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06-07-2021 at 02:09 AM
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A Prodigy Revealed

How many homemade, home designed pinball machines have you run across?
How many homemade, home designed pinball machines have you run across made by a 15-16 yr old kid?

This pinball machine, called Golden Spike, is historically themed around one of the greatest technological feats of the 19th century, the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. When the game begins players choose between Union Pacific or Central Pacific in an attempt to connect the East Coast to the West Coast through the laying of railroad tracks, but players will have to blast through hills, stave off Indian attacks, and face other obstacles before they can complete their task.
(to see video of the gameplay click this link, I couldn't figure out how to get the video on here)

Alexander Haley built this game over the course of 2018 and 2019 at the age of 15/16, making him a mere 17 or 18 years old at the time of this writing. Amazing in itself, but that's not the craziest thing... he had done this, designed and built a Pinball machine from scratch, once before when he was ELEVEN - TWELVE years old. This pinball machine, his first, was the theologically themed 'Garden of Eden' Pinball game.

(Haley, 12 yrs old, poses with his first Pinball creation)

Upon seeing this pinball and some of his other inventions Haley's religious convictions become apparent. One can tell how important this is to him as it shines through in his work; another one of his inventions is a "Pocket Encouragement Device" in which a pocket electronical device a little larger than a thumb drive delivers biblical quotes with the press of a button.

Alexander Haley isn't just a Pinball fan. At the age of 10 for a school project Haley built an autonomous rover capable of traversing mazes using infrared sensors, then he started to turn his attention to the world of Arcades. He has, from scratch, cloned Atari's Pong and Space Race, designed and built his own Arcade game, 'Periscope', (seen below) and began work on a Vector game before realizing he wouldn't have time to finish it before he goes off to college. From all appearances this is where Haley is at now, or will be shortly, so lets wish him the best of luck and hope the guys at Stern and Raw Thrills have some people out there with an eye on this kid.

You can visit Alexander Haley's website at

Thanksdatagod, JJT_Defender thanked this post
  1. datagod's Avatar

    That is one talented young man! Here is to hoping that he starts a company to Stern and Jersey Jack. Competition is good for everyone.

  2. RedDawn's Avatar

    If Haley sticks with the Arcade hobby he may very well turn out to be the next Eugene Jarvis or Steve Ritchie. Realistically though the sky is the limit with this kid, he could probably take just about any career path he wants in the fields of engineering, computing or electronics. We in the gaming community would be very blessed if Haley takes up Pinball machine and/or Arcade creation as a career.

    As for competing against Raw Thrills or Stern, all in due time. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, even guys like Ritchie, Jarvis, and 'Jersey' Jack Guarnieri got to where they are now by having long careers in established video game companies. I think it would be wise to take a page from the career playbook of Eugene Jarvis in how he first made a name for himself by working for Williams, then quite, made his own games and sold them to Williams under exclusive contract. He could learn a lot working alongside Steve Ritchie at Stern, or Eugene Jarvis at Raw Thrills, and working for those places he would also have the chance to work on licensed games. If I was working for one of those companies I would already be trying to sign this kid.

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