(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

6 years ago

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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 (4 years ago)

Post #9234 Update on distribution Posted by HeighwayPinball (4 years ago)

Post #9660 Here we show you a short clip from the 'Ambush Multiball' mode Posted by HeighwayPinball (4 years ago)

Post #10128 Photo of Alien at UK Trade Show Posted by unigroove (4 years ago)

Post #10230 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (4 years ago)

Post #10231 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (4 years ago)

Post #10914 Alien ships Posted by ZenTron (4 years ago)

Post #10916 Alien ships Posted by HeighwayPinball (4 years ago)

Post #11230 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by ezeltmann (4 years ago)

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#1101 5 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Most games since the dawn of time have a voltage selector, and I bet the newer games are auto-sensing. So, I would assume Heighway is the same.

most games since the dawn of time used transformers -- not modern solid state power supplies. New world

10 months later
#5857 4 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

All statements that mentioned targets and hopes. No promises.

And no points for wildly inaccurate? Or overly optimistic?

Is Andrew going to tell us the slide is completely due to approvals and other things outside his control?

#6148 4 years ago
Quoted from Expletive:

Then why did they let them publicly display the playfield??

playfield is a single piece of art... (a big one.. but all inclusive)

The video is more than the playfield... it's videos, music, toys, sounds, etc.

The comparisons to the playfield ignore that the video is far more than the playfield!

2 months later
#7088 4 years ago


1 week later
#7219 4 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

You are absolutely right.
We use invididual PCBs for switches and LEDs on prototypes and pre-production units. These will always have way more wire than the production units that have switches and LEDs mounted on large PCBs.

I'm curious why these 'pre-production' units would not be the shakedown phase for your wiring and electronics? You stated previously you plan to go right from these three (now 2) games in August to building production games in Sept. This looks like your first full fitting of the manufactured parts, but no proto/sample builds of the wiring/PCBs before you plan to start building production games?

3 weeks later
#7537 4 years ago
Quoted from davebowman:

Is Full Throttle widebody? Looks that way on the picture. Awesome room...love the floor

My god you try way too hard... It just exposes you further.

#7593 4 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Once we get final game approval then production will begin immediately. Suppliers are standing by to start working on parts as soon as this happens.

Have you been able to build your pre-production and sample 10 games that were your plan previously? These comments make it sound like you are still at your prototypes and haven't moved to the 'pre-production' games as you called them. Any clarification on that of your previous stated road to production vs current status?

From 29 days ago...

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

These pre production units will have everything on them that should be there. We are making three of these games now.
Following this, we will probably build another 10 games in September - and these will include the mapped circuit boards. These games will be used for testing and promotional purposes.

I get not 100% software done (100% is kind of a misnomer in software dev anyways ) but rubberduck's observations/relayed info makes it seem like things are further behind than estimated previously.

Sometimes I feel like a 'ok, plans have changed...' kind of angle on those updates would help vs stating matter of factly where things are now, as if it were always that way. Just an observation... and how people consume the info.


#7684 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Ditto that. I didn't understand this either. Aurich, is there a separate group of Heighway employees/contractors in the U.S. that do something different with regard to code etc. that can't be done in Europe?

Heighway has always had people outside the UK location working on the games.

The game's coders both live in the US. Aurich as art director and artist lives in the US.. David Thiel (sound) lives in the US.

The dev team for this project (and to a degree, FT as well) has been distributed. The US team members have not had full games to work with, but instead work with their individual elements or simulations.. and the assembled prototypes are loaded with that effort in the UK.

If you go back to August timeframe, Andrew was planning on building his 'pre-production' games.. and those were to goto the US guys to complete the work with. But since they've missed those deadlines.. now the game will goto expo before that period of 'hands on' has been done. So there will be portions of the game that are incomplete simply due to this.. that would be wrapped up afterwards.

#7713 4 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

And is there a deadline when a game just flat out won't be there? Or, will there be one in a crate no matter what in case an 11th hour approval happens. Assuming it doesn't happen a few days prior of course.

the latter

#7719 4 years ago
Quoted from delt31:

thanks guys - I was thinking the table and PF was revealed considering the length in which people have waited and the fact that its announced and the table is scheduled for production soon right? I guess they don't follow the stern approach of showing a model of the game as the announcement. Seems like they built a website and that's it. dissappointing

You have it mixed up.

Stern shows a game when its approved and are taking orders.. production usually starts a short time after (sometimes, much longer). They don't talk about it prior.
Heighway took PRE-orders on a game concept... and will reveal the game when the game is ready and approved... planned for Expo. Production is planned for immediate start after final approvals.

Heighway has released teasers and bits of info prior as well. The website reflects the state PRIOR to the reveal.. you can expect it to change AFTER the reveal (makes sense, no?).

#7949 4 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.

Straight from the horse's ... err.. ferret's mouth!

#7976 4 years ago

Likely just a spoof... you can make an email look like it originated from a 'from:' address trivially. If it actually originated from their mailserver.. then you need worry about being compromised.

This would be a phishing scam... and the sad thing about it, it probably originated inside the pinball community

#8424 4 years ago

So le game art isn't even started... Will need approvals... Major toys are being redesigned.. And production was starting right away... How do people reconcile these facts and claims? Sure seems like alien is a lot further away than the projections of just weeks ago... Which were off from the weeks before that. I just wish the forward looking statements were a bit more realistic

#8472 4 years ago
Quoted from Zampinator:

Aurich can crank that out quickly. Plus they have the printer in house, so turnaround will be minimal. Plus you get the standard art as well I believe. LE art is not going to hold up shipping pins. The "airlock" sounded like a place holder for Expo. Dave mentioned a different design they will using, so it's not like, "back to the drawing board" to replace it.

You've glossed over the parts they don't control... Approvals and plastic manufacturing. And that Andrew obmitted these things when saying the game was done (for the last month plus) and going into production immediately after approvals.

That's my beef. If it were a placeholder it wouldn't be a tweak that needed to be discovered in play testing... It would have been known. LE features not being even started... Clearly not a new revelation.

Aurich, you talk as if the ripley decision has been known for awhile... Yet you waited till now to start the LE art. If it's been known for awhile, why the delayed start?

#8474 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Who doesn't. How about JJP "forward looking statements"?
So you aren't sending $$ in? Just trolling as usual?

Healthy skepticism is not trolling. It's being a smart consumer. I question promises that don't pass the sniff test. I don't see how the statements made in August and since have been made in confidence.

I guess people quickly forget the comments from nordman about impossible promises when he left.

#8479 4 years ago

Given the programmer... Maybe there will be some healthy jonesy Easter eggs or suprises

#8481 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Your last post wasn't over trollish like the other one
Since we all have a pretty healthy dose of skepticism from deals gone bad and warnings signs, to step in here and slander another company like Kim did with the intention of destroying his business and jeopardizing our deposits is WAY over the line.
I've done plenty of due diligence and I'm moving forward but thanks for your concern anyhow

My content didn't change... Just defended my reasoning to recap those points.. Yet you've posted the same claims about shilling (while refusing to man up and make your claim defendable) what... 6-7 times in the last 24hrs? Don't wrap your mission about Kim up with me.

#8504 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I need a little time to do the LE art, it's true, but while I'm working on it other things will be happening in parallel. Nothing I'm doing will slow anything down. And now that we're working with Fox in Los Angeles, and not Fox UK, the whole process has been massively smoother. I honestly think if we'd been able to skip the UK part from the start that this entire project would have gone much faster.
I'm not sure what you mean by major toys being redesigned. If you clarify I can answer you better, but right now my answer is no major toys are being redesigned.

I was referring to the poster who said the airlock was being redone. But in going back to quote his post, I see he's talking more about how it's constructed, so I retract my concerns about external delays with that. (below)

Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

The airlock is going to constructed differently from the more plasticy demonstration version, with a metal endoskeleton

I was just put back by the comments that LE art hadn't been started based on previous comments like these..

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Other than this, they are complete.

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

At this point, that's the plan. LEs are absolutely our priority.
However, a small number of SEs could roll out first - depending on a number of factors such as LE-material approval, LE parts, etc...

I guess the press will be to get games shipping by christmas. Maybe some UK buyers will get their xmas early

1 week later
#8802 4 years ago

In hindsight... I don't understand why the CPU upgrade is an issue anyways... shouldn't the CPU just be included in the price and kit for the Alien 'kit' purchases?

I mean... you can't run Alien without it.. and there should be 100% overlap between the people buying the Alien kit, and people that need the CPU upgrade. If there is no advantage to using the new CPU on FullT.. then no need to sell it stand-alone at this time.

Heighway should just include the CPU in the FullT->Alien kit and price accordingly.

It only becomes a problem in the future when there is more than one upgrade path... FullT->#3, FullT->Alien, Alien->#3 - then you will need to de-couple the CPU upgrade from the 'kit' sales... because of Alien->#3 buyers... #3->Alien buyers..

#8843 4 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

99 cent computers on a chip are able to keep up with 1080p video as they have hardware decoders..

Having built in HD decoders is wonderful for decoding video that is already encoded.. and has really been a boom for small, embedded devices looking to do video playback.

But what they are trying to do here is not just decode and display.. but in fact real-time composition and rendering of video. That's where the CPU and GPU load come in.

#8966 4 years ago

Kaneda lemming...busted. Just can't put your rhetoric away...

#8977 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

I didn't realize you had access to Heighway's internal sales #'s

But we do have access to the pinball community as a whole. So unless you are suggesting Heighway is predominately selling into some new, isolated market from the Hobbist... It's not a stretch to infer FullT didn't sell gangbusters.

#8984 4 years ago
Quoted from Almost4200hp:

I think everyone here has forgotten that the home market was never the target for the swappable concept. It's meant for operators with games on location to change a theme quickly and keep a location fresh without the hassle of having to transport a full cabinet around. If it works for home, great, but don't bitch about it if it doesn't work for you, just buy another cabinet !

That was the proposed value when the games were made for operators.

But that was 15+ years ago, and not what HP aimed for. People seem to forget 'space' is not something not everyone is blessed with... especially if you happen to live in urban areas, or in places like say... Europe.. where houses are much smaller.

How often do we hear someone saying "gotta sell a game to make space.." - everyone is constrained to a reasonable degree.. some more than others. The HP system can help people with those needs.

#8987 4 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Another false premise...you created it and then defeated it...congrats. You won your internal argument.
I have no idea how many they sold, how many they expected to sell, how many they will sell in kit or full game version and neither do you.

I don't need to know those things to know... the games aren't very common in the Pinball Hobby. There is no 'false premise' in that.. it's factual observation. It's also observation backed with volunteered info like we have here on Pinside. We also know Pinside and other forums cover a sizable portion of the hobbyist market. So within that anecdotal measurement... we know the game is not well represented. So, what I do know is.. if you are arguing the game IS something BESIDES these observations... the game must be being sold into some other market not well represented in those segments. So what market is that?

Otherwise, your argument is nothing but you playing contrainian with zero to support your position except 'you don't know'. 'you dont know' doesn't COUNTER the stuff that has been measured.. it just acknowledges there are areas we don't know. But unless you can articulate how the game is doing something different, in markets we don't know about... You're just hot air.

This isn't trolling - it's just facing reality.

Heighway doesn't need FullT to do great anymore... that ship has sailed. All efforts are focused on Alien (as they should be). Alien has all the upside.. FullT has already shot it's load.

#8996 4 years ago
Quoted from Fytr:

I'd say that Full Throttle generally impresses those who get a chance to play it, and that without having played the game the theme (for us Americans, anyway), and artwork aren't so compelling to stimulate a sight-unplayed(?) purchase

I'd agree with that.. if the game hasn't been at the shows plenty already and already had the opportunity for word of mouth. Here on the East Coast it's been at Replay, Allentown, and more.. people have had plenty of time on it and it still is flat to most... or at least not interesting enough to consider buying.

Your argument is 'give it a chance'... I'm saying that it has had that chance.

#9076 4 years ago
Quoted from PinJump:

I mean, how can such a thing be changing, and yet Heighway be "in production"?

Because 'production' simply means they've started making 'stuff'. Ordering the components, building sub-assemblies, etc.. this is all 'production'. not necessarily 'assembling playfields'

#9170 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

I can tell you for sure, that I have gotten SO MUCH more enjoyment out of games after reading rules and strategies. Back when I first started collecting I would print off the rulesheets from pinball.com and read about all the modes and scoring tactics. This made the games so much more fun. More recently, I have a Hobbit and didn't know what I was doing. I was seriously thinking about selling it. Now that I've read the rules, I'm really loving it.
By not releasing rules, you are hurting the people that want to read them and learn strategy in that fashion. On the other hand, by releasing them you give people the choice. I don't read spoilers online for shows I'm watching. Players that like the suspense can do the same thing here.

If you don't have the time/energy for discovery.. then let other people do it and write rulesheets (its how everyone does it anyway) and is no different from what you have now.

Joe is talking about not just dumping the full knowledge out. It does take away from the discovery and fun people have from exploring the game. This concept is the same in so many places... who wants to know the conclusion and details before they even start the story?

#9181 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Well, you dont have to read the rule sheet if you dont want to. I have one game and I am glad I know the rule set. It helps me focus on different goals, so I can put those goals together and get some decent scores. Like he said, it makes the game more enjoyable. When I buy a new car, or a new whatever, I like to have the owners manual to ensure Im getting the most out of it. Some people dont read the owners manual and never full understand what they have bought.
Again, If Alien releases a full rulesheet, great for people like me, and great for people like you, who dont have to read it. Win Win!

You didn't buy the car just for entertainment- you play games for entertainment, not function

This is starting to sound like the people crying they had the game for a week and haven't gotten the wizard mode yet.

There is less reward if the outcome isn't hard to get

Discovery is part of the journey... Don't like it, wait for others. But if Joe dumps it all, it's ruined for everyone.

#9195 4 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

For me, the game has to be simple enough to understand that anyone can play it and quickly understand the game. But then you can have a lot of depth in the programming where experienced players can get more satisfaction the deeper they get into the game. Our company is blessed to have a team working on Alien who are determined to achieve these goals.

Exactly - if things are just handed to you, you don't value them the same. The balance of engaging without needing a primer is a key value for games out in the public. Some of the recent games are a bit too tough on that (TWD, MET, GB) and I think people are over-reacting in response.

You want the game to encourage people to keep pushing deeper while not confusing them and frustrating them. That's part of the art of the game and of course not everyone gets it right every time. The detailed rulesheets are great as the game has matured and as a way to capture and share knowledge... they shouldn't be part of the 'out of the box' experience IMO.

Use the tutorial to show the players the path to discover... not necessarily the x-ray map of the game

#9253 4 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.

And what about knowing consumer laws regarding sales in NZ? Warranties? Import restrictions? Duties and taxes? Stuff the company should do due diligence on before doing business (even online) to other countries.

#9260 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

If I import something from overseas, I get no more warranty than I get from the local Stern agents. Lol
I had a couple of small things to sort out with my Spooky pins, I received exactly the same support a local person would get if he needed it. Top notch.
All the taxes etc are the buyers responsibility to pay on arrival at port.
In NZ we only have to pay our version of VAT which is 15% based on the invoice supplied by the manufacturer. You can import anything you want as long as it is not an endangered species or live bees lol
Consumer laws don't apply to a company that is not based in NZ. If I buy an Alien pinball and it burns my house down, that's on me.

All assuming you took the responsibility to import the product.. and your view would apply if you basically bought the product overseas yourself and then imported it yourself. But when you sell international as a business, even online, more can be in play. For instance, your Fair Trade Act applies, even if the company isn't based in New Zealand if they are selling online to new zealand customers (see http://www.comcom.govt.nz/fair-trading/fair-trading-act-fact-sheets/buying-and-selling-online/) . They would also be responsible for ensuring the product meets the country's import and environmental constraints... because ultimately they would be the ones responsible for the shipment and declarations.. not the receiver.

Flying loose works most of the time.. but if you start doing things like shipping a container worth of goods.. or just high dollar items in general.. you sure need to know what costs you will face, what risks, and what steps must be taken.

3 weeks later
#9435 4 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

They are altering/replacing the Queen Chamber (coffee can) so that might have created a small delay

You mean the change that people insisted would have no impact after expo..??
Wonder if that LE art is finalized and approved yet...

2 weeks later
#9723 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Well you're wrong, it's not a last minute thing, it's an idea I pitched to the team after Expo,

So something pitched after the game has been developed for years, has final approval, and is supposed to be going into production isn't "last minute"?

I appreciate Andrews commitment to improvements... but the presentation as previewed... yuk. It really does look like some bolt on whose mass hurts the toy next to it

1 month later
#10562 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

When will we be able to see the full LE art package?

What.. you don't remember when they said this was no biggie and shouldn't take any time at all after Expo? Aurich defended that to the death that it shouldn't impact anything in the fact it wasn't even done, yet games were supposed to be shipping within weeks.

At this point asking for new estimates is just coming off as antagonistic trolling.. poking to try to expose things you know will be negative or force Andrew to the table when he's not ready/willing.

Instead of forcing Andrew to face the things he really doesn't want to face.. we could accept that all estimates are crap.. and instead let them promote and share what they do want to share, making it a positive experience where they will engage more.

Not whitewashing.. but if you drag 'em through the mud every instance you can.. that's what runs people off.

#10563 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

If there was more of this we might not have the Predator and jpoop fiasco....

Forcing the guy to face his mistakes... over and over.. when the answer is obvious.. is not constructive tho. It's mean... and if you want a healthy relationship you have to let off the pedal sometimes, even when you know you are right.

#10576 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

That's right, we should just stop asking questions altogether. In fact, the whole thread should just be closed so people can't ask questions.

No - it's that your questions really aren't genuine but intending to try to flush him out... for something that is already known. You are just trying to rub his face in it. it's destructive and adds no real value, only negativity and conflict.

You may think you are doing people a service by outing him... but people already know games weren't going to ship in 24hrs... or that they haven't done the full LE art reveal. We don't need to rub his face in his failures daily purely to say "gotcha!"

1 month later
#11858 4 years ago
Quoted from chucksmith:

Yes, I've wondered this too. A better way to ask this question is...
Is the plastic covering the entire playfield made a material that will not get cloudy or scratched up when the ball races over it for a few years. I'm sure the team has thought about this. I'm glad there is a clear plastic over the entire playfield but I'm a little worried about how it will look after its gets played a lot. The monitor area will need to stay looking nice since looking through the protector is needed in this spot. Can it be waxed ? Should it not be waxed? How should it be cared for?

Removable inserts have been in games since the 80s.. and non removable ones are common in the 90s and 00s.

Plastic scratches.. and plastic polishes. Clearcoat scratches... and clearcoat polishes.

Point being.. what's new/different here? Not much.

#12059 4 years ago
Quoted from Russell:

Here's a hypothetical. I'm not sure if this is valid, but let's see what the group thinks.
Scenario 1: I paid $6200 for FullT, I decide to get Kit, for (let's say) $4500 with computer upgrade...I've now paid $10,700. What's my game + PF worth after 1 year of play? No idea. I'm guessing $7K-8K and possibly a tough sale.
Scenario 2: I paid $6200 for FullT, then pay $6300 + tax for Alien. I paid $12,500+ What are my games worth after a year? I'd guess I get $5k each, $10K for the pair. Perhaps easier to sell?
These are guesses. Lots of assumptions.
I'm speculating that the game with 2 play fields depreciates faster than the 2 separate games.
So, given plenty of available space and the ability to afford the initially higher cost of scenario 2, perhaps this is the better approach.
What do you think?

Until they can get the price of kits down... and reliable... your logic is pretty sound. The kit idea just doesn't work well unless the incentive is there in lower costs.. and lower costs won't get there without great volume. Volume is still an unproven thing here..

#12115 4 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

I think kits will hold there value similar to an average used pin. Meaning you will lose a little but not enough to worry about.

The problem with this logic is three points...
1) The point about volume.. without volume the kits will continue to be expensive vs buying a full game. Minus the smaller audience that is so space limited... many may find its just better to buy a complete game.
2) The buying audience for your kit is limited to those with a compatible cabinet.. unlike a pin which can be used by anyone
3) The more successful a game is in your audience of Heighway owners.. the smaller the market for kits.. because people will already have the game

Without the steep price discount.. there is less incentive to buy a kit. The lower the ratio of kit to game sales... the worse the kit value becomes. The smaller the total volume of Heighway owners.. the smaller the compatible buyer audience.

The more desirable a game is.. the more likely people will buy the full version (example.. would you buy an alien cabinet+FT kit.. or a FT+alien kit). This also means more full games of the popular titles vs kits.. which again hurts the potential size of your market.

It's one of these chicken and the egg problems... for the model to work the kits need to be be fiscally attractive. For the kits to be attractive vs space.. you need a number of game options. Hence the chicken and the egg problem... you need to be successful for a period of time before the kits really become attractive.

Imagine if instead of Stern Vault games being full titles.. imagine if Stern offered a swap-in of a game that hasn't been in production for awhile and offered it to their current customer base. I think there is more incentive for a model like that.. than offering kits as an alternative to a first run complete game.

Just theorizing...

1 week later
#12420 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

curious what you define as a production game?

Games built as a large order with parts intended for mass production. not trial runs or samples intended to be tests

1 month later
#14247 3 years ago
Quoted from sed6:

Didn't Stern suffer this criticism? They hired a social media person (Jody?), and it help ease/resolve a lot of their customer angst.

No, Jody was their "marketing" guy with the social skills of a bad fart. They hired Jared to run social media, and quickly neutered him rendering much of his value useless.

#14297 3 years ago
Quoted from toasterman04:

With a new stern honestly you can sleep comfortably knowing parts will always be available.

pfft.. certainly it's the center of the market, but game-specific parts (especially plastics or other game specific parts) are a 'buy it while you can' situation still.

I know you're trying to say a company with a track record and 'future' vs one that could disappear.. but I find the faith in Stern parts a bit dubious.

#14497 3 years ago

Re: pending news

I bet its a cash infusion from an investor. What could they announce about the game that would require waiting so much? Certainly not more editions to order

#14536 3 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Let's hope the discussions pan out and what not, I've seen a lot of cash infusion type deals (if that is indeed what this is) fall apart at the last minute due to security concerns and last minute re-trading asks).

Yeah it would jive with all the radio silence of late... being in a quiet period while negotiations or due diligence is completed.

#14537 3 years ago
Quoted from SunKing:

I bet it's the next game being announced. Short of an angel investor, it's the only thing that could provide a cash infusion.

A game announcement would go over like a fart in church. People would scream ponzi scheme and others would be hesitant to send money when refunds are not happening and games are not shipping in any consistency.

#14642 3 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Anyway - F all this S, seriously - the pinball world is run by maniac dreamers...I'm out for good. Hopefully something better will rise from their ashes. As I've stepped back, the ridiculousness of spending $7-$8k and waiting for years has become so clearly bonkers. I'm having so much more fun with my $300 Nintendo Switch and games that cost $10-$60 and are playable instantly with no drama. The "new Pinball game" is stupid as F.

On cue...

Why not do what people did for decades? Enjoy playing and collecting games that already exist?

#14665 3 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Yup. The pinball hobby is massively enjoyable without anything new. New is interesting, especially if it's a theme you love...

Pretty safe to assume you've not yet discovered all pinball has to offer... but I guess venting about the latest game/offer is more satisfying than actually exploring what made those other games keepers, popular, interesting, etc.

#14675 3 years ago

op (resized).jpg

#14796 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Why all the panic all of a sudden? This pin has been delayed and postponed over and over the past year+. What's changed to cause the 'sky is falling stance'?

Game is 'done' and 'production has started' - yet games are not flowing (contrast this with prior periods where.. game wasn't done)
Radio Silence vs Regular engagement
Refund Requests being ignored - vs happening, if not slowly, before
Regular Customer Engagement stopping vs semi-decent response prior
Distributors themselves not getting satisfactory updates

Before it was a 'wait and see' - now the time for cranking out games is here, and they aren't. A handful of games have gone out. There is no reason for them NOT to be going out now unless they are INCAPABLE of doing so.. which is where we are at.

And now we wait for 'news' that the company has acknowledged through several avenues is pending and coming...

#14797 3 years ago
Quoted from flippersandballs:

I'm trying to think of industries where customers put up thousands of dollars then wait months or years for delivery of a product. There must be others but I can't come up with any.


#14801 3 years ago
Quoted from DerGoetz:

You need to find better vendors

Unless you buy from on-hand stock... long lead times is common in furniture
If you buy a limited availability car.. or 'pre order' from allotments... long wait times are common .. many months. Buy exotics, and its worse
Construction should be obvious...

Pretty much any 'build to order' vendor will include lots of lead time unless it's something mass produced in regular volumes.

#14841 3 years ago
Quoted from Msch:

I am not in direct knowledge of anything. These are my opinions, not facts. Takes as you will.

Then stop stating things in the affirmative as if they were factual.

#14842 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I have ZERO ties to Andrew. i guess that is more rumors floating around in your head that come out reading as facts?

Funny... before you were practically boasting how you were giving them all this help by relaying your operator feedback, providing them audit dumps, your play videos helping... and got to the front of the line in the first place?

#15016 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

In my "Hindsight is 20/20" glasses, I wonder if the critical misstep was announcing Alien when he did. They he was committed. If it had been worked on internally, and things weren't coming together as they wanted, they could have bumped its release for something else. Get game #2 out the door, Alien could be #3 or #4.

What would this have achieved?

They would have had the same exact kinds of problems with whatever game #2 was.. except possibly licensing dragging on.. but then he'd be in the same problem he had with FT.. a theme people didn't want.

His failing to ship a game on time was due to them producing game #2... not because it was 'Alien'.

#15017 3 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I suspect having a factory was a big selling point to make the business attractive enough to the investors for both JJP and Heighway. Dutch does not have such a luxury.

I don't think so... Factories represent huge overhead and huge capital that is just depreciating. It's baggage. What it does represent though is 'path to completion' if the factory is proven complete and viable. If DP had a 'path to completion that is proven and viable' then not having a factory is actually more attractive. Their problem is... they don't have a partner lined up that is proven and viable.

You don't want a factory - you want a viable plan to build the games you have faith in. That's what DP lacks... and the fact their designs could be tied up in their manufacturing dispute makes it even worse.

In-house vs outsourced is not the issue here.

#15025 3 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

Maybe...maybe not. Announcing Alien early might have killed off a lot of potential FT sales. Who wants FT when there is big licensed game right around the corner? So now they have a completed and fun game...but no sales and only some early "deposits on Alien" money coming in on a game that hasn't even been designed yet...killer.

If anything the pitch of the kit system would have helped diffuse that - but reality isno one wanted FT. I would get the argument if you said alien was game 1... but alien didnt sink game 2. Their inability to get two games shipping that people wanted (and generate steady income) is what sank them.

FT blocked FT... not alien

#15029 3 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Alien was HIS grail as well...believe he grossly underestimated the development costs associated with a major, licensed theme. He new he had a winner, but Sucked the Well dry before it truly came to market

Licensing didn't dictate the scope of the project - Heighway did. Certainly licensing held back their timelines... I'm sure it probably accounted for additional revisions to the design. But it's not the thing that bled him IMO. Maybe it was the straw that broke the camel's back.. but even if the game had NO art or media.. reality is they hadn't completed the mechanics, engineering, geometry, and rest of the game. The length of time wasn't always due to licensing delays. Remember when it was revealed they hadn't even MADE a LE art package yet, but somehow had been promising the game was nearly ready??

Quoted from MK6PIN:

Suspect internals started bleeding when the " Licensing" took forever....believe he was tapped at that point

I think that is just buying into the false narrative. The Licensing isn't the bogeyman here.

Andrew's labor and management issues were not tied to licensing delays - they are part of his package. The stories leaked here are not just 'disgruntled employees'.. when there is smoke, there is fire. That topic even predates Aliens.

The issues with not having completed games to have the development team work on were not due to licensing delays. They didn't have prototypes they could send or afford to build to send. And this is still AFTER getting the last round of money added in.

The issues with needing to change major assemblies (ramp, airlock, xeno) AFTER the reveal were not due to licensing - they were due to not having the time with a real prototype with enough cycles.

The issues with running out of money nearly a year and a half ago were not held back by late licensing... he couldn't sell what he had to sell. he didn't have a solid whitewood back then either.. the GAME itself wasn't ready. The big push to get the game to Expo was really about getting everything together 'really' for the first time and then calling it 'finished' and ready for production which was a bit of fantasy. It wasn't last minute licensing that caused the mad dash for the finish.

Licensing didn't make a Xeno mech that doesn't work well yet

The months since Expo.. it's not licensing that was holding them back from shipping Standards.

Remember when AFTER expo they finally admitted they didn't even HAVE a complete LE package to submit for licensing? Yet kept saying their new UK based licensing contact would make sure there wouldn't be the same kinds of delays.. But the Standard was already approved, if they had a game to actually sell that is 8 months earlier they could have been selling standards. But they couldn't... why? Not because of licensing, but the because the game wasn't ready and they couldn't afford to make samples and shake the game down before that point.

Truth is... regardless of licensed content - the game was not complete until recently, and he couldn't afford to build the design he did have 'complete'.

The project has been in this precarious state for more than a year.

I'm sure the external license hindered them and probably prevented some other crazy ideas... but reality is.. the game itself wasn't done. The game still isn't really done... because STILL... the development team doesn't have hands on complete stuff.

The BS on the plans about prototypes, then samples, then production quality games were all lies - and at that time they knew it. These failures are not due to an overbearing licensee, approval delays... they are shortcomings of management.

The good news is... the game is at a state that many people think it can be made into a great game, and believe it enough to put their money behind that idea.

We all want perfect games... but development is not about achieving perfection.

#15049 3 years ago
Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

Even if they do magically start producing 100/month, how long is it going to be before your workforce is going to have nothing to do except stand around with their thumb up their arse? 3 months? 4 months?
Sounds very unrealistic to me :\

Group 1 focuses on building Alien game... you aspire to sell 500-1,000+ games. That's probably a year's worth of work+ right there.
Group 2 focuses on completing design #3 - you hope you can finish it in the coming year, so it's ready for the line when Alien demand is slowing

It's no different than every other pinball company... you hope to keep the line busy selling your current game, and have the next game in the pipeline.

Of course if Alien sells like FT... you lose because you don't have a game ready before you have to furlough the production lines. Then you go into burn rate and figure out if you can survive until you start selling the next game and with the higher hits in cost for revamping the lines again when the game is ready.

I don't understand the skeptism here.. it's 'business as usual' in this regard.. it's only a question of "Can they sell Alien games" - and sentiment there is generally more positive than not.

#15050 3 years ago
Quoted from Sonny_Jim:

My point is right now no one is going to be placing orders with them due to the negative image they've got

Solution is you provide a product to buy, not an promise. If they produce, people will consider buying. People who can't let the company move on because they won't look at the present and future because they are stuck in the past... well you don't lose sleep over them and focus on convincing other buyers by DELIVERING what they need.

TL:DR - Money talks, bullshit walks.

#15153 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Thought about that as well. First, it would cost a small fortune. Second, I'd have to go through them all anyway. I can fit 8 at a time on my scanner...just need to make time...

TheKorn has a business for this... talk to him for some horse-trading I'm sure

1 week later
#15351 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

ferret - the old company was called Heighway Pinball LLC (HP) - same as the reorganized one - right? I am asking because if you were contracted under HP and the new company had changed names, then you wouldn't still be under contract as you've stated

No - that depends entirely on how the company's assets and liabilities are transferred or not between entities - nothing to do with names.

There is nothing to suggest yet the company has changed legal entities at all. In fact, we have the financial filings that show they are the SAME company - as they promoted the new investors as officers of the company and removed Andrew. If they changed again after that... they would have transferred all the assets to the new business.

successors take the position of the former generally unless there are terms written to exclude transfers, etc.

1 week later
#15433 3 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Just speculation here, but I wonder if they might proceed like JJP did with WOZ and ship "newer" orders (Cointaker) first to get capital to continue making games, and then move on to the paid in full orders (which in fairness should ship first, but which will net them less/nothing in cash now)?

I think it's "make your big distributor" happy and a champion and having them be your advocate. Coin taker has a great reputation and they can also grab new orders. Making them happy and filling orders will amplify confidence in the community and open the door for new orders.

Instead of working one by one with individual orders...

1 month later
#16166 3 years ago

I clicked on the thread for 50 new posts of this crap?? You guys are getting troll-lolo 'd

(And why he even liked the posts against him).

4 weeks later
#16741 3 years ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

I think the Alien kit will give them big income,way less work than building an entire pin.
The modular system is a winner.
Bought full throttle 3 days ago,it is very smart.
They will ramp up and make money.

1) limited market... the # of FullT owners is tiny... it's lost opportunity vs selling full titles at better margins
2) Building a kit is virtually the same amount of work as building a full game. They don't manufacture cabinets.. they buy them. The 'kit' would have everything but the bulky cabinet... yet people still want to pay an extremely discounted price.

Really the amount of labor/cost 'saved' isn't really worth the revenue lost.

#16909 3 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

Don't LEs always ship after SEs with all pinball manufacturers? I thought this was a common practice with Stern and JJP as well. I assumed the point of taking on the exposure for LE buyers is getting a limited edition game with a limited production run, thinking it will have more value than the standard editions because of a limited artwork package and/or toys.

Not really... Stern used to produce LEs early. Typically they would build some standards to ship to dealers and overseas... then build LEs. Now a days, the LEs have come later.

People used to complain that the LE owners would get the worst games, while the premiums would get the games that had the bugs worked out. (Example: AC/DC cloudy insert... Ghostbusters slimer.. etc)

JJP built WoZ emmerald edition first...(because that is what was sold first) and built DI LEs first. Only the Collector Edition came last for DI.

Truth is... there is no hard and fast behavior here... just what their thought process was. The only thing consistent in recent years is Stern likes to get a head start on games shipping to EMER due to the transit time and they always seem to finish the Pro design first and get at least a batch of those complete.

#16947 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Any Alien action at York?

Yes cointaker had one. Probably the same one that was at Allentown? Didn't ask... played ok.

2 weeks later
#17264 3 years ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

here we have consequence number one.

Well hot damn... I didn't know we had alt-SteveRitchie here feeding us the knowledge that none of us can discover ourselves!!!

Can you please please please tell us more Sensei??

Or can you simply get over yourself and just add a comment if you think it's worthwhile.

Newsflash... plenty of people are playing the game. They don't need your indepth expose of all the inherent design flaws that only you have the insight to discover and reveal...

#17426 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Really good post from ealadubhsidhe. I’d like to see greenhornet’s response. GH hasn’t accounted for under the playfield mechanics in the design, and based on what ealadubhsidhe has pointed out about the geometry, GH would have likely been otherwise raising concern about the difficulty of nailing vent 3 or hyperspace from the alternate reality UR orbit flipper.

Well that's because one of those guys is a pinball critic... and the other is a pinball designer.

#17476 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Maybe it fell off of a forklift?

That's something running into it... another box/item was rammed into the carton or machine ran into it.

Not likely to be internal damage.

#17879 3 years ago
Quoted from delt31:

Just posting a pic of my board in question. Looking at the fuse chart, I believe it says 4A for 12V (which is likely what I want). The question then is it slow or fast blow for the guys who have the right ones in that baggie....
Also - does it tell you where exactly to put them?

Fuses are fast unless they specifically call out slow blow

#18260 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

When CEO of a small company jumps ship after recently collected hundreds of thousands of dollars and still leaving hundreds of thousands in outstanding liabilities, it indicates he was fleeing quickly and didn’t bother to lock the door behind him. Who does that and what other possible explanation is there?

Your eagerness to fill things in with nothing to support it.

You have NO idea how many people they contacted, or even managed to convince, to send in their balance.
You have NO idea how much money was coming in or out of the business - a simple filing does not paint a full picture
Individual Contractors like developers not getting compensation yet does not equate to 'many of the largest suppliers and subcontractors ... have not been paid'
Andrew did not 'abandon the company'
The mentions filings about Andrew's other companies is a complete leap
Your representation of the new management change is completely wrong

Your misrepresentation of the known facts is egregious and not helpful to the community. It's probably borderline libel/defamation.

#18277 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Your arguments are based entirely on opinion, mine is partly opinion but is based on known facts. I stand by everything I wrote and have qualified this.

Incorrect - What I stated is what we KNOW from the pieces of info we have... what you posted is what you extrapolated and speculated BEYOND those pieces of info we have. The difference between "Knowing what you know, and knowing what you don't know..." - you apparently don't know that distinction. You can speculate beyond what we know from the established information - that doesn't make it factual.

Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

By the way, the purpose of a cash flow statement is to show how much money is coming and going from a business. While it doesn't show the actual bank account #, the sources and uses of all funds need to be noted. So incoming cash should have been shown as an infusion and IF it was used to pay bills, an offsetting reduction in liabilities should have been noted

The documents posted were annual reports which showed the business state at the time of filling, not a report on the overall activities or in/out cashflows of the business... nor anything about the balances before the time of filling. This is a classic example of using information incorrectly because you don't understand the information being shared. There was no 'cash flow statement'. Just annual reports on the assets and liabilities of the business.

Please just stop with this speculative "conclusions" you have drawn from the information you have... and then stating it as fact.

#18280 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

If you'll go to post#18254, you'll see the facts laid out under events. In case you want the simple answer, I am posting an excerpt and I will separate fact from opinion. ->
Fact1 - In Nov / Dec of 2016 Andrew made a big push to collect balance of funds owed on Alien,
Opinion - which easily amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This might have been an average of $7.5k owed for upwards of 200 games. Without knowledge of specific amount, assume it is a lot of money.
Fact2 - In Dec of 2016, Heighway Pinball filed legal documentation showing they only had a few thousand dollars cash balance.
Fact3- Many of the largest suppliers and subcontractors have since admitted they have not been paid.
Fact4 - In late 2016, Andrew purchased a license to operate a hydrofoil business.
Fact5 - After taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in Nov and Dec, HP still owed its vendors and subcontractors, did not build/ship any pinball machines and had no money.
Everything else is likely opinion so I am taking facts and trying to connect the dots. Regardless of whether Andrew embezzled money or told new HP how much he was in the hole, either way new HP is on the hook for producing the game. Based on all accounts I've seen, his bookkeeping looks suspect. I hope for new HP's sake he was upfront with them. Anyways that is a matter to be resolved between Andrew and Heighway Pinball.
Edit - all items posted as fact are based on multiple direct accounts on pinside and publically available financial documents on internet.

Fact1 - True - but what the money taken from that is you have no idea. Reality is, no matter how much it was, it wasn't enough to pay the debts the company had
Fact2 - True, but the documentation doesn't tell you anything about the cash IN or OUT of the business.. This is you falsely interpreting the cash balance to mean the money "disappeared". Reality is, the guy was running a shop that requires CASH outflow every month to pay bills and expenses... and was facing lots of debts. None of this supports your claim.
Fact3 - Fake News. Classic "take a sliver of truth and extrapolate it... then defend the claims with just that sliver of truth". Reality is, the company had way more liabilities than the ability to pay them. None of this means the guy took money out of the business. The Debts were always bigger than the income because they couldn't ship a damn product on time.
Fact4 - WTF does this have to do with anything? Reality is, people start businesses so their personal assets are separate from their business. Failing HEP doesn't mean Andrew was broke... nor unable to have other business activities. Newsflash - Andrew has had multiple businesses up and down before HEP. You keep bringing this up, and reality is you have ZERO idea what that business venture means in terms of costs to Andrew.
Fact5 - Fake News. You have no idea what they took in. Second, failing to ship final product does not mean the company didn't incur costs.. and you 'forget' about all the past liabilities. Failing to ship final product does not support any claims of money disappearing. The company had been operating for years in the red... and was trying to spend money to finish games. None of this supports your claims of money disappearing.

The business was in the red... had expenses every week... and was trying to get games shipping. There wasn't enough cash available to function fully and get the product produced and shipping. That doesn't mean the guy took the money and ran. None of the things you cited support your "conclusions" in a direct way. It's purely you speculating.. and accusing someone of criminal activity with effectively nothing to support it. Not a smart thing to do.

#18283 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I thought a few people already argued (about 50 posts ago) that 1) Heighway Pinball doesn't read Pinside and 2) posts made on Pinside don't have much effect on a company's outcome.
As a special note to flynnibus - When you claim my facts #3-#5 are incorrect, you are incorrect. Myself and others have seen an application for a hydrofoil license submitted by Andrew. If you go back in this thread and others, all points have been made before and I have verified each by either finding multiple sources or reviewing what is public record on the internet. Sorry, you can say fake news all you like ... but an apple is an apple.
Final point - it is my conclusion that Andrew embezzled the funds, based on the facts. Since I am not prosecuting him, I won't need to submit my reams of evidence, but I have done some legwork and I am entitled to my opinion. Andrew might have been a good apple, right until the end, but the pressure was likely mounting and where's the f*ck1NG money Lebowski? My opinion is that Alien pinball is maybe one of the greatest pins ever made.
btw - I gave my conclusion and then have been asked to explain.... and of course it belongs in this thread.

Again... not understanding what you are working with.

Forming a second business - doesn't mean anything. HEP wasn't Andrew's only baby before or after.. Forming a business doesn't take much. You can start a LLC today by filling out some forms. What on earth do you think this has to do with HEP's assets?? Again... you have no clue yet you keep touting this as 'evidence' of some nefarious actions.

You are oblivious to the difference between what you "think happened" and the true legal liability of libel and defamation. Running around saying "he did it" because "you concluded from the information that's what happened" is not a defendable position. You're just lucky the guy is overseas and probably has bigger fish to fry than wrrying about the few that would listen to your "facts".

#18290 3 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

He didn't declare insolvency or sell his crap to pay people back or even apologize as far as I have seen

Correct - instead they raised more money and changed management. As you'd expect a business to do in trying to save itself.

I still don't think they are out of the woods. There should be more news of even more games ready to go by now... not hearing that makes me worry.

2 weeks later
#18567 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Everything you read next is factual and recreatible. Small concerns have since been adjudicated or omitted for the sake of brevity


A statement that derives from a factual reference does not make itself a fact. Most of your post is about extrapolating and projecting your beliefs as facts again...

#18617 3 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

So Andrew failed, and now the investors are running it. If THEY run out of cash, the next in line will bail them out, and be one step closer to final production, and if they fail, it will be even closer, etc. Hell, I will be in that line if the project gets recycled enough times. Who wouldn't take on a fully licenced, coded, shipping machine that looks this good??

This assumes there is money to be made in selling the result... and you can actually spend enough in time and resources to actually build the thing.

No established company would want to take on a 'one off' product to support... they'd likely re-engineer it to their platform of choice.

Good game does not necessarily equate to 'good business'...

#18730 3 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I find this to be very good communication. They are being honest, taking steps in the right direction, and have a proactive plan.

Meh... they keep making promises about money, timelines, and communications and then keep failing to keep their own promises.

They keep blaming refund requests... but they aren't paying them in any sizable amount. So how is that an issue besides ignoring the mails every day?

"If we say something one week, we might have to change it the next week due to new developments"

So what... that's called UPDATES - if they popped up more than once every month or two, that's not a biggie. It's proven over and over and over... hiding the facts doesn't make bad news better.. it just adds to the pile.

"The difficult aspect for us is, as proven, whenever we have said anything it has been twisted and turned on social media and some of it has spun out of control. That is why we have decided to limit information from our side on these forums and keep our focus on getting the product out of the door at the right quality"

Problems getting the job done... blame the internet!! Problems with communications? Instead of improving, they think the answer is to just turn them off. Did they hire JPOP since the last update? These are all cards from the same deck of HOW NOT TO HANDLE SKEPTICAL, ENFLAMED, OVERDUE CUSTOMERS

"We have made real progress and are now shipping the re-vamped SE machine, with much improved code and are working on further improvements. As we posted on our Facebook page, the next run of machines to be shipped will include both SEs and LEs and we know most of you have pre-ordered LE machines"

So the next batch of games to be released... will include LEs... the game they have yet to finalize the parts for... Who thinks this makes sense? They are happy to tell you 'now shipping' but really mean "we shipped one batch.. and are holding up the next batch for an unpredictable amount of time to hold up for product not yet finalized".

This makes no sense... ship the game that is KNOWN... Get some inventory out to generate revenue.

"We have paid many refunds dating from the pre-June period and we have also made amends to some who received pinball machines from Andrew Heighway"


"In order to maximise production of machines for our Distributors and for you, we have adopted a clear strategy and cashflow plan that prioritises production of machines over all aspects of the business"

Unless that means shipping SE games... because we are going to wait for the LEs...

"In this regard, we have a production/ cashflow schedule that deliberately spreads the shipping of pre-ordered machines and remaining refunds from the previous CEO's time over a number of months"

Translated: If we owe you, you get settled when we can 'fit it in'. Refunds... wait. Games owed... wait till we sell some more..

This is bad news. It means still cash strapped, and the same monthly overhead is going to eat into them the same as it did to Andrew. Notice the update lacked any confidence builders about games going out every week... or how many have shipped... or production volume... You can't boast about what you aren't doing :/

Lots of words... still lacking the insights to know how to restore confidence in a customer base you have raked over.

This was as if JPOP was brought in for PR...

#18737 3 years ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

First I want to say that I always appreciate your posts. They are mostly well thought out and to the point. But in this case I must disagree. The whole point of the letter seems to me that they do NOT want to make any promises, but inform us that they are still working very hard on getting the machines as best as they can. They do not seem to want to rush them out the door, as then we would all be over them if they are not up to par.

The "we won't make commitments going forward" is a cop out, not a "honest to a fault" type of response. If it were true transparency and honesty, they'd explain their failures in a way that you can sympathize with or they should accept blame for. Instead, they blame everyone else... including the customer base. They make claims that don't pass the sniff test.

They give incredibly vague references to forward progress "making some people whole", but give no affirmation about how much is in front of them or how they would realistically beat the obstacles in front of them. Instead, all they offer is the admittance that pre-order customers won't be the first deliveries... but instead of saying it outright, they say it some convoluted way.

Real transparency and showing your cards would be

- Recapping your prior commitments and giving progress status on them
- If you are behind or failed, give the reason for such and address how not to repeat it
- Outlining your current blockers and identifying how you plan on addressing it
- Reviewing your midterm plan and providing updates on how you are ahead, behind, or making changes

Remember in June the message from the Investors was
"Now to the exciting part – the production and time line moving forwards.
We are currently ordering loads of parts (there is stock from before so not all parts need to be ordered) from our suppliers to build 175 games until the end of August. That is our fixed target. The number comes from a short, but slower, start-up period starting second half of June where we need to adjust the production line accordingly, before hitting approximately 100 games a month from August and onwards. The production rate will then increase gradually to full capacity later in the year. This means that some of you will get your game before the end of August, but some will have to wait longer. If you have paid a deposit or partly paid your game you will be asked to pay in full prior to shipment, but not until we have a confirmed delivery week for your machine in place. The investor group will attend the factory on a daily basis from now on, but please let us remind you that is not us who actually build your games"

So, their plan was to have parts to build 175 games. Does anyone think they shipped that many games since? If they were to have parts for MULTIPLE containers worth of games, why the hold up to shipping more SE games NOW? (because there is some reality in there that their suppliers probably wouldn't ship them that many parts...)

And the plan for their production velocity? 100 games a month? Where are they on that? What is keeping games from shipping now past the first container load? That is the elephant in the room they didn't address in their update.

Investor Group at the factory on a daily basis? That would be an easy one to echo success on.

These are just simple examples to highlight how the problem isn't "refunds" or people picking apart their prior messages. It's that they continue to be vague, don't address the obvious blockers, don't outline how they plan on addressing their hurdles. That is how you show ACCOUNTABILITY and build CONFIDENCE in the projected outcome.

Quoted from ronaldvg:

Of course we still have to wait and see what happens and if they can pull it off, but seeing how many refunds they did and still go forward I have much more confidence in the situation than 6 months ago.

I'm the opposite... the number of refunds.. at what scale would you peg it at? To me it seemed like maybe a dozen or more?? Certainly not in the massive quantities. Honestly, I doubt the individual buyers are the biggest of their liabilities.. in terms of actually preventing forward progress. Things that require hard output before you can move.. like inventory, suppliers, landlords, labor... these things are much greater risks, and probably are at larger scales too.

This update was far worse than prior ones because
- It doesn't address the obvious gaps head on
- It doesn't provide any update on meeting their prior commitments or outlining changes to them
- It doesn't provide any plan to address how they are addressing the lack of progress on the plan

Instead it offers
- Excuses
- A "plan" to just stop providing information - As somehow this builds more confidence??
- A shipping 'plan' that for some reason is holding up orders now, for LE games, that you still don't even know the BOM for..
- A story on the progress of LE parts... stupid shit like powder coat colors.. really?? You're letting an entire factory be held up by that?

If you were a manager and this was your team reading out their progress report to you... you should be beating them in the head and telling them never come back with a fluff report like that again or they're all fired. Instead the buyers here are all like "ooo, yeah, don't let those naysayers interfere with you, hears hoping the games still get made" and ignoring the real issues.

The biggest thing hurting any startup struggling to ship products is OVERHEAD - the recurring cost of running every day. The new HWP is now 3 months behind their first milestones, and has yet to demonstrate the ability to CONTINUALLY put out games. That's the #1 item they should have been addressing... how they will achieve sustainable velocity (parts in... games out!). Because with that, everything else can be prioritized and determine who can wait the longest. If they can't do that... It's Andrew all over again.

This isn't people picking apart their words... This is intelligent people looking beyond their promises and looking to be soothed with a CREDIBLE plan.

Instead they act like the 'noise' is what is holding them back... No, that's just people refusing to face their customer base.

#18738 3 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I think they were very clear in what they were saying. They were left with few parts to build a number of machines

In June, the Investors said "We are currently ordering loads of parts (there is stock from before so not all parts need to be ordered) from our suppliers to build 175 games until the end of August"

It took from June to the end of November to realize that wasn't real? Or what they really can build?

Notice from the update... any realistic (or even attempts at..) addressing quantities or velocity.

Your comment made sense in June... now not.

#18740 3 years ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

If you are not working there, you cannot even begin to know anything about the situation. It was precisely like you said, they ORDERED parts. That does not mean they got all the parts from the suppliers or even got parts that they could use immediately. That is exactly what the letter is saying. They run into a different problem almost every week.
But I guess you can read the letter in a positive way or a negative. I for one choose to look at it positively. Not that I am saying all is good now, I outed my reservations in my first post regarding this, but the guys over there are not begging for any more money or promising people their machine first when they pay now. Instead of that they do keep the lights on at the factory at their own expense.
I am not saying that I believe everything is ok, I will wait for that when everyone that has paid gets their machine or their refund.

Meh... the whole "we won't take our game.." line is just pandering. These guys have now outlaid money individually that is probably 10x-30x their 'game' money... do you really think getting a 7k toy (or even multiples) or not is the big sacrifice here? That's a nice gesture I look right past because it's not really representative of anything of substance.

New problem every week... we can't relay any of those stories to help build confidence, but we can take the time and effort to blame the internet multiple times. I have no doubt they are facing all kinds of things they as individuals didn't expect... but I don't really buy the story about supplier parts issues... unless the problem is they couldn't get parts from the guys they did before.. or problems actually getting the volumes in the way they want. The parts have already been through all the iterations. Does not pass the sniff test.

If parts still continue to be a problem, then they should be addressing how that is being handled... not "sorry for the wait, but we really care... stay tuned".

It's the kind of fluff that doesn't actually build any confidence in their ability to deliver.

#18744 3 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

A business doesnt have to ( and pretty much never does) disclose business details as outlined " should have been disclosed" by others here. Get over that one.

A business under water and facing multiple failures is not under normal operating conditions and a top concern should be CUSTOMER CONFIDENCE. Everything I outlined was about how you build CONFIDENCE, not just about curiosity.

But hey, if you all are willing to smile and bend over because of the offer a free toaster... I'll check back in in February and see if the toaster has still kept you as a happy customer.

#18747 3 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

I didn't get the toaster deal.......bastards.....
All good...your assessment is a legit one (as they usually are), but believe there is a better than average chance this gets done, just maybe (definitely) not how we had hoped.
This is not a JPOP or SkitB story (scam) for sure...just an extended JJP parallel to me (from across the pond). That turned out well, and we now have a third (counting Spooky on a smaller scale) supplier of games to feed our need. Sincerely hope we have a solid #4 to talk about next year.....

I liked the odds better a month ago... The drag to LE finalization is perplexing. The lack of steady output is concerning. The JPOP-style pr response is extremely disappointing and frightening at the same time.

Scandinavian culture is terse as it is... but they are usually direct and clear. Several of these investors are of that background. Id expect more direct addressing of things.

The inability to make their early adopters whole as well as getting ferret a proper production build yet are failures holding them back from building champions. Small things they could do that would have much greater payoffs as the outcomes scale.

We go back to holding on and seeing if output improves...

1 month later
#19553 3 years ago
Quoted from MightyGrave:

So tried a new usb stick.
Looks like the machine will find the stick

I would say the file is getting corrupted when you are d/ling or copying it to the drive. Right there at the top it says the file isn't in gzip format.. which it appears to be expecting. So make sure you are keeping the file in binary format and not having some tool automatically extract it or something else.

Just speculating based on what the linux script is spitting out to console..

4 weeks later
#19978 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Of course. But Alien's never going to be a commercial success now.
I suspect that's the biggest mistake the owners made - assuming there was far less work than needed to fix it to an acceptable state, and that they could sell enough to operate without loss quite quickly.

It's not past the point of no return. Good success in the future can erase the past. Just look at woz... or even titles like AC/DC. Make a game people want, that works, and they can buy... and the past is forgiven in this hobby.

Who talks anymore about how badly jack strung people along and basically lied to? Or about deposits on MMr?

Do it well going forward... and the growing pains will become history

#19980 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Supposedly FTh was working on a PC system long ago. If that was true then and still holds, then theoretically there should be no technical reason why they can't sell a kit to FTh owners.

It would be cheaper for HW to just offer a one time discount to those buyers and move on. It's not worth the operational time and support for something you will make nothing on and only serve to distract your limited resources.

Offer those buyers a discounted buy on alien and close that book forever

#20028 3 years ago

It lives!!!

Working right out of the box!

Congrats Ferret !!

9C81566F-B57E-4012-BA78-AD2BF0FDAA4D (resized).jpeg

#20036 3 years ago
Quoted from johnjones:

Is this a "newly ordered" Alien SE or was this one an ordered one from long ago?
Was it just received? Is this from a shipment received recently from Cointaker?

It's Ferret 's game. Game he's been owed for a long long time

His game was shipped directly - not via CT.

The beacon effects really are cool in a room where Alien is the showpiece

#20051 3 years ago

some commentary about the recent delivery.

I've played the earlier versions of the game plenty at Allentown and other shows over the years.

The game we unboxed yesterday right out of the box sure felt a ton better than all my earlier games.

The game needed some tweaks to be perfect... but not the kind of stuff that kept us from playing.

- The box had gotten beat to hell... shipping company had not been gentle... but the game escaped major issues
- One beacon dome had gotten smashed inside the box. I attest that to how they pack it and the 'extra bumps' the game clearly had gotten. It still works, just the dome needs replacing
- There ARE unpacking instructions.. we just found them after we were done
- The game came with all the hardware you'd expect... a few key fobs too
- The game comes with like 4-5 keys. The head has two pop-out locks that were not keyed together, and then the coin door is its own lock too. Would like this where the locks were unified
- The pop-out locks on the head were a bit fickle and I don't really see these as 'improvements' even tho they are fancier locks. I'd prefer a locking assembly with standard barrel locks
- The head had a plate with pins to help align it, and is mounted with 3 machine screws at the back, and two thumb screws through the base of the head. Seemed stable enough
- The head attached easily - it is managable by one person.. but heavy enough you need to pay attention (this is with the LCD in the head)
- I'm not a fan of the MDF cabinet material - give me real plywood
- The game had ample packing protections... including things like the coin box and playfield being zip tied down to keep them in place
- This game had the lit side panels (which look great!) but they are pretty simple in implementation. Just standard led strips laid in the bottom of the slot and along the top. The top strip had pulled down a bit and needed to be reset to be setup properly and not cause shadows on the side panels. easy fix by removing side panel and just pressing strip back into place
- The pop bumper switches need some adjustment to get triggering well
- The game shipped with latest code and all the latest hardware and PF mechs
- The game was wired for extra switches that do not come standard and the coin door switches were not plugged in. Just things to be aware of when you say 'what are all these extra plugs?' - But it didn't have any issues with the start button/etc like earlier games did
- The power plug is extra goofy tho. This is an area I think they cheaped out. The power switch for the game is almost in the standard spot under the cabinet... but the power socket is right there as well in the same assembly. That means your power plug is connected at the bottom of the cabinet.. middle of the game. This has a few problems... one.. the plug stands to pull out easier.. two.. the plug must be removed to put a lift cart under the game.. three.. the power plug is now dangling UNDER your cabinet vs behind the game like usual.

This game has the lit inside side panels and backboard. Very nice! The lit cabinet side panels are very cool too (even if built kind of cheap). I would think mod'ers could do that easily.

We set the game up, and jumped right into playing - no tweaks done at all before we were able to play.

The game plays a lot smoother than the examples I played previously. The airlock was easier to hit, and was able to backhand from left flipper with purpose.. We were hitting ramps and combos on the fly and with purpose. It felt great!

We were in a almost completely dark room.. and in that environment... the lower third of the game is pretty damn dark. The first two balls... I was like... uhh.. wow. But I must have adjusted some after a few balls. I think those that play in a completely dark room will likely be looking to supplement the lighting. I think if you have some ambient light, you'll probably be ok stock.

The beacons are pretty damn cool I would think these would be a MUST for any game where you will have an environment where the game can shine. In a dark room and those things start going off... it's a 'cherry on top' moment for the game.

Everything about the game just felt a ton better than the previous times I've played the game... both on the prototype and on the game that would make the show rounds. We had some airballs that were interesting... but I attest that to a brand new game that needs some breaking in. The pop bumper switchs would need adjustment, but we didn't bother and that could be taken care of later.

I think most buyers would be perfectly happy with the unboxing experience we had last night. And I think buyers will have a great time exploring this game!

#20127 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Reality check. So much more would be spent on legal fees it wouldn't be worth filing a suit. Not even close.

Consumer protection laws are wayyyy stronger in Europe

2 weeks later
#20266 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

I have no idea. For reference, let's call it "v 100". Whatever we could get via the silent treatment from Heighway Pinball. So, basically nothing.
This is notwithstanding the new computer that recently arrived, without the necessary cables nine months later.
Also keep in mind the POS sold the machine with no Alein head mechanism.

This is the same game that Clay just got all the replacement hardware for right, including the new PC so it can run latest stuff, etc... right?

Is this really a current concern, or are you working on the old premise of what they had prior to about two weeks ago?

#20282 3 years ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Yes, and yes. No response for over six months. Especially the Alien Head mechanism.

So its the past... yet you are talking about it as if its current. No beuno

#20288 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

I understand that they are shipping LEs to new money to keep the company afloat, but how are they tracking/accounting for the specific numbers people have reserved (to make sure the pins end up in the right hands)?

Simple... if a number is reserved and you dont plan on fufilling that order now... dont use that number.

The numbers can be assigned to built games in anyway they desire

3 weeks later
#20478 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Here's the thing: if you want to be a European company then great, do it. Heighway is only sort of that, look at how much of the talent on Alien is from the US. IMHO that's not a good mix, just too much damn distance. I know I'd never attempt anything like it again.

It's not the distance - it was your lack of resources. I build products where the team is split across China, India, Norway, England, Ireland, East Coast, Central, and west coast. For the same delivery... its harder than being all in one spot, but that's not always available.

The key to your situation like west coast to UK is to have someone on the east coast competent enough to be a middle man with actual authority and brains to be able to represent either side to each other. The delay of decisions/investigation is really the biggest time suck when things miss the 'windows of time'.

We always aim to build with a small, co-located team to start... but rarely does that last. But we also build the tool to enable remote collaboration so we use 'em

Establishing personal trusts and connections early is essential as well. No tool replaces that.

#20485 3 years ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

that would have been melissa/cointaker, right?

Why would you suggest a reseller be part of the internal managememt?

2 weeks later
#20780 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Are the Alien LEs that are arriving more reliable than the last batch?
I think the only thing that would give me hope at this point is by now with the LEs they've ironed everything out. If there is still snafus going on with delivered machines, then what hope can there be?

I know Ferret 's game played right out of the box and that was in the 'last shipment'. His was the updated hardware as built (vs needing to upgrade) and we were able to play it out of the box without any tweaks. I know after the fact the pop bumper switches needed dialing in, but last time I asked... he said it's still playing well. And we unboxed it Feb 12th.. so 2 months ago.

#20857 3 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

It's interesting how many Americans are declaring Heighway is done/over and how many Europeans keep posting about being happy with the new game they just received

It's not that complex... The US is ran through distribution that has put their foot down to HWP and the European buyers are coming through other distribution not constrained the same way. Plus, we know Europe just got a big batch of games... those games are now trickling out.

If the Europeans were getting games CONSISTENTLY... then there would be something to talk about. But this seemed to be the 'some here, some there' situation and now the US funnel has been choked completely. Until that is resolved... there will still be a huge queue of US buyers who are sour because they are in line with no game in sight.

#20862 3 years ago

epoxy time

#20866 3 years ago

A case of 'building to work' vs 'building to survive fail cases'. It may survive all good use cases, but if software or switch fail.. I'm sure it can self-destruct.

#21036 3 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Wait, deeproot was/is taking money already?!? Maybe I'm imagining things, but I thought their business model was going to be pay when it's ready to ship?

You can up the amount of money in limbo with them to increase your 'benefits'.

#21151 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I suppose someone can buy the IP and stock and parts and whatever else for pennies on the dollar, and then try to ramp up producing machines again.
There IS a finished game that exists (2 actually, and maybe others). This isn't a jpop diorama of a non-functioning game. People who have "working" Aliens really enjoy them. So... who knows.

Thats what the last guys thought too...

#21185 3 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

The post you're referring to was made by someone who has a history of trolling manufacturer threads pretty hard.

We don't protect manufacturers from criticism. We don't moderate opinions. Heck, I've thrown in my two cents at times.
What we do moderate are personal attacks and name calling.

I was gonna say... with all these claims about scrubbing and moderating negativity... I didn't get that impression. Maybe consider it was the delivery... not the 'anti-company' message that was being moderated.

#21187 3 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Trolling? Commenting on how a game plays, potential flaws and issues is trolling? That GreenHornet guy seems to have made a lot of sense and was correct about quite a few things if you re-read his past posts. I've found his comments interesting whether I agreed or not.

You may want to reconsider your taste in subject matter experts... in playfield analysis and podcasters.

#21190 3 years ago
Quoted from jar155:

Guys like msch got absolutely slammed by apologists for suggesting that this project was never going to get off the ground. All the signs pointing to failure were there. Pinside REALLY needs to clean up it white knight problem. Yeah, trolls are a pain in the butt and you want to tell them to get lost, but the white knighting is often a much bigger problem.
Way too much of this...

Maybe because he spouted his beliefs as facts... with posts like this

Quoted from Msch:

This isn't a build to order company, they're broke and selling off everything they can. This company has failed to produce the alien pin beyond prototypes, and will not ship another pinball machine in the future

Not believing a company can make it and voicing that opinion is entirely different from making wild statements that are based on nothing, yet you spout them as something that has already happened.

People who simply said HWP won't succeed... or Alien will fail... were not people tipping others off and being moderated. They were sharing their opinion on the future.... and largely without any details except what everyone knew as public knowledge.

Predicting failure of startups does not make anyone a prophet.

#21192 3 years ago
Quoted from spoke:

I would like to think it would be illegal to do that right before liquidation or did they transfer that months ago in anticipation of this? Which would be equally bad in my eyes, but maybe not under the law.

In the US it is.. you can't transfer assets like that when you are known to be insolvent. I expect there is some parallel in British law as well... for the same reasons you outline. You can't gut the ship on the way out..

#21197 3 years ago
Quoted from BD_Designs:

While I completely agree that fake accounts should not be tolerated, under certain circumstances like the ones that have transpired over the years with this saga, regardless of where the information came from - shill account or not - the information about Andrew which turned out to be very revealing and foreshadowing of what has happened was still swept under the rug and more or less erased.

Unfortunately... the bigger the impact, the more scrutinous you must be. If you don't, people abuse it because they know they can achieve their goal and get away with it. And either way, it creates huge liabilities for the site.

If someone wants to 'leak' info... there are plenty of ways to do it. But you can't let 'hit and run' content that can't be substantiated be the norm... because for every 'legit' one, you'll likely have 10x more that are more harm than good.

Imagine how easy it would be to smear an individual or other pinsider with a hit and run attack with with a simple post claiming serious, undesirable behavior without needing to back any of it up if no such scrutiny or forced focus existed.

#21198 3 years ago
Quoted from Tim_may:

Pinball Brothers Limited incorporated June 16 2017.

June 2017 is also when the 'new investors' took over. This was probably a legal entity setup as part of the initial take-over of HWP... not necessarily a start of divesting the company.

If the goal was to gut the company of assets, it would have been a lot simplier and cheaper to do that 11 months ago, rather than run the company for 10+months on their backs.

Edit: Ilushka85 's theory is an interesting one... if there was an exchange of IP out of the company as part of the buyout with provisions for licensing back, etc. But I have to imagine that would still be under heavy scrutiny depending on the financials of the company at the time.. especially if it were under valued.

#21213 3 years ago
Quoted from BD_Designs:

This is true and I believe that when potentially damaging info is brought forth, it needs to be looked into rather than Pinside deciding that the account is fake and therefore the info must be automatically deleted

I think what you would find is that it's not 'automatically deleted' but that when in doubt, you must err to the safe side to protect yourself. Pinside is also not a detective agency - they can't go and prove and cross reference a ton on their own... they can't force people to answer them, or threaten legal ramifications if they don't. So they are limited to what they can cross-reference publicly and from sources who are willing to cooperate. They can't spend 3 days flushing that out while the city burns around them so you have to err to 'hide it first, reopen later'.

People need to put themselves in the owner's shoes sometimes... it's real easy to play cowboy with someone else's life and resources.

#21214 3 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

Nope, I'll read and listen everything and draw my own conclusions. But these fellas were right all along.

Someone predicted a pinball startup would fail? Holy shit, they *gotta be* clairvoyant!

Make sure he gives you stock tips too...

and greenhornet was proven to be full of it too by the game's own designer that pointed out how GH's ideas were amateur because they didn't even account for the practicalities of mechanics and where stuff goes under the PF. AKA he didn't know wtf he was talking about.

#21217 3 years ago
Quoted from BD_Designs:

We have seen people with real accounts and real concerns still get burned at the stake by the sycophants only for people to later see that they were right

Had the right PREDICTIONS or right FACTS?

Don't let the revisionists distort that difference.

#21240 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Yes, that would be me. I posted irrefutable evidence and I was villainized for it. Read the follow up to my comment in the link I'm providing and monitor the voting. You should have seen the private messages I received.

If I recall... that situation included a ton of extrapolations and interpretations that were all over the place that went well beyond the citation provided. There is plenty of solid info in there, unfortunately muddied by tons of extrapolation.

I thought it was great info - but many used it horribly.

#21252 3 years ago
Quoted from BD_Designs:

All I'm saying is that maybe when someone calls bullshit on something and raises a red flag, regardless of whether it's a prediction or is blatant fact, we all just need to stop and think about it for a moment. Could it be possible? It's so easy to want to be an optimist about this stuff and only see, read, or believe what you really want to believe and not face the actual truth of what could be happening. We have seen time and again how these companies will lie right to your face to keep the train from going off the rails sooner.

See I think a big part of this perception problem is how people force how they read things to be "if you aren't with me, you're against me!" mindset. Thus... the finer shades of grey are all forced into being one of the two extremes. Someone posts good point 1, but bad point 2... you counter/debunk point 2, and people just think you're against everything they said.

Like in the example of 'man has history of a alot of companies'. True! But that fact being true, doesn't mean everything you say from that point going forward is equally true

Add people's personal choices and money into the mix... and people get even more defensive.

#21253 3 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Reliable IMO but secondhand information, I'm told he still monitors this thread even recently. And his Pinside account appears to be active.

I'd be more interested in the reporters covering him would read it I know I pointed that one Aussie reporter to it. Maybe we need to pump up our SEO

#21477 3 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Here’s something I don’t get... if the current owners of Heighway are obligated to get the most funds from assets so they can pay creditors, shouldn’t they have to fulfill those with the $1,500 preorders (which would mean an extra ~$6,500 per pin) BEFORE selling the pins to their new company (assuming the new company is paying less than than $6,500)?

I think your last line says it all... 'sell the pins to their new company...' - what if.. it were the other way around? What if pinball brothers is the entity that already 'owned' the games and were transferring them to heighway to be sold upon payment from heighway?

They could have structured this in a way so heighway was the one who would lose out... not them.

#21486 3 years ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

Maybe anyone with a Alien number and has pre-paid should file a police report that you suspect that Pinball Brothers is trying to sell stolen goods. Any invoice that matches a machine's serial number would be proof that they are in possession of something you own.

That's not how this works... that's not how any of this works...

#21497 3 years ago
Quoted from Superchicken:

So what's the harm in having the cops check the inventory? Just like a car's vin # it should be clear who own the machine.

Because allocating a number for production has nothing to do with OWNERSHIP.... and units not considered shipped by the business would still be the property of the business. Just because you have a serial that was promised to you means absolutely nothing.

1 week later
#21888 2 years ago
Quoted from Marv:

In hindsight, I very much regret that we took pre-orders for Alien.

- This money should have been ring fenced and never used for operating costs.

fantasy... The reality is companies need enough capital to expect to run in the red for several cycles of the business because everything will be operating in the red until you get established. The games were going to cost more than they took in regardless because of ramp-up costs and the reality that you had no economies of scale and every initial cost to absorb. You need massive capital up front, and savvy spending to ensure you don't run out of runway. HWP seems to have failed on both those points.

It maybe nice to think "you should keep all that money separate so you can return it if you failed..." - but it's no where near reality.

#21889 2 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Who knows. Right now it seems like everyone is asking 9. so up slightly?
Afaik FT is way more rare...
Edit; I think the big thing will be io boards.. if you can get some kind of replacement; value up.. if you have a boat anchor when one dies, value down.

Capcom boards are unobtainium... yet BBB still holds it's value. Same with other rare games. People say HWP is out of business... yeah well so is every other pinball company that was started prior to 1997

The Alien parts shouldn't contain anything that is unobtainium... it's just a matter of someone having the incentive to reverse and design new equivalent parts.

#21905 2 years ago
Quoted from spoke:

The only thing pre-order money should be used for is parts for those machines, and the labor to assemble it, using that money to fund R&D, create an assembly line, overhead, lavish parties, etc. pretty much guarantees you wont have money to actually build machines, unless you sell more and use that money to build the first machines, and then sell more to fund those, etc.

Yes, you shouldn't rely on pre-sales as a means to capitalize your venture... because its just borrowing from tomorrow. But it doesn't matter if the pre-sales are the first dollar they spend, or the last dollar they spend.. it's going to be used to avoid going to zero cash as long as the company thinks they can still pull it off. The utopia of the company saying "we're tried, we're broke, but we still have this piggy bank and here are all the deposits back 100%.. " is fantasy. The company is going to be in debt to ALOT of people will much better claims than individual customers. The bank, the suppliers, employees, government, etc.

When the owner is crunched to make payroll or pay the vendor and he thinks the end is just within reach... if they just dig a little deeper.. they are going to spend ALL money available to them, not put customers so high in priority that they will accept failure vs a customer losing a dollar.

The dream of 'putting that money in a safe spot' doesn't help make them successful or not.. and pre-sold customers are not going to be the first in line to get paid out. That's actually illegal if the company is insolvent... and only a true saint entrepreneur would stop and quit if they think the end is jussssttt rightttt there if they just dig a little deeper.

#21907 2 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

It will come down to this. If they can be kept running then I think they will shoot up in value. If they can't then they will crash...so time will tell. That being said flynnibus is right and this community has kept some odd games up and running (we should include the pin2000 games)

Yup... four things happen in the replacement parts world
1- There is old stock to use/buy
2- There is an equivalent part readily available because it wasn't unique
3- Someone can produce an equivalent part if they have sufficient means (and incentive) to do so
4- The part can NOT be sourced because it includes elements that can not be equivalently replaced or the effort is too high vs the return to incentivize someone enough to do it

We lived through #1 and #2 for decades and everyone was worried when WMS shutdown. #3 we've seen happen more and more as the tooling and small batch building is more readily available to anyone (3d printing, rapid prototyping, online sourcing, etc).

Ultimately the market was big enough many companies have stepped up and continue to operate providing parts in scenarios #2 and #3

#4 is a huge problem when there are parts like ICs that are custom.. or NLA and have no easy equivalents. Or the total addressable market is so small no one can justify the effort in a legal way. Examples include why BBB run was limited.. or why pin2k went to emulation...

Games like Alien have game-specific parts, but parts that could be re-engineered by 3rd parties. They don't use custom ASICs, etc. We also have past workers who are eager to see their baby live on - so knowledge is likely within reach. This is more like the world of Bally and Gottlieb where 3rd parties have made equivalent replacements because originals were no longer available.

It's just a question of if the return is there for the effort needed. What return they need will be dictated by how passionate or not they are to the cause.

#21908 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

He repeatedly claimed that all deposits, in part or in full, were fully refundable, and at least to me, that they were not used to fund development or ongoing expenses. Indeed, for the former to be true, so must the latter, especially in a company which was underfunded according to his own words.

They clearly weren't, they clearly were used, and that was the fantasy that he peddled.

Sure, but even if it was true.. it wouldn't have lead to people's money being safe. The guy was just trying to make people feel safe and confident it would happen so he was saying what people wanted to hear.

#21909 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

the company had minimal to no cash flow for long periods and large overheads, then surely that means by definition the company was insolvent, and a pyramid (needed the money from new orders to fulfil existing ones). There seem to have been plenty of fabricated or misleading reports on the part of the operator, and intent could be claimed on the basis of this interview. So would that not make it a Ponzi?

Ponzi would suggest he's doing it to profit off those investments. This is more like "I have a passion, but I'm going to play with other people's money and ensure I don't give up too much by insulating myself first".

Pyramid scheme is not the same as simply running at a loss and borrowing from tomorrow. "unsustainable" or "doomed to fail" I would say is more fitting.

Everyone spends tomorrow's money... the question is simply can they get to a point of gross margins supporting daily needs before the piggy bank runs out.

It's the taking of future money when you KNOW the future is not possible where the scummy and illegal portion happens. Which I think everyone agrees - happened here Both mismanagement and deception.

#21910 2 years ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

then why weren't people questioning/investigating Andrew as to whether he had sufficient funding to finance such an operation instead of assuming he had the situation covered? he wasn't going to be able to convert his thousands of up votes into pounds sometime in the future.

Because we live in reality - The real world where we have no way to force or require them to disclose that as a private venture.

People didn't 'assume' he had it covered - it was always a risk like every startup. The question is purely if you think they will be able to succeed or not.

The problem with many is they think of it as a pinball problem, and if you just have a great game, that's all it takes. Business is not that alone.

#21913 2 years ago
Quoted from Damonator:

*THIS* will be the issue that will be hard to overcome.
Alvin G made approximately 2500 games and there are so many parts that are simply unobtanium and the demand is too low for anyone to reproduce them - stand up targets, flipper rebuild kits, flasher boards etc. There is demand - just not enough.
Andrew wouldn't say how many games they produced, but I would bet money the number is less than 250 between FT and Alien.

Yes, but those games are also less desirable and not in the same market as these other ventures have been. The low volume is a problem... but it may be offset by more incentive/passion.

#21918 2 years ago
Quoted from Damonator:

Mystery Castle, A.G. Soccer/Football and Punchy the Clown are all desirable - I would argue way more desirable than Full Throttle. I don't know what you mean by "same market", but the prices of the 4 games I mentioned are higher or the same aftermarket price as FT.

And 2 of those three are incredibly niche games... let alone low production.

By 'same market' - those games weren't produced in an era of high prices and exceptionally high demand for 'must have' themes, stories, etc. The guys who got into the market in the last 5 years don't give a hoot about A.G. games.

Games with a limited market are still going to have less upside than games with wider appeal. Less appeal = less potential buyers willing to spend to make it happen.

#21969 2 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

it begs the question of whether or not all of the facts, figures and statuses of heighway pinball were divulged when the investors stepped in or were they that daft?

I have to imagine there is a lot of stuff that wasn’t in quickbooks

Like unpaid taxes... liabilities from unpaid wages... probably not all the unpaid vendors etc.

The story over how much due diligence was done def. varies between the two sides.

#21989 2 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

I would like to know how they can run off with the Queen license without liquidation bidding for remaining assets.

You make the argument that the sale/transfer realizes more than you would have gotten at liquidation.

1 week later
#22221 2 years ago

Until you find the shots, you will be bricking around a bit. Alien's geometry is so non-traditional it will feel vastly different until you get dialed in. Then you start seeing the speed and combo needs.

When you just walk up to it... it's dark, confusing, and 'large space but I don't know what to do'. You need to find the shots and get some intro into even WHERE the shots really are made from to start dialing in.

It is not super friendly to walk ups.. but once you adjust.. you start seeing all the possibilities.

2 months later
#22779 2 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

What takeover? Wasn't that a shell company to dump whatever parts they had leftover

No, more like a phoenix company setup to protect the important parts if the dying company didn't make the turn before it hit the wall.

4 weeks later
#23025 2 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Replacement LEDs are now listed in my Pinside Shop..
$1.50 each in an 8 pack,
$1.10 each in a 64 panel,
Ships for $6 globally .
FYI for you Aussie guys..that shop is priced in USD.

Timebandit for president!

1 month later
#23393 2 years ago

TimeBandit so how well do you think the header pins will hold up with that big lever arm working on them? I would expect the playfield slamming/etc would work to rock those kinds of connections loose. Are they friction held or are they soldered in some way?

5 months later
#24139 2 years ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

The only absolute miss and fail on components would be the acrylics......huge problem, and will absolutely destroy the games if not replaced, as hard, sharp beads will invade everything as they crack (all of them crack).....they could have saved a ton of $$$ if they just used wireforms, or plastic ramps w decals as opposed to the nightmare they created there. Impressive when upfitted, but a massive over engineered thought, imho...

by product of andrew's quest to use stuff he could build in house vs source from other vendors...

2 months later
#24649 1 year ago
Quoted from dung:

Again, ifs a good game, but its not perfected. Shaker implementation, beacon implementation, usage of the airlock lcd. We are going to have to just disagree on this. It is however an effort to be proud of and should hold up over timr vs a lot of titles

So you disagree with the creative choices - not that the code is immature, or 'needs more work'

1 week later
#24685 1 year ago
Quoted from oyvindmo:

Doesn't look like Pinball Brothers Ltd will be around much longer. According to Companies House the company is due to be dissolved in about 3 weeks:

Or just all the interesting stuff is already under other entities and they are just ignoring the old uk entity

2 weeks later
#24765 1 year ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

I have plenty of evidence of dealings with Andrew and the unpaid work I did on his behalf, going back a long time. It hasn't been disclosed before as I didn't want a pointless battle on my hands that I wouldn't have been strong enough to cope with and got nothing out of

well... now you know? Not sure why you went through the point of working with the government agencies on the topic, but then still 'held back' as they rejected you? By now I hope you see the importance of getting thing in the clear and on the record... so even as things don't pay off 'now', you are set and in position for whatever future moves might come.

At the end of the day, you're making claims against a defunct business. If you didn't get your hands in the jar when the assets were moved around... you're likely SOL without a much greater civil suit to fight. Now you're trying to fight back through several 'gates' to prove things... instead of fighting just one issue with one party.

The delay in action was not in your favor.

#24769 1 year ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

I don't think you're seeing the sheer lose/lose position I was in, a situation Andrew had engineered well ahead in advance when I couldn't do a sodding thing about it.

Sounds to me like you made the conscious choice to relinquish your claims in lieu of disruptions to your (then) current situation. I get that it was hard and a 'lose/lose' -- but you keep bringing up your royalty situation or IP ownership as if people continue to wrong you now going forward. But from what you have shared here it sounds more and more like an emotional claim than a practical one. Your rights appear to be chewed up (or at least, incredibly hard to extract..) in the collision of your prior situation, Andrew's actions, the PinBros shuffle, and HWP's dissolution.

It may just fall to 'opportunity lost..' at this point and focusing on what you need to move forward in your life without HWP's past.

#24772 1 year ago
Quoted from EalaDubhSidhe:

'Emotional claim' would not be an inaccurate description. I'm not saying people *are* wronging me now, I'm talking in hypotheticals. But please, do explain to me how as an ASD person with an entire adult history of overcompensating to the point of sheer burnout through utter self-loathing, I'm expected to simply sweep under the rug five years of my life being effectively stolen, without assistance in 'moving forward'.

It's called 'cutting your losses' and putting energy where new there are new gains to be had.

You talk all determined now.. but it sure sounds like the moment has passed. You can continue to swirl in place and focus on what should have been.. diving deeper as you aren't sustaining the daily needs or put that energy into something that will create a new baseline.

I don't know your life or your individual struggles - but I do know that if you are underwater and just looking DOWN - you'll never climb out either. Make yourself whole day to day.

3 months later
#25583 1 year ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

If it doesn’t go away, then I’m not sure the point. That is the only interference the game suffers from. :shrug:

The original crap USB cables tend to be the root of many other gremlin problems in the game.. including I/O boards resetting mid-game as connectors work free, etc. Consider it 'bullet proofing'

#25593 1 year ago
Quoted from VividPsychosis:

Is there any known fix to the disco light show from flipper engagement? Is it the IO board? A simple LED board? Anyone had success in eliminating it?

It is a design flaw in the hardware. Software changes were made to try to minimize it.. but ultimately it has not been defeated.

1 year later
#27894 5 months ago
Quoted from dung:

Define feasible?
Redesign the playfield to use switches instead of induction switches, including changing the artwork.
Build custom light boards.
Redesign the wiring harness.
Reprogram the game from scratch.
If a kit charge as much as a good standalone pinball machine. As a new pin charge around 10k for a game that is several years old and already has a handful of owners.
Incidentally, right now have a buddy working on making a universal bracket to hold the usb cables in place. After that would like to see if we can come up with a space so the switches don't sink into their sockets. Would really help the reliability.

PROC is first and foremost hardware interface and set of drivers... they can run the same game code and just change the hardware drivers and interface in the software. They could run on the same PCs you already run alien on even.

One could in theory just focus on changing the IO boards and keeping the existing lighting/switches.

It's not as insurmountable as you infer. It's more a question of how much you think should be salvaged. That drives the scope. Swapping out the IO boards and keeping the same mech/switch/light junctions could make for a very 'swappable' upgrade. But if you want to ditch the power design, light boards, switches, etc.. then things obviously get more involved. But those are kinds of things you can do readily for a game going into production.

#27897 5 months ago
Quoted from Faust:

I think if you look at the common issues that kept the games for staying up and running trouble free it are some (small) mechanical issues, and this relatively unreliable IO board system.
I suspect those boards are also not cheap to produce because it is custom made for them and in low quantities. I'd swap this system.

The 'inherent' flaws do all seem to stem from the IO boards and no one would want to carry that baggage forward (hopefully!!). The boards have been bought from original suppliers for reasonable prices - and thats without volume. It was not $50 costs.. but the cost of the kind of stuff that is on the IO board has to be covered somewhere... in-house expertise (and confidence in them) is probably a driving factor here. Both JJP and HWP were hindered early on by failures in their electrical engineering of their hardware. They will have to decide if they think they can do it.. or just need to pay to use proc drivers, etc. (and find new space for them, etc)

Quoted from Faust:

The success of Dutch Pinball with their first real pin is, if you ask me, that they used existing mechs (WPC) and proven and existing hardware interface (PROC).

TBL doesn't use PROC and PROC drivers.. they have their own board system.

But I agree - punt the HWP IOBoard nightmare and go for a heart transplant

#27905 5 months ago
Quoted from dung:

I didn't say its insourmountable. I implied it isn't feasible from a cost perspective.
It can run the same game code? Sure, if there is an interface layer between the two. I'm a software engineer, and no, there is no just hooking up a p-roc board to the existing computer and it magically working.

I didn't infer it works by magic. I'm saying the PROC platform uses a PC controller - and that's exactly what you have in your alien already Literally just changing the driver hardware from the HWP IO boards to the PROC drivers and rewriting the HAL and drivers to talk PROC. The game code has always had abstraction from the hardware.

Quoted from dung:

Removing the io boards and expecting p-roc to interface with the existing lighting/switches is a bit far fetched. The only thing you have done is gotten away from the problematic usb connection. You still have a number of failure points like the terrible switches.

The switches aren't the problem.. It's the fubar'd power driver and bus designs on the IO boards. Physical interfaces (USB ports) are easily reworked. That's a common failure point in games, but it's not the fundamentally broke portions of the game that cause disco lights, inadvertent cutoff, and serviceability issues.

Quoted from dung:

This of course ignores that there isn't enough incentive to redesign this game which was why I said it wasn't feasible in the first place. You need a company that has the funds to buy out pinball brothers, buy the license from fox, have the facilities or the funds to build them, and the funds to redesign the game and put all the parts back in production.

They'd probably just use one software guy (Brian).. maybe two (the original was done with just two). They need the competent engineer to do the boards (another job done by one person). The rest I don't know which way you are going.. buyout? It's the PBros that kept the assets for a reason.. its the PBros that have been shopping the concept since HWP imploded. It's the PBros that are the money guys to start with.

Quoted from dung:

To date with remakes we have seen BBB which sunk Gene Cunningham and required multiple people to bail out the limited production, using a lot of pre-existing parts. We have seen Chicago Coin which has remade games where a lot of it was already existing and overtime they have introduced changes. So, no let's put this stupid question to bed because after over a year of idiotic, unfounded, bullshit rumors we still haven't seen this game remade in any form let it go.

You're lumping all projects together without looking at how they are different. Gene was a garage operation. Chicago Gaming has been very successful because they run like a legitimate company. PBros are not hobbyists with dreams of granduer of starting a pinball company in their backyard.

#27915 5 months ago
Quoted from dung:

Dude, you have a whole lot of enthusiasm and very little touch with reality.
The switches sink into their sockets and stop detecting the ball. They do this on full throttle as well. Its a terrible design.
Software guys are not cheap. We get paid well. PBbros don't have money. They have been teasing various ideas for two years now.
Lumping together? No, I am talking about remakes. There is a reason there are so few and yet everyone says the demand is so high. We have two examples and only two for a reason. PBbros don't have the money. They couldn't keep alien in production, they don't have the funds to restart it. They need an angel investor and after 2 years none have surfaced.
So, instead of dirtying up this thread with another rehash take it to one of the rumor threads.

I think you are missing the key point that PBros ARE the money guys.

They didn't keep Alien in production because HWP the company was FUBAR - not because PBros didn't have money. They crafted the scheme to move the assets to their entity and charge back to the remaining HWP to dump the liabilities while holding onto the real assets. PBros didn't run out of money. HWP ran out of money and PBros restructured the company to protect the assets and give HWP a very short runway. HWP choked out and PBros were setup to let HWP slough off and die.

And pinball software guys are cheap - they are mostly passion people. They aren't making the money they would be in tech.

#27919 5 months ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

And PB was so smart w so much money, and so involved in actually making games that they let Heighway tank, so they could hord the assets, not be able to support the current small community, and sell pieced together LE's out of the remaining parts from the trailers that were also part of the liquidation?

Where you do you come up with any of those things from what I said?

Sorry you don't like hearing something other than sunshine about your favorite project - but that's what happened at the end. You can hate on PBros for their choices - but that's what happened. I'm not praising them, I'm pointing out what happened.

Quoted from MK6PIN:

Brilliant (James Bond stuff). PB got what they could when the company was over and did the best they could with it.

This statement ignores the reorg that happened *before* HWP was allowed to burn up. That's why all this stuff was in PBros' hands and not liquidated by a defunk HWP. Sorry you didn't digest what was happening.

Quoted from MK6PIN:

Please take this to the speculation thread as dung suggested (where it belongs). You've lost any merit w me calling the games in need of a total do over, calling the cabinets cardboard, and comparing to JPop

Again you twist and say things I didn't say. I didn't say it was 'in need of a total do over' - stop making crap up. I said it needed an overhaul - as in fixing the stuff that needed fixing! And yes.. that garbage cabinet is one of the things that needs changing. MDF panels that break... sections routed way too thin (like the edge above the side inserts. The what... like 6 different keyed locks? The head is straight up home brew and the sides of the cabinet are vunerable... and the MDF sucks. Sorry you don't like your baby being called ugly - doesn't make it not.

Quoted from MK6PIN:

Disrespectful to the game itself, the people that put in selfless time on it, then have it fall short before it crossed the line for whatever reason - that would be money and proper management, period. They had no $$$ to put the right people in place, underestimated the demand for this title, and folded. That's it.

Disrespectful? I think you're overly defensive. Joe seems fine when I talk to him face to face about the game... and was right there as we setup his game. We speak honestly about the game and the journey. I love his game... but HWP was a shitshow.. no qualms about it... and it starts and largely ends with Andrew.

#27921 5 months ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Was a week 1 adopter, and didn't miss much, including the Skype calls near the end. I just don't name drop to validate my existence.

I only bring it up when some people try to discredit me and attack me when they are the ones without a clue of what I know or what I've done.

Quoted from MK6PIN:

Your information and insight on game shortcomings are worthless here

Well good to see that's how you handle people you don't want to face what they have to say. Run away to private threads/sites if you want to be able to control what views are allowed.

Why the interest? Simply the information being released. PBros have been seen shopping this around for along time... based on their actions of late it sounds like they are trying to draw attention to it. Curious to see if they can make a legit game. I want to see Alien in a reliable form and I want more people to get to play it.

#27925 5 months ago
Quoted from dung:

The money guys that couldn't afford to keep heighway in business. The money guys that are floating ideas to change the cabinet. Change the pf to a standard width. IE do whatever they can to cut costs, because they cannot afford to build it. Just stop, great enthusiasm, but talking out of your ass

This coming from the guy who just tried to tell us he knows exactly the motivation of individuals you've never said a word to based on absolutely nothing.. and actually flies counter to the known history. Who is the one talking out of their ass here?

You've repeatedly made statements that are just bullshit and try to run me off? Whatever... dung is a good name for this.

Quoted from dung:

That is fine, but when people come in here to read about the actual game that exists they have dig through post after post of this drivel. It gets really old. How about we stick to the game that exists and you can go play in fantasy land elsewhere.

Scroll back dude.. I wasn't the one who brought it up.

3 weeks later
#28164 4 months ago
Quoted from Faust:

There are still things that can/should be improved (for example some bugs and making use of shaker effects in the game). For sure their intent is for now to not allow any more code updates (in favor of the re--release).

Best thing people can do is document and reproduce the bugs. Create a central tracking of them and cross reference between each other. Instead people just talk generic about defects being a problem. That doesn’t help it actually get fixed or give an accurate view of how bad the problem is.

Coders love their babies. Make it easy to do things and good things are easier to happen.

#28210 4 months ago
Quoted from adamross:

Upper right flipper only works half the time. Any tips on what might be causing greatly appreciated!

Like works... stops working.. then starts working again?

This sounds like the old problem with the overvoltage circuits on the IO board.

#28222 4 months ago
Quoted from rai:

Any owners could you say how the rules stack up and compare to (similar) for example Stern Star Trek (or another game that it would be comparable to)?
I said ST as an example because it seems similar in that it has 2 movies and it takes scenes from the movie and makes them into modes you progress through.
ST has 6 movie scenes but each one is divided into 3 so that in a way it's 18 with 3 mini wizards and 3 multiball modes. I like ST has a lot of modes but the mini wizards are not super interesting more like collect jackpots.
Alien has 4+1 each movie plus 5 multiball modes. On the surface it seems like Alien is not as deep (not as many missions as ST mainly because ST has scenes broken into 3 levels so that gives ST 18 rather than 8 or 10 for Alien).
If ST is not a good comparison could you give a better game that compares to Alien.

Alien has some modifiers that Star Trek doesn't have (from the weapons). Star Trek has more modes/dots due to the 3 levels of missions.. but Alien probably arguably some more interesting qualifier shots/logic. Alien is initially harder for people due to having to make the inlanes to qualify the movie modes. There are several paths in front of you to pick from in alien besides just trying to start movie modes. Star trek is pretty much modes, vengence or klingnon mulitball.

I'd say Star Trek is more vanilla in terms of branching.. where most of the strategy in the game is in advanced people working out which modes or level3 modes they want to pursue to lock in those shot boosters. It has scoring strategies, but I think most games play out the same way. Try to complete a lot of modes, get MB when convenient, dabble in vengence when you need to.

Alien rewards you for stacking multiballs, has the main movie modes, but has other action in at least 3-4 other areas. I think most people feel they have 'alot to discover' in alien. Ferret is really a rule/scoring monk... so he puts a lot of thought and effort into the game play. I don't think you'd be disappointed as long as you are the type that can deal with 'there is more than one way to play this thing...'

#28226 4 months ago
Quoted from rai:

That sounds great. Thanks for taking the time to explain that.

Maybe Ferret will give his more informed take... since he owns star trek too and he is usually very selective in what games they keep in the house.

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