I've read the thread, and seen your Instagram. All super impressive stuff and I'm really looking forward to this case, and judging by the work and level of attention and care you've shown thus far, I think it would be a disservice to your project to just throw it on the market and for there to be any shortage of supply due to a limited production run. Of course it's a balancing act based on financial considerations vs demand, but with your case, or something similar, (and I don't pretend to know what your launch plans are), I see it as possibly an inflection point for the MiSTer project to reach a vastly wider audience than has been achieved thus far. MiSTer [as a retro-gaming experience] is ready for prime time. There are potentially massive things to come in terms of cores (PSX?? Saturn??), but what is here now is already utterly amazing. However, what we are seeing in the past 6-12 months or-so is that of incremental refinement of existing cores rather than many new headlining new features. This suggests to me that the project is reaching a certain level of maturity and we are quickly approaching the limits of the capability of the DE10-Nano. Once the point is reached that the DE10-Nano is fully tapped-out, it's possible the development community will want to move to another board with enhanced performance, but I think we are maybe 3 years out from that happening.
What is the MiSTer really competing against? Raspberry Pi/RetroPi on one side and Analogue systems like the Mega SG on other. Plus the myriad of other devices where people can play retro games, like Android devices and PCs. I don't want to get into the discussion of emulation vs FPGA here, we could discuss the pros & cons of that 'til the cows come home, but I think outside of a relatively few, most people don't understand the benefits of FPGA recreations of classic consoles/computers/arcade games just yet, but nor do they really need to understand the intricacies of what makes it better. Sure, FPGA isn't a silver bullet that suddenly makes everything 100% cycle-accurate, but an attempt can and should be made to educate. However, the real selling of MiSTer will be in the direct experience... and that is where a case such as yours comes in, as I believe the single biggest barrier for entry for beginners is the hardware set-up, both in terms of simple acquisition and the gap in knowledge.
The cut a long-winded comment down, what I'm suggestion is a crowd-funding campaign for your case on a platform such as Indiegogo. I think this would allow you to secure fund to complete development and production of your case and offer a turn-key solution for many people to get into this space. Perhaps production of the case in a limited capacity is all your strive for, and I wouldn't disagree with you that this might be the best approach, but I just thought I would jot my thoughts down here to maybe get you considering such a thing and to analyse the possibility a little.
To me, MiSTer is a miracle and an amazing demonstration of the open-source ethos and what can happen with open-collaboration. The whole software stack (from what I understand) is open-source, and all the add-on boards are also open source. Thus, I feel that if you were to go down this path of launching a crowd-funding campaign based on the work of Sorgelig and the vast army of developers, it would be prudent to make your case and its designs open-source too in order to gain the full acceptance and support of the MiSTer development community. This may not be something you are willing or prepared to do which is understandable, but without it, a crowdfunding campaign wouldn't get off the ground I think. I'm not entirely sure how money is made on open source hardware, and I don't know what your goals are with the case you're producing. Is it a passion-project? A profit-driven endeavour? Giving back to the community? Only you can answer these things, and you're completely within your right to go in whatever direction you see fit here. I do feel though, that if you open-sourced this and worked with the main MiSTer developers on making this an "official" high-end product of-sorts for the MiSTer, it would open a lot of doors, in terms of acceptance of the product within the community to secure the software support of the case for the duration of "MiSTer on DE10-Nano"'s life-cycle. All this is probably asking for way too much. Alterations would perhaps need to be made based on feedback and suggestion, but I think the foundation of what you have done is already solid, and MickGuyver's Daemonbite is already highly-regarded, so it doesn't seem like a giant leap to me, but I'm speaking strictly as an outsider here. Perhaps nobody knows what the vision and future of the MiSTer project entails for the next 3-5 years, but if anyone knows, it's the likes of Sorgelig. My estimate on the cost of the MSTR case (I forgot it has a name) is around $150-180 based on what is already on the market and the amount of other boards/components it's a substitute for and the additional features on top. I think whatever you charge, I'm on board for getting one because it's exactly what I'm looking for, but my primary concern is that perhaps a new expansion board gets pushed out, like the possibility of an add-on board for Saturn support (I don't think we'll see an add-on board for Saturn) or some other type of expansion board. Point is, it would be heartbreaking for me as a consumer if I got the MSTR, but could not accommodate newer expansions that come along, having to make a choice between continuing with the case or chasing the expansion. Perhaps the official MiSTer as-is is all that it will ever be and we don't need to worry about the future, or perhaps nobody knows because the development of MiSTer is community-driven and thus largely organic in terms of where it goes. Regardless, it seems prudent to somehow ensure the future viability of the MSTR while at the same time somehow not impeding upon the project itself to be able go where it needs to. I'm sure as a designer you only see compromise of your vision in taking this kind of approach, but again, I'm just spitballing here, just some food-for-thought.
If you were to launch a crowd-funding campaign for the MSTR, there would be a number of tiers. Off the top of my head, you would have two main targets, people who already own a MiSTer and those who don't. For those who already own a MiSTer, you could offer just the case in a single colour. You could introduce other colours or limited edition colours for higher tiers or stretch goals too. Bulk sales could be offered for retailers. You could have all the different adapters as add-on purchases. You could start with the two/three most popular ports, i.e. SNES, Genesis, DB9 perhaps, and then have other adapters as stretch-goals. Anyway, you get my point... for the maker crowd and the early adopter, you of course would offer the stand-alone case. This part is a no-brainer.
Where it gets kind of interesting as well though is the ability to offer complete systems to end-users. I think the biggest hurdle in offering complete systems is the procurement of the DE10-Nano board in sufficient quantities, and a partner such as Digikey would perhaps need to come into play here, or perhaps the board could be directly procured from Terasic. There is also the RAM expansion, and the power supply, but I think all three of these components could be offered at-cost.
One final thought I have on this is the issue of legitimacy. Acquiring ROMs and BIOSes for the system is a legal grey-area and the single biggest hurdle for a potential product such as this. Products like the Analogue devices and the Polymega have the benefit of accepting real physical cartridges and discs, something which the MiSTer doesn't have. This ability gives those devices an air of legitimacy and degree of authenticity that the MiSTer doesn't have and this may be a hurdle too far to circumvent. Could one really secure supply of the DE10-Nano board when it's heavily subsidised by the likes of Intel for a use-case such as this one? For this reason, it's probable that MiSTer remains in the realm of the hobbyist and enthusiast and it is my feeling that that is where the maintainers of the project are most comfortable in staying. The attention that something like a crowdfunding campaign might bring might not be something that would be appreciated and might even put the whole MiSTer project at risk somehow.
One way to navigate this issue might be to make available an SDK or IDE and sell it concurrently as a development and education platform for HDL and Verilog, but this is likely going way out of the remit of a product like this.
Anyway, thanks for reading if you made it this far, I'd be interested to hear some of your thoughts on this, and I know I may be speaking out-of-turn on your project so maybe you don't some of the things I've said so feel free to ignore it too. Either way, I look forward to seeing what comes of the MSTR and really excited to get one on my desk.