After a few months of waiting, Puddle finally releases for the Wii U in North America later today (you can read my review here). Neko Entertainment’s QA Manager, Sèbastien Chipot-Delys, was kind enough to provide us an interview about the game and their experience developing on the Wii U. Check it out!
Marcello: First off, thanks for taking the time to provide us an interview for your studio’s title, Puddle. The game’s premise is quite unique and works incredibly well. How did the idea for Puddle come about?
Sèbastien: You’re welcome Marcello, it is always a pleasure to help journalists interested by indie/original games! The Puddle game started at our video game school. At first it was an idea that came from an English exercise and turned out to become our first year student project. The idea was simple: make a game where you play fluids and do all sorts of chemical reactions.
Marcello: Puddle’s visual style is nothing short of stunning. How did you guys decide on the visual style for the game?
Sèbastien: We agreed to move towards a system of representation simple enough to highlight the fluid and its movement. Also, the idea of using silhouettes came quite naturally – the main graph was fairly simple to implement and at the beginning of the project in 2009, few other games were using this visual. We really wanted to use what science and industry have to offer in terms of images, whether diagrams, charts, shooting in false colors etc… This is illustrated through the environments we have chosen to decline in the game (laboratory, foundry, rocket) but also how some are treated (thermical vision, x-ray, technical drawings).
Marcello: With the Wii U being new to the console market, what was it like developing for it? Did it pose any difficulties or were you guys able to grasp it fairly easily?
Sèbastien: Some things were quite simple as we are used to work on the Nintendo Wii (like for example the tools provided by Nintendo). Some of the Lotcheck have been improved and now are handled by the console itself, so it was a good surprise! Some others, were harder to handle like the Leaderboard (we cannot display more than 1000 players, but we wish we could have displayed every player from all over the world).
Basically I would say it was a nice experience, and the only problems we have to deal with, were related to the changes Nintendo made often to increase the stability of the console. As we were working on a brand new console, its main default was its youth!
Marcello: How was your partnership with Nintendo? Did they approach you guys about bringing Puddle to the Wii U or did you guys see a window of opportunity to approach them with the game? Would you look into developing for the Wii U again?
Sèbastien: It was nice, really! Nintendo asked us if we could make a developer interview on our side for example, for the eShop, and it could be added to the Puddle main page. Crucially, Neko was also able to release Puddle at a promotional price to take advantage of its early placing on the platform – and organising it couldn’t have been much easier. We wanted to celebrate with players the launch of Wii U. Nintendo was really close to us and always wanted to help us release our game with the best conditions.
Marcello: The “Pixels” level is just plain awesome. Any chance we can see more levels for those as DLC or via update?
Sèbastien: The Pixel Level is a really funny level (only few peoples know that the characters in this level are the students from the main project!). Regarding the DLC, we did not plan any new level or DLC at the moment. There are a lot of players who would like to, but nothing has been decided. If a huge amount of players all over the world were joining to ask to Neko to do it, who knows what would happen …
Marcello: Now that Puddle is finally out on the Wii U in North America, any plans for another project?
Sèbastien: Of course! Actually we are working on projects on the Nintendo Wii, PS Vita, Ouya and Steam. Plus we got a game who’s just been released in the US : Cocoto Alien Brick Breaker on Nintendo 3DS : An original brick breaker for both young fans of the genre and arcade game veterans.
I am sure we will meet again soon
Marcello: Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. There’s no denying that it’s a great title people should be getting and couldn’t recommend it enough to Wii U owners.
Sèbastien: Thanks for asking us more info Marcello, I hope a lot of players will enjoy the game as you did!
Interested in Puddle? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget to check out the review for Puddle!