Mighty Coconut’s ambitions are growing and the Atlantis course available now showcases the clearest view yet of the studio’s vision for Walkabout Mini Golf.
The studio is asking $1 more for Atlantis compared to its previous paid add-ons, $3.99 instead of $2.99, with the price increase reflecting the studio’s growth employing more specialized artists and engineers to deliver a sharper vision of VR mini golf. Atlantis launches alongside the 4.0 release of Walkabout with a roughly 33 percent resolution increase on standalone headsets like Quest 2, according to Mighty Coconut.
“Now we have a lot more really specialized people doing their absolute best work,” studio head Lucas Martell told us in a tour of the course embedded in the video below. “We’ve been able to pretty drastically increase the resolution that you’re seeing. And that just came with upgrading every single one of our systems, just optimizing everything even more and…it really is a lot crisper in headset.”
Lost Cities: Atlantis
The DLC course is the latest in Walkabout’s Lost Cities series, joining Shangri-La, Gardens of Babylon and El Dorado, with Atlantis’ bottom-of-the-ocean design adding hundreds of intricately animated sea animals swimming by. Some of the larger sea life is rideable too, accessible by pointing your club toward the sky and pushing up on its thumbstick to fly over to the whales, sharks, stingrays or sea turtles. You can also go into god mode and teleport onto them. While you won’t see a mermaid in Atlantis, Mighty Coconut decided they’re fans of mini golf and built a course in the ruins of the legendary city.
The physics in Atlantis operate the same as above ground courses, but colorful coral everywhere and tiny bubbles floating from each hole deliver a convincing ocean environment amid the ancient architectural rubble. While the developers explored bioluminescence for the harder night mode version of the course, Martell says they opted to go further and implement the long-requested look of black lights.
“It really is just as big of a wow moment…the difference between night and day,” Martell teased. “Hard mode is stunning, completely different.”
While Atlantis is technically not Walkabout’s first underwater course because 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea already introduced the idea last year, players were in submersibles there with a giant squid attacking. Martell said some players found their thalassophobia — fear of large bodies of water — triggered on that course. Atlantis, meanwhile, aims for a feel that’s “very cozy and it still feels grounded”.
Atlantis is available now on Steam and Quest stores for $3.99 as a paid add-on to Walkabout Mini Golf. Future DLC courses are expected to be priced $3.99 as well and Mighty Coconut is working on a slate that stretches into 2024 with both licensed and original content. We’ve been touring through Walkabout’s courses with its creators explaining the evolving design process. Check it out in the playlist embedded below.
“For each new DLC, Mighty Coconut pushes right to the edge of what is possible on standalone VR, while also introducing some graphical feature that no one has seen on our mini golf courses before. Atlantis happens to represent a huge push forward for us in a lot of directions, artistic and technical,” said course designer Henning Koczy in a prepared statement. “More detail, more colors, more polys, more sun-rays, more swaying plant-life, faux-caustics over every surface, more atmosphere and particulate. More animated characters in the form of large sealife and the big innovation: a performant system for schooling and rendering hundreds of fish. Literally everywhere you look, the course is teeming with life. There is no view you can take in that will be the same next time you look. All of this culminates in one big open, dynamic and immersive world where players can not only play minigolf, but spend hours happily exploring.”