Weekly Update #6: Expanding the System

Weekly Update #6: Expanding the System

Hello folks!

This week’s update forĀ Boss Golf is about expanding the existing game systems, and making them play nice with each other! This is something hard to show in screenshots, though, as the majority of the work was under the hood. But let’s try!

Hole Building

As the main action you’ll be undertaking in the game, I’ve finished integrating the systems for hole building!

Now as you build the hole you can see the three ratings change. Add a tile here, remove a tile there, expand the play space, move the hole…

Wide and Hard
A wide hole that has high difficulty thanks to the many bad terrain tiles.
easyNarrow
A narrow hole that has low difficulty because it has mostly good tiles.

Not only that, but these ratings are also being taken into account by the AI golfers. I’ve expanded their golfing system to react to these different ratings, preparing them for their potential performance ahead. So if they do well on a hard hole, they’ll feel better than if they do so so on an easy hole.

Character Management

I’ve also updated the panels for the character information, and customized them based on the type of character.

There’s also some extra functionality in there for you to check. Workers will now keep track of how many tasks they’ve completed, helping you see how busy they tend to be etc.

Managing Employees
Working hard or hardly working?

Building Features

Buildings now serve a purpose! That restaurant you build will provide you with income when AI golfers visit it. Break rooms (or buildings) will now be used for your workers to go to and lounge when they have nothing to do. Still mulling over what other sorts of buildings to add, but the main systems are in place already.

Buildings also come with limitations: your break room (building) can’t be taller than 1 story; the restaurant can go up to 3; hotels can be as tall as you want (and maybe become an eyesore).

Golfy Towers
This monstrosity may soon be heading to your golf course!

Maintenance costs have also been added, depending on the size and complexity of the building!

Also began improving the paths in the game, to make them more relevant to the navmesh.

AI Expansion

Biggest implementation has to do with the AI!

In a list, because lists make things easier to understand:

  • Improved the logic for choosing the order to take care of for the landscapers
  • Implemented the building for the builders
  • Builder building time will depend on their skill
  • Builders will also go to buildings to maintain them
  • Pathbuilding is no longer instant: you’ll lay down the plan for the path, and the builders will go on there to build them
  • Fixed the golfer decision making to take into account the new ratings on the holes
  • Added a new routine for the golfers to allow them to visit certain buildings on your course, if they exist (such as restaurants)

Besides that, loads of other smaller fixes and little improvements, such as modifying the action of the buttons when you hover over them etc. Little things that make the game feel a lot more polished.

That’s it for this week! See you guys next time!

-Gus

Weekly Update #5: Very Important People

Weekly Update #5: Very Important People

Hello folks!

Time for this week’s update!

We start off with refinements to the employee system. There’s a brand new panel for management of the staff on your resort, combined with the option to hire new people, as you can see below!

hiringPeople

Prior to hiring, you’ll have an overview of the candidate, a little backstory on them, and their hiring fee. This is a percentage of their yearly salary that is paid upfront to have the privilege of hiring them.

For managing, as well, now you can set the tasks that a specific employee can perform. Want one landscaper focused on decoration and one focused on landscaping? You can!

manageTasks

Clicking on the employee will also open up a more detailed panel with relevant information on them, as well as the possibility to fire them/relocate them etc.

Next up, Very Important People!

And a messaging system.

As your resort reaches a higher star level, there’ll be more opportunities for VIP characters to want to drop by and play some golf, and maybe put in a good word for your resort.

To that effect, a messaging system has also been implemented providing you with more interaction with the game world!

messageInABottle

From here, you’ll get smaller missions, goals, and special offers to help improve (or hinder!) your resort’s profitability.

There are a lot of improvements under the hood too, specially when it comes to employee AI. Now they’re smarter in how they go about their job! Later on, I’ll add an energy meter for them, requiring them to take breaks every now and then to recharge. You’ll also have access to special facilities to build to improve their energy faster! (at a cost…. šŸ˜‰

That’s it for this week! There’s a three-day holiday coming up, so expect a bigger update for next week!

-Gus

Weekly Update #4: Building Better Buildings

Weekly Update #4: Building Better Buildings

Hello folks!

This past week I’ve focused on getting the building builder up and running, and improving the new system for creating the hole. So, let’s get to the meaty details!

First off, theĀ Building Builder:Ā (Roofless, for now!)

newBuildingBuilder

In Boss Golf, buildings will be instrumental in expanding your resort, improving its rating, and giving you access to new features.

To build something up, You start by drawing up the plot (the blue/yellow buttons at the top). This will form the basic blueprint for your building, determining its shape. The bigger the building, the better the bonuses.

Then you can choose the building type, which will modify the options available to you. Building a pool? You’ll have the option to add the pool, a poolhouse etc. Building a restaurant? Perhaps some outdoor area would be nice! Oh and you can also set the number of floors you wish for your building!

Finally, you’ll paint the walls with the material you wish, and choose the style of roofing for the top.

Once you approve of the construction, the building will be set for uh construction, and the little builder guy (if you have any hired), will approach it and get to work! You’ll see a scaffolding popping up surrounding the building as the work is done. The size of the building will determine how long it’ll take to be completed.

And next up, are improvements for the Hole Builder:

newHoleBuilder

I’ve made some decisions regarding the building of a hole.

To start off, you’ll be able to set the hole/tee positions, landscaping with the tiles, adding hazard (bunker, water etc), and modify the terrain. Decorations will only be available outside the hole play area.

In the image above, you can see an area oulined in blue, and an area outlined in red. This is the view you have while editing a hole. The red outline belongs to other holes, and you can’t build over there on your current hole. This gives you a better overview over the layout of your course, trying to use all the available space in a smart way to make the holes fit. (Alternatively, expand and go crazy)

Now, outside the hole builder you’ll still be able to place landscaping tiles. But you won’t be allowed to place fairway and green tiles outside the hole builder. If you want to edit the hole, you’ll have to open the editor.

It loses some of the previous flexibility, but the control gained makes it worth it.

And then we come to the next cool thing added, which is the hole rating. Now that holes are self contained, it is much easier/nicer to give them rating on 3 different attributes:

Span

This is basically a measure of the size of the playing area on the course. It’s a relationship between the yardage of the hole, and the number of tiles it uses. So a long course with a lot of tiles will have a higher SpanĀ measure than a long course with fewer tiles. It is a very simple dimension.

Difficulty

This measures the relation between the number of good tiles and the number of hazard tiles on your course. If there’s more good tiles, it’s an “easier” course; if there’s more hazard tiles, it’s a “harder” course.

At first glance, this is a very simple way of measuring difficulty. It could be that your hole is set in a single green tile surrounded by water, and every other tile is a nice well kept fairway. It would really unbalance the rating of the course and make it look deceptively easy. That’s why we have the next rating.

Risk

Risk will basically look at the hole and find particularly difficult shots. It checks the connections between each tile to assign them a rating, thereby identifying tricky spots. It act as a counterbalance to theĀ Difficulty setting. So where the hole described above would have “low difficulty”, the risk factor would be through the roof. It would be a hole that would consist of a single challenge, with an easy path until you get to it. Increasing theĀ Risk of your being thrown off your game by a tricky hole.

(Mind you, this terminology is still up in the air!)

So with those three guides, you can more accurately measure the kind of hole you are building, and how to make it better. Golfers will have their preferences in those three aspects, making it a challenge to keep your members happy.

Later, way later, I’m also planning on allowing you to save the hole you’ve built so that you can use as a preset at another course. Take your classic number 9 with you.

That’s about it for now. The builder guy is also in, to begin building the stuff (though there’s of course bugs with it).

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for next week’s update!

-Gus

Weekly Update #3: Divide and Conquer!

Weekly Update #3: Divide and Conquer!

Hello folks!

This past’s week task was focused on expanding the gameplay systems in Boss Golf; mostly revolving around giving the players more things to do and to manage.

First things first: Decay!

Now the landscapers won’t be tasked solely with laying down decoration and tiles: they’re also responsible for maintaining them! The tiles you lay will decay after a set period of time, with special events making them decay faster. The landscapers will try and attend to it to ensure your resort is running in tip top shape. If it decays to 0, it’ll revert to plain grass.

newDecaySystem

Together with that, you can now set the priorities for each type of task for the landscapers! Want a guy solely focused on maintenance? You can do that. Want a guy that prefers doing the landscaping than decoration? You can do that too!

Next up, hole building overhaul!

Until now, the hole building inĀ Boss Golf was very loosely constrained; you just placed things around and saw how they worked. It was nice in the sense that you had a lot of freedom, but not so nice in the sense that it was hard to get information about how you should be building the hole, the outcomes of it etc.

Not anymore, with the new hole building!

divideAndConquer

Now the new panel is pretty much all in one; you place the hole, tee, lay down the tiles, place decoration, all in one go. Then, when you’re happy with what the hole should be, you just accept it and the landscapers will get to work!

New also is the ability to set the “play space” for your hole. This is the area where you can landscape and place decoration and the hole components. This also tells you the estimated play path in the hole (as seen in the yellow line in the picture), which is completely dynamically changing as you shape your hole. It’s only a guideline, though, as golfers will still try and decide for themselves the best way to play it!

But it does act as a marker for out of bounds. Any ball that lands in the fenced-in area is fair game. If it lands outside, oops! Penalty!

After building the hole, you can summon a special NPC to give it an expected rating of play. (you’ll also get this rating adjusted as golfers play through it)

Later on there’ll be a better shot analyzer to give you information about potential shots on different spots in the hole.

This style of building will be expanded to the water hazards and other hazard types too, giving you more control about shaping them, and reading the statistics on them.

On the other side of things, I’ve also begun prototyping the system for building buildings in the game. It’ll be a pretty cool click and drag system with options for customizations, allowing you to build the building the way you want it built.

That’s all for now, folks! Stay tuned for the next weekly update!

Weekly Update #2: Breaking New Ground

Weekly Update #2: Breaking New Ground

Hello folks!

Following the development path, this week has been focused on extending the new UI to the other elements, implementing the localization pipeline, and beginning the implementation of new workers!

To start off, the new UI!

I’ve decided to take the UI into a more modern and streamlined direction. Gone is the green/white panels, and in are these awesome new darker panels:

resortRating

In there you can see one of the new features, which is the resort rating. It’s based on the categories as seen in the window. Improving these will increase the rating of your resort, which will unlock new things as well as attract better golfers.

Another thing added were more ingame panels:

buyWindow_newUI

These are for when you wanna expand your resort! You can now break new ground and expand your resort to accommodate more holes. Now, the number of holes you can build is limited to the size of your resort. Need the full 18 holes? Gotta need a larger resort!

Next is the localization pipeline. It has been integrated into the panels, and anything that uses text in the game will be connected to a main localization controller that pulls the necessary data. It’s also very easy to update/add new languages! Big win!

And I’ve also begun adding new staff to the resort. Soon there’ll be janitors and foremans roaming around. I’m also implementing the systems ingame to make those characters needed!

That’s all for this week! These updates will tend to come on the weekend, as that’s when I have extra time to boost development!

See you next Sunday!

Weekly Update #1

Weekly Update #1

Hello folks! Long time no see!

It’s been a while since the last update, but rest assured the game is being developed. You may have noticed that the release date has been moved to February; there is a good reason for that, which will be revealed soon!

I have to stop the closed alpha, though, so that I can focus on the development of the game’s systems. Now I have a proper list of things to get done, and will be turning to a closed beta later this year, so you’ll still have a chance to play the game well before release, and provide good feedback!

So what is today’s update about? It’s hard to show, since it’s a lot of under the hood work. Basically:

  • Moved the AI to a node-based state machine system. The previous hardcoded state machine was alright, but would be hell to expand later on. The new system works better.
  • Implemented a proper pathfinding solution. Node-based navigation, with object avoidance and on-the-fly graph updates are also in. This means that the AI will now properly react to changes in the environment, including bridges and whatnot!
  • Changed the terrain system to allow for expansion of the resort and proper culling of chunks you don’t see. Lighten up the processing load by a lot!
  • Began updating the AI to make it more modern.
  • Began implementation of the proper core gameplay loop of the game.

This last point is the most important one and the cause of the lack of updates recently. The game so far has been alright in a sandbox state, without any real goals to search for and whatnot. This is ok, but not optimal, as in the proper game you wanna have a loop of things to do, things to look forward, plans to adjust and whatnot.

So I took quite a bit of time experimenting and thinking ways to create a good core gameplay loop, and I believe I’m getting close to it now. It’ll involve a lot of facets of resort management, which I’ll expand upon at a later time! Gotta keep something!

And here’s a screenshot of the first pass of the new AI:

newUnewI

I’m going for a more minimalist/clean/flat look. The icons will be replaced by flatter versions of what they do. Placeholder for now, but this is the direction I’m thinking of taking things.

Oh and as of now, I’ll be posting weekly updates regarding the progress of the game, to give better visibility on how it is progressing, specially since the alpha is over. Not having to make sure things are compatible with savegames will certainly speed up development!

That’s all for now!

-Gus

Boss Golf Updated to 0.67!

Boss Golf Updated to 0.67!

Hello folks!

Sorry for the lack of activity recently! Development forĀ Boss Golf is continuing strong! Been hard at work getting some of the other main features in. But I’ve wanted to add a simple tutorial as soon as possible to help new players get a grasp on how the game works!

So update 0.67 is about that! Now at the main menu, you have the option to begin playing with a Tutorial! The tutorial will walk you through the basic steps of building up your course, familiarizing you with the main systems of the game.

tutorialYeah

This update also adds the possibility to open/close your resort. This will stop AI from spawning on your course if the resort is closed, giving you more peace to work on your course.

Warning that if you have a currently ongoing game, this update is incompatible with your save game. If you don’t need the tutorial, don’t worry about updating yet!

That’s all for now, folks! Next up: the building system, and other improvements!

-Gus