Submitted by , posted on 12 May 2005

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This IOTD consists of several screenshots of my latest shareware game Sunny Ball. It is a picture based breakout game combining 60 picture boards with 60 more traditional breakout style levels. These 120 boards are split over 5 board packs that can be played in any order.

The image above shows 3 picture boards and 2 traditional boards as well as some of the powerups in action.

The game features all the normal breakout powerups as well as several bonus systems such as combination hits, lightable stars and matching crystals for a points bonus. Sunny Ball also contains several alpha particle effects as well as a nice reflection effect in the sides bars around each board.

The game is built around a very compact graphics format I have developed which combines simple and quite complex pictures with additional colouring information. Each board is made up of a foreground and a background picture and backgrounds can be reused between boards. The final graphics can be displayed at different resolutions in a truecolour mode (although they are not actually in a vector format) and the game can be played at resolutions ranging from 640 x 480 to 1280 x 1024 all with anti-aliasing and bilinear filtering where necessary. The higher the resolution the better the graphics look and the result is a beautiful, colourful and cute look that works well for the gfx style used.

The very compact size of the boards means that the full game with 120 boards (60 picture boards and 60 traditional boards) with 7 pieces of music is only 2.25 megabytes in size. In fact I estimate that after all the compression used the average size of a picture board is probably around 4k. This small size enables me to use a lot of art without an overly large file size. In fact the demo and full game are smaller than many other breakout games despite the picture boards I use.

You can visit the website to see more screenshots and read more information about the game.

A free 8 board demo is available to play, and the full game can be purchased for $19.99:

Richard Phipps

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