San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

‘Cowabunga’: Catch a wave with alumnus surfing game ‘The Endless Summer’

Courtesy of Ed Marx
“The Endless Summer: Search for Surf” embodies a lifetime love of surfing for SDSU alumnus Ed Marx and offers many avenues for players to live out their surfing fantasies and have an “endless summer.”

For many San Diego residents, surfing is seen as an incredible pastime. Surfers spend all day under the sun, gliding across the ocean on towering, foamy waves. But now, thanks to San Diego State alumnus Ed Marx, they can nose dive into surfing without risking sunburn with “The Endless Summer: Search for Surf,” an interactive surfing game. 

Marx graduated from SDSU in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. After graduating, he joined the Peace Corps in Kenya. He then worked for an orthopedic business in Santa Paula, California, where he worked on coding for databases and creating 3D models.

After attempting to create a language-based game for mobile phones, Marx decided to stick to what he knew best and began conceptualizing an open world game based on surfing. 

“It took me a long time to totally commit to it, because I was doing it part time most of the time,” the developer said. “It got to a point where people started to like it and said this could be pretty good if I put more time into it, so I started doing it more.”

He eventually released “The Endless Summer: Search for Surf” on Steam for PC and Mac on Sept. 3, 2021.

Before stepping into gaming, Marx was an avid surfer, and he describes surfing as a “lifestyle.” He spent many days surfing while at SDSU, and even traveled to Africa and Southeast Asia after college to surf at different beaches. 

Developed using the Unity engine, “The Endless Summer” allows players to surf on the coast of a tropical island. Players can ride waves, walk around the island and talk to surfers. There are also various surfing challenges players can engage with. The game even offers a multiplayer mode, allowing players to join each other using split screen or online.

Though the game offers many possibilities for players, Marx said making a surfing game comes with problems, including development hurdles and a niche market.

“There are not that many surfing games, and there are some problems with making surfing games and that’s why there aren’t very many,” Marx said. “One of the things is that it’s very limited to surfers. Video games and surfing don’t mix very well…The other problem is that they’re really hard to make because you have a moving wave…and the player is moving also. If you have a skateboarding game or a snowboarding game, the player moves but the surface stays still, so it’s much more simple.”

The developer explained that big studios are hesitant to invest in surfing games due to expensive development costs. 

The game eventually caught the attention of production company Bruce Brown Films. Bruce Brown was best known for directing the landmark surfing documentary “The Endless Summer.” The 1964 film followed three surfers who travel around the world, a story similar to Marx’s. The documentary contributed to the development of surfing culture in the United States and encouraged surfers to travel the world for the sport.

A representative reached out to Marx who offered to attach the “Endless Summer” brand to it, allowing him to use the film’s name and soundtrack. The game even uses the film’s poster for cover art. 

Recently, Marx has been working on bringing the game to the Xbox Marketplace, which is expected to be out this summer. For more information on the game, visit the Search for Surf website.

About the Contributor
Owen Pratt
Owen Pratt, Staff Writer
Owen Pratt is a multimedia journalist based in Los Angeles and San Diego. He graduated from South Pasadena High School in 2018. Afterwards Owen attended Pasadena City College, where he earned his Associate Degree in Journalism in 2021. He loves writing about local and federal politics, movies, music and television. He strongly believes in the importance of digital media, saying it can highlight underreported and niche issues. He is a senior working towards his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. He currently writes for the Daily Aztec and helps produce the Daily Aztec Live. In his free time he enjoys listening to hip-hop, going on walks, and binging documentaries.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
‘Cowabunga’: Catch a wave with alumnus surfing game ‘The Endless Summer’