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Author Topic: Defender style general MAME control panel  (Read 2157 times)

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jukingeo

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Defender style general MAME control panel
« on: December 01, 2008, 02:30:10 pm »
Hello all,

I am looking to put together a Mame control panel.  Up to now I been using mostly pre-made stuff, similar to the X-arcade panels.  I wanted something more intuitive based on the style of games I play.

I have been exposed to Mame around 2000 or so, but I have not really created my own cabinet or anything up until now.

At any rate in terms of my game playing style,  a little background is in order.   I grew up in the early video game era and played many of the early classics when they came out:  Space Invaders, Asteroids, Defender, Pac-Man, etc.  My interested remained pretty strong in the early games up until the late 80's.

I do not care for the newer arcade games and pretty much dislike the current "arcade" (or family fun center as they are now called) infestation of fighting and driving games.

There are very few driving games I like:  Pole Position, Spy Hunter, Outrun, Road Blasters (again older games in general).

Also from the early era there are very few trackball games I liked:  Centipede, Missle Command, Capcom Bowling.

Again is true of spinner games such as:  Arkanoid, Breakout, Tempest, Tron.

There were many more tank or two stick games that I played during this era:  Battlezone, Vindicators, Smash TV, Crazy Climber, Robotron.

I very rarely play with other people and most of the people I do play with have similar gaming interests as I do.  Many of the early 80's games were of the alternating player type so a control panel for two players is not mandatory.

Given this realization, I decided to go with a control panel that would be interchangeable instead of trying to fit every single control needed into one very large and awkward panel.

Given the fact I was going to create a smaller cabinet, or even a wallmount/countertop unit, an all in one control panel was out of the question.

My ideas for an interchangeable panel were gleaned from the BYOAC site.   So the next question that came up would be what to do first?

After much thought, I believe the interchangeable concept offered on Craig's Roswell 88201 cabinet was the way to go.

See here:

http://www.ourvictorianhouse.com/CraigsArcade/Roswell%2088201/Roswell.html

Craig mentioned (in another post) that his creation of the Defender panel (on the page above) will play about 90% of his games.   I did a bit of digging and compared layouts (on KLOV) and I do find that he is correct. So I decided my first control panel would be based on his concept of the Defender/Stargate style panel. 

I attempted to contact Craig for dimensions of his panel, but alas, his email address is no longer functioning.  Thus now I am turning here for help.

I am a bit out of the loop in terms of MAME control panels and I forgot what the standard size panel was.    I also don't know how far to space the controls apart, that would be comfortable for long term playing.

I do not intend to copy Craig's design to the letter.  For one, Craig is employing a two way joystick on the left.   I think this would be a waste and would like to put two 8 way/4way joysticks in place.   The presence of two joysticks would open the door to some of the tank games and two joystick games that I like to play.   However, given this kind of setup would necessitate the incorporation of selectable 4way/8way joysticks.  While I do have some arcade parts and I do have 4-8way joysticks, they are of the type that you have to take apart to reset.  That isn't good for this scenario.  So that is my next question, what is a good quality joystick that I can easily convert from 4 way to 8 way without taking the whole thing apart?

At one point in time, I do remember that one company made restriction "plates" that bolted to the top of the cabinet and that changing two parts of the plate would alter the directional control of the joysticks.   I am interested in this concept, but if nowadays there are ways to get around them, then I am all ears.

As for buttons, I have many of those already and I am good to go.

I am wondering if there happens to be a computer program by now that allows you to create panels and print them out in full size.   I figure I could test my button placement that way and perhaps even make a cardboard mock-up first.   I am not sure if they have programs like that by now.

Anyway, any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.

Geo
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

pmc

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 12:28:38 pm »
I got my Defender CP dimensions from Brien King's site but I think there are lots of other sources. Do some searching here. It's discussed here periodically.

FWIW, I made multiple panels and swap them out when I want to switch to more exotic controls. That's how I avoided a frankenpanel. 9 out of 10 times I stick with the basic panel which has 4/8-way switchable sticks and 6-buttons per player (too many for what you want). It's tight, but there's room for two player controls on that panel. Just make sure to leave enough palm-rest space.

-pmc

severdhed

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2008, 12:50:14 pm »
I don't know how much help i will be..but here it goes:

Spacing:
(all measurements are from the centers of the holes drilled)
i based my control panel spacing on an x-arcade 2 player unit that i had.  the buttons are 1.5" apart, and my joysticks are 3" apart from the closest buttons.  this makes for a very comfortable feel when playing.  you could put more space between the sticks and buttons, that shouldn't make a difference.


there are a few choices for joysticks that are switchable.  there is the UltiMarc MagStik, that you switch by pulling up on the stick and rotating it.  there is the omnistik prodigy, which has a mounting plate that is visible from the top of the panel, with a lever that you can move to switch it.  and then there is the Ultimarc Ultrastik 360.  it isn't switchable in the strictest sense of the word..it is an analog stick that uses custom maps to change i'ts functionality.  it can work as an 8 way, 4 way, 2 way, diagonal 4 way..just about anything you want.  it doesn't have a physical restrictor, but from what i have heard it is the most versatile stick you can get.

i haven't personally used any of these, but i have been trying to decide which one to get for some time now.  i'm leaning towards the ultrastick360, but not sure i want to drop that much cash on a stick right now.


i hope that was at least some help, i'm sure there are others here who have experience with these sticks that may be of more help.
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jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 12:21:07 pm »
I got my Defender CP dimensions from Brien King's site but I think there are lots of other sources. Do some searching here. It's discussed here periodically.

There is a fellow in this very forum by the name of "Spacies" that has created some nice "smaller" versions of the Multi-Williams cabinet control panel.  He made them to fit his cocktail and bartop cabinets.   I am really interested in this:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=83036.0

(Scroll to the middle)

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=66946.0

(second picture down)

I actually like this artwork better than the original Defender/Stargate. 


Quote

FWIW, I made multiple panels and swap them out when I want to switch to more exotic controls. That's how I avoided a frankenpanel. 9 out of 10 times I stick with the basic panel which has 4/8-way switchable sticks and 6-buttons per player (too many for what you want). It's tight, but there's room for two player controls on that panel. Just make sure to leave enough palm-rest space.

-pmc

I didn't want the "Frankenpanel" look either.  I started out with that kind of design in the beginning, but never got past a cardboard mock-up.  I didn't like it and sure enough, as Mame continued gaining momentum, the Frankenpanel fell out of favor in lieu of more streamlined designs via interchangeable or rotating panels.

Back on the BYOAC site, four cabinets stood out the most:

1) 1UP's Pac-Mamea
2) Doc's Modular
3) Roswell 88201
4) Rototron

All of these cabinets I consider the utmost in custom cabinet creation.   However, out of all of them, for a smaller application such as mine, it seemed that only the Roswell 88201 cabinet design would fit my scenario.

As in his case, my scenario would also fit across three panels.   After doing extensive research, it does seem that the "Stargate" or "Multi-Williams" variant control panel would truly support 90% of the games I am interested in.   The biggest improvement would be the inclusion of that second button next to the "Reverse" button:

http://www.ourvictorianhouse.com/CraigsArcade/Roswell%2088201/Roswell.html

(scroll down first control panel).

Having that second button there automatically sets this game up for "button only" classics such as: SI, Asteroids, Moon Cresta, etc.

Having the joysticks selectable from 8 to 4 way does also open the door to playing a few two joystick control games....even though eventually I would like a dedicated "tank" control panel.

I have no intention of going with a two player 6 button set up.  I don't care for the newer "fighter" games.  Most of the games I play usually have 3 buttons or less (per player).

Anyway, thanx for the link, at least with some dimensions I can get a better idea of how to space things apart.

I don't know how much help i will be..but here it goes:

Spacing:
(all measurements are from the centers of the holes drilled)
i based my control panel spacing on an x-arcade 2 player unit that i had.  the buttons are 1.5" apart, and my joysticks are 3" apart from the closest buttons.  this makes for a very comfortable feel when playing.  you could put more space between the sticks and buttons, that shouldn't make a difference.

I currently have a pre-made desktop arcade controller that was made by Red Octane and the buttons are a little too far for the standard 3 finger, thumb setup.  Perhaps that is why I got a few of these controllers on a deal from them.  I have to measure the spacing and compare it to your figures and the figures from the site that PMC pointed out to me.


Quote
there are a few choices for joysticks that are switchable.  there is the UltiMarc MagStik, that you switch by pulling up on the stick and rotating it.  there is the omnistik prodigy, which has a mounting plate that is visible from the top of the panel, with a lever that you can move to switch it.  and then there is the Ultimarc Ultrastik 360.  it isn't switchable in the strictest sense of the word..it is an analog stick that uses custom maps to change i'ts functionality.  it can work as an 8 way, 4 way, 2 way, diagonal 4 way..just about anything you want.  it doesn't have a physical restrictor, but from what i have heard it is the most versatile stick you can get.

I have heard of some of these sticks before.  I DO have 4way/8way sticks, but they have a plate on the bottom that you would constantly have to open the panel to switch.  I have heard of the MagStick Pro which has the "pull up and turn" capability you mention.  The U-360 is the new animal on the block (for me that is).  I have come across it dozens of times here, but it does get me to wondering how well the electronic configuration works.  Sticks that have this method of restriction usually don't work out very well, (in the past that is).  Supposedly it has something to do with the physical feel of having the joystick only move up/down left/right.


Quote
i haven't personally used any of these, but i have been trying to decide which one to get for some time now.  i'm leaning towards the ultrastick360, but not sure i want to drop that much cash on a stick right now.

Yeah, they are kind of pricey.  The MagSticks are much cheaper.


Quote
i hope that was at least some help, i'm sure there are others here who have experience with these sticks that may be of more help.


Ok, thanx for the info.

Geo
« Last Edit: December 03, 2008, 12:33:35 pm by jukingeo »
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

pmc

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 11:58:28 pm »
One reason I went with swappable panels is because I wanted to be able to swap in a panel with the authentic Defender layout. Of course, I never built the panel, but I will when I get some time. Swappable gives you flexibility and you never have to live with one-size-fits all.

-pmc

Paul Olson

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2008, 01:23:04 am »
I made a defender/ stargate layout for my modular cp, and it turned out great. I still suck at defender though. This thread has lots of info to help you out:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=82479.0

jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2008, 08:06:57 am »
I made a defender/ stargate layout for my modular cp, and it turned out great. I still suck at defender though. This thread has lots of info to help you out:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php?topic=82479.0

Thanx for the info, I will check it out.

I am not that good with Defender either.  I still like the game.  Back in the 80's, we had a Defender for the longest time in our Karate school.   Then we got a Pac-Man and an Asteroids.  I preferred the latter two over Defender (mainly because I was better at them).  But Defender is still WAY cool and over the years the game has proven it's staying power.  One of the things that makes it interesting was the control panel.  Very few games of that era had that many controls.

I did have Defender for my Atari 2600 back in the day and I aced that one easily.  I thought it would improve my skills for the arcade version....No dice!  You don't have the same controls!

Another game of that time that had a cool control panel was Lunar Lander.  These were pretty hard to find, even back in the 80's!  I have not seen one (in person) for a LONG time.


One reason I went with swappable panels is because I wanted to be able to swap in a panel with the authentic Defender layout. Of course, I never built the panel, but I will when I get some time. Swappable gives you flexibility and you never have to live with one-size-fits all.

-pmc

I am not going for strict authenticity since I do want to alter the panel a bit and add a button next to the reverse.  With that set up, I know I can play MOST of the MAME games in my box without resorting to using a "Frankenpanel".

Other panels I would consider right away are a trackball with a spinner.  I have a new found love for spinner games.  Tempest was a game I despised back in the 80's, but now I am growing to like it.  Arkanoid was always a favorite though.

Finally, I want a dedicated "Tank" panel, with a double set of joysick controls mainly to play Tank Games.   I always enjoyed Tank style games, but I 'need' to have a two stick setup.  Single joystick tank games turn me off!

I too wanted the flexibility (and capability) of switching panels right off the bat.  But starting from scratch on this project, I did want to start off with a panel that would be able to play most games.   Naturally, of the games you want to play, you will think of the one that has the most controls.   So Defender/Stargate came to mind.  Later I found out I wasn't alone in that venture.   This panel or even more so, the Multi-Williams panel is very popular with the Mame crowd that want to play older games like I do.

Thanx,

Geo
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

pmc

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2008, 02:47:16 pm »
I forgot to mention that because my Defender sized panel has two sets of player controls, you can play two-stick games like Smash TV, tank, Crazy Climber, and Black Widow (luv that one). With the smaller panel, the two sticks aren't too far apart and it feels right. But of course you'd need four sticks to play those games with two people. Smash TV just isn't the same without a friend covering your back.

And yeah, that 2600 version of Defender was a completely different game but they did a really, really good job with it.

-pmc

Texasmame

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2008, 05:27:31 pm »
I would strongly consider going modular as I did.

Doc was the inspiration:

http://www.beersmith.com/mame/

I have a panel that are strictly for Defender since it's my fav.  Put the dedicated Defender stick and a reverse button on a modular and layout some buttons on other multipurpose panels accordingly.

jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2008, 01:02:35 am »
I forgot to mention that because my Defender sized panel has two sets of player controls, you can play two-stick games like Smash TV, tank, Crazy Climber, and Black Widow (luv that one). With the smaller panel, the two sticks aren't too far apart and it feels right. But of course you'd need four sticks to play those games with two people. Smash TV just isn't the same without a friend covering your back.

Yup, that is why I was thinking along the lines of this panel:

http://arcadecontrols.com/images/Roswell_CP(orig).jpg

This is VERY similar to the Multi-Williams machine.  For me the deal sealer for this control panel was the extra button next to what would be used as the (Reverse) button in Defender/Stargate.

If you stare at that panel long enough you can easily see that you have somewhat faithful control of button only games, such as Space Invaders, Early Galaxian, Moon Cresta, and of course Asteroids.  The two buttons on the left are a natural for (Left-Right) designation.

And yes, I did think about being able to play two stick/ tank games.   I do hear you about the second player, but I would want to create a dedicated two player two stick panel anyway because I would like to play tank games accurately.  But in a pinch being able to do it (single player) on the Defender type layout is cool.

Quote
And yeah, that 2600 version of Defender was a completely different game but they did a really, really good job with it.

-pmc

Actually it WAS Defender, but if you were getting at the control interface, I hear you there.   Yes, they did a pretty good job of that port.  Ms. Pac Man, Space Invaders and Asteroids were good ports too.  BUT regular Pac-Man was an abomination.    Also you can memorize the ghost pattern in Pac Man and essentially keep playing that pattern for hours on end!  Then there were the excessive flickering of the ghosts.  2600 Ms Pac Man didn't have any of those problems, and was much easier on the eyes!  Overall game play was much better too.

Geo
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

ghettodish

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2008, 12:43:46 am »
I started with a Defender/Stargate panel with an extra MagStik to play most games. Then I added a few more panels...They are hot-swappable and use DB-25 connections. I only need one encoder!

From the top:

Track and Field
Stargate/Defender/Pac Man, etc.
Asteroids
Tron/DOT/Tempest
Battle Zone/ Crazy Climber /Robotron

3 black buttons along the right side are esc tab enter
There are better Defender panel pics in my link below (myspace)


note: with the exception of the spinner, all my panels have the correct spacing for the controls, like in the arcades.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 12:17:16 am by ghettodish »

jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2008, 09:12:56 pm »
I would strongly consider going modular as I did.

Doc was the inspiration:

http://www.beersmith.com/mame/

I have a panel that are strictly for Defender since it's my fav.  Put the dedicated Defender stick and a reverse button on a modular and layout some buttons on other multipurpose panels accordingly.

Doc's cabinet is one of my favorites too.  The only reason I didn't choose that option was because I don't have the precise enough tools for that work.   The Roswell 88201 cabinet uses lock down latches, so you only need to get the panel squared off.  If you are slightly off on the "spacing", it will not make that big a deal.   But if I had the tools and greater wood working knowledge, then that is what I would have done too.

I started with a Defender/Stargate panel with an extra MagStik to play most games. Then I added a few more panels...They are hot-swappable and use DB-25 connections. I only need one encoder!

From the top:

Track and Field
Stargate/Defender/Pac Man, etc.
Asteroids
Tron/DOT/Tempest
Battle Zone/ Crazy Climber /Robotron

3 black buttons along the right side are esc tab enter
There are better Defender panel pics in my link below (myspace)


Yeah, I believe this is the way to go.  The nice thing is that you have the right idea.  Start off with your basic panel that controls most games and go from there.   I see you have an authentic Asteroids and the tank controls.   I would do that too.  But I did a little bit of extra looking around and I found the Roswell 88201 cabinet and that became my inspiration.

The Stargate/Defender panel on this cabinet has that extra button next to the (reverse in Defender/Stargate).  Right away I saw the Asteroids panel in that configuration.  As you know the Asteroids panel is great for any all button games (Space Inv, Rip-off, Star Castle, etc).  So that panel seemed to be a good place to start.

I had to laugh because I pulled out my old MAME folder yesterday and I found my artwork for the first panel I wanted to build.  It was a Frankenpanel.  Back then that style of panel was "in vogue".  My reason for not constructing it was the clutter.

Then I saw this gem:

http://arcadecontrols.com/images/joey_viewfull.jpg

This "Frankenpanel" pretty much covers it all while still looking "pretty".   But as you can tell, this is a VERY wide panel and I would like to knock this off if and when I have a video projector MAME machine.

Another disadvantage to big panels like this are the inputs.  You need to use multiple devices (joypad controller and keyboard/mouse hacks) to get something like that going.  As it is I am pretty shy on USB real estate as it is.  Most of my machines only have two ports.  Luckily though there are cheap USB-PCI expansion cards out there.

Already the Defender/Stargate panel I am planning will need two interfaces.  I am planning to use one Gravis Gamepad pro hack for the playing controls only and a USB numeric keypad hack for buttons like: coin up, player 1 & 2, and the service/admin buttons.  So that set up will yield me 31 buttons across two USB ports.  More than enough for me.   I don't get into Street Fighter games, so I don't have a need for a 2 joy 6 button setup.

Anyway, thanx for sharing.  It looks great so far... and you can easily add to the collection when money/time allows.

Have a good day!

Geo
« Last Edit: December 06, 2008, 09:39:01 pm by jukingeo »
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

ghettodish

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2008, 12:21:49 am »
My Stargate/Defender does have the Reverse button, along with Invisio. The up/down controller has a plate underneath to to block side-to-side movement.

jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2008, 11:53:50 am »
My Stargate/Defender does have the Reverse button, along with Invisio. The up/down controller has a plate underneath to to block side-to-side movement.

Oh!  I am not saying it didn't.  In fact your panel is more accurate than what I had in mind.

Earlier in the post I put up this picture:

http://arcadecontrols.com/images/Roswell_CP(orig).jpg

This is what I would like to base my panel on.  As you see this fellow moved the "Inviso" button all the way over next to the "Reverse" button.    For me this button arrangement wouldn't hamper my playing of Defender nor Stargate.  Back in the day, I encountered far more Defender games than Stargate games (in fact I only came across Stargate 2 or 3 times).  So it isn't a big deal if the Inviso button is on the other side.  I can "adapt".  What IS a big deal is that with the arrangement pictured above (Inviso button on the other side), it opens the door to fairly accurate playing of other games where there are two buttons for the left hand operation.   Looking carefully, you CAN see the Asteroids AND Asteroids Dlx arrangement there (as well as Star Castle, Phoenix, Space Invaders), etc.   Plus you have the two joystick control.  So you are good for 4/8 way games on the center joystick.   Then you are good for two handed joystick (tank, Robotron) games, and finally (a perhaps cramped, but doable) Two player, two button set up.

So overall this would be a very versatile panel to start with AND still have it NOT looking like a Frankenpanel.

I did try to get in touch with this "Craig" fellow that designed the Roswell 88201 game.  I wanted to get the dimensions from him, but alas his email address isn't working.  But I believe I have enough information here to work something out.

So thanx again to everyone for helping out.   I have an idea of what to do.

Geo
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

ghettodish

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2008, 12:19:20 pm »
Keep us posted with your project. I'd like to see how it turns out.

Note: The Trackballs are the largest controllers. Make sure you have room for it if you add one later.
That's one mistake I made. I can't add one to my cabinet.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 12:53:13 pm by ghettodish »

jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2008, 04:19:56 pm »
Keep us posted with your project. I'd like to see how it turns out.

Note: The Trackballs are the largest controllers. Make sure you have room for it if you add one later.
That's one mistake I made. I can't add one to my cabinet.

Oh, yeah, I know what you mean.  I have a 3" trackball for my Hyperbowl project and it is huge!  When I saw that thing I knew right off the bat I would need to go with a separate panel.  In fact it was because of the large foot print of the trackball that was the final nail in the coffin for me going the "Frankenpanel" route and to go with interchangeable panels.

This project I am going to work on is going to be a small cabinet design.  I would like to make use of all those nice LCD displays that came down in price over the years.   The LCD monitor can yield pretty small cabinet designs.

Geo
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2008, 04:50:02 pm »
This give you any ideas?

jukingeo

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Re: Defender style general MAME control panel
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2008, 01:34:02 pm »
This give you any ideas?

Heh Heh, is that yours?  Really nice work!  It does look as if you cut the wall out and put a full size cabinet in the wall!

I have thought of something similar along these lines.  What I was going to do was something like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessedylansmith/882779716/in/set-72157600975006254/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jessedylansmith/882779850/in/set-72157600975006254/

The "proposed wall" is a center dividing wall in my parents basement.  One side is a finished basement and the other side has a shelf unit facing an unfinished side.  So it is very easy to cut a hole in the panel, build it into the shelf unit and nicely frame it out.  Naturally I would be adding my custom control panel to this.   My mom loves Pac-Man, so it would get her seal of approval.  But I intend to build the wall 'cubby' in such a way that should I need to, the entire MAME setup could be removed and what would remain would be a nice bookshelf :).

That is one of my options. 

Another option is that I own one of these:

http://www.bestbuyslots.com/product_std_images/cherrymastercounter.jpg

The CRT is bad and thus it makes for a high candidate for a mame conversion.   Trouble is the control panel is very small only room for one joy and two or three buttons.    However, with the CRT gone, I can put in a small LCD and there would be plenty room inside for a computer CPU, hard drive, power supply, etc.  I don't need to install a CD-Rom and I would update the machine via a USB memory stick.

The last option is a Cocktail.   The reason I like a cocktail is two fold.  For one, it would be the only option where I do not have to worry about the issue of rotating the monitor.  You just "sit" at the correct control panel for the given orientation.  While this method would take up the most room, it also is a functional table. 

So these are the three ways I intend to go.   But yeah, if I were to go with a full size arcade design it would be something along the slimline design you have shown me.  In fact I envision a wall of about 3 or 4 of these slimline machines.

The nice thing about video games is that you no longer need those huge cabinets (unless you want to).  Going slimline like this saves precious game room floor space.  So where you couldn't fit an air hockey machine in before, you could if you could reduce the arcade game foot print.  The same is true if you want more pinball machines.   I personally like pinball more than video games, so I do need my floor space for pinballs.    It is a shame that you cannot "compact" a pinball.  Yes they do make small (or cocktail) pinballs, but they don't play like the full size machines.

I have to run!

Geo
"Let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clamshell to turn a T-Rex into a T-Rachel!" -Buck  Ice Age 3

  
 

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