Hydro Thunder Hurricane

Windows 8 Double Whammy!

You just installed Windows 8, and now you're looking for something awesome to do with it.  What could be more awesome than a high-fidelity water racing game?

I'll tell you what would be more awesome:

TWO high-fidelity water racing games!

This last week Vector Unit released both Hydro Thunder Hurricane (published by Microsoft Studios) and Riptide GP onto the Windows 8 store, and the reviews have been great!

Until last week Hydro Thunder Hurricane was an Xbox 360 exclusive, and now for the very first time PC players around the world can get a faceful of jet-fuel-scented spray with this faithful port.  It even includes all the content of the 360 "Tempest Pack" DLC.  Hydro Thunder Hurricane offers a classic-arcade racing experience for hardcore and mid-level players.

Riptide GP has been making waves on Android and iOS for about a year now, but this is the first time it's been released on the Windows platform.  Riptide GP offers intense hydro jet racing action mixed with high flying stunts and awesome ragdoll wipeouts.  It's easy to pick up and play for beginners, but challenging to master for expert players.

Check them out in the Windows 8 Store today!

Hydro Thunder Hurricane announced for Windows 8 launch

Our good ol pal Major Nelson today announced the lineup of games appearing at launch for Windows 8, and guess who's listed among them?  That's right, our OTHER good ol pal Hydro Thunder Hurricane.

HTH will be available day 1 on the Windows 8 store in all it's hydro-thundering glory.  Catch some massive air off the broken dam in Lake Powell, dodge the hammer-blows of mighty Thor, and try to escape unscathed through the mysterious portal in Area 51....all your favorite tracks (and boats) from Hydro Thunder Hurricane on Xbox LIVE Arcade are there, plus the 3 bonus tracks and 2 extra boats from the Tempest Pack DLC.

One other feature that HTH Win8 brings to the table is Ghost Race.  Download your Friends' best performances and race against their ghosts to really prove once and for all who's got bragging rights for the fastest rocket-propelled speedboats in town.  

No price announced yet, but we'll let you know when we know ourselves.

Major Nelson:  First Wave of Xbox LIVE Games That Will Be Coming to Windows 8

Hydro Thunder Hurricane coming to Win8

A blast from the Vector Unit past is back!  Hydro Thunder Hurricane, the Xbox LIVE Arcade hit game from 2010, is revving up its boost engines for another run -- this time for Windows 8!

We've been hard at working porting the game over to PC over the last few months.  In particular we've been optimizing the game to run on tablet PCs, so Hydro Thunder fans can pick up their slates and enjoy rocket-powered speedboat racing out in the real world.  You know, at work, at school, at your in-law's place....wherever portable entertainment is necessary.

HTH will be available for Windows 8 in the Store when the OS launches later this year.  The game will feature all the levels and tracks from the XBLA version, as well as the bonus tracks and levels from the Tempest Pack DLC.

No word on pricing yet.  Stay tuned!

HTH meets H2O

Matt Small, Andrew Silber, Detmar Peterke, and Ralf Knoesel prove they are masters of water physics and beer drinking.On Thursday night, March 3, 2011, history was made when Hydro Thunder Hurricane developers Matt Small and Ralf Knoesel sat down to dinner with two of the developers of H2Overdrive to eat foods, drink beers, and gossip about the wet, wild world of water racing video games.

Andrew Silber and Detmar Peterke of Specular Interactive were in town for GDC 2011, and agreed to meet with us at Thirsty Bear Brewery in San Francisco.

We were pretty stoked to meet up with these guys.  For one thing, as I've said before we're huge fans of water racing games of all shapes and sizes, and H2Overdrive is a primo example of the genre.  Detmar actually worked on the original Hydro Thunder at Midway (as did several of the Specular team) and Andrew worked on Offroad Thunder around the same time, so it was awesome hearing about the bad old days of arcade development and getting a little behind the scenes scoop.

For another thing, reading the forums out there you'd think there's this intense rivalry between our two studios -- particularly since Specular has the HT pedigree, and because H2Overdrive and Hydro Thunder Hurricane came out around the same time. 

And maybe there is a little element of competition there.  But it's the healthy kind that still gives you room to drink beers together and share war stories. 

So thanks again for meeting up with us, dudes.  We'll definitely swing down to Irvine one of these days for Alco-Thunder Part 2.

Interview: Vector Unit on what it takes to run an indie studio

Steve Conger at The Gamesman posted a great interview with Vector Unit's Matt Small and Ralf Knoesel.

Get a behind the scenes look at the development of Riptide GP and Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and learn a little more about the indie game development roller coaster.

It's really a pleasure for us to talk with someone like Steve who's genuinely interested in the process of game development.  Hopefully this discussion can give people thinking of starting their own business a little more insight into what it takes and how to go about it.

Link:  Special Edition Riptide GP/Vector Unit Interview


Get Hydro Thunder Hurricane for 800 points

Hey we realize times are tough, and not everybody has $15 lying around to spend on a totally awesome and completely worth it rocket-powered speedboat game with thrilling waterfall jumps and technologically amazing water physics.

Well, if money is the one thing that's been holding you back from buying Hydro Thunder Hurricane, now's your chance to stop crying about it and break out the virtual wallet.

As Major Nelson has reported, Hurricane will be discounted 33% to 800 points during the week of January 31st.

The discount is part of a "Get Wet!" promotion that also features Hydrophobia and Aqua.  

The existentialism of Hydro Thunder

I don't know about you, but personally I love philosophical ramblings about video games.  We spend so much time talking about high def graphics and multiplayer teabagging and flaming each other about whether Bioshock looks ever so lightly better on the 360 or the PS3.  But what about the deeper truths?  What about the soul?

Well Richard Clark at Kill Screen has turned his minds eye upon the churning waters of Hydro Thunder Hurricane, and has mined hidden veins of meaning that even I didn't know were there.  

In Hydro Thunder Hurricane, as with most videogames, we're never really dead. On the contrary, all human frailty is cast off in exchange for the pure power and mechanical nature of the speedboat. We no longer need to sleep. We don't even need to slow down. If the game has a brake button, it is the rare player who is actually aware of it. There are only two speeds: boosting and not boosting.

Hydro Thunder Hurricane portrays speed in such a way that it seems like a defensive and necessary response to the world.

To be honest, all I heard was "blah blah blah Hydro Thunder is totally awesome blah blah."  But I appreciate the love.

Actually, seriously, I got a kick out of this article, and I highly recommend it.  It's amusing, and actually really well written.  Thanks, Richard!  I'll remember you next time I'm lying awake at night thinking about the ontology of boost.