Arcade Projects >> Arcade Paradise


I knew that I'd definitely want a lit marquee on the cabinet. Actually, even before designing the marquee, I knew that I'd need to give this thing a name. I initially was going to call it "Arcade@Home" after the name of the front-end program. I e-mailed Tim Eckle - the owner of Arcade@Home - asking him if I could use the name, and he said that was fine as long as it wasn't a commercial venture. However, the more I thought about it, I wanted to use a name that wasn't already being taken by someone. Hence, "Arcade Paradise" was born.

Arcade Paradise marquee.
Click to view at full size (171 KB).
Note: This was way back when before I knew enough to not save images like MAME screencaps as a .jpg, so pardon the compression / artifacting. I AM DUM.

Once I settled on the name, I got to work on designing the marquee. I wanted the "Arcade Paradise" lettering to be something cooler than just big Arial letters, but I also wanted to avoid having it look cheesy by overdoing it. I liked the way that the Albertus Medium font looked, so I went with that and spent a decent amount of time designing the actual "Arcade Paradise" logo.

Once I had that hammered out, I knew that I wanted to have a bunch of characters from the classic games displayed all over the rest of it, so after several MAME screen captures and a lot of cutting-and-pasting, I was able to add in the characters of my favorite games.

Printing the thing proved to be a bit of a challenge. Since the marquee is 32" long, my choices were to either print it up myself on multiple sheets and tape them together, or take it to a print shop and fork out the $$$. Fortunately, a friend of mine had an HP DesignJet plotter at his workplace and was able to print the whole thing off on one single sheet. It turned out great.

Light em up, baby!

I took the printout, sandwiched it between two sheets of plexiglass, and then mounted it in using drywall screws.

This was the final step of cabinet construction, and when I clicked on the fluorescent light and the marquee lit up, that's when I knew that all of my hard work had finally paid off. That's when I really had a fully-functioning upright arcade cabinet. Man, it was SO worth it.


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