Sonic: ROTH arcade

After about eleven months, today is the day I finish my arcade game, Sonic: Rise of the Hedgehog. I started the project to make the first danish arcade machine. The scope of the project went way above what I had in mind. I have spent countless hours sitting in front the computer making the game. The cabinet(or hardware) side of things was a lot easier, but both put together was, in hindsight, way too much for a one-man project. But I did it.

I will give an overview of the process below. It will be with the oldest lowest and the newest at the top. Looking back, everything is a blur. A blue blur(!).


Video of the attract mode:

– August 22 2014

Made a small digital flyer for the game:


– Late August 2014

Sent off the hi-rez front art for printing. Turned out great!


– Late July 2014

The poster on the right went up when the project began. The sun is a harsh mistress.


– Late July 2014

Control Panel all done. The colours might change later. I also almost finish the game’s RUSH MODE.


– Early July 2014

I finish the ULTRA-UPDATE video:
– Late June 2014

Testing the game on a normal TV with a XBOX controller.


– Late May 2014

Finishing the artwork for the marquee, getting it printed. Also started on Zone 2, which is space-themed.

– Mid May 2014

First draft of the indicator for the control panel:

– Early May 2014 mention the progress with the game again.


– Late April 2014

I finish the I/O interface. This will take inputs from the control panel to the PC and it will drive the lamp on the control panel. This is for when Sonic is close to a secret in the game.

Also, testing gfx that end up not being used.


– Late April 2014

This is the event horizon point. This is where there is progress in strides. Now I have invested so much time into this project that I have to finish it.

I set the title to Sonic: Rise of the Hedgehog. I release the GIGA-UPDATE, a video that covers progress on the game:


– Late March 2014

After fixing the monitor in the cabinet I was ready for the first test, running the early draft of the game on the cabinet. At this point the game is running at 480p 60fps.

– Early March 2014

I get the donor cabinet. Working with wood is another of my shortcomings.
You can see the classic Sonic poster on the wall. This is what I call method-coding

– Early February 2014 runs the news of ROTH being developed:


– Late December 2013

Finished the first intro screen with controllers for coin inputs and start.

– Late November 2013

Working title is set to Sonic: Ring Master/Untitled. Also, I make the game to run with several layers of parallax scrolling.

– Mid November 2013

I decide that my game has to be 60fps at a resolution of 640x480p 31kHz. Since I wanted to the game to be FAST and PRECISE I needed peak performance for the twitch gameplay.

I also make my first test joystick, using a NES Advantage:


– Early November 2013

Working on platforms. You cannot have a platforming game without moving platforms, right? So, I start making platforms that move up and down. Making games really amazes me with the amount of different ways to do stuff.


– Late October 2013

I begin coding the game. Since sprite drawing and artwork is not within my capabilities, I ‘borrowed’ Sega’s graphics, hook, line & sinker. My original plan was to make a high-res game where the camera is placed far from the action. This can be seen on the below screenshot. I have always loved a pulled-back view, but both my wife and a couple of early followers of the project frowned at this. Also, opting to use an arcade monitor forced me closer to the action. This is the first compromise.


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