Dad Creates Incredible Retro Arcade Game For His Son During Lockdown
While many of us are celebrating life's smaller victories right now (getting dressed or remembering brush your teeth both count as accomplishments, OK?), Steve Addison, 32, has been using the time in lockdown to get creative.
Despite having 'little to no DIY skills', Steve has been able to construct an arcade-style game - which was not only a way to keep himself busy, but is also something he's able use to bond with three-year-old son Felix.
Steve, an Assistant Business Manager from Lincoln, told LADbible he was inspired after being given an Atari for Christmas by his mother-in-law.
He said: "I only played it a couple of times as it took some time to hook it up to the TV. This is what gave me the idea of having an arcade cabinet of my own. We're a video game-loving family, even having a subtle theme used at my wedding."
After drawing up some blueprints based on the size of the TV he was going to use, Steve made a scale model out of cardboard before progressing onto MDF the next day.
Using the few tools he had and borrowing some from his dad, Steve cut the pieces out from the boards of MDF with a saw before using a plane on the edges and sanding each segment down.
He said: "I then joined each piece together with brackets on the inside to keep to aesthetics on the outside.
"As the build developed I looked online for some arcade buttons and found some on eBay. I then fitted a Raspberry Pi computer with arcade games added to it."
Overall, the body of the machine took two days to build, and Steve's also been spending his time off work meticulously painting the characters on the side - having let Felix choose who he wanted to see brought to life.
Steve continued: "I do keep adding to it here and there - like the USB lights round the outside and in the marquee - but I'm happy with how it's turned out.
"All in all the project probably cost me just of £150 including wood, electronics; the light gun was probably the most expensive thing."
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Unsurprisingly, Felix, who turns four next month, 'absolutely loves it', and plays on it most days - his favourite games being Bubble Bobble, Spyro the Dragon and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Steve said: "He loved seeing all the characters come to life each morning as I'd usually spend an evening after he went to bed painting them.
"He likes to play the two-player races on Sonic the Hedgehog and gets very competitive. He's also got a brilliant button bash technique when he plays as Spider-Man on Marvel vs Capcom."
You'd forgive Steve if he admitted he never wanted to see a plank of wood again, but amazingly he's still not done yet. Having completed the full-size retro arcade game, the loving dad is now working on a smaller table-top version, which has only cost him around £50 ($62).
He said: "I was in the garage trying to squeeze past an old table and decided I was going to use it to build a second table-top machine.
"This took me again a couple of hours a day but about two days to build. It's been a slightly longer process as I've had to wait for parts to be delivered. It's not finished, and I'm not sure what I want to do with the second one yet.
"I was planning of possibly making a third (much to my wife's dismay) for my staff, when work re-opens."
Steve and Felix also recently got a Nintendo Labo kit they've been making together, but he's not forgotten his wife - who now has her very own dance mat to add to 'Addison Arcade'.
Steve said: "When I first announced I was building this to my wife, she seemed very sceptical as I'm not the most DIY savvy person, but seeing the project now she's just happy it's turned out the way it has and not an eyesore in the living room."
"My wife will be on a placement soon, and I wanted to make sure Felix and I had plenty of things to do together. What better way to bond and occupy our time, than over the games from my childhood, passing on my passions to the next generation?
"My advice to anyone planning on doing a similar project would be to make sure you plan your time accordingly and ensure all measurements are correct, last thing you want is for the TV not to fit."
Steve added: "The project has really given me something to focus on and keep myself busy. The outcome has been really rewarding and proved that someone with little to no DIY skills is capable of building one."
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Featured Image Credit: LADbible
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