The Wheel of Time is a lucrative license: there are now thirteen total books featuring hundreds of characters, a deep and engrossing magic system, and dozens of locales to visit and explore. The possibilities for video games are endless: a Western-style role playing game, third person adventure, real-time strategy... or even first person shooter. Yes, a shooter, and out of all the options, only that has been developed and released. The Wheel of Time was released in 1999 on Windows.
Much has been made about the game in recent years about how underrated and under appreciated it was. That's a debate for another day, but it did have some serious holiday competition with Unreal Tournament and Quake 3. The game just didn't sell well, and unfortunately, that may well have scared off publishers or right holders from working on any more games. But one needs to consider the genre of the game and the target audience, it just doesn't seem to work. This is a book series that plods along at sometimes an excruciating pace transformed into a game that moves as fast as any other shooter I've played.
The Wheel of Time is definitely one of the more unique licensed attempts in video game history, and here's its first hour. I'll be playing the game through Wine in Ubuntu, let me know if you have any questions about getting it to run.
I recently finished a great fantasy book that is just ripe for turning into a video game. I actually began writing a short review about Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson, but it quickly turned into an examination on book and movie based games and how they're designed. I quickly determined that there are two common methods of taking the original source and putting it into a gamers' hands, and I pretty much just threw the rest of the review away at that point (I hope to get around to it someday, this site does have book reviews for a reason). For better or worse, here's my examination of the two design mechanisms chosen when creating a game from an existing franchise. There are many factors that come into play when deciding between them, and honestly I think they often make or break the game.