VEC9 is the first vector arcade game to be released in 30 years, the only true 3d vector arcade game to be released besides Star Wars — and the only one to let you smash capitalist aggression for the glory or Mother Russia.
The hardware and game were developed over several years by Andrew "Batsly Adams" Reitano, Mike Dooley, and me, Todd Bailey. The monitor originally started with a Craigslist whim — and ended with a custom designed, FPGA based vector video card, a gunner's control from an M1 Tank, a separate monochrome HUD, an air raid siren, and a fully functional ruble acceptor. It uses a salvaged Asteroids monitor, which is an analog X-Y display not unlike an oscilloscope. It trades color and speed for essentially infinite resolution and (monochrome) brightness.
From 2013 to now, Andy designed the FPGA system and HUD, I made the analog vector amp and cabinet, and Dooley made the engine.
We commissioned a killer soundtrack from Nicholas "Windbreaker" Read and made a pilgrimage to talk to Mike Albaugh who made the original vector math hardware for Battlezone.
Along the way, early versions of VEC9 appeared at the LWLVL festival and won an Blue Ribbon Editors Choice Award at Makerfaire NYC 2015.
Now ready for the big time, VEC9 will be officially released on November 7th, 2015, at the vintage / vector / and indie-game haven Logan Arcade in Chicago (also the first arcade to have Killer Queen). The event will also feature a collection of vintage vector games, a talk on vector game technology, and the first ever VECTOR CAPITALIST PIG SLAYING contest. The gameplay itself is difficult — similar to playing Starfox-meets-3D-Asteroids, with the FMVs from Command and Conquer, using the Steel Battalion controller. If it was easy to smash capitalism, comrade, everyone would do it!
Plans to build more vector games are contingent on the success and reception of this first unit, but the team is cautiously optimistic about bringing 20 tons of Cold War Soviet Steel to a town near you.
More details at VEC9.com.