Posted on June 02, 2017, 10:54:43 AM by Jubal
Exilian is at UK Games Expo!
Exilian at UK Games Expo 2017We're at UK Games Expo, on stand J7, today and sunday - do come along and say hello! We're promoting the full range of Exilian's tabletop projects, including our co-exhibitor Utherwald Press, the orky madness of Fox Box minis, the Greek underworld adventures of Hetairos, the wild fantasy world of Norbayne, and much much more. It looks like being an exciting day and we're hoping to meet plenty of potential new members - see you there!
Posted on May 31, 2017, 11:59:04 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 13: May 2017
Issue 13: May 2017EDITORIAL
Hello there, and welcome to Updates from the Forge, Issue 13!
There’s plenty of news from around the site this month. We’ve done some significant overhauls to the organisation of the forum, condensing to fewer top-level forums to make the board structure easier to navigate and removing some smaller subforums that were no longer being used. We also have an ongoing programme of visual and technical improvements to the site – some invisible, like our new backup systems, some more so like clipping images to page sizes and pretty new “E” symbols that show new posts instead of the standard SMF paper. Particular thanks should go to new tech volunteers Koobazaur and Florp, and to the webmaster of the chiark webservers who is kindly providing hosting for our new backup capacity. There are several more changes planned for June, so stay tuned and expect more announcements in June’s Updates!
Exilian is also going to be present at UK Games Expo next week – there’ll be a separate newspost soon giving the full details of how you can find us if you’re there.
On top of all that, of course, we’ve got this month’s updates – from regular appearances like Bigosaur and Utherwald Press to new projects like WarpDogs’ Village Monsters and Jubal’s Magician’s Labyrinth, there’s plenty to get excited about! Do read on and check out the great stuff we’ve got in this issue…
- A rather Monstrous Village...
- My Mom Is A Witch - Mods and More Content
- Dare you enter the Magicians' Labyrinth?
- Editing and Expos at Utherwald Press
- Come and join in with Exilian Poetry!
Welcome to a rather Monstrous Village!New member WarpDogsVG has been bringing dev diaries and of his in-production game Village Monsters, in which a once-played computer game world has settled down into peaceful village life and monsters have relaxed into pastoral harmony… which, for the first time in an age, you enter as a human player! You will be able to discover a great deal about the world, take up hobbies like critter collecting – and also take advantage of the ways that the game has degenerated since the monsters were at their prime all those years ago, with “glitch powers” that let you turn bugs to your advantage! It’s all looking great, so do head over and have a chat about what’s going on.
My Mom Is A Witch - Mods and More ContentBigosaur’s My Mom Is A Witch continues to go from strength to strength, and there are plenty of recent updates, including the new crystal wizard boss and many bugfixes and balance tweaks such as faster and more powerful archery becoming available. The game also has two additional skin-packs that you can download made by our very own Jubal, both of which are Doctor Who themed – one that turns the standard wizard character into Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor, and one that turns the goblins into Sontarans. You can find those in the Bigosaur forum at the link below.
Most importantly, though, June is likely to see the release of the dungeon level, the next major part of the game. We’ve been seeing a range of great new screenshots for that, including the one above of the deadly Simerian Butcher boss who will face the players as they reach the end of the fourth level. There'll be new enemies and new traps, and a whole new set of rooms to explore - and we can't wait! If you want to keep getting fresh updates on this great game, do keep checking the main thread in Bigosaur's forum, and follow @Bigosaur on twitter.
Dare you enter the Magicians' Labyrinth?A new boardgame from Jubal with a free PDF of downloadable rules, the Magicians’ Labyrinth is a simple boardgame where each player is a wizard trying to rush to the centre of a maze and out again. There’s only one problem – the labyrinth doesn’t have any doors or corridors, just a set of walled-off rooms. The players must use their spells to forge a path to the centre, block off their rivals, gain additional magical powers, and potentially duel their enemies in mortal combat. Take a look and try it out!
Editing and Expos at Utherwald PressFrozen Skies, the Savage Worlds sourcebook from Utherwald Press covering the background and rules for the ice-cold dieselpunk setting of Aleyska, is rapidly taking shape. As well as the book going through its editing phases, recent discussions have included tweaks to the coinage system and an early release of the map in the Press’ May Update. Showing the sweep of Aleyska from the tough eastern metropolis of Gravenburgh to the wild, terrifying Wulflands in the west, you can really see Aleyska come to life in it:Discussions have also started on the possibility of Utherwald Press producing setting documents & rules for a range of Cold War conflicts, which you can check out and discuss in their forum – there’s lots going on. And also of course, if you’re at UK Games Expo this weekend (2nd-4th June), do check out Utherwald Press at stand J7!
Come and join in with Exilian Poetry!The Exilian poetry section is always a great place to read, write, and relax. If you ever feel like writing and want to get feedback, or just want to express yourself, do come along and join in. Whether you're planning to be prolific or less frequent, whether you write blank verse or sonnets, there's a warm welcome waiting for you. You could well get your poem featured in a future issue of Updates - we're every bit as keen to promote indie writers, academics and artists as game developers - so do head over and take a look. And we'll leave you with this little poem, added this month by Jubal:
Perhaps there's a land where the bluebells grow
In song and silence shadowing, in hope and hopeful flowering,
Where soft are the summers and brief the snow,
In leaf and root meadow-grown
Perhaps there's a land that is over the sea,
Past great grey sails billowing, and breeze and zephyr following,
Where the harbours are sound and there's light in a window
In welcome and kindness
Perhaps, o perhaps, there too shall go I,
And never more a-tarrying where cold gales oft are harrowing
I shall build the world found in my mind's quiet eye
And on earth and in hope-song
So that about wraps it up for this month: of course as usual, if you want to help with writing or you have a story we should be covering, please PM me (Jubal) or email email@example.com to get in touch. We try to cover a wide range of projects and we're always interested in more whether it's game dev, art, writing, or any other sort of geek creativity!
That's all the updates from the Exilian forges for now - there'll be lots more to talk about in Issue 14!
Posted on May 24, 2017, 04:44:51 PM by Jubal
Board changes and recent downtime
As anyone who looks at the index will doubtless notice, we've done a big "crunching" of top-level boards to make the main site index less cluttered. There are still places to discuss everything, and any posts you might be looking for from the older forums will be available to view in the site archive.
Please let us know what you think of the new arrangements/order, whether there are any thread you think need retrieving from the archives, and whether you'd like to see any further simplifications in future.
You may also have noticed an hour or two of downtime earlier today. This happened as a result of a mislabelled security patch for our SMF software that required a higher version of PHP than our hosting providers give us access to. We are looking into what can be done in order to get future SMF patches, and we have rolled back to a backup version. The backup installation is a complex and somewhat tricky process, however, affecting many of the site's core files - if you find any forum functionality that appears to have stopped working or gives you error messages, please let us know in the forum discussion thread or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Many thanks and best wishes,
Posted on May 02, 2017, 11:42:22 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 12: April 2017
Issue 12: April 2017EDITORIAL
April has rolled round and become May, so it's probably (past) time for April's issue of Updates from the Forge! It's been a busy month as usual, and the five projects featured this month are all either new or have made major jumps forward since we last looked at them, which is always nice to see!
Behind the scenes there's a lot of future planning going on around Exilian, and improvements being made - thanks in particular to Koobazaur for being a new CSS/tech volunteer for us and fixing the forum's image scaling/sizing issue. It's likely we'll archive some more unused forums soon to streamline what we have remaining, and plans for some new site-level ideas and projects are in the pipeline. If you think you can help with any of our organisation, social media, or staffing activity, please get in touch.
But anyhow... take a look at what we've got featured this month!
- LIFE trailer released
- There are Empires in the Undergrowth!
- The Songs of Westeros
- The Spaceship just left the Shipyard..
LIFE trailer released!A new trailer has come out for Jubal's classic-style Whovian adventure game LIFE, teasing some of the major planets, minigames, and other events in the adventure! Take a look:LIFE is a mainly text based adventure with a range of puzzles to solve and minigames to play, based in the Doctor Who universe. It's being developed as a free hobby project and will cost you nothing to download and play when it's finished! You can find out more about LIFE, including upcoming beta testing opportunities, in the LIFE forum on Exilian.
There are Empires in the Undergrowth!JeffNevington has recently been sharing the demo version of his ant-colony themed RTS, Empires of the Undergrowth. It's an impressively constructed piece of work with beautiful graphics, as worker and soldier ants scuttle around a range of scenarios and battle not only opposing colonies but huge, plodding beetles and other foes that tread heavy through the underground tunnels and can crush ants with a single bite of their powerful jaws. It's a gorgeous game and there's lots more to come, so definitely one to watch!There's a lot to be said beyond the look as well, with innovative concepts such as commanding your ants via scent trails to give a high level of detail to the Empires of the Undergrowth experience. Enemy creatures also have a range of options, including toxic sprays, and there's already a balance between food storage, mining new areas, and more to be had as you build up your colony. Download to have a go yourself!
R3nnor!A new platformer game project from ndnninja, R3nnor is a neat little 2d sidescrolling platformer with challenging jumps and obstacles across four well designed levels. Despite the foreboding look of those skyscrapers in the background, we're sure that the little dark blob-character is going to have some rather exciting adventures in the near future; adventure is always just one more platform away!You can check out R3nnor's thread for more:
The Songs of WesterosJubal has recently been adding more of his "A Bard of Ice and Fire" songs to our Exilian Media YouTube channel. The new additions are the Baratheon and Greyjoy songs - the former a drum-beating marching song for soldiers treading their way through the rugged Stormlands, the latter a thumping sea shanty for sailing down the coast to raid the Reach or the Westerlands. There's lots of great content coming out on Exilian Media, so if you're not yet subscribed then head over and give the channel some likes & subscriptions! Here's the short Greyjoy sea shanty "We Do Not Sow..." as a taster...
The Spaceship just left the Shipyard......as a new demo of Space Shipyard has appeared, including the first battle demos, lasers, fires, and all the things you'd expect as you battle it out with other spaceships to keep your systems running and get your crew at battle stations!Battles in Space Shipyard include a wide range of fast-paced tactical options, redeploying your crew members to put out fires and boost certain ship areas as well as being able to use vital special abilities such as high-powered shields and brutal blasting weapons as you attempt to ensure yours is the last ship standing. Opening bulkheads can help put out fires, but at the risk of starving parts of your ship of oxygen - will you manage to cope and lead your little crew to victory? Download the demo to find out...
Another month has rolled round and we've still got plenty for these issues - if you can contribute or think of more that should've been in here, please get in touch as usual.
That's all for now - see you next time for Issue 13...!
Posted on March 31, 2017, 11:59:22 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 11: March 2017
Issue 11: March 2017EDITORIAL
We've all had that homework piece or essay that we've forgotten about until terrifyingly close to the deadline - as I start writing this, it's 21:49pm on the last day of March and I haven't pre-written any articles, so I'm getting a wonderful re-living of my school experiences right now...
In site news - Exilian is now officially nine years old, which is an impressive achievement for a website that was expected on its founding to have a lifespan of around a fortnight, tops. We've had another quiet month thanks to some staff being called off to conferences and terrifying bits of reality, but there are some big plans afoot to improve how we get content out and link up parts of the site which will hopefully come into being more seriously in April. I should also mention that our twitch channel is doing very well and building up a following, mostly for folk watching No1 Croat Fan and friends' madcap attempts to complete Russian lumberjacking simulator game SpinTyres. If you'd like to come along and chat to the team, broadcasts are usually on Saturdays and you can visit and subscribe to the channel here.
Without further ado - here's Updates from the Forge, Issue 11!
- Between a rock and a hornet queen - My Mom's A Witch updates
- Cloudhaunts and more from Utherwald Press
- Mr. Molotov Man strikes again...
- New Music on Exilian Media
- Introducing ScreenAdventure!
Between a rock and a hornet queen - My Mom's A Witch updatesThere are some fantasic new updates available on Bigosaur's My Mom is a Witch! Of particular interest are two new level-end bosses. The first is the earth golem, who stands at the end of the forest level with a devastating new range of attacks for more experienced players including meteor showers and turning its whole body into a rolling boulder. There's also a hornet queen who inhabits the battlements in place of the dragon in some games, and has deadly poisoned attacks and the ability to spawn new hornet enemies like this little blighter:That's not all, of course. There are new items, too, including the shepherd staff, and new bonus areas in the forest including the ability to tame boars to your side! You can finally meet the King, too, and play as the fruit-producing sorceress character. With all that and more, there's increasingly a vast and diverse amount of content available in this increasingly wonderful adventure.
Cloudhaunts and more from Utherwald PressUtherwald Press' most recent update has focussed back on a redesign of the deadly Cloudhaunts, winged pack-hunting mammals with ferocious appetites and the ability (and motive) to attack planes and airships in large numbers. Clouds of them descending out of the sky (with new rules available on the Utherwald website) will no doubt ruin many a player's day - and possibly also their plane, airship, and/or life expectancy in the process!
Other update topics this month have included the nomadic skykin, travelling wanderers of the airways akin to the more ground-dwelling genchi, and the regal class skyship, a powerful battle cruiser with several mighty cannon ready to pound volleys of fury into the enemy. The world of Aleyska is still very much being built up week by week, and it's always exciting to see more of it come together. Click the link below to enter the frozen skies!
Mr. Molotov Man strikes again...A spin-off from Koobazaur's excellent story-game about the dangers and pitfalls of journalism and sensationalism, Headliner, the minigame Mr. Molotov Man is... different in style. Who Mr. Molotov Man is we never find out. Is he a criminal? A terrorist? An anarchist, a freedom fighter? Simply a pyromaniac? One thing, and only one, is for certain: he has a literally infinite number of molotov cocktails and a city to destroy.From this premise comes the game - start wandering an empty street, and then as the emergency (and the fire, and the mass of burning people, bins, and cars) develops further, successive waves of futuristic police come to try and take down the Molotov Man before he can kill more. Face basic street cops, laser-wielding robot drone police, and more, as the conflagration and conflict continue! If you want some mindless fun and a LOT of flames, this is a great place to start.
New Music on Exilian MediaThe Exilian Media Channel has seen a range of extra music released recently. With the announcement of the new season of Game of Thrones just out, we've appropriately had two extra songs from Jubal's A Bard of Ice and Fire song collection recorded and put up on the channel - The Knights of Summer for House Tyrell, chivalrous masters of the Reach, and The Black Flower, a song for Targaryen loyalists to look forward to the day when their Valyrian-descended masters return in power to Dragonstone and claim Westeros as their own once again.
Bu that's not all! We've also got several other new videos up this month, including poetry reading for world poetry day, and, most recently, Age of Kings - an original lyric set by Jubal that fits to the tune of the Age of Empires theme music.
Please remember to subscribe, and take a look at what we're producing!
Introducing ScreenAdventure!Dey505, creator of Old Adventure, returns with a new kickstarter for another platforming game, ScreenAdventure! In this puzzle-platformer you'll have a range of characters available to quest through many different levels with a window that moves across and around your computer screen! Boasting complex and innovative level design ideas, there will be a great range of stuff to look at! You can take a look at the recently released kickstarter campaign and videos of the project in development at the links below:
As usual, let me know if you have extra items for Updates and I'll try and make sure to include them - we're happy to cover academic and creative projects of all sorts as long as they're posted somewhere around the forum, and we'd always like to have more items and the widest range of stuff possible.
See you at the end of April for the next issue of Updates from the Forge!