Boss Golf updated to 0.541!

Boss Golf updated to 0.541!

Hello folks,

Have just released the 0.541 update, which fixes a couple of issues found on 0.54, and gives a better version of the path builder mesh.

nicepaths

Here’s the main points of change:

  • Tweaked time system and removed the day-night cycle. Terrain always looks nicer now on current lighting. Lighting will change later on depending on the season/weather.
  • Fixed path mesh. Generation is better and the intersection is also better.
  • Removed triangle alternation from terrain mesh so that it matches the terrain collider. This was causing the path to go underground, and the AI/ball to also disappear underground on occasion.
  • Fixed display of player shots. Now it obeys the arcs and power properly.
  • Tweaked the values of the AI arcs.
  • Increased movement speed for AI to balance the larger map

That’s all for now.

The Path tool will stay the way it is now, while I get to work on the new hole builder. You’ll plan out the hole all at once creating a kind of “yardage book” representation of it, placing the terrain tiles and whatnot, and then giving the order for it to be built. Any alteration you wish to do to the hole, will be done through its yardage book. This way you’ll also be able to save/load previously created yardage books!

yardager
A real life Yardage Book page. Boss Golf will feature something slightly similar!

And since in golf you can have multiple teeing locations, so will be the case in Boss Golf! No longer will you be constrained about simply placing the tee tile; you’ll be placing the tee object instead. Coming in 5 different colors, that mark the level of difficulty of a tee.

The same will be doable with the hole! You’ll now lay down the green are as you wish, and then place the hole object in the location you desire, giving you more options for customizing your hole.

All of these changes will come in 0.55!

Oh and as a bonus, next week is the famous Golden Week here in Japan. Meaning I’ll be crunching down to get the game to a great state to show off in May’s BitSummit! If you’re in Japan during that time, be sure to drop by and say hello! And play the exclusive resort featured at the event!

That’s all folks!

Path Builder Preview!

Path Builder Preview!

Aw yeah!

Got the placement to stick, including the blending between different path types. Now tomorrow all that’s left will be saving and loading, which should be simple.

I’ve also taken the decision to leave the pathbuilding as instantaneous, instead of having the landscaper dude going around placing them. Makes more sense this way, since it’ll be something the player will be able to lay and relay quickly. Going to study more from now on what should be dealt by the landscaper/builders, and what should be instantaneous.

Anyway, check out how it’s looking like!

path_preview_awwyeah

So nice, specially being able to move it in 8 directions! Breaks away from the usual grid style of building things.

Get ready for 0.54!

Going Clubbing!

Going Clubbing!

Hello folks!

For today’s update to Boss Golf, I wanna talk about clubs!

So I’ve implemented a system that now makes use of proper golf clubs when playing the game. Until now, the AI had access to “infinite” clubs; it would decide how to shoot based on the maximum distance it could achieve, and how close it was to the hole. Based on this, and information regarding maximum/minimum angles/distances for each club type, a trajectory would be generated and that would be that.

This meant that even if the AI was in a bunker, it could still use an Iron to drive out of it in massive distances.

That’s not very likely in real life!

So I finally went ahead and implemented clubs. Now we have clubs divided into basic categories, representing the main club types (wood, iron, hybrid, putter, wedge), all further categorized into their respective numbers and/or types (1 Iron, 2 Wood, Sand Wedge etc).

Each club also has a difficulty rating (cause lord knows not even god himself can hit a 1 Iron!), which will be factored into the decision making process.

Further, each AI will have a limited number of clubs in their little AI golf bag. No more infinity clubs; they’ll have their 14 clubs and that’s that. Makers will be implemented later, giving slight deviation to angles and maximum ranges, adding even more variation to an AI’s arsenal (and other income avenues for your club with a pro shop!).

For now, these are being generated semi-randomly at the start of the game. Later on, when the AI generation becomes based on the database, these will be recorded and AI will routinely change their arsenal.

Now I’m onto implementing these new clubs into the shooting decision making. I’ve created a new “GolferBrain” class, which will be used by the AI to determine their “best” option for their current shot. Basically, it’ll generate a handful of potential shots, grade their likelihood of success, difficulty, payoff, and use the golfer’s confidence to decide on which one to take. And then shoot it! And hope for the best! And watch as their perfectly thought out strike lands in the bunker, or the fire hazard!

After this is implemented for the AI, I’ll roll it out to the Player as well. You’ll also start with a right now randomized bag of clubs, and later on you’ll be able to change your collection to better suit your playstyle.

That’s all for now folks! Stay tuned for more AI updates!

Smooth Terrain Testing

Smooth Terrain Testing

Hello folks!

Talking to a player of the game, he gave me the feedback that he didn’t quite enjoy the landscaping because the current terrain system looked a bit too unrealistic. Plus the looks of it looked a bit odd depending on the lighting conditions: the light would reflect too strong in certain areas, not strong enough in others.

So I went ahead an prototyped a simple replacement for it. Basically, I added a Terrain object to the game, and am using the existing systems for processing the information, while setting the height of the terrain based on it.

The results are here:

terraintest

I quite appreciate the smoothness of this terrain. With the proper texturing, it could look pretty sweet and clean. I’m studying how to apply the terrain textures to it (grass, gree, fairway etc), but since this has a decent support for normal maps too, it could add some much welcome depth to the terrain features.

It is, however, a trick. The mesh is still pretty much the same as it was before (at least at this stage), and you can see the difference when I turn on the wireframe mapping and some zones:

smooth_editing

But the smooth shadow makes it look a lot nicer. Playing around with some height limitations, I could make the height tools affect nearby vertices as well, to give a smoother climb. There’s no performance loss either at this stage, which is great.

I’m gonna prototype how to apply the terrain textures to it, but I have a hunch it would allow me to more easily use higher-res tiles. And for the zones, I can just keep the current system as they work decently enough as an overlay.

Considering some changes to the planning aspect of it too, but that’s for later!

That’s all for this microupdate!

-Gus

Quickie: More decoration!

Quickie: More decoration!

Hello folks!

Progress this weekend has been slower than I had anticipated. Finished integrating the UI for the old controls, but still working on the stroke maker. Struggling as well brainstorming the way to integrate it into regular gameplay.

Also spent some time thinking about how to organize the AI system so that I can begin prototyping it. Goal for this month is to have an AI character able to  playtest your course! (probably very poorly, but we all gotta start somewhere!)

So here’s an image of some new trees!

new_Trees

Good thing about this is that the system for adding new decoration prefabs works better than expected! With the added trees, we can begin to see some much nicer looking courses!

That’s all for today, folks!

Expect a proper update soon!

-Gus

Quickie: Prototyping the Stroke Maker

Quickie: Prototyping the Stroke Maker

Hey folks!

I’ve been hard at work this weekend on the new UI system and the new “stroke maker” feature.

Here you can see a nice screenshot of how it is all looking like right now:

shot-prototyping

I’ve also added more icons to replace the placeholder text, as you can see in the top menu. Added a couple new trees for decoration too, which you’ll be seeing more of in the screenshots coming up later.

I think I’ll be able to finish prototyping the stroke maker today, and finish integrating the new UI systems by tomorrow. Since it’s a three day weekend here in Japan, might be able to get the demo updated by monday!

That’s all for now, folks!

Quickie: Anatomy of a Hole

Quickie: Anatomy of a Hole

Hello folks!

I’ve finished the work I wanted done for this week. In fact, I’ll be releasing the new demo in a couple of minutes!

Now, the goal of this post is to show you how to play your awesomely create hole.

For that, I created this demo hole: Double Trouble

Here’s an overview of what the hole looks like:

double_trouble

The two little bodies of water in the middle add to the difficulty. The sand trap surrounding it is more for psychological terror, as they’re actually quite flat. Opposite of the fairway, which is angled all over the place, specially aimed to make you fall on the water. So to start off the drive, I aimed my shot in this direction:

stroke_one

My intention was to bypass the slope with speed and make it safely to the end of the fairway. But it actually happened much better! The ball bounced majestically off of the fairway, and ended up really near the green, albeit in a bunker:

stroke_two

From there, though, it was a short chip in to get on the green and be on a good position. This course was a par 4. This shot would put me at 2 strokes, with a potentially straightforward putt to help me to an Birdie. Which is what I did, since my chip in landed around here:

stroke_three

Extremely close. Like, way too close. The kind of close shot I’ve missed before because I forgot to account for slopes and stuff! This time around, I sank it like a champ!

All of this was thanks to a very lucky drive! I was not expecting it to bounce the way it did, but I was very pleased for it!

Well that’s that! Stay tuned for the new demo for Boss Golf!