Archive entry by Ste Pickford on Wed, 18 Mar 2009
Subject: Magnetic Billiards: Seriously Casual
This is a strange one. It's yet another mock up of ball styles from the early days of Magnetic Billiards.
We tried something completely different with this one. Instead of balls with patterns on their surface, we had the idea of transparent spheres with floating disks or coins within them that had patterns on. Partly this was a reaction to the problem of how difficult it was to get nice looking images or patterns onto the surfaces of spheres (they're a bitch to texture with square bitmaps), and partly we were just experimenting with wacky ideas.
The idea here would lead to a different game mechanic, where the pattern on the surface of the 'coin' within each sphere would 'flip' every time the ball collided with a cushion on the table, giving each ball colour two polarities in addition to the colours themselves. A little bit like those manhole covers in Mario Sunshine.
We didn't get far with this mechanic. Not that we didn't like it, or didn't think it would work. Just that there aren't enough hours in the day to pursue every idea.
I don't think the images I came up with were very good. I only spent a day or two on this idea, and was really struggling to come up with pairs of images that worked as opposites. Still, the game mechanic idea might well work. Only prototyping would prove it either way. Maybe we'll return to it one day.