Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

You may have seen on our Twitter or Facebook feed that we have a Nucleus arcade table at the Ideal Home Show this year. (It’s on until Sunday 3rd April btw) The Nucleus featured in the Ideal Smart Home powered by Virgin Media.

Ideal Smart Home Powered by Virgin Media

We visited on the first day to make sure everything was good with the table on the stand. After all it would be getting a good hammering over the 17 days! We met the great staff manning the Virgin Media Smart Home and maybe even had a quick game on the table!

virgin smart home staff

Every day at the Ideal Home Show in the Virgin Media Smart Home there were multiple presentations on some ideas on creating a smarter home. We got ourselves over for the first one, which included special guest Suzi Perry. So I couldn’t resist challenging her to a game of Bubble Bobble.

Suzi Perry arcade table surface tension

Suzi was only there for the first presentation, along side the amazing Lee talking the crowd through some of the items within the smart home. Lee was then to soldier on alone for the rest of the 17 days.

Suzi Perry ideal smart home

BeoPlay A9

This features the BeoLink Multiroom technology, which unites your B&O PLAY and Bang & Olufsen products into one wireless system. You can play different music in different rooms – or let one song play on all your speakers throughout the home. Connect using AirPlay, DLNA or Bluetooth 4.0 and you will be playing your music in a matter of seconds.

beoplay a9 ideal home show

Sprout

A fully integrated desktop 3D scanning solution with 3D object capture, editing and multiple streamlined 3D print options. Now anyone can grab something from the real world, manipulate it in the digital world, and bring it to life in physical space.

sprout scanner ideal home show

Smart light bulbs

There were 3 smart light bulbs up in the kitchen. The LIFX Colour 1000 with smartphone control over wifi. The Olixar Lightbeats controlled by Bluetooth, plus also plays your music! The Vocca pro is a voice-activated bulb which can be turned on or off by command.

smart light bulbs ideal home show

Petcube

An interactive wireless pet camera that helps you stay connected to your pets when you are not at home. Petcube pet monitor system lets you watch, talk and play laser games with your dog or cat from anywhere using your smartphone. You can share access to your pet video cam with your friends, family or anyone else on Petcube network.

petcube ideal home show

Smarter Coffee

Enjoy Smarter Coffee with a wifi enabled brew station. The machine will grind the beans up before brewing, so you will always have the fresh stuff but without the wait. You can set it going straight after your alarm goes off so when you get downstairs, you’ll have a fresh cup in your hand without any wait.

smarter coffee maker ideal home show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Along side all of these great products was our Nucleus arcade table at the Ideal Home Show. If you have been to the show and had a play on the table, or are planning to go, send us a tweet or Instagram snap using #surface_tension_design.

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

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Revival 2014 run-down

It’s been a week since we got back from Revival and what a great show it was too! Craig, Chris and the Revival team did an amazing job again. Plenty of consoles, computers, arcade cabinets, light gun machines, driving games, pinball machines, traders, talks, costumes, chip-tunes, special guests, competitions…

surface tension was there with our stand again this year in the chill-out zone. With us we had our Dual, Arcane and forthcoming upright, Retrograde. Plenty of couches to crash out on too. We had our Rubik’s Cube seat on one side of the Dual, but also built some quirky seating for the other side. A 555 timer seat modeled on the 8-pin through-hole IC, which got plenty of attention! If you’re interested, you can see how it was made here.

surface tension stand

We had a good buzz around the stand all weekend with all ages.

555 seat

The 555 seat with the Dual arcade table.

Super Hexagon Arcade Machine

Super Hexagon arcade machine

Super Hexagon worked a treat on the upright. Though the surface tension team were battling it out between us for the highest score, only to be beaten by a 12 year old (not pictured). Meh.

Super Hexagon Arcade Machine

Our feeble attempts before being out-done 🙁

Goldeneye 4 player

If you didn’t get hooked on this 20 years ago, what were you hooked on?!

retro computers and consoles.

Loads of consoles and home computers to bring back the memories.

retro systems for sale

Plenty of systems to buy as well as play.

Pinball machines

pinball machines

A plethora of pinball machines, but never a spare one!

Traverse USA arcade cabinet

Crazy Balloon arcade cabinet

Driving arcade machines

Standup arcade machines in a row

Stand up arcade machines

There weren’t quite as many stand-ups as last year, but more than enough to keep you occupied. Plus with all of the pins, you weren’t left twiddling your thumbs.

John Romero playing multiplayer Doom

John Romero was there for a Q&A session, and to kick your ass at Doom.

Revival Survival Cabinet

Craig’s Revival Survival cabinet made its debut…

surface tension in Revival Survival

…which surface tension feature in as we helped Kickstart the project!

SIDMAN at Revival

Chip-tunes supplied by SIDMAN.

That’s about it. We look forward to next year but aren’t quite ready to go at it again just yet! It was a long and tiring weekend, plus a busy run up to it.

Asteroids volcano switch

Defender Control Panel

1, 2, 5 DM coin slot

fire_start

One Player Select button

Williams coin mech

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Surface TensionRevival 2014 run-down
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The Cool Stuff Collective @ MTV Studios

Last weekend surface tension rocked up to MTV studios in Camden to meet up with Matt from Archie Productions and drop off one of our Arcane systems to be filmed for a part of the show – The Cool Stuff Collective.

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After dropping the table off first thing in the morning, we took a bit of time out to wander around Camden, which involved the discovery of a rather good board game shop! We then headed back in the afternoon to be on-hand during filming.

As we waited outside Studio B, Eamon Homes strolled out, meaning it was our turn to head in and set up. We met up with the crew, who were an amazing and friendly bunch.

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We met up with Matt again… now in a gorilla suit, plus Sy who was allegedly turning into a gorilla. You can see from his hands and feet that this was the truth.

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So, I got them set up and comfortable with the controls, albeit a little awkward with the oversized, hairy gorilla hands! The large studio door was then sealed and we stood back and watched them get on with it. So the gorilla and his pri-mate sat and watched a movie clip and played some Bubble Bobble, based around some comical monkey-based banter!

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The episode of The Cool Stuff Collective will be aired on Mon 29th Nov, Friday 3rd, Sunday 5th Dec on CITV. Plus on ITV1 on Saturday 4th Dec.

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Surface TensionThe Cool Stuff Collective @ MTV Studios
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Insert coin ’09

Well, it’s taken me a few days to get around to posting about the show. All in all, Insert Coin ’09 it was a great success. Alan, Grant and their team did a great job in getting all the machines together. On the day (well, the day before) it seemed everything was against them and the show was almost a non-starter. All of the Egrets were stuck at customs and after being released late on the Friday afternoon, half of them reached their destination at about 9 o’clock at night. The rest of them were due in at 6am Saturday! When we arrived at 11pm on Friday to set up, the electrician was setting up the supply for the hall whilst PCBs were installed in the machines. It was an all-nighter for most of the IC’09 team.

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It was generally noticed that there weren’t many classic machines to play on. Well, in fact I can only recall the Space Invaders silver anniversary cabinet. But to actually get your hands on a Frogger, Donkey Kong or PacMan these days will cost you a pretty penny… if you can find one. This I think is where the MAME community are needed. Candy Cabs and Twisted Box had show presence, but it could have done with a few more, playing classic stuff. This could also possibly entice a few people unaware of what’s out there into building their own cabs.

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For me the highlights were Outrun 2 with a 3-player link-up, Sega Radio and I was strangely drawn to the japanese dog-walking game on more than one occasion.

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The cosplay turnout was great. Most of the crowd were from Hollywood Heroes, as stormtroopers, Agent Smith, Silent Hill Dark Nurses and Call of Duty soldiers. They added a great focus for photos, including the comedy ‘Stormtrooper on a jetski’!

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We had our own corner of the hall too, showing off our black gloss table. We also managed to finish the build of a new table, which meant some late nights and early starts in the week running up to the show. The bleary eyes on the Saturday morning were well worth it though. Plenty of people came over for a chat and a play on the system… though sometimes it was because we had the only sofa in the hall! We had a lot of noise to compete with in the hall, but when it was time for a demo, there was no problem in the sound department. Both tables were very well received with a 50/50 split on styling preference. There will be more details of the new systems over the next week or so, and an update to surface-tension.net. In the mean time, you can take a look at the photos from IC’09, including a look at the new arcade table.

You can see some video footage I took, on youtube. There are also more photos on the surface-tension Flickr page.

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Surface TensionInsert coin ’09
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