Bloxorz – Toss on the Vectrex

laid hardly the virtual pen, again a piece of news: To be held until the end of July Retro Challenge Frank Buss has the puzzle game Bloxorz ported to the Vectrex. The recently published trial of Bloxorz already made a very good impression:

2007 had the Aussie Damien Clarke (DXInteractive) The Puzzle Bloxorz developed as a Flash application: The player has a rectangular block rolling around in the field and store it in a marked square. In Damien Clarkes Original-Bloxorz challenge the player 33 different levels with bridges, Teleporters and switches. Interestingly, this reads “Making of“, in which the Flash developer Damien also reveals, that it was all about a working title for the difficult-to-pronounce Bloxorz.

Frank Buss made recently with his CrazyCartridge Furore, he makes the hardware but not halt, but programmed for the Vectrex a port of Bloxorz and shall in unconventional and interesting ways:
Converting created with Inkscape SVG Illustrations by Phyton. Vectrex programming in C and not in 6809 assembler. Precalculation a 3D rotation using a small Java program. Using these tips and tricks, the rapid development period of just two weeks declared – mind you “so alongside”. Frank Buss calls itself “Fingerübungsprojekt” and describes in his blog in detail, as he has taken, his ways and wrong ways and provides interested parties the source code and the trial as a program (Binary) to disposal. The current trial involves rolling the block in 3 levels. Only after a break Frank is the game press ahead with. The data of a total of 34 Level has Damien Clarke provided him kindly.

Thanks Frank, for this successful and well-documented Finger Exercise!

CrazyCartridge – Computing power for the Vectrex

logo-02-256-Color smallFor the Vectrex there are some hardware: Modded controller, Homebrew-Lightpens, Multicarts, VecMulti, AtariVox + and various more. What was missing, and there is not yet in series: An expansion board with processor, can be swapped in the calculations. That could change soon:

Frank Buss currently adjusts its CrazyCartridge an die Vectrex an. When Crazy Cartridge is a general purpose for old video consoles and home computers expansion card with 8MB RAM and SD Card, which can be used as a flashable Multicart. Moreover, the Crazy Cartridge has an ARM Microcontroller, the one with 48 MHz provides a significant computing power. For comparison: The 6809 CPU the Vectrex uses 1,5 MHz.

The development of the cartridge is not yet complete, currently Frank Buss is working hard on a Demo, with it at the currently held Retrochallenge (Summer Games 2013) want to participate. Frank goes new paths, so he put a C compiler for the 6809 and develops its demo in the C programming language. Perhaps that speaks later on other developers, which have so far shied away from the rather laborious assembly programming.

Who more to Franks project “CrazyCartridge” want to read, the place on the specially for the Crazy Cartridge dedicated website numerous information. Also provided online has Frank accurate About his development Demo including first C source code.

The hardware costs are quite high for an additional card, Frank is that financing via crowdfunding (“Schwarmfinanzierung”) do. If the time has come, I will definitely be doing… …and of course report here again.

NOX – From 0 on 300 km / h

At 372km / h the unofficial speed record in Formula 1 racing car is. Whether you as soon at racing-carcan drive the just announced NOX? For NOX is a racing game in 2D view for the Vectrex. Spontaneous reminds me of the classic Indy 500 on the Atari 2600 on, I played as a youngster a chance against my friend Frank.

The announcement of NOX is a surprise, But no accident: Chris Malcom, Developers of Nagoya Attack has his friend Jim Clark taught the assembly programming and both are now planning to jointly publish a 64k module for the Vectrex with two games.

The video of NOX shows the gameplay and the graphics of the 2D racing car game:

The title NOX probably dates from the nitrogen oxides (short: NOx), which are abundant in the exhaust gases of the racing car. The game is played with the NOX Vectrex Controller. Moreover, Jim plans to support the Atari Paddles and Vectrosis- and overdrive controller of Fury Unlimited. NOX is along with the game “Death Race” be available on a 64k module, a sale date is not yet known.

Classic Game Creations closes the end of the year

John Dondzila is his website to the 31.12.2013 close and thus adjust its services around the Vectrex. John offers on its website the Vectrexspiele offered by him and other amateur developers such as Patriots (Missile Command), Protector (Defender) or Rockaroids (Asteroids) for sale to.

If we look again almost 30 years back: GCE and Milton Bradley stopped production of the Vectrex 1984 on. After that it was quiet and peaceful at the Vectrex. Only 1996, also 12 Years later developed John Dondzila with Vector Vaders the first homebrew game for the Vectrex. and thus heralded a renaissance of Vectrex. How many Vectrex title John has developed alone, I would have to count, which due to its game collections with the melodious name Vectopia, Vecmania and All Good Things, not so simple. To the 20 Vectrex games are expected from the pen of John come, including gems such as the very extensive Gravitrex (Clone of Gravitar) or Vectropolis, a racing car game in 2D view, which can be played by up to four players simultaneously. John Dondzila and Jay Smith, the head of GCE, of all original titles for distribution released, should it be due to, that not so very common Vectrex still lives and active developers and a loyal following has.

The development of Vectrex games John has already 2006 adjusted, can on its Vectrexseite Vectrex fans but for many years to order developed by John Games. John has not only its own games, but offered other Vectrex developers its services. Thus, titles like Commander Nebula (Craig Aiker), the ingenious Protector / YASI (Alex Herbert) or Thrust (city ​​Krumlinde) still available.

The Vectrex games offers John at very fair prices, the exact prices of games can be found on its English-language website Priority order informally on email. The Order of several games reduces postage costs per game, from 22 However EUR fall 19 % VAT to. From 150 EUR are also customs duties due, this amount should the least reach at your order.

John does not stop overnight on, but only at the end of the year. This gives Vectrex enthusiasts the opportunity, still place orders. Next can be at this time might find a successor, who continues the website and the production of Vectrexspiele. It would be nice that.

On his website, John also provides before and in two Interviews of RF generation (2012) and Good Deal Games (2003) you can learn a thing or two about John. Thank you very much, John, for your unique application for the Vectrex and their supporters for many years!
addendum on 23.09.2013: Due to the large number of orders, inventories of John Donzila are exhausted much sooner than expected, so unfortunately no orders will be accepted. In John's website states: “… Since I announced that I was closing up shop later this year, I have been swamped with game orders that have exhausted my supplies far earlier than I had anticipated. …”. Probably there will be a successor, What would be nice and also important for the Vectrex Platform.