My Vectrex Projects

I may do another Vectrex Site which may possibly be a bit more organised and make a bit more sense... Then again, I may not get the time... 

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’d also appreciate any comments on the ideas I'm currently thinking of implementing.

Games currently in progress or still under development...

Watch this space...

Completed Games... 

(As in I've stopped working on them)

Vectrex Circus v1.5 (this version not in development)
The game-play code is mostly in testing now. The  attract page is pretty much complete. I dropped the large line graphic in favour of the 'CIRCUS VECTREX' text, where the 'CIRCUS' characters flash between the two luminescences.
The ten objects per line are now simple lines, but this allows for a much smother screen drawn, and in my testing it removes the alignment issues that were appearing on a real Vectrex display.
The top and bottom lines still scroll from right to left, with the the middle line scrolling  from left to right.
The game speed starts off fairly slow, but increases a little with each object removed. Clearing a line brings back all objects, decreasing the games speed and making it easier to aime and hit other objects..
There are now simple bounce and hit sound effects, as well as continually playing title screen music. The man has rotate, bounce, and dead animations, and the gravity/bounce effects have been tweeked, and the existing bounce bugs were removed.
The Acrobat still moves in a ball-bounce manner, as a more natural jump arc didn't sit well with the game.


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.

Spike and the Angry Vortex Bird (give me a better title and I'll use it!)
This was  my first  semi-serious attempt at making a Vectrex game.

It’s (very) loosely based on an old ZX spectrum game called 'Twister: Mother of Harlots' game, but with a different end-screen 'boss' level.

This is basically a dodge-em and collect-em-up. The player has to avoid, or destroy,  the flying diamond 'missile' shapes and the rectangular horizontal and vertical 'wall' shapes 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.

Testing/Demo programs,

and concept ideas...

This is test game that is an 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 in the engine. It is however, a full game which is fully playable and does have an end.





There is no scoring in this game, as it's more of a free-roaming puzzle and exploration game, and although there is a timer ans 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.

Floppy Fish
Right now all that exists of  this is just a very rough quick de-make of the Flappy Bird concept, which shouldn't be considered a playable finished game, and some half finished routines and plans for improvement.. The Flappy-Bird De-Make was originally just done as a bit of a joke, but I think it played OK for a quick mash-up... I originally knocked the 'Flappy Bird' de-make out in just a couple of nights ( 5ish hours work) and no optimisation, or play testing, has been done to this code at all!
So what you get is a very rough demo program, not to be compared with the excellent 'Veccy Bird' flappy bird program already out there...

 I've put up some screen shots of my original effort:
++ Some routines from the original 'Flappy Bird' de-make test program have now somewhat migrated into 'Floppy Fish' (which should have shooting and treasure to collect) 
But it still needs a lot of work and improvement before I'd call it a finished game. 


Monster House
This was a very early learning program, that I wrote a while ago. I've put the assembly up here in case anyone wants to look at it for learning purposes.
I started off writing some basic drawing and movement routines, before writing the very simple ‘Monster House’ program. 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, as that could be pushing it a little bit too far.
(maybe call it a Lo-Tec demo)

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

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.
Or you can download the binary file here (not a finished game).

N.B. The Monster House code is really only of use for example purposes, and shouldn't be taken as a 'game.'

Ideas on the back burner...

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.

Maxwels Deamons  - 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 Theorem. (Look the theorem up, it's interesting!)
The idea was latently 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...

You can also download the AS09 assembler program and the VECX Vectrex emulation application from this site.
To Compile a assembly source file using as09 type:   as09 -i  {.asm file goes here}
To Run  a pre-compiled binary file using vecx type:    vecx -c {.bin file goes here}

You don't  need to compile anything to run the .bin files already there.
E.g. to run the ‘Retro Devolved’ program you simple need to extract the files to a directory, go into that directory, and type vecx –c retdev.bin from the prompt.
The emulator will then start running the selected program.

N.b. the, quick and dirty,  'vecx' emulator has no sound support, but the excellent and full featured 'ParaJVE' emulator does - amongst many more options...


  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.

  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.

  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! :-)

  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!

  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.


  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.


  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.

  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?

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

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

  14. Hi Gary,
    would you allow me to include your bins and sources to the Vide package?

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


  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.

  16. Play now free games online dynamons world cool math games and heroes of myths game and flappy bird online.