View Full Version : SimGolf!
04-21-2003, 03:39 PM
Yeah, I finally bought this game (http://www.simgolf.ea.com/about/) along with the two latest Sims expansions. I was put off this game at first because I already have the original first-person SimGolf somewhere but then I saw its positive reviews. This game is so cool! Any fan of The Sims should get this, especially since the price is now below that of a Sims expansion. Of course, the Sims-based version would be so much better if they had managed to combine its designer with the first-person gameplay of the original.
Now a question for the SimGolf course designers out there: how do I improve a hole's imagination score? With my latest course, I can't host a tournament until I improve at least one hole.
04-21-2003, 03:57 PM
I found that adding monuments and making the hole more difficult helped my imagination score. But I haven't played it in months.
04-21-2003, 04:12 PM
Great game! Very fun to play. Played it to death when it first came out. I once built this insane desert course that had one giant green, with 18 pins on it! :blink: All the holes were incredibly long, with hazards everywhere, blind approach shots. Frustrated golfers, let me tell you. But alas, that is another story. ;)
So you want a hole to be an imagination hole? A quick and very dirty way to do that is to put trees right in front of the tee. A bunch of trees. Use the "/" key to make certain that the player can't go over the trees. Force the player to hit a fade or a draw to hit the fairway. Voila! You have just added about 0.25 imagination to your hole.
However, this solution is not elegant. A more elegant solution is to make a slight dogleg in your hole, tilt the fairway at the dogleg, and funnel balls that are hit straight into the rough or a hazard. Make sure that only people who hit a fade shot are going down the fairway for a reasonable length and you will be adding imagination. For their second shot on this hypothetical par 4, make sure that only people with length can reach the green in two shots. Position the cursor where the long balls landed the first time and place the green appropriately. If done correctly you have a Heroic hole. If you also demand accuracy (Maybe you made the landing spaces very narrow too!) then you have a Classic hole. If you sloped the fairway again, so that only long hitters with a draw could hit the green in two strokes, then you've upped the length and imagination a second time.
These rating accumulate until enough golfers have finished the hole to determine the type of hole that it is. If only imaginative players with length have birdies, and everyone else has bogeys or worse, then it slews the ratings. Needless to say, it isn't much fun if 90% of the players are walking off the hole with double bogeys.
In Sid's limited knowledge of the game of Golf he has determined the criteria for each type of rating. Your job is to figure out how to increase each rating, by creating undulations and hazards in appropriate spots. Use the "/" key at the tee and at the places where most of the shots land. Punish poor shots!
04-21-2003, 05:46 PM
Thanks, Fingolfin. What I've been thinking about is buying another plot of land and rearraning a couple of holes. See, my latest course is in the Northeast with all the Civil War monuments and stuff. One hole is a par-5 that doglegs left around one of the monument squares and there's currently another hole along the opposite side. I'm planning to relocate that hole and combine some of its current fairway with that par-5, resulting in the duffers having to choose from really going left or going right.
I think the toughest hole I have right now is an uphill par-4 that crosses a wide stretch of water. Anyone that doesn't have the length to carry the ball across from the tee has to aim for an island instead.
04-21-2003, 11:35 PM
Just finished playing a bit more. I think that par-4 was my first Heroic hole.
About my imagination trouble, I needed four more, not just one. So I futzed around with some that have low imagination scores and added some yardage to a couple of par-3s to make them 4s. That got me up to 7 (9 is required for an 18-hole tourney). So, I futzed around a bit more and it dropped to 5 again! Oh, well. I guess I should stick to the Easy setting.
04-22-2003, 12:04 AM
My problem with this game is once you "break" it there's not much challenge--once you get enough money to build and buy whatever you want, it's hard to keep going. I also wish the plots of land you got had more slope to them--that would help you plot a course.
But yes, it can be a fantastic game. It also holds the distinction of being the last computer game I ever bought,and I bought it the week it came out, so that's saying a lot (but that has more to do with my getting a PS2 than the greatness of the game).
04-22-2003, 06:33 AM
Yeah Jeff, minor changes to the course have a BIG influence on the hole ratings. Removing a few trees could dramtically change things. On one course I made, I removed a few trees and suddenly golfers were getting angry. Why? Well these trees were shielding players from the landing area from a tee on an adjacent hole. Removing these trees removed this "cover" and the golfers on the next hole were getting stressed because the tee shots were landing too close to them. "Hey, that ball almost hit me!" LOL! :blink:
IMHO, Easy is too easy. Difficult is too difficult. On the Difficult setting, everything has to be perfect, otherwise you'll get a chain reaction of agitated golfers storming off your course. Medium is just about right. ;)
I really wish the game included more objects to plant on your course. I'm surprised they havn't come out with an Expansion Pack yet.
Oh and Jeff, how many Classic holes have you created yet? Classic holes are the real benchmark for determing whether or not you have mastered the game based on the criteria Simgolf provides. And I'll tell ya, they are tough to make! I've seen some fan courses that have 15/16 Classic holes on them! I can give you some good tips on creating Classic holes if you want.
04-22-2003, 07:25 AM
My problem came when I had enough cash to keep the course running, but not enough to add or build or improve anything (Kinda like SimCity, actually), so I'd get bored.
04-22-2003, 10:33 AM
I wrote a review of it when it came out. My biggest problem is that you don't get to play your course in a 3-d mode.
04-22-2003, 12:41 PM
Originally posted by Fingolfin
Oh and Jeff, how many Classic holes have you created yet? Classic holes are the real benchmark for determing whether or not you have mastered the game based on the criteria Simgolf provides. And I'll tell ya, they are tough to make! I've seen some fan courses that have 15/16 Classic holes on them! I can give you some good tips on creating Classic holes if you want. I'm pretty much just starting out. I don't have any Classics yet! Any advice will be welcome.
04-22-2003, 01:32 PM
I can't find the website where I got this information from originally. Maybe it's closed now, I dunno. Anyway, chew on this for a while and you should be good to go. ;)
The Classic Golf Hole is THE crowning glory of golf hole design. The hole must exceed one full rating point in Length, Accuracy & Imagination. The way this rating is determined by the game is very straightforward. The game analyzes scores of golfers after each group finishes a hole. It takes the scores of the players who have the skill and compares them to the golfers who do not have the skill.
We can break it down this way:
Length – If the players with the length skill get a 4.0 average on the hole and the players without the skill get 5.0 average, then the calculation of (5.0 – 4.0 = 1.0) achieves the necessary requirement. The Accuracy & Imagination skills are done the same way.
In order to fully analyze golfers playing the hole through observations it bodes well to put the proper categories of golfers in categories to help the hole analysis……First off the non-customized players should be determined. We know this much through Sid’s information.
Women – Accuracy & Imagination (NO LENGTH)
Knickers – Length & Accuracy (NO IMAGINATION)
Shorts – Length & Imagination (NO ACCURACY)
Long Pants/Short Sleeves – Posses all skills
The shot analysis tool shows us how players who lack these skills would make a shot from any given point; tees, fairway, traps, etc….Although the shot analysis tool tells us how players who lack the skill will do, it helps in observation to equate the opposite - What skills they posses and who they are. It will help us to not just see what happens with play on the hole, but to equate the players with the corresponding shot analysis color. This is as follows
Women – Accuracy & Imagination (YELLOW)
Knickers – Length & Accuracy (GREEN)
Shorts – Length & Imagination (BLUE)
Long Pants/Short Sleeves – All Skills (WHITE)
Most of this is pretty easy to determine, but to fully analyze any given hole of play; it is nearly imperative to completely make these connections. By learning this, players on the course become a "real-time shot analysis" tool.
Classic Hole Design Theory
In order to achieve the desired results, we must accomplish two things in any hole design:
Penalize players who lack a given skill
Award players who posses the same skill
It is not mandatory to do both, but using this method has plenty of advantages. In a way, you are penalizing a half point and awarding a half point in order to get the required full point…..This does the following:
Makes the course more fun for all golfers.
Increase the odds of achieving the required rating
Increase the odds of exceptionally high ratings - 2+ in any given skill. Allows a more realistic hole design. Allows the use of larger fairways in greens (greens of three tiles or more)
Now this penalize/award goes along with the typical real golf course designer’s risk/reward theories in golf hole design. It works in real life and it works in SIMGolf. This is a tribute to the designers of the game itself. It allows designs of reachable in two par 5’s and driveable par 4’s to get nice ratings in SIMGolf, easily reaching the half point needed for SGA approval and often reaching the Classic Hole designation.
The Skill Paradox
This is a combination of the player attributes & design theory. The reason the BEST way to design a classic hole is though risk/reward due to the golfers themselves. Every time a non-length player scores a bogey, the length rating goes up and the imagination & accuracy go down. So if you concentrate on penalizing skills you are only doing half the equation. This is the reason most SIMGOLF designers consider their classic holes, accidents. They don’t know completely why it happened. The shot analysis tool does not tell us an important point. When we penalize a player who lacks a skill – while raising the skill rating they lack – you are also penalizing the two skills they posses. The following information proves this 2:1 ratio.
Par 4, 405 yds – average score 4.5
Accuracy & Imagination – average score 5.0
Length is raised .5
Accuracy is lowered .5
Imagination is lowered .5
Length & Accuracy – average score 5.0
Length is lowered .5
Accuracy is lowered .5
Imagination is raised .5
Length & Imagination – average score 5.0
Length is lowered .5
Accuracy is raised .5
Imagination is lowered .5
So we get the following overall ratings from these golfers:
Length (.5 - .5 - .5) = -.5 Accuracy (-.5 -.5 + .5) = -.5 Imagination (-5 +.5 -.5) = -.5
Negative .5 in all ratings, not a good hole…..but the average is 4.5, so add in the ALL SKILLS golfers
All Skills – average score 3.0
Length is raised 1.5
Accuracy is raised 1.5
Imagination is raised 1.5
If we had an equal number of All skill golfers vs an equal numbers of limited skill players, we would have a Classic hole rating! This is just an example, it will hardly ever shake out this way, but what it DOES tell us is this:
The All Skill golfer is THE key to ratings on any given hole. Only this golfer can improve all three categories. They are not subject to the raise one, lower two calculation.
Using the Information in hole design
The above information helps us understand the theory of penalizing/awarding skills in the same hole. It does no good to throw up a tree near the tee to force a fade, when the long fade golfer will eventually hit the ball into a trap or is forced to lay-up. So while we need to understand to keep the non-length & non-imagination golfers at bay off the tee and around the green – we just need to make sure the golfers who posses all three skills are awarded – the fairways & greens are accessible to them.
PFunk owner of the BACK 9 SIMGolf site has indicated his thoughts on hole design:
Golfers with all skills -- reach green in regulation(par - 2) (white lines) -- typically birdie
Golfers with no imagination -- reach green in par - 1 (green lines) -- typically shot par
Golfers with no length -- reach green in par (yellow lines) – typically shot bogey.
Fairway size is irrelevant. Fun rating goes higher with larger fairways. I found small greens the most effective, making the pin square only accessible by imaginative golfers if larger than one square.
Golfers with no accuracy (blue lines) -- haven't determined an exact determination, however, they have to be "penalized" for their inaccuracy in some way and finish below their equal counterparts.
This is sound advice when attacking design for a Classic Hole. The first three steps are the initial steps in any hole design. You must check every players second shot on par 4’s & 5’s as well. It does no good to put the non-length player 150 yds off the tee and allow them to reach the green of a par 4 with firm fairway and an open green. You should check their second shot and place a hazard for them to work around. In addition this hazard should not interfere with the All Skill (White line) golfer tee shot. Placing a hazard between the white line first shot and the yellow line second shot will help acquire good length ratings, regardless of the actual hole length.
A classic par 4 golf hole will like do the following:
Allow All Skills golfer to reach the green with fade/draw off the tee & high backspin shot to the green
Make the Non-Length golfer reach with three good shots – the last shot a backspin or fade/draw to the green
Make the Non-Imaginative golfer lay-up off the tee and use their length to get near the green with their second
Make the Non-Accurate golfer pay a price for his wildness.
Accuracy is the toughest to accomplish, these players can make many different types of shots – they just never know where they are going. They may go left, right, short or long. They most parallel the all skill golfer, therefore are closest to what you are trying to accomplish, making it the trickiest rating to raise on any given hole. The best way is hazards, these players are the most likely to get into them. Water. Trees & Traps are you best defense against these guys. Find where the All Skill golfers are playing and place sand traps on either side so that an overdraw/underdraw will find the trap. Tree lined fairways give these guys fits. Guard the green with a trap/tree or water.
You will find some step by step guides and examples of classic holes throughout this website. Although this is a long-winded discussion, absorbing the information will allow you to build better rated golf holes, achieve classic holes at will and have more fun in SIMGolf. Your golfers will be happy with your hole/course building prowess and flock to your courses. The added bonus of actually being able to analyze a golf hole by observing golfers will really help with any tweaking of the holes themselves……
Good Luck and happy designing
Par 3, Step-by-Step Guide
Building a classic par 3 is really very easy. The unfortunate part is a classic par 3 will usually require water somewhere on the hole. Without water its easy to get length & Imagination ratings up to 1.0 & over, but Accuracy will often be lower than the required level. When you think about it, this is realistic. Anyone who has played golf can usually reach a par 3 quite easily and get no worse than four on almost any non-watered par three. Now throw water in front of the green and you have the everyday golfer shaking in his golf shoes!!!
For this example, we are using the tropical map, but the same will apply to any map. Once you follow these easy steps, you will create a visually pleasing and challenging golf hole in no time. Click on any of the thumbnails for a full size view of the photo.
We need to set a tee and green about 175-190 yards apart. This distance seems to work best in this scenario. We are going to raise the green considerably to create elevation and a "cliff-like" look. This gives us a hole both visually pleasing and creates some interest in our course, as elevation changes are cheap and exciting. Raise the green 5 height levels. (click on the thumbnail for a full size view)
In order to make the hole look like a real golf hole and add options & challenges to the golfers, make the green four squares in an L Shape. You will also raise these squares to the same height level of 5. Leave the slope in front of the green steep for now. On the sides you may wish to copy the path routes I put in there. I also raise the path levels to only change each tile by one height level. This speeds play and eliminates the "Steep Slope" Complaints. Now to landscaping. After you have put paths in place, the next step is to create the waterfall & cliff effect. Put two tiles of water in front of the green at the 5 height level, then put a pool of water at the base of the waterfall. Even though golfers will seldom put alof golf balls in the lower pool , it looks good and creates a barrier for the golfers who lack length & imagination.
Many options are presented to the designer at this point in the golf hole. In order to help the "golf impaired" patrons of your course, we should put down some fairway in front and beside the water. Just a few tiles, forcing them to be accurate in their layups. A quick shot analysis show us that most length-impaired golfers will layup in front of the water and most imagination-impaired golfers will lay up to the left of the water. This is good, since both these golfers have accuracy, we need to provide them good ways to attack the hole in order for our accuracy ratings to get to 1.0 or over. You can see even some non-length golfers will gamble, but since 2 of 3 will layup, our length rating will be fine. Since the non-imagination golfers will go to left layup position, our imagination is guaranteed to be classic material. The non-accurate golfers will gamble and the hazards in front and behind the green will penalize them enough to get the desired accuracy rating.
Now, just open the hole for play. Within two years of play, we have achieved the goal of a classic par 3 on any golf course.
04-23-2003, 12:52 PM
Thanks, I'm still trying. I did download a few fan-made championship courses and one of those has at least 10 classic holes. I started a new course and drawing on that one for inspiration but I haven't been successful yet.
04-24-2003, 06:37 PM
I love the game after seeing this thread I started playing again. Thanks for the guide Finglofin, it quantifies a lot of what I had been wondering and assuming about. The first hole I ever made turned into a classic hole within one year out of sheer dumb luck. So I assumed it was easy, and got frustrated by the fact none of my other hole was working I eventually found out some keys. To increase length I use an archipeligo fairway. By which I mean that rather than a continuous fairway I just make little blobs of fairway, that the long players can always can hit the second one, but the short players have to hop to each one. For acuracy points, skinny one tile wide fairways seem to help. As well as single square greens. Creative is the hard one. Setting a dog-leg or crescent shaped fairway around a lake or forest, at the right distance to allow for a draw shot to go real far works fairly well. Trees around the green work to, cause then they have to use a low shot, which I'm pretty sure counts as creative. Also a slope on the pin square seems to add a few tenths of a point, but I'm not sure why.
At the moment I have 2 classic holes, with 5 others just a smidgen away. And I just won my first championship tournament. :) 1.4 million.
which brings me to my questions.
I have 2.7 million dollars, and want to by one of the other courses to work on, but I can't figure out how to do it.
And what does the 'Grand Slam' stuff in the to do list mean. What do I have to do to accomplish those.
04-24-2003, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by wolfman
which brings me to my questions.
I have 2.7 million dollars, and want to by one of the other courses to work on, but I can't figure out how to do it. You need to open the world map to select another course to build. Of course, the manual says once you start building on a new course you can't go back. You need to make sure that you're all done with your current course before moving on to the next.
04-25-2003, 04:18 AM
What do you mean by open the world map?
11-23-2010, 07:21 PM
And what does the 'Grand Slam' stuff in the to do list mean. What do I have to do to accomplish those.
To get it you need a 90+ SGA rating. Pretty difficult, but not impossible. I find that the hardest points to get are in the imaginative and length categories (also in the time to complete the course).
The problem I have right now is that I have two holes that are classic, but the game won't recognize them so I can't cross them off the to-do list. Any pointers?
11-23-2010, 07:35 PM
I posted here 7 years ago. Wow.
11-23-2010, 07:44 PM
Hi and welcome to the SDMB, scheand. We call long-inactive threads "zombies," but there's no rule against reviving them, so I'll just move the thread to The Game Room, a forum that hadn't been created the last time this thread saw the light of day.
twickster, Cafe Society moderator
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