(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

5 years ago

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  • Latest reply 4 hours ago by Averell
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  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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Topic index (key posts)

53 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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Post #9151 Insight from Alien's programmer on tournament mode Posted by Ferret (3 years ago)

Post #9234 Update on distribution Posted by HeighwayPinball (3 years ago)

Post #9660 Here we show you a short clip from the 'Ambush Multiball' mode Posted by HeighwayPinball (3 years ago)

Post #10128 Photo of Alien at UK Trade Show Posted by unigroove (3 years ago)

Post #10230 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (3 years ago)

Post #10231 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (3 years ago)

Post #10914 Alien ships Posted by ZenTron (3 years ago)

Post #10916 Alien ships Posted by HeighwayPinball (3 years ago)

Post #11230 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by ezeltmann (3 years ago)

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#1524 5 years ago

Hold crap this look incredible! Huge, huge improvement over the earlier design. So much intricacy.

This is the most exciting new game in years IMO and I haven't even seen the artwork yet. I would absolutely love to own one and I'm seriously considering making it my mission for it to be my first NIB.

I can't wait to learn more about it in the coming months.

#1580 5 years ago

Certainly seems like a great deal to me that for roughly the price of a Stern Pro you get a game with all the gameplay features intended for it. In a widebody. With tons of new tech in the form of LCD display, sound, lighting, software, serviceability etc. And the idea that future releases can be had to swap into the cabinet for a fraction of the price makes it even more attractive to buy into the 'platform'.

Since I've been in this hobby I've never been tempted to buy a NIB Stern because the Premiums are expensive and if I'm spending that kind of money I don't want to settle for a Pro model that isn't the 'full game'. For the price I want to feel like I'm getting more for my money over 90s games than just a deeper ruleset and mint condition. To my eyes, Heighway's games have a ton of improvements over the long-held status quo and are a great price to boot.

The other thing I'd like to know is Heighway also intending to improve on the usual Stern muck-around with hugely incomplete game code at launch (and only really being complete 6-12 months later)?

#1592 5 years ago
Quoted from jackSparrow:

No Nostromo?
No Egg?
No Facehugger?
Not much from Alien 1.

Seems like the whole game may be the Nostromo. Plenty of other places for references than just toys: artwork, animations, modes. Worth noting that the only toys shown in the shot map are interactive ones, so there's not reason to assume that is all there will be in the way of models/toys on the game.

#1641 5 years ago

It has to be a sure thing! It is truly iconic and the first thought in many people's heads for callouts for this game.

#1652 5 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Do we know if The game will RGB LEDs?

Oh yes:

Quoted from Aurich:

We have a playfield where every single light both on top of and below it is a fully addressable RGB light (plus if you upgrade or have the LE there's fiberoptic ramp lighting, same color changing abilities). There's a high rez LCD screen right in the middle of that.

#1656 5 years ago

Not sure how kaneda's comment was trolly. I totally agree with the market assessment and anticipation of the realisation of this awesome theme. I don't quite agree that it is "make or break", but it is a key opportunity that could be huge for them if it hits the right marks.

3 weeks later
#1813 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Illuminated side panels are the Heighway style. I don't see that changing any time soon, but I'm not the person to answer that.

On one hand I can see the appeal of an Alien LE cab being covered in art in addition to the backlit side panels. But then you'd be essentially forcing that cabinet to only house an Alien playfield.

Same for all future Heighway LE games. No matter what the cabinets need to remain modular for Heighway's system to even work. Any cabinet artwork has to be interchangeable. My guess is that this is one reason why the shallow backbox is a good design. It doesn't look odd to have no artwork on the sides of it.

#1815 4 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

How about art panels on the inside of the cabinet above the playfield for Alien? Is the term Alien "blades"?

These would have to be designed to be easily removed and reinstalled. So, not adhesive, meaning you'd need brackets or slots or something, and the fixings would have to not interfere with a pivoting playfield. So I doubt it? Else they would have to be built into the PF.

But I agree that sideboard artwork looks awesome. Nothing stopping third parties from making mods but I'd expect anything Heighway produces for their cabinets to be fully modular with the purpose of unlimited interchangeability.

#1817 4 years ago

I understand that folks used to the way Stern does things will find the LE 'uniqueness' underwhelming.

If the LE were to have an additional art package on the cabinet itself then consider the extra costs and complexities associated with that which would raise the price of the LE units even further. Paying artist to design more complex art, R&D and production/outsourcing for printing directly onto, or decaling, the cabinets, and the bifurcated production associated with that as well. I don't believe it would be worthwhile.

It's not as if they'll lose a customer for not having it either. If anything, they're more likely to lose LE customers by printing extra art on the cabinets. Not only due to the inevitable higher price, but also by making it less attractive to buy a game kit to install into the LE cab in the future. Right now the only downside is potentially having trim colours not match. Which is enough of a downside for a handful of LE customers in this thread to have explicitly purchased the Standard trim package.

#1974 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's fast enough that you could realistically change up games just to play them on a whim if you had a few stored in their crates under the cabinet. I had guessed 10-15, long enough that you might hesitate. If nothing else it's easy enough to change once a week or whatever as you want to mix it up.

Absolutely! 3 minutes is about as long as it took for a PS3 to go from boot to disc-based gameplay. Kinda crazy to think that changing entire pinball games out is as just time-consuming as swapping out console game discs.

The video also highlights why there are those (admittedly not pretty) metal plates on the front of the cabinet. This is where the back corners of the playfield rails impact the cabinet when sliding the playfield out to the floor.

#1980 4 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

I noticed that playfield banging onto the cabinet as well. Take it a little easy there, Private Pyle.

No real need to take it easy when you've got metal plates there to protect from impact. I doubt the round brackets will scratch the plates either. I guess you could drape a towel over the front of the cabinet when replacing the playfield to make sure you don't impact the plates.

#1996 4 years ago
Quoted from master_of_chaos:

But, standard PC connectors.. HDMI, USB ? in some years they are aboslete .

The alternative would be to use proprietary connectors and technologies that are immediately more expensive and less useful *right now* let alone in a few decades.

HDMI and USB are as pervasive as it gets. They will end up being technically obsolete but adapters/backwards compatibility support would keep it extremely accessible for many years to come.

Consider how old VGA is (1987), and it STILL ships on business-oriented laptops almost 30 years later. And you can readily get VGA convertors for newer connectors such as HDMI, Thunderbolt and DisplayPort. Same for USB, an 18-year old USB device can still connect to a 2015 computer and will be able to for many many years to come.

#2010 4 years ago
Quoted from nman:

Seriously though, I hate proprietary connectors and it baffles and sickens me that (some) companies are very successful at fleecing consumers with them. Apparently it's a smart business decision for some, but still...

I don't mind proprietary connectors at all as long as they're different because they're *better* and make the products better. I'd much rather a better product experience, particularly something I'm interacting with every day like a smart phone, than make it worse to save a few dollars when buying spare cables.

I don't believe that there would be any benefit for Heighway to use proprietary connectors. Even if they were able to make one that combined all three plugs into a single plug, the benefit would be very minor for the myriad of tradeoffs necessary to make that happen.

#2012 4 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Well, let's see. I have sent the mail to Oti. I have officially added the Full Throttle playfield to my AlienLE order. Both arrive together. There's one sale diverted from GoT to Heighway.

You must really want the Alien LE to not go ahead and order an FTL first (and Alien upgrade later) to have a new game to play a lot sooner!

#2112 4 years ago

Judge Dredd is also an adult cartoon/comic that has been done as a pin before.

1 month later
#2457 4 years ago
Quoted from Plungemaster:

And license wise not a problem i think.

I think the concept of the alien looming on the back box with the eggs nested on the sides makes perfect sense. The fact that the back box doesn't feature an alien proves that it *is* a problem with Fox.

I'd put money on the fact that one of the four proposed designs Heighway sent to Fox, before Aurich was on board, featured an alien just as we're proposing. But fox picked the egg design and that's what Aurich has had to run with.

Fox's reason for choosing the egg idea makes sense particularly when you consider that the awarding of this license would have had something to do with the pinball coinciding with the 35th Anniversary of Alien — not Aliens.

Quoted from frolic:

Based on what we know about how hard it was to get cleared, we might be stuck with it. So it feels like a missed opportunity, but what can you do. Gotta get this game out.

Reading between the lines of Aurich's comments, I'd expect to see a backbox design featuring the alien for the LE art. I bet that is what he's aiming to pitch them.

#2554 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinstein:

A big goose egg and a kitty cat. This is not turning into the title I had hoped it would be.

Are you going to let 'not the art I hoped for' ruin the game for you? We haven't even seen the playfield, toys, or gameplay yet. If your primary factor is the artwork then your best bet is to hope for LE artwork you like. But by the time the LE art is unveiled it may be possible that they're all sold out.

Aurich's art is still of a high quality — even if you would have preferred something different. Unlike many Stern games where we want the art to simply be *not terrible* and are often let down.

#2572 4 years ago
Quoted from Zampinator:

Unless I read that wrong. It's an interview about the recent Alien Isolation video game, & she mentions the UK company making the Alien pinball game. So yeah, really cool that she is aware of it.

It does kind of read that way doesn't it? If she was referring to Space Invaders then this line doesn't make sense: "that would have been the biggest kind of success when we made the film, that we would turn into a popular pinball game".

#2574 4 years ago
Quoted from Jgaltr56:

Not sure if this has been mentioned before but since the large LCD is meant for spectators...how cool would it be to have the ability to switch to another input for a playfield camera ? I know I wished Stern had a large screen showing the GOT LE playfield at Expo.

Given that it will just be an HDMI display I don't see any reason why you couldn't simply unplug the main feed from the computer and plug your own HDMI camera into it instead.

#2609 4 years ago

Hey Aurich, awesome work on the art package as revealed so far

I'm curious, have you petitioned Andrew to adopt a single-colour version of the Heighway logo? It has been commented that the Heighway logo sticks out like a sore thumb on the artwork. Looking at how the B/W logos were treated, in a single colour matching palette of the art, they really came across being a mark of pride (particularly the Bally logo IMO).

Heighway logo isn't in the same league as the B/W logos (which is a shame — it should be) but at the very least a single colour version would integrate better with the art package.

Looking closer at the logo it is already irrelevant, depicting a game with a traditional backbox shape and DMD.

#2611 4 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

For the preorder folks:
If Heighway removed the playfield screen but gave you the small screen in backglass as an included feature but offered the large screen as an upgrade, would this be a deal breaker?

I'm not in on a pre-order but intend to purchase at some stage next year.

I can't imagine why in the world they would remove the playfield screen. And if they did I'd be disappointed because it's one reason I am attracted to the Heighway platform. For my purposes I wouldn't even front up the cash for either backbox display. Just the playfield one is fine for me.

#2619 4 years ago

Looking at that whitewood I wonder how it would work to remove the post in front of the UR flipper and tweak the orbit guide to allow for orbit shots from the UL flipper while UR is held up.

I'm sure that post is there for a reason (flipper mech protection?) and if the orbit guide was tweaked to allow for this then it wouldn't feed from there to the LR flipper, it would be a WCS-style orbit feed into the slings.

#2631 4 years ago

I respectfully disagree voodle

While I haven't had the opportunity to play FTH, I do enjoy the score displays embedded in the playfield of games like Black Hole, Wheel of Fortune, and particularly cocktail pinballs like Caribbean Cruise and Night Moves.

I totally understand the potential issues with a bright display in the middle of the PF making it difficult for your eyes to keep on the action. I find some games with lots of inserts in the middle of the PF that have bad strobing LED jobs done on them quite difficult to keep my eyes on the action (e.g, No Fear). There are two ways to combat this: use dark/black background on the display graphics, offer the ability to dial down the display brightness (is this possible with FTH?).

I also understand the rose tinted appeal of the DMD but Heighway is looking to the future. I'm not sure I agree that LCD display necessarily means more work. Programming dots on a DMD looks like a pain in the ass to me and at this point it is an anachronism that few designers/programmers in the world understand how to work with. Just look at the hundreds of thousands of excellent-looking video game interfaces created for consoles, PCs, smart phones and tablets these days. Heighway's LCD joins the modern era, leaving the vanishingly small niche of DMD programming in the past where it belongs, IMO. The fact that there is an order of magnitude (or three) more talent to draw from means Heighway won't have any trouble getting great UI designs in a timely manner for their games.

#2635 4 years ago
Quoted from karl:

Lower left flipper:
5. Chest buster lane/drop target/magnet (perhaps)

It certainly looks as though you can't shoot this lane from the lower left flipper. Looks like the only way is to shoot from the upper left flipper. I wonder what the feed from the scoop will be like to set up shots from this flipper. Scoop ejects tend to be a lot faster than saucer ejects so it might be quite tough!

And I reckon you could shoot from the lower left flipper though the shooter lane gate by caroming off a raised upper right flipper. Could be some interesting carom kinetics to play around with up there!

#2664 4 years ago

I think it's not just the motorcycle theme but the art direction. It doesn't look badass.

1 week later
#2687 4 years ago
Quoted from bstyles:

Damn well better be a blackout strobe mode while the yellow flashing lights atop the backbox are spinning!

Unlikely I'd say. Only the LE has those lights. Which doesn't stop Stern from shipping LE-only software features (e.g, WWE) but Heighway say the playfields don't differ in any way from Standard to LE, and they sell the LE component as add-ons.

#2733 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Alien artwork approved yet? What's the holdup?

Aurich, 2 days ago:

Quoted from Aurich:

As it is things on Alien are starting to enter the next phase. At Expo we said the playfield art was almost done, well it's being submitted to Fox this next week. Playfield art is done, it's the documenting I'm still working on. Now Fox could love it (please!) or ask for a ton of changes (boo!) but until then I really couldn't say how my progress is looking. I'm happy with what I'm submitting. I'd be totally happy if Fox just said "looks good!" and it was done. But that part is out of my control.

1 week later
#2792 4 years ago

I'm pretty sure I read that highway plans to make all the LE components purchasable to upgrade the SE variants. The only thing different between LE and upgraded SE would be LE-exclusive artwork, trim and price (presumably more expensive to buy separate LE upgrades).

That way LE is still special, is the best way to buy if you want all the extras, but the SE variants aren't held back in any way if an owner so chooses. No point in Heighway leaving money on the table. Unless, of course, this structure aggravates LE owners — in which case perhaps there will be more cosmetic exclusives to the LE.

#2828 4 years ago

What a boring title treatment! Just a subtle star field with an ominous green glow. That shit should be packed to the gills with aliens and space hardware.

1 week later
#2916 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

I'll add the cool LE playfield features to the standard.

What if the cost of the LE is cheaper than SE + LE Add-ons?

#2923 4 years ago

One thing that occurs to me is that the big screen might end up looking a bit odd.

Quoted from Aurich:

At some point though we'll definitely need to release a teaser video with some approved video clip examples so you can get a sense for what's coming. I think we need final playfield art though first. The way the screen is embedded in the playfield means it needs context.

If the context of the display on the playfield is critically important then won't it look strange to see the same content presented out of this context on the backbox?

3 weeks later
#3036 4 years ago
Quoted from Captain_Kirk:

It's the best move ever. Being able to trick out your Standard with LE parts is great for people who don't rush to buy a game the moment it comes out. I couldn't give a rat's ass about the collectible market of an LE.

Agreed. The proposition is simple: if you don't think the LE is 'special enough' then don't buy it.

It also makes perfect business sense. Heighway will not lose a single customer who is interested in the LE version of a particular game, and finds it to be 'not special enough'. That customer will simply buy the SE version. And they'll likely spend extra money upgrading it with high-margin extras.

If Heighway went the Stern route and held back important features just for the LE version they'd be guaranteed to lose at least some customers who want the features of the LE but can't have them because they're all gone, and they'd burn goodwill from regular customers as well.

#3048 4 years ago

We don't know the details of precisely what LE features will be optional à la carte extras for SE owners. It may be likely that buying SE and all optional extras costs more than the total LE package.

So on top of the guaranteed LE benefits of exclusive trim colours/finishes, certificate/plaque, and a superior art package that is (IIRC) in additional to getting the SE art package, the LE package may be an overall cheaper way to get everything. I bet there will also be some LE exclusive goodies in the goody bag.

#3169 4 years ago

This argument is pointlessly Americentric. Until Heighway stop selling — globally — every Full Throttle they can make there's no argument to be made against the choice of theme. And even then, without insight into the reasons for choosing this theme for the first game out of the gate, it's all typical armchair quarterbacking anyway.

1 week later
#3284 4 years ago

Have you communicated these expectations to Andrew? It would be unreasonable to expect someone in such a busy situation to mind-read that an/some very early adopter(s) may want some kind of consolation for the delays, so chiding for such seems unfair, to my mind.

#3305 4 years ago

Current situation: Early reveal. Interested buyers lose interest and either spend their money on something else, losing Heighway a sale, or their money sits there until the reveal and they get excited again and buy anyway. Unless they screw up the same, early interest will be renewed when awesome game is revealed.

Hypothetical situation: No reveal yet because they take the Stern approach and wait until complete before announcing. All potential buyers looking for a new game spend elsewhere because they don't know Alien exists. See fewer Full Throttle sales because nobody knows of compelling future game to buy into interchangeable platform.

Despite the drawbacks of the early reveal, it has better upsides for them at this time than the Stern approach.

#3514 4 years ago

Think of Pinside as Twitter for Pinball. A great many companies put out more tidbits of info on their Twitter feeds than their official email newsletters. And the info that does go out via email tends to be done notably later than when it was released on Twitter.

Andrew is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Shooting from the hip with immediate info, and casually answering questions makes perfect sense for the Pinside medium. Considered, crafted, fleshed out newsletter-style news is better done via email and takes more time to put together.

#3866 4 years ago

Looks great Aurich! I think you done an excellent job of balancing the three main considerations: overall atmosphere, fan service details, the feel of two different films.

I really like the way you've integrated all the mode inserts into the motion tracker, and the way the modes run linearly *towards* the player as opposed to traditional linear mode insert progression building up away from the player. Totally suits the theme of danger closing in on you and building intensity. I imagine you're thinking up ways to use sound and visuals to ramp the intensity up as the game progresses to match.

My only nitpick is the inconsistency in the existence, and weight, of the strokes/keylines surrounding each insert. For example, the egg differs from the face hugger and chest burster inserts. I think they'd all feel more cohesive if they had the same kind of weight to them.

#3885 4 years ago
Quoted from Zampinator:

Yes! Can one of you computer savvy Pinsiders please do this?

The shot map provided is horrendously low-res so it's not really possible to do this without make the whole thing look like a piece of crap.

Aurich, or someone from Heighway will have to do it properly by overlaying the CAD vectors.

I agree it would be nice to have a bit more context, if only to better imagine the gameplay.

Quoted from bb2j3z:

I think it looks good. Interested to see it populated with all of the playfield items. Surprised they would release this ahead of that.

Surely you can't be surprised when:

A) everyone has been clamouring for this art reveal for ages now
B) the rest of the items equals the whole game, which is quite some time away from being done

#4052 4 years ago
Quoted from musketd:

People were critical of the rob zombie playfield and got; both of which look way better then this artwork; which just looks well not that inspiring at all

Maybe only if you're comparing thumbnail images of them? And to be fair both RZ and GoT were revealed complete whereas we're viewing the Alien art devoid of virtually any context.

Interestingly, the RZ playfield criticism was based on the fact that it was clearly painted without regard for insert placement and design, nor practically any other playfield parts. Alien, on the other hand, is virtually the complete opposite of this which makes for a totally incomplete experience seeing the playfield art out of context.

#4138 4 years ago

All these suggestions of removing accompanying insert graphics are foolish IMO. You will want and need this context when the game is complete. I actually think it would be better if these graphics could be larger and truly surround and integrate with the insert, but the source artwork was too low-res for that, I understand.

Without these graphics you end up with bland and, frankly, pointless and unhelpful inserts like those on AFM that merely use plain text to explain each one. Visual cues are much better and the added fan service is awesome.

#4164 4 years ago

Hey Aurich, I was looking at your art while listening to the C2C podcast (everyone making any comments about the art should listen to this first by the way) and I spotted another little thing you may want to adjust for consistency.

The weapon target inserts are all orientated in identical upright fashion. I think they should be tilted toward their associated target faces. All the other inserts point toward their shots/targets except these.

#4166 4 years ago

No worries! Aside from being more consistent it accentuates the radiating arc idea that you've based a lot of design decisions on.

Which makes me wonder if the grid might be interesting to add some curvature to as well. Could help act as a subtle skeleton to anchor some of the elements a bit more. Just a thought.

#4213 4 years ago

Yeah, maybe don't look at a thumbnail on a shitty old LCD monitor? I count no fewer than 10 aliens, excluding the eggs.

#4237 4 years ago
Quoted from PinPatch:

I hope Aurich wasn't scared to put humans on the playfield so to avoid the photoshop actors comments.

Have a listen to the Coast 2 Coast podcast episode. No likenesses were supplied and the license doesn't include them. I'd bet that no weapon art was supplied either.

#4255 4 years ago
Quoted from epotech:

Aurich is an amazing artist, I have his shadow translite so I'm not knocking what he's done but, does anyone else see HAL from 2001 when they look at the top of the playfield?
I admit to not being an alien fan so it may have huge significance but what the hell is it? Can someone please explain?

Aurich has explained it a few times. It is from one of the few original HR Giger paintings he was allowed to use and it will be almost entirely covered by ramps and mechs and toys so it's just for ambience. B/W games often simply used flat colour in these areas for this reason.

#4366 4 years ago
Quoted from BoozeMarlin:


Want an idea of how far a Blu Ray screenshot gets you on a 300dpi printed playfield?


Not very far.


#4486 4 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Perhaps certain modes will require certain weapons (Tunnel Escape = Flamethrower, Bug Hunt Multiball, etc), so you may have to collect the weapon first before the mode will start? Or perhaps you may start a mode with a limited amount of ammo & have to knock down the drops to reload? If the mode is timed that might get pretty stressful, especially with the motion tracker sound getting faster.

This is a cool idea!

#4497 4 years ago
Quoted from Cidco:

Where there's a will there's a way. You don't think this is actually Harrison Ford on the Indiana Jones translight do you? Go 44 minutes into this video for the details. http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/48531357


Interesting! Important to note Mark's clarification that there was no problem with it "only because there were prior posters and things done where he had the same attitude." Had he been keen and offered a reasonable amount of money but WMS didn't want to pay the fees then it may not have gone over well with the license holders.

#4520 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

So the logo is just here for reference, but here is what the backglass looks like with the screen in it. So it will need a new design obviously. It needs to feel connected to the Standard, but I'm working now on how that will go.

It can be a real challenge to effectively design within a frame-shaped space like this with provided assets. Sometimes it can feel like forcing a square peg in a round hole. However in this case the Standard backglass design you inherited/created is already somewhat of frame.

Side note: I see you're an 'always-visible side dock' and 'Application Frame enabled' man. I'm an 'auto-hide bottom dock' and 'Application Frame disabled' man — those OS X Proxy Icons are too damn useful to let Adobe's custom UI steal them from me!

#4557 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

I agree with this, but "much harder" isn't the same as "doesn't allow". That is why I asked.

The answer probably lies in the observation that every licensed game Stern has produced that is based on a non-animated film or TV show hasn't featured hand-drawn artwork. The Simpsons and Family Guy are obvious exceptions, as are band/artist themes.

In earlier decades the only way to do it was to hand draw/paint everything and, frankly, it led to better results for the most part. What I find intriguing with the way Aurich is approaching the Alien art is that he's doing something quite different — a true digitally-conceived art package that will have a style and atmosphere that couldn't be emulated with hand drawn art. It's one that is designed to go hand in hand with all the new tech Heighway has on offer.

What's more, Aurich's approach probably makes more sense for the theme than an arty comic-style fully hand illustrated art package.

It reminds me of the good old CG movie effects debate. Bad CG has given CG a bad rap and so many pine for the glory days of practical effects. Just like we pine for 90s hand drawn pinball art because Stern has given 'Photoshop art' bad rap. In the same way, we've got film experiences that would never have been possible with practical effects, and there's no reason why we can't be treated to the same kind of future with high quality digital pinball art packages.

#4581 4 years ago

The Full Throttle magnet is right in the middle of the orbit lane though because it only has to drop the ball straight downward from there. This magnet on Alien has to draw the ball out of the side of the orbit so it can drop down another lane beside it.

The original shot map didn't have this post so I guess they thought the magnet might be strong enough, but turned out not to be.

3 weeks later
#4727 4 years ago

Looks awesome! It is really great to see how the inserts look in person. I especially like the way the mode inserts on the motion detector are blacked out by default. Will lend itself well to the pulsing effect Aurich mentioned, and really highlight the effect of each column filling up towards you, increasing the tension.

#4730 4 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

1) Aurich adjusted the angle of the crosshair targets to match up with it's respective stand up target. Small touch & well done.

I'll take credit for that! Haha.

Quoted from accidental:

The weapon target inserts are all orientated in identical upright fashion. I think they should be tilted toward their associated target faces. All the other inserts point toward their shots/targets except these.

Quoted from Aurich:

That's a good point, I'll look at that, thanks.

#4754 4 years ago
Quoted from Expletive:

I don't want to hear about "licensing restrictions" because it's just a cop out.

"I'm not interested in any 100% accurate and fully valid reasons for why certain things weren't possible, including limited and inadequate assets with which to work from. I'd rather call all of that a cop out and lay full blame on the artist anyway."

Got it.

#4806 4 years ago
Quoted from drinkduffbeers:

Wow is anything straight forward in this pinball manufacturing lark

Printing and colour-matching is the bane of every print designer's existence. I definitely don't envy Aurich dealing with this on a big scale using all the various printing processes and substrates on a pinball (plastics, decals, silkscreens on various surfaces, backlight media, painted models) from a distance of over five thousand miles

#4808 4 years ago

I recall seeing their big printer in the tour video a while back. Andrew did mention in that video that it was being used to print on wood. Perhaps Micro were just manufacturing the playfields and Heighway doing the printing onto them, or perhaps their printer didn't wind up being up to the task for printing playfields and clear coating them. They're probably still using it for the plastics, decals and marquees though I'd say.

1 week later
#4957 4 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Good question! Maybe a toy or two?

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

The reality of this title is that FOX have said all along that they do not want everything to be revealed publicly until the game is as good as finished.

The playfield art reveal was a concession to satiate the demand to see some progress.

#4965 4 years ago

All Heighway has said is

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

we are pushing hard to show something at the Texas Pinball Festival in March.

A playable prototype should be an unexpected bonus, IMO. Just seeing the thing together and in some kind of attract mode showing some of the display work would be more than enough.

2 weeks later
#5164 4 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Alright, enough of the secret, insider, good ol boy crap. Where's the video?

Quoted from Aurich:

Unfortunately Fox hasn't approved the video for public consumption yet.

Can only hope that they do approve it, and soon!

#5192 4 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Apparently some public consumption has occurred.

My reading of it is that the video is approved to be shown, in person, at a presentation at a pinball show, but not for wider distribution online. They're waiting for approval to post online.

#5201 4 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

Let's hope but has it been stated the ball is dragged into the mouth?

Not in those words, but in the shot map the description is: "Xenomorph head toy and standup targets. Targets work in tandem with magnet to fling ball back or catch ball for xenomorph tongue operation to lock ball."

Key phrase: "tongue operation to lock ball"

I can't see how else the tongue might operate to lock a ball other than bring it into it's mouth and hang onto it in there in order to release it later for multiball. It would be the simplest mech requiring no other subways or kickouts but it could only hang onto one ball. It would be awesome for the tongue to fire outward and release the ball to throw it towards the player!

EDIT: Just found Aurich's comments that clarify these details somewhat:

Quoted from Aurich:

Dude, we have a huge xenomorph grabbing the ball with its tongue already, is that not enough for you?

Quoted from Aurich:

xeno with a bad ass magnetic tongue

#5207 4 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

Thanks. I knew it changed but couldn't find that when I searched in this thread! Did I miss an updated shot map with the A. B. C... shot explanations?

There was an updated wireframe when the playfield art was revealed but there hasn't been an updated shot map with descriptions to accompany it. Unless I also missed it

#5226 4 years ago
Quoted from bane:

Come on Heighway. You have folks with thousands of dollars commited to this game. Not all of us can attend trade shows. Throw us a bone. We deserve it. We are financing this project. Show us what you have. Stop being coy.

I believe this is what Aurich was referring to when he said he wished there was a private owners forum. They can't publicly share anything which leaves pre-orderers in the cold.

#5242 4 years ago
Quoted from NightMutilator:

Yeah... I see that now. Too many pages too go through here to get all the details so sorry bout that!

Even if you just filter by Heighway and Aurich's comments you'll get heaps of info.

#5246 4 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Any plans to get one of these in the game somewhere?


There has been discussion about it. There are plans to include it, of course, but the nature of its inclusion was waiting on actor likeness negotiations as it is, to quote Aurich, "useless without a driver". I'm guessing this is sorted now.

3 weeks later
#5363 4 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

The AVP looks cool but I like Aurichs PF more than the 2 Zen Alien PF's.

Agreed. And they're Apples and Oranges, as you said before.

1 week later
#5457 4 years ago

Anyone who thought Alien Day was a real holiday and needed to be told it was created for marketing purposes has to be a moron, right? And it's not as if real holidays are any better when it comes to exploitation by marketers.

#5460 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I went to Hallmark to get a card for me mum, and they said I was an idiot for believing in Alien.

Cards for mothers on Mothers Day. Cards for aliens on Aliens day.

#5492 4 years ago

For me, listening to the sound and movie quotes from the Pinball FX games makes me more sure that Aurich's artwork vision is the way to go. The PFX artwork and lighting just has no atmosphere at all. The sound and quotes ooze Alien/s atmosphere and tension but what you're seeing with your own eyes totally lacks it. In contrast, it looks like Heighway is shooting for dark brooding and tense atmosphere being the primary creative goal for the design of this game.

1 week later
#5588 4 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Do you plan on using "outer glow" filter?

Generous use of the 'Make Awesome' filter.


1 week later
#5719 4 years ago
Quoted from PorkChopExpress:

Did Heighway get Sigourney Weaver?
*too many pages to read, just a yes or no will do

No word on that but it sounded positive. We stopped getting detailed info like that when Aurich stepped back from the thread.

#5854 4 years ago

Those statements were all true when they were made. What's the problem? Have you not experienced your own difficulties and delays with any projects before and had to push out deadlines?

#5956 4 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Yeah, I'm out. Draining it. It's a total waste of time.

Agreed. As soon as there is anything to see I'll find it reported/shared elsewhere.

#6231 4 years ago
Quoted from robotron:

manufacturers should really announce pins when they are done.

I think Andrew would agree with you on that in hindsight. However bear in mind that part of the Heighway Pinball platform and a major unique selling point is the fact that you can swap in/out entire new games in just a few minutes. I know for sure that Full Throttle has had some sales to people that are anticipating Alien. Selling Full Throttle might have been a tougher prospect if all they could say is "you'll be able to buy future titles for your Full Throttle cabinet at 60% price, but we can't tell you what is in the pipeline until it is done". There would be doubts that game two would even surface and the investment in a modular platform was for naught.

In some ways pre-announcing was necessary. It's just that in hindsight the development has taken a lot longer than anticipated — not only due to the IP wrangling but also due to the development of Full Throttle. It's not all bad; the whole game and platform is better for it.

#6248 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

Thanks. Cool to know
What I also can noted is the word 'Scream' on the insert (located just on the left bottom side of the left flipper) in the left ball return lane.
Can you tell what that insert is related to?

It is paired with another that says 'again'. I guess it's just this game's version of the 'shoot again' ball save indicator, which of course is a reference to the classic marketing line for the first film

#6249 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

In addition I know he's trying some bigger changes. I don't want to detail things out before they're ready, but he told me about a new loop shot he's trying to add that sounds really fun, looking forward to seeing how the CAD looks for that.

Looking at the latest CAD drawing from earlier in the year I can't see how any other shots could fit in this game! The upper orbit already looks too tight. There must have been some fairly major development since then. Can't wait to see it!

I agree with the suggestion that even an updated wireframe with shot map descriptions (like the one that was released in August last year) would be awesome to see. It avoids licensing issues and gives us plenty of positive things to talk and speculate about.

#6271 4 years ago

Awesome! It would be valuable to at the very least also label the shots with letters to help facilitate discussion. Then eventually it would be great to see a list of shot descriptions like was provided in the first shot map reveal.

#6274 4 years ago

Great info Aurich. For a theme like Alien the LCD is the difference between the real thing, and a crude cartoon referencing the real thing. And integrating into the playfield makes for deeper integration into the whole game. Can't wait!

#6293 4 years ago

Wow that looks amazing. So many unique/uncommon design features! I love the new vent shot. Looks plenty wide to get into. And I look forward to seeing if there is a way to get the ball in there by caroming off a raised upper-right flipper!

Looks like there is a gap in the apron underneath the right outlane which I'm guessing returns the ball to the shooter lane. Is there a controlled gate there or is it designed to nudge your way into in order to save the ball?

The left ramp looks like it runs up and hits a target, which is an interesting way of directing the ball down the return lane.

Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

1) So the ball launches up a short wire rail, over the vent return area. But it looks like there's a gap in the wire.

I was confused about that too. If you look closely you can see there will be a rubber plug at the top of the launch wireform that lets the ball drop down onto the return from the reverse ramp and feed to the inlane. Each of the ramp returns are rendered in a purple colour and have a slot that widens to a drop point in the inlane. Hard to spot at first. It's an interesting way of doing it.

Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Looking good.
Is there a need for center post between flippers as we are not talking GB gap between flippers?!

IIRC it has traditionally be common for pinballs in Britain to be fitted with centre posts. So they may not fit this post to games that are being exported?

Quoted from wcbrandes:

Is the vent a scoop and subway?

The vent shot is a lane that resembles the hippo lane on Congo but it returns all the way down to the inlane with a gate like IJ. It looks like it might be a scoop until you realise that the white shapes in the CAD indicate inserts. Pay attention to the lane guides rendered in blue and you'll see it

#6310 4 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

One thing I'm trying to figure out, the Xeno head that was posted before, was that the actual size? Because it looks smaller in the playfield layout, even with the pin being a wide body.

I think all we're seeing in the CAD is some of the mech, not the model. We're not seeing any of the other models.

#6314 4 years ago
Quoted from backinthegame:

What am I missing,where's the drawing ? I went to the one posted 5 hours ago but the drawing isn't there.

Someone flagged it as NSFW so you have to click the 'unhide' button to see it.

#6343 4 years ago
Quoted from thewool:

Hi Dave, so it plunges and just drops down to the flipper like TOTAN or TOM?
If so I'm not a fan of that tbh, always seems a bit of a pointless way to get the ball in play.

Skill shots quickly become routine in any game. I prefer the real estate be used for more regular gameplay features (in this case the vent lane) than just ball launching. Many games these days have additional skill shots that send the ball around the orbit to the flippers for a ramp skill shots anyway so this kind of launch just makes that a possibility every time. And whose to say this game won't have a launch skill shot selection like Champion Pub in addition to shootable ones.

#6382 4 years ago
Quoted from ezeltmann:

^This is long overdue in pinball

Agreed. It would be awesome to add value for home gamers with these trophies. And as with console systems, hearing fans talk about their trophy escapades builds interest in the game for outsiders.

What's more, a profile system for location players that tracks their trophies and possibly awards them with free credits for earning the tough ones would be awesome too.

#6385 4 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Meh. As a home gamer (PS4, Pinball Arcade, etc), I have zero interest in seeing achievements/trophies applied to real world pinball machines. Different strokes for different folks I guess.

I have no interest in trophies for video games either. I'm also long-time gamer but more of a Nintendo guy so I never really got into that achievements thing although I owned a PS3. Seems like it was a bigger deal last gen.

What I'd like to see implemented isn't necessarily a trophy system like Playstation or Xbox, but more of a global set of objectives to shoot for. There are many examples of this in modern games. Some games, particularly mobile games, give you sets of three objectives to complete at a time, with a new set of three appearing once completed, and they get tougher every time.

How cool would it be to start a game and have the LCD screen show three objectives: "score a jackpot with all 3 balls in play", "max the bonus multiplier", "shoot 20 total ramp shots". The game shouldn't award game points for these but could simply add score/level/xp to your profile.

#6402 4 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

There are lots of these or am I missing something? Obviously with the newer games having a complete computer system inside this could be expanded.

Yeah, you're missing something. What you've listed are basically goal-specific leaderboard lists. And having global leaderboards, while cool, has it's problems — specifically the fact that every game can operate differently and the glass can readily be removed.

What I'm talking about are achievements. Which are just as the word implies: a list of goals that exist and are collected independently of any one game you're playing on that machine.

The Pinball Arcade even has them, so that might be the best example for me to use. They call them 'Goals' and they have a list of 'Standard Goals' that, once you've achieved them all, opens up a list of 'Wizard Goals' that, as the name implies, are much harder to complete.

E.g. TZ goals:

Standard Goals:
Score a Yellow Award Skill Shot
Earn an Extra Ball
Score a Gumball Combo
Score a Dead End
Activate Multi-Ball

Wizard Goals:
Earn a Special
Score a Powerball Double Jackpot
Score a 4-Way Combo
Score a Mania Jackpot
Activate Lost in the Zone

As far as video games go, this is an extremely slim list of achievements/goals/challenges. I don't know the gameplay of Alien so I can't suggest achievements for it, but if I were setting achievements for TAF for example I'd include things like:

Complete (x) mode or earn at least (x) points in a particular mode
Score points in every mansion mode in one game
Start Tour The Mansion
Complete Tour The Mansion
Complete 100/200/500/1000 bear kicks ramps (across all games)
Max playfield multiplier
Complete the four-way combo
Score regular jackpot, double jackpot and triple jackpot in one game
Score a graveyard bonus of at least X million
Score THING bonus with both stars
Score 3/5/7/10 jackpots in one game

That kind of thing. The idea is that instead of encouraging the two typical kinds of gameplay in pinball (high score or mode/story completion) it encourages players to start a game with a particular achievement in mind and try to earn it. This adds considerable longevity to a game. And as a bonus it generates buzz around completing the tougher achievements. You know the 'I Finally Reached Valinor!' threads? You'll get those for Alien with regard to some of the tough achievements.

I hope that explains it to those who are unfamiliar with this kind of thing

Quoted from Aurich:

Tell you what, write up your proposal for trophies or score tracking or whatever into something self contained and I'm happy to pass it along to the programmer. Just easier if there's a block of text with the idea instead of trying to link him to a conversation.

The above is what I'm thinking. If you had a way to pick a profile or input your initials before you start playing, that would make it possible for the achievements/goals/challenges to be tracked per-user.

Taking the idea further these challenges would be synced to a website, but really I don't think it matters that much. Just including and tracking a big list of achievements like this would go a long way to adding significant replay value to the game and adding continual community discussion around it. That alone would be worth the implementation effort IMO.

#6410 4 years ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

Achievements could be good if you had a game specifically dedicated to a list of goals rather than modes; the rules will include a large list of potential achievements for every section of the game, and every time you play it brings up a randomized selection from that list. Completing these in one go would qualify your wizard mode, and the random factor would help to keep the game fresh for longer.

That sounds awesome! You're right — no need for an achievement system when that style of goal completion is built into the game anyway.

It sounds a little bit like I500 which has four goals that result in a victory lap when completed. They are independent of the main game modes: Reach Wave 6 on the Light-Up Targets; Getting the Checkered Flag (completing all modes); Earn 200 laps; Reach position 1 in the race.

#6415 4 years ago

Good points Aurich. I think you're right.

One way that it could still feel like pinball while still retaining the added incentives of achievements and bragging rights/community buzz would be to have a breakdown at the end of your game that shows medals (for example) for each of the achievements you completed during that game.

No requirement to code user accounts or even any kind of HUD overlay, callout or sound effect for having earned it in-game.

Just show a summary screen of how much ass you kicked in that game, showing the achievements that were earned. The results screen could be like the COD After Action Report:


And in the operator menu somewhere, or even via a double flipper press on that results screen, access a list of all the possible medals that can be earned and check them off as they are earned, possibly with the initials of the player to most recently earn them.

You don't have to go to that kind of effort to design medals (although I somehow think you'd have plenty to draw from and may enjoy the work, if you're not already burned out on it).

Still feels like pinball to me and makes great use of the LCD display! If anything it is an opportunity to reflect the truly modern approach this game is taking with game results that go beyond merely getting a high score. I think you've communicated that Alien is a game about atmosphere and progression through the story of the game where every mode is meaningful and a real tied-in experience to the movie. Isn't showing just a score at the end selling this goal a bit short?

#6419 4 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

I have to say, it looks like Alien is shaping to be an excellent pin, so none of this is necessary... Just a cherry on top, and something that would add to the pin lastability.

Agreed. That's the bottom line for me. I don't want to give the impression that the team has to do something like this or that there would be any disappointment if they didn't.

1 week later
#6498 4 years ago

There is no link. The video only exists on Alien Pinball personnel devices to show in person, as per Fox's current wishes.

#6500 4 years ago

Makes sense to me. No incentive to leak from the people who don't want to jeopardise their hard work by pissing off the license holder. Nobody who watched the video in the presence of an employee could pull out their phone to record it second-hand without them noticing. And it's a huge dick move, and the person would be identified easily, in a hobby where that isn't exactly a great idea. And there isn't any monetary gain to be had for someone to hack into a device to steal the recording like there is with TV news or internet exclusives (if indeed there even is a Pinsider with the skills to do so and cares that much about the game — but not too much to risk jeopardising it).

#6541 4 years ago
Quoted from underlord:

I'm vigilante of signs of potential issues.

"Vigilante" … Freudian Slip?

#6560 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinstein:

More Newt? Really? I cant take anymore as time and again this thread has proven that this title is in incompetent hands. I never saw the elusive video and Im sure its cool but I've seen tons of great movie trailers that were ultimately better than the actual movie. Requesting a refund today. Oh wait, I wasn't foolish enough to put down a deposit.

Nice one. Come in and call the Heighway team incompetent and people with Alien deposits fools.

If anything, time and again, this thread has proven that Heighway is damned if they do and damned if they don't. The only fool is the one who readily arrives at ignorant conclusions.

1 week later
#6688 4 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Hi Jeff - yes, we believe we are

Great to hear! Keep up the awesome work team.

1 week later
#6709 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

The Alien franchise is here for almost 37 years.

You know it just occurred to me that Alien is as old now as Creature From The Black Lagoon was when the 1992 pinball was released. Interesting that the CFTBL movie was considered so kitschy in 1992 and that was reflected in the creative direction for the pinball. Whereas Alien is still just as awesome as it was in 1979 and this is reflected in the very serious creative direction for the pinball.

1 week later
#6756 4 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

+1 for this observation. Honestly CFTBL seemed like it was based on a movie from a whole different time/mindset in 1992. Alien seems like it could be released today as an indie film with a straight face. But maybe that is just a sign I am getting old

For what it's worth, I'm 30 and I agree with you. I watched Alien on TV for years when I was young before I realised how old it actually was.

1 week later
#6850 4 years ago

Damn that looks so good! The attention to detail in just the small slice we've seen hints at an incredible package that's for sure.

#6881 4 years ago
Quoted from Sticky:

This is what the playfield art should have looked like.

Says the person with no knowledge of the goals, vision, process, or intimate understanding of the constraints and tradeoffs involved with this project.

Your comment exemplifies why nothing should be shown out of context before the game is complete.

1 week later
#6951 4 years ago
Quoted from paul_8788:

Not sure about the rotating chamber, reminds me of the Joker toy from TDK, which I am not a fan of. Have to wait and see it in action.

I could be wrong but I think this toy is supposed to have another little LCD display on it. That would definitely make it awesome.

2 weeks later
#7030 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

That's your prerogative but it's more than just me you'd be explaining to. I'm not the only one with concerns here. And I think these unanswered questions will linger for you and create doubt. What a pity.

Anyone who is concerned with the list of dissolved companies and finds Andrew's answers to be unsatisfactory is being wilfully ignorant.

Look up any seasoned business person in a Companies Register and you SHOULD find a long list of previous ventures. A business marked as "dissolved" isn't alarming, it just means it has been struck off. "Dissolved" sounds like a bad word — but only to the ignorant.

1 month later
#7491 3 years ago
Quoted from davebowman:

Ok, what are the news? When can we expect to see pictures of the *final* game, or at least populated playfield?

Hey Dave, let me point out a handy Pinside feature that will help when you're after info like this. Note that at the top of each post is a little head and shoulders silhouette icon. Click that and you'll see all the posts in this thread by that person. Click it on the OP, Heighway Pinball, and you'll get all the info you desire.

#7520 3 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

I have a countdown program on my computer. A former co-worker sent it to me before he retired. I'll give you one guess what he used it for. This is just a picture, but if anyone is able to embed an actual countdown, one internet cookie for you.

Based on the name and how horrible it looks I'd say a countdown clock for Windows 98?

There are a hundred custom countdown clock websites/services out there but not usable here because you can't embed stuff on Pinside.

2 weeks later
#7901 3 years ago

Looks great team! Very excited. Looking forward to seeing/hearing more later in the week.

#7904 3 years ago

The image doesn't have high enough resolution to tell for sure but it looks to me like the two inserts of the hypersleep ball saver outlane are 'SCREAM' and 'AGAIN'. In the photo 'SCREAM' arrow is unlit because it has been claimed and so the 'SCREAM' insert above the outhole is lit.

I'm guessing you have to get both hypersleep inserts to fully light 'SCREAM AGAIN' in order to have the ball saver activate. I wonder if it is like a kickback where only balls down the left outline will be saved, or whether any drained balls will be saved?

#7937 3 years ago

I personally don't mind the lack of manual plunger. Sure, they're nice, but TBH on Stern games they feel like throwaway elements for the most part because they usually just go straight into a pop nest anyway or hold the post down for a full skill shot — both don't make use of the manual plunger at all.

Just look at the shooter lane for Alien. There's nothing to be gained by having a manual plunger. The ball just shoots straight up a short wireform and drops onto the ramp return platform. Just like i500, for example. There would have to be significant layout tradeoffs that reduce the total shot possibilities of the playfield in order to make a manual plunger worthwhile. I think the design team knows what they're doing an they've made the right tradeoffs for he betterment of the game as a whole.

#7946 3 years ago
Quoted from Ferret:

There are 7 distinct skill shots that can be made from the right flipper. You don't have to select in advance, but the timer is short so you only have one chance to make the shot. Each shot awards some number of points (depending on the relative difficulty of the shot) as well as an associated award or power-up. (e.g. shooting the left orbit increases spinner value for the rest of the ball... shooting a weapon target instantly awards a weapon)
Additionally, making three different skill shots over the course of a game gives a large Super Skill point bonus.

Sounds awesome! If this is the kind of thinking you're applying to the whole game then I'm very excited.

#7985 3 years ago
Quoted from tatapolus:

So this is the green 35th Anniversary Edition look?? ... It seems like they took the same photo from the flyer and made those parts green in photoshop. Hm, I don't like it. It's from their store.

Looks like a render. I like the green. Looks no different to the powder jobs many other pinheads do on their games. I like that the coin door is still black.

#8514 3 years ago
Quoted from imharrow:

Being able to lift the glass is convenient, but let's not pretend it is something new, I have machines from the 70s that do that.

A friend has a Fireball that does this. It is kinda flimsy though so I'm guessing this old method was scrapped because it wasn't very tamper-resistant on location?

There is no doubt that Heighway's cartridge system has benefits all round. It's objectively the better way to do it. The only downside is subjective, that it 'looks different'.

I always have to remove my car from the garage to have enough room to remove the playfield glass from my games. Which means that I can't be bothered to fix minor issues or do regular cleaning most of the time. Heighway's cartridge system solves that issue. And makes the issue of finding a safe carpeted spot to set down the glass go away as well. The glass is very well protected in the cartridge so if you do have to fully remove it (lifting it up isn't enough) you don't have to worry about it smashing. Something I've had happen once — enough to make me nervous every time.

#8522 3 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

No clue about any of that. I dont read pinside religiously and dont keep up w drama during expo. Just observing that when given a chance to talk in person per his request, aurich instead bolted.

FYI, Aurich didn't want to talk. He wanted him to take this personal shit off Pinside. Hopefully now that he's ranted at his face he might actually do that? That would be nice.

Quoted from Aurich:

He follows me around trying to harp on everything I say (I guess, I have him on ignore, but I've peeked a few times when people quote ignored people and it's always him) so maybe this is just an extension of that since I'm involved.

Kim, grow up. Tell me to my face if you have problems, it's pathetic to go around trying to trash talk me on a forum, you're just making yourself look bad. And trying to drag a pinball company down is just low.

1 week later
#8764 3 years ago

Andrew explained what he means by "production":

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

We always said that production would officially start when we had full game approval from our licensor. That has now happened.
Our payment terms have always been 50% when we begin production and the balance prior to shipping.
We are now ordering parts to build real Alien games. Some parts are in stock now. Many of the games' parts are 'production-ready' now and will be delivered within weeks.
Some parts need to be tweaked. Some parts need more testing. Software will be enhanced and tweaked. It is all part of the process.

Makes perfect sense. It would be foolish to order many components until the whole thing is signed off and locked in.

I think people are confusing the word 'production' for 'production line'. Production is the entire process of implementing/realising a design, not just the assembly.

#8823 3 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

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

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

#8838 3 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

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

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

#8855 3 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

how many people are going to be able to justify $9000-18,000 worth of playfields sitting around not set up?

You brought up Nintendo. Do you apply the same argument to owning dozens of Nintendo games when the console can only play one game at a time?

The 3-minute turnaround time to swap a highway playfield is about how long it takes to swap a disc on a game console and boot to a point where you're actively playing. The $9000–1800 worth of playfields are your game library and you could play several of them in one evening with just one cabinet in your house.

#8880 3 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

Nobody I know has multiple game systems set up in a row for multiple people to play at the same time in a party/social situation. And even if they did, video games cost $60.
Most people that have rows of pinball machines it's partly for their own variety, and partly for multiple people to enjoy and not wait in line. I'm not saying the swappable thing is bad, I will own Alien and Full Throttle with only 1 cabinet. I'm just saying the storage space for full size playfields and the economics of $4500 don't really support the argument for tons of cabinetless games sitting around. I just don't see loads of people having what many people spend on an entire collection, sitting in storage boxes. If I own 6 Heighway games in the future, you can be sure they won't all be running out of 1 cabinet.

I was just refuting the point that stored playfields are being wasted. You could quite conceivable play several of them in an evening.

But you're absolutely right, in the context of having many people playing your games at once, the fact that you can't play all of them at once is a downside.

However this is only true for pinheads that would otherwise have had room for more games. The most common reason for not expanding a collection, when polled on Pinside, is space.

Remember that this is all just optional. A pinhead that has room for five games, owns three including a Heighway game, and wants to buy a fourth game, they can choose rationally between a HP playfield kit that isn't playable simultaneously, spent more on another full game, or buy something else. If HP games weren't modular then the only option would be the more expensive full game. HP is offering more options and there is no downside to that.

#9069 3 years ago
Quoted from ezeltmann:

Anybody thinking this isn't the place for discussions on P3's art?
Somebody say something alien related. The rest of you STFU. No , i will not be nice.

Agreed. I've been wanting to say something.

Looking forward to some more gameplay video from Heighway once their games arrive back! The shackles are off now so no reason why we can't start seeing more stuff.

#9073 3 years ago
Quoted from PinJump:

I'd rather not hear that major playfield pieces are getting changed to be honest. There comes a point at which you have to say "It's done." and get over the things you wish you could have done better. I mean, how can such a thing be changing, and yet Heighway be "in production"?

I'd be willing to bet that anyone with money down or intentionally waiting for the game to become available for purchase would agree with Expo hands-on consensus that this component required reworking and would be happy to wait for a superior finished product, if indeed this does create a delay — which it may not.

#9206 3 years ago
Quoted from Pinballgeek:

Hi Andrew,
One quick question; in 2012 during the Uk Pinball Party you unveiled the prototypes of circes animal house which became full throttle,there was one machine that had a transparent lcd screen that was used instead of playfield glass. Could we see this technology resurface on future games because as time goes on this technology will become more mainstream and prices will plummet ?
» YouTube video

I believe that is the plan:

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

That's absolutely right.
For pinball to remain "current" - it has to embrace the latest technologies available, to keep giving the "wow" factor.
When this technology is available, and at the right price, then we will start adding it to our games

#9216 3 years ago

FWIW I enquired about pricing and availability to New Zealand a few weeks back I heard back from Heighway right away with a "we'll look into it and get back to you". I don't have info yet but I'm not itching to hear back.

#9248 3 years ago

I'm a tech geek and it is more common than not for new products to be launched in US/UK and be practically un-purchaseable from New Zealand. It takes time for distributers in minor countries to get organised. And usually enquiries about importing directly fall on deaf ears. Who has time to manually figure out hassles around payment, currency conversion and shipping for a one-off order from some dude in some random country across the world.

I get it. It takes time. We're not a priority. We're a small market that requires the same amount of legwork to suss out the details as a larger market. If I want an Alien when they're shipping in regular quantities and the wait times aren't too long next year some time, and Heighway has had the time and space to suss out the details of selling games to Kiwis, then I'll be on board.

#9251 3 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

No, it doesn't require anything. They answer an email, take the money, issue an invoice, a truck arrives at the factory and it arrives in NZ x days later.
No effort required. No regulations, no red tape, nothing. Just a sale to a regular joe blow who happens to be shipping it somewhere.

What I mean is them figuring out the cost to ship and what duties and tariffs are imposed and managing a custom order outside their normal web shop which introduces its own set of issues, manual credit card payments triggering fraud warnings with the bank etc. I've rarely had a simple process spending several thousand dollars on anything from overseas from a supplier that hasn't before shipped to New Zealand. Half the time they ignore me entirely, just too much hassle for one order. Maybe I've just always had bad luck!

#9255 3 years ago

Right, I see. If Heighway want to do it that way then I'd be happy with that. Will see how things pan out next year.

1 week later
#9371 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Any word on the replacement on the queen alien?

Yeah. Andrew posted this two days ago:

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

The unloved "Queen Chamber" has now been removed and replaced with something else. We will reveal this feature as we get closer to our release date. The Queen is still planned to appear eleswhere - but again, we will reveal details of this later

2 weeks later
#9447 3 years ago

Sounds amazing!

I do think that these teaser videos would better capture the atmosphere of the game if they were shot in low light though.

1 month later
#9999 3 years ago
Quoted from take2-take5:

How comes no-one is talking about the very specific "Alien" artwork on the sides and Backboard of this table? After all this table is for both Alien & Aliens movies and I would think if it had to be one or the other a lot would prefer the Aliens Artwork on their table - but it seems like no-one is too bothered about this?

There was plenty of talk about it earlier in this thread when the cabinet artwork was revealed.

Start reading Aurich's posts from here: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/alien-pinball-official-game-thread?tq&tu=aurich#post-2744933

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