Quoted from Aurich:
I did not have complete freedom to do whatever the hell I wanted, it's true. I had certain tools in a box, and I had to build using those tools. That's okay, it's the nature of the beast, it comes with the territory. I'm utterly comfortable working like that, I'm a commercial designer, my clients often provide me with assets that I need to incorporate.
Part of the process taking so long was it's an old film, and the assets for it took some hunting down. There was a lot of back and forth. It was a slow process. Approvals took longer than expected. But we persisted and we've pushed through to a major milestone now.
If I had complete freedom would I have done it differently? Sure, why not. But the whole team is really excited about where we are now. There's a lot that was depending on these approvals, and now we're free to push forward.
This is a game that's going to be heavily about atmosphere, it's dark, we want to do a lot with the lighting and LCD screen, it was important that the playfield be moody.
But at the same time no one wants things in pinball to be too dark. So I tried to strike a balance. It's about space, and stars, but it's also about claustrophobia. It's dark, but it needs colors. There needs to be military elements, and the artwork and style of the marines. And it needs to be not just all black and green. We've done that for the Standard side and backglass already, no one wants a monochrome game.
I worked in Photoshop and Illustrator. There are assets straight from the film, assets pulled from original HR Geiger concept drawings, i did original paintings and original drawings (digital on my Wacom tablet), and even bits taken from Alien comic books that I was allowed to use as resources. I basically pushed out where I could, wherever we were able to document our sources, so that what we submitted was backed by the assets we were allowed to use.
I'll say this: while it took a really long time for Fox to approve it, and I'll admit that I was getting nervous, they didn't ask for a single change. Not one. We really carefully documented everything, showed the origin of everything, and in the end after running through the process they said "good to go".
So even though the waiting was a little nerve wracking, and it's one of the reasons this thread has seen so little updates lately, in the end the process was actually very fast. Could have easily been a lot longer even with faster approval times, but lots of back and forth changes.
Summary for too long reading:
The playfield is a real mix of assets and drawing and whatever I thought I could get away with. I know some people expressed a little disappointment that the egg backglass, while a classic image, was kind of a "known" element already. The playfield doesn't look like any Alien product I've ever seen before, it's a wholly new look. I hope people are happy with it.
Aurich. This all sounds interesting, and sort of complicated... Can you show us a picture so we'll better understand?! You know, a picture says 1000 words! Congrats on overcoming a major hurdle.