Thursday, 5 March 2009

Retrobution: Frontend

Being a computery-electronicsy person more than a woodworky-DIY...y person, I'm working on all the PC related parts of the project before the cabinet is built. That said, I've got my dad on board now and he has some great ideas about the engineering aspects of the cab. A lot of the research is done: wood types, paint, rough dimensions, how to mount the screen, where to get perspex for the bezel and wire meshing for vent and speaker covers, what lights to use for the marquee, where to get the marquee printed and so on.

But until we have some decent weather, no cabinet making can go ahead so I can really concentrate on getting the internals working perfectly for now.

I'm using a frontend called Maximus Arcade to link all the emulators together. So far, I've got MAME (for arcade machines), WinUAE (Amiga), zSNES, Kega Fusion (Mega Drive), NEStopia and Future Pinball working from the frontend. I've based the theme of the frontend (and of the cab as a whole) on one of my favourite retro games, Gauntlet II. The following is a video of the machine booting and launching into Maximus Arcade.

As you can see, I've replaced the XP boot screen with a custom one, and Windows boots using Maximus as the shell rather than explorer.exe. Good stuff!

The next job is to replace the PC's power and reset buttons with some that can be mounted to the rear panel of the cabinet. For this job, I've ordered two transparent arcade panel buttons with LED mounting slots. The idea is to mount the PC's power LED in the power button, and the hard drive LED in the rest button. Hopefully the buttons will arrive today so we'll see if I can get that done tonight.

Here's a couple more shots of the guts of the system. In the first image, you can see the USB/Audio panel ready to be mounted on the back panel of the cabinet. The power/reset/LEDs are dangling ready for their modifications too.

Couple of shots of the frontend in action. I plan on replacing the standard joysticks in the X-Arcade unit with new ones, so I'm doing joystick research at the moment!

1 comment:

VX said...

Dude this looks sweet!