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Hack Idea - Miniature Golf - Shrink the Play Field


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Hello Programmers/Hackers,

 

I have an idea/request for a new hack of Miniature Golf that I'd like to share with you and see what you think.

 

This, as you know, is the first hole in Miniature Golf.  

image.jpeg.786bdc4f0407dd521ea65342a3fa9bd6.jpeg

 

A problem occurs if you want to aim the ball toward the center of the TV screen while the ball is near the corners or edges of the play field.  Because you cannot move your putter (big blue square) off your television screen, therefore, in that case, you cannot hit the ball towards the center of your TV screen.  So in that case, the best you can do is to bounce the ball off the walls and towards the center.  

 

I have an idea for a hack of Miniature Golf to fix that.  Just shrink the play field.  See the next image.

image.jpeg.444bb4480bc4708554b46d27ecee23bb.jpeg

Now, you can hit the ball in any direction no matter where in the play field the ball is.  Even if the ball is against the edges or in the corners, you still have room outside the playfield to move the putter (big blue square) so you can knock the ball towards the center.  

 

I'm not a hacker or game maker, so I have no idea how easy or hard this hack would be to do.  What do you guys think of this idea?  

Edited by Living Room Arcade
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Full disclosure: I'm an inexperienced programmer.

 

But I'm pretty certain the yellow wall portions of the game are drawn as what's called the "playfield" and there are editors out there that are purpose-built to modify the game playfield. Indy 500 XE comes to mind. You could probably very easily modify the playfield to shrink it down, all you'd have to do is re-draw the playfield in a smaller size in the center of the screen and then just fill in the borders with a solid wall. (You would also have to edit some of the game's code in order to move the ball, hole, and hazard into new locations proportional to their original.)

 

One of the big snags I foresee with redrawing the playfield however is that the "pixels" of the Atari 2600 playfield are not very granular. You could definitely shrink the holes down by redrawing them but you'd lose a lot of fidelity in the process as thinner walls would have to be moved or completely omitted since they would not shrink nicely.

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15 minutes ago, Radio F Software said:

Full disclosure: I'm an inexperienced programmer.

 

But I'm pretty certain the yellow wall portions of the game are drawn as what's called the "playfield" and there are editors out there that are purpose-built to modify the game playfield. Indy 500 XE comes to mind. You could probably very easily modify the playfield to shrink it down, all you'd have to do is re-draw the playfield in a smaller size in the center of the screen and then just fill in the borders with a solid wall. (You would also have to edit some of the game's code in order to move the ball, hole, and hazard into new locations proportional to their original.)

 

One of the big snags I foresee with redrawing the playfield however is that the "pixels" of the Atari 2600 playfield are not very granular. You could definitely shrink the holes down by redrawing them but you'd lose a lot of fidelity in the process as thinner walls would have to be moved or completely omitted since they would not shrink nicely.

@Radio F Software You mean simplify the layout?  Like this?  

image.jpeg.fd3d2d54ca556b5fc539b1b4e7e91352.jpeg

I wouldn't mind that at all.  That's closer to what real miniature golf looks like, anyway.  Don't you agree?  

Edited by Living Room Arcade
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Just now, Living Room Arcade said:

Simplify the layout?  Like this?  

image.jpeg.fd3d2d54ca556b5fc539b1b4e7e91352.jpeg

Essentially, yes! (I assumed for your mock-up screenshots you just took an existing one and shrunk down the playfield with the resize tool.) You could probably get away with still having one of the little vertical blocking walls on the left and right paths, though my best guess is fitting two of them in there to match the full size playfield would result in passageways that would be very narrow and thus difficult to hit the ball through given how clumsy Miniature Golf's control is. You could also probably keep the little alcove in the center but that little needle-like protrusion might have to go.

 

You'd be left with a Hole 1 that maintains the spirit of the full size original while also allowing full power shots from all angles like you wanted. I can't remember how many holes are in Miniature Golf (I think it's 9 or 10) but each one would be an exercise in scaling it down while compromising on obstacles to maintain the right balance between "this looks like the full size hole" and "I can actually hit the ball through these passages". :P

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8 hours ago, Radio F Software said:

Essentially, yes! (I assumed for your mock-up screenshots you just took an existing one and shrunk down the playfield with the resize tool.) You could probably get away with still having one of the little vertical blocking walls on the left and right paths, though my best guess is fitting two of them in there to match the full size playfield would result in passageways that would be very narrow and thus difficult to hit the ball through given how clumsy Miniature Golf's control is. You could also probably keep the little alcove in the center but that little needle-like protrusion might have to go.

 

You'd be left with a Hole 1 that maintains the spirit of the full size original while also allowing full power shots from all angles like you wanted. I can't remember how many holes are in Miniature Golf (I think it's 9 or 10) but each one would be an exercise in scaling it down while compromising on obstacles to maintain the right balance between "this looks like the full size hole" and "I can actually hit the ball through these passages". :P

Like this?

image.jpeg.e4e66cb5d9034ffddfa17d551d35d4cb.jpeg

FYI There are nine holes.  manual 

 

This is what holes #2-9 look like.  

image.thumb.png.a575c9aa94c12fe9f3a28c387ef2ca7e.png

@Radio F Software  Well, anyway, that's my idea in a nutshell.  So, what do you think?  Is it workable?  

Edited by Living Room Arcade
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15 hours ago, Living Room Arcade said:

So, what do you think?  Is it workable?

I don't see why not! Like I said the most challenging part of making this hack will be modifying the game code to move the location of the interactive objects and also perhaps tweaking the bouncing hazards so they behave accordingly in the smaller layouts. A playfield editor can probably knockout the hole layouts easily.

 

Looking at the level layouts most seem like something that could shrink down just fine with only minor alterations made. Hole 4 gives me the feeling that it might shrink down to resemble another Hole 1. Hole 7 looks like it'll be a definite pain in the ass to redo though because it has all those narrow corridors. You'll definitely have to reduce the number of corridors when you shrink that one down. Hole 9 looks like a mess but I doubt it'll be a problem, you'll likely need to widen the entrance to the little pocket where the hole is though.

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