Curve Studios director spills about Fluidity's inspirations, origins

On December 6, Nintendo and Explodemon developer Curve Studios released Fluidity for WiiWare, an unusual platformer in which you tilt the level to guide a puddle of water through puzzles, changing it to ice or vapor as necessary. This is framed as taking place entirely within the "Aquaticus," a sort of magical, living encyclopedia about water.

Design director Jonathan Biddle explained the evolution of the concept to Joystiq. "Early on, we were pursuing a more scientific presentational style that focused on teaching the science of water," he said. "We liked the idea that the game was an interactive school book from the future that taught you by letting you play it. As the game dropped its scientific slant, we retained the book presentation – since we still thought it was fresh - but took it in a much more colorful direction." That direction now involves guiding a small amount of water through the landscape of the book, picking up "Rainbow Drops" and clearing away the evil Influence -- an ink spill.
%Gallery-109311% Speaking of "influence," Biddle claims one particular game as an inspiration for the large, explorable map within the Aquaticus. "We were massively influenced by Metroid and how the world opens up as the player gains more and more powers. In Fluidity you unlock the different water states as you progress, and new areas of the map open up to you. Each state also has special powers that are awarded giving you further access to new things to do."

The origins of the project can be traced back to GDC 2008, when Curve presented a few concepts to Nintendo, including Fluidity. According to Biddle, much of the final concept was already in place, "including tilt control, lifting the controller to jump, freezing the water into ice blocks or boiling it into steam, and carrying fish around." Back then, it was rendered in the style of airplane safety diagrams. Though it hadn't been decided whether Nintendo and Curve would collaborate on a WiiWare or retail game, Curve was "targeting WiiWare," Biddle said, "because this meant we could create more inventive titles at a lower cost, in a shorter timescale."

If you're interested in seeing the results of this collaboration, you can play Fluidity within a "shorter timescale." Fluidity is one of the first games to take advantage of the renewed WiiWare demo program.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.