Author Topic: Emulators for Vectrex32?  (Read 551 times)

gliptitude

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Emulators for Vectrex32?
« on: August 22, 2016, 07:05:41 PM »
It may take a long time for a new game that takes full advantage of this system to come out. Could a vector arcade emulator be written for the Vectrex32 more quickly in the meantime? If that software could be made and distributed it would surely help popularize the new hardware and create a bigger community.

I also wonder if a different kind of emulator could be made to run existing non-3D Vectrex games in 3D and in color, with the 3D Imager!!!! ... Or maybe this would have to be game hacks on an individual basis.

Just some thoughts for getting engaging software off the ground more quickly. But these emulators would be great to have whether they came quickly or not.

Vectrex32

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2016, 07:46:05 PM »
If a new game that takes full advantage of this system comes out, it will be written in BASIC. So my hope is that it will not take a long time to write or debug (especially with the SmartCart's interactive debugging features).

I think a vector arcade emulator would probably take longer. But I agree with you: it would be very cool to have.

- Bob

Vectronic

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2016, 02:20:41 PM »
Yes, an emulator for the Vectrex32 would (I believe) be a good idea to promote interest in the actual hardware. If you develop a game on the emulation software, who wouldn't want to see in on a real Vectrex? And if you want to play the game in all it's glory on a real Vectrex, (like most of us do) you would need a Vectrex32 Cart.

Vectrex32

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2016, 02:26:27 PM »
OK, I'm confused about what type of emulator we're talking about. Are we talking about putting an emulator on the SmartCart so that it can play ROMs from old arcade games like Battlezone, Tempest, etc.? E.g. port Vector MAME to the SmartCart? (This is what I thought gliptitude was suggesting.)

Or are we talking about a program that runs on a PC, executes GSBASIC programs, and has a window that shows what the Vectrex display would look like?

- Bob

Vectronic

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2016, 02:46:37 PM »
Not on the Smart Cart, but a PC emulator and development kit for producing Vectrex32 games. It could display a small preview of the game code in action (not too big as to dissuade people from playing ROMs/BINs solely on this. It would be a programmer's tool for trying out this new idea. Then they would want to buy a Vectrex32 Smart Cart to test and fully visualize their creations, and of course, people would need the hardware to play the games fully on a Vectrex console.

gliptitude

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2016, 03:08:52 PM »
Bob, you are correct about what type of emulator I was referring to - a GSBASIC program capable of emulating vector arcade systems and software on the Vectrex32/Vectrex hardware.

Vectronic is talking about something different for sure, emulating the Vectrex32 on a PC, for the purpose of prototyping and testing GSBASIC programs, (without Vectrex32 hardware).

Vectronic

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2016, 03:19:21 PM »
Yes, exactly. Thank you gliptitude for the clarification. Vectrex 32: what do you think of both ideas?

Vectrex32

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2016, 03:31:50 PM »
I think they're both good ideas and they're both a lot of work.  :)

- Bob

hcmffm

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2016, 04:48:49 PM »
I think an emulator which emulates the SmartCart would be very helpful for developers:
First, developers could try developing but how they go without paying the price of the SmartCart. Second, you wouldn't need to have your Vectrex next to your computer and have the Vectrex on all the time.

Having an emulator that runs original ROMS sounds also like a good idea, but this would be a lot of effort and FAIK there aren't too many ROMs that use the Vector graphics (correct me, if I'm wrong). And aren't the ROMs still copyrighted?

gliptitude

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2016, 11:39:11 AM »
Having an emulator that runs original ROMS sounds also like a good idea, but this would be a lot of effort and FAIK there aren't too many ROMs that use the Vector graphics (correct me, if I'm wrong). And aren't the ROMs still copyrighted?

There are enough vector games and the legality is tenable enough to have previously justified the creation of VectorMame and the Zektor hardware, pretty much for the exclusive purpose of playing these games, (not really even arguably for development like emulators of NES, Atari etc):

http://www.zektor.com/zvg/zvg_vpix.htm

ROMs wouldn't be distributed by the author of the emulator. Most of them probably are copyrighted. .. I think most of the suggestions you gave for Vectrex32 ports/clones are also copyrighted and many previous Vectrex homebrews also are, and some certainly done witout explicit permission. .. In practice I think it mostly boils down to what the copyright owners are motivated to prosecute. Star Wars and Mario properties are still often actively protected. Princess Rescue for the 2600 was taken out of production for this reason I think. But Zippy, (Sonic the Hedgehog clone) seems to have been deliberately uncontested by Sega. Probably some developers consider it really cool to see their old properties live again among small fan communities like this.

Personally I would rather see a really inspired complete original game if someone is going to program a game from scratch. .. If someone is going to do a game conversion I'd prefer it to be a new take, like Marine Fox or Juno First (2600) or a game that is really obscure (War of the Worlds), rather than straight versions of Battlezone or Tempest.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2016, 11:42:13 AM by gliptitude »

50TBRD

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Re: Emulators for Vectrex32?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2016, 03:30:09 PM »
Both ideas would benefit the Vectrex32 and would be something exclusive for it.

A PC emulator of the Vectrex32 would do nothing but add more games for it's users. More games gives it more clout and creates more reason to buy it even if the PC only people don't. They'd still need the actually Vectrex32 Smart cart to play them on the Vectrex.

If there was anyway to convert games with a sub program, it could add a number of games at once. People especially ask for ports of Vector Arcade games so that functionality would be a great boon. As for legality, if it were possible to input the game and out the Vectrex32 compatible file then it probably wouldn't be an issue. I think the ZVG just took the emulated vectors of the game file and made them vector monitor ready. So as not to create legal issues flash carts and emulators tend to be separate from roms. This leaves the issues of legality to the user and not the creator or the software/hardware.