(Topic ID: 203700)

deeproot Pinball thread

By pin2d

4 years ago


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#25001 3 months ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

jamesmc thanks for sharing your story and perspective. Cynical but legit question when comparing your and Robert's situations: did you have very expensive lawyers representing you?

I didn't have a "super attorney". My brother was a known attorney in my district. But not a federal criminal attorney. The first attorney he hired was a really good known attorney. He warned me day one that his partner had a state cocaine case of 2,000 lbs. As soon as his client flipped, he had to recuse himself as my co defendent was being charged with the whole 12,000 lb load that came in. This particular buddy was head of shipping and receiving. He eventually plead to 23 years.

My attorney in the second case was Ted Simon. Look up Ted Simon NACDL. We thought he was a pretty good attorney, as he was only needed for the Arraignment. I would have got more time with less pot in this case. Because I would have been the leader, organizer or manager in this case. Keep reading until you get to, "successful resolution for the lead defendant in a multi million dollar international federal drug smuggling case involving in excess of a thousand kilos of marijuana". That's me.

We agreed to a rule 20 and transferred case back to original indictment which was the successful resolution. Funny thing is, Ted Simon had nothing to do with it. He was only hired to give impression that I was continuing to fight.

I sought Michael Stepanion's advice from NORML. I was introduced by a friend who won a supreme court case with Michael. He advised me that the attorney I had was during a great job. He honestly thought like others that bringing in an out of town big name attorney doesn't help when my attorney had been working with the guy for close to 10 years or so. Ted Simon was big name, but local.

Super attorney equals Gerry Spence. Never lost a case.

Super cool attorney- Michael Stepanion was Hunter S Thompson's attorney. He was depicted in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as the crazy Somaon attorney. He's Armenian I believe. I had a great time meeting him. He had some great stories, and thought our stories were pretty damn funny too.

#25002 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Many people mentioned that just because he's not actively stealing from us - YET - it doesn't mean he's not stealing money. The cultists didn't care. And then when he DID ask for money? Hey they didn't care either.

The vanishingly small number of preorder deposits deeproot received doesn't match this "many people supported him" narrative.

#25003 3 months ago
Quoted from stevevt:

The vanishingly small number of preorder deposits deeproot received doesn't match this "many people supported him" narrative.

Just the cultists. Don't believe I said "many."

The hardcores who never lost faith. The ones who 3 years in were still insisting it couldn't be a scam because "he hasn't asked for our money."

Have we decided what that number was? About 100?

#25004 3 months ago
Quoted from jamesmc:

Super cool attorney- Michael Stepanion was Hunter S Thompson's attorney. He was depicted in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas as the crazy Somaon attorney. He's Armenian I believe. I had a great time meeting him. He had some great stories, and thought our stories were pretty damn funny too.

I think you may be confusing him with Oscar Zeta Acosta.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Zeta_Acosta

#25005 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Just the cultists.
The hardcores who never lost faith.
Have we decided what that number was? About 100?

120 (?)
minus the 30 (?) rumored RM preorders
minus the X Zidware buyers who were being made whole

So, around 50 units preordered with maybe 30 buyers total?

I'm spitballing here, and am happy to revise my numbers.

#25006 3 months ago
Quoted from bwill:

I think you may be confusing him with Oscar Zeta Acosta.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Zeta_Acosta

I'm repeating what Michael told me. I had to travel to San Francisco to see him. He and his law partner were on retainer forever with Hunter. I would assume the character is a blend of a few people.

#25007 3 months ago
Quoted from stevevt:

120 (?)
minus the 30 (?) rumored RM preorders
minus the X Zidware buyers who were being made whole
So, around 50 units preordered with maybe 30 buyers total?
I'm spitballing here, and am happy to revise my numbers.
//<![CDATA[
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//]]>

Probably not far off. There are 51 votes in the poll in the Pre-Order thread….and Pinside is usually just a fraction of the real pinball market, but DR is something that only people really clued into the hobby would even know about.

#25008 3 months ago

So let me get this straight he blew 50-60 million dollars trying to make a pin that he had 50 or so preorders for? This can't be real, LOL

#25009 3 months ago

It’s still confusing why they barely advertised RAZA when it was up for sale. It’s almost as if they didn’t want non-pinheads to hear about it…

they only really advertised it to their Facebook page with less than a 1,000 people

So many red flags

35
#25010 3 months ago

Thanks for the props, but I need no special post numbers. I'm just a humble googler trying to find findable stuff to let others know about it.

And since I've been asked privately many times why I have it out for Robert and John, I'll share that here too:

I have no personal connection to anything zidware or deeproot. I just don't like 1) self-promoting loudmouths who talk shit about everyone else, 2) and particularly those who utterly (and comically) fail to back it up.

With John, I also didn't like how he took advantage of other people. And now with Robert, apply that 10x.

#25011 3 months ago

I just like to stir the pot and put off studying for my PE exam

#25012 3 months ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

studying for my PE exam

67B952DB-9978-499C-9EE0-D6171C38049A (resized).jpeg
#25013 3 months ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I just like to stir the pot and put off studying for my PE exam

Good luck! I did the EIT and then went into a field without a PE exam, so I never got to take it.

#25014 3 months ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Good luck! I did the EIT and then went into a field without a PE exam, so I never got to take it.

Oh yeah, just brushing up on ten year old college notes. Exciting times. The FE was easy but I haven’t had to study in a while.

My wife in med school scoffs at it being an open book exam. Just means they can make it harder! I have a cart full of reference books so I can look up a random number here and there (heaven forbid they give you the table with the info you need on the exam itself)

#25015 3 months ago

Anyone who has worked in high tech knows exactly how this went.

Engineers: we can do a quarter of what you asked for in 9 months
Exec: great, look forward to 110% of the functionality in 3 months, plus I already sold it; thanks for your passion, you can expense pizza for weekend evenings

We all know whose fault it is when the project fails.

#25016 3 months ago
Quoted from dr_nybble:

Anyone who has worked in high tech knows exactly how this went.
Engineers: we can do a quarter of what you asked for in 9 months
Exec: great, look forward to 110% of the functionality in 3 months, plus I already sold it; thanks for your passion, you can expense pizza for weekend evenings

Pretty much the exact conversation I've had with nearly every sales guy that overpromised a new product I was working on. That's why engineering should always dictate timelines.

#25017 3 months ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

I have no passional connection to anything zidware or deeproot. I just don't like 1) self-promoting loudmouths who talk shit about everyone else, 2) and particularly those who utterly (and comically) fail to back it up.

A man after my own heart

#25018 3 months ago

The $6m offering for pinball was the same time he was trying to buy Spooky and PBL. And it raised zero. So even if we had said yes there wouldn't have been any money.

That will also hurt him - it's proof investors wouldn't put money into that venture when given knowledge and a choice. In order to spend money in that way he had to lie.

#25019 3 months ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Pretty much the exact conversation I've had with nearly every sales guy that overpromised a new product I was working on. That's why engineering should always dictate timelines.

I'm a big fan of sales guys coming in with a drawing of a new product idea on a napkin which is physically impossible to make due to the laws of physics. I told the last one to finish the drawing before you start drinking next time.

#25020 3 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

I'm a big fan of sales guys coming in with a drawing of a new product idea on a napkin which is physically impossible to make due to the laws of physics. I told the last one to finish the drawing before you start drinking next time.

napkin (resized).jpg
#25021 3 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

I'm a big fan of sales guys coming in with a drawing of a new product idea on a napkin which is physically impossible to make due to the laws of physics. I told the last one to finish the drawing before you start drinking next time.

That's exactly how Theranos started. College dropout draws a Star Trek device on a napkin and convinces people it's doable. Surrounds herself with a board of directors made of old WASP men to give it legitimacy.

#25022 3 months ago
Quoted from pookycade:

Scam of a pinball company -hold on a minute, I think they were just grossly incompetent.

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Robert 100% believed he could do this and did not create this entire venture as a scam. He truly thought he could turn a profit.

11
#25023 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Robert 100% believed he could do this and did not create this entire venture as a scam. He truly thought he could turn a profit.

Would you at least concede he knew all along he was stealing? Using funds money to pay for his lavish lifestyle and all these dumb spinoffs like Deep Root Pinball and Deep Root Sports Entertainment?

Or do you think he was dumb enough to really think this was on the level, or at least that he was so smart all of these projects would succeed and he could pay back the fund he was raiding?

"He had good intentions" seems to be gaining a little steam around here but it's pretty clear that he became a crook the second he took money from the 575 to pay to make all of our dreams come true and help buy Barry O a new tub of black greasepaint. And that was almost five years ago now.

He may have “intended” to produce pinball machines and make money with it, but it was all built on a foundation of stolen money from day one. This already put this project on shaky footing and deep in the hole before the first unemployed Williams Designer was wooed.

#25024 3 months ago
Quoted from RobT:

I personally think that RM was using pinball as just another personal hobby that he could funnel funds to from the 575 account, like he did for his other personal stuff. I think he really wanted to make pinball machines, and wanted to show the other guys "how it should be done", all as part of his ridiculous ego.

Here's my latest wonder...

People say he's treating this like a scam from the beginning. If you do that, and this is all just a front for some other money scheme... Why do you put your personal name and legacy all over it? It makes no sense if you know it's a timebomb that you just have to time the bailout. I legitimately think RM thought this was gonna be a winner and the money trail would always be kept a secret his inner circle as he makes sure the investors get paid.

I think he may have had more in common with Skit-B... where they think THEY have found this loophole no one else has... and it's all legit in their heads. Skit-B with the stupid idea of not enough games = no license required, and RM with funding through his own pseudo angel fund. But once the wheels are in motion, the lies keep building and they aren't willing step back and stop... so it keeps getting bigger and bigger. Then they get sucked into their own vortex and the fraud gets thicker.

I do think RM thought he had figured out a formula to fund his own initiatives with other people's money and make it work. I just can't convince myself if he ever thought it was legitimate or if he just thought it was the kind of accounting scheme where he'd never get caught. And once it got too big, he only tried to salvage the wreck with even more lies and scheming.

Remember... most tax frauds think they were legit too

I'm more of the camp he thought he was gonna built this huge asset, with this grey-area money, be able to pay his investors back easily, and put himself on the cover of some big shot articles for building some startup and cashing out big. Everything about it is ego... all the way through the stone cold denial that he had no business what-so-ever leading a design and manufacturing company.

There is no way this is a situation where someone 'slips off into the night with all the money'. This is delusion without any checks and balances.

Shockingly no one has named an accountant in all this yet... I gotta think there is someone else besides just RM here...

#25025 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Robert 100% believed he could do this and did not create this entire venture as a scam. He truly thought he could turn a profit.

Hows it possible to be dumber than I originally thought?

#25026 3 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Would you at least concede he knew all along he was stealing?

The pinball venture was true...and incompetent. There are two types of people in this world...makers...and non-makers. 80% of people are non-makers. To be honest, I myself am a maker.
Makers have respect for process, time, budgets, feasibility, tools, and compromises. Robert is not a maker. Jon...from what I have heard from Mr Heck, is not a maker. The studio management at Deeproot Studios...were not makers. Production companies do not need to be filled with makers. But they do need at least one in a key position.

I think Robert plays fast and loose. I imagine he has taken steps to ensure plausible deniability at every turn. This is what lawyers are good at, no? Yes, I imagine he knew.

#25027 3 months ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Hows it possible to be dumber than I originally thought?

I assume that is not directed at me.

#25028 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

There are two types of people in this world...makers...and non-makers. 80% of people are non-makers.
Makers have respect for process, time, budgets, feasibility, tools, and compromises. Robert is not a maker. Jon...from what I have heard from Mr Heck, is not a maker. The studio management at Deeproot Studios...were not makers.

While I don't know what it's like to not be a maker, I do know that I'm not an expert on everything and would never jump in with both feet in any business venture I didn't do my homework on. Even if I had a bunch of money saved up, I wouldn't for example buy a motel and exclaim "Oh how hard could it be, you just clean some rooms and take people's money in the morning right?"

Again, sorry you left a good job to work for Robert. You never did say if you ended up at another job did you?

12
#25029 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

I assume that is not directed at me.

You have that right! He's an fing litigious lawyer, he knew exactly what he was doing when he took the IP and he knew exactly what he was doing when he lied to "sophisticated" investors on where their money was going. If that's not enough 100% he knew when he was taking money from the 575 fund and transferring it over to Deeproot pinball LLC. But if that's not enough I'm sure buying personal shit worth almost 2 million with investor money would be a cherry on top? Done !

12
#25030 3 months ago

If Robert believed the pinball would make a profit, but knew he was spending the money fraudulently, then his plan must have been to put the money back in the til before it came due.

5% yearly or 7% after 5 years. The former he probably paid out Ponzi-style. The latter he was hoping pinball profits would cover (remember he was gonna launch 10 games in 2019)

When the sales opened and bombed he knew it was over.

#25031 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Here's my latest wonder...
People say he's treating this like a scam from the beginning. If you do that, and this is all just a front for some other money scheme... Why do you put your personal name and legacy all over it? It makes no sense if you know it's a timebomb that you just have to time the bailout. I legitimately think RM thought this was gonna be a winner and the money trail would always be kept a secret his inner circle as he makes sure the investors get paid.
I think he may have had more in common with Skit-B... where they think THEY have found this loophole no one else has... and it's all legit in their heads. Skit-B with the stupid idea of not enough games = no license required, and RM with funding through his own pseudo angel fund. But once the wheels are in motion, the lies keep building and they aren't willing step back and stop... so it keeps getting bigger and bigger. Then they get sucked into their own vortex and the fraud gets thicker.
I do think RM thought he had figured out a formula to fund his own initiatives with other people's money and make it work. I just can't convince myself if he ever thought it was legitimate or if he just thought it was the kind of accounting scheme where he'd never get caught. And once it got too big, he only tried to salvage the wreck with even more lies and scheming.
Remember... most tax frauds think they were legit too
I'm more of the camp he thought he was gonna built this huge asset, with this grey-area money, be able to pay his investors back easily, and put himself on the cover of some big shot articles for building some startup and cashing out big. Everything about it is ego... all the way through the stone cold denial that he had no business what-so-ever leading a design and manufacturing company.
There is no way this is a situation where someone 'slips off into the night with all the money'. This is delusion without any checks and balances.
Shockingly no one has named an accountant in all this yet... I gotta think there is someone else besides just RM here...

A thought for the day, Skit-B produced more functional machines than deeproot.

45
#25032 3 months ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Again, sorry you left a good job to work for Robert. You never did say if you ended up at another job did you?

I realize that in this thread...I come across as some kind of scorned ex-employee that is shaking my fist at Deeproot. That couldn't be further from the truth. I was just trying to originally shed light on the wide gap between the financial confidence being communicated by ignorant peeps on this site and the furlough status of employees. If you listen to Kaneda's Robert interview (477 I think) Robert talks about my posting on the boards and about how i broke certain "covenants" with Deeproot. (Weird word choice Robert. The legal term is "agreements". )

Since I left Deeproot, I started my own successful animation studio here in Utah. (www.studiozubio.com). I am an animation industry Veteran. 8 Years at Sony Pictures, 9 Years at Dreamworks animation, 3 years at Google... 3 months at Deeproot.

We have had a meteoric first 2 years and are registered content-creator vendors for some big players in both the film and tech industry. My network is solid, and I have many contacts in the industry which have helped me attain lucrative work.

Other folks from Deeproot Studios were treated way more unfairly than I ever was, and were effected much worse by this company's gross mismanagement. Which is the primary reason I felt the need to straighten out some facts.

#25033 3 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

If Robert believed the pinball would make a profit, but knew he was spending the money fraudulently, then his plan must have been to put the money back in the til before it came due...

Pinball is hard. Fraud is easy, until you get caught.

11
#25034 3 months ago

The Greatest Man In The World!

#25035 3 months ago

Prison is easy

#25036 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

I realize that in this thread...I come across as some kind of scorned ex-employee that is shaking my fist at Deeproot. That couldn't be further from the truth. I was just trying to originally shed light on the wide gap between the perception of Deeproot's financial stability in early 2020 with the actual situation. If you listen to Kaneda's Robert interview (477 I think) Robert talks about my posting on the boards and about how i broke certain "covenants" with Deeproot. (Weird word choice Robert. The legal term is "agreements". )
Since I left Deeproot, I started my own successful animation studio here in Utah. (www.studiozubio.com). I am an animation industry Veteran. 8 Years at Sony Pictures, 9 Years at Dreamworks animation, 3 years at Google... 3 months at Deeproot.
We have had a meteoric first 2 years and are registered content-creator vendors for some big players in both the film and tech industry. My network is solid, and I have many contacts in the industry which have helped me attain lucrative work.
Other folks from Deeproot Studios were treated way more unfairly than I ever was, and were effected much worse by this company's gross mismanagement. Which is the primary reason I felt the need to straighten out some facts.

Can I ask a dumb and probably irrelevant question? Why were you shown on the organization (I use this term begrudgingly) chart as Steve "Rigging?" Did they not have the decency to put your actual name on there, instead representing you as [First Name] [Technical Animation Role]?

Edit: ah, nevermind-- I thought you were the only one shown in that way. Looks like everbody was, I just couldn't see through the red X's. Disregard!

#25037 3 months ago
Quoted from JStoltz:

Can I ask a dumb and probably irrelevant question? Why were you shown on the organization (I use this term begrudgingly) chart as Steve "Rigging?" Did they not have the decency to put your actual name on there, instead representing you as [First Name] [Technical Animation Role]?

I was surprised to see that image arise. I am not going to speak to the specifics of the general incompetence at the studio. But I think this little chart was more of an ego stroke than it was supposed to be helpful to anyone. I can unpack a lot from this one image, but I won't.

#25038 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

The Greatest Man In The World!

One of the best damn clips to come out that country, which has provided countless amazing clips! We screamed "NO" back when we watched the show. He was so good. Little did we know what was coming with his son. Damn these electric sex pants.

#25039 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

Robert gave/relocated all of Deeproot Studios (utah-based) expensive vfx-capable computer systems and servers to FutureHouse Studios. (The company that is falsely claiming to have created the Food Truck and Merlin's Arcade animations. (History revisionists.)) Knowing how fast and loose Robert plays with his business and toys...i doubt he did this with the appropriate paperwork or protocols. I wonder if this equipment will be located by the feds and liquidated to pay back the victim's stolen money.

Here's a better question than my previous one-- What was the rationalization for 'giving' this equipment away to FutureHouse? Does Robert have a stake in that company? The video assets created by you guys seem to be the only value that deeproot was able to generate while operating, so I have to assume he benefitted in some way by giving these away.. or did he sell them?

#25040 3 months ago
Quoted from JStoltz:

Here's a better question than my previous one-- What was the rationalization for 'giving' this equipment away to FutureHouse? Does Robert have a stake in that company? The video assets created by you guys seem to be the only value that deeproot was able to generate while operating, so I have to assume he benefitted in some way by giving these away.. or did he sell them?

All I chose to say is: For being a lawyer...Robert sucks at drafting up employment agreements that protect his actual interests. And yes this is an answer to your question.

#25041 3 months ago
Quoted from Scandell:

All I chose to say is: For being a lawyer...Robert sucks at drafting up employment agreements that protect his actual interests.

I've had a similar thought when those Zidware agreements were made, with baked in deadlines and penalties that he would be responsible for. Fine, everyone in the end was told to pound sand, but I'm not surprised to learn it showed up in other ways in other agreements.

#25042 3 months ago

Animations laid out at 4 : 1 ratio - who could use these besides CGC?

In order for something to have value you must be able to sell it.

#25043 3 months ago
Quoted from adol75:

Prison is easy

No, getting sent to prison is easy... being a prison bitch is hard... well, actually its your cell mate who's HARD, your just the soft white tushy he's been lookin' for.

#25044 3 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Animations laid out at 4 : 1 ratio - who could use these besides CGC?
In order for something to have value you must be able to sell it.

Isn't it fair to say FutureHouse Studio is benefitting from using them as portfolio pieces, though? Felt like general consensus was the Food Truck animations were actually pretty cool (and I thought the character design for Merlin's arcade was pretty clever tbh), and now they're a feather in the cap of another company rather than a potentially positive footnote on the dumpster fire that is deeproot.

Also, wouldn't there be assets behind those 4 : 1 renderings?

#25045 3 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Animations laid out at 4 : 1 ratio - who could use these besides CGC?
In order for something to have value you must be able to sell it.

Free to play advertisers targeting niche smart phone dimensions

F9021717-CD92-4F47-8546-86BFFDA92D37 (resized).jpeg

37
#25046 3 months ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Looks to be more of a factory minus any production line for Deeproot Pinball. It would be great if pictures are shown over the years of the factory. Looks like Robert can use a bunch of money that was spent over the years as part of a out towards failure. Even quad or octo manufacturing might get people away from line manufacturing. Same with the animation studio since most pinball games have displays for everything. Also throw in the few refunds & trying to do some scheme towards Zidware customers.
As for JPOP maybe he was smart & took a vacation. Funny how so much focus is on him, & no one seems to know where he is. It will upset the mob when he lands on his feet somewhere doing more pinball work.
But since JPOP took peoples money with Zidware, he must be the #1 reason Deeproot Pinball FAILED. History likes to repeat itself. Lots of info posted for people to decide if they want to roll the dice on a deposit or more on a pinball machine not in their possession. I rolled the dice twice with Jack, could lost everything (second game I almost did). Had my brand new WOZ out of the box crap out at the show. They got a part from the game next to it at the show so the distributors pin was just a display (off).
Finally over all the years going to shows, operating & servicing, producing playfields & backglass, other parts & pioneering uv inkjet playfield production. I applaud all those working in the pinball biz. I truely hope all employees find employment elsewhere quickly.
Finally lucky for me I could not go to Pinball Expo this year & do a seminar on Deeproot Pinball (my thoughts) on how to try to survive & actually make pinball games. Also I have left the Raza thread after the SEC came out. Maybe the constant gloaters should try & refrain themselves.

Screen Shot 2021-08-30 at 3.13.09 PM (resized).png

#25047 3 months ago
Quoted from jellikit:

A thought for the day, Skit-B produced more functional machines than deeproot.

How so? DR has at least those two prototypes. I thought Skit-B only has 1-2 predaturds? One of which was built up after the fact from parts?

#25048 3 months ago

I think this was a scam from the start. I will define that as he had no idea what he was doing and just scammed people by making them think he did. I assume he could understand basic mathematics. There is no way this ever added up. So he was just playing the role and living out his little fantasy on other peoples dime until it ran out. His goal was to built a couple of prototypes and have everyone talk about him.

18
#25049 3 months ago

Gang, this thread is doing just fine without the gross (and ridiculous) prison rape fantasies.

I mean it already has so much going for it without pretending that the 150 pound stockbroker in the condo next to him who lied about his taxes is going to make Mueller his "prison boyfriend" at club fed.

Enough already you sickos!

27
#25050 3 months ago

Looks like This Week In Pinball is another casualty of the whole Deeproot mess. Blackmail? Threats? Not cool.

https://www.thisweekinpinball.com/this-week-in-pinball-hiatus/?fbclid=IwAR1pEwaH2RBO-5ODw9YDdiXUi6q9O9TxdhxNIOVNuSm3NjG1NMWgaxv3Uy4

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