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This unusual monument is found somewhere in Scotland. It’s a functional sundial; has been misleadingly linked to alchemy; and brings to mind a possible scientific explanation for why some medieval kings – including Edward I of England – are claimed to have funded wars through paying alchemists to produce gold from ‘base metals’.

Judging by the earlier Staffordshire Hoard it seems reasonable to expect knowledge of depletion gilding to have been available within Europe and Britain during the Middle Ages – and it has been a [PDF] fairly common practice worldwide.

Thistle GamesA spot of chemical sleight of hand certainly wouldn’t have been above some of the characters said to have employed alchemists to varying degrees of success.

And it’s fair to say that in medieval Europe much of early modern mathematics, most basic chemistry and many of the processes available in medieval workshops were labelled as alchemy – and often considered suspicious and disreputable.

Busy, Busy

Not like me to go without posting for so long, but I was held up by work elsewhere – then not held up with prepping artwork.

Indie games making rule #1 – don’t stop churning out the artwork when you can, as you always need more. 30+ lovingly crafted, full colour, US sized 300dpi images in the bag. Another 20+ advancing in a wave. And, somewhere around, 100+ new or ‘remastered’ vector icons.

Which means new games/ media soon and from the advantageous position of already having much of the heavy lifting in place.

So – how do you pull together over a year of taking part in a peaceful, on-going revolution; re-animating 13,000 years of North Atlantic civilisation; and reconfiguring solo gaming. Answers on a postcard would be much appreciated :)

OK – there’s a plan in so far as there’s ever a plan.

Alba – history/ myth/ gaming

An authentic, visual welcome to the realities and myths of the early North Atlantic Seaboard, the Atlantic Bronze Age and medieval Scotland/ Britain. That’s 500 million BC through to 1000AD+, with a focus on four key ‘ages’.

The emphasis is on lots of images and highlighting key cultures, (and related events), including the Mound Builders, the Picts and the Vikings. Possibly also lunar priestesses buried on beds of smashed quartz – if I can work out how to Photoshop one of those?

Treasure – gaming

The Book of Dreams and The Cards of the Stars

Straightforward, solo and team adventure gaming with a taste of the world of the North Atlantic. This places a lot of emphasis on making play run differently on many occasions; on passing more choices to players; and on visual presentation. Unsurprisingly it wouldn’t be hard to adapt to refereed play too ;)

Valkyrie – gaming

That’s quite enough at one go – not much I can do to make one part appear before the others if I want everything to mesh tightly. A full features list/ run through, wip artwork and schedule of the lot will be along shortly, but this angle needs a couple of days work right now.

Momentary lapse back into history

Before I forget – a mention for my Pictish pals. This is the previously mentioned but not shown image of a Celtic monk appearing in the position of the Pictish noble within the Otherworld/ horizon shown on a number of stones.

Thistle GamesIt appears to suggest the role and practices of the idealised Pictish noble/ hunter were spiritualised aka sacral warrior.

Thistle GamesFinally

From Mozilla on a countdown – free/ PWYW content, including a stack of comic books and some browser games.

Ancient Scotland – Future Scotland

I’ve posted a page here with answers to the Ancient Scotland quiz. Seemed lazy just to mark answers, so there’s a page or article linked from each of my preferred answers. There’s more detail on a few of the questions dotted around the site and too much in the PDFs linked from the last post and elsewhere.

Thistle Games

I’ve also added to the Art of Independence pages, as it’s all history sooner or later.

As with the last post – continuing with using history, artwork and gaming to promote change – on my own terms. I have zero pickup on the hopefully passing enthusiasm among some Scots for white roses and sunflowers.

More on ancient and early Scotland quite soon, as there’s a stack of artwork done – kind of enough to look at ‘graphic novel’ and gamebook angles.

See what comes out in the mix – the above is an early stage wip of Callanish. Which is somewhere in another window with a close in shot centre right and a night sky. Might try some mist. Usual story – looking to leave more to the imagination.

Talking of imagination – there’s a bundle of game content all playtested up for Treasure. It’s simply on with crunching away at the production now – obviously always going to be heavy on the graphics. It’s been getting run as solo or RPG gameplay with extendable mechanics to suit the style of play.