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Main Page: Marblelous
Marblelous is a new game from the house of APC & TCP. A captivating game, which is highly addictive. In this game you control a ball, with which you have to collect various power items, before you finally reach your goal.
But all is not as easy as it seems, because you don't steer the ball directly, but have to erect roadsigns, which will affect it's path. Just look at the demoversion and you will come to the same conclusion as we have: The game is simply gigantic!
Marblelous has 100 levels btw.
Amiga-Magazin 1/95 Test result 80%, GUT
Amiga with 1 MB RAM.
You prefer gameplay than extensive 3D graphics? Then Marblelous 2 is the right choice for you.
Your mission is to guide up to three marbles around walls to the exit by placing arrows. But before you can leave the level your marbles must collect the items and solve some little puzzles to reach the objects and the exit. Teleports, shields, rails and other items help you on your mission.
The fourth marble (which is grey) is controlled by the computer and wants to destroy your marbles.
With the included editor you can create your own levels by simply clicking some gadgets. Another feature is that you can use your own graphics from any IFF paint program. With this it's possible to use figures instead of marbles. Or just paint anything you want! Marblelous 2 will look like a new game if you change all graphics! With the editor you can also define time and other features of every level. You can even choose passwords.
The programming for Marblelous 2 started halfway through '96. It was envisaged at that time to have it ready for the end of that year. It proved impossible however to complete it in such a short time, and a new date was set for the end of '97.
Marblelous 2 could have been finished by then, given the then current requirements, which were:
OCS/ECS-graphics (32 colours)
But towards the end of '97 I aquired a graphic board and I noticed, how cumbersome it was to have to switch back to the normal Amiga display to be able to play games. Almost all games required that procedure. Marblelous was not going to be one of those, and therefore the finishing date was delayed once more.
After some learning period to get to know the properties of graphic boards and more research of their programming, as well as some programming breaks (after all, I also had to take care of the majority of the sounds and graphics) the year '98 was upon me. The graphic board support was finally built into the editor and a new GB-compatible version of the game was written. The latter was achieved in 2 d
Many programmers complain about the difficulties of making games compatible to graphic board screenmodes. All one has to do, if the game is NOT 100% assembler-code (who'd do that anyway?) is to take care of a few adjustments like removing all copper- (which produce the fancy colour-steps) and sprite commands.
You probably noticed, that there are no colour-steps in the RTG version (i.e. the timer).
Hereby I call upon all Amiga games programmers: Please support graphic boards at last !
Shortly before the planned distribution of the game the graphics were once again given a work-over. 32 and 256 colours are now integrated. 1998 is really too advanced for a 32-colour game.
The plans for the future include a few additional objects, and who knows, maybe even a complete new version of the game. There's no shortage of ideas, but it remains to be seen, whether Marblelous 2 will be successful enough to warrant a successor. How can you help to achieve this ? Quite easy: Don't Copy this game.
And now : Have lots of fun with Marblelous 2 !
about 100 Levels
Marblelous 2 requires 1 MByte Ram, and therefore runs on all Amigas, supports all Graphic Chipsets (OCS/ECS/AGA) and of course Graphic Boards.
The PAL-Version (OCS/ECS/AGA) produces 50 frames per second, the RTG-Version* runs with the same speed on a graphic board, depending on the configuration used. Required is a fast graphic board or bus system (Zorro). A fast processor is also an advantage.
If you own a Cybervision64-3D-Grafic board, you should set the ENV-Variable CPU2C to 0 (as described in the instructions). You should select a screenmode of 256 vertical pixels. Higher Resolutions will only slow down the game. If you don't have a screenmode of 256 vertical pixels, you can generate one yourself (more information how to do this can be found in the manual of your graphic board).
A Cybervision64/3D with Zorro3-Bus und 68040-Prozessor runs the game with just about original speed. A 68030-Prozessor is the minimum for a playable RTG-Version of Marblelous 2. The same can be said, if you have a Zorro-2-graphic board ( which will produce approx. 25 frames/secs).
* OCS, ECS and AGA describe the graphic-chips of the Amiga. OCS (Original Chip Set) were introduced in the early Amigas (A500, A1000, A2000), ECS (Enhanced Chip Set) in the newer versions (A600, A3000). OCS und ECS mean the same for Marblelous, as both can only produce 32 colours.
The newest of the graphic chips, AGA (Advanced Graphics Architecture), which is present in the latest models (A1200/A4000), is needed for the 256-colour graphics. RTG (Retargetable Graphics) will make it possible to chose any required screenmode and therefore is practical only for graphic boards.