Creative director Alex Ward details technical features that didn’t make the cut due to compact development team

Three Fields ‘can’t afford’ to support Dangerous Golf after debut fails to hit sales targets

Dangerous Golf, the debut title from Three Fields Entertainment – the studio established by former Criterion Games co-founders – hasn’t been as successful as the indie hoped.

Three Fields creative director Alex Ward, who co-founded the start-up and Burnout dev Criterion with Fiona Sperry, told Console Obsession of the major investment made in the physics-based golf game.

“No, not yet,” he responded when asked if Dangerous Golf had met sales expectations. “We pooled our life savings to start our studio and to start making games. We’re a 100 per cent player-supported studio. Every copy sold directly supports our 11-person development team. The money goes to the people who actually make the game.”

Ward added that the studio wouldn’t be able to afford further support for the title due to its size.

“We’re a small indie team,” he explained. “Tiny by comparison to almost all other teams operating on the platforms we develop for. We’ve always listened to feedback and our customers and we all take that really seriously.

“Whilst we’d love to be able to add more levels to the game – the reality is that we just can’t afford to do so.”

Ward also recounted Three Fields’ work on Dangerous Golf as marking a completely new direction for the team, which is staffed by former creators of triple-A titles such as Burnout, Black and Need for Speed.

“It’s a game that had never been attempted before, on hardware none of us had ever worked on before, built using Unreal Engine 4 – which none of us had ever used,” he recalled. “We were excited about making a physics-based game where the player got to play with a dynamic environment.”

Yet, despite its ambitions, Three Fields wasn’t able to achieve all of its aims for the game.

“We would have loved to have all three versions run at the same resolution,” Ward admitted. “And we would have loved to have been able to run Nvidia’s Flex liquid simulation work in the console versions. PC owners with high-end GPUs can turn this feature on.”

Another missing feature is one that was key to Burnout’s popularity: the ability to watch destructive replays in slow-motion. Ward said the technical challenge was too great for the modest workforce.

“Dangerous Golf runs a very intense physics simulation the whole time, and doing Replay work would have eaten up a huge chunk of our development time,” he revealed. “We chose to focus on things we felt were more important, such as getting friends and global leaderboards and online play running.”

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