For the King – a rogue-like tabletop RPG – is a game that caught our eye here at Gamespace. It promised to fuse together some of the most popular game types into one fluid experience… and delivered. I’ve been playing it quite a bit over the last week or so (instead of writing the review I know my boss is patiently waiting for) and to say it is impressive would be an understatement. Recently, a few worlds aligned to enable my procrastination and I was given the opportunity to throw a few questions at For the King’s Gordon Moran for your reading pleasure!
What was the inspiration behind ‘For the King’?
Nearly 4 years ago, Colby Young began work on a personal RPG boardgame which served as the prototype for FTK. Blending tabletop mechanics with digital RPG mechanics into a fluent boardgame adventure, his creation garnered the interest of friends and the online community. After dozens of entertaining playtests and refining of the rules, he soon realized the next step was to take this game to the digital realm.
With the help of David Lam and Gordon Moran, two industry veterans with over 30 years combined experience, For The King was born. From day one, maintaining the cooperative camaraderie was a core design pillar of ours, and as such, an online cooperative roguelike was born. We feel that this is a new type of roguelike experience that has yet to be fully explored.
For the king fuses a few different kinds of gameplay mechanics together – were there any obstacles to making the gameplay experience feel smooth and polished?
For The King is part rogue-like, part boardgame, part JRPG, and part tactical RPG. That might seem like a lot of different mechanics at play, but they all fit nicely together for a unique and fresh experience. Each of these core mechanics have been influenced by one another over the 40 some odd years they’ve all coexisted for, so it’s not surprising that they blend extremely well into a coherent, and most importantly fun, game. The very genesis of FTK is a perfect example of the harmony of these mechanics. The original boardgame prototype was actually inspired by the Ultima series of computer games (which itself was inspired by tabletop RPGs). So to break it down, FTK is a video game based off a board game based off a computer game based off table top games. 🙂
When it comes to procedural generation sometimes gameplay can fall victim to overly difficult RNG. What words of wisdom do you have for players feeling a bit out of depth with the difficulty?
We offer “easier” difficulty levels for those new to the genre, which certainly helps take the edge off. After collecting Lore (FTK’s in game currency), visit the Lore Store to unlock helpful locations, items, even new playable characters. These new unlocks increase your options throughout your adventure and definitely increase your odds of success. We highly recommend playing cooperatively too. The more heads the better for strategizing and overcoming the obstacles in your way. Also make smart use of your Focus Points (which allow you to overcome RNG by guaranteeing successful rolls).
Most importantly, understand that death is always a possibility because without the threat of death, the victory wouldn’t be as sweet. Careful balancing of risk vs. reward and sound tactics can always overcome any situation the game throws at you.
The art style is really unique – can you tell us how the decision was made for the low-poly art direction? Did keeping cost down have anything to do with it?
The art style is very much an homage to the first generation of 3D RPGs from which FTK draws a lot of it’s inspiration. We also wanted a simple and clean style that would allow our small team to create hundreds of items, enemies, and realms as variety is super important for rogue-like games.
I know the game is still in early access but have any plans been made to add more content after official release? If so will it take the form of a completely new experience from scratch or serve to further the original campaign?
“For The King will launch with all previous adventures of the Early Access version including some brand new and exciting content. Keep your eyes peeled!”
Well there you have it, folks, straight from the proverbial mouth of the development team. Stay tuned for our review of For the King (it’s coming soon – I promise) but if you’re looking for a spoiler: buy it, it’s worth it!