For the past few weeks, (ok, maybe 2 months,) I've been working on an implementation of Boxman that will ultimately run like an upright arcade cabinet from '83. The ultimate goal is (after bringing it to my grad party in May) to see if any local arcade will let us set it up there to see how popular it gets and if it fools people into thinking it's actually an incredibly rare game from the NAMCO spinoff I created called NATCO (comprised from the first three letters of my first name + CO)

I have a cabinet! I got it from a guy who collects and fixes these things as a hobby who lives about a half hour away from me. It's a Super Pac Man, so I didn't feel bad about sacrificing it for this project (pictures below) but the PCB still works! I'll probably end up selling that on ebay to make some of the money back.

I'm writing this version of Boxman in python, that will eventually (hopefully, as this is not my area of expertise) be converted to EXE using a tool I've seen online.

I have already found a way to detect quarters being inserted and have my program respond accordingly by rewarding the player with 1 credit, but slightly more complicated, I have secured a way to get my python script to talk to an arduino which will control the lights and play counter in the coin door. Also, by extension, found a way to use the buttons on the control panel as input for the game.

Still to do:
    Finish the Boxman program in python (this has it's own to-do list) DEBUG
    Finish sanding and painting the outside of the cabinet with custom 80's-esque boxman graphics
    Make graphics for the sheet metal control panel (I already have graphics for this based off of galaga's control panel)
    Make graphics for the bezel
    Get a local sign company to make the marquee (I also already have graphics for this)
    Figure out how to interface from my dad's old company PC with a special video card to the CRT in the cabinet
    Actually buy the special video card No longer needed
    Bring it to grad party
    Lend it to local arcade

Just to be clear, the point of lending it to the arcade, or at least trying to, is not to make money. I am NOT expecting this game to immediately be a hit or anything like that. I just am curious to see if it fools people Razz

I'm very excited for this project, and of course setting myself a deadline (grad party) will hopefully keep things moving here. That's all for now!! Here are pictures:
(btw, after just finishing the second coat, but not having any pictures cause it got dark, it looks a LOT better)

Cabinet to be sacrificed:

Another View:

After sanding smooth (The paint had badly started cracking and lifting)

First coat:

View of coin door (or where it should be)
If it's not snowing later today, I'm going to go ahead and sand the inside surfaces around the screen of the game. I wanted to wait until I was sure I had enough paint before I did that, but it turns out I have more than enough. I'll post an update here at the end of the day!
Double post but this is a big update:

I spent about 5 hours in the garage today sanding all of the rest of the surfaces on the cabinet, and got to painting the top and back side of it as well as touching up the sides. Doing the inside by the screen will be tricky, but it is already sanded as you can see.

Ok, here are pictures (keep in mind this is only the top and back's first coat)

Legoman314 wrote:
Looks really cool!!! SmileSmileSmileSmile

Legoman314 wrote:
Hope it turns out!

jcgter777 wrote:
Sounds like a great project!

Double-posting and making posts that don't add anything constructive to the thread? That's quite contrary to Cemetech netiquette. Our mantra is "quality over quantity"; please contribute to that goal.

This looks like quite a fun project, and one that'll help you cement several skills along the way, including programming, working with electronics hardware, and working with actual hardware. What's so special about this special graphics card you mentioned? Is it that the CRT in this cabinet doesn't conform to something like VGA, or is it just that it needs to be something slightly old and outdated to be compatible with your father's old work PC?
Hey! Thanks for the reply Smile

The CRT in the cabinet uses RGB at 15kHz, which no standard card outputs. This graphics card is supposed to take the computer's video with the help of a program called Soft15kHz and output it to what the crt needs. We're not sure the computer is going to like it though, in which case I'd need to find a different computer, as people have used this card to do exactly what I'm trying to do. We'll just have to wait and see.
Cool cool! Quick question, what exactly are you running on this? Is it Boxman in Python, a different game NATCO, or what Razz Keep up the good work!
I am running a version of Boxman written in Python and (hopefully) compiled to exe. NATCO is my fake NAMCO spinoff.
Huge, huge update today.
Turns out, with a program called soft15khz and another called quickres, I was able to achieve this amazing result on the original CRT display in the cabinet. No need for the special before-mentioned graphics card!! That'll save $90.

That looks really cool! Does that actually do stuff? As in can the user interact with it yet? Also, will this be very similar to the calculator versions, or will it be different. (Movement, colors, graphics, coolness, maybe other things like upgrades?)

Looking back at the picture, it looks like a small computer. Will Boxman run from software? Or will you create a completely new one (just Boxman) that will be the only software for that?

EDIT: Since I see a folder labeled Boxman files, I'll assume that the user can interact with it already. That is extra, extra cool!
Today was just to test that monitor to see if we could give it a signal it could read from the old computer. Boxman will be prrogrammed in python and hopefully converted to exe that will run on startup of the computer. As of right now, there is no control panel for the game, so no way for people to interact with it.

It's pretty similar to the calculator version, but there's a bit more strategy as in this version there are bombs which blow up adjacent columns, and you can also pick up boxes to move them around.
This looks great botboy keep up the great work!
I'm really struggling to come up with side art for the sides of the cabinet, so I've decided to make this post as a sort of request to anyone who's willing to take a stab at it. I know there are people on here who are way better than me in the artistic department.

Here are the rules for the design:
▪Must use no more than 4 colors (not including black or white. Primarily blues and some green accent is the color scheme here, but black and white are also fair game)
▪Must look from the early 80's era. Boxman is (fakely) created in 1983, but look at side-art like pac-man for inspiration
▪Must not be too complicated (cause I actually have to paint it, but pacman you'll see is not very simple at all)

This is the stencil (click to get full res and download.) Everything you create will need to fit on here. Be careful at the top because my cabinet has some wedges cut out of it which you can see in the first few pictures in this thread.

Thank you to anybody that attempts this!! I hope I'll be able to use what somebody does if anybody actually tries this Razz
I'm gonna try my hand at the cabinet art for this! Hopefully i can actually come up with something good looking and actually usable :p
Pieman7373 wrote:
I'm gonna try my hand at the cabinet art for this! Hopefully i can actually come up with something good looking and actually usable :p

So, I actually outsourced the side art to a friend of mine but I'd like to announce the large progress that has been made recently. My uncle has made the graphics for the control panel which I am just waiting to receive in the mail, A local sign company is doing the bezel which should be done today or tomorrow, the side art has been drawn up, so all I have to do there is to make the large stencil and paint it on the sides. I already have the marquee installed and the game is mostly programmed! There seems to be a game-breaking bug though. I experienced it once and for the life of me can't reproduce it.

Anyway, hopefully soon, maybe later this week I will post a picture of the finished game! The grad party is on the 26th so I'll post pictures of people playing it after that.
As promised, here is a picture of it at grad party, and finished. (The crinklyness on the marquee in the second picture is just a reflection of some film.)

In the recent weeks, I have been working with my local arcade to get Boxman to be placed on contract which has been completed! It is now placed in Time Out arcade where anyone can go and play it. This completes my to-do list for this project, and I couldn't be happier! This was an incredibly fun and rewarding project, and I learned so much along the way. Here is one last picture and a link to Time Out's facebook post about it:

Facebook Post
That's really awesome! Great work on it! Out of curiosity, what does the paper above it say?

Michael2_3B wrote:
That's really awesome! Great work on it! Out of curiosity, what does the paper above it say?

Thanks! and the paper above it is just a printout of the Facebook post which I have linked above.
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