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 Post subject: XOP Ultra and XOP Black Ultra thread
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:10 am 


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I wrote a 2D overhead shooter called XOP, and released it in 2002. I attempted to sell it for 4 years, then released it as freeware in 2006.

In 2008 I made XOP Black, which was a free sequel to XOP. I updated it several times over the years with new levels and content.

In 2011, I updated both to XOP Ultra and XOP Black Ultra. They're now both free and available from my website.

http://sk8tokyo.com/udder/prog/xop/
http://sk8tokyo.com/udder/prog/xopblack/

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Last edited by Udderdude on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:00 pm, edited 21 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: XOP, a 2D shooter
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:31 am 


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Udderdude wrote:
I wrote a 2D overhead shooter called XOP, and released it around 2002. It took me close to 1 1/2 years to make.

I attempted to sell it as shareware; however, this failed. Mostly due to the game's difficulty, low-res graphics, the fact that shareware shooters don't usually sell well (kiddie puzzle games sell much better), and my complete lack of any real marketing skills.

I am now releasing it as freeware. I feel this is better than letting it collect dust behind a $20 shareware fee. Download it and give it a try.

This download will stay up as long as I feel like it. I may remove it at some point in the future. Consider it a $20 discount on an old shareware shooter. :P


I can't fucking believe it that this game didn't sold well, because XOP is one of the best PC shooters I played for a long time.

Graphics, sound, and the most important, gameplay were all good.

My only problem with the game was a lack of an controller menu. I'm playing this with my PS2 controller and since I can't config my controller (I can only select joystick), I'm playing XOP a little weird. Other than that, this game is great.

9/10
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:50 am 


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I'm having some problems getting it to run on my crappy pc.

:mad:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 3:55 am 


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Last edited by Udderdude on Fri Jan 16, 2015 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:01 am 


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Heh heh, you oughta see some of the cruelty exhibited by some of the freeware shmups we play around here... ;) I'll be sure to DL this and give it a shot when I get the chance, thanks for making us aware of it. :)
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:10 am 


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Udderdude wrote:
Shareware games that sell do so because they're really, really easy. What we look for in a game, and what they look for, are entirely different things.

Look at Bejewled. It's so easy it's pathetic. Yet it became immensely succesful. Casual gamers don't want a challenge .. they want to be mindlessly placated for awhile, doing a repetitive task. Almost like squishing a stress ball.

Games like XOP, which are so difficult only hardcore shmups fans can play it at the hardest difficulty, just don't work for them. Therefore, I get no money.


Sad but ture. :(

BTW your bullet patterns reminds me a lot of the Cave shooters (DoDonPachi). Your Stage 2 boss patterns said so. ;)
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:39 am 


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Dodonpachi was my biggest inspiration for XOP.

Also, about the other shareware shooters being tough .. I'm sure XOP can measure up. Level 8 will give some cave levels a run for their money. Level EX2 is just kindof ridiculous :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 6:08 am 


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I still have to get off my duff and play it so now I have no excuse. :P My friend Stuart had the demo on his machine a few years ago, I will have to let him know the full rev is available now.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 6:44 am 


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I remember there was an advert for XOP in the first page of shmups.com WAAY back when the game was newly released.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:07 am 


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okay, first of all thanks for releasing the game as freeware. I´ve known the demo since it came out, but actually found it too easy to consider registering the game. Now I played the full version, I think it gets interesting from level 3 onwards.
When Xop was new, the average quality of amateur shmups wasn´t very exiting. There were already hundreds of games out there, and I tested almost all of them, but 9 out of 10 just made me yawn, if they didn´t crash immediately. Since then, things have improved incredibly, though, and while Xop was certainly above average back then, it isn´t anymore, I think. You´re probably not interested in developing the game any further, but in case of any future projects I´d like to mention a few things intended as constructive criticism:
- bullets and medals look too similar in shape and color. I´ve got a bigger screen than I had back then, but I remember being hardly able to distinguish them on a 15" monitor.
- the game seems to use internal coordinates geared for lo-res display. Although it´s possible to switch to 800x600, all objects move a few pixels at a time, making it all look rough instead of smooth.
- weapon balance isn´t too good. Some weapons are pretty useless, 2 are almost identical. Sometimes less is more.
- am I right in assuming you´ve drawn all the graphics by yourself? Well, they may look acceptable for coder art, but if you want to sell a game, you should find someone with at least a little talent for that part. This applies to the sound part as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:26 am 


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Game crashed in the Doom level. I lost my score :( Was trying to get my total score up over 3 mil.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 8:58 am 


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What part of the level did it crash at? I guess these stability problems are appearing because I recompiled it for the latest Allegro ..

What kind of error message did the crash produce?


Last edited by Udderdude on Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 5:24 pm 


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I guess you did not do enough advertisement, because i never heared of your game.
The gameplay is very good. I reached the end of stage 4 and got some awards.
My favorite weapons are missiles,bots and velocity cannon.
The best part so far was the 3rd boss with the homing lasers!
Most graphics are good if you like the style but some where annoying.
Especially the "walls" in stage 4.
And the scrolling and the movements are not perfect. It pauses once per second for several milliseconds. I dont know why because my screen refresh rate and the fps are both 60.
You dont really notice it during the action but it makes the game look less smooth!
Music and sound effects are really good.
All in all it is a very good and fun shmup with small weaknesses.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:17 pm 


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raiden wrote:
bullets and medals look too similar in shape and color.


Seconded. At times there's also a huge amount of shrapnel flying around which makes it even worse. It would also be nice to be able to configure your joystick buttons. I got around this by using a joy2key program.

Aside from those, I'm really enjoying this. The gameplay is fun and the scoring system is just the way I like it - it's intuitive, it gives room for players with different levels of skills and it doesn't force you to find "one true path" through the stages.

The Score Attack mode is fun too, the different awards you can win seem cool (I got Perfect and Slaughter on my first attempt at 1st stage). Upping the speed to 80 FPS makes for a fun ride, but the game seems awfully jumpy and the aforementioned problem with bullets and medals is highlighted here.

Oh, and it has crashed once for me too - midway or so into Stage 3. Lost my highest scoring run so far there.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 9:37 pm 


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:( This time it crashed in the Ocean level right after I went underwater at killed the first large enemy on the left side.

Only died once up to the crash.

The enemy bullets are pretty difficult to see on the fire stage. Especially amongst the chips I'm trying to pick up.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2006 10:52 pm 


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Udderdude wrote:
Look at Bejewled. It's so easy it's pathetic.


I have this on Live Arcade, to actually do well enough to unlock the other game modes is actually incredibly difficult.
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 5:08 am 



Joined: 01 Mar 2005
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Location: Bogota, Colombia
i remember buyin this game about 2 years ago, so now you owe me 20 bux!... (jk)

when i bought it, i thought it was one of the best shmups i had in my collection for the PC made by westerners... now, i still think its pretty good, runs smooth, and its worth every penny i put on it when i bought it... now, you're releasing it as freeware... well... thats good, so other ppl who NEVER heard of the game, or never got to try the full version, can enjoy this lil gem... and i play it on my kb (i dont like controllers... just my good old kb!).

are you gonna develope another shmup? ...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 12:58 am 


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I'm not planning to make any more shmups. If that happens, it'll be because someone is paying me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 1:43 am 


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A very cool shmup. It has everything; cool looking backgrounds, nice BGM, weird looking enemies and easy gameplay. The stage 2 boss looks great. Thanks for sharing this Udderdude. I'm stuck on this game.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:13 am 


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i think it's fine the way it is. great game! the control is tight and has a very good feel to me. it hasnt crashed on me so far and im at level 4. i'd never heard of this game either. thanx!
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:11 pm 


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Great work Udderdude! This game add lots of potential, too bad no one knew about it... I remember playing the demo over a year ago and liked it. I thought 20$ was a little too much tho, you should have sold it for 10$ and I would have probably gotten it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:59 am 


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Just download it and am now ashamed i never played it 'till now. This is a wondeful game, like a manic-modern Blazing Lazers. I love the spiky eye creatures in the organic canyon (not to mention the nice 'splat' noise they make). Thanx, udderdude! :)
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:48 am 



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Wow, it's cool. Thanks for sharing. It's easy for me and I like it so much!
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Last edited by 0adoncia on Tue May 13, 2008 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 1:33 pm 


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Just dowloaded and tried. Very nice, me to likes that "splat" sound on the organic level, but for some reason the colours just went weird on stage 4 (or was it 3).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:59 pm 


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bakaichi wrote:
Just dowloaded and tried. Very nice, me to likes that "splat" sound on the organic level


its addicting


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 5:35 pm 


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This game is fantastic in every way.

You're a hero.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 12:13 am 


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Thanks for everyone's comments here .. even though it's a necro'd thread from when I made XOP freeware in 2006. o_O


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 2:06 am 


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Damn, this is really great stuff. Thanks!

And, unless you changed something since the initial complaints, I can't see how anyone could mistake the medals for bullets. The medals are practically invisible and when the bullets start getting thick it's easy (if not automatic) for me to tune out the medals altogether. In most of the medal-collecting shmups I've played this is significantly harder to do, so I really like how you made them so transparent. It's a damn good solution.

Now I did have an instance where I dodged around like a spaz cause I though my bots were homing bullets chasing me, but that was just me being dense. :oops:

BTW, how many levels are in this thing? I've gotten as far as the Void so far.

Sorry to hear that you're no longer in the shmup-making business, but at least you left the genre with one more feather in it's cap. Again, thanks for that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 2:29 am 


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This game is brilliant!!!! :shock:
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2008 4:52 am 


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Nice little free game.

Feels alot like Hudson's Star Soldier games. only easier.


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