Devising a dead-icated Splatterhouse arcade game

Just in time for Halloween, Maker Clay Cowgill has devised a killer, interactive cabinet for the Splatterhouse Namco arcade machine he co-owns.

“I like video games, Halloween, and making ‘stuff,’ so this year I combined all three and created a ‘Dead-icated’ Splatterhouse arcade game,” Cowgill explains.

As the Hackaday crew reports, the Maker kicked off his Splatterhouse cabinet project by salvaging an old Williams Defender and coating the sides with a cocktail of drywall compound, sand and paint to achieve a stone texture.

Cowgill then fashioned some pink insulation foam into a tattered “wooden” frame for use as a monitor bezel, while strips of latex were molded to resemble torn flesh and placed along the boards.

“The control panel is yet another work of art: Clay 3D printed a life-size human femur for the game’s joystick, and converted the buttons to look like eyeballs,” .

The Maker decided to go beyond just the cosmetics and tapped into the game’s CPU with a customized daughterboard that detects a variety of game ‘state’ changes, such as player health, number of lives, game level and credits remaining.


Indeed, the cabinet is equipped with an ATmega165 microcontroller (MCU) which reacts to these various in-game events and can be “software modulated for different effects if necessary” using four PWM outputs. For example, if a player takes heavy damage, red lights flash around the monitor, while inserting a coin or dying in the game causes a different set of LEDs behind the marquee to blink excitedly.

A serial port from the AVR MCU also streams the status of the in-game variables for debugging, Cowgill adds.


Want to learn more? Check out all the details of this Cowgill’s Splatterhouse project here.

1 thought on “Devising a dead-icated Splatterhouse arcade game

  1. Pingback: Paying homage to the “Father of Video Games” Maker style | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

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