A journey of discovery…

Bob Olley

Progress, Painted Puscual and Projects…

G’day guys,

I thought it was about time to start reposting to this blog now that the excitement of the Kickstarter is done and most of the post Kickstarter work is out of the way.

Kickstarter Update

I have been working really hard to complete all the artwork required for Dawn – Rise of the Occulites, a task which I have recently finished. All that is left to do is set out the punchboards and then off to production. The figures are already there, being used to create metal molds to make the figures out of for the board game. Exciting stuff indeed.

I’d like to re-thank everyone that supported Dawn – Rise of the Occulites before, during and after the Kickstarter. It has been absolutely invaluable and I can’t wait to get the game out into everyone’s hands.

Painted Puscual

The Puscual figure was supposed to be a stretch goal during the Kickstarter for Dawn – Rise of the Occulites, but we didn’t quite reach it. Being too eager (and prepared), I had been able to get Bob Olley to sculpt one up for me, which I got Nic from Eureka Miniatures to cast up for me. So I will have Puscuals ready for a future expansion for Dawn (hopefully it proves popular enough!). It will also be doing double duty as a Puscual Pack Leader for Drums of War (the 18mm mass combat game I am designing that is set in the Occulite world – I already have Palaudis figures sculpted up by Bob and they are unbelievable! But more on this as I develop it further)

So, over the weekend, I was able to paint one of the Puscuals up. Now, I’m a bit rusty with the paint brush, so please excuse the errors I have made, but the Puscual was a blast to paint up! Really easy and a nice way to ease back into a bit of miniature painting. So, without further delay, here it is!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge


Looking forward into the future of games set in the Rise of the Occulites Universe, most probably the next to release will be Sungem Run!

The Long Dark has just begun and Occulite Tribes all over Crepusculum have been getting ready all season long for their hibernation. Most Tribes have had their Home Caves stocked with Sungems for much of the season, but others have not been as ready. Their Sungem supply will not last for the length of the Long Dark, and so they must journey out of their warm caves to find a Podmothine to steal Sungems from. If they are caught away from their Home Cave by another Tribe though, their existing supply of Sungems will be put at risk of theft, so they must do so undiscovered in the dark. Each Tribe’s Chief guards their Home Cave as the rest of the Tribe goes out to harvest Sungems from a local Podmothine, their way lit by a single Sungem each. Harvesting Sungems isn’t that easy when the Podmothine defends itself though and if at any time they find themselves without the light of a Sungem, the Tribe becomes lost and will have to find their own way back home. Which Tribe will be the most sneaky and skillful? This, is Sungem Run!

Sungem Run! is a 2-8 (up to 13 when using expansions) player game of sneakiness, misdirection and deduction that has been in development and playtest over the last year and a half. It has been thoroughly playtested by many, many different types of players, ranging from grade four students, right through to grandparents, gamers, non-gamers and everything in between. It is a blast to play and I can’t wait to share it with fans of the Occulite world. Although fans of the Occulites will enjoy the theme of the game, people that are unfamiliar with the one eyed little critters, can still enjoy the game without having any background knowledge of it.

It uses dice manipulation to allow your Tribe to hide amongst the other Tribes without being spotted, gathering Sungems, while avoiding the Podmothine itself. With many different ways to play, Sungem Run! has become a firm favourite in my class last year and is proving to be so again this year. It was a lot of fun playing and testing with the kids last year and due to everyone’s hard work, Sungem Run! is a fun and solid game that provides excited tension every game. Look for more information soon.


Sungem Run sample image Box Edge Graphics 1Box Edge Graphics 2 Box Edge Graphics 3 and 4



Puscuals and Nymphlets oh my!

Here is a preview of the latest update on Dawn straight from the KS page. We would love your support to get towards our last few exciting Stretch Goals, so please go and check it out and consider supporting us by backing the project.


Before we jump into details about our tasty treats the Nymphlets, I received an email from Bob Olley that had some quick photos of a couple of new figures… that’s right, we have images of both the Puscual green and the Nymphlet green that will be turned into plastic figures when we hit $65K for the Puscual and $75K for the Nymphlets.

I’ve asked him if he could send me some images of the figures next to an Occulite and when I hear back from him I’ll post them too.

Puscual – 30mm tall, bulky. Tree trunk just fits in a board space.

Nymphlet – Smaller and mounted on a tree branch with reeds down the bottom of it. Total size from bottom to top of branch 25mm. So Nymphlet is roughly Luftle length.

Well? What do you think? I love them and think that they fit right into the Occulite world. I know that I’m looking forward to using them in the game. The Nymphlets (if we hit our target) will actually be cast in 6 different colours to match the tokens and the painted ones will look spectacular. The Puscuals will undoubtedly look fantastic painted up as well. I intend to paint some up in their most common colour scheme – the olive green, with brighter green patches. But then, I have some other cool ideas too.


“The sun had slowly been sinking beneath the horizon for several days now. The sky was painted a splash of purples and blues, with tiny, white shining lights dotting the canvas. It was becoming Dusk and I had seen the Occulites slow down their exploration. They were mainly gathering plants, food and the last of the easy to get Sungems and bringing them back to their caves. They were preparing for something, but this was the first time in all the time I have watched them, that the sky had darkened. If indeed their night was coming as ours does, then I might not see them for a time. So I watched intently.

Moving my hands slightly, the sound of Crepusculum came flooding back, filling my ears with the sound of the wildlife. A soft breeze blew through the Lumino Trees, the occasional deep croak of a Palaudis and the constant chirping and buzzing of the insect life. Chirping and buzzing that became louder and louder. Looking around the landscape with a crinkled forehead I can see Occulites of all known species gathering. Not fighting, but waiting separately in their Tribes like something was about to happen. Was it going to be a battle?

The answer quickly came to me as a smallish dragonfly-like creature dashed into view, followed by another, and another. Soon the air was filled with them, darting to and fro, dancing through the air. It was then that the commotion started. The Occulites scattered across the landscape, grabbing and jumping at the creatures. Snatching them from the air… some had crude nets, others were using their hands, some stuffed the creatures into kangaroo-like pouches and others devoured theirs on the spot. This was no battle… this was a feast! A feast like no other…”
A passage from Darwin’s Diaries.

These dragonfly-like creatures are now known as Nymphlets and late in each season, as the sun goes down and the sky turns purple, they gather on mass to spawn. The Occulites, being incredibly resourceful use this opportunity as a last ditch effort to put on body fat so they can hibernate during the Long Dark.

All Occulite Tribes find Nymphlets incredibly delicious and an excellent source of slow burning energy. They snack on them throughout the season, but when Dusk comes, they are able to indulge and for some Tribes, this can save their whole season.

The Nimbus Tribe rarely eat theirs straight away, but instead capture them to help pollinate the flowers and plants high up in the mountainous regions where it is too cold for most insects of their ilk. Being primarily herbivorous, the Nimbus could not survive high up in the mountains without their flora and so they rely on the Nymphlets to help them etch out their niche in the environment, despite how tough it is.

In Game Rules

Nymphlets in game, are controlled by the game mechanics, but you have some control over how this plays out. At the start of each round, the players take it in turns to place the coloured Nymphlet wedges onto the directional hex on the edge of the board. Then each Nymphlet moves it’s Speed (5 spaces) in the relevant direction.

Where the wedges are placed will determine which direction each Nymphlet flies. In the above example, the Blue Nymphlet moves 5 spaces in the direction indicated. Nymphlets ignore all terrain and figures when flying, but cannot end their movement on a space with a figure (except another Nymphlet). If this happens, they move an extra space until they hit an empty one.

Nymphlets can be caught by moving into their space and defeating them in Combat. Since Nymphlets have a Defense of 6, that is not always easy. Nymphlets never attack other figures, but if one successfully defends against a catch attempt, for each success in excess of it’s attacker’s successes, it will move one space in its indicated direction away from the attacker.

When you take into account its Innate Abilities below, especially Tricky, they do become very difficult to catch.

Any damage caused to a Nymphlet for any reason is always cancelled.

When defending, a Nymphlet gains rerolls equal to the number of spaces the figure had to Move to Attack it.

Nymphlets are a fun Creature to use in Scenarios and add another Challenge to the palette of options that Dawn – Rise of the Occulites has. We really hope that you can help spread the word about the game so that we can hit our stretch goals and get these figures produced so they don’t just stay as flat tokens.

All the best,

Video of Nimbus/Ignis in the bare metal and all the Tribes painted up!

G’day guys,

Just a quick update today. I have uploaded a video of the Nimbus and Ignis models in the bare metal – hopefully giving you a good idea of what the castings are like. In the video I also show up close all the currently available models painted up and examples of the newer card templates for DAWN: Rise of the Occulites.

If you have any feedback, comments, requests or questions, please don’t hesitate to do so below or feel free to email me on benATdarwin-games.com.au

I hope you enjoy the video and/or find it useful! 🙂


Hot off the sculpting table – the Ignis Tribe

The Ignis tribes are found living on or close to lava flats – sometimes even within the vicinity of volcanic activity. They use this terrain to separate themselves from other tribes, preferring to keep to themselves. Any incursions into their lands though are dealt with swiftly and harshly. Ignis tribes are covered in a thick, leathery skin, that takes on the appearance of molten rock. Cracks in this surface act as natural vents, allowing the build up of pressure and heat taken in from their surroundings, to be released. As such, these areas glow boldly with reds, yellows and oranges, warning predators and enemies that this tribe is not to be trifled with.

All Ignis tribes carry polished, obsidian blades, fashioned by themselves utilising the resources scattered throughout their lands. They wield these blades with an intimidating skill and prowess. Ignis tribes who rarely used to leave their lands have begun to conduct revenge and warning raids on adjacent lands. Punishment for the repeated incursions into their territory.

Almost all the Ignis tribes that Darwin has witnessed have a blackish body, with the glowing reds, oranges and yellows shining through. Their skin ranges from reds, to oranges and yellows – sometimes even black. But more recently, he has discovered a tribe that takes on the colours of gemstones found in amongst the lava chutes the Ignis sometimes use to travel.

So without further ado, I proudly introduce the sixth tribe in the Rise of the Occulites miniatures range, sculpted by the ever-talented Bob Olley – the Ignis tribe!

Ignis Tribe Occulite Chief

Ignis Occulte Tribal member

Ignis Occulte Tribal member

Ignis Occulte Tribal member

Ignis Occulte Tribal member

Ignis Occulite Tribe

These figures have been moved up the release schedule and will be available at the same time as the Nimbus – a late October release.

Any questions, feedback or comments are greatly appreciated.


From high in the mountains come the Nimbus…

The Nimbus tribes are perched high in the mountains, raining down from above to conduct raids and gather food. These vegetarians are covered in a thick layer of feathers to combat the crisp chill of the air. Their feet are claws, fashioned in a way to help them hold onto rocky outcrops and tree branches. A leathery membrane stretches from their bodies to the hands, allowing them to fly for short distances. Their sharp teeth and fangs are not for eating meat, but for quickly slicing off parts of plants. For you see, in the Occulite world, some of the plants fight back. The fangs pierce and lock down the vegetation in place, while the sharp teeth slice down, cleanly and efficiently taking off chunks of plant matter before making their escape.

Despite their appearance, they are a mostly peaceful sub-species as not many other tribes would dare to try and take mountainous land from them. It would be too dangerous. The Nimbus tribes only take what they need, but when the temperature drops and food becomes scarce, they are forced to move further away from their mountains, into other tribes’ land…

Their colouration varies greatly from that of a barn owl to a kingfisher or rainbow lorikeet, depending on the location they were born into.

Without further ado, I proudly introduce the new Nimbus greens from master sculptor Bob Olley!

Nimbus Chief

Nimbus Occulite Tribe Member

Nimbus Occulite Tribe Member

Nimbus Occulite Tribe Member

Nimbus Occulite Tribe Member

Nimbus Occulite Tribe Group Shot

Nimbus Occulite Tribe from the back showing tail feathers

These are due for release late October/ early November. Would love to know what you think, so feel free to leave feedback, comments or questions here or on the Darwin Games forum!


Video preview of the Hydris Tribe Occulites

G’day guys,

Just a quick post to share the video preview of the Hydris Tribe Occulites. These guys will be in the store over the next fortnight. So keep your eyes peeled for these fun figures!



Video of Floris Tribe Occuite castings

G’day guys,

Check out this video showing the new Floris castings in all their glory! I have just picked up the samples of these on Friday and wanted to get some close up video of them for you all to check out. These will go into the store hopefully within the next fortnight. Enjoy!