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Why WooMattic is big news for small businesses

Dries Buytaert - 21 May 2015 - 8:38pm

Earlier this week Matt Mullenweg, founder and CEO of Automattic, parent company of, announced the acquisition of WooCommerce. This is a very interesting move that I think cements the SMB/enterprise positioning between WordPress and Drupal.

As Matt points out a huge percentage of the digital experiences on the web are now powered by open source solutions: WordPress, Joomla and Drupal. Yet one question the acquisition may evoke is: "How will open source platforms drive ecommerce innovation in the future?".

Larger retailers with complex requirements usually rely on bespoke commerce engines or built their online stores on solutions such as Demandware, Hybris and Magento. Small businesses access essential functions such as secure transaction processing, product information management, shipping and tax calculations, and PCI compliance from third-party solutions such as Shopify, Amazon's merchant services and increasingly, solutions from Squarespace and Wix.

I believe the WooCommerce acquisition by Automattic puts WordPress in a better position to compete against the slickly marketed offerings from Squarespace and Wix, and defend WordPress's popular position among small businesses. WooCommerce brings to WordPress a commerce toolkit with essential functions such as payments processing, inventory management, cart checkout and tax calculations.

Drupal has a rich library of commerce solutions ranging from Drupal Commerce -- a library of modules offered by Commerce Guys -- to connectors offered by Acquia for Demandware and other ecommerce engines. Brands such as LUSH Cosmetics handle all of their ecommerce operations with Drupal, others, such as Puma, use a Drupal-Demandware integration to combine the best elements of content and commerce to deliver stunning shopping experiences that break down the old division between brand marketing experiences and the shopping process. Companies such as Tesla Motors have created their own custom commerce engine and rely on Drupal to deliver the front-end customer experience across multiple digital channels from traditional websites to mobile devices, in-store kiosks and more.

To me, this further accentuates the division of the CMS market with WordPress dominating the small business segment and Drupal further solidifying its position with larger organizations with more complex requirements. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few years will bring for the open source commerce world, and I'd love to hear your opinion in the comments.

Categories: Drupal

Lawful GM: Courtroom Drama or Lack Thereof

RPGNet - 21 May 2015 - 12:00am
How to give PCs control of a courtroom drama.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

An Apocalyptic Question

Gnome Stew - 20 May 2015 - 11:55pm

The genre is broad and deep with numerous variations that could all make for a great game.On a whim, I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road this past weekend. I cannot adequately express my fan girl glee at this movie without descending into nonsense and Kermit flailing. OMG I LOVED IT SO MUCH! The cars, the costumes, the explosions, the CHASE. Oh what a day. What a lovely day! Besides reminding me of how much I loved the original movies, it also fiercely rekindled my desire to run a post-apocalyptic game.

I’ve wanted to run a post-apocalyptic game almost since I got into GMing. My first love with gaming are supers games, so my very first game was, of course, a Mutants & Masterminds super powered extravaganza. While I’ve never actually started a post-apocalyptic game, they’ve always been a close second on my mental list of games I want to run. There’s just something about stories of resilient, desperate people trying to survive and thrive in the skeletal remains of our modern society. Suddenly familiar places like a college campus or a downtown shopping district take on a whole new meaning.

So what’s stopping me from running one? Well, besides all the multitude of other games my group is currently rotating through, it boils down to a bit of analysis paralysis. What kind of post-apocalyptic game do I want to run? The genre is broad and deep with numerous variations that could all make for a great game.

I really do highly recommend it. It’s high octane from start to finish.

Do I go full-on Mad Max with roaring vehicles racing across the ruined landscape while they fight over precious resources?

It’s an iconic setting of the genre and an exciting one at that. Most players would get the setting without too much explanation, but whatever system I use has to be able to handle the vehicle combat in conjunction with my narrative style. I don’t do hardcore crunch particularly well. There’s also the lone-wolf problem with converting the series to an RPG. While Max himself is okay as a loner that comes and goes like the harsh, radioactive wind, that doesn’t really fly in a tabletop RPG. The game pretty much needs a degree of cooperation between the characters to work. Of course, there is something special to be said for getting away with designing a vehicle around amps and a flame throwing guitar.

Do I chuck technology out the window and create a world thrown into dark ages chaos like the one in the Emberverse series?

This is the one I keep coming back to and flirting with. I absolutely loved SM Stirling’s books (staring with Dies the Fire) and how they showed the collapse of our technologically dependent society and its rebirth in the wake of the strong people that stepped forward to save who they could and rebuild society each in their own way. The television series ‘Revolution’ had a similar taste even if it didn’t quite go exactly the same route. The question always come back to why, though. Why does technology stop working? Does the game revolve around bringing it back or is it just a hand-waved feature of the campaign? When you’ve got smart players, it’s very important to make sure you’ve done your world building properly to prevent the game from collapsing in on itself the first time a player starts poking it with a pin.

Do I push it into the future where the players have all grown up in a broken society that only partially remembers the past, much like Logan’s Run?

Dystopic might be a better term for these games, but there is definitely some overlap. Even the Hunger Games features a hint or two about the world that was. There is something to be said for exploring the crumbling remains of the world we inhabit every day with characters that have no clue what they’re experiencing. The problem, though, is that it’s actually very difficult for players to completely divorce their own knowledge from that of their characters. I’ve played games before where the GM would practically do contortions to describe perfectly mundane objects, like wall-to-wall carpeting or an elevator, in terms that didn’t come right out and call them that. Unless done absolutely perfectly, it always felt awkward and forced.

Not my show, but I know plenty who love it.

Do I have aliens invade and nearly destroy the world, forcing the survivors to fight in an alien world built on the back of the world we know?

Aliens showing up and mucking things up makes for a great explanation on why everything’s gone to hell and it gives the players a ready-made enemy to face. Of course, for your game you have to decide how bad it’s gotten and how much of an underdog the players and other survivors are. Are they trying to survive in an alien landscape that overlays what we once knew like in SciFi’s show Defiance? Or maybe they’re fighting to drive off invaders in the shattered husks of our cities like in John Ringo’s Posleen War series?

Do I put zombies in it?

I’m not even going to bother directly referencing a particular show about ambulatory corpses because I’m sure you get the drift. Zombie stories bridge the gap between horror and post-apocalyptic and deserve a place on the list even if they’re not really my cup of tea. There’s always a hopelessness to zombie stories that goes against what I really enjoy in games. Still, they make a great end of the world enemy. If zombies make an appearance in any post-apocalyptic game of mine, they’ll be a minor (if dangerous) nuisance rather than a global menace.

And there’s why I keep going around in circles about what type of post-apocalyptic game to run. I haven’t even started to touch on what system to use. Do I try and fit Apocalypse World to my needs? Do I go with something generic, like Savage Worlds or GURPS? Do I just adapt some other system I’m comfortable with and go from there? What about the games over the years that were designed to be run in the genre, like Gamma World, Aftermath!, Exodus, and so on?

Someday I’ll snap out of my indecisiveness and start a game at the end of the world, but in the meantime, let me know what type of game would appeal to you, either as a player or as a GM. What would your game be like?


Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to manage a 2D art team - by Junxue Li Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
This article offers some tips for managing an art team, to meet the goal of delivering good works within deadline, and within your budget.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How Can You Create an Attention Grabbing App Icon? - by Puneet Yamparala Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
This post emphasizes on how to create wonderful and attractive app icons that can attract more number of users.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to use Photoshop Layer Styles like a Boss - Advanced guide for game illustrators - by Dave Bleja Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
Photoshop Layer Styles are very powerful and surprisingly versatile, and I use them for almost all of Spryke's graphics. In this guide, I go through various Layer Style tips & tricks, including Pseudo Color Overlays, internal Adjustment Layers and more.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mobile Games & Apps Naming - by Kseniia Kovtun Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
How to come up with an idea of your game's future name? When it's time to think about naming and ASO? What's the "three words magic" everyone is talking about?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Design 101: Complexity vs. Depth - by Dan Felder Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
It's one of the most controversial topics in game design, and it's all a big misunderstanding.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

We need a story! - Writing 'Salvaged' - by Daniel Dowsing Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
An analysis of designing Salvaged's narrative mid-way through production, of how narrative defines a game experience and the value of creative restrictions.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Retention/loyalty in the nontraditional terms - by Chris Kjosmoen Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
A blog made by Chris Kjosmoen about my thoughts around loyalty + games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How the camera works in Sol - by Javier Degirolmo Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 11:10pm
Here I describe how the camera works in Sol. This is especially interesting when zooming is enabled, since the camera behavior is much more complex to compensate for the smaller viewport.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Designing Valentina Kerman, a perfect badass Kerbonaut for Kerbal Space Program - by Daniel Rosas Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 10:39pm
The design of the female Kerbal characters was a process of several months. Throughout the road I found some obstacles and design problems that needed to be overcome, to the extent of creating: Valentina Kerman, the most badass Kerbonaut.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gunpowder: How We Brought a High Quality Premium Game to iPad and Steam - by Richard Sun Blogs - 20 May 2015 - 10:39pm
Gunpowder is a one of a kind physics-based puzzle game featuring colorful cartoon style artwork, a charming backstory and a clever game design. With it out on iPad, Windows 8 and soon Steam, I reflect briefly on how the game got to where it is today.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acquia: Karma and the journey from consumption to contribution - Drupal in India

Planet Drupal - 20 May 2015 - 4:04pm
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At Drupal Camp London 2015, I spoke with Piyush Poddar, Director of Drupal Practice at Axelerant. We talked about Piyush's history in Drupal, Drupal as a business-ready solution, India's coming of age in open source culture, and how that is driving business value.

Categories: Drupal

OG Menu Trail Breadcrumbs

New Drupal Modules - 20 May 2015 - 2:22pm

This module generates breadcrumbs by combining the menu trail of a OG Content node's OG Menu entry with the node's OG Group menu entry.

Basically this module takes a node and cleverly climbing it's menu structure factoring in an Organic Group's menu too.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: How to Request a Certificate of Attendance

Planet Drupal - 20 May 2015 - 1:55pm

Did you have a great time at DrupalCon Los Angeles but want something to show for it?  

We are happy to issue a certificate of attendance in PDF format for anyone who picked up their conference badge or signed in at a training.

Simply submit your request via our contact page with the subject "Request a Certificate of Attendance", and be sure to include the associated order number.

Categories: Drupal

ThemeKey Switch Block

New Drupal Modules - 20 May 2015 - 1:29pm

This module allows a user to switch between Mobile Version & Desktop Version using ThemeKey.



Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: Let's Talk PHP at DrupalCon Barcelona

Planet Drupal - 20 May 2015 - 12:59pm

How would you like to present at one of the largest PHP conferences in Europe? DrupalCon Barcelona is coming, and we are actively looking for sessions for our new PHP track.

Unlike the Coding and Development track, the PHP track is all about the larger PHP community. We're not looking for Drupal-specific talks but for sessions about PHP itself (PHP 7 anyone?), about related PHP tools like Guzzle, general PHP leading practices, software architecture, and so on.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: DrupalCon New Orleans and Louisiana’s Religious Freedom Bill

Planet Drupal - 20 May 2015 - 11:10am

Yesterday (May 19), the Louisiana Legislature’s House Civil Law and Procedure Committee voted 10-2 to return HB707 to the calendar, effectively voting it down, at least for the current session. The bill would allow businesses to refuse, in accordance with religious beliefs, to provide goods and services on the basis of a patron’s sexuality.

Described as the protection of “the free exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions”, were the bill to pass it would preclude the state from taking “any adverse action against a person, wholly or partially, on the basis that such person acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction about the institution of marriage.”

However, hours after the committee’s vote, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order in an attempt to accomplish much of what HB707 is intended to achieve. We’re aware that at least some of the bill’s opponents doubt the executive order may create substantive law. We’re also aware that the U.S. Supreme Court may issue a ruling (before its current term ends in late June) that preempts any contradictory Louisiana law.

Why We’re Talking About Louisiana

Earlier this year, we chose New Orleans as the site for DrupalCon North America 2016. Section 86-33 of New Orleans’ municipal code explicitly forbids discrimination by public businesses and stores. In much the same spirit as New Orleans’ code, we want to take this opportunity to unequivocally state that no one at any DrupalCon should be denied service, assistance, or support because of who they are or whom they love.

Community. Collaboration. Openness. These are our ethos. At our core, we’re as committed to these values being principles for how we treat each other as we are for how we do our work.

The very nature of open source means contributions can come from anyone. That means muting voices is inconsistent with our values. That means we believe inclusivity is progress. And that means it’s important we speak when our community asks questions about the risk of discrimination.

Along with logistics—such as available event space, and costs—our DrupalCon site selection process has always considered whether we’d be able to truly celebrate the diversity of the Drupal community and the spirit of the Drupal Code of Conduct. We believe, despite the bill and executive order, that we can still create a safe, diverse, celebratory space for our community in New Orleans next year. We’re happy to bring the diversity of DrupalCon to New Orleans, and we’re confident it’ll be a fantastic event.

Talk To Us

We want to hear about your experiences at DrupalCon New Orleans—any and all of them. Tell us your opinions, voice your perspectives, and share what you see. In the meantime, comment on this post, or email us, with your questions and insights.

Categories: Drupal

Promet Source: A Break from the Ordinary at DrupalCon Los Angeles

Planet Drupal - 20 May 2015 - 10:04am

Normally I’m sitting at home in Iowa, rocking the boxer shorts on the couch. The Xbox controller is in arm’s reach. Or maybe I’m tearing up a single track course on my mountain bike. But this week, none of that. This week is different.

It’s DrupalCon, so you know I have to put away the games and pack up the power brick so I can join in the fun. I ran through this quick Q&A about my plan for DrupalCon with Promet's marketing team to help understand my goals for this year's big show.

Categories: Drupal
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