Thanks for your comments:
- Attract screen : I'll look into this and try something similar. If you don't touch the controls then the game will take you through controls, high scores, hints etc but perhaps this isn't obvious or quick enough.
Wasn't obvious no, it felt like I'd just inserted a coin and pressed start without being prompted because it granted me control of the game. Current behavior is fine if you were running in 'PC mode' but if you wanted an 'Arcade mode' it isn't really arcade behavior.l
- Java : it's a java program so I don't have an option here. Perhaps it could be cross compiled into an exe but I've never tried this.
Don't worry too much about my criticism here. Java is widely used, even things like Minecraft use it, and I consider jDownloader a very useful piece of software. Reasons I don't like it.
a) It requires a plug-in, b) it is a HUGE source of security issues (especially if you fail to update the plugin) c) the installer / updater attempts to install bad crap on your PC, like the Ask toolbar which is practically a virus it digs so deep into your system, very immoral to include.
Therefore I try to avoid advising people to install it, especially the less computer literate. The last place I worked moved away from Java altogether because of c)
- Pre-load : this might depend on the hardware. It should try and pre-load stuff but maybe your hardware is a little older than mine. Is this a common issue?
Well it's my MAME development box, 3ghz C2D, 16gb RAM, so not exactly cutting edge, but no dinosaur and definitely better than what most people will be running in cabs (see the countless threads about people still trying to run 10 year old versions of MAME!) Can't say for sure what the problem is, just that it seemed to pause to load (or allocate?) stuff. This was in both IE10 and Firefox.
- Full screen : it will be full screen with no border though the resolution won't change.
That's ok, if you want a retro look then you don't want to go TOO high resolution anyway ;-)
- JNLP : this is pretty standard for web start programs in java. I guess if it's on a cab then you'd call the jar file anyway.
Um, ok, I wonder what creates the association then, because I have Java installed and all I got in both FF and IE was 'this link is not associated with any application'
- Free software for cabs : I like the idea of people enjoying the game on their own cabs and that's what it was written for. However if the software is being used to help sell cabs then I think it's fair that a small payment is made to cover the time it takes to write this stuff.
Well your licensing model is up to you, you could easily offer them as 'free for personal use' With different pricing details for commercial use / inclusion with cabinets. I think the chance of anybody paying a significant sum for something like this is low, but if relative to the cost of the cab it's cheap for the manufacturer to provide a legal game they might consider it.
Just thought I'd leave some feedback anyway, it you want to provide a more authentic arcade experience you should study the actual behavior of a number of arcade games, shouldn't be too hard to create your own little reusable 'Arcade engine / library' to provide those features to any other software you develop.