+-----------+ | Vectrex | Vectrex "Frequently Asked Questions" List! Created: 9/1/92 | +-------+ | version 4.0 Copyright worldwide (c) 1992, 1996 | | # + *| | version 5.0+ additions are public domain | | : X | | Created Gregg Woodcock (firstname.lastname@example.org) | | : . .| | Maintained by BaronVR (email@example.com) | | A <=>| | This list will be reposted on the first day of every month. | | . | | | | X + | | @@@ | | * x | | @@ @@@ | +-------+ @@@ +---@----+ | ### # Q@@ / ! oooo / | ### OO | +--------+ +-----------+ (duhn duht duhn duht ... duhn duht duhn dit dut) This file is copyrighted (c) 1996 by Gregg Woodcock but may be distributed in part or in whole by anyone for any purpose (commercial or otherwise) provided proper credit is given to me and the individual contributors. If you do use the FAQ, I would appreciate it if you send me a copy of whatever you are doing with it. Special thanks to Tom Sloper for correcting many mistakes and providing insightful explanations on several parts of earlier FAQ versions! Additions for version 5.0 and after are public domain and end with a date (1999 or after) in brackets and (in the html version) are in red. Q. What is Vectrex? Q. What games were released or on the drawing board before Vectrex died? Q. What projects have been released or on the drawing board since then? [6/99] Q. How does the 3-D imager work? Q. I see double images and blurry objects; is my 3-D imager broken? Q. I have a 3-D game but no imager. When I play the game it doesn't do anything; is it broken? Q. What is Minestorm/II? Q. What is the Minestorm "Wave 13" bug? Q. Well how many released versions of the Minestorm software was there? Q. What miscellaneous Vectrex items might my collection be missing? Q. Where is the Vectrex FTP archive and what is there? Any other places? Q. Isn't copying the games by burning EPROMs stealing or violating a copyright? Q. OK, I want to make a copy of a game; what is the pinout of the port? Q. Do I have to make my own multi-cart; can't I just buy one from somebody? Q. How do I play [game X]? Q. Is there a way to make a Vectrex joystick perhaps with autofire capability? Q. How can I make a copy of a screen overlay? Q. My Vectrex is very noisy; is there anything I can do to make it any quieter? Q. My joystick won't auto-center anymore; can I fix it? (AKA How do I get inside or open up my joystick?) Q. My Vectrex just shows a white dot when I turn it on. I can hear the game playing but there is no picture. Can I fix it? Q. Are there tricks or cheats for any Vectrex games? Q. What is the history of the Vectrex? Q. How can I play the games if I don't have a Vectrex? [6/99] Q. Where on the net can I find Vectrex information? [6/99] (LINKS) LIST OF PERSONS INVOLVED IN THE VECTREX DEVELOPMENT Q. What is Vectrex? Here it is in layman's terms: Vectrex is one of the most inspired video game machines ever produced (but similar things were said about the Edsel and Titanic). Its point of distinction is the fact that it uses vector "line" graphics (as opposed to raster "pixel" graphics). This is the same type of screen used in such arcade classics as Space Wars, Asteroids, Battlezone and Tempest. The machine has a 9 x 11 inch black and white screen and comes with a built-in Asteroids clone called Minestorm. The games come with plastic overlays that slide over the screen to cut down on flicker and give some illusion of color. It uses one of the most advanced 8 bit processors, the 68A09 (6809 with 1.5MHz clock speed), and a popular and excellent sound chip, General Instruments AY-3-8912, which can produce a wide range of noises. Also included is a 1.5 inch, self-centering, joystick with 4 buttons on the right. It uses an analog/potentiometer system allowing differing degrees of directional input. The machine's footprint takes up a little less than a square foot on a desk (in fact, it quite resembles a jet black Macintosh SE sans mouse and keyboard), and can be operated easily in that area. The joystick is connected via a springy telephone-like cord and can be folded into the base of the machine for portability. The machine is moderately transportable and very well constructed but, alas, very much extinct. It made its debut late in 1982 and was quite scarce by the end of 1984 due to the Great Video Game Depression of '82 which forced Milton Bradley (who bought the rights to the Vectrex from General Consumer Electronics (GCE)) to discontinue production due to to poor sales. After this, the rights to the Vectrex and all related materials were returned to the original developers, Smith Engineering. Smith Engineering has graciously condoned the not-for-profit circulation of any duplicatable materials including games and manuals and is happy to see it is still 'alive' in certain circles. Here are some more detailed snippets from the service manual: As a general description, the HP3OOO is a self-contained video game system intended for home use. The system includes its own 9" B&W monitor screen and 3" permanent magnet speaker. Plug-in ROM type cartridges are available offering arcade type video and sound game play. No external TV receiver hookup is needed or provided for. A front panel storable controller allows control over the game via joystick and push button action switches. For two player operation a second controller identical to the single player controller is available as an accessory product. Both controllers attach to the main game console through nine wire coiled telephone style cables. There is a consumer power switch/volume control on the front panel as well as a game reset button. A consumer adjustable brightness control is located on the main console rear housing. For the technical description which follows, the reader is encouraged to refer to the block diagram and schematic [not included here]. The HP3OOO is a microprocessor based, vector scan system using a standard 9" black & white CRT as its video display device. The microprocessor (MPU) is the Motorola 68A09 device. The MPU operates at 1.5 MHz from a 6 MHz external Xtal. An internal divide by 4 circuit generates the MPU 1.5 MHz "E" clock signal used in the system. Program memory is stored in the 8K x 8 bit 2363 type ROM. This ROM contains common subroutines, the "executive" or assembler instructions plus one complete game. Two 1K x 4 bit 2114 type static RAMs provide storage locations for data indicative of locations of objects, game status, and various other information needed by the microprocessor during game operation. Peripheral Interface Adapter (PIA) Chip, has two 8 bit peripheral ports which interfaces the MPU with peripheral devices and external signals. One of the PIA ports interfaces the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound-I.O. chip with the MPU and also drives the digital to analog converter chip MC1408. The other PIA port is used as control lines for the sound chip, selector control for the multiplex chip and as a means to read the A/D comparator that's used in the joystick successive approximation circuitry. Sound is either MPU generated directly or by use of the AY-3-8912 sound chip. The AY-3-8912 sound chip is a programmable sound generator containing 3 tone generators and wave shaping circuitry. This chip also has a single 8 bit I.O. port used to read the status of each of the hand controller's 4 action switches. The standard TTL device types 74LS00 and 74LS32 are used as control line decoders to allow the MPU to select the appropriate circuit element to be addressed at any particular time. The analog processing section includes digital to analog converter (DAC) chip type MC1408, dual 4 channel multiplexer/demultiplexer chip type CD4052, and dual channel op-amps types LF353 and LF347. DAC chip MC1408 receives an 8 bit word at data terminals D0-D7. DAC output (pin 4) is current source. One section of IC LF353 is used to change this current to a voltage representative of the 8 bit digital word received by the DAC chip. The LF353 voltage is applied to an input of the dual 4 channel multiplexer (MUX) chip CD4052. This same voltage (designated "DAC" on the schematic) is the X-axis drive signal. The CD4052 MUX chip serves two purposes: it selectively couples, under MPU control, the output of the DAC current/voltage converter to one of 4 places and is used to selectively couple the inputs from the joystick pots to the voltage comparator IC LF353. Back to top Q. What games were released or on the drawing board before Vectrex died? Production # Name (Notes) [Size or NR=Not Released] ------------ ---------------------------------------------------------- VT 3000 Minestorm (built-in game; Asteroids clone) [4K] VT 3000 Minestorm/II (bug free version in cart form) [4K] VT 3101 Cosmic Chasm (1st home game ported to arcade) [4K] VT 3102 Rip Off (Cinematronics arcade port) [4K] VT 3103 Scramble (Konami arcade port) [4K] VT 3104 Solar Quest (Cinematronics arcade port) [4K] VT 3105 Space Wars (Cinematronics arcade port) [4K] VT 3106 Starhawk (Cinematronics arcade port) [4K] VT 3107 Star Trek (AKA Star Ship in Europe) [4K] VT 3108 Web Wars (AKA Web Warp in ?????) (best game?) [8K] VT 3109 Star Castle (Cinematronics arcade port) [4K] VT 3201 Hyperchase (very bad driving game) [4K] VT 3202 Blitz! Action Football [8K] VT 3203 Heads-Up Action Soccer (Soccer Football in Europe) [8K] VT 3204 Spinball (Flipper Pinball in Europe) (has PAUSE!) [8K] VT 3205 Pitcher's Duel -OR- Batter Up Action Baseball [NR] VT 3206 Pole Position (Atari/Namco arcade port) [8K] VT 3301 Armor Attack (Cinematronics arcade port) [4K] VT 3302 Berzerk (Stern arcade port; high levels crash) [4K] VT 3303 Clean Sweep (Pac-Man clone) [4K] VT 3304 Fortress of Narzod (great shooter) [8K] VT 3305 Bedlam ("inside-out" Tempest derivative) [4K] VT 3306 Spike (It talks; well it sort of does :) [8K] VT 3307 Dark Tower (ONLY 1 PROTOTYPE EXISTS!) [12K=8K+4K] VT 3308 Polar Rescue (Good sub hunt game) (has PAUSE!) [8K] VT 3600 Light Pen (Hardware; required for 360X games) VT 3601 Art Master (light pen) (pack-in game) [4K] VT 3602 Melody Master (light pen) [8K] VT 3603 Mail Plane (light pen) (100% completed) [NR] VT 3604 Animaction (light pen) [8K+2K RAM] VT 3630 3-D Imager (Hardware; required for 363X games) VT 3631 3-D Pole Position (3-D) (completed?) [NR] VT 3632 3-D Minestorm (3-D) (pack-in game) [8K] VT 3633 Narrow Escape (3-D) (same color disk as CC) [8K] VT 3634 Crazy Coaster (3-D) (same color disk as NE) [8K] VT ???? Test Cartridge (issued to repair centers only) [4K] VT ???? Tour de France (100% completed) [NR] VT ???? HangMan (Touch Screen) (pack-in game; complete) [NR] The liquor company, Mr. Boston, gave out a limited number of customized cartridges of Clean Sweep. The box had a Mr. Boston sticker on it. The overlay was basically the regular Clean Sweep overlay with the Mr. Boston name, logo, and % proof/copyright info running up either side. The game itself had custom text, and the player controlled a top hat rather than a vacume. [6/99] Newport Cigarettes at one point commisioned a customized version of Web Wars. It just featured "Newport Cigarettes Presents" on the title screen and trophy room screen. Bill Hawkins finished the coding which was sent to Newport, but it isn't known whatever happened with that, if anything. [10/00] The following games and accessories were planned but never released: Cartridges: Art Master II Art Master III Art Master IV Basic Science Create-A-Game/Maze Exploring the Solar System Flipout Hangman (game developed for use with Touch Screen) Imagine Pitcher's Duel Pole Position (for 3-D Imager) Power Trip Sock It Accessories: Touch-Sensitive Screen (prototype known to exist) Computer Adapter with BASIC (prototypes rumored to exist) Computer Keyboard Printer Disk Driver/Wafer Tape Drive Modem Computer Software: Create Your Own Video Game Music Maestro Art Program in LOGO Basic Science Solar System Word Processing A company called Roy Abel & Associates also commercially exploited the Vectrex by using it as a text terminal (which is about the worst thing it can do) to perform the "Luscher Color Test" after you put a quarter into a coin device which activated the unit. You would pick colors in the order that they appealed to you (again, why did they use a black and white display for this job?), and it would tell you about your personality. Actually, no matter what you picked it would tell you something that you could identify with; all of the statements were pretty vague. The guy that programmed it did not understand the hardware; the text scrolled up the screen, but lines popped on at the bottom and disappeared near the top instead of scrolling on and off from offscreen. Roy had GCE's permission and blessing to do the project. In fact, some former WT personnel (Sidleys and others) as well as Lee Chaden (big guy at GCE) were at Abel & Associates at the time. Back to top Q. What projects have been released or on the drawing board since then? [6/99] Finished Games: Dark Tower (GCE) Vector Vaders (1996, John Dondzila) Vectrex Pong (Chris Salomon) Patriots (John Dondzila) Breakout (hidden) All Good Things (John Dondzila) Rockaroids More Vaders Vectris Spike's Water Bottles 23 Matches (hidden) Rockaroids Remix (John Dondzila) Frogger (Chris Salomon) Spike Hoppin' (John Dondzila) Vectrepede (hidden) Omega Chase (Christopher L Tumber) Omega Chase Deluxe Omega Chase Infinite Lives (limited edition cart) Zap Moon Lander (Clay Cowgill, some code by Chris Salomon) Vecmania (John Dondzila): Star Fire Spirits Abyss Demo Disc Duel Demo Birds of Prey Repulse Rockaroids Remix (3rd rock) Patriots Remix Vector Vaders Remix VectRace/Vaboom! (Ronen Habot) Prototypes: Berzerk (bugfixed) Polar Rescue (early version) Star Trek (alternate version) Tour De France (GCE) Cartridges of many new games can be found at the following two sites: http://www.classicgamecreations.com/ http://people.mw.mediaone.net/mshaker/ http://members.home.com/christophertumber/ Demos/unfinished games: Spike Goes Skiing (Andrew Coleman) Lunar Lander (Tom Landspurg) Zzap Untitled (Martin Balazs) Pop (Christopher L Tumber) Vix (Christopher L Tumber) Vector-Patrol (Kristof Tuts) SAW Graphics Demo (Christopher L Tumber) Vectrexians (Kristof Tuts) +various graphics/sound demos... Utilities for DOS: Vectrex Programming Tutorial (Chris Salomon) Vectrex C Compiler (Chris Salomon) VecSound .YM to Vectrex Binary Converter (Chris Salomon) V-Model (Christopher Tumber) Back to top Q. How does the 3-D imager work? Robert Stickles (firstname.lastname@example.org) explained it very well like this: The 3-D imager spins a disk which is 1/2 black and 1/2 colored bands that radiate from the centre (Usually red, green and blue) between your eyes and the vectrex screen. The Vectrex is synchronized to the rotation of the disk (or vice versa) and draws vectors corresponding to a particular color and/or a particular eye. Therefore only one eye will see the vectrex screen and its associated images (or color) at any one time while the other will see nothing. A single object that does not lie on the plane of the monitor (i.e. in front of or into the monitor) is drawn at least twice to provide information for each eye. The distance between the duplicate images and whether the right eye image or the left eye image is drawn first will determine where the object will appear to "be" in 3-D space. The 3-D illusion is also enhanced by adjusting the brightness of the object (dimming objects in the background). Spinning the disk at a high enough speed will fool your eyes/brain into thinking that the multiple images it's seeing are two different views of the same object, and voila! Instant 3-D and color. Back to top Q. I see double images and blurry objects; is my 3-D imager broken? Robert Stickles (email@example.com) answered this very well like this: Probably not. There are problems with the basic design of the imager as implemented. When the imager displays red objects, especially those that are to appear in the foreground, it's very difficult for your eyes to resolve the two images and you end up seeing double. Two things contribute to this: When your eyes naturally try to focus on an object that is supposed to be in the distance the objects close up become out of focus. This makes games that have 3-D objects deep "into" the screen (such as Narrow Escape) have double images for the foreground objects (such as your ship). The second factor is the "ghosting" created by red (and oddly enough, only red) images seen through the imager. For example, the red tracks in Crazy Coaster are hard to visualise because my eyes can see white ghosts of the image intended for the opposite eye, and consequently you interpret the jumble as two different objects and not one. I am not completely sure what causes this, but it may be due to inaccuracies in the synching of the wheel. I do believe that the reason why the 3-D Minestorm color wheel is different from the one used for the other games (it has little red and the sync hole is slightly offset) is to show off the imager at it's best, with lots of green and blue (or maybe the coders just wanted lots of green!). I will make a homemade color wheel similar to the CC/NE one, but with different colors to determine for sure if the color red is the problem or it is a sync problem. The 3-D Minestorm wheel differs too much from the other wheel to make a good judgement. I have found two ways to remedy this problem: 1) The further your eyes are away from the screen, the easier it is to resolve the double images. So sit waaaay back and enjoy. This helps the focusing problem. 2) Using an overlay on the screen tends cut down on the red "ghosting". I use a Spinball/Flipper pinball overlay , but any of the single color overlays (Berserk, Blitz, etc) will work just as well. This seems to cut down the the intensity of the ghosts (and using the brightness control wouldn't hurt either) I now really enjoy playing Narrow Escape as it was intended (sort of a head-on Zaxxon) and play this game more often than Web Wars or Armor Attack. I'm not as thrilled with Crazy Coaster as it seems to have an unpolished feel to it. Besides, it looks *nothing* like the screen shots. :-) Back to top Q. I have a 3-D game but no imager. When I play the game it doesn't do anything; is it broken? Probably not. The 3-D games all start out by trying to spin up the 3-D wheel so before an image is displayed so that it will look 3-D right away. They send power to the motor and then check they sync pulse to see how fast the wheel is spinning. If it isn't spinning fast enough, it increases the voltage to the motor gradually until it is. If the voltage gets maxed out and the wheel still is not spinning fast enough, the game will try to run but at a reduced frame rate. If there is no 3-D imager attached then there is no sync pulse and the speed of the wheel will always be interpreted as zero. The game will not run until it sees a sync pulse of some kind. William Howald (firstname.lastname@example.org) did find a way to get 3-D games to run without the imager though. If you plug a controller into port 2, and bash away at the 4 button, after 1-2 minutes (be patient) the game will start running but -s l o w l y-. Every tap on the button will "flash" one frame on the screen and the sound if playing will advance to the next step. The wire for the 4 button is the one hooked up to the be hooked up to a optical sensor that reads light through the hole in the disk which is used as a sync pulse. I think you could build a oscillator(about 10 Hz?) and pulse the 4 button to "play" without glasses! Back to top Q. What is Minestorm/II? As we all know, the very first Vectrex units were shipped with a flawed version of Minestorm. Evidently nobody ever though that any player could ever get to, let alone survive wave 12 so they only included data for 12 waves. Predictably, most players found that their game crashed after wave 12 (the "wave 13" bug) because the software indexed off the end of the table which contains the information about what items were to exist on each wave. It reads in garbage which usually causes the game to crash. I have in my possession a cartridge that originated from a private owner on the East Coast of the USA (who was recently identified) which has a fully produced label that says "Minestorm". The title screen of this game says, "Minestorm II". This is a bug free version of Minestorm as you can easily play past wave 13 (I will read in the ROM data as soon as I can). It would seem that if you contacted GCE/WT about the bug, instead of swapping out the Executive/Minestorm ROM inside the Vectrex unit, they simply sent you a production Minestorm cart. Evidently the cart did not come with a manual or box all the other games in this private collection still had these things. If you want to see what it looks like, there is a JPEG in the archives. Back to top Q. What is the Minestorm "Wave 13" bug? Fred Taft (email@example.com) explained it to me very well like this: Each level of Mine Storm is described by an entry in an array of structures; the array entry described such details as the types of mines at the level, etc. Unfortunately, the array was only defined to contain 13 entries! That's why the first 13 levels work as expected. However, once you got past level 13, the game ran out of array entries, but because it did not check for this, it simply used the next block of code after the array, as the information describing the next level. The code was smart enough to skip levels if there were no valid mines; that's why it occasionally skips levels. As for sometimes jumping back to the startup screen after you've completed a level, that is also a 'feature' of the code. Once a level is cleared, it jumps to some code which looks to see if any buttons are pressed; if they are, then it assumes the user wants to start a new game; this is code which should have only been executed when a game was over, but it gets checked after completing a level also. Keep in mind that this is the very first release of the Minestorm and later versions had various portions of the bugs patched out. Back to top Q. Well how many released versions of the Minestorm software was there? There were at least 3 versions. Two with the "Wave 13" bug which are different in that waves 2 and 3 are swapped and one with the bug fixed. The test cart checksum will give a different value for different ROM versions so this is a way for you to check. Back to top Q. What miscellaneous Vectrex items might my collection be missing? Here is a list of most of the extra stuff that isn't a cart, overlay, box or regular manual... * Orange 5"x3.75" sheet notifying us of GCE's change of address * "IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS" addendum to Owner's Manual (No. 98722-072). This listed 17 things you shouldn't do * Canadian addendum to Owner's Manual for warranty info (pg. 11/12) * Manual for the Control Panel (Joystick) * White 5.5"x3" manuals for the Light Pen and 3-D Glasses * White 3"x4" 3-D Imager addendum describing how to work the color disk latch * White 3.5"x4.5" 3-D Crazy Coaster addendum telling how to survive underpasses * White 4"x6" Minestorm addendum (P/N 140028-1) describing wave 13 bug * White 2.5"x2.5" addendum to the Star Trek manual describing self-play bug * A catalog of games (same size as regular manuals) from "Triton" * A catalog of games (same size as regular manuals) called "Passport" * A 7.5"x3.5" pamphlet listing HW and games called "High Performance Machine" * Vectrex unit warranty registration card (and Owner's Club form) * Electronic Games Magazine subscription form (44% off for Vectrex players) * Custom Designed Accessories for your Vectrex Arcade System order form listing a collapsible carrying case ($14.95) and a vinyl dust cover ($5.95). * carrying case for the Vectrex * protective dust cover for the Vectrex * Service Manual * Test Cart * The first (and only?) issue of the Owner's Club magazine "Passport" * Vectrex Store Display Cabinet [6/99] Back to top Q. Where is the Vectrex FTP archive and what is there? Any other places? The ftp Vectrex information archive is at ftp.csus.edu (220.127.116.11) in the pub/vectrex directory. It is maintained by John F. Sandhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are binary listings (2 flavors; pure binary from the ROMs, and Motorola "S-format" dumps) for most of the games along with instructions on how to burn EPROMs. There are several commented examples of code demonstrating how to write both music and graphics. There is also a copy of the service manual and much more. Almost all of the stuff is bundled into a compressed file called "vectrex.tar.Z". There are plenty of experiments to keep an eager hacker busy including schematics of the 3-D goggles (very simple circuit to build). Recently, some GIF/JPEG files were added showing some of the screen overlays (there are also GIFs of the 2 color wheels). Also, text files of the manuals for most, if not all, of the games are there. David Wright (davewt@NCoast.ORG) will be putting the Vectrex stuff up on his Email server. If you don't have FTP access, this may work for you. If you want to try and get at it, the Email server is at "impinfo@Prism1.COM". If your site doesn't like that, try "prism1!impinfo@NCoast.ORG". To receive a list of the files available place "send vect.index" in the message body. You can also add "send help" to get a complete set of instructions. Be aware that some of these files are huge and may push you over your mailbox or disk space quota immediately. Vectrex FTP Archive: ftp://ftp.csus.edu/pub/vectrex Other Vectrex Links: /link.htm [7/00] Back to top Q. Isn't copying the games by burning EPROMs stealing or violating a copyright? If the system is "dead" then no money is lost by making copies of something which otherwise would never be available. Even so, it is a fuzzy matter and technically the answer should probably be, "YES." Fortunately, Smith Engineering [Jay Smith] has given permission to make copies of all Vectrex related materials (manuals, games, overlays, etc.) as long as it is not for profit. Back to top Q. OK, I want to make a copy of a game; what is the pinout of the port? The even pin numbers are on the top while the odd are on the bottom. one and two start on the right side (or near side as oriented when cart is inside the base unit), and 35 and 36 are on the left (or far) side. 36 2 +--------------------+ +--------------------+ 35 1 Back to top Q. Do I have to make my own multi-cart; can't I just buy one from somebody? No; I mean, Yes, er... There are several people making multi-carts for resale on the net but the best ones (by far) were being made by Mark Woodward. He has sold out of the original batch and it was such a headache that he will not be doing it again. Instead, I have taken over the project and am working on getting the images to some unreleased, yet completed games. They are Tour de France and Mail Plane (and perhaps another "goodie" that isn't really a game but a silly in-house project never meant for release). ---- Removed Woodward cartridge info After the woodcock multi-cart there came the Sean Kelly multi-carts. They are still in production and going strong at: http://www.xnet.com/~skelly/ [6/99] Other multicarts are on the drawing board, and Ronen Habot has released a tutorial for making one like the one he made: http://vgcollect.freehosting.net/myvectrex.htm [6/00] Back to top Q. How do I play [game X]? Simple, read the manual. WHAT; you don't have a manual? OK then, read the screen overlay (it lists the functions of all the buttons). You don't have the screen overlay either? In that case most (maybe all by now) of the manuals have been transcribed into text files and made available via ftp. YOU DON'T HAVE FTP EITHER? OK, I'll tell you what; in the spirit of Smith Engineering's generosity, I will volunteer my services as Vectrex copy shop. ---- Removed Woodcock manual offer The following sites contain instructions in .txt form: http://www.classicgaming.com/vectrex http://www.classicgamecreations.com/ ftp://ftp.csus.edu/pub/vectrex [6/99] Back to top Q. Is there a way to make a Vectrex joystick perhaps with autofire capability? Brian Holscher (email@example.com) has designed a flexible way to convert a Sega Genesis controller for use with the Vectrex. He will build one for you for a small fee or if you check the archives, you will find a file describing how to build one yourself (it is more complex than you will probably be expecting). The Brian Holscher article can be found here: /controller.txt [6/99] Jay Tilton's Atari to Vectrex conversion article is here: /da_converter.txt [10/99] Autofire circiut instructions are are here: /autofire.txt [10/99] BUYING CONVERTED CONTROLLERS Currently, converted Sega controllers are available through John Dondzila. Inquire at: http://www.classicgamecreations.com/ [6/99] Back to top Q. How can I make a copy of a screen overlay? With the advances made in the past 2 years in color scanners, copiers and printers, it is now possible to make a near exact duplicate with the push of a (few) button(s). 0. First you need an original overlay, preferably one with little fading. 1. If you want a "rough" copy, simply get a good high end color photocopy onto acetate (those overhead projector plastic sheets). 2. If you want a better copy, you scan the image, preferably in color. I think 150 DPI is okay though some people may want to go for maximum resolution. 3. Then you need a good paint program, I used Adobe Photoshop to do some preliminary clean-up work, but I have a feeling it would take quite a bit of work to make a perfect overlay. 4. Printing--the critical part. You need a color printer that can do acetate (animation cel) printouts. Unfortunately, no color printer can work on thick sheets, which brings us to 5. 5. You need go to a hobby shop and get a piece of .045 thick clear sheet of [poly]styrene. Its pretty cheap. 6. The only part I haven't worked out, bonding the acetate overlay to the styrene. It is probable that there are some mucho expensive color printers that professional print shops use that can print onto any thickness sheets but I haven't done much looking. Thanks to Noel (NOEL@UMBC2.UMBC.edu) for this info. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an overlay scan for a particular game. [6/00] Back to top Q. My Vectrex is very noisy; is there anything I can do to make it any quieter? Here is what Daniel A. Muntz (email@example.com) said helped him: The noise isn't digital in nature and it closely follows the video. It also isn't a power supply problem; isolating the audio input of the amplifier from the sound circuit revealed no noise at all. It seems the noise is generated in two ways: 1: By induction; Moving the audio cable around makes the noise less or more prominent. It is at minimum when the cable is placed in its original manufactured groove. Good design since that's farthest from the CRT yoke. 2: By ground impedance; Although all supplies are clean the hum is still present in the modulated DC difference between the two boards. A definite improvement can be achieved by doing the following: 1: Rewiring the ground between the digital and video board. 2: Shielding audio circuit and changing cable to volume pot to a better shielded one. A tutorial on how to reduce the buzz in your Vectrex is here: /no_buzz.zip [6/99] John Dondzila has noted that placing a piece of clear tape over the speaker grill can also reduce the buzz. [6/99] Back to top Q. My joystick won't auto-center anymore; can I fix it? (AKA How do I get inside or open up my joystick?) You can't make it "good-as-new", but you can repair it so that is is usable again. You must first get past the sticker on the top of the joystick to get at the 5 screws that hold it together (4 are about 3/8" in from the sides and 1/2" from the top/bottom and the last is about 1/2" to the right of the cable). Just feel around and you should be able to find where the holes are. You can either try to peel off the sticker (difficult to do without damaging it but possible if you are careful) or simply punch 5 holes in it so you can remove the screws (leaving most of the sticker intact). Now that you have the joystick open, remove the broken spring that used to center the joystick. You then have 2 choices that work equally well. (1) Sean Kelly (firstname.lastname@example.org) came up with another great method. If you are technically inclined, you can open the potientometer and replace the spring with a spring out of an Atari 2600 cartridge. The spring that's used to push down the "protective" cover on 2600 carts fits nicely. It needs a little bending, but I've replaced several broken ones with them and they work great... (2) Use the core from the largest available guitar string to replace the spring you just removed. If you snip off one end you can remove the (usually gold) wire wrapped around a core wire by pulling on the gold wire. Credit goes to Dan Muntz once again for this clever solution and to Mike Packard (email@example.com) for details about the screws. Back to top Q. My Vectrex just shows a white dot when I turn it on. I can hear the game playing but there is no picture. Can I fix it? There is 1 common problem that will cause this symptom. Inside the unit there is a 4-wire power connector connecting the side board to the bottom board. Often units with no picture have bad solder joints on this connector. Try resoldering the pins and see if that helps. Back to top Q. Are there tricks or cheats for any Vectrex games? YES! (Vectrex had cheats back when they were still known as bugs): ARMOR ATTACK: If you crank the brightness all the way up, you are able to see the helicopter's position as soon as you hear it (even though it is off the screen). [Also, there are certain corners where you can hide with little or no chance of being hit, especially if one player parks himself on top of the other player, each one covering a different direction. 6/00] BEDLAM: You can see a special author title screen that proclaims, "PROGRAMMED BY WILLIAM HAWKINS GT 1982" if you follow the instructions found in the "STAR CASTLE" entry below. I discovered this by trying the "original" Star Castle trick on other games that I knew Bill wrote. This screen is different from all the similar ones in that it plays music too! You are treated to the chorus line of "Dixie" (Bill hails from the South). The screen ends when the tune finishes and releasing buttons has no effect. BERZERK: The hunt for this egg began thanks to Pete Rittwage (firstname.lastname@example.org) who first reported it but could not reproduce it. Even after confirming the trick with Chris King, the programmer of the game, nobody was able to find it because Chris had forgotten exactly what was required to activate it! Then along came net.hero Fred Taft (email@example.com) with the answer after disassembling the object code. Before your man stops flashing when you kill your last man, press and hold down only the 1, 3, and 4 buttons on the player 1 control panel. When the "GOT YOU HUMANOID" summary screen appears with your score, there will be the programmer's initials in the lower right corner ("CMK"). This screen will stay for about 90 seconds before going back to the game select screen and you cannot get out of it by pressing buttons. BLITZ!: If you get a 1st and inches (1 and 0 to go), as long as you stay on the 0 yard line, you keep getting first downs. Thanks to Adam Fox (firstname.lastname@example.org) for this one. BLITZ!: On player 1, game 1, get the kickoff around the 15 yard line then run the ball back down the middle of the field, and wait for a while and let the blockers hold the other team. Then go to the far right of the field (almost out of bounds) and there is a small gap between that final free defensive player and the out of bounds. You run down screen, thru that small gap, and you can return the ball from kickoff to about the opponent's 20 yard line. It's pretty cool because you can do it over and over, because in the one player game, the computer's team always kicks off to you. Thanks to Craig (email@example.com) for this one. COSMIC CHASM: You can see a special programmer title screen that proclaims, "PROGRAMMED BY WILLIAM HAWKINS GT 1982" if you follow the instructions found in the "STAR CASTLE" entry below. I discovered this by trying the "original" Star Castle trick on other games that I knew Bill wrote. FORTRESS OF NARZOD: If you can somehow manage to kill the "Mystic Hurler" (you know, the BossAtTheEndOfTheWave guy that looks like a gorilla) at the same time he kills you, your lives remaining will turn into the infinity sign (oo) and you will have 255 lives. It is not known for sure if your lives in reserve value has to be zero for this to work (probably so since this bug is most likely due to an accidental underflow from 0 to -1 which presumably would trigger the software to be in virtual infinite play mode to aid play/beta testing). The author takes credit for this one! MINESTORM: The brightness trick allows you to see the "invisible" mines. RIPOFF: You can see a special programmer title screen that proclaims, "PROGRAMMED BY WILLIAM HAWKINS GT 1982" if you follow the instructions found in the "STAR CASTLE" entry below. I discovered this by trying the "original" Star Castle trick on other games that I knew Bill wrote. SPACE WARS: Either ship is invincible after being hit, while pieces are in the air. This may not sound like much, or maybe this was intentional, but I've played against people who make this their entire strategy. They skim the edge of the Star in the middle, just to knock off a tail section or something, and then while they are invincible, they fly right into you. Not nice, but it works very well. The time window is surprisingly long. SCRAMBLE: A quote from Paul Allen Newell, developer of the game: "I remember going thru long discussions with management about giving the programmers credit on the games. Western Technologies and/or GCE didn't approve it and most of the programmers hide their names somewhere in the games. My 'Easter Egg' can be located in 'Scramble' by doing the following. If you have two controllers with joystick and buttons, put them both in; otherwise, use the single one in the usual position. While 'Scramble' is displaying its 'game # player #' section, move the joystick so it is 'down'. When 'Scramble' starts, keep it in this down position so your plane crashes on the floor BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS START. Do this for all your ships; DO NOT PUSH ANY BUTTONS TO FIRE BOMBS OR BULLETS. When it is over, the display 'end' will come up. WITHOUT TOUCHING ANY BUTTONS, unplug the main controller and move it to the 'player two' plug (if you have two controllers, this step is not necessary). Then, with the 'player two' controller, PUSH ALL FOUR BUTTONS SIMULTANEOUSLY. They must all go down at the same time. Repeat until you get all four down at the same time. You'll know when you see the word 'end' change into something else. This is the first time I have documented the method, having only mentioned it to friends or hinted to others. Enjoy!" (Thanks a LOT to Stefan Herr (Steve@lioness.okapi.sub.org) for digging up this one-of-a-kind gem). SPIKE: If you position the door ALMOST all the way to the right of the screen, then jump into it, so as to be jammed between the door, and the little space that is left; the game freaks out, you will be pushed forward about 47,000 points, and the difficulty will be increased proportionally. STAR CASTLE: This is the most extravagant egg in all the Vectrex games. The designer put in his own title screen which brazenly proclaims "PROGRAMMED BY WILLIAM HAWKINS GT 1983". A quick caveat; this only works on a cold restart (i.e. the first time you turn the game on) and will not work if you start the game over by pressing the reset button. However, it will work with the software selectable muticarts if Star Castle is the first game you select after turning the game on. To get the screen to appear you must push the 1, 2, and 4 keys on the player 1 control panel before the Star Castle title screen music finishes playing. If those 3 buttons are down when tune ends, the programmer title screen will appear. It will last for about 2 seconds or until you release one of the buttons. It is my guess that the GT stands for Georgia Tech and the 1983 is the year the software was written. (MANY thanks to Fred Taft (firstname.lastname@example.org) for discovering this after disassembling the object code). WEB WARS: You can see a special programmer title screen that proclaims, "PROGRAMMED BY WILLIAM HAWKINS DUNCAN MUIRHEAD PATRICK KING GT 1983" if you follow the instructions found in the "STAR CASTLE" entry above. I discovered this by trying the "original" Star Castle trick on other games that I knew Bill wrote. This screen is different from all the similar ones in that the font size is about 3 times as big. Back to top Q. What is the history of the Vectrex? A. Thanks a lot to Stefan Herr (email@example.com) for the following information he dug up while researching an article for a European gaming magazine. If you have any additions or corrections, please contact both of us. Thanks also to Chris King who sent me personal email to fill some gaps. VECTREX TIMETABLE ----------------- End 1980/Spring 1981: The development of Vectrex starts with an idea from staffers (probably Mike Purvis and John Ross) after brainstorming about how to use cheap CRTs that were found in a small liquidators' surplus store. The idea took flight and form under the skilled cultivation of Jay Smith, head of Western Technologies/Smith Engineering, guiding his talented staff. The small, vector scan table top game was originally known by its working title of "Mini Arcade" but was later officially renamed when the time came to begin making marketing decisions. A brainstorming session yielded a short list of final choices and among those was "Vector-X" suggested by Tom Sloper. This was felt to be too 50's B sci-fi by GCE so it was contracted to the catchy name we all know and love. Spring 1981: The Mini Arcade idea is optioned to Kenner (known for their "Star Wars", "Care Bears", "Batman" and "Batman Returns" figures). At that time it was planned to have a 5" black and white tube. 06/1981: Paul A. Newell is hired by Western Technologies to join the "Atari reverse engineering project" group (aim: be able to write games for the VCS 2600) which at that point consisted of Mark Indictor and John Hall. 07/1981: Kenner declines to pursue the Mini Arcade. 08 or 09/1981: The Mini Arcade concept is licensed by GCE (General Consumer Electronics). GCE's president Ed Krakauer had the vision to see the great potential of the system. To enhance its appeal, GCE asks that the screen be increased to 9-inches. Autumn 1981: The Atari project is canceled and the three Atari people (M.I., P.N., J.H.) start work on the Vectrex project. John Ross designs the hardware, Gerry Karr works together with John Hall on the system ROM (called "The Executive"). In the beginning it is planned to use a 6502 processor which turns out to be too slow. For this reason the 6809 was finally used. Jan 1982: Bill Hawkins and Chris King join the Western Tech. They were both students at Georgia Tech at the time and are hired by Ed Smith as "Cooperative Education" students. They are supposed to work for three months and then go back to school. Duncan Muirhead joins a week or two afterwards. He had just dropped out of a Physics PHD program at UCLA. ??: A strict timetable demands that the first 12 games and the hardware should be ready in June 1982. The Vectrex name is subsequently chosen, as already described. ??: John Hall later exclusively works on "Mine Storm" while Gerry Karr works on The Executive alone. Gerry starts over from scratch and changes the name to the RUM (Run Time Monitor). In the end, a number of people contribute to the RUM, most notably Duncan Muirhead who handled most of the heavy trig stuff. 04/1982: Paul Newell finishes "Scramble". Mine Storm, Berzerk, Scramble, Rip Off, and Star Trek were all completed at the same time. 06/1982: The Vectrex is introduced to the public at the Summer CES in Chicago. Summer 1982: Mark Indictor, John Hall and others are directly hired by GCE to write more games. Paul Newell and Duncan Muirhead leave Western Technologies to join Simutrek, a company developing arcade laser disc games ("Cube Quest"). Chris King leaves 6 months later. Noah Anglin (former vice president of Atari) was hired by GCE as a consultant to watch over the development of Vectrex. It was a good deal for him since he recruited the core of the software guys for his new company, Simutrek, from Western Technologies. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough. Simutrek died on the vine. ??: Mark Indictor and his family move about two hours out of Los Angeles and he writes games in the seclusion of a pine forest at 5,000 feet. He even has an NBC news crew come up and interview him for a news show on weird computer hackers and their life styles. Late summer 82: Start of mass production. 11/1982: Vectrex is available in the USA for $199. Very positive reviews in the magazines. Paul Newell's "Scramble" gets the "Arcade Award" of the "Electronic Games" magazine for the best "Mini-Arcade game" (a category which is founded exclusively for the Vectrex). Spring 1983: GCE is acquired by Milton Bradley (MB). 03/1983: Vectrex is announced in the German "Telematch" magazine for the first time in Germany. Summer 1983: Distribution begins in Germany and many other west European countries by Milton Bradley (German office located in Fuerth). Summer/Fall 1983: Jeff Corsiglia, having left WT to join Datascan, produces some additional games for GCE, including 3-D Narrow Escape, programmed by Richard Moszkowski. (Not all of the Vectrex games were produced by WT). 1983: Several efforts fail in developing a color Vectrex. One obvious project is to use a color TV tube; however, this is always too expensive. Another is to use a projection TV with three vector scan tubes. It works well but is commercially impractical. Yet another effort is to use two layers of color phosphor on a black and white type TV tube. By varying the high voltage level, the electron beam would excite the bottom layer or the top layer. However the high voltage cannot be changed rapidly enough to keep up with the scan. 02/1984: "Artmaster Lightpen", "Star Castle", "Polar Rescue", "Animaction" and "Pole Position" presented on the "Nuernberger Spielwarenmesse" (Germany's most important show for the toy industry). around 02/84: 3-D Imager is presented at the Winter-CES in Las Vegas. 31/03/1984: End of Vectrex in Germany: MB in Fuerth announces stop of sales on this date. Rest of 1984: Vectrex is phased out as Hasbro buys Milton Bradley and video game fever comes crashing down (probable causes: home computer fever, too many mediocre and downright terrible games flooding the market, fallout from the arcade videogame crash of about a year earlier). Rummage sales in Germany (mainly in stores of the METRO-chain, which had bought the rest of MB's stock) close out Vectrex equipment at bargain prices. 1988: Western Technologies/Smith Engineering tries to resurrect Vectrex as a handheld unit. It is to be based on the Sinclair flat TV tube, which has fast static deflection at low power consumption and low cost. However, the impending introduction of GameBoy (1989) eventually causes the idea to be scrapped. 10/1993: A feature about the 10th anniversary of the Vectrex is published in the German "Video Games" magazine. Contains technical descriptions, pictures of Jay Smith and Mark Indictor, a Vectrex history and a list of games and accessories. The article is based on information collected by the author (Stefan Herr) from the Usenet Vectrex newsgroup, various FTP archives, many Emails from several former Vectrex developers and a historical overview about the development by Jay Smith. There is not very much evidence of the existence of a computer keyboard with a BASIC cartridge (or something similar) for the Vectrex. The only known hints are from an article in an old issue of "Creative Computing" magazine (in the first couple of pages they do a ranking of computers' speed based on some simple benchmark. There is an entry for the Vectrex in it using Vectrex basic) and an article about new computers starting on page 114 of the October, 1983 issue of Popular Science. A chart in the article indicates that the keyboard was to include 16K of RAM, expandable to 64K. The article goes in to great detail about the computer add-on. Thanks to Joshua See who can be reached at SMTC474@uoft02.utoledo.edu. It is the issue that reviewed the original Macintosh (1984?). The Popular Science and Creative Computing articles can now be read at: /po_veccomp.htm [6/99] Back to top Q. How can I play the games if I don't have a Vectrex? [6/99] DOS programs do exist that allow you to play the games (in computer file form) on a modern PC. In general, programs that do this are referred to as EMULATORS. There are two Vectrex emulators: DVE: This program was begun in 1996 by Keith Wilkins and later continued by Chris Salomon. The two versions of the program that you are likely to encounter are 1.40 and 2.0 beta 9. The 2.0 version has a built-in graphical interface and is very polished. The two programs simulate a real Vectrex, complete with simulated overlays. MESS: This program is currently at version 0.36 (as of October '99) and plays just about all games with overlay support and excellent 3d game support. Be sure to try it. In addition to DOS, other operating systems will be supported like Macintosh, Unix, and Windows. To give DVE or MESS a try, visit http://www.classicgaming.com/vectrex, click on "Emulation". You'll find the emulator downloads there as well as "getting started" guides. Back to top Q. Where on the net can I find Vectrex information? [6/99] Spike's Big Vectrex Page (News, emulation, history archive, forum, etc.) http://www.classicgaming.com/vectrex http://members.nbci.com/baronvr/ (backup URL) Brett's Vectrex Preserve (Technical Aspects/New Projects/Forum) http://www.inil.com/users/vectrex/ Raven's Retro Nest (Info archive, emulation, reviews, etc. No longer updated) http://surf.to/retro-nest Chris Salomon's DVE 2.0 Emulator Official Page (always the latest DVE version) http://members.aol.com/vectrexcs/index.html Official MESS Emulator Homepage http://mess.emuverse.com/ John Dondzila's Videogame Creations (new vectrex games) http://www.classicgamecreations.com/ Vectrex Programming (Omega Chase, VIX, programming info, etc.) http://members.home.com/christophertumber/ Kristof's Vectrex Page for New Games http://members.tripod.lycos.nl/kristoftuts/index.html My Vectrex - Ronen Habot (new games) http://vgcollect.freehosting.net/myvectrex.htm Fred's Vectrex Page (new Minestorm, 2D Narrow Escape variations) http://www.geocities.com/fredtaft/ Wintermute: Vectrex/Vectrex_Dev Mailing List, etc. http://www.wintermute.org.uk/cconsole.htm Vectrex_Dev at eGroups.com www.egroups.com/group/vectrex_dev Classic Videogame Station Odyssey (Fascinating site, in Japanese, with pictures and sounds from the Japanese version of the Vectrex) http://www.ne.jp/asahi/cvs/odyssey/videogames/vectrex/index.html The Vectrex Resource Center http://www.roachnest.com/vectrex.html Vectrex (Martin Balazs' site with a game demo and tech info) http://members.tripod.de/vectrex/ ...also you may need Altavista Translations to convert the page to english: http://babelfish.altavista.digital.com/cgi-bin/translate? rec.games.vectrex news:rec.games.vectrex or to view it in your web browser: Deja.com: http://www.deja.com/group/rec.games.vectrex Sean Kelly's Multi-Cart-O-Rama (Vectrex multicart) http://www.xnet.com/~skelly/ Manu's Programming Site (page for WIP games) http://netti.nic.fi/~mikkohoo/peijoonit/vec/ Good Deal Games (Tuts/Dondzila/Salomon/Cowgill interviews) http://www.gooddealgames.com Angrybunny Australian Scans http://www.angrybunny.com Nicolas Sapin's Vectrex Scan/trade Page http://perso.club-internet.fr/sap1/ Mark's Video Game Manufacturing (New Vec Cartridges) http://people.mw.mediaone.net/mshaker/ Vectrex Game Development - Jonathan Velasco (new version of Star Castle) http://www.geocities.com/jonskiv/Vecweb/ Richie's Vectrex Multicart Page (UK) http://www.ric.dial.pipex.com/ Atarian's Vectrex Page http://www.myfreeoffice.com/roadkill/vectrex The Vectrex High Score Page http://members.aol.com/pbjurman/vectrex.html Walt's Vectrex Overlays (The source of most overlays) http://members.aol.com/waltdg/waltvol.html DVE Official US Mirror (not the latest 2.0 beta, no longer updated) http://www.emulnews.com/dve/ Viva Vectrex! (reviews) http://value.net/~bpacula/vectrex.html Clay's Vectrex Stuff (moon lander) http://www.e-volve.net/~clay/Vectrex.html Deathskull Laboratories (Controller Modifications) http://users.erols.com/tiltonj/games/ Vectrex FTP Archive ftp://ftp.csus.edu/pub/vectrex rec.games.video.classic and #RGVC (EFnet) http://www.atarihq.com/rgvc/pplrgvc.html news:rec.games.video.classic or to view it in your browser: Deja.com: http://www.deja.com/group/rec.games.video.classic History of Home Video Games (click on 1982) http://videogames.org/ Tom's Vectrex Page (luner lander demo) http://www.worldnet.net/~tomsoft/Vectrex.html Vectrex Picture Gallery http://users.bart.nl/~hmeun/vectrex/gallery-vectrex.htm Vectrex Developer Links http://members.aol.com/vectrexcs/vlinks.htm Anal Retentive Retro Games - Vectrex http://www.arrgh.co.uk/hardware/vectrex/index.html Back to top LIST OF PERSONS INVOLVED IN THE VECTREX DEVELOPMENT --------------------------------------------------- Lenny Carlson Musician hired to write game sounds and title tunes Did finishing touches to Bedlam Michael Cartabiano Product Manager for numerous projects [10/99] Jeff Corsiglia Main game designer Designed 3-D Crazy Coaster Designed 3-D Narrow Escape Designed and coded Minestorm Designed Cosmic Chasm Designed Hyperchase Designed Blitz! Designed Clean Sweep Quit WT in 1982 to go work for Datascan (contracted with GCE to do Vectrex games) Miva Filoseta Designed many, if not most, of the colorful overlays Now works for Mattel John Hall (*) Worked on The Executive Designed and coded Mine Storm Coded Fortress of Narzod [6/99] Coded Dark Tower [6/99] Bill Hawkins Coded 3-D Minestorm Coded 3-D Crazy Coaster Coded Bedlam Coded Cosmic Chasm Coded Lenny Carlson's Greatest Bits (never intended for release) Coded Rip Off Coded Star Castle Coded (with Duncan Muirhead) Web Wars Mark Indictor (*) First duties during development: Software for communication with the ICE (In-Circuit-Emulator) Star Trek Games: for Western Technologies: Designed and coded Star Trek for GCE Designed and coded Spinball Designed and coded Polar Rescue Designed and coded Mail Plane (not published, for use with Lightpen) Designed and coded Tour de France (not published) Gerry Karr Took over The Executive project after John Hall concentrated on Minestorm Chris King Coded Berzerk Designed and coded Hyperchase Patrick King (*not* related to Chris) Designer of Web Wars Went on to work for Sega Ronald J. Logsdon Designed and coded Melody Master Kim Martin Digitized the Scramble landscapes Beta-tester (mainly for Scramble) Richard "The Mouse" Moszkowski ("The Mouse" is a nickname, nothing more) Programmed game watches prior to Vectrex work Involved with Vectrex since its inception Coded 3-D Narrow Escape Coded Art Master Coded Clean Sweep Died by his own hand in October 1995 Duncan Muirhead Joined WT at the end of 1981 (or beginning of 1982) Coded Armor...Attack Coded (with Bill Hawkins) Web Wars Walter Nakano Model builder Co-designed Vectrex external case 1-2 years before the Macintosh! Paul Allen Newell (*) Coded Scramble Gary Niles Vice President at WT during Vectrex era From there went to Sega, then Revell, and as of 1996 is with Galoob Mike Purvis Hardware Tech John Ross Developer of the hardware Tom Sloper Came up with "Vector-X" Started out at WT as a modelmaker and then designed watch and calculator games Designed Bedlam Designed Spike! Played arcade games for programmers since he could "beat" most of them After WT, worked for Datascan, Sega, Rudell Design, Atari Corp. and finally ended up at Activision (since 1988) where his title now is "Senior Producer" Ed Smith (Jay's brother) Manager of engineering during early development Before Vectrex, he worked at Harris in Orlando and frequently used GA Tech Co-ops Hired a bunch of ex-Harris guys to work at a new Western Technologies branch office in Orlando where a number of games were written Jay Smith Founder and president of Western Technologies/Smith Engineering Colin Vowles Model builder; co-designed the external case 1-2 years before the Macintosh. (*): These persons worked on the "Atari reverse engineering" project. Only one of the three games that were created by that group was released (the one written by Paul Newell). Anyway, the whole project was canceled later because the competition (e.g. Activision) was too big. Other people involved (this list does not claim to be complete) were David Blair, Alan Cobb, Ed Faris, Joel Hassell, Don Herndon, Ed Horton, Bill Hudson, Kevin Hudson, Nolan Johnson, Steve Marking, Lori Pearsall, and Bob Rutkowski. Back to top Sources: Electronic mails from Mark Indictor, Paul Newell, Chris King, Ronald J. Logsdon, Bill Hawkins and Tom Sloper, personal letter from Jay Smith, several articles from "Electronic Games" magazine (provided by Paul Newell), article from "Creative Computing" magazine (provided by Dion Dock). -- THANX...Gregg [phone ommitted] night UNLIST/PUBL TEXAS NOT CANADA! firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org *CLASSIC VIDEOGAME COLLECTOR BUY/SELL/TRADE NON-COMPUTER (ARCADE/HOME)* "If you quote me on this I'll have to deny it; I won't remember because I have such a bad memory. Not only that, but my memory is *terrible*." -- BaronVR would like to thank Gregg Woodcock, John MacDonald (the brief 2nd maintainer of this doc), John Dondzila, Chris Salomon, Mathis Rosenhauer, Brett Walach, Robert Mitchell, Joe Britt, Fred Taft, Sean Kelly, all the new programmers and techies, and all who contributed info, corrections, and suggestions for this FAQ.