Casual meets rogue-like game, with procedural generated game campaigns for re-play-ability with the option to play solo, or to team up with your friends online.
Unique unlock-able lore that persists and builds over play sessions, so that the play experience For The King evolves from session to session and gives you a rewarding sense of progress.
Lore is connected to the land you discover. You gather lore as quest rewards or loot drops, then choose where to invest it. Those game tiles provide you with more options the next time you play. For example, if you invest lore into game tile that has an “alluring pool” you can upgrade that game tile to act as a fast transport to other parts of the world.
This ability to keep upgrading the world, provides a sense of continuation over play sessions, while still challenging you to handle the outcome of each session – which includes the real chance of meeting death!
The definition of rogue-like games is that you know you can die. It’s what makes it challenging, fun, and teaches you not to over-invest in being attached to the characters – but rather learning how to handle unexpected obstacles and learn how to master various situations.
This also allows us to play-out a session in 2-3 hours instead of feeling locked into a marathon 40 hours grind. That 2-3 hours session feels like a casual but strategic pick-up board game. Which you can play with friends online at any time.
That sounds pretty close to perfect for a lot of folks who love gaming, but also have busy lives.
Gordon shared with me, how Colby Young was inspired by traditional rogue-likes and turn-based strategy games. Colby decided to create a board game that incorporated those game dynamics. As they play tested it, they found that to do it right it would be better to have a computer handle all the underlying game mechanics.
For The King is designed to be pure gaming fun, in the sense of co-operative, strategic, but relatively fast moving game.
You can spend a few second thinking about your next move, even discussing it with your team members, but you do not have to agonize over it. You can make it and keep going.
The game is challenging. So it does require strategy and thinking. How you place your players and how you use your player characters to support each other will be important.
Who are the makers behind For The King?
We love that this game was put together by just 3 people. A very small and dedicated team, each member having their own special background to contribute to the final game result.
Gordon is the art director, and thought through the “low-poly” feeling of the game. Low poly means low polygon, and essentially makes the game feel raw and not over-polished.
The world feels like it is still being created by the forces of nature, and that’s part of the mood of the time period interestingly transmitted through using low-poly graphics.
Colby Young focused on the game lore and game dynamics. He developed the board game prototypes that provided an extremely clear direction to the computer game.
David Lam is the code wizard who is a veteran and knows how to handle the in-depth testing that is required to make a game work in various scenarios.
What can we learn from these makers?
It’s incredible how much quality and fun can be generated by a small team of 3 dedicated people.
If you ever thought of making a game, there is a ton to learn from this interview which you can listen to here. This interview will provide you with a lot of insight into the process, how to get started, and how to keep the development focused so you get the to finish line.
One of the critical elements in the development of For The Kings, is that Colby had worked out many of the core game dynamics all the way through before they started developing the computer version. This meant that they had a lot of clarity going into the computer version and avoided the indecision and wasted time that plagues a lot of other game development.
Days to go: 3