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Dr. Strange Team Pack Available To Pre-Order For Dice Masters

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 2:00pm
Dice Masters fans, there’s going to be a new Team Pack coming out this September which will add a new set of heroes and dice that you can add to your collections. This time around, things are getting a little strange… Dr. Strange, in fact. That’s right, the world’s premier magic-user, the Sorcerer Supreme, himself, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Chromatic: YouTube Field 7.x-1.7 and 8.x-1.0-beta3 Released!

Planet Drupal - 29 July 2016 - 1:16pm

We're happy to announce two new releases for the YouTube Field module:

Improvements include:

Once again, it was a community effort. The module has now given credit attribution to 28 different people. A number of them have been the community member's first attributed commit! Not to mention, endless others have contributed in the issue queue. Thanks to their help, the module has now reached over 30,000 installs. That's enough to land in the top 200!

Why the "beta" label on the 8.x release?

The 7.x-1.x module includes Colorbox support, but that support has not yet been ported to the 8.x-1.x branch. We'd love help with that! We're planning on removing the "beta" label once that support is committed. The rest of the module is a direct port of 7.x-1.x and it already reports a healthy number of installs.

How else can I help?

Hop in the issue queue and have a look at the outstanding issues for either branch. As previously mentioned, any and all contributions are greatly appreciated!

Categories: Drupal

Fantasy Flight Games Previews The App For Mansions of Madness 2nd Edition

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 1:00pm
With the new edition of Mansions of Madness being announced, the thing that got most people’s attention was the inclusion of a companion app that would now “run the game.” As such, that would turn Mansions into a fully cooperative experience. There’s been a lot of questions on what, exactly, the app will do, since […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

FFW Agency: Real Time Government Personalization

Planet Drupal - 29 July 2016 - 12:10pm
Real Time Government Personalization Ray Saltini Fri, 07/29/2016 - 19:10

We got a great response to our Real-Time Personalization Strategies for Government Websites session at Drupal GovCon last week. Most of the questions we received were from representatives of agencies just beginning to explore their options who wanted to know how to get started and to begin to understand how other agencies have started using personalization.

So together with other staff here at FFW we’ve begun to put together a library of personalization use cases. If you work with a government agency or quasi-public authority send us your examples so we can share our findings with your colleagues.

In the meantime we’re making our presentation slides available as a guide to personalization basics for government agencies. Once again I’d like to acknowledge my colleague Dave Sawyer for his excellent work on this topic. Feel free to contact me directly with questions at ray.saltini@ffwagency.com.

For those of you just tuning in, web personalization allows content to be tailored to the interests of the visitor, resulting in increased engagement and better experiences. Personalized content is essential to an effective digital communications strategy, but planning and implementing a personalization solution can be complex and cost prohibitive. 

This guide introduces the basics of web personalization and presents several simple ways for government agencies to get started with web personalization using Drupal. It includes:

    •    An overview of common personalization use cases
    •    A checklist of prerequisites for implementing personalization on a Drupal project
    •    How personalization for authenticated users differs from that of anonymous visitors
    •    Special privacy considerations
    •    Why Drupal is the best CMS to execute a personalization strategy

Click on the personalization tag for more information on this topic.
 

Tagged with Comments
Categories: Drupal

Dungeons & Dragons Teams Up With Roll20

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 12:00pm
There are lots of things that can keep a gaming group from actually getting a session in. For the longest time, “distance” was a big one. Well, with virtual tabletops becoming a much more regular thing, that’s not a factor. One of the most well-known virtual tabletops is Roll20. Well, they’ve teamed up with Wizards […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 11:00am
It’s Friday. So tomorrow’s the weekend. It’s also the last weekend before Gen Con. I know some people that’ll be headed towards Indy as early as Monday morning. That means there’s lots to get done this weekend to prepare for the show. And if there’s lots to get done, that means we need all the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Announces Star Wars: Destiny Dice and Card Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 10:01am
Fantasy Flight Games has just announced a new game to be part of the Star Wars line of products they make. This one’s Star Wars: Destiny, a new collectable dice and card game. This game will take some of your favorite characters from all across Star Wars lore and put them together in a grand […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Two Black Powder Supplements Now Available in PDF

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 10:00am
Technology is ever-advancing. These days you can keep a whole library’s worth of books right in your pocket. Digital books are easier to carry, and can be easier to sift through to find exactly what you need. Warlord Games is adding to your available digital library now with two supplements for Black Powder, Zulu and […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Setting higher standards for corporate contributions to Drupal

Dries Buytaert - 29 July 2016 - 9:46am

Last week I made a comment on Twitter that I'd like to see Pantheon contribute more to Drupal core. I wrote that in response to the announcement that Pantheon has raised a $30 million Series C. Pantheon has now raised $50 to $60 million dollars of working capital (depending on Industry Ventures' $8.5M) and is in a special class of companies. This is an amazing milestone. Though it wasn't meant that way, Pantheon and Acquia compete for business and my Tweet could be read as a cheap attack on a competitor, and so it resulted in a fair amount of criticism. Admittedly, Pantheon was neither the best nor the only example to single out. There are many companies that don't contribute to Drupal at all – and Pantheon does contribute to Drupal in a variety of ways such as sponsoring events and supporting the development of contributed modules. In hindsight, I recognize that my tweet was not one of my best, and for that I apologize.

Having said that, I'd like to reiterate something I've said before, in my remarks at DrupalCon Amsterdam and many times on this blog: I would like to see more companies contribute more to Drupal core – with the emphasis on "core". Drupal is now relied upon by many, and needs a strong base of commercial contributors. We have to build Drupal together. We need a bigger and more diverse base of organizations taking on both leadership and contribution.

Contribution to Drupal core is the most important type of contribution in terms of the impact it can make. It touches every aspect of Drupal and all users who depend on it. Long-term and full-time contribution to core is not within everyone's reach. It typically requires larger investment due to a variety of things: the complexity of the problems we are solving, our need for stringent security and the importance of having a rigorous review-process. So much is riding on Drupal for all of us today. While every module, theme, event and display of goodwill in our community is essential, contributions to core are quite possibly the hardest and most thankless, but also the most rewarding of all when it comes to Drupal's overall progress and success.

I believe we should have different expectations for different organizations based on their maturity, their funding, their profitability, how strategic Drupal is for them, etc. For example, sponsoring code sprints is an important form of contribution for small or mid-sized organizations. But for any organization that makes millions of dollars with Drupal, I would hope for more.

The real question that we have to answer is this: at what point should an organization meaningfully contribute to Drupal core? Some may say "never", and that is their Open Source right. But as Drupal's project lead it is also my right and responsibility to encourage those who benefit from Drupal to give back. It should not be taboo for our community to question organizations that don't pull their weight, or choose not to contribute at all.

For me, committing my workdays and nights to Drupal isn't the exhausting part of my job. It's dealing with criticism that comes from false or incomplete information, or tackling differences in ideals and beliefs. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff, but it's on important topics like giving back that my emotions and communication skills get tested. I will not apologize for encouraging organizations to contribute to Drupal core. It's a really important topic and one that I'm very passionate about. I feel good knowing that I'm pushing these conversations from inside the arena rather than from the sidelines, and for the benefit of the Drupal project at large.

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Setting higher standards for corporate contributions to Drupal

Planet Drupal - 29 July 2016 - 9:46am

Last week I made a comment on Twitter that I'd like to see Pantheon contribute more to Drupal core. I wrote that in response to the announcement that Pantheon has raised a $30 million Series C. Pantheon has now raised $50 to $60 million dollars of working capital (depending on Industry Ventures' $8.5M) and is in a special class of companies. This is an amazing milestone. Though it wasn't meant that way, Pantheon and Acquia compete for business and my Tweet could be read as a cheap attack on a competitor, and so it resulted in a fair amount of criticism. Admittedly, Pantheon was neither the best nor the only example to single out. There are many companies that don't contribute to Drupal at all – and Pantheon does contribute to Drupal in a variety of ways such as sponsoring events and supporting the development of contributed modules. In hindsight, I recognize that my tweet was not one of my best, and for that I apologize.

Having said that, I'd like to reiterate something I've said before, in my remarks at DrupalCon Amsterdam and many times on this blog: I would like to see more companies contribute more to Drupal core – with the emphasis on "core". Drupal is now relied upon by many, and needs a strong base of commercial contributors. We have to build Drupal together. We need a bigger and more diverse base of organizations taking on both leadership and contribution.

Contribution to Drupal core is the most important type of contribution in terms of the impact it can make. It touches every aspect of Drupal and all users who depend on it. Long-term and full-time contribution to core is not within everyone's reach. It typically requires larger investment due to a variety of things: the complexity of the problems we are solving, our need for stringent security and the importance of having a rigorous review-process. So much is riding on Drupal for all of us today. While every module, theme, event and display of goodwill in our community is essential, contributions to core are quite possibly the hardest and most thankless, but also the most rewarding of all when it comes to Drupal's overall progress and success.

I believe we should have different expectations for different organizations based on their maturity, their funding, their profitability, how strategic Drupal is for them, etc. For example, sponsoring code sprints is an important form of contribution for small or mid-sized organizations. But for any organization that makes millions of dollars with Drupal, I would hope for more.

The real question that we have to answer is this: at what point should an organization meaningfully contribute to Drupal core? Some may say "never", and that is their Open Source right. But as Drupal's project lead it is also my right and responsibility to encourage those who benefit from Drupal to give back. It should not be taboo for our community to question organizations that don't pull their weight, or choose not to contribute at all.

For me, committing my workdays and nights to Drupal isn't the exhausting part of my job. It's dealing with criticism that comes from false or incomplete information, or tackling differences in ideals and beliefs. I've learned not to sweat the small stuff, but it's on important topics like giving back that my emotions and communication skills get tested. I will not apologize for encouraging organizations to contribute to Drupal core. It's a really important topic and one that I'm very passionate about. I feel good knowing that I'm pushing these conversations from inside the arena rather than from the sidelines, and for the benefit of the Drupal project at large.

Categories: Drupal

Haunting Lodge (3.0)

New RPG Product Reviews - 29 July 2016 - 9:24am
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Rating: 4
A remote hunting lodge is enveloped in a never-ending blizard... and it's spreading, threatening settlements nearby.

The background for the DM explains just what is going on there and why, and a series of hooks are provided to help you pique the party's curiousity. Getting them there, and providing any information before they go, is left to you - what is presented here is a pure site-based adventure with the lodge described in detail. The map comes from the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website, it is presented here and the link in the PDF still works at the time of writing if you want the original.

In some ways the place is quite disappointing. There's not much there for parties who live to loot, nor are there any NPCs or monsters to talk to... just ghosts, and grumpy ones at that, which will attack. Every one is provided with statistics for meeting them on the material plane or the ethereal one, and violence appears to be the only way to deal with them, they cannot be laid to rest by discovering secrets or righting wrongs.

An interesting basic concept which has rather fallen down in execution and development, alas. I'd recommend adding your own enhancements to make it a bit more interesting.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Black Rain (3.0)

New RPG Product Reviews - 29 July 2016 - 9:22am
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Rating: 5
Black rain is a strange phenomenon, mercifully rare, that either causes or marks a short period when all divine spellcasters are cut off from the deities. During one such event some rotten swine saw fit to attack a temple dedicated to St. Cuthbert - just when the clerics there cannot do much about it Can the party help?

The suggestion is made that you use a temple in a large town/city in your campaign world, preferably one in which the party has a good reputation already. A suitable floorplan is provided, modified from one in the September 2001 edition of the Map-a-Week feature on the Wizards of the Coast website (the original link in the PDF works at the time of writing), but if you have already established a layout for the temple you wish to use it should proved relatively simple to adapt the descriptions to suit your own temple.

There is a brief DM's background and several hooks to get the party involved. Basically, one day the city awakes to find this nasty black rain falling and then the alarm is raised at the St. Cuthbert temple. The party can get some information from the town watch commander or by gathering information, and then they will have to figure out how to get into the temple as there is a strange energy barrier around it!

Once they do find the way in (you may have to steer them a little, as only one method is apparently possible), they will have to fight the invaders - with any clerics or other divine spellcasters operating at a bit of a disadvantage as their magic won't work. Best to stock up on healing potions! The intruders will have to be defeated - they are not willing to negotiate - but if they are, the local bishop will really owe the party one!

It's an exciting mission with twists that should make the party - especially the clerics - think about what they are doing.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Heist To Paradise Dice Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 9:00am
If games like Grand Theft Auto have told us anything, it’s that it can be fun to sometimes play the bad guy. Running around, stealing cars, robbing banks, and doing all that sort of nasty stuff in order to gain fat piles of cash and retire to some tropical island certainly has its appeal. And […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tales from the Tabletop: Year One

New RPG Product Reviews - 29 July 2016 - 8:55am
Publisher: AAW Games
Rating: 5
An Endzeitgeist.com review

Okay, now for something completely different: This book clocks in at 60 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 7 pages advertisement (unless I've miscounted, 1 page back cover, leaving 50 pages of content, so let's take a look!


So how does this book work out? Well, basically, AAW Games publishes Jacob Blackmon's art and leaves speech bubbles open for the fans to fill - the funniest of the respective lines are collected in this book, with the respective authors of the lines credited, including the runner-ups, so even if you dislike one, you certainly will find a smile among the alternatives.


So this, ultimately, is a product of our community...and it is one that made me chuckle and laugh loud while reading this comic: When the party's hanging on a single rope and the characters caution against reminding the GM of maximum load capacity; when a paladin riding into a blackguard convention thinks of the worst blind date ever, when a dragon feeds the PCs a gelatinous cube and tells them to digest it before it digests them, then I got more than a few laughs out of the set-up and the on-point punchlines.


When a charismatic elf is bluffing a troll and a runner-up is "Hey, Billy Mage here with a new, fantastic offer!", I really laughed out loud!


How to rate this, then? Well, to me the artwork by Jacob Blackmon was great and similarly, the funny lines add a cool dimension to the comic itself. Humor, however, is subjective and not everyone will obviously consider every line funny; a couple of these, admittedly, didn't elicit the same sense of excitement than others, but over all, this book indeed provided what its goal was -fun! This collection of comics made me smile and that makes it very much worth it for me. So yes - this very much is worth getting if you're interested in some cool, gamer-humor. This pdf delivered what I wanted from it. Hence, my verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tales from the Tabletop: Year One (PDF)

New RPG Product Reviews - 29 July 2016 - 8:52am
Publisher: AAW Games
Rating: 5
An Endzeitgeist.com review

Okay, now for something completely different: This book clocks in at 60 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 7 pages advertisement (unless I've miscounted, 1 page back cover, leaving 50 pages of content, so let's take a look!


So how does this book work out? Well, basically, AAW Games publishes Jacob Blackmon's art and leaves speech bubbles open for the fans to fill - the funniest of the respective lines are collected in this book, with the respective authors of the lines credited, including the runner-ups, so even if you dislike one, you certainly will find a smile among the alternatives.


So this, ultimately, is a product of our community...and it is one that made me chuckle and laugh loud while reading this comic: When the party's hanging on a single rope and the characters caution against reminding the GM of maximum load capacity; when a paladin riding into a blackguard convention thinks off the worst blind date ever, when a dragon feeds the PCs a gelatinous cube and tells them to digest it before it digests them, then I got more than a few laughs out of the set-up and the on-point punchlines.


When a charismatic elf is bluffing a troll and a runner-up is "Hey, Billy Mage here with a new, fantastic offer!", I really laughed out loud!


How to rate this, then? Well, to me the artwork by Jacob Blackmon was great and similarly, the funny lines add a cool dimension to the comic itself. Humor, however, is subjective and not everyone will obviously consider every line funny; a couple of these, admittedly, didn't elicit the same sense of excitement than others, but over all, this book indeed provided what its goal was -fun! This collection of comics made me smile and that makes it very much worth it for me. So yes - this very much is worth getting if you're interested in some cool, gamer-humor. This pdf delivered what I wanted from it. Hence, my verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Veteran designer Steve Meretzky among those laid off by GSN Games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 29 July 2016 - 8:25am

Sony-owned social games company GSN Games has laid off a number of staff members, including veteran designer Steve Meretzky. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Required Error Message

New Drupal Modules - 29 July 2016 - 8:24am
Overview

A simple module for developers allowing a user to specify custom message displayed when required form element is empty.

See https://www.drupal.org/node/742344 for D8 discussion.

Categories: Drupal

Steamforged Previews Mother For Guild Ball

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 July 2016 - 8:00am
Gen Con’s just around the corner. I know I’m excited. Are you? I’m really looking forward to hitting up the Steamforged booth, personally. Got a bunch of Guild Ball stuff I’d like to pick up. Speaking of which, they’re showing off the final mascot that they’ll have available for pre-release at the show. We’ve also […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fun and Facts: For the Hive!

New RPG Product Reviews - 29 July 2016 - 7:45am
Publisher: Playground Adventures
Rating: 5
An Endzeitgeist.com review

This module clocks in at 30 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page introduction, 1 page back cover, 1/2 page advertisement, leaving us with 24 1/2 pages of content, so let's take a look!


This review was moved up in my review-queue as a prioritized review at the request of my patreons.


Well, before we dive into the nit and grit - this is not simply a regular module; it also is a means to convey information and teach facts to the players without making it feel like just jamming information down their throats. And every gamer can attest to the power of gaming regarding the acquisition of information - whether it's sheer vocabulary or other components, RPGs are "brainy" hobby that teaches without feeling like teaching. It is thus pretty much a given that the combination of teaching and gaming makes sense. Playground Adventures's modules tend to be aimed at a younger audience, with this one targeting kids from ages 4+ - a valid projection in my book; smaller kids may need a bit more handholding; youths that start hitting puberty may require slightly more edginess (the module has scenes that can work that way), but as a whole, this module works for ages 4 up rather well; at least it did in my playtest.


It should also be mentioned that this module takes place in the fairy tale village of Glavost, first featured in Pixies on Parade and then expanded with its own little supplement, so if you're looking for a bit of internal consistency, there you have it -and yes, there is a nod to "A Friend in Need" as well.


All right, so this being an adventure-review, the following contains SPOILERS. potential players should jump to the conclusion.

...

..

.

Most of us know how crucial bees are for plants and ultimately, even us as a species. In a magical world, it is only fair to assume that magical bees similarly exist. Owen, apprentice to the wizard/librarian of Glavost (and pen-pal of the gifted origami-magic savant Azumi from "A Friend in Need") is contacted by the bee sprite Bzzercup...and since adults curiously seem to be incapable of perceiving the fantastical suffusing Glavost, it falls to the PCs to help the bee sprite. You see, Owen botched big time. He began making paper wasps per Azumi's instructions and they failed to animate...however, they did have enough lingering magic and thus, were stolen by a particularly nasty gremlin named Chuft.


Animating the paper constructs, he has taken control over a magical bee hive by capturing the queen and forcing the bees to do his bidding. The only chance to save the hive sans wrecking it, is to find the "Be the Bug"-elixir left by the former apprentice...but, alas, the bottles are unlabeled. Thankfully, though, a letter provides clues and a nice puzzle for the kids to figure out: Basically, the former apprentice, Owen's sister, has provided a classic exclusion/deduction logic puzzle for the kids to solve, with the proper guideline for the GM as well...and yes, you can simply skill check brute force it, but at least all tables I play with prefer beating the puzzle. Even cooler than just brute-forcing is that the pdf does have a replacement puzzle that is easier, based on bottle shapes. In a minor layout glitch, though, the read-aloud text for this one has curiously vanished. However, the replacement puzzle itself can be deduced from the solution, so, while a flaw, it is certainly no game-breaker, particularly considering that its mere presence is already a cool feature. EDIT: Playground Adventures has contacted me and this will be fixed ASAP. Considering the company's track-record of swift and thorough imporvements, I consider this point now moot and resolved.


Drinking the elixir shrinks the PCs immediately down to the size of bees, an, whether with or without origami swords, the PCs get the sealed mission briefing. Throughout the module, Bzzercup "accompanies" the PCs as a GM proxy that can be used to convey a LOT of information pertaining bees and their impact on the world. This works via buzz lines, basically a kind of magical headset. Now usually, shrinking does entail a number of complex rules operations - for a summary of these for groups that wish for a more rules-conform switch (or more modular size-increase/decrease operations), I'll heartily recommend the superb Microsized Adventures by Everyman Gaming. For the purpose of this module, no complex changes are required, since the combats take place within the size frame of the shrunken PCs: While crossing the backyard in the shrunken state (a wilderness crawl most unusual), the PCs will, for example, deal with a praying mantis that seems rather gigantic for them -a great way to talk about predators of honey bees, for example.


After the PCs have made their way past the backyard, they will have to infiltrate the hive itself, where the paper wasps make for their primary antagonists - and, rather importantly, they will have a means to engage in constructive tasks: Feeding the larvae, for example. The unique terrain is similarly utilized well - spending too much time in the pollen cells isn't healthy, for example. In the end, the PCs will have to defeat Chuft after climbing through the hive and free the queen.


Now, this module being educational, the pdf has a list of further reading, should you wish to increase this component. Beyond that, a CR 3 variant of paper wasps as a swarm, suitable for Medium adventurers. beyond that, instructions to make paper wasps (in 3 difficulty-levels!) are provided via links, allowing you to create paper models to use in conjunction with the module. Beyond that, the maps of backyard and the hive are provided in both GM and player-friendly versions...oh, and the pdf does draw attention to the threats our own honey bees face in these days -with CCD causing ever more colonies to collapse, we should indeed take care of the bees.


Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no significant glitches beyond the one where a bit of text has been swallowed. Layout adheres to a gorgeous, custom 2-column full-color standard with bee-themed borders. Combined with the full-color artwork, this does make the module a beautiful one. The pdf comes fully bookmarked for your convenience, and as mentioned before, the cartography is excellent.


J Gray's "For the Hive" is a truly unique module - I have never read a module like it; It's creative, interesting, provides a blending of wilderness and dungeon, is educational, offers multiple solutions for challenges and a blending of different things to do; There is combat, there is room for being smart; there is room for being kind...and all the while, the pdf conveys useful information in a manner, teaches while playing. Even adults may have a blast with this one; granted, most will know a lot of the bee-related facts, but the module that remains beyond the educational component can very well stand on its own.


As a whole, this module can be considered an excellent addition to one's table and, from just reading it and analyzing it on paper, I would have went with a final verdict of 5 stars. However, the playtests of this one pretty much have been met with total acclaim and excitement by the kid-group, who loved the sense of consistency and truly enjoyed it, made me reconsider. Even those of my players who usually fall on the somewhat darker spectrum regarding their tastes enjoyed this, in spite of its lightheartedness. Hence, this does get my seal of approval as well, in spite of the minor hiccup mentioned before - and, as mentioned above, when you're reading this review, the glitch is probably already fixed.

Endzeitgeist out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Furi: some tough design decisions striving to make a memorable game - by Emeric Thoa

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 29 July 2016 - 7:40am
Following the launch of Furi - the boss rush game for PC/ PS4 - Emeric Thoa is sharing thoughts on some of the hard design decisions behind making a game that's not meant to please everyone but strives to create strong memories for its intended audience.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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