Emerging Technology

Virtual RealiTEE Mini Golf Game

Multi-Level 3D Fully Immersive VR Sports Game Featuring 9 Holes with Ball Location Tracking and Teleportation.

My Roles Game & Level Concepts, Playtesting, User Interface Design, Sound Effects, Branding
Collaborators Three DePaul University game design students
Categories VR Sports Gaming, Single Player, Low-Poly Art
Duration 8 weeks
Tools Unity, Oculus Quest, Adobe Creative Suite

Phase 1: Concept Ideation


According to Globe Newswire, Inc. (April 2022), Virtual Reality (VR) gaming has experienced rapid growth in the areas of media and entertainment, education, retail, and healthcare. The extended reality (XR) market valuation is projected to exceed 1.1 trillion by the end of 2030. VR golf as a category includes the release of GOLFPLUS, one of the leading VR golf applications on the market (PR Newswire 2022). GOLF+ appeals to players of all skill levels, and makes the sport accessible by employing realistic physics, and a no-stress environment where players can learn at their own pace without the constraints of time, greens fees, travel, or weather. VR miniature golf is also gaining popularity with titles such as Walkabout Mini Golf, Cloudlands, and Mighty Coconut.

How might we...

The motivation for our project was to explore the mini golf genre through the creation of a 9-hole game that combines the skill building features of traditional golf with the fun and wackiness of miniature golf. We asked, “How might we envision a Virtual Reality golf game for players of all ages and skill levels?”

Initial Features

We researched existing VR golf games and indoor mini golf courses for inspiration. We aimed to have our game include:

  • Wacky locations that include both arcade-style indoor and outdoor environments
  • Moving and stationary fairway obstacles to make gameplay both challenging and fun
  • Flags demarcating hole location
  • View of player's hand to enable a sense of presence, grasping club, and scorekeeping
  • User interface elements allowing players to choose between levels and move to the next hole
  • Low poly art for fast performance
  • Ambient music to set the mood and tone
  • Sound effect "cues" to signal ball striking and hole success
  • Scorekeeping
  • Visual confirmation of success

Featured Hole Demo

Watch the short video of Virtual RealiTEE VR minigolf game.

Phase 2: Level Design and Game Mechanics


Title Screen

This screen includes the title logo and a Start button to begin playing.


Hole 1

Rating: Easy

This introductory hole uses a simple ramp with no obtructions. Corner bumpers added to prevent ball trapping.

View Demo

Hole 2

Rating: Easy

This hole features stationary obstacles and a double ramp to increase difficulty level. An arrow guides the user to hole location.

View Demo
Island Beach

Hole 3

Rating: Intermediate

This hole features a rotating "spoke" and two-pathway entries to the hole. Be careful not to hit too hard, otherwise your ball will go into the ocean!

View Demo
Snow-Capped Mountains

Hole 4

Rating: Intermediate

This hole features rock and skeletal obstacles with an extra long, steep, and twisty ramp to increase difficulty. A bright yellow fairway and red ball increases visibility. A light touch is needed to avoid ball going off the edge or repelling back after hitting a rock. High ramp enclosures help to keep the ball in play.

View Demo

Hole 5

Rating: Intermediate

Discover this deep sea treasure. While this hole has no obstacles, it features a sharp right turn of the fairway, and a darkened environment. Seaweed and other underwater obstacles removed for faster performance. Diving skills not required.

View Demo

Hole 6

Rating: Advanced

This expansive hole features a long but narrow fairway with sharp turns and gentle uphill and downhill slopes. To avoid extra stokes, patience is required while gravity slowly moves the ball to the next position. If you hit the ball too hard, you'll end up in the hot sand, and maybe get stuck by a prickly cactus!

View Demo
Winter Wonderland

Hole 7

Rating: Easy

This hole features moving obstacles, but has a fairly straight path to the hole after making one turn. Once you learn the trick of hitting the ball slightly over the obstacles, getting to the hole is like a cool, winter breeze. If you hit too hard, you might land up having to snowshoe your way back.

View Demo
Cloud City

Hole 8

Rating: Advanced

This sky high hole features a "glow-in-the-dark" colored ramp set among clouds. If you're not careful, your ball will "take flight" over the ramp into the wild blue yonder. The physics of this wacky hole has the ball bouncing back with the slightest contact with the ramp. Might not be suitable for those with a fear of heights.

View Demo
Medieval Fortress

Hole 9

Rating: Easy

Set in a medieval village, this hole features a moving guillotine obstacle that both the player and the ball must avoid! Go under the fortress archway to sink the ball.

View Demo

Op Art Scene in Color

Optical Illusion Concept

Reminiscent of the Memphis Design aesthetic, this "trippy" hole concept features a mix of bright, whimsically colored patterns and geometric shaped obstacles that play with the gamer's sense of illusion.


Op Art Level in Color (Top View)

Optical Illusion Concept

This shows the top view of the op art colored hole which features two right-angled corners flanked by obstacles.


Op Art Scene in Black & White

Optical Illusion Concept

This high-contrast rendition of the hole features black and white rhythmic patterns which seem to vibrate and give the illusion of three-dimensional space and movement. The environment is considered an obstacle in itself, through the use of recurring forms, moiré patterns, and foreground-background confusion.


Op Art Level in Black & White (Top View)

Optical Illusion Concept

This shows the top view of the op art black & white hole featuring a double-vortex floor which can "swallow" both the ball and the player.

Phase 3: Playtesting

Guiding Principles We Incorporated Through 3 Rounds of Playtesting

We included the following features to improve accessibility and gameplay:

  • Easy access to the golf ball through teleportation, reducing extensive walk cycles
  • Ball location tracking
  • High ramp rails to keep ball on the fairway
  • Automatic stroke counts for each hole
  • Arrows in the scene to guide user toward the hole
  • Large user interface buttons with hover state for easy target selection
  • Varying levels of hole difficulty to accomodate diverse skill levels
  • Diagram to show how to use the controllers for new and novice players
  • Sound and visual effects when a level is completed
  • Volume control
  • Access to main menu and different levels
  • Large hole target dimension to increase success

What Our Playtesters Said

I love the wiffle ball. The size change of the ball in the, it just felt fresh and fun. I might consider one of the weaker holes and make the ball really big, like stupidly big. Suddenly that makes maybe your worst hole, one of your best holes. It could be very big, like way beyond where you think it could be.

It's like half mini golf, half like regular golf, or like a third regular golf. So you're in this in between design space, which is, you know, not as explored as it could be. So exploring what makes sense for this, these length of holes is kind of interesting where that you, you might have like a 10 stroke hole, which is, it is just interesting to think about for mini golf.

Instead of just being like one hole after another on green grass, like they got a beach over here, they got the mountains. The first one was just a regular hole, so like, impressive.

How do you bump up the wackiness, right? With sound effects, with whimsical logic. You hit a button and you can create clubs, right? It's just a silly thing you can do. You create like as many clubs as you want, you hold them and it's just a weird toy. So, mid game, cuz when you go to play mini golf, you're playing with friends. You might be competitive, but you're also like silly, right? So what supports silliness in play? So like, having infinite golf clubs is one.

Little things that are, you know, good would be restarting the hole, getting the club or a button where the club would like, zoom to my hand, and locating where the ball is. Sometimes I hit the ball and I couldn't see where it went.

I had difficulty using the controllers. I didn't know which buttons to press to get to the ball, or to grab my club. I didn't see a way to reset or get out of a level.

Future Enhancments Based on Player Feedback

  • Increase the "wackiness" factor to make the game more toy-like
  • Allow players to choose different kinds of striking tools such as bats, flails, maces, and clubs
  • Offer different sized balls for each level - from small to "stupidly big"
  • Add a "reset" or "replay" button for each hole
  • Differentiate each level more by changing the physics of the ball
  • Video tour to show how to use the controllers for new and novice players