In 2001 I discovered MAME, software that emulates the arcade machines we’re all familar with. MAME runs on a normal PC, MAC etc and enables you to play thousands of games. My plan was to build a cocktail style table that would be a functional piece of furniture while housing a PC, monitor and control buttons, joysticks etc.
As with most projects, I bought some of the bits and started collecting the games and artwork but never really got around to building the thing. Until 2009 when I found the motivation to finish it.
Around that time, Ikea started selling a coffee table that was a rectangular box with a glass panel top. As a starting point, this table was perfect.
I found some heavy duty hinges to attach to the side of the table, modified the ends of the table to be fixed, and planned out how all the components would fit.
I discovered that the viewing angle of the LCD was poor if the screen was laid flat. However, I found that if you rotate the screen 180 degrees (upside down) and flip the desktop in the OS, the viewing angle is much better.
A month or two later, I’d finished.
I cut a precise hole for the screen, and having stripped the monitor down to just the important bits, it was easy to mount and very slimline. I was careful to mount it in such a way that fingers couldn’t reach inside to touch any live parts.
Here it is.
Hyperspin is a front end launcher for many emulators and PC games. You can design your own templates in Photoshop add preset animations, transitions and if you have the preview videos from EMU Movies, they get pulled it too.
I can highly recommend Hyperspin, you can find it here
Then, I discovered Future Pinball, a realistic pinball simulator. I couldn’t resist added that to the table. Flippers, nudge and plunger buttons included. The same guys that develop Hypserspin do a front end called Hyperpin for Future Pinball and Visual Pinball. That might be my next project.