improvements. Heck, I totally rebuilt my machine, adding art work to the playfield and cabinet, changes to the playfield design (which mean re-routing it by hand, etc.) and adding a new toy, in the 8 weeks leading up to expo. He had plenty of time to get MG further along and playing better.

#18237 4 years ago
Quoted from DanQverymuch:

I'm sure he would tell you that he couldn't do that, he's stuck in damage control mode thanks to the lawsuit(s).

I would think there is no better way to show you are still moving forward than to show the game in public, and that it is progressing. Clearly Kevin was trying to play that card to slow down the legal action against him.

#18248 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

also seemed to be one of those POD storage units in a parking spot.

hmm, that could indicate, if it is there for him, that he is moving out of the space. Quick way to get out, either just put it into storage until you have someplace new, or just have the pod delivered to a different location, like his driveway.

#18259 4 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

Even simple technical things, such as using an opto switch correctly, he got wrong. Ultra mind blowing.

Ultra mind blowing -- sounds like an understatement, how do you not use an opto switch correctly?

It seems that pops does not actually believe in the laws of physics and that things will just work as he envisions them, even when they have no chance of doing so in the real world. I guess maybe if Bill through the game had potential he could have gotten engineers and the like to fix it, but by all reports, did not seem like it was worth even the attempt.

1 week later
#18311 4 years ago

problem is even if John just gave the assets away to someone who said they would make the games, there is no money in it for that person, unless all current buyers were just screwed and everyone had to pony up more money. Yes there has been this idea of selling more to then address that, and maybe current buyers would be okay if others could now by the game for half, at least they would get their game, but based on all reports, MG is not a good game, looks nice, but sounds like the actual play of the game is not good and even if completed, those who have seen don't see how it would be improved.

For anyone who has the money, why would they do this vs doing something new and from scratch that does not have the stigma, and has a chance to make money. Unfortunately it is hard to see any path that leads to a positive outcome for for buyers or vendors. Best outcome it seems, would be for those who have gotten screwed seeing John 'pay' for what he has done in some fashion.

#18339 4 years ago

Looks like some activity over last week or two, and no surprise looks like jpop and his legal team are looking to delay things further, needing 'discovery' (at least that is how I, with no legal background, interpret this). The wheels of justice move slowly, but at least they are moving.

#18343 4 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

recorded on the website without getting the legal documents.

sort of annoying that the listing does not give at least a summary of the 'motions' to be a little more informative.

If these court appearances were closer to the lunch time, i would take a bag lunch and go watch for entertainment purposes, but they seem to all be in the morning.

#18346 4 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

If I lived up that area, I'd take a day off of work to go in,

if it is the courthouse I think it is, not too far from my office, maybe I'll have to sneak out of work to go, my guess is it would be anticlimactic, I'm sure it will just be more motions and continuances.

1 month later
#18394 4 years ago

I've seen rioting in Canada, but only when they win a Stanley cup, which occurs so rarely so that a big chunk of the guys here didn't even know what pinball was the last time it happened (1993) Actually, there was some rioting a few years back when the Vancouver Canucks LOST in the cup finals, I guess they figured it was the closest they would get to winning it all, so they did not want to miss out on the opportunity. Not sure I can recall any other rioting in a city that lost a championship, but I'm sure it has happened.

Bill, you are from Vancouver, so did you get clunked on the head during the riots and lose your memory? Of have you just blocked it out from the pain?

And which was more painful, seeing the Canucks lose the cup finals, or seeing MG at the northwest show?

#18402 4 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

Was there something crazy custom about the PF glass.

It was a non standard size, it needed to be a few inches longer. Bottom line, almost nothing on that machine was standard.

@bill -- the whole community appreciated your efforts, it helped bring light and transparency to the state of things, who knows without what you did, John would still be taking in money, etc.

1 month later
#18469 4 years ago
Quoted from Compy:

I was lucky that I avoided the trainwreck by turning him down outright.

I talked to him at one point as well about doing some coding, and then I talked with a few folks who had dealt or worked with him, and the message was loud and clear: DON'T

#18488 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Boy those people sure did you a kindness.

yes they did, unfortunately most of them got burnt by john in some form. Many did not share details, at that time, of what happened, but I trusted them enough to listen.

Like others have said, John is a passionate guy about what he does, has a creative mind and vision, and can get folks excited about it. Unfortunately that is just a very small part of making a killer pinball machine (or running a company), and that was something he refused to understand (limited self awareness). I guess he his so right brained, that ANY left brain kind of processing, including understanding he had limited left brain processing, was impossible.

#18501 4 years ago

I guess this thread can be closed when all of those who put money down get it back, when all vendors get paid and Jpop is serving time for fraud -- so, that will be a long time from now, if ever.

#18528 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Here's a old email I found

"We are not jerks to work with"

can someone who does not pay their vendors, or copies their tech rather than pay, claim to be 'not a jerk' -- I don't think so.

#18531 4 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

1 skill says "FUTURISM"

Clearly he does not have that skill, or things would not be the freaking mess they are.

2 weeks later
#18602 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

And now that we're a year past the nuclear meltdown of zidware, apparently all of the work there HAS been proven worthless, no one has been able to figure out a way to save it, and the much hyped mystery prototype was exposed as completely lackluster.

At this point we won't know if there is any value it what was done until this gets to bankruptcy and this stuff gets auctioned off. While it is possible something will come of it at that point, it is certainly hard to see that. So many dumb decisions (like custom cabinet, playfield glass, etc.) that could make the rest of what is there unusable in any form. Certainly he 'alpha' that was out the NW show, did not exactly provide support that there is value in what was done. Unfortunately even if some of this did see the light of day in some form, that will do nothing for those who have lost their money.

#18624 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I heard 95% done by a few close to the project! Bunch of BS. Exposed for where they really where

They were likely folks who were just as clueless as John as far as what it really takes to get a pinball machine into production. So they may have thought it was 95% done, based on having no real experience in the matter, and drinking John's kool aid. The devil is the details, seeing a machine with a playfield, plastics, flippers and backglass can certainly look like it is really close, when in reality, it is was not even half way there, probably not a even a third, based on the fact there was so little software. Although, lets be honest, based on what we have seen from NW show, it is hard to see how anyone who knows anything about pinball could think it was anywhere near 95%.

Look at TBL, they had a complete looking game in less than a year from the announcement (and one that certainly seemed more complete then Magic Girl was at NW show), and I'm, sure some folks looked at it and said "oh, they are 90% there, just need more software". And it is more than a year later, so they have now had twice the amount of time, and not sure they are even at 90% now. And of course this is a team of folks working TOGETHER.

#18627 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Part of that time was spend on re-doing artwork that wasn't approved, sound/music that wasn't approved. they also took the prototype split boards and combined them into large single piece PCB's. I thought the same thing, but there's a lot of work behind the scenes that has nothing to do with code (but is a part of it) that most people don't notice (or wouldn't know unless they tilted up the playfield). I believe there's photos on pinball news somewhere.

I was not specifically talking bout just code, but that is what many folks thought was 'all that is needed'. My point being that while on the outside a game could look 'almost done', to the uninitiated, the reality is, it is far from it. My reference to TBL was on how many thought "oh, it is almost done", when in reality it was not even close, for all of the reasons you just mentioned and plenty more.

Those going to John's shop and saying "it's 95% done", in most cases, had no real basis for being able to make that assertion.

Heck, despite being at Williams for as long as he was, it is clear John has no real basis either.

2 months later
#18803 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

My best guess is that JPop is hoping to get his patent issued involving the display acting in coordination with the switches that are in close proximity to the display, so he could then sue Stern and JJP for infringement as a way to make money.

Takes money to sue. Obviously he can find someone to take on contingency and plenty of companies that specialize in patent infringement. Considering it has been rejected once, increases the likelihood of it not holding up to a challenge either. I also think the odds of winning on appeal are slim. Of course, JPop hoping this somehow is his deus ex machina, along with a mysterious benefactor will show up and give him a huge chunk of money 'for the love of pinball'. Unfortunately for him, this is not a novel where you can just write a happy ending.

#18823 4 years ago
Quoted from RyanStl:

So, he has money to delay, delay, delay, delay? My ex had the same tactic to bleed me, but in the end I won out because she was crazy. She had a lawyer that was expert at delay. She paid in the end.

I've seen situations where in an ugly divorce, the attorneys will bleed you dry until there is no more money for you and your spouse to fight over, once that happens things get settled quickly.

2 months later
#18927 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Wonder how many revisions he had on the rubber stamp before he was satisfied enough to mail it out?

Based on the various things we have seen as far as revisions, etc, I'd conservatively put the number at 6.

1 month later
#19031 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

That's an oxymoron, but if JPOP passed on free food - it was probably by accident.

I think he did some dumpster diving after the event was over the leftovers no one wanted got tossed.

1 week later
#19054 4 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

In the US, online purchases are not taxed as long as you don't live in the same state as the company you are buying from.

Not completely true, in many states you are required to declare these purchases and pay a 'use tax'. In some cases you can pay a flat tax to cover your purchases for the year when you file your taxes. Obviously, not declaring could lead to charges of tax evasion and/or interest and penalties.

No doubt this is going to change at some point, states are losing too much revenue over this. Obviously the brick and mortar stores have been pushing on this as well, since it puts them at disadvantage.

1 week later
#19142 4 years ago

for some reason i am hearing the final jeopardy tune in my head . . .

#19239 4 years ago

outback steakhouse is 'Australian themed', the food however has nothing to do with Australia, by any stretch of the imagination.

here is a nice article about an Aussie visiting Outback.

4 weeks later
#19778 4 years ago

so what if these magic girls that are going to be produced/delivered, are little more that the same game that was taken up to the NW show. You know the machine that was basically unplayable, had little rules/software, missing toys (which will likely now have pieces of crap versions) and by all accounts pretty much sucked. Or possibly they just stripped out a bunch of the stuff that was not done, in order to get these made. Hard to think this will satisfy those who dropped serious coin for one of these, but could satisfy legal requirements of delivery sufficiently to win in court.

While this is certainly an interesting development, hard to see it leading to a satisfactory conclusion for those who have given john money.

3 weeks later
#20148 3 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

or I could be wrong, maybe standard parts would be just fine with that extra thickness).

Yes and no, many custom games are typically done on wood slightly too thin and typically that has not been a big issue, and you can always use some washers if you needed to, but I don't think I have had to do that. Slightly too thick, could result in under playfield routing to adjust for height, or some stock parts might need to be replaced with custom ones. Overall, probably not a huge issue. Sounds like it may be baltic birch vs american maple, which typical comes in 12 or 15mm, the 12 will often be sold as 1/2, even thought it is thinner than that. Recently when buying some baltic birch, I went with the 12 vs the 15, since I felt it would be easier to deal with any of these kind of issues.

#20195 3 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

It's hard to watch my friends get sucked in by the promise of some redemption when it feels like they are going to have to go through the whole heart wrenching loss all over again.

True, but at least there is a sense of hope, and hope is a good thing, and it has been a long time since that has been the case with this situation. Based on everything we have seen and know, clearly this is a long shot, but long shots do occasionally payoff.

I continue to think the bigger question/issue is, IF the machines are delivered, are they any good, or at least good enough to satisfy an owner. I'm sure some owners will be happy enough to have gotten something, but for others, it is crap, it may just be a constant reminder of this fiasco.

For an AIW/RAZA buyers the odds are even longer at this point, since only a success of MG delivery and then Houdini even gives them a chance at getting satisfaction. Getting any machine, e.g. houdini, may ultimately be their best outcome and wonder how many would be satisfied with that, guessing a decent amount would be happy to have gotten a machine, even if not the one they were expecting.

Looking at this situation, I'd rather take a half full vs half empty view, and hope things turn out for the best for all of the buyers.

The one thing we know for sure, is this story is a long, long, long way from reaching its conclusion.

#20201 3 years ago
Quoted from radium:

Hope is what got people into this mess. As in, "I hope I get a machine if I send this guy a fat check".

I sure hope that was the not what people were saying our thinking, that 'I hope I get a machine'.

I also hope that based on zidware and skit-b, that no one would send a fat check to a company with no product ready to ship. And I don't think AP is asking anyone to do that, so while caution is always a good idea, at this point, that does not really apply, so how about we go with 'cautiously optimistic"

2 weeks later