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.

Enjoy your stay!

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Posted on March 31, 2019, 06:24:38 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 33: Spring 2019

Issue 33: Spring 2019


Updates from the Forge is back! Everyone's (OK, probably not anyone's, but a writer can dream) favourite indie/hobbyist creativity newsletter has another wonderful round of projects for you to look through As you can tell from the gap we're now onto a quarterly schedule, due to a mixture of short staff and health issues that have meant your writer/editor is now typing this in arm braces. We're keen to step up the schedule again if we can find an editor or more writers, of course - let us know if you can help.

We've also made some format changes, and are looking at making more, dividing the newsletter more clearly into linkable sections to help you find what you want. Other changes I'm looking at include having a section at the end for recent advertisements (eg for playtesters). I'm also considering whether tabletop and PC game dev should be split into separate sections, and whether the "community news" part of the newsletter, currently incorporated into the editorials, should actually have its own section so I can use the editorial space more for general musings that might be of interest to our readers. Please comment or get in touch to let me know what you think of the changes that have been made or proposed!

In the first three months of 2019, we've celebrated Cyril & Methodius Day, raising over £100 for charity, had the results of our creative competition, which was won by Comrade_General with his painting of a candle, and had our eleventh birthday. We've been producing articles as well, including a new interviews series that's started with Tales From Windy Meadow creator Aure, and also a special issue of our An Unexpected Bestiary series in which Jubal goes into the myths and folklore around his beloved pangolins. You can find all our articles in their own section of the site here.

And with that, I (and the imaginary llama who co-writes this newsletter) present a new bunch of Updates from the Forge!



Cogito Colony Continues

Returning after a year, we've had some good updates from Thalanor's Cogito Colony, a cyberpunk metroidvania style game with cool pixel graphics. In the most recent update, Thalanor revealed that the game will be moving to a new and more easily maintainable engine, which will include moving to a less performance-intensive and more flexible sprite animations system, the first hand-drawn anims from which look excellent!


One part of the work that is going fast is the soundtrack, where lots of tracks have been added and updated over recent months, including the DRAMATIC MUSICAL CUES of the track Methusalem, above. Even if you're not a metroidvania type gamer, they're a good listen (and make nice atmospheric backing music for your life generally!), and you can find them all on Thalanor's soundcloud.

You can read and ask more about the project in Thalanor's devlog:

The Exile Princes: Characters and Catacombs

Jubal's python-built RPG set in a world of medieval manuscripts and madness, has reached its first major beta milestone - the 005/6 closed beta releases give new features including clearly marked map edges, companion characters who will upgrade over time, new quests, and a range of other features. Additional writing and depth has also been added to enrich the world, whether it's reports on how well you slept in a tavern to unexpected twist endings to certain quests and plotlines. Modular, flexible generated quests may well be a feature of future versions of the game, and some additional quests have been added that will lay the groundwork for this.

A newly hired priest goes out to smite some wibulnibs. Fear the holy banhammer!

Companion characters are perhaps the largest major recent addition - companions can gain skills, giving either bonuses around the map or powerful new battle abilities, as well as providing a solid addition to your fighting force - some missions will only allow you to take companions alongside your hero, making these characters vital for, among other things, exploring mysterious tunnel networks below the cities. So far the sergeant, ranger, and priest companions are all working and ingame. Future plans include providing a lot of additional depth to the character system, with the groundwork for character personalities giving the potential not just to get to know your fellow travellers better but potentially also for new plot hooks involving them.

The game is very much in want of playtesters, so please do contact Jubal if you're interested in contributing and helping shape this game and its world!

The Cursed One RPG

“She shall be the one to bring chaos and death.” Or will she?

It's always great to be writing about new projects in these newsletters, and. Nanna, who first came to Exilian via writing us a great article on Nordic Larp, has returned with new RPG project The Cursed One! This RPG, inspired by classic pixel games like Legend of Zelda, sees its protagonist Ellie, marked from birth as an agent of chaos and death, set out to prove the prophecy wrong and save the world. Can the bringer of destruction manage... not to?

The game is made with RPG Maker MV and will likely move into beta testing in April, offering a mix of problem solving, NPC interaction, exploration and battle to its players. You can find out more about the game at the links below...


Enter Aviarium

In another really exciting new project that's appeared here in recent months, new member Ierne has been posting some lovely art and ideas from her setting Aviarium, a fantasy of time and universe travel with a range of fantastical creatures and flight as a core element. In this picture, you can meet a dragon called Mishka, who's a delicate-looking fireheart, and an Adhar fire-mage, Aliya - both capable fliers even if Aliya's ethereal wings aren't currently showing!

The setting centres on Atana, a world entirely cut off from other universes, inhabited by dragons and other winged beings. Meanwhile, in a more familiar world, a perfectly ordinary time-traveller,  called Winter is busy with continual wandering, befriending Shakespeare, and so on. Parallel universes just seem like a quaint myth, until a pathway across to a very different world indeed opens in a familiar location...

It's always exciting to see new worlds and be able to explore them along with their creators, and one of the nicest things we've managed in the past year has been to get a few more active projects in the writing and arts sections of the site - hopefully there'll be more to come through 2019. You can of course find out more about Aviarium, and ask questions of the author, on her thread!


More Mountain Leopards

Caption Goes Here

Jubal's webcomic based on Georgian & world mythology has seen some new page updates, as the characters meet a new friend who may have more skills than meets the eye - we also get our first brief glimpse of the great city of Gulansharo, find out what some of the more eclectic spells available to clerics of Otarid are, and discover that for scrying, it's pretty important to get the right person's hair...

The comic's art style and self-aware fantasy setting is an homage to the excellent Order of the Stick, but the story and mythical background invite you to discover a very new and different fantasy world. Between a drily witty storyteller-cleric, a deadpan jerk of a soldier, an upbeat but cunning runaway maiden, and a dramatically inclined enchantress, there's a whole lot of fun to be had - and mysterious plots beginning to unfold.

Want to share some poetry?

It is dawn, and the light wolf comes
Howling quiet
And as if her fur were gossamer
She glistens

Exilian's poetry and writing sections are always looking for new writers to come and share & discuss their work! Whether you're writing just for your own amusement, to seek to get things published, for stories to put within other contexts - we're very keen to see what you've got to share! There's also of course loads of stuff in there if you're an avid reader, with our archives stretching back over 11 years of uniquely crafted stories and poems that you can have a read through and comment on.

We're also likely to have a new chain writing project in the next two months, after the success of last year's project which created three excellent writing chains, so please do keep an eye out for that. We're always keen to do more projects and host ideas that will help new and less experienced writers get experience and get started, so please do jump in!


Riddles in the Dark...

Most readers of the Hobbit, and many more besides, will have discovered a love of riddles and riddle-games at some point. A pure match of wit and wordplay in which unwrapping the meanings and hidden effects of words is vitally important - as long as nobody ask's what's in their pocketses! Try this one for size...

My name's said when you lift a load,
To carry it along the road,
And though you fear me, run, and hide
You'll rest tonight with me at your side.
What am I?

To get the answer. and play more riddle-games, do join Exilian's "Riddles in the Dark" thread, where members take turns to post and guess riddles of varying types and complexities, leading to lots of original brainteasers being produced. Whether you're getting interested in riddles for the first time, or are just bored of the set of old riddles you already know, Riddles in the Dark is the forum space for you to hone your skills - and of course grab some new riddles to take away and try out on others...

And that's your lot! Apologies that you're getting far fewer of these this year, but it's good to have another issue done and I hope you've enjoyed reading it and want to find out more about some of the lovely projects we have coming along. And of course, do let us know about your own work as well - it could be you in the next issue of Updates from the Forge!

Posted on March 18, 2019, 03:44:10 PM by Jubal
Exilian Day 2019

Happy Exilian Day!

That's right, Exilian is eleven years old today! Celebrating with us above are friends from just a few of the many, many projects we've hosted, supported, and created over the past few years (and there are many, many more we could have included)! Thanks to everyone who's been a part of Exilian's own story this year, and let's hope we get some great new projects going onward throught 2019 and into 2020.

With best wishes to all,

Jubal (Basileus & Megadux)

Posted on February 14, 2019, 09:45:25 PM by Jubal
Cyril & Methodius Day 2019

Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!

Once again it's Cyril and Methodius Day, February 14 - Exilian's festival of alphabets, languages, international friendship and geekery for everyone who needs it today! Today's a great time to get that book sitting on your shelf read, construct a new alphabet for your fantasy setting, learn a language, and chat to friends from around the world. As usual, we're raising funds for Room to Read, a great charity that helps bring the power of literacy and reading to children around the world who need it, and we hope you'll chip in to help bring those people wonderful opportunities of writing and wonderful worlds that they can discover, whether in books or through opportunity unlocking the rest of the world. Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!

Posted on January 17, 2019, 07:36:05 PM by Jubal
Election Results, Jan 2019

Election Results

This month's elections did not result in any changes to the staff team, with the full results being as follows:

Regularly Elected Staff

Jubal (FIF) re-elected unopposed as Basileus, 5 votes to 0 with 1 abstention
Tusky (Ind) re-elected unopposed as Spatharios, 6 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions

The position of Sebastokrator remained vacant (no candidates)
The position of Tribounos remained vacant (no candidates)

Ratification of Permanent Staff

Jubal (FIF) ratified as Megadux, 6 votes to 0 with 0 abstentions
Glaurung (Ind) ratified as Sakellarios, 5 votes to 0 with 1 abstention
Lizard (Ind) ratified as Technikos, 2 votes to 1 with 3 abstentions

Thanks to everyone who voted and to all our staff: the next regular elections will be in June, with opportunities for joining the staff team in the meantime likely to be announced in the Questions & Suggestions forum.

Posted on January 13, 2019, 10:21:45 PM by Jubal
Creative Competition Results & Showcase!

Creative Competition: Candle - The Results

Our midwinter creative competition this year was on the theme "candle", and we had three fantastic entries with very different media and different ways of approaching the prompt. The judges had a difficult time deciding, and the scores were tight at the top, but there could of course be only one winner in the end.

The Winner is...

COMRADE_GENERAL, whose entry of an 8x10 canvas of a candle impressed both judges and with one exceptionally high score put him on a huge 35 points of a possible 40 as the clear competition winner. You can check out the winning entry with the others below - congratulations to CG!

That makes CG the new proud owner of our GRAND PRIZE, which for this competition is:

1x Key for TALES FROM WINDY MEADOW by Moral Anxiety Studios
1x Key for ESCAPE FROM BIOSTATION by Tusky Games
1x poem on a topic of his choice, by Jubal

Thanks again to our prize-giving sponsors at Moral Anxiety and Tusky Games for their support of this competition, and thanks to Alice Baillie and Jennie Rigg for being our two fantastic judges - we're very grateful to all of you for helping make this creative event possible.

The Entries

Of course, the real point of our creative competitions is the creativity not the competition, and here's our showcase of all the great things people came up with. There are some lovely pieces of work here so do have a browse and see what everyone came up with.

Comrade_General - Candle, 8x10 canvas

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Alyona - Somnambular (Poem)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Jubal, A Dream of Light (Poem - Organiser's Contribution, Not Judged)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Tusky, Mr. Elwes' Candle (Comic, 3 Pages)

Spoiler (click to show/hide)