Quirk #3: Shorter, but is it?!

Quirk #3: Shorter, but is it?!

Hello folks!

In the process of today’s update, I came upon an interesting quirk when using grids.

I have finished implementing the hole creation in the new terrain, works like a treat. Now I’m in the process of processing the tiles in between the hole and the tee, so it can make calculations regarding base shot, par, actually distance etc.

Using A* to find the shortest path between the hole and the tee, leads to some interesting visuals:

astarlol

Above, the path traced by A* is marked with black spheres. The drawn red line shows the actual shortest path (a straight line) between the two points. When in a grid, the path marked by A* does signify the shortest path between two certain points in the grid. It can be set to ignore diagonal traversals, or to allow them (as is the case of Boss Golf).

Visually, though, it looks so quirky. To us, it’s clear to see that the shortest path is the line between the start and the finish. To the game, though, the shortest path ends up creating these doglegs all over the course.

That’s all! Almost done with the processing of the base shot, coupled with a lot of refactoring and reinforcement. Once it’s done, it’s demo time!

Stay tuned!

Dev Update #12: Chunk Terrain is Connected

Dev Update #12: Chunk Terrain is Connected

Hey folks!

Today’s update will be a short one, but it is a good one: I’ve finished replacing the existing terrain system with the newer chunkier one!

implementedTerrain

And took the time to begin redoing other hastily designed systems for more solid ones, improving performance and maintenance as well. By the weekend, I’ll have it back to full functionality with improvements. And a new demo for playing around with the terrain!

Stay tuned!

Quickie: Going Chunky

Quickie: Going Chunky

Hey folks,

Today’s update will be a quick one, as the task is still underway.

I decided to do some test to check the performance of the current system if we use larger terrain chunks. So far, all testing had been done on a 16×16 grid, and performance was fine.

So I decided to up the ante to 32 x 32, and the performance was bad…

bad

There was a very notable dip below 60fps, and that’s not good. Not to mention this was just a barren terrain, and that is bad. I’m sure there could be some optimization done, but it still isn’t good enough.

So I decided to redo the tile system again (third time is the charm!), this way separating the terrain into chunks of 16×16 tiles, all contained inside a single mesh. (Chunks can be made up to near 64×64, due to Unity limitations regarding vertices in a mesh). As a test, I spawned 3 chunks of 32×64, and placed it all on the scene. This is roughly 6000 tiles on display, spread across 3 large meshes.

This is the result:

good

As you can see, the performance stayed at 70fps range, render thread was cut by 75%, cpu remained 4ms faster, much smaller number of shadow casters, batches, and a vastly greater number of verts and tris.

So I’ll need some time to adjusting the current system to match this. The generation itself is working fine, as is the UV mapping. But I’ll need to rework the shot system since it’s all under one big mesh collider. Some things will be vastly simplified, though. And the game will run better for it!

Stay tuned for more!

Dev Update #11: Procedural Tree Placement!

Dev Update #11: Procedural Tree Placement!

Hello folks!

Today’s update is an awesome one.

If you’ve been following us so far, you’ve noticed that all our tree placement looks rather… Mechanical. One tree per tile. That’s just not how nature intended. We should do something about it.

And we did. Look at this barren course:

courseBarren

It needs trees.

So we give it trees:

courseBetter

Wow look at that! Beautiful procedurally placed trees, make the course look much prettier and breaks the monotony of single placed trees! Hurray!

But how?

Well with the new system! It will attempt to add a tree to a desired tile. If there’s already a tree, it simply adds to it, and jumbles up their positioning. A maximum of 4 trees can be added to any tile. Here’s the feature in action:

treeMaker

As a bonus, if you’ve reached the limit of 4 trees, and you try to place another one, it will simply randomize the positioning of the trees. This way you can keep playing around with the tile until the RNG gods smile upon you!

Next is ensuring the trees stay in location when you modify the terrain!

Til next time!

Dev Update #10: Base Shot Generation is Ok!

Dev Update #10: Base Shot Generation is Ok!

Heyo folks!

Finally fixed the base shot generation. Since it’s simply a guideline, it doesn’t really care about the sloping of the course: all it cares about is that there’s no direct obstacle in front of the shot! Technically, this is already an upgrade if compared to SimGolf since in SimGolf there were many instances where it would attempt to mark the course by going through trees or rocks!

Below you can see the course path being automatically edited to account for removal of valid tiles:

baseShot

That pretty much covers the basic shot generation. Great success!

I’ve already implemented utility functions for calculating the usefulness of aiming at a certain tile. With this update to the basic shot generation, I can move forward on finalizing the spawning of certain objects when painting the terrain (ie: trees) and create a basic demo for testing the terrain building. If you’re interested in trying it out, give me a shout!

Stay tuned for the next update!

Dev Update #9: The Hills are Solid

Dev Update #9: The Hills are Solid

Heyo folks!

I’ve just finished tweaking the mesh generation to make the terrain solid. Instead of being a simple flat mesh, each tile is a cube of sorts, portraying the underground level of the course. Looks much nicer!

tilesolid

I’ve also tweaked the terrain controls so that the stepping is smoother, in this way you won’t accidentally create a massive hill when editing your course. (Unless you really want to!)

Now it’s time to finish up the terrain controls! Stay tuned!

Dev Update #8: Terrain Controls are In!

Dev Update #8: Terrain Controls are In!

Woo! Great progress this weekend.

Finished with the basic implementation of the terrain raising/lowering controllers.

You can now edit the level at the vertex and the tile level. (which raises all surrounding vertices). Simply select the desired tool (per vertex/per tile), click and drag the desired tile; up increases height, down decreases height. Simple as can be:

terrainmagic2

Though that’s less a valid course as it is a trip through hell.

Now I gotta work on the stepping levels so that the course building is less insane. Though you’ll still be able to reach insane levels if you so desire. I also want to implement a controller for edges, and one for raising up the selected tile only, similar to what you can find in the Rollercoaster Tycoon of yore.

Next perhaps a flattening tool, and even the possibility of affecting multiple vertices/tiles at once. All should be straightforward to implement with the current system. But will be in the wishlist for now.

Til next time!