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Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:32 pm
by Matt_B
They're certainly being very economical with the truth. It's all a bit reminiscent of the Open Pandora and the Elite Systems keyboard.

From what I can gather, there was a split at the company last April with two of the original directors leaving. Unfortunately, one of them was Chris Smith - the one with all the technical knowledge to get it done - and that's a massive set-back. They've brought someone new in to finish it off - Janko Mrsic-Flogel, a veteran of the 80s Sinclair scene - but he appears to be struggling a bit, given all the missed deadlines. There are also disputes with the former directors over ownership of the company who, although they resigned as directors, still own a share of it.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:01 am
by kiwimike
Sad, but could kinda see this coming. None of these retro emulators tend to do well, seem overpriced for what they are, and tend to be either mega delayed or axed completely. I agree with a post above, I just hope they can get their censored together ASAP and give refunds back to their backers or give them what they paid for, or at least an ETA on when to expect it with an option for a refund.

Been very weary of any of these things since Gamegadget.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:44 am
by psj3809
I wish people wouldn't back things like this if they don't like delays. I backed the Artcade book. Long delays on that and then taken over by bitmap books who did a great job and despite it being so late it's a great book. Lots of crowdfunders are late. Just most don't have a bunch of new twitter accounts to rile everyone up

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:50 am
by English Invader
Matt_B wrote: From what I can gather, there was a split at the company last April with two of the original directors leaving. Unfortunately, one of them was Chris Smith - the one with all the technical knowledge to get it done - and that's a massive set-back.
I imagine Chris Smith's involvement was one of the main selling points for most people. If he isn't there, the product isn't going to be what was promised and, on that basis, those who want a refund should get one.

It would be like booking tickets for a U2 concert and then reading in the news a few weeks later that Bono walked out on the band and someone else would be the new frontman. There might still be a product there but it's no longer what you paid for.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:13 am
by skodathegreat
It's a no for me.

I do like the Spectrum, but it was a little bit before my time, and therefore nostalgia, probably the biggest pull to retro gaming for me, doesn't come into it.

If I see a big price drops / second hand units in years to come then I might be swayed.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:49 am
by the_hawk
psj3809 wrote:I wish people wouldn't back things like this if they don't like delays.
It isn't the delays that are the issue though, it's the evasiveness & lack of clear, open & honest communication that's the problem. If there are known issues & they can't meet the deadlines for 3, 6 18 months or whatever...tell people, none of this smoke & mirrors sh1t.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:17 pm
by merman
psj3809 wrote:The reason im being patient is because it's an indiegogo campaign. Other campaigns in the past I've backed have been delayed. I remember the Artcade project being one for example. Plus people I trust such as jonahthan cauldwell or Jim bagley are positive about it for example.

I've just backed enough campaigns to know some are late. That's the risk you take. They've just opened up a new website so if they were scammers it's an odd move. They've also just had some court appearances which I'm sure is one reason why they're quiet.

I understand why people are fed up but some of the over the top accusations are unreal.
The Indiegogo page has now been taken down.
There is legal action ongoing.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:16 pm
by kiwimike
the_hawk wrote:
psj3809 wrote:I wish people wouldn't back things like this if they don't like delays.
It isn't the delays that are the issue though, it's the evasiveness & lack of clear, open & honest communication that's the problem. If there are known issues & they can't meet the deadlines for 3, 6 18 months or whatever...tell people, none of this smoke & mirrors sh1t.

Thats it exactly. So many of these things tend to turn sour when they go into hiding and don't respond or lie. Just be honest.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:02 am
by Matt_B
Yep, and Smith and Andrews won it. They still own half the company.

At this rate, the crowdfunding money is just going to get eaten up in legal fees.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:20 am
by The Beans
Matt_B wrote:At this rate, the crowdfunding money is just going to get eaten up in legal fees.
One of the reasons I don't back any kind of crowdfunding is stuff like this. The rules around how the money can be used are far too slack. People donate so a product can be made and that's all the money should be used for. The funds for the product should be frozen in instances like this. The parties involved shouldn't be allowed to touch it again until the matter is resolved and production can continue or until it's clear the product isn't going to happen and the money must be refunded.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:56 am
by Treguard
Matt_B wrote:They're certainly being very economical with the truth. It's all a bit reminiscent of the Open Pandora and the Elite Systems keyboard.

From what I can gather, there was a split at the company last April with two of the original directors leaving. Unfortunately, one of them was Chris Smith - the one with all the technical knowledge to get it done - and that's a massive set-back. They've brought someone new in to finish it off - Janko Mrsic-Flogel, a veteran of the 80s Sinclair scene - but he appears to be struggling a bit, given all the missed deadlines. There are also disputes with the former directors over ownership of the company who, although they resigned as directors, still own a share of it.
Feel you're being a bit harsh on the Open Pandora- that wasn't vapourware, everyone got their product eventually just the guys making it didn't realise how much engineering it would take make it, and they weren't a business set up to manage this, just a group of enthusiasts who wanted to build the kind of project they'd want to own. I've got mine and I love it to bits.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:27 am
by Matt_B
Treguard wrote:
Matt_B wrote:They're certainly being very economical with the truth. It's all a bit reminiscent of the Open Pandora and the Elite Systems keyboard.

From what I can gather, there was a split at the company last April with two of the original directors leaving. Unfortunately, one of them was Chris Smith - the one with all the technical knowledge to get it done - and that's a massive set-back. They've brought someone new in to finish it off - Janko Mrsic-Flogel, a veteran of the 80s Sinclair scene - but he appears to be struggling a bit, given all the missed deadlines. There are also disputes with the former directors over ownership of the company who, although they resigned as directors, still own a share of it.
Feel you're being a bit harsh on the Open Pandora- that wasn't vapourware, everyone got their product eventually just the guys making it didn't realise how much engineering it would take make it, and they weren't a business set up to manage this, just a group of enthusiasts who wanted to build the kind of project they'd want to own. I've got mine and I love it to bits.
Yeah, everyone got it eventually, but some people had to wait over three years. They turned out a nice bit of kit in the end, but it's not something that'll go down in the annals of great project management.

Edit: Just been informed that the Pandora had around a thousand unfulfilled orders when the UK company folded five years after the original crowdfunding. I'm rather hoping that the Vega Plus doesn't go the same way, but if they're not even in production yet and they've just urinated away a good chunk of the crowdfunding cash on legal fees it's not looking promising.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:16 am
by Treguard
Matt_B wrote:
Treguard wrote:
Matt_B wrote:They're certainly being very economical with the truth. It's all a bit reminiscent of the Open Pandora and the Elite Systems keyboard.

From what I can gather, there was a split at the company last April with two of the original directors leaving. Unfortunately, one of them was Chris Smith - the one with all the technical knowledge to get it done - and that's a massive set-back. They've brought someone new in to finish it off - Janko Mrsic-Flogel, a veteran of the 80s Sinclair scene - but he appears to be struggling a bit, given all the missed deadlines. There are also disputes with the former directors over ownership of the company who, although they resigned as directors, still own a share of it.
Feel you're being a bit harsh on the Open Pandora- that wasn't vapourware, everyone got their product eventually just the guys making it didn't realise how much engineering it would take make it, and they weren't a business set up to manage this, just a group of enthusiasts who wanted to build the kind of project they'd want to own. I've got mine and I love it to bits.
Yeah, everyone got it eventually, but some people had to wait over three years. They turned out a nice bit of kit in the end, but it's not something that'll go down in the annals of great project management.

Edit: Just been informed that the Pandora had around a thousand unfulfilled orders when the UK company folded five years after the original crowdfunding. I'm rather hoping that the Vega Plus doesn't go the same way, but if they're not even in production yet and they've just urinated away a good chunk of the crowdfunding cash on legal fees it's not looking promising.
UKOpenPandora was a separate entity owned by Craig Rothwell, who's got form in this area. Basically he massively oversold what the German company could produce, then scarpered. The German company is still supplying 10 units a year to people who lost their money, at their own cost, even though they're a seperate entity and have no legal obligation to do so. They also offered to sell people units at a considerable discount if they were on the UK waiting list.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:39 am
by Matt_B
Treguard wrote:UKOpenPandora was a separate entity owned by Craig Rothwell, who's got form in this area. Basically he massively oversold what the German company could produce, then scarpered. The German company is still supplying 10 units a year to people who lost their money, at their own cost, even though they're a seperate entity and have no legal obligation to do so. They also offered to sell people units at a considerable discount if they were on the UK waiting list.
Yes, and if you ordered a Pandora from the UK in 2008 you were giving Craig your money! I've heard some more favourable stories that he wasn't acting maliciously but just got in out of his depth and was so broke by the end that he couldn't even afford to have the company properly liquidated. However, regardless of the reasons, his inability to fulfil all the pre-orders doesn't make the machine a great advert for crowdfunding.

And even if you did have the foresight to order from the German company instead, you'd still have faced a very long wait as they ran out of money and had to sell new units in order to fund the production for the pre-orders. EvilDragon has clearly managed things a lot better than Craig did, but we're still talking a typical wait of 3-5 years from the initial offering.

Either way, you'd have been better off waiting until they were in production; and I think it's looking that way with the Vega Plus too, assuming it ever goes into production.

Re: Spectrum Vega Plus Poll

Posted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:33 am
by Treguard
Matt_B wrote:
Treguard wrote:UKOpenPandora was a separate entity owned by Craig Rothwell, who's got form in this area. Basically he massively oversold what the German company could produce, then scarpered. The German company is still supplying 10 units a year to people who lost their money, at their own cost, even though they're a seperate entity and have no legal obligation to do so. They also offered to sell people units at a considerable discount if they were on the UK waiting list.
Yes, and if you ordered a Pandora from the UK in 2008 you were giving Craig your money! I've heard some more favourable stories that he wasn't acting maliciously but just got in out of his depth and was so broke by the end that he couldn't even afford to have the company properly liquidated. However, regardless of the reasons, his inability to fulfil all the pre-orders doesn't make the machine a great advert for crowdfunding.

And even if you did have the foresight to order from the German company instead, you'd still have faced a very long wait as they ran out of money and had to sell new units in order to fund the production for the pre-orders. EvilDragon has clearly managed things a lot better than Craig did, but we're still talking a typical wait of 3-5 years from the initial offering.

Either way, you'd have been better off waiting until they were in production; and I think it's looking that way with the Vega Plus too, assuming it ever goes into production.
Rothwell's latest kickstarter appears to have gone the same way though, so if it was an honest mistake, he hasn't learned from it...

I had to wait two years for my Pandora, but I'd say it was worth it. Again you're talking a bunch of hobbyists vs. a properly set up and funded company, which is what the Vega was supposed to be made by.

In terms of crowd funded Spectrum projects though, has anyone signed up for this http://www.specnext.com/?

Have to say I am tempted.