Cedar Point Arcade outing/maybe hacking opportunity

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Cedar Point Arcade outing/maybe hacking opportunity CM Sanyk 8/13/12 7:40 AM
Hi all,
Been pretty busy lately, sorry for not being at the space more.  Been spending most of the year working on paying off a few debts.  I'm looking forward to getting back into hacking more this fall.  
I haven't been to Cedar Point in about 20 years, but a fb friend posted some photos from their arcade by the ferris wheel, and I was amazed to see the're still operating some vintage and golden age machines, including VERY old electromechanical games (40-50 years old!) It looked like some of them were not in service when he visited:( but it's still amazing to see these pre-computer games.

I set up an event through the Cleveland Game Developers meetup, to check it out sometime before they end their season, likely a Saturday in September/October.  I thought there might be some cross-interest with the hackerspace.

I've also written to the park and asked about their arcade games, and received a nice response from their games manager:
Thanks for your interest in our arcades.  I have attached a sheet that should answer most of your questions regarding our games.  We operate 65 units in our main Coliseum Arcade and another 15 antique pieces in our Town Hall Museum.   Most of these are electro-mechanical, with only a few “newer” games like Pac Man and Flash pinball.  Most of these games are operational, although a few older games are not because cards or other supplies are no longer available. We would be glad to meet with your group and talk about some of the older games. 
Perhaps a couple of our techs could arrange to meet before the arcade opens in the morning before the arcade gets too noisy.  Let me know when you plan to visit and we will set something up.
Thanks again,
Steve Gerold
Games Manager
The thought of older games not being in service due to no parts makes me sad.  Maybe we could offer to help them out by offering our services to fabricate custom parts that they need?  It'd be a good opportunity to do something cool.
Re: [makersalliance] Cedar Point Arcade outing/maybe hacking opportunity Joe Gorse 8/13/12 6:32 PM

This sounds like an interesting opportunity. Perhaps we could do it in exchange for 6 floating 365/24 passes to Cedar Point. =)

In more earnestness, it really comes down to access and funding/resources. Perhaps if they were willing to ship the broken games to SLH for the winter, or give us a good reason to spend time out at Cedar Point. Hint. Hint. We have some experience and resources available to us regarding reverse engineering this type of work. It is just a matter of how badly they want them up and running again.

Or we can always try enlisting Jeri Ellsworth.


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Re: [makersalliance] Cedar Point Arcade outing/maybe hacking opportunity CM Sanyk 8/23/12 7:56 AM
I haven't seen anyone else sign up for the meetup yet, but I'm still hopeful that we can get some people together.
I am participating in Ludum Dare this weekend with the Cleveland Game Devs at the Launch House site, and will be trying to generate more interest in the outing.  To me, that's just a good way to go about establishing and building a relationship with the park staff, and once they know what we can do, maybe they'll be interested in us helping them out with keeping their antique games in a state of repair.
At this point I have no idea what kind of arrangement they might be open to.  Shipping games out might be a little much to ask for, but if they'd allow us to remove cabinets in need of repair to our workshop, I'm sure we could keep them around for a week or two just to test out everything thoroughly to make sure everything is working:)  We might need to transport them ourselves, though, who knows.
Anyway, if I can get a few people interested in participating in the outing, that would get us started. 
I haven't picked a date yet, but maybe that's holding people back from committing interest.  I'll try to look at my calendar and pick a date after this weekend.