- Designing for the Needs of the Coin-Op Market
- Going Online All the Time in Real Time
- Restructuring the Tournament System
- Introducing Player Customizations and Other Options
- Offering a Helping Hand
- Animating the Golfer with Motion Capture Technology
- Making the Game a Little More Interesting with Hole-N-Win
- Selling the Idea Back Home
Offering a Helping Hand
Golden Tee’s designers and developers always strive to make features as intuitive as possible, but in LIVE, the game’s complexity was beginning to reach beyond the average player’s level of intuition. Some players, especially the more experienced ones, were perfectly content to noodle around with the game and discover techniques, strategies, and features on their own. Other players, however, felt a little intimidated trying to use the trackball to emulate a golf swing and learning how to access some of the more advanced features. These players required more assistance, more guidance up front.
Jim and Larry’s goal was to provide help without making it overly intrusive. Like the player customization features, the help feature should be a hidden layer that’s easily accessible to those who need it and completely hidden from those who don’t. The addition of a Help button provided the perfect solution, and the upper monitor contributed to keeping the help system out of the way—in LIVE, you can pull up a help video on the upper monitor without having to leave the game.
Figure 3.4 Help appears on the upper monitor and in a small window on the main screen, as shown here, to provide unobtrusive assistance.
In addition to the Steve Sobe help videos, Larry and Jim planned on including another help feature in which Peter Jacobsen would use a telestrator to show the player how to approach a particular shot. Jacobsen would draw chalk-line illustrations highlighting the hazards you needed to avoid, where the pin was, and where you needed to aim. IT spent a fair amount of time and money scripting the various telestrator segments and taping Jacobsen illustrating approach shots, but in the end, they didn’t have the time and resources to work it all in to early releases of Golden Tee LIVE.