Saturday, 25 January 2014

Setting the scale...

Some of you may have seen that I posted a couple of early design mock ups for my cabinet on google+ earlier today - cheers to everyone that gave feedback.

I asked you to choose your favourite from these two:

And the overwhelming majority went with A, we have a lot of marquee fans out there!
I understand why too. It's a very evocative design, as reminiscent of arcades as sticky floors, the Space Harrier intro, and an alcoholic tramp scrounging for change in the coin drawers.

But here's the problem:

That's my games room and, assuming I find somewhere to put it in there, design (A) just won't fit the style.

So I went back to the drawing board (or tablet and and sketchup to be precise) and came up with design (C):

And I'm really happy with it. It's kind of a homage to the classic arcade cabinet design with a more compact, personal spin.
I was going to use the marquee on design (A) to house some electronic gubbins and I lose that with this design, but I have enough space up there to fit the sexy power button that +Dave Whiffin is going to send me so that's something at least.

This flurry of design activity came about as a result of finally taking the cover off the monitor and a decision I have had to make as a result:

I will be leaving the plastic surround on the front of the screen.

This has not been an easy choice to make, the difficulties of attaining a quality looking finish will not be easy with a mix of plastic, softwood, and MDF... but every difficulty I have encountered with CRT monitors has come as a result of removing it from structural security of the pre-formed housing.

Off the back of this I've been able to get some decent measurements, and thus the designs I produced today.

It has also enabled me to formally layout my controls to scale:

As much as it tempting to go for the classic arced layout to mimic the shape of ones fingers, this design give greater versatility, as illustrated by using the upper four buttons as right joystick controls. I'll be aligning those four buttons horizontally with the joystick for same reason.
The only other thing to do was position the whole set on the board, which I've done for maximum movement space and I've left lots of hand-rest space at the bottom too.

That's all I have for now, one of these days I'll actually get out in the garage and start building the damn thing.

#MAME #Arcade #Retrogaming