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150 books for game devs

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 13 March 2015 - 5:03am

"We have been building a big list of books about video games. It features more than 150 books dealing with the history of videogames, biographies, Game Design, Serious Games, videogames studies & analysis..." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Image Math CAPTCHA

New Drupal Modules - 13 March 2015 - 4:15am

This module is an add-on for the CAPTCHA module to provide a mathematical equation challenge as a CAPTCHA. The question presented is an image instead of text to prevent auto-crawling and parsing via robots. Images are created on the fly much like the Image CAPTCHA module that comes with CAPTCHA.

** This module used Image CAPTCHA as a foundation and was modified from that. So all due credit to the creators of CAPTCHA for providing that starting point **

Categories: Drupal

Colorized google maps block

New Drupal Modules - 13 March 2015 - 3:36am

Colorized gmap module allows to create blocks with google map.
This module provides UI there you are able to:
-colorize any elements of the map
-hide unnecessary controls (such as zoom) or change position
-customize marker image and some other features

Created by ADCI solutions team

Categories: Drupal

Groups emerging from play

Gnome Stew - 13 March 2015 - 12:01am

I recently completed a few months of public play that went far better than I’d imagined.

On Wednesdays last fall, we played D&D Encounters. At my table, I had a drop-in-group of 4 or 5 pretty consistent players, with several more who showed up for a session or two. They completed the Encounters storyline in early December, then travel and holidays reared their head–along with confusion as to what we’d tackle next.

When we broke, the GMs were divided on the next step since we had run through the storyline. Each GM had players that congealed into a core group that showed up most weeks, and a few floaters and new players. One GM was was prepared to continue the adventure into Episode 4 of Hoard of the Dragon Queen, encouraged by a player who really wanted to experience high level play. After committing to the campaign, life reared up and that player was rescheduled at work, unable to attend Wednesdays at all.

New Year, New Characters

In the new year, the three GMs began with a common plan. We each broke out Lost Mines of Phandelver and started to run. Attendance was light at first; the holiday break had weakened the association of D&D with Wednesday. The first week I had five brand new players and a veteran from the previous season. (I never saw that group of players again; I hope roleplaying proved to be a fun experience.) The next week a few more veterans attended, forming a core of three.

They drew characters with bold lines and bright personalities. Therian was a hard drinking, pious, and very earnest Paladin; Belmont was a deadly archer with a strong reluctance to close, while Crichett was a warlock who drove men mad. The first big twist was their reaction to defeat at the hands of a goblin ambush… the result of terrible die rolls. Their resulting drive to prove themselves drove interesting characterization for weeks. Mau Hock joined them the next evening, a tough barbarian who scoffed at his new allies’ lack of wilderness survival skills and tracked the goblins to their lair. Other heroes, Grumpkin, Oryn, and Rinn, joined them in the ensuing weeks.

After many sessions, they had forged a bond–as characters, but also as players. As the interlude game wound to its end, they got serious about continuing together as players. One of the players volunteered to GM and sent out some background information; the other players are working on back-stories to fit his custom world.

The End of the Beginning

Wednesday night was the finale for these characters; they hit Cragmaw Castle hard. The characterization was bold, their feats daring… a great ending for a fun batch of characters.

Next week we’ll build characters for the new season of Encounters: Princes of the Apocalypse. New heroes will stride forth, ready to embrace adventure. I wonder what groups will form from next season’s mix.

Play and Recruiting

It seems like a truism, but playing games gives you the players you need to build a group. How do you prefer to recruit new players these days? Have you had any luck recruiting from meetups and cons, or does it take repeated play to really forge a group? Tell us about how players came together to form your current game groups.



Categories: Game Theory & Design

Superseeds: Posthuman: The Singularity, Part 1

RPGNet - 13 March 2015 - 12:00am
Superpowered people in the World of Darkness.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Few Provocative Thoughts by Greg Johnson - by Greg Johnson

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 12 March 2015 - 10:28pm
Greg Johnson, designer of the ToeJam & Earl games, and 33-year independent game developer, shares his views on publisher intervention and ethnic diversity in games, as these topics relate to ToeJam & Earl.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Social Stream

New Drupal Modules - 12 March 2015 - 6:37pm

Integrates the jQuery Social Stream plugin (USD$8 on Code Canyon) with Drupal,
in particular the Social Field module.

Categories: Drupal

Chen Hui Jing: Drupal 101: What I learnt from hours of troubleshooting Feeds

Planet Drupal - 12 March 2015 - 5:00pm

Feeds is a very useful module when it comes to importing content into your Drupal site. However, it’s not very forgiving, in that your data has to be formatted just right for the feed to take. This post will run through the basic feed importers and some key points I learnt from hours upon hours of troubleshooting. I’m pretty sure I’ve spent upwards of 50 hours dealing with feeds thus far in my life.

Before I begin, I have a short rant on the importance of content. You could skip directly to the bits on feeds but then, it’ll be less entertaining.

The heart of every website is its content. At least, most of the time. And as much...

Categories: Drupal

Drupal Easy: Florida DrupalCamp 2015 - It's SSSSuper

Planet Drupal - 12 March 2015 - 12:00pm

For the sixth year in a row, Central Florida will host the Sunshine State's largest gathering of Drupalists for two full days of learning, networking, and sharing at Florida DrupalCamp 2015. To be held Saturday and Sunday, April 11-12, 2015 at Florida Technical College in Orlando, approximately 300 people will gather for a full day of sessions and a full day of community contributions. Attendees will be provided with knowledge, food, and clothing - and maybe a surprise or two as well!

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read more

Categories: Drupal

Shadowban

New Drupal Modules - 12 March 2015 - 10:33am

Shadowban users!

Shadowban uses a permission setting to track which users are banned instead of a roster list. So you add shadowbanned users to a "ban" or "troll" user role to mark them as banned.

This module includes a Rules integration so you can check if a user is shadowbanned and update their node access. Since the shadowban is based on a user role, Rules will already let you add a user to a role.

This is identical in concept to Cave, Shadowban puts all the trolls in the same cave.

Categories: Drupal

Cheeky Monkey Media: Importing and Exporting Databases with Drush

Planet Drupal - 12 March 2015 - 10:25am

A few weeks ago, I was pulled into a Non-Drupal project. As I was configuring the site to run on my local computer, I realized that I have been taking advantage of Drupal and Drush. I forgot how easy it was to import and export MYSQL databases. If you're a drupal developer and are not using drush to import and export your databases, you should. It will save you time, and its easy.

Configure Settings.php

Before you attempt to import a new database, make sure you have the database configurations setup properly in settings.php. If you don't have this specified, drush...Read More

Categories: Drupal

GDC 2015 and the battle for headlines: An analysis

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 12 March 2015 - 10:02am

A media analysis that shows what kind of coverage GDC got as compared to other industry events -- and whether it was Unreal Engine or Unity that got the most play during the show. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

ICO Media Monitor – GDC 2015 results - by Thomas Bidaux

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 12 March 2015 - 8:10am
A quick look at the media coverage of the GDC 2015, and the trending topics of the event: Virtual Reality and Game Engines.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

One Life Left vs. Gamasutra GDC Podcast #2: Pork platters and 80 Days

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 12 March 2015 - 7:08am

Guests from Inkle, Unity, Failbetter, and Other Ocean joined Gamasutra and UK radio pros One Life Left for the official GDC 2015 podcast. Topics include: Pork, golf, text game renaissances, and more. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

New UI for K-Glass 2 that works with eye blinking

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 12 March 2015 - 5:28am
A newly developed user interface, the “i-Mouse,” in the K-Glass 2 tracks the user’s gaze and connects the device to the Internet through blinking eyes such as winks. This low-power interface provides smart glasses with an excellent user experience, with a long-lasting battery and augmented reality.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Code Karate: Drupal 7 Excluding Node ID from URL

Planet Drupal - 12 March 2015 - 5:11am
Episode Number: 197

In this installment of the Daily Dose of Drupal, we are looking not at a module, but rather how to exclude a node from a view using the node/content ID.

The video explanation will put a lot more context around exactly what I mean, but the general idea is using a view we will be able to exclude the current node id we are on (grabbed from the URL) from the view. In other words, if you are on a page about grasshoppers the view possibly on the sidebar that displays other insects won't have the grasshopper listed (ie since we are already on this page).

Tags: DrupalBlocksContent TypesViewsDrupal 7Drupal Planet
Categories: Drupal

Canon vs. Original

Gnome Stew - 12 March 2015 - 12:28am

Big Damn Heroes

Many of the games we play are set in worlds created specifically for those games (or universal enough for player created worlds), but there are plenty of games out there designed to immerse your players in a setting from movies, television, books, comics, and so on. Firefly! Song of Fire and Ice! Supernatural! Doctor Who! Battlestar Gallactica! Star Wars! Buffy the Vampire Slayer! The list is almost endless – if there’s a movie, book, television series, comic book, or whatever out there that tickles our gamer nerd fancy, someone’s made a game out of it. Even if they haven’t, it’s easy enough to find a system that will work for that setting.

When inviting your players to step into that known world, you as the GM need to make a decision on whether they’re going to be playing characters that already exist in the setting’s canon, or if they’re going to be creating new and original characters. Is your Firefly game going to revolve around Captain Mal and the rest of Serenity’s crew, or are the players creating a whole new band of misfits trying to find their way in the Black? Are your players residents of Westeros the ones we see on HBO, or are they scheming nobles and knights of the players’ imaginations?

Both options have their pros and cons, so it’s up to you to decide which option is going to work best for the game you want to run. Before getting too far into the process, one key piece of information to gather is how well your players actually know the source material. This could push or pull your decision in one direction over another and it also lets you get a feel for which option your players might prefer. It’s also a good way to gain forewarning if you have a superfan among the group that may get particular about the way the characters and world are presented.

One variation on the Scooby Gang

Using canon characters lets your players that know the setting easily jump into the skin they’ll be inhabiting for your game. They already know the quirks, mannerisms, and goals of that character, and to a certain degree it can satisfy a wish fulfillment to be part of that world. This is especially true for settings based on sources that may have had a limited run. (I’m looking at you, Firefly.) Another aspect that especially benefits GMs is that it allows you to set up storylines with ease. You won’t have to dig for information on the backgrounds of the PCs, and if you’re a fan of the source material, you’ve already got some ideas on new stories for those characters.

On the other hand, there are benefits to going with original characters. It lets your players put their own ideas and imagination into play within a favorite setting. Players unfamiliar with the source material may have an easier time as well. Creating an original character gives them an opportunity to be sure they’ll be comfortable playing that character rather than one that comes with baggage and expectations. That said, you may need to do some coaching to keep them within the feel and spirit of the setting you’re playing in. Having an amoral, violent mercenary messily kill a janitor that got in the way during your Star Wars game can be a tiny bit disconcerting.

Balance can also be an issue when choosing between canon or original. In some settings, like Doctor Who or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, certain characters are expected to be more powerful than others. While these dynamics often work great in the movies or television, they can throw off a game where players expect and need a certain degree of balance. Some systems account for this in the mechanics, such as Doctor Who’s story points, but it’s still an important facet to be aware of.

An exceptional number of companions…

Another factor to consider is whether you’re running a one-shot or a campaign. Campaigns allow for more room to flesh out original characters and dig into other corners of the world. Canon characters can sometimes work better for one-shots because there’s less work to get the players to buy-in to the game. This is especially true at conventions where people signing up for the game most likely love the source material anyway and they’ll happily jump into playing a favorite canon character. This isn’t to say there are exceptions to the rule. I’ve heard stories of long running games where the players assumed the roles of existing characters and I’ve played in some amazing one shots with original characters in Firefly and Supernatural games.

My personal preferences vary with the setting. I find some work better with canon characters and others work better with original characters. I’ve run Firefly games with both Serenity’s crew and with a bunch of player creations. For Supernatural games, though, I always go with original characters since the Winchesters seem too busy with their own messes and there’s plenty of Americana and monsters to explore without them. Conversely, the Farscape game I play every year at Origins wouldn’t nearly be the awesome that it is without Crichton, Aeryn, D’Argo, Chiana, Rygel, or Zhaan. It ultimately depends on the stories the game can tell in that setting.

Which do you prefer, the existing canon characters or all new original ones?



Categories: Game Theory & Design

Greetings from Magrathea: Adventures in Space

RPGNet - 12 March 2015 - 12:00am
People trapped in space?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The RLD Handbook: Sometimes it's not about the metrics - Depth & Complexity - by Luke McMillan

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 11 March 2015 - 10:54pm
In this update the RLD Handbook, I propose a system for evaluating depth and complexity in game design. By examining two very similar games using this approach I explore the nuances of depth & complexity and attempt to resolve some common issues.
Categories: Game Theory & Design
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