Why a Fun, Realistic Snowboarding Game is Impossible

Why a Fun, Realistic Snowboarding Game is Impossible

My favourite time of the year is nearly upon us, at least for those of us who live on the best West Coast. It’s snowboard season baby! While most of us “nerdy” types prefer to spend the winter (and spring, summer and fall) hibernating with our favourite games and comics, for me it’s the most active season. However, that isn’t to say I don’t continue to spend quality time roaming the wasteland slaying Deathclaws. Nothing beats coming home after being out on the hill all day, freezing and exhausted, and curling up on the couch to unwind with some gaming.

However, this is the time of year when I’m reminded that my favourite sport will never, and can never, have a proper game that showcases everything I love about snowboarding while still being a fun game to play. The only board sport that can successfully and properly be translated into a game and still be fun to play is skateboarding. Surfers feel my pain as well, and there are a few solid explanations as to why making a fun and moderately realistic (I’m looking at you SSX) snowboarding game in the vein of EA’s fantastic Skate series just won’t work.
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Unlike its urban cousin, snowboarding does not have the same depth of technical tricks and combo possibilities. With your feet being attached to the board, the range of possibilities for intricate strings of combos is whittled down to a few basic spins and grabs. Of course snowboarding has a somewhat wider range of acrobatic stunts, but tweaking a spin to be slightly off axis just doesn’t have the playtime longevity and exponential range of skateboarding’s endless well of flip trick variations and grinds. From a gameplay perspective, this would (and does) get boring pretty quickly. SSX makes it fun by implementing all sorts of cartoonish and over-the-top stunts, but what made Skate such a success, and basically buried the Tony Hawk franchise, was its realistic approach to skateboarding. So without sacrificing realism for arcade mania, a genuine and accurate approach to snowboarding would get really boring, really quickly.


If you’ve never watched Brain Farm and Red Bull snowboarding videos, you won’t quite understand the unbelievable range of scenery and locations that snowboarding offers. From the terrifyingly steep and untouched mountains of Alaska and the misty waterfall gaps in New Zealand to the rocky chutes of Patagonia and blasted glaciers in Scandinavia, very few sports showcase the global reach and eye-melting landscapes that snowboarding offers. Nowadays we have the graphical potential to create and demonstrate these locations, but it doesn’t have the same effect as being there in person or seeing in it in glorious 4K. On top of that, a problem many gorgeous, open-world games have is that at the end of the day, these stunning backdrops are just that: backdrops. Without enticing gameplay to go along with it, there’s really not a whole lot of point in spending the time to properly design and animate these locations.

Flow and Fear

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John Jackson, Travis Rice and Mark Laddvik in action in Alaska, USA, on 4 May 2010.

While there will always be a place in snowboarding for competition, and the terrain park at any hill will be full of park-rats and teenagers playing games of SNOW, there’s something that makes guys like John & Eric Jackson, Jeremy Jones, and DCP leave the resort and head into the backcountry…and never come back. There’s something that changes in a rider when they leave behind the rails and crowds to be at one with the mountain, and that feeling of “flow” just can’t be translated into a game. On the other side of the coin, the terror that comes with dropping into an avalanche-heavy mountainside and the feeling of exhilaration that comes with bouncing off windlips and doing butters in the pow is an experience that cannot be attained with a simulation. As Nicolas Muller once said on the topic of Norwegian shred monster Stale Sandbech, “You can tell he’s got exactly the right attitude—he’s just stoked to shred. He’s having fun and he doesn’t care if he’s getting a high score or not, you know? That’ll bring you much further than anything else.”

Racing is boring

One of the easiest ways to make a sport competitive is to see who is the fastest. Games like 1080 for the 64 somehow managed to make this fun, but times have changed. For one thing, the freestyle aspect of snowboarding is now the only major outlet for competition, and even that is getting less creative and more about which rider can do the most rotations. Snowboarding is about freedom of expression, and forcing people to sacrifice this autonomy and creativity to ride down the same path and take the same line destroys the spirit of the sport. Sure it might make for a fun mini-game, but building an entire game around this would be super boring and an insult to all the freeriders out there destroying urban features or blasting off cliffs. It just wouldn’t be fun, and the things that do make snowboarding fun wouldn’t make a good game.

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1080 N64

Envoy Acquires Distribution Rights for Premium Energy Drinks

VALENCIA, Calif., Dec. 7, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Envoy Group Corp. (OTC:ENVV) is pleased to announce the company has signed an an agreement with BVD Ltd. for exclusive distribution rights for the Louis XIV Energy Drinks within Canada.

The Louis XIV Brand is a premier energy drink. Currently only available in Europe, Louis XIV has developed revolutionary, unique and vibrant energy drinks. The drinks’ full-bodied citric base stands alone as a perfect refresher and is an inspired complimentary mixer in European nightclubs.

Louis XIV Energy Drinks have exploded onto Europe’s cultural and nightlife experience. Louis XIV has been an enthusiastic sponsor of many development and lifestyle events including being the official energy drink supplier for Google at Europe’s largest developer conference: EuroPython 2015. Louis XIV also sponsored the 2014 London Lifestyle Awards, which highlight the very best in business and places in the iconic city. Louis XIV was also the sponsor of the Mockingjay Hunger Games Premiere VIP party in London. The company’s stylish drink design has already won an international design award and was one of the top three finalists for Best Can from the World Beverage Innovation Awards.

Envoy’s CEO, Harp Sangha commented “We are delighted to be bringing the Louis XIV Energy Drink line and lifestyle to Canada. I have personally introduced the Louis XIV product line to several high end marketing and retail clients and have had only rave revues for all aspects of this unique product.”

Envoy Group is planning a comprehensive, strategic marketing and distribution campaign for the energy drink that will greatly appeal to the high end market across the Canada. The product roll out will commence as soon as import regulatory measures are met.

Envoy will not be proceeding with its acquisition of Picante Gaming. The principals of Picante have elected to keep the company private.

For further information please visit our website at: www.envoygroupcorp.com

Louis XIV website link: http://www.louisxivenergy.com/en/

Safe Harbor Statements

Certain information contained in this news release constitutes “forward-looking statements” as such term is used in applicable United States and Canadian laws. Generally, these forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “expects” or “does not expect”, “is expected”, “anticipates” or “does not anticipate”, “plans”, “estimates”, “intends” or “believes”, or that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will be taken”, “occur”, or “be achieved”. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made, and are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Many of these factors are beyond the Company’s ability to control or predict. Important factors that may cause actual results to differ materially and that could impact the Company and the statements contained in this news release can be found in the Company’s filings with the SEC. Such risks and other factors include, among others, the ability to locate and acquire suitable interests in alternative medicine manufacturing operations on terms acceptable to the Company, the availability of financing on acceptable terms, accidents, labor disputes, acts of God and other risks of the alternative medicine industry including, without limitation, delays in obtaining governmental approvals or permits, title disputes or claims limitations on insurance coverage. The Company believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements included in this news release are reasonable; however, no assurance can be given that these expectations will prove to be correct, and such forward-looking statements should not be unduly relied upon. The Company assumes no obligation to update or supplement any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: Investor Relations: Teso Communications
         Harp Sangha Chairman/CEO
         Tel: 1-604-825-1309  Email: [email protected]