Todays update is focused on quality of life, fixing any outstanding issues found and polishing the game further as feedback is received. Also included is a lot of the back-end changes and some of the assets to support the free autumn expansion DLC coming later this month. If you wish to read more about the autumn expansion then you may do so here.
Course Generation Changes
I’ve improved the way course generation happens by adding in two additional rules. The first is that a level is only saved to your profile as part of the next-game no repeats when you’ve actually started that very specific level.
Previously all nine holes were cached when you join, not factor in late joins or leaving mid-way through. This helps address the behaviour issue of where players complete their first game, then proceed to ‘test’ how random level variation is by creating games over and over. What was happening is after doing that and then deciding to actually play a round, by random chance they were seeing levels they’d seen previously just by putting into the no-repeat pool levels they hadn’t actually played.
The second improvement is there is now a priority pool for levels you haven’t previously completed. Random by nature can sometimes be perceived as not random enough so this rule will just make sure you’ll see all unique courses before seeing repeats at all. You’ll have to have played each of these levels and completed under any rank, difficulty, or season to remove from this priority pool.
Ball Roll Behaviour
I made changes to ball roll behaviour at low speeds, these are small tweaks as I want to see how it goes and get feedback rather than over do it. Specifically changed here is some additional dampening via a curve as the ball slows to 150 cm/s. This is multiplied against a clamped range of ground normal, so only something that kicks in on flat or very near flat surfaces. For reference 150 cm/s is roughly equal to firing the ball with the lower part of the power meter filled, so this shouldn’t really affect levels as a whole.
Some changes were also made to the vertical windmill radius areas as sometimes the ball would stop in these areas when really the intended point is for the blades to push you out of them.
Please do share any feedback you have on these changes or anything else in the game as there will absolutely be continued polishing along-side content additions.
- Added improvements to pipe exit detection with improved radius, this will reduce delay in some rare cases.
- Added improvements to course generation by only restricting a level from pool after you’ve started it, rather than saving all 9 holes at the start. This means if you begin a 9 hole game, but quit round 2, those levels you didn’t play are still in the pool for the next game. Secondly a pool priority is given to levels you’ve not earned a rank on. If no such levels exist only then will the game pick from the wider pool.
- Added improvements to level streaming by reducing the time taken to load levels by around 60%. It should be noted in most cases you’d already have been hard to notice any loading event at all as they would load quicker than the couple seconds of fading in and out for transition.
- Added system for handling seasonal switching while using the same levels. This means the levels will be dynamically changed to reflect the season chosen. This will be usable when the Autumn Expansion releases later this month.
- Added back-end system to handle level unlocking via DLC ownership. This is for when the free Autumn DLC is released later this month. This is so I can test unfinished levels without maintaining separate builds.
- Added ability to restart a practice level from the xp screen. Any XP gained is kept, essentially instead of returning to the practice menu and re-picking the level, this just skips that step for you if you wish.
- Added slight tweaks to ball roll behaviour when it is at low speeds.
- Added improvements to the areas of vertical windmills by not allowing the ball to be launched from a spin area.
- Added small tweaks to enable collision detection radius to account for player latency.
- Fixed the Eagle and Double Bogey hole out animations not using the players customization.
- Added improvements to lillypads. These now include slightly different tones for future support of autumn season.
- Added back-end support for future autumn ground variation.
- Added improvements to cherry tree’s with future support for autumn.
- Fixed a pipe alignment in “See you on the other side”.
- Fixed a physical material for the ‘Go for it’ hole in one ramp, which was slowing the ball incorrectly.
- Fixed some ground pieces particularly around hole areas not giving a correct sound response when hit with ball.
- Fixed an overlapping ground piece on ‘Speed Bump’.
- Fixed placement of a tree on ‘Speed Bump’.
- Added a change to the dark interface theme so level transitions will fade to a 70% white.
- Added backend improvements to camera fade so it is now called more unified, any fades part of sequences has been moved and instead called the same way as all other fades. The point of this is just tidy ups and error prevention.
- Fixed an initial white flicker when booting up the game due to a timing inconsistency with the fade behaviour.
- Fixed an issue relating to the wrapping of text on the intro screen. Text will now fade in after automatic wrapping has occurred.
Be sure to check out the official discord server with channels for Golfing In Aether and my other various projects.