(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24,271 posts
  • 981 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 hours ago by nwpinball
  • Topic is favorited by 262 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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Topic index (key posts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post #13008 Andrew reveals the LE artwork and ramp installation in an alien day video Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

Post #13013 Andrew confirms LE art is finally approved by fox Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

Post #13022 Andrew explains the artist difference for the LE backglass Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

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

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

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#792 4 years ago

I don't know, the playfield looks a little bare, the art needs some work and the sling shots seem weak.

This is Pinside, someone had to say it.

#796 4 years ago

Interesting and different layout. Really looking forward to seeing how it all comes together and playing it when it comes out.

6 months later
#1809 3 years ago
Quoted from sven:

Though I applaud Heighway for their business, their first game and their plans with the kits and Alien coming up, I disagree: both Full Throttle and Alien were announced for 'release' at an unrealistic date (beginning of 2013 HFT and April 2015 Alien).

One concern I have when I see any manufacturer that is so far off in their release estimates is the unexpected hit on their resources.

If they really expected to release FTH at the beginning of 2013, then it must be tough to absorb the extra 2 years of salaries and other expenses needed to keep the business running.

When they announced Alien would be released in April 2015 at the October 2014 Expo (only 7 months) I just shook my head in bewilderment as they hadn't even shipped FTH yet. It wasn't their first game so shouldn't they know better?

Still, they are getting FTH out and that is a huge accomplishment as the other boutique failures have shown us.

As long as a company is not out to scam us, I trust that they are working hard to produce the game they promised. Communication may help us feel better about our pre-order, but in the end, the proof is in the final product.

#1857 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Eh. This is Stern's moment, no real reason to try and cut in on it.

Are you saying you don't want to draw the zombie hoard away from its current distraction?

#1871 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Right now Heighway is simply offering more for your money than Stern. They don't have a cheaper Pro option, it's true. If that's your price point go Stern. But look at the GOT Pro. It's pretty sad without that upper playfield, it's like a whole different game. How is the code going to work across these two models? The Pro doesn't feel like the one to pick here.

All great points Aurich and sounds so similar to the old Stern vs Woz comparisons. However, the "Bill of Materials" argument fails for a large contingent of buyers who place theme, flow and fun above content. I think it's easier to make simple games like Iron Man have that fast, in your face action that many people enjoy, which fits well with Stern's lower BOM, popular themed machines.

Let me add that I think it takes great passion on the part of the designers to make a pinball machine that excels in every category (rules, art, sound and gameplay). As such, I'm really looking forward to you guys knocking Alien out of the park!

#1883 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I think the difference is that WOZ was truly trying to do something new. And I think they did. Thing is, it was a "different" kind of game, and not everyone really likes it.
Alien has 4 flippers, but they all have real shots. We have magnets, and drop targets, and a spinner, and custom molded pops, and LCDs, and RGB lights and all that good stuff WOZ has, even a widebody. But we're not trying to play like a modern EM. We have real ramps. We have flow. Ask anyone who's played Full Throttle if it's a slow game because it's a wide body.

I think once you get away from the typical fan layout you're going to have a "different" kind of game by today's standards. I prefer a game that's loaded with stuff so I'm excited by your description of Alien.

The Ritchie type flow fest is very popular today and I like the smooth feel of hitting shots on the fly and the sheer joy of comboing ramps that type of game provides. I also enjoy the more cerebral Lawlor stop and go style in games like TZ that seems to have fallen out of favor.

To me WOZ is more on the Lawlor side but I wouldn't classify it as a "modern EM" (and I own and enjoy EM's). An EM evokes images of slow floaty gameplay, underpowered flippers, overly random and simple rules. WOZ is not like this.

I guess my point is Alien's layout is different enough that people will need to see it in action.

From what I've seen so far:

Theme - Nailed
Art - Very hopeful with you working on it (I have your Shadow kit)
Playfield layout - very interesting
Sound - ?
Rules - ?

#1918 3 years ago

The more I look at the playfield, the more I like it. Aurich, is the right shot below the upper flipper labeled "N" an orbit that goes all the way around to the left orbit labeled "C"?

1 month later
#2412 3 years ago

I was a little underwhelmed when I saw the first images from the presentation, but the detail in the border on the later images really adds to the overall look. Well done! All it needs is a little bevel and emboss on the logo and it will be perfect.

2 months later
#3667 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I just think it will end up costing you more if you spread it out. Shipping if nothing else. And if you have to swap ramps to get the fiber optic version? Or if it requires parts and tools, or whatever, it's gonna be way easier to get it from the factory installed. One way or another you're gonna have to install things you order later.
That's my thought process at least.

Makes sense to me. I would expect there to be enough separation between the LE and the Standard (other than art), otherwise people could just switch over and buy the pieces individually.

#3824 3 years ago

Looking forward to seeing this populated. It's a different look for playfield art. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but without the usual bold black outlines (keylines?) the playfield has a somewhat muted look to me. Will be interesting to see how the LCD ties things together.

Really like all the inserts to track progress instead of leaving it up to the LCD. Also like the detailed insert graphics.

As others have mentioned, the flame trail style and having it extend through the planet seems out of place. The top of the playfield (above the green alien) looks empty, most notably around the pop bumpers. Is this visible when the playfield is populated?

I don't have a problem with the various objects floating above the space/planet background.

All in all, a good effort.

#3940 3 years ago

One thing that sticks out in the playfield art/layout mock-up is the empty black about mid LCD down to the scanner. Sure seems like that area could be used for something interesting even if not too close to the screen.

#3953 3 years ago
Quoted from PBFan:

I am sure Aurich will give much of the criticism some of the merit it may deserve but I wish people would not attack (the art or the artist) because it does not suit their own personal vision.

I think it's possible to judge the artwork as it sits (according to personal preferences) without having any preconceived expectations.

#3955 3 years ago

Does anyone know what the image at the top of the playfield is and how it fits in with the blood splatter around the pop bumper holes?

#4129 3 years ago

I also like the inclusion of fan elements like the patches but think they don't fit with the playfield art and would be better placed elsewhere, like on the plastics or apron.

To those who say it's a done deal, Aurich has repeatedly said he has to make changes so why not give him suggestions? It's easy to get lost in the details of a project. I think it's helpful to get inputs from people who are not uber fans and who are not so close to the project.

If I remember correctly, he also said FOX approved the playfield on the first pass, so it doesn't sound like there has been a lot of back-and-forth to deal with at this point.

I have a hard time understanding the desire some have to cut corners just to get something quickly. For a great theme like Alien and at a price of $6k to $8k, why not make another pass if it greatly improves the look of the game? What's a little delay versus looking at elements on the playfield that are a bit of an eyesore IMO for the next 20 years?

I expect there are other aspects of the game that will require more time anyway if the tweaks to the artwork require going through the approval process one more time. Is it likely FOX will have a problem if all Aurich does is remove the cartoony elements and patches as voodle demonstrated?

#4136 3 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

...all before March when there was a tentative possibility of a complete prototype.

I would expect them to make layout and art changes after their first prototype.

#4142 3 years ago
Quoted from accidental:

All these suggestions of removing accompanying insert graphics are foolish IMO.

This is what I love about opinions. Aurich can take them all in, incorporate the ones he likes (if any) and disregard the rest. I don't see a down side to this process and it could lead to a better machine.

#4143 3 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

yet also, "this is final for the most part."

I take this to mean he is not going to go into an entirely new direction but can make changes.

#4185 3 years ago

Aurich, I listened to Nates podcast and better understand your vision. If you lighten the black area around the LCD, will the underlying rocks show up? I would not have noticed the view looking out onto the horizon if you hadn't told me.

#4243 3 years ago

I think having the LCD in the middle of the playfield makes the artwork focus different than on other machines. Since the LCD can show characters and clips, maybe having the playfield artwork act as a more generic backdrop is more appropriate.

#4288 3 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Secondly, we will officially announce what the situation is regarding actors/callouts/music etc... closer to the release. The reason for this is that it is an ongoing process with our licensor and therefore it is not something that we can comment on at this point.

If this stuff isn't locked down yet, I'm adjusting my expectations to the LCD and sound implementation not being built around movie clips like the Hobbit, as I think that would need to be known early in the design process before you could move forward with storylines, scripting, etc.. As someone else mentioned, the result may be a more generic space game set in the Alien(s) universe (similar to TWD).

If that is the case, they may lose some of the most ardent fans of the movie but the game could still be excellent. With Aurich and Andrew being such huge Alien(s) fans, I expect they'll do the best they can with what they have.

Aurich or Andrew, please correct me if my speculations are way off base here.


Quoted from Aurich:

We're not making a generic game.
And of course we have movie clips. Right now the issue is simply that rights are in negotiations, and so until that's over we can't show anything, promise anything etc that has actor likenesses. They own their own rights here, not Fox. We're working on it.

Thanks for the clarification.

#4310 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Here's the deal in a nutshell: the actors own their own likenesses. It's not in their movie contract. We can license the film, but we don't get them with it automatically. We have to ask them separately. That process is ongoing.

Aurich, one basic thing I don't understand. If you have license to a film but not the likenesses of it's actors, does that mean you can't use footage from the film that contains said actor without the actor's permission?

#4350 3 years ago

Aurich, since we're getting a glimpse into "how the sausage is made", can you share some of the ways you've been able to proceed with the design without knowing all the assets you will get?

#4450 3 years ago

What Aurich says:

"The honest answer is the actors are a separate negotiation, that's just the way the license game works. You're getting the behind the scenes story, which is that we're still in negotiations."

What some of us hear:

Negotiations = nothing finalized = possibility of no actors in the game. Commence sky falling.

#4487 3 years ago

I would expect the more powerful weapons to kill the aliens faster, even more so if they were the right weapon for the right mode. If so there would be incentive to collect the correct weapon before or during a specific mode.

I always liked the arcade games that had "power ups" to collect.

3 weeks later
#4668 3 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

"this mission costs a trillion dollars" and later the pilots are betting "credits" as to whether or not they'll find anything.

Quoted from benheck:

What about the biologist who is scared of a dead alien, then tries to touch a living one after getting lost with the guy in charge of making maps?

Quoted from benheck:

BUT how did the creature grow that big so fast inside a 90 lb woman? And then grow even bigger locked in a chamber with nothing to eat?

You're not supposed to ask these probing questions. Just watch the pretty (or not so pretty) pictures and enjoy the show.

#4780 3 years ago

I think the violet up top looks much better than what was there before. I also like that it looks like the blood splatters were removed from around the pop bumpers.

Still don't care for the band of black extending across the playfield above the scanner. All in all, a very dark playfield thus far but perhaps it will provide good contrast to the inserts, the LCD and the rest of the stuff on top.

Looking forward to seeing the final version populated.

#4799 3 years ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

I think it's pointless to be critical when all you have to offer is that you want something different.

Aurich, I think you said previously that the view looking at the planets was intended to be a horizon shot looking through the surrounding rocks.

If the photos convey the way the playfield actually looks, there doesn't appear to be enough definition in the surrounding rocks to see this intent. Perhaps enhancing the lighting transition from the black above the scanner to the edge of the rocks below the horizon, to make the rocks show up more, would better serve your purpose.

#4805 3 years ago
Quoted from jsyjay:

I know the playfield is all we have to go on at the moment but have some patience...

What fun is that?

#4830 3 years ago

Hmmm....I wonder if they got the proper licensing?

1 week later
#4938 3 years ago

I know this is the Alien thread but thought the chromed out FT looks so nice, just imagine something similar on Alien.

I didn't like the look of the old bezel but think the chromed one actually adds cosmetic value.


1 week later
#5067 3 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

$1500 Tied up on thin air, that's my thought. Why tie up any money based on pre-order history? Just buy it when it's available or at the very least place $1500 down once an actual complete game is shown?

It's a purely psychological thing but I like being invested in these long running projects. It makes all the reveals more exciting to me and I don't have a problem if the games take longer than the company anticipates (I expect it).

Since I can get a refund if I don't like the way the game is progressing or ends up, I don't see much risk unless the company goes belly up.

If you want an LE like GB with Stern's model, there's such a frenzy that you have to commit to purchase solely based on the way the game looks. I can't help but remember a similar frenzy with Hulk LE and Wolverine LE. But then there's BIBLE and TRONLE. It's a roll of the dice.

At least with Alien we will have time to take more of the game in before sending final payment.

#5069 3 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

I still would NEVER do it because I need to play a pin before buying, but for the preorder crowd, thats at least a reasonable number.

I don't necessarily need to play it but I need to at least see gameplay videos, hear what it sounds like and have an idea of the rules (unless it's a programmer I consistently like). These days, it can take years for code to make a mediocre game good, so if my initial impressions are marginal, I can always get a refund and wait to see if the game develops enough to purchase.

#5110 3 years ago

I'm thinking might as well pre-order the LE. If you don't think they differentiate it enough to make it worthwhile, you can always downgrade to whatever model looks to be the better value and pocket the difference.

2 months later
#5954 2 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

Perused the entirety of the last few pages looking for the exciting Alien news...

And now you've just contributed to duping the next guy........and so have I.

#5972 2 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

But old EMs don't have the technology, and that's where they fall behind.

Time for someone to take one of these new fangled pinball control systems and make an El Dorado 2.0.

Edit: Just biding time until the next Alien information. (to sort of bring it back on topic )

#5979 2 years ago

This topic is going to be on fire pretty soon.


2 weeks later
#6404 2 years ago
Quoted from accidental:

The above is what I'm thinking. If you had a way to pick a profile or input your initials before you start playing, that would make it possible for the achievements/goals/challenges to be tracked per-user.

I agree that an achievements system could add fun to a game. You might not even need to track per-user.

Just list all the achievements gained at the end of the game. I see people taking cell phone pictures all the time of their final score. They could likewise keep track of their achievements.

Or, similar to JJP, a QR code could also be provided to track your results.

#6413 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'd much rather see say Life Cycle Combo Champ, and you gotta beat the current champ's number of combos to get your name up, than getting an award for just making the Life Cycle Combo.

The difference between a leaderboard and an achievement list is that you don't have to be one of the "best" to get an achievement.

One problem I see with newer players is they have no idea what to do and often get disheartened when they see their score compared to the scores on the leaderboard.

Maybe achievement awards would help them feel more successful and alert them that there are things to try for in a game. They might not know how they got the achievement the first time but knowing it exists may make them actually try for it the next time. I think having specific goals are essential to long term pinball fun.

Quoted from Aurich:

Making people log in, or enter their initials or whatever before the game even starts is unappealing as a pinball concept to me.

Agreed. Would it be very difficult from a programming standpoint to keep track of specific goals achieved then perhaps display a cool icon and description of each achievement at the end of the game? More complicated would be to display the awards as they were gained with maybe a voice telling the player what they got.

#6427 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

So there are already going to be things like that, where you're doing little mini things out of modes, that will reward you chasing them.

Sounds good.

Something like the "After Action Report" above could also be tied into giving the player a rank at the end of the game. For example, you could work your way up the ladder of characters in the order in which they were killed base on the number of achievements you got.

It looks like there is going to be a lot in the game so I'm sure it's not needed but since we're just throwing around ideas, I think it could be fun to have another way to approach the game other than score and story based game progression.

I used to play "fruit ninja" and there were all kinds of fun side objectives (like hit only apples, or avoid all pears etc...) that were fun to attempt when you felt like a break from going for the high score.

#6460 2 years ago

One thing in David's presentation that raised a flag for me was his comment about how they're still working on getting sound and video assets from Fox.

Seems like it would be difficult to plan a cohesive audio and visual package when you don't know what you're going to have to work with.

Any comment on how you guys are dealing with this Aurich?


2 months later
#7079 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

The race is on to get the first 2 pre-production games built by a week today.

The ball guides should be ready by Mon/Tue.
The wireform ramps should be ready by mid-week
The new Xeno mech model and jumping facehuggers are due to arrive by mid week.
The left ramp (metal), reverso and shooter bracket are due Tue/Wed. The middle ramp is tight, but is being pushed for Friday.

Looking forward to seeing the game Andrew and like your optimism but somehow I don't think all of those things are going to come together by next week. Best of Luck though.

#7086 2 years ago
Quoted from Stones:

Good to see you have the inside scoop. This shit is why JJP, Stern, and others dont post on Pinside anymore

Because I said I thought it was doubtful all those things would come together in a single week?

I fully support Andrew and am in on an LE. I guess it's just my way of lowering expectations so there is less grumbling when timelines are missed.

3 weeks later
#7377 2 years ago

I think a black nickel option would look great on an Aliens LE and be more compatible with Full Throttle and future games.


#7401 2 years ago
Quoted from Zampinator:

I don't know the exact specifications on the difference, I believe Aurich does, hopefully he'll see this & chime in.

I am a little concerned that the lighting on FullT is daisy chained like WOZ so if an LED or board fails, everything downstream goes dark. For those with FullT, how robust has the lighting been? Can a bad LED or board be jumped to keep the game mostly operational?

#7411 2 years ago
Quoted from bobukcat:

Huh, I didn't realize they changed the GI in Hobbit and agree the effects in WOZ are fantastic. I'm guessing this was to address the complaints about the dark playfield but think they could have found a better fix. Can't wait to see some Alien lighting action!!

They changed the whole lighting system in the Hobbit to get away from daisy chaining the lights (like on a Christmas tree). Maybe it was just too much wiring to connect all the GI in parallel too.

Also, light failures on WOZ were usually due to driver IC and connector failures rather than LEDs going bad.

#7434 2 years ago

I will never pay those ridiculous prices for a machine......oh wait, their making Blade Runner? That's different.

Given the large pinball population there always seems to be enough fans (with deep pockets) of any good theme to sell out of LE's, super LE's, etc... Doesn't seem to matter much what's in the game or the price.

1 week later
#7574 2 years ago
Quoted from Strohz:

The last post by Heighway indicated, "As soon as we receive approval from FOX, we begin production immediately. Parts orders will be waiting for that green light. The plan is to begin production in September and to begin shipping games by the end of October." Which to me means production probably won't start in September if they are still seeking approvals?
Thanks for clarifying.

Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Clearly we have learnt some lessons about the licensing process. So what does this mean for the timeline of this game? Everyone involved with this game is in agreement that we are going to target the UK Pinball Party, on 21st-23rd August 2015 (at Heighway Pinball’s factory in Merthyr Tydfil, UK) as the global launch of this game.

Things always seem to take much longer than expected so I don't get too disappointed when stated timelines aren't met. In the end I just hope for a killer product.

#7638 2 years ago
Quoted from karl:

I only down vote when someone is saying something stupid, disrespectful or stating something for a fact when it is clearly wrong. And even in does circumstances I try to keep it at a minimum.

Me too, accept in rare cases like my above downvote to Wickerman's post above which just struck me as a humorous appropriate response.

That being said, a downvote is supposed to mean "disagreement" so I try not to take offense when people downvote my posts.

3 weeks later
#8849 2 years ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

In the future if you buy the latest playfield kit that requires a better processor than its predecessor, the kit is going to include the newest processor (it has to) and that associated extra cost will be included in the cost of the playfield purchase.

I'm thinking the issue may be that down the road new FT machines will have the updated cpu so if those buyers get an Alien kit they won't need a new cpu.

#8910 2 years ago

Raises hand. The perfect place to put pinball related stuff. I also have an RFM and keep the Episode 1 playfield stored underneath it.

#8911 2 years ago

Whatever you say Kaneda.

4 months later
#11657 2 years ago

I really like the way the game is shaping up. Great Job team Heighway!

One thing I miss is a shot that consistently sets up the upper right flipper like in High Speed. This is especially important with the significance of the lock ramp. The upper left flipper sort of does this since the pop bumpers aren't very active. That might not be the case if the pop bumpers are more sensitive.

Perhaps disabling the pops when the ball comes out of the Mystery shot for a few seconds will allow the upper left flipper to feed the upper right flipper.

Edit: Could even make it so the pop bumpers are only deactivated while the left flipper button is held after the mystery shot, so the player can choose to feed the upper flipper or go for the pops.

2 months later
#14996 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I've always thought that motorsport themes were a bad idea, because there's something about them that really turns off non-fans. Like some themes might not be magical or special for you, but you don't actively dislike them and will buy them still. But racing and motorsports just seems to be real love/hate. If you're not into them you want nothing to do with them.

I'm not into motosports at all but think they work okay for a theme.

Quoted from Aurich:

On paper it's a game with a solid layout, shoots fast, especially for a widebody, LCD display, RGB lighting, all kinds of stuff that was more exotic feeling at the time. The oft-requested hand drawn art and unlicensed them! If the theme was different I feel like everything would have come out differently. But people saw Moto GP and backed away

For me, Heighway's misstep was announcing Aliens with such an aggressive production date before Full Throttle was even shipping. With their modular system it made more sense to buy Aliens first then add the less desirable Full Throttle kit after. As the Aliens date kept getting pushed out, so did the FT kit purchase.

#15005 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

True. Alien was announced Oct 2014 at Expo, and I received the first Full Throttle August 2015.
Some of this is real head scratcher stuff, and why Heighway is in the shape its in. There's no question mistakes were made.

Not to mention, they expected Aliens to start production in April 2015 when it was first announced!

#15007 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I think starting off unlicensed is smart. Spooky did it with AMH before RZ, American Pinball is sort of doing it with Houdini, in that it's a name people know but they still have free reign, no studio looking over their shoulder etc.

I think one of the biggest problems with an unlicensed theme for a new company is that people have to play the game and the game has to be good before it sells. People will also be reluctant to buy from an unproven company, so the company has to be able to self finance and withstand this delay until money starts coming in.

From what I've seen, one exception to this is limited games which people may pre-purchase due to perceived collectibility or fear of missing out.

#15079 1 year ago

IMO Aliens still looks like a bargain compared to a Stern premium. They just need to get them production worthy.

Locking in the price is the only clear benefit of pre-ordering to me.

JJP started WOZ at $6500 for the ECLE with planned increases in the first year to $7000 and $7500, finally topping out at $9000 towards the end of availability.

That price break came with a bunch of ups and downs and delays and risk.

I really hope Heighway can weather this storm for both the buyers and the people who devoted so much time to getting it to this point. The game looks great.

#15156 1 year ago
Quoted from SadSack:

If he signed the papers and said AMFYOYO and can no longer be bothered to any significant degree, then he has decided to sink the project.

Except these guys have supposedly been involved with the project for quite some time. It's possible they have a good understanding of the current state of the project and how to move it forward without Andrew's help or interference.

3 weeks later
#15474 1 year ago
Quoted from SadSack:

There will always be guys who really don't care about the price other than it being too low to brag about.

Yep, that's my problem. The manufacturers just aren't raising their prices high enough to continue impressing my friends.

Was really disappointed there wasn't a $15k Star Wars SLE.

1 month later
#15845 1 year ago

I always figured I'd wait to see what the LE looked like once all the features were solidified. If I didn't think it was worth the extra money I could roll back to an SE.

Sounds like some of the LE features are still in flux. Perhaps Heighway could give pre-order buyers the option to keep their LE or go to an SE with select options at the original prices and refund the difference.

2 weeks later
#16100 1 year ago

Remember when JJP was getting the factory ready for WOZ? A lot goes into setting up a production line for pinball machines.

fw_jersey_jacks_pinball_fortune_0185 (resized).jpg
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1 week later
#16290 1 year ago

Not too long ago buyers were anticipating getting no machine and having to scramble to recover any of their deposits.

How times have changed. I know people want to get what was promised but what if the new owners said they can't discount the preorder LEs a significant amount and still stay in business?

#16385 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

Can someone explain what is included in LE vs standard? I've searched online and really found nothing that is current.

Features haven't been 100% finalized yet on the LE.

I think the features on the Standard haven't changed from what was listed.

2 months later
#18626 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

whatever 'droves' they had sold, they have refunded quite a number of them; many who are so upset that they will not be back to purchase even if the game is made in numbers.

I'm one of the earlier buyers who got his deposit refunded from Heighway shortly before Andrew left.

At the time I was disappointed more than upset, and relieved to have gotten my money back.

The game is looking good, but it's that feeling of dodging a bullet that keeps me from jumping back in (especially at the higher price point). I will wait until both the game and the company have shown themselves to be reliable.

Still, I realize the company won't succeed if everyone is "waiting", so I appreciate those who are willing to take the chance now.

I wish everyone the best in getting their games, parts or refunds. I'll see where things are in a couple of years and reevaluate.

3 weeks later
#19069 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

That said...just curious, is this really your only/first game?

Quoted from VividPsychosis:

When I got woz, I had to adjust 1 magnet. When I got ghostbusters I didn’t have to do a thing, when I got mmr I didn’t have to touch a thing, both 100 percent.

1 month later
#19723 1 year ago
Quoted from Pale_Purple:

I think even with their current issues if they were more transparent and communicated more it would make things a lot better.

I hear this sentiment a lot but doubt that it's true.

I suspect that if Heighway (and other struggling manufacturers) were truly transparent and communicated more, people would run for the hills.

From the manufacturer's point of view it's probably better to let people fill in the blanks with their own imagination rather than lie, string them along or confirm their fears. Communication can wait until there is something positive to share.

#19782 1 year ago

The original flyer for the Standard said "Game Subject to Change by Production". My expectation was that specifications were even less set in stone for the LE when I preordered.

I figured if I didn't think the final LE features were worth the extra cost, I could drop back to a Standard. Having experienced pricing increases with JJP throughout the long development time of WOZ, I expected price/value would likely be in flux for the Alien LE vs Standard and that the pre-order price for the LE might still be better than a future price of a Standard, even if it ended up without all the listed features.

For HW, it's balancing the risk of losing customers by not giving the expected value vs making enough money to stay in business.

I don't think many of us thought the lighted ramps warranted a $800 upcharge on the Standard. My pre-order was dropped during the turmoil with Andrew but I would have been happy with the 27" monitor upgrade in their stead.

#19837 1 year ago

When SkitB announced EOD I saw it as a positive sign, even though it meant they were diverting some resources away from Predator.

Announcing and showing progress on a second title told me they were looking to stay in business past Predator. Didn't really want to buy a machine from a one and done manufacturer, due to lack of future support.

I agree with a previous poster that a viable manufacturer has to be working on the next game while producing the current game due to the long development cycles.

No more pre-orders for me though. I think in the current climate, if they are relying on pre-orders for the next game to stay in business, they are done.

Maybe announcing the next game could be an attempt to attract investors.

1 month later
#20431 1 year ago
Quoted from Durzel:

From the perspective of Heighway 2.0 - would you either give a pin away to someone you have seen no money from, or give it to the person who has actually paid you money?

I would rather "sell" it for the most money I can get. Which would be to someone who hasn't given me anything yet and is paying the current top price.

Quoted from FightNightFZ:

Thanks everyone! I’ll wait for now. I don’t want to line jump anyone, I agree that it’s bad karma. I went back and read a bunch of this thread, ouch.

I don't think it's bad karma in this case. If the company is barely treading water, new money in may be the only thing that keeps them afloat and helps them get to a point where they can fulfill older orders.

Caveat emptor though. No guarantee money directly to Heighway will result in a game so use a credit card and make sure you're covered.

#20438 1 year ago
Quoted from Jarbyjibbo:

I know this isn't the case, at least from the response I received to my reply to their offer. They are offering it to me shipped direct from them and as long as I don't want to change any options, shortly after payment. It sounds like all these emails recently received are pins on the line and ready to be wrapped up now.

In that case, ask for COD.

1 week later
#20488 1 year ago

It's probably a fuse.

(sorry for your troubles, just couldn't resist)

1 week later
#20637 1 year ago
Quoted from Durzel:

The boat isn't leaving until sufficient people have paid in full, and I doubt many people with any clue about the situation are keen to pay in full knowing how flaky the promises are. Bit of a chicken & egg situation.

I thought there were a lot of people who have already paid in full with Heighway.

#20708 12 months ago
Quoted from nman:

In all seriousness, I don't care if there are issues any more. I'd be happy to just pay the remainder for any machine at this point.

I'm sure Heighway would be happy to take your money on a game that hasn't been fully paid for yet. You'll get your game on Tuesday.

#20813 12 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I thought people were doing it now. They are buying machines, and still want them, even though they know they will not function 100%

That brings up a good question. For those people who have money with Cointaker, would you prefer a refund or a game, on the condition that Cointaker is not responsible for any warranty work?

#20840 12 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I only meant that maybe some people would want the game bad enough to take it as is. I'm sure CT could sell the games with problems to someone who would love to work on it. Just a thought...er, I guess not a good one....

I think it's a very good thought Ted! If this really is the death knell for Heighway, I expect people will be lining up to snag one of the existing games. And rightly so, by all accounts it's an excellent game and the rarity will make it very valuable. People will figure out how to keep them running. This is no box of lights like Magic Girl.

Quoted from legionsoup:

This is the situation that I'm in, and I'm waiting to see if I can get the game. Seems like if something breaks (or doesn't work out of the box), people here have shown they will help fellow Alien owners.
The only way I'll get my money back is if Cointaker calls or emails me and tells me they decided they aren't going to take the risk and cancels all orders. I pre ordered through them last summer, and paid in full maybe 6 or so weeks ago.

Cointaker is in weird predicament. They could probably buy the container full and sell them as is at a nice profit if Heighway goes under. However, they're smart not to take shipment on the games if they have to support them in the normal way as a distributor.

#21011 11 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

I'm pulling an NDA from now on when I don't feel like explaining anything.

Great idea, I'm going to try that on my wife.

"I'd love to tell you why I didn't come home last night but I can't because of an NDA."

#21242 11 months 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.

I think this supports Forceflow's assertion that factual information from a known pinsider is allowed (regardless of negativivity), since you weren't moderated and your post wasn't deleted.

I appreciated your post back then. I had a deposit down and it was a piece of real information to consider versus all the speculation.

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?

I agree, we should. However, from a forum perspective, if Pinside allows shill accounts to slander a company the potential negative impact is much greater (ie. the company folding) versus Pinside not restraining fanboyism where maybe someone is influenced to pre-order a machine.

With hindsight it's easy to determine what was or wasn't real. In my opinion it's up to each of us to wade through all the information, speculation, opinions, etc.. , and make up our own minds. Caveat Emptor.

#21622 11 months ago

I think we're giving up too soon. The new investors may still pull this one out once they reorganize under their new name.

Edit: Guess I should have added a winky emoticon.

#21665 11 months ago

The new/old investors had poor communication and some questionable tactics towards the end. Still, don't know if they deserve to be tarred and feathered.

Not sure if all the original buyers who wanted refunds got them, but certainly far more people got refunds or a game than if the new/old investors hadn't taken over and poured more money in.

Is there anyone who stayed in or jumped on board post Andrew without eyes wide open?

#21672 11 months ago

Sorry for your loss.

#21777 11 months ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Oh I totally believe that. Andrew probably just spoke to agent, got a figure and said, "Ahhh, we don't need her anyway!"

I wonder if she would be offended if she came across the machine and discovered she wasn't in it.

Little chance of that happening now.

#21897 11 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

How is there any other credible explanation?

Money grows on trees?

#21901 11 months 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.

People were questioning plenty. Sorry, I wasn't willing to hire a private investigator or forensic accountant in the UK to protect my $1500 deposit.

BTW my deposit was eventually refunded.

1 week later
#22064 11 months ago
Quoted from vid1900:

If anyone can't name 3 Iron Maiden songs, then you know they were home-schooled and their mom would not allow it......or they grew up listening to Michael Jackson
"Dude, who would win in a fight, Michael Jackson or Prince ????"

Couldn't name a single Iron Maiden song before the pin came out. Was never into heavy metal but listened to the the games entire playlist to see if I could tolerate their music. Sorry, couldn't, sounded like noise to me. Those who do enjoy IM are fortunate because they can get what looks to be an awesome pin.

Of course, as you point out, I did grow up in the Michael Jackson era so that could explain it . Not sure if I qualify as an "old geezer" yet.

Edit: Did the same thing when the Metallica pin came out and could live with those songs.

1 month later
#22547 9 months ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Everything that's on an LE can be re-created, beacons, powdercoat, side lit rails, and even the plaque.

The artwork on the translite and side panels is different but I like the artwork on the Standard better anyway. I think the reality is an Alien pinball in any form is a limited edition.

#22583 9 months ago

#228 LE blue has landed from Australia. No noticeable rough treatment in shipping.

Some blemishes on the glass frame powdercoat in the traditional lock bar area. LE # plastic mounted off center.

Had to bend targets below xeno head forward to prevent jaw from rubbing.

Revive and Scream lights were out, reseating connector fixed problem.

#22584 9 months ago
Quoted from billsfanmd:

I sometimes get an extend error. WHen I do shot test it sometimes goes all the way in other times stops randomly some where.

Perhaps the plastic gear is no longer glued to the shaft?

#22680 9 months ago

Maybe it's just me, but due to those who have lost money on this game, I cringe a little when I see people raving about the game, discussing mods and looking for repair information in this thread.

Would it be better to ask for repair advice in the thread below? It would help keep the information in one place too.


I think there are review threads too that could be added to.

#22682 9 months ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

We should leave this thread for complaining.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking.

#22687 9 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

We didn't work as hard as we did for years for people to pretend that the game we made doesn't exist.
If you're emotionally hurt over the whole thing I sure don't blame you, but just drain the thread and move on, don't tell people to not post about the game.

That's a good point too Aurich. Hmm....

Is moving the excitement of game ownership out of this thread and into others the same as pretending it doesn't exist?

You may be right, if other threads quickly fall off the front page and are lost.

#22736 9 months ago

Sorry to hear of your loss. Don't know about recourse and haven't heard of any active lawsuits. Estimate is between 120 and 200 games produced. Last I checked, Wayne (Ballypinball) in Australia has Standards for sale at $9k US in the marketplace.

1 week later
#22791 8 months ago
Quoted from frolic:

So what is the consensus on those last Alien machines that were shipped? Are they working/reliable?
From my observation it seems that they are, which makes it a bigger shame that they pulled the plug on everything.

So far the game has been working and reliable, but not a lot of games on it yet so too soon to know long term.

#22798 8 months ago

I haven't heard of anything other than acrylic for the plastics.

#22806 8 months ago

Has anyone tried putting mylar on the underside of the plastics?

#22808 8 months ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

That won't help.

If it doesn't help prevent breaking, wouldn't it keep the pieces together at least?

#22818 8 months ago
Quoted from WeirPinball:

I don't think protectors are the answer here - they won't fit with the plastics. We need a new plastic set as well

I was able to put plastic fender washers below the right slingshot plastic by using a technique Clay H. mentioned of inserting them between the star post and the post stud. I also added them to the inlane guide posts to keep the level constant. Perhaps the protectors can mount the same way.

Major question is which edges need to be protected? Take for example the pop bumper plastic below the right side of the Alien head. Since the acrylic is so brittle, which of the following is better?

1) The typical protector that extends beyond the plastic. This protects against edge strikes but creates a shelf that can be hit from below.
2) No protector. Edge is exposed but doesn't extend beyond the post.

Alien_Pop_Plasitc (resized).png

#22846 8 months ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

Has anybody had a chance to hook up an external sub? I got that polk audio 10" from Amazon for like 99.00. I think I just wire it to the leads on the existing woofer in the cabinet, + / -.. and let the power to the sub take care of the rest

Curious to see if you think the subwoofer adds much. As it is, I can feel the floor vibrate with the stock speakers on some of the low notes.

#22848 8 months ago

I already hear the game behind me rattle. Really fantastic sound.

#22894 8 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

In fact, this is a chance you bought this game. You are finally the best HP support with some other great persons of HP team. Thanks so much

Yes, much thanks to you, Timebandit, and the guys from the Weyland Yutani thread (Knockerlover and Pinbackpacker) for all the work you're doing sourcing or making replacement parts.

Also thanks to the remaining HP American team (Aurich, Ferret and BCD) and Ballypinball who continue to remain active in these threads offering support where they can.

#22909 8 months ago
Quoted from Nepi23:

Need some help. The wire that goes to the small screen on the playfield. It has come off from below the playfield (marked with yellow arrow) - where should one attach it under the playfield? The hole to the small screen has been marked with green arrow. Can you please show the correct place where to plug the wire with a picture? Thank you very much!
[quoted image]

Lower left corner.

IMG_20180810_211513181 (resized).jpgIMG_20180810_211559612 (resized).jpg
1 week later
#22959 8 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Who is selling cliffy for Alien?

The most recent games come with a Cliffy protector on the scoop. If you are getting an older game, you can order one from Cliffy. Though maybe someone more local to you also has them.


#23004 7 months ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Replacement LED boards are in production. Should be available from tomorrow.

That is too cool!

#23011 7 months ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Replacement LEDs built and tested. They will come in packs of 8 with the legs off. Can ship them flat inside a card as a letter like that. Keep postage down. [quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]


#23014 7 months ago
Quoted from Dee-Bow:

They are as big of a loser as Andrew IMO

They handed out a lot of refunds and made improvements to the game to get it where it is today before calling it quits.

IMO, they are no where near as big a loser as Andrew. Now if we're talking about money, then I suspect they're a bigger loser (lost more of their own funds).

#23018 7 months ago
Quoted from Dee-Bow:

ya..good point.. they did seem to try before getting in over their heads. Just disspaointed in how it turned out. Don't know how anyone could support their future endeavours tho.

Yeah, I'm disappointed too.

They might get support if they made everyone who lost money whole first, didn't ask for any pre-order money and produced a good product. We can be a pretty forgiving group when someone makes a real effort to correct past wrongs.

#23063 7 months ago
Quoted from TomDK:

Sling contacts is greaaaat ... now we need the clear 3D target on the list
I am still working on the whole plasticset in unbreakable VIVAK and not Plexi like original.
Printing on Vivak and lasering is tricky but possible. We have good files but even here we have to work on every single plastic and work on the edges, printer settings and laser. But ... it will go on ...
Picture: First test ....
[quoted image]

I'm also working with Pinbits here in the states to get a plastic protector set made. There is still enough thread for the nuts to grab, but they don't quite make it to the nylon locking portion. I ordered some thinner lock nuts that should work fine.

2 weeks later
#23191 7 months ago

I have all my shaker settings maxed out. I can feel it but it is very anemic, the rotation seems too slow.

#23198 7 months ago
Quoted from epotech:

Isnt there a setting for power? If you have one of the last ones with my shaker in then it would need to be maxed.

I do have one of the last ones and I think I have the power maxed out. Do you know what voltage it's running at and if the power is changed by adjusting the pulse width?

#23217 7 months ago
Quoted from angusb:

Daniel at Free Play dropped me a note. It sounds like people saw the post above re his Alien parts and contacted him to buy product so he was pleased! In our chat Daniel also said - in case people are interested - that he understands that a German distributor (Vegas) has a couple of late production Aliens left for sale. Looking at the website https://vegas-store.de/shop/flipper/item/alien-le (and using google translate!) he seems to but I suspect anyone interested needs to be in contact with Vegas directly!

9995eu - VAT = 8000eu = $9400 US

Does anyone know if there are import duty charges on pinball machines shipped from Germany? There were none for machines shipped from Australia.

#23228 7 months ago

bcd Is there a way to tell what weapon(s) you have available during multiball and choose one?

#23231 7 months ago

If I remember correctly, when multiball is running the weapons display isn't shown. Is there a way to bring it back?

#23233 7 months ago
Quoted from bcd:

The mini display above the scoop shows the weapons during multiball. The backbox/playfield displays do not.


#23250 6 months ago
Quoted from Lamprey:

So, I got my Cliffy scoop protector the other day, so I'm installing that and upgrading the plastic xenomorph gear to the metal one, cleaning and mylaring.
So far so good. But, when the xenomorph extends it bumps the teeth on the lower jaw. Is there a way to adjust the jaw to open a bit further? I've run the calibration and other tests, but I don't see a way to adjust the jaw like I'd like. Do you have the manually, bend the wire that attaches to the servo?
Any help appreciated.

Did you check that the jaw isn't hitting the targets?

2 weeks later
#23398 6 months ago
Quoted from Ferret:

The 1.2 software includes an "Install Quaker" preset that adjusts the shaker settings to be better suited for the Quaker shaker (vs the Cointaker Red Tremor that was previously installed). I personally found that even with these settings, the effect of the Quaker is more subdued than that of the Red Tremor. Whether that's a good thing or not is a matter of opinion.

Does anyone know where to find the "Install Quaker" option?

#23419 6 months ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

Hey guys I adjusted all power supplies to US 110 or whatever, but my launcher still is weak. Keeps firing probably 4-5 times before ball finally makes it! Any other advice?

Could you describe the problem a little more?

1) Is it not making it to the launcher?
2) Is it launching but not making it up the wireform?
3) Is it launching and making it up the wireform but bouncing back?

#23421 6 months ago

I haven't examined that area but you might want to check that all the screws attaching the launcher to the playfield are tight.

#23449 5 months ago

Does it look like the plunger is striking the ball in the middle?

Did you try moving the coil manually to see if anything is binding?

You might try swapping the I/O board with one of other ones to see if that makes a difference. Be careful when removing and inserting the USB cable.

1 week later
#23488 5 months ago

I've hit the right facehugger (mini loop) with the left upper flipper but it's a tough shot.

The best way I hit the chest burster target is with the upper left flipper. It can also be made with the lower left flipper but it's a very tight shot.

On my machine, the metal guide leading to the chest burster target was directing the ball to the left of the target. This caused well hit shots from the upper left flipper to go too far to the left and miss the target. After removing the guide, elongating the holes with a dremel and repositioning the guide a little to the right, the shot works as expected and is much easier.

Alien Chestburster Guide Fix (resized).jpg

Alien Chestburster guide original (resized).jpg

#23507 5 months ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

The second part is more important for me as I think your ratio is wrong. I estimate that at least 80% of the balls coming from bumpers exit to left side and so only 20% to right side and UR flipper.

I haven't kept careful track but I think mine is closer to 50%. It makes it to the upper right flipper enough to not annoy me.

If I wanted to try and make it feed the upper right flipper more often, I would play with the sensitivity of one or more of the pop bumpers.

The chest burster shot can also feed it..

3 weeks later
#23587 4 months ago
Quoted from rlslick:

Question...has anyone experienced during game play where the upper right flipper stops working? After several seconds or more it then starts to work again.
Also during this time some of the leds under the center/right side of playfield go dark. If I turn the game off and on again everything works again.
Is it a loose cable...power source, bad board? It doesn’t happen all of time but when it does it’s normally within the first 15 minutes of play from the time of turning on the game.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

I had that issue too. Replacing the usb cable didn't make a difference for me. Swapping in a spare I/O board did the trick. If changing the usb cable doesn't work and you don't have a spare, you might try changing places with one of the other I/O boards.

1 week later
#23613 4 months ago
Quoted from WeirPinball:

Very clever, I'll see what I can do. So far 1 at a time - thx for the help

If I remember correctly it wasn't too much trouble. I kept the boards connected, ie six or seven in a row. Put them in my pc board holder and placed it high so I could get under it. Loaded the headers then just put a little solder on one of the pins from each header to hold it in place. Then flipped the boards to solder the rest of the pins and resolder the first pin from each header that was just tack soldered.

Last step was to add the headers to the edges of the outer boards that were covered by the grooves of my pc board holder.

2 weeks later
#23662 3 months ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Ironically, a day after you posted (sorry about your leg), my top 2 pops decided to glow green only after cycling. Lamp test somewhat tricky as the GI at the start of the string light white, but the pops are green.
I'll be popping the top in the next day or so (pretty much all the lighting is accessed from underside of PF), and let you know what I find. We may have the same problem (except the broken leg thing...ouch...can't imagine this thing falling on me..hope you are healing....)....mark

The first thing I would try is swapping the I/O board. Much easier to get to.

#23665 3 months ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Honestly, I wouldn’t. It’s likely not the cause of the issue, and you risk breaking the fragile usb connector and header pins. (I’ve broken two)
My advice would be (with the game off) to unscrew the board from the playfield just enough so you can reach the light..
Also pull a bulb out from a different I/O board that you can easily reach by removing a few screws..
Plug that known good bulb into 1-A1 and see what happens. My guess is the string will light up, but if not slowly work up the chain plugging that known good bulb into each socket up to the pops.
I doubt the pops themselves are the issue, but it’s possible.

I stand corrected

knockerlover Were you able to repair the broken connector/header pins on the I/O boards?

3 weeks later
#23761 3 months ago

Alien Amplifier Set-up.jpg
1 week later
#23781 79 days ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

hey guys I recently turned on my Alien after several weeks, and the left sling just keeps triggering like crazy. The test mode, shows that the lower left sling is "active" where do u think the problem is? Anyone had this issue before?
do you think it is all related to my two top pop bumpers which lights go intermittently go in and out or is that a separate issue?

I would start by checking the blade switches on that slingshot.

#23783 79 days ago
Quoted from Oneangrymo:

Hey man thanks for the reply, yes that seems to be the problem, if I don't move the rubber band it says "active" if I move the rubber band free up that leaf switch it goes "inactive". maybe that leaf switch needs to be replaced?? Where do I even find one? I have never worked on a sling before

They usually just need to be adjusted, not replaced. A pliers or blade adjusting tool is needed to separate them.


Lift the playfield and adjust from underneath. Turn the power off to be safe.


1 month later
#23894 44 days ago
Quoted from webdiddy:

One thing I was thinking though was that maybe I need the angle the ball through a little using washer.

Perhaps the balls are magnetized and sticking together in the trough.

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