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mkiker2089

vectrex overlays?

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Don't get me wrong, I completely understand how frustrating it is to try to buy something that someone is doing as a hobby and not have a response. I would like to buy some repro Vectrex overlays as well because I really hate making them. There are several other homebrew items for other systems that I've been waiting on for years. Sometimes it sucks, but that's the nature of our hobby.

 

Like it or not, all that matters at this point is that no one is currently making them for sale. That leaves us with buying originals or making our own repros.

 

I might consider making them for sale, but I hate doing it so much that I would have to charge $400 each to make it worthwhile. Otherwise I would become an alcoholic from the frustration and self-hatred of having to repeat the process 2-5 times to get one that can be sold :D

Edited by akator
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I can't see how it is worth it to make your own overlays. You can get the originals for about $10 apiece if you're patient and willing to sell off the cart and/or box and manual. Seems like the materials akator listed plus your time are worth at least that.

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Is there something here I'm not understanding?

 

 

 

Yes, that I'm trying to find a source and gauge interest. I'm not harrasing anyone with emails. I've emailed the other site (the .uk one) and a couple of other people to ask advice. Maybe someone will know something that a person who has owned a Vectrex for only a few days won't.

 

I also think the issue of value can be raised again. To say the market value is 6.99 is wrong when they sell on ebay for 30.

 

Can the thread crapping end now please.

Edited by mkiker2089

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I can't see how it is worth it to make your own overlays. You can get the originals for about $10 apiece if you're patient and willing to sell off the cart and/or box and manual. Seems like the materials akator listed plus your time are worth at least that.

 

I did consider that, getting them with CIB games. I just can't do it though. If the game has survived CIB for this long I don't feel right scavenging the overlay and passing it off to someone else. Even if it's cheap and even though they have to agree to the missing overlay before they buy it it still just feels like the wrong thing to do. Part of being into anything retro or classic is understanding sustainability of it. It would be like buying a CIB Vectrex and tossing the box out, or that rare Stadium Events NES game and using it as a donor for a homebrew.

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I have the ability to print these but I am not a graphic designer. If someone can get me/or create the art for these in an .eps format, I would be willing to give it a shot. No guarantees though. Drop me a pm if you can do the art.

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21 games originally sold separately plus the Minestorm overlay. Light pen games and 3D imager games did not use them.

 

In the homebrew scene, only City Bomber, Vectrexians, Vector Pilot, Protector LE, Spike's Circus LE, Star Sling, Logo LE, Vec Sports Boxing LE, VeCaves/Spike's Spree and both Debris LE and Debris Revisited VIP (not sure if they are the same) came with overlays plus Warrior when its finished. Anything else is a fan made overlay.

 

Some publishers only check their emails once a week like Kristoff and John but they do get back to you.

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I heard back from the .uk site. They are considering producing more minestorm overlays so if you are interested you should write to them.

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I heard back from Kris who made Vectrexians. He doesn't plan on making overlays for other games but did give me a few leads to track down.

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Just heard from Ed over at vectrexoverlays.com, in which he basically explained that he's no longer offering completed overlays. As an alternative, he's offering a DIY kit that includes computer cut designs that adhere to the reverse of the overlays, .pdf's of artwork to print and detailed instructions on how to complete them yourself.

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Just heard from Ed over at vectrexoverlays.com, in which he basically explained that he's no longer offering completed overlays. As an alternative, he's offering a DIY kit that includes computer cut designs that adhere to the reverse of the overlays, .pdf's of artwork to print and detailed instructions on how to complete them yourself.

 

I wonder how hard it would be to get them printed at some place like kinkos with those instructions. I wonder if they could print them on to a transparent sticker which could be attached to thin plexiglass. Bubbles could probably be avoided with dish soap and water, or a hair dryer.

Edited by Reaperman

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I wonder how hard it would be to get them printed at some place like kinkos with those instructions. I wonder if they could print them on to a transparent sticker which could be attached to thin plexiglass. Bubbles could probably be avoided with dish soap and water, or a hair dryer.

 

Sounds like too much work, trying to squeegee out the flaws. What about having them run the two pieces through a laminating machine? I think we're on to something here... :lol:

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Right, why do my own printing when I can make somebody else do it?

 

The wife works at a photo store which naturally has the ability to print on a wide variety of surfaces (mugs, t-shirts, etc)--when I get back home on Friday night, I'll probably see what she can do for this. Heck, I've certainly got decent lexan cutting tools from my RC hobby to finish them off.

 

Where does the art come from, and what format is it in?

Edited by Reaperman

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I'll probably do that when/if I get far enough. Searching around I found a low-ish res raster image of a game I have an overlay for (here) that I can play with to see how well it works.

Edited by Reaperman

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I'll probably do that when/if I get far enough. Searching around I found a low-ish res raster image of a game I have an overlay for (here) that I can play with to see how well it works.

 

If she feels up to it I'd buy some complete ones from her.

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A lot of speculation on why I stopped making overlays....I'm flattered that they had such an impact and created a residual demand. The simple truth is that they are time consuming, not profitable, questionable at best on their legality to charge money for (hence the break even prices I charged) and the real kicker was the awful responses I started to receive from people who assumed I was a brick and mortar business demanding perfection from what was admittedly a hobby. Unfortunately when you're putting your eBay account or PayPal account on the line for a transaction, if you aren't prepared to meet everybody's standards (no matter how unrealistic) you're better off quitting. Top it all off with a high percentage of deliveries lost or damaged from the US Postal Service and it just wasn't worth it.

 

To my knowledge, the real worst of the worst were not from AtariAge...they were eBay users and folks who found me from a basic Google search....but enough was enough and the orders had trickled down to such a low frequency that I felt satisfied I'd accommodated the initial collectors who had been waiting for this service during the year that I produced them. As some of you pointed out, the time it took and the low profitability was just not worth it anymore considering all factors.

 

So here it is....here is the exact process I used and I encourage that you experiment with this if you are looking for a project.

 

Step 1: Transparency

  • Obtain the files online...I did a google search and was able to find sites that provided high enough resolution files of the overlays
  • Print on to a transparency...I used both an inkjet transparency on my home printer as well as a color laser transparency on my work printer....both produced a vibrant color
    • Make sure you've sized the digital image to the exact dimensions of a real Vectrex overlay.
  • Trim the transparency by hand....first item of the time consuming part....

Step 2: White Ink / Label Background

  • I purchased a "Silhouette Cameo" plotter....I suppose a "Cricut" would work as well.
  • Use full size 8.5 x 11 label sheets
  • Open the overlay in Photoshop
  • Create a new layer
  • Select the elements of the overlay that you want to have opaque
  • Fill in this selection (on the new layer) with black
  • Export this silhouette as a PDF or JPG
  • Import the PDF or JPG into your Cameo software and create a trace
  • Invert/Reverse the image
  • Cut the trace on the full label sheet
  • Affix the computer cut design to the back of the transparency

Step 3: Lamination

  • Laminate the trimmed overlay with the white label sheet affixed to the back in either a thermal laminator or a cold adhesive laminator...experiment with different thicknesses
  • Trim the final laminated overlay down with a scissors

 

Voila...you are done. Happy Vectrexing!

Edited by omeganu
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Wow, I don't understand how people could complain? I got many of the ones you made 2nd hand in a Vectrex lot, and couldn't tell the difference between them and original overlays. Given that all Vectrex games/materials are public domain (thanks to Jay Smith), you were legally allowed to make them for sure.

 

That process is definitely too much trouble, sounds like. Shame though, there were several I'd love to have.

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