Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Home Arcade Project Part 2

The Pimpening

So as I mentioned last week, I'm in the fortuitous position of overseeing the creation of my very own multi-cade machine. The road is long and fraught with tough decisions. Figuring out the control panel setup is actually an easy one compared to decorating the cabinet!

So first, to keep the original cabinet art or not? Our's is a TMNT cabinet, and the art is fun. I was very torn on keeping it vs. painting over it in black and looking for multicade-themed side art to replace it. Full-coverage side art of this kind runs up to $200, though you can get smaller sized stuff for $60. I may very well have kept the turtles, but their condition wasn't perfect, so we decided to go ahead and paint over it.

Bad-ass machine vs. Classic Arcade sweetness
This is the difficulty I'm running into on choosing the side art. There are two main types which I'll call bad-ass and classic. On the one hand, I'm immensely excited about the flat-out coolness of the thing, and flashes of lightning really seem to convey that (I actually semi-joked about making it all black with the KITT/cylon eye light flashing back and forth in the marquee spot).

At the same time though, the whole point of this is a nostalgia trip, tied to childhood. The classic art of pac-man and donkey kong and that ingrained warm and fuzzy reaction they trigger. It's a fierce tug-of-war, but I find myself leaning more towards this theme as the ultimate reason I want this machine, and I suppose the art should reflect that. At this point it's looking like this one:

It was during one of these intense battles of the soul the other day that I got the following text message from Shawn:


I love it, a classic gaming ransom note!

The Marquee
Hand in hand with the side art is the plexiglass title bar that goes on the front. You can even customize these to say "Rabscuttle's Arcade" if you want. I didn't feel that was necessary; it knows who its master is...

We'll probably go with an "Arcade Classics" version of this:

The next curveball came in the form of t-molding, the trim that goes around the edges. My knee-jerk reaction was black trim, but Shawn suggested that since the machine was now going to be all black, some color of trim would really stand out, and that I should look at KLOV for some examples. The indecision on the side art kind of gets in the way here, because if I pick, say, light blue trim, but go with side art that doesn't match it...oh noes!

About a day of bouncing back and forth between blue, red, and chrome landed me on red. The black/red contrast on many of the Mortal Kombat cabinets does look good, and would also look good, say, if I added a Knight Rider LED flasher to the top...hypothetically speaking.

PS - Gauntlet DS is coming in October!

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