FPB (First Person Balls)

"Marble Madness 2003 is a mod for Unreal Tournament 2003."

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12 Responses:

  1. icis_machine says:


    my childhood brought back.
    oh wait! i hated the C64 version with it's hard to control joysticks

    • electrofreq says:

      NES version is the best IMHO.

      • I like the coin-op one more but, unfortunately, it sucks on the MAME emulator -- no track ball means sloooow.

        • cyeh says:

          One of the joys of being a video game technician in the late 80's was being able to play all sorts of games for free. One of the games I got real good at was Marble Madness.

          I can't imagine playing it with anything but a trackball. The movements just don't translate.

          Random bit of trivia: other things that fit in that cabinet were: RoadBlasters, Road Runner, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Packrat.

          • jwz says:

            Normally I'm with you on that -- I often end up ranting about how emulators suck, because without the exact input devices the game was play-tested with, the playability is always off, and not even subtley -- but in the specific case of Marble Madness, I disagree. I played the Amiga 1000 version a lot, and it was really quite good, and moderately faithful, even when played with a mouse. In a game like Marble Madness, where the function of the trackball is inertial adjustment rather than pointer targetting, the hand motions you make are almost identical between mouse and trackball.

            Though, that gigantic trackball that MM had was really nice. It was so heavy, the weight of it really helped you.

            One time I was in an arcade, years after MM was out of fashion, and there was a MM machine. I started playing, and 30 seconds in realized that what I was seeing was an A1000 in a stand-up cabinet. It had the same display bugs! (Only then did it sink in that the trackball and monitor were wrong too.)

            The MAME-emulated MM isn't much fun, but the Amiga-emulated one works pretty well, once you figure out how to get it to not let the mouse leave the window.

            • jerronimo says:

              Yeah... the Amiga 1000 version was amazing... My only problem with it was the load time between levels. ;)

              Back in college, we had a Stargate arcade machine that had a bad mainboard, so I hacked my Amiga 500 into the case, and just left the mouse out... it was awesome...

              the monitor had a bad vertical hold though, so occasionally it would roll, but it was awesome anyway. :D

            • cyeh says:

              I guess I can see where a mouse would roughly translate between trackball and mouse, but I actually relied heavily on that momentum and large trackball to work my way around the course. Without it, (at least on MAME) I couldn't build up the speed I wanted, and I had a tendency to over-compensate where I hadn't before. The sheer weight and direction of the heavy rolling ball kept me from over correcting.

              Having not played the amiga version, I can't really comment on that.

              On the general subject of emulators and controls: the games that tend to suffer the most from control degradation were designed by Atari, which spent a lot of time and R & D on custom control surfaces. Three controllers immediately pop to mind: the original Star Wars yoke controller, the 720 Degrees angled spin controller, and the infernal bike handle controller for "Paperboy".

              What amazed me (and still continues to amaze me) was how well the majority of the custom controllers stood up to the outrageous pounding they got from the general public. Of the three controllers I mentioned, 720's rotary joystick broke the most.

              • jonabbey says:

                The Amiga version cheated by letting you hold down the left mouse button to signify extra hard shoves on the trackball. The original Arcade machine obviously didn't have a "pretend I'm spinning the trackball extra hard" button, so the (always faithful) hardware-emulating MAME doesn't either.

                Therein lies the problem.

      • ronbar says:

        The NES version was cake with the thumbpad, if you used it the way you weren't supposed to and put two fingers from each hand on opposite sides. You could stop on a dime using reverse thrust.

  2. bdu says:

    I'd almost buy UT2003 just for this.


  3. compwiz says:

    Damn, I wish this looked as spiffy. But I gotta give them credit, it's an open-source project with only a couple of developers, and they had to write their engine from scratch.