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!
Posted on January 31, 2018, 09:07:02 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 21: January 2018
Issue 21: January 2018EDITORIAL
Hello and welcome to the first Updates from the Forge of 2018! This month we've got the usual great range of projects. There's always more than we can fit into this showcase in any month, so do keep browsing the rest of the site - we've had some great new poetry and items in the writing section, Bigosaur's level 7 of Son of a Witch, the release of Minesweeper Go, and the latest chapters of Phoenixguard's RPG AAR, The Great Maw, to name but a few of the other things going on across Exilian!
In site news, we've had our January staff election: Jubal is now our chair (Basileus) again, and we welcome Clockwork back as Tribounos, and thank GMD and Glaurung who are stepping down as Spatharios and Basileus respectively. If you want to know any more about how the site's democracy works, or want to get involved, please do check the Questions & Suggestions forum, where new volunteering opportunities to join Exilian staff will be appearing in the coming weeks.
And with that - on to this month's updates!
- Silver Spook's Podcast
- Some Not-So Frozen Skies?
- Gone With The Wind(y Meadow)...
- Matyas, Mystery, and Monsters!
- A Rogue Empire Rises...
Silver Spook's PodcastSilverspook, designer and creator of the dark cyberpunk adventure game Neofeud, has more strings to his bow (or perhaps trigger mechanisms to his high-tech gun) than just producing games - he's also the host of the excellent Silver Spook Podcast, where he can be found interviewing a range of fascinating adventure game designers and discussing sci-fi and game design topics. If you're a sci-fi geek or adventure gamer or game dev - or some mix of the three - it's well worth checking out the podcast to discover more from a wide range of designers about how they put their games together and how they see both sci-fi and the real world unfolding in the years to come.
Some Not-So Frozen Skies?
Pamdinia - in case you'd ever wondered what Switzerland with more ships would be like!Utherwald Press' stormwell has been busy lately, churning out short primer materials for many of the areas of his fantasy world of Darmonica that lie outside the frost-bitten lands of Aleyska where his upcoming RPG book Frozen Skies is set. Recent posts cover everything from the tight-lipped Sultanate of Taramate, to the small seafaring nation of Pamdinia, to the mysterious southern continent, to hints of the lands across the great mountain range known as Serlov's Bulwark. With a whole world out there to explore, do go and take a look at what's going on in the Utherwald Press forum! There are regular updates and posts fleshing out the world more, which are great to ead both to discover more about Darmonica and as inspiration for your own work.
Gone With The Wind(y Meadow)...At least, we've certainly been blown away by recent screenshots of this game! Tales from Windy Meadow is a story-adventure with beautiful pixel graphics accompaniments, set in a mystical world of giant beasts, ferocious dragons, and the tough life of ordinary humans who have to scrape by. Recent updates have showcased a lot more of the graphical work, including the death of a giant boar, images of the houses, and this mysteriously abandoned boat:
We're pretty sure that's the moon, not a death star. Like eighty percent?The team from Moral Anxiety studios post regular devlog updates and posts on their Exilian thread: these include pixel art videos where you can get a great behind the scenes look into the procress of creating the game, and of course hints and info about the gameplay and world of Tales from Windy Meadow itself.
Matyas, Mystery, and Monsters!Out there in the void, there is a mysterious power that blesses developers with tons of free music, and his name is Eric. Sound too good to be true? Well, it is true regardless, and we've seen some awesome new tracks from royalty-free music creator Eric Matyas recently. This month, new tracks include "Riding Thermals", an easy-going piece that could make an epic backing for a travel scene, and "Mysterious Deep", which summons the majestic scale and quiet mystery of the oceans to create an expansive musical backdrop for some future game or video. Could it be yours? Take a look at Eric's music and his regularly updated Exilian thread to find out!
A Rogue Empire Rises...New Exilian member gw-roguempire has come to show off his game Rogue Empire, a classic roguelike where you must save five kingdoms, offering a wide variety of class & race combinations for different playstyles as well as numerous enemy types to take on!
The skeleton who dodged is probably feeling SO smug right now.In the world of Rogue Empire, peace and harmony between the great races has been shattered by a mysterious enemy known only as the First Shadow. They have erected mysterious shadow barriers over the world's great capital cities, sealing them from the world outside. The First Shadow appears to have disappeared, along with the last great army that was sent in a final attempt to defeat them, but who knows what they may be plotting, or whether there is any way to undo the havoc they have wreaked... you'll have to play to find out!
We'll be back in February as ever, but that's all for this issue of Updates from the Forge. In the next month we'll be advertising for a new volunteer editor for Exilian's articles and newsletter, so if you think that could be you, please get in touch! As ever, do also let us know in the comments, by PM, or on Social Media whether you liked this issue and what you think we could improve for next time. See you then!
Posted on January 29, 2018, 09:27:21 PM by Jubal
Son of a Witch: Desert Level Released!
Son of a Witch: Desert Level Released!The seventh and final level of Bigosaur's beat 'em up roguelike, Son of a Witch, has been released! The last part of the player's epic quest takes you to the desert realms, where a range of new enemies and challenges await. Desert swordsmen, great jackal-gorillas, and deadly red assassins with petrifying blades are roaming the canyons ready to battle the player, and a new "thirst" effect forces you to keep drinking potions if you want to avoid running out of energy in the sweltering desert sun. If you manage not to get killed or turned into a statue, then the final boss awaits - the dragon master, master of spear-combat and magic alike, who holds the mysterious portal-opening artefact known only as the Tar of Akhall!
Posted on January 27, 2018, 09:06:08 PM by Jubal
2018 Staff Announcements
I can now (belatedly) announce the results of the January 2018 elections,.
Our new Basileus (aka Chair of Exilian) is Jubal - that is to say, me - of the Forums for Internet Freedoms (FIF) grouping. I'd like to start my term of office by extending very warm thanks to our outgoing Basileus, Glaurung (Independent), who has become the longest continuously serving holder of the post and has done a sterling job for the past eighteen months, which have seen some real challenges and events for the site. I'm hoping I can build on his work in the next few months.
Among other things, it's my intention to externally advertise some more staffing posts to try and get us some more manpower and boost our capacity to cover a wide range of areas. I'm hoping, too, to help Exilian toward a better financial footing by looking into opening a Liberapay account, and to work with Lizard to rebuild the front-end website and make it more functional and better able to display the fantastic content we're producing on the forum. I'm also going to be bringing forward motions to give Exilian a clearer standpoint on where we can advocate on behalf of our members and creative geeks generally: recent challenges like the December Patreon fiasco are areas where Exilian can and should have some ability to be a voice for the community that makes its home here and of which we are a part. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we've got the task of preparing something special for Exilian's tenth anniversary in March, which is coming up fast! More announcements on that should be coming soon.
In other staffing news, GMD, our Spatharios (senior moderator), has stepped down - thanks to him for holding the post for the past few months - and we have a new Tribounos (Site Tribune), Clockwork. The roles of Spatharios and Sebastokrator (Voting Members' Officer) are still open: please get in contact with me if you might be interested in either volunteer role. Lizard, Glaurung, and Jubal have been ratified to stay on as Technikos (head of tech staff), Sakellarios (treasurer), and Megadux (executive officer) respectively.
Many thanks to everyone who took the time to vote: Exilian now has nearly a decade's proud tradition as a democratic web community, and it's always great to see that continue.
Best wishes to all,
Posted on January 13, 2018, 12:09:08 AM by Jubal
And The Winner Is...
Imperators of the Undergrowth - Winner Announcement!The judges' scores are in! Our two experts, field ecologist & Caledonian Conservation director Chris Cathrine and spider expert Dr Helen Smith, looked over the entries for our Imperators of the Undergrowth competition. The prize? A steam key for the fantastic Empires of the Undergrowth, an epic RTS by the lovely folk at Slug Disco games based on the deadly struggles of ants and other invertebrates as they struggle for food, nesting sites, and survival itself. The scores were very close: the top two entries were separated by only 0.75 points out of a possible 20! Both judges commented on the interest shown by the participants as they grappled with the testing short-flash format of just three hundred words per entry. Well done to everyone who managed to enter...
However, according to the rules laid down
at the dawn of time by the mysterious stone tablets by us about four weeks ago, there could be only one winner of the grand prize, and so the scores were totalled and...
The Winner Is:The winning entry zoomed in on a single species of ant, Formica pacifica, and discussed how they adapt to the environment around them. Here it is:
My favorite invertebrate is Formica pacifica. They are very pretty diurnal foragers in my area. Originally adapted to rocky stream beds and other open habitats, they have adapted well to paved urban areas. There is a colony that lives at the top of my driveway in a utility access point. They have great big eyes and beautiful silky silver pubescence.Congratulations to awinner; you'll be getting one ste Thanks to Big_McLargehuge, BitGamerX, and Stonelesscutter for providing our other excellent entries. If you didn't win this time or you missed this competition, don't feel put out - Exilian will be running more competitions in the next few months as we approach our 10th anniversary, including more chances to win Empires of the Undergrowth as well as other upcoming prizes! Very many thanks again to the hugely generous Slug Disco team who donated the competition prize and of course made this utterly fantastic game!
I am particularly attached to these neighbors because the best ant photograph I've ever taken was of one of them, and the only time I've corresponded with professional myrmecologist John Longino was when he verified the species I.D. from that photo.
I've kept other species of ants as pets, but F. pacifica nests are marvellously inaccessible because they nest under the pavement.
Hope to see you soon - until then, many congratulations to awinner for the successful entry!