Posted tagged ‘game grid’

Update on my arcade, The Game Grid (8/29/08)

August 30, 2008

It’s been a little while since I did an update on how my arcade is going and I’ve had a few people ask about it so here we go.

We finally got a sign put up a week ago, something that should have been completed two months ago when we opened but was delayed due to waiting on approval from the mall, the city along with production and a few other things. It certainly hasn’t helped that I didn’t have such visibility until now but I’m glad it’s finally taken care of. Unfortunately it is already falling apart, one of the buttons that was on the box broke off and disappeared over the past weekend, which I am not happy about. They are supposed to get it fixed, but I have to wait, yet again.

Another thing that hasn’t helped is the fact that our air conditioning has not worked since we opened so basically we’ve gone the entire summer without AC. I have been fighting to get it fixed and fortunately I am not going to pay for the repairs but that has meant that I have had to sit and wait and watch people go out the door when it’s sometimes hotter inside than it is out. It also has made it uncomfortable to be there all day but also about a week ago that was finally fixed after the entire unit was replaced. That certainly has helped make it pleasant to be inside for once.

I have had some great regulars that come in just about every day and part of that is due to the PC LAN. But it is working out like I planned – they play both the PCs and the arcades and in some cases they have been exposed to arcade titles that they never would have cared about otherwise.

Hit the post break for my musing on game earnings, games breaking, marketing, school starting and what to do next.


Surprise, people still play arcade games (my arcade update)

June 12, 2008

Well day one for my arcade (Tuesday) was slow. Slow enough that no one came! That was expected really as I don’t have much in the front to indicate what it is other than a small paper sign in the window and an LED OPEN sign above. I do have some vinyl lettering that should be ready today and a big sign that will be ready in a week or two. That and the weather here in Salt Lake has been miserable for June – not because it’s hot but because it’s cold with intermittent rain or cold when it’s sunny – not your typical summer weather. But yesterday was interesting – several people came, more than I expected that would. First a gentlemen came in around 1PM and played a couple of games and left then later a previous neighbor of mine came by and spent some cash and played for quite a while. As time went on some employees from the Red Robin next door came through to check it out and a couple of them played some games. They are quite excited about it and I was happy to hear that they thought that my arcade was cool and much better than the other one that the mall has. On top of that we had people just coming in to check it out as they would walk by, notice the games and come in. It was great to see people coming in and enjoying themselves. As I have been saying for a long time now, developers just need to make good games that operators can afford and people will play them.

In what was some cause for panic I didn’t realize that several of the games don’t have the proper coin mechs in them when I thought that they did. Fortunately more coin mechs are arriving today but I hadn’t realized that we need so many. So in a way it’s good that we haven’t had many people come through as several of the games can’t accept tokens and I don’t want people to walk away with a bad impression. I had thought that only a couple of games didn’t have all the proper mechs in them but this was a lesson in checking my assumptions twice. Fortunately all of the new games have them and where those are the most popular, no problem there.

So far House of the Dead 4 has been my most popular game followed by Indiana Jones pinball, The Act, Blazing Angels, Big Buck Safari and Crystal Castles. As we get more people in it will be interesting to see how it pans out for each game. I am quite pleased with how well The Act is doing since it did lousy in testing because it wasn’t put into the right venues by the distributor (which angered the developer who then pulled the project) and I think that I’m going to prove that in an arcade setting it will do very well.

Today we’re supposed to get the replacement guns for Carnevil so I can finally get that running. I also am going to look into putting Ninja Gaiden into a cabinet. Chase HQ2 still isn’t here but all I can do is wait. Warlords came down with a strange issue, I’m not sure what to do about it though. I did get 1942 fixed, the monitor went all crazy but my dad’s cousin came by and taught me a few things about monitors which was helpful. I also ordered Oriental Legend 2 today and it should be here next week. AFAIK I’m the only arcade in Utah that will have OL2 along with The Act and Chase HQ2. Air hockey is coming in this weekend which I think I mentioned already but I’m excited to be getting that.

We also got the computers running a little better and they will probably be ready to go in a few days. We were having a problem with a couple of the games crashing but after some updates and tweaking they are running better (except for COD4 which we’re still trying to figure out). At least Unreal Tournament 3 runs beautifully.

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My arcade opening tomorrow

June 9, 2008

Well this is it – the “moment I’ve been waiting for”. I am ready enough to open up my arcade tomorrow (or if something really bad happens Wednesday at the latest). I say ‘enough’ because it’s not 100% ready but I can’t afford to keep waiting this month as bills are going to start coming in here shortly. The big hurdle is getting the PC LAN setup – the computers are built and the OS is loaded but now comes the network which is the fun part and it’s going to take some time to properly set it up. The arcades are ready to go minus a couple of older cabinets as I believe I have mentioned but where my grand opening won’t be for another week and half I will be using the time to complete those minor issues.

Chase HQ2 isn’t in yet – I do not know why it has taken so long to ship out as we ordered it from Namco a couple of weeks ago and I have already received Blazing Angels and Big Buck Safari in less time than this. Hopefully it will arrive later today after I post this. I also am getting a couple of vending machines in to provide some sort of snacks to people.

For tokens I am going with 6 tokens per dollar – I had planned on 7 but my change machine isn’t that customizable so 6 will do.

Also you will notice the logo at the top – a big thanks to Connary, a reader of the site who created this for me. I won’t have the sign up for a couple of weeks as the mall finally is deciding on it today so for the mean time I will have an OPEN LED sign in the window and I will try and get some vinyl lettering for the door.

[The Game Grid Arcade – my site for the company that needs an update and a redesign] [Discuss on the Forum]

My arcade update 6/6

June 7, 2008

Here is another update on my arcade, The Game Grid Arcade, sorry about the delays as I have been so busy trying to get everything put together that I easily forget to do a video or take pictures.

I have received almost all of my games now – I received Big Buck Safari tonight (so it is not in the video which I made last night) and got a chance to set it up and play it and earlier today I received the coin mechs for most of the games. The only game I am waiting on now is Chase HQ 2, which was scheduled to arrive today but it didn’t so I guess it will show up on Monday. I also am waiting on a few small things to patch up some games – some newly cut plexiglass panels for The Act and Namco Classics and replacement guns for Carnevil. I also need to get something into Mighty Pang, that game just won’t do well so I’d prefer to convert it to something else but every JAMMA board I throw in there seems to have a problem of some kind. I also need to decide on something to put into the Golden Tee cabinet I got.

As you will see in the video I also have received Movie Stop (I just need to stock up on movies and games), the Tokyo Drift kits for Crusin’ USA, Blazing Angels and House of the Dead 4 Super Deluxe. It is such a mammoth game and I love it as no other arcade in the area has it and it certainly stands out in my small arcade. I thought that Blazing Angels looks big before but sitting next to this it looks small.

The Tokyo Drifts are having a strange issue. Everything is connected correctly on both cabs but they are both displaying a symptom of where the image on the screen constantly scrolls up and what imagery you can see is tilted to the right. By tinkering with the controls to the monitor you can slow it down but not stop it so without a stable image you can’t play. I hooked a monitor up to the Dell PC that came with it and the image is fine there at least but I am baffled as to why the image will not sit still no matter what you do with the resolution settings or the controls to the monitor and the exact same thing is happening with two different cabinets.

I also have received everything for my PCs and we got those put together today and Vista 64 loaded on all of them but no I have to figure out the networking side of it and how to go about the games. One thing that I should have spent more time on was researching how game cafés work – they obviously use disk images or something like that for the games they have as there is no way you can have a CD/DVD in a drive for every game but I don’t know if they just use a game server with all the images on it for each system or store the images on each system or if it’s something entirely different. I am looking into some PC LAN controlling software that cafés use so perhaps once I finally get that I will figure it out. The PCs look nice and I got them for a good price. The specs are AMD X2 5000+ CPUs, 2GB of RAM, an nVidia 8800GS with motherboards that use Hybrid SLi. I think the SLi is working but there is nothing that says it is but both the onboard card and the separate card show up in device manager without conflicts and COD4 worked (for the most part, it did crash at one point). I have to thank Josh, a friend of mine from Utah that came down and helped out with the PCs. I also should thank my brother Ben and my sister Lacey for coming down almost every day of the week to help me out.

Anyways, onto the video (which cuts out at the end as my battery ran out)

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Another update on my arcade (5/28)

May 29, 2008

The city inspector came by today and unfortunately we didn’t pass – we have to fix a couple of minor things and get it rescheduled. I hope that it won’t take long to get it done again though as I hope to be open by the beginning of next week but that can’t happen until I get my license. I needed some words on the door about the door being unlocked during business hours, a new fire extinguisher and some extra outlets added (which was supposed to happen today but didn’t get done).

From this video you can see the addition of a few new games that arrived today and hopefully there will be more tomorrow. Today’s arrivals included Mars Matrix, Mighty Pang (I might convert this to something else), a disgusting Golden Tee 99, SVC Chaos, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, two Tokyo Drift kits (for some reason my Crusin’ USA cabs were not delivered) and a brand new Indiana Jones pinball. It was great to sit down and play this, I did at ASI but that was a different place where I couldn’t spend a lot of time on it.

Here is the video – for some reason it says there is an issue with it but it should be showing up shortly so check back in case it’s not working ( I would wait to post until it’s ready but it’s lights out for me)

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My arcade update 5/21 (w/video)

May 21, 2008

Sorry about the delay in updates, I have been very busy trying to get everything sorted out. Thankfully some family members have decided to take out some signature loans to help me out with a little extra cash and so I will soon be picking up Indiana Jones and Shrek Pinball thanks to that. I also will be able to pick up a few extra games beyond what I had originally planned, which is even better.

We have finished the major part of painting but now I need to touch up several parts and begin adding murals which is going to be a challenge in and of itself. Fluorescent paint is a pain to come by unless it’s spray paint and I’m no good at spray painting so I’ll probably have to buy or make some stencils and go from there.

The electrical still needs to be finished but now that we have some machines in there, it gives them something to work with as far as amps go. Crystal Castles says that it takes 3 amps at least, I’m not sure how much newer games take.

I almost forgot to mention that I have a sign up in the window that gives a basic summary of The Game Grid Arcade and it has attracted a number of people to take a look – hopefully the anticipation is building so I’ll have a solid launch. Also as of today I just ordered 5000 tokens which should be here in a few days – no custom design yet, but that will come later. I also should be picking up a number of games today, including a couple of brand new ones so I am definently excited.

Previous updates:

5/11 update

5/5 update

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Arcade update 5/11 (w/video)

May 11, 2008

Here’s another update of my progress on my arcade store that I am in the process of creating, The Game Grid Arcade in West Valley City, UT, at the Valley Fair Mall.

We’ve been working hard all week getting the ceiling tiles painted black but it takes a bit of time to get them painted well enough to look decent. You have to push the paint into the tiny holes of each tile and this not only takes up extra paint but also is a bit back-breaking. So far I’ve spent about $150 on black paint, and that is at a discount. I really appreciate the support I have received so far, from my family who has come and helped every day and also from someone who dropped by yesterday, Bert who read about the location here on AH. I also appreciate those who have contacted me offering support – this is an arcade for people that just love games and it’s exciting to not only live up to what I have dreamed about for what seems like forever now but to provide a fun place to play for others to enjoy. Anyways getting back to the store, Bert helped paint a good part of the walls yesterday and after it dries, the flat black paint looks great. Once the walls are done I am going to put up some artwork and paint some murals, probably using a light blue that will look good in black light.

As far as games go, I’ve still got to hammer out a final list but I did come across an Aliens: Extermination for $2700. Used games aren’t a bad way to go, especially when your budget is strict. I may also pick up a TMNT with that deal, which I hope to find a Turtles In Time board to put in there eventually.

Here is a video from yesterday that shows what progress has been made so far over the past week. In the next video, I hope to have a few games on site!

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