Many different type of Break-Out like games exist for the Atari
ST, so why yet another one. Well, there are a number of reasons.
First of all because all the existing games are missing
something. They all have some great ideas but are lacking others.
Secondly, because most games work on colour monitors only. This
one will work on a monochrome monitor (only). Thirdly because it
is fun to write something like this.
But the main reason is that this one is special. It contains most
of the good ideas of the existing games and many new features.
Just to mention a few things: There are over 40 different types
of stones, all with special features. There are many different
types of bonusses, many types of monsters, 5 basically different
types of levels, etc. Of course, you won't encounter all these
things at the first levels. On later levels new things appear
that you did not see before. To avoid geting bored Super Break-
Out allows you to continue on the level you got killed. So you
don't have to start from the beginning.
Some other nice features include good score files, the program
remembers its players and knows what your current status is,
level files that can easily be changed, added, etc. For this a
special level editor is provided with the program.New levels
files might be provided in the future for the advanced players.
1. Your disk
The disk should contain the following files:
SBREAK.PRG : The program
SBREAK.DOC : This documentation in 1STWord format
SBREAK.TXT : This documentation in readable form
BACKPICT.ART : The background picture
SPRITES.ART : The bitmaps for the sprites
SBREAK.SND : The sounds file
LEVELS02 : The first set of levels
LEVELS03 : The second set of levels
In a folder LEVELED you should find the following files:
EDITOR.PRG : The level editor
EDIT.RSC : The resource file for the editor
SPRITES2.ART : The sprites for the editor
When playing a file SBREAK.SCR for the scores will appear and
also files ?????.SBR that contain information about players.
Don't keep your disk write-protected when playing otherwise no
information can be stored. Better first make a back-up copy of
Simply click the SBREAK.PRG icon on the desktop. Type in your
name when asked (Super Break-Out will remember you) and you can
start. The goal, as you probably know, is to hit away all the
stones with the ball. During the game the left mouse button
normally does a lot of important things like e.g. releasing the
ball, shooting bullets, etc.
Sometimes little bonusses fall down. They tend to help you by
such things as slowing down the ball, turning your bat into a
machine gun, giving an extra life, etc. When you catch them with
the bat the feature will start. Bonusses are indicated with a
letter. The following types of different bonusses exist:
A: Gives you an Automatic moving bat. Press the left mouse button
to continue doing it yourself.
B: Gives you a lot of Bonus points.
D: Gives a Destructive ball that kills all stones.
E: Gives you an Extra life (bat).
G: Your bat becomes a Gun. It can shoot bullets with your left
mouse button. Two different types of bullets exist.
H: Your bat will now Hold the balls. Release them with the left
K: This Kills all the monsters.
L: Your bat will become Long.
N: You can pass to the Next level by shooting a ball into the
exit stone that appears.
R: This Removes all stones of the type you hit next.
S: This Slows down the balls.
T: Gives you Three balls that reappear when lost.
W: Build a Wall of stones to keep the ball high up. Should be
great when the ball is at the top of the field but a disaster
when it is near the bat.
2: Gives you two extra balls.
5: Gives you five extra balls.
?: A surprise. Can be very good but also bad. Do you take the
Of course also nasty things happen, like bombs falling down. But
don't worry. They only appear on higher levels. Also some
monsters run around. They are reasonably harmless but change the
direction of the ball when hit. (But beware of the nasties deeper
in the game.)
High scores and special LIFE stones will give extra bats. After
you killed all your bats you are given the choice to either
continue at the last level, start new at the beginning or quit.
When you indicate to continue, the game will start again at a
level just before the one on which you where. To get anywhere
further you will have to get through at least three levels in one
go. The higher you start, the more points you can get.
The score is computed as follows: 100 for every normal stone hit,
2500 for completing the level, 400 for each bonus caught and
100 for each monster destroyed. After completing a level the
score for that level is increased by a percentage depending on
the level. Hence, the higher the level, the more point you can
obtain for each level.
The following keys are important:
q: Quit the game.
k: kill your bat (useful when you locked yourself up).
r: restart the level (useful when the level locks up).
N: Continue on the next level. This costs you 2 lives and is
only useful when you don't manage some particular level at
p: pause the game. Any key continues.
b: Changes the speed of the bat.
s: Toggles sound on off.
f: Saves the current situation such that you can continue
playing later. The game will be saved under your current
name. To continue later simply start SBREAK and type in
space: Will give you an empty screen such that nobody will see
what you are doing. Any character continues.
3. The Level Editor
With Super Break-Out I have provided a simple interactive Level
Editor. You will find it in the folder LEVELED. One thing I will
state immediately: IT DOES NOT CHECK FOR ERRORS. So if you fill
in impossible data, it just leaves it in. Before starting using
it, take care that you have a copy of this documentation, in
particular the next chapter, on paper in fromt of you.
To start the Level Editor simply double click EDITOR.PRG. After
some loading you will see the so-called manager. In this you can
load in a file of levels (using the Load button) or save the
levels you created or changed. On the left you see the names of
the (at most) 40 different levels in the file. One of them will
be selected. Above the buttons there is another possible level,
called the buffer. The buffer is used for changing the order of
levels in the file. You can copy levels to and from the buffer
and exchange levels with the buffer. You can also insert the
buffer above the selected level or delete a level. For example,
to move the first level to the end select the first level, press
Copy To Buffer, press Delete, select the last level and press
Copy From Buffer. Play a bit with this moving and copying stuff
until you are familiar with it.
To change a level, first select it. (You can also select the
buffer to change it. Note that the buffer won't be saved on disk,
so after changing it you have to copy ot to some place in the
level file.) Now there are two things you can change: The
settings and the field. The field contains the information about
the position of the stones. The settings contain such things as
type of monsters, speed of the ball, etc.
To change the settings press the cooresponding button. Het you
can fill in the name of the level and the different settings.
Refer to section 4 for their meaning. Take care that they are in
the given bounds. The name should contain something. An empty
name is considered by the editor as a non-existing level and is
not saved on disk. Press OK to actually change the settings.
Press Cancel if you made a big mistake.
To change the field press the button Edit Field. You will see a
screen consisting of two parts. On the left there is the current
field description of the level. On the right are all the
different stones in three vertical rows. (Refer to section 4 for
the meaning of the stones.) Some stones will look slightly
different as in the game to make it possible to distinguish them
(in particular the invisible stones are made visible). On the
left bottom of the field the current stone is indicated. This is
the stone type you can place on the field. To change it, simply
point your mouse to the stone you want (at the right) and press a
mouse button. To place a stone in the field point your mouse to
the position and press the left mouse button. To erase a stone on
the field, point and press the right mouse button. That is all
there is to know. Well, one more thing. How to return to the
manager. This is done in a very user-unfriendly way. Simply move
your mouse to the far left of the screen and press a button will
do the trick.
Finally there are a few more buttons. Clear clears the selected
level, Clear All does ... (guess what). Help gives you some basic
information. Quit finally stops the program. Make sure that you
saved your file before pressing Quit. No escapes are provided.
The best way to create and test your own levels is to put them in
a file LEVEL01. (Note that such a file does not exist. The files
on disk start with LEVELS01.) Now when you start SBREAK it will
first give you your own newly created levels. If you really want
to do difficult things, e.g., getting levels from one file and
putting them in the other, you can also use a simple editor. See
section 4 on what a level file look like.
Please create a few levels yourself and send them to me. I will
collect all levels design and provide them later on a level disk.
This section is going to describe a number of internal aspects of
Super Break-Out. This information is neccessary for those who
want to design their own levels but should preferably not be read
by people that want to have most fun in the game. Surprise is
4.1. Bitmaps and Background
Both the background and the bitmaps of all the sprites are simple
drawings, created with the great Public Domain program Artist.
You can easily edit them. Realise that the program "knows" the
sizes of the different objects. Hence you should take care that
sizes remain the same. For example, if you make the bat a bit
larger, the ball will simply pass through the extra part. Also
take care that the order of the bitmaps remains the same. Always
first make a copy of the old files.
The sounds that you hear when e.g. the ball hits a stone are
described in the file SBREAK.SND and can be altered. There are 12
different types of sound. Each sound is described on one line. It
consists of a series of numbers. This row of numbers is passed to
the sounds demon when the sound is required using the XBIOS
command DoSound. Number are given in Hexadecimal and should end
with the letter H. Each row should end with the number FF00H. The
following 12 sounds are in the file:
1: Ball hits wall
2: Ball hits bat
3: Ball or bat hits a monster
4: A normal stone is hit by the ball or a bullet
5: An undestructable stone is hit
6: A super stone is hit (stone type Y or Z)
7: A teleporter stone is hit (type a or p)
8: An exploding stone is hit (type U)
9: The bat gets destroyed
10: Starting a new level
11: An extra life is obtained
12: A bomb hits the bat
Super Break-Out knows a large number of different stones. Most
stones have their own special features. Stone types are indicated
by letters. Below follows a description of all stone types.
Stones indicated with a star (*) must be destroyed to finish the
level. The others not.
. Empty position.
A * Normal stone.
B-J * Normal stones with different grey scales. Can be used for
making nice looking pictures.
K * Looks like P but must be destroyed.
L * Invisible but must be hit.
M * Needs two hits.
N * Needs three hits.
O * Needs four hits.
Q * Can be hit only from above, otherwise just bounces.
R * Can be hit only from below.
S Lets balls pass from top to bottom only.
T Lets balls pass from bottom to top only.
U * Explodes and destroys all stones around it.
V Undestructable but moves up when hit from below.
W Undestructable but moves down when hit from above.
X Undestructable but moves when hit.
Y Removes all stones of type A.
Z Removes all stones of type P.
a Teleports the ball to another teleporting stone.
b * Like A but moves horizontally.
c Like P but moves horizontally.
d Like a but moves horizontally.
e Can be destroyed but this is not neccessary.
f Lets balls pass sometimes and sometimes not.
g Needs three hits. Reappears after some time.
h Needs two hits and reappears after some time.
i Creates stones of type e to the left and to the right.
j Creates stones of type A on both sides.
k Creates stones of type P on both sides.
l * Creates a bomb when destroyed.
m * Like A but moves vertically.
n Like P but moves vertically.
o * Creates a nasty bomb that goes towards the bat.
p * Moves the ball to some arbitrary position (and disappears).
q Kills the ball. Should not be hit.
r Gives an extra life.
s Exit to next level.
t Invisible and undestructable.
u Undestructable, creates a bomb when hit.
v * Requires a random number of hits (average is 5).
w * Transforms into an arbitrary other stone when hit.
x Undestructable, moves to somewhere else when hit
y * Jumps around randomly
z Undestructable, jumps around randomly
When designing levels please follow the following rules. Don't
use too many different types of stones. Don't use more than 20
moving stones. Take care that the level cannot lock itself.
Although this might be a 'feature' of later levels. Note that the
user is always given the possibility to kill himself (when he
gets locked up) or redo the level (when the level gets locked
Super Break-Out knows five different types of games, depending on
the type of bats choosen:
1 Normal game with one fixed bat at the bottom.
2 One bat but it can be moved also in the y-direction.
3 Two bats, one at the top and one at the bottom.
4 One bat that gradually moves up, making things harder.
5 Two bats that both gradually move to the center.
Monsters are described by two numbers in the level files: the
type and their number. The following types exist:
0: No monsters
1: Simple moving thing. Can pass through stones. Changes
direction of the ball a bit when hit.
2: Same but cannot pass through stones.
3: Spaceship that kills the bat when it hits it. Cannot be
4: Spaceship that flies around and changes the direction of the
ball. It cannot be destroyed.
5: A jumping ball that cannot be destroyed but disappears at the
6: Like 1 but does not influence balls (only useful for
7: Like 2 but does not influence balls.
The number of monsters must lie between 0 and 6.
Bombs are thrown down by monsters and by some stones. There are
two types of bombs, bombs that simply fall down and bombs that
move towards the bat. Bomb can also be distinguished by their
effect when they hit the bat. The following effects exist:
0: Kills the bat (i.e. it costs you a life)
1: Make the bat invisible for some time
2: Freezes the bat for some time
3: Removes all special features
4: Reduces the score by 1000 points
5: makes the balls invisible for some time
6: increases the ball speed
The type of effect is indicated in the LEVELS files and can be
different for each level. Whether monsters throw bombs and how
often is also indicated in the LEVELS files by giving a bomb
chance. When this is 0 there are no bombs. When it is between 1
and 5 the bombs fall straight down. Their number increases. When
the chance is between 6 and 9 the bombs move towards the bat.
Note that the number of bombs also depends on the number of
4.7. The LEVELS files
Super Break-Out reads the levels from files called LEVELSxx,
where xx is some two digit number, that should be in the same
directory as the program. These files can be changed using the
provided Level Editor. But, as they are simple ASCII files they
can also be changed with any editor. Hence, it is easy to add
levels, remove levels or change levels, merge files, etc. Each
file can contain up to 100 levels but, as the Level Editor can
only handle at most 40 levels, it is better to limit the number
of levels per file to 40. Not all files need to be present. The
program simply starts with the lowest numbered file and when all
levels in that file have been solved it goes to the next file it
can find etc.
Each level starts with a * on the first position of an input line
(but don't use the sign for anything else). Everything before the
first * is skipped. The rest of the line with the * is also
skipped and, hence, can contain info about the level. The next
line should contain the name of the level (maximal 16
characters). The next line contains a number of digits that
indicate the type of play. The following digits should be there:
- The type of bats (1-5)
- The type of monsters (0-9)
- The number of monsters (0-6)
- The bonus chance (the higher the more bonusses) (0-9)
- The start speed (0-9)
- The maximum speed (0-9)
- The speed increase (the higher the longer it takes) (0-9)
- The type of bombs (0-6)
- The bomb chance (0=never,9=very often) (0-9)
- If 1 the level restores itself when you get killed. 2 means
the end of the last level file (0-2)
- Reserved for later use (0)
The basic (easy) setting should be something like 10041640000.
After the last level in the last file put a level with setting
On the next line the description of the stones in the level
starts. Note that there are at most 20 lines each of at most 11
stones. Stones are indicated by letters, empty places by a dot.
Each line of stones must be on a separate line of text. If the
rest of a line is empty it can be ommitted. If the next lines are
empty they can be ommitted as well.
Finally, after all levels, the next line should start with a #
indicating that this is the end of the file. Any text after that
is skipped. The following is an example of a level file with two
This is a level file.
* The first easy level
* The second, difficult level
Two Bat Terror
# THE END
Some hints on designing levels are useful. Don't use too many
different types of stones on one level. When the bat can move
freely (type=2) only use the top 14 rows. When there are two bats
(type=3) don't use the top 5 rows.
When designing levels, the easiest thing to do is to create a new
file named LEVELS01 with your own levels.(Note that such no file
with that name is present.)
If you have any suggestions for improvement (e.g. new stone
types) or if you did design a nicer set of bitmaps, a better
background, new sounds or a new set of levels, please send them
to me and they will be included with the next update. I also plan
to make libraries of levels. Of course credits will be given.
Send things to:
3571 ET UTRECHT