Sponsored Feature: Tribaloid introduces the sport of disc golf to the wider world in its new iOS and Android game
By Tom Cooper 21 March 2013
Game Name: Around the Rock Disc Golf | Developer: Tribaloid | Publisher: Tribaloid | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad | Genre: Arcade, Sports
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Golf = a gentlemanly game involving a stroll around beautiful landscapes and thwacking a small ball towards a small hole.

The Frisbee = the registered trademark for one of those red flying discs you see being regularly dropped in municipal parks all over the Free World.

What do you get when you combine that relatively sedentary sport with that disc-shaped gliding object?

Frisolf? Golbee? No. Apparently, it's disc golf.

Alan Musselman is the main man at Around the Rock Disc Golf creator Tribaloid. We sat down with Musselman to chat about how he has married the elegance of traditional golf with the excitement of ultimate (formerly known as 'ultimate frisbee') in his new smartphone game.

Pocket Gamer: First of all, could you explain the sport of disc golf a little more, and, by extension, Around the Rock Disc Golf?

Alan Musselman: Around the Rock Disc Golf is an arcade-style disc golf game based in a fantasy world on floating rock islands.

Disc golf is a popular sport played by folks in public parks around the world. The disc golfer throws a driver disc from a tee pad to a metal basket with chains hanging down. That basket represents the target. The disc must land and stay in the basket, with the metal chains helping the disc fall into the basket.

In real-world disc golf tournaments, all of the 'holes' are par 3. I've stuck to that rule in Around the Rock Disc Golf. If you get the disc into the basket in your first shot, that's called an Ace. If you take two shots, that's a Birdie. And if you go over par, that's a bogey. This terminology is very similar to the terminology used in traditional golf.

Though I have tried 'regular' golf, and appreciate its value, I prefer disc golf. It's like combining hiking through a forest with throwing futuristic frisbees. There are various weights and sizes of discs for different purposes, like putting, mid-range, or driving.

I've actually been playing disc golf since I was 13. Disc golf was an upcoming sport back in the day, and it's grown a helluva lot in the meantime.

Tribaloid is seeking to spread awareness of disc golf through fun and enjoyable disc golf games across as many platforms as possible. We are a small team of three, and Around the Rock Disc Golf is our first disc golf game for mobile devices.

What was the hardest part of developing Around the Rock Disc Golf? Was the physics engine hard to perfect?

The craziest thing we did mid-development was to add basket configurations for both disc golf courses in the game. That set us back for a while.

Probably the hardest we worked ourselves was when we released over 26 updates across multiple mobile platforms. We are very keen on listening to gamers' feedback, you see. Whether it's negative or positive. And we enjoy finding ways to evolve Around the Rock Disc Golf.

We spent days, nights, and many weekends figuring out solutions to complicated problems with collision detection and the intricacies of the physics engine for the basket.

Of which part of the game are you personally the most proud and why?

I believe we've made a fun disc golf game for youngsters, 'oldies', for beginners, and for advanced players.

The game helps to spread the word about disc golf, and I hope more people take up the real-world version of the sport as a result of our title.

Are there any plans for software updates to Around the Rock Disc Golf? If so, can you tell us what they'll include?

We've just released the second disc golf course for Tournament mode called Mystic Rock Park, and we've added water hazards to the first course, Floating Rock Park.

We're rolling out a new update with bug fixes and a completely brand-new basket design (with more chains and better collision detection).

We are also working on a multiplayer feature, some achievements, and possibly two new courses (depending on the game's popularity).

Will you port Around the Rock Disc Golf to any other smartphone or tablet platforms?

Yes, we are currently developing versions of Around the Rock Disc Golf for loads of new platforms, including Windows 8, Nvidia's Project Shield, GameStick, and Ouya.

We are also looking into using an amazing new device called Leap Motion for a brand-new PC and Mac Around the Rock Disc Golf experience.

You can download the Universal Around the Rock Disk Golf game for iOS for £1.49 / $1.99 [buy].

The app is also available on Android for £1.24 / $1.99 [buy].
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