Bogey [GAME PRODUCTION]

Process Journal I
Last update: Aug. 25 2019

Bogey is the name given to the game idea of a golf hole dodging any falling ball on a green. In contrast to other golf games, players control here the golf hole. They can navigate on a green while golf balls land around, based on the player’s position.

This concept sounded fun to me, and I quickly wanted to prototype about it. My vision was that the greens can act like levels and would be shaped distinctly and involve unique challenges. That also means that the greens need to be modular for me to be able to construct a variety of them.

The method I decided to prototype was to make the greens out of cubes. That way, it’s easier to build different form of surfaces, but also, would help limiting the player’s movement. Indeed, with a cubic-based green, the golf hole can only shift up, right, down and left. Plus, it gives a unique art style for a golf game.

Going forward with the green cubes, another idea came to mind. What if the green takes shape in front of the player’s eyes? It would start small in the beginning of a level, and would add cubes over time to reach its ultimate form.

That sounded good on paper, but how to do it? I’ve integrated a function for the green cube object that pass information to other actors in the scene. First, to the player. By placing triggers on each side of a cube, this last one can detect if more cubes are in its surroundings. If one or more cubes are in contact with the cube where the player stands on, it will allow the player to move in their direction.

Similarly, spaces where no cubes are sanding are also located. Therefore, every determined interval of time, an empty area adjacent to an existing green cube will be randomly selected, and a new cube will be spawned on it (with a smooth animation).

The green’s shapes are pre-constructed by an invisible barrier made around it. That said, when all sides of a cube are taken, either by a cube or the hidden walls (colliders), it will stop looking for new detection. That way, the levels grow randomly, but will constantly reach a preset outline.

Now, one last point left to flesh out is the golf ball’s behaviour. After a certain time, a one ball is thrown towards the green. The force put into that launch is made so that the ball lands on a cube selected on the edges of the existing green. That way, the player always has a chance to see the ball coming. Once a ball hit the green, it rolls, keeping its direction, until the end of the green, where it falls off.

The hole that the player controls is actually made off a shader that renders the cubes surface invisible where the opening stands on. If a ball collides with the player, it then ignores the physics of the cubes and falls through their meshes, given the illusion that it drops inside the hole.

And that’s all I got for now. I have my basic mechanics and can go further by building levels and start to add some art style in there. The biggest challenge will be to calibrate the game and find the fun aspect out of it. Implementing mobile inputs is, also, on the production board, but will come later in development.

Prototype Status

 

Project linked: Bogey
Prototype Version: Rough
Playtested: No
Collaborator: 1

+ Easy to control
+ Building levels is efficient
+ Easy to modify values
+ Golf hole made with shaders

- Balls rely too much on physics
- Hole’s collider is not accurate
- Difficult to tell the direction of a ball 

SCRUM Board

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