(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 26,971 posts
  • 1,037 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 hour ago by TomDK
  • Topic is favorited by 273 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • 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.

Display key post list sorted by: Post date | Keypost summary | User name

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)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

You're currently viewing posts by Pinsider davidus56.
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#12381 3 years ago

Well...., I took a deep breath and paid in full for both Full Throttle and Alien LE. This gets me to the 'front of the line'. After the Dutch Pinball fiasco, I'm a little nervous that Heighway will get into some cash bind. However, the Alien title is even better IMO than 'The Big Lebowski'. So, I will cross my fingers and hope (pray) I get my games by June/July. I will report progress or lack thereof. Alien could be the game of the year. Let's hope they don't blow it.

#12484 3 years ago

Once I get my Alien LE, I'm ordering 2 more. One for my son and one to keep NIB as an investment. I can see this game being worth 15-20k in 10 years.

1 month later
#13586 3 years ago

I've played Alien and I think it's awesome. The screen on the playfield, the sound effects and visuals are outstanding. Gameplay is also fantastic - certainly better than some other new kids on the block like WOZ and Hobbit. I've already gotten rid of my WOZ and Hobbit is next. Spooky's AMH still holds my attention and RZ is a decent game, although not as good as their first. I predict Alien LE will be the top pin of 2017/18 (depending on when it ships).

3 weeks later
#14735 3 years ago

First Dutch and now Heighway? This is getting old. Giving a bad name to pinball and will make it next to impossible for any other startups to succeed.

2 weeks later
#15240 3 years ago

I'm a very serious collector with almost all the top pins. I've owned 2 JJP games. I got rid of my 75th annineversary Woz and bought Hobbit. I never could get into Woz, although newbies seemed to like it. I also had many quality/reliability issues with Woz including lights going out and the witch voice dropping out -apparently due to an audio filter problem. I've tried to enjoy Hobbit. It is very well done, but it is just too slow and boring. After the novelty wears off, you realize how bad it really is as a pin.
I have put many plays on Alien and Dialed In. The Alien code is not yet complete, but it is much faster and more fun than any JJP game. The call outs and visuals are outstanding. Dialed In, IMO, is a horrible theme with only slightly better game flow. Alien, on the other hand, could be the 2017 (or 2018) game of the year and join the classics hall of fame on par with pins like Scrared Stiff, Indiana Jones, Medieval Madness and Monster Bash. I predict several years from now, it will be solidly in the top 10. Too bad Andrew didn't have the resources to bring his creation to fruition. Sometimes creative/visionary types aren't the best business (operations and execution) people.

#15256 3 years ago

A serious collector is one who buys the best titles, mods the hell out of them, knows the market and has a large collection. A serious pinballer is someone who knows the games, plays in tournaments, plays at every opportunity, and has exceptional skills.
Different animals. I'm sorry if I sounded 'douchey'. I was just trying to establish that I know of what I speak.

#15287 3 years ago
Quoted from CubeSnake:

Nope-it's just someone with a checkbook and the space to hold and ''mod the hell out of them''. Dollars to doughnuts he's probably been collecting for , oh, a big 10 years!

Collecting for about 30 years. First pin was Pinbot. I didn't have money to buy many games until my 50's. That is when very long hours at work and sweat equity finally paid off. You should be glad I'm supporting our hobby instead of spending my hard earned money on exotic cars, 'escorts' or nose candy.

#15292 3 years ago

I ask forgiveness from anyone I have offended past, present and future. I am not worthy. What can I do to redeem myself?

#15295 3 years ago
Quoted from bemmett:

You could change your avatar picture, it is kind of creepy.

Will do. I'll start looking for one.

#15297 3 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Look no further ...

Sorry, upload fails. Pinside requires more pixels

#15303 3 years ago
Quoted from rcbrown316:

thank you for defining all that for me. looks like I need to get to work....

Always glad to help. Just ask.

#15321 3 years ago

"Want to be mad at someone, be mad at Andrew. Be mad at new development team as they are now the new Andrew and took on that finacial risk and potential reward. However, dont be mad at the guys that worked for free at this stage and put in countless hours for the love of pinball. Attacking their character will not stand man."

Well said. Except I think you meant to say, 'be mad at the new management team...'
Andrew is the one that deserves the most scorn. He took deposits/payments late in the game when he knew their was no chance he could deliver the games. I bought a Full Throttle while waiting for my Alien. Haven't seen jack.

1 month later
#15701 2 years ago

What is a swap kit for Full Throttle?

1 week later
#15804 2 years ago

Since I paid in full for an Alien LE and Full Throttle LE, can I assume I will be at the front of the line (as originally promised), or are you going to ship deposit games first so you get a little more cash in the door?

2 weeks later
#16209 2 years ago

Anyone know when they might ship the LE versions of Full Throttle and Alien? I've got to have my pinball high soon or risk going into withdrawal....

#16250 2 years ago

I imagine there will be an aftermarket option for the fiber optic ramps. I'm just glad the new investors are going to honor paid in full buyers of the LE like me. I just want the game, which I believe will be the best pin of 2017 (or 2018).
Hurry. I can't wait much longer - am having withdrawal...

1 week later
#16544 2 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

Well that and the fact that pretty much all of their games aren't very good. Give me thumbs down because it's a popular thing to do on Pinside, but I don't see many people plunking down $6K on a used RZ. Love the folks at Spooky but nothing they are doing is ground breaking and at the end of the day, one little recession like 2008 and they are out of business.

Spooky has private money ready to back them at any point that the economy gets dicey.

3 weeks later
#16955 2 years ago

I paid in full for a Full Throttle LE and Alien LE last spring. Since then, no word on when I might get one or both of my games. Is anyone hearing that 'paid in full' customers are at a disadvantage to deposit customers? I'm wondering if Andrew kept the 'paid in full' payments and I'm out of luck.

3 weeks later
#17983 2 years ago

I bought an Alien LE and Full Throttle LE in full and I can’t get Morgan to respond to me. Andrew promised me ‘front of the line’ by paying in full. If I can’t get Heighway to answer my emails I will start legal action. Hopefully this won’t burn whatever cash they have left in defending against a lawsuit. However, I will give them every opportunity to make things right before I get aggressive. If anyone has an ‘in’ with Morgan, tell him to email me back and save Heighway and ‘Andrew’ some financial pain.

#17985 2 years ago

You aren’t privy to my emails with Morgan. I offered to switch to standard Alien and Full Throttle if they weren’t shipping LEs anytime soon. The thing that irritates me is Morgan has not answered my emails. And I have been very cordial.

#18024 2 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Correct. I’m not privy to your emails with Morgan, so just going with what you’ve shared here. But I’m not sure if that means they’ve broken their promise to put you at the front of the LE line. Why not ask for a refund, or have you already?
What are you hoping to achieve? Letting you downgrade? A refund? Or some clarity on when the LEs are shipping?

In emails to Morgan, I said I would downgrade to a standard if that would help... perhaps even be an investor if the company is still salvageable. But, at a minimum, I need a reply. Being ignored is not a good strategy for them.

#18262 2 years ago

Has anyone talked to Heighway about bringing on additional investors, or better still, outsourcing the production to a company with a proven track record like JJP or Spooky? I really, really want them to succeed. Not just because I paid for a Full Throttle or Alien already, but also because I think their designs are truely innovative and a breath of fresh air in a stagnating industry. Maybe every other Stern game is worth buying, but their designs as well as quality, have been slipping. Other than America’s Most Haunted, Spooky games are just ‘ok’ and JJP is only now starting to make good titles. Actually, I just watched a YouTube video of Spooky’s new Total Nuclear Annihilation. It looks pretty sweet. They are getting better in starts and fits, but at least Charlie and clan are honest. He is also a pretty sharp business man - knows how to design and build an affordable game that he can still make profitably.

#18305 2 years ago

Andrew looked me in the eyes and delivered a deliberate, bold faced lie. After he ‘once again’ reassured me that I would “go to the front of the line” and get my LE Full Throttle and Alien LE by late summer (guaranteed), I agreed to send him payment in full (plus air freight). He committed fraud. It is beyond just running a business and then failing at it. The next question is, did he simply empty the bank account and then slink away. I have another few months before statute of limitations will force me to file a lawsuit (assuming UK mirrors US law). Hopefully I can get satisfaction before then....

#18364 2 years ago

Andrew reached out to me with an apology. He seems to be genuinely sorry. He states he is no longer affiliated with the company in any way. He believes the new owners will honor my order and will eventually ship my games. I hope he is right. What is the saying, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions”... No matter how good their intentions are, I worry that they may be stretched too thin to honor all their commitments. If I trusted them (credibility has been stretched to the breaking point), I might even consider helping the company out financially. The problem is.... the trust is gone. I am considering all options.

#18371 2 years ago

Who designed Full Throttle and Alien? The designs are outstanding. Is there anything we can do, as a community of pinball loving fans, to help Heighway fulfill its promises? They have two winners, just execution problems. Maybe a trip to SharkTank....
I wonder if Heighway would consider spinning off a U.S. VAR that would start making pins for the U.S.? They could probably get a royalty on every U.S. game manufactured, to help their cash flow. I think there are multiple angles that could help them survive - maybe even thrive - and us get our games.
I’ve got a million dollars to put into a joint venture. Any other investors interested in joining me? Of course, this presumes Heighway would be on board.

#18372 2 years ago

And yes, I can afford it and I am for real. I think one of the original founders of TPF, Shannon S., whom I know well, would vouch for me. (I don’t know if he is ok with me posting his full name).

#18376 2 years ago
Quoted from epotech:

The best way to make a small fortune in pinball is to start with a large one.

Yes. This would be a labor of love. Very difficult to make a profitable business. But, if you control costs with low overhead and use programmers who are willing to develop after hours, at a steep discount - perhaps with some equity.... AND you have an awesome design, then you can probably turn a small profit.
The first thing I would do is try and negotiate a manufacturing partnership with someone like Charlie at Spooky, Gerry at Multimorphic or even VPCabs. This might also be an avenue to getting the I.P. On The Big Lebowski. My goal would be to build high quality, completed games and hopefully not lose more than one or two hundred thousand doing so.

I’m a successful, retired entrepreneur. I started a company ‘in my garage’, back in 1996, grew it to 300 employees and sold it for a nice sum. Today, 55,000 doctors use software that I designed. I know how to bootstrap a business. Pinball is a bit different from medical software. For one thing, we sold our software with training for 20k. People will pay 10k for an exceptional pin. That is probably what it would take to build 200 or 300 of these pins without taking too big of a bath.

Frankly though, if I was trying to make a profitable business out of this, I would concentrate on simpler pins that could be sold for 6-7k while still maintaining 50% or higher margins. Andrew’s biggest problem, I’m guessing, was that he was grossly undercapitalized. That magnifies every other problem that crops up. He then made promises he couldn’t keep. I imagine the stress must have been overwhelming. He also had rather grandiose, expensive designs. The K.I.S.S. principle for the first few pins helps you learn how to walk before you have to run.

2 weeks later
#18670 2 years ago

Hello everyone,

I’m one of the many people who pre-ordered and foolishly paid in full for the Alien and Full Throttle LE pins. Btw, I’ve asked them just to send me the standard version and keep the difference (price between LE and standard) and they have not acknowledged my request! Morgan has not been helpful (when he on rare occasions answers an email). I do not know who to contact at Heighway to get relief. At this point I just want a refund. If Heighway survives, I will buy one or both games from Cointaker or in the aftermarket.

Does anyone have good emails on who I might reach at Heighway that might honor a refund?
Unfortunately, I suspect they are out of money. The fact that they are even considering making a third or fourth game when they have left so many people high and dry, is beyond me. This takes unethical business practices to a new low.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

#18727 2 years ago

I’m willing to do a test and report back here if Heighway will do it.
I paid in full for a Full Throttle LE and Alien LE. I should have, at the very least, gotten my Full Throttle.
So here is my proposition. I will send full payment for another Alien LE, on the condition (with a personal guarantee) that they will use that money to build and ship my Alien LE immediately. If this works, then I will front the money (again) for my Full Throttle LE. After I get my games, I will then have my original two games on order awaiting production. I would expect to get the games I originally ordered in line with all the other prepaid customers. If they are promising delivery in 2018, then I would want assurances that I would get my games in 2018. This is a pretty big risk I’m willing to take and it will clearly prove their true intentions. If cash flow is the issue, then I ‘resend’ payment in full - again, and they have the money they need to make my pin. But if I do this, then it will be with the caveat and assurance that I will get my Alien immediately - next in line - just as Andrew originally promised AND I will require a personal guarantee from the owners.

If this works, I get my games while I’m still alive (hopefully) AND they have two more games on order. I will have paid for four pinball games. This is a win-win for both parties and certainly cheaper than a lawsuit. Worse case, I end up out another $9,000 with absolutely nothing to show for it. But if I get screwed again, I will pull out all stops to go after these scoundrels... They are only scoundrels if they agree to this, take my money and then do nothing, or make excuses dragging this out another year... or two... or three.

What does everyone think? Most important, what does the management of Heighway think about my proposition? Or should I do this thru Cointaker and just have Mellissa verify that they are building/delivering my game?

#18758 2 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

Not that it really means anything but Alien is a way better pin than WOZ (IMHO).

Absolutely agree. I bought a WOZ 75th anniversary and the wife and friends all loved it, but I grew bored with it pretty quickly. I feel the same about Hobbit. However, Pirates looks like a well done theme.
Alien has the lineage and game play to be a game of the decade. I certainly think it is better than AFM. But, if the new owners of Heighway are not careful, they will blow all the good will and trust, if any, that still exists. I cannot get over the fact that they do not send me my (paid for in full) Full Throttle. That is a mature game with stable code. I have been ignored on repeated requests for them to build and ship my game. At this point, I have given up, and asked for a refund. No answer. Silence. I honestly don’t think they have the money or intent to build and ship my Full Throttle, let alone fully pre-paid Alien LE’s (like me).

If something doesn’t happen soon, then I will initiate litigation. If they declare bankruptcy, then so be it. Perhaps early adopters like myself can band together and buy the I.P. from the bankruptcy judge. If that happens, all early adopters will be screwed (we are already screwed), but at least there will be a chance of getting the game to a reputable manufacturer.

#18881 2 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

This is absolutely the oddest case that I've seen regarding the timeline/ refund thing. Guessing you were paid in full for both (how long, if I can ask?) then finally got tired of the wait and zero communication, so now pursuing total refund (again, how long ago, if permissible to ask?). I can't see them doing this intentionally, but obviously something is seriously wrong in you instance......

I paid in full in February 2017 for a Full Throttle and Alien LE based on a promise by Andrew, then CEO of Heighway Pinball, to move my order to the front of the line and ship in the summer (of 2017). Since then, I’ve had minimal communication and no concrete answers despite multiple pleas for information. I asked for them to ship my Full Throttle at the very least. Silence.

I asked for a full refund a week or so ago. I’m not optimistic. The next step for me is to sue them. I’ve given them every opportunity to do me right, but my patience is gone. I think they are teetering on collapse. Kinda like Tesla asking ‘believers’ to pay them $250,000 upfront for a roadster they will roll out in 2020. It smells of desperation not unlike some of these fly by night pinball companies....

3 months later
#20328 2 years ago

I paid in full for a Full Throttle LE and Alien LE. Still waiting. Never again.

1 month later
#21843 2 years ago

I’m one of the suckers that believed Andrew when he promised to expedite shipping if I paid up front. Damn. At least with Houdini, I actually got a game by paying up front.
I wonder if Alien will or can be picked up by anyone else. This could be a great title if a legitimate pinball manufacturer took on the license. Maybe Spooky or JJP?

2 weeks later
#22199 2 years ago

I got an email from the bankruptcy attorney that Heighway sold the Alien intellectual property to a third party before declaring bankruptcy. That is just another example of fraud committed by these scoundrels.

#22234 2 years ago

Alien was clearly one of the best new pins of the year. So, two questions for anyone that might know.
1) If the Heighway owner’s sold the I.P. rights to Alien, is some other company going to try and build it?
2) I lost my ass on this game. But, if a reputable company re-released it, I would pony up and buy it. Are other pin ballers that got burned like me, still interested if it was re-released?

Bonus question - where is Andrew and what could we do to him legally to make him suffer for the fraud he perpetrated?

1 year later
#25878 6 months ago

Good luck selling this clunky routed pin with so many broken parts. Alien was always marginal in quality and should have been in a low play environment like HUO.

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