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Welcome to Exilian! We're one of the friendliest communities on the internet, democratically run and existing to help facilitate a range of projects in fields including game modding/content creation, programming, drama, music, debating, writing, RPG and wargame design, e-learning, and more. You can also come here to chat, discuss the news, post poetry, play forum games, and just to meet a diverse range of people from all over the world.

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Posted on March 01, 2017, 12:56:06 AM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge Issue 10: February 2017

February 2017 Issue

EDITORIAL

February is often a quiet month - but despite that, there's been a surprising and exciting range of projects coming through across the site, especially with some new faces in the newly revamped Indie Alley forums as you'll no doubt see below. There's some exciting stuff coming up here, with tactical RPGs, tabletop RPGs, and puzzlers all making their appearances. As ever, let us know what you think about the format and do go and check out these great projects, many of which have free demos that you're welcome to download and check out.

Elsewhere in site news, we can announce that our Cyril & Methodius Day fundraising campaign raised over £150 for the wonderful Room to Read charity, who focus on supporting literacy teaching and skills in developing countries - that's nearly double last year's total, and a great improvement that will change the lives of people who really need it. For those who want to know more, check out our explanatory Cyril & Methodius Day thread to see what we were up to on Feb 14! We've also had some significant forum restructures, which we're hoping will make it easier for people to find what they want in a more compact setup. Let us know what you think by commenting here or using the Q&S forum!

And so, we're onto February's Updates from the Forge - this is now this newsletter's tenth monthly issue of letting people know what's going on across Exilian!

CONTENTS:

  • The Spell is being cast...
  • Into the depths of Norbayne's past!
  • SpyDNA - have you got the genes for it?
  • Into a wonderland of stars - Fireball XL5 Guide released!
  • Mind Machine Interface - a mind-bending puzzler


The Spell is being cast...
The Spell is a top-down, high-powered, high destruction RPG where you take on the role of Arik, one of a small order of exceptionally powerful wizards capable of bending the world to their will who must face up to the unexpected return of his brethren after his long years in exile. The detailed combat mechanics require both reflexes and a fast battlefield intellect, hurling tables, rocks, and flames at your enemies but with limited reserves of precious magical power to spare. There are also puzzle areas where the different wizards have constructed fiendish mazes for you to navigate, including numerous alternate ways to use your magic and some hidden secrets here and there as well!


Check out The Spell, and play & discuss the game at the link below:

The Spell - Exilian Thread


Into the depths of Norbayne's past!
Phoenixguard's Norbayne tabletop RPG setting has yet more work continuing on it, including new combat tests and decisions over which races and classes to include. There are significant tweaks being made all the time, with recent announcements including the presence of the satyr-like Jeleni, agile and fast fighters and travellers from the Westrand archipelago. Huge amounts of new information have also been release on the timeline of Norbayne's past. New details include discussions of the Primordial Age, when god-like beings formed the world as it now exists, and the Mythic Age, when the first Stormlord came to power and the Roanfaille made their everlasting and accursed pact to save their lives...

Sound exciting? Take a look and find out more!


The Norbayne Forum


SpyDNA - have you got the genes for it?
This new tactical spying RPG is in early stages, but it's looking very promising. In an immersive, beautifully rendered setting, you are the captain of the SpyDNA program, cryogenically held in stasis between vital missions where you will be brought out to serve your country. These may be simple cases of eliminating a target or a rescue mission, or they may be far more complex tactical missions with firearms blazing and your team at your back. There's a good setting being built around it too, with an unusual and interesting character creation setup that works by quizzing you on situational responses, and detailed dialogue trees so you can start getting used to the world and its characters.


All in all this is looking very promising, and demo feedback is wanted, so do head on over and try it out!

SpyDNA thread


Into a wonderland of stars - Fireball XL5 Guide released!
Jubal's epic quest through the entirety of Gerry Anderson's puppet sci-fi classic has finally ended, resulting in a full episode guide with reviews of all thirty-nine episodes of Fireball XL5! With stories ranging from the star-trotting to the bizarre, Fireball XL5 - a precursor to the more famous Thunderbirds - used innovative puppetry techniques to portray the Space Patrol crew of Fireball XL5 as they went on many adventures and saved both themselves and the universe from numerous cackling villains. Jubal's reviews go through the ups and downs of the series, looking at how the show has dated and which bits of Anderson's work have stood the test of time.


From the beautiful planet Olympus, to the reaches far beyond known space, to the great spinning tower of Space City, there's a great deal to be found in the Fireball universe. Take a look and discover a whole new world - in fact, several!

Jubal's Fireball XL5 Review Index


Mind Machine Interface - a mind-bending puzzler

This mind-bending new game throws a set of fiendish puzzle challenges at the player. Not for the faint of mental strength, the flickering colours and numbers of the mind machine will have you gripped as you try to figure out the solution to each puzzle. The simple set of tools and options shouldn't fool you - there's a wide range of puzzles covering different themes including "data repair", "image rotation", and much more, all of which will require some very particular tricks to make work. The demo is already very well worth working through, with some extremely tough puzzles and good brainteasers to torture the mind of all but the very finest puzzle experts.



Mind Machine Interface's creator izark has asked for feedback on "graphics, bugs, difficulty, anything you want to talk about" - so do head on over and take a look at the demo (though beware, you may be there for a few hours longer than you expect! The game's also on Steam Greenlight right now and is looking very well worth an upvote.

Mind Machine Interface on Exilian
Greenlight Campaign



If you've got something in development or want to help write Updates, please do get in touch as usual! In the next month we have Exilian Day on the 18th - our ninth birthday - and no doubt many more new releases and other excitements besides. All that awaits - do join in, say hello, and become part of what we're doing, there are many great projects across the site and YOUR support could be crucial for them.

Hope to see you in a month, for the next issue of Updates from the Forge!

...
Posted on February 14, 2017, 01:14:21 PM by Jubal
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!

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 :)

Find out more here
Donate to our fundraiser here

...
Posted on February 05, 2017, 11:32:56 PM by Jubal
Forum restructuring announcement

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)

...
Posted on January 31, 2017, 11:57:13 PM by Jubal
January: Updates from the Forge

January 2017 Issue

EDITORIAL

The first month of 2017 has whistled by, with plenty of great project having outings across the Exilian website! After an exhausting and frantic second half of 2017, the forges of Exilian show little sign of slowing down. Outside what's covered in this article, we've had the announcement and release of Valar Morghulis' Ice and Fire edition, a great fantasy Rome:Total War mod that's now running on the Alexander engine with two new factions.

In other site news, we can also welcome Glaurung back as Basileus for the next six months, and GMD as Spatharios, and say a special thankyou to Comrade_General who's moving off the main staff team to the new honorary title of Permanent Despot of RTW in recognition of his many years of service to the site. Many thanks, CG! We're currently restructuring our staff and looking for new helpers, so if you're interested in helping out with staffing or content creation - whether that's helping make content for our YT and twitch channels, writing for Updates, or helping with our social media - please do get in touch with Jubal, Glaurung, or another senior staffer.

All that site news covered, without further ado, onto this month's Updates from the Forge (which is on time for once! Huzzah!) Once again, all articles written & edited by your very own Jubal!

CONTENTS:

  • Postbug level editor released!
  • Putting the image into Soundimage
  • A Roleplaying Fool's Errand
  • In construction: Space Shipyard!
  • The Jolly Boar Kitchen - a solution to hungry work


Postbug level editor released!
Hemingway Games have returned to their fantastic little puzzle-game Postbug, centred around a ladybird with a passion for postal deliveries who dodges spiders and navigates around falling rocks... with a level editor! This potentially huge expansion of the game is being developed to allow players and level designers to create their own levels and puzzles, with a simple toolset but a vast range of possible creative options. The feature is still in development, but players can already build and play their own levels and shareable links to levels will hopefully be coming out soon.



Check out Postbug, play & discuss the game, and have a go at making your own levels at the links below:

Exilian Review Thread
Play Postbug


Putting the image into Soundimage
This month, Eric Matyas of SoundImage announced a big new expansion of the SoundImage library to include graphics textures as well as the massive range of sound and music clips already in place! This new texture library will be a great free resource for modders, game developers, and those doing a wide range of other projects. It's another great expansion to the already impressive resources that SoundImage offers.



There may well be upcoming restructuring in how the site works - there will certainly be new textures and sounds, with more being added every week. Whether you're a developer, artist, graphic designer, or just someone looking for textures for a project, SoundImage now has a lot to offer and it's a great project to support.

SoundImage Textures Thread
SoundImage Website


A Roleplaying Fool's Errand...
From the Utherwald Press forums we're now getting some fun testing writeups of campaign ideas, the most recent being the start of the "Fool's Errand" campaign plans that came out in 2017. In this first episode, our slightly less than dashing heroes Arnie and Brick "the Brick" are hired by machiavellian crime boss Ferret (there's something about ferrets, isn't there?) to head out and retrieve a mysterious package from a bank vault in an abandoned town. Adventure ensues, with aeroplanes, rival gangs, and ferocious monsters, and it's still only the first session! Will our heroes survive? Why is Brick called "the Brick"? Who is the mysterious locksmith Karla who's been sent with them on their journey? Honestly, I still don't know the answers to all of those questions, but reading the session one writeup is definitely the first step to finding out!

Whether you're a GM, a player, or just want a good read, the campaign writeup is great and well worth a look. For GMs especially the game master's notes add extra perspectives on the story that could be helpful when planning and thinking about your own future ideas, plans, and campaigns.


Utherwald Press on Exilian
A Fool's Errand: Session One


In construction: Space Shipyard!
In development from new member KSGuills comes "Space Shipyard", a game using the core mechanics of FTL with a wide range of additional features and ideas planned and many new assets in development. The game focusses on your ability to keep a ship running during combat, so your crew can repair the damage, the weapons and other systems can keep running, and you can - hopefully - win the day.



There's a great amount of content planned for the game; the focus is on building a system for 2-player battles, but there will also be a fully developed, procedurally generated single player campaign mode and a wide range of options for how to build and construct your ship. The ship construction will be constrained and developed by a skill/tech tree that you can work to build up and develop as you play the game. There are also plans for area effects including nebulas and extreme temperature effects that your ship will need to deal with as well as the threat of your actual opponent.

With a great deal of content, and friendly devs happy to answer questions, this looks like a great one to take a look at - head over, give some feedback and ask some questions, and watch this excellent project develop!


Space Shipyard Exilian Thread


The Jolly Boar Kitchen - a solution to hungry work
Tired of your art or game dev work? Running out of ideas for things to eat in the evenings? Or are you a budding chef who could share quirky and interesting ideas with your fellow creative folk? Either way, do come along and check out the Exilian food forum, the Jolly Boar kitchen. This month we've had a featured recipe from Jubal, who's been making Pelamushi (Georgian grape pudding) - it may look a bit like a brain on a plate, but we're assured it tastes considerably better, and only needs sugar, flour, cornflour, grapes and walnuts to make!



If you want to find out more about this, post some recipes of your own, or just chat and get ideas for food to eat, do take a look at the food forum at the link below.

Enter The Jolly Boar Kitchen



As ever, if you've got something in development or want to help write Updates, get in touch! There'll be lots going on around the site in the near future, including our traditional Cyril & Methodius Day celebrations on Feb 14, and hopefully plenty more new projects and games turning up, with a LIFE beta in the offing and new Norbayne material being published all the time. Stay tuned for all of that and see you for the February edition!

Best wishes and take care, until the next issue of Updates from the Forge!

...
Posted on January 31, 2017, 08:19:36 PM by Jubal
Valar Morghulis: Ice and Fire!

Valar Morghulis: Ice and Fire

This month Ice and Fire, a major new update to the in-depth classic fantasy mod Valar Morghulis, has been released! The major new content release most prominently includes two entire new factions – the villainous Bolton family in the frozen wildernesses of the North, and the bow-wielding, extravagantly dressed traders of the Summer Islands, south of Westeros and Essos.


In Westeros, the Boltons add a whole new dynamic to the starting situation. Far from the Stark family having a steady grip upon the frozen lands, the vengeful Boltons start within striking distance of Winterfell, forcing the Starks to watch their back. The same is true for the Night’s Watch, who must now not only hold the wall against the wildling and walker invasions to their north but look out for Bolton forces trying to grab the wall’s fortresses and secure their grip on the far north of Westeros. With heavy spear-armed infantry ready to trudge through the cold wastes, the Boltons are ready to rule from the Dreadfort once more as their ancestors did many years ago.


In the sun-baked south, the Summer Islands add new threats and opportunities for the Martells of Dorne and for the ancient city-state of Volantis especially. Their navies can provide a serious threat to the south coasts of both Westeros and Essos, and the islands can be tempting prey for Volantene, Dornish, or Pentoshi navies looking to secure additional bases from which to reach the other continent. Without a solid infantry backbone, commanding Summer Island troops can be a challenge, but their archers and chariots give them a fast-moving, fluid fighting style that can at its best run rings around their northern foes.


Beyond the new factions, there’s more new content too. In particular, the game now runs with RTW Alexander, there are now special character portraits for many of the canon characters in-game, map changes with additional regions and settlements added, and significant balance tweaks including a significant strengthening of the dragon unit. With all that – what are you waiting for? The world of Westeros and Essos awaits you, swords at the ready…


VALAR DOHAERIS: ALL MEN MUST SERVE
VALAR MORGHULIS: ALL MEN MUST DIE