(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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52 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20 (Show topic index)

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20
#12101 2 years ago

Time to answer your questions and concerns about the cabinets of existing Full Throttle customers.

The big challenge for us was to nail down a cabinet design, and its functionality, more than 3 years ago. Trying to future-proof a concept so long ago was a huge challenge. The commitment we had to give was that any Heighway game could fit into a Heighway cabinet.

Clearly, as a company, we want to make our products as good as they can be, and if we get the chance to make improvements along the way, then we will do our best to implement them.

This leaves us with a challenge if these changes give new customers a new experience and early adopters feel cheated. Clearly, we wnat all of our customers to be happy.

I have given this a lot of thought and as a company we will now consider 2 options:

1. We offer a vinyl or laminated Alien Pinball blade decal, or laminated graphic. It may, or may not, be possible to also light this with an EL panel kit.
2. We offer an inner cabinet ply carcass, with the recessed blade sides. I believe this could be flat packed (think Ikea) to save on shipping. The carcass would need to be assembled and everything related to the existing cabinet could then need to be swopped across to the new cabinet carcass, including the outer cabinet panels.

Both options are viable and the latter would also be financially viable, if customers are prepared to undertake the swap.

We will discuss both options and report back to you shortly.

#12102 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Both options are viable and the latter would also be financially viable, if customers are prepared to undertake the swap.

You need to let us complain longer before you offer a solution

#12103 2 years ago

I now wonder how many Pinball 2000 kits were sold in relation to total of games sold in total.

#12104 2 years ago

Just a heads up, all LE numbers under 100 are spoken for according to CoinTaker. I think orders must have really picked up over the past few weeks after the gameplay videos came out.

#12105 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

I have given this a lot of thought and as a company we will now consider 2 options:
1. We offer a vinyl or laminated Alien Pinball blade decal, or laminated graphic. It may, or may not, be possible to also light this with an EL panel kit.
2. We offer an inner cabinet ply carcass, with the recessed blade sides. I believe this could be flat packed (think Ikea) to save on shipping. The carcass would need to be assembled and everything related to the existing cabinet could then need to be swopped across to the new cabinet carcass, including the outer cabinet panels.
Both options are viable and the latter would also be financially viable, if customers are prepared to undertake the swap.

Perfect solution for all current and future Heighway customers, now that's out of the way what's next?....

#12106 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

I have sent you a PM - did you receive it?
If you have been charged sales tax by us on an invoice then that is incorrect.
Please forward the invoice to me at andrew@heighwaypinball.com and I will address it.

Andrew,
An email was sent to you regarding this which you replied to on 28 of December 2016.

In your reply was "Jay and Morgan are CC'd in on this email and I will deal with this matter with them when our factory reopens on 3rd January. In any case, the VAT element will be deducted"

A follow up email was sent to yourself,Jay and Morgan a week ago with no outcome.

I'm still waiting on an updated invoice/order confirmation as this issue is not resolved.

#12107 2 years ago
Quoted from Toads:

Andrew,
An email was sent to you regarding this which you replied to on 28 of December 2016.
In your reply was "Jay and Morgan are CC'd in on this email and I will deal with this matter with them when our factory reopens on 3rd January. In any case, the VAT element will be deducted"
A follow up email was sent to yourself,Jay and Morgan a week ago with no outcome.
I'm still waiting on an updated invoice/order confirmation as this issue is not resolved.

#12108 2 years ago
Quoted from Toads:

Andrew,
An email was sent to you regarding this which you replied to on 28 of December 2016.
In your reply was "Jay and Morgan are CC'd in on this email and I will deal with this matter with them when our factory reopens on 3rd January. In any case, the VAT element will be deducted"
A follow up email was sent to yourself,Jay and Morgan a week ago with no outcome.
I'm still waiting on an updated invoice/order confirmation as this issue is not resolved.

Apologies, I have been away for the last week. Would you mind forwarding it to me again and I'll take care of it in the office in the morning?

#12109 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Apologies, I have been away for the last week. Would you mind forwarding it to me again and I'll take care of it in the office in the morning?

Email sent.

#12110 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Time to answer your questions and concerns about the cabinets of existing Full Throttle customers.

I agree. What about the computer?

#12111 2 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

Am I the only person who liked Prometheus? I thought it was a great movie, Resurrection wasn't great but it was entertaining, it had alot of cheese but I like cheese, I'm a like a big mouse.

I loved prometheus. Just sat there and watched it in awe.

#12112 2 years ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

I loved prometheus. Just sat there and watched it in awe.

Prometheus is great! I think it just failed to live up to the hype and expectations as people were expecting it to be as good as the first two films. On its own merits though its great and better than most modern Sci-Fi movies. Sure it has some plot holes and I didn't like some of the dialogue but it's still an enjoyable movie overall and fits the Alien narrative.

I'd also recommend the movie "Moon" which was directed by David Bowie's son Duncan Jones. The Sequel "Mute" is a Netflix exclusive coming out later this year and I can't wait!

#12113 2 years ago

This is a long read, but once you do, you will NEVER view Prometheus the same way again....

http://m15m.livejournal.com/23209.html

"POW! Alien dick-snake, in your face!"

Later,
EV

#12114 2 years ago
Quoted from PappyBoyington:

Oh, so the standard does not come with any LCD screen in the backbox? It's just a backglass?

Correct

#12115 2 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

I think kits will hold there value similar to an average used pin. Meaning you will lose a little but not enough to worry about.

The problem with this logic is three points...
1) The point about volume.. without volume the kits will continue to be expensive vs buying a full game. Minus the smaller audience that is so space limited... many may find its just better to buy a complete game.
2) The buying audience for your kit is limited to those with a compatible cabinet.. unlike a pin which can be used by anyone
3) The more successful a game is in your audience of Heighway owners.. the smaller the market for kits.. because people will already have the game

Without the steep price discount.. there is less incentive to buy a kit. The lower the ratio of kit to game sales... the worse the kit value becomes. The smaller the total volume of Heighway owners.. the smaller the compatible buyer audience.

The more desirable a game is.. the more likely people will buy the full version (example.. would you buy an alien cabinet+FT kit.. or a FT+alien kit). This also means more full games of the popular titles vs kits.. which again hurts the potential size of your market.

It's one of these chicken and the egg problems... for the model to work the kits need to be be fiscally attractive. For the kits to be attractive vs space.. you need a number of game options. Hence the chicken and the egg problem... you need to be successful for a period of time before the kits really become attractive.

Imagine if instead of Stern Vault games being full titles.. imagine if Stern offered a swap-in of a game that hasn't been in production for awhile and offered it to their current customer base. I think there is more incentive for a model like that.. than offering kits as an alternative to a first run complete game.

Just theorizing...

#12116 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The problem with this logic is three points...
1) The point about volume.. without volume the kits will continue to be expensive vs buying a full game. Minus the smaller audience that is so space limited... many may find its just better to buy a complete game.
2) The buying audience for your kit is limited to those with a compatible cabinet.. unlike a pin which can be used by anyone
3) The more successful a game is in your audience of Heighway owners.. the smaller the market for kits.. because people will already have the game
Without the steep price discount.. there is less incentive to buy a kit. The lower the ratio of kit to game sales... the worse the kit value becomes. The smaller the total volume of Heighway owners.. the smaller the compatible buyer audience.
The more desirable a game is.. the more likely people will buy the full version (example.. would you buy an alien cabinet+FT kit.. or a FT+alien kit). This also means more full games of the popular titles vs kits.. which again hurts the potential size of your market.
It's one of these chicken and the egg problems... for the model to work the kits need to be be fiscally attractive. For the kits to be attractive vs space.. you need a number of game options. Hence the chicken and the egg problem... you need to be successful for a period of time before the kits really become attractive.
Imagine if instead of Stern Vault games being full titles.. imagine if Stern offered a swap-in of a game that hasn't been in production for awhile and offered it to their current customer base. I think there is more incentive for a model like that.. than offering kits as an alternative to a first run complete game.
Just theorizing...

Exactly.

-7
#12117 2 years ago

Kits sound good on paper to guys who are out of space. Otherwise, not so much. The unrecognized problem is that storing a PF takes nearly as much space as a game.

BTW, how much is the savings when you just buy a kit? I can't believe reduced cost would be a driver on buying a kit.

#12118 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Kits sound good on paper to guys who are out of space. Otherwise, not so much. The unrecognized problem is that storing a PF takes nearly as much space as a game.

The playfield will fit under the pin, additionally, Heighway will be selling secure boxes that can store and stack the playfields.

18
#12119 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Kits sound good on paper to guys who are out of space. Otherwise, not so much. The unrecognized problem is that storing a PF takes nearly as much space as a game.
BTW, how much is the savings when you just buy a kit? I can't believe reduced cost would be a driver on buying a kit.

kit slides right under the game.

kits are ~60% the cost of a full game.

It is feasible and desired for me (both home and for route)

At home, slide the spare under the current game in wasted space under the table. BAM, 2 games in the space of 1.

On route, say you have an issue that would be easier to work on at home... Just slide out the deck having issues and then slide in another deck. Go back home to work on the issues. Bring back the fully shopped pf later that week.

#12120 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

The unrecognized problem is that storing a PF takes nearly as much space as a game.

What?

#12121 2 years ago

worth note, that with the Highway support rail system, you can also slide out the entire pf and have something to easily set it on.

Makes it possible to work on the ground or bench very handy.

#12122 2 years ago

I assume you can probably fit 2 boxed playfields under the cabinet?

#12123 2 years ago
Quoted from mtdouble:

I assume you can probably fit 2 boxed playfields under the cabinet?

no idea. I would guess they would be too tall?

#12124 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Kits sound good on paper to guys who are out of space. Otherwise, not so much.

So most of us in Europe then, we unfortunately don't have as much space as you lucky pinheads in the US.

Quoted from SadSack:

The unrecognized problem is that storing a PF takes nearly as much space as a game.

I reckon I can get two crated playfield kits under a single cabinet/game. I can also store about 30 crates on my mezzanine storage, can't get a single game up there.

Quoted from SadSack:

I can't believe reduced cost would be a driver on buying a kit.

If I can get another game (that I can swap out in 2-5minutes, not much longer than it takes to remove and replace glass) and at 50-60% of the cost of a full game, it would make it very tempting!

29
#12125 2 years ago

I'm looking forward to the day there are lots of kits floating around that can be bought/sold/traded. Swapping games by putting it into the trunk of your car and not needing a van, no lugging 300 pounds down a flight of stairs, no throwing your back out dead lifting a pin to put the legs on, no need to recruit your buddies to help, you can easily ship a playfield kit through just about any shipper, etc.

#12126 2 years ago
Quoted from mtdouble:

I assume you can probably fit 2 boxed playfields under the cabinet?

actually, I am now wondering if you could put them on their sides and fit 2?

#12127 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

actually, I am now wondering if you could put them on their sides and fit 2?

I thought they said somewhere you can fit 2 or 3 under the machine. Can't remember but I know it's at least 2.

17
#12128 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

The unrecognized problem is that storing a PF takes nearly as much space as a game.

it's not recognized because it isn't true.

#12129 2 years ago

I personally love the kit idea! I'm always at a battle with space in my gameroom and kits will allow me to add more games without having to sacrifice other games. I tend to go in streaks as far as which games I play so I could see myself swapping them out every few months to keep things fresh. I'm kind of anxious to see what kind of deal they put together for FT kits for Alien buyers as I know Andrew mentioned something about that in the tour video.

#12130 2 years ago

I am going to continue be a broken record here but any update on LE artwork and status?! So happy everything is moving forward and games are shipping but kind of feel locked in a box here with an LE and haven't even been able to see the game :wall:yet!

#12131 2 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

I am going to continue be a broken record here but any update on LE artwork and status?! So happy everything is moving forward and games are shipping but kind of feel locked in a box here with an LE and haven't even been able to see the game :wall:yet!

I think a bigger question is the fiber optic ramps. The LE artwork, once approved, seems easy (and fast) enough to print up for the cab and backbox. Since the LE and PRO playfields are exactly the same though, what is going on with the ramp lighting? Have they even been coded for yet? Do the current ramps support mounting it? It's a pretty expensive option and there has been pretty much no talk about it for awhile.

-7
#12132 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

it's not recognized because it isn't true.

Ask the guys who have a SWEP1 kit for their AFM. How often do they switch out?

#12133 2 years ago

Swep1 stinks, what if you had MB and a MM kit. I'd be swapping fairly regular.

#12134 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

kit slides right under the game.
kits are ~60% the cost of a full game.
It is feasible and desired for me (both home and for route)
At home, slide the spare under the current game in wasted space under the table. BAM, 2 games in the space of 1.
On route, say you have an issue that would be easier to work on at home... Just slide out the deck having issues and then slide in another deck. Go back home to work on the issues. Bring back the fully shopped pf later that week.

That's a pretty expensive backup plan. I still don't see why you would want a kit.. especially as an operator. I also didn't know that you guys with expensive game rooms liked storing things under your pinball machines. The only time I see things under a machine in pic on this board, it usually is in a room that is quite the pig sty. But it's just my opinion. I would never buy a kit, but I sure would like to have the games.

#12135 2 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Swep1 stinks, what if you had MB and a MM kit. I'd be swapping fairly regular.

Fair enough, but I still think I'd prefer both operational at the same time.

#12136 2 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

I am going to continue be a broken record here but any update on LE artwork and status?! So happy everything is moving forward and games are shipping but kind of feel locked in a box here with an LE and haven't even been able to see the game :wall:yet!

Andrew posted a few days ago they are still waiting on Fox approval. They will share everything once it is approved.

#12137 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Fair enough, but I still think I'd prefer both operational at the same time.

I think the case for swapping is really for space limited collectors and operators. The swap would be sweet for an operator, keep the games fresh, costs lower and it looks like it would be easy to shop and store pulled playfields.

#12138 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

I would never buy a kit, but I sure would like to have the games.

lucky for you... You can buy full games.

Kits are pretty sweet options for those with limited space and a desire to move around games more easily.
It actually makes perfect sense for me and I wish more manufacturers would offer a kit.

For route, the reality is that games need to go home for full shop out ocassionally. Also, games tend to drop off in play over time. You can rotate them among locations, or you can take them home to shop and then return them at a later date and see coin drop go back up. As a hobby operator, it is sweet to pull just a pf home to clean up and then leave stored under a personal game for a few months till it heads back on route.

At 60% the cost of a full game, the numbers make sense if you crunch them (at least for many they will)

#12139 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Ask the guys who have a SWEP1 kit for their AFM. How often do they switch out?

It takes literally 5 minutes for heighway swap including plugging in the new USB....this is 2017, tech is slightly more advanced.

11
#12140 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

I'd prefer both operational at the same time.

I'd "prefer" to have a warehouse showroom full of games to play...along with a swimming pool and a few other luxury items...but as it stands I have a 100 year old house with a small basement.

Most of what you are saying is a non sequitur.

#12141 2 years ago

I think the benefits of Heighway's system will start paying big dividends once they get a few more games under their belt. Just imagine if Stern would have came up with this system in the early 2000's and sold kits for all of their games at 60% of the full game price ($2200-$2800). I could see myself with 2-3 Full Stern games in my line-up along with another 7-8 kits stored away ready to swap in at a moments notice. It just opens up a lot more possibilities, especially if you are tight on space and money.

But the other good news is that you don't need to buy the kits if you don't like the option. Heighway's full price games are still cost effective compared to some of the other competitors in the industry.

#12142 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

For route, the reality is that games need to go home for full shop out ocassionally. Also, games tend to drop off in play over time. You can rotate them among locations, or you can take them home to shop and then return them at a later date and see coin drop go back up. As a hobby operator, it is sweet to pull just a pf home to clean up and then leave stored under a personal game for a few months till it heads back on route.

Considering keeping games "fresh" on location is one of the biggest ways to boost revenue, anything that makes it easier to rotate titles seems like a guaranteed money maker. Without the backbreaking effort to rotate a game, you can rotate them between locations much more often.

#12143 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

I would never buy a kit, but I sure would like to have the games.

It's not like the games are only sold in kit form. And obviously the LE versions are made more custom for each title, powder coat for the theme, etc, for the people that want the dedicated version and don't want to swap them. Seems like a win win to me.

#12145 2 years ago

Kit idea is very appealing to me. I only have so much room for full-sized machines, but I have a relatively large crawl space area where I could easily fit a few kits (probably 5-6), not including keeping one under the pin. As it stands right now, I really don't have what I would consider "adequate" space for another pin, but I'm sure I could make it work.

I'm anxiously awaiting Heighway's supposed announcement for a package deal - Alien machine with FT kit... That might make me find adequate space PDQ!

#12146 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

actually, I am now wondering if you could put them on their sides and fit 2?

Can you slide the playfields under the game from the front of the cabinet? Or only from sides? With my design, that was a challenge because they did not fit between the legs. This was a bummer because it meant I could only slide playfirlds under the cabinets on the end of a row. So I started hanging them on the wall because they truly do take up a fair amount of space on their own. I know the Heighway cabinet is wider due to the side panel art insert, so that might be enough room.

I could only fit one game under a cabinet. The support frame, ramps and backwall make it taller than you would expect.

Aaron
FAST Pinball

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#12147 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Ask the guys who have a SWEP1 kit for their AFM. How often do they switch out?

That is a terrible comparison because JPOP screwed the pooch on SWEP1.

#12148 2 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

That is a terrible comparison because JPOP screwed the pooch on SWEP1.

funny part os SWEP1 does not fit in my AFM no matter how hard I try, lol

#12149 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

Ask the guys who have a SWEP1 kit for their AFM. How often do they switch out?

Aside from the fact that it's RFM, not AFM...

This still is not a fair comparison at all. Not only did SWE1 suck major, but the actual swap process was a complete pain in the ass if you didn't have 2 prism cards. And even then, you had several connectors to switch, boards that had to be swapped from the computer in the head, etc. I had both games in 1 cabinet and if I remember correctly, it was like 20+ minutes to swap playfields and flash the other game software.

A ~3 minute plug-and-play swap is not comparable to the PB2K experience at all.

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