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 Post subject: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:18 am 


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Location: Central Tokyo, Japan, Asia, Earth, Solar System, Milky Way
We'll have 3 panels on Saturday going over the following topics:

How to Make a Million Dollars From Running an Arcade Business in 2018
Mikado (Minoru Ikeda)
exA-Arcadia (ShouTime)

Who says running an arcade business can't be wildly profitable?
Mikado is the #1 independent arcade in Tokyo, Japan. It has been featured numerous times across Japanese TV shows, global documentaries and runs a tournament every single day of the year.
Owner, Minoru Ikeda, will talk about how he started the arcade business with no money in 2004 and transformed it into the premier arcade location in 2018 that generates over $1 million in sales annually.


The Decline of Japanese Arcades & The Rise of exA-Arcadia
exA-Arcadia (ShouTime)
Mikado (Minoru Ikeda)
Tanoshimasu (Yugo Fujioka)

Japanese arcades are considered to the evergreen mecca of the industry, yet, the truth is that in Japan, they are in severe decline but for different reasons than you may think.
Mikado owner, Minoru Ikeda, will give insight into the problems that Japanese operators face today. Together with exA-Arcadia CEO, ShouTime, and Tanoshimasu Lead Programmer, Yugo Fujioka, they will go into the genesis of the exA project and how it aims to rejuvenate arcades on a global scale. There might even be some new announcements!

Creating Aka & Blue From Outside a Cave
Yugo Fujioka (Tanoshimasu)
Minoru Ikeda (Mikado)
ShouTime (exA-Arcadia)

Lead programmer, Yugo Fujioka, and soundtrack guitarist, Minoru Ikeda, will discuss the path of how Aka & Blue came to be and his experience in working on bullet hell shooters in a Cave


Feel free to add your questions or topics below. We will attempt to stream the event (con wifi willing).
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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:02 am 


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Streaming... or record video and put it on yt channel after event?
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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:53 pm 


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I'll leave some questions i would like to ask.

- What is your vision for the Arcade business in the next decade, and besides a new business model, what does the Exa platform have that can make that a reality?

- What features will the Exa bring to the Arcade that take advantage of today's interconnected world? Global leaderboards, score submission, streaming gameplay, community hub's to exchange information, etc...

- With the CRT tecnology fading, do you see any feasable way the older games can still be played in a modern Arcade environment without straying too far from the original experience? Could the Exa be a vehicle for that?

- What is your dream colaboration (publisher/developer/IP) that you haven't been able to get, and why? Can the community help in any way?

- Is there any interest in a Exa Arcadia™ designed universal cabinet, from the operators? What are the top 3 most requested features?

- Are games that rely on peripherals locked out of the platform for now? Or is there some work being done already to accommodate those genres?

- With the growth of E-sports throughout the world and the potential resurgence of Arcades; is there a part to be played by new and veteran operators, in order to become the next stage and/or training ground?

Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:55 pm 


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I'm curious how the exA-Arcadia hardware will receive updates (revisions) of games, like if there's a bug fix needed to fix a counterstop for example. Will that be something user's will be charged for, or will it be free for the owner/operator? And will this be able to be downloaded via the internet?

I'm also interested in learning how the exA-Arcadia will interact with the used marketplace for PCB's. Will 2nd hand buyers also be able to apply such updates to their games even if they weren't the original buyer of the game?

Also, if there's different type of update of a specific game, like let's say a developer comes out with a 1.5 release (like how Cave handled Futari or DFK for example), can owner's/operators (or the player themselves?) select which version (1.0 or 1.5) of the game they'd like to play?

Thanks in advance Shou, hope to catch a stream of this panel! :D


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:58 pm 


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can you mod it to make it play vacuum sounds and party rock anthem?


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 5:14 pm 


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You can do that right now, open some more tabs while you are streaming and you're there.


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:04 pm 


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I got a few questions out there as well, but I want to focus on multiplayer specifically

What is the maximum amount of players supported for a single PCB with EXA hardware?

How many PCB units maximum can be connected together without having lag?

How will multiplayer affect input delay, and are there strategies to reduce lag if wanting the strongest multiplayer experience?

Are there any new multiplayer features that EXA has that the competitors don't? If so, what and how?


and I got some questions for other areas as well:

Assuming that the default cabinets are completed and the many games released are primarily aimed for the default digital joysticks and buttons, do you have the requirement for exa games that use analog controls to be compatible with other games using the default setup, or is it all up to the developer and designer of the controls for the cabinets?

Assuming that after the default digital controls version has been released to the markets, do you plan on having additional universal templates for other games (driving, flight, light guns, analog, trackball and spinner, etc.)? By having standard templates for various game types, EXA would help further standardize the machine lineup while still being affordable to operators.

What is your overall milestone plan for the EXA Arcadia platform?


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2018 4:45 pm 


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I've a question with regards to Aka & Blue. How are they handling the 3:4 version? Will it essentially be cropped, potentially making it more difficult?


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:37 pm 



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It sounds like this upcoming California Extreme show is the "one" to attend with some big names attending. Wow. Snooze and miss out big time -- I can't recall a past CAX show that has hosted a such heavy Japanese arcade developer presence. This will certainly be a CAX show first (CAX lore/history in the making, indeed).

When will the official announcement of ordering an exA-Arcadia + Aka & Blue bundled set take place?

Will there be any American arcade developers signing up to develop for the exA-Arcadia platform or is it just regulated to the Japanese arcade devs for the time being?

Yes, there's wi-fi setup within the Hyatt Regency hotel's conference room that the 3 talks will be presented in. Just would have to ask hotel staff/CAX staff about that setup beforehand if live streaming is to be done.

It seems that some major press (e.i. Associated Press, Reuters, Wired, etc.) needs to attend these three talks to gain some insight into the Japanese arcade industry/arcades in general.

As it currently is, the American arcades are on life support with the usual dedicated specialty arcade cabs, prize ticket redemption games, and pinball machines (from 3 American pinball manufacturers & no less than that). It sounds like the exA-Arcadia platform is what's needed to get the American arcades up and running again with new arcade game content and not the same ol' stale games day in and day out. As the ol' saying goes: The newest and greatest in arcade hardware/software is what makes an current arcade center thrive these days. Old games don't earn their upkeep (thus being regulated to the back of the arcades if at all -- or perhaps put out to pasture and retired never to be seen again) -- this is quite true in the American arcade or family entertainment center (FEC) business nowadays. If I were to open up an independent arcade business, I'd surely want the newest and greatest in arcade game hardware/software to keep the dough/moolah rolling in.

-----------------------------
I asked my boss one time what it'd take to open up and indy arcade and he said that one would need the following:

1.) Business location with plenty of foot traffic everyday/all day. And how much square footage will be needed to accommodate the largest arcade cabs/pinball machines? Will there be extra room/space in the nearby future to expand the main gaming floor if the necessity arises? Re-arranging arcade cabs & pinballs will be necessary if new games are brought in -- means having the proper labor/extra hands to get the job done right & safely the first time.

2.) Lease the business location from said property owner/management group or buy a vacant business location and out-right own said location to build indy arcade (means more expenses in the long run) -- said business lot owner can rent/lease said property to a future business proprietor down the road at a later date.

3.) Get proper permission from local city government officials and ask if it's okay to operate such an arcade within the city/town limits. Some city officials are against such arcade business ventures (of how it was like in the early 1980s with town officials thinking that the local arcades contributed to elementary, junior high & high school truancy and whatnot -- very big issue during those days of arcade lore -- "let's ditch school and go to the arcade" type of senario during those times). If they say no, then it's no can do at that stage.

4.) Get the all important insurance for both employees and customers alike (just in case a worst case senario happens, the arcade owner/operator can be sued big time for some unforeseen extenuating circumstance(s) should it/they arise out of the blue. This isn't be taken lightly either.

5.) Have set aside a monthly budget to pay for electric bill, utilities, and whatnot.

6.) Is said indy arcade going to be a traditional old-school arcade with absolutely no ticket prize redemption machines (which'll exclude/eliminate a certain customer base) + newest pinball machines or a mixture of both specialized dedicated arcade exclusive cabs, pinballs & prize redemption machines to cater to everyone?

7.) Will the decision to include serving alcohol to the age 21 & over crowd at a certain time be allowed? And if so, an alcohol/liquor license will be needed (to the tune of $300,000 USD at least for the State of California -- this ain't something to sneeze nor cough at) -- that is a major expense/necessity if one opens up an "barcade" hybrid of having both an arcade and bar all rolled up into one business venture. If one loses his or her liquor license, said business can't sell any more alcohol. Not to mention law enforcement with their under-age decoys trying to see if they can buy beer/alcohol -- said bartender has to keep this ever-pressing senario in mind when serving barcade customers. Of course, it's a given in this day of age & expected.

8.) It's been said that if your business survives the first five years of being in business, you're doing pretty good.

9.) And if said indy arcade business does well past it's fifth year, are there plans to expand to a future 2nd or 3rd business location (or even perhaps be setup as a business franchise opportunity/expansion)?

10.) Someone needs to be in charge of bookkeeping -- of what is all earned in profit and what business expenditures is needed to be spent to get business running/thriving.

11.) Is said indy arcade going to have a dedicated snack bar or a self-service snack vending machines to serve the thirsty/hungry customers when the time comes? And if said indy arcade has a dedicated snack bar, expect visits from the local, county & state health departments as they'll check the business premises for pests, rodents, bugs, etc. If said health inspection fails, the state health department can order the indy arcade to close/shut down until said infestation problem is taking care of/remedied. Until said infestation is taken care of with the help of the local pest exterminator, only then will said indy arcade business can be allowed to re-open for business. Some major serious stuff that's not to be taken lightly here either.

12.) Of course, any self-business venture can go belly-up at any given time regardless of the current situation at hand.

13.) Will in-house armed security be provided to protect employees and customers from the local hoodlums? That's another issue that needs to be taken into consideration as well.

14.) Will the indy arcade operator/owner be buying the newest arcade games/pinball machines direct from the arcade/pinball manufacturers or rely on the local arcade game distributors for the latest game offerings? Will said arcade games/pinball games be rented from arcade distro or out-right purchased/bought?

15.) Is said indy arcade operator/owner going into business for himself/herself or with another business partner or perhaps a small group (which would generate more business startup monetary funds to get said indy arcade off the ground quicker) -- means having to split the profits equally amongst all the contributing business partners as usual.

16.) It's been said all the profits earned at an indy arcade go right back into running/maintaining the indy arcade business. Yep, profit margins are quite slim these days -- it's fact of life within the American arcade game centers these days.

17.) A proper arcade game technician & pinball repair technician on-hand (or at least on-call) on the premises to make sure that all games are running smoothly and to address/fix any games should the occasion/situation arise.

18.) If the ultimate decision is made to go with an established and proven arcade franchise business model, you'll be given hands-on training and expertise to get said franchise arcade business up & running. This is something that wouldn't be available if one were to open up an indy arcade center, of course, leading one to make mistakes through trial 'n' error along the way.

19.) The ever so important pressing question: So how much does it take to open up an indy arcade these days?

20.) If and when the time comes for said indy arcade to close (due to losing it's business lease), does one hire an indie arcade auction group to liquidate the entire arcade's games to the highest bidder in order to recoup some of the initial business startup costs or go the route alone without any assistance of trying to sell such remaining arcade inventory through eBay, Craigslist, and the like? Hmmm.....
-----------------------------

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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:05 am 


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I've already had my chance to ask you guys a bunch of questions ;-) So I just have one for Mr. Ikeda: Do you think it is possible for your model of success to work in the United States? Especially in areas where the population density isn't extremely large?
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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:17 am 



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Holy shit man, the man asked for questions not a book.


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:48 pm 


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:00 am 


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I would like to know if they are afraid of chinese groups dumping the exa games right after release? if not, reasons why.
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Last edited by KAI on Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 1:20 am 


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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:54 am 


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Thanks for posting this!

These questions are for the How to Make a Million Dollars From Running an Arcade Business in 2018 panel.

Now, my aims are much more modest. I've been wanting to put a candy cab on location somewhere, rotating in a shmup pcb once or every couple of months. The "profits" would just go towards maintaining the cabinet and rent.
What keeps players coming back for more? Certain games? STG tournaments?
How much does an average STG devoted cabinet make? Are there certain games which are popular in Japan? I'd like to know if I own them.
What do you think motivates these players, a community? People watching them play? A scoreboard that is posted in the arcade?
Shou, what do you think would take to have an STG space/arcade in the US?

Thanks in advance,
--F
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 Post subject: Re: exA-Arcadia Panels @ CAX - Taking your questions
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:41 pm 


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Even through I asked on the multiplayer aspect, I decided to why not ask questions on platform support:

What game engines are currently supporting export to Exa Arcadia and do you plan to add more engines to support the platform?

Do you plan on having small scale controller versions for testing purposes to get the idea of the EXA hardware?

Since Exa Arcadia can support multiple cartridges in one machine, can developers play around with software that reads data from the cartridges for any purpose (i.e. multi-game data unlockables)?

When will we know more about the EXA SDK?


Update:
Since today is the beginning of CA Extreme, there is very little chance that newer questions would be taken down.

However we can hope that most of them would be used for the upcoming panels.


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