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IT pro, retrogaming noob, need a little guidance to get started
July 16, 2022
3:34 pm
BJ Kramer
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July 9, 2022
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Hi everyone!

I spent a lifetime in IT, and am fully comfortable in Linux and I own a few Pis. However I’m new to retrogaming (not a gamer at all, actually) and I’m in over my head — I built an arcade cabinet as a gift for my GF’s kids but I didn’t realize that getting the system operational is a bit more complex than I thought. Oops.

Soooo….I’m happy to do the work and learn the technical ins and outs, but I think a few nudges in the right direction will help me a lot. There’s endless documentation out there for retropie et al but I’m having trouble figuring out what’s relevant to me, and what sources for information are current.

I guess my first question is: if not here, where is the right place to ask for this help? I’m new here and don’t want to be a nuisance.

Details in my reply. Thanks so much

July 16, 2022
4:20 pm
BJ Kramer
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Here’s my project parameters:

 – this arcade cabinet needs to be fully playable by people with no technical knowledge

 – configured for arcade cabinet controls: 2 joysticks & 20 buttons on a USB xinmotek controller, and a trackball (separate usb)

 – there will not be a local xbox (et al) controller or keyboard but I will have ssh access

 – run on rpi4

 – arcade only, best/most famous games only (but I definitely want Centipede)

 – not picky about theme or interface as long as it’s intuitive and reasonably attractive

 

What I’ve done so far:

 – built custom arcade cabinet from gameroomsolutions, monitor, amp/speakers, etc. They pre-wired the arcade controls to the xinmotek controller board

 – tried a Rick Dangerous build which is pretty great out of the box but I’ve been banging my head against the wall trying to get the trackball to work and getting buttons mapped properly. Also it has way too many games for this project and ideally I’d want this machine to be arcade-only

 – tried CoinOPS Pi4 Legends 2 V2 which appears to be very close to what I want, but out of the box it doesn’t appear to be fully controllable by the arcade controls (and no centipede)

 

What I’m hoping to find out here:

 – What’s the ideal build for me? CoinOPS Pi4 Legends sure does seem like what I want but I don’t know what else is out there

 – What I really need at a minimum is to understand how to configure the controls globally, and if necessary, modify for individual games, but the less of that I have to do the better, I’m rarely on-site

 – I want to understand the interaction of the various layers, and which is responsible for which part of the configuration (linux, retropie, attract mode? emulationstation? themes? Oh my! And how do I know what’s being used in my build?). This is less specific to this project and more because I don’t want to just follow someone’s guide, I want to understand what I’m doing. The sprawling mess of documentation I’ve found so far is often contradictory and generally only about one small part of what I want which inevitably doesn’t apply to the specifics of my build and I don’t know why.

 – Low priority: I got the coin door in my cabinet, but I haven’t found good documentation on hooking it up. Has anyone here done that?

 

Any nudges in the right directions will be deeply appreciated. The kids LOVE the cabinet but there were too many games that didn’t work right with the build I first tried, and now I want to do it right.

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