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dishmoth
02-04-2008, 03:18 AM
http://www.dishmoth.com/pic_bg_large.jpg

Bunny Golf (http://www.dishmoth.com/BunnyGolf.html) is a little freeware (mini-)golf game. It should run on any system that supports Java 1.5.

I'd love to know what you think of it!

Cheers,
Simon

barrygamer
02-04-2008, 03:33 AM
Its a surprisingly fun little game! control of the bunny works well, which is what makes it fun I think. graphics are a bit too basic, sound fx are good. I only played 1-player for a few levels, so I don't know if the levels vary much later, there would seem quite a lot of items/scenery you could perhaps add.
(played on Mac intel, Opera)

dishmoth
02-06-2008, 01:44 AM
Hi, barrygamer! Thanks for the feedback.

You're right, I think, that the game seems a bit sparse. Partly that's down to my lack of artistic talent.

I thought a lot about adding new items/obstacles/etc. on later levels, but in the end decided to concentrate on tightening the existing gameplay. After all, in the real world golf doesn't have a new gimmick on each hole, and it's still quite popular! :D

Cheers,
Simon

ChrisP
02-06-2008, 08:34 PM
Very cute!

A little frustrating the way the lives carry over, so if you do badly on one hole, you can quite easily end up with two lives left on a hole that's impossible to do with only those two lives. Felt like I was being "punished" arbitrarily. Of course it wasn't arbitrary, it was just delayed - I'd obviously been too wasteful on a previous hole - but it felt arbitrary.

Also, once I've seen the instructions screen once, please don't force me to sit through it every single time I start a new game. :) Bit of a tedious delay.

Overall though, it's a nice little game. Good work!

DerR
02-07-2008, 12:18 AM
That's a fun game! I will try out the multiplayer mode on the week end. :) Just.. where did you get that idea?

OremLK
02-07-2008, 02:43 AM
Feels more like pool than golf with all of the bank shots required, but I really like it. I agree with ChrisP's main criticism though--I think the way the lives carry over makes it too difficult. Maybe you could just start the player with a certain minimum of lives each level, and then award bonus lives based on how many you have left? Just a thought.

dishmoth
02-07-2008, 08:01 AM
Thanks for the comments, guys!


A little frustrating the way the lives carry over, so if you do badly on one hole, you can quite easily end up with two lives left on a hole that's impossible to do with only those two lives.
All of the holes should be do-able in two shots (whether it looks like it or not -- you'll have to trust me on this :rolleyes: ), and you never start a hole with fewer than two lives. So the game never puts you in an impossible position -- only a seemingly impossible position. :p

The way it's intended, each hole is "Par 2" (as far as I can make it) and the game keeps going as long as your score doesn't go too much over par.

I've agonized over the scoring system, and the way it's ended up seems to me to have the fewest drawbacks -- although it's clearly not perfect. In particular, carrying over lives from hole to hole is a punishment if you do badly, but a reward if you do well. Maybe I should've had separate "lives" and "score" variables, but I was hoping they'd be an elegance to just using "lives" alone.


Felt like I was being "punished" arbitrarily. Of course it wasn't arbitrary, it was just delayed - I'd obviously been too wasteful on a previous hole - but it felt arbitrary.
If the game feels frustrating and punishing that's clearly a bad thing. Do you think it would help if I was more generous with lives near the start? Have I misjudged the difficulty curve for the first few holes?


Also, once I've seen the instructions screen once, please don't force me to sit through it every single time I start a new game.
If you find it annoying, imagine how many times I've had to see it! :D

Yes, of course, you're right. It only needs to appear during the first couple of games. I'll fix that.


Just.. where did you get that idea?
It's sort of a response to Wii Golf. In that game you swing the Wii controller like a golf club to launch the ball. But before you get to that stage you have to spend a surprisingly long time examining figures and pressing buttons to line up the shot. So I was wondering whether it was possible to make a golf-type game in which only one mouse gesture was needed to aim and launch the ball.

As for the bunny theme... Well, once you've got a ball with a tail on it, the eyes and the ears follow naturally!

Thanks again for the comments. I'm thrilled that you all generally like the game!
Simon

barrygamer
02-07-2008, 08:26 AM
The way it's intended, each hole is "Par 2" (as far as I can make it) and the game keeps going as long as your score doesn't go too much over par.


Perhaps par 3 would be better? At par 2, one mistake can pretty much screw you (and a birdie = a hole in one). For me, the challenge is to go back and get a better score, not be hit with Game Over message every few mins.
I've played it quite a few times now, its still lots of fun :D

[ EDIT: I guess it depends how you play it. If you dont try for the flowers on some levels they become very much harder. I vote for par 3 though... ]

dishmoth
02-08-2008, 04:40 AM
Perhaps par 3 would be better? At par 2, one mistake can pretty much screw you (and a birdie = a hole in one). For me, the challenge is to go back and get a better score, not be hit with Game Over message every few mins.

I think I'm beginning to understand what you guys are getting at. If you finish a hole in three shots it feels like you've done okay, not great maybe but good enough to deserve a small reward. But in fact the game punishes you for it!

Hmm. I'll have a think about whether the scoring system can be re-jigged to get around that.

Just out of curiosity, what sort of scores have people been getting? The way I imagine it, a score of 5 or more means that you've got the hang of the game. More than 10 and you've mastered the game. More than 20 proves that you're genetically a rabbit! :D

Cheers,
Simon

barrygamer
02-08-2008, 05:36 AM
If you finish a hole in three shots it feels like you've done okay, not great maybe but good enough to deserve a small reward. But in fact the game punishes you for it!

Yes, I think so.
With par 3 you'd have an extra shot to get out of a bad position. Plus, if you can birdie the current hole you'd then have an extra shot to carry forward.

Or, if you really want it harder later, make it par 3 for the first 5 holes, par 2 after?


Just out of curiosity, what sort of scores have people been getting?
I rarely get beyond hole 5. Note however a caveat: I am notoriously bad at most web/flash games!

OremLK
02-08-2008, 06:16 AM
I have lots of trouble getting past hole 3 or 4 but I haven't exactly practiced much. It also depends where the hole ends up (I like how the position is semi-random by the way).

barrygamer
02-08-2008, 06:21 AM
Update: I just got to hole 13! God knows how :p I think collecting flowers is the key, you can claw back some shots. I don't think I will ever be able to beat that... and I should really get back to my code...

dishmoth
02-08-2008, 11:13 AM
Yes, I think so.
Or, if you really want it harder later, make it par 3 for the first 5 holes, par 2 after?
I've changed the game so that it's more generous with lives during the first few holes. So it's effectively par 3 at the start now, as you suggest. Hopefully that will make it feel a little less punishing.


I am notoriously bad at most web/flash games!
Me too. An incentive for writing your own games is that you get to be better at them than everybody else! :D


Update: I just got to hole 13! God knows how I think collecting flowers is the key, you can claw back some shots. I don't think I will ever be able to beat that... and I should really get back to my code...
Well done! When you've mastered the subtle art of flower collecting, you've mastered the game. :) You deserve a rest now.

Cheers,
Simon

dishmoth
02-08-2008, 11:22 AM
I have lots of trouble getting past hole 3 or 4 but I haven't exactly practiced much. It also depends where the hole ends up (I like how the position is semi-random by the way).
I've tried to make all of the hole/bunny positions as fair as possible, but it's hard work testing them, so sorry if it feels like you end up with a difficult one sometimes. As I said above, you now get a few more lives to play with, so you should find it easier to get further.

Thanks for giving the game a try!
Simon

AlexWeldon
02-09-2008, 11:37 AM
First of all, kudos for emphasizing simple, fun game play over gimmicks. I wouldn't add too much to the game... it's fun the way it is. Here are a few specific suggestions, though:

* I don't think you want to make the graphics too complex, but people are right that it's a bit sparse now. What you might want to do is add some texture to the fairway grass, not just the rough, so you don't have these enormous expanses of just green. Then maybe create more than one "look" for the obstacles... say, rows of hedges and wooden fences, in addition to the brick walls. Then, to make it a little less static, you could have some birds randomly fly by overhead, or add a little animation to your rabbit if you take too long setting up your shot.

* On that note, multiple obstacle types could also impact the gameplay a bit - collisions with the brick wall are fairly elastic, but a bouncing off a fence could reduce your speed a bit, and a hedge even more. As I said, you don't want to add too much more stuff to the game (a lot of mini golf games go overboard with teleporters and lasers and conveyor belts and so forth), but a teensy bit more variety wouldn't be bad.

* I like the fact that you've increased the par for the first few holes. Good decision.

* Aiming is a bit fidgety, especially when you're making a gentle shot, because small movements of the mouse can make a big change in angle. Maybe you should double the stretchiness of the rabbit's tail to make it a bit easier to have fine control of the angle.

* I don't know if it's a bug or intentional, but if you're close to a wall and want to shoot away from the wall, the wall blocks you from pulling the rabbit's tail back fully, so you can't get full power. It makes a certain logical amount of sense, but in terms of gameplay, it's more frustrating than challenging, so I'd do away with it.

* I'd add a "New Game" button somewhere, because if I completely botch the first couple of holes, I'd rather just start over, since I know I won't get a good score.

dishmoth
02-11-2008, 03:04 AM
Here are a few specific suggestions, though: ...
Hi, Alex! Those are uniformly excellent suggestions. :)

The game now has a "Quit" button to take you back to the title screen.

Not being able to pull a rabbit's tail back through a wall is indeed intentional (although, I agree, a bit annoying). The problem is that I've found the graphics look all wrong if the tail extends into a wall. That problem would only get worse if I increase the maximum tail length, although I agree that it would improve control of the bunny. So I'm not sure quite how make that better.

I think what I'm going to do is write down all of the suggestions that people have made so far and leave the game as it is for now (aside from bug fixes, if necessary). To be honest, if I spend another evening listening to bunnies squeaking I'm likely to start screaming! In a few months I'll revisit the game and maybe try out some of those suggestions.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback,
Simon

Musenik
02-11-2008, 09:22 AM
Silky. The pick up and play aspect is perfect.

I had fun, but not the kind that would drive me to purchase. You may want to think about alternate revenue models. In-game ads might work well: Coke cans you can bounce off for extra points, Disney castle covering a target hole. Ads like that would add to the ambiance instead of intruding on play.

Thanks for making it cross platform!

AlexWeldon
02-11-2008, 05:00 PM
Since you asked about how far people are getting: now, with the new par system, I made it to hole 14 after, oh, I'd say a couple dozen times playing the game. Probably could have done a little better except I lost my entire audience with a bad initial shot on hole 12, causing me to take something like 5 shots for the hole.

It's a good stress relief game, though... I've been having a rough day and it was nice to play a few rounds of Bunny Golf. :)