(Topic ID: 203700)

deeproot Pinball thread

By pin2d

3 years ago


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#25951 23 days ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

I don't think that's true. Pinside says 1,600 Dialed in games were made, also unlicensed. And Black Knight SOR had to do more than that. The more the market moves from operators to collectors, the more viable unlicensed games can be. I'm not saying they're going to outsell licensed games, but don't rewrite history w/ TNA. It was a coup that an indie game got mass produced but it was on the heels of some other unlicensed ideas.

I’ll admit DI sold more. I’d actually forgotten about it because it wasn’t a theme I was interested in (it was unlicensed!). Jury is out on BKSOR as I don’t know that Stern sold more than 650. In 2020 I heard Stern had only made 250 toppers. Maybe they did later runs before running out of parts. Any BKSOR topper talk?

#25952 23 days ago
Quoted from pudealee:

what is the time-frame for the next action on the legal case?

Quoted from fosaisu:

"Dude, Where's My Car?" would probably be more on-point.

rest assured, we are going to be hearing 'and then' for years.

#25953 23 days ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

That's what gets me. Seems like there are far easier ways to scam money than building pinball machines.

It wasn't designed to be a scam. This is how bad things can go when someone with access to money makes bad financial decisions. Nothing more.

#25954 23 days ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

pinball scamming is hard. RM thought pinball scamming would be easy and that he could master the art.

Pinball scamming is not hard, clearly. Some people getting scammed multiple times. More scams to come, with more suckers/speculators in the future, to be sure.

#25955 23 days ago
Quoted from Scandell:

It wasn't designed to be a scam. This is how bad things can go when someone with access to money makes bad financial decisions.

I disagree. According to the SEC complaint he was using money the investors thought was being used for something else. That fits my definition of a scam even if he really intended to build pinball machines.

#25956 23 days ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

I disagree. According to the SEC complaint he was using money the investors thought was being used for something else. That fits my definition of a scam even if he really intended to build pinball machines.

Well I can’t disagree with you there. I thought we were discussing the pinball side
of his dealings

#25957 23 days ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

That's what gets me. Seems like there are far easier ways to scam money than building pinball machines.

Based on Robert’s efforts & time spent, it would have been easier to start a legit pinball company or Space Company for that matter

#25958 23 days ago
Quoted from Scandell:

I want to be the "SONY OF THE WEST".
-RM

Ah! So they're going to go with the "insanity" defense...

#25959 23 days ago
Quoted from benheck:

Ah! So they're going to go with the "insanity" defense...

It's the only thing that makes sense...

#25960 23 days ago

I know the answer is still probably NO, but what if Robert had had less money to start with. $2M perhaps. Could that have possibly focused him enough into getting one machine done, not 10. No animation studio, no 5 designers, no 20 themes. Just put out a single pin. I realize management incompetence would have likely doomed anyway. But if he had only spent $2M at worst he has a failed pinball company rather than an SEC takedown. Sometimes too much money actually is a problem. Infinite resources (or seemingly so) means infinite time horizon, and no stimulus to just get something finished and to market. Spooky not only did it right, but one might argue that with some other more monied origins story they may not have succeeded as well as they did.

#25961 23 days ago
Quoted from pookycade:

I know the answer is still probably NO, but what if Robert had had less money to start with. $2M perhaps. Could that have possibly focused him enough into getting one machine done, not 10. No animation studio, no 5 designers, no 20 themes. Just put out a single pin. I realize management incompetence would have likely doomed anyway. But if he had only spent $2M at worst he has a failed pinball company rather than an SEC takedown. Sometimes too much money actually is a problem. Infinite resources (or seemingly so) means infinite time horizon, and no stimulus to just get something finished and to market. Spooky not only did it right, but one might argue that with some other more monied origins story they may not have succeeded as well as they did.

Big money exposes big egos with delusions of grandeur. I worked for a tech startup in 2005- 06 headed by a confident brilliant talker that took huge investment infusions and went public before ever shipping its product. They paid the who's who of tech bloggers and respected web 2.0 brainiacs to be on their board of directors and become bullshit titles like "chief evangelist". Finance guy told pissed investors toward the end "Dont be sore, buy more". The whole thing went down faster than the hindenburg at the end. And I fell for RM's pitch and paid in full. At least I just bought a real Viva La RAZA teeshirt. The End.

#25962 23 days ago

I love that he spent his big money on multiple wives.

What

A

Fucking

LOSER

#25963 23 days ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

I love that he spent his big money on multiple wives.
What
A
Fucking
LOSER

I read somewhere that he traded one of them in, as it were, because she got too fat or ugly or something. Because hes such a sveldt Greek God... a picture of man... apparantly. Lol.

#25964 23 days ago

let the record show that robert sucks

#25965 22 days ago

Appears BK is imminent:
Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 2.05.18 AM (resized).png

BTW - just read the complaint in it's entirety and wow. Just unbelievable. To try and make the argument to investors that placing their assets in a pinball company was an "unconventional approach to maximizing returns" is asinine.

Screen Shot 2021-09-25 at 2.24.09 AM (resized).png
#25966 22 days ago
Quoted from pookycade:

I know the answer is still probably NO, but what if Robert had had less money to start with. $2M perhaps. Could that have possibly focused him enough into getting one machine done, not 10. No animation studio, no 5 designers, no 20 themes. Just put out a single pin. I realize management incompetence would have likely doomed anyway. But if he had only spent $2M at worst he has a failed pinball company rather than an SEC takedown. Sometimes too much money actually is a problem. Infinite resources (or seemingly so) means infinite time horizon, and no stimulus to just get something finished and to market. Spooky not only did it right, but one might argue that with some other more monied origins story they may not have succeeded as well as they did.

I agree that RM could have produced a working version starting with a $2M budget. Remember that Robert showed no ability to manage to a budget and every ability for overrunning costs. So what could have been done for $2M by a good project manager, would have taken RM $10M. So he would have needed to continue to ask for a few $M here and there. But since Robert was the lone person in charge of collecting investments and transferring funds among companies at will, he would have assuredly funded the overruns with investor $. Once a person inside the paywall is acting criminally, they need to be caught and stopped. The first $2M of hypothetical investment would have been illegal.

RM would still have zero manufacturing abilty nor experience. So dr would not have been able to build their own games. However, the real point is that RM built deeproot pinball atop a toxic JPOP and he undergirded it all with a criminal Ponzi scheme. An ensuing instigation, charges and the lack of funds in checking account would have sunk dr in the very same manner but with losing only $10M up to that point and in that case.

#25967 22 days ago

Did the Utah studio ever "make" money? Like, was there a single client, or was it a floor full of artists making pinball animations and things for projects with no customer?

#25968 22 days ago
Quoted from frolic:

Did the Utah studio ever "make" money? Like, was there a single client, or was it a floor full of artists making pinball animations and things for projects with no customer?

Paging Scandell

#25969 22 days ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I agree that RM could have produced a working version starting with a $2M budget. Remember that Robert showed no ability to manage to a budget and every ability for overrunning costs. So what could have been done for $2M by a good project manager, would have taken RM $10M. So he would have needed to continue to ask for a few $M here and there. But since Robert was the lone person in charge of collecting investments and transferring funds among companies at will, he would have assuredly funded the overruns with investor $. Once a person inside the paywall is acting criminally, they need to be caught and stopped. The first $2M of hypothetical investment would have been illegal.
RM would still have zero manufacturing abilty nor experience. So dr would not have been able to build their own games. However, the real point is that RM built deeproot pinball atop a toxic JPOP and he undergirded it all with a criminal Ponzi scheme. An ensuing instigation, charges and the lack of funds in checking account would have sunk dr in the very same manner but with losing only $10M up to that point and in that case.

There's no path to success with Robert. He's a talentless blob of shit, less money would have meant being more creative and he isn't. See also John, a hack.

A creative person like Danesi, myself, every homebrew er out there can make a working game in a cave with a box of scraps. That's the real difference.

#25970 22 days ago
Quoted from frolic:

Did the Utah studio ever "make" money? Like, was there a single client, or was it a floor full of artists making pinball animations and things for projects with no customer?

They had one or two small clients from neighboring industries. Nothing very long-lasting or lucrative though and nothing that was actually profitable.

18
#25971 22 days ago
Quoted from benheck:

A creative person like Danesi, myself, every homebrew er out there can make a working game in a cave with a box of scraps. That's the real difference.

I admire the hobbyists who create cool homebrew games.

I was less ambitious about a home pinball project several years ago because my skills are limited. Also, my day job doesn't accord a large spare time quotient.

Nevertheless, in 2013, with a $3K budget, in my basement, I built this functional EM Whoa Nellie conversion with the WhizBang playfield and acrylic backglass.

The project was arguably more complex than a retheme because this conversion required a 1957 Gottlieb Continental Cafe donor, which possessed a different ruleset and a different playfield component configuration. Also, a schematic was nonexistent. I later added an interactive cowbell topper to supplement the chimes and bell audio elements.

Lesson learned: money + workforce alone does not equal success. Rather, a combination of the right ingredients makes the soufflé rise.

Screenshot_20210925-131435_Chrome (resized).jpgScreenshot_20210925-133510_Chrome (resized).jpg
#25972 22 days ago
Quoted from benheck:

There's no path to success with Robert. He's a talentless blob of shit, less money would have meant being more creative and he isn't. See also John, a hack.
A creative person like Danesi, myself, every homebrew er out there can make a working game in a cave with a box of scraps. That's the real difference.

I'm not Tony Stark.

#25973 22 days ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I admire the hobbyists who create cool homebrew games.
I was less ambitious about a home pinball project several years ago because my skills are limited. Also, my day job doesn't accord a large spare time quotient.
Nevertheless, in 2013, with a $3K budget, in my basement, I built this functional EM Whoa Nellie conversion with the WhizBang playfield and acrylic backglass.
The project was arguably more complex than a retheme because this conversion required a 1957 Gottlieb Continental Cafe donor, which possessed a different ruleset and a different playfield component configuration. Also, a schematic was nonexistent. I later added an interactive cowbell topper to supplement the chimes and bell audio elements.
Lesson learned: money + workforce alone does not equal success. Rather, a combination of the right ingredients makes the soufflé rise.[quoted image][quoted image]

Awesome work!

And yes, as I've said countless times on Pinside, after every scandal, you work a lot harder when the money isn't already in the bank.

#25974 22 days ago

ZNET, looks awesome. Wait a minute, did you just say this machine runs on repurposed 64-year-old EM hardware and no modern electronics?

#25975 22 days ago
Quoted from ZNET:

I admire the hobbyists who create cool homebrew games.
I was less ambitious about a home pinball project several years ago because my skills are limited. Also, my day job doesn't accord a large spare time quotient.
Nevertheless, in 2013, with a $3K budget, in my basement, I built this functional EM Whoa Nellie conversion with the WhizBang playfield and acrylic backglass.
The project was arguably more complex than a retheme because this conversion required a 1957 Gottlieb Continental Cafe donor, which possessed a different ruleset and a different playfield component configuration. Also, a schematic was nonexistent. I later added an interactive cowbell topper to supplement the chimes and bell audio elements.
Lesson learned: money + workforce alone does not equal success. Rather, a combination of the right ingredients makes the soufflé rise.[quoted image][quoted image]

Absolutely awesome! Gives me ideas of what can be done with my mess of a 1958 Gottlieb Gondolier.

#25976 22 days ago
Quoted from clempo:

ZNET, looks awesome. Wait a minute, did you just say this machine runs on repurposed 64-year-old EM hardware and no modern electronics?

Yes, the game was entirely an EM, gobble hole scoop and all. I added a 1970s Gottlieb chime unit, which was not original to the WhizBang EM concept game nor to the 1957 donor game.

WhizBang (Dennis Nordman & Greg Freres) made 1 EM version prototype and a couple of solid state samples before Stern decided to make the boutique WNBJM production game. In between, I made my version, which mimics the soft lines of Continental Cafe's cabinet. Also, I secured the backglass frame molding on 1 side with magnets for easy removal of the backglass.

I began in 2013 and finished in 2014, with the help of a local friend. Greg Freres kept up with the status of my progress. In fact, the 2 photos in my post above were taken by Greg and published on the Freres/Nordman WNBJM Facebook page back then.

Here's a demo video of my Whoa Nellie from several years ago (not the best camera angles):

Here's a video of the campy cowbell topper, which my gameroom guests really liked:

There were no specs so I had to guess a lot. But, that mystery was what made the project so personal and so much fun.

#25977 21 days ago

Can posters and followers of this thread file a class action lawsuit against Deeproot for time lost? Soon I plan to re-read the 520 pages again to find a loophole. Loopholes are easy.

#25978 21 days ago
Quoted from ZNET:

Yes, the game was entirely an EM, gobble hole scoop and all. I added a 1970s Gottlieb chime unit, which was not original to the WhizBang EM concept game nor to the 1957 donor game.
WhizBang (Dennis Nordman & Greg Freres) made 1 EM version prototype and a couple of solid state samples before Stern decided to make the boutique WNBJM production game. In between, I made my version, which mimics the soft lines of Continental Cafe's cabinet. Also, I secured the backglass frame molding on 1 side with magnets for easy removal of the backglass.
I began in 2013 and finished in 2014, with the help of a local friend. Greg Freres kept up with the status of my progress. In fact, the 2 photos in my post above were taken by Greg and published on the Freres/Nordman WNBJM Facebook page back then.
Here's a demo video of my Whoa Nellie from several years ago (not the best camera angles):

Here's a video of the campy cowbell topper, which my gameroom guests really liked:

There were no specs so I had to guess a lot. But, that mystery was what made the project so personal and so much fun.

This is a really awesome timeline you provided. I do think it fundamentally provides the strongest argument that is is the team and their talent that matters most, not the amount of dollars one can throw at the problem. While scaling up manufacturing is for sure a dollar intensive process and has its own logistics, the initial creative design process is low dollar and more relies on individual skill and creativity. In that sense Deeproot was the perfect trifecta of failure. A bad initial design team to get a fully functional game going (confirming all our suspicions that JPOP is an abject failure as pinball designer and could never get as far as Heck, Danesi, or ZNET among others). He was good at the “concept” of pinball and bad at any kind of execution. A bad manufacturing team followed (non existent as best we can tell). No matter how badly you run a business just bizarre you wouldn’t hire a single person with established experience in running a manufacturing line. And then a scam money source and director to direct the whole thing. No director at the wheel per se taking everyone with specific talents and coordinating their efforts to produce something. This really was incompetence layered upon incompetence layered on yet more incompetence. They took failure to a whole new level

#25979 21 days ago

tempting

Screenshot_20210926-115412_Metal Pro (resized).jpg
#25980 21 days ago

We still need to see the hammer tested t-shirt. I wonder how many prototypes they went through…

I’ll say there’s a 75% chance they bought their own equipment to screen print t-shirts.

“I’m going to be the Karl Lagerfeld of Texas” - Robert (probably)

#25981 21 days ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

tempting[quoted image]

Maybe Robert is finally out of money and cannot sue them for using his logo.

#25982 21 days ago
Quoted from ZNET:

Yes, the game was entirely an EM, gobble hole scoop and all..

Whoa ZNET, that's doubly awesome.

28
#25983 21 days ago

Don't know if anyone cares but I'm going to attempt a sound repair on one of Hilton's SPIKE 2 games.

Would a video of this be of interest to anyone? Assuming it works - looking like some surface mount audio amps.

#25984 21 days ago
Quoted from benheck:

Don't know if anyone cares but I'm going to attempt a sound repair on one of Hilton's SPIKE 2 games.
Would a video of this be of interest to anyone? Assuming it works - looking like some surface mount audio amps.

Is it by chance the TPA3123 TI audio chip? I recently got a replacement part for my Munsters audio IC (woofer), but I've been dragging my feet installing. I had to to buy a hot air gun due to the thermal pad under the audio IC. Munsters is still working, but if it's been on for awhile and I shut it off, then back on - the woofer audio chip get's pretty toasty (and no bass). I'm aware of another Spike 2 pin with the same issue. Likely a winter project for me. Someone had a similar issue and did a video about the repair. IMDN, if I'm not mistaken.

On my designs, if a part had a thermal pad - I always had just a bit of the thermal pad copper exposed so someone could put an iron on it to help heat up the ground plane underneath. Too bad Stern didn't do that, would have made the repair a little easier.

#25985 20 days ago

TPS3123D2 yes. There's browning on the PCB around it. I'm also going to replace the I2S audio ICs although I kind of doubt they are the problem.

Chip sinks heat into PCB but probably still gets a bit hot.

#25986 20 days ago

Yeah do it

14
#25987 20 days ago
Quoted from benheck:TPS3123D2 yes. There's browning on the PCB around it. I'm also going to replace the I2S audio ICs although I kind of doubt they are the problem.
Chip sinks heat into PCB but probably still gets a bit hot.

235c38c23a9a4c38109ed2b073365b84 (resized).jpg

13
#25988 20 days ago

Parts ordered so I will give it a try.

Told Hilton "shockingly, these parts are all in stock"

Will make a video and link it in.

Also Jpop is a hack and Robert is a moron. Here is my cat.

PXL_20210926_172724648~2 (resized).jpg
#25989 19 days ago
Quoted from benheck:

Parts ordered so I will give it a try.
Told Hilton "shockingly, these parts are all in stock"
Will make a video and link it in.
Also Jpop is a hack and Robert is a moron. Here is my cat.
[quoted image]

Your cat is looking chunky. Is he on the Jpop diet?

#25990 19 days ago
Quoted from hank527:

Your cat is looking chunky. Is he on the Jpop diet?

Don’t fat-shame Ben’s cat. He’s entitled to his Kittychinos. Though I believe cats are also unshamable, so in that regard similar to JPop.

AF1504E2-61E2-4A3C-81BE-4EDDDF1CD74C (resized).jpeg
#25991 19 days ago

He's mostly just.... Big. But yes, I think he's about done growing (16 months old) so I need to watch his food intake.

PXL_20210921_193952258~2 (resized).jpg
#25992 19 days ago

It's normal for cats to have some flappy skin around their belly. It's called a primordial pouch. There are a few theories for it. Extra protection for organs during fights, lets them take longer strides while running, and extra space for food if they have a feast and famine like eating cycle.

Anyhow. I have one of those automated feeder things. Works like a charm and dispenses out an appropriate amount of food 4 times a day. Even let me record an audio clip to associate their name with food. Also I don't get bothered for food early in the morning because they know I don't give them food.

#25993 19 days ago

Also while talking about cats in a thread about overdesigned luxury items, I love this automatic litter box: https://www.litter-robot.com/

I've had an automatic litter box before, but it was junk that would get clogged up every other day. This thing has worked like a champ the past two years

Between it and the automatic feeder, my wife and I can leave the cats to fend for themselves for a week while we visit family.

#25994 19 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

Also while talking about cats in a thread about overdesigned luxury items, I love this automatic litter box: https://www.litter-robot.com/
I've had an automatic litter box before, but it was junk that would get clogged up every other day. This thing has worked like a champ the past two years
Between it and the automatic feeder, my wife and I can leave the cats to fend for themselves for a week while we visit family.

+1 on the litter robot. The app for it is awesome. No more smelly cat shit!

#25995 19 days ago

My orange cat is judging the shit out of your orange cat.

20210927_183951 (resized).jpg
#25996 19 days ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

+1 on the litter robot. The app for it is awesome. No more smelly cat shit!

Do you guys really have no smell? I’ve had one for a few years and even had a unit replaced, but it still stinks before it’s full.

#25997 19 days ago
Quoted from spandol:

Do you guys really have no smell? I’ve had one for a few years and even had a unit replaced, but it still stinks before it’s full.

My wife has a nose like a bloodhound and doesn't seem to notice. Had to try a few different litters though. One with extra ammonium blockers seems to make everyone happy. I also sprinkle a little baking soda in the wastebin.

25
#25998 19 days ago

Observation: This thread may result in the sale and shipment of more cat litter robots than completed RAZA’s.

#25999 19 days ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

My wife has a nose like a bloodhound and doesn't seem to notice. Had to try a few different litters though. One with extra ammonium blockers seems to make everyone happy. I also sprinkle a little baking soda in the wastebin.

Great, thanks for the info. I’ll try both ideas.

#26000 19 days ago
Quoted from JStoltz:

Observation: This thread may result in the sale and shipment of more cat litter robots than completed RAZA’s.

So, one then?

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