Thursday, March 28, 2013

Playing Golf in Second Life

Virtual golf is a great sports activity in Second Life . Residents can play golf as individuals or in groups. The golf clubs and balls are selected and controlled by a HUD, an on-screen "heads up display". There are several public golf courses in Second Life and all that I have visited use the >(O.o)< Freestyle Golf system by Fa Nyak. It is actually a rather old game system created in 2007 with the last update in 2009. But the golfing simulation is a real classic and is fun to play.

>(O.o)< Freestyle Golf system
The system provides a working golf club with built in putter, wedge and driver, which can be chosen in the HUD menu. There is also an option to choose different colors for your ball when playing with friends. At each golf strike you first need to aim your shot with the help of a direction indicator. Then you hold the left mouse key for charging up the power of your shots. The interface has been realized in a really simple way and there is a built in tutorial for the first time user of the clubs.

SL blogger Pacake golfing in a stylish outfit
The balls are physical, but they rez only temporarily and their physics are disabled once the shot comes to a stop which keeps the lag to a minimum. It may seem strange at first that you never shoot the same ball twice. A position prim is rezzed at the place where the ball comes to a stop and you sit on it. Then you choose your next striking technique and a new ball is rezzed. This feature allows you to make the next shot without loosing too much time to get your avatar at the exact correct position in relation to the ball.

I had a lot of fun using this gaming system. You can watch a video of a Second Life golf game here:

Second Life blogger Pancake has written a nice post about her golfing experience in Second Life: Iron at Green Acres Golf Course (the golf course she was playing on does not exist anymore).
After spending the first bit admiring the build, just grinning at the sheer amusement of playing golf in Second Life you’ll soon find this game is actually quite challenging. Some of the objects are physical, so your ball can and will bounce off trees and rocks. I had to test it just to be sure of course. Water hazards are hilarious because you actually have to play the ball from in the water, which again, I tried purely for research purposes. Lastly, the backslopes are killer. You don’t even want to know how often I was screaming stop as my ball came rolling back. If I could have picked it up on the one hole that I putted about 17 times, I would have. Well… I would have if I wasn’t so busy laughing.  Playing golf in Second Life is really truly one of the funnest things I’ve done.
There is currently no golf course in the SL destination guide but you'll find various locations when searching for "golf" in the Second Life viewer. At these places you can pick up the HUD and the golf club for free. From all the golf courses that I played on today, I liked the EMERALD CRYSTAL GOLF COURSE on the Dark Sun Island Sim the best.

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