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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.

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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...


Visit the release thread
Buy it on DriveThruRPG

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Posted on May 31, 2018, 02:43:08 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 25: May 2018

Issue 25: May 2018

EDITORIAL

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!

CONTENTS:

  • 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!


Climb Olympus... (Master of Olympus Forum)


Son of a Witch final release

Bigosaur'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...

Go to Bigosaur's Forum


Ever tried storytelling?

Quote
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!


Visit the Storytelling Section


New Pictures and Music from Eric Matyas


Caption Goes Here

Of 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!


Skills and Resources Forum (includes Eric's Update Threads)
SoundImage Website


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!

Breeze along to Windy Meadow


Rome Total War: Vanilla Extended

Finally 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!

Visit Korsakoff's Thread


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!

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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"

We've had to make some new additions to our public commitments on how we handle data as a result of the European Union's new data protection legislation. This means a new privacy policy, which you can find here.

A few other notes on this: as we're a membership organisation, all of our email lists will continue to function as normal without asking people to re-confirm addresses as some organisations have done. We take our responsibilities as a data controller seriously, and want to remind you all that you have the right to request that we remove any information about you that we may hold on our servers, and the right to request to see any information we have about you. We don't share data to third parties except in cases where the third party is providing a direct service (e.g. our use of MailChimp for bulk email), or where we're legally obliged to do so (which has never happened so far!) If you have any additional queries about the new system, please ask in the comments below or in the comments section of the new privacy policy.

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Posted on April 30, 2018, 05:48:13 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 24: April 2018

Issue 24: April 2018

EDITORIAL

Two full years of Updates from the Forge! Over the past two years we've covered a huge array of projects, and we hope to keep doing the same in months to come. We've not had much general site news this month, though we can announce Phoenixguard09 and Tusky as the winner and runner-up respectively of our 10th anniversary "Exile" creative competition. Congratulations to both of them - and if you want to see both their entries, and a fantastic range of other pieces that were entered including poetry, manga, stories, and animation, do check out the thread here.

It's a busy time around Exilian generally - besides what we've got in this month's updates, the teams from Utherwald, Windy Meadow, and more have all been hard at work as ever. We've also broken the 1000 posts a month barrier for the first time since late 2016, with the best month for post counts in the last two years; it's great to see the site getting busier again, and we'll hopefully be unveiling more plans and supporting more projects in the coming months. As ever, we're very keen to hear from anyone who'd like to volunteer with helping out with the running and organisation of the community, so just ping Jubal or another member of staff if you'd like to get involved there.

And with that - here's five great creative projects for April. Hope you enjoy the ride!

CONTENTS:

  • LIFE Epsilon (1.0) Released
  • Enter the Unicorn Dungeon!
  • Discover Caradilis' Poems
  • Environmental War in Epicinium
  • Introducing Tourney - a Medieval Tournament Sim

LIFE Epsilon (1.0) Released


Spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

This should perhaps have had its own news item, but since we didn't get round to that, it gets to the top of this month's updates instead - LIFE, the Whovian adventure game, has been released! By our own Jubal, this game uses a text-parser system and pixel graphics to allow players to explore several different planets and quests in an open world game system. With a range of minigames, achievements to obtain, original characters to meet, and a wide variety of types of sandwich for your character to eat, this is a whimsical sci-fi adventure not to miss!

Fly into the Whoniverse...


Enter the Unicorn Dungeon!



A new project from a new user - Unicorn Dungeon is a comedy point and click adventure game. Inspired by absurdist comedy like Monty Python, the game is set to be one of a series chronicling the adventures of Sir Typhil as he aims to find a unicorn in order to be crowed king. The game features swords, goblins, snarky voice acting, and possibly cheese. And roguelike gameplay segments as well as the point and click elements! And possibly cheese. What more could you want?

Check out the Unicorn Dungeon thread


Discover Caradilis' Poems

Of course Exilian does much more than just game dev, and our own Caradilis has as usual been hard at work in the poetry section, working on some new writings, one about the joys of working by candlelight, and this one, about her favourite month of the year (making this a double appropriate time to showcase her poetry thread!)

Quote
Janus has hailed the year,
With skies both cold and clear,
And February’s an icy king,
And Mars has called to spring.

But April wears her flowing bright green gown,
And in her hair a periwinkle crown,
She dances in the snow, the rain and hail,
And sings when sun and cloudless skies prevail.

Remember that you can also share your poems or stories in the creative writing area, and don't be afraid to ask for feedback! We're very happy to see new writing from beginner to expert level, and it's an area of the site we'd love to expand further in future. Poems and stories are great geek creative works and can both inspire and be inspired by the projects we have elsewhere around Exilian. Take a look, jump in and join in!

Read More Here


Environmental War in Epicinium


Caption Goes Here

Epicinium, the turn-based strategy battler with unique environmental mechanics, has seen some UI changes and improvements this month. This includes an easier dragging system for changing your orders, a new visualisation to show turn order, and new orders floating from the screen to the sidebar to make ordering clearer for the players. The game pits two players against each other across a world that can be scarred, impacted, warmed or cooled by the players' effects on the environment, with point scores being tied not only to victory but to keeping a wold that is worth ruling after the guns have fallen silent - land wrecked beyond repair is a poor prize, and it may often be beneficial to make peace and end the game earlier to improve your score (and advance in the game's multiplayer rankings). The team are looking to get more testers and grow their player base, so now's a great time to jump in and have a go!


Find Out More


Introducing Tourney - a Medieval Tournament Sim


You know your tournament is a good one when the beer mugs are larger than the drinker's head...!

And yet another new project - medieval comedy is always a great thing to be covering in Updates, and Tourney, a light-hearted medieval life sim, is no exception. There will be 13 playable noble houses, each with its own colour scheme for armour, horses, and more. Will you take up the bold cause of William Warless, or Tancred Haughtyville? Perhaps Wilfred Ivanhole, or Neddard Northgrim, will be more to your liking? Either way, there will be tournament fields to explore, peasants drinking booze, the Black Knight and the mysterious Sid to meet, and more besides. Why not saddle your horse, call your squire, and head on over to Tusky's dev thread?

Enter a Tourney Here!




And that's all for issue 24... This is the first issue to be formally done under the auspices of our new content editor Vulcanology, who's likely to be taking over a lot more of the writing and editorials for future issues, so many welcomes to her and let's hope we get another two years of fantastic updates from the forge to come!

...
Posted on April 29, 2018, 04:47:50 PM by Jubal
ANNIVERSARY COMPETITION: RESULTS AND FULL ENTRIES

10th ANNIVERSARY COMPETITION: RESULTS AND FULL ENTRIES

The results are in - a little late but better late than never! All of the entries we got for our 10th anniversary competition, on the theme of Exile, are here, and the announcement of the winners of course! Entries were judged by two judges (Jubal and Bigosaur) independently and on two separate metrics, the effectiveness of the piece and its response to the theme, for a total potential score of forty. The quality was extremely high overall - no entry scored below 32/40, and just five points separated the top and bottom scores. There could, however, be only one winner and one runner up, and they were...

THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER, with a massive score of thirty-seven points out of a possible forty, was PHOENIXGUARD09. His space-fantasy origin story impressed the judges both for its effective, powerful storytelling prose and its effective construction of an Exile's origin story. Phoenixguard will win copies of Son of a Witch, Empires of the Undergrowth, and Escape from Biostation, a poem by Jubal on a topic of his choice, and a custom SoaW skin created by Jubal!

THE RUNNER UP, with a solid thirty-five out of forty score, was TUSKY, whose short animation sequence of a man staring into a barren, smoke-filled wasteland and lamenting his bitter reward proved an evocative enough to just narrowly pip some of its competitors to the second place spot. Tusky will win one copy of Empires of the Undergrowth, one copy of Escape from Biostation, and one poem to be written on a topic of his choice.

But of course, everyone gets one of the biggest prizes, and that's the showcase of all the entries! From suffragettes to space flight and song to strategy game, there's a fantastic range of pieces here and we do encourage you to check them all out!




All The Entries

THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER:

Quote
We had a home once.

In all the vastness of the known multiverse, we had a home, one singular pocket of existence in which every factor was conducive to the formation of my people. A place where we grew, loved, created and thrived. My people were considered great builders, the finest in all creation. We built structures, on scales barely imaginable, from dwellings which towered above and beyond any natural feature on any number of the worlds we discovered, to the most minute adaptations in the smallest of organsims which populated those worlds. Our mastery was absolute, and so we travelled, always seeking further frontiers to explore and to improve, to make more like our home.

As we travelled, our home grew more distant, and my people began to grow weary of creation. Our home, that place of light, love and laughter became a place where we fought and destroyed, tearing down the creations of others to further the goals of oneself. It is the way of conflict that it escalates, and each advancement requires further expenditure of power in order to overcome the enemy. For my people, that advancement, or more specifically, the power expended to obtain it, spelt doom.

We were not as alone in the stars as we thought. Truly, we had known for millennia of the many and varied forms of life which populated innumerable worlds across the breadth of creation, but ever were they of lesser stature than ourselves, such that many of our people at first viewed them as something to be improved upon and taught, moulded into something greater. In more evil times, some viewed these beings as potential tools and weapons, mere collateral damage in the what became the war among the stars.

We did not know, nor even conceive that there were beings active in the cosmos with power that matched our own, let alone exceed it. Not until it was too late.

Drawn by our reckless use of power like moths to a flame, they fell upon our home out of the void, scattering my people across the stars. The lights of our world dimmed, what little laughter there was left, died. The hammers stopped ringing in the forges, the wars ceased and creation halted. Our home was lost to us. We were exiled.

I found myself on a new world, and harboured the survivors of my family, all the while dwelling in uneasy peace with some few others of my kind, who themselves took residence in other regions on the same world. With only small touches of power, we aided the extant creatures of this world, granting them knowledge and culture. My family took residence in the great forested mountains, and the diminutive peoples which dwell there called us the Ri-Foraoirse, the Forest Lords. They served us, as they would, though we asked of them nothing.  When the Sidhe arrived, themselves seeking to escape a something which threatened their home, we agreed to shelter them and asked of them no price.

Deep in the woodlands, we began to build something like home, but as it was in the beginning, that wholesome light-filled place of music and life. Hidden away, to safeguard our creation from any and all outside threats, we shared our new home with the Leathe and the Sidhe and all was well. Even the revelation of the sickness which dwelt in the core of every Sidhe was something which could be solved, with the creation of the Gealai Aisling, a safe place for the Sidhe to go when they grew weary of existence.

Then word reached us that our enemy had found us and that my estranged kin were being hunted and killed for their power, which while only used in small touches as required, over millennia had accumulated. Deep in the forest, we will be safe for a time, but all know that our time is short and this time there will be no escape.

I am a dreamer, an artist, a king and a father. I am known as Mor'Righ-Glas to the Leathe. I lost my home and soon I fear, I will lose my life.

I am an exile.

THE RUNNER UP:


THE OTHER ENTRANTS:
These are in no particular order.

HanSolo - The Exile (Poem)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Naky93 - Images of Exile (Artwork)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

SLiV - Maere, the Thrice Exiled (Poem)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Caradilis - The Exile's Lament (Song)
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

THE NON-JUDGED ENTRIES:

Yes, we've still got two more to go! The judges couldn't resist getting in on the action, and whilst of course we couldn't judge our entries, we've got a couple more links to extra Exile-themed fun for your entertainment and delight. Bigosaur entered the early stages of his sci-fi story After Doomsday - you can check out the draft copy here. Jubal meanwhile, fresh from recently releasing his Whovian adventure game LIFE, took the Exile theme as the starting point for his new game The Exile Princes, a madcap mix of medieval manuscripts, Exilian memetics, and much more! Do check it out!


And that's your lot! Stay tuned for future competitions, and many thanks to everyone who entered, as Exilian sails on into its second decade of existence. Exiles forever!