DIY Classic arcade/video games?

Skeletor

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Recently got an idea in my head that I'd like to revive some of the classic video games (probably just looking for something interesting to do that will help me to avoid reading the news - I find myself drifting back to MSM and I need to avoid that to keep my stress levels at a reasonable level)

Has anyone ever thrown something together on either a Windows PC or an Android TV box?
My vision was something my wife and I could play on the TV and my TV "set top boxes" consist of a mini-PC and an Android box.
Thinking games like asteroids, defender, PAC man - 80s arcade stuff.
But - I'd need a couple of things - first would be software - assuming this will be the easy bit but I haven't really begun the search yet.
Second would be a suitable "controller" - joystick and buttons. A quick Amazon search yields a bunch of kits that look like they would do the job - would have to buy or build enclosures and/or some sort of console and wire it all up but that seems like it would be pretty straight forward.

Anyone here done something similar that might have some advice?

I don't have space for an actual console machine so I don't want to go that route.
Also - looking to keep it as inexpensive as possible
 

Skeletor

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Maybe start here:

I looked into building arcade type games for my kids many years ago...then, my wife bought them a Wii...*


*Saved me a lot of work.
Damn - that might get me most of the way there.
Just need the ROMS for the actual games (likely easy via a bit of search as well) and a couple controllers ($50 CDN for the pieces on Amazon so I can build 2 USB controllers with joystick)
 

Skeletor

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Damn - that Pandora machine looks like exactly what I was hoping to build.
No DIY (so I'd have to queue up some other mind distraction to DIY) but better value than the path I was planning.
 

chef

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A Raspberry Pi 4 ($50-100 depending on configuration, case, etc) is capable of playing everything up through and including PS1 and 90's arcade games. NES, SNES, Genesis, etc. It is the size of a pack of cards.

You just have to load an image onto a micro-sd card and boot the pi from that.

https://twitter.com/arcadepunks?lang=en follows the emulator scene, at least for Retropi

If you like arcade games, you can get good USB joysticks from amazon and elsewhere, I settled on the "Mayflash Elite" as, on par with building your own and of reasonable quality, especially the "elite" sticks which use Sanwa Components.

Sanwa is good/moddable/adjustable hardware in a stick, the generic stuff I have not used. You can also get 4 way gates for pac-man donkey kong era games for the Sanwa sticks, and octagon shaped gates for fighting games.

If you want a d-pad wireless, the stuff from 8bitdo is top quality. The $15 generic "Nintendo" controllers from amazon was disapointing.

links:

 

Skeletor

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I did purchase a Raspberry Pi a few years back for another project that I eventually abandoned... likely too old and underpowered for this though? (Pi2 or B or something like that)
 

Ed B

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I've made a few of these from that video. A few years ago the price range between $95 - $120.
 

OldBenKenobi

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I did purchase a Raspberry Pi a few years back for another project that I eventually abandoned... likely too old and underpowered for this though? (Pi2 or B or something like that)
A Pi2 can definitely handle MAME, at least the older versions (which are what Retropie uses).

As for controls, don't fall for one of those goofy kits on Amazon. Get the good stuff, it's not much more expensive.

For 80s arcade games you're looking for a balltop 4-way joystick and concave pushbuttons. For sticks, Japanese brands (Sanwa and Seimitsu) are very high quality and there are a wide variety of models available. For buttons, you'll want to stick with American-style parts. Japanese buttons are great but they're designed for fighting games and just do not deliver the old school arcade experience you're looking for.

If I were building a retro controller I would go for this joystick and these buttons. Why? Leaf switches. They were at the heart of 80s arcade control panels, they provide the softest feel and the highest sensitivity. Japanese buttons are very soft and sensitive as well, but they have broad convex plungers rather than the traditional Western concave plunger.
 
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chef

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I did purchase a Raspberry Pi a few years back for another project that I eventually abandoned... likely too old and underpowered for this though? (Pi2 or B or something like that)
You definitely want a 4 for this one, I have a 3, not really fast enough except for 80's stuff.
 

chef

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As for controls, don't fall for one of those goofy kits on Amazon. Get the good stuff, it's not much more expensive.

For 80s arcade games you're looking for a balltop 4-way joystick and concave pushbuttons. For sticks, Japanese brands (Sanwa and Seimitsu) are very high quality and there are a wide variety of models available. For buttons, you'll want to stick with American-style parts. Japanese buttons are great but they're designed for fighting games and just do not deliver the old school arcade experience you're looking for.

If I were building a retro controller I would go for this joystick and these buttons. Why? Leaf switches. They were at the heart of 80s arcade control panels, they provide the softest feel and the highest sensitivity. Japanese buttons are very soft and sensitive as well, but they have broad convex plungers rather than the traditional Western concave plunger.
I took a chance on the Sanwa convex buttons, and am glad I did (I like them), as I grew up on American arcade buttons. I just knew I wanted a Sanwa stick so since I was buying a prebuilt stick, I got the convex buttons. I have a ball top but may try a bat top and see if it's better for my hand.

Agree re: 4-way stick for games like donkey kong especially and pac-man a 4 way restrictor makes a big difference in the gameplay satisfaction versus an 8 way. Right now I have octagon restrictors which have a good feel for street fighter, but not at all good for old school, and really makes Donkey Kong super frustrating.
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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I just bought a Street Fighter II cabinet and a bunch of Nintendos instead. :laugh2:

Picked this up for the Ms and she's been having fun with it. it's a tabletop cabinet but it's still pretty big.


1613718503920.png



It has a few games in it. I was mostly interested in Ms Pac Man and Galaga.

Wish they'd make one like this with Space Invaders and a few others.
 


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