ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 hours ago by colonel_caverne
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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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#21501 6 months ago

It would work if he had the hard drive with both Aliens and Full THrottle on it imaged or the new Aliens PC motherboard. Full throttle came with a SDcard if I recall whereas the new Alien is on SSD. I also recall one of the programmers saying he had a hard drive image that he was testing that had both games working on the new motherboard.

Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I am wondering if take2-take5 bought an Alien from the marketplace that already runs 1.1 software, would he be able to swap in his Full Throttle playfield, side panels and the latest flash? Swappable playfield concept is what Heighway was built on. Sorry if that means you got to spend another $9k, but it would make for an interesting story and you may be the first person to have a kit. Anybody know if that would work? The unknown being his FTh currently running on an old system. Once the swap occurred to confirm it worked, you could rebuild original CPU and hardware to make that one current. Heck, then you could swap Alien into it. Haha.

#21502 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

They have new money and moved manufacturing to China. Not dead yet.

ARA is still sitting on 40
or so games and tons of parts. They’re not gonna just fuggetaboutit.

Heighway had new money. Dead. DP new money is rumored but they haven’t said anything about it. As far as “Early Acheivers” are concerned, they’ve been led to believe they’ll only get their games after new sales are made. If the new money is real and EA’s are gonna get their games first as they should, DP should say something. But they don’t, cuz they’re terrible at business & will crash and die. Only a matter of time.

#21503 6 months ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

It would work if he had the hard drive with both Aliens and Full THrottle on it imaged or the new Aliens PC motherboard. Full throttle came with a SDcard if I recall whereas the new Alien is on SSD. I also recall one of the programmers saying he had a hard drive image that he was testing that had both games working on the new motherboard.

Not to mention that the alien playfield dosn't fit in the full throttle cabinet. You'd have to make a hole into the back of the cab to fit the xeno head mechanism.

Also my io boards with 1.1 are green and cannot be used with alien. Only the newer blue io boards are compatible with alien. I have these as well but are on latest SW.

#21504 6 months ago

Oh I'd agree DP will most likely go under. As for ARA's games they are most likely indeed that - ARA's property until DP ponies up the cash for them.

Now, regarding veganism. I believe that many of us will live long enough to experience a point in the future where the raising and consumption of meat is no longer environmentally / economically feasible. Therefore I am going to eat animals while I can

#21505 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

I believe that many of us will live long enough to experience a point in the future where the raising and consumption of meat is no longer environmentally / economically feasible.

They can already make meat in a lab. Not large scale yet but wouldn't take much to do so. Of course many people are "creeped out" by the idea but I could care less...same chemical makeup means same taste and nutrition.

(and please don't post a meme about soylent green).

#21506 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Honestly they should have just made Aliens it lends itself much more to pinball.

Not sure if I understand what you mean.
You say instead of doing the movie Alien they should have done the movie Aliens? Or did I just misunderstood your post?

#21507 6 months ago

This may be the saddest most depressing thread since Predator. Really sorry for my ignorance earlier as I have not been following the hobby and no idea this turned into a shit show with people out thousands of dollars.

Total dream theme for me that transfers so well to pinball. I quit the hobby so it was easy to avoid this purchase but had I not followed the Predator mishap I would have probably jumped on this too.

I hope you guys get your games but it seems pretty far fetched.

17
#21508 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

My posting history on Alien has been pretty clear. great game, super fun, love the layout, built well. But DON'T PREORDER PINBALL MACHINES UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISKS and take accountabilit for your actions.
DEspite some people being incapable of understanding that I learned from the SkitB fiasco and have been explicitly clear numerous times about why people should not preorder these toys... my posting history has been very clear for anyone to read without improper edits.

you-sit-on-a-throne-liar-meme (resized).jpg

#21509 6 months ago
Quoted from starbase:

... I hope you guys get your games but it seems pretty far fetched.

Yeah more like a zero percent chance.

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#21510 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

They have new money and moved manufacturing to China. Not dead yet.
And yes, somebody else could license Alien but they'd have to make their own game from scratch. Honestly they should have just made Aliens it lends itself much more to pinball.

Translation: "It has Bill Paxton in it."

33
#21511 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

My posting history on Alien has been pretty clear. great game, super fun, love the layout, built well. But DON'T PREORDER PINBALL MACHINES UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISKS and take accountabilit for your actions.
DEspite some people being incapable of understanding that I learned from the SkitB fiasco and have been explicitly clear numerous times about why people should not preorder these toys... my posting history has been very clear for anyone to read without improper edits.

Look, anyone can select your name and go back and read your gushing and unwarranted cheerleading across multiple threads (not to mention your general approach to interacting with collectors here on Pinside)... for long time users that know your history, it probably was just ignored, but for the more casual buyers that just browsed looking for data to make a purchase decision, it's a real shame.

But to say that you didn't outright encourage others to have faith and plop their money down based on your level of expertise with Heighway... that's just plain false:

Quoted from Whysnow:

Got about five games on it this evening. these are prototypes but look close to me. They look AMAZING in person! THey play very good, esp for being prototype/pre-production/whatever you want to call them.
The audio is phemonenal and will likely get way better. LOTS of shoots any they feel good. I played a few games w Steve Bowden and he agree that it is solid and fun to shoot as first impression and going to be great once at production.
Most importantly for me (and iceman). They have the X factor. IMERSION! Toss on your headphones, turn it up, rock a beverage, and step into the world under the glass.
Super pumped to see the final product. ICeman, just send the deposit! It is just a deposit and you are gonna want to get in the cue now IMHO.

Pretty unbelievable that lots of folks lost money on this... and the history of misinformation and false promises coming out of Heighway is massively disappointing. Thinking back to that ridiculous Facebook post that showed one game getting boxed and loaded in a truck...literally stating that more games would be shipped later that week (or the next)... and the terrible support customers ended up receiving. You lost if you never got a game... and the fact that games that shipped aren't all working... good grief!!!

24
#21512 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

If he wants to actually quote entire posts out of context that is one thing, but I don't think anyone (including Kim) apprciates him doing what he puposefully did by altering quotes.

Hilton, please don't include me with your excuses and damage control. You don't know my thoughts and I will speak for myself.

#21513 6 months ago

^^^^ the previous two posts are a double dose of “OH DAMN!”

16
#21514 6 months ago

Hilton, just shuttup for 2 weeks.

2 weeks

#21515 6 months ago
Quoted from Lamoraldus:

Not sure if I understand what you mean.
You say instead of doing the movie Alien they should have done the movie Aliens? Or did I just misunderstood your post?

Yes just do Aliens.

-3
#21516 6 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

But to say that you didn't outright encourage others to have faith and plop their money down based on your level of expertise with Heighway... that's just plain false:

again, taken out of the context of when that was said and trying to twist me giving Iceman a hard time about putting a deposit down as me whole hog telling people they should go send full payment.

If you really want to start pulling old quotes out of context, you should probably start printing them on sweatshirts. I here that is a thing now-a-days on the east coast???

#21517 6 months ago
Quoted from bigdaddy07:

I made the same choice as you, but it now sounds like there was actually no games to ship anyway. It was all BS. Thank god CT called them out and ultimately didn't send them a dime of our cash. I really don't think I could in good mind do business with any derivative of HW at this point.

Personally I Believe this is being overlooked. Had CT sent that cash, Heighway could have keep the con going for a bit. I will never ever have reservations dealing with CT

11
#21518 6 months ago

When does "the purge" happen?

#21519 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

again, taken out of the context of when that was said and trying to twist me giving Iceman a hard time about putting a deposit down as me whole hog telling people they should go send full payment.
If you really want to start pulling old quotes out of context, you should probably start printing them on sweatshirts. I here that is a thing now-a-days on the east coast???

Hmmm... sweatshirts, eh? Not a bad idea. But I think I'll take it up a notch and go with a hoodie.

Now, which quote to start with?

The last sentence from this post would be a good place to start, don't you think?

Quoted from Whysnow:

Settle down ROb.
Are you a FullT owner?
I am and most importantly I am willing to sit tight and wait it out to see what Heighway offers up before going crazy. I assume I will have to pay something, but it will be a drastically reduced rate. I am also under the impression that it will be a huge upgrade and bring lots of added value.
As an owner, I expected some kinks along the way from being a first game adopter. I am very happy to see they are working these things out now with #2. I am also happy that Andrew has said he wil make it all work out.
While sometimes a little delayed (while they ramp up for Alien/s) Andrew has ALWAYS come through on his word.

#21520 6 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Because allocating a number for production has nothing to do with OWNERSHIP.... and units not considered shipped by the business would still be the property of the business. Just because you have a serial that was promised to you means absolutely nothing.

You probably are correct. I still wouldn't mind the police going through the inventory and filing a report.

29
#21521 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

again, taken out of the context of when that was said and trying to twist me giving Iceman a hard time about putting a deposit down as me whole hog telling people they should go send full payment.

your fault (resized).jpg

#21522 6 months ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

You probably are correct. I still wouldn't mind the police going through the inventory and filing a report.

The police won't go through anything. The failure of a company is a corporate/civil matter, not criminal.

The accountants appointed to deal with things will investigate and go through assets, but the fact a liquidator has been appointed and not an administrator suggests that it is all over for that particular limited company. Administration is a bit like USA Chapter 11 to try to restructure, once you go to liquidation then it is a matter of selling stuff off to pay outstanding debts (usually at a couple of pence in the pound at best). If they can prove illegal activity (eg directors continuing to trade whilst knowingly insolvent), then they may pass this on for investigation, but transfer of assets and IP last year as a requirement for a new injection of capital would probably be considered a perfectly acceptable transaction.

As has been said, contact the accountant who has been appointed and register yourself as a creditor but any new/other company will have no legal requirement to 'make good' any creditors like suppliers or those who put down deposits. Businesses go under all the time, and lots of people lose out which sucks for those caught out but doesn't change any legal liability.

-20
#21523 6 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

Hmmm... sweatshirts, eh? Not a bad idea. But I think I'll take it up a notch and go with a hoodie.
Now, which quote to start with?
The last sentence from this post would be a good place to start, don't you think?

That would be a good one, esp since it is about full throttle... which from what i understand sold poorly but delivered anything orderedat that time?

that is the real art of the intentional mis quote. Go back far enough to stalk up a quote about a completely different game and then putjust enough to make sure people paint exactly what you want.

You are getting the hang of it now.

26
#21524 6 months ago

Just wrapping up an article on the fall of Heighway Pinball, I think it is our longest article yet on This Week in Pinball. Will post tomorrow.

We talked to several anonymous employees, investors, many people that were close to the situation.

One thing in common - no one is happy with Andrew Heighway (who we also reached out to).

#21525 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Yes just do Aliens.

Totally disagree, the game incorporates both and it's great that way. Two totally different sound tracks and different modes give it a different feel. Both were great movies so it's nice having both in there.

#21526 6 months ago
Quoted from pin2d:

Just wrapping up an article on the fall of Heighway Pinball, I think it is our longest article yet on This Week in Pinball. Will post tomorrow.
We talked to several anonymous employees, investors, many people that were close to the situation.
One thing in common - no one is happy with Andrew Heighway (who we also reached out to).

Lots of great factual history on Pinside. This unmodified quote is only just over a year old (this thread is 3.5 years old) and just before Andrew got booted.

Quoted from Whysnow:

I think "timing" is the important part you are missing...Seems to me that everything shows Andrew is VERY trustworthy. He also seems to be getting much better on predicting timing on not over promising

And this Alien praise is not alone; like Mr68 mentioned earlier, there are some other fanboy posters here with some epic quotes in their history. And I'm totally on Sonny_Jim's side. Let it air out and at least try to understand how this continues to happen. Let the chips fall where they may.

Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

Let me clear up a few things:
1. I'm not 'calling out' anyone in particular or trying to shame people, that chain of comments would still read fine if it was totally anonymous. My intent is to highlight the behaviour we've seen on Pinside at least 3 times now, where people are speaking up and being shouted down. This needs to stop. This is why I feel it's necessary to glance back on what happened, to make sure it doesn't happen a 4th time.
2. You shouldn't feel awkward about it, you should be championed as you stood by what you said. Personally I experienced the same backlash and retreated from pinball entirely due to what happen when I spoke out. I'm sure there are others reading this who had a similar experience. You shouldn't have to feel shame because you were trying to protect a fellow pinhead.
3. That post was not meant to be a 'told you so'. As I've said multiple times now, hindsight is always 20/20. People change and learn from their mistakes and that's a good thing. Yes it can be painful to read what you wrote a year ago and I do agree we shouldn't wallow in the past, but sometimes to move forward you need to look back a little bit, to see what new direction you should take.

Be careful all alien apologists. There's way more history in this thread and on this forum that hasn't yet been posted. Some obviously amazingly bad statements have been made by many people. It took a village to get to where Alien went. Sad, sad.

41
#21527 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

My posting history on Alien has been pretty clear. great game, super fun, love the layout, built well. But DON'T PREORDER PINBALL MACHINES UNLESS YOU UNDERSTAND THE RISKS and take accountabilit for your actions.
DEspite some people being incapable of understanding that I learned from the SkitB fiasco and have been explicitly clear numerous times about why people should not preorder these toys... my posting history has been very clear for anyone to read without improper edits.

Hilton, I don't know you, and I don't know your history or have any bias towards you. But with that said, regardless of the quotes that may have been "cherry picked", it is my opinion you and Andrew knew EXACTLY what you were doing when you made such a big deal about having the 1st machine on location and constantly bragging about what a great machine it is (or was). I don't know the deal you guys worked, but it was obvious he needed the pre-order money to get games out of his factory, and he needed to generate some hype to make that happen. You generated the hype he needed, knowing full well what you were doing and why, and several people jumped in with deposits when it was represented these were going into full production. I doubt you knew the extent to which Andrew had already run things into the ground, but none the less, you were a lot of the reason some folks put their hard money down. Yes, they are responsible for their own actions, and everyone should know at this point in time about plunking down a bunch of money on an un seen game. I myself put down the minimum and got a return from my credit card very shortly thereafter when it became obvious the games were not actually going into full production as claimed. Maybe you did not tell people to put those deposits down, but you still acted as a shill to help drive needed revenue for Heighway pinball, intentional or not. (EDIT: This is not a personal attack on Hilton, but more an observation regarding the motivation for some orders that were placed. It seems to me Hilton is trying to distance himself from the product and he wants folks to believe he was actually the "good guy" here, trying to warn people not to be foolish with their money. While it is true he did not hold a gun to anyone's head to get them to write a check......he sure made one heck of a sales pitch.)

#21528 6 months ago
Quoted from benheck:

Yes just do Aliens.

This was Russell's opinion too. I think we made it work though - it would have been a looooooooooot more difficult to squeeze a whole game's worth of content out of a single film.

31
#21529 6 months ago
Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

Let me clear up a few things:
1. I'm not 'calling out' anyone in particular or trying to shame people, that chain of comments would still read fine if it was totally anonymous. My intent is to highlight the behaviour we've seen on Pinside at least 3 times now, where people are speaking up and being shouted down. This needs to stop. This is why I feel it's necessary to glance back on what happened, to make sure it doesn't happen a 4th time.
2. You shouldn't feel awkward about it, you should be championed as you stood by what you said. Personally I experienced the same backlash and retreated from pinball entirely due to what happen when I spoke out. I'm sure there are others reading this who had a similar experience. You shouldn't have to feel shame because you were trying to protect a fellow pinhead.
3. That post was not meant to be a 'told you so'. As I've said multiple times now, hindsight is always 20/20. People change and learn from their mistakes and that's a good thing. Yes it can be painful to read what you wrote a year ago and I do agree we shouldn't wallow in the past, but sometimes to move forward you need to look back a little bit, to see what new direction you should take.

Silence broken on this thread temporarily:

1) For every 1 that "speaks up" negatively with "wise" information they didn't have, there are probably 20 that had the same info and chose to move forward. NOT f**king "fanboys", simply people that wanted the game. I've seen way, way more people berated here and other threads for simply liking a game that wasn't coded enough, too expensive, shitty theme, gameplay, etc., by so called "experts"....plenty of trash thrown around both ways. Sick of it. The "Fan-boys" that evaporated from here did so as there was nothing to read or post about. I bailed from the "Club" when it was apparent I wouldn't be a part.

2) I don't feel awkward about anything I posted. Everything shared (including opinions) was based on info given at the time, and caught major shit for it (stalked, quoted out of context, etc.). Played the proto, played a more recent standard, had my hands on a real game, twice... BOTTOM LINE - there are more of these damn things out there than Predator, SkitB and Labowski, COMBINED, and way more across the pond. End of the day, everyone spent their money on what they believed and wanted. No one spends my money except me..... Keep the blame where it belongs....on the company, and NOT the people who tried to support it.

3) I lost my deposit, and knew it was a risk going in...totally sick of the hindsight shit going on (deny if you'd like, but that's what it is...pure and simple). No one is happy...NO ONE. Now "righteous ones" are just adding more hurt, as it most certainly is a hindsight perspective.

4) You want to move forward?...then do so. I'm sure whatever due process that can be pursued will be taken. I opened multiple threads, scores of e-mails and pm's, all with the intent of sharing info to fellow Pinsiders. To blame someone that believed in this now is simply asinine and hurtful.

My distress for the paid in full guys is immense........this thing looked real by all accounts, and games started moving. Ran out of cash...done. Is what it is and definitely time to move forward.

TIME TO STOP BERATING PINSIDERS FOR WANTING A GAME....."I told you so, and was chased off the thread" is just bullshit....hope you are happy you were right.....rant over....out...mark

#21530 6 months ago

I hope your ratio of 20-to-1 is off. People simply wanting games sure did throw around plenty of downvotes when anyone spoke up anything not pro Heighway. Sorry you and others lost out - it truly sucks.

#21531 6 months ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

{lots of good stuff here}

TIME TO STOP BERATING PINSIDERS FOR WANTING A GAME....."I told you so, and was chased off the thread" is just bullshit....hope you are happy you were right.....rant over....out...mark

Here, here!

It looks like I'll be getting my money back (THANK YOU MELISSA!!!), but all things considered, I'd really rather have had the game. Beating each other up accomplishes nothing. Wanna be right? Fine, you were right, and you told us so. My take: I got to play one (which is now down with a broken proprietary board), and it was everything I hoped for. I won't be getting one, and I'm more than a little disappointed. I don't really see how being pissed off at another nerd is going to help anyone...

That's all I've got, I'm going back to drowning my sorrows...

#21532 6 months ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Bullshit. Your intent is clear, esp since you opted to edit many of those quotes to your liking.

Quoted from Whysnow:

Many of the quotes said entirely different things before he edited them down.

I think it's quite amusing that you are trying to give me shit about pulling quotes out of context, when you yourself failed to notice the times I said this:

Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

Note I have edited this for brevity, I encourage you to click on the link below to read the posts in full:

Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

I do encourage you to read the posts in full to get a better understanding of the general mood at that time, rather than my selective editing.

We all make mistakes, but how about you actually listen to valid criticism rather than trying to make a pariah out of anyone who says anything bad about the thing you like. Shit, you are still trying to do it now.

20
#21533 6 months ago

Why don't you all just form a linchmob...jesus.

Hilton didn't pull the credit card out of my wallet...I did. I knew I was taking a big gamble. I got really lucky...others didn't. But even if I had been totally screwed over it would have been my fault...not someone else's.

#21534 6 months ago
Quoted from take2-take5:

Thinking if we ever get a proper game to try and put current mess in the past, it will be the hobbit - looks like JJP got everything included with the license and is a really complete package. The theme is what pulls us towards it- but will do my research first this time!

I guess we would all buy brand new games, given enough disposable income but buying 2 or 3 older classics for the same money might be a better option.

#21536 6 months ago

This one aged well, from back in the Predator days.

Snap23 (resized).jpg

Snap24 (resized).jpg

#21538 6 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

This one aged well, from back in the Predator days.

I remember seeing that an nearly spat my coffee out!

#21539 6 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

This one aged well, from back in the Predator days.

It's the same old - same old - with this guy. To your point astropin, you're right. No one is forcing anyone to pay anything. But the narrative typically is aggressive and let's be honest: in this hobby we rely on information from other hobbyists to make sound decisions. It's just the way it works. At this point, regulars can see a source and recognize its validity and weight or lack there of. But non-regulars who don't spend hours on end here could easily mistake utter nonsense and schilling as legit opinions and facts.

manimal post (above) states it best. It's this kind of stuff that is toxic and damaging to other collectors... and it's not the first time this has happened from this source.

#21540 6 months ago
Quoted from 27dnast:

It's the same old - same old - with this guy. To your point astropin, you're right. No one is forcing anyone to pay anything. But the narrative typically is aggressive and let's be honest: in this hobby when rely on information from other hobbyists to make sound decisions. It's just the way it works. At this point, regulars can see a source and recognize its validity and weight or lack there of. But non-regulars who don't spend hours on end here could easily mistake utter nonsense and schilling as legit opinions and facts.

Strictly speaking astropin is right, but he's also wrong, for the reasons you highlight.

It's impossible to have insider knowledge of everything, therefore in situations such as this you have to put your faith in the reputation of others who claim to be more informed. It doesn't excuse not doing due diligence, but in many cases it's not possible to be completely sure - and your choice then is to put your faith in what others say, or do without.

So yeah, strictly speaking no one was forced to buy anything, but that's a little disingenuous I feel. Very few people had insider knowledge of what was going on at Heighway, and the likelihood of them delivering on their promises vs what cheerleaders said they were going to do. It's not fair to blame people for being fooled by this behaviour.

27
#21541 6 months ago

WOW.
This is insane. It is actually upsetting that this was all happening and the information couldn't really get out there due to NDAs and moderation.

-------------------------

One person told TWIP:

“So what went wrong? Mr Andrew Sebastian Heighway (quite appropriate that his initials spell ASH because that’s all that remains of his ‘successful’ company) and a catalogue of catastrophic business decisions. Andrew just couldn’t stop spending money on completely unnecessary and useless things – a CNC machine (never used), packing machines (hardly used), injection moulding machine (never used), 2 commercial ice drink machines from the US (never used), a flat bed printer (hardly used). He wanted everything done in-house against the advice of everyone.

And he leased brand new pinball games – WOZ, Whoa Nellie and the Walking Dead, that were later sold but the leases not paid off. He also leased ridiculously expensive office equipment and a brand new VW van (a cheap 2nd hand van would’ve been more than adequate). He hired more staff at a time when we didn’t have enough work for them to do, so they sat around getting paid to do nothing. He then decided to move to a much larger factory (only a third of it was ever used). Later we found out he’d not paid the rent on the previous property. And then again when we moved for a third time to Ebbw Value – leaving behind a mountain of unpaid bills. When the money pot was getting low he would call the investors with an ultimatum each time: “Give me more money or I close the business and you lose everything”. Foolishly they did, over and over. And when each investor was bled dry and refused to pay any more, Andrew would get new investors.

In the end I have no idea how many investors there were. Eventually his out of control spending emptied the account for staff salaries and there was a period of 2 months were no one was getting paid. He even asked members of staff for money to help save the company, from their personal savings. Many people left the company because of the wages situation. Money was nearly always paid in late or only half would go into staff accounts with a promise that the other half would follow. Moral in the company as far back as late 2013 was low. And it was clear at this point that the company had absolutely no chance of being a success while Andrew Heighway was in charge. He had to go. The investors were desperate to get him out a year before he eventually left. Andrew always made sure he was ok. He moved from a rented villa (with headed indoor pool) to a lavish 6 bedroom detached house. He bought a Porsche and always paid himself a very generous salary…with additional benefits. Then there were the licenses. We had issues with our first game Full Throttle. It had technical issues and incomplete code but Andrew wanted it out the door, with no manual, and no testing. Just get it out the door was his mentality. And before a single Full Throttle left the factory, he announced that he’d secured licences (at considerable expence) for Alien, Queen and Playboy. Which floored everyone at the company.

Then he announced Alien publicly soon after, with the clear intention of getting pre-order money to keep the company and his personal lifestyle going. Not a single penny of Alien pre-order money was ever spent on an Alien machine. Sales for Full Throttle were immediately effected by the Alien announcement as orders were cancelled and transferred to Alien instead, a game that Andrew promised would be ready in April 2015 – an insane timeline which pissed off Dennis Nordman and so he walked. Andrew was also completely clueless when it came to dealing with licenses. Alien for example was a complete cluster fuck from start to finish. Andrew had no idea what assets we could use from the film. We asked him can we use the actors? Signourney? Can we use the music, sound fx? He came back with I don’t know. And so a lot of time was wasted developing a game with assets we later couldn’t use. The US team – Aurich, Brian, Joe, Kelly and David, picked up the ball that the Wales team fumbled and ran with it. The success of Alien is entirely down to the US team. We all hated Playboy and absolutely no one, including the investors, wanted to make that game. A terrible idea but Andrew insisted and so 2 years were wasted developing that game. Which was later dropped with a significant loss of money. Barry Oursler was hired to work on the design of Playboy, Queen and a 3rd game. He was employed by the company and paid a monthly retaining fee.

But for 2 years he did very little and eventually left. Another unnecessary drain on the companies finances. Andrew also hired the cheapest people he could find for the company. No one, with the exception of Dennis Nordman and Barry Oursler, had any previous experience of building pinball machines. In fact most of the staff had no interest in pinball at all, including our Mechanical Engineer. There was no passion to drive the company forward. It was just a job for most of the employees. And that makes a big difference when compared to Stern or JJP were the entire team are passionate and driven. The cheapest possible parts were used in our games to increase the profit margin. Reliability was never a concern for Andrew, it was all about the money and raising his own profile. He just couldn’t see any further than the end of each week. He didn’t even consider the issues we’d have later when the machines were with customers and faults were being reported. This all seemed like a surprise to him and he was quick to blame his staff for everything that went wrong. Believing in his own crazy mind that our machines were perfect, no manuals were ever created or even planned. There was no support structure in the company at all, so calls and emails were mostly ignored. Communication with costumers was always appalling. We had no sales team, no customer service department. Andrew had no interest in customers once they paid their money.

Staff actually stepped up once Andrew was out to try and fix this but poor communication continued because the new investors didn’t put a Manager in place. Instead they tried to manage the business themselves from overseas, part time. Without a Manager, the company was leaderless and spiralling out of control. When the new investors took over they had a clear plan – to make 100 machines a month. What they didn’t know, because of Andrew’s bullshit, was that Alien wasn’t fit to be sold, it still needed months of development to fix all the issues. They were also hit with refund requests which drained all the the money they had set aside to manufacture Alien. At this point, they knew they had been duped but it was too late. Andrew was paid a substantial amount of money for selling a worthless company, heavily in debt. He was gone, laughing all the way to the bank. He wanted to prove something, maybe to make up for all his past failures (this isn’t Andrew’s only failed business and it won’t be his last). It’s clear to me he was only in it for the short term. His intention was to build up the company as fast as possible then sell it and walk away with some decent cash in his back pocket. Of course, the pinball community only ever saw the cheerful and passionate salesman and were happy to hand over their money.

I have to give him credit for his skill as a salesman; he sold a lemon to everyone – customers, staff, investors, distributors. A lesson learned by everyone: never, ever trust a salesman. On Friday 20th April, all staff were called in to work and officially made redundant. The week prior to this, all remaining staff had been packing up the factory in Ebbw Vale for closure. A handful of Alien machines were also finished and packed up in this time. The factory in Ebbw Vale is now empty. Assets (not owned by Heighway Pinball) have been moved to a new location. Heighway Pinball will be liquidated on 4th May. The new investors are planning to start a new company under a new name. What exactly they plan to do isn’t clear.”

#21542 6 months ago

It was common knowledge in the uk, but would anyone have listened?

#21543 6 months ago

I'm just going to say I don't agree with some of the narrative that the Heighway system and hardware is cheap junk. If they had a working support system, and spare parts available, I think no one would really have anything bad to say about it, compared to the major pinball companies.

The engineers that put all this together should get full credit for their success. Working through tough conditions, no less.

My Full Throttle has run without a dark day since the day it first arrived for me in 2015. And from what I've seen online of support issues, some spare parts would solve any of the problems people have.

I know the piling on is going on and there are a lot of burned people, but just wanted to offer that up.

#21544 6 months ago
Quoted from insx:

I guess we would all buy brand new games, given enough disposable income but buying 2 or 3 older classics for the same money might be a better option.

Since we're newbies we thought it would be a good idea to get a new pinball machine to reduce possible problems and service maintenance etc. Alien was going to be that game, The Full Throttle we have we got at a very good price directly from HP, it was always supposed to be moved on later for Alien. You make a good point though perhaps it would be nice to have a couple of machines instead of going all out on one. I've also heard for alot of people who start with the intention of only owning one just can't resist adding more, so there's that aswell.

The same game in the UK is more expensive than the US too. For example to get the Hobbit (standard edition) in the UK your talking about £7500!, I can see on the US market on pinside you can get a hardly used Limited edition for $6700 that's about £4,900... I wonder if I can import it from the US, however it seems no listings want to ship worldwide.

#21545 6 months ago

Has anyone contacted the article writer of his boat venture down under? Maybe they'd like to write another article on him now.....

#21546 6 months ago
Quoted from take2-take5:

Since we're newbies we thought it would be a good idea to get a new pinball machine to reduce possible problems and service maintenance etc. Alien was going to be that game, The Full Throttle we have we got at a very good price directly from HP, it was always supposed to be moved on later for Alien. You make a good point though perhaps it would be nice to have a couple of machines instead of going all out on one. I've also heard for alot of people who start with the intention of only owning one just can't resist adding more, so there's that aswell.
The same game in the UK is more expensive than the US too. For example to get the Hobbit (standard edition) in the UK your talking about £7500!, I can see on the US market on pinside you can get a hardly used Limited edition for $6700 that's about £4,900... I wonder if I can import it from the US, however it seems no listings want to ship worldwide.

Sorry to hear you got burned by Heighways antics.

I highly recommend joining the #1 UK Pinball forum - great forum for all the pinball news, discussion, machines for sale, tech help. Probably would have opened your eyes to the Heighwayman too.

http://www.pinballinfo.com/community/

#21547 6 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm just going to say I don't agree with some of the narrative that the Heighway system and hardware is cheap junk. If they had a working support system, and spare parts available, I think no one would really have anything bad to say about it, compared to the major pinball companies.

As much as I don't want to rag on someone's design that might be here on Pinside reading my comments, the electrical engineering in the machine leaves a lot to be desired.

The unstable LED chains in Alien are indicative of a much larger design problem. I've looked over the boards in Alien and the general assembly and unfortunately my current assessment is that the custom bits of hardware were designed by someone that lacks a lot of real world experience.

Not saying machines can't work, just that they will have more electrical problems than a properly designed board set.

-6
#21548 6 months ago
Quoted from Manimal:

Hilton, I don't know you, and I don't know your history or have any bias towards you. But with that said, regardless of the quotes that may have been "cherry picked", it is my opinion you and Andrew knew EXACTLY what you were doing when you made such a big deal about having the 1st machine on location and constantly bragging about what a great machine it is (or was). I don't know the deal you guys worked, but it was obvious he needed the pre-order money to get games out of his factory, and he needed to generate some hype to make that happen. You generated the hype he needed, knowing full well what you were doing and why, and several people jumped in with deposits when it was represented these were going into full production. I doubt you knew the extent to which Andrew had already run things into the ground, but none the less, you were a lot of the reason some folks put their hard money down. Yes, they are responsible for their own actions, and everyone should know at this point in time about plunking down a bunch of money on an un seen game. I myself put down the minimum and got a return from my credit card very shortly thereafter when it became obvious the games were not actually going into full production as claimed. Maybe you did not tell people to put those deposits down, but you still acted as a shill to help drive needed revenue for Heighway pinball, intentional or not. (EDIT: This is not a personal attack on Hilton, but more an observation regarding the motivation for some orders that were placed. It seems to me Hilton is trying to distance himself from the product and he wants folks to believe he was actually the "good guy" here, trying to warn people not to be foolish with their money. While it is true he did not hold a gun to anyone's head to get them to write a check......he sure made one heck of a sales pitch.)

only thing I sold was my excitement for the game. My excitement for the game does not equal a sales pitch.

I am going to be explicitly clear>>>I had ZERO idea of what was going on behind the scenes. I was an excited buyer of a new game that I thought (and still think) was great and wanted to share it with others. Nothing more, an excited customer. Sure I am always excited for new pinball by new companies, but that is how I roll.
I was not paid by Heighway, I got nothing for it, and paid my money for the game the same as everyone else. Did I know that Heighway wanted some hype and to get games out on location where they can get played? Sure, that is why the first 10? games all went on route. What did I do differently? I helped to get Deadflip come stream so others could see it and decide for themselves. I was online talking about what I liked and why. Game is still great IMHO. Great theme, great shooter and new code is great due to the hard work of the code team!

Sucks how it all went down and I am sincerely sorry for those of us that lost money it the deal. I know your pain as I have lost money on Predator and now this.

Quoted from JodyG:

This one aged well, from back in the Predator days.

Funny/Sad part about that is if I was a dick, I would have just gone and picked up my Predator when the shit was all hitting the fan and Kevin called me and told me to drive over to MI and grab it. I told him it was not right for me to do and walked from it. That same game now sits in the basement of a collector in MI yet you are pulling 5year old quotes to give me shit about the money I lost on that one. ... .... ...

#21549 6 months ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

The unstable LED chains in Alien are indicative of a much larger design problem.

Software updates since you played cleared up a lot of the LED flickering.. imo really shows the skill level of the programmers... Maybe you're less impressed with the EE background

#21550 6 months ago
Quoted from Manimal:

Hilton, I don't know you, and I don't know your history or have any bias towards you. But with that said, regardless of the quotes that may have been "cherry picked", it is my opinion you and Andrew knew EXACTLY what you were doing when you made such a big deal about having the 1st machine on location and constantly bragging about what a great machine it is (or was). I don't know the deal you guys worked, but it was obvious he needed the pre-order money to get games out of his factory, and he needed to generate some hype to make that happen. You generated the hype he needed, knowing full well what you were doing and why, and several people jumped in with deposits when it was represented these were going into full production. I doubt you knew the extent to which Andrew had already run things into the ground, but none the less, you were a lot of the reason some folks put their hard money down. Yes, they are responsible for their own actions, and everyone should know at this point in time about plunking down a bunch of money on an un seen game. I myself put down the minimum and got a return from my credit card very shortly thereafter when it became obvious the games were not actually going into full production as claimed. Maybe you did not tell people to put those deposits down, but you still acted as a shill to help drive needed revenue for Heighway pinball, intentional or not. (EDIT: This is not a personal attack on Hilton, but more an observation regarding the motivation for some orders that were placed. It seems to me Hilton is trying to distance himself from the product and he wants folks to believe he was actually the "good guy" here, trying to warn people not to be foolish with their money. While it is true he did not hold a gun to anyone's head to get them to write a check......he sure made one heck of a sales pitch.)

All this comment is about how to exempt people from liability. It is highly unfortunate for people who have lost money. i'm sorry about that.
But is whysnow HP shareholder or the HP accountant? was he the responsable that has estimated BOM cost, all charges and so the sale price to distributors?
if today the company is in liquidation it is its fault because the games do not sell, are not profitable or because the company is not structurally viable.
to blame him as if he knew what was going to happen is purely foolish

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