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Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine

Project Arcade: Build Your Own Arcade Machine

John St. Clair

ISBN: 978-0-764-55616-6

May 2004

504 pages

Select type: Paperback

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You can go back, and here's howRemember the days--and quarters--you spent pursuing aliens, fleeing ghosts, and gobbling dots in that beloved arcade? They're hiding in these pages, along with diagrams, directions, plans, and materials lists that will enable you to build your very own arcade game. Construct joysticks, buttons, and trackballs; build the console and cabinet; install and configure the software; crank up the speakers; and wham! Step across the time-space continuum and enjoy all those classic games, plus dozens of new ones, whenever you like.

Start Here

1. Plan for your space and budget
2. Design and build the cabinet
3. Construct the controllers
4. Build the console
5. Pick an old game's brain
6. Install the emulator
7. Convince a PC it's a game
8. Connect a monitor and speakers
9. Add a marquee
10. GO PLAY!

Includes diagrams, detailed instructions, essential software, and more

CD-ROM Includes
* Complete cabinet plans and diagrams
* MAME32 software
* Paint Shop Pro? evaluation version
* Links to hundreds of arcade cabinet projects


Part I: Playing Your Games the Way They Are Meant to Be Played—with Arcade Controls.

Chapter 1: Picking Your Path to Game-Playing Nirvana.

Chapter 2: Building Your Arcade Cabinet.

Part II: Designing and Building Your Dream Arcade Control Panel.

Chapter 3: Pushing Your Buttons and the Joy of Joysticks.

Chapter 4: Taking Your Game Out for a Spin—Spinners and Trackballs.

Chapter 5: Arcade Controls for Power Gamers.

Chapter 6: Building the Control Panel.

Part III: Hooking Things Up Under the Hood—Time to Trick the Computer.

Chapter 7: How It Works—Turning a Computer into the Brains of an Arcade Machine.

Chapter 8: Using the Keyboard Connector for Arcade Controls.

Chapter 9: Arcade Controls Using the Mouse Connector.

Chapter 10: Miscellaneous Bits of Arcade Trickery.

Part IV: Putting Together the Final Pieces.

Chapter 11: Audio—Silence Isn’t Golden.

Chapter 12: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand . . .Tokens?

Chapter 13: Installing the Computer.

Chapter 14: Choosing and Loading Software.

Chapter 15: Buttoning Up the Odds and Ends.

Part V: Like the Concept but Not Sure You Have It in You?

Chapter 16: Stuck? Frustrated? Out of Quarters?

Chapter 17: Buying Your Way to Gaming Nirvana.

Chapter 18: Online Places to Go.

Appendix A: Where to Find Arcade Parts for Your Project.

Appendix B: The Great Debate—Preserving Versus MAMEing the Past.

Appendix C: What’s on the CD-ROM.


End-User License Agreement.

“…breathtaking detail…the passion is infectious…” (Edge, December 2005)
ChapterPageDetailsDatePrint Run
345The following text was left out of the book on page 345.
After some time had passed and some amount of public outcry, the restrictions enacted by the DMCA were relaxed as they pertained to video games that had become obsolete (for more information, go to These relaxed interpretations of the DMCA appear to allow the techniques used in emulators because the video games appear to fit the definition of obsolete as described in the previous reference. The exact impact upon the emulation community is not precisely known, but it is clear that this is an area of copyright law that is in flux and will be subject to analysis and change for some time to come.