(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 24,458 posts
  • 984 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by MK6PIN
  • Topic is favorited by 263 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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Topic index (key posts)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Post #13008 Andrew reveals the LE artwork and ramp installation in an alien day video Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #13013 Andrew confirms LE art is finally approved by fox Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

Post #13022 Andrew explains the artist difference for the LE backglass Posted by HeighwayPinball (2 years ago)

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

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

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

You're currently viewing posts by Pinsider wolfmarsh.
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#4069 3 years ago

Some people are being rough on the playfield, especially when it's our first shot seeing it. We haven't seen any plastics or mechs on it, or from the angle you see it as a player.

I think Aurich did a great job, especially on a license where they probably shoved some things down his throat and took some of his freedom away.

I especially like the lower section of the playfield, which is the area that gets the most attention.

2 weeks later
#4603 3 years ago

I wanna throw out a plug for Heighway to come to SFGE in Atlanta during June. If you come, I'll buy you at least a few shots.

#4611 3 years ago
Quoted from way2wyrd:

Just the shows I am going to !!


2 weeks later
#4773 3 years ago

I'm looking forward to playing this game! I think the playfield art looks neat and can't wait to see the final product.

6 months later
#7224 2 years ago

+1 for sure for Deadflip doing a stream of the game.

1 month later
#8373 2 years ago

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#8712 2 years ago

If it's really your birthday, Happy Birthday Andrew!

Birthdays are special days, I hope you have a great one!

#8856 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

I have no clue about the actual load on these machines, or how things are implemented or if there's some awful driver for one of the key pieces of hardware that slows everything else down.. and I would never be so presumptuous to imply that I know better - but our PHONES can do this.

You aren't wrong, but you are comparing phone technology and a project like Kodi to the code effort that Heighway is able to put forward. Just the raw number of code hours aren't even in the same ballpark.

BTW, Kodi is awesome.

#8925 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

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 agree. The modular systems aren't a selling point to me at all. The only game I'm interested in is Alien, so swapping doesn't even enter in the picture for me.

#8929 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

It's a cool option, if it all pans out.

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.

#9064 2 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

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

There is a difference in knowing that something needs help, and being able to spend the time doing it. Why should a potential customer have to step in and expend their own resources just to bring a product up to the quality of something they would buy?

Quoted from jwilson:

As for having no time, I worked on that project part time while having a full time job and a newborn baby, so that's not really much of an excuse either.

Everyone has their own stuff going on. Don't overlook valuable feedback just because someone can't spend the time to fix it themselves.

2 months later
#10028 2 years ago

"Matt Black"

Heighway have invented a new paint sheen.

#10170 2 years ago

The playfield and the art on the playfield look great.

Looking forward to playing one.

#10299 2 years ago

F-14 Tomcats didn't have big red, white, and blue beacons on them.....

The F-14 pin does though and it's fucking awesome. I'm sure these will be cool too. You just need the vibe of the movie, not the actual props they used.

#10304 2 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

I've owned several F-14 pins since 1992, and I still reckon the multiball start when all the 3 lights start up is one of the coolest things in pinball.
That is all.

I will probably own another one again too. It's still one of my wife's favorite games. What a great game.

1 month later
#11282 2 years ago
Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

Got all 3 on that page. Hope that is acceptable.

Thanks for posting the videos!

2 months later
#13307 2 years ago

When will we see 10 games a week coming off the line? Is there something that is still being worked on?

#13310 2 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

I see them redesigning stuff after delivery of the first units in the field

That's great that they caught these issues and can fix them before shipping more games.

When will shipping start back up?

#13418 2 years ago

Can't refund what you don't have anymore.

Why else would Heighway let people with cash in hand jump in line in front of people who have been paid for a long time?

#13428 2 years ago
Quoted from chadderack:

Likely they're selling small numbers of machines (probably to non-pinsiders) to people not on the paid list to generate some cash flow. This is a thought many of us have likely had but were unwilling to write. Glad to see Wolfmarsh break the ice there and get an upvote.

And I don't think anyone actually wants to bust Heighway's balls over doing that.

If that's what they need to do to make payroll, get the engineering issues corrected, and buy parts to build games, then do it.

Just stop jerking my friends around.

#13566 2 years ago
Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

I hated TWD when it first released, now I think it's one of Sterns best.

The code was crap on TWD when it first came out. It's like a different game now.

#13593 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm bummed to hear this as this was clearly brought up by me with Full Throttle. Games need to be tested in zero light rooms as you can't count on external lighting conditions.

Seems like this is an oversight in all the smaller manufacturers games. Their GI lighting is lackluster to say the least.

1 week later
#13783 2 years ago

Happy Mother's Day.

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#14009 1 year ago

Saw this on imgur today and thought it was cool enough to post here.


#14121 1 year ago

Anyone know if there will be an Alien at SFGE?

#14155 1 year ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

Will Spaceballs do anything this year?

If the guy making it would just get the machine finished.......

#14159 1 year ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

I just thought it was mad silly to bring a game that did nothing at all the SFGE last year,
but... if it were like JPOP it'd be news worthy and cool to some...

You must have caught it at a bad time. At last year's SFGE the software was only a day or two old.

This year I've got a new playfield and hopefully some game modes for you to hit.

Last year it would stay up for as long as it took to launch a ball over the backboard and into the cabinet, then it would crash.

#14455 1 year ago

I heard the same as tigerlaw, in the 70s.

#14501 1 year ago

Heighway, most of us are cheering you on. Get the games shipping in quantity, yesterday.

#14628 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I dont preorder anything anymore.


Quoted from Whysnow:

I have no issue putting down a deposit and actually think more companies should use the Spooky model of a 1k non-refundable deposit to hold position (esp for any limited game). I think it is smart for buisness.

Isn't that what pre-ordering is?

That's literally the procedure game stores like GameStop use for pre-orders (deposit or full payment).

#14638 1 year ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

I think the non-refundable small deposit is smart and fair for both the business and the customer when dealing with high end toys in limited production numbers.

It's still a pre-order, no matter what you try to define it as. I don't care that you do, just pointing out that it's still a pre-order.


From the wikipedia page: "pre-orders were usually placed by providing the vendor with a small percentage of the game's cost to hold their reservation (such as $5 or $10 on a $50 game) with assurances they would receive their copy on release day after paying the remaining balance"

3 months later
#16862 1 year ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

In the pipe baby!

Can't wait man. I'm excited to come over for the unboxing! So happy this is coming together for you.

1 week later
#17114 1 year ago

If pirates take kneissl's game, we are going after them.

#17214 1 year ago

Here is the OOCL ASIA sailing into port just now. The games are in this picture.

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Here is another screengrab from the webcam:

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#17242 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

Day 2 of potential pick up. Could today be the day. I hope so!

I hope so too, for you and everyone waiting on a game in this batch. kneissl is waiting on his. (I'm waiting on his too, lol)

#17245 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

well I'm an 8 hour round trip time so earlier notification the better ; ) Funny how any other 8 hour drive I would be dreading but something about picking up a pinball makes it feel like you're not even driving at all!

Well the good news is that the container was discharged this morning!

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#17247 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

ha - I was just about to post the same! Good news indeed. I'm assuming discharged means on it's way to final destination?

From what google tells me, it means the container was given to the trucking company that is delivering it to Cointaker. That is just based on what google says, I'm not a shipping expert.

#17448 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

Got the confirmation! Leaving shortly.
I would def drive together but unfortunately I have calls to take from 10:30 to 1.
We're on an express elevator to hell - going down!
Expect updates!

Yay!!! Have a safe drive!!

#17475 1 year ago

I wonder which one is kneissl's game!

#17745 1 year ago
Quoted from delt31:

Thanks for the breakdown. Really good to hear that you were able to get our part to correct it. As for my 11 lights being off, not sure it would be related but can check.
Random question about your coils. When you go to test them in the service, can you describe how you do that? On my alien, it's a little wonky with me pressing in the coin door power as if I was closing the coin door and then I press the green button and it begins to shoot off coil. If I press the green button and then close the door, nothing happens. Never owned a HW game before so thought that was interesting. What's also interesting is that IN the coil test there is backlight and it actually turns on when I test it (yet doesn't stay on as it's expected too). Not sure what a coil is involved with lights.....

It sounds like the coin door is disabling the high voltage, isn't that normal? Or am I misunderstanding what is going on?

Can you pull the coin door switch out to enable it?

#17756 1 year ago

That is some janky shit right there.

ALIEN PINBALL Official Game Thread Pinside Forum (resized).png

#17770 1 year ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

I'm a pre-order, delivery scheduled Thursday. Games are shipping! hopefully this is a sign of the heighway ship heading back on course.

I can't wait to be there and see the game with you. Going to be a lot of fun!

#17883 1 year ago


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#17885 1 year ago

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#17886 1 year ago

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#17893 1 year ago

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#17895 1 year ago

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#17897 1 year ago

Game is awesome. Kneissl is a happy man. I'll post more thoughts later. Loving it.

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#17900 1 year ago

These buttons do light up, but not during ball launch.

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#17902 1 year ago

I was going to stream but cell service here is ass. Its hard to even upload images.

#17911 1 year ago
Quoted from Ferret:

If anyone encounters what seems to be an infinite ball saver or infinite multiball and want to lend a hand, it'd be very helpful if you:
- Jump into the operator menu.
- Insert a USB thumb drive into the game's computer. (Not sure how easy or difficult this is, e.g. if they've run an extension USB cable to somewhere near the coin door...)
- Select Reports > Debug Report. It should advise that it's writing pinprog.log to your USB drive.
- Once it exits back to the menu, you can remove the USB thumb drive.
- Put the thumb drive into your regular computer, where as promised you should see a file called "pinprog.log". Mail that to me at alien<at>joe.tater.org.
The only cause I'm aware of for infinite ballsaver is a hyperactive outlane or trough switch, but if there's some other issue, I would love to fix it ASAP.

We had that happen on Kneissl's machine tonight, but a reboot fixed it.

#17916 1 year ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

I think it may have had something to do with a stuck ball we didn't notice right away, the game was acting odd when it started down a ball. I'll get you the logs tomorrow, Ferret.

Ah yeah, I forgot about the stuck ball.

Ferret the code is amazing man. You did a great job, the game is a lot of fun to play.

Everyone keeps talking about the sound, and it's true, the sound is pretty awesome. Lots of great call outs and the sound is very clear and crisp.

If Heighway can pump these out, they have a great game on their hands.

#17929 1 year ago

Speaking of xeno head, one thing we noticed is that if you aren't careful you could potentially scratch the top of the xeno head on the cabinet as you pull the playfield forward if you lift too high while pulling.

Luckily no scratches on kneissl's.

Still just going through all the gameplay last night in my head. There are a ton of shots that feel good and are a challenge to hit, but very doable. I was surprised how many things can be backhanded as well. This is a good game to have in your house, there is so much to explore and it will take a considerable number of games to get good at all 4 flippers.

We played so many cool modes. Things like Find Jonesy and the Acid mode were very fun!

And the sound clips! They really got some good ones in there. Asses and elbows made me laugh continuously. The ambush mode where they are coming on the radar display is very, very cool. "How could they cut the power, man? They’re animals!"

#18165 1 year ago
Quoted from GAP:

drawing to much power restring the game.

That would be my guess. The power supply is browning out under the demand causing the PC to reboot.

#18316 1 year ago

I saw the flickering on kneissl's machine, it's definitely the serial leds getting garbled by noise or bouncy ground.

I figured once the "newness" wears off, I'd help him with a fix to make them more stable.

4 weeks later
#18832 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

why do you think there have been no gameplay videos posted by all these new owners over the last month?

I had completely intended to film a bunch of gameplay when I was over at kneissl's house, but was too enamored with the game to care.

It's not my job to make sure you get to see video of a game you hate.

2 weeks later
#19021 1 year ago

The lights flickering when the flippers are active is an electrical noise issue with the serial LEDs. I believe it can be fixed or minimized.

4 weeks later
#19537 1 year ago
Quoted from MightyGrave:

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

Looks like it wants the tar file not the upd one according to the message.

#19540 1 year ago
Quoted from MightyGrave:

Yes but which tar file? And how we get zhe tat file ?

Not sure. Maybe try downloading the upd file again from the website?

#19547 1 year ago

Hopefully to clarify some of the file confusion, I did some short research. The file you download from the Heighway site currently is a tar file, they just renamed it to .upd instead of .tar.gz. They also have a bit of unfortunate naming going on.

The downloadable file is named hpa11.upd and is 10,897,267 bytes. This may show as 10,642KB or 10.3MB depending on how your system is displaying file sizes.

If you crack open the tar/gz file, there is a file inside of it also named hpa11.upd. If you extract it, it weighs in at 16,640,000 bytes. This may show as 16,250KB or 15.8MB depending on how your system is displaying file sizes.

I think it would be more user friendly if Heighway would change the name of the tar file to retain it's proper file type, and also give it a filename that is different than the file inside of the package.

#19574 1 year ago
Quoted from Durzel:

The above seems wrong, sorry.
I just downloaded hpa11.upd from http://files.heighwaypinball.com/hpa11.upd and unzipped it, and there is a directory structure there, and no hpa11.upd file inside. Here is a list of all of the files contained within it: https://pastebin.com/9eQFCk88
MightyGrave - have you tried redownloading the .upd recently? If you have it could be that whatever browser you're using is mangling the file somehow.

You are correct that once you untar and ungzip it, you get to that dir structure. The naming confusion comes because if you just name it .tar, you only do one of the extractions. If you name it hpa11.tar.gz, your utility will probably do both the untar and gzip extract at the same time (similar to tar -xvzf or whatever).

I was trying to undo some of the confusion earlier about the different file sizes and what they were ending up with, and probably confused it even further .

#19576 1 year ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Hey wolfmarsh enough talk about Alien, when are we getting the gang together to play it!?

I'll text you. Robert was asking about some arcade time at his place too.

3 months later
#20766 1 year ago
Quoted from Mr68:

I hope I don't upset anybody with my observations and wish everyone well. I just find it curious.

Heighway is at least shipping fun games, and considerably more of them than JPOP ever shipped.

I'll be honest, the current hardware in Alien leaves a lot to be desired. It was clearly designed by someone with a hobbyists knowledge of electronics and the ability to stitch together schematics found on google.

But, the games that are working are REALLY fun. Something you can't say about any of JPOP's recent games, and especially not Magic Girl. It's crazy that Magic Girl sold for $20k+ and is a steaming pile of shit, yet Alien is actually getting into people's hands and working for the most part. Heighway is struggling but hasn't reached JPOP level yet. Will that change in the future? Maybe so.

#20774 1 year ago
Quoted from Mr68:

I wasn't comparing production or quality of the two companies. I'm not sure how you arrived at that conclusion but I'm no fan of Jpops at all. And I agree, Magic Girl is a piece of shit. I was contrasting the different Pinside attitudes and commentary between the two threads.
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Here's my quote.

I think you misunderstood my reply.

You were asking why there wasn't the same outrage in this thread, that maybe potentially people had gone numb because of past related experiences.

I said it was because Heighway hasn't done nearly anything as bad as JPOP did, yet....

My bad if I still am misunderstanding. I know you dislike JPOP, a lot.

#20782 1 year ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Sorry, I did misunderstand you. Thank you for the kind reply.

No worries! You JPOP victims were the first to get screwed over in what ended up being a long line of shitty pinball people. If I'm ever in a place to buy you a beer, I'd love to.

#20809 1 year ago

I'd be willing to re-engineer the xeno head mech for everyone if it comes to that. If kneissl's breaks, I'm all over it like stink on shit.

#21316 1 year ago

Hahahaha, Andrew threatening people is rich. Bring it on you giant shit stain.

You fucked a lot of people over, and the rumors about how badly you treated some of your employees are just the icing on the cake.

I hope your hydrofoil sinks and every chocolate chip cookie you bite into turns out to be oatmeal raisin.

#21478 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Heighway hasn't done nearly anything as bad as JPOP did, yet....

Like a week ago I said this....

I think the "yet" point has been passed now. There are a lot of people that are going to get fucked over by them going under now officially. Damn you Andrew Heighway for bringing it to this point.

#21547 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm just going to say I don't agree with some of the narrative that the Heighway system and hardware is cheap junk. If they had a working support system, and spare parts available, I think no one would really have anything bad to say about it, compared to the major pinball companies.

As much as I don't want to rag on someone's design that might be here on Pinside reading my comments, the electrical engineering in the machine leaves a lot to be desired.

The unstable LED chains in Alien are indicative of a much larger design problem. I've looked over the boards in Alien and the general assembly and unfortunately my current assessment is that the custom bits of hardware were designed by someone that lacks a lot of real world experience.

Not saying machines can't work, just that they will have more electrical problems than a properly designed board set.

#21551 1 year ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

Software updates since you played cleared up a lot of the LED flickering.. imo really shows the skill level of the programmers... Maybe you're less impressed with the EE background

Yeah I think the coders are doing an amazing job, as did David Thiel and Aurich.

All this really probably falls on Andrew Heighway, not the people he hired. I imagine he didn't give anyone the resources or time they needed to do their job properly.

#21765 1 year ago

The game plays great without her, I didn't miss her while playing.

1 week later
#22018 1 year ago

Queen could be a fun theme.

I can't imagine many people haven't sung along to Bohemian Rhapsody or We are the Champions.

#22046 1 year ago
Quoted from Ive:

Done right, marketed correctly I could see these selling

What about Andrew Heighway says he would do anything right?

Guy is a slimy moron.

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