A journey of discovery…


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



Floris Tribe Expansion Box Lid

G’day guys,

The Kickstarter is SOOOOO close now. Just waiting for a confirmation of date. Extremely exciting times around here.

So I thought to tide you all over, I would upload the proposed box lid for the Floris Tribe Expansion. This is not 100% final and could change before production, but I am very happy with how it turned out. Feel free to use it as a screen wallpaper to brighten up your day with Floris-ey goodness. 🙂

Floris Cover low res

I would love to hear what you guys think of it. Also, if you have any questions about the game, now is a great time to ask them!


Painted Palaudis from Laughing Ferret Studios

G’day guys,

Just a quick post today. I recently sent a set of Palaudis Tribe models off to Laughing Ferret Painting Studio for review. I have followed his blog for quite a while and always enjoyed his work.

David has both reviewed them and painted them up and I really love what he has done with them. He was a top bloke to deal with and I wouldn’t hesitate recommending him to anyone that wants to get their Occulites painted up.

Go on over and check them out for yourselves!

Palaudis Occulite Chief painted by David @ Laughing Ferret Studio

The review: http://laughingferret.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/a-look-at-occulites-review-of-darwin.html

The painted models: http://laughingferret.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-eyes-have-it-it-being-paint.html

David’s Laughing Ferret Studio: http://www.laughingferretstudio.com/



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! 🙂


Dawn: Rise of the Occulites Demo at Phoenix Vul-Con and Competition!

G’day guys,

While lots of things simmer away here at Darwin Games, we have two bits of very cool news to share with you today.


If you are in the US and anywhere near Phoenix, you may be aware that the Phoenix Vul-Con 2012 is coming up very quickly. In fact it will be happening on the 25th and 26th of February at the Phoenix Convention Centre. Why is an Australian company mentioning a Convention in the US?

Well, because Dawn: Rise of the Occulites will be represented there in the form of demo games run by some of Darwin Games’ US friends and playtesters. This will be your first opportunity to see the game demo-ed at a US convention and we hope that those of you who are close by will pop down to say g’day and have a game! I sadly won’t be able to attend (stuck in Australia teaching) but Kelly and Russ are both enthusiastic and have been instrumental in the external playtesting of Dawn, so drop in and say g’day!

For more information on locations and times that the demos will be run, check out http://www.advancedgrafixonline.com/vulconsite/html/lusi.html

At the moment it will be run on both days on table M25. So stop by, check out some of the miniatures and see how the game plays!

If you do get the chance to drop in, we’d love to post any comments, feedback or questions you may have here or on the forums: Darwin Games Forums


The second big bit of news is that we are running our first competition!

To enter, you need to create a complete mini-diorama on a base around 40mm – 60mm that has a Luftle on it. You may include other Darwin Games figures if you wish, but you only need to include one Luftle. You then need to take a photo of the diorama and post it online on the Darwin Games Facebook page, on our Darwin Games Forums or link it to the comments section for this article by March 26th. That gives you a month to get it finished.

Please include your name and a title for the diorama to help with the polling to determine a winner.

This competition is open to any and all that have a Luftle model to paint, but if you are in Phoenix and check out the demo of Dawn: Rise of the Occulites, you will receive a free Luftle miniature (while the stock lasts) that you can use for the competition. We do ask that your diorama is completed and painted by you and not done by a painting service. This is an honour system of course.

Once all the entries are in (and the March 26th deadline hits), I will collate and post all the entries on this blog, along with a poll to determine the winner.

The prize is one free Occulite (or Luftle) tribe of your choice, shipped to your door free of charge. If we receive more than 40 entries, the prize will double to two free Occulite (or Luftle) tribes of your choice, shipped to your door free of charge. So spread the word and tell your friends!

Here is an example of what your diorama may look like. But use your imagination and go wild with it!

If you have an questions or comments, please feel free to let me know.

All the best and good luck!


Ignis and Nimbus Painted Tribes!

G’day guys,

Sorry for the lack of updates lately, I have been totally swamped with writing reports for work (Primary teacher). Let me assure you all that there is stuff going on in the background though. 🙂

I do have two photos to share with you all. The Ignis and Nimbus painted tribes. I have come home from picking them up and taken these right away during a thunderstorm that hit here, so the lighting isn’t great. I will endeavour to get some more shots in the natural light sometime over the weekend.

The Ignis Tribe

The Nimbus Tribe (Orange-Bellied Parrot* scheme)

Well, what do you guys think?

These will be up on the store soon, but if you really can’t wait, you can email me on ben@darwin-games.com.au and I will send you a Paypal invoice. Both of these tribes sell for $42 + shipping and are of course not painted. What colour will you paint yours?


*The Orange Bellied Parrot is a Critically Endangered Australian bird, with estimates of no more than 100-200 individuals left in the wild. I chose this scheme for the first painted Nimbus tribe as a sort of dedication to a beautiful bird that sadly, through no fault of its own, is on the brink of extinction.

Autumn Floris and Nemo Hydris

G’day guys,

I hope you have been enjoying reading the background story, but I also wanted to share some more painted photos.

This time it is alternative colour schemes for the Floris (their Autumn colouration) and the Hydris (a Clown Fish inspired tribe). All the Occulite species Darwin notes come in a variety of colourations. What are yours going to look like?

Floris Occulite Tribe Autumn Tones

Hydris Occulite Tribe Clown Fish Inspired Tones