WHAT IF WIPEOUT TEAMS ENTERED FORMULA-E?
Growing up in the 90's, one of my favourite video game franchises was the anti-gravity racing series WipEout, being the odd case of a primary school kid with a love for motorsport and a strong preference for rave music, it appealed to every fibre of my being and I have bought every edition of the game since. At the time it received critical acclaim and was credited with building a two-way bridge between gaming culture and rave culture.
Fast forward the emergence of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship in 2014, and my brain immediately started drawing parallels between the two, from the non-conventional visuals of the championship to the sound-design and production of the TV feed, as well as the team liveries. I have continued to draw parallels between the two so since.
So I've decided to let the two worlds meet and see how the Gen2 Formula E car would look if they ran adapted versions of the WipEout team's liveries whilst sticking as closely as possible to the original designs. These will be based off the 'Fury' liveries seen in WipEout Omega Collection.
The FEISAR livery (see original here) from the just seems to effortlessly fall over the aggressive angles of the Gen2 car, thanks to how the ship's 'Fury' livery is divided into various sections that are conveniently divided into rough equivalents that make up a single-seater car; nose, cockpit, engine cover and wings. The Gen2 car has roughly the exact same sections and everything behind the 'side-blade' of the Gen2 car can be treated as the inverse equivalent of the WipEout ship's wings creating a near identical adaptation.
Arguably the one of the most popular teams in the WipEout series (proven by how quickly this t-shirt sold out), the AG-SYSTEMS livery (see original here) is slightly less straightforward to adapt to the Gen2 car. Firstly I've had to expand the layered nose section of the ship to cover the nose and wheel covers of the Gen2 car. There's also the matter of having to adapt a livery designed for a ship that's effectively two separate bodies connected by an engine, this had to be done by introducing a black section to the Gen2 car livery. I also had to push the red 'chevron' section forwards towards the middle of the car avoid resembling a certain tobacco livery.
The cult hero of the WipEout franchise, thanks to it's heavy presence in the video for Fluke's 90's hit 'Atom Bomb', the Auricom livery (see original here) presented a unique design headache: dual-hull ships. With the usual single-hull ships the transition of livery from ship to Gen2 is relatively straight forward, but the dual-hull ships provide a unique problem in terms of sectioning. This is even more trickier when you consider Auricom's asymmetric livery, so I had to treat the wheel covers on the Gen2 car as the two hulls while giving the nose it's own design.
Ironically for all my previous comments about how the dual-hull ships are a headache to adapt to the Gen2 Formula E car, the QIREX-RD livery (see original here) was fairly straightforward thanks to the way the white and purple sections area had a horizontal division. I laid the purple section over the top surfaces of the Gen2 car, while anything beneath that was largely white in accordance to the original livery. Due to the ship's livery having a lot of unpainted/unwrapped sections towards the front, I had to use a bit of sensible creative license into order to fill that area for the Gen2 car.
Generally seen as the WipEout series' 'boss' opponent, the Piranha.a Advancements livery (see original here) was like the FEISAR livery when it came to adapting it to the Gen2 car and this was not necessarily for the overall basic shape of the ship or sections, but because of it's layered appearance where each designer element appears to have it's own layer. So, the large team-logo based motif on the top layer of the ship's nose could simple be applied to the top surfaces of the Gen2 car the yellow sections from the ship's wings could be applied to the rear section of the Gen2 car's sidepods.
One of the more complex liveries to adapt from ship to car, the Assegai livery (see original here) had more of a singular flow down the length of it's ship whilst appearing to twist or crossover halfway through. The rear winglet section of the ship was the easy part to apply to the Gen2 car's rear section, but the rest of the livery had to be wrapped over the entire top surface of the car and falling over to the sides. While the front wheel covers mirrored the front section of the ship's livery to replicate the twist/crossover section.
Something of fan favourite in the prematurely terminated run of recent WipEout games. I was actually looking forward to adapting the Goteki45 livery (see original here) to the Gen2 car thanks to it's combination of yellow, orange and pink coupled with the use of danger stripes as trim. On the ship, the livery is divided up into a lot of different sections of bodywork with many unpainted sections, so the approach was to identify where to position and scale each of these sections on the Gen2 car and then use black as sparingly as possible to keep these divisions as they ultimately make the livery work.
Effectively to WipEout what Panda is to Tekken (the least used by players), the ICARAS livery (see original here) is a very complex design thanks to the ship's shape comprising of several interlocking sections of bodywork. Now obviously the Gen2 car doesn't feature such interlocking bodywork, so these had to be 'flattened' as 2D design elements, a lot of the livery (especially the front half) needed to be reworked and all of the elements needed to be rescaled.
Despite various changes having to be made to adapt the WipEout liveries to the Formula E Gen2 car, the appear to (in my opinion at least) visually fit like a glove on the Gen2 car's sharp, futuristic and aggressive angles with as little creative license/indulgence as possible. This not only highlights the parallels between the WipEout video game series and the FIA Formula E Championship, but it also highlights how forward-thinking and progressive the Gen2 car's design really is that futuristic designs can be easily adapted to them with as little compromise as possible.
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