ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over


By HeighwayPinball

3 years ago



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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 (1 year ago)

Post #9234 Update on distribution Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

Post #9660 Here we show you a short clip from the 'Ambush Multiball' mode Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

Post #10128 Photo of Alien at UK Trade Show Posted by unigroove (1 year ago)

Post #10230 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (1 year ago)

Post #10231 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (1 year ago)

Post #10914 Alien ships Posted by ZenTron (1 year ago)

Post #10916 Alien ships Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year ago)

Post #11230 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by ezeltmann (1 year ago)

Post #11372 Nordman outline for Alien Posted by solarvalue (1 year ago)

Post #11389 CAD comparison of final Aliens vs Nordman drawing Posted by EalaDubhSidhe (1 year ago)

Post #11417 Gameplay from Heighway as of 2/28/17 Posted by HeighwayPinball (1 year 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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-13
#2333 2 years ago

Gotta say, I love what Heighway are doing re: modularity and simplifying and modernising (and reducing cost of) pinball machines ... but the art and graphic design on their first game is, ahem, extremely amateurish. For such an iconic IP (which if done right could sell by the bucketload), I really hope Alien will be unrecognisably better. This after seeing their first machine in the flesh today.

2 months later
#3247 2 years ago

I think that'd be an absolute killer for them .. though didn't someone say something about Dutch and Mad Max?

#3254 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

That' s correct. I saw you have rated it. Do u know how many mb, modes and/or wizard modes are there?
Thanks

Watch the PAPA Youtube Tutorial for FT with Bowen Kerins. I really wish I liked the art and cabinet more, because the gameplay and engineering are fantastic.

#3292 2 years ago
Quoted from RandomGuyOffCL:

I get what you are saying here, but we aren't talking about a $60 video game or $10 movie ticket that's late by a month or two.
We had the lead designer publicly blow out on pinside because of a majorly unrealistic release date and not wanting to have his name attached to such. I don't feel like playing detective right now but I kind of remember Andrew trying to downplay Dennis's claims which have turned out to be all but true.

Those "$60 video games" are frequently years late, and have development budgets in the 10s of millions of $. They take pre-orders years out, only to later announce that half the content will require additional payment. Those "$10 movie tickets" frequently end up in development hell for a decade and cost 100s of millions of $ ... though no-one pre-orders those.

They're a small start up company working with new technology (more advanced than Stern, JJP, Dutch or Spooky are using), so some delays are expected.

#3299 2 years ago
Quoted from jasonvhsp:

I don't want to stare at a blank screen when it's turned off. Maybe if they could work in like a color e-ink display or something? I do like the option to have the smaller screen in the back box though so people watching can see it too.

e-ink isn't suited to moving images.

#3342 2 years ago
Quoted from karl:

The glossy LE Cab will of course also fit all later standard and LE playfield addons, but if you are planning to have later playfields in the same cabinet, it might be wise to choose a conservative metal trim package, or just order a new trim package for later playfields.
Lots of options on the Heighway platform but they all makes perfect sense. (one of the big benefits to this system, if you ask me)

I wish they had gone with a system where you could screw or attach new sidepanels to the entire side of the cabinet though .. rather than a little window, or at least given the option. Maybe it's something they can do in future. It'd make it look like a much more cohesive package imo. I guess they or potential customers felt compactness was better though.

#3349 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

In principle, there is nothing stopping us doing this in the future.
The foil wrapped side panels are bolted onto the ply carcass as it is. In the future, if there is enough demand, then we could also sell/provide panels with no windows.

Good to know, and thanks for the reply.

Is this something you'll consider for the Alien LE, or as an upgrade? If the artwork's good, I'm sure people would plump for it. Especially if there were something Geiger or Geiger-esque.

#3395 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Ok - just confirmed ...
We WILL be showing you the playfield art next week

That's great timing with the EAG International Show in London from 12-14th*.

*which Heighway are attending.

Quoted from PinballRulez:

Ehh Andrew, next week is Monday?

Doubt they'll reveal on Monday. Show starts on Tuesday.

#3413 2 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

If it's approved, can we see it now?

They're not going to 'launch' it on Pinside on a Friday evening when they're attending a major arcade and commercial amusements show in London from Tuesday to Thursday next week ...

#3418 2 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

Bro, this is your product and you are marketing this pin for Heighway. Why even say this?
"If I had complete freedom would I have done it differently? Sure, why not."
Be 100% excited about the product and get the fans hyped!

A lot of people have unrealistic expectations and think the licensee and artists can do whatever they like. Dealing with those people is as much a part of marketing and CS as those who want to hear untamed, relentless enthusiasm or those who think it'll be another clip-art art package. A lot of us like to hear both sides of the developmental process.

Anyway, they shouldn't need too much help on the marketing front. It really is huge for them that they had approval before the show on Tuesday. Doesn't mean the machine will go into production much sooner than if it took another 2 months. But they get much more 'free' industry and media exposure.

#3435 2 years ago
Quoted from bigdaddy07:

Yah, you're right on that. My wife paints and she has always had trouble with getting to that sweet spot where she wants to make it perfect, but its only gets worse as she continues to make changes. Its an art in itself to know when its good enough or as good as its going to get.

I was thinking the same.

If the production schedule allows it, I'd certainly be thinking about what else I could sneak through. Not redoing the whole thing, but details and flourishes here and there.

#3517 2 years ago

Not sure why people are so bent out of shape about Andrew / Aurich posting on here about what's happening. They're announcing the announcement, not publishing the playfield and other approved bits here first.

#3532 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'm personally really excited about the sounds. We'll talk more about that more later I think.

Too much to hope for, I'm sure, but would be super cool if Sigourney could record a few original call outs ... or you were permitted to use mash-ups of the film audio clips to suit the nature of the game.

#3535 2 years ago

Re: sound I think a lot of the tension and atmosphere was what you didn't hear, as much as what you did. Lots of pinball tables (and video games) blast you with way too many effects ... sometimes some respite can be really effective.

No idea what it'll look like, but definitely keen to see how the fibre optics will turn out ...

18
#3703 2 years ago

Only flyers at EAG. They haven't had enough time to make up a playfield.

Here it is though.

Spoke to Andrew H. for about 25 minutes.

20160112_151059.jpg

#3711 2 years ago
Quoted from Chosen_S:

Can't believe someone beat Aurich to it!

Took a DSLR with me hoping they'd have a playfield. Still, thought people would like to see.

I expect Heighway will put out a proper press release when they have time to put one together / and or paint and clear a PF.

Got to get a train home soon. Will write up a post later about the various things I talked to Andrew about.

#3723 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Heh, welp, I guess the tease method is out of the bag now! Gimme a minute, I'll put up a full image so you don't have to rely on that flyer.

Would be helpful i'm sure. Matte relatively low dpi flyer with reflections, and fold marks recorded on my tablet cam isn't ideal

One thing, have you considered making the stars more star like? Lens flare, colour gradation and chromatic abberation ... probably be able to see little of it once lit, but I'm anal.

#3782 2 years ago
Quoted from RandomGuyOffCL:

kind of a dick move to post the flyer...I mean if it was weeks ago and kind of a sneak attack like the gb leak, it would have been kind of cool....But right in the moments before the artist having his little moment to put it up in a fun way he had planned out for everyone is pretty shitty!

I'm not sure if you're recently out of kindergarten, but not everyone is looking for pointless melodrama and willy waving. I can't speak for Aurich (or Heighway) but somehow doubt he was put out. This was and is not priveleged information. They're sales flyers. A couple of the staff had stacks of them to give away to anyone who was interested. Andrew didn't press it into my hand, making me swear on my mother's life not to show or tell anyone. It's not under NDA. It had already launched. You and more than 99% of the people looking at the thread aren't or won't be at the trade show. People are constantly begging for more information. I was in a position to share what they did have at the show, which people were obviously interested in given the short time since approval. If I'd posted about what was (and wasn't) at the show without the flyer (which I made sure was a decent enough photo to show detail) I assume you'd have been crying and calling me a liar. If you have no idea what a 'leak' is, try not to expose your stupidity.

#3847 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

If you want to see the image without Pinside compression click this link:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/227626/Shared/full-playfield.jpg

The uncompressed (or relatively uncompressed) image looks so much better than the the flyer and banner they had at the show. I'm a bit surprised they didn't take a 50" TV with them and mount it in portrait, showing the PF image. It would have looked way better.

21
#3880 2 years ago

Some information from my chat with Andrew that people might be interested in:

------

- Full launch of the machine (playable) is hoped for and expected at the Texas Pinball festival in March.

- Per Aurich & Andrew's missives on Pinside, they're still open to ideas about differentiating factors for the LE, and there may well be a choice of colour for rails / legs / trim etc. Receptive to requests and feedback.

- Their fibre optic lighting is still being experimented with (hence delays on Full Throttle LE). He didn't say so, but I expect LEs won't be among the first to be built for this reason and later asset approvals.

- Didn't really talk too much about details re: Alien, as so much is still subject to approval by the studio. Alien and Aliens are his favourite films, though, and a "dream" franchise for him. Could have had Alien 3 rights too, but didn't want to convolute theme too much, and he doesn't personally like it - even prefers Resurrection. Therefore stuck with Alien and Aliens.

- Bram Stoker's Dracula was originally meant to be Alien.

- Andrew's background in the industry was pinball (and amusements I think) in Ireland (first the Republic, then Northern Ireland) from the 90s onwards. Then more recently in England he's organised the UK Pinball Party show which will enter its 6th year this year.

- Had looked into establishing the company 9 years ago, but time wasn't right.

- The company is privately financed, by him and other private investors. No bank or venture capital backing.

- Has no association with Wales or South Wales. Was simply the right place to establish the facility given cheapness of factory and warehousing space, large catchment area for labour (Cardiff & Bristol close by) and good transport links.

- Facility is 42,000ft2 (~4000m2). Same size as JJP's factory.

- Capacity is (perhaps significantly) in excess of 3500 machines per annum (order book and staff depending), and they will be taking on more assembly line staff. Didn't ask whether they had the option of taking on or building more space at their existing location.

- Machines only take 6-8 hours to fully assemble, compared to what he said was an industry average of 12-14 hours.

- Work on Full Throttle is finished (presumably except for code). Still very actively working on Alien. Hope to ship before middle of year.

- Should have 4 games in full production by the end of the year. Chance of 5 unless I misunderstood.

- Barry Oursler (who didn't work on Full Throttle or Alien) has finished his design work on games 3 & 4 already, and wants to move on to game 5 now. He apparently works incredibly quickly according to Andrew - going from start to finish in 3-4 months.

- Games 3 & 4 are both licensed (didn't ask about 5). Intimated that at least one is a movie IP.

- Intention is to put out 3 titles a year, to take advantage of the swappable mechanic of their cabinet. Vast majority of underlying components are modular, so design to production should be pretty swift. Could have as many as 8 titles out by end of 2017.

- Seems pretty bullish generally about their prospects, Alien, and thinks Barry Oursler is great & considers him a legend**

------

Pleasant guy to talk to. Would have asked far more, but I'd caught him in the lunch hour lull, so didn't want to take up more of his time once that was ending. Will add other bits if I remember them. Look forward to having a look round the factory at some point as it's only a 90 minute drive from me.

Regarding Alien and my opinion, as others have said one can't say too much about the playfield art without it being populated and lit. It has potential definitely, but it's not brilliant. I am hoping for a few more flourishes and something a little more special on the LE.

Will also cross post this to the Heighway thread as it's less busy and this is mainly non Alien specific. Perhaps people already know most or all of this, but I knew little of it.

**That will probably divide opinion here. Personally I love Popeye, though, so I'm stoked at least! Possibly finishing the design of a 3rd game for them before the first goes into production does seem quite ... prolific, though?

#3887 2 years ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Rubberducks, What uk collectors say about pf artwork? Just would like to get a opinion overseas. Thx

Check the forums at Pinballinfo. I'm not part of a network

#4113 2 years ago
Quoted from voodle:

Ok, I'll be bold.
I've add my own interpretation to the artwork and photoshopped the original by deleting the 'cartoon' elements and non-core element like the badges, flames, text and some color splatter around the space ships.
You can click on it to get a larger view.
Mine is on the left, the original on the right.
Personally I think it looks cleaner and they need make sure the planet art doesn't cut into the LCD screen.

sideBysideAlien_(resized).jpg

This does look immensely better. The original looks very crowded and with little if any artistic cohesion in the areas to the upper left and upper right of the LCD. Without that mess drawing the beholder's eye, the whole playfield works and no one area stands out (like.a sore thumb). It all flows ... hopefully like the gameplay will.

Maybe some of the removed elements can be reused elsewhere, but in less obtrusive fashion.

Really hope the PF is revised in this direction. I wasn't a fan of those elements before, but now they remind me of Red Dwarf - not in a good way ..... the deliberately hilarious tin cans floating in space shots, with ultra crude special effects. Can't unsee.

#4116 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Playfield art is complete. Revising, means sending all of it back to Fox and saying "we know you approved this but we thought we'd change a bunch of stuff...can you look at it all again?". Doubt that will happen (it won't). Game might be ready to show in March!
PS this is a stripped playfield. You typically have things called plastics, pop bumpers, slingshots, ramps, ball guides, LCD(!) that will go on it and drastically change the look.

I don't know why you keep saying this. It's untrue on several levels.

getting those removed would absolutely not prove a problem.

the playfield is not finalised, nor is the shot and structure map completely tuned.

even if the above were true and finalised, the design hasn't been sent off to the printers for either initial or mass production. nor will it be. they do it all in house.

the literature from Heighway even says in big letters "Artwork subject to change".

I get that you don't want it changed, but stop spreading fud.

#4121 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

The guy that made the art that represents heighway says the exact opposite.

No he doesn't. He's also subcontracted rather than Heighway personnel. Removing minor elements of an existing design is not a redesign.

Also I'm assuming you contend that the sales pamphlet which was handed to me by a Heighway employee was counterfeit. What about the banner on their stand with the same "Artwork subject to change" printed on it, was it the work of the same devious scallywag?

#4123 2 years ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

This is probably because they had the literature printing well before the artwork was finalized, which I believe was only last week! If you have a trade show in a week, you're printing literature well in advance.

As I posted yesterday, literature = pf image with that on it.

#4127 2 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

I don't remember much criticism about Kiss artwork? (maybe the three Pro/Pre/LE cabinets being too similar?)
You have to admit it was a nice hommage to the Bally version.

Well it didn't look as pretty as Popadiuk's cabinet and playfield art .. which he somehow thought would be viable to show a year after it leaked that Stern had the license. Stern KISS looks fine though. GoT on the other hand makes me nervous about all their future games.

#4157 2 years ago
Quoted from dracula40:

What is the total # of games being made ? Is this something that needs to be locked up now or could it wait? I'm thinking about getting in. Thanks

LE 500. Standard, as many as they can sell, probably for the forseeable future once it's in production. I'd guess until they make significant changes to their modular system. Gameplay will be identical, cabinet features and bells and whistles will be mostly possible to upgrade to LE trim. Artwork on cabinet / backlight and possibly playfield and plastics will differ on LE and not be available to upgrade.

#4327 2 years ago
Quoted from zeddex:

For what its worth, Funco was able to secure Sigourney Weavers likeness for their retro 7" line of toy figures packaging. Of the ones they negotiated with, Ian Holmes and John Hurt declined. So 2 out of 4! This of course is no indicator of anything for other products (like pinball) other than perhaps Weaver is generally OK with image licensing.

maxresdefault_(resized).jpg

I don't think that's particularly relevant.

What's far more relevant is that Weaver offered both her likeness, and voiced her character in Alien: Isolation. But Creative Assembly are a famous and lauded developer within the PC gaming industry, and were no doubt able to put together some very impressive demos which convinced her. In pinball the latter is rather more difficult, and Heighway are just a startup; furthermore Sega & CA have pretty deep pockets - they can probably afford to pay her market rate if she wants it, or a cut of revenue.

So she clearly is willing to offer her likeness and voice, for the right project and no doubt the right price too.

alien-isolation-dlc-637x360_(resized).jpg

#4343 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Not all that practical, but I do wonder if you could do one of those soundbars that kinda fake the surround sound.

I feel that's something that someone's going to do sooner rather than later. I never played one, but I assume the old Gottlieb top of back box speaker location was better than sitting directly on or above a panel of glass at waist height on everything else.

#4362 2 years ago
Quoted from NPO:

To have the music from the "air duct chase" playing in this game would be so amazing. I don't even have a pre-oder going, and I want to see this pan out well for everyone.

One thing I forget to mention re: my chat with Andrew. He said that music would likely be a mix of movie, original and reorchestrations. They couldn't talk about it yet though as they're still negotiating. Possible you'll get it.

#4518 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Yeah, think about STTNG. Could a pinball company even afford the custom voice acting anymore? It has so much from so many people.

I wonder what the rights situation on it looks like, because I assume it'd be a prime candidate for remake after AFM, CftBL, MB and maybe Funhouse / CV.

Next year it's 30 years since the series debuted

#4536 2 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

I figured. I just thought I'd share an awesome artist.
He does live in the UK so maybe Andrew would keep him in mind for something in the future.

+1. Looks pretty sweet. Not sure how willing someone with his portfolio would be likely to do the job for 'free' and then a cut of machine sales though, unless he's either a pinhead or very comfortable or both.

Think Aurich mentioned that's how he's being compensated.

#4538 2 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Yeah I don't know if he'd be interested either but it's always good to be aware of artists that are close and interested in the same subjects. Mumford seems to be a fan of movies and games so it wouldn't be a stretch to see him do a pinball.

Be nice if he was, but a lot of illustrators are offered 'swag', merchandise or cuts all the time. Many doing it as a profession avoid it out of principle even if they like the project. They need to get paid, not have stacks of beer mats or t-shirts, or maybe get a royalty cheque in 2 years' time. Hopefully Alien's a hit and Heighway sell a ton, then they'll be able to actual pay up front. Aurich has a day job so I assume (or hope) he can take the risk of no reward and do it as a passion project. If this is your bread and butter, I suspect you want to get paid .... I'm sure news travelled about ZombieProphet's work and the following calamity with Zidware. No doubt that'd serve to make potential talents even more wary.

3 weeks later
#4619 2 years ago
Quoted from jonesjb:

Any new news? Things have dried up on this thread as of late...

I'm sure they're busting a gut trying to get everything ready to show at TPF.

#4690 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Alien Pinball playfield photos will be posted within hours...

Sounds like you and your suppliers are working some late hours!

#4704 2 years ago
Quoted from solarvalue:

They are just going to show some clearcoated playfields, right? There was no talk about populated playfields earlier in the thread.

No talk of it, but possible they'll mount something on it. It's coming up to 10pm / 22h in the UK already, so I assume they're not getting a delivery at this time or going through them with a fine tooth comb for quality. May be mounting them in a cabinet, and / or adding a few simple assemblies to it before taking pics.

#4714 2 years ago

Clear looks thick and shiny. Still think the area to top right and top left of the 2X insert is way too congested.

Looking forward to seeing it built up.

#4723 2 years ago
Quoted from ectobar:

Thought they would have moved the top Alien's vagina insert.

Probably took about a month or more to make these up, start to finish, so there are probably zero changes to what was shown at EAG in these.

#4742 2 years ago
Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

I think it looks great thanks for sharing the photos with us!
My apologies for this question as I'm sure it's been addressed. What is the target date on these shipping out to customers? I'm looking to add a pin and would definitely consider buying Alien just not sure I can hold out that long.

Andrew said early summer / June when I spoke to him at EAG 5 weeks or so ago. I'd guess a bit later, but we should have a better idea depending on its state at TPF.

#4867 2 years ago
Quoted from JoeDP:

I'm sorry to ask if this has been brought up a lot, but I couldn't find the info with a basic search.
Is there a proposed delivery date for pre-orders?

Andrew was hoping for early summer, when I spoke to him in January. I suspect that may be pushed back a bit. If you ordered an LE, ages away I would expect, since I think Aurich's still working on the art for it.

#4901 2 years ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

Starting to feel tingly in my special no no place.

Sounds like a South Park reference ... which might not be irrelevant to matters Heighway.

#4905 2 years ago
Quoted from Zampinator:

It's rumored they have the license! Wouldn't that make for a great pin! From what I understand the old Sega version still does well on route!

Potentially awesome with the way SP Studios operate now. I'd expect them to be doing all the animations and have an active role in design ... much like the studio and Trey Parker & Matt Stone did with the recent Stick of Truth game (which was excellent).

Edit: in fact it wouldn't surprise me at all if it was loosely based on the Stick of Truth. Rules could be insanely deep given the arc of the story and content.

#4931 2 years ago

I don't agree with the negativity, given that progress obviously is being made, but it's fair to make the comment ....

At the end of 2014 weren't Heighway pushing for an April '15 release? First complete prototype is now due for March '16 at TPF, with June-ish realease being mentioned in January at EAG. With 4 months until apparent completion, the game has been *delayed* 14 months at minimum, with Nordman's stipulated reason for departure proving valid ... so some people could be forgiven for being sceptical.

My opinion is that they must now be relatively certain they'll have at least the standard edition ready to go somewhere around the middle of the year, or they wouldn't be hiring more production and assembly staff to ramp production of Full Throttle yet (which in isolation has seen quite sparse demand).

#4958 2 years ago

It's only 3 weeks out now. If everything is going to be shown then, it would be much better to keep the vast majority of it behind a curtain and then reveal it all at once. It's likely to convey a much better impression.

#4979 2 years ago
Quoted from drinkduffbeers:

I wouldn't bother a lot of the spotlight will understandably be on Ghostbusters.
Let Alien have its day when it's complete

GB won't be at TPF apparently.

#4981 2 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Were did you here that?

Either here or pinballinfo. Supposedly it'll be at the Vegas expo, and one in Italy, but not TPF.

#4984 2 years ago

@Aurich I assume you'll go back to LE art / playfield / special bits around June / July once design work has (hopefully) completely wound up on the standard?

#4996 2 years ago

I'm guessing the guys and girls at Heighway are still working tonight ..

#5019 2 years ago
Quoted from thewool:

Thanks for that. I think HP will offer upgrades to cabinet and trim at extra cost so really the only exclusive to the LE is the art as you mentioned. Then if you go for the large LCD in the backglass, you are left with the side panels and backglass surround as exclusive.

I think pf art and some plastics' art may be different. It'll be functionally identical though.

Re: GB art. I really don't think the pf is anything special at all, albeit better than Alien. The finished Premium and LE backglasses I do like though, save for duckface Murray, and the cabinet art for Pro and Premium is outstanding. I think Metallica pf art is considerably better, not such a crowded mish mash and tells a better, clearer story.

#5060 2 years ago
Quoted from thewool:

Thanks Aurich. I'm actually in for an LE but am weighing up the option to switch to a GB, then pick up Alien later on and add the extras. I'm getting heavily leaned on by the family...

If you think we'll remain in the EU, wait on anything US made. The pound will recover very quickly if we remain in, and buying from Europe will probably be thousands cheaper again than UK.

1 week later
#5133 2 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

In 2-3 months maybe?
Rocky Mtn. Pinball Showdown and Gameroom Expo June 10-12, 2016
http://www.pinballshowdown.com/index.html

Not sure going to the US when they're supposed to be starting production then (according to hoped for schedule) is a very good idea ... remember they are not local.

@Aurich ... shame the juicy stuff can't be made public yet.

#5136 2 years ago

I assume that's a scale(d up) model ... it looks huge!

#5162 2 years ago
Quoted from charles4400:

Thanks ill hit up cointaker...

Heighway are charging exceptionally reasonable air freight fees to the US. I suspect it may be cheaper to go direct with them.

#5236 2 years ago
Quoted from NightMutilator:

I bet that alien head is actual size and sits right on top of the pop bumpers... at least I hope it's actual size!

Pop bumpers are eggs. They're pictured in the thread.

#5253 2 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Enjoy tomorrow

image_(resized).jpeg

For a moment I wondered if you were affiliated with Heighway and hinting at something being revealed .... but then I realised that I'm a godless heathen and that chocolate festival is tomorrow.

#5272 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

This seems like a very safe bet. You'd have to imagine that many, many more folks will see/play a Zen pinball table than will see/play a physical table of which only hundreds or at the most a few thousand will be made.
That said, it'd be great if Heighway could get in on this promotion. I'm also hoping that if Zen was able to run wild with the IP that it gives Heighway a bit of leverage to negotiate any final changes/additions Aurich would like to make to the art package.

The reason pinball actually gets big licenses, despite having poor reach and generating poor license revenue, is because it is a halo product. It's not really an analogue to Zen at all.

It does however bode poorly if Heighway are indeed no part of this .....

#5283 2 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

Thanks for popping in Andrew. We all appreciate the updates
Fingers still crossed that the Alien video from Texas Pinball Festival will be posted on your YouTube channel at some point.

More than 2 weeks have passed since the video was made, so there's probably little point in showing it now.

I imagine the video is long out of date if they really are on track for June production. They'd have to be iterating at a pretty high cadence to get there.

#5285 2 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

The video was recently made.

It was made over 2 weeks ago, which isn't very recent if they're working fast, like I said.

1 week later
#5306 2 years ago
Quoted from emkay:

And the comparative lifespan is...?

I hear you, but we're a decade behind on chip & pin and that 'cost is too high' argument backfired spectacularly there. All those validators need updated every time they change the other denominations, how is this different?

I think the fact that people use cheques still is the most extraordinary thing ...

#5312 2 years ago

I get the feeling that the next time we'll see something significant is when they can show us PF, plastics, toys and EVERYTHING that isn't final LCD stuff.

Honestly, I'd prefer that too. It's been long enough now since anything major has been revealed (playfield) that it'd pay to wait a little bit more and show everything together.

#5335 2 years ago
Quoted from PoMC:

I can't get into those Zen games at all. To me, the only thing worthwhile about "virtual" pinball is checking out a REAL pinball machine that I've never played before. Tapping a screen or pressing a controller button to flip a ball is not fun or rewarding and the tiny bit of flipper lag sucks.
That said, the Alien playfield should look like a Zen design.

Try TimeShock (the new updated version). It's really, really good.

#5381 2 years ago

This thread has descended into internet-AIDS ... hopefully Heighway do show something substantive soon.

1 week later
#5477 2 years ago

They talk about an interview but I don't see one, and the information contained seems to be old or recycled for the most part. Looks like a document they wanted to put out to coincide with Alien Day to get hits ... don't think it's relevant at all.

#5504 2 years ago
Quoted from thewool:

Good info there Slam, cheers for that. Reading between the lines does that mean that no original film score music will be in the game? Sounds like you have the second best thing though.

When I spoke to Andrew in January, he said there'd be a mix of music from the film, re-orchestrations and original music and sfx. Of course that may have changed since.

#5508 2 years ago
Quoted from SLAMT1LT:

ok, back to topic....I am confident you will all love Alien, we have The 'A' (Alien) Team working on it. Lots of talent and lots of passion for the theme.

So what are the motley crew of remaining misfits working on? 0

2 weeks later
#5653 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballRulez:

I think because Predator has done a lot of damage here, but more importantly Fox had always stated that when anything goes public it must be the finished product. So, anytime Heighway wants to show the progress they make they have to get an approval from Fox.

It will be

Predator isn't even a consideration. It damaged pinball as a hobby. It probably bothered Fox about as much as a mosquito (failing to) bite bothers a bull elephant.

As Aurich hinted at in his last post, and I hinted at before, these videos have a short shelf life. By this point the video (from production / shooting) date is already 3 weeks old. If there was a hold up in approval, they probably won't bother showing it now as the machine has likely come on a lot since then. Maybe it still gets shown, but it will be out of date.

#5663 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Doesn't matter if the video is out of date. It's more current than previous ones that are six+ months old, and interest is high. After showing it, they likely can take and post more informal ones too. We want the video.

What you're failing to consider is that Heighway may feel that it's more than just progression, but improvement. If they feel the game now is objectively better than it was several weeks ago, not just further along, they may not want to show the 'old' stuff, and Fox may feel the same way.

#5689 2 years ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Hi everyone,
I want to give you all an update.
The official line from Fox is that we can't publicly show videos until the game has been approved as a whole. I will continue to show teasers, privately, at shows until then.

Honestly, as it's been this long now, I think it's the right decision on their part both for the sake of the IP and the success of the machine in pinball. A relatively small number of people in the pinball world keep any real eye on this, but far more will take notice of a great looking completed game than something still being prototyped - even if the latter looks good, they'll assume it won't be delivered for ages.

#5782 2 years ago
Quoted from bane:

I am quoting Heighway's post. Look at it again. I'm not in the future. I'm taking him at his word that he is going to show something at a trade show.
What confounds me is why they cannot show something about the game to those invested, who cannot attend trade shows.

You seem a little slow on the uptake. Fox have expressly forbade them from distributing media related to the unfinished game, and Andrew just stated as much. Yet you and others continue to ignore this and call for them to breach contract and at best piss the licensor off and at worst lose the license and get sued. What's wrong with you?

#5955 2 years ago
Quoted from Purpledrilmonkey:

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

Yeah, I'm out. Draining it. It's a total waste of time.

1 week later
#6320 2 years ago
Quoted from chet218:

So has there been any word as to when these will go into production. I ask cause the layout looks awesome and could possibly be my next purchase if its sooner rather than later.

Andrew says he hopes it will be August. But bear in mind that production date has continually slid backwards every couple of months. My bet is October.

2 months later
-1
#7070 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

In my opinion, Alien will be successfully made and delivered. It's the long term viability of the company that should concern people.
And you can spin the word "Dissolved" any way you like. Look at the facts. He has a business record of 100% dissolved business.

You sound like one of the googly-eyed hacks on Fox News trying to drum up a scare story or promote the next war by using language that the grossly ignorant will find intimidating.

It's patently obvious you have an axe to grind for some reason, and know exactly what you're doing.

On the subject of the game, I may go for a look-see next week.

#7122 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

At least for now Mirco is making the playfields. Plastics are still printed in house.

That's good news, IMO.

Whilst there've been some issues in the past, I haven't heard of any with recent manufacture dates, and the PFs on both my Funhouse and WOZ look exceptional ... immensely better than anything Stern have ever had.

2 weeks later
#7276 1 year ago
Quoted from schwarz:

Are the standard and le plastics the same?

It was suggested that they and several other cosmetic features of the game would be different on the LE (backglass and possibly PF included), but with Andrew saying they wanted to get the LEs out first, I expect that feature may have been cut ...

#7314 1 year ago
Quoted from DerGoetz:

And here I am, down payment through CoinTaker many months ago - no emails in months, no email today....sigh....not that this email will get the pin to me any faster, but it would have been nice to be part of the LE clientele that got a notice All is good, all is good....

Then cancel and go via Heighway.

#7392 1 year ago
Quoted from thewool:

Sorry if this has been asked before but does FT or Alien use any kind of technology to fade the LEDs for the inserts? Something like what the LED OCD does?

It's designed for LEDs, unlike the old BW / DE / Capcom games, so it would be rather surprising if it didn't ...

16
#7426 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'd say Stern has lost their goddamn minds, but people are apparently happy to line up and pay those prices.
If Andrew's not an idiot he's going to raise his prices too. Why not? The frog is perfectly happy in the bubbling water.
This is me just talking personally, I have zero insight into Alien prices or plans. And I'm not trying to push anyone into pre-ordering just to lock in a price point. But if the street price on the base Batman 66 game is around $7700 and people are opening their wallets? Andrew would be a fool to leave money on the table he could use to grow his company.
Expect a price increase, that's my prediction. Up up up, that's the trend.

Stern are heading for major, major problems.

They're developing a pretty awful reputation, and one that's going to be very difficult to shake. Other companies would be well advised to steer clear of their cost-cut-everything-and-simultaneously-double-prices-in-4-years model.

As I said elsewhere, the only way it makes sense is fattening up the books for a sale. Their current direction isn't remotely sustainable and in the medium to long term may prove ruinous for both them and the industry as a whole.

#7474 1 year ago
Quoted from ectobar:

I'm curious where people are getting these prices from. I've talked to CT about getting a Full Throttle and the quoted prices were more like 7k/9k. Can't imagine Alien is going to be cheaper.

Direct from Heighway is cheaper, even including shipping to the US.

#7481 1 year ago

Nitro would be cheaper for Canadian customers once local taxies are levied, I think.

However, direct from Heighway is the cheapest option for US customers.

#7509 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

That is correct...If i understand well...
Uk customer is paying 7000€ and in the EU the price is 8500€

I expect the EU price has simply not been changed to reflect the massive fall in the £. Pay the price in £ (plus extra delivery fee) if you're in the EU.

$ price is cheap because there's no tax.

#7559 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

in the EU, the seller must sell to an european customer without any taxe. the customer is paying tax of his country.
it's normally how it works.
heighway should normally noticed a price without any taxe for european customer.
so as bristish and french TVA are the same, the french customer should pay a little less than 7000€ + shipping
the danish customer should pay 7220€ + shipping etc

You can choose to pay VAT / sales tax in the country of origin, in the EU.

Doesn't need to be tax-free, then taxed in the country of receipt.

So unless the Danish customer particularly wants to pay extra taxes (to the Danish government), then they can pay the same amount of tax as UK buyers, but at the loss of all tax revenue to country of residence.

14
#7566 1 year ago
Quoted from KingBW:

ok ... how does a potential customer base help pressure Fox to make a decision?
These seems pretty important for the marketing of the pin and grabbing those dollars before someone else does at the Expo.

Got back from Wales a couple of hours ago, after spending some time at the Heighway facility today.

Will write a more detailed post later, though without some specifics.

The team were filming approval videos today, and hope to finish it tomorrow - sending it off as soon as possible thereafter. So whilst the approvals are a continual process, the final (production) approvals videos have not yet been passed off to Fox.

However, Fox have indicated that it could be a very fast turn around provided that they're happy. So Expo should be on, still.

#7569 1 year ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

that sounds really optimistic. Fox has been made out to sound like a bureaucracy but who knows? Hopefully. Seems like it might be a minor disaster if it's not approved in time.

Heighway are now dealing with the LA office directly. So they're speaking to the people that are making the decisions.

Quoted from PinballRulez:

So this pretty much means the pin is in his final stage (production) and the only thing pending now to show it on expo is that Fox approves the approval videos of the production pin.

As far as showing everything publicly and launching it, yes. There are still a few things that need to be received / fixed before production though. Will write more detail tomorrow, or later tonight after a nap.

#7578 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

My advice for Heighway would be to put their promo video online as soon as it is green lit. Let people get "hands on" Alien for the first time at expo, but don't hold back the reveal till then. There is going to be a super amount of competition at expo this year, with both Batman and JJP3 being revealed there. If we can see and discuss Alien for an entire week or more before expo from footage, I think that will be very beneficial.

I don't think the approvals stuff being done will take the form of a promo. It's an exhaustive process of documentation. I think they'll want to wait a little longer on a couple of parts and revisions for some kind of final, production promo video.

That said, it would be a good idea to put the original private promo video from March online, once approval is granted for the whole caboodle

It's well cut and showcases David Thiel's sound design well. Would be a nice teaser for those who haven't seen it.

14
#7585 1 year ago
Quoted from Strohz:

So was the filming done on production models or the two prototypes? There's some conflicting posts here:

One 'final' prototype, albeit missing a few components that haven't come in yet, and with non-final revisions of some new, yet to be revealed features. They'll finish building up the second when they're done making the approvals videos.

There are no production models because:

a) approval of everything hadn't been applied for as of yesterday
b) a logic (control) board still hasn't come in yet for first test (though it is expected to work), for a major feature
c) brand new unannounced features need to be refined before production. ones I saw were placeholders.
d) likely need tweaks to many mechanisms - not necessarily manufacture, but assembly or the way things are configured
e) one of the toys is to be revised cosmetically, at Fox's request
f) production simply hasn't started

Quoted from frolic:

Once the "game" is approved, they don't have to keep submitting every video they make of it, do they? If the game is signed off on, isn't it out in the open? The game will show up at expo (hopefully) and there will be tons of videos made of it there, so I'm hoping they can jump the gun on those videos.

To an extent. In my view it won't be playable to the public at Expo and it would be a real mistake to allow it. Andrew did not state that it wouldn't be, but he was careful to state what they were aiming for, for Expo. Playing the machine underlined this. My view is that this is realistic and a good thing.

Furthermore, there hasn't been any serious play testing of the new prototype (rather than original early one) and will no doubt require refinement to make it acceptably reliable for shows, location or home use. Plus, whilst Andrew assures me code is 85% done (100% = production and it 'goes gold'), sound and video aren't anywhere near all hooked up (even if files are pretty much done), neither are all the animations and the game UI, and quite a bit is still placeholder.

Hardware and software will be prone to failure, and that would lead to disappointment.

Even assuming it was refined enough to not disappoint people ... if someone's rough or is unfortunate to break one or more major things, that would be a real setback for production. The two prototypes are being shipped over to Chicago for two of the US development team to take home, so that they can see how the code and media are working in the flesh. Up to this stage, they've relied on virtual testing, imagination and reports from Wales. Them receiving the machines ship shape and ready to do the final pre-production development on is far, far more important for Heighway (and potential customers) than a few people playing (and quite possibly breaking) the machines at Expo.

As of now, these are nothing like 'sample' games that JJP and Stern put out on location post announcement, and stress test extensively in house, before production models ship to customers.

They are in the final furlong and this will quickly change, but not in 8 working days until they head to Expo.

Quoted from jonesjb:

So it's been approved?! If so this is exciting news!!

Hasn't been sent for approval (unless HW were really quick bundling all the media, annotation and documentation today and conveying it to Fox).

--- proper write up coming later this evening.

#7602 1 year ago
Quoted from karl:

If the state of the game is anywhere near the condition that rubberducks describes and is missing several features and toys,
and has not been playtested enough before expo, I would not show it there at all.
Much better to just show videos of what it will look like and of the pre-production models.
It doesn't take much for people to get disappointed and underwhelmed in places like expo. Why take that chance when the game is so close to being finished and you can then show it in all its glory to the public?
I realize that Heighway is really keen on finally showing a game to the public and that expo is the best place for that, but it could also be the complete opposite. First impression matters. Just look at what happened to The Hobbit 2 years ago. (a totally different situation of course with the hobbit's then underwhelming playfield graphics, but still..)

It's not missing any toys or originally known features as such. Per my post, it's missing one working feature due to a control board that's needed and SHOULD be there before Expo. Read the whole post.

37
#7604 1 year ago

Wider post. Previous post covered path to Expo and attempted to address prototype status. Some general bullet points first:

- Heighway have moved to their third factory recently, and been there for 4 months. This one seems like a better set up (better ratio of shop floor to office space) and better size (neither too small nor far too large). Also newer, in much better state of repair and significantly less costly than the huge 40,000ft2 place. This, I think, is about half the size. Small production line and most of the vital equipment is set up and working. Production line will be expanded considerably for Alien(s), with more stations. They're about to install a load of new storage for the mass of parts needed for volume production.

- Producing everything in house for now has been dropped, and some of the very expensive machinery which a lot of capital is tied up in will be sold. Good thing. Even if it was ultimately successful, too much for a small start up to take on and manage adequately. However they are continuing to conduct research and development on a couple of major elements, which may see fruit borne some time in the future.

- Focus is about to switch from producing Full Throttle to Alien(s). As you might expect, and HW certainly do, Alien(s) will be the main source of orders, machines wise. They'll produce Full Throttle to demand in future, presumably mostly in kit form. If Alien(s) goes down well, they should expect quite a few kit orders IMO.

- The cabinets and their trim continue to be refined. Many people, me included, weren't keen on the black with grey colour scheme. The newer black on black is a big improvement and should satisfy quite a few of the cosmetic grumblings. Finish looks to have been improved too.

- Trim options (even if not the full list) should be detailed at or by Expo. Some stuff may come after initial production. Nothing finalised on this yet. It'll be the last thing to be done, practically.

- Some new features, which should be the first to actually make it to production in pinball machines, have been added to the machine very recently. Proof of concepts were in the machine I saw, and cabinet waiting for the soon to be finished second prototype. Can't say what, but they aren't something which will take endless revisions to reach production. Even if you don't like the iteration, the way it's being integrated ought to allow for retrofitting of community developed alternatives. Also, if it were looking likely to be a cause of any delay, it shouldn't stop production or shipping of games (my opinion), as they ought to be able to be easily shipped on their own or in bulk and installed by end users. There will be a lot of this technology in future games across the industry.

- Difficult to really get a sense of it when playing with glass off, cacophony of noise from factory floor, and blinding studio lights, but the sound package David Thiel is responsible for looks like it's going to be what most fans of the franchise would hope for.

- Animations and game UX still not finished / all hooked up. But what is there looks decent and it's definitely evocative of the universe and its style. Finished animations look great. Not quite JJP level, but embarrasses Stern and better than Full Throttle.

- Hundreds of sound clips lifted from the films (not sure how many video clips). The original (to the machine) voiceover work sounded good, of the little I heard - definitely not a TWD situation. Seemless and fits in well with the licensed property.

- Some of the shots feel good. Some ... well, playing half blind in studio lights wasn't easy. I do think shots from the upper right (3rd?) flipper shot will require some significant skill and timing.

- TONS of skillshots.

- No video mode. Likely a good thing ... might have been a nightmare to get Fox to approve, and would probably break immersion rather than enhancing it.

- Some feature elements (rather than effects) of the game's UX are rendered in real time and interactive. Took a long time to go back towards Pinball 2000. Game doesn't make heavy use of it. But there's scope for Heighway and others to do way more of this in future. I would guess, if Heighway do have one speculated cartoon franchise (I don't know), it would employ a great deal of it.

- I wasn't aware, but Heighway have moved on from custom ARM based boards to an Intel x86 processor and board. At a guess, more expensive, but they're not going to have any supplier issues if they can buy completely generic off the shelf parts. Also, long, long into the future, and well past the point of being supported, obtaining replacement parts or an entirely new computer shouldn't be too much of an issue.

- Development and conveyance to production status of future games should be expedited. The idea is to have some staff dedicated to each game.

Regarding Alien(s) itself. Per the above bullet points, it wasn't really possible to form much of an opinion about it from play due to the conditions and the ongoing filming. It needed some tuning, and there was a software bug, but those can be addressed - the latter probably swiftly once the games are with the American team in the flesh. What I was really concerned about was how the sound and any original speech used (if any) would turn out. I like it. Difficult not to smile at the promo video when played in a quieter office. It's typical(ly excellent) David Thiel work. A big feature was waiting on a board, so I didn't get to see it in action; its arrival is imminent. Cosmetically, except the brand new features I can't talk about, one toy (the one Fox want to look a little different) and some decals, it's done. So almost everything I saw above the playfield should be what you see when it's revealed. I.E. It's ready to see the light of day. Inserts' light show wasn't really in yet, but there was some potentially good news on that front which was added recently; shouldn't delay production, but may take some extra time to fully utilise in code as it ought to allow for more creativity. Fibre optic lighting will be on the left and right ramps that run parallel to the left and right side of the cabinet. This is both for LE and as a pay-extra upgrade. Wasn't in yet, but I think the work that took so long to complete it for Full Throttle should mean there are no issues. On the LE front, translite and side panel artwork will be LE exclusive. Wasn't 100% confirmed, but looks like the 27" backbox LCD is going to become standard. Hardly a surprise as this has been default for pre-orders through CoinTaker for some time now. Could increase the price of admission slightly, but this HAS to be done, imo. The translite and frame for it would require 6 (SIX!) versions with the original scheme of full translite, small LCD, large LCD and a Standard and LE model. 2 seems like a much more manageable number. Besides, it's a shame for spectators not to be able to see what's going on, and during more cinematic moments, the player's likely to enjoy a 27" screen more than the one in the pf. Also it seemed like a major point of confusion for people interested in Heighway's games. Removing that must be positive. If some features aren't fully working for Expo, or play is limited, I don't think that is or should be seen as evidence of a malaise, it just happens that the game has reached its approval state mere days before Expo.

Regarding production. Assuming approvals go through as quickly as expected, Andrew's still adamant that they can get a first small run of games out and shipped by the end of October. This does seem optimistic to me. But it is doable. They can definitely be built by then, but that depends on suppliers coming through with parts on time and in shippable standard; with all that's going on at the moment, there is acute awareness at Heighway of how vital QC is. But small numbers for the initial run oughtn't to be a big issue. Of course, there could be other unforeseen circumstances that delay things. However, whilst I expect this target to be missed, days and weeks are what we're talking in terms of delays, from what I've seen. That's only 4 weeks away now, and there would be no shame in running slightly past it. We should be able to say goodbye to the endlessly churning score reel of month after month of delays. When I said they were in the final furlong in the previous post, I really think they are. Code probably shouldn't be a worry, given that Full Throttle shipped in a reasonable state, has seen updates, continues to be developed, and most seem to agree that the code is good.

In terms of mass production, that is expected for November. Again dependent on parts, of course. I expect it may slip a little, and their ramp won't be as quick as they or their contemporaries at DP or JJP hoped and experienced. But I do think they're in a good position to enter mass production VERY SOON and with a minimum of potential operational pitfalls.

Lots of new labour, after new hiring, and until they set foot over the threshold of the facility, completely untrained for the required task labour, likely also devoid of any knowledge of pinball, could be a huge headache generally, and a nightmare as far as QC is concerned. But, per the earlier mention, they are cognisant of this.

People were sceptical about the claims of assembly man-hours for Heighway machines of less than half the average at Stern and JJP. However they appear to have done a fantastic job of simplifying the under playfield mechanisms and drastically reducing the amount of wiring (much of which is plug and play), boards, mechanisms, mountings and points of contact. Having seen what they've done, I'd be very surprised if their claims aren't accurate. The function of assembly should be a lot easier and less likely to result in damage than traditionally. So one would hope that QC and a ramp to volume production targets shouldn't be nearly as difficult as other recent examples. If Alien(s) is a huge hit, all this work should aid them in scaling up seamlessly.

Like many of you would be, given the history of continual delay and unrealistic schedules, I was braced for a series of red flags and the possibility that the game might be stuck in 'development hell'. However, I didn't see the former, and if it ever was in the latter, I don't see any evidence of it being extant. Indeed, while nothing is really ever certain, it looks like some kind of catastrophe would be needed to significantly derail production at this juncture. The first customers ought to receive their games pretty soon.

I know Andrew does and will think I'm unfair to cast mild doubt about their schedule, but they're at the end of a long, hard road on bringing Alien(s) to market. Development time, I think, has been wholly reasonable, it was just announced far too early and estimates were continually way-way off due to a combination of lack of experience, over-optimism and no doubt various unknowns. Any misses now shouldn't be a mark of shame, or a cause of huge consternation, hand wringing and tittle-tattle, they ought to be a rite of passage into becoming a volume manufacturer and just a normal if frustrating part of the management of a business of this type.

It's impossible to say how well the game will sell, but it looks to be in a decent place, and even in a market that's getting increasingly crowded, they have a unique selling point in the modular system that allows space starved collectors and operators to acquire new games, and with less onerous financial commitments. Moreover, its benefits should become more apparent, the closer to saturation the market gets. Like Alien(s), their upcoming two games are famous IPs, so it ought to bode well that they're able to obtain these from rightsholders.

Aside from hoping they'll succeed, I've tried to keep bias to a minimum - if something was highly personal or potentially exclusive to me and I liked or disliked it strongly, I tried to avoid it here. The visit was informative. Hopefully my account of what I saw and thought about it will be of use and interest to some of you.

TLDR if you're lazy. They're in a good place from an operational perspective, relative to starting mass production; a lot of the work they did on planning their system looks like it'll pay dividends. Alien(s) is pretty much done. Vast bulk of the work is behind them. Physical changes should be extremely minimal. Code should be close to going gold, hooking up all the media will be the biggest change. I was told a lot of the animations and UX were still placeholder, soon to be replaced, but they still looked good. If there are further delays, they should be very minor, at this stage. Couple of new features to be revealed at Expo. David Thiel seems like he's done another great job on the sound package. People will have games soon, barring calamity.

#7606 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Rubberducks, i missed it and would like the context...
Who are you and how do you have all this info?

Nobody really. Had been meaning to go on a factory tour since January when I met Andrew at the arcade and amusements show in London. Either i couldn't come or it wasn't convenient. Last opportunity for a while was this week, which happened to be in the middle of the final approvals shoot.

It was gracious of Andrew to show me round and spend time chatting to me.

Full disclosure I suppose, I have a deposit down.

#7608 1 year ago
Quoted from RobT:

Optimistic but doable. But dependent on others.
It seems incredibly unlikely that production Alien pins will ship 30 days from now.
Thanks for the great informative post. I was not aware of all the substantial changes that Heighway had gone through regarding their facility and change of plans regarding making almost everything in house.

Well that's the main thing. They've done 99% of their work. Assuming approvals are smooth, they just need suppliers to deliver. Per the brief on what they've done to simplify things, I assume that has a positive effect as far as parts are concerned, too. Fewer of them and less potential bottlenecks in the production pipeline.

#7623 1 year ago

My WOZ doesn't seem to suffer from ugliness when turned off due to a large backbox monitor ...

I don't know for sure what will happen, but it's total madness not to standardise. It's easier, cheaper and less confusing for all parties, broadly speaking. Of course some people will be dissatisfied, but that will be the case no matter what.

#7625 1 year ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

I do understand the difficulties of what your stating as for as the manufacturing goes. But what is an LE after all? To me an LE means all the bells and whistles. Give the LE buyers the full back glass art piece parts to exhange out as shwarz just stated. There would only be 2 manufactured swapping possibilities in this scenario if the 27" LCD becomes mandatory/standard right?
I believe Andrew has stated how easy it is to go back and forth between the 2 possibilities in this very thread.
...or maybe it was in a Full Throttle thread?

It's a translite. But regardless of backglass or translite, the LE and Standard artwork will not be the same, and can be swapped out if and when you buy future kits.

They'll probably have to make a few full translites for old FT customers, regardless, but it seems crazy to continue offering options that just make their lives more difficult.

Also, on Alien(s) the monitor is a lot more alive, be it with video clips from the movies, animations, interactive elements or just generally much better scoring and gaming information than Full Throttle. I don't expect it to become less alive in future titles. If you don't change your mind, I suspect others currently thinking the same will quite quickly.

Edit: misunderstood you. I think both versions of the translite are intended to ship with the LEs, so I guess you might be able to ask for LE LCD / LE full, but then a lot of people would probably do that and sell one, which they might not want. Guess we'll see when the options list is declared at Expo.

#7648 1 year ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

more asinine bullshit from a suspicious "new" user

It's a repost of something someone posted on RGP.

#7670 1 year ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Was the IP from Peru by chance?
I guess somebody is bored on holiday ....
rd

Dupe may have been him, but the OP on RGP I'd place money on being a Brit by their mode of phrase.

#7697 1 year ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

Not ever I hope, at least in terms of design, so far Spooky pins have looked like garage projects with sound to match, I agree that Heighway is taking too long to reveal but luckily the theme will hold the interest for most of us.

They're limited in terms of what they offer, but if anything they've under promised and over delivered, which seems unique in pinball. They've achieved a lot on limited resources. Future machines should hopefully pack better art, more features and improved sound and dmd animations.

I wouldn't want their products up until now, but they seem to be really well run and have established a very solid foundation.

#7708 1 year ago

Production dates and exchange rates changed rather a lot in 12 months ...

RIP £ and likely UK generally

#7722 1 year ago

Games will be going, regardless of whether Fox have given a green light, as US team members need to have access to the machines. Plus, as I'm sure you can imagine, Fox approving after the team flies (without machines) would be less than ideal.

#7741 1 year ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Whats happening Thursday night in regards to Alien?
According to the expo schedule Alien reveal is on Friday at 4pm
http://www.pinballexpo.net/seminar.pdf
4:00 p.m. "Alien Pinball:
The Official North American Launch"
Guest Moderator: Gary Flower
Speakers: Andrew Heighway, Brian
Dominy, Joe Schober, David Thiel, Barry
Oursler, Kelly Mazurowski, Garret Popek,
Matt Riesterer

Be interesting what Barry Oursler has to say, since he's responsible for games 3, 4 & 5, assuming 4 or 5 don't get juggled, depending on how long 3 takes.

#7749 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

You mean i need to take the plane from France to get an answer to my question :" is the price for EU customer still 8500€?"
If i was ordering today, What would be the price from manufacturer?

It's been answered. This price was indicative of the exchange rate at the time.

Just pay the final price when announced in £ if you want to order one. They're not going to price gouge EU customers.

#7758 1 year ago
Quoted from dannunz:

In the first video Andrew was showing the ramps were plastic correct? They are now metal?

Steel and welded. Not plastic.

#7786 1 year ago
Quoted from Yipykya:

Exciting times!
Are only the 35th Anniversary Edition LE models getting the 3 secret features? Not seeing them

Not as I understood it. AFAIK everyone will get them. The internal cabinet design is being slightly changed to incorporate one of them, with the feature likely being used for all future games. so I'd imagine it's much better to have all of them with it. One of the others will require all games be programmed the same way, I think. The last one could be exclusive but I don't think it will be.

LEs are differentiated by having all the mod cons as standard, plus different side and translite art and their numbered placque.

#7818 1 year ago
Quoted from bigdaddy07:

Where did this go? Did they decide to remove it?

Airlock is there, just the look changed.

Space Jockey was indeed missing from both the game I saw (probably the one in the flyer) and the flyer, and Andrew seemed to suggest the game was feature complete save for an incoming logic board. Assume it was canned.

Only difference is that they've added the (production) colour eggs ... neutral colour instead of proto green ones (ensures they can be properly lit by the rgb leds)

#7880 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I promise you that no matter how they come from the factory I'll be pulling mine for custom paintwork.

I think having it mostly bare is better ... easier to do custom efforts then.

Re: people talking about black cab and black trim.

I'm of the view that it looks vastly better. Immensely so than the rather weird looking black cab and grey trim. I don't think the green powder coat would look right, personally, with the large bezel round the glass. It'd be too eye catching and distracting during play.

#7914 1 year ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

I see what you did there. Weller would be proud.

It wasn't a sarcastic pun, just common mode of phrase here.

mod cons
mɒdˈkɒnz/
nounBRITISHinformal
the amenities and appliances characteristic of a well-equipped modern house that contribute to an easier and more comfortable way of life.
"the property has all mod cons". modern conveniences.

#7923 1 year ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

I'm interested in seeing what optic lighting will look like on metal ramps, could be great, in fact fits this theme much better than plastic.

As i understood it, the fibre optic lighting will go dowm the ramp returns that run parallel to the left and right side of the cabinet. I don't think it'll be on the metal ramp entrances.

#7982 1 year ago
Quoted from HeighwayPinball:

Hi everyone,
I have a question to current pre-order customers.
At the weekend, Aimee sent an email with payment details for the next installment.
Over the weekend her email was hacked and an additional email was sent to at least one customer with bank details supposedly from us. These bank details are incorrect and somebody is trying to get our customers to make payments to a fraudulent account.
If you received an email with all payment details in the body of the email, and the Alien Pinball game flyer as an attachment - then this is correct.
If you then received a subsequent email with bank details as an attachment - then this was fraud.
We are emailing all of our customers about this tonight. However, if you received such an email, could you please either PM me here, or email me at andrew@heighwaypinball.com please?
Thanks in advance.
Andrew

Andrew, In case you see this first:

see the email that I cc'd you into and whatsapp message.

In the warning email about this you just badly further breached your own and your customers' security. You need to get on top of this ASAP. I suspect it's this kind of laxity that led to the 'hack' in the first place, if it was that.

To others receiving Heighway emails atm, I suggest you be VERY careful.

#8172 1 year ago

I also don't really get the air lock ... the original model / concept looked ok, if rather large ... but this is a big box of nothing, and considerably less pretty. In terms of layout / toys, that would be the one thing I'd remove immediately.

It's going to look particularly weak next to the Alien head if you have it custom painted and dolled up.

13
#8376 1 year ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Here's a tip for all of you keyboard gang banger's. Acting tough on the internet doesn't always work out.
Aurich posted that comment about a month ago along with the usual trash he speaks about me. I didn't retaliate on Pinside or say anything with macho posturing in return. I remained silent to his taunt while his fan boys clicked the thumbs up for him.
Friday early evening at Expo, I happen to see Aurich in the Exhibit Hall. He was about 30 feet away from me talking with a friend. I didn't care he had a buddy with him and I was to face him on my own. I didn't hesitate for a moment and went straight over to Aurich and stepped up on him. I called him a lair and an asshole to his face exactly as he called me out to do.
Aurich back-peddled a step, put his open hands up in the air and said "I'm not talking to you, Kim" and I bitched him out some more.
Nobody got touched, it was over fairly quickly and it didn't go well for Aurich. His friend in my peripheral vision seem dumbfounded and must of thought me crazy and maybe I am. Aurich disappeared after that and I never saw him again.
I doubt Aurich will call anybody out on the internet ever again but if he does you, be sure to look him up.
Prediction: Aurich will reply to my comment here with his usual story of how he has me blocked and cant read but he somehow reads me anyway. Then of course, he will tell a much different version.
I don't care what story he tells or what you guys believe. I know and Aurich knows what happened and that's all that matters to me.

I'm not sure what this has to do with you having concerns about Aliens, some of which are definitely legitimate.

If true, this is an absolutely bizarre thing to do in the first place, and even more bizarre to brag about. Apart from anything else, you'll end up getting yourself barred from events.

#8454 1 year ago
Quoted from Ben1981:

I'm wondering about that number too! About 1k less than the last quote from my distributor before expo. Would love to get clarification about the pricing for standard.
Game looks killer!
Cheers

£ / € was somewhere between 1.35-1.4 when old pricing was done. It's now about 1.1 and probably set to go lower.

Hence why the € price is now much cheaper.

#8718 1 year ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I'm not an expert, but from what I've heard black nickel is crazy toxic, and a lot of places don't want to touch it, the environmental regulations are a giant pain in the ass.

Nickel plating is less toxic than either hexa or tri valent chrome plating.

But it's a rather less foolproof and universally suitable process AFAIK

#8818 1 year ago

A low end ITX or mATX motherboard, probably 4GB of 1600Mhz DDR3 RAM, an i3 processor, a PSU and probably a new SSD, plus cables is probably the extent of the changes, and shouldn't cost Heighway more than ~£350 in the kind of bulk they'll buy them. Probably well under £300 in fact.

So even if it's not free, and rather at cost, it should be significantly cheaper to upgrade than many of the optional upgrades on Alien, for example.

#8835 1 year ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Regardless, this isn't a FT upgrade, it's required for FT adopters to run Alien. In reality, this should be a no cost upgrade if the FT owners buy Alien.

I agree, but some seem worried that the new system could cost many hundreds if not thousands. I was merely demonstrating otherwise. A low spec'd i3 based PC will not cost much at all.

#8912 1 year ago

Re: modularity, in principle it's a great idea. In practice I don't think it will work all that well due to a number of issues, whether it be in the Heighway form (price, space etc) or the P3 model (technology isn't ideal yet). Also, both really need the kind of scale that neither is likely to achieve in the near term.

I suspect in the next 2-5 years someone will nail the P2K / Heighway model, and 4-10 years the P3 model. But I don't expect either to hit the ground running right now.

For the record, I think the latter will be way more compelling once 240hz 4k / 8k QD/microLED/OLEDs are available and cheap enough to replace the PF. Especially as with inkjet printing it will become way easier to order displays with cut outs and custom sizes and shapes.

#8970 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

I definitely agree with that. With prices the way they are, a package that came with a cabinet and 2 or 3 compelling games would be really, really strong.
Gotta have those killer games though.

Issue is that a fully decked out LE, with two extra pf kits and a couple of optional extras will run to $20k ... it's not really a value option for most people put off by the new, insane pricing of NIB pinball. I think a lot of people were hoping that final pricing wouldn't be so high and that pf kits would come down in price a little.

Also, for operators, who this is mainly meant to appeal to, most are probably going to be able to buy 4 Stern Pros plus some left over change for the same figure. Or they could get a DI Standard and a Stern Pro for the same money as an Alien LE and FT kit .. or less than, if the FT kit comes with fibre optics. I think I know which option will offer a better return.

Certainly I know a few people who were really keen on the value prospect, but now that final pricing has been set, they're much less keen. It feels like a bit of a missed opportunity given how outraged people were about BM '66 and DI pricing.

#8974 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

You're comparing "fully decked out LEs" with Standard and Pro models.
So, either compare LEs against LEs and SLEs, or Standards against Standards and Pros.
A stock Alien or FT is priced below Stern Premium. We're waiting to see what the Aerosmith Pro pricing with LCD will be, but will probably be near a stock Alien.
You can debate value, but keep it Apples vs Apples.

There seems to be significantly more demand for the LE featureset, if not the price, so essentially I am, and for comparative purposes there's not much 'pro' or 'standard' about JJP's standard model. The comparison still works if you use a DI LE though.

Also, there's no way any ops are not going to include the 27", EL blades and beacons with an Alien Standard, and I suspect most will include a shaker motor. That takes it to $7600 ... again, once you add a few options to an additional playfield kit, you might be looking at less money for a DI Standard and Stern Pro .... and bear in mind that both machines can earn simultaneously, rather than one pf kit resting.

Price, like most new machines, is going to give a lot of people much pause for thought.

#9027 1 year ago
Quoted from Pale_Purple:

Two weeks doesn't sound that bad now that I've been waiting for over a month for a response from Cointaker. They replied within hours when I was asking about a deposit, nothing but silence since I sent them money. Making we wish I ordered direct from Heighway now.

Call them. They're terrible with email but generally responsive when you phone. I found Chris better than Melissa.

#9042 1 year ago
Quoted from NPO:

Hey hey hey....some of us actually own a CD-i...!
I'm such a sucker for the underdog.

3DO and Atari Jaguar too?

#9097 1 year ago
Quoted from matt_adams:

4 emails so far and tried calling 3 times today, no one picking up!!!!

Eh, you remember there's a time difference right?

Also, are you really ordering via CoinTaker when in the UK? AFAIK there are UK distributors.

#9110 1 year ago

Post you replied to addressed CoinTaker, hence the confusion.

#9175 1 year ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

I couldn't disagree with this more. You know that just because a rulebook exists, people don't have to read it. I get that some people want to explore on their own and don't want to know anything they didn't figure out themselves, but others don't have the time or the energy to fully explore all the permutations of different play tactics, especially if they're not good enough players to full execute what and when the opportunities arise. I'm somewhere between these two extremes. I'd like to save the "surprises" but get the details on play strategies.
I don't have the time or attention span to learn what impacted what fully on my own. But I will read rulesheets and try to execute those strategies. If you want to be surprised by everything, just don't read them.
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.

+1. Poor documentation is one of the many things that limits access and causes frustration in pinball.

6 months later
#14044 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

lol. you are quoting non-audited data, from a secondary source that is over a year old...

It is indeed non-audited, due to the exemption that small companies are afforded. That does not however mean that the directors of the company are not legally obliged to file accurate accounts at Companies House, which they are. As the only director of HW Pinball, Andrew is entirely responsible for filing these accounts accurately. Notice the highlighting. Doesn't get much more primary than that.

Given the above, are you still going to imply that they are inaccurate, or misrepresent the company's solvency, or cast doubt on their veracity?

Also, the accounts are the most recently available.

1 (resized).PNG
2 (resized).PNG

#14064 1 year ago
Quoted from Strohz:

So I'm surprised no one else mentioned it from the links above. What exactly does the company was dissolved by the crown mean in December 2016, and might that explain why several of us were getting jerked around with refunds around that time?

No.

According to records on Companies House the company never did anything and was considered dormant, then dissolved after a period of dormancy. Its balance sheet was a token £1, consisting of share capital afforded that value. There was presumably the idea to have two companies at one stage - one for sales and one for production - but it was never used.

You, and I assume everyone else, should have been dealing with Heighway Pinball Ltd - not this entity.

10
#14216 1 year ago
Quoted from PinBalt:

Andrew. You need a communications person and a consistent update plan. There might be a lot going on but no one knows it. A consistent weekly update email message would go a long way. The DP situation is murky at the moment but they have done a Friday update each week and that has been great. Someone on your team must be able to put this together. This gap in message and then a statement not coming true is frustrating us that are invested and trying to be patient. Again, please do a Weekly/Biweekly update message. Communication is critical at this point.

I think it's a bit late in the day for honesty to make a tangible difference to the outcome, sadly. See below.

Quoted from chrisnack:

I'm not following this thread anymore, but I said I'd post when i reached resolution.
I had paid in 2 equal payments through PayPal. PayPal ruled in my favor on the disputes and I've received my money back through PayPal. Heighway refunded one payment (half) through the dispute, but did not refund the other half. I'm squared up though on my end, which is what matters to me. I didn't want to wait for them to process my refunds, so I disputed the charges. Some may disagree with that, but that's what I did. I know of 4 others waiting on refunds, and I hope they get resolution soon, 3 of them are at 30 days now.
I wish everyone the best of luck, and I hope all get their machines soon. Take care.

If PayPal and the payment processor WorldPay accounts aren't permanently shuttered now, they're almost certainly already suspended, at this point. The above is not an isolated case and has happened repeatedly. At least in this case resolution was fairly 'swift'. In some cases Andrew has fought credit card chargebacks and managed to string them out for months, not days or weeks. PP are definitely flawed and very open to criticism on many fronts, but in situations like this they are often better.

For anyone thinking this is just some contravention of terms of service, or something else that can be explained away, it is not. It can be seen to constitute fraud.

Additionally, operationally, if a company cannot meet its obligations and is insolvent, then it must voluntarily declare bankruptcy (if a third party doesn't force it) so that it may either enter administration or be liquidated. Amongst other reasons, this is to prevent pyramids forming or becoming worse.

If it can be shown that the company was traded past the point where directors knew that the company was insolvent, or that insolvency was inevitable, it is classified as insolvent / negligent trading (officially Wrongful Trading in the UK). Directors, and Andrew is the only one despite having other shareholders, can face very large fines and other penalties. In this case, the accounts from the year to the end of March '16 show the company to be deeply insolvent and virtually worthless.

The warning signs have been there for a long, long time. It is difficult to argue that these are merely just 'warning signs' now.

27
#14219 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

Curious what is your exact relation and affiliation. You rarely post excepts to toot this horn for a while now.

I think the better question is what exactly is your relation and affiliation, given your constant cheerleading, apparent desire to cast doubt on or discredit anything which you perceive to be negative, and conduct personal attacks or witch hunts against other members - most recently Ted, something which you were ejected from the thread for. Your behaviour was similar with Kulek.

Please, if you have any quarrel with or doubts about the veracity of what I or others have posted, state them plainly, rather than trying to insinuate distortion or error. As I tried to make clear, this is a serious matter.

For the record though, I was one of many that encountered 'difficulties' upon requesting a refund. I suspect there are rather more of us than you would like to imagine.

I think all of us wanted this to succeed, particularly given the license, but the time for pretending is over.

P.S. That was my third post in 6 months ...and third time clarifying what's actually happening, since many seem unclear.

#14221 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I am a fan of new pinball, nothing more. I have no affiliation with any manufacturing company. I, like you want new pinball to succeed.
That said, i was smart enough to learn from previous lessons and don't put in preorder on ANY game. I hope you get your refund. Anyone requesting should get it! Period!

If that's the extent of it, then I'd urge you not to try to divert people's attention from concerns. Even if your instinct may be to to do so.

I got mine a while ago. Others have clearly not been so lucky.

#14225 1 year ago
Quoted from Procrastinator:

Whatever the circumstances, your assumption that their PayPal account is suspended is way out of bounds. Do you have any proof of their suspended account? I get over 10 mil in PP payments a year, and having a truly suspended account is a rare thing. Hell, if you receive over a mil in payments, it's a whole different ballgame in how your funds are held, accessed, and disputed. It's clear you don't have a clue, at least on the PP side.
I do think it's funny though, you say the sky is falling at heighway, but for DP you are a constant defender. Not sure the connection, but definitely a little backwards taking everything at face value.

It's folly to assume it hasn't been. Assuming you haven't obstructed valid refund requests and Paypal haven't ruled against you, why would you have issues? Also, you do realise that according to their accounts, it would be incredible if their PP account is in remotely the same ballpark as the one you claim to have. It'd be in the same danger of closure, suspension or funds being witheld as ALL small PP accounts are.

You make an awful lot of assumptions here. If HW had millions going through their PP account, do you think cash flow would be an issue?

Further, you choose to completely ignore the legal obligations I mention wrt to solvency. That's the big issue, not PP status.

You, as others, imagine that my saying the situation is not black and white with DP (in any sense) amounts to white knighting for them. I would be surprised if little positive comes from the apparent takeover negotiations with ARA any time soon.

Edit: I've taken a deliberately contrarian view in the DP thread because people are constantly one way or the other. Prevailing thinking currently seems to be that the two parties can just agree to a takeover and everyone will live happily ever after, if pride is just swallowed. I think it highly unlikely that even if a deal is reached swiftly, production will resume with speed & efficiency, and DP/ARA would have plain sailing. Hopefully I'm wrong ... anyway I don't see how DP are relevant to this, seeing as their problems appear to relate to poor management of third party manufacturing.

#14230 1 year ago
Quoted from Procrastinator:

im not making any assumptions, I'm talking about what I know for a fact. I know PayPal, and their rules. I simply said for larger accounts, there is a whole different process then joe blow running $5k through his account yearly. I wouldn't dare defend or pontificate on the inner workings of a company I know nothing about, you however, don't seem to have an issue.
Lastly, you have every right to "obstruct" a refund request, or drag it out as long as you can. Is it good business? No, but they clearly even stated it when they sent the email saying refunds would take up to 60 days as production has started. Either way, they have the right to drag it out as long as possible under PayPal, or whoever the payment processors rules are.
As a business owner, I sympathize with heighway, as it's all about the turns and trying to survive when starting a new project. I know the frustration of being maybe 6 months out from stability, but having to weather the storm to make it to shore. It's not easy and I respect any company trying to do it. Luckily in my industry we don't have a group of "insiders and experts" talking on a forum daily about the inner workings of a company. Either way, I hope they can make it through this tumultuous period and get their game to the mass market.

HW's accounts are a matter of public record. You are exactly defending and pontificating about something you appear to know very little about, despite there being information for you to consider.

There is no provision under UK law to drag out valid refund requests for more than the mandated 14 calendar or 10 working days. Terms state 21 days on the website. Emails often say 30. Most recently Andrew said 30-60**. Some people have had to wait much longer. None of those are legal. Again, you're making assertions that are shaky at best.

Your latter statement appears fair, but this has been going on for a long time now.

You guys can go back to bickering now. I just wanted people to know what the facts of the matter are and what is expected of companies by the law. If you choose to ignore it, so be it.

** "due to production" - I don't see how that has anything to do with it, unless it's a tacit admission of insolvency.

#14289 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

NICE! LE trim looks amazing!
Looks like this confirms First LEs shipped in May.

Did this machine not have standard translite and side panels, and black trim when originally posted some days ago?

If machines are being spat out in volume, it would seem unlikely that the first and possibly only LE (presumably minus fibre optics) would be a retro fit package.

#14415 1 year ago
Quoted from SunKing:

Join_the_Cirqus, please end the confusion and explain how your game's trim changed color from the time you first posted ten days ago 'till now. Did you have it powder coated? Did Andrew send you replacement armor? Do you have two machines? ...you would end a lot of speculation with a simple answer.

Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

I only have an Alien LE
The powdercoating was changed out to Alien Green from Alien Black

Quoted from DerGoetz:

Found the politician

He was being deliberately vague for a reason. Trying to avoid outright lies without telling the truth. He finally got pushed into a corner and clarified that he indeed did powder coat it himself. He also clearly worked on this with Andrew, since:

1) He had to be sent the bits.
2) He talked about "working with Andrew" on this. Why do you have to 'work with' him when you've just paid for a product, and why do several of these early machines seem to rely on cloak and dagger hush-hush agreements, where the new owner must act as an unofficial PR, and none of whom will disclose either the nature of the agreement or how they came to be selected over others?
3) Andrew e-mailed people yesterday saying that something very positive was happening and it would hopefully be announced the same day (i.e. didn't know when powder would be ready).

Neither of them seem to have thought about this very much before doing it, though. People were asking for PR management ,and honesty with it, yesterday. This is what you get.

Anyway, the first DIY LE 1/??? edition compared to what an LE is supposed to be:

• Gloss Black high finish cabinet - No.

• Beacons – Yes.

• Shaker - ?

• 35th sidepanels - No, Standard. Then sent out later presumably as part of a deal to show an 'LE' off to prove they've shipped .. but seems to have forgotten that people had seen the Standard days earlier, and botched the PR. Oops.

• Backglass - No, Standard. Also marketed as such (backglass), but it's a translite and there is no glass, and sent out later as above.

•Numbered LE placque, as per FTh – No. Handwritten note scrawled on back of backbox with marker pen.

• Green trim (or gloss black / blue) - No. Did green himself. About 2 years after showing first digital mock-ups, and 7 months since full Expo revelation, no official LE trim has been shown yet. N.B. It's just a powder coat.

• Fibre Optics – No.

• Goodie Bag – No (just a hunch).

Aren't they supposed to be printing side panels and possibly translites in house now? Even if not, his game was shipped 2 weeks after the LE translite and panels were shown and approved. Why were other people who wanted to downgrade their LE to a Standard, in order to get it shipped, not offered this? Maybe some others were. Some certainly were not.

If they had the parts and ability to produce any even remotely reasonable number of machines, they'd be sending out higher ticket price LEs (the additional parts cost of which is dwarfed by the price delta). Full machines. Not smoke and mirrors like this. Especially as his was supposed to be the first 'final' machine, with working Xeno, and hence hardware done.

16
#14419 1 year ago
Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Sad that the same two people have such Negative Energy in this thread.

You know, I was perfectly prepared for a reasonable, straightforward and honest explanation when I asked a question last night. I awoke to an absolute shit show where you were going out of your way to avoid answering basic questions and concerns, and thereby allow people to be misled. It hadn't even occurred to me that you would have powder coated it yourself btw - and would then try as hard as you could to avoid clarifying that point.

You also appear to be attempting to vote brigade.

Quoted from Join_The_Cirqus:

Never did I state I recieved a 2nd game or another Game was just delievered.

Im Done posting any further on this current subject, as my posting was intending to provide positive vibes, not this.
If you have any other questions I advise you to reach out to Heighway.
Have a great holiday weekend everyone

How could anyone possibly believe this was your motivation? You knew the effect your initial posts would have (particularly without explanation).

As Whysnow immediately chimed in, "Looks like this confirms First LEs shipped in May." 95% of people viewing or reading probably wouldn't have even realised that it was the same Standard you received a short time before.

Quoted from Whysnow:

NICE! LE trim looks amazing!
Looks like this confirms First LEs shipped in May.

So not an LE. Not LE trim (powder was his own job). If first LEs shipped in May, this is not one of them.

You (Cirqus) said in your initial post that you were getting the thread back on track. Ironically, not the track you intended.

#14421 1 year ago
Quoted from ezeltmann:

Can anyone confirm an email about positive things happening? I can't get an answer to simple questions.

I can ask the source if it's ok to post it. But I suspect they won't want to be identified. I'm sure others received it, but if they were individually written rather than templated, that would allow identification.

#14446 1 year ago
Quoted from Manimal:

To add some fairness to all of this...how many of you reading are getting PM's from RubberDucks urging you to withdraw your funds? He/She may fully have our best interests at heart, but I have to question getting multiple e-mails really trying to get me to pull my money, even after I said I fully accepted the risk. This may very well be the beginning of the end, or maybe Heighway will surprise us all, but whatever decision you make, do it with an open mind and do what YOU want to do, not what someone else is urging you to do.

You seemed to be labouring under the delusion that I specifically tried to clarify the legalities of vis-a-vis solvency yesterday, whilst being worried about your order. I tried to offer you some advice privately.

I haven't e-mailed you at all, either, and after an initial brief message, I simply replied to your responses. You expressed much greater doubt about HW and the situation than you publicly did here, remember. Do as you wish.

-2
#14451 1 year ago
Quoted from Manimal:

I have expressed a LOT of doubt here.....and yes you responded to my messages, but you started by PM'ing me first, and kept responding with advice to pull my money no matter what I said. I can take care of my own finances and if there is a lesson to be learned, then I am big enough to do that on my own as well.

I sent you 4 brief messages, or 3 if you count one as 2 parts. Only the latter 2 did I offer my opinion on the potential merits of your pursuing a refund or not. I only mentioned you requesting one or not after you talked about your decision one way or the other, and had no intention of raising it when I sent the first message. I signed off with, "Of course, your money though".

Good luck.

#14459 1 year ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

They had at least 2 batches of 60 games from my understanding. I got a game in the second batch so I would think 120 at least.

I would doubt it. I don't think there have ever been 'batches' of any size. If there had, surely containers would have gone to the US?

-3
#14462 1 year ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

Ad hominem, blah blah blah.

Everything was shipped air freight, not sure what "containers" you are looking for...are you picturing a ship lumbering across the ocean?

Yes, "a ship lumbering across the ocean". That is precisely what one would expect if they were doing batches or specific production runs of that number? Stern, JJP & even DP have all done it. I assume CGC did full containers for larger external markets too, and certainly will with how popular AFMr is looking.

What ever deal Andrew was (or is) getting on air freight, it's never going to be close to as economical as sending containers of machines, which is what you'd expect with these numbers, when going to the US.

Ocean freight is how the vast majority of consumer and bulky goods reach their destinations in long distance international trade.

Indeed, this is the first time I've heard someone state (claiming knowledge of the situation) that there have been batches or runs of any size at all.

-4
#14465 1 year ago
Quoted from Olaa:

I know that it st least is 87 games in the world. And I have number 85.

I'm not sure that is relevant. Your machine carries the address that they've been gone from for a year or so, so was presumably early. Much later ones have had lower numbers.

-2
#14467 1 year ago
Quoted from Procrastinator:

It does seem strange to me whatever the circumstances with heighway, that ducks is willing to throw so much caution to the wind with DP, but for heighway he is beating the drums of war. He preaches patience and calm with DP, basically saying they aren't broke and things will work out, but for heighway he is sending PM's and telling people the sky is falling. I'm not sure what the truth is with either company, but his obvious bias is clear and somewhat concerning.

You seem to be putting a lot of words in my mouth, and of course caution is more warranted with DP as there is far less information. Also, haven't I been the one saying recently that even if DP agree to the headline terms offered by ARA, that the outcome is anything but a formality or necessarily positive? I just haven't gone along with the mob every time.

Also, I clearly remember that you were claiming my statements were fantastical and out of bounds yesterday, and I knew nothing of what I was talking about. You continued to make error ridden statements, and shortly thereafter you were proved wholly wrong when another poster said that Andrew had e-mailed him saying that the HW Paypal account indeed had been suspended.

Yet here you are trying to do exactly the same thing a day later.

I certainly see some clear and concerning bias.

Yesterday, for people who don't want to go back:

Quoted from Procrastinator:

Whatever the circumstances, your assumption that their PayPal account is suspended is way out of bounds. Do you have any proof of their suspended account? I get over 10 mil in PP payments a year, and having a truly suspended account is a rare thing. Hell, if you receive over a mil in payments, it's a whole different ballgame in how your funds are held, accessed, and disputed. It's clear you don't have a clue, at least on the PP side.
I do think it's funny though, you say the sky is falling at heighway, but for DP you are a constant defender. Not sure the connection, but definitely a little backwards taking everything at face value.

Quoted from Procrastinator:

im not making any assumptions, I'm talking about what I know for a fact. I know PayPal, and their rules. I simply said for larger accounts, there is a whole different process then joe blow running $5k through his account yearly. I wouldn't dare defend or pontificate on the inner workings of a company I know nothing about, you however, don't seem to have an issue.
Lastly, you have every right to "obstruct" a refund request, or drag it out as long as you can. Is it good business? No, but they clearly even stated it when they sent the email saying refunds would take up to 60 days as production has started. Either way, they have the right to drag it out as long as possible under PayPal, or whoever the payment processors rules are.
As a business owner, I sympathize with heighway, as it's all about the turns and trying to survive when starting a new project. I know the frustration of being maybe 6 months out from stability, but having to weather the storm to make it to shore. It's not easy and I respect any company trying to do it. Luckily in my industry we don't have a group of "insiders and experts" talking on a forum daily about the inner workings of a company. Either way, I hope they can make it through this tumultuous period and get their game to the mass market.

Quoted from chrisnack:

Someone pinged me about this so I thought I'd respond. His response was not way out of bounds.
Yes, my dispute locked their account. Andrew emailed me about it. I assume that's why they refunded half and not the full amount, that might have been what they needed to get it unlocked. Buts that's an assumption on my part. But I have no other logical reason as to why they refunded half but not the full amount.

#14470 1 year ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

I had back and forth during the ordering process as far as timing which is where I get my numbers from--I missed being in the first group of games and got mine ordered/paid for/delivered from the second group. These were the numbers I was given. Do I have 100% knowledge? No. Do you have any knowledge? Who knows?
I personally didn't document on pinside every communication I had with Heighway. Perhaps that's why you haven't heard of any "batches"? If I had posted it at the time would that have helped you out?
I had a very positive experience with Heighway. If you are to believe the hysteria that has taken place in this thread over the past month then that may have changed. My guess, changes slowed them down, money isn't coming in which slowed them further and hysterical people PM'ing everyone to bail out is going to create a catch-22 so things will be worse.
I bought a game after they had produced and shipped 60 games. Maybe people should keep their powder dry. These first world problems are a killa.

I don't disbelieve your testimony. It could be correct, or not. I'm just saying it doesn't seem to make sense given economics of transport / logistics, and the spasmodic delivery / availability of FThs (and now Aliens).

-2
#14473 1 year ago
Quoted from Procrastinator:

You mistake my comments as genuine concern, as I don't have a vested interest in either company. I do however hope both are successful and figure out their issues. As an unbiased observer, the contrast in your comments deserve some questioning. Either way, I'm sure your motives for defending one and trying to expose another are completely on the up and up. I made some generalized comments which you are trying to spin, but I don't have the time nor concern to engage further. It's clear you have a lot of emotions and time built into investigating these companies and I hope things work out for you.

Your comments speak for themselves, hence why I quoted them ... also, you're spinning false narratives from my posts and don't quote them, presumably for a reason. I'd rather not quote them and clog up the thread, having already said my piece ... however you continue to do it. So here, my initial post which prompted you to respond, then subsequent ones. Afterwards, it was confirmed by the customer seeking a refund whom I'd responded to initially, that the Paypal account had been frozen.

Quoted from rubberducks:

I think it's a bit late in the day for honesty to make a tangible difference to the outcome, sadly. See below.

If PayPal and the payment processor WorldPay accounts aren't permanently shuttered now, they're almost certainly already suspended, at this point. The above is not an isolated case and has happened repeatedly. At least in this case resolution was fairly 'swift'. In some cases Andrew has fought credit card chargebacks and managed to string them out for months, not days or weeks. PP are definitely flawed and very open to criticism on many fronts, but in situations like this they are often better.
For anyone thinking this is just some contravention of terms of service, or something else that can be explained away, it is not. It can be seen to constitute fraud.
Additionally, operationally, if a company cannot meet its obligations and is insolvent, then it must voluntarily declare bankruptcy (if a third party doesn't force it) so that it may either enter administration or be liquidated. Amongst other reasons, this is to prevent pyramids forming or becoming worse.
If it can be shown that the company was traded past the point where directors knew that the company was insolvent, or that insolvency was inevitable, it is classified as insolvent / negligent trading (officially Wrongful Trading in the UK). Directors, and Andrew is the only one despite having other shareholders, can face very large fines and other penalties. In this case, the accounts from the year to the end of March '16 show the company to be deeply insolvent and virtually worthless.
The warning signs have been there for a long, long time. It is difficult to argue that these are merely just 'warning signs' now.

Quoted from rubberducks:

It's folly to assume it hasn't been. Assuming you haven't obstructed valid refund requests and Paypal haven't ruled against you, why would you have issues? Also, you do realise that according to their accounts, it would be incredible if their PP account is in remotely the same ballpark as the one you claim to have. It'd be in the same danger of closure, suspension or funds being witheld as ALL small PP accounts are.
You make an awful lot of assumptions here. If HW had millions going through their PP account, do you think cash flow would be an issue?
Further, you choose to completely ignore the legal obligations I mention wrt to solvency. That's the big issue, not PP status.
You, as others, imagine that my saying the situation is not black and white with DP (in any sense) amounts to white knighting for them. I would be surprised if little positive comes from the apparent takeover negotiations with ARA any time soon.
Edit: I've taken a deliberately contrarian view in the DP thread because people are constantly one way or the other. Prevailing thinking currently seems to be that the two parties can just agree to a takeover and everyone will live happily ever after, if pride is just swallowed. I think it highly unlikely that even if a deal is reached swiftly, production will resume with speed & efficiency, and DP/ARA would have plain sailing. Hopefully I'm wrong ... anyway I don't see how DP are relevant to this, seeing as their problems appear to relate to poor management of third party manufacturing.

Quoted from rubberducks:

HW's accounts are a matter of public record. You are exactly defending and pontificating about something you appear to know very little about, despite there being information for you to consider.
There is no provision under UK law to drag out valid refund requests for more than the mandated 14 calendar or 10 working days. Terms state 21 days on the website. Emails often say 30. Most recently Andrew said 30-60**. Some people have had to wait much longer. None of those are legal. Again, you're making assertions that are shaky at best.
Your latter statement appears fair, but this has been going on for a long time now.
You guys can go back to bickering now. I just wanted people to know what the facts of the matter are and what is expected of companies by the law. If you choose to ignore it, so be it.
** "due to production" - I don't see how that has anything to do with it, unless it's a tacit admission of insolvency.

-1
#14478 1 year ago
Quoted from DerGoetz:

Quoted from JeffF:
So I just went to PayPal to see what the actual claims procedure was. The first part of it is "establishing email communication" so I figured what the heck, I'll do that.
Well shit on a shingle...
PayPal instantly came back with they are "no longer able to communicate with Heighway Pinball" so they took me right to the actual claim form.
This don't look good...
[edit]
Ok, now I went to the claim details page and it looks like PayPal must have some way of communicating since they said they are waiting to hear back from Heighway Pinball. If they don't hear back by June 7th they will move forward(hopefully that means initiate the refund).
Looks like they skipped over the "Dispute" and the "Escalation" steps.

I missed that. Well, I'll check out**. It looks like others have rather more pertinent information than the legal stuff I brought up originally.

Good luck everyone.

**as I was expecting to before the 'LE' thing popped up.

#14483 1 year ago
Quoted from mufcmufc:

Doxxing, is subject to a Heighway NDA, shows what kind of guy he is morally if he's PMing people telling them to get refunds. I'm paid in full and don't have a machine, I know that machines have gone out the door this week though.

So, more ad hominem, doxxing, no rebuttals, and probably knowingly, or depending on what Andrew has told you - who else would** - (not?) false claims.

Andrew was extremely specific about what the NDA I signed when I visited the factory covered, at the beginning. He was even helpful enough as the visit continued to say exactly what, when mentioned, should not be discussed.

I haven't breached that. None of it relates to what I brought up, none of it relates to what I brought up with the poster I offered advice to. The vast majority is in the public realm now anyway as it was simply stuff which hadn't been revealed, but now has. It's simply not relevant.

This didn't stop Andrew from insinuating that I had breached NDA, and that he was "letting me get away with it", as a parting shot after he'd reluctantly issued me a refund, months ago now. Strangely he had never complained of a breach, or come close to it, prior, and just made the vague swipe rather than being specific. I didn't hear from him again, haven't and was glad to be shod of any communication with him - hence my silence.

Given the post about the status of his Paypal account by another user, it would appear he has rather bigger fish to fry than me.

**Andrew appears not to take his responsibilities regarding customer confidentiality very seriously (I visited as a customer), despite waving around NDAs. Indeed, what caused me to lose all confidence and request a refund was managing to leak the list of non paid in full pre-orders to everyone on it, shortly after my visit - in an e-mail warning about possible fraud attempts using their address.

-7
#14495 1 year ago
Quoted from mufcmufc:

I know Andrew, I have known him for about 10 years. I have no "involvement" with Heighway the company at all. I think you know Phil, that, I am more than fair when it comes to my dealings with people. I want my game as much as everybody else, that's paid in full. I lost money on Predator where no games were delivered. The current slow situation isn't looking great, but, for someone to actively be trying to bring down a company, it doesn't benefit you, me or anyone. I know games have been delivered to customers this week but I also know it needs to happen faster for us all to have piece of mind.

If stating verifiable information of public record, and the legal status surrounding it is in your opinion trying to bring down a company, I assume you must think the former is rather serious and may amount to the latter.

I've had enough.

5 months later
24
#18725 8 months ago
Quoted from Chalkey:

"Cash Flow schedule"
New investors are still cash poor, or are not committed to going "all in". Troubling.

I understand your concern, but you have to be realistic:

To reiterate part of their statement today, and what others have posted, these guys (investors) ultimately lost out as much if not more so than anyone else, in purely nominal terms, and that was before they invested any more time and money, since the takeover. After that date, they have invested / 'lost' [if the business is not turned round & made profitable] much more.

Their record so far may not be perfect, and they have surely made a number of mistakes, but they inherited a horrible situation, and anyone who still thinks there was another way out ... sorry, there wasn't.

Whilst some of them purportedly have fairly deep pockets, they cannot possibly be expected to throw unlimited amounts of 'good money' after 'bad money'. Besides, this becoming a bottomless pit, even if they could afford it, would set an unwelcome precedent and be almost as bad for the hobby & industry as the company having gone under back in June.

There have to be limits, and things need to be slowly stabilised & rectified before people can hopefully all be dealt with and satisfied. Throwing money at a vortex of shit is just going to suck it all in and leave a revolting mess on the other side.

I know for a fact that they really thought they knew how deep the rabbit hole went, on the eve of taking over. They thought they knew roughly the limit of it, how bad things were with the machines themselves, and how to handle it etc etc. But they were blind-sided by the true extent and nature of it, and certainly in way over their heads to begin with. They were far too optimistic, restarted production too quickly, and have had a series of nasty shocks. That they haven't quit, and have continued to push forward and make progress is to their credit.

To underline the point about money, the new team as some of you may know, have some quite successful businessmen, objectively speaking. So you may be tempted to think it's just about money. They invest the cash, and then a turn around is a foregone conclusion, right? 1) Money 2) ..... 3) Profit??

Not really. As they are likely now acutely aware, cleaning up someone else's failure, especially taking it on as a going concern & assuming liabilities as they did, is far more difficult and time consuming than to make a success of something on your own, or taking the reins of a healthy business.

Something which needs to be mentioned and hasn't really been raised publicly is that there should be some sympathy for the staff. Both past and present. Along with external contractors, they were surely screwed more than anyone else. Aside from the vexed issue of pay, or total lack thereof in some cases (despite assurances otherwise), most were treated with total contempt (more so even than customers), misled and lied to, operated under absolutely miserable working conditions, absent morale and were expected to lie themselves. Some had their careers