Posted on March 31, 2018, 10:58:14 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 23: March 2018
Issue 23: March 2018EDITORIAL
Exilian is now over ten years old, with some fun celebrations done on Exilian Day back on March 18, and in the next week or so we'll be getting the results of our epic "Exile" 10th anniversary contest, which has seen a great range of entries in areas from animation to artwork, poetry and writing! We'll be doing a full post containing all the entries when the results come in, so you can see the fantastic range of things people have created (including non-competing bonus pieces from both our judges!) Thanks very much to everyone who entered.
And of course more than that, thanks again to everyone who's been part of Exilian in the first decade of our existence. We've had a huge amount of fun and created (or helped create) some amazing geek projects over the years. We've plenty more planned for the future too, and we're hoping to get some new staff on board to help shortly. Until we do, one downside - we're cutting down Exilian Article posting rates to once per fortnight to take some strain off our articles editor (that is, me). We hope to get back up to weekly articles as soon as possible, and we're still absolutely keen to hear from anyone who wants to write for us, as we've had some great stuff recently - including our Exilian Day bonus article, An Unexpected Bestiary Pt. 2 - and we're very keen to keep supporting the articles section on into the future.
The anniversary isn't all that's happened this month, either, of course - we've got a packed six-item set of updates for you to discover (and there's plenty more we could've packed in besides if we'd had space). Not only that, but it's one of our best diversities ever, with six things from six different types of creative geekery! Excited? You should be...
- Magic, Melee and Manga
- Art abounds from Windy Meadow
- Are you ready to get Minted?
- Rockets rise again!
- Neofeud Soundtrack
- Cold War Skirmishes break out...
Magic, Melee and MangaNew Exilian member Naky93 has joined and, as well as entering our aforementioned anniversary competition, has posted about her comic art! Here's a panel from the first of her two stories, "The Assassin and the Sorceress", a tale of romance, magic and swordfighting in a classic fantasy setting:
Guarding fantasy palaces: basically redshirting before it was cool.You can also read her second (and still ongoing) story, The Royal Conspiracy - set as a precursor to The Assassin and the Sorceress, a few decades earlier in the same world - linked from her thread below. You'll also find links to a range of her other awesome artworks, which very much deserve a look in their own right. We're always keen to see more diversity of geek crafts across Exilian, and the more comics and artwork we get here very much the merrier!
Art abounds from Windy MeadowAure and the Tales from Windy Meadow team at Moral Anxiety Studios have been hard at work as ever - this screenshot is of the house of Vena, the huntress, and we've also seen a range of art updates from other scenes, including the forest and the central square of Windy Meadow itself. Recent devlog updates include looking at the role of character sprites in Windy Meadow, and their high importance in the team's work compared to the dominance of portrait art in other similar games. The Windy Meadow devlogs are extremely well worth reading for anyone interested in gamedev and storytelling - the team are excellent at putting their work into context and explaining clearly why they're making the design choices they are. With all that and more art to come, it's definitely a good time to head to Windy Meadow and see what's going on!
Are you ready to get Minted?
Coin clipping: it's just a haircut for coins. If haircuts were illegal.Jubal has released Minted - the Game of Byzantine Coins, a freely downloadable and playable card game for 2-4 players about minting coins in the medieval Byzantine world. Placing each player as the master of a royal/imperial mint in the medieval world, you must switch and move cards and make decisions to ensure you get the best opportunities & improve your currency as much as possible! From concave coins to clipping, and debasement to dies breaking, you must face all the ups and downs of coin-making in the cards that you get to play.
The download contains all the PDFs you need to play the game, and can be printed onto card from any good printer near you (warning: does require quite a bit of purple-red ink - blame the Byzantines!).
Rockets rise again!
Strap yourself into the rocket now... if you're small enough!This month has seen the return of our very own Comrade_General, and some new updates on what he's been up to in the months he's been away. As well as some devious wall painting and a new updated release of his awesome Rome: Total War mod Valar Morghulis, he's been getting back to work on his excellent collection of model rockets, of which one is shown above - and many more. Providing awesome replicas of a number of NASA's greatest pieces of work in the 20th century, this small fireable rockets are a great geek craft project - you can go and ask more about them in his "Exilian Missile Agency" thread!
Neofeud Soundtrack ReleasedFresh from winning the AGS awards 2017 best soundtrack award, Silverspook's awesome game Neofeud is on the way to having its sequel made, and between that and his podcast he's got some fantastic work going on. All that hasn't stopped him from getting the soundtrack in question RELEASED on Spotify, ITunes, and Google Play for your enjoyment, edification and delight! With tracks from "Leviathan Cometh" and "Duel of the Nephilim" to "The King is Dead" and of course the Neofeud title theme, this is one game soundtrack that is very, very well worth a listen in its own right - do check it out.
Cold War Skirmishes break out...Utherwald Press' updates for this month have been about their Cold War Skirmishes game rules and ideas. This has included a look at the Sterling SMG submachine gun, and the Blackburn Buccanneer aircraft, as well as an update on plans for the Cold War Skirmishes part of Utherwald Press more generally.
The Blackburn Buccaneer. Challenging it to duels with a cutlass is not recommended.The Cold War Skirmishes line is set to include Op THULE, a fantasy-war scenario that sees the players facing up against a terrifying Chupacabra against a backdrop of the Falklands conflict, and then look at ANZAC forces in the Cold War with a view to building them into modern-fantasy settings and games. With a good response to the line so far, it looks like there's plenty to look forward to!
And that's Issue 23 done! April will be our 24th issue, meaning we'll have done Updates from the Forge for a whole two years! We're expecting some releases over the next month, including Jubal's new game The Exile Princes and hopefully more music, writing, and artwork too - stay tuned and we'll see you next time. As ever, if you think you could help with writing Updates or you have things you particularly want us to cover, please do get in touch.
Posted on March 18, 2018, 11:27:03 AM by Jubal
EXILIAN IS TEN
Yep, it's Exilian Day 2018, and Exilian is officially ten years old! From the first post here to the present day, we've had a decade of supporting fantastic independent and hobbyist games and other creative projects. Along the way, we've faced off spambots and hacking attacks, played mafias, held elections, run conventions, and much much more besides. And the range of things Exilian's members have created speaks for itself - Persian Invasion, Adventures of Soros, Master of Olympus, Empires of the Undergrowth, The Choose Your Own Adventure, Son of a Witch, Southern Realms, Karaski, Warhammer Total War, The Battle for Antares IV, Norbayne, to name but a tiny handful of projects we've discussed and supported. Let's hope we have many more such fantastic pieces of work to chat about and help along the way in the future.
For this momentous occasion, remember we've got our ongoing 10th anniversary competition on the theme of Exile, and there's still 12 days to submit your entry. We'll also have one or two bonus articles out later today in honour of the occasion. It'd be great to hear your favourite creations and memories from the last ten years, too, so do comment those in this thread. And of course, do take a look round the forum as ever - our doors are always open to the exiles and weary travellers of the internet, and always will be.
With best wishes,
Jubal (Basileus & Megadux)
Posted on March 13, 2018, 10:25:25 PM by Jubal
EXILIAN ANNIVERSARY COMPETITION: EXILE
CREATIVE COMPETITION: EXILE
Exilian's 10th birthday is coming up fast, and we're having a CREATIVE COMPETITION!
The rules are simple: by 23:59PM on March 30, come up with some sort of creative creation on the theme. It could be a mod, a poem, a story, a computer game, artwork, an RPG character, some music, whatever you like. Our panel of judges (whose identities will be revealed soon) will then all rate the entries, and the best will win.
The competition theme, appropriately for our anniversary, is EXILE.
The winners will get prizes!
The overall winner will win:
1x steam copy of Bigosaur's SON OF A WITCH, a beat 'em up roguelike game by Bigosaur that sees the player tactically work their way through 7 levels of fast-paced combat!
1x steam copy of Slug Disco's EMPIRES OF THE UNDERGROWTH, an RTS where your ant colony must battle others and face the challenges of survival in the undergrowth.
1x steam copy of Kinklade's ESCAPE FROM BIOSTATION, a comedy sci-fi adventure in which you play the last robot denizen of an ancient space station, armed with... a squirrel?
1x custom skin request for Son of a Witch, fulfilled by Jubal
1x poem or song on a topic of the winner's choice, written by Jubal
The runner up will win:
1x steam copy of EMPIRES OF THE UNDERGROWTH
1x steam copy of ESCAPE FROM BIOSTATION
1x poem on a topic of the winner's choice, written by Jubal
More prizes may be added soon!
> Make your entry!
> Message your entry or a link to it to me (Jubal)
> Post below in this thread to say you've entered - entries may not be read if this step is not completed!
A maximum of two entries per person may be submitted: multiple entries may not be in the same format, and the highest scoring of the entries will stand.
THE JUDGESBigosaur (Milan Babuskov)
Creator of the indie game Son of a Witch, and hailing from Serbia, Bigosaur is one of Exilian's foremost game developers, and was an exhibitor at ExiliCon 2016. Son of a Witch is a roguelike beat 'em up with seven procedurally generated levels in which your character must battle goblins, skeletons, yetis, and a host of other enemies! He's kindly donated one of our prizes for this competition!
Jubal (James Baillie)
Exilian's founder, Jubal, is an early career historian specialising in digital methods, and the only member of Exilian's core team to have been in post from 2008 to the present. He's also an award-winning author of Total War mods, including Warhammer: Total War, Narnia Total War, and a Game of Colleges, and a hobbyist game developer and writer in his own right, creating games including Adventures of Soros and the upcoming Doctor Who themed title LIFE.
Best wishes, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!
Posted on February 28, 2018, 08:57:05 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 22: February 2018
Issue 22: February 2018EDITORIAL
Exilian is nearly ten years old! That's a slightly terrifying margin for anyone who's been here since day one, and of course it's the big story of this editorial. It's been a quiet month for major announcements, but we had another good Cyril & Methodius Day, including raising £68 for the Room to Read charity, which we're very pleased with. The coming month will be a lot busier, as we've got the anniversary celebrations coming up, and a couple of game projects closing in on releases and completion which should hopefully lead to some major newsposts in the next few weeks. We're also advertising for some new staff, so there's a good chance that someone else may be taking on more of the writing and editorials for these in future (the imaginary llama's job is secure, though, don't worry...)
We can kick off the month's celebrations with this another *actually on time* issue of Updates, and bringing us ever closer to this newsletter's two year mark! This February, we're featuring two tabletop and three computer game design projects, including one new one for the site and exciting updates on a range of others. From beer to barbarians, and Olympus to olive branches - read on!
- Innkeep - a tavern with bards in
- Master of Olympus - behold the gods!
- War and Peace in Epicinium
- Son of a Witch's Barbarian Challenges Await...
- The World of Kavis
Innkeep - a tavern with bards inWe've had some news from BeerDrinkingBurke recently, as he's showcased a key part of his game "Innkeep", which will place you as the eponymous character as you listen for rumours, serve ale, and of course make money looking after your various tavern patrons! This month, we've finally got to hear the lovely main theme of the game, which you can listen to here:This beautifully evocative tune is by composer John Halpart. BeerDrinkingBurke posts regular updates on his Exilian thread, which it's worth going and taking a look at - pull a pint,
sit by the fire, and come and have a chat!
Master of Olympus - behold the gods!
Rbuxton's "Master of Olympus" has seen some wonderful new artwork updates this month, with great art and WIP shots provided by the game's character artist Tadas Sidlauskas. As a result, we now have our first showcase view of some of the Greek deities - take a look here at Zeus, Artemis, and Hera!
Zeus, worryingly, has his "I'm going to turn into a swan" expression on...Master of Olympus takes literally the premise that the gods play games with the lives of men, placing the players as various Greek deities in a struggle for supremacy. Players can use their deities' awesome powers, but also build armies and fleets, train heroes, conquer cities, and recover mysterious artefacts in pursuit of victory points that will show who the true Master of Olympus is at the end of the game. You can find out more on rbuxton's Exilian forum!
War and Peace in Epicinium
"I guess these machine guns beat thneeds as a cause of deforestation" The Epicinium team are building a wargame with unique environmental mechanics, challenging players to score high points by not only winning the war, but protecting enough of the earth to secure the peace. New mechanics have included changing how some weather effects on the map work, and an improved UI. One major change is also the ability to make peace - is it worth stopping a game early and taking the points offered to you, or will you press on for total victory and risk a lower score as the environment degrades further under firestorms and tank tracks? Only you can decide! You can find more fresh updates from the game here:
Son of a Witch's Barbarian Challenges Await...
It's not about the size of your axe...Bigosaur's Son of a Witch is soon coming to the end of early access, and has recently released a new update with the Barbarian Challenges! These twelve fiendish high-difficulty modes add extra twists to the game - ranging between the low-health scraps of "one shot", the insane enemy numbers in "Overdrive", the huge enemies in "Trolling", the bomb-fuelled insanity of "Master Blaster", and many more! Those who complete all twelve of the fiendish challenges get access to the barbarian, a new character type with serious penalties to magic use and a special combo attack which boosts damage and protects from ranged attacks whilst it's in effect.
The World of KavisJubal's new project, the World of Kavis, is an RPG setting that builds on two of his previous PC adventure game projects. The World of Kavis is an early medieval style fantasy setting with a wide array of cultures and creatures across a vast world. It combines a fairly small-scale scope, focussed on individuals and the machinations of rulers and kingdoms, with a light-hearted "bright realism" of theme that rejects both high epic struggles of clear-cut light and dark and the dark "gritty" theming of some of other more prosaic fantasy worlds. Drawing on his experiences as a historian, game designer, writer, storyteller and mythology geek, Jubal will be releasing world-building notes and more onto the project's subforum. The creator will be regularly checking the forum, so do head over and chip in with thoughts, suggestions and ideas if the mood takes your fancy!
By the time we next release Updates from the Forge, we'll hopefully have a new general editor and Exilian will be into its eleventh year of existence. There'll be a lot happening before then, though - including our birthday celebrations around the 18th, which will include a special competition. Hope to see you for that, and at any other time in the month you care to drop by -
and of course in a month's time for another issue of Updates from the Forge!
Posted on February 13, 2018, 11:07:03 PM by Jubal
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!That's right, it's Cyril and Methodius Day, February 14 - the day each year when Exilian has a festival of learning & languages for everyone around the world to take part in! Guaranteed to involve more geekery than any other festivals people might celebrate today, and hopefully to do some good for the world as well - today's a day to read a good book, discover a new language, learn a new alphabet, and tell the linguists in your life how much you appreciate them. As usual, we're raising funds for Room to Read, and we hope you'll chip in to help bring the wonderful opportunities of writing and language to more people around the world. Have a wonderful day!