Welcome to the Vectorgaming forum, John, and thank you for effort in developing Vectrex games and sharing these with us. I know the Odyssey ("Philips G7000" in Germany) from my childhood and looking at the screenshot of Vectrex UFO! on your webpage this looks familiar and I even wonder whether I had played this game when I was young.
Providing feedback and thus supporting the development of Vectrex games is a pleasure for me so sure enough I'll have a look at your games and will provide feedback, then.
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I know the Odyssey ("Philips G7000" in Germany) from my childhood and looking at the screenshot of Vectrex UFO! on your webpage this looks familiar and I even wonder whether I had played this game when I was young.
I doubt it. Something about a lawsuit (possibly from Atari) took it off the shelves really quickly back in the day.
I was lucky to have played it myself, but then I didn't really know what I was doing/don't recall much of it. Nice to have another platform of influenced games to be put on the Vectrex though
Thanks for making and sharing the games. I just tried all three on Vectrex.
Each seems to be fully functional and playable. My favorite was Vectrex UFO!
Space Force! I thought was a neat and simple concept. Figuring it out, (to whatever extent that I figured it out) was fun. The simplicity of the scene, the gratifying sound effects especially of thrusting, and the fast deviant spawning and movement of the ascending ships adds up to a moody environment with some character and intrigue.
I haven't played the Odyssey 2 games but thought it'd be cool to tweak some things or add features even if they aren't in the originals. Vectrex UFO! is fine as is and generally seemed the most finished of the three.
All the sprites were nice looking in Vectrex UFO. The only thing I noticed for possible improvement in that area was the snowflake/explosion patterns when the player dies, which could be less straightforward and diversified somehow. The player ship looks great with the sharp profile and moving parts.
The rotating sheild/gun is obviously a central element of the game, which adds interest and challenge. It doesn't have to make any more sense than it does, but while you are making a Vectrex game maybe you can add some new control to this thing. Perhaps the gun direction is stationary at rest but one button makes it rotate clockwise and another makes it rotate anti-clockwise, so the player can control it. (Maybe there is already more logic to the movement than I noticed).
It might also be cool, sticking with the current spinning movement, if there were more in between positions for a smoother animation. .. I think I noticed that sometimes it skipped a position in the lower left corner too. .. This game already has pretty slick graphics and interesting space in my opinion, but it is a robust enough concept to warrant tweaking and experimenting, tightening or loosening things up for different effects, if you are interested.
I'm a big fan of the old wrap around screen where the ship exits one edge and emerges from the opposite, like Asteroids. Could it happen in Vectrex UFO!?
.. Handy Pick Hank I haven't gotten the hang of yet. I might have to check instructions. I guess though I was a bit frustrated after a while, not necessarily with defects in the program, more just not my genre of game.
.. In general among all games the text did not display properly on my Vectrex and a lot of it was unreadable. Title screens were better but instructions and pause screen were narrow and slanted. This is a common problem.
.. The button mappings were unconventional and I think some changes should be considered, especially with "pause" being in the mix. Usually button four is fire. It doesn't have to be that way but it is disorienting having pause in a prime location. I recall pause was in different button position between the different games and perhaps none were button four, but it was a little awkward. .. Maybe you could settle on an unusual configuration but be consistent or more reasoned about it.
I hope this is useful feedback. Thanks again for making the games.