I knew that I'd definitely want a lit marquee on the cabinet. Actually, even before designing the marquee, I knew that I'd need to give this thing a name. I initially was going to call it "Arcade@Home" after the name of the front-end program. I e-mailed Tim Eckle - the owner of Arcade@Home - asking him if I could use the name, and he said that was fine as long as it wasn't a commercial venture. However, the more I thought about it, I wanted to use a name that wasn't already being taken by someone. Hence, "Arcade Paradise" was born.
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Once I settled on the name, I got to work on designing the marquee. I wanted the "Arcade Paradise" lettering to be something cooler than just big Arial letters, but I also wanted to avoid having it look cheesy by overdoing it. I liked the way that the Albertus Medium font looked, so I went with that and spent a decent amount of time designing the actual "Arcade Paradise" logo.
Once I had that hammered out, I knew that I wanted to have a bunch of characters from the classic games displayed all over the rest of it, so after several MAME screen captures and a lot of cutting-and-pasting, I was able to add in the characters of my favorite games.
Printing the thing proved to be a bit of a challenge. Since the marquee is 32" long, my choices were to either print it up myself on multiple sheets and tape them together, or take it to a print shop and fork out the $$$. Fortunately, a friend of mine had an HP DesignJet plotter at his workplace and was able to print the whole thing off on one single sheet. It turned out great.
I took the printout, sandwiched it between two sheets of plexiglass, and then mounted it in using drywall screws.
This was the final step of cabinet construction, and when I clicked on the fluorescent light and the marquee lit up, that's when I knew that all of my hard work had finally paid off. That's when I really had a fully-functioning upright arcade cabinet. Man, it was SO worth it.