Surf News | Headlines and Top Stories
- 17 August 2018 | Surfing
Professional surfing is a highly competitive occupation. World title races are increasingly tight. And sometimes it all comes down to the wire.
Modern competitive surfing is an incredible intense sports activity. It's hard to imagine an athlete competing at the highest level that can't throw and land an air reverse, get barreled, and complete a full roundhouse cutback.
On top of that, pro surfers need to combine major maneuvers - classic and progressive - with the three main ingredients of success: speed, power, and flow. And today, the difference between a world champion and a relegated surfer is in the details.
- 16 August 2018 | Surfing
Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) called it "The Harland." It is a surfboard. With the company's logo on it.
There's only one in the world, and it's been sold for $3,000. Wait: why would anyone buy a surfboard with Colonel Harland David Sanders' face printed all over the board. Has the world gone mad?
Fortunately, there's a good reason why someone was willing to pay a small fortune for such an uncool, kook-style surfboard that won't look good in Australia's busiest line-ups.
- 15 August 2018 | Surfing
Virtual Surfing is a surfing simulation that features impressive 3D breaking waves with ultra-realistic lighting, and real-time foam generation and water splash effects.
The surf game is discreetly being developed by Vincent Galioit, CEO of Waveor, in Regensburg, a landlocked city located in the southeast of Germany.
That said, yes it is an independent production, but that doesn't mean we won't be surprised by a pleasant result.
The stakes are high, though. Surfing video games have always suffered from a chronic problem: they have never been realistic enough.
Despite the efforts seen in some of the best titles like Kelly Slater' Pro Surfer, Transworld Surf, and more recently, Surf World Series, it never truly felt we were actually riding a wave on a computer or video game console.
The founder of Waveor wants to help change things and hopes that his passion and professional experience can finally lead to an improvement of the status quo.
"I've been surfing for about 23 years now. I studied physics and had the opportunity to create an IT business soon after my studies. I started developing wave simulations very early because I wanted to bring the sensation of a tube ride to my living room," Vincent Galioit tells SurferToday.
The Power of the Quantum Engine
Waveor uses a complex digital wave riding formula - named Quantum Engine - to deliver highly entertaining interactive graphics and near-perfect physics simulations.
"At the moment, several physicists with profound programming skills are working on our software. We try to create graphics that especially concerning complex water phenomena are more realistic than what you can find in games today, and also concerning the interactions of objects with the water play an important role at our company," notes Galioit.
"With these two innovations, we hope that we can create a dream surfing game where the player can discover the surfing world. We also give our best to produce realistic surroundings that make the surf spots of this planet even more special, like the amazing scenery of Teahupoo."
Judging by the footage, Virtual Surfing opens a new door of possibilities for surfing games, and console video games involving water sports.
Actually, in some cases, the differences between the game's graphics and real first-person-view footage are almost unnoticeable.
Quantum Engine allows the creation of vast open ocean scenarios, and when surfboards are introduced in the waves, we get a realistic behavior.
"For the first time in a video game, the player will be able to control a surfboard according to the laws of physics and enjoy complex geometry and lighting on the water surface of a breaking wave in real-time," Waveor stresses.
"Quantum Engine accelerates any 3D model authentically using forces arising from the ocean and other variables like weights and motors. This allows creating games, simulations, and movies that are physically complex and graphically overwhelming."
In other words, the team behind Virtual Surfing is now able to simulate the interactions of the ocean waves with the bathymetry of a specific surf spot.
Success is in the Detail
The German video game developer released preview footage of a Virtual Surfing session in Tahiti's Teahupoo. The best part is, without a doubt, the interaction between the surfer and the wave - it looks promising.
There's still a lot to be done, especially when it comes to improving the area where the lip of the wave hits the flats, the transparency of the water, and the foam that is generated after the interaction between the surfboard and the surface of the water.
Also, the game should improve the overall realism of the ride, the looks of the surfers, and the surrounding environment, which should naturally include a good-looking shoreline, landmarks, and urban areas.
Waveor says that the final version of the game will allow players to surf famous breaks in Australia, USA, Tahiti, and other locations.
"We believe this is the new dimension of realism when it comes to real-time ocean rendering and simulation. The game will simulate the thickness and size of the wave, but also the breaking speed in different sections, which will give a lot of realism and challenge," Waveor adds.
Players will be able to control the surfboard to perform classic surfing maneuvers like aerials, carves, cutbacks, and tube rides.
All movements are simulated, not animated. Players can play the game in a freestyle, third-person-inspired view mode.
"It's more like a free cam, that you can turn around the surfer with zoom - a third-person view, but a very free one - and a tube cam that will stay in the barrel, but is also controllable. There might be additional cams though," adds the CEO of Waveor.
"Overall you could just say, that there will be different highly adjustable views, which is another benefit over fixed cameras, that can be found in many surfing games."
The majority of comments made on the company's YouTube channel are positive and constructive, and Waveor is using feedback to improve the game's feel and look.
Virtual Surfing is scheduled to launch by Christmas 2018. It will be released for PC, and later ported to other video gaming console systems.
Later, Waveor plans to release a virtual reality edition with full in-wave immersion and an entirely different gameplay.
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