When I pitch the core idea of Shift! people are often asking me about my inspirations. In this post I want to tell you about my main inspirations for the storyworld of Shift!.
I’m a big nerd (surprise!) and as such I love to play roleplaying games. There is one called
Werewolf – the forsaken. In this game you play a werewolf (surprise!) that protects its turf together with his pack-mates. In a holy mission they have to protect the world of humans from degenerated shaman spirits. The game is a part of the World of Darkness universe and definitely worth looking at.
Of course X-Men had a big influence as well. The mutants in this Marvel comic series are
developing their superpowers when they reach puberty – just like it is with the sentinels in
Shift!. But mutants are feared by society, this is why they have to keep it as a secret.
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics have been a big influence as well. The idea that abstract
concepts and … well, ideas like dreams, fears, emotions, death and life and all that stuff are having their own personalities struck me like a lightning.
And finally last winter a wonderful woman introduced me to the wonderful world of studio
ghibli. Their films are mostly based around the ideas of Shinto, just like My neighbour
Totoro. I became interested in the location based concept of Shinto and wanted to see how it would work in a Western society. I was inspired all winter long.
These are my biggest influences on the world. Some people suggested me to start reading The Night Watch (Nochnoi Dozor) because those books have some themes similiar to Shift!. And so I did. Now that I know Nochnoi Dozor, I’m prepared not to copy it by accident but to focus on the differences. And it makes fun!