The Inspiration & Style of Wheel of Fate
Let’s talk a little about the inspiration and writing style behind Wheel of Fate. For starters, our setting is the world of Providence; an easily identifiable fantasy setting in many regards; there are wizards and warriors, ghosts and goblins, swords and sorcery abound. That said, we wanted to create a place that was uniquely our own. For me personally, Howard, Lovecraft and Tolkien are primary influences in our world building. Say what you want about his prose, Tolkien in particular was able to achieve a world so rich as to almost seem like actual history. While it may not serve our purposes to build Providence to the extent that Tolkien built Middle Earth, he certainly provided us a road map of how it’s done for the areas where we did choose to dig down into detail.
For us, a well thought out world history and theology were key factors. Indeed the latter was hugely important as the Wheel of Fate itself is itself a religious artifact; you could go so far as to call it God’s computer.
While our game takes place within two essential domains (the town of Kismet’s Fall and the nearby Temple of Fate, we were also really keen to develop the history and peoples of Providence. We decided early on to eschew the traditional subhuman races of elves and dwarves, choosing instead a number of races tied to animals, as much as we are tied to primates. Specifically, I refer to the Rovar (a bear-like people), the Veikar (distant cousins of dragons) and the Ikara (a race of flightless avian-folk). Each race tends to have a prevailing culture and mood, strengths and slights, while allowing for individuals to take on their own perspective. We also decided that these people, their history and their interactions with each other would be accounted for during missions. Furthermore, we scattered fragments of the Zodiac scrolls for players to collect. Each fragment helps to complete a passage of Providence’s rich history, optional to read. In this way, players are free to delve deeper into history without the game devolving into constant exposition.
All that said, it would be a travesty if I were to ignore the dad jokes. Wheel of Fate has a lot of them. It was unavoidable, I suppose, as Daniel, Francois and myself are all dads! Further, we’re all gen X era/late millenials with plenty of nostalgia for shows and games from the 80s and 90s. That being the case, our humor often involves pop culture references scattered throughout the story. Our character and environment design is wistful and cartoonish, so it follows such humor and nostalgia would be found in our game.
Despite our humor, we have tried to keep a balance overall, our villains inspired by Lovecraft to varying degrees, in order to create a critical path that does go suitably dark at times. Our overarching villain in all of this is the Fateless God, a worthy rival to Cthulu if I do say so myself. Oh r’yleh, you ask? Yes, r’yleh. 🙂
All in all, I’m hopeful we’ve established a tone and a style that is uniquely our own. All that remains is for you all to begin to explore Providence so you can experience it for yourself.
– Miles, Lead Game Designer, UDX Interactive