Author Topic: Updates from the Forge 36: New Year 2020  (Read 601 times)


  • Megadux
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Updates from the Forge 36: New Year 2020
« on: January 02, 2020, 01:20:03 AM »
Issue 36: New Year 2020


Welcome, friends, to the two thousand and twenties - a new year and a new decade! It's amazing to see the good ship Exilian, members, modders, llamas, pangolins and all, sail through into yet another year, and we hope it's been a fantastic holiday season for those of you celebrating various festivals around the world. As we head on into the new future, lots about the world can feel uncertain, but we'll go into it as we always have - with kindness, a good community, and masses of nerd and geek creativity to deal with whatever comes up. We look forward to sharing it with you!

We've got a packed issue for you with ten pieces, and we've had more content that we can't fit in across the site too recently, including new music on our ExilianMedia YouTube channel, the release of the Rome Total War: Vanilla Extended mod and Jubal's travelogue from Bordeaux. We're hoping to have more articles coming up soon - Exilian Articles may have been quiet in recent months but we have a lot of backlogged pieces that should find their way to a computer screen near you in the near future. If you've got something you want to say, please do check out our writing guidelines: as a non-profit organisation with no income streams ourselves we can't financially remunerate authors, but we do provide editing services and feedback to help writers for our articles section improve their skills.

And so as ever, onto the updates...


  • Editorial
  • Game Development
    • Snowfall in the Skies: Utherwald Press Updates
    • The Chains That Bound Me
    • Windmill Kings: Dark World
    • Will you find Eternal Hope?
    • Kickstarter success for Void Eclipse!
    • More on the Roadwarden's Journey...
  • Writing & Arts
    • Character art by Tusky!
    • New Free SoundImage Music
    • Couplets and Curses - Jubal's Poems
  • Miscellany
    • Want to know more about the depths of Exilian's past?


Snowfall in the Skies: Utherwald Press Updates

Our resident Savage Worlds TTRPG setting designers, Utherwald Press continue to put out regular blogposts to add extra content to their  Their updates in recent months include a range of new aircraft for the arctic-dieselpunk Frozen Skies setting, from the near antiquated TrodaĆ­ Fighter favoured by sky pirates who can't find a better option to the sleek new Raven Fighters at the cutting edge of the Commonwealth's technology. There's also been new expansions of world lore around the creepily well ordered Iron Collective and the Commonwealth's more southerly outpost of Orduesh. Outside the world of Frozen Skies, we've had a new adventure for Keep The Home Fires Burning, an in-development Savage Worlds setting based in post-WWI London, with the Spanish Flu epidemic rife in the streets and strange and dark creatures beginning to creep in around this exhausted and disjointed society.

Finally, we've recently had new adventure scenario the Duskfall Run - in the Shrouded Days, the polar night when each year in Aleyska draws to a close, many of those who make their living in the frozen wastes head south to see family and avoid the worst of the long night. Some, however, leave the journey too late, which brings its own risks of a dangerous journey through darkening skies... and one which sky pirates, themselves well used to trying to force planes down in bad conditions, will happily try to exploit.

As ever, you can check out all of Utherwald's posts on their blog and via their Exilian forum - and we look forward to more in the next year!

The Chains That Bound Me

Yobob's The Chains That Bound Me is a classic narrative RPG where the player character must navigate through a gritty existence in a mining town under the thumb of a deeply oppressive state, with tax collectors marching armed through the streets, frequent examples made of those who dare to stand up... and, nonetheless, the smell of rebellion in the air. Amid this, the player, a mysterious potential rebel called Arriados, is unwilling to support an uprising in which many may die - but is both deeply intertwined with the rebel cause, and has another, greater threat looming in the shadows that he must ultimately confront.

The main game is currently on pause to allow for the release of some smaller projects in the setting, but you can get the demo which takes you through the first part of the story, and as well as taking a look at that you can regularly find Yobob on social media where he's continuing to make fun games happen, with the promise of a new short horror title early in 2020.

Windmill Kings: Dark World

The dark wizards have the aesthetic nailed. Also horned, spiked, and painted black and purple.

Bigosaur's Windmill Kings has a new update! In the original range of the story, the King managed to defeat the various soldiers of the wizard's puppet king, rebuild his armies, withstand counter-invasion from the east, and thus reclaim his realm. Now, though, he has been transported to the wizards' dark realm, where, isolated, he must face new foes, rally a fresh army to his banner, and defeat the dark wizards once and for all.

Windmill Kings is mainly a game designed towards multiplayer play, as a quickfire strategy game where you rapidly build troops to throw at your opponent's castle and balance the use of mighty magical spells and advancing your forces. Giants, ninjas, rains of fireballs and deadly marksmen can all be part of your battle plans. In Dark World, new tougher enemy line infantry and a different pattern of unlocking troops and forces gives you a new and changed gameplay experience in campaign mode.

Will you find Eternal Hope?

"Hello tiny person. Where can I get a scarf that cool?"

From Double Hit Games, new faces for us on Exilian, Eternal Hope is a platformer that follows Ti'bi, a bereaved character who goes in search of lost his beloved's soul and must travel between his own world and that of the parallel shadow realm to do so. As well as running, jumping, moving obstacles, and using your scarf as a parachute, the shadow realm offers a whole range of possibilities for solving puzzles, as the strange and often corrupted creatures from it can both help and hinder you on your quest. Accompanied by your winged light-ball companion you can platform and swing your way through a whole range of beautifully rendered areas towards your ultimate goal.

There is a Steam demo available for the game, which is very worth a look and explains the basic narrative, as well as showcasing the carefully crafted. You can also check out the game's trailer here or at the Eternal Hope website below. The game is scheduled for Steam and Xbox One release in 2020.

Kickstarter success for Void Eclipse!

Yet more new face in the form of Tau Ceti Studios, creators of the strategic card-play game Void Eclipse. Enabling players to explore an immesive sci-fi world and choose their path and character evolution through it, Void Eclipse allows you to explore, expand, and exploit the resources of different planets on your route to victory. The main game factions are the ice-bound Varegon who use bio-suits and energy weapons to maintain a mighty galactic empire, and the virus-like Solehr who have wrought havoc on the Varegons' mighty plans. Turn based card battles decide the owners of planetary territories, and as the game continues, the player can learn more about the origins of these peoples and how they came to be duelling for the land and soul of the universe they inhabit.

Void Eclipse has successfully had its kickstarter funded at the end of November, which is a great outcome - it's always a very difficult bar to cross. The game will be released on Steam with a planned release date of May 2020.

More on the Roadwarden's Journey...

We've had many more updates from Aure, aka Moral Anxiety Studios. His current project Roadwarden is a story adventure game where you must make your way along the roads as you explore and guard outlying regions with strange beliefs, creatures, and characters to negotiate your way around. It is the latest creation from his Viaticum setting, a fantasy world where humans struggle with the power of the wilderness around them and their efforts are far more directed towards protecting themselves from the mighty creatures and disaster threats of the wilderness. As with previous games like Tales From Windy Meadow, Roadwarden is very much focused on character and not combat, with decisions you make about how you present yourself, your emotion, and even what you wear changing how the various people you meet will interact with you.

Recent updates have included new menu screens (above), as well as many new locations and text sections as the game's world and map progressively expand and its range of characters gets further fleshed out. You can also now wishlist the game on Steam. Mechanical/gameplay changes have included the addition of actual deaths for the player, rather than just slowing you down, from certain encounters, new interim screen road sections to show betwen locations, and a redesign of how armour works which will be revealed soon - much still to discover on the road!


Character art by Tusky!

We've got a lovely new thread with Tusky, one of our core stalwarts on Exilian for a number of years now, sharing some of his digital artwork with us. It turns out he has far more strings to his bow than just being our senior moderator, developer of games including Escape from BioStation and upcoming jousting game Tourney, and an all round good egg - he's a pretty dab hand at this 2d artwork thing as well.

Meeting the characters of the various pictures is every bit as fun as seeing the pictures - we all tend to know things by attaching them to stories, and art is no exception. Fortunately Tusky has provided on that front too, from the mysterious red knight Astor, who with his banner of a chess piece marches to mete out the destruction of the wicked (perhaps in hope of one day purging the pain and shame of his own past), to the acquisitive Thanbert, here on the right, a cheerful gnome despite his venerable age whose chief interest is acquiring and dealing in unusual trinkets.

We are, of course, all looking forward to seeing more. Hats off!


New Free SoundImage Music

New free-to-use sounds from Eric Matyas include the twinkling "The Skies Are Clearing", which imagines the return to normality after a storm, the humming exploring theme "Of Legends and Fables", and the jazz-humour "What the Cluck?!", as well as sound effects from electronic and telelphone static, to industrial drone noises, to the rather mysteriously titled "underwater rumble" - we're looking forward to seeing how they can be used in a whole range of projects.

Eric's website SoundImage is a huge archive of free resources that can be used with credit in both commercial and hobbyist creative projects. As well as the huge array of background music on offer, there are textures and bits of game art available as well - and if you want to know how it all came about, we interviewed Eric back in August for you! The site is organised by theme so you can easily find the stuff you need for your project, with nearly 2000 sound tracks and clips available. Whether you're making games, films, or other creative projects, it's a resource that's always very worth knowing about.

Couplets and Curses - Jubal's Poems

"So I will dance your tears into sunbeams..."

Finally in this section, we've had yet more poetic forays from Jubal, on subjects as diverse as the new year, city life, and the Warhammer Fantasy mercenary regiment Richter Kreugar's Cursed Company! Jubal's poetry archive stretches back to 2008, and covers huge ranges of topics and styles over time, including song lyrics some of which have ended up recorded and on our Exilian Media YouTube Channel. There's also a special New Year Poem just out to welcome us all into 2020, on the theme of why we celebrate new years - and that it's not so much that we do it to mark a change in reality, but to hope for one that we can make ourselves. Some interesting thoughts to carry into the new year!

Our poetry and writing section has had many other contributors over the years and is always open to newcomers and new entrants, so please do jump in whenever you feel like doing so: all levels, styles, and types are very welcome! It's a great place to get feedback on work, discuss or vent about the writing you're doing, and have a friendly space in which to showcase your latest projects. Even if you're not a writer but you'd like to drop by and comment on and discuss the work of others, please do head over there - additional angles and opinions can all be very much useful and welcome.


Want to know more about the depths of Exilian's past?

The 2020s are the third decade in which Exilian has been here, and as of March 18 (before our next issue), Exilian will have existed for 12 years. We've done a lot in that time - and there are records to show it. We've always felt it was important to chart the course of the site over time, with detailed notes on the site's history and perspectives from different members available in the Exilian: A History thread. As an unusually run and created website, democratically run and owned by our membership, the community aspect of Exilian has always been important to us and it's great when new people can come in and poke through the dusty archives of the site's past - and, of course, contribute so their own names and projects get inscribed in the annals for the future. Could your name, too, be in Exilian: A History one of these days?

Thank you as ever for reading your humble human-and-llama team's efforts to let you know about cool creative stuff. We hope you've enjoyed it, and we'd really appreciate your feedback in the comments, by email to megadux at exilian dot co dot uk, or via any of our Exilian social media channels. If you've got something you think should be featured, we usually pick up stuff posted in the relevant areas of the forum, but you can also always contact us directly to chat about specific items and we're happy to help. See you in March, and stay cosy/cool (depending on hemisphere) until then!
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


  • Sebastokrator
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Re: Updates from the Forge 36: New Year 2020
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2020, 10:29:44 AM »
Oo, thank you for the mention! I am honoured :)

Lots of great content in this issue. Good job, everyone
Check out Tourney: The medieval tournament simulator, a PC game I am working on!
Links: Devlog thread here on Exilian | Tusky Games Website


  • Citizens
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Re: Updates from the Forge 36: New Year 2020
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2020, 01:18:26 AM »
*Goes and looks at the History*
Has it seriously been that long?
Granted these past few years just seem like a blur.
Though this year I'm gonna have to cut back on the number of blog posts I do due to a combination of factors.


  • Megadux
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Re: Updates from the Forge 36: New Year 2020
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 12:39:12 AM »
Yeah, it's hard to keep regular blogposts up. Ultimately I'm glad I cut down to four Updates issues a year from 2019, I was going mad with stress last year as it was. Hoping to do a bit better on the Exilian organisational stuff etc in 2020 though.

Glad people like the issue :)
The duke, the wanderer, the philosopher, the mariner, the warrior, the strategist, the storyteller, the wizard, the wayfarer...


  • Megas Domestikos
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Re: Updates from the Forge 36: New Year 2020
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 05:44:10 AM »
Great content Jubs. :)
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