Project Mame: Alpha phase – the quest begins.

Likely if you know me well – you know the many projects I dream of completing.

Finally, with the help of Androond, we have decided to release a mutual dream. To build our very own arcade cabinet. We are both pretty enamoured with retro gaming and reliving the glorious history of gaming. A visit to Barcade in NY solidified our resolve and we decided it was time to commit – time and money.

Our first discussions were about the cabinet design – the most obvious build is the standard cabinet. The standups are the most common examples of arcade machines but they require a pretty large amount of space and can look gruesome. The alternative was to build a cocktail table type machine – these are much more compact and less intrusive. Cocktail machines also have a slightly more retro look and … are just cooler.

Debate ensued. Evidently Androond was driven to madness and insisted he would go off and design us a magical beast that would negate the need to build either as a single… but it would combine both designs and give us the ability to transform directly from a cocktail to standup cabinet.

I laughed. Directly in his face. Loudly.

On our next business meeting over a game of table tennis (yes, we conduct all business over table tennis) the design was discussed further – I was hesitant to say the least. The idea of a cabinet being able to shift from one form to another without disrupting cables and still providing stability struck me as slightly impossible. Post game ( a 3-1 loss to Androond) I was shown the AutoCAD designs (yes, we are professionals). Once we worked through a basic zoom problem I was pleasantly surprised. The design is simple and appears to work in a virtual world – the thing transforms for gods sake! Magical.

We’ve agreed to push on with this design but before any physical building begins we need to build our donor computer and configure it with MAME. Some testing will be done here and then we will move on to testing with physical buttons and joystiqs. I’ll tentatively title that the Beta phase!

The dream lives and advances!

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