Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

By Jorge Ba-oh 03.04.2014

Cubed3 caught up with Lewis Pugh from Leuvsion on the Wii U exclusive indie project, Twisted Fusion.

The open-world classic 2D platformer, exclusive to Nintendo's platform, is Pugh's latest project and first on Wii U having worked on mobile platforms previously. We caught up with Lewis on the Twisted Fusion concept, why he chose Wii U as a platform, plus plans for the GamePad controller.

Twisted Fusion on Kickstarter

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: Hi Lewis, please introduce yourself and Leuvsion.
Lewis Pugh: Hello Cubed3! I've been creating games for iPhone, Android and Windows phone over the last eight years. I've always been a huge fan of Nintendo and currently host the Infendo Radio podcast weekly.
With that in mind, creating a game for a Nintendo console has been a life time dream for me.
Leuvsion is the developer name I create games under, and although I am always the coder in Leuvsion games, I often work with other partners for graphics, music, etc.

Cubed3: What projects had you been involved with before starting Twisted Fusion?
Lewis Pugh: My most recent mobile game is Chipper's Tea Party which is available on the three leading platforms. The game itself is an odd mix of puzzle, RPG and casino game. It's very unique and a lot of fun. Twisted Fates was one of my earlier iOS titles and shares many things in common with Fusion, it was also a 2D platformer but because of the lack of physical buttons it used a virtual d-pad and buttons. 

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: The concept sounds and looks great. Please explain the core concept behind Twisted Fusion.
Lewis Pugh: The core concept of Twisted Fusion is all about water. Water is the main weakness of most enemies. In addition to your dual water pistols you also have water balloons you can throw in an arch, a water sprinkler you can deploy and even a giant water cannon. In addition to combat, you can also use water to solve puzzles.

Cubed3: You've mentioned that the character Cora had been in previous Twisted titles - is Fusion intended to be a sequel?

Lewis Pugh: Fusion is both the sequel and reimagining of the original Twisted game - Fates, so players won't feel lost without playing her original Twisted game on iPhone. In addition, the game is so much larger that it also acts as a sequel, so players of the original game will be able to play far beyond where the original game ended.

Cubed3: What made you decide to bring the franchise to Wii U exclusively?
Lewis Pugh: I have always been a huge fan on Nintendo, so when I was ready to make the move from mobile to console, Nintendo was always the desired platform. I actually made my decision during GDC 2013 when Nintendo was showing off their new Nintendo Web Framework; it uses web standards HTML5 and Javascript so I knew I would be at home and was ready to make the jump.

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: How do the weather and time-of-day mechanics work?
Lewis Pugh: The time-of-day mechanic is always running so it won't freeze when you're in a village. During the night strong enemies will venture out and during the day certain items are easier to find. The weather system is somewhat random - in addition to being effected by where you are in the overworld. Certain weather like rain will affect enemy behaviour, weakening slime creatures but also making them angrier and their attacks a lot stronger.

Cubed3: How does the Wii U GamePad controller come into play?
Lewis Pugh: The GamePad acts as Cora's smartphone. You have different widgets displayed that give you information from the game. The weather widget can let you know what the forecast is and the clock, the exact time of day. You can also adjust the difficulty slider, similar to how it is handled in Kid Icarus Uprising. The higher the difficulty, the bigger rewards you will get from enemy encounters.

Cubed3: The art style looks suitably retro - what made you chose the classic sprite-based, 2D approach?
Lewis Pugh: I've always been a big fan of 2D games and still am today. I think when developers jumped onto 3D games, 2D games basically stopped evolving for a long time and al lot of great ideas where left on the table. Despite its look, I'm hoping the game will feel fresh with new ideas you may not have experienced elsewhere.

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: What other games, films or animé have helped shape Twisted Fusion?
Lewis Pugh: Twisted Fusion is a mix of influences and game types so it's hard to pin-point. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time left a great impression on me when I was younger and it's likely that's where my fascination of day/night mechanics came from. As mentioned previously, the difficulty system takes influence from Kid Icarus Uprising also.

Cubed3: Would you consider implementing multiplayer/co-operative features?
Lewis Pugh: I would love to implement co-op, it will take a lot of work being a non-linear game, but it would also be a lot of fun to play. I have made four player co-up one of the stretch goals and hopefully we will get there!

Cubed3: Have there been any issues working with the Wii U hardware since the transition from mobile/iOS?
Lewis Pugh: The Wii U has been a breeze to work with as a development platform. Lots of tools support HTML5 so it's very quick to get something up and running. It's a real blast to see your game running on both the GamePad and TV at the same time, it really does feel special.

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: Would you consider portable platforms like Nintendo 3DS for a port at somepoint?
Lewis Pugh: I'm not sure Twisted Fusion could squeeze down to the 3DS, but I've not played with one in development, so can't say for sure. One of the great things about the 3DS is StreetPass, so if I made a game on there, I would make sure there were some cool StreetPass features to reward any two people matching up with my game.

Cubed3: Would you ever consider working alongside a major video game publisher?
Lewis Pugh: This is something I would consider, having a bigger budget naturally opens up more avenues. However, the right deal would have to come along, complete creative freedom is quite the luxury in the gaming industry and I am enjoying it an awful lot currently. 

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: What hurdles have you had going at it alone?
Lewis Pugh: 've built up some invaluable contacts, artists, musicians, etc. that I've built up good relationships with so it's never quite alone. The hardest thing though is getting the word out about the project, you spend so much of your time making the game that you also need to make sure your networking also. The problem is development is far more addictive.   

Cubed3: What are your thoughts on Nintendo's approach to indie developers in recent years?
Nintendo has opened up in a big way recently. The real changes were with the shift from Wii to Wii U. Nintendo used to have odd rules - you would need your own business office address, they would set your prices, be in control of any sale if at all. This has now all been resolved and Nintendo has made the process really easy for anyone really interested in taking the plunge into console development.

Cubed3: If you could work on any Nintendo franchise, what would it be any why?
I would be too worried to go anywhere near the big 3 (Mario, Zelda or Metroid) but what would be really exciting to work on would be Kid Icarus. As great as the 3DS version was, I think there's still allot of room to evolve the weird 2D temple Kid Icarus left on the GameBoy and NES. You could even add multiplayer co-op to increase the madness, you would be fighting over loot and could upgrade your gear in real time!

Image for Interview | Leuvsion on 2D Indie Platformer Twisted Fusion

Cubed3: What are your plans for the future - would you consider more platforms or sequels for Cora?
I would definitely consider a sequel with Cora or maybe another adventure for her on the 3DS? I do also like to mix things up so I would likely first give her a break and try something new in a different genre. My favourite portable game is Advance Wars and would love to have a crack at a game in a similar vain.   

Cubed3: Lastly, any final words you'd like to give future Kickstarter backers for Twisted Fusion?

Firstly, thank you for making it through this far! This has been a long-life dream of mine and I really do feel that the last eight years of mobile game development has lead me here to tackle a game for the Wii U.
The Wii U is a fantastic system that needs some love, so it was the natural choice for me to make Twisted Fusion exclusive to it. Please support me and the Wii U and pledge; we have some exciting rewards which I think you all will get a good kick out of!

Twisted Fusion on Kickstarter

What are your thoughts on the Twisted Fusion concept, will you pledge support?

Box art for Twisted Fusion





2D Platformer



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European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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