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Topics - Jubal

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1
Fireball XL5 Ep 27: The Robot Freighter Mystery

Rating out of 10: 7.1
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0807596/?ref_=ttep_ep27

In which Steve basically goes batarmadillo crazy and breaks any reasonable definition of the law for literally no reason, ruining an otherwise pretty good plot.

There are some good things to say about this episode, which is why the ending (on which more later) is quite so painful. It includes one of the few times when some villains genuinely outsmart Steve with a good plan that doesn't rely on Steve being phenomenally stupid himself, for one thing. The basic setup with racketeers and needing to guard cargo vessels is a fine and interesting element of space patrol duties to look at, and the gangsters, if slightly cliched, are pretty good villains; it's nice to see villains who aren't super powerful, aren't trying to destroy the earth, but still have a serious mean swagger to them. The basic racketeering plot is a good one, and the aforementioned outwitting of Steve when he goes in convoy is a very nice twist...

...and then the episode falls apart, absurdly and completely. The only hole in the first part of the episode is the strange lack of effective ways of catching the bad guys' mole in space patrol, a conniving Mexican-coded engineer who appears to have sprung straight out of a Donald J. Trump for President leaflet (itself not a great look). Like, apparently fitting a security camera inside a robotic spaceship seemed like too much work for anyone to bother with. But anyhow, that's a relatively minor point and could be overlooked, compared to the fact that, having caught the mole red handed planting a literal bomb on the spaceship, Steve then goes and gets him and the brothers at gunpoint, and puts them on the robot freighter with a fake bomb to extract a confession. This is, needless to say, not precisely how the law works; confession under duress is invalid in a law court (and lack of legally valid evidence was the only reason they hadn't arrested the villains sooner), not to mention that Steve isn't a police officer and probably can't make gunpoint arrests. Even less pernicketily - it's also COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY. He's just caught a guy red handed planting a bomb on a spaceship, so that's a) a lot of criminal counts right there immediately, b) removing the mole would stop the racket anyway and c) it would probably be fairly easy to catch the rest of the ring via a plea-bargain. Steve's actions are, in short utterly batarmadillo nuts and completely pointless, turning what should have been a well worked victory against cunning opponents into a "let's be honest, Steve should be literally arrested for this" moment.

The good features of the first half of the episode do drag this up quite a lot, and I'll let it scrape into the "average" category with a 7.1 thanks to the unusually well played villains and the first half of the episode being high quality, but there's at least a full point of difference between that and where this episode could have got to with a half-decent and functional ending.

2
Supermarionation / Fireball XL5 Episode 23 review: Mystery of the TA2
« on: February 22, 2017, 12:52:29 AM »
Fireball XL5 Ep 23: Mystery of the TA2

Rating out of 10: 8.3
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0807588/?ref_=ttep_ep23

Mystery of the TA2 is definitely a well built Fireball episode - it sets up its core mystery well, has some clear phases through the protagonists' journey, and manages to build the world and setting up a little as well in the process.

The basic plot all checks out and works well - the central mystery around the wreckage and tracing it, the empty TA2 getting searched which has a really nice slightly creepy Mary Celeste feel, and then the segments on Arcturus all broadly make sense. The origins of the TA2 help us feel like the space patrol has some history behind it, and the odds and ends of thinking about things like earlier tech in the patrol as well as the specific mystery gives the vital impression of depth. The salvage mission also makes for some nice crew dynamics, with Matic's bumbling nature but longer memory contrasted with Venus' efficiency and desire to find out new things, and with Steve acting oddly like a sensible captain for once. Commander Zero's brief parts in the episode are good too. His bluster about "regulations" comes up regularly in Fireball, but we get another regular reminder at the end that this is nothing more than bluster and frustration (and probably worry for his crews) - he turns out to be as pragmatic and flexible in his underlying approach as ever.

On Arcturus, the "let us, three people, split up and search this whole planet for what's probably one corpse from about 50 years back that may be buried in a hundred feet of ice right now" is a bit odd, but then the "every planet is plot-sized" thing is quite consistent in Fireball (and I can't criticise too much since I've done the same thing myself in creating my adventure game LIFE). The ice trial is nice, it's a fairly original idea that I at least haven't seen played out elsewhere, and the "trial by natural phenomenon" category isn't otherwise used much in Fireball whilst being a good suspense generator. Denton himself fits the part well, with the shots and discussions establishing him effectively, and even giving him some interesting depth of motivation between perceived duty to the Arcturans and desire to return to earth. The scene where he watches Fireball fade into the distance is certainly one of the more poignant of the series, especially for a minor character.

It would be wrong to do this review and not mention the trope issue that seems fairly glaring to a modern analytical perspective, though was probably not much considered at the time - specifically, the infantilisation of a native people (Denton's description of them as "like children" is ambiguous by may imply this) and the "great foreign man turns up and is made king". The vaguely feathery headgear of the Arcturans even has a little reminiscence of something stereotypically "native", though the very medieval style of the castle/palace helps somewhat to break up the trope played straight. This trope is of course somewhat more forgivable when a literal new species is created for the purpose, but it's a bit hard not to feel like it's mirroring rather less pleasant portrayals in older adventure stories. The brief use of the trope might be its saving grace; whilst more exploration of the Denton/Arcturan dynamic (their fear of having "their" king "stolen" is interesting) might have been interesting to elucidate whether Denton's view of them is accurate, it might also have cemented some of the more awkward and clunky elements of the trope in place.

Whilst there are a few reservations from me about this episode, it's definitely a very good piece of work overall, and considerably above Fireball's average - an 8.3 score being the result.

3
Supermarionation / Fireball XL5 Episode 17 review: Space Vacation
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:40:17 AM »
Fireball XL5 Ep 17: Space Vacation

Rating out of 10: 8.5
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0807592/?ref_=tt_ep_nx

I like Space Vacation - it's got a lot of similarities to Planet of Platonia (probably my favourite episode), and whilst it's a slightly weaker episode overall there are a lot of good things to say and a very good score as a result.

Fireball actually is pretty good when it tries to do extraterrestrial politics, something it doesn't do enough; it's a good way of providing character motivations that aren't just cackling-villain in style, and whilst both villains in this piece do get some literal cackling opportunities, the Fireball crew getting caught up in what's fundamentally a "domestic" intrigue around the planets of Olympus and Kembel is great, fitting the "Odyssey" style that tends to mean Fireball is at its best. The Olympus-Kembel dynamic, represented by the two planets' leaders (Jankel on Olympus and Kanerik on Kembel), gives a good impression of depth in the Fireball universe that's too often lacking in other episodes, and having two antagonists who are opposed to one another is a good way of adding extra complexity. The dichotomy between unpleasant Kembel and beautiful Olympus - but the way that isn't reflected in the two leaders, who are as bad as one another, is nice. The shaping of Kanerik as a ruthless and implied-demagogic (given he starts the episode giving some sort of mass radio broadcast) leader seeking to turn his downtrodden folk into conquerors, versus the outwardly opulent but fundamentally xenophobic and avaricious Jankel, means that the secondary characters all get enough motivation and background to drive them believably through the plot. The positioning of Irgon as a younger idealist ruler whilst also wrapping him up in the plots works very well indeed.

The plot development is also well handled, with the leaders' plans and failures drawing the Fireball crew in convincingly, every character actually has an explained motivation; the old rivalry, the assassination attempts, the kidnapping and even Jankel snapping under the strain all fundamentally make sense in context. Even the lightning blast that hits Fireball is actually foreshadowed earlier in the episode, which is excellent. The time-limitation plot device adds suitable pressure onto the ending and means that the later segments of the episode get a good buildup of tension towards the climax.

Are there downsides? Of course, but not many. The biggest plot-wtf moment is the fact that Steve managed to literally walk into the Kembellian leader's base and knock him out with a rock feels a bit bizarre for the lack of guards or any other similar devices. These planets are supposed to have been having frequent wars, and one guy on a hoverbike can walk through the automatic doors and knock out the supreme leader of Kembel? It's not a strong plot point, and nor is Jankel's apparent lack of any resources other than Steve - he's the leader of a planet and has to resort to sending one earth-man in with no mention of declaring war? This could be explained somehow (perhaps Fireball can get onto Kembel where Olympian ships would be shot down), but it isn't. The ending is alright but a little under-explained as to why and how Irgon is able to quietly threaten the argumentative parties with earth's intervention (but OK, that's me being pernickety). Some time could have been freed up to give us a little more on this by cutting out some of the rather lame cracks about Venus (in her usual role as stand-in for all womankind) and her holiday packing, though even in that scene the fact that the crew borrowing Fireball for a holiday is actually directly addressed is unusually good attention to plot detail.

All in all, a very nice episode of Fireball, one which adds quite a bit to the universe and has some very good sustained tertiary-character development. An 8.5, one of the higher scores of the series.

4
Supermarionation / Fireball XL5 Episode 11 Review: Space Monster
« on: February 19, 2017, 09:11:47 PM »
Fireball XL5 Ep 11: Space Monster

Rating out of 10: 7.0
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0803302/?ref_=ttep_ep11

7 may be a rather generous score for an episode that utterly fails at its eponymous feature, but there were some redeeming features here too that meant I mostly enjoyed watching.

We'll start with the big obvious negative though - the space monster itself. It's basically a badly made dinosaur. Compared to the usual standard of supermarionation, it looks and feels strangely crude and carnival-like, with one half expecting the head to come off and reveal a real villain inside. The main problem is the eyes - bulging, static, and looking very still and painted. Adding more life to the puppet's face would have worked wonders for the episode. As it is, an episode fairly good on plot and character interaction feels very very strange. Despite the characterisation all being reasonably good (there are a couple of grating comments from the XL2 crew about Venus' looks which aren't picked up on, but generally the characters all interact very well), it feels like they're acting out a strange pantomime in fear of a carnival dragon.

So, given that, what's there to like about an episode called "Space Monster" that fails to deliver on a good monster? A fair amount, as it happens. The adventure plot is straightforward without relying on hackneyed villain tropes, and the behaviour of the monster and the characters all checks out fairly well. The XL2 crew appear as fairly fleshed out characters, and there are some nice glimpses into how various characters do and don't work together - an illuminating discussion between Matthew and Commander Zero that harks back to their shared histories, and the relations and planning between Steve, Ken, and Venus (I'd have liked more on the slightly fractious Ken-Venus relationship), all make this a pretty good character episode by XL5 standards. Best of all, the plot resolution is a) based on elements established earlier in the episode rather than being a deus ex machina and b) doesn't have Steve doing something obviously stupid that works solely due to Power of Dumb Heroism. I may just be satisfied at seeing Steve finally get his leg put in a cast for his continual idiocy, but nonetheless that part of the episode definitely wins points.

So despite a poor Space Monster itself, and a couple of grating points, the plot lacks too many excessive holes, the characterisation hangs together well, and as such this scrapes a 7.0 from me as a decent example of an XL5 episode.

5
Age of Tyrants / Test report 18-19 Feb 2017
« on: February 19, 2017, 02:08:02 AM »
Had a really nice test of this today w/fellow Byzantinists. Played with 8 players for the first time. Very close game, which is good.  :)

Obvious issues:
  • Slow start, not helped by alcohol and cake intake during play
  • 8 players is tough for any boardgame - it was nice for some parts of the game, but still meant too many people sitting around too often
  • Still slightly too frequent that players had to discard for being unable to act
  • Need a lot more clarity on the restrictions for penalties in law courts etc - some players often given penalties that simply pegged them back too far to recover, and prosecutors tended to break the legal system by starting with "share all the defendant's wealth" which defendants found hard to deal with or respond to.
  • Battles were too usually walkovers.

Positives:
  • Close ending, with the player who appeared to be in fourth sneaking through at endgame thanks to numerous legal and stabby wranglings among top three
  • People seemed to enjoy it!
  • Players were making alliances and getting into the spirit of it; good epic speeches made etc
  • Both trial and battle mechanics seemed to work fine without too much understanding issue
  • By T3 most players seemed to have picked up the basic rules, which feels about right for this sort of game

6
Creative and Project Hub - The River Docks / What to work on, Feb 2017
« on: February 16, 2017, 12:27:58 AM »
For the next few months a few things are obvious or already committed to: some academic work (finishing thesis, learning Georgian), some actual paid work (tutoring mostly), and three other key things - seeing the political pressure group I work with through to actually existing and functioning, continuing to work with Exilian, and getting LIFE at least into beta as it's the closest of my projects to completion.

However, beyond that, not much is certain. As such, I hereby present Jubal's "what am do?" poll for Feb 2017, to survey some general thoughts from folk on what I should in fact work on in spare time, especially after the LIFE beta and my thesis are complete. There are many options - choose your favourites and I may take that as guidance to work more on those!

A list of the options is below, as well as on the poll, with links if you want to find out more about what I do/my style on any of these things:

 Adventures of Soros (Fantasy PC text-adventure)
 Stories & music content for YouTube
 Political writings - blogposts etc about current affairs
 Do a vlog series (on random interesting factoids & info)
 Storytelling tales - work on writing more short stories for telling & turning them into books
 Boardgame design - more designs, pick up & play pieces, etc
 Boardgame publication - get Botolph Lane card-game to a publishable state
 Write more of ForgeFyre (Steampunk/Gothic online story)
 Go back to work on my Guns, Swords, and Steam RPG rulebook
 Other gaming content e.g. reviews, playing guides (mostly to old & indie games)
 History content - producing online archives, sources, etc under the Exilian banner (e.g. things like the Roman Law Project)
 Other writing, producing more short & long fiction and poems

7
The Town Crier! Announcements! / Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!
« on: February 14, 2017, 01:14:21 PM »
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!



It's Cyril and Methodius Day - Exilian's annual celebration of languages, linguistics, and literacy. Today's a day to hug a friendly linguist, talk to your friends in other countries, read a book, learn a new language, and much much more. Do drop by on our official thread and say hello, and do spread the word as well! We're also, as last year, fundraising for the Room to Read charity which spreads the gift of literacy in developing countries. If you'd like to donate, please do - all money goes straight to the charity, and it would be great to beat our £85 total from last year. Besides that - enjoy the alphabets and excitement, and have a great Cyril & Methodius Day :)


8
The Boozer / Cyril & Methodius Day 2017 Thread
« on: February 13, 2017, 02:42:59 PM »
Cyril and Methodius Day is, as always, February 14, which in 2017 is a Tuesday. So here's a thread to tell you what it is and how to celebrate it if you want to! Use this thread to wish everyone a happy C&M day and all such similar chatter :)

Please click and donate to our official charity fundraising effort for the day here!






Media
Here's a video I made in 2015 which explains some of the details:

FAQs

What is Cyril and Methodius Day?
As celebrated by Exilians and many others, Cyril and Methodius Day is a festival of literature, learning, languages, and linguistics. It's an alternative or additional celebration to the feast day of Saint Valentine - not as an "anti-Valentine's" project, but providing people another choice of celebration for the day.

How do I celebrate it?
  • Read a book.
  • Hug a friendly linguist, and tell them how much you appreciate alphabets.
  • Tell other people it's Cyril and Methodius day. Spread the word!
  • Recommend good books to a friend. Make ALL the reading happen!
  • Celebrate and discover more about European, and particularly eastern European, culture, writing, food, arts, and more.
  • Do some work on learning a language.
  • Talk to your international friends from Europe (and beyond).
  • Do conlanging/make a new alphabet!
  • Donate to a reading-related charity

Is religion important here?
We've claimed Cyril and Methodius' Day in an entirely non-denominational fashion, as has happened to many other Saints' Days, so there is no religious prerequisite for celebrating it. Cyril and Methodius were of course Christians, as were almost all people in their cultural place and context, but their work included many fields combined with or outside purely religious functions including diplomacy, law, and languages.

You've got the date wrong!
Cyril and Methodius' Day is celebrated on Feb 14 in the Catholic and Anglican traditions - the Orthodox church and others celebrate their feast at other times of year.

Why can't you just celebrate Valentine's Day?
Not everyone wants to, for all sorts of reasons. Valentine's Day tends to involve heavy commercial promotion of a certain type of romantic relationship that just doesn't suit everyone - some people are happy being single, or indeed are aromantic, or asexual, have other reasons for not wanting to celebrate, or just don't want to define their relationships and celebrate them in the way that Valentine's Day now has a tradition of promoting. Other people may just decide that Europe, reading, and languages are something they value and want to celebrate more than the alternatives. Cyril and Methodius day offers a choice of festival that embraces this and can give people a fun and interesting rationale for something different to do on Feb 14.

Who were Cyril and Methodius?
Cyril and Methodius, apostles to the Slavs, were Greek saints in the ninth century AD. They're primarily known for the creation of the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet designed specifically for slavic-family languages, and the ancestor of the modern Cyrillic (which is named after Cyril). They accomplished numerous missions on behalf of the Byzantines, including to the north of the Black Sea, though most famously to Moravia (modern Slovakia). There they worked to create and spread a uniquely Slavic Christian tradition, drawing on both the Latin and Greek traditions of learning but with many unique elements. Despite Moravia moving into the Latin sphere after their deaths, their followers moved to other Slavic nations, especially Bulgaria, from which their work influenced many eastern Europeans to this day. They are patron saints of Europe in the Catholic church.

9
General Mods - The Bazaar / Jubal's Postbug Maps
« on: February 07, 2017, 11:57:06 PM »
Jubal's Postbug Maps

Some maps for Postbug, by me!


HOW TO USE POSTBUG MAPS

Each level can be loaded using the URLs provided. To play the level:
  • Click the URL, which will load Postbug with a special URL for the map
  • Click Play
  • Select from the list
   
And that's it! If you haven't played the main Postbug run, I suggest you give that a go first. My difficulty ratings below are percentages, with the original Postbug being assumed to count as at 50% difficulty as a midpoint.


THE SIEGE OF POST CITY

Difficulty:57%
Theme:City & Environs/Medieval references

Post City stands among verdant grass, its walls a shelter for bugs and bees of all kinds... but dark forces are amassing outside the gates, and parties of spiders roam the fields. No word has been heard from or sent to Hive One in some days, and the King of the Crabs is growing irascible at the failure of parcel delivery services. There is one difficulty, one imperative, that must to stand above all else in the growing climate of fear; the mail's got to get through.

The Siege of Post City is a fairly standard Postbug run for the most part, and doesn't have too many fancy design tricks in it, being (with the exception of one room named "Arachne's Labyrinth") mostly one room at a time with themed rooms that have single gates between them. The player starts in Post City Plaza, around which four other city-edge areas are arranged (Honeymakers' Quarter, Bug-keepers' Quarter, River Docks, and Western Walls). Beyond that, the player can explore several other themed areas with different puzzles, including two underground, two fire-centric, three maze themed, one bee-heavy, and one water-themed area.




THE POSTAL QUEST OF POSTBUG THE HERO

Difficulty:66%
Theme:High fantasy


It was an Age of Darkness, long in the distant past. A latter time, after the fall of the great Woodlouse Kingdom-Beneath-The-Mountain, after the bee-Queen retreated into the heart of the forest but even there was assailed, a time when overgrown stone circles and ancient statues were all that remained of greatness and glories past. Scattered villages and high-walled castles provided refuge, where it could be found. Who could unite and secure these scattered lands? Who could bring truth, goodness, and 50% off pizza delivery vouchers to all the realms? The people needed to hear the news - they needed... a hero...

Postal Quest is a very radically different way of a Postbug map being laid out. The divisions between areas often don't run that closely to a room by room basis, there are tunnels that run around certain parts of the map, many zones that require particular access points, and so on. Broadly speaking, there's a rough area around your start location in Little Buggington that includes some herders on the scree slopes to the north, the outer caves and gates of the Woodlouse Mountain, the swamp and the Stone Circle; there's a string of other settlements curled round the far east side of the map, running from Castle Bugsworth round through Bugsford, the Lake Isle, and Bugwell down to the Statue of a Forgotten Hero; there's the Woodlouse Mountain itself; and finally there's the Bee-region, which cuts up through the centre of the map and can't be accessed until quite late in the run.

You'll find yourself ducking between rooms and into tunnels a lot to navigate all these, and you'll also find some very difficult specific puzzles where the precise pattern of your movement really does make a difference (hence the higher difficulty rating). This is definitely my favourite map that I've made so far, and I hope your quests across the Buglands are as fun as my creation of them was!

Massive detailed map (seriously, v big indeed):

Spoiler (click to show/hide)






I'm also working on a third map, which will have something of a mock-western theme to it, stay tuned :)

10
The Boozer / What should we do for Cyril & Methodius Day?
« on: February 06, 2017, 02:09:55 PM »
So, C&M day, festival of reading/literacy/languages/etc.

Thoughts on what we should do? Last year we did a little charity crowdfunder, and I'd happily run one of those again this year if people think that would be a good idea. We've got the custom banner for it, too, and video/explanation content can mostly be rolled over from last year.

Any other thoughts & ideas on what we should do as a community this year?

11
The Town Crier! Announcements! / Forum restructuring announcement
« on: February 05, 2017, 11:32:56 PM »
Hi there!

This is just a quick post to announce some changes to the way Exilian's index boards are organised, which have just been rolled out.

The previous "Ambassadors' Residences" forum has now been archived. Supported projects and companies from there have been moved in with other relevant material - for example, Utherwald Press and Fox Box moving in with other tabletop game design and development projects.

Secondly, our Indie game dev has been re-jigged; the Indie Labs and Tinkers' Alley have merged to form the new Indie Alley, which covers both hobby and commercial game dev projects. There's a new subforum, the Tinkers' Workshop, for non-game programming projects.

We hope these changes will lead to a more condensed, streamlined forum structure and make it easier for people to find what they need around the site. Any thoughts or feedback you have on the changes, do post here or in the Q&S forum.

Many thanks!

Jubal (Megadux)

12
The Boozer / Jub tries tutoring
« on: February 05, 2017, 12:24:19 AM »
As says on tin, I am now running a one-man tutoring business and needed somewhere to rant about it a bit :P

I've got one tutee I've started working with now, who's doing some GCSE (done aged 15-16 for you non-Brits) coursework on the New Deal in the USA. It's a really tricky thing to help with - it's a controlled assessment so I can't see his work directly, and he doesn't have much past essay work so working on his prose style is going to be tricky to say the least. His teachers have I think fed him strong advice to argue that the New Deal was a success, but they don't seem to have told him what criteria to set by which to judge that. He's also got a fairly pre-set essay structure of "good stuff then bad stuff" which is really hard to make flow nicely. The range of sources he can quote is pre-set, and includes (by design) far too many things from modern educators (which shouldn't need quoting as they only contain background knowledge) and some egregiously bad material which is there presumably in order to force some source analysis.

The tutee seems a capable guy, and I hope we can do some good work, but this has certainly been an eye-opening crunch into how GCSE history works from a teacher's perspective, and how maddening some of the ways it's done are. I've got an A Level student lined up in a couple of weeks doing Russian stuff, which should hopefully be more fun though I'm going to need to give myself a crash course on the Russian revolution and civil war again first...

13
Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza / World Elections 2017
« on: February 04, 2017, 08:23:54 PM »
A usual updates-on-the-news thread.

Several countries have major elections coming up in 2017 - the most prominent of these are probably France (presidential & legislative), the Netherlands (legislative), Germany (legislative & presidential), South Korea (presidential), and New Zealand (legislative).

A preview as follows of those:

France - eyes are mostly on the presidency, which has a 2-round run-off system. Far-right National Front leader Marine le Pen seems certain to win the first round, but is likely to get trounced by whichever of her three opponents makes it through to the second round. This looked to be hardline right-winger Francois Fillon, but he's been embroiled in a scandal over payments to family members and has now slipped just behind Emmanuel Macron, a former banker making an outsider run as centrist, free market, pro-EU candidate. The socialist candidate, Hamon, is only a few points behind these two, running with a classically socialist platform and having managed to pull socialist votes back from some of the further left parties who had previously been set to eclipse the socialists thanks to incumbent socialist president Hollande's unpopularity. If Hamon can pull more votes away from the leftist parties he may yet overtake Macron and Fillon and sneak into the second round. In the legislative election the FN are expected to gain significantly at the expense of both the Republicans and the Socialists, with them likely overtaking the socialists for second place in the initial vote - but, as the two-round system also operates here, they may still not manage to gain as many seats as other voters may join forces to lock them out.

Netherlands - The centre-right VVD party is in government along with the Labour party - the latter has seen a catastrophic crash in support, alongside a surge in the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam PVV which may see them overtake the VVD as the largest party. The social-liberal D66 are likely to overtake Labour as the largest centre-left challenger, but will still probably be well behind the VVD and PVV. What this could mean for a future government is unclear; the VVD have taken a less pro-immigration stance to try and weaken the PVV challenge, but neither party will be able to govern alone, and coalition negotiations are likely to be as important as the election in determining the next government.

Germany - Chancellor Angela Merkel's position is probably stable, though she is facing an unexpectedly strong challenge from Martin Schulz of the social democrats, a leading European parliamentarian and former bookseller who has taken over leadership of his centre-left party. Merkel's popularity has weakened as a result of international crises but is still broadly strong; the more socially conservative, anti-immigration AfD may nonetheless make gains and may become the third largest party by votes despite currently having no parliamentary seats, leapfrogging the Left and the Greens. On the other side, the liberal FDP may also just about pass the 5% threshold needed to enter parliament again.

South Korea - after the conservative President's impeachment in 2016, the liberal opposition see a chance to regain the presidency here. After the conservative Saenuris lost control of the legislature last year, this could mark a shift in direction, though the liberal Minjoo leadership have also moved somewhat to the right in recent years.

New Zealand - this is set to be an easy win for incumbent leader Bill English, with his National party, in power since 2008, set to secure not far short of 50% of the vote and potentially run up as much as a 20% margin over their weak Labour opposition. This will be English's first election at the helm, having taken over from John Key who recently decided to retire after 8 years in the job.

14
Pangolin Games / Welcome to Pangolin Games
« on: February 04, 2017, 07:18:05 PM »
Hullo there!

I've made this forum to pull together all my standalone game dev projects and keep the forums a bit less cluttered with them.

About me:
I'm Jubal, I'm a medieval historian from the UK, and a game developer and modder in my spare time. My modding credits include being the lead designer on Warhammer: Total War, Narnia TW, Mount & Blade: Southern Realms, and several other projects. Here you can find some little game standalone projects I've put together, under the banner of "Pangolin Games" (Pangolins tend to end up happening in my vicinity, roll with it!)

Current Projects:
LIFE - a Doctor Who adventure game where you can scoot between planets, gamble, solve puzzles, and interact with aliens on your way to trying to wreak revenge against the Dalek empire!
Adventures of Soros - a text-and-low-graphics RPG set in a classic fantasy setting of my own devising. Available in beta; currently on hold whilst I finish making LIFE.

Past/completed projects:
Raiders and Traders - an online city-builder made with JavaScript/MySQL/PHP. Doesn't work in most modern browsers.


15
Bigosaur / Skinpack list and requests thread
« on: February 04, 2017, 06:49:36 PM »
SKINPACKS & REQUESTS

This thread will contain a list of current fan-made simple skin mods and packs for MMaW, and will also be a place for people to request skins made.

SKINPACKS LIST

Christmas 2016 Skin - by Jubal
Turns the Archer into Father Christmas/Santa

REQUESTS & GUIDELINES
  • Remember that skins in MMaW generally mean just that - a recolouration of a current character or something else in the game. Beyond the colour scheme they have no effect, and the overall shape of the thing being recoloured usually cannot be changed.
  • Skin mods like this always have to replace something in the original game.
  • Please post politely, and don't get frustrated if your idea is not possible or there's nobody able to do it; people who make these add-on skins are hobbyists!

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