All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
Automatic updates have been discusses since years already. The pro's and con's of letting Drupal update itself are discussed in different Drupal.org issues queues. It was not a big surprise that Dries mentioned automatic Drupal core updates as part of the strategic roadmap of Drupal in his Driesnote at DrupalCon Vienna 2017.Drupalcon Drupal Drupal Community Drupal Planet Automation Events Driesnote
Vienna is my first #DrupalConEUR and due to family obligations, I could only attend 1.5 days out of the full week of events, so I made the most of my time. Here’s a quick recap.Fran Garcia Thu, 09/28/2017 - 10:06
Preparation - deciding which talks to attend - wasn’t as easy as you'd think. The schedule is full of interesting talks, so I needed to pick and choose the ones that I really wanted to attend. I’ll expand on the talks, which I did attend, later on.
I arrived in Vienna on Tuesday night and went straight to a restaurant to have dinner and meet some of my colleagues, who were already there. In the room, we had people from South Africa, Switzerland, Tunisia, Spain… We had a great time, but this was just the warm-up for Wednesday’s events.
After some sleep, my first DrupalCon experience was about to begin, where I could do some catching up, in the keynote, with colleagues and old friends. After this, we also found some time to do actual problem-solving in real life!
I finally opted to go to:
- Tour of the 35 Symfony Components: where we learned loads about this PHP framework that empowers Drupal 8. It was really interesting to find out the components that we were already using and the ones we weren’t but could very easily hook into Drupal.
- Building amazing searches with Search API: the creator/main maintainer of the module showed us how all the Search API modules tie together in Drupal 8 with live demos of the code.
- Motion design - improving UX through animations: this was a small Amazee’s gathering to view and support Sarah & Lisa in their presentation where they took us through some really cool animations and discussed dos and don'ts of good animations.
- Power to the people - How using containers can make your life easier: given by our AmazeeIO peers, they talked about how we can use containers for our production sites, the pros and cons of them, and we had a quick peek into the possible future and the possible things we could achieve with containers.
- CSS-in-JS: unexpected lessons for Drupal component design: a really nice and cool talk by John Albin, in which he explained lessons learned from years of working with JS and CSS, and how to nicely pack them all into components. Awesome way to close up the first DrupalCon day.
I know I did miss some very amazing talks, but I also knew that they’d be available on YouTube so I will be catching up on those during the next weeks.
However, the day was far from over, as the night was reserved for our amazing team dinner! This was a great opportunity to catch up on our #DrupalConEUR talks and experiences so far, but also, for remote people like me, it was the time to catch up, in real life, with the people I work with every day.
The dinner was just amazing. I had my second Schnitzel in my short time in Vienna, but just found out that I was still far from Michael’s five! We were there until they literally asked us to go, chatting, laughing and sharing awesome stories with one another. It was a great bonding night for the team and we all learned new things from and about our other colleagues.
I’ll catch a flight in a few hours. It’s hard to believe that my DrupalCon experience took less than two days. I’m taking back loads of really nice experiences, the warmth of the Amazee team (I’ll need this in the UK…) and I can now say that I’ve gone to my first DrupalCon!
Short and sweet - that’s how I’ll remember it.
A few weeks back a buddy of mine mentioned on Twitter that he’d like to play an RPG where you travel around, eat weird food, and record it all for a reality show—not unlike Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. This was right up my alley, so we started riffing on it.
Two days later, I’d written up a campaign frame inspired by his title: Diners, Dungeons, & Dives. It’s designed so you can play that kind of game in almost any system or setting. It’s pay what you want, so go ahead, check it out.
Writing this little thing got me thinking about campaign frames and how there’s a lot of design space there that doesn’t often get explored. This article is going to cover some of those thoughts and give you some tools to make your own frames.So, What’s a Campaign Frame, Anyway?
We’re always using campaign frames, whether we know it or not. Every time we sit down with our groups and talk about the tone, mood, and focus of our campaigns, we’re talking about what frames the campaign. Doesn’t matter what system or setting you’re in. Different systems and settings lend themselves to different types of campaigns and may have wider or narrower scopes of focus, but they all have frames.
This framing is something that most games address in one way or another, too. Some games are explicit and up-front about it. If you’re playing a genre-based game, or something Powered by the Apocalypse, you’re getting a very distinct set of framing tools up front. Other games, like Fate Core or even D&D, don’t have such distinct frames. You can do a lot with those systems, choose a variety of settings, and play all kinds of different games.
No matter what, though, there are frames that are negotiated at the table. You decide you want to focus on treasure hunting rather than monster killing. Or maybe you want really personal, in-depth stories to explore rather than setting-altering epic events. Those decisions all help define the framing of the campaign and give your group a direction to go in.
Diners, Dungeons, & Dives is my first attempt to provide such a framing tool without the mechanical trappings of a system or the assumptions of a setting.Cool. How Do I Make My Own?
Glad you asked, fictional reader. Here’s the first thing to realize:Campaign Frames Are (Largely) Not Mechanical
If you’re thinking about the type of game you want to run or play, you usually start with a certain game type (say, heists), or you start with system. For our purposes, leave system out of it for now because the frame will lead us in that direction. Start off with the genre of game you want, or what you want the core activity to be. In the case of DD&D, it’s road movie-type friend interactions that happen while you’re eating strange foods and filming it for a fictional reality TV show. To my mind, this ridiculous idea can be done in most systems or settings. The frame overlays those things and gives you a focus for the game and the actions you’ll take. The path between this frame and a system is a long one because you can use it almost anywhere.
If you want to do a heist game, though, the path to system or setting becomes potentially much shorter. Sure, you can prioritize heists in many systems or settings, but there are entire games designed to do just that (Leverage, Blades in the Dark). It’s a quicker path to a setting or system.
This, incidentally, is the same kind of work to do before designing a full game. What kind of activities will be done in the game? How will they unfold, and where? A campaign frame stops short of running into (many) mechanics, though. In DD&D there are barely mechanical things: Take a pause and enjoy the scenery, decentralize violence, dig into the weird foods of the setting. Those are largely actions you’ll take which will verge into mechanics.
So when making a campaign frame, if you find yourself heading toward mechanics, you might actually be making a game—which is cool, just not what we’re doing here.Focus on Theme and Moments
A route to follow is to think about how the game should feel. What kinds of emotions do you want players to feel? What kinds of scenes do you want to see play out? With DD&D, I wanted food shenanigans, moments of friendship, and sweeping views of the landscape or other scenery. Those things combined all evoke a particular feel for me, and none of them have to do with how the game works. They’re all things to aim for when using whatever system you’re using for the game.
I guess that’s the most important part of these: the feel. As a designer, I operate based on feel a lot. My struggle is to get the mechanics to evoke that feel when I’m writing a game. A campaign frame like this is ideal for me because it’s all feel. It helps me give the players and GM a set of feelings and I leave it to them to choose the system and setting that will get them there.Art, Not Science (for now)
This is a new idea to me, and it’s something I’m still exploring. The items above should be enough to get you going. I’m gonna keep writing these if I get the time. It’s a design space that’s really interesting to me, even if I can’t do a great job of explaining how to work in it.
If you tinker around with campaign frames after this, let me know. I’d love to see what you do with them.
If you need to migrate field collections from Drupal 7 into Drupal 8, here's a walk through of how to do it. But before you start reading, I'd like you to stop and see how you can make this process better. In this Meta issue, we have a plan to automate all parts of this process. As the heir aparent to Field collections, we are working with the larger Drupal community to include for support migrating directly into Drupal 8 from field collections.Ada Hernández Wed, 09/27/2017 - 16:27
The free-to-play game mode is a new variant for Epic Games' fort building fighter Fortnite but, unlike the original, the Battle Royal mode is being offered to players for free. ...
Social media needs to be a part of your search engine optimization strategy. While the level of involvement in social media can be determined by your market and your customers, ignoring social media can no longer be an option. Smart Drupal SEO strategies include building authority in social media channels.Search engine algorithms for social media vary
Google has stated clearly that social signals such as the number of Facebook likes and Twitter followers are not factored into Google’s search algorithm. To Google, each individual tweet or Facebook post is considered a web page on its own. On the other hand, Bing says that it does look at the social authority of a user. “We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in... Read the full article: Is Your Drupal Website Antisocial?
This blog has been re-posted with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.
Yesterday, I shared my State of Drupal presentation at DrupalCon Vienna. In addition to sharing my slides, I wanted to provide some more detail on how Drupal is evolving, who Drupal is for, and what I believe we should focus on.Drupal is growing and changing
I started my keynote by explaining that Drupal is growing. Over the past year, we've witnessed a rise in community engagement, which has strengthened Drupal 8 adoption.
This is supported by the 2017 Drupal Business Survey; after surveying 239 executives from Drupal agencies, we can see that Drupal 8 has become the defacto release for them and that most of the Drupal businesses report to be growing.
While the transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is not complete, Drupal 8's innovation continues to accelerate. We've seen the contributed modules ecosystem mature; in the past year, the number of stable modules has more than doubled. Additionally, there are over 4,000 modules in development.
In addition to growth, both the vendor and technology landscapes around Drupal are changing. In my keynote, I noted three primary shifts in the vendor landscape. Single blogs, portfolio sites and brochure sites, which represent the low end of the market, are best served by SaaS tools. On the other side of the spectrum, a majority of enterprise vendors are moving beyond content management into larger marketing suites. Finally, the headless CMS market segment is growing rapidly, with some vendors growing at a rate of 500% year over year.
While evolving vendor and technology landscapes present many opportunities for Drupal, it can also introduce uncertainty. After listening to many people in the Drupal community, it's clear that all these market and technology trends, combined with the long development and adoption cycle of Drupal 8, has left some wondering what this all means for Drupal, and by extension also for them.Drupal is no longer for simple sites
Over the past year, I've explained why I believe Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences, in both my DrupalCon Baltimore keynote and on my blog. However, I think it would be valuable to provide more detail on what I mean by "ambitious digital experiences". It's important that we all understand who Drupal is for, because it drives our strategy, which in turn allows us to focus our efforts.
Today, I believe that Drupal is no longer for simple sites. Instead, Drupal's sweetspot is sites or digital experiences that require a certain level of customization or flexibility — something I refer to as "richness".Ambitious is much more than just enterprise
This distinction is important because I often find that the term "ambitious" becomes conflated with "enterprise". While I agree that Drupal is a great fit for the enterprise, I personally never loved that categorization. It's not just large organizations that use Drupal. Individuals, small startups, universities, museums and nonprofits can be equally ambitious in what they'd like to accomplish and Drupal can be an incredible solution for them.
An example of this could be a small business that manages 50 rental properties. While they don't have a lot of traffic (reach), they require integrations with an e-commerce system, a booking system, and a customer support tool to support their business. Their allotted budget is $50,000 or less. This company would not be considered an enterprise business; however, Drupal would be a great fit for this use case. In many ways, the "non-enterprise ambitious digital experiences" represent the majority of the Drupal ecosystem. As I made clear in my presentation, we don't want to leave those behind.Addressing the needs of smaller organizations
The Drupal ecosystem majority are organizations with sites that require medium-to-high richness, which SaaS builders cannot support. However, they also don't need to scale at the level of enterprise companies. As the Drupal community continues to consider how we can best support this majority, a lot of smaller Drupal agencies and end-users have pointed out that they would benefit from the following two things:
- Easier updates and maintenance. While each Drupal 8 site benefits from continuous innovation, it also needs to be updated more often. The new Drupal 8 release cycle has monthly patch releases and 6-month minor releases. In addition, organizations have to juggle ad-hoc updates from contributed modules. In addition, site updates has often become more complex because our dependency on third-party libraries and because not everyone can use Composer. Many smaller users and agencies would benefit tremendously from auto-updates because maintaining and updating their Drupal 8 sites can be too manual, too complex and too expensive.
The good news is that we have made progress in both improving site builder tools and simplifying updates and maintenance. Keep an eye on future blog posts about these topics. In the meantime, you can watch a recording of my keynote (starting at 22:10), or you can download a copy of my slides (56 MB).State of Drupal keynote, DrupalCon Vienna from Dries Buytaert State of Drupal keynote, DrupalCon Vienna from Dries Buytaert