B-Cool Breakout

B-Cool Breakout
Bcoolbreakout-anniversary-version.png

A screenshot of the Anniversary version

Information
Developer RJD Online Software Development
Publisher B-Cool (originally)
The Ginever Alliance (2015-)
Type 2D Breakout Game
Platform Windows (all versions)
Mac & Linux (1.7+)
Latest version   Version 1.7-beta2
(7 April 2016)
Made with Game Maker (1.6 and earlier)
GinENGINE (1.7+)
License Ginever Community License
Support status Discontinued

B-Cool Breakout is a classic-style breakout game that was developed by RJD Online Software Development using Game Maker. It was created for B-Cool, where it was published on 20 July 2006.

Since the original release there have been several updates to the game. The first was v1.5, a special 'Deluxe' version published in 2007 which added new levels and features. This was followed much later by v1.7, a special anniversary remake from The Ginever Alliance at the end of 2015, which ported the game to GinENGINE and allowed it to be played on Mac and Linux for the first time.

After the formation of Ginever Entertainment this project was transferred to legacy status and support was discontinued. However, as of now, the anniversary remake can still be played via the GineverLauncher.

Versions

Prototype: v1.1, Build 1001

In May 2006, Michael Denny, the newly appointed deputy administrator of B-Cool, decided to make a B-Cool branded version of Mark Overmars' Game Maker Breakout clone in order to raise publicity for the site. In just over an hour, the bat graphic was modified and a few levels changed in order to create a prototype game. This was given the version number 1.1 in order to differentiate it from Overmars' original version. The prototype gained a small amount of interest and it was decided that making a full game would be a good idea. Development of the full title was transferred to Robert Dennington.

Public Release: v1.2, Build 1226

A fully branded version of the game, with several new levels and a music track called Manteca, was released to the public by RJD Online Software Development on 20 July 2006.

Update v1.2a, Build 1228

Version 1.2a was released in August 2006 which removed Manteca and replaced it with a freeware MIDI file after a complaint was filed. It was otherwise identical to version 1.2.

Update v1.3, Build 1307

Version 1.3 was released in March 2007. The game executable was rebuilt with Game Maker 7 in order to make it compatible with Windows Vista. A hidden cheat code system was also added in order to allow people to skip to later levels and gain extra lives. It was otherwise identical to version 1.2a.

Deluxe Version: v1.5, Build 1500

After the forums became the Legend Killer Productions community in 2007, Martin Commins and Robert James Dennington decided that the game should be extended with new levels, music, and features. A deluxe version of the game was released on 14 July 2007 and featured an entirely new bank of 26 music tracks, brand new levels (most of which were designed by MDC), animated bricks, a level select system, a massively revamped cheat code system, and the ability to save in-game screenshots to BMP files. The game border was also changed to better reflect the "Deluxe" status.

Update v1.5.1, Build 1517

Version 1.5.1 was released on 15 August 2007 and included a few minor changes. Music volume was adjusted, a pause function was added, invisible blocks were modified to flash yellow, and the cheating system was updated. It was otherwise identical to version 1.5.

Cancelled development builds of v1.6

At the start of 2008, RJD Online Software Development announced that they would attempt to add experimental new features to the game, such as power-ups and online co-operative gameplay.

Internal Build 1582-a3, known as "B-Cool Breakout Deluxe 1.6 Internal Alpha", was released to testers on 21 January 2008. It featured a new "Standard Play" game mode, several partially working power-ups, and a revamped main menu. A later build, 1582-a4, was branded as "B-Cool Breakout Deluxe II Internal Alpha" and featured a new FMOD-based music engine and updated graphics.

However, due to lack of interest in new releases of B-Cool Breakout, the project eventually ground to a halt and was scrapped.

Anniversary Edition: v1.7

The deluxe version of the game was ported to GinENGINE 0.1 in 2015 as part of the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of Ginever.net. The official name for the port is 'B-Cool Breakout: Anniversary Edition'. Despite being based on version 1.5 of the game rather than the 1.6 alphas, it was given the version number of 1.7 to allow for easier disambiguation of the 1.6 alpha builds.

Since it is based on GinENGINE rather than Game Maker, the Anniversary Edition is the first version of the game that works on Mac and Linux platforms.

The first beta version of the port (beta 1) lacked a working cheat code system and did not hide the mouse cursor while the game is in play. These issues were fixed in 1.7 beta 2.

Cheat Codes

Entering a cheat code

In versions 1.5, 1.5.1 and 1.7 beta 2 or later, it is possible to cheat by pressing F12 (in 1.5) or F11 (in 1.7) and then entering a cheat code. The cheats were primarily added to help aid in testing, and were left in the game under the assumption that the average player would be unable to guess them. The following cheat codes are valid:

  • menu - Return to the main menu without going to the high score table
  • titchify - Skip to the next level
  • i love breakout - Gain a free life
  • trouble - Gain 10 free lives
  • i really love breakout - Play the secret mission

The following additional experimental cheat codes were added in Internal Build 1582-a3:

  • glowify - Turn all balls into glowing balls
  • beefitup - Enable power-ups
  • doublethefun - Double the number of regular balls
  • deathtrap - Make all balls explode

Until these codes were posted on the wiki, the only known codes were menu (displayed within the in-game help) and i really love breakout (revealed by Tinytimrob in 2008).

The cheat code key was changed from F12 to F11 for the Anniversary Edition in order to avoid a conflict with launching the game through Steam, which by default has its screenshot key as F12.

Hidden Levels

The hidden XMAS level

Starting with version 1.7 beta 2, it is possible to access 'hidden levels' using the level select menu. To do this, simply input the hidden level's secret code, instead of a level number.

The following hidden levels are currently known:

  • XMAS - The Tree (a Christmas tree level which uses 'Jungle Smells' as the background music)

Soundtrack

Deluxe and Anniversary editions

The soundtrack for the deluxe and anniversary editions consists of random MIDI files obtained from the RPG Toolkit website, sourced mostly from Donkey Kong Country 3, the Final Fantasy series, Secret of Mana, Terranigma and Chrono Trigger. The following tracks have been so far identified:

Level File name Track source
Menu sommfort.mid Secret of Mana - Into the Thick of It
1 quattros.mid Terranigma - Quatro's
2 ctbattl2.mid Chrono Trigger - Battle
3 ctbikerace.mid Chrono Trigger - Bike Race
4 cc104.mid Chrono Cross - Fields of Time
5 bike.mid Final Fantasy VII - Crazy Motorcycle Chase
6 bizarro.mid Final Fantasy VII - Birth of a God
7 ctlavos2.mid Chrono Trigger - Lavos Final Boss Battle Theme
8 ctspekkio.mid Chrono Trigger - Delightful Spekkio
9 batmix.mid Final Fantasy VII - Fighting
10 dkc3purs.mid Donkey Kong Country 3 - Hot Pursuit
11 dkc3tree.mid Donkey Kong Country 3 - Treetop Tumble
12 einswei.mid Mo-Do - Eins Zwei Polizei (instrumental)
13 creator3.mid Final Fantasy Legend - Creator's Theme
14 chocobo.mid Final Fantasy VII - Electric de Chocobo
15 ff1cave1.mid Final Fantasy I (NES) - Dungeon Theme
16 terracontest.mid Terranigma - Contest
17 what~764.mid Final Fantasy VIII - Raid On Dollet (unreleased demo track)
18 somboss2.mid Secret of Mana - Danger
19 whatever_ff8_shuffle.mid Final Fantasy VIII - Shuffle or Boogie
20 ff8sldshw2a.mid Final Fantasy VIII - Slide Show Part II
21 fftultim.mid Final Fantasy Tactics - Ultima, The Nice Body
22 chrono3.mid Chrono Trigger - The Kingdom Trial
23 hurry.mid Final Fantasy VII - Hurry Faster
24 ffaboss.mid Final Fantasy Adventure - Battle 2
25 heycid.mid Final Fantasy IV - Hey, Cid
XMAS Jungle Smells.mid 'Jungle Smells', a spoof of Jingle Bells created by Tinytimrob

Trivia

  • During the development of the Anniversary Edition, a very long-standing bug in FMOD's MIDI playback was found. It was discovered that hurry.mid on level 23 did not play correctly when compared to the Game Maker version of the game. The error was reproducible even in versions of FMOD that were 8 years old. The FMOD developers eventually fixed this issue after it was reported to them.