Quoted from Aurich:
Haha. Well since this is the Alien thread, and I can be partisan without being dickish, I'll try and sell you on Alien over GOT. They don't really compete, GoT will be shipping first, but it's the flavor of the moment, so why not?
Here's where I think Stern's strategy is a real failure: the Pro/Premium thing lets them offer a cheaper price, but it bifurcates their games in a way that holds them back. Let me explain.
Alien has 4 flippers. You can't buy a version of the game without 4, they're built into the basic shot strategy. GOT only has 4 flippers sometimes. You can use them for the miniplayfield, but you can't make that central to the rules (like say TSPP does). Since the Pro doesn't have them you have to make the upper playfield secondary. Or make the rules just utterly different from Pro to PremLE. Which is weird, and more work, and isn't going to help with code updates being timely.
Alien has full RGB lighting, every single light. GOT has RGB (inserts, pops, and maybe spots?), and only a handful of inserts on the Pro. So you can't rely on the colored lighting for the rules on every shot. You have to hold back on creativity. And I'm betting the Pro can only do 6 colors. I once asked Dwight Sullivan to make the Klingon Multiball insert color orange instead of red, so it wouldn't be confusing when you stack it with Klingon Battle. He replied that he couldn't, because the Pro can't do orange. Just the 6 colors of the main inserts.
If we want a mode on Alien where the GI dims, and then parts of the GI flare up orange, and the inserts around them go orange, and we simulate that part of the playfield being on fire? Can do it. And we can make that a part of the rules, because every model will have that feature.
GOT can't do that. GI can't go orange. Pro doesn't have enough RGB lights to do that (and probably can't do orange anyways).
I can tell you right now there's a mode in Alien that uses the color changing lights that couldn't be done without them. It's really cool to have them on every shipping game, you don't have to hold back.
Alien display: High rez LCD screen. Movie clips, instructions, scores and stats? No problem. GOT: Low rez dots. We haven't seen them yet. We know that if they try to use clips from the show they're going to be a smeary mess though.
Alien Standard is more feature equipped than the Stern Premium, for the same price.
LE is price competitive too (not sure exactly how close, have to see latest quotes, Stern just raised prices) but comes with the interactive topper, no $400 extra charge from the store. Comes with fiberoptic lighting, ala Tron. Exclusive LE art package.
Right now Heighway is simply offering more for your money than Stern. They don't have a cheaper Pro option, it's true. If that's your price point go Stern. But look at the GOT Pro. It's pretty sad without that upper playfield, it's like a whole different game. How is the code going to work across these two models? The Pro doesn't feel like the one to pick here.
Heighway is new, still lots to prove, and Alien is still being worked on and GOT is close to shipping. You have to make your own calls. But I think we're going to deliver a killer game, I'm really looking forward to the first time I get to flip it.
Also, if you're still reading this long ass post, you did ask for a tease. Hmm. Let's just say that I hope you like multiballs ...