(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 6 hours ago by TomDK
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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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#8801 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

sorry, I read your intitial post as negative. Likely the syntax and writing style plus knowing you have not been real positive on many of the newly revealed games recently. My appologies. text does not always come through with intent or meaning.
I am not a fanboy of Heighway, but rather appreciative of what they have currently done, their customer service, and excited for what Alien/s appears to offer.
I am of a similar opinion but will wait to make any jundgement until I hear of the details. Pretty odd that so many people are jumping to conclusions and ideas. Just listening to yet another podcast where people are assuming that it will cost them hundreds of dollars to update the CPU. I think the lesson here for Heighway is no need to even announce this untill they have the details worked out and can lay it all out to the actual owners. There was no positive for them to even post anything about it.

And with this I agree with everything that you've said.

Now we can go back to being friends.

#8802 2 years ago

In hindsight... I don't understand why the CPU upgrade is an issue anyways... shouldn't the CPU just be included in the price and kit for the Alien 'kit' purchases?

I mean... you can't run Alien without it.. and there should be 100% overlap between the people buying the Alien kit, and people that need the CPU upgrade. If there is no advantage to using the new CPU on FullT.. then no need to sell it stand-alone at this time.

Heighway should just include the CPU in the FullT->Alien kit and price accordingly.

It only becomes a problem in the future when there is more than one upgrade path... FullT->#3, FullT->Alien, Alien->#3 - then you will need to de-couple the CPU upgrade from the 'kit' sales... because of Alien->#3 buyers... #3->Alien buyers..

#8803 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Now we can go back to being friends.

Good!
I was considering bringing Lucile as a moderation tool ("Be Nice") for you and Hilton

(I am in a TWD mood for now... have to recover from the latest episode. Sorry for the off-topic rant...)

#8804 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

For all you guys who think this "kit" ideas is good.. How do you store the kit that is not in use? Does it have a special box? I just can't see how cheaping out on a full game and a kit is a good fit for the kind of people who buy brand new pinball machines for home use. Can someone point me to a thread where this has been hashed out? I really want to learn how this is NOT one of those ideas that sounds good on paper but not so much IRL.

not sure why this post got down voted 4 times. this is a very valid question in my opinion as I have tried to visualize not only the swap out but the storage and the fact that I now have 4400.00 worth of unusable kit sitting around potentially waiting to get damaged. My inclination is to store the playfield...in its own cabinet, right next to a complete full throttle.

#8805 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

And with this I agree with everything that you've said.
Now we can go back to being friends.

i'm getting all misty 'n shit

celebration of love (resized).jpg

11
#8806 2 years ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

not sure why this post got down voted 4 times.

Because it's been answered over and over probably. It's a long thread, people miss things, but the regulars are tired of the same questions I'd guess.

To answer it:

Playfield kits are supposed to ship in their own crate, that's designed to slide under your pin for storage. Take new playfield out, put old playfield in.

I have no idea if if the idea will take off, way too early to tell. But that's what you can do with the game you took out.

-21
#8807 2 years ago

Thanks for the vid. Does it come with a frame for your other translite? I'm still struggling to understand where this is viable besides maybe in Kaneda's apartment.

#8808 2 years ago

I personally will take the spare out and store it under another game, just like I did with SWEP1 when I had one for a short bit along with RFM.

Main difference is RFM was fun but SWEP1 was a turd of a game so it was not even worthwhile to own as a kit/space.

It was also a PITA to swap.

The heighway platform is super easy to swap and I cuols see feasibly doing it every so often.

Would be pretty cool to eventually be able to have 5 cabs and 10 games in the 5 games worth of space.

For operating it would be really nice to evantually be able to just load over and swap in a pf, while the older game pf goes home for shop out.

#8809 2 years ago

I mentioned this awhile back, but thought I'd try again.... How does the ball get to the RT return rail? (circled in red). Does the alien eat it, then it comes out from behind the back of the playfield? I thought there was a subway that took the eaten balls to the eject scoop, but perhaps it also diverts from the subway to a VUK behind the playfield, then up to the RT return rail?

It just not clear from the Expo videos, or from looking at the schematic. Maybe somebody can chime in how it works? It seems like the ball would just dump onto the RT loop shot, which doesn't seem right, since those plastics would take a beating. Either I'm missing something, or this area of the playfield isn't finalized yet. I also seem to remember someone saying there would be a plastic of the derelict ship in that back corner? I believe that photo was from a pre-production build so that might have changed.

It's driving me nuts because I haven't found an Expo photo of that back RT corner of the playfield, and the videos are too far away. Just curious. This is the stuff I think about when I'm bored at work. Carry on guys

UPPERPLAYFIELD (resized).JPG

#8810 2 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I mentioned this awhile back, but thought I'd try again.... How does the ball get to the RT return rail?

It doesn't, that rail is going away. It was going to go there from a VUK after the Xeno ate the ball, but it was adjusted to just use the airlock scoop instead.

#8811 2 years ago
#8812 2 years ago

HEres a different question

Is there someone out there that will sell Alien LE on layaway?

I'm building a gameroom that is a money sucker, don't want to mis-out

36
#8813 2 years ago

Hi everyone,

Apologies for the radio silence - but we are just getting back to normal after Expo.

We have taken onboard any criticisms over the Expo period and reveal, and are working on a few key changes that can be implemented without delaying our production process.

Yes the production process has begun. Many parts have been ordered and some have already begun arriving. Production of the first games will be relatively slow - but this process will speed up dramatically as we get closer to Christmas.

Production of certain elements are happening now - the cabinets are virtually unchanged from Full Throttle - except for the EL blade panel recesses - and hence these can be built up first. Many sub assemblies will also be built in the coming weeks. This is how we can say that production has officially started. The more parts that are made now - the easier and quicker it will be finish the first games and get them shipped out to customers.

Part of this challenge is ramping up the production processes over the coming weeks to meet our target of producing 100 games a month by the end of this year. We have hired the necessary people with the knowledge and experience to make this happen.

We are significantly strengthening all areas of our company to meet the needs over the coming months. This includes extra personnel in all areas of the company. We know that there have been some delays in replying to customers over the last few weeks and for us, this is unacceptable. We will endeavour to deal with existing customers, and new enquiries, in a much faster manner in the coming days and weeks.

Many people have commented on the CPU and the need to upgrade it for existing Full Throttle owners. We chose the current Full Throttle CPU 2.5 years ago. It was a great CPU back then but 2.5 years is an eternity in the PC world.

As a company we want to constantly evolve our product and make it as new and relevant as possible. We tried to "cover all bases" in our original design concept, but inevitably some aspects of the system may need to be upgraded in the future. We could have kept the same CPU for Alien - but you, the customers, would suffer from not having the ultimate experience that we, the creators, can deliver to you now. So in choosing a new CPU, we have tried to make sure that it WON'T need changing over the next 2-3 years.

For existing customers, we will do our very best to look after them. It won't mean 'free' CPU upgrades, but it should mean substantial discounts for Full Throttle customers. When the time is right, we will announce such pricing and incentives.

I will try to stay as active here as possible, and to answer questions that you may have - and to give you regular updates over the coming weeks.

#8814 2 years ago

Thanks for the update. This is the way to do good business. Communication is key.

#8815 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

For existing customers, we will do our very best to look after them. It won't mean 'free' CPU upgrades, but it should mean substantial discounts for Full Throttle customers. When the time is right, we will announce such pricing and incentives.

what CPU is Alien running? I thought it was mentioned somewhere but can't find it. There's a wide range of prices...from a couple hundred to a couple thousand. I'm not lighting my hair on fire and know it'll be hashed out later BUT you could potentially turn off a lot of Full Throttle owners if this isn't handled in the smoothest (read: cheapest) manner possible. After all, it's insurance that they'll buy an Alien kit at least.

Also, this "new" CPU doesn't create any issues running FuTh software I'm assuming?

#8816 2 years ago

thanks for the reply Andrew!

Super looking forward to more time playing Alien soon!

#8817 2 years ago

The CPU upgrade needs to be the exact same dollar amount, if not less than what Heighway pays. How far out is game three? If Aliens requires a CPU upgrade in 2.5 years, do FT buyers get hammered again?

#8818 2 years ago

A low end ITX or mATX motherboard, probably 4GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM, an i3 processor, a PSU and probably a new SSD, plus cables is probably the extent of the changes, and shouldn't cost Heighway more than ~£350 in the kind of bulk they'll buy them. Probably well under £300 in fact.

So even if it's not free, and rather at cost, it should be significantly cheaper to upgrade than many of the optional upgrades on Alien, for example.

#8819 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

A low end ITX or mATX motherboard, probably 4GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM, an i3 processor, a PSU and probably a new SSD, plus cables is probably the extent of the changes, and shouldn't cost Heighway more than ~£350 in the kind of bulk they'll buy them. Probably well under £300 in fact.
So even if it's not free, and rather at cost, it should be significantly cheaper to upgrade than many of the optional upgrades on Alien, for example.

Regardless, this isn't a FT upgrade, it's required for FT adopters to run Alien. In reality, this should be a no cost upgrade if the FT owners buy Alien.

#8820 2 years ago

An easy way to make money for Heighway and to appease traditionalists: manufacture decals for the "blank spaces" on the cabinet that are sold to customers and applied in the factory.

For those who plan to keep the game intact and not swap out play fields, this provides a more standard appearance. It could be a way to further distinguish an LE model from the standard.

Just an idea.

#8821 2 years ago

It's not unprecedented...

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#8822 2 years ago
Quoted from guyincognito:

It's not unprecedented...

Not the same. AFAIK, Heighway has built its burgeoning business on playfield interchangability. Im not aware that they ever said, buy FT, then you will require $$$ to run pin# 2. Then in 2.5 years, both aliens and FT have to buy an upgraded CPU to run pin #3, and so on.

I understand the need to upgrade as they are new to this, but if they attempt to make even $1 off FT buyers so they can run more playfields, it wont be pretty. IMO

#8823 2 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

but if they attempt to make even $1 off FT buyers so they can run more playfields, it wont be pretty. IMO

No chance they'd use the opportunity to "make even $1" off FT buyers. Let's say the FT CPU costs $200 and the new one costs $300. If they charge FT owners the $100 difference Heighway is still losing $200 (more when you factor the admin/support burden of managing this upgrade process). If you could go back in time and put a $300 CPU in FT those buyers may well have paid that extra $100 for their games anyway.

#8824 2 years ago

Yeah, I seriously doubt Heighway would look to add any profit margin into a CPU upgrade. There may be a cost but it will be a pass through at most, and then just up to Andrew how much of it he wants to eat, as something like a goodwill exercise. He could always just charge that to the marketing budget.

#8825 2 years ago
Quoted from bane:

An easy way to make money for Heighway and to appease traditionalists: manufacture decals for the "blank spaces" on the cabinet that are sold to customers and applied in the factory.
For those who plan to keep the game intact and not swap out play fields, this provides a more standard appearance. It could be a way to further distinguish an LE model from the standard.
Just an idea.

This is a great idea. Mine won't ever not be an Alien and I would love extra eggs or other Alien type atmosphere on the sides as long as it complimented the existing artwork.

#8826 2 years ago

I am sure if you buy an Alien kit it will come with a new CPU...

Speaking from experience in having fullT on route and likely getting more plays than any other FullT that sits in a home, in the rare times where we had a question or need of service, Heighway has been top notch.

I expect it to be the same in regards to buying a kit to drop into the FullT cab.

I fully assume there may be a cost associated with a cpu upgrade so I can run and Aliens kit, but guessing that cost will just be wrapped into the price of the Aliens kit. I also assume there will be no upcharge for that portion of the kit. Again this is based on experience that Heighway has gone above and beyond with customer service.

#8827 2 years ago

For you FT owners, or others in the know: is the CPU separate from the playfield? In other words, when you pull the game to replace it with an Alien eventually, does the computer stay inside the cabinet?

#8828 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

For you FT owners, or others in the know: is the CPU separate from the playfield? In other words, when you pull the game to replace it with an Alien eventually, does the computer stay inside the cabinet?

Yes, CPU is in the cabinet.

27
#8829 2 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Yeah, I seriously doubt Heighway would look to add any profit margin into a CPU upgrade. There may be a cost but it will be a pass through at most, and then just up to Andrew how much of it he wants to eat, as something like a goodwill exercise. He could always just charge that to the marketing budget.

I can guarantee you that we will not make a penny/cent from supplyling new replacement CPUs to FT customers. It will likely be part subsidised by us.

#8830 2 years ago

Andrew / Aurich.

How is the LE artwork coming along?

Thanks,
Jeff

#8831 2 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Not the same. AFAIK, Heighway has built its burgeoning business on playfield interchangability. Im not aware that they ever said, buy FT, then you will require $$$ to run pin# 2. Then in 2.5 years, both aliens and FT have to buy an upgraded CPU to run pin #3, and so on.

It happens in many industries all the time .That's why they state *specifications subject to change.

#8832 2 years ago
Quoted from moto_cat:

It happens in many industries all the time .That's why they state *specifications subject to change.

I hear you, but it's hard to deny that buying a system that's inter-changeable, only to find out it isn't actually inter-changeable without upgrading is pretty crappy. If the required upgrade came down the road with game #4 or later, there wouldn't be the same complaint. Buyer would have had an opportunity to swap games, and everyone expects (or at least they should) that tech will need to be upgraded over time. You just don't expect to upgrade it before you can even use it.

I'm sure Heighway will do what they need to to make it right, but it's not hard to see why people would blast them prior to hearing the resolution.

#8833 2 years ago

"EL blade panel recesses"

Nice.

So..I'm a PC guy, I get upgrades. Is there a plan through the future needed hardware upgrades that may come down the pipe to maintain backwards compatibility with prior titles, then? I assume it's yes, but never hurts to ask. FWIW, if I had the money and was looking at the current crop of games about to be released, my desire to spend money would be between Aliens and the Domino's pin (Yeah, I get that I'm an outlier on that one..lol..), leaning more towards Aliens becuase I tend to not keep games and I expect resale to be better. Really liking the way this is looking, excited to see how things like the ramp lighting is going to work, though for the price being asked for it as an add-on, I couldn't ever really justify.. it's hard to look at things like the Tron 'Eli' kit and figure out how double the value would be extracted from anything similar to that, and that mod was a magnificent piece of work all around, IMO.

#8834 2 years ago

Andrew, Are you able to release a feature matrix or are there still changes which might occur which is prohibiting you from releasing one at this point?

With this crowd im not sure if it would be advantageous to release one that says "changes might occur up until shipping" or hold off for a final version.

-

I sent you a PM but i know you're busy. Do you think you will have any type of formal "release party" for folks buying the pin and will have it on location? Heighway would provide swag and would list the sites etc.

thanks

#8835 2 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Regardless, this isn't a FT upgrade, it's required for FT adopters to run Alien. In reality, this should be a no cost upgrade if the FT owners buy Alien.

I agree, but some seem worried that the new system could cost many hundreds if not thousands. I was merely demonstrating otherwise. A low spec'd i3 based PC will not cost much at all.

#8836 2 years ago

I like the modularity of the system (playfield and CPU). I have to upgrade my home pc every 5 years. How many of you would love to plunk in a new Stern Spike system in your Whitestar pins or have a colour DMD?

I would hate for Heighway to hold back on graphics and features because they were held back by legacy CPU. isn't that the issue we have had for 25 years with pinball? heighway just needs to market it a little differently - both the playfields and CPU are swappable. Maybe in the future you might need 2/3 different computer models to run your 15 different playfields - As long as the swap is easy and you don't end up with a different CPU for every playfield (unless that was really cheap) then I don't see an issue.

Seriously, anyone who looked at the Heighway system had to have seen this coming unless you are still driving your model-T. I am sure Heighway will do it's best to minimize the cost for FT owners.

I still quite like the new modularity of the system. If Heighway get's established I would buy their games because I like the ease to perform flipper rebuilds, the reduced back-box size, the light-up sides even more than I would for the interchangeable playfields. I would probably sell my older Williams & Stern games to make room for the Heighway stuff.

Carry-on Andrew.

#8837 2 years ago

Will people be able to buy a cabinet kit so when people get tired of schlepping their playfield kit around the game room, they can sell them to someone other than another Heighway game owner?

#8838 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Will people be able to buy a cabinet kit so when people get tired of schlepping their playfield kit around the game room, they can sell them to someone other than another Heighway game owner?

I would be shocked if they didn't. Andrew has demonstrated great flexibility in offering lots of options to buyers. In addition to your scenario, another likely one would be a customer with a spare HP playfield kit that has found the money/space to turn the kit into a permanent game.

#8840 2 years ago

It it is exceedingly easy - and fast - to load different code on demand.. for example when the machine boots. I don't know anything about Heighway's tech specs, meaning the CPU that these machines use ( I think someone posted the FT specs above) , but if indeed the computer in FT is having trouble with the animations, that will benefit from the CPU upgrade as well? 99 cent computers on a chip are able to keep up with 1080p video as they have hardware decoders.. this seems like a non-issue going forward. for a 2nd machine, it's still a knockout!

#8841 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Because it's been answered over and over probably. It's a long thread, people miss things, but the regulars are tired of the same questions I'd guess.
To answer it:
Playfield kits are supposed to ship in their own crate, that's designed to slide under your pin for storage. Take new playfield out, put old playfield in.
I have no idea if if the idea will take off, way too early to tell. But that's what you can do with the game you took out.
» YouTube video

thanks man. it is tough sifting through 175+ pages even if you know how to use certain functions. in my opinion it would be better if heighway had the ability to have everything on their site but i'm sure there's reasons for that. Thanks again for the video.

#8842 2 years ago

I work for a Point of Sales hardware manufacture and we have had units that sell extremely well go to End of Life because we no longer can source the same processor.

It's very good that they choose a non integrated processor as well so as long as the architecture of the motherboard stays up to par they can have the ability to upgrade it.

#8843 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

99 cent computers on a chip are able to keep up with 1080p video as they have hardware decoders..

Having built in HD decoders is wonderful for decoding video that is already encoded.. and has really been a boom for small, embedded devices looking to do video playback.

But what they are trying to do here is not just decode and display.. but in fact real-time composition and rendering of video. That's where the CPU and GPU load come in.

#8844 2 years ago
Quoted from PBFan:

Maybe in the future you might need 2/3 different computer models to run your 15 different playfields - As long as the swap is easy and you don't end up with a different CPU for every playfield (unless that was really cheap) then I don't see an issue.

I can't imagine a scenario where the latest playfield kit processor/hardware upgrade isn't backward compatable with all prior playfield themes. This is just pinball right?

In the future if you buy the latest playfield kit that requires a better processor than its predecessor, the kit is going to include the newest processor (it has to) and that associated extra cost will be included in the cost of the playfield purchase.

Not a big deal, just happy if I only own one Heighway pin, it will never become dated or obsolete as the future industry capabilities and standards of game play hardware evolve in complexity. Could a day come when the meaning of "modding your pin" changes to mean over clocking it?

Imagine the day a new pin hobbyist might find a deal on an old routed Full Throttle pin on the second hand market that seems quaint by the days standards and all he would have to do is buy the most recent playfield kit edition that required a hardware upgrade from Heighway to turn it into whatever the latest and greatest new pin technology is up to.

Bottom line is each time there is a processor/hardware upgrade needed, those parts are automatically going to come with the latest playfield kit that nessesitated it.

Modular system = no brainer.

#8845 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Having built in HD decoders is wonderful for decoding video that is already encoded.. and has really been a boom for small, embedded devices looking to do video playback.
But what they are trying to do here is not just decode and display.. but in fact real-time composition and rendering of video. That's where the CPU and GPU load come in.

Exactly - there are all sorts of custom user feedback graphics (like, scoring!) that are composited over video on the fly.

10
#8846 2 years ago
Quoted from zeddex:

Exactly - there are all sorts of custom user feedback graphics (like, scoring!) that are composited over video on the fly.

Absolutely true!! It isn't just playing encoded video. Lots more is going on- no question.

I help out with code for a project called Kodi, which is a media Center that plays 1080p video in several different containers and encoding formats. It uses what are called Overlays to do EXACTLY what we are talking about here. Real-time, dynamically generated, constantly changing user feedback areas. And it's over the whole screen. And it runs on a 1.x Ghz computer on a chip. I'm guessing the pinball machine logic will add some lag- but basically that's the least cpu intensive part.

I have no clue about the actual load on these machines, or how things are implemented or if there's some awful driver for one of the key pieces of hardware that slows everything else down.. and I would never be so presumptuous to imply that I know better - but our PHONES can do this.

#8847 2 years ago

Thumbs up for a Kodi dev. Kodi is the best thing in the world, after pinball of course!

#8848 2 years ago

I also like modular stuff because it helps put the "hobby" part back into the collecting. I would love to have the ability to program rules, change content, etc. I enjoy seeing the amazing mods that people come up with in the same way I like to go to car shows to see what people have done with their cars. I think the Heighway system has potential to help the hobby even more in the future. I really hope their concepts take-off and they do well as a company.

#8849 2 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

In the future if you buy the latest playfield kit that requires a better processor than its predecessor, the kit is going to include the newest processor (it has to) and that associated extra cost will be included in the cost of the playfield purchase.

I'm thinking the issue may be that down the road new FT machines will have the updated cpu so if those buyers get an Alien kit they won't need a new cpu.

#8850 2 years ago
Quoted from PBFan:

I also like modular stuff because it helps put the "hobby" part back into the collecting. I would love to have the ability to program rules, change content, etc. I enjoy seeing the amazing mods that people come up with in the same way I like to go to car shows to see what people have done with their cars. I think the Heighway system has potential to help the hobby even more in the future. I really hope their concepts take-off and they do well as a company.

Check out P3 as well

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