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Wave Break developers talk Tony Hawk, Conker, Wave Race 64, & Magnum P.I. influences

We spoke to the developers at Funktronic Labs about the myriad of ideas that went into bringing '80s synthwave motorboat trick game Wave Break to life.


Wave Break is an amalgam of things to like. It plays a lot like a Tony Hawk game, but instead of skateboards you have motorboats. Instead of pro skaters, you have animal folks trying to run and/or bust illicit criminal empires. And finally, instead of the usual ska-infused, graffiti-plastered playgrounds, you have have rich, neon-infused coastal cities and islands as your skatepark. It’s a strange thing, but developer Funktronic Labs made Wave Break work beautifully, and we recently sat down to talk to them about how it came together.

Funktronic Labs Co-Founder Kalin Houston and Marketing Director Yoonsang Yu were kind enough to tell us about the influences behind Wave Break. Tony Hawk should be an obvious one, but the developers spoke to the additional influences such as Wave Race 64, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, and even ‘80s cop drama shows such as Magnum P.I. To the team, it was important to explore all of their options and make the kind of game in which ideas weren’t shut out of the equation. It not only influenced the thematics of Wave Break, but also helped craft the levels and controls.

Another big part of the interview is community. Wave Break has a pretty robust park and level creator going on and Funktronic Labs spoke at length about the considerable attention paid to creating those tools and listening to the community in order to best provide them with what they want for the game. With Steam Workshop support and even the option to share parks you play online with others on console in some capacity, the team at Funktronic Labs has enjoyed catering to the community and ensuring they have what they need to creatively enjoy Wave Break for a good long time.

Wave Break is currently available on Nintendo Switch and PC via Steam. You can also see it in action in a recent episode of Indie-licious. For more interviews like this, you can find our latest video interviews, reviews, gameplay, unboxings, and more on the latest video games, toys, and technology at the Shacknews and GamerHubTV YouTube channels.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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