Arcade Projects >> Arcade Paradise 3

Software

Game Emulators

AP3 is running v0.71 of Windows (command-line) MAME. I know there are newer versions of MAME now, but I'm the type that doesn't really feel the need to constantly upgrade software unless I have a good reason to do so. MAME v0.71 works great and runs every game that I want it to, so I haven't felt the need to move to a newer version.

The cabinet is also running v0.99.6 of Daphne for the classic laserdisc games. I really only remember Dragon's Lair and Space Ace in the arcade as a kid, but it's worth it just for these two games. Having either of those two games running is a sure way to get a crowd gathered around the cabinet. :)

I do want to eventually get Visual Pinball working on the cabinet. I thought I was a relatively computer-savvy kind of guy, but reading through the documentation is making my head spin. I cannot figure out if I just need Visual Pinball or if I need PinMAME too, or which tables and ROMs work with which emulator and where to get them. All of the documentation for VP and PinMAME seems to cross-reference to each other so much that I honestly have no idea what's what. Ah well...maybe someday.

I really don't have any desire to get any of the console emulators working on AP3. They weren't originally played on a stand-up cabinet, so what's the point? I do have a PC hooked up to the living room TV, and that's where all of my console emulation happens...in front of a living room TV, just like it was meant to be.

Frontend

I'm using Game Launcher v0.9.8 as the frontend for the emulators. There are more "tweakable" frontends out there, but Game Launcher has a very simple and attractive look to it that really appeals to me; plus, it's relatively easy to configure. I had been using MAME32 on my previous two cabinets, and while MAME32 is very easy to set up and use (since it works just like any other Windows program), I really like the fact that Game Launcher looks so much more arcade-like. It really helps to keep you immersed in the "arcade experience".

Some screenshots of Game Launcher in action.
These pictures also give you a pretty good look at how the smoked/tinted plexiglass in front of the TV looks. Notice that the whites are still white, while the rest of the colors are still nice and sharp. Notice too that there's no need for a separate monitor bezel around the screen since you can only see what the screen is showing you through the smoked plexi.
gl-mame gl-daphne gl-mame02 gl-mame03

OS / Computer

Nothing fancy about the computer really: It's an Athlon T-Bird 1.4 GHz with an NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 440 AGP video card in a desktop case. I'm running Windows XP since it has the widest amount of compatibility with whatever software or hardware that I throw at it.

The Hagstrom KE72-T encoder is plugged in to the PC's keyboard port for the keyboard encoding, and the PS/2 port for the optical (trackball) encoding. The OSCAR Control Vortex spinner is interfaced through OSCAR Controls' USB Mouse Interface Kit which is plugged into a USB hub that I have mounted inside of the cabinet. Windows XP recognized the trackball as a standard PS/2 mouse and the spinner/interface as a "USB Human Interface Device" (or "USB mouse") right away with no problems.

Because I'm displaying to a TV (through s-video), I have the resolution in Windows XP set to 800x600 at 32-bit color, and the font size set to "Extra Large" for easier viewing on the TV. The quality isn't good enough to where I'd want to use this setup for normal Windows usage, but for running Game Launcher, MAME, and Daphne, it looks great.

 

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