21 Days Later: Vectorized

The Theme

From Asteroids to Vectrex (GCE’s system), vector graphics have a special place in the history of gaming. First pioneered by Cinematronics in the 1977 game “Space Wars”, the method of drawing sharp geometric shapes with straight lines harks back to the days when “simplicity and intense gameplay” were the mantra of game players and developers. For the next 21 days, iDevGames invites Mac developers to go retro by developing a game that captures the glory and spirit of vector graphic gaming.

The theme of the first “21 Days Later Contest” is called “Vectorized” and it challenges developers to go retro by programming a game that captures the glory and spirit of vector-graphic style gaming. More information about the competition and how to enter can be found at the official “21 Days Later Contest” home page:

The Judges

Glenda Adams
One of the most well-known names in the Mac game industry, Glenda was a co-founder of Maverick Software and game porting powerhouse Westlake Interactive. She has worked in the computer games industry since 1988, and has over thirty Mac games to her credit, including both ports and original shareware games. She is currently the Director of PC & Mac Development at Aspyr Media.

Carlos Camacho
Carlos is Editor-in-Chief of iDevGames and Founder of uDevGames, the annual Macintosh Game Developer Contest. He has always enjoyed creating games, but since 1998, most of his free time has been devoted to improving the state of Mac gaming.

Brad Oliver
Brad is a longtime Mac developer, having his roots back with the Lisa. He currently works for Aspyr Media and has ported over a dozen games such as Halo and Everquest to the Mac. He has been interviewed multiple times by Inside Mac Games and has a daily weblog of his life named “The Brad Hole.”

George Warner
George describes himself as a “Schizophrenic Optimization Scientist” and works for the Apple Developer Technical Support (DTS) Group. He can usually be found on the Mac-Game-Dev list answering questions about Mac game development.

How Games Were Scored

The judges for the competition assigned 1-10 scores to each game, in ten categories:

  • The game met the theme of the contest.
  • I enjoyed playing this game.
  • The play mechanics of the game were easy to understand.
  • This is a game I would keep on my hard drive.
  • This game was presented professionally.
  • I can easily play this game during my coffee break.
  • This game felt like it belonged on a Mac.
  • This game ran smoothly on my machine.
  • For a retro game, it was pretty original.
  • I’d love to see the code for this game.

A score of 10 represented strong agreement with the statement, while a score of 1 conveyed strong disagreement. The scores in each category were then combined to determine the game’s overall score. Games are ranked according to their overall score.

The Results

Jellybean Fugue

Score: 291
Developer: Phillip Nguyen
Description: Shoot simple line-drawings in a tedious unending series of mazes.

VektorSchlacht

Score: 282
Developer: Devin Kelly-Sneed (Snof)
Description: VektorSchlacht is a 3D game with vector graphics inspired by the classic game Spectre. Drive around collecting crystals to open up a warp to the next level. There are power ups along the way that give you cool new abilities.

Trapped

Score: 277
Developer: Chris Emery (Corun)
Description: Fast paced side-scroller

Infiltration

Score: 262
Developer: Alex Diener (ThemsAllTook) and Will P.
Description: Infiltration is a 3D space shooter, where the player must navigate their way through a series of tunnels and passageways, destroying enemies and obstacles. Bonuses make your ship go faster, give you more powerful weapons, and restore your ship’s shields. Includes 5 action-packed levels.

Zap

Score: 261
Developer: Mark Frohnmayer
Description: ZAP is a team-based Internet multi player game with 2D retro-style vector graphics. The control scheme is patterned after the arcade classic Robotron. It uses the Torque Network Library for its network transport layer and currently supports the Capture the Flag game type, with more planned.

VectorTanks

Score: 257
Developer: Stephan R. Cleaves (srcleaves)
Description: A vectorized version of the classic Atari 2600 game Combat. This is a two-player game.

Offender

Score: 256
Developer: Aaron McFarlane (blobbo)
Description: Offender is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up similar to the arcade classic Scramble. Fly your way through levels of action-packed adventure! Deform the terrain with bombs, but avoid the turrets! Every game is unique — how long can you survive?

IDevil

Score: 245
Developer: Daniel Lurie
Description: A shooter in the tradition of the great Satan’s Hollow. Defend the Earth from the scourge of the IDevil and his minions.

Nerak Attack

Score: 239
Developer: vtagle
Description: Nerak Attack is a 2D-vector clone in the vein of Galaga and Galaxian. Basically, enemies swoop down trying to kill you while you try to do the same to them. So stay alive as long as you can! However, the longer you stay alive, the harder the Neraks will attack you.

SV Racer

Score: 235
Developer: nathanst
Description: As one of the best pilots in the galaxy, you have been sent to the remote planetoid Sedna to attend the advanced tactics flight school. In this 3D vector game you must pass a series of increasingly difficult missions to prove yourself as the best space pilot of all time.

Dark Racer

Score: 231
Developer: Brian Koponen
Description: Fast paced driving along a winding wooded road. Hitting the cows will only slow you down, but hitting the walls will end your run. The road is randomly generated for a different experience each time you play.

Shoot Things

Score: 207
Developer: arekkusu
Description: Outer space. Enemies. Shooting.

EscapeVector

Score: 206
Developer: Charles Goran
Description: Escape the grasp of the imploding space station, but don’t touch the sides! “it’s just like being back in 1979”-game fan.

VectorBustOut

Score: 204
Developer: Alex Sikora
Description: VectorBustOut is a two or one player vector breakout game. You try to destroy the most bricks without losing 5 lives. Each time you lose a life, you lost 50 points.

PastBlasters

Score: 173
Developer: Stephen Johnson (Diordna) and Alex Sikora
Description: Fly around in an indoor world and shoot everything you see. Try to get to the purple spirally thingy. This is a 2D game much like the Continuum of old.

Space Barrage

Score: 67
Developer: Aaron Sullivan
Description: Quick reflexes and clever strategy will serve you well as you smuggle weapons through enemy space. Throw together a makeshift shield and unleash the missiles from your hidden cargo to push back a relentless onslaught of enemy warships. Missile command, Rampart, and/or Tetris lovers should check this out. Can you get past level 1!? (Editor’s Note: Due to a bug in this game which was present in the reviewed version, this game did not receive scores from 3 of the judges.)

The Schedule

  • Start: March 30, 2004, 11:59PM (GMT+9)
  • Ends: April 20, 2004, 11:59PM (GMT+9)

uDevGames 2011

Convergence — Best Gameplay
Kung Fu Killforce — Best Overall Game, Best Audio, Best Presentation
Flying Sweeden — Best Graphics, Most Original
Time Goat — Best Story