During The Shaft’s Special Episode 1, guest SatoriLove talked about the possibility of creating a golf course in Minecraft, if she could figure out the mechanics of how it would work (since we don’t have balls that we could strike or kick). And then, on Episode 33, there was a video of “Yog-Golf”, brought out by the Yogscasters Simon and Lewis – which meant that Satori was beaten to the punch a bit!
Undeterred, however, Satori decided to check out some of their video – just enough to get the idea of how golf had been implemented in Minecraft, but not so much that she was plagiarising the hole designs… And then, of course, it was straight onto hole creation! But Satori wasn’t to be alone in this task: eight other Minecrap regulars were enlisted to design holes along with her – one person creating each hole – with the main proviso being that the further along the course a player was, the harder they would find the holes. So, Teddanator, alefnull*, djrodw, Mhykol, ZeImperialistic, DiegoGriff, kalennighteyes and NiSiSUinegEht (thankfully, we call him “Nisi” for short) rolled up their shirt sleeves, got out their landscaping tools, and set out to give Lyon Estates just what an upscale housing development needs: its very own golf course.
The first time I heard about it was in the wee small hours of Monday morning, when Teddanator tweeted me to let me know of its existence, so I had to come and take a look. I was immediately encouraged to play the course and see what I thought of it – one of the course architects (I think it was kalennighteyes, but my memory is abysmal) apologised for them all tagging along with me, but I was one of the first people to play the course who wasn’t a designer. No problem for me, really: I enjoy being around the Minecrap gang, so it was absolutely fine 🙂
In case you’re not familiar with the rules of Minecraft golf, here’s a quick rundown:
- Use either snowballs or slime balls;
- For each shot, “throw” the ball using the Q button (or whatever you use to drop items) – the fairway is made of ice, and that’s what makes the ball “roll”;
- While the first shot is always taken from the black starting square, you have to stand as close as possible to where the ball finished (especially bearing in mind that the ball is picked up before you reach that spot);
- Jumping as you take the shot is allowed…
- … but standing on the side wall to take the shot is not;
- If your ball falls in a water hazard, is destroyed by a cactus, or goes out of bounds, there’s a one-shot penalty.
As bad as I was (computer-based golf – of any stripe – being another of those things at which I’m “cheerfully bad”), I loved it, and mistakenly thought that it was the first golf course of its type within Minecraft. You see, although I do listen to the show, if I’m in the chatroom when it goes out live, I don’t always follow what’s going on in the studio (I always listen to it again when the MP3 or video comes out). The upshot of this was that I hadn’t caught on to the guys talking about Yog-Golf; it wasn’t until someone queried the similarity of the Lyon Estates course to Yog-Golf that I realised my error. Still, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the game: my comment to the builders was that it was “[EXPLETIVE DELETED] awesome!”
Now, while Satori and the others worked out what par each hole should have, they discovered that they had, in their enthusiasm, created nineteen holes! And, possibly because they couldn’t bear to tear down anyone’s hard work, this is how it has stayed. Goodness what they’re going to do, though, if there’s ever a Minecraft Professional Golfing Association formed, and the MPGA Tour comes to the Minecrap server…
Anyway, although Satori tells me that there’s still some more landscaping work to be done on the surroundings – and given that Satori’s involved, I expect it will be just as beautifully crafted as the rest of her works, both inside and out of Minecraft – the course is playable and open to the public, and already looks good as it is. That said, there’s one thing which has been completed: the 19th 20th hole, as seen in these pictures…
As always, Satori and the Minecrafters† did a wonderful job, and I’ll be planning to play a few more rounds when time permits… Wonder if I should design a special avatar skin with plus-fours and an Argyle sweater vest?
* Yes, alefnull’s built something else on Minecrap! And that hole’s bloody fiendish, too… In fairness, he doesn’t get much time in Minecraft to do so. Still, the number of constructions he’s made is so rare that he should probably sign them for authenticity…
† Their first album should be on iTunes soon 😉