Vectorman

Last updated
Vectorman
Vectorman cover.jpg
North American cover art
Developer(s) BlueSky Software
Publisher(s) Sega
Designer(s) Rich Karpp
Mark Lorenzen
Composer(s) Jon Holland
Platform(s) Sega Genesis, Mobile phone, Windows
ReleaseGenesis
  • NA: October 24, 1995
  • EU: November 30, 1995
Virtual Console
  • JP: February 27, 2007
  • EU: April 7, 2007
  • NA: September 22, 2008
Genre(s) Action/platform game
Mode(s) Single-player

Vectorman is a series of run and gun platform games developed by BlueSky Software and published by Sega for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis. The first game in the series was released on October 24, 1995 in North America [1] and on November 30, 1995 in Europe. The games have since appeared on several game compilations, including the Sega Genesis Collection for the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation Portable, the Sonic Gems Collection for the Nintendo GameCube, and Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Vectorman was added to the Wii Virtual Console on February 27, 2007, in Japan and April 5, 2007, in Europe, and in North America on September 22, 2008. [2] It was also released on the digital distribution service Steam as part of the "SEGA Genesis Classics Pack" and as a standalone title. Vectorman was ported to iOS and Android in 2018 as part of the Sega Forever service.

Platform game video game genre

Platform games, or platformers, are a video game genre and subgenre of action game. In a platformer the player controlled character must jump and climb between suspended platforms while avoiding obstacles. Environments often feature uneven terrain of varying height that must be traversed. The player often has some control over the height and distance of jumps to avoid letting their character fall to their death or miss necessary jumps. The most common unifying element of games of this genre is the jump button, but now there are other alternatives like swiping a touchscreen. Other acrobatic maneuvers may factor into the gameplay as well, such as swinging from objects such as vines or grappling hooks, as in Ristar or Bionic Commando, or bouncing from springboards or trampolines, as in Alpha Waves. These mechanics, even in the context of other genres, are commonly called platforming, a verbification of platform. Games where jumping is automated completely, such as 3D games in The Legend of Zelda series, fall outside of the genre.

A video game developer is a software developer that specializes in video game development – the process and related disciplines of creating video games. A game developer can range from one person who undertakes all tasks to a large business with employee responsibilities split between individual disciplines, such as programming, design, art, testing, etc. Most game development companies have video game publisher financial and usually marketing support. Self-funded developers are known as independent or indie developers and usually make indie games.

BlueSky Software was an American video game developer situated in California formed in 1988 and had a successful run for 12 years before closing in March 2001, when parent company Titus Interactive was in financial trouble.

Contents

Story

Vectorman

In 2043, the human population of Earth embarks on a migratory voyage to try to colonize other planets. They leave mechanical "orbots" to clean up the mess they made on Earth through littering and pollution. Raster, a high-level orbot who watches Earth through a planetwide computer network, is accidentally attached to a working nuclear missile by a lesser orbot and goes insane, becoming an evil dictator named Warhead. He declares himself ruler of Earth, and begins preparing to execute any humans who dare return to their planet.

Earth Third planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth orbits around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.

Litter Waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, at an inappropriate location

Litter consists of waste products that have been disposed of improperly, without consent, at an undesirable location. Litter can also be used as a verb. To litter means to drop and leave objects, often man-made, such as aluminum cans, cardboard boxes or plastic bottles on the ground, and leave them there indefinitely or for others to dispose of as opposed to disposing of them properly.

Pollution introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change

Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat or light. Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. In 2015, pollution killed 9 million people in the world.

Enter Vectorman, a humble orbot in charge of cleaning up toxic sludge by simply discharging it into the sun. As he lands on Earth after his last trip, he finds chaos and confusion. Because all the other Orbots are controlled by Warhead (Vectorman having not been affected because he was away), Vectorman takes it upon himself to destroy the errant orbot and restore peace to Earth.

Vectorman 2

After saving Earth from Warhead in the previous game, Vectorman's sludge barge is targeted and destroyed by a missile. Vectorman escapes, parachuting down to the planet to battle with the Earth's multitudinous enemy; mutant insects. Now it is up to Vectorman to fight through the mutant bugs and find the most fearsome source infestation; the evil Black Widow Queen.

Insect Class of invertebrates

Insects or Insecta are hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; usually, insects comprise a class within the Arthropoda. As used here, the term Insecta is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; they include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms. The total number of extant species is estimated at between six and ten million; potentially over 90% of the animal life forms on Earth are insects. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans.

<i>Latrodectus</i> genus of arachnids

Latrodectus is a broadly distributed genus of spiders, which is composed of both black widow spiders and brown widow spiders. A member of the Theridiidae family, this genus contains 31 species, including the North American black widows, the European black widow, the Australian redback black widow and the button spiders of Southern Africa. Species vary widely in size. In most cases, the males are dark-coloured and readily identifiable by reddish markings on the abdomen, which are often hourglass-shaped.

A queen regnant is a female monarch, equivalent in rank to a king, who reigns in her own right, as opposed to a queen consort, who is the wife of a reigning king, or a queen regent, who is the guardian of a child monarch and reigns temporarily in the child's stead. An empress regnant is a female monarch who reigns in her own right over an empire.

Vectorman 2
Vectorman2.jpg
Box art
Developer(s) BlueSky Software
Publisher(s) Sega
Producer(s) Jerry Markota
Jerry Huber
Designer(s) John Abad
Marty Davis
Keith R. Freiheit
Jerry Huber
Rick Randolph
Rick Schmitz
Ron Thompson
Thi Truong
Jason Weesner
Dok Whitson
Platform(s) Sega Genesis
Release
  • NA: November 15, 1996
Genre(s) Action/platform game
Mode(s) Single-player

Graphics and gameplay

Vectorman

Vectorman uses pre-rendered 3D models in its level and character designs. This gives the game a smooth, computer-generated feel. The original name of the villain, Warhead, was Raster (as in raster graphics, the opposite of vector graphics). Vectorman was considered the answer to Nintendo's Donkey Kong Country at the time, as they both used graphical tricks to show graphics beyond what the console was thought capable of.

3D computer graphics graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data

3D computer graphics or three-dimensional computer graphics, are graphics that use a three-dimensional representation of geometric data that is stored in the computer for the purposes of performing calculations and rendering 2D images. Such images may be stored for viewing later or displayed in real-time.

Raster graphics dot matrix data structure, representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium

In computer graphics, a raster graphics or bitmap image is a dot matrix data structure that represents a generally rectangular grid of pixels, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats.

Vector graphics type of 2D digital illustration that uses geometric and styling definitions to represent images

Vector graphics are computer graphics images that are defined in terms of 2D points, which are connected by lines and curves to form polygons and other shapes. Each of these points has a definite position on the x- and y-axis of the work plane and determines the direction of the path; further, each path may have various properties including values for stroke color, shape, curve, thickness, and fill. Vector graphics are commonly found today in the SVG, EPS, PDF or AI graphic file formats and are intrinsically different from the more common raster graphics file formats of JPEG, PNG, APNG, GIF, and MPEG4.

The game itself is a straightforward 2D action platformer. Vectorman is an "orbot" (a robot whose body is composed entirely of orbs) powered with a ball gun in his hand; powerups include a machine gun, "bolo" gun, and triple-fire guns.

2D computer graphics graphics that use a two-dimensional representation of geometric data

2D computer graphics is the computer-based generation of digital images—mostly from two-dimensional models and by techniques specific to them.The word may stand for the branch of computer science that comprises such techniques or for the models themselves.

An action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time. The genre includes a large variety of sub-genres, such as fighting games, beat 'em ups, shooter games and platform games. Some multiplayer online battle arena and real-time strategy games are also considered action games.

Sphere round geometrical and circular object in three-dimensional space; special case of spheroid

A sphere is a perfectly round geometrical object in three-dimensional space that is the surface of a completely round ball.

Vectorman possesses the ability to transform, through the use of powerups, into several different forms: including a drill, to cut through floors; a bomb, to destroy all surrounding enemies or breakable walls; and an aquatic form, useful for swimming underwater. In addition to powerup transformations, three levels host unique morphed forms with which to combat bosses in. Overall, the game consists of 16 levels.

"Play to Win" contest

Sega held a "Play to Win" promotion offering Vectorman players a chance to win $25,000 as well as numerous other prizes, including several $10,000 prizes, and free Sega Saturn consoles. Upon completing the game (without using cheat codes), select Vectorman cartridges would display a flashing "You Win!" message with a special phone number where the player could call in and register as a winner. 12- year old "Keola" Kaula of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was the winner of the grand prize, which included $25,000, a VIP tour of Sega headquarters, and a starring role in a Sega TV commercial. [3]

Sega Saturn Video game console

The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe. The successor to the successful Sega Genesis, the Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several arcade ports as well as original games.

Vectorman 2

The gameplay is similar to the previous game. [4] Vectorman has a different set of weapons, including a pulse beam, energy shot, and supershot guns. Vectorman can also now transform into insect forms such as a fire ant, a rhino, and "shield bug" that repels attacks. Unlike the original Vectorman, the full-level transformations featured in this game are not used to combat bosses as that is left to the human-form Vectorman. There are 22 levels divided into seven parts in all.

Before Vectorman 2 was released, Sega Channel held a contest that allowed artists to draw a morph Vectorman. Judges then chose the best one to be transformed in Genesis art, as well as being put on the Sega Channel. Ten runner-up submitters won a copy of Vectorman 2. [5]

Development

Vectorman introduced a new Genesis programming technique referred to by Sega as Vector Piece Animation. [6] The player character's body actually consists of 23 individual sprites programmed to move in unison. [6]

Reception

The four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the first Vectorman a score of 8.25 out of 10, unanimously praising the advanced graphics and animation, large levels with numerous hidden areas, strong audio, and ability to change into different forms. [7] GamePro 's Scary Larry gave it a rave review, stating that "your jaw will hang open in amazement at what Vectorman does with the 16-bit Genesis engine. This platform game comes on with great guns, a morphing hero, and diverse, well-detailed levels." He also praised the simple controls, advanced graphics, and sound effects, and scored it a 5/5 in graphics, control, and FunFactor and a 4.5/5 in sound. [8] Both Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro awarded it Best Genesis Game of 1995. [9] [10]

Electronic Gaming Monthly gave Vectorman 2 a 7.25 out of 10. Shawn Smith, Dan Hsu, and Crispin Boyer applauded its traditional side-scrolling gameplay, huge levels, graphics, and animation, especially on the bosses. Sushi-X, in contrast, said that the levels are surprisingly small, making it a disappointment compared to the first game. [11] Scary Larry gave it a 4.5/5 in graphics and a 5/5 in every other category. He said that compared to the first game, it "has cleaner graphics, more sound and voice effects, and faster, smoother gameplay. Add to this spectacular and complex levels, and you have the makings of a Sega classic." [12] Electronic Gaming Monthly awarded it Genesis Game of the Year. [13]

Other Vectorman projects

A design document was completed for a third Vectorman title in the series which would have appeared on the Sega Saturn, but BlueSky Software's relationship with Sega ended before the proposal could be reviewed or green-lit. In 2000, six former BlueSky employees formed a new company called VBlank Software [14] to create original titles for the PlayStation 2. One of the projects they created was a demo for a new 3D Vectorman game which would have featured the character on an alien planet with new transformations. However, Sega had already established a relationship with Canadian developer Pseudo Interactive to create a Vectorman title that was based around a more traditional combat model and had a more serious tone. [15] VBlank Software never got to present its demo and Sega canceled Pseudo Interactive's Vectorman title after it was briefly shown at the 2003 E3.

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References

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  2. "Two WiiWare Games and Two Virtual Console Games Added to Wii Shop Channel". Nintendo . Nintendo of America. 2008-09-22. Archived from the original on June 22, 2018. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
  3. January 12, 1996 12-year-old gamer wins $25,000 cash grand prize in Sega's videogame contest; more than 90 other prizes yet to be won
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