Empire Forge Software's Forge of Legends is a dungeon crawler that's flown beneath our radar for awhile now, but thanks to an introductory preview written by designer Jeff Sullins for RPGWatch, that's no longer the case. Since this is the first time we've covered the game, I'll also point you to our image gallery for a round of screenshots and a video that Jeff recorded this summer that introduces us to monster AI and the Creeping Coins creature that was inspired by the original Wizardry:
And here's an excerpt from the introduction:
The game features much of what I crave in an RPG. Namely: - a party of six characters - turn-based combat - freedom to move tactically (more on this later) - multiple races, classes, spells, and monsters - multiple dungeons to explore - a first-person dungeon view
I've also created what I hope is an interesting angle for this kind RPG: the concept of a "Guild." In the Forge of Legends world, adventurers gather together in guilds -- actually competing with other guilds for rewards and reputation. Part of the goal of the game, then, is to climb to the top and become the best guild, beating out others through questing, fulfilling contracts, and even directly through arena bouts.
Another aspect of the game is the tactical movement. In the past, some games of this type would limit the party to essentially occupying one "square" in the dungeon, while multiple monsters roamed freely about. I want to unchain the characters and allow the freedom for each character to move about independently in combat. This presents all kinds of interesting tactical possibilities, and it has proven to be a lot of fun in the prototype. To make it work well, the party (when not in combat) moves through the dungeon in a player-defined formation. Individual party members do their best to maintain the formation until combat breaks out. Then, each party member can be controlled independently to engage the enemy (or not) as the player chooses.