Building retro gaming systems is a great way to keep busy over a weekend. You could start with a Raspberry Pi or similar PCB and end up with a full sized gaming cabinet. Alternatively, your retro gaming project might be replacing the innards of a broken 8-bit or 16-bit computer with a Raspberry Pi for some retro gaming.
But not everyone is skilled in this way. Building a coin-op style cabinet takes a lot of planning and effort, and that’s just the woodwork. The electronics side, from installing RetroPie or Recalbox to connecting old style gaming joysticks, is also tricky.
One option is to simply install an emulator on your phone or PC and go from there. Perhaps you’ll play a classic game on the Switch. But if you’re missing the aesthetic beauty of the physical side of gaming, the answer could be in printer ink.
Specifically, printer ink printed to a sheet of card that you then cut, score, fold into shape, and glue. Designer Rocky Bergen has released a series of stunning free retro computer printables that can be made by almost anyone. The collection includes a range of favorites, from the Commodore Amiga 500 and Nintendo Entertainment System to a Conion C-100F 1980s boombox. Mostly, though, the collection is of computer systems and consoles, and each mode has everything: the main unit, controller, keyboard (where appropriate), storage media, and even TV or monitor.
Always wanted to own a TRS-80 Model 3 or Apple Lisa? Now you can. And instead of paying £1000s for the old computer (or £100s for the promotional poster), you’ll part with just the price of the cardstock and printer ink.
Bergen’s latest creation is a Commodore PET/CBM 2001, a collection of files that includes an external disk drive, printer, booklets, and even swappable displays. To find out more about this build and all the others, head to Rocky Bergen’s website (www.rockybergen.com) to choose your weekend retro gaming project.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.