Posted on March 31, 2017, 11:59:22 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 11: March 2017
Issue 11: March 2017EDITORIAL
We've all had that homework piece or essay that we've forgotten about until terrifyingly close to the deadline - as I start writing this, it's 21:49pm on the last day of March and I haven't pre-written any articles, so I'm getting a wonderful re-living of my school experiences right now...
In site news - Exilian is now officially nine years old, which is an impressive achievement for a website that was expected on its founding to have a lifespan of around a fortnight, tops. We've had another quiet month thanks to some staff being called off to conferences and terrifying bits of reality, but there are some big plans afoot to improve how we get content out and link up parts of the site which will hopefully come into being more seriously in April. I should also mention that our twitch channel is doing very well and building up a following, mostly for folk watching No1 Croat Fan and friends' madcap attempts to complete Russian lumberjacking simulator game SpinTyres. If you'd like to come along and chat to the team, broadcasts are usually on Saturdays and you can visit and subscribe to the channel here.
Without further ado - here's Updates from the Forge, Issue 11!
- Between a rock and a hornet queen - My Mom's A Witch updates
- Cloudhaunts and more from Utherwald Press
- Mr. Molotov Man strikes again...
- New Music on Exilian Media
- Introducing ScreenAdventure!
Between a rock and a hornet queen - My Mom's A Witch updatesThere are some fantasic new updates available on Bigosaur's My Mom is a Witch! Of particular interest are two new level-end bosses. The first is the earth golem, who stands at the end of the forest level with a devastating new range of attacks for more experienced players including meteor showers and turning its whole body into a rolling boulder. There's also a hornet queen who inhabits the battlements in place of the dragon in some games, and has deadly poisoned attacks and the ability to spawn new hornet enemies like this little blighter:That's not all, of course. There are new items, too, including the shepherd staff, and new bonus areas in the forest including the ability to tame boars to your side! You can finally meet the King, too, and play as the fruit-producing sorceress character. With all that and more, there's increasingly a vast and diverse amount of content available in this increasingly wonderful adventure.
Cloudhaunts and more from Utherwald PressUtherwald Press' most recent update has focussed back on a redesign of the deadly Cloudhaunts, winged pack-hunting mammals with ferocious appetites and the ability (and motive) to attack planes and airships in large numbers. Clouds of them descending out of the sky (with new rules available on the Utherwald website) will no doubt ruin many a player's day - and possibly also their plane, airship, and/or life expectancy in the process!
Other update topics this month have included the nomadic skykin, travelling wanderers of the airways akin to the more ground-dwelling genchi, and the regal class skyship, a powerful battle cruiser with several mighty cannon ready to pound volleys of fury into the enemy. The world of Aleyska is still very much being built up week by week, and it's always exciting to see more of it come together. Click the link below to enter the frozen skies!
Mr. Molotov Man strikes again...A spin-off from Koobazaur's excellent story-game about the dangers and pitfalls of journalism and sensationalism, Headliner, the minigame Mr. Molotov Man is... different in style. Who Mr. Molotov Man is we never find out. Is he a criminal? A terrorist? An anarchist, a freedom fighter? Simply a pyromaniac? One thing, and only one, is for certain: he has a literally infinite number of molotov cocktails and a city to destroy.From this premise comes the game - start wandering an empty street, and then as the emergency (and the fire, and the mass of burning people, bins, and cars) develops further, successive waves of futuristic police come to try and take down the Molotov Man before he can kill more. Face basic street cops, laser-wielding robot drone police, and more, as the conflagration and conflict continue! If you want some mindless fun and a LOT of flames, this is a great place to start.
New Music on Exilian MediaThe Exilian Media Channel has seen a range of extra music released recently. With the announcement of the new season of Game of Thrones just out, we've appropriately had two extra songs from Jubal's A Bard of Ice and Fire song collection recorded and put up on the channel - The Knights of Summer for House Tyrell, chivalrous masters of the Reach, and The Black Flower, a song for Targaryen loyalists to look forward to the day when their Valyrian-descended masters return in power to Dragonstone and claim Westeros as their own once again.
Bu that's not all! We've also got several other new videos up this month, including poetry reading for world poetry day, and, most recently, Age of Kings - an original lyric set by Jubal that fits to the tune of the Age of Empires theme music.
Please remember to subscribe, and take a look at what we're producing!
Introducing ScreenAdventure!Dey505, creator of Old Adventure, returns with a new kickstarter for another platforming game, ScreenAdventure! In this puzzle-platformer you'll have a range of characters available to quest through many different levels with a window that moves across and around your computer screen! Boasting complex and innovative level design ideas, there will be a great range of stuff to look at! You can take a look at the recently released kickstarter campaign and videos of the project in development at the links below:
As usual, let me know if you have extra items for Updates and I'll try and make sure to include them - we're happy to cover academic and creative projects of all sorts as long as they're posted somewhere around the forum, and we'd always like to have more items and the widest range of stuff possible.
See you at the end of April for the next issue of Updates from the Forge!
Posted on March 01, 2017, 12:56:06 AM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge Issue 10: February 2017
February 2017 IssueEDITORIAL
February is often a quiet month - but despite that, there's been a surprising and exciting range of projects coming through across the site, especially with some new faces in the newly revamped Indie Alley forums as you'll no doubt see below. There's some exciting stuff coming up here, with tactical RPGs, tabletop RPGs, and puzzlers all making their appearances. As ever, let us know what you think about the format and do go and check out these great projects, many of which have free demos that you're welcome to download and check out.
Elsewhere in site news, we can announce that our Cyril & Methodius Day fundraising campaign raised over £150 for the wonderful Room to Read charity, who focus on supporting literacy teaching and skills in developing countries - that's nearly double last year's total, and a great improvement that will change the lives of people who really need it. For those who want to know more, check out our explanatory Cyril & Methodius Day thread to see what we were up to on Feb 14! We've also had some significant forum restructures, which we're hoping will make it easier for people to find what they want in a more compact setup. Let us know what you think by commenting here or using the Q&S forum!
And so, we're onto February's Updates from the Forge - this is now this newsletter's tenth monthly issue of letting people know what's going on across Exilian!
- The Spell is being cast...
- Into the depths of Norbayne's past!
- SpyDNA - have you got the genes for it?
- Into a wonderland of stars - Fireball XL5 Guide released!
- Mind Machine Interface - a mind-bending puzzler
The Spell is being cast...The Spell is a top-down, high-powered, high destruction RPG where you take on the role of Arik, one of a small order of exceptionally powerful wizards capable of bending the world to their will who must face up to the unexpected return of his brethren after his long years in exile. The detailed combat mechanics require both reflexes and a fast battlefield intellect, hurling tables, rocks, and flames at your enemies but with limited reserves of precious magical power to spare. There are also puzzle areas where the different wizards have constructed fiendish mazes for you to navigate, including numerous alternate ways to use your magic and some hidden secrets here and there as well!Check out The Spell, and play & discuss the game at the link below:
Into the depths of Norbayne's past!Phoenixguard's Norbayne tabletop RPG setting has yet more work continuing on it, including new combat tests and decisions over which races and classes to include. There are significant tweaks being made all the time, with recent announcements including the presence of the satyr-like Jeleni, agile and fast fighters and travellers from the Westrand archipelago. Huge amounts of new information have also been release on the timeline of Norbayne's past. New details include discussions of the Primordial Age, when god-like beings formed the world as it now exists, and the Mythic Age, when the first Stormlord came to power and the Roanfaille made their everlasting and accursed pact to save their lives...
Sound exciting? Take a look and find out more!
SpyDNA - have you got the genes for it?This new tactical spying RPG is in early stages, but it's looking very promising. In an immersive, beautifully rendered setting, you are the captain of the SpyDNA program, cryogenically held in stasis between vital missions where you will be brought out to serve your country. These may be simple cases of eliminating a target or a rescue mission, or they may be far more complex tactical missions with firearms blazing and your team at your back. There's a good setting being built around it too, with an unusual and interesting character creation setup that works by quizzing you on situational responses, and detailed dialogue trees so you can start getting used to the world and its characters.All in all this is looking very promising, and demo feedback is wanted, so do head on over and try it out!
Into a wonderland of stars - Fireball XL5 Guide released!Jubal's epic quest through the entirety of Gerry Anderson's puppet sci-fi classic has finally ended, resulting in a full episode guide with reviews of all thirty-nine episodes of Fireball XL5! With stories ranging from the star-trotting to the bizarre, Fireball XL5 - a precursor to the more famous Thunderbirds - used innovative puppetry techniques to portray the Space Patrol crew of Fireball XL5 as they went on many adventures and saved both themselves and the universe from numerous cackling villains. Jubal's reviews go through the ups and downs of the series, looking at how the show has dated and which bits of Anderson's work have stood the test of time. From the beautiful planet Olympus, to the reaches far beyond known space, to the great spinning tower of Space City, there's a great deal to be found in the Fireball universe. Take a look and discover a whole new world - in fact, several!
Mind Machine Interface - a mind-bending puzzlerThis mind-bending new game throws a set of fiendish puzzle challenges at the player. Not for the faint of mental strength, the flickering colours and numbers of the mind machine will have you gripped as you try to figure out the solution to each puzzle. The simple set of tools and options shouldn't fool you - there's a wide range of puzzles covering different themes including "data repair", "image rotation", and much more, all of which will require some very particular tricks to make work. The demo is already very well worth working through, with some extremely tough puzzles and good brainteasers to torture the mind of all but the very finest puzzle experts.
Mind Machine Interface's creator izark has asked for feedback on "graphics, bugs, difficulty, anything you want to talk about" - so do head on over and take a look at the demo (though beware, you may be there for a few hours longer than you expect! The game's also on Steam Greenlight right now and is looking very well worth an upvote.
If you've got something in development or want to help write Updates, please do get in touch as usual! In the next month we have Exilian Day on the 18th - our ninth birthday - and no doubt many more new releases and other excitements besides. All that awaits - do join in, say hello, and become part of what we're doing, there are many great projects across the site and YOUR support could be crucial for them.
Hope to see you in a month, for the next issue of Updates from the Forge!
Posted on February 14, 2017, 01:14:21 PM by Jubal
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!
Happy Cyril and Methodius Day!
It's Cyril and Methodius Day - Exilian's annual celebration of languages, linguistics, and literacy. Today's a day to hug a friendly linguist, talk to your friends in other countries, read a book, learn a new language, and much much more. Do drop by on our official thread
and say hello, and do spread the word as well! We're also, as last year, fundraising for the Room to Read charity which spreads the gift of literacy in developing countries. If you'd like to donate, please do - all money goes straight to the charity, and it would be great to beat our £85 total from last year. Besides that - enjoy the alphabets and excitement, and have a great Cyril & Methodius Day
Posted on February 05, 2017, 11:32:56 PM by Jubal
Forum restructuring announcement
This is just a quick post to announce some changes to the way Exilian's index boards are organised, which have just been rolled out.
The previous "Ambassadors' Residences" forum has now been archived. Supported projects and companies from there have been moved in with other relevant material - for example, Utherwald Press and Fox Box moving in with other tabletop game design and development projects.
Secondly, our Indie game dev has been re-jigged; the Indie Labs and Tinkers' Alley have merged to form the new Indie Alley, which covers both hobby and commercial game dev projects. There's a new subforum, the Tinkers' Workshop, for non-game programming projects.
We hope these changes will lead to a more condensed, streamlined forum structure and make it easier for people to find what they need around the site. Any thoughts or feedback you have on the changes, do post here or in the Q&S forum.
Posted on January 31, 2017, 11:57:13 PM by Jubal
January: Updates from the Forge
January 2017 IssueEDITORIAL
The first month of 2017 has whistled by, with plenty of great project having outings across the Exilian website! After an exhausting and frantic second half of 2017, the forges of Exilian show little sign of slowing down. Outside what's covered in this article, we've had the announcement and release of Valar Morghulis' Ice and Fire edition, a great fantasy Rome:Total War mod that's now running on the Alexander engine with two new factions.
In other site news, we can also welcome Glaurung back as Basileus for the next six months, and GMD as Spatharios, and say a special thankyou to Comrade_General who's moving off the main staff team to the new honorary title of Permanent Despot of RTW in recognition of his many years of service to the site. Many thanks, CG! We're currently restructuring our staff and looking for new helpers, so if you're interested in helping out with staffing or content creation - whether that's helping make content for our YT and twitch channels, writing for Updates, or helping with our social media - please do get in touch with Jubal, Glaurung, or another senior staffer.
All that site news covered, without further ado, onto this month's Updates from the Forge (which is on time for once! Huzzah!) Once again, all articles written & edited by your very own Jubal!
- Postbug level editor released!
- Putting the image into Soundimage
- A Roleplaying Fool's Errand
- In construction: Space Shipyard!
- The Jolly Boar Kitchen - a solution to hungry work
Postbug level editor released!Hemingway Games have returned to their fantastic little puzzle-game Postbug, centred around a ladybird with a passion for postal deliveries who dodges spiders and navigates around falling rocks... with a level editor! This potentially huge expansion of the game is being developed to allow players and level designers to create their own levels and puzzles, with a simple toolset but a vast range of possible creative options. The feature is still in development, but players can already build and play their own levels and shareable links to levels will hopefully be coming out soon.
Check out Postbug, play & discuss the game, and have a go at making your own levels at the links below:
Putting the image into SoundimageThis month, Eric Matyas of SoundImage announced a big new expansion of the SoundImage library to include graphics textures as well as the massive range of sound and music clips already in place! This new texture library will be a great free resource for modders, game developers, and those doing a wide range of other projects. It's another great expansion to the already impressive resources that SoundImage offers.
There may well be upcoming restructuring in how the site works - there will certainly be new textures and sounds, with more being added every week. Whether you're a developer, artist, graphic designer, or just someone looking for textures for a project, SoundImage now has a lot to offer and it's a great project to support.
A Roleplaying Fool's Errand...From the Utherwald Press forums we're now getting some fun testing writeups of campaign ideas, the most recent being the start of the "Fool's Errand" campaign plans that came out in 2017. In this first episode, our slightly less than dashing heroes Arnie and Brick "the Brick" are hired by machiavellian crime boss Ferret (there's something about ferrets, isn't there?) to head out and retrieve a mysterious package from a bank vault in an abandoned town. Adventure ensues, with aeroplanes, rival gangs, and ferocious monsters, and it's still only the first session! Will our heroes survive? Why is Brick called "the Brick"? Who is the mysterious locksmith Karla who's been sent with them on their journey? Honestly, I still don't know the answers to all of those questions, but reading the session one writeup is definitely the first step to finding out!
Whether you're a GM, a player, or just want a good read, the campaign writeup is great and well worth a look. For GMs especially the game master's notes add extra perspectives on the story that could be helpful when planning and thinking about your own future ideas, plans, and campaigns.
In construction: Space Shipyard!In development from new member KSGuills comes "Space Shipyard", a game using the core mechanics of FTL with a wide range of additional features and ideas planned and many new assets in development. The game focusses on your ability to keep a ship running during combat, so your crew can repair the damage, the weapons and other systems can keep running, and you can - hopefully - win the day.
There's a great amount of content planned for the game; the focus is on building a system for 2-player battles, but there will also be a fully developed, procedurally generated single player campaign mode and a wide range of options for how to build and construct your ship. The ship construction will be constrained and developed by a skill/tech tree that you can work to build up and develop as you play the game. There are also plans for area effects including nebulas and extreme temperature effects that your ship will need to deal with as well as the threat of your actual opponent.
With a great deal of content, and friendly devs happy to answer questions, this looks like a great one to take a look at - head over, give some feedback and ask some questions, and watch this excellent project develop!
The Jolly Boar Kitchen - a solution to hungry workTired of your art or game dev work? Running out of ideas for things to eat in the evenings? Or are you a budding chef who could share quirky and interesting ideas with your fellow creative folk? Either way, do come along and check out the Exilian food forum, the Jolly Boar kitchen. This month we've had a featured recipe from Jubal, who's been making Pelamushi (Georgian grape pudding) - it may look a bit like a brain on a plate, but we're assured it tastes considerably better, and only needs sugar, flour, cornflour, grapes and walnuts to make!
If you want to find out more about this, post some recipes of your own, or just chat and get ideas for food to eat, do take a look at the food forum at the link below.
As ever, if you've got something in development or want to help write Updates, get in touch! There'll be lots going on around the site in the near future, including our traditional Cyril & Methodius Day celebrations on Feb 14, and hopefully plenty more new projects and games turning up, with a LIFE beta in the offing and new Norbayne material being published all the time. Stay tuned for all of that and see you for the February edition!
Best wishes and take care, until the next issue of Updates from the Forge!