(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

5 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 25,638 posts
  • 1,005 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 15 hours ago by iceman44
  • Topic is favorited by 273 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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Topic index (key posts)

52 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 (2 years ago)

Post #15501 Copy of update posted to Facebook by the new HP Posted by Dust2000 (2 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!

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#6860 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

For a few years now I have suggested companies put a micro camera on the apron, centered on the flippers looking up field. Not as cool but maybe one at the top of the playfield also, looking down.

I agree. This is some footage I shot a while back trying out some new FAST hardware. I love the view.

FAST Pinball

#6861 3 years ago

I spotted a pinball reference in a story on CNN today.


Enter director James Cameron. In the mid-80s, he met with "Alien" filmmakers Walter Hill and David Giler to discuss projects, including a "Spartacus in space" tale. They didn't love his pitch. But just when it looked like their partnership was a non-starter, they asked him to come up with an idea for "Alien 2." Cameron, who called the original "a masterpiece," said his brain "lit up like a pinball machine."

FAST Pinball

4 months later
#9530 2 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

That would a good mod project for this guy, as I doubt he's actually going to build complete Cthulhu pins:

Still very alive.

FAST Pinball

2 months later
#11011 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

David will get a game shortly which will allow him to make more improvements

Now you just need to require him to bring his to the NW Pinball Show in June!

FAST Pinball

2 weeks later
#11605 2 years ago
Quoted from marksf123:

It would be interesting if you could add a TV tuner to the LCD then be able to use it as a TV in the game when the game wasn't being played.

If the backbox display is a mirror of the playfield display, then I would absolutely want a setup where the backbox display would be able to play tv/movies.

My development cabinets have had a 32" LCD in the backbox and I love watching movies while tinkering with pinball.

Assuming it is an HDMI display, it would only take a HDMI switcher. Andrew. Do. This!

FAST Pinball

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2 weeks later
#12146 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

actually, I am now wondering if you could put them on their sides and fit 2?

Can you slide the playfields under the game from the front of the cabinet? Or only from sides? With my design, that was a challenge because they did not fit between the legs. This was a bummer because it meant I could only slide playfirlds under the cabinets on the end of a row. So I started hanging them on the wall because they truly do take up a fair amount of space on their own. I know the Heighway cabinet is wider due to the side panel art insert, so that might be enough room.

I could only fit one game under a cabinet. The support frame, ramps and backwall make it taller than you would expect.

FAST Pinball

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#12181 2 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

Can you slide the playfields under the game from the front of the cabinet? Or only from sides?

whysnow Not sure if you saw my question, but I was wondering if the wider sidewalls of the cabinet are enough to give the playfield clearance to slide under the cabinet from the front, between the legs.

FAST Pinball

#12188 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Looks like playfield is 23" and the legs are 25" but taper in obviously so depends on the "case" they come up with I think.

Oh they case! I forgot all about that too. We built a "trunk" and used 1/4" plywood for the sides and thicker edges and corners. The goal was just to protect it a little but not sturdy like a travel case. It added at least 1/2" to each side. Ended up being fairly tall. I only had this pic of it standing on end.

FAST Pinball

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1 week later
#12441 2 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

So you are saying the peolpe on the wait list that have already put money down and are in line for Alien were skipped over and people just walked in with cash and stepped in the front of the line? Am I reading this correctly? Or there is no one with cointaker with money down already waiting? Wheres the next conference you are taking games too?

Hopefully, NW Pinball Show in June. Bring cash!

FAST Pinball

4 weeks later
#13240 2 years ago
Quoted from master_of_chaos:

The only really irritating thing is the absence of mechanical playfield switches.

What is irritating about this?

FAST Pinball

#13303 2 years ago

Catching up on this thread, I can't even count the number of configuration options Alien has now. From a business standpoint, managing all of these different options would be my nightmare. How many of each part do you buy? Which popular configurations do you assemble, box and have ready to ship? Which configuration do distributors receive and how does anyone involved support every variation being offered?

If it is not too late to do so, I really think it would be helpful for Heighway to switch to selling far fewer variations "made to order" and instead sell mods packs for the user to install themselves. The pinball consumer who loves to trick out their pinball machines would certainly buy a mod pack with a nice instruction manual (the cost of creating the manual and documentation worked into the mod's price) and install it in their game.

I have certainly never run a pinball manufacturing company before, but I have run a business for 17 years. There are things we have done in that company that have taken a long time to figure out and to get right, but that was all service and software. My eyes were opened wide when we started FAST Pinball and began working with physical product. Where every design, prototype, revision, re-revision, new prototype, better prototype, incorrect part order shipping cost, correct part order shipping cost, correct printing or printing mistake, hauling pinball to different shows around the country, all cost real time and real money. Seeing everything that Andrew has shared, I see it from the perspective of a business owner first and a pinball fan second.

I am sure I will get blasted by some for saying this, but from one biz owner to another, Andrew don't lose focus on shipping the kickass pinball game that Brian, David, Kelly, Aurich and all the others have worked so hard on by getting lost in the "infinite configurabilty" trap.

I look forward to playing Alien with my friend David Thiel (and hearing all about why he did what he did in the game) at the NW Pinball Show in June. Keep your eye on the prize and make the tough business decisions critical to ensure you get these games delivered and can continue to deliver new pinball to the masses for years to come.

FAST Pinball

#13528 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

My Full Throttle is like that and I don't care for it. I taped the cord back with some duct tape, probably could figure out a more elegant solution.

Is the switch right next to the where the cord plugs in? Like a PC power cord? Do you have a pic? I am curious because that was what Magic Girl had, although, still at the back of the cabinet. So in the case of MG, your cord was in the normal place, but you had to slide between pins to reach the switch to turn it on. The combination AC power input module (probably fused there also) may aid in the UL approval process.

FAST Pinball

#13546 2 years ago
Quoted from MikeHogue:

I hope this doesn't hurt the NW Pinball shows chances of getting an Alien!

It better not! Come on Andrew! Make this happen!

FAST Pinball

#13770 2 years ago
Quoted from Ferret:

Yowza, thanks, man... really appreciate the kind words. I might have to frame your message and hang it by my bedside. Of course, most of the credit for what you see and hear in the software belongs to the rest of the team... David Thiel is an audio god and Kelly Mazurowski has been killing it with the animations.
This is the first shipping pinball game I've coded. Awhile ago, I wrote a replacement WPC-compatible framework just for fun. Although I had bigger plans, the only thing I've actually used it for (so far) was to drive my Cashball playfield. You can watch a verrrry dorky video here: <» YouTube video;

That is awesome! We had one of those slot machine toppers for a little while and were going to bring it to life, but the owner sold it before we got to dig in. Very cool.

FAST Pinball

1 week later
#13940 2 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

This game looks pretty intense to play! Less than a month until I get to try it out at the Northwest Pinball & Arcade Show!

We need to be sure to get some games in before the doors open and the lines form!

FAST Pinball

#14126 2 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Anyone know if there will be an Alien at SFGE?

SFGE gets Total Annihilation, NWPAS gets Alien. I wish both could have both! Next year!

FAST Pinball

PS: SFGE will have Spaceballs... w/ an alien mech!

#14151 2 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

Will Spaceballs do anything this year?

John has been working away. There thread dedicated to it here on pinside.

FAST Pinball

#14157 2 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

I just thought it was mad silly to bring a game that did nothing at all the SFGE last year,
but... if it were like JPOP it'd be news worthy and cool to some...

Leading up to shows is always stressful and hard to gauge timing on your first project. Been there myself! I have discovered that people are really into seeing the work in progress. That probably plays out better when it is in a booth setting with people around to talk about the project.

Getting ready to announce some fun stuff for our June NW Pinball Show... it's coming up FAST!

FAST Pinball

#14176 2 years ago
Quoted from toasterman04:

Lol.... I don't think you can just invite them to set up shop. To my understanding Vendors would need to pay to be at events... and they would need to ensure they would make enough moola to make it viable...

I think Dan meant more to reach out to them and let them know about the show, what it costs, what attendance is like, etc. so they can make those business decisions. And hopefully bring those games.

FAST Pinball

2 weeks later
#15136 2 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Got to play one at NW show (Big Thanks to Nitro).
Didn't get to hear any audio which was disappointing but I just imagined David doing the callouts as Petey.
Game play was pretty good, lots of shots.
Alien tongue worked but would sometime get stuck.
I didn't care for the screen on the pf, but enjoyed the graphics on the big screen in the monitor much more.
Alittle bit more time in the oven and this could be a really neat game. My operator friend and I comment on how this game would print money on location.

I echo your review almost completely. I got to play the game Saturday morning before show open and the sound was great. The ball launch rattled pretty loud, but that should be a minor refinement to coil strength. I am also not a fan of the playfield displays, but Kelly's display content looked great in the backbox.

It could earn some decent coin on location as I found it hard to hit some of the shots. I am sure that with more time I could improve. So you could say it could earn decently while people pay for an education.

I didn't get any stuck balls like I did in Chicago last fall. It certainly felt more refined since then.

The current state of the company did hang on people's minds at the show. I think it did encourage those who may have been indifferent to the theme to go and give it a try while it was here.

I hope the revised Heighway Pinball can get Alien shipping. I know a lot of people worked really hard to make this game all that it is.

FAST Pinball

3 weeks later
#15483 2 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

What happened, the screen went out?

Whoa! I didn't even notice the screen was out. I like it better that way.

FAST Pinball

9 months later
#21589 1 year ago
Quoted from RobT:

When I first heard about it, it actually appealed to me. But this was at a time when I was busting at the seams in terms of space for any more pins. So the idea that I could (supposedly) store a PF that would be a completely different pin under my other pins would have helped with my space problem. But I always had doubts as to how well the system would actually work, and how much of a pain it would be to swap PFs.

I will say that I have experimented with modular on many levels. I use a modular design for pinball development, but in real life, it has challenges. For one, storing a playfield takes almost as much room as a pinball cabinet itself. I have attached some photos of a metal playfield design where we used magnetic toys and let kids rearrange a playfield on the fly and then try it out. But as you will see by pictures of the crate to hold a playfield... it is huge! This crate is very minimal, as well. Not rugged like a gig case. When you factor in the supporting frame AND the heigh of the playfield backwall, the crate must be tall. The worst part? Sliding the playfield crate under a pinball cabinet was not possible due to the legs. Even uncrated took some twisting, not the "slides right under!" like you want it to be.

I haven't seen anyone selling a modular playfield system post the "case" for the playfield components. If that is not the case, send me a link. I would love to see how others tackled this.

FAST Pinball

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#21594 1 year ago
Quoted from maf-mi:

Can you really store a playfield in less room than the playfield itself?

My bad. That should have read, "For one, storing a playfield takes almost as much room as a pinball cabinet itself."

I have corrected the text in my post. Sorry about the unintentional melon scratcher.

FAST Pinball

1 week later
#21933 1 year ago
Quoted from Damonator:

I’ve never seen the HP boards - are the components through hole or SMT?
My soldering skills are ok on through hole, but SMT is an entirely different beast that I’d like to avoid as long as possible!


FAST Pinball

#21937 1 year ago
Quoted from Damonator:

Hey Aaron - while you are on this subject, I have a question.
Assuming there are no licensing/royalty fees or any legal impediments...
How many IO boards would one need to sell in order to justify reverse engineering these and recreating them?
Forgive me if this has already been asked.

It would probably be less effort to port Brian Dominy’s software to run on existing FAST hardware w/ a few adapters. When we were first developing FAST Pinball hardware we were working with Brian to develop a software framework. We had barely started before he was spread too thin with existing work and day job commitments. The FAST Protocol used to communicate with our hardware already factors in the kinds of requirements he needed. Brian is a great guy and we’d love to solve pinball problems again with him someday.

FAST Pinball

#22049 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

What about Andrew Heighway says he would do anything right?
Guy is a slimy moron.

And to think... there was a point in time when Andrew thought he could help Skit-B out of the Predator mess!

FAST Pinball

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