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Author Topic: My first build: "Mimic"  (Read 14731 times)

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Jamesyan

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #80 on: April 21, 2016, 03:08:47 am »
very good job, guy

yotsuya

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #81 on: April 21, 2016, 10:39:13 am »
This is a great example of a guy building his first cabinet, taking a whole bunch of feedback, opinions and compliments, and really rolling with it. See, not every N00b  gets picked on.

It was a pleasure meeting you at ZapCon, and I look forward to future years.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Umpa

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #82 on: April 21, 2016, 10:56:27 am »
Great job. Great build thread! Thank you for sharing!

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #83 on: April 22, 2016, 11:49:18 pm »
Umpa and Jamesyan - Thanks! 


Wow, Laythe. This is really an impressive cab. The screens are gorgeous and I really like your control panel. Great job with the software. The amount of work you put into configuring it really shows. Shout out for the cool admin panel too  :cheers:.

Heya, RetroGreg!  Glad you dig it.  I'm still tinkering on the artwork and software, but, I probably always will be.   :)  Was cool meeting you, and hanging out with you at Monastery.   :cheers:


This is a great example of a guy building his first cabinet, taking a whole bunch of feedback, opinions and compliments, and really rolling with it. See, not every N00b  gets picked on.

It was a pleasure meeting you at ZapCon, and I look forward to future years.

Aw, thanks.  Great meeting you, and likewise!

I don't think I've seen anybody get jumped on here out of meanness, in any of the build threads I've seen.  I didn't get roasted much, and the differing opinions I got were all very reasonable.

To pick an example - sure, Mimic isn't HarveyBirdman's favorite cab.  He's really enthusiastic about CRTs, and a stunt with a portrait LCD for a main screen is at most going to get his grudging "not as bad as I expected" shrug.  But look at BulletReign, with the incredible marquee art and the awesome level of overkill of the painted board rack, and it's obvious he cares a whole lot.  He's not busting my chops because he's some cretin - he's expressing what he cares about, and he's got a build to show what it looks like when attention is paid to the parts that matter to him.

If his build was two cardboard boxes and a tankstick, I'd maybe shrug off his opinion, but it isn't.  I respect the heck out of his build, he knows what he's talking about, and I can see where he's coming from.  I'm glad he's level with me about it.  I'd rather get an honest "not as bad as I expected" over a fake "every cab is equally beautiful and special in it's own unique way" participation trophy, any day.

yotsuya

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #84 on: April 22, 2016, 11:54:42 pm »
Umpa and Jamesyan - Thanks! 


Wow, Laythe. This is really an impressive cab. The screens are gorgeous and I really like your control panel. Great job with the software. The amount of work you put into configuring it really shows. Shout out for the cool admin panel too  :cheers:.

Heya, RetroGreg!  Glad you dig it.  I'm still tinkering on the artwork and software, but, I probably always will be.   :)  Was cool meeting you, and hanging out with you at Monastery.   :cheers:


This is a great example of a guy building his first cabinet, taking a whole bunch of feedback, opinions and compliments, and really rolling with it. See, not every N00b  gets picked on.

It was a pleasure meeting you at ZapCon, and I look forward to future years.

Aw, thanks.  Great meeting you, and likewise!

I don't think I've seen anybody get jumped on here out of meanness, in any of the build threads I've seen.  I didn't get roasted much, and the differing opinions I got were all very reasonable.

To pick an example - sure, Mimic isn't HarveyBirdman's favorite cab.  He's really enthusiastic about CRTs, and a stunt with a portrait LCD for a main screen is at most going to get his grudging "not as bad as I expected" shrug.  But look at BulletReign, with the incredible marquee art and the awesome level of overkill of the painted board rack, and it's obvious he cares a whole lot.  He's not busting my chops because he's some cretin - he's expressing what he cares about, and he's got a build to show what it looks like when attention is paid to the parts that matter to him.

If his build was two cardboard boxes and a tankstick, I'd maybe shrug off his opinion, but it isn't.  I respect the heck out of his build, he knows what he's talking about, and I can see where he's coming from.  I'm glad he's level with me about it.  I'd rather get an honest "not as bad as I expected" over a fake "every cab is equally beautiful and special in it's own unique way" participation trophy, any day.
***Build what you dig, bro. Build what you dig.***

Ond

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #85 on: April 23, 2016, 12:34:33 am »
I really like your approach to this cab and the innovation taken in construction - nice work!
You might think that you're scared, but you're not.  That isn't fear.  That's your sharpness.  That's your power.

dmckean

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #86 on: April 23, 2016, 12:52:29 am »
I like this cab, I think it looks great.

I think you're over complicating restricting Windows to a certain screen size. I'll have to look at Nvida drivers again, but I know on my machine with Intel drivers I can set almost any resolution I want.

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #87 on: April 26, 2016, 10:27:50 pm »
I really like your approach to this cab and the innovation taken in construction - nice work!

Wow.  Thank you.  Coming from you in particular, that means a lot to me - I consider you to be one of the experts on innovation here, given the designs you've come up with. 

Thanks!

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #88 on: April 26, 2016, 10:52:13 pm »
I like this cab, I think it looks great.

I think you're over complicating restricting Windows to a certain screen size. I'll have to look at Nvida drivers again, but I know on my machine with Intel drivers I can set almost any resolution I want.

Thanks man! 

The resolution thing really isn't a big deal to me - I've set up my layout files and frontend to work around it.  It'd actually be quite a pain to redo all of them for 1080x1080 at this point, even if I figured out how to.  I only mention it as a possible caution for anybody looking to do a similar build - the "adjust screen size for television" sliders in the specific win XP nvidia drivers I've got, only go as far down from 1920x1080 as 1440x1080, and not all the way to 1080x1080.

So, my start menu is sitting about two inches hidden under my control panel.  (Which is not a bad outcome, necessarily.)  This result doesn't bother me - I know all the keyboard shortcuts for things, and when in use the cab looks great.  It's only even a mild wrinkle when doing admin work on it. 

If you want to look into restriction methods, anything you come up with might be of assistance to anyone else who may consider building a similar setup.

Pixelhugger

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #89 on: January 14, 2017, 01:55:22 am »
Ive been away from the forums for a while, and stumbled onto this.

My god this is just incredible. Just unbelievably cool.
Project mega thread HERE

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #90 on: January 14, 2017, 03:29:35 pm »
Ive been away from the forums for a while, and stumbled onto this.

My god this is just incredible. Just unbelievably cool.

Thank you!

Mission Control is one of the most amazing cabinets ever made, so that carries a lot of weight.

I greatly admire your work.  You and Ond, markc74, vwalbridge, and others, who have built things that I would be proud of had they been mine, are inspirational.  The kind words in this thread about my project from many of the people here that I respect the most, are just a heck of a thing.   :o   (I guess that may sound like a circlejerk to some, but it's significant to me.)

So, thanks.

In the spirit of the awesome flyers you did for MC:


gdonovan

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #91 on: January 14, 2017, 06:56:43 pm »
Crazy workmanship! Inspires me to aim high on my own projects!

Gary

Pixelhugger

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #92 on: January 16, 2017, 12:05:22 am »
I can't stop thinking about this project. There is just somehting about the cabinet itself becoming part of the emulation of the game I just can't get over. I was telling my wife about it at Target yesterday and I think she got scared.  >:D

How did you handle the differing aspect ratios of the marquees? I know you created art for non existent bezels... did you have to extend artwork to avoid strectching/scaling issues for the marquees as well? Did I miss that in the thread?

Love the flyer! It totally reminds me of those Matchbox car storage cases from the 70s I always wanted but my mom would never buy.

BTW thanks for the compliments. It goes both ways.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 11:53:23 pm by Pixelhugger »
Project mega thread HERE

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #93 on: January 16, 2017, 04:16:33 am »
Crazy workmanship! Inspires me to aim high on my own projects!

Gary

Thanks!  I've always believed that a beginner can make something as nice as a pro - the difference is that the pro can do it a whole lot faster.  Not knowing which parts will matter and which parts will show, the beginner just has to be careful about everything, whereas the pro knows which corners they can safely cut.  Take your time, have fun, and you'll do fine.   :cheers:

My god, I can't stop thinking about this project. There is just somehting about the cabinet itself becoming part of the emulation of the game I just can't get over. I was telling my wife about it at Target yesterday and I think she got scared.  >:D

How did you handle the differing aspect ratios of the marquees? I know you created art for non existent bezels... did you have to extend artwork to avoid strectching/scaling issues for the marquees as well? Did I miss that in the thread?

Love the flyer! It totally reminds me of those Matchbox car storage cases from the 70s I always wanted but my mom would never buy.

BTW thanks for the compliments. It goes both ways.

Haha, thanks.  Blip similarly just wouldn't let go of me after I saw the pictures of it, I know the feeling.   :)

The marquee panel I've got is 1366x480 - I think the 1366x384 like Blip uses is a little more optimal.  There's no one standard aspect on marquee art on original cabs, but the average is a little shorter than this.  (There's plenty of exceptions.  Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters and Super Puzzle Fighter are much too tall.)  So about 1/3rd of the marquees I find fit just perfect, the other 2/3rds of them, the panel is too tall / the art is too wide.  I've done a lot of tinkering on the marquee artwork to reformat it to fit.  Sometimes I can get away with a little squish, sometimes I'm cropping in a little closer and discarding the left and right edges, sometimes I'm rearranging the art to kill some deadspace to crowd it together a little tighter, sometimes I'm extending the artwork vertically.  Occasionally I just have to leave black deadbands top and bottom, or add a colored stripe.  Frequently, it's a little bit of all of the above simultaneously.  If I do a good job, most can't tell I did anything unless they see the original side by side.  I take comfort knowing operators did similar surgery and worse when converting real cabinets back in the day.

Neo-Geo games are kind of a pain, because the strictly historically correct thing to do with the marquee panel - mostly red with the little mini-marquee - just ends up looking like a cop-out in my menu.   :D   So I end up taking liberties with many of those.

It's also a project just to hunt down high res marquee source art for everything.  I've got my set mostly complete, there's a few that maybe could be better quality, but nothing is still out and out bad anymore.


Overall, this approach leads to a different feel for the cabinet, I think.  Mission Control has a big strong identity to it - no matter what you're playing on it, it's Mission Control and there's nothing else like it.  Mimic fades out like a chameleon - it feels like a Joust when it's being a Joust.  I think there's value on both sides of that; the magic to me is that I feel like I've almost got an entire arcade of dedicated machines in one 29"x18" footprint, but there really is something to be said for a machine that has a bold character and presence of it's own.  I don't think it's possible to achieve both outcomes at the same time from the same cabinet.

gdonovan

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #94 on: January 16, 2017, 05:07:01 am »
  I think there's value on both sides of that; the magic to me is that I feel like I've almost got an entire arcade of dedicated machines in one 29"x18" footprint, but there really is something to be said for a machine that has a bold character and presence of it's own.

This.

One thing that bugs me about about MAME machines are the fact that they have no clear personality and this is coming from the perspective of a grey-beard that spent lots of time in arcades growing up. When you walked in you could spot the Pac Man game, the Space Invaders game, the Donkey Kong game, etc. The cabinets and artwork themselves had personality that was part of the experience! Maybe the younger crowd feels this less since most of their gaming is/was done on consoles which <cough old ---fudgesicle--- cough> in my day even the consoles had only one game in them for a time!

Mimic is a lovely attempt to address this and I salute you!

fablog

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #95 on: January 20, 2017, 02:58:05 pm »
Hi Laythe,

Where did you buy your angle power cord. I can't find it with this angle :(

Thanks!

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #96 on: January 20, 2017, 05:34:19 pm »
Where did you buy your angle power cord. I can't find it with this angle :(
You can find some like this if you search for "down angle power cord", but you'll get more hits and better prices if you search for "right angle power cord" like this one or "left angle power cord" like this or get a right-angle adapter like this.


Scott

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #97 on: January 20, 2017, 11:47:41 pm »
What Scott said.    :)

I got mine from Amazon.  Left and Right are fairly plentiful, Up and Down take a little more hunting but should be there somewhere.

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Re: My first build: &quot;Mimic&quot;
« Reply #98 on: January 21, 2017, 01:44:23 am »
Thx guys!

Grasshopper

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #99 on: January 06, 2018, 11:41:22 am »
OK. I'm a bit late to the party. But wow. I have to say, this cab is astonishingly good. It's pretty much the holy grail for anyone who has limited space.
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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #100 on: January 06, 2018, 11:48:54 am »
Here's an image out of my plans that better illustrates how Mimic fits together internally, in case anyone is considering a similar approach.  Screens are highlighted green, and the centered viewable 1080x1080 area of the main screen is shown in blue.



One thing that occurs to me is that maybe you could have somehow projected the hidden top section of the TV onto the marquee using something like a fresnel lens, and thus avoided the need for a second monitor.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." - Samuel Johnson

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #101 on: January 06, 2018, 08:04:02 pm »
Thanks, Grasshopper!  Appreciate the kind words.

I'm really happy with the machine, and I think people should consider this sort of masked-off portrait-oriented 16:9 screen if they're going to go LCD anyway - it works really well.

I thought about ways to try to project or offset the marquee portion of the image to look like it was further forward using that unused real estate.  An enormous bundle of coherently laid parallel fiber optic strands would do it, or a crystal that has a similar internal structure - but neither of those would be cheaper or easier than just sourcing the weird aspect ratio second panel.  (You could also give up on the marquee being on a separate plane, redesign the machine to maybe be more Viewlix shaped or Tempest shaped or something.  Some of the unused Blip designs did that, and a Nintendo bartop project did too - it'll work.)  Any tricks with mirrors I could come up with actually make it look further -back-, not further forward, by increasing the light path distance.  I think that a fresnel might make it bigger but I don't think it'd make it look closer - though I might be wrong there.

Speaking of fiber optics, I also thought about running bundles of fiber optic strands taped up against the lower screen area, emerging cut off flush at various places on the control panel - you could have a huge number of fully RGB "lights" that were actually just light pipes that you drive by putting color splotches on unused parts of the screen in your mame layout file, kind of for free.  Decided against it, but, it's a thing a person could easily do if your build has unused TV real estate hidden in the cabinet like this.

morton

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #102 on: January 07, 2018, 11:27:27 am »
The button indication lights on this are so slick... and just everything else... Makes me wanna make my cab over again. Looks so clean and non-obtrusive.  :notworthy:

80sarcadegames

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #103 on: January 16, 2018, 10:54:29 am »
This has to be the best "stretch LCD" marquee build I have ever seen!
A+!!!!!!
What was your logic and reasoning for making the top part of the cabinet separate and not seamless with the rest of the cabinet?

Laythe

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Re: My first build: "Mimic"
« Reply #104 on: January 16, 2018, 10:32:27 pm »
The button indication lights on this are so slick... and just everything else... Makes me wanna make my cab over again. Looks so clean and non-obtrusive.  :notworthy:

Thanks!  Lot of people seem to get tired of their first cab and want to do it over, that's a comment sentiment around here.  Mimic is still a machine in the corner that just makes me happy - I haven't wanted to redo it, and I think I'm in the minority in that.  I haven't gotten the bug to start collecting real arcade machines either, so something's probably wrong with me.   :laugh:


This has to be the best "stretch LCD" marquee build I have ever seen!
A+!!!!!!
What was your logic and reasoning for making the top part of the cabinet separate and not seamless with the rest of the cabinet?

Thanks!

The top part of the cabinet will slide off the front on rails, if I ever need to service or replace the marquee LCD panel.  But mostly, my design does that because I don't want the main cabinet to be any wider than it is - it's already too wide to be perfectly authentic. (I'm a bit wider than I was when I spent my childhood in arcades, too, so it's still reasonably proportional.)  I don't really like the aesthetic of cabinets that cram a big 16:9 screen in conventional orientation, and are then just a mile wide to fit it in, like a stretch limo or something.

So, the marquee ear overhangs were my compromise - the top absolutely has to be that wide.  The marquee monitor is that wide.  But I can at least slim up the machine underneath it a little.  When you look at it, you'd guess you are looking at a monitor between 3/4" thick plywood panels with T-molding on them - you aren't, it's hollowed out razor thin up there.  The marquee monitor is 30.125" wide by itself and the whole -exterior- of the top of the cabinet is 30.250" wide counting laminate.  The T-molding you see is debarbed and actually in front of the marquee monitor, not beside it.  Making the marquee sides seamless would have required making the whole cabinet 1.5" wider, and that looked worse to me.  28 3/4" outside width for the main body looked about right, 30 1/4" looked fat - and you also start noticing the gaps where the main screen bezel art doesn't quite go edge to edge in the cabinet, the wider you make the main body.



I kinda like the resulting accent lines of T-molding that the top got, it's an interesting shape.  It's not authentically any actual cabinet, but I think it doesn't look wholly unlike something that could have been at an arcade in the day.  Or so I think.

To do it perfectly... well, that's Blip.  Or an LCD TV slung like this in a cabinet like Blip, if you like dynamic bezel art more than CRT authenticity.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 10:45:04 pm by Laythe »

  
 

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