Posted on July 30, 2018, 03:25:20 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 27: July 2018
Issue 27: July 2018EDITORIAL
The hot summer months have rolled around, but never fear - the hard creative work goes on across Exilian and beyond! We've got a PC game special mostly in this month's updates, but there's plenty more happening across the site outside that, including our ongoing chain writing project (which we should have the results of by some time in August), new music on our Exilian Media YouTube channel, and dev work on the tabletop gaming scene as well!
We're back to a regular fortnightly article posting schedule too, so look for those when they come out - and if you want to write for us, please get in touch. We're hoping to run some interviews with Exilian's devs in our articles section too, so if you'd be interested in helping with that then let us know. In site admin news, we welcome Tusky as our new Spatharios (senior moderator), and Jubal remains as Basileus (chair of Exilian) for the next six months. We still have some open staff posts and welcome new volunteers of course!
And with all that said, time to show you what our devs have been constructing for your edification and delight this month!
- Survive the void on a Fringe Planet...
- Words and Whispers on Windy Meadow
- Become Master of the House in Innkeep
- A Bunch of Hacks are making Epicinium
- New Free Tracks from SoundImage!
Survive the void on a Fringe Planet...
Home, sweet home: because it might be a cackling madness demon rock, but it's OUR cackling madness demon rock.We're starting with a new project this month, beebug_nic's Fringe Planet, a survival game where your peons are trapped trying to survive on a world deep in the void of space, with madness, starvation, and freezing all among the likelier outcomes for their short and bitter lives. If they survive, though, they may start discovering who trapped them there, and who they might once have been... and what twisted being sought to bring them there.
Gameplay features, beyond the general battle to build shelters, grow food, and avoid demonic possession, will include the ability to select different "storytellers" - which will give you different ranges and types of random events to deal with as your peons focus on surviving in the harsh climate. Ultimately players may be able to extend the playable area, harness beings from the void, build factories, and more, if they live long enough to do so! The game is also set to have a wide array of moddable features, with lots of aspects of the game being made easy to edit and change, which could lead to some exciting total conversion opportunities!
Find out more and blast off to the fringes at beebug's forum thread:
Words and Whispers on Windy MeadowWe've had more updates from the Tales from Windy Meadow team, with the dialogue sections of the game seeing a lot of updates lately as the graphics background for them comes together. The framing and darkening of different character portraits to show who's talking has now been carefully put together, as shown in this conversation between the scarred guard and huntress Vena and Argentia, who's offering her a job...Other recent updates have included the prologue story for Fabel, a boy lamed and orphaned by a brutal bandit attack in childhood who ultimately dreams of becoming a bard. Whether he and the other characters will follow their dreams to success or failure, or accept the world as it is and try to make the best of it, will be up to you as you choose your path through this interactive story. Check back for Windy Meadow's latest updates to find out more.
Become Master of the House in InnkeepReturning this month with a new dev update video (shown above) is with BeerDrinkingBurke with exciting updates on Innkeep, the tavernkeeping simulator where you can rip off guests, sell beer, hear rumours, and become the Les Mis style Master of the House that you always dreamed of being! Parts of the game's opening scene are now available, where you will discover an abandoned tavern in the later stages of a brutal war. It's then your job to restore its fortunes: the stables, cellar, and guest rooms are all part of the Inn's play area as well as of course the main bar room itself.
There'll be lots to do around the Inn too beyond just serving drinks. You'll need to buy in wood, linen, and beer, and furnish the rooms in the initially empty and broken inn as well. Gathering rumours and trinkets will help you keep an eye out to what's going on among your clientele. In that regard, stealing from guests is likely to be a vital part of the game, too, the Inn business being no place for an honest man - though whether you just slip a little from those who have enough, or rob all your customers blind, may be more of a playstyle choice!
A Bunch of Hacks are making Epicinium
And another one bites the (now visible) dust!Epicinium, the environmental wargame, is now officially under the aegis of a new cooperative, worker-owned game dev company, A Bunch of Hacks! Congratulations to SLiV and team for jumping through all the hoops to get the new co-op set up, which will hopefully provide a solid basis for longer term development of the game as well as providing a great worker-centred environment for the devs.
There've been updates to the game too of course - on the graphics side, new particle effects have been added to some of the animations as you can see above. Weekly challenges have also been added, to give players more of an interesting threat to face when playing the game in single player. You'll get a mission briefing from the general, explaining the challenge rules; this may just be that the start setup for the enemy is more powerful than usual, or it may involve bigger changes like much higher speeds, faster gameplay, removing some usual restrictions like money, or something else entirely! You can download the beta for free and find out more by playing along...
New Free Tracks from SoundImage!Eric Matyas' texture, sound effect, and music library, SoundImage, is an invaluable resource for lots of people doing geeky creative projects. This month it's been reorganised to make its (now fairly vast) collection easier to navigate! The sidebar now contains links to a wide array of different pages, removing the old top bar which had gotten to about ten rows deep thanks to the number of pages and types available!
There are new sounds and textures on the SoundImage website this month too. New music includes the futuristic "Alley Chase" which could fit well to a cyberpunk or sci-fi world of intrigue and tall cities, the serene "Cumulonimbus" which has a lighter, calmer, airier feel to it, and the zany "Attack of the Flaming Pie Tins" with reminiscences of 50s pulp science fiction drive-ins. New textures include additions to the Brick, Rock/Stone, Metal, Abstract, and Organic pages among others. With such a wide array of stuff there, why not check out SoundImage and see if there's anything you can use for your project?
Another month and another issue over - see you next time for August's Issue 28, when we'll have yet more exciting updates and announcements from across everything we're doing here on Exilian!
Posted on July 01, 2018, 11:19:10 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 26: June 2018
Issue 26: June 2018EDITORIAL
Guess who forgot that June only has 30 days, not 31? The imaginary llama who helps write this column, that's who. That creature is utterly useless. But never fear! Your slightly belated issue of Updates from the Forge is here at last...
In terms of news, our big release news of this month is that Frozen Skies is now airborne - you can buy Stormwell's fully published RPG supplement from DrivethruRPG, and set your Savage Worlds palyers off on adventures through the icy wastes of Aleyska. Deadly aeroplane battles, high-speed chases across the ice, ferocious Wulvers and mysterious technology from a forgotten age all await. If that sounds up your street, do check the book out!
On a staffing related note, we're particularly excited to welcome La Ciguapa, our new social media officer. If you interact with us across Twitter, Facebook, and beyond, she'll be taking the lead and no doubt improving considerably how we do things there!
And with all that said, let's see what's been going on across Exilian this month...
- The Neofeud Continues...
- The Exile Lands Await
- Monster Man Contest II!
- Ready to watch a tourney?
- Chain Writing!
The Neofeud Continues...
Well, the grabber arm robot might be friendly at least?The epic cyberpunk showdown that was Silverspook's award-winning Neofeud may have had a happy ending for some of its heroes... but for how long? And how far can a revolution get in the high-powered, reality-bending tech future that Neofeud happens in? The green and blue may be more evenly distributed for now, but there are more problems and plots ahead. Who is behind this ramshackle looking set of old containers? Is anyone behind that big ol' volcano at the back? And what's Proto-J doing here?
Keep tuned on Silverspook's dev thread to find out more!
The Exile Lands AwaitJubal's new game, The Exile Princes, puts you into an epic, mad fantasy world where the pages of medieval manuscripts come to life! Roam with your gallant followers across realms of ferocious wibulnibs, cunning nobles, tusked kinklades, ferocious manticores, and much much more, and embark on your quest to make your house master of the Exile Realms! With a detailed procedurally generated world, and a variety of ways to advance through the game including quests, wars, and even elections, there'll be a lot for you to discover. Improvements this month include the addition of lakes and seas to the map, the addition of farm tiles in areas near to cities, and major battle improvements.
Read on to find out more!
Monster Man Contest II!James Holloway's Monster Man podcast is doing another contest! This time, the aim is to take the output of a neural net that was fed the names of a load of D&D monsters, and turn the resulting concoction of words back into a monster fit for the gaming table! Will you aim to design the Space Ogre or the Rain Golem? The Purple Fang Dragon? The Bat Unicorn? The... Brown Peg? (OK, maybe not all of them work...) There will be excellent gaming related prizes for the winner, so it's well worth checking out if you want cool tabletop gaming stuff, or if you just like spending your days deciding what a Burglestar is and what it looks like. Have fun!
Good name for a band, too, maybe?If you've not been listening to Monster Man, it is very, very well worth your time to do so - in it, the eponymous monster man and podcast-master goes through the gaming supplements of days gone by, and talks about the monsters he finds in them - be that their mythic background, how they found their way into the book itself, their in-world attributes, their artwork, or advice for making them part of the games you play and run. It's just getting into its second season, looking at the 1981 Fiend Folio supplement to 1st ed. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (the first season looked at the earlier Monster Manual). If you want to find out about Bunyips, Bullywugs, and more, now's a good time to jump in.
(Editor's note: Exilian is not responsible for any fatalities caused by failure to check for Bunyips before jumping in.)
Are you ready to see a Tourney?Dev work on Tusky's medieval tournament sim, Tourney, continues to saddle up and keep charging forwards. Recent updates have included the addition of the tournament stands (as above) from which the peasantry will be able to watch armoured knights charging hell-for-leather (or, more likely, hell-for-plate-mail) at each other to see if they can knock one another off their steeds. Improvements have also been made to the systems for putting the tournament fields together, so stands and beer kegs will snap neatly into place.
The hum of the engines finally fell to a whisper, and then nothingness.How would you continue a story that started like this? Well, it might be time to find out this summer, because Exilian is doing chain writing! This summer, Exilian members and friends will be writing collaborative stories in 250 word chunks, building words and fashioning plot twists as each writer has to deal with whatever story they've had thrown at them by their fellow writers.
A breeze was blowing outside; scans read an ambient thirty degrees surface temperature. What was really of interest, though, were the movements and the chemistry and the life. Barren rock after barren rock a ship could land on, but this – this was colour. Deep greens, bright blues, and tanged red laces that grew up trunks and hung over branches.
This was uncharted land, undiscovered life. And for Mat, at least, food for the soul.
He adjusted his turban and goggles, and started running scans on the air chemistry. It would be a few minutes to complete the ground-level checks and scans before he would risk going outside.
Eila bustled into the room, their eye-stalks swivelling down to look at the scanner readings as they handed Mat a plate of what could, on a good day, be described as food.
“Humhum. ‘tis looking good?”
“Yes, good enough.” Mat grinned at the diminutive S’ruba. “Life everywhere. Tell Kageth it looks like we can do an on-foot survey. Doesn’t even look like there’s too much that’ll try to kill us. Oh, and maybe tell Winse too if he’s woken up yet.”
Hypothetically, Winstanley FitzSamuel was the ship’s captain. It was a decent hypothesis, but it was, Mat reflected, not one that tended to stand up to rigorous repeat trials.
And guess what, dear reader? YOU can be part of it too!
Yes, all this excitement can be yours. All you need to do is click the link below and follow the instructions to sign up either via the forum or by email. We'd like to get a decent number of people together to ensure we can get a good number of chains going, so please do join in, it's going to be a really fun project for the summer months and one you can do with limited time commitment from wherever you are in the world. Take a look at the link below to read the rules and find out more!
Well, that's issue 26, in all its glory! And all the glory it has is down to YOU dear reader, so please, if you enjoyed this issue and think anyone you know would be interested in the articles contained therein, then please send it to a friend, send it to a relative, send it to someone you know who retweets everything without looking at it - get the word out and we'll have more readers, more feedback, more interest, and more great stuff to show you in future.
Hope to see you next time for Issue 27 of Updates from the Forge - until then, take care!
Posted on June 22, 2018, 02:53:44 PM by Jubal
Frozen Skies is Airborne!
Here it is! Stormwell's supplement for the Savage Worlds RPG system, Frozen Skies, is now here! Frozen Skies catapults your players into the dieselpunk world of Darmonica, as they find themselves in Aleyska, its northernmost wilderness. A place harbouring savage wulvers, mighty airships, mysterious windryders and the secrets of ancient beings, Aleyska is an icy frontier land where the snow and cold are as bitter an enemy as the many forces out to fight for Queen and country, seek revenge, gain glory, discover lost ages, or simply make a quick buck.
With all that waiting for you, why not give it a look? Your next Savage Worlds campaign may be waiting...
Posted on May 31, 2018, 02:43:08 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 25: May 2018
Issue 25: May 2018EDITORIAL
If you thought you'd got rid of Jubal-written issues of Updates from the Forge, guess what, you were wrong, at least temporarily! Thanks to things like university exams, I'm still here, and so is the imaginary llama, which has refused once again to even lift a finger on this project. Some of the smarter ones among you might claim that this is fair enough, as llamas don't have fingers, but this seems a poor excuse to me. Once again, we hope to bring you a change of editor in the near future.
As usual, plenty is going on around the site. We've had the joys of new data protection regulations to deal with: as a member-driven organisation we're very much committed to giving you control over your data - if you want to know anything about how we're using data about you, or what data we might own regarding you, or you want us to remove data related to you, remember that you can contact us at any time about that either by forum PM or by email at exilian[at]exilian[dot]co[dot]uk. In June, we also have staff elections coming up on Exilian, and we have a number of un-filled posts. If you think you could help out with what we do, whether it's moderation or working with devs on forum systems or promoting our creators' work on social media, please get in touch - we'd love to hear from you.
With all that said... here's SIX excellent items of news from this month! Six! And a great deiversity as well, from art resources to storytelling and PC to tabletop, there's a whole load of projects to discover. Hope you enjoy the ride!
- Master of Olympus at UKGE!
- Son of a Witch final release
- Ever tried Storytelling?
- New Pictures and Music from Eric Matyas
- Windy Meadow Soundtrack Previews
- Rome Total War: Vanilla Extended
Master of Olympus at UKGE!
Buckyball games - on a roll!rbuxton's ancient Greek inspired boardgame Master of Olympus continues with dev progress, with more playtesting and tweaks taking place in addition to the fantastic design work we've seen previewed in previous issues of this newsletter. The game is a wide-scale strategy game with heroes, armies, fleets and monsters battling it out for control of cities and relics across a hex-based map. God powers and mythical items from cards can give critical strategic boosts to your gameplay and your forces - if you use them wisely!
If you want to meet the creator and find out more about the boardgame, UK Games Expo is coming up! Master of Olympus will be at stand 1-M5, so do head over there to meet one of our Exilian creators in three whole dimensions of real-space. He'll be listed there under his new brand, Buckyball Games - named for the C60 atom, a sphere comprised entirely of carbon atoms. It's also rbuxton's birthday at time of posting - so happy birthday Richard!
Son of a Witch final releaseBigosaur's epic indie roguelike/beat 'em up game, Son of a Witch, has had its final main release and is out of beta! This epic cartoon-style adventure, for up to four players, takes you through seven levels with different themes, from the forests of the player characters' home at the start through the dungeons of the mighty royal castle to the frozen northern wastes or baking desert canyons! Along the way, you can learn magic, battle mighty enemy monsters, gain great wealth, and of course die in a wide variety of ways.There's still more planned for the coming months, though - the next likely addition will be a release/port for the Nintendo Switch, and then after that we can look forward to a major new patch with extra heroes, rooms, enemies, and items. Expect much many more adventures to come...
Ever tried storytelling?
Long ago, long before any of us were born, the Far South was ruled by a tyrant named Imras, king of the Dramites. And king Imras had as many wives as he had toes. Every time one of his wives displeased him, he killed her and raided another village, saving only one woman. When his armies reached the village of Illus, a beautiful young woman named Meadna rushed towards him and begged him to spare the lives of her people. He accepted on one condition: that she would be faithful to him. And Meadna of Illus promised that she would never tell him a lie. Satisfied, king Imras spared the lives of the villagers and together with Meadna he returned to his castle.
As they rode on horseback in the midday sun, Meadna was smiling, lost in thought, but never looking at him. So he asked of Meadna: "Tell me, and remember your promise, is there someone you love more than me?"
From SLiV's "The Tyrant and the Sun" - read it here.Exilian's spoken storytelling area has a range of specially written modern stories for traditional style spoken telling, as well as advice and resources to help you get started. The art of oral storytelling - that is, telling folk or folk-styled tales as a performance without reading or learning them as a script - is one of the less well known and practised of traditional art forms nowadays. It's great fun, though, and as the way stories and myths were passed down for huge parts of human history understanding the techniques and styles behind it can be really interesting. It's a way for fantasy lovers to discover how the myths and tales on which the modern genre were formed and changed through the generations, and a way for historians to learn more about how past societies socialised and passed on wisdom and information.
Of course, it can also be good fun and a rewarding hobby to get into and practice - so if you're interested, do go and have a look at the storytelling section today!
New Pictures and Music from Eric Matyas
Caption Goes HereOf all the people who work on projects across the site, few support more other creators than Eric Matyas, whose vast library of sound effects, musical tracks, and images just keeps growing and growing and growing. New brick, ground, metal, and wood textures have been added to the site's image section in May, along with a new "abstract" textures section that includes the ripples image shown above. There's also new music of course, including the high-altitude "riding sky waves", the zanily bouncy "kitten combat", and a whole new page of household sound effects including lightswitches, door locks, and drawer opening/closing sounds.
All of Eric's stuff is available for use in all your projects with appropriate credit - it's a brilliant resource, and if you're the sort of person who needs textures, sounds and music for whatever you're doing, it's something that it's well worth getting on and learning your way around. Thanks, Eric!
Windy Meadow Soundtrack Previews
Windy meadow turns out to have other weathers available as well!The folks at Moral Anxiety Studios, creators of Tales from Windy Meadow, are continuing to refine the graphics and music for their game. Updates this month have included new music, with a distinctive new soundtrack starting to take shape, and showcasing new graphics, especially with comparisons to the old versions to show how much the style of the game has changed in the making over the last year. MAS' Aure posts regular, usually weekly updates in the team's thread in the Indie Alley, which you can check out and discuss!
Rome Total War: Vanilla ExtendedFinally for this month, a new project in the Total War modding area! Korsakoff is producing a new Vanilla Extended mod for the game, using assets from our own Comrade_General's previous work. The mod merges Rome into a single faction to allow a greater level of detail on the Greek world, with the addition of Epirus, Pergamum, and the Bosporan Kingdom as potential masters of the ancient world.
Pergamum: the guys that turn up just when you thought you were *done* with big spiky pike walls...There's likely to be more work and updates coming along for this mod in the near future, so do keep an eye on the thread if you're a RTW modding fan. The Diadochi are by no means done with yet!
Well, that was issue 25. If you have a project or something you particularly want/need a shout-out for in our newsletter, please let us know! As always we're very happy to hear feedback on format, design, and any other issues relating to what we're publishing here.
See you next time for Issue 26 of Updates from the Forge!
Posted on May 24, 2018, 08:46:36 PM by Jubal
Data Security and GDPR
Exilian: Updated Privacy & Data Policy
"What did the dinosaur say when it ate your email lists? GDPRAAAAAAAAAAR"