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Desert Golfing

  • 30-10-2014 2:16pm
    #1
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,081 CMod ✭✭✭✭


    5v7rcl.png

    Hole number 1344. Stroke number 3764.

    When I look at those numbers - my current position in Desert Golfing - I think of a lot of things. I consider the futility of the fact that I have hit a virtual ball through this lo-fi orange virtual desert almost 4,000 times. At the same time I am determined to keep my average hits per hole as low as I can. I also am reminded yet again just how much of a genius designer is Justin Smith is.

    The man behind QWOP has called Desert Golfing 'trollcore', and that's a fair description. It is a game that almost mocks you for playing - the cheeky rewards for grinding through hundreds and hundreds of holes the occasional rock, cloud or cactus. Those ever increasing numbers are there to always remind you of the monotony and pointlessness of the tasks you are undertaking. It goes further than that though, and becomes a commentary on games themselves. When titles like Destiny task you with repeating the same thing over and over, Desert Golfing feels like a bold, definitive satire of that type of game design. Its rewards are punchlines (the level 1,000 'award' might be the hardest I've ever laughed at a game), its destination is nowhere.

    What adds to this is the fact that Desert Golfing is an inspired piece of minimalistic game design in its own right. The physics engine is seriously robust and challenging, full of quirks, exploits and comedy value. The algorithm for the level design takes full advantage of that, and offers a constant supply of inspired slices of generative design - a wonderful mix of computer-generation and an artist's touch. Its permanence is reminiscent of Dark Souls, of all things - it urges care, caution and competence, otherwise you will be punished. Not to mention the simple act of hitting the ball remains satisfying and compulsive thousands of times over.

    Desert Golfing is a game about games. It mocks them, yet is also deeply infatuated with them. It laughs at you, but also invites you to laugh with it through its deadpan, understated comedy. It is pointless yet endlessly compulsive. Desert Golfing is a brilliant, cruel, cynical, cheeky, hilarious masterpiece.

    Stroke 3765...


«1

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    Can't..... stop.... playing.

    Getting a streak of hole in ones is one of the most satisfying things ever. Then you get a volcano with a hole at the top that takes 35 shots. :)

    Haven't reached level 1000 yet, though. Curious to see what happens!


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    My first 100+ shot hole. I needed one shot to hit the very start of the first flat area (so it had time to stop before falling into the crack), then I had to hit a perfect shot directly into the hole (before or after the hole means it would bounce off the screen).

    IeCJUWay.png


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Cracks aren't a death sentence. A gentle tap parallel to the slope and the ball will 'stick' on the incline. Learning to get the ball to stop on inclines and using inclines to produce deliberate 'dampening' bounces that still ascend the incline stopping a little bit after the top is vital imo.

    Every time I do badly on one hole I feel I must play at least 20 'good' holes. It's an amazing gaming experience. Pure escapism.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Having a ball stick to a slope you wanted it to slide down is probably the most annoying thing ever.

    Had it rolled down to the end of the flat getting to the hole would likely have been two strokes maximum. Now, things are more complicated. I could try a 'flat' putt. It might have enough "oomph" to make it up the hill. Or it might stick. The incline is rather steep so odds on a 'stick' are low. In fact, a flat putt may just bounce off the bottom and back again. I could play a delicate chip and hope it doesn't bounce on too far down the slope. I think my best option though is a putt and if it fails I've only delayed one stroke from where I intended to be .


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    16 strokes. Kind of a fluke too. Didn't intend it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    Why 16? Looks straight forward enough?


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    I've got that sticky slope thing to work a few times since yesterday. A bit of a life saver (when done intentionally).


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,081 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Sandy slope stick is a key game mechanic, some holes are near impossible without it!


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Mr E wrote: »
    Why 16? Looks straight forward enough?

    It is. I just should have taken a break. Kept screwing up power required for last chip. Under hit, then over hit, rinse, repeat.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Hole 1344.

    It's identical! I'd assumed they were randomly generated. :o


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  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    the level 1,000 'award' might be the hardest I've ever laughed at a game

    ??

    Nothing happened on 1000 for me. Looked like a regular level.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Mr E wrote: »
    ??

    Nothing happened on 1000 for me. Looked like a regular level.

    Ditto. I presume that's the 'award'. A cactus did pop up at one point. Can't remember when exactly.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,081 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Mr E wrote: »
    ??

    Nothing happened on 1000 for me. Looked like a regular level.

    Aha, Android? Something happens when you hit there in iOS.
    It signs you into Gamecenter, finally and pointlessly
    :p


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Um, what's
    gamecenter?
    :confused::o


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    The equivalent of Google Play Games (leaderboards, achievements etc.)


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    61 strokes. (Or 51? Pretty sure it was closer to sixty.)

    Worst thing was waiting for it to roll all the way back down again. Second worst thing was the 23rd stroke. Ball bounced out of hole and all the way down again. Third worst thing was my execution on three prior positions that were achievable. Completely overcooked one to go out of bounds. Screamed!

    Fourth worst thing is that the hole is a lot easier than 50 or sixty strokes. It requires patient little chips and sticks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Managed to get this in 3 strokes. Biggest fluke for me so far, I think. Landed the ball in the middle crack by accident. Then played a delicate chip ball rolled all the way and managed to stay on the last ledge. Only just!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭hots


    Played through 500 holes, in exactly 1500 shots giving me a 3 shot average. Only had one horror hole (48 will be forever in my mind) and for some reason needed 80 shots to get through it :( Such an addictive game.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Into the 2,000s holes now. Might be a mental thing, the holes seems to be quite trickier. Averaging 4-8 strokes in a lot of holes now. It's also gotten a bit pink. :eek:


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,553 ✭✭✭✭Copper_pipe


    On hole 707 and 2300 strokes used


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Now this was fcking hard!

    Only saving grace is the little bit of the step at the end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    Nice... that little step means you can do it in 2 if you get a good shot.

    Nice to see it getting hard. I'm on about 1350 and it's still pretty easy for the most part (with a tricky one every 50 holes or so).


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 34,526 CMod ✭✭✭✭CiDeRmAn


    I find I'm neglecting other games and TV, instead in hitting balls across an endless desert. The sight of a cactus was welcome though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    Mr E wrote: »
    Nice... that little step means you can do it in 2 if you get a good shot.

    Nice to see it getting hard. I'm on about 1350 and it's still pretty easy for the most part (with a tricky one every 50 holes or so).

    Sadly, I wouldn't say they get harder. They require more strokes, and every now again there's a hole that is a stickler. It's still very manageable though with the odd exception. One technique I suck at is getting the ball to land gentle on a decline so it doesn't bounce violently. If I was better that the hole would be even more manageable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,200 ✭✭✭hots


    Just saw a cloud, today is a good day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    I'm up around 1650 now.... seeing a few more bottomless pits.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,081 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    'You know every strategy you have used to date? Yeah, well think again buddy'

    r72jbp.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 26,578 ✭✭✭✭Turtwig


    I'm on hole 2,600 and something tbh I'm getting fed up. Don't get me wrong I really enjoyed the game up until this point but the levels are just so similar and not really all that challenging. Unless you count requiring a few more strokes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 55,447 ✭✭✭✭Mr E


    'You know every strategy you have used to date? Yeah, well think again buddy'

    r72jbp.jpg

    I had that one last night, and check out post 18 above. :)

    Procedurally generated my arse!

    Edit: Well I guess they are procedurally generated, but the exact same way for everyone.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 29,081 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate


    Yeah, procedurally generated by the developer, but same levels for everyone!


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