Posted on October 11, 2007, Jonathan Gaming Today Q&A: Boris Chuprin on "A Stroke of Fate"
A Stroke of Fate is the upcoming adventure game from Akella, where you’ll play a spy infiltrating Hitler’s regime near the end of World War II. The game will have you joining the Gestapo and working on a plot to assassinate Hitler himself. Personally, I’ve been interested in this title since I learned about its intriguing and somewhat controversial setup. Luckily, I got a chance recently to ask some questions of Boris Chuprin, the project leader of the Spline development studio, about what gamers can expect to explore in the game and how the team has kept everything historically accurate. From the sound of it, they’ve put a lot of effort into making this one deep and compelling game.
GT: How much has the main character been developed?
Boris Chuprin: The main character has been developed over half a year – during a pre-production period – however some elements are still being added on to his portrayal. Well, let me introduce our main character to you, here is his profile:
Name: Mayer Gerhard Adolf
Date of birth: 18 August 1899
Place of birth: Metz
Iron Cross 1st Class (Eisernes Kreuz 1. Klasse) (for brevity during World War I)
1905 – 1912 – studied at school
1913 – 1917 – studied at Cadet Corps. Achieved considerable success
1917-1918 – dropping his study, volunteered to join the Army. Fought as a lieutenant at the Western front
1919 – 1926 – Tried a number of jobs. Worked at the sports school, in the port, as a police officer
1926 – got permanent employment at a fruit wholesale company
1930 – started running his own business – a tobacco shop
1931 – joined NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers Party)
1936 – entered Steering Committee of the XIth Olympic Games in Garmesh-Partenkirchen and Berlin
1937 – joined SS. Assigned to serve in Hannover
1939 – transferred to Gestapo (secret police) in Berlin
1940 – advanced in rank to SS- Standartenführer
1942 – drastically changed his view of politics and joined the Red Orchestra, however left it since its operation was not very efficient.
Faithful catholic. Resisted Hitler’s policy from the very beginning. Voted for Theodor Duesterberg in 1932. After Hitler’s stunning success, just like many others, believed that he was the one. Feels that joining the SS was his biggest mistake. Dreams of liquidating Hitler and giving Germany a beam of hope.
Phlegmatic. Self-possessed in any situations. Has a sense of humor. Gets along with people. Intelligent, erudite. Man of iron.
Good football player.
GT: Will his personal feelings affect the story?
BC: I would rather say that the gamer’s personal feelings will affect the story. Some problems and tasks can be solved in various ways – and that’s up to the player to decide which to choose. For instance, the gamer can wear the Gestapo outfits and intimidate a target person thus obtaining necessary data. However he can dress up as a civilian and negotiate for the results.
GT: What steps have you taken to ensure the historical authenticity of the setting and the story?
BC: We pay a lot of attention to the historical authenticity in the project. We involved a historical consultant to keep an eye on the authenticity of events and various features of the game. Thus we’re specific to many interesting facts relevant to that epoch: Hitler’s security system that applied multiple gadgets – sensitive microphones to detect timing devices and a great number of impersonators, as well as schemes and layouts of Hitler’s private bunker. (Ed. Note — The above photo shows an actual photo of Hitler’s cabinet on the left and an in-game screenshot on the right.)
GT: Since your goal in the game is to pass yourself off as a true supporter of Hitler’s regime, will that make for some unnerving moments in the game?
BC: Well, he works for Gestapo, however he manages to avoid all the pending unpleasant situations.
GT: Will the main character work alone or will he get help from allies?
BC: It’s close to impossible to incubate a plot or arrange an assassination if you’re on your own. The main character will have to find like-minded people out of the German officers and complete a mission with their help and assistance.
GT: Will the Holocaust be part of the story, and if so, how will it be presented?
BC: No, the Holocaust will not be presented in the game. However it will not prevent us from showing off the beast-looking face of the fascism.
GT: In a press release, you said the setting would depict 1941-45 environments, which would mean the main character would have had to start his infiltration either before the U.S. entered the war or immediately after Pearl Harbor. Does this mean that the pseudo-historical story will imply U.S. planning an attack on Germany well before its declaration of war? Will the main character’s actions affect actual historical events?
BC: Well, we don’t really think that the USA were planning to be first to attack Germany, however the World War II threshold was a very tense period for all the nations. Intelligence officers and spies of all the countries were trying to penetrate the walls of the government, ministries of the alleged enemy (or ally – who knows?). It implies being politically wise rather than aggressive.
The main character’s actions will not affect actual historical events but we’re doing our best to make the storyline as close to them as possible. That’s the way we see the pseudo-historical story. For instance, if we know for sure from authentic documents that a specific person was supposed to meet Hitler on a specific day we’ll reflect that in the game. The events will be constructed in such a way that no actions of the gamer will actually be able to affect that.
GT: Exactly what settings will players be able to explore? Will the protagonist remain in Germany?
BC: Key events will take place in Berlin, however on of the chapters will take the main character to a castle near Hitler’s secret lair. The game’s final chapter will unfold in Hitler’s secret bunker, re-constructed in a detailed way, where he actually committed suicide.
GT: Aside from the story and setting, what sets this game apart from other detective games out there?
BC: As a rule, games of the detective genre provide for conducting investigations or preventing crimes. What we offer is to view a detective story from a different aspect – you’ll need to prep and commit a crime. It’s a crime but for the sake of saving many lives of innocent people.
To get more details on the game, check out the official game website here.