Producer Blog: New Swing Mechanic
Hey everyone, it’s Mike DeVault from the Tiger Team here to fill you in on some great new gameplay features in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13. This year, there are tons of new features to talk about and today we’re going to focus on the biggest change that our swing mechanic system has seen in over a decade. In Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 we’ve revamped everything from the way you swing the club to the way you setup for your shot, plus this year we’re paying it all off on-screen, in real-time as you swing, with our all new golfer animation system.
So let’s get started…
This year we wanted to bring out the skill of shot-making in our game. What we’ve found in talking to pro and amateur golfers alike is that, while golf swings generally abide by the same fundamental principles, each golfer has their our unique twist on setting up and executing any number of shots. Our goal was to bring this shot-crafting ability out in the game like never before.
The first thing you’ll notice in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13 is our new shot setup system. This new system is going to offer what seems like an endless array of shot opportunities. There is a shot setup HUD (heads up display) element that you’ll find in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. You can use this element to manually customize your shot setup using the Right Stick. When you are in the Shot Setup state, you’ll notice that the Shot Setup HUD shows the golfers feet along with the current ball position in your golfer’s stance. You can move the Right Stick left or right on the controller to open or close your golfer’s stance. Opening or closing the stance will allow you to draw or fade the golf shot. Zooming out for a closer look at the aiming arrows (by pushing up on the Left Stick) will help you determine exactly how the shot setup changes you’re making are affecting your shot. Pushing the Right Stick up and down you can also move the ball forward or back in your golfer’s stance. This will allow you to craft either a higher arcing shot or a lower driving shot.
Once you’ve set up the shot, you are ready to address the ball. At address you’ll notice that your on-screen golfer’s stance reflects the setup changes you made. So for example if you opened up your stance using Shot Setup, you’ll notice that your golfer also sets up with an opened stance. The more you opened the stance, the more your on screen golfer will as well. Once at address you will also notice that the Shot Setup HUD has changed. Now instead of showing a top down of your golfer’s feet, the HUD shows a side view of your golf ball’s current lie. This is the all-new Strike Meter and it will allow you to determine whether you would like to strike high or low on the golf ball. You’ll notice a red crosshair located within the Strike Meter. This crosshair represents the club’s sweet spot and you can use the Right Stick to move this crosshair to the top or bottom of the golf ball in order to hit the ball either thin or fat (top it or get under it). I’ve personally spent what seems like hours just crafting all sorts of shot trajectories using the new Strike Meter; it really opens the door to add your own creativity and imagination to the golf shot. Here’s a tip…you’ll definitely want to make sure you use the Strike Meter when getting out of thick rough or bad bunker lies. Words of warning though…don’t get too carried away using the Strike Meter in the higher difficulty levels or you might just miss the ball entirely. J
We’ve done the math and the new Shot Setup features are going to allow you to create over 62 million different shots with a single club.
SWING PLANE and TEMPO
So now it’s time to start your swing. You will notice when you address the ball that a Swing Plane Meter will draw around your golfer. This swing plane represents the path your golf club must travel to hit the ball accurately. This meter also represents the backswing power you will need in order to execute the shot you’ve set up. The length and orientation of the arc is based directly on your shot setup. If you aim for a long shot, a longer backswing will be required than if you set up a shorter shot. All this information will be reflected in this Swing Plane Meter. Something else to keep in mind is that if you set up for a draw or a fade shot, the Swing Plane Meter will change to reflect either a more inside out or outside in swing plane. In order to execute properly you must make sure the club head stays on plane, as you draw the stick back and follow through at an angle for these more advance shot types.
While the end of the Swing Plane Meter sets the required backswing based on the distance you have set with the aiming marker, you are free on any shot to take your backswing farther than the end of the meter to add a power boost. Instead of tapping a button to add boost this year, you will control all of the power of your shots using the sticks. So if you want to get that extra distance you’ll need to take a bigger than normal backswing and make sure you really power through on that downswing. Be careful though, when you extend you backswing into the boost zone, you’ll need to be extra precise with the accuracy of your swing. So make sure you keep that swing on plane!
While the length of your backswing lets you set how much power you’d like on a given shot, you Swing Tempo on the downswing will determine how much of that power you actually hit the ball with. For the first time ever, the forward stick speed on the follow through will play a factor in the power of your shot. The perfect forward swing tempo will ensure you get the amount of power you established in your backswing. A more powerful downswing forward on the Left Stick will add extra power to the shot. A soft follow through will allow you to add that soft touch to the golf ball when needed.
The combination of the backswing and the follow through help to deliver the best feel and touch our game has ever offered. The new Shot Setup, Swing Plane Meter and Tempo Swing add an unprecedented level of feel and control.
Tying these features all together is our all new golfer animation system. Your golfer’s movements during the swing will be directly related to your inputs on the stick. So when you start your backswing you’ll be able to directly see if your golfer is bringing the club back on plane or off. Shot types are also dynamically setup for you based on shot distance. So when you bring the aiming arrow in really close you golfer will automatically set up for a chip shot. Move it out a little further and the golfer will automatically change to a punch, pitch or full shot based on the distance you’ve set with the aiming marker.
All these new swing mechanics are sure to have you hitting the ball like never before in Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 13. We can’t wait for you to get your hands on them!!!