Vectrex

This is where my Vectrex programming stuff goes...
I’ll add things as-and-when I ether update any older projects or decide to start something new. 

I've  gave this page a bit of a tidy up, so the links should work again, and I've added a few new links to some interesting stuff.

Games currently in progress or still under development...


Ok, don't know if anyone still remembers anything about this site but...

I haven't done anything with the Vectrex for years but I am looking at possibly doing some new things. Maybe finishing off some of the dropped games listed below, or perhaps something completely different.

First off I've just got an ATARI 2600 and a proper version of 'Circus Atari,' so I'm playing this to get a good handle on how the jump process works, and may  incorporating this into an updated version of 'Circus Vectrex.'

Secondly I'm looking at modifying 'Vec Wars' to make a two joystick controlled version, and I now have a second controller to test it with.
I started looking at making 'Vec Wars 2,' but first I want to see how two joysticks will affect the game-play. I'll probably post this up on forums when I make a two stick version of the current game.

And lastly Vectrex technologies have changed somewhat in the last couple of years, so I started looking at making the full game that the engine behind the 'Trapped' concept piece game was made for.
** Unfortunately a combination of a PC crash and on-line stored data loss meant I've lost pretty-much all of the initial development for this. So right now I don't really feel like starting again.


No promises for any of this, I've got enough pressure and deadlines in my day job! :)

Completed Games... 

(As in I've stopped working on them)

Circus Vectrex  v2.0 
This is (I think) the most complete version of the Circus Vextrex game.
It is the closest code to end product. And was the first game I intended to make a cartridge release for. Unfortunately all planes to release this were scuppered by various things, mostly revolving around the price to produce a set number of cartridges when I had no idea if any would sell.
This is loosely based on the Atari game, but was never meant to be a clone. The bounce physics are improved in the latest release, but are still based more on bouncing ball physics than jump physics. Honestly, just because I liked it better like that, and it's my game ;)

Gameplay:
The top of the screen consists of three rows of ten targets.
These targets continually move across the screen in the opposing direction of the line above.
The object of the game is to clear as much targets as possible, gaining points for each one hit.
The game speed starts off relatively slow, but increases a little with each target hit.
When a full row is cleared it is replenished, bringing back all the target objects for that row.
The fewer objects there are on the screen the faster the games speed increases.
So replenishing a row slows the game speed down again making it easier to aim and hit the objects.
The targets are removed by catapulting an Acrobat at them using the see-saw at the bottom of the screen.
The Acrobat movement works in a manner similar to a break-out style game, causing the Acrobat to tumble through the targets, clearing them from the screen.
However, the Acrobat may also lose momentum, if it in in the air too long and hits too much targets, causing it to fall.
In order to keep the Acrobat in play you must ensure it lands on the free side of the see-saw, launching the other Acrobat into the air.
The see-saw can be flipped by pressing any button on the controller.
A missed landing will result in the loss of a life.
When all lives are lost the game ends.

 





Vec Wars: Retro Devolved
This is a basic shooter taking inspiration from the mighty 'Geometry Wars - Retro Evolved.'

This is a very striped down version of a 'Geometry Wars' type concept, with semi-intelligent enemy movement and basic levelling up of enemy types where different types of enemy are gradually introduced during the game until all types are constantly present on screen.Five distinct types of enemy are used in total, each with their own behavioural pattern.
A laser is used to shoot, with a power bar limiting the amount of shooting you can do at any one time. When hit you are re-spawned to a random place on the screen, and all enemy movement is frozen for a limited amount of time in order for you to get out of any trouble you may be in.

You can download the latest binary heer.
I'm looking at making a two joystick version of this, just to test the game play.
Video: Vec Wars, later revision gameplay.

Spike and the Angry Vortex Bird 
This was  my first  semi-serious attempt at making a Vectrex game.

It’s (very, very) loosely based on an old ZX spectrum game called 'Twister: Mother of Harlots' game.

This is basically a dodge-em and collect-em-up. The player has to avoid, or destroy,  the flying diamond 'missiles' and the rectangular horizontal and vertical 'walls' that come towards you up the continually moving pseudo 3D corridor, whilst collecting the two-triangular 'timer' objects.
The attack-wave configuration changes four times before the end level 'boss' screen appears, where you have to kick enough of the small 'bird' objects to pass the level, whilst avoiding yet more diamond shaped 'missiles' being fired from the boss in the middle of the screen.


Spike can only avoid being hit by the moving ‘walls’ but can kick out to the left or right to hit the diamond-shaped ‘missiles.'

Enough timers must be collected in each wave in order to move to the next, but the more diamonds destroyed the mote points you get.

Kicking can be useful for getting Spike out of tight situations, although this is more dangerous that simply avoiding all enemy objects.


In the end 'boss' screen you must kick enough of the smaller bird enemies, which randomly scroll along the top and bottom of the screen, hitting enough of these will restart the main game waves.

You can download the latest  binary file heer.
Video: You can see the gameplay heer.


Trapped
This game is my first attempt at a survival horror type puzzle game on the Vectrex.
It is written using a new room-based maze generating engine that I was working on, and may still have a few underlying bugs. It is however, a full game which is fully playable and does have an end.

 

 

 

 


There is no scoring in Trapped, as it's more of a free-roaming puzzle and exploration game.
Although there is a timer and an adversary there is no shooting, so you must figure out how to escape from harm in other ways.
It's an attempt at a slightly slower paced, more thoughtful, game on the Vectrex.

Play Trapped On-Line Here.

You can see a video of this game being completed Here.




Testing/Demo programs, and concept ideas...


Monster House
This was a very early learning program, that I wrote a while ago, when first testing out assembly on the Vectrex.
It basically grew out of the ubiquitous 'Pong' type demo program that I usually write as a first game on every new platform I write for.

So, it started off as pong, with some basic drawing and movement routines, before adding the very simple ‘Monster' and 'House’ graphics. This was the first thing I had written where the user interaction had any sort of point or purpose. I wouldn't call this a 'game' exactly, it's just me learning to move things and check for collisions on the Vectrex.

In this example program a ‘monster’ (the block man thing) slowly comes down the screen towards your ‘house,’ which is randomly generated along the bottom.
You have to try and hit the monster with the continually bouncing ball by moving a bat – breakout style ish...
Don’t expect too much in the way of game-play from this though, as I said it was mainly done to get me acquainted with the basic drawing and movement ROM routines used by the Vectrex.

I've put the assembly up here in case anyone wants to look at it for learning purposes.
The code is quite simple (not to mention short) and should be relatively easy to follow.
You can view the Monster House source (ASM) file heer.

N.B. The Monster House code is really only of use for example purposes, and shouldn't be taken as a 'game' although I have seen compiled versions of this out-there on various sites.




Spike and the magic lamps - This game is not currently in development.
I looked at a concept for another 3D based collect-em-up type program, provisionally titled 'Lamp,' where you have to collect a set number of floating lamps within a given time-frame to progress to the next level where you have to collect more lamps within a tighter time-frame, and so on...

Right now this is little more that an attract-screen, a basic idea and some half written movement routines. It was the first game I started that’s based on a modular design, so I may resurrect it and add some more modules to it at some point.
Sorry no working demo is available to download...



Maxwels Daemons  - This game is not currently in development.
Currently dropped, but I may resume this using vectors instead of the 'text' for the balls. Trying to move text objects fast seems to slow processing down a lot more than simple drawing objects do.

This was an experiment with using plotted text objects and arrays to make a (bouncing ball) game based on the Maxwell's Daemon thought experiment
The idea was blatantly nicked from an old Atari 8Bit game of the same name. 
I may still do some work on this in the future. 
Sorry no working demo is available to download...


Floppy Fish This game is not currently in development.
I dropped development of this game some time ago, it just wasn't turning into something enjoyable or playable.  All that currently exists  in a 'playable' (sort of) state is the very rough (three night) de-make of the Flappy Bird concept.
This was originally just done as a bit of fun, to be intentionally bad, and shouldn't be considered a playable finished game.

Unfortunately the original version of this ROM has somehow escaped into the wild!
I even saw it played from a multi-cart on YouTube once, which I popped in and apologised for. 
If you see this ROM please pretend it doesn't exist, thank you  😉


Here are some screen shots of my original, three evening effort, so you know to avoid it ;)

  

 



21 comments:

  1. Nice work Gary! Spike and the Angry Vortex Bird line up pretty well on my real Vectrex. I like the game theme. picked it up quick and played several games.

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  2. Thanks, mine seems to pull the walls and the moving part of the background around half a centimetre to the left.
    It's not unplayable but is noticeable.

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  3. Cool and very promising Vectrex projects, Gary! I'll try out your binaries in the next couple of days. Thanks for your effort in developing for the old Vectrex console! :-)

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  4. Very cool projects indeed, keep up the good work!

    For your AtticAttac idea, you might want to develop with a VecMulti cartridge target in mind, as it provides you with 32KB of RAM (I guess the Vectrex RAM is too small for an exploration game).

    BTW, if you need a Vectrex debugger, just ask me and I will hapilly send you paraJVD.

    Thanks for sharing your work freely!

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  5. Great work Garry, are you still working on any Vectrex stuff?

    I'm just staring out myself just playing around with the tutorials and modifying them so far. Once I'm up and running would be good to find people to 'code review' with for ideas and optimisations.

    cNp

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  6. just a friendly hello to say I like some of your game concepts and I hope you have time to continue with your software development for the Vectrex.

    VectrexMad!
    http://www.vectrex.co.uk

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  7. Hello, I haven't done much Vectrex stuff for a while, but I have very recently knocked up a quick 'Flappy Bird' de-make.

    I hope to get some time to re-visit my Vectrex stuff soon.

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  8. Vectrex circus is pretty much complete now, and I was looking at releasing it on a cartridge, but it is rather expensive to produce them. Would anybody be interested?

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  9. Trapped is also complete. This is a proof of concept game written using a rooms based maze 'adventure game' type engine I'm making.

    If this goes down well I have much grander plans for this engine. With hopefully a full release cartridge game sometime in the future.


    Although it won't be soon as I've just started a new job, and need to hone up on my C# .Net and Entity Framework... all exciting stuff ;) :(

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  10. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  12. I will only remove advertising posts, not negative comments!

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  13. The quality of your blogs and conjointly the articles and price appreciating.


    cheatsplanet.org

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi Gary,
    would you allow me to include your bins and sources to the Vide package?
    (vide.malban.de)

    I cannot "auto download" your files from within Vide. Dropbox wants to set some cookies which I won't accept from within Vide.

    Regards
    Malban

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  15. Hello Malban,
    Sorry I didn't reply. Yes you can use what you want.
    I haven't looked at this stuff for a while, and may need to redo the links.

    ReplyDelete
  16. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  21. Hello, I've updated some of the bin and video links here after being told they no longer work.

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