Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

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Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby BrianZ111 » September 28th, 2011, 8:06 pm

Course: Xavier Glen (21.5 MB)
Type: Fictional, Parkland
Designer: Blakeley
Date: 9/26/2011
Images: Sp, #11, #16
Libraries Used: N/A
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby sandwedge » October 1st, 2011, 7:48 am

This is a course that I don't exactly know how to rate. There are places where it almost seems undone because of the wide open space; yet it certainly gives you a feel of being there despite that sparse planting. There are subtle breaks on some of the greensites, whereas others are flat and incredibly easy to navigate. The lakes have a nice look to them but they also have different rock wall textures and again sparse planting. Some might rate this as a course in need of much improvement - it appears to me to be a course with a different approach and style that works. It kind of reminds me of the perspective of Vallens Bluff by Jeff Beaumont or High Plains Drifter by Joe wells from the pre-library days. It is an offering of the "less is more" philosophy that appeals to some and not to others. It does not use up a lot of space nor does it require any custom libraries. It is a simple, no-frills course. Other than the minor inconsistencies I mentioned, I enjoyed my round at Xavier Glen immensely. Thanks Cary for the hard work and willingness to share your talents with the community :) Give this one a look at least :)
Last edited by sandwedge on October 6th, 2011, 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby Joe the UFO » October 5th, 2011, 11:24 am

Hi, I'm Cary, the designer of the course and first of all I'd like to thank you for taking the time to golf Xavier Glen and then taking the time to share your golfing experience with the community.
Indeed, as you noticed, it is sparsely landscaped, yet it certainly gives you the feel of being there. I used three trees, two bushes, and two reduced sized flowers (the wildflowers you see scattered about the course) from the Pasatiempo (I think!) library for landscaping. That's it. Yet in spite of it, it still looks 'natural'. Oh yeah, three rock objects, too.
There certainly is a varied mix of green breaks, with the most difficult not being too difficult. I'm not sure why the different wall textures along the lake rims surprised you, but my intention here was to convey to the player that the lake is man-made, not natural.
The terrain work that you see in those sparsely landscaped areas balances the refrained use of trees, bushes, rocks, and flowers. I think this is why the course struck you as 'a course with a different approach and style that works'. And, herein lies my intent with the course. The philosophy for this course was to show off terrain work- not landscaping. I feel most designers tend to show off landscaping and I wanted to be different by showing off a predominantly terrain oriented look on the course. I'm pleased that, despite the Spartan landscaping, the course look worked for you. I also tried to make this a 'fair' course for the player opting for large greens, wide fairways, wide roughs, keeping the landscaping away from the really errant shot, etc. However, I'm a bit concerned that the par 3 #16 green is a bit unfair. Any opinions?
Bunker work here, for the most part, is basic. After ten years of practice, I still suck at making postcard-looking bunkers. However, my next architectural effort seems to have alleviated this designers block.
Again, thank you for your time and consideration with Xavier Glen, and I hope you'll golf it again with an eye on the terrain and not so much the landscaping.
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby sandwedge » October 6th, 2011, 3:51 pm

Cary,

I guess I like consistency in a design - both in feel and in presentation. I figure the rock textures for all the lakes should be the same - not necessarily right but just what I think is best. Dar would be one to ask about whether a greensite is too difficult - he is quite the cyber golfer :) I can tell you that I have scored fairly well thus far; six under, four under and recently seven under for 18 holes - all at a/n/c settings. My game is short off the tee, average approach shots and superb putting which I consider to be the game of most folks - putting is easier in this game I think then in others. Hope this helps - still enjoying the course :)
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby gova » October 7th, 2011, 5:36 am

C ary,

I also enjoyed my round on Xavier Glen. Only a hack player, but thoroughly enjoyed a sub par, a rarity in this impossible game play.

I liked the open look and look very good on my new computer with a high range video card.

Hope you intend to design more courses, because you obviously have the talent.

Cheers
Brian
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby Joe the UFO » October 7th, 2011, 2:42 pm

Yeah, there certainly is inconsistency in the course, particularly where the landscaping is concerned. The approach shot to #15 with the very naked hill in the backdrop and the look back when the shot lands on the fairway from the #4 tee is also very naked and I hemmed and hawed about putting some eye-candy here. However, since this was an exercise in 'fung sheui' with a terrain-oriented look, I decided to leave it bare. It's OK to golf naked :bg:
I'll keep in mind your thoughts about lake rim textures and try not to throw surprises on courses in the future.

Future (and past) courses will not and are not so sparsely landscaped and with each progressive course, my terrain/elevation work improves exponentially. I plan on releasing previous courses after releasing my current project which challenges me to feature a fall look using only standard libraries- not an easy task!
if I were to rate this course on a playability scale from wimpy to torturous, I'd give it an 'easy'. I usually golf -8 under, but occasionally score as high as -1 or -2 under for the round.

Gova, thank you for sharing your experience as well. I hope the above ^^^ answers your questions.
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby Mike New » October 7th, 2011, 5:19 pm

Joe,

One thought occurs. If you're concerned about a 'naked' or bare look to an area that you don't want to add objects to, remember that over distance, the game tends to give textures a 'glassy' or flat appearance. If you're using custom textures, take, for example the rough texture, duplicate it in PSP (or your graphics program of choice), save it as a new texture, then increase the contrast of the new texture. I'd suggest anywhere between 25-50%.

Add the new texture to your library, then apply that texture to the 'naked' hill or bland spots only. This should help to negate the glassy appearance of an area that a player should never find themself in.

Give it a try and let us know if it works for you.
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby Indy Anna Jones » October 7th, 2011, 8:10 pm

Mike, if you do this, will it require saving as a new library? I know not many people play online with Kali but this sounds like a prescription for an "altered library" error if you simply alter the texture and keep it in the same library.
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby Mike New » October 7th, 2011, 8:26 pm

No, not at all, unless you've already maxed out the number textures within the library.

Forgive me if this sounds like I'm talking down to you, which I'm most certainly not (but there has been confusion previously about textures in this manner), but you would be creating a separate file, wholly unto itself. They may appear similar to the human eye, but the computer and the program treat them as completely separate entities.

You could have 20 of the same texture, with 20 different filenames and the program would not have any problems recognising each and treating them appropriately.
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Re: Xavier Glen by Blakeley [New Course]

Postby Indy Anna Jones » October 13th, 2011, 2:22 pm

No Mike, I don't feel like you're "talking down"; I know nothing about the library creator but did wonder if altering textures might not cause the "altered library" problem if the players aren't using the exact same library.

I got a chance to play XG today. I'm assuming that this is a first time design by Blakely and I see some of the rookie mistakes we've all made, but overall I think he did an okay job. Tees were flat, there were no wrinkles, and though the greens were pretty flat there was still enough movement to make them interesting.

As far as planting goes... well, one man's (woman's) meat is another man's poison, or so the old clique goes. Personally I found it too barren but I think I understand what the designer was trying to do; I don't think he succeeded too well. There really wasn't that much interesting to catch the eye. You don't need to overplant like I do, but IMO some grass and even small groves would have helped a lot.

Overall, I think Blakely did a pretty good job on his first attempt. The layout was interesting, and he seems to have a grasp of the tools. I'm looking forward to what he can do with his second attempt.
Last edited by Indy Anna Jones on October 24th, 2011, 4:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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