O'Reilly logo

Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Play MAME Anywhere

Use LaserMAME to project vector arcade games onto any surface.

If you’ve ever seen a professional laser light show, you know what a thrill it is to watch such vivid, colorful light patters projected onto enormous screens (or the sides of buildings, or any flat surface). And it’s a safe bet that somewhere in the audience, there were more than a few people thinking, “You know, it would be awesome if this were a video game.”

Well, if you have LaserMAME—and about five thousand dollars—it can be.

LaserMAME, or more appropriately, the LaserMAME Vector Engine, is a program that works with MAME and a laser projection setup to display arcade games that use vector graphics on any surface. Created by Rob Mudryk and Matt Polak, the project’s official web site is http://games.lasers.org.

Unfortunately, the site hasn’t been updated in about five years, and there’s a large notice on the Downloads page that says “NO MORE COMING SOON!” So if you’re itching to replicate this hack, you’ll have to dig around a few different web sites to find the info you need. In this hack, I’ll explain a bit more about LaserMAME and what equipment is required to pull it off.

Tip

Note that this hack is written by a total amateur. The most complicated thing I ever did with a laser was shine a tiny keychain laser on a wall to get the dog to jump at it. It worked, and for the record it was way more fun than Lunar Lander.

Why Only Vector Games?

In the early days of the video arcade, most games used raster-scan ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required