- 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
Introducing Player Customizations and Other Options
The concept of being able to personalize your golfer was triggered primarily by the desire to introduce a woman golfer into the game. For years, players and operators grumbled about the absence of women in Golden Tee. The game’s golfer was male, the announcers were male, and most of the players were male. Women felt left out. Operators knew that if they could get even a small percentage of their female patrons involved in the game, it would boost their revenue. In prior versions of Golden Tee, technical limitations prevented the addition of a female golfer. In LIVE, there were no roadblocks, and Larry and Jim knew the time was right to add a female golfer to Golden Tee.
After they decided to put a female golfer in the game, they began to wonder how they could possibly do that without driving players crazy with a series of options that they would have to sift through before they could play. And that’s when they decided to add the Options button, a button that sent a clear signal: "If you want more options, press here. Otherwise, tee up." The button provided options on demand—options available for players who wanted them and easily passed over for those who didn’t.
Like the concept of an always-on connection, the Options button blossomed into a bouquet of opportunities. What else could players do with the Options button? Larry and Jim began kicking around some ideas. If players could choose the golfer’s sex, why not let them choose from a variety of races and ethnicities? If they could make those choices, maybe they should be able to select clothes as well. Perhaps they could equip their golfers with special clubs and golf balls. The relatively minor decision to add a female golfer to the game rippled through the development of Golden Tee LIVE, affecting changes that Larry and Jim hadn’t even considered at first.
Figure 3.3 Deciding to put a female golfer in the game leads to an Options button, which inspires additional options.