Published November 13, 2023
In our last Q&A with Rawson, he gave us the Cliff’s Notes version of how matchmaking in Play Mode is done. How many iterations of a hole are out there in circulation for Play Mode? Like, if I start a game and Sawgrass 17 comes up, how many different wind conditions or pin placements could I potentially see? The reason I’m asking is because it seems that the same exact wind conditions keep coming over and over and over for the same holes. Is there any way to create more variety there? Maybe purge the existing playthroughs every few days to keep hole conditions constantly rotating?
I think this is a really important point, and would serve our goal of improving variety in FedExCup.
I think the simplest way to address this would be to have the server occasionally scan through games and games with highly-overrepresented amounts of wind. This is a topic that hasn’t gotten enough attention recently, and I’ll work to rectify that.
Wind has been a consistently sore subject for players and you mentioned that Concrete will be taking a closer look at the wind mechanics in the game. Where do you guys see the problem with it lies and how soon could we see changes there?
I believe there’s a bit of a mismatch between what our physics system is working to achieve and what serves players.
Our physics system takes a lot of things into account that — in a real-world golf environment — you can feel, or even see in the trees and air. Things like the wind moving differently at different levels or the ball responding differently to the wind based on how you hit it.
I think our approach to wind will be to simplify the wind’s interaction with a ball to bring it in line with things that you, as a player using a mobile device, can actually see. The wind will not entirely be this, but we will move in the direction of “apply a steady vector to the ball based on the difference between the ball’s velocity and the wind’s velocity”, which would be much easier to account for from a player’s perspective.
As mentioned in an earlier question, this is something we’ll likely look for player help with. In particular, how does the new wind feel if you’ve had years to get used to the current wind?
On the subjects of wind and pin locations, is there any future chance the load screen for a hole will show pin location and wind conditions so that players can choose the best bag for the task at hand? There’s nothing worse than picking a short bag for a par 3 hole and realizing after the fact that you’re shooting directly into a 16 mph headwind.
I think so! That is an extremely relatable situation. It’s also a nice step toward us being able to make more clubs useful.
Clubs like High Flight and Jetstream are extremely dependent on course conditions, and exposing more information before going into a hole would give those more time to shine.
Real talk: there’s some pretty annoying issues that have existed in the game for quite a long time. Like duels being wiped from the Active tab, balls not fitting between the pin and the cup, tailwind not carrying a ball that’s aimed over water, balls getting stuck in the side of greens or fairways and become unplayable without having to putt out, etc. Even one of the newest clubs, Maelstrom, the bounce reduction club, creates more bounce on other wedges than they normally have. What’s the hold up on getting a fix for some of these things?
Our developer time has been very tight as we’ve been working toward long-term goals (some mentioned above) and dealing with fires. We’re also a pretty small team compared to most, so that also has an effect on what we can prioritize for updates and fixes.
However, as I’ve been looking at those issues and the other ones that have popped up since this question was asked, I’ve been making moves to steer our focus toward more fixes.
I’ve seen you and Eric mention several times on Discord that Concrete’s current system can’t support making necessary fixes or adding certain desired features to the game. And you guys have indicated that a long term solution for that problem is currently in the works. What sort of things would this new system allow you to bring to the game? And is there any sort of timeline? Are we talking a year, 15 months?
A great example of this is clubhouses. We currently use an outside 3rd party system for this and as a result we are limited to that system and what they provide. We are moving to our own system so that we can make the changes that we want. The first iteration of that will be very early next year.
Some of us kind of geek out a little on the stats element of the game. Has Concrete considered expanding on this in any way? I could see a more detailed breakdown being added, like total wins/birdies/eagles/aces, etc. this week/month/year. Or a way to view a similar stat breakdown for everyone in a clubhouse, including current Fed Ex scores. That could be a really useful tool for captains to evaluate player activity. And coming from the perspective of a geeky captain, I would love the ability to export stats of players in my clubhouse. I’m probably in the super-minority there, though.
Also, could we please get a definitive answer about why duels and tournaments don’t count towards a player’s stats? I mean, a tournament hole in one is still a hole in one, right?
Since this question was asked, we have begun adding leaderboard posts and also made a public stat spreadsheet available with details on all clubs in the game.
When we have time, I believe we will begin featuring, duel, tournament, and FedExCup stats on a player’s profile. We actually have an artist mockup of “all time” vs “monthly” stats, with the ability to scroll between them.
For the last question, absolutely.