Custom Arcade Joysticks
The “Joystick” page showcases numerous examples of my work, but on the bottom of the last page you’ll find “Collections I-V” which contain even more images of various sticks.
I started building custom arcade joysticks as a hobby several years ago and it evolved into a small business. There was never an intention to make these into something more than for my own personal use but as recognition grew so did this desire to create these usable works of art. The exact number is unknown but I’ve designed and sold close to four hundred custom joysticks. Many of them are showcased on this website while others were shipped off before cataloging. I’ve improved my methods by leaps and bounds over the course of my career and my work has innovated and inspired numerous others along the way.
My custom arcade joysticks have gained exposure in major magazine publications like Wired, WWE Official Magazine, SYNC, Gamepro, along with other smaller publications. I’ve also done several interviews, most notible was a live broadcast on BBC Radio, and my work has been the subject of various website articles. In the end, I’m just glad that my efforts have contributed to the recognition and growth of the arcade enthusiasts as well as the fighting game community.
I like to let my work speak for itself, but I know there’s a few people that may want an explanation. I build everything from a gamer’s view. I don’t just want to create something that’s simply great to look at, it has to be a great experience to play on as well. Since my custom stiks are designed with practicality & portability in mind, they are ideal for travel and tournaments. As an artist, I aim to create works of art, rather than a basic controller, so my main areas of focus are on quality, craftsmanship, aesthetics, functionality, and comfort. Believe me, I take all these into account when I build each one. I like to experiment with different techniques and materials, as a result I’ve developed several case designs and continue to refine my methods. I’ve built my cases out of a variety of materials ranging from oak, aluminum, stainless steel, poplar, mdf, teak, cocobolo, amboyna,mahogany, maple, etc. Most of my methods are not set or standard because I like to go in my workshop and create without every step having rules or guidelines. I’m always looking for ways to improve any aspect of the process.
When it comes to the graphics, the software I mainly use are Photoshop, Illustrater, and PainterX. Again, there’s not really a set method when it comes to my digital design process. Some of the work has been originally drawn by me on a Wacom tablet. On quite a few others I’ve taken several images and heavily “photoshopped” them into a singular composition. Some images have also had either minor alterations or are submitted by clients. Overall, I like to try and create stiks that are unique to my other designs. The majority of my custom stiks are “one of a kind” and if I decide recreate a particular one I still tend to change aspects of it in order to keep it anomalous.
I only use high quality “arcade grade” parts. This is very important because these are the most durable and best performing components you can get and are identical to what you would find in top end arcade cabinets. Whether its precision and accurate movements or mashing rapid commands these parts are made to the highest standards and can withstand the constant repetitions while operating flawlessly. The majority of joysticks and buttons I use consist of Sanwa, Seimitsu, and/or Happ brand parts. I can usually wire a stik for a specific system if someone prefers but I mainly set them up to work on either the PS3, Xbox360, or both.