(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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#13701 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I dont know the specific changes but can likely explain the issues with the original beta ones and what the change is.
Original ones used a micro controer for the jaw and then a geared motor to move the tounge. Original ones also relied on the pf magnet to catch the ball and the sideways opto to then register the ball was caught before the jaw would engage and the tounge would come out.
A few issues with this were that it had a very tight tolerance for everything to work exactly as planned and if the tounge was out but a ball was still in play on the pf then it could smash into the tounge. That smash could cause the tounge to lodge/stick. A robust built mech so not a big deal to unstick, but needed to be done by hand.
Last I heard the new mech has an improved logic, better micro controllers, and the ability to unstick itself in the case it needs to (in short, if the order of operations fails in the middle then the game will jsut correct itself)
I am looking forward to what the new mech actually looks like. I had some long conversations with some of the team members about it and I am sure it will be a nice improvement.

Cool sounds good thanks for the write up, new mech sounds like it's been nicely bullet proofed

#13703 2 years ago

Off the wall idea here, based on a few assumptions:

*Old Xeno head mechs are now useless
*More than a few of these were made
*Heighway need a little better cash flow to speed up shipping of games

If true, what about offering the old Xeno-head mechs for sale simply as a collectible item to raise cash? Done with the stipulation that these never be placed into an existing machine (voided warranty/etc).

I'm just thinking that if there are old Xeno head mechs sitting around that would never be used, selling them off as a mild fund raiser could help offset a loss.

That said, maybe my assumptions are off (old Xeno heads can be fixed; not many were ordered; etc)

#13704 2 years ago

Doubt Fox would allow that.

#13705 2 years ago

Well that one guy didn't get Fox's approval and look what happened to him - he's got toys galore sitting in a trailer!

#13706 2 years ago
Quoted from Topher5000:

Doubt Fox would allow that.

I think they can sell spare Xeno Heads as spare parts, right?

#13707 2 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I think they can sell spare Xeno Heads as spare parts, right?

My thinking as well.

-1
#13708 2 years ago

Led xmas ornaments.... gold mine

#13709 2 years ago
Quoted from CubeSnake:

OK, if one were to place an order for an Alien TODAY (5/8) WHEN could one expect delivery?

When I placed my order on March 30th I was told this via email-
"As a new customer I would say that we will be shipping your machine to you within 4-6 weeks and that the delivery time will be 7-10 days."
I guess we'll see how that goes...

#13710 2 years ago
Quoted from earflaps:

Bummer about the ball drop chipping. I really want this title but hope they come up with a few mods in short order that help with the playfield wear.
If it helps, I spent a better part of my evening tweaking my Full Throttle as well. Changed out those ridiculous Super Bands on the flippers; changed out the audio amp as it had a broken wire clamp; added a rubber post ring on the right outlane post and narrowed the outlane posts
then spent an assload of time on tweaking the flipper settings to get them feeling like a Williams/Bally. Still need to take apart the ramps and make the left orbit smoother but hey, did I mention it's great fun...playing it is pretty cool too...haha.

I was eyeballing that full throttle all weekend, was disapointed it wasnt set up, wanted to play it! Congrats on the new game

#13711 2 years ago
Quoted from onedeath:

I am supposed to be in the first order and we all know that they have not shipped yet due to the issues that are being addressed. I also have an AFMr coming so not really worried about waiting, as long as I have it for the Cle Show I'm good.

your saying Cointaker hasnt received them ?

#13712 2 years ago
Quoted from ledge:

your saying Cointaker hasnt received them ?

I can not say for sure. They got the first set that were betas is all I know, some were at the Texas show.

#13713 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

I was eyeballing that full throttle all weekend, was disapointed it wasnt set up, wanted to play it! Congrats on the new game

Thanks Libtech. Congrat's to you as well on your Alien...great game as well. I did a lot of reading, videos and head-scratching as well before making coming to a decision. Had several beer in the afternoon and finally built up the courage to take a leap of faith. I can say it plays a lot different to Alien...crazy fast! It's very hard to capture the ball so you have to learn to make your shots on the fly...but hey, it's a racing pin so that works. Ball times are usually pretty short right now but I'm getting better.

Yes, would have liked to have set it up so others could have tried it...just didn't work out that way due to getting it late Saturday evening and leaving home Sunday morning. Might bring it to Yegpin next year if everything works out.

#13715 2 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

After so many people hated Prometheus I can't pass any kind of judgement on Covenant because I loved Prometheus and prefer Alien to Aliens so if the film is more cerebral than action packed I'm all for it.

I agree with this 100%. Comparing a sequel (aliens) thats action packed like a marvel comics offering to one of the all time great sci-fi suspense/horror films (probably the greatest in Alien) is really kind of ridiculous. Oh yeah lets throw in an all-star 80's cast that includes Paul fuggin Reiser to boot. Good grief. Not a bad sequel but wtf are people thinking? Prometheus was awesome too. I am hoping the new film stacks up to that.

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#13716 2 years ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Yes, the new Design Zeno Mechanism

I wasn't 100% sure if this was correct or not. Not that I doubted 'Join_The_Cirqus', but I figured we would have had an announcement from Heighway that the new Xeno mechs and boards were ready. So I zapped off an email yesterday evening to Helmut (Heighway Cust Srv Mgr) asking if he could confirm - and he DID!!

I let out a sigh of relief when I read his reply this morning. The new mechs and boards are ready, and going into games. He said he will be out of town until mid-next week, but expects to start sending 'care packages' with new parts to existing owners towards the end of next week. WooHoo!!

Now, let me explain why I let out that sigh of relief. It's not for my own selfish reasons of wanting my xeno to work, it was more for everyone else who wants to get this game someday. To me, the biggest issue holding up delivery of these games wasn't LE art, LE ramp lighting or any other LE related thing - it was reworking the xeno mech which is the main toy on EVERY game. With that hurdle (apparently) behind them, I hope to see more games coming off the line and making their way into owners homes.

#13717 2 years ago
Quoted from SunKing:

I wasn't 100% sure if this was correct or not. Not that I doubted 'Join_The_Cirqus', but I figured we would have had an announcement from Heighway that the new Xeno mechs and boards were ready. So I zapped off an email yesterday evening to Helmut (Heighway Cust Srv Mgr) asking if he could confirm - and he DID!!
I let out a sigh of relief when I read his reply this morning. The new mechs and boards are ready, and going into games. He said he will be out of town until mid-next week, but expects to start sending 'care packages' with new parts to existing owners towards the end of next week. WooHoo!!
Now, let me explain why I let out that sigh of relief. It's not for my own selfish reasons of wanting my xeno to work, it was more for everyone else who wants to get this game someday. To me, the biggest issue holding up delivery of these games wasn't LE art, LE ramp lighting or any other LE related thing - it was reworking the xeno mech which is the main toy on EVERY game. With that hurdle (apparently) behind them, I hope to see more games coming off the line and making their way into owners homes.

Did they give any indication that the games that are going out now are final as far as hardware goes or are they still making changes as far as adding flashers, etc. to the game? At this point I'm just hoping they are at a point where they can start mass producing games!

#13718 2 years ago

Can anybody confirm if the cabinets for Alien are made of partical board or of real plywood?

#13719 2 years ago
Quoted from Sammy31:

Can anybody confirm if the cabinets for Alien are made of particleboard or of real plywood?

Real plywood, solidly built.

#13720 2 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

Did they give any indication that the games that are going out now are final as far as hardware goes or are they still making changes as far as adding flashers, etc. to the game?

Honestly, I don't know. Helmut only confirmed that the new game going out really did have the updated Xeno assembly. The lighting on this game is already so bad-ass, any additional improvements are just more icing on an already iced cake IMHO.

#13721 2 years ago
Quoted from MikeS:

Did they give any indication that the games that are going out now are final as far as hardware goes or are they still making changes as far as adding flashers, etc. to the game?

I imagined they were going to use code & the existing GI/inserts to replicate the strobe light effect when the tongue came out, but I could be totally wrong. They never specifically announced anything, just said they were working on a solution.

#13722 2 years ago

I got an email from Morgan at Heighway and spoke to him on the phone yesterday. He seemed to be sincere apologizing for not getting back to me sooner. He confirmed that the xeno mech revision has been contributing to the slow production, and gave me the impression that they have a handle on the issues that have kept them from picking up the pace. While I don't have an exact date yet, I've been told that my Alien will likely ship out this month. Given that I can account for 16 games shipped just from this thread that is believable.

11
#13723 2 years ago

Ok so a few things for you Ferret (or Andrew):

Stuff we found last weekend, Dan Mentioned:
- Airlock needs a cliffy, or its going to get blown out fast.
- Right invert ramp exit switch plastic washers break fast, metal ones on top and bottom hold well.
- if possible coil power adjustment mainly for the trough would be great

As Ty mentioned:
-50m skill shot lol, didnt get to play much at yegpin but got it well playing with a buddy here - easy 100+million game!

Other stuff:
Code:
-Modes are too easy to cycle through, I would think that not necessarily making guys complete a mode before starting the next but maybe make it so you have to at least get a few shots first or it stays on the same mode next time you start one?
-A timer on either screen to let you know how much time you have left in a mode would be great

Physical:
-The EL light blades induce a good squeal into the speakers, if possible better shielding on sensitive cables?
-the ramps have tabs on the end, are they just first gen didnt get used? or is that for the EL wire etc?

All in all, so far I'm really liking it - I have it set up steep (7.2 ish) and its much faster and less floaty, however I cant for the life of me make the chest burster shot at this angle so I'll have to bring it down.
The code, animations, and sound are really really good, cant believe (compared to 'other' companies) how much further ahead it is at launch. The ambiance and shots and layout are fantastic.

#13724 2 years ago

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Quoted from libtech: The code, animations, and sound are really really good, cant believe (compared to 'other' companies) how much further ahead it is at launch. The ambiance and shots and layout are fantastic.

13
#13725 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

Ok so a few things for you Ferret (or Andrew):

I'm happy to talk about software issues, but any physical / electromechanical questions I'll defer to heighwaypinball or ealadubhsidhe or whoever...

Quoted from libtech:

- if possible coil power adjustment mainly for the trough would be great

This is on our to-do list.

Quoted from libtech:

-50m skill shot lol, didnt get to play much at yegpin but got it well playing with a buddy here - easy 100+million game!

My apologies for that one, not sure how that snuck past testing on both sides of the pond, but it's a legit memory corruption bug having to do with switching players... it isn't specific to skill shots, although by pure coincidence of the memory map, it'll probably mostly affect skill shots. Should not be a problem in one-player games. It's fixed in v0.98, which was sent to Wales yesterday. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Quoted from libtech:

-Modes are too easy to cycle through, I would think that not necessarily making guys complete a mode before starting the next but maybe make it so you have to at least get a few shots first or it stays on the same mode next time you start one?

The design team went back and forth a LOT about this general topic. There are pros and cons to different approaches. Doing something like you describe could cause a player to get stuck forever (or at least long enough to be seriously not-fun). For example, consider Tunnel Hunt. 3 shots followed by the Airlock to win. Two of those shots, Vent 2 and Vent 3, are upper-flipper, cross-playfield shots, relatively difficult, especially for less skilled players. So let's say we required at least two shots to "clear" the mode. Players might get through the other three Alien modes, get to Tunnel Hunt, and then be stuck trying it over... and over... until they got the harder shots. That's not very fun IMHO.

However, as I've noted here before, if you're interested in a good score, winning modes (vs intentionally timing them out) is a good idea.

Quoted from libtech:

-A timer on either screen to let you know how much time you have left in a mode would be great

Errr... there should be one on the Airlock screen.

Quoted from libtech:

All in all, so far I'm really liking it

Great, I'm very glad to hear that!

Quoted from libtech:

I cant for the life of me make the chest burster shot at this angle so I'll have to bring it down.

I still haven't decided if Chestburster is easier from the upper-left flipper or the lower-left flipper. Making it from the UL flipper is the "intended" and probably geometrically easier shot, but of course you have to hit the ball on the fly for that, can't trap it. It is also possible to shoot the Chestburster from a trap from the LL flipper, but it's a *very* tight fit. Nevertheless, I'll try for it sometimes (Bug Hunt!) and sometimes even succeed.

Have fun!

#13726 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

Ok so a few things for you Ferret (or Andrew):
Stuff we found last weekend, Dan Mentioned:
- Airlock needs a cliffy, or its going to get blown out fast.
- Right invert ramp exit switch plastic washers break fast, metal ones on top and bottom hold well.
- if possible coil power adjustment mainly for the trough would be great
As Ty mentioned:
-50m skill shot lol, didnt get to play much at yegpin but got it well playing with a buddy here - easy 100+million game!
Other stuff:
Code:
-Modes are too easy to cycle through, I would think that not necessarily making guys complete a mode before starting the next but maybe make it so you have to at least get a few shots first or it stays on the same mode next time you start one?
-A timer on either screen to let you know how much time you have left in a mode would be great
Physical:
-The EL light blades induce a good squeal into the speakers, if possible better shielding on sensitive cables?
-the ramps have tabs on the end, are they just first gen didnt get used? or is that for the EL wire etc?
All in all, so far I'm really liking it - I have it set up steep (7.2 ish) and its much faster and less floaty, however I cant for the life of me make the chest burster shot at this angle so I'll have to bring it down.
The code, animations, and sound are really really good, cant believe (compared to 'other' companies) how much further ahead it is at launch. The ambiance and shots and layout are fantastic.

what code version are you on?

#13727 2 years ago
Quoted from Ferret:

The design team went back and forth a LOT about this general topic. There are pros and cons to different approaches. Doing something like you describe could cause a player to get stuck forever (or at least long enough to be seriously not-fun). For example, consider Tunnel Hunt. 3 shots followed by the Airlock to win. Two of those shots, Vent 2 and Vent 3, are upper-flipper, cross-playfield shots, relatively difficult, especially for less skilled players. So let's say we required at least two shots to "clear" the mode. Players might get through the other three Alien modes, get to Tunnel Hunt, and then be stuck trying it over... and over... until they got the harder shots. That's not very fun IMHO.
However, as I've noted here before, if you're interested in a good score, winning modes (vs intentionally timing them out) is a good idea.

Errr... there should be one on the Airlock screen.

I'm running v0.97, is there an update? have to look on the site.

Some games its harder to start modes or have short ball times (eg twd), or some games have alot of modes (eg hobbit) so its very hard to see all the modes in one game, I was just finding it seemed easy to get through all the modes but can see what you mean about making it too hard. Just a thought anyways, and you guys already discussed it. I suppose another reason why it seems this way is that base mode times seem relatively short (I'm sure you picked them for a reason) so an option would be to extend them and maybe make the shot values more hurry up/reducing based to balance the modes.

My airlock screen only shows flying though space while a mode is running good to hear there should be a timer, bad to hear mine isnt working lol:
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#13728 2 years ago
Quoted from Ferret:

The design team went back and forth a LOT about this general topic. There are pros and cons to different approaches. Doing something like you describe could cause a player to get stuck forever (or at least long enough to be seriously not-fun). For example, consider Tunnel Hunt. 3 shots followed by the Airlock to win. Two of those shots, Vent 2 and Vent 3, are upper-flipper, cross-playfield shots, relatively difficult, especially for less skilled players. So let's say we required at least two shots to "clear" the mode. Players might get through the other three Alien modes, get to Tunnel Hunt, and then be stuck trying it over... and over... until they got the harder shots. That's not very fun IMHO. However, as I've noted here before, if you're interested in a good score, winning modes (vs intentionally timing them out) is a good idea

You've already set up the modes perfectly IMO. Sure it might be easier to play through all the modes (which are randomized & not linear), which is exciting & keeps the game interesting over time for the player..... but if you're not completing the modes & adding to mini-wizard scoring bonuses, then your score is going to be unimpressive. It entices the player to complete the modes (which is satisfying in itself) & push for higher scores. And from feeds I've seen, most people fail to even get to the first mini-wizard mode in a single game, so it's not that easy.

Seems balanced & challenging at the same time. Well done Ferett. I wouldn't change a thing.

#13729 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

I'm running v0.97, is there an update? have to look on the site.

v0.98 was just built Tuesday night. The team in Wales still needs to run it through their testing before they'll release it for customers. It also requires the final-final (please, Lord, let it be final!) Xeno mech.

Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

play through all the modes (which are randomized & not linear)

They're not randomized, BTW. Player can rotate the selected mode by shooting any ramp. This can be used strategically... for example, if you've got a multiball ready to start, some modes stack much better with multiballs than others.

#13730 2 years ago

I've only been following this thread for a few months, so I don't know if this has come up. My apologies if it has.

Would it be possible, if one were to purchase a game WITHOUT the 27" LCD in the backbox, to run an HDMI cable from inside the cabinet to an external monitor, say a flat screen on the wall? That would seem like a way to get the best of all worlds: The awesome LE art, as well as a (potentially much larger) screen for others in the room to follow the action. I'm envisioning something that would almost look like a PAPA tutorial, but in real life.

Is this realistic?

#13731 2 years ago
Quoted from Zennmaster:

I've only been following this thread for a few months, so I don't know if this has come up. My apologies if it has.
Would it be possible, if one were to purchase a game WITHOUT the 27" LCD in the backbox, to run an HDMI cable from inside the cabinet to an external monitor, say a flat screen on the wall? That would seem like a way to get the best of all worlds: The awesome LE art, as well as a (potentially much larger) screen for others in the room to follow the action. I'm envisioning something that would almost look like a PAPA tutorial, but in real life.
Is this realistic?

...Pretty sure that is an easy thing to do.

#13732 2 years ago

I have a timer on airlock screen for some modes but not others. I assume some aren't timed.

Doh get me that .97 code!

#13733 2 years ago

Great idea, I've been looking for a way to pipe some pinball related video out to a flat screen TV out in the hallway outside my arcade. One idea would be to just plug in a USB stick and play tons of pinball stream video but this could be a cool idea as well.

Quoted from Zennmaster:

I've only been following this thread for a few months, so I don't know if this has come up. My apologies if it has.
Would it be possible, if one were to purchase a game WITHOUT the 27" LCD in the backbox, to run an HDMI cable from inside the cabinet to an external monitor, say a flat screen on the wall? That would seem like a way to get the best of all worlds: The awesome LE art, as well as a (potentially much larger) screen for others in the room to follow the action. I'm envisioning something that would almost look like a PAPA tutorial, but in real life.
Is this realistic?

#13734 2 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

I have a timer on airlock screen for some modes but not others. I assume some aren't timed.
Doh get me that .97 code!

what code version are you on Tommy?

-1
#13735 2 years ago
Quoted from libtech:

My airlock screen only shows flying though space while a mode is running good to hear there should be a timer, bad to hear mine isnt working lol:

In that photo of your game, I see the ramp surfaces very worn, which was exactly how the ramps at Allentown Pinfest looked. A lot of other metal on the game also had that worn, pitted look too.

Anyone know if these are prototype ramps and metal that will be finished and polished on the production games?

#13736 2 years ago

Pics of the ramps look the same on other games too, you can see when zooming in.

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#13737 2 years ago

Pretty sure the ramps are designed that way to go with the theme of the game honestly, but not positive.

I'm still on .94 code.

#13738 2 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Pretty sure the ramps are designed that way to go with the theme of the game honestly, but not positive.

Maybe. But check out the metal parts behind the airlock screen and queen head on your game and see if it looks the same. The Alien at Allentown had a lot of metal back there with the same worn finish.

#13739 2 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Maybe. But check out the metal parts behind the airlock screen and queen head on your game and see if it looks the same. The Alien at Allentown had a lot of metal back there with the same worn finish.

ramps are not worn at all. They look industrial and fit the theme/game very well IMO.

I have no idea if they are doing anything to change them in the future, but they are NOT "pitted" or "worn". They are 'raw' would be more appropriate. Either way, they look cool as is IMO.

#13740 2 years ago

No, no no. EVERYone knows that all the metal on the Nostromo was highly polished chrome. Come on!!!

Good grief.

-9
#13741 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

They look industrial and fit the theme/game very well IMO.

If that's how they're supposed to look, fine, then it's a matter of personal taste if you like the worn out corroded style. I just would expect nice, shiny, clean looking ramps for the price of the game and because they would look terrific. These ramps are dull and worn out looking from where the balls has contact with them, so I don't think it's a style choice and more of a near production prototype ramp. Other metal on the game, not visible to the player, also has the same worn/corroded appearance. So why stylize unseen metal parts too?

Anyway, I'm asking someone who knows, like from Heighway, to comment on my question if these are finished production ramps?

#13742 2 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

I'm still on .94 code.

I am also on .94 code.

#13743 2 years ago
Quoted from SunKing:

I am also on .94 code.

same here.

Sounds liek we will get out new xeno mechs/xeno boards along with the next code update?

#13744 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

ramps are not worn at all. They look industrial and fit the theme/game very well IMO.
I have no idea if they are doing anything to change them in the future, but they are NOT "pitted" or "worn". They are 'raw' would be more appropriate. Either way, they look cool as is IMO.

They should be 304 stainless to prevent rust. I have no idea what Heighway is using.

#13745 2 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

If that's how they're supposed to look, fine, then it's a matter of personal taste if you like the worn out corroded style. I just would expect nice, shiny, clean looking ramps for the price of the game and because they would look terrific. These ramps are dull and worn out looking from where the balls has contact with them, so I don't think it's a style choice and more of a near production prototype ramp. Other metal on the game, not visible to the player, also has the same worn/corroded appearance. So why stylize unseen metal parts too?

your trolling and constant misinformation is getting silly.

"worn out" and 'corroded' are so dishonest it is obvious you are trolling.

The ramps are raw metal and nothing more. They appear to be slightly brushed and then some heat marks? from assembly. The obvious and dishonest way you constantly try and paint a picture different than what is obvious reality makes you look silly to many.

If you want to say" I dont like the look of the current ramps and want to know if these are production versions" then all good, but saying "pitted" "corrosion" and "worn" is laughable.

#13746 2 years ago
Quoted from Jgaltr56:

They should be 304 stainless to prevent rust. I have no idea what Heighway is using.

I am no expert but they appear to be 304 stainless. That was stamped on the bottom of one of our ramps (maybe another number, but I think it said '304')

They look the same material as other metal ramps we see on games, just less brushing

#13747 2 years ago

For a proper Nostromo look, the ramps would be sprayed with zinc plate primer and polished as per Martin Bower.

-1
#13748 2 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Pics of the ramps look the same on other games too, you can see when zooming in.

At the last picture you see the empty box of the beacon right on the ground.
So it looks like they have put the beacon quick on the on the backbox for the photo.

12
#13749 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

If you want to say" I dont like the look of the current ramps and want to know if these are production versions" then all good, but saying "pitted" "corrosion" and "worn" is laughable.

I'll say what I want to say and how I want to say it, thanks.

When I saw the ramps in person at Allentown they looked so worn out and corroded that I assumed they were prototype ramps since Cointaker likely has an early version of the game. I just saw pics of other games that I assumed to be of a later batch of games and the ramps had the same appearance. Hence my question.

Now you say the ramps look industrial, right? Well doesn't "industrial" mean a worn, gritty, corroded, well used appearance? Yeah, so we're both describing the ramps the same, just using different adjectives.

16
#13750 2 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I'll say what I want to say and how I want to say it, thanks.
When I saw the ramps in person at Allentown they looked so worn out and corroded that I assumed they were prototype ramps since Cointaker likely has an early version of the game. I just saw pics of other games that I assumed to be of a later batch of games and the ramps had the same appearance. Hence my question.
Now you say the ramps look industrial, right? Well doesn't "industrial" mean a worn, gritty, corroded, well used appearance? Yeah, so we're both describing the ramps the same, just using different adjectives.

I'm going way out on a limb to suggest that you should skip this title. We'll all be better for it. Life's too short to make yourself suffer so over ramp materials. Cheers and good health.

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