A custom arcade cabinet created for STRP Art & Technology festival 2009. Free-Man takes the classical Pac-Man game to new, unfettered heights. It brings you infinite gaming pleasure. Gone are all the borders blocking mobility. Your environment is fully secure, with all the spooky terrorists safely contained. It is consumerism heaven. Insert any coin. Eat as much as you like!
The Arcade Cabinet
From Two to One
The Free-Man arcade started off with two broken arcade cabinets from which we only used the wooden shell and some smaller parts.
Custom elements include: a new computer complete with cooling and a new 2.1 surround sound system. An Arduino was even used to simulate a TV remote, making sure the TV would change to channel 0 at startup, and not channel 1, as is customary.
Controls and Coin Slot
Also, one joystick and one pushbutton controls, a re-designed single money slot wired to the computer able to register any kind of coin and a custom money-tray.
Graphics and Vinyl
To finish things off, a white polystyrene casing, re-designed vinyl logo and graphics to accompany the changed theme and a rubber trim for that added retro touch.
The traditional Pac-Man is adopted into a slightly overweight Pac-Man. Instead of giving his thumbs-up, he is seen eating another Pac-Dot.
In order to showcase the layered complexity of applying the vinyl graphics, a time-lapse video was produced. It illustrates how the sheets of vinyl are cut, applied to the polystyrene casing on a thin layer of water, and finally pressed in place. Each color has its own layer, as shown below.
By Koert van Mensvoort: “Throughout the project, I have become increasingly impressed by the level of expertise within the team, as they continuously managed to arrive at smart, cheap, yet durable and effective solutions for every issue they encountered…Overall, they delivered more than expected. Points of critique? None. In this project David, Guus, Jan and Jasper have shown expertise in integrating of technology, form and senses, and most of all teamwork. If asked, I would definitely recommend hiring these guys.”
The Free-Man Team
completed in: March, 2009
time spent on project: 6 weeks of overtime
stakeholders: Koert van Mensvoort and STRP Art & Technology festival 2009
exhibited at: the STRP Arts & Technology Festival 2009 (2 – 13 April 2009), the Sound of Science festival (Dutch) at the Radboud University Nijmegen (27 April 2010) and the Oddstream Festival Nijmegen 2011 (2 – 5 June 2011)