(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 12 hours ago by nwpinball
  • Topic is favorited by 262 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

Topic Gallery

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Topic index (key posts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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#119 4 years ago
Quoted from kvan99:

I hear ya, but it would be so out of place next to a line of pins....

Isn't that a plus? Makes it stand out.

And I disagree on photo-realistic art. It just looks terrible to me. Keyline art is a million times nicer. Look at the TBL playfield - looks amazing.

8 months later
#1099 3 years ago
Quoted from jasonvhsp:

Sorry for the stupid question, and if previously addressed, but isn't the UK on a different electrical system than the US? Would we need a special outlet or something in our house to play this, or is there a US version?

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.

#1102 3 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

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

Hmm, did export EMs have different transformers? I thought you could just retap.

4 months later
#2719 3 years ago
Quoted from epotech:

Yep, was playing JM last night and had a shock when it started at 8pm. A check later and I saw that the clock was set incorrectly.

FYI you need to turn WPC games on at least once a week or the clock starts to drift pretty significantly.

2 months later
#3803 3 years ago

Ahh finally, time to critique the critic!

First impressions, I'm not AMAZED or anything, but it's much, much better than the recent slapshod work from Stern. However, it's not as good as the current Hobbit playfield.

Until someone pointed it out, I had no idea what was going on in the upper part. To me it looks like wrinkled shrinkwrap. Seems more like a throwaway area which I assume is under a bunch of mechs so it doesn't matter.

Even in the closeup, the Drop Ship patch looks muddy and not crisp like the rest of the linework. Not sure why. I don't find that the graffiti style stuff around it matches the aesthetic of the rest of the playfield which seems more straight lines and high tech.

The alien in the range finder seems blurry and low-res to me. I'd like to see some closeups.

Overall it's pretty empty. But then so is space.

Okay, enough negatives!

All the inserts and text are clear and perfectly readable. It's not cut and paste overload - the images are well integrated. I really like the Hypersleep area - in fact the whole lower playfield is great.

For a photoshop job, I give it a solid 8/10. The Hobbit is the gold standard for photoshops and it's not quite there but it's close.

#3809 3 years ago

Still, very little contrast between the red, blue and browns.

#3813 3 years ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

That's the patch/emblem though...not sure what you want there?

For it to be legible. Why dirty it up?

#3819 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's what it looks like in the film, I didn't get to pick the colors, sorry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Yeah, but you can bump up the contrast a little.


#3829 3 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Seems like a really trivial issue...how is it not "legible"? Are we looking at the same image?

Compare side to side:

Original More Contrast and Brightness

Notice how the blue in the original basically blends into the red, due to the low brightness. Makes it hard to read, and when it's tiny on a playfield it'll just look like a smudge.

#3838 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

if parts aren't printing clearly I'll address that.

Fair enough.

So what's up with the wrinkly plastic wrap up top?

#3846 3 years ago
Quoted from NFK:

To me it's not enough Giger in it for a alien theme.

There's already a pin for that.

Giger Invaders

#3998 3 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

Really, really, really (but respectfully) disagree with this.

He's half right. Way better than Stern, better than Full Throttle, but Hobbit is better.

#4145 3 years ago

I'm with the pitchfork and torches mob that doesn't like the cartoony stuff. Also I'm still not loving the wrinkly shrinkwrap vagina thing at the top.

Otherwise I stand by my 8/10 review. Without the cartoony stuff I'd go 9/10.

#4509 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

That's definitely not how it normally works.

Before the writer's strike, all the rights were negotiated as a package - sound clips, visuals, actor's images, everything. But then after that, everyone needed to get their cut so now all the pieces have to be negotiated separately.

That's how WMS got all that stuff and could do real artwork. That ship has sailed!

#4558 3 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Honestly most of that stuff is just done under the radar. I would be surprised if even a good % is actually licensed.

Mondo is 100% legit licensed. So we know the movie studios have some give when it comes to art.

My thoughts on the surround backglass for the 27" - can you come into the frame a bit so, say, the mouth is coming into the frame a tiny bit and the fingers overlap a bit at the bottom?

I'd like to see some clear and mirrored spots too! But I'm dreaming there.

1 week later
#4607 3 years ago

So, basically, everyone wants Heighway to come to every single show in the US in 2016.

2 weeks later
#4802 3 years ago

I find the transition from simulated CMYK on RGB monitors to actually printed CMYK usually results in a 15% drop in brightness. So, I generally pump it up by that much. YMMV.

#4807 3 years ago

Doing spot colour is actually *easier* since you can reference Pantone numbers and look at a Pantone book to see the actual ink printed in both flat and gloss.

4-colour process printing is a whole other art form.

I thought Heighway had this giant-ass Inkjet printer they used for this stuff?

7 months later
#7774 2 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Launch party is great news!
Tacky, sexist location though...

In their defence, it's not like there's a ton of locations nearby to choose from - there's only 2-3 restaurants within walking distance.

3 weeks later
#9028 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

So far P3, JJP, and Heighway have failed to see the importance of art direction on original themes.

As the art director on Cannon Lagoon, I can say with 100% certainty that Multimorphic has put real effort into improving the quality of the art on their games. As has Heighway, as ALIEN is much better artwise than Full Throttle.

#9049 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I have to respectfully disagree. The side art & translites all have very dull color styling, and the animation on the playfield looks dated. The entire package screams "Phillips CD-I" and not "Modern 2016" product.

CL was going for a very specific look. I think that look was achieved. Not everything has to be an insane colour explosion like Ghostbusters or Batman '66.

#9052 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Please tell me you see the difference in design and rendering?

I came on board to help them after I commented on the Lexy art. CL had a very specific target audience (not pinheads) and working with volunteer resources. I think, given the restrictions everyone was working under, the final product on CL is much improved.

The CL translight looks a lot better in person when it's properly lit, but that's another topic.

Quoted from Rarehero:

Sorry, I'm trying to be constructive and not attack...

When I gave my opinion on the Lexy artwork and then was approached to help the art effort on the next games, I put my money where my mouth was and stepped up to help, because my motivation was to improve pinball in general. I think I had a positive effect on the art package. If you think you can do a better job, I'm sure they'd be thrilled to get your help as well.

#9057 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I have a full-time job directing art and animation, I have no interest or time to get into pinball art...

You have an opportunity to actually do something about it, and perhaps expand your perspective on the subject so you can have a more nuanced opinion. I know I do.

By posting your opinion you clearly show an interest in pinball art, but if I had a dollar for every time a client said "punch it up!" I'd be a millionaire - that sort of advice is meaningless. Better to actively guide an art team with constructive guidance and directly influence the outcome. As for having no time, I worked on that project part time while having a full time job and a newborn baby, so that's not really much of an excuse either.

#9062 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

So, in order to have an opinion on pinball art, I need to go out and convince a pinball company to give me a 2nd job I don't need or want?

No, you're welcome to the opinion. We actually agree on a few points I think. But when offered the chance to put your opinion to practice, you decline. To me that lessens the value of that opinion if you're not willing to back it up. You may disagree, that's fine. It's a lot easier to put something down than to do something about it.

2 months later
#10222 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The Batman topper is simulated beacon with LEDs and I haven't heard anyone say it was anything less than awesome. No one complaining that it doesn't look "60s".

I think the BM66 topper is probably the best topper I've ever seen, but if it had an actual rotating beacon in it, it'd be better!

I agree the beacons on Alien look a bit funny, but I don't see it as big enough to change anything. Ship it!

1 week later
#10382 2 years ago

I've played a fair bit of FT and it's indeed a very smooth flowing game. I don't care for the artwork and I found the gameplay a bit "meh" but no one can knock how it shoots. Very nice. For their first game I think it's pretty good - not a home run, but better than a lot of early Sterns.

1 week later
#10560 2 years ago

It would be nice if people realized how lucky they are that the leaders of at least two pinball companies are willing to come here and talk directly to hobbyists.

You don't see the CEO of Ford hanging out in the Ford Muscle Forums.

2 weeks later
2 weeks later
#11645 2 years ago

I'm glad to see the reasonable discussion surrounding the game. No crazy flamebait arguments, no insane ranting, just reasonable questions and answers.

Here's hoping this becomes the new normal!

Game looks amazing, too.

#11697 2 years ago

Congrats, you guys managed to find something to nitpick. I think this is a new low.

At least it's been civil.

4 weeks later
3 weeks later
#13095 1 year ago

That LE Backglass is easily the best I've seen in a decade. Just fantastic.

I think I would prefer that over the screen, honestly.

#13099 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

We've gone from "Monochrome DMD sucks, we want color LCD!" to "Color LCD!? WE WANT NOTHING!!"

There's a colour screen in the playfield, but no screen will do that backglass justice.

1 month later
#15259 1 year ago
Quoted from Davidus56:

A serious collector is one who buys the best titles, mods the hell out of them, knows the market and has a large collection.

Since I've never once modified a game, I'm not a serious collector? I've owned almost 300 games but because I don't glue plastic dolls to ramps and fill machines with clown puke LEDs, I'm a filthy casual.

Got it.

2 months later
#16095 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Pretty nice under the hood construction in my opinion

You say the above then follow it up with a photo of a giant mess of random wires and the main PC being held in place with plumbing hanger strap and it got three upvotes?

Am I taking crazy pills?

1 week later
4 weeks later
#16917 1 year ago

Never understood this desire from LE buyers to get the first games. I want a game built a little bit near the end of the run, made on a Tuesday. They've worked out all the bugs.

#16920 1 year ago
Quoted from Nethawk86:

Why the hell are we waiting 3 more months than standards for these stupid things? We should be getting them now!

Ask Hilton what it's like getting the first game...

2 weeks later
#17186 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

check out the Houdini prototype [dark bats there too].

The Houdinis at Expo were some of the best lit games I've ever seen.

Now you're just crazy. TNA is BLINDING. The lighting on it is crazy bright.

You seem to have a problem with reality.

#17204 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

you are quoting me from a post that was made before updated Houdini's appeared at expo.

Well, it's fixed so why are you still harping on it? I don't think it was the public display that prompted the fix - the guys working on it were aware it was dark and it was a prototype. The point of a prototype is to iterate changes.

Quoted from greenhornet:

do you want to argue the playfield doesn't have darkness issues and that players [of all abilities] arent going to have more trouble picking up a silver ball racing against a BLACK background vs an alternative color scheme?

I probably played about 100 games of TNA over two days and probably the only time I had any issue seeing the ball was during the reactor critical mode when the GI is bright red, which I don't really consider an issue and instead part of the game's inherent style - ie. it's more difficult during the critical mode as part of the challenge of the game itself. The balls were much more visible on the production games than the whitewood since the GI has been improved on those. Part of that whole iteration thing I mentioned above.

During regular play (white) and multiball (green) everything is perfectly visible. There is no need for spotlights or any additional lighting support at all, as everything is perfectly visible even in total darkness.

As to the art being "dark", sure - it's dark. But it's mostly abstract and secondary to the game play and every insert is perfectly legible, so I wonder what the problem is that prompted you to post a long-winded rebuke to my factual comments.

Quoted from greenhornet:

Matt Andrews being on record that he didn't believe this to be a good idea, but went ahead and did it anyway. this is one of the games biggest negatives. did you find his quote by the way?

I disagree. It's lighter around the flippers as Scott intended and works fine. The ball is perfectly visible at all times and I never had an issue tracking it even on the darker portions. Matt's assessment was fine but the final results show he was wrong. I say this having spent a substantial amount of time on the game personally.

Quoted from greenhornet:

his entire critique: "it's perfectly great".

I stand by my statement - the art was even better in person. None of the rules I was quoting have been broken. My only possible critique would be that the digital printing limitations means the colours aren't quite as vibrant and the lines aren't quite as sharp as old school screenprinting, but that's just the nature of the method and has nothing to do with the artwork itself.

Quoted from greenhornet:

is it a professional courtesy that the most qualified people to offer an opinion [professionals in the same field], dont critique/discuss another colleagues work?

Anyone who knows me I don't pull my punches, if I thought the artwork sucked I'd say so. It doesn't. Does it fit the modern "floating photoshop heads" or "riot of insanity illustration" methods that Stern and JJP follow? No. But it fits the theme perfectly. Which is pretty much what I said at the time. Why would I offer criticism of something I don't have any issues with? I think you're just looking for things to complain about.

#17279 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

that's right, and you haven't even heard a cohesive explanation yet.

How many volumes in the series?

#17674 1 year ago
Quoted from libtech:

I honestly think that extra lighting would ruin the ominous feel of this game, the only thing that would be cool is to have a flasher on the xeno when it eats the ball IMO.

I dunno, a couple of spots at the inlanes would probably be plenty. No need for the eye-searing pinstadium overkills.

#17750 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

That they're dropping the ball like this is so odd.

They've already spent the money they got from these guys. They want the new cash.

6 months later
#21678 11 months ago

Hopefully one of the GOOD pinball companies will consider picking Dave up given his proven track record.

Feel like moving to Chicago?

1 week later
#22106 11 months ago

Ugh, what a turd. Makes the Stern one look classy.

5 months later
#23466 5 months ago
Quoted from Per_:

Afaik no other pin uses a SPS for the coils

Every modern machine uses switchers. They just put capacitors on them. Changing the PS would be a mistake in my opinion, just add the caps.

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