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Video: Why game designers should study dance, music & comedy

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 7 October 2015 - 1:10pm

At GDC 2014 writer Susan O'Connor (Bioshock, Tomb Raider) argues game devs can learn from watching how dance, music & comedy artists use timing and motion to draw people into the experience. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal core announcements: Drupal 7 core release window for October 7 is delayed

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 3:08pm

The monthly Drupal core bug fix/feature release window is scheduled for this Wednesday, October 7. A Drupal 7 core release is planned for this window (since there hasn't been one in a while), but it will not come out on the scheduled date. This is due to various scheduling issues, and also to give more time to get a few more patches committed in time for the release.

The delay will push the release out by a couple days, or possibly into early next week. I will post a new announcement once the code is frozen and a release date has been set.

This release window is for a bug fix/feature release only (no security fixes). Upcoming release windows after this one include:

  • Wednesday, October 21 (security release window)
  • Wednesday, November 4 (bug fix/feature release window)

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, and the discussion that led to this policy being implemented.

Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: How to Fix Design Issues in Internet Explorer 10 and 11

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 2:53pm

One of our members needed to fix an issue for a site in Internet Explorer 11. At the same time, he wanted to avoid changes that might mess up other browsers. The site looks fine in Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Opera.

In this tutorial we will show you how to add custom CSS for just Internet Explorer 10 and 11.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: Submit your session for DrupalCon Asia

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 2:50pm

With the call for papers officially open, we wanted to take a moment to give you all of the details you should know about sessions: what tracks we are offering, how to submit an awesome session submission, and how session selection works.

Categories: Drupal

Web Wash: Build a Blog in Drupal 8: Adding Comments

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 1:03pm

If you want to communicate with readers on a blog, the best way to achieve this is by setting up comments. If you're happy to deal with spam and the occasional troll, then comments are great for communicating with readers and fostering a community.

The functionality has changed a lot in Drupal 8. In Drupal 7, the comments system was fairly rigid. You could only use them on content types and only have a single comment type. If you needed to support multiple comment types like review or feedback, you were out of luck.

In Drupal 8, the comments system has been rebuilt. They can be attached to any entity type by adding a "Comments" field. You can also now have different comment types. This allows you to do all sorts of things like having public and private comments on a single content type.

In the last tutorial, we created a Blog content type and added fields to it. Let's continue working on it by adding support for comments. We'll configure the user permissions so that comments can be submitted anonymously, but will need to be approved before they're published.

Categories: Drupal

Appnovation Technologies: Appnovation Helps D8 Accelerate Reach $250,000 Goal

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 10:25am

Appnovation announced an additional $11,500 to support the D8 Accelerate project efforts to help move Drupal 8 from the initial beta to a full release.

Categories: Drupal

The coming era of data and software transparency

Dries Buytaert - 6 October 2015 - 10:04am

Algorithms are shaping what we see and think -- even what our futures hold. The order of Google's search results, the people Twitter recommends us to follow, or the way Facebook filters our newsfeed can impact our perception of the world and drive our actions. But think about it: we have very little insight into how these algorithms work or what data is used. Given that algorithms guide much of our lives, how do we know that they don't have a bias, withhold information, or have bugs with negative consequences on individuals or society? This is a problem that we aren't talking about enough, and that we have to address in the next decade.

Open Sourcing software quality

In the past several weeks, Volkswagen's emissions crisis has raised new concerns around "cheating algorithms" and the overall need to validate the trustworthiness of companies. One of the many suggestions to solve this problem was to open-source the software around emissions and automobile safety testing (Dave Bollier's post about the dangers of proprietary software is particularly good). While open-sourcing alone will not fix software's accountability problems, it's certainly a good start.

As self-driving cars emerge, checks and balances on software quality will become even more important. Companies like Google and Tesla are the benchmarks of this next wave of automotive innovation, but all it will take is one safety incident to intensify the pressure on software versus human-driven cars. The idea of "autonomous things" has ignited a huge discussion around regulating artificially intelligent algorithms. Elon Musk went as far as stating that artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat and donated millions to make artificial intelligence safer.

While making important algorithms available as Open Source does not guarantee security, it can only make the software more secure, not less. As Eric S. Raymond famously stated "given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow". When more people look at code, mistakes are corrected faster, and software gets stronger and more secure.

Less "Secret Sauce" please

Automobiles aside, there is possibly a larger scale, hidden controversy brewing on the web. Proprietary algorithms and data are big revenue generators for companies like Facebook and Google, whose services are used by billions of internet users around the world. With that type of reach, there is big potential for manipulation -- whether intentional or not.

There are many examples as to why. Recently Politico reported on Google's ability to influence presidential elections. Google can build bias into the results returned by its search engine, simply by tweaking its algorithm. As a result, certain candidates can display more prominently than others in search results. Research has shown that Google can shift voting preferences by 20 percent or more (up to 80 percent in certain groups), and potentially flip the margins of voting elections worldwide. The scary part is that none of these voters know what is happening.

And, when Facebook's 2014 "emotional contagion" mood manipulation study was exposed, people were outraged at the thought of being tested at the mercy of a secret algorithm. Researchers manipulated the news feeds of 689,003 users to see if more negative-appearing news led to an increase in negative posts (it did). Although the experiment was found to comply with the terms of service of Facebook's user agreement, there was a tremendous outcry around the ethics of manipulating people's moods with an algorithm.

In theory, providing greater transparency into algorithms using an Open Source approach could avoid a crisis. However, in practice, it's not very likely this shift will happen, since these companies profit from the use of these algorithms. A middle ground might be allowing regulatory organizations to periodically check the effects of these algorithms to determine whether they're causing society harm. It's not crazy to imagine that governments will require organizations to give others access to key parts of their data and algorithms.

Ethical early days

The explosion of software and data can either have horribly negative effects, or transformative positive effects. The key to the ethical use of algorithms is providing consumers, academics, governments and other organizations access to data and source code so they can study how and why their data is used, and why it matters. This could mean that despite the huge success and impact of Open Source and Open Data, we're still in the early days. There are few things about which I'm more convinced.

Categories: Drupal

InternetDevels: How to Secure Your Social Media Accounts: 5 Tools

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 8:22am

If you find yourself going out of way to keep your accounts secure and care about your website support, you are on the right page, reading information you need. Everyone, who has their own accounts in Facebook, Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn or any other network, is concerned about protection against social media threats. Here in this article we are going to suggest some effective tips to help to reduce the risk of hacker attacks.

Read more
Categories: Drupal

drunken monkey: Introducing the "Views Save" module

Planet Drupal - 6 October 2015 - 7:15am

This past week, a new open database for economic, demographic, and market data was launched called Vizala. Vizala is a Drupal site and at the core of its user experience is a module called Views Save that allows users to personalize the site by saving views of data that are meaningful to them.

Views Save takes all of the functionality and flexibility provided by the Views module and its extensions, and enhances it by allowing users to save/bookmark any view of content. Basically, if Views can display it, then it can be saved with Views Save. It works with any configuration set by administrators or users including exposed filters, sorting, and any options added by extensions. Views Save works with all Views display types, plugins, handlers etc.

When a view is saved, it becomes an entity in Drupal. This allows you to use Views to generate lists of saved views per user. Views Bulk Operations (VBO) can be used to allow users to manage their lists. Saved views being stored as entities also allows you to take take advantage of a lot of other Drupal functionality including Fields and content permissions. Future development may involve Rules integration to allow alerts to be created that are based on saved views.

Example use cases for Views Save include …

  1. Sites that allow users to customize and save maps
  2. Analytics sites that allow you to save any view of the data, and create recurring reports
  3. When notifications are not required for a site, it could also be a replacement for the Search API Saved Searches module
Categories: Drupal

Easy CurrencyCON

New Drupal Modules - 6 October 2015 - 4:20am

Easy currencyCON is a currency converter made available for all the Drupalers who wish to use currency converter module in their website.

What is this module:
Using this module, one can convert all the possible currencies to any currency in a fraction of seconds.

Why this module:
Couldn't find a better module that gives great user experience with currency converter module.

Categories: Drupal

List Predefined Options Spanish Provinces / States

New Drupal Modules - 6 October 2015 - 1:35am

Provides options lists for Spanish provinces and states (comunidad autónoma).

Although this is intended to be used as an extension of the module List Field Predefined Options (where the list is automatically suggested as a default value for fields options lists), this module can be used stand-alone, if you only need the list itself.

Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 6 October 2015 - 1:22am

Social Media Importer is a Drupal 8 developer only module that allows you to authenticate with Social Medias e.g. Twitter, Googleplus or Facebook and use this authentication to Import Application Data in JSON.

Categories: Drupal

Tips for Game Masters Who Want to Welcome New Players

Gnome Stew - 6 October 2015 - 12:00am

Today’s guest article is by Clave Jones. By day he manages the Innové Project, which launches social ventures for the betterment of our planet. By night he is the editor-in-chief of Nerds on Earth, a website that discusses nerdy topics such as Star Wars, The Walking Dead, comics, sci-fi, and of course, Dungeons and Dragons. Thanks, Clave! –Martin

I attended my first Dungeons & Dragons Adventurers League Organized Play event last year as a brand new D&D player.

Technically, I wasn’t a brand new D&D player, but my last roll of the 20-sided die was over 20 years ago, which to state the obvious isn’t exactly, you know, current. As a kid I played the heck out of the D&D Blue Box, which serendipitously coincided with a paragon tier ninja phase I was going through. I’d hit up the local flea markets where I’d buy $1 ninja stars, then run home to practice sticking them into trees.

Of course, any time I’d actually get one of my throwing stars to stick I’d let out a gleeful hoot, which would only serve to give away my covert ninja location. Realizing I wasn’t destined for the Way of the Samurai, my ninja phase faded, as did my D&D play.

I’m finally getting to my point, which is this: If Flock of Seagulls and Bananarama was playing on the radio the last time you seriously played D&D, then you can safely consider yourself a brand new player. Sure, I know to roll the 20-sided die, and I understand the basics about character attributes, races and classes, but I had more knowledge of throwing ninja stars than I did of D&D 5e when I walked into my first Adventurers League game last year.

Being a dungeon master is the toughest job in the business. A DM has the role of Storyteller/Mathematician/Voice Actor/Improvisor/Psychologist/Organizer/Cartographer/Props Master/and Referee. Added to that list of roles is the responsibility that DMs have in drawing new D&D players into the Realms.

I’ll not presume to be able to give DMs advice, I’ll simply point out some behaviors and trends that this brand new player spotted in the DMs he first played with, then end this post with a word of encouragement.

First, the DMs I’ve recently gotten to know have been incredibly passionate. It’s clear they love D&D. Not only are the energetic and enthusiastic at the gaming table, but they have been great at connecting with new players both immediately before and after the game sessions. It’s been fun to watch someone be excited about what they do and the passion that they have shown for D&D has been a draw for new players, who want to have as much fun as they see the DM having.

Second, the DMs have been prepared. It’s clear they are ready to go with sessions at varying levels of play. They’ve had Adventurers League Log Sheets ready to go and have often had full cases of miniatures for new players to choose from. New players likely don’t even have a character sheet, so DMs who carry a “newb kit” with a couple blank sheets and an extra set of dice are golden.

Thirdly, the DMs have been patient and I must say that this is something I deeply appreciate. They’ve certainly had to field rookie questions from me, but they’ve not once let an ounce of frustration show.

In fact, they’ve seemed pleased to talk about the basics of the game, particularly as it relates to 5e. Never once have they acted like they were put out by any new player who showed up for a game. I had played before, so I certainly knew the difference between a 12 and 8 sided die, but I’ve seen our DMs be very patient with other players who were complete beginners and needed to be shown their 20 sided die or where dexterity is on their character sheet. I can’t overstate how important this is for welcoming new people into the hobby.

Finally, the DMs I’ve recently gotten to know have been incredibly welcoming. They have made it abundantly clear in not just their words, but in their body language as well: they welcome new players at all skill levels and at any point in play.

As a result the Organized Play group I was a part of regularly had new players. This is in large part due to the fact that the DMs fostered a sense of community with their preparedness and welcoming nature. Not only do you have many players like me who were once brand new, yet now are regulars, but every player is enjoying themselves, which empowers them to reach out and invite friends along.

So my word of encouragement to DMs is to keep it up. Your willingness to embrace brand new players, and your patience through their initial learning stages is often turning those new players into regulars.

I should know.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Arrangement for Vertical Layers Pt. 2 - by Winifred Phillips Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:45pm
The second installment of a three-part blog series on arrangement for dynamic music systems, with examples from the LittleBigPlanet franchise. Part 2 focuses on techniques for employing countermelody in a complex vertical arrangement.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lessons Learned From My First Time Showing a Game at a Con - by Dylan Bennett Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:45pm
I showed my game at Indie Game Con this last weekend. It was my first time ever showing a game at a con and I learned many valuable lessons I wish I had known before I went.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Story of Miscommunication (and some tips) - by Ed Dearien Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:45pm
The story of a miscommunication incident on my team at school, and some tips on dealing with similar issues in the future.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Warning: Are You Hunting Buyers when you Need Fans? - by Filip Wiltgren Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:45pm
There's a core difference between a follower and a fan: followers buy your games, fans sell them. And while it's hard to convert followers into fans, it's very easy to inadvertently convert fans into followers.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Free Cross-Platform Arcade Game One Year Postmortem: Max Gentlemen - by Ryan Wiemeyer Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:45pm
This postmortem covers the very human side of development and how what was supposed to be a free little 3 month project took over a year. Read on to see how the successful developers of Organ Trail totally flopped on their sophomore game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Content over Immersion: Using Kinect instead of a VR headset and how it worked better for us - by Zac Zidik Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:45pm
A virtual reality teaching simulator that I am working on and why we chose to put a hold on our plans to develop for a VR headset, like the Oculus Rift, and opted to use Microsoft's Kinect instead.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Night Hunt post mortem - by Ahmet Kamil Keles Blogs - 5 October 2015 - 10:38pm
Night Hunt is a pseudo-C64 game. Technical details of Night Hunt and why it was financially unsuccessful. Useful if you make a timing-based or retro game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design
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