WizKids Announces Time Barons Card Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 9 August 2017 - 7:00am
Is anyone else announcing as many game releases as WizKids is right now? It feels like almost every day I’m seeing a new announcement from them. That’s not any sort of condemnation of it, mind you. Just more of a, “whoah, they’re coming out with more? Alrighty!” Anyway, this time around it’s Time Barons, a […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Bubsy and Nostalgia in Games - by Mark Sylvia Blogs - 9 August 2017 - 6:58am
A new entry in the Bubsy has been announced for release this September, and it's caused a question in the necessity of nostalgic design in games. Here's why the problem may actually lay in how nostalgia is presented.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Abhishek Lal | GSoC Blog: Examples for Developer #10 Week of Coding

Planet Drupal - 9 August 2017 - 6:56am
Examples for Developer #10 Week of Coding Abhishek Lal B Wed, 08/09/2017 - 19:26
Categories: Drupal

Catch-Up Systems (and what the heck are those) - by Alvaro Vazquez de la Torre Blogs - 9 August 2017 - 6:55am
Users can easily forget the game´s mechanics if they haven´t played for a while. That leads to frustration, which could make them abandon the game. In this article you´ll find potential solutions to mitigate such problem
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Announces Fallout Board Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 9 August 2017 - 6:00am
Well, the world has come to an end. Damnit, Todd! I told you to clean your s— up! Now everything’s a nuclear wasteland. You start scrounging some bottlecaps and I’ll see if there’s any friendly dogs that we can tag along with (no Labradors). That’s what you’ll be doing in Fallout, a new board game […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Klaviyo Subscription

New Drupal Modules - 9 August 2017 - 5:30am
Categories: Drupal

OSTraining: The Absolute Beginners Guide to Drupal Distributions

Planet Drupal - 9 August 2017 - 3:28am

One of the most common hurdles that Drupal beginners face is learning to navigate the modules area on

We often hear questions like this:

"There are over 38,000 modules! How we do know which ones to use?"

The answer is often to use a distribution.

Building your own e-commerce, intranet or a social networking site in Drupal can be intimidating. Imagine how much easier it would be if an expert had found all the best modules for your purpose and had combined them into one package. Imagine that you could download and install that package as easily as a normal copy of Drupal. That's what distributions can do for you.

Categories: Drupal

Search API TableSelect

New Drupal Modules - 9 August 2017 - 2:56am

This module provides TableSelect style for Views based on Search API. Checkbox is added as first column to table. It extends Table style (with fields) so all options from it are available (except of grouping).

This is only developer base, you will need to create your own form class (example included).

Categories: Drupal

Social Anxiety at Large Conventions

Gnome Stew - 9 August 2017 - 1:36am

Gen Con Crowds in 2013 by Flavio Galvao


It’s August 8th, 2017 and Gen Con is about a week away. I’m going through all of my pre-Gen Con rituals – planning for the Gnome Stew dinner at St. Elmo’s and the ENnies immediately afterwards, getting the books and materials for the games I’m running compacted into better traveling boxes, setting up the tech equipment for the booths of the companies I help out, cursing the fact that I haven’t planned for any games to actually play in, etc. One of the rituals I undergo is figuring out how to get my social up and actually enjoy a big convention.

Social Quandaries

I don’t have social anxiety the way some people do, but I get some when I’m gearing up for a big convention and I get a lot of social fatigue just thinking about them. I love conventions. I love seeing my friends and feeling the rush and excitement of the throngs of excited people around me. I enjoy walking as a semi-invisible face in the crowd and getting to people watch. I love all of these things, by the second or third day if I’m lucky. For me, the time before Gen Con, or any other large convention, is when I’m working my brain around what it is like to be at a big convention and getting myself built up to handle the throngs and the rush of people. I like people, I really do. If you meet me at a convention, you’d never guess that I get anxious in situations like this. I’m loud and talkative. I have a big, goofy smile plastered across my face. I often have a flask of whiskey tucked away in a kilt pocket that I share with friends while at parties. I stay out way too late and meet a lot of people. This is one aspect of my personality at a convention, but it’s one that has largely grown as a defense mechanism out of the fertile soil of anxiety.

Don’t get me wrong, this is part of who I am. I’m not putting on a big show, not completely, but when my anxieties kick in during social situations,  I tend to move to the offensive rather than the defensive. I try to find a way to fit in and spend the energy building up inside of me and move it away from being self destructive. Like many self described nerds/geeks/outsiders, I’ve spent many years not knowing how to deal with social situations and being on the awkward, awkward fringes of many a conversation and social group. My teenage years were as awkward as the bowl cut hair that was still framing my head and my ability to hold a conversation was as blurty and nervous and fidgety as you can imagine, and this was in the time before being passionately excited about something nerdy wasn’t as acceptable as it is now.

 I’m not telling you this so you know my story, I’m trying to mirror the story thousands of us have but can’t talk about.  At some point in my life, I decided to take that anxious energy about social situations and figure out how to channel it into something useful. I spent years of self reflection and gradual improvement, testing and learning new ways to interact with people. I used gaming as a way to test out different social voices and I watched what worked for other people and what failed and when I was feeling that nervous energy, I threw it into a new experiment in how to behave rather than let it pull me down. Some 20 years past my awkward teenage time, I can reliably pass for well adjusted and I actually feel confident in most social situations, but something like the tens of thousands of people at Gen Con and trying to juggle that with a busy schedule of meetings, games, and constant socializing can push me close to a null zero place on my social desire meter. Once I’ve gotten into the crowds and found my groove, I’m usually enjoying it a lot more and am more tired than just socially tired, but it takes a lot of brainspace and energy to push myself past my mental hurdles to not want to bail on Gen Con on the Tuesday beforehand.

I’m not telling you this so you know my story, I’m trying to mirror the story thousands of us have but can’t talk about.

Everyone Has Something They Can’t Readily Tell You About Their Anxiety

Talking about anxiety is hard. It’s hard in geek culture especially. Most of us come from mental places where we haven’t always been socially accepted. It’s hard to make yourself that vulnerable when everything is normal in your life, but when you’re in a giant venue with tens of thousands of other people, fighting against a tight schedule to maximize your time, and you barely have an inch of personal space, it’s not hard to understand how a person’s anxieties can be overwhelming.  The one uniting factor of all of these anxieties, for all of these people, is that they are invisible.  I know many people who can’t make it out to conventions due to their anxieties, some of them professionals in the industry who rely on the networking and connections that a convention can bring. I know many people who have pushed past or channeled their energy to make it to the con floor, but find themselves needing to constantly retreat away from the crowds. I know many people who channel their anxiety into only playing a certain set group of events that they know and can be sure of the rules (social and game) so they don’t have to spend brainspace on anything new. I know people who are anxious about being harassed, or ogled, or groped and won’t wear the cosplay they made to a convention this large. I know women who just don’t feel comfortable around conventions because people can be assholes sometimes.

Look up Spoon Theory if you aren’t familiar with it.

The one uniting factor of all of these anxieties, for all of these people, is that they are invisible. No one will readily tell you about their anxiety, and in many cases they can’t. Talking about it is often a hit to social credibility, a token that you aren’t strong enough to handle your issues. No one wants to be seen that way, so often people can’t bring it up or signal that they are feeling anxious. This year, I’ve seen a lot of people online talking about the “rules” for interacting with them.

These are preemptive defense mechanisms to limit things that might drain them socially. While you might be a hugger, they may not be and ceding to your desire for physical contact may take a bit more of their spoons (or spell slots) than they feel free giving up. They may have problems saying it at the time, so they don’t. For some people, saying it on Twitter or Facebook as “rules” is an attempt to preemptively cut off some potentially anxiety inducing issues.

Help Others Out At Big Conventions

It’s nearly impossible to know what another person’s anxiety inducing elements are, and it’s also as difficult to know when they might be on the edge of their tolerance due to situations that have nothing to do with you. So, how do you help them out when they may not be able to tell you?

  • Be respectful of personal space, more so than you would be for yourself. Another person’s needs are different, so give everyone the space you think you need, but double or triple it. If you know you are a person who has few personal space needs, quadruple it.
  • If a person is giving off signals that they are nervous about something in the social situation, consider excusing yourself from the conversation but leaving it open to pick up later. Say “Hey, I hate to do this, but I need to get going to make it in time for a game, but if you are around later it’d be cool to pick up the conversation.” and give them a little time to recoup. This might be their chance to get the breathing and thinking space they needed, even if they didn’t have the “spoons”, or social energy, to step back themselves. However, this may not be what they need, which is why I bolded consider. The best way to become socially savvy is to shut up and analyze what is going on. Spend more time listening and looking for clues, and if you think that a person might be out of energy, make sure there is space for them to gracefully recharge. That may just mean having less conversation and more hanging out, it may mean letting them chill out on their own, but the way to figure that out is to watch out for their needs.
  • Signal your emotions and choices. When people are anxious, they are bad at reading other people and making big decisions. The “Hey, I’ve got to jet to make a game” may be interpreted as “this person hates me because I’m worthless!!!!”. That’s anxiety speaking. If you describe the mental or emotional reasoning that is dictating your actions, it will save them some brainspace trying to decipher it. “Hey, I have really liked talking to you, and I hate that I have to cut it short, but I need to make this game on time. I’ll catch you at the party later and we can pick up the conversation.”
  • Make sure another person has room to talk and to think. Sometimes you’ll be in a large crowd and someone will be really quiet. It may be that they can’t find a way into the conversation and they’re too nervous to edge some space for themselves. Try to open it up so that they have a chance to talk. One of my favorite party tricks is to ask everyone about their “favorite part of the week”, or their “weirdest thing they saw getting to the convention”, or “what was your best character death”. I direct this at the group in general, so that the person doesn’t feel like they are on the spot, but can have time to build their story. I make sure to play “GM” on the group and turn the spotlight their way once it seems like they are ready.

Overall, just be respectful, be aware of consent and don’t step on anyone’s boundaries, and watch people for signs that they may be having issues dealing with the crowds or social situations. Try to be a good friend, even to strangers, and make sure people have the room they might need to feel comfortable but can’t tell you about. Everyone has some anxieties that they can’t readily show, and those come out in bigger ways and large and crowded conventions like Gen Con.  Do what you can to help them, even if it just means being aware of your own personal boundaries and trying to respect those in others.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Appnovation Technologies: How I Stepped My Way Through a Failing Drush Drupal 8 Migration With PHPStorm’s Xdebug Integration: Part 2...

Planet Drupal - 9 August 2017 - 1:13am
How I Stepped My Way Through a Failing Drush Drupal 8 Migration With PHPStorm’s Xdebug Integration: Part 2... Hot on the heels of my last blog, let's pick up where we left off... Stepping Through Drush We’re now ready to activate CLI debugging in PHPStorm. Let’s test our debugger on Drush. Under “Run > Edit Configurations”, click “+” and create a new PHP Script. Under “File:”...
Categories: Drupal


New Drupal Modules - 9 August 2017 - 1:10am

COBie - Construction Operations Building Information Exchange.

Categories: Drupal

Entityreference Field Injection

New Drupal Modules - 8 August 2017 - 3:10pm

This module extends Entity Reference and allows to display fields from the referenced entity on the host entity.
It allows to configure the display per field instance and view mode.

Vast parts of the code were borrowed from the Commerce Product Reference module which is part of the Drupal Commerce

Categories: Drupal

Mantic Games Posts Gen Con Specials

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 August 2017 - 2:00pm
Everyone’s chomping at the bit to get to Indianapolis and get Gen Con started. Much of that is because of all the cool special deals, pre-releases, and show exclusives that’ll be available. Mantic’s going to be there. And they’re letting you know what sort of specials they’re going to be running. About the specials: We’re […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fantasy Flight Games Announces Legacy of Dragonholt Board Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 August 2017 - 1:00pm
Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new board game set in the world of Runebound. Legacy of Dragonholt is the first in this new series which will use the Oracle system, letting players adventure all around Terrinoth. The game is a cooperative, narrative venture, and comes initially with six quests players can undertake. From the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Final Fantasy XIV surpasses 10 million lifetime players

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 8 August 2017 - 12:55pm

Seven years after its launch (and four after its more successful relaunch), Final Fantasy XIV has passed 10 million cumulative players. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ares Games Taking Pre-orders for Limited Edition of Warriors of Middle-Earth

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 August 2017 - 12:00pm
For those that are fans of Warriors of Middle-Earth, this is probably a story you’ve been waiting for. Ares Games has started taking pre-orders for their very limited-edition run of the game. If you want to get your name on the list to get one, now’s your chance. From the announcement: As announced last week, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Podcast Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 August 2017 - 11:00am
Yesterday seemed to go by quick. Being busy will do that. And there’s very little time of year that I’m busier than the weeks leading up to Gen Con. So, while everything I’m doing is revolving around gaming right now (even moreso than usual), there’s still some room for more, such as gaming podcasts. This […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Now's the time to pitch your best Programming talks for GDC 2018

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 8 August 2017 - 10:12am

Hey devs! GDC officials seek great submissions of interesting, cutting-edge Programming talks for the GDC 2018 Main Conference, from now through August 17th! ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ninja Division Posts Gen Con Plans

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 August 2017 - 10:00am
If you’d not heard, Gen Con is next week. Yeah, I know, right?! Anyway, Ninja Division has posted up their plans. And it’s quite a lot. They’ve got new product. They’ve got a painting contest. They’re going to have special guests at their booth. It’s a ton of stuff. Check it out. From the announcement: […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Elevated Third: Decoupled Drupal: A 10,000 ft View

Planet Drupal - 8 August 2017 - 9:56am
Decoupled Drupal: A 10,000 ft View Decoupled Drupal: A 10,000 ft View Andy Mead Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:56

Continued from Setting the Stage: Hosting a Decoupled Drupal Site...

With numerous ski resorts, several Camp Woodward destinations around the country, and roughly 50 unique events hosted each year, the content demands of POWDR’s portfolio are significant. Managing the volume and variety of this content is a challenge in itself - and managing it across disparate systems with different processes and siloed data makes it much harder. With that in mind, POWDR set out to unify the technology driving their digital presence using a new platform powered by Drupal 8.

The Requirements

The platform needed to serve two seemingly different goals: flexibility allowing for different designs on the frontend and a uniform data model on the backend for maintaining content. To meet these needs, POWDR opted for a decoupled approach, using the backend system as a data API that’s consumed by individual frontends that can be styled however necessary, and at times, completely differently.

The Responsibilities

With our partners Hoorooh Digitial and Acquia providing the frontend and hosting solutions respectively, our job at Elevated Third was to design and build the data layer at the platform’s center. As Drupal experts, we knew Drupal 8 had the right tools for this job. Our solution used a combination of Drupal 8’s REST API, Views, the Paragraphs module, and some custom modules to provide the right amount of flexibility and maintainability for POWDR’s needs.

An Initial Architectural Consideration

When building a solution like this, the first decision will revolve around structuring the technology powering it. Currently, there are a couple architectural options in the decoupled application landscape.

The first option consists of running two servers: one for the frontend application(s) and one for the backend data API. In this scenario, the frontends are responsible for all the routing and the backend simply provides a JSON endpoint that communicates with the frontends.

The second option consists of storing the frontend applications as compiled assets on the same server as the backend. In this scenario, the backend will respond to initial incoming requests and route them to the proper frontend application which takes over from there.

There’s not a right or a wrong choice here. And any decision will depend on the combination of hosting options, technical expertise, and development team’s appetite for complexity. We chose the second option. And after some fiddling with HTTP requests and Apache proxying, the POWDR platform has been performing excellently.

To Be Continued...

In the next entry of this blog series, my project partner Joe Flores will detail some of specific Drupal technologies and techniques we used to power POWDR.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Drupal


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