(Topic ID: 203700)

deeproot Pinball thread

By pin2d

6 years ago


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#26101 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

These scams are all the same, and so are these scammers.
Exhibit 801,234:
https://www.gq.com/story/lenny-dykstra-magazine[quoted image]

Wow, I read that story - that's nuts.

Should add, never heard of the guy.

#26102 2 years ago

He was on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1990.

Dykstra SI (resized).jpgDykstra SI (resized).jpg
#26103 2 years ago

Lenny Dykstra sounds a lot like another individual in this thread. Except the other guy never played baseball.. Wasn't aware of his life after baseball. Not good.

Thanks for posting the article Levi. These crummy people all seem to fit a similar mold one way or another.

#26104 2 years ago

Curt Schilling had a target on his back because his company got a juicy loan from Rhode Island to create jobs in the state.

They did release *a* game (Kingdoms of Amular) albeit with help from another studio.

The core problem is these "types" want to skip the part where it's two guys in a garage and 5 years of hard work and jump right to Triple A Studio Employing Hundreds.

#26105 2 years ago

I’d of never in a million years of predicted RM ending up in prison! (From day one)

#26106 2 years ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

According to the one doc, Robert is having a kid next month. Mazel tov
Also his current child support is almost as much as his mortgage.
Dude is a piece of garbage asking for over 100k a year to keep living the upper middle class dream without deserving it, likely coming from what little his victims have left.

Hey, at l least he'll be skipping the diaper years.

#26107 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

The core problem is these "types" want to skip the part where it's two guys in a garage and 5 years of hard work and jump right to Triple A Studio Employing Hundreds.

Nailed it. Money can’t buy you <Insert here>.

#26108 2 years ago
Quoted from mbwalker:

Wow, I read that story - that's nuts.
Should add, never heard of the guy.

Espn has a great 30 for 30 doc on the 1986 Mets running now and ole Lenny is a featured.

Doesn’t seem like the kind of guy you’d want to trust millions of dollars with…but again, he’s got that same “rock star fuck attitude” that phonies like Mueller all want to project.

He ended up doing some jail time, for his various scams, fraud, and outright theft - tho not as much as he should have, around 6 months. He stole millions and Millions of dollars.

Mueller ain’t famous like Nails, but I think people here who are licking their chops at him doing hard time are gonna be disappointed. It just doesn’t happen.

#26109 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Curt Schilling had a target on his back because his company got a juicy loan from Rhode Island to create jobs in the state.
They did release *a* game (Kingdoms of Amular) albeit with help from another studio.
The core problem is these "types" want to skip the part where it's two guys in a garage and 5 years of hard work and jump right to Triple A Studio Employing Hundreds.

That’s a function of them AND our society. What we mostly trumpet in the financial press these days is the 20 or 30 something year old who somehow gets a boatload of cash from some poorly informed VC. They then create a billion dollar unicorn in the process that doesn’t actually make any money but somehow has value to some other company and cashes out in the process. This is American business these days. Go big or go home. The garage stuff seems almost trite - some bygone era. In that world it’s easy to see how DR convinced itself a $50M play could easily work out even if they never built more than 100 machines. You could even say the point of most startups these days is to create hype, no actual manufacturing or customer direct marketing experience required (well execept for the FOMO stuff that even DR screwed up somehow)

#26110 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Espn has a great 30 for 30 doc on the 1986 Mets running now and ole Lenny is a featured.
Doesn’t seem like the kind of guy you’d want to trust millions of dollars with…but again, he’s got that same “rock star fuck attitude” that phonies like Mueller all want to project.
He ended up doing some jail time, for his various scams, fraud, and outright theft - tho not as much as he should have, around 6 months. He stole millions and Millions of dollars.
Mueller ain’t famous like Nails, but I think people here who are licking their chops at him doing hard time are gonna be disappointed. It just doesn’t happen.

Au contraire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Shkreli

Reading his wiki, Nails got a fraction of the time he deserved.

#26111 2 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Au contraire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Shkreli
Reading his wiki, Nails got a fraction of the time he deserved.

If I'm not mistaken, he got hauled up in front of congress and made the evening news over some insane price hike on a drug(s). That likely helped keep him in the pokey a bit longer. Raising the drug price isn't a crime (well, maybe x5000 is) - but the optics likely didn't help his fraud case.

I recall seeing a documentary about it long ago - that guy definitely had a F you attitude.

Edit: Found a short Youtube video:

61
#26112 2 years ago

Here are some anonymous accounts from a deeprooter. Breaking them into two posts.

Batch #1

Topic 1. DJD had the right idea. We were told to optimize the design for quick assembly (with a lot of prep-work at the manufacturing stage) and repairs requiring no soldering (when in service). Think what the Army did, instead of training for soldering components on the field, just replace the board. Not exactly the same environment requirements but more accessible to the uninitiated. We first started by looking at other pins and learning from the stuff we liked. We also realized that pinside might be a good resource for information given dissatisfied customer could lead to market growth. We were wrong on both ends. Most of the “technology” on current pins was pretty dated in terms of machine control and capabilities. Pinside loudest voices were pretty negative about changing anything that ain’t broke. It also didn’t help that Robert was instigating the forums and wouldn’t allow engineering do any research! Even so, a few of us made accounts and read your post

Topic 2. I believe the target audience were young kids with “95lb single mothers with too much cash”. (We explain to Robert that wasn’t okay terminology. It wasn’t until we hired a ~95lb female and had an HR department that it stopped.) We also told Robert that we can’t compete against consoles that cost nothing to manufacture and have DLC. Robert solution was to add DLC to pinball and always online capabilities. We actually did manage to convince him that always online was a terrible idea.

Topic 3a. Robert handed us a BOM that listed amazon product links and the total was 1.3k in parts alone for a pin. The first title we worked on was Fire & Brimstone since Robert is Mormon. The game easily went through 15+ revision just to be backlogged for the next brilliant game design idea… This cycle repeated itself for the first 10 games. Robert always said we would release 10 games internally and even made it 15 at a point. I explained that it didn’t make sense to compete with ourselves.

Topic 3b. We would constantly ask why we are reinventing the wheel when we could start making pins right now and selling them. He would constantly change the requirements verbally for a single pin so we could never say it’s finished. We pressed for written requirements but that was a futile exercise. Even so, we did make a few machines prototypes. We would play each prototype for a few hours a day to see what worked and did not work. Then Robert would come and play one for 5-10 minutes and tell us all the changes that he wanted made. “This shot is too hard” “Move this lane over, make this wider... etc” He mentioned a few times that he liked his employees disagreeing with him because that would lead to a better product, we quickly learned that wasn’t true.

Topic 4. Most of our work was done with an over paid CNC router machine in a storage unit (I think they paid 5k for something worth 1k.) We would then bring those “playfields” the office and paid engineering salary to assemble them. We eventually got techs. Robert would want to pay techs 7.50 and hour to build one off prototypes. We explained a tech would cost 25-30 and hour for something like that. He didn’t understand why we couldn’t grab a hobo of the street and have it assembled. Robert even mentioned various time he could do any of our Jobs better than us, but he didn’t have time to do all the roles.

Topic 5. Robert would often have “guest” and give them tours of our work, even though we were on an NDA and couldn’t even talk to our families about this top secret pinball revolution >.> I’m willing to bet these were investors, but he never presented them to us as such…

49
#26113 2 years ago

Batch #2

Topic 6. Robert wanted to have the big business look so he started looking for a warehouse. We insisted he get a smaller building that was just a big rectangular empty floor space. He decided that the building with 3 different floor levels and various curve hallways was a better fit for manufacturing, because it has nice offices at the front. “We aren’t a traditional pinball company, why should we have a traditional pinball manufacturing.” – RM They ended up spending months remodeling the front space, tearing down walls without a building license. How do I know we didn’t have a license? Sean told us to throw the trash in the back so it wasn’t visible from the street.

Topic 7. On various occasions Robert would want to order 5-10 games worth of boards. It would take about 2-4 weeks for them to get manufactured. Without fail he would request an important change be made immediately. These urgent changes sometimes made recently order boards obsolete, Think mounting hole location, or shape/size. He probably found something unnecessary on youtube and said, I want this on my machine! Like THX Certification!

Topic 8. At some point Robert started assigning C titles to brown nose employee and we were handed an employee organization chart with a new employee handbook. Basically an NDA, all the wifi traffic is monitored and we can search your personal property at any time we feel like. As a bonus, instead of retirement, you will now earn Ghost Stock Options. It’s not a scam, and it’s quite normal for companies to offer these before going public… When pressed to show us accounts of our previous retirement balances, he straight up said he couldn’t disclose them because it was part of his proprietary business. It’s at this point I realized the Kool-Aid wasn’t for me.

Topic 9. At first Robert would pay us quarterly, ahead of time. As we got more new hires, he changed it to paying ahead every two weeks. I started to see emails about getting a Paypal loan. April 1st Robert held a meeting that he was unable to make payroll because we had unexpected expense & the “perfect storm” of circumstances. Things like, the insurance policies didn’t get funded, or we just bought a new building to the UTAH studio blah blah blah. He promise to regain our trust by paying us a bonus for sticking through it & would establish a raining day account for future mishaps. Right away I asked how it’s was unplanned when he had been telling us for the past two months to watch our expense since we had an expensive building purchase coming up. He stuck to his story. He held one on one meetings to discuss each persons situation and even heard some got paychecks that day. When he was reported to the Department of Labor. He held a meeting letting us know that the more we reported him, the longer it would take for him to pay us due to DoL fees.

Topic 10. I read a few post saying that management was the problem. I know you never worked there since we never had any sort of management. Robert & a few brown noses believed in having fancy titles. Those of us who spoke back were slowly weeded out. If you were bad at your job, say engineer, you would be promoted to management.

Topic 11. Robert shows us the state of the art Gym. We are started looking at each other and wondering why that money wasn’t spent on finishing one, single, game. Robert bought hundreds of RAZA deeproot branded t-shirts to give away. We didn’t get paid a couple weeks ago, and we have no more parts to keep building, but here is a free t-shirt. They are free now because we changed our Logo and can’t use these anymore…

It should be noted that these are one cogs perspective. There are more topics, but does any of this really matter anymore? The hard work of many people is to never see the day of light.

#26115 2 years ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

Topic 1. DJD had the right idea. We were told to optimize the design for quick assembly (with a lot of prep-work at the manufacturing stage) and repairs requiring no soldering (when in service). Think what the Army did, instead of training for soldering components on the field, just replace the board. Not exactly the same environment requirements but more accessible to the uninitiated. We first started by looking at other pins and learning from the stuff we liked. We also realized that pinside might be a good resource for information given dissatisfied customer could lead to market growth. We were wrong on both ends. Most of the “technology” on current pins was pretty dated in terms of machine control and capabilities. Pinside loudest voices were pretty negative about changing anything that ain’t broke. It also didn’t help that Robert was instigating the forums and wouldn’t allow engineering do any research! Even so, a few of us made accounts and read your post

sounds like he was adapting the "tesla" repair model. Rather than replacing individual parts, we will sell you entire sub-assemblies for a higher price. See video about how a coolant nipple breaking on a battery pack means replacing the entire $16k battery rather than just repairing the coolant connection

#26116 2 years ago

And people STILL sent him money at the end. Good lord..

#26117 2 years ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

Robert even mentioned various time he could do any of our Jobs better than us, but he didn’t have time to do all the roles.

He always said as much, even his famous podcast interviews. The pinnacle of arrogance.

#26118 2 years ago

Holy crap. Those 2 posts represent tens of millions of dollars of waste. And no product. How dumb were the investors ?! Was there no progress reporting or oversight ?

12
#26119 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Holy crap. Those 2 posts represent tens of millions of dollars of waste. And no product. How dumb were the investors ?! Was there no progress reporting or oversight ?

Lol, what about the pin buyers here? There was plenty of info pointing to absolute fraud and failure. They still bought. These are the same people who will get ripped off over and over, cause they don't think "math" is a real thing. If you believe, you can achieve hah. Jokers man.

#26120 2 years ago

The enemy of good is better. The enemy of enough is more. Seems Robert never quite learned any of these valuable life lessons.

By the time you are putting out a product there may be 100 things you would do differently by that point. You have to resist that temptation at revision or you will never put anything out at all.

#26121 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Was there no progress reporting or oversight ?

That was proprietary information he wasn’t obligated to disclose

#26122 2 years ago

Blueberry Johnson = our very own Deep Throat!

#26123 2 years ago

I remember when Metallica came out and Poop was calling Borg a hack for stealing his ball vanish from Totan.

That was almost 12 years ago.

Meanwhile RAZA is what original game? Oh yeah, it’s a Cyclone re theme.

#26124 2 years ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

Topic 1. DJD had the right idea.

Who is DJD?

#26125 2 years ago

A Steve Jobs wannabe without the talent. Surrounded by requisite yes-men and sycophants. Dunning-Kruger to the tune of $50 million. Can’t say anything in those insider tales was the least bit surprising.

#26126 2 years ago

Target market is kids? Hahahaha ha!

With "rich single moms"? Hello twice divorced dude, project much?

OK now we have to photo dox his exes and see if he has a thing for really skinny women.

#26127 2 years ago

He’s so svelte and handsome, how could he settle for a fatty?

#26128 2 years ago

So when’s the next divorce?

#26129 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

So when’s the next divorce?

Probably depends on how severely the money has been cut off.

Can't imagine he'd bring anything else to a relationship, considering what a fat toxic asshole he is.

#26130 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Hello twice divorced dude, project much?

Pretty soon he'll be living in a van down by the river.

21
#26131 2 years ago
Quoted from pudealee:

Pretty soon he'll be living in a van down by the river.

I could see him living in a pinpod down by the river.

#26132 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I could see him living in a pinpod down by the river.

Now it is clear why it was built so wide…

#26133 2 years ago

That'd be me.

11
#26134 2 years ago
Quoted from blueberryjohnson:

Here are some anonymous accounts from a deeprooter. Breaking them into two posts...

Interesting to see how similar Robert and Andrew Heighway were. Now I'm a smart cookie and within a few weeks of working at HP I realized I was working for a mad dreamer, and the company was ultimately destined to fail; like stepping aboard the Titanic when you know what's coming...what the hell, it's experience and may actually be fun, so I remained with the company until it sank.

Many leaped very early on....everyone, even down to the Receptionists knew Heighway Pinball was a lost cause. But we did get a few games out the door.

Very sad that so many who worked for so long on the DeepRoot disaster, pretty much wasted a small part of their lives. And now have a resume tarnished with a failed and corrupt company.

2 cautionary tales from the darkest corner of....The Pinball Zone.

18
#26135 2 years ago
Quoted from SLAMT1LT:

But we did get a few games out the door.

That's a key differentiator. The money Heighway lost was what, in the hundreds of thousands, and still got games out. I definitely feel you can be proud of what was accomplished there in spite of poor decision making at the top.

And then you have the scale of deeproot, all that money and no games out and nothing to celebrate.

#26136 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

fat toxic asshole

Thought for a second this was one of the themes on the cutting room floor. As titles go, it does have nice flow.

#26137 2 years ago

Coming up on a decade in May

6E1D1A16-E11E-40B1-8295-B8DD3B758D60 (resized).jpeg6E1D1A16-E11E-40B1-8295-B8DD3B758D60 (resized).jpegEA3F44D7-16A3-43C6-87E8-E1F95FDCDD28 (resized).jpegEA3F44D7-16A3-43C6-87E8-E1F95FDCDD28 (resized).jpeg
#26138 2 years ago

Makes my skin crawl I was ever associated with this.

#26139 2 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

Coming up on a decade in May
[quoted image][quoted image]

I blame this project's failure on this flyer's distinct lack of whimsy!

Where are the 19th century pointy fingers and script?!

Where's the old-time huckster slang?

This does NOTHING to truly hammer home the whimsy and magic of this project. I mean, yeah, there's a few dumb jokes and weird fonts but absolutely nothing about this has the pizzaz and whimsical whimsy I expect from Jpop!

I will say, I was completely ignorant of the possibility COintaker had anything to do with this. Were they in any way involved, or did Jpop just slap their logo on this invoice to give it some credibility?

#26140 2 years ago

The RAZA saga started so long ago I have forgotten much about it. But the origins were a game to be developed called BHZA. Funny from the beginning of it, JPOP insisted customers signed NDA’s. As that is Robert Mueller’s standard practice, I wonder how early into BHZA did JPOP meet RM.

6D9C0E91-8A84-48D2-A710-6488FF75E2F4.jpeg6D9C0E91-8A84-48D2-A710-6488FF75E2F4.jpegF2FD0542-48FB-4A99-B7A0-C94B20110691.jpegF2FD0542-48FB-4A99-B7A0-C94B20110691.jpeg

4409BF70-B7C7-4371-A1F8-88F697A41DD5.jpeg4409BF70-B7C7-4371-A1F8-88F697A41DD5.jpeg

C0CE024A-E0EA-49CF-8261-3B88ACB859B5.jpegC0CE024A-E0EA-49CF-8261-3B88ACB859B5.jpeg

#26141 2 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

I will say, I was completely ignorant of the possibility COintaker had anything to do with this. Were they in any way involved, or did Jpop just slap their logo on this invoice to give it some credibility?

If my memory serves me, Chris was allocated a certain # of preorders to sell to his clients. I think it was 100 or so.

#26142 2 years ago
Quoted from 6S3NC3:

If my memory serves me, Chris was allocated a certain # of preorders to sell to his clients. I think it was 100 or so.

Did the coin taker folks get their money back, or did it all go into the same whimsical Jpop sink hole?

17
#26143 2 years ago
atari (resized).pngatari (resized).png
#26144 2 years ago

CoinTaker was involved enough to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars by investing in JPop's play-time and to buy a JPOPSUX vanity plate. Another fine couple of people to be screwed by Mueller to boot.

#26145 2 years ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

CoinTaker was involved enough to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars by investing in JPop's play-time and to buy a JPOPSUX vanity plate. Another fine couple of people to be screwed by Mueller to boot.

Yep. They got conned by John big time and then Robert said he would take care of it. He did a 180 and shafted them as well. Basically, Robert took a ton of LEDs and other products that John has never paid for.

This is one of Many reasons why I hated Deep Root. It was never good for any of us to have this in the industry.

JJP pushes the line at times though Robert was on a different level doomed to fail from the beginning.

#26146 2 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

Yep. They got conned by John big time and then Robert said he would take care of it. He did a 180 and shafted them as well. Basically, Robert took a ton of LEDs and other products that John has never paid for.
This is one of Many reasons why I hated Deep Root. It was never good for any of us to have this in the industry.
JJP pushes the line at times though Robert was on a different level doomed to fail from the beginning.

Not sure if it makes it any better but I only saw a couple boards that jpop had brought in. We really didn’t use them for anything other than looked at how they were designed and built (we were already moving forward with our own style boards at this point). I’m assuming these might have been cointaker boards. Effectively Robert got 0 use out of these boards and I never saw more than 2 or 3 of these boards ever in the building.

#26147 2 years ago

Jpoop also had a lot of product that Cointaker sent him (lights etc) that he could have simply returned to remedy some of the debt but he was too fucking lazy to bother.

#26148 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Jpoop also had a lot of product that Cointaker sent him (lights etc) that he could have simply returned to remedy some of the debt but he was too fucking lazy to bother.

I wonder what the odds are his landlord took over his storage-unit/workshop and just sold all his junk in a single lot auction and tossed the rest.

#26149 2 years ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I wonder what the odds are his landlord took over his storage-unit/workshop and just sold all his junk in a single lot auction and tossed the rest.

Odds? At this point, either it happened or it didn't.

#26150 2 years ago
Quoted from TreyBo69:

I wonder what the odds are his landlord took over his storage-unit/workshop and just sold all his junk in a single lot auction and tossed the rest.

I visited his shop maybe 4 times total? He used a good portion of it to store junk, not sure where it all came from. Guessing he used Zidware as a way to avoid storage unit fees?

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