The following article is based around an email interview conducted by our team with Rob Hewson from Dark Energy Digital. For the uninitiated, Dark Energy Digital is currently developing Hydrophobia based around the HydroEngine.
Many games begin with a dream; Hydrophobia began with a PHD.
To follow the beginning of Hydrophobia’s creations one must start with Huw Lloyd, R&D of Dark Energy Digital. Described as brilliant by colleagues, Huw sought to put his PHD in Astrophysics to use, attempting to succeed where other had constantly failed: creating lifelike water in a video game.
Water presents some unique difficulties to developers. Both simultaneously clear and reflective in nature, the appearance itself is hard match. But even if one could nail what it looks like, water isn’t solid object; it’s a liquid. It takes an entirely different branch of physics to properly represent movement.
And that’s where the HydroEngine comes into the story. Dr. Huw Lloyd and Dark Energy over a three year period of development created an engine they feel can accurate model water and other flowing objects for the first time. This entirely dynamic process allows for different effects each time based on the situation. The engine also interfaces with solid body engines, such as Havok, allowing for lifelike, floating debris.