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Jul 22

Jul 22

WipEout HD Fury Expansion – Zone Tracks

Daimion Pinnock's Avatar Posted by

Producer, SCEA

It’s another WipEout Wednesday, and we’re back with the fourth in our series of developer diaries featuring the WipEout HD Fury add-on pack. This week we have Rita Linsley, an artist from the WipEout HD development team. Enjoy!

Hey all you kids out there, my name is Rita and I’m one of the artists who worked on the new Zone Tracks for the Wipeout Fury expansion pack. I’ve been asked to put together a blog post that gives some insight into their creation.

Thought Police Alert: Artistic license takes over from reason and scientific fact here, so feel free to ‘skip to the end’ if you think it all sounds like a bunch of nonsense…

1. ZONE: Intro & context

‘Zone’ is speed experienced in its purest state, with no weapons. From a poetic point of view Zone can be likened to riding an atom in a particle accelerator. The speed of the atom as it ‘rides the torus’ gets increasingly faster and faster, until ultimately it moves at such surreal speeds that it exists contiguously at all points along its path.

It becomes an omnipresent singularity along this path, a very peculiar entity with ‘mixed dimensionality.’ If we could become that little atom at that moment we would find ourselves connected to a psychedelic ‘speed-dimension.’ It would be one hell of a trip! So zone mode is all about surreal abstract geometries, and shifting landscapes of colour that create an otherworldly atmosphere.

2. Landscapes Inspired by Nature’s Fantastic Patterns

Zone has a psychedelic nature, so it was only natural to be inspired by patterns found in nature. In particular fractal phenomena and ‘humanity hugging’ psychedelic philosophies:

Fractal energy flows through everything on this planet. We see it in cloud formations, and in the majesty of epic mountain ranges: “As above so below.” It’s especially apparent in the springtime when plant forms starts to bud and bloom. Symmetries, self similarity, and branching systems are everywhere! We live in, and are all connected by a cosmic fractal-field of energy.

WipEout HD Fury - CambrianCreatures

WipEout HD Fury - Reference_Ferns

3. Four Sets of Geometry

There are four zone tracks, so four families of abstract shapes were created that looked/felt like they possessed a particular energy pattern. I wanted to ‘riff’ off these ‘nature patterns’ for Wipeout, so mixed them with graphic design and graffiti aesthetics in an attempt to create an otherworldly psychedelic atmosphere. Below are some of the concept shapes created for Zone 4, riffing off the patterns above:

WipEout HD Fury - Concept_01 WipEout HD Fury - Concept_03 WipEout HD Fury - Concept_05

WipEout HD Fury - Concept_02

4. Time Constraint and Technique

I was working to an extremely tight schedule. So, with such a fast turnaround I had to come up with a workflow that enabled the fast construction of objects that could be tested on the fly. I liken the resulting process to a bunch of blues & jazz musicians having an impromptu session where they hunt for different permutations on a well known jazz standard. They riff off a pattern, until that pattern becomes something else entirely, a fresh expression of something familiar. Families of shapes were ‘thrown out there’, which were then positioned alongside a tracks twists, turns and chicanes to see if they worked.

The design process was not a linear one, so it’s difficult to describe in words. Each family of shapes was triggered by the ‘vibe’ that I got from certain fractal phenomena I encountered on walks and internet surfs. Zone 4 was inspired by Cambrian creatures & fern formations. See pics above.

5. Speed Perception

When you travel deeper and deeper into the pattern of a fractal the pattern repeats its-self infinitely. It is an infinite loop, which at a very huge stretch could be likened to the enclosed loop of a track. When you travel deeper and deeper into the speeds of the zone, you enter a state of trance where you transcend reality and become like ‘that atom’ that exists contiguously at all points along its path… the pattern repeats, the pattern repeats, the pattern repeats – and “Dimensionality becomes a function of consciousness” Reference: (Ian McEwan: Solid Geometry). At these surreal speeds you become an ‘infinite loop’. A cosmic piece of fractal consciousness in a golden state of flow!

Hope you enjoy riding the zone fellow pilgrims. God-speed!


And don’t forget you can get the add-on this Thursday for $9.99, and the full game is on sale until tomorrow for $14.99!

Add Your Own

SPARDA said:

July 22nd, 6:04 am

Man.. I got to get back and play this game. I will definitely pick up the pack sometime in the next few weeks.


Pound_lb003 said:

July 22nd, 6:09 am

Already ahve the full game, and I am seriously hyped for this.

I hope this game coems on disk eventually, I’d love ti in my collection.

mtrevino78 said:

July 22nd, 6:11 am

Rita, when I get a speeding ticket, I’m going to graciously steal your words for the Zone intro about particle accelerators and offer that as my explanation why I needed to go a bit faster.

I started Wipeout HD again after about 6 months. I hit a hurdle in progress last time, but I thought it was based on my view preference (on the nose of the ship), this time around I’ve switched to behind the ship and I’ve broken through where I was stuck before.

Still a great game, and I’ve been there since the first one.


ehdeepblue said:

July 22nd, 6:13 am

I’ve been playing wipeout since 1995 and this is the first wipeout that makes me feel old… i no longer have my cobra-like reflexes and i constantly hit the wall trying to beat Zico’s time!

KingSmashy said:

July 22nd, 6:46 am

Your Zone design is very phi-cal…

(Ba, Dum, Bum, Pish!)

omegadt said:

July 22nd, 6:51 am

Looking forward to this add-on but as of the 2.0 Patch whenever I do a racebox offline speed lap my system freezes after tallying up my loyalty and I hit the x button to go to the next screen. Have not tested to see if it happens on any other modes.

senocular said:

July 22nd, 7:09 am

@omegadt[#6]: I’ve also had this problem, but not (as I recall) consistently. But there’s an obvious deterrent from wanting to use that mode because of it.

KILLZONE79 said:

July 22nd, 7:13 am

I’m buying this add-on on day 1 of release!

DonnyG said:

July 22nd, 7:13 am


omnilaw said:

July 22nd, 7:17 am

Well I haven’t played Wipeout HD in a while I love the game, I’ll be playing it again tonight and playing some on my PSP during my lunch breaks today.

Can’t wait for the Fury add on.


cobra0415 said:

July 22nd, 7:21 am

i want this game

Enforcer_X said:

July 22nd, 7:36 am

What a description.
Getting this for sure!

Zonified said:

July 22nd, 7:39 am

Only a little longer till it’s finally out!

I just wish the Wipeout Pulse add ons made it to the US. :(

ZAANOS said:

July 22nd, 7:45 am

This is awesome guys!! Keep up the good work Psygnosis! When are we going to see a next-gen Colony Wars!!!

allblu said:

July 22nd, 8:00 am

My thoughts exactly on Zone Mode, usually too far gone to articulate though (x_x )

jncasanova said:

July 22nd, 8:03 am

Zone is my favorite mode! I enjoy it not only for the hipnotizing visuals, but because it all depends on your own skills, online and phantom racing modes are too hard for me!!

Nice post Rita!

depward said:

July 22nd, 8:14 am

Good deal. Thinking about picking up the Fury expansion.

A quick note: huuuuge pet peeve of mine – addressing people as “kids” such as:

“Hey all you kids out there…”

I’m 27, I don’t necessarily even like the slang (someone uses it here in the office and it’s bothersome!).

Anyway, great explanation of what influences Zone mode…

LiQuiZoN said:

July 22nd, 9:17 am

So wait just one second… The other blog said… (12 Tracks)… Does this mean 4 ZONE ONLY tracks, and 4 REAL NEW TRACK w/Reverse?

MAC_2005 said:

July 22nd, 9:19 am

I can’t wait til tomorrow!!! I know that’s going to be most of my day tomorrow is trying the new tracks

triple_lei said:

July 22nd, 9:30 am

Funny, I’ve been playing Pure again to prepare for Fury. I broke my old record on Pro Tozo, getting a modest score of 58369 (Zone 41)!

d3br34k5 said:

July 22nd, 9:39 am

Immediate buy.

MegaClank said:

July 22nd, 9:40 am

I hate like all the Gold Trophies. D=

Armyless said:

July 22nd, 9:45 am

Rita is someone I would crack a beer with after work. Nice to know there are more out there~!

Feisar said:

July 22nd, 10:08 am

Good question mentioned up there – –
Where are the Wipeout Pulse expansions that are out in the UK?

KarasuRiderGT said:

July 22nd, 10:26 am

That was a great read! I can’t wait for the Fury add-on to hit Thursday. :D

Neil said:

July 22nd, 10:27 am

I am definitely buying this!

TRIX_BOL said:

July 22nd, 11:44 am

I can’t still play WipEout HD multiplayer (online), hope there could be something done from Liverpool part.

I would really like to play this game with opponents worldwide. Please take our conspiration in practice, maybe there is a bug or some kind of trouble with the servers.

jimmyfoxhound said:

July 22nd, 12:09 pm

That was an interesting article. Being an art person I enjoyed the insight. I’d love to have some of those images in high res for the background on my computer!

Oh, and I can’t wait to get this expansion pack on Thrusday!!

milo128smith said:

July 22nd, 1:07 pm

I was wondering if there are any plans for home support, if not could you maybe consider it please. Maybe a space or game launching.

lordyo said:

July 22nd, 1:53 pm

I am a huge fan of the wipeout series. This add-on seems pretty decent. Rita, nice blog post. We don’t seem to get such interesting [DELETED] (not talking smack here, but you really stretched the connections fancifully).

Along with the others on this post – Where are the Pulse downloadable tracks? I still feel screwed we never got those trippy tracks to Wipeout Pure that Europe got (If I remember right they were from some graffiti artists).

Also, I second the making of a new Colony Wars game.

Lil_Mermaid_Girl said:

July 22nd, 3:56 pm

I bought the game day one, and I would of bought the expansion day one but my ps3 just got hit by the ylod. Blah.

RogueCommando said:

July 22nd, 5:43 pm

This is why I love wipeout. The artistry is beautiful and so creative at that.

afdgsfdgnb said:

July 22nd, 7:44 pm

Dear Rita,

When you release this game in a physical format, on a disc, I will buy it.

SuperSonic1305 said:

July 22nd, 8:57 pm


taurus82 said:

July 23rd, 2:13 am

I’d like to see a Shadow of the Beast and/or Agony remake.

Thrasher20 said:

July 23rd, 5:42 am

Nice stuff!

floppy72 said:

July 23rd, 5:40 pm

Hey all you kids out there, my name is Rita

Hey Rita i’m 1972, and you ????

Bionicle123 said:

August 11th, 12:15 pm

WipEout HD is awesome E3 rocked out this year though i would epect game launching on ps home 4 wipeout hd to spread the popularity of it and there should b more add on content on playstation store 4 wipeout hd also other than those to ideas wipeout hd is a great game and i recommend it to those of intense gaming

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