X-Bomber the Game
Welcome to xbomber.co.uk,
This is the home of X-Bomber; the fast, modern vertical-scrolling spaceshooter for Windows, based on the Japanese sci-fi TV show; Star Fleet.
It features lots of arcade action, weapons and explosions.
v0.84c is released: [ Download | More info ]
I'm working on the following for v0.84d:
* 0. EDF Transports and Tankers
* 14. EDF Conestoga Missile Destroyer
* 16. Battlecruiser Docks and Grey Attack Cruiser (more beam firepower than blue variant but less armour)
- Handling of weapon system activation improved in training mission
* Get astrofighter carriers to release astrofighters during levels
- Quantum blaster mechanics improved
- Dialogue system improved for better readability
- In-game music handling detects and skips incompatible files in the /mp3 folder.
Reading Vanessa's brilliant Star Fleet prequel; Rise of the Alliance got me writing my side-story to X-Bomber.
The most recent update, including chapters 1-6 is here.
I've been thinking for a long time how to expand on what the game shows you.
In the fullness of time, I'll build the narrative into the game in the way that Zone 66 did.
I always found that an effective way of working the story into the game, rather than creating cutscenes on the limited budget of most games of that time that wouldn't have really done the story justice.
I've puzzled for a long time what would be the best format for cut-scenes in the game. I wondered whether it would be best to sketch the characters, ships etc. then edit them in Photoshop and lastly manipulate them in the game's runtime.
Somehow, I could never picture that working quite the way I wanted.
It probably would have clashed with the style of the sprites anyway.
So, what I have in-mind now is a shoot-em-up with a lot of heavily-illustrated narrative between missions.
Thunder in Paradise is like Knight Rider but with a boat. It's light-hearted and awesome and has brilliant music.
It stars Hulk Hogan as Randolph J. "Hurricane" Spencer and Chris Lemmon as Martin "Bru" Brubaker.
The real star of the show however, is the boat itself.
6-barrel rotary cannon
- Probably an M134, turret mounted, usually housed in the port weapons compartment.
- It is used for shooting down incoming missiles, destroying smaller vessels and firing warning shots.
- The weapon has a supply of 2,750 rounds, has automatic stabilisation and individual temperature monitoring for each barrel.
6-tube missile launcher
- Fires a range of guided missiles including Maverick, M-426 and non-lethal types
- Normally stored in starboard compartment
- Reloads automatically, allowing it to fire far more than 6 missiles in rapid succession
- The laser weapon is used to disable, destroy or deter smaller vessels as well as aerial targets such as helicopters.
Although never used in an episode, shots of Thunder's weapons control GUI show that the boat has 4 torpedo launchers.
Even with the scarab shell retracted, the boat can withstand prolonged exposure to small arms and mounted weapons fire, up to and including .50 calibre.
The scarab shell extends over the back of the boat, increasing the boat's protection even further.
It is also referred to as the stealth shell since its deployment renders the boat undetectable by radar.
- a blue glow sweeps over the hull from bow to stern when either ECM or adaptive camouflage are activated.
The hull also can be electrified to prevent enemies from boarding. This feature can either be triggered by the onboard computer when intruders are detected onboard or it can be activated manually by remote.
The hydra-thrust booster engine extends from the underside of the boat, allowing it to travel at over 400mph. The booster also allows the boat to jump at least several metres out of the water (Distant Sound of Thunder).
Oil Slick Dispenser
- the oil can be ignited to deter pursuers (Deadly Lessons, Part 1).
In the last episode, Thunder projects a geometric shield bubble that is capable of withstanding several missile hits but is progressively weakened by the impacts. If the shield is weakened on one side of the boat it can be recovered by keeping that side out of harm's way.
Also used in the last episode; the Q-Bomb appears to be an EMP-like weapon that projects a yellow shockwave that radiates out from the boat. It is not apparent whether it is a single-use weapon but one discharge destroys a large number of incoming missiles simultaneously.
In "Blast Off", Bru reveals that he is working on making Thunder able to operate underwater.
Thunder carries at least one Waverider jetski that is launched from the back of the boat.
The Waverider can be remotely piloted via Thunder's onboard computer by assigning it map coordinates.
Thunder also carries the GATOR drone that is lifted up on-deck through the starboard weapons hatch and deployed onto land. GATOR is a buggy that can be steered remotely by use of an onboard camera. It is equipped with a grenade launcher that can fire several stun grenades without needing resupply.
- Slides open to reveal an assortment of small arms
- The upper compartment contains submachineguns and handguns. The lower compartment contains larger weapons such as the M16 used in "Nature Of The Beast".
- Doubles as brig
The prototype version of Thunder that features in the pilot double-episode has a number of differences (as well as problems).
Visually, it is missing the cool 'spoiler/rollbar' when the scarab shell is retracted and boat looks overall less streamlined and futuristic.
The missile launcher and gatling gun look different when deployed, with the missile launcher being longer while the minigun has an enclosure around it.
The boat has a small radar dish that lifts up to receive satellite telemetry. This antenna is presumably internal in the finished version.
You can find the three compilation movies on DVD, while the whole 22-episode series was released on DVD in German.
The German DVDs are transfers from a VHS source.
The whole series is unofficially available in English on DVD, recorded from its original TV airing in 1994 from iOffer:
- SFXB Forum Move and Conversion
- In Jan 2015, the SFXB forum had a software problem. So we moved the data to this host and migrated from Ikonboard to phpBB 3.
Thanks to Andy Thomas for his help on the project.
Move back to Krystal Hosting
In 2014, Dreamhost deleted our host; Peter's data and hiked the cost of his renewal.
So, I uploaded xbomber.co.uk and Big Dai-X's file structures and the database to my UK hosts.
Peter hosted us on Gibbering.net since 2007. That made managing the project much easier. This was particularly useful in 2007 and 2008 when the project encountered technical then legal problems. I was also able to make much more content available online.
Stewart Dalzell at Krystal Hosting was very helpful and installed a custom php.ini to get the SLIR image resizer working.
The Media system (and the entire site) makes extensive use of SLIR to create thumbnails and resize images.
It also uses Lightbox 2 to zoom the images and JW Player to play video.
Thanks to Lord Ri for his help with the project. It took that and a lot of visits to Stack Exchange to get the thing working.
The Media system was made to merge together the website images, the Coppermine and ImageVue galleries.
I renamed it from Images to Media when it absorbed the Videos section.
About this Site
Driven on PHP 5, MySQL
and SLIR, Lightbox 2, JW Player
HTML 4.01 Transitional, CSS 2.1, embedded fonts
Internet Explorer 11
2003.10.31 - Move to btinternet.com to avoid advertising
2003.11.03 - btinternet.com/~xbomber shut down
2003.12.16 - v4 - xbomber.co.uk, Frameset, Left menu
2004.05.07 - v5 - Complex frameset, Left menu, Menalto Gallery
2005.01.27 - Shoutbox and CMS
2006.01.10 - v6.5 - Frameset, Top menu, + Greymatter CMS
2006.04.08 - v7 - iFrame, Left menu, re-built and simplified
2006.09.14 - v8 - PHP, Top menu, Download details iFrame, New forum provided by SFXB
2007.11.16 - Move to Dreamhost, Left menu
2009.04.08 - PVSC upload complete
2009.06.06 - v8.6 - Top menu, ImageVue X2 gallery, Increased security, PVSC
2010.01.08 - X-Archive Coppermine Gallery
2010.05.26 - CuteNews CMS
2010.12.03 - Finished uploading Star Fleet and X-Bomber screenshot packs
2010.12.31 - Improved layout and CuteNews UTF-8 9 CMS with Captcha and improved presentation
2011.07.06 - Version control database w/ source code
2011.09.06 - Own CMS
2012.10.12 - v9.0 - Images merges Imagevue and X-Archive
2012.12.31 - Media merges Images and Videos, IE9 fixes
2013.04.21 - Error handling improved
2013.06.29 - Replaced Screenshot Packs (total 3GB) with Star Fleet Galleries
- Creating detailed version history
2014.04.01 - Move to Krystal Hosting, Media indexes sub-folders
2014.06.20 - Layout and readability improved, Media now includes content from BigDaiX.co.uk
2014.10.19 - Media gets bigger thumbnails, clearer navigation/layout, separation of media files and downloads
- Star Fleet section incorporates Shane Perry's content from BigDaiX.co.uk after domain expires
2014.12.04 - High score uploads unblocked, Site menu reconfigured
2015.02.22 - v9.6 - New SFXB Forum incorporated into the site
members.lycos.co.uk/xbomber < piersbell.tripod.com