Vecribbon Update

Wherein I will try and respond to all the awesome feedback we’ve had from the Vectrex community. Thanks very much to everyone, and apologies for not citing names, but this is going to be long enough already!

Delivery Costs

We’ve heard the feedback about high shipping costs. We appreciate they are expensive, but it’s the price we found for a quality service from Poland.

We can promise that for any destination we can ship to cheaper, we’ll refund the difference. For example, we may be able to ship to the US from the UK.

We’re really not out to try and profit on shipping, we just want to be confident of getting Liv to you in pristine condition! To that end, we’re using a fully insured, tracked and signed-for service for all destinations.

Group Buys

We’re happy to work with people who want to coordinate group buys; INCLUDING for people who have already ordered, if it’s best solution for you. Again, we want to make shipping as cheap as possible for you.

Please do get in touch if you’re a potential group buyer and we can coordinate together.

Brightness

Thanks to all who have tried the demo on real Vectrexes (what IS the plural of Vectrex?!) and reported back. Regarding the brightness issues some have identified, we’re going to tweak overall brightness to restrict dynamic range, while still keeping the parallax background and the background of the level-progress indicator visible, but dimmer than the primary elements.

We’re also going to reduce the relative brightness of Liv against the level obstacles.

While it’s true that in most cases, you can set a Vectrex’s brightness by turning up until you see a dot then backing off, for convenience we’ll also include a brightness calibration screen.

“Dip lag!”

A few people felt that the dip obstacle (button 2) has a slight “lag” feel to it — and indeed, this is because the first few frames of the animation, before Liv hits the edge of the actual dip, are blank.

We’re going to fix this by having her hop up right at zero, before doing an exaggerated dip to clear the obstacle.

This is one of those cases where we’d all become so used to the feel that we didn’t notice, so a huge thanks for identifying that, you absolute legends! This is why we demo 🙂

Title screen not drawn straight across on some hardware

This is due to vertical drift on individual machines. In order to achieve maximum rendering performance, we try to move the beam to screen-left immediately after a ZeroRef, then render left-to-right without zeroing again.

This renders perfectly on our test machines as you can see in our pics, but may be too optimistic for Vecs which are out of alignment. What we are really interested in, is does this cause you any problem during gameplay? Which leads nicely onto the next point, because a few people are asking about:

Slanting levels and 3D effects

We’ve had similar thoughts to a few of you regarding making things a bit more extreme rendering-wise. In particular, it would be lovely to do a mid-level “world spins around” animation. It would also be fun to dynamically skew the vertical of the level (for those whose machine’s age-related vertical drift isn’t already doing that!).

Now, we can make absolutely no promises that any of that will make it in! By releasing the demo and opening pre-orders, our intention was that you’d be able to see exactly what you’re going to get in the package.

That being said, we’re very keen to continue polishing this gem until it shines, and it’s much more our style to drop surprises than to over-promise before we’ve built something, so never say never!

The finite resources that must be balanced are implementation time, and ROM space — and I think we’d be very hesitant to add anything that might mean we can no longer fit 10 or so levels.

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2 thoughts on “Vecribbon Update”

  1. Thank you very much, Fell & Shattered Screens Team for giving people the opportunity to provide feedback to Vec-Ribbon and thank you for your answers here. Good luck with Vec-Ribbon and I look much forward to getting a copy one day!
    Best regards, Helmut

  2. @Helmut Thanks so much for your detailed feedback via email. It’s wonderful to have such support, and to be able to open up the design process a little so that the people who are already passionate about the game can help to make it as good as it can be.

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