Bluespark Labs: The Art of Sketching before Wireframing. OK, it’s not really Art!

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 10:41am

So you’ve got a great idea. Spent months thinking about it. Sold the idea to internally key stakeholders. Grabbed the attention of the right people, organized a team and managed to get funding. You’ve selected your agency and have gone through a discovery process and are ready to design out the idea. Now what?

Well, you start by sketching of course. Yup I said it, we start by drawing pretty pictures (well not so pretty really).

The power of sketching. There’s no need for commitment here.

You may think you don’t need to sketch because you already know how you want the interface to look. But often times when you actually start sketching, you’ll realize that the path that you were so set on, might not work the best.

Sketching sets the tone for the rest of the design process. It ensures you’re creating a user experience that meets both user and stakeholder goals and objectives. Removing this step from the process puts you at a disadvantage as you’re more likely to get locked into a design because it’s more difficult to make quick iterations using software built for wireframing and design comps. Sketching allows you to visualize what an interface could become without committing to anything.

Sketching clutter is a means to an end

Initial sketches will likely uncover that your trying to cram too much onto the user’s screen, but that’s OK. We’re trying to uncover all possibilities so we can iterate quickly.

Having a UX team take an outside-in approach can really help define what you’re trying to achieve without overwhelming the user.

We’ve found that sketching the pages/concepts can be beneficial in a number of ways:

  1. Speeds up the discovery phase by allowing all members of the team to get their thoughts on paper and get buy-in from key stakeholders

  2. Allows the team to iterate quickly on the structure of the site/application without focusing on design elements such as colors, fonts, imagery, etc.

  3. Offers a quick frame of reference to have early implementation discussions with developers on the project

  4. Offers the ability to highlight key areas for measurement to ensure we’re meeting business and project objectives

  5. Offers the ability to test real users with paper prototypes without writing a single line of code

Sketching enables you to work faster & iterate quickly

Start with drawing the high level elements on the page such as the main navigation, secondary navigation, footer elements and high level links. But also try to think about the positioning of elements on the page. Most users read left to right and top to bottom. Keeping that in mind we can guide the user’s eyes to elements on the page by highlighting elements with design characteristics such as color, graphics, etc..

Moving some navigational aids into the secondary nav or the footer doesn’t mean they’re less important, but it does allow us to simplify the interface and add clarity for users to achieve their online goal.

Sketching helps you brainstorm ideas

One of the biggest advantages of sketching is that everyone can do it. From designers to the director of human resources at your company (you don’t have to be an artist). So don’t be afraid to sketch out your ideas.

Sketching is an efficient way to get the ideas out of your head and out in the open for discussion. It keeps you from getting caught up in the technology, and instead focuses you on the best possible solution, freeing you to take risks that you might not otherwise take.

Getting everyone involved in this stage can be incredibly valuable for a couple of reasons. You can quickly get a good grasp of what you’re envisioning while gaining an understanding of the development process and interaction requirements, as you’re guided through the process.

What gets designed on the front end has a back end component that most clients don’t understand. Working with a UX team gives you the opportunity to gain that understanding while contributing with feedback that moves the project forward.

Sketching a UI develops multi-dimensional thinking

Designing a user interface is a process. Translating an idea to meet user requirements requires multi-dimensional thinking. Sketching a user interface is primarily a 2 dimensional process, but as UX professionals we need to consider a number of factors:

  1. What is the user trying to accomplish?

  2. How is the user interacting with the site/application (desktop, mobile, kiosk, device specific, etc.)?

  3. How does the UI react as the user interacts with it?

  4. What appears on each of the pages as content and navigational aids?

  5. What if a user encounters an error? Are there tools to help them recover?

Sketching allows you to visualize the screen-to-screen interaction so that your idea is something that’s visible and clear in user interface form. Ultimately helping you move the project to the next level.

Take your sketches up a notch with interactivity

Lastly, using an online prototyping tool offers the ability to upload the sketches and add hotspots over the navigation and linking aids. This allows you to click through on rough sketches as if it were a real functioning website (a really ugly website). I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve worked on a series of sketches and didn’t realize that I was missing a major element or interaction until i added hotspots and tried to use it.

The design phase beginning with the initial sketches is a way to envision an interface that meets measurable goals. The ultimate goal is to align key business objectives with user goals. When those two things align you’ve got a website or product that’s bound to succeed.

Tags: Drupal PlanetUXUIDesignwireframesrapid iterative
Categories: Drupal

Acquia Developer Center Blog: My Drupal 8 Learning Path: Configuration Management in D8

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 9:30am

Recently, fellow Acquian Tanay Sai published a blog with a link to the activity cards he and other members of the Acquia India team have been following to learn Drupal 8.

Each card is a self contained lesson on a single topic related to Drupal 8: with a set objective, steps to complete the learning exercise, links to blogs, documentation, and videos to get more information.

Tags: acquia drupal planet
Categories: Drupal

Jeff Geerling's Blog: Set up a faceted Apache Solr search page on Drupal 8 with Search API Solr and Facets

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 8:32am

In Drupal 8, Search API Solr is the consolidated successor to both the Apache Solr Search and Search API Solr modules in Drupal 7. I thought I'd document the process of setting up the module on a Drupal 8 site, connecting to an Apache Solr search server, and configuring a search index and search results page with search facets, since the process has changed slightly from Drupal 7.

Install the Drupal modules

In Drupal 8, since Composer is now a de-facto standard for including external PHP libraries, the Search API Solr module doesn't actually include the Solarium code in the module's repository. So you can't just download the module off, drag it into your codebase, and enable it. You have to first ensure all the module's dependencies are installed via Composer. There are two ways that I recommend for doing this (both are documented in the module's issue: Keep Solarium managed via composer and improve documentation):

Categories: Drupal

Palantir: The Secret Sauce podcast, Ep. 16: Finding Your Purpose as a Drupal Agency

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 8:03am

CEO and Founder George DeMet shares a continuation of ideas presented at DrupalCon Barcelona with his new talk on the benefits of running a company according to a set of clearly defined principles, which he's presenting next week at DrupalCon New Orleans. It's called Finding Your Purpose as a Drupal Agency.

iTunes | RSS Feed | Download | Transcript

We'll be back next Tuesday with another episode of the Secret Sauce and a new installment of our long-form interview podcast On the Air With Palantir next month, but for now subscribe to all of our episodes over on iTunes.

Want to learn more? We have built Palantir over the last 20 years with you in mind, and are confident that our approach can enhance everything you have planned for the web.


Allison Manley [AM]: Hi, and welcome to the Secret Sauce by This is our short podcast that gives quick tips on small things you can do to make your business run better. I’m Allison Manley, an account manager here at Palantir, and today’s advice comes from George DeMet, our Founder and CEO, who as a small business owner knows a thing or two about how to run a company based on clearly defined principles.

George DeMet [GD]: My name is George DeMet, and I’m here today to talk about the benefits of running a company according to a set of clearly defined principles. What follows is taken from a session that I presented last fall at DrupalCon Barcelona on Architecting Companies that are Built to Last.

At the upcoming DrupalCon New Orleans in mid-May, I’ll be continuing this conversation in an all- new session called Finding Your Purpose as a Drupal Agency. If you’re able to attend Drupalcon New Orleans, I hope you’ll check it out.

Some time back I came across an article from the early 1970s about my grandfather, who was also named George DeMet. He was a Greek immigrant who spent more than 60 years running several candy stores, soda fountains, and restaurants in Chicago. While the DeMet’s candy and restaurant business were sold decades ago, the brand survives to this day and you can still buy DeMet’s Turtles in many grocery stores.

I never really got to know my grandfather, who died when I was 7 years old, but I have heard many of the stories that were passed down by my grandmother, my father, and other members of the family.

And from those stories, I’ve gotten a glimpse into some of the principles and values that helped make that business so successful for so long. Simple things, like honesty, being open to new ideas, listening to good ideas from other people, and so forth.

And as I was thinking about those things, I started doing some research into the values that so-called family businesses have in general, and that some of the oldest companies in history have in particular.

The longest lasting company in history was Kongo Gumi, a Japanese Buddhist temple builder that was founded in the year 578 and lasted until 2006. At the time that Kongo Gumi was founded, Europe was in the middle of the dark ages following the fall of the Roman Empire, the prophet Muhammed was just a child, the Mayan Empire was at its peak in Central America, and the Chinese had just invented matches.

At some point in the 18th century the company’s leadership documented a series of principles that were used by succeeding generations to help guide the company.

This included advice that’s still relevant to many companies today, like:

  • Always use common sense
  • Concentrate on your core business
  • Ensure long-term stability for employees
  • Maintain balance between work and family
  • Listen to your customers and treat them with respect
  • Submit the cheapest and most honest estimate
  • Drink only in moderation

Even though the Buddhist temple construction and repair business is a pretty stable one, they still had to contend with a lot of changes over their 1,400 year history. Part of what helped was that they had unusually flexible succession planning; even though the company technically was in the same family for 40 generations, control of the company didn’t automatically go to the eldest son; it went to the person in the family who was deemed the most competent, and sometimes that person was someone who was related by marriage.

Kongo Gumi not only only built temples that were designed to last centuries, but they also built relationships with their customers that lasted for centuries.

In the 20th century, Kongo Gumi branched out into private and commercial construction, which helped compensate for the decline in the temple business. They also didn’t shy away from changes in technology; they were the first in Japan to combine traditional wooden construction with concrete, and the first to use CAD software to design temples.

And while Kongo Gumi’s business had declined as they entered the 21st century, what ultimately did them in were speculative investments that they had made in the 80’s and early 90s in the Japanese real estate bubble.

Even though they were still earning more than $65 million a year in revenue in the mid-2000s, Kongo Gumi was massively over-leveraged and unable to service the more than $343 million in debt they had accumulated since the collapse of the bubble, and they ended up being absorbed by a larger construction firm.

Principles are designed to help answer the question of *how* a company does things, and what criteria they should use to make decisions. In the end, Kongo Gumi was no longer able to survive as an independent entity after 1,400 years in business not because of economic upheaval or changes in technology, but because they strayed from their core principles, stopped taking the long view, and went for the quick cash.

Companies that want to be successful in the long run need to identify their core principles and stick to them, even when doing so means passing up potentially lucrative opportunities in the short term.

Regardless of whether the business involves building Buddhist temples, making chocolate-covered pecans, or building websites, a focus on sustainability over growth encourages companies to put customers and employees first, instead of shareholders and investors. These kinds of companies are uniquely positioned to learn from their failures, build on success, and learn how to thrive in an ever-changing business landscape.

AM: Thank you George! George will be presenting his session, Finding Your Purpose as a Drupal Agency at DrupalCon New Orleans on Wednesday, May 11. You can find out more on our website at and in the notes for this particular podcast episode.

If you want to see George’s presentation from DrupalCon Barcelona last year on Architecting Drupal Businesses that are Built to Last, you can also find that link in the notes for this episode as well.

For more great tips, follow us on Twitter at @palantir, or visit our website at Have a great day!

Categories: Drupal

ThinkShout: Drupal 8 File-based Configuration on Pantheon

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 8:00am

As Drupal 7 developers, we know how risky it is to edit production code and configuration live. However, we often let clients do it because using Features is hard. Drupal 8 has solved a lot of this headache with file-based configuration management, which allows file-based workflows that gracefully avoid editing production directly. This article will show you how to use Drupal 8 configuration management and Pantheon’s amazing workflow tools to easily give your clients the ability to make configuration changes. We’ll show you how to seamlessly integrate those changes into your normal development workflow, so that you - and your clients - will win at Drupal!

Benefits of File-based Config

Storing active configuration directly in files has many benefits. The main benefit is that clients no longer have any reason to ever edit production configuration directly on production. Further, using file-based configuration removes the extra steps required to edit configuration in the database. These extra steps are confusing, can fail with fatal errors, and are made unnecessary by not storing configuration in the database.

How to Enable File-based Config

The documentation for enabling this isn’t too difficult. But, Pantheon recommends not storing the services.yml file in version control. So, we’ll create a new services YAML file and include that along with the active configuration settings in settings.php. Before you start, export your current configuration to the sites/default/config folder and deploy that to Pantheon. Next, enable file storage by adding the following to your sites folder and using the following settings.php.

Once deployed to Pantheon, the site will now be running in file-based configuration storage. To test this, go ahead and make a setting change in your local environment. You should see Drupal immediately write the change to site/default/config. Deploying this edit to Pantheon should make the Pantheon site immediately update to reflect the new configuration change. You just won at Drupal!

Configuration Workflow on Pantheon

Now create a multidev for the client to use. Once the multidev is created, put the Pantheon account into SFTP mode because SFTP mode allows Drupal to edit the configuration files directory. So, now so the client can edit the configuration in Drupal and save their work with the Pantheon dashboard.

Changes ready to commit

Changes committed

Merge to development

Configuration deployed to development

When the client has completed their work, they can deploy it using the Pantheon deployment tools. You can merge in a client’s work into your own easily because the client is now using version control. Once the configuration is merged to Dev, the standard Pantheon workflow makes it easy to deploy these changes to production.

Don’t Edit Production Directly

If production is in SFTP mode, clients can still edit production live. To prevent this, either keep production in Git mode, or use the Config Readonly module to lock production configuration.

Drupal gives users the power to build and edit a website, and users can make dramatic changes to websites with just a few clicks in forms. With Pantheon’s tools and Drupal 8, we now have the ability to use those wonderful tools in a safe environment. The tools combined allow us to bring clients into the workflow and manage deployments as a part of the team because Drupal 8 allows us to build robust, collaborative workflows like never before.

Categories: Drupal

Commerce Omani Rial

New Drupal Modules - 3 May 2016 - 6:23am

This module provides an Omani Rial currency support for Drupal commerce.


This module requires the following modules:

Categories: Drupal

Valuebound: How To Create Custom SOLR Search With Autocomplete In Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 4:35am

In many cases, users visiting a site already know what they are looking for, hence they  head straight to the search box. Since it is likely to be their first point of contact with the website, retailers must ensure that they get it right the first time. This is to avoid the issue of users getting frustrated by inaccurate or badly-ranked results and as a result moving on to a different site.

A good starting point is to introduce a ‘suggest’(Autocomplete) function, which lists a drop-down menu of various  search queries containing the text fragment they have typed.

We will integrate the apache solr with our drupal site and make autocomplete search.
For this, we need to query the apache solr and then get the results from the apache finally  displaying it in…

Categories: Drupal

Libraries UI

New Drupal Modules - 3 May 2016 - 4:01am

This module will provide a UI to display all libraries provide by modules and themes. Once libraries_ui is been installed visit /admin/config/media/libraries_ui to get all breakpoints information.

Site Builder

For site builders, this is perfect to find out about your breakpoints in your website.

Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: Improve The Drupal 8 Admin Menu for Content Creators

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 3:52am

The Drupal admin interface needs to keep a lot of people happy. The admin interface is often used by everyone from very experienced users to complete beginners.

One of our members asked if it was possible to create a custom menu for their content creators. They wanted one single place for Drupal beginners to find all the links they needed.

In this tutorial, we'll show you how to do that and also create a faster, more usable admin menu.

Categories: Drupal

Red Route: How I learned to stop worrying and love custom migration classes

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 1:40am

When I got sick of banging my head against the migration-shaped wall the other day, the state of my attempts to migrate content from Drupal 6 was fairly limited.

Migrate Upgrade was working fairly well, up to a point.

Gallery nodes had been migrated, but without their addresses, which is hardly surprising, seeing as the D6 site was using the Location module, and I've decided to go with Geolocation and Address for the new site.

Exhibition nodes had been migrated, but without the node references to galleries. There's an issue with a patch on for this, but after applying the patch, files weren't being migrated.

Time to get stuck in and help fix the patch, I thought. But the trouble is that we're dealing with a moving target. With the release of Drupal 8.1.0, the various migrate modules are all changing as well, and core patches shouldn't be against the 8.0.x branch anymore. It's all too easy to imagine that updating to the latest versions of things will solve all your problems. But often you just end up with a whole new set of problems, and it's hard to figure out where the problem is, in among so much change.

Luckily, by the time I'd done a bit of fiddling with the theme, somebody else had made some progress on the entity reference migration patch, so when I revisited the migrations, having applied the new version of the patch, the exhibitions were being connected to the galleries correctly.

One problem I faced was that the migration would often fail with the error MySQL has gone away - with some help from I learned that this wouldn't be so bad if the tables use InnoDB. Converting one of the suggestions into a quick script to update all the Drupal 6 tables really helped, although copying the my.cnf settings killed my MySQL completely for some reason. Yet another reminder to keep backups when you're changing things.

Having read some tutorials, and done some migrations in Drupal 6 and 7, I was trying to tweak the data inside the prepareRow method in my custom migration class. The thing I didn't get for ages was that this method is provided by the Migrate Plus module, so not only did the module have to be enabled, but the migration definition yml file names needed to start with migrate_plus.migration rather than the migrate.migration.

Once I'd made that change, the prepareRow method fired as expected, and from there it was relatively straightforward to get the values out of the old database, even in the more complex migrations like getting location data from another table and splitting it into two fields.

As an example, here's the code of the prepareRow method in the GalleryNode migration class:

/** * {@inheritdoc} */ public function prepareRow(Row $row) { if (parent::prepareRow($row) === FALSE) { return FALSE; } // Make sure that URLs have a protocol. $website = $row->getSourceProperty('field_website'); if (!empty($website)) { $url = $website[0]['url']; $website[0]['url'] = _gallerymigrations_website_protocol($url); $row->setSourceProperty('field_website', $website); } // Get the location data from the D6 database. $nid = $row->getSourceProperty('nid'); $location = $this->getLocation($nid); // Set up latitude and longitude for use with geolocation module. $geolocation = $this->prepareGeoLocation($location->latitude, $location->longitude); $row->setSourceProperty('field_location', $geolocation); $address = $this->prepareAddress($location); $row->setSourceProperty('field_address', $address); return parent::prepareRow($row); }

The methods called by this are all fairly similar, with a switch to the D6 database followed by a query - here's an example:

/** * Get the location for this node from the D6 database. * * @param int $nid * The node ID of the gallery. * * @return Object * The database row for the location. */ protected function getLocation($nid) { // Switch connection to access the D6 database. \Drupal\Core\Database\Database::setActiveConnection('d6'); $db = \Drupal\Core\Database\Database::getConnection(); $query = $db->select('location_instance', 'li'); $query->join('location', 'l', 'l.lid = li.lid'); $query->condition('nid', $nid); $query->fields('l', array( 'name', 'street', 'additional', 'city', 'province', 'postal_code', 'country', 'latitude', 'longitude', 'source', )); $result = $query->execute(); // Revert to the default database connection. \Drupal\Core\Database\Database::setActiveConnection(); $data = array(); foreach ($result as $row) { $data[] = $row; } // There should be only one row, so return that. return $data[0]; }

I get the feeling that if I was following the "proper" object-oriented approach, I'd be doing this using a process plugin, as suggested by this tutorial from Advomatic. But this does the job, and the code doesn't feel all that dirty.

Another lesson I learned the hard way is that when you're adding fields from other sources inside the prepareRow method, you also need to remember to add those fields into the .yml file.

Feeling pleased with myself that I'd managed to migrate the location data, I decided to jump down the rabbit hole of working on integration between Geolocation and Address modules, even though I'd already said I didn't need to do it. Why do developers do that? I can see how difficult a project manager's job can be sometimes. Thankfully, the integration (at least for the needs of this site) can be a fairly shallow and simple job with a few lines of JavaScript, so I've put a patch up for review.

In my day job, I'm a great believer in breaking tasks down as far as possible so that code can be reviewed in small branches and small commits. But when you're working on your own project, it's easy to jump around from task to task as the mood takes you. You can't be bothered with creating branches for every ticket - after all, who's going to review your code?. Half the time, you can't even be bothered creating tickets - you're the product owner, and the backlog is largely in your head.

That butterfly tendency, plus the number of patches I'm applying to core and contributed modules, means that my local site has far more uncommitted change than I'd normally be comfortable with. Using git change lists in PhpStorm has really helped me to cope with the chaos.

On the subject of patches, I've finally got round to trying out Dave Reid's patch tool - it's working really well so far.

This process has reinforced in my mind the value of testing things like migrations on a small sample set. Thankfully, the Drupal 6 version of the Admin Views module lets you bulk delete nodes and taxonomy terms - I couldn't face tweaking the migration while running multiple iterations of importing 3828 terms.

Which reminds me, xdebug is great, but remember to disable it after you've finished with it, otherwise using the site in your VM will be slow, and as Joel Spolsky says, when things run slowly, you get distracted and your productivity suffers. Humans are not good at multitasking, especially when those tasks are complex and unfamiliar.

And when we try to multitask, we don't think straight. I've just spent an hour debugging something that should just work, because the logic in my taxonomy term source plugin was based on a piece of confusion that now seems obvious and stupid. For reference, in Drupal 6, the 'term_node' table connects nodes with the taxonomy terms they're tagged with, and vid refers to the node revision ID, whereas the 'taxonomynode' table connects terms with their related taxonomy node, and vid refers to the vocabulary ID.

The bad news is that the mappings from nodes to taxonomy terms aren't being migrated properly - for some strange reason they're being registered correctly, but all the rows are being ignored.

The good news is that the work in progress is now online for the world to see. For one thing, it's easier to do cross-browser testing that way, rather than faffing around with virtual machines and proxy tunnels and all that sort of nonsense.

So please, have a look, and if you spot any bugs, let me know by creating an issue on the project board.

Tags:  Drupal Drupal 8 The Gallery Guide All tags
Categories: Drupal

Drupal Console: Drupal Console by the numbers

Planet Drupal - 3 May 2016 - 1:22am
In this blog post, we will explore some interesting numbers related to the development of this project, between the first commit at Aug 28, 2013, and the day of writing this blog post, May 3, 2016. Keep reading to find how much time had been invested in development, how many tagged released we have done, the number of awesome contributors and number of downloads for this project between others.
Categories: Drupal

Mod It, Change It, Twist, Adapt It

Gnome Stew - 3 May 2016 - 1:00am

This is the start of a series of posts about hacking game systems and adapting one system to fit the setting of another. There’s some lead-up to the meat in this one, so I hope you’ll bear with me.

Think about your favorite setting. Think about what you love about it, what makes it special, what makes you want to go back session after session.

Now think about your favorite game system. Think about how the mechanics work, how it engages your gamer brain, what makes you go back to it session after session.

Are the two linked? If so, that’s fantastic. I think a lot of gamers are in this situation. What happens if they’re not, though? If you’ve played games for almost any length of time, you’ve probably run into this. Whether it’s a setting you love paired with a system you don’t dig, or a system you want to use above all others, it’s a fairly common thing in games to want to rework things to your tastes.

For me, it’s Fate. From the first time I played Fate, it spoke to me. Specifically, Aspects and how they interact with the economy of Fate Points going around the table. I love how those little bits of narrative reality feed into the mechanics, how because you’re Touched by the Dead God of Alternate Realities it helps you in some situations, but gets in your way in others.

Recently, I started up a new game of Deadlands Reloaded with one of my gaming groups. I was determined to run Savage Worlds as it was written, and to enjoy the game as it’s presented in the books. Savage Worlds was the first non-D&D system that I had played or run outside of a convention. I loved how deadly it was, how the dice exploding could make even a lowly d4 dangerous, and how the Wild Die meant you always had a chance. I also love the Deadlands setting, love its alternate history, and its attention to detail.

As I began to run this Deadleands game, it immediately became clear to me how used to running Fate I was. More than that, how much more I liked running Fate. I knowthis is a me problem, not a problem with Savage Worlds. It’s a good system, but it’s not quite what I want when I’m running a game.

So we’re changing that. I’ve talked to my group, and we’re going to change over to Fate, but keep playing the Deadlands campaign setting we started in Savage Worlds. We started converting the characters already, and we’ll finish the process soon.

Start With The Core Conversion

The first thing we looked at was Aspects. Aspects are the heart of Fate, and are probably the most necessary points of conversion. Everything else, skills, powers, attributes, etc, those map a lot more easily. Aspects, though, those say who a character is, how they do what they do, any why. It can be hard to come up with them, even after sessions of play, because they need you to be able to describe important things about your character in a few words.

We spent most of our last session just working on that. We’d had about 4-5 sessions of play prior to that, and it’s not that my players don’t know their characters. It’s more that Aspects and Fate both ask you to think about your character in ways that Savage Worlds doesn’t as much. We’re looking at their characters’ actions, their Edges and Hindrances, and combining that with who the players invisions their characters to be. It’s a lot of work, but I’m confident we’ll get there.

Once we get Aspects out of the way, we’ll move on to other, more mechanical bits. The whole time, I’m going to be thinking about a variety of things that I want to see happen in the conversion. In fact, those things are more than just concerns for conversion: I’ll also be writing about them here. Putting voice to them will help me keep them firmly in mind when I’m gaming with my group, and it’s my hope that these articles with help illuminate some of the things about conversion that folks don’t always consider.

What Comes Next?

Things that I’m keeping in mind and covering in later articles:

  • How to keep the flavor right
  • What mechanics to use, what mechanics to toss
  • Character conversion
  • Enemy conversion
  • And a whole bunch of deeper-level looks at the differences between Fate and Savage Worlds, and how to find a way to get, essentially, the best of both worlds.

Any conversion has multiple fail points, but the reason to undertake a conversion is to get the feel you want. Fate is designed for capable heroes who usually succeed. Deadlands is an action-horror game using a system that tends to like to see characters bleed. It’s going to take some heavy lifting to keep that feel using Fate, but I’m excited to give it a try. The journey will prove to be an interesting one.

What settings have you converted to use a different rules system? Where do you start when you want a slightly different feel than the game provides?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video Game Music Production Tips from GDC 2016 - by Winifred Phillips Blogs - 2 May 2016 - 11:06pm
This article shares music production tips from the GDC 2016 talks of Laura Karpman and Garry Taylor. I've also shared practical examples from my experience composing for live orchestra for the Ultimate Trailers album (including listening samples).
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Don't fear the Hammer: The importance of UX in editors & tools - by Robin-Yann Storm Blogs - 2 May 2016 - 11:06pm
When level designers talk about Hammer, usually the reaction they get is: "But it's ancient! Nobody should use BSP/CSG these days!", which is not always the intention. Hammer has great basic geometry building UX, and other editors could learn from this.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

AI Isn't a Subsystem - by Ron Newcomb Blogs - 2 May 2016 - 11:06pm
Demystify AI by viewing it as an extension of existing subsystems.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Essential Marketing/PR Tips For Indie Devs - by Michael Hicks Blogs - 2 May 2016 - 11:06pm
After six years of trial and error experiences promoting my games, I’ve compiled some essential tips into one video!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

5 Minute Legal Lessons for Indie Devs - Part 2: Game Names and Trade Mark Troubles - by Pete Lewin Blogs - 2 May 2016 - 11:06pm
​Part 2 in a new series of quick legal lessons for indie game devs. ​TODAY’S TOPIC: CHECK YOUR GAME NAME BEFORE YOU COMMIT!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Greenlighting a Niche Game: The Long Journey Ahead - by Daniel Batoff Blogs - 2 May 2016 - 10:52pm
Mega Dwarf's guide to getting a niche game Greenlit.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Commerce Guys: Sprint with us on Commerce 2.x at DrupalCon New Orleans

Planet Drupal - 2 May 2016 - 9:10pm

Three months ago Commerce Guys separated from to refocus the business around Drupal Commerce. Even as a three-person team (we're now four - welcome, Doug!), we worked hard to dedicate Bojan completely to Commerce 2.x in anticipation of DrupalCon New Orleans. As I discussed in the most recent DrupalEasy podcast, this resulted in great progress both for Commerce 2.x and for Drupal 8 itself. (It also kept us near the top of the most prolific contributors to Drupal. : )

While we're preparing to present the latest in Drupal Commerce in our session at 10:45 AM on Thursday, we're also getting ready to sprint on Commerce 2.x the full week from our booth. This will be our first opportunity to jam on code as a full team since our spinout, and we'd love to have you join us.

Look for us near the permanent coffee station (intentional) beside and Acro Media, our delivery affiliate in the U.S. whose partnership and vision for enterprise Drupal Commerce have been invaluable as we've rebooted our business.

If you'd like to get up to speed on the current status of development, we recommend the following resources:

Naturally, we're happy to help anyone begin to contribute to Drupal 8 / Commerce 2.x. Bojan has mastered the art of integrating developers from a variety of agencies of all skill levels into the development process so far. For an espresso or a Vieux Carré, he may even train you, too. ; )

Categories: Drupal

Doug Vann: FYI: Not going to DrupalCon New Orleans 2016

Planet Drupal - 2 May 2016 - 5:13pm

As DrupalCon New Orleans gets closer, I'm getting asked more frequently if I'm going. I'm honored to have so many hit me up and ask my directly via Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Google HangOut, etc.

The answer is NO. And here's why...
Business is going super-dee-duper well and I can barely breathe. I haven't mastered the art of saying NO to new gigs, so that leaves me stretched thin and working long hours. Disappearing for a week would NOT fit well into that scenario. Going to NOLA would cost me not only the $2.5K to $3K of the event, but almost that much again in lost billables. If I don't do billable things, I can't send invoices. The work I would miss could not be made up later. Those dead hours would never see the light of day again.

Is there an ROI on these Drupal trips?
I have attended 7 North American DrupalCons from 2008 to 2014. It cost a lot of money, but I am absolutely and thoroughly convinced that the ROI is incalculable. Serously... Many of the relationships I have today within the Drupal community can be traced to a DrupalCon wether it be in a session, in the hallway, in the exhibit  hall, in the hotel lobby, or at any of the numerous partys. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't have the thriving business I have today had I not gone to 7 DrupalCons and many other events. In the Drupal Community, personal relationships often lead to business relationships either firectly or via referal!
I missed last year [and blogged about it] because my wife and I were closing on our first house purchase and it was taking longer than anticipated. Not to mention I was also swamped in work at the time. 

See you next year?
That is very possible. I hate the idea of missing a 3rd PreNote! And I definitely miss seeing all my friends and engaging the amazing networking opportunities. We'll see. :-)

Drupal Planet

View the discussion thread.

Categories: Drupal


Subscribe to As If Productions aggregator