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Sunday 22nd March - Bad Apple video on the Vectrex
Hacker Jeroen Domburg aka Spritetm showed a YouTube video on the Vector Gaming Forums of the Japanese pop song "Bad Apple". This song originally gained fame from one of the scrolling shooter arcade games of the Touhou series by Japanese game maker ZUN.

Why do I include this news here? Well, Jeroen has done something very clever. He has taken the original video and digitized, vectorized, compressed, linearized, resampled, rescaled and played it back on a Vectrex via his own designed multicart! The song audio is played via the Vectrex sound chip interleaved in the time between drawing the vectors. Jeroen has said that as soon as he has documented the project, the theory and build plans will be on his site at spritesmods.com.

This gives me hope that one day a Playstation PS1 Vib-Ribbon inspired game could be written for the Vectrex!

Wednesday 4th March - Hacked Vectrex graphics used for new music videos
The Vectrex is often courted by artists for its vector graphics. The result is that the Vectrex is sometimes seen in art displays or its graphic output included in short videos.

A few months ago Joeseph Hyde showed some videos where he had hooked into the XY and brightness signals of the Vectrex vector display and was feeding in various signals directly from his analogue synthesiser to modulate the electron beam in the Vectrex display. The results were amazing mesmerising vector patterns and symmetries.

Fast forward 3 months, and UK based electronic band " Vessels" (which had previously been tipped by Radio 1 as one of the hottest new bands in the UK) have released their third album titled "Dilate". The songs from the album on YouTube are all accompanied by video footage that is generated by the same technique developed by Joeseph. The vector patterns generated on the Vectrex display are a good match for the minimalistic techno style of their new album.

Thursday 26th February - An interview with Kristof Tuts
George aka GeoAnas, Greek fan of the Vectrex and retro arcade game collector, contacted me yesterday to say that he had uploaded an interview he'd made with hombrewer Kristof Tuts.

Kristof known in the Vectrex world for his fantastic Vectrexians and Vector Pilot home brew games provides an in depth overview of his game development and how he got into programming the Vectrex in the first place. Its an interesting story and there’s something in there for everyone, from info concerning the next games to be released to hints for budding Vectrex programmers. A highly recommended read for Vectrex fans!

The interview can be viewed at www.iamretro.gr.

Sunday 22nd February - Free game binary download from Fury Unlimited
Typically, George of Fury Unlimited usually makes one of his discontinued games available free for download every year.

His Hexed game has just gone through this process. With a theme of spookiness, this is a card game for the Vectrex that was only available for two months on cartridge in 2013 (only 50 physical copies were created). I would class this as a mini game but still worth a look even if you’re not into card games.

The game binary file can be downloaded from Fury’s website.

Wednesday 14th January - 3D print your own Vectrex keyring
Last year I reported about homebrewer Richard H producing a 3D printed Vectrex keyring. He kindly made one of my 2014 Christmas wishes come true and sent me a such a keyring. At the end of last year he also posted on the Atariage forums about his Atari26000 keyring. He has no plans to sell the keyrings but he has released the CAD files so that you can print on your own 3D printer or send the file to one of those online 3D print shops. The files can be downloaded from AtariAge.com

Tuesday 13th January - Happy New Year!
Belated New Year wishes. Last year was an exciting year for Vectrex fans. There was a flurry of new home brewers and developers offering goodies for the Vectrex throughout 2014. There was also a welcome return to the Vectrex community of some of the homebrewers who had been active a few years ago.

As I said last year, there is a Vectrex renaissance! This year looks to be an even better one with respect to new games. Binarystar Software has promised the release of various Arcade games, Der Luchs is sure to release several more mini games. Plus there is seems a lot more home brewer activity chitchat on the web. Also could this be the year to see the release of Fury’s Warrior? (-I know, I said the same thing at the start of last year).

My apologies to those who sent me high scores the last quarter of 2014. Work has got the better of me leaving very little time to update the website. I promise I will update the scores in the next few weeks. In addition there was a Vector War IV competition held last year, and I have received high scores from the organiser Helmut which will also be included in my high scores page.

What of my activities? Last year I released the first edition of the VectrexMad! fanzine. That had over 400 downloads! I would like to make another one. If there would be contributions from any writers, that would be most appreciated and speed up the release of a 2nd edition. The YASI overlays I had made last year were a success - and I have sold all of them. I’m not going to do another run, but will be making another run of the Mine Storm overlays. If you want to be added to the "interested list" please send me an email.

As always, I would just like to say thank you to all those persons who have contacted me with comments about the website, scores and Vectrex news. At the end of each year I'm always curious to analyse the statistics and see the number of hits the website gets. For end of 2014 there were 10,439 hits. Not bad for a website focussed on a relatively unknown 33 year old games console! Vectrex is a fun a hobby but its even better when being able to share it with like minded individuals...