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Thread: Designing a room of doom from the ground up

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    Default Designing a room of doom from the ground up

    I don't have a room of doom. I do, however, have a completely unfinished basement. I'm planning on beginning the finishing process this summer, though admittedly I don't know a lot about carpentry so it will be a slow process for me while I learn. That's not the main point of this thread, though.

    What I'm going to do is take a section of the basement and literally design a room of doom from the raw foundation. My basement as it stands now is unfinished concrete. The floor and ceiling are also open. There is very limited wiring down there now so I'll also be running all new electrical lines. Literally, this is from the ground up (actually, from 3 feet underground up).

    Given this situation I'd like to solicit ideas, comments, questions, etc. Anything someone would like to contribute would be greatly appreciated. I can get area dimensions and pictures if people would like them... I'd like to have the ultimate room of doom here and I figure there is no better group of folks to help me design it than the great folks here at DP.

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    Pretzel (Level 4) jgenotte's Avatar
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    Cousom modular shelving. Serriously. Build in into every wall. Also be sure to have PLENTY of outlets with serrious enphasis on one side of the room, where the tv/systems will be. Make it bigger that you want to, your collection WILL grow. And lastly Have Fun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgenotte
    Cousom modular shelving. Serriously.
    Could you elaborate on this? I have been thinking about this but haven't really come up with anything I thought was a worthwhile design for it.

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Heh, that's funny when you read it with Homstar's voice.

    I suppose most modern shelving deals will let you adjust upwards and downwards pretty well, so is that even an issue? I collect for a few systems that have big differences between game boxes (x68K is the worst offender, the SFC has a bit of this but nothing too noticeable) and so I have to be able to adjust often.

    As for myself...making a "room of doom" isn't really possible in my current broom closet space so I have to keep a lot of stuff boxed. I'd like to have a number of shelves but stuff that extends all the way up to the ceiling looks bad. It can't be too much taller than five feet or else you're asking for trouble. That might sound corny but it's true...besides, I always put things on top of my shelves, like handhelds or my Atari cartridge tower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Oscuro
    I suppose most modern shelving deals will let you adjust upwards and downwards pretty well, so is that even an issue? I collect for a few systems that have big differences between game boxes (x68K is the worst offender, the SFC has a bit of this but nothing too noticeable) and so I have to be able to adjust often.
    Yeah, I have a lot of game boxes and stuff and now they're in plastic bins stacked in a corner by the oil tank. There isn't even a point to owning them if they're not displayed.

    It can't be too much taller than five feet or else you're asking for trouble. That might sound corny but it's true...besides, I always put things on top of my shelves, like handhelds or my Atari cartridge tower.
    Custom made shelves, or built in shelves with adjustable shelf heights, would not have this issue. At this point I'm thinking the more basic things like floor plan, wiring, etc and trying to come up with the true vision for what I really want down there. My wife keeps telling me to build it to look loosely like the cockpit of Starbug from Red Dwarf...

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    Although most of the rooms in the room of doom section are impressive from a collecting POV most are interior decorating disasters.

    Most look cluttered.

    I'd recommend getting either a company that makes custom shelves to make them for you or perhaps get IKEA stuff. The larger Billy bookshelves with glass doors are cheap and very efficient. One Billy bookshelf with the height extension and maximum number of CD-inserts can swallow almost 900 PSX games!!!


    This is from a different forum but is a very efficient and neat looking solution:

    http://home.earthlink.net/~rfowkes2/.../Ht991110d.JPG

    or
    HERE



    or HERE

    or HERE

    for more suggestions

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    drowning in medals Ed Oscuro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    Quote Originally Posted by I
    I suppose most modern shelving deals will let you adjust upwards and downwards pretty well, so is that even an issue? I collect for a few systems that have big differences between game boxes (x68K is the worst offender, the SFC has a bit of this but nothing too noticeable) and so I have to be able to adjust often.
    Yeah, I have a lot of game boxes and stuff and now they're in plastic bins stacked in a corner by the oil tank. There isn't even a point to owning them if they're not displayed.
    Heh! Well, I'd like to have much of my stuff displayed and I'd also like to fill up my branded cart storage bins :) That said, as long as I can get to something when I want to I'll be happy. I would like to make up a display of my (new) FDS games but I don't have the space for it. My system boxes are "showcased" by being piled on top of my desk. C'est la Vie.

    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    Quote Originally Posted by I
    It can't be too much taller than five feet or else you're asking for trouble. That might sound corny but it's true...besides, I always put things on top of my shelves, like handhelds or my Atari cartridge tower.
    Custom made shelves, or built in shelves with adjustable shelf heights, would not have this issue.
    Eh, I knew that was worded poorly! I mean to say that for my purposes a game shelf that's high enough that I can't get stuff from the top and clean easily (that'd honestly be about seven feet, really) is too high. Recessed shelving is alright, and that solves the problem of stuff falling off nicely (though I like putting stuff up there), but unless you're building a room that's too much money for most folks! That said, you've got a chance to show us what the bill for such a project would be ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Parodius
    I'd recommend getting either a company that makes custom shelves to make them for you or perhaps get IKEA stuff. The larger Billy bookshelves with glass doors are cheap and very efficient. One Billy bookshelf with the height extension and maximum number of CD-inserts can swallow almost 900 PSX games!!!
    Hey, those look nice. Prices?

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    Those DO look nice. I bet they cost a LOT, too... good for design ideas, though, since I'd be just as likely to build my own using something like that as a template in order to save most of the cost. Making shelving for games/boxes really isn't that hard a design, though. What I'm wondering about more is things like system shelving (I know Sylentwulf has done this, I've seen his design, I may yoink a couple of his concepts), potential builtins like custom switchboxes, what people think would be the ultimate game room layout in terms of gaming rather than storage, etc. Shelves for boxes is the easy part. I'm wondering what people would want if they really could come up with something original.

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    Once I finally get a better job, move, and own real estate, I plan on doing a totally custom AV room. For me, the biggest goal is a method of displaying systems in such a manner that they:

    Displayed in an eye-appealing manner
    Are easily accessible for game changes
    Held securely in place
    Have their cords hidden as much as possible (only controller cables should be visible)

    For this, I am going to build a console shelving system that is comprised of a series of 20-24" square shelf 'modules'. Each shelf will hold 1-2 consoles, and will have recesses drilled to accommodate the 'feet' present on most systems (so they stay nice and uniformly positioned). The shelves will interconnect via supporting pipes/beams that pass through holes drilled at each of the 4 corners, and are supported via large wheels, locks, or something else that holds them to the beams. They will be height adjustable and infinitely re-arrangeable. The back of each shelf will have a channel cut to allow cable stowage, and the support beams will be hollow with holes drilled at interval to allow the cables to pass through and to the floor where they can be hidden (or they will have some equivalent cabling solution). Somewhere, possibly at the bottom center of the solution, will be an enclosed unit containing custom power strips to plug everything in to.

    Yes, it will take a lot of carpentry and a lot of custom cable making, but it should be squeeky clean in the end.

    So, I don't know if that gives you any ideas for console shelving, but keep us posted on what works and what doesn't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FABombjoy
    Yes, it will take a lot of carpentry and a lot of custom cable making, but it should be squeeky clean in the end.

    So, I don't know if that gives you any ideas for console shelving, but keep us posted on what works and what doesn't.
    That is EXACTLY the type of thing I'm looking for. Have you ever drawn this up to any extent? I have had some ideas similar to this but not nearly as specifically laid out as you've mentioned. I'm also looking for layout for probably 3-4 arcade cabinets as well, though that may be reduced because of raw footage issues. At least one of those will be a cockpit cab and possibly two since I currently own a Deluxe VF2 cabinet that I plan on making into a MAME cabinet very soon... it has a 50" arcade monitor and I'm going to be looking to use as many of those consoles as possible on that screen (yes, I found a 50" RGB monitor!).

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    Default ROOD

    You might want to consider acoustical tiles for the ceiling. My wife can hear me playing Colony Wars from the 3rd floor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    That is EXACTLY the type of thing I'm looking for. Have you ever drawn this up to any extent?
    Well, not until now. The scaling is off, but here goes:

    Rough drawing

    I'm going to discuss it with a wood shop teacher friend and see what kinds of ideas he might have.

    Oh yeah, the other design goals were to make it modular, and easily disassemblable (is that a word?).

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    Default Re: ROOD

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Ice
    You might want to consider acoustical tiles for the ceiling. My wife can hear me playing Colony Wars from the 3rd floor.
    Already in the plans... acoustical drop ceiling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FABombjoy
    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    That is EXACTLY the type of thing I'm looking for. Have you ever drawn this up to any extent?
    Well, not until now. The scaling is off, but here goes:

    Rough drawing

    I'm going to discuss it with a wood shop teacher friend and see what kinds of ideas he might have.

    Oh yeah, the other design goals were to make it modular, and easily disassemblable (is that a word?).
    Okay, that's just good stuff. Looks remarkably like some commercially available units I've seen as well. What I've been thinking about alters that layout a bit. I've been thinking something along the same lines but with a space in the center for a large TV. The shelves go up on either side and probably span the gap above it as well. Up in the center you have something light like DVD/VCR/Satellite receivers that you won't have to potentially stress to use like a console.

    I thought a bit more about the cabling during lunch. Your design, and the designs of many others, calls for the central routing of power and of a/v signals (a la the central power block and the a/v switchbox). The one thing that I see as being left in REAL cable management would be controller cord management. I know it's less of an issue, but what if someone were to route controller extension cords out to a central box in the front? You could have a small panel that essentially has ports for each console that are connected to the console itself. You could extend this out further, possibly, by having consoles with common controller pinouts combined (i.e. Genesis, 2600, 7800). If you REALLY wanted to you could work out a switching mechanism so a more advanced controller could work any of them but that is probably overkill.

    Any thoughts on this?

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    You could have a small panel that essentially has ports for each console that are connected to the console itself. You could extend this out further, possibly, by having consoles with common controller pinouts combined (i.e. Genesis, 2600, 7800). If you REALLY wanted to you could work out a switching mechanism so a more advanced controller could work any of them but that is probably overkill.
    I thought about this as well. It is my ideal situation. You could even go further and have one of these "panels" for each "seat" in your game room. That way nobodys cabels get tangled with another person's. The "panel" could have a switch to designate which player number that persons is. Again of course, this is just an idea. I am sure that it would be very difficult to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgenotte
    I thought about this as well. It is my ideal situation. You could even go further and have one of these "panels" for each "seat" in your game room. That way nobodys cabels get tangled with another person's. The "panel" could have a switch to designate which player number that persons is. Again of course, this is just an idea. I am sure that it would be very difficult to do.
    Well, you wouldn't be able to move the chairs around, that's for sure. The part of this I'm thinking about now is if it's worth it in today's world. Sure, back before reasonable wireless controllers were available, it would be better... but going forward, how many systems will not have good wireless controllers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chadtower
    The one thing that I see as being left in REAL cable management would be controller cord management. I know it's less of an issue, but what if someone were to route controller extension cords out to a central box in the front?
    I've thought about this too. My feeling is that I want as clean of lines as possible from the front, without seeing any more cable than absolutely necessary. It would be more difficult to hide controller cables, but you could use a router and cut a cable trench in the bottom of the shelf, and add a few things to hold the cable up to the shelf base (wooden pegs flat against the base that rotate to hold the cable up). Or you could route a trench, and route a slot towards the bottom on both sides, and use a thin (say, 1/8") strip of wood that retains the cables in place and prevents them from hanging.

    For a really clean setup, you could start the trench 1" back from the front of the shelf, and drill 2-4 (depending on the system) holes through to the front & filed out downward. The controller cables would route down into their own little slots before being captured in the cable trench. That would probably look pretty slick.

    It would be hit and miss as to how good it looked, depending on what systems you plan on displaying. I would think that systems like the Colecovision and Intellivision would need to be handled individually. Luckly, the 2600 makes things easier with it's particular joystick plug arrangement.

    My original thought was to have a multi-output controller plug 'box' located remotely... say, integrated into a coffee table in front of the main seating area. The big problem here would be with analog controllers, as the increased cabling distance would require fairly heavy shielded cable to prevent 'weirdness'.

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    I can't add anything toward actually getting the job done, but I'm sure many others as well as myself, would be very interested to see the project from beginning to end. I think, Case-mod or /.-style, you ought to document everything from beginning to end.

    Keep the rough drawings you use to plan out whatever you end up doing, and take pictures of the work each step of the way. Once you've got the ultimate game room finished, you can post a webpage about it and watch as millions of /. hordes smoke your webserver in nanoseconds.
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    Remember this: Basements are accident prone. Especially to flooding(in a basement there is nowhere for the water to go, but up), i was on this comic book forum and some guy lost a chunk of his collection because his comic boxs were sittong on the floor. If flooding is a threat to you than build shelves, and other things a foot or so above the floor, or get plastic cases for things sitting on the floor. Also you may want to put some very bright lights in your basement, dim ones make things seem depressing, or make you room seem like a "lair" for an anti-social recluse. When you bring people down there for the first time you want em' to go "whooooooaaaa!!!", and not "ewwwww"...........And of course there's always strobe lights, and lava lamps
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