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Vectrex Games

The Vectrex was sold with a build-in game, Mine Storm, a derivative of the arcade hit Asteroids. The other games were sold on cartridges, which could be plugged into the right side of the console. All together more then thirty different cartridges appeared in the stores.

Most of the games for the Vectrex were to be licensed releases or copies of already existing coinop games. WT/SE had struck up a licensing agreement with well the well known vector coinop company Cinemetronics, that included full access to each other's games. Full source code was available to the Vectrex programmers, and Cinematronics had the option to release any original Vectrex games it liked as full coinop versions (which it eventually did with Cosmic Chasm).


Mine Storm on the Vectrex


Programmed by people like Paul Newell, John Hall, Mark Indicator, Bill Hawkins and Tom Sloper, development was tricky at first. Because there was no finished Vectrex console, development at first was done on oscilloscopes driven by prototype boards, and a 6809 processor simulator. According to Bill Hawkins, the only real problem with this method was the aspect ratio - since the oscilloscope was square and the Vectrex screen was to be rectangular. After about two months when the Vectrex console prototype had actually been developed, development was moved to S100 based CPM computer with two 8" floppy drives - one for the CPM operating system and one for the data.

By April 1982, Scramble, Mine Storm, Bezerk, Rip Off and Star Trek were completed. Work is immediately started on other games such as the Vectrex original Cosmic Chasm. Conceptually designed by Jeff Corsiglia, and programmed by Bill Hawkins, this turned out to be the only game converted in to a coinop by the Cinematronics agreement. According to Bill, it only took him six weeks to do Cosmic Chasm (unlike the three months and 12 boxes of disks to do Rip Off) because while the rest of the programmers were out of town one weekend he stole two more drives from another programmer's setup.

Somewhere along the line, it was decided that color overlays would be used. Overlays, which originated in coinops, served a multitude of purposes. In the early through late 70's, coinops were in black and white. If you wanted color, you would literally affix colored cellophane strips to the monitor screen, such as was done in Atari's Breakout or Taito's Space Invaders. Likewise, if the playfield was to be to complicated to draw (be it in detail, or a color problem) because of the graphics limitations of the time, overlays could be used to render permanent backgrounds or give ambiance. Such as in the asteroid backround in Atari's Asteroid Deluxe, or the stairwell in Cinematronic's Warrior. Other overlays would be on the protective plastic screen itself instead of the monitor, and add anything from exciting borders to game instructions.

Miva Filoseta was given the job of designing the Overlays for the Vectrex. The problem's with game designing would occur here however, because of someone's decision to have Miva do the overlays only after the game was finished. Because of this, none of the programmers would make their game with any sort of an overlay in mind. Filoseta did not design the first four overlays (Mine Storm, Cosmic Chasm, Rip Off, Scramble [?]); those were designed by Rick Irons.

Original Vectrex Games by GCE - click for more info

  • Armor Attack
  • Bedlam
  • Berzerk - ™ of Stern Electronics Inc., 1980
  • Blitz!
  • Clean Sweep (aka Mr. Boston) - ™ of GCE, 1982
  • Cosmic Chasm - ™ of GCE, 1982
  • Fortress of Narzod
  • Heads Up (aka Soccer Football) - ™ of MB 1983
  • Hyperchase
  • Mine Storm / II - ™ of GCE, 1982 -
  • Polar Rescue
  • Pole Position
  • Rip-Off by Bill Hawkins
  • Scramble - ™ of Konami, 1981
  • Solar Quest - ™ of Cinematronics Inc., 1981
  • Spinball (aka Flipper Pinball)
  • Space Wars - ™ of Cinematronics Inc., 1978
  • Spike
  • Star Castle
  • Star Trek (aka Star Ship) - ™ of GCE, 1982
  • Starhawk
  • Web Wars (aka Web Warp)

Original Vectrex Games by Bandai, Japan

  • Harmagedon - ™ of Bandai Japan, 1982

Unreleased GCE prototypes (but some on the market)

  • Berzerk II
  • Cube Quest (100 carts & boxes are known)
  • Dark Tower
  • Pitcher's Duel (100 carts & boxes are known)
  • Tour De France

Original games for the 3D Imager

Unreleased 3D Imager prototype

  • 3D Pole Position

Homebrew Games for the 3D Imager

Homebrew Multigame Cartridges


Original applications for the Light Pen - published in 1983

  • AnimAction
  • Art Master
  • Melody Master

Unreleased prototypes for the Light Pen

  • Engine Analyzer
    (later released on Sean Kelly's Multicart 1996-1999)
  • Melody Master II
  • Mail Plane


Homebrew games for the Vectrex System

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

  • Becky's Message - by Dan Siewers
  • Koko's Retribution - by Dan Siewers
  • I, Cyborg - by Fury ULD
  • Thrust - by Ville Krumlinde

2003

2002

2001

2000

  • Moon Lander - by Clay Cowgill
  • Omega Chase - by Christopher Tumber
  • Ronen's Game Cart - Ronen Habot
  • Spike's Water Balloons Analog by J.D.
  • Vaboom! - by Ronen Habot
  • Vectrace - by Ronen Habot
  • Version Nine (AKA VIX)
    by Christopher Tumber
  • Vexperience - B.E.T.H. & Vecsports Boxing
    by Manu
  • Sean Kellys MultiCart v2 -

1999

1998

  • Omega Chase Deluxe (based on Omega Race)
  • Spike Hoppin - by John Dondzila
  • Vecmania - by John Dondzila
  • Vectrex Maze - by Chris Salomon
  • V-Frogger - by Chris Salomon
  • Vectrex Pong

1996

International Play Your Vectrex Day once more, slated for November 1st, marking the month of the debut of the Vectrex many years ago!


 


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Related Links and sources

classicgaming.gamespy.com
wikipedia.orgVectrex
vgdb.vectrex.com


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