Disco Elysium Wiki
Disco Elysium Wiki

Fortress Accident were a game development studio working on "Wirrâl Untethered", an extremely ambitious radio roleplaying game about the heat death of the universe.

Team[ | ]

Fortress Accident employed 18 people, most of them consisting of concept artists and writers. There were also radio programmers, sound engineers, a CEO, two marketing experts, and a single producer, who developed a Pyrholidon addiction to escape his obligations. They had more concept artists than a radio game needed - and could have used a few more producers, especially when dealing with their writers, some of whom routinely skipped worked because of mental health issues and extrmely unprofessional sleep schedules.

Notable team members[ | ]

  • Soona Luukanen-Kilde - lead programmer
  • Sulisław Zawisza - lead designer
  • Andrew 'Andy' Schott - lead producer

Background[ | ]

DE Project Dread Board

Concept art for Wirrâl Untethered.

Fortress Accident's work is inspired by the classic Wirrâl setting - though they feature almost exclusively welkin, implying that other races have been or will be killed off by the high welkin. Different subraces can be seen in their work, like autumnal candle-welkin with wax based magic, translucent welkin with organs showing under their skin, and aether welkin from sidereal space.

The setting of Wirrâl Untethered is a barren, icy landscape wrapped in perpetual night. This is the heat death scenario - a desperate fight for geothermal energy engulfs the world as Wirrâl becomes untethered from its sun, drifting through the Universe. Concept photo collages feature entirely frozen oceans, dead trees under snow, settlements by dried up riverbeds abandoned in storms, snowy yurts and great mammoth-like beasts of burden, as well as primitive oil rigs built into glaciers.

DE Frequency Fireplace

Web of radio frequencies

Fortress Accident wanted to make a radio roleplaying game which anyone could call into and tune out of whenever, which would be the biggest advancement in roleplaying games since the thirties. They conceptualized it as a web of UKV frequencies, all leading back to one frequency titled the Game Master Frequency, which could listen in on any station. People across six isolas could participate in the game - Mundi, Insulinde, Katla, Graad, Samara and Iilmaraa. Finding an investor from Iguanija, the first portion of funding they received was 15,000, but eventually with all the delays of the game due to the ever expanding ambition of the team, the funding stretched on to 400,000 with only half of the game finished.

At the last minute, Sulisław came up with the idea of "The Valley of Heads" - a secret, mystical location at the edge of the map, where the heads of all the headless constructs could be found. The player would have been able to choose a head for their headless party member, and each head would have been voiced on-air by a professional actor. However, there were 10,000 headless men and 10,000 heads which could be endlessly recombined, which led to an absurd amount of permutations. The team kept working until one day, when compiling their project, an unidentified numeric anomaly occured. When the project was returned, it was completely blank, and the off-site backup copy was mysteriously on-site and has been erased as well. Soona, the keeper of the off-site copy, claimed that "The off-site copy was on-site because there was no *off-site* anymore, not for me, not after eight months of crunch." However, her colleagues didn't believe her and suspected foul play, and the investor pulled the plug on the project.

Behind the scenes[ | ]

  • Fortress Accident's name is a reference to ZA/UM's initial name when developing Disco Elysium when it was still named No Truce With The Furies, Fortress Occident.
  • Fortress Accident's logo was commissioned by ZA/UM from "joshua jenkins", a freelance writer and designer, among other assets.[1] Jenkins based their logo design on the logo for Black Isle Studios.[2]

References[ | ]

  1. joshua jenkins: "004/??? Last year Zaum hired me to make a bunch of design assets for Disco Elysium. Amazing team, incredible game. I’m Available for interesting projects."
  2. joshua jenkins: "If anyone is interested, I based the logo I designed for the fake failed gaming company in disco Elysium on the original gaming company “Black Isle studios” logo (far superior to mine) maker of torment."