The first tweaking you may is to the DVE display mode and can be accomplished by opening Vectrex.ini in Notepad (if you use another text editor, make sure you save the file in .TXT form). The default DISPLAY_MODE is 0 for DVE1.40 (640x480) and 1 for DVE2.0 (800x600). Available modes are:
0 Mode 640x480 Pixel 256
1 Mode 800x600 Pixel 256 colors
2 Mode 1024x768 Pixel 256 colors
3 Mode 1280x1024 Pixel 256 colors
4 Mode 1600x1200 Pixel 256 colors
5 Mode 320x200 Pixel 256 colors (2.0 only)
Once you find the right mode (example 3) then edit the DISPLAY_MODE number to (example 3) and your emulator will only use the overlays corresponding to that number and only use .VOL file settings corresponding to that number (example SCREEN DIVX 3 49, SCREEN DIVY 3 46). That last part is advanced information you probably won't use unless you become fanatical about Vectrex emulation.
It's up to you to experiment to find the right mode and to make sure your monitor supports that display mode.
If your using 2.0 then while your in there (vectrex.ini) you'll want to check out your sound and joystick settings (disabled by default). If you don't know what Seal is then set SOUND to 1. Set PCJOYSTICK to 1 or 2, but I recommend starting with 1 and a digital gamepad.
True 3D with 2.0
"Hey! Some of those games look screwed up!" you say. Well, you're probably talking about Mine Storm 3D, Narrow Escape, or Crazy Coaster. Those games were designed to be used by a pair of mechanical 3D goggles hooked up to a real Vectrex. They not only provided true 3D, but also full true color. Well, here are some tips for getting the most from each game with DVE 2.0.
First, the bad news. Crazy Coaster and Minestorm 3D can't be emulated in true 3D just yet, but below are the optimum settings for making the games perfectly playable.
Narrow Escape. First, get a pair of 3D glasses (blue lens on left, red on right). Next, open up Narrow.vol with notepad and change the IMAGER_MODE number to 2 (change it to 4 if you want to play without glasses) and then go to FILE and hit "Save". Put the glasses on and start the game and let your eyes adjust until the 3D effect happens in the background first, midground second, and foreground last. Move your ship out of the way to the bottom of the screen and just focus on the playfield. It's similar to trying to see Magic Eye pictures for the first time. My eyes took about 5 minutes before the effect was totally complete. It reminds me very much of the 3D effect from Nintendo Virtual Boy (for which an emu is in the works). Totally convincing.
TIP: Some comic books with 3D glasses and glasses from comic shops have the red lense on the left, make sure to reverse those glasses so the red lense is on the right. Also, seeing the 3D image will require you to "relax" your eyes (opposite of crossing them). When your ship first appears, lower it to the bottom and then pretend you are looking through your monitor at an object 2 feet behind it. When the playfield appears, it should not be a double image but a single 3D one.
ANOTHER TIP: Make another copy of Narrow.bin in the same folder and rename the second one Narrow3d.bin. Then make another copy of Narrow.vol in the same folder and rename the second one Narrow3d.vol. Then add Narrow3d.bin to the GUI (see below). Edit, in notepad, Narrow.vol so the imager_mode is 4, and edit Narrow3d.vol so the imager_mode is 2. Now, you can switch between the two with the game menu.
Otherwise...Open 3dczycyst.vol, then mine3.vol, and then (if you don't have red/blue glasses) narrow.vol in Notepad and change the IMAGER_MODE settings as follows:
Minestorm 3D - 2
Crazy Coaster - 4
Narrow Escape - 4
Not perfection, but playable and fun. And check out the instructions for Crazy Coaster in the Text folder or you might not get too far. Also, if Crazy Coaster appears small small on your screen then cut and paste the following into 3dczycyst.vol, replacing the old SCREEN settings:
SCREEN DIVX 0 150
SCREEN DIVY 0 132
SCREEN DIVX 1 130
SCREEN DIVY 1 130
SCREEN DIVX 2 120
SCREEN DIVY 2 120
SCREEN DIVX 3 49
SCREEN DIVY 3 46
SCREEN DIVX 4 60
SCREEN DIVY 4 60
and fiddle with the numbers for your particular display mode. SCREEN DIVX [mode] xxx and SCREEN DIVY [mode] xxx settings affect the size of the game on the screen for a particular display mode.
Adding New Games to DVE 2.0
The easiest way to add games is to edit the bottom of Vectrex.ini, plugging in the new game filenames and then accessing those games by hitting Alt - [F1 to F12].
To add games to the GUI, open up vgames.hlf (in the Help.dat folder) in notepad and paste the following into it between two other similar entries:
TEXT "[title of new game here]"
BUTTON 0 12304 "..\\tool.dat\\game.pcx" "[filename of new game here]" ADD_X 2
BUTTON 0 8209 "..\\tool.dat\\help.pcx" "none.hlf" ADD_X 10
If you make a mistake, just unzip vgames.hlf over again from the zip file and start over.
More About .HLF Files...
(in help.dat folder) You already know how to add games to vgames.hlf, but you can also
change the dimensions of the window with these settings:
You can decrease WIN_SIZE_X to maybe 180 to make it slimmer. You can Increase WIN_SIZE_Y so that the menu shows all games without you scrolling, but increase it slowly so the menu doesn't go off the screen. You can also fool with the win_pos settings but right-dragging the Move Window button is easier.
(in help.dat folder) The same adjustments can be made to credits.hlf so that it is not so
obtrusive everytime you start the emuator. My settings are:
The window is small enough in my display mode that I dont even bother closing it. If you want to know who helped out with this emulator you can always read credits.txt.
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