(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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#110 6 years ago

I think there's 2 reasons why john doesn't reveal his hand (just my opinion):
1. if things change direction, he doesn't want to be judged.
2. He wants to give early adopters a reward for believing in him. If he reveals everything, what incentive would you have to pre-order other than guaranteeing you'll be able to buy one?

4 months later
#282 5 years ago

Cabinets with steep angles, looks legit. I would assume those are stuffed with at least real whitewoods if not full art?

#376 5 years ago

so ben heck's likeness is replaced by attack from mars? fitting since he owns one, but I liked it before (even if he's not involved).

#398 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's not over yet. A huge missed opp if he doesn't reveal MG.

How is it not? Is he going to pop a playfield in his machine and let word of mouth advertise it. If he didn't show it at his scheduled time, he has no intention on showing anything at the show, especially if he took the backglass back off 5 seconds after putting it up when everyone starting pulling phones out.

I'm sure he has "something" designed and built, he posts some details on facebook.. If he chooses not to show it, it is what is is. I just don't know why you wouldn't want to show it off if you have something done.

#482 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

I'm sure who ever owns the rights to the movie mars attacks

Sounds like maybe Topps still owns them?

Warner brothers licensed it:

#530 5 years ago

I don't think this has anything to do with "patents", but more so JPOP doesn't exactly have a 3d library of all those components for doing a layout, that had to be all modeled up from scratch. Like he's said, he's had to build everything from the ground up, including lining up vendors

However both Spooky and dutch pinball built a company from the ground up and have something to show for it in 2 years or less.

#961 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

after Expo I think he has found a better way forward imo!

Yea, I really think JPOP was in that "1992 williams" state of mind, to keep everything under lock and key until it's ready to go out the door. I think his KISS license getting taken away really sent him over the top.

maybe after seeing so many companies (other than Stern) being so transparent, and doing just fine in sales that it's okay to show most things (and potentially beneficial), unless you have some mind blowing new toy that nobody has come up with before.

I think the only reason Stern is so locked down is because they don't want outside eyes influencing projects and holding them up.. They want to keep that factory cranking out games, and if some designer feels passionate about a major design change, it'll really hurt the bottom line.

1 week later
#1092 5 years ago

Being compared to steve jobs isn't necessarily a good thing. Anyone that's watched the movie knows that Jobs would noodle over the most inane detail like what fonts the word processor should have, and he hemorrhaged the company's money trying to develop the Lisa OS and eventually got let go.

Also Jobs would never show an incomplete product, imagine if he showed up with the first IPOD that only showed the case, with no functioning hardware at all?

1 week later
#1222 5 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

To make matters worse, it looks like he is spending time and effort with other ventures.

This was his goal 3 years ago. I don't know how the man sleeps with all the time he devotes to pinball a week (plus I think he still does contract work for various companies including ICE). I think they need to remake the movie multiplicity with John.

1 week later
#1380 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

But my fear would be if this is done, it would be easy to feel like he should increase the number of RAZA pins as well in order to recoup more money/increase profit. He probably didn't feel comfortable trying to make more than 125, but if a company like JJP teamed up with him, this would no longer be a limiting factor.

"Anyone that would be willing to pre-order a limited run of 125 pins, surely wouldn't mind me upping it to 250"

1 week later
#1674 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I don't think Jpop is capable of letting someone help him to be honest. Everyone I know who's tried has bailed because he's impossible

Quoted from sd_tom:

I know of one person that offered to work on some stuff for him years ago and they had some tentative agreement and after some very loose terms and visiting the workshop a few times.. couldn't ever get a sense of organization, no formal terms locked down ($ for work), felt he couldn't risk his livelihood on such loosey-goosey-ness so went back to doing his day job.

FINALLY someone says it. I won't say what my involvement was, or what I saw or heard from others, but every story seems to be the same.

This thread is almost as long as LIONMAN which is gibberish. This thread is actually filled with opinions, concerns, and complaints and nearly as long. I can't wait to see what's revealed next wednesday

#1689 5 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

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

There's a ton of great digital designs, doesn't mean someone wants to produce them. Also junkyard cats was produced on future pinball which doesn't translate so well because of the way it's programmed. If you made a table on visual pinball (like WOOLY did), you can literally run a real pinball machine with the same code through PROC.

#1714 5 years ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

I'm hoping Tesla pin (game 4 ) will be announced

Is this for real? Ben heck wanted to do that theme even before starting AMH. In fact I'm pretty sure ben has a backglass hanging on his shop wall.

#1760 5 years ago

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

#1824 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

A private reveal is not a "TBL effect rug reveal

depends on which rug reveal.. the public one at expo, or the one upstairs that only VIP's got to see

#1969 5 years ago
Quoted from Zaxxis:

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

or http://nanoschool.org
or http://the-nanohome.com
or http://zidbook.org
or http://makerjohn.net
or http://rockstarpinball.com
or http://pinballmaximus.com (Waaah?)
or http://www.pinballscrapbook.com
and others...

Also he we have this: http://pinballcreatorkit.com, which I think only comes with paypal account and list of collectors with money to spend. No real pinball parts or plans on how to create a pinball machine.

Wow! I had no idea it's gotten that bad. I think john needs to watch "it's a wonderful life" a few times next week..

#2039 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

From the sneak peak page on zidware.com - some of these were posted on the raza blog and I thought they were confidential.


Looks like he's using williams return lanes

#2118 5 years ago

I really shouldn't comment this much in this thread since I have no financial vestment. I think John has such a high level of standard after building 3 great tables for williams, so he feels like it has to match or exceed that. The more time he spends on it, he builds up the expectation even higher (well, if he's worked on it for 4 years, it MUST be awesome!). Problem is, the expectation is so high at this point, nothing can possibly match that expectation. It's like when duke nukem FINALLY got released, everyone thought it HAD to be good, and it pretty much bombed. And I'll bet John thinks about this too, so he feels like he needs to step up his own work, and then the lebowski pin shows up and looks so polished and plays so good, and he's probably now thinking to himself (well, if a couple of new dutch pinball designers can build something this good for $8500, I need to make magic girl twice as good since I'm charging twice as much.

This just feels like a slippery slope, and from reading from customers it seems like most are willing to settle for anything at this point because their fear is either this project is never going to get done, he's going to run out of money, or god forbid he ends up dying.

#2174 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

LOL! One of the things I told him early on was that he should be selling those things so that he'd at least have some trickle money coming in that wasn't pre-order money. I think I've accumulated about 3 or 4, including a hockey shirt (I think).

He is selling a clock.. which is BHZA, which isn't even relevant:

#2261 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

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

That and Stern's walking dead. I don't know why alice in wonderland is his 3rd, somebody else is also working on that title.

Quoted from benheck:

I can't speak to all of the reasons John changed BHZA to RAZA. Some customers didn't want me on the game, just zombies, which I understand.

Thanks for chiming in ben. Care to comment about John working Tesla for his 4th title when that was your idea? Or do you not care, you just want to see it made?

#2269 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

4th title... hee hee..

Quoted from Cheeks:

Just want to see it made? You are aware it's Jpop were talking about here, right?

I didn't say which decade

#2310 5 years ago

Is it me, or anyone else think jambi from pee-wee's playhouse with the latest magic girl "ringmaster"?

Wish? did someone say wish?
Yes, I wish that magic girl was finished
Alright then, repeat after me..
meka leka hi meka chiney ho
meka leka hi meka choney ho

#2312 5 years ago
Quoted from Pinballfantexas:

Wanna see some MG and AIW head ove there and check it out.


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

#2321 5 years ago


#2423 5 years ago
Quoted from LapsedGamer:

why is Jpop wearing double t shirts?

They might have been filming when he first got to his studio, which he probably doesn't heat when he's not there.

#2552 5 years ago

A third flipper can completely change the way a game plays. 3 flippers existing before solid state, but lawlor changed the game by making specific things to hit from that 3rd flipper that is impossible or dam hard to reach by the lower flippers. Aiming for a side shot is much more difficult than vertical because you have to adjust for not only what gravity is going to do to the ball (aim higher up), but the speed of the ball as it passes by.

WOOLY is a bit too many with 6 flippers. Rebuilding would be a nightmare.

#2579 5 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

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

Why would you think that? Just because Stern's code is always late even with genius programmers like lyman sheats on staff (who also work on code off hours and during holidays because they're so committed) >sarcasm<

"code is hard" - Nate Shivers

#2709 5 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

I can see Stern possibly buying the IP somewhere down the road in an asset sale and making the games themselves, but I cannot imagine a productive business collaboration between Stern and Zidware, no matter how tight the contract.

they already bought the KISS license a month after JPOP's reveal at MGC. However, Stern only makes licensed games, so unless they rethemed the layouts (which can happen since sometimes themes were picked after a layout was complete) I don't see that happening.

#2751 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

That's where lots of the money went.. Lawyer and patents

patents yes, fees are fees. As far as lawyers, you'd be surprised what clients will take as payment, it's not always money.
Also John is one of the most frugal people I've met. While I won't deny rent isn't free (he probably could have developed a lot of this at home), and this timeline is ridiculous, don't think he's spending money like water.

#2872 5 years ago
Quoted from blimpey:

I often wonder if John has read this thread

He hasn't been on the site since sep 30th (unless he's visiting without logging in to lurk privately)

1 week later
#2929 5 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Whats makes the Kingpin (I assume the Capcom version) Special?

They only made 9 prototypes before Capcom closed it's doors, and it's what many regard as the best game capcom made (even more than Big bang bar)

#2961 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Will JPop even bother responding to emails anymore?

apparently, selectively, sometimes

#3027 5 years ago

Remember when duke nukem forever was released 15 years after announcement? It changed hands, people got sued, the game engine changed like 3-4 times.

Anyone that put down a deposit for pre-order at babbages etc. probably lost it because they went out of business, then got sold to barnes & noble, then split back off as gamestop.

And then big excitement drummed up when they showed a very early PLAYABLE beta game because a small team decided to buy the rights and access to all the files so they could put the nail in the coffin. Then it came out, and it ended up being extremely linear (no exploring), none of the original plotline from the original trailer, no jetpack, and the load times were horrible (45 seconds per level).

#3096 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

STEVE: Actually it never happened before unless somebody died or got sick.

Like with EATPM - Dennis nordman got in a motorcycle accident, and the other designers pitched in to get what was started to production.

#3303 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Almost a year ago Skit-B said Predator was complete, and not one single person has claimed to have received one yet

You know, I was talking to Terry from pinball life (who's really business smart). It's sort of amazing how many people think they can start a pinball company. Building A (single) pinball machine isn't the hardest thing in the world (but still hard).
Building a volume production pinball (with cost effective volume parts), without errors (because that costs you money), and sourcing vendors, and figuring out the space, and tools to build efficiently, and figuring out how you're going to fund buying all the parts once you're happy with the prototype is a whole different ball game. You make mistakes on one, no problem. You make a mistake after ordering a hundred+ parts, unless you have a way to rework those parts (which is costing you time) you're eating that cost too. I'm only speculating here, but maybe some of the delay isn't artwork. Maybe JPOP is trying to design innovative mechanisms, but after running them on test realizes they aren't going to hold up, or there's no way to effectively mass produce them.
Think about how many complaints Stern gets for minor things, and they're experts at what they do because they've been at it for 25 years. New mechanisms go through hundreds of thousands of hours to get data on reliability. Now imagine a brand new startup. Heck, Spooky is lucky the only major error he made was not installing a post next to the scoop (which is easily remedied, and was caught early in production).

#3315 5 years ago
Quoted from TOK:

If JPOP found some issues, showed a couple pics and said "This is the first game with my name on it 100%, and I want it perfect!" people might not be super happy about the wait, but would understand.

I don't think he realizes that bad information is better than no information. Some people have too much pride to show their mistakes, which is the wrong way to go about things. Making mistakes is a part of learning, nobody is going to judge you for that so long as you have solutions. Not learning from your mistakes will get you judged quickly and lose their trust. Look how well it worked out for GM hiding all those issues for so many years, and now they're having to earn their customer's trust back.

If you haven't seen it, this is a REALLY great talk from adam savage of mythbusters about failure

#3321 5 years ago
Quoted from Frax:

I mean, let's be for real here.. assume that "hundreds of thousands" is the bare minimum to meet your qualification 200,000 hours. At one mech in test that is 22 years. With 25 mechs in test that is still the better part of a year. You seriously think that Stern is testing ANY mech 25 at a time for the better part of a year, straight?

Might want to at least try to be semi-realistic with your hyperbole, instead of totally ludicrous

I meant to type hundreds (if not) thousands, I can see the craziness of my statement

#3402 5 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

What about his facility rent, utilities, payroll taxes, insurance etc...
I rent a a flex space with offices and a small warehouse outside DC and rent is nearly $6k a month. Assume best case scenario his rent is $3k, that's $36k a year. How long has he been in his new place? 3 years? That's over $100k in rent alone.

Here's a place a few doors down from his place, $89k to buy

Here's another one not far away, $1.16/sq ft monthly rental ($1600 for 1400 square feet, looks very similiar to JPOP's place)

#3414 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

He has to pay for art, music, lawyers, code, web site. if he has any employees he should have to pay benifits as well as employee portions of SS and Medicare taxes.

I can't speak for the current state of his business, but I know many people including myself that have volunteered for the sake of helping the cause. Others have been offered other monetary things that shall go unnamed. Zidware isn't your typical business like a Stern, it's a startup.

#3465 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I just pulled up my contract to look at it again. It is very specific, capitalized HOME USE ONLY and anything else will void the warranty.

It's addressed in 2 sections actually, under "Usage & Operation" it states it can't be used for tournaments either, or "public display or play".

Lots of companies have specific products for consumer, and then commercial (which is used and abused much more and has a shorter warranty period). However, I've never seen ANY pinball company specifically build 2 versions, EVERY pinball is commercial. If he's putting that in his terms of service, he's basically saying he's incapable of building a commercial pinball (or there's some legal ramification with certifying them for commercial use). Is there anything in the contract about MG and RAZA getting UL or even CE certified?
Boutique or not, from a warranty standpoint, you're buying a HOME pinball for $17k.

#3505 5 years ago

Props to John for sticking to his style, but when's the last time you saw a lightning bolt insert available? Unless planetary pinball's website isn't updated, or he's already talked to the ONE vendor that seems to have the molds to run them (who usually wants a minimum 10,000 part run), I don't see those inserts magically appearing out of thin air.

#3525 5 years ago

Paul: custom made balls too? U know u can buy those for $1 each?
John: yea, but these have "zidware" laser engraved in them

#3529 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

If John wanted to make a company like Jack did with JJP he went about it all wrong, he needs a whole lot more capital than $1M that might be the total take for the first 2 deposits

Doesn't hurt that Jack has a second redemption business as a backup cash cow, nor the fact that Jack was a pinball operator back in the 70's/80's so he knows the frustrations of repair and maintenance (and what features get people playing vs those that don't).

Say what you will about Jack being late and having board issues, the company he's built up is still impressive, especially considering he started the same year as MG was announced, and he's been shipping for a year now.

#3565 5 years ago

The zombie with the glasses above the brain guy looks like Terry from pinaball life (he has it hanging in his warehouse).

#3585 5 years ago

Just for fun, I threw the playfield layout on top of a firepower table in future pinball (Made some adjustments)

*disclaimer: this is not the actual layout

#3647 5 years ago

I'm all for sketches.. Hell, in my job I might sketch a dozen ideas before I start modeling up parts in solidworks. But I'm counting 6 separate cabinet concepts, all that look pretty polished (sorry, but I know artists, and "sketches" aren't usually that filled). And I'm sure this is just the early stage. Even after he chooses a layout he likes, there will likely still be revisions.

I'm so glad I never went down the path of becoming an artist, aint nobody got time for dat

#3680 5 years ago
Quoted from horseypin:

Now, if I knew where the ramps & bumpers were I'd be knocking my own version up, lolol.

Seems like the 3 pop (jet) bumpers are lined up along the shooter lane (like in my example). As for ramps:

#3739 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I liked the idea of an old, decrepit amusement park. The environment decayed, like the zombies. There was going to be an underground lab / lower PF thing

Wasn't the original concept also going to have some sort of skeeball mini game, or carnival type game?

#3755 5 years ago

For some reason I decided to dig into the archives of pinball news. Here's audio of JPOP from 2011 Pinball Expo talking about getting back into pinball design and the 40 potential magic girls he intended to sell:

#3762 5 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

But if you really think that, why dont you try a licensed pin?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Chuck's 2nd game is going to be his pinball zombie girls he worked on. Only way I can see easily tying the work already done into a license is doing "lolipop chainsaw"

Keep in mind, once you decide to do licensed, then that means you have to hire an artist so they can render the art accurately. More importantly, you can spend a month doing all the artwork (playfield, plastics, backglass, cabinet) only to have the licensee tell you they don't like any of it and you have to start over.

#3859 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

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

rolls are hand built by a few people. The interior alone is a site to see

2 weeks later
#4023 5 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

The light system is 12v

I don't get that logic? Seems like that would be pretty limiting for bulbs choices (probably only automotive), even at a prototype stage unless he's splitting the voltage and powering sets of 6v lamps? Even if your lamp board doesn't have 6v out, just use a 6v wall plug and wire up the GI with that temporarily.

#4091 5 years ago

Or maybe the investor is simply a bank to finance parts? That seems to be the biggest stumbling block of any new pinball startup.

Of course even a bank wants to hear the business plan. Though the business plan doesn't need proof, just needs to be written.

#4130 5 years ago

This will be Zidware on Sunday morning

#4153 5 years ago
Quoted from jwo825:

Holy cow, pop bumpers and star rollovers!

This, my friends, is innovation!

It's hard to be "retro" without including something retro. Pipe down before he changes direction and renames it FAZA (Futuristic Android Zombie Adventureland)

#4239 5 years ago
Quoted from Robotoes:

Even then, I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't much to get. Are his companies LLC's? Or are they incorporated?


#4323 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

John Carmack tweeted this, I thought it was applicable here too.

My boss always tells me "fail early, fail often. Don't sit behind your computer all day, go out and make prototypes even if they don't work"

Pat Lawlor's banzai run prototype looked like crap, but it played well enough for williams to hire him. I'm perfectly ok with JPOP's need to do the backglass art as a focal point that defines the playfield, but doing multiple revisions of final artwork before you know if you can even fully build a pinball seems so "putting the cart before the horse". I've never seen any industry that creates artwork before the product is made, including pinball. Most designers design playfields far before the theme is chosen, or even if the theme is chosen it can be changed mid-stream but somehow they still make it work (See bram stroker's dracula, originally Aliens). It's one of the hottest titles that shot up in price because people realized how challenging it was and deep ruleset.

#4397 5 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

he's totally and completely irrational and paranoid when it comes to showing his master work with new designs and new innovations out of fear of 2 things. That people will steal his ideas, and that people will criticize his game in an unfinished state before they see the completed version

I once worked for a fiber optic company, and we would pot the entire housing so nobody could reverse engineer our circuits. Truth be told, if someone REALLY wanted to reverse engineer it, there are companies that will either wash the potting away, or grind it layer by layer and scan it until they come up with all the info they need (pcb layout, components, etc). Patents are only legal documents, they actually reveal more than not patenting it because once the patent goes through, it's public knowledge that's very easily searchable (especially something so niche as pinball, just search "Popadiuk"). All someone has to do is make an improvement on your design, and they can patent right over you (especially if someone else beats you to market).

As far as criticism, it's going to happen even when you're finished. You CANNOT satisfy everyone, and the only important people you have to impress are your buyers (which he already has). I think he's more worried that he's not going to live up to his own hype, and build a pinball worthy of what he's charging. Seriously, at this point I think most buyers just want a finished pinball.

#4526 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Even Tucker managed to make 50 cars

Tucker also built a car company from the ground up in 5 years, and funded it by selling stocks instead of taking pre-orders

#4697 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

At the risk of scaring people, programming a game is even harder than building one (look at Stern)

Or look at your own AMH project. First game produced almost a year ago, and you're still tweaking code (which is already fantastic, but you're wanting it to be the best it can be)

CSI and monopoly both left the factory without complete code. It's the one thing that doesn't have to be complete because it "can" always be fixed later, even if it might not.

#4732 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Per John and the prior "project manager", the hardware is "done" and already implemented in Quetzel's Nemo pin. It's not that John is scrapping the GLM boards, its just creating an option B possibility that has come along with Aaron and Mission.

That is such an ODD choice of hardware:

Also when did this change? When I was at his studio 2 years ago, I swear he was running some sort of PROC system because he showed me a raspberry pi in the bottom of the cabinet running the DMD.

#4771 5 years ago

Pin blades AKA more artwork

#4826 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

This is a story I've heard at least ten times now, and my experience was the same.

Hook up with John, enthusiastically offer free/cheap help because it's fun to be on a pinball project with a guy considered a top designer.

Couldn't have said it better Mike. I forgot about that EM blow off story.

Look, John is a REALLY nice guy, he has great innovative ideas (usually, sometimes it's a rehash of something from a really old pinball machine nobody's seen for a long time because he really is very retro in his personality). He's super passionate about pinball (it oozes from his skin).

I volunteered after hearing him on a podcast saying he needed help, yet the work trailed off after about the 3rd project, and when I asked him why he wasn't responding to my emails he finally replied "you can pickup a phone". Dude you asked for volunteers and you got them, and now you're upset I'm not chasing you to work for free? He's also very vague in what he wants, and I often had to pull parts from my own pinballs so I could model them in 3d because all he sent were photos making it impossible to model from *I take that back, he once gave me a pop bumper body and a cap*

I really hope these machines DO get done, it would be such a shame for all that money and work to go to waste.

#4832 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Working for free is bad for morale

Yes, but it also buys you the freedom to walk away when you want. If you work for cheap, even if you aren't properly compensated, the person paying will always feel like you owe them something. That can be much worse than free.

#4854 5 years ago
Quoted from Bonnevil69:

Add me to the list of people that talked to John and was talked out of it by pinball friends that got burned my skills are metal fabrication and 3d modeling

Hey, were you at Josh's last saturday?

Ya know, between the talented people floating around Chicago, we should all start our own small pinball company.

#4898 5 years ago

I reslistened to JPOP from over 2 years ago on spooky. It's interesting some of the things he says. Here's an edited version:

"check your egos at the door" (by making the blogs private, creating NDA's, and not allowing mission pinball to take a playfield to work on code for free)

"We prototyped pinball 2000 in under 2 weeks, and got it to production in 14 months"

"Some think I'm not working, that I'm just drinking coffee and driving around in a mercedes with the money they gave me"

"We work from about 5:30am to 1 at night, 7 days a week"

"Pinball is cyclical, so it's gonna last another 3-5 years and then we'll start to turn over and go back down again" (So the downturn is coming in another year)

#4967 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

goal is to come away from there with a set of GOALS, and a workable TIMELINE to get shit done

I'm willing to bet John has no timeline, everything is linear with no schedule, which is a horrible way to run a project (and a business). And not because of your customers, it keeps yourself in check so time doesn't slip away. Any product design I work on at my job, not only do I have to come up with a complete schedule of every step in the process of design, but a complete test plan. I also have to do quarterly updates to our parent company on every project with 3 things highlighted "quality, cost, schedule". My last job, we would write entire specs up front, with cost estimates and if the BOM changed the final assembly cost by more than 5%, we had to have a meeting and discuss why it changed cost, and can we do anything to reduce it, and if not the sales team had to explain to the customer why their cost went up (which they didn't want to do because often that lead to sales getting cancelled).

#5050 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

He's a really good dude and I think has contributed a lot to helping John and his "lighting" development. No charge for that of course.

Then over time Chris has sent approx. $7k worth of LED's at COST and John has simply not paid him to date despite promises to do so

WOW! that speaks volumes. Isn't Chris also on the hook for preorders on RAZA on top of that? I don't want to be one of those peanut gang types, but man this ship is sinking fast. He isn't too busy to take calls, he's avoiding calls at this point.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

Total cash: $1,425,000
Annual cost of studio: $100,000
Annual Employees (Artists/John): $80,000
Annual Computer/software/equipment: $5,000
$185k * 4 years = $740k

I'd argue his studio is costing him more like $18k ($1500/month), plus maybe $200/month max in utilities, or another $2500/year. Not sure he's actually paying his artist, or if he's promised him a machine like he has to many of his "staff". Solidworks for him is $99 (student edition), PC can be a budget machine at $500 easily. Other equipment (like the multiple platforms, screens, etc), I can see this getting close to that number as a one shot deal.

#5077 5 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

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

Buffalo grove is high in general, city isn't much better. Streamwood is remarkably cheap ($1.16/sq ft). here's one for $1600/month nearby Zidware for 1400 sq feet (granted JPOP's warehouse may be twice this size), even at $3k/month that's still only $36k/year in rent.

#5092 5 years ago
Quoted from HunchbackHodler:

he wrote a letter to everyone and mentioned his difficulties concerning "others in the business".

I once theorized that it might be Stern playing hardball

I know that Churchill has a contract with Stern, and they can't do business with other companies because of it. But that's not an excuse, there are dozens of cabinet makers out there, and I don't see charlie or Jersey Jack having issues getting cabinets and shipping pins.

#5137 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

On the latest C2C podcast, there was a reference to John making mention about how beat up he gets on Pinside. Is that the way he sees it? That Pinside is just a bunch of internet haters beating up on him?

Haven't heard podcast but YES. That's how he feels.

I told him to embrace it, and better worry about when the time comes that people just don't give a shit to even complain.

Just because you can design a pinball machine, doesn't mean you can run a business. John needs to learn how to run a business (which this is). Being an entity subcontractor is one thing, being a company that has to manage timelines, and finances, and vendors, and dozens of other things is a completely different animal.

Terry from pinball life runs a business and you know what? I've only heard ONE person complain about something (and I've read every thread), and that person was immediately shot down when he realized he was in the wrong and took back his stupid comment. Run a business right, don't lie to your customers, and people won't complain, end of story.

#5159 5 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

How about a JPop Ren & Stimpy pinball next?

autoplunge better be a shiny red CANDY-like button

#5319 5 years ago
Quoted from Euchrid:

You know, depending on how JPOP has chosen to insulate himself and his family (if he really has at all) and depending on other factors, litigation may be able to "pierce the corporate veil" and put him personally, and by extension his family, at risk

He does, his wife is listed as the secretary on his corporate filing, it's public knowledge not hard to look up.

Quoted from shakethatmachine:

I know 100 or 250 units don't sound like big numbers, and they aren't if you have a fully functioning assembly house like Stern has. However, if you are starting with zero means to manufacture, even 20 units is a big number

Completely agree. About 2 years ago, our engineering team of 4 piloted 40 units of a new product in a day so we could learn how production works and you know what? It sucks! Building anything with more than a couple dozen parts even with minimal fixturing is tiring, and takes more concentration that you realize to make sure you're building it correctly. Building a pinball is much worse because if you screw up, not only are you wasting an expensive playfield, it's all linear (IE all the parts you just attached to said playfield have to be removed and reworked to the next one if you want to remain profitable)

#5409 5 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

John has been pretty hard at work on AIW:

While that is very pretty, even I can (and am) make a playfield flip on cardboard ramps (I just don't have art yet, that usually comes last). It's very clear that JPOP can conceptualize very pretty pinballs with some innovation. A flipping whitewood concept isn't even 50% of the project scope for production. AIW is a LONG way off, RAZA is probably not far behind. MG looked to be complete with the exception of real ramps and code.

I understand the concept of working on the next title so production isn't sitting around (Stern does the same thing), but there is no production to speak of right now that I can see. If there WERE a project manager working there, he would take all the concepts from RAZA and AIW and lock them in a storage unit until MG was done.

#5518 5 years ago
Quoted from Linolium:

So, is John not going with Fast now??

For an extra $1k, John will come over to your house and manually move your flippers with his hands. No need for a driverboard.

#5617 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

It's double sad he hasn't paid for products and work contracted... how many people/companies has he burned?!

#5668 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

FWIW, and I'm sure GLM will clarify, I did a double-take on that 1122 number as well and then realized the intent was to convey that the total for the invoice was $1122, which was the cost of 4 PCBs. I don't think 1000 boards have been ordered. I could be misreading it, of course.

No, the numbers are as I quoted them. As this was intended to be the first major round of "production" boards, it was for boards that were to be used between both MG and RAZA, hence the higher quantity

And you haven't been paid yet?
I would be sending a collection agency to his business, that's nothing to sneeze at.

#5705 5 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

JPop just truly enjoys "Arts and Crafts" day vs. doing the less creative "real" work of getting machines actually built and coded. Once he finishes mocking up one game with foamcore and artwork it's simply time to move onto the next

Add to that burnout, magic girl is what 4.5 years in the making? I don't care HOW passionate you are about pinball, that's a long time to work on anything. It's no wonder why there's 2 other pinball projects, the KISS prototype, a $500 neon clock. JPOP isn't slow, he's just bored.

#5717 5 years ago

STILL looking for a programmer:

If (when) nobody wants to work with him, how are any of these going to go beyond a basic flipping machine with no rulesets, no animations, heck not even basic scoring? Is JPOP going to teach himself to code and do that himself as well? If that's the case, you might be seeing them run on mission pinball platform since it seems to be the most user friendly, but that might require to go back to PROC hardware.

#5762 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I look at Heighway, how they build a game first virtually, and develop the software and rules early on, and then let it mature over the build process.

Look at the art updates Heighway went through... AT THE END

that's what's known as designing in parallel, it's amazing how quickly a project can make progress when it's not linear (IE let me design a cabinet from the ground up including brackets and hinges, then put some art on it, then revise it 6 times, then sketch some things on a foam playfield of how I think it will work).

I don't want to speak for john, but since I've never heard of anyone talking about a video showing flippers running, how do we know if the shots are even good (or work?). Even the WOOLY project with testing shots virtually on a computer (which translated to the real world fairly good) needed some things tweaked. Until a playfield is flipping (and heavily tested) you have no idea if a layout is going to work. Rolling a ball with your hand does not replicate real pinball.

#5787 5 years ago

that's from nearly 2 years ago. Who's to say he still works there, or when he did how much got done?

Quoted from gweempose:

That can't be entirely true for every game. For example, there is no way WCS94 started off as a purely generic whitewood. It was clearly designed with soccer in mind from the outset

Take away the spinning soccer ball and goal mech, and it could be any themed pinball

#5833 5 years ago

Apparently Pingraffix is now on board as a vendor. I warned them they might want to get paid in advance before production quantities are sent.

#5838 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

So there TOTAN, TOM, and CV. Which are beautiful games, and a great trilogy. Clever stuff on them. Not disputing that. But I'm not sure they're really enough to elevate someone to "most creative guy in pinball". Sure isn't for me.

I would say Steve Ritchie probably has the most hit titles under his belt (hence the title "king"), followed by Pat Lawlor.

#5849 5 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

The problem with SR is he always puts out the same layout with a few minor tweaks. Nordmans games are always different. Nordman should be the "king" from a design + creativity standpoint

I concur.. nordman is a pretty darn good designer

#5861 5 years ago
Quoted from aeneas:

And about software - I guess it depends on the liberty the developer would get ?
I have no idea how it works ie at Stern or how it was at WMS, how the creative process goes - maybe someone who knows can give me details as I'm interested to know ?

I guess the designer sits together a lot with the developer and they both come up with modes (and even names for modes ?) but once the whitewood is ready, the software developer has a lot of creativity himself and continues on the 'guidelines' the designer made.

You don't really need this - I get the impression JPop designs everything, the whole rulesheet is already in his head and he only wants to decide on it. He just needs someone who will implement what he wants.

that's fine and dandy, but considering he can't seem to find a programmer to come work for him, and he won't ship a playfield to mission, how exactly is that going to get done?

#5931 5 years ago

Can't wait until "production" starts, whether that's 20 magic girls with or without code. Keep in mind Spooky builds roughly 2.5 units per week, and that's with a 3 person crew building sub-assemblies like mechs, cabinets, and wiring harnesses (with months of experience tweaking the build efficiency).

Still good to see John think about things like backbox fixtures. Really hope he can pull this off.

#5935 5 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

WTF would you do with a Magic Girl with no code? Look at it sitting there, turned off, and think about what could have been?

To say he built them, prove out his "manufacturing", show some faith in his buyers by showing progress, let him focus on RAZA while someone else codes it.

#5942 5 years ago

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


#5948 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

I'm pretty sure the day one thing is an April fools prank. I listened to the announcement on spooky podcast. It sounded very tongue in cheek and like they had to stop and edit when Charlie started laughing too much but who knows?

I know 4 people that have helped on this project, and I visit Terry's shop at least once a month so I've seen the progression and the final production cabinet, so I can assure you this is no prank.

Charlie was laughing because he knows how much work goes into any pinball project.

#6098 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

there is a video of that flipping whitewood on his facebook now

Yea, that's just.. goofy? backwards? grasping for straws? There's no reason to show a flipping whitewood with cardboard ramps if you have what appears to be fully populated playfields with art and prototype plastic ramps. Clearly whatever was running the whitewood, is not what he plans on running production pins (or is too busy with art to transfer the guts over).

#6130 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Last year at MGC he showed up with Kiss. I'm afraid to think about what "surprises" he's been working on that might show up this year. I guess we'll find out soon.

I can't imagine he'd show up there, but then again he showed up at Expo and Terry's Pinexplosion last fall so who knows. We'll see this Saturday.

#6156 5 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

If John fails completely, they have everything they need to legitimately say, "Are you sure you want to tie up $8000 indefinitely? Or would you like to buy this machine that's available today?"

I think the message would be "If people are willing to risk between $8-$17k for a pinball that doesn't exist, surely we can start charging $20k for our premium that does!"

#6206 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Does Jpop see any of this or realize his buyers are talking this way!?!? How can he remain silent?!


#6233 5 years ago
Quoted from 6S3NC3:

Im talking about a guy that will spend weeks on 1 piece of art and another week on proper color just to trash the art and start over.


#6257 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I also heard from one failed "project manager" that John has been working on several EM machines I guess like Big Juicy and has those stashed in a different room

that wouldn't surprise me, and yet
I commend that John wants to revolutionize pinball, I really do.. but he can't get there if he can't finish it, and it's not fair to do so with other people's money. Once you start taking money and using that as salary and R&D, you're no longer doing it for the love of pinball, you're doing it to keep busy with something you love while making a living. At this point (since he's not taking salary for mysterious reasons we can all draw a conclusion to), he's just working to show face (don't get mad at me, I'm working hard).

I'll repost the video from adam savage about failure:
y outube.com/watch?v=1825zkmJVuE&feature=player_detailpage#t=877

#6261 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

they stole 'his' magnet trick from Totan etc..

I don't know about that, but I know for a fact they stole the lamp spinner idea from TOTAN to put on transformers. I remember borg looking underneath the playfield at MGC one year. But then again, is that really stealing? Kordek invented the flippers. Do you think he got upset at every pinball manufacturer since 1949 stealing his idea? No, how could you? Every pinball patent is searchable, every mechanism has clear diagrams in every manual how it works. It's time for him to stop worrying about others stealing his ideas and just design pinball. Take a hint from Elon musk, every one of his designs is open source for anyone to copy as they please.

#6265 5 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

Pretty much all of John's games have elements that were originally in classic EM games, but hadn't been used in modern games.

Oh I agree, John is very retro (and I was aware that a spinner like that existed on EM's), but Totan's spinner is perhaps designed more modern (and it was available at the show, not easy to find specific EM's with spinners like that)

#6351 5 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

**"I've been waiting to see if u would post that... My suggestion is just lots of texts!!! But I don't own a throw away phone"**


Use this to hide your IP address:

#6388 5 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

1) He requires a legal relationship. I have no interest in forming any documented relationship with him. I just IPO'd, my lawyers would shit on my face if I even thought about a formal relationship with him.
2) He doesn't decide to open up. I'm not asking for open source, I'm asking for him to provide me with what he has so I can build upon whatever he has...I don't care what but I need to actually get what he has to start. He might just keep the door closed, or he might try to trickle some stuff out to me to get a few piecemeal development features implemented. I run companies, I don't fuck around. If he fucks with me it's over.
3) He doesn't understand LOE estimates, timelines, project schedules, testing, development and productization, but wants to own those aspects of the development process. He should be owning features, IP, integration, and the theme. If he tries to own the entire process it will fail, because you can't wear that many hats unless you've done it a lot, and even then it sucks. If he doesn't realize that it sucks to be where he is he won't delegate anything and I'll have to leave the project.

1. He will. He requires everyone to sign an NDA, no matter how small of involvement. Someone writing the backbone of what runs the machine, I guarantee it
2. That's implying he can actually extract the existing code, or actually has a ruleset written down and not floating in his head
3. This has already been proven. His schedules have slid for more than 2 years. LOE estimate? You're asking someone who says innovation takes time (but not defined time), it'll be done when it's done.

#6422 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Kim has talked to Jack about getting involved in manufacturing the pins and that is the point I left John, he was going to talk to both Gomez and Jack

I'm all for positive news like finding alternate sources to get things built, but first you need something "manufacturerable" in order to manufacture. Also is he going to shrink his studio back to half it's size if he finds someone to build them?

#6492 5 years ago

John did not show up to MGC. He was going to, but backed out last minute claiming it was conflicting with a reveal with WIRED magazine.

#6584 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I have to bring up a recent conversation I had with Andrew Heighway. I told him I was looking forward to receiving my Full Throttle not just for myself, but for him as well, for what it will mean to everyone that he has delivered machines to customers.

My game is in the first batch and it will be air freighted to me and I'll be doing a Pinside "unboxing" thread for it. He fully understands THAT is the "PR" win, to have a big customer unveiling of his game on the biggest pinball forum on the internet. THAT will generate interest and sales into his games more than anything else he could do at this time

Seeing the production videos, and hearing Andrew talk on coast2coast pinball talking about how he's trying to keep prices down, even going so far as having local cabinet builders in america prep them and only ship playfields to save cost (and ship the largest quantities he can). Other than spooky pinball, Heighway is the only other company I truly respect. Creating innovation, but still moving forward.

#6666 5 years ago
Quoted from RomstarArkanoid:

John has always stated he was going to reinvent the wheel on everything, making it his own. The only force driving that strategy really was his desire to make it different or "better."

There's something to be said about "let's not reinvent the wheel". Pinball designers from the EM era built some pretty good reliable proven mechanisms. If you want to innovate some things on your own time/dime, fine. For magic girl, JPOP should have just stuck to as many off the shelf parts as possible (and he could have still had his flare of curved ramps, plastics sticking out from other plastics).
Look at the team at Stern pinball who work on a single game (with all the other departments already in place to take a working whitewood in to a final product), and think how it takes them 1-2 years to develop a game.
Now imagine JPOP (from what I can tell is just himself, an artist, and possibly a prototype helper), and think how much longer the timeline is (reinventing parts, setting up vendors, setting up manufacturing, procuring machines to prototype, sourcing help). Looking back, I'm actually amazed he's even where he's at currently after 4 years. And that's not giving him slack, that's me saying he didn't have a clue thinking he can build a pinball from scratch in 2 years, or 4 years, or even 8 years with a skeleton crew (there's only so many hours in a day).

Pinball is hard, REALLY hard. Why make it a steeper uphill battle than it already is?

#6723 5 years ago

this thread is only 600 posts shy of the skit-b thread, that says something

#6813 5 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

John knows so little that he asked for an art sample from me. I offered to run product development for him without taking a salary or even asking for compensation. And he asked me for an art sample

#6908 5 years ago

How long before John can't pay rent and gets evicted, and he has to somehow manage to move 3,000 sq feet of equipment, parts and drawings into his house? I don't think he'll wake up until that day happens. At that point he won't have a choice but to ask for help (IE turn the project over to someone else that can finish it)

#6930 5 years ago

Listen to coast 2 coast pinball, starting about 54 minutes in. Greg Dunlap was asked if he would ever help "somebody" code, and he declined.

#6975 5 years ago


Pinball not finished? We must concentrate and try harder!

#6989 5 years ago

From last year's chicago expo

22:45 "Don't lie to your customers, tell them the truth even if it's not the best news" - or just ignore them

23:00 "I stay off pinside, I get flamed all the time" - Hmm, wonder why
23:12 "That's ok, it's a compliment" - In that case, read this compliment John. Finish your games, embrace help, stop being a control freak trying to tackle this project on your own!

32:18 "dale is our head engineering tech" - Dale fixes pinballs for joliet pinball

#7020 5 years ago
Quoted from turbo20lbs:

Can anyone confirm this is him? I'd guess yes. Looks like property taxes are behind..

If you search his number, it shows him appealing the tax rate last October, which I don't blame him considering his taxes are up to $11k/year. Still doesn't explain why taxes are overdue.
By the way, please delete that photo. That number is very dangerous to be public.

Quoted from TigerLaw:

im exceedingly curious as this may blow up one major myth...that JPop's spouse is loaded and he does not need to draw a salary

I'd say there's a slim chance. If she were loaded John wouldn't have taken pre-order money to begin with. Also based on her linked in page, I'd say she qualifies for secretary work. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not going to support a pinball company.

#7026 5 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

He has a Pinball Inventor page on Facebook with around 1,500 followers that anyone can write on. If you tag John in your post it shows up on the feeds of everyone who follows it and all of his friends

I don't see the posting anymore, on your page or his. Did he force remove it, or did you?

#7047 5 years ago


#7060 5 years ago


#7159 5 years ago
Quoted from Hitch9:

I think if he spent 90 minutes posting information on forums he'd be much better off, than spending 90 minutes with one person

This.. supposedly he won't take 5 minutes to respond to customers, but he'll take long phone calls and allow people to walk into his studio and disrupt his day? This isn't very logical, especially since not everyone lives in the chicago area. Also in a 14 hour day, that's at least one poop break. I hear laptops are portable, that's at least one response per day.

#7170 5 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

Claiming to work 14 hours a day doesn't cut it. Only delivering cuts it

/\ this.. customers don't care what a business goes through to deliver product, they don't care how many hours you worked, they don't care if one of your workers had a basement flood. They just care about cost, quality, and schedule, period.

I'm willing to bet Charlie from spooky went through all sorts of issues. Steep learning curve of learning CAD to design, learning how to do wiring harnesses, learning how to build a small scale factory. Hell, he even has a podcast and had every opportunity to complain or make excuses, but he didn't. He pressed on, and delivered product.

#7218 5 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I haven't heard for him in a few weeks and started doing some diggin which led me here

This says so much. John can no longer use the "I'm revising art" excuse, at least not for the past few weeks. So if he's not working on art, and he's not getting a pinball flipping or working on code, what IS it he's doing everyday?

#7340 5 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If it takes a team of 20 guys 1 year to produce a game at Stern, how long would it take 3 guys to do the same job?

You're implying John has 2 other guys helping him. Or are you counting John twice since he works the equivalent hours of 2 people?

#7483 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

That's 6k sq ft for ONE MAN to wander around

Wow, no wonder why he keeps the heat low and bundles up. The gas bill alone, and he's got high ceilings

#7504 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I'm just saying, John could sit around NOT building games in a lot, LOT less space.

Like a spare bedroom, basement or garage.

Really if you look at any successful startup:

Apple rented a garage (easily less than 200 square feet).
Orange county choppers started in his basement (pushed finished bikes up a ramp to get them out)
West Coast choppers - Jesse james rented out a corner of a service garage
Pinball life - started in his garage
Day one pinball was built in Terry's existing warehouse space

#7592 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

just got an email from JPOP it sounds like he has a couple pinsiders there and they are "playing MG"

Best case: He switched back to PROC and programmed new code from scratch
Worst case: He moved the the hardware from the whitewoods to the new playfields, same code as before

#7691 5 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

That's where you get an "unfunded liability". He owes 100 RAZA, but the money isn't there to build them. Thus unfunded. Sure the back end of the RAZA deposits is still due, but if it's less than 5k each, you still don't have enough money to build them.

"The solution is to just sell MORE of each title!" In theory, yes. But you can't just say "we need 500k, so let's sell 50 more RAZA at 10k each!" because then you don't have the capital to build the 50 you just sold


#7792 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Optional : Ben & John show up at your house Q4/2013 - $1000

I am really curious if Ben ever agreed to this, or if it was pie in the sky promised by John? It's sort of like Vonnie D saying they had barry oursler as their pinball consultant, but as I found out by interviewing Barry he never talked to them in person or even on the phone, just emails. It's amazing what people will make claims to.

#7797 5 years ago

not to rub more salt in the rug effect wounds, but Lin (the guy creating the P2k haunted cruise project, which is now changing into a new architecture) started making this side project "frozen" table for his daughter (with early but working code). Oh look, LCD display in the back of the playfield, JPOP better start whipping his patents out

#7859 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

To me these machines are piece work. Meaning if I pay for pinball machine, I expect a pinball machine. If I pay for a deck on my house, I pay for a deck. I don't care how much it costs the builder or how many workers or how much in materials. I pay for a deck, I expect a deck.

Unless you hire a bad contractor, then you need adam carolla to step in

#7903 5 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I'd still like to know what this "30 years" entails...if that was part of the premise, this whole project was started on a lie. According to IPDB his first game was a never produced title called Ice Castle in '89. We know he was at Bally/Williams from WCS to SWEp1. Even if you factor in Zizzle...where does 30 years come from? I know Jpop's not very good at math...but seems more like 10 years at most.


"I started working at the Bally Pinball Division at the ripe old age of 19! Norm Clark brought me in to work in engineering with legends like Jim Patla, Greg Kmiec, Gary Gayton, George Christiansen, Greg Freres, Paul Faris, Ward Pemberton, Claude Fernandez, etc.....My first job was lab tech in the whitewood lab. It was a wild job! At that time all themes were attached to games AFTER the whitewood was playing well. Not the way we do it today. I was able to work with everyone at Bally and eventually Williams after Bally was bought in 1988"

That would imply he started working at Bally as a whitewood tech in 1985? I know when he transferred to Williams, Jokerz! was on test almost ready to go into production. It also implies that he's been working on pinball from 2000-2011, which was only zizzle. It also makes JPOP 49 years old this year.

#7917 5 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

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.

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 have a co-worker who is a HUGE metallica fan (probably went to 30 concerts in his lifetime). When I asked him if he had heard there was a metallica pinball out, he had no clue. He didn't even know they were still building pinball machines. Told him he should go seek out a machine before they go off route, even sent him links to locations around Chicago, he still hasn't gotten around to playing one even though he thought it was cool when I showed him a video of gameplay.

#7946 5 years ago

TOTAN is overrated, TOM is fun but I could see how it could get old after so many plays. Not a big sports fan, but one of the few sports I did play as a kid was soccer, and I have vivid memories of playing WSC94 in an arcade somewhere in carol stream off of thorndale just east of 53. I actually wouldn't mind finding a nice WCS94 at some point even though my wife thinks she wants a TOM because she plays good on it. There's also something about hearing that announcer voice, and then "GOOOALLL!" with the star animation.

#7978 5 years ago

When is the last time anyone has seriously spoken to John, or got an email response? If I was a buyer , and he didn't respond to me within even a day, you know what I would do (since John seems to be a one man show at Zidware)? I would send a followup email and say "Oh man, something must be wrong since I didn't get a response. I bet someone followed you to work and knocked you over the head and tied you up in the back office. I'm really worried something happened to your well being, or worst yet someone stole all the magic girl prototypes you worked so hard on. If I don't get a response within the next hour, I'm going to assume the worse and call 911 to send for help! Hope all is well <:-0"

I bet you get a response...

#8026 5 years ago

Aren't you all glad that John spent time and money for artwork on the KISS prototype now that stern made its announcement ?

#8041 5 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Or just sit in a car nearby, work a little wireless magic, take what you want, and drive away.

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.

#8046 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

What would you get out of this? The KISS slide show from MGC 2014 and some Magic Girl animations?

30 revisions of MG, RAZA, and AIW art, and 6 other pinball project websites HTML coding

#8060 5 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Anyone want to estimate how much customer money John spent on patents these past 4 years?

He filed only 2 patents in the last 4 years:

It only costs $500 to file yourself. Most of the patent filing cost is paying a patent attorney to write a description (and do patent searching if you desire, many just file and let the patent office do the searching. If it exists, worst case they reject it). In any case, an amateur patent attorney is cheap (and I believe his attorney was working pro-bono for a machine.. that he's never going to get)

I would be far more concerned with what he spent on capital equipment, rent, heat, electricity, contracted artwork from zombie yeti

#8062 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

he's there 7x14, for 4+ years now

Which is 20,384 hours. Imagine how many hours he's going to have to work to pay everyone back? $900,000 divided by $10/hour = 90,000 hours. If he continues to work at this pace, he should have everyone paid back in 17.6 years if he doesn't draw a salary for himself.

#8115 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

For everything we've been through, I am still STUNNED today learning that the much hyped MG video is of an incomplete white wood. Like, WTF? I'm shocked at the level of deceit. And the people who visited the shop and would tell us it's ready for production. I just don't get it.

#8128 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

maybe in 2-3 more years he will deliver awsomely great pins that are worth the wait.

There's no way that could ever happen. There doesn't seem to be much funding left, and he HAS to be paying around $3k/month for a 6,000 sq foot building. I can't imagine he can afford to keep paying rent

#8146 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

A) what does he need 6,000 sq ft of space for?

pfft, don't you read the blog? It was very clear

#8197 5 years ago

Scary thing if (when?) JPOP fails, he won't ever be able to go to another pinball show again, he won't be able to design anything pinball related (for profit anyway) because his reputation is so tarnished. It's sort of like the tv shows where black hat hackers lose all privileges to internet or even computers, which is complete torture because that's their whole life.
And what does he fall back on career-wise? Most engineers or product designers work in many areas (my background is in multiple consumer products in very different areas), so I'm well versed in many fields. Someone who's designed pinball their entire life have pretty limited options.

Quoted from RomstarArkanoid:

Revised Production Plan

You know what I forgot? "X marks the spot where I set my phone down on vibrate while I work for 14 hours and ignore my customers"