For many years now, it was my dream to create my very own arcade cabinet. As a child growing up in the 80’s, going to arcades was one of my most favorite things to do. Seeing most of them shuttered at the turn of the century was very depressing.
As many people from the late 70’s-80’s, video games were such an important part of my childhood, especially the classic arcade feel. Atari, Coleco, Nintendo and all the home consoles were great, but standing in front of a cabinet with joysticks and all was where it was at. I very much likened this to a vinyl collectors enthusiasm to hold that 12″ sleeve. Reading the liner notes, looking at all the artwork. Arcade machines were just different.
When emulation ramped up in the 90’s, I knew that eventually I would be building my own cabinet. It was just a matter of time. There were a few key ingredients that I was waiting for.
1) A solid easy to navigate front end.
2) A theme.
3) Ease of obtaining the parts.
And the story begins.
PART 1 – HYPERSPIN
Hyperspin is a GUI that basically creates a universal menu for all your emulators and associated games. It is completely and fully customizable which was a must for me. All the music, backgrounds, fonts were all there to be tweaked. Of all the GUI’s out there, it just seemed the slickest and easiest to configure. (which would later prove to be not so easy, but great nonetheless.)
PART 2 – NINtendo
I remember back in the mid 90’s, there was a Rolling Stone (or maybe it was Spin, It’s been a long time..) that had a cover story on Nine Inch Nails. (whom if you find yourself on this page, you will know that they are my favorite band) I remember in the issue they had a cartoon that was titled, “What To Call NIN Fans” and it had a wheel (like something you would see on The Price Is Right, or Wheel of Fortune). On it, it said, “Ninnies”, “Nincompoops”, “Nine Inch Nerds” and the one that caught my eye was the one that said “NINtendos”.
(btw. if anyone has seen this cartoon, please post it for me, as I cannot find it ANYwhere on the NINternet)
I thought, “Wow, that’s awesome, 2 of my favorite things combined!”. A mashup of sorts. That was when the idea was planted for what the theme of my arcade machine would be. Nine Inch Nails themed.
It only made sense for me to make the cabinet’s artwork Pretty Hate Machine themed, being that the album came out right in the middle of arcade era. I decided to go with Rob Sheridan’s remastered artwork because
a) it just looked cooler (nice job Rob)
b) I was able to get higher res artwork to print out.
(there was a great article on Sleevage about his redesign, but the link appears to be broken)
I seriously could not believe the synchronicity of everything. I now had all of my menu background music! This was all starting to come together too nicely.
PART 3 – THE BUILD
I saw many people creating ‘Barcade” mini arcade machines that run various GUI’s, and the ease of transporting was what drew me to making this style. I had a Street Fighter arcade cabinet back in the 90’s, and I remember it being a HUGE pain in the ass to move around. Having something a little more manageable was a must. After frequenting sites such as ARCADE CONTROLS, I found a user named Haruman who had just started making custom cabinet kits for people. After reading good reviews and seeing some good how to’s and pictures posted, I figured it was time. He has a site now for people to order directly from at HARUMAN’S CUSTOMS. Very good prices and very informative.