...Or so goes the tagline to the blog, d3singer.com, which, despite the tiresome "leet-speak" (which I refuse to ever learn, thank you very much) in the title, is an intriguing development diary from Martijn Wenting of the Netherlands.
I first "knew" of Martijn from frequenting his Vectrex News Website, which not only obviously provides news on one of the most unique videogame systems ever, the Vectrex, but also a plethora of related information and software tools for the highly collectible unit. Fairly recently he decided to document his software development activities in blog format, and, for those who wish to develop for classic systems or are just interested in programming or even classic systems in general, it's terribly fascinating. He's into everything from the Vectrex (natch) to the ColecoVision and MSX systems to the Atari 2600, GameBoy and beyond.
There are great photos that document many of his activities, including screenshots of works in progress. The blog is still in the nascent stages of development itself, but even in these early stages it's quite inspirational.
One issue though is why do all these software and hardware developers seem to be from that mythical locale known as "Europe"? I realize here in America, where I'm from, we have quite a few of our own classic hobbyist developers, but all the "big" stuff seems to source from halfway around the world. In all seriousness, though, I wish the best of luck to Martijn. We need more like him no matter where they're from.
Speaking of Martijn, he's taking pre-orders on two rather intersting products for the vector graphics-based, black and white, Vectrex. Debris is intriguing in that it claims to generate bitmapped graphics on the vector-based machine. Though of possibly dubious value, this is obviously a first and I must admit it looks pretty darn great. The page is here: http://www.revival-studios.com/game_debris.html
Color Clash is a more traditional type of Vectrex game, but has a unique overlay that simulates color (it achieves this because the gameplay is actually column-based, so a standard overlay can accomplish this perfectly), very similar to some mid-80's LCD games that would otherwise be black and white. The page is here: http://www.revival-studios.com/game_colorclash.html
I would LOVE to pre-order or have pre-ordered both of those games, but the Euro exchange rate is B-R-U-T-A-L right now!
Well the demo version of Debris I saw was looking pretty damn fine. It truly looked like solid bitmap graphics to me. Both me and MrCustard saw the demo (and actually played it) on a small retrogamingfair in the Netherlands a while back. Perhaps we even talked to Martijn, as I think he was actually there with a small stand.
-= Mark Vergeer - Armchair Arcade editor =-
Then I'm even more impressed, Mark. I still question the "value" of doing bitmap graphics on the Vectrex since it's the anti-bitmap machine, but as a technical achievment it's stunning. I have to find a way to see it in action. Perhaps he posted a demo ROM or something that I can transfer to my Vectrex? I'll have to look around for it...