Newsfeeds

Why you probably shouldn't work on your dream game - by Catalin Marcu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:53am
Whoa, please, put you pitchforks down! Just hear me out first. I'm also an indie developer and I have these dream games I'd like to work on. But when choosing something to invest time and money into, I try to be a bit more realistic. So let me tell you...
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Postmortem: The Level Design of Dishonored Series - by Sicheng Hu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:52am
Such diversity of finishing a mission is the essence of level design, mainly supported by four points: stereoscopic structure, touchable possibility, fabulous dynamics and world building.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

100 Days of VR: Day 17 Shooting With A Gun In Unity - by Josh Chang

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:52am
In day 17 we're going to learn how to fire projectiles from our gun towards where our mouse is pointing to.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Meeple Like Us, September 2017 - by Michael Heron

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:47am
This is what's been going on in the world of Meeple Like Us in September of 2017.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Brain in a Jar 1: Two Systems - by Mitchell Nelson

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:47am
There are two brains, at least, in our heads. They operate as two distinct systems with different features and abilities. Well-designed games engage both systems effectively.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Let's Talk Level Design - by Ryan Krause

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:45am
I talk about the steps I took to create my dungeon and puzzle layout for my newest game: The Escape Exam. Learn some tips and tricks to avoid headaches for the future.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Bringing Galaxy on Fire 3 to Vulkan: Handling Resources and Assets - by Johannes Kuhlmann

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:44am
Blog series on how we brought our game to Vulkan. This is post 2 of 5 covering textures, shaders and graphics pipelines.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Writing Shotgun - A Discussion On Documentation and Team Involvement! - by Meredith Hall

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 October 2017 - 6:44am
Documentation is an essential in any team based environment, not only to be a guideline but also to be the answer to any questions someone may have about the general development of the game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

faceless

New Drupal Modules - 2 October 2017 - 6:03am

Impersonate is a module that gives you the ability to veiw your website as a certain user (the one you will impersonate) would actually see it. It is great for verifying that the permissions and rules for your users work correctly and that you have the visual result wanted for every role/user.

Categories: Drupal

New Astra Militarum Codex, Plague Marine Pre-Orders Available From Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 2 October 2017 - 6:00am
We’re not quite to cold and flu season, but it’s certainly on its way. And what do you use to fight against it? Why, the power and fury of the Imperial Army, of course! Well, that’s what happens in 40k when you’ve got Plague Marines on the rampage; the Imperial Guard steps in to fight […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acro Media: Video: Shipping in Drupal Commerce 2.x is Better Than Ever!

Planet Drupal - 2 October 2017 - 5:45am

“Shipping” in Commerce 1 meant “get shipping rates.” End of story. If you wanted to do something crazy like actually receive the item or put it in a box in the warehouse, you were out of luck. You could integrate with another system, but otherwise you were really just a storefront.

But Commerce 2.x is a different story. Now you can go from getting rates all the way down to actually receiving the shipment.

Categories: Drupal

Star Trek Adventures: These are the Voyages - Volume 1

New RPG Product Reviews - 2 October 2017 - 5:44am
Publisher: Modiphius
Rating: 5
Visually stunning, with the appearance of a Starfleet computer interface and apposite illustrations, there's a brief Introduction and eight completely-developed adventures to keep your starship crew busy. The Introduction points out that exploration is a major part of Starfleet's role, and that all the adventures are somewhat exploratory in nature. It also suggests that any of the adventures could be used either as a starting-point for a campaign or dropped into an existing one as preferred, and that they are amenable to modifications as necessary to fit in with what is happening in YOUR universe. Reassuringly, each is written without the need for specialist knowledge of any specific movie, era or episode; and while some are intended for a particular era notes are provided to help you fit it to the era you want to play in.

Each adventure comes with a synopsis, three acts and a conclusion... and there's plenty to get your teeth into. The first adventure, A World with a Bluer Sun, is aimed at The Original Series (TOS) era and involves a spot of time-travel. If you are not playing in TOS era, there are some interesting ideas to make it work for any other era. It all starts with a distress call... and ends with negotiations with a new alien lifeform and maybe the odd warp core exploding!

The other adventures are equally exciting, although each brings its own challenges. Border Dispute pits the party against the Romulans in a tense situation that could easily spark a war, Entropy's Demise has them investigation a planet where things get old fast, and in Forests of the Night they encounter a really strange alien vessel. Biological Clock raises issues around the Prime Directive, A Plague of Arias involves the commemoration of a major medical breakthrough that isn't quite what everyone thinks, That Which is Unknown starts off with a weapons-testing task that quickly goes astray, and finally The Shepherd discovers sentience in a very unlikely place!

Resources are good, with suggestions throughout as to what the party could check and what information they can receive, likewise their likely actions are laid out clearly so that even a novice GM should be able to handle task resolution easily, with plentiful complications and even alternate endings to enable you to accommodate player actions. This collection of adventures provides for hours of fun and should spawn plenty more of your own.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Amazee Labs: DrupalCon Vienna Friday Sprints

Planet Drupal - 2 October 2017 - 4:17am
DrupalCon Vienna Friday Sprints

At the end of a great month of cycling, a great week of summits, pieces of training, keynotes and more at #DrupalConEUR, the last and final day of this week-long conference was all about sprinting. Let me share my wrap-up of the DrupalCon’s Friday sprints in this blog post.

Josef Dabernig Mon, 10/02/2017 - 13:17

The Messe Wien conference center was split up into 3 areas: the first-time sprinter workshop, mentored core sprints as well as general sprints. Let’s go through them one by one.

1) The first-time sprinter workshop, brings new contributors up to speed with setting up a Drupal 8 environment, understand the contribution process and find their first novice issues to tackle. This process has been tested at various previous DrupalCons and turns out to be highly effective at recruiting and onboarding potential future Drupal contributors.

The group of sprint mentors runs through duties in the morning. Rachel Lawson (rachel_norfolk) blogged about her experience working together with the highly dedicated team of mentors.

At the first-time sprinter workshop, besides learning tools, processes and the technology, the main emphasis is on being able to collaborate in-person with other community members such as in this case Jen Lampton (jenlampton) from the US together with Chris Maiden (matason) from the UK.
 

2) The mentored core sprints are designed to take those who have gotten their feet wet in the first-time sprinter workshop or already have prior contribution experience to the next level. The setup of the second room with round tables focused on different topics such as Drupal core subsystems or initiatives allows engaging directly with mentors specialized in those skill areas. New contributors will work side-by-side with experienced core contributors on core tasks.

Mentors, such as Fatima Sarah Kahlid (sugaroverflow) from Canada, provide individual advice to those sprinting on an issue. The goal is to help a new contributor on their way through the process and learn from each other.

The mentors all wore green t-shirts and we used name tags for every attendee to make sure it’s easy to know who can help and lower the bar for memorizing hundreds of names within a few hours. This is Michael Lenahan (michaellenahan) making an announcement to the crowd of sprinters at DrupalCon Vienna.

 

3) The general sprints are where all the other magic happens. You will find other Drupal core initiatives and Drupal module maintainers sprint together on topics they care about being moved forward. It is similar to the mentored core sprints format, as we have tables that focus on certain topics but without the official sprint mentors and rather each initiative self-organized with or without a given structure.

A huge spreadsheet is used every year to pre-organize sprints. Here individuals can sign-up for sprints happening during the week and take part in individual sprint initiatives such as working on “Drupal 8 criticals and majors” or “Migrate” or “Usability / Redesign the Admin UI”.

A busy and growing table was the “Search API Family” where Thomas Seidl (drunken monkey) sprinted together with many other contributors on Search API and related modules such as Facets. Note that the Search API module has also been given the price in the Drupal category or the Open Minds award that we held during the week of DrupalCon on Tuesday. Together with Entity API by Wolfgang Ziegler (fago) and GraphQL by Sebastian Siemssen (fubhy) and Philipp Melab (pmelab) it was awarded as most valuable Drupal contributions from Austria.

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The sprints were concluded with a very special moment, the Drupal Core Live Commit.

Lauri Eskola (lauriii), provisional core committer performed a live commit on stage. The seemingly trivial issue Add @internal to schemaDefinition() methods was reviewed and showed how the process works. The issue had been worked on by three contributors Valery Lourie (valthebald), Kevin Wenger (wengerk) and Gilles Doge (gido) until it went via the Active and Needs Review to Reviewed & tested by the community. Together with the approval from core committer Angie Byron (webchick), Lauri was able to commit the improvement not only to the latest 8.5.x development branch but also to 8.4.x which currently in release candidate mode.

Shannon Vettes (svettes) and Michael Schmid (schnitzel) also joined the stage to share what they sprinted on. This time it was about an initiative that isn’t necessarily related to writing code but helping drive change. Drupal-Petitions.org is designed to create a process & tool similarly to https://www.change.org/ or https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/ where the community can prioritize and gather momentum around ideas of improvements.

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Wrapping up

Friday was all about sprints. As explained, I’m excited about the many ways that new and existing contributors had been working together.

Special thanks to all sprint mentors, to the great organization by the DrupalCon Events team as well as Thunder as the main sponsor for the Friday sprints.

More photos from Friday and the entire conference can be found in our Flickr collection. Interested in sprinting again? Watch out for Drupal Dev Days in 2018 or other upcoming Drupal events in your area.

Categories: Drupal

Troy’s Crock Pot: Q and A with Frank Mentzer about Worlds of Empyrea

Gnome Stew - 2 October 2017 - 3:00am

Frank Mentzer, gamer and game designer who started working at TSR in 1980, has launched a Kickstarter for a new game setting: Worlds of Empyrea.  Here is the Q&A we did discussing this new project and his thoughts about the OSR.

Q. Let’s start with the title itself: “Worlds of Empyrea.”  Not the kingdom of Empyrea, not the continent of, nor even world of, but “Worlds.”  So how broad and far-reaching is this setting?

Greetings! Yes, it’s plural. For the first time in tabletop gaming history, a setting is being released for ten different game systems. You choose your favorite game when you order it, and all the statistics in the set are for that system.

We collect all the crunch in one System Book. When you need the crunch, you’re probably headed for action, so you switch to the System Book.  Once things settle down again, you go back to the main book, bigger maps, and so forth.

Adventures have more action, so you can’t separate the crunch. A setting is far less dependent on the numbers, being more about verisimilitude and historical context. Each character and monster has to have its relevant data, and things must be described using the right words and terms. Thus, each ‘world’ is the Empyrea of that game system. We’ll have dedicated sets for each of the following: D&D 5e, 1e/2e, and BECMI (my ‘red box’ series); Runequest and Savage Worlds; and five major D&D variants (Open Game License aka OGL games) Pathfinder, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Castles & Crusades, Swords & Wizardry, and Hackmaster… Ten Worlds of Empyrea.

If this works as planned, the next step is actively modifying that version of Empyrea to reflect the game system, not merely ‘patch’ it with stats. This is a longer project, to be undertaken with the cooperation of each creator and/or publisher involved.

Q. If I may … publishers and game creators today are very specific about defining how their settings and hobby games fit in terms of genre and play style, mostly so they can directly target their intended audience. But from what I’m hearing, does Empyrea hearken back to an era when audience interests in fantasy, sword and sorcery,  horror, adventure and science fiction more freely overlapped?  Or is this something completely new?

With its roots in the 1970s, Empyrea has Old School origins. But most of the development has been from 1990 to present, while watching the exciting new developments in the hobby, both mainstream and Indie.

The core campaign is so ‘pure fantasy’ that Tech items are actually Forbidden by the gods. Of course that implies a black market, and a source in the first place … which leads us to orbit. Future projects will look at this planet from outside, and the intent is to address Traveller, Starfinder, and other great SF RPGs as we’re doing Fantasy on this round.

Q. The FAQ on Empyrea states it has three main premises. Can we take them in turn and can you elaborate on what each means for the players whose characters will inhabit the setting?

Each premise affects vast parts of society, so I’m glad you focused on the players.

First, “Magic instead of Technology?”

The church distributes magical light pebbles and a recommended curriculum for home education. Simple elemental transformations (removing water from mud, or earth from air) produce superhighways and a fire suppressant, respectively. To the average player character, this has all been normal for a century at least, and is all taken for granted. That’s the focus of the ‘quickstart’ adventures we provide in the set.

A sentient but indifferent planet?

A group of cultists (druids) can smooth-talk it into revealing valuable clues. One was “since you can talk to animals, ask them what THEY want,” which produced animal crossings, less farm trouble, and more cooperation all around. Again, this produces more general effects than character-specific.

Royals who place quality of life above the unbalancing mass whims like war and wealth?

The people always get shafted when a power group rises. They want life to be both worthwhile and fair. Life isn’t fair, but if everybody tries, they can make it better. Royals encourage Diplomacy vs. war, People vs. greed, Quality of life vs. consolidated power. The Arts are subsidized, and creativity flowers.

 

Q. Much of that sounds almost idyllic. What’s the source or sources of conflict in the setting? What threatens this way of life? What impels adventurers to strike out?

Enjoy it while you can; the end is prophesied. The east and west are impassible, north is mountainous and hostile, and south is deepwood where the Evil One is gathering armies. And a nearby Orc realm is trying to become civilized, and all the Dragons are tired of being hunted by adventurers. And more ….

Q. Gnome Stew readers are mostly game masters. Speaking directly to them, what are the elements of Empyrea that you would dangle before them as an enticement?

It’s easy. It can become your “other setting” for your usual game, with a very short and easy learning curve. It contains almost no new game details. The epic plot elements are continental, not personal, and become a background to your own character stories. Many new concepts and details will inspire you to create your own Empyrea adventures.

Q. Can you spare a few moment to discuss your association with Gary Gygax and how that relationship fits with regard to the setting?

I lucked out when, unemployed in the Philadelphia suburbs in the 1970s, I was hired by TSR in 1980. He soon picked me to start the RPGA, and a friendship evolved. My fourth RPGA adventure to be published, “Doc’s Island” (R-4), had a background that involved Gary’s campaign. We discussed his, mine, and ours, and decided to add it to TSR publishing plans. One routine document (at the time) approved the ‘history’ part, placing both campaigns on the same planet. However, they were to have no interaction, primarily due to a great sea between them. (Actually we wanted to keep the Intellectual Property elements entirely separate and thereby more controllable.)

Sadly Gary was ousted in 1985, and Empyrea never got to the TSR drawing board. I wasn’t going to do it at TSR without him, since I created it before TSR (1977-80) and that would simply give it away. Gary would have taken care of me, but now I was alone. So it had to wait.

Throughout the 1980s I worked for game companies, and everything I wrote (and everything Gary wrote as well) belongs to the publishers thereof. We have no quibble with that, and we don’t steal from others. This is not a Greyhawk product; it’s all new, all original.

Q. Is this an appropriate moment to ask about the OSR movement?  What does the Old School Renaissance mean to you?  What contributions is OSR making that are having an impact on rpgs, either mainstream, third party or even personal press?

In many ways, corporate methods have controlled the D&D game, and many other RPGs, for decades. We all understand that means bigger and more widespread (distribution and support primarily). “Better” is a value judgment, so let’s just say ‘different’ artistic styles have been left for the OSR and others, categorized as “Indies” or small companies or just folks with day jobs.

Lower overhead brings lower prices and encourages volunteerism, amateur, and semi-pro efforts of all kinds. Some who scorn corporate productions will flock to sincere and different offerings, seeking the obvious creativity and freedom from big-market shackles. Many don’t seek corporate success; they just want to have a voice, to contribute. It’s great that a method exists for this; it’s a broad, rich, and vital part of our hobby.

Q. While not a universal sentiment among game designers, I have had several confess to trepidation when packaging their personal setting for publication. Sometimes it’s the social ties to the players at the table that hold them back, in others, it’s a proprietary concern, they are just reluctant to see it released into the wild, so to speak. They are perfectly willing to work up something from scratch for publication, but that personal game is another matter. Where do you, and Empyrea, fall on this spectrum, and have your thoughts on this changed over time?

I felt that way decades ago. Now I’m 67, and don’t have time to hold it back. Empyrea has been in the playtest lab for 25 years online, and existed in 4 major incarnations — 1970s Philadelphia area, 1980s Lake Geneva, 1990s Online, and 2000s Chicago area. As game masters, all of our ‘home games’ are in rough shape, nobody writes them like published stuff. So there’s a lot of typing still to tackle.

Q. Share with us what you can about your partners in this venture.  Publishing is a collaborative enterprise. Who are some of the people on your team and what are their various responsibilities?

Although I’ve been preparing for this for decades, the activity team started forming this summer. (The following list doesn’t include the 20 or so Legendary Names from the history of D&D, our contributing authors and artists.) Loxley Enterprises is the parent company; Empyrea is the project. For that, Darlene agreed to be partner and graphics manager as well as producing the big campaign map herself. Ted Fauster, my aide (creative and organizational), was the first hired, and will work with me and TSR veteran Tim Beach for text and development. I invited Peter Bradley, Don Higgins, Ogmios, and Mark Quire for our general art needs, plus Alyssa Faden and Anna Meyer for cartography. Mike Myler is our crowdfunding engineer and media coordinator, and TSR veterans Steven Winter and Anne K. Brown will handle the editing. Finally, former GAMA president Chris Wiese is handling contracts and other business aspects, and Kevin “Doc” Wilson is Mr. Organization, managing the flow of the many sub-projects. We still need a business manager and some accounting support.

Q.  I’ve got D&D rulebooks with red and blue covers that, I know now, were largely the result of your efforts. At the time, I didn’t care who wrote them, only that they were the source material for a game my friends and I spent countless hours playing.  We had fun, together, at the game table. Do you have similar hopes for Empyrea? That it too, can be a source of hours of game play in a magical, timeless setting?

I hope for far more. The invention of roleplaying as a pastime triggered a major change in games. Before that, everything was competitive, from racing to sports to checkers. This was a whole new world for millions … and then it got better! It taught us how to verbalize, to compromise with others and form a team, and how to improve at numbers and visualization. In the process, we befriended others, and the resulting bonds are precious in our hearts, no matter how much time passes. These games add depth to our lives.

All game companies have to focus on paying their own people and bills, and they just can’t address games they don’t publish. In offering Empyrea for 10 game systems, Loxley is encouraging community. If we all have a common setting, it’ll be easier to try new game systems. If we have common interests, that may spur outreach and dialogue. Maybe I’m too optimistic, but I know the potential is there, and that most gamers are smarter than most non-gamers, and can transcend their minor differences. Together we can do this.

We can do this, and we will. See you in Empyrea.

Thank your for your time, Best of luck with Empyrea and the Kickstarter, which begins Oct. 2.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Comic Relief Technology Blog: Waste not want not: Upcycle your tech!

Planet Drupal - 2 October 2017 - 2:18am
Working in the charity sector you learn to be pretty resourceful when you need to be, and that doesn’t stop… Read More Waste not want not: Upcycle your tech!
Categories: Drupal

ADCI Solutions: What's the difference between single-page application and multi-page application?

Planet Drupal - 2 October 2017 - 12:51am

SPA approach of website developing is on rise. It’s cool, it’s popular. Everybody wants to chime in and participate. Don’t forget about multi-page approach though: there are many use cases you may love.

 

Read the whole article and learn how to apply those approaches using Drupal, React, Vue.js.

 

Categories: Drupal

Fuzzy Thinking: Boardrooms & Businessmen

RPGNet - 2 October 2017 - 12:00am
The new papers and paychecks!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Deep Cuts: The Creative Loot Box Observer

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 October 2017 - 8:12pm

Some of this week's highlights include the history of Creative Assembly, a disassembly of the loot box phenomenon, and analysis of the cyberpunk standout Observer. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Taboo Game Server

New Drupal Modules - 1 October 2017 - 5:17pm

Developed taboo server with Python, which contains modules log-in, log-out, retrieving cards, adjusting difficulty, recording score.

Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: Drupal 8 or Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 1 October 2017 - 5:00pm

Drupal has long been a techie's choice of open source content management system. It may be harder than WordPress or Joomla to setup but it more than makes up for this with its power and flexibility.

Does Drupal 8 continue this tradition?

Categories: Drupal

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