It’s finally here! Alpha has now been updated to 0.3, allowing you to do the following:
Have a wall surrounding your resort to keep out “undesirables”
A Clubhouse has been placed, from where AI golfers will now spawn
AI golfers will either roam around or attempt to play any hole that is open
They will accordingly queue by the Tee waiting patiently by their turn
And so will you! You can also play as the AI is playing the course, taking your turn on the queue!
A handful of other under the hood improvements
Saving and loading! No more starting from scratch every time you load the game!
That’s it for this version. Now you’ll have a more workable experience and you can see how the AI tackles your golf course. I may release a tweak later on to modify the AI a bit, like a 0.31 or 0.3.1 or 0.3a, not sure yet. But this should give you some ideas about how the AI will react.
A word of warning: If you do attempt to edit the course as the AI is playing, you may make their ball disappear! If that happens, just relaunch the game. Will work on a fix for this later.
Ditto for if the AI falls through the ground. Haven’t improved the dynamic collider yet, so depending on your machine performance, hijinx might ensue.
Now on to 0.4! The details of which I’ll be sharing later this upcoming week! But for a sneak peak, think Time Management!
That’s all for now folks, please enjoy.
If you haven’t signed up for the Alpha, you can do so here!
After integrating the basic state machine for the AI, I’ve also added a function that allows it to take a very simple shot (basically, aim at the hole, hit as hard as it can inside the distance to hole) and, as a result, the AI in Boss Golf can now play golf!
For the test scene, I’ve built a course with 4 holes:
The holes are all connected by their tee at the center. Spaced them out this way to remove other potential interference. I also added two golfers: Liger Forest, and Ryu.
The holes now have an option to open or close them. Opening them tells the AI they can be used for play. The AI will then queue up for their turn at the hole, and play it when the player in front of them has finished. And it all works!
For debugging, you’ll see a yellow line which marks the path that the AI wants to take, and a purple line which marks the direction of the stroke.
Here you can see the Liger taking a basic strike:
And at another hole, Liger teeing off:
And here you can see both golfers playing on separate holes:
It’s in. Now there’s some work to be done on smoothing out movement and fixing some collision problems. But the basic skeleton of the system is there. Once I add saving/loading, I’ll update alpha to 0.3!
Today’s update for Boss Golf is about pathfinding. Well, part of it.
I’ve added a new tile type, Path, that allows you to build more scenic routes through your golf course, that the AI will use when deciding how to go from point A to point B. You can see the tile in the course below:
Next step is to add this to the pathfinding system, so that the AI actually prefers to use it. Should be done with that this week.
Under the hood I’ve also done some other improvements:
Created a vertex bank so that editing it is quicker, there’s no more issues of double vertexes, and is it far easier to save/load.
Changed the height system to one using an integer to decide the HeightStep of the vertex, and set a height modifier that I can change easily for tweaking that decides how much in Y each HeightStep is worth
Removed the current component for the decoration objects, which was causing some overheard when there were thousands of decoration objects on the scene. Instead, added a simpler class that pretty much works as a struct to keep information, and modified the way that the randomization of size/rotation/position is done to use integers so that I can more easily save/load the details of the decoration
Began reformatting a couple of things so that I can actually save and load the stuff that is being built
As such, the goal for Alpha 0.3 is:
Save and Load capabilities
Pathfinding system for the AI
Golf gameplay for the AI
Meaning that Alpha 0.3 will be quite a vertical slice! You’ll be able to build your course, play it, and watch the AI go around trying to score something good. The game is coming along well!
I’m getting my winter break soon as well, so expect a major rush of progress this coming week!
I’ve updated the Boss Golf closed alpha to version 0.2.
This version features golf gameplay, including the player character, basic idling AI that roams around your course, and a number of other small fixes.
Those of you who signed up for the closed alpha should get an email soon with more download information. Otherwise, just hit up itch.io and the build should be there.
Those of you who haven’t signed up for a club membership, you may apply for the closed alpha here!
We’re not at capacity yet for the closed alpha, but the spots will run out soon! So get that sign up going!
That’s all for today folks. For alpha 0.3, I’m aiming at basic play AI, better ground collision, basic pathfinding/avoidance, as well as paths that you can build to link your holes. As a stretch goal, basic save/load capabilities.
That’s all for now folks! It’s a beautiful weather out today. Get to that green!
Billy Golf is now back in action! The character will now once again move to the ball, prepare himself, and take the shot. I’ve added a handful of new states to the state machine, to delegate the golf gameplay to the golfer. Now you will prepare the shot, and the little dude will move to the ball and execute it. Look at him go!
Funnily, the first couple of times he approached the ball too close, and the ball ended up colliding with himself on the way to the hole haha. But that’s been fixed. For now. Can easily be unfixed too, perhaps for some easter eggs, such as an extremely clumsy golfer.
And some of the more eagle eyed among you may have noticed a couple of other characters hanging around the golf course. I’ve added a handful of AI golfers to make things seem more lively, and will be hooking them up to the state machine this week. Hopefully this weekend I’ll get alpha 0.2 done, so that you can play the game with better golf gameplay, and see little AI people milling about your course. Hopefully also can get some walls in to separate your owned land from the rest of the land too.
I’ve finished coding the improved terrain system and the actions. Now all that’s left is connecting it to the UI!
But first, I’ll give you a preview of what’s coming. First, you have the good old drag to place the decoration:
Select the tree type, drag the tiles and the trees will be placed. Each tile can support up to 4 decoration pieces. Adding anything after that will result in the decorations simply being shuffled around.
If you want to fix it up, I’ve added a trimming tool that currently removes the last placed decoration object from the tile:
Later, I’ll make it so it actually aims at the decoration object you’re aiming at and removes that.
Then, for elevating the terrain, I’ve reworked the previous options to use the vertex directly. For altering the elevation directly, you can either click and drag (for fine-tuning), or simply click and hold (for painting). For each of them, you can choose between 1 vertexes, 4 vertexes (a tile), or 16 vertexes (the tile and the neighbours) as below:
And for painting:
And finally flattening:
As you may have noticed, the decorations nicely go up and down as the elevation is changed. This is part of the update to the decoration system, which makes it work much better than before.
So that’s what I’ve been working on this week! I’ll finish hooking it all up to the UI tomorrow, and perhaps release an updated version of the demo so you can try it out. And then go back to the AI implementation!
(Ah! Forgot to add: I’ll be turning off the water tile for now as it’ll need a deeper reworking. I’ll just replace it with a regular blue tile so that you can still plan on how the water would feel.)
Quick update on the implementation of the new terrain for Boss Golf!
Look at this:
That, my friends, is a massive terrain composed of a 20×20 grid of chunks, each chunk containing 16×16 tiles. That’s roughly 102400 tiles. All much more easily manageable, and with better performance than before. Now I can actually make the terrain surrounding the golf courses so that you no longer can peek at the end of the world!
As explained before, this new system relies more on preprocessing the grid data, so that alterations to vertices and UVs are much more quickly resolved than before. No more loops inside loops inside loops!
Just finished implementing the UV mapping to it, as well as the mapping of surrounding tiles and vertices. No seams when you move vertices between chunks. Already have some plans for new terrain tools too, to give you more possibilities when editing your golf resort course!
Next up is connecting it to the existing controls, and changing how the decoration system works so that placement is handled better and performance is improved.