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Topics - Jubal

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1
Right, so Exilian is co-holding a stall with Utherwald Press for the Friday and Sunday (and technically the Saturday but I won't actually be there then) of UK Games Expo (which is a tabletop games event) this year.

Beyond flyers for the site (I've ordered a thousand), what should I bring along to show to people? We obviously don't have much of our "own" stuff as we're a facilitating website not a game publisher etc in our own right. On the other hand I need some conversation pieces/not to have a completely bare stand.

Possibilities:
  • I'd really like to get some stuff on all the tabletop projects we have - Utherwald will be there, I can do stuff for my own projects, if we can get Norbayne and maybe Fox Box stuff that would be super good too.
  • I can actually set out some of my own games, especially smaller ones, the stuff for Botolph Lane or Empedocles' Stones is easy to cart around.
  • There's also the historical boardgames option, which I feel is good for us because it bridges this into eg history sections, though I don't know if that would be boring or if people would know Senet/Royal Game of Ur/Zatrikion etc already at a big boardgame convention like that?
  • I really don't know what other options I have but all thoughts welcome

2
So down the index, we have text descriptions of some boards and not others below the board title. Are these descriptions useful? I think we should either have them on all boards or no boards, ideally.

3
Rome - Total Realism / RTR & Forum Changes
« on: May 24, 2017, 11:56:07 PM »
We've just done a big forum index change that's moved most modding to lower-level forums: we still want to fully support mod projects, but so few are active that it didn't seem like the strongest use of index space to have separate RTW/M&B/General mod areas. I've left RTR as a second-level forum, outside the other RTW mod areas, as it's still broadly "active" and I wanted to keep it easier to access, but if you'd rather it moved down to where the other RTW mods are I can do that too :)

4
The Town Crier! Announcements! / Board changes and recent downtime
« on: May 24, 2017, 04:44:51 PM »
Hi all,

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 megadux@exilian.co.uk as soon as possible.

Many thanks and best wishes,

Jubal (Megadux)

5
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / UK Election 2017
« on: May 24, 2017, 01:22:57 PM »
Yup, the UK is having a general election.

Major catch-up for non-Brits:
  • Going in to the election, Conservatives (governing right wing party) had a big ol' lead over Labour (left).
  • Election was called probably partly to take advantage of this to knock a load more seats off Labour's vote tally, and partly to smooth over any complications with a set of potential electoral fraud cases against the Conservatives from 2015 (though in the end those didn't lead to any prosecutions, as the law requires proof of fraudulent intent to prosecute).
  • UKIP, the harder-right nationalist party, collapsed as soon as the election was called - their vote has halved in a matter of weeks and the Conservatives have picked up almost all of it, reaching nearly 50% of the national vote. This is probably due to the poor approval ratings of Labour's leader Jeremy Corbyn, and to people trusting Theresa May more to deliver a firm Brexit deal.
  • Labour's vote has also shot up, however, probably taking some votes from all the other parties and certainly squeezing the Liberal Democrat and Green vote. Whilst the Conservatives are still extremely dominant, Labour have narrowed the gap so it may be less of a landslide than expected a week or so ago.
  • The Liberal Democrats are fighting on a mostly anti-Brexit platform, but Brexit hasn't turned out to be the main election issue, the party is small and struggles for air time, and it's unclear that the public have taken to Tim Farron as their leader. The LDs have thus slipped a point or so in polls back to about where they were in 2015. They may still be able to take some more seats in places like south London where Theresa May's quite nationalist/populist style of Conservatism goes down less well.
  • The biggest furore so far has been over care costs, where Theresa May's government wanted to include the value of people's homes in the amount they could be liable for when working out care for the elderly. This would have made it a lot harder for middle-income pensioners, especially those with long term needs like dementia, to pass their houses on to their children (and still wouldn't have dented the wealth of the highest-wealth pensioner groups). It's thus been very unpopular with just about everyone, put May under a lot of pressure, and the government has U-turned and announced that there will be some cap but aren't saying what.
  • Most recently, we just had a major terrorist attack which has shaken up the campaign and led to a temporary campaigning freeze which is now slowly being relaxed. We've got troops guarding major buildings (very unusual in the UK) and the probable coming focus on security issues may provide another boost to the Conservatives (both because they're the incumbent government and because they're traditionally seen as "tougher" than Labour). It's unclear how much this will affect the election still, though.
  • Everything is different in Scotland, where the SNP have almost all the seats but are finally on the back foot and may lose some seats to the Conservatives (and possibly 1 or 2 to the Lib Dems if we're lucky).

My prediction is that the Tories will sleepwalk home but probably not quite hit landslide territory - I'm going to guess around 370 to 380 seats for the Conservatives. Though I may be wrong and they may sail up to 400+ of course, especially if Labour crumple worse than expected in the midlands and Yorkshire. (I'd say 390 or so is about the landslide mark). I don't think my (Lib Dem) party will do that well, I'm hoping for a handful of net gains but we may well stay pretty static if it's a bad night for us. Labour will stay as main opposition, and might do well enough for Corbyn to stay leader which could create a whole new mess after the election.

6
The Boozer / So I'm running away to Austria
« on: May 22, 2017, 10:40:00 PM »
Title is what it says on the tin, I'm heading off to Vienna for at least three years to do a doctorate, starting in August :)

Anybody got recommendations for what to do in central Europe/want me to froth at them about my research/etc?

7
So I did actually enter the 200 word RPG contest; reposting my entries here in case anyone wants a look :)

Power Chord: A Musical RPG
Spoiler (click to show/hide)


To Sea in A Sieve!
(Nb for those who need more detail on the background to this, see : https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/54364)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

8
Historical Boardgames / Playthrough video: The Royal Game of Ur
« on: May 10, 2017, 11:53:30 PM »
This is quite long, but actually immensely interesting and good fun, highly recommend - featuring YouTubbe science guy Tom Scott playing against Irving Finkel, an eccentric bearded curator who actually deciphered a variant of the game rules & was the first person to do so :)


9
Issue 12: April 2017

EDITORIAL
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!

CONTENTS:

  • LIFE trailer released
  • There are Empires in the Undergrowth!
  • R3nnor!
  • 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 Westeros

Jubal 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...!

10
The Exilian Channel & Twitch / Jubal attempts streaming
« on: April 16, 2017, 12:54:46 AM »
Ta-da, me streaming MMiaW (now finished, but here's the video):
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/135889314

11
Bigosaur / Jubal's Doctor Who Skinpack
« on: April 15, 2017, 06:03:40 PM »
MMiaW - 12th Doctor Skinpack


I finally made another skinpack! This is another one-file pack in honour of the start of Peter Capaldi's last season in Doctor Who. The pack transforms one of your playable wizard characters to have the distinctive jacket, three piece suit, haircut and wrinkles of the twelfth doctor. :)

SCREENSHOTS
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

12
Tabletop Design - The Senet House / 200 word RPG contest
« on: April 08, 2017, 10:06:12 PM »
Just saw someone link this on FB - as it says on the tin, a competition to do an RPG design in 200 words:
https://200wordrpg.github.io/2017entries

If I get time I might put an entry together, anyone else interested? :)

13
LIFE / Beta testing signups & feedback
« on: April 06, 2017, 09:29:28 PM »
OK, this is the thread to sign up to beta test, which will also be used as a general discussion thread for the closed release. If you want to know more about which features are included or involved, check the thread here.

Signups are currently open, either post here or email me at james(at)wavcott(dot)org(dot)uk. You can submit bug reports either by posting in this thread or by email: I would prefer it if people posted here as then it's easier for everyone else to see what's already been reported and easier for me to keep track of it, but I will accept reports by email if people prefer. I'm hoping to get the closed beta out to testers by around the 14th or 15th of this month (April), so signups are open now.


CURRENT OPEN REPORTS
~None Yet~

14
LIFE / LIFE - feature list & other info
« on: April 06, 2017, 09:14:14 PM »

Your planet has been destroyed by the Dalek Empire, and your memory of the events half-obliterated; having been saved in unclear circumstances, you find yourself on a resistance base from which you can begin to fight back against the daleks who destroyed your world. Starting out with almost nothing, you must find your way through the world and get to know its bizarre and wonderful array of peoples, creatures, and sandwich fillings, as you carve out your own path towards your eventual destiny.

The resistance have a dalek of their own, that said: the Good Dalek, as they call it. Its single great pronouncement is their motto, a motto that has helped fuse a once-disparate collection of species into a desperate alliance to take the fight back to the Daleks and save the galaxy...


LIFE RETURNS
LIFE PREVAILS
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!

FEATURES:
  • Text-parser adventure focussed on puzzle solving and item use
  • Open world gameplay with around fifty scenes to visit across two planets and four other spaceships and space stations
  • Fully illustrated with classic-style pixel art and with a range of backing music and sounds to build up the theme of different locations
  • Six playable species that emphasise different aspects of the game and different solutions to puzzles
  • Multiple routes to victory and some puzzles that change with each game, giving significant replayability value
  • Minigames that give different playstyles, allow for more advanced puzzles and tactical thinking, or change up the pace from regular text-parser play
  • Wide range of other options for things to do - discover more about the world through dialogue, complete missions for the resistance, keep pets, upgrade your spaceship, and more
  • Richly detailed world with extensive added backstories and many nods to Doctor Who lore
  • Achievements system allowing you to unlock some extra content

15
LIFE / New trailer video
« on: April 06, 2017, 12:44:48 AM »

Let me know what you think :)

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