Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Marbles by M. Overlin & K. McLeod
©1990-92 Berkeley Systems Inc.

Part of the After Dark 2.0 collection.

One of my favorite modules back in the day, Marbles was a fun module to watch and still holds up (for the most part) today. The physics are a little wonky and it has been replaced by a later version 4.0 module with better graphics, more accurate physics, and customizable options.

This one seems to run on a modern system with the same speed and "accuracy" as it did when first released. Ok, so maybe it's not as realistic a simulation of a ball bouncing through pins as say "Peggle". However, in my opinion, this (along with Flying Toasters) was one of the best modules in the first batch.

Oh, and the smiley face ball was a nice touch.

MARBLES simulates colorful spheres bouncing through an obstacle course of pins and magically stacking at the bottom. As with people, some marbles are more sensitive than others.

Windows version by Mike Overlin, SAPIEN Technologies, Inc.

Concept and Mac version by Kevin McLeod.

Artwork by Igor Gasowski.

Works under Windows XP & Vista in greater than 256.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff, thanks for these... Still looking for dare devil dan and bad dog :(

Fritters said...

Do you know of any way to slow down some of the 2.0 modules?

David Donarumo said...

I have not encountered any method for slowing down specific modules. Not to say it's impossible though. It seems like if someone with much more programming knowledge than I really set their mind to it, reverse engineering a modern After Dark engine that would run all modules is not an unsurmountable task.

Devin Rose said...

I wrote a screensaver called Abound which was inspired by Marbles, which I also loved. Search for Abound screensaver or

Anonymous said...

I'm still floored that no one has taken on the (relatively simple / lucrative) task of making a screensaver engine (that runs on all WINDOWS (not MAC !!) versions, XP and up) that can run ALL After Dark modules, both 'classic', and 4.0, and (hopefully / why the hell not) run EVERY module for EVERY screensaver ever made (i.e., Windows SCR files, the old Intermission stuff, maybe Pyro, and even AD for Mac...). Oh, and include all the standard AD 4.0 options, with even more flexibility (maybe turning off sound for some, and not others, vs. a universal on / off), bug fixes (why the frick does AD take 100% of system resources, no matter what Windows OS / processor speed you're using !!), etc.

WHY, OH WHY does no company / programmer do this ???????? I'm a super-cheapskate, and I'd pay $25 in a heartbeat, and possibly even $40 for this. I'd wager that (depending on the price) anywhere from 100,000 to even half a million (yep, I think that many) Windows users would get it.

The only 'down' side is that they'd have to supply the modules, assuming they're still owned by someone. There's always an issue, isn't there...