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Sermons from the Temple

The following articles are about various aspects SimGolf and are written by me, JZ Temple.
Newest articles will be posted at the top.

Buying Land and Making Fun



Buying Land and Making Fun
Or, Why Doesn't Mr. Picky Like Me? posted Feb 04

     Golf course building in SimGolf can be accomplished in two modes, Normal or Sandbox. In Sandbox you are given all the land for free and nothing costs any money, so building is easy. However, building in Sandbox mode is like playing tennis without a net. Building a decent golf course in Normal mode on a restricted amount of land can be a lot of fun and quite a challenge. The following tips are based only on my observations and not on any special knowledge or access to design information.

     The SimGolf default map is laid out in a three by three grid. Depending on the choice of course you can start out with only the center section of land, or perhaps one additional section. To increase the size of the course you have to purchase additional sections of land when they are offered by Mr. I.M. Picky. Trouble is, Mr. Picky is, well, picky about when he comes around. In the two easier difficulty settings, Picky comes to play once your Fun rating reaches and stays at a certain value. In the chart below, we'll assume you started off with only the one center section of the map:

Visit # Fun Rating
delta Total sections
before purchase
Holes Required
(at 100%/200% Fun per hole)
Holes per section
(at 100%/200% Fun per hole)
1 100 100 1 (default) 1/1 1/1
2 300 200 2 3/2 1.5/1
3 600 300 3 6/3 2/1
4 1000 400 4 10/5 2.5/1.25
5 1500 500 5 15/8 3/1.6
6 2100 600 6 (not possible)/11 (not possible)/1.8
7 2800 700 7 (not possible)/14 (not possible)/2
8 3600 800 8 (not possible)/18 (not possible)/2.25

     What you may notice from the chart is that it gets progressively harder to buy more land, because the Fun rating required increases by an extra factor of 100 each time. To increase the Fun rating of a course you build more holes, and also increase the individual Fun rating of each hole. However, to build more holes, you must have more land! So it becomes a vicious cycle. What becomes critically important as you progress beyond nine holes is achieving a higher average Fun rating. Also effecting this is the need for more and more land for your facilities.

     So what does this all mean? Simple. Concentrate on increasing Fun per hole when you are playing the easier two difficulty levels in Normal mode. And start doing it early. If you build holes without making them fun, you will be cramming them into the exisiting land plots to force a visit by Mr Picky so you can build more holes to buy more land... and you will run out of holes you can build (you are limited to 18, of course), before you have bought all the possible land sections.

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