Fate Tectonics was one of those fairly hard to find indie games that I honestly wouldn’t have heard about if my colleagues hadn’t told me about it. It was at a booth with 3 other games and only had one demo that wasn’t on any of the bigger screens – but I thought it was more interesting than the ones getting all the attention.
Fate Tectonics, at its core, is a Sim City-like puzzle game. The goal of the game is to please the Fates, the gods, as you build up and populate your tile empire. The puzzle aspect of the game is created through what makes the Fates happy – and unhappy. To please one Fate, you will more than likely have to piss another one off as they all conflict in some way. How would you feel as the Water Fate having boats put on your nice water area? Not happy right?
As you expand your world, more abilities and Fates are unlocked, increasing the difficulty of managing all of them and introducing the puzzle aspect, which is to incidentally not have the Fates destroy your world. To expand your world, you have to set down tiles, that if the sides don’t match up, fall into oblivion. For example, you can’t butt up a new water block to a forest block, at least one of the sides has to match the one that you are placing.
The controls in the game are simple; click to select an action and click again to place a block or a building. I was effectively playing the game in under a minute without many tutorial messages telling me what to do. I put things down and other things became available. Actions such as building a town take time. It requires that skill to have a cool-down, but no worries, I’ll just expand my ocean some more out here, etc. I could see it getting complicated and the Fates were dumbed down a little in temper for the sake of the demo, but the general idea was addicting and fun to play.
There are two modes to the game, a time-based rouge-like that goes through the narrative of the game and an endless mode where you can test to see how far you can go. There is a story to the game in the form of some text dialogue and a storybook that unlocks entries as you collect skills and Fates. Its through reading the storybook that you learn why the Fates act like they do and sounds like it gives some nice background to an otherwise, simple game.
Fate Tectonics on the Showfloor
I got to talk to Rosemary, lead artist at Golden Gear Games, about the game at the booth and she answered some of my questions.
Please note that this interview is not written word for word and I am paraphrasing both the question and answers.
Q: Will there be multi-player in the game at all?
A: I get this question a lot. Yes there will be multi-player, however it will not be available at the launch of the game, it will be added in later. We’re working on it.
Q: Do all of the Fates have both positive and negative traits?
A: All Fates have a positive and negative trait, however there are some Fates that have more negative than positive and vice versa. For example, there is one Fate who is mostly negative traits and his only positive trait is that he likes it when the other Fates get angry so there is a bit of a trade off there of, if you want him to be happy, you’ll have to make the others angry.
Q: How big can the worlds be?
A: The maximum size for one world in endless mode is 400 by 400 tiles, but this was in testing with all of the Fates turned off. You can have multiple worlds, that is, multiple save files and you can have save states, but you can only play one world at a time.
Q: What was your main influence for the game?
A: Design-wise it was mostly Super Nintendo RPGs like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Breath of Fire. I also drew inspiration from Zelda: The Minish Cap for the color scheme specifically.
Q: I can see that the interface is pretty simple. What is the target audience for a game like this?
A: The interface (UI) was not always that clean, we had numbers and pie charts everywhere in the earlier stages but decided to simplify until you get what you see here. If I had to say a target audience then late teens to early adults, but we’ve had 6 year old kids come up and be like ‘Hey! I’ll just try and figure this out as I go!” so it’s not completely set in stone.
S: [After playing the on-floor demo] Oh wow, the music is really calming and everything looks amazing.
A: I don’t know if you noticed, but the music is dynamic and changes every time a Fate is added. There are 3 acts in the game, each with their own theme, all sharing one base-line.
Fate Tectonics is also looking at a iOS release in the future as well, but we’ll have to wait on that announcement.
Fate Tectonics will be $19.99 on September 9th on Steam, however it is available on their site right now for only $10.00.