How on earth did you come up with the idea of making a marble platformer as your first game? Aren’t there already enough games in this genre, and haven’t they already done everything that could be done? Well, dear imaginary critic, I’ve got a couple of things to share, and I think it will help you change your mind.

Hi guys,

This is a short summary of how TLBTC came to be.

As we grew up in the 90s, we were crazy for platformers. At our friend’s house, I had a chance (or better say, the luck) to play the genre-defining titles such as Super Mario and Contra; and the memories of those times are still sweet. There was also a game called Marble Madness, but we didn’t really like it that much, because it was kinda hard to roll that ball around. And no, we weren’t so lucky so as to play the arcade cabinet version of the game.

Had someone told me I’d be spending more than a year making a game like that, I wouldn’t have believed them. Nobody would play that!

The Little Ball That Could in all its glory!
The Little Ball That Could in all its glory!

Years after that, I came across HamsterBall, which was a little known remake of Marble Madness for PC. This time, my impression was totally different, and I had a blast playing it! Bright colors and simple design, much tighter controls, cool character (who wouldn’t like playing as a hamster!), and super-fast levels with various obstacles. It was great, but something was still missing – there wasn’t all that much to do after you’ve figured out the path through the level and how to pass it as fast as you can without smashing or falling. I figured that a game where you could have several paths – and more things to do, except go fast – would make it more fun.

Had someone told me I’d be spending more than a year making a game like that, I wouldn’t have believed them. That would be too hard to accomplish!

Fast-forward to 2016, and I’m browsing the Play Store for good platformers. I came across quite a few titles that took inspiration from Marble Madness and Super Monkey Ball, and I tried out many of them. However, I found most of them to be, well, average at best – a couple of good ideas here, some solid visuals there, and so on. Overall, I saw a problem with the “feel,” the responsiveness and precision; they were sticking to the formula too much, and finally, you had 20-ish levels to play at most. Going over to Steam, I found a few titles that looked like they could fit the bill – yet most of them looked pretty dated. The old ideas flashed back into my mind, and soon enough, we were making our first prototype. We wanted to do a remake of the classic marble platformer – only with cool graphics, quick controls, expansive non-linear levels, various traps to avoid, gems to collect, puzzle pieces to discover… and more then 8 hours of unique gameplay.

Had someone told me I’d be spending almost two years making a game like that, I wouldn’t have believed them. Yet here we are, our game complete, and ready for you to play.

The tricky traps of The Little Ball That Could
The tricky traps of The Little Ball That Could

We were always planning to launch on Steam and bring out the game to mobile platforms too. Eventually, as our funding went thin and our desire to add more polish to the PC version, we ended up releasing the mobile version ahead of time. Luckily, many players – as well as members of the press – seemed to like it very much! This gave us strength to carry on and finally go for a full September release.

If you’d like to learn more about TLBTC, you can see its minisite for more information. You can get the game on Steam, or if you’d like to experience it on the go, check out our Android and iPhone/iPad ports of the game.

Keep it rolling,
Nikola