Marble Mania 2003

Marble Mania 2003 is a mod for Unreal Tournament 2003 inspired by the great classic arcade game Marble Madness. MM2k3 brings several new features to the table such as the freedom to rotate around the marble, zooming in/out, realistic physics handled by Karma integration with the Unreal engine, marble skins (with optional environment mapping), and the ability to make your own maps using UnrealEd!

The mod was meant to be strongly influenced by Marble Madness, keeping the the look and atmosphere of the original game by using the same types of textures and level design.

The mod differed from the original game in the following ways:

  • The ability to rotate the camera around the ball
  • The ability to zoom in and out
  • Multiplayer modes
  • The ability to make your own levels
  • New enemies, such as Tornados that flung your ball around
  • Switches that could trigger actions throughout the map
  • Heat tiles that would melt your marble if you lingered too long on them
  • “Void” tiles - where you had no control of your marble once it entered
  • Custom skins for the marble

The mod was entered into the Make Something Unreal Contest and won two places:

  • Phase 2 - 2nd Place - Best Use of Karma Physics
  • Phase 2 - 5th Place - Best Non-FPS Mod

For this project I did the following:

  • textures using Photoshop
  • level design using UnrealEd
  • music composition using Ableton Live
  • sound effects using Ableton Live
  • web site using PHP
  • mapping documentation for map makers

History

One of my all-time favorite arcade games is Marble Madness. I fondly remember going to the Fuddruckers on Central Avenue in Yonkers with my family and running to the little corner where Marble Madness and Paperboy sat so I could try my hand at the game. I also bought the NES version when it came out. To this day I’ve yet to finish it.

I am draw to computer games that come with their own editors ever since first trying Excitebike‘s Design Mode. I’ve made my own levels for games like Doom, Warcraft, Half-Life, Unreal, etc. Not that I ever released any of them (save for playing my Doom levels against my high school friend Mark over modems!). But what I always dreamed of was a Marble Madness level editor. Something about the abstract, isometric nature of the world was really appealing to me and I wanted to take a stab at making some of my own courses.

The easiest FPS editor I’ve ever used is UnrealEd - the editor that comes with all Unreal engine games. I had previously made a Scavenger Hunt mod for Unreal Tournament, but it wasn’t until Unreal Tournament 2003 came out that I finally decided to take a stab at make a map that looked like Marble Madness. I had no intentions of actually making a mod or it, I just wanted to see if I could make something that looked similar. I crafted some (simple) textures in Photoshop and managed to put together something fairly authentic. Some adjustments of the in-editor camera helped give it an isometric look. For some reason I hopped on the #unrealscript channel on some IRC server and posted a few screenshots. One of the programmers in the channel took notice and decided to take a stab at making a Marble that would actually roll around. After a day or so of programming he got it working and we decided to work together on turning it into a full fledge mod.

Download

Marble Mania 2003 UT2k3 Mod - Requires Unreal Tournmanent 2003

Music

Here are the musical tracks I created for the mod:

Tools

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Ableton Live
  • UnrealEd
  • PHP