One of the originators of the vertical overlay format, VCabinet creates vertical overlays for MAME and also designs cabinets to play them in. Created by Antolin Aguirre, VCabinet has been one of the biggest innovators in vertical overlay development, including 3D rendered cabinets and the use of shaders to simulate monitor tilt. Aguirre also often includes touches like screen glare, scratches and other elements that may not appeal to everyone, but his commitment to realism is impressive.
Follow and download VCabinet's latest overlays on his Facebook page.
One of Vertical Arcade's key contributors, ArsInvictus is a prolific creator of vertical overlays in the community, with an emphasis on high-quality art and realistic lighting, and is a big influence on our work here. His attention to detail and his sourcing and restoration of much of the original artwork makes his work stand out, and he also often provides high-quality source art to the community for cabinet restorations. His work runs the gamut of arcade games from the late '70s through the '90s, so there's something for every taste.
A popular creator of overlays thanks to his groundbreaking Realistic Arcade Overlay series, OrionsAngel combines high-quality source art with photographic cabinet elements to create some of the best overlays available. His work focuses primarily on horizontal overlays, so they won't work with a vertical cabinet, but they're some of the best for a horizontal screen. In addition to believable lighting and shading, his work is known for incorporating realistic scenes that make you feel like you're in the middle of an arcade.
Another prolific creator of realistic arcade overlays, Mr. Retrolust's biggest innovation was simulating the look of cabinets within a darkened arcade (sometimes with black light effects) with his Lights Out series. Mr. Retrolust also focuses primarily on horizontal overlays, including some deep cuts such as naughty arcade puzzle games and a variety of lesser-known Japanese games.
Mr. Retrolust's overlays can primarily be found on the forums of LaunchBox, and you can find his latest overlay releases on this forum thread.
These are just a few of the great creators out there — let us know if there are others you'd like to see here! (Visit the About page for contact info)