Q&A with Zen Studios on the development of Infinite Minigolf

 

Golf is one of the most versatile sports in the world. There are numerous ways the game can be enjoyed, and one of those options is with the putter.

 

To celebrate the world of sniping with the putter, the sports gods created minigolf. Infinite Minigolf is a game that showcases the wackiness and fun of the smaller variation of golf.

 

The game is the successor to Planet Minigolf, a fairly popular game on the PS3, that featured many golf holes designed by the community. This helped keep the game fresh, with new ways to play everyday. It also help make the online experience very enjoyable, and I personally put some solid hours into that game.

 

It’s also yet another game that is added to fairly rich library of golf games that are available now. Infinite Minigolf is part of the new generation of golf games, as we transition into a golden age of gaming, where the industry is stronger than ever before.

 

I had the chance to do a little Q&A with with Desiree Frost at Zen Studios, to talk about the new minigolf game that will release sometime this Summer. Enjoy.

 

Colin Mieczkowski:   What made you guys come up with the idea for Infinite MiniGolf?

 

Desiree Frost: Infinite Minigolf was greatly inspired by Zen’s fans! Zen Studios released Planet Minigolf in 2010 on PlayStation Network which was loved by many players and is still widely played today! Zen received such inspired ideas and feedback from players that we were motivated to bring the audience the long-awaited follow-up minigolf experience.

CM:  Are you guys golf fans, minigolf fans, or just enjoy making fun games?

 

DF: YES! – to all the above.  There are a ton of Minigolf fans here at Zen Studios. In fact, one member of the team wants to open a real life Minigolf course some day! Of course, the common denominator among each of us is that we love to make fun games!

CM:   What are some main courses or locations players can play on?

 

DF: This is our favorite part of Infinite Minigolf – there are an infinite amount of possibilities! Not only are there beautifully designed themed worlds within Infinite Minigolf to explore, but we have also implemented a course curation process that allows players to search for courses that best match their interests! If a player is in search of the most challenging, or maybe the most creatively designed courses, they have access to them. The possibilities of playable courses are endless!

CM:    How much emphasis did you guys put into player customization?

MK: Through gameplay, players can unlock awesome minigolf gear and wearables to modify their character’s style to best suit the player’s personality. There are a ton of cool items to collect in the game!

 

CM:   We know about the game’s deep course designer, what are some of the main things players can look forward to as they dive deep into creation?

 

DF: Again, the endless possibilities inspired by the course creator is Zen’s favorite part of Infinite Minigolf! Players should be excited to see a lot of their feedback and ideas implemented in this portion of the game. The best thing to look forward to in the course creator is the freedom to create to the limits of their imagination! Players construct the courses from beginning to end, creating the course layout, scheming course obstacles, decorating with a ton of fun objects for each theme, and even furnishing their courses with power-ups of their choosing. Once the course has been created, it can be shared with the game community for all to play.

CM:  VR has become a major hit, how excited are you guys about making the game compatible with the PlayStation VR?

 

DF: Zen has had the opportunity to make several VR titles, so when we developed Infinite Minigolf we were excited to bring the beautifully designed game to life in a whole new way, immersing players into the fantastic worlds of Infinite Minigolf. It is also a lot of fun to build courses in VR – you have this feeling that you are a real-life creator and all of these tools are at your fingertips.

CM:  Will players be able to use the PlayStation Move motion controller when in PS VR mode?

 

DF: At this time, we are evaluating the technology to see what would best compliment this particular game.

CM:  Will there be events or tournaments players can participate in when playing online?

 

DF: Players will have the opportunity to host their own custom matchups with friends, but at this time, organized tournaments are not an available feature in Infinite Minigolf.

CM:  Are there any popular features returning from Planet MiniGolf from the PS3 days?

 

DF: Yes! Again, Infinite Minigolf was inspired by Zen’s fans, and through their feedback we identified which features were most important to them. Infinite Minigolf players will find features from Planet Minigolf reimagined for an elevated minigolf experience.

       

CM:  Finally, is there a release date for the game, and where can fans go to learn more about Infinite MiniGolf?

 

DF: We are working hard to finish the game, we will have a release date soon! Stay tuned to our blog, social media or www.infiniteminigolf.com for upcoming announcements.

 

Colin Mieczkowski is the founder of the GP Golf Report and has written about golf, video games and basketball among other topics. He can be followed on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio  and can also be read at Pro Golf Now


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PREVIEW: These suit pants can be worn on a golf course

 

That’s right, suit pants are no longer just meant for business meetings.

 

These pants, called the “Suitable Pants” (Get it or nah?), are suit quality pants that can be worn anywhere, at anytime.

 

Peter Pevoto, owner of Journeyman Clothier, came up with the idea after wearing jeans almost daily, and realizing how restrictive they can be.

 

The yoga pants craze that women have started also helped him realize this dream because as we know, for women, yoga pants are about as versatile as they come.

 

So he came up with the thought that men’s pants should be both comfortable and professional at the same time.

 

The pants feature performance fabric which help enable you to do activities you otherwise wouldn’t really be comfortable doing in suit pants.

 

This includes, you guessed it, playing golf and with such a look, it may fit perfectly into the environment, especially if you’re playing a country club.

 

But the Suitable Pants are more than just fancy as you can wear them on the streets, hiking, playing other sports, and other outdoor activities as if you were wearing sweat pants.

 

There’s also plenty of room to put your stuff in with five pockets, including one with a zipper.

 

One of the big benefits that comes from the Journeyman Suitable Pants is that they stay wrinkle free which may be a plus for those of you who have to deal with this all of time when it comes to pants.

 

And back to Peter’s story, he would go to work, then go play nine holes at his local muni course, then go eat afterwards, all this while changing pants each time.

 

This is another reason why the flame was lit, and so now, Peter is a clothing designer and has put together pants that can be worn anywhere without feeling uncomfortable or that your boss may think they’re “inappropriate” for work.

 

There’s a Kickstarter campaign going on for the Suitable Pants and it’s already almost close to reaching its goal with 13 days left to go.

 

The Early Bird package on the campaign is already sold out, with 50 backers.

 

In total, there are 85 backers behind the new, innovative pants.

 

You can check out the KickStarter campaign at  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1690857638/journeyman-versatile-pants-for-the-modern-man

 

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio! And yes, I’ll be wearing pants on my next trip to the driving range! 

 

 


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PREVIEW: The Golf Club Looks to be the Quiet Storm of Sports Video Games

Taking a practice swing on my newly designed "Windy City Golf Club". If you play the game, look it up!

Taking a practice swing on my newly designed “Windy City Golf Club”. If you play the game, look it up!

The Golf Club, a video game by HB Studios looks to make a name for itself among the sports gaming community and so far it’s been looking great. I had a chance to check out the game thanks to the game being available via Steam’s Early Access.

I will say first hand that the game is fantastic and it hasn’t even released yet. The Greg Norman Course Designer is a major selling point. The gameplay and golf swing mechanics are very smooth and realistic and the sounds are absolutely superb.

The overall quality of the audio made me jump out my seat a bit. It really does sound like you’re out on the golf course with the sounds of wildlife right in your ear while playing on your new beautifully designed golf course.

John, the commentator (Who you can follow on Twitter @NewVoiceofGolf) is great. He sounds realistic and not robotic at all and it feels like he’s right there with you! No joke, I was looking around my room when I first heard him speak.

I was about go all ninja and stuff! He’s great and some of the most realistic sports game commentary I’ve heard. The best thing is? The game will be continuously updated so there will likely be more speech, game modes, etc added.

Yup, that’s right. Not a yearly release! That’s a fantastic way to go with sports games as many fans were wondering why nobody has done this. HB Studios knows what’s up! Now, let me get to the crown jewel of the game that is the Greg Norman Course Designer.

The possibilities are ENDLESS with this amazing mode. You can sculpt the greens, bunkers, or even the land around you and HB’s official course in the game called Knoll Down Golf Club provides an excellent example of this as the surrounding land is very hilly.

You can add everything from the clubhouse to trees and plants to even animals and vehicles and yes you can put them wherever you want….even the fairways and greens (OBSTACLESSSS! Kidding!)!

You can place beautiful clubhouses with an army of golf carts next to it!

You can place beautiful clubhouses with an army of golf carts next to it!

There are four themes to pick from right now (Rural, Alpine, Autumn and Desert) with a Links theme coming during the full release of the game which is my personal favorite theme without a doubt (When you play the game, in the course selection, search “Kings Island” and there will be two courses that are links style)! The course customization is so deep already that you can create your own fairways anyway you like with the power of the “Create Surfaces” tool.

You can add new designs to greens and fairways to give them unique looks and you can even choose what time of day you want your course to be in or even what side of the sky you want the sun to be on. Probably the most powerful thing about the Greg Norman Course Designer, and this is probably the star of the entire game, is the course generator.

I was even able to shape the bunker on the right to look like the Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago for my Windy City Golf Club course.

I was even able to shape the bunker on the right to look like the Willis Tower (Formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago for my Windy City Golf Club course.

This feature within the course designer is an absolute gem in gaming. It’s the first thing you’ll notice as soon as you fire up the course designer. All you do is select the theme you want, then there will be a screen with three wheels.

One wheel shows “trees”, one shows “water”, and the other shows “hills”. You rotate the wheel on each of these so the designer can know how many trees, how much water, and how many hills you want on your course. Once you do that, select how many holes you want, your selected difficulty for the course and then give it a name.

Then BOOM! A brand new, beautifully designed, never before seen golf course is created for you. Now it’s up to you if you just want to publish it to the world or tweak it a bit. This powerful feature is unbelievable.

You can literally design a course in seconds! This is great for people who don’t have a whole lot of time for full designing and just want to have a beautiful golf course for other virtual golfers to play. Below is a video I created showcasing a small sample size of gameplay and the power of the Greg Norman Course Designer’s course generator.

You’ll likely be able to grab your copy of The Golf Club on August 25th when the game will feature an even more richer golf experience. In the meantime, you can download the Steam Early Access version here: http://store.steampowered.com/app/269730/

Also, your computer needs to be DirectX 11 compatible for play. I recommend the Lenovo Y510p or Y410p laptops if your computer isn’t DirectX 11 compatible. I use the Y510 and it’s fantastic!

So make sure you leave your comments below because I would LOVE to hear them! Also, be sure to follow me on Twitter @ChiGolfRadio because I have things to say about golf and things and stuff and things….things….


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