Monday, 18 May 2015

Heighway Pinball: Part 1


I have recently completed seven days of work experience with Heighway Pinball between March & April 2015.
See part 2 to continue.


The Factory

My timing for this work experience is perfect due to the imminent production of their first game, yet some of my time there has been a bit awkward as the company is still, quite rightly, finding its feet in how it operates. In Andrew Heighway’s (Managing Director) own words they are "Not trying to run before they walk". I believe this is going to set them up to be a success, everything is in place for it to work, and there is a great and ever growing team of people making it happen.

Full Throttle translite art by Jack Haeger. Heighway Pinball
As I mentioned, Heighway Pinball are on the verge of production of their very first pinball machine, Full Throttle. (I went to the launch party in London back in January). It’s an extremely exciting time as they are the first UK manufacturer of pinball machines. For that reason the game’s release is highly anticipated, with equal measures of excitement and speculation amongst pinball players I have met over the last six months and of course, on various pinball related internet forums.

Heighway Pinball factory

Since my initial visit in December, a few things have changed in the factory. The first obvious change is the layout to the main factory floor and assembly area, with lots of extra equipment required to mass produce pinball machines. There is a new safe secure parts room and prototyping has moved to a bigger room, this is also where the working versions of the game are kept.

The factory floor, production line

I found myself using this room as a base, because most of the team pass through here it means I can always find something to help out with. Sandor Orosz, the prototype technician, and Andrew Regan, the warehouse manager, are both extremely friendly, approachable and willing to help me learn.

The prototype room

Over the course of my work experience I meet a few more members of staff. I have become most closely acquainted with Janos Kiss, Sandor Orosz and Romain Fontaine due to also meeting at the pinball leagues outside of this work time. So my interest and activity in playing pinball helps!

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I have recently completed seven days of work experience with Heighway Pinball between March & April 2015. See part 2 to continue.