Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Been swamped with stuff at my work, and had to fight off a nasty case of food poisoning. But now I’m better!
For today’s update, I’ve finished reimplementing the player controller for the little golfer in Boss Golf, and now it works much, much, much better. Plus it sticks to the surface! It’s the opposite of teflon!
Of course credit where it’s due, I’ve adapted Roystan Ross’ Super Character Controller which is simply awesome. Works like a treat. It was effortless to create the state machine and implement a “point and click” interface. As it is, the character will pretty much walk to where the mouse clicks. In a straight line. Further down the line I’ll make the pathfinding smarter, by utilizing the paths players will build across the course, which will make it avoid other things along the way. A* should suffice, made even easier since the whole game is in a grid.
I also have full control over the speed of the character, which can be changed on the fly. On top of this state machine, I’ll attach the AI controller I’ve been writing to handle the decisions that will affect the movement of the character, and change the state machine accordingly. Things are so much clearer in my mind now!
Now here’s some animations for you!
That’s it for today, folks.
Soon this will be integrated into alpha 0.2, and you’ll be able to shoot and play with your character on your course. Stay tuned for more! (And check out the closed alpha while you’re at it!)
For today’s golf gameplay-related dev update, I’ve added automatic movement to the character, for reaching the ball and sort of positioning himself to take the shot!
It was easier than expected, thanks to some foresight of past Gus when coding the game. I simply moved the function to shoot the ball away from instantaneous execution after releasing the mouse button over the desired location, and put it in another action executed by the golfer character once it has reached the calculated point of shooting.
This calculation is a bit dirty now, as it only tries to get position slightly away from the ball and perpendicular to the direction from the ball to the desired target. For the current prototyping purposes it works.
The golfer also slightly delay the shot when he arrives in position, in order to “think” about how to hit the ball. I’ll add some animations and fluff to this step later.
You can see the execution of a hole with the new system below:
And that’s it for today’s update on golf gameplay! Still need to automate the moving to the ball more, so that the doesn’t wait for your to finish deciding on the stroke before taking position. And the shot visualizer thing is still broken, giving out NaN results depending on the slope. I’ll make a better fix for that later!
That’s all, folks! Keep on teeing! And may your strokes never slice!
(Also, starting from today, I’ll drop the numbered update from the format and put in a more relevant title off the bat. This will give you, readers, a quicker idea of what the feature is relevant to straight off the title. Categories like Golf Gameplay, Tycoon Gameplay, Management Gameplay etc will make it easier for navigation!)
Today’s update is about making the course less lonely!
I’ve added a prototype character to start implementing character controls and AI.
This will affect the shooting in the following way:
-You will decide the shot as you do now, from where the ball currently is and the desired destination.
-Unlike before, now your shot won’t be done instantly: the player character will first have to move to position, and then swing the club as per your “instruction”.
-Once the ball comes to a stop, you’ll be able to decide the shot again, while your character makes his way to the ball. Then once he reaches it, if you’ve decided the shot, he will strike it; if not, he’ll wait for you to do so.
This indirect manipulation of the shots will be vital in implementing the AI. In fact, with your player character, you’ll also be able to let the AI control him if you’d like, so that he can play some rounds of golf and improve while you’re busy off making a new hole. The AI will make use of the systems I’m implementing to create the shots and try to get a good score.
I’ll also test out an attribute system so that your shots have a bit of imperfection based on your character’s strengths and weaknesses. This will refine the golf gameplay further, increasing the challenge and the planning.
You can see a mock up of how the golf gameplay will play out here:
That’s all for today folks!
(Bonus points if you can guess the golfer I’ve based the character on!)
For a quick detour in plans, on suggestion of a player, I’ve implemented a basic Day-Night time cycle into the game following this very handy guide. This way, as you build up your course, things will feel a lot less static than before.
This system will also be used for determining everything else in the game regarding time; progression, money, AI actions etc. For now, there’s 3 speed settings, with the slowest one taking about 10 minutes for a full day, and the fastest one taking about 2 minutes.
Next level for it will be limiting the times the course will be operational; as there’s no 24-hour golf course. Yet. This will also affect your budget and upkeep and whatnot. So next major update will be management!
For now, here’s a nice GIF timelapse!
And here you can see the difference between Morning – Noon – Evening:
There’s lots of room for playing with the light color, the fog etc, to add more life to the transitions. But it’s good enough for now!
Will roll this out into the demo tomorrow! So stay tuned!
Download information and more, as always, are here!
New for this version:
Updated user interface for more fluid gameplay
Added option for adding rotation to your shots
Physics and other tweaks
Sound and particle effects
So there you go!
This may or may not be the last demo version of the game before entering alpha, as I plan to spend the rest of this and the next month into getting the AI and the management elements into the game. Still up for planning, though.
Now for some things I’ve built while using this new version!
That’s all for now, folks. Don’t forget to give us your feedback on our forums!
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!
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!
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:
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!
I’ve been busy reworking the UI for Boss Golf in preparation for the next stage. Spent some of this weekend playing my favourite Tycoon games so I could have a good idea about what works and what doesn’t.
I wanna make it look cleaner, and also make it easy to access the things you wanna access. The previous division between “Play” and “Build” was great for prototyping purposes, but would feel a bit broken up in regular gameplay.
So I’m doing away with that, and adding all the main gameplay menu buttons on the top, with an info bar at the bottom giving you the remaining information, and a place for popups to appear as necessary.
Everything will be accessible from the menu on the top, which may spawn other navigation menus or even full on menus with buttons on them, as in the case below:
When you click on Tiles, now you’ll have a handy panel showing you the available tiles, talking a bit about what they do, their cost, their effect etc. More organized information = great success!
I’ll do the same for the decoration panel, for the terrain editing tool etc.
Later I’ll add more floating panels for things you can click on the course, as well as for the impending NPCs.
Then it’ll be time to add some of the management gameplay, as well as a time progression so you feel like you’re going somewhere.