(Topic ID: 108377)

The Official Pinside Kevin Kulek Skit-B Predator Discussion


By Xerico

4 years ago



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Topic index (key posts)

86 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #12066 What is PACER and where are you getting the court documents? Posted by c508 (2 years ago)

Post #12502 Links to where Kevin gives "his side of the story". Posted by BillySastard (2 years ago)

Post #12515 Updated court filings. Potential cash coming into bankruptcy estate. Posted by Wolfmarsh (2 years ago)

Post #12528 Good summation of 2 year look back and possible fraudulent transfers. Posted by flynnibus (2 years ago)

Post #12580 More legal pleadings. Posted by Wolfmarsh (2 years ago)

Post #12593 Facts & allegations document for VirtuaPin Posted by c508 (2 years ago)

Post #12801 Photos of Experts of Dangerous Posted by fastpinball (2 years ago)

Post #12872 Enaud's account of contacting fox regarding skit-b Posted by Enaud (2 years ago)

Post #13034 Description of an adversary proceeding (or AP) Posted by jasonp (2 years ago)

Post #13477 Discharge of debt denied by order Posted by Compy (2 years ago)

Post #13483 Stipulations for waiving chapter 7 discharge Posted by Compy (2 years ago)

Post #13528 Audio recording from Jan 27 court hearing regarding bankruptcy filing Posted by Wolfmarsh (2 years ago)

Post #13729 Summary of legal bankruptcy terminology Posted by Razorbak86 (2 years ago)


Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#200 4 years ago

VirtuaPin posted a photo on their Facebook page of Predator cabinets which I had been asked not to share before. Check it out! Behind them are the blue wrapped part palettes that arrived during my visit, as well.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 week later
#302 4 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

Love the shirt.

Looks like the same stylish line that was worn by Matt Taylor when he landed on the comet.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

germany_comet_landing_shirt.jpg
18
#420 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

And I find it completely silly that you think it is silly for any pinhead to contact Fox about this issue.
An issue that has taken up 90% of all Predator discussion over the last couple of months.
I find it very strange that you would feel this way. You are obviously letting your personal feelings about Jared cloud your judgment on this issue.
There is nothing at all strange, odd, or silly about someone wanting to get a straight answer from Fox.

If I were Fox I wouldn't comment on the business arrangements I had with individuals who were not a party the agreement. That is just bad business. If someone contacted FAST to ask how much hardware a company ordered from us, even if it was an attempt to "clear up rumors" or some other noble effort, I would politely decline to comment.

That aside, the license topic was put to bed in the other horrible Skit-B thread. I am friends with Kevin. I have had the terms of the agreement explained to me. They are in order. So let's drop it.

These threads are not going to weed out any big conspiracy. They are only drama. I do think Kevin should post a "hey guys, things are fine. Busy building pinball!" message. But really, that would probably calm people down for a couple days before someone sits up the pot again.

If you don't like the way things are going, bail out. If you don't like the waiting game of a pre-order, then don't do it again. If you are stoked to support and indie pinball company in their first game, then rock on.

There are lessons learned all over the place here and I hope things improve on the communication front. This is easier for me to not stress communication because a) I don't have $ in on a Predator and b) I talk to Kevin regularly. But I do know the guy is working hard doing the best he can right now.

I am done reading these posts. They are stuck in a loop and generating nothing but ill will.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

Update: I was mislead. At the time of this post, I had no reason not to believe what I was told to be the truth. When I made this post, it seemed to me the problem Kevin had was keeping in touch with his customers. I was wrong.

2 months later
#774 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Does anyone know who's helping out? Kevin can't run a company, work on the next game, and spend X years building games by himself.

Kevin has a local crew of guys assembling Predators. The cabinets are also coming completely assembled from VirtuaPin. The Predator playfield build is relatively simple compared to other games and that is going to enable a pretty efficient assembly.

In regards to game #2, I can't go into too much detail but I want all the Predator owners to know that it won't be causing any Predator delays or distractions. Kevin has a strong team made up of engineers, programmers and animators making sure that the Experts of Dangerous game Kevin designed can stay on its agressive schedule. This ensures he can stay focused on Predator while sticking to the marketing and promotion timeline commitments associated with Experts of Dangerous.

We all know that if Predator crashes and burns, then there won't be the opportunity to do game #2. Many of us not directly involved in Predator are working hard to support Kevin's effort to get that game out. Kevin has learned a lot from the Predator experience and has already been putting that into practice in how things are going with Game #2.

Let the designers be designers!

Aaron
FAST Pinball

Experts of Dangerous playfield at the FAST Lab in a dev cabinet pending final engineering sign-off before game programming begins.

#775 4 years ago

I found a couple other pics from the nerdiest hotel room at the Chicago Expo last year. While most everyone else was partying upstairs with Dutch Pinball we were deep into hardware and software on EoD. The game's art package had not yet been cleared for public display so we had to sneak it in and out. It gave many folks working on the game in ways big and small a first chance to see it privately.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

image.jpg

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#780 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

I hate to take this thread off track, but bringing eod to expo and only letting a few select individuals know about it was a missed opportunity. I would have liked to see it, but didnt find out it was here in an undisclosed location until after expo. Were people invited to see it? If anything it would have showcased some of the FAST electronics put together in a real world application. How is it being programmed? In what environment?

I think you missed the bit about the game not being approved for public display. It was brought to the Expo because many people involved were all in the same location at the same time. Probably the only time we all would be before the game will be released, in fact.

Think of it less as a VIP secret private showing and more of a development team meeting.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#781 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I do not want to hear ANYTHING about #2 until many Predators are in homes, people are happy, and there is a steady stream of them being built and delivered.
Even hinting at time being wasted on #2 is not going to help SkitB or Predator in my honest opinion.
There is only 1 thing that matters at this point and it is not EOD.

Really? I hate to break it to you, but companies don't usually develop product one at a time. I believe you missed the point of my post completely. In the coming months, you WILL hear about game #2 and I was trying to squash the inevitable response characterized by your post here.

Predators shipping is top priority for Skit-B. Making sure that game #2 goes more smoothly than game #1 did, is something a lot of us are focused on.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#784 4 years ago
Quoted from herbertbsharp:

Oh my god they are actually making that?

Nah, it's a big April Fools Day joke!

This game isn't going to appeal to everyone. Just like Wrestlemania, Mustang, Walking Dead, America's Most Haunted, The Big Lebowski, etc won't appeal to everyone, but still appeal to many.

Many folks on Pinside probably don't know Jamie and Adam or Mythbusters, but that's all right. I cannot name any WWF wrestler since Hulk Hogan but I can recognize that Wrestlemania will still appeal to many.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#785 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The only way there won't by an all out revolt and hostility towards #2 is if the BULK of Predators are already delivered before it gets trotted out again.
If there are low double digits of Predators delivered when they bring that second game around, things will get ugly for certain.

There is already hostility towards #2.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#800 4 years ago
Quoted from loren3233:

Isn't this suppose to be a discussion about Predator?
Why are we now talking about EOD, maybe someone should start a new forum if they want to post pictures of game #2.

My first post last night was loaded with references to Predator. I don't think I am the first pinsider to drop in photos, comments or information slightly off the topic of the thread.

It seems like the point of my post is being missed by some. I wanted to share that the efforts for game #2 are being undertaken by a much broader group of people than are committed to delivering Predator. That's all. The fact that Kevin was able to entice new people to work with him and what he wants to do with his games should give Predator owners a little more confidence in what Kevin and Skit-B are doing in the short and long term.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#812 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Now maybe it was all done while Predator things were in holding patterns, and it was an efficient use of time.

This is the truth. When Kevin's artists were wrapped on Predator, they were free to start iterating on EoD. There was a period, about a year ago now, that was loaded with waiting on 3rd parties. Which was about the time the whole EoD stuff started up. Already having worked with Spooky for the Predator playfields, Kevin's artists already knew the requirements for getting a new playfield printed. The only reason EoD was announced when it was was to be able to have Jamie and Adam (though Adam had a conflict late in the planning) be a part of the announcement. In hindsight, knowing the delays Predator had, all agree that postponing that announcement would have been a good idea.

I spent almost a week out at Kevin's shop before Expo last year hooking up hardware for the first time. So really, the project has lumbered along in the background. It will be picking up steam as programming the game has Kevin designed starts happening. All this while he stays focused on Predator. I joke, "you gotta get your work done before you can play!"

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 week later
#913 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!

Oh man! So sorry! I usually reply to messages from email and not the pinside interface. I found your message threaded with a bunch of others with the same "FAST Pinball" subject line. Please accept our apologies.

I am out birthday shopping for my son but I will give you a proper reply when I get to my desk.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 week later
#1321 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

There is only one plausible explanation to all of this. Wes rectally smuggled a cellphone into prison and is using his time there to undermine other projects to make Vonnie D look good.

Funny. I randomly got called by someone wanting to buy one of my pinball related domain names. After chatting for a minute, I discovered it was Wes. We had a nice chat. But it was sorta like talking to a fictional pinball character from a tv show or something.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

2 weeks later
19
#2663 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

The issue/problem that I have with the posts made by Aaron/FAST is that what he said, and the way he said it, was not on the basis of relying on what he was told by Kevin.
I will let others interpret those posts for themselves, but for me, those posts come across as very strong and definitive statements that clearly imply personal knowledge of the facts. That obviously wasn't the case. So for me personally, Aaron takes a bit of a hit in the credibility department as well.
Sorry.

Rob/everyone,

I have been dealing with all of the recent revelations as well. Predator was never my problem. Our interactions were focused around other projects. Whenever I would mention the fuss going on with Predator license I was given a response that sounded fine. When I compared the experience Kevin described to other licensing scenarios I had personally been familiar with, there was reason to assume it was as it was described. In hindsight, I regret commenting at all on something I was not a part of.

As some of you know, I am the guy willing to have the "tough" conversation with friends/colleagues when it's needed. When the Predator problem began to put other projects at risk, I decided to address it head on. No holds barred. I told him no matter what the facts are, as your friend I will help you navigate this mess and we will work things out between us. That I understand panic and self-preservation. That I understand how difficult a situation he has gotten himself into. It was only then that the whole truth came out.

I have read a lot of words that have been used to describe Kevin in this thread. Evil he is not, naive? Oh my yes. I have been working through the details with Kevin, as a friend and advisor. Helping him sort out where to go from here and to truly be prepared to consider all options. I talked to him last night for a while before sending the message he did. I know the avenues he is pursuing to try and tidy things up. If they work out, great. If they don't, he knows what he needs to do. It was hard for him to send that message last night without including those details, as they were not finalized. I encouraged him to share what he did so that he could give the 2 week update he promised.

I am disappointed in the fact that I was mislead. More specifically, that my assumptions were not corrected. Hindsight being what it is, I regret not being more aggressive on the Predator topic with Kevin sooner. Maybe then I could have offered real help in correcting the problems based on the facts and not speaking in defense based on my uncorrected assumptions.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

13
#3421 4 years ago

The personal attacks and inclusion of wives and families are not going to yield anything but drama, pain and greater misery. If your intent is to try and hurt Kevin and his family, well, nobody can stop you. But it is not going to speed anything up at this point.

Kevin called me and we talked about how toxic things have become and where things will go from here. We have talked regularly about all of this over the last couple weeks. You need to know that the steps being taken are not a result of today's surge of threats. Everyone needs to calm down while these remaining details are getting worked out. Resolution is coming, one way or another. While I was mislead on aspects of licensing, just as you were, I am still willing to advise him through these steps and decisions. Kevin has all the data, all the options and all the outcome possibilities clearly laid out and he will be making a rational decision based on that.

In the meantime, let's all take a breather. Get off this thread for a few days. Go spend time with friends and family. Hell, even play some pinball.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#3437 4 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

So now he's telling you the truth? Why is he starting now?

Predator was never anything I was concerned with. When things were growing increasingly tense on the Predator front, I became concerned about their effects on other projects. As I began to press for details, at the time for my own peace of mind, what came to light were what I considered guidelines for acceptable fair use, not what I would consider adequate for a commercial project.

So since then, he has been engaging with parties regarding licensing and manufacturing. All of this to find the best resolution he thinks he is able to offer. I have offered support and advice based on hard numbers and the project details I have been provided. All of this, including the dramatic dark turn things have taken here, are what will be used in the final decisions on where things go from here.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#3442 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Aaron, I know you want to help man, but you should just stay out of it. No one is going to calm anything down but Kevin. The "wait a few more days" thing has been played too many times, people don't have any patience left.

Fair enough. I'll stay out of it.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#3451 4 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

I respect your reply and respect your willingness to stand in here and own what you have. Not easy for sure. Thank you for a level headed response. What you are doing for pinball is exciting. It's a shame a friend put your reputation in harms way.
Having said that, what you said about fair use is telling and alarming. Fair use implies Kevin knew portions of what he was doing wasn't covered in his license and deemed them in the fair use domain. Startling and the closest we have got to the true crux of the issue.

That was just my assessment. That it sounded more like guidance on fair use. I did not mean to imply that Kevin was attempting to leverage fair use. Kevin has already stated things needed to get worked out more formally, so I don't need to get involved here.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

PS: I hope nobody thinks I am condoning the way Kevin has handled any of this. It's been a total shit-fiesta. There were so many mistakes and missteps, not uncommon to many first time entrepreneurs, just very public and with a whole lot of other people's money at stake. I just always try to use any engagement I have in situations like this towards something productive.

#3462 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

You sound like you are back stepping a bit. If all goes well who cares but if it's a bust you showed up here helping paint the picture that it's all good and that will carry some weight.

Anything I say here I have said/would say to Kevin directly. I never intended for my message to be "hey gang! Just calm down and endure the same waiting game you have for years!" I have been brought all up to speed on the state of the Predator project and, with that, think there were a whole lot of mistakes made from a business standpoint.

Why does Kevin call me? I hope it's because he knows that no matter how hard or complicated things are, I am willing to discuss it logically.

I regret not engaging Kevin on the way Predator was going sooner, when more could have been done. We were focused on playing with new hardware for other projects. But at least I got semi-biweekly emails going.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#3483 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Allow me to translate:

Kevin chats with Aaron about how toxic pinside is.

Kevin gives zero 'fudges' about what is happening on pinside, and hasn't changed what he's doing despite the shitstorm

Don't try to contact Kevin, he isn't going to talk to you anyway

Since Kevin's my friend, I'm going to overlook his fraudulent activity and back him up

Kevin hasn't decided whether to tell all you guys the truth or not. He also hasn't decided whether he will give anybody refunds.

Kevin sent me to pinside to tell you he isn't coming whether you like it or not and give you a big middle finger. Hopefully all you customers will go quiet for a few more weeks now.
Thanks Aaron, thought i'd help you out as I am educated in bullshitting 101.

Read the rest of my comments today. Inject whatever meaning you want to. If you are going to do a breakdown for one, ya gotta do them all.

But seriously, while you were working on that elaborate madlib of my comments, I attempted to clarify myself in others posts. If you want me to stop trying to help Kevin work through this towards the best possible outcome, you just tell me. I'll let you decide for everyone involved.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

Aurich... now I know why you said to stay out!

#3491 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Slow learner, are ya?

Hehe. Sure seems like it! Here I thought I could answer tons of emails, PMs, Facebook messages and texts all in one place. Whoops!

Aaron
FAST Pinball

15
#3510 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Challenge accepted, Aaron.

I was worried Kevin was lying about his license and funding wasn't going to come in for my pet project
if that was true

- no doubt a Predator crash and burn would effect any future pinball project Kevin was involved in.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

I found out he had no license quite some time ago

- I found out in the last 2 weeks.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

Kevin had to try to score a license after I called him on it

- it was clear that to release Predator, it needed to be locked down formally.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

Given the licensing and other issues I gave him my opinion on whether it was still possible to complete the project

- we ran through what each scenario would required and how it would likely play out.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

Kevin knows he lost all of his support which may cause him to pull the plug.

- certainly one of the scenarios.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

Kevin had correspondence describing what normal people can do with the predator IP without a license. He did not secure a license.

- Naive. Plain and simple.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

There is no formal agreement with FOX

- we all got that email, right?

Quoted from YKpinballer:

While I am his de facto spokesperson, please don't associate me with his failures, (even though I held back the same information as he did.)

- I spoke out in the past on the licensing stuff based on what I was told way back. I never had any reason to doubt it, so I took it at face value. The error in my ways has already been commented on in this thread. I have only been up in the Predator business over the last couple weeks. It is not my job to come running to pinside and divulge every detail out of context. It's Kevin's project and what he ultimately does is his decision. But you can be assured that since I have become aware of these details I have held him accountable towards taking steps to resolution. As a friend. I am not his boss. I am not the pinball police.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

Hey, this kind of business is all very normal. Kevin is just like all other entrepreneurs that fail. Try not to focus on the "lying" part, just feel bad for him, his business failed!

- as a small business owner for 15 years there are thing you learn. Communication, budgeting, scheduling, customer relations, goal setting, etc. I meant only to say that starting a business in order to make pinball games is a tough way to go about it. Just cause you want to make a pinball game doesn't mean you should run a pinball company. He has had all sorts of challenges with things that someone who has run a business for a while sees as a standard part of running a business.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

I will not relay negative information or anything that compromises SkitB.

- if there is a problem to be addressed I would rather try to work out a solution. Some are content to just talk about problems and how bad they are, that's not me.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

I know everything that is going on with the business now

- probably. But I have been wrong in the past.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

It is beyond saving - it's time for for some big boy decisions, I can say that much.

All right, well played! Responses above.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

11
#3854 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

That denial crap isn't going to fly anymore. Aaron said straight up that Kevin showed him the "license" he was talking about, and it was not in any way shape or form a license deal for manufacturing pinball machines. It was just information on how any person with no signed deal could use the likeness of predator.
If you are saying Aaron was flat out lying, then say that. Don't say "nobody knows," because that's bull plain and simple.

I am not participating in this "discussion" anymore because YKPinballer is going to continue to twist my words to mean what he wants them to and sound the way he wants them to. Yesterday was exhausting. I did not say anywhere that Kevin showed me the license. YKPinballer flips between me "bullshitting" and sharing "fact," but he gets to decide when what I say is what.

I am NOT directly involved in Predator. I offered to help him sort things out when it began looking like things were getting out of control. So I am taking Aurich's advice for real this time and staying out of this "discussion." Nothing meaningful will be accomplished here.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

-19
#4212 4 years ago

I’ve spoken with Kevin, and told him that as much as I wish I could help him, there’s nothing I can do, he’s created this situation and he’s the only one who can resolve it. I’ve shared everything I can already with people and the Pinball News article we have been waiting for shares the details of what I couldn't share before. I don’t have any way of getting your money back. At this point I’m severing all my business relationships with Skit-B and hoping that in the end there’s a resolution that at least salvages what’s left of the money. Good luck everyone.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

-24
#4230 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

You're a day late with that one. You're going to have to own up to your part of this, trying to temper people while you knew exactly what was going on.

I knew that he was trying to work out what Martin shared in the article. As Martin said, that needed to be kept under wraps. These last two weeks have been horrible.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

-5
#4236 4 years ago
Quoted from robertmee:

You've talked to him...I'm sure you've had conversations as to how much money is left...now is not the time for silence...why don't you enlighten us?

That is the detail I never got. I knew the owner list was down to under 200 (which Martin said) and that the majority of the owners had paid via PayPal.

I asked for totals to try and help him figure out how to best manage the money but it was "being worked on" but never came to light.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

-2
#4243 4 years ago
Quoted from zucot:

IMHO fast pinball should spill the beans on any financial information he got out of Kevin.
No one is going to hold you accountable for whatever he told you, considering his track record of lying.

I just commented on the financials as I know them. This all just sucks. The last 2 weeks I have been bathed in Predator details and it all just bums me out. When I look back at it all I think "well there were things that seemed odd" but that odd way of operating also led to my hanging out with Jamie from Mythbusters at CAX. So when I started peeling back the Predator layers over the last couple weeks, it was just depressing.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#4685 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Aaron (Fast) is also leading the chear for Jpop just saying.

We had not been able to make any meaningful progress with John.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

66
#4732 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Ok, sorry I have not been following the Jpop thread anymore. Also, while I may have been out of line negatively about you personally, but with how tight you and Kevin are, and you were saying to everyone to calm the f-down when you may have know that Kevin never had a liscense and was under C&D action which in my book is not cool.
No matter how small a number it was, I know it's not going to kill Fox, but it's not cool to steal IP or assist in the attempt to steal IP.

I understand. There are a lot of people who are out a lot of money. I can't take back what I posted in the past, I can only apologize and hope for forgiveness. Kevin mislead me. Back when I made this post:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-pinside-skit-b-predator-discussion/page/9#post-2074466

I thought the problem Kevin had was that he was too busy with what he was working on to keep on communication. I asked him what the deal was with licensing and he told me (trying to quote as best as I can):

"We worked out an agreement with Fox with a guy who was a big pinball fan and really loved what we are doing. He said that if we were a non-profit and kept it to a limited run, we could do it." When I asked about why he couldn't promote Predator he told me "Because it is a limited run and it is sold out, we dont need to draw the extra attention to the project because we cant use the Predator name to promote our business in any online presence or social media." (my god even typing this now it reads like such bullshit).

He told me it was all in order. That's the story I got. I had no reason to not believe it.

Now my post the other day, here:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-official-pinside-skit-b-predator-discussion/page/69#post-2324517

Here I am asking people to be calm was for a different reason. Kevin was working on a deal (now shared by Pinball News) and it was fragile and not official and Kevin couldnt get it worked out in the 2 weeks he asked for. (I had told him that he needed to send something to the owners so that he could at least stick to the 2 week message window.)

Let me fill in some blanks.

By now the whole truth on this Predator stuff was bubbling over. This is on the heels of me asking Kevin, "I know the Predator stuff is not my project, but I hate the feeling of doubt I have about it. People keep telling me the license is bullshit. Can you just show it to me?" He said he could understand why it was important to me and that he would get something for me. I didnt get anything. We talked again a day or two later. I asked about it again. He was going to get me something. I pressed again. This is what he told me:

"When I was looking into it, I discovered what I have isnt all I thought it was."

... "What? So it's a f-ing lie?"

I asked, "how did you think this was going to play out?!?!?! Was this why you were dragging ass on getting those playfield populated and those first 10 games shipped? Does this mean you actually did receive those C&Ds???"

By now I am way upset. I had been lied to by someone who I thought was a friend. I had vouching for him and look like an ass. But above all, the thing that pissed me off most was that if this was all happening, why the hell didnt he try to get help sooner??? These things could have been worked out!

I decide that I can suspend my getting super pissed at Kevin and focus on a solution. Since he talks to me, maybe I can hold him accountable to actually taking some steps towards some better solution.

I begin by telling Kevin "You need to address this right away. This is the kind of thing people go to jail over!"

This seems to get his attention, "I know. I know. This is bad."

I told him that I have no idea what the hell is going on with the Predator project. How many owners are there actually? What has been paid for? What agreements do you have?" I made a drop box and had him getting all his documents together. I got the owners list, the receipts for parts bought, quotes for stuff to be bought.

I asked him if he could reach out to Roger Sharpe. He helped with TBL, he could surely help here. Roger was an old family friend I learned so it seemed like a no brainer. Around this same time talk of working something out with JJP (I cannot confirm this as fact) and Heighway (Martin confirmed this in his article) both come up. It seems to swing back and forth day by day, which one is looking like the best option.

One night we had a long heavy conversation about the options. A) Go with JJP with Roger's help B) Hand the project over to Andrew or C) Cancel the project.

Going into the conversation I didnt say that C was on the table. I had been running numbers based on the bill of materials information I was given and what the spreadsheet said that people had paid and the numbers we so tight. $4750 was BARELY enough to cover building it themselves.

A) Paying JJP to make them seemed like something that would take outside money to make it work, not to mention pay Roger and the licensing cost! He seemed convinced that JJP could get the BOM low enough for it to be possible. I was skeptical.

B) Have Heighway take over the project. This one seemed confusing to me because it didnt seem to tie up any loose ends. It would mean that Predator the game could get made. But I would think that Heighway would want it to run on their hardware and that Kevin couldnt just hand over everyones money to Heighway and expect all the owners to be cool with it. He liked this idea because it meant the game could get made. I said that if that was the case, he should let Heighway take the game over and refund the money. Then let the owners buy the game if they want it.

C) Refund the money. This is the only thing that made sense to me. While I felt this would be the hardest for Kevin to do, it was the one that was most right. Anything else was going to drag on and on and on. There surely was money spent. I had seen invoices paid. So maybe there was room for some sort of partial (70%? 80%?) refund that could be given that would be better than this nasty mess.

Its about this time where I cannot unsee/unhear/unlearn anything I have learned. I talked to the others in our crew and we concluded that we couldnt work with Kevin on any sort of business level. Its just going to be a bad idea. We were going to work so hard to just keep him on track and that was a waste of our time.

So that brings me to the money. Kevin seemed to think that he could actually get someone to "invest" in the game and recoup on future games. I start to explain "thats not really an investment, thats a risky loan for a damaged brand..." and then I stop. Whats the point? I am not going to be able to help him sort out his money challenges. I had gotten to know Doug (Iceman44) through discussion we had around the JPOP projects. He is a pinball loving money guy. I had asked Kevin if it would be all right for me to find someone who could help him sort out money options for Predator. He said ok. I told him that he needed to get me a detailed breakdown of all the money. What was in paypal. What was in other accounts. What was spent on parts he got. What was spent on stuff he was waiting for. All of it. I said if someone was going to help him sort it out or "invest", he needed to do the BARE MINIMUM and get his stuff in order. He was going to get right on it! I asked Doug if he would help and he said he would.

But can you guess if that detailed break down of the money was ever produced??? NOPE.

So I tell Kevin I cant help him. I have thought of everything. I have run numbers over and over. Even ran them with others in the pinball biz to make sure I wasnt missing something. I consulted with others. There was nothing I can do. I hate feeling like that.

The last hope was that this Heighway thing worked out. This is why I asked people to be patient. I know now how horrible of a request that was to all of you. But I knew it was fragile.

---

I was not prepared to deal with the fall out. I was so caught off guard. I have never experienced anything like this weekend before. I didn't handle myself well. I got hung up in semantics with YKPinballer (I am very sorry. I know your intentions were right. I was so worried about getting misquoted that I let that become the issue). I was dealing with feeling like I was failing at trying to see a decent solution brought this Predator nightmare. I was hurt because I was lied to by Kevin. I felt horrible about how this would reflect on all the hard work that everyone contributed to the FAST projects. I was seeing all of this falling apart because Kevin wasnt honest and forthright in dealing with all of this. He was given the opportunity to do something pretty awesome and totally blew it.

I am prepared to be blasted over this post as well. I started typing and this is where it ended up. I wanted everyone to know that I sincerely had the best intentions.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#6230 4 years ago

Hearing refunds are beginning to go through is a bit of sunshine cutting through some really dark days. Let's hope everyone gets made whole ASAP.

When you get those refunds don't "be patient," go right out and buy yourselves some pinball with it. AMH maybe?

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 week later
#6760 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Back when Paypal was free (yep, I was there in the beginning), they told everyone that they were able to provide the service for free because they were investing the residual money that was in everyone's accounts.
It was the first question on their FAQ

I remember getting customer survey calls when they merged with X.com to weigh in on whether "PayPal" or "X Money (or something with X in it)" sounded better.

During that time, Kozmo.com used to visit my office 1... 2... sometimes 3 times a day when we were first starting a company. I miss Kozmo.com!

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#6782 4 years ago
Quoted from guarda:

Same here. I miss getting Ben & Jerry's with just two clicks and a door pull in about 20 mins. and into the wee hours of the night. Didn't even have to look up from my computer. I couldn't have started my first company without Kozmo's support. Where I lived, the only deli closed at 8pm.

Nice! Sometimes I would just order an ice tea. I would have gladly paid a delivery fee if it meant they could stay in business and I could keep programming around the clock!

After Kozmo ended, I was spending so much money at the deli next to our office that I ended up taking a few shifts there in the evenings (super slow time at the deli). That meant I had free food and coffee all the time (employee perk because the wage was so low) and I could still get reception to the office network and VPN on my laptop.

Ahh the good ol' days!

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 week later
#7760 4 years ago

I fully expect to be mistaken for Aaron K. Especially when Pinball Expo used his photo as my photo 2 years in a row in the Pinball Expo handout.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#7869 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

Who's the guy on the far left? I swear I saw him at MGC last weekend.

You probably did see him. The two on the left are just friends/Predator buyers. Nice people.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#7876 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Are you sure about that? Possibly (although as shown, they appear in multiple pictures all together.) They appear to have a personal connection though even with Kevin's wife (on FB).

They don't work for Skit-B, if that is what you mean.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

-2
#7887 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Well, nobody was legally employed by Skit-B obviously because there was never a real corporation created. However, Chris does have the photo below on his public FB page stating "late night of coding with Jimmy and Skit-B". Jimmy being another Skit-B "employee" (good guy). He has several pictures with Kevin (including being on road trips.) So I find that strange. How many bar tabs were paid for by the "company" in payment for coding? This also just happens to be a legitimate opportunity for a boob pic.
Jimmy.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

I never knew Chris to do anything on any of the games. But I have been wrong before. I only knew Chris as a friend and supporter. Jimmy is a good guy.

Rosh is right, that is from Twin Peaks near Pinball Expo.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 year later
#12756 2 years ago
Quoted from sevenrites:

Does Steven Woods, the build manager for Skit-B, aka HOSS-WOODS also have a Predator machine I wonder?
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-predator-info-thread?tq&tu=HOSS-WOODS
Also, for pics of him with other machines, in front of other locations that may or may not be related to Kevin & hiding games, assets & etc. & confirmation he's still on Amanda & Kevin's friends lists, see:
https://www.facebook.com/woodsbouncer?pnref=friends.search

Steve worked for VirtuaPin (at least for a period of time, during one of my visits). Those photos you shared are inside, behind and in front of the VirtuaPin place of operation. SkitB's shop space was across the lot, in the same small business park.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

IMG_8929 (resized).JPG

IMG_8935 (resized).JPG

IMG_8927 (resized).JPG

12
#12801 2 years ago
Quoted from Brickshot:

One more note for pinball history posterity in the event I'm frozen shortly. I testified to this but I'll make it public here too. EOD was (and is) a small handful of parts. FAR from a game. The game was completely bastardized before I got the leftover parts. There are zero boards in the game (despite what I see above in a pic) and there was no computer with any code. Nothing, bare bones. The cabinet has numerous dings and scratches to the artwork. I believe the game was stored outside in a garage over the winter months because all of the inserts on the playfield popped up (under an overlay of the artwork). So it's not even usable if I ever did want to try and finish the game (I didn't realize this until I got it home.) I did get a document containing a VERY detailed set of rules that were planned for the game (Kevin was/is good in this department, IMO). I also got a full set of audio recordings that were done for the game. Apparently Kevin managed to have a full recording session for game callouts with Jamie and Adam of MythBusters at some point. It's interesting to listen to the recordings but it's all raw. I also got zero actual game code. The top of the playfield is missing some of the key planned toys (that ARE out there somewhere). The playfield sits out of the cab today in a pile of other spare parts I have looking like an abandoned building. That's where EOD has ended up.

This is a photo of EoD in the crate just before it was shipped back. The game had borrowed some mechs from Jimmy's X-Files and he was eager to get them back. It was returned with no FAST hardware with it.

IMG_0209 (resized).JPG

When the Predator situation started to spin out of control we decided that it was better to abort the EoD project and focus our efforts elsewhere. Huge bummer. At that point I had already personally met Jamie when out at CAX and we had FAST hardware and MPF software controlling the EoD game in our hotel room at Expo.

IMG_9326 (resized).JPGIMG_9329 (resized).JPG

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#12804 2 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Are those vacuum formed ramps?

Yes, but I don't know who produced them.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#12828 2 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Damn that art is vomit-inducing.

It could have used some refinement, for sure.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

2 months later
#14582 2 years ago

When it wasn't "Mythbusters" and instead "Experts of Dangerous" it was clearly a project with Jamie and Adam and not the Mythbusters brand. To me, it was the writing on the wall for the eventual departure from the show.

When it was clear that Predator was not going to be out before we wanted to take EoD to Texas Pinball, we had to abort.

There will be zero market interest from the other pinball companies in the EoD "brand." Interest in EoD was lukewarm at best. We chose not to pick up the pieces as a result of that impression.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

IMG_0207 (resized).jpg
IMG_8362 (resized).jpg
IMG_8958 (resized).jpg
IMG_8929 (resized).jpg
IMG_9329 (resized).jpg
IMG_9326 (resized).jpg

#14591 2 years ago
Quoted from herbertbsharp:

That is just the worst pinball art ever. Looking at those pics makes me want to hurt myself.

Yeah. In my opinion, it was at best a "mockup." But suddenly its printed on a full cabinet and a real-ish playfield. Issues with light direction, perspective, weight and Jamie and Adam became left handed?

Aaron
FAST Pinball

1 year later
#17964 1 year ago
Quoted from Nibbles:

Keith doesn't post about it anymore, which is smart.

Keith doesn’t post anymore because I (not an attorney) called and told him that his posts in a public forum like this, while they may feel good, do not help his case at all and may do more harm than good.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

#17973 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Keith (an attorney) clearly looks to Pinside and casual friends for free legal advice.

I was really trying hard to stay out of all of this stuff but having worked through lawsuits, mitigation and having a kick ass lawyer myself who keeps my endeavors in order, I couldn’t stand by and not say something.

Keith was fine to chat with. I let him know that I was available to corroborate any details based on my interactions with the parties involved on location at their workspaces, at shows, via phone calls, emails and text messages, should he need it.

That was the only time we spoke.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

7 months later
#18184 9 months ago
Quoted from Toads:

Faded memories now...
Skit-B newsletter #3
27 January 2015
A little off-schedule for this newsletter, but I assure you it was worth the wait!
We had to take a somewhat unexpected trip across the midwest last week to get our next wave of parts from the folks over at Spooky Pinball LLC. Always fun to visit, and we always come back with some pretty cool stuff. In this turn, we got our next batch of playfields all neatly packed into a cool custom box (that I've been informed we have to give back, but still cool, nonetheless).[quoted image]

I believe one of those playfields was EoD.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

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