There are gaming mice and keyboards out there that cost hundreds of dollars and promise you unequaled performance, but what if, for old time’s sake, you want to play games such as Diablo 3 on an arcade machine?
Of course, Blizzard will not bother creating such arcade cabinets themselves, as it would not be something cost-effective, not to mention that it would probably take a lot of time to design and perfect. Hence, it is the duty of the fans to turn this dream into reality.
Dave Niewinksi, the designer of this Diablo 3 arcade machine, explains how it works: “Clicking on a button might equate to a left-click in game, or skill number 1 if clicked in conjunction with another button. The joystick is the same. Moving the joystick moves the mouse around the screen so you can target individual monsters/objects. Holding the button on the top of the joystick moves the character around without changing the position you were targeting. This allows you to “run and gun” as you’re always aiming in the same direction, but can run in a different direction.” This mod alone is worth some applause.
The following video presents Dave playing the game on the arcade cabinet that he designed. Apparently, he is playing it in Normal mode, so there is no delay between the moment a button is pressed and the action triggered on the screen. It would certainly be interesting to see whether the arcade cabinet still performs within normal parameters or not when the game is played in Inferno mode.
Dave used plywood for making the arcade cabinet, along with decals borrowed from cgtextures.com and Blizzard. At the core of this arcade machine there is a VB.NET-powered program that syncs the hardware controls to the game. It should be noted that the game has not been tampered with, so all the Diablo 3 files were left intact.
I’m curious about the future projects of Dave Niewinski and whether he intends to make other such arcade machines. Hopefully, it was not just a one-off. More than that, it would be nice to see more modern games, made for either PCs or mobile operating systems, turned into arcade machine games. Of course, by that I mean that I’d like to see more than Blizzard games modded in that way, even though this is one of the most important game developers out there.