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