Saturday 28th November - Vectrex Tournament: Vector War XIII
The annual Vector War XIII tournanemt has started today (UK time), 28th November 2023 and will complete on 4th November.
Vectrex players from all over the world can play at home and submit their scores online and there are some nice prizes to be had too.
Please note that the Vector War is for both beginner and expert players. In the Vector War you can compete with other players. It's also a good opportunity to play the Vectrex
games more extensively and get to know new games. BTW, 1st November is the Play Your Vectrex Day (PYVD) so on that day
you've got even two good reasons to play your Vectrex.
What are you wating for :) See more participation information and rules at the
Saturday 14th October - Vectrex Vectors in late 80's popular culture
Imagine stumbling on to one of your old favourite 80's bands, clicking on one of their YouTube videos at random and discovering a link to the Vectrex (another of your favourite things) that
had never dawned on you before. Well this happened to me very recently.
Although I'm familiar with the Art of Noise catalogue,
I was not so familiar with all their videos. No doubt, as a result of my YouTube history, a recommended video highlighted
to me was Paranoimia ’89
– Art of Noise & Ben Liebrand remix version.
I played this video, enjoying the avant-garde electronic pop, half looking at the screen, whilst attending to emails, and all of sudden seeing at the corner of my eye, Vectrex game graphics followed
by other familiar Vector graphics, I had to do a double take, rewind the video, as I couldn't believe
what i was seeing. I remembered this video back in the day, the fast changing images changing in quick succession as per homage to the blipverts
shown in the Max Headroom show. I remember the Lego doors shutting open and close
and the other random images, but I never remembered the Vector images. I immediately recognised the footage as that from the Vectrex Star Trek game, but I couldn’t immediately place the vector graphics that followed
which depict a single spaceship shown in different orientations. This was until I recalled the 1982 movie "Android".
It wasn’t a great movie, but for me, it is of high interest because a number of Vectrex
consoles are embedded into the bridge of a space station that is presented in the movie. Art of Noise known for their sampling of sound seem to have applied this technique to the “borrowing” of video. The
footage of the vector graphics I captured in the video, is exactly the same sequence of footage as in the Android movie, they must have lifted it straight from the movie.
Researching into the background about the use of the Vectrex in the movie, the different space ship orientations representing a tactical display, were customised graphics which were programmed into a
Vectrex ROM by no other than Mark Indicator (who was the author of the Vectrx games: Star Trek, Spin Bll, Mail Plane, Tour de France and Polar rescue).
Android Movie ('82)
I have highlighted a Vectex with a red circle in a
clip from the movie. The whole Android film is
available to watch on YouTube.
I only recommend it to Vectrex die-hards,
the plot of the movie isn't that great, but you
can make a game of it and keep a t tally on
the amount of time you see Vectrex related content :)
Sunday 16th July - False starts (but getting there in the end)
I know, I know, despite the previous post, no regular updates from me for the Vectrex world. After moving back into the rebuilt house I am
slowly putting order back to the rooms. This has many negatives (as in, a lot of stuff is in boxes and
the “man-cave” remains in disarray).
Of course there can be small positives too, where I find my old projects and the freshness of seeing them after a long period
makes me think again they are cool projects and need to be finished. There was one long term project
where I just couldn’t find the space to set it up again - it being relatively large, had remained packed in a corner under a dust cover
and surrounded by other boxes. This being the VecCab, the Vectrex mounted in full size (Cabaret style cabinet) project.
I recently beratd myself on my poor progress when I revisited the VecCab blog to
see that this project started in June 2012! Well, this weekend, I cleaned a room out, and the VecCab is back in action!
There is still much to complete but it's playable. It combines a number of different elements (UV lighting, VecFever,
AutoFire, VecVox, custom converted Jamma cabinet etc.) This makes the system very unique and the effect is brilliant
even if I do say so myself :)
Ps. I've updated the VecCab blog too with some more images.
Sunday 12th February - I'm back !!!
Crush of Lucifer
After what in effect ended up being over a year sabbatical from the Vectrex world, I present my first news entry here. This time last year,
I started a house renovation/extension project that was supposed to be a 6 month project but which is still is ongoing (but now reaching a
final conclusion!) I had to move out into a small flat whilst the build was taking place and pretty much emptied and refilled each room in
my old house. This put a curb on my Vectrex website updates and all my other hobby projects. I did take a Vectrex with me to the flat and
that was a regular “fix” (There was no TV in the flat and I had minimal access to Wifi) in-between all the build shenanigans.
Crush of Lucifer was my last Vectrex game purchase which I played continuously from September last year. This game originally an unknown 1983
prototype surfaced from a former Milton Bradley employee, and then commercialised by Sean Kelly. The finishing touches and other minor fixes
were applied by Chris Binarystar. You fly a space fighter ship in a 3D world, first shooting at waves of towers, negotiating obstacles and
ultimately a the big boss Lucifer himself. Considering its vintage, this is a really a great game and one that would have been amazing to see
back in the day
Having put some order back to the man cave (there’s still much to tidy – there’s a building dust on all my stuff and a lot of things are
still in boxes), it is only the last couple of weeks I am starting to catch up with the latest developments Vectrex world.
There has been some really good stuff released and it seems the Vectrex fan base is still growing and feeding that is a new supply of games and hardware.
I have been following with interest the output from Minsoft who is currently developing Vyrzon. This is a space shooter type game which I’ve been
fortunate to beta test from the early days. A really great game with great graphics and sound. I rate this as high as Malban’s Vectorblade!
Official release seems imminent (with box and overlay) this year.
Most remarkable for me is the recent stuff that Thomas Sontowski has been doing. Firstly, in November last year, in order to mark the milestone of
40 years of the Vectrex, he made available a public release of his Asteroids clone “Rocks ‘n’ Saucers. You don’t need a VecFever to play this,
as the game is available as a Vectrex Binary that can be burned to EEPROM or copied onto a Multicart. Then the day before Christmas last year,
Thomas released a new firmware for the VecFever and this included the three vectorised raster arcade games: Vector Kong, Bomb Jack, and Pooyan.
These games are emulated and require the MAME roms. You might think that raster games graphics don’t transfer well to Vector. But actually, if you
take Vector Kong as an example, the game play is identical to the original Donkey Kong and the Vector graphics are quite endearing.
So I’m back, and will be ramping up my Vectrex and related hobbies. Looking forward to it, and wishing you all dear Vectrex fans, happy times with your Vectrex.
Ps Thanks to those who after seeing no activity from me on my website and FaceBook in general asked if I was ok. Apologies to all those who sent
me high scores last year, updating the scores page on this website is next on my list of things to do.