By twisting the rules for golf with absurd scenarios and adding a level editor, the creators of What The Golf made the perfect community playground.
Strip away the fancy pants, carts, stretches of green, and sand traps, and golf is basically the sport of whacking things with a club until they fall into a hole… Or, at least, that’s what indie physics-based sports game What The Golf tries to assert. Each level of What The Golf‘s single-player campaign stretches the definition of golf with increasingly absurd scenarios and parodies of games like Guitar Hero and Super Hot; this flexible premise, combined with the simple graphics, has made What The Golf a haven for community content creators looking to make their own surreal golf maps.
There’s a saying frequently (and incorrectly) attributed to author Mark Twain: “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” Golf can be a subtle sport that requires strength, precision, an eye for calculating distances, but from an outside perspective, it can look like just a bunch of people in tacky pants whacking a ball and then walking to catch up to it. Factor in the common perception that golf is a rich person’s game and the number of golf games interrupted by alligators, and golf is a very easy sport to make fun of.
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In contrast to the more realistic golf games on the market, developers at Triband wanted to make a golf game specifically “for people who hate golf.” To that end, they spiced up their game with eclectic scenarios so mad-cap that despisers of golf would be entertained and lovers of golf would be flabbergasted. Combining gentle, cartoonish graphics in the style of Untitled Goose Game with janky ragdoll physics in the style of Goat Simulator, each new level of What The Golf comes as a novel surprise for players, particularly the levels designed by fans in the community.
How What The Golf’s Flexible Premise Encourages Creativity
In one level of What The Golf, a player must putt their golf ball through a tangle of twisted obstacles that would make a minigolf course look tame. In another, they race a pair of office desks down a narrow freeway full of ramps. In a third, they have to launch a golf ball with a slingshot to knock over fortifications, Angry Birds-style.
Unlike PGA Tour 2K21 and other golf simulators, a game of golf in What the Golf can take nearly any form, as long as it involves objects being hurled forwards towards a goal. This broad gameplay template empowers community creators to experiment, create their own maps, and enjoy the spectacle of unlikely objects colliding together.
What The Golf’s Level Editor Is Flexible And Versatile
After their company’s inbox grew stuffed with emails sent by fans with ideas for level designs, developers at Triband decided to release What The Golf on Steam with a brand-new level editor mode, allowing gamers to create their own courses without needing to know a lick of programming. A simple “terrain painter” feature lets players draw out the terrain like a sketch artist on a drawing app, while a massive library of obstacle objects can be dropped into the map to spice up the process of aiming and putting.
What The Golf’s Developers Are Closely Engaged With Their Fanbase
The swift development and release of the level editor illustrates just how responsive designers at Triband are to fans of What The Golf. Their willingness to take the feedback of gamers into consideration can also be seen in their efforts to create unique custom game modes for each platform they’ve released their game on; the level editor is an exclusive for PC players, while the Nintendo Switch port of What The Golf introduced a special two-player party mode, in which gamers can race each other to the hole. It’s clear the developers of What The Golf are passionate about making their game as funny and light-hearted for players as possible, while still being engaging and strategic. It’s this exact commitment to humorous, unpredictable challenges which has inspired community content creators to come up with their own kooky variants of golf.
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