SETTING UP MAXIMUS ARCADE



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Press [CTRL] + [P] or right click and select Preferences again to go back into the configuration pages and select the "Options" tab where you will see the "Setup1" and "Setup2" tab. In here are the controls that Maximus will use for all emulators not just M.A.M.E., so bear that in mind when you set up the controls for your games. The first thing to do is to save a new control scheme and give it a name (you will see that it is currently set to "default"). If you create a new one and make a mess of it, you can always revert to the default settings by choosing "default" in the scheme list again.

The main options you will need to configure are those for navigating the Maximus menus, configuring your favourites lists, selecting games and exiting games. Once you have your controls mapped correctly save your control scheme again so that you can always restore it later and then feel free to try M.A.M.E. out. Everything should work as planned.

Now you can go back into the configuration screens and under the "Display Order" tab add Visual Pinball to the list and set the file paths for it the same way you did for M.A.M.E., remembering to force a rescan on the first launch then test it before making any adjustments that you need to.

All of your emulators should now be added to the "Display Order" list and set up in the same way though SK Jukebox does not need any additional file paths for its artwork. You just set the "Media" folder to the the parent folder containing all of your albums, and as long as you have a relevant artwork file (i.e. folder.jpg, cover.jpg, folder.bmp etc) in each album folder SK Jukebox will display it for you.

It really couldn't be simpler.

I mentioned earlier that seeing some of the options and features available in Maximus gave me a few ideas, and one of them is a folder called ambience. What this does is gives you a folder path where you can put .mp3 or .wav sound files and then when you run Maximus it will play these files as ambient noise in the background. If you have multiple files in there it will play them randomly but I just have one file in there and it is a recording of a real 1980s arcade with the actual sounds of 1980s games being played. There are separate Volume levels for Master volume and ambient volume too so that your game can be played at full volume but ambient sounds in the menus can be quieter and more, well, ambient.


Sometimes it's cool just to have your cab running and playing the ambient sounds as though it were sat in a real arcade, and you can imagine yourself as a child being back there all over again. Don't forget to wash your hands before tea though.

Maximus also gave me the idea for using Windows Media Player when I saw it mentioned in the options. If like me you own the Digital Leisure DVD sets you will know that contained on them are full uninterrupted play throughs of the games, so you can just sit back and watch Dragon's Lair or Space Ace for example being played through correctly.

I copied these video files over to my cab and added Media Player to the "Display Order" list then selected the videos folder in the file paths window, and now I can watch them on my cab. I made a few minor changes to Media Player so that it ran full screen and didn't show the controls. You can also set these videos as a screensaver if you like which looks good. In fact you can set any emulator as a screen saver and after the configured timeout it will launch and play a random game. Personally I don't have a screensaver set as I use the ambient settings which just loops nicely and gives a constant stream of arcade sounds.

Now all there was left to do was to swap the DOS PC out of the cab and put the new Maximus one in, but before I did that however I backed the whole thing up to another hard drive in the PC using HD Clone. So there are actually two hard drives in the PC which are identical to each other but one is disconnected until it may be needed (hopefully never).

The amount of disk space this whole install will consume will depend mainly on the M.A.M.E. version you are running and the size of your music library of course, but mine clocks in at around seventy Gigabytes. That's why I chose the method I did to back it up. Any other way would be impractical so now in the event of a hard drive failure I would simply need to switch over to the new one without having to go through all of the setup process again.


In practise I would run HD Clone again and back up my reserve drive to another new one which would then be disconnected until it may be needed, and because I don't have both connected all the time, nothing is being written to the backup drive and corrupting it. It simply serves as a snapshot of the original setup I had configured.

Finally I am happy with it and in fact the only thing I would do differently should there be a next time would be to use a bigger monitor and perhaps some more lit buttons. The results of all this hard work can be seen in this demo video of my shiny new Maximus Arcade cab.

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