Ocean Rendering Advice

I wish to render an ocean in a Sailing Sim I`m writing. To keep polys to a minimum the ocean plane is a large circlur triangle fan. Using only Bump-Mapping, envitonment mapping etc… I want to make the scene (realtime) as realistic as possible, while saving polys for the models in the sim. Any suggestions on Environment Mapping techniques, reflections or Bump mapping. Or simply, how would you do it?

As scenery, a flat ocean is fine, but if its an integral part of the game, you need to have big waves coming up, otherwise it will look really poor. Look at WaveRace (N64) for inspiration.

I would suggest using a simple Fourier synthesis to simulate waves. You can then build an environment map from that to show the small waves generated by wind. If you want to do large rolling waves, a simple mapping trick won’t cut it, you will need the extra 3D detail.