Reproduction Overlays

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Dave Griffith

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May 12, 2009, 5:37:32 PM5/12/09
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Is anyone making reproduction overlays anymore?

--
David Griffith
dgr...@cs.csbuak.edu <-- Switch the 'b' and 'u'

pet...@my-deja.com

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May 12, 2009, 9:45:54 PM5/12/09
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On May 12, 5:37 pm, dgri...@cs.csbuak.edu (Dave Griffith) wrote:
> Is anyone making reproduction overlays anymore?

Anymore? Did anybody ever make reproduction overlays?

Peteski

vectr...@fastmail.fm

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May 13, 2009, 7:09:35 AM5/13/09
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Many months ago I once saw a set of reproduction overlays for the
Vectrex forsale on eBay or AtariAge (can't remember which). From the
looks of them though they looked poor imitations (paler coulours and
more transparent) so I didn't bid for them - I suspect because they
were printed on a normal printer rather then print screened.

Also searching this news group for reproduction overlays does show
some dialogue about them.

regards

VectrexMad!
www.vectrex.co.uk

no-spam-to-[cromero]-please@romero.org

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May 13, 2009, 2:03:00 PM5/13/09
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Correct. Years ago another Vectrex fan offered a set of repro overlays
produced with an inject printer on clear plastic.

The printing wasn't dense enough so the colour was not correct. The
overlays were not cut, had no white or white-out areas, and were not
laminated. So there was more finish work to be done even after you received
them. There were also other issues with the seller delivering all of the
orders. But maybe those last issues got sorted.

Producing a full set of finished overlays that are not screen printed and
die-cut and of the correct thickness to support themselves no small task.

Cheers,

Chris
<vectr...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:a5f5edf2-dd53-4e28...@u10g2000vbd.googlegroups.com...

pet...@my-deja.com

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May 16, 2009, 3:22:33 PM5/16/09
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On May 13, 2:03 pm, <no-spam-to-[cromero]-ple...@romero.org> wrote:

> Producing a full set of finished overlays that are not screen printed and
> die-cut and of the correct thickness to support themselves no small task.
>

That is true but it is also possible.

When Kristof Tuts created Vectrexians he also created a full color
white-backed screen printed and die-cut overlay to go along with his
wonderful game!

This proves that even in small quantities it is possible to produce
good quality reproductions. If someone were to start making those,
since the die cut pattern would be the same for all the overlays they
would only need to produce different artworks for each game. That
would reduce their cost a bit. But the big unknown it if there is big
enough market out there to actually make this a profitable (or at
least break-even) venture.

Peteski

cnlmoore

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May 17, 2009, 10:31:50 AM5/17/09
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I exchanged a few emails with Kristof about this idea, just getting
his input. I've done some reproduction, screen printed artwork for
full size arcade games and was interested in giving the overlays a
shot. They would be pretty easy to produce once the artwork was done/
available. Vectorizing the artwork for all those overlays is the
biggest issue. Some of the overlays are complex and would require
hours of illustrator time. Plus I don't have all the overlays to work
from...my collection is small. I would need some high res scans.

As for market and profitability, I've learned that if you take on a
project like this you do it simply because its fun and you're
dedicated to the hobby. Breaking even is nice, but often repro
projects cost too much and you never completely recover the cash you
put into the project.

Chris M
www.tokensonly.com

hcmffm

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May 17, 2009, 11:51:24 AM5/17/09
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The overlay reproduction has also be on my mind for a while and I've
exchanged some mails with Kristof Tuts, too. According to Kristof, a
production of 4 overlay types x 120 copies (=480 overlays) would cost about
2-3 EURs per overlay, only. Vectorizing the original overlays is some time
consuming task, but not too hard, I think. I'm not a graphic designer but am
familiar with raster and vector graphics, so I could do some vectorization
(using Corel Trace as a basis, for example). The hardest part is probably at
the print shop to find the colours as close to the original as possible, but
Kristof has a good print shop at hand, already.

So the production part is almost covered, but the sales and financial part
is unclear. Selling and shipping about 480 overlays is quite some work and
bears the risk of having lots of overlays unsold. A smaller production would
be also possible, but Kristof said that the price per overlay was MUCH
higher, then.

- Is there a market (not for making money) for overlays?
- How can the overlays be shipped to collectors/customers cheaply? (Luckily
overlays are thin so they might be shipped like a letter).
- Which overlays for games are most wanted? For example, I'd love to have a
reproduction of Protector overlay, sure enough with Alex Herbert's
permission, only. And I guess that many people have no longer their
Minestorm overlay, so a reproduction might be a also good idea.
- Could perhaps a Vectrex software or hardware seller also sell the repro
overlays?

Regards, Helmut


pet...@my-deja.com

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May 18, 2009, 12:41:35 AM5/18/09
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I make decals on Alps printer so I vectorize scanned images. Compared
to some stuff I do Vectrex overlays are piece of cake to convert to
vectors! I use Corel Draw 7 and 10 and I have decent collection of
overlays. If it came to someone actually making overlays I wouldn't
mind vectorizing few of mine for free (for the Vectrex community). Or
I would take some repro overlays as payment when they are produced.

I agree that Mine Storm is probably the most needed one as nobody
seems to save that overlay when they put the game away and then it is
nowhere to be found when the game unit is sold!

Peteski

Plink54

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May 18, 2009, 3:23:43 AM5/18/09
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Plus I don't have all the overlays to work
> from...my collection is small.  I would need some high res scans.
>
>

Ι have a complete collection of Vectrex Games with overlays, including
minestorm overlays....
so if you people are serious about making this effort I'm sure I can
help with the scanning.
Can have access to professional scanners so I can guarantee the best
possible result.

I would love to get involved in the whole project, as long as it is
done to help vectrex fans enjoy the games and not to make profit from
them!

In general I think the idea is excellent and there should be a market
for them.
Certainly most people don't have complete overlays collection and I
know lots of people who can't afford original games and settle for
vecflash or other multicarts.

Also, given the numbers that kristoff provided...


a production of 4 overlay types x 120 copies (=480 overlays) would
cost about 2-3 EURs per overlay

in detail this is 4 overlays x 120 ...
If we make a smaller run...we could split the production into
8 x 60
12 x 40
16 x 30
20 x 24
24 x 20

So ...i guess we could make a production run of 20 complete overlays
sets (24 overlays)...that will cost 2-3 euros each.
Keeping in mind that if we order bigger quantity the price will drop,
if the production is 40 complete overlays set (that is the double
quantity than the one Kristoff quoted)...the price would be even
cheaper...

It seems feasible enough...the sets will not cost more that 60-70
euros with all expenses included...

hcmffm

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May 18, 2009, 8:18:20 AM5/18/09
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Thank you for your offer to help in scanning, plink. Just a note:

> If we make a smaller run...we could split the production into
> 8 x 60
> 12 x 40
> 16 x 30
> 20 x 24
> 24 x 20

I'm not too deep in the details, yet, but I'm pretty sure that the above
calculation will NOT work:
Most of the (expensive) work is setting up the printing properly. Printing
is cheap for a large quanity of copies, printing few copies of various
motifs will be expensive because each run is a small print run, even if the
total number of overlays printed is the same.


hcmffm

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May 18, 2009, 8:32:00 AM5/18/09
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Very good to read that other people offer to help. :-) If we RGV
members/collectors get the repro overlay reproduction running, it's
definetely NOT for making profit.

> I make decals on Alps printer so I vectorize scanned images. Compared
> to some stuff I do Vectrex overlays are piece of cake to convert to
> vectors! I use Corel Draw 7 and 10 and I have decent collection of
> overlays. If it came to someone actually making overlays I wouldn't
> mind vectorizing few of mine for free (for the Vectrex community). Or
> I would take some repro overlays as payment when they are produced.

Sounds very good, Peteski. As written before, I could also do some
vectorization. Perhaps we can vectorize different overlays and then swap the
results to do some quality assurance. I happen to also use Corel Draw 10.
:-)

> I agree that Mine Storm is probably the most needed one as nobody
> seems to save that overlay when they put the game away and then it is
> nowhere to be found when the game unit is sold!

Yepp, that's what I think. Minestorm is definetely one of the four motives
we should get repros from, first. BTW, Minestorm should be comparatively
simple to vectorize and print because there are few colours used.


Message has been deleted

vectr...@fastmail.fm

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May 18, 2009, 10:52:36 AM5/18/09
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I'm excited... there have been some overlays I have been hunting for
ages...
So what’s the next step? Personally, I think now there needs to be a
survey done:
1) Asking for four choices so that after the survey closes we know
which are the most sought after overlays
2) Asking if the participant will be willing to purchase the
reproduction overlays (and pay in advance?)
I think just having a survey on rgv is not going to reach enough
people.
Not sure if its better to have a form on a website (like a simpler
version of Oliver's rarity guide http://vectrexmuseum.com/collection/vectrexcart-rarityguide.php)
or an email address everyone can send their survey answers to). An
advantage of the website survey is that the web link can be posted
onto many forums. With an email address its likely to get spam mail
but it can be setup quicker.
If requested I can setup a temporary email address (and which
forwards
mails to a number of persons in the interests of transparency) to
which survey answers can be sent to. Probably something like
survey (at) vectrex.co.uk
I can also post to a number of different forums asking for interested
participants to send their overlay requests.
So what do you think?
Regards
VectrexMad!
www.vectrex.co.uk

Richard Hutchinson

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May 18, 2009, 12:11:23 PM5/18/09
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I'm definitely interested in a MineStorm overlay. And a Protector one if
that gets done.

(I sold my LE edition when I was poor)


Richard H.


Plink54

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May 18, 2009, 1:07:00 PM5/18/09
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Excellent guys,
i'm really glad the group got so lively with this topic :)

And most of all I really hope we can complete the project.

I will try to arrange and go to a friends office soon, where I can
find professional scanners and will make an attempt to scan all
overlays, so we can have a base to start.
It would be helpful If someone can provide me with the best settings
to use for the scanning. And any other info / suggestions that I
should take in mind when doing the job.


@ hcmffm
i think you might have a point about my speculations on printing more
than 4 overlays, but maybe things are not that bad.
The best thing is to get a contact with Kristof's printing shop or
find other shops that can have the job done and ask for more details
on pricing and stuff.
Probably my calculation is not going to be valid, but maybe the excess
cost is not that much.


@VectrexMad
Very good idea there, a site could be really helpfull and we
definetely should check interest first.
It would be great if you could make a small page to keep track of the
demand and the whole process.
However, I believe that all the above should be done in close
cooperation with the person who's gonna get "in charge" and be
"responsible" for the final and most important part, i.e. the printing
and the actual packaging and dispatching.

@Richard...
It sucks that you had to sell the Protector LE :(
and it sucks more that i didnt buy that :p
Hope you get the chance to acquire it back soon m8 :)

Plink54

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May 18, 2009, 1:14:48 PM5/18/09
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Oh, and before I forget, since Richard mentioned protector.

Unfortunatelly, since i'm kind of new to the vectrex (i'm seriously
collecting vectrex stuff for only a year now) I don't have any
homebrews with overlays or any limited edition, apart from
Vectrexians, which there's no need to reproduce since its still
available.
(by the way, if anyone wants to sell any homebrews...especially Logo
or Debris ..i'm willing to get em off their hands hehehe)

So, the overlays i have available for scanning are the complete
official list games, including minestorm.

If we have to choose 4 games, I guess we should include the rarest
games...so we should get Minestorm, Star Castle, Pole Position and one
more....

vectr...@fastmail.fm

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May 18, 2009, 9:18:56 PM5/18/09
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> @VectrexMad
> Very good idea there, a site could be really helpfull and we
> definetely should check interest first.
> It would be great if you could make a small page to keep track of the
> demand and the whole process.

Plink54, I wasn't proposing making a page myself (my html skills are
limited). However, what I have done is setup an email survey(at)
vectrex.co.uk. Now people can either respond in rgv (I've made a new
seperate topic) and submit their four choices or email the above. I’ve
provided the email address so that people who are not members of rgv
can also have a say. I’m going to send a message to some other forums
too inviting people to take part in the survey.

regards

VectrexMad!

p.s. anybody who wants mails sent to the above address automatically
forwarded to their email account please let me know. I’m offering this
so that the process is completely transparent, and when the top four
overlays are revealed there can be no accusation of personal bias.

Plink54

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May 19, 2009, 1:37:19 AM5/19/09
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Cool, the email survey is a good choice i think.
I already translated the text and posted it into two Greek forums
where there dwell around 12-15 vectrex owners.
I will also sent some answers, since you included homebrews in the
survey...

kristo...@hotmail.com

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May 19, 2009, 3:12:48 AM5/19/09
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Hi guys,

Why don't we increase the survey to 8 or 12 overlays ? Gives us some
room for organizing the overlays on one sheet based on their major
color.
Let me explain: If you want to do silkscreen printing its very
important that you combine as much as possible overlay designs
togheter which contain the same base colors.
For example, a minestorm, startrek, starcastle, berzerk, all of them
have a blue color. Some parts are yellow or red, and with yellow and
blue we can make green. So when you use 3 base colors: blue, yellow
and pink, you could print overlays which contain the colors blue,
yellow, pink and their mixed colors green, red and dark purple. I've
done this trick too on vectrexians: the green is a mix of blue and
yellow, the red is a mix of purple and yellow.
Then you need also the white opaque ink on the backside of the
overlay. this results in 4 printing runs.
One remark though for games like minestorm and armor-attack: they
contain also a black ink on the front, this would mean a 5th printing
run == more expensive !

Let's discuss !

Kristof

Plink54

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May 19, 2009, 4:22:34 AM5/19/09
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Hey Kristof,
you were the guy I was hoping to see showing up in this topic.

We started going for 4, since it seemed like the most viable/cost
friendly, but given all the above info you gave us, maybe we can make
an 8 or 12 overlay run with a not so major increase of the cost.

Since you have already gone through the process and have a tested
printing shop that can complete the work, could you make a try and
find out how much would it cost for an 8 or 12 run...maybe even with
printing less overlays per game than we initially talked about.

ilias

kristo...@hotmail.com

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May 19, 2009, 4:39:10 AM5/19/09
to

Well, I've already send a request for prize to the local printer here.
Let's see what the results will be.
It all depends to make the proper combinations of overlays on one
sheet.
Another example: the fortress of Narzod overlay has a real specific
blue/green color, which can't be produced by
mixing blue and yellow. however, the printing company has this color
as an ink too. but it would mean a seperate
printing run for fortress of narzod. Unless there are of course other
overlays who use this green/blue color as well, if there would be four
overlays who use this specific color, then they could be combined on
one sheet.

Anyway, to you, vectrexmad, it's good that you opened a survey, but I
suggest that we increase it to 8 or 12 overlays. then we still might
make a top-4 or top-8 of them and if the amounts are high enough we
can take the risk and do this.
One important warning: don't be surprised of the final result is not
100% the same as the originals, especially the color could vary. I
even noticed it with my new batch of vectrexians overlays. the
printing company has bought new ink and the blue for example is a
little bit more light blue, just to give you an example.

Cheers,

Kristof

vectr...@fastmail.fm

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May 19, 2009, 6:42:49 AM5/19/09
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> > > Why don't we increase the survey to 8 or 12 overlays ? Gives us some
> > > room for organizing the overlays on one sheet based on their major

Kristof,

Your comments have been noted and I have changed the wording
accordingly on the forums to reflect the 8 reproductions possibility.
I wonder though if there are many users like me who almost have the
whole set and need just repoductions of one or two of the harder to
find overlays.

Here are the forums I have sent my survey message to:

http://www.atariage.com/
http://armchairarcade.com/neo/tracker
http://www.zaponline.org/forums/
http://www.retrogamer.net/forum/

Now we just have to wait...

regards
VectrexMad!
www.vectrex.co.uk

cnlmoore

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May 19, 2009, 8:35:37 AM5/19/09
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On May 19, 5:42 am, vectrex...@fastmail.fm wrote:
> > > > Why don't we increase the survey to 8 or 12 overlays ? Gives us some
> > > > room for organizing the overlays on one sheet based on their major
>
> Kristof,
>
> Your comments have been noted and I have changed the wording
> accordingly on the forums to reflect the 8 reproductions possibility.
> I wonder though if there are many users like me who almost have the
> whole set and need just repoductions of one or two of the harder to
> find overlays.
>
> Here are the forums I have sent my survey message to:
>
> http://www.atariage.com/http://armchairarcade.com/neo/trackerhttp://www.zaponline.org/forums/http://www.retrogamer.net/forum/

>
> Now we just have to wait...
>
> regards
> VectrexMad!www.vectrex.co.uk

Just to throw my thoughts in again. Survey's, polls, feedback, it has
all been tried and done before during the numerous artwork
reproductions done for full size Atari (and other) classic arcade
games. As nice as it is to get feedback from everyone, you'll likely
end up with so many varied opinions it will just slow you down. In my
opinion, you choose a full set of original overlay's, either the CGE
or MB versions and produce the entire set. If you can't get 4 to 8
overlay's on one screen you double up on one overlay...4 mindstorms on
one screen or something. Anything to get the cost down.

You then produce complete sets with a limited number of individual
overlays and see how you do. Pre-orders are more of a pain than
anything else, because if you hit any snags or delays (and you will)
the pre-order folks start to get impatient, human nature. I'm
speaking from experience here. The less people involved the faster
and more efficiently it will get completed. Simply offer a discount
to members of RGV and put the rest on eBay or CTCW. If sales are
break even you can then move on to the next set.

We have a great shop here in the US that does arcade artwork and
they're quite masterful at color matching. He did the Donkey Kong II
artwork, check them out here: http://www.thisoldgame.com/ I am more
than happy to start on this project, or at least the CGE versions of
the overlays, but again need some scans. Scans in 300dpi and jpg
format would be perfect. I use Adobe CS4 to vector the art. If
someone wants to provide some scans that would be great. Also worth
mentioning is that the dollar is down against most European
currencies, so the prices would be cheaper here in the US.

Chris M
www.tokensonly.com

Parabellum

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May 19, 2009, 9:24:58 AM5/19/09
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On 19 mai, 14:35, cnlmoore <cnlmo...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Scans in 300dpi and jpg
> format would be perfect.  I use Adobe CS4 to vector the art.  If
> someone wants to provide some scans that would be great.

Sorry to interfere here... I just wanted to let you know that I'd be
very interested in receiving a copy of these, if someone manages to
scan them. This would allow me to build better quality overlays for
ParaJVE (any image format would do).

Cheers,
-Franck

Plink54

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May 19, 2009, 9:47:30 AM5/19/09
to

Are you sure 300dpi and jpg is alright?
I think I can do that resolution even with my home scanner!
If someone can confirm that the above settings are enough, then I can
start testing scanning with my home scanner almost immediately.
Btw, We need both sides of the overlays? or just the colored side?

Any other suggestions/info concerning the scanning part are more than
welcome


@Franck
I'll make sure you get a copy of the scans Franck!
I really like the work you've done on ParaJVE, although I don't use it
often since i prefer to use my vectrex :P


ilias

Parabellum

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May 19, 2009, 10:25:10 AM5/19/09
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On 19 mai, 15:47, Plink54 <Plin...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Are you sure 300dpi and jpg is alright?
> I think I can do that resolution even with my home scanner!
> If someone can confirm that the above settings are enough, then I can
> start testing scanning with my home scanner almost immediately.
> Btw, We need both sides of the overlays? or just the colored side?
>
> Any other suggestions/info concerning the scanning part are more than
> welcome
>
> @Franck
> I'll make sure you get a copy of the scans Franck!
> I really like the work you've done on ParaJVE, although I don't use it
> often since i prefer to use my vectrex :P
>
> ilias

Thanks Ilias :)

Like you, I'm a bit surprised for the choice of the JPG format (as
this is not a lossless format) ; one would think that PNG, or even
BMP, would give better results.

-Franck

Plink54

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May 19, 2009, 10:46:24 AM5/19/09
to

Exactly, I would actually expect BMP and maybe some very specific
preferences.
Let's wait and see what other people will suggest...


btw Franck....totally offtopic i know but....is there any chance
you're gonna make the ParaJve emu to work on the iphone?
i'd definitely install it on my 3G :p

Parabellum

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May 19, 2009, 11:19:27 AM5/19/09
to

Well, there's not a single chance as long as the Java language remains
unsupported on ipods/iphones :)
</offtopic>

vectr...@fastmail.fm

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May 19, 2009, 11:31:17 AM5/19/09
to
Interestingly I've seen two independent survey responses voting for a
YASI game overlay. If I had thought of that I would have this 2nd from
the beginning of my wanted list. This one could be quite a high demand
one because these don't exist yet.

regards

VectrexMad!
www.vectrex.co.uk

Plink54

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May 19, 2009, 11:55:53 AM5/19/09
to
Yeah, i'd also want a YASI if someone can create one from scratch.

Also, I'd love to have the dark tower one, I totally forgot about it
when I voted.

pet...@my-deja.com

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May 19, 2009, 6:53:31 PM5/19/09
to
On May 19, 3:12 am, kristof_t...@hotmail.com wrote:

> Let me explain: If you want to do silkscreen printing its very
> important that you combine as much as possible overlay designs
> togheter which contain the same base colors.
> For example, a minestorm, startrek, starcastle, berzerk, all of them
> have a blue color. Some parts are yellow or red, and with yellow and
> blue we can make green. So when you use 3 base colors: blue, yellow
> and pink, you could print overlays which contain the colors blue,
> yellow, pink and their mixed colors green, red and dark purple. I've
> done this trick too on vectrexians: the green is a mix of blue and
> yellow, the red is a mix of purple and yellow.
> Then you need also the white opaque ink on the backside of the
> overlay. this results in 4 printing runs.
> One remark though for games like minestorm and armor-attack: they
> contain also a black ink on the front, this would mean a 5th printing
> run == more expensive !
>
> Let's discuss !
>
> Kristof

That sounds to me like any other CYMK printing. you have Cuan,
Magenta, Yellow and Black ink and you can mix them to obtain Red,
Green and Blue. That is how the color inkjet printers work (excepth
theyalso do halftones, not only solid colors).

However as you've mentioned somewhere else - if you need some odd
color you'll have to order a custom ink.

Custom color would also be possible using halftoned CYMK inks byt the
halftones are usually quite coarse in silk screening and the color
would not look solid. It woudl be made up of dots of each ink. That
would not be a good quality overlay.

Peteski

pet...@my-deja.com

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May 19, 2009, 7:09:27 PM5/19/09
to

Lets not overengineer this project just because we can! No need to
scan them at 2400dpi or anything like that! The original overlays were
designed over 25 years ago! They are very simple. There really is no
fine details on them. 300dpi should be more than enough to make very
good reproductions. Any home flatbed scanner will be more than enough
for quality scans.

I also agree that JPG is the worst possible choice for the file type.
For bitmaps PNG would be much better choice.

As for vectorizing them, I have most of the original games and I'm
willing to scan them and vectorize some of them (because of time
constraints). I can either make them available as Corel Draw 10 CDR
files or AI files.

As far as vectorizing goes, there are several ways of doing the
artwork. For example do we vectorize things like outlines on the
overlay as certain thickness lines or closed curves? How about text?
Would we trace each letter or use a closest available font (either as
text or converted to curves?)

As a side note, if we do go ahead with this project I would love to
also see overlays made for home brews which had or even never had
overlays or even for games like Pitcher's Duel.

Peteski

Plink54

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May 20, 2009, 2:29:38 AM5/20/09
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On May 20, 2:09 am, "pete...@my-deja.com" <pete...@my-deja.com> wrote:
>
> Lets not overengineer this project just because we can!  No need to
> scan them at 2400dpi or anything like that! The original overlays were
> designed over 25 years ago!  They are very simple. There really is no
> fine details on them.  300dpi should be more than enough to make very
> good reproductions.  Any home flatbed scanner will be more than enough
> for quality scans.
>
> I also agree that JPG is the worst possible choice for the file type.
> For bitmaps PNG would be much better choice.
>
> Peteski

I'm sure you got a point there Peteski, I wasnt talkins about 2400dpi
exactly :P but I thought 300dpi was not enought.
But you are more of an expert than me, so 300dpi it is :D

However, before anyone of us starts scanning maybe we should make a
team and each one of us scans different overlays :p

hcmffm

unread,
May 20, 2009, 4:39:14 AM5/20/09
to
Scan should be in 300dpi and PNG. 300dpi sounds not detailed, but images
will be vectorized, anyway. But a higher resolution (600dpi) does not harm
except for the scanned images' size.

@Frank: Holler if you think a higher resolution is needed for ParaJVE.

Perhaps we make an initial scan and vectorization and then see how this
works out.

> As for vectorizing them, I have most of the original games and I'm
> willing to scan them and vectorize some of them (because of time
> constraints). I can either make them available as Corel Draw 10 CDR
> files or AI files.

Many hands want to help, which is very good. It might be easier, if one
person does the lot, but it's also nice if we achieved this in a team
effort - even if this might mean some more work altogether.

> As far as vectorizing goes, there are several ways of doing the
> artwork. For example do we vectorize things like outlines on the
> overlay as certain thickness lines or closed curves? How about text?
> Would we trace each letter or use a closest available font (either as
> text or converted to curves?)

Difficult questions. I'm not sure whether the overlays use one single font
or several ones. If it's just one font I'd recommend to search for a font
which is very close to the original. I have about 5 CDs with TTF fonts,
here, so I might look for one.

> As a side note, if we do go ahead with this project I would love to
> also see overlays made for home brews which had or even never had
> overlays or even for games like Pitcher's Duel.

Yes, very good idea to improve/complete existing homebrew games by adding
overlays.

Regards, Helmut


Plink54

unread,
May 20, 2009, 5:31:44 AM5/20/09
to
>Scan should be in 300dpi and PNG. 300dpi sounds not detailed, but images
>will be vectorized, anyway. But a higher resolution (600dpi) does not harm
>except for the scanned images' size.
>
>@Frank: Holler if you think a higher resolution is needed for ParaJVE.
>
>Perhaps we make an initial scan and vectorization and then see how this
>works out.

I agree. As I already said I'm willing to scan the whole collection of
officially released games and since a flatbed is gonna do the job, it
will be easier since I can do it at home.

I can start experimented with the scans and send samples to a couple
of guys who know about vectorizing (Peteski and Helmut maybe?) and
they can check if the settings i'll use will work for the
vectorization process.

@ Franck, as stated above, please shout if you need higher resolution
or other format for ParaJVE.

> >As a side note, if we do go ahead with this project I would love to
> >also see overlays made for home brews which had or even never had
>> overlays or even for games like Pitcher's Duel.
>
>Yes, very good idea to improve/complete existing homebrew games by adding
>overlays.

It would be awesome if someone could make some overlays for homebrews
that do not already have,
but take note that we should probably get the authors permission
first ;)

Regards
ilias

Parabellum

unread,
May 20, 2009, 6:22:19 AM5/20/09
to
> @ Franck, as stated above, please shout if you need higher resolution
> or other format for ParaJVE.

Unless I'm mistaken, 300 DPI should be more than enough for a clean
rendering on standard monitors (that is, on monitors with a maximum
height of, let's say, 1600 pixels).

cnlmoore

unread,
May 20, 2009, 9:14:30 AM5/20/09
to

PNG is fine too, but unless the overlay has super fine detail, 300dpi
in a JPG format is adequate and easier to email. The scan itself is
just used as a template for the real work. In order for them to be
produced correctly, each overlay will have to be traced as a vector
drawing in multiple layers, typically by color. There is some good
information to be found about scanning here http://snipr.com/ieyaz and
while Jeff mentions no jpg, for the overlays a jpg would be OK.
However, if you want to scan them as a PNG at 300dpi that's fine. No
more than 400dpi as the files will start to get big.

I have about a dozen overlays and will post my list later after the
work day is over. I could use minestorm if someone wants to send
that!

Chris

pet...@my-deja.com

unread,
May 20, 2009, 5:54:11 PM5/20/09
to

This is all looking very promising so far. Rec.games.vectrex is a
fine forum but this thread is already taking on several branches and
it'll get difficult to follow very soon.

We need to first get someone in charge of the project. I can't do
this due to my workload. Then we need to either set up some email
alias or better yet a forum. How about on Yahoo Groups? Maybe
something named vectrex_overlays ? Then all the perties which will
take part in doing the work can clearly communcate on that forum.

Then we need to divde scanning and vectorizing duties. Then of course
someone will need to deal directly with the printer and finally in
distribution.

Here is a list of the overlays I have in my collection (and I can
scan):
Minestorm
Spinball
Berzerk
Clean Sweep
Star Castle
Armor Attack
Web Wars
Star Trek
Cosmic Chasm
Solar Quest
Polar Rescue
Hyperchase
Bedlam
Spike
Starhawk
Ripoff


Peteski

hcmffm

unread,
May 20, 2009, 6:11:59 PM5/20/09
to
A lively discussion we have. :-) Before continuing with production details I
think we should become clear on the financial side and distribution side.

== Selling
John Dondzila (http://www.classicgamecreations.com/) would be the ideal
person for selling the Vectrex repro overlays. John has been developing and
selling Vectrex stuff for many years, already. And I'm pretty sure he
doesn't do this for profit reasons. The overlays might be a good addition to
his Vectrex product portfolio and people who order games might also order
overlays. I've contacted John, he's on a business trip ATM, let's see what
he thinks about this.

Overlays are very light and comparatively easy to ship. But I'm not sure how
much shipment of overlays from the U.S. to Europe and other countries costs.
Perhaps there should be a vender in the U.S. and Europe to reduce shipment
costs.


== Investment
The print company will ask for its money immediately, so an initial
investment of 500-1.000 EURs will be needed (perhaps more, if the whole
palette of overlays should be offered). Not a really high sum, but not
peanuts.

Plink54

unread,
May 21, 2009, 12:17:33 AM5/21/09
to
Ι totally agree with Petenski.
We should get people in charge of stuff, or else all efforts will fall
in vain....

I propose that the one in Charge will be the person who will be
responsible for the printing or the posting...so he can have better
control of the process.
I agree that someone like John will be ideal for selling these, but in
any case let's see what he thinks about it.


I have and can start scanning the complete collection of official
released games:

* Armor Attack
* Bedlam
* Berzerk
* Blitz!
* Clean Sweep
* Cosmic Chasm
* Spinball (aka Flipper Pinball)
* Fortress of Narzod
* Heads Up (aka Soccer Football)
* Hyperchase
* Minestorm
* Polar Rescue
* Pole Position
* Rip-Off
* Scramble
* Solar Quest
* Space Wars
* Spike
* Star Castle
* Star Trek: The Motion Picture (aka Star Ship)
* Starhawk
* Web Wars (aka Web Warp)

Since 300-400 dpi scans are enough, can start very soon the scanning
process and start sending scans for vectorizing within the weekend.

As fas as the money for the investment, maybe the team of people who
will work for the repros can put some cash each and we can get our
money back from the initial sales and preorders. In any case, I think
that the investment is gonna be the least of our problems...


cnlmoore

unread,
May 22, 2009, 9:31:46 AM5/22/09
to
On May 20, 11:17 pm, Plink54 <Plin...@gmail.com> wrote:
> É totally agree with Petenski.

I scanned cosmic chasm in PNG at 300 dpi and also at 600dpi. I regret
to say that I was mistaken with my first thought that this would be an
easy vector trace project, it won't be. Even at 600dpi it is very
difficult to discern some of the detail because of the multiple
overlapping color layers. Many times the layers aren't registered
correctly so are slightly left or right and this causes even more
issues. Some artistic interpretation will be necessary. On things
like fonts and basic shapes, they should be identical, even if it
requires tracing. There are too many hands in this project right now
which will only complicate things. Once the actual artwork is
completed the rest will work itself out. I plan to start on cosmic
chasm and perhaps star trek and go from there.

Chris
www.tokensonly.com

Plink54

unread,
May 22, 2009, 9:40:09 AM5/22/09
to
Ok Chris,

I will start scanning some overlays from tomorrow (too busy with work
now).
Probably will start with the rarest overlays and see how it goes.

vectr...@fastmail.fm

unread,
May 22, 2009, 12:12:06 PM5/22/09
to
I've tried to remain quiet so as not to confuse matters but I feel I
have got to say a few things now:

Why doesn't somebody start with Mine Storm since it has been agreed
that this one is going to be in demand (i think the survey results
will show this too). Also, its a less busy design compared to some of
the others. If to reproduce certrain overlays is going to take some
artistic interpretation then it maybe a safer bet just to stick with
newly designed overlays for homebrew games that never had overlays. At
least with the newly designed overlays for homebrews you can be sure
that there are no issues with getting permission from the orignal
authors, there are no issues of deflating the worth of limited edition
home brews and at least we know that in theory a user cannot give the
argument saying he/she is not going to buy a particular overlay
because he/she already has the original. My feeling is that for the
top homebrews without overlays there is going to be demand for new
overlays.

I don' think there are too many hands involved - it just needs a
manager. It sounds like the vectoring process is going to be much
harder then expected. So its better to have multiple people working on
individual overlays rather than one or two guys having to do the lot.

Lets also wait to see what the feedback is from the survey for the
other overlays.
So far to my survey I've only got around 26 responses. I will try and
report on the initial findings of the survey by this Tuesday. My
thanks goes out to those who have responded but I must say I am a
little dissappointed in the number of responses. There must be at
least 150 active Vectrex users out there, I can see the message in the
various forums are read by alot of people, but not many respond? This
could be because there is not a desire for more overlays or just plain
old apathy.
Anyway, the survey close date is not to 6th June so may be there will
be a few more. The survey should show a couple of clear overlay
winners though.

I don't think it is worth to do too much now because I think the show
stopper will be when we hear how much it will cost to produce a
certain amount of overlays(i.e. the permutations for 4, 8 groups of
overlays) and who will be willing to fund it. I understand that Krisof
is waiting for prices?
Even with a number of people (e.g. five) willing to pay the initial
upfront manufacturing cost, the amount each is still going to be quite
alot.

My conclusion?
Its going to be the costs and distibution of costs to the volunteers
that is going to either make or break this project. This will be
dependant on the choice of overlays finally selected ( bearing in mind
that some overlays can be grouped according to colour families used to
reduce costs)

By the way, in terms of volunteering I don't have software for
vectorising so I can't help there. I don't feel aufait with the screen
printing process either to take charge of that. However, I am
willing to contrubite funds to the manufacturing costs, and I am
willing to distribute the overlays for Europe (and of course free of
my charge).

VectrexMad!
www.vectrex.co.uk


pet...@my-deja.com

unread,
May 22, 2009, 4:17:15 PM5/22/09
to
On May 22, 9:31 am, cnlmoore <cnlmo...@gmail.com> wrote:

>
> I scanned cosmic chasm in PNG at 300 dpi and also at 600dpi. I regret
> to say that I was mistaken with my first thought that this would be an
> easy vector trace project, it won't be. Even at 600dpi it is very
> difficult to discern some of the detail because of the multiple
> overlapping color layers. Many times the layers aren't registered
> correctly so are slightly left or right and this causes even more
> issues. Some artistic interpretation will be necessary. On things
> like fonts and basic shapes, they should be identical, even if it
> requires tracing. There are too many hands in this project right now
> which will only complicate things. Once the actual artwork is
> completed the rest will work itself out. I plan to start on cosmic
> chasm and perhaps star trek and go from there.
>
> Chriswww.tokensonly.com

Chris,
I also scanned couple of overlays and for most 300 dpi should be
fine. However there are few (Clean Sweep and Cosmic Chasm are good
examples) where 600 dpi will be better as there is some fine cross-
hatching or finer details in the images. But OTOH we aren't trying to
make museum-quality exact copies here. I know, accuracy is important
since we are putting all this work into the project, but then how far
do you want to take this? Remember, the way original overlays were
printed (low cost printing) there will be some variations in quality
and registrations even between overlays. Even if we do perfect
artwork there will be some color registration issues at the printers
and some colors will be slightly out of register. GCE used trapping
technique in the original overlays to take care of the registration
errors - we need to do the same on the reproductions.

It is also vital to have the back scan of each overlay as this will
give us the white layer artwork.

Just like Kristof said, they tried to minimize amount of inks used
during printing so they were creative in combining colors to create
other colors. This fact is apparent when one starts examining each
overlay in detail. For example Mine Storm overlay is printed using
yellow, red, cyan(blue) and white inks. The black looking target
marks are just blue ink printed over red. That results in a color
which looks black.

Here are couple of my scans so far. I reduced color pallette to 256
(optimized colors) to make the file smaller. This should not matter
as in the end the artwork will only be for 4 solid colors.

http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/815/minestormfront.png
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/193/minestormback.png

I also couldn't get my scanner to properly render light green on Clean
Sweep. It comes out as dull bluish-green. Again, that won't be
important in the final vector artwork as we can define any color we
need.

I agree with you - some things are common for all overlays - like the
copyright notice. No need to recreate it for each overlay.

If we are serious about this project we need to take it off the forum
into some more orderly means of communication.

Peteski

no-spam-to-[cromero]-please@romero.org

unread,
May 22, 2009, 4:34:11 PM5/22/09
to
Mine Storm. Bravo for that one!

Here's list. Yes I realize they are not are originals or even exist. Does
not matter this is still my list.

Mine Storm
Star Castle
Revector
YASI
Polar Rescue
Protector LE
Spike Circus
Cosmic Chasm

http://www.inkscape.org/

Cheers,

Chris

<vectr...@fastmail.fm> wrote in message
news:34469ea8-2895-4575...@e23g2000vbe.googlegroups.com...

no-spam-to-[cromero]-please@romero.org

unread,
May 22, 2009, 7:32:36 PM5/22/09
to
Oh, and to add to the list,,, the Test Cart Overlay. While not usable for
more than alignment and repair of the Vectrex we probably could use a few
more of good quality.

Feel free to use the scans I made earlier of the Test Cart Overlay to make
more.

Same for Mr. Boston if any feels the burning desire to have one. ( which I
seriously doubt :-) )

Cheers,

Chris
<no-spam-to-[cromero]-ple...@romero.org> wrote in message
news:8%DRl.27133$c45....@nlpi065.nbdc.sbc.com...

hcmffm

unread,
May 24, 2009, 6:18:39 AM5/24/09
to
> It is also vital to have the back scan of each overlay as this will
> give us the white layer artwork.
For scanning the back side it might be good to use a black background
(instead of the default white one). This can be achieved by putting a black
paper on top of the overlay. This way only the white color is scanned, the
transparent parts will be black.

Regards, Helmut


vectr...@fastmail.fm

unread,
May 25, 2009, 9:31:01 PM5/25/09
to
Dear All,

Thanks to those who have taken the time to respond to the overlay
survey.
I haven't had a chance to weight the data yet but so far the
following is definitely representative of the wish list order:

1) MineStorm
2) Star Castle
3) Pole Position

Number of responses is only 25. After 6th June I will display all the
results. Should we be worried that there hasn't been a higher response
to the survey?


VectrexMad!

Nico

unread,
May 28, 2009, 7:03:08 PM5/28/09
to
> Number of responses is only 25.
now 26 :)

I'd really be interested in YASI,Protector,Starsling and Pitchers Duel
(I could provide a boxscan - there was never an overlay but it is
illustrated on the box)


Dave Griffith

unread,
May 29, 2009, 3:15:58 AM5/29/09
to

Since I seem to have started this, here are my choices:

Armor Attack, Star Castle, Clean Sweep, Star Trek


--
David Griffith
dgr...@cs.csbuak.edu <-- Switch the 'b' and 'u'

hcmffm

unread,
May 29, 2009, 4:34:55 PM5/29/09
to
Simply use the following form for ordering replacement screen overlays:
http://www.merimba.de/_vectrex/2009/Dark-Tower-Page002.tif


(Sorry, couldn't resist.)

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