Ludum Dare 30 — August 22nd-25th, 2014 — Theme: Connected Worlds

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1989 to 2014

by McFunkypants - Jam Entry

Connected Worlds: 1989 to 2014

Two worlds, connected: the old me at age 16 and the new me at age 41. I grew up in the arcades in the eighties and nineties. Instead of buying lunch, I'd play Gauntlet II or Super Sprint with my friends in the arcade across the street from my junior high.

25 years ago, I promised myself that when I was old and rich, I'd have an arcade machine in my house, much like the previous generation of adults would restore jukeboxes to relive the happy memories of their youth.

I finally got the chance to live this dream on the Friday night of Ludum Dare. Lo and behold I discovered an arcade cabinet by a dumpster with a FREE sign. It was like a ray of light came down from the sky and told me: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!

The machine was completely stripped: empty apart from some speakers, a questionable power supply, and a light inside the top nameplate.

It was heavy, and it was full of dirt and dust. Somehow I was able to fit about half of it in the trunk of my car and drove home incredibly slowly, fingers crossed the whole way home. I was so scared it would fall out: the thing is GIANT, and seems to stick five feet out of the back of my car.

The first step was to vacuum the inside, then get some soapy water and scrub two and a half decades of dust from the plexiglass, outside vinyl, and quarter slots. The inside was worse, but it was labour of love, working away in my sunny backyard, and never really felt like work.

Once it was clean enough to bring inside, I created a temporary workshop for the project in my basement. Extension cords, work lights, soldering iron, wires aplenty, and all sorts of spare parts that I'd been hoarding over the years were brought together and I dove in to get something working.

I had a stroke of luck in that an old 27" TV fit the cabinet. I had some old old game parts with Ms. Pacman, Gradius, Pole Position and Galaga roms inside. I had a JAMMA joystick and buttons, with no instructions and all the circuit boards had Chinese writing on them. Add some big speakers and the full arcade experience, straight out of 1989 world came to life.

By the end of the weekend, I was able to play those games on a real arcade machine. A dream come true.

I plan to put more time into this project, clean up the outside a bit more, alter the TV bezel to better fit the cabinet, and print my own graphics on vinyl to completely refurbish the machine and turn it into a PC-based emulator (MAME BOX) and indie game playing monster, ready for Steam, Unity, Flash or HTML5 games, too.

What luck! I'm on my way to owning a real arcade machine. The forty-one year old me and the sixteen year old me just reconnected. These two worlds, my past and my present, live together as I play Ms. Pacman on my very own arcade machine. Teen me just high-fived old me. Woot!

What a world of difference 25 years makes. I love my life. =)

- McFunkypants

Downloads and Links




MerlijnVH says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 10:55pm

That's awesome!

YopSolo says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:01pm

no download !

xgeovanni says ...
Aug 25, 2014 @ 11:14pm

5 for innovation.

Natman says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 12:37am

Good work, sir.

jsspiegel says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 1:14am

Really innovative and sweet project. The description (and the picture of Mullet Christer!) gave me a great mental picture of your journey. Hard figuring out to rate you in the technical categories, gave you middle of the road :)

Kyatric says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 1:24am

Full five stars, because why not.
Good job, nice explanations and nice take on the theme ;)

Keep up the good life Christer ;)

markman says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 3:31am

this is just awesome, dude. so much win.

ruerob says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:31am

What a nostalgic project. I really want to make this, too. Please let me know when your ready with your project and how it turned out.

Gamepopper says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 10:56am

Are there any before and after photos? I'd say that's what this restoration project is lacking...

InfectionTeam says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 4:49pm

Seems like you had a lot of fun, nice project ;)

Lyszie says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 5:02pm

Wow, that's so cool! For free - you are so lucky :)) just amazing! Have loads of fun with your new "toy"!

jgthespy says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:15pm

Brilliant take on the theme. I hope you enjoy your arcade machine!

badlydrawnrod says ...
Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:39pm

The graphics are really lifelike! Actually, I really enjoyed watching that. It was playing Galaxian (as opposed to Galaga) that got me into programming, so your 41 year old self just connected to a slightly older and greyer person.

01010111 says ...
Aug 27, 2014 @ 7:44pm

Christer you are so dang cool I wanna hang out with you!

Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:41am

This post pleases me. Having grown up on early 80s arcade machines, I get it :) Nice job. enjoy the cabinet.

(Not) Ivano says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:51am

"It was like a ray of light came down from the sky and told me: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE!" - awesome, Christer. :3

deepnight says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:56am

I love the idea!
Your 1989's self probably loved that too! :)

Aug 29, 2014 @ 8:25pm

great take on the theme! love it!

Xanjos says ...
Aug 29, 2014 @ 9:32pm

A rather unusual entry (compared to pretty much everything else) but I love your literal real world take on the theme.

commodoreKid says ...
Sep 1, 2014 @ 10:54pm

Have fun playing mate :)

Ted Brown says ...
Sep 2, 2014 @ 3:51am

/wipes green tear of jealousy :)

jukimv1986 says ...
Sep 3, 2014 @ 9:35pm

That was an inspirational story. Great job!

jerombd says ...
Sep 8, 2014 @ 1:49am

Awesome project :))))))

0x0961h says ...
Sep 9, 2014 @ 9:49pm

This is VERY innovative, I'm not kidding. :)
Great job on connecting your worlds. :)

Endurion says ...
Sep 14, 2014 @ 7:38am

As a same aged player I can relate to this.

Awesome job, and perfect entry. I usually don't comment Jam games, but this one touches me!

Congrats, and feel envied :)

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