View Full Version : Minigolf Blast beta test - feedback request
11-13-2004, 08:07 AM
This is a first beta test build of Minigolf - not optimized for either download size or speed right now. Should run fine on all but low end machines. Lots of work still to be done, but getting closer to final.
Click here to get minigolfBlast-Installer.exe (http://www.topm.com/minigolfBlast-Installer.exe)
It is using Garage Game's Ignition system so you will need to be online the first time you play to enter the registration code (below). Offline registration will be available in the final version, but I don't have it in there yet.
There is a feedback form after each hole that gets uploaded to a mySQL database. Feel free to just skip through this or use it if there is something you really liked :) or disliked :( or were confused by :confused: or thought was cool :cool:.
Obviously at this point some things are more set in stone than others, but any feedback at all about anything - interface, ease-of-use, hole difficulty, etc. - would be appreciated.
Thanks - can't wait to get this one out the door...
(edit: added some more reg keys)
11-13-2004, 08:41 AM
Sorry, can't test OpenGL... We have 7 identical computers here.4 of them have OpenGL support, 3 does not. Reinstalls doesn't help. Weird. Mine doesn't support OpenGL.
11-13-2004, 09:26 AM
Pretty good. One of the better mini putt offerings in the last few years. I think it would be reasonably fun playing against someone. However.. My one major complaint is that the game/hole designs lack personality. Everything is pretty bland/standard. I'd like to see more secrets, props, humour etc.. on the various holes. It's not enough to simply add a wall that comes up or down or a bunch of triangles flying around that can block you. The sierra game 3D Ultra MiniGolf Deluxe is still the standard for me in mini golf titles, and I thought accomplished this pretty nicely.
11-13-2004, 10:53 AM
It was a trade-off between adding more artwork/3D content and trying to keep the final download size as small as possible - something we are still working with. I think some of the pop-up hint windows currently in there still have some older artwork where you can see some of the structures (lighthouse, windmill) in the background. We're still working on the personality aspect :D
My experiment with letting people upload comments from within the test build is working very well. Comments are showing up like magic in the database and they are typed in right after someone has seen something that the really didn't like (or like). I think this is giving a more useful specific feedback than if people had to remember later on in an email or on a forum.
11-13-2004, 11:06 AM
Good job on the game! I quite liked it.
Pretty much the same as the others really, the in game art could do with a bit of dressing up. There's bits where the texture look like it's been planar mapped from one side so when you see the top edge the texture is drawn through. It looks a bit untidy.
Also had some strange goings on. I whacked the ball out of the level and it still let me set the power. When the ball came back on to the hole it was about 3 times as big. And then when I was taking other shots it would still draw the golf putter behind the ball when it was moving. Not sure if the two things are related or not though.
Feedback form seems a great idea. I did look for an option to not upload the data but couldn't find one. It might get a bit annoying in the long run as it's an entire screen, maybe an option to turn it off? or add it to the hole summary screen or something?
Regarding the download size you could try something like giving a couple of courses away with the game. Then have an option in game or on your site for downloading the extra courses - or you could charge a small fee for the extra courses. Even giving them away free would at least have people coming back to your website, useful if you're developing other games.
On a technical note how have you done the feedback? You mention an SQL database but do you upload the data directly? If so how do you hide the username and password?
11-13-2004, 11:08 AM
That's a great idea Kevin, I've always wanted to build a feedback mechagnism into the game but always got too lazy. Maybe I'll try it now though ;)
11-13-2004, 11:51 AM
"The registration number you have entered has been disabled by GarageGames."
11-13-2004, 12:00 PM
The textures and especially the mapping of them to surfaces is still a work in progress - lots of visible seams in there. Right now the texture work is actually a work in non-progress as I've been focusing on game play issues and automatic camera following ball code.
I wrote a plan about my current development a few days ago. (http://www.garagegames.com/index.php?sec=mg&mod=resource&page=view&qid=6682) Talks about the camera code that I'm still working on.
On a technical note how have you done the feedback?
From within Minigolf I posted to a PHP web page which then inserted that data into the database. I know almost nothing about PHP and nothing about mySQL, but it only took a few hours one afternoon to get it all running.
Here is the section of code from the web page (along with the echos as I tried to figure out mySQL and PHP). Very quick and dirty and sinice I'm not at all familiar with this stuff, I'm sure there are security holes in there, but worked fine for my purposes.
echo("<BR><BR> userName: " . $un);
printf("<BR>courseName: " . $cn);
echo("<BR> holename: " . $hn);
echo("<BR> version: " . $vn);
echo("<BR> hf: " . $hf);
echo("<BR> hh: " . $hh);
echo("<BR> playMode: " . $pm);
echo("<BR>holeResult: " . $hr);
echo("<BR> comments: " . $cm);
echo("<BR>Could not connect error: " . mysql_error());
echo("<BR>Cound not select database.");
echo("<BR>Selected database okay.");
$sql = "INSERT INTO feedback ( USERNAME , COURSENAME , HOLENAME ,
COMMENTS , VERSION , HOWFUN , HOWHARD , PLAYMODE ,
HOLERESULT ) " .
" VALUES ( '" . $un . "' , '" . $cn . "' , '" . $hn . "' , '" .
$cm . "' , '" . $vn . "' , '" . $hf . "' , '" . $hh . "' , '" .
$pm . "' , '" . $hr . "' );";
echo("<BR><BR>statment is:<BR>" . $sql);
echo("<BR>Could not insert into database.");
echo("<br>Inserted into database okay.");
Here is the upload message from within Minigolf. It's in Torque script, but pretty obvious what it is doing.
%uploadMsg = "/minigolf/feedback.php?un=" @ %un @ "&cn=" @
%cn @ "&hn=" @ %hn @ "&cm=" @ %cm @
"&vn=" @ %vn @ "&hf=" @ %hf @ "&hh=" @
%hh @ "&pm=" @ %pm @ "&hr=" @ %hr;
11-13-2004, 12:04 PM
The registration number you have entered has been disabled by GarageGames.
Ugg... I really hate copy protection. This is the first time I've implemented Ignition and it must have a max number of allowed registrations per reg key.
Try one of these - they haven't been used yet:
11-13-2004, 12:17 PM
Feedback form seems a great idea. I did look for an option to not upload the data but couldn't find one.
I meant to put a skip button on that form - skipped through the cracks.
11-13-2004, 02:28 PM
Thanks for the response regarding the feedback. I'm in the same boat with php and mysql - what I know about them you can write on the back of a stamp. Managed to get our website working so it's database driven but it's pretty much a case of finding stuff that does vaguely what I want and poking it with a stick until it works.
Good luck with the game!
11-13-2004, 05:54 PM
Alrighty, I tried it now.
I liked the look and feel, controls, etc. I particularly liked the menu design.
Things I didn't like:
- capitalized stuff in the hints was extremely annoying ("CLICK the MOUSE BUTTON to blah blah, then CLICK the MOUSE BUTTON). They made the text hard to read.
- I expected the tutorials to be one or two levels explaining the base mechanics/controls, not one level per obstacle type. Actually, on the first tutorial level that didn't display a hint on level start, I assumed it's the "real" game. It took me quite a while to notice the new-obstacle-per-level pattern and realize I was still playing the tutorials.
- I was able to finish practicaly every level before GreenMeadows-UphillSpiral (or something similar) in two hits, which started to get really boring after 3 or 4 levels.
- the feedback text box didn't wrap my text in the multiple lines, and the cursor was a char or so to the left of where it should've been when the text was wider then the texbox.
There were also a few visual glitches on some levels (no screenshots, sorry, PrintScr didn't work, may have something to do that I used OpenGL renderer), they were view dependant (appeared and disappeared when I rotated the view), and looked like missing polys, z-fighting, or both.
Also the slider buttons on the feedback window were clipped when in left-most and right-most positions.
11-13-2004, 06:19 PM
Agree that the graphics could use some work...
It was a pretty fun game. Afew things I noticed...
-The power control seems very leaned towards super power and less toward soft hits...one of the softest hits is still pretty strong and increases after that launch it far. Good to keep the game moving along quickly, but at times annoying
-The ball's animation jumps...perhaps a faulty loop?
In any case, looking nice...
11-13-2004, 08:17 PM
My comments about personality aren't really related directly to the graphics. It's also the level design. In the other game I mentioned there were things to discover about the various levels. It took some time to learn how to play them, and learn their tricks while they also had the obvious shot to fire. In this game everything is pretty straightforward for the most part. It's ok to have some basic levels where you have to go up a hill or ricochet off an obstacle just right, but I quite liked how in the other game you could discover that hitting a tombstone on the graveyard level would lower a barrier and let you knock a couple of shots off your game and so on...
11-16-2004, 07:43 AM
Thanks everyone... very helpful stuff here... some unexpected problems that I was pretty blind to from being being too close to the game... some problems I expected to hear about... and some things that I thought might or might not be problems and I didn't hear anything about...
Steve, you've hit on one the things I was concerned about with Minigolf - the need for more dynamic instead of static hole elements. I wrote 3D Ultra Minigolf for Sierra (thanks for the compliment on that one :) ) so I've got a pretty good sense of where I want to go from here.
11-16-2004, 08:08 AM
I wrote 3D Ultra Minigolf for Sierra (thanks for the compliment on that one :) )
Did you really? Cool. I quite liked it. Had a lot of fun playing it against my girlfriend. I've wanted a followup to it for some time, but most of the other miniputts seemed a little bland by comparison.
12-11-2004, 01:09 PM
The game's aspects are pretty good. In fact, it's pretty addicting too.
This games looks capable of having a level editor like Marble Blast's, if that isn't too much work.
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