(Topic ID: 106728)

ALIEN PINBALL - Game Over, Man, Game Over

By HeighwayPinball

7 years ago

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  • 28,995 posts
  • 1,063 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 days ago by skyknight320
  • Topic is favorited by 294 Pinsiders


Linked Games

  • Alien Heighway Pinball, 2017

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Topic index (key posts)

53 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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Post #9151 Insight from Alien's programmer on tournament mode Posted by Ferret (4 years ago)

Post #9234 Update on distribution Posted by HeighwayPinball (4 years ago)

Post #9660 Here we show you a short clip from the 'Ambush Multiball' mode Posted by HeighwayPinball (4 years ago)

Post #10128 Photo of Alien at UK Trade Show Posted by unigroove (4 years ago)

Post #10230 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (4 years ago)

Post #10231 game play video from EAG UK tradeshow Posted by Join_The_Cirqus (4 years ago)

Post #10914 Alien ships Posted by ZenTron (4 years ago)

Post #10916 Alien ships Posted by HeighwayPinball (4 years ago)

Post #11230 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by ezeltmann (4 years ago)

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

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#847 6 years ago

According to their posts - Highway has been busy with sub-assembly on Full Throttle and is entering full production on March 30th. I imagine its all hand on deck getting that product shipping....which is great news! Really curious to see that final product with the backboard LED variant. Knowing they are capable of delivering a full pin to market should ease anyones skepticism....then hopefully on to some art and playfield design pics in April or soon thereafter.

2 weeks later
#1001 6 years ago
Quoted from PACMAN:

Why are pre-orders still even allowed on Pinside? Haven't enough people been f-ed over yet?

Pinside doesn't facilitate or partner in 3rd party pre-orders, so there is nothing to 'allow' so I am not sure what you even mean - unless you think they should be policing all forums and scrubbing anything related to modern pinball startup manufacturing. We are all adults here and should have the ability to filter information ourselves. As everyone else has stated much more eloquently, if you cannot tell the difference between Heighway and dodgy garage manufacturers and adjust your skepticism accordingly, maybe the internet isn't for you.

3 months later
#1388 6 years ago

My favorite call out of Stern Star Trek is "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a pinball wizard". Of course, they had the actor available for custom VO. Since I doubt there will be custom actor VO work for a 35 year old film, you are probably safe.

I personally hope the artistic theme is primarily ALIEN (1979) with play field and mission references from both films.

1 week later
#1623 6 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

Is anyone going to answer my question?

Entitled much?

The game is being designed. We will see it when its ready to be shown, both from a practical and licensee standpoint.

4 weeks later
#1768 6 years ago

Somebody needs to work through their predator grief with a therapist...

1 month later
#2262 6 years ago
Quoted from underlord:

~if Andrew just pimps his FT pins there~

I mean, that is their shipping pin right now....that would be the most logical thing to do for Heighway. Sounds like there will be some ALIEN reveals at their forum event which may or may not be for general consumption. I'd say the best strategy is to just be patient.

#2336 6 years ago

Yaaaawn - everyone's a critic. Jack Haeger is the guy that did the amazing art for Sinistar and I love the old school look of Full Throttle. Stuff not hand drawn enough...stuffs too hand drawn...... Its all subjective.....and everyone is entitled to their opinions....but calling it "extremely amateurish" is a total dick move. Thanks for keeping things negative.

#2411 6 years ago
Quoted from Roo:

Wouldn't the video/UI content that was designed for the small screen in the playfield potentially look really bad when blown up on the big screen?

While that was a problem in days past and with content compressed for the web.....current video technology means on board assets will be full HD regardless of what size screen they are playing out to - they will scale. I am, of course, making an assumption on Heighways part, but I work with high end video and HD file sizes are completely manageable at this stage.

2 weeks later
#2731 5 years ago
Quoted from Silver:

I'm a biker and a big MotoGP fan but Full Throttle missed the target by a mile if that was really the aim. I can't imagine it was though since the toys are road bikes, the bike artwork doesn't look like MotoGP machines and there are roads on the playfield.

Its a non-licensed pin based around general motorcycle racing. MotoGP is but one of several organized sport nods in the game.

1 month later
#3244 5 years ago
Quoted from Taxman:

It is not supposed to be. The old video has a woman pull the filed up, disconnect (I think 7) wire harness plugs. Then drop in the replacement pf and plug in. Last, swap the prism card and marquee.
That was the whole point of making Pinball 2000 so expensive. You bought the cabinet and computer system once and can now easily swap cheaper games on route.

This has been covered before, but Pinball 2000 was never meant to be 'swappable' in the consumer sense. It was designed to easily accept 'conversion' kits. This includes cabinet decals that were never meant to be swapped (this may have also included changing the back box MoBo - unsure). The idea being that you could buy a route machine and convert it one or twice at a cheaper cost than buying a new game each time (also easier repair as the video above points out). Subtle but important difference. Highway pins are designed to swipe out back and forth at will - art and all.

2 weeks later
#3849 5 years ago

Looks great! Exceeds my expectations. Properly atmospheric. Evoking deep space and both movies without being garish and too busy. Glad I am already in on an LE. Obviously alot of thought went into this from people with knowledge of the films......and its in no way a winking self parody. Creepy science fiction tone. Fully on board.

#3852 5 years ago

Also - I was going to cry a little inside if the Nostromo patch didn't make it into the design.....happy dance for that!

#4091 5 years ago

The pinside design-by-committee pitchfork mob has fully ramped up again. Just like with Every. Other. Release. The Hobbit set a terrible precident in that it empowered the foot stomping handful of people here that they can affect change (it also did some good in that case, but the fallout is this). Now, when every new pin is announced this same exact dance happens. The foot stompers rush to lock in on some detail and start whipping themselves into a frenzy that it *has* to be changed. This seems to be driven - consciously or subconsciously - by the desire to insert themselves into the design process and nothing more. Pinsiders confused that the reality is their knee jerk reaction to art is not some universal truth....just their opinion. I also have to say it was disheartening to watch Aurich lead the charge on the RZ of as he is normally a calm voice of reason here.....because the same reaction to Alien was also inevitable. I am a lifelong fan of Alien and can think of 50 totally different directions the play field could have gone in.....of course, those seem more interesting to me but I am not making the pinball. I didn't start with a blank page and create something that needed to adhere to and accommodate more people than just me. The play field is just fine and will work great with the rest of the game....plastics, toys, video, lighting. I am focusing on how awesome pinball is right now because of companies and pins like this....relish in being on a forum where you see things first and interact directly with pinball companies. If you want to design a pinball, the go do that too! Seriously, that would be a much better and positive use of energy. Also - you will pry that Nostromo patch element from my cold, dead hands. It is what it is people.....deal.

#4323 5 years ago

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.


#4325 5 years ago
Quoted from TheLaw:

Hey, what if Stern can't get her for that either?

Sure, pay them enough and they'll all agee

Not true at all - some actors, especially non active ones that are not in debt, do have personal philosophies against merchandising themselves. Many actors hate being in genre films and feel they are a career blemish, or a ton of other reasons. Some feign that for hardball negotiations too...but its a delicate case-by-case thing.

#4331 5 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

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

I dunno, to me - thats precisely why the toys were relevant. I am not talking about the figures, but her face appearing on two separate figure packages made by an obscure toy company with zero clout or pull (and doubtful a high budget). Just saying thats a positive indicator, thats all.

2 months later
#5270 5 years ago

The Heighway pin is not going to be ready for 'Alien Day' (not even for a reveal), so cross-promoting it makes no sense for Fox - even if, as pointed out above, they feel its relevant enough to push and they may not for a variety of reasons....and quite frankly doesn't look like its going to be ready this summer/fall either. Not bitching, etc.....but based on everything known, I'd say there is quite a bit of engineering, dialing-in, quality testing, etc left to go. Fox went on a licensing spree for back to back ALIEN 35th and ALIENS 30TH anniversary promotions. The Heighway pin will stand on its own as a strong license, so its not critical, but they have definitely blown/will blow past these two events. I am, of course, armchair quarterbacking and have no real idea.....there could be a big reveal announced later today for all I know! But, getting pins in a fun, reliable state for mass production is not an easy task as has been pointed and demonstrated a billion times. Alien was announced in 2014 and we are blazing into spring 2016....

1 month later
#5740 5 years ago
Quoted from Wickerman2:

I blame our instant gratification/ADD culture

Those darned millennials and their 'I want it sometime before 3 years has past' knee-jerk ADD!

4 months later
#7936 5 years ago

How dare they remove the manual plunger!

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#7941 5 years ago

Eh.....it was a quick IPDB search...mostly correct. Point made.

#8378 5 years ago

For some reason I am reminded of this....."The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive inability of those of low ability to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their ability accurately."

1 week later
#8845 5 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Having built in HD decoders is wonderful for decoding video that is already encoded.. and has really been a boom for small, embedded devices looking to do video playback.
But what they are trying to do here is not just decode and display.. but in fact real-time composition and rendering of video. That's where the CPU and GPU load come in.

Exactly - there are all sorts of custom user feedback graphics (like, scoring!) that are composited over video on the fly.

1 month later
#9514 4 years ago


3 weeks later
#9894 4 years ago

This has already been addressed by others earlier in this thread...but what a customer service minefield that would be for Heighway. Someone convinced they want a single dedicated game....and then next year Heighway announces their ultra OMG!!!! dream theme, and they start wanting some way to change their machine to a swappable cabinet. The cabinet looks great - keep it dedicated if you want. This seems like such a complete non-issue.

8 months later
#16467 4 years ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

Exactly. And exactly that is why they should NOT ask for a non-refundable deposit. They should be able to sell the game anyway and they should have build up some kind of buffer by now.
Instead they themselves keep behaving like a start-up hence the same risk for the customer.

They take deposits because thats what people demand. People are clamoring to get on lists so they can be sure to get games. Spooky has said time and time again with a non limited game like TNA that you should wait if you aren't sure - they will keep making games when the demand is there. As for the limited games? They initially took refundable deposits until that became a problem for them. Enough people backed out of Rob Zombie somewhere in the production process as to seriously be a pain in the ass - they still sold them out, but with a ton of additional hassle. If you want a game enough to have them make and hold one for you, you need to be serious about it, hence the current policy of non-refundable deposits. Charlie has consistently said: wait if you aren't sure - even on limited games. Thats not "start up behavior", its where they have landed after successfully selling hundred of pins. Pinside drama queens trying to round every sensible business thing up to "EVIL COMPANY TACTICS" is sooooo tiresome. I was in on ALIEN from the beginning, "Heighway Rebirth" refunded me 100% of me LE paid in full money without issue, and I can now patiently await seeing ALIEN come to fruition and make a purchase decision on my own schedule. I agree, throwing money at every new pin announcement is folly (something I had to learn) - but Spooky is not in that camp at all.

#16473 4 years ago
Quoted from ronaldvg:

I said in my first post about this subject that I like Spooky. This was not an attack on them, but more an opinion on the whole pre-order pre-pay culture. There would be much less drama without that. Let them build up some stock and then sell them. Without the pre-ordering Spooky would not have gotten in trouble, so win-win situation for everyone.

Spooky does not produce at the volume that Stern does....Spooky sells direct, Stern does not. Spooky as they currently manufacture, do not have large inventories on hand of previous machines. People want to buy Spooky Pinball machines. It seems like you are trying to press a one size fits all model across a variety of pinball manufacturers. Each business is individual and needs to tailor their own methods. At least to me, if Spooky were to build up inventory - that would mean a significant amount of time between sales pushes between manufacturing and design pushes. The other option that would fit into your proposal would be to only put up for sale whats been manufactured. That means they would be updating their website randomly to add 15 machines here or there. Potential customers would be fighting to log in at each announcement and feel burned when they lost out. Spooky is doing what works for them and refining it as they go - currently this means, if you want to buy a Spooky title, you commit with a non-refundable deposit. Seems to work out fine for them. If they keep growing and are manufacturing multiple titles at once, then they will surely change again. Heighway, on the other hand, has now pivoted to one distributor per region as the only way to buy machines. With ALIEN - you can put down a refundable (or at least transferable - unsure how Cointaker works) deposit through their distro. This was a pivot from unsuccessfully trying to collect advanced money without having meet-able production goals. People put down pre-order money on Stern games all the time through a variety of distributors - especially on limited editions, where you usually don't have the luxury of waiting. Jersey Jack does both (direct with pre-order options and through specific distributors.) Many distributors will not carry machines that are offered directly for sale through manufactures. There are lots of different ways to buy and sell machines and consumers are free to opt in or not depending on their own wants and needs.

4 weeks later
#17010 4 years ago
Quoted from Nethawk86:

Lol what the hell do you have to "prepare" for you idiots!!!!

Long time pinball nut. Even longer time ALIEN (1979) nut. Put a deposit down on an Alien pin in Feb 2015. Paid in full at the beginning on 2017. Things were already choppy but I was hoping for the best. When things got too choppy for me, I asked for a refund. A few weeks later I got that refund. Now I look on with positive interest that they can turn the ship around and get ALIEN pins to market. I will seriously revisit a purchase sometime next year - it looks like a tremendous game. They have always been friendly, if not the greatest at communication - but they have alot going on and I imagine they employees that stuck it out are wearing many hats. I feel like that has been said a few times before, but if you are reduced to vein popping stress, anger, and unfocused name calling at the company, you should just get out and go buy something thats in-box ready to ship. Its only pinball and if you aren't having fun, you are doing it wrong. Also - it makes public forums really unpleasant for the rest of us....

1 week later
#17273 4 years ago

“there are aspects of alien's physical design that severely hamper overall playability”

verb: flaw; 3rd person present: flaws; past tense: flawed; past participle: flawed; gerund or present participle: flawing
1 1. 
(of an imperfection) mar, weaken, or invalidate (something)."the computer game was flawed by poor programming"

#17452 4 years ago
Quoted from Astropin:

Saying they had been promised free shipping from Highway

I was in for an LE for over 2 years - no longer in and I had no discussions with Andrew right before he left....however, I had direct discussions with him at the outset and his position was always that Highway covers international shipping to the US distributor so the buyer is only responsible for domestic shipping. I can see how people might have gotten confused, but that was always the position clearly laid out to me and on this forum (obviously I have no idea what other individuals were told privately).

1 week later
#17966 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

This company is a joke, and that is laughably sad.

While you will get no arguments from anyone that their communication is non-existant on Pinside - they seem to be in regular communication with Cointaker regarding current customer machine troubleshooting. I also agree that communication with outstanding "old Heighway" issues is abysmal in specific cases. However, what other pinball manufacturer has "Live Support Hotlines"? Stern? JJP? You can email or call those companies like you can Heighway....and get varying degrees of success (not taking into account long distance and time difference). I will not argue about peoples valid frustrations - and they exist! But making up some metric out of thin air that applies to no one else just to dismiss everything 100% out of hand....seems ridiculous.

#18250 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

following Andrew's absconding with the funds

I missed that part entirely....when was Andrew Heighway accused of embezzling money?

6 months later
#21750 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

When was the last time anybody got an actual refund from Heighway? a year? 2 years?

Heighway Re-Birth refunded my paid direct to Heighway LE machine cost in full last August or Sept. I had been in since Feb 2015. I was lucky, and their track record was not consistant obviously....but the new company was trying to make things right, at least initially.

#21758 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Heighway Pinball 1.5 was never trying to make things right, as you say.

I’m not saying anything other than someone there wired me over $8K. I was lucky....it was total scattershot. No one ever confirmed it with me either, so the communication was terrible even when they did the right thing. Sending out refunds and pinball machines - regardless of how inconsistent - with no effort to champion any of that into a cascade of additional purchases were hardly the actions of some elaborate international scam to steal money. At least in my opinion. Business investors that got in way over their heads and then go at desperate towards the end. Just my take and I am genuinely sad for people not lucky on the refund part. It totally sucks all around and I hope some justice comes out of it somehow.

#21793 3 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

If Johnny Depp wanted $100k to use his voices from all 5 films JJP should have paid it

Here is the thing - if its custom call-outs, then there is the expense for that as well. Studio and Audio Engineer time. Recording, prep and delivery fees. Is it near Depp? Transpo, Room & Board my or may not be in that $100K...the list goes on an on. And lets not forget everything else. JJP is not saving any money on a playfield re-design, its costing them money. The design itself, the proto-typing, the code changes. These things can creep quickly and it starts to matter if you have blown above your budget on one VO actor.

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