Our very own Naomi Brown recently had an opportunity for a Q&A with Spline's Boris Chuprin, Lead Game Designer on the upcoming release, A Stroke of Fate.
Naomi (GamingExcllence): Games set in WWII are usually first person shooters with lots of action and huge battle scenes. The spy approach is a very interesting and unique way of revisiting the setting. What inspired you to approach such a well known time period from such a different angle?
Boris (Spline):
That's actually the point, that the majority of games usually show the war in a very standard way, like "infantry vs tanks", etc. In our turn we wanted to present to players something new, but not less impressive. Using Fuehrer, the enemy of humanity #1, as a main character of the gamelooked rather interesting, so we did it.  In our game he is deprived of Gatling guns, but his own brothers-in-arms aspire to kill the tyrant.
If to speak seriously, this "very well known time period" became one of the most important parts of the plot and a reason to apply to this theme. In fact, it's a big mistake to think that we already know everything about thes years. So far, there are a lot of questions about treasures of Europe, if Fuehrer is dead or still somehow alive and so on. Where is the body of Mueller? Is he really dead? Do you know this very interesting fact that Mueller was the only criminal who is officially wanted after his official death? And they say "well-known...".
Naomi: It can be difficult to build interest and tension in a setting/story where everyone already knows the outcome. How did you address that in the game? And in addition...is the player actually able to change the well known historical outcome?
Ahh, it only seems that everything is clear. Undoubtedly, while working on the game we had some historical frameworks of facts and reasons, but nevertheless we should say that nobody will be really restricted by them. Conversely, in a familiar setting you may feel yourself and act like a real spy, agent of secret forces! You can organize shadowing,  get rid of an agent,  carry out a  secret photo reporting and finally  gather a team to eliminate Fuehrer. We promise that it won't be boring. Playing a role of a secret service agent, the gamer will experience acting on the verge and under permanent ubiquitous danger.
And all  these despite  the fact that we have fanatically learned the historical facts and inserted them into the game as deep as possible. For sure, we allowed ourselves to use some imagination where the history passed over in silence.
 Naomi: Where did you draw inspiration for the characterization in the game, especially for the historical figures involved?
Well, these historical characters are an ideal inspiration by themselves. Just take a look at them! Reich Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, called to go to war and kill all the enemies on the way, not paying attention to any consequences; Reichsfuehrer, who cared about moral and physical health of his servants, but executed thousands of peaceful citizens. He also offered to develop killing gas to avoid confusing his soldiers by blood when they shot people. Goering, who decided who is a Jew and who is not.
Finally, Fuehrer by himself. Also, there is a great variety of persons with a smaller rank, who  are also very interesting. We read their memoirs, reports of interrogations, diaries of fellow clerks, where exactly noticed the typical features of the top of Reich.
Naomi: On your website, you state that you've created puzzles that specifically "...reflect the German peculiarities of the 1940's."  Do you anticipate players not familiar with German culture having problems completing the puzzles? Did you have to make any adjustments when localizing the game?
Of course, we don't want to confuse gamers who are not familiar with specifics of those years. In that phrase we mean that tasks in the game are authentic to the time. Strongly related to the history, if you like.
For example, not to just put a stone somewhere, which will actually work fine  for a game about Australopithecus or for  about the far future.   Instead of this, we offer players to show photographic film at home, to repair the analogous telephone popular in those years, etc.
Naomi: Besides well known members of the Nazi party, will there be cameos from other relevant historical figures?
Eva Braun was not a member of the party , but she appears in the game anyway. There is also a famous personal telephone and radio operator of Fuehrer. You'll also see retired general Beck. He is one of the main participants of the conspiracy on the 20th of July.
We aspired to show something that nobody has yet shown in video games about WWII before. That is why almost all of the gameplay progresses around the top of the Third Reich.
Naomi: The still shots available of the game look amazing!  The comparision between those and the historical shots show amazing attention to detail.  In addition to historical locations, were there many other unique locales that needed to be put into the game to bring 1940's Germany alive for the player?
In addition to the historical locations rigorously restored by means of photos and memoirs, we partly show "usual" Germany. I mean the country as it looked for it's citizens: houses, streets of Berlin, some pieces of nature and so on. However, we've surely concentrated on the most significant locations. This looks like a tour, immersion into the world of the Third Reich.
Naomi: Completing difficult puzzles can sometimes leave players stumped while they try to 'connect the dots'. Does this game feature 'real-time' constraints that can impact the game if puzzles aren't completed within a certain amount of time?
We have just one game of this type. And there is no actuall  limitation of time used, it's rather about fever pitch: for example,.the main hero there has to go on a cornice, lighted by a beam of a searchlight. He has to do this very quickly and resolutely.
Naomi: It appears that another Fate game subtitled 'Operation Bunker' is in the works. Obviously this is another title set in Nazi Germany.  Are there any plans to take the game series outside of Hitler's inner circle and to other major locations during the war?
In this case everything is just vice versa.  In "Operation Bunker" we narrowed the circle of locations to the necessary limit. As a result the hero comes to the closed apartment - the bunker of Fuehrer. But to gain this possibility (to meet the Fuehrer personally) a big trip through Berlin is waiting for the hero.
Sometimes the hero will return  to the locations he has already visited. But it will entirely be a different Berlin - destroyed, with hundreds of marauders and deserters with street fights, filled with rattling cannonade of soviet guns.
Naomi: Is there anything in particular you want to share with players?  Sage words of advice, things about the game you're especially proud of?
We are proud that as we think we developed an excellent game, where gameplay, graphics, sounds and all the other sides of the product are on a highest quality level.
Hopefully, the players will like the game.