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Author Topic: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?  (Read 13191 times)

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jagnogg

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Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« on: February 02, 2005, 12:08:45 pm »

So I got the green light from the CFO (wife) to finish my basement and make a game room.  The carpenter is coming on Monday to start. (It was either have him come right away or wait for 3 months until he finished another project).

I'm trying to think of every possible feature that I want before he gets started.  The room will be approximately 20' x 12' and will accommodate my stand up arcade machine, skeeball machine and cocktail arcade machine. Later on I want to add an electronic dart board.

Anyway, I am going to have the room wired for speakers, and I'll put a string in there so I can pull other cables through later on. I will also have plenty of power outlets and a couple RJ45 / Phone / Cable jacks strategically located. The room will have it's own heating zone and thermostat. The ceiling Will be sheet rocked with access panels for certain areas that can't be permanently covered, and I'm putting in recessed lights.

If you were building a game room, what special touches would you all add? I'm sure there are a ton of things I'm forgetting.

-Jagnogg




walls83

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2005, 12:22:08 pm »
a bar.  A place for a jukebox.  Cat5 outlets(always come in handy).
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 12:25:54 pm »
Lots of electrical outlets.
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unclet

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2005, 12:27:50 pm »
- Bar with a large TV
- Poker table
- Possibly room for a pinball table in the future???

ChadTower

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2005, 12:47:47 pm »
A projector for watching the Big Game.

Hoagie_one

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2005, 01:00:13 pm »
Run a dedicated power line to the game room outlets from teh fuse box

namedos

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2005, 01:14:03 pm »
Cable hook ups for your TV feed.  Depending on how well planned out you have your room you may want some electrical outlets up near the ceiling for things like neon lights (beer, etc.) and your dartboard. 

What about a small recessed closet to hide things in like modular CP or other accessories?  Fairly easy to add with a pocket door.   That could be part of one wall and you could finish the area with a bar?

Our bonus room we wired the lights on two different lines so I could have half of them on or all of them and added a dimmer.

I agree with Hoagie that a dedicated electrical line would be a good idea.

Hoagie_one

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2005, 01:16:43 pm »
My house is wired stupidly.  Thats why i mention it.  I got rooms upstairs on the same circuit as my basement washing machine....stupid 1950's builders.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2005, 01:16:56 pm »
I agree with the suggestions regarding electricity. Given the hobby that we all share you can never have too much juice.

A recliner and a kegerator would be keen.

-S
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2005, 01:20:15 pm »
My house is wired stupidly.  Thats why i mention it.  I got rooms upstairs on the same circuit as my basement washing machine....stupid 1950's builders.

Mine is like that too... built in '54.  At least my washing machine is on its own circuit, though, as that line was definitely installed much later.

Lilwolf

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2005, 01:34:01 pm »
A walk in bar with keg is always good.  Small refridge.

One empty wall for DLP projector..  High Def TV 10 ft across!

Darts (but thats not much)

One area for future pinball machines.

One area for Mame machine + a few of your favorite originals

Pool Table.

Sex wall with wips and hooks.

Juke Box.

Ignore two back... Or put a Screen infront of it...

Heck.. Keep the sex torture room... Add a nice screen for your DLP projector to cover...

And a nice couch is nice

Don't forget the keg!

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2005, 01:38:53 pm »
Kegorator, or something to hold refreshments.
pizza oven.
Hey Baby, Have you ever met a Newbie with 38 pages of previous posts before? Do you Want to?

Hoagie_one

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2005, 01:41:46 pm »
popcorn machine

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2005, 01:47:02 pm »
add a stripper's pole  near one of the corners, and put mirrors on both sides so your wife can keep you entertained

i mean uh... stock the room full of cheesy romance novels for your wife, yes yes, do that instead

Bill

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2005, 01:54:15 pm »
I hope you have a lot of friends. Or your gonna be running around the basement alone with a Chucky Cheese cardboard king crown on your head. Which....of course can still be fun. Please take pictures and send to:

B. Bradley
666 Elm Street
Satans, Hollow 00666


 :)

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2005, 01:55:47 pm »
snowcone machine

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2005, 02:44:57 pm »
Have an easy way to get games down there? Basement gamerooms aren't as much fun when all the games are up in the garage.  ;)


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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2005, 03:51:32 pm »
If you are going to have neon lights, bar signs, traffic lights etc. consider adding a few well placed outlets on the walls higher up so you don't have to have wires hanging down to the ground from the signs.


jagnogg

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2005, 08:26:30 am »

Wow. Thanks for all of the replies. Keep em coming. You've given me some good ideas. I'm adding these things to my wish list:

 1. Dedicated power line.
 2. Outlets on ceiling or near ceiling.
 3. A gumball machine (wife's idea).
 4. A 40 ounce bottle of malt liquor in a wall box, labeled "break glass in case of emergency"
 5. Dimmer for lights.
 6. A skybox! This is perfect! I would put a kegorator or bar down there, but I'd be a hopeless drunk with no job in 3 months. "It's so good, when it hits your lips" <Frank the Tank from 'Old School' voice>. The skybox would allow for an assortment of beverages, including beer in portions that would be manageable / keep me gainfully employed & married. It'd have a Buffalo Bills logo, in case anyone is wondering. I'm a Bills fan living in New England, God help me. Go Philly!

 7. A small hoop on the wall for my two year old son.
 8. Recliner.
 
Addressing points others brought up:
 - My house has a two car garage under, so this is the other half of the basement. It's the main entrance to the house for us and for guests. Seeing the reaction of first time visitors is fun. It ranges from "OH MY GOD! YOU HAVE AN ARCADE GAME AND SKEEBALL MACHINE!" to looks of total puzzlement, to people who completely ignore them (I don't get those last people at all).

 - We're going to open up the wall under the stairs to the first floor and the room has a bump out the size of a closet that is under our fireplace. Those two areas will be used for storage / entertainment racks, etc.

- A jukebox,  Dart game (the arcade-like ones you see in a bar), popcorn machine, sno-cone machine, and bubble chexx hockey game are all on the extended wish list now. Sadly there isn't enough room for a pool table with the things I'll have in there.

A stripping pole? My wife is cool, but she ain't that cool.

-Jagnogg
 


walls83

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2005, 09:36:18 am »
A stripping pole? My wife is cool, but she ain't that cool..


LMFAO
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2005, 09:43:25 am »
Add more than one cable/Dish line, for in and out.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2005, 02:47:33 pm »
popcorn machine

Great idea.  I've always wanted one of these things for my dream basement setup.  Right next to the bar...

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2005, 03:05:26 pm »
Use CCFL lights for the main lights.  Get one of each color (RGB) then wire them on separate dimmers.  You can light up the room in any color you want.

Put an emergency warning light on the wall.  They kind they used in old subs, with the metal cage around it.  Make it rotate if you can.

Make sure you run all data lines as far away as possible from the power lines.  Having a 60Hz buzz in everything sucks.  Run more cables than you need to.  You will always find uses later.

Put some pressure sensors under the carpet.  When someone walks into the room, everything will power up automatically.  Doubles as a security system.

Forget the skybox.  Get a real vending machine.  People leave them just sitting around.  Drive by late one night......

Don't forget a crane machine.  Great for kids.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2005, 03:22:10 pm »
If your doing a suspended ceiling I'd put all the outlets up there in the ceiling for neon lights and such, that way you can just see a short cord dissapear into the ceiling panel and no outlet, I hate cord clutter.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2005, 03:51:16 pm »

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2005, 05:11:07 pm »
A SFF box running MythTV.

Plug that into your DLP projector, and you've got your oldschool console emulators (NES, MS, MD/Genesis, SNES, etc) as well as DivX/Xvid/AVI/DVD, news/weather and hiDef TV all in one box, and all on the big screen.

Super Mario Kart at 10' wide is about as fun as it gets. :)

I'd also seriously consider a 802.11g access point somewhere in there.  Wireless is getting pretty damn cheap at the moment, and saves you having to plan ahead for RJ45 points.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2005, 05:13:25 pm by elvis »

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2005, 06:30:59 pm »
Shouldn't this have been moved to arcade misc and not everything else?!?!?!
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2005, 06:40:22 pm »
Shouldn't this have been moved to arcade misc and not everything else?!?!?!
Are you questioning the mods?
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2005, 09:06:58 pm »
Shouldn't this have been moved to arcade misc and not everything else?!?!?!
Are you questioning the mods?
Man, youve got ba**s of Steel.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2005, 09:48:51 pm »
Don't forget the Margarita / Slurpee machine!

-Goz

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2005, 06:02:13 pm »
Make sure that any new doorways that you install are large (wide).

Also, consider insulating the basement ceiling for noise containment.
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2005, 06:26:02 pm »
Something to really think about with a room like that is heat.

Make sure you have a way to vent.  If you have 5-6 people, plus 5-6 arcade games, plus TV, plus jukebox, plus soda/refridge...

it gets _WARM_ very quickly.  Which in turn makes everyone either a) drink more, which then they get drunk real fast and quit playing...or worse yet, spill..*groan* or b) get lethargic and fall asleep.

This can get worse if you put sound board in the ceiling...as it acts like extra insulation trapping the heat downstairs.

-G

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2005, 06:28:29 pm »
It would be great for cold climates though.

Put speakers in the ceiling.

Build a pedestal controller for your video projector.
Make sure the entire wall is filled with video.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2005, 07:54:50 pm »
The mistake is assuming that your wife has to be the one stripping.  Install a stripper pole AND employ osme strippers.  Then your gameroom will be complete.
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #37 on: February 05, 2005, 12:29:28 pm »
My gameroom was finished when i bought the house, but I have had to constantly add things:

* 2 additional 20 amp circuits for games

* 1 additional 20 amp circuit with high/ceiling outlets for neon signs and hanging TV, all on one switch

* High shelf around the pool table to sit drinks

Things on my "to do" list:
* add a bar/restaurant style booth
* more seating around the pool table
* small, tall tables in between games (like Gamewoorks/Dave and Busters)

Not having much seating or places to sit food and drinks has been a MAJOR problem for many people in our gameroom.  It's important to make accomodations for all the "regular people" too. :)

Wade

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #38 on: February 05, 2005, 08:10:49 pm »
I'm constantly trying to pictures the roome dimensions needed for this stuff.  Wade, what size is your gameroom?
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #39 on: February 05, 2005, 08:43:00 pm »

It's important to make accomodations for all the "regular people" too. :)


I accomodate people like that by not inviting them  ;D

And who are these...how you say....re-gyoo-lur? people you speak of?
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2005, 09:00:42 pm »
Hey,

I have another very important suggestion.  Iwent over to a local collector's house today and he has a great arcade / gameroom in the basement.  On the subject of power, he said he has a full dedicated panel for the basement only.  He has at least 10 upright arcade games and at least 8 pins as well as a jukebox.

The feature he pointed out that I thought was very well done was the outlet switches.  All outlets in the gameroom are controlled by a panel of about 10 light switches.  Each is designated according to the area they serve allowing you to flip your machines on and off from a central location. Very slick, no rooting around for a surge protector on the floor.

You can see his gameroom here:

http://www.alsarcade.com/

His site is a little hard to navigate, but just click "Video" then "Current" for the video games or "Pinball" then "Current" for the pins.

He also has a Varkon. It is an upright arcade cabinet with a pinball game inside.  Actual pinball, reflected in a half-silvered mirror.  I got to play it and it is WAYYYY cool. Only 90 made.  He also has a Reactor, Serial Number 2.  Very nice guy to boot.

Good luck!

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #41 on: February 07, 2005, 06:53:44 am »
don't forget, if you install a bar don't forget to install a bartender. also, a stripper for the stripper pole would be nice...


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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #42 on: February 07, 2005, 10:11:21 am »
Why's it necessary to have a second electrical panel? Is it because he likes to run all his games at the same time?


NO MORE!!

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #43 on: February 07, 2005, 01:38:23 pm »
I'm constantly trying to pictures the roome dimensions needed for this stuff. Wade, what size is your gameroom?

It is about 22'x22' I think, but one wall is irregular and has a hallway and only accommodates one game currently.  The rest is a couch, stereo, mini fridge.  Same wall where we plan to add a booth (in place of the couch).


It's important to make accomodations for all the "regular people" too. :)


I accomodate people like that by not inviting them ;D

And who are these...how you say....re-gyoo-lur? people you speak of?

Seriously, a lot of my friends love the gameroom.  But when we have parties, my wife and her friends tend to spend all their time upstairs.  I'm really making an effort to make the gameroom more appealing to the non-gamers.  It sucks to have parties that are clearly divided up.  I'd rather everyone just hang in the gameroom, or at least stay somewhere in the basement.


Why's it necessary to have a second electrical panel? Is it because he likes to run all his games at the same time?

I don't think having a second panel serves any real purpose (no higher capacity), it is mostly for convenience.  For example, if I trip a breaker, I have to run all the way upstairs to the garage to flip it back on.

Being able to have all the games on at the same time SAFELY is just a matter of having enough circuits that are designed for the proper loads.  Most people really overload their circuits, but it is dangerous and can cause a fire.  Not worth it.  A 20amp circuit should have ALL 12 gauge wire, 12 gauge grounded outlets, and should only have 5 or 6 games on it.  And that's pushing it.  So realistically a gameroom with many games should have 4-5 20amp circuits.  Most homes have one circuit per room or worse, and usually are only wired for 15 amps too.

This is why I keep adding circuits, even though I don't have a huge number of games (3 pins 6 vids). I'd rather be safe than sorry. :)

Wade

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #44 on: February 07, 2005, 02:28:08 pm »
Don't worry about overloading.  As long as everything is wired to code, the breakers will trip long before it would cause a fire.

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #45 on: February 07, 2005, 02:46:28 pm »
Hmmm... In my house, the lights will flicker once when an appliance turns on (dryer, furnace, washer, etc...). What causes that? The house is less than 2 years old. I'm gonna have at least 5 games in the basement, plus a home office.
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #46 on: February 07, 2005, 03:10:24 pm »
Not sure what would case the lights to flicker, but you'll be fine as long as you have a lots of plugs wired to a 2 or 3 breakers. 

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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2005, 06:15:56 pm »
When you say "flicker", do you mean the lights dim slightly, or do you mean the lights actually turn on and off for a breif half of a second?

If it's the latter, it's poor electrical work somewhere.  If it's the former, that's normal, but may be improved by isolating those things further with their own breakers so they aren't drawing that large initial load of power-up juice....I dunno if you're reaching the limit of that particular breaker, or if they draw SO much at start-up that they should have their own dedicated breaker to help those things run smoother over time, as well.
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #48 on: February 07, 2005, 06:43:26 pm »
It's just the brief dimming.
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2005, 07:04:09 pm »
That's normal, from my understanding, unless steps are taken to isolate those big power suckers from stuff like your lights.  I'm betting when they wired your house (you said it was fairly new, yes?) they saved money by either running less wires and putting more stuff on larger breakers, or they tied larger items like the furnace/HVAC into less used (but capable of handling it) breakers, which happen to be tied into a large lighting circuit.

Father-in-law installed A/C on the house, separate circuit, furnace is on a separate circuit, and no problems with those, but the built-in microwave, which shared a circuit with all the upstairs electrical, did the same thing you mention every time it turned on/off, until too much stuff was plugged in and it started blowing fuses, after which he ran another circuit, and solved the problem altogether.
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Re: Building gameroom in my basement - ideas?
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2005, 08:39:30 am »