Touring Cherry Blossom: Walkabout Mini Golf’s Course Inspired By Japanese Zen Gardens
Just weeks before the Quest 2 launched in 2020 VR’s best mini golf game released on the Quest store with just four included 18 hole courses.
Walkabout Mini Golf’s Tourist Trap, Cherry Blossom, Seagull Stacks, and Arizona Modern have since been joined by four more free courses — Original Gothic, Bogey’s Bonanza, Tethys Station, and Quixote Valley. Now developer Mighty Coconut s building out a collection of paid DLC add-ons including licensed courses for Jim Henson’s Labyrinth and Cyan’s Myst, as well as course collections themed after infamous Lost Cities and Jules Vernes’s iconic science fiction works. Upcoming releases include Atlantis and Journey To The Center Of The Earth mini golf courses as the studio finalizes partnerships for new properties, finishes work on 2023’s slate, and begins work on courses that won’t launch until 2024. The studio is now adding more resources to development and raised the price of future courses to $3.99 each to keep pace.
Cherry Blossom Course Tour
Walkabout’s Lucas Martell recently gave UploadVR a tour of Cherry Blossom, alongside all the game’s initial courses with the full walkthrough of the 18 hole path embedded in the video above. The course is meant to inspire a “Zen mindset” with calming music paired to “the beauty of Japanese Gardens,” according to Mighty Coconut. Martell revisited the initial courses he worked on mostly by himself as the game transitioned from its roots as a project for phones into something that’s become one of the best reasons to wear a VR headset.
“It’s so kind of like wild to be able to go back to a place that sense of place that you get in VR is just completely unlike any other game,” Martell said. “Like you really feel like, ‘oh, I remember where I was at when I was designing this hole’ or just even a couple of the memories of certain conversations that happened when we were in here making some initial decisions, and talking about how to grow the team.”
“There were some people who got behind 57° North . I really thought that Laser Mazer would take off and it just didn’t,” Martell said. “One of the big reasons that it didn’t was just because you had to physically move around your environment. We had a way that you could play in a very, very small space with a lock button, but it still required people to just physically move around their space and kind of be a little silly. And one of the things that I could have never predicted was how awkward the vast majority of people felt looking at their phone and literally ducking underneath lasers in a world where no one else could see what they were doing. The interesting thing was though that Laser Mazer opened the door for Walkabout. In fact, Laser Mazer was built on an engine called our Walkabout engine.”
We’re building a full collection of tours of every Walkabout course with its designers. The playlist embedded below will grow as we cover all the work, with the tours amounting to an in-depth overview of design progression in one of VR’s best games. Be sure to check back with UploadVR.com or subscribe to our channel for future coverage.