(Topic ID: 108377)

The Official Pinside Kevin Kulek Skit-B Predator Discussion


By Xerico

4 years ago



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#851 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Never tried this before, but if you are recommending it, I'll give it a go. What tools would you suggest?

Lol, probably a "butterfly stitch"

#852 4 years ago

I can't believe they havnt shipped a game yet?? What's the hold up?

#853 4 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

I've stayed out of this for the most part, but what I don't get at all at this point is what are they actually doing? Like physically, what is Kevin and SkitB doing day to day? Building machines? Painting stuff? Wiring? Waiting for parts? Drinking Coffee? Working a dayjob?

I'm very curious as well. I would like to live off Pred money too for a couple of years. Shouldn't they build some games first before they spend any profits?

#854 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

EOD = worst theme ever

Certainly in the top five--perhaps wins the award for the wonkiest pin name, ever...

#855 4 years ago

Huh? I thought games shipped last Dec? I remember someone even made a bet about it?

#856 4 years ago
Quoted from NinJaBooT:

Kevin doesn't need to respond to any emails. He already has the money and prob spent a lot of it. Good luck to anyone trying to get a refund at this point.

This is exactly my point now, as they have had the money for a long while with not 1 customers machine built, that money must be being used for something, paying staff, paying ones self, purchasing parts, going to shows, living, you name it, but I bet there is a bunch of it gone, he now has to make 250 machines with what's left, as each day and week pass the likely hood of this project coming off diminishes.

How the hell they can even mention machine #2, let alone work on the damn thing...

#857 4 years ago
Quoted from BigPhil:

Everything starts from nothing and you could see how passionate they were from the beginning. And they really cared about this machine. They weren't shouting from the roof tops and setting off fireworks with massive glitzy announcements. Just a bunch of really passionate guys who love what they're doing.
That's why I'm in and that's why I've always believed 100% that this will happen. Well, apart from loving the Predator theme of course

Investors believed in Bernie Madoff too. Look how that one turned out. Those who are still in on this and haven't gotten all of their money back months ago baffle me. Reminds me of the quote from the movie Rounders. "If you're at a poker table and you can't point out the sucker....you are the sucker." Amazing......

#858 4 years ago
Quoted from NinJaBooT:

I can't believe they havnt shipped a game yet?? What's the hold up?

Waiting for the 30th anniversary I believe.

#859 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Waiting for the 30th anniversary I believe.

June 12, 1987 (USA)
Predator, Initial release

Sad thing is by educated guesses, if they get 2 machines out per week there could be people waiting then.

#860 4 years ago

By the time this game is produced, it will already be the "VE" edition...

#861 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Waiting for the 30th anniversary I believe.

30th anniversary of sending payment?

#862 4 years ago

Been following along for a while and doing my best to stand back and let things unfold without putting in my two cents. Afterall, whatever I say does not really matter at this point no matter the outcome. Still, I think there are some lessons here.

I do not think it is likely that Skit-B will ever release another pinball machine after predator. The debacle and drama associated with Predator has more or less eliminated this possibility. This forum was used to generate nearly all of the paid pre-orders for Predator, and was done so with genuine enthusiasm, excitement, updates and interaction. It was an exciting time, and each day you could go back and forth with the games creators... and see clearly that the passion was there to do something amazing.

That was some time ago now. Quite some time.

While the ducking underground is understandable, it's not acceptable. Not when being out front is what got you there in the first place... what made it possible. You can't stand up and shout to get the crowds gathered and then retreat to the shadows when the collection is over. You set a precedent of transparency... interaction... you let the people be your investors... and then your gone.

To be clear, I do think that Predator the pinball machine will get made, one way or another, one day or another. To be clear, I still think that Kevin and his team is a passionate group of pinheads who started off this project with the very best of awesome intentions. I also still think that Kevin is a good guy.

But I also think that Kevin is in deep... perhaps deeper than he can or is willing to reveal. I think that that delays are not coincidental... the removal of web articles and youtube videos... they are not coincidental. I think that there has been a critical setback and the safest route of navigation is silence and vague communication. Certainly, if my hunch is correct, being 100% transparent about it might be "too much for people to handle" and inadvertently end up collapsing the whole deal. So, being quiet about it... letting people become annoyed... that's the only way forward.

To make game #2 a sold out hit, Kevin would need to employ the exact same level of hype, interest, enthusiasm and excitement that he did for Predator: which is now impossible. Theme aside, the ability for Kevin and Skit-B to rally hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance again was lost when the situation Predator forced him underground. Even if he were to change tone, ship every predator, and then come out and talk about EOD, people would question why/how he is suddenly available to speak and be on pinside.

From across threads and products and manufactures in the pinball community it becomes clear that the ones best regarded are the ones with excellent communication skills. Guys who *always* respond to emails, who respond to PM's, who not only participate in threads but create them... those are the people who gain the trust... get the customers... grow their business. Kevin was never a bad person... he just dived into a massive project headfirst with lead weights on.

Predator will likely ship sometime soon... and there will be some relief from that. But even once every game is shipped and this phase has passed... will Skit-B ever be able to regain the trust of the pinball community at a level that would allow them to pre-fund a new title again? I believe the answer is no.

Wherever you are Kevin, and whatever you are doing, I am certain that there is a unimaginable amount of stress and pressure on you. You must know that, which is why you navigate past these forums where such issues become reinforced. You will make it... in the end you will be OK... its just a long tough road.

Good luck to all involved.

#863 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

To make game #2 a sold out hit, Kevin would need to employ the exact same level of hype, interest, enthusiasm and excitement that he did for Predator: which is now impossible. Theme aside, the ability for Kevin and Skit-B to rally hundreds of thousands of dollars in advance again was lost when the situation Predator forced him underground. Even if he were to change tone, ship every Predator, and then come out and talk about EOD, people would question why/how he is suddenly available to speak and be on pinside.

The theme is a bigger problem than you say. Obviously SkitB has to actually start making and shipping Predator if they want anyone to give them money ever again. But if they had the Aliens license and were doing a limited run (say 200 machines) I bet they could still generate some solid pre-order business because people would be concerned about the scarcity of a "must have" theme.

With EOD, you've got a poorly received theme, all the downsides of preordering, and then on top of that SkitB's track record of delays and poor communication. But the later two don't matter if people aren't excited about your theme. It goes back to why most pinball machines are now licensed themes -- it's an easy and relatively cheap way to build excitement about your game.

#864 4 years ago

What boggles my mind is Game #2. On one hand, like Jared says, Kevin may have been in deep and still is. I get that. But we have all been there in our life. If you are in deep when you do not take on more. On the other hand maybe he thought he could handle it? This part really blows my mind when I ponder it. If everything was under control and customers happy (a high% I mean, you can never please everyone) then sure, you take on a new project so as to eliminate gaps in your business (peaks and valleys are costly and difficult for start ups). If things are not under control then the last thing you do is take on a new project and jeopardize the business as an entity with unacceptable risk!

Which is it here? I have no idea....what is implied is maybe he was on overload and did not own up to it and thought he could "Do it all". If true, a good Program or Project Manager could have prevented much of this and kept the customer base at ease. A Project Manager drives timelines, coordinates suppliers and associated cost, has good communication with the customer(s), maintains tight budget control while the "Exec's" are off doing what they need to do relative to their vision of the company.

What was missing in my opinion? Yes, a Project Manager from day! Kevin (being a techno type guy it seems) would be able to do what he needed to do while a home base Project Manager kept things in order.
My 2 cents

#865 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

From across threads and products and manufactures in the pinball community it becomes clear that the ones best regarded are the ones with excellent communication skills. Guys who *always* respond to emails, who respond to PM's, who not only participate in threads but create them... those are the people who gain the trust... get the customers... grow their business.

How many of those do we have?

#866 4 years ago

While I appreciat that Kevin likes pinball, he obviously has great ideas and passion. He's also just some kid in a basement.

This would be as if I like cars, know a lot about cars and have good idea. So now I think I'm going to build a car.

That example is an extreme, but apt comparison.

I know a heck of a lot about football, so why am I not coaching in the NFL? Of course I've not paid my dues, I have no track record, I have no formal or informal work in the NFL.

There is a reason why Stern was the only company building pins. Because it's hard. It seems like in the past 3-4 years when money got large other companies wanted to cash in.

Look at how hard it is for JPop and JJP and those guys are vets of pinball or manufacturing games before.

I have doubts about Kevin, Predator etc.. When Stern released IM VE for less money than Predator, to me it was silly to even wait on Predator with so much weirdness surrounding Kevin and his buisness acumen and pinball manufacturing capacity and his chronic delays even just shooting a video or posting or answering emails.

#867 4 years ago

rai makes great points as he always does.

As I mentioned before IM VE was the primary reason I got out on Predator. I just don't see how an initial release game can compete with something like Iron Man...Kevin may one day prove he can design games better than Borg and his support staff...but that day is likely not going to come upon release of his first game.

#868 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

rai makes great points as he always does.
As I mentioned before IM VE was the primary reason I got out on Predator. I just don't see how an initial release game can compete with something like Iron Man...Kevin may one day prove he can design games better than Borg and his support staff...but that day is likely not going to come upon release of his first game.

Can't believe you said I make some great points.

Thanks for the compliment, I don't try to pull down Kevin. He probably is a nice guy and all that. I hope Predator is a big success

I am not a huge Predator fan, I'm sure some people would buy it no matter what as it was a dream theme. I was just in for the cool vibe from Kevin but the cold hard facts were not adding up to my liking and IMO Iron Man is a kick ass game we know that so I went with the sure thing.

#869 4 years ago

I think Kevin is really lucky in that the Predator theme is the only thing keeping him going here, I would have been out long ago but I just can't take the risk losing out on a Predator Pin, the gameplay video looked great to me and even though the game is fairly simplistic its still Predator with all the movie quotes and sfx that come with. I will wait 5 more years if I have to but he is really digging himself a grave in terms of future pins.

#870 4 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

I think Kevin is really lucky in that the Predator theme is the only thing keeping him going here, I would have been out long ago but I just can't take the risk losing out on a Predator Pin

This is the point I was trying to make above -- license a killer theme and limit your production run, and people will put down serious deposit money and put up with a hell of a lot for fear of being unable to get one after they're released.

#871 4 years ago

I wish Stern did somethings like this with full music from the movies etc..

#872 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

This is the point I was trying to make above -- license a killer theme and limit your production run, and people will put down serious deposit money and put up with a hell of a lot for fear of being unable to get one after they're released.

TBL.....

#873 4 years ago

TBL is not intended to be a limited production run.

#874 4 years ago

for a minute there i was hoping to see a video of a delivered machine or anything about the game, PICTURES of something.... nothing new.

man, i can't imagine how #200 - 250 feels right now... waiting for 2 more years.

#875 4 years ago

Just thought I would mention that I have been in contact with Kevin recently via email. All appears good to me, but I urge buyers to make contact with him for yourselves if in any doubt due to the speculation in this thread. (Kevin@SkitBpinball.com)

#876 4 years ago
Quoted from Russo121:

Just thought I would mention that I have been in contact with Kevin recently via email. All appears good to me, but I urge buyers to make contact with him for yourselves if in any doubt due to the speculation in this thread.

Or just wait for the next bi-weekly email.

#877 4 years ago
Quoted from Russo121:

Just thought I would mention that I have been in contact with Kevin recently via email. All appears good to me, but I urge buyers to make contact with him for yourselves if in any doubt due to the speculation in this thread. (Kevin@SkitBpinball.com)

Best thing he can do to show things are good is start pushing machines out.

#878 4 years ago

Could you believe we're most way through February 2015 without any TH or MMR or Predator pins (Nemo either) being delivered and no Jpop games are even at prototype / video stage yet?

#879 4 years ago

gone dead train,

-1
#880 4 years ago

Another thing anyone in on this needs to really think about with the lack of communication.
Lets look at the bigger picture here.
Lets fast forward to when you do receive your game and the I/O board has an issue or there is damage upon delivery.
I guess you can just cross your fingers and hope you'll get support from them down the road as a buyer.

I've read enough so far or lack there of to make me a an avid pinball collector and BUYER to stay clear.
Sorry guys ya blew it.

#881 4 years ago

LOL.

#882 4 years ago
Quoted from hassellcastle:

Another thing anyone in on this needs to really think about with the lack of communication.
Lets look at the bigger picture here.
Lets fast forward to when you do receive your game and the I/O board has an issue or there is damage upon delivery.
I guess you can just cross your fingers and hope you'll get support from them down the road as a buyer.
I've read enough so far or lack there of to make me a an avid pinball collector and BUYER to stay clear.
Sorry guys ya blew it.

It's p-roc. As long as they are around(pinballcontrollers), and PC's have USB ports, you should be able to keep the game up.

#883 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

Wherever you are Kevin, and whatever you are doing, I am certain that there is a unimaginable amount of stress and pressure on you. You must know that, which is why you navigate past these forums where such issues become reinforced. You will make it... in the end you will be OK... its just a long tough road.

Good luck to all involved.

Screw that...Kevin, wherever you are...and whatever you're doing get your S#*% together & in gear and show those pinsider's who paid you some damn respect. Enough of the handholding pity party bs. Grow a pair people. The silence is deafening & outright disrespectful. Do what you need to do to get your money back.

#884 4 years ago
Quoted from Cybergoonie:

Screw that...Kevin, wherever you are...and whatever you're doing get your S#*% together & in gear and show those pinsider's who paid you some damn respect. Enough of the handholding pity party bs. Grow a pair people. The silence is deafening & outright disrespectful. Do what you need to do to get your money back.

I was trying to leave room for some optimism and positivity.

#885 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

I was trying to leave room for some optimism and positivity.

LOL. I know and I admire you for remaining positive. I for one will continue to hiss and snarl until morale improves.

#886 4 years ago

the-beatings-will-continue-until-morale-improves.jpg

#887 4 years ago

OK, I get the frustration but how many of the more vocal posters actually are still in the fully paid up camp?

Would I like more information about my machine? Of course, but it's pretty clear we're not going to get it.

Is there a danger of losing my money? At this stage I'm treating it as long gone and hoping that I'm going to be proved wrong. I've always known that this was a risk and I suspect that most of the people who actually paid weighed up this risk at the time. $5k for a brand new machine is pretty much a bargain in the UK. The most basic Pro Stern is $2500 more than that (obviously I can actually buy the Stern which is a big difference). I guess buying a new pin is always going to carry some risk. Look at the poor people who got screwed over by Bumper.

At this stage the idea of 250 people getting a refund is never going to happen. One or two people might get their money back but if a large chunk of people start ranting and raving the it'll become like a run on the bank.

I take some comfort in knowing that there is ONE fully built and working pin. Of course I'd like to have more information but one is still one more than Wayne etc managed on MM. Similarly knowing Kevin is still on the radar is also good.

Better photos would take a lot of the worry away and this is an area I think Kevin could easily improve on and silence a lot of his critics. On the other hand part of me would love to see him post a picture of stacks of cash and a beach just to wind people up

#888 4 years ago
Quoted from johngravenews:

OK, I get the frustration but how many of the more vocal posters actually are still in the fully paid up camp?

This!

Quoted from johngravenews:

I've always known that this was a risk and I suspect that most of the people who actually paid weighed up this risk at the time.

Same.

Quoted from johngravenews:

The most basic Pro Stern is $2500 more than that

Well, don't forget you will have to pay VAT and transport on Predator as well. I doubt the final difference will be that large!

#889 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

To make game #2 a sold out hit, Kevin would need to employ the exact same level of hype, interest, enthusiasm and excitement that he did for Predator: which is now impossible.

There are things I would agree with in this post, others I would not. Hard to give a thumb up and down at the same time.

Just to comment on potential game #2. Delivering game #1 will help and a lot a people will forgive Skit-B shortcomings when Predator hits home. I will.

But communications and delays are not the only problems they will be facing with game #2. Theme and artwork are. I tend to agree with this:

Quoted from fosaisu:

But if they had the Aliens license and were doing a limited run (say 200 machines) I bet they could still generate some solid pre-order business because people would be concerned about the scarcity of a "must have" theme.

I would not conclude Skit-B will or will not be able to release a second game even if hardly any of us would put a deposit on EoD right now. Their business model might have to change. Showing a potential investor you are capable of producing a game may help raising money.

#890 4 years ago

Yeah, the VAT and transport costs will bump up the price but at this stage I only have to pay them if I actually get the machine. In that scenario I'll gladly pay it with a big smile on my face (Never ever thought I'd be happy about stomping up another grand but that would be like getting a birthday present)

#891 4 years ago
Quoted from Jared:

From across threads and products and manufactures in the pinball community it becomes clear that the ones best regarded are the ones with excellent communication skills. Guys who *always* respond to emails, who respond to PM's, who not only participate in threads but create them... those are the people who gain the trust... get the customers... grow their business.

Quoted from spfxted:

How many of those do we have?

For starters, in no particular order, and literally off the top of my head:

Pinball Life
Spooky
Comet Pinball
MezelMODS
HOOKED
Aurich
Multimorphic
FAST Pinball
Cointaker
PinballRefinery
SpeakerLightKits

I've dealt with all of these companies/individuals and all have responded to emails/PM's/forum posts and continue to receive my (and others') business. I'm sure there are more and I apologise for forgetting them, but these are great examples of the companies Jared alluded to.

#892 4 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

For starters, in no particular order

I meant Pinball machine manufacturers ...

#893 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I ment Pinball machine manufacturers ...

You meant "meant"

#895 4 years ago

Yawn

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#897 4 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

For starters, in no particular order, and literally off the top of my head:
FAST Pinball

have to disagree with FAST, as I sent them a PM and email months back, and was ignored. The others (that I've dealt with) have been great, like you said, though!

#898 4 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

have to disagree with FAST, as I sent them a PM and email months back, and was ignored. The others (that I've dealt with) have been great, like you said, though!

That's fair, but differs from my (admittedly small) experiences just for the record.

#899 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I meant Pinball machine manufacturers ...

Jared didn't, he made that clear, and yet you still countered his point with a quip that suggested he was mistaken about good customer service being a boon to pinball companies (particularly on pinside) of any kind.

#900 4 years ago

Whatever...all I'm trying to say is that there are plenty pinball machine makers that "don't answer every email"....

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