Acky's XP Breakout Help File

Get the mega hit game and more information at Isotope244 Graphics.

Note for Pocket PC users.  This manual is for the PC version, the game is almost identical on the Pocket PC except for the controls.

Non-English readers please use the following links.  German - Dutch - French - Spanish - Italian - Portuguese

 

Introduction

The goal is simple, destroy all of the bricks in each level to proceed to the next level. Along the way you will receive many different power items to help you. Acky's XP Breakout is quite different than most games in the ball and paddle genre, instead of having a set number of balls, you have two resources which are needed to create a ball, this resource is called ether. Ether comes in two colors red and blue, both of which are needed to form a ball. While playing you will see each kind of ether drop and if you catch it with your space pad your ether tanks will fill up, allowing you to create more balls.

The game also features several bonuses for doing different things. Gaining bonuses is optional but you are encouraged to do so because they are needed to unlock XP mode, a special mode where you get super powers. After you complete a level you get a bronze, silver, or gold trophy. There is also a ranking system which is based on how many trophies you have collected and how many bonuses you have obtained. While you play statistics are saved for each level which can be logged online so you can see your performance as compared to other players.

 

Index

 

Controls

The game can be played with the mouse, keyboard, joystick, or gamepad.  When the round begins create a new ball and use the space pad to reflect it to hit the bricks.  You may have more than one ball at a time, but you have a limited amount of ether so use it wisely.  The goal of each level is to destroy all the bricks to advance to the next level.

Keyboard Controls
Move the pad left and right arrow keys
Create ball spacebar or down arrow
Navigate menu arrow keys, enter, escape
Increase game speed hold shift or up arrow
Help F1
Stop music F2
Advance to next music track F4
Take jpg screenshot F9
Take bmp screenshot F10
Toggle fullscreen mode F11
Pause the game Escape key
Minimize the game M
Slam pad left Delete
Slam pad right Page Down

Mouse Controls
Move pad move the mouse left and right
Create ball click the left mouse button
Increase game speed hold the right mouse button
Pause game center mouse button

Joystick Controls
Move pad / Navigate menu move the joystick
Create ball / Activate menu item button 1
Increase game speed hold button 2
Escape menu button 3
Stop the music button 5
Advance to next music track button 6
Slam the pad left button 7
Slam the pad right button 8

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Player Screen

The player screen is where you can see your progress within a level package, view all the levels you have completed to see what score you got on each level, and add new players so they can play a separate game.

Saved games store what level packs you have played, what level you're on, and what your scores were for all completed levels.

Packages contain a set of levels which you play through, starting with level 1 and playing each successive level to the finish of the package.  You can complete a package multiple times.  You can create your own custom packages with your levels using any text editor (see the Level Editing section for more information).

At the bottom of the player screen is level information.  You can view previously completed levels, what score and time you got on each level, and even replay a level to achieve a better score and time.

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Difficulty Settings

Difficulty Setting Matrix (All units in percent)
Easy Normal Hard Pro
Ball Speed 90 100 120 150
Ether Usage 10 20 20 25
Ether per power item 10 5 5 5
Power item fall speed 90 100 120 135
Saucer speed 80 100 120 140

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Settings

Click on the Settings menu item to enter the setting menu, here you can adjust Graphics, Gameplay, Sound, Controls, and Stats settings.  To see what each setting does highlight it and a short description will appear at the bottom of the screen.

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Power Items

Power items are randomly dropped when bricks are destroyed.  You can activate a power item by catching it with your space pad.  All power items except for the ether, point, and multiball last for a limited amount of time.  You can have several power items activated at the same time unless they act on the same thing (e.g. getting the Fast Ball power item while already having the Slow Ball item activated will cause all balls to have an increased speed).

Power Items
Fast Ball
All balls go fast

 

Zapper Gem
This green gem gives you more shots when you get the Zapper Blaster.
Slow Ball
All balls go slow

 

Gluon Gem
This blue gem gives you more shots when you get the Gluon Blaster.
Fast Pad
Pad will move faster

 

Laser Gem
This purple gem gives you more shots when you get the Laser Blaster.
Slow Pad
Pad will move slower
Zapper Blaster
This gives your space pad a dual cannon blaster to shoot bricks with. You must have green gems to use this blaster. If you have fewer gems than are required for one shot, the gun is converted to gems.
Big Pad
Makes pad larger
Gluon Blaster
This gives your space pad a powerful single cannon blaster to shoot bricks with. You must have blue gems to use this blaster. If you have fewer gems than are required for one shot, the gun is converted to gems.
Small Pad
Makes pad smaller
Laser Blaster
This gives your space pad a laser blaster to shoot bricks with. You must have purple gems to use this blaster. If you have fewer gems than are required for one shot, the gun is converted to gems.
Red ether
Adds red ether to your tank
Electroball
Balls can travel through bricks
Blue ether
Adds blue ether to your tank
TNT
This special bomb hits all bricks on the levels as soon as it is caught with the space pad.
Mad Ball
All balls will go a random direction
Prediction
This special item predicts where the ball's future path. It also slows time to give you more time to react to an incoming ball.
Barrier Wall
A wall will be created under your pad
Random Points
This gives you 50-300 points.
Multiball
Balls are multiplied by two
Cannon
This special item attaches to your space pad when caught. You then press the button when you want to shoot it, it will destroy all bricks within a small radius of impact.
100 Point Bonus
Adds points to your score
Tractor Beam
This special item slows all power items down when they reach the side of the space pad, giving you more time to collect power items.
200 Point Bonus
Adds points to your score
500 Point Bonus
Adds points to your score

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Gems

There are three types of gems, the emerald, topaz, and amethyst.  Gems are used to gain fuel for one of the three blasters.  After you get a blaster power item you will then be able to shoot bricks by pressing the create ball button, each shot uses up a percentage of your gem reserves.  The gem reserve tanks are on the bottom right hand of the screen.  When you collect a gem it is dissentigrated by the space pad, and then added to the gem reserve tank.

Gems
Type Color Blaster used for Shot usage Shots with full tank
Emerald Green Rayon Blaster 2% 50
Topaz Blue (cyan) Gluon Blaster 5% 20
Amethyst Purple (magenta) Laser Blaster 25% 4

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Special Objects

There are a few special objects which you'll need to know about when playing.  The first is the saucer which flies across the top of the level at random intervals when you are playing.  Use the ball to destroy the saucer and you will be rewarded with a 500 Point power item which will drop.  There is no penalty for not destroying the saucer.

The second special object is Acky, he will announce himself and appear on either the left or right side of the level randomly.  Acky is out to get your ether, his space colony uses ether as a natural resource to fuel their machines, if Acky appears and has enough time to tap into your ether supplies, he will steal five percent of your red or blue ether depending upon which side he appears on.  So in order to protect and save your ether, you have to smash Acky with your space pad before he disappears.  Tip: if you're using the keyboard or joystick when playing the game, it is much easier to use the slam controls to get Acky, in fact they were added to the game for this specific reason.

Special Objects
Flying Saucer
Hit it to get a 500 point power item which is required to get a gold trophy

Acky
Bop him with your pad before he steals your precious ether

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Trophies and Rank

You earn a bronze trophy for each level completed.  If you complete the level in less than 180 seconds or get the 500 point power item you will earn a silver trophy.  If you do both you earn a gold trophy.

Your rank will increase as you play and do specific things in the game, the possible ranks and their requirements are listed below.  Your rank is based on how many trophies you have and what type they are as listed in the table.  Your specific tier in your rank is based on how many total bonuses you have had on all the levels.  Each rank has four tiers:  Minion, Apprentice, Adept, and Master.

Rank Requirements
Level Rank Trophies Apprentice Adept Master XP
0 Reflector 0 2 Bonuses 5 Bonuses 8 Bonuses
20 Seeker 20 12 16 20
40 Baller 40 Silver or Gold 25 30 40
60 Anticipator 60 Silver or Gold 50 65 80
80 Zapper 70 Gold 100 120 140 1
100 Zen 90 Gold 160 180 200 1

By example if you had 45 Silver trophies and had gained 32 bonuses your rank would be Adept Baller.  If you had 71 Gold trophies, 145 bonuses, and had 1 XP mode activated your rank would be Master Zapper.

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XP Mode

There are five experience, or XP, bars near the top of the screen.  Each one represents the number of bonuses you have gained for different actions in the game.  You can see how many bonuses you have and need of each type by pausing the game.  When paused the type of bonus and how many you have will appear next to each XP indicator bar.  When all of the bars are full you will enable a special mode which gives you free power ups while playing, this is called XP Mode.

The XP indicator bars have two sub-bars within them, the smaller bar is only half the height of the indicator and represents how many actions of that type of bonus you have done, when the smaller bar reaches the right of the indicator, you'll earn a bonus.  The XP bonus bar is the full height of the indicator and will fill up the indicator as you gain bonuses.  For example in the image below it shows 5.7/20, which means we have 5 and 7/10 (or 5.7) of 20 needed wall bonuses to get XP mode.  Or more specifically we have 7 brick hits of 10 to get a wall bonus (the thin white bar) (we need 20 wall bonuses to get the red bar full).  Each XP bar has a different number of bonus requirements but all read in a similar way.


Wall bonus indicator and stats

To activate XP mode you need to get the following number of bonuses

When XP mode is active the following things happen

Once XP mode is activated it lasts until you have completed three rounds with it active.  You can activate XP mode many times throughout the levels.

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Bonuses

While playing you can trigger bonuses, the following list has the name, description, and how many points you get for each type of bonus in the game.  (The legend for S, SB, XP, and E is at the end of the bonus list.)

Pad Bonus (S,SB,XP)
Break ten bricks in a row without having the ball hit any walls.
bonus = number of brick breaks X 15

Saucer Bonus (XP)
Hit the space ship as it flies across the top of the screen.
bonus = 1000, and a 500 point power item drops

Point Bonus (XP)
Get ten point power ups in a row without getting any other power items.
bonus = number of point power items X 10

These are the point bonuses, all other power items are considered non-point power items.

Power Bonus (XP)
Get ten non-point power items in a row without getting any point power items.
bonus = number of power items X 15

Wall Bonus (S,SB,XP)
Break ten bricks in a row without having the ball hit the pad.
bonus = number of brick breaks X 10

Brick Bonus (S)
Break ten of the exact same color and type of bricks in a row.
bonus = number of bricks X 20

Multiball Bonus (S)
Have more than one ball active for ten seconds.
bonus = number of balls X seconds X 10

Ether Bonus
Get a red or blue ether power item when the corresponding tank is already full.
bonus = 200

Time Bonus (E)
Get a time bonus at end of each level if you complete it in less than 180 seconds.
bonus = (180 - time to complete level) X 5

Baller Bonus (E)
Complete the level without losing any balls.
bonus = number of balls X seconds to complete level

Silver Bonus (E)
Get a sliver trophy for the level.
bonus = 200

Gold Bonus (E)
Get a gold trophy for the level.
bonus = 300

Ball Bonus (E)
Get a bonus for each user created ball (not a multiball) left at the end of the round when your tanks are at 100
bonus = 500 for each ball

Slot Match
Match all slot bricks on a level
bonus = 1000 X number of slot bricks matched

Acky
Prevent Acky from stealing your ether from the side of the game play area
bonus = 200

Acky Brick
Destroy a special window brick when Acky appears in it
bonus = 1000 X seconds Acky has left appearing in window

(S = Stackable) The Pad, Wall, Brick, and Multiball bonuses are stackable.  For example at 10 successive brick breaks using only the pad you will get a Pad Bonus for 10 X 15 = 150 points, then at 20 seccessive breaks you get 20 X 15 = 300 points.

(SB = Super Bonus) The Pad and Wall bonuses have a 2X multiplier Super Bonus at 100, so at 100 successive brick breaks using only the pad you will get a Super Pad Bonus of 100 X 15 X 2 = 3000 points.

(XP = Required for XP mode)  These bonuses are required to enable XP mode, see the XP Mode section for more information.

(E = END) These bonuses are applied at the end of a level when you complete it.

If you have XP mode active all points are doubled including bonuses and super bonuses.  A Super Pad Bonus as described above during XP mode is worth 100 X 15 X 2 X 2 = 6000 points.

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Level Editing

To create your own custom level use the mouse to select different types of bricks and then click or click and drag in the grid area to create bricks.  The left button creates bricks, and the right button removes them.  The yellow outline indicates the recommended area for a basic level, but putting bricks outside the yellow line is fine, and necessary for more interesting and fun levels.  Power items at the bottom of the screen have a number above them telling how many of each item will appear in the level when played.  Power items appear in random order only when bricks are destroyed.  To add more power items of a type left click on it, to remove them right click on it.

Information about each type of brick can be seen by hovering your mouse over a brick in the level editor.

The icons in the lower center of the screen perform actions on the level.  From left to right they do the following:

The stats in the lower left corner tell you information about the current level being edited such as: if the level is modified, how many gems are in the level, how many blasters, points, ether items, and power items, lastly the number of total vs. breakable bricks are displayed.

Creating a Package

Packages contain a set of levels which you play through, starting with level 1 and playing each successive level to the finish of the package.  You can complete a package multiple times.  To create a package simply open a text editor (for example on Windows, click Start > All Programs > Accessories > Notepad) and include a list of the levels in the order you want them to appear in the file.  The list must start with the keyword "Levels:" and each level should be on its own line and contain a file extension, for example if you had 3 levels named Test1, Test2, and Test3 the following is what you would put in your level package (note the package below contains optional information you don't have to include in your package, such as your name or handle and a description of the package and its levels):

Author: Your name
Description: Include a description for your package
Levels:
Test1.lvl
Test2.lvl
Test3.lvl

Now you can save the level package file as "Package Name.package" (change the file extension of the text file when you save it from .txt to .package), the name of the package in the game will appear as whatever the filename is of the .package file.  You should only use letters, numbers, and spaces in the package name, and the only name you cannot use is "Main" since that is the package name for the built in package in the game.

The directory structure of the package should be as follows:
\ (put package file here)
\Package Name\ (put levels here)

You will have to create a directory called "Package Name" to put the levels into (to do this in the save dialog click the folder with a star on it, or for moving files and creating directories more easily using Windows Explorer in the Start > All Programs > Accessories menu).  For example using our example package above the directory structure would look like this:

\Test Package.package
\Test Package\Test1.lvl
\Test Package\Test2.lvl
\Test Package\Test3.lvl

If you create an installer for your package you should ask the user where they want to install it to with the default location set to Program Files\Isotope244 Graphics\Acky's XP Breakout\levels\ .  If you don't want to make your own installer simply zip your package using WinZip (www.winzip.com) and send them to support@isotope244.com and we'll create an installer for it.  If your package contains numerous levels and is well done we may post it on our website for all other players to download.

After you create your levels and package them, you can use the game to automatically sequence them in a varied manner.  What the sequencing algorithm does is ensure alike levels are evenly distributed in the package.  To run the sequencer open a command prompt, go to the directory the game is in and type the following "acky.exe -sequence PackageName", the game will then create two new files in the games data directory (by default this directory is Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Isotope244 Graphics\Acky's XP Breakout).  One file will be called "PackageName sequenced.package" and contains all the levels in the package specified, except in a special distributed order based on level type.  Level type is defined by what bricks the level has, if its name starts with keywords Refuel, Multi, or Bonus, and what power items the level has.

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Online Stats System

Game statistics are tracked as you play, including the time to complete the level and how many points you got on the level.  The game can automatically report these stats to a central online database if you have an internet connection while playing.  You can view the stats while you play if you turn on the Show Stats game option in the settings menu.  Your stats are only visable online to others if you log into the stats site and create a stats account.  Stats accounts are free to setup, and once enabled will allow you to see all of your games stats as compared to all the other players in the world.  It's easiest to login to the stats site from the GAMES screen by clicking the View Stats Online button just below the PLAY button.

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Demo vs. Full Version

The demo version contains only 10 levels and the full version contains 150.  The full version also includes many more brick types, power items, and music tracks.  It also supports unlimited level expansion packs, so the fun won't run out, simply download and install a new expansion pack to play it.

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System Requirements

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Troubleshooting

If you're using a laptop or notebook computer with a touchpad then a ball might be created accidentally if your touchpad supports left mouse clicking by tapping the touchpad.  This can become quite annoying while playing, in order to fix this simply enable the Swap mouse buttons option in the game's Settings > Controls menu.  This will swap the default actions of the left and right mouse buttons, so now you can create a ball at your convenience using the right mouse button.  Alternatively you can use the keyboard or a real mouse to play.

If the game runs slowly or choppy then ensure all other applications and games are closed.  If you still continue to experience slow game play try disabling some advanced graphic options such as Highlighting Powerups, Object Effects, Bonus Effects, the Starfield, Spacegas, and Power Item Morphing.

If the space paddle continuously moves to the left or right disable the Joystick in the Settings > Controls menu.  If you experience joystick drifting, increase the joystick dead zone.

If a joystick button is locked down (this happens if you hold a button down on the Saitek P3000 and unplug the battery) the game constantly throws up reset game dialogs in the GAMES screen if its button 7.  To fix this issue simply unplug your joystick from your computer, or plug a fresh battery in it in and toggle all of the joystick buttons.

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Credits

 

Production:

Design, graphics, sound editing, level building, editing, testing, programming, help file, and html by James Bryant.

Music tracks by subatomicglue and Nimn One.

Additional testing by Steve Hiner and Stephen Rutkowski.

Dutch translation by Koen Bijvank.

German translation by Ralf Weber.

Acky's XP Breakout uses the Atom Engine.

 

Salutationz and thankz to:

 

Sweet Libraries:

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Acky's XP Breakout and all images copyright Isotope244 Graphics LLC 2004.  All rights reserved.