working artists


Eric Zimmerman

artist statement | technical statement | process


As with all gameLab projects, FLUID evolved through a highly iterative process. Our design and development methodology has a strong emphasis on prototyping and playtesting, in which we develop a playable version of a project as early as possible and then base our design decisions on our actual experience of interacting with the prototype.

gameLab was initially approached by the Swiss Re Center for Global Dialogue to create a game experience on the theme of water and sustainability. FLUID began life as a short written treatment, which was quickly turned into a rough, skeletal prototype. The visuals evolved as we altered, redefined, and tweaked the player interactivity and the relationships between the elements of the system.

While our initial impulse was to create a graphically rich 3D experience, the game visuals became simpler and simpler as we proceeded. Since we were aiming for a gallery context, the moment-to-moment interactivity had to be self-explanatory and immediately gratifying. At the same time, it was important that players would be able to discern the actual relationships between the ecosystem elements. The final version of FLUID has a balance of ambiguity and clarity, a puzzlingly abstract system that rewards exploration and experimentation.