Posted on August 31, 2018, 09:25:50 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 28: August 2018
Issue 28: August 2018EDITORIAL
Welcome to Updates from the Forge issue 28! The imaginary llama is in a sulk this month, so your writing and editorial team once again consists of a trireme, a pangolin, and Jubal, who may or may not be all the same thing.
This month, your very own newsletter of creative geekery has a nicely balanced range of things from across the site to be talking about - two standalone games, one game mod, one tabletop RPG item and one webcomic - so there's something for everyone in here. In the hot summer months (especially in central Europe, where the aforementioned newsletter writer has been at times literally hiding underground from the heat) there's not been a lot of news outside the regular updates to report, though some staffing changes have taken place. The Exilian Chain Writing project has been going well and we hope to share the results of that, including the work of twenty or so fantastic writers, with you in September. We've had some good articles too, and we hope you're keeping up with those; remember to subscribe to our RSS feed if you want to be the first to know when new articles are out.
There's been plenty of work going on across the site on many projects of creative geekery as ever, of course, and we're very excited to share some of that with you!
- Introducing Darkwatch
- A Pixel Dungeon Adventure!
- Crowds gather to watch a Tourney
- Rome: Total War gets enhanced again
- Terminus Cyberstar
Introducing DarkwatchPurveyors of Savage Worlds gaming supplements, Utherwald Press' regular blogposts are a great source of inspiration and ideas for dieselpunk and other semi-modern fantasy settings. In their latest blogpost, they're taking a dive a little further back into the past, to introduce a new setting idea: Darkwatch!
Darkwatch will focus on a city that has been reclaimed from the forces of darkness... mostly. Or maybe only partly. Your band of heroes (heroic on a good day, anyway) will have to assist the city's new occupiers in trying to cleanse parts of the city of the remaining evildoers, as well as keeping law and order, fighting thieves in the streets or bandits in the surrounding countryside. Huge subterranean caverns and tunnels wind beneath the city surface, and it is these lower depths where many of the truly vicious of the city's former inhabitants might still be lurking, waiting for their chance to return to the surface. Darkwatch thus forms a rare idea, a reverse resistance campaign - rather than the heroes being those resisting the invaders, in Darkwatch you must try and wip out the remaining pockets of resistance to the lawful re-occupation of the city. If you can find them in the dark, that is! With inspiration from a mix of horror, clockpunk, and fantasy settings, Darkwatch will be very well worth keeping an eye on as it develops.
Of course there've been many other regular updates from Utherwald recently as well, including a wreck generator for the sci-fi setting Forsaken Space, which follows crews that try and salvage equipment from the lost hulks of dead spaceships, more updates on the Cold War Skirmishes setting, and the continued writeups of Stormwell's campaign of Frozen Skies, Utherwald Press' flagship RPG sourcebook which plunges players into a dieselpunk world on the frontiers of the icy far north!
A Pixel Dungeon Adventure!Exilian's love of creative geekery goes beyond games themselves, of course, and pixeldungeonadventure has brought his eponymous webcomic to Exilian! Pixel Dungeon Adventure follows the roaming of some Definitely Heroic Hero Types around a dungeon, in which they will battle goblins, cast spells, hopefully not kill all of the people they're trying to rescue, and most importantly find lots of treasure! Sir Bob the axe-wielding knight, Lady Val the minmaxed and calculating wizard, and Auto the... giant metal golem rogue... are heading on into the darkness, and it's time for you to tag along with them and follow their adventures.
Crowds gather to watch a TourneyTusky's excellent Tourney, the medieval tournament simulator, has seen several new updates this month. The game will allow you to create arenas and set up jousts between mighty and brave knights, in a range of settings, from Arthur's mythical Avalon to the underwater haven of Atlantis and eventually Gulansharo, the City of Flowers. Featuring bright, sharp vintage-style graphics, and all the heraldry and panoply one could ask for, it's shaping up to look fantastic.
Caption Goes HereRecent updates have included work on the stands (pictured) where peasants will cluster to watch over your knockout tournaments and see the knights perform! At other times they'll be found grabbing a beer, visiting the apothecary, wandering around the buildings and mills, and of course just standing and having a chat. Of course the core of the game will be the jousts themselves, with knockout (in some cases literally) tournaments to determine who is the greatest jouster in the land. Saddle up and head over to Tusky's thread to find out what else is planned:
Rome: Total War gets enhanced againExilian's birth was rooted in the world of Rome: Total War modding, and believe it or not we're still getting on with it over a decade later! ahowl11 has created a great new vanilla enhancement mod, keeping the feel and features of the old Rome: Total War you know and love whilst also adding a number of enhancements and improvements. This includes improved battle formations and AI, the removal of a few of the more bizarre units (no, Arcani, Roman Ninjas were not a thing), improved battle AI, and better animations for a wide range of units.
Somewhere in the middle of the phalanx, Maikandros realised that he had left the oven on.ahowl's mod incorporates the Ptolemaic Empire, a full revamp of Egypt that turns it from the anachronistic New Kingdom faction portrayed in vanilla RTW to the contemporary land of the Ptolemies, complete with typical Greek phalangites (shown above) and the other trappings of a diadochi army. With this major improvement (including the Battle of Raphia being changed to accommodate the new units), and several map tweaks made with more on the way, there's a lot to look forward to from this mod. We look forward to seeing more!
Terminus CyberstarAn RPG/FPS hybrid game from Silverspook in production, recently covered in one of his great dev update videos - Terminus Cyberstar is set in the same world as Terminus Machina, Silverspook's old Deus Ex mod which offered a wealth of features from biometric scanning and DNA editing to hacking wireless systems and a huge craft system to the real risk and threat of drone strikes. The new game will be a standalone game set in the same universe and continuity, offering a similarly wide-ranging set of options both in and out of combat as you live in a corporate-dominated world with the omnipresent threat of invasive technology and desperately limited resources. The bleak but compelling cyberpunk futures explored in Silverspook's work are always intriguing to discover more about, and with the recent addition of a level designer to the team it seems like we'll hopefully be getting to hear more about Terminus Cyberstar in the near future!
And with that, dear friends, it seems that another month, and another round of Updates from the Forge, must sadly come to a close. Never fear, though, for Updates from the Forge will return, when it is called upon and needed most... stay tuned, let us know what you think, and we'll see you in September for issue 29!
Posted on August 30, 2018, 03:56:34 PM by Jubal
This is a public announcement on some recent staffing changes. Firstly, we're saying farewell to La Ciguapa from the admin team. She's been doing excellent work for the last few months as our Heteriarches Prokeruxis, aka our social media officer, and we've been very lucky to have her with us for a while; she's stepping down due to realspace issues, and we hope of course to welcome her back on the site regularly whenever she gets a chance to drop by. Vulcanology has also vacated the post of content officer, so both of these positions are currently. You can always find current volunteering opportunities in the Volunteers Needed Thread. Finally, we have one new addition to mention - Spritelady will be acting as a junior staff member (logothete) filling in on social media for at least the next few weeks. Many thanks to her for stepping in at short notice!
Best wishes to all,
Jubal (Megadux & Basileus)
Posted on July 30, 2018, 03:25:20 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 27: July 2018
Issue 27: July 2018EDITORIAL
The hot summer months have rolled around, but never fear - the hard creative work goes on across Exilian and beyond! We've got a PC game special mostly in this month's updates, but there's plenty more happening across the site outside that, including our ongoing chain writing project (which we should have the results of by some time in August), new music on our Exilian Media YouTube channel, and dev work on the tabletop gaming scene as well!
We're back to a regular fortnightly article posting schedule too, so look for those when they come out - and if you want to write for us, please get in touch. We're hoping to run some interviews with Exilian's devs in our articles section too, so if you'd be interested in helping with that then let us know. In site admin news, we welcome Tusky as our new Spatharios (senior moderator), and Jubal remains as Basileus (chair of Exilian) for the next six months. We still have some open staff posts and welcome new volunteers of course!
And with all that said, time to show you what our devs have been constructing for your edification and delight this month!
- Survive the void on a Fringe Planet...
- Words and Whispers on Windy Meadow
- Become Master of the House in Innkeep
- A Bunch of Hacks are making Epicinium
- New Free Tracks from SoundImage!
Survive the void on a Fringe Planet...
Home, sweet home: because it might be a cackling madness demon rock, but it's OUR cackling madness demon rock.We're starting with a new project this month, beebug_nic's Fringe Planet, a survival game where your peons are trapped trying to survive on a world deep in the void of space, with madness, starvation, and freezing all among the likelier outcomes for their short and bitter lives. If they survive, though, they may start discovering who trapped them there, and who they might once have been... and what twisted being sought to bring them there.
Gameplay features, beyond the general battle to build shelters, grow food, and avoid demonic possession, will include the ability to select different "storytellers" - which will give you different ranges and types of random events to deal with as your peons focus on surviving in the harsh climate. Ultimately players may be able to extend the playable area, harness beings from the void, build factories, and more, if they live long enough to do so! The game is also set to have a wide array of moddable features, with lots of aspects of the game being made easy to edit and change, which could lead to some exciting total conversion opportunities!
Find out more and blast off to the fringes at beebug's forum thread:
Words and Whispers on Windy MeadowWe've had more updates from the Tales from Windy Meadow team, with the dialogue sections of the game seeing a lot of updates lately as the graphics background for them comes together. The framing and darkening of different character portraits to show who's talking has now been carefully put together, as shown in this conversation between the scarred guard and huntress Vena and Argentia, who's offering her a job...Other recent updates have included the prologue story for Fabel, a boy lamed and orphaned by a brutal bandit attack in childhood who ultimately dreams of becoming a bard. Whether he and the other characters will follow their dreams to success or failure, or accept the world as it is and try to make the best of it, will be up to you as you choose your path through this interactive story. Check back for Windy Meadow's latest updates to find out more.
Become Master of the House in InnkeepReturning this month with a new dev update video (shown above) is with BeerDrinkingBurke with exciting updates on Innkeep, the tavernkeeping simulator where you can rip off guests, sell beer, hear rumours, and become the Les Mis style Master of the House that you always dreamed of being! Parts of the game's opening scene are now available, where you will discover an abandoned tavern in the later stages of a brutal war. It's then your job to restore its fortunes: the stables, cellar, and guest rooms are all part of the Inn's play area as well as of course the main bar room itself.
There'll be lots to do around the Inn too beyond just serving drinks. You'll need to buy in wood, linen, and beer, and furnish the rooms in the initially empty and broken inn as well. Gathering rumours and trinkets will help you keep an eye out to what's going on among your clientele. In that regard, stealing from guests is likely to be a vital part of the game, too, the Inn business being no place for an honest man - though whether you just slip a little from those who have enough, or rob all your customers blind, may be more of a playstyle choice!
A Bunch of Hacks are making Epicinium
And another one bites the (now visible) dust!Epicinium, the environmental wargame, is now officially under the aegis of a new cooperative, worker-owned game dev company, A Bunch of Hacks! Congratulations to SLiV and team for jumping through all the hoops to get the new co-op set up, which will hopefully provide a solid basis for longer term development of the game as well as providing a great worker-centred environment for the devs.
There've been updates to the game too of course - on the graphics side, new particle effects have been added to some of the animations as you can see above. Weekly challenges have also been added, to give players more of an interesting threat to face when playing the game in single player. You'll get a mission briefing from the general, explaining the challenge rules; this may just be that the start setup for the enemy is more powerful than usual, or it may involve bigger changes like much higher speeds, faster gameplay, removing some usual restrictions like money, or something else entirely! You can download the beta for free and find out more by playing along...
New Free Tracks from SoundImage!Eric Matyas' texture, sound effect, and music library, SoundImage, is an invaluable resource for lots of people doing geeky creative projects. This month it's been reorganised to make its (now fairly vast) collection easier to navigate! The sidebar now contains links to a wide array of different pages, removing the old top bar which had gotten to about ten rows deep thanks to the number of pages and types available!
There are new sounds and textures on the SoundImage website this month too. New music includes the futuristic "Alley Chase" which could fit well to a cyberpunk or sci-fi world of intrigue and tall cities, the serene "Cumulonimbus" which has a lighter, calmer, airier feel to it, and the zany "Attack of the Flaming Pie Tins" with reminiscences of 50s pulp science fiction drive-ins. New textures include additions to the Brick, Rock/Stone, Metal, Abstract, and Organic pages among others. With such a wide array of stuff there, why not check out SoundImage and see if there's anything you can use for your project?
Another month and another issue over - see you next time for August's Issue 28, when we'll have yet more exciting updates and announcements from across everything we're doing here on Exilian!
Posted on July 01, 2018, 11:19:10 PM by Jubal
Updates from the Forge 26: June 2018
Issue 26: June 2018EDITORIAL
Guess who forgot that June only has 30 days, not 31? The imaginary llama who helps write this column, that's who. That creature is utterly useless. But never fear! Your slightly belated issue of Updates from the Forge is here at last...
In terms of news, our big release news of this month is that Frozen Skies is now airborne - you can buy Stormwell's fully published RPG supplement from DrivethruRPG, and set your Savage Worlds palyers off on adventures through the icy wastes of Aleyska. Deadly aeroplane battles, high-speed chases across the ice, ferocious Wulvers and mysterious technology from a forgotten age all await. If that sounds up your street, do check the book out!
On a staffing related note, we're particularly excited to welcome La Ciguapa, our new social media officer. If you interact with us across Twitter, Facebook, and beyond, she'll be taking the lead and no doubt improving considerably how we do things there!
And with all that said, let's see what's been going on across Exilian this month...
- The Neofeud Continues...
- The Exile Lands Await
- Monster Man Contest II!
- Ready to watch a tourney?
- Chain Writing!
The Neofeud Continues...
Well, the grabber arm robot might be friendly at least?The epic cyberpunk showdown that was Silverspook's award-winning Neofeud may have had a happy ending for some of its heroes... but for how long? And how far can a revolution get in the high-powered, reality-bending tech future that Neofeud happens in? The green and blue may be more evenly distributed for now, but there are more problems and plots ahead. Who is behind this ramshackle looking set of old containers? Is anyone behind that big ol' volcano at the back? And what's Proto-J doing here?
Keep tuned on Silverspook's dev thread to find out more!
The Exile Lands AwaitJubal's new game, The Exile Princes, puts you into an epic, mad fantasy world where the pages of medieval manuscripts come to life! Roam with your gallant followers across realms of ferocious wibulnibs, cunning nobles, tusked kinklades, ferocious manticores, and much much more, and embark on your quest to make your house master of the Exile Realms! With a detailed procedurally generated world, and a variety of ways to advance through the game including quests, wars, and even elections, there'll be a lot for you to discover. Improvements this month include the addition of lakes and seas to the map, the addition of farm tiles in areas near to cities, and major battle improvements.
Read on to find out more!
Monster Man Contest II!James Holloway's Monster Man podcast is doing another contest! This time, the aim is to take the output of a neural net that was fed the names of a load of D&D monsters, and turn the resulting concoction of words back into a monster fit for the gaming table! Will you aim to design the Space Ogre or the Rain Golem? The Purple Fang Dragon? The Bat Unicorn? The... Brown Peg? (OK, maybe not all of them work...) There will be excellent gaming related prizes for the winner, so it's well worth checking out if you want cool tabletop gaming stuff, or if you just like spending your days deciding what a Burglestar is and what it looks like. Have fun!
Good name for a band, too, maybe?If you've not been listening to Monster Man, it is very, very well worth your time to do so - in it, the eponymous monster man and podcast-master goes through the gaming supplements of days gone by, and talks about the monsters he finds in them - be that their mythic background, how they found their way into the book itself, their in-world attributes, their artwork, or advice for making them part of the games you play and run. It's just getting into its second season, looking at the 1981 Fiend Folio supplement to 1st ed. Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (the first season looked at the earlier Monster Manual). If you want to find out about Bunyips, Bullywugs, and more, now's a good time to jump in.
(Editor's note: Exilian is not responsible for any fatalities caused by failure to check for Bunyips before jumping in.)
Are you ready to see a Tourney?Dev work on Tusky's medieval tournament sim, Tourney, continues to saddle up and keep charging forwards. Recent updates have included the addition of the tournament stands (as above) from which the peasantry will be able to watch armoured knights charging hell-for-leather (or, more likely, hell-for-plate-mail) at each other to see if they can knock one another off their steeds. Improvements have also been made to the systems for putting the tournament fields together, so stands and beer kegs will snap neatly into place.
The hum of the engines finally fell to a whisper, and then nothingness.How would you continue a story that started like this? Well, it might be time to find out this summer, because Exilian is doing chain writing! This summer, Exilian members and friends will be writing collaborative stories in 250 word chunks, building words and fashioning plot twists as each writer has to deal with whatever story they've had thrown at them by their fellow writers.
A breeze was blowing outside; scans read an ambient thirty degrees surface temperature. What was really of interest, though, were the movements and the chemistry and the life. Barren rock after barren rock a ship could land on, but this – this was colour. Deep greens, bright blues, and tanged red laces that grew up trunks and hung over branches.
This was uncharted land, undiscovered life. And for Mat, at least, food for the soul.
He adjusted his turban and goggles, and started running scans on the air chemistry. It would be a few minutes to complete the ground-level checks and scans before he would risk going outside.
Eila bustled into the room, their eye-stalks swivelling down to look at the scanner readings as they handed Mat a plate of what could, on a good day, be described as food.
“Humhum. ‘tis looking good?”
“Yes, good enough.” Mat grinned at the diminutive S’ruba. “Life everywhere. Tell Kageth it looks like we can do an on-foot survey. Doesn’t even look like there’s too much that’ll try to kill us. Oh, and maybe tell Winse too if he’s woken up yet.”
Hypothetically, Winstanley FitzSamuel was the ship’s captain. It was a decent hypothesis, but it was, Mat reflected, not one that tended to stand up to rigorous repeat trials.
And guess what, dear reader? YOU can be part of it too!
Yes, all this excitement can be yours. All you need to do is click the link below and follow the instructions to sign up either via the forum or by email. We'd like to get a decent number of people together to ensure we can get a good number of chains going, so please do join in, it's going to be a really fun project for the summer months and one you can do with limited time commitment from wherever you are in the world. Take a look at the link below to read the rules and find out more!
Well, that's issue 26, in all its glory! And all the glory it has is down to YOU dear reader, so please, if you enjoyed this issue and think anyone you know would be interested in the articles contained therein, then please send it to a friend, send it to a relative, send it to someone you know who retweets everything without looking at it - get the word out and we'll have more readers, more feedback, more interest, and more great stuff to show you in future.
Hope to see you next time for Issue 27 of Updates from the Forge - until then, take care!
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...