(Topic ID: 32294)

JPop's Magic Girl and Zombie Adventure Shop Tour


By doghouse

6 years ago



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  • 166 posts
  • 82 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by HighProtein
  • Topic is favorited by 14 Pinsiders

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There are 166 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
#101 4 years ago
Quoted from Magic_Mike:

Here is a preview...
» YouTube video

LOL

mark my words the Expo something will be revealed.

#102 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

LOL
mark my words the Expo something will be revealed.

Doubtful

#103 4 years ago

He has always shown something at EXPO, example last year it was great to see the art process he was using for MG and I look forward to seeing what he he has to show this year.

22
#104 4 years ago

I fear we'll get more 'art' at Expo this year

I love John's work and I respect what he's trying to do. I've seen the operation first hand and he is creating every single part from scratch, documenting it, applying for patents and even getting UL approvals and such. He is definitley going above and beyond and trying to set a new bar for pinball. As an owner I can see this on the RAZA blog with almost weekly updates.

The other side of the coin is that John is his own boss now and he's a creative mind. So, deadlines seem to be treated more like 'guidelines'. If it's not perfect, nothing moves forward.
He's also faced with the financial burden caused by the depth of his ambition and his desire to set himself apart from Williams and any current manufacturers. Had he simply used exisiting parts and systems for these early projects, we'd likely be playing both MG and RAZA by now... posibly using his profits from those projects to build up his operation at a normal pace. Unfortunately, the funding for the infrastructure necessary for this endeavour has to come from pre-orders and likely his own pocket. Not necessarily a wise model in the end. It seems to be an all-or-nothing approach. I'm sure everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you anticipate at the outset. Murphy's law takes effect real quick. For me, the excitement of what he's doing is waning and, although he was the first to annouce a zombie game, he'll likely be the last to get to market with it. The old rules of 'dibs' and respect for what another designer is doing simply don't seem to apply anymore. I even feel that John has purposely been derailed a little off his original (very cool) theme due to the parting of ways with Ben Hecks and projectc coming out of other camps.

Recently, despite all the great updates and progress, I was getting pretty disillusioned with the whole process and needed the money back, so I asked JPOP to let me out a few months back. I was told that I would have to sign away my rights to the game and wait for John to sell my spot before getting a refund.

With all due respect to John, I didn't feel confident that he had any desire to be out there flogging my spot while he had 3 games to build and I would likley be waiting indefinitely for my money... so I opted to simply stay in and suck it up. I do still want the game after all.

For those that don't get to see much, I can only say that we are starting to see populated playfields coming together and at least 3 protos being built. I have zero idea on where MG or AIW are as I have not thrown my hat into those rings, but I pray MG is close to being something we can play, or at least view, at Expo this year... even if slightly unfinished. If John shows up with nothing more than pictures and drawings again, I'm going to be immensely dissapointed. To be honest, I would wait another year for RAZA (and will likely have to), but I think his buyers accross the board deserve a show of good faith on his part come October 15. I think we've held up our end for the most part.

Fingers crossed. Hopefully he's listening.

#105 4 years ago

Bravo, Drano, well done.
Expo next month will be make it or break it for me.

#106 4 years ago

Actual protos or great art and styrofoam?

#107 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Bravo, Drano, well done.
Expo next month will be make it or break it for me.

This^^^^^
I'm in on RAZA for 1.5 years now but if we don't see at least a completed MG soon I'm gunna rethink my position and IMHO John is gunna have a hard time getting anyone to send him any more money.

#108 4 years ago
Quoted from Redeyes:

Whoever has #17 BHZA if you wanna trade with me I have #20.

Quoted from gweempose:

I have BHZA #20 on order.

Uh, you guys may want to contact each other. It looks like #20 BHZA was sold twice (at least).

#109 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Actual protos or great art and styrofoam?

Actual protos in progress for sure. No final playfields yet, but whitewoods with near final art stuck on top and plenty of toys and mechs in development. It really is quite amazing and I have no doubt people will be climbing over themselves to snap up any available spots once this becomes real.

Quoted from Concretehardt:

This^^^^^
I'm in on RAZA for 1.5 years now but if we don't see at least a completed MG soon I'm gunna rethink my position and IMHO John is gunna have a hard time getting anyone to send him any more money.

I have essentially told John that I'm holding back the balance owing (roughly $3.5K for me I think) until such time as we see something concrete. Although I respect his right in not wanting to give refunds past the agreed upon dates, he has also not lived up to any of the production milestones he set out (which were qute aggressive to be fair). If we are both in breach of contract I think this is fair. When he has something to show and hard dates in place, I will send the rest. The cash is earmarked and waiting.

Post edited by Drano

#110 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

The old rules of 'dibs' and respect for what another designer is doing simply don't seem to apply anymore.

I thought this was interesting to say. Do people feel like other pinball camps should have moved on from doing a zombie theme because John said he was doing a zombie theme?

It was his second theme in line behind another as of yet unfinished theme. What's the expiration date on dibs? Also, shouldn't there be some kind of dibs hoarding rule applied? Say I'm working on designing a machine with an aviation theme. While doing that theme, Norse Gods become the next hot thing. I draw up some art with Norse gods and say, "That's my next machine. I haven't finished my first idea, but I've got dibs on Norse gods for whenever it is I get to making that theme. Also, I've got this idea for a Vampire theme too, here are some sketches. So stay away from that too."

#111 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

I'm holding back the balance owing (roughly $3.5K for me I think)

Have you been asked for that money? I haven't had any requests as far as I'm aware for my balance.

#112 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Have you been asked for that money? I haven't had any requests as far as I'm aware for my balance.

Ya, he hasn't asked me for any money in quite sometime either. As deadlines get pushed so does the payment schedule.

Personally, I'm wayyy more comfortable in JPop's games then I ever was in Predator...

#113 4 years ago
Quoted from fattrain:

I'm wayyy more comfortable in JPop's games then I ever was in Predator...

Agreed! and I was in on Predator as well.

#114 4 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

The OP posted 1.75 years ago

And since I missed it 1.75 years ago, I decree that it is fantastic today.

#115 4 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

Do people feel like other pinball camps should have moved on from doing a zombie theme because John said he was doing a zombie theme?

There is no such thing as dibs on themes in pinball, NONE (unless it's a licensed theme exclusive to the rights holder). Competing companies have been copycating for years:

Capcom pinball magic / Bally - Theatre of magic
WMS - F14 / Gottlieb - gold wings
WMS - whitewater / Premier - Surfin safari
Data East - Batman / WMS - Police force (was almost batman)

#116 4 years ago
Quoted from dkpinball:

I thought this was interesting to say. Do people feel like other pinball camps should have moved on from doing a zombie theme because John said he was doing a zombie theme?

I suspect that John may feel this way. He has aluded to it in the past, but I cannot speak for him.
I definitely get a vibe that he was staking a claim. He's always come off as super protective of his ideas and not willing to show the world very much for fear of being copied/ripped off in some way.

I suppose there was a perceived or unwritten code of ethics that stated designers would stay away from themes that others were working on. Sometimes the exact opposite happened and I won't guess if it was intentional or coincidence. Look at Banzai Run and Blackwater 100 just 2 months apart.

In any case, I think this is a practice that many in the industry have shrugged off and now it's who is first to market. Stern has secured a great license and TWD is so far from what RAZA was meant to be that I don't think there will be many (if any) comparisions... and the spooky's Pinball Zombies from Beyond the Grave won't even be in the same galaxy as either TWD or RAZA IMO.

#117 4 years ago

Bit of a grey area though as his theme was 2 years ago and since then The walking dead specifically has turned into one of the hottest franchises.
Kinda like having a great idea about a drug dealer pin but some one else buying rights to breaking Bad. Same idea but a clear licence to run with vs making another generic competing version.
Its literally a dumb business move to not go with a strong licensed theme.

#118 4 years ago

The only 'dibs' that matters is a licensing deal. In this case Stern called dibs on TWD and no one else gets it.

I know John wanted to call dibs on Alice as well, but someone posted about the WOOLY guy already had started work on it and had a playfid drawing posted a year earlier. By those 'rules' John should stop work on his.

#119 4 years ago

Well, I'm always down for a little healthy competition personally; and I don't necessarily agree with the whole idea of staking a claim on an original theme. Simply do it and do it better. If I was John I'd have a bigger beef with Spooky and his ex partner than with Stern and TWD. That's simply a license and in no way related to his work.

JPOP has the talent and vision to blow anyone and everyone out of the water regardless of theme... if only he can follow through. It's still a business after all and anyone in this game has to treat it as such. Ideas alone don't pay the bills.

#120 4 years ago

Well said Drano on all your points, I'm in the same camp.

#121 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

If I was John I'd have a bigger beef with Spooky and his ex partner

There's definitely more to this story than we're aware, which also affected our game (BHZA became RAZA) which almost has been re-themed from the original concept, and likely delayed it from all that work.

#122 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

I suspect that John may feel this way. He has aluded to it in the past, but I cannot speak for him.
I definitely get a vibe that he was staking a claim. He's always come off as super protective of his ideas and not willing to show the world very much for fear of being copied/ripped off in some way.

-Jpop didn't invent Zombies

-Jpop didn't invent Adventureland….there's a movie called Adventureland.

-There's also a movie called Zombieland.

So…one could conclude that Jpop is ripping off 3 existing things for this game. Stern merely licensed a TV show.

#123 4 years ago

I don't think "inventing" is the same as "I'm gonna work on this, you work on something else"... but yeah, I agree in principle

#124 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

I don't think "inventing" is the same as "I'm gonna work on this, you work on something else"... but yeah, I agree in principle

Honestly, I don't think the other pinball companies consider Jpop to be competition. I really don't think they really care what he's up to.

#125 4 years ago

The biggest question I've always had is 'Who is doing the code?'. You look at how much time Keefer (1 of the 2 best) has sunk into WoZ, and it doesn't make me very optimistic that JPOP is going to be able to compete on a rule sheet.

His other pins already have a reputation for being shallow. I'm imagining his new games to be like Avengers without the VS multiballs.

#126 4 years ago
Quoted from alichino:

The biggest question I've always had is 'Who is doing the code?'. You look at how much time Keefer (1 of the 2 best) has sunk into WoZ, and it doesn't make me very optimistic that JPOP is going to be able to compete on a rule sheet.

Not only that - who's doing art/animation for the full color display. Who's doing music and sound FX? Who's going to build these 3 machines!?

#127 4 years ago
Quoted from alichino:

it doesn't make me very optimistic that JPOP is going to be able to compete on a rule sheet.

This is why I think all boutique pins should have open access code. The initial ruleset cannot be as polished at it would if a talented programmer was working on it full time for months but, assuming some of the buyers are computer proficient, they might work together on twisting the rules to their liking.

#128 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Honestly, I don't think the other pinball companies consider Jpop to be competition. I really don't think they really care what he's up to.

I agree with you on this point. I am not sure that JJP or Stern and I guess PPS are really concerned about any of the boutiques at this point. I do think that if DP delivers a knockout game with TBL and they show that they can sell a significant number of games the majors may start to take notice. I don't want to rehash any old arguments about how much the pin market can bear, but it does make me wonder many players can exist peddling $8-9000 games.

Quoted from alichino:

The biggest question I've always had is 'Who is doing the code?'

That is a concern for me, as well. JPOP has had a job listing for a developer on his site for some time now. This also brings up the larger question of manufacturing the games. While he has not sold a large quantity of any of his titles, even building a few hundred games seems like a pretty large task for a 2 or 3 person operation.

Nonetheless, I hope JPOP can pull it off. I think the games will be stunning if he does. Even so, they may still be only for the few.

#129 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Not only that - who's doing art/animation for the full color display. Who's doing music and sound FX? Who's going to build these 3 machines!?

Can't remember who is doing the art/animation but from what I have seen it's amazing!!!

#130 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

John cutting his grass

I understand 'custom build' takes some time, but is he creating everything custom? bolts, brackets, etc. etc. I guess he feels that this is going be so awesome he can recoup years of time and expenses by building a few tables?

#131 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

what I have seen it's amazing

Agree. But there are, unfortunately, several good ideas that don't make it to production

#132 4 years ago
Quoted from alichino:

The biggest question I've always had is 'Who is doing the code?'. You look at how much time Keefer (1 of the 2 best) has sunk into WoZ, and it doesn't make me very optimistic that JPOP is going to be able to compete on a rule sheet.
His other pins already have a reputation for being shallow. I'm imagining his new games to be like Avengers without the VS multiballs.

Let's just pretend these games are made and they are shallow like TOTAN or any other game you say has poor rules. Let's just pretend it's no better than TOTAN.

Now pretend there are 2000 (?) or so TOTAN and if you had an absolute CQ TOTAN it would fetch every bit of $8k maybe more. And the reason is not because it's rules are as good as WoZ or AcDc it's because it's a drop dead gorgeous game with a hip theme with lots of neat or unique features etc..

Now take that 2000 units of TOTAN and make it only 40 units or 124 units in existence, you think it would be worth more than with 2000 units for sure.

My worry is not so much that the rules will be bad, My worry is if these games ever see the light of day or if John takes so much time it truly becomes 'Duke Nuke-em forever' or a better example the original MM remake.

#133 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Let's just pretend these games are made and they are shallow like TOTAN or any other game you say has poor rules. Let's just pretend it's no better than TOTAN.
Now pretend there are 2000 (?) or so TOTAN and if you had an absolute CQ TOTAN it would fetch every bit of $8k maybe more. And the reason is not because it's rules are as good as WoZ or AcDc it's because it's a drop dead gorgeous game with a hip theme with lots of neat or unique features etc..
Now take that 2000 units of TOTAN and make it only 40 units or 124 units in existence, you think it would be worth more than with 2000 units for sure.
My worry is not so much that the rules will be bad, My worry is if these games ever see the light of day or if John takes so much time it truly becomes 'Duke Nuke-em forever' or a better example the original MM remake.

That's kind of my point, though. Is it going to see the light of day if it's programmed like an EM? The owners aren't going to have much of a choice since they already paid, but is the rarity going to make it desirable for 10k? TOTAN also had an experienced programmer working on it for over a year and that programmer had access to an established platform and a ton of know-how in house.

As far as I can tell, it's going to be a much more mechanically complex machine with a much less experienced programmer. IF_ he got a programmer tomorrow, you'd still be looking at another +1 years until a basic ruleset is fleshed out that's much more shallow than TOTAN, and that's not counting developing a new operating system from scratch. Color me pessimistic, but that's a level of engineering that JPOP just doesn't have access to with his current funds.

#134 4 years ago
Quoted from alichino:

That's kind of my point, though. Is it going to see the light of day if it's programmed like an EM? The owners aren't going to have much of a choice since they already paid, but is the rarity going to make it desirable for 10k? TOTAN also had an experienced programmer working on it for over a year and that programmer had access to an established platform and a ton of know-how in house.
As far as I can tell, it's going to be a much more mechanically complex machine with a much less experienced programmer. IF_ he got a programmer tomorrow, you'd still be looking at another +1 years until a basic ruleset is fleshed out that's much more shallow than TOTAN, and that's not counting developing a new operating system from scratch. Color me pessimistic, but that's a level of engineering that JPOP just doesn't have access to with his current funds.

I hope he is not starting from scratch. Seems like it would be much more beneficial to leverage the P-ROC or Fast platform. I am assuming that he has at least some sort of relationship with Fast given the TOTAN and/or CV 2.0 talk. I guess Ben Heck's contribution to the original design would have been more on the programming side of things. Does anyone know if the relationship between them soured in some way or did BH just move on?

#135 4 years ago

Is jpop a full time pin maker, or does he have a job and doing this on the side?

#136 4 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

Is jpop a full time pin maker, or does he have a job and doing this on the side?

Almost hope so. Better chance of being able to keep making it happen. If its just this there has to be a breaking point.

#137 4 years ago

His company is Zidware. It was around before these games and must be involved in some other sort of business. What that is? I have no idea aside from it being web/game based.

#138 4 years ago
Quoted from Drano:

His company is Zidware. It was around before these games and must be involved in some other sort of business. What that is? I have no idea aside from it being web/game based.

From their site, it looks like they do digital advertising and iPhone games?

http://www.zidware.com

#140 4 years ago

Wow! Cool to see all this activity here.

21 months later I'm still excited about RAZA, though I'm hoping to see John do some sort of major reveal at Expo. I have no inside information, but I suspect he'll bring something exciting to show.

To the posters above, yes JPop is definitely designing and building these games full-time. From the looks of it he works 10-12 hour days, 6-7 days a week.

#141 4 years ago

I just re-read the original post from 21 months ago.

Quoted from doghouse:

John said he expects that he'll have prototypes of MG in the next few months. He also said that BHZA is still on schedule, which means Q4 2013, for those counting the days.

ouch.

I remember expecting to see MG at Expo 2013.... now here we are a year later and not sure what or if anything will be shown at expo 2014. The not knowing part if the most frustrating of this process, no one (outside of zidware) has any idea where things stand. Part of me feels like I'm living in a time warp because you could read updates on the game from a year or 2 ago, or from yesterday, and it's all the same because no one has seen anything close to a finished game.

We're a month away.

#142 4 years ago

Yeah; Zidware is the umbrella company for the pinball games, and he's been doing work as that company for what looks like a couple years prior to starting up making pins. I wonder if the pinball thing is taking a backseat to his main business, which I'd actually be more okay with. Like, if it's been three years of doing nothing but working on pinball with little to show, it's an iffy proposition. If he's doing this as more of a side project (like the Skit-B guys), then slow progress is expected.

Of course, I can say that knowing that I don't have money wrapped up in it

#143 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

We're a month away.

I'm not terribly worried. Vonnie D will be there.

#144 4 years ago

It's been so long since I have heard anything about these games, I forgot about them until I seen this thread. They probably will be awesome games when they hit production, but I would never have the stomach for the kind of wait the buyers have endured.

#145 4 years ago
Quoted from Honch:

It's been so long since I have heard anything about these games, I forgot about them until I seen this thread. They probably will be awesome games when they hit production, but I would never have the stomach for the kind of wait the buyers have endured.

I'm in on RAZA and for me the waiting is not difficult. Sure I would like it sooner but when it arrives does not really have much affect on my life.

So far, I'm very impressed with the work he has shown us, my only concern is "if" it will ever get finished. The longer it takes, the longer John burns through his resources and I have no idea where those resources stand at the moment. These boutique pre-orders are definitely a gamble.

Would love to see him get Magic Girl out to show that he can complete a project.

#146 4 years ago

I think it really comes down to if you have up to 10k to gamble with. If you can afford to take a possible loss on 10k, then I think its a worthy risk to get a game that's going to be truly unique and a work of art. If you can't afford or stomach a 6-10k loss (or whatever the current deposit is up to), then you should probably be on the sidelines. And lets be real here, you are gambling with your cash in this particular scenario.

#147 4 years ago
Quoted from Jvspin:

So far, I'm very impressed with the work he has shown us, my only concern is "if" it will ever get finished.

That's the conundrum right there. Too awesome to leave and too risky to stay in the event that it ends up being vaporware. Good luck, I hope it turns out for you guys.

#148 4 years ago

Just posted by John on Facebook.

"The Pinball Inventor™

...thinking of having some evening tours of our workshop during Pinball Expo.....would anyone want to come?"

Hopefully that doesn't translate to "There will be no Zidware at Expo this year".

#149 4 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

Just posted by John on Facebook.
"The Pinball Inventor™
...thinking of having some evening tours of our workshop during Pinball Expo.....would anyone want to come?"
Hopefully that doesn't translate to "There will be no Zidware at Expo this year".

I'm sure John will be around at least some of the time - he's got a seminar to do. But I wouldn't expect him to have booth space.

#150 4 years ago
Quoted from pinball_customs:

Just posted by John on Facebook.
"The Pinball Inventor™
...thinking of having some evening tours of our workshop during Pinball Expo.....would anyone want to come?"
Hopefully that doesn't translate to "There will be no Zidware at Expo this year".

Anything short of flippable games will be a real kick in the balls. It doesn't need to be at expo, it can be for the owners at the studio, but if the tour is artwork and parts and cabinets I'll be bummed.

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