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Hydrophobia is an upcoming 2010 survival-adventure video game developed by Dark Energy Digital and published by Microsoft Game Studios on Xbox Live Arcade.[2] Originally slated for retail release on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360, the game has since been scheduled for release in episodic form on Xbox Live,[3][4] with a PC and PlayStation 3 version planned for later release.[5] The game was originally scheduled for release in March 2009,[6] but since it was revealed that the game would be an episodic online release initially, it has since been confirmed that the first episode will release on Wednesday 29th September 2010, as part of Microsoft's "Game Feast".[4] The game's engine, HydroEngine, provides realistic fluid dynamics technology for flowing water, allowing it to interact with the surroundings. The levels of Hydrophobia were designed using InfiniteWorlds; a game creation system which uses bespoke procedural technology to significantly reduce file sizes, making the game much faster to download.

At the annual E3 2010 video game conference Hydrophobia received multiple awards, including Best Downloadable Game from



Gameplay will involve the player being able to interact with the environment, and the realistic water dynamics. Rob Hewson stated that "player versus environment is certainly a large part of the experience, the wonderful thing about water is that it is constantly affecting every area of the environment, so you get incredible amounts of emergent behaviour. The player constantly has to adapt to the environment and react quickly because doors, walls and windows are going to cave in differently each time according to the distribution of water."[7]

Players will also be able to visit previous locations that have been submerged and are able to interact with them in various ways. Hewson stated that players are able to "fight through an area one time and there might be a foot of water flowing around and affecting the environment, another person might play through the same area and blow out walls or windows causing a great deal of water to flow into the scene, meaning perhaps the gameplay switches to floating cover. Another player might shoot fuel barrels which let even more water into the scene but also spawn floating fuel fires which are carried around with the flow and find they need to resort to underwater action."[8]


The game is set in the mid 21st century when the world has fallen into the chaos of the "Great Population Flood", and takes place aboard the Queen of the World, a city-sized luxury ocean vessel, built by a group of corporate giants known as the Five Founding Fathers; the group who, due to the Queen, have prospered while the rest of the world suffered.[7] At the beginning of the game, the craft is bombed by a group of fanatical terrorists known as the Malthusians—named after political economist Thomas Malthus who predicted that population growth would one day outpace agricultural production, returning society to a subsistent level of existence.[9] The Malthusians have a plan to murder the vast majority of humans on the planet, so that the survivors wouldn't suffer from the effects of the population explosion. Their slogans, including "Save the World - Kill Yourself", are written on the walls and displayed on computer screens all over the ship.[10]

Kate Wilson, the protagonist, is a systems engineer, who becomes a reluctant hero when the Malthusians attack and take over the Queen.[11]


The HydroEngine is a video game engine created by Dark Energy Digital for Hydrophobia. Developed over three years, the engine has a unique capability to model flowing water and other liquids with a realism unprecedented in video games, according to the developers.[12] It is entirely dynamic, which means the effect is not repeated and thus allowing different effects each time. InfiniteWorlds is Dark Energy's development platform, which interfaces directly with the HydroEngine. According to the developers it is "an underlying architecture, which can interface with bespoke editors tailored to individual game projects."[13]


  1. Martin, Liam (October 9, 2009). 'Hydrophobia' to gain full retail release. Digital Spy. Retrieved on 2009-10-16.
  2. Microsoft to publish Hydrophobia. Scrawlfx. Retrieved on 2010-03-28.
  3. Robinson, Martin (October 1, 2009). Hydrophobia Breaks Silence. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-10-16.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Guttridge, Luke (October 2, 2009). Episodic release plan for Hydrophobia. Retrieved on 2009-10-16.
  5. Priest, Simon (April 29, 2010). Hydrophobia timed-exclusive to Xbox 360, will hit PC and PS3 later. Strategy Informer. Retrieved on 2010-06-21.
  6. Purchese, Rob (November 14, 2008). Hydrophobia gushes to March 2009. Eurogamer. Retrieved on 2008-11-15.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Hydrophobia sequel revealed - Blade Interview Part 1. PS3 Attitude (September 22, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-10-04.
  8. Hydrophobia exclusive artwork revealed - Blade Interactive Interview Part II. PS3 Attitude (September 23, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-10-04.
  9. Hydrophobia - one to watch out for (Part 1). Three Speech (September 5, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-10-04.
  10. Hydrophobia Trailer. Giant Bomb (March 26, 2010). Retrieved on 2010-06-21.
  11. Burman, Rob (May 8, 2007). Hydrophobia Info Leaks out. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-10-03.
  12. Dobson, Jason (April 11, 2007). Blade Announces Next-Gen Fluid Dynamics HydroEngine. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2008-10-03.
  13. Dobson, Jason (May 11, 2007). Blade Announces Middleware Game Dev Solution. Gamesutra. Retrieved on 2008-10-03.

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Facts about "Hydrophobia"RDF feed
ContentTypeVideo Game +
DesignerRob Hewson +
DisplayNameHydrophobia +
GameCatVideo Game +
NameHydrophobia +
NamePageHydrophobia +
NamesHydrophobia +
PageNameHydrophobia +
PageTypeVideo Games + and Games +
StatusReleased +

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