A project log for Mechwarrior 4 Simulator Cockpit Panel

I'm building a cockpit panel for the 2002 Battlemech simulator game Mechwarrior 4: Mercenaries.

joris-wegnerJoris Wegner 01/30/2022 at 01:530 Comments

MW4: Mercenaries is a game I loved to play in my youth and has aged really well in my opinion, especially the modded MekTek MekPak version that used to be available for free - and should still be available after a quick search.

I became obsessed with building a custom UI for the game and don't really know why. I thought that a nice-looking panel with some buttons connected to an arduino would be some work but trivial in the end. So I decided to include an LCD display with a custom interface to give feedback from the game. I prepared a pixel-accurate mockup of what the interface will look like. Instead of the regular green seen in the game, I wanted an amber/yellow color scheme inspired by the turret interfaces in the Alien movie sequel. Since I couldn't find a font that matches the inspiration, I made my own. I will probably make it available as part of the project.

The layout should be flexible enough for other Mechwarrior games. Since I don't like competetive online games and don't want to support games that seem to rely on the modding community to make them work, I never upgraded to MWO or MW5 - but I might change my mind.