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Mr. Brow

Best arcade games with vector graphics?

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On 1/24/2020 at 9:17 PM, Mr. Brow said:

Lately, I've been interested in vector graphics displays -- what are your favorites?  

 

I'm especially interested in the way the designers make use of the vector display.  I recently stumbled upon a more obscure example called Warrior (1979).  The game itself seems to play really awkwardly (in MAME, anyway), but the graphics are surprisingly sophisticated.  Apparently, they used motion capture to animate realistic sword-fighting movements.  I traced the points in higher resolution to get a better sense for how the joints were connected -- there are quite a few of them!

 

Warrior_demo.gif.16a7e23934e79b526820861c1ceb221d.gif

 

 

you really have to play warrior with its mirrored background to see the beauty of it. The problem is the controls. I think I read they originally was going to use 2 controls, but reduced it to a single stick with a a thumb button. game is pretty hard to play that way.

 

At one point I owned nearly every vector, but I sold off my cosmic chasm, boxing bugs, warrior, barrier, tailgunner 2, and starhawk. one of my favorites is solar quest. It also has a mirrored background.  aztarac is also a cool looking game.

Edited by mr.bill
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demo_all.gif.2019e1fd8ad7f2bd3e85762bd0f5a180.gif

 

I've been playing a lot of Battlezone lately, so I thought it would be interesting to make 3-D models of the game characters.  Details and larger versions of the models can be found on my blog.

 

Presumably the simple polygonal structures were forced on the developers by the limitations of the hardware, but I think it gives the figures a unique style.  

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On 1/25/2020 at 10:07 PM, mr_me said:

Stellar 7 was a 1983 Battlezone knock-off for the Apple II with very impressive 3D wireframe graphics for the time.  Scaling and rotating objects was just easier to do using vector display technology. 

I always thought Stellar 7 could have used about 500KHz more processing speed, on the Apple II. But nevertheless I always got a thrill out of it and was happy it was made. I was (as a kid) always slightly confused/bothered (or not) that the enemies resembled BattleZone so much. But that's ok. Discussing and waiting for the WaReZ version of BattleZone itself was just as fun as playing it. Kids.. Remember.

 

I really got into the PC version of Stellar 7 and its sequel, Nova 9. Both games had moody downtempo music and sound effects when using FM synthesis on a SoundBlaster-16 card. I liked that. It was sophisticated for the time and drew me into the game in the wee hours at night. Add thunderstorms for greater effect.

 

3 hours ago, Mr. Brow said:

Presumably the simple polygonal structures were forced on the developers by the limitations of the hardware, but I think it gives the figures a unique style.

Agree, and it's these hardware limitations which give the early games a unique charm and personality. Each programmer used their own custom approach to tweaking code to push the hardware. That's one of the sleeper reasons why classic games have a personality all their own. In aggregate and individually.

 

---

 

As far as my fav Vecto games, I would likely put TEMPEST at the top. But there are many runners up like:

Space Fury

Space Duel

Tac/Scan

BattleZone

StarTrek (Strategic Operations Simulator)

Tempest Tubes

Quantum

Earth Friend Mission

..and perhaps others I'm forgetting at the moment.

 

 

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Idunno, it's hard to choose, they're all pretty fun. Even Asteroids can be nice sometimes, after a life of being overexposed to ports and clones...

 

Temptest used to be my favorite, but I like  Black Widow a lot too. And Major Havoc. I'm trying to get better at Battlezone and Gravitar.

 

I don't think I ever got around to trying to configure the controls in MAME to play Star Wars.

 

On 1/25/2020 at 11:07 PM, mr_me said:

Stellar 7 was a 1983 Battlezone knock-off for the Apple II with very impressive 3D wireframe graphics for the time.  Scaling and rotating objects was just easier to do using vector display technology. 

I remember, it was either elementary or middle school, but some of the Macs had Spectre on them, and that was where you really wanted to be.

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On 4/9/2020 at 7:25 AM, mr.bill said:

At one point I owned nearly every vector, but I sold off my cosmic chasm, boxing bugs, warrior, barrier, tailgunner 2, and starhawk. one of my favorites is solar quest. It also has a mirrored background.  aztarac is also a cool looking game.

Dude, Barrier was one vector game I never saw back in the golden age, and was quite surprised to discover it in recent years; I actually covered it briefly in a YT video on the late 70s LED games, because VectorBeam/Cinematronics basically ripped off the Mattel Football gameplay for their game Barrier! Exact same game play!

 

Important Handheld Game History - The LEDs

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Cinematronics War of the Worlds, both in rarity and in subject matter! Though I'm also partial to Omega Race!

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On 4/23/2020 at 5:19 AM, 4cade said:

Dude, Barrier was one vector game I never saw back in the golden age, and was quite surprised to discover it in recent years; I actually covered it briefly in a YT video on the late 70s LED games, because VectorBeam/Cinematronics basically ripped off the Mattel Football gameplay for their game Barrier! Exact same game play!

 

Important Handheld Game History - The LEDs

I dont think anyone saw it. I remember reading an article that when they asked the programmer of it, his response was shock it actually went into production.  I think it was supposed to be an object motion test. I was shocked to find it in a warehouse. they actually had 2, but would only sell me one.  The real sad thing is it has beautiful bruner art on it and it has a 22" tube that was only used in sundance.

 

here is a pic of mine. I sold it to ken so he could keep it for cax.

Barrier Arcade Cabinet.jpg

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Agreed, @mr.bill - love the cab art and the glass art - normally not a fan of it covering up part of the screen, but it's perfect in this case

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On 2/9/2020 at 11:50 AM, davyK said:

It's between Asteroids Deluxe and Tempest for me, with Deluxe just pipping at the post.

I had the pleasure of playing both at PRGE. I'd reverse the order of these two, but thought Asteroids Deluxe was simply excellent. The vector graphics add an entirely new (and great) dimension to the game.

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On 5/28/2020 at 2:28 PM, davidcalgary29 said:

I had the pleasure of playing both at PRGE. I'd reverse the order of these two, but thought Asteroids Deluxe was simply excellent. The vector graphics add an entirely new (and great) dimension to the game.

It's damn close - that's for sure. I only prefer Asteroids Dx because it's non linear. Tempest is ultimately more linear because of the level progression. I love the fact that with Asteroids no two levels are ever the same.

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Both of these preferably as sit down cockpits:

Star Trek

Star Wars Arcade

 

Also these are infinitely replayable:

Asteroids

Tempest

Omega Race for nostalgia

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