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Foxhole's developers are bringing their massively multiplayer formula to medieval warfare

Siege castles with thousands of fellow soldiers

Foxhole finished its early access journey last year as an expansive massively multiplayer World War 2 shooter that looks and functions like an RTS in which every soldier is an individual player. Now developers Siege Camp (formerly Clapfoot) have announced Anvil Empires, which seems similar in every way except its now thousands-strong armies are forging arrows and sieging castles in medieval warfare.

Here's the announcement trailer:

Watch on YouTube

Anvil Empires is set in a persistent online world in which thousands of players work together to farm, hunt, raise animals, build settlements and castles, and then lead siege warfare against one another. Nothing happens without a player doing it, which means logistics play a large role as people work together to keep frontline armies fed and armed with battering rams and siege ladders.

"An RTS but all the units are players" has been an oft attempted game design, I feel, but Foxhole is the first time it's been done successfully. I think that's because it keeps the from-on-high camera perspective and trusts players to self-organise, rather than making it a first-person shooter for all but one omnipotent 'commander' role. The results are a little like a more focused yet varied EVE Online.

Translating that to a new setting is a no-brainer, and tremendously exciting to me. Anvil Empires will support "an order of magnitude more players", according to its first devlog, as well as a greater emphasis on settlement building.

A free pre-alpha for the game will launch into testing next month, during which only a small number of features will be in place and features will be "added, removed, or drastically changed." You can volunteer to take part by heading to the Anvil Empires Discord. An early access Steam release will come later, with as yet no fixed release date.

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