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Sorry to make the question so vague.

What I ultimately want is software that allows people to play independent video games on a PC and not have to worry about maintaining it.

Imagine a game that was made in a few hours that does not have a restart button and crashes often. It should be able to handle these kinds of things and do more!

The software should:

  • allow the game to be restarted manually
  • handle game crashes (likely by restarting the game)
  • restrict the user from doing anything crazy


  • offer a UI to select the game from a list
  • handle pre-configured key bindings
  • cross-platform (start with windows)

I just want to know if this exists already before I start creating one. As of now AutoHotKey is being used to do this sloppily.

If such software does not exist then perhaps someone could recommend a general open source Kiosk software? Open Kiosk? I'll take anything.

(I also could not find a related tag. Not even sure if this question should be here rather than stackoverflow)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Babycastles, the indie game arcade in NYC, is starting an initiative to help people setup similar venues. The software bundle they use for their cabinets is on GitHub:

It's still early in development, but it manages restarting games and generates AutoHotKey scripts. Since it was use for their exhibitions, it's setup to maintain just one game at a time. If you're looking to provide a Steam-like game selector for arcade machines, you might want to consider contributing to expanding these tools to add that functionality.

The Babycastles site is redirecting to the Mozilla anti-SOPA page right now, but they post a lot of info on the Facebook page, and their Tumblr and Twitter accounts.

Another project to look at is Winnitron. The way it works is they maintain a central database of games and high score tables, and anybody can build their own cabinet and request authorization. Then your own Winnitron will automatically download new games and update existing ones. They have a standard mapping of keys to the joystick and two buttons, and have a nice screen for selecting installed games to play.

It's not really available for personal use, but if you'd like to setup a kiosk in a public location you can email them to get specs and the launcher software.

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Hah, I'm doing this for Babycastles. I didn't expect someone from NY to answer. Oh such a small community. Winnatron is a bit too restrictive in terms of input devices and game selection. I just figured there'd surely be other independent game communities that have created a similar application. Google failed me, so I'm trying here. – Rahil627 Nov 21 '11 at 20:59
Oh wow, haha, great running into a fellow NY game dev on here. So you're trying to improve on Trollkit or replace it entirely? – michael.bartnett Nov 21 '11 at 23:56
Arthur plans to restart it to create a neater solution, probably changing to C++ since it requires a lot of low level coding. I plan to work with him on it. – Rahil627 Nov 22 '11 at 4:18

MAME is exactly what you describe for arcade games. I haven't seen a general-purpose one though; Steam and OnLive are the closest things I can think of, if you were to maximize them on the screen and somehow restrict the player from closing them, not to mention keep the player from tampering with your account and so on.

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Hmmm, this is not quite what I'm looking for. Steam (and OnLive?) would just serve as application launchers. It doesn't handle crashes. – Rahil627 Nov 21 '11 at 21:08

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