Legacy Interview

Monday, March 4, 2002.
Outlaw Golf Box artOutlaw Golf - Hypnotix

XboxAddict.com interview the folks over at Simon & Schuster Interactive / Hypnotix about their upcoming title called Outlaw Golf.

Q: Who are you and what is your role in making Outlaw golf?

A: Mike Taramykin, Executive Producer, Designer, and President of Hypnotix.

Q: Outlaw Golf has quite a diverse group of characters to choose from, could you give a brief run down of their backgrounds and specialties?

A: C.C., the street wise tomboy - Growing up around six brothers meant CC learned early in life to kick major sports-ass and wear dresses later. This curvaceous and ultra-competitive Tom boy can dish out a delicate chip shot or a vicious roundhouse kick to her good natured, tubby caddy, Heavy G. By the way, don't ever call CC a Tom boy to her face or you'll be looking out of your ear. Doc Diggler, the arrogant plastic surgeon with a serious God complex - Taking time off from his busy surgical and malpractice schedule, Doc Diggler never passes up a chance hit the links... even if it costs a few patients their lives. Lugging clubs for doctor slice is his brain-dead caddy, Toast. El Suave, the smooth Latin lover - Hailing from the most sexy, exotic locale on the planet - Tia Juana - El Suave is the only golfer ever known to be able to pose before, during and after a golf swing. Carrying the clubs for this Latin Lover of himself is the ultimate brown-noser, golf shoe-licking toady, El Ramon. Harley, the badass biker chick - Born in a motorcycle repair shop, Harley grew up with a crowbar in one hand and a golf club in the other. Harley perfected her golf swing beating up boyfriends and relatives. She is currently living in a van with her fellow hog-riding, tough-yet-tender boyfriend and caddy, Snake. Harley can frequently be seen on TV, usually being handcuffed and hauled off by local police for disorderly conduct. Ice Trey, the suburban middle class white kid / wannabe gangsta rapper - Hailing from the rough and tumble, crime-ridden inner city streets of Beverly Hills, wannabe rapper, Ice Trey, dropped out of school to pursue his dream of rapping and playing golf -- a decision that was about as promising as his single digit S.A.T. score. Caddying for Ice Trey is his one-man posse, spinner and tatoo consultant - Fresh Fruit. Killer Miller, the released on a technicality former death row inmate - Just released from prison strictly on technicality, Killer Miller takes pride in his long game and his short temper. At 6' 5" and 275 pounds of angry, rippling muscle, Killer puts on quite a show -- bringing new meaning to the expression "slaying his audience." Toting Killer's clubs is his caddy, confidant and twenty dollar an hour sheister attorney. Scrummy O'Doul, the out of control Scottish golf hooligan - When he's not out swinging his niblick on the back nine at St. Andrews, legendary soccer holligan and world-class barroom brawler, Scummy O'Doole, likes to kick back and pass out in his own vomit. Lugging Scummy's clubs is his long time friend and perpetual punching bag, Johnny Rotten. Summer, the stripper / Ph.D. scholar - Hailing from the Big Apple, where she splits her time between PHD studies in molecular biology at Columbia University, and entertaining foreign businessmen in the champaign room of the Pink Flamingo, please welcome sultry Summer, and her equally ample caddy, Autumn. Remember gentleman, after the game these ladies will be available for autographs... and lap dances. Bring plenty of singles. Trixie Monroe, the obnoxious little daddy's girl who expects the world to be handed to her on a silver platter - girlTrixie has been playing golf at private clubs ever since she was a wee little snob. Dumb as a ball washer and ruder than a slicing drive, Trixie's handicap is her mouth. She hails from quote-unquote "none of your busines, USA." Carrying Trixie's bags is her deep-pocketed and dirty old caddy, Ed. Mistress Suki, the exotic Asian dominatrix - Hitting the links, litterly, is one tightly-laced, leather-clad golfing diva whose game is all about discipline. Inflicting maximum punishment on every ball she hits is Mistress Suki, assisted by her bruised and battered, but amiable 300 pound whipping-boy caddy, Puddin'. Watching these two out on the course is an excruciatingly exciting experience.

Q: How many courses are there and can you describe a few of their locations as well as the surroundings?

A: There are 3 very diverse and challenging courses. They are: Turnpike Valley Country Club - Break out those clubs and balls 'cause it's time to head for the lush rolling fairways, perfectly manicured greens and majestic graffiti-tagged highway overpasses of this totally whacked championship golf course. Just remember not to breathe too deeply or you'll be coughing up the taste of New Jersey for the rest of the month. Crusty Leaf Country Club - Welcome to the Crusty Leaf Country Club... where golf and the state of Virginia go together like moonshine and a hillbilly's liver. Hop in your golf cart and take in the majestic tree lined fairways, the 18 luxurious grassy greens and the creepiest backwoods trailer park this side of the Mason Dixon line. Word to the wise: Don't feed the one-armed man playing banjo. El Diablo Country Club - Bring plenty of sunscreen and a boatload of rattlesnake repellent 'cause this hellacious golf course in the middle of the desert will absolutely scorch your balls. The pros have rated this course as the number one place to play if you love a good challenge or you're just short on brain cells.

Q: Do you guys plan on locking parts of the game until completion of certain goals or tournaments? If so what is locked from the get-go?

A: In the beginning players will have access to all of the courses, but only 4 characters, and a limited collection of clubs and balls. By selecting a character and playing through an Outlaw Golf Tour they will unlock other characters, more clubs, balls, and additional Tour Events.

Q: Will you be able to play different games such as a skins or match play? Or is this strictly stroke golf?

A: We took a lot of time trying to come up with fun and unusual ways to play golf. Being golfers ourselves it was simply a matter of thinking up the various ways that we've played the game in the past. We have 8 different play styles available. Besides stroke, skins, and match play we will also have... 1. Best Ball - 4 players play in 2 teams, and the best score from either teammate is counted for each hole. 2. Scramble - Again, players in 2 teams. After each stroke, teammates decide which of their 2 lies they will both play from. 3. My One and Only - Players get to bring a putter, and any "1" other club. 4. Casino - After teeing off, each additional stroke requires players to add $1.00 to the pot. The winner of the hole wins the pot. 5. Time Attack - Rather than counting your strokes, we measure the amount of time it takes each player to complete a round. The winner is the one with the shortest time.

Q: Is the gameplay just for a score, or is there money involved? If so what can we use our winnings for? Club upgrades? A new whip? A new caddy?

A: There is no money involved (except in skins or casino games) but by beating certain tournament events, players will UNLOCK new clubs and balls. All the equipment in the game is also loosely based on real world equipment. This means that certain drivers will give you more distance, while others more control. In all you will be able to choose from 30 clubs, divided into Drivers, Fairway Woods, Irons, Wedges, and Putters. There will also be 5 types of golf balls.

Q: Other than carrying your clubs and being your personal whipping boy (or girl), what other role does your caddy play? Game tips? Club suggestions? Etc, etc.

A: Theoretically, your caddy is there for advice and support. But in reality there main purpose is to help you keep your composure. The way they do this is by letting you vent all your frustrations on their sorry asses.

Q: Could you go into to detail and tell our viewers about your Composure Response System (CRS).

A: It's very simple actually. The CRS is a points system by which the controls become easier or harder based on how the player is performing. What we set out to do was capture and incorporate the most significant aspect of real life golf... keeping cool. As I have learned from my personal outings, it only takes one shot (either good or bad) to shape your whole mental state. Hit a nice drive into the middle of the fairway, and your clubs suddenly get lighter, your swing gets smoother, and everything basically works "itself" out. Hit a slice into the adjacent fairway, and it's a whole other story. So what we did with his game was incorporate a points system for good and bad shots. Every golfer starts out in the middle (at EVEN composure.) And then the more good shots that you make, the closer you come to perfect composure (what we call being "IN THE ZONE.") On the other hand you can also hit a bunch of stinkers and end up "IN THE GUTTER." Now the other thing to keep in mind that once you are in the ZONE, staying there is a delicate feat, because once you make 1 little "less than perfect shot" you are instantly knocked back to even. When you are in the Zone, the games controls become easier; the sweet spot on your clubs becomes bigger, and it's easier to hit draws and fades. When you are in the gutter, the sweet spot closes up a little, and the vibration on the club starts to shake much sooner into your back swing.

Q: For those select few that may not have played a golf game before, is there a way to turn off the CRS? If not, is there a tutorial scenario to help the newbies get the *ahem* swing of Golf games?

A: We have both. Players will be able to turn composure and beatings off. In addition we have a series of funny animated tutorials that explain how everything works.

Q: Could you tell us the config of the controls for Outlaw Golf?

A: I'll try. The basic controls for this game are once again based on our attempt at recreating the same sort of "flow" that occurs on the golf course. What this translates to in the game is that we use the right thumbstick to control the entire swing. Once you have aimed your shot you press the A button to enter SWING MODE. Once in swing mode, you pull back on the right thumbstick to start your backswing. The farther back that you bring the stick, the farther the on screen character will take their back swing. It is very interactive, and you can fine tune how much power you would like to use. However, the farther back that you bring the club, the more the vibration will shake your controller (simulating what might happen to you body as you wind up to swing.) After you are happy with your backswing, all that's left to do is push forward on the thumbstick to swing your club and hit the ball. Here too we use the analog thumbstick you calculate the velocity of your swing, as well as to see how centered your swing was. If you swing off center... well you know what can happen.

Q: Are there different ways to beat up your caddy? or is it the same way all the time? Give some examples if you could. :)

A: Caddy beatings are a game within the game. What happens is that a BEATING BAR appears at the bottom of the screen. When you start a beating, a little bar starts to move from left to right, and your goal is to press A again once the bar is inside a designated TARGET AREA This is similar to the way a free throw is done in some basketball games, or a field goal in football games.) Once you land a punch, the bar starts going the other way (faster of course) and a new target area appears. In order to score a MAXIMUM beating, you need to hit 5 targets. Meanwhile on screen, as you play the beating game, your character takes out his frustrations on the caddy and various fight sequences are played out.

Q: Will the senseless violence we will inflict on our caddies be reflected in them being bruised, bloodied and tattered? Please? Pretty Please??

A: Unfortunately not in this version. But we'll keep it in mind for Outlaw Golf 2.

Q: On the flip side to the beatings, how will we give praise to our caddies? Good spankings for naughty caddies??

A: After a good score (par, birdie, eagle, ace) the golfers will often celebrate with their caddies. There are multiple animations for various scores and situations.

Q: Is it possible to pummel other golfers other than your caddy? How about heckling?

A: In a mutiplayer game (up to 4 can play at once) when it is not your turn, you can still press the A button to shout out all sorts of comments at your opponent. In addition, whenever you press the heckle button, you will also make your opponent's controller vibrate.

Q: What effect will become of the beatings? Will you be able to make enemies on the course?

A: No we didn't take it that far... yet.

Q: Are there power-ups in Outlaw Golf? If so... what?

A: There are no specific power-ups. But, there is a driving range where you can play various skill building events. Every time that you beat a driving range event, you will be given a number of SKILL POINTS that can be used to enhance your golfer's abilities.

Q: Does the crowd come into play during the rounds? Will they heckle you when you're doing badly? And can you take someone out with a killer slice?

A: Yes you can nail a spectator with a shot. We wanted to use the crowd as a way to enhance the whole experience. They cheer, they boo, and they go down hard when you nail 'em in the face with a stray drive.

Q: Judging from some of the suggestive screenshots (gotta love the dominatrix and her slave caddy!!) is this title being catered to the older teen/adult crowd? What ESRB rating are you guys shooting for?

A: The game has received a TEEN rating. It is really catered to an older crowd (teen/adult) simply because the sport itself attracts an older audience. Furthermore, we hope the game really resonates with people view golf as more than a stuffy, country club game. Whenever I go out and play, it's usually with a few buddies, at a public course, and we laugh the whole time. Outlaw Golf is made for people like that.

Q: What special graphical abilities of the Xbox is being utilized?

A: Pretty much all of them. We have real grass that takes advantage of the GPU. The game uses a ton of texture memory in order to render the world. Each of out golfers is roughly 8,000 polygons, and each hole is about 150,000 polys. Non of this would be possible on any other system.

Q: Will we be able to play our own music?

A: We are working on it... so no promises.

Q: What kind of options will we have over the characters, such as changing their outfits?

A: Each character has multiple outfits, and you will be able to adjust their characteristics through skill points that are earned at the driving range.

Q: How many players will Outlaw Golf support multiplayer wise? Will there be online or system link support?

A: There will be support for 4 golfers at a time (just like in real life.) System link and online play are all features that we hope to include in the next version of the game.

Q: Have any pro golfers helped in the making of this game?

A: No "pro" golfers, but certainly a lot of people who consider themselves "experts." However we did get a lot of input from several club manufacturers. This helped us model the best possible physics, which is based on the way real people hit real clubs.

Q: In your opinion, what golfer in Outlaw golf is your favorite? And who do you think the public is going to respond to the most?

A: Gee that tough, it's like choosing between your kids. But I'll try. Personally I like Scrummy O'Doul. He is our angry, Irish, golf hooligan. He reminds me of someone out of a Mike Myers movie. Scrummy is so over the top that it's hysterical. I have a feeling that other people might like Summer or Harley. Summer is the stripper that's working her way through graduate school, and Harley is the biker chick that's had several surprise guest appearances on COPS.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to answer our many questions (especially the numerous beating ones!) We look forward to some outrageous rounds of golf in Outlaw Golf!!

A: Thanks for your interest. I hope you guys like the game as much as we have enjoyed making it.

From all of us here at XboxAddict.com, we'd like to thank Mike Taramykin of Hypnotix for taking the time from their busy schedule to do this interview.

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