DIY Game Board Boxes

Stacked game boardsPiling game boards wrapped in bubble plastic is not such a good idea so I had to come up with some solution to the storing problem now that the collection contains more than two boards. Not to mention the visual rape. Even though a bit of chaos feeds the creativity I prefer my bookshelves and cabinets tidy. So, off to Office Depot for hunting card board boxes and foam. Not finding exactly what I was looking for I settled for approx. 32x27x6 cm (13×10½x2½ inches) boxes. Large enough to hold most boards. In retrospect I should have gotten a one or two 1½ inch deep boxes as well. After some glue exercises (the boxes weren’t self locking) I had two nice looking boxes for storing game boards. Add anti-static Zip-Lock bags and labels and the boards are safe and looking good on the shelf.

Game board boxesLastly, labels for giving the boxes a little more pro look (hand writing on the boxes is a no-no!). Internet and your favorite image editing program to the rescue.

SVC Chaos Box Label

Guilty Gear X and Capcom I/O Adapter

GGX ParcelMy Guilty Gear X finally arrived on Wednesday after a detour south of the city due to the post not being capable of seeing the difference between Segeltorp and Järfälla. Also nicely treated – as always. Anyway, the cartridge was nicely secured inside along with the artwork (that I even had forgotten about).

Guilty Gear X Cartridge for the Naomi
Guilty Gear X Cartridge
Guilty Gear X Artwork
Guilty Gear X Artwork

The Guilty Gear X cartridge and artwork. Both with normal wear and tear. Will have to wait some time until I’ll be able to fire it up for a test run though since my Naomi setup is still missing some parts.

Capcom I/O Adapter

Capcom I/O Adapter
Capcom I/O Adapter

Yesterday I finally picked up a Capcom I/O Adapter. One huge step closer to finishing the Naomi setup since this an adapter or converter is required for hooking up the Naomi to a JAMMA cabinet. Now I’m only missing some power cables. The case has some minor oxidation but nothing that some sandpaper and Autosol cannot fix.

Live2D brings smooth 3D animation of 2D images

Traditionally the uniqueness of 2D art and comics has been difficult – if not impossible – to render properly in 3D. The Japanese company Cybernoids wants to change all that with Live2D.

Why 2D and comics don’t work in 3D

Suneo type hairThe typical style of comics and traditional hand drawn 2D animations are generally very hard to accomplish in the 3D animation packages of today. Especially within Japanese anime but also in western style animations such as Mickey Mouse’s ears (no matter which way Mickey looks the ears are flat towards the viewer). The “suneo” hairstyle common in anime is another example that would be near impossible to recreate correctly in a normal 3D animation.

Live2D AnimationThe technique is still evolving and currently lends itself mainly to dialog type of games where movement is limited. But the goal for Cybernoids of course is to get to a point where characters can be rendered fully in a 3D space for more advanced games and animated movies.

Video of Shizuku from Shizuku Talk, one of many dialog style apps created with Live2D available for the iPhone and Android phones.

Live2D consists of tools for both content creation and animation; Live2D Modeler and Live2D Animator.

Live2D Modeler

Live 2D ModelerWith Live2D Modeler you create data models that you later bring to life in Live2D Animator. Modeler allows you to work with 2D illustrations as you would in for example Adobe Illustrator. The goal is not to create 3D models and render them in a way to mimic traditional 2D cel style animations as you would in a 3D tool like Autodesk’s Maya or Maxon’s Cinema4D but in fact to draw in 2D and be able to animate your characters in as easily as you would in real 3D animation tool.

Live2D ModelerWhat differs Live2D Modeler from a normal drawing tool is the addition of parameters that define how objects and vectors belong together and deform. Much like a rig when modelling in 3D. The parameters can control how lines and objects deform, bend, grow or shrink when moved or comes to life. You can control things like eye and lip movement and other facial expressions.

Live2D Animator

Live2D AnimatorLive2D Animator is where you bring your models to life with tools that resemble their a likes in 3D animation packages. Working on the timeline with the models created in Live2D Modeler it’s easy to accomplish authentic 2D animations that would take much longer if done by hand in a traditional frame-by-frame manner. And since Live2D uses vectorized graphics there’s no degradation when exporting your work.

Related links

  • Live2D – Info about Live2D. You can register and download free versions of both Live2D Modeler and Animator here.
  • Cybernoids Co. – Cybernoids company site. Some info available in English.
  • Apps and games – List of currently available games and smart phone apps (mainly iPhone and Android).
  • Shizuku Talk – Chat style app available for the iPhone and Android

Sources

Candy for the candy cab

Repro side art and coin entry for the Sega New Astro CityFour days for a parcel from Taiwan to Sweden was way faster than I could imagine.  Picked up the coin entry and side arts at the post office yesterday. Sadly the side arts was not what I expected. Way off in color and I don’t think I’ll ever gonna use them. The chromed coin entry on the other hand fit like a snug. Story ended well though with a refund (except I’m still looking for the side arts).

The cab resto is on hibernation at the moment due to fixing up a room for the daughter. She’s gonna get a surf shack style loft bed with place for her little kitchen below 🙂 More on that later. Now it’s time for some Espgaluda II!

Side art (wrong color)Close up above of the side art I received. Compare it with the original below and you see the difference. What you can’t see in the picture below is that the gradient on the original side art actually is done with a half tone pattern and not a smooth gradient. Quite doable on a color laser printer so no need to cheat 😉

Original Sega New Astro City side art
Side view picture from Candy Cabinet City

DoDonPachi Saidaioujou coming to the Xbox 360

DoDonPachi SaidaioujouCave and MS Japan has announced that DoDonPachi Saidaioujou will be ported to the Xbox 360 with a release sometime in the spring 2013. In addition new HD graphics the Xbox 360 version will feature a Novice mode as well as a new playable character – “Element Doll Extra D”

DoDonPachi Saidaioujou combines classic Cave style shmups with dress-up and was released to arcades earlier this year.

UPDATE: Announcement trailer now up on Youtube and Nico Nico

Source: Famitsu.com & Cave

More Guilty Gear and some resto parts incoming

Today’s a good day. Got a chromed coin entry and new side arts for the NAC coming my way. All the way from Taiwan!

New Astro City side art (repro) and chromed con entry
New Astro City parts

Still quite a while until it’s time for replacing the side arts since the cabinet needs a new paint job but good to have them at hand.

Jam Kuradoberi
Jam Kuradoberi

I also managed to get hold of a Guilty Gear X cartridge for the NAOMI – gotta catch them all!! 😉  Really have to figure out why I like the GGX games since I suck at playing them ¬_¬ Think it has something to do with May… Might be I just need a shrink >_<

The August Japan deal at Arkadtorget is officially closed and I’ll probably have some more goodies coming my way but more on that later, when I know exactly what’s in the box.

Guilty Gear XX and new NAOMI stash

May from Guilty Gear
May from Guilty Gear

Being a sucker for the character design of the Guilty Gear series – especially May (still suck at playing the game though) I ended up with a Sega NAOMI setup with GD-ROM reader through Johans auctions over at Arkadtorget.se a couple of weeks back.

Still missing a JVS to JAMMA adapter and some power cables I haven’t had the chance to try them out yet. So I spent my time gathering some intel and writing a couple of pages on the stash I got in the deal.

The Stash

  • Sega NAOMI System
  • Sega NAOMI GD-ROM reader, DIMM board and SCSI cable
  • Capcom vs. SNK Millennium Fight 2000 Pro
  • Guilty Gear XX #Reload

I’ll get back regarding the games as soon as I’m able to try them out. Meanwhile I put together a couple of pages about the NAOMI System and the GD-ROM.

Sega NAOMI Stash
Sega NAOMI Stash

There’s plenty of guides on the Interwebs on how to setup the NAOMI with the GD-ROM. The trickiest part being if you like me miss some of the cables and need to find replacements. Since the NAOMI uses the newer JVS standard for I/O you’re gonna need an adapter for hooking it up in a JAMMA cabinet. The best option being Capcom’s JVS to JAMMA converter <- I need one of those.

New Astro City – Resto pt II

Got started on the front panel last week but since the in-laws were arriving from Mexico on Thursday we’ve had to focus on getting the apartment in shape. So it’s been kinda slow on the cab front.

Front panel
Front panel (NAS-1100CE)
Backside of the front panel - black as a tar pit
Front panel backside (NAS-1100CE)

As you can see in the pictures the speaker cover looks aged and yellow but not alarming and to no surprise the backside was black of dust and smoke. Just by removing the speaker cables I ended up black all over. Unmounting of the upper billboard went without any hassle. Just need to be careful with those screw heads not to destroy them or break them.

Stuck speaker panel
Stuck speaker panel

The original foam strip under the speaker cover had eaten itself into the plastic and the cover was firmly stuck. Enter hobby knife and Qwipes.

Qwipes
Qwipes

Qwipes proved to work fine for removing the residues of the strips but unfortunately it also gladly removes paint so it’s a no no on the billboards or the instruction cover.

Foam strips on lower billboard
Foam strips on lower billboard

The lower billboard was fastened with a foam strip with glue on both sides and was a pain in the ¤£%# to remove. I had to carefully cut through the foam with a hobby knife without scraping the paint. And I still have to figure out how to remove the residues or if just to leave it as it is.

Halfway through the disassembly
The halfway mess

Halfway through the mess. The front panel stripped from all loose parts. Now time for the bath.

Back side of speaker cover partly cleaned
Speaker cover

Just to show you the before (right) and after (left) a couple rounds of Ajax.

The Qwipes proved to be really useful. Very easy to clean the cables with and using a small barbecue stick it was simple to reach into all those narrow slots and small holes.

Sega New Astro City arcade cabinet running CAVE Espgaluda II
Up and running

Given that the in-laws were arriving I had to make a quick re-assembly after cleaning the control panel. I’m quite happy with the results given the short time frame I had to work with but of course there’s still a lot left to do…

New Astro City – Restoration pt I

New Astro City arcade cabinet
New Astro City

Last week I finally picked up my New Astro City from SuperMotaro. As most candy cabs it’s full of Japanese arcade atmosphere – a.k.a. nicotine stains and a thick layer of dust. It will get a thorough overhaul in time but first a good rub with Ajax for getting rid of the worst stains and smell.

First obstacle to clear though was getting hold of a key for opening the panels. Luckily a friend from Arkadtorget came to the rescue and the disassembly could begin.