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slowslow325
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by slowslow325 Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:23 pm

OK, Jrecee said something about this in another thread.

A Sonic theme mini golf course! That would be perfect! If it ever got popular, and there was long lines or whatever, you could throw in an arcade cabinet where the lines are.
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Gamerforlife
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by Gamerforlife Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:40 pm

Rurouni_Fencer wrote:I'd make/invent a specialty sandwich or other similar food platter so that my business gains some kind of local notoriety. Of course, the games and beer are a great attraction, but to have a successful business, one needs something that stands out from other establishments - a reason to go to THIS place, instead of D&B or Gameworks, or as an alternative to staying at home with your own beer and games...


That's actually not a bad idea, they feature stuff like that on the Travel and food channels a lot I believe.

dsheinem wrote:Why do you all want to connect consoles in an arcade? I've never been in an arcade that does this...do they exist? I wouldn't ever play an N64, Genesis, or 360 in an arcade...the point of an arcade is to play games you can't play at home!


I remember seeing machines full of NES games in various places years ago like supermarkets and such. I believe Sega's Streets of Rage games were ported to arcades as well because they were so popular. I went to an anime convention some years ago where they had an arcade room and I think they had a console set up to run some Gundam 2-d fighting game and players were competing on it


the7k wrote:4) Current Imports. It's going to be a huge deal when that arcade-only SSF4 update comes out with the two new characters if you have that machine. KOFXIII is another I can think of that could create a ton of traffic. Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown is one on the horizon. The Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series is a popular racing series that, to my knowledge, has never left Japan. Much like the Arcade-exclusives, these give people a reason to come in and play - however, these will also require some series back.


That sounds awesome. I'd love it if you could make room for some import beat'em ups like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKox4Od77Hs
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Erik_Twice
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by Erik_Twice Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:00 am

WARNING: EXTREMELY LONG POST AHEAD.

(Games will be bolded if you just want to see my picks)

Some time ago a helped a friend to do some economics class homework about opening a bussiness and we chose to "open" an arcade.

First of all we decided that one of the main problems modern arcades have is a huge lack of variety. You have shooting games and driving games and, if you are lucky, a DDR machine somewhere.

There's also too much overlap. If you just played some Wangan Tokio Midnight you are not going to play OutRun AND Sega Rally AND Ferrari Challenge AND Eighteen Wheeler. I think that having one "main" game of a genre and an alternative is much better than this, and much cheaper.

Also it is more fun if you can compete against other players instead of the machine. An 8 player setup of any modern racer (Tokio Midnight or Initial D Aracde, for example) will draw a lot of players and will also allow for long playing streaks. The bigger the setup the more people it will draw.

After some thought we chose an 8 player setup of Wangan (It's cheaper than Initial D) and a 2 player setup of OutRun 2SP.

We also decided that any game in the arcade must instantly attract anyone who walks around. No obscure titles if watching a gameplay video doesn't drag you and no overlap.

New games are really expensive and for the price of a single Time Crisis cab you can fill half the arcade with classic cabs. They also provide more variety so you can reach a wider player base. Also a modern game will allow just 2 players in while a dozen cabs allow a dozen players.

From the top of my head:

Tetris
Puzzle Bubble
Pang

Those three should be in every arcade. Everyone knows those games, they are easy to pickup and are very cheap since they run in standard cabs. You will recover what you invested on those games very fast.

Galaga
Gradius
Robotron
Donkey Kong
Ms. Pac-Man
Centipede
Vs. Super Mario Bros
Marble Madness


All those games are classic on their own. Galaga, Gradius and Marble Madness are not known by name but just a glance to the machine and gameplay will tell you what they are about.

Robotron is not as well-known but it is a very solid investment given that any player who picks it up will like it and it is easy to understand.

Super Mario Bros is another instant hook on any player and can also be had for cheap.


All those games create a very nice atmosphere and lets any kind of player stay around for a while. I think that no matter how much money you have you are not really going to stay around for long in your average arcade today because there's simply very little to do.

Our goal was to keep players around and get them to come back. This means you need both quality and quantity. You may love game X but after beating it there's little for you to do if they only have game X.

A fortunate side-effect is that players who stay around happy are more likely to play other games. If you are careful choosing your games they will like them too and they will stay around spending more money.

Often I see that people come in groups and only two play a game. Those two tell their friends to play something but normally they don't because there's nothing interesting for them! Also if the two first players play more than one game it is far more probable the other guys play something. More time to convinve yourself to play instead of being shy, so as to speak.

There are also other very cool games that add variety and are noticed very easily that I think can work very well on an arcade:

Afterburner Climax
Boxing Mania
Star Wars Arcade
Crazy Taxi


Those games are fun and pretty different from the others. We used to have a Fighting Mania machine around here and it was always full or broken because it was being played so much. Star Wars arcade is not just a good game but the name and it being a flying simulator set it apart from other games. Crazy Taxi is one of those games everyone knows but investing in a big cab is not worth it, just use a Naomi.


You have probably noticed the lack of Fighting and Shooting games. I think the draw of Fighting games is too low and the price of Shooting games too high so we just decided to "buy" only Street Fighter II Turbo (Cheap and runs on a standard cab), one small Shooting game (Old Time Crisis or House of the Dead, for example) and Wangan Troppers or other 4-player shooting game.

Yeah, I know that there are many fighting game fans around here but the fact is that it is a niche genre, most people who know how to play it can play at home or will beat the game once and never come back. It is not worth it spending 8K dollars to get Street Fighter IV. You will not get it back, it is a waste IMHO.


There are also other games that you can run, and will work well under my criteria:

DoDonPachi & Another old Bullet Hell title

Super Off-Road
Track and Field
Gauntlet II (More balanced than the first one)

Bullet hell games are easy to understand, keep players around letting them show their skillz and are cheap if old. In the end, they are like any shump for the general public and more than one person will play it just for the lols of the bullets.

Super Off-Road is an odd choice but it seems to me that it's the kind of game you want to play because it looks relaxed fun, nothing serious like Wangan. Just the three wheels will attract players. It can also be had for very little.

Track and Field is here because it is not recognized and I'm not sure if people will play it without watching people smashing buttons before. If they do, they will love it, the problem is getting them to play it.

Gauntlet is unique in that 4 players can play anytime and that alone is very intersting to new players. The game is also fun but as with T&F I'm not sure how well it would work in the field.


Music games are a must for any arcade. I think that you can get a very sizable hardcore player base if you try. Just keep the machines cheaper than your competitors (Easy, because they don't care) and run lots of tournaments (Easy, because the competition doesn't care).

I think having the latest version is a must for those but it will pay off so:

DDR X
Pump it Up 2010


Those are the most well-known music games with the biggest playerbases. You can also get two old cabs so as to increase your capacity for not much money. Consider that you can get 4 Supernovas for the same money you can get a Time Crisis IV machine. As I said, shooting games are too expensive. In my opinion, you don't really need them and you can have a couple of old ones netting you the same money as a new one.

Concerning other music games, as much as I love them Beatmania and Pop'n are waste of money that could be spent somewhere else. They are very expensive and I doubt you will get a sizable player base. Pop'n may work because the buttons are really cool but Beatmania murders new players.

Guitar Hero Arcade was not the big hit I thought but is a solid choice if you don't pay to enter your arcade. Otherwise I would pass.

On the other hand, Drummania is an instant hit. It is just that cool to play the drums. I have seen GF+DM machines go for as little as 4K so you can have a set for the same price as GH Arcade. The GF machine will draw players from the DM machine and is pretty cool if you get a "band" going but requires some time.

Taiko is similar to Pop'n but has the advantage of lots of classical songs. However I don't think it is a solid choice either.`


I think the choice of games varies depending on whether you run your arcade in a pay-to-play basis or in a pay-to-enter basis. We decided that the best choice for an arcade is a mixture of both models

Most people will not pay 5 Euro or whatever to enter an arcade because it is risky. They don't know what's inside, they don't think they will have a lot of fun in an arcade and it will turn groups off. Letting them in for free and allowing them to play with coins is a must, IMHO.

However you can expend cards that allow you to play any game all you want for X time or a full day for a certain quantity. I think those offers would be instantly attractive to many and will help you to create a community of players.

In the end, a machine that is turned on but is not being played is a waste of money. More players attract more players in the same vein people are more likely to enter a restaurant that has more people in it.


To further create a community and to give customers a reason to come back we decided to post High-score boards on the top of every game, indicating who is the best at that game. If you beat the record, you will get a prize (Like, one day for free) and we will put your photograph next to your score. It is fun, leads players to play more and gives you a boost when you open your arcade (As the records will be easy to beat).

You should also try to run as many tournaments as you can for home consoles. Pokémon, Smash Bros. Being the center of your local competitive gaming community requires work but is cheap and gets you a lot of customers.

Also the diamond of your crown should be a tournament like Starcade (The TV show). Who is the king of the arcade? Only one way to know, you must play ALL THE GAMES!

So, in conclusion:

- You must have games that can be instantly recognized
- You should be able to play for days without getting bored
- Have something to eat (Bacon is cheap and people love it!)
- Keep them coming back.
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CRTGAMER
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by CRTGAMER Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:04 pm

I see a lotta posts about making a Retro Arcade.

I recently spotted this 100 game Retro Arcade in a local Pizzeria.
http://www.racketboy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=294800#p294800

In all honesty that 100 game unit was dead compared to all the new arcade games running next to it. Arcades and Internet gaming cafes have been taking a hit since last gen consoles. Why feed quarters when you can game at comfort of home for free. Even more so now with online gaming such as Modern Warfare, everyone now hibernates. Sadly I think Arcades will fade even further now that the portable gaming and Wi-Fi distraction has reached convenience of cell phone.
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by Hatta Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:35 pm

<i>Why feed quarters when you can game at comfort of home for free. </i>

Maybe the solution is free play with a cover charge. Make extra money from concessions.
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by Flake Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:53 pm

Hatta wrote:Maybe the solution is free play with a cover charge. Make extra money from concessions.


I think that'd be a bad idea, unless the under 21 crowd was banned. Anytime you give anything for 'free' you're going to have those that will take advantage of it.

Also, I think of it in a roms vs retail scenario. I have a ton of roms (all made quite legal by my massive warehouse of physical media piled high on a distant island, of course) and in many cases an emulator is a superior option for playing an old game due to the added functionality. And it's all free.

I never play roms.

Why? I don't know but I think it has to do with the value I place on something that I had to give up money for. And the same problem would probably occur in a 'free' arcade. People would place less of a value on being there if they didn't have to pay for the experience.
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by hashiriya1 Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:44 pm

Bi-weekly tournaments....it's what drew me to arcades when I was a kid. I grew up in Sunnyvale and Milpitas Golfland arcades and they always had Street Fighter tourneys. It was fun even if you had no chance against the competition. I met a lot of new friends this way. Oh....and serve beer.
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aaron
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by aaron Thu Aug 12, 2010 4:53 pm

Flake wrote:
Hatta wrote:Maybe the solution is free play with a cover charge. Make extra money from concessions.


I think that'd be a bad idea, unless the under 21 crowd was banned.


if you tried to open one in indiana, and serve alcohol, they'd have to be banned. no one under the age of 21 is even allowed in an establishment labeled as a "bar."
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Para
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by Para Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:06 pm

Open one in Canada. The drinking age is only 18. 8)
Plus there are a lot of sports lounges here that serve alcohol but still let people in to watch sporting events and have food but you just can't buy alcohol unless you're 18+.
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Re: If you opened an arcade...

by CRTGAMER Thu Aug 12, 2010 5:29 pm

So how to get gamers out of their hibernation home caves and back in the Arcades?

The Console to Arcade connection:
Initial D has a car save ATM card so your saved cars can be used on any Initial D Arcade. Dreamcast link to Neo Geo Pocket Capcom vs SNK 2, maybe expand to Arcade? I read some where there was a Console to Arcade link as in the Initial D cards. The idea is to take your gameplay saves and accomplishments back to the arcade. Other then the gloat factor, can't see this winning back gamers.

Uniqueness:
I think the saving grace as even in the start of the Atari 2600 days, innovation. Look at an Arcade now compared to current gens. Same graphics and sounds. There has to be incentive to draw away from home current gen gaming, which arcades now don't offer. The Arcade has to offer new experiences as an Imax film does over the regular theater. Needs the amusement park simulator INTERACTIVE type experience without the lines of dizzyland.

Put me in this simulator, a Tron inspired idea:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb2v8YPN9ts
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