Miva Filoseta

Several Vectrex overlays

Vectrex relation Smith Engineering employee
Known for Creating overlays
Miscellaneous Vectrex projects
Currently Director of Engineering at Mattel

Miva Filoseta was a Smith Engineering employee who created the majority of the overlays for the Vectrex “until the 3-D system (3D Imager) came up” (as Filoseta said in an e-mail).

Early lifeEdit

Filoseta attended and graduated California State University with a B. S. in Industrial Design.

More than just overlaysEdit

During the beginning design days, “Originally (before it became Vectrex) this was conceived as a hand held game, but because of the size and resolution limitation of LCDs at the time, it evolved into a 7” CRT, but since 7” CRTs (some of early sketches represent this size) were very expensive (that is why the early concepts reflected an upscale design with dual function as a PC)...eventually, through contacts with GCE, we settled into the 9” since it was a standard black and white TV size. Jay Smith and GCE were not quite happy with the concepts since they were not very distinctive so they went to an outside design consultant [who?] who came up with the existing design.”

Although employed to create overlays at Smith Engineering, Filoseta was actually instrumental in other aspects of the Vectrex, as “An interesting point that no one knows is that Smith Engineering proposed several preliminary concepts to GCE which I designed...I only designed the controller (which several people complained about later).” It is currently unclear as to what this is exactly. Also, an early drawing of his seems to match a photo of what is supposed to be a prototype design of the Vectrex, which P. Ian Nicholson posted photos of on January 4, 2011 on his web site.

What you heard wasn’t true?Edit

Years after the demise of the Vectrex, fellow ex-Smith Engineering employees Tom Sloper (who designed Spike and Bedlam) and Bill Hawkings (who coded 3D Minestorm, Bedlam, and others) related during their 2000 Classic Gaming Expo keynote address of a supposed “big rift” between Filoseta’s overlay design artwork obscuring various displays on the screen (such as number of lives left, player’s[‘] score[s] and such), which the programmers would have to go back and work out the problems with the display graphics again.

Filoseta said “I don’t remember any issues with the overlays per-se. There were one or two of the game designers that felt the overlays were not necessary and that it detracted from the game play. I sort of agree since we tried to frame the score and lives remaining with the printed graphics...the programmers and later the production people had a hell of a time keeping the graphics registered with the overlay. These programmers talk as if we r[e]ally had a choice on what to execute when we really did not.”

It is currently unclear if some of these problems were rumors or something that was overblown by one or more individuals.

Current professional lifeEdit

Filoseta is currently a Director of Engineering at Mattel, where he has been working at since his Smith Engineering days. One of his accomplishments include a patent application for a Toy Vehicle Booster and Track Set for the company.



  • Filoseta did not design the first four overlays (Mine Storm, Cosmic Chasm, Rip Off, Scramble [?]); those were designed by Rick Irons.
  • In regards to the alleged problems between the programmers and Filoseta with the overlays obscuring game information, Filoseta dismissed this by saying “Talk about alternate realities!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The ‘big rift’ is really funny!!”
  • Filoseta still keeps in touch with ex-Smith Engineering employees Tom Sloper and Patrick King (who designed Web Wars).
  • Also, in regards to fellow employee John Ross, he “was quite a character; huge [6'5"], only wore T-shirts and blue jeans, preferred to walk barefoot...[yet] came up with some incredible design concepts for Smith Engineering. He also designed and built huge Tibetan-type horns which we would go and play the drain tunnels in [the] Temescal Canyon crossing with Sunset [Street?]." They “were made of sewer pipe starting with a diameter of 8 in. and tapering to about an inch. Some of these were over 30 ft long. John had mapped the resonance of the tunnel and had assigned [a] specific location to the player of the big horns in order to maximize the loudness. If you happened to walk on Sunset while we were playing, you would hear this eerie music coming out of the drain traps.” Recordings were made of several of the playing sessions originally although those may have been lost over the years.


Stubspike This article is a stub. You can help by expanding it.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.