Meet Ben, our Software Engineering Intern!

  • Date: July 24, 2019
  • Posted by: Concrete Software

Meet Ben, one of our Software Engineering interns! Ben is a part of our Live Ops team and has worked on our newest game, PGA TOUR® Golf Shootout! He’s been a great addition to Concrete Software and helps ensure our games are rock solid. Find out more fun facts about Ben below!

So Ben, tell us what you do at Concrete Software.

I work on company facing cloud based services. These services are primarily analytics oriented.

What would you say is the best part about Concrete Software?

My colleagues are smart and excited about what they do! The atmosphere that they create is friendly, creative, and collaborative.

What’s the best thing about your job?

My work is relevant and interesting. In addition to this, all of the technology I work with is modern and cool.

What’s been one of your proudest moments while at Concrete Software?

There have been many opportunities to observe something I helped build go live and contribute to the success of the company in some way. I always feel a bit proud when this happens!

Favorite line from a movie?

“A Wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.” – Gandalf, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably pizza, assuming it had the nutrition I needed. Otherwise probably soylent or some other true meal replacement. I’d prefer not to wither away slowly due to nutritional deficiencies!

What advice do you have for someone aspiring to be in your profession?

For someone aspiring to obtain a meaningful internship, look for opportunities at school to get involved with student groups – especially technical or entrepreneurial ones. You will learn a lot, get some good networking done, and it’ll look nice on a resume!

TOUR Tips: Forester Edition

  • Date: July 2, 2019
  • Posted by: Concrete Software

Hey golfers!

Welcome back to TOUR Tips! Today, we focus on the Forester clubs! Given the brand name and their color scheme, it’s no surprise that all Forester clubs use trees in some way to give them a unique edge. Many of them have the Tree Bonus ability, which provides a boost to all stats depending on how many trees are nearby. Not all courses are tree-heavy, however, so this brand is most useful in a second bag made specifically to tackle more densely forested holes. You may also notice that they all have an above-average spin stat. If you’re not using spin already, test it out with a Forester! Spin provides advantages like being able to stop quickly on the green or gain extra distance on the fairway. Here’s the club-by-club breakdown:

Outset (Driver): Though you may be initially put off when you notice Outset’s low control, but with its Chains into Wedges ability, Outset is a good choice for Par 4s. That way, you’re set up so that you can follow up with a great chip-in shot. At level 5, Outset unlocks its Tree Bonus ability, so any tee box near trees will give it a nice boost from the get-go. Pair it with Oakheart’s Shared Growth ability, which doubles the effects of Tree Bonus, and you’ve got one of the best drivers in the game.

Trailblazer (Iron): Once players start using Trailblazer, there’s a reason why they won’t let it go. With solid all-around stats, it’s a good iron in general, but its Tree Passing ability, which allows your balls to move through trees without slowing down, makes this club stand out even further. Forester clubs already push you to lean towards the rough where the trees are, and with Trailblazer, you don’t have to worry about maneuvering the ball around them. It also makes for a good recovery option if you’re belting risky drives with clubs like Rampart or Skyfury.

Homecoming (Putter): Did you know that Homecoming is one of the few clubs that has not one, not two, but three abilities? Its first, Off-Green Power, gives it a major all-around stat boost when hitting from anywhere but the green. It may seem silly to even use a putter in that kind of situation, but Homecoming performs best on the fringe or even the fairway. Its second ability, Terrain Resist 50%, proves that point even further, as it will ignore 50% of penalties when hitting from unfavorable ground types. Even if you’re on the green, its final ability, Adventure, gives Homecoming stat boosts when any of your shots hits a tree or lands in a hazard. This pairs well with Trailblazer, which passes through trees entirely, or putting after any chip-in from the sand.

Huntsman (Wood): You’ll obtain the Huntsman club early on in your career, and it maintains its solid status as a wood for a good portion of the game. Even when it’s not using its Tree Bonus ability, it has nice overall stats, and its high spin means it’s great for full blasts across the fairway that can stop quickly on the green if you max out your backspin.

Ironbark (Hybrid): Ironbark is a high-powered hybrid with lots of spin, making it a great generalist option if you’re not sure what else to choose. It fills a role similar to Huntsman, but Ironbark may arguably be better equipped for its Tree Bonus ability as a hybrid.

Edgewalker (Wood): Edgewalker is another early wood option along with Huntsman, but with key differences: it has higher power but lower control, and along with its Tree Bonus ability, it also has Boundary Bonus, giving it a stat boost depending on how much out bounds area is nearby (consider pairing it with Skyfury). Although unconventional, especially for a wood, Edgewalker should push you to dance around the edges of the course to make the most of its assets. 

Oakheart (Wedge): If you’re building a Forester-heavy bag, be sure to include Oakheart. It also has Tree Bonus, but its later ability, Shared Growth, applies Tree Bonus to clubs it’s placed next to. This can make for some good cross-brand synergy, but if it’s placed next to a Forester club that already has Tree Bonus, Shared Growth will apply the boost twice. Oakheart is also best friends with Trailblazer and The Seeker, as Oakheart will give them a bonus if they’re utilizing their ability to move through trees.

The Seeker (Wedge): Given that it’s a legendary club that doesn’t unlock until you reach level 7, you probably have a while to wait before you encounter The Seeker; but, once you do, be sure to give it a go. Like Trailblazer, it can make your ball pass through trees; but, unlike Trailblazer, it applies to your entire bag! This no longer forces you to consider adding Trailblazer to your arsenal if you’re not confident winding the ball around the woods. In fact, The Seeker downright asks you to play in the trees, so other Forester clubs with the Tree Bonus ability synergize perfectly with it. At level 12, it also gains its Tree Sprinting ability, which makes the ball go 10% faster per tree it passes through. If you’re chipping in with a tree in your way, use the extra boost to your advantage!

TOUR Tips: Willoughsby Edition

  • Date: May 17, 2019
  • Posted by: Concrete Software

Hey golfers!

Welcome back to TOUR Tips! Today we highlight a familiar club brand: Willoughsby! Although not the flashiest brand, they may be the most reliable: with well-rounded stats, Willoughsby clubs can be used almost anywhere. This brand is unique in that ALL of the clubs have the Brand Loyalty ability, meaning the more Willoughsbys in your bag, the more powerful they become! Here’s the club-by-club breakdown:

Homestead (Putter): Your classic beginner putter, but with a twist; as your collection grows, you’ll certainly find more powerful putters, but as long as Homestead is paired with other Willoughsby clubs (see below), Brand Loyalty will keep it relevant deep into your career.

Endeavor (Driver): Like Homestead, you may be tempted to ditch Endeavor for something more powerful, but this club is probably your most reliable driver for a long time to come. It has the highest control stat out of all the drivers save one, and it is always a good choice for Par 3s.

Steward (Driver): Next to Endeavor, you may wonder why you’d ever pick Steward, but Steward’s power lies in its abilities, Aid and Chains into Woods. Aid will give the clubs next to it +1 to all stats (+2 at level 8 and +3 at level 11), while Chains into Woods gives your next shot +3 power to your wood (+4 at level 6, +5 at level 9, and +6 at level 12). Place your wood next to Steward, and the followup shot will more than make up for Steward’s low power.

Groundskeep (Wood): Even if your bag is entirely Willoughsby, Groundskeep is pretty niche. Its Fairway Affinity ability does, however, upgrade to a +2 bonus to all stats for other Willoughsby clubs at level 9, so it and Commonlaw can team up to give a massive control boost for a chipping strategy.

Meanderer (Hybrid): For a legendary club, you might be disappointed in Meanderer’s low power – but don’t be fooled! With its Groundspin x3 ability, and with an already high spin stat, you’ll hardly need power if you apply topspin on the fairway! One could even argue Meanderer could substitute as a wood replacement. Alternatively, if you’re stuck in a bunker a fair distance from the green, consider ditching your wedge and using Meanderer instead with topspin to help the ball roll to the green. If you’re feeling extra fancy, aim for the flag and apply backspin so the ball stops on a dime!

Commonlaw (Iron): This is another club where the unique ability outshines the club itself. Bag Control gives your other clubs +1 control, later increasing to +2 at level 7 and +3 at level 12. If you’re finding that haymaker drivers like Rampart or People’s Champion are missing key shots and costing you games, give Commonlaw a second look.

Kinship (Iron): Kinship is by itself a strong early-game iron. It also pairs uniquely with Homestead with Kinship’s Chains into Willoughsby ability, which gives the next Willoughsby club +3 to all stats. If you were underwhelmed with Homestead before, consider combining it with this iron to set up a fantastic putt. The Chains into Willoughsby ability also means Kinship can chain into itself, so if you whiff your first shot with it, you get even better subsequent chances.

Sandsend (Wedge): Sandsend, Homestead, and Endeavor all feed off each other with well-rounded stats and Brand Loyalty abilities. If you’re still in the early game faced with an average Par 3 or 4, consider using some combination of these three for a simple, no-nonsense strategy.

Do you have a favorite Willoughsby club? Have any suggestions for clubs or a club brand in our next article? Let us know in the comments! And remember…

TOUR Tips: Tutorial Clubs

  • Date: April 30, 2019
  • Posted by: Concrete Software

Hello golfers!

PGA TOUR® Golf Shootout has been out for about a week, and we’re excited to share with you a new recurring feature called TOUR Tips to help you out on the links! Unsure of how to use a new club you unlocked? Wondering how to combine clubs in your bag to make the most out of your game? Stuck on a certain hole? We’re here to help! In our first edition, we’ll be highlighting some of the very first clubs from the tutorial and how to use them effectively.

You’ll notice as you’re traversing through the first Solo levels you’ll be starting out on Deere Run. With only some slight curves and most of its hazards being on the fringe, your initial bag is well-suited for this terrain. Speaking of, you’ll be starting out with:

Endeavor (Driver) – The first club you upgrade! While it doesn’t boast tremendous amounts of power, it has good control and spin. Use it to your advantage to land straight in the fairway. At level 3, Endeavor gains the ability Brand Loyalty. This gives it +1 power per Willoughsby club next to it. If you truly want to go the extra distance, apply top spin to roll the ball further.

Huntsman (Wood) – Woods are great to use after your drive shot to close in on the green. At level 3, Huntsman unlocks its Tree Bonus ability. This gives it boosted stats depending on how many trees are within 25 feet. Land the ball near the big tree in the middle of Deere Run hole 4 and take advantage of the boost!

Bushwhacker (Iron) – Stuck in the rough, huh? Don’t fret! This iron adds +2 to all stats with its Rough Bonus ability if it’s in the rough or deep rough. This can be incredibly helpful if you need to get back on the fairway from the rough.

Sandsend (Wedge) – As the name implies, this wedge is best used in a sand trap. Be mindful of where to apply spin! Like Endeavor, Sandsend gains the ability Brand Loyalty at level 3. Use your other Willoughsby brand clubs to boost each others’ stats!

Homestead (Putter) – A solid, well-rounded putter for beginners and veterans alike. Like Endeavor and Sandsend, Homestead also gains Brand Loyalty at level 3. If you find Endeavor or Sandsend might be lacking power-wise, place it next to Homestead!

Next time we’ll be covering some additional clubs you’re likely to pick up as you progress through your daily challenges and the Solo levels. Are there other things you want featured? Let us know in the comments!

Meet Ed, our Senior Software Developer!

  • Date: April 5, 2019
  • Posted by: Concrete Software

Meet Ed, our Senior Software Developer! He has been a rock-solid asset to us for over 10 years and has worked on many of our major mobile games including PBA® Bowling Challenge, Rapala® Fishing – Daily Catch, PGA TOUR® Golf Shootout, and many more! Fun fact: Ed’s favorite drink is root beer! Find out more facts about Ed in our interview with him!

So Ed, tell us what you do at Concrete Software.

I architect systems, implement designs, click and drag, squash lots and lots of bugs, and occasionally write code.

What’s the best thing about your job?

After lots of design and development across multiple departments, I get to be the first one to see something actually work.

What’s been one of your proudest moments while at Concrete Software?

Seeing a product sitting on a shelf at Target and GameStop where I was the lead developer.

What three traits define you?

0. Bearded 1. Boring at parties 2. Voted “most unique” in graduating class 3. Prone to off-by-one errors

What advice do you have for someone aspiring to be in your profession?

If you have visions of being a game developer, start small. Don’t jump in the deep end, or you’ll burn out quickly with nothing to show for it. Also, learn from veterans the difference between “good enough” code and actual Good Code, and always strive for the latter.

What pet(s) do you have?

I have three cats: Samus, Kristof, and Tesla

What do you like to do in your spare time?

D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) and various video games among different genres

What is your motto or personal mantra?

Avoid spiders and boats, when you can.

What is your hidden talent?

I can lick my elbow.

Favorite line from a movie?

“You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong. So you could have put the poison into your own goblet, counting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you; but you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!” – Vizzini, The Princess Pride

What’s your favorite travel spot?

I just like staying home!

If you had to eat one meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pepperoni pizza