Wow, thanks for all the feeback guys! I'm pleased to announce that today, I got my Opti-wiz installed, and now all of my controls are fully operational! Nothing beats playing Marble Madness, Golden Tee Golf, and World Class Bowling with a trackball I tell ya! Also, I found out that I may not have to hack a TV remote to turn on my TV automatically! Apparently, the error message I'd been fretting over actually goes away on it's own well before Windows finishes loading, so I might be able to get by just wedging something into the power switch to keep it depressed. I might still hack the TV remote eventually, but it's looking more and more like it won't be necessary.
This Friday is when this thing is going to get a real workout. I've invited a bunch of friends over to play it, and I'll be supplying pizza, chips, and drinks. Since I'm quite aware that a 2-person machine is going to have a long line with a group of the 15 people that might potentially show up, I'll have the PS3 on backup (Rock Band and COD4 are always crowd pleasers, plus I just got Soul Calibur 4). I'll try to snap a couple photos of the event so you guys can see what kind of reaction my cab gets from my friends.
Now, let me try to answer some of your questions.
Very nice work. Love that side art, i was wondering how much did that cost you?
It ended up costing me $128. It was a tough pill to swallow, but in the end it was definitely worth it. I considered going the next size down at one point, but when I test printed the art (at super-super low quality on my own inkjet, of course), I was not satisfied with how the smaller art looked. So I test printed the larger art, and I was very happy with it, thus I decided to pony up the dough for the big stuff.
what are you running MGS and MGS 2 with? Emulator or console? Big fan of metal gear series and cab looks awesome buy the way. Good job.
I'm actually not using an emulator or console. I'm running the PC ports of Metal Gear Solid: Integral and Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance, and using no-CD hacks so that I can run them from Mamewah with ease. MGS actually looks and plays quite a bit better than when running the PSX version on Epsxe, and it has some nice new options like quick saving. The PC version of MGS2 is pretty much a direct port of the Xbox version, so if you didn't know better you'd probably think it was running on a console.
Do you have a template or something I could print out for your 7 button layout? Your button layout is exactly how I want mine to look but I haven't figured out a way to transfer it to the cp top so I can start drilling.
If you PM me your e-mail addy I can send you the PDF of my control layout. My best advice for transfering it to your material is to tape the paper down on top of it, and then use brads / wood tacks (the really small skinny nails) and a hammer to poke holes into the little + sign at the center of each button / joystick hole (and make sure it goes into the wood). After that, I remove the paper, then take a pencil and circle all the pinholes so they're easier to keep track of. Unless you're using a hole saw, your spade bit / quick cut bit or forstner bit should have a little pointy nub in the center. Stick that into one of the pinholes, and you can start drilling away. Also, if your drill has a built-in level on it, make sure you pay attention to it while you're drilling!
How's your control panel design working for you? Got enough room to rest your arms when using the joysticks? Enough room to use the trackball without bumping stuff?
In retrospect, I would probably have moved the joysticks and buttons forward a bit more, or had a little bit more lip on the front of the panel to give the palms a bit more resting area for 4 button games. But it's only a minor issue, and it's not really noticeable if you're standing up (I need taller stools to sit on). The dedicated 4 way is quite useable, but depending on how your arms are situated it may be difficult to access some of the player 1 buttons. It was kind of a hard situation though, because if I moved the 4-way further to the right to make it more comfortable to use, you wouldn't have access to the buttons; but if I moved it further to the left, you'd be at risk for bumping the 8-way stick with your forearm. The ultimate solution would have been to have a set of buttons just for the 4-way, but my panel simply wasn't big enough for the extra clutter that would have caused. Other than those two minor issues, everything works well. There's plenty of room for all the other controls to be comfortably used, and I haven't gotten any complaints so far about people having to stand too close together.