Jump to content

CUSTOM OVERLAYS MADE?


Recommended Posts

15 hours ago, Video 61 said:

does anybody make, or know where i might be able to get custom overlays made for an atari controller?

This really depends quality and quantity. If homebrew artists on other sites are able to release low-volume games with quality overlays (Intellivision, ColecoVision, Atari 5200, Jaguar and others) it's clearly able to be done. The question isn't just "who" but "how"? I suspect a number of these are hand cut as opposed to die cut, but I know I've seen die cut homebrew overlays recently.

You could easily print them on cardstock using a home bubblejet printer, cut them by hand and laminate them, but that wouldn't be a very effective solution. Customers would likely see those as a sloppy solution for an overlay that will likely be prone to folding, creasing, torn tabs, and wearing out prematurely.

You could have them printed professionally with offset printing, but that comes at a cost, and most likely a *minimum quantity*. If you could get that minimum quantity down from something like 1,000 pcs to 100pcs with digital printing. The problem is the unique shape of overlays - they aren't straight squares or rectangles, typically they have little tabs that jut out at either end (although that's not always the case, as with Intellivision) so this would still likely require a die cut.

I've worked with different print shops and marketing companies in the past that could easily manufacture quality full color overlays - but at what quantity?

Some homebrew artists out here have already worked through these problems and found a solution. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Justin is it possible to contact one or more of those companies?  Maybe show them both 5200 and Jaguar overlays and see what they can come up with.  If we can at least gain knowledge on costs maybe we can find a balance between quantity and quality that might be affordable.  

What type of material were the Jaguar overlays made from?  Was it mylar?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a dumb thought right after I posted that.  Sign shops.  Bare with me.  

I wonder if we could obtain a decent used plotter from a sign shop.  Why?  Those use both ink and knifes.  The knife is used to cut through sheets of vinyl and the amount of pressure can be adjusted.  I had to operate one at the sign shop I worked at.  Granted the one I used couldn't do full color graphics but there are some that can.  Let me do some research and reach out to my cousin Gary.  He is the one I worked with and who taught me everything about the sign business.  He might know something that could help.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dude you’re going in heavy with obtaining all the equipment needed to make these. That would be costly and I don’t think you would make your money back in the long run. That’s a lot of overhead. If V61 was cranking those babies out day and night that would make sense. Right now it’s just 100 pieces here, another 100 there. You’re not running off 20,000 a week.

The most cost-effective way would be to have a local print shop print these for you. There is a cost involved in having them cut, particularly if they have to come up with a unique shape for a die-cut that would match the shape of an overlay for a Jaguar, or a 5200, where there are a little tabs at the end. However it’s not an exorbitant cost, and certainly not as much as having to buy the equipment.

Any local print shop can print these professionally for you. There will be a minimum order, probably around 100 to 250 pieces.

There’s no reason for a print shop to design these from scratch. We all know the measurements, and Steve and I can collaborate on whatever needs to be done and provide the printer with the appropriate files so that there is zero design expense involved, only printing.

This isn’t one of those “print at home” jobs because an overlay is not a sticker, it has to have structure and durability to it so it can be pressed and used again and again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Justin said:

We all know the measurements, and Steve and I can collaborate on whatever needs to be done and provide the printer with the appropriate files so that there is zero design expense involved, only printing.

I think I can help you when the time comes, Justin. Please feel free to give the word when we need to do it. I can help. Of course. :O)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI these guys are great, I use them all the time and have met with them in person and toured their facility. Locally owned family establishment with nice working class people printing things locally. They're called Direct Impressions, they specialize in mailing marketing materials but they can do anything. Last time I was there, they were printing real estate flyers and high school yearbooks. As much as I like them, there are countless print shops that can do this same thing in every home town, and I'm sure many in the Twin Cities that Lance and Steve could visit in person. Direct Impressions is my primary print shop here in Florida, when I lived in North Carolina I used a local one there as well. They were good, but I like Direct Impressions here in my town:

https://www.directimpressions.com

Richard Boye
Sales & Marketing
Direct Impressions
RichB@DirectImpressions.com
www.DirectImpressions.com
239.549.4484 Office
239.851.6305 Cell
800.490.5546 Toll Free
239.945.2344 Fax

 

We also have another local one which I used to have stock certificates created for Syzygy and they did a wonderful job. I'll have to find an old Syzygy Stock Certificate and post it for you guys to see, it's absolutely amazing for what it is, and they also did our metal business cards. Lance did I ever send you any Syzygy stickers for your warehouse? They would go great with your Jaguar bumper stickers! These guys are called Panther Printing and you can find them here:

http://www.pantherprinting.net

info@PantherPrinting.net
800.336.8005 Toll-Free
239.643.9999 Naples & Marco Island
239.936.5050 Fort Myers
239.542.1050 Cape Coral

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, DegasElite said:

The overlays might be made of Mylar.

I have my doubts. It's possible that they are. At this point I don't really know what "overlays" you guys are even talking about? Are we talking about Jaguar here? Atari 5200? Intellivision? Each one was a little different. Those Intellivision ones were printed on a type of film and I don't recommend going that route. Jaguar and Atari 5200 ones were both on a type of coated card stock, but very different from each other. The Atari 5200 ones had a matte finish and felt pretty high end for what they were. The Jaguar ones felt cheaper, but had a glossy top that made me thing it was just gloss or UV print on a type of stamped and die-cut cardstock. 

If you sent a print shop a sample, they could match it up as best they can to the products they have available and offer you a few options that you could choose from based on price and quality.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a quick look at some Syzygy I/O items I've made over the years. I designed everything from the logo to the business cards to the stock certificates, and sourced the printing out to print professionals who could do the job right. Metal business cards were cut by the same team that makes Kevin Mitnick’s legendary lock picking metal business cards. They were always on time and under budget, and everything always looked like a million bucks. I think I sent Lance some of these way back when. I can send these to any of you guys who would like them. Let me find the stock certificates and some other items to take pictures of and post as samples. Here's a look at the business cards and some other items:

 

large.syzygy_1.jpg

 

large.syzygy_2.jpg

 

large.syzygy_3.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Syzygy I/O Stock Certificate printed on "graphite" style paper with a nice sheen, foil embossed with the red logo. You'll see that because of the "graphite sheen" nature of the paper, it makes it fairly difficult to photograph. You'll be able to get an idea of what it looks like in person though. I included a SanDisk microSD for size comparison:

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_1.jpg

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_2.jpg

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_3.jpg

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_4.jpg

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_5.jpg

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_6.jpg

 

large.syzygy_stock_certificate_7.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Justin said:

Dude you’re going in heavy with obtaining all the equipment needed to make these. That would be costly and I don’t think you would make your money back in the long run. That’s a lot of overhead. If V61 was cranking those babies out day and night that would make sense. Right now it’s just 100 pieces here, another 100 there. You’re not running off 20,000 a week.

The most cost-effective way would be to have a local print shop print these for you. There is a cost involved in having them cut, particularly if they have to come up with a unique shape for a dicot that would match the shape of an overlay for a Jaguar, or a 5200, where there are a little tabs at the end. However it’s not an exorbitant cost, and certainly not as much as having to buy the equipment.

Any local print shop can print these professionally for you. There will be a minimum order, probably around 100 to 250 pieces.

There’s no reason for a print shop to design these from scratch. We all know the measurements, and Steve and I can collaborate on whatever needs to be done and provide the printer with the appropriate files so that there is zero design expense involved, only printing.

This isn’t one of those “print at home” jobs because an overlay is not a sticker, it has to have structure and durability to it so it can be pressed and used again and again.

You're right on the equipment part.  It was a far stretch.  But I have seen what my cousin's equipment is capable of doing.  I just thought if need be he might be willing to help us out.

But what Justin has suggested might very well be the better way to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW:

  1. None of these items are "fancy" or expensive. Everything was ordered for pennies per piece. I created all of the design work and provided all of the print-ready files to the printers. You can look really good for less than a pack of ink cartridges. It can be done.
     
  2. I'm the legally registered owner of the "SYZYGY" trademark since June 21, 1993 according to the United States Federal Government. Here are some registration documents provided below which show SYZYGY registered to me in four classes, namely: Video Game Hardware, Software, Clothing, and Printed items such as books and comics. We never claimed any direct lineage to Atari-Syzygy. I chose the name "Syzygy" to honor our creative roots of coming from Atari, as almost everyone on our team were former Atari people, from the top down, who wanted to continue that Atari "creative thread" into the future, despite that thread having been cut. We were all h4x0rs and gamers and creative people, Regan was doing all of our product design and Gene had done Chuck E. Cheese with Nolan and served as our business-minded figurehead. He was amazing and fun, everybody was. The "SYZYGY" name not only was abandoned and had not been in use for some time, it had never been registered nor exercised by Nolan and the guys in 1972. There was never a question about this.

 

large.syzygy_trademark_uspto_certificate.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Justin said:

I have my doubts. It's possible that they are. At this point I don't really know what "overlays" you guys are even talking about? Are we talking about Jaguar here? Atari 5200? Intellivision? Each one was a little different. Those Intellivision ones were printed on a type of film and I don't recommend going that route. Jaguar and Atari 5200 ones were both on a type of coated card stock, but very different from each other. The Atari 5200 ones had a matte finish and felt pretty high end for what they were. The Jaguar ones felt cheaper, but had a glossy top that made me thing it was just gloss or UV print on a type of stamped and die-cut cardstock. 

If you sent a print shop a sample, they could match it up as best they can to the products they have available and offer you a few options that you could choose from based on price and quality.

I prefer the matte finish over the gloss one personally.  It makes those overlays easy to read and avoids glare.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Is that graphite paper durable?  Could it be used as an overlay?

Good question @Atari 5200 Guy. It's durable to be touched, ink won't rub off and you won't easily wear through the paper. However, it's still paper, you can still tear through it about as easy as any other paper, and it crinkles and bends at the edges if you're not careful. You'll want something that's not paper for an overlay. I just took this picture for you, take a look:

 

stock_paper_crinkled.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just now, Justin said:

Good question @Atari 5200 Guy. It's durable to be touched, ink won't rub off and you won't easily wear through the paper. However, it's still paper, you can still tear through it about as easy as any other paper, and it crinkles and bends at the edges if you're not careful. You'll want something that's not paper for an overlay. I just took this picture for you, take a look:

 

stock_paper_crinkled.jpg

Dang because that would have been a cool feature.  Too bad there wouldn't be a cheap way to strengthen it.  It is really nice paper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

Dang because that would have been a cool feature.  Too bad there wouldn't be a cheap way to strengthen it.  It is really nice paper.

Yeah it's really cool paper, and again it's doable, it's not anything expensive to do, but if you're working on an overlay project it would need to be something other than paper. Card stock with a coating, etc. If you give a rep from a print shop a sample of what you're trying to do, they can get back to you with samples of what they have and what they can do for you. You'll know it when you feel it in your hands. Overlays are weird. They always feel so delicate, and the Atari overlays (5200 and Jag) both felt papery on the underside, and filmy on the top.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Atari 5200 Guy said:

I have seen what my cousin's equipment is capable of doing.  I just thought if need be he might be willing to help us out.

@Atari 5200 Guy if you have a cousin who already has the equipment to print and stamp out controller overlays, that would be a terrific option. If he's willing to help you out, or do this for a reasonable price, that's likely the best way to go! Having to buy the equipment needed to make a small run of overlays is a different story, and would likely be the most costly route to go.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm wondering, would a 3D printed template be a viable option?  I'm thinking the main template could be four layers thick and probably be thin and pliable enough, the lettering would need to be two layers to be readable.  I however do not have the design skills.  It's just a thought.  If it worked anyone would be able to download and print whatever they wanted. 

<<< My YouTube Page >>>

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...