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Passing Notes In Class

Gnome Stew - 30 May 2016 - 1:00am

While the players around the table are generally on the same side and trying to cooperate to accomplish a common goal, there are times when secretive or contentious actions need to take place between the characters. There are a few reasons for this, and when done properly, these secret notes can add some spice to the game. Just be careful with them. Players don’t mind it so much when the GM keeps them in the dark, but they get very suspicious (rightfully so) when a fellow comrade in arms begins to keep things from the other players.

Passing the Note

It’s pretty clear when a player wants to pass a note, especially if they are at the far end of the table and it has to pass by their fellow players to get to the GM. There’s a code in play here. If a player passes a note via another player, the transporting player is to be nice and not read the note. It’s not meant for them, so they shouldn’t take a peek before passing it along. Likewise, when the players spot their fellow party member tossing a note to the GM, they shouldn’t work “out of game” to try and figure out what’s going on. If the scout is ahead of the group and no one else is nearby to witness a secret action, the obvious presence of a note shouldn’t change how they act or react to the reappearance of the scout. That form of meta-gaming can ruin a perfectly good session and cause more resentment around the table than the note itself.

Stepping Out of the Room

When the note passing between one player and the GM becomes cumbersome, it’s probably a good idea to halt the hastily scribbled missives and step into a side room for a private conversation. This will save some time, allow for better communication, and maybe set the fellow players at ease if it’s the GM’s idea. This will make it seem like the GM is the one keeping the secrets, not the player. It just depends on how things are set up and operate around the table. Personally, I have a voice that projects well and carries. I always make sure I’m not “on the other side of the room,” but in a separate room (preferably with a closed door).

Digital Notes

 In this age of digital messaging, it’s possible to bypass pencil-on-paper altogether. In this age of digital messaging, it’s possible to bypass pencil-on-paper altogether. Text messages, Facebook messages, Slack, and dozens of other private communication techniques exist. If your group finds that these digital notes are okay, then this is an alternative. However, I strongly recommend that the use of digital devices not become a distraction to playing the game itself. There is a major difference between sending a text and watching the latest episode of Geek and Sundry on a smartphone.

Keeping the Notes

Does the GM keep the notes? Does she read them out loud at the end of a session or adventure? That’s really up to the play style at the table. When I run Paranoia, there is (as you can expect) tons of note passing. People are trying to surreptitiously use their mutant powers, plant a Commie Manifesto in someone’s back pocket, use a device their color rank doesn’t allow, or meet up with a fellow member of a secret society without the rest of the group finding out and blasting their current clone into a cloud of vapor. Because Paranoia is very much a tongue-in-cheek game, I always insist on paper notes, and I keep them all in a hat next to me. When the session is over, I read them out loud to the rest of the table in whatever order they come out of the hat. Even though the official game is over, more hilarity ensues as people try to piece together the content of a note with the context in which it was passed.

Conclusion

Are notes right for your game? This is something that should be clearly spelled out in the social contract you and your fellow gamers have around your table. I’ve easily shifted between note-heavy and “no notes allowed” groups without much heartache. Sure, there are times I wished I could have passed a note in the “no note” game, but I always find a way around it. If you’re the type of player that loves to operate in secret, try to temper your note passing. Keep in mind that each slip of paper passed to the GM interrupts the flow of the game and puts the spotlight on you. This is fine, but don’t abuse it. Pretty soon, you’ll find your fellow players groaning with each scribble you put down on the tiny notepad, and it won’t be because you’re keeping secrets from them.

Have you used secret notes in your game? Care to share your experiences?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: Botch!

RPGNet - 30 May 2016 - 12:00am
Fuzzy fumbles.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Waka Tanka Now Available From CoolMiniOrNot

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 May 2016 - 11:10am
The Summer Solstice is a very important time. The Great Shaman uses the longest day as a chance to contact the Spirit of Everything. Surrounding tribes aid in this process by sending Apprentices to help with the rituals. They’d fast for days, hoping that The Spirit of Everything would cause their totemic animal to appear. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Sunday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 29 May 2016 - 11:00am
Well… you know that Battle Chef I talked about a couple times last week? Uh… you see… wha-ha-happen wuz… Crits from ogre-sized lizardmen hurt, y’all. But this is just an opportunity to create a new character. I’m thinking I’m gonna go with a TV-preacher style Cleric. We’ll see how it goes. Anyway, before I dig […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Green Button

New Drupal Modules - 28 May 2016 - 4:32pm

The Green Button module is another energy management tool tool for Drupal. It will allow authenticated users to incorporate data sets from The Green Button Initiative into their websites for public or private viewing.

Categories: Drupal

Autofill fields

New Drupal Modules - 28 May 2016 - 3:38pm

....

Categories: Drupal

Review Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 28 May 2016 - 11:00am
Saturdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Wooooooooooooo! When you’re reading this, I’m hopefully using my Battle Chef in combat. But that’s me. For you who’s here reading the site, I’ve got your Review Roundup for you. Today we have: Hail Caesar, Force on Force, Codenames, Five Tribes, Legends of Andor The Star Shield, Ninja All-Stars, The Grizzled: At Your Orders, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

TimOnWeb.com: How To Force Search API To Reindex a Node / an Entity

Planet Drupal - 28 May 2016 - 1:46am

By default Search API (Drupal 7) reindexes a node when the node gets updated. But what if you want to reindex a node / an entity on demand or via some other hook i.e. outside of update cycle? Turned out it is a quite simple exercise. You just need to ...

Read now

Categories: Drupal

TimOnWeb.com: Adding a custom extra field to entity / node display

Planet Drupal - 28 May 2016 - 1:46am

I had a case recently, where I needed to add custom data to the node display and wanted this data to behave like a field, however the data itself didn't belong to a field. By "behaving like a field" I mean you can that field at node display settings and ...

Read now

Categories: Drupal

Changes with the Drupal Association

Dries Buytaert - 27 May 2016 - 5:17pm

The Drupal community is very special because of its culture of adapting to change, determination and passion, but also its fun and friendship. It is a combination that is hard to come by, even in the Open Source world. Our culture enabled us to work through really long, but ground-breaking release cycles, which also prompted us to celebrate the release of Drupal 8 with 240 parties around the world.

Throughout Drupal's 15 years history, that culture has served us really well. As the larger industry around us continues to change -- see my DrupalCon New Orleans keynote for recent examples -- we have been able to evolve Drupal accordingly. Drupal has not only survived massive changes in our industry; it has also helped drive them. Very few open source projects are 15 years old and continue to gain momentum.

Drupal 8 is creating new kinds of opportunities for Drupal. For example, who could have imagined that Lufthansa would be using Drupal 8 to build its next-generation in-flight entertainment system? Drupal 8 changes the kind of end-user experiences people can build, how we think about Drupal, and what kind of people we'll attract to our community. I firmly believe that these changes are positive for Drupal, increase Drupal's impact on the world, and grow the opportunity for our commercial ecosystem.

To seize the big opportunity ahead of us and to adjust to the changing environment, it was the Drupal Association's turn to adapt and carefully realign the Drupal Association's strategic focus.

The last couple of years the Drupal Association invested heavily in Drupal.org to support the development and the release of Drupal 8. Now Drupal 8 is released, the Drupal Association's Board of Directors made the strategic decision to shift some focus from the "contribution journey" to the "evaluator's adoption journey" -- without compromising our ability to build and maintain the Drupal software. The Drupal Association will reduce its efforts on Drupal.org's collaboration tools and expand its efforts to grow Drupal's adoption and to build a larger ecosystem of technology partners.

We believe this is not only the right strategic focus at this point in Drupal 8's lifecycle, but also a necessary decision. While the Drupal Association's revenues continued to grow at a healthy pace, we invested heavily, and exhausted our available reserves supporting the Drupal 8 release. As a result, we have to right-size the organization, balance our income with our expenses, and focus on rebuilding our reserves.

In a blog post today, we provide more details on why we made these decisions and how we will continue to build a healthy long-term organization. The changes we made today help ensure that Drupal will gain momentum for decades to come. We could not make this community what it is without the participation of each and every one of you. Thanks for your support!

Categories: Drupal

Dries Buytaert: Changes with the Drupal Association

Planet Drupal - 27 May 2016 - 5:17pm

The Drupal community is very special because of its culture of adapting to change, determination and passion, but also its fun and friendship. It is a combination that is hard to come by, even in the Open Source world. Our culture enabled us to work through really long, but ground-breaking release cycles, which also prompted us to celebrate the release of Drupal 8 with 240 parties around the world.

Throughout Drupal's 15 years history, that culture has served us really well. As the larger industry around us continues to change -- see my DrupalCon New Orleans keynote for recent examples -- we have been able to evolve Drupal accordingly. Drupal has not only survived massive changes in our industry; it has also helped drive them. Very few open source projects are 15 years old and continue to gain momentum.

Drupal 8 is creating new kinds of opportunities for Drupal. For example, who could have imagined that Lufthansa would be using Drupal 8 to build its next-generation in-flight entertainment system? Drupal 8 changes the kind of end-user experiences people can build, how we think about Drupal, and what kind of people we'll attract to our community. I firmly believe that these changes are positive for Drupal, increase Drupal's impact on the world, and grow the opportunity for our commercial ecosystem.

To seize the big opportunity ahead of us and to adjust to the changing environment, it was the Drupal Association's turn to adapt and carefully realign the Drupal Association's strategic focus.

The last couple of years the Drupal Association invested heavily in Drupal.org to support the development and the release of Drupal 8. Now Drupal 8 is released, the Drupal Association's Board of Directors made the strategic decision to shift some focus from the "contribution journey" to the "evaluator's adoption journey" -- without compromising our ability to build and maintain the Drupal software. The Drupal Association will reduce its efforts on Drupal.org's collaboration tools and expand its efforts to grow Drupal's adoption and to build a larger ecosystem of technology partners.

We believe this is not only the right strategic focus at this point in Drupal 8's lifecycle, but also a necessary decision. While the Drupal Association's revenues continued to grow at a healthy pace, we invested heavily, and exhausted our available reserves supporting the Drupal 8 release. As a result, we have to right-size the organization, balance our income with our expenses, and focus on rebuilding our reserves.

In a blog post today, we provide more details on why we made these decisions and how we will continue to build a healthy long-term organization. The changes we made today help ensure that Drupal will gain momentum for decades to come. We could not make this community what it is without the participation of each and every one of you. Thanks for your support!

Categories: Drupal

Configuration Merge

New Drupal Modules - 27 May 2016 - 3:09pm

Merge separate configurations together, and with your current configuration, if they can possibly be considered compatible.

If you want your module to be able to helpfully set relevant permissions for the authenticated user — or configure seven roles and a dozen other zettings — this will be the module for you.

Categories: Drupal

Red Markets RPG Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 May 2016 - 3:00pm
Well, civilization has come to an end again. Damnit, Carl! I told you to not sell of all those shares in the Zombie Repellent Company all at once! Now there’s zombies everywhere, the stock market’s crashed, and we still gotta pay the rent! We’ve gotta band together in order to head out into the zombie-infested […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal Association News: Reorganizing for a changing Drupal

Planet Drupal - 27 May 2016 - 3:00pm
Serving Drupal’s opportunity

The release of Drupal 8 creates many opportunities for organizations worldwide to build something amazing for complex web solutions, mobile, SaaS, the Internet of Things, and so much more. The Drupal Association is excited to work with the community to create these opportunities.

In our mission to support the Drupal Project, the Association unites our global open source community to build and promote Drupal. We do this primarily by using our two main resources: Drupal.org, the center of our community’s interactions, with 2 million unique visitors a month; and DrupalCon, which hosts over 6,000 attendees a year and provides the critical in-person acceleration of ideas.

Both foster the contribution journey that makes amazing software, and the evaluator’s adoption journey that encourages people to use Drupal across industries to create amazing things. As I mentioned in my recent blog post, achieving our mission helps the community thrive into the future and realize their Drupal dream.

With the release of Drupal 8, we have an opportunity to reflect on how the Association leverages these assets to work for Drupal’s current and future opportunities. Working with our board of directors, we determined that the Association needs to:

  • Re-assess the Project’s needs, and find new ways to support and meet those needs
  • Address a structural issue, to be a more sustainable organization

To do this, the Drupal Association board and I made hard choices. Having invested heavily in supporting the Drupal 8 release and exhausting available reserves, we recognize that the Association now must right-size the organization and balance our income with our expenses. The biggest impact is the elimination of seven positions, reducing our staff size from 25 to 17 employees. Also as part of this reduction, we have reorganized staff to better address the Project’s needs now that Drupal 8 is released.

While we do have our eye on a bright future for the Project through these changes, we’re also painfully aware that we’re not just eliminating positions. We’re saying goodbye to seven people who are important to us—whose contributions we value more than we can describe. We’re impacting the lives of people we care about—people who’ve given a lot to the Project and to others in our community.

Making the Drupal Association sustainable

In early 2014, the Association began investing reserves in building an engineering team for two main reasons: to address critical issues that were slowing down the production of Drupal 8, and to modernize Drupal.org. In doing so, we purposefully created a structural deficit, with the hopes that we could grow revenue to meet the cost of this investment before we drew down our reserves.

Because of this investment, we were able to accelerate the release of Drupal 8 through a roadmap of features like semantic versioning, DrupalCI (continuous integration testing for the projects we host), better search and discovery capabilities, numerous issue queue improvements, and issue credits, all of which positively impacted the release of Drupal 8. In addition, the engineering team has addressed years of technical debt and incorporated more modern services in the site that have made it more reliable and faster around the world.

While revenue grew from 2014 to 2015 by 14%, it didn't grow enough. Last year, we acknowledged that we did not meet the revenue goals that would sustain this investment. We addressed it with a retrenchment designed to extend our runway and see if we could increase revenue sufficiently. All told, while we have accomplished both revenue diversification and growth, it wasn’t enough to fully replace the investment. Then in spring 2016, several things happened on the revenue front that created a significant budget gap:

  • Sponsored work: The Association funded Engineering resources by accepting sponsored work to build Composer endpoints for Drupal projects. After that project was completed, we were unable to line up an additional sponsored project to continue underwriting the Engineering team.
  • The Connect Program: This new experimental program designed to connect software companies with service providers for partnership and integration opportunities did not meet its revenue goals.
  • DrupalCon: DrupalCon New Orleans ticket sales did not reflect the increase we were expecting this year, and we have revised our DrupalCon Dublin ticket sales projections accordingly.

"CAGR" means compound annual growth rate.
2016 data is projected revenue and expenses.

Addressing this structural deficit required a reduction of both labor and non-labor expense. Labor is our biggest cost, and we can’t create alignment without cutting roles at the Association. Holly Ross, our Executive Director, Josh Mitchell, CTO, and Matthew Tsugawa, CFO, offered to step down and contribute their salaries to the reduction, as they saw that a smaller organization doesn’t require a full leadership team. Additionally, we are losing three staff members from the Engineering team, one from the Events team, and one from the MarComm team. We are working with these staff members to help them through their transition.

Our second biggest expense is rent. We are working to eliminate the physical office in Portland, Oregon—moving staff to a virtual, distributed team—but those efforts will likely not introduce savings until 2017. We already work with distributed staff and community members around the world, so we have the know-how and tools like Slack and Zoom in place to support this change when it happens.

While these staff reductions are painful today, they correct the structural problem, bringing expenses in line with income. We have conservatively reforecasted revenue to reflect any impact this staffing reduction may have. We can see with our forecasts that the layoffs result in the Association being on healthy financial ground in 2017.

What happens next?

Leading up to now, we invested in tooling to help the community release Drupal 8. Now that Drupal 8 has shipped, the Project has new needs, which are:

  • Promote Drupal 8 to grow adoption
  • Sustain Drupal.org so the community can continue to build and release software

Drupal.org is our strongest channel for promoting Drupal, given that it’s the heart of the community and organically attracts hundreds of thousands of technical decision makers. It provides the biggest opportunity to guide evaluators through an adoption journey and amplify Drupal’s strength in creating new business opportunities through solutions like “DevOps and Drupal” or “Drupal for Higher Education.” These new services on Drupal.org will help evaluators, create value for our partners, and increase revenue for the Drupal Association.

We can also use Drupal.org to better promote DrupalCon. It’ll help grow ticket sales and attract more community members to that special week of in-person interaction, accelerating their adoption and contribution journeys.

Additionally, we’ll expand our efforts to attract more evaluators to DrupalCon. We can accelerate their adoption journey through peer networking and programming that helps them understand how Drupal is the right solution for their organization. We do this today with our vertical-specific Summits (like the Higher Education Summit) and we can do more through relevant sessions and other special programming. And while the Drupal evaluators are there, we’ll connect them with Drupal agencies who can help them realize their Drupal vision.

One thing about our work won’t change: our commitment to the tools you use to build Drupal every day. Though the Engineering team is smaller after today, they will make sure the tools and services you need to build and release the software are supported. That includes things like the issue queues, testing, security updates, and packaging.

Right now, we’re focused on the team as we go through this transition. Once the transition is complete, we’ll be looking at the Project needs and making sure we align our work accordingly. When we make changes, we’ll be sure to keep the community updated so you know what our primary focus is and how we are working towards our vision of Drupal 8 adoption across many sectors.

In the meantime, I invite you to tell me your thoughts on this new focus and how the Drupal Association can best help you.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalEasy: We're getting workshoppy

Planet Drupal - 27 May 2016 - 2:48pm

We’ve really been busy here at DrupalEasy updating our curriculum and adding some training programs that we think will help get people leveraging the new awesomeness of Drupal 8. After a few times out at Drupal events, and our upcoming gig at Drupal North in Montreal with Introduction to Drupal 8 Module Development on June 15, we’ve decided to go broader. We’re going new school, with online sessions of these D8 workshops in June to extend the reach beyond camps and 'cons.  

If you are looking to get up to speed with Drupal 8 module development and/or theme development, two online afternoon sessions live, at your desktop are coming up:

Introduction to Drupal 8 Module Development

  • 2 Afternoons, Live, Online
  • Monday & Tuesday June 13 & 14;
  • 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT each day
  • Early Bird: $199. After June 6; $249
  • Register now

The Introduction to Drupal 8 Module Development workshop is designed for anyone with either knowledge of PHP or knowledge of Drupal 7 module development. The workshop takes users through the development of three custom modules demonstrating the basic principles and concepts of Drupal 8 module development. Students will be hands-on for the majority of the day, and will leave with confidence to start writing their own custom Drupal 8 modules.

Introduction to Drupal 8 Theme Development

  • 3 Afternoons, Live, Online
  • Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday June 20 - 23
  • 3:00 pm - 7:00 pm EDT each day
  • Early Bird: $199. After June 13; $249
  • Register now

The Introduction to Drupal 8 Theme Development workshop is our newest curriculum and it's super-sized! Through three half-days of training, you will learn about Drupal 8 core's new built-in base themes, Twig templates, theme anatomy, and a full-on front-end development toolchain that utilizes Node.js and Gulp. The workshop uses the Bootstrap base theme for two of its three main units, giving students plenty of hands-on time developing custom themes. Anyone with knowledge of Drupal 7 theming or a working knowledge of HTML and CSS will leave the workshop with skills to allow them to start theming Drupal 8 sites.

Categories: Drupal

Anthro-Adventures Fantasy RPG Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 May 2016 - 2:00pm
Sometimes it can be rough to find a gaming system that’s good to use to introduce new gamers, particularly younger ones, to the world of gaming. Well, Anthro-Adventures is designed to be just that. Though that’s not to say that it’d be boring to veteran gamers. Instead, it looks to bridge that gap, using familiar […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Jeff Geerling's Blog: Ensuring Drush commands run properly using Drush 8.x via Acquia Cloud Hooks

Planet Drupal - 27 May 2016 - 1:56pm

Any time there are major new versions of software, some of the tooling surrounding the software requires tweaks before everything works like it used to, or as it's documented. Since Drupal 8 and Drush 8 are both relatively young, I expect some growing pains here and there.

One problem I ran into lately was quite a head-scratcher: On Acquia Cloud, I had a cloud hook set up that was supposed to do the following after code deployments:

# Build a Drush alias (e.g. [subscription].[environment]).
drush_alias=${site}'.'${target_env}

# Run database updates.
drush @${drush_alias} updb -y

# Import configuration from code.
drush @${drush_alias} cim vcs

This code (well, with fra -y instead of cim) works fine for some Drupal 7 sites I work on in Acquia Cloud, but it seems that database updates were detected but never run, and configuration changes were detected but never made... it took a little time to see what was happening, but I eventually figured it out.

The tl;dr fix?

Categories: Drupal

Get a job: Cryptic Studios is hiring a Project Manager

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 27 May 2016 - 1:19pm

The Star Trek Online dev is currently seeking a Project Manager to work closely with programmers and game producers to organize and coordinate the development of the Cryptic game engine.  ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

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