What is Hole 9 From Outer Space?

Believe it or not, this all started as a personal project to understand multiplayer/networking in Unreal Engine 4. I’m usually fiddling with any number of small projects in and out of UE4 at any given time, and originally, there weren’t any plans to make Hole 9 anything more than just another small project.

So what happened to make me turn this into a full-blown game? Twitch streams! I was inspired by some of my favorite streamers playing mini golf games as well as Twitch-integrated games such as Move Or Die, Cluster Truck, and others. Twitch integration looks like a very promising avenue for certain games in the near future – and it helps that with Twitch streams, I can pretend I have friends. πŸ˜‰

Twitch integration

Twitch streams are awesome! And games have only just started integrating with Twitch to bring viewers into the game. As a dev, gamer, and Twitch fan, I think Twitch integration can open up some hilarious new dimensions of gameplay and streamer/viewer interaction.

Twitch integration in Hole 9 is still in the planning stages, but I know it will at least include voting on events every so often: events that can change the gravity, make everyone’s golf balls repel each other, or turn them all into random shapes!

I also have further ideas about personifying each voter with a UFO that zooms around the course, observing the game. The details are still being decided – their avatar may be purely decorative, or they may be able to accrue “points” which they can spend on affecting the game.

Settling on a visual style

I certainly didn’t decide on this art style because I’m a lazy sod who can’t be bothered to do texture mapping for all my meshes. It definitely has nothing to do with the fact that the non-mapped, full-dynamic-lighting style lets me crank out an environment mesh set in a couple hours rather than a day (or several). πŸ˜‰

The official story – er, I mean, the actual reason – is that I’ve always been intrigued by the low-poly, flat-textured, hard-edged, clean, minimalist style that you see in some hipster art/wallpapers. When first figuring out the style, I spliced together some mood boards from various wallpapers from Google Images:

I’ve been curious for a while about how a game dedicated to this style might look. At this point I’ve been staring at it for too long to make any kind of accurate judgment about how it looks, so feedback is always appreciated!

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