Ex-Astra - Lite
Current Issue - 07-03-2017
July 03, 2017
We’re back... mostly! -By Klaw
Welcome back to The Last Outpost’s newsletter! We’re back with all the thrills of the last release, but without any of the cumbersome images, editing, pretty, shiny things that the old one had. Okay, maybe we’re not quite the same, but welcome to the lite version; all the taste, and none of the calories.
The Coming editions
Not going to lie to you, this edition of Ex Astra - Lite has been dashed off in a very short span of time. As I type this, it’s June 27th, 2017 and I’m hoping to have a product to release for the 3rd. So, with time against me we’ll see little more than an introduction to what I imagine will be regular columns for this publication.
The ultimate hope with this newsletter is to help give you a brief, at a glance look at the faces and events of TLO, and maybe some insights of current events across various fandoms as reviewed by our very own members. So, while this edition may be “ultra-lite”, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as we grow together with this monthly periodical.
The State of Gaming -By Klaw
Contrary to popular belief, TLO is still very active in the gaming world, just not necessarily as a group and not necessarily with the games that we support as a group. As I’m typing this now, a discussion is underway to probe TLO’s interest in expanding into other games. This conversation (located here ) has sparked a few fantastic titles, including Space Engineers (currently available on steam for $9.99 USD), Minecraft, and Tabletop Simulator (currently available on steam for $9.99 USD).
While the conversation is moving about expanding into other areas, there has still been no word in regards to the future of the games we currently support.
As I’m not currently active in STO, I am unable to adequately represent the state of gaming on that end. My attempts to reach out to people who could were met with silence. I will make an attempt to sit down with SFC3 and/or Dendo and get some comments about the state of TLO’s fleet in the next edition.
- Courtesy SFC3
As for RPG-X, I may not be able to speak with a great deal of authority, but our RPG-X CO, Scott Archer, can. I had a nice little sit down with him, and tried to get some idea of the state of the game, and what may be around the corner.
“RPG-X is currently running two SRPs (one of which is on hiatus) and has another planned that is coming soon (spoilers). These two SRPs typically get 5-8 players most weeks, which may not sound like a lot compared to RPG-X at its height; but considering it is based on a 17 year old game with a fairly niche market, actually I don’t think we’re doing all that bad…”. Scott goes on to say how “RPG-X has stood the test of time…” and mentions some growing non-srp related activity that has graced our server lately.
Like the self-proclaimed journalist, who watches too much TV, that I am; I caught Scott Archer in a pickle, as I tried to force out some more details about that mysterious spoiler he mentioned. “There may or may not be a special SRP coming up. Which may or may not be written by some of your favorite staff members. Which may or may not be running in one of TLO’s favourite time slots. And it also may have a special guest writing with us”. When pressed to discover whether or not the mystery writer was Rick Berman or Ira Steven Behr - two of Star Trek’s greatest… “Maybe not quite that special, but an experienced RP’er who has rarely participated in a TLO based SRP.”
I then pressed him to discover where he sees RPG-X going for the rest of this year and beyond. “That’s a tricky one, with the new poll Serris just announced I think a lot of things may be changing at TLO. I still believe RPG-X is, and should be kept as the beating heart of TLO. I would love to see some more SRPs come up [and] we are still looking at development and potential collaborations, however we are coming across many dead ends and unanswered emails in our attempts to push the game forwards.”
Finally, I was obligated to ask one final question: Which SRP is better, Full Circle or Daedalus? Under no threat of injury or political destruction by the media, Scott Archer refused to comment directly, simply stating “... I don’t feel it would be proper to have favourites.”
We all know, Scott, that you think Daedalus is best.
- By Klaw
So as you can imagine, it’s difficult to pad these out when you’re the only writer on the team. So why not join the team? Media and Marketing is looking for a group of passionate members to help promote the community in a variety of ways including writing for this newsletter. If you’re interested, contact Chris Wilkinson by private message on our forums, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Remember kids, writing is fun!
Anyway... it’s SRP time!
The Amarante is on a five-year mission to explore the Delta Quadrant, and make contact with the planets and people that the rogue USS Equinox may have angered during their time in the quadrant. Re-tracing the route of the Equinox, the Galaxy-Class starship has already found its fair share of trouble; not to mention a chef who strongly believes in good digestion.
In my humble opinion, Full Circle is a fantastic serial with a heap of potential as it takes the “same old same old” and “been there, done that” and converts it into something fun, fresh and engaging. Truly a creative take on the aftermath of the Voyager and Equinox Adventures.
Full Circle is written by Serris. If you wish to take a closer look at the action, feel free to check out the boards linked here. It can grace your monitor on Sundays at 3pm eastern time.
It should also be noted, that this Serial is on hiatus until Sunday, September 24th, 2017 due to other engagements and commitments. I eagerly await its return.
Currently set during the height of the Earth-Romulan War, Star Trek Daedalus follows three crews of intrepid explorers-turned-soldiers by the circumstances surrounding them. Currently trapped behind the Romulan line, Nova and a small band of stranded ships are setting off on a mission to undermine the Romulan war effort, and become a big enough distraction to allow the United Coalition of Planets a chance to score some victories.
Chasing secret societies, and uncovering hidden plots: Daedalus is a fun exploration of not just the conflict that gave birth to the Federation, but to the untold stories that remain hidden in Trek lore.
Daedalus is written by Klaw, with contributions from Stringtheorist, Scott Archer and the whole cast. Daedalus airs on Saturdays, at 3pm eastern time. If you wish to learn more about it, be sure to check out the boards located here.
Letters to the editor
I can’t guarantee that we’ll publish your letter(s), but I will try to do the best that I can. Feel free to write about whatever you want, whether it be last week’s episode of an SRP, or a mission in STO that you found particularly intense or even open a discussion about the crazy episode of the CW show Supernatural. Whatever you want to talk about, this is your corner for you to raise your voice and express yourself in any way you want, about anything you want.
A Word from our Head of Media and Marketing -By Chris Wilkinson
Well this is the first issue of what I hope to be many of the new Ex-Astra Lite. We hope to bring you each month a small snippet of news and goings on within TLO; with articles about the current going ons of our Serial Roleplays in RPG-X as well as information on anything else that may be going on in TLO.
We will also look at other things outside of TLO and bring you the news here, in a much more relaxed and completely unbiased (Except for views which are expressly allowed by our great leader) way. This could be the latest snapshots of Star Trek Discovery, rumours of the next Grand Theft Auto or even about sightings of the difficult to see Peldari, which can sometimes be found on the forums and elsewhere.
I hope that you all enjoy this first edition of the new Ex-Astra Lite and we hope to keep you all entertained in the future.
Chris Wilkinson, Head of Media and Marketing
-Image courtesy of volacci.com
Looking toward the Future: A message from the self-appointed, freelance editor -By Klaw
Like I said before, This edition is “ultra-lite”. Trying to dash it off in a week’s time will do that to you. However, I wanted to show you just what can be done in a short amount of time when you have someone who is dedicated, and semi-talented enough to do it.
Future editions of this periodical may or may not involve me steering the ship, so I want to get this out there as a basis for whoever may take over. Some of the regular features that I would love to see include:
“The Faces of TLO” - An inside look at TLO through the members. This is a spotlight piece focusing on TLO members, giving everyone a chance to share their story (or not, if they choose).
“Klaw’s Mapping Corner” - Likely a semi-regular inside look at the next little project that I have to offer for RPG-X. May even include some special guests from our slightly less active resident mapmaker, Martin Thompson, if he wants to take part.
“A Letter from our President” - This would be an editorial about anything and everything the President wishes to talk about. It could be TLO Business, or even promotion for some Street Fighter Tournament. I only hope that Serris means the video game…
Lastly, “Roast Duck” - I seriously doubt this will become a thing, but if it does this is my thought:
Roast Duck will be a humor piece, designed to do little more than roast Jenson, my dear old friend and semi-retired colleague. I would imagine there being a series of writers - and the whole intention is to simply make Duck jokes. I suspect even Jenson may write a joke or two for this feature.
As well as A Commander’s Corner, highlighting the activity of our games in more detail, which will ultimately allow “The State of Gaming” to be written by the game division(s) while also allowing for upcoming changes within a department (such as technical) to be broadcast through another medium outside the forum, if needed or desired.
The above are just some ideas; a few of them are good, and one is very weird and will likely dry up fast but I say we should drink from that well while we have it.
One more thing I want to say on the matter. You may have noticed that this looks little to nothing like the Ex Astra of yore; and there’s a good reason for that. Presently, nobody here at TLO is trying to use this to build their marketable skills for future jobs and nobody has the time or apparent skill needed to pull the old magazines off. This is a more laid back publication, that I believe is more fitting for this group. We market ourselves as a “casual gaming community” and I feel this newsletter should mirror that mentality. But what do I know? I’m just a freelance editor doing this on behalf of TLO’s Media and Marketing department as a labor of love for this group.
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if this periodical begins to morph into something resembling its ancestors a little more closely. Ultimately it is important for us to evolve as a species and as a group, I imagine this newsletter will mirror the community; growing as we endeavour to find new avenues to expand into, and increase our activity. If I do stay on in a more permanent capacity, I would imagine there being a gaggle of writers doing this job (yes, I called the writers geese), even better than I just did, and as a result, it could give me some time to make this full flavor, zero calorie wonder a little extra “something something”…
One more quick shoutout, then I’ll let you get to the funnies; I want to give a very special Thank you to Callum603, our technical director, for working on a little corner of the website for us to publish to. It’s still a work in progress, but big things are coming with it. Seriously, I only told him about it Wednesday and he jumped straight to work. Thank you Callum, I owe you a milkshake.
- Klaw (image courtesey of worldartsme.com)
Quote of the day
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” -Maya Angelou
Go out and seize the day my friends, we’ll see you next time,
With Love: Klaw, Chris Wilkinson, and the entire team of Ex Astra - Lite
Final edits for the first issue
This corner of the site is a WIP, I'll be talking to Callum about some ideas I've had while I have been working here. Hopefully there will be some nice improvements to help make this publication a little prettier.
Also - if you would like a PDF version of this publication (which is prettier) - one is available here