A downloadable game for Windows

Marble Marcher is entirely ray-marched (similar to ray-tracing) in real time and is played on the surface of evolving fractals.  The goal is to get your marble to the goal as quickly as possible.  There are 24 unique levels to master.


This game is the result of a fractal physics engine I developed that allows fast collisions with fractals and other procedurally rendered objects.  As far as I'm aware, it is the first game to ever use this technique.

The game is also open source: https://github.com/HackerPoet/MarbleMarcher

System Requirements

You will almost certainly need a dedicated GPU to run this game at 60fps without lag.  Older GPUs may need to run at the lowest resolutions, while high-end ones can run fine at the higher resolutions.


30 to 45 minutes

Install instructions

This is standalone (no installer).  To run, just unzip it into a directory that has write permissions and run the game!


MarbleMarcher.zip 14 MB

Development log


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Soudtracks are free?

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thank you so much for this game. It is quite fun and difficult. My computer runs this game very well at a very high resolution. I have an i7, 16GB ram, and ASUS rx580 strix 8GB GPU. 

what resolution?

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It runs at 1920x1080(the 1080 ti setting). So almost the highest. I tried running it at the highest resolution but my monitor isn't big enough hahaha. the game image stretches outside the monitor then I can see anything. Even at the highest setting it was able to run completely fine. the only barrier is that my monitor is 1080p so the highest setting was stretched past my monitors borders. 

Bam. #4 is up and I have now cleared all the stages!

A bit frustrating at times, but this is some quality work. I'd be totally on board with more new stages. And maybe a jump button.

Really cool game. Too bad I couldn't fully experience it though, had to run it on the lowest settings and was only getting around 30 fps lol

I return with part 3!

Despite some navigation complications, I'm enjoying the new stages.

Thanks!  By the way, there is yet another update with improved graphics, you should get a higher framerate.  Also, 'Play' will resume at the last level, you don't have to load each stage from the menu ;)

Someone's been busy. And, yeah, I wasn't sure if hitting Play would work that way or not at the time, so thanks for the info!

is there a way to play this game on macOS? I've tried (what I think is) everything and nothing seems to be working.

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I think that this game needs some form of level builder - type in values for the fractal, place a start and end point.  Also, the flag should be visible as an outline through the fractal. And PLEASE make a custom page on itch instead of a blank one!

Thanks for the reminder, I completely forgot I could customize the page!


It took a good many tries, but I managed to finish the latest level set! I can't wait for more!

I'm horrible at games, and I'm just getting angry trying to play. How can I just enable cheats without having to recompile everything?

You can edit the save file in AppData/Roaming/MarbleMarcher/scores.bin.  Open it with a hex editor and just  fill the entire file with zeros.

Is there any way to turn off the dying mechanic so when I fall into one of the holes I just glitch and not crushed

If you use the 'Free Camera' cheat, there's no marble to crush and you can go inside the fractal even when it's moving.

It would be cool if I could be restrained to the marble and see the glitchiness of the fractal crushing the marble and not being destroyed


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I can't start the game...

Failed to compile vertex shader…

Can anyone help?

EDIT: I ran into a bigger issue: it can't find "OpenAL34.dll" which prevents it from starting

Extract all the files, dont try to start them up from winrar

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I have changed the 1s to 1.0 and i still have the failed to compile vertex shader error

Hello there, would you mind if I try some game-testing with your game? It happens that I'm a novice game tester, and I'm looking for some places/games where to train my testing skills and stuff. Optionally, of course, any reported bugs will be posted or sent to you just in case you are interested in taking a look at them.
Thanks in advance!

Sure,  no problem!  Not sure why you would need my permission to test the game :P

Alright, thank you a lot!

About the permission, well, I don't know. Maybe you wanted people to play your game, yet weren't interested in receiving bug reports or feedbacks... That's why I always ask for permission first, just in case someone gets angry or sth

I somehow got through the new stages. Here is the documentation of my suffering.

i don't know how to download the update

If you download it, it is updated (same filename).

Is a mac version possible?

I return with more fractal fascinations!

And made a video without realizing the game had been updated with more levels. I didn't expect the marble fun to keep rolling. Despite getting stuck on a stage, I'm definitely glad to see this still going places. Keep up the good work, dev. This is a trip. Also, I love how the new music track I started hearing is relatively short, but doesn't get old after hearing it a while. That's quality.

Ok, I've completed all of the levels including the extra ones. I'm pressing F1 but all it's doing is muting my computer. What gives?

Try  pressing fn F1 in sequence

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Hello CodeParade, thanks for your work, i love it ! i might be a bit stupid but i didn't get it how to just go on free camera and fly through the fractals. ♥

any help ?

complete the game -> use F1 to activate cheats 

also i got a time of 9.43 seconds on 'the catwalk'


Stage 'Pylon palace' is broken

sometimes you'll float on some of the corners and get stuck

Yeah, that stage feels impossible to finish.

The trick is to not be as careful as you think you need to be. That level took me a half hour to finish the first time, now my record on it is 21.20 seconds.

I play at the I have potato settings and can't get over 7fps.

hey bro, i got the update 5 and finished the game but i can't seem to activate the cheats, i pressed F1, what should appear after that?

Do it when you're already in a level.

that's what i did and literally nothing happened, i've tried different levels but nothing, i also have no idea where the save files are so i can't redo the game to see if the bug is fixed

That's really strange...  Just to confirm, it says version 1.1.0 in the main menu, and every level in the levels menu has a time under it including the second page (all the way up to Fatal Fissures?) You do not need to redo the game, if you can see all the times then cheats are unlocked already.

oh, i need to finish the new levels too? so THATS why its not working, thanks, ill try to figure out how to pass throuhg the yellow fractal

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What do you do about the Failed to compile vertex shader. i have dowloaded the game  5 times by now

I'm looking into a fix for this.


Can you confirm if making this change to assets/vert.glsl fixes the problem for you? https://github.com/HackerPoet/MarbleMarcher/pull/37/files

Im not remotely good with code but i did what it said and im still having the problem

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Love this game and the music!

I have an idea for this game. Maybe after completing it once, we can choose from a few different kinds of balls with different physics like bounciness, etc. It would make the game worth playing a second or third time (I haven't finished yet).  Another thing. I have a GTX 1080 and while I can run it at 60fps at both the gtx 1080 and gtx 970 settings, the ball seems to move way faster when I pick the 970 settings.

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My laptop is running on a 32-bit operating system and i cannot play the game. Can you help me fix this problem ?

I downloaded update 5 and I'm not sure how to enable cheats.

You have to beat the game first to unlock them.  Once you have, just press F1 during gameplay.

Ok i fixed my last problem but now it says failed to compile vertex shader

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5 suggestions:

1)Add vertical movement contols (ability to move up and down) to Free  camera mode, because after having such controls in other games with 6 degrees of freedom not having them is inconvinient (R + F, Shift+Ctrl. Shift+Space or Ctrl+Space would probably be good key combinations).

2)Add collision detection to Free camera mode, so that you won't clip through textures while trying to explore finer details of the fractal for example.

3)Make Zoom to scale combinable with Free camera th make it more convinient to explore the fractal .

4)Add some sort of information about the existance of cheats and how to activate them into the game.

5)Maybe make it so that you can make ball teleport to camera's position when you exit Free camera mode.

(If any of these features are already implemented then i couldn't find them)

Also on PylonPalace level i had a few moments when i had elemets of the level apear between camera and the ball, so maybe make it so that elements of the level become semi-transparent if they appear between ball and camera.

Thanks for the suggestions!

#3 Already works.  If you activate zoom to scale, then the mouse wheel will change the free-camera speed.

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Edit to #1: also add roll control (on Q and E probably)

Hello! Love the updates so far! Just wanted to ask for a feature if you are inclined: I've been playing FPS games for a long time and all the default mouse sensitivities are way too high and uncomfortable for me. If you could add another option for ultra low or added a slider perhaps, this would help me immensely. Even if you told me how i could edit it in the settings file it would be fantastic! For reference it takes 19.48 inches at 400 dpi for a full 360 degree spin for every other game I play. Thank you very much for such a visually amazing game!

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It would be nice to have either one of these:

- Listen for key "physical location" code rather than key "letter" code, game engines usually expose both of these via slightly different names on the button event struct, for example SDL_Keycode is the "letter" code, while SDL_Scancode is the "physical location" code.

- Allow customizing the input bindings.

I use a weird keyboard (Kinesis Advantage - arrow keys split across left and right sides) and weird keyboard layout (swedish dvorak), so any of these would help me.

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It is pretty sad that you have to have a dedicated GPU because I have a laptop with a GeForce 920M (a GPU from 2015) and to play this without being able to count each pixel I would have to spend around $400 on a GOOD GPU. But I can run this game on Potato with 60 FPS, the second option goes on 30 FPS, the third 10-15 FPS and the other ones just freeze my laptop and I have to restart... But the game is still amazing!!

it says it cannot find OpenAL32.dll but i can see it (sorry if this is a stupid question I'm not too good with tech)


This was fantastic. I loved every second of it.


As I said on YT: "It lags even on potato mode, can you add an option to disable reflections and other graphical features?"

The only feature that affects performance is shadows.  You can disable by changing SHADOWS_ENABLED  to 0 in assets/frag.glsl (line 34).  But as it says in the description, you really do need a dedicated GPU for this game unfortunately.

I accually BROKE the download

so i cant play this game

the 10.45 seconds of gameplay i got were fun though so 10/10

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Is your problem with the game or your setup?

it doesnt load up; it either says the loader cant be found, or there is no 'vertical shader' i loaded it once, but it was 280x280 pixels

Make sure you have the assets folder in the same directory as the exe.

Hello there CodeParade!  Ive been watching your channel for a while now and came across your 3D fractles video, and my jaw dropped at the beutiful fractles!  I tried searching online for a downloadable GIF file for my backround but I could only find low quality 2D fractles.   Is there a download link you have so I could have these beutiful fractles as my backround?  Or maybe a store i could buy them at?

Thank You!


You can download a fractal software here:https://fractalfoundation.org/resources/fractal-software/ Hope this helps!

New update has a fractal exploration mode, so you can take screenshots or record video with a free-camera.

Thank you!


Hi CodeParade,  by this game I was actually inspired to create my own game(or atleast to draw a picture on a window rather than printing text on a console). I installed(built from sources) the SFML and eigen dependencies the game ran fine and also good game btw :-). 

But the problem started when I tried to create my own CMakeLists.txt file. I read the documentation from SFML website and it is not given for Linux(where there is no graphical interface and everything has to be typed).So, I tried changing your CMakeList file and but you 2 CMakeLists.txt file(1 which is located in the projects folder and another in src folder) but it was just a failure. 

My main problem is I'm struggling to learn how to use CMake and I'm not understanding their doumentation and how to use it for adding SFML dependency.

I'm not doing any  type a big project or anything. I just want the code in https://www.sfml-dev.org/tutorials/2.5/start-linux.php in this to run.

Pls anyone help me with the CMakeList.txt. If possible please explain in detail what is happening in CMakeList.txt. May God bless anyone who read this fully.

And please help me. This is the only thing which is keeping me from moving forward  

Use the GitHub for code questions, more people can help you there!

Thanks, I will ask there itself.


Wait, does this support RTX? Because the reflection shows what's behind you, and you need an RTX 2080 ti to pllay at 1440p

since this is iterative ray marching world geometry is encoded as a distance estimator. You'd need RTX if you use explicit geometries like triangle list

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