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Posted on December 04, 2016, 11:34:20 PM by Jubal
November: Updates from the Forge

November Issue

Well, it was inevitable we'd miss an issue deadline sometime, so here's the November issue, a few days into December! This month we're back to your regular writing team of Jubal as editor, Jubal as article writer, and additional special reporting from Jubal. Nonetheless, we've got an excellent issue, some great gamedev stories this time with plenty of content for you to nose through.

I'm also thinking about the format of Updates and how we can improve this for the future. Would you guys like to see better navigation with a contents page and each "article" in a separate thread reply that can be URL-linked? Or spoilers on the articles themselves for easier navigation? What would make you want to read this and comment on it more? Do leave comments below, and we'll of course be back next month!

LIFE Returns!
Jubal's game LIFE is forging ahead, with major progress updates over the last month that have seen it nudging ever closer to a fully working beta. Set in the Whoniverse, this fan-made adventure game uses a classic text parser and pixel graphics to let you explore planets, dodge asteroids, buy and sell goods, and work towards fighting back against the power of the Dalek Empire. A massive range of new features, including additional minigames, locations, and plot threads, have been added, and there's not far to go until a full version is available. Explore from the ice wastes of Phrynoris to the bars of deep-space Way Stations, and discover all the galaxy has to offer - life returns, life prevails! Resistance! Is! Futile!

As a taster, here's a gameplay/testing video of the newly-built asteroids minigame:

There are regular updates coming along on the LIFE forum, and lots of polls and opportunities to make your voice heard and help shape the game as it comes together. LIFE has also launched onto IndieDB recently, so do head over there and give it a follow if you have a ModDB or IndieDB account!

Visit the LIFE forum
LIFE on IndieDB

Utherwald Press - Frozen Skies continue!

As the year heads towards its actual period of frozen skies, there's some great stuff coming out of Utherwald Press as usual! A regular and steady stream of dieselpunk excellence is being churned out with several great new blogposts appearing, and in the monthly update this lovely new image of an airship from Utherwald's artist:

Recent posts include a look into the lives of Aleyska's land-based traders, a discussion the crucial cargo aircraft that are so vital to the Frozen Skies setting, and some more insight into the semi-vampiric "Lurkers" who might once have been the dominant species on Terra in millenia gone by...

Check out Utherwald Press on Exilian

Exilian's ndnninja has been keeping up some fun gamedev updates over the last month, spreading out and giving us a window in on the art process, with pixel work and drawing all under discussion.

Updates also included a few of the headaches along the way of every game that gets developed - this shot both shows the rapid improvement in the graphics since we last reported on the game, and also a minor mishap leading to the game suddenly becoming the Clone Wars edition...

Blinxed is looking better and better over time and there are some great discussions to jump into about it - head over and be part of the fun!

Visit the Blinxed thread

Dogged determination - Balthasar's Dream comes to Kickstarter
The team from Balthasar's Dream recently shared their Kickstarter with us, and it's looking great. Their puzzle platformer features a dog whose owner is fighting for his life - and needs the help of his faithful companion. With the love and determination only a dog can muster, Balthasar must defeat cats, postmen, and other horrendous creatures of his dreams to reach and defeat the ghostly presence that seeks to take his master away. But there's a twist, and a great one - Balthasar's canine nature is baked into the game's mechanics, with a dog's low attention span, fears, and desires that can be a great hindrance - or, if used right, a perfect help to complete puzzles as the dog's instincts can give just the boost to speed or strength needed to solve a puzzle.

For more, check out the beautifully crafted trailer:

The game is now on Kickstarter, and the team needs YOUR help to make Balthasar's Dream a reality! Head over, say hi to the team, and do consider giving them a helping hand.

Read More Here
Check out the Kickstarter here

Not just a whole world to discover, but more in Massive Galaxy!

In "Massive Galaxy", a pixel universe of huge proportions is shaping up in what may turn out to be one of the classics of the space adventure genre. With classic pixel graphics and a feel very like the Space Quest or Beneath a Steel Sky games, the game will offer the player a fantastic range of things to do and places to explore, with a focus on trading across planets and star systems. Taking your ship through vast warp gates, becoming a smuggler or pirate, tactical turn-based combat, and a great retro feel will all be part of the experience of what's shaping up to be a fantastic game.

Discover More Here

Big news from the RTR Project!
Just giving a short mention here as there'll be a separate main newspost coming up soon, but RTR 8 has just released its 3.0 Beta, which has a vast range of new features, units, map changes, and other excitements to explore. New features include movement tweaks, unit status info bars for easier real-time battlefield tactics, and the return of reworked historical battles. We'll bring you more on this soon!

Visit RTR on Exilian Here

Once again, thanks to everyone who's contributed to the massive load of creative work we've reported on here - artists, programmers, writers, and fans all come together as part of these projects, and we're privileged to be seeing and reporting on so much great work.

See you all at the end of the month for the next set of Updates from the Forge!

Posted on October 30, 2016, 07:46:24 PM by Jubal
October: Updates From the Forge

October Issue

Isles of Arthanos
If you're a fan of Elder Scrolls, Mount and Blade or other medieval-themed RPG's, this should be right up your alley. PaperBagCrusher's team have just released another Development Log, which can be found here.

It has a greenlight on Steam and a working demo, with all sorts of nifty features like designing your own maps. Definitely check this out, it looks amazing.

Bigosaur's My Mom is a Witch
What a fantastic little game this has turned out to be. Bigosaur completed a new version this month, which is available on Steam in an early access deal. Take a look at some of the characters taking on a full size fire dragon!

Follow this link to see the development thread in Exilian's Grand Laboratory!
And follow this link to download the game as it is currently from Steam.

Finding it too easy to get to sleep at night? Coven Games' latest offering may change that. Witchkin puts you in the place of a child trapped in a house filled with terrifying toys in the 1920's. The Kickstarter began this month, and it looks like a project you should definitely get behind.

To help out, follow this link to the Kickstarter page here!
Alternatively, check out the Steam page here.
You can also take a look at the Coven Games website itself and of course the Witchkin thread right here on Exilian!

Old Adventure
Dey505 announced this month that Old Adventure was live on Kickstarter. A free platformer, where the aim is to find ancient artefacts and then escape with your life, it looks really nifty and will be free to play. It also appears that the game will be updated monthly with new levels, ensuring replayability.

To back this project, go to the Kickstarter page here.
And don't forget to follow along right here on Exilian in The Grand Laboratory here!

In Writing
Phoenixguard put up three sessions played using his homebrew system Norbayne this month in the Pirates of Lemaria thread in The Storyteller's Hall. Read on and discover the perils and trials faced by the adventurer Martialis Ironlaw as he travels aboard the ship Sparrow!.

Read More Here

OrangeBison's T-Shirts
A great little promotional offer, OrangeBison is preparing to launch a range of t-shirts, perfect for advertising your own game or project. Get in touch with him on Exilian's Personal Message system, or alternatively, follow the link below to see more information on the offer or to post your questions.

Find Out More

That's all for this month! Many thanks to Phoenixguard for writing most of this month's issue - as always, please give me a shout if you can help with writing Updates from the Forge or have stories that we ought to include.

See you all in November!

Posted on October 28, 2016, 09:30:09 PM by Jubal
ExiliCon 2016!

Another year, another ExiliCon! Last week saw ExiliCon 2016 take place in Cambridge. It was a great day for those who came along, featuring a wide range of talks, guests, cosplayers, and traders. We've had extremely positive feedback on the quality of the talks and stands, and we'd like to once again thank all the traders and guests who made our third convention a reality and a success. If you were there and haven't yet filled out the general feedback form, please do so - it's vital that we get people's responses so we can plan better, improve any future events, and most importantly decide whether we can keep supporting ExiliCon into 2017 in and beyond and what form that may take.

Thanks should especially go to James Holloway, Mark Waller (Glaurung), and Sapphire Fairhurst for their brilliant work on the day. Not everything's over yet - there's still a wide array of talks and panels that will be appearing on Exilian's YouTube channel over the next few weeks - but mostly we're glad that everyone who came seems to have had a good time, and hope this will be a springboard to bigger and better Exilian events in future!

Posted on October 18, 2016, 12:18:30 AM by Jubal
Four Days To ExiliCon!

There are just a few days left until ExiliCon 2016, so here's a final run-down of a few of the highlights you can expect if you turn up. Please do come along, entry is FREE, there will be a great pub meetup afterwards, and we're really looking forward to seeing as many people as possible get there! You can check out details here, the full programme here, and find the Facebook event to add people to here. Even if you can't come, please share the event and/or our convention website on Facebook and twitter (#ExiliCon16) to let more people know and spread the word!

Bigosaur's "My Mom's a Witch" playable demo
Q&A with Ren director Kate Madison
Jubal's The Mysteries of Botolph Lane playtesting
"History and Creativity" chat with Chip Colquhoun and James Holloway
Anna Judson's Mycenopoly
An Introduction to Alyska with Stephen Hughes
Five Seconds to Midnight playtest with Douglas Hall

October 22nd, 11am-5pm
St Andrew's Street Baptist Church, Cambridge, UK

Posted on September 30, 2016, 11:02:02 PM by Jubal
September: Updates From The Forge

September: Updates From The Forge

It's still just about September, so thus the September Updates From The Forge is out!

A Fool's Errand Continues

Stormwell has as usual been busy churning out new material for Frozen Skies, his epic RPG setting - including the bones of a new storyline campaign, "A Fool's Errand", of which two parts have been released so far. The story takes the players through attempting to find a mysterious item for a fence, with rival gangs and double-crossers - as well as the usual dangers of the Wulflands - at every turn. Check it out!

Visit out the Utherwald Press forum

Total Realism, Total Research

The RTR team are busily working on laying more groundwork and doing more historical research for the next stage of development. Work has especially been continuing apace on the map, with plans under discussion among the team for a full-scale new map that will give a new, beautifully detailed wide-scale overview of the Roman world. The RTR forums on Exilian are rapidly growing, and new members are very welcome to come and join in the history and modding discussions that are going into building the next RTR version.

Check out RTR here

Get Busy Jumpin'

...and get busy dyin'! New member ndnninja15 has been sharing the early dev work on his new 2d platformer (still awaiting a title). You can download a testing version for Android phones and tablets now, so do take a look, give feedback, and contribute to getting this game going!

Discover more here

Poems And Riddles

Not to be outdone by our game devs, our creative writers are still very much churning out new content too! We've had two new poems posted this month, and riddle games are carrying on in our "Riddles in the Dark" thread many of which pose some real brain-twisters! Do head over there and check them out - and post your own, new poets and riddlemakers are always very welcome.

See more of Jubal's poems
Play riddles in the Beer Cellar

More Matyas Music!

A continuing stream of music is coming through from Eric Matyas, whose tracks are free for use in all sort of projects as long as credit is given. Please do check out his thread and site - it's a fantastic resource and there's so much more it could be used for.

Check out Eric's thread here

Right, that's all until October's issue! Do PM me, or email me at megadux@exilian.co.uk, if you have any news that ought to be in the next "Updates from the Forge", or if you can help out with writing. Take care, all!

Jubal (Megadux)