Boss Golf updated to 0.52!

Boss Golf updated to 0.52!

Hello folks!

Been hard at work this week tackling some bugs found by our testers, and beginning the implementation for the next features.

0.52 also marks a change of development. Previously, I’d slave away at my dark and cold basement until the next big version was released, and the task list represented the work being done.

From now, the task list will still contain the updated information, but the features will be implemented on the road to their desired version number; put it simply, if a feature says 0.6, it means that if you play version 0.6 of the game, you will have that feature available; the feature itself, however, may have been available since 0.53, or 0.55, or whathave you.

This way I can ensure fresher builds of the games out for you to test and find bugs, as well as fixing bugs quicker!

So for the changelist in 0.52:

  • Improved shot difficulty calculation for the golfers
  • Raised the difficulty of shots containing trees and whatnot on the way
  • Tees are now marked with little stakes on the sides, pointing towards the hole, as opposed to a single dot
  • First pass at the new grass shader
  • Divided the rendering of the terrain into separate meshes, in anticipation for quality up

And for fixes:

  • Clicking path no longer brings up the terrain height panel
  • Clicking the mouse at the end of loading no longer exits the game
  • Golfers now wait a couple of seconds for the previous golfer to clear the course before playing
  • Balls now disappear after the golfer exits the course
  • AI no longer moves around when the game starts paused
  • AI now properly taking advantage of the brain in calculating shots
  • Mouse edge scrolling and WASD scrolling now have the same speed
  • Reduced the area for edge scrolling to avoid scrolling when clicking the UI

And that’s all for now! Going to continue working on the overhauling of the terrain system, and am planning on tackling a new way of placing the paths for 0.53, based on suggestions from Friar, our amazing tester!

You can download the updated version in the same place as usual. Conversely, apply for the closed alpha for access!


Boss Golf Updated to 0.5!

Boss Golf Updated to 0.5!

Hello folks!

Newest version is finally here! Boss Golf is now at alpha 0.5!

New features in this version include: (For more information on scheduled tasks, check out the task roadmap!)

  • AI Needs System
  • AI Thoughts System
  • AI Confidence which affects their golf play
  • AI Brain for better/more interesting generation of choices through a course
  • Updated golf gameplay with a selection of clubs
  • Possibility to pan the character panel directly to the AI
  • Auto pan the camera when the mouse moves to the edges
  • Panel for showing progress on the hole

Some bug fixes in this version include: (For more information on currently reported bugs, check out the bug board!)

  • Wrong tooltip for paths
  • Grid tooltip also showing path tooltip
  • Resort info window not being moveable
  • Paths not connecting to gree/hole/tee/building tiles
  • Landscaper moves too slow
  • UI gets stuck on finalizing

So yeah, this update focused on AI, and some more quality of life fixes. Check it out!


Golf Club Selection

Golf Club Selection

Hello folks!

I’ve finished implementing the new golf club selection panel for Boss Golf!

Take a gander!


The selection of clubs is based on the golf clubs in the golfer’s bag. As it is now, you’ll start off with a wood driver, irons 2 through 9, a pitching wedge, a lobbing wedge, a sand wedge, and a putter. Later on you’ll be able to select your own clubs and whatnot. I’ve removed the curving feature for now, as it wasn’t adding much to the game. But it will be brought back later on.

I’ve also added another panel for keeping track of your progress along the current hole you’re playing, telling you the remaining distance, what the par is, how many strokes you took so far etc.

All that’s left before 0.5 is adding the better idling behavior for the AI, and fixing up a couple of issues that were brought up by our testers, so that 0.5 will be a nice overall improvement. Should be released this Sunday (March 11th).

That’s all for now, folks!

Smarter Golfing for the AI

Smarter Golfing for the AI

Hello folks!

I’ve finished implementing the next stage of the AI golfing in Boss Golf!

Until now, it would just take the straight line to the hole, and hit as close as it could. It didn’t matter if it would land in a bunker or not, as long as it was closer to the hole, it was fine.

Now, though, it’ll actually take a good hard look at the golf course based on its own stats, generate a couple of alternative shots, grade them, and then take the one that is most desirable.

To start off, we have a Vision attribute for the AI golfers. This attribute governs how much the AI will try to “think outside the course”. It dictates the field of view that the AI has when thinking about a hole. Higher vision means being able to explore areas well outside the straight path to the hole. Lower vision means trying to hit as forward as they can, and fail to notice other better areas of the course.

Let’s take the hole below for an example:


It’s a pretty straightforward hole. There’s some trees to the side and a massive waste bunker all around the area.

Now let’s draw some potential fields of view:


In the above image, we have three different fields of view:

  • Red is a golfer with high vision
  • Yellow is a golfer with medium vision
  • Cyan is a golfer with low vision

The red circle is the position where this shot is being taken, and the green circle is the location of the hole.

As said before, the Vision designates the search space for the AI to find a good shot. It’ll then iterate possible flight paths of the ball based in this search space, trying to get as close to the hole as possible, while also evaluating the terrain under it. The AI has come up with the following options:


These are the 6 best ideas that the AI has come up with. It’ll then score them based on how good a shot it is and how difficult a shot it is. Difficulty is calculated based on the club needed to reach that distance (1 Iron is god tier difficulty), as well as the terrain that it has to traverse, like below:


Red shows problematic terrain, such as the bunker or tall grass.

Green shows good terrain, such as the fairway and the green.

Now it isn’t as simple as choosing the shot with the lowest difficulty to “payoff” ratio. Or it would be too easy!

This is the point where the AI Confidence attribute can interfere with the AI’s thought process. The AI has a good idea about how difficult the shots are, and how high the payoff is. Next it’ll query its own confidence in order to help it choose. If it’s feeling particularly cocky, it may go for the high payoff, high difficulty shot. If it’s feeling not so confident, it may instead choose the lower payoff, easy to hit shot.

After choosing, the AI will then take the shot. But before it does, we add some fuzzy logic to its shot, to add the regular accuracy/power deviation that every player has.

And then it waits until the ball stops traveling and lands.

Once the ball comes to a shot, the AI will then reevaluate its choice, to see if the gamble paid off or not. If it projected to land on the fairway close to the hole, and it does, its confidence will rise a bit. If it instead landed straight on the bunker, AI confidence will lower, which can have other more significant impacts down the line!

Now this hole was very straightforward, and there would be very little variation between what a pro would do and what a beginner would do.

Imagine however that that little strip of fairway to the left of the main waste bunker actually had a clear shot to the green, like below:


This could give golfers with higher Vision an edge, as they would be the only ways able to see that kind of shot happening. It would also be a challenging shot, which would appeal to golfers that prefer challenging courses. With this one simple change, you could increase the challenge rating of the hole, and please more types of golfers!

So that’s it for now! Golfers are quite a bit smarter now, and their playstyles have just become a lot more varied if compared to before! So once 0.5 hits, you’ll be able to see golfers acting quite differently from each other, depending on your hole of course!

Next up is basically making sure things are working, and adding a better “idle” routine so that the AI wanders around in a more realistic manner. 0.5 should be available soon!

Thanks for reading!

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!

Needy Golfers!

Needy Golfers!

Hello folks!

It’s been a busy week, but I was able to implement the first pass of the needs system for Boss Golf!


As it is, the golfer’s needs will decrease over time based on their own attributes, as well as the place they are in. It works more or less like this:

  • Energy: Decreases by walking around the course for long distances, walking on difficult terrain (paths are important!), hitting the ball, falling in the water. Increases by drinking energy drinks, sitting down on benches, standing around talking with friends. Later on, when I have a weather system implemented, high temperatures will make the golfers tire faster too!
  • Food: Decreases a specific amount based on the golfer’s physical attributes. Some golfers don’t need to eat as much as others. It’ll be good to place vending machines in key areas, and later on you’ll be able to better diagnose where the golfers are getting hungry, and adjust accordingly!
  • Drink: Keeping hydrated is important, and drinking needs will decrease faster than Food. Again, vending machines come in handy, or even simple water fountains.
  • Environment: This one is more interesting! It doesn’t decrease/increase by a set amount: instead, it’s base value depends on the environment that the golfer is in, according to their preferences. If a golfer likes the Links, with wide open areas and no trees, his environment meter will be higher in those areas; if the golfer likes woodlands, then trees will make him happy. As well as keeping everything in a good condition!
  • Social: This will decrease and increase according to the interactions of the golfer on the course (with other golfers, with staff, with you), and also dependent on the golfer’s personality. Some golfers will seek out contact constantly, which can be a hassle to the more quieter golfers. You may even need to ban some people!

Not only needy, the golfers now have their own thoughts!

The basic system for thoughts has been implemented, and golfers will come up with their thoughts based on the action that they did, and their current state of mind at that time. If he hits a nice shot, he’ll likely have a happy thought; unless his confidence is low, then he may shrug it off to luck!

For now the thoughts are a bit limited, but I’ll expand them prior to 0.5, as well as over the course of development. The current panel looks like this:


It adds a nice bit of flavor to the game too. Specially after I saw one golfer miss an easy putt and immediately think “I hate my life”. Got quite the giggle out of me!

And here you can see an animation of how the current character info panel looks like. A long way since the previous iteration:


The confidence system is also in, but needs a lot of tweaks, as is the case for most of the game.

Next up, I’m gonna tackle how the AI goes about the holes. Right now, the logic is very simple and they pretty much just aim straight down the hole, and hit as close as they can. Which is viable in some cases but if you place a strip of sand in there, they’ll just hit in the sand!

Stay tuned for more 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:


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:


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!