The control panel design is a pretty complicated process. Perhaps if you’ve built a bunch of arcade cabinets before you can get a good sense of what works and doesn’t, but lacking that its just a bunch of guessing. Visio definitely helps, as you can print out and tape together full sized mockups to get a sense of what would fit where. Having done that with the designs in my last post on it, its clear I just simply can’t do what I want to do with either of the cocktail cabinets I’ve found to buy.
The process of working out exactly what I want to build after deciding it was time to finally build myself an arcade machine is a complicated one. There’s a massive number of decisions to be made, like what kind of machine, what kind of games it’ll play, what sort of controls need to be in it, etc… There’s no shortage of ideas online, although a lot of them are bad. A lot of people have no aesthetic or ergonomic sense, it seems. Although mine would be in the “home theater”, which is pretty much geek central, I don’t want too much “OMG, arcade machine!!” bling.