(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24,458 posts
  • 984 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 days ago by MK6PIN
  • Topic is favorited by 263 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

Topic Gallery

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Topic index (key posts)

51 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #9151 Insight from Alien's programmer on tournament mode Posted by Ferret (2 years ago)

Post #9234 Update on distribution Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #9660 Here we show you a short clip from the 'Ambush Multiball' mode Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #10128 Photo of Alien at UK Trade Show Posted by unigroove (2 years ago)

Post #10230 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (2 years ago)

Post #10231 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (2 years ago)

Post #10914 Alien ships Posted by ZenTron (2 years ago)

Post #10916 Alien ships Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #11230 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by ezeltmann (2 years ago)

Post #11372 Nordman outline for Alien Posted by solarvalue (2 years ago)

Post #11389 CAD comparison of final Aliens vs Nordman drawing Posted by EalaDubhSidhe (2 years ago)

Post #11417 Gameplay from Heighway as of 2/28/17 Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #13008 Andrew reveals the LE artwork and ramp installation in an alien day video Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #13013 Andrew confirms LE art is finally approved by fox Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #13022 Andrew explains the artist difference for the LE backglass Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #14488 Andrew returns, hints at big announcement coming in a few days. Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

Post #15501 Copy of update posted to Facebook by the new HP Posted by Dust2000 (1 year 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!

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#6973 2 years ago

Hey Andrew,
Asked for a direct shipping quote a while ago since there is no AU distro yet. Still waiting.

2 months later
#7739 2 years ago

Thursday night is JJP3 reveal...

Alien talk is 4pm which is in the middle of the Adam West meet and greet..

1 week later
#8094 2 years ago

Both pins here at the launch party don't work properly. No mode starts and I believe no multiball either.
The pin shoots well but without modes it's hard to judge it.

Shooting right orbit and not being able to use right flipper does feel weird though

2 months later
#10033 2 years ago

Did Andrew just double the LE numbers by having 2 types of LEs?

Edit: No, there is only 1 LE, with 2 different trim options.

#10092 2 years ago

People stepping on egg shells around here.

I'll say it if no one wants to.

It's no acceptable to make someone wait 4 months for a refund. It does a lot more financial damage to the Heighway brand then the amount in their bank account. Why do people have to consistently post on pinside to get unanswered emails attended to?

2 weeks later
#10713 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

We have been asked how the rotating beacons on Alien Pinball look in a dark room. This short video, taken at Pinball Expo in Chicago in October 2016, show them in action.
These beacons are standard on our Limited Edition model, and an optional extra on our Standard Edition model.
» YouTube video

Looks great!

But out of the loop with the 'LE' artwork... Is the playfield changing or just the translite and side art?

#10829 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's already been said they'll be black instead of white, and I offered anyone who wants art for it to provide it if they don't like the black.
So no, being upset still seems stupid. You spent all this time photoshopping up things instead of reading I guess.

I think he post was also pretty stupid but I upvoted him because he it made me laugh. Such effort.

#10882 2 years ago
Quoted from Toads:

If I was a betting man, I'd take that bet.

You preordered Woz, Predator, Alien and Thunderbirds! If you are not a betting man I don't know who is!

#10929 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

It has been a long time coming, but we reached another huge milestone today when we shipped out our first customer Alien Pinball game.
It has taken us a long time to get to this point, but the whole team is immensely proud of the game that is now being shipped, and we can't wait for customers to start unboxing their machines and finally getting to play the game.
More games will be shipping this week and next week, as we start gearing up for mass production in the weeks ahead - and we will continue to post more shipping photos here.

Congratulations Andrew.
It certainly looks cold in the UK atm!

Does the pinball that shipped have all final parts in there?
Any progress with the Australian Distributor?

#10943 2 years ago

Where does the headbox ship?
Are Heighway pinballs foldable? Haven't seen an unboxing

3 weeks later
#11801 2 years ago

Recessed sides for mirror/art blades.

2 weeks later
#12248 2 years ago
Quoted from sed6:

Fiber optics to be unique and revealed in a few weeks

2 weeks?

1 week later
#12575 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

We are in regular contact with FOX to have the final LE package approved. We are waiting on one particular high res asset from them - and that's all that is holding things up.

1mtzpd (resized).jpg

#12608 2 years ago
Quoted from Rockytop:

Any news? It's been pretty quiet lately.

Is this the longest announcement to reveal of an LE ever? I mean as a total package, art, El ramps etc. No one knows what it actually looks like right?

Was announced almost 1000 days ago.

2 weeks later
#13106 2 years ago

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#13114 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

And then you wonder why manufacturers don't post on Pinside anymore. Shameless!

Shameless indeed! Someone said that guy look like Kevin a while ago and it was all good. Chuck popaduik into the mix and you have crossed the line!

Yes. I am sure all manufactures are super serious about everything and can't have a laugh. Look at how miserable Jack was when he came down to Australia.

Lighten up people. It was just meant to be a bit of fun. Do you come on pinside to have fun and have laugh. Or to get into arguments and hate? Seem like that latter is more popular.

#13316 2 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Would it be possible to put a smaller screen in and keep the LE artwork? Then when the machine is in attract mode (?) the art would fill in on the screen. Maybe quivering, etc.....Just a thought....

Are you trying to delay this machine even further mate?!
Please. No one suggest anything more

#13475 2 years ago

Alright, no more photoshops

3 weeks later
#14361 1 year ago
Quoted from bigdaddy07:

Are you putting your SE up for sale or planning to keep both the LE and SE?
It does seem strange that Heighway would ship an LE under the radar. I mean with all the heat he's taking to let that ship out with no official word of it?

It's the same game I believe. That he got last week... I think he just power coated it himself?

#14370 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

I only have an Alien LE
The powdercoating was changed out to Alien Green from Alien Black

Did Heighway send you the replacement armor? Or did you just do it yourself out of your own pocket?

#14382 1 year ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

So you powdercoated it yourself? Why request it black and then coat it green?
I've been very supportive of Heighway in this thread, but I can't help but think this DIY LE approach is a bit odd.

Well my guess (and I hate speculating) is that he ordered his machine with green trim and heighway didn't have the blue or green armor ready. So they sent him what they could, a standard with the backglass of a LE and side inserts. With the promise that the optic ramp lights will be sent at a later date.

You might think that sucks but I'm guessing every single LE preorder guy/girl would swap positions with him now if the only downside is you need to powercoat your game and wait for optics.

I could be totally wrong but none of the lucky owners of an alien are going to say anything negative about Heighway, even if it just that the green powdercoating legs aren't there yet.

#14393 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Thanks Man!
Green seems to blend in quite nicely with the game...
Not sure how blue would look in the game, but Im sure we will see some soon.

Out of pure curiosity.
Did Heighway give you the color to give to the powdercoaters?
Or did you just choose one you wanted and thought would be the most similar to the 'official' colour.
Some people might be looking at this thread and thinking their machine might look through same and it could look pretty different.

#14395 1 year ago
Quoted from Buzz:

Please answer when you ordered I didn't see an answer to that question yet.

You are not going to get the answer to that question.
He lists a date. 5 people kick and scream that they ordered before him.

#14407 1 year ago

Every single LE should have been delivered by now 'as a minimum'.

Screenshot_20170529-004349 (resized).png

11 months later
#21419 1 year ago

Don't you think it's a bit unprofessional to say that 'spooky game has issues' in a thread about a Heighway going under. Loosing hundreds of 1000s of customers money.

When the issue you are talking about seems to be the fact that some people are complaining about the way ACNC shoots? Aren't they 2 separate things completely?

I am sure you agree it a reckless thing to say. When most people won't be able to make the distinction. I didn't even make the connection until I went into the Alice Cooper thread.

I understand your frustration. Maybe there should be a separate thread about moderation instead of having it here.

#21427 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

His point is about the climate on Pinside and moderation standards.
He's in a position to know about problems (in his opinion) with ACNC and obviously disagrees with concerns being dismissed about this or other games. ALL machines either in developmemt or in past or present production have issues.
He's not shitting on ACNC or Spooky. Just being rather more open than is generally the case.
As for his claim about his game being better. Well, he was the designer. He probably would think that.
I have an ACNC on order. My second attempt at NIB after Alien (thankfully aborted). I'm not concerned by Ben saying stuff like that, or there being issues. I'm concerned by concerns being dismissed, and an air of hostility towards enquiry. An echo chamber is the last thing that will help Spooky, or their customers, as they seek to grow and improve.

Well then he should list the problems.I have no issues with people being open. You guys have misunderstood what I've said.
Don't leave it ambiguous so that people might think he is talking about financial issues.

It's like a friend saying 'hey I've got a secret.... But I can't tell you'.
Just tell me. Or say nothing. Otherwise it's just annoying.

#21541 1 year ago

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


One person told TWIP:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#21824 1 year ago
Quoted from Ferret:

Having just listened to the generally excellent Pinball Podcast #127

Pinball profile, the pinball podcast is a different podcast.
Here is the link


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