What is the history of development for the game Marble Pool-ball?
1. In the beginning
Marble Pool-ball's history is short: only 14 days. I haven't played this game in a long time, as after two weeks of it's birth, I haven't played it since.
In late 2001, I was playing around with Hit-a-bump version 4* where you roll marbles down a ramp, and soon, I realized that I can make a somewhat different game. During the first day, when my computer was fully erasing the hard drive because the system got too unstable, I was playing Hit-a-bump version 4. I had an extention to it that was like that of a bonus stage. If I got a hit-a-bump of 5 [6 including the marble I just rolled], you'd get a bonus stage after the board is fully cleared. It was this bonus stage that was the birth of Marble Pool-ball.
Starting with 3 balls, a common thing with pinball [though some allow 4 or 5 balls instead of the typical 3], I came up with a way to roll marbles past a certain point. Using the big marble, I rolled it down the ramp used in Hit-a-bump version 4 already premade and it hit the marbles below scattering them. Though this would call for a record-breaking hit-a-bump, the marbles weren't allowed to be removed. Once the marbles passed a certain point, they were to be removed. This was the birth of the game Marble Pool-ball.
2. Getting a good name
This game was much harder to come up with a name for it. It was Hit-a-bump 4's bonus stage that I tried to add to modify it, though it wasn't good enough to be called "bonus stage". I couldn't call it "marble pinball" as that would mean that it's entirely related to pinball, but it's too different from pinball to be considered that. Yet, you lost a ball when you failed to hit anything, and that a ramp is used like that of acceleration similar to a pinball game [only much faster]. Next, after about 8 days of trying to think of a name, and further playing it to get the difficulty levels, I then realized that the game, pool, with the 6 holes and 15 balls was quite similar to this. With a cross between pool and pinball, I called it "Pool-ball", but this didn't make too much sense. Adding marble "at the beginning" made it sound perfect. Today, it's called "Marble Pool-(pin)ball" or "Marble Pool-ball" without the source on how it came to be.
3. Getting the difficulty levels set
Figuring out the difficulty setting variations was another challenge, but much smaller than naming the game. Because more marbles means more can get out of bounds and that rounds take longer to clear, hard mode should require that of the largest number of marbles. Easy mode would be the opposite with fewer marbles. Medium mode, as the term's definition goes, is between easy and hard modes thus a medium number of marbles.
4. Extra balls
The concept of extra balls are quite common with pinball as well, but how to address this was another small challenge. Because of the rarity of getting 3 or more marbles out of the pool at once is high enough anyway, this idea brought the concept of extra balls as well. The one key concept, when a round is cleared, was one of great debate. First, clearing rounds, especially in easy mode, was, well, easy. Second, clearing rounds in hard mode is almost just as easy, though it takes longer. On the other side, when there's 3 marbles left or fewer, hitting them is very tough and you often miss. It's this key issue that was the birth of the extra-balls-at-the-end-of-the-round concept.
5. Boundary lines
Determining boundaries was also a challenge, but the smallest. Due to the size of the ramp and the fact that you can roll them sideways some, marbles in a certain area weren't accessible in the full square. This was cause for boundary limitations. If a marble passed these boundaries, they had to be placed back in bounds before play can continue. Because of the fact that the further the marble is from you, the sooner it can get past the scoring area, and the easier the game. To prevent this, the marble out of bounds had to be placed back at it's current distance or back closer to the ramp anywhere in this zone in-bounds.
* Hit-a-bump version 4 is a targetting game like this one, only in Hit-a-bump's style of removal. You can learn how to play version 4 of Hit-a-bump by reading this rule list.